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2,492 Princess Eastern Caribbean Cruise Reviews

This was our (me and my husband) 5th cruise with Princess (I have cruised twice with Carnival) and we were very pleased. I was a bit nervous as the ship was going into drydock soon, but she was not run down looking..some mild aesthic ... Read More
This was our (me and my husband) 5th cruise with Princess (I have cruised twice with Carnival) and we were very pleased. I was a bit nervous as the ship was going into drydock soon, but she was not run down looking..some mild aesthic issues but nothing signficant. We booked a BF guarantee and were upgraded to a BA on Caribe. The balcony was great as we were able to have shade throughout most of the day if we wanted. There were no significant issues, and if there were, they were resolved to our satisfaction. We did not get a table for 2 for traditional dining, (now I am unsure if I actually requested this in advance), but after speaking to maitre'd, got a note in stateroom the next morning we were switched to a table for 2. There were some charges on our folio which we questioned.. one of the them was something we just forgot about and the actual signed receipt was produced at pursers desk to clarify. The other 2 were charges we did not make and while one of them took a significant amount of looking into by calling dining room, asking other pursers, was taken off the account. We enjoyed all of the food, saw some of the production shows, which we enjoyed. Our room was clean.. there was some black stuff floating in the toilet bowel, but I believe it was like a charcoal or something used in sanitation aspects or filtration. It didn't bother us. All the staff we encountered were friendly and helpful. The most negative aspect had nothing to do the cruise itself but our neighbors at dinner who were unhappy with just about every entree they were served and were consistently expressing this to the waiter/head waiter. I understand they had expectations, but it did become uncomfortable at some points. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
I'm an equal opportunity cruiser, having experienced many of the Caribbean lines including Carnival, Norweigan, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Princess. I have stuck with Princess for the last few years because of ... Read More
I'm an equal opportunity cruiser, having experienced many of the Caribbean lines including Carnival, Norweigan, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Princess. I have stuck with Princess for the last few years because of the multiple evening entertainment options including multiple choices of live music, nightly comedian or unique acts and an overall lively nighttime experience. I have noticed in the last 2 years, both the quality and quantity of entertainment options on Princess has deteriorated. It seems that Princess is choosing to save money by eliminating entertainment options. I just returned from the Star Princess on a 10-day Caribbean cruise, and they did not even have a caribbean band on the ship. Not once did I hear any caribbean music while sailing the caribbean. I cannot express how disappointing this was, as I love to dance to the steel drums and hear Bob Marley. Imagine sailing away from a beautiful caribbean island to the sounds of poolside elevator music.Although there were many passengers in their 30's, 40's and 50's, the live entertainment was clearly designed for the over 60 age group. It appeared that to save money, Princess chose to show movies both on deck and in one of the best venues instead of offering live entertainment. The sad thing was, because the live entertainment was so bad and so "old", the only thing to do was go see the movie. They also had "ballroom dancing" everynight until 8 or 8:30 with piped in music in the best venue on the ship - not even live music. In cruises past, there have been live bands in this venue. Yet another cost cutting technique is to break up parts of the Princess band/orchestra and place them in different venues, calling it "special entertainment".I was also very surprised at the lackadaisical service. My cabin steward was so overworked that she barely touched my room each day. I was left with wet or dirty towels hung back on the rack on several days and had to beg for ice in the bucket each day. In the buffet area where I went for dinner several nights, no one ever asked if I needed water or would like a drink - I think I must have been invisible. I would see the staff huddled around together chatting, but rarely paying any attention to the passengers. I'm not usally bothered by this, but it was so noticable that they just weren't engaged whatesoever.What I love about Princess are the great itineraries. The ports on this cruise were fantastic. But with 3 days at sea and each night on the ship, Princess needs to improve their entertainment offerings if they're interested in attracting any passengers under the age of 60. The ship, the service and the entertainment are how they need to differentiate, and after this cruise, I would say they fall short on all three points. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Departed 4/23/11 from Ft Lauderdale. Let me first state that this is my first review on this site, It is also my 20TH+ CRUISE. The Star Princess is impressive while docked but thats where it ends. It is one of the strangest ... Read More
Departed 4/23/11 from Ft Lauderdale. Let me first state that this is my first review on this site, It is also my 20TH+ CRUISE. The Star Princess is impressive while docked but thats where it ends. It is one of the strangest configured ships I have ever been on. There is no deck where one can walk without encountering stairs. Yes that is strange! The Cruise itself was Eastern Caribbean. As always poverty stricken, animal abusing, begging ports. It obviously isn't Princess' fault but it must be stated. The ship is starting to show its age and is you happen to get a room below a pool or hot tub be prepared to not sleep your entire cruise. Obviously insulation was not in the budget while building this ship. Our room was ridiculously LOUD. Back to the cruise.......Be prepared to listen to countless hours of advertising from Princess. It really is crazy how much they try to get you to drink the kool aid. The music on our cruise was absolutely terrible. The cruise director was suspiciously absent. The staff didn't seem to care. On a positive, the dinners were very good. Our servers were excellent. Breakfast was terrible and could no way compare with either Carnival,NCL or Holland America. Should your cruise stop at their private island, Princess Cay, be sure to skip it. Its a manufactured beach that is more commercial than beach. They even have the gall to Charge $25.00 to rent a snorkel. unbelievable!!!!! As you can tell is way less than impressed with Princess and will never travel with them again. Sleepless nights, garbage entertainment and constant advertising make me think they were trying to brainwash me rather than pamper me. i suggest you all do the same. Maybe they will get the message. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We spent 4 days pre-cruise in Ft Lauderdale at The Cocobelle Resort, which was 5 mins from the beach, great hotel/motel, good value, but a long trek down to the main area of Las Olas. Overall loved the place, great beaches and a really ... Read More
We spent 4 days pre-cruise in Ft Lauderdale at The Cocobelle Resort, which was 5 mins from the beach, great hotel/motel, good value, but a long trek down to the main area of Las Olas. Overall loved the place, great beaches and a really good feel to the place. Make sure you do a boat trip of the 'canals', we went on the Jungle Queen one evening, well worth doing. The drop off point for the car was near the port but the address was VERY difficult to find, I'd suggest doing a print of google maps prior to the holiday so that you can make it easier to find the drop-off point. There was a shuttle to the port which was $6 each (this was private though, Budget may not charge for their shuttle).On arrival at Port Everglades for our 10 night Eastern Caribbean cruise, it was very busy, I think 7 cruise ships were in the same day, apparently very unusual. Shuttle dropped us off at Pier 21 about 12:30, the bags were dropped off and we checked in, which was super efficient. We were impressed - all airlines take note!Unlike Royal Caribbean last year we were allowed to go straight to our cabin. We'd booked a BC Balcony but the upgrade fairy came a-knockin and we managed to get an AB Mini-suite (apparently the cruise was only about 90% full) which was great, extra room and a bath - such decadence. No complaints about the cabin, although on deck 9 your balcony is overlooked by everyone above - still if people want to ogle at my excess flesh that's their concern - I remembered to put clothes on most days before walking out to watch the sea go by ?. The bed was very comfortable, hanging space/storage space and hangers more than ample, though I think they should leave a couple of wine glasses in addition to tumblers.We found the ship harder to get used to than the Voyager of the Seas, for some reason it just didn't seem so easy to navigate around, though they do give you a wee fold up pocket map which was very useful. Very few children on board (bliss).Watched late night moves 'under the stars' - great just for the experience but why they insist on showing 'cartoon' films at 10:30 pm is beyond me. Proper 'adult' films (no I don't mean porn) should be the norm not kids stuff. Food in the Horizon (which is what I'd class as more a posh cafeteria and was open 24hrs) was good and far better quality than RCL in this area. Staff were generally attentive and welcoming, though some of the East European staff could sometimes be a bit dour.Evening meals were very good, we did late dining on a table of eight. Downside was that the beef was disappointing compared to RCL (which was always excellent) however the service was great as were our table mates. Wine prices were reasonable and although you couldn't pre-purchase a wine package they were at least reasonable with letting you bring on a bottle of wine each for your cabin. We brought on 2 bottles each without any issues.Bar prices were as expected, downside especially for us Brits is that the choice of beers is very limited, mostly bland tasteless American lagers, you could get Bass Pale Ale but that was about it. A decent pint of real ale would have been great!Afternoon tea (3:30 to 4:30) in one of the dining rooms was worth a try, although they did serve tea from coffee pots, didn't wear white gloves and served cakes before scones and sandwiches so they're obviously not used the correct 'British' way of doing things!The entertainment was by far the most disappointing area. The cruise director was cheesy to say the least and frankly annoying. The shows were mediocre as were most of the 'guest' entertainers. The only really good show was a group of four acapello singers called Stomp who were excellent, but they were on at really stupid times and really daft venues. The only night they sang in one of the theatres was during the evening meal - fine if you were early dining but us late diners missed out. On VOTS there was a brilliant, funny and entertaining pianist who would do requests and get people singing along to the golden oldies, and letting people sing with him, a real entertainer. On this cruise there was a young lassie who theoretically did the same but she had no charisma and did not really engage with the audience. We'd read about the 'Chefs Table' and decided we'd do this if possible even though it seemed pricey at $75 each (I'm a bit of a tight-a**e). It was advertised in the 1st ships newsletter so we phoned and put our names down but were told we may or may not be chosen due to the amount of people wanting to do it. Anyway a coupe of days later we had a message to say we were invited. On the evening we met up with 4 other couples. We donned white jackets and were shown around the galley by one of the Maitre'd and explained how the dining process works, though because of the way the group was structured, the noise and lack of room, we hardly heard a word of what was being said. We were then introduced to the Head Chef, who looked after us for the rest of the evening. We then were served various superb hor d'oeuvres in the galley, Cold water lobster margarita, Pate de foie gras, Fontina and Emmentaler mini quich with black truffle and bolied new popato with sour cream and caviar, washed down with Champagne. The Sommelier gave a talk on the champagne and wines we would be tasting later. We then were seated at a huge rectangular table near the middle of the dining room, fully kitted out with beautiful flowers, hand made bread baskets and candles (apparently the only place on the ship that you would see candles).The 1st course was a seafood Risotto with lobster tail, which was a meal in itself and superb. Next came a lemon sorbet with mango salw which was then doused in Vodka - absolutely wonderful. EntrEe (or main as we call it) was veal shank, and beef tenderloin, with fresh market veg and creamy mousseline potatoes. Very tasty, although for me the beef should have been much rarer.The dessert was a work of art, everything was edible, even the pink 'plate' which it was served on. It was 'Iced Amaretto parfait, with whisky soaked berries and Florentine tuile. There was an edible coiled spring topping the main area which actually bounced - incredible!.We then had a cheese course but nothing like we've ever had before, Baked brie de mauve with pine nuts. It was warmed in a pastry basked, and drizzled with a port wine reduction, absolutely fantastic. During the entire evening we were served white and red wines, and towards the end a luscious dessert wine, all specifically chosen by the sommelier to go with the food. He was very good at explaining where the wines came from, how the grapes were grown and harvested etc and what sort of tastes we were likely to get - very educational. A group photo was taken prior to the meal by one of the ships photographers and just before the evening ended, each lady was given red rose and each gent was given hard back copy of the Princess recipe book, duly signed and dated by the Head Chef, a great memento of the experience. This experience was only given twice during the 10 day cruise therefore less than 1% of passengers will get to see this. We came away feeling about half a stone heavier but realising that was we'd experienced was fine dining at its best. Forget about the cost and just do it, I'm sure you will think its worth it- we did!We also dined in Sabatinis an Italian restaurant, which was $20 each. You basically ordered an entrEe and they brought you tastes of everything else, 27 different things apparently. We missed out on the soup course, it was too much. If you want a lovely quiet evening with your beloved or a few close friends, this is worth it.We pre-booked 3 excursions prior to leaving the UK, all with the ship - yes you can do it cheaper with the locals portside, but I can't be bothered with all the hassle. One of the trips Harrisons Caves in Barbados, was fully booked by the 1st day on ship, so it pays to book early. This was a worthwhile trip. We also did an army truck tour of St Kitts which was also very good, ending at Cockleshell beach which was magnificent. I also booked Stingray experience in Antigua, what an experience. These a some huge rays, you get to hold one which was about a metre across, but some were 2 metres, and they give you squid to feed them. They can and do bump into you which can be a little unnerving but the water is waist high and in an absolutely stunning setting - definitely worth it although my beloved hated it!We also booked a disembarkation trip (which can't be pre booked in the UK) which took us on a coach around Ft Lauderdale, did a nice boat trip down the canals and towards the open sea then dropped us back at MIA (also dropped off at FLL). Great if your flight leaves late afternoon as it kills some timeEach of the 4 trips were $118 for the two of us, not cheap but not outrageous either, though it does start mounting up the extra costs involved in a cruise. Two of the trips had also gone up in price since I booked, and as you don't pay until you've done the trip (unlike RCL) I'd suggest pre-booking and if necessary cancelling at the last minute. In summary, I have no major gripes, I prefer Princess to RCL overall in terms of meal quality and service but was let down by very poor entertainment aboard. Check in/out was very efficient, the English captain was very informative (and entertaining) throughout and the ship was very clean. There was one minor double charge on the bill which was sorted quickly. With the exception of the open decks, you were rarely left a copy of the bill when you bought drinks etc which was rather annoying, especially if you are trying to keep tabs on your spending - they need to ensure you get a receipt for ALL items signed for. On board we put a £75 per person deposit down which can be used for any cruise in the next 4 years even if you don't know where you're going. It also gives you $100 each on board credit so you can't really lose. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
As this was a back to back cruise for us we went through the In transit procedures on board. This went smoothly overall and we were finished within 10 minutes. As we were staying in the same Cabin we did not have to pack up our suitcases. ... Read More
As this was a back to back cruise for us we went through the In transit procedures on board. This went smoothly overall and we were finished within 10 minutes. As we were staying in the same Cabin we did not have to pack up our suitcases. Basically we treated Fort Lauderdale as just another stop on the new cruise. It was a busy Sunday morning in Port Everglades and at least 5 or 6 other Cruise ships had arrived as well. We were definitely happy that we were not leaving to fly home that day. We spent the day relaxing in our cabin and sitting on the balcony. There was one annoying aspect. The Carnival Freedom was berthed near us and they played loud repetitive music all afternoon. It was not pleasant sitting out on the balcony. The Ruby Princess was the first to sail at 5 PM and we followed to start the trek to our first port of St Kitts. The first two days at sea were a little rough but nothing that would bother us. The winds and the high speeds made it interesting at times on the upper decks.We had different staff both as the Cabin Stewart and our Two Waiters - all three were professional and fun to be around. They added enjoyment to our voyage. One point to note - we had to ask for all our cabin boarding material for the new cruise - it should be automatic as we had booked this cruise as a separate one. Our dining in all venues was superb as usual but it should be noted that the evening menus were the same as the previous ten days. We had a table for 4 for dining which eventually turned out OK after sitting alone the first night. We have decided that a table for 6 is the minimum we should ask for unless you are travelling with another couple. The staff in the Horizon Court were attentive and polite thoughout the cruise. Many activities were a repeat as well. The entertainment was OK but the production numbers could have been better. We enjoyed the daily activities or entertainment in the Piazza. We enjoyed all the ports even though we had two repeats - Princess Cays and St Thomas. We considered St Thomas a new port though as we berthed at the Crown Bay Terminal, a first for us. Room service continued to provide us with excellent service each morning before sunrise as the staff had not changed from our previuos 10 days. On this cruise it became apparent that pool loungers were being saved but unoccupied much longer than the normal 30 minutes. It is important that the deck staff be more vigilant in this area. I even spoke to one and brought it to is attention but he said he couldn't do anything about it. Overall another great cruise on Princess. Princess Cays turned out to be fun again Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Fifth cruise, first on Princess and we were celebrating our honeymoon. We were looking for a Grand-class ship on a 10-day eastern itinerary. We are in the 40-50 age group and previously sailed Carnival. All of the fellow cruisers we ... Read More
Fifth cruise, first on Princess and we were celebrating our honeymoon. We were looking for a Grand-class ship on a 10-day eastern itinerary. We are in the 40-50 age group and previously sailed Carnival. All of the fellow cruisers we spoke to were very friendly, courteous, and seasoned cruisers/travelers. We did not have any negative experiences on this cruise. Very few children and teenagers and those we did see were extremely well behaved.Hotel: Arrived in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday. Stayed at Riverside Hotel for $90 off Priceline. This hotel does not have an airport transfer but we had family in town who were transporting us from the airport and to the cruise terminal Sunday.Embarkation: Arrived around noon and in our cabin by 12:30pm. Easiest boarding processing I have experienced. First time cruising out of Fort Lauderdale. Previously out of Miami and Tampa.Cabin: Thanks to Cruise Critic members for recommending aft BB cabin C752. Had an aft on prior Carnival Legend cruise and we are hooked. Cabin is very private with a separate hallway. The balcony is unbelievable. Did not hear anything from suite next door or cabins above or below. There is a speaker on the balcony but it was not an issue. You could feel vibration of thrusters as you entered port but that is part of the experience.Ship: Star is beautiful and the flow seemed to work very well. Very clean as well. Having an aft balcony, it was convenient to use the rear elevator bank to quickly access the Horizon Buffet and aft pool. Loved the Piazza and the flow of entertainment areas on decks 5, 6 and 7. I understand the ship was not at full capacity but it never felt crowded. Sea days you did need to get a spot at the pool early but we liked to wait until lunch time and had no problem finding a spot. The pools were large, clean, and nicely layed out.Dining: This is subjective but I found the selections on Princess to be very appealing and plentiful compared to Carnival. We had Anytime Dining and only one night (2nd formal night) did we wait five minutes for a table for two, eating around 6:30-7:30pm in Capri. The selections in the dining room were attractive, service was quick, and I don't think we were ever in there over an hour. Did not utilize room service or the specialty restaurants. The English pub lunch in Crown Grill on the two sea days was very good. Overall Princess does offer more seafood selections on the buffet as well as in the dining room. My DH did miss the deli that Carnival offers but there were similar options on the buffet a few days. And the International Cafe offers pre-made sandwiches which looked enticing as well as side salads and incredible desserts. We loved the grill as well as the pizza. Princess pizza is better than Carnival.Entertainment: We enjoyed the entertainment in the Piazza as well as Explorer's Lounge. We also saw the Stardust show and comedian in the theatre. Yes, the theatre is small so we followed everyone else there at least 30-40 minutes early to get a seat. Carnival does have more impressive shows with an abundance of dancers,more talented singers, and more seating. But it was enjoyable. The pop star karaoke in the Explorer's Lounge was a big hit and there were some very talented fellow cruisers. Did not watch any MUTS but it always seemed to be full and folks were enjoying the popcorn and nearby pizza.Service: Best service, hands down. Cannot say enough positive remarks about our cabin steward, Billy. Every Princess associate at the bars, dining room, lounge, etc. was positive, helpful, and seem to enjoy their job. Many commented on their co-workers as "family" and that was impressive.Ports/Excursions: Visited St. Kitts, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Thomas, and Princess Cays. We loved Antigua (nicest, friendliest people) and Barbados. On Barbados, we took the Sunbury Plantation tour, visiting Gun Hill Signal Station, Orchid World, and Sunbury Plantation. If you like rum, there are some heavy-handed drinks offered at the plantation portion. This was a very good tour, as we normally take catamaran/snorkel trips. Lots of walking and uneven surfaces, though. In St. Thomas we took the St. John Catamaran Champagne Cruise/Snorkel. The snorkeling was okay; crew was very good and it was enjoyable. The views were amazing and St. John is beautiful. Not impressed with St. Lucia as it pertains to the terminal and the immediate downtown area. Princess Cays - a perfect 10. What a beautiful facility and beach with food, shopping, shaded area, water sports. I wish we had more time to stay there.Disembarkation: Had a leisurely breakfast in the Horizon Buffet. Very easy, off the ship by 8:40am, flight at 12:30pm. No announcements, very smooth, easiest disembarkation I have experienced.***few differences we liked on Carnival over Princess but were not deal breakers: deli, coffee, beds, internet service, and using your cabin tv to watch your onboard account and purchase shore excursions.***Summary: This was our honeymoon and it was perfect! We are already looking at another Princess cruise next year. The 10-day cruise was just the right amount of time so we will try to do 10-days again, either Caribbean or Panama Canal. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
This was our third cruise, our first on Princess (and the longest one so far). Te other cruises were on Royal Caribbean and Holland America. We thoroughly had a good time on this cruise. By the end of the cruise, we were already ... Read More
This was our third cruise, our first on Princess (and the longest one so far). Te other cruises were on Royal Caribbean and Holland America. We thoroughly had a good time on this cruise. By the end of the cruise, we were already planning our next one - and wouldn't hesitate to cruise on Princess again. In fact, at the end of the cruise, we took advantage of the Future Cruise Program and put a $200 down payment on our next cruise, even though we didn't book a specific cruise. It allows us to book any Princess Cruise in the next year with no additional deposit. We will get a $100 per OBC, and if we choose not to cruise, we get our money back. It's hard to beat that kind of deal.Let me start by telling you a little about us. We are a couple in our late 40's. We usually travel alone, with no kids. When we cruise, we tend to enjoy the ship experience as much, if not more than the ports. We're also pretty low maintenance. Nothing is ever perfect, and we have no problem rolling with the punches. Unless something is really wrong, we're not inclined to make a huge deal about it.Hotel: We arrived one day early and stayed at the Hampton Inn, City Center. It was clean and centrally located. We like Hampton Inns because you know exactly what you will get. We actually flew into Miami and rented a car to get to Ft Lauderdale, so we did not take advantage of the free shuttle. I assume it would take you to the port. We never asked. Just a word of warning, rental cars are very expensive on Easter Weekend. Were it not for a fellow cruise critic person giving us a discount code, we would have paid three times what we paid for a car. The normal rate is about $60 a day.Embarkation: It was a busy day at the port. We were actually moved to pier 29 at the last minute for embarkation. The ship sailed at 5:00. I think we arrived at about 2:30 and had absolutely no problem getting on board. It was nice having immediate access to our room. By the time we got done with the Muster drill, our luggage was already at our door. Cabin: We stayed on the Lido Deck in cabin L234. We had booked a guaranteed balcony (BF). The upgrade fairy visited and we were upgraded to a BA. We had heard that the balconies on the Carib deck (BB) are actually larger, so we tried to get downgraded, but our TA was less than cooperative. We are actually glad. The cabin was in a perfect location. It was in close proximity to the gym, spa, swimming pools, MUTS, and Horizon Court. We only had two concerns. One was the noise from the pool and the other was the motion of the ship (being so high and forward). Neither concern was legitimate. Only once did we hear music from the pool, and that was because we were on our balcony during sail away. We had rough seas on the second day, but the movement was minor. It was not an issue for us. The cabin itself was small, but well appointed (my wife thought the dEcor was a little dated). The biggest plus was the size of the closet. It was a pleasant surprise. There was plenty of storage for the two of us. The bed was comfortable, but we didn't like having the crack running down the middle of the bed.Ship: We were impressed with the cleanliness of the ship. The crew did a good job of maintaining the common areas. We did not have any difficulty finding our way around. About the only thing that I did not like is the fact that the balconies on Carib and Dolphin deck (I believe) are open, and therefore not very private. I was glad we didn't end up with a Carib balcony, but instead were higher up, and therefore we had the privacy that we're used to on balconies.Dining: We only ate in the dining room one night. We had "Anytime Dining" and on the first night, we had a less than positive experience with one of our table mates and opted for the Horizon Court thereafter. There is a reason that sex, religion, and politics is a taboo topic - especially when you are sitting with strangers. We weren't necessarily trying to avoid another negative experience, it's just that the food in the Horizon Court was so good; we chose to avail ourselves of the sips entertainment, rather than spend two hours at dinner. We thought the choice and quality of foods was phenomenal. The service in the Horizon court was also VERY good. As soon as you sat down, someone was asking for your drink order. We saw several of the staff standing by to provide assistance to older passengers who might have problems negotiating the trays.Entertainment: Evidently, Princess as had to cut back on some of its entertainment options. We found this to be a silver lining. What it meant is that some shows were repeated; allowing us more flexibility in planning our schedule. There were three comedians on this cruise. Gary Delana was excellent. We found Ed Katz to be a bit boorish. The last comedian was a magician who we also found to be very funny and engaging. There was an group called Spank that sang acapella music that was VERY good. Their harmony was impeccable. The production shows were also very good. There was literally something for everyone. This is commendable considering the fact that there is a wide age range when it comes to passengers, but we don't think anyone would have felt left out. We loved the Cruise Director, Sammi. She was very engaging and had a good staff of Deputy Cruise Directors. Service: Excellent! The staff seemed to genuinely care about meeting the needs of the passengers. If I had one complaint, it was the fact that the drinks were extremely weak. We didn't like paying an arm and a leg for alcohol, then not being able to taste it.Ports/Excursions: We traveled to six different ports Antigua, St Lucia, St Kitts, Barbados, St Tomas, and Princess Cays. We pretty much played it by ear in each port, except St Lucia. We had heard about James Tours. We booked it, and were not disappointed. He does a great island tour. He provides food and drinks. He checked in with us at least every couple hours to make sure that all of our needs were met. The tour was only $40 per person and well worth it.Disembarkation: The saddest day was the day we had to leave the ship. However, Princess has begun using a silent disembarkation process that is really efficient. They tell you what time to meet at your designated assembly point and then they make announcements only from there as to when to leave. Our color was called almost to the moment of when it was scheduled. All in all, this was our best cruise so far, in spite of some crappy weather. We'd whole heartedly recommend this cruise to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We were new to cruising so unsure of what to expect, a few reviews on here about the sea princess were not great and the panic set in! However we didn't need to worry as it was absolutely fantastic. Our room was spotless and our ... Read More
We were new to cruising so unsure of what to expect, a few reviews on here about the sea princess were not great and the panic set in! However we didn't need to worry as it was absolutely fantastic. Our room was spotless and our stateroom steward, Homer, was brilliant. The room was cleaned & towels changed twice a day, he always had a smile & spoke whenever he saw us. The ship itself was clean & food was plentiful. we chose anytime dining but to be honest only went to the restaurant 3 times as we preferred Horizon Court & their buffet. Every evening you are left with a Princess Patter which gives you all the information ready for the next day.The entertainment left a lot to be desired, if you want to hear singers that can't sing & comedians that are not funny then you'll be ok, also look out for alan & alana, they play piano & sing - they are just horrendous! We were looking forward to movies under the stars, however the films they were showing were mostly from the 1940's (my partner and I were born in 1979 & 1980) so they were not our cup of tea, one night we decided to watch a film that was out last year, there were only 6 people there ready to watch the film so we asked for our blankets, and they had run out, which was odd as there were only 6 people, then the popcorn machine had been abandoned, so no popcorn, then the movie started, although we couldn't hear it properly due to the bar being located right behind the seats, we gave up and left after half an hour! Alcoholic drinks are very, very expensive, so when you are in a port buy a bottle of wine and take it back on with you. You can take back a bottle each, saved us a fortune. also had a soda package for $73.These were the only down sides to it. The cruise itself was amazing, most of the ports were beautiful, Grand Turk in particular was the most stunning place we have ever seen. Grenada, Tortola & Trinidad felt very unsafe to us so we only went where the ship had sectioned off the border control & went back. Trinidad was only a port day so that the ship could re-stock but this port was by far the most dangerous, that day the ship was heaving! On sea days sunbeds were hard to get if you weren't out by 8am, one day we had to share a sunbed & another we put our towels on the floor. We did the zipline adventure in St. Lucia and that was out of this world, if you want to do any trips i would pre-book online before you go as it is a lot cheaper, the zipline trip if pre-booked was $79 if you booked on the ship it was $119! We really enjoyed our first cruise & it was made even more special as we got engaged while we were there! We are already looking at another princess cruise for next year & we haven't even been home a week yet! Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
What can i say? It was my first cruise. I cannot say anything negative.The staff were great, the food was good, the entertainment was good especially the crews performance, i laughed so hard.The ship was clean, the loading and unloding ... Read More
What can i say? It was my first cruise. I cannot say anything negative.The staff were great, the food was good, the entertainment was good especially the crews performance, i laughed so hard.The ship was clean, the loading and unloding went very smooth i was surprised how quick i was off.Fantastic balcony...except door kept opening with the sway of the ship. Only negative thing is the sheets were not changed, Awesome mountains and people in St Lucia; Herods land and sea safari was pure joy. Will be back on a Princess ship soon i hope. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We are a Swedish family of four who went on this cruise to celebrate my husband´s 40th birthday. We went on a Princess cruise for or honeymoon ten years ago and liked it so much, we wanted to bring our children on a cruise as well. They ... Read More
We are a Swedish family of four who went on this cruise to celebrate my husband´s 40th birthday. We went on a Princess cruise for or honeymoon ten years ago and liked it so much, we wanted to bring our children on a cruise as well. They are 8 (boy) and 6 (girl).For us, cruising with Princess in the Caribbean has a certain "American" feel to it, even though the passengers are international to a certain degree, and the crew most definitely is international. So you may view this review as a "(Northern) European view on American cruising" if you will!Last time, we booked a cabin with a balcony, but didn´t actually use the balcony very much. So this time, we decided to book an oceanview cabin instead, and spend the money on shore excursions instead. This turned out to be a good decision, since the children were more interested in swimming than in sunbathing, and sun chairs in fairly close proximity to a pool was much more appreciated than looking out over the ocean! Our cabin was located on deck 5, Plaza, which we at first felt was i little "off", away from the pools and the restaurants, etc. But after a day or two, we realized that this was actually a great location. Only passengers staying in the cabins ahead of ours ever passed through the corridor and after all the noise and people in other parts of the ship, it felt nice and calm coming back to "our" quiet little corner of the ship. The fact that we got to walk through the art gallery several times a day was very nice, the children loved looking at the paintings. We were also very close to the International cafe and the atrium, which was very convenient. We often sat in the atrium reading (the adults) and playing DS (the children) when we felt we needed to be indoors for a while.The cabin itself was a good size, with two regular beds and "wall-beds" that our cabin steward Gaetano would fold down and prepare every night while we were at dinner and fold up again every morning when we had breakfast. The bathroom was quite nice and we didn't find the shower small at all (as we had read in other reviews). The closet and the drawers were sufficient for four people, that is, they were quite large. The mattresses were in our opinion extremely comfortable, not at all hard, as I had read many complaints about. However, we found the mattresses at the hotels we stayed in before and after the cruise a little too soft for our liking, so maybe mattresses are just generally softer in the US than in Europe....We didn't spend much time in the cabin except for sleeping and changing clothes. We also did not have any special demands for our cabin steward, as I have seen in other reviews many have (regarding ice, extra towels, robes, fruit and what not.....) We saw him quite often during the first two days, but being Italian, I would think that he has encountered Scandinavian guests before, and acted accordingly. He was almost invisible but took care of our cabin quite nicely. Scandinavians are generally not very demanding guests, but we are also lousy tippers...... I could get into a philosophical discussion about this, but I wont because there is not enough space. Let me just say that I think it has something to do with our Lutheran, Social Democratic upbringing.....Our children only speak Swedish, and only a few words in English, so we were wondering what to do about the children's´ clubs, since of course no one in there spoke Swedish (and we didn´t expect them to either, of course!). It turned out, that each child was allowed to bring one parent with them. So I went with our daughter to the 3-7 year old´s club a couple of times. I sat in a corner and translated when it was necessary. She liked doing the arts and crafts that they did, but then she didn´ get much out of it, since all the other kids spoke English and Spanish to each other, which of course left her out. But had she spoken the language, I´m sure she would have liked it. It seemed like they were very well organized with a friendly staff. Our 8-year old was placed in the 8-12 year age group and found it so embarrassing to have to bring a parent, he just refused to go there. The staff said he was welcome to join his sister in the 3-7 group, but that was an even worse alternative, so no kids´club for him...He is a very verbal person in Swedish, who will talk to anyone about anything, so he really felt at a disadvantage when he couldn't communicate. The good thing is, he is very motivated to start studying English in school this fall!We had anytime dining, which worked out very well for us. We ate in the dining rooms most evenings. Twice, we ate at the buffet, and once at Sabatinis (on my husband´s birthday). The first night , we had our one and only encounter with a less than friendly staff member. It was one of the waiters in the Michelangelo dining room, who was very rushed and wouldn't give us time to translate and explain the menu to the children. He just kept telling us to take the alphabet soup over and over again (and they did NOT want alphabet soup, the was the only thing they knew for certain!). It was unfortunate that this happened the very first night. After that , we didn't go to the Michelangelo Dining Room again, but went instead to Da Vinci, in order to avoid this gentleman. Plus, we only encountered super nice crew members during the rest of the cruise. Sabatinis was a wonderful experience with excellent food (but way too much!). And they only charged half the cover charge for the children. We liked the pizzas, ice creams and hamburgers on lido deck a lot. The buffet had some items that we found strange sometimes, but being a buffet, we always found something we liked.Entertainment: We saw all the productions shows, since this was something the children could enjoy without understanding English. We felt they were all quite good. Did not see the comedians or the movies because of language difficulties for the children.My husband used the gym once, and I went to a quite good zumba-class. I checked out two books from the library and finished 1,5 of them.In all, it was a great cruise. We had a wonderful time and I really have to think hard in order to remember things thet were less than perfect. If we go on a cruise again (and I hope it won´t be ten years again until next time!), we will most likely choose Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Recently My husband and I were on the Ruby Princess, sailing #R116. Our experience was dreadful. We have heard from Princess -their solution is a $250.00 PP credit on another ship. This is really the epitome of horrid customer service. If ... Read More
Recently My husband and I were on the Ruby Princess, sailing #R116. Our experience was dreadful. We have heard from Princess -their solution is a $250.00 PP credit on another ship. This is really the epitome of horrid customer service. If I tried to make my customers buy another piece of jewelry with some money toward incentive, they would laugh at me. That's not customer service; that's arrogance to the highest degree. Never will we set foot on Princess and we tell everyone we come in contact with about our terrible experience. Word of mouth is really very effective for brand awareness, and unfortunately, the way Princess has dealt with us, we tell everyone we possibly can who might consider spending their money with them about our terrible cruise.Princess thanked us profusely for our feedback - it will be valuable to them - boy, that's what I spent 2,000 to do - help you get your act together while I had a terrible vacation.Quality of Food/Dining Room Experience: We were very disappointed with the quality of the food on this sailing, particularly that in the Dining Room, which consequently we only ate in 2 times. The food was bland and rather luke-warm when brought to the table, and specifically on the Lobster Tail night, there were some serious issues.Our first dining room experience was on Monday night, where we were seated in the Botticelli Dining room. My husband had several questions about the menu selections and the waiter could not answer them. He stated that he wasn't really sure how things were prepared, and seemed only to be interested in us ordering so that he could begin his service of the meal. The meal was mediocre and the desert, which I can't even remember what it was, was characteristic of every other desert in our experience - lovely but completely lacking flavor or sweetness. This was the beginning of our dining disappointments.Unfortunately, while we had wanted to dine in the dining room for dinner, we retreated to the Buffet, which ended up having better quality and tasting food and selection, but we did not come on a Princess Cruise to eat 'cafeteria' style and frankly we were rather irritated by the fact that we were not able to enjoy the dining room experience because of the bad experience we had there.I encouraged my husband to dine in the Dining Room Friday evening for the "Lobster" dinner. My husband's shrimp had an off smell and taste and my lobster was very dry. A woman seated at our table ordered the Beef Wellington and when it was served, she discarded what she thought was a 'skin'; it was the puff pastry that was so badly prepared, it looked like brown paper. This was atypical of what we had expected from rave reviews of the food selections and dining experiences and were sad to say it was the norm for table service.The deserts were criminal - everything looked appetizing and lovely, but were bland, tasteless and lacked sweetness. It became a running joke with us as we took samplings of the deserts off the buffet every night, hoping for something edible. Rarely was anything worth eating.While we found the buffet staff to be more knowledgeable, they were also a little over zealous with trying to clear dishes that were not finished. This was annoying.Also, on Wednesday I remarked to a server that the atmosphere on the ship as a whole seemed a little relaxed. The response I got from the staff member was "You must understand Madame, we are repositioning the ship to the Mediterranean in a week and we are really over the whole 'Caribbean' thing at this point." I can't tell you how offensive this comment was, considering what this vacation cost my husband and I and how excited we were to take it. Cruise Direction/Deputy Director DanThe overall cruise direction had serious problems. On Monday evening, we went to the early magic show. The magician was wonderful; however, during the show the Princess Theater had a 'technical' difficulty that caused the show to be halted for about 10 minutes and included bringing the house lights up. It was later revealed that the problem was the door in the theater floor. The lack of testing the equipment and maintanence ruined what was an otherwise delightful show. The movies were routinely cut off before they ended during the day on the "movies under the stars" screen and when we went to see the King's Speech in the Princess Theater on Friday, the movie was very blurry. My husband got up 3 times to see if we could resolve this issue and it remained blurry for the entire movie. When it was over, my husband approached the passenger services desk and asked to speak with Cruise Director, Sam. The 'gentleman' we spoke with at the purser's desk actually laughed at my husband and said "The Cruise Director does not interface with the passengers." but she did take messages. After about 2 minutes of going back and fourth my husband left his name and cabin number and Sam did call us back, and I spoke with her. The call resulted in a 'sorry about that' and 'we'll fix it' but really, what does that do for me? Nothing.My husband wanted some information on a particular session that was scheduled in the 'Patter' and happened to run into Deputy Director Dan on one of the decks and approached him to ask his question. Dan's response was "Dunno Mate, but I wish you luck in figurin' that out." This is really a shameful answer to be given by the second in command of the entire 'direction' of the ship. He was rather unprofessional every time we saw him do anything. Very enamored of himself.Rudeness of the ship staff and lack of accommodating attitude:If it had been one crew member, it wouldn't have stuck with me, but it was constant. As I mentioned above, the comment about 'repositioning' this relaxed attitude was all over the ship. For instance, I was able to get complimentary milk on ice from the International Cafe when I asked, so I assumed that this was common practice. On Friday, I asked for a glass of milk on ice and was expected to pay for it. When I explained to the server that I had been getting that, and a cup of brewed regular coffee for no charge all week there, he challenged me and asked me who was giving this to me without a charge. I did no appreciate the challenging tone of this crew member, so I ended up walking away and asking the hostess at the adjoining dining room if they would be kind enough to get me a cup of regular brewed coffee which she was more than happy to do. She gave it to me without a problem, but by then, my afternoon had been impacted by the confrontation that I had to endure by the crew member at the International Cafe and frankly ruined the rest of my day. On another occassion, I went to the Casino for the free craps lessons. About 10 minutes into the lesson, I said to my husband, "I don't understand anything that he's saying" (not his accent, I understood his words, just not the concepts) my husband said "stop him and ask him to go back" which I did and Zee says to me in front of everyone else "Were you here from the beginning?" which I answered "Yes" and Zee said "Well, I'm not sure what you aren't understanding because no one else is having a problem". Again, this was completely unnecessary and rude.At one point my husband approached one of the guys who was part of the recreational staff and asked him to tell him what the "Wild and Wacky Adult Pool Games" entailed. The staff member replied "Dude, honestly I just wait and see who shows up and wing it." This is soooooo disappointing, especially to my Husband who's got a Master's Degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management with a concentration in Recreation. "Infomercial" feel to the cruising experience:So many of the recreation programs were thinly veiled 'informercials' and that because very tedious after a while. While I expected to have an opportunity to buy rum at the Rum Tasting we went to, the Wine Tasting was an absolute joke. First of all, we paid $9.50 a piece to be served what was obviously old wine the ship was looking to get rid of. The second red had so much sediment in it, it wasn't even funny. I was aware of the 'repositioning' of the ship at this point, and it was evident that this was an attempt to free up cellar space.The Sommelier was horrible in her presentation. She had NO idea where we, as audience, were in our tasting experience and was droning on and on about the Second White while we were finishing up our final tasting which was a desert wine. It was really unprofessional, and she focused very much on the sales aspect rather than the educational aspect of the wine. She needs to learn how to give effective presentations as she was really clueless about how she was coming off and how absolutely out of synch with the program she was.Come learn how to pack efficiently - so we can sell you 'space bags'Come tour the Galley - so we can sell you a book and let you reproduce tasteless food in your own home...The "Chocolate Tasting" was really a joke. My husband wanted to go to it because he thought it would be educational; we are always interested in learning more about things. This "Chocolate Tasting" consisted of a guy standing outside of the 'sundry' store with a box of chocolate saying "One per person, one per person". That's not a chocolate tasting, that is insulting, but unfortunately par for the course with the attitude of this crew on this sailing.Scholarships@Sea - we wanted to do the ceramics the first day, but considering that only 10 people were taken (out of 3000+ people on board) that was not possible. We went early the next time and were informed that there were no mugs left because again, the ship was 'repositioning'. So many things were blamed on 'repositioning' - I wonder if anyone realizes that cruisers don't care about this; they want to experience everything that should be available and the 'repositioning' excuse was lame at best.We were shocked that the adult area had a fee. Having sailed on Carnival before and being able to gain access to the adult sundeck for no charge, it was rather yet another opportunity to feel as if the primary purpose of Princess is sales, rather than the overall experience of the passengers.We saved a long time for this vacation. We spent additional money travelling to meet the port for which it was sailing from. I had been so excited and heard so many good things about Princess and the quality of the cruise experience and the level of service that Princess was known for. Unfortunately, none of this was evident on this sailing.At this point, my husband will never take another cruise again, which is unfortunate because I have been on previous cruises (on Carnival) and have enjoyed them. I never had great expectations from my Carnival cruises, but I must say, comparatively, Carnival was 10 times better than this Princess sailing.Again, they had the unmitigated audacity to offer us $250.00 pp onboard credit toward another cruise. They clearly don't care at all if their passengers are satisfied with their cruises at all. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
This is all my opinion.......The ship is relatively new only 2.5 years but it is getting worn quickly. We have been on 10 year old ships that appear to be in better shape.Even though the ship is relatively new, the layout of the ship is a ... Read More
This is all my opinion.......The ship is relatively new only 2.5 years but it is getting worn quickly. We have been on 10 year old ships that appear to be in better shape.Even though the ship is relatively new, the layout of the ship is a dated, I believe this was the last one built of its class by Finicari but it is already being upstaged by some of the newer styles and more functional, fun & modern designs for handling 3,000+ passengers in a more orderly fashion.The extra "nickel and dime" for everything is terrible. Why don't they charge an extra $25.00 in the fare include the items and let the crew focus on doing their jobs rather then selling.We had a Balcony Cabin and it was tiny. The shower is probably 2'x2' with the shower head placed at probably 5'9".Food quality in the main dining room, Caribe and Horizon Court Buffets seems to be low grade and no matter how much doctoring, you can still taste poor quality bland food. Pizza was okay, the ice cream upstairs is terrible and they make the ice cream cone the size of a thimble. Spend the $1.50 and get the gelato in the Piazza.We ate in the speciality restaurants for 3 dinners. Once in Sabatino's which was very good but it was a long 3 hours. The other two dinners were in the Crown Grill which was excellent. Kids in both restaurants were half price.Room Service menu was very limited and not worth the bother.The food service staff tries not to make "eye contact" so that they don't have to do anything extra.Show Entertainment in the theatre is great if you want to reflect back to memories of watching Lawrence Welk at your grandparents house.Movies Under The Stars is good!Ships colors are very bland.Internet is painfully slow and expensive .75 per minute without a plan and an upstart charge of $3.95Ports:Princess Cays is average at best, the water temperature is too cold in early AprilSt. Marten is goodSt Thomas is goodGrand Turk nice water and snorkeling- nothing to buy shopping wise.If you enjoy walking around barefoot throughout the ship, with open bottles of beer in hand and trying to juggle 2 to 3 plates of buffet food, all while fighting your way through crowds of hungry people this ship is for you.The important thing is the kids had a great time and we had an enjoyable and relaxing week. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
The Ruby Princess is a beautiful ship with enormous potential. Sad as it seems, management may be asleep at the helm on issues relative to dining & customer service. The ship's staterooms were nicely appointed, the bedding ... Read More
The Ruby Princess is a beautiful ship with enormous potential. Sad as it seems, management may be asleep at the helm on issues relative to dining & customer service. The ship's staterooms were nicely appointed, the bedding comfortable however the bathrooms were very small. The showers were tiny, even by european standards.The food on the Ruby Princess ranged from mediocre to terrible. There seemed also to be some indifference by the staff when this was mentioned. My wife was served a salmon filet that was raw in the center, mine was served barely warm. When this was brought up to the Maitre'd we received the proverbial brush-off. On another evening the salad was served so badly wilted that I did not consider it edible. On bringing this up to the waiter, he wanted to debate me on what was wrong with the serving. We had several conversations with other passengers who shared our experiences, There were some other issues with on-ship events, the planning of these was hit & miss. The muscicians were very good though.I spoke with several other travelers on this ship, the common them among them was never again on Princess. What truly surpised me is that when I called Princess to discuss my experience, they had no one available for me to discuss my issues. Case closed: I'm back to Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
The Ruby Princess is a beautiful ship. We arrived at the Ft Lauderdale terminal right at noon and the entire embarkation process couldn't have been easier. We were told our cabin was ready so we found it, changed and were off to ... Read More
The Ruby Princess is a beautiful ship. We arrived at the Ft Lauderdale terminal right at noon and the entire embarkation process couldn't have been easier. We were told our cabin was ready so we found it, changed and were off to lunch. The buffet lunches on Ruby were better than average for a ship, breakfast buffets were below average. (wet scrambled eggs, no omelet bar, undercooked bacon etc.) Room service for breakfast was very disappointing. The selection was poor so we ended up going continental...Stale pastries, lousy juice and horrid coffee...Don't do it! It was late and my wife's decaf coffee was just hot water...literally, hot water. The came up fast enough with a new pot, but it was swill too.A big plus...after our welcome aboard buffet lunch we went back to our cabin and found that our suitcases had already arrived and were on the bed ready to be unpacked. Very nice...I found our cabin steward right outside the door and introduced myself and my wife. Michael was very nice. I found it odd that when I told him we had some garments that required ironing he told me if I wasn't too lazy there was a self service laundromat right down the hall. Seriously, are you kidding me?Over the course of the week, Michael was efficient and friendly.No towel animals all week...The muster drill was easy and quick...always a good thing...The bars had some of the rudest bartenders I have ever encountered on a ship. The pool bartender didn't even know what a Bahama Mama was. Since when is a Bahama Mama a yellow frozen drink??? When we told him it was fruit juices w/rum on the rocks he told us we didn't know what we were talking about. Okay...not a plus...The Crooner Bar had nice servers, but the bar tender made weak martini's. As a matter of fact, the entire ship served weak martini's & tropical drinks, especially at the pool bar.The dining room food was better than average most nights. Service was very slow. Every table around us was done and gone before we got our deserts. A lot of engine vibration and noise in the Botticelli dining room.The Crown Grill specialty restaurant was good. Worth the extra money. Sabatini's was very good. Go very hungry. They give you a small amount of everything on the Antipasto, Appetizer & Pasta menu...then your main meal. Very filling.The International Cafe was very good. Good coffee and good cookies and pastries.The Cruise Director, Sam was new to the ship. She was nice and did a good job. Her assistant cruise director, Dan from the UK (Cross between Harry Potter and Mr. Bean) was a riot and we enjoyed his humor. He should be a cruise director on his own ship...not an assistant.The shows were mediocre. The theater was too hot every evening and the singers and dancers were just okay. Nothing great, but not horrible either.The bingo, trivia games were run well and the hosts were entertaining. Jayson in Club Fusion was the best bartender we found!If you are interested in spending time in the Sanctuary, sign up on the first day or you'll miss out. They had limited seats available each day that you had to stand in line for a 7:15 a.m. first come first serve loungers. Then if you didn't get in line by 6:15 you were 5th or 6th in line and would miss out. I almost got a couple of loungers on the last sea day (I got in line at 6:30), but they were both in the shade and I wanted sun.Overall, we had a very good time. No such thing in our experience as a bad cruise. We can't wait until our next one. We seem to have better luck with Royal Caribbean cruises. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Onboard activities were varied and available. Both embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze in Fort Lauderdale. However, if you put aside the food [why would you? you are on a cruise for goodness sake!], the shows were good, there ... Read More
Onboard activities were varied and available. Both embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze in Fort Lauderdale. However, if you put aside the food [why would you? you are on a cruise for goodness sake!], the shows were good, there was a good selection of current movies, there were plenty of activities onboard and all the usual cruise ship things [pools, photographers, casino (even had a non-smoking night), exercise room, etc.] I looked forward to 2 things: great food and spending a few hours in the Sanctuary enjoying peace and quiet, but they had the nerve to charge $10 for each half day [0800 - 1230 or 1300 - 1700] and it was closed for 30 minutes at noon. I guess you have to go somewhere else for that 30 min. They do not charge for the pool so why charge for peace and quiet. As an experienced traveler, cruiser and great cook, I was extremely unhappy with the food throughout the ship, the Ruby Princess. Our first night we chose from the nightly menu and had good prime rib. That was the last good meal in the dining room or buffet. On 3 of the 7 nights we chose to eat in the buffet because nothing on the menu in the dining room sounded good. What a shame! On the last night I had beef tenderloin medallions cooked rare in the dining room. I have no idea what cut of meat it was; neither texture nor flavor were what I expected. Being a nightowl, I tried their buffet served from 2300 to 0400 one night. I was astonished that they had the audacity to serve left-overs from lunch and dinner. {Note: the 24 hour buffet is only 22 hours.} I love ice cream and the only way to get it was as dessert in the dining room. It was a good quality, but not available any other place or time. They only had soft serve in the ice cream shop or gelato for $1.50 a scoop in the pastry shop. A coke was $2 whenever you wanted one with a meal or at other times unless you paid $40 [$6 a day] for an insulated coke tumbler that you could have refilled all week with coke, diet coke, club soda or water. If you wanted to spend $56 [the kids cup, $8 a day] you could also get fruit juice, smoothies and milkshakes. You could get pineapple juice for breakfast by asking/begging for it but not at any other time without a kids cup. The extra "nickel and dime" for everything is terrible. Why don't they charge an extra $25.00 in the fare include the items and let the crew focus on doing their jobs rather than selling.As for the stateroom: The best part of the cruise was our cabin steward. He was fabulous. When that is the best you can say about a cruise, it is a sad thing indeed. We had a balcony on the port side, forward, Riviera dack, R210. It was the first time we had a balcony and enjoyed it a lot. Also the port side of the ship had the better view at all ports. Since we have a nice RV the shower did not seem tiny. The shower, toilet, vanity area was adequate. Plenty of hanging space, about 6.5 feet, for a 7 day cruise; had a shelf above; a 12x14" cupboard with the safe with about 7 shelves. Each night stand had 2 drawers and a shelf. There was room for luggage under the bed. The desk had a cupboard with 2 shelves, mirror, phone, hairdryer and desk chair. There was a small refrigerator in another cupboard with a top that doubled as a bar and a flat panel TV on the wall above it. There was a club chair with arms and a small oval table for drinks or treats. The deck had 2 chairs and a small table.In St Thomas do not bother with the B.O.S.S. underwater scooter trip. I thought it would be unique and it was, but it was not worth the time and money. The boat owner and his crew were exceptional and accommodating, but the scooter is difficult to maneuver and your view is restricted. The place they take you , Turtle Cove, is terribly overused and overpopulated with snorkelers so there is very little to see. The water is about 15 feet deep and your head is about 8 feet below the surface. I saw more while snorkeling while waiting for my turn than while on the scooter. I am a certified diver and should have gone SCUBA diving. I never have trouble clearing my ears while diving, but on this scooter I was clearing them the entire time. Later I found out that it is because your ears are under air pressure being inside the bubble helmet and your breathing is constantly changing the pressure rather than in the open water where once you get them cleared you are finished because you have equalized then to the water pressure.We booked a tour with AAA for a tour of the island on St Maarten and were very happy with the driver and the tour. He made a point of telling us that he was our driver for the day and would take us anywhere we wanted as long as we were back by 1600. There were 8 of us in the van at about $50 a head. Next time we will hire a taxi when we get ashore as many other reviewers have suggested.Do NOT go to the shops recommended by the cruise, not even for the 'free' trinkets they offer. They are not worth the time or trouble. Some shops gave them freely, but others made it difficult to get the freebie. AND different people got different treatment even in our small group of 4. We each went at different times and got different hassles. Furthermore, the cruise line is getting a kick back from the stores so you are not getting the best price. Do some research before you go to find some stores to patronize. Also be sure you know the price of gold and the price of whatever jewelry you think you might consider [diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, etc.] before you go. In one shop I had on my new diamond and ruby ring and I asked him how much it would cost there. He said $2500; I paid $2600 for it in Vegas so I would not have been worth the cost of the cruise to save $100.On Princess Cays, check out the Bahamian shops behind the Princess store. They will appreciate your business.I completed their post cruise survey and they called me to acknowledge my responses. They did not offer any kind of compensation or inducement to return for another cruise. I have a 3 page letter that I will send by email and snail mail and they gave me the addresses. I also wrote a one page letter of commendation for our steward. I gave him a copy before disembarking and will send copies of it to the addresses also. They printed it from my thumb drive at the customer service desk. Strangely, she blew on the USB connector before she inserted it into their computer.It is not likely that I will travel with Princess again. This was a last minute, spur of the moment trip. I'll think harder and read some reviews before I spend this kind of money again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We are a couple in our 60's on our 8th cruise, 4th on Princess. The first to the Eastern Carribean. We had a balcony cabin on the caribe deck. We flew in the day of sailing arriving at Fort Lauderdale at 10:30 am and went directly ... Read More
We are a couple in our 60's on our 8th cruise, 4th on Princess. The first to the Eastern Carribean. We had a balcony cabin on the caribe deck. We flew in the day of sailing arriving at Fort Lauderdale at 10:30 am and went directly to ship arriving about 11. We carry on our luggage so there was no wait after arriving the airport. The time from airport to cruise terminal is about 15 minutes. After arriving to the terminal, we waited about 45 minutes before they started calling groups to check in. Once they started the process, it moved very quickly. We were on the boat and in our room by noon. I have read on these boards that the dining room is open when you get on the ship, but we asked and were told that only the buffet is open when the ship is docked - including the first day. Food - For the price of the cruise, the food was what we expected. Our only complaint is the breakfast in the dining room. We only ate there once and at a table of 8, everyone said they would NOT eat there again. Very limited choices and it just wasn't very good. We ate dinner every night in any time dining. There was a long wait only one evening, and they took a group of 8 of us to the traditional dining room to eat. Other nights if you wanted to share, then there was very little if any wait. We ate at a table for two 3 of the seven nights with no wait. We ate at the Crown Grill restaurant one night and the steaks were very good. I read raves and heard raves on board about the restaurant, but we were not that impressed. However for the price, I DO think it is worth $50. This was our second time to try it, but probably won't do it again. Three different couples told us that the buffet on the first night was fabulous - all kinds of seafood. I will look at it next time I cruise Princess. One couple just checked it out after dinner, and were sorry that they did not eat the buffet!Excursions - We cruise for the ports we visit more than the on board experience of cruising. We always plan for an excursion from Princess or on our own in every port. Because we did not plan this trip very far in advance, I was not able to get any independent tours. All of the excursions were with Princess. St. Maarten - We did the $89, 3 hour Scenic Island tour. We boarded a bus which drove us around the island with a couple of stops for pictures and about 30 minutes in Marigot. It was a good way to see the Island. Then when we returned to the pier, we did the $49, 2 hour snorkeling Shipwreck Cove. The water was very choppy and we did NOT see any fish at all. The water was very cloudy. We did see the shipwreck. The boat and crew were great, but we would NOT do this tour again. We were exhausted after trying to swim back to reboard the very nice catamaran. St. Thomas - We did the $49, 4.5 hour St. John Island tour. We took the ferry to St. John and then boarded and open air vehicle which held 24 people and drove us all around the Island with lots of stops for pictures. When we returned to St Thomas, we were planning to do a tour of St. Thomas, but it poured down rain. I did hear from other travelers that the snorkeling in St. Thomas was wonderful, and we will do that if ever in St. Thomas again. Grand Turk - We did the $79, 3 hour catamaran sail, snorkel and beach tour. It was great. Our best excursion. The water was clear blue, calm, and we saw lots of fish. The beach stop was fun also. They were pouring the drinks after the snorkel, and everyone seemed to have a great time!Entertainment - We did not go to the shows. The shows just remind us of high school productions. (we did try one evening as we do on every cruise) We go to lots of performances when traveling or in our home town, but not on the ships. At lunch one day, we said we didn't go to the shows. The astounded couple asked, What do you do? Lots of things. We loved to listen and dance to the great bands in the wheelhouse bar. We went to two different comedy shows in the explorer lounge. The entertainment in the atrium every evening was great. We enjoy walking around the ship. So many things to do, we just don't like the shows. We watched The Kings Speech in the Princess Lounge one day. Because we carry on, we were off the ship and at the airport at 6:30. We had an 8:50 flight and made it with no problem. Many people ask us how we carry on our luggage? My husband even folds his suit, and it hangs out with no wrinkles. We dress for dinner every night. You will be surprised how much you can get in a carry on if you plan on what you will wear every day. We actually had more clothes than we wore. In conclusion, it was a fun cruise! Will we do it again? No, because once was enough. Two many more places in the world to see!! Will we cruise Princess again? Yes. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
This was our 4th spring break cruise in a row, all on different cruise lines. Since the Ruby embarked at terminal 29 and disembarked at terminal 2, we parked at Park N Go which was very convenient and quick - no more than 15 minutes from ... Read More
This was our 4th spring break cruise in a row, all on different cruise lines. Since the Ruby embarked at terminal 29 and disembarked at terminal 2, we parked at Park N Go which was very convenient and quick - no more than 15 minutes from car parked to ship terminal.The VS stateroom had nice furnishings but seemed a little smaller than our last two suites. On the other hand the balcony was huge - we had up to 13 people out there and there was plenty of room left.Service was very good at all levels and venues. Food was also good; the appetizers/starters and pasta in the MDR were very good as was the food I tried at the International Cafe and Vines. I couldn't talk my family into a specialty restaurant meal, which was a first for us. We used Anytime Dinning. Since there were 13 of us traveling together, if we wanted tables next to each other the wait was between 40 - 60 minutes. If we split up, the wait was less than 10 minutes. Never had any other issues with wait times or crowding.I did not go to any of the shows but my family enjoyed the two they went to. Enjoyed all of the ports but mostly enjoyed my time on the expansive balcony.Seas were relatively calm except the first full day at sea. We did notice movement and vibrations in our cabin but not enough to really bother us. Only real negative I can think of was occasional smell of cigarettes on balcony - not enough to keep me off of the balcony but noticeable. Overall, we had a great time and the Ruby is a nice looking ship. We would probably sail her again given the right timing and itinerary. I will post more detail and pictures of D737 on the Princess Message Board. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
There is a lot to like on the Ruby Princess but there are some little things that could be improved. There are so many reviews of the Ruby Princess already posted that I will limit my comments. All in all a very nice cruise.What could be ... Read More
There is a lot to like on the Ruby Princess but there are some little things that could be improved. There are so many reviews of the Ruby Princess already posted that I will limit my comments. All in all a very nice cruise.What could be improved:1) If you sailed with Princess before you know that the first night out on the buffet they usually serve lobster claws; it would be nice if they also gave you utensils to open them with. If you ask, the buffet staff will tell you to put the claws in your napkins and hit them with a knife. Tacky! 2) The men's spa area was constantly out of towels and there were no keys available for the lockers. 3) The two cabins next to ours were adjoining rooms so the balcony doors were open as well; they banged with the wind all night long and although we requested this be fixed it was not.4) Balcony doors stick and are extremely hard to open.5) We had a charge on our statement from a bar that we had never even been to; this took a full day to resolve but finally was.6) Tender tickets for Princess Cay were given out but nobody bothered to look at them so herding everyone into one location to pick them up was unnecessary.7) The Ruby Princess is decorated very neutral which translates to boring; no wow factor.8) The Anytime Dining does not work as well as NCL's Freestyle Dining. We had to wait for a table several nights but not too long.9) Buffet staff is actually too attentive; if you get up because you forgot something your plate will be immediately removed.What we liked:1) Movies Under the Stars; nice option and a break from the Production shows.2) Dining room food was good and there were a lot of options.3) Buffet food was very good; much better than most ships we have been on and there are plenty of vegetarian items all clearly labeled for those on alternative diets.4) Debarkation was a breeze.5) Very much appreciated that there was fish available at the Princess Cay beach buffet.6) We loved the great adult only areas on this ship; mostly the pool by the spa where no children are allowed.7) The British Pub lunch in the Wheelhouse Bar was great. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Just back from a wonderful 7 days onboard the beautiful Ruby Princess. This was our 8th Princess cruise, 2nd on the Ruby, with about 30 additional cruises on other lines. Consistent excellence keeps bringing us back and this trip was no ... Read More
Just back from a wonderful 7 days onboard the beautiful Ruby Princess. This was our 8th Princess cruise, 2nd on the Ruby, with about 30 additional cruises on other lines. Consistent excellence keeps bringing us back and this trip was no exception. We found the ship to be in terrific condition and it appeared to us that additional staff had been added. There was always a staff member close by, especially in the buffet area where the plates and tables were cleaned instantly. Coffee and drinks were also brought within a minute or so. We learned that staff had not been added, however, the scheduling was moved to provide more help- it's working.We also noticed the cleanliness all around the ship- someone was always wiping areas down and there was not a speck of dirt anywhere. Our cabin steward was about the best we've ever had-he knew our schedule and the room was immaculate with zero interruptions. Ports of call were standard Eastern Caribbean- for us the ship was the destination and we made great use of the facilities especially the Sanctuary, an adults only retreat near the spa pool. Well worth the small extra cost. I also enjoyed a port spa special while everyone else rushed off the ship.We particularly appreciate Princess's passenger loyalty program. As platinum members we had access to express check-in, a nightly lounge only for platinum and suite guests, free internet for 150 minutes, and a quiet departure lounge. Other cruise lines should take note of these perks that take much longer to accrue on their ships. All-in-all, this was a perfect escape and we are already looking forward to next year in which we've re-booked the Ruby, same cabin, same itinerary! Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We flew into Fort Lauderdale the night before and stayed at the Embassy Suites 17th Street. The hotel is a little dated, but was clean and within walking distance of several shops and restaurants. A free breakfast buffet was included. ... Read More
We flew into Fort Lauderdale the night before and stayed at the Embassy Suites 17th Street. The hotel is a little dated, but was clean and within walking distance of several shops and restaurants. A free breakfast buffet was included. Beware - the there is no free shuttle service for this hotel. The cab from the airport and shuttle fees to the ship cost us a total of $35 +tips. There are other less expensive options with free shuttle service to choose from in the area.Embarkation was fairly quick. We arrived around 11:30am and were in our cabin before 12:30. Our luggage arrived well before dinner.We had an aft balcony cabin on the Caribe deck. The balcony on this deck is a little bigger than the other decks, and is partially covered for some privacy. The closet area is large and includes a small safe. Bathroom was small (as expected), but was manageable. Our only complaint was that the bed was extremely hard. It felt like we were sleeping on a table. Our room steward Jojo put a foam topper on the bed for us which helped a little. We would recommend that Princess consider replacing mattresses with more comfortable ones, or have thicker foam toppers readily available. Jojo was very friendly, and did a wonderful job keeping our room clean and stocked with fresh towels and toiletries all week.We wanted a low-key, relaxing vacation - rock climbing and zip lines were not what we were looking for, so the Princess cruise line was perfect for us. The Ruby Princess is a beautiful ship which contrary to some other reviews, we found to be very clean and well-maintained. The piazza area is a little choppy with staircases, but again, it was manageable. We especially enjoyed the Explorers Lounge for the comedy shows and Club Fusion for some of the game shows. A couple of smoke-free nights were offered in the casino which was great. Most of our time was spent on the Lido deck at either the Neptune's Reef pool (where there were pool games and a band) or the Calypso pool which showed some great movies on M.U.T.S. Although we didn't participate in the daily shipboard activities, there were plenty of them listed in the Princess Patter for people to find something to do if they didn't want to enjoy the sun. We only saw one stage show in the Princess Theater. It wasn't bad, but having been on several Princess cruises in the past, there really wasn't anything unique. The comedian on the 1st night was the same person we saw on a Princess cruise we took last year, so we had already heard many of his jokes. It would be nice if Princess would take note of the shows being offered on some of the other cruise lines newer ships, and consider updating their entertainment.We chose Anytime Dining which was great. We always chose to dine with other people so we never had to wait for a table. This was a nice way to meet new, interesting people every night so the conversation was always fresh and fun at each dinner. There were so many dining options that we were never hungry. If we didn't like what was offered in the buffet areas, there was always pizza and burgers or some great options at the International Cafe. People who have complained about the food must be extremely picky. Of course you aren't going to like everything, but there are so many options you shouldn't be unhappy all the time.We went kayaking on Princess Cays which was a lot of fun. In St. Maarten we did the Orient Beach Break w/Lunch. The excursion included a little tour on an air-conditioned bus, lounge chairs on the beach, lunch, and some rum punch. The beach was beautiful; it was a great way to spend the afternoon. We did the Turtle Cove Sail and Snorkel in St. Thomas, and even though it rained, we had a blast! There were 50 of us + 4 crew members on a catamaran to Buck Island. While snorkeling we saw lots of big sea turtles, stingrays, and other colorful fish. The ride back was so much fun with music playing and rum punch flowing freely. We would definitely do this excursion again. Margaritaville in Grand Turk was fun, but crowded so we didn't stay long.Disembarkation was fast and organized. We met in our assigned spot at 6:45am and after finding our luggage and going through customs, were on a bus to the airport by 7:15.Overall this was a wonderful trip. There was a wide variety of people, both young and old, having a good time. The majority of the staff was friendly and helpful. The only rude people we encountered were some of the other passengers, but even they were few and far between. The cruise director Sam and her staff were entertaining and very visible running various games and shows. We will definitely cruise with Princess again, and would have no problem recommending the Ruby Princess. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
I was traveling with my wife, our son (12) and daughter (15), and my wife's mother. We were met at the airport for our transfer, though the two guides who helped us seemed a little confused about who was going where, and navigating ... Read More
I was traveling with my wife, our son (12) and daughter (15), and my wife's mother. We were met at the airport for our transfer, though the two guides who helped us seemed a little confused about who was going where, and navigating the airport. The bus took us quickly to the port, where we were shepherded to the counter to check in. The whole process from plane to stateroom was fairly smooth, though was interrupted with the predictable stop to have our photo taken just before hitting the gangplank.It was a couple of hours before our luggage arrived outside our room. We had two rooms, adjacent, starboard side, admidship, with balconies on Baja (deck 11). The rooms were a little bigger than I had expected, hearing forever how small the staterooms could be. One room had twin beds and in the other, the beds were pushed together to make a queen. Both rooms had a creative solution for a third bed--a bed that dropped down from the ceiling and hung suspended. When stored, there was no clue that a bed was up there. Our room steward provided outstanding and personalized service, as well as a very pleasant disposition. His objective was our comfort and enjoyment.On arrival we had lunch in the Horizon Court, a buffet line with acceptable but not impressive food, though there was more than ample variety. We had breakfast there every day but one; the breakfast was typical of what I've had at resort hotels though the pancakes were a bit gray rather than golden brown. There was no omelette station but I found out on the third or fourth day you could order an omelette. One morning my son and I had breakfast in the Davinci room, which turned out to have a menu listing a subset of the same food offered on the buffet, and with fairly mediocre service. My omelette looked as though it were artificially colored, and the inside was soggy. We usually went light for lunch, returning to Horizon Court, having pizza by the pool, or having a bite at a port of call. We opted for the Traditional plan for dinner, in the Davinci dining room and at the earliest time at 5:30. I was very reluctant to take this time but the tradeoff worked well for us, allowing more flexibility for evening activities even though you had to be back on board a bit early from shore visits. We noted that other folks who had the "anytime dining" option were often waiting for a table, pager in hand, as we were leaving the dining room. Our party was matched with an older gentleman on his own to complete the table for six. (It was his sixteenth cruise on Princess.) The variety and quality at dinner was very good, save for one evening where my pork tenderloin was far from tender. One evening my wife and I set off to have dinner at Sabatini's, one of the specialty restaurants (additional charge of $20 per person which they refer to as a "cover charge"). The theme was Italian, and despite the fact that the executive chef was Italian, the restaurant seemed to us more of an imitation of an Italian restaurant (we both said "Disney World" at the same time) rather than the real thing. But the food was top-notch, except for the fried calamari which seemed like it came out of a bag from the freezer. One nice feature was that if you order a bottle of wine but don't finish it, they will hold it for until you come back the next night. There were other specialty restaurants but we didn't try them. I had a slice of pizza at the pizza shop by one of the pools. It was above average, what I interpret to be New York style, and piping hot. All food was included, except beverages such as sodas ($1.95 a can) and alcohol. The alcohol was very fairly priced ($7-8 for a martini) though every drink I had was a weak pour.Entertainment was mostly high quality. We saw David Cats, a magician, who had some great tricks but seemed to have some trouble telegraphing the climactic moments of many tricks (the "prestige"). His specialty seems to be slight of hand. We saw two nationally known comedians, Darrell Joyce and Phil Tag. We also saw two shows by a juggler so famous I cannot remember his name. There were several recent-run movies showing on the huge outdoor screen by a pool as well in the theater, and also in-room, though I didn't have the patience to sit and watch a movie. We wanted to see The Marriage Gameshow with passenger volunteers as the stars, but couldn't find a seat in the bar. We listened to a pianist/singer for a set in the Crooner's bar, who had a very deep repertoire (selections from Phantom of the Opera, Hank Williams, and originals) though tended to the over-dramatic delivery.We went on a few shore excursions which were booked through Princess and provided by third parties. They were generally well organized and delivered what they promised. This included the dolphin encounter at St. Thomas, snorkeling at Princess Cays (a private beach owned by Princess on Eleuthera in the Bahamas) and at Grand Turk. We also visited Sint Maarten on our own, shopping in Phillipsburg and then taking a taxi to Marigot, the capital of St. Marting, the French side. Princess Cays was the only stop where lunch was provided if you leave the ship for the day, and was a simply cook-out style buffet.The ship does not miss any opportunities to upsell you on additional services. Our first encounter with staff on our arrival was an offer of a "soda package" for our kids--unlimited sodas for the trip at $50 per person. Our kids are not big soda drinkers so we passed, but we asked in vain about a wine package that our neighbors had purchased on the same ship on a cruise of the Med. Perhaps that was discontinued. The place was crawling with photographers, though we found that it was truly a good opportunity to have family photos taken at prices and quality that are comparable to what you might pay at a local portrait studio. After dinner one evening I ordered a cognac, and the waiter asked if I wanted two shots or three. When I said "one," he seemed to disapprove. They have a secluded adults-only area at the front of the ship called the Sanctuary which requires a fee to enter, and offers a step up on the luxury ladder for your typical deck potato. However, there is no extra charge for room service meals (unless you get the private full dinner served on your balcony).We signed up our kids for the kids activities in each of their age groups but after one evening of that they didn't want to go back. They said it was "day care." It was little more than providing a place to congregate with some game tables and video games. This situation might be OK for young children that require supervision, but after the first day we just gave our kids the run of the ship and they had a ball. We met another family from Toronto with kids the same age and they hit it off for the rest of the trip.There are four pools, including two for adults only, a few hot tubs, a gym that exceeded my expectations for size and equipment, yoga and pilates classes at an extra charge, and a fairly full-service spa and salon (also extra charges, of course).My sense was that this was a slightly above-average cruise, but at at average of $1290.00 per person (cost for booking, cruise only) was an excellent vacation value. I would compare it to resorts we've stayed in for $450 per room per night. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Ruby Princess was all we expected and more. Lots to do for all ages, great service and friendly contact will all staff, from buffet folks to the Captain and his staff. Weather was fine, first sea day was somewhat bumpy and the younger ... Read More
Ruby Princess was all we expected and more. Lots to do for all ages, great service and friendly contact will all staff, from buffet folks to the Captain and his staff. Weather was fine, first sea day was somewhat bumpy and the younger girls had motion sickness but recovered for all port days.Cabin was wonderful--last Aft cabin with extended balcony. Did not hear any noise from Club Fusion below us. Lots of space and storage in the cabins. Kids had insides on Dolphin deck and there was lots of storage, plenty of power outlets and they had an excellent room steward, as did we.Food was very good to excellent, something for everyone. Our head waiter and her assistant were wonderful, quickly learning and using all our names. Shows were enjoyable, music choices fit everyone, the young ones had a great vacation--we mostly saw them at dinner. Ports were new to us and I wish I had planned at least one excursion for either St Thomas or St Maarten. We walked around St Maarten, not really interested in shopping. We hired a taxi guy to take us on a tour of St Thomas--he was very good and it was a nice hour or so with him. So glad we got to see something there besides the same shops as the day before in St Maarten.All in all, a family vacation we'll all remember. I'm ready to cruise with Princess again, anywhere. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
About a week out we booked through Princess for a 7 day trip on the Ruby Princess. We have sailed Princess 4 or 5 times and again had a good experience with this line. It was there last Caribbean trip before heading to Europe. Not sure ... Read More
About a week out we booked through Princess for a 7 day trip on the Ruby Princess. We have sailed Princess 4 or 5 times and again had a good experience with this line. It was there last Caribbean trip before heading to Europe. Not sure if that has any impact on the trip, but we felt great about the value, quality, and the enjoyment factor.Embarkation was so easy. Made us wonder if the ship was full. We were in our balcony room by 12 noon. Karla was the best room steward ever. Anything we asked for just magically happened and we were most appreciative.Despite some reviews that were critical of the food or on the decline in food quality, we thought the food was just fine. Good "anytime" dining room experience, good buffet variety with no lines ever, and a nice time at the Crown Grill (worth the fee). Pizza at lunch was the best ever.No crowds. Found shade or sun on every sea day. We never stood in a line for anything...from port landings to buffets. Again, wondered if the ship was full. On cruise critic, the view of the entertainment was average at best....but we thought it was just fine.AND THE BEST OF ALL. Two hours into the cruise my wife paid for our entire cruise at the 25 cent slots. Unbelievable. We have never won on a ship before.Overall...............GREAT TRIP Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We had never thought about cruising until we met a couple whilst on holiday in Cuba that had done a couple of cruises and got us thinking. We checked several travel companies for quotes and then went to our usual travel agent to see if ... Read More
We had never thought about cruising until we met a couple whilst on holiday in Cuba that had done a couple of cruises and got us thinking. We checked several travel companies for quotes and then went to our usual travel agent to see if they could match or better one we got off the internet, we wasn't disappointed when they came up with a Caribbean cruise with Princess cruises.We did as most people do check tripadvisor and other forms of reviews and to be honest some of them scared me and i was begining to wonder what we had let ourselves in for, but in hind sight i didn't need to worry.Our holiday started with our flight from Birmingham airport and we soon found out that everyone on our flight was going to be on the cruise aswell.The check in so quick the best we have ever experienced. We got chatting to a lovely couple at the airport that had done several cruises, they were also sitting by us on the plane.The flight was superb, staff very attentive and smiling, we had paid extra for premium upgrade but worth every penny. When we arrived at Barbados everything was done with military precision, from getting off the plane right through to boarding the ship and getting to our cabin and having our cases delivered to it. We have heard that other flights were not so lucky as us. We decided to familiarise ourselves with the ship rather than go back ashore and go round Bridgetown, plus we were not sure of the protocol at this point.The Sea Princess was beautiful, spotlessly clean very much a WOW!We had booked anytime dining and on the first night we went to the Rigalleto restaurant, we were taken to a table for 8 people and were not served until it was full which took a while and caused ourselves and others to miss the important emergency drill as we were told there would be another later but this wasn't true. We used the Horizon Buffet restaurant after this which we found fantastic, the service, choice of dishes etc, on a couple of times we used the Corniche when we fancied Italian.The entertainment was good and Marvin, Kez and the others worked hard to keep everyone entertained and boy did they entertain you, Marvin only had to give one of his looks or poses ( when he saw anyone with a camera) and you were in fits of laughter. The island party night they put on was out of this world with music from the ship's band 'Magnitude', we went to the theatre every night to see a show and was never disappointed especially the show the crew put on, although the DVD didn't sound anything like the actual show did.Our cabin steward was named Elric and he was always smiling and kept our cabin spotless and changed the towels twice a day. At night he always put 2 chocolates and the Princess Patter on the bed after he had turned it back, it's the little touches that mean so much.Most of our trips we did ashore except Jamaica as we were advised by others that had been before to book with the ship and go with them which we did. There were 2 places we didn't like and that was due to the locals pestering us and not taking no for an answer, at which they became a bit intimidating so we went back on board and spent the day on deck and in the pools. Our favourite place was Tortola and the visit to Cane Garden beach, although Tobago, Bonaire and ST Ktts was also lovely, Aruba was very cosmopolitan and very expensive mainly jewellery and designer shops, Grand Caymen was also very nice.The security on boarding and dissembarking the ship and around it at each port was first class. They seemed to take passenger safety very seriously as when we were in port they were always doing some drill or another with the crew and there was always someone painting the exterior of the ship.To sum this review up it was FANTASTIC and something we would definately do again. Our only downside for this review is that we were told that Princess cruises are no longer going from Barbados and that they are mainly going from Fort Lauderdale which we were told IS A NIGHTMARE, so we will not be doing that.One last thing you are given the option to opt out of the daily Gratuities except for hotel/bar bills which we did and just left tips for specific people you can save a fortune doing this and you know the ones that matter get their reward. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
We returned from our cruise on April 7, 2011. If and when we choose to take another cruise, we will not be choosing Princess Cruise Lines. The negatives: The food in the dining rooms was mediore at best. Same food as at the buffet but ... Read More
We returned from our cruise on April 7, 2011. If and when we choose to take another cruise, we will not be choosing Princess Cruise Lines. The negatives: The food in the dining rooms was mediore at best. Same food as at the buffet but you got to have a waiter serve it to you. One dinner was even sub-par. Wine was terribly overpriced. Elected to try their specialty restaurant Sabatini's. Appetizers were quite good, service was excellent, but the entree was completely unedible. My husband's lobster was rubber and my fish was basically raw with some disgusting batter on it. The food was our biggest disappointment, but it seemed like they were nickle and diming us for everything. $20/person per day at the Sanctuary; $40 for 30 minutes of virtual golf - no way can you play 18 holes in 30 minutes! Wine tasting was another $25/person. Bottled water - which was offered at dinner by the waiter like it was a bottle of wine = $3.50. Wonder how many people said yes to the water not knowing they were going to be billed for it?! All 4 pools have no shallow end -- primarily 5'3" - 7' deph. So I couldn't even get in the pool because I don't swim! The "Movies Under the Stars" pool started showing movies at 10:00 a.m. No headphones so the sound was blaring constantly. Movies?? Videos of concerts, etc. Even the night time movies were second rate -- very few people bothered to go. Didn't bother going to any of the performances in the main theater as there wasn't anything very exciting going on - such as, one night was a band playing Beatles music with a video of the Beatles running behind them. One of the comedians was fairly entertaining, which we went to twice in one of the lounges. The entertainment advertised as "street performers" in the Piazza were lame. A string quartet is BORING! The piano player was okay if you had 10 minutes to kill before going somewhere else, but couldn't sit there for very long without getting very bored. Hula hoop performers....could definitely done without them. Three nights were non-smoking nights at the casino. Which is stupid since the casino has a permanent non-smoking section.Now for the positives: Service was excellent! All wait people were very helpful and pleasant. The balcony mini-suite was very nice and plenty of room - including the closet with lots of hangers. We ordered the free continental breakfast in our room each morning, and our hats are off to their pastry chef. Very flakey and fresh. If you wanted to watch TV, they had current movies and TV shows. Antigua - the highlight of our trip was swimming with the Stingrays in Antigua. Such fun. About 20 of them swam around us and ate out of our hands. I'm only 5'3" so was concerned I wouldn't be able to just stand in the water, but it water was only up to my arm pits so I was very happy. Pictures they took of us turned out great!Barbados - Also, a very enjoyable side trip was in Barbados but the Safari Adventures. We took the noon tour so there were only 8 of us and we had a great tour guide -- lots of fun and rum punch!St. Thomas - Since we aren't shoppers, in St. Thomas we headed to Frenchtown for lunch. Craig & Salley's is closed on Mondays so had lunch at Hook, Line & Sinker. Lovely view -- and the best food we had the whole trip! If there's a negative about this place is that they don't have air conditioning but they keep the windows open so there is a breeze.St. Kitts -- we paid the $99/person for the scenice railway tour. It was okay but on some levels boring - not much to see. They did offer rum punch and had 3 girls that moved from car to car singing island songs.St Lucia - we hired our own taxi tour guide for $50. Turned out to be a good decision. We stopped at a roadside lunch truck for BBQ Pork and Chicken. What a beautiful island. The views were breath taking.Princess Cays - a waste of time unless you really want to give Princess more money -- rental of a pool noodle was $5/day, private cottage a mere $199. Nothing there so not really worth taking the tender to shore. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
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