Ruby Princess Round Britain Report Part 1

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Jan Rosser
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Ruby Princess Round Britain Report Part 1

Post by Jan Rosser » 31 Jul 2014, 20:16

Thought I'd better split up my ramblings - you might fall asleep otherwise in the middle of reading it ;)

Travelled down to Southampton on Wednesday morning with my friends after dropping dog off at kennels - she did her usual "I'll make you feel guilty abandoning me again face" but toddled off quite happily after my back was turned. Good journey down - we were staying in the Premier Inn overnight - basic but clean although I could have done with a ladder to get into bed - Lenny Henry obviously has longer legs than me !!

We checked out of the hotel at noon and drove to the Ocean terminal - dropped off the cases and were able to check in straightaway. As “Elite” members of Princess we were guided to an area of the lounge for Elite and suite passengers and drinks and pastries were available (felt a bit of a cheat actually because most of my credits are from P&O cruises although this was my fifth cruise with Princess). Didn’t have long to wait and we were on board just after 1 pm - the rest of our little gang (my son's in-laws) arrived shortly after.

First impressions - very glitzy but airy and spacious in the atrium and the crew were so welcoming and this continued throughout the cruise. Cabin was an inside - late booking - paid for an IF grade but upgraded to an IB. Although I paid double the fare was so reduced I did feel I'd had a bargain. Cabin similar to those on Azura and Ventura - on Baja deck - very clean full of goodies - mini bar, beer and soft drinks and water - all complimentary because of this Elite status!! Met my steward whose name was Romeo. Again very happy and pleased to have an Elite passenger to look after - getting a bit embarrassed by all this attention. However I’m not turning down any little extras - the free laundry is something I will be taking advantage of. Surprised to see a note saying they had credited my account with $25 on board credit - didn't expect that with a late very reduced booking.

We were on Anytime dining and could use either the Michelangelo or Da Vinci restaurants. It was possible to pre book your table on a daily basis but apart from one occasion when we were given a buzzer we usually only waited a short time anyway. I felt the food was more geared to the American taste - some peculiar vegetables and main dishes - we found the choice in the buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner was more varied. I liked the fact that the tables in the buffet were laid and the waiters brought you drinks and always managed to find a table for the five of us pretty quickly. We normally have breakfast in the dining room because of the scrum in the buffet but after the first day we used the buffet and indeed we dined in the evening in the buffet a few times apart from formal nights - had Beef Wellington one night in Cafe Caribe which was absolutely delicious. The food was plated in the dining room and was more than adequate for me. The bread and pastries were far better than those on P&O ships - the only drawback being that they left baskets of bread on the table and I do try to resist the bread but when on holiday :roll:

On the first night we went to the theatre for an introduction to the entertainment by the cruise director - his name was Martyn Moss, he was English and we discovered later in the cruise when we were chatting to him that he was actually born in Billinge which is where my son and the in-laws live and went to the same schools as my DIL although she is younger.

Martyn told us that there were 42 nationalities on board - 1400 Americans, 400+ British and the rest a mixture of the rest of the world. I guessed there would be a lot of Americans and boy were they loud and big and lived up to their reputation particularly where food was concerned but very friendly - wanted to know where we came from and loved our accent - oh dear !!

Guernsey was a tender port and after breakfast we went straight to the boat - the Elite status gave us priority boarding - another perk!! We only had a short stay and just wandered around St Peter Port - lovely day and when we returned to the boat we sunbathed after lunch. Formal night and although most people made an effort there were more lounge suits than DJs - some people were going back to their cabins after dinner to change into something more comfortable. There was a champagne fountain in the atrium and lots of free drinks - our waitress in the Crooners Bar kept us well supplied. After dinner we went to a show by the dancers and singers called Colors of the World - this troupe were all leaving the ship at the end of our cruise and a new group coming on - they were okay but more impressive were the back drops and lighting etc. I’ve not seen anything quite like it and of course when you tend to stick to one company you do know all the shows so this was all new to us and quite different to P&O.

After breakfast we caught the train from Cobh into Cork - we had all been to this port before and had either kissed the Blarney Stone or looked for ancestors (I was a Murphy before marriage - needless to say I was related to everyone in Kinsale). We had pre-dinner drinks in Crooner’s Bar - I am trying out the champagne cocktails - tonight Passionate Bellini - very nice too. Dinner tonight in Michelangelo restaurant and then there was a choice of entertainment ranging from 3/4th place playoff in the Football World Cup, Rock n Roll Night and a violinist in the theatre - very talented young man. The casino was another option and I was surprised that you are allowed to smoke in there or have a cigar in this little box room - very busy because in a few days time while we were in British territorial waters they couldn’t open the casino.

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