Cruise Line: Princess Cruises
Ship: Ruby Princess
Sailing Date: March 21, 2009
Itinerary: Round-Trip Fort Lauderdale, FL, to Western Caribbean
Written by: Suzy's blind client Elaine Rooney (she'll mention some extra touches that you might not understand without knowing this minor little fact about her)
Hi friends & family. As most of you know Patrick & I took a cruise for 7 days last week to the Western Caribbean. First of all I would like to give a big thanks to our travel agent Suzy at suzyCruisy.com. She was a big help and answered all our questions. Being that this was our first time we had lots of them. Well I am going to tell you all a little about our trip and how wonderful my husband is and how blessed I am to have him.
We flew to Fort Lauderdale on Friday 3-20 and was met at the airport by a Princess Cruise representative that put us in a cab that took us to our hotel. We promptly got something to eat.
On Saturday we walked along the beach and Patrick showed me what a palm tree looks like. I think they are interesting looking with what appears to be rings around them and then when you get close to the top they have smooth lines going up & down about half way or more before the branches. We ate outside before we loaded the bus to go to the ship.
The rep. from Princess whose name was Linda volunteered to take us through the terminal and get us to our room. Once we got to our room 1 of 3 suitcases was delivered. Thank you Suzy for the chocolate covered strawberries they were wonderful. I savored every bite and thought of the rest of you while I was eating them. *grin* Our cabin steward brought us a glass of champagne too. Then we were off to explore, find & lose ourselves & try to keep our hair on our heads cause the wind was blowing something awful. I also learned real quick how to dial up room service. We had traditional dining & on the first night we had 2 couples from Italy in which only 1 of them spoke English good. They did change to anytime dining so that left us by ourselves for dinner the rest of the trip.
Sunday we had coffee in our room went to several activities. I had a 4:00 hair appointment since this was the first of 2 formal evenings. We had some pictures taken then Patrick had a surprise for me. We went to the chapel on the 16th floor and was met by the captain and some of his staff. Patrick had arranged for us to renew our vows. For those of you that don't know we were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. It was a great surprise. They took pictures for us to purchase later. I also was given a hand bouquet & Patrick got a boutonniere. We even got the "you may kiss your bride of 20 years". We took more formal pictures then went to dinner. Here is where we got a bottle of champagne and 2 Souvenir glasses that said Princess cruises with the logo on one side and congratulations on the other. Our waiters brought us a chocolate cake for 2 for dessert.
Monday we arrived in Ocho Rios Jamaica. The first of our adventures here was to walk up Dunns River Falls. This is a waterfall cascading off a cliff down into the ocean. It was a neat adventure but a little taxing. We all had to hold hands going up the falls. We would stop occasionally so that peeping Tom could take our picture. They also videotaped the whole walk up which took about 45 minutes. The water was very cold & I was surprised that it wasn’t salt water. Then we spent some time buying t-shirts for the boys. Next was the lift up to the top of Mystic Mountain. We ate lunch & had a fruity drink with rum. Our last adventure here was the bobsled down the side of mystic Mountain. It was fun but they wouldn’t let me go by myself so they hooked 2 together. We went back to the ship to clean up. We saw a play called “Once Upon A dream” then went to dinner.
Tuesday our anniversary day. We spent the day shopping in Grand Cayman. Patrick bought me a necklace and earring set in Tanzanite which is a bluish purplish colored stone that is only mined in the Caribbean. We went to 7 mile beach and played in the water and walked along the beach for a little while. Before dinner Patrick handed me an envelope. When I opened it there was a couple of sheets of Braille. Thanks to my friend Mary Sue (love you girl) I had the words to what I found out after reading it was to a song called “After All These Years” by a group called Journey. I loved it. Then he set up the speakers we took with us and connected his Ipod. Then he took me in his arms so that we could dance to this special song he had picked out for us. Later we went to see a comedian by the name of Tony Tillman. He was great! We really enjoyed him. For desert our waiters served us what they called sweetheart cakes. One had a blue candle & the other had a pink one. They were very tasty!
Wednesday, a very exciting day for me especially. We landed in Cozumel and proceeded to swim with the dolphins. I got to touch them and surprisingly they are not slimy. First of all I got a hug. To do this the dolphin puts his/her snout in the palm of your hand and with your other hand you place it just behind the blow hole. Then I swam out about 10 feet and put my hands on the front of my lifejacket, the dolphin came up and touch my cheek with there snout, then I turned my head and gave it a kiss. “Salty” just like when Patrick eats pretzels. Then I put both my hands out in front of me palms down then the dolphin put both its fins under my hands so it looks like we are dancing. Next I hold my left arm straight out to my left side and the dolphin swims up to it and turns up just a little so that you can take a hold of it at the base of its fins, then it pulls you across the water. This is called a belly ride. It was too short. I could have gone a while longer. It is amazing how strong they are. We done some shopping then went back to the ship. This night we saw Jason Neistadt who is a comedy impressionist. He was ok.
Thursday, a day at sea. We took in a couple of game like shows, listened to some different kinds of music & Patrick went to a lecture about how the ship operates. This was our second formal night. I did the hair thing again. We took more pictures & after dinner we saw a comedian by the name of Phil Tag. He was very good. As a matter of fact today I went online and bought his CD so I could help him send his kids to college. *grin*
Friday we stopped at the Princess Cays in the Bahamas. We walked along the beach. It was to cold to get in the water for me. The cooking staff provided a barbecue so we mostly were beach bums this day. We had to have all our luggage besides what we were going to carry off ready before we went to dinner so we had to take time to pack. After dinner we played in the casino for a little bit. Well, Patrick stills has to work. *smiles* This was the end of the fun part. The rest was basically taking care of business. I do have to say one more thing. When we came off the ship into the terminal there was a Southwest airline representative there so Patrick says we are flying Southwest & she proceeded to tell us that we could go ahead and check our luggage there and they would also print out our boarding passes. This was so wonderful. We only stood in line for about 30 minutes and at the airport we had overheard several people say they were in line for over 3 hours. It was especially great that we didn’t have to haul around 4 suitcases for 2 or more hours. Because they wouldn’t let you check in but 4 hours before your flight.
This was a great experience for us. I have to say that the Ruby Princess is a very nice ship and we had a great MiniSuite with a decent size balcony. I am sure I have missed some details but I wanted you guys to know about our special week. The house was still standing, mom wasn’t pulling her hair out and I think the boys were glad to see us back. I just don’t know where all those dirty clothes came from!!!! Now back to reality cooking, cleaning & most of all that dirty laundry. As most of you know I am not a writer so I sure hope you over look all my mistakes & enjoy.
Footnote: Pat and Elaine sent back my 'survey' after writing this with the following comment: "Our "buffet steward", Alex, escorted us and described to us (everything in the buffet) – HE WAS OVER THE TOP!!! ANYTIME WE WENT TO THE BUFFET AND EVEN THE BEACH BBQ!!!"
Suzy note: I always imagined the service to a blind person on a cruise would be great, but Elaine and Pat were truly impressed. They gave nearly everything on my service a 5 out of 5!