A new jewel in
Princess Cruises' Crown
by Port Everglades fireboats, Ruby Princess arrives at her
Cruises has done it again with the introduction of the third "Crown"
ships to the fleet. Preceded by Crown Princess in 2006 and Emerald
Princess in 2007, Ruby Princess completes the line's new-ship
building program in grand style.
not the world's largest ship by any stretch of the imagination these
days, at 113,561 tons the new Ruby Princess contains the
tradition of Princess Cruises' signature features, as well as introduces some innovative
features that expand the
on board experience to a higher level.
Mini-suite D120 on Dolphin Deck
One of the first things most
people notice is the abundance of balconies on any Princess ship.
Naturally, Ruby Princess has plenty—a
whopping 80% of all outside accommodations feature spacious
balconies stepped out in wedding cake fashion. My
mini-suite balcony on Dolphin deck featured clear panels beneath the
railing and was deep enough for two chairs with adjustable backs and a metal dining table with two matching chairs.
For safety purposes, there are sprinklers overhead on all
standard accommodations have traditionally featured numerous amenities and the line continues to provide
passengers with staples such as hairdryers, small refrigerators,
television, telephone with voice mail, personal safe, large walk-in
closet, and robes for use throughout the cruise. Beds are dressed in
European-style duvets and linens and have posh fluffy pillows. Real
conveniences for passengers who must remain in touch with family or
the office are ship-wide WiFi and cell phone connectivity.
space and comforts are available to mini-suite and suite occupants,
including separate sitting areas, luxury bedding and towels, a
choice of pillow styles, and bathtubs in mini-suites. Suites
additionally have a DVD/CD player, magnifying vanity mirror,
massaging shower head, robes and slippers, and a complimentary
mini-bar (one time set up).
wheelchair accessible cabins are available in a variety of
categories, including 21 with balcony, 4 ocean view, and 6 inside.
Oddly, there are only two interconnecting 'family' suites, although
at 607 square feet (including balcony) they are large.
Italian trattoria Sabatini's
If I had to pick the one
thing I like best about a Princess cruise, it would be the Personal
Choice Dining concept. I prefer the idea of eating when I'm hungry and
not planning my day around a set schedule. Tailoring a cruise
vacation to my lifestyle is high on my list of priorities.
Ruby Princess still
offers set seating dining for traditionalists who prefer it,
but also takes choices to a new level for those of us who are a bit
and Botticelli dining rooms (one traditional seating, two
for personal choice) are elegant and intimate. Each features
artwork in the masters' styles.
is the casual buffet restaurant with sea views from floor to
ceiling windows. Servers are on hand to provide beverages and
assistance. New on
Ruby Princess in the Horizon Court are a waffle station at
breakfast and lemonade in the beverage stations.
adjacent to the Horizon Court is also a buffet, but with
Caribbean themed menus and an open kitchen concept where diners can
order their meal.
Cafe is an expansion of the patisserie found on other
Princess ships. Open 24-hours, it features specialty coffees,
pastries, salads, panini sandwiches, and tapas. Aside from some
specialty items, there is no charge.
and seafood bar serves fine wines accompanied by artisan
cheeses, sushi, and other chilled seafood
appetizers, for a modest charge.
Princess' signature Italian trattoria has a top-deck
location with sweeping views and an outdoor area for al
fresco dining. Cover charge is $20 and well worth it for the
tasting courses alone, not to mention the entrees and desserts.
Exclusively for full-suite passengers is the opportunity to
enjoy a leisurely breakfast in Sabatini’s.
expands upon the Sterling Steakhouse concept in a warm,
wood-paneled setting. In addition to steaks and
chops, seafood items such as lobster are available.
Passengers can watch their dinner being prepared at the eat-up
counter, although I recommend sitting at one of the comfortable
banquettes instead. Cover charge is $25; some
items may carry an additional charge.
In addition to dining
rooms and restaurants, the Trident Grill is a handy poolside
spot to get a burger and fries for lunch. Nearby is the Prego
for pizza and Scoops Ice Cream Bar, where premium frozen
treats are served for a modest fee. Complimentary ice cream is also served in the Horizon Court for a short time every afternoon.
dining choices for passengers with balcony accommodations are the Champagne
Balcony Breakfast ($28 per couple) and the Ultimate Balcony
Dinner, served course-by-course with lobster tails ($50 per
new, and soon to be introduced on
Emerald Princess and Crown Princess,
is the authentically British Pub Lunch served in
the Wheelhouse Bar. With choices such as fish 'n chips, bangers and
mash, cottage pie, and ploughman's lunch, it was so popular on our
sailing that lines formed and, best of all, it's complimentary.
Gourmets can opt to dine at
Chef’s Table, a
dining event that offers passengers the opportunity to be welcomed
into the the ship’s galley by the executive chef for pre-dinner
cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, followed by a specially prepared
multi-course tasting dinner in the dining room hosted by the chef.
Limited to 10 diners per night, the charge is $75 per person.
If that isn't enough choice, there's 24-hour room service and
you can even order
pizza delivered to your cabin for a nominal $3 service charge.
Princess Preview - Part Two
Cruise Diva's Ruby Princess Blogs:
Cruises - Cruise Line Profile
Image Courtesy of Princess Cruises
Photos © Linda Coffman