Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
The quote is from The Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
and the ship is Ruby Princess.
When I took the photograph, Ruby Princess was at anchor off Dravuni Island, Fiji.
Launched in 2008, registered in the Bahamas, 3080 passengers, 1200 crew, 19 decks and her tonnage is 113,561.
We never felt crowded, there was plenty of space for everyone, but the only ‘problem’ was that if we wanted to see a show at 7.30 pm, we had to be seated about half an hour before the show started, because all the shows were popular, and the theatre only held 800 people. Each night they had two shows, 7.30 pm & 9.30 pm.
Ruby Princess arrived in Australian waters on the 23rd October 2019, and this season would be her first season of operating out of Australia.
Maureen & I, and our two friends, boarded on the 8th November for a 14-night cruise to Vanuatu, Fiji & New Caledonia.
As usual boarding went smoothly and we were on board by mid-day, perfect timing for lunch.
Drop hand luggage in the cabins and find our way to the Horizon Restaurant for lunch, our main suitcases would be delivered to our cabin during lunch.
The Horizon restaurant was a self-serve buffet, which could be expanded into a cafe area next door, which was called Cafe Caribe.
The combined area was large enough that we never had to wait for a seat. We used the Horizon Restaurant mainly for breakfast and lunch.
I’ll post photographs later of the various dining areas and the internal area of the ship, in the meantime I’ll post a sample of the passenger areas outside.
The main swimming pool and outside cinema screen – called Movies Under the Stars, which began every day at 10.0 am and ran until late in the evening.
The same pool from under the giant screen.
Quite a lot of the public walk areas on the upper decks had false grass, which helped to be non-slip when wet.
Part of certain public areas were above the bridge – this picture shows the starboard bridge wing.
Passengers had access to the area above the bridge.
Sports areas – this is the basketball area / come whatever you wanted to play. Fortunately I never had the urge to take part in any exercise except walking for about half an hour after breakfast.
During one walk we managed to get close to the funnel area.
A lot has changed since I was at sea in the 1960’s . . .
A shot of the funnel that we all see.
At the highest point that a passenger could get there was a walking track – the above shows the put-put golf area.
The walking track is on the right side of the picture and if you walked around 14 (or was it 16), times you would have walked a mile.
I was happy to believe the noticeboard and not to try and prove them wrong.
Looking down to the stern and another hot tube and pool. There were a number of hot tubs, but the pools all seemed to be close to a bar . . . . I took my swimming costume, but it never got it wet – well I can’t swim and hold a beer at the same time.
Play area for children – I don’t think we saw more than about eight or ten children during the cruise, because it was school time in both Australia & New Zealand. We did have passengers from the US, the UK, Canada and of course New Zealand, but the majority were Australian.
Some of the Americans that I spoke to had arrived in Sydney early to ‘do’ Sydney and the surrounding Sydney area, followed by the cruise to the islands.
They would then only transit Sydney at the end of the island cruise and remain on-board for the New Zealand cruise, which was the next cruise destination for Ruby Princess.
I am assuming that the children’s toy cars are pedal power and not electric powered.
Plenty of seating for those who wished to watch movies all day. Blankets were provided if you felt chilly.
The sundeck if you wished to sunbath and watch the movies, or just lie and read.
I took most of the outdoor photographs either on sailing day or the next day and as you see there was haze that I can only put down to the smoke from the large number of fires down the east coast of Australia.
This haze didn’t clear for about three days by which time we were at Lifou, which is a New Caledonia island.
A painted ship . . . off Dravuni Island, Fiji.