Fun holiday aboard Ruby Princess to Mediterranean: Ruby Princess Cruise Review by EliseDC

Ruby Princess 4
Member Since 2009

Overall Member Rating

Fun holiday aboard Ruby Princess to Mediterranean

Sail Date: September 2009
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Venice
My husband and I just got back from 12 days on the Ruby Princess. We left from Venice and cruised to Athens, Kusadasi, Istanbul, Monte Carlo, Naples, Rome, Florence, Mykonos, and ended in Barcelona.

Overall we had a great time on the ship. We had a balcony cabin on the Lido Deck due to a last minute upgrade from Princess.

Cabin and staff: The cabin was small but very comfortable with a nice balcony with two chairs and a table which we spent a lot of time outside on. The bed was very comfortable and the bathroom was standard (great shower pressure). There was two dressers and a chair and a TV on top of a cabinet with a refrigerator. A complimentary robe was provided. The walls were a bit thin but overall we enjoyed the cabin and had no complaints. Boarding and disembarking the ship was very easy and Princess has it down pat. They are very organized with regard to tours and getting on and off the ship. Most of the staff was extremely helpful and nice More (especially our cabin steward).

Food: The food was okay. We ate breakfast in the buffet and it was large and full of hot and cold items. We avoided lunch at the buffet and dinner after the first night. Food wasn't so great. Service at the buffet was hit or miss. The anytime dining was great as we were not hungry the same time each day due to all the ports we visited. The main dining rooms was very organized and the food was good. I would say not outstanding but we didn't expect 5 star food. Most of the food was good and you had a lot of choices. We had pizza and a hamburger at the grill which was very good. We did not pay the extra to eat at their signature restaurants.

Entertainment: We are not into the typical cruise shows and spend many nights up on deck watching movies under the stars which were great. I think we watched 6 of 8 movies including Star Trek, Terminator, The Proposal, Angels and Demons, etc. Something for everyone. There was plenty of room and the lounge chairs were cushioned and comfortable. The staff handed out blankets and popcorn and then came by at the end with milk and cookies (a very nice touch). Other than that I cannot comment on the larger shows.

Tours: The cruise tours were very expensive and I researched options and we booked private tours at less money. There were a lot of complaints about the tours among fellow passengers (too many people and could not keep up with the guide). I would suggest if you are able to book private tours or find you own company in lieu of Princess. That was you save money and get a much better and more personal experience. For example we paid 350 euro/$500 (4 of us) for a tour of Pisa/Florence and the same tour on princess (only difference was lunch included) was $369 a person.

Spa: I did have a massage as there were a lot of special deals. I didn't see that many people using the gym facilities which were clean and very nice. I used the treadmill and stair stepper a few times and there was no wait. The spa staff was very nice and helpful.

Overall, the Ruby Princess was a great ship (very large) and comfortable with lots of choices for entertainment and food. Less

Published 09/29/09

Cabin review: BALido Balcony

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Port and Shore Excursions

Keep in mind that the Acropolis is covered in scaffolding which was a disappointment (but we still got some good pictures). There is quite a climb up and very crowded in the a.m. Our guide took us to Temple of Apollo on the coast and then after lunch to the Acropolis which was much better as crowds were a fraction of those in the morning. We also saw the temple of Zeus, changing of the guard, Hadrian's gate, and a few other ruins.

I hired a taxi service for about $350 to take us for an 8 hour tour.

This was my favorite port. Again we hired a car service and spent a couple hours at the Palace which was well worth it before going to St. Sophias, the Blue Mosque, lunch, Hadrian's wall and the Egyptian oblisque and then the covered market. The market was not as bad as I expected with merchants being respectful of passers by. I would however have preferred to go to the spice market as the covered market/grand bazaar had the same stuff in each shop. 20 minutes there was enough and we left to see a couple other landmarks. Istanbul was a clean city and the old city was a must for any visitor.
Read 403 Istanbul Reviews

This was a great port of call. The ship docked and we hired a car service with guide to take us out to Euphenus to see the ruins. Make sure you get there right when it opens at 8:00 a.m. or the crowds are huge. The ruins are wonderful and well worth the trip. The walking is uneven so wear good shoes. We also went to the ruins of the Basilica which were very enjoyable and then walked down the road to a mosque which was lovely inside.

Skip the carpet demonstration as they have quite a sales pitch and you will be stuck for a while. Only do this if you are seriously thinking about buying a carpet. The prices were pretty high even though the carpets were lovely.

Read 614 Kusadasi Reviews

Instead of heading right to Mykonos we went to the island of Delos (birthplace of Apolo) which was very enjoyable. It is a great island with spectacular ruins. We spent about 3.5 hours walking around.

When we got back the ship had a free shuttle to downtown. We took it and while it was pretty much a tourist trap if you walk down the side streets you can see lovely houses and some windmills.

Read 838 Mykonos Reviews

We used this port to go directly to Pompeii to visit the ruins. Again, VERY important to get there when it opens. Crowds are intense. You can take the train but we hired a driver who took us to the gate (he cannot take you inside). The ruins are very large and I would recommend hiring a guide to get you through the main attractions or if not plan to wander around and see what you see. The signs and directions are poor.

We left Pompeii and drove to Sorrento and Positano. The towns are lovely and we wandered the street, had lunch, did a little shopping, and enjoyed the lovely drive down the coast.

Read 1171 Naples Reviews

What can you say about Rome. It is a fantastic city. We had someone pick us up at the ship and went to the Colosseum first as it is the most crowded. Again, get there when it opens. The drive to Rome was about 1 hour and 15 minutes in good traffic. You have to make a choice between seeing the Vatican (which was totally jammed packed with tourist) or other sites. We went to Colosseum, Palantine Hill, and Forum (took from 9:30 a.m. to about 12:30). Then we went to the Pantheon and quick stop at Trevi Fountain. We stopped for about 20 minutes in the Vatican but only saw it from the outside. Lines to get into St. Peters were about an hour. We went to two other churches instead and ate lunch at a lovely restaurant and walked about some of the squares.

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