We boarded the Ruby on Oct.09/12 in anticipation of an extra ordinary experience and were rewarded with ''just ordinary.'' Our cabin was not as big as a lot older Celebrity ship we had sailed on a few years earlier.
Our Celebrity cabin had a sofa and a chair as well as a decent sized balcony. The Celebrity bathroom also had a bigger shower and glass doors. This ''newest Princess'' cabin had two small chairs and a bit larger balcony, but had curtains in what I believe was a smaller shower in a smaller bathroom.
After eyeballing our not so luxurious Princess cabin we proceeded up to the Horizon buffet for lunch. The buffet had less choices than other cruise lines we had been on and after eating we decided to get acquainted with the Ruby while we waited for our luggage to arrive in our Cabin. As we left the Horizon buffet we were approached by a crew member trying to convince us to pay extra for an adults only area known as the ''Sanctuary.'' He told us that for a mere More
10 dollars we could spend 4 hours in the Sanctuary, or we could spend 20 dollars for a whole day. I told him that the Sanctuary sounded a lot like an adults only area that all Celebrity ships have that is called the ''Solarium'' that is free of charge to adults. It seemed like every time we turned around a crew member was trying to sell us on ''Coffee cards, booze cards or Soda cards. You could have gelato, but you had to pay extra for it also. If you are a nostalgia buff, the Ruby has an ultra large screen adjacent to a pool that reminds one of going to a ''drive in theater'' in days of old. That was probably the only oddity that may differentiate it from other ships, but it wasn't enough to make the Ruby stand out in crowd.
I don't think I can recall of another cruise where we were as inundated with as much of a sell, sell hype atmosphere that continued throughout the cruise, whether it was around the ship or in your cabin. The in cabin television channels were also a maze of Princess self promotion that continuously prompted the watcher to buy this, or buy that. I felt sorry for anyone that was in quarantine as a result of a an outbreak of ''Noro-Virus'' that left very little choice of entertainment on the Princess's telly.
The ''Botticelli'' dining room on the first formal night featured ''Chili'' as one of the entrees which prompted one of the cruiser's at our table to comment: ''we spend thousands of dollars and travel half way around the world for Chili? I could have stayed home and had Chili for a lot less than we've spent to come here!'' Another dinner menu evening featured ''Mac and Cheese'' which also was greeted with some derisive comments.
Having said all the previous; we did enjoy all the stops we made and the crew were pleasant enough, but for the dollars spent we expected to be dazzled by the ''Ruby'' and were instead left wanting a lot more for what we had spent... Less
Ruby Princess Cruises to Transatlantic
Barcelona and it's people are picturesque and we just walked and enjoyed the passing parade. We did walk to the ''Sagret Church'' which is a constant work in progress and seems to have been put together by trial and error.
Another tour that was well worth the dollars spent. Be sure to pay the extra euros to tour the 'Palace' in Monaco as it's as close as most people will ever get to such rampant opulence. Monte Carlo and it's casino was also very interesting.
We just walked off the Ruby and it took us about 20 minutes to get to the center of town and this town is one that seemed easy to get around. Within a short time we were negotiating the streets and alleys like locals and we actually spent the bulk of our souvenir dollars here. Would absolutely consider coming back here!
''Casablanca'' was not shown on the list provided, but the town itself is not one you would want to visit without a ''face mask and rubber gloves.'' It was far and away the dirtiest place we have ever had the misfortune to see. We did however take a tour to ''Rabat'' which was very interesting and a real contrast to Casablanca, as it was spotless by comparison. We stopped at the Palace and toured some ancient sites that were still being dug and got some great pics.
This by far was one of the best excursions we have ever done and was well worth the dollars spent. The guide was very knowledgeable and the scenery was breathtaking! This tour included a hot pasta meal with a vase of wine and it also included a stop in 'Sorrento.'
Wasn't overly impressed by this tour, it took a long time to get there by boat and was just a destination that was designed to sell you their glass. Venice other than this tour was easily our favourite location and we would return there in a heart beat. It is a city that is unequaled in it's history and beauty.