Ruby Princess Reviews

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14 User Reviews of Ruby Princess Cruise Ship

A nice ship but........
Publication Date: April 18, 2016

I just returned from a 15-day Hawaii cruise on Ruby Princess and I am disappointed in what I see going on with Princess. I have cruised with Princess six times over the past 16 years and I have noticed a decline in everything on Princess. On this cruise, the shows in the main showroom were not of the quality of the past. The main production show didn't have the usual awe and pop and the specialty entertainment was sub par at best.

This cruise didn't have the usual quality Vegas style magic act, and the two comedians were just mediocre and boring. One singer that impersonated Nat King Cole was great and the other singer was just ok. It seems that Princess is also attempting to save money on the entertainment. The showroom seats 800 and the first show always filled up fast. You needed to get to the first show at least 45 minutes early to have any chance of a good seat. With two shows most nights and 3100 passengers, only half the people had a chance to see the show. Princess is now attempting to squeeze every

penny from its passengers.

The adult sanctuary now charges to use its services. In the past, it was free unless you wanted to rent a cabana. Princess has seriously increased their price for shore excursions and I believe it is to offset the free room credits they now give. As an example, on our previous Hawaii cruise, the cost of a shore excursion to Pearl Harbor was $89 per person. The same excursion now is $129 per person and all but $22 of that cost is for the round trip bus ride. The $22 was the veteran discount cost for each person to see the Missouri battleship which offers a free shuttle from the Arizona memorial. The Arizona memorial and all of its various museums are free. To get there, the cost to take a city bus one way is $2.00 and $1.00 for seniors and takes about 1/2 and hr. The cost to take a taxi (regardless of the number of people) was $39 one way.

On this cruise, we decided to do this excursion ourselves and the total cost round trip including transportation for five people was $127. The same excursion through Princess would have been $635 for five people and not veteran discount available. The specialty restaurants are great, but have increased their surcharge by $5 to $25 per person.

The alcohol drinks have increased to an average of about $9.50(they were about $6.50) and I noticed that very few people were drinking the beverages. Princess has priced themselves out of the alcohol market and either don't know it or don't care. Coffee is free in the buffet and restaurants however, the 24hr international cafe' sadly charged for a basic cup of coffee.

The anytime dinning was a joke to get reservations. Each morning when I attempted to make reservations, I was told that only 5:30 and 7:45 were available, but they would accommodate walk-ins. If you walked into the restaurants without a reservation, you had a wait of 10 minutes to almost 1 hour. One restaurant only accepted walk-ins from 5:30 until 6pm, then closed its doors to walk-ins until 7:30 pm. The staff in the dinning rooms were hurried and were assigned too many tables to handle. In the past, one team of waiters were assigned one or two tables and the service was quick. Now, the service was slow. The time it took from the moment the waiter took our order until the entree' arrived averaged one hour and 15 minutes each night and this is unacceptable. I noticed several people would get up and leave because the service was slow. It appears Princess is cutting costs in the wrong area.

In the buffet, waiters now serve you beverages that passengers can easily get themselves. One can see where the much needed help in the restaurants has been needlessly diverted. In the new specialty restaurant called Share, the cover charge was a whopping $39 per person. The food was great however, you were limited to selecting only one entree" and the portions were small.

On a few nights, the Cafe' Caribe buffet was converted to a seafood restaurant called the Crab Shack and the food was great. The $20 per person cover charge was worth the all you can eat king crab. I noticed this ship no longer has the midnight bistro and found this very disappointing as it was a great place to go for a late night bite to eat.

The ship now has a free ice cream machine however, if you wanted the same ice cream mixed with milk in the form of a shake, they charged you $1.50.....more money squeezing. On to the gym to work off all those calories, but wait. This ship charges an insane $60 or so to take an aerobics class. What next? Will they charge a fee to use the workout equipment?

We went ashore in Hilo and wanted to use the free shuttle to go to town. We were told that tickets were no longer being given out. This is very poor planning on the part of Princess with a ship this size. Princess does not prepare towel animals in your stateroom and this takes from the cruise experience that other cruise lines offer. I asked my room steward if they could prepare towel animals each night and was given a "yes". I never got one towel animal. Overall, the waits were longer, the quality of food was not as good as in the past and the assorted extra charges were more and higher cost. I don't think I will be traveling with Princess any longer.

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by Bud Lockwood
Publication Date: November 21, 2010

Princess Cruises Ruby Princess by Bud Lockwood Eastern Caribbean November 21, 2010

My wife and I sailed on the Ruby Princess Thanksgiving week (November 21st to 28th ) from Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to the Eastern Caribbean ports of Princess Cays, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Grand Turk.

OUR ARRANGEMENTS We booked cabin D219, a mini-suite on the Dolphin deck, and selected "anytime dining" for our dinner dining option. The cabin was nicely appointed, comfortable and conveniently located on deck 6. It should be noted that the balcony is totally exposed overhead unlike the balconies on higher decks. This leaves you exposed to the elements and to people on balconies just above.

Any time dining worked well for us. We tend to dine early and the Michelangelo dining room opened at 5:30 PM for anytime dining. Reservations for dining are advised for formal nights and sea days if you plan to dine at 7 PM or later. We had no significant wait earlier.

EMBARKATION & DISEMBARKATION

We drove from the Melbourne area (near Port Canaveral), therefore we entered the Port Everglades via auto and parked in the garage adjacent to the embarkation terminal 2.

There was minor congestion getting into the port at noon. Parking was easy and the walk from the vehicle to the terminal was short.

The embarkation process was smooth. Princess checks passengers in by deck with a special line for preferred customers. Just hope that everyone on your deck doesn't show up at the same time. After check in photos are taken and you are free to go to your cabin. Interestingly, Princess did allow us to go to our cabin before 1:00 PM which allowed us to leave our carry-on bags and freshen up before lunch.

Disembarkation was a mess! The ship returned to terminal 29, a shuttle ride from the parking garage at terminal 2. This may be caused by the fact that the Emerald Princess shares terminals and takes 10 day cruises.

The instructions for disembarkation preferences were unclear to us so we ended up being scheduled to disembark at 9:30 AM when we would have preferred, and could have had, an earlier time. We finally disembarked at 10:30 AM because the regular ramp wasn't working. Not good! We collected our bags from the baggage area and checked through Customs with no unusual problems. We then lined up for the shuttle, along with a lot of other passengers. Our bags were loaded on the shuttle along with those of 15 to 20 other people and we were taken to terminal 2 where the reverse baggage process took place. It was not a pretty process. Leaving the port was easier than arriving.

THE SHIP & STAFF

The Ruby Princess is a beautiful ship with elegantly appointed public areas including the restaurants, lounges, casino, theater and pools. There were no unexpected crowds at any of the venues. Unexpected means there were crowds at the normal times. For examples, the theater and lounges were crowded during after dinner times. The atrium also attracted large crowds because of the entertainment.

The staff were excellent. Everyone we encountered was cheerful and helpful, even during high stress times. They were obviously well trained and seemed to enjoy their work.

DINING AND FOOD

Like most modern cruise ships the Ruby Princess offered several dining options with the main dining rooms being the centerpieces, followed closely by the specialty dining options. The food was very good with a couple of exceptions. Highlights included: Sabatini's. The Italian themed restaurant is excellent! Plan a before dinner cocktail at the adjacent, elegant Adagio lounge then enjoy their multi-course dinner complete with samples of all the pre and post-entrée choices. The entrees were very good. Crown Grill. The "steakhouse" is an elegant setting with excellent service and food. It is adjacent to the Explorer's lounge. If you like lobster, steak or chops this is an ideal place! Reservations are needed and can be a problem so make them on embarkation day. Pub Lunch. A pub lunch was served in the Wheelhouse Bar on sea days. The Wheelhouse bar is a nice pub setting. The food included fish and chips and ploughman's lunch along with a selection of English beers. International Café. The café is a nice setting for people watching as well as tasty snacks. We stopped by almost every day to sample the good food. Michelangelo restaurant. Our choice for "anytime dining" with a nice selection of food. The traditional Thanksgiving dinner was disappointing . Must have been someone else's traditional dinner. The salmon, one of the daily alternative choices, was excellent. The daily alternative choices are frequently some of the best choices and often overlooked.

WORTH NOTING Grand Turk. This is a recently developed port complex and promises to be a very good one as it grows. It is anchored by Ron Jon's Surf Shop and a Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville with several other shops right at the end of the relatively short pier. There are also beaches at the end of the pier. The facilities are similar to those at the end of the pier at St. Maarten, but more extensive. Safety Drill. The Ruby Princess still requires taking life jackets to the safety drill. Many other ships no longer require that, reasoning that dragging the jackets with their straps is dangerous. Gratuity Envelopes. Gratuities are "automatically" charged to the shipboard accounts and no envelopes are provided. You can obtain envelopes if you desire to give additional gratuities. Satisfaction Surveys. They are emailed to your home after the cruise. Special recognition cards are provided should you want to recognize and individual. We did that for our room steward who was "old school" excellent. Electronic Casino Accounts. This is a good and growing trend on cruise ships. Casino Hours. The slot machine hours were extended beyond those published on a couple of days so if you enjoy the slot machines checking the unannounced availability is a good idea. Formal Nights. They were on Tuesday and Thursday. These are good to know if you are planning specialty restaurant or other events. Evening Buffet. The buffet was extremely busy on port evenings! The ship's planners could have done a much better job accommodating the crowds for these days.

SUMMARY

The Ruby Princess was very good overall. Every venue and all the staff were excellent. The disembarkation process, highlighted by the shuttling to another terminal and a malfunctioning gangway, was a significant negative.

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by Bob O.
Publication Date: December 20, 2009

Princess Cruises Ruby Princess by Bob O. Eastern Caribbean December 20, 2009

Avid cruisers with multiple cruiselines, and our third time with Princess, two on the Coral and our first on Ruby. We cruise to relax and so we did. Cabin steward, dining room staff right up there with the best. As a nmatter of fact our Head Waiter Thomas, Waiters Claudio and Bamba always went above and beyond to make our cruise that much more enjoyable. We've visited these particular port numerous times in the past and as i stated earlier we cruise to relax. Fourteenth Deck Balcony cabin (R747)as good as any, and real convenient to the aft deck pool and the Lido.

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by Scott
Publication Date: December 17, 2009

Princess Cruises Ruby Princess by Scott Bahamas December 17, 2009

This was my 1st cruise on Princess after 9 cruises on RCI and 1 on Carnival. This cruise was a 3-night Caribbean Sampler cruise on the Ruby Princess to the Princess Private Island in the Bahamas and back from Ft. Lauderdale. However, due to winds and choppy waters, our stop in Princess Cays was cancelled and we spent the cruise onboard.

Embarkation We flew into Ft. Lauderdale on Wednesday and stayed overnight in a local hotel near Port Everglades. We caught the free shuttle to the Port about 11am and arrived at the pier about 11:20am. We checked in, had a short wait in the terminal and were onboard about 11:45am.

The Ship The Ruby Princess was launched by Princess in 2008, so we were on a ship less than 1 year old. The Ruby Princess is an absolutely beautiful ship. The best way to describe it is elegance. The tile work, the art work and the metal work all throughout the ship was spectacular! The public areas and lounges were spacious and nicely decorated. The lounges in particular had great chairs and couches,

very comfy. There are 3 main pools, 2 in the center of the ship on deck 15, and the adults’ only pool in the aft portion of deck 14. This ship has the large movie screen and the “Movies under the Stars” is not to be missed!

The Cabin We had a category BB balcony on deck 14, midship. A nice queen size bed and a huge closet in the room. The larger closet did take away from the living space and the bathroom. Just a toilet and standup shower. The balcony itself was nice and fit 2 chairs and a table very easily.

The Staff The staff was very courteous, although they didn’t seem to be inclined to enforce the rules like dress codes or keeping kids out of the adults’ only areas. The wait staff and room steward did good jobs and we were happy with the bartenders, lounge staff, shore excursion and pursers personnel.

Dining We enjoyed the food, the dining room food was good and plentiful, and we really enjoyed the Horizon Court buffet. The best food we found was the Crown Grill. The food and service in the Crown Grill was spectacular! Mere words cannot do the Crown Grill justice.

Entertainment The highlight of this cruise was the Cruise Director and her staff. We didn’t go to the production show, but the comedian and magician were great. The Movie under the Stars we really enjoyed, as they put nice red velvet coverings on the deck chairs, passed out free popcorn and cookies and milk. The cruise director staff put on some great activities, including trivia, funny games shows like the “Liars Club” and other great activities.

Disembarkation We decided to use the self-disembarkation for this cruise since we only had 1 piece of luggage for both of us. We had our last breakfast in the dining room and walked off the ship without any delays or problems.

Overall I would rate this cruise a 7.5 out of 10. We really enjoyed the ship and the entertainment, the food and staff was good. We are looking forward to taking a 7 night or longer cruise on Princess Cruises.

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Ruby Princess
Publication Date: December 17, 2009

Princess Cruises Ruby Princess by Scott Bahamas December 17, 2009

This was my 1st cruise on Princess after 9 cruises on RCI and 1 on Carnival. This cruise was a 3-night Caribbean Sampler cruise on the Ruby Princess to the Princess Private Island in the Bahamas and back from Ft. Lauderdale. However, due to winds and choppy waters, our stop in Princess Cays was cancelled and we spent the cruise onboard.

Embarkation We flew into Ft. Lauderdale on Wednesday and stayed overnight in a local hotel near Port Everglades. We caught the free shuttle to the Port about 11am and arrived at the pier about 11:20am. We checked in, had a short wait in the terminal and were onboard about 11:45am.

The Ship The Ruby Princess was launched by Princess in 2008, so we were on a ship less than 1 year old. The Ruby Princess is an absolutely beautiful ship. The best way to describe it is elegance. The tile work, the art work and the metal work all throughout the ship was spectacular! The public areas and lounges were spacious and nicely decorated. The lounges in particular had great chairs and couches,

very comfy. There are 3 main pools, 2 in the center of the ship on deck 15, and the adults’ only pool in the aft portion of deck 14. This ship has the large movie screen and the “Movies under the Stars” is not to be missed!

The Cabin We had a category BB balcony on deck 14, midship. A nice queen size bed and a huge closet in the room. The larger closet did take away from the living space and the bathroom. Just a toilet and standup shower. The balcony itself was nice and fit 2 chairs and a table very easily.

The Staff The staff was very courteous, although they didn’t seem to be inclined to enforce the rules like dress codes or keeping kids out of the adults’ only areas. The wait staff and room steward did good jobs and we were happy with the bartenders, lounge staff, shore excursion and pursers personnel.

Dining We enjoyed the food, the dining room food was good and plentiful, and we really enjoyed the Horizon Court buffet. The best food we found was the Crown Grill. The food and service in the Crown Grill was spectacular! Mere words cannot do the Crown Grill justice.

Entertainment The highlight of this cruise was the Cruise Director and her staff. We didn’t go to the production show, but the comedian and magician were great. The Movie under the Stars we really enjoyed, as they put nice red velvet coverings on the deck chairs, passed out free popcorn and cookies and milk. The cruise director staff put on some great activities, including trivia, funny games shows like the “Liars Club” and other great activities.

Disembarkation We decided to use the self-disembarkation for this cruise since we only had 1 piece of luggage for both of us. We had our last breakfast in the dining room and walked off the ship without any delays or problems.

Overall I would rate this cruise a 7.5 out of 10. We really enjoyed the ship and the entertainment, the food and staff was good. We are looking forward to taking a 7 night or longer cruise on Princess Cruises.

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by Onemantax
Publication Date: December 17, 2009

Princess Cruises Ruby Princess by Onemantax Bahamas December 17, 2009

This was a 3 day cruise from Thursday to Sunday from Port Everglades. Princess normally does not schedule sailings this short but we were told that the 3 day mini-voyage was in lieu of a planned wet-dock for the ship. This was the second of two consecutive 3 day cruises.

My wife and I were on our 10th Princess cruise and we were accompanied by a couple who was on their first Princess cruise. Embarkation was easy and we were on the ship by 11:45 a.m. We were able to go directly to our cabin as soon as we boarded.

The ship was supposed to have 1 day at sea and 1 day at Princess Cay. Due to windy conditions, the stop at Princess Cay was scratched and we enjoyed an extra day at sea. The captain announced at 8:00 a.m. throughout the ship that he had tried to find another port of call but Nassau, Freeport and Key West were full.

The ship was beautiful and in excellent condition. It was decorated for the holidays but in a very muted and

tasteful way. The focal point of the ship is the 3 deck atrium in the middle (decks 5,6 and 7) including 2 glass elevators. Many events including street performers took place here.

My wife and I were in an AB category mini-suite on the starboard side of the ship on deck 9. Our friends had a balcony cabin one flight up all the way in the front of the ship (this was not a problem according to them even though we hit some 6-8 foot seas). Our room had plenty of storage space for a 10 day cruise let alone a 3 day cruise. The bathroom was quite roomy and included a shower/tub. A little more storage space in the bathroom would have been nice as would a little more headroom in the shower (I am 6'1). Our room included 2 televisions, a 3 person sofa, a chair and a refrigerator. The balcony had 2 chairs, 2 reclining chairs (not loungers) and a small table. Our balcony was not covered at all. The mini-suite included a welcome aboard glass of champagne upon embarkation. Our cabin steward was excellent and Princess still leaves a chocolate on your pillow at night. Our friends who had the room with balcony had a bigger balcony that was partially covered and a shower only (no tub) with more headroom.

We had any time dining which was a first for my wife and me. We usually arrived at 5:45 for dinner (dining room opened at 5:30)and had no problem getting a table for four each meal. Despite having different servers each night, the service was excellent. The food was excellent but the choices more limited then I would have expected. The buffet was nice and we had lunch there each day. Be sure to check out the back buffet as they served themed lunch buffets on the days at sea. On our cruise, one lunch buffet was Mexican and one was German. The Mexican food was especially good. Many of the dishes at the back buffet were not on the 2 normal buffets. We did not try the specialty eateries (Italian and Chophouse). Our friends went to the Wheelhouse Bar one day for the British lunch. They both had fish and chips and enjoyed it. We did not order room service. As always, the pizza at the pizzeria was wonderful. At the pizzeria, they also had free soft serve ice cream. The International Café looked wonderful but we did not get a chance to stop by on such a short cruise. Our friend enjoyed the sandwiches and pastries from the International Café. They sold gelato for only $1.50 but never got around to getting any. Our entire party enjoyed the Vines Wine Bar where we had sushi and cheese and crackers before dinner one night. The food was free but you had to buy wine to get the free food. Wine flights were only offered after 6:00 p.m. Our friends bought the coffee card (two for one with a coupon from the Princess coupon book) but were unable to use up all of the punches on the card. They sold soda cards but we did not purchase any.

The entertainment was above average. The show "Once Upon a Dream" was incredible. DO NOT MISS IT. The comedian was good. We skipped the juggler/illusionist on the last night. The rock/pop band and the alleged dixieland band were poor. The two pianists on board were great. We enjoyed the champagne waterfall in the Piazza where they served free hors d’oeuvres including caviar and champagne by the glassful. We are not gamblers but we thought the casino was very large but too smoky.

The perfume shop on board was very large and had an excellent selection. If you spent over $150, you got an extra 10% off. One of our friends attended both art auctions and had a lot of fun sipping free champagne and learning about art. She even won a free painting io the raffle but had to spend $20 to ship it home.

The gym was roomy and well kept. Towels were plentiful and there were enough exercise machines for all. On the first day at sea, my wife and I purchased an all day pass for the Thermal suite for $15 each. We used it 3 times that day and enjoyed it thoroughly. The room can comfortably accommodate about 12-15 people at a time. Only once did we find the room too crowded to enjoy. We thought the staff should have checked up on this room more often as dirty towels piled up on occasion. My wife had a reflexology treatment for $119 plus tip and enjoyed it.

We chose walk off for disembarkation. We were group 7 and were off the ship by 7:45 a.m.. Since we did not stop at any ports, we did not have to go through customs. As usual, we thoroughly enjoyed this short cruise and would strongly consider another short Princess cruise if offered. Our friends also thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and gave it rave reviews. All of us wanted to stay on for the 10 day cruise that was about to start.

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Donlt enter tournaments - some are badly run
Publication Date: March 13, 2016

On Ruby Princess there were two huge problems.....Tournament fixing or allowing cheating. With the karaoke tournament, they said the voting in the qualification round would be done by the audience, but in reality it was done by the two Asst. Cruise Directors. There was no time for the ballots to have been counted before they announced the results. BEWARE! And on the Blackjack tournament, they allowed people to help others in the final round of the $500.00 blackjack tournament...even when protested by a player in the round. All they did was to warn the person giving advice 6 times on the final 7 hands. Never did anything to actually prevent him or disqualify the person (family member) he was helping! I guess a high time cruiser with Princess gets special treatment!

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Not worth the money!
Publication Date: June 24, 2015

The Ruby Princess certainly didn't live up to its reviews! I would not recommend this ship. This was not my first cruise. I've take cruised on the Holland American Line and Azamara Cruise Line, so I know what to expect on quality cruise. We had a mid-ship balcony cabin but the room steward had to get permission to give me a disposable shower cap because shower caps were only given out to guests in suites. How cheap is that! Our bathroom was the tiniest imaginable and smelled of mold. The shower overflowed on to the bathroom floor and the toilet stopped working at one point. The food was only mediocre.

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great time on first cruise
Publication Date: November 21, 2013

This was my very first time ever on any Cruise Ship and it was on the Ruby my dad and a friend of ours in the family went with us and we had the time of our lives.

We left Dec 2nd 2012 for Princess Cays we did a tour there and it was so much fun - I have never seen the whole island before and it was a experience for us.

The next day we were at sea and it was so much fun being on a ship for the first time in one whole day I met alot of new people i went swimming and it was wonderful, the next day we went to st Maarten and did a tour there to that was alot of fun then the next day we went to st thomas the island was so beautiful i have never been there before i did a tour there to but don't remember what it was but it was so much fun. the last stop was the grand turks seeing the island was alot of fun the tour was awesome and hope

to go back there sometime soon.

The last day we were at sea and there was a pool party and a band from England played they were my favorite the whole Cruise i saw them like more then once and count how many times but it was plenty they knew me by name and i keep in contact with once of them they were very sweet girls. All in all the first time on my first cruise will be something i will always remember it was hard to leave everyone because they were so nice.

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by Marcia
Publication Date: April 10, 2011

Princess Cruises Ruby Princess by Marcia Eastern Caribbean April 10, 2011

Food NOT fit for a Princess

Over all summary: Food was poor. Room steward was fabulous. Princess shore excursions were OK but costly. Onboard activities were varied and available. Both embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze in Fort Lauderdale. However, if you put aside the food [why would you? you are on a cruise for goodness sake!], the shows were good, there was a good selection of current movies, there were plenty of activities onboard and all the usual cruise ship things [photographers, pools, casino (even had a non-smoking night), exercise room, etc.] I looked forward to 2 things: great food and spending a few hours in the Sanctuary enjoying peace and quiet, but they had the nerve to charge $10 for each half day [0800 - 1230 or 1300 - 1700] and it was closed for 30 minutes at noon. I guess you have to go somewhere else for that 30 min. They do not charge for the pool so why charge for peace and quiet.

As an experienced traveler, cruiser and great cook, I was extremely unhappy with the food

throughout the ship, the Ruby Princess. Our first night we chose from the nightly menu and had good prime rib. That was the last good meal in the dining room or buffet. On 3 of the 7 nights we chose to eat in the buffet because nothing on the menu in the dining room sounded good. What a shame! On the last night I had beef tenderloin medallions cooked rare in the dining room. I have no idea what cut of meat it was; neither texture nor flavor were what I expected. Being a nightowl, I tried their buffet served from 2300 to 0400 one night. I was astonished that they had the audacity to serve left-overs from lunch and dinner. {Note: the 24 hour buffet is only 22 hours.} I love ice cream and the only way to get it was as dessert in the dining room. It was a good quality, but not available any other place or time. They only had soft serve in the ice cream shop or gelato for $1.50 a scoop in the pastry shop. A coke was $2 whenever you wanted one with a meal or at other times unless you paid $40 [$6 a day] for an insulated coke tumbler that you could have refilled all week with coke, diet coke, club soda or water. If you wanted to spend $56 [the kids cup, $8 a day] you could also get fruit juice, smoothies and milkshakes. You could get pineapple juice for breakfast by asking/begging for it but not at any other time without a kids cup. The extra "nickel and dime" for everything is terrible. Why don't they charge an extra $25.00 in the fare include the items and let the crew focus on doing their jobs rather than selling.

As for the stateroom: The best part of the cruise was our cabin steward. He was fabulous. When that is the best you can say about a cruise, it is a sad thing indeed. We had a balcony on the port side, forward, Riviera deck, R210. It was the first time we had a balcony and enjoyed it a lot. Also the port side of the ship had the better view at all ports. Since we have a nice RV the shower did not seem tiny. The shower, toilet, vanity area was adequate. Plenty of hanging space, about 6.5 feet, for a 7 day cruise; had a shelf above; a 12x14" cupboard with the safe with about 7 shelves. Each night stand had 2 drawers and a shelf. There was room for luggage under the bed. The desk had a cupboard with 2 shelves, mirror, phone, hairdryer and desk chair. There was a small refrigerator in another cupboard with a top that doubled as a bar and a flat panel TV on the wall above it. There was a club chair with arms and a small oval table for drinks or treats. The deck had 2 chairs and a small table.

In St Thomas do not bother with the B.O.S.S. underwater scooter trip. I thought it would be unique and it was, but it was not worth the time and money. The boat owner and his crew were exceptional and accommodating, but the scooter is difficult to maneuver and your view is restricted. The place they take you , Turtle Cove, is terribly overused and overpopulated with snorkelers so there is very little to see. The water is about 15 feet deep and your head is about 8 feet below the surface. I saw more while snorkeling while waiting for my turn than while on the scooter. I am a certified diver and should have gone SCUBA diving. I never have trouble clearing my ears while diving, but on this scooter I was clearing them the entire time. Later I found out that it is because your ears are under air pressure being inside the bubble helmet and your breathing is constantly changing the pressure rather than in the open water where once you get them cleared you are finished because you have equalized then to the water pressure.

We booked a tour with AAA for a tour of the island on St Maarten and were very happy with the driver and the tour. He made a point of telling us that he was our driver for the day and would take us anywhere we wanted as long as we were back by 1600. There were 8 of us in the van at about $50 a head. Next time we will hire a taxi when we get ashore as many other reviewers have suggested.

Do NOT go to the shops recommended by the cruise, not even for the 'free' trinkets they offer. They are not worth the time or trouble. Some shops gave them freely, but others made it difficult to get the freebie. AND different people got different treatment even in our small group of 4. We each went at different times and got different hassles. Furthermore, the cruise line is getting a kick back from the stores so you are not getting the best price. Do some research before you go to find some stores to patronize. Also be sure you know the price of gold and the price of whatever jewelry you think you might consider [diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, etc.] before you go. In one shop I had on my new diamond and ruby ring and I asked him how much it would cost there. He said $2500; I paid $2600 for it in Vegas so I would not have been worth the cost of the cruise to save $100.

On Princess Cays, check out the Bahamian shops behind the Princess store. They will appreciate your business.

I completed their post cruise survey and they called me to acknowledge my responses. They did not offer any kind of compensation or inducement to return for another cruise. I have a 3 page letter that I will send by email and snail mail and they gave me the addresses. I also wrote a one page letter of commendation for our steward. I gave him a copy before disembarking and will send copies of it to the addresses also. They printed it from my thumb drive at the customer service desk. Strangely, she blew on the USB connector before she inserted it into their computer.

It is not likely that I will travel with Princess again. This was a last minute, spur of the moment trip. I'll think harder and read some reviews before I spend this kind of money again.

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