36 Princess Ruby Princess Fitness Cruise Reviews

Staff were fantastic but this cruise was 95% retirees over the age of 70. The activities were designed to entertain the same age bracket. We are late 40s and found the activities boring and the demographics were way too old. Other than ... Read More
Staff were fantastic but this cruise was 95% retirees over the age of 70. The activities were designed to entertain the same age bracket. We are late 40s and found the activities boring and the demographics were way too old. Other than great pools, there was nothing to entertain our age bracket. The internet was terrible, too slow and lots of drop outs. The room service was great, although no towel animals. The beds were extremely comfortable and balcony was worth the amount. The food was ok. Loved the pizzas and ice cream. The Lotus Spa services were good but way overpriced. The fitness centre was well equipped. Was disappointed with the day in Papeete, when no shops were open. The overnight stay should have been in Honolulu where there was more to do. There were no theme nights and the night club was designed again for old people. No area suited young people. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
For our 50th anniversary, we took a 12-day Princess cruise to Alaska originating in Los Angeles. From the moment we stepped aboard the 5-star Ruby Princess, we were surrounded by helpful, smiling faces of staff. Our balcony room gave us a ... Read More
For our 50th anniversary, we took a 12-day Princess cruise to Alaska originating in Los Angeles. From the moment we stepped aboard the 5-star Ruby Princess, we were surrounded by helpful, smiling faces of staff. Our balcony room gave us a wonderful view and fresh air throughout our cruise. The bed was SO comfortable with cozy Egyptian linens. Our cabin Steward, Christopher, was so helpful and attentive. The ship holds about 3500 guests and about 1500 very service oriented staff- which is a nice size and ratio. The restaurant meals were fresh and fabulous with very attentive waiters.There were fresh food options 24- hours a day! We enjoyed the flexibility of "anytime" dining. The entertainment was nonstop. We especially enjoyed the nightly musical shows in the Princess Theater. They have very talented performers- bands, singers and dancers.The different lounges also had good entertainment and often dancing. The casino is spacious and has lots of variety, including blackjack tournaments which are really fun! The gym provides nice machines with an amazing view! We especially enjoyed the tram excursion in Juneau and the train in Scagway. We plan to fly to Anchorage on our next Alaskan trip to explore the more northern regions and to do a land tour to Denali. We highly recommend Princess cruises without reservation! We look forward to our next Princess cruise!! The 12 days flew by!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I thought everything on the cruise was great. This was my first cruise, so I have nothing to compare it to. The food at the buffet was acceptable. I only ate at the buffet for breakfast. Nothing really spectacular, but nothing was poor ... Read More
I thought everything on the cruise was great. This was my first cruise, so I have nothing to compare it to. The food at the buffet was acceptable. I only ate at the buffet for breakfast. Nothing really spectacular, but nothing was poor either. The only issue I had with the Horizon buffet is finding a seat in the dining area. There are two sides for the buffet, and both sides are really busy and packed with people. I had to either eat really early to get a seat, or wait for someone to finish eating, then swoop down on the table to get it. Or, the alternate is to take your food outside to the pool area to eat, but it could get pretty cold and windy out there. Dining for dinner in the DaVinci or Michaelanglo dining rooms were wonderful. The service was excellent and the food was delicious. The inside basic cabin that my wife and I were in on the 8th floor was acceptable. It was clean and the bed was super comfortable. The bathroom was very small, but that's to be expected on a cruise ship. It fulfilled its purpose. I thoroughly enjoyed all the activities on the ship. We did dance lessons, trivia games, attended concerts, used the fitness center, walked laps on the ships deck, etc. Our favorite staff on the ship was a guy who claims to be from Serbia, who has a strong accent. He was the host for most of the trivia games, bingo, and was even the announcer for the disembarkation process. Loved that guy. He's so funny! Embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. The cruise staff got this down to a science! All in all, a wonderful experience. I will be returning to Princess Cruises soon! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The Ruby Princess has 4 dance areas, three are wooden floors and we thought we could find some decent music somewhere to dance to, but we were wrong. The food was good, but there were too many games(like Carnival) in the dance venues, ... Read More
The Ruby Princess has 4 dance areas, three are wooden floors and we thought we could find some decent music somewhere to dance to, but we were wrong. The food was good, but there were too many games(like Carnival) in the dance venues, so the floors were taken up with dumb stuff. We will definitely not do this cruise again. Embarkation in San Pedro was smooth, disembarkation was exceptionally smooth. Service was good, ship was beautiful. If you don’t dance and only want to eat good food, wander around and drink in the bars and not get too far from the west coast, you might like this cruise. I haven’t been on a 7 day cruise for a while(usually do over 20 day cruises), but my friends only wanted a short cruise. One couldn’t be gone longer and it was another’s first cruise. Maybe dumb games are played on all short cruises, but they were loud and everywhere! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Having done quite a few princess cruises, the Ruby is one of our favorite ships. The size is perfect; the large theatre can hold everyone if they do two shows ( which they typically do). The shows were spectacular-from the dancers and ... Read More
Having done quite a few princess cruises, the Ruby is one of our favorite ships. The size is perfect; the large theatre can hold everyone if they do two shows ( which they typically do). The shows were spectacular-from the dancers and singer to the comedian and Magician. Amazing employees that act like they really like their jobs. The food was excellent in the dining room. We never felt rushed. There are spots all over the ship that you can be alone outside your cabin. We love the grill topside. We run thru the buffet at lunch a load up greens; then have them grill a chicken breast for on top (resisting the fries of course). International cafe was a little crowded this cruise ( I think it was because of their new coffee card system). There seemed to be a line often and I don’t do lines! Love love love this ship. We already have booked another in February. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Five day Cabo overnight and California Coastal ......our annual "wellness" cruise ....booked. Back to back for a total of 12 days. Our first cruise during spring break and it was "different" but also fun to experience ... Read More
Five day Cabo overnight and California Coastal ......our annual "wellness" cruise ....booked. Back to back for a total of 12 days. Our first cruise during spring break and it was "different" but also fun to experience more of a "party" atmosphere . Got to hear and see best individual performer ever in our 45 cruise experience. Lou Gazzara has a voice similiar to Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darrin......do not miss his performance if he performs on a cruise you have booked. Production shows were also well done. Christian ran a tight well organized relaxed dining room on deck 5 and head waiters Stefan, Daniel and Jose from Porugal twere very friendly and efficient. Waiters were funny and really knew their job. Casino VIP experience was a dramatic change from past poorly paying machines and empty casino. Booking another of these cruises this summer.... Classes offerred in gym were excellent. Trainers Josh and Branko were well trained and passionate about their jobs. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I recently booked a vacation on the Ruby Princess and used a travel agent for the booking, our travel agent assured/guaranteed Princess Cruises will do everything to accommodate special diets, this was not the case. Our Travel agent told ... Read More
I recently booked a vacation on the Ruby Princess and used a travel agent for the booking, our travel agent assured/guaranteed Princess Cruises will do everything to accommodate special diets, this was not the case. Our Travel agent told us that they sent Princess a list of our dietary requirements including the various foods items required. At our first dinner sitting there were no Vegan options on the menu and in speaking with the service staff we were informed that the only vegan protein they had available was Tofu. One of my biggest concerns in arranging the booking was that Vegan meals would be provided and there would be a variety of choice, I was extremely dismayed to find that there were no vegan options on any of the menus including the dining room. Further, the only protein source they had available on the ship was Tofu. It is my expectation that when I make a specific request for a Vegan Menu that this be provided. The Anytime Dining and the Buffet did not provide the ingredient list for their prepared items and there was no indication if the various dishes were Vegan or not. I would expect to have available meals that are prepared using organics, healthy oils, no refined sugars, etc. Vegan ingredients for the most part are easy to find and not expensive, alternative protein sources include Tofu, Beans, Lentils, Quinoa, Kale, Hemp Seed, and Chickpeas. As a result of the limited menu, I ended up with essentially the same meals each day, not what I was expecting. Why are there no Vegan dishes on the menu? Quinoa Salad, Chickpea salads, Kale Salads, Bean Salads, Lentil dishes, Chia Pudding, is often available in most restaurants as entrées, why would Princess not also have these available? Customer service by the staff on board the ship was exceptional, if Princess educated their chef and kitchen staff on how to prepare tofu entrées with flavor, quinoa salads, bean & lentil entrees they would open doors to customers that have special need diets as well as ones that choose to eat clean. Vegan entrees should be included on the menu. As well, this could enhance the wonderful vegetable & fruit salads in the buffet. I also would like to comment on the excessive number of sales pitches onboard the Princess, so many talks etc. were just there to sell a product and this was especially true of the fitness center. As an example one of the trainers presented on how to get flatter abs, with the comment that 50% is from Diet and Exercise and the other 50% from a detox product which they would be happy to have you purchase on a monthly subscription. They also stated that we all know about diet and exercise so he would not comment on this. I found this presentation particularly offensive as this information is just not true. There are absolutely no scientific studies that have shown a detox product to specifically result in a flatter abs. Flatter abs will come from diet and exercise alone and the assumption that everyone knows about diet and exercise is also wrong. I am very well educated in diet and fitness and yet know I still have much to learn and any information on this is always welcome. I also booked the Chileno Bay Sail and Snorkel in Cabo San Lucas and was under the impression that we would have 40 minutes of snorkeling time, at best only 15 minutes of snorkeling time was provided. The host were very good, but quite disappointing to have booked a snorkeling adventure and then only have such a limited time in the water. Much of the time was spent watching whales, which is fantastic, but this was a snorkeling excursion not a whale watching one. This was my first time on a cruise ship and I have to say I was quite disappointed with the level of food service provided. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We had 5 families joined at this cruise. Most of it was kind of disappointing. There were too little shows, especially when our dinning was at 8pm. All the shows were either at 7pm or 9pm, so we couldn't watch any shows. Also, ... Read More
We had 5 families joined at this cruise. Most of it was kind of disappointing. There were too little shows, especially when our dinning was at 8pm. All the shows were either at 7pm or 9pm, so we couldn't watch any shows. Also, because of the cold weather, all the movies played outside was bad idea. Most of all, our group chose Kayak and due to the bad weather, one of our boat flipped and others had to call for help to go back. All the kayaking after us were cancelled. But they wouldn't give us any refund!!! Terrible after service too!!!! But the only thing we would rate above Excellent were the 2 employees worked at "Vines". Mike and Olivia were excellent with service, so kind, and made us feel so welcomed. They definitely took all our stress away. We would definetly, go back just because of these 2 employees. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We choose this cruise and itinerary because we heard that Princess had a great reputation for Alaska. Overall, I had a nearly perfect experience on the ship. The highlights of the cruise were the superior level of service from almost ... Read More
We choose this cruise and itinerary because we heard that Princess had a great reputation for Alaska. Overall, I had a nearly perfect experience on the ship. The highlights of the cruise were the superior level of service from almost everyone on the ship and the seamless way our cruise was handled. Our roundtrip out of Seattle pier 91 was very simple. My first Princess cruise, we arrived at the port around 11:15 and were on the ship by 12:15. Embarkation was handled smoothly in groups. People who had gotten to the pier earlier were called earlier, but they didn't start boarding until around 11:45. We received our bags in our cabin around 6:30PM. My only other cruising experience has been with Carnival multiple times, and I would say overall this is a step up in many ways, especially staff to passenger ratio and service. As Carnival is my only previous experience, most of my observations compare the two experiences. There weren't many children visible on the ship; passengers were mostly couples in their early forties and older. Food The room service and main dining room experience was excellent from a service standpoint. Food quality was pretty good and the breakfast room service menu is better than Carnival, but the MDR food selection was definitely more limited than Carnival. It helps to know that with AnyTime dining, you can make a reservation in advance and not have to wait. Although the MDR opens at 5PM for dinner, we arrived at 5:30 one night and were given a pager and told it would be 30-45 minutes to wait in the DaVinci dining room. Ultimately, we only waited about 20 minutes and enjoyed a drink from Vines wine café across the Piazza. Bartender Mark Anthony in Vines remembered us after the first night and would always offer our glass of Chandon before dinner. Also Vines offers a modest sushi plate or cheese plate in the afternoon if you order a glass of wine. I also loved the quality and selection at the included International Café in the Piazza. From pastries to sandwiches, salads, and desserts, these options were good. As for the specialty dining, we tried the Salty Dog gastropub in the Wheelhouse Bar on the first night for $12 and were impressed with the quality of the pub fare. The umami burger was fantastic, as was the crab cake. On our first elegant night, we opted for the Crown Grill which everybody raves about, but I was underwhelmed. The service was fantastic. The food quality paled in comparison to the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouses on Carnival. For a $29 upcharge per person, we had a nice selection from the menu, and you can order as many things as you want. However, we started with a "special off the menu" appetizer of oysters on the half shell which weren't that fresh. They seemed slightly dehydrated. The scallop appetizer was excellent. Soups and salads were all right. My chop porterhouse steak was too fatty. They served the sides family style in the middle of the table which seemed a little sloppy. There were no amuse bouches served nor specialty breads and butters like on Carnival. We also tried the Crab Shack one night which operates in a special corner of Café Caribe on certain nights. Overall this was better. While the salmon rillettes and clam chowder were fine, the crab and shrimp and royal mixed steamer were very good and an excellent value, the dessert tray was a real let down: just four cakes under plastic domes already partially cut up and not particularly appetizing looking, so we skipped it. The highlight of the specialty restaurants is Curtis Stone's Share at 16 aft. We really enjoyed the ambiance, excellent service by hostess ZaZa, and the food quality was certainly a significant notch higher than on the rest of the ship at $39 per person. This 6 course restaurant aspires to Michelin star territory, and with the exception of slightly under-salted pasta courses, was superb. We didn't use the buffet too often. One night it was just after 10PM and the last pizzas were going into the oven as we approached, so it was our only option. The area can get a little crowded and the selection is okay. Because there were so many Asian passengers on board, I was surprised to find that at least 30% of the dishes on the buffet were Asian. It's wouldn't be my first choice for dining on the ship. I'd rather have a more limited menu with table service than search for a table after the buffet. However, in contrast to Carnival, the buffet dining room tables are set with cloth napkins and silverware and the service staff were quick to come to us after sitting down to ask if we needed anything else like drinks. I regret that the Café Caribe was not open as often, because for food selections, the atmosphere was newer and the choices were healthier. Bar Service I enjoyed the coffee shop in the mornings for our iced espressos and chai lattes. It was only late in the cruise that I discovered the coffee shop also offered spiked frozen chocolate mint milkshakes. Those frozen Polar Bears were awesome! We had booked our cruise with a Sip and Sail promotion, so all of our beverages and drinks were included. With the exception of a few wines by the glass, room service drinks, and wines by the bottle, unlimited beverages are included with the package-- which I loved. I will also note that one major difference between Carnival and Princess with the drink packages is that on Princess, they may ask you to show your card to order a drink, but they never have you sign a slip with the option to tip on each drink. This was very nice, and it kept our overall tipping tab down. Overall bartending was excellent across the ship. My only nits were that the same drink wasn't always served the same from bar to bar. I had an excellent signature bloody mary from the bar next to the Trident Grill on the first night and it was never recreated exactly the same way again. I loved that there were roving servers in the dining rooms and on decks to ask us if we wanted anything, which was a far cry from the Carnival experience where it's rare to have someone on deck ask you for a drink order. We loved the Adagio bar in the back on 16, it was nearly always empty and very private. Our bartender Rosie was special, asking about us and serving us our favorite drinks every time we visited. Entertainment Until the quite fun balloon drop on the second to the last night and it's excellent accompanying Magic To Do stage show, entertainment on the ship was mediocre. It seemed to be focused on an older crowd. The magic show was tired and lame, the singer was good but the shows were basically just singing song after song. One night, there was a pub review sing along with a bunch of old songs our group in our forties and fifties didn't even recognize. The comedian was pretty funny. Otherwise, I found the tone of the entertainment to be several notches below Carnival. We enjoyed the few trivia challenges we entered, and we won two of the four we played. I wish Princess offered a keepsake collectible from winning a trivia challenge like Carnival's ship on a stick. We got some dollar store bargain DVDs for one prize and princess wine stoppers for another. The de rigueur British-accented Cruise Director was fine. Ship Design Most of the ship's dining rooms and bars were nice, but indistinguishable from one another. The interiors were very suburban McMansion styled from the '90s, with a strange mishmash of Sixties clocks and Italian styles. It's not modern with the exception of the Café Caribe and Share restaurant. It's nice to have so many hot tubs and pools on the ship which were unfortunately not really used for the Alaska cruise. There were usually a few people in the hot tubs while on ship. Enrichment I loved the naturalist on board for the Glacier Bay viewing. We also had another naturalist who offered lectures and tips about what to do in port throughout the cruise. These were very good. I wasn't much interested in dancing lessons, but there were many of these. I didn't go to champagne art auctions, of which there were many. I also didn't go to the many "parties" they threw in the shops to sell jewelry. Sanctuary and Gym We booked the Sanctuary first thing for Glacier Bay viewing at $60 per person. From 6:30AM until about 4PM, this included excellent service with unlimited bloody maries and mimosas, our own padded lounger with blankets, a thermal mug, ear warmers, special food service at a private buffet for breakfast, lunch and tea service, and a keepsake picture. In order to see the glaciers without the blue glass of the Sanctuary, I had to move to another part of the ship which was close, but overall, this experience was fantastic. It was cold! I jumped down and stood fully-clothed the sauna for about five minutes when I needed to take the chill off. The gym below the Sanctuary was fine with jogging machines and elliptical trainers. We went to a spin class for a fee one morning, and really broke a sweat! Itinerary and Excursions I don't think I'll go on an Alaska cruise again any time soon, but if I did, I'd be happy to do it again with Princess. This seems like a once in a lifetime experience, and overall Princess didn't disappoint. I wish we had more time in Ketchikan (8AM-noon) and Victoria (6PM to Midnight), but otherwise we had plenty of time in Juneau and Skagway. We booked a dog sled on the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau which was cancelled because of the weather. Instead, my group of 4 booked a float plane to view 5 glaciers. This was considerably less expensive ($215 per person vs. the $600 per person for the dog sled through Princess.) I loved the gorgeous views, but if you're prone to motion sickness, beware of float planes! I white knuckled this for a part of the ride. One nit with the cancellation of the dog sled excursion was that Princess showed that I had a $1300 credit on my bill after we had cancelled the prepaid trip, but still charged my credit card (which dropped off the card), and then they told me that I would have to wait 10-15 days after the cruise to get the refund by mailed check from corporate. That's bogus. They could easily refund the card I used to pay for the excursion. We also booked the luxury car train for the White Pass Scenic Railway. This was SUPERB! If you can afford it, I highly recommend this upgraded experience with unlimited snacks, beers, wines, and champagne for the 2.5 hour train ride. Only 14 people in the car for the experience are allowed. The views are breathtaking! Our final planned excursion was the 4 hour boat ride in Ketchikan to Misty Fjords. This was a long excursion that precluded us from any other activity in Ketchikan. The bulk of the ride in either direction was taken up with talks from the naturalist and native American speaker. However, the cruise through Rudyerd Bay was worth the trip! So beautiful! It was like no place I've ever seen. So green with ribbon waterfalls, seals, bald eagles, and puffins, we were fortunate enough this rainy day to have this part of the ride without precipitation. I loved it. Final Thoughts I went on this cruise with my husband and we've been together for 34 years. We were hoping to experience a vow renewal. It had shown on our itinerary under the payments and schedules section that we had this included, however, there was some sort of miscommunication between me, my travel agent, and Princess, because we were told no service package was included for our cruise without us paying a minimal addition of $229 for a vow package. I had called Princess in advance of the cruise to confirm that our package was included and spoke with someone who said it was. No one at the customer service desk including the manager would consent, and we weren't prepared to pay more for this, despite the fact that we both wrote new vows. We tried multiple times with confirmations, but were ultimately left disappointed in this omission. It didn't ruin our cruise, but we felt sad that we couldn't have our renewal ceremony. This leads me to another point about LGBT meetings on the cruise. Every night at 6:30PM there was an LGBT gathering in the Adagio bar. We'd go with our traveling couple companions nightly, and we were almost the only people in the place. Twice there was just one other couple who weren't particularly friendly. This was inconsistent with our experience on Carnival. Once again, this didn't disappoint or ruin the cruise, but we were surprised that nobody else on this full ship of 3100 passengers would come to a gathering. Princess is an upgraded experience over Carnival, with superior service and a very laid back, mature vibe. It's calm, serene, and a good value overall. The atmosphere is like an upscale suburban traditional wedding reception. It's not a fun ship party atmosphere. It's genteel, refined, and quietly luxurious. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this trip because we wanted to experience the Mexican Riviera, This ship sailed for 2 and a half days before getting to first port which was beautiful Puerto Vallarta ,which we loved. Great for shopping eating and plenty of bars ... Read More
We chose this trip because we wanted to experience the Mexican Riviera, This ship sailed for 2 and a half days before getting to first port which was beautiful Puerto Vallarta ,which we loved. Great for shopping eating and plenty of bars for drinks at a very reasonable price! The next stop was Mazatlan not the best port somewhat dirty and didn't always feel safe in some areas. The ship offered many excursions but all seemed very over priced. Our last stop was Cabo San Lucas, which we all loved very much the port was gorgeous much to see and do for sure. This was one of our favorite places. The only sad part is we were only able to be here for a very short time the shortest of all the ports. I think the ship could have stopped much sooner at another port on the way down but somehow I think they want travelers to spend as much time on ship so that we would spend money buying there drinks for a lot more than at the ports. I have good things to say and negatives things to say about Princess lines, I will start off by saying the arrival onto the ship went smooth and fairly fast and when getting to the actual ports it too went smooth. The disembark was very well organized and went very fast. Transfers back to airport was great! The entire staff on ship was excellent and the cabins and ship were spotless,the food in dining rooms were prepared beautifully and tasty with a nice variety. I was not impressed with the buffets it seemed like the same thing over and over again,especially breakfast. On most other cruises they offered many or at least 3 juices during meals ,on this cruise you had to ask for other flavored juices . The only one always available was orange juice. They also did not give you free bottles of water that needed to be purchased or ordered ahead of time. Other cruise lines I had been on gave you bottled water in your room daily. Drinks were very expensive and even the drink packages were on the high side. I really felt this cruise line was really out to get your money anyway possible. They had shopping sales, but my advice is to shop at the ports ,for you can get many bargains for a lot lot less. They had many activities on board including feature films. The shows were good some better than others and some were a yawn. The cruise director and his sidekick were fun and entertaining,I think they could have put on a great show. I would do the Mexican Riviera again but I would try to find a ship that stops longer in Cabo and a lot less time in Mazatlan and also a ship that doesnt spend two and a half days getting to the first port. I really hope my other cruise lines in the past have not skimped on food varieties and beverages at the buffets Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We had cruised the Caribbean 5 times (including Cozumel) and preciously visited Puerto Vallarta (1982) and Cancun twice to all inclusives with the grown up kids. But this was a different way to see Mexico that appealed to us, it being ... Read More
We had cruised the Caribbean 5 times (including Cozumel) and preciously visited Puerto Vallarta (1982) and Cancun twice to all inclusives with the grown up kids. But this was a different way to see Mexico that appealed to us, it being Valentine's Day and everything (my 60th birthday on the 13th). We found our aft cabin, B256 cramped and noisy. Our steward was fine, he needed some time off. I love the food but my wife just gets by with it. Sometimes she liked it but she liked less of it than I do. We had one of the best excursions ever in Puerto Vallarta with Valarta Adventures through Princess. We got WAY more than we paid for with snorkeling, kayaking, a hike, a waterfall, a beach, a close whale encounter, great food, drinks, and entertainment. Highly recommended. The entertainment was OK. The first comedian was really funny and the "Magic To Do" production number tried very hard. The fitness equipment was good but the jogging track was the worst ever. The weather was great, though it seemed it would be too cool (the last day really was) and the experience on the whole was lovely. I prefer going to the Caribbean (and it is easier from here) but this was a nice time too. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
i am a happicapp person who crusied with pricess crusies for the last twenty years and I alway be very pleased with princess cruise the staff is very freindlt and very helpfull the hips are always clean and well maintaned. any time I need ... Read More
i am a happicapp person who crusied with pricess crusies for the last twenty years and I alway be very pleased with princess cruise the staff is very freindlt and very helpfull the hips are always clean and well maintaned. any time I need help the staff helped me and were alway friendly. The ships are well appointed and very nicely layed out. Once I found princess crusies I did not need to look no futher they have everything I need to make the prefect vacation. The food, shopping, entertainment is awsome. I also really enjoy the fresh water swimming pools I use them daily on my cruises all the other cruise line use salt water swimming pools and for me that is a deal breaker.I have never been disapointed it has alway been great sailing with priness and I will keep sailing with princess and every time I cruise I will book another cruse with them. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Our experience with Princess was a mixed bag of goods! We took an 8 day cruise from Los Angeles to Mexico. The ship itself was nice. We had a balcony room on the top floor in the back. It was a bit rockier than the front as well as ... Read More
Our experience with Princess was a mixed bag of goods! We took an 8 day cruise from Los Angeles to Mexico. The ship itself was nice. We had a balcony room on the top floor in the back. It was a bit rockier than the front as well as noisier because we were right under a restaraunt. If I were to book again, I would get a room in the middle of the ship around the 9th or 10th deck where it is quieter and smoother and also closer to the ocean waves sound. We thought that the entertainment was great! Talented music, magic, and variety shows, hilarious comedians, and wonderful night life dancing. We thought that the last show, "The Voice of the Oceans", a take off of "The Voice" reality singing show was absolutely fun for everyone as the audience participated in choosing the winner. During the day, there was a wide variety of things to do. Because we love sports competitions, we entered ping pong, golf, and other competitions like Trivia. The highlight of our trip was definitely the excursion we took in Puerto Vallarta which was a Jungle Adventure. Our day was filled with one exciting event after another. About 20 of us took a speed boat for an hour to a place where tanks picked us up and drove through rugged terrain. We then got off and rode mules and hiked to the top of a mountain. Then, there were several fun ziplines, one where you could literally hang by your feet and zipline upside down. We then scaled down a few mountains into rivers and waterfalls. We ended the day with 2 water slides that literally took your breath away! A day filled with fun packed adventure. I would highly recommend this excursion if you're physically fit and adventurous! However, there was one area that shocked us and left a bad taste in our mouth for Princess line. Horrible food servers and bartenders!! We had cruised with Carnival before and had so enjoyed the servers on that cruise. They were very gracious, friendly, and bent over backwards to please. On Princess we had the exact opposite experience. One night we literally had a waiter bang our food down on the table after we asked if he could serve us what the people next to us were having. Apparently their waiter had made it special and it wasn't on the menu. Our waiter felt it was incredulous of us to ask him to do that. From that point on, he would bark rudely when he spoke to us and had actual anger problems when we asked for anything. This is unacceptable if you are looking for a good dining experience. The bar tenders and bistro servers seemed annoyed and not friendly when you would ask for a drink. In my opinion, this one area of bad service colored our view of Princess and I'm not sure we would choose this cruise line again. So, if you like adventure, and a lot of fun activities on board, but don't mind being treated rudely from the wait staff, Princess would be perfect for you! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I found most of the staff to be great and the food ranged between acceptable and good depending on the day. I was not impressed to find two extra beds attached to the walls in our already tight interior stateroom (this was not mentioned ... Read More
I found most of the staff to be great and the food ranged between acceptable and good depending on the day. I was not impressed to find two extra beds attached to the walls in our already tight interior stateroom (this was not mentioned anywhere during booking or thereafter). As a young couple, we found the entertainment to be lacking as it catered to the older crowd. This ship's passengers were predominantly retired, 70+ passengers. I guess that is the norm with cruising, but on a 7-day cruise we hoped for a better mix of passengers. I was pleased with the decor on the ship, it is quite nice. I don't mind the odd leak here and there as long as it isn't posing a threat (or in my stateroom!) Ensenada, Mexico did not have much to offer. I would recommend foregoing the mandatory daily tip (you can opt out) and tipping the staff yourself. For example, if you eat mostly in the buffet, you're not getting as much service as the folks in the dining room. With that being said, the food in the dining room was great but each meal was a 2-hour experience so we mostly avoided it. They add 15% extra tip on top of all bar tabs also, so where is the $11.50 USD per day really going? I'd rather have more say in who deserves it (90% of the staff were fantastic, especially our cabin steward). Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We stayed one night in Long Beach at the Hyatt Regency, not many restaurants around. Embarkation was great. We liked our cabin, Full suite C751, first time in this suite and room is identical to Penthouse Suites. Balcony was narrow and ... Read More
We stayed one night in Long Beach at the Hyatt Regency, not many restaurants around. Embarkation was great. We liked our cabin, Full suite C751, first time in this suite and room is identical to Penthouse Suites. Balcony was narrow and beam right outside bedroom door did obstruct view and too hard to go out as lounge chair in the way. We did have plenty of room to use the balcony dining table. The lounge chairs did not go back, but we're stationary, we didn't like that, but was to hard to climb around beams to get to other lounge chair. There is a beam out the living space as well, but wasn't an issue for us. Thought this room because of lack of balcony and lounge chair usage is overpriced. Really miss the bathroom in Full Suites, better storage in all other class of cabins. We had wonderful staff. We had Brian and Rowena Vasquez as our Hawaiian Ambassadors and definitely are our favorite! Learned so much and so much fun learning Ukelele from Brian. Appreciated learning "authentic" hula from Rowena. Both are so nice to be around, we hope to sail with them again, our first of 3 cruises with them. Brian is so talented and loved hearing his Santana style on the Uke as well. The seas were rough-again and weather was not great until day before getting to the islands, this was expected and with lots to onboard we did not miss being outside. Pools were on the cool side. We loved the "beach break excursions" offered by Princess on Honolulu and Maui, highly recommend. Remember Waikiki beach in Honolulu is all non-smoking! The food, service and entertainment was excellent everywhere on the ship. Another great Princess cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This a 5yr revisit to the Ruby Princess on a short 4 night cruise, from a port intensive 12 day Mediterranean cruise 5 years ago. Also, I was able to enjoy different parts of the ship that I was unable to explore before, because of fatigue ... Read More
This a 5yr revisit to the Ruby Princess on a short 4 night cruise, from a port intensive 12 day Mediterranean cruise 5 years ago. Also, I was able to enjoy different parts of the ship that I was unable to explore before, because of fatigue or time factors. My 1st impressions are that ship is just as clean, well-kempt, and still has that brand new feel. Cabin I would also recommend that even if you are pleased w/your 1st cabin on the same ship, it would behoove you to change the type of cabin, or the location. This would give you a different feel of the ship. Here, we changed our location to a mini suite with bath tub shower combination as opposed to the small showers with flimsy curtains in the regular balcony rooms. This mini-suite had a nice sitting area in the cabin, 2 flat screen TV’s, and a nice size balcony. Therefore we were able to comfortably entertain twice in our cabin, and the guests mentioned that the next time they will book a mini-suite, as opposed to an inside cabin. The welcoming champagne was nice. The beds were comfortable and the room was quiet. From now on, it is a mini suite for me, unless the cruise is port intensive, where there are less sea days and less time on the ship, then a nice or deluxe balcony would suffice. The views of the sunrises, sunsets, and stars are well worth the extra costs. Another advantage of a shorter cruise, is that you can walk on and off w/ your own luggage. To me, this makes it so much easier; as opposed to waiting 3 hrs for your luggage to arrive to you cabin or search for your luggage in marked rows, as that had on do on NCL’s Breakaway this past summer. Thus, late luggage delivery is usually the reason when you see people in the MDR w/ shorts on, mainly men, especially on the 1st night. Entertainment: Their version of the Jersey Boys was nice; I missed the vibrant sail away parties. The band sounded and did not perform w/ the vigor that I have witnessed on other sail away parties, where they had the people up and dancing. In the past, the sail away parties were a must. Here, they had a “musician” playing along with a computer, drum machine, that tried to past as entertainment n the atrium. Expectedly, he drew little interest. The other performers attempting to do a repetitious Motown review were simply tired and sounded that way. Further, there is an over saturation of Motown music. The pianist at one of the smaller venues sounded fresh and nice. I really missed the midnight champagne toast w/ the flowing champagne and the Captain doing the honor. I guess in its place was a dropping of the balloons in the atrium w/ the Captain making a short speech. I guess the cruise lines adjust their quality of activities, entertainment, and amenities based on the length of the cruise and the money spent and made on shorter excursion s. From past experience all the bells and whistles were not pulled out. Food Again, not as good as the past Princess cruises, but the food was nice, not as creative or adventurous on past cruises, and no lobster. In the MDR the food was above average to good. We were not wowed or overwhelmed with a dish, which I really like the “wow” experience several times on a cruise. I guess they get a pass here, because it was a short cruise. However, I found the buffet in Horizon to be diverse, and good. The omelets were excellent. They had the sanitizers at the entrance, but for the most part, no one was strongly suggesting everyone use them & everyone was able to use the tongs to make their own selections. I wish they took more precautions in this area, and simply not allow any one in without using hand sanitizers, going and coming. Why wait until the dreaded norovirus makes an appearance to step up sanitation procedures? However, we did go to Sabatini’s and did have lobster and a salt-baked branzino that was excellent. It seems that to really get gourmet type of food on cruises you have to spend more and go to the specialty restaurants. The pasta, and other dishes had freshness, and a homemade flavor to it. Recommended. However, the service was not a smooth and polished as my previous experiences. Here, the Maître de’ came to our table and asked, like they used to do in the MDR’s. We eat at a different venue each night, Michealanglolos, Da Vince, and Botticelli. I think Michelangelo’s was the best b/c it was the smaller of the other two, and seemed less rushed. Also, the quality of the wait staff has gone down. Not bad, however, the service was not as experienced or as polished as they should be serving on a cruise ship, where dining for many, is the primary attraction. Overall, customer service has been dropping, as businesses attempt to save money, from the smaller seats on many airlines to the quality of the personnel, to being unable to speak to a live person. The apparent philosophy is let’s doing anything to save money, the hell with client comfort, reasonable expectations or protecting the brand name, too often appears that way to me. I guess one reasonably cannot expect the level of service, treatment, and excitement on a longer cruise. I understand Disney is one of the view companies that still adheres an old notion of customer service, and a quality product over a cost cutting policy. Disney here I come. Embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze, arriving a little later and carrying on & off your own luggage is easier. I will do this in the future, if allowed. Further, we enjoyed bringing on one bottle of wine per person, which comes in very handy when you entertain other cruisers or couples in your cabin. We were fortunate to have excellent weather and enjoyed Seven mile beach tremendously, especially the Tiki Beach area, w/ facilities. However, going in parts of the beach can be a little rocky, and Sandy brought beach shoes and was fine. I did not go out as far as she did, b/c she is a better swimmer than I, and I found the waves a little strong, but he water was nice and warm. Overall, it was a nice short and warm get away from the cold of the northeast. Good crowd control, for a ship that size, more of an adult experience, and better crowd control than we experienced on NCL’s Breakaway in July. One big plus in selecting this cruise, was that we were able to obtain a less expensive flight on Wed & Mon. than the traditional Sat. or Sun. sailings. We left on a Thursday after flying in on Wednesday. Ruby, for the most part, is holding up pretty well.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We are experienced travelers in our 50's and traveled with family over New Years. Overall the ship was in surprisingly good shape all around Cabins were fine, but showers were tighter than on Celebrity. We had a premium balcony and ... Read More
We are experienced travelers in our 50's and traveled with family over New Years. Overall the ship was in surprisingly good shape all around Cabins were fine, but showers were tighter than on Celebrity. We had a premium balcony and the balcony was larger than normal. cabins above can look over so be careful if that bothers you. Food in the buffet was consistantly fine, I am not very picky and it was fine. The dining room( 8:15) was not that good. On a scale of 1-10 it was a 6, where on celebrity it is a 9 particularly in Aqua class. (really good) Service around the ship was for the most part very good. Waiters, room stewards etc, Some problems in the Crooners lounge, like waitng a long time for drinks, but overall very good. Entertainment was not ok. The production shows were fair to good, the magician terrible and the comedian was good. The singers around the ship also fairly good. The worst part was disembarkation. We are Platinum members and were let off the ship first. When we got off, we waited about 30 minutes for luggage. Walk offs created a line of over 200 people at customs before we even got our luggage. We should have walked off with luggage. Or the ship should have waited to let us off. That was just the start, them we waited on line to take a shuttle to the terminal we embarked . We sailed from terminal 2 and disembarked at terminal 24. Crazy Crazy. Crazy Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Background: My husband and I have been married for 15 years, have no kids, and are 41. This is our 7th cruise, 2nd on Princess. We have been on 5 with RCCL and chose Princess for the itinerary since we had not been to Grand Turk yet. We ... Read More
Background: My husband and I have been married for 15 years, have no kids, and are 41. This is our 7th cruise, 2nd on Princess. We have been on 5 with RCCL and chose Princess for the itinerary since we had not been to Grand Turk yet. We were cruising with a total of 5 couples (no children). My in-laws, SIL and her husband, husband's uncle and his girlfriend, and the in-laws best friends. Age range is from 41-70. We have cruised with the same bunch of people 2-3 times before, but they have never been on Princess, only RCCL. The in-laws and SIL +hubby arrived in Florida before embarkation day, so they were already in town at a hotel. My husband and I were the only ones flying in that morning. Embarkation day Sunday March 3: We flew from Baltimore to FLL on Southwest with no issues, arriving in FLL around 10:30 am. We collected our luggage and took a taxi directly to the port. Taxi for 2 with tip included was $20. We arrived at the port around 11 am, dropped our luggage off with a porter ($20 tip for 4 bags) and proceeded into the terminal. Have your boarding pass document ready to show in order to get in the door. We were assigned a color coded number on a laminated card -- this is the boarding group we will be called with. We sent our carry-ons through the xray machine and waited in line to check in. Once we checked in, we grabbed a seat and watched for the rest of our group to make their way into the terminal to check in. Embark took about 1 hour to get on ship, around 12:30. Once they started calling colors, it went quickly. Go sit next to where they start calling colors so you can be ready -- it is the first big room, look to the left and that is where the entrance is for boarding. Once we were on the ship, we went to our room to check it out. We were in Riviera 334, our first balcony room. After booking, I read that rooms on this floor get a lot of noise from the Lido deck chairs scraping above. We did hear it some, but were not bothered by it and were usually awake in the morning around 7 am so it was not bad unless you like to sleep in late. The balcony is shaded at all times, which was fine with me. There is also no one looking down on you, since the floor of the Lido deck extends beyond your balcony edge, making it very private, as long as your neighbors are not home ? We will definitely get a balcony room again on future cruises, we felt it was worth the extra money. We slept with the door open every night and heard the waves as we drifted off to sleep. I also enjoyed taking a sunrise picture each morning from the room, and having breakfast and pre-dinner drinks on the balcony throughout the week. We also spotted a whale from the balcony one day and saw dolphins too, so it was cool for wildlife viewing and we loved watching the ship come into port from there too. We met our cabin steward Franky and I asked him for an egg crate topper for my side of the bed and gave him a $20 tip right away. He had it put on the bed before that evening and it made a big difference in the hardness of the bed. He was very good at keeping things clean/tidy throughout the week and was a nice person overall. Next thing I did was go to the Crown Grill to make a reservation for our party of 10 for Wed night at 7 pm. We found a staff member setting up in the Crown Grill and he took our reservation with no problem. Then it was off to lunch. Horizon Court was a nightmare - the area for getting the food was too small and generally people were milling around willy-nilly, or "bumbling" as I like to say. Skip Horizon Court and go to Cafe Caribe all the way in the back- the people flow was linear and more organized, much less crowded. You can also sit outside and have a nice view off the back of the ship. In both Horizon Court and Cafe Caribe, the staff set the tables with silverware and bring you drinks. Numerous times throughout the trip we had to sit at a dirty table and wait for a busboy to clear the dishes, and had to wait for drink service. At either end of the dining area you could also self-serve iced tea and water, tea and coffee, but if you wanted lemonade, you had to ask a waiter to get it for you. For breakfast in the Horizon Court, there were nice omlettes made to order daily. I also had fruit and tea, yogurt parfait, cottage cheese, etc. in an effort to eat healthier at breakfast. A small annoyance is that they serve the fresh fruit in large slices such as slices of watermelon and pineapple, not cut up into bite sized chunks. It would be nicer for the passengers if they could just scoop out bite sized pieces without having to dissect their fruit one it's on the plate. Minor and nit-picky, I know, but a convenience that I missed as I eat a lot of fruit for breakfast and lunch. One morning they had a Chocolate theme for breakfast and there were berries and choc fondue, choc chip pancakes, etc. Intl cafe on deck 5 had some nice breakfast sweets and could make egg sandwiches, so that is a quick easy stop. Also had nice dessert snacks - tried the macadamia brownie and the pb choc cup, both were excellent and not too big- just enough to satisfy the craving for chocolate. Muster drill was at 3:30pm and we were assigned to the Wheelhouse bar, so we grabbed our lifejackets and headed there. We listened to the drill, then everyone had to put on their life jacket and practice the motions of jumping off the ship in case we had to abandon the ship. That was a first for me! We had opted for 6 pm assigned dining in the Bottecelli dining room, so I checked our table and our group of 10 was accommodated. For dinner the first night I had red snapper mojito ceviche, shrimp cocktail, sea bass, and for dessert, the delicious Love Boat Dream (choc mousse on a brownie). All food was delicious. Prasad was our waiter and Maria was the asst waiter, table 118. We had excellent service, fun interactions and joking around, and Prasad made great food recommendations all week. He even steered me away from some things on the menu, which I appreciated, too. Monday: Our call at Princess Cays (Bahamas) was cancelled due to high winds and unsafe tendering conditions from the unusual cold front that came thru Fla earlier in the week. That was a bummer as I was hoping to check out the conch shells and graves down the beach to the far right, as I had read about on CC. I went to the gym and ran 2 miles on the treadmill -- the gym was busy around 7:30 am, seemed to die down around 9 am. We spent the day at the pool, and drank too much. I ate curried chickpeas and rice for late lunch at Cafe caribe, as it was Indian food theme. I barely made it to dinner due to the drinking by the pool, but I made it, thanks in large part to my husband's help. My dinner was a salad, pot roast, and hazelnut ice cream, all food was also excellent. We all went to sleep early since we were drained from the sun and drinking all day. Tuesday: Today was a scheduled sea day then formal night. Back to the gym for more treadmill. I attended the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet at 11 am in the Outrigger Bar overlooking the Terrace Pool at the back of the ship. CC meetup was attended by 10-13 ppl and we did a small gift exchange, which was fun. Spent the rest of the day by the terrace pool -- this is a nice area but there is not a lot of room for loungers, and we ended up laying out on the wooden stadium seating area, which is not the most comfortable place, but there were no available chairs. We did see a fair amount of chair hogging, with no one coming back to sit in the chairs for a long time, but we did not try to kick anyone out. The pool water was "refreshing", meaning chilly, but did feel good when you got too hot. The lunch theme at cafe caribe today was Mexican, and the food was awesome. I wished that was available all week. I made a huge salad and topped it with the homemade guacamole, and it was my favorite lunch of the week. Since it was formal night, we met our party in the Wheelhouse Bar at 5 for a formal happy hour. Everyone was nicely dressed. I actually saw more men wearing tuxedos on a ship than ever before. Dinner was very good, I had the barramundi as recommended by Prasad. We did not see any shows while on this cruise - my SIL did not seem impressed with the Stardust show she saw one night. We all went to the casino to do an informal slot pull at $10 per person, did not win, but it was fun anyway. Wed: St Maarten. We enjoyed watching the approach and docking from our balcony. We got into port 3 hours early so we got off the ship and took a cab to Grand Case to Octopus Divers, since that is what I had arranged for my hubby and I to do. The taxi was $25, less than I expected -- I had heard it was $40 from previous reviews. We gave a $5 tip. The taxi ride is up through some winding roads, and there are no stop signs or traffic lights, so there is a lot of horn honking and squeezing through some very narrow roads. Gasoline was approx $6 per gallon, so it's tough to be a taxi driver! I booked our dive in advance, online, based on the excellent reviews this company got on Tripadvisor. We met Jade at the dive shop, and since we had some time to burn, he recommended we walk over to Grand Case Beach Club, so we did go over and checked it out. Very pretty views, nice beach, there is a small cafe there on the water if you want to have breakfast before diving or lunch afterwards. At 10 am, we walked back towards the dive shop and up Grand Case Blvd to see what shops were open. Most places were cafes, restaurants, and lolos, and did not look very ritzy or swanky as I had expected from this being "the French side". We walked all the way to the roundabout, then walked back down on the beach. We stopped at Calmos Cafe for a lunch snack and a couple of beers. The location is very nice with beach loungers, shaded seating, and picnic tables right at the water's edge. We ate shrimp sate, calamari, and cod fritters, all from the tapas menu. All the food was good, although anything else was pretty pricey, and they did not give the 1 euro to 1 US dollar conversion that some others were offering, so we paid the normal exchange rate. After we were done, we walked back to Octopus Divers, got checked in, and walked over to the dive boat boarding area. There was a dog named Roger and we met our dive guides Jade and Dave. They fitted us for gear and we met the others who would be on the boat. There were 3 snorkelers, 2 new divers and 3 certified divers, including us. We set out on a very short ride to Creole Rock and did our first tank dive there, about 35-40 minutes bottom time. Jade was the guide for the certified divers for both tank dives. Lots of nice things to see especially on the back side of the Rock. The reef looked nice and healthy. I tried out my new underwater camera the first time and kept turning it off by accident, since the photo button is right next to the on/off button. I still managed to get some cool pics though. The camera's battery was used up before the second dive, and I was stressing out since the second dive was going to be at Turtle Reef. I desperately wanted to take pics of sea turtles, but as it turns out we didn't see any turtles there, so in the end it was OK that I didn't have the camera for the second dive. There were tons of Black Sea urchins, and lots of big blocky rocks that made for cool looking structure and everything was covered with life. We also saw 2 huge puffer type fish and barracudas. Lots of sea fans, soft corals, etc. I pointed out a huge sea cucumber about 2 ft long, brown with spots, to our guide. We also saw one small moray eel. All of the 3 Octopus Divers staff were excellent and had everything ready with our gear for the dives. Jade kept a good eye on us and showed us lots of neat stuff underwater. He also took 2 pics of us scuba diving using my camera on the first dive, which I have not had before, so I was really happy to have a picture of my husband and I scuba diving together. After the dives, it started to rain and we were cold as we got packed up and took a taxi back to the port. Again, taxi ride back to the port was $25 and a $5 tip. Took about 30 min but there was no traffic, just some steers (cows) in the road. When we got back to the port, some people were looking at a sheer rock face and taking pictures. I looked to see what they were looking at and saw some goats climbing around on this seemingly vertical slope, defying gravity up on the rocks, it was crazy to see! I didn't get a picture, but I have no idea how they could maneuver like that without falling right off. We looked around at the port shops but did not buy anything and got back on the ship. We stopped at the International Cafe Deck 5 for shrimp salad and a ham and cheese croissant. Both were good, but I would get the croissant toasted next time. The make paninis there, they looked yummy too. Dinner was our reservation at Crown Grill tonight. We arrived and were seated at a large table in an almost empty restaurant, which was suprising for 7 pm. The waiter brought plates of all the side dishes for us to share and he even brought out a platter of lobster tails for everyone to have with their steaks. Everything was delicious and perfectly cooked, no charge for all that lobster ( I had read previously it was an extra $9 for lobster, but that was not true for us), and was well worth the $25 cover charge. It did take around 2 hours though, and my husband is not fond of sitting and waiting between courses, so that was a downer for him. Everyone was overstuffed with food, so we ended up retiring early to sleep off the food coma. Thurs: St Thomas Whenever we go on a cruise, I usually pick one port and we do a private charter on a boat to get out on the water and swim, sun, snorkel, etc. So, this time we had a private day sail with Tribal (www.tribalvi.com) scheduled. I had researched this daysail provider online and conversed with him via email numerous times, and felt that based on the Tripadvisor reviews and my communications with him, that they would be a good fit for our group. It was my husband and I, my SIL and her husband, and their uncle and his girlfriend (6 passenger max). She had never snorkeled before, and I made sure to let the owner at Tribal know that beforehand. We met Matthias (owner) at the windmill as we had prearranged. We walked to a small commercial harbor about 10 min away to board the inflatable dinghy. We rode to the catamaran, which was moored off Water Island, and boarded. Matthias gave us the safety briefing, a tour of the vessel, and soon we got underway. We sailed around Water Island, past the ship, and out to Buck Island. We were offered drinks right away, the opportunity to drive the sailboat, and we enjoyed a leisurely sail to our snorkel location. When we arrived at Buck island, there were numerous boats there already, so we moored off to the right side and entered the water with our guide Travers. They helped bev adjust her mask and snorkel, and showed her how to maneuver in the water while using a couple of pool noodles as floatation devices. She took to it right away and was happily paddling along in no time. I had re-charged my camera battery overnight and had it with me during the snorkeling. We swam over the reef, Travers brought up some wildlife for us to see up close: a live conch, a conch shell with a huge hermit crab in it, and an anemone for us to hold. He put everything back carefully where he found it, and you can tell they have a lot of respect for the ocean creatures. He fed the fish with some crushed pretzels and a colorful swarm of fish came up to eat. We then swam over to the turtle area by the sea grass beds. We saw many wonderful turtles munching on sea grass, some even coming up for air close to us. I got some great pictures and this was the highlight of the cruise for me. We also saw a stingray and a barracuda. We spent quite a while in the water, probably almost an hour. We got back on board and had snacks and rum drinks, Carib beer, and water/sodas, as we soaked up the warm Caribbean sunshine. Travers was an excellent bartender and Matthias slowly steered us back towards Water Island under sail. Previously I figured we would get dropped off back at the port and go to Tickle's Pub for lunch, since it was a waterfront restaurant on a marina right next to the ship that god good reviews on Tripadvisor. Matthias suggested we be dropped off at Heidi's Honeymoon Barbeque for lunch, which is a quaint beach bar on a pristine slice of white sand ringed by palm trees on Water Island. We moored the Tribal in her berth, all piled in the dinghy and staked out a spot on the beautiful beach and went to the BBQ. The cheeseburgers there are HUGE, and come with a side of pasta salad. There are plenty of choices and a nice drink menu too. What a great recommendation that I never would have known about!! We spent some time bobbing in the turquoise waters and checking out the shells, then walked a short distance to the water taxi that would take us back to the port. We paid $5 per person and got on the 2:15 pm water taxi. We were back on the ship with an hour to spare, so we went to the pool for sail away. This was the second formal night and we were all getting a bit tired of 2 hour dinners (and being so full after each dinner), so we skipped Formal Night in the main dining room and tried the tapas and sushi at Vines. Both were delicious and a good appetizer. We went up to Cafe Caribe to see what they had and got a few things to round out our meal. Just enough food, and we were done eating in 10 minutes. Later we tried the gelato at the International Cafe- 3 scoops for $1.50. It was delicious! After dinner, we went to the Wheelhouse Bar, found some family members and talked for a while then went to bed. Friday: Grand Turk. We got to sleep in and do laundry since we didn't arrive at port until 1 pm. The laundry is a very nice thing to have available -- I wish other cruise lines had this. Went to the gym again and had a leisurely brunch, repainted my toenails, and we packed up some clothes we weren't going to wear the rest of the trip. Cleaned up the cabin a bit and packed the beach bag for the afternoon. We saw some dolphins and a humpback whale from the balcony, which was pretty cool. At 1:15 pm, we got off the ship quickly and headed through the main building, then turned left and walked down the beach to the Local Village beach bar. We were the first ones there, so we chose lounge chairs and had 2 umbrellas set up. As I knew from my research online, they supply free chairs and umbrellas if you are there to eat or drink, and we did both. We had the conch fritters and jerk chicken plate, both were good! We also had their island passionfruit rum drinks and they were divine. $5 for a small and $10 for a large. We brought some rum from off the ship and added floaters to our drinks, which made them extra yummy. They have a resident dog named Rufus, and he is obsessed with watching shadows on the ground. He is very friendly and as soon as we had an umbrella put up, he dug a hole in the sand under the umbrella and laid down in the hole. The water was a refreshing counterpoint to the sunny, warm day. We hung out there for a few hours, then moved to Margaritaville and the pool bar, then hit the port-area stores to shop for a few souvenirs. We got back on the ship around 6 pm, and ended up in Horizon Court for a late dinner. We tried the slot machines and won $80, so that was fun. A note of warning to others- my in-laws took a taxi to Cockburn town (not arranged through the ship), and instead were taken down the beach to an area set up with tents and the locals were setting up makeshift shops. The taxi driver tried to tell them this was the shopping area, which was a scam. They had to find someone else to take them to the real Cockburn town center, and they felt very upset that the taxi would take them somewhere they did not want to go. They wanted me to warn other people not to use the local taxis because of this. Saturday: This was our last full day, and it was a scheduled sea day. The captain altered our course home by adding 85 nautical miles to give us smoother seas, and the boat was calmer as a result. We have felt the ship moving each day, but it has not been bothersome. Went to the gym again this morning in an effort to stave off those lbs. Spent the day at the pool, then met the group for our final pre-dinner drink at the Wheelhouse Bar. We ate our last dinner as a group in the main dining room and food was tasty as always. Last Love Boat Dream of the trip... We had an after dinner drink and then said our goodbyes. We went to the casino and won an extra $50 on the slot machines which was fun. We promptly stopped by the Purser's desk to put it towards our bill. Sunday: Disembarkation day. I woke up at 0630 and watched us sail into Port Everglades, with 2 other ships in line behind us. The captain came on the loudspeaker and told us there were a bunch of people sick the night before (turned out to be norovirus) so the staff was serving everything to you at breakfast. I brought my breakfast back to the room and ate it on the balcony. We had to vacate the room by 8 am. We sat by the Explorers lounge with some family members until we needed to go to our assigned departure area, which was the casino at 10:10 am. While waiting in the casino, we heard about people passing out and vomiting while waiting to leave the ship. Many people needed wheelchairs to get off the ship, and the whole process was delayed by over an hour. We finally got off the ship around 10:30 am, found our luggage and stood in line for another hour to clear customs. The porter who was handling our luggage said people were coming off the elevators and puking on the floor, it was bad. My MIL started getting sick at the airport and ended up being hospitalized when she got home. No one else in our party got sick, but I heard of similar people having to go to the hospital for IV's. Not good, but at least it happened on the last day. Likes/Dislikes/Overall impressions (my personal opinion): - I found the overall ship layout confusing and sometimes frustrating. For example, on the Lido deck, you have to go through the Horizon Court dining area to get to the main pool or to the back of the ship. If you are barefoot and wearing your bathing suit, it feels improper to have to walk through the food area just to get to the pool. There were also numerous places where you could not get from one end of the ship to the other without having to go up or down a level, across for a while, then back up or down to the floor you wanted. There were also numerous stairways outside that led to a locked door and nothing else, and that didn't make sense. I definitely like the Royal Caribbean Promenade layout better. It is more like a normal "Main Street" which is intuitive to me. - The bathroom is tiny - shower is the smallest I have ever seen. I cannot imagine a larger person trying to shower in there at all. The shower curtain barely stayed in the shower and there is a very small area to put your shampoo/conditioner -- no separate soap dish or ledge in the shower. If you are a girl with "products", you will end up with half of them sitting on the floor of the shower. - Hanging space for clothes is big, but the only drawers available are in the nightstand and desk. Bring extra hangers if you like to hang all your clothes -- there are some provided. - Suitcases do fit under the bed, which is good. - The ship seemed smaller than it actually was -- there were waits for elevators frequently. - Laundry rooms have irons and ironing boards available for your use. - Professional 8x10 photos (from formal night) are $23.99 each FYI - The English style Pub Lunch (free) was available on both scheduled sea days but no one in our group participated. - You should really study the Princess Patter each day as there are not a lot of announcements on what is going on around the ship -- they really only announced the art auction and bingo. Everything else, you had to notice it in the Patter. - We bought 2 1-liter bottles of water at the airport and just refilled them throughout the cruise and kept them in our mini-fridge in the room. That was enough to drink when we needed water in the room, since the tap water in the bathroom never got very cold. - Bring a beer koozie if you drink the bottled Dos XX beer. Also bring a small bottle opener if you buy the buckets of beer (5 for the price of 4) since they only open one or two at a time, you won't have to look for a waiter to open your next beer. - Wear SPF 30 at a minimum, right from the first day -- do not underestimate the Caribbean sun. You will still get a tan with SPF 30, trust me. Peeling is not sexy. - Alcohol: No Capt Morgan (they substitute Bacardi Oakheart) or Bailey's (they use a different brand of irish cream that was so bad my FIL sent it back), No Corona or Landshark. They contract/promote Bacardi rums and serve Dos XX (green bottle, not amber). Only one beer on tap in most bars -- Stella Artois. Would have liked to see a better/varied selection of alcohol choices and more beers on tap. - We used the Rum Runner plastic flasks (www.rumrunners.com) to bring in 750 ml of coconut rum onboard in our checked luggage. Had no issues getting it aboard -- I highly recommend buying a few of these for cruises as they scan through the X-Ray very well and are not shaped like a bottle. You could always bring an extra, empty one and fill it with a bottle you buy at one of the island ports of call, and put it in your carryon when you get back on the ship. - Went to the purser's desk and got a hole punched in cruise card, then went to casino and got a bungee lanyard (free) to hang around the neck. Good for when you have clothes with no pockets, like a swimsuit cover-up or a dress. - As a Gold member of the Captain's Circle, the coupon book they gave was pretty lame. They gave everyone on the ship a reuseable logo tote bag. I did not make it to the Welcome Back past passengers party but they did have one before dinner one night. - All the crew members we came in contact with or even saw in the hallways, were very friendly and offered a cheerful greeting. - Overall, I enjoyed the cruise on Princess -- food was great everywhere we went, ship was elegantly decorated, itinerary was good, weather was good. - I think we are better suited to Royal Caribbean because the passenger demographic is a bit younger in my experience on RCCL (we are 41 with no kids) and I prefer the layout of their ships. - Generally speaking, I feel that both lines are comparable in terms of quality and value for the $ spent, and would recommend both lines. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
This was our first time on Ruby Princess. We left from Fort Lauderdale and stayed the night before in the Hampton Inn Plantation, FL. A little expensive @ $209 but we paid to park the car there for $25. They have free internet and ... Read More
This was our first time on Ruby Princess. We left from Fort Lauderdale and stayed the night before in the Hampton Inn Plantation, FL. A little expensive @ $209 but we paid to park the car there for $25. They have free internet and breakfast and a free shuttle to and from the airport and cruise port, however they don't start to pick up at the port until 8:30am, so we took a taxi back to the hotel when we returned for $30 including a tip. We got to the port at 1130 and we were walking on the ship at 12:45. We went to our cabin first to drop off the carry-on luggage and then up to the lido deck for lunch. We chose to have pizza instead of using the horizon court/caribe cafe as everyone else was going there. We were the only ones at the pizza place and they had a pie coming out of the oven as we ordered. Yum! We did not order drinks for sail-away as the ship now charges Florida tax on anything you buy before leaving for open sea in addition to the gratuity. There were signs indicating this, but they were not in abundance. The first evening was very rough and a lot of people were loading up on scopalomine patches and bonimine tablets. We went to a few shows. All were excellent, esp the magician David Cats. We also went to the Liars Club and Majority Rules games. The MUTS had some good recent movies playing, but I would have preferred to watch more movies during the day, too on the big screen. Much of the time it just had the "feature presentation" screen on. Beautiful weather in most ports. There were a lot of very sunburned people walking about, esp on the first formal night (Tuesday-sea day). For our port days, we decided to find a taxi to take us snorkeling. We have always joined a Princess excursion, but found that we could have much more fun for far less money on our own, at our own pace. See the port reviews for more info. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
On-board customer service was lacking on this ship during this cruise. There were many staff members that were excellent, but it did not run throughout the entire staff. Specific examples were: *Hospitality staffers passing in the hall ... Read More
On-board customer service was lacking on this ship during this cruise. There were many staff members that were excellent, but it did not run throughout the entire staff. Specific examples were: *Hospitality staffers passing in the hall without a smile or greeting *Informing a spa staff member there was no soap in the men's shower only to be told I needed to go to the reception desk to report that *Asking the assistant waiter if there was a crepe station on-board and being told "I don't know" and that was the end of the conversation. *Fitness instructors did not show up for three of the scheduled stretch classes and when we asked at the reception desk were told they didn't know anything about that. *Every time we went to fill up our water in the buffet, if one of their servers was there filling up a tray of glasses, they did not yield to us for our one glass. This happened 100% of the time. *Finally, one member of our group ordered a bottle of wine the first night of the cruise. It was brought and she drank two glasses. The second night, they brought a bottle of wine to the table with another table number on it, plus it was not the type of wine she had ordered. They produced her original receipt which listed the wrong wine, so that was her fault for not catching it then, but when she asked them to correct it, the asst. waiter told her there was nothing they could do and that she should have caught their mistake. We asked for a supervisor and got the head waiter, and the same answer. We then asked for someone that could rectify the situation and got the Sommelier who took back the wrong wine and brought the correct wine as should have been done in the beginning. Even though the fault was partially ours, if she was not happy, they should have resolved it immediately in my opinion. Also.....we filled out the Public Health Ship Questionnaires and nobody collected them. We heard that from many other passengers as well. In addition, they did not enforce using hand sanitizer at the buffet entrances. We were a group of 9 and two of our group came down with colds on-board. The ceiling in the fitness facility is so low, my head banged into it while using the ellipticals. (I am 6 feet tall)and the last thing was trying to cash out slot machine winnings was a bit of an ordeal. We are accustomed to simply printing a ticket from the machine and collecting at the cashier, but they require you to set up an account on your room key and fill out paperwork to collect your winnings. On a positive note, the ship was extremely nice and immaculate. The food in the dining room at dinner was as good as we've had as was the entertainment on-board. Our cabin steward was excellent as was our dinner waiter. Overall it was a nice time for our entire family, but the service left a questionable mark on us. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
The Eighth Wonder of the World -- Princess Cruise Lines! My family recently completed a Christmas cruise from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, December 23-30 2012. The highly professional staff kept the vessel shipshape throughout the journey in a ... Read More
The Eighth Wonder of the World -- Princess Cruise Lines! My family recently completed a Christmas cruise from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, December 23-30 2012. The highly professional staff kept the vessel shipshape throughout the journey in a most proficient and seamless manner. During our seven night stay we were impressed by a clever layout of the stateroom for optimum comfort with ample balconies, tremendous storage, good lighting, and super bathrooms. Our steward took extra care to make surprise towel animals for our youngest child even though the children's' room was not in his section. Our other steward worked perfectly making our three-room separation from our children seem mostly unnoticeable. Both stewards were quite helpful with the various ports regarding distance for shopping, snorkeling and sightseeing. It was so refreshing to see someone take such intense pride in his work. Both stewards were a joy. Facilities for easy self-service laundry including stations for a quick ironing touch-up was much appreciated for the formal nights. The vast gastronomical experience was led expertly by the Executive Chef and Maitre 'dHotel. We ate in the Botticelli Dining Room at the early sitting and had the type of service that harkens back to a more elegant time. Our waiter was especially professional, sophisticated, and expertly helpful at every turn. My children appreciated the opportunity to try escargot, pheasant, and beef wellington just to name a few. Every evening our waiter would offer recommendations that never failed to impress; from presentation, to timing, to taste, all was wonderful. I would also like to express a special acknowledgement for my favorite gathering place. The International Cafe became the spot to start and end each fun filled day on Ruby Princess. The selections of sandwiches, soup, and desserts were unique, enticing, and delectable and all served in a most gracious manner. We discovered the flavor and flair with which the staff maintained this most comfortable European-style respite in the Piazza. The spa and fitness center were well-equipped but a bit solicitous. Classes for yoga and the like fill up fast so get there early. We enjoyed marvelous fish and chips at the Wheelhouse Pub, a gracious afternoon tea in Da Vinci dining room, and an informative wine tasting hosted by the astute sommelier in Michelangelo. The entertainment including a juggler, comedian Glenn Hirsch,illusionist David Catz, and all the singers and dancers especially Ron Goodman as Cruise Director did a superb job. The magical snow show for our ultimate Caribbean Christmas experience was surreal. Captain Tony Yoemans runs a fine ship and you should be very proud of his remarkable staff. We truly did escape completely! Thank you Princess Cruise Lines. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
CABINS: We had 3 side-by-side cabins on Caribe deck (deck 10). These Cabins were all category BA with extended balconies. Cabins were located mid-ship port side, numbers 504,506 & 510. We had the same category on our last ship and ... Read More
CABINS: We had 3 side-by-side cabins on Caribe deck (deck 10). These Cabins were all category BA with extended balconies. Cabins were located mid-ship port side, numbers 504,506 & 510. We had the same category on our last ship and loved the extended balcony, which is why we booked them again. We also like mid-ship because you don't feel the ship moving as much. The cabins are a couple feet smaller than standard balcony cabins because of the bigger balcony. You really can't notice the difference though. On the balcony there are 4 chairs, 2 of which can be reclined and a small table. On the first day our room steward, Noel, opened the doors between our balconies. There are hooks to keep the doors open. Some other ships I've been on haven't had hooks and the doors would flop around unless you put a chair or something in front of it. Like every cabin I've ever stayed in the shower is nice & tiny. I do like that the curtain curves around the shower instead of straight across. Gives you a couple extra inches to move around. The TV in the room is a 26 inch (I think) flat screen. There is a small refrigerator in the room, which comes stocked with a 1.5 litre bottle of water and a few cans of pop (soda for Americans). These will cost you money if you consume them, even if you do buy the pop/soda package. FOOD & RESTAURANTS: Main Dining Room: Our dinners were scheduled at 8:30pm in the Da Vinci Dining Room on Fiesta Deck (deck 6). We normally like the late seating but 8:30 was really late. Normally we get 8pm. The first night we got there for 8:30 and noticed a lot of tables were already filled with people who had 8 & 8:15 seatings. Service was very slow, nothing like I've ever experienced before. Nobody took our drink orders for about 20 minutes and food came out extremely slow. We were in the dining room for over 2 hours and didn't even have dessert yet at the 2 hour mark. We also normally have a waiter and an assistant/junior waiter. We never saw the assistant once at our table. Our waiter had to bring and clear the dishes and the dishes sometimes sat at the table for a long time before they were cleared. The reason for this was a combination of the galley being too busy and short staff in our dining room. There was a group of about 900 travel agents from Expedia Cruise Ship Centers on their annual conference eating in Michaelangelo's at the same time as us. With them were executives from some of the other big cruise lines. Because of this, Princess had taken some staff from our dining room and placed them in Michaelangelo. Our headwaiter (Flaveau) also told us that the dining rooms usually have staggered dining times, but this trip they were at the same time do to everyone in the conference having the late seating. We didn't blame our waiter one bit. Russell was fantastic. After talking to Flaveau we never had this problem again and our assistant waiter, Joel, was with us for the remainder of the cruise. We also went to the MDR for 8pm for the remainder of the trip. The food in the dining room wasn't as good as it had been in the past. But, I am not a picky eater at all so for me everything tasted great, just not as good as it has been. We had a couple pickier eaters with us and they found some things they didn't like, but I'm chalking that up to pickiness. Formal nights were Tuesday (Sea day) and Thursday (St. Thomas). Escargot and lobster were both served on the 2nd formal night. Crown Grill: $25 per person. Caleigh was free (she didn't eat anything anyway). Crown Grill is located on the Promeade Deck (Deck 7) Starboard, aft. We always go to the MDR for dinner but this trip we decided to try the Crown Grill. We were not disappointed. I ordered a bottle of wine, Riesling Piesporter. The bottle was $27, which is the same as in the MDR. The food here was incredible, the best I've ever had on a cruise. Instead of being prepared ahead of time like the MDR everything in the CG is prepared to order. We made reservations on the first day for Wednesday's dinner. The dinner is set up the same way as in the MDR where you can order whatever you want off the menu and however much you want. For appetizers I had Seared Pacific Scallops with Smoky Bacon Crisps on a Truffled Potato Confit. I also had the Lobster Cake. Both were FANtastic. Other apps ordered around the table were the Black & Blue Onion Soup (French Onion), Shrimp & Pancetta Bisque and Black Tiger Prawns. As an in between apps & entrees Dave & I both ordered the Prince Edward Mussel Pot. This had to be the biggest pot of mussels I've ever had. As an entree I had the Rib-Eye (14 ounces). It was the best steak I can remember eating in a loooong time. For dessert we all had the The Crown Dependence, which is a sampling of the 5 desserts on the menu. Molten Dutch Chocolate Fudge Obsession (pretty much the same as the warm chocolate melting cake on Carnival), Wild Berry and Apple Cobbler, Lemon Meringue Pudding Tart, Seven Layer S'mores Stack and Caramel Cheesecake Parfait. Overall the Crown Grill was an amazing experience. The food was more than a 10 out of 10. Our waiter Daniel was really good and pretty funny. I would definitely recommend this restaurant. Crown Grill Menu: http://cruiseweb.com/princess-imagel...SampleMenu.pdf Horizon Court, Lido Deck Food & International Cafe: Horizon Court is the buffet on Lido Deck (deck 15). We went there for breakfast and lunch most days. Food is your typical buffet style food. Mass-produced food made for a couple thousand people at once. Like I said earlier I'm not a picky eater so for me everything I had was good. For breakfast you can have an omelet or other eggs made to order. If you want egg whites you can ask at the omelet station. Food mainly stayed the same on a daily basis with some exceptions. For breakfast there were eggs everyday with a separate bowl that changed each day. One day it would be eggs with cheese another day it would have ham. Your other basics of bacon, sausages, bagels, toast, oatmeal, French toast, pancakes and fruit were available on a daily basis. Lunch at Horizon Court was also your basic buffet foods. Still good though. Pastas, potatoes, different meats, sandwiches, soups, and for desert, fruits & pastries were all available at lunchtime. Just forward of Neptune's Reef Pool is the Grill. There you can get hamburgers (cheese), hotdogs, sausages and chicken sandwiches. The Pizzeria and ice cream bar are located side-by-side on the port side of Lido deck between the two main pools. At the ice cream bar you can get chocolate, vanilla or a twist in a cone or cup. You can also get milkshakes with whipped cream. At the Pizzeria, everyday they have cheese, pepperoni and they have a specialty pizza which changes everyday. The International Cafe is located in the Piazza on Plaza Deck (deck 5). I went there a few times and every time there was a big selection of salads, sandwiches, pastries, desserts & everyday there was a different soup option. During the day they also had a girl walking around serving milk and cookies. I thought that was a nice little touch. Everything I ate was fantastic! Pub Lunch: The Pub Lunch was served on both Sea Days in the Wheelhouse Bar on Promenade Deck (deck 7 just forward of the Piazza) from 11:30am -- 2:30pm. We went to the lunch on the first sea day. The menu is written on a small chalkboard sitting on every table. Choices were Fish & Chips, Bangers & Mash, Ploughman's Lunch and Steak & Kidney Pie. There is only 1 dessert and it was Bread & Butter Pudding. I had the fish & chips, which were very good. The fish is Cod. We didn't go to the second lunch so I don't know what was served then. On my last cruise they had Breaded Prawns & Chips, Chicken Curry, Scotch & Egg and a Sherry Trifle for desert. I'm thinking the menu on the second day was something similar to that. ENTERTAINMENT: Ron Goodman was the cruise director on our ship and he was very good. Much better than Billy London who we had on our last cruise. I saw Ron out around the ship and talked to him a couple times. The "Wake Show" in the morning, which he co-hosted with deputy cruise director Elaine, was very funny. The 2 of them seem to work very well together. It always seemed as there was something going on. The Patters were packed with activities for all ages and tastes. I only saw 1 of the 3 production shows (Welcome Aboard Show). It was just ok. I was expecting them to sing something that said welcome aboard but it was just 3 or 4 random songs with dancing. Other shows I saw were Comedians Gary Delana (night 2) and Al Katz (night 7). Both were very funny. I missed Al Katz's first show on night 6, after seeing the second one I'm sure the first show was just as funny. Magician David Cats performed 2 shows, 1 Illusions show on night 4 and an "up close & personal" slight of hand show on night 6. I saw the 2nd show, which was pretty good. He only performed 4 tricks though. Throughout most days and evenings there were different little performers in the Piazza. There were Flamenco dancers, singers and "Acts of Strength". The Ultimate Deck Party was on night 4. On night 6 I watched the International Crew Show featuring crew members signing and dancing. A couple of the singers were very good. The last act was "If I Were Not Upon the Sea". I've seen the skit performed on every cruise, but there is still something that is just so funny about it that I keep going back to see it. EMBARKATION & DEBARKATION: Both were a breeze. Embarkation was no more than 20 minutes curb side to gangway. Debarkation was smooth as well. The line for customs was very small and we collected our luggage within minutes of clearing customs. PRE & POST ACCOMADATIONS: For 2 night before and 1 night after the cruise we stayed at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott North. We paid $164 for first 2 nights and $79 for the 1 night post cruise. Aaron & Dave both work for a big TA company so we were able to get a TA rate. Location wasn't terrible. It's about 20 minutes from the Ft. Lauderdale airport. The lobby was very nice and had 2 computers to use for printing directions, boarding passes, luggage tags or just checking your e-mail or facebook. The hotel has free wifi in guest rooms. I was a little disappointed there was no continental breakfast but that's not the end of the world. The rooms were clean and have pretty big safes. Jodi & Felecia's safe would not open one night and hotel staff had to break into it. They also complained their room smelled a little musty. Aaron & Allision's room had brown water come out of the tap once. Because of this they comped one night for each of our 3 rooms. It was very nice as I didn't have any problems with my room. The rooms do not include refrigerators but we had requested one for A&A's room because of the baby. It was a small fridge the same size as on the ship. They also brought up a crib for Caleigh. The crib looked like a small jail. It was pretty funny. Overall I didn't mind the hotel, but we most likely won't be staying there again. Norovirus: On Friday after we returned to the ship from Grand Turk Caleigh wasn't feeling too well. She had thrown up a couple times over a few hour span. We thought it was because she may have got some salt water in her mouth. When waking up on Saturday morning Allison was feeling really sick. A little while later she called the ship's doctor. A nurse came to the room and diagnosed her with Noro. Allison had been quarantined to her room for 24 hours and in this case that was until the end of the cruise. Allison & Aaron were not allowed to put their luggage in the hallway Saturday night. They were told by guest services that someone would come to their room Sunday morning around 9:30 to assist them off the ship. Because there were 3 rooms traveling together passenger services changed the debark times of our other cabins so we can all walk off at the same time. When the 2 ladies from the port authority came to see us off the ship I asked one of them how many cases of Noro were reported. She said a total of 2 cases were reported on our sailing. SUMMARY: We had a fantastic time! I thought going with an 11 month old wouldn't be good but she was sooo good. The ship was in great shape and all of the crew were amazing! We put in our future cruise credit but I don't know when I'm going to go on another Princess Cruise. On the 2 Princess ships I've been on have had an average passenger age of 50 or over. I'm looking for more people my age and more fun activities along with more ship board activities. I've never been on Royal Caribbean and we are booked on the Oasis. From all I've seen and read about RCI I think I'm going to want to go on a lot of RCI cruises after we sail the big girl. I'll come back at some point because I want to check out the new Royal and/or Regal ships. Itinerary: 7 Day Eastern Caribbean Fri Nov 9 -- Fly from Toronto to Miami Sat Nov 10 -- Day in Ft. Lauderdale Sun Nov 11 -- Embark Ruby Princess Mon Nov 12 -- Princess Cays Tues Nov 13 -- Sea Day (Formal Night) Weds Nov 14 -- St. Maarten Thurs Nov 15 -- St. Thomas (Formal Night) Fri Nov 16 -- Grand Turk Sat Nov 17 -- Sea Day Sun Nov 18 -- Disembark / Day in Ft. Lauderdale Mon Nov 19 -- Fly home to Toronto Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Cruise started very shaky. The day before the cruise I received an e-mail advising that due to illness, the CDC was contacted and met the ship when it docked in Ft. Lauderdale. It was controlled chaos at the port. However, Princess did ... Read More
Cruise started very shaky. The day before the cruise I received an e-mail advising that due to illness, the CDC was contacted and met the ship when it docked in Ft. Lauderdale. It was controlled chaos at the port. However, Princess did everything possible to keep us comfortable while we waited. The last passengers finally got on board around 6 pm. Overall I ended up sitting for about 3 hrs. I have Platinum Status so we were able to board early. Food - The food in the MDR was excellent. It was a huge improvement for the last few cruises I have been on with Princess. Service - The bar staff in the Sky Walkers lounge were great. Actually, I felt the service was exceptional in all areas of the ship from the MDR stuff to the International Cafe. Space - I never felt crowded on this ship. Don't ask me why because it was filled to capacity. The Horizon Court was a pleasure for breakfast and lunch. On past trips I felt like it was hand to hand combat to find a table. The International Cafe was equally as nice. Never once did I walk around for 30 mins looking for a clean table. The entertainment venue were never overcrowded. Kudos!! Entertainment - The entertainment was enjoyable. I have grown a little tired of the same production shows. This trip the on board entertainment was much improved. Ports - St. Maarten and St. Thomas were nice. A good place to send 1/2 day walking around. Grand Turks was a waste of time. There is absolutely nothing there. It was pitiful. Save your money and walk around the shops at the pier. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We had booked this as cruise only so I will only talk about the cruise. We arrived at he ship at 14:30 the embarkation was simple and easy, very efficient. We were meeting our friends on the ship and they were waiting for us. We had a ... Read More
We had booked this as cruise only so I will only talk about the cruise. We arrived at he ship at 14:30 the embarkation was simple and easy, very efficient. We were meeting our friends on the ship and they were waiting for us. We had a ocean view cabin it was quite roomy with plenty of space for storage, particularly enough coat hangers for all our stuff including all my wife's dresses. The bed and pillows were very comfortable. The emergency drill was very strange, because our muster station was in the casino, I am really not too sure about mustering at an internal location in a real emergency ( thinking about Herald of Free Enterprise and Concordia) I found it disturbing I would want to be at the lifeboat. In future this is something I would want to know before booking a cruise I never thought this would be allowed. The Horizon buffet was good for breakfast and lunch and we ate there one evening when tired after a tour. I really don't like eating at the buffet in the evening too much temptation to put everything you fancy on a plate and you end up with a kind of chop suey. We were on anytime dining which we were not too happy about because we prefer late sitting but we were told it was full. Anytime dining has it advantages ( you can go when you like but if you go after seven there are queues ) there are also disadvantages, you don't have the same waiters and you do not build up a relationship ( which can be good or bad) it explains the tips been added to the cabin account. Otherwise you would have to carry money to tip every night. (They always ask your room number) Talking about service, generally the service was very good our cabin steward was friendly and efficient. The crew in the Horizon buffet were particularly friendly and helpful. There was no shortage of crew anywhere you could get help where ever you were. In the evening we ate at either the Da Vinci or Michelangelo restaurants. The food was good but not exceptional. The service was also good. However we did suffer bad service in the Da Vinci dinning room on the last night. The service was very slow, snail pace they would serve one and not us all. There were six of us but only four of us were drinking wine so we would order a bottle of wine one night and our friends would order a bottle of wine another night. The last night our friends ordered a bottle of wine. When it came it was corked, so he refused it. The waiter argued that it was OK and we should accept it. When you are paying $38 for a bottle of wine and it's corked you don't accept it and you don't expect an argument. The waiter sent for the sommelier who agreed with us that it was corked. So another bottle was ordered. They still tried to charge our friend for the first bottle. This left a bad taste in the mouth in more ways than one. It soured our opinion of Princess. You know it's the little things that count. The entertainment was at best mediocre, it says a lot when members of the crew can sing better than the singers that are on in the theatre. There were two guys from Essex who sang Beetles songs one night and another they sang Everly brothers, trouble is they sounded like Alvin and the Chipmunks. I think if they billed themselves as a Alvin and the Chipmunks tribute band it would be acceptable. The dancers were good, the magician was terrible and the violinist OK. The one bright spot was a group called Music Inc that played in the Explorers bar, the lady singer was quite amazing, great voice. We will always remember the pool party where she and her group were set up on the sun deck above the pool deck she was wearing a long dress with long flowing hair blowing in the wind blasting out great songs and everyone dancing. It was a night to remember like something out of a movie. We also did dance lessons which were fun and enjoyable. Zumba which worked up a sweat. The public areas were somehow lacking when we compared it to Royal Caribbean. On Formal evening we like to take our own photos but there are not that many good spots on the ship. It shows because the ship's photographers except for one place were all using backdrops. A large area was taken up an art galley which obviously you couldn't take photographs. We never used the casino or Sky walkers lounge because the cigarette smoke in the both places was awful, the casino particularly caused contamination of the shopping area on deck 6. We wanted to shop there but I had picked up a cold three days into the cruise and the smell just caused me to have coughing fits so couldn't stay in that area. We always like to get exercise particularly on sea days. So we would walk around on deck 7 if you walked 2 1/2 times round was one mile. But as you walked around the bow there was a awful smell of very strong cigarette smoke being expelled from a vent not nice to walk through at all. Disembarkation was very simple. We enjoyed the cruise particularly the itinerary and not everything was bad however I do not think I would book another cruise on this ship or with Princess, maybe our expectation were too high we found Princess to be lower in quality than RCL. In the ship and entertainment. Generally the service was good except the last evening which was terrible and has possibly coloured my judgement. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
This was our family's first cruise, and everyone had a great time. We traveled as husband, wife, 14 year old daughter and 11 year old son. We flew from Boston to Rome and spent a few days in the city. From Rome we took the train ... Read More
This was our family's first cruise, and everyone had a great time. We traveled as husband, wife, 14 year old daughter and 11 year old son. We flew from Boston to Rome and spent a few days in the city. From Rome we took the train to Venice and spent two days before the start of the cruise. Venice is the most beautiful city I've ever seen and a great port to begin a cruise. The ship is very large and offers more activities than you could ever experience. Since we were traveling with children, Movies under the Stars was big part of our evening experience. Each night a different movie was offered with a showing at 7:30 and 10:30. The movies are current (e.g., Hunger Games) and the showing is on a very large screen by the pool. The pizzeria, grill, ice cream stand and buffet are close by if you want a snack during the show. Popcorn, cookies and milk are offered by the staff. My son and I also used the gym and worked out every day. The gym is first rate all the way. We also spent about an hour each day playing basketball. The courts are busy, but we usually managed to get in for some play time. We went to a handful of shows, including a four season's concert, culinary show, and magic show. The shows were very good to excellent. We were so busy and tired from our shore excursions, however, that we didn't take advantage of more shows. We had two cabins side by side with ocean balconies. We were able to connect through the balcony, so we were able to keep our family together through the entire trip. The rooms were spacious and comfortable.... Better than we expected. The air conditioning was very comfortable. Housekeeping was excellent.... We had no issues at all. The food on the ship was fantastic.... Especially the traditional dining. The breakfast buffet was very good, and fairly traditional. I'd compare it to an excellent breakfast buffet at an upscale hotel. Since we were very busy with shore excursions, we had room service most mornings and it was good and dependable. For lunch you had many choices. On sea days, we usually ate by the pool. The Pizzeria was absolutely first rate (better than the pizza in Italy) and the grill was decent (burgers and fries). We occasionally had lunch in the buffet and the food was very good. There was usually a theme (e.g., Mexican) and there we many choices. Dinner was our favorite. We LOVED the traditional dining. The meals were 4 courses and FANTASTIC. The service was as good as the food. On the outside, these meals would cost you $50 to $75 a person. We did not expect the food to be this good. We went on one private shore excursion. The remainder we did with Princess. The Princess expeditions were very good and two of them were OUTSTANDING. One was cheese tasting in Sorrento, and the other was visiting Orvieto (with a meal at the Tipica Trattoria Etrusca, a 5 start Italian restaurant). We were very pleased with the excursions. The employees on the Ruby Princess were pleasant and helpful. They were never far from your table during a meal, and the pool and bar staff deserve special mention. To sum it up, we were very satisfied with our experience. It was truly a trip of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
Ruby Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.5 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.9
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.2

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