Just returned from Ruby Princess Grand Med Barcelona to Venice 7/15 - 7/27. Exceeded our expectations....
Pre-cruise - stayed in Hotel Mont Blanc in Barcelona. Great central location, minutes from Las Ramblas etc. Found a wonderful restaurant on trip advisor locals use La Rita (http://www.laritarestaurant.com/). Food excellent and inexpensive.
Arrived at pier about 12.30....busy, busy, thought we'd be in line ages, however we were on board and in cabin by 1pm. These guys are swift!
Cabin - triple BA Caribe - loved the location and the balcony WOW!!
So spacious, with 3 in cabin, we used it constantly. Loved the fact we could have sun or shade, the med was very hot so it was great to sit in the shade to recharge our batteries.
Ship - interior stunning esp Piazza. So many bars, cosy/quiet areas etc that its easy to forget there's 3000+ passengers. We preferred to use the aft adult pool although after the first sea day, the lounger hoggers had found it! Defy anyone to say they need to reserve loungers, there are so many around the ship - okay you might need to walk 50yds to a pool, but if you're a hogger you probably need the exercise! We found it quite amusing that even at Champagne Waterfall & other events the hoggers reserved chairs.
Entertainment - Because this was such a port intensive cruise, by end of dinner we were exhausted, managed to get to one show which was very good. MUTS was excellent - almost made it to end of one movie before I crashed! Vines & Crooners were great for a pre dinner drink. Explorers had varied entertainment, comedian, magician, group etc & we usually caught part of an act after dinner. So many venues we didn't get to.....
Food - obviously food is subjective. We had trad. late seating & found food on the whole to be very good - couple evenings were disappointing. Fav place - International Cafe for lunches/cakes, icecream & coffee. Breakfast in Cafe Caribe (preferred that to Horizon Court). Hubbie & daughter tried pizza & burgers from pool area & said they were very good. Free lemonade was available all day at all locations on Lido (pools, buffet etc)
Signed up for Chef's Table 1st day. SUPERB Worth every penny! A fantastic experience, even our 16yr old loved it.
Ports - Won't review ports since many have done so better than I could. Fantastic itinerary & enjoyed all ports visited. Disappointed we didn't get to Rome however given the winds that day it was understandable.
Staff - Our waiters in MDR , Woody & assistant Ray were wonderful. Pleasure to see them each evening. Maitre d' Generoso was superb, can't praise him enough. He is a delightful and charming man. Our cabin steward, hmmm... jury's out on that one. Whilst he was never rude he wasn't exactly friendly. All other staff we came across, in buffet; bars; even just passing in the corridors etc were very friendly & provided excellent service. Passenger Service Desk could learn a thing or two from other departments. On the one occasion we dealt with them (issue with ruined clothing) they were most unhelpful.
To sum up, this was a wonderful introduction to cruising and we'd cruise again in a heartbeat.