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WWCJR

Review of Ruby Princess Alaska Cruise, I hope is not my last cruise

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The week of Sunday, June 28th through Sunday, July 5th my wife, sister, niece and I had a wonderful time on our Alaska cruise on the Ruby Princess out of Seattle. As many of you know I did not know that I was ever going to be able to go on another cruise due to my cancer that I am battling. I am waiting to have a stem cell (formerly known as bone marrow) transplant. In fact I am writing this offline while sitting here at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston waiting for my appointments with the Transplant Oncologist and the Leukemia Oncologist. I am, as they put it “sort of in remission” and must have the stem cell transplant for my best chance to live another 2 to 3 years. To help hold the cancer in this temporary remission I have been receiving a study medication. This allowed me the opportunity to go on this cruise. While on the cruise I had almost daily email exchanges with my leukemia oncologist that included nights and weekends. Friday, June 26th the day before we were to fly out of Houston to Seattle I broke out with what they termed a rash, spots all over my chest and back. I counted 54 of them on my chest alone that were between a quarter of an inch to over an inch in diameter. After several email and phone call exchanges, including pictures it was determined it was a rash and that it could be controlled with medications and we could still go on the cruise. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Lord.

 

We arrived in Seattle on Saturday, June 27th and stayed in a hotel near the airport. Then on Sunday we returned to the airport to ride on the Princess Shuttle to the pier.

 

Here we are waiting to board the transfer shuttle:

 

TX20-DSC01490.jpg

 

When we boarded the bus we were sitting across the aisle from a man headed to the Ruby Princess that was one of the people to give a presentation onboard. It was Captain Terry Barkley from the second season of “The Deadliest Catch”.

 

We had some rain on the way to Pier 91 but it stopped shortly after we arrived. Here is the view of the Ruby Princess from the bus as we arrived:

 

TX20-DSC01497.jpg

 

Once at the Pier we were met by a person with a wheelchair arranged for by my Princess Vacation Planner. We were quickly taken into the terminal and through the security screening and to a special check-in desk. After that we were taken to the point to go onto the gangway to board the ship. Here we had a short wait for them to clear the ship. Again we found ourselves with Captain Terry Barkley and continued our conversation. We learned his presentation was to be on Monday. We also learned that he was going to take over as Captain of the Aleutian Ballad for the remainder of the season. That is the ship that he was the Captain of on “the Deadliest Catch”. It has since been cut in half, a section added to convert it into a tour boat to carry passengers to allow them to watch as the crew work the crab pods in claim waters near Ketchikan.

 

It wasn’t long before the ship was cleared and we and a few others in wheelchairs were the first to board the ship. We were onboard and in our cabin before 11:30 AM. Here is the view of Pier 91 from our balcony of cabin C738:

 

TX20-DSC01498.jpg

 

We unpacked our carry-ons and then headed to the Di Vinci Dining Room for lunch. As usual it was a nice relaxing lunch, one that we have come to enjoy.

This was my wife and my second time on the Ruby Princess with the first time being March 2009, just after she went into service. I can say that she is just as nice as she was then…sure there are a few places if you look hard that you can see some rust but she is a ship in saltwater all the time.

 

After lunch talking with the staff in the Photo Gallery we learned from Erin a Producer/Videographer that Casey, the Senior Producer/Videographer was onboard for our cruise. My sister and I made friends with Casey on our Panama Canal cruise on the Coral Princess in April 2013. We now have made friends with Erin on this cruise. My sister and I would try to connect with Casey over the course of the next few days, but she is very busy shooting video of the cruise, videos of several weddings each day, editing the video to be shown on the ships TV. I can say that Casey is still the same energetic person she was 2 years ago. She is going and going most all of each day. When you do not see her she is busy behind the scenes working to produce a top notch video diary of the cruise.

 

It was then a short trip up to the top of Skywalkers to take some pictures:

 

TX20-DSC01502.jpg

 

At this point I rested most of the afternoon while my sister and niece explored the ship. I think I failed to mention that this was the first cruise ever for my niece, more on this later.

 

With the Muster Drill scheduled for 3:30 PM we headed down to our Muster Station a little after 3:00 PM so that we could use the elevator. It was the same as the last couple of Princess cruises that I have been on where everyone’s cruise card is scanned.

 

In Seattle at Pier 91 they have noise restrictions so there is no music or MUTS until the ship leaves the harbor. We again ate at the Di Vinci Dining Room and then it was early to bed for me after our wonderful supper.

 

My sister and niece went to the evening show. They said it was a comic and that he was hard on anyone coming in late or that got up to leave.

 

I will post the Embarkation Day Patter in my next post.

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Here is the Embarkation Day Patter:

 

Embarkation%20Patter%20Ruby%206-28-2015%20-%20%20P001.jpg

 

Embarkation%20Patter%20Ruby%206-28-2015%20-%20%20P002.jpg

 

Embarkation%20Patter%20Ruby%206-28-2015%20-%20%20P003.jpg

 

Embarkation%20Patter%20Ruby%206-28-2015%20-%20%20P004.jpg

 

Welcome Aboard Letter:

 

Embarkation%20Welcome%20Aboard%20Ruby%206-28-2015%20-%20%20P001.jpg

 

Embarkation%20Welcome%20Aboard%20Ruby%206-28-2015%20-%20%20P002.jpg

 

More Embarkation Documents to come.

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Beverage Deals:

 

Embarkation%20Beverage%20Deals%20Ruby%206-28-2015%20-%20%20P001.jpg

 

Embarkation%20Beverage%20Deals%20Ruby%206-28-2015%20-%20%20P002.jpg

 

Shopping Guide:

 

Embarkation%20Shopping%20Spotlight%20Ruby%206-28-2015%20-%20%20P001.jpg

 

Embarkation%20Shopping%20Spotlight%20Ruby%206-28-2015%20-%20%20P002.jpg

 

My review will continue, but will need to scan more Patters and other documents and then upload them and more photos:

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Bill,

 

I'm so glad you were able to take this cruise that you wanted. I look forward to more of you writing.

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This is great, and thanks for doing it. Best wishes for your recovery.

 

Two shopping hosts? :eek: Now that is scary.

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I booked this cruise for next May for my daughter and myself. We both have had serious health issues the last few years that kept us from cruising. I am so glad you were able to take this vacation. I look forward to reading more.

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Thank you for being so thoughtful in sharing not only your review but also the patters. It takes skill and time to post.

 

I know reviewing patters for a particular cruise is the most helpful to my over planning habits.

 

Best wishes for a strong cell recovery from a Houstonian! I hope to see you on a future Princess cruise, too.

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Bill, thanks for pushing the boat out on your review-off to a great start!

 

Thanks for including the photos and patters.

 

Best wishes!

 

Norris

Edited by Bimmer09

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Off to a great start :)

 

 

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to share your review

Srpilo

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Thanks for the review and good luck with your treatments. I'm glad you were able to go on your cruise.

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Thanks for your narrative.

 

For those who say it is hard to find the information, page 4 of the embarkation day Patter does show

o Dining room location and times for lunch when embarking

o Information about the Chef's Dinner

o Information about the Ultimate Ship's Tour

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Looking forward to reading more and best wishes on your stem cell transplant! You are being treated by some of the best!

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Here is the Embarkation Day Patter:

 

Embarkation%20Patter%20Ruby%206-28-2015%20-%20%20P001.jpg

 

Embarkation%20Patter%20Ruby%206-28-2015%20-%20%20P002.jpg

 

Embarkation%20Patter%20Ruby%206-28-2015%20-%20%20P003.jpg

 

Embarkation%20Patter%20Ruby%206-28-2015%20-%20%20P004.jpg

 

Welcome Aboard Letter:

 

Embarkation%20Welcome%20Aboard%20Ruby%206-28-2015%20-%20%20P001.jpg

 

Embarkation%20Welcome%20Aboard%20Ruby%206-28-2015%20-%20%20P002.jpg

 

More Embarkation Documents to come.

 

THANK YOU! Your posts are helping me understand what documents I will be dealing with when I cruise in November 2016 here in Australia-a Coastal Cruise between 2 State Capitals. And better than being onshore! A kind friend has already given me a Computer Tablet Cover to "round up" all the paperwork you accumulate on the cruise so you don't lose anything vital! I'm interested in the 10% discount at the boutiques, as I have quite a list of souvenirs to purchase for people-will probably do a "scouting/research" visit, noting what's available, where and how much so I can plan how to get the best value for my money. A friend has been told I may (now know I CAN buy alcohol on board, so will be asked for specific brands, what size is available locally and what price, so if I get a chance to get a better deal for her and another friend, I jolly well will! I'd already noted to bring a spare clipboard with notepad and pen on a string so I can make notes on what paperwork I've received while I enjoy Embarkation lunch.

 

Back to read more of your travels.

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I would like to thank all who are reading this and I am glad that it might be of help to many of you. I also thank those that have wished me well in my battle with cancer, but I will not dwell on it as writing this is very good to help get my mind off of that part of my life that I wish I did not have.

 

Now on to my next posting.

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Monday we went to the presentation by Captain Terry Barkley where he talked about the life as a fisherman in the Baltic Sea. He told a story about almost dying when he was 21 years old and the boat he was the Captain of sank. It was through prayer that he and the others were saved and he now believes that the Lord does listen to calls for help.

 

Captain Terry Barkley telling his story:

 

Terry%20Barkley.jpg

 

It was after his presentation that we again saw him when he was signing autographs for people. We waited until all of the people left and got pictures with him.

 

This is my sister and me with Captain Terry Barkley:

 

DSC01521%202.jpg

 

This is my niece and my wife with Captain Terry Barkley:

 

DSC01525.jpg

 

 

I told him my story about how the Lord answered my prayers to stop my pain and to give me the strength to fight my cancer. When he learned my story and that this might be my last cruise he got tears in his eyes.

 

This day we picked-up lunch from the International Café. This is a good chance to state that for the entire cruise we found the choices, and quality of food to be outstanding. They have some new offerings some better than other but this is all subjective and a personal opinion. In the evening we ate again in the Di Vinci dining room and again had excellent service. When we finished eating and walked out into the Piazza we found ourselves at the Champagne Waterfall. My sister and I managed to be the last to have Casey video us pouring the champagne onto the stack of glasses before Captain Karl Austin introduced his senior officers.

 

My sister and I pouring champagne onto the stacked champagne glasses:

 

Champaine%20Waterfall.jpg

 

This was the first that we saw her and she saw us. She did motion to us indicating that she recognized us. It would still be another day before we could connect with her and talk for a few minutes.

We then went to the Princess Theater to see Bobby Brooks Wilson (the son of the late Jackie Wilson). He put on a great show well worth attending. After the show it was off to bed for me as the next day was going to be a tiring day for me being a port day.

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The Monday at sea Patter:

 

Monday%20At%20Sea%20Patter%20Ruby%206-29-2015%20-%20%20P001.jpg

 

Monday%20At%20Sea%20Patter%20Ruby%206-29-2015%20-%20%20P002.jpg

 

Monday%20At%20Sea%20Patter%20Ruby%206-29-2015%20-%20%20P003.jpg

 

Monday%20At%20Sea%20Patter%20Ruby%206-29-2015%20-%20%20P004.jpg

 

The Shopping Guide for Monday a day at sea:

 

Monday%20At%20Sea%20Shopping%20Spotlight%20Ruby%206-29-2015%20-%20%20P001.jpg

 

Monday%20At%20Sea%20Shopping%20Spotlight%20Ruby%206-29-2015%20-%20%20P002.jpg

 

More to come in my next installment.

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Thanks for all of the info and the review. 5 more weeks and we are there!! :cool:

 

We will pray for success for you with your treatments and hope that you have many more cruises.

Edited by ar1950

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Thanks so much for posting all of this. I'll be sailing on the Ruby for the first time this fall, so your postings are a sort of "appetizer" for me :).

 

Best wishes for all to go well with your stem cell transplant, and that you will be back on the Ruby before you know it!

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I was on the same cruise as you and also started a review in the Alaska port section. There is another review of the Ruby in Alaska in the Princess section one week later as well.

 

It is interesting to compare and contrast the reviews. Especially since it is impossible to do everything on the ship and I can hear about what I missed.

 

Keep up the fight and may you have many more cruises ahead of you!

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Thank you for your review. We did the rt from Seattle on the Crown in June and had a wonderful time. I know you don't want to dwell on your health, but just wanted to wish you the best. I have metastatic breast cancer myself and hope we both have many more cruises in our future.

Edited by rpcv77

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Wow, this is a great view; and it's complete with pictures thank you very much for taking the time to do this.

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After arriving in Ketchikan my wife and I walked south down the pier looking for some Neosporin for my “rash”. After looking in several of the shops a person working in one of the shops directed us to the store at the south pier. That was quite a walk for me but luckily they have benches every few feet along the dock. Those benches were a life saver for me. We did find the Neosporin and also some gifts while we were there.

 

This is right by “The Ketchikan Sign” as seen below:

 

1-Ketchikan%201st%20City.jpg

 

While we were doing our short walk my sister and niece explored most of Old Ketchikan by foot. It is quite walkable for most people and we also did that when we were here in 2007.

 

Along the pier we passed the Aleutian Ballad. You can see in the picture below where they added covered seats for the tourists to sit and watch the crew work the pods.

 

2-DSC00541.jpg

 

A picture I took before getting off of the ship looking south gives an idea the distance we had to walk along the pier.

 

3-DSC01547.jpg

 

We all met up again at the location for the Duck Boat Tour. I booked it as it allowed us to see many areas on and along the shore with little effort. Due to my cancer I have very little stamina and must do only things that require little effort. We saw many of the sights in and around Ketchikan. My niece spoke with the tour operator to allow me and a lady with M.S. to board the Duck Boat before the masses, this really helped a lot as there is a ladder that you must climb getting on and off of the Duck Boat.

 

While this would not normally be my first choice of excursions in Ketchikan, it is a good choice for people that cannot walk for long distances. We did see most of the sights in both old and new Ketchikan.

 

Here you can see the Ketchikan Salmon Ladder, look for what looks like a stairway on the left of this picture:

 

4-DSC00577.jpg

 

Below you can see Dolly’s and other places along Creek Street:

 

5-DSC00581.jpg

 

There were many more things we saw but I am keeping it to just the six pictures allowed per post. There was a lot of development both sides of the Mall in the new part of Ketchikan. The old Burger King there is being converted into a drive through bank. We also saw Eagles around the fish canneries, I didn’t manage to get any good pictures as I was on the wrong side of the boat.

 

Once back onboard the Ruby I rested for a while before our mid-afternoon departure.

 

A little north of Ketchikan I took the photo below which I find to be a very relaxing view:

 

6-DSC00567.jpg

 

After we ate supper, again a delightful meal, we went to the Princess Theater and watched the Production show Stardust. As always they tell people no video recording or pictures allowed during the show. The difference I noticed this time is that they spotlight each camera being used with a “dancing” red laser which they do not turn off until the camera is turned off. I guess they are getting serious about enforcing that rule. I guess the show was okay but I fell asleep during it as I was very tired.

 

After the show we went back through the Photo Gallery and while Casey was not out in the Gallery she was behind the scenes working and came out long enough to meet us and tell us to see her in the morning at the gathering point for the Tracy Arm Small Boat Excursion and she would see that we got onto the boat she was going on. There were enough people going that they had two boats doing the excursion. Casey was going on the one with the Captain that goes in closer than the other one does. More on this in tomorrow’s adventures. It was then off to bed for me to rest for our big day in Tracy Arm.

 

P.S. I will post the Patter and other documents for this day later tonight or tomorrow as I must now leave to go to my granddaughter's 10th birthday party.

Edited by WWCJR
To add the P.S.

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