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We returned from our Alaskan Ruby Princess Cruise, out of Seattle on May 27. It was a great week and well worth the time and planning. However, we were not very impressed with the Princess line. Compared to our previous cruises with another carrier, they just didn't match up. We arrived in Seattle on Friday before to have a relaxed Saturday morning before the cruise. The Embarkation was ok...a little more direction needed for me though to be comfortable. Felt herded with little attention to details. Example: on our other cruises we were assigned a personal concierge at check in who took us to our cabin (suite) and then gave us a quick but through tour of the ship, pointing out the special areas and perks for suite passengers. Previously we were also introduced to our steward and butler at this time who asked if there were special requests. No so with Princess...it's follow the line up the ramp and go to your room. Anybody can find a cabin on a ship if you know your deck and cabin number...it's just nice to have the guidance and then the tour to acquaint you with the ship. No such service with Princess. We learned on our own where we were to have breakfast, and the separate entry to the MDR and made our own reservations for the comp dinner at the Crown Grill for suite passengers on embarkation night. Additionally...we only had a steward...no butler or concierge, and this was full suite not a mini. Anyway...we managed, once we knew we were on our own, we were off to explore. The ship, while older, is in very good condition and well maintained if you don't look too deeply. Oh we could find stuff, but for the most part it was more than acceptable. Our cabin D736 (St Thomas Suite) was lovely. This is a spacious cabin with full bath with separate shower, bath, and water closet with sink. There is a walk in closet with plenty of room for your belongings, ample drawer space for two traveling with multiple seasons of clothes. The suitcases fit neatly under the bed. There is a dressing table in the main sleeping area with drawer space as well. This area works well for shared "getting ready" time. The only drawback is that there are two (2) 110 plugs in the whole cabin! The way plugs are shaped, you can't plug two things in at once. There is one (1) 110 in the bathroom, but it will not accept a blow dryer plug! There is a blow dryer in the dressing area, but it didn't work. I didn't mention it because I never like those dryers anyway. The sitting area is a good size however the hide a bed couch is old and very uncomfortable for sitting. The cushions keep sliding off and they are very thin...the furniture on the deck more than makes up for it! The deck is huge! There is a table with 4 chairs, and 2 chaise loungers plus plenty of room to walk around. We did not really have any problems with the support beam that others mention, yes it's there, but not really an issue. Nor did we experience any fumes that others have mentioned. Be aware this aft cabin does have vibrations ...constantly while the motor is running, especially in reverse, which isn't often. You grow used to it but be aware it is present and never stops. The dining was marginal. The food was acceptable but not great, as others have mentioned. We ate in the Crown Grill every morning where the service was great and the food a little above par. We had dinner there two nights and both times the service was good and the food just a shade under a good steak house at home. The MDR was acceptable and our server Erik was very good. The Horizon was crazy at all times...not enough tables, unusual food selection and parings. The best was the salad bar; always fresh and crisp with a good assortment of add ins. The desserts...not so much...I've never said that before, but I didn't find anything appealing in the dessert bar! I love desserts! Best is the International Café or Scoops! Try the chocolate malt...it became my go to for sweets, along with the Salted Carmel Strata at the coffee shop. Invest in the coffee card and get free regular coffee anytime! You'll appreciate it because the house coffee isn't all that much. Pizza at the pizza shop is actually pretty good, it became our quick grab and go over horizon for a snack. We didn't try the other dining areas, as we were out most all days, used room service for some snacks to avoid the crowds as the ship was full. If I didn't know better I would say it was over full! The only 24 hour spot is the International Café and it's pretty much always crowded, but the treats are good! We had scheduled a balcony dinner, but it was cancelled because of rough seas our first night out. It was supposed to be rescheduled but something didn't click and it never happened so I can't report on the private surf and turf dinner...was so looking forward to it. We failed to make any of the shows...just no interest sorry to say but nothing appealed. The service over all was good. Our cabin steward, Jeff, was pleasant and prompt at making our cabin when we were out. We never got any of the cute towel things though... not that it matters, but you do look forward to their creativity. Maybe he thought we would be board with them? We booked 3 of our excursions with Princess. They did not seem to be as well organized as our prior cruise line excursions. There was just masses of people trying to figure out where they should go. In our case on one of our excursions even though the meeting time was 7:20 there was no one there until 8:00. There was no sign with our number we were just kind of lost walking up and down the parking lot until finally we saw our person with a sign. While expensive, all were well worth the price. The only one that may have been a little ditzy was the gold mine...we only did it to see just how it was done in the actual tunnel mining operations. It was quick and still interesting, and we did pan for gold and did find maybe enough for a hamburger at Mc Donald's! The Mendenhall Glacier with whale watching was good, just not enough time at the Glacier and it was "crowded". Nice gift shop at the Glacier, best buy....set of mini magnets of Alaska wild flowers. We did have time to hike out for a better view and some great photos then on to the whale watching. The whale watching was ok. The guide was good and knew her stuff. The boats were big and the windows posed problems for photographing. Perhaps a smaller boat (they were in the area) would be good too. We did see whales but it was a rainy gloomy cold day so going up top in the open was not an option for me. Long day and we were tired when we got back to the ship, I think that's a night we did room service. We also booked the White Pass Rail and Suspension Bridge in Skagway. This was a great trip, filled with history and scenic rail tour. We took the trail up to Faser Alaska then took a motor coach over to the Yukon Suspension Bridge at Tutshi Canyon. It appears to be a relatively new "tourist attraction" all self informative. It's a beautiful location and the bridge is a little "thrilling" since I am not big on moving swinging bridges. Lovely location clean and new, worth the stop. Lunch at the Jewel Garden was nice and the tour of the garden ...peaceful. Not what we were expecting but interesting all the same. We booked outside Princess for Ketchikan with Island Wings for a float plane trip over Misty Fjords. AMAZING! So much fun and well organized. I was a little afraid of the small plane but it's great so smooth and a real thrill. Beautiful territory, excellent way to see the Fjords. This is a quick stop and this fit in perfectly. Check out Island Wings and Michele when in Ketchikan...they book up fast so plan ahead. My only plan in Victoria was to get to a drugstore to pick up some Motrin I buy in Canada. We hooked up with a really great cab driver who ended up giving us a 90 min tour. Totally unplanned, but fun and we got to see the special sites of the area like the castle, and the government house, and the gardens. Surprises are always nice! I would definitely do this cruise again, but would check out our preferred line. I don't know how I missed them, as they were sailing out the same day we did I think maybe their itinerary was different and I wanted the one Princess offered. Disembarkation was great. As a suite traveler, we waited in a separate area with coffee, juice and pastries. Very relaxed, played a couple of hands of gin...waited until our number was called, we drew a 9:45 grabbed our luggage, caught a cab to pick up a rental car and enjoyed Seattle for the rest of the day. Great trip! ( getting a late disembarkation was cool...everyone has claimed their luggage so it was easier to find ours!)

Enjoyable Cruise In A Beautiful Land

Ruby Princess Cruise Review by TX Sailor 47

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Vista Suite with Balcony
We returned from our Alaskan Ruby Princess Cruise, out of Seattle on May 27. It was a great week and well worth the time and planning. However, we were not very impressed with the Princess line. Compared to our previous cruises with another carrier, they just didn't match up.

We arrived in Seattle on Friday before to have a relaxed Saturday morning before the cruise. The Embarkation was ok...a little more direction needed for me though to be comfortable. Felt herded with little attention to details. Example: on our other cruises we were assigned a personal concierge at check in who took us to our cabin (suite) and then gave us a quick but through tour of the ship, pointing out the special areas and perks for suite passengers. Previously we were also introduced to our steward and butler at this time who asked if there were special requests. No so with Princess...it's follow the line up the ramp and go to your room. Anybody can find a cabin on a ship if you know your deck and cabin number...it's just nice to have the guidance and then the tour to acquaint you with the ship. No such service with Princess. We learned on our own where we were to have breakfast, and the separate entry to the MDR and made our own reservations for the comp dinner at the Crown Grill for suite passengers on embarkation night. Additionally...we only had a steward...no butler or concierge, and this was full suite not a mini. Anyway...we managed, once we knew we were on our own, we were off to explore.

The ship, while older, is in very good condition and well maintained if you don't look too deeply. Oh we could find stuff, but for the most part it was more than acceptable.

Our cabin D736 (St Thomas Suite) was lovely. This is a spacious cabin with full bath with separate shower, bath, and water closet with sink. There is a walk in closet with plenty of room for your belongings, ample drawer space for two traveling with multiple seasons of clothes. The suitcases fit neatly under the bed. There is a dressing table in the main sleeping area with drawer space as well. This area works well for shared "getting ready" time. The only drawback is that there are two (2) 110 plugs in the whole cabin! The way plugs are shaped, you can't plug two things in at once. There is one (1) 110 in the bathroom, but it will not accept a blow dryer plug! There is a blow dryer in the dressing area, but it didn't work. I didn't mention it because I never like those dryers anyway.

The sitting area is a good size however the hide a bed couch is old and very uncomfortable for sitting. The cushions keep sliding off and they are very thin...the furniture on the deck more than makes up for it! The deck is huge! There is a table with 4 chairs, and 2 chaise loungers plus plenty of room to walk around. We did not really have any problems with the support beam that others mention, yes it's there, but not really an issue. Nor did we experience any fumes that others have mentioned. Be aware this aft cabin does have vibrations ...constantly while the motor is running, especially in reverse, which isn't often. You grow used to it but be aware it is present and never stops.

The dining was marginal. The food was acceptable but not great, as others have mentioned. We ate in the Crown Grill every morning where the service was great and the food a little above par. We had dinner there two nights and both times the service was good and the food just a shade under a good steak house at home.

The MDR was acceptable and our server Erik was very good. The Horizon was crazy at all times...not enough tables, unusual food selection and parings. The best was the salad bar; always fresh and crisp with a good assortment of add ins. The desserts...not so much...I've never said that before, but I didn't find anything appealing in the dessert bar! I love desserts! Best is the International Café or Scoops! Try the chocolate malt...it became my go to for sweets, along with the Salted Carmel Strata at the coffee shop. Invest in the coffee card and get free regular coffee anytime! You'll appreciate it because the house coffee isn't all that much. Pizza at the pizza shop is actually pretty good, it became our quick grab and go over horizon for a snack.

We didn't try the other dining areas, as we were out most all days, used room service for some snacks to avoid the crowds as the ship was full. If I didn't know better I would say it was over full! The only 24 hour spot is the International Café and it's pretty much always crowded, but the treats are good! We had scheduled a balcony dinner, but it was cancelled because of rough seas our first night out. It was supposed to be rescheduled but something didn't click and it never happened so I can't report on the private surf and turf dinner...was so looking forward to it.

We failed to make any of the shows...just no interest sorry to say but nothing appealed.

The service over all was good. Our cabin steward, Jeff, was pleasant and prompt at making our cabin when we were out. We never got any of the cute towel things though... not that it matters, but you do look forward to their creativity. Maybe he thought we would be board with them?

We booked 3 of our excursions with Princess. They did not seem to be as well organized as our prior cruise line excursions. There was just masses of people trying to figure out where they should go. In our case on one of our excursions even though the meeting time was 7:20 there was no one there until 8:00. There was no sign with our number we were just kind of lost walking up and down the parking lot until finally we saw our person with a sign. While expensive, all were well worth the price. The only one that may have been a little ditzy was the gold mine...we only did it to see just how it was done in the actual tunnel mining operations. It was quick and still interesting, and we did pan for gold and did find maybe enough for a hamburger at Mc Donald's! The Mendenhall Glacier with whale watching was good, just not enough time at the Glacier and it was "crowded". Nice gift shop at the Glacier, best buy....set of mini magnets of Alaska wild flowers. We did have time to hike out for a better view and some great photos then on to the whale watching. The whale watching was ok. The guide was good and knew her stuff. The boats were big and the windows posed problems for photographing. Perhaps a smaller boat (they were in the area) would be good too. We did see whales but it was a rainy gloomy cold day so going up top in the open was not an option for me. Long day and we were tired when we got back to the ship, I think that's a night we did room service.

We also booked the White Pass Rail and Suspension Bridge in Skagway. This was a great trip, filled with history and scenic rail tour. We took the trail up to Faser Alaska then took a motor coach over to the Yukon Suspension Bridge at Tutshi Canyon. It appears to be a relatively new "tourist attraction" all self informative. It's a beautiful location and the bridge is a little "thrilling" since I am not big on moving swinging bridges. Lovely location clean and new, worth the stop. Lunch at the Jewel Garden was nice and the tour of the garden ...peaceful. Not what we were expecting but interesting all the same. We booked outside Princess for Ketchikan with Island Wings for a float plane trip over Misty Fjords. AMAZING! So much fun and well organized. I was a little afraid of the small plane but it's great so smooth and a real thrill. Beautiful territory, excellent way to see the Fjords. This is a quick stop and this fit in perfectly. Check out Island Wings and Michele when in Ketchikan...they book up fast so plan ahead.

My only plan in Victoria was to get to a drugstore to pick up some Motrin I buy in Canada. We hooked up with a really great cab driver who ended up giving us a 90 min tour. Totally unplanned, but fun and we got to see the special sites of the area like the castle, and the government house, and the gardens. Surprises are always nice!

I would definitely do this cruise again, but would check out our preferred line. I don't know how I missed them, as they were sailing out the same day we did I think maybe their itinerary was different and I wanted the one Princess offered.

Disembarkation was great. As a suite traveler, we waited in a separate area with coffee, juice and pastries. Very relaxed, played a couple of hands of gin...waited until our number was called, we drew a 9:45 grabbed our luggage, caught a cab to pick up a rental car and enjoyed Seattle for the rest of the day. Great trip! ( getting a late disembarkation was cool...everyone has claimed their luggage so it was easier to find ours!)
TX Sailor 47’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Vista Suite with Balcony
Cabin S6 D736
Excellent space...beware of constant vibration in this aft cabin. Plenty of room, walk in closet, spacious bath with tub and shower - with separate water closet and sink. Limited electrical access. Two outlets in the whole cabin and Princess forbids electrical strips. Linins are great, bed comfy but a little soft for our liking. Pillows were great. Towels and terri robes were lush and wonderful after a cold day sight seeing. Loved the huge tub and toiletries. Everything you expect in a suite and a huge balcony. Our only problem was the people in the mini next door...smoking on the deck and throwing stuff over that blew back on our side. One afternoon their "pipe" rolled onto our side of the deck! We couldn't complain cause they would know it was us as there is no room on the other side of the back, center is open space. The view from this suite balcony is excellent. We never went to the observation deck for anything. The trip into Glacier Bay was perfect with our own private view. The ship turns 360 so you get a private stunning view of the glaciers.
Caribe Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Gold Panning
    A little meh but all in all an interesting adventure into a tunnel mine atmosphere. We wanted to see and better understand this process. The guide was great and expressed his knowledge well, it's just not very exciting...I guess you can't make something so industrial exciting. Wish they offered hair covers before giving out used hard hats...we work in the safety industry and our customer locations offer "paper shower caps" to visitors sharing hard hats. We did pan for gold and found enough for maybe a hamburger at Mc Donalds!
    View All 47 Gold Panning Reviews
  • Mendenhall Glacier
    The area was crowded and a little more time would have been better. Maybe one of the helicopter with landing, or rafting in would be better. Still had time to hike out for great photos and better views.
    View All 889 Mendenhall Glacier Reviews
  • Whale Watching
    Boat was big and the windows interfered with good photos on this gloomy cold rainy day. Another day you could go up top for better photo ops. Guide was great, knew her stuff and there was hot coco! So welcome on a typical Alaskan day! We enjoyed the information that was shared, we saw whales, they just weren't real active...don't think they like the gloom either!
    View All 841 Whale Watching Reviews
  • Flightseeing
    Just do it! This was the best, most fun excursion of all. I'm not into small planes but this was so easy nothing like I was fearing! I wouldn't miss the Misty Fjords via this plane for anything. It's a great trip and just the best way to see the area on this short port stop
    View All 80 Flightseeing Reviews