Ruby Princess Cruise, day 6, 7 & disembarkation

Addendum to Day 5 – since we stayed on the ship while everyone else got off, I took this opportunity to do a load of laundry. One of the things I love about Princess is that every floor has its own mini laundromat. In the past, I have always brought a roll of quarters with me to do laundry. Princess has changed to a token system, no quarters needed. In the laundromat, there is a token machine with a touch screen. You select how many loads of wash and dry you want to do ($3, each), just swipe your room card and 1 Token is dispensed for each load.

Day 6 – Grand Turk. I loved, loved, loved Grand Turk! This island is what cruising is all about, beaches, drinks and snorkeling. We docked at about 1:00 pm. I wish we had arrived earlier because we only had a few hours of sun left. Grand Turk is a small island, only 8 square miles. As soon as you get off the ship there is a Margaritaville. They have a big pool that is open the the public. It’s a great party spot, lots of people, music and drinks. We did eat lunch there, we got wings, burgers and a bucket of beer. In retrospect, we should have just eaten on the ship (for free!) before we went to the beach. The beach has lots of chairs and umbrellas that you can rent. We got 2 chairs and an umbrella for $20 bucks. We could snorkel right off the beach, which was awesome!!!! We saw lots of fish. This was my favorite day of the cruise!

Day 7 – Last Sea Day, in the morning, we went to the International cafe for coffee, cappuccino and pastries. I really like the International cafe. I’m going to miss my morning cappuccino with designs in the steamed milk! Maybe hubby can learn how to do that for me???
We spent the morning by the pool. This cruise must not have been sold out because it was always easy to find a deck chair. Although, it was getting pretty crowded by the time we left.
We went to the wheelhouse bar for pub lunch. Every sea day, Princess does an English style pub lunch (fish & chips, bangers & mash, etc.). After lunch we headed to the Piazza to bet on the horse races. It was so much fun and we even won $12 bucks. The horses are made of wood and they roll dice to move the horses. The crowd really got into it!
Early evening entertainment was done by our fellow passengers! At 5:00 pm in the Piazza, they had a steel drum band. About 15 cruisers practiced all week and performed a few songs on the steel drums. After the steel drum band, the Princess choir performed. About 12 cruisers practiced all week and sung a few songs for us. Both groups were really great!
Time to get ready for our final evening out, our last martini made by Miguel and our last dinner served by Marcin, Bayani and Magnolia! The staff of this ship were outstanding! All very pleasant, hardworking and professional.

Disembarkation – we signed up for “walk off” at 7:30 am, which means we carry off our own luggage. We went to the designated meeting spot and by 7:30 we were off the ship. By 7:40 we were in our car headed home. It was such a lovely day in Port St Lucie, Fl that we headed to the beach after we unloaded our luggage. We felt like we were in another port, which made coming back to reality much easier!

Ruby princess cruise, day 2, 3, 4, 5

Day 2 of our cruise was spent at Princess’ private island, Princess Cays, in the Bahamas. At this port you have to take a tender to shore. We have been on this island before, so we decided to pass and just hang out on the ship. It was a great choice because the ship was practically empty. There was an abundance of deck chair, in primo spots no less!
This morning we got a continental breakfast at the International cafe. I had yogurt with granola and, of course, a cappuccino. Paul had pastry and coffee.
There were not many activities planned on the ship today because it was a port day. We walked around a bit. We relaxed in a hot tub and had it all to ourselves. And took a nap so we would be refreshed for the evening.
After our nap we stopped by the wine bar for sushi and tapas. Then went back to the room to get ready for the evening. At 6:00 pm there was a steel drum band, Sugar Cane Duo, playing in the Piazza. Steel drum music never gets old. I even bought their CD they had for sale in the gift shop.
At 7:00 pm we relocated to Explorers lounge to see Fernandez, “Premier Comedy Hypnotist”. He was really funny and made his volunteers do silly stuff, like pretend they were body builders and act like Elvis. Very entertaining. The place was packed, so if you want to see this show get there early.
At 8:30 we went to dinner in the Michelangelo dining room. It was Italian night! The maitre d had a special appetizer of bruschetta waiting for us when we got to our table. The dining room staff is amazing. Our waiter remembered the wine we drank form the previous night and asked if we would like the same tonight? But we went for a Pinot Noir instead of a Cab.
After our fabulous dinner we went to the Princess Theater to see the 10:00pm show “Almost Elton John”. He was excellent! I hope he does another performance this week. He did all classic Elton, Tiny Dancer, Philadelphia Freedom, Bitch is Back, etc.
To finish off the night we went to the Speakeasy so Paul could have a cigar and brandy. It’s the only place on the ship where one can smoke pipes and cigars. For cigarette smokers, there is a designated are on the back of the ship.
More to come tomorrow! Good night!

Day 3 – rough sea day. The pools were closed and you weren’t allowed outside on the Promenade deck. So what do you do? Drink, eat, see a show, nap, repeat several times!

Day 4 – St Maarten. We got off the ship and had to get a water taxi to the shops and restaurants. I wonder if st Maarten did this on purpose when they built the cruise ship docks? Every passenger from every cruise ship has to pay $7/per person for a round trip ride on the water taxi. Not a bad price, but it’s just like having to get a tender, which I’m not a fan of! As soon as we boarded the water taxi, we were caught in a torrential down pour. The water taxi is open air with just a little canvas top, so needless to say, everyone got drenched! We went to the Hard Rock for lunch and wifi. We get free internet minutes from Princess, but they are useless to us when the Internet is not working (it has been out since day 2). By the time we were done lunch the sun was shining and the weather was perfect. After lunch we took a taxi ($20 one way for 2 people) to Orient Beach. Paul had been there before and loved it. But it’s different now, they had a bad storm and much of the beach eroded away and there was a ton of yucky seaweed along the shore, so you couldn’t go in the water. We did find 2 chairs and an umbrella ($15) on the nude beach and we were able to swim because the seaweed wasn’t that bad there. There was about 50/50 naked people to people with their clothes on, but most of the naked ones should have stayed dressed! We took a cab back to downtown, then had to get the water taxi again. I wasn’t a big fan of St Maarteen, first of all the water taxi, secondly so many people are trying to sell you stuff and braid your hair. I must have said “no, thank you” about 1,000 times! Leave me alone!!!!!

Day 5 – St Thomas. We stayed on the boat today and did not get off in St Thomas. Mostly everyone does get off, so there’s tons of deck chairs to chose from. There’s on a few people in the pool too. It was a nice relaxing day with perfect weather. At 1:00pm we decided to get chairs in “the Sanctuary”, it’s $20 for 1-5:30 for a big fluffy chair. At 3:30 they served tea, finger sandwiches and scones. We felt very British. It was lovely, except that there is a public pool right outside and the people in the pool were loud! I did manage to still catch a quick nap though. Tonight was formal night, ugh! So over getting dressed up, but they had escargot in the dining room, so it was worth it! The escargot was the best thing I ate all week. Although all the food has been wonderful, the escargot was just over the top!!! Tonight’s production show was “once Upon a Dream”, it kind of sucked. Oh well, you can’t win them all. Overall, the entertainment has been fabulous!

Ruby Princess Cruise, Day 1 – Embarkation

Sorry, folks. I haven’t blogged in forever, but The Traveling Glynns haven’t been traveling. This past year we went through many life changes, all good though. We bought a house in Florida and Paul retired! I moved to Florida in February, while Paul stayed in New Jersey to finish up his last 8 months of work. So our “traveling” for the better part of the past year consisted of flying back and forth to visit each other. Now that we are living under the same roof again, let the traveling begin!
One of our most favorite thing to do is cruise! So we booked a 7 day Caribbean cruise on Ruby Princess, visiting St Thomas, St Marteen and Turks & Caicos. Living in Florida and driving to the cruise port was the best! We woke up at home, left around 9:00am and arrived in Fort Lauderdale around 10:30am. We have some time to kill before boarding so we grabbed breakfast at Panera Bread (yuck), went to the Dollar store and then went to a pub for a beer. Then it was time to head to the port. We just drove through the security check point, parked in the garage and walked on board Ruby Princess. We were on the boat by 1:00 pm. Check in was a breeze. Not much of a line because we are Platinum status and don’t have to wait in line with the masses. Hehehehe!
The first stop that we made once we got on the ship was to buy our drink package. There are tables set up in various parts of the ship. Just stop by any table and they will put a sticker on your cruise card indicating that you have paid for the package. When you order a drink, just show your card, they will still ask for a signature on the receipt, but the charge is “zero”. The drink package is $49 a day per person. It includes all beverages under $10, and not just cocktails. You can get coffee, cappuccino, soda, bottled water, etc. Well worth it for us!
The second stop we made was for a cocktail! Beverly Hills Iced Tea, please. That’s my favorite cruise drink. That’s actually one of my favorite drinks anywhere.
There’s nothing like the excitement of first boarding a ship. Cocktail in hand, steel drums playing and everyone is HAPPY! We walked around and explored the ship. We have been on this class of ship before and they are all set up the same, so we were familiar with the lay out.
All this excitement is making me hungry, so we stopped at “Vines” (the wine bar) and ate some sushi and tapas.
Muster drill was at 3:30 so we headed to our station early and got a seat. After muster, we went back to our cabin for sail away! By that time all of our luggage had arrived in the room, so I did some unpacking too. I love sail away. As you watch the land disappear in the distance and you know you have 7 fun-filled days ahead of you. What a great feeling!
I did need a nap before dinner because I was too excited to sleep and I got up at 5:15 am. After my power nap, we went to the martini bar for a cocktail before dinner. That’s our routine, 7:30 cocktail hour, 8:30 dinner. We got the exact table we wanted in the dining room, set all the way in the back corner by the window so we can watch the ocean go by as we eat. Food and service in the dining room was top notch! The wait staff is so attentive and professional. After dinner, off to the show. It was a welcome aboard show with dancers and singers, then a comedian (he was really funny).
After the show we went back to our cabin and crashed for the night! Good night. What a wonderful first day of our cruise! ⚓️🚢

Ruby Princess Cruise, Day 1 – Embarkation

Sorry, folks. I haven’t blogged in forever, but The Traveling Glynns haven’t been traveling. This past year we went through many life changes, all good though. We bought a house in Florida and Paul retired! I moved to Florida in February, while Paul stayed in New Jersey to finish up his last 8 months of work. So our “traveling” for the better part of the past year consisted of flying back and forth to visit each other. Now that we are living under the same roof again, let the traveling begin!
One of our most favorite thing to do is cruise! So we booked a 7 day Caribbean cruise on Ruby Princess, visiting St Thomas, St Marteen and Turks & Caicos. Living in Florida and driving to the cruise port was the best! We woke up at home, left around 9:00am and arrived in Fort Lauderdale around 10:30am. We have some time to kill before boarding so we grabbed breakfast at Panera Bread (yuck), went to the Dollar store and then went to a pub for a beer. Then it was time to head to the port. We just drove through the security check point, parked in the garage and walked on board Ruby Princess. We were on the boat by 1:00 pm. Check in was a breeze. Not much of a line because we are Platinum status and don’t have to wait in line with the masses. Hehehehe!
The first stop that we made once we got on the ship was to buy our drink package. There are tables set up in various parts of the ship. Just stop by any table and they will put a sticker on your cruise card indicating that you have paid for the package. When you order a drink, just show your card, they will still ask for a signature on the receipt, but the charge is “zero”. The drink package is $49 a day per person. It includes all beverages under $10, and not just cocktails. You can get coffee, cappuccino, soda, bottled water, etc. Well worth it for us!
The second stop we made was for a cocktail! Beverly Hills Iced Tea, please. That’s my favorite cruise drink. That’s actually one of my favorite drinks anywhere.
There’s nothing like the excitement of first boarding a ship. Cocktail in hand, steel drums playing and everyone is HAPPY! We walked around and explored the ship. We have been on this class of ship before and they are all set up the same, so we were familiar with the lay out.
All this excitement is making me hungry, so we stopped at “Vines” (the wine bar) and ate some sushi and tapas.
Muster drill was at 3:30 so we headed to our station early and got a seat. After muster, we went back to our cabin for sail away! By that time all of our luggage had arrived in the room, so I did some unpacking too. I love sail away. As you watch the land disappear in the distance and you know you have 7 fun-filled days ahead of you. What a great feeling!
I did need a nap before dinner because I was too excited to sleep and I got up at 5:15 am. After my power nap, we went to the martini bar for a cocktail before dinner. That’s our routine, 7:30 cocktail hour, 8:30 dinner. We got the exact table we wanted in the dining room, set all the way in the back corner by the window so we can watch the ocean go by as we eat. Food and service in the dining room was top notch! The wait staff is so attentive and professional. After dinner, off to the show. It was a welcome aboard show with dancers and singers, then a comedian (he was really funny).
After the show we went back to our cabin and crashed for the night! Good night. What a wonderful first day of our cruise! ⚓️🚢

West Coast Tour, Day 11 – Seattle

After disembarking the cruise ship we got a cab. It was very orderly. There was plenty of cabs and there was plenty of workers to point you in the right direction. We got a cab right away, no waiting. It was about a $15 ride to the downtown Westin. It was niiiiiice!!!! I booked it on Hotwire. We were really early for check in, it was only about 9:30, so I figured we would have to check our bags and walk around. To our surprise, they had a room ready! I requested a high floor and we got a room on the 32nd floor! The front desk worker was very nice. Most of the people we came in contact with on this vacation were very nice. I guess we’re just jaded East Coasters. I was so happy that we could just drop all of our stuff in the room. Then we went looking for a breakfast place. I was desperate for coffee, not a problem in Seattle. Unfortunately, it’s all Starbucks (not my favorite).
We could see Pike Place Market from our room, so we started walking in that direction. Again, referencing our Yelp app to find a place for breakfast. We walked through the market a while. They were selling tons of flowers for Mother’s Day. And of course, lots of seafood and fresh produce. The produce was amazing. I wish I could shop there!

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We ended up eating breakfast at a place called Ludi’s. It was a Filipino restaurant, but they served American style breakfast. It was yummy, but I wish I had of tried something Filipino.

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After breakfast we headed back to the hotel. We both fell asleep on the most awesome beds ever!!!! These beds were amazing! Every single night of vacation, I woke up at 3am. I guess my body clock couldn’t shut itself off. So I napped everyday. This was the best nap of them all. We got up and not to long after Sean, Brandi and Emily arrived. It was so great to see them. Emily is getting so big and is so adorable! She immediately spotted the iPad and sat on my lap to play her games. She had to check out Grandpop’s iPad too.

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We had a nice, relaxing visit with the kids and then we all went to dinner at The Pink Door. It was excellent. Unfortunately, Emily was not able to get chicken nuggets and French fries. She even made up a song about it, poor kid. She was really good and ate some spaghetti and bread.

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After dinner, we walked around bit. Seattle is very hill-y! Nothing like some intense cardio after a giant meal. We went back to our room and hung out a while. The kids went home and we went to bed. Our flight was at 11:30 am out of SEATAC.
I had tried earlier in the day to check in to our flight online, but there was an issue. US Air told me to call Expedia. Oh no, not THAT! They have the worst customer service, ever! So I spent some time on hold, then decided to just check in at the airport. The airline will just have to figure it out.
We left the hotel at about 8:30 am on Monday morning. It’s a $40 flat rate cab fare from downtown to the airport. There was no traffic on the way and we got there pretty quick. So, we go up to the self serve kiosk at Us Air, still not able to check in. One of the workers had to help us. She took our reservation and ID’s, went to computer and she was there for a while. She came back to us and said “I’m sorry, your connecting flight in Phoenix is running late. I’ll have to book you on a direct flight to Philadelphia.” I literally jumped up and down for joy! No lay over!!!
The flight home was painless. A lady across the isle from us had the whole row to herself, so she switched with us and we all had extra space! I read my book and the 4 1/2 hours went by quickly. In Philly, we picked up our car and headed home! We had an excellent vacation, saw beautiful sights, ate wonderful food, saw our family and friends. But it was so nice to get back home to my couch and my dog!
There’s no place like home…

West Coast Tour Day 10, 1 day cruise

Today started with a lovely breakfast at a lovely little coffee and waffle shop, Waffle and Berries. The cafe is very sleek and modern and the waffles were to die for! It was also only a few blocks from the hotel. Thank goodness for Yelp!.

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We went back to our room and hung out for a while, waiting to get a cab to the port. We left the hotel around noon and it was only a $6 cab ride to the port. This embarkation was way different than Los Angeles. We had to go through customs before boarding and I think all 2,700 passengers were in line. It was PACKED, but I have to say the line did keep moving. It probably took about an hour to get on board. We were spoiled with our empty 3 day cruise! This cruise was really crowded.
Although we love cruising, the only reason for a one nighter is to earn points to upgrade your cruise loyalty status or to have a Girls’ Night Out. There were hoards of women and quite a few bachelorette parties. It’s one thing if you live in the area and can take a little duffle bag on the ship with you and stay for one night. But when you have to schlep 3 suitcases on and off the boat, it’s not really worth it. It’s not so much cruising for 1 night that I found annoying, it’s just a pain to stay anywhere for 1 night, which is what we did for the last 3 nights of vacation: Vancouver, Cruise, Seattle. That was just too much moving around. Live and learn. Never again! 2 night minimum.
We had a great time on our one night cruise to Seattle. One of the highlights was finding our favorite Princess bartenders, MUNI! How could you not love Muni!?!? Muni the bartender performs!
We had some cocktails, went to muster, ate lunch, took a nap, got our tapas, sushi and wine, had some more cocktails, watched a band in one of the lounges, went to dinner, went to bed. Then we woke up in Seattle and had to disembark. Disembarkation was a breeze(except for the schlepping of the suitcases). We didn’t even have to wait for our number to be called, if you were ready to go, they wanted you off the ship! They even had the new passenger names on our door in the morning :-(

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West Coast Tour Day 9 – Vancouver

The ship arrived in Vancouver around 6:30 am. We watched the ship sail under a bridge and dock at Canada Place. We had to be out of our room by 7:30, and then we waited in one of the lounges. We were off the ship by 8:30. The only problem was that our tour didn’t pick us up until 10:00. We got some breakfast sandwiches form Subway and found a nice bench. We just hung out and people watched. It was a fabulous day and the scenery was beautiful, so we didn’t mind.
The tour bus picked us up and we were off to see Vancouver. Our first stop was Stanley Park to see the totem poles. Then we stopped at Granville Island for lunch. It’s a HUGE market place with all kinds of vendors. We drove around the city and saw some more sights. Our last stop was the observation tower, with great views of the city from the top. My favorite part of Vancouver, is all the beautiful flowers! Vancouver is beautiful, clean and the people are very nice.
The tour but dropped us off at our hotel, Coast Coal Harbour. We checked in, got to our room and found out it was a double! The horror. So I called down the the front desk and told them I had booked a king room. Turns out, I did only get a standard because I booked through “Hotwire”, but they came right up and brought keys to a King room. OK! The new room was MUCH better and we got a water view!
The hotel is nice, clean and modern. The bed is like a magical cloud. I fell asleep at 7pm and slept all night through. They provide robes and fancy toiletries, but NO FRIDGE! I’m still missing my Days Inn.
We ate dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant, Joyeaux Cafe. It was pretty good, but it was not as good as our Vietnamese place in Millville, NJ!
After dinner I fell asleep on the fluffy cloud bed. Good night, Vancouver!

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