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Old April 19th, 2012, 12:35 PM
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My fiance and myself have booked an eastern carribbean cruise on the Ruby Princess sailing Dec.9 2012 for our honeymoon. We will be flying out of the Twin Cities the day before since we never know about our weather here and if for some chance the airline loses a piece of luggage it will give them some time to locate it and get it to use before the cruise. I've booked our hotel already (Embassy Suites by the port in Ft Lauderdale) which includes transfers.

Now for a few questions. We are getting married Sept. 15th so I told her right after the wedding we have to start getting her ID's changed (ss# drivers license and passport with the correct name) That gives us 2 1/2 months to get this all resolved. Do you think this is enough time?

Second question. We wanted a ship that was decent sized and has a ton of stuff to do but not so big that you get lost or you're constantly fighting crowds. Also we wanted a ship that is romantic and doesnt have a ton of overly drunk obnoxious people on board. Don't get me wrong we both like having a few drinks but I'd rather not be around people who are stumbling or sluring their speech. Did we pick the right ship for this?

I've read that the Ruby Princess is a ship for all ages but I'm constantly seeing youtube videos of older couples (mid 50's+) There's nothing wrong with this but it would be nice to have plenty of people/couples around 30 who may share similar hobbies/music etc as us. Is this going to be a issue or does Ruby Princess really tailor to all ages?

This is all I can think of as of now. I look forward to reading some replys!

Thanks
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Old April 19th, 2012, 12:56 PM
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So far so good - you made great choices in flying in a day early and you picked a nice hotel with a shuttle to the ships.

Ruby is a beautiful ship - very palatial yet comfortable. You will find the average age is slightly older on Princess than some other cruise lines, but the ship carries over 3000 people, so I am sure you will make some friends of all age groups. Besides that, "older people" can be just as cool as other people - unless you need to talk about your favorite bands or something else where age really matters.

But really, it is more a matter of where you go on the ship. If you go to the dance clubs and hang by the pool you will find plenty of younger people.

More importantly, just concentrate on what you plan to do on the ship and on shore as a couple - whether or not you meet people on board, you will still be able to create a lot of memories for each other.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 01:01 PM
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About the passports - 10 weeks is cutting it very close but one cannot say because the wait time changes all the time. You can pay extra for expedited passports, but if she currently has a good passport in her name, I would consider waiting to change her name until after the trip. I have heard of people running into problems because their legal name does not match their passport. You have a lot of details to worry about already - why add to them?

No matter what - if she changes her name and applies for new passport, if it does not come through on time (you can pay extra to have them expedited) be SURE to bring extra documentation - birth certificates, marriage license, etc.

Legally - a passport MUST match a legal name, just keep that in mind.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tison1200 View Post
My fiancé and myself have booked an eastern Caribbean cruise on the Ruby Princess sailing Dec.9 2012 for our honeymoon. We will be flying out of the Twin Cities the day before since we never know about our weather here and if for some chance the airline loses a piece of luggage it will give them some time to locate it and get it to use before the cruise. I've booked our hotel already (Embassy Suites by the port in Ft Lauderdale) which includes transfers.

Now for a few questions. We are getting married Sept. 15th so I told her right after the wedding we have to start getting her ID's changed (ss# drivers license and passport with the correct name) That gives us 2 1/2 months to get this all resolved. Do you think this is enough time?

Second question. We wanted a ship that was decent sized and has a ton of stuff to do but not so big that you get lost or you're constantly fighting crowds. Also we wanted a ship that is romantic and doesn't have a ton of overly drunk obnoxious people on board. Don't get me wrong we both like having a few drinks but I'd rather not be around people who are stumbling or slurring their speech. Did we pick the right ship for this?

I've read that the Ruby Princess is a ship for all ages but I'm constantly seeing youtube videos of older couples (mid 50's+) There's nothing wrong with this but it would be nice to have plenty of people/couples around 30 who may share similar hobbies/music etc as us. Is this going to be a issue or does Ruby Princess really tailor to all ages?

This is all I can think of as of now. I look forward to reading some replies!

Thanks
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and cruise!!!

Whatever you do, make sure that the names on the cruise bookings are the same as the names on the documentation you show them. If not then get the booking name changed to the name she will have at time of sailing.

You are cutting it close for the passport. It can take up to two months. In Minnesota drivers license is quick and easy if you go to the local government centers. Social Security isn't needed to cruise.

I think you made a good choice for a "middle of the road" ship. You won't see too many young people on any ship that time of year. It is just before Winter break and school is in session so the passengers will be older. Princess is a good line for those who want some activity but not the hairy chest and belly flop contests. It is also a larger ship but not one that will give you the feeling of being on a giant.

Enjoy!!!
Mike (Who is also from the Minneapolis area)
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Old April 19th, 2012, 01:14 PM
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Thanks for the reply! I have the cruise booked with the name she is going to take. I'm going to do a little mroe research and see whats all involved with the name change. I may just talk to our cruise planner and get her name changed back to her current legal name. Would probably be less stress if it's legal to do that way.

I used to work at the powerplant right next to the port and have stayed at the Embassy Suites for a month at time. I enjoy their cocktails in the evenings and their hot breakfast so I figured this would be a great way to start the honeymoon. The flight we booked to Ft Lauderdale is also a dirrect flght (less chance of lost baggage) so that will also cut down on some stress. I've actually had airlines lose my baggage twice flying to Ft Lauderdale so thats why I get so stressed out about it. The second time it happened it took them 2.5 days to get my bags to me.

Again I appreciate the feedback and any tips or advice given.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 06:33 PM
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Great ship for a honeymoon!

I would change the booking (including the flight) to match the current passport. No need to risk a big hassle.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 10:31 AM
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Talking Great choice

You will have a GREAT cruise!

I agree with all that has been said. There is no legal requirement to change a name after the wedding. My daughter chose not to do it. Others hyphenate the name. In a couple of cases I know the couple chose to exchange last names! But in fact it is legal to use any last name you choose as your legal name as long as there is no intent to defraud. Stick with the current passport for this trip, then make the change when there is no time stress.

It is very smart to be flying into Ft. Lauderdale the day before. This is a great way to avoid stress and make it much more likely that you arrive in good time with your luggage intact.

(But not perfect -- when you travel stuff happens. Once we had an overnight pre cruise in FLL. Our plane could not land in HOU due to high winds, and after multiple diversions and misadventures we flew to Orlando about midnight and rented a car to drive to FLL. Our luggage was probably in Austin by then, so my wife boarded the ship carrying four bags from Target as our luggage! The itinerary did not put us into a port with air connections until Aruba on the third day of the cruise so it was an interesting experience. The cruise line was incredibly helpful, even gave me a free tux rental! Check out our adventure, and the GREAT cruise we had anyhow, at The Halls Southern Caribbean Cruise. Moral of the story -- be sure all the IMPORTANT stuff is in your carryon!)

When we were about your age (a long time ago) we were on a cruise to Alaska largely populated with an older crowd. We wound up seated at a table with two gray haired grandmas. It was absolutely delightful, they were wonderful ladies, and we exchanged Christmas cards for years afterward. I will say that after midnight the night club was populated only by us and one other couple from Minnesota. We got the band to alternate rock n roll for us and polkas for them and had a ball!
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Last edited by MercedMike; April 20th, 2012 at 10:42 AM.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 11:19 AM
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MercedMike

Thank you for the reply. I'm sure the age thing will be a non issue. I actually enjoy the company of older couples/people and the storys that they always seem to share.

I'm going to go ahead and change my fiance's name back to her current legal name just to make sure things go smooth and no surprises come up.


Is there anything we should know about the ship (Ruby) I know they charge extra to use the sanctuary. I was also told that some of the pub's offer drink packages, does anyone know anything about this?

We will be doing the Eastern Carribbean cruise with stops in: Princess Cays, St Maarten, St. Thomas (Virgin Islands) and Grand Turk. For anyone who has visited these ports what are some of the best "bang for the buck" excursions?
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Old April 20th, 2012, 01:36 PM
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One thing I enjoy about Princess ships is access to the Spa's "Thermal Suite." Last time I checked it was only about $10/day per person, or you can get a discount for the entire cruise. You can then go there and relax in the thelassotherapy pool, the wet & dry sauna's and the heated loungers.

The Sanctuary is also $10 pppd last I checked. I think the Spa is a better deal.

I don't think Princess has drink packages - but if they do they are available shipwide using your keycard to identify you. There are wine packages available, or you can order a bottle at a time and they will bring it to you every night wherever you are dining.

As provided in the Passage Contract, passengers agree not to bring alcoholic beverages of any kind onboard for consumption, except one bottle of wine or champagne per adult of drinking age (no larger than 750 ml), per voyage.*

For those who wish to enjoy a relaxing drink in the stateroom, bottles of liquor and stateroom bar packages are available for purchase at non-duty-free prices through room service or from designated bar locations. Click here to download menu of offerings.

Mini-suites include a welcome glass of champagne. Full suite passengers also enjoy complimentary web access in the Internet Café and via wi-fi, laundry and dry cleaning, use of the Lotus Spa® Thermal Suite (on select ships), one-time free mini-bar setup.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 07:45 PM
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Hi Tison. Good luck and best wishes on your upcoming nuptials and honeymoon plans.

I have been married for over 31 years and I still travel and have my driver's license in my maiden name, so perhaps that might be the way to go until you come back home and get settled in. Just a thought...

My husband and I had the good fortune to take a cruise on board the Ruby in March of this year (only our second Princess cruise, the first one on the Crown only one month prior)and enjoyed almost every minute of it. On the Crown, we saw a much older demographic (this was the noro cruise with over 350 people sick on board) and a little more than one month later on the Ruby (to celebrate my birthday in March), it was more of a mixed age group. One reason could have been that it was spring break. There were grandparents, their children, and their grandchildren on board the Ruby, whereas on the Crown, mostly grandparents/their children with hardly any children on board.

We "hung" out in Club Fusion most nights after dinner where the crowd was middle aged, as opposed to Skywalkers, the DJ where they were somewhat younger (think 20's). There was one band on board, Party Band Accent, who performed everything: Motown, Michael Jackson, the 50's 60's,70's,80's on different evenings, in different lounges. Crooners Lounge was mixed, mostly middle aged and older adults listening to Bert ("With an E") Stratten, the piano man, who was awesome. Don't worry--there will be plenty of entertainment no matter where you decide to hang out.

I don't know about the pub drink package, but I did get the coffee club and the unlimited drink package. The unlimited drink package ($8.50/day which included the gratuity fee) on our 7 day cruise) entitles you to unlimited fountain soft drinks, juice (not fresh), mocktails, hot chocolate and milkshakes/floats. I made good use out of this, drinking my Diet Coke during the day and after dinner, and having a milkshake a couple of times as a dessert. The coffee card is $29 & 15% gratuity and entitles you to 15 cappuchinos, espressos, lattes or mochas. If you do not drink coffee, you may enjoy their specialty teas. There is also another package of 6 cans of soda ($11.75). You can check it out onboard. There was also an unlimited soda package @$5.18 per day which included gratuity wherein you buy a tumbler and take it to any bar for a refill of fountain soda.

I would also encourage you to try both specialty restaurants on board as both are super. If you go to Sabatini's, say hi to Marian and if you go to Crown Grill, give Ali Baba a holler. They are professional, personable, and aim to please.

Hope this helps you and congratulations! May you and your fiancee enjoy many years of happy cruising!


We bought the couples package for the thermal suite (we paid $199 for it and I understand price just went up) which did not include the pool, but did include the saunas and aromatherapy. I liked HAL's thermal suite much better because it overlooks the ocean and has windows. Princess t.s. is located inside and was somewhat dark.

The Sanctuary was $10/pp, half day session (which we did not utilize). It did look very tranquil and nice, though, with massages (you pay extra for this) under tents located within, get nice pillows and towels on the chaise loungers, and also are brought mini-treats (fresh fruit) upon request by the staff.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 08:27 PM
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Excellent review thank you very much! I'm thinking about surprising Amanda (my fiance) with the honeymoon package. I have a little more research to do before I decide though. We both arent huge fans of champange which the package comes with so I may call and ask if we can substitute that for a comparable (cost) wine.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 02:22 AM
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Hope you have a great honeymoon, and a great cruise, and you picked the right ship to sail on.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 08:08 AM
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There are quite a few excursions in those ports that are fun, what kinds of things do you enjoy doing, snorkeling, shopping, etc? To get a good idea of what to do and see, be sure to go through the excursions on-line and see what may interest you.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 11:27 AM
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I am sure they will change it to wine, because a lot of people feel the same way about champagne as you do, me included.
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 12:09 PM
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Talking The Thermal Suite

I definitely agree with Paul that the Thermal Suite is one of the best things afloat. The one on Princess is down by the exercise pool in the Spa. It features the "lizard lounges," lounge chairs made of ceramic mosaic and heated from inside. My DW loves to just lie there and bask! The steam room and sauna are co-ed which is nice for a couple to enjoy together (but of course certain minimum standards of dress apply.) And the showers! The showers are wonderful. You can begin with a nice massaging shower, then switch to the tropical rain, and when you are ready hit the red button for the ICY BLAST! I think the word is invigorating!

On Princess ships the Thermal Suite is in the interior of the ship. On HAL and RCI they are outside and have large view windows which makes relaxing there even better.

I love the Thermal Suites so much I have put up a page of pictures.

check out our thermal suite report and pictures at Thermal Suites Aboard

Have a GREAT cruise!
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