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We chose this as our first Xmas Cruise, it could have been oh so much better. Embarkation was brilliant. 15 minutes from getting out of the taxi with our baggage to arriving in our Cabin. We've done a few cruises now, this was the quickest embarkation by far. Captain set the tone before the Emergency Muster, by telling parents to take charge of their children. Ship crew and other passengers were not responsible for other parents children, any misbehavior would result in said children and their parents being put off at the next port. Well done to the Captain for spelling out how people were to conduct themselves. Worked a treat for the entire cruise. Ship public areas very neat and clean. Furniture is looking a tad old and the interiors could do with some serious brightening up but otherwise very good. If anything, the Piazza on Deck 5 could do with a lot more chairs, simply not enough of them considering the numbers of people who wished to avail themselves of a snack and coffee (awful more later). Our dining was fixed at 5pm Botticelli Dining Room, Table 85. Our Waiter was Ed and he was fantastic. Knew everything he needed to know be it food or wine, his service was great. Very cheerful, lots of friendly banter between us, made dining a pleasure Cabin - see Cabin Review below. Entertainment was very very lack lustre and focused a lot on the Americans onboard. Given we're in Australian and New Zealand waters, entertainment from that part of the world would have been good. Presentations other than port visits and from a New Zealand Wildlife Ranger were non existent. Music from the band and others was good but rather repetitive. Food, in the Dining Room we had excellent food, lots of it and good choices. The Buffet was awful, way too much focus again on American food, lots of very sweet stuff sickly sweet especially the desserts. No toasters in the Buffet to do your own toast. The Egg Station was very good as it should be. At least Vegemite was provided but you had to go looking for it, ditto butter and margarine. International Cafe where the coffee was, simply disgusting. Coffee was often burnt, using Dark Roasted Beans that were bitter. Milk was UHT Long Life RUBBISH ditto the Cream and the Ice Cream onboard. Given that both Australia and New Zealand are elite Dairy nations there is absolutely NO excuse to serve up such crap to passengers. White Sugar as well, not a crumb of Raw Sugar onboard. The Barrista's were efficient and prompt service but they were often outnumbered by people wanting a coffee, the queue at one stage was over 50 people waiting. Princess indeed all cruise lines really need to sort out their coffee because I've never had worse and the cafes ashore did a booming trade from passengers wanting GOOD coffee not CRAP. The Burger and Pizza Slice bar was good. Again nicely made, tasty and plenty of it. Drink prices were DISGUSTING. Princess get their alcohol at Duty Free Prices yet they were charging more for ordinary drinks than pubs etc etc here in Australia or New Zealand were. In other words passengers are being ripped right off. Same with the Wine List, I couldn't believe the prices charged for wines that were cheaper to buy here in Australia at Dan Murphys. So we chose to have our drinks ashore plus we brought back onboard our own soft drinks again oh so much cheaper than $3.75 a coke can. Curtis Stone's restaurant SHARE is oh so worth a visit. We had a wonderful 6 course meal on Xmas Night. Great waiter with a wonderful view thrown in looking over the stern of the ship. Food was beautifully cooked, presented and tasted delicious. Can't say the same for the Crown Grill. I received a 500 gram Rib Eye that was HALF Fat and Gristle, disgusting in fact one of the worst steaks I've ever eaten on any cruise anywhere in the world. Some years ago we cruised on the Sea Princess, the steakhouse on her, you were presented with the raw steaks so you could select your steak cut accordingly. Not here. Other than that given we had a bland entree as well, I wouldn't bother. Dessert was the highlight here which brightened up the night somewhat. We did 2 Shore Excursions, namely the Picton Sound morning cruise, was sensational if a tad cold. Wonderful narration by the ships captain who gave us a detailed narration of the history, the wildlife and flora of the region. The sun broke through as we turned for home so we got to see some dolphins as well. Our 2nd Shore Excursion was the 7 Hour Disembarkation Tour of Auckland. Our bus driver Ian was just sensational, lots of banter going back and forth between Ian and us Aussies onboard. The Auckland Aquarium was delightful, lunch in North Auckland lovely and the Sky Tower view great. Watching some goose screaming their head off as they plummeted to the ground in around 5 seconds was interesting. Speaking of Disembarkation, passengers were off and processed by the Kiwi's so fast the porters were struggling to get their luggage off the ship quick enough. Again around 15 minutes from ship to shore, onboard our coach for our tour, can't fault that.

Could have been oh so much better

Ruby Princess Cruise Review by asdf1245

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose this as our first Xmas Cruise, it could have been oh so much better.

Embarkation was brilliant. 15 minutes from getting out of the taxi with our baggage to arriving in our Cabin. We've done a few cruises now, this was the quickest embarkation by far.

Captain set the tone before the Emergency Muster, by telling parents to take charge of their children. Ship crew and other passengers were not responsible for other parents children, any misbehavior would result in said children and their parents being put off at the next port. Well done to the Captain for spelling out how people were to conduct themselves. Worked a treat for the entire cruise.

Ship public areas very neat and clean. Furniture is looking a tad old and the interiors could do with some serious brightening up but otherwise very good. If anything, the Piazza on Deck 5 could do with a lot more chairs, simply not enough of them considering the numbers of people who wished to avail themselves of a snack and coffee (awful more later).

Our dining was fixed at 5pm Botticelli Dining Room, Table 85. Our Waiter was Ed and he was fantastic. Knew everything he needed to know be it food or wine, his service was great. Very cheerful, lots of friendly banter between us, made dining a pleasure

Cabin - see Cabin Review below.

Entertainment was very very lack lustre and focused a lot on the Americans onboard. Given we're in Australian and New Zealand waters, entertainment from that part of the world would have been good. Presentations other than port visits and from a New Zealand Wildlife Ranger were non existent. Music from the band and others was good but rather repetitive.

Food, in the Dining Room we had excellent food, lots of it and good choices. The Buffet was awful, way too much focus again on American food, lots of very sweet stuff sickly sweet especially the desserts. No toasters in the Buffet to do your own toast. The Egg Station was very good as it should be. At least Vegemite was provided but you had to go looking for it, ditto butter and margarine.

International Cafe where the coffee was, simply disgusting. Coffee was often burnt, using Dark Roasted Beans that were bitter. Milk was UHT Long Life RUBBISH ditto the Cream and the Ice Cream onboard. Given that both Australia and New Zealand are elite Dairy nations there is absolutely NO excuse to serve up such crap to passengers. White Sugar as well, not a crumb of Raw Sugar onboard. The Barrista's were efficient and prompt service but they were often outnumbered by people wanting a coffee, the queue at one stage was over 50 people waiting. Princess indeed all cruise lines really need to sort out their coffee because I've never had worse and the cafes ashore did a booming trade from passengers wanting GOOD coffee not CRAP.

The Burger and Pizza Slice bar was good. Again nicely made, tasty and plenty of it.

Drink prices were DISGUSTING. Princess get their alcohol at Duty Free Prices yet they were charging more for ordinary drinks than pubs etc etc here in Australia or New Zealand were. In other words passengers are being ripped right off. Same with the Wine List, I couldn't believe the prices charged for wines that were cheaper to buy here in Australia at Dan Murphys. So we chose to have our drinks ashore plus we brought back onboard our own soft drinks again oh so much cheaper than $3.75 a coke can.

Curtis Stone's restaurant SHARE is oh so worth a visit. We had a wonderful 6 course meal on Xmas Night. Great waiter with a wonderful view thrown in looking over the stern of the ship. Food was beautifully cooked, presented and tasted delicious.

Can't say the same for the Crown Grill. I received a 500 gram Rib Eye that was HALF Fat and Gristle, disgusting in fact one of the worst steaks I've ever eaten on any cruise anywhere in the world. Some years ago we cruised on the Sea Princess, the steakhouse on her, you were presented with the raw steaks so you could select your steak cut accordingly. Not here. Other than that given we had a bland entree as well, I wouldn't bother. Dessert was the highlight here which brightened up the night somewhat.

We did 2 Shore Excursions, namely the Picton Sound morning cruise, was sensational if a tad cold. Wonderful narration by the ships captain who gave us a detailed narration of the history, the wildlife and flora of the region. The sun broke through as we turned for home so we got to see some dolphins as well.

Our 2nd Shore Excursion was the 7 Hour Disembarkation Tour of Auckland. Our bus driver Ian was just sensational, lots of banter going back and forth between Ian and us Aussies onboard. The Auckland Aquarium was delightful, lunch in North Auckland lovely and the Sky Tower view great. Watching some goose screaming their head off as they plummeted to the ground in around 5 seconds was interesting.

Speaking of Disembarkation, passengers were off and processed by the Kiwi's so fast the porters were struggling to get their luggage off the ship quick enough. Again around 15 minutes from ship to shore, onboard our coach for our tour, can't fault that.
asdf1245’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BD
Our Cabin C707 was Starboard Aft Deck 10 Caribe, pretty much next to the aft elevators (not that you could hear them and it was a very quiet location).

Our Cabin Steward Christian was simply wonderful. He was there, that we know but we hardly ever saw him. On arrival our cabin was extremely clean and very well presented. The en suite was very small but we didn't have any problem with that at all. Bed was extremely comfortable. We had one Australian Power Adapter which was adequate. Bonus the old small flat screen tv tucked in the corner of the cabin is now gone. In its place is a 41 inch 105cm LG flat screen placed on the wall directly opposite the bed. So we gained a much better tv and a bit more storage space as well.

Cabin balcony is 3 metres by 3 metres which was wonderful. We had so much space to stretch out and truly relax on our balcony.

The only complaint I had was the amount of rust and lack of maintenance. Furniture was starting to look a tad old as well. We also had an issue with the ever continuing to flush toilet up to 7 minutes at a time. Finally the plumber pulled the whole system out, replacing it all and the problem was fixed.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews