Ruby Princess

First, a mea culpa. This is late as this voyage doesn’t officially start until noon today. Oh, and the photographs will be added early next week. You see, along with my phone charger, I forgot that gizmo that transfers from camera to computer.

Yesterday I set my alarm for 5 AM in order to make AA 202 at 7:40 AM to Miami. The alarm went off at 4 AM. Nice start Geoff. The reason for the early start is I live 35 miles from LAX, and although it was 5:30 when we left, we hit a bunch of traffic. An omen?

The flight was smooth, and on time. A group of us was met by a Princess official and loaded into a van. We took the “Express Lane”, a two lane road that is separated from the regular traffic by barriers and headed to Fort Lauderdale. There was an accident on the “Express” lane and it was jammed for miles with no way to get in the regular highway and join the traffic speeding by. An omen?

We finally got to Lauderdale, and went to the cruise ship entrance. Two guards, one female and one male started to argue. The male had a list of some 200 names, and was trying to find each of us listed. The female told him not to bother, it would be handled inside.

Male Guard- “This is my job!”

Female Princes representative – “Let them in, we’ll handle it inside.”

Female Guard – “I told you!”

Male Guard – silence.

Boarding was easy, and my cabin lovely.

Dinner was served in a single dining room as there were only about 53 of us aboard. Four courses of excellent flavor and perfect service. The real cruise starts tomorrow.

Ruby is the newest and most beautiful of the Princess line. Not only is she the newest, she’s the last of the Princess new builds that we’ll see for a couple of years. Ruby Princess is over three football fields long and will hold 3,150 smiling passengers.

OK, so you have an idea that I like this ship. I was in the elevator early this morning with an officer with a lot of gold on his shoulders.

“This is a beautiful ship”, I said.

“One ship is like another,” he replied.

I got off on Deck 12.

I slept until 9 AM and couldn’t find any breakfast. After that failure, I did some housekeeping. The Launderette was about two miles down the passageway, but it served as my morning walk. I put a dollar bill in the change maker and received 3 quarters and a washer smaller than a dime. Oh well. Putting the quarters in the soap dispenser, I soon found that soap had yet to be loaded. I decided to use the washer anyway. It was not yet connected.

Back to the cabin and that was my afternoon walk.

I tried room service. The line didn’t work. The real cruise starts at noon.

The ship’s clocks were three hours fast but at the same time, they automatically went from 2:59 to 12 noon. The cruise has started.

At 4:15 a cocktail party; at 5:00 the naming ceremony and a wedding. The couple, Danielle Vurpillat and Kip Hickman from Dunsmuir, Calif., were invited to share their nuptials with guests onboard after entering the Princess Cruises and USA TODAY “Romance on the Ruby contest. Trista and Ryan Sutter, who met and married on the television hit The Bachelorette, will serve as attendants and will christen the ship. Former Love Boat captain, Gavin MacLeod, will give away the bride.

It’s black tie, but it’s the Ruby Princess so I’m wearing a red bow tie and red socks. I hope someone notices.

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