Entertainment & a drink

DSC06116r

With a capacity of 800 you had to be seated at least 30 minutes before the show began.

DSC05768r

The Princess ships have their own dancers and singers, and their own musical backing – in addition, various outside entertainers are engaged for one or two nights. They would fly in – entertain the passengers and fly out from the next convenient port.

The ship’s dancers and musician were permanent. Maureen & have cruised with four different cruise companies and found that the ship’s resident entertainers (singers & dancers) have been excellent.
Princess cruises has a dance studio in California (I think) where the dancers and singers are trained, and new shows created. The shows are rotated throughout the fleet, but we’ve never seen the same show on different ships.

DSC05779r

The finally of the first show on the Ruby Princess.

DSC05918r

The following evening we went to see Patrick McMahon, singer, songwriter & entertainer. I’d never heard of him, but he was very good and after checking details about him I realised what I’d been missing. He sang a number of different styles of music from country, jazz, rock & roll etc. He was so full of energy that I became tired watching him as he jumped all over the stage while playing instruments.
He has more energy than someone half his age, and when you see the clip remember he is 60 years old!

A few nights later we saw Chris Gable (we missed a couple of nights due to shore excursion)

DSC05989r

Boy was this guy good – he could play the clarinet, saxophone, piano, guitar, and he could sing! Chris Gable the link will take you to a sample of his musical skills. If you wish for Glen Miller fast forward to near the end.

DSC06057r

At the end of the show he played the wind instruments for  Golden Wedding and the ship’s drummer at the back was able to match Gable’s skill – the drummer was just great.
The link is not to Chris Gable or the drummer, but to the piece of music.

DSC06061r

At the end the audience went mad . . . not just for Chris Gable, but also for the drummer!

Chris Gable was so popular they arranged an additional show later in the cruise, and he produced a different musical show, which was just a popular with the audience.

We also watched comic conjurer, but I didn’t take any photographs as I thought he was disappointing.

DSC06179

Another night we watched Suzanne Ptentice a New Zealand singer from Invercargill.
She sang a mixture of songs, but as my knowledge of country western music is limited I’d never heard of her. She was awarded the OBE by the Queen in 1995 for services to music. She was very pleasant.

The following night is was the resident dancers and singer in a show called Once upon a Dream. This show was a mixture of classical, Beatles and bits of POP – I thought is was well done as it was supposed to be a dream and as we know dreams are always mixed-up.

DSC06117r

A young girl has a dream . . .

DSC06119

from Alice in Wonderland

DSC06121

For some reason the dancing camels reminded me of  Wilson & Keppel    from a 1934 film – and before someone asks, no I was not at the premier of this film!

DSC06123

A change of pace and time tone to the 18th century . . . the cast worked hard and were very good – singing & dancing at the same time.

Our last port of call was Noumea, where Jon Darsk joined the ship. Another great entertainer – piano player, violinist, singer and a personality to match.

DSC06298rc

DSC06302rc

DSC06299rc

He would play the piano as fast as he could with one piece of music, and then switch to boogie woogie, everything just flowed.

In the theater staff walked around ready to take orders for drinks before the entertainment started, so I thought I’d post the cost of a sample of the drinks.

Ken01

There was a large variety of cocktails – I have only posted a couple of pages as samples, all the prices are Australian dollars.

Ken 02

Ken 03

The above is the cost of white wine, it is obvious that you are encouraged to buy a bottle, which will be cheaper than the cost of four single glasses.

Ken04

and the cost of the reds . . . .

But if you only drink beer –

Ken06

The cost of a non-alcoholic bottle of beer is more expensive than in a Sydney restaurant.

Ken05

All the above photographs of the drink’s lists are thanks to our friends who were travelling with us.

If you are considering a cruise and you like a drink with your meal make sure you build the above costs in to your budget.

I could have bought a ‘drinks package’ that would have allowed me to have up to 15 drinks for a set daily rate, which was about $89 AUD.
Even in my younger days I’d have had trouble drinking fifteen drinks EVERY day.
To break even you’d have to drink 10 bottles of beer a day or six glasses of red (the package doesn’t include bottled wine), or six and a half glasses of white. The cruise was 14 days so the drinks package would have cost $1,246 (AUD) per person. This has to be taken into account when budgeting.

The idea of inexpensive duty-free drinks that used to be the norm when travelling by sea, before the cruise craze came about, has disappeared.

DSC06332r

Mural in the Crooners Bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A painted ship . . .

002

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship

Upon a painted ocean.

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.

DSC05806r
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.
DSC05808r
The same pool from under the giant screen.
DSC05809r
Quite a lot of the public walk areas on the upper decks had false grass, which helped to be non-slip when wet.
DSC05810r
Part of certain public areas were above the bridge – this picture shows the starboard bridge wing.
DSC05838cr
Passengers had access to the area above the bridge.
DSC05812r
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.
DSC05813r
During one walk we managed to get close to the funnel area.
DSC05814r
DSC05815r
A lot has changed since I was at sea in the 1960’s  . . .
DSC05831r
A shot of the funnel that we all see.
DSC05817r
At the highest point that a passenger could get there was a walking track – the above shows the put-put golf area.
DSC05818r
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.
DSC05819r
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.
DSC05823r
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.
DSC05824r

I am assuming that the children’s toy cars are pedal power and not electric powered.

DSC05827r

Plenty of seating for those who wished to watch movies all day. Blankets were provided if you felt chilly.

DSC05828r

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.

001

A painted ship . . . off Dravuni Island, Fiji.