Ruby Princess Cruise Review by mholford
- Sail Date: March 2016
- Destination: Mexican Riviera
- Cabin Type: Balcony
We flew in 3 days early, allowing for 2 days in Anaheim at Disneyland before the cruise began. This was the highlight for our 17 year old daughter, who has been wanting to visit the magic kingdom for years. Well worth spending a few days prior to the cruise. Stayed in a nice hotel about a 10 minute drive from the parks. We used the private version of super shuttle to get from the airport to hotel, and from hotel to the port. Easy, cost effective and fast. Definitely nicer than shared shuttles and not much more expensive.
Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived around noon and were onboard by 1:30.
We have cruised 3 times with Princess recently, and my wife cruised with the a couple of times years ago before we got married. Recently we cruised on Emerald in the Caribbean and the Grand Princess on this exact itinerary. We were super excited about the cruise because we preferred the layout of the Emerald (and Ruby is exact duplicate) but loved the itinerary. So this was (hopefully) going to be the best of both worlds.
We booked an inside cabin on Emerald deck. 10 days before the cruise my wife managed to convince them to upgrade us to a Balcony on the Riviera deck. Wow. I had no idea how much better cruising was with a balcony. Now I know.
The ship is big, but doesn't feel crowded. Especially love how they break up the pool areas so they feel less huge, and we never had a problem finding lounge chairs to relax in.
Every morning we ordered coffee from room service, and enjoyed a nice cup on the balcony before going to the dining room for breakfast. Breakfast in the dining room is excellent. Great service, great food. Love that you can order eggs benedict any day you wish, even though it only "appears" on the menu once or twice during the trip. Even had the wait construct a west coast eggs benny by taking the bagel & smoked salmon and combining it with poached eggs and hollandaise. Love the fact that they will bend over backwards to make food you want if you have a reasonable request.
The beds. Oh my! Princess is in the process of changing out their mattresses and pillows... Ruby has been done already. The best mattress/pillow I've ever slept on in any cruise or hotel. Right up with the quality we've bought for ourselves. Great investment on their part. Our room steward was invisible and efficient. I love that combination. I only ever caught him once cleaning our room. But he did a great job and we had absolutely no complaints.
The bars were good overall. The Crooners martini bar had okay service (was better on emerald and grand) but Vines wine bar more than made up for it. So we hung out there instead. We participated in a few activities, but not a ton. We prefer hanging out on deck catching the sun.
As I mentioned earlier, we love the itinerary on this cruise.
San Diego - we grabbed the public light rail transit and went up to a great mall and did some shopping. Picked up a dress for formal night for my wife at an exceptional price.
Cabo - A lot of the snorkeling tours end up at one of two beaches along the coast of Cabo. We chose to grab a taxi and went there independently. Great beach, amazing snorkeling. Not much in terms of amenities yet but they are building hotels which I assume will have restaurants in the future. After snorkeling and suntanning we went into town and did some shopping and stopped at Cabo Wabo for margaritas.
La Paz - We were going to hire a taxi to take us to the beach (tecolotes) a short drive in the opposite direction from town. But... the locals had arranged a free shuttle service between the ship and the beach (not sure who paid for it, but I'm guessing the restaurant at the beach) - all they asked for was tips. We gave the driver a great tip (since we had planned on hiring a taxi anyways) and the beach is fantastic, and the restaurant is also very nice and had some great food (and cold beer!)
Loreto - we booked a private snorkeling tour to El Coronado island as the beach at the town itself is just okay. The tour was amazing. We lucked out and saw breeding manta rays, 3 orcas, and that was on a short detour before even heading to the island. There we saw sea lions, and the stopped at the beach where there is a great coral reef about a hundred feet offshore. Some of the best snorkeling ever. Nice authentic lunch and then back to town for a little shopping.
Puerto Vallarta - Unfortunately our plans here were changed, as our daughter caught a stomach bug (Norovirus?) and we didn't want to go too far with her on the ship sick. So we just popped out to do a little souvenir shopping in the tacky tourist trap just off the ship.
Dining - We did late seating (8pm) which is our preference. Our waiter was great, the assistant waiter was not as good, but the head waiter was actually quite attentive. Overall the service was very good, and the food was quite good for a cruise.
We heard about the new "share" restaurant by Curtis Stone, and being foodies had to give it a try (first time we've ever paid for a premium restaurant onboard). The food was by far the best we've ever had on a cruise, and some of the best we've ever had period. Wow. If you like fine dining this is it.
Because of some issues we had early in the cruise the Customer Service Manager comp'd us a meal at the Crown Grill. The food there.... good, even very good. If you like monstrous sized steaks. I had a bone in ribeye, which was indeed very tasty. I enjoyed it a lot, but wouldn't pay extra for it as the food in the main dining room was actually very comparable (except in size).
We only ate in the horizon court once (shortly before getting norovirus?) Food there was okay. Well, the sushi was pretty good, the rest was okay.
We went to the main shows at night. Typical cruise ship fair. Okay production shows. Comedians were mixed (one good, one okay). Fun for half an hour but nothing to write home about.
went dancing at the nightclub a couple of times. Not super busy, but the DJ was happy to take requests so we put in quite a few and had a good time.
After our daughter cause a bug on the third last day, I came down with it the second last, and my wife on the last day. So the trip ended on a bit of a downer, but Princess is quite thorough in their response.
Disembarkation was again a breeze, and we took a city tour of LA, enroute to LAX for the flight home.
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Not a huge room, but the balcony made if feel bigger as we had a second sitting area.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
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La PazTaxi to the beach for snorkelingView All 62 La Paz Cruise Port Reviews
Loreto booked a tour to Coronado Island
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