1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
We chose this cruise for the ports. Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados, St Kitts,St Thomas and Nassau From the beginning embarkation was quick and easy The staff was outstanding. The service incredible and the food was excellent. Great ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports. Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados, St Kitts,St Thomas and Nassau From the beginning embarkation was quick and easy The staff was outstanding. The service incredible and the food was excellent. Great menu choices every night. However, our cabin steward was lacking in removing dirty glasses and not leaving chocolates every night. Great happy hour every day with great waitstaff We always went to Crooners for drinks before dinner and Raymal our waiter was outstanding. Dinner in all dining rooms excellent with great choices and great service We did do an upcharge restaurant Sabatinis and the waiter was not very friendly. Was trying to hurry us. The escargot was the best we every had at any restaurant Music was outstanding. Something for every age group We like cruising out of Fort Lauderdale for the convenience. Entertainment on board was typical. Bingo, ballroom dancing and line dancing lessons, putting contest. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
We have cruised 4 times! Twice with Royal and twice with Princess and I will say with no hesitation that princess does it better!!!!! From embarkation disembarkation to excursion preparation and execution, just better organized period. As ... Read More
We have cruised 4 times! Twice with Royal and twice with Princess and I will say with no hesitation that princess does it better!!!!! From embarkation disembarkation to excursion preparation and execution, just better organized period. As of now princess is my wife's and I cruise line of choice no question. Dining in the traditional dining room was amazing our waiter was a most wonderful gentleman with an amazing assistant who succeeded in making us laugh every night and the food was a delight with something new each night to try. Afterwards we would find something to,do like trivia in the theatre where we met the most wonderful people from around the world. This the second cruise with Princess cruises as we did one earlier this year as well in the Mediterranean for two weeks in June on the royal princess which was the sister ship to the ruby princess. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
We have cruised with princess before so had high expectations. However, meal choices had been greatly reduced and as i had the nerve to ask for my fillet steak well done in chops grille, the chef decided to punish me by beating it to ... Read More
We have cruised with princess before so had high expectations. However, meal choices had been greatly reduced and as i had the nerve to ask for my fillet steak well done in chops grille, the chef decided to punish me by beating it to within an inch of its life (was as flat as a pancake and we paid a service charge of 25 dollars for the pleasure). evening entertainment was poor resulting in us leaving the theatre early a couple of nights.. There was a group of about 800 american holiday making vets, who took complete charge of some of the ship venues every night. Other cruisers were excluded from entering the theatres on these nights reducing our entertainment options. It also appeared (from outside) that their own entertainment they brought along for their sole use, was a much higher calibre than the ship's! We had no prior warning of this, and had we realised how it would impact on our holiday would have chosen a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
What was marketed as a 49 day cruise was actually three cruise segments which resulted in menus, production shows, special events (champagne fountain) turning over every two weeks or so. Overall, my wife and I loved the cruise if only for ... Read More
What was marketed as a 49 day cruise was actually three cruise segments which resulted in menus, production shows, special events (champagne fountain) turning over every two weeks or so. Overall, my wife and I loved the cruise if only for the lovely sea days, mostly wonderful ports and of course the great fellow passengers we met on the various private tours we booked together and of course, our truly wonderful dinner tablemates from Illinois and New Mexico! Also, our table waiters Darwin/Annie & Fredrick and cabin attendant Thawon, were superb, professional and friendly. That said however, there were just too many things that were simply not up to snuff and we overheard many passenger comments to that effect, particularly from Elite and Platinum members. We changed captains in Rio with the Fleet's Commodore coming aboard - he became the most visible member of the crew and provided information to passengers on an almost daily basis. We were also aware that he "went beyond the normal" in ensuring passengers felt appreciated - well done! DINING: the standard of the food has noticeably slipped since our 2014 cruise on Sapphire Princess with mostly soggy vegetables and smaller portions of food. While some meals were memorable, many of the dishes lacked taste and seasonings. ENTERTAINMENT: the 4 x 35 minute production shows were excellent but it simply is not good enough to repeat the same shows again and again over a 49 day cruise. The individual entertainers brought on board were, for the most part, of a high standard and some of these played to smaller houses due in part to the almost total lack of information on them in the Princess Patter. (we also noted many errors in many editions of the "Patter). The Cruise Director seemed to be "missing in action" for most of the cruise, only surfacing to introduce and thank the headliner/production shows. His staff seemed disorganized and dispirited for most of the cruise although James and Ali did their best - Ali disappeared from the ship at Valparaiso without comment and staff told me that she was a) sick; b) nearly at the end of her contract or c) was going on another ship in a different capacity. I found it strange that given most of the passengers hailed from the U.S. and Canada, there were no nationals from those countries represented. The daily passenger entertainment consisted mainly of passenger-directed activities (knitting, mah jong, bridge etc.), endless karaoke and trivia events and spa/art presentations where "hard sell" of products and services took place. While there was a daily early-morning Zumba session, the afternoon one with Lily was cancelled without explanation very early on in the cruise despite it regularly attracting over 100 participants. The port review sessions with "Hutch" were always excellent and informative. What happened to the "Crew Show," always a highlight of any cruise! EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION: as someone who regularly was responsible for events while I was in the Army, these two events were poorly planned and executed. People were waiting up to 2 hours to embark with few refreshments available (only outside the building) and little or no seating inside for those who were elderly or infirm; a shortage of wheelchairs was also noted. At least one person collapsed during the embarkation process and had to be attended to by an ambulance. No one seemed to be in charge and little or no information was passed on to the waiting passengers by staff. Disembarkation was an absolute fiasco with assembly area staff giving incorrect information regarding the custom forms to be used which resulted in processing delay by the custom officer as a new form had to be completed by passengers. Once outside the building, the last shuttle was scheduled to leave for the airport at 11:00 a.m. actually left 2 hours and 20 minutes late! I asked two or three staff members who was in charge as people were getting very angry waiting in the hot sun with refreshment/seats; one person eventually said, "well I guess I am." Really! CABIN: we booked a midships cabin on Caribe deck and were satisfied with its layout - excellent use of limited space. We were less satisfied with the bedlinens supplied as they were "tired," "old" and lacked that crispness usually associated with cruise ships. Our bed and pillows were "lumpy" and the bath robes which finally arrived on Day 3, were frayed, had holes and were old, old old! Being on Caribe Deck, we enjoyed a large balcony which we just loved "SICK SHIP" SYNDROME: " Ruby was indeed a "sick ship" for much of the 49 day cruise. We knew of no one among our group who was spared from coughing, fever, nausea, diarrhea and headaches. Some passengers were quarantined to their cabins for 2-3 days but strangely enough, their cabin partner was not - go figure! There were also quite a few negative comments about the operation of the ship's medical department including the doctor's attitude. While people do get sick on cruises, I do fault the staff of Ruby for not reacting sooner to head off what eventually became an epidemic. I also was disappointed that there was little or no information given to passengers to bring home the seriousness of the situation which affected passengers and crew alike. It was our table waiter who told us one night that the sickness alert level had been raised. CHURCH SERVICE: each week, the "Patter" requested a volunteer from the passengers to conduct religious services. For a ship the size of Ruby, this simply is not good enough and as our well-traveled tablemates told us, other cruise lines do provide religious staff to conduct services. PORTS OF CALL: in deciding on which cruise we were going to book for our winter holiday, I noted some advice in Cruise Critic to the effect that one should look very carefully at which ports were to be visited and the length of time in each port (to leave Puerto Vallarta at 4:00 p.m. made no sense from a passenger's perspective.) I should have heeded this advice a little better for while the major ports (Rio, Buenos Aires, Falklands etc.) were stunning, Princess dropped a Brazilian port after we had booked and we were in port on a Sunday for two others. SUMMARY: we did not complain while on the ship and didn't do this review until we could be objective about it. The 49 days were wonderful, people were wonderful, scenery was wonderful! We are actually spoiled now and cannot envisage doing any "shorter" cruises! On board, we had a blast but upon reflection, and based on the foregoing, we do not feel we received "value-for-money" on this cruise. It has also meant that we will not cruise Princess next winter in the hope that it can raise its game - as Platinum members, we know what Princess is capable of. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
I loved Princess, I have traveled with them on a few long, long voyages.This was on the Ruby Princess. From the start of this mismanaged voyage there was trouble. In Port Everglades, the ship had lengthy, long lines to embark, no one to ... Read More
I loved Princess, I have traveled with them on a few long, long voyages.This was on the Ruby Princess. From the start of this mismanaged voyage there was trouble. In Port Everglades, the ship had lengthy, long lines to embark, no one to tell you which queue was yours, no one to stop many passenger joining in the middle. The wait staff, many of whom did not speak English adequately (to the extent that their serving partners could not communicate with them) are not trained how to serve at table correctly, removing dishes across the front of diners sitting next to each other is one example. Losing ones wine, serving bottles of wine which had been bought by other people on other nights, whenever this was brought up, accusing one of lying, loudly, in front of the whole table. This did not just happen to me, but several times to others who we shared our table with. We ate at 'anytime dining' so we changed partners daily. When glasses of replacement wine were brought it was never of the quality one had paid for. At best the food was over cooked and mostly flavourless. We had booked this as many others had a single cruise, somewhere it became three cruises. The first time of seeing the very talented dancers and singers perform the various shows in the Princess Theatre it was a delight, but three times the same show, not so much, and the nights they performed there was very little other choice. The same food selections in the dining rooms, advertised as ' have your favourite again, or try something new' does not cut it when the choices are so bad to begin with. Staff members were often rude, I walked into the laundromat on the 11th deck, it was really dirty, someone had spilt washing powder and water over the floor, I spoke with a crew member outside, he told me not his problem, if the passengers made a mess. Maybe not, but as a steward could he not get someone to clean it up? The excursion desk people on the whole were uninformed, and unwilling to help if there had been any problems on the excursions, even when there were 4 passengers complaining about the trip, at the same time, to the 4 people on duty, Princess sells these tours, I am sure makes a profit, and then says it is not their problem when the things advertised do not take place, tours are cut short, or for any other reason. The Internet, is terrible, the worse of any ship that I have ever travelled on, the internet manager, often very ratty in temperament, I am sure this is because everytime it went down and you could not log off, costing you very expensive minutes, she was shouted at. The cabin is exactly like any balcony cabin on Princess, it is a ship not a luxury hotel or even a luxury cruise line. It is fine. Princess has itineraries that no other cruise lines has, this is why one cruises with Princess, but the level of unhappiness with this cruise among the Princess Circle Elite and Platinum members leads me to believe if any other line starts to have the same type of cruise itinerary we will leave in droves. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
We are elite and have returned recently from Rio de Janeiro on the Ruby Princess - What a disappointing cruise overall. I should add that after full payment, the price on this cruise dropped to the tune of $500 - $1000 per passenger ... Read More
We are elite and have returned recently from Rio de Janeiro on the Ruby Princess - What a disappointing cruise overall. I should add that after full payment, the price on this cruise dropped to the tune of $500 - $1000 per passenger depending on the cabin category......so no money back, but we got a cabin upgrade. I would rather have the money back to put towards shore excursions!! The itin was good – that’s what we signed up for but the cruise amenities itself definitely were lacking in every aspect. The cutbacks were hugely evident…the toiletries for elite have been cut back, we asked for housecoats only to be told that they were unavailable because they were all being laundered. After three days, we received teeny tiny shrunken worn out housecoats that would fit a 12 year old. Needless to say, we didn’t bother with them. We don’t drink alcohol and asked if we could exchange the free mini-bar booze for soda (like we do on other previous Princess cruises) The front desk told us it was not allowed. We then called housekeeping, they made the exchange within a day. The food in the dining room was at times, tolerable. Many times, we skipped our traditional dining room dinner time and picked our way thru Horizons Buffet for dinner. Even then, it was a challenge – the food quality has gone way down. One can eat casseroles at home!! The activities on board were lame – our cruise director should retire – he is so done with his job – why do they still keep him on?? The celebration of crossing the equator was pathetic, obviously a time killer for being a sea day……people lined up to kiss a rubber fish and to have jello and spaghetti smashed into their faces….really????? We have sailed with Princess at least 25 cruises and are going on a Baltics cruise on the Regal on June 4th, 2015. Having read the comments on this blog on the Regal scares me….I will report back upon our return. By the way, after full payment of this Baltics cruise, the prices dropped dramatically….again...only for new bookings. If they keep this up, they’re going to lose their loyal customers !! We were on RCL for Australia/New Zealand 33 days in Oct/Nov 2014 - superb in every aspect. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
This was our second Princess cruise, and our first cruise longer than 3 weeks. We stayed in a balcony cabin. We usually cruise Celebrity and Oceania. Embarkation: probably, no absolutely the worst embarkation we have ever ... Read More
This was our second Princess cruise, and our first cruise longer than 3 weeks. We stayed in a balcony cabin. We usually cruise Celebrity and Oceania. Embarkation: probably, no absolutely the worst embarkation we have ever experienced. Ever. Signs not clear, "line" attendants rude. Inside, we of course picked the wrong line, and wondered in amazement how the other lines moved so quickly. Plenty of time to "guess" what the problem was -- and it was not the passengers in front of us. A completely "clueless" person checking in -- I would guess she asked for help 3-4 times from someone near her station. She had an "ahah" moment, when someone asked her if she was checking Brazilian passports -- and she said, "oh, was I supposed to do that?" Anyway, the guy in charge of embarkation after that point was good -- and we boarded. -- Cabin: plenty of storage, even tho we were on a long trip. Beds adequate, and we liked the pillows. lots of wear on the furnishings -- room decor needs updating -- Steward was OK, I don't know if he wasn't well, but he seemed a little upset during our trip. Ship: with a trip that included some adverse weather -- inside seating sometimes was difficult. We enjoyed the Wine bar -- but many others used it for other purposes-- that often there were no seats available. Not enough seating at the International Cafe either. Using the Atrium as a venue for some activities made it worse. Activites: If we crossed off all the activities that involved a sales pitch, there wasn't much to do on board. internet was horrible except at off hours-- library was a joke. Happy hour was at an odd time -3-4pm. (usually well attended) We liked the MUTS-- but after 49 days, the repetition was a little too much. We went to some shows, but found you couldn't find a seat unless you showed up 30 minutes early. They tried to hold pool "games", but considering the average age of passengers was 70+, they were not well attended. Zumba class was popular -- the gym was very crowded -- but equipment couldn't be used until a certain time in the morning (i guess someone complained about the noise??). Several treadmills were out of service -- for the entire cruise. The waste receptacle was always overflowing, and I never saw any staff in attendance. The machines have a monitor that blocks the view in front, so having them by the windows was silly. Excursions; we took mostly private tours. The ship's tours we took were fine. there were issues, such as people not being at the departure point in time -- which is typical and why we book private tours whenever possible. Little complaints; there were some issues when we began new segments, and room keys wouldn't work -- not much of a problem except when you wait in line to exit the ship and find you can't leave and need to go rekey your car (and wait in line again) to get off. There were a few "bugs" going around the ship. This ship probably had fewer "sanitizer" stations than other ships we have been on . I also did not see anyone cleaning backs of chairs, etc. Other ships have the hand sanitizer when entering the dining venues, not just when entering the buffet lines. Food: We had anytime dining. we never had trouble getting a table for 2. We enjoyed our wait staff. We bought a wine package, and found wine that we liked. Mid way in the cruise we tried to get assigned seating, to be able to sit near people we had met during the cruise, but we didn't have any luck. The food was good. We didn't go hungry -- we had our favorites, -- the menu repetition didn't bother us. We went to specialty steak house one night -- and found the service to be poor, the steaks too big to eat-- so we didn't return. We noticed it was empty most evenings. Staff in general were very good. Ship's officers were visible and friendly. We enjoyed our trip -- we liked the ports. We would cruise Princess again if the itinerary suited us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
We boarded the Ruby Princess in Fort Lauderdale for our 24th cruise on January 3rd for a 14 day eastern and western Caribbean cruise. We had stayed overnight at the Best Western on Stirling Road using the stay and park package. The hotel ... Read More
We boarded the Ruby Princess in Fort Lauderdale for our 24th cruise on January 3rd for a 14 day eastern and western Caribbean cruise. We had stayed overnight at the Best Western on Stirling Road using the stay and park package. The hotel now charges a $10 fee per person for shuttle service to the port. Using the 12:00 o’clock shuttle and Priority boarding we were aboard shortly after 1:00 PM despite heavy traffic delays reaching the port. We had one of our favorite cabins (B749) an aft corner cabin with a larger than normal balcony. Despite the large balcony Princess only furnishes it with two reclining chairs. Thanks to the resourcefulness of our Steward Jun , he was able to at least secure us two foot stools. Being a large premium balcony I believe at least two loungers and two chairs should be provided. We learned that although booked as a single cruise, since the cruise is also marketed as two separate seven day cruises, Princess automatically gave us credit for two cruises and provided two Elite bar setups, two wine tastings and two CC invitations. We soon discovered that our cabin had no hot water at either the sink or shower. After speaking with Jun and the Passenger Services desk and eventually the Supervisor of Passenger Services we finally had shower hot water Wednesday afternoon but still only tepid water at the sink. The shower water soon turned warm and remained this way for the remainder of the cruise. We resorted to using the showers at the spa to get a "Hot" water shower. Since reaching Platinum level we have usually made use of the lounge most evenings. In the past it has been the practice to allow guests to have any of the specialty drinks not just the daily special at the reduced price. Apparently Headquarters have issued a directive that only the daily special is now offered at the reduced price. Another frustration we found was that the wine card promotion was not offered. Reason given was that these were seven day sailings. We had over 700 people doing back to backs! Why can’t the wine card be offered the same way the coffee card is marketed? Our major disappointment was the fact that the aft spa tub on deck 17 was out of service for the first week. On Saturday of the second week it was in service for a few hours then again drained and remained out of service for the second week as well. This was frustrating as it is our practice to go there, directly above our cabin, just before retiring for a late night drink under the stars. The service throughout the voyage was of the usual high Princess standard. We managed to get a standing dinner reservation(306 Michaelangello) and had a great server team headed by Benjamin with Immanuel as his second. Benjamin usually had time to fascinate us with his quite impressive magic tricks. We found the level of entertainment in the showrooms to be a little lacking, however Al Katz, who we have seen before, was the highlight of the first week. The first entertainer of the second week, Miguel Washington, a comedian was outstanding. He had the overflow crowd in Explorers asking for more of his rapid fire contemporary comedy. It was a pleasant surprise not to have to listen to a lot of common comedy about ships accommodation, plumbing food and passengers. Monday we enjoyed the Stardust show a musical review of popular old classics . This was a new show for us and it was well performed. Jun, our Steward, took great care of us and keep us supplied exactly as we requested. We could not have asked for a friendlier or competent Steward. The changes and inconsistencies of Princess practices, the lack of longer cruises in the Caribbean (no return to FLL) and the changes to Elite privileges is rapidly eroding our loyalty to Princess.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Last time we cruised, we notice those cool looking balcony rooms next to the small Terrace Pool (aft) near Horizon dining area. There are two on each side on the Riviera floor. We always get a balcony on that floor but usually it is near ... Read More
Last time we cruised, we notice those cool looking balcony rooms next to the small Terrace Pool (aft) near Horizon dining area. There are two on each side on the Riviera floor. We always get a balcony on that floor but usually it is near the center Starboard side (around 607). But this time, we decided to try a rear balcony. BIG mistake. Normally, we spent about an hour a day (or more) on our balcony reading, snacking, watching things go by and I love to go out late at night and read. This time we spent about a tenth of the normal balcony time out there. Most of the day, the sun was beating down on us. If the sun wasn't there, it was raining OR even worse, someone above will wash down the upper deck and the water comes right down on our balcony. I sat down on what appeared to be a dry chair several times and my shorts were soaked!!! We finally learned to keep a towel handy to sit on whenever (which was rarely) we sat out there. Also you will get toothpicks from folks hanging off the rails above dropping them "overboard". This trip also had a lot of rough seas so the door kept sliding open whenever we were outside!! Imagine hearing that door open and close, open and close, again and again......just not worth being out there most of the time. Now the only good thing about that room is the view.....there were a few times when the view was absolutely incredible. In fact, one of my favorite things that we saw/experienced was the water spout. Without that rear balcony, we'd never have seen it!! I even managed to get photos. So final verdict is that we will never again get a rear balcony. Other than that, the trip was good as always!! Our room steward, Douglas was wonderful. Loved the trivia, especially the Who Sang What music trivia. Not enough other games like Scattergories, Taboo, etc., though. They are apparently timed for when then ship is in port. Since we get off on the islands, it means that we were never on board when the games were scheduled. Wish that there were some indoor movies and also would love to see some actual classes like watercolor, photography (without trying to sell us something)--something for those of us who aren't into movies on the deck and pools. Food in Horizon was wonderful!!!! Especially loved the Indian food this time. Overall, the trip was fun and we will be back next year and look forward to our regular balcony on the side!   Read Less
Ruby Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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