This was our 6th time on the Ruby. We have always enjoyed this ship and it felt like "home" when we got on board. Having been on the Ruby before, it was easy to get around. This cruise was a Summer Solstice to the North Cape. Unfortunately it was a hassle going through security in Southampton - long lines and no elite line. Counted 9 twists and turns before getting to security. And then noticed that 2 security stations were not manned.
But what I noticed was that the ship was starting to show some wear. The paint on the deck chairs was pealing. When I looked up on the ceiling of the balcony, I saw lots of rust spots. Seat cushions had stains as did outside tables. And the windows always were dirty.
The itinerary was fantastic - can't beat sailing in and out of the fjords. Was a perfect time as there was still snow on the hills and mountain tops. And with that, the snow had also started to melt and we saw hundreds of waterfalls - both little trickles and large gushers. One guide told us this wasn't the peak time for waterfalls as that had passed a few weeks prior. But it couldn't have been better. Wish the weather had been warmer but we still had enough sunshine to enjoy the long days! Only bad day weather wise was in Trondheim - rain, wind and very cold. Also didn't like the fact that we were charged $16 per person round trip bus fare to get into the city. Interesting that we had to take a bus in Bergen from the ship to a city drop off and it was free.
Took a tour out of Hellesylt which was very good. Even encountered a snow storm on top of Dalsnibba so didn't get to look down on the ship anchored in Geiranger but had seen it on a previous trip. It was probably the best tour we took on this cruise.
Room felt the same as before but having sailed on the Royal, the shower did seem very small in comparison. Had a very good room steward - Marlon. He kept the room in tip top shape. He commented that the management on the Ruby was one of the best.
After having so much room in the Horizon Court/Caribe Café on the Royal, this was a challenge to get your food without bumping into someone. Because the weather was so cool, no one could sit outside to eat so it was difficult to find a table to eat from. This was always the case at peak times when people had to get off at certain times for tours. No issues with food for breakfast or lunch. Service was a little slow. Once we found an empty table, it took awhile to find someone to clear off the dishes left by the last passengers.
Ate most of our dinners in the Michelangelo dining room. Food ranged from very good to average to not good. Service was sporadic at times - some nights we had long waits for service - especially when it was just the two of us. But had many cheerful friendly waiters. Ate one evening in the Crown Grill and will have to say that of all the times we have eaten there, I had one of my best meals. Steak was done perfectly.
Went to a couple shows in the Princess Theater but after awhile, they all seem the same. And my pet peeve is just how loud the music is. Had an excellent quartet of 4 gals playing violin and cello in the Piazza. Was our favorite musical offering on the whole cruise. An accordion player also offered good listening music.
Can't beat the Skywalker area either for quiet reading or drinks in the early evening.
And 24 hours of daylight was an interesting part of the cruise.
Will we go on the Ruby again? Think they need to spruce it up a little but I will still say it's been one of our favorite ships.