Sail Date: August 2019
The food quality is going downhill from previous Princess cruises, especially in the buffet areas; but, also to some degree in the main dining rooms. The steak house was good, especially the filet. The boneless rib tasted good, but had too ... Read More
The food quality is going downhill from previous Princess cruises, especially in the buffet areas; but, also to some degree in the main dining rooms. The steak house was good, especially the filet. The boneless rib tasted good, but had too much gristle. Never found a really good desert in any dining area - except the real ice cream that you had to pay extra to get. This ship is over ten years old. The cabin furnishings are in serious need of rehab = the lampshades were literally falling apart from age. It took four days to replace a blown light bulb. The toilet was permanently stained. While an improvement from previous cruises, the Internet is slow (sometimes very slow) and sometimes intermittent. The change to a rate per day is good, but the Internet Manager is available only for two periods per day. Highly recommend getting a cabin with a tub and not a shower! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Holland America was recommended but we chose Princess instead, never again. Horizon buffet had mediocre food at times, other times it was very good. Staff ignored our needs much of our dining time, had to bus our table, find silverware and ... Read More
Holland America was recommended but we chose Princess instead, never again. Horizon buffet had mediocre food at times, other times it was very good. Staff ignored our needs much of our dining time, had to bus our table, find silverware and drinks. Other times they were ok. Anytime dining in the Da Vinci and Michelangelo was fantastic. Food was great. Excursions were OK, Ketchikan was very short. White Pass Railway was great! Fishing in Juneau was great also. Room service was great and timely every morning. Most of the on board staff had poor English speech and understanding of what we would say. Shipboard announcements were mostly not understandable and couldn’t be heard in our cabin. Our only other cruise was with Carnival in the Caribbean and we had virtually none of these issues. Our next cruise will be investigated more closely. While your experience with Princess may vary I will certainly not chose this line for another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This will likely be our last Princess cruise. Our ship was outdated and not special. We cruised on Princess 10 years ago and it felt very special and grand. All that magic was gone this time. -The last day several staff members ... Read More
This will likely be our last Princess cruise. Our ship was outdated and not special. We cruised on Princess 10 years ago and it felt very special and grand. All that magic was gone this time. -The last day several staff members were rude to us. They seemed short on patience in general but all bets were off on that last day. -Items were left in cabin from the family ahead of us. -Buffet was OKAY at best. -Paid ahead of time to have the stuffed moose in the cabin for our kids. Instead they got a vouchure to go downstairs and pick up their moose. I thought maybe the staff would make it special but no...."Here's your moose." I'm still not sure what the point of paying ahead for that was? -WHY DO YOU CHARGE FOR WATER?!? I still don't understand why the FULL BEVERAGE package doesn't include bottled water? -Everything feels like a scam. It all comes with a sales pitch. Free mini facials, cocktails with the captain....SALES PITCH. Speaking of this if you don't want people to come in the jewelry store ON THIS SHIP for their free necklaces then don't put flyers about it under the door. I expect that aggressive behavior from the shops on land but not on the boat and not towards two 8 year old girls. -We had a large group of 15 and were never able to sit together at dinner. It was always 2 separate tables. I guess that's about it. I will say they get you on and off the boat a lot quicker these days. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We lucked out with the weather. Spectacular sceneries. Great company. Everyone friendly. I am a frequent cruiser, been on different cruise lines; sorry to say that Princess isn't my top choice. Compare to Celebrity: Princess ... Read More
We lucked out with the weather. Spectacular sceneries. Great company. Everyone friendly. I am a frequent cruiser, been on different cruise lines; sorry to say that Princess isn't my top choice. Compare to Celebrity: Princess Ruby ( and Regal) has smaller cabin, their mini suite that my sister used is same size as a stateroom balcony on Celebrity. Food quality in Dinning room is mediocre. Food in buffet is a hit or miss . We ate @ the Crowne Grill, the food was good, but the service was poor. The waiter jr was serving the drinks, she served Martini in a regular glass, and she was having a problem understanding what we were trying to order. The waiter was rushing to take our orders after he made us wait a long time to come to our table , eventhough the dinning room was almost empty. Entertainment again mediocre. Photo Gallery: a RIP off. $25/photo, no deals. On Celebrity $15, if you buy more we get all kind of deals. I am not bitter or mad, just writing an honest review. One more thing, if you buy pop can(6) package on line, you have to order them to your cabin, and take a can with you ( in your purse ) to dinner anywhere on the ship, or else they will charge you. Better order soft drinks from fountain. Liquor and wine package much much more expensive than Celebrity. Do not book on Lido deck15),specifically front of the ship, the gym will be right above you, you can hear weights being dropped at all hours. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose Princess because we had always heard that Princess really dominates in Alaska. We could not tell that, especially since our Princess ship was usually docked the farthest from the main downtown areas of each port. And there were ... Read More
We chose Princess because we had always heard that Princess really dominates in Alaska. We could not tell that, especially since our Princess ship was usually docked the farthest from the main downtown areas of each port. And there were certainly other ships that joined us on the same route into Glacier Bay. We enjoyed our Princess excursions but would have appreciated knowing before hand that the only probability of seeing whales in late July was in Juneau. We booked helicopter to glacier and dog sledding and loved it, but never saw a whale at all on our cruise. We did our water excursion down in Ketchikan and were told that we should have booked water excursion in Juneau if we wanted to see whales this time of year. Our very first cruise 13 years ago was on Princess and we still remember how wonderful the food was. This time, not at all. Very limited menus and dishes were odd and not well prepared. Hamburgers were average and my son did not like the pizza. Steakhouse and Share were good but not fabulous. Bartenders really had better things to do rather than acknowledge our presence or ask what we would like. Main dining staff were excellent and our cabin steward was wonderful. Comedian was not great and my son did not enjoy the teen area very much. He mostly watched movies in the room and ordered room service and they could not even get a kid's cheese quesadilla or grilled cheese sandwich correct. The quesadilla (kids) came with tons of onions and spices. The grilled cheese was two pieces of toast with un-melted cheese in the middle. He was very bored on Ruby Princess and staff even agreed that at 15, they could totally understand that. Most music was for an older generation and we are in our 50s so we did not enjoy that either. Movies Under the Stars were all things we've seen a million times or did not even recognize. On the plus side, the bed was so comfortable I got the best sleep of my life onboard. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise for ship size and itinerary. The itinerary is GREAT. We loved the ports of call and the time in Glacier Bay was fantastic. We purchased our excursions through Princess and were happy with all of them. That is really ... Read More
We chose this cruise for ship size and itinerary. The itinerary is GREAT. We loved the ports of call and the time in Glacier Bay was fantastic. We purchased our excursions through Princess and were happy with all of them. That is really where my rave review ends. The experience on the ship itself just wasn't worth the money in my opinion. Things are not well explained, the events/activities are subpar - many of them didn't run on time or were located in strange areas on the ship and way way too many of them sounded fun only to end up being essentially sales pitches. The Alaska specific programs were pretty good - naturalist and the park service - both very good info though with a bit of a political slant undertone which irritated a couple of people in our group. The ship itself is basic and nice. The food is abundant and pretty typical - good, but not outstanding, with the exception of the room service options which are slim and frankly terrible. The kids program sounds really fun online, but the actual activities weren't all that appealing to my 11 year old and the center is closed both at meal times and for family events which was strange and resulted in her missing several of the few things that she did want to do because either we hadn't realized she needed a parent with her to be allowed in or we were eating as a group at a different time then their meal time closure so she missed the programing around it. If you chose this cruise do it for the itinerary with little expectation of the ship programing and service. As with a lot of cruises also be prepared to feel nickeled and dimed - specialty restaurants, spa, and alcohol aside as we expected those, we did not expect things like hot chocolate, ice cream sandwiches, certain burgers, and fitness classes to be extra charges - it's irritating to spend thousands for a vacation and then be charged a dollar here and $8 there. Even the wine tasting at $25pp was a bit ridiculous given the overall spend. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We are seniors. Our adult daughter and active 6 year old granddaughter accompanied us but stayed in an ocean view cabin. This was our 11 cruise 6th with Princess. We prefer Princess due to the piazza/international cafe layout of the ... Read More
We are seniors. Our adult daughter and active 6 year old granddaughter accompanied us but stayed in an ocean view cabin. This was our 11 cruise 6th with Princess. We prefer Princess due to the piazza/international cafe layout of the vessels. Except for our cabin most things worked out well. I will review our cabin setbacks in a subsequent heading. This was our 3rd. cruise to Alaska. One prior with HAL the others with Princess. We flew to Seattle from Burbank, Ca. Seattle airport can be confusing but Princess staff did well in guiding us to our shuttles. Embarkation was simple although photographers stopping passengers navigating the gangway are a problem which hinders everyone. We just went around them. Our cabin was ready and Jeremiah the cabin steward was excellent. He was welcoming and respectful of us seniors. He was able to rectify the multiple problems we encountered with our cabin. More on such later. Since every Princess ship we have sailed has the same familiar layout we felt at home. I have read some criticism of the food in the Horizon court. I disagree. The food is tastier and more varied than the Main dining room. I think many who criticize are unwilling to try the very flavorable Asian and other ethnic dishes available. One problem is getting beverages. Some staff only bus tables others set tables and others bring us drinks for our meals. We do not know who does what and at times were ignored. We got "It's not my job looks" not good. The staff in the Horizon serving area were great. They got fruit loops for my granddaughter when they were not on display. Another time I asked for bagels and cream cheese to go with the great salmon being served. Even though it was lunch and bagels and cream cheese are served with breakfast, staff quickly obtained such. Very nice. We had previously been on a Princess ship which had anytime dining. It was a disaster since not enough spaces were available thus long waiting lines. This ship had two dining rooms available for such. We never waited for more than 3 minutes. Most of the Main dining room items were bland but OK. My daughter has food allergies and Hamit, the Maitre D personally helped her arrange her meals. He was wonderful with her and I salute him. The waiters were also patient with my active and fussy 6 year old granddaughter. The entertainment of board was very good. The production shows may be deemed "cheesy" but they were totally appropriate for the many families and children on board. There was always some activity in the Piazza to keep you entertained. The bank Leal was excellent as well as the piano player and the Irish folk singer. The only complaint sans my cabin was the arrival time in Victoria of 7:30pm. No time to see Butchart Gardens. The whale watching was great for all ages to view. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I had cruised on Princess before. Service by all staff was very good. Some processes could use improvement such as new 'intranet' event and messenger service needs to have extensive staff training so someone other than just ... Read More
I had cruised on Princess before. Service by all staff was very good. Some processes could use improvement such as new 'intranet' event and messenger service needs to have extensive staff training so someone other than just internet staff can help you get set-up and get started. It could be a real asset, but only internet staff was able to help with set-up as directions have a couple missing steps. Messenger facility needs to provide a notification that you have a message. Food was not as good as on previous cruise. It was mostly tasteless, even the desserts. Crown Grill was good, but Share by Curtis Stone gives VERY small servings and the sauces are way too heavy. The decor of Share was lovely though. We had 3 in our party in a mini suite. Room was nice, but I was the unlucky one to sleep on sofa sleeper which did not have an adequate mattress and I had to sleep on just the sofa all week. Luckily the back cushions come off to give a twin size bed size, but a thick under pad would have made sleeping much more comfortable. I had a back ache all week, not the sleep experience they advertise. Itinerary was good for a short cruise and Alaska is beautiful. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted to take our kids and grandkids to Alaska. This cruise fit their schedules. Food was poor to mediocre. One breakfast at Horizon Court is an example. Eggs, cheese slices and bread all the same temperature then I was served cold ... Read More
We wanted to take our kids and grandkids to Alaska. This cruise fit their schedules. Food was poor to mediocre. One breakfast at Horizon Court is an example. Eggs, cheese slices and bread all the same temperature then I was served cold coffee, very diluted orange juice and "ice water" with 2 small ice cubes floating in it. Service carts in hallways made passage difficult, I often had to fold up my wife's walker and carry it. Room attendant and dining room servers were pushy and rude at times. Almost forced to buy bottled drinking water, which was not only extremely overpriced but then they added an 18% "gratuity" to bottled water,. Could no longer order ice water from room service, even with food. Disimbarkation was like a "Chinese fire drill", completely disorganized. On shore excursion in Kechikan, nobody knew where we needed to go or how we were supposed to get to the venue except by walking several blocks, my wife is mobility challenged. Someone finally did get a cab for us but it was very frustrating. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Embarkation and disembarkation was fine. My husband has special assistance and everything was stress free and easy. However, the cruise was ok. The first night we decided to eat in the anytime dining restaurant and we were not at all ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation was fine. My husband has special assistance and everything was stress free and easy. However, the cruise was ok. The first night we decided to eat in the anytime dining restaurant and we were not at all impressed. The waiter gave us the impression that we shouldn't have been there and the food was mediocre. In fact my husband left his and we went up to the buffet area of the ship where we did get something to eat. We found the food in the buffet okay and the waiters were very pleasant and helpful. We did go back to eat in the anytime dining restaurant towards the end of the cruise and the service and the food was totally different. If we had had the same service on the first night we might have gone there every night. My husband smokes and the on board smoking area on the upper deck was not kept clean and tidy and although he complained to an officer twice nothing was done about it. We didn't see any of the shows in the theatre but we did enjoy Tommy McPhee in the Crooners bar. out of the 7 nights we were on board we listened to him on 5. We decided that we would not take any of the excursions offered by the ship but wanted to visit the places where we stopped and take in the local atmosphere. The last port of call was Victoria but we docked at 7 at night which we felt was a waste of time as the sun set at 8.30 and the shuttle buses were $15 each. My husband did have to visit the medical facility while on board (he had got dirt in his eye and it had scratched it) and we cannot praise them highly enough. They were very thorough and he had to go back the following day to make sure that everything was healing. The scenery was stunning and the wildlife was amazing. Eagles, otters, ump backed whales, dolphins to name just a few. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Embarkation was very easy as we were assisted through the process as I am disabled. Rooms weren't ready once on the ship so we had to cart our carry-on luggage around until the rooms were ready. The staff lady that was in charge of ... Read More
Embarkation was very easy as we were assisted through the process as I am disabled. Rooms weren't ready once on the ship so we had to cart our carry-on luggage around until the rooms were ready. The staff lady that was in charge of monitoring people in the food line was rude in the way she addressed people nibbling on a french fry while going through the line but didn't much care about people sanitizing their hands prior (happened throughout the cruise). Food was very so-so at the buffet throughout the cruise and didn't change much in options. Service once seated was also so-so. Steak House on Mother's Day was awesome. Each mother received champaign and a rose. Very nice touch!! Staff and food was great, worth the $29.00 pp charge. Dining room was a hit and miss depending on where you sat during Anytime Dinning. Food once again was ok, but not what I consider Princess Cruise Lines standards. Breakfast staff needs to wake up and be attentive. Customer service and smiles where very lacking on this ship. We took Kayak Excursion in Juneau, very misleading. This tour is for beginners and our group just floated around seeing the glacier off in the distance. Not worth the money in my opinion. If you have the time take a walk to the Whale Statue by the bridge, very nice. Skagway never disappoints. Very nice town with a lot of good excursions. I have taken the Ocean Raft Adventure excursion numerous times and this company is the best!! Captain Jen never disappoints!! Next stop was Glacier Bay Cruising. Awesome....pictures cannot do justice to this place. Ketchikan we snorkeled. Yes, our families thought we were crazy too. This excursion was great! Small group as people need to be openminded and do this. Snorkel Alaska is a great company, very attentive and showed up a lot of sea life. Think 45 degree water would be cold swimming around in, we did too until we tried this. Very nice in proper gear provided by the company. Must try this one!! We were dropped off downtown on our way back to the ship and was referred stop by the Asylum Bar before returning to the ship. Very nice establishment. If you have time, stop in and say hi. Very friendly owner and staff. Not enough time in port but nice. Last stop was Victoria BC. Weird early evening stop. Had to wait before going ashore. Time we boarded the bus to Butchart Gardens sun was going down. Victoria is very beautiful and our bus driver was very knowledgable. Gardens were well worth the trip but didn't have time to enjoy it as we weren't in port long enough. It's a 40-45 minute drive to the Gardens one way. (7 PM - 11 PM port time). Arrived back on ship to find all the places to eat on ship were closed except the International Cafe, with a chicken sandwich with very little chicken. Story of our cruise. Forgot to put on the survey to Princess...If you want to sit in a hot tub onboard, they only had 1 open per day, all the others were closed. Get there early or they were filthy. Kind of disappointed with the cruise staff and food. Still had a good time overall. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We wanted to go to Canada and this seemed like a good approach. The ship was in good condition. Food was ok. Buffet is split into two adjacent sections and it was a challenge to find seating a couple of times. The setup for the Lotus ... Read More
We wanted to go to Canada and this seemed like a good approach. The ship was in good condition. Food was ok. Buffet is split into two adjacent sections and it was a challenge to find seating a couple of times. The setup for the Lotus pool was bizarre. You can see it from the hallway in Lotus Spa but the doors are kept locked. I wanted to use the hot tub beside the pool and I asked the hostess at the spa when it opens and she said that she did not know. There aren't any signs stating when the hottub opens and I ended up asking a ship officer and he said it should already be open, but it was not. It opened about 15 minutes later. To access the pool, go up a flight of stairs, walk across the deck, then go down a flight of stairs. Good exercise but convoluted. There were other times when we tried to go someplace and had to take an indirect route. This is common on almost every ship that I have been on but the Ruby Princess has more than it's share. The production shows were ok. I went to see a presentation on a new ship and it was a video followed by the Princess dancers, the Princess orchestra. I left at that point. We did the Panama Canal on the Island Princess around Christmas last year. We really enjoyed that cruise and did not want it to end. For our Ruby Princess, we were glad that it was over. Our experience was not bad, just meh. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We were delighted to do round trip cruise out of San Pedro but disappointed in changes since our last princess cruise. We either book mini suites or the Caribe deck for its large balcony. The Ruby was refurbished and loved the new ... Read More
We were delighted to do round trip cruise out of San Pedro but disappointed in changes since our last princess cruise. We either book mini suites or the Caribe deck for its large balcony. The Ruby was refurbished and loved the new large screen tv and on demand. We hated that there was only one desk chair in a balcony room and no longer a padded comfortable chair. Two passengers in a room where are we supposed to sit? One of us would sit or lie on bed and other at desk. Really Princess two passengers and one chair. We noticed our elite gift bag was missing some of the usual toiletries like hair conditioner and room mist. Our cabin steward was excellent and kept ice in refrigerator two times a day. Our cabin was cleaned and serviced twice a day and he was eager to please. We saw lots of cutbacks in food selection and quality. Butter had to be requested in dining room for rolls. Same choices over and over in buffet. Steaks have a charge now in regular dining room. Pizza was outstanding on pool deck. We cruise Alaska every year and being able to do so without a flight is a big incentive but quality is another. Come on Princess think of what your cuts are resulting in? Unhappy passengers Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because it left from the Port of L.A. and returned to same Port plus we liked all of the ports that were visited over the 12 days. We live in L.A. so this made it very convenient. The ship itself felt very outdated. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it left from the Port of L.A. and returned to same Port plus we liked all of the ports that were visited over the 12 days. We live in L.A. so this made it very convenient. The ship itself felt very outdated. The Jacuzzis were constantly being shut down randomly for no apparent reason. This being a cold weather cruise, we looked forward to spending out time in the spas/jacuzzis. The HOT sauna was constantly broken. The robo calls to the room from the Lotus Spa were excessive and inappropriate We received 2 and if I hadn't complained, they might of continued calling our room. This ship seemed old, out of date and in need of upgrades. Embarkation was confusing and disorganized. I am in a wheelchair and couldn't find support on where to go and even difficult to flag down a porter. The thermostat inside the stateroom was difficult to keep at a low temperature. it was always very stuffy. Toilets backed up easily in our room. The Staff was pleasant. We found the entertainment lacking with only 30 minute shows. We learned the hydraulics on the main stage were broken and had been for some time so the shows were tailored.. unfortunately not in the guests favor. The ship felt very crowded all the time especially in the common areas were there was always picture taking happening.. of course for you to buy later. Offensive ART MURAL FRAMED PICTURE outside explorers lounge-PICTURE OF bull elephant fighting- killing SCENE. SHOULD BE REMOVED AND REPLACED WITH MORE APPEALING ART WORK This was the first ship of the season so it was nice to be at the ports without all the congestions. Unfortunately the salmon were not running during this time. Loud "good morning: GREETINGS BY STAFF IN THE HALLWAYS in the morning TO PASSENGERS AS THEY PASSED NEAR THEM...HALLWAYS NEAR STATEROOMS AT 7 AND 8 AM- NOT COOL- STAFF SHOULD BE ADVISED TO HAVE SENSE OF DECORUM IN THE MORNING AND TO KEEP VOICES LOW. OK TO SAY HELLO BUT NOT AT TOP OF LUNGS. We are not foodies but the options for dairy free/vegan was not apparent. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Chose this ship for its round trip out of Los Angeles to Alaska itinerary. Have previously done a one way inside passage. Embarkation- Flew in the day of the cruise from the East coast and took an uber. No problems, had a great Uber ... Read More
Chose this ship for its round trip out of Los Angeles to Alaska itinerary. Have previously done a one way inside passage. Embarkation- Flew in the day of the cruise from the East coast and took an uber. No problems, had a great Uber driver, booked air through Princess EZ air, no issues. Cabin was on Aloha deck, Balcony, standard, 1 chair at desk, 2 on balcony, no extra chair in room so you had to sit on bed if chair in use. Storage space limited. Bathroom appears small even by Princess standards. Balcony was nicely sized, door worked well and was easy to open and close, TV worked well. Safe in working order, standard mini fridge. Our pre-ordered cases of water were in the room upon arrival. The stocked minibar for Elite was not quite as plentiful as prior cruises. Beds were soooo comfy! Our room steward Rodelio was absolutely wonderful! The ship itself, has a lovely interior, the exterior is weathered and showing her age. The consensus amongst passengers myself included is that the ship was very crowded and finding a place to sit in the buffet, or international cafe bordered on ridiculous. Im not sure if they have removed some of the chairs or just redesigned the seating but it doesn't work very well. Nevermind the elevators. (a word to the wise- sometimes it is easier to just go the opposite direction to get on the elevator than fight the masses- at least you will be on the elevator) The Internet- Okay Im blond lets just get that out of the way shall we, the internet is quick once you get on, but and i mean BUT make sure you log off. If you somehow opened a window and that window got shut and you didn't log off before you shut that window well guess what - you will lose your minutes (I'm talking about complimentary minutes not the package) I went down and spoke with IT they reset my minutes and the IT said make sure you log out many times if needed. I repeat verbatim "many times if needed" clearly this isn't an uncommon issue. Still, it happened again today and I really don't want to go downstairs to IT again. Im just over it. I am very glad that they have a fast internet now because it use to take 10 minutes just to get on. (now it just takes ten minutes to get off) Dining Room- Uh Oh... okay so lets start with sea day breakfast, limited choices and while food was not bad, but it wasn't great. On some other lines you go to the dining room because you think it is better than what is in the buffet but sadly that is not the case for breakfast here. Sauces were flat, while breakfast breads were offered it was not until 10-15 minutes later that butter was offered and then 5 minutes later jam/marmalade which wasn't helpful since the bread was already eaten. Things appeared very disorganized. Dinner- Anytime dining- can make reservations at 8am the day of on reservation line ( if you want to eat at a table for 2 this is especially important on formal nights) Dinner choices were average, some dinners were good while others were just okay. We did eat in the specialty dining many nights. Yes there is still lobster on the last formal night. Princess still does a good Creme Brûlée. Specialty Dining- CROWN GRILL- Our first night at Crown grill was incredibly disappointing, i don't know if the chef was sick or what happened but it was not up to standards however, every restaurant gets a free pass because sometimes stuff just happens and we did not say anything. We did eat there several more times and it was very good. I had the lamb and it was outstanding! (incidentally I did not have lamb that first night) The tomato/goat cheese salad is delicious. Our waiter Wilfred was wonderful SHARE- Decided to try Share for something different. Nice location on the ship, the menu was explained to us, 6 courses. I had the Charcuterie with the duck Proscuitto, very very good- please know that the pepper spread has a health kick to it. If you don't like spicy things don't get it. Really delicious. Tomato and Buratta salad is one of the tastiest salads I had all week, really yummy. The soup had beets, I don't remember exactly what it was called but it turned red when you stirred it, It was also tasty. The duck was my main, and I did not care for it, the skin was nice and crispy, the duck was moist but the flavors just didn't seem to work well, almost seemed to have an artificial smoke flavor to it. Got the cheesecake for dessert and it was good but didn't wow. Im glad I tried SHARE but I would not do it again. Casino- Casino is so tight it squeaks, I'm actually going to cancel my players club cruise in October because my experience in the casino was so bad on this ship (way better perks from other lines) Shows-did not attend any PORTS- Ketchikan- we got off briefly walked to the usual tourist shops, got back on, pretty mundane Juneau- got crocked at the red dog, had a great time, ate crab at Tracy's had a wonderful day, spent entirely too much money but have many great memories. Lots to do Skagway- Did Whitepass Railway- cold not have asked for a more beautiful day, well worth the money, absolutely gorgeous!!!! We were the first train of the day, guides are fresh, morning glow on the mountains. Debarkation- Im still on the ship but If there is a catastrophe I will let you know Overall- I still like the atmosphere on Princess, the ships are beautiful and not tacky, the staff are wonderful, the itineraries are great. There is no one single big thing that makes me not want to cruise with them but more a series of little irks. I feel like I am getting less value for my money, more nickel and diming. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Within a few days of Princess releasing the 2019 schedule, found a cruise that met our needs. Ruby Princess, doing round trip to Alaska out of Los Angeles on 4/23/19. We now require an accessible cabin due to mobility issues. We prefer ... Read More
Within a few days of Princess releasing the 2019 schedule, found a cruise that met our needs. Ruby Princess, doing round trip to Alaska out of Los Angeles on 4/23/19. We now require an accessible cabin due to mobility issues. We prefer the Caribe deck, due to the setback of the superstructure. I call and secure one of the three accessible cabins left. 565 days out and as usual, Princess is asking full price for newly listed cruises. Over the next year we get new passports with only two weeks turn around. By chance I find that they have used our cabin as the example of an accessible cabin https://www.cruisecritic.com/photos/ships/ruby-princess-443/accessible-balcony-cabin-276108/accessible-balcony-cabin--v12728343/ As time goes by, we take advantage of two price drops. 75 days out, news groups going nuts about the one comfortable chair being removed from most of Princess’ balcony cabins. Questioned Princess on this policy since we require it, I was basically told too bad. On a second call speaking to an executive assistant, I was told that because I have a accessible cabin, that chair may or may not still be there, they simply have no idea at corporate what is happening on their ships. Still hoping on having a good time, without having to stand. 60 days out and the emails start. “Information about your cruise” from Princess. Cancellation?, change in itinerary?, cabin reassignment? Each time a flutter of anxiety I see it in the inbox. Soon learn this is Princess’ way of trying to get into my wallet before the cruise. Wine, excursions, specialty restaurants etc etc. I quickly learn to glance at them before hitting delete. Embarkation day has arrived. Get a late start out of the house, at the docks “rush hour” has already started. Utter bedlam from people not knowing where to drive, stop, park or drop off passengers/baggage. Inside the cruise center total calm, walk right up to the desk, have passport scanned and have cruise cards within seconds. Slight bottle neck at security because of the number of pax arriving. On the ship in about 90 minutes from when we left the house, far from a record, but nothing to complain about. Point of interest, I had two power strips (not surge protectors) in my carry on, no issue by x-ray or security. At some point after we pass through, new policy takes effect with security checkpoint. ANYTHING looking like a power strip is being confiscated and a receipt being issued. Attention Princess, while they are not your direct employees, security is your representatives and some education is needed. Since we ran into same situation over ten years ago and there has been no improvement. I predict there will be no action from Princess now. Another “new” policy is in place on the ship, fire doors going to cabin walkways are closed. All 3000+ pax are directed to the public areas on decks 7 and 15. To avoid the masses we grab a table near the Trident grill near open sky. We enjoy a bite to eat and start our favorite past time onboard, people watching. I will take this time to point out I’m not a millennial or generation X’er by any means. We retired three years ago, but looking around, I feel like I’ve been dropped into a convention of Wal-Mart greeters who have been terminated due to age. The wife, who notices these things, has counted less than twenty children in total. I have a feeling they will soon be bored. Just an observation, the vast number of passengers fall into two groups: retired Americans or younger foreign tourists, mostly from Asia. Per two crew members, the average age of this voyage is 65 years. Seems the common dinner conversation concerns medical procedures, prescriptions and what relative has recently died. Not all passengers observe the same dinning etiquette and a lot of food has been seen going into bags headed back to the cabins. To some, the idea of getting in line for services is foolish. Much simpler just to step in front of everyone. At times just getting from A to B is an obstacle course going around people who change direction without looking or just suddenly stop in their tracks in front of you. My wife and others using mobility devices seem invisible to the crowd. About 90 minutes pass and by chance I discover cabins have been made available, no PA announcement was made. Before running off to customer service, I check and find the “barrel chair”, removed from almost all balconies is still in this cabin. Only upgrade to the cabin is the 43” LG television mounted on the desk surface above the refrigerator. Doing my best Houdini impersonation, I am able to get a hand to the left side to plug in a HDMI cable. All that effort for knout, this TV is set to “hotel mode”, no changes possible. Won’t be able to watch media off my lap top. Old habits still die hard, first morning I awake at the usual 6:30 AM to a beautiful sunrise. At7:45 AM, the PA gongs and the Captain twice makes an announcement of a medical emergency C255, which is twenty five feet forward from us. No matter the emergency, I know I am of no use to the situation. But of course curiosity makes me open the cabin door and look up the hallway the two doors to C255. No yelling, crying, alarms or flashing lights, had I heard wrong? 7:47 I hear the thumping of running feet coming from every direction. Brown, blue and white uniforms race by. Radios, medical equipment and a gurney are there in a span of seconds. Medical goes to the cabin and security takes over the hallway. This is happening at the forward bank of four elevators. They lock up three of the four to keep anyone from stepping off this deck and the fourth is kept open for transporting the patient. More security is dispatched as far back as mid-ship in this corridor to keep passengers and the curious away. Through the peephole there are 7-9 people standing around for an extended period of time. Around 8:20 AM an empty gurney is taken aft via the confines of the Caribe hallway. Our steward, Damodar Sheldekar (who did exceptional job), later stated that the passenger was in medical getting treatment. Four days later I see two people on 255’s balcony, a full recovery? FOOD I’m not going to say the food was disappointing, just adequate. Basic ingredients prepared various ways. Chicken done Italian, French, Asian, Mexican or Indian is still chicken. First three nights, the menu for the main dining room appeared just tired and boring. Didn’t bother to get “dressed up” and just did Horizon and Crown grill on first formal night. Crown was a ghost town, only five other tables occupied. This was an example for the entire cruise. Fourth night we relented and went to dining room. I again am proven wrong in the need to “clean up”. Jeans, T-shirts, jogging suits and even ball caps are seen in the room. Feel overdressed in dress shirt and slacks. Nine years ago you always went to the main dining room, now there has to be something interesting/special on the menu. Horizon Court, Café Caribe, International Café, Trident Grill, Slices and room service deliver as advertised. As a side note, don’t disrespect the ingredients. We both made the mistake of ordering lobster 2nd formal night. Extremely tough from either over cooking or being held at too high a heat after the cooking process. On second formal night we were seated just before the “Baked Alaska” presentation. Was not impressed by the electric candles stuck in a fake pies. Entertainment? The “Main Offenders” keyboard, two guitars, drummer and female lead who must use iPad for the lyrics. Four fair musicians in search of an adequate front person. AJ Jamal, solid stand up comedian. TWO separate 45 minute sets on different nights. Very unusual to have 90 minutes of material. David Guidice, a “good” piano bar performer. Put into the theater, backed by seven member ship band that’s amplified. Then add reverb to the vocal, computerized moving lights and some fog. Three more shows in the much smaller Explorers. Learned later he’s been doing the cruise circuit for over eleven years. Jack Lee and The Ruby Princess Showband. The above mentioned seven piece back up band steps out on their own. No special effects, reverb or over amplification. Straight music by guys doing their thing, not the charts brought on by the hired help who get off at the next port. Hello Princess, you have an untapped resource here, use them. Tricia Kelly, another Las Vegas lounge act dropped into a theatre setting. Elyse Branch, gave a solid Motown review Medallion Net, I can only compare to experience nine years ago. True, no “dead zones”, but same slow speed. Forget streaming, two minutes from log on to get to first email, 30 seconds just to load a page. “System” was down for over seven hours one night. Another night it took 2:19 to log on, then 12 minutes to retrieve ONE email and write a two line reply. We had complimentary minutes; if we had paid out of pocket for this poor service I would be demanding a refund. Slow service was experienced on two iPhones, lap top and Kindle Fire. On Demand, I have both Netflix and Amazon Prime. Had seen almost all the films offered. On demand movies in roo is far cheaper than having fresh live acts. KETCHIKAN Princess ties up at Berth 4, street construction to the South or is it cheaper. Sales people have taken position at the foot of the gangway, however are not pushy at all. First ship of the season and there is a lot of “on the job training” around the docks. Tourists haven’t spoiled it. JUNEAU Again Princess ties up at the furthest dock away from town. Next to the Chevron fuel dump that has it’s own stench that drove passengers off their balconies. Several thousand feet from town, cheaper or Princess wants you to observe the homeless while you walk to town? More excursion booths at the dock, but salespeople a little more aggressive. Have lunch at a place looking over the sea plane operation, do some shopping then back to the ship. SKAGWAY Due to landslide, the primary dock is unavailable for the foreseeable future. Have to walk to the train for the only Princess backed excursion that is accessible. Wonderful small town, can’t imagine the place over run by three or four ships. Lunch at the new “Sweet Tooth” Café, sign says they close at 2 P.M., they will quickly learn to stay open while tourists are walking around to save for that long cold winter. This will always be a small town. OBSERVATIONS We have been away from cruising and Princess for nine years, I can only go by my own past experience. Princess has changed their target demographics to an older crowd. If it were just this cruise, it would not explain the shift of the dinner service fleet wide to earlier times. There were a couple of days of warm weather at the start and end of the cruise, yet this cruise had the least number of physical actives we have experienced. Musical acts concentrate on songs 40-60 years old. While speaking of musical acts, adding fog, reverb and 60 computerized spotlights to a so-so act still leaves you with a so-so act. My opinion the stripped down sets by the ship’s band were far better than any other act We had already experienced the Princess onboard sales pitches of a decade ago, but that has quadruped. Hard sales pitch while eating breakfast and dinner. Almost every organized event ends with some ship’s store “sale” sepal. As I write this, it’s day ten of twelve day cruise. I have collected close to an inch of ads shoved under my door. Oh, another issue. As stated we are in an accessible cabin. Whose bright idea was it to remove the “mail box”. There are quite a few people on this ship who can’t do the simple act of picking up anything from the floor. The idea of charging more for a specialty restaurant is fine, except there still has to be value. I am speaking from experiencing the first offerings so many years ago. A screened off section of Horizon Court called “Sterling Steak House” for the exorbitant surcharge of $5.00 getting huge steaks with large sides. Rather off putting paying $29.00 at the “Crown Grill” for a $15 steak and a bowl of potatoes and vegetables. As stated before the place was deserted at dinner. Another side note, same venue used for “English Pub Lunch” with the same wait staff. The airs of a high end restaurant disappeared quickly as a two hour line snaked from the entrance. Looked like a toy store on “Black Friday” with waiters confusing what orders to what tables right off the bat. Cruise director and staff were both approachable and knowledgeable of ship’s activities. Although at times some events were questionable for upper end cruise line; paper planes or egg drops………Please disregard comment about paper airplanes. Just saw over 200 people entertained by 50 pieces of paper thrown off deck 6. Princess requires separate form NOW should you be bringing mobility device on board for each cruise. Why not ask for letter of need/requirement of accessible cabins. You keep records of past passenger’s information, this would be a onetime verification and data entry. To get to the balcony of this accessible cabin, a narrow metal plate falls into place to bridge the gap between the inside/outside ramps. Great idea, except the only way to retract this plate is to reach down and lift it up with a finger. If there was a mechanism to lift this plate, it was broken a long time ago. Can’t comment about others, but my wife is physically unable to this maneuver. Princess still “offers” coin operated washer/dryers. Very useful on extended cruises, easily reduces amount of packed clothing over 50%. Although the machines look like the originals from the ship’s maiden voyage, the cost has increased over 100% since our last cruise. $3.00 wash with inadequate spin cycle resulting in a sodden load. Another $3.00 for a 35 minute dryer cycle on high to get a warm damp load that ended up being hung about the cabin. Can I bet a large some of money that Princess will soon totally do away with the laundromat, forcing passengers to use the more profitable ship’s laundry. Bottom Line Been away from cruising close to nine years, but have been on twelve Princess cruises for a total of 100 days. I know what cruising on Princess WAS. I can only say that except from crew performance, this cruise was of a lesser quality. From conversations with others and this experience, it is unknown if we will return. I do know I would not recommend Princess to a relative or friend at this point. I do know a large number of passengers on this cruise volunteered they will not be returning to Princess. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Overall, we had a pleasant cruise. In all fairness I do hold Princess to a higher standard than, say, NCL. We got the distinct feeling we were dealing with a crew where most were in training. They lacked attention to detail and ... Read More
Overall, we had a pleasant cruise. In all fairness I do hold Princess to a higher standard than, say, NCL. We got the distinct feeling we were dealing with a crew where most were in training. They lacked attention to detail and knowledge, which improved somewhat over the period of the trip. The ship was just not is the best shape. Rust stains were prevalent, and most of the trip included a rather unpleasant sewer smell near the bow and upper-exterior decks. Food quality and variety were excellent, with the exception of the poor coffee in the Buffet. There was always something going on. Bars were themed and very comfortable. Alcohol drinks reflected variety and creativity. Cabins were very comfortable, and housekeeping service was excellent. We really enjoyed the overall layout of interior and exterior public areas on the Ruby. There was no overall central large pool, instead a number of smaller, sectioned areas that allowed for cruisers with different tastes to gather. The same can be said for the sprinkling of Bars throughout the ship. Entertainment was very nice, but nothing wowed us like our first Princess cruise that included Jeff Dunham and an Elton John impersonator. Mark, the Naturalist, and Tiki Dave, the Cultural guy, were the best, being both entertaining and informative. We continue to be underwhelmed and mystified by the need for all the shopping and art auctions on board. Ports were fine. One change we would consider would be to rent a car, especially to visit the Arizona Monument. Our tour drove us there and left us for 3 hours. Since the tour bus got there last, we did not get to take the boat tour, then were stuck waiting as the monument grounds do not take 3 hours to see. Lahaina was the best! Just get off the ship and wander around. No need for tours. People were friendly, and local dining and shopping were plentiful and reasonable. Make a point to walk into Kohola Brewing for a pint of excellent beer. We are cautious about taking a third Princess Cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
My wife and I wanted a "special" trip for our 50th anniversary. We have been cruising for 40 years now and enjoy the experience. We elected to go to Hawaii and wanted a round trip cruise. That fact limited us to only two ... Read More
My wife and I wanted a "special" trip for our 50th anniversary. We have been cruising for 40 years now and enjoy the experience. We elected to go to Hawaii and wanted a round trip cruise. That fact limited us to only two cruise lines Princess and Carnival. The wife said to look at the trip as a celebration not a vacation. We thought since both lines belonged to the Carnival corporation the Princess cruise would be a little more upscale. We chose a Club Class Mini-Suite and air transportation arranged by Princess. The Club Class upgrade included Priority Boarding, I expected the same benefits as Carnival's Faster-2-Fun boarding. Not so, just a different check-in desk. No priority room preparation, no quick luggage delivery, no priority on excursions, and no speedier disembarkation. I'm sure Princess has a target cliental. If that is the case, my wife and I do not fit the criteria. As I said we were celebrating 50th years of marriage and are not all that young. However, we are young at heart, able to walk, like to smile, and do not believe the way to elevate your social stature is to belittle the ship's staff. We found a majority of the passengers were not smiling, used a cane or walker, were rude, and ready to complain about any topic. There were some great things on the ship in spite of the depressing overall attitude of many passengers. The Club Class dining venue was a shining star of service and attitude. Our cabin steward was excellent and kept the cabin in pristine order at all times. Maybe our expectations were just set too high. We expected to "Come Back New". We came back looking for a "Fun Ship". Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Every year I cruise with princess, the cruise goes downhill a step each time. Things that were no charge now have an extra fee-deluxe hamburger now $5 extra, they have started to add pay extra items($20-30 each extra) to the bottom of the ... Read More
Every year I cruise with princess, the cruise goes downhill a step each time. Things that were no charge now have an extra fee-deluxe hamburger now $5 extra, they have started to add pay extra items($20-30 each extra) to the bottom of the menu because the selection of items on the menu in the main dinning room isn't very good hoping people will get to the bottom and see nothing really good and order those extra pay items. Many of the windows in the public areas are so dirty that you can hardly see outside. This was the first ship I have been on that closed the outside decks way too much. Even when the wind wasn't too strong they still closed the front of the ship so you couldn't walk around the ship. The selection of items at the buffet on Lido deck was poor. Pasta and chicken. Although breakfast was good. Many days at lunch we walked thru and found nothing that looked good. They did have the fasted internet of any ship we have been on. If you are a non-drinker, like us, they discriminate against you. Being elite status they give about $80 of alcohol drinks (mini bar in room, free wine tasting, captain party, etc) but for nondrinkers they offer nothing. We were told we could exchange the mini bar for a soda package or smoothies before we sailed but on board we were told that wasn't true. They did offer to exchange it for a bottle of water. Seemed like there was too many workers with an I don't care attitude. Everything evolves around drinking (because they make a lot of money on drinks) and you can get free drinks at various times on board. (at the art auction, Effy jewelry, champagne water fall night, etc. The arts and crafts activities were very limited in number and you had to get there way early if you wanted to participate. For us embarkation was easy. We arrived around noon and walked right into the ship. I did hear of others who said it was their worst embarkation. Over all the ship looks pretty good for as old as it is. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a fifteen day cruise. There were many days at sea.The ports in Hawaii are all beautiful. I did grow weary of the days at sea on the way over. We had a two bedroom suite, not as spacious as it has been on the other cruise lines. ... Read More
This was a fifteen day cruise. There were many days at sea.The ports in Hawaii are all beautiful. I did grow weary of the days at sea on the way over. We had a two bedroom suite, not as spacious as it has been on the other cruise lines. The ship itself is starting to show a little bit of age but is still in good condition. The theater was always crowded and if you arrived less than half an hour before the performance it was nearly impossible to get a seat. I believe this was true for both shows. For suite guests they have a new program, at least a new program to me, called Club Class. Part of the da Vinci dining room is set aside for suite guests, the service was very good some of the best I've ever had. The ports were all good and I even enjoyed Ensenada. I think that Princess is the only cruise line to offer selling form LA to Hawaii and back. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Chose the cruise as part of our 50th wedding anniversary celebration. Princess staff graciously met us at LAX and settled us in a taxi for the ride to Long Beach for a pre-cruise overnight in the Long Beach Hyatt. Good comfortable ... Read More
Chose the cruise as part of our 50th wedding anniversary celebration. Princess staff graciously met us at LAX and settled us in a taxi for the ride to Long Beach for a pre-cruise overnight in the Long Beach Hyatt. Good comfortable accommodations, helpful staff and located convenient to walking around a harbor and downtown. Transport to San Pedro port and Princess embarkation were excellent. We had sailed the Ruby previously and were looking forward to repeating a pleasant voyage. The cabin was completely ready when we arrived brightened with new carpeting.Lacking was the Lotus Spa hair conditioner previously provided as part of the amenities for Elite Level passengers. Other Elite passengers noticed the absence, as they too didn't bring their own; an example of Princess trying to save a nickel. The only other cabin problem was the lack of hot water for showers on the last 3 days of the cruise, including debarkation morning. Calls to customer service resulted in only temporary fixes.On the positive side a broken spring on the room safe door hinge was fixed withing hours after reporting it. Were this our first Princess cruise, it likely would be our last because of irregular (one time wretched) food quality, apparent under staffing in dining rooms, and too many staff who don't acknowledge or initiate customer greetings. In anytime dining many dinners were well prepared, if overly salty. Probably the most wretched dinner I have had was a veal dish that had 2 slabs of meat with the consistency of a roofing shingle. In the same meal the dessert was a samosa consisting of tropical fruit and macadamia nuts accompanied by a mint dip. The samosa was like a greasy empanada, and the mint tasteless. The number of serving staff was deficient. Too many meals that started between 6:00-6:30 ended up taking 2+ hours, ruining evening entertainment plans. Lido deck server seemed smile less and conveyed a demeanor that suggested they would rather be elsewhere. Elsewhere, staff met the standards of our prior Princess experiences. Bar servers, especially in the Skywalkers Platinum/Elite lounge were among the best we have experiences. Passenger Services staff were thorough and followed-up on issues. On this category of ship you aren't going to find water slides and climbing walls. But, there are on-board activities to suite most interests. Why Princess continues the pretense of a dress code for dinner is beyond me. A man dressed in cargo shorts was seated in the Michelangelo dining room on a casual dress evening. I doubt that they meet the dress code for "smart casual." .And finding one's way around can be a challenge. Ship maps in public areas contradict each other, even other maps only a few feet away. Example, locations of laundromats. The entertainment was among the best that we have enjoyed on Princess with new stage shows presented by very talented singers, dancers, musical ensemble. In lounges, however, too many events ran over scheduled stopping time, thereby delaying the next program. We especially enjoyed the Walker Black Duo. We were less enthusiastic about Mary Simon, guitarist, who shared too much personal angst in her own compositions. We left midway in a second session. The party band Main Offenders seemed to mistake loudness for talent, perhaps to cover their singer's limitations. We enjoyed all of the comics, and the vocalist Teacake. Providing a delightful Pacific island musical ambiance were Tiki Dave & Leialoha. I was less impressed by naturalist Mark Harris, whose presentations lacked thoughtful development around their topic.Typically there were 3 sub-topics under a main topic. But, nothing tied them together to walk away with feeling, "Gee, I really learned something." We enjoyed all the ports. A helicopter ride on Kauai with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters was a highlight. I flew with them on the Big Island in 2005. They still set the standard of excellence for helicopter excursions. It was my wife's first; she didn't want it to end. Whale watching at Maui was disappointing. The company seems to have had a fixed area to cover. All that we can say is that we saw the backs of a coupe of whales. Later in the day a companion on a snorkel excursion reported that they saw quite a bit of whale activity at the other end of the bay. On the Big Island, the excursion to the lava fields was interesting, as we got a good impression of how the island was formed. Disappointing on the Honolulu harbor excursion was food quality. Vegetables seemed under cooked, and perhaps contributed to stomach distress felt later that night. Also excursion meeting arrangements were poorly handled in Terminal 11. Our group assembled on time, but were delayed 25 minutes in being shuttled to the excursion boat.It was difficult for several people with mobility disabilities, as there were no seats. A security supervisor chewed out one of his staff who offered "his" chair to a man much in need. We stayed on the ship in Ensenada. Since we have lived and traveled extensively in Mexico, a packing day was in order. After 4 sea days over to Hawaii and 5 sea days back, and several books read, we were ready to return home with good memories and several noted above that shouldn't have occurred on Princess and hopefully will not repeat. Debarkation through port facilities was smooth and well managed. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I did this cruise 2 years ago and had a great time. This time everything was changed. They said the ship was newly renovated but what they really did was add 100 staterooms. The result was less seating on the promenade deck inside. ... Read More
I did this cruise 2 years ago and had a great time. This time everything was changed. They said the ship was newly renovated but what they really did was add 100 staterooms. The result was less seating on the promenade deck inside. They also changed the menu which affected the dining rooms and the buffet. The quality took a dive with a less appealing menu and an addition of things like steak and or lobster or surf and turf added at the bottom at an additional charge. If lamb is not at the top of your hit parade, stay off this ship. The buffet had a good selection of fruits, melons and desserts but the entrees seemed to be left overs from the dining rooms. There where still additional dining opportunities at additional charge's but less because of less deck space to put them. I had the drink package ($1000 plus) but was still charged for the initial bottles of water that were in our stateroom when we boarded. It appeared there were less room stewards as well and if you were not out of your cabin during certain hours, you room was skipped until the next specified hours. I have sailed with Princess before and enjoyed it but was told , what we experienced was the new Princess way of doing things. I will not sail with them again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Just returned home from a seven day California Coastal cruise on Ruby Princess. Many pros and cons with ship, but most cons lay with Princess Cruises themselves. We are 63 + cruises into our lives, 14 of those with Princess. We have ... Read More
Just returned home from a seven day California Coastal cruise on Ruby Princess. Many pros and cons with ship, but most cons lay with Princess Cruises themselves. We are 63 + cruises into our lives, 14 of those with Princess. We have enjoyed many things with Princess through the years, but unfortunately, the amounts of staff reductions and food quality, make it difficult to sail again. Full disclosure, we have a Sky Princess cruise booked next January, but I feel after that we are done with Princess. We enjoy sailing out of San Pedro as it is close to our home in Nevada, with easy flights available. We always arrive one day early, in case of any travelling opportunities. During this stay, our accommodations were at the Long Beach Hilton. Very nice property, close to all that the wonderful city of Long Beach has to offer. Highly recommend staying for at least one day in LB. Easy UBER ride to the cruise port in San Pedro. Now to get on with the PROS of the Ruby Princess: EMBARKATION AND DEBARKATION: Both were very easy and simple. No problems; so many wonderful people to make sure both processes were simple and flawless. Again, transportation TO and FROM the port is very easy. Luggage delivered early to our cabin, which was ready by 1:00 p.m. SHIP: Ruby has been around for a while. It is definitely an older ship, but still in good shape. The few areas retrofitted were better, especially the SLICE and CONES & COFFEE area. The VINES area and INTERNATIONAL CAFÉ Coffee Bar, were also better. The ship is kept clean and again, is very comfortable. CABIN: Our cabin was E623 on Emerald deck. This is an obstructed view cabin (which we were okay with for this particular cruise). The bedding seems to have been replaced and a large plasma screen has been added. Everything else about the cabin is original and in need of future rehab. Our Cabin steward, Jose, was excellent and always made sure our cabin was clean and ready when we needed it. ENTERTAINMENT: We feel that the entertainment on Princess is very good. We have seen both production shows before, and enjoyed them again. We enjoy Broadway shows, so we always enjoy “Magic to Do”, although it seems many guests don’t care for it. AJ Jamal was excellent, along with Teacake (her real name), who can really belt it out. The impressionist and the instrumentalist were also very good. A reminder to most who don’t cruise a lot is arrive at the theater or lounges at least 30 minutes before the show if you are expecting a seat. The only sad part here is that areas like Club Fusion, Skywalker’s Lounge, Adagio Lounge are not used much anymore, so the few lounges near the center Atrium can become overcrowded on Sea evenings. STAFF: The employees are what make these cruises special. They come from all over the world and are incredibly hard working. We truly appreciate all that they do to make the cruise as wonderful as possible. The staff members at VINES Wine Bar, were especially great. Also enjoyed a wine blending session here. Highly recommended. SALTY DOG (Wheelhouse Bar): Staff and food was very good in this outlet. It is an extra charge outlet, but the food and the service were well worth the price. Now we go to the CONS: OVERSELLING: Princess really needs to settle down on this. There are enough people on board to purchase items they want to sell. We don’t even mind all of the side walk sales everywhere. It is the CONSTANT pushing of items such as wine classes, coffee cards, jewelry, etc., that just gets annoying after a while. If you dine in the buffet or are poolside on any given day, you will have 5 or 6 people ask you about the same package or class. DOWNSIZING: Through the years we have seen a constant reduction in staff, particularly in the Main Dining Room. We understand that corporations need to make profits, but it really is getting to be a dreadful situation. GONE are captains who help the service staff and stop by your table to see that all is correct (replaced by Headwaiters, who are nothing but hostesses seating people). GONE are sommeliers and bar attendants who can help you with a bottle of wine or get you a drink (passed off to a back waiter). When we did ask for wine, the poor server seemed upset and went to find a back waiter to help him retrieve it for him. GONE is any assemblance of service. A smiling server is a great help, but that does NOT cure the lack of service standards that have been let go thru the years. Auctioning of food (who gets this dish?), asking if you care for coffee or tea, refilling of bread and butter, serving women before men, etc., are things of the past. Our waiter was sweating so much, it was not funny. They are running so much just to try to get food on the table. Was served wrong food, but decided against asking to get it replaced as the server was so deep in the woods! Also, the “Baked Alaska “ parade is so lame now as servers mainly carry a fake candle and a few carry a fake baked Alaska. If you want to cut something, here you go. Yes, we know that tableside service is gone; yes, we know that no one French serves dressing at the table anymore (we get it!). If they would at least put the Captains back into the equation to help manage the staff, it would be great. FOOD QUALITY: The food quality on most ships today is continuing to be cut. It’s a great place to save money for cruise lines by reducing the specifications of items to the cheapest possible product that people will eat. The menus have been methodically reduced in size. The items on Ruby were not great to say the least. MDR menu will prepare steaks for you IF you choose the upcharge. IF I wanted to have a “Crown Grill” steak, I would dine in the Crown Grill. Try to find any other vegetable except for frozen green beans and mashed instant potatoes. Who knew a baked Potato would become a dinosaur? Prime Rib is no longer on the menu; it is now called “Roast Beef”? The Platinum Happy Hour has also seen the demise of the Shrimp that was served at least once during the cruise. The buffet is another matter where Princess has decided that because this is where most guests “bulk up”, they can serve low quality ingredients and see what they can get by with. Vegetables and proteins are so overcooked, it’s just a shame. The salad bar is probably the poorest at sea. Maybe the Executive Chef could teach the young cooks carving the meats on the carvery station how to properly cut the meats they serve each day. HERE is a cost savings that would make Princess happy! ANYTIME DINING: I don’t know why Princess can’t seem to get it together with this concept. We NEVER have to wait for tables on Celebrity or Holland America. Dinner now starts at 4:30 in the afternoon and yet, they still cannot seat the MDR properly. The Maitre D’ Hotel and his staff really need to work out the pager system better. There are now more parties of two then ever; yet they just can seem to comprehend that. Understand if you show up at 7:00 p.m., but having to wait for a table at 5:15 p.m…..REALLY?? All in all, we did not have a bad time. We had very nice ports, where we could dine off the ship, both lunch and dinner. The seas were calm and all the ports were great. The employees try their best to make everyone happy (which is not an easy request). We enjoy cruising and have 6 others already booked (on different lines). You get what you pay for (or not, in this case). We know that Princess has many loyal guests, and we have been one of them. All reviews are subject to the people that write them, so take this one with a grain of salt. You may or may not have a wonderful cruise on Ruby or other Princess ships. As frequent cruisers, we can only report what we see happening. After our Sky Princess cruise next year, we will decide if we are done with Princess. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
The food was very repetitive with little variety. All meat was touch and stringy. The excursions were terrible as far as getting dumped off at locations (Ensenada in particular) where we spent 1 1/2 hours at a dusty, dirty Mexican flea ... Read More
The food was very repetitive with little variety. All meat was touch and stringy. The excursions were terrible as far as getting dumped off at locations (Ensenada in particular) where we spent 1 1/2 hours at a dusty, dirty Mexican flea market. We chose Princess because of the itinerary and we had never gone with them. This was the first and last. I hate to say it but Carnival had better food with more variety. Our cabin, P315, was very noisy at night with creaking sounds to the point of necessitating ear plugs and a pillow over our heads. The cabin was clean and our steward was attentive to the point he added an additional comforter to my mattress as the bed was hard, for me. They had no water packs like Carnival, only $2 and $3.75 bottles in the cabin. Additionally, in order to get a boarding pass, you are required to purchase one day of internet for $19.99. The photos were very expensive as opposed to Carnival. The entertainment, however, was top notch but you have to arrive at least 45 minutes before to get decent seats. All in all, we probably won't take Princess in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We needed a quick get away and enjoy SF, Monterey and San Diego. Hadn’t been on Princess in a while. We found the entertainment to be pretty good, comedy was clean and the magic show excellent. There were a couple of excellent ... Read More
We needed a quick get away and enjoy SF, Monterey and San Diego. Hadn’t been on Princess in a while. We found the entertainment to be pretty good, comedy was clean and the magic show excellent. There were a couple of excellent food courses but with a few exceptions the food is average at best and dreadful at worst. We went to Curtis Stone’s restaurant Share, some of the food was really great, some was bland. Overall, glad we went and wouldn’t go again. We could not do a longer than seven day cruise with food this bad. The coffee card is a good value, the coffee in the dining room tastes like swill, the coffee in the International Cafe is at least drinkable. The cabin is comfortable, beds quite comfortable. We like being forward, no noise or vibration. We purchased a full week in the sanctuary, expensive but necessary for us. We needed a quiet place to rest and this worked perfectly. Read Less
Ruby Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.9
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.2

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