This is our 8th princess cruise and it won't be the last going by this experience,previously having been with P&O and Royal caribbean.I travelled with my wife and 14year old son who both have the same positive impression as i do. The trip started from Edinburgh with a flight to Gatwick and then a 5 hour wait for our flight to Venice.This wait was a bone of contention as 4 other flights to Venice departed while we waited in a lounge and never reached the ship until 9-30pm by which time check in was a table on the pier .Princess wouldn't change the flights despite meeting people later in the week from Scotland who arrived on the Ruby at 4-30.
Our Cabin steward thought we were not coming.Also we missed dinner in the main restaurant and made do with the buffet,not a good start. As we were so late we never had the chance to enjoy Venice that evening but used the shuttle boat in the morning which was very well organised.A real pleasant experience on board on the first evening was Luciana Pavarotti concert on the movies under the stars screen which set the scene ,wonderful. We never booked any trips but did our own thing in Venice. Ruby Princess set sail at lunchtime and this must be one of the most fantastic experiences in cruising with Andrea Bocelli's Time to say goodbye playing throughout the ship, and the amazing backdrop.The day continued with exploring this amazing ship.
Our first Dinner in the Botticelli restaurant was another unexpected treat as Princess put us at a table with a family from Wales who had a son of similar age to ours they became great buddies and still keep in touch. WE the parents and an other couple from New York got on great throughout the cruise and on occasions met for pre dinner drinks.On many occasions we were about last out of the restaurant.Great people and great fun. The quality of food provided was excellent and didn't feel the need to go to the speciality restaurants especially when waiters Jani and Pavel were doing such a sterling job,nothing was a problem to these guys and smiled all the way. On our arrival the room Steward called Ronaldo asked my young lad if he liked cookies and each evening fresh ones were delivered throughout the holiday,this chap provided us with a brilliant service and room was kept to a high standard. we only had one day at sea, this proved quite tiring .We decided on a few days to return early so we could enjoy the feel of the ship.We made a point to use the Sanctuary,this is a must do as the staff really look after you with chilled drinks I-pods etc. Another good point which I learnt through cruise critic is that a Speciality Coffee card can be obtained ,anyone who enjoys a nice coffee shall appreciate this .
Our 14 year old had a great time ,off on his own meeting new friends . He did say that more sports activities would have been good but it certainly didn't spoil his adventure. A special mention to first officer Daniel Wood who spent a lot of time with our son who is interested in a career of navigation. Daniel was informative and very helpful. The Captain was out and about and not one of the invisible types, he ran a happy ship which came over in his staff who were courteous and willing and always smiling. The cruise photographers weren't "in your face" but i am sure a lot more pictures would have been purchased if they were sold at a reasonable price, its such a shame that at the end of the cruise all these pictures are binned. The ship was quiet at night after 11pm, but then was this because of a full on itinery or an entertainment which wasn't all that great! The art auction was an experience,especially to us virgin auctioneers, very tempted to buy, only too scared to put my hand up, maybe next time. I would say that this has been a wonderful experience and recommend Ruby Princess ,It must be said the itinary didn't make it relaxing but the feel of this ship is magic.