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Ruby Princess photo review Jan 13 to 20,2013

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Photo gallery just after set-up, before the hordes... (we buy some so are part of the horde)




Passenger services.




Piazza-which I mainly shot on video when there was something happening there.




Club Fusion which was where we did muster drill and listen to karaoke but not at the same time....




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Ultimate ship tour- see the Captain, Staff Captain (2nd in command) Chief Engineer etc where they work.

More ship shots

Farewell dinner

Michael and Natalia our waiters posing

Port Everglades in fog

The most stunning sunrise photos (but you be the judge)

An Ultimate Balcony Dinner*-food porn- for those unfamiliar with it (photographed in Yummo-vision) * Diamond Princess


But first I am off to the Chicago Symphony where they are playing some Richard Wagner and then to a French restaurant that serves late.


Thanks for coming along on this journey with us.



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What a great review. We're on the Ruby in 4 weeks and this has gotten me really excited about our cruise. It looks like a beautiful ship. This will be our first Princess cruise after several great experiences on Royal Caribbean. Thanks for taking the time to post all of this.

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I think the thing I like most about CC is that people who have cruised are always willing to spend time to help others enjoy the experience more-even though it already surpasses many land adventures.


There's a great deal of selflessness which I like- you ask a question-even one that has been asked 100 times before "can I book the Sanctuary on line?" etc and a kind soul answers.


In my earliest days on CC, before I found the Princess Board I had "spoken" to a seasoned cruiser called Mike Pressman who has a site devoted to his cruises

and he re-kindled my desire to cruise, as a passenger, just from his photo journals. Kudos to Mike.


Every photo ( I hope) can fill in the blank for someone new to Princess or get them enthused about an upcoming cruise- so that is reward in itself for the hours of selecting and uploading photos. The text is all spur of the moment and I have yet to read all of this stuff I have written, myself.


Discovering Princess has been one of the happiest "accidents" I have had to date when it comes to vacations. It only happened 5 minutes before I went to a TA to book my first cruise back in August 2011. The TA was a flop but I booked the Coral anyway, directly through PCL and the rest is history (or mystory)


Keep reading! and thanks for your patience as this tale unfolds.



in snowy Chicago

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Ultimate Ship Tour....on the bridge, inside the funnel, mooring room etc.


Ultimate Balcony Dinner (Diamond P)





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love the pace and clever comments. It may be that I am just so close to my cruise, but I really have enjoyed this review better than most. I think some of that is the anticipation and it is also a nice narrative as well.


Thank you

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Ultimate Ship Tour-$150 pp. Guided by Paul from the Cruise Staff (transferring to Royal in May) and accompanied by a "photographer" who took these photos.

We met up and began at the Princess Theater at 1.30 p.m.

Stage tech was explained and then down into the dressing rooms. The stage floor has two more decks above it where sets get hauled up into-just like an opera house.




Engine Control Room. Siemens software on huge monitors show all the ship's systems; six engines,waste disposal, A/C, toilets,fuel,water desalination (even the drinking water is treated sea water) smoke alarms etc. There is also a monitor watching the funnel smoke (black is bad) and an officer who sits and runs through checklists to make sure everything is running as should be.




The immaculately clean and organized Mooring Room in the bow (another is aft) with 2nd Officer Ivan who gets to stand outside on the doors when the ship sails. I want to do that! Two huge anchor winches and lots of rope. They also have a little painting boat in there that they can use to touch-up the hull in port as they did in St Maarten.



Edited by Bimmer09

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Up inside the massive funnel assembly. Hot and noisy (some of the output is 850 degrees F) but we could still hear Gavin Pears-Staff Captain (2nd in command. All the ships have two licensed captains on board). He was very witty. From Ireland-so we had a little banter. I asked him about black smoke when the engines are fired before leaving port and in Alaska in particular. He said they are given a grace period of 30 seconds before fines are applied.

Beware there are steep metal stairs/ladders to climb up here.




Not all rooms had a photo and I'll get to those after the Bridge. The tour ran long and we had things to do (like packing and eating). What was to be a 3 hour tour went longer and the two of us (only) left the Bridge at 3hrs 45 minutes. The captain stayed for 30 minutes and then handed over to a very young 3rd officer who bubbled with enthusiasm. His name was James Bond. The views from the Bridge wings looking back down the ship were fantastic.They have cameras there and can see you on your balcony-so behave.Ships this size have about 1,000 cameras. Look up! Here's Captain Foster.



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Probably most people's favorite tour visit is to the amazing laundry where they wash, press, iron and fold about !4,000 items a day. All the sheets, towels, tablecloths,napkins, crew uniforms and my own laundry wind up here and are put in huge washers and dryers and then passed through folding machines.

A hive of activity staffed by guys (all men here) who are fast and furious.

The equipment has German manufacturers names on it.


Main galley where we were hosted by the 2nd in command. Cleaner than anyone's home kitchen (no offense). Everything is stainless steel and on an industrial scale. All of these rooms are covered in my CC Diamond Princess review in great detail so I am not going to go too deep in describing them here.

Champagne and canapes were provided.


Food storage and walk-in freezers. As always everything organized and labelled. Massive bulk buying.


Photo shop were the photos are produced for purchase. Photographers get the same camera to use for their tour of duty so have plenty of practice opportunities.


Print shop where two people produce the Patters, menus for each day and each restaurant and the deluge of paper that comes to one's mailbox on board.


Medical Center. Well staffed and equipped. All the ships I have been on have a small morgue for worst-case scenario.


Every inch of the ship is clean and tidy...ship-shape. We are in good hands.


At all times on the tour you can ask questions. This was my 3rd tour of the past year and there is no need for us to do it on the Ruby again in September.

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I am on the Ruby right now as I type this. We have had a great time the food and service has been wonderful.The ship is beautiful, and everyone is very friendly and outgoing. Anyone getting on the Ruby in the near future should rest assured: YOU WILL HAVE A GREAT CRUISE!


Disembarking tomorrow morning.....back to reality far too soon..

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This is to give people who have never booked an UBD an idea of what to expect. We chose not to do it this trip on the Ruby due to itinerary/early darkness and because we were enjoying the MDR so much.


Upon boarding you dial Room Service and say you want to book a UBD (my abbreviation-ask for it in full) Be already decided on exactly when. You can choose 6 pm and 8 pm. A room service person (not a Jnr) will arrange to come to your cabin to go over the menu that day.


For $100 total you will get a sumptuous meal for two, served by 2 R.S waiters who will wait outside your cabin between courses. First cocktail is free (Mohito for me always) and there is a half bottle of Champagne in an ice bucket. Flowers, candles (battery). A ship's photographer will come and shoot off a dozen pics, one of which (8 x 10) is free.


It will take about 2 hours total and you will be blissed out , especially if you have chosen your day and time well. This Diamond dinner was in the tight confines of the Inside Passage, Alaska on the way to Ketchikan at 6pm and on calm seas. It would be light until about 10 pm. A whale breached in the wake...





Crab Tart appetizer









Entree-Surf 'n Turf







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We packed before dinner. Sigh. We left a tip in an envelope for our steward Raphael who was rather quiet and sober compared to the first three we have enjoyed on Coral, Crown and Diamond.


Plan was dinner in MDR then Crew Show.


The waitstaff were dressed in American themed costumes and I ordered filet mignon while Carol had Kingklip fish (huh?) with Indian seasonings which she nominated her best dish of the week.




Then both had Baked Alaska



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Our fun waitstaff for the week.

I tipped the Head Waiter, Vitor at the end of the meal as he gave us the same table each night and we had Anytime Dining. It's the luck of the draw when getting a waitstaff team. We really look for people with personalities who like to laugh and if they make a mistake it is no problem for us. Stiff, dour experts at waiting tables are not what we want. We love eating and we love laughing and not taking ourselves too seriously. These two were fun.


Nata and Carol




Michael and Nata





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I had forgot to mention earlier (like a week ago) that while I was at the Deck party leaving St Maarten, Carol was watching MUTS. It was her first time settling down to see a show there and she loved Blly Joel live at Shea stadium, then stayed for Paul McCartney at the same historic venue. Kudos to Princess for coming up with the concept of big-screen movies at sea. I don't need them during the day but they help keep the decks alive at night, in warm weather.


There are things on board that I have zero interest in- now or in the next life-such as art auctions (paintings of tigers on your wall?) Shopping lectures..."we recommend Diamonds International" (and have no financial interest in doing so.) Bingo. Nah. Spa treatments? No. Pool games. We'll pass.


We relax, eat, go to shows and in my case tote a big camera bag wherever I go. I sit in the shade but got a great tan just by being mobile and up and about in the mornings and by taking excursions. If I don't get to something on the ship-say Vines for instance or the library then I can always catch up on another Grand Class ship later. I was already thinking Ruby and the Med for later this year and now that I am home we are all booked up on another aft suite-Venice to Athens.


I videotaped a couple of acts in the Crew Show, one of whom, a young Mexican woman who "cooks the steaks in Sabatini's" sang a Whitney Houston song to perfection and should be on the Voice or American Idol. Really THAT good.

I also videotaped the corny but fun Princess Staple "If I were not upon the Sea"


Maybe coming to Youtube one day when I have time.

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Fantastic review! We are staying in a suite for the first time on our Christmas trip to Hawaii. I never knew you could order tea on your balcony. And the UBD looks wonderful!

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When we woke up on Sunday January 20th the ship was alongside Pier 2 in Ft Lauderdale.


It was extremely foggy in the harbor.








This next shot was one I was very happy to get and made me glad I always had my camera with me.....



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Pier 2 -empty, waiting for the 6,000 or more people to disembark and embark

-just another winter Saturday in Port Everglades.







A last couple of deck photos before heading down to Da Vinci for MDR breakfast (oatmeal and pancakes as is my tradition. We considered having breakfast on our balcony but in the end just went down to have people serve us. Will definitely do it in Athens.)

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Effortless disembarkation which has been the case in each of the times I have left a Princess ship. I don't go quietly-usually a lot of sobbing and cries of "why? Why me?" as two security men try to pry my fingers from their white-knuckle grip on the gangway.


We had a porter offer to help us once we found our luggage ashore and we took her up on her offer as we had to go outside and walk to where the Hertz bus should pick us up. We tipped her generously as we didn't have to lift a finger.


We Escaped Completely just as Princess Promised. Once ashore we were on our own and back into the world of "people not doing their jobs". I won't bore you but the local Hertz office didn't bring their A game that morning and I let them know it on the survey they e mailed me. Never had a problem before in 20 years of using them.


Once in a car we were soon back at the Marriott where it began a week before.




The Ruby was embarking the lucky January 20th passengers.




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As it was Sunday and 4 p.m I was sitting on the rocks taking photos of the ships leaving and there was the Ruby. I waved her goodbye but it didn't hurt as I knew I would see her again 8 months hence (now down to 7!)




The aft. I love the vertical aft plan and the terraced upper decks. They will not appear on the Royal Princess but the suites will wrap around to the side and be on the corners. We have booked such for a repeat of this cruise January 12, 2014.





Mille grazie to all for joining me on this saga (I am currently learning Italian for the 2 days I will be in Venice (Rosetta Stone)


I may do a similar photo review on the Diamond cruise we did last year which could help people prepare for an Alaskan cruise this summer. The Alaska season is just 10 weeks away. It would also help anyone unfamiliar with the Diamond which to date is my favorite Princess ship and crew. Good idea? or "Fuggedabout it"?


Bye for now!



I had already been to St Maarten and St Thomas on a Carnival cruise way back in 1989 (I believe I sailed on the Carnival Jubilee) but those islands are worth returning to and I saw them with fresh eyes this time.

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