1st Time Ruby, 1st Time CruiseCritic Group Member, 1st TA!: Ruby Princess Cruise Review by InsideTheCaldera

Ruby Princess 5
Member Since 2010
294 Forum Posts

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1st Time Ruby, 1st Time CruiseCritic Group Member, 1st TA!

Sail Date: May 2011
Destination: Transatlantic
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Embarcation time of 5 minutes(!) from our arrival at Port Everglades aboard our Marriotts Springhill Suites free shuttle, thru "Processing" (keep moving please) to the moment we swiped our shiny new Sailing Cards as we boarded Ruby Princess. IMPRESSIVE! Went right to our stateroom - clean (we checked EVERYTHING), bright, balcony Cabin B631, Starboard, listed "midship" but just at 'Aft' (which may explain the unrelenting vibrations that persisted throughout the 2 weeks in OUR cabin, while others in Interior and midships had none) - Luggage arrived at cabin within 1 hour.

Armed with a ships 'maplet' we explored the lovely vessel we'll call "home" for the next 2 weeks!

The Piazza - spacious, lounge area you can enjoy from Decks 5, 6, 7 - resplendant with glittering brass, gold, and glass details, artwork and spiraling staircases - a pianist plays, there's dance & sushi exhibitions and pre or after-dinner dancing.

The 'International Cafe' (a must if you More really like coffee) adjuts the Piazza -we loved their fresh pasta, seafood salads, quick sandwiches and French Patisserie style desserts all FREE but they charge for gelato! (The coffee card for $28 for 15 specialty coffee drinks was a BARGAIN! Makes up for 'concentrated coffee' served in Buffetts. Regular coffee is free)

After 4pm Muster Drill, we went up to Tradwinds Bar to personally meet the folks we'd been 'posting' with for months at the Cruise Critic Roll Call Boards. About 100 of us from all over the USA, Canada, and UK! We'd taken a vote online and named ourselves 'RUBY GEMS' - About 50 of us showed up in Red Ribbons for the informal "Drinkaway" that afternoon as we lifted anchor and began our transatlantic journey together! Later, we had formal Meet & Greet in Skywalkers Bar at Deck 18 where Captain Tony Yeomans and 5 of his Executive Staff surprised us "Ruby Gems" for about 45 minutes of chat, questions, experiences and photos!

The Upside of the Ruby Princess is definitely its crew. Ask a question - If crew did not know, they found someone who did. My complaint about 'tepid' hot tubs to GM Gunther was rectified within hours. However, the Customer Service desk, one person might know and another not. That should be rectified. ALL customer desk staff should know how to acquire stamps and mail a letter. Casino personnel was abrupt and less interested in helping. After the first night at Traditional Dining, we switched to Anytime to join some Ruby Gems friends - The level of service was really Exellent - Da Vinci restaurant was upbeat, lively and well run! Meats were well prepared but poultry, such as duck, seemed to suffer too much heat lamps. We'll continue Anytime dinners - it suits us. We dined every day in Horizon or Caribe for breakfast. We LOVED the smoked salmon, bagels and cream cheese! What a treat. However, staff is too exuberant about removing plates. Had to actually keep a hand on dishes to prevent removal while I chatted. The ship was constantly cleaned, fussed about, and maintained. You'll love the clean decks, railings, tables, sofas! The Ports were imaginative and fun - however, don't Tender into Monte Carlo in choppy seas, crew was not skilled at docking and folks got very ill. Less

Published 05/23/11

Cabin review: BDB631 Balcony

Cabin B631 was clean, bright but floor vibrations persisted throughout the cruise while other rooms had none. Would not book this room again on this ship.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Charming little village town. The annula Flower Parade was in full swing upon docking and we simply took a 15-20 minute walk into town beating the busess and cabs who languished at the Port loading folks!! Really pleasant, easy walk throughout town. Outdoor Apollo Restaurant gave me the traditional Medeira Wine and Honey Cake - told waiter I was from San Francisco so what kind of Medeira should I order and he said "Oh, you want the light, dry" and it was perfect. No varnishy flavor - so sickening sweet syrup. Pale, golden color, tasted like a soft spring day, if you could drink a day! Visited the Church in town - did not go up the tram but others did and said was lovely up top. I loved the little town and would like to visit again for the good shops and food.

what an elegant, de lux stop. we won in the little casino near the main Casino de Paris (which was closed when we arrived and only opened after our ship departed) on a video poker game. There is no entry fee - just walk in. Tried to get a Casino Player Card but they don't give them! A lovely lady boarding a city bus near the pier told us it is cheaper than a cab or tour bus. We paid 6 euro for up to 6 people to ride the city bus all day for 6 stops! So just plan out what you wish to see and get on board. Its really a beautiful City.

For both Rome and Florence we arranged private tours online BEFORE leaving home in California. My strong advice is to do so. We went with www.romelimostours.com and for 8 people got a brand new mercedes jitney, cushy leather seats, tv monitors througout and speaker system - Daniele our guide is young, well dressed, very knowledgeable Roman who knew each tiny alleyway and parking spot. We never had to walk great distances and he was ready on a dime when we decided NOT to get out at the Coloseum (so packed that day with special exhibition) so he provided 3 other very interesting stops that we wouldn't have seen otherwise including the site of the famous Roman Chariot Races behind the Coloseum - we got out and strolled along the grassy steep knoll, where 250,000 people once sat across from Emperors Palace on other side of the visible, well maintained, oblong 'track' where 'Ben Hur' types raced! It was exciting!

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Member Since 2010
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