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blueliner December 21st, 2009 10:06 AM

Back from the Ruby Princess!
 
Hi all,

We arrived home yesterday after our short 3-night Ruby Princess get away cruise. We had a good cruise, some really great things and some "not-so-great" things.

Let me tell you about the oddest cab ride I've ever had. When we arrived in Ft. Lauderdale on Wednesday, we had reservations at a hotel that is near the airport. We called the hotel and they told us where to catch their free shuttle. I just couldn't find the shuttle pick-up or the shuttle itself, and when I tried to call them back, no answer. So we just decided to take a taxi since it was so close. We got in the first taxi at the cab stand and told the driver the name of the hotel. I really think this must have been this drivers very first day on the job. Beside the very little english he spoke, he didn't know where this airport/cruiseport hotel was, so he asked for an address. I gave him the reservation sheet with the address on it, and he studied it, but didn't seem to understand written english any better than he spoke it. He got out of the cab and went to the driver in the cab behind us, and about this time my wife told me we should just get out of this cab now, if only I had listened!

The driver came back with a TomTom GPS and asked me to put in the address in the GPS for him. I found the hotel on the GPS and brought it up for him and handed it back. As we drove away, the first direction was to stay to the right and then stay left. He did the opposite, and the GPS never seemed to catch up from here. I don't think the driver knew left from right, whenever the GPS told us to turn right, he turned left. My wife got so upset she leaned over the seat and had to point which way was right and which way was left. He was going in the opposite direction from the hotel, the GPS was trying to turn him around and the driver couldn't turn right to save his life! The meter was approaching $15 on what should've been no more than a $10 ride. my wife screamed "We're not paying you to drive around!"

We knew we'd had enough when he finally turned the wrong way down a one way street. Lucky for us, no one was on the street coming at us. I saw a gas station at the end of the street, and I told him to pull in. My wife asked me if I was going to get directions, to which I replied "nope, we are just getting out!" We got out of the cab, collected our luggage, and as I was walking around to tell the driver I wasn't paying the now outrageous meter. He didn't say anything, just reset the meter and drove off. We went into the gas station and called a new cab, who showed up in about 3 minutes, spoke perfect english, knew exactly where the hotel was and took us directly there.

We stayed overnight in the hotel and boarded the ship on Thursday morning. We look back and laugh now, but the cab ride itelf was just the wierdest EVER for me.

I'll post the ship review and pictures later. We have to unpack, do laundry, catch up on mail and email and stuff. You all know the "After Cruise" drill!

Trip December 21st, 2009 07:15 PM

A wild ride indeed..what was the hotel??

blueliner December 22nd, 2009 01:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trip (Post 1263685)
A wild ride indeed..what was the hotel??

We stayed at the Rodeway Inn. A clean room for a 1 night pre-cruise stay only, wouldn't use this hotel for anything else.

I posted my pictures of the Ruby Princess Cruise in the Photo Gallery.

blueliner December 26th, 2009 12:12 PM

Here are some of my observations of the 3 night Caribbean Sampler Ruby Princess Cruise last week.

The Ruby Princess is really a beautiful ship. The artwork, flooring, metal work were all very elegant and nice. The lounges were spectacular as were all the public areas and cabins. We had a nice balcony cabin midship on the Riviera deck. I found the balcony itself to be a little larger than the standard balcony on a RCI ship. The food was better quality, including the buffet. Just to give you an example, the Ruby Princess buffet had steak and eggs available one morning, and the steaks were juicy and tender, just like you could get in the dining room! The dining in the Crown Grill was spectacular in both the food and the service. The service overall was really good, but I found it lacking in some areas, and I will expound on that later. Not as good as the service I have see on RCI, but still very good.

The layout of the ship was also a big plus. Plenty of elevators and stairs and well placed. There was plenty of space at the desks for shore excursions, Purser's desk and the photo areas.

Since this was just a 3 night sampler cruise, I noticed some things I found lacking, and I generally atribute this to it being a 3 night cruise, and not the usual 7 or more night cruise Princess is usually known for. On our debarkation morning, we met a couple of very nice elderly women at breakfast that were veteran Princess cruisers and they noticed a lot of the same stuff we noticed, and told us this was not the usual way things are done on a Princess cruise, which is why I say these are probably just because this was a 3 night sampler cruise.

First was the dining room. We choose traditional dining with a 6pm seating. Of the 3 dining rooms, 2 were used for anytime dining, and 1 was for traditional dining. However, on both the nights we used the traditional dining room, it was treated as an anytime dining room. We were not seated either night at the table that was designated on our card, and we were not seated with others and had a different wait staff each night. We like traditional dining, and choose it because we like eating with others and having the same wait staff each night. Also, they clearly didn't enforce any kind of dress code in the evening dining room. The way some people were dressed in shorts, torn blue jeans, t-shirts with vulgar writtings on them and baseball hats, if they did sit down at our table, we probably would've gotten up and left. We ate in the Crown Grill on our final evening and that was really worth the $25 a person we paid, the food was REALLY spectacular and the service was as well, but they also did not enforce any kind of dress code in the Crown Grill either.

We didn't use the spa, on our 1st day on the ship we stopped at the spa to look around and we saw one of the spa personnel after she showed a nice lady where to sit and wait for her appointment, turn towards us and away from the customer and roll her eyes and shake her head. We thought, if this is how they treat their customers with their backs turned, we really don't want to use the spa.

We had a couple very nice days by the pool. Our stop in Princess Cays was canceled due to heavy sea swells and wind, so we spent the entire cruise onboard. We were a little dissappointed, but the ship itself was really nice and the Cruise Director, Lisa Ball, and her staff were outstanding. We loved the entertainment, games, activities and shows. They really did a great job and the Cruise Director and her staff were the real highlights of this cruise! The "Movies under the Stars" were just great, we saw one movie and the Princess crew put nice red velvet coverings on the deck chairs with warm blankets, and brought around popcorn and later on cookies and milk! The Movies under the stars are not to be missed onboard!

The pools were nice, although they didn't seem to enforce any of the pool deck rules either. We spent our time at the Terrace pool at the very back of the ship, which was supposed to be adults only. They didn't enforce the rules, we had kids running around.

Here is my "saving deck chairs" rant. I really hate it when people do this, they show up early in the morning and throw a towel on a chair, and then disappear for hours at a time. The Terrace pool only had about 20 - 25 chairs around the pool to begin with, and with the stop at Princess Cays canceled, space at the pools was at a premium. For me, when people do this and they have been gone for more than an hour, I just move their towels and take the chair. I also gave away some chairs next to us when other people came by and asked if the chair was taken, if no one had been in the chair for a couple of hours, I just told them it was free and moved the offending towel and gave them the chair. It just isn't right to do this I think.

One incident that really ticked me off was a couple that saved 2 deck chairs by the pool, AND saved a set of table and chairs up one level by the bar. They would sit in one, and if anyone dared to use the other, they would run over and say "No No, we have those chairs saved!" They would run between the 2 and never let anyone else use them. As I said, there were only 20 - 25 deck chairs and maybe 10 sets of table and chairs. This one couple's actions I felt were very rude in not letting others use those chairs and tables when they weren't using them. I know a couple of people complained to them that they weren't using the deck chairs, they were up at the tables by the bar, but there was no security or deck attendants to do anything. My last couple of cruises on RCI, they did have deck attendants and the rules of no kids at the adult pools and the no saving of deck chairs was enforced.

So overall we had a really nice 3 night cruise. We are looking at booking a 7 night on Princess for this coming spring or summer to see what a 7 nighter on Princess is like.

sammi24 May 23rd, 2011 01:12 PM

We had the same problem. Don't get me wrong, I love kids and have kids of my own but when I am on vacation and I want some time away from my kids, that means all kids. If I am in an area where kids aren't supposed to be, then that is what I want. We had kids there though and they were running around the and it was so annoying. I kept thinking to myself "Where are your parents?" I think that someone from the ship should have taken care of it. I will think twice before booking with them again.

MercedMike May 24th, 2011 11:20 AM

Seats by the pool
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by blueliner (Post 1264348)

Here is my "saving deck chairs" rant. I really hate it when people do this, they show up early in the morning and throw a towel on a chair, and then disappear for hours at a time. The Terrace pool only had about 20 - 25 chairs around the pool to begin with, and with the stop at Princess Cays canceled, space at the pools was at a premium. For me, when people do this and they have been gone for more than an hour, I just move their towels and take the chair. I also gave away some chairs next to us when other people came by and asked if the chair was taken, if no one had been in the chair for a couple of hours, I just told them it was free and moved the offending towel and gave them the chair. It just isn't right to do this I think.

One incident that really ticked me off was a couple that saved 2 deck chairs by the pool, AND saved a set of table and chairs up one level by the bar. They would sit in one, and if anyone dared to use the other, they would run over and say "No No, we have those chairs saved!" They would run between the 2 and never let anyone else use them. As I said, there were only 20 - 25 deck chairs and maybe 10 sets of table and chairs. This one couple's actions I felt were very rude in not letting others use those chairs and tables when they weren't using them. I know a couple of people complained to them that they weren't using the deck chairs, they were up at the tables by the bar, but there was no security or deck attendants to do anything. My last couple of cruises on RCI, they did have deck attendants and the rules of no kids at the adult pools and the no saving of deck chairs was enforced.

Well, IMAO, you made two very slight mistakes. First, I don't wait an hour for somebody to come back to their chair, fifteen minutes is plenty of time. Second when I move the towel, books, coverups or whatever I make sure to find a convenient puddle on the deck to accidentally drop it in.

As far as the couple saving seats, I would probably have spent an entertaining half hour repeatedly moving into their chairs and keeping them running!!;)

There is no excuse for this kind of outrageous disrespect and people who behave this way deserve to be treated like the jerks they are. It takes a jerk to deal with a jerk.

Otherwise, thanks for an excellent trip report.

DeepSpace May 26th, 2011 01:25 AM

What a cab ride, sounds like the one my wife and I had in Cabo San Lucas, a few years ago.

RichC May 26th, 2011 07:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MercedMike (Post 1372572)
Well, IMAO, you made two very slight mistakes. First, I don't wait an hour for somebody to come back to their chair, fifteen minutes is plenty of time. Second when I move the towel, books, coverups or whatever I make sure to find a convenient puddle on the deck to accidentally drop it in.

As far as the couple saving seats, I would probably have spent an entertaining half hour repeatedly moving into their chairs and keeping them running!!;)

There is no excuse for this kind of outrageous disrespect and people who behave this way deserve to be treated like the jerks they are. It takes a jerk to deal with a jerk.

Otherwise, thanks for an excellent trip report.

First thing is this post is 1 1/2 year old...
Second is that I don't appreciate the seat hogs either but removing their stuff after 15 minutes is a little harsh. People do have a right to leave their seats for some period of time and 15 minutes doesn't sound like a bad violation (to most people). I'll bet most people will go into the pool or go for a bathroom break & take longer than that.


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