rileyswa

rileyswa
Second Mate

Joined: 08/13/2015
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rileyswa's Past Cruises

Ruby Princess

July 2015 - 7 Night Alaska Inside Passage With Tracy Arm Fjord (Seattle Roundtrip) Cruise on Ruby Princess

Great itinerary, but not fond of the Ruby Princess

This was our 1st time on Princess and we'd heard that everything was supposed to be "a cut-above" other lines.  We didn't find that to be true at all, except for the food at dinner (Nomer and Francisco were great wait staff) was better.  We also enjoyed Jules the Naturalist.  Princess' way of doing activities and food service was too formal and inefficient.  Having popular events in venues that were too small was frustrating.  Ship felt crowded compared to other cruises we've taken.  No open access to buffet? Dance party in Piazza where only 50 people can fit, with only standing room on the staircases?  Frustrating.  1 comedian and only 1 showing for 3000 passengers? Funny stuff like no ketchup allowed on tables, not being able to pour your own, clean silverware every course, Champagne fountain for photos where ALL the champagne is poured out and thrown away? Also mattress was rock hard.  Classical music all the time --more formal than fun; and inattentive or limited wait staff at pools or bars. Prefer Carnival and RCCL 

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rileyswa's Tips

Hilo, Hawaii - Did the "Circle of Fire" helicopter tour and of course, wish it was longer, and more lava flowing, but still was a tremendous experience! Hilo is a pretty harbor as well, would like to see more of it next time. Wish we could have been in port longer as wanted to do a "night" star gazing at Mauna Kea but can't because not in port early enough or late enough. Maybe they could add some time or not stay 2 days in Maui?
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii - Hit it on a windy day, and if it's like that when you get there...My recommendation would be to not leave the ship! It's "tender only" [no dock] and our experience getting to/from the ship to Kailua-Kona was interesting to say the least...saw some people fall getting on/off tender and numerous people were "getting up there in years" so canes/walkers were difficult to manage, even saw a tender have a line break while tied to the dock, and boat was just bobbing like a cork in a bottle all the way back to the ship and while tied up at the dock. Had our "land and sea" had to get cancelled after trying to manage wind with paper boxed lunches and seas knocking drinks off tables, so catamaran captain ended excursion early and took us back to dock. Then we couldn't get to dock because wind was wreaking havoc on all boats coming in/out. Wind can be unpredictable, but we'll stay onboard next time! Kona is a beautiful place and hope to see more of it next time on a better weather day.
Honolulu, Oahu - NCL didn't offer many "pre or post" excursions and that was a shame because lots of people we talked to came in days early or were staying days longer having to find their own activities.
Nawiliwili, Kauai - Shuttles to shopping, etc. made this a convenient place. We didn't do the Luau, but apparently over 800 of the ship did! Boy, does NCL push this excursion. Even named a "milkshake of the day" Luau Luscious" -- We went to Kauai Beach Resort for the day and had a terrific restful day, and then when back on board, the ship was 1/2 empty to enjoy since everyone was at luau. Trip to Napoli Coast was okay, but weather was stormy so lots of clouds and rain hanging over the area. Did see a few whales in the waters, but will hope to see Napoli another time.
Kahului, Maui - We were on Port Side...I'd recommend NOT doing that...go for Starboard! The port was unusually noisy with fork lift noise almost non-stop while in room so not the best. Disappointed that NCL didn't have an excursion shuttle to just let people go to the Maui Ocean Center nearby...it would have been cool to visit but too expensive to taxi to.
Pride of America Pride of America - Pssst! You don't need to by Wi-Fi....it's America! 90% of the time you are in an American port, using American T-Mobile (or whatever your Network is!). Couldn't get service when sailing between islands, but that was not often. Checked emails, used FB/Twitter, took pictures, etc. all just using my cell phone's "hot spot". Hope they don't change that! Was super nice. Also, they already add 20% gratuity to all restaurant and alcohol purchases so you don't have to add MORE tip unless you want to. Wish they'd get rid of the "signature" receipts for each and every drink purchase and make their photos "digital" (we never did go to room to view our book...); they have little "photo kiosks" around the ship where you can take a quick picture and send it to your email or FB page and that was super fun to do!
Galveston, Texas - Airlines not set up for cruise passengers. Don't even take bags until 2 hours before flights, so if flights are evening, you're stuck with bags until they arrive and no place to store at airport. Lame. Might reconsider cruise from this port again.
Montego Bay, Jamaica - Chukka tours is a little crazy disorganized, staff nice but wow, not the best tour I've ever done with Carnival, but we had fun time.f
Carnival Breeze Carnival Breeze - Guys Burgers to start, Guys Burgers to end. Enough said.
Skagway, Alaska - White Pass/Yukon train was great, lunch tasty, and bus ride back a great time.
Victoria, British Columbia - We love Victoria, but a 3 hour stop was too short so stayed onboard since we've visited Victoria alot
Juneau, Alaska - Didn't spend much time in town, did Coastal Helicopter to top of Herbert Glacier and dog sled with extra landing which was amazing!
Cruise Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska - Set alarm, dress warm like for skiing, go up on pool deck for best view and to hear Naturalist, from 5-8 AM viewing. Next time we'd take separate boat to glacier to get up closer.
Ketchikan, Alaska - Interesting to walk thru, but not much to it; "Deadliest Catch" tour was great.
Ruby Princess Ruby Princess - Do Naturalist talks and get the book (very informative and interesting); Request foam pad for beds; Book excursions independently; Do the "Bon Voyage" experience; hire a porter for handling your luggage in port; Nomar & Francisco were great in Bottechelli; Leo great cabin steward; Beautiful sights.

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received a helpful vote on their Pride of America cruise review - What a great way to see Hawaii!

received a helpful vote on their Pride of America cruise review - What a great way to see Hawaii!

received a helpful vote on their Ruby Princess cruise review - Great itinerary, but not fond of the Ruby Princess

received a helpful vote on their Pride of America cruise review - What a great way to see Hawaii!

received a helpful vote on their Pride of America cruise review - What a great way to see Hawaii!

received a helpful vote on their Pride of America cruise review - What a great way to see Hawaii!

received a helpful vote on their Pride of America cruise review - What a great way to see Hawaii!

received a helpful vote on their Pride of America cruise review - What a great way to see Hawaii!

received a helpful vote on their Pride of America cruise review - What a great way to see Hawaii!

received a helpful vote on their Pride of America cruise review - What a great way to see Hawaii!