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lovelearnteach

One man's review of a cruise on the Ruby Princess

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Let me start off by warning everyone this is going to be a lengthy review, so for those not interested, now's your chance to move on.

 

I'm a 41 year old single male who travels quite frequently with my uncle. This is my 4th cruise and 2nd cruise with Princess. We started out planning a cruise in Dec. for my B-Day, because I would get extra OBC. We have 2 friends, a couple, who live in Canada who were going on a cruise in Nov. They started trying to convince us to go with them in Nov., because they could not change their vacation dates, and we had very flexible travel dates. They were looking at a cruise on the Ruby Princess on Nov. 13, 2011 going to the Eastern Caribbean. Well we were thinking we really wanted to go back on the Emerald Princess as we really loved the 10-night cruises as opposed to the 7-night cruises. Well our friends from Canada then suggested that if we went on the 7-night cruise, we could spend 2-3 days in Southern FL. after the cruise. They don't fly and drive from Canada to FL. for all their cruises, so they would have a car. So after some deliberation between my uncle and I we decided this would be a rare opportunity to get to see our friends, and spend some extra time in Southern FL. So we switched our reservation from the Emerald to the Ruby, and a few days later our friend from Canada drops a bomb, the room they wanted on the Ruby is sold out and now they are seriously considering going on the Celebrity Eclipse. :eek: what, well we have a cousins wedding to attend on Sat. Nov. 12, 2011, so we can't go on that cruise, so should we go back to the Emerald, we debate. Then our friend says we can still hook-up after our cruises and the Ruby and the Eclipse will be in St. Maarten/St. Martin on the same day, so we decide to stay on the Ruby.

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Love the review, but would also agree with smaller type please!

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Before you go on, how about smaller type.. :)

Well after reading several reviews posted in this format, a couple of them used large print as it's easy for some of us more mature cruisers to read :o:p:D. I decided to post my review here instead of the member reviews because I can stop and go as I please, and in the other format you have to do it in one shot and you can't post or answer questions others may have. The larger font really is easier to read, perhaps 4 is a compromise?

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Well after reading several reviews posted in this format, a couple of them used large print as it's easy for some of us more mature cruisers to read :o:p:D. I decided to post my review here instead of the member reviews because I can stop and go as I please, and in the other format you have to do it in one shot and you can't post or answer questions others may have. The larger font really is easier to read, perhaps 4 is a compromise?

 

however u choose is fine........readers can change the font size on their computers......

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Okay, no big deal, we aren't on the same cruise, we will be in at least 1 port together and still have 3 days after the cruise in FL. A few days later I get another bomb from our friends from Canada, they tell us they've booked Royal Caribbean's Freedom Of The Seas, sailing out of Port Canaveral on Nov. 13th to the Western Caribbean. So do we really want to upset the balance of everything and sail the FOTS. We were using our FCC to book our cruise with Princess, we've never sailed RCCL, and I would like to try them, but I've already been chatting with our Ruby RC and now I've found out the Chumley Bears are going to be on the Ruby. So the long and short of it is we decide to stay on the Ruby, and we'll just see our friends from Canada after the cruise.

 

Wow, yes eventually I'm going to get to the actual cruise, :D, just trying to lay the foundation. So just 2 more things before the cruise. One being the hotel for our stay in FL. I really prefer to fly in the day before the cruise, but due to my cousin's wedding on the 12th we had to fly in the day of. Last year we stayed at the Red Carpet Inn for $59 for the night and they had shuttle service for pick-up from the FLL airport and to Port Everglades the next day. Our friends from Canada booked a room at the Best Western Plus Windsor Inn in North Miami. It's about 2 miles from a beach and I really wanted to stay somewhere closer to the beach, but they had stayed there before and felt safer there. After some research I found the Lorraine Hotel in South Beach Miami, which was steps away from the beach. After reading all the reviews on Trip Advisor, the general consensus was it was old and dated but a great location. Another positive factor, or so I thought at the time, was the management responded to the reviews good and bad. So after making sure our friends from Canada didn't mind us staying in a different hotel than them I booked it for $79 a night. We planned on going to Key West 1 day and South Miami Beach' the art deco district, one day so we were on the way as opposed to out of the way for our friends to pick us up. I was feeling a little guilty that I was making our friends drive to pick us up as it was already very gracious of them to ask us to tag along with them. My friend said it was our vacation to and she didn't blame me a bit for wanting to be closer to the beach, she said the reviews scared her to much and they were sticking to what they knew was a great hotel. So that leaves us with transportation from the FLL airport to PE and then from PE to our hotel in Miami and finally from our hotel in Miami to FLL airport. After asking here on CC several people recommended SAS and QLS. I tried SAS 1st and was treated very rudely on the phone after they never responded to my initial email. I was treated very professionally by QLS and was told it would be cheaper to take a taxi from FLL airport to PE, but we arranged shuttle service for our other 2 points, or so I thought, more on that later. Okay so we're ready and set to go, woo hooo! :D

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I am also looking forward to your review - but I must say, if I were you I would have strangled your Canadian friends after the second change of plans!

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So we booked our flights with Delta Airlines, I got us the earliest flight to FLL with a plane change in Memphis. Our flight was scheduled to leave St. Louis at 6:00a.m. and arrive in FLL at 11:45a.m. I was keeping my fingers crossed that we would make it on the ship in time to have lunch in the MDR. I just love having lunch in the MDR as opposed to the buffet as it feels more vacationey to me.

Edited by lovelearnteach

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Hey Ken, you have me hooked but not quite sure why it's taken so many hours for you to get just to your potential flight and not even landing in FLL yet:eek: Hopefully, you have time this evening to finish your review. You do have me curious now.

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Hey Ken, you have me hooked but not quite sure why it's taken so many hours for you to get just to your potential flight and not even landing in FLL yet:eek: Hopefully, you have time this evening to finish your review. You do have me curious now.

Thank-you for reading so far, I'm so sorry it has to be choppy like this. Like I said earlier this is why I chose this format over the other. I wanted to get it started as time is already getting away from me. I really enjoyed reading reviews in this format so that is also my motivation in doing this review. I hope it provides some entertainment and/or information to others.

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We arrive earlier than scheduled into FLL at 11:20a.m. The 1st thing I want to see is a palm tree, coming from the Midwest a palm tree means I'm really on vacation, and my vacation has officially started :D.

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Then I turn around and see this, :mad:, a line for taxi's. Luckily we are in the shade and there is a nice breeze and 10 minutes later we are in a taxi on our way to Publix. A quick stop in Publix for a case of water, which is on the way anyway, and we are heading to Port Everglades.

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I do love to tag along on a cruise by reading reviews here. Hurry up, Ken, we're waiting with baited breath! Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? :p

 

We all appreciate you taking the time after getting home to do a review... as much as I love reading them, I did not write one after our Hawaii cruise in Feb. (Lazy thing that I am.) So we understand the delays, and will just keep checking back! But, more please, now. :D

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Here we are at the security checkpoint, where they check our I.D.'s and then we are in Port everglades. We get our 1st sight of the marvelous Ruby Princess. I really can't compare the Ruby to the Emerald as they are sister ships and pretty identical to each other. The one major difference that I felt and noticed was the quality of the fresh fruit. The fresh fruit last year on the Emerald was outstanding, while the fresh fruit on the Ruby was sub par at best. I was so spoiled by the fruit on the Emerald that I was a little disappointed in the fresh fruit on the Ruby, but I know crops can vary year to year, so maybe it's an off year with their supplier.

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Here we are at the drop-off/pick-up area, I slap a luggage tag on our case of water and hand over our big pieces of luggage to the porter and, another line :(. The line moves quickly and we befriend the couple in front of us, which helps make the time in line seem to fly by and before we know it we are on the gang plank to enter the Ruby. We enter the ship and are in the main piazza.

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We head right for our cabin to drop off our carry-on luggage and then head right for the MDR for lunch. We are welcomed when we arrive at the DiVinci Dinning room and sat at a table for 2 immediately. On the Emerald last year we were asked 4 times if we wanted the buffet when we went to the MDR for lunch on embarkation day. The rolls are made in house fresh daily and are so good and worth every calorie! My uncle Terry gets a veal stuffed ravioli in red sauce, which I tried one. The ravs were very good, but I did not care for the red sauce on them, it had an off taste to me. I got the shrimp and avocado salad, which was very yummy. I got the grilled salmon with potatoes, which the salmon was perfectly cooked and very tasty.

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Great review so far...quick question. What time did you arrive at the port and how long did it take you from the time you dropped off your bags to when you were getting on the ship? Thanks for the info!

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