Having already sailed before on Emerald and Star looked forward to the latest trip on the Ruby. The ship is a large one, but with plenty of places to find your own special space. Travelled with my wife and another couple in Balcony cabins on the opposite side of the ship so we could enjoy shared views of sunrise/sunsets and ports. Liked to people watch on deck five around the Piazza with Vines (winebar) our favorite. We tried to get a seat by the window to watch the waves when we were not taking in the parade of ship entertainment including pianist, violins, gymnasts, and singer dancers.
Enjoyed the naturalist lectures and other ship lecturers. Took in a few ship shows when we weren't too tired from the extensive sightseeing days and even found the time to lose a little in the Casino. With lots of sea days across the Atlantic we had a chance to unwind and do lots of reading. Nothing better than a good book and watching the ocean...or even a mediocre book and doing the same.
Always friendly whether from the room steward, the folks at the bars or in the dining room. It felt like coming back home after the long days of seeing cities we had only dreamed of getting to see.
Room enough for us to relax and store the tons of luggage that we brought with us. Having a balcony again helped us with another place to sit and watch port and sea.
We had late seating traditional dining. We found the food to be varied, well prepared and nicely presented. We ate twice in the Crown Grille and felt that the meal there was very good with matching service. We ate at the buffet for breakfast and lunch. And found the pizza selection and quality much improved over our last trip with Princess. On this trip we also tried there pub style food in the Wheelhouse Bar to be a nice change of pace.
Getting On/Getting Off The Ship
Getting on was very smooth and easy. Getting off another matter as we reported as directed to the Explorer Lounge at the time called for and then waited at least 1/2 hr. before beginning to get off the ship. Luggage while color coded as usual was really a jumble of numbers. It took a long time to find our luggage. Used ship transfers in Ft. Lauderdale and that seemed to take a long time too. We left early enough so that any delays were frustrating, but did not impact our getting to our flights.
Production numbers were great with excellent cast and production. The Princess theater had all of the hi-tech bells and whistles to make the show sizzle. Also liked the mix of movies on TV/Open Deck and Princess Theater, though it was somewhat hard to understand the dialogue outdoors. Visually that screen was very sharp and clear.
All except one were informative and met our requirements. The one had a guide who was not easy to understand and did not provide much information except to keep saying that Pisa was the best. And his coming from Pisa would explain his repeated promotion of his home town.
Took a private tour with Rome-In-Limo for Rome. Vincenzo (Vinnie) was great!! He got us close to all of the sights, was a good though fast driver, and helped us understand the city before us. With only 1 day in Rome he saved us time and in fact we probably got to see twice as much as a ship tour. He found a nice restaurant that fit our need for casual, but authentic. The day was long, but after throwing in the coin at the Travi Fountain we hope to come back to Rome!!!