Cruise Critic - Ruby Princess
Overall. Great Cruise. I recommend it
Itinerary. Itinerary is intensive. There are only two days at sea. Port stops are from early morning until late afternoon. be ready to walk, walk, and walk.
Ship Facilities. Overall facility's are excellent. Gym is well equipped. Running track lap is only 1/12 of a mile. For walkers, there is another track on lower decks.
Meals. Anytime dining tables for two are too close, easy to listen to the table next to you. For formal nights it is best to make reservations, or you will wait a lot. Buffet dining does not offer much Mediterranean fare. Food quality very good. No fresh fish. Tables fill easily and you end up waiting a few minutes with your food on hand for an available table. Hand sanitizing policy heavily enforced by waiters. Buffet waiter services were inconsistent. Some days they were on top of everything; in other days you had to grab a waiter to clean up the table and set it up for you.
Ship activities. There are movies all over; Under the Stars, in the lounge, and in your stateroom TV. There were no Christian religious services on Sundays as previously done, only daily Bible Studies at 8:00 am when everyone is on a shore tour. The ship scheduled services for other faiths. There were get-togethers for veterans, Service Clubs, grandparents, First Responders,etc, but mostly on days when people were on shore tours. The ship also performed daily LGBT-oriented activities.
Shore tours. Shore tours from Princess are costly but are very good and cover everything you pay for. For the full day in Venice, the ship will charge $15 pp for unlimited water taxi transfer from Ship to San Marco. We also booked three tours with CruisingExcursions.com for a lower cost, and in two of them the guides did not deliver everything we paid for. Weather is very hot. Wear light clothes. Travel light as you will walk for hours.
Transfers to and from Ship. if you arrive to Venice airport, you can take the Alilaguna water shuttle for a few euros, but will take 75 minutes to get to San Marco. Private water taxis are way expensive, but if you come with a party, you can share the expense. For debarkation, if you can, use the walk-off option. You keep your bags for the last night and you leave the ship straIght from your cabin. If you are staying in Barcelona after the cruise, you get better off getting a taxi at the pier for ship to hotel door service. Princess charges you $21 per person to drop you off at either Plaza Espanya or Plaza Catalunya for you to roll your luggage to the hotel. Taxi fare is cheaper than that.
Other Issues. You will receive paper, paper, and more paper. Everything is printed and placed in your stateroom. You end up filling out the trash can with it.