3 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) to Europe - Western Mediterranean Princess Ruby Princess Cruise Reviews

As veteran cruisers we have taken 10 cruises on 5 different cruise lines, but never Princess. So when the embarkation went smoothly and we went onboard and saw how beautiful The Ruby Princess is, we had high expectations. A lot of them ... Read More
As veteran cruisers we have taken 10 cruises on 5 different cruise lines, but never Princess. So when the embarkation went smoothly and we went onboard and saw how beautiful The Ruby Princess is, we had high expectations. A lot of them were met, many were not.First, our balcony cabin was very roomy and we loved the extra large balcony. The entire ship is well maintained with floors, counters, and railings seemingly always cleaned and polished. We found the staff, with only one or two exceptions, to be very friendly, courteous, and helpful. The exception to this was at the Hamburger grill area where the cooks appeared apathetic and you could not find a waiter to bring you a drink. The one we tracked down was surly.As far as the other food, the dinners and breakfasts were very enjoyable, and the meal choices excellent. Smoked salmon, goose pate, made to order omelets for breakfast and beef wellington, lobster, lamb chops for dinner made the experience special. The failure came with the lunches in The Horizon, which we considered a letdown in the choices and taste of the foods. The pizza was lousy. However, the biggest disappointment came with the seating arrangement. Good luck trying to find a table for breakfast in The Horizon. And anytime dining, which on other ships almost always guaranteed us a table for two, meant nothing on the Ruby Princess. We felt the Maitre D did not try hard enough to meet our needs unless you start to leave, then miraculously he has a table for two. However, while sitting in the Michelangelo anytime dining room, We often saw open tables for two that were not being used. Luckily, though, we had two fantastic waiters, Sutti and Suri, who made our dining experience special. They remembered our names after one visit, remembered our preferences, always advised on best dishes each night. Desserts on dinner menu were frequently odd, need to have an always available good old chocolate cake as a standard option. And as far as wine and bottled water prices, we considered them fair.International cafe snacks are great, and free! Coffee card a good deal. If you drink it in the cafe you get a free hot chocolate or premium hot tea with it for free.The entertainment was good, not great, and the Princess theatre and the Explorer's lounge did not have enough seating. The ship repeated shows for two days in a row to allow everyone to see them and you always had to arrive 30 minutes early to get two seats together. Sam is a very good cruise director-friendly, charming-but it was the deputy cruise director, Dan, whom we really enjoyed. He hosted the game shows and his quick wit and visual shenanigans made it fun. The other cruise director emcees were boring.Although the excursions were fairly priced, the reason is probably because they cram over 30 people into each group. Many are frail and the tours moved slowly, as did loading the tenders. Only loaded one boat at time, and so it took forever to fill a boat.Just a few last comments:There are not enough different specialty restaurants, and their menus don't change during the two week period, so there's no reason to return. For instance, NCL has a lot more specialty choices and the menu changes half way through the cruise so you can try something new.Wine tastings were good.We appreciated the fairly priced washers and dryers. Croque monsieur from room service was great.A good tip to order a pitcher of water from room service every day - it's free.Embarkation and disembarkation excellent. Very fast, efficient, no problemsWe felt the currency exchange machines took advantage of the situation. You not only received a bad exchange rate in changing dollars to Euros, you had to pay a $3.50 fee for each transaction.Good pub food in wheelhouse bar - and it was free. Good lunch option.Would we take Princess again? Maybe, but certainly with not a ship as large as the Ruby Princess. Perhaps we'd go with Princess on the smaller ships (680 passengers) they bought from Renaissance, a line we loved. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
My husband and I joined the cruise in Fort Lauderdale on 1st May 2011. Embarkation was speedy and efficient and as we passed through the ship to our cabin, we were reminded how pleasant it was to be greeted by staff, who were just passing ... Read More
My husband and I joined the cruise in Fort Lauderdale on 1st May 2011. Embarkation was speedy and efficient and as we passed through the ship to our cabin, we were reminded how pleasant it was to be greeted by staff, who were just passing by, in such a pleasant and genuine way. It made us feel good. Due to the unexpected and critical illness of my husband last year, we had to cancel all our cruises and this was the first cruise in over a year. When we opened the door of our cabin (R503) the smell hit us. The only way I can describe the smell, is that sometimes you pass by people that have obviously not washed their hair for a long time and the smell hits you. I opened the balcony door to let in some air. It was very obvious that the smell was coming from the cushions placed on the bed and so we moved them immediately under the bed. It was disgusting. Unfortunately they had already passed the smell on to the clean pillow cases and so we left these out to air and ensured that we did not use them. The cabin steward came in to introduce himself, his name was Alejandro and said we could call him Alex. He was very pleasant and said to let him know if there was anything we needed. We removed the cushions and he put them out again. On the third day the cushions were out again, I took the cushions out to speak to Alex. He was doing the room a couple of doors down and his trolley was outside that door. I approached him and said could I please give you these cushions. He looked at me and continued into that room. I walked back to our room and waited at the door. A few minutes later he came out and walked towards me. I was smiling at him and said could you please take these out of the room as they did not smell very good and they were making the clean linen smell dirty as well. He took the cushions and went away. I felt much better that we would not get the smell back and assumed that all was well. As we moved in and out of our cabin throughout the day, it was clear that Alex would not make eye contact with me. As we went off for our evening meal, I mentioned it to my husband, though Alex was being very chatty with him. I continued to say hello to him, though he would not look at me. By the fourth day Alex was beginning to make exaggerated moves to show that he was not talking to me. He cheerily greeted my husband in the corridor and then bent down on the floor to pretend to do something as I passed him, he kept his head down. He said hello and good evening etc to my husband and clearly ignored me. By day 5 I decided not to bother any further with him. Quite pathetic and disturbing really. Hardsell Princess appears to have moved to "very hard sell", every where we turned there was someone on a sales pitch. It became very tiring and a number of fellow passengers commented on this hard sell. In the restaurant on an evening, first the water, then the wine, then the coffee, then the sale of wine and cheese tasting for the following day. The majority of staff take it in their stride, offer the sales politely and move on in their usual pleasant way if you do not want it at that time, however, in Michael Angelo there was one waiter, Atari, who seemed to take extreme offence if you do not want to buy and was quite rude, walking away pulling offensive faces. From that night we tried to attend the Da Vinci restaurant (to avoid this snooty waiter and his pompous face pulling), however, as we were unable to have "anytime dining" in the Michael Angelo until 8pm onwards, we sadly missed most of the shows and on occasions, when we wanted to see some evening entertainment we had to go the Caribe. Not quite the same when we really enjoy dressing and going to the restaurants for dinner. I will not dwell on the hardsell of Lotus Spa, Teeth whitening, Acupuncture, Dr Mailine etc etc etc,(now all called Scholarship at Sea - should perhaps be renamed to Hardsell at sea). Suffice to say that this is the first cruise where I have not treated myself to a least one beauty treatment, due to the permanent pushing of these services. I went for a break, to avoid and escape from the usual pressures. Anytime Dining There appears to be a real reluctance to seat people for a table for two and you needed to be very firm in your request, whilst you are being pushed to share. Despite that fact there were large numbers of couples wishing to dine alone, every time we dined there were a number of vacant table and usually some 4's spare as well. On occasions, when tables for 2 were spare, couples were seated alone at tables for 4 and the spare settings removed (as we were on a couple of occasions. On the final formal evening, we went to have our photo taken, called for a cocktail and listened to the captain speaking. As soon as this was over we went to the Michael Angelo. We were pushed to share then told we would need to wait. One of the Head waiters said to my husband that it would not be longer that 15-20 minutes. Almost one hour later and still no sign of being called we returned and asked what was happening. The book had been closed and they had clearly forgotten to buzz us. The girl on reception came along and opened up the book, she saw that our room number had not been highlighted and went to the head waiter, he was quite short in his manner with her and did not have the courtesy to speak to us, just told her that we could go to the Michael Angelo or wait, it would be at least another ½ hour. Positives It would be wrong of me not to mention the good things, that happened. The very many lovely, pleasant, friendly and very helpful crew who cannot not do enough to make your holiday an enjoyable experience. People like, Rebekka, Richard, Franscisco, George, Melissa and Hung from the restaurants. There are so many I cannot recall all the names. Also Ian and the lovely Asian man whose name escapes me from Crooners bar, who made me forget Alejandro and Atari for a short time and allowed me to enjoy my long awaited holiday. We thought we had paid to get a "C.R.U.I.S.E" service and "escape completely",as advertised, or at least to be treated with the respect we afford to others, not total disrespect. I wrote to Princess almost 4 weeks ago to ask for assurance that not one single penny of my hard earned money, namely the gratuities, goes to either Alejandro or Atari. As yet no response. It's back to Celebrity and Royal Caribbean for us.....they know how to treat customers.... Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We just returned from a fifteen day TransAtlantic cruise on the Ruby Princess. I'd like to say it was divine,rejuvenating, relaxing and fascinating but I'd be lying. To begin with, this was my third cruise and first Trans ... Read More
We just returned from a fifteen day TransAtlantic cruise on the Ruby Princess. I'd like to say it was divine,rejuvenating, relaxing and fascinating but I'd be lying. To begin with, this was my third cruise and first Trans Atlantic voyage. My friend and I boarded in Ft Lauderdale. My first impressions of the ship were favorable. Ruby is glitzy, luxurious and enormous.She had ample flow throughsto accommodate the crowd so we never felt crowded except at the Pool on the Lido Deck where lounge chairs were grabbed up quickly,making it desirable to go to the top deck which was windy but less crowded. Ruby feels like a new ship and it was generally spotless. The service was fine and always with a smile.Our cabin, an outside balcony was small but adequate and just enough closet space for us.The first six days at sea were extremely relaxing and rejuvenating. I had a facial which was blissful but then the first sign of 'sell job' started in. I'm a guy and don't need or want a lot of creams and lotions but the facial gal really pushed hard for me to at least buy some moisturizer.Days were spent in the sun, watching the outdoor movies, working out in a well equipped and clean gym off the Lotus Spa.All the while, I had no idea that Princess had put a two thousand dollar hold on my account. For what? I still don't understand. My friends credit card was rejected even though he had gobs of money in it. Whats Up? I found that trying to get to the bottom of this with passenger services was futile. They took no responsibility for this and said they didn't do it. Well who did?Anyhow, aside from this aggravation there was the usual photographers wanting your money as well.The food was very good but not great . There were many venues to choose from and the waiters were quite professional.Another aggravation occurred in Monte Carlo where thousands of people were put into a waiting line which snaked around several times before reaching the tender. It was badly designed and this is inexcuseable. We were given a cold cloth when we reached the ship. This was a small favor but a nice touch but not enough to make up for the aggravation .As for the entertainment it was predictable poor Broadway wannabees hoofing it through some dizzying numbers and a magician who was good with his hands but we saw the woman's leg getting into the box she was supposed to be disappearing in and out of.All in all I would say that this was a favorable cruise though I am put off by Princess' Customer Relations and it seems like they get away with it.I am not apt to do a Princess Cruise again. Why should I have any aggravation to mitigate my relaxation. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
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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