We are Darren and Cindy in our late 40’s and early 50’s from Great Falls, Montana. We have been on 8 cruises to the Caribbean, Alaska, and a California Pacific Coastal. We began looking for cruises in the late fall of 2018 for January 2019. Montana can be very cold and dark in the winter months and late January was an ideal week for us to travel in 2019. We were pretty set on this last week in January yet decided to wait until after the “final payment” date to seriously consider a cruise. In early December we narrowed it down to a couple of “last minute” options. The deals were pretty good for a 7-night Caribbean cruise with a variety of companies, but the airfare per person from Montana to Miami or Fort Lauderdale, FL was going to be more than the cruise. OUCH!! We generally prefer Celebrity Cruises, yet we also were considering a Mexican Riviera cruise with Princess since the price of the cruise was excellent and the airfare was going to be less than A THIRD of the cost to fly to LAX compared to Florida ports. Eventually about December 17 we committed to the January 26 Ruby Princess. The “Drop and Go” deal was the lowest price we have EVER paid for a balcony stateroom cruise (no perks included). We purchased a “Balcony Guarantee”, made our airline reservations, and a pre-cruise night at the Hilton LAX the same day. This was our third cruise with Princess. In the past we have always had a good experience with them. Admittedly, when booking a “guarantee” cabin, you need to be prepared to be satisfied with the worst cabin in your category. For us, the worst possible balcony cabins would have been a cabin under the fitness center/treadmills or a cabin with the balcony just above or near a smoking section. About two weeks later, we were assigned R-504, a perfectly acceptable balcony stateroom mid-ship.
R-504 is near the mid-ship elevators and under the pool deck. Actually, it is immediately under a dining area for the pizza, ice cream station. The room was very clean and updated from the recent dry dock. There was new carpet, TV, mattress, etc in the room. There was some significant noise from the pool deck (table area) all day long. In general, it did not bother us too much and we got used to the noise. If we were to ever book a cruise on Ruby again and choose our room, we would never choose R504, yet for the “balcony guarantee” and the price, we were satisfied with the room.
Storage space – plenty of storage space for us and our stuff
Bed – We both found the bed very comfortable
Staff – Our Room Steward (Glen) was very pleasant and kept our room well stocked and spotless. The room staff work hard, and we appreciated their work.
We did not get off the ship
We did not get off the ship
Nice town, Cathedral and Market