Accommodation- We had a lovely balcony room on the 14th Floor- R620- this spacious room had more than adequate storage space for suitcases under the bed and a huge walk in wardrobe area with plenty of hanging space for clothes. This floor was great as the buffet and main pool were only one floor up.
The bathroom, like on most ships, is very compact- the running joke on the cruise was ‘what happens when you slip over in the shower? - nothing, you can’t go anywhere’.
We never had any issues with water temperature or pressure. There was also a handy drying line in the shower where you could hand up any clothes you had washed by hand.
My word of advice is that if you like to use a hairdryer to blow dry your hair make sure you BRING YOUR OWN! The hairdryer in the room is useless, it was easier for me to sit on the balcony and let my hair dry naturally, this was quicker than using the world’s slowest hairdryer!
We were only woken up a couple of mornings by people moving around the sunbeds on the deck above us- but never heard any other noise.
I was glad we were not further down the corridor toward the laundry room- there seemed to be an unpleasant ‘smell’ from a cupboard which I can only imagine was to do with the toilets- it wasn’t pleasant and was there for the majority of the stay, I don’t know if anything could be smelt in the rooms in that area though.
Our balcony was spacious and being the top deck meant that no one was overlooking us which we liked, we however could see down into everyone’s balcony’s (I think people forget this and we did spot a lot of people in their underwear!)
The sail was exceptionally calm- and we could only feel the ocean on one occasion- a very smooth passage indeed.
We dined in the Botticelli dining room on a late sitting- we had a fantastic table of 8 people and I have to say we had such a great time- a lovely mix of people and the evening always went very quickly as we were chatting all night.
Our waiter Tarra was fantastic- very funny and knowledgeable on the menu, he would go out of his way to ensure that everyone on the table was having a good time and enjoying their food.
There was always a good selection of things on the menu, however I found that the menu was very fish heavy, which was great for me but no so good for my partner who can’t eat it, but he always found something on the menu. They tried to be very adventurous and on some occasions they combinations were very odd. The Medallions of beef on the everyday menu was very good and if the Duck in plum sauce comes up on your cruise ORDER IT- it was delicious.
Our main complaint is that when the food arrives it was never very hot; it was always cooked but never as hot as I would want it.
We ate lunch and breakfast in the buffet- there was always a varied choice- my partner was raving about their mash potato, he couldn’t get enough of it. The pizza in the outdoor café was delicious, I definitely advise you go and get some.
The entertainment on the Ruby was varied. Some days it was fantastic and some days I wished we could have walked out.
The comedians Alfred and Seymour were incredible! Like nothing I have seen before. Just make sure you don’t sit near the front, you are not late, and you don’t walk out before the end, else you will be pulled up on stage! For those in the audience who were watching it was hilarious. Its prob not to everyone’s taste though.
The final show- ‘Once upon a dream’- was very good. The staging was very technical with huge projectors and the costumes were fantastic, definitely a highlight.
There were always plenty of activities to join in with on board and people seemed to be having a great time (we are more observers than joiners in) but we did feel that things got very quiet after 11 which was a shame, most of the bars were empty and we had to go to the Skywalkers night club to find some people!
We did most of the ports ourselves (having been to a lot of them on a previous cruise)- here is some of my tips for the ports that we visited that I believe you can do yourself if you are willing to get out of bed early! The library on board also had lots of excellent travel books you can take out which helped for some ports.
Athens- Once you exit the ship in the port of Piraeus all you need to do is to exit of the port gates and follow the road left- you will soon see a sign for the big red/Blue hop on/hop off buses- the blue line will take you straight from the port of Piraeus into Athens, you can then get the red line for 1.5 hour tour of Athens.
This total cost for the ticket for the red and blue line was €20- the timetable is extensive and we always found it ran on time. There is a bus every 30 minutes and you can get on and off as many times through the course of 24hours as you want.
My only advice is that if you are travelling in the afternoon make sure you take something to sit on on the top deck- the plastic seats get unbelievably hot (I have learnt from my mistakes)
We took the local bus into Corfu old town and navigated the city ourselves- I would say go to the old fort- it is quite walk but the views from the top are amazing. We walked back to the ship- it only took us 20minutes.
There are lots of messages in forums about this place- and I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to do this destination. If you take one of the organised tours you avoid having to go on the cable card or up on the donkeys. We decided to do Santorini ourselves.
We left the ship at 8.15 and at this time there was no queue for the cable cars. We then walked to the bus station, about 5 minutes away out of town, and took the bus to OIA, this place is a must. The buses run every 30minutes and go directly there, we were lucky and got a seat both there and back. The ticket was €1.60, you could not buy a return so had to purchase on the bus. The buses were air-conditioned and comfortable.
The queue back down for the cable car at 3.30 was 1.5 hours! This wait was tedious especially in the hot sun. We wished we had walked back down but had heard it was dangerous with all the donkeys using the same path.
Katakolon (for Olympia)
We used local transport for this again. There was a train but we missed the first and didn’t fancy waiting in the sun, so we used a coach tour that was advertised as soon as you get off the ship- this cost us €10 each and took us straight to Olympia- they gave you 2.5 hours here and this was plenty of time to go and see Olympia and the museum- total cost for dual entry was €8.
We used local transport again. DON’T WALK TO TOWN- the road was dangerous and had no footpath, the cruise put on a shuttle bus which cost €7 return- but you had to buy your tickets from reception before you left the ship.
We eventually found the main bus depot, after asking several locals, and took a bus to the beach to Platis Gialos - cost was €1.60 for this- these ran about every 45minutes and soon filled up so I would advise you go early. We had friends who went on the beach shuttle from the cruise ship and this cost them $38 and they had to leave for 8am and were back by midday! So we saved a lot of money doing this ourselves. The beach was very clean and had lots of lovely beach bars and restaurants. It cost us €10 for the day to hire two very comfortable sunbeds and an umbrella.
Be careful, some of the beaches are nudist only so do some research- I heard great things about Paradise beach and saw a local bus going right from near where the shuttle bus drops you off so no need to walk through town, buses here are very frequent too.
NEWS FLASH- something I found out through experience, the sea is cold in Mykonos! Be prepared!
Make sure you try and track down Petros the local Pelican- he is amazing and so friendly!
All in all we had a wonderful time on the Ruby and couldn’t actually find very much to complain about at all. If people are hesitant about going because they are worried a cruise might be too ‘old’ for them, we are in our mid 20’s and had a great time. We had fun on the open deck party which went onto until 1am and you could always dance the night away in Skywalkers so there was always somewhere to party late and we made some great friends who we could always drag out for late night drinks after the show!
This cruise was very port intensive but it was amazing to see so many places! we were certainly exhausted by the end of it but have come away with amazing memories and some excellent photos!