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Ruby Princess photo review Jan 13 to 20,2013

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We enjoyed your Saturday ship departure parade pictures. We are on the Ruby in two weeks

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Following a fantastic dinner in Sabatini's we sat out in a favorite spot for a while, looking at the stars. It is the deck just outside Sabs and Adagio, quiet at night and the perfect place for reflection.

 

The Patter schedule told us it was time to go to the Princess Theater for the "Welcome Aboard Show" and we were in no fit state to argue.

 

My camera from here on in slept in his bag but I did use the video camcorder to catch some of the show in HD. Looked and sounded good on playback.

Samantha Hawker-Thomas was the CD and she is pretty good at telling jokes- much more so than I am in remembering them.

 

I didn't stay for the whole show as I was tired and in need of some "fresh air"

(euphemism for cigarette in my vocabulary) but I did witness an extraordinary balancing act-a husband and wife duo-whom I would have the pleasure of seeing (and identifying by name) on later occasions.

 

The night air on the deserted promenade deck was like champagne and I mean Veuve Cliquot, not Korbel. There were stars! The bow wave rushed to the back of the ship and I followed it,but slowly, to the stern and my cabin and therein found one of those firm Princess beds. I love firm, not squishy and bouncy.

 

I could still hear the wake as I had left the door open a crack.

 

I fell into a warm, dark, cavern of sleep.

 

Tomorrow would be an opportunity for the anchors to show what they are made of (iron, I suspect from the rust stains) as they would be used to keep us offshore from Princess Cays....

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We booked this hotel as it is right on the beach and can afford a view of the ships in harbor from a high room and you can watch the ships cast off and sail out of the channel into the Atlantic. It also has a couple of restaurants which feature outdoor dining. It also has a huge amount of outdoor space and coming from a polar climate we wanted to be outdoors as much as possible while we waited for the Ruby to sail back from Grand Turk to pick us up and help us Escape Completely.

 

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Being a boat-nerd, son of a ship's captain and having 49 cruises under my belt,most of them as a musician on the Song of Norway in the mid-80's there was no doubt where I was going to be at 4pm that sunny Saturday, January 12th. There was a rock with my name on it at the exit of the Port Everglades channel. Carol and I trudged across the sand for half a mile,scattering Sandpipers as we went, so that I could videotape and photograph the ships as they left port. Tomorrow it would be our turn....

 

If you like to look at cruise ships prepare to drool (but not over your keyboard-been there, done that and the old Dell never worked the same afterwards)

 

Holy Crap! Our very first cruise was The Song of Norway in 1984. We MUST have seen, heard,and tipped you! The Song of Norway remains our favorite cruise ship. We sailed on here three more times after that first time.

 

We are on the Ruby Feb.17...that is if Connecticut ever digs out from the blizzard!

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Holy Crap! Our very first cruise was The Song of Norway in 1984. We MUST have seen, heard,and tipped you! The Song of Norway remains our favorite cruise ship. We sailed on here three more times after that first time.

 

We are on the Ruby Feb.17...that is if Connecticut ever digs out from the blizzard!

 

I was on the Song of Norway Aug 85-Nov 85 and again Mar 86 -Nov 86 so may not have have sailed with you. I used to finish playing in the Land of the rising Sun nightclub at 3 a.m.

 

I don't know if anyone is up partying that late on Princess.

 

Enjoy the Ruby!

 

Norris

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:D:D Our first cruise was for our 10th anniversary in July 86 on the Song of Norway...it couldn't have been better and we were hooked...being a lot younger probably heard you in the lounges!!.Feb 17th on the Ruby will be our 17th cruise,but first Princess.We are excited and your review detailing the subtle pleasures of cruising is getting us pumped..Thanks for posting:cool::cool:

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I was on the Song of Norway Aug 85-Nov 85 and again Mar 86 -Nov 86 so may not have have sailed with you. I used to finish playing in the Land of the rising Sun nightclub at 3 a.m.

 

I don't know if anyone is up partying that late on Princess.

 

Enjoy the Ruby!

 

Norris

 

We were on the Song of Norway for the second time in August 1986. I am pretty sure we saw you since we closed the nightclub down pretty much every night.

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:D:D Our first cruise was for our 10th anniversary in July 86 on the Song of Norway...it couldn't have been better and we were hooked...being a lot younger probably heard you in the lounges!!.Feb 17th on the Ruby will be our 17th cruise,but first Princess.We are excited and your review detailing the subtle pleasures of cruising is getting us pumped..Thanks for posting:cool::cool:

 

Hi Bostonfred...have you joined our Roll Call? I would love to say hello to you on the Ruby and share some Song of Norway stories.

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Thanks for joining me on this lengthy journey-I wish I had a few days free to write it but that's life in the big city...

 

Next up is Princess Cays and some ship photos and food photos. Eventually we will get to ports and excursions and an Ultimate ship tour in detail.

 

Re the Song of Norway-the ship that RCI built it's empire from- yes that was me on those '86 cruises and although the ship was lacking all the things we now expect in terms of restaurants, multiple bars, balconies and so on, it made up for it in spades in fun friendly service. I mingled easily with the passengers and there were no grumps. The CD was a big Aussie called Greg Maxwell and I have yet to see anyone better (or more witty and charming with passengers).

 

The Song of Norway is still sailing....42 years since launching.

 

Ok- here comes some more of the Ruby.

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We stayed onboard the Crown Princess the last time we came to PC but today we thought we'd take the tender ride just for fun and a stroll on the island would help us walk off the large Sabatini's breakfast.

 

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Cloudy sky-but no rain while we were there.

 

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New to the island we sought directions....

 

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This wasn't quite detailed enough.

 

There were many people there ahead of us but still some free loungers near the water and the smell of barbecue (not napalm) filled the morning air.

Some local musicians were kickin' up a riddum with drums and guitars and those PA speakers that sound like they have a tear in the cones. "My amp goes up to 11".

 

Great atmosphere!

 

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We didn't try the barbecue as there was a line and we barbecue our brains out at home anyway. We found a couple of loungers and I went to one of the many bars to get some drinks. They don't accept the Soda Sticker on the island for some bizarre reason. It's what one uses for soft drinks-sodas, cocktails, smoothies and milk shakes. Carol had bought one for about $55 for unlimited drinks. I had a coffee card which I got on the Diamond Princess in August and which is good on any ship but it doesn't get you "fresh brewed coffee". It's good for my espressos and cappuccinos. Otherwise I drink the ship's coffee made from syrup just to get me going before Sabatini's in the morning.

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After a couple of pleasant hours, during which I poked my nose into one of the bungalows which are a little pricey for what you get - an airconditioner, kitchen table and four chairs with a couple of loungers outside- $200 for the day, we decided to head back to the ship for lunch at the Trident Grill.

 

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Back on board, before eating by the Tradewinds Bar on food gathered from the excellent Trident Grill and Pizza Kitchen, I had called Room Service to order Afternoon Tea on our balcony at 4.30 which is the time the tea closes (3.30 to 4.30) usually served in an MDR, in the case of the Ruby it was Da Vinci dining room. It's also served in the Sanctuary.

 

As we walked to the Trident the movie "Big" with the excellent Tom Hanks was playing on MUTS.

 

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You will never go hungry on a Princess Ship. I like the food. I like my own cooking at home and I live with someone who has some great cooking skills.

I have eaten and look forward to eating more in "foodie" restaurants where the chef has a name and a reputation. Those restaurants serve better food than Princess-no question-but for two people the bill is close to $300.

 

The Princess food is included in my fare. The specialty restaurants are worth the "splurge". If the quality of the food goes down I will let PCL know in writing and by trying another cruise line. For now, after my 4th cruise (since Aug 2011)

I am happy with my Cruise line of choice.

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Afternoon tea- a great Princess tradition.

 

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Scones-warm and fresh from the oven, with clotted cream and raspberry jam.

A box of teas (Bigelow I think) were presented by the room service steward.

I tipped her $3 for all the trouble she took to tote everything out onto the balcony.

 

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Tasty finger sandwiches...ham and cheese, salmon, shrimp,Brie, turkey and who knows what else. The bakery on the Ruby is up to the high Princess standard.

 

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Wow. What a spread of food! The ship had pulled up the anchor and began an 800 mile high-speed trek towards St Maarten and so it was time for a nap with the rushing sound of the wake as our white noise.....zzzzzz

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We leave 2 weeks from Friday so can hardly wait! Thanks for such a great review and keep it coming!

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Next up will be our first visit to the MDR and a comedy show in the Princess Theater.

 

We had the MDR menus delivered by our room steward Raphael each day and tonight was going to be Italian night so we were up for that.

 

We always do Anytime Dining as we usually eat late at home or on vacation and so we reserve a table for two for 8 or 8.30 pm (or even later).

 

When you go to an MDR you can always get seated quicker if you agree to share the table with others. We are prepared to wait for a table for two and will wait even longer for a window table-even if it dark outside. If we can see the bow wave rushing along at 22 knots we are happy.

 

We went to Da Vinci and were given a pager as there was no two-top by a window available. They asked for our room number and we left to go listen to some music in the Piazza a few yards away. Within two minutes we were paged and the beautiful bubbly Ukrainian hostess Jelena led us to a table by a window. It was a table for four but they cleared the other two settings away and we were promptly approached by our waiter for the night-Michael from the Philippines, followed closely by his assistant Natalia from Ukraine.

 

I had Natalia fetch the remainder of my bottle of wine from Sabatini's and ordered another as the bottle from Sabs had a thimbleful of wine left. I accused

Natalia of drinking it on the elevator ride down and she played along with the joke. Michael was a consummate professional waiter (which I love) and Natalia was a very witty woman (which I love too). A great pair.

 

There will be a photo of all of us on the last night following much later....

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What camera do you use for these great pictures?

 

Caribill- the camera is a Canon Eos Rebel 3Ti which was my Christmas present to myself. It may take me a while to learn how to get the best from it. I used it on autofocus most of the time as I didn't feel I should experiment too much.

That I can do now that I am home and have 7 months before my next trip on the Ruby (Venice to Athens September 21)

 

What complicates matters a bit is that I shot 3 hours of HD video (Canon Vixia camcorder) on the Ruby and am switching back and forth between the two). The down side of this is that sometimes the photo narrative just ends-maybe when I am shooting each course of a meal. Soup may be photographed but main course and dessert may only appear on video).

 

I will experiment- after this review- with uploading video clips to Youtube.

The ship sailaways in particular would benefit from sight and sound (horn blasts!)

 

I also carry a little pocket Canon (Sureshot 880) which is now used sparingly.

 

In my camera bag was also a 55-300mm zoom lens which I didn't use this trip but which will get used on my next and will be handy when next I am in Alaska

where there are even more photo opportunities than the Caribbean.

 

Thanks for the feedback!

 

Norris

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Norris...

You will not believe how great of a video camera the t3i is until you try it. It will put most "dedicated" video cameras to shame... Great camera!

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Prior to our first course arriving Michael brought over a bottle of Limoncello



and we had to have a glass. It's $4 but you get to keep the little Princess shot glass (we now have a collection of 6 at home). A very refreshing way to prepare the palette. Lentil soup was delicious.

 

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Beef carpaccio for me. Carol has the excellent Fettucini Alfredo which is always available on the MDR menus and rightly so.

 

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Veal Milanese.

 

 

Carol had 3 types of ice cream for dessert but I ordered my usual Sambuca and double espresso. Natalia went to fetch it but when she returned it didn't meet my specifications. The espresso was served in a tall glass with a handle and there was no crema on top. It also tasted like plain black coffee so I sent her back to rectify it. She seemed embarrassed, which I regretted but the last bite (or gulp) of such a fine meal must end on the right note. The Sambuca was $7 which was $5 less than I paid in the Marriott on land. The espresso I paid for with my Diamond Princess coffee card.

 

Here we are toasting with the nifty little Limoncello glasses. Photo taken by Natalia who is pretty tall.

 

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