Day 1: Embarkation.
Embarkation was supposed to run from around afternoon to overnight. I arrived with my group around 6pm. The security and staff of Princess made us wait at the side for 1-2 hours because we had not embarked earlier. Completely ridiculous customer service. Once we passed security, the checking in was slow and the staff was inexperienced.
Staff and food.
The staff on Ruby Princess always wanted to pick up a fight with passengers. The buffet was inconvenient on Princess, as the staff wanted to create only one entrance and one exit so as to make it hard to get into the buffet, unlike on Royal Caribbean where there are multiple entrances and entrances and exits aren't separated. The lunch food at the buffet was terrible. The buffet was also closed a lot of the time and is closed very early each night. On Carnival and Royal Caribbean, the buffets are open 24 hours. The only food place open 24 hours on Princess is the International Cafe where you can get drinks and sandwiches. Lame.
Crew members were reluctant to become friendly with passengers, unlike on Carnival and Royal Caribbean, crew staff always wanted to hang out and get to know the passengers. Room cleaners did not say hi when passengers walked passed them. Waiters were not very exciting. There were a couple of good staff, like one waiter who was always enthusiastic in Michelangelo, but that was it.
The experience and events.
It always felt like Ruby Princess just wanted to make more and more money. Almost nothing was free. Prizes for winning competitions, game shows and pool events were extremely lame, such as photos of people from last year's cruise and keychains. On Carnival and Royal Caribbean, bottles of champagne and trophies of their ships were given out to each winner. The events on Ruby Princess need work; they lack appropriate use of modern technology; the game shows didn't show a record of each team's points, etc. The staff continuously wanted to encourage passengers to spend more and more money, which definitely did not provide a good cruise experience.
The teens over 17 years old on the ship also had basically nothing to do. The staff was very rude with them and did not give them anywhere to go. The teen lounge was threatened all the teens over 17 years old to stay away from the lounge. The Nightclub did not offer the teens a solution, as not many people their age went to the club - their friends under 18 years old could not enter, which caused them problems. I am saying this from a 33 year old's point of view. These kids had nowhere to go. All they could do was roam around in the back of the ship or somewhere.
The cruise ship shows were also terrible and lacked content. I fell asleep each time I went to a show. The magic show was also nothing compared to the ones I've seen on other cruiselines.
The Ruby Princess itself was terrible. The fellow passengers I met were incredible though. People from all over the world were on the ship and I made about 100 new friends. Great people.
It was awesome to be able to visit so many different places in Europe, especially because I've never been to Europe before. The cruise tours were not surprisingly intended to just make Princess more money. I only went with the cruise tours once, but on my Kusadasi tour, my private tourguide was talking about the history and significance of each artifact and part of the ruins we went to, while a cruise tourguide was telling her group, "look over there - there's an apricot tree!" If you plan on going on a European cruise, don't go with the cruise tours, as they cost over double the money needed. The private tours provide you with private vans or buses depending on the size of your group, plus renowned tourguides. My tourguide in Kusadasi has given tours to people like the head of NYU's history department.