Ruby Princess has a laid-back, family vibe that despite carrying 3,000 passengers never felt crowded. And while not an overly active ship, people were always engaged -- whether it was kids playing in the kids' club or participating in a scavenger hunt, or adults trying their luck at bingo, competing enthusiastically in “The Voice of the Ocean” or soaking in the hot tubs.
Passengers tended to be friendly, and audience participation in most activities was the norm. Trivia nights were popular, with strangers quickly grouping up to become friends and allies.
The service throughout the Ruby Princess cruise ship is noticeably good. Cabin attendants on our sailing went that extra mile bringing playing cards to our kids when they needed something to do; waiters remembered those that were trying to avoid carbs and asked if bread was wanted instead of just bringing it out. Overall, the crew made an effort to offer personalized and intimate service, even while being on a big ship.
Ruby Princess deck plans are similar to those of other Crown-class ships. Most cabins are grouped together on cabin-only decks (Decks 5 and 15 are the only exceptions), while restaurants, pools and entertainment venues are spread over the rest.
Decks 5 (Plaza) and 15 (Lido) are the heart of the action on the Ruby Princess cruise. Deck 5 is where you’ll find the lively Piazza, an atrium surrounded by bars and restaurants and home to many of the daytime and nighttime group activities. The pool deck features two family pools, lots of loungers, a few dining and drinking options – including the Ruby Princess buffet – and a friendly atmosphere. Despite the ample sundeck around it, the area can get busy, especially on sea days, but there is a quieter, more secluded pool down a short flight of stairs, on Deck 14 aft.
Although you’ll be sharing space with thousands of other passengers (Ruby Princess has a maximum capacity of 3,080 guests), the ship doesn’t feel crowded. There are lots of sundecks to lounge at on this 951-foot, MedallionClass vessel, and the Piazza, spanning three decks and the width of the ship, make it easy for passengers who can take the stairs to get from one place to the other. Elevators, though – including the glass-enclosed Panoramic Lifts – are fairly fast and efficient, too.
With four outdoor pools, ample deck space, and hundreds of balconies, this ship is a great pick for visiting sunny destinations such as Central America, Hawaii, California and the Caribbean. Princess Cruises’ Ruby Princess main ports in the U.S. are San Francisco, Fort Lauderdale and Galveston, which allow for easy access to warm-weather regions that will help you make the most of the ship’s outdoor features. However, there’s also a lot going on indoors on cold days, including dozens of daily activities, movies, live music, and great shows, so those looking to try the Ruby Princess Alaska itinerary shouldn’t worry about feeling bored.
· Three main dining rooms, the buffet and select other eateries
Water, coffee, tea (including iced), and select juices in the buffet area
All theater shows
Most daily activities, unless otherwise noted
Movies Under the Stars, including complimentary popcorn
Use of the gym, but not most classes
Gratuities, but only when the ship is sailing in Australia or New Zealand and the onboard currency is Australian dollars.
· Gratuities (amounts vary based on cabin type)
Automatic beverage and spa tips (18 percent for both)
Most specialty dining
All drinks beyond basic coffees, teas (hot and iced), water (not bottled) and select juices in the buffet
Spa treatments and access to the Lotus Thermal Suite
Use of the adults-only The Sanctuary deck
Photos and retail store purchases
Ruby Princess appeals to multigen travelers, with families finding that there are plenty of things for kids, adults and grandparents to do. Couples, too, are common, though we noticed most stayed in the adult-only sections.
The ship's Alaska sailings generally skew older because it's a more expensive itinerary, and while there were a good number of senior citizens, there were also a number of baby boomers and families. In fact, the kids camp was well-attended (about 50 kids in total on our sailing). In addition to the mainly American clientele, there were many Asian passengers, and Chinese tours and translations were offered.
Daytime: Princess cruises are informal during the day, and most passengers simply dress for the weather.
Evening: Most nights the dress code is informal, but there are two formal nights on most cruises. The dress code was pretty casual on informal nights -- everything from jeans and sweaters to casual dresses. While some passengers really got dolled up on formal night -- tuxes and suits -- a good majority of them just wore nice dresses and pant suits for women and buttoned-up and collared shirts for men.
Not Permitted: The only items of clothing specifically not permitted in restaurants are bathing suits (all venues) and tank tops (main dining rooms and most specialty restaurants).
For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Princess.
Cruise was ok but, could or should have been a lot better.