Returned on a transatlantic cruise a week ago and did not seem to be on the same ship as the previous cruiser. Had a wonderful but short time in Venice, staying in a boutique hotel on the mainland in Mestre (the Best Western Bologna)This hotel is directly across the street from the train station (ideal for visiting Venice)
Embarkation was lengthy, but we arrived on the ship and were led to our cabin by pleasant staff. Our cabin steward Danielo was great, and should be the employee of the month.
The ship itself was not as great. Anytime dining should be just as it implies. No luck on the Ruby. So many people had the same table at the same time every evening, that it left many people standing around with a beeper (waiting to be called).People wanting this arrangement should have been accommuodated in traditional dining rooms. When the maitre de was asked how this could happen we were ignored.
Many passengers we spoke with complained about line ups for meals in dining rooms,for gym equipment,coffee,and excursions.Can you ever imagine a ship this large running out of tomato juice and certain fruits on day three? Must have gone for groceries on day four,since they reappeared.
The menus appeared to be wonderful however the food was only mediocre.(the quality of Princess has slipped over the last couple of years) I attempted for 4 consecutive mornings,to have a poached egg (be it Florentine,benedict,or poached alone) and even when sent back, it always came out the same...RAW. Lunches in the dinng rooms were better than the evening meals. When the presented meal was of poor quality, there was no problem getting a second different selection, We had breakfast with unfamiliar passengers and this turned out to be a beef session for most of us (in regards to how the Princess line is slipping). Several people said their list of complaints were too long to talk about.
The Ruby appears to have too many passengers for the layout of the ship. Prior to excursions, passengers with excursion vouchers were herded into small lounges to wait for the next move to the theater. At times, there were people pouring out into the corridors far from earshot as to what was expected of them next. The International cafe is in a poor location, with only minimal seating (passengers must take their lattes elsewhere to find seats).My husband wanted a beer one day and the waiter recommended "Blue Moon" as a great one. One sip and my husband was disappointed. When my husband spoke to the waiter about it,he was told he would have to pay for a replacement (NOW REALLY!)
We have decided there are enough cruise lines to choose from without being loyal to Princess ( besides, unless you cruise an astronomical number of times,the rewards for loyalty are trivial) Bon Voyage Princess...three times with you are enough.