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Bimmer09

Ruby Princess photo review Jan 13 to 20,2013

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:D:D We are cruising princess for the first time on Sunday.We are on the Ruby as well. Is having afternoon tea on your balcony a suite perk or can we have it delivered to our balcony room?? It looked great!! Just like this review....Thnaks, Fredo:eek::eek:

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Upon leaving our table I met Vitor the head waiter and complimented our servers of the evening and asked him if we could have them wait on us on subsequent visits. He said he couldn't promise anything. Understood.



 

We followed the crowd heading towards the theater to enjoy half an hour of stand-up comedy with Miguel Washington.

 

For those new to the Ruby (or her sisters) I'll include a few photos,taken later in the week when the theater was empty. They'll show some of the nice artwork by the entrances.

 

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Miguel's show was funny which is what you want when you are a stand-up comedian. Many of his jokes focused on his name and race (Afro American) and on cruise ships. He had good energy and timing and kept the crowd in stitches, us included. The last two live comedians we have seen were Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno-so we know funny. He's not amazing or original but he is worth seeing. He didn't get tears rolling down my cheeks like the Kings of Comedy I just mentioned...that would come on a different night in one of the lounges.

 

After the show on our way aft we passed by Crooners lounge and there was a guy playing piano and we screeched to a halt when we recognized what he was playing...Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy which I don't expect to hear from a ship's pianist. It's my favorite piece of piano music, ever. He played it well.

We applauded at the end and I called over "thank you" before continuing on towards the stern. His name was David Moore.

 

It's about 900 ft -or 3 football fields to use a common American means of measurement- from the theater to our cabin. We snacked on some canapés that had been delivered and sat out on the balcony with some beer from the free mini-bar set-up. I could have slept out there, easily.

 

Tomorrow would bring a sea day (yippee!) where we could just lay around and mosey about. It would also be Formal night (Tuesday) and for once we had brought the appropriate clothing. I put out a bag of laundry for Raphael before going to bed and was soon fast asleep.

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:D:D We are cruising princess for the first time on Sunday.We are on the Ruby as well. Is having afternoon tea on your balcony a suite perk or can we have it delivered to our balcony room?? It looked great!! Just like this review....Thnaks, Fredo:eek::eek:

 

Fredo- I am not sure if it is a suite perk or not. I know we can get MDR dinners delivered to the room as a perk-hence the daily menus we asked for. Nothing beats a try and if they say "no problem" you are golden! It's something we just started doing on the Diamond in August as the scenery going through the narrow parts of the Inside Passage was so beautiful we couldn't leave it, not even for warm scones.

 

Have a great cruise! I think it is pretty much guaranteed on Princess and the Ruby. I doubt if I can get this epic finished by then but hope to have whetted your appetite for what lies ahead.

 

Norris

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Appreciate the quick reply!!.I've read many reviews,but you have a unique flair and capture the mindset of repeat cruisers...can't wait until Sunday!!:p:p

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Breakfast in Sabatini's is where we get a quiet and relaxed start to our day.



There are the same 3 people to serve the few occupied tables; the drinks man, the pastry man (Randy from Philippines) and the waiter (Melvin from Philippines) so all your needs are met promptly. Mimosas are served as is fresh-squeezed orange juice.

 

I don't have to use my coffee card for my first cappuccino of the day...

 

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Pastries come by and I always have an apple or blueberry turnover or a chocolate croissant (or both).

 

Next is my favorite- a granola and yogurt parfait with a swirl of raspberry in the middle. Spoon-lickingly good!

 

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It deserves a close-up!

 

Followed by French toast and a side of bacon which was done in a deep fryer and not something I would do at home.

 

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That's breakfast out of the way. A busy day of loafing around was planned and so we headed towards the Sanctuary....

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Hey stranger!! How are you?

 

Hey Keith! Been a long time. Haven't cruise Princess in a while and looking forward to being "back where I belong!"

 

And this review is so great, it's just making me more anxious to get there!

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It is a wonderful review! I am going into cruise withdrawal, so you are helping a lot of with living vicariously through you! Thank you for taking the time for doing this!

 

Boston Fred, afternoon tea delivered to your cabin IS a full suite perk... But it is worth going to the MDR for it!

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Love scones with clotted cream & raspberry jam! Is that a suite (sweet :p ) perk, having it delivered from room service?

 

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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Well...okay that just answered my following question :D We'll be one the Ruby TA this spring, but just a lowly Caribe balcony.

 

It is a wonderful review! I am going into cruise withdrawal, so you are helping a lot of with living vicariously through you! Thank you for taking the time for doing this!

 

Boston Fred, afternoon tea delivered to your cabin IS a full suite perk... But it is worth going to the MDR for it!

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Well...okay that just answered my following question :D We'll be one the Ruby TA this spring, but just a lowly Caribe balcony.

 

I believe you can also do this if you are Elite with Princess. Other than that, it is off to the MDR, which is also very nice. No suites for me, at least for now... I will just be happy to get on a ship!

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I believe you can also do this if you are Elite with Princess. Other than that, it is off to the MDR, which is also very nice. No suites for me, at least for now... I will just be happy to get on a ship!

 

No suites for me either but I do love to go to afternoon tea :D Would be even better to have it on our balcony though

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No suites for me either but I do love to go to afternoon tea :D Would be even better to have it on our balcony though

 

I do enjoy the afternoon tea! I have only 6 cruises with Princess so it will be a while for me to reach Elite! :( I will have fun getting there though! Watching the Carnival Triumph being towed as we speak...:mad:

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Breakfast in Sabatini's is where we get a quiet and relaxed start to our day.



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Well there's an excellent use of a Canon EOS. :)

 

A tear just sneaked out of my eye.

 

Oh, I can't wait.

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Do you have to be in a Suite or Elite to have breakfast at Sabatini's?

 

It's the one perk on the cruise line that's exclusive to full suites. There's just not the capacity to open it up to Elites. Only three servers for the whole restaurant...

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On our way to the Sanctuary we stopped by the Piazza where there is always something going on. This morning it was fruit and vegetable carving....



 

 

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A perfect sunny, lazy morning in the sparkling Caribbean sea. Bars doing a good business and soon I would be at Tradewinds swelling the coffers even further. Smiling people, chatting people, swimming people, tanning people.

People watching re runs of the Love Boat ( I kid you not). Did I mention smiling happy people? Well-fed people?

 

We passed through the loungers arrayed in the sun and headed to the top deck forward to the Sanctuary.

 

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Carol takes her reserved lounger and fires up the Kindle Paperwhite.



 

 

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As soon as you sit down there, a Serenity Steward dashes over from behind a bush to see if there is anything you need. There's a free menu of light snacks-wraps and salads etc but you can ask them to go fetch you pizza or burgers and fries. There's a $3 charge if they do the latter as they could be gone for a while and have a long walk.

 

Carol had loaded up her Kindle at home with books but each day downloaded the NY Times and Wall St Journal so she could keep in touch with the World of Finance. We bought 100 minutes of Internet for $60 and it downloaded at regular speed. The wi-fi for her daily e mail download and Bloomberg (on an iPhone) was however slower than normal.

 

I had zero interest in the outside world or e mail. I was cruisin'.

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A calm blue sea....



 

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The afternoon plan was to have the Pub Lunch in the Wheelhouse Bar- a great Princess treat, followed by a nap in the Sanctuary, followed by afternoon tea

on the balcony, followed by a nap on the balcony and then the business of dressing up for Formal Night dinner in the MDR (Da Vinci). Somewhere in all that I was going to go to the Future Cruise Sales desk to buy some FCCs as deposits for our next two Princess Cruises. Ruby in the Med was one of those and the other yet to be decided.

 

Back in the real world now,there are things to do so I will have to come back to this later. Champagne waterfall is still to come and then our first port- St. Maarten and our first planned excursion- a Helmet Dive.

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Bimmer09....you are bringing back such great memories for me. My husband and I were on the Ruby in April in an aft suite. I want to go back!!

Loving your trip report!

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Obligations now out of the way I will press on with this account of my Ruby trip. In writing it I have found that some of you are new to Princess or new to the Ruby and sometimes both. With this in mind I am going to unleash a storm of photos over the next couple of days-lots of ship shots, inside and out, by day and by night. Many of the public rooms on the ship will appear as will much of the fine wall decor seen around the ship. Food pics? Oh yes. Port pics? You betcha! Wildlife pics? Indeed.

 

I will have to say though that I took less photos on this cruise than any other as I used the camcorder a lot and spent more time socializing with strangers.

 

For some shots I may use photos from another Grand Class ship but if I do I will identify it. I do this to cover as much turf for the new Princess cruiser as I can. At times I will have a better lit photo from another ship of a room that is repeated from ship to ship. E.g. Wheelhouse bar or Crooners doesn't vary much from vessel to vessel-the carpet may differ and the ship models and paintings too -but you'll get the gist.

 

Similarly I may use photos of an Ultimate Balcony Dinner which I passed on while aboard the Ruby but enjoyed on the Crown and Diamond. That way anyone who hasn't experienced it can get the flavor of the event.

 

If anyone objects to this tactic please let me know. I won't take offense but don't be surprised if all of your tires "need some air" in the morning.

 

And before I go further I want to express my sympathies for all of the cruising enthusiasts who just got off the Carnival Triumph. I know the level of anticipation that precedes a cruise on any ship to anywhere and can understand what an ordeal you all have been put through. Don't let it put you off cruising.

 

Ok...I left you on a lazy sea day on the 800 mile trek from Princess Cays to St Maarten....

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This is the Wheelhouse Bar which has a great "Gentleman's Club" feel and is where, usually on sea days, Princess serves up an approximation of a British pub lunch. It has malt vinegar for the "chips" (fries) and HP sauce instead of A1. What it lacks in authenticity is surly "Ernie" the barman who ignores you even though you are waving a ten pound note. He'll serve you when he's good and ready and when he finally does plonk your warm beer down on the bar it will spill over the side of your glass, onto the bar and thence to the leg of your trousers. If you need something to eat he can you some stale potato chips (crisps) or some Pork Scratchings which sound like a mouth-watering delight.



Or a Scotch egg pickled in vinegar from a dirty-looking jar on the counter.

Then he'll go back to watching Coronation street on the telly.

 

Menu has well prepared delights such as fish and chips, bangers and mash, Ploughman's lunch and the King of pub food-Steak and Kidney pie with a nice flaky crust. I always wash it down with some canned (alas, but better than nothing) Guinness.

 

Here is the beautiful room you eat it in.....

 

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Wheelhouse Bar- DIAMOND PRINCESS

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The champagne waterfall which precedes the Captain's Welcome Aboard address on the first Formal Night. It draws a crowd of folks in their finery to the Piazza (atrium). A band plays. Their name is Volume and they feature two pretty British girl singers, with somewhat strident voices plus a guitarist with a trebly dry biting tone and a drummer who taps quietly, lest he or anyone nearby should get excited. The bassist is solid and the keyboard player has a rich pleasing voice which doesn't get used enough. There is no emotion in the performance of the band. They are scheduled-they play. Nobody gets hurt.

 

The CD, Samantha Hawker-Thomas, has great energy. She looks good and has a smile that lights up the room. She introduces the officers arrayed behind her on deck 6. I had switched to camcorder on the railing up on deck 7 to "film" the Captain's Speech as the British Captains are often very witty.

 

First introduction though-as always- was for the Ruby employee of the month who turned out to be the Peruvian girl who had served me my Pub Lunch.

Then Sam introduces the officers- if anyone wants the names of the men in white just ask but I'll pass by them here, for now.

 

The Captain was John Foster whom I saw several times on deck talking to passengers and once at breakfast in Sabatini's he sat at the next table, again greeting passengers he knew (English couple who reaffirmed their vows onboard after 31 years of marriage.)

 

He's a baby-faced cheerful chappie with a great Liverpool accent and an obvious love for his job. Witty of course. Down to earth-indeed.

I would get to meet him on person later in the week during the Ultimate Ship Tour. We were the first names on the sign-up sheet thanks to Carol on Embarkation Day.

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Bimmer09....you are bringing back such great memories for me. My husband and I were on the Ruby in April in an aft suite. I want to go back!!

Loving your trip report!

 

I agree, this is bringing back amazing memories. This was our first cruise and just loved the Ruby!!

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I don't actually have photos to share of the rest of the evening. I was in camcorder mode.

 

We had a fine dinner in the MDR and were met with great ceremony by Jelena the hostess and the Head Waiter Vitor who greeted us like we were family even though it was now only our second night in the Da Vinci. We got the table we asked for (285) and they cleared away the other two place settings. The sea was rushing past the window. Natalia brought the wine and we were off on another pleasant dining experience.

 

I know amidst a blaze of flashing knives and forks that the following came to the table and were never seen again; beef carpaccio, smoked trout, fettucini alfredo, Thai beef soup, Rockfish in a Chardonnay and Shrimp sauce and I consumed an entire basket of crispy bread rolls and may even have eaten the basket (there was something stuck in my teeth later) as the wine was flowing and the room was a delightful buzz of energy and wonderful aromas.

 

We rounded off a fine night with Princess Pop Star-a karaoke contest in Club Fusion but I didn't stay long as the bar service was lame...the servers-all young ladies-were not aggressive in seeking out the drinkers and avoided eye contact

and thus made no tips from me. There was a poor turn-out of singers too so it was time for a Promenade Deck and a sleep as we had an excursion-an exciting Helmet Dive among the fishes lined up for St Maarten.

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At breakfast in Sabatini's (January 16th now) Carol had some news for me. She had received a phone call telling us that the Helmet Dive excursion was cancelled. Bummer!



We had to come up with plan B and immediately after breakfast headed down to the Excursion Desk outside the Wheelhouse Bar on deck 7 forward. They were closing in 5 minutes and there was a line but they were there to sell tickets and we were soon holding tickets for a tour to Marigot, the capital of the French side of the island which featured a visit to a Butterfly Farm. Huh?

 

Carol was enthused about the butterflies but it seemed a huge step down from

wrestling octopus on the sea bed in a Helmet Dive (oxygen is pumped from a boat on the surface and you walk along a path on the sea floor and look at coral and fishes) No heavy tanks or flippers.

 

Here are some photos of the approach to St Maarten....

 

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