Picked up from door and taken to Southampton for boarding. Security was tight like an airport but all very efficient. Did not touch our luggage from door to cabin.
Cabin was a bit small as described elsewhere. Lack of hanging space where the Spirit had a rail above luggage storage area. Otherwise OK. Air conditioning was superior to the Spirit.
Up to verandah area to view departure. Here the Spirit scores highly with its awning extending to edge of pool. This enables dining outside most evenings. The awning on the Ruby was only about a metre deep.
Fixed tables for dining and here was evidence of lack of communication between HO and ship. Our sister in law seated at another table (Fixed dining). That first evening we had to dine in The View.
It was our sister in law's first cruise and the Ruby had been chosen over the Spirit because she wanted a bath. A hoo-ha at reception when she was told had been upgraded to an outside cabin, but, shower instead of a bath. She got somewhat distressed and said she would get off and go home. At this they then put her in the original cabin and the troubles began. The Ruby has sea water flushing whereas the Spirit and The Pearl use a vacuum system. On visiting the bathroom she found that her toilet contained contributions from other cabins.
As the ship was full and the problem could not be resolved, an entertainer had to give up their Superior outside cabin. As compensation for all these troubles, they sent down a bottle of wine in an ice bucket. On returning after dinner, a flood was discovered and her shoes were full of water! The maids name was Liza, so we sang 'There's a hole in my bucket'.
Box of chocs then presented by Hotel Director and after that all went well.
Must say that the food was exceptional. Beautifully presented and cooked.
Next day was afternoon tea and here the display was superior to the Spirit.
The pastry cook was German and a genius. Usually an ice carving and the orchestra or pianist playing.
However, were a few flies and on the Spirit majority of public rooms and the Verandah have a blue light zapper. These could easily be installed on The Ruby, as could a larger awning.
Entertainment was first class. One singer/comedian told a slightly risque joke about breaking wind and that was his last performance. As was also the comedian conjuror who we thought as good as Tommy Cooper. Regret to say our party had hysterics of laughter.
Will we go again, You Bet we will.