Ruby Princess Cruise Review by MikCar
- Sail Date: February 2019
- Destination: Mexican Riviera
- Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
We saw many whales and schools of dolphins. Most sunsets were wonderful and a couple really spectacular. Seas were very smooth almost the entire trip. One night there was a slight wiggling. Actually we missed the ship rocking us to sleep. We took ship excursions in Cabo and La Paz, and took a cab to the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta. Loreto is an easy walk. In the past we have hired a van or taxi for $25 and had an hour tour of the area. Don’t miss the cemetery, it is beautiful.
We are Elite with Princess and have sailed on many of their ships. This was our third cruise on the Ruby. Everywhere the service was quick and accurate, from Horizon Court staff, to the Crown Steakhouse to the stores and also the Pursers desk. Staff were cheerful and friendly. The food was great. We loved all the variety in the buffet and have been trying their soups the last two cruises. Very good. Also, the smaller buffet aft in the Horizon Court, the Caribe Café was a good place to avoid crowds. One morning they had a “Chocolate Buffet” which included all the chocolate desserts you can think of, and chocolate waffles, chocolate pancakes and chocolate French toast. The meal in the Crown was great, although the $10 surcharge for a small, dry lobster tail to go with the filet was not good customer service. Come on! The pizza was good. The hamburgers and hot dogs were great. I had them build a double cheeseburger with fried onions for me. Predictably it exceeded my expectations. However the chicken street tacos had hard tortillas and the chicken was also hard. Won’t try them again.
We were offered a promo free meal in the Curtis Stone Share specialty Gastropub. The day and dine times were pre-arranged for a long port day and at 8 pm. We received this on the first day. I called to change it, could not. The only alternative was a formal night. They insisted we dress. We have been there and done that. Over it. Told them to keep their free meal! If they offer a promo meal, they should allow you to make the reservation before boarding, as with other dining reservations.
Our room was a mini-suite. Just fantastic. The door opens with Medallion card system, which is new. Also there are no baskets or name tags at room entrances now. Stuff is shoved under the door. The balcony was 30’ long, as we were aft. Plenty of room, storage, two large screen TV’s, etc. No complaints. The beds were just right and the free cordials good. Our room steward Paolo was super. Apparently the ship had a shortage of washcloths. We didn’t see one until day 3, although we asked for them.
The internet is as fast as at home…what an improvement ! No slow down when uploading or downloading. I could send a batch of pictures with normal speed. However there were connectivity issues for a while. I went to help desk at Internet Café twice. The man there was very helpful and said a system problem needed fixing. Signing on still was puzzling, but after three tries one could get on.
The television programming is okay. There is no way to view food menus on the TV. Carnival has this feature. Princess no longer has dining room menus posted outside the Horizon Court. So to see what for lunch or dinner, a trip to the dining room entrance is needed, as well as a wait in line then try to read the menu in poor light. Also, they could include food theme days for the Horizon Court, such as the German Day, the Mexican day, and so on.
We enjoy the “teas” in the afternoons. No mention in the Platter, and I checked every day. I asked an attendant in dining room. He said they still have them, but wasn’t sure. Too bad. There are beautiful banners that Princess hangs in the Piazza. Very colorful and depicting Mexican culture. They would usually hang from the first to the last port day. This time they only hung one day. Another shame.
The casino was sort of friendly, although most machines have minimum bets of 60 cents. There are very few costing 30 or 40 cents. Ended up losing, but they let me play awhile. Got my $1 deck of used, shaved Princess playing cards at cashiers, a tradition.
Our biggest disappointment was that there were no Port Talks, Enrichment Lectures, Naturalist talks, nothing but promos for selling jewelry, foot orthotics, spa services, etc. etc. etc…all day every day. For example, the one sea day before our first port, Cabo, from 8 am to noon, there were 27 events listed in the Platter. Of those, 12 were selling arthritis cures to diamonds. In the afternoon, until 5 pm there were 31 events. Of those, 15 provided everything from skin tightening to acupuncture. What a shame. In prior 16 sailings with Princess, we have always had lectures. We always learned something that made the voyage better. Many folks were on this itinerary for the first time and had a lot of questions. We especially like the tips for the ports. It would have been helpful at Puerto Vallarta due to massive construction dockside making it hard to get out to street. I think this is unforgivable.
Overall we didn’t see anything looking dated or in poor repair. The flooring on the Sport Deck by the Jacuzzis is ready to be replaced due to staining and wear. Otherwise we saw work crews doing shellacking and various repairs during the cruise. The new tables and chairs pool side are nice and comfortable.
Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze. Princess has these ACED. We literally walked on as fast as we could go. Our luggage was waiting in the room. We were on by 1;40 pm. On disembarkation day by 8:30 am they announced that they were an hour ahead, and that most everyone could begin to leave now! There are no longer health questionnaires to fill out, and life vests do not have to be carried to the muster drill. Federal Customs slips are no longer required.
We love cruising. It’s the ocean, sunrises, sunsets, sea life, ports, etc. Hard not to enjoy. On the other hand, I think princess missed the boat, so to speak, on this cruise with the lack of lectures, teas, flexibility in that free dinner we gave back.
Until next time, Adios, MikCar
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