11 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) to Caribbean - Western Princess Ruby Princess Cruise Reviews

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
Sail Date January 2015
We've sailed Princess five times. We like the line, even with the sales push, but this cruise was just okay. You have to pay for some things that used to be included, like king crab and lobster, and the ship needs repairs and ... Read More
We've sailed Princess five times. We like the line, even with the sales push, but this cruise was just okay. You have to pay for some things that used to be included, like king crab and lobster, and the ship needs repairs and upgrades... The ship just feels worn, and some failing systems are evident. Our shower sprayed dark brown dirty water one morning. It was disgusting, it turned my towel brown, and we could see grit in the water. The maintenance guys were fast and had the shower fixed in less than four hours. We were allowed to clean up in the spa. The big screen is dying too, which made the movies under the stars less enjoyable. According to the maintenance workers examining the screen from the pool deck, it's been dying for several years, "but it costs over $1,000,000 to repair because the supporting framework around the screen has to be cut out, and that can only be done with the ship out of service in dry dock. The crew did a great job with the various failures we encountered, but there would be fewer challenges if the ship was in better shape. My husband and I would also prefer to pay a few bucks more to avoid the constant sales pressure, but you see that nowadays on most cruise lines. Cruise pricing hasn't changed much over the last twenty years, so the lines have had to make more and more money from the extras, like those annoying photo-ops that block the crowd from getting off the boat. My husband and are are grateful the Princess has further restricted smoking areas. We'd be tickled pink if they'd stop the smoking in the casino too. If that happened we might enjoy a little gambling, and we wouldn't have to hold our breath walking through to the theatre! Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Our first cruise on Princess was aboard the Golden to Alaska. Our second was aboard the Ruby to the Caribbean. The Ruby was much more modern and showed less wear and tear than the Golden did. Service, across the board, was great, other ... Read More
Our first cruise on Princess was aboard the Golden to Alaska. Our second was aboard the Ruby to the Caribbean. The Ruby was much more modern and showed less wear and tear than the Golden did. Service, across the board, was great, other than the Horizon Court. Out of 7 days we were on-board, we were only offered something to drink twice, maybe three times and we had to go fetch it ourselves when we weren't offered it and the help seemed offended when we finally gave up on them to get it ourselves. Embarkation and disembarkation was miles ahead when compared to the Seattle cruise port, which was terrible. Other than a terrible experience with Delta (who I'll never fly again) the entire experience with Princess was as I'd expected. I won't be looking for another cruise operator anytime soon, that's a fact. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We're just off a 5-night Western cruise, only ports were Princess Cays and Ocho Rios, so I'll try to make this brief. Pros: Service was mostly excellent. Our room steward, Cecile, was one of the best we've ever had - and ... Read More
We're just off a 5-night Western cruise, only ports were Princess Cays and Ocho Rios, so I'll try to make this brief. Pros: Service was mostly excellent. Our room steward, Cecile, was one of the best we've ever had - and we've cruised a lot on nearly every major line. Happy hour every day between 3 and 4 at the Wheelhouse bar, buy one get one free. Princess drinks are VERY expensive, so a BOGO brings them down to drinkable range! Princess website and pre-cruise communications are excellent. The deck 7 promenade deck is a nice bow to traditional sailing. We enjoyed strolling the deck around the ship and just sitting in the shade watching the ocean. Liked the decks/bars that overlooked the aft pool and ship's wake - very nice spot. Liked the napkins and utensils already set on tables in the buffet areas and back deck tables, plus the table service offered in these areas. Cons: Cabins - These have to be some of the smallest cabins on any major cruise line. You'd have to upgrade to a suite to get anything comparable to what's offered in standard balcony cabins on other lines. Food - pretty awful. The worst buffet layout I've ever seen, with the fewest selections. Breakfast was awful in both the Horizon Court AND the MDR. Husband had a "ham steak" in MDR, and he got a thin slice of something that was 4 little bites. It should have been labeled "ham sliver." Several of us ordered French toast and couldn't eat it - tasted like it had been deep-fried and oozed grease with a rancid taste. Breakfast and lunch were huge disappointments in all venues. Entertainment - disappointing. Embarkation - the worst we've ever encountered. Arrived at the pier for our designated 12:00 PM boarding time, stood in a line that snaked around the terminal building WITHOUT MOVING for nearly one and a half hours . Didn't get on the ship until 2:30. It's the first time our luggage got to the cabin before we did! Poor selection of drinks on Princess Cays. This may sound trivial, but we had our hearts set on Bloody Marys on the beach, but found they're not available on Princess Cays! Our friends ordered a bucket of beer and the beers didn't have screw-off caps nor were they given a bottle opener. Huh?!!! Smoky, smelly casino. In summary, despite the disappointments, we had a fun, relaxing time. It was a good value for the great deal we got. Princess would not be our line of choice, however, and we felt it was sub-standard to all of the other lines we have cruised on - Carnival, Hal, RCCL, Celebrity, MSC.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
5-nt. Western Caribbean. Mini suite aft. 1st 5-nt. cruise, 7th Princess cruise, 2nd on Ruby. Relaxing itinerary with great weather. Mini suite aft / great cabin in good condition but starting to look dated or maybe overly familiar. Same ... Read More
5-nt. Western Caribbean. Mini suite aft. 1st 5-nt. cruise, 7th Princess cruise, 2nd on Ruby. Relaxing itinerary with great weather. Mini suite aft / great cabin in good condition but starting to look dated or maybe overly familiar. Same Princess special slightly too thin mattresses that seem very comfortable the first night but are not comfortable by the third night. Did not notice any peeling paint or much rust. Ship seemed in excellent condition - a little wear here and there but constant work being done to clean / varnish, etc. We love these ships with their 5 pools, lots of open deck space, and wonderful promenade decks, and thiis was a warm and sunny cruise... but to us the overall product continues a slow slip into mediocrity. More regimented approach to almost everything - Princess is as formulaic as any other mass line but we experienced an inability to adjust or be flexible by staff at many levels throughout the cruise. Very "clunky" customer service and waiters who seemed more "trained" or following a specific set of instructions on what to say and do but with no idea as to why or how they were doing it. The food was really bad. The quality of ingredients, menus, and resulting product were poor in all areas - worse than during our last cruise on the Ruby two years ago and much worse than Emerald 4 years ago. This was particularly apparent in the main dining room and alarmingly so in the Horizon Court / Caribe Cafe buffet areas. Teen / kids program was bad but Princess seems to attract so few kids it is hard to blame the line for this - why bother putting effort into a program that attracts maybe 30 kids per cruise? Overall we had an OK time but we are looking for something more. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
This will be short and sweet, Princess has entered the 4-5 day cruise market. And this is NOT their forte. Leave the shorty cruise to momma Carnival. For those Princess die hards used to the 7 day cruises, let me tell you what you ... Read More
This will be short and sweet, Princess has entered the 4-5 day cruise market. And this is NOT their forte. Leave the shorty cruise to momma Carnival. For those Princess die hards used to the 7 day cruises, let me tell you what you WON'T find. No welcome back parties on the 4 day cruise. No liquid soap AT ALL for non-Elite or suite guests. No towel figures in your bed at night. Nightly premium lounge food reduced down to "chips and guacamole" (just an example). Reduced entertainment in the evenings. There were a group of us who had cruised Princess in the past and we noted the decline in the food on Ruby Princess. One man said it best, "I go by a successful meal if I truly enjoy all 4 courses." He never once had that happen. The evening we ate at Sabitini's was 169 minutes (yes, almost 3 hours) of mediocre food and skimpy service. I was expecting something fancy, but this wasn't even up to Olive Garden on a Tuesday night. Now for the good stuff: decent comedian, but why oh why did Princess stick the overpacked adult show in the lounge instead of the showroom? The G-rated show was almost full when it was held there! People were wall to wall, and sitting on the band instruments in the back in that stuffy lounge! Poor planning there. There was plenty of deck space to spread out, and MUTS was good at showing different venues for different folks. Please note that if you take the back-to-back cruises you are getting the same food, and same menu. Stick with Carnival for the short cruises, leave Princess alone for the longer ones. Mixing the two together isn't pleasant. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
This was our 3rd cruise with Princess. We have enjoyed our other's with them. However, besides the boring ports ( which we knew we were going to) . We did have fun at the Salsa Margarita Salsa Excursion. Lots of laughs!! Our Room ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise with Princess. We have enjoyed our other's with them. However, besides the boring ports ( which we knew we were going to) . We did have fun at the Salsa Margarita Salsa Excursion. Lots of laughs!! Our Room Steward was great.The room was a bit small. Having cruised many times on Windstar -- we're used to smaller rooms -- but we had a balcony room and it was tight and not as nearly as luxurious as Windstar.The shower was pealing. We were frustrated by the lack of access to The Sanctuary. On our Alaska cruise a few years ago -- it was easy -- you walked up and could sign up any time after boarding. They didn't reserve a portion for different lCaptain Circle levels and you didn't have to be there each morning at 7am just to TRY to get a seat. However, we did find other quiet areas around the ship to relax. The ship is beginning to show it's age -- lots of pealing paint, our shower had pealing plastic. But -- it's still a beautiful ship. The FOOD -- needs to be IMPROVED -- badly. Again, I know it's cruise food -- but our friends said their food on Carnival was better. The Specialty Restaurants were OK, and better than the dining rooms. But shouldn't have cost $25pp unless they included wine. I will say the desserts everywhere were great -- Here's to the pastry chef!!! The comedian was good -- the cruise shows not so much. All in all we were happy to be traveling with friends and this made a ho hum cruise lots of fun.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
I have always gotten a ton of information about cruises on this Board, so I thought it was time to contribute, especially for Ruby Princess, which is still a relatively new ship. It has only been sailing for 5 months now. My partner and ... Read More
I have always gotten a ton of information about cruises on this Board, so I thought it was time to contribute, especially for Ruby Princess, which is still a relatively new ship. It has only been sailing for 5 months now. My partner and I booked a Vista Suite, E732, but 4 days before we sailed, we were upgraded to a Premium Suite, A750. We were quite surprised because unlike other cruise lines they didn't ask us if we wanted an upgrade, nor did they charge us. We discovered we had been upgraded when we went to check in for the cruise and to print our boarding passes. I know there is always a lot of discussion and questions about room sizes on this Board, so here is what I found out when I called to find out about the upgrade. Original Suite: Vista Suite E732 Room 397 sq ft and a 13 x 10 ft balcony Upgrade: Premium Suite A750 Room 531 sq ft and an approx 18 x 11 sq ft balcony CABIN: It is true that passengers in Suites (not mini-suites) on Ruby Princess can have breakfast in Sabatinis. The breakfast there is made to order and they have actual brewed coffee and not the awful coffee syrup. Strangely, if it weren't for folks here at Cruise Critic, I would never have known! We were never told by anyone on Princess that we could use this Private Dining area for breakfast. I am not sure they do this on other Princess ships, and the information in the Suite is generic and not specific to Ruby Princess. It wasn't in any of the information in the rooms. But thanks to this board, we went on the last two days and it was great. We wish we had gone every day. Also, Internet: You get free internet if staying in a Suite. You have to go down and set it up at the Internet Cafe, but once set up with username and password, you don't have to ever go back to the Internet Cafe. I checked email and used the internet from my laptop in my room. They charge you and then credit it back at the end of the cruise. I had always read that you had to use the Internet Cafe for the free internet in the Suites, but this is not so on Ruby Princess. You just have to go down there to set it up so it shows you "registered" at the internet cafe. Once registered, you can use a laptop anywhere. The entire ship seems to be wired. Free Laundry and Dry Cleaning: Yup, it is true. Negatives: Unlike Celebrity and Oceania, Princess provides no butler service. Nor do the stewards in these rooms do anything more than the stewards elsewhere! You do not get priority disembarkation. You do not get priority tenders unless you have an excursion. You do not get priority dinner reservations. You get a larger room. And despite being of similar size to the Royal Suite on Celebrity, the room is set up so that it doesn't utilize space well. The suite feels much smaller. The one major plus to A750 (and I gather A751) is the VERY large balcony. It has a table with four chairs, two lounge chairs, and tons of space in between. Our originally-booked suite (E732) would have had the "dreaded beam" but this had what some call the "dreaded vent." I have no idea why Princess would put their suites in these positions. Makes no sense to me. And they have known about this since the Caribbean Princess or even longer ago. Despite the vent, we didn't smell any noxious stuff until the very last night. We used the balcony all the time. Our parents met us their for every sail away. And seeing the full wake of the ship is spectacular. DINING: We had anytime dining. They allow you to call each day for reservations between about 9 and 5. If you don't have a reservation, then you just go to one of the two anytime dining rooms and they give you a buzzer. You know, the kind they give you at PF Changs or other busy restaurants. They flash and buzz when your table is ready. We never waited more than about 20 mins for a table. Best to call in the morning and reserve. Tip: Da Vinci dining room on Deck six is open for breakfast and lunch and more passengers go to that anytime dining room because it is also on the same level as the casino and the bars. Michelangelo one floor down almost never has any wait at all. We learned this from one the hosts at the stand at DaVinci. Overall, the food was very average. I suspect this is because they are cooking for 3000 passengers. The food isn't awful and it isn't good. And food is very subjective anyway. We didn't starve, but we didn't enjoy the meals. The Crown Grill, however, was spectacular! You pay an extra $25 per person to eat there, but the food is amazing. Sabatini, however, was not worth the extra charge. SHOPPING: Ample stuff to buy. Lots of overpriced jewelry and the usual stuff. Okay, on to the day by day: EMBARKATION: This was probably one of the smoothest things about this cruise. We arrived at the Cruise Terminal at noon and were able to Board the ship and go straight to our rooms. We were traveling with both of our parents and both sets of parents had mini-suites on Emerald Deck. The buffet was open and had great selection and pretty good food. We thought it was going to be a great cruise. We set sail on time. Day 1 (Sea Day): Was relaxing and great. We had booked spa appointments for Deep Tissue Massages. This ship, unfortunately, has no male massage therapists, so don't bother wasting your time booking deep tissue massage. Neither of the female therapists we had were strong enough to do more than what would be considered a swedish massage with mild pressure. Of course, after the massage both of got the hard sell for products, but we were prepared for this. Steiner, which runs many spas on cruise ships, also run the spas on Celebrity and Oceania. They may even be the ones who run the spa on Royal Caribbean (though I can't remember). Day 2 (Ocho Rios): Not the best stop. The island is very poor and the locals are very aggressive. We had tried to book the Sandals Beach Day but it was sold out. Apparently it always sells out on this itinerary and people rarely make it off the waiting list. I got on-line and found that the Jamaica Grande hotel (the yellow tower hotels you can see from the ship in port) sold day passes for $60 per person to cruise ship passengers. The Sandals one was something around $180 per person. The hotel had a beach grille, a buffet restaurant, 5 pools, a water slide, snorkel equipment, kayaks, a sea trampoline, and bars everywhere. For your $60 you got use of all the facilities, unlimited food and drinks (including alcoholic beverages). The snorkeling was actually pretty good here! I would take a taxi to the hotel and then walk back. Day 3 (Grand Cayman): My partner and his parents went to 7-mile Beach and swam and snorkeled. They had a great time. I went shopping with my parents. Great deals here. Day 4 (Cozumel): Both sets of parents accompanied us on the Tulum Mayan Ruins excursion. This is now the worst shore excursion I have ever been on. You ferry for 35 minutes from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen. Then you get on a bus for an hour to go to the ruins. The excursion said we would see the ruins and then be dropped back at Playa del Carmen where we would get to shop and eat etc. Well, the tour group diverted us twice to places for bathroom breaks, which were always at these stops for shopping. This ate up 1 whole hour of the trip. As a consequence, we has only 30 minutes in Playa del Carmen and got back to Cozumel at 5 so we had only 20 mins there to do anything. The ruins are incredible. But don't book this excursion through Princess. Day 5 (Sea Day): Not sure why they did the sea day on this day and not the day before disembarkation, but so you have it. Day 6 (Princess Cays): Private Island Beach Break. We booked the Private Bungalow, which was great and worth it. The snorkeling here was not so great. The barbeque lunch was disgusting. Everything tasted as if it had been cooked 3 days prior and left in a warming bin all that time. Even a plain old burger was awful. I didn't think one could ruin burgers and hot dogs, but I have been proven wrong. Day 7 (Ft. Lauderdale/Disembarkation): I have heard many horror stories about disembarkation, but to be honest I have never encountered a bad one until now. We arrived in Port an hour late. Everything went poorly. We got off the ship and couldn't get our luggage. When we finally got the luggage and thought we were leaving, we went outside into what could only be described as HELL. They had one small area for those who drove to pull up the car and get the luggage, which is not how it was when we embarked. To get your car from the parking lot, you had to leave the terminal and do a U-turn to get back in. It took us 1.5 hours to leave after walking out of the terminal. It was a mess. We have sailed on Celebrity, RCL, Oceania, and SilverSea. We have never seen anything like this. Overall, we had fun because we were with our family. There were lots of kids on board, but it never seemed like a problem. Both the pool in the Spa and the Aft Terrace pool are adult only areas, so no kids there. A wide variety of passenger ages on the ship. We are in our late 30's, my parents in their mid 70's, my partner's parents in the mid 50's. We all had fun. Basically, if you are used to traveling in Suites on Celebrity or Oceania, you will be underwhelmed by the Suite experience on Princess. This was our first cruise with Princess. We will book Princess again if there is a good deal, but don't pay extra money for a suite on Princess because all you get is a little bit more room. The pampering other lines offer you for the money you spend on a suite just isn't available on Princess. Friends of our had warned us, but we wanted to try out a new line. We will be returning to Oceania and Celebrity. P.S. We brought a case of wine to the ship, stuck a luggage tags to it and labeled it fragile. They delivered it to our room with our luggage and no questions asked. I know lots of folks are always asking about that. We just did it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2009
I originally booked this cruise back around September knowing I would be unable to make it through a Northeast winter without jetting off to a warmer climate for a week. I booked directly via the cruiseline. I also started looking for ... Read More
I originally booked this cruise back around September knowing I would be unable to make it through a Northeast winter without jetting off to a warmer climate for a week. I booked directly via the cruiseline. I also started looking for airfares which were through the roof expensive being President's week and the week many schools have winter break. I chose this weekend because I would be traveling with a child on such a break. The fare was due in full on December 1 and at that time, I started hearing that fares may have dropped. To my delight, I found out that the fare for my cabin had dropped about $800. I was even able to get a better deal by booking through one of the discount online cruise sites. Always check before making your final payment if fares have dropped. And don't buy your airfare too soon either. I booked a horrible flight itinerary around October and then later had to pay $150 change fees per ticket to get something more reasonable. In the first round of air itineraries, I was going to FLL via Houston from Laguardia. Shoot me now!! I wound up leaving Newark and going via Cleveland . .far FAR BETTER!! Hotels for the night before were also expensive . .even the dives, but I wound up using some American Express miles and staying at the Hilton in Fort Lauderdale. I got a quick and free pick up from them on Friday night. The room was very nice and comfortable for three people and they had a shuttle to the cruiseport in the morning that was $9 per person and very easy. Embarkation on the Ruby Princess could not have been smoother and quicker. The ship is very beautiful and impressive. We had a BD balcony cabin on the Aloha deck. It was a room equipped with a bunk for a third person. .we were two ladies and a 7 year old. I had requested for comfort and style that we have the beds configured as a king instead of two twins. When I checked in,it was as two twins and I assumed it was because the steward saw it was all women in the room, but then found out that for some safety reasons a king bed was not allowed in a room with a bunk. This was my first annoyance as I hate sleeping in a twin bed. I tried to work out some alternate plan whereby we could even put the bunk mattress on the floor and slip it under the big bed during the day,but that would not fit. The steward went ahead and gave us our king bed even though apparently against the rules. I definitely prefer a pull out couch for the third, but these rooms did not have them. The rooms were smaller than the similar category I was used to on Celebrity. The bathrooms was smaller too and so was the teeny tiny shower stall. There was a relatively spacious area to hang clothes which was convenient. The room steward did a very nice job and tried his best to keep us happy. I much appreciated him letting us do the beds the way we wanted. The food in the Horizon was fair at best and sadly the food in the DaVinci for anytime dining was not much better. I have sailed quite a few times on Celebrity from about 2000-2005 and their food was far better. I felt uninspired most nights to even make my selections where I always felt on Celebrity that I had a hard time picking because so many items sounded delicious. I loved the Anytime dining, however,which was the reason I went ahead with Princess this time over Celebrity. I ate 5 nights in the DaVinci at differing times. One night we arrived around 6:30 PM and were able to get a private table for three. All other nights we arrived around 7-7:30PM and were immediately seated, but needed to share. That was totally fine and we met some nice people. Seemed that those that arrived around that time and wanted private tables had to wait about 20 minutes. The other two nights, the formal nights, we ate at the specialty restaurants. You only have to dress "Smart Casual" in the specialty dining rooms. Sabatini's was excellent ($20 per person cover). It was the best food we had on the Ruby all week. It was set up as a tasting menu. You only selected your main entree,soup and dessert. You tasted everything else, and it was terrific. We also did the Crowne Grill ($25 per person cover) which was nice enough, but the steaks are definitely not of the quality that you would get in a fine steak house nor grilled to the nice crust of those restaurants, but it was good enough and definitely better than what was in the DaVinci. I got the molten chocolate cake for dessert which was great. Skip paying the extra $9 for the Brazilian lobster tail. The pizza was excellent!! They had perfectly cooked over medium fried eggs every morning in the Horizon and they properly poached eggs. .not overcooked which I appreciated. The best things I had in the Davinci were the Prime Rib, a seafood antipasto, Veal Chops, Lamb Shank and Rack of Lamb . .all were good, not excellent. My friend ordered the Seabass one night . .not good at all, overcooked and tasteless. and we had Strip Steak the last night . .not good. I wished I had ordered the meatloaf. The Caesar salad is like caesar dressing out of a bottle. The Fettucini Alfredo is offered every night and was good. The desserts were mostly pretty good. For another good point, Movies Under the Stars is a lot of fun. We saw Mama Mia one night at 7PM. It was like going to a drive in movie, but better. You got your own lounger. They came around with popcorn, candy snacks to buy and blankets. The movie was great. I heard you had to arrive early to get loungers for the more popular showing of the same movie at 10:30PM. What we did was see the movie at 7PM and had reservations at Sabatini's at 9PM . . .perfect. And it's not like you would starve on a cruise ship. They also ran movies on that screen during the day which I did not find nearly as enjoyable. The loungers are much more comfortable in that pool area, but if you were not watching or interested in the movie, it was a cacophonous racket. And depending on where you sat, you could hear the movie AND the music in the adjoining pool area or the cruise director running the pool games in same pool area . .noisy!!! The ship was too crowded. This made the "at sea" days unpleasant for anyone who loves the water . . .picture loungers and random bodies strewn across the upper decks like at Coney Island on 4th of July. The chair hogging was atrocious. Princess needs to do something. I sat in one section with about 16 loungers from 9AM to 12 Noon, and only two other loungers even had butts in them . . .the rest had towels or books or hats. Their towel policy thoroughly annoyed me. Instead of leaving fresh towels by the pool, your room steward brought them to your room. So if you ran out of dry towels by the pool, you were out of luck unless you went back to your room and paged your steward to bring you more immediately . .good luck with that!!! This towel policy not only left you wrapped in damp towels all day and then turning your balcony into shantytown overnight as you tried to dry your precious towels, but led to even a bigger chair hogging problem when some believed that leaving their towel on the chair was marking their territory. You did not have to "turn your towels in" nor did you have to keep track of your towels on the boat, but getting fresh dry ones only happened in the room, as far as I knew. The kids program was great. The seven year old with us really enjoyed herself. You can even get babysitting for only $5 an hour from 10PM-1AM. You can't beat that deal with a stick!! I heard that the Sanctuary was a great deal and made the "at sea" days pleasant. If I ever do a Princess cruise again and they have a Sanctuary, I am DEFINITELY doing it. It seemed if you got in on this, you paid for the mainstream cruise and for a small upcharge got the upscale pampering and privacy of a much pricier line, avoided the tacky "Coney Island" experience. Disembarkation at the end of the cruise was slow and crowded as was disembarkation at Princess Cays. Next winter, I think I am doing a land vacation. I really love cruising and being on the water and sitting on my balcony and dreaming, but all the "herding" got to me a little this time. The weather, the beautiful scenery and ship and the beautiful islands all got an A+ for the week, but overall, I have to give the Ruby about a C+ for everything all in. Read Less
Sail Date February 2009
My husband and I were enjoying our second cruise, a babymoon actually on the Ruby Princess. It was by far the most beautifully decorated ship I have been on and this compares to Holland America, Royal Caribbean and Carnival ships. We had ... Read More
My husband and I were enjoying our second cruise, a babymoon actually on the Ruby Princess. It was by far the most beautifully decorated ship I have been on and this compares to Holland America, Royal Caribbean and Carnival ships. We had previously taken a honeymoon cruise on the Royal Caribbean to Eastern Caribbean and enjoyed our experience tremendously. We were expecting more "Love" from the brand new Ruby "Love Boat" that Princess was famous for. First of all, we booked a mini suite category. We felt that this line, in comparison to other cruises, seemed to charge for all the amenities we typically receive for free on other ships. We had to pay for ice cream at the pool, appetizers before dinner in the lobby, pizza delivery from room service and $12 for a cheese board/fruit platter from room service! The excursions were overpriced compared to other cruise lines. "Anytime dining" is not a good idea if you want to eat anytime other than 6pm or 8pm. When we would show up at 7pm, we received a pager and then had to wait for a table for 15-40 minutes. You can call ahead in the morning to make a reservation, but we found out they only take about 20% of the restaurant as a reservation and only before 4pm. If you make a reservation, you get a table right away. You will have a different waiter staff each night, which made it difficult to receive any special attention or friendly "get to know" atmosphere we enjoy on other ships. Next time we would do the late seating. I highly recommend the specialty Italian restaurant. It is worth the $20 supplement. The food in the dining room for dinner was just OK. Not as good as Royal or Holland. Menu is a little boring and tasteless. Our room was beautiful, although smaller than the mini suite on Royal Caribbean. Room service menu was not very good and we felt that suite passengers should be offered a different menu to choose from, other than free sandwiches. The room attendant was friendly and probably the best cruise staff we met on board as far as attention and helpfulness. Our room was decorated nicely outside for our anniversary and my birthday. We also enjoyed receiving special cards to give to the head waiter at the restaurant to notify that it was a special occasion. They brought us a special dessert each time we notified. Tendering on two ports (Princess Cay and Grand Cayman) was not a great experience at all. We had long lines to wait in on the return to ship from port and watched as other cruise lines were handing out water and snacks to their passengers. Also, we felt that we had to get on the ship much earlier in each port than necessary. We would have enjoyed staying longer in each port, rather than on board by 4pm. The activities on board were not much to be desired. We were comparing to all the fun activities on the Royal Caribbean, with rock climbing and ice skating. The Ruby should have more focus on the education programs and add another cooking demonstration, which was the best demo I have seen on any ship. I highly recommend it and the cookbook for purchase is reasonable $28 and you can have it personally signed by the Exec. Chef. The shows at night were fair. The second evening show, Broadway Review, was the best. All the others we were not that impressed. They had a guest singer from Vegas that was excellent, but he is not normally on the ship. Compared to Royal, it was a 4 and Royal entertainment an 8 out of 10. So, in conclusion, bring back the LOVE. Please stop charging for ice cream! Where was someone like Issac at the pool? The pool drink attendants need to smile and enjoy their job. What is better than serving drinks under the sun! Make it a more personal experience for the guests, especially if you are paying suite pricing. Ruby needs to hire a different Cruise Director. By the end of the trip, we had to turn her off our TV screen. Best things on board: Movies Under the Stars (need less sports and more movies) Cooking Demonstration and Ship Kitchen Tour Decoration of the ship, live musicians playing in the lobby upon check in. Ports of call were excellent, but you'll need to book excursions. Least favorite things: Lots of little charges everywhere. Cost of fruit drinks without alcohol. Entertainment and getting turned away because all the seats were filled! Bingo prices. Art Auction not as great as Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date January 2009
My wife and I are Diamond status with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and had only sailed with this line. We had decided to try another line to compare to RCCL. We chose Princess because of all the hype about their new ship the Ruby ... Read More
My wife and I are Diamond status with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and had only sailed with this line. We had decided to try another line to compare to RCCL. We chose Princess because of all the hype about their new ship the Ruby Princess. Our was the second sailing of the inaugural cruises and thought that this would be an over the top cruise. What we received was poor service and poor food compared to what we have come to expect with RCCL. There were two amenities that we did find enjoyable, one was the outdoor movie screen which showed the Monday night football game of my hometown Cleveland Browns as well as top rated flix. The second amenity which was great was the Sanctuary, an area for adults to relax in a very tranquil setting. You are offered food, cold drink, cold face cloths and even the use of an mp3 player and head phones. Space is limited and at an extra cost, but well worth it. A very nice touch for an otherwise oh hum voyage. Based upon the lack service by our stateroom attendant, poor food and overall disappointment with the Ruby Princess, we have made five more cruises on RCCL, with another in the works for June 2011. Read Less
Sail Date November 2008
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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