My favorite vacation, without a doubt, is cruising... and the location does not really matter, which is why we chose a 3-day Ruby Princess cruise that fell in-between my anniversary, my birthday, and the holiday season! My husband and I have sailed on Princess several times previously, and although this voyage would be much shorter than previous sailings, we were excited to to sail on the Ruby and expected nothing but Princess perfection. With all of this said, although we had a wonderful time, we were disappointed and our taste for Princess has become sour.
The Ruby is big, beautiful, and decked out for the holidays. She was everything that we expected and more! We happen to like an indoor cabin, because I like to take a quick nap during the day; thus, the room gets dark when needed. As expected, the indoor cabins were tiny, very tiny, but we were able to put our small suitcase under the bed, giving us adequate room. I was quite happy to feel HOT water in the shower, which was a perk. On the flip side, we received 2 towels, and although we asked several times, they never arrived until the 3rd day. What was even more frustrating was that the bed did not have a sheet, just a duvet cover. My husband and I have never cruised without a sheet on the bed, and although we asked several times, we never found a sheet on our bed. How unsanitary was this... yuch! Along with this frustration, I will mention that our steward did not refer to us by name, and he just about said "hello" when he saw us walking down the hallway. Perhaps such communication is not necessary, but I bet if we were doing individual tipping, we would receive some recognition. Let me also mention that our toilet did not flush one morning, and when we called, we were assured that someone would be in the cabin within a matter of minutes. An hour later, we called again, and we were told that they do not have to come into the room to fix the toilet... this was early morning, and we did need to go the bathroom. About a half hour later, no one had fixed the toilet, and we called again. They said that a man would be there sometime in the morning [!], but this was not a priority since there were toilets throughout the ship... right during our phone call, someone knocked on the door to fix the toilet. Obviously, something is missing in communication. Did I mention that the walls are paper thin and you hear everything, all night long!
Moving on, although Princess knew about both special celebrations, we never received balloons on our door. After seeing them on various doors, I called to question this, and I received an apology plus the assurance of balloons. After 4 additional calls, the balloons were on the door; believe me, the balloons were not what was important... it was just the principle of the entire process. It was a celebration after-all! The entertainment was alright, but it was not what we had expected. We received a notice from Princess stating the names of the shows that would be shown on the Ruby, along with information on the cruise director, Lisa. However, the one Broadway show was not "Once Upon a Dream," which is one of the reasons for choosing Ruby. Why would Princess tell us one thing and then the show is something totally different? There was only one cast show of sorts on this short cruise, but the cruise staff was constantly telling us the shows that we missed because we were on a short cruise. I would have preferred to hear what I would be seeing, rather than what we were missing. The comedian, whose name unfortunately I do not remember, was the best, super funny and totally appropriate. He opened the show, returning for the final show. On such a short cruise, I would have liked to see 3 different shows, even though, as I said, he was a riot. In addition to the main showroom, which filled to capacity every night, there were smaller shows offered, along with the traditional game shows. We have sung with piano player Arny Galayo and Bert Stratton for hours into the morning, so the piano player on the Ruby was quite a disappointment. Her voice screeched and her personality lacked personality!
Speaking about lacking personality, this is the first cruise that my husband and I ever took where the crew was anything but warm and friendly. We would pass by members of the staff, and they were in their own dream world or chatting amongst themselves. They certainly did not know anyone, and being a short cruise should not have made a difference. We are used to be acknowledged by the cruise staff. I must mention the Cruise Director, Lisa Ball, who was, without a doubt, an unhappy camper. She never smiled, and when she spoke, it was all memorized and did not relate at all to her audience. We heard others on the ship sharing these same feelings... her smile was not there, and the most important thing that she shared with us was that we were missing a lot with a 3 night cruise.
Moving on, the food was alright, but it was not up to Princess standards. We chose Anytime Dinning, and we never had a problem getting a table for 2. We never saw lines in the dinning room. The menu was very limited, and the waiters told us that this was due to it being a shorter cruise. I had heard that reasoning once to much. We did the buffet at the Horizon Court for breakfast, and that was typical buffet food. No complaints, but no real rave reviews either. Unfortunately, we met many passengers who shared their disappointment on this short cruise. When I called to share my views, I was connected with the head purser [although I wonder!], and it took 3 calls before I was finally connected with her. She never returned my message; I had to call her back. I finally spoke with Tamara who promised to check into everything and call me back within 15 minutes. Needless to say, she never called back. Lisa, the cruise director, did return my call, but we were out... we called her back, and were told that Lisa was working and could not be reached. Well, we knew she was working on the ship...
So... all in all, we were disappointed with the little things... things that we expect when we are in a cruise. We expected Princess to show the scheduled shows... we expected a sheet... we expected a working toilet... and we expected to feel a part of the Princess family and being recognized as a member. I will definitely cruise again and cannot wait, but I have doubts if I would choose Princess again. This what not the way to celebrate... Please do not hesitate to contact me by e-mail if you wish further information at firstname.lastname@example.org These reviews have helped me so much in the past, and I hope our experience, even the worse it, will help you. Cruising is supposed to be special; the special was missing from this cruise!