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13 Night Australia & New Zealand Cruise from Sydney

13 Night Australia & New Zealand Cruise from Sydney (Australia)

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Ship Exterior on Ruby Princess
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Sydney (Australia)
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 4
    Fjordland
  • Day 5
    Dunedin
  • Day 6
    Akaroa
  • Day 7
    Wellington
  • Day 8
    Napier
  • Day 9
    Tauranga
  • Day 10
    Auckland
  • Day 11
    Paihia
  • Day 12
    Cruising
  • Day 13
    Cruising
  • Day 14
    Sydney (Australia)

Ruby Princess

Ruby Princess - Princess Cruises

Pros

Great kids club, good food options and a laid-back vibe.

Cons

Shows its age in places.

Bottom Line

Great for families and anyone looking for a variety of activities.


Cruise Reviews

First short cruise we’ve undertaken. Family and friends get together. Embarkation and disembarkation very smooth as took advantage of our platinum Captain’s Circle benefits. All our group had sailed before and only 6 out of 20 ... Read More
First short cruise we’ve undertaken. Family and friends get together. Embarkation and disembarkation very smooth as took advantage of our platinum Captain’s Circle benefits. All our group had sailed before and only 6 out of 20 hadn’t sailed with Princess. Ship very nice and clean, cabin lovely. We chose first seating dining. Would have been happier with a bit later start than 5.15pm, maybe 5.45 pm would have been more suitable. Overall dining experience in dining rooms quite nice although our granddaughter being gluten intolerant found very limited choice especially in buffet. Gluten free choices were intergrated with non-specific choices, vegan and dairy etc. Cross contamination was a huge worry. As we had sailed on Royal Carribean in March 2019 and had that experience to compare with, Princess failed miserably. Royal Carribean met with our granddaughter and her mother on the first day of the cruise and explained how everything gluten free was prepared in a completely separate area of the kitchen using completely separate utensils, pots, pans and everything used in the cooking process. Nothing was too much trouble no matter where she ate dining room, buffet, deck or at any mealtime. They went above and beyond making cookies, pizzas, baggels, bread, desserts absolutely anything. These items were brought to her in sealed packaging. It was very comforting to know they understood the implication of gluten in her diet. As the food experience of cruising is a big factor it was disappointing for her that Princess didn’t provide that for her. Indeed, she ordered and waited over 50 minutes for a pizza to be prepared for her, it was inedible. Perhaps the dining staff need educating in relation to specific dietary needs. It seemed that the dining staff had a very blasé attitude towards her specific gluten free diet. For others travelling with us with Buffet was disappointing although we all enjoyed dining room, pizzas, hot dogs etc and deck food options. Medallion Class was very good and loved this new innovation. Ruby Princess dancers and entertainers were excellent. Enjoyed shows. Disappointed with lack of organised activities. Very limited and some venues were too small particularly holding trivia in the Pizza area with very very limited seating. The lack of activities were probably more noticeable as we had rainy weather on 2 of the 3 days. Not Princess’ fault at all but would have thought a fuller wet weather program would be implemented. Didn’t see cabin steward after first initial introduction but room was well cleaned and serviced. Overall service staff didn’t seem to be interested in getting to know you or going that little bit extra - perhaps because it was a short cruise they didn’t feel the need to impress? Not sure, but my thinking it should be and all out performance to entice further cruising with Princess. Just my thoughts. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My wife and I are regular Princess cruisers and as we have been on the Diamond and Emerald we thought it would be good to compare the Ruby with them. It was also a good idea to get away for a weekend on a cruise line we were comfortable ... Read More
My wife and I are regular Princess cruisers and as we have been on the Diamond and Emerald we thought it would be good to compare the Ruby with them. It was also a good idea to get away for a weekend on a cruise line we were comfortable with. Overall it was a good time away, if you don't mind torrential rain and huge swells ( I love them). Three things annoyed us though: 1. Day One, headed to the atrium for a coffee and find the DJ doing his level best to destroy what little is left of our hearing. Why is it necessary to play music so loud that it is not possible to converse with anyone without yelling or using a megaphone? Not everyone wants to suffer from tinnitus by the end of the cruise. 2. Dining Rooms. Why bother to put up a sign outlining a dress code and then ignore it. The standard of dress in dining rooms has really dropped off lately. 3. Crown Grill. Somehow we managed to upset someone in this dining establishment. Although the place was mostly empty during our meal, we were stuck at a table next to the table where the meals are dispensed from and the dirty plates end up. My wife ordered lobster and had to remove the shell herself, no big deal but the waiter managed to remove the shells from the lobsters for the diners at the table next to us. Maybe they were getting the better treatment because they were new cruisers and need to be encouraged back whereas we older cruisers are already hooked and don't need the TLC. Anyone going to the Crown Grill will know that the tables have lovely leather seats....not ours. We had the only seats in the restaurant with cloth inserts and cement blocks for seat cushions. I checked on the way out, every other seat in the restaurant was leather. Looks like we lucked out. I have attached a picture of each type of chair. Apart from the above grumbles, we had a good time and have a few more Princess cruises booked over the next 12 months. I vented on this site because I am sure that any complaints / comments put on the post cruise e-mail questionnaire Princess puts out count for nothing. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I planned my Australia and New Zealand vacation with Princess Cruises so I could see the most I could within the 24 Days I had down-under. I did this even though Princess Cruises does not have a single supplement so I paid suite passage ... Read More
I planned my Australia and New Zealand vacation with Princess Cruises so I could see the most I could within the 24 Days I had down-under. I did this even though Princess Cruises does not have a single supplement so I paid suite passage for two people. Princess Cruises was the only cruise line that offered the land tour. Since this was my first trip to the region I wanted to see as much of Australia and New Zealand as I could. The vacation started with a tour that took me from Sydney to Uluru then to Carins and back to Sydney before boarding the Princess Cruise ship the Ruby Princess for a 12 day cruise around New Zealand. I planned to complete my trip with two days in Sydney after the cruise. Mistake number one was thinking Princess Cruises would delivery on their commitments and provide assistance and keep me informed. Princess Cruises did however meet their cruise contract terms. However, this does not mean they were at all worried about me enjoying my vacation. I do want to say the Uluru and Cairns tour operated by a local Australian tour company was just wonderful. This might have set my expectations for the cruise. The three hotels we stayed in during the land tour was great the Hyatt Regency is in Darling Harbor and a short walking distance to the Opera House and Botanical Gardens. Just plan plenty of time if you walk (30 minutes each way) however it is easy to get around Sydney. The Airport Transfers contacted by this tour operator were handled very well with no issues. The Desert Garden Hotel in Uluru is the place to stay when traveling there. The two days were will planned the highlight was the aboriginal demonstration and program put on by a local group the Red Spaces Cultural Tours (I will do a separate review of this fantastic program). After the visit and this program, you leave Uluru with a greater appreciation of the Australian aboriginal people and importance the mountain was to their life in the outback. Off to Cairns, the Great Barrier Reef and Kuranda Rain Forest. While the tour provided a great experience in Cairns for the short two days we were there, you will want to plan more time. The rain forest has many trails you can explore and we just did not have the time. The land tour ended with a quick overview of Sydney and stop at Bondi Beach. I will do a separate review of the tour as this rating is not a reflection of that experience. This is where a good vacation experience ended and dealing with rude and unresponsive cruise ship staff begin. The written instructions/directions that are provided mean nothing it seems the Ruby Princess is an exception as explained to me by a Guess Services staff member assigned to address my concerns. My first encounter with a staff member at the coffee set the tone of the trip. I asked him if he could fill a souvenir cup I was provided for having the beverage package. The staff member stated yes took the cup and proceed to make the coffee. When finished instead of pouring the coffee from the paper cup into the souvenir cup he hands me both cups and states “pour it into the cup yourself and next time don't ask for coffee to be put into your cup.” By the way if you do purchase a beverage package keep a close eye on you cabin bill. Myself and a number of other passengers found improper drink charges on their accounts. Having to correct these erroneous charges takes time and Princess Cruises could correct the problem by flagging these and having the Guess Services staff research and correct them without passengers waiting in line during their vacation to identify the error. I will say a few of the staff like the bartenders at the Good Spirts worked to enjoy guess had an enjoyable experience. This was however the exception. Maybe these bartenders can provide some training to the others on how to provide a positive guess experience. The suite book stated a suite guess should contact Guess Services to make reservations in the specialty restaurants. After trying to reach Guess Services by telephone three times with no answer and the inability to leave a message, I contacted the specialty dinning room reservations by telephone and was told there was nothing available. After this and the inability to contact my room steward via the telephone I sent an email to my travel agent that forwarded it to Princess Cruises. This is when Guess Services first contacted me. Princess might want to ensue they can cover the telephone service and not have it hang up on passenger due to no response. I was told the Ruby Princess did not have a suite concierge and the reason suite guess were told to contact specialty dinning room reservations directly. Also throughout the ship there were signs that directed guess to go to deck 16 to make reservations for the Curtis Stone specialty dinning experience. I went there twice and there was no one available to make a reservation. Appears that Princess Cruises has substituted staff and customer service for the medallion program and experience. I also found that no one seemed to want to take ownership of your issue/concern or problem. I was often referred to several different people or desk until I stop them. I heard the same issue from many other passengers as well. My experience continued to deteriorate when Princess cancelled my disembark excursion they did not notify me and when I discovered it I was passed between Guess Services and Excursions Desk with little concern about my vacation time in Sydney. My Hotel Princess had reserved for me was less than two blocks from where the ship docked yet after they cancelled my excursion, they were going to have me wait on the ship until 09:45 to take a bus to the hotel. This would have wasted half of day of two days I had left in Sydney. I was able to get permission to leave the ship with my own transfer to the Hotel. This allowed me to get to the Hotel check my bags and book with the Hotel concierge the same excursion Princess cancelled. This was consistent with the previous assistance and responses Princess staff members. By the way Princess did not bother to try to provide me information on my transfer to the airport in two days. I will cover that next. So I successful saved the day in Sydney with little effort but no assistance or recommendations from the Princess staff. The Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney that I will review separately was fantastic. A $5.00 Australia Dollar Uber ride got me to the Hotel around 07:00 AM. The Bellmen were very helpful checked my luggage and I checked-in and they were going to text me when the room was ready. The concierge was great they booked me on a 11 hour Blue Mountain and Zoological Park Tour that left 30 minutes after the booking from the Hotel. Great day even with the heavy rains. When I got back to the Hotel my room was ready and my luggage was already in the room. One thing missing was there no information from Princess on my airport transfer. Since I had another day I figured it might be left with the front desk or concierge the next day or Princess would have a hotel representative present for part of the day. When I checked early in the morning the front desk clerk and concierge mentioned that there would be a Princess cruise ship representative in the hotel the next day at 0800 AM. Since my flight did not leave until 2:00PM I felt comfortable waiting to get the transfer information the next day. The next day after breakfast I located two cruise representatives in the hotel but neither indicated they were there specifically for although one indicated she support Princess passengers. When I asked about the time for the airport transfer, she stated to be at the pickup location at 0930 AM. I proceeded with my morning and checked out at around 0900 AM. Up at the pickup point at 09:15 AM and shortly afterward the representative came out and stated you might want to come back inside and sit for a while. She stated she called Princess and the pickup was going to be at 10:30 AM. At this point I told her to cancel the transfer and I would take an Uber. Princess never bothered to contact me or reimburse me for the transfers they did not accomplish. This was a 18 Day Cruise Tour that was to have four sea days. While Princess cannot control the weather, they can plan for possible alternate ports. Two of the itinerary stops could not be docked or transited due to weather and Princess just add sea days rather than trying to find another destination. While I don't want to speak for other passengers many other experienced cruisers also expressed their disappointment with the cruise and staff and stated they may take a break. Princess might want to do a critical look at the practices and polices on this cruise. I would not recommend this for a first-time cruiser. There appeared to no options when there is a weather-related issue to adjust the New Zealand itinerary where other cruises, I have always found that the cruise has planned alternative. I you want to see New Zealand for the first time don’t take a cruise if you have not cruised before. Also consider some alternate land options. I will be going back to New Zealand to see what it is really like and what I could not see with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
View All Ruby Princess Reviews
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