Going on Ruby Princess, this was our 6th cruise, but, only our 2nd with princess. On this cruise there were a lot of positives and a lot of negatives. To start we got a great deal on this cruise. In February of 09' we booked this cruise. I don't remember the exact price, but this 10 day was cheaper than a 7 day on Royal Caribbean. The next positive was embarkation.Parking was very easy, unlike last year were we were waiting 1 hour for the shuttle. This year, Port Everglades used a new system where you were given a number and when your number was called you were to go to an avalibale desk. This reduced waiting time not only to check-in and receive your cruise card, but also to wait on the gangway. As we always do, we went up to our room before eating lunch. Our room seemed much more spacious than last year on the Crown Princess. While leaving our stateroom we met Cerry, our room attendant. Unlike past years he was very very friendly. Whenever we saw him in the halls he greeted us by name and asked how we were doing. He was probably the best room staff we ever had on our 6 cruises.
Now I feel it is a good time to talk about the dining and dining service. The service at the Horizon Court, or buffet, was not the best. I was never greeted with a smile, but they did do their job correctly. The food was not great either. In the morning the scrambled eggs tasted dry and most of the cereal tasted stale. At lunch the food was not pleasing either. We never ate at the buffet for dinner, but we did come for a midnight snack every once in a while.
Even though it was late at night, the food still shouldn't have been that disgusting and terrible. Many nights we were very hungry at night and we didn't want to order room service so we went up to the buffet. There was a very little variety of food, and it was all very disappointed. The pool food was quite the opposite. Free of charge, every morning there were Belgium waffles which were so soft and sweet. At 11 a.m the Belgium waffles became a pizzeria. The workers there were so friendly. Every time I came for pizza I was greeted with a smile and, "Hi, what can I have for you today?" The pizza was even better. It beats anything we have at home in Florida. If you need a great lunch, go to the pizzeria not the buffet. Equal service and food quality was also at Trident's grill, also free of charge. On this cruise, I got a coke package card. By getting the CPC (coke package card) you get sodas, mock-tails, hot chocolates, and milkshakes. Any time I would go to a bar to get a soda I wouldn't get a friendly smile, actually no speaking at all, because once they saw you had a coke card they knew what you were going to order. In Crooners, the bar in the Piazza, I ordered a coke on night. 20 minutes later I get a diet-coke. I re-order a coke which I never get. Disappointing.The Dining Room was a whole new story.We were in the Botticelli Dining Room, which was at the back of the ship. To get to it you had to start on six, go up 1 floor, across 1 floor, then down 1 more. It was surely a hassle to get down their. On rocky days, the dining room moved so much it frequently made me sick. There are 19 people in our party. We were given 1 table for 6,1 table for 5, and 1 table for 8. Our waiter Joey was very stressed to get us all fed. Some nights he was even yelling at us to stop getting up and socializing because dinner was coming.
The beverages or sodas in the dining room were always pre-poured. So when I ordered a coke it was already flat. The food was not pleasing either. On the last night I ordered the meatloaf which was too dry, so I ordered the fillet,which was too hard to chew. Eventually, I ordered a hamburger which was disgusting, but I wasn't going to waste my time ordering again.
The Piazza, or lobby, was a wonderful place to meet up. The International Cafe had delightful appetizers and good coffee and hot chocolate. There were comfortable benches to sit and talk with a friend. There was always entertainment, whether it was classical music or a juggler. There were wonderful shops were you get a great deal on a beautiful necklace or a souvenir. There was Crooners, the bar I spoke about before, and a great library. Nearby was the shore excursions desk which always had a long line, but a wide variety of excursions.
There were 2 venues for entertainment, The Explorer's Lounge and The Princess Theater. The entertainment was not amazing. There's not much more to say.
Overall it was a great cruise. I would give it a 8.5 out of 10.