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Ron Pettyjohn

Age: 47

Occupation:Police officer

Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Princess

Ship: Ruby Princess

Sailing Date: 2011-01-2

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

This is our third cruise and our first on a princess ship. The embarkation and disembarkation were better than any cruise before. Princess did a great job in Ft. Lauderdale. It was quick and organized. I had already taken a cruise two years ago with the family (5). I had heard many positive things about Princess. Once aboard, it was OK. The stops in Princess Cays, St. Martin, St. Thomas and Grand Turk were great. The stops were the highlight of the cruise and the ship wasn't. At times I felt like I was on the Titanic. The staff were either snobby or could not speak Engish. It seemed that all they were doing was pushing you to buy expensive art, jewelry or anything else they could make a profit on. I think the Ruby is geared more for the 55+ crowd that likes wine, art and overpriced jewelry. I don't regret the cruise, the Caribbean was terrific, but I will try a different cruise line next time.

I was very disappointed with the food. I had heard so many great things about the food on Princess cruises and was not impressed. It was OK, but when cruising you expect GREAT food. Basically it was the same fare everyday with something different added each day. The different items were so strange and usually VERY unappealing. Most of which were unidentifiable and unpronounceable. We opted for anytime dining. It gave us the flexibilty to eat dinner when it was convenient for us. The problem with the anytime dining is that Princess allows you to make a reservation for anytime dining. They call it the DINE LINE. It was ridiculous. You show up for the anytime dining and the snobby hostess asks if you if you have a reservation. They had a pizza bar that was excellent when it was open. The other thing that was very disappointing was the way they nickel and dime you over sodas and such. Soon as you step on the top deck,they are hounding you to buy a soda card. It is about $30.00 for a soda only card. If you want a shake or smoothie or virgin drink (kids) that would be extra. And it doesn't work on their private island, Princess Cays. The last thing I would like to mention is that they have a couple of restaurants that are extra ($20-25 cover) to eat in. The Crown Grille is $25 extra which isn't much considering it has steak and lobster and hearty meals, etc. Problem is within the frist day they get pretty much booked solid. The staff there is really snobby. The dining room staff generally try to accomodate (anytime dining).

Stateroom was nice. We had a balcony and would HIGHLY recommend it. Ruby is built with a lot of balcony rooms and it really makes your stay MUCH better. Our room steward was fine. Nothing spectacular. He was pretty much out of sight. One thing though, if you need something later in the night you won't get it. The stewards say they cover each other but they don't. It gets taken care of the next day. We had a water leak in the bathroom and luckily it started as we were leaving for dinner. They were on it right away and we left. When we came back it was fixed but they had left standing water on the bathroom floor.

The onboard activities were OK, same as other ships. The age specific activities were not well received by my kids (14 and 17). Carnival did a better job at keeping the kids busy. Ruby attempted it but fizzled.

We did an excursion at every stop. The princess Cays was very nice. We did a 6 person cabana and it was money well spent. The only thing is Princess tried to convince you to upgrade it and it wasn't necessary. In St. Thomas we did the Pirate Schooner and snorkeling trip. It was the BEST!!!!!!!!!! By far the highlight of the entire cruise. These guys make the excursion a blast. If you do anything, do this.

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