We had a wonderful cruise on the Ruby Princess, Venice - Barcelona. We arrived at Venice airport on the 18th August and were met by a Princess representative who took us to the taxi, then water taxi to our Hotel, the Monaco and Grand Canal, the Hotel is very nice although the rooms are very small, it's in a great location only 2 minutes from St Marks Square and directly across from the well known Harry's Bar. We decided to eat in Harry's Bar on the 1st night, we had a nice meal and it has a nice atmosphere although it is expensive, we had a 3 course meal, a bottle of wine, a bottle of water and 3 Bellini's - 330 euro. The next night we had a meal of the same standard for a third of the price. If you are cruising from Venice it is well worth an extra day or two, it is simply spectacular- St Marks, Gondola ride etc - Wonderful.
On the 20th we were taken by water taxi to the ship, as you would expect from a ship only 8 months old she is immaculate, great design and easy to find your way round. We were in cabin A750 at the rear of the ship, lovely cabin with a huge unobstructed balcony, 13 feet by 22 feet.
This was an excellent cruise and I would certainly recommend the Ruby Princess, we were very lucky as we had 2 really lovely couples at our table and had some great evenings. The food was good, if you are looking for it to be "Michelin star" quality, then of course it is not, but to feed 3,200 people every night they do very well. The dress code was very acceptable, on formal nights ladies had nice elegant dresses on and I would say most men had a tux on. On the informal nights it was more casual than previous cruises but the ladies were always very smart and the men had trousers and a open necked long/short sleeved shirt, very few had a jacket or tie on. We saw a few people after dinner in shorts or jeans. The entertainment was very good.
Only regret, simply not enough time to use all the facilities.
We took the following Princess tours:-
Athens;- The Acropolis (Wonderful to see although we had been here before)
Kusadasi:- Travelled to the House of the Virgin Mary, this is believed to be where Mary lived after the Crucifixion of Christ. Then moved a few miles away and we arrived at Ephesus, this is the remains of a Roman city - it is simply amazing - DO NOT MISS THIS TRIP! Then on to the Basilica of St. John, built over the tomb of St. John the Apostle.
Istanbul:- The Topkapi Palace (Wonderful to see although we had been here before)
Mykonos:- We did not take a trip here, we walked around the town which is lovely.
Naples:- Trip to Pompeii - quite unbelievable.
Civitavecchia:- Took the elite tour of Rome, again a great trip, the Colosseum, Trevi fountain and the Vatican.
Livorno:- We went to Pisa, saw the leaning tower etc, lovely place and worth visiting.
Monte Carlo:- We did not take a trip here as you can easily walk around yourself, we visted the Catherdal, the Royal Palace and took a small trolley train on a 30 minute drive around Monte Carlo passed the Casino etc.
On the 1st September we arrived in Barcelona, we stayed for two days in Le Meridean hotel, which was very nice, toured the city on open topped buses.