Ship left out of Seattle which is convenient for us. We've done Alaska 10 times and wanted something different. This itinerary fit the bill. Ports of call were interesting and I adore the Ruby Princess. My only complaint is that food quality seems to be less impressive than in previous years. Deserts and appetizers were wonderful, but on two nights the entrees were merely OK. My waiters offered different entrees, and did everything they could to make it right. I was OK with it as I am not a "foodie" and am happy with any meal as long as I don't need to cook and clean! If you are a "foodie", then I would suggest eating in the specialty restaurants (the Crown Grill is always great!). Easiest embarkation and disembarkation I have ever had! Entertainment was excellent as well. The production shows "Once upon a dream" , "Magic to do" and "Colors of the world" were entertaining. The magician, comedian, and singers were great as well. Movies under the stars was a bit disappointing just because it was too cold, despite staff bringing me 4 (yes 4!) blankets. Opted to do shore excursions on our own, so cannot speak to those. Can't wait to be back on the Ruby again in April!
Cabin was clean and our cabin steward was excellent. I do not care for the shampoo they provide (it dries my hair out) so I always bring my own. We brought a multi-plug outlet but were unable to use it due to size of the outlets. Fortunately, we really did not need it.
We bought shuttle tickets onboard $13 each. We explored the Royal British Museum on our own. It was great. They had an Egyptian exhibit that was really unique as it focused on the average worker in Egypt, and not the usual royals. The real trouble was the shuttle back. It was a 45 min wait to get on! The line was long with no seating and this elderly couple made up some bogus excuse and cut right in front of us! ARGH! It was so frustrating that many people were hailing cabs instead of waiting any longer.
We did not take a ship excursion. Instead we walked down the path to the Monterey Aquarium. It is a bit of a hike (1.5 miles) but good exercise with a gorgeous view. The aquarium was wonderful. We made it in time for penguin feeding. The jellyfish exhibit was amazing. I was disappointed they did not have more mammals (only a few sea otters, no sea lions, seals, or dolphins) but they did have lots of touch tanks! If traveling with kids, they will love it!
Took Hop on/Hop off bus as I was able to get discount tickets through my employer. It was interesting but I would NOT get off in some of those neighborhoods. If you are on the upper deck be prepared for smelling lots of weed. We did get off at the Golden Gate Park and explored the Japanese Tea Garden. It was fabulous! Highly recommend it. $9 to get in, but worth the money. Take some time to enjoy the 2000 year old Buddha statue, contemplate the Zen Garden, and feed to HUGE koi.
Did not take any shore excursions. Walked down to the Maritime museum on our own. BIt of a hike (1.8 miles) bit I needed to burn off all the calories I eat onboard. Stopped by the Farmer's Market on the way back. Both were highly enjoyable. The real highlight, though was exploring the lighthouse ship Columbia!