The Savvy Seafarer Wants Your Comments

Savvy Seafarer’s view from her balcony on the Ruby Princess….ft-lauderdale-webHave you taken a cruise recently? If so tell me about your experience. I will print the top 5 reports and they don’t have to ring positive either. Just tell the truth about your voyage. Please include the name of the cruise line and ship if you can remember. Don’t laugh many past passengers can’t recall the name of the ship they sailed or and some don’t even know the cruise line’s name. It’s okay.

I’ve been cruising for decades. Started with my husband when we were in our 20s. We were the youngster pax on board back in the day. Cruise pax still range in their 60s and older, but until the recession and plummeting economy more affluent or upwardly mobile young folk were taking cruises. And why not? Ships are bigger and better than ever and offer head spinning diversions heretofore unheard of at sea from rock climbing walls to bowling alleys and beyond.

You only pack and unpack once for a cruise. Of course  it helps if you pack light and don’t go overboard with a steamer trunk filled with outfits you’ll never wear. More about that in another blog.

Anyhow, I love cruising…

The fresh sea air;  days that can be as lazy or active as you want.

Spas with greatly improved treatments,  fitness centers with ultra modern equipment, casinos, large swimming pools, Internet cafes, espresso and coffee bars, althernative dining venues (for an additiona cost), spacious staterooms and lavish suites with improved amenities, BALCONIES (my favorite, I love sitting on my private verandah). In fact we’ve had breakfast, lunch and dinner served on our balcony on Silversea, Crystal, Princess and other ships. We’ve sipped champagne under the light of a full  moon, sunbathed sans costume (only on certain very private balconies), and well use your imagination. Balconies are a must and be sure to book a stateroom with one, the price  is right these days with a whole lot of discounting going on.

Okay so that’s my op, what’s yours.

This is my main mate richard-for-belair_tmp

Richard on the baclony.ruby-princess-arrival-5

Leave a comment or email me at

Bon voyage.

The Diva Does the Ruby Princess

Okay I’m back and you can read all about my experiences at It was great fun, the Ruby Princess is a knockout and well you just have to read about it.arrivalYour divaonthego is heading to Fort Lauderdale to have a first look at the spanking new Ruby Princess, please check out my savvyseafarer post on wordpress for more cruise news.  And come back next week for all the details. I’ll be joining fellow journalists and assorted industry folk on a two day cruise to nowhere after a festive christening ceremony. I love these sneak previews and can’t wait to tell you all about it.

And it’s not just another “Love Boat”– 

Princess Cruises chose youngsters  Trista and Ryan Sutter to name the Ruby Princess. The couple who met on ABC’s hit reality series, The Bachelorette, the most romantic franchise on TV since the Love Boat, mark their fifth wedding anniversary this fall. The Ruby’s inaugural theme centers  around “romantic moments and milestones.”

According to Princess Cruises:  Trista and Ryan, one of the best-known romantic duos in recent broadcast history, are the first and only couple from the The Bachelor and Bachelorette franchises who have actually gotten married.  The Sutters also recently celebrated the first birthday of their son, Max.

“Princess Cruises has long stood for romance and reconnection, and so we’re delighted to have Trista and Ryan christen Ruby Princess as they celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary,” said Jan Swartz, senior vice president for Princess Cruises.  “While slightly unconventional, their courtship and marriage was exciting to watch as it unfolded, and we think their fascinating love story epitomizes our inaugural theme of celebrating romantic moments and milestones.”

Trista and Ryan Sutter met in 2002, when she was America’s first BacheloretteThe Bachelor and The Bachelorette on ABC-TV were the first and are still the most popular reality dating shows in which one man or woman searches for their soul mate out of 25 potential suitors.  Over the course of the show, the bachelorette bestows roses on those bachelors she wishes to continue dating.  Trista presented Ryan with her final rose and he then proposed on the show’s finale in November 2002.  The couple wed on December 6, 2003 in an elaborate television ceremony watched by 26 million viewers, making it one of the most widely viewed episodes in the history of reality TV and one of ABC’s top rated shows of the year.  After their highly visible courtship, Trista and Ryan moved to Vail, CO, where they currently reside with their son, Max.  In addition to frequent TV interviews and promotional appearances, he is a firefighter and she is a stay-at-home mom and designer for her new diaper bag line, Trista Baby.

“We’re incredibly honored to be invited to be the godparents of Ruby Princess,” said Trista Sutter.  “It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since we got married.  This is a wonderful way to celebrate our wedding anniversary, and also to remind people about the importance of marking not only the key milestones in a relationship, but also making time to incorporate romance into our everyday lives.  We are so excited to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!”

The 3,070-passenger Ruby Princess includes a dramatic piazza-style atrium featuring small-bite eateries and an ever-changing array of performing street entertainers.  Passengers will also enjoy Princess’ other array of dining venues including the signature Sabatini’s Italian trattoria and the Crown Grill steak and seafood restaurant, plus a relaxing oasis just for adults called The Sanctuary.

The new cruise ship will also offer the many other innovations that define the Princess experience, including the popular Movies Under the Stars poolside movie screen, Personal Choice Dining featuring traditional or Anytime seating, multiple entertainment venues, a relaxing Asian-style Lotus Spa with fitness center, an extensive children and teen’s center, a wedding chapel and nearly 900 staterooms with private balconies — perfect for enjoying a scenic Caribbean islands cruise.

During Ruby Princess’ inaugural season she will make seven-day weekly sailings from Fort Lauderdale, FL to the Western Caribbean.  Calls include Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico and Princess Cays in the Bahamas.  Next spring the ship will move to Europe for 12-day sailings in the Mediterranean and Greek Islands.

 Some updates on the Ruby Princess–
New services: pub lunch, exclusive breakfast for suite passengers, enrichment programs from astronomy to mixology, two new stage shows, expanded wireless Internet and cell phone connectivity.


ve christening ceremony. I love these sneak previews and can’t wait to tell you all about it.

“The new features aboard Ruby Princess are a perfect example of our commitment to provide passengers with the widest array of intriguing options to customize their cruise vacation,” said Jan Swartz, Princess senior vice president.

Many of the ship’s enhancements are slated to become staples across the Princess fleet following their debut on Princess’ newest ship.  Among the new features being introduced on Ruby Princess:

Wheelhouse Bar Pub Lunch – On sea days, Ruby Princess’ Wheelhouse Bar will be transformed into an authentic English-style pub, serving a selection of traditional fare.  A menu of British favorites, including bangers & mash, fish & chips, ploughman’s lunch and cottage pie, will complement a selection of traditional pub brews such as Stella Artois, Bass Ale or Guinness.  Pub lunch meal service is free of charge and will run from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Sabatini’s Breakfast for Suite Passengers – Suite passengers aboard Ruby Princess will have the opportunity to enjoy an exclusive breakfast in Sabatini’s.  Beginning with a “Good Morning Mimosa,” the menu features a variety of breakfast favorites, plus specialty items such as brioche French toast with apple & cinnamon compote, yogurt and super granola parfait with raspberry swirl, soft-poached egg over potato & vegetables with hollandaise sauce, and freshly made Belgian waffles.  Suite passengers can enjoy this new amenity, along with the restaurant’s dramatic top-of-ship views, from approximately 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Artisan Cheeses at Vines – In addition to serving more than 30 wines by the glass and seafood appetizers that have made Vines a passenger favorite, the atrium-area bar on Ruby Princess will now feature a selection of domestic and imported artisan cheeses.  Twelve varieties – including unique choices such as boschetto al tartufo bianchetto, reblochon, and cambozola – will be featured each day for a nominal fee.  Vines will also host a series of lively events where passengers can meet members of the ship’s staff, and will continue to offer wine flights and parings.

New Enrichment Programs – A number of new ScholarShip@Sea enrichment programs debut aboard Ruby Princess to expand passengers’ horizons, whether they aspire to host the perfect party or increase their maritime knowledge.  The Art of Entertaining offers passengers the opportunity to learn party-planning tips from lifestyle expert Susie Coelho via a multimedia presentation hosted by the cruise director.  Navigation@Sea focuses on the history of navigation as well as the complexities of plotting the route of a modern cruise ship, with a presentation by the ship’s navigator.  Mixology@Sea lets passengers channel their inner bartender with a hands-on course taught by the ship’s bar manager.  For star gazers, the new Astronomy@Sea program provides passengers with the opportunity to explore the night sky through a telescope on the top deck, with the expert guidance of a ship’s bridge officer.  Developed in conjunction with Dr. Thomai Serdari, Professor of Art History and Director of Research Collections for New York University, Art History@Sea: Botticelli to Warhol, The Evolution of Art makes 500 years of art come to life with a special hour-long presentation.

Two New Production ShowsRuby Princess audiences will be able to enjoy two new Princess-produced shows in the ship’s theater.  “Broadway Ballroom” presents the music of the ‘Great White Way’ with a ballroom flair, pairing the songs of hit musicals with dance numbers ranging from foxtrot to rumba.  The show also features the talents of a costume designer and choreographer from the TV hit “Dancing with the Stars.”  Meanwhile, “Once Upon a Dream” uses unique multidimensional cinematic projection to follow a dreamscape unlike anything seen a sea.  The audience will accompany a young woman’s journey as she dreams of everything from a tea party in an English garden to singing camels in the desert, and even a trip through a waterfall and brief nightmare before waking to a new day.

The Audience Gets in the Act – A variety of new audience-participation events will also debut on the ship, giving passengers a number of ways to seek their 15 minutes of fame.  Karaoke fans can go a bit farther with Love Boat Legends, where they are actually transformed into a famous artist of the past.  So You Wanna Be A Rock Star? moves beyond pre-recorded Karaoke tunes to give audience members the opportunity to rock out with a live band on stage.  Oceans of Talent puts passenger talent center stage – whether they play a musical instrument or want to try out their comedic timing.  The Wake Up Show takes Princess’ popular morning show with the cruise director to a new level with an irreverent talk show format, live band, special guests and an opportunity for passengers to join the “studio” audience, as the show is taped in the evening before its broadcast the next morning.

A Few Fine Touches – A number of new service touches will be introduced to delight passengers.  In the Horizon Court buffet, new waffle stations will offer fresh cooked-to-order waffles at breakfast and throughout lunchtime, and the buffet will also begin serving complimentary lemonade as a beverage choice.  In the evening, passengers will find a selection of canapés in several of the ship’s public lounges.  Passengers arriving back from shore will be greeted with chilled face cloths, and by the pool, “misting stewards” will offer a quick refreshing spritz with Evian to cool off.

Kid Stuff – Young passengers can enjoy a new Wizards Academy, an exclusive presentation from the award-winning California Science Center. This enriching new program lets children explore the connection between science and magic in a fun and participative environment.  Kids will also enjoy activities and projects from popular arts and crafts company Klutz, or participate in Yoga for Kids, a healthy and fun course designed specifically for children.

Wireless Internet and Cell Phones – Expanding on Princess’ Internet and phone connectivity, Ruby Princess will offer laptop users additional wireless hotspots around the vessel, including staterooms.  The ship will also be equipped so that passengers can use their personal cellular phones, if they have international roaming plans, while onboard.

Ultimate Ship Tour – A new exclusive opportunity to experience an array of “back of house” areas that are key to a ship’s daily operations, the Ultimate Ship Tour will give passengers the unique opportunity to explore beyond the public areas with visits to the ship’s engine control room, medical center, print shop, laundry, photo lab, funnel, bridge and other spaces.  In addition to getting a rare insider’s view of many areas typically seen only by the ship’s crew, participants will receive a variety of themed mementos at many of the stops along the route.

Ruby Princess also includes a dramatic piazza-style atrium featuring small-bite eateries and an ever-changing array of performing street entertainers, Princess’ signature adults-only oasis called The Sanctuary, Sabatini’s Italian restaurant, Crown Grill seafood and steak house, “Movies Under the Stars” giant outdoor movie screen, and Hearts and Minds wedding chapel.  The ship will feature an inaugural season of Western Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, followed by a program of Mediterranean voyages in summer 2009.