Subscribe today
Get Cruise Critic in your inbox
Your Ultimate Cruise Guide

Ruby Princess Cruise Review by CDR S: Ruby Princess Nice ship but questionable on board experience


CDR S
2 Reviews
Member Since 2005
22 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 3.0
Dining 4.0
Embarkation 5.0
Enrichment Activities 4.0
Entertainment 2.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation 5.0
Public Rooms 5.5
Rates 4.0
Service 5.0
Shore Excursions 3.0
Value for Money 3.0

Compare Prices on Ruby Princess Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruises

Ruby Princess Nice ship but questionable on board experience

Sail Date: June 2009
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Venice

About the reviewer

I am a 49 Y/O married man with 2 kids ages 11 and 12.   This was our 5th cruise and 2nd with Princess.  I am a Naval Officer.   I selected this cruise due to the itinerary and the brand new ship, Ruby Princess.

 

Embarkation / Disembarkation

More size=3>Embarkation was flawless and fast.  We arrived at the Port of Venice at 1130.  From entrance to the terminal to boarding the ship, total time elapsed was 30 minutes.  Disembarkation did not fare as well.  Specifically, we opted for the "self disembarkation" status since we had our own arrangements to get to our hotel in Rome.  We were off the ship by 0730 only to discover our luggage had been placed in an outdoor tent way too small for all the luggage in pouring rain.  Upon entering the chaos in the tent, we found our luggage sitting in 4 inches of water!   To add insult, everyone and their luggage was so jammed packed under the tent, I had to carry each back at waist level tippy toeing around passengers to get out.  With all our clothes wet, it meant wearing the same clothes for another 2 days.

 

Service

 

As in the past with Sea Princess, room and restaurant service was top notch.   Our steward and waiter would do anything to ensure our satisfaction.   One note of difference, the servers in the buffet area were exceptional.   From the moment you sat down till the moment you left, someone was always ensuring your coffee was hot and your juice glasses filled.   If however, you tried to get a drink using your free refill card in any show lounge, FORGET IT, servers avoided us like the plague. 

 

Ruby Princess gets failing grades with the pursers' desk, the two Brazilian individuals in particular were no less than awful, acting annoyed if your needs were not simple and quick.  In addition, another area terribly concerning was the level of response to a legitimate health concern within the room.  Immediately upon initial arrival in our stateroom (235 Aloha Deck) we noticed an overpowering smell of volatile organic compounds (VOC's) like varnish or paint thinner.  My wife was experiencing an immediate reaction of headache, nausea and dizziness.  Princess staff acted as if there was no smell.  It was not until I identified myself as someone with a Masters in Occupational Health they began taking action.  It took 4 hours to get a response to our concern whereby we were offered a temporary alternate cabin for the night.  Needless to say, our port day in Venice was ruined.

 

Itinerary

 

This particular cruise was very port intensive, calling on 10 ports in 12 days including Venice where we were docked a day and a half before leaving.   Each stop was very beautiful.  What was very disappointing was how early we were required to pull out each afternoon (4:30-5:30).  Trips between ports of call taking 3-4 hours by regional ferries (such as Athens to Mykonos) required we take 12-14 hours, crawling at 10 knots.   We can only assume Princess wanted us on board to spend money or they were too cheap to burn fuel a higher rate.  With excursions getting back at 3:30 or 4:30, it left little or no time to legitimately explore on your own.

 

Also of note, when 3080 passengers plus some crew descend upon quaint ports such as Mykonos or Santorini, you will find yourself dodging massive crowds and tour groups of 30- 40 people, not exactly relaxing.

 

Food

 

Food was hit or miss, overall I would rate is 3.5 out of five.   In general, we found the food in the buffet area for dinner to be bland and lacking.  I offer some details of foods not to be missed and foods better left alone.

 

Foods not to be missed

-Pizza (YUM!)

-Fettuccini Alfredo in main dinning room (best I have ever had anywhere)

-Chocolate cake in main piazza pastry shop

-Pork Belly in main dining room

-NY cheese cake

 

Foods better left alone

-Steaks (any and all) in main dining area, they were bland and tough

-mousse -they tasted like eating grease

-chocolate cakes in buffet area (bland)

-Scrambled eggs in buffet, powered, YUCK.

 

On board experience

 

Overall Princess get high marks for keeping 3000 passengers apart using clever tactics such as two show rooms offering the same shows twice in a row so passengers can view both shows over two separate nights.   One feature that really really jumped out at us was how Princess constantly marketed to us. The "Welcome Aboard Show" featured 45 minutes of Princess hocking their wares, showing all the places you could spend additional $$ such as the optional dinning rooms, very disappointing.  If you are planning a cruise on Ruby, skip the opening show unless you like be shaken down to spend money.   On the first formal night there were no less than six photography stations set up, two blocking main passage way. I made no apologies for waling right through a photo shoot taking place directly in the path of passenger along the main Promenade deck.    Spirits, beer and wine are reasonably priced from 3.50-7.00.

 

Concluding remarks

 

Overall, the trip was nice, but I would caution expecting rest and relaxation.   With more time in each port and less being marketing to, the experience might have been more enjoyable and relaxing.

  Less

Read more Ruby Princess cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic's Ruby Princess Review >>

Cabin review: Ruby Princess a235

A235, balcony, tiny shower, plenty of storage, ho hum appearing room.  We heard a lot of slamming of doors.

Port and Shore Excursions


don't take a tour, get a cab downtown and take a self guided tour, save $$$$


excllent, don't take a tour, just get to the town and enjoy


Excellent stop if you like ancient history.   Tours available just outside of terminal, save money, don't book thruogh ship

Read 362 Kusadasi Reviews

(5.5)
I am in the military and used to be stationed in the Naples area, so we opted out of the touresty stuff.  If you are looking for a great relaxing experience with a stunning view for swimming with little of no cost, get off the ship, walk all of 100 yards to the hydrofoil to Capri.  Ships dock right next to the hydrofoil to Capri. Once at Capri, hire a cab to take you to Marina Picolla (15 Euros) located on the back side of the island (10min ride).   What awaits  you is a stunning beach area with jet blue water, sheer cliffs with Bougainvellia, cheap places to eat, and only local nationals, no tourists!   You will hvae to rent a beach chair, however it includes a locker, bathrooms, and a changing area.   There are mega yahts in the background but you are safely roped off with plenty of swimming in deep blue water with stunning scenery.

Read 647 Naples Reviews

Lots of history. Take a self guided tour, the ship docks right down town.  Then in the afternoon, catch a cab to the beach for 15 Euros each way where you will find cheap eats and the topless experience.

Read 185 Rhodes Reviews

By far and away the best stop. Best enjoyed on a smaller ship in April or October. Get off the ship early to avoid the long line at the tram to get up the crater.  Get away from the crowds, with your back to the water, walk to your left along the rim of the crater to get an excepational view.  Cute cafe's along the way to enjoy a Greek coffee with one heck of a view. 

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add news@cruisecritic.com to your address book.
We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.