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As stated in the title, this was our very first cruise. We took it to celebrate my son's high school graduation so it was my husband, myself and my son sharing our midship balcony cabin. Maybe it's because we've never cruised before and didn't know what to expect but we all had a fantastic time. The cabin was tight but we knew it would be and we had everything we needed so when we were there, we were comfortable. I was grateful for all the reading I did on cruise hacks because the magnetic and suction hooks, plastic over-the-door shoe holder and poo-pourri I brought ensured we could all comfortably fit our things and avoid unpleasant smells. :) The only minor complaint we had was that it was difficult to see the t.v. from 2 of the three beds so we often were cramming together on one twin bed to watch things. It should have been mounted above the little alcove cabinet instead of on the wall, but other than that, we made do just fine. The balcony was a wonderful amenity that I'm glad we opted to pay for with this itinerary. One of my top reasons for wanting to visit Alaska was to view wildlife and with the balcony I could wrap myself up in a blanket and sip wine whilst spotting whales, porpoises, otters and eagles. That was truly amazing. Also, while we were in Glacier Bay we had the best view we could hope for because the captain made sure both sides of the boat had ample viewing time. I know on some cruises people recommend saving money by skipping the balcony but in my opinion this is not one of those cruises. Get a balcony. Waking up to the beauty of another port or being able to watch the majestic mountains glide by in your bathrobe were not to be missed. We only ate in the buffets, Cafe Caribe and Horizon Court, because we always forgot to make reservations at the other places but were 100% satisfied with the food there. I had read some complaints about the buffets before we went and I have to say I'm mystified. It was as nice as any high-end buffet I've ever been to. Impeccably clean (someone is always stationed at the entrance to make sure people use hand sanitizer) and filled with a huge variety of tasty favorites with some exotic choices. Everything we ate was prepared well and delicious. We went during busy times and had no trouble finding a place to sit. Water was served to us promptly and our dishes cleared quickly. Every single staff member we encountered there or elsewhere on the ship was friendly and polite. The highlight of the entertainment for us on the cruise was the onboard naturalist Michael Mogdalewski. We were a bit taken aback by his appearance at the first talk we attended because he didn't strike us as "outdoorsy" but we quickly learned not to judge the book by its cover because Mr. Mogdalewski knows his stuff. He gave several talks on wildife, the indigenous people of the area and narrated much of our time in glacier bay over the ship's p.a. system. His style of storytelling is truly riveting. The final talk he gave in Club Fusion about how climate change and other human activities are impacting the environment had us in tears. He cares deeply about the things of which he speaks and it shows. We did some other things like karaoke night, trivia and the art auctions, but didn't enjoy any of them nearly as much as we did his talks. Honestly, all the other stuff like the constant hype over the jewelry "sales" and art "giveaways" were super cheesy - verging on annoying. We couldn't figure out who spends thousands of dollars to be on a cruise and then wants to spend thousands more on art and jewelry they could buy from home but hey, to each their own! We booked our own excursions for each port and saved a ton of money as well as allowing us to be on private/semi-private, smaller groups. Who wants to be in pristine wilderness on a giant bus or huge boat? Plus the cruise automatically tacks on its profit for something you can do yourself. They try to scare you about independent operators who might bring you back late for boarding time, which is nonsense. All the excursion folks know exactly when the cruise ships dock and depart and guarantee to get you back on time. We were never even close to getting back late, so trust me on this one, you will have more fun by researching and customizing your own experience with one of the amazing companies at each port. Embarkation and disembarkation were simple and easy for us. Overall, the best vacation of my life thus far. I would definitely cruise again and hope to return to Alaska - this was a fantastic way to be introduced!!

Fantastic First Cruise!

Ruby Princess Cruise Review by MsMarquez88

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
As stated in the title, this was our very first cruise. We took it to celebrate my son's high school graduation so it was my husband, myself and my son sharing our midship balcony cabin. Maybe it's because we've never cruised before and didn't know what to expect but we all had a fantastic time. The cabin was tight but we knew it would be and we had everything we needed so when we were there, we were comfortable. I was grateful for all the reading I did on cruise hacks because the magnetic and suction hooks, plastic over-the-door shoe holder and poo-pourri I brought ensured we could all comfortably fit our things and avoid unpleasant smells. :) The only minor complaint we had was that it was difficult to see the t.v. from 2 of the three beds so we often were cramming together on one twin bed to watch things. It should have been mounted above the little alcove cabinet instead of on the wall, but other than that, we made do just fine. The balcony was a wonderful amenity that I'm glad we opted to pay for with this itinerary. One of my top reasons for wanting to visit Alaska was to view wildlife and with the balcony I could wrap myself up in a blanket and sip wine whilst spotting whales, porpoises, otters and eagles. That was truly amazing. Also, while we were in Glacier Bay we had the best view we could hope for because the captain made sure both sides of the boat had ample viewing time. I know on some cruises people recommend saving money by skipping the balcony but in my opinion this is not one of those cruises. Get a balcony. Waking up to the beauty of another port or being able to watch the majestic mountains glide by in your bathrobe were not to be missed.

We only ate in the buffets, Cafe Caribe and Horizon Court, because we always forgot to make reservations at the other places but were 100% satisfied with the food there. I had read some complaints about the buffets before we went and I have to say I'm mystified. It was as nice as any high-end buffet I've ever been to. Impeccably clean (someone is always stationed at the entrance to make sure people use hand sanitizer) and filled with a huge variety of tasty favorites with some exotic choices. Everything we ate was prepared well and delicious. We went during busy times and had no trouble finding a place to sit. Water was served to us promptly and our dishes cleared quickly. Every single staff member we encountered there or elsewhere on the ship was friendly and polite.

The highlight of the entertainment for us on the cruise was the onboard naturalist Michael Mogdalewski. We were a bit taken aback by his appearance at the first talk we attended because he didn't strike us as "outdoorsy" but we quickly learned not to judge the book by its cover because Mr. Mogdalewski knows his stuff. He gave several talks on wildife, the indigenous people of the area and narrated much of our time in glacier bay over the ship's p.a. system. His style of storytelling is truly riveting. The final talk he gave in Club Fusion about how climate change and other human activities are impacting the environment had us in tears. He cares deeply about the things of which he speaks and it shows. We did some other things like karaoke night, trivia and the art auctions, but didn't enjoy any of them nearly as much as we did his talks. Honestly, all the other stuff like the constant hype over the jewelry "sales" and art "giveaways" were super cheesy - verging on annoying. We couldn't figure out who spends thousands of dollars to be on a cruise and then wants to spend thousands more on art and jewelry they could buy from home but hey, to each their own!

We booked our own excursions for each port and saved a ton of money as well as allowing us to be on private/semi-private, smaller groups. Who wants to be in pristine wilderness on a giant bus or huge boat? Plus the cruise automatically tacks on its profit for something you can do yourself. They try to scare you about independent operators who might bring you back late for boarding time, which is nonsense. All the excursion folks know exactly when the cruise ships dock and depart and guarantee to get you back on time. We were never even close to getting back late, so trust me on this one, you will have more fun by researching and customizing your own experience with one of the amazing companies at each port.

Embarkation and disembarkation were simple and easy for us. Overall, the best vacation of my life thus far. I would definitely cruise again and hope to return to Alaska - this was a fantastic way to be introduced!!
MsMarquez88’s Full Rating Summary
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