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Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Tour of the Magnificent Ruby Princess

The Magnificent Ruby Princess

The Ruby Princess is our favorite cruise ship.  Mary Alice and I have sailed on her four times now, the latest being a Trans-Atlantic crossing from Ft. Lauderdale to South Hampton, England. From the elegant dining rooms to the 5th floor Piazza, we feel right at home everywhere we go.

I thought I would take you on a photo tour of the Ruby and see why we love cruising on this ship.
To the left, you'll see our Cabin Steward Carlito and he's one of the reasons the Ruby is such a pleasant cruise.  He took care of everything, keeping us in fresh towels and crisp linens, taking our laundry and returning it, turning down the bed at night always leaving two chocolates on the pillow. The best thing about Carlito though was always his welcoming smile.
There are multiple dining options on the Ruby including three main dining rooms, the International Cafe, the Horizon Grill (buffet), the pizza station, hamburger/hot dog station, and the ice cream parlor.   
Our  evening favorite was the Da Vinci room because we could dine with friends, or make new ones, plus the service is usually very good.  There is nothing like having someone waiting on your every need at the dining table.

If you're really hungry, there's not a better place to eat than the Horizon Grill on the 15th floor. It's buffet style and you just help yourself.

We found ourselves much of the time at the International Cafe on the 5th Deck Piazza. You can get hot soup, salads, sandwiches, desserts and walk over to the coffee shop and order any kind of specialty coffee.

The coffee cafe proved to be a meeting place for friends aboard ship. That's Ron Jones with MA. Ron and his wife have sailed over eighty times and on each cruise he organizes a tribute to Veterans. On this cruise over 100 vets showed up and every single one of them had an opportunity to introduce themselves and tell us how they served our country. I had permission to set up a POW/MIA memorial table. You are not forgotten.

We splurged one night and had a steak dinner at the Crown Grill. It costs $25/person but well worth it. The steaks are premium as well as the service.

This is a sample menu from the evening dining service. Click on the picture for details.

Either before or after dinner we would often go to the Princess Theater for a show. On the Trans-Atlantic voyage we saw and excellent ventriloquist by the name of Ron Horn and a fantastic magic show, and I can't remember the magician's name..

Princess customizes each cruise by offering a place for groups to gather and meet. Following our veterans group meeting, MA asked the Assistant Cruise Director Frenchie if she would host an "airline" gathering of present and former airline employees.  About four nights later it was announced in the Princess Patter, a daily bulletin.  It was well attended by flight attendants, pilots and ground personnel. 

The Ruby Princess is commanded by Commodore Giueseppe Romano. He is the chief captain of all the captains with Princess. The Commodore makes his home in Cleveland, OH and is looking to retire in four years to Florida. A tour of the Bridge is offered to a select number of people and my friend Ron Jones treated me to this rare event.   These are some photos of our tour of the Bridge conducted by the Commodore no less.

This is on the Bridge and the Commodore is holding the ships helm.  Normally, no one has to stand at the helm as the ship is guided by computer.

The complete control of the Ruby Princess incorporates radars, electronic charts, and the track pilot autopilot system, all controlled from the large screens in front of the navigator with controls for the engines and thrusters. The thrusters allow the captain to enter a harbor and ease up to the dock sideways without the use of a tug boat.

Officers on Watch at the Con

Commodore Giuseppe Romano and WW
Officers on the watch:  The rotating watches begin at 12M and last 4 hours when a new crew takes over.

If you just want to watch a movie, the Ruby has Theater Under the Stars where you can watch a full length movie.  

One of our favorite acts that we've seen before is the Flamenco Express. These Spanish dancers made an impression on this Texan. MA bought one of their DVDs and they did a double take when they heard her speak Spanish like she does.

Well, that's about it.  Time to say Bon Voyage or better yet join us on our next cruise!

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