We have just arrived home from our Grand Mediterranean Cruise on Ruby Princess and I am eager to write this review before I forget details!
From the minute we boarded in Venice, to the time we disembarked in Barcelona, we were treated with consistent, friendly, professional hospitality. Embarkation was a breeze - we were through the line and in our cabin in about 15 minutes.
Cabin: Beautiful! We had a mini-suite and had plenty of room to spread out. The cabin is beautifully appointed in light wood trim and sage accents (bed pillows, curtains). There was plenty of room for our clothes - the closet has a shelving cupboard that easily fit all out things, even though there were more drawers and cupboards in the room. Bed was configured to queen as we had requested, with snowy white sheets and good pillows. Very comfortable! The bathroom was immaculate.
Service: Our steward, Danilo, met us the moment we arrived and showed us around the cabin. Throughout the cruise, we didn't ask much of him, but when we did, it was taken care of immediately. He kept our room clean and tidy - not easy with MY husband; fresh towels twice a day (not necessary, but appreciated). we were always greeted with a smile upon returning from shore or running into him in the hall. I honestly don't know how these guys do it...I don't know how many other cabins he had to take care of, but he was pleasant the whole way through. Same goes for dining room staff - they were EXCELLENT. Accurate orders, friendly, even joke-y at times which I like - I don't like "stiff" waiters. No matter what crew member you ran into on the ship, you were greeted with a smile and a "hello", at the very least.
Food: Ok now listen...if you're a foodie, and you're expecting knock-your-socks-off cuisine, don't take a cruise. Consider the sheer AMOUNT of food that is being prepared, constantly, for 3,000+ passengers, (plus crew - they eat too!!). The quality and variety of food and dining options onboard the Ruby is excellent, given the amount of food that must be prepared and I can't think of a single meal where I was disappointed. Did it blow me away? No. Was it nicely presented and reasonably tasty? Absolutely. The buffet had a wonderful selection of different foods for every appetite, and all around the ship were choices choices choices for different dining options. To be honest, the only meal I didn't really like was at Sabatini's, but through no fault of their own - I just didn't like anything on the menu.
Activities: I wouldn't know...If I wasn't on shore, I was in the casino. ;-) (Actually...I DID catch a few shows and participated in some of the trivia games. The shows were "eh" but the games were fun.) I didn't make use of any of the pools (too crowded and I don't like sitting in the sun). I DO know, based on the Princess Patter that arrived in our room box each night, that you were never lacking for something to do - there appeared to be lots going on all over the place!
Ports: Will fill out individual port reviews but let me say that this cruise is PORT-INTENSIVE!! bring walking shoes!! If you're leaving from Venice, DO NOT miss the sailaway - trust me - I am not an early riser but this was absolutely worth getting up for - I almost cried, it was so lovely!
We had a blast and we met great people and saw cool stuff - what more do you want??!! UNFORTUNATELY, however...this will be our first and last Princess cruise due to the new smoking policy effective in October. I know this is a hot button issue here so I won't go into it, but I am very sorry to have to cross this cruise line off my list. If you're a non-smoker and considering Ruby, by all means book and ENJOY!! You're in for a real treat!