16 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) to Transatlantic Princess Ruby Princess Cruise Reviews

A wonderful two weeks. Boarding was smooth and easy. Cabins were ready immediately upon boarding. We were wondering what we were going to do with all those days at sea, but our days and nights were full. There was a wonderful bridge ... Read More
A wonderful two weeks. Boarding was smooth and easy. Cabins were ready immediately upon boarding. We were wondering what we were going to do with all those days at sea, but our days and nights were full. There was a wonderful bridge program with lectures in the morning and duplicate in the afternoon. We had 16 - 20 tables each day. Unfortunately, the poker tournament was at the same time as the bridge lecture so I had to make a choice. Events were well attended. Trivia was crowded always. The food was uniformly good throughout. Breads and pastries were outstanding. The one disappointment was the soups as the broths were somewhat tasteless. Service was fine always, with caring people. Casino staff was professional as well as friendly. I was surprised to be greeted by name on the second night. Entertainment was varied and entertaining. There was always something going on. I once had a desire to visit the well equipped exercise room, but I quickly suppressed it. We did get lucky with the weather. Every day, you we're able to sit out in the sun with shorts or a bathing suit. Getting off in Southhampton was a pleasure. There were plenty ofeople to point the way. We are both looking forward to next year to sail transatlantic again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
This was our 20th cruise with Princess. We have had mostly GOOD things to say about all of them. This time we anticipated a relaxing voyage with many good experiences. The seas were calm, the staff were for the most part ... Read More
This was our 20th cruise with Princess. We have had mostly GOOD things to say about all of them. This time we anticipated a relaxing voyage with many good experiences. The seas were calm, the staff were for the most part terrific....upbeat...and great fun. The table mates at open dining were delightful and interesting. The food was good...but not outstanding like in the "old days" prior to Carnival's buyout. Appreciated so much the "quiet" space for reading up in the Skywalkers Lounge...all day until early evening. The evening entertainment was a mixed bag. The production shows were great....the solo acts such as solo vocalists, comedians etc. were so-so. We had the BEST cabin steward-ess we have EVER had ! She was a wonderful caring "mommie". She worked hard at making our bed more comfortable for our arthritic hips and backs. The shore excursions were also a mixed bag. We booked all of the ones we took through Princess ...mostly 1/2 day tours due to some mobility problems that limit our stamina. Princess needs to do a better job of adequately describing their excursions....how much walking....how many steps...etc. One flight of stairs might be "do-able"....but 6 flights???? NO WAY Jose !! We were stressed beyond our endurance on several of the excursions and our arthritic joints paid a dear price. NOW comes the REALLY SOUR part of our saga! After spending several stressful hours during the day...we REALLY looked forward to a good nights' sleep in order to "recoup"!! NOT SO !!!!! Please be WARNED !!!! DO NOT BOOK A 629 on the Ruby !!!! It is an inside with a galley directly overhead! The first night I thought we were having a bad thunderstorm ! The 2nd night I thought...wow that's weird.. ANOTHER thunderstorm ?? The 3rd day I went upstairs to the Riviera deck to see what on earth was making all that racket ! Discovered there was a galley right over our heads that worked ALL NIGHT ! For 14 nights we endured this racket...why they put cabins underneath galleys is beyond imagination. What happened to rubber matting on the floors on which to roll heavy racks and equipment? What happened to adequate insulation between floors ? What happened to the front desk being sensitive to our problem and offering to move us? Don't have the answers !!!! We came home disappointed in Princess for their lack of consideration and loyalty to their Elite passengers....I personally think loyalty goes both ways! We came home exhausted from lack of sleep.....but guess what? We just booked another Princess cruise for next Feb. to Hawaii !!! WE checked REAL good to make SURE our cabin didn't have any galleys anywhere near us! HA! Bottom line is.....we LOVE to cruise....most all have been wonderful experiences...this little bump in the road has made us more aware when we book to see what those blank spaces on the deck plans are ! Word to the wise! Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
This transatlantic cruise on the beautiful Ruby Princess was our 6th cruise on Princess, but was our first transatlantic experience. I must say, that after 14 days on the ship I still was not ready to get off. My husband and I were ... Read More
This transatlantic cruise on the beautiful Ruby Princess was our 6th cruise on Princess, but was our first transatlantic experience. I must say, that after 14 days on the ship I still was not ready to get off. My husband and I were traveling with two of our lady friends, one of whom is in a wheelchair. Our pre-cruise hotel was the Hampton Inn and Suites, North Cruise Port. We have stayed here two other times, mostly because of the location and the excellent free shuttle service. Though this hotel is well managed, it is getting a bit tired and could use some updating. However, it is right next to a McDonald's, Wendy's, a strip mall with a Big Lots and a Dollar Store and a couple of small bars. It is also about a block from the Old Heidelberg restaurant which has excellent, authentic German food. Our embarkation was the easiest we've ever experienced, mainly because we are now Princess Platinum Captain's Circle Members. And, they allowed our two friends to board with us which was a big help. My husband and I booked a mini-suite and the two ladies had a wheelchair accessible room. Both rooms were ready as we boarded at noon. Our luggage was delivered shortly after. Our Steward, Rosendo, greeted us promptly and had our names right and used them every meeting thereafter! He always managed to find the times we were not in the room to refresh or clean our room and was so good about answering any questions we had. Our mini-suite on the Dolphin Deck forward had the larger bathroom with the tub/shower combo, which is nice. We had a flat-screen TV facing our bed and then another which faced the couch and chair in the room. Our closet and storage cabinet were the same as you'd find in a regular stateroom but we've always found them adequate. The safe is always nice to have. Everything in our room worked properly. We chose the Traditional Dining option in the DaVinci Dining room. We like the early dining time so that we always have the option of going to the early or the later shows in the theater. We always had plenty of time to eat our dinner and then find good seats in the theater. Our waiter was one of the highlights of the cruise. His name is Sergio and he is professional, very, very fun, and knows the food choices so well that we often took his recommendations. From the start, he called each of us by name and took the time to really get to know us. His junior waiter was Alberto who was equally fun and professional and very quick with whatever we needed. He also made a fabulous Monte Cristo after- dinner coffee! We found the food choices plentiful and excellent for all the 14 days. The Executive Chef was fabulous. If you get the chance on a Princess Cruise, be sure to attend the Chef's cooking show and tour of the galley. We thought that we would spend the first 8 sea days relaxing and getting ready for the busy port days once we'd get to Europe. There was a "problem" with this. The "problem" was that the Cruise Director, Dan Stein, and his Assistant Cruise Directors had so many fun and diverse activities that we were so busy we didn't have time to relax. However, we had the time of our lives having fun! We also joined the Princess Pop Choir under the most fun direction of Assistant Cruise Director David Craven. We ended up with a choir of 50 people and we had an absolutely hilarious and fun time learning David's crazy choreography. Needless to say, some of it was like aerobic exercise, but everyone was able to participate...even the two singers in wheelchairs. We had enough time to really make some great friendships during our rehearsals. The entertainment and shows in the lounges, beside the pools, in the theater and in the Piazza were by far the best we've had in all our previous cruises. We loved the string quartet, the comedians, the singers and dancers, the juggler, the magician, and the piano players. The cruise staff could not possibly have had more than 2 hours sleep per night! The Liar's Club was another highlight! And, as always, the International Crew Talent night was amazing and fantastic! Bar service was always excellent as well. We felt the information and help we got at the Tour Desk was perfect. Honestly, we have no complaints (not even any teeny ones) about this cruise. Our disembarkation in Rome was so easy and not stressful. The Civitaveccia Port is smaller than Ft. Lauderdale and that made a difference. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
I cruised from FLL to Europe April 28 to May 12 in Rome. Ship very attractive. Crew pleasant. Food very disappointing. I love escargot and look forward to it when I cruise. The Ruby served it once and then with the other "fancy ... Read More
I cruised from FLL to Europe April 28 to May 12 in Rome. Ship very attractive. Crew pleasant. Food very disappointing. I love escargot and look forward to it when I cruise. The Ruby served it once and then with the other "fancy food", Lobster, Filet, etc. I hate when they only serve those foods together. Most of the food uninspiring to me. Service good. I traveled with my brother and a friend. We were a table for 3 which didn't seem to be a problem. Since I paid double for a single room, I could have had a better trip. We ate in the italian specialty dining room one night and that was well worth the cost. Breakfast was bland, pre cooked eggs, good bacon and once I found cheese and smoked salmon I was fine. Fruit in buffet was good as was the service. I had a handicapped cabin, which was excellent. I traveled on my mobility scooter and the room was very spacious. I enjoyed one of the shows, and didn't bother going to most. Since seats were difficult at the movies under the stars I either went to the theater (plenty of room) or watched movies in my room. First cruise that didn't serve cocktails with room service. They would sell you a bottle of liquor, but not a drink. I don't get it. My biggest complaint was the excursions. They were not accessible for a sootier. I was told I couldn't bring my scooter along, which had me sitting in the bus. However, when I just drove my scooter down to the bus on the last trip (Pisa) the bus driver put the scooter under the bus and in the back of the tram we used in Pisa. No problem. I wonder how many trips I missed because they didn't have a clue at the excursion desk. My brother enjoyed the trip and took active excursions. He agreed about the food and entertainment. We had the best movies, and this year there were some really good movies. My favorite activity was the many Trivia games throughout the day. We met lovely people at those games. Also through Cruise Critic's forums, I got to play Mah Jong and enjoyed a Book Review. That was really nice. I probably will go back to Celebrity and Azamara for my next trip, or maybe try another. My bed was large and lumpy, the fruit brought into the room was never freshened. Room service was good. And except for the excursion desk, the service was very good. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
This was my first cruise and my husband 3rd cruise. It was our honeymoon we are in our early 30s and late 30s. We wanted to do something different. The idea of hopping from maderia , rome to pisa to monaco was new for me and couldn't ... Read More
This was my first cruise and my husband 3rd cruise. It was our honeymoon we are in our early 30s and late 30s. We wanted to do something different. The idea of hopping from maderia , rome to pisa to monaco was new for me and couldn't wait. The ship was nice, our interior cabin was decent and super clean. The staff were great always very polite and smiling no problems with that. Dinning was a breeze food was amazing, service was fast. There was a point where we were on sea for 3 days and I got super sick the waves were 11 to 13ft horrible feeling of nausea and major migraine and the gravol I had taken earlier didnt take affect. For 2 1/2 days I was super sick couldn't leave our cabin. In the evening I was better and went to grab a bite to eat. There was a sweet couple who told me the pharmacy had something better it can be a patch or a pill and man did that work miracles. Overall the cruise was great but the activities on the ship was catered to much older crowd. There was nothing for my husband and I to do. Puzzles can be a great past time but wasn't ours, bingo, paintings auction. There wasn't a glimpse of nightlife. Every night we looked forward to movies under the stars. We were bored during the day we would lie in the sun and tan and then grab a drink and then we would get a bite to eat. Thats all we could do. also we bought card to get online to update our families. we went on this cruise because it was something different and because many of our friends and family said theres always something to do, trust us you"ll never get bored. It was the wrong month to travel. This year I will try another cruise in july hope that goes better.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
What an amazing experience on the Ruby Princess transatlantic!! My biggest fear was the weather and Atlantic sea conditions. Turned out the ocean was as calm as the Caribbean. Tthe ship was sailing full speed (23 knots?) but was amazingly ... Read More
What an amazing experience on the Ruby Princess transatlantic!! My biggest fear was the weather and Atlantic sea conditions. Turned out the ocean was as calm as the Caribbean. Tthe ship was sailing full speed (23 knots?) but was amazingly stable the entire cruise. And though some nights were chilly, the sun was out and we were at the pool all 8 sea days. We booked an obstructed view on sale and were upgraded to a BA balcony. That effectively made it a two for one cruise when considering what we paid for the room we got! Plus the ship was half empty, but fully staffed, so the super friendly crew was tripping over themselves to help. There were tons of empty loungers on all sea days and no lines anywhere. The food was very good everywhere. We prefer Sabatini's old menu, but it was still incredible to eat in that elegant dining room, watch the sun set over the Atlantic and share the experience with only four other tables. The Anytime Dining worked great for us, but we actually ate a lot of meals in the Cafe Caribe buffet. We were hesitant at first to try buffet food, but the quality was very good. The ports and shore excursions were all excellent. We did the Princess Connoisseur Tours of Rome and Florence, and both were well worth the extra money. The meal in Tuscan countryside on the outskirts of Florence was unparalleled! And though we ran late at Pisa, the ship had to wait for us. There are only two negatives about this cruise. Heading west to east means losing an hour of sleep 5 nights of the cruise. While it doesn't seem much, but the fifth day the entire ship seemed zonked out. But what a great place to be zonked out! And the Princess TV channels need a major refreshing. Though the educational shows were very interesting (on Michelangelo, Dali, etc.), every other channel was a pitch for the on board artist or some other shipboard promotion. And it was repeated over, and over, and over to the point of being a joke. Our solution? We turned off the TV and unplugged. There were so many other things to do. The crew told us these Eastbound repositioning cruises are always half empty (or is it half full?) So if you have two weeks and always wanted to see the Med, there is no more affordable way to do it! Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
The ProsWe made friends with a nice couple from Colorado.The embarkation was very smooth and painless in FL and we were in our cabin by 1.30pm. The crew on the whole were superb and very polite at all times. We ate most of our meals in ... Read More
The ProsWe made friends with a nice couple from Colorado.The embarkation was very smooth and painless in FL and we were in our cabin by 1.30pm. The crew on the whole were superb and very polite at all times. We ate most of our meals in the Horizon Court/Cari-be and we were pleasantly surprised by the choices and excellent quality of the food on offer. The Indian staff in the Cafe Cari-be in the evening were really top notch and nothing was any trouble to them and specially loved the themed curry nights where the chef and his team were absolutely outstanding and made a fuss over me every evening. The ConsThe ship is a modern beast and every square inch has been utilised to optimise the space and to cram in 3,000 people. This has made it very lacking in character but that is just our personal view. The staff had to be super to compensate for some really bad processes from Head Office. For example we booked Princess flights and Princess.UK booked us on a very late flight out of Barcelona on the return journey eg. 2140hours but they expected us to be off the ship by 11am to hang about in the airport all day. Beware and get your final day sorted and in writing if you ever book flights from Princess UK.We didn't take any excursions with Princess because for some mysterious reason Princess put up the prices of the excursions by between 10 to 15% just a week before the cruise and quite frankly charging $69 return on the train to Rome from Civitavecchia (when it is only costs $9) tells you enough!The entertainment was fair with one or two good movies and shows but I did not like the smutty jokes of the assistant cruise director. My wife made a formal complaint about this. The Gym is super however, there is no one there to supervise. People walk in with inappropriate clothing/shoes and just watch movies creating a queue on sea days. Simple solution turn off all tv during peak times and the queue disappears. Some of the equipment needs repair and if you are six feet or above you will need to remove the ceiling tile if you want to use a cross-trainer. One thing that caused people a lot of anger was the fact that Princess discounted most of the fares after people booked. A lot of tension was caused when people found out that some people from the USA got a substantial upgrade compared to others. Would I recommend the Ruby Princess - probably not as I prefer the smaller Princess ships because Princess have still not mastered the art of taking people on and of this ship by tender in some ports which caused a lot of tension. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Pre-cruise:We arrived a day early and stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in Dania Beach. It was a nice, clean hotel that was easy to access from the airport and an easy trip to the cruise port.Embarkation:We arrived at the terminal at 11:30 ... Read More
Pre-cruise:We arrived a day early and stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in Dania Beach. It was a nice, clean hotel that was easy to access from the airport and an easy trip to the cruise port.Embarkation:We arrived at the terminal at 11:30 via cab and had our bags whisked away by the porters before we were even out of the cab. The security screening had no wait and we were sitting in our chairs with the rest of group 1 within minutes. A few minutes after noon, they began letting the priority boarders into the check in lines and then very quickly our group was called. There initially was only one lane open for Dolphin deck, which caused a bottleneck, but then several more lanes opened and we were walking up the gangway and having our cards scanned. We easily located our cabin and were standing on the balcony by 12:30.Cabin:We were assigned cabin D523 an AA category minisuite after booking an AE GTY. We were very pleased with the assignment. The location was very good as it was midship, but on the aft side, so it was very close to the mid-ship elevators while also not being that long a walk to the aft elevators. We found the space to be generous and thee overall layout to be excellent. The bathroom was decent-sized with a roomy tub and plenty of room for all of our toiletries. The closet and clothes cabinet was outstanding, with plenty of room for our hanging and folded clothes (and we are notorious heavy packers). The bedroom area was ample with plenty of room to move around the large bed and bedside tables, which also had a couple of drawers and a shelf for storage. The desk area was sufficient for all of our gadgets, including our laptop computer. The bedroom flat-screen TV was mounted in the top of the bar unit, which included a small refrigerator tucked away. Moving further into the cabin was the sitting area, which we found quite spacious. It easily accommodated a full-size sofa, an armchair and a cocktail table. There was another TV mounted above the additional storage unit that was the backside of the sleeping area unit. The flow was quite nice and there was ample lighting specific to each area that could be controlled separately. Moving beyond the sitting area was the balcony. The balcony size was sufficient and accommodated two chairs, two reclinable loungers and a cocktail table. While there is a great deal of debate over the dolphin deck balconies due to the fact that they are "open" in that they are staggered out, allowing those with balconies above to be able to look in, we really enjoyed the open balcony. On the transatlantic crossing, we used our balcony almost every day. Being on the starboard side, we had nearly full sunshine the entire day. Also, when I did glance up at balconies above, when I did see others on their balcony, they were gazing out at the ocean, not down at me. I would book another Dolphin deck balcony in a second. We experienced very little hallway noise and no noise from the cabins on either side unless we were both out on the balcony at the same time. The only downside that we experienced was, on the crossing segment of the sailing, when there was ship rolling from higher winds and seas, we heard a grinding/creaking noise from underneath our cabin. From our walks on the Promenade deck and a quick glance up, we realized that the tenders and survival boats were suspended below the Dolphin deck, beside the Emerald deck and overhanging the walking area of the Promenade deck. As the ship rolled, the tender under our cabin would move within the mechanism that held it suspended above the promenade deck, which caused the grinding/creaking. Fortunately, after the first tender port, when the tender below us was put back in place, the noise was no longer present. Our steward was Marlon, who was from the Philippines. He was a great steward who quickly came to know our schedule and comings and goings. He was friendly and engaging, while at the same time was never intrusive. The room was always in great shape. Overall, we very much enjoyed our cabin and the service.Dining:We did anytime dining and most evening ate dinner in the Michelangelo dining room. We thoroughly enjoyed the staff, including our excellent host, the Ruby's Assistant Maitre'd Godwin, as well as the head waiter Karoly. The first evening, we thoroughly enjoyed our waitstaff, Waiter Luisito and Assistant Waiter Marcos, so much so that we requested and were granted a standing 8:00 reservation for the same table in their section each evening. We found the dining room to be elegant and enjoyable, with a nice scope and scale which was not too big or overwhelming. The service was superb, a nice blend of formal and warm. We found the food to be very good. Our favorite was the strip steak with peppercorn sauce served on the last night. It came out precisely as ordered. We also enjoyed the prime rib both nights it was served and enjoyed many of the different sauces and preparations of various dishes. Several of the appetizers, including the crab cakes and vegetable egg rolls were very good. We ate at the Horizon buffet and Caribe Cafe several times for breakfast and lunch and once for dinner and found both the selection and quality to be good. In particular, the Asian, Mexican and pasta buffet themed lunches were good. The carving station meats were also good. Only once did we have difficulty finding a table.We got pizza from the pizza counter on the Lido several times and really enjoyed it. We also got burgers from the trident grill several times and found them to be very tasty. A number of mornings I fetched coffee from the coffee bar and pastry and breakfast sandwiches from the International Cafe that we then enjoyed in our cabin or out on the balcony. I really enjoyed the international cafe. One of the baristas was a bit surly, but the others were quite nice.We ordered room service pizza, which was hot and fresh upon arrival. The wait time on the phone to order was a bit long.We did the pub lunch in the Wheelhouse bar one sea day and the fish was excellent.Entertainment:We didn't attend any of the production shows in the Princess Theater. We intended to, but never seemed to work them into our evening schedules.We did attend several performances in the Explorers Lounge. We saw the first comedian on board, Troy Thurdgill and found him very funny and entertaining. We also saw the comedian/ventriloquist, Michael Harrison. We found his performance fine, but not as good as the first comedian. We also saw the house band, unison, play in the Explorers Lounge and thought they were quite good, with a good variety and a good sound. We spent some time in Crooners. On our prior cruise we really enjoyed the entertainer in Crooners and it was packed every night. We enjoyed Paul Scarto quite a bit less and by the lower attendance, I suspect others agreed. He was just okay. A decent pianist and okay vocalist, but not a great entertainer. We were a bit disappointed. We went to Adagio a couple of nights and found the pianist, Ron Coleman, to be good. Unfortunately there was almost no one in Adagio the times we visited, which is unfortunate because it is a lovely venue in that it is a nice size with lovely decor. We also visited skywalkers several times. Once was during the day for CC meet and greet. The view is absolutely stunning and it's a huge space. We attended several evenings and it was hit or miss. A couple of times there were people dancing, but other visits it was nearly deserted. Several evenings they advertised in the patter as having different genres of music such as Motown or classic rock and roll. We found that the DJ would play the specific genre for an hour and lots of people would be on the dance floor, then as soon as the hour was up, the DJ would totally change the music and the dance floor and Skywalkers would empty out. We went to club fusion for the Motown music party. There were quite a few in attendance and more people coming in, but at the end of the hour, they then switched over to a game show program of some sort.We went to the Wheelhouse bar several times and they had pre and post dinner music with the orphea quartet. They were a lovely group, with excellent musicians and vocals. Most visits we saw number of couples enjoying ballroom dancing to their music.We made a number of visits to the casino. The casino liked our money very much. I personally have never had such a bad run of roulette on any ship or any land-based casino and my husband fared on slightly better than I while playing video poker. I heard a number of people around the ship comment that the casino had not been kind to them in the winnings department. There were ample table games and slot machines and it was a very pleasant casino with a nice bar, but there were very few video poker machines, only three dollar machines and three quarter machines on the casino floor and a few machines up on the bar. Given that video poker has become quite popular, we were surprised at the low number of machines.We also caught a few of the performances in the piazza, including the professional ballroom dancers and the pianist, violinist and accordionist. All were good.We attended the Captain's welcome reception and champagne waterfall, which was a nice time. It's always so lovey to see everyone in formal ware. On this cruise, many passengers, including us, were in tuxedos for the men and full length gowns for the women. We also attended the farewell reception, which was nicely done, with dancing in the piazza following the reception. There were, however, a few individuals in shorts and ballcaps that seemed intent on being in the piazza during the formal events. We didn't see any Princess staff or crew engage them about their attire, which we found frustrating and a bit detracting from the festivities. We loved all of the opportunities to get formal photographs done and we purchased quite a few photos. Overall, we enjoyed the entertainment, activities and venues. Our only complaint was that the entertainment tended to be run in short segments. While this might make sense for daytime activities, for things like speakers, game shows and bingo, it doesn't really make sense for nighttime activities, where people want to settle in to some music and not have it stop after 45 minutes for a game show. The only other issue we had was that different bars on board charged different prices for the same drink. I came to enjoy the Sangria but found that it was $5.95 in the Wheelhouse bar and $6.95 in Skywalkers. On a ship all run by one cruise line, I would expect that the same drink is the same price in all of the bars. It's not like land-based bars, where there are all different owners charging whatever price they wish.Ports and excursions:Our first port was Funchal on the island of Madiera Portugal. Land was nice to see after so many sea days and the Island is quite beautiful with all of the white stucco and red tile roofs up against the hilly green landscape. We were arriving on the day of their annual flower festival, which is a big celebration for the locals. We took a quick bus arranged by Princess up to a bus depot in town to save on the walk up the steep hill. The streets were packed with locals. We elected to just walk around and enjoy the town rather than do any organized tours. The town looked quite nice, however almost everything was closed including the shops and many of the cafes, though a few cafes and bakery counters were open. We were able to secure a spot on the parade route for the flower festival that wasn't quite so crowded and we enjoyed the experience of watching the floats and dancers along with the locals. We used the bus to go back to the ship.After a sea day following the stop in Madiera, we arrived at the port of Cadiz, which is the Port for Seville and the Andalusian province of Spain. The trip into Seville would have taken nearly 2 hours each way, so we elected to do a close tour. We boarded a bus that took us to Jerez, an area known for its many sherry bodegas. We toured the Gonzalez Byass winery, which was impeccably maintained and absolutely beautiful. While we did not like the taste of the sherries that we sampled, the winery was a terrific tour. The same tour also included a trip to the Royal Anadlusian Equestrian Academy where the famous dancing Spanish horses are bred and trained. This was a beautiful facility and we were able to see some training going on in the ring and also had the privilege of seeing the formal demonstration that is held twice a week. The horses and their handlers performed beautifully and it is amazing what those gorgeous horses can do. We thoroughly enjoyed the show. We then boarded the bus back to Cadiz. We had an hour or so to walk around Cadiz, though it was siesta time, which means the local merchants close up most of the shops. We did get to see the Holy and Apostolic Cathedral of Cadiz, which was beautiful, having been begun in 1722 but not fully completed until 1838. We walked around Cadiz a bit, then re-boarded the ship. After another sea day following the stop at Cadiz, we arrived at Alghero on the island of Sardinia. Here we elected to walk around the town on our own rather than do any organized tours. This was a tender port and many passengers seemed to be angry about the tender process, which required collecting a ticket from the ship staff then waiting for the number to be called before going down to the tenders. Of course all of the organized tours and priority passengers got to tender first, so it took a while for the numbered groups to go. I don't know as I've ever seen adults behave so poorly. We witnessed people berating and yelling at the staff. We took our tickets and went to the Horizon Court to enjoy a leisurely breakfast while awaiting our tender group to be called. Once we were called, it was a quick and easy tender to land. Alghero is a lovely little seaside village with many shops and outdoor cafes. We walked along the fortification walls and took in the beauty of the town and the lovely ocean views. They have a jewelry specialty, which is a beautiful red coral. We picked up several pieces of jewelry as gifts for a good price. We also visited the local cathedral, which was pretty. We enjoyed a delicious pizza and their local beer at a nice little outdoor cafe before returning to the tenders to return to the ship.Our next port was Civitavecchia, the port for Rome. We'd booked the connoisseur tour for Rome to have a smaller group. We were off the boat early and onto a full-sized motor coach for the 90 minute drive to Rome. The itinerary for the tour was heavy, with planned trips to Vatican City for the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica, the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain. The tour advertised itself as including extensive walking in indicated participants should be physically fit. This would come into play as the day went on. We had very nice weather, up into the 80's by the afternoon, though no humidity. We picked up our local tour guide, Valentina, in the city. She was born, raised and still lived in Rome and was very fluent in English. We all had headsets so she could give us commentary about the sites as we went. We started at the Colosseum, which was absolutely awe-inspiring. It is truly a wonder given that it has existed for 2000 years. We then walked back to our motor coach and were off to visit the Trevi fountain, that is, after we had to take a rest break for some of the other passengers on a walk of only a handful of blocks. Here we had a brief photo op. It was very crowded at the Trevi and we really only managed to throw a coin and take a few photos before we had to leave for lunch. The walk to lunch took a very long time. What should have taken only 20 minutes took 45 minutes because we had to go at such a slow pace due to some of the other passengers. We had a terrific lunch at a hotel in a small private dining room, which included champagne and wine followed by a past course and a wonderful chicken entree and then followed by a nice light desert. We then boarded our motor coach for Vatican City. Upon getting out at Vatican City, there was one passenger who was contemplating not continuing because he was tired and didn't know if he could do the rest of the walking. However, he did decide to continue on. We entered the Vatican Museums where our tickets were pre-arranged and were brought right through the entrance. Our guide gave us an overview of the Sistine Chapel and we began our walk through the museums, where we saw so many works of art, from frescos to guided and painted ceilings to statuary to tapestries. The volume and beauty of the art is truly amazing. It was very crowded and got to be a bit of a challenge as the security tried to crowd-control the flow into the Chapel. We were directed that no photography or talking was allowed in the Chapel and then made our way in. The works by Michelangelo were amazing. The brilliance of the color and beauty of the figures was awesome. Unfortunately, there was lots of talking and people taking photos. We then left the Chapel and walked over to St. Peter's Basilica. We had some time and were allowed to take photos. The sheet size, scale and scope of the basilica are almost unimaginable. The beautiful domes had afternoon light shining through and the main altar gleamed. We really enjoyed the Basilica. We then exited the Basilica and walked through St. Peter's Square where we got to see members of the Swiss Guard in their bright striped uniforms and we also saw the building that houses the Papal apartments. We then had only a few minutes to shop in the Vatican gift shop before boarding our bus and heading back to the ship. We were a bit unhappy with Princess that they didn't better enforce the requirement to be physically fit and capable of extensive walking that had been included in the tour description. We felt like this took our time (those of us who could meet the requirements) and limited the time we had at the sites and for things like shopping in the gift shop, because we'd been delayed by those who could not keep up. We were the next to last tour bus to get back to the ship and were past the "all aboard" time.Our next port was Livorno, the port for Florence, Pisa and Tuscany. Here we again chose the Connoisseur tour for Florence & Pisa. We were early off the ship and boarded our smaller motor coach. Our Tour guide Ignazio was aboard and we again had headsets so we could hear his commentary. We drove the nearly 90 minutes to Florence and saw some of the amazingly beautiful Tuscan countryside, with villas and vineyards. Our first stop was at the Accademia to see the David. It was a beautiful statue and our tour guide shared many interesting pieces of information about the statue and Michelangelo. We the toured the area around the Cathedral of Santa Maria and our tour guide shared the history of the design and building of the Duomo. We then toured the area around the Cathedral seeing beautiful statuary, several tower houses, outdoor cafes and farmer's markets and the general life of Florence. We walked to the Ponte Vecchio crossing the Arno River and then had time on our own in the lovely shopping district known for gold jewelry, fine leather goods and hand-painted Tuscan pottery and ceramic ware. We then proceeded to the Uffizi museum where there was an unfortunate delay due to issues with the museum's screening equipment, which caused us to be running about 40 minutes late. In the Uffizi we saw a number of famous pieces of art including Botticelli's The Birth of Venus. We then dashed to our bus, which we boarded to for a short ride to the Villa Massa for wonderful lunch in the rolling Tuscan hills along a river. The lunch was served with a wonderful red wine and was multi-course with a very good risotto. The villa was stunning. We then boarded the bus and headed to Pisa. Unfortunately, as with the previous day, although the tour information had again indicated that the tour involved extensive walking and required passengers to be physically fit, we again had passengers who could not keep up and delayed the group and again, Princess did nothing to stop this from occurring. As a result of delays earlier in the day, we only had about 20 minutes at Pisa in which to see the tower and baptistery from the outside only, take pictures, and visit the gift shop. We then returned to our bus and to the ship. We were the last tour to arrive and were after the "all aboard" time. Our next stop was Monaco/Monte Carlo, which was a tender port. We had pre-booked a ship tour of old Monaco, the Cathedral and the Palace. We were one of the first groups to a tender and met our tour guide. It was very early and the city was very quiet. It was a walking tour after taking a short bus ride up to the old city and our tour guide shared lots of interesting information about the principality and its history and set-up. We toured the Cathedral, where we got to see Princess Grace's crypt. We then strolled around the lovely narrow streets and up to the palace. We took the tour of the palace, which was a self-paced prerecorded narrative tour and very interesting and well done. We also had time on our own for shopping and to enjoy the local cafes, so we had a snack and sampled the locally brewed beer, which was very tasty. We also got to see the changing of the guard outside of the palace, which was a quick procedure done every hour. The old city is just beautiful and is impeccably maintained. The views of the harbor from the old city are spectacular. It started to rain , so we boarded the bus to take us to the tenders. The water had become very choppy and it was very windy, so the tender back to the ship was quite rough, but the crew managed it as well as they could and we all made it back safely. When it was time to sail away, the views of Monaco and the coast of France were absolutely stunning. We then sailed one last night, enjoying the Ruby fully and in the morning were in Barcelona. We had accepted the ship's transfer to the Hotel (even though we hadn't booked the hotel through Princess), so we didn't have to disembark until 10:00. We vacated our room at 8:00 and said goodbye to our Steward. We then went to the Horizon for a leisurely breakfast, taking in the last few precious moments onboard, then made our way to the meeting point and eventually disembarked and headed to our transfer motor coach. Disembarkation was a breeze. We'd put our packed bags out the night before and saw the porter who picked them up. We briefly touched our bags at the terminal and then they were loaded onto trucks, transported to our hotel and arrived in our room. We spent an overnight in Barcelona touring on our own. It was a very friendly city and the areas around Las Ramblas were very easy to navigate. We'd been concrned about the stories we'd heard of pick-pockets, but we had no issues. Barcelona is a really pretty city.Overall comments:We very much enjoyed our cruise and the Ruby. We especially loved the service and engagement from all the staff and crew, from our room steward to the buffet attendants to the waiters to the Captain and senior staff, who attended our Meet & Greet, all were very friendly and eager to help. We also found the ship to easy to navigate. We found the public areas, for a ship of its size, to be very intimate in feel, with a nice scope and coziness. Several of the lounges, such as the Wheelhouse and Adagio, are beautifully done. We enjoyed it so much that we're already planning our next transatlantic on the Grand next year. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
This was our first (& last) transatlantic cruise. We have sailed previously to Alaska, the Caribbean & the Amazon with Princess and E. Med & Caribbean on other lines. We choose a cruise for the itinerary with cruise line a very ... Read More
This was our first (& last) transatlantic cruise. We have sailed previously to Alaska, the Caribbean & the Amazon with Princess and E. Med & Caribbean on other lines. We choose a cruise for the itinerary with cruise line a very important choice too. We are in our early 60s & not yet retired. The ports of call for this cruise were Funchal, Madeira; Cadiz (Seville, Spain); Alghero, Sardinia; Rome; Livorno (Pisa/Florence), Italy; & Monaco; disembarkation in Barcelona. We had received notice two weeks prior to sailing that we had been upgraded 7 categories from an oceanview to second highest balcony (BB) category. We were grateful for this as I had taken a walk past our original booking on Plaza deck & found the area to be noisy & could feel the ship's vibrations. Our cabin was located on Riviera deck (#14) midship, allowing us to walk up one deck to the buffet & pool areas. Embarkation was smooth with only a slight wait. We were happy to find our cabin had a walk-in type closet (ample space) with storage area in the form of floor to ceiling shelves w/door (including safe). There were also drawers/shelves adjacent to the bed on both sides as well as the desk area. Bathroom was normal cruise ship size with 3 shelves & some counter space. It was not possible for two people to occupy bathroom unless one was in the shower. Balcony was normal size; however, two decks located over the lifeboat deck (Dolphin & Caribe) had deeper balconies & more furniture & we had full view of these below us several decks. Appreciated full-length mirror and room decor was nice. TV channels were extremely limited (ESPN, BBC & CNN) which were not available most of the TA crossing. There were numerous Princess & movie channels. No condensed newspaper either. Public areas - We did not utilize bars/lounges (for drinking only), Vines, International Cafe (for specialty coffees), the casino or library (reference books could not be checked out). Smoking was allowed in the casino & we passed through it occasionally & the smell was strong. Theater - Layout was poor (too small & seating was crowded) & it was necessary to arrive 1/2 hr. prior to show time for production #s & shows. Singers/dancers were excellent & final show was also (Once Upon A Dream); however, we have attended better on other cruise lines. Dining - We chose anytime dining & ate in Michelangelo DR (Da Vinci was for anytime 8-10 pm & Botticelli was for traditional seating. Dining room service (kitchen) was slow & we would ask for smaller tables to be able to attend events (shows) on time. Went to Crown Grill (specialty) once & food & service were superior to DR. Layout of Horizon Court made it difficult during busy times to get desired food & other buffet (Cafe Carib) didn't have dishes we were interested in. Also lemonade not available in the a.m. (Juices instead), but upon requesting from waiter, it was obtained. We believe that waiter service is affected by the fact that tipping is automatically added to room bill & there is no incentive for wait staff to do more than average service (several times beverages/sugar had to be requested more than once before receiving it). We did not use room service as tipping was required on order form - we like to tip upon delivery. Pizza & soft-serve ice cream (limited choices) were available on pool deck. Activities - There was no shuffleboard court & ping pong table was in an extremely windy area so we could not do these two outdoor things (our favorites). There was Princess Links (putt course), but again usually too windy. Scholarship@sea lectures were limited to guest lecturer Jules Talarico (a sailor) usually about the sea - would have liked Officer's lectures & other variety (Golden Radio days didn't interest us). Dance lessons were conducted by the cruise director Samantha & she did an excellent job. We don't play bridge & have seen numerous ice carvings, but did find Piazza activities interesting (martini demo, fruit/vege carving demo, floral demo & the dance team of Noel & Victoria). Was hoping for some photography "lessons", but only found one which was a walking tour & found it difficult to participate as too many people trying to crowd small spaces. Trivia was usually in conflict with some other activity we preferred. Unison (band) was very good & they were on deck sometimes & in a lounge in the evening. Crew - Room stewardess was very good & most staff tried to be helpful. No one was outstanding & the internet manager Andrei Visan was poor. Another pax told me she had gone to him for assistance & was told to come back at dinner time for help which she said she wouldn't do (7-9 pm) & when I let him know of a computer "hung" (as a courtesy), he said he wouldn't address the problem until the next day. He seemed to be only interested in reading his email & not helping pax. Also, on the last day, many people were using the printer & it went down & although we had sent info to the print queue, we never received it as they never fixed the printer (should have had a backup). Excursions - Princess apparently doesn't frequent some of the ports (Funchal, Cadiz, & Alghero) & the local tour companies apparently were not familiar to them. Minor things occurred on these & Princess did offer partial refunds. See individual port descriptions. Getting stickers for tours was sometimes not easy or quick & involved extensive waiting in the theater or a lounge. Summary - My husband found the leisurely TA time to be too much as we were unable to find sufficient activities we were interested in (too many conflicting times also). He usually watched movies in the room which is NOT why we go on a cruise. Movies under the Stars is a great idea if one is into movies. I found little activities (trivia or demos) usually or sunbathed. Will we cruise Princess again -- probably only if the itinerary is perfect & no other line offers it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Several passengers on the May 1 transatlantic voyage, as well as European itineraries, on the Ruby had some very negative things to say.   First of all, let me say that my husband and I don't require a lot of "service" so ... Read More
Several passengers on the May 1 transatlantic voyage, as well as European itineraries, on the Ruby had some very negative things to say.   First of all, let me say that my husband and I don't require a lot of "service" so maybe we shouldn't even comment on the "service" on the Ruby--but I will anyhow!   Our room steward for our balcony room was so very friendly and accommodating. He brought us an "eggcrate" mattress topper (which we feel is needed on any Princess--my only negative comment) as soon as we asked for it. He always had our room clean and ready for us when we returned.   Anytime dining is our choice. We prefer to "share" with other passengers--the conversations are one of the things we look forward to--and meeting interesting, well-traveled people. We never encountered a rude waiter in 15 nights--and although we did not buy the drinks they were offering, they did not act rude to us. Nobody was pushy trying to sell any events or services. The food was very good. That being said, you must know that I am not a very good cook--so any meal away from home is a treat! We are vegetarians and found that even if the vegie choice was not to our liking, they always were happy to make a plate of vegies of our choice--with no grumbling. Last year we sailed RCCL and the food was no better--actually less choices.   We both used our internet privileges--a lovely Princess benefit to Platinum members. We had a laptop and preferred to do our e-mail in our room--so never encountered an uncaring internet attendant.   One review complained about the size of their balcony--saying they could see bigger ones. Give me a break--they had gotten a free upgrade (which we have never had) from OV to balcony! Our balcony was large enough for 2--how much space do 2 people need?The theater is what it is--some nights we did arrive 1/2 hr. early--but other times, we chose another venue--and always managed to get in to see what we wanted to see. Some people brought their I-pads to the theater, or a book to entertain themselves as they waited.   Relax, people, this is a vacation.   Too much walking on an excursion! Read the description before you leave home.   O.K., I've vented enough. We are already booked on another Princess cruise--even though we do continue to check other lines as well for the future. Princess consistently offers the most value for the money. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
This was our first & last transatlantic cruise. We have sailed previously on Princess to Alaska, the Caribbean & the Amazon and to the E. Med & Caribbean on other lines. We choose a cruise for its itinerary with cruise line ... Read More
This was our first & last transatlantic cruise. We have sailed previously on Princess to Alaska, the Caribbean & the Amazon and to the E. Med & Caribbean on other lines. We choose a cruise for its itinerary with cruise line very important also. Ports of call were Funchal, Maderia; Cadiz (for Seville), Spain; Alghero, Sardinia; Civitavechia (for Rome), Italy; Livorno (for Pisa & Florence), Italy; & Monaco. Disembarkation was in Barcelona. We were upgraded from ocean view to second category balcony two weeks prior to sailing & were thankful for this as I took a walk past our original booking cabin & found the area to be noisy (produced by the ship) & vibrations could be felt also. Enjoyed our cabin on deck 14 w/large walk-in closet & plenty of shelf (storage) space. More storage space adjacent to bed on both sides. Balcony was average; however, several decks below, balconies were deeper w/more furniture & we could view them very well. TV channels extremely limited (BBC, ESPN & CNN). Princess had several channels & of course there were lots of movie channels. Theater - We found this to be cramped quarters & it was necessary to arrive 30 min. before show time to get a seat. Shows were average except the final "Once Upon a Dream" was excellent. Singers/dancers were excellent also. Have seen better produced shows on other lines, however. Other shows in the lounges (magician, comedian, etc.) were average. Dining - We chose any time dining for a change & this choice did not allow for waiters to do more than average serving. Food was mostly average & the occasional poor food was replaced upon request. Crown Grill (specialty) was definitely worth the cost as both waiter & food were far superior to DR. Horizon Court (open 21 hrs/day) was good, but during busy times it was difficult to get food desired (between all the pax). Cafe Carib has different selections & we only ate there once. There was pizza & soft-serve yogurt (ice cream) on deck near the pool. We did not use room service as a tip was required to be put on the order form - we prefer to tip in person. Apparently, most tipping on the ship is shared & no one can keep personal tips. Activities - Though there were multiple activities listed in the "Patter", we usually found that we had to make a choice between things to do in the a.m. (all things we wanted to do were taking place simultaneously) & there were few choices we were interested in doing in the p.m. (except dance lessons). Trivia was usually in conflict with other activities also. The cruise director (Samantha) was excellent in teaching the dancing. We would have liked to play shuffleboard (but there was no court) or ping pong (the table was placed where it was always windy & impossible to play). Also tried Princess Links (Putt course), but it was also too windy on the very top deck. We don't play bridge & have seen numerous ice carving demos & were not interested in Golden Radio days which was scheduled most sea days. I was hoping for some photo classes but I only saw one & it required walking around the ship which was difficult as the instructor couldn't be seen/heard with the numerous pax there for the class. If one is interested in movies, this ship is for you as there were always movies to be seen in the cabin & also under MUTS from morning through evening; however, we don't cruise to see movies - we want to do things we can't do at home. The band Unison was excellent & played poolside & in the lounges in the evening. There never was a "DECK" party on this cruise & we were disappointed. Crew - Room stewardess was excellent & also the cruise director as I mentioned previously, but the remainder of the crew was just average. An exception was the Internet manager, Andrei Vison, who spent his time reading his email & not helping pax. One lady told me she needed help & he refused to assist unless it was in the evening (7-9 pm) & she said she would either be getting ready for dinner or eating & could not go to the internet cafe at that time. I also, as a courtesy, spoke w/Andrei regarding one computer that was "hung" (not functioning at all) & suggested he reboot it, but his reply was he would see about it the next day & he continued to read his email. On the last day, the printer malfunctioned & although we had sent some things to the print queue, we never did get them as the printer was not fixed, nor a back-up installed. Excursions - Some of the ports we visited were apparently only frequented once or twice annually (during the transatlantic cruises) as we had difficulty with local companies; however, Princess did issue partial refunds. Won't go into details due to infrequency of the ports. Summary - Due to lack of interested activities (& loss of news transmission during TA crossings - no satellite reception), we were actually bored for the first week, but definitely got plenty of rest. We also were unhappy with the general "lack of interest" the crew seem to have. Perhaps this is largely due to the automatic tipping applied to room charges & I don't have a solution for this. We are used to having the crew anticipate our needs & desires and the service to be superb; hence, we were disappointed. Unless Princess is the only line with a particular itinerary we are interested in, we will probably sail with another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Embarcation time of 5 minutes(!) from our arrival at Port Everglades aboard our Marriotts Springhill Suites free shuttle, thru "Processing" (keep moving please) to the moment we swiped our shiny new Sailing Cards as we boarded ... Read More
Embarcation time of 5 minutes(!) from our arrival at Port Everglades aboard our Marriotts Springhill Suites free shuttle, thru "Processing" (keep moving please) to the moment we swiped our shiny new Sailing Cards as we boarded Ruby Princess. IMPRESSIVE! Went right to our stateroom - clean (we checked EVERYTHING), bright, balcony Cabin B631, Starboard, listed "midship" but just at 'Aft' (which may explain the unrelenting vibrations that persisted throughout the 2 weeks in OUR cabin, while others in Interior and midships had none) - Luggage arrived at cabin within 1 hour. Armed with a ships 'maplet' we explored the lovely vessel we'll call "home" for the next 2 weeks! The Piazza - spacious, lounge area you can enjoy from Decks 5, 6, 7 - resplendant with glittering brass, gold, and glass details, artwork and spiraling staircases - a pianist plays, there's dance & sushi exhibitions and pre or after-dinner dancing. The 'International Cafe' (a must if you really like coffee) adjuts the Piazza -we loved their fresh pasta, seafood salads, quick sandwiches and French Patisserie style desserts all FREE but they charge for gelato! (The coffee card for $28 for 15 specialty coffee drinks was a BARGAIN! Makes up for 'concentrated coffee' served in Buffetts. Regular coffee is free) After 4pm Muster Drill, we went up to Tradwinds Bar to personally meet the folks we'd been 'posting' with for months at the Cruise Critic Roll Call Boards. About 100 of us from all over the USA, Canada, and UK! We'd taken a vote online and named ourselves 'RUBY GEMS' - About 50 of us showed up in Red Ribbons for the informal "Drinkaway" that afternoon as we lifted anchor and began our transatlantic journey together! Later, we had formal Meet & Greet in Skywalkers Bar at Deck 18 where Captain Tony Yeomans and 5 of his Executive Staff surprised us "Ruby Gems" for about 45 minutes of chat, questions, experiences and photos!The Upside of the Ruby Princess is definitely its crew. Ask a question - If crew did not know, they found someone who did. My complaint about 'tepid' hot tubs to GM Gunther was rectified within hours. However, the Customer Service desk, one person might know and another not. That should be rectified. ALL customer desk staff should know how to acquire stamps and mail a letter. Casino personnel was abrupt and less interested in helping. After the first night at Traditional Dining, we switched to Anytime to join some Ruby Gems friends - The level of service was really Exellent - Da Vinci restaurant was upbeat, lively and well run! Meats were well prepared but poultry, such as duck, seemed to suffer too much heat lamps. We'll continue Anytime dinners - it suits us. We dined every day in Horizon or Caribe for breakfast. We LOVED the smoked salmon, bagels and cream cheese! What a treat. However, staff is too exuberant about removing plates. Had to actually keep a hand on dishes to prevent removal while I chatted. The ship was constantly cleaned, fussed about, and maintained. You'll love the clean decks, railings, tables, sofas! The Ports were imaginative and fun - however, don't Tender into Monte Carlo in choppy seas, crew was not skilled at docking and folks got very ill. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Let me start by saying that the Ruby Princess is a beautiful ship.  All of the public areas are nice, all seem very clean.  The showrooms seem to be too small as sometimes we could not get into the shows, even though the ship was not ... Read More
Let me start by saying that the Ruby Princess is a beautiful ship.  All of the public areas are nice, all seem very clean.  The showrooms seem to be too small as sometimes we could not get into the shows, even though the ship was not full.They introduced three new production shows on this cruise, and I will say that they were all some of the best that I have seen...Most cruises you have some cast members that totally outshine others...this time they all were wonderful.  The comedians were good to sometimes great, the musicians were good..one weak moment was the hypnotist, but overall I felt the entertainment was outstanding.  The cruise director seems more involved than on some other ships and that was nice, but the rest of his staff seemed somewhat lacking, and when they were friendly, it just came across as totally phony.Our cabin was nice enough as was our steward, nothing outstanding, but nothing negative.  The bar staff for the most part was friendly and efficient.The food was typical cruise food....when you cook for thousands of people, you are not going to get 5 star.  There were some nights better than others, but all in all, it was ok.  We had anytime dining, and the service was very good.  The lunch buffet was not great, as they are now starting this thing with pre-made wrapped sandwiches..reminded me of getting a sandwich at a 7-11.  You still have other choices, just not a direction that I like to see the cruise line go in.  The Burger and Pizza stations were both good.My biggest complaint...which was shared by hundreds of passengers was the port scheduling.  Now I totally understand that you can't be in every port on the ideal day...BUT we were scheduled in Rome on May 1st, which turns out to be a holiday and the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel were closed.  No one was told this until you were on the ship, so unless you somehow knew on your own, you were in for major disappointment.  This will be many people's only visit to Rome, and of all things to visit on this itinerary, those were the highlights.  Now I understand that the cruise line did not have anything to do with the closings, but I do feel strongly that all passengers should have been told upfront that the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel would be closed, so that those passengers that were going because of this port could have made an educated decision instead of just being told..too bad, it's closed....Those two things were the reason that many chose this ship and itinerary...as a matter of fact when my partner and I selected this itinerary for our Transatlantic voyage, we chose this one because it included Rome and the fact that I wanted to see the Sistine Chapel.....All in All, the Ruby Princess does an adequate job.......I felt a bit let down because my expectations were perhaps too high with this being their new ship...Once again. just one passenger's opinion..... Read Less
Sail Date April 2009
We have just returned from a 16 night Transatlantic cruise on the Ruby Princess.  This was our ninth cruise, and we have previously sailed with Cunard on the Queen Mary 2 and with Costa on the Magica.  We would not go with Costa again, ... Read More
We have just returned from a 16 night Transatlantic cruise on the Ruby Princess.  This was our ninth cruise, and we have previously sailed with Cunard on the Queen Mary 2 and with Costa on the Magica.  We would not go with Costa again, and it would have to be a very special deal to go on the Queen Mary 2.The Ruby Princess was all we expected and more.  We are Platinum members.EmbarkationWe flew from Canada to Fort Lauderdale and Princess arranged our flights.  They picked us up at Fort Lauderdale Airport and took us to the ship. We waited about ten minutes and then we quickly went through the checking in and we on board.  Very easy.Formal NightsWe had three and everyone took part and dressed accordingly.  They were very nice evenings.FoodWe were in the Traditional dining room, the Botticelli Dining Room, the staff were very courteous and efficient and bent over backwards to help you.  Also the staff in the Buffets were also very efficient and as soon as you sat down they came to see what you wanted to drink in regards to tea, coffee or juices.   The food was good and you could always find something to suit your taste. The Pizzeria Pizza was also very good as was the Grill by the pool.We went to the Explorers Lounge most nights, but also tried Club Fusion and The Wheelhouse Bar, the music and comedy was good and the service was excellent.Laundry FacilitiesWe used the laundry room on our deck twice, we learned from previous cruises and took our own soap powder.  It is very handy to have the laundry, with washers dryers and irons.StateroomWe were on Emerald Deck and had a partially obstructed view, which we enjoyed being able to get sunlight in the room and to see where we were when docking.  The stewards on that deck were all very friendly and very efficient.ActivitiesThe activities on board ship were plentiful, there was always something going on. There was Trivia a couple of times a day, fun games in Club Fusion like Jeopardy and other passenger participation games, there was Bingo, Art Auctions, and Wooden Horse racing. Also dancing lessons, and musical entertainment on the Piazza every afternoon.  So lots to do and see.We were supposed to stop in Monte Carlo but the  harbor was to rough for us to be tendered in so the entertainment staff quickly put together a program for the day.There were movies in the Explorers Lounge some afternoons as well as up on Deck 15, and current movies shown in the evenings in the Movies Under the Stars.DisembarkationWe got off in Barcelona and were told we would be off by 9-45 am, and it was very much that time when we got off.  We stayed two nights in Barcelona at one of the hotels Princess recommended, and they did the bookings for us. They bused us to the Hotel and then two days later they bused us to the airport.  Great treatment and service by everyone, they even took our luggage right up to the British airways desk for us.Our only complaint was the hotel seemed very expensive especially the hotel restaurant, it would be nice if Princess had arrangements with more moderately priced hotels.ShipThe ship was beautiful and clean, bright and cheery.Entertainment was excellent with Comedians, Singers and Musicians.We really enjoyed our whole trip.Our one other complaint was the Satellite reception on the TV was very poor. Read Less
Sail Date April 2009
We took  the Ruby Princess from Ft Lauderdale to Barcelona this April, 2009 - a 16 day cruise.  I was wary of the roughness of the Atlantic, because I always get seasick (although I have gone on more than 25 cruises).  Were we ... Read More
We took  the Ruby Princess from Ft Lauderdale to Barcelona this April, 2009 - a 16 day cruise.  I was wary of the roughness of the Atlantic, because I always get seasick (although I have gone on more than 25 cruises).  Were we surprised!  The Ruby Princess sailed through the sea as smooth as glass.  We had 15' waves and 19' swells.  And the ship never showed it.  No dishes clacking in the dining rooms, etc.  What a ship!  And also, great credit to the captain - I'm sure he was responsible for that.   I always take Bonine for seasickness - I only needed 1 per day while we were crossing the Atlantic.  Maybe I wouldn't have needed that - but I take care so that I have no problem.The ship was gorgeous, in true Princess class.  The dining was exceptional.  The crew was true to Princess high standard.This cruise, we also had our laundry done by the crew.  Boy, was that wonderful!  Everything was cleaned and pressed daily.  The pools are very inviting.  And Movies Under the Stars were great - some good movies.The ports and shore excursions were really enjoyable.  We took mostly the panaromic excursions, because this was our first time to these particular ports.  We saw an overview of the area, and some things in more depth.  It was fascinating.Princess Cruises is a great company - we have cruised with them multiple times in many areas.  We always trust them to give us a great experience.  Read Less
Sail Date April 2009
We arrived  the day before departure and stayed at the Marriot  North in Ft Lauderdale . The rate is reasonable and the hotel is very nice and is geared to Cruisers on Weekends . We used the transfer bus from Princess from the airport to ... Read More
We arrived  the day before departure and stayed at the Marriot  North in Ft Lauderdale . The rate is reasonable and the hotel is very nice and is geared to Cruisers on Weekends . We used the transfer bus from Princess from the airport to the hotel and then the next day to the ship . The Princess reps were well organized and we like the ease of this feature.     Embarkation is a breeze at this port and we were quickly on board the  ship . The Ruby is the familiar Princess design and it is beautiful . Every public area is spotless and even though it is only 6 months old, the crew was doing constant maintenance.   From the Cruise Director, James, and his assistants, to the room stewards, the wait staff in all dining areas, and ,yes, even the Pursers' desk staffall were pleasant and friendly and helpful. The tour desk is well situated and that staff was very informative and readily answered questions . The Port Speaker was available too and provided suggestions for those folks who were going to do independent shore visits .    The Piazza on deck 5 was a comfortable place to relax and the entertainment was enjoyable and quite varied from a string quartet , pianists, acrobats, jugglers , etc, and even the 4 singers from the Production shows did an informal concert one afternoon .   The Entertainment in the main lounges was well done. At sea, the show band played for dancing in the afternoons which was a nice touch .  The 4 production shows we attended in the Princess Theatre were very good . The latest technology and outstanding costumes added an extra enhancement to the very talented singers and dancers. The new "Once Upon a Dream " was truly amazing .  Not to be missed is the Crew Talent show . They had excellent voices and showmanship. And the traditional skit "If I Were Not Upon The Sea "  was hilarious.   There were many activities available during the sea days including interesting presentations by a motivational speaker, a financial advisor  and the Chief Navigational Officer. The Port Talks were very well done also . Since the library is small , they encouraged passengers to go up to Skywalkers at the top deck,astern, and make use of its comfortable chairs and expanse of windows to do reading and relax.     Our Balcony cabin on the Baja deck was as nice as usual but this time even better . For our 50th wedding anniversary, our family surprised us with a gift of the Ultimate Balcony Dinner. This truly was an Ultimate dining experience, starting with cocktails, champagne,canapes,salads, followed by two enormous lobster tails or a large steak to the special desserts . Along with this comes a floral centerpiece, a 5 by 7 picture taken by the ship's photographer. All of this is served to you by a waiter and his assistant with the white table clothes and crystal ,etc . Check out the blue book on the desk in your cabin for details and the menu and definitely  try it.     Food Comments . We have to say that the food on this voyage was the best we have had on Princess  and that goes for the Dining rooms as well as the buffets,. We have seen the menus and portion size change over the years to reflect changing tastes of passengers and nutrition  and environmental  concerns as well as a more casual approach to eating out. If you are seeking fine dining than the optional dining rooms for a fee will provide you with that .  We ate breakfast and lunch in the Horizon Court or Club Caribe. They have the usual breakfast type items ( skip the scrambled eggs though ) with a lot of good fruit and they do give you the chance to expand your horizons with different items . For example, one morning there were 5 types of smoked fish another time several sausages including English bangers , and mushroom ragout and even baked beans .     Cafe Caribe is a great place for lunch and dinner . They have different themes ranging from American BBQ to Oriental and Sushi to Curry dishes,etc. In the evening, they served most of the items that were on the Dining room list that night but also have some special theme nights such as a Bavarian Bier Fest . That was complete with German beer , many types of sausages and even a roasted young pig which the chef would slice for you ,  Then at 11:30 , they switch to their all night buffet with pizza, rotisserie chicken, sub sandwiches and good desserts and of course peanut butter cookies, We made that our stop every night after the entertainment for our Midnight snack.     Another well kept secret are the freshly baked cookies and milk served on Deck 5 in the piazza about 3:30 each day  The  International Cafe there has a very nice selection of pastries, small sandwiches along with  salads . And for a $ 1.50. you can try 3 scoops of the gelato which is also good . Around the corner is a coffee bar for those of you who need your speciality  drinks (for a small Fee )     The other secret is that from 3 to 5 , the Horizon Court serves free ice cream sundaes and also makes waffles with all the toppings .    Our special traveling companion, our Brother in law , suffered a back problem the second day at sea with a strong back spasm which caused him to be prone on the floor and had to be taken down to the Medical Center via a stretcher . He found the Doctor and Nurses to be very professional and they were able to help him during several followup visits. The facility is quite complete and it is reassuring that such a service is available in case of such events ,. And, the staff in the Horizon court were very attentive during the incident and when they saw him during the following days, keep inquiring about his health .  He did recover by the time we got to land and was able to do his shore excursions,     We were scheduled to stop at Monte Carlo as our last port but that morning as we arrived, strong winds came up and it was impossible to put the Tenders out to get to  shore . The Captain wisely would not chance the safety of the passengers or the crew . This is out of everyones control and can happen on any type of vacation    We took a 15 day Transatlantic cruise last year and that was great too . We would now like to try the repositioning trip in the Fall from Europe visiting Iceland and Greenland etc.    We would definitely sail on the Ruby again .,     Read Less
Sail Date April 2009
Ruby Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.5 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.9
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.2

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