First cruise with Princess, and I was not sure what to expect. My initial impression of the interior design was pleasant. No neon, very classic for the most part. They (and most cruise lines really) cheapen the atmosphere by setting up photo shoots, tables of t shirts and cheap jewelry, and similar up sell stations through out the ship. After my positive initial impression, my feelings dropped. My balcony cabin was soooo small. The smallest I have ever had. My first meal was lunch at the lido buffet. Everything from the selection to the presentation to the taste was a huge disappointment. This is about my 15th cruise, from ultra luxurious to Carnival and this was the Worst food from any of the cruises I have been on at every dining venue. I heard Princess' corporate chef was on the ship…so it's not like corporate doesn't know what's going on. The dining room food was always a disappointment. Same with Horizons and Carribe (Lido). The hot dog/hamburger grill tasted low quality. The only restaurant that was okay was the up charge Sabbatini's.
I did not like the "Movies under the Starts" concept. Sitting around or even anywhere close to the main pool where they show the movies, you are forced to hear blaring sounds of the movies or concerts being shown. If you do want to watch the movie, 90 percent of the seating is in the raging sun…not pleasant or healthy. The gym was ridiculous. The ceiling is soooo low, I could not use the elliptical because I kept hitting my head on the ceiling in the up part of the cycle. Also, the staff in the gym was so unfriendly. I'm there everyday for two weeks, and they can't even say hi. I found this to be generally true of this ship. The DJ was the worst. I was up at Skywalkers dancing every night. I would request songs, and the DJ would agree to play them, and then never play them. I would say hi to him in the gym and he would totally ignore me….he's a jerk in my opinion. Keep in mind, the crowd was older and sedate. I was told by many that the dance floor was totally dead for the two weeks before I got on the ship. I invited people up there and some nights we actually had 6-10 people dancing. I've kept in contact with friends I met. They said since I left, no one goes up to dance anymore. There are other officers that I met throughout the cruise, but they would never say hi when I saw them later on on the ship. I know they're busy, but it really is not that difficult to say hi. The crew, restaurant/bar staff and cleaners were totally the opposite. They were fantastic. They are friendly and fun. It is the only real asset that the Ruby has going for it. The entertainment was nothing special. The staff shows were mostly just dancing around to oldie songs…boring. There was also too much piano playing. Everywhere you went on the ship, there seem to be someone playing piano. I love piano, I play piano, but I don't want to hear it all of the time. It's like Princess was trying to put us to sleep. The other activities were too big because the ship is so big, so it always seemed like there was one staff member trying to manage 200 passengers playing trivia or giving a photography lesson…it just didn't work for me. Overall the whole of Ruby's concept doesn't work for me. I'm in my 40s and like to be active and social when I cruise, and Princess is definitely not catering to my crowd.