We made friends with a nice couple from Colorado.
The embarkation was very smooth and painless in FL and we were in our cabin by 1.30pm. The crew on the whole were superb and very polite at all times. We ate most of our meals in the Horizon Court/Cari-be and we were pleasantly surprised by the choices and excellent quality of the food on offer. The Indian staff in the Cafe Cari-be in the evening were really top notch and nothing was any trouble to them and specially loved the themed curry nights where the chef and his team were absolutely outstanding and made a fuss over me every evening.
The ship is a modern beast and every square inch has been utilised to optimise the space and to cram in 3,000 people. This has made it very lacking in character but that is just our personal view. The staff had to be super to compensate for some really bad processes from Head Office. For example we booked Princess flights and Princess.UK booked us on a very late flight out of Barcelona on the return journey eg. 2140hours but they expected us to be off the ship by 11am to hang about in the airport all day. Beware and get your final day sorted and in writing if you ever book flights from Princess UK.
We didn't take any excursions with Princess because for some mysterious reason Princess put up the prices of the excursions by between 10 to 15% just a week before the cruise and quite frankly charging $69 return on the train to Rome from Civitavecchia (when it is only costs $9) tells you enough!
The entertainment was fair with one or two good movies and shows but I did not like the smutty jokes of the assistant cruise director. My wife made a formal complaint about this.
The Gym is super however, there is no one there to supervise. People walk in with inappropriate clothing/shoes and just watch movies creating a queue on sea days. Simple solution turn off all tv during peak times and the queue disappears. Some of the equipment needs repair and if you are six feet or above you will need to remove the ceiling tile if you want to use a cross-trainer.
One thing that caused people a lot of anger was the fact that Princess discounted most of the fares after people booked. A lot of tension was caused when people found out that some people from the USA got a substantial upgrade compared to others.
Would I recommend the Ruby Princess - probably not as I prefer the smaller Princess ships because Princess have still not mastered the art of taking people on and of this ship by tender in some ports which caused a lot of tension.