Cruising, as a whole, is an enriching, refreshing experience. Most of the time, the majority of our cruise experience revolves around the main aspects of a sailing: the cruise line, the ship, the ports, the excursions, the crew. While these aspects are the main force behind the cruise experience, sometimes it’s the little things that drive the experience home.
On my recent sailing aboard Princess Cruise’s Ruby Princess, I took notice of a number of small, otherwise unnoticed aspects that truly made my sailing with Princess stand out. Most of these minor aspects aren’t indicative of the cruise experience overall, but they truly showed me a few various ways Princess stands out from the crowd.
While these late night treats can be found on many cruise lines nowadays, Princess takes a different approach to treat their guests. Each night, a small chocolate treat can be found in your stateroom following turn down, but each night brings a different shape and style of chocolate. One night may find you enjoying a square, smooth treat, while another will find you sharing a heart shaped chocolate with your significant other. The varying chocolates throughout the sailing are just a small way Princess has mixed up the traditional pillow chocolate square.
Offering some of the largest and most uniquely configured balconies at sea, Princess has broken away from the crowd with their unique balcony layouts. Many of Princess’ ships are configured with a “stepped” style of balconies, creating some unique sizes and layouts. Onboard Ruby Princess, and other Grand Class ships, guests staying in Caribe Deck balcony staterooms can enjoy 73 square feet of balcony, including 4 chairs and a table. Compared to an industry average of approximately 50 square feet, these balconies truly offer significant space to sit back and watch the sun slip over the horizon.
As I mentioned with the balconies aboard Ruby Princess, Princess seems to stand out from the rest of the cruise lines in regards to detail. Sailing aboard Ruby Princess, I had a difficult time trying to find a flat, white wall. Each public room aboard the Ruby Princess featured an elegant design and many unique architectural features. My favorite feature found aboard the Ruby Princess was the use of the curve and arch. From the atrium’s dual winding staircases, to the arched doorways, or even the dark mahogany finishing in the Crown Grill – the architecture alone stood out from the usual cookie cutter cruise ship design.
While the Princess atmosphere is hard to objectively distinguish from another cruise line, I can say the atmosphere aboard the Ruby Princess was definitely special and one I have not experienced before. Walking through the ship, it’s not easy to ignore that you are sailing on a ship with an elegant, yet relaxed onboard atmosphere. While I am a cruiser who enjoys the finer things of life, the atmosphere aboard Ruby Princess was unique. By day, the Piazza and promenade exuded the atmosphere of a Caribbean beach club, but by night, the ship transformed into an elegant Caribbean country club. In my opinion – the perfect mix of onboard atmospheres.
In addition to these four primary stand out features, a number of other amenities and features are worth mentioning for elevating the Princess experience:
- Movies Under The Stars: Guests can enjoy a small part of Hollywood under the stars on the ship’s big screen. Padded loungers, blankets, and popcorn are readily available for the moviegoers.
- The Pizzeria: Guests can enjoy delicious “big pizza pie” for lunch and dinner near the Lido or back in the stateroom.
- The Terrace: A secluded and quiet Lido space located at the stern of the ship. A perfect spot to read or enjoy breakfast with a view of the wake.
- Beverage Service: It’s not about the alcohol onboard Princess, waiters roam the Horizon Court offering orange juice, lemonade, water, and other complimentary beverages.
- The Promenade: I’ve said it many times before, I’m a sucker for a wrap around promenade. Princess does it right though, allowing guests to venture all the way out to the ship’s bow in a sheltered promenade walk. Yes, you really can be the king of the world.