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

I have been on cruises before, but not with Princess. I had high expectations based on reviews. To put it simply, there was a lot of misinformation, poor planning, and the atmosphere was just lacking. Let me at least start with the ... Read More
I have been on cruises before, but not with Princess. I had high expectations based on reviews. To put it simply, there was a lot of misinformation, poor planning, and the atmosphere was just lacking. Let me at least start with the positive: Food was great. That Pizza is Amazing. There were a FEW staff that were actually pleasant. Mostly the issues I experienced were just a lot of little things. Not major things nor directed to individual persons. But it added up. Let me address some issues that I came across · I made some excursion reservations before the cruise. I had decided to cancel one of them. When I called the Princess phone line before the cruise to inquire about how to do that, I was told to just not show up and that I would be taken off and there would be no fee. In the back of my mind, this didn't sound right. When I checked with the desk the first day, I was told this is not the case. I needed to actually write cancel on the ticket and drop it off to the excursion desk/drop box. It is a good thing I followed through, or I would have been stuck with a bill for an excursion that I was told would be canceled had I not shown up. This is one example of misinformation or lack of information I experienced. Here are some others. Tulum Excursion ·We had no time to shop after the tour. There was nothing to indicate (even on your websites details) if we would or would not have time between getting off the bus and getting on the shuttle boat for any shopping. Had I known, I would not have taken the tour. Everything felt very rushed (keep this in mind, it will come up again). The only shopping was a 20 minute stop at a tourist store obviously with an arrangement of the tour lines. Unless of course you want to buy from the street vendors at Tulum. · Make a note, to tell people what specifically they should know about Tulum. Such as, the only bathroom at the ruins is outside the gates. And there was no opportunity to stop right there as we were rushed inside. Also, if you had wanted to swim at the small beach while you are there, make sure you have a bathing suit on under the clothes, otherwise you either can’t change, OR you have to change behind a towel and hope no one is looking. ·The "snack" provided...really. A bag of salty chips (on a hot day), with a bottle of water (useful!) and a small cookie about the size of a quarter. Sure...I’ll believe it’s a snack. But don't be so vague about it on the excursion details. I would have purchased something more substantial had I known. On the ship · Everything felt rushed. I was on the cruise to relax. Yet every time I want to do something on the schedule it was one right after the other, and trying to get from one to the other was a nightmare because whoever does the planning has no idea about time or logistics. Most of the events did not end on time, and then when I was trying to get to another location, there was a giant crowd blocking my way because of something going on there. (For example from the lounge, to the theater, being stuck as something is happening in the lobby and not being able to get through them). Logistically, they want to do better with crowd control and how things are timed to create better movement and traffic flow. Especially with as many older people as they cater to. Being younger, I tried to be considerate of the older people and their mobility, but when other people are almost shoving you to get through it makes it difficult to maneuver at all. Again...can be controlled with a proper logistical traffic pattern · TV shows. Most of the movies were fine, but the majority of the channels were just princess logos. · The last night there was the married couples show. Obviously a very popular event on any ship I have ever been on. But instead of putting it in the theater, it is done in the Explores lounge. So with what? 100 seats only and 200+ people trying to watch it. They need a bigger venue for that. Why not put it in the Theater which has tons of seats? Other options would be to have it earlier in the trip so it can be recorded and watched on tv over the course of the trip. · Getting a drink should be simple. Several times in the buffet I would sit down and there would be no one around to provide even water. One breakfast I was entirely ignored while on either side of me servers are bringing them drinks. One of the guests just gave me her orange juice because she felt bad for me. · One of the dinners I couldn't get anyone to come over. I actually went up to one of the attendants and pointed them to my table. He said he would come by. Still nothing, and finally as we were done eating, I was able to get a hold of a manager who sent someone over, but at that point we were done. · All around the sun decks, if you are on any of the top levels (Particularly around the movie side) there is no one to take drink orders. If you are on the bottom by the pool they were there, but no one would come by. · In the theater, only 2 people serving drinks in a theater that size and they would only go to the outer edge of seats. Do they need more staff? · We only ate at the formal dining room 3 times, twice at our assigned time and table, once later on because we were too tired from an excursion to come at the assigned time. The first night - at assigned table, seemingly well, no issues. Armando came to check on me...good man. The second time - Non assigned time, different table and waiter. Joe I think...was awesome. Great service. The last time - the last night of the cruise, our assigned table. The servers seemed distracted. 15 minutes to get me a coke (no surprise). It took a long time for food to come out. It seems that the servers were more attentive to 2 other tables. Our food came out wrong (we did not want shrimp with our food as it makes me sick). Regardless it was a long dinner and i just wanted to get up and leave. It’s not that the servers were horrible, they just seemed distant. This brings me to the crew in general · If addressed directly, the crew was very polite and helpful. Occasionally there was a nod or smile, but most if the time, if you were not making direct eye contact they were not engaging. Perhaps they were busy and just focused on the task at hand. It just seemed that the other cruises on had a more positive atmosphere. · Finally, the last night of the cruise, it was after midnight and I was looking for some food. The buffet was closed but someone in a uniform (naval uniform black and whites) told me that I could get room service. I went to the room and called, but was told there was none. Again more misinformation. I think Princess is going off my list of cruise-lines to use. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
We had a great time on the Princess Alaska cruise so we decided to take a relaxing winter break on the Ruby Princess to Grand Turk and Princess Cay. It was not good. The dining service was the worst I've ever had on vacation. We did ... Read More
We had a great time on the Princess Alaska cruise so we decided to take a relaxing winter break on the Ruby Princess to Grand Turk and Princess Cay. It was not good. The dining service was the worst I've ever had on vacation. We did "Anytime Dining" or as Princess says "the flexibility to dine when and with who you choose." What a lie. The first night we had to wait in line about 40 minutes to get a pager to wait another 80 minutes to get a table. The maitre'd basically pointed to a table across the room by a service door and said "there" - real consummate host greeting. Service was not terrible but nothing great - food was mediocre and barely lukewarm. People told us that it was just a first night problem. Next night the wait was "only" about an hour wait to get a table - next to a busy waiter station. Again lukewarm food. So we called to see if we could get a reservation and were told just to come around 8 - there would be no problem. So about 745 we went to the second "Anytime" dining place to see if that was better. Not much better. When I asked the maitre'd how long we might be expected to wait - the answer was a rather caustic "when the other guests finish eating"...another consummate host. As a reward for asking, when we did get a table it was basically in a waiters station. I could count the silverware every time he opened a drawer. Even the server kept apologizing for the table's location and noise. One night, after a wait a group of us were marched from one end of the ship to the other to use vacant tables in the fixed dining room.  On the plus side service there was good and the food was hot. After the second night I wrote a comment and complaint and dropped it at the front desk - no answer or acknowledgement. The delays in dining fouled up the evening schedule. The ship was crowded and we missed shows because we choose to dine rather than use the buffet. Princess anytime dining was a disaster that put a cloud over every evening. The planning for disembarkation was also an experience. I filled out the form requesting luggage assistance and disembarkation at 930. When I got my assignment from Princess it was walk off at 730. So I went to the Front Desk to get it changed. After being told I had gotten when I requested (which was untrue) the staff told me that would get it changed in the morning and see that I get luggage tags. Never happened (so maybe Princess was discretely acknowledging my earlier complaint) . So the following evening I had to go through the process again and stood there until I got luggage tags. My wife told me that the activities were also jammed with the ship's staff commenting on how crowded it was and that they did not expect the turnouts for activities. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Embarkation was tremendously slow due to continued "computer glitches." There were not many people in line, but our guy simply struggled to get the information into the system that allows us to get on our way - nt a huge deal, ... Read More
Embarkation was tremendously slow due to continued "computer glitches." There were not many people in line, but our guy simply struggled to get the information into the system that allows us to get on our way - nt a huge deal, but we stood at the counter for 20 minutes. We were excited that "anytime dining" was offered. I don't know if this is new to Princess, but they had no clue how to do it. Some dining rooms allowed "anytime" while others were half "anytime" and half reservation & yet another was only "anytime." This was not communicated to the passengers & there were long waits at ALL dining rooms the first night of the cruise. I expected the food to be on par with Celebrity or Norwegian, but it was not even close. Even the specialty steak house (Crown Grill) was disappointing as my tough, fatty ribeye steak tasted more like bad prime rib - I sent it back. The remaining nights, we simply ate in the cafeteria as the food & service was better than what we found in the dining rooms. There is a lot to like about the Ruby Princess. The ship is relatively easy to navigate & it has an elegant design. Our room steward was great & our room was kept clean & stocked with towels. Our bed, however, was as hard as the pool deck. Extra pilows & Nyquil allowed a little rest, but the mattress was not comfortable whatsoever. The entertainment was mixed. The highlight was a magician who was featured on Americas Got Talent. The comedian was good, not great. The singers & dancers had 1 very good show & 1 not so good. The theater was not slanted enough - so if someone sat in front of you, it was difficult to see. If you sat too close, you could not see because the stage is unusually high. There was not much going on outside of the shows. This is the 5th different cruise line we've sailed with & there were not as many scheduled activities as we're accustomed to on the other ships. If there was an event, the common areas on the ship were to small to handle a large number of people - so we either left, or tried to find an area where we could see what was going on. We traveled with friends & we enjoyed ourselves due to the company. But, this is not a cruise line we would select for future travels. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We just returned from a cruise on the new Ruby. We are experienced cruisers, having traveled several times on other lines, this was our first Princess Cruise. I won't spend a lot of time on the ship, because it is brand new, and it ... Read More
We just returned from a cruise on the new Ruby. We are experienced cruisers, having traveled several times on other lines, this was our first Princess Cruise. I won't spend a lot of time on the ship, because it is brand new, and it is beautiful as you expect. We thought the rooms were very well laid out, and very convenient to use. We had the balcony upgrade category on deck 10. Be aware, everyone above you can look right down on your balcony on this ship, as I believe is true on other Princess ships as well. Embarkation was the best ever, we were through the line in 30 minutes tops. The cabin steward immediately came to our room and introduced himself as soon as we arrived. We are generally very easy going and go with the flow whenever we travel, so the criticism in this review we think is well deserved. We also talked to many people that we met on board, and everyone had the same complaints, so Princess needs to pay attention to this. One other thing before I go on - we had reservations about traveling Princess because we heard it is an 'older' crowd. We are in the 45 to 50 age range, and we felt that at least half the people on board were younger. As a matter of fact we saw very few people that were older - they seemed to be either 20s to 30s or our age range. Service on board was very good, but fairly 'cold'. If you like to cruise and get to know your cabin steward and other service personnel, this did not happen on this cruise. We met the cabin steward when we checked in, then we paged him the next day because we wanted four towels in our room instead of two. We had to ask twice, and after that we always had four towels, but we literally never saw him again. We thought he was avoiding us because we asked for more towels, and on previous cruises we have gotten friendly with the cabin workers, not this time. The same could be said for service all over the ship. We did traditional dining at 8:15. The waiter was very friendly, but the service from the kitchen was awful. We wasted so much time just waiting for food to be brought out it was ridiculous. Frequently, we wanted to see a show or participate in an activity after dinner and we were late. We thought the shows that we did see were excellent by other cruise standards, this was a plus on the ship. We also found that while this was one of the dullest crowds we've ever cruised with. Frequently, we would go to one of the clubs, casino, bars, etc at 10:00 PM and there would be at the most 50 people there. SO, if you are cruising this ship, do not worry about the age range, but if you want to be social and dance and meet people on the ship - forget it - they all seemed to go to bed by 10:00 PM. This seemed to be the perfect cruise for honeymooners that would like to be alone, or people that just want to cruise and not be social. But the worst thing of all was the food. We kept hoping it would get better. We did not eat in any of the speciality restaurants, and stuck with the traditional dining, buffet, etc. The room service, pizza, burgers, were about par with all other lines. However, the lunch buffets and dinner options were horrible. The desserts were horrible. I cannot stress enough how bad the food was. We kept waiting for it to get better. We talked to everyone we met, and they all agreed. I don't know if Princess is pushing for people to pay extra to eat in the speciality restaurants or not, but if you are a person that does not want to pay extra and expects the typical 'great food, we're gaining weight, we need to stop eating' kind of cruise, skip this cruise line. We are two individuals with totally different eating preferences, and neither one of us could find anything we liked. Everything was just mediocre. We were so glad to get off the ship and looked forward to getting something decent to eat. In summary, we will never cruise Princess again because of the food. We aren't sure if this is true across the board for Princess, but we're not taking another chance. Read Less
Sail Date January 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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