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The itinerary was exactly what we wanted. Both islands for New Zealand and Hobart Tasmania (our favorite), Melbourne and Sydney for Australia. Unfortunately, a storm and heavy seas caused us to miss Akaora and Fiordlands and gave us a number of days of rough seas and cold days. Not the fault of Princess and the decision of the captain was understandable and appreciated . Safety first. The crew and staff were outstanding. Favorite port was Hobart Tasmania, What an enchanted place is Tasmania! Art, history wildlife, pastoral countryside. Our cabin was large and well appointed and the cabin steward was wonderful. The price for the cruise was good, as long as you don't want anything other than a cabin, tap water and coffee/tea and pretty standard food. On the ship it was disappointing that so many things cost extra, - soft drinks, bottled water, "gourmet" hamburgers, ice cream sundaes, gelato, specialty coffees and IMO not good value for the money. Of the three (Share, Crown and Salty Dog Pub) only the Share specialty restaurant was worth the extra charge. Food at meals in the buffet was plentiful, but pretty average. Steaks available at every dinner in the formal restaurants, but $24 (Aus) extra. Drink packages and wifi were expensive, but wifi was excellent. You have to be a pretty heavy drinker to make the packages worthwhile. The excursions were expensive compared with those available through tour companies at most ports on shore (hint - book ahead), but most were good. We liked the train at Dunedin and were glad we booked through Princess as it picks you up at the port, rather than having to catch the other train in town some miles away. The ship was built in 2008 and had been nicely refurbished a couple of years ago, but rust showing outside and on the balcony. Interiors were very lovely.

Aukland to Sydney outrunning a storm

Ruby Princess Cruise Review by Cadodge

Trip Details
The itinerary was exactly what we wanted. Both islands for New Zealand and Hobart Tasmania (our favorite), Melbourne and Sydney for Australia. Unfortunately, a storm and heavy seas caused us to miss Akaora and Fiordlands and gave us a number of days of rough seas and cold days. Not the fault of Princess and the decision of the captain was understandable and appreciated . Safety first. The crew and staff were outstanding. Favorite port was Hobart Tasmania, What an enchanted place is Tasmania! Art, history wildlife, pastoral countryside.

Our cabin was large and well appointed and the cabin steward was wonderful. The price for the cruise was good, as long as you don't want anything other than a cabin, tap water and coffee/tea and pretty standard food. On the ship it was disappointing that so many things cost extra, - soft drinks, bottled water, "gourmet" hamburgers, ice cream sundaes, gelato, specialty coffees and IMO not good value for the money. Of the three (Share, Crown and Salty Dog Pub) only the Share specialty restaurant was worth the extra charge. Food at meals in the buffet was plentiful, but pretty average. Steaks available at every dinner in the formal restaurants, but $24 (Aus) extra. Drink packages and wifi were expensive, but wifi was excellent. You have to be a pretty heavy drinker to make the packages worthwhile.

The excursions were expensive compared with those available through tour companies at most ports on shore (hint - book ahead), but most were good. We liked the train at Dunedin and were glad we booked through Princess as it picks you up at the port, rather than having to catch the other train in town some miles away. The ship was built in 2008 and had been nicely refurbished a couple of years ago, but rust showing outside and on the balcony. Interiors were very lovely.
Cadodge’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BE
Nicely appointed and spacious. They charge for bottled water in cabin, but if you need distilled water for a CPAP they will provide a gallon for free. There is self service laundry for about $3 a load (Aus) and $3 for drying. The ship's laundry did a nice job and the cost pretty reasonable for a ship.
Riviera Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Auckland
    Impulse booking through our hotel prior to boarding the Ruby. Not really a Lord of the Rings or Hobbit movie fan, but this tour was most enjoyable. Long drive (2.5 hours each way) through beautiful countryside, a stop for lunch and tour of the Hobbiton Farm. Really quaint and interesting walking tour of the Hobbit village built for the Hobbit Trilogy. (The original set built for the Lord of the Rings was torn down, but this set was rebuilt for the Hobbit movies and is identical). The drive was a nice introduction to the area surrounding Auckland.
    View All 13,785 Auckland Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Taieri Gorge Railway
    Train ride through beautiful countryside. Train picks you up next to ship. Light snacks and sandwiches served. Ask to be dropped off in town on way back so you can explore this lovely city with a Scottish flair.
    View All 57 Taieri Gorge Railway Reviews
  • Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary
    Wonderful experience at the sanctuary getting up close to Kangaroos (yes, you can pet them), Tasmanian Devils (no - do not touch!) koalas and Wombats. All have been rescued and are being cared for.
    View All 24 Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary Reviews
  • Richmond
    Included with the tour of Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. Historic bucolic small city in the countryside. Great Ice Cream and history.
    View All 11 Richmond Reviews
  • City Tour
    Okay drive through the city and drive-by of the sights. Little stopping for pictures.
    View All 21 City Tour Reviews
  • Picton
    Can't remember the name. Trek around a nature reserve. I can no longer find it online. It was horrible, so hopefully they no longer offer it. The guide thought he was doing an iron man walk and no birds or wildlife were seen. A quick boat ride past some nets was our tour of a mussel farm.
    View All 145 Picton Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Geothermal Springs
    Very well done tour of the Thermal valleys surrounding this area of New Zealand.
    View All 35 Geothermal Springs Reviews
  • Wai-O-Tapu Valley
    Very well done tour of the Thermal valleys surrounding this area of New Zealand.
    View All 6 Wai-O-Tapu Valley Reviews
  • Cable car
    City tour, Te Papa Museum Rose Garden and Cable car all included in tour. Very informative and well done. Museum was also the lunch stop (lunch not included). Museum is wonderful and could have spent the entire day there.
    View All 30 Cable car Reviews
  • City Tour
    City tour, Te Papa Museum Rose Garden and Cable car all included in tour. Very informative and well done. Museum was also the lunch stop (lunch not included). Museum is wonderful and could have spent the entire day there.
    View All 31 City Tour Reviews
  • Lady Norwood Rose Garden
    City tour, Te Papa Museum Rose Garden and Cable car all included in tour. Very informative and well done. Museum was also the lunch stop (lunch not included). Museum is wonderful and could have spent the entire day there.
    View All 10 Lady Norwood Rose Garden Reviews
  • Te Papa Museum
    City tour, Te Papa Museum Rose Garden and Cable car all included in tour. Very informative and well done. Museum was also the lunch stop (lunch not included). Museum is wonderful and could have spent the entire day there.
    View All 27 Te Papa Museum Reviews