As veteran cruisers we have taken 10 cruises on 5 different cruise lines, but never Princess. So when the embarkation went smoothly and we went onboard and saw how beautiful The Ruby Princess is, we had high expectations. A lot of them were met, many were not.First, our balcony cabin was very roomy and we loved the extra large balcony. The entire ship is well maintained with floors, counters, and railings seemingly always cleaned and polished. We found the staff, with only one or two exceptions, to be very friendly, courteous, and helpful. The exception to this was at the Hamburger grill area where the cooks appeared apathetic and you could not find a waiter to bring you a drink. The one we tracked down was surly.As far as the other food, the dinners and breakfasts were very enjoyable, and the meal choices excellent. Smoked salmon, goose pate, made to order omelets for breakfast and beef wellington, lobster, lamb chops for dinner made the experience special. The failure came with the lunches in The Horizon, which we considered a letdown in the choices and taste of the foods. The pizza was lousy. However, the biggest disappointment came with the seating arrangement. Good luck trying to find a table for breakfast in The Horizon. And anytime dining, which on other ships almost always guaranteed us a table for two, meant nothing on the Ruby Princess. We felt the Maitre D did not try hard enough to meet our needs unless you start to leave, then miraculously he has a table for two. However, while sitting in the Michelangelo anytime dining room, We often saw open tables for two that were not being used. Luckily, though, we had two fantastic waiters, Sutti and Suri, who made our dining experience special. They remembered our names after one visit, remembered our preferences, always advised on best dishes each night. Desserts on dinner menu were frequently odd, need to have an always available good old chocolate cake as a standard option. And as far as wine and bottled water prices, we considered them fair.International cafe snacks are great, and free! Coffee card a good deal. If you drink it in the cafe you get a free hot chocolate or premium hot tea with it for free.The entertainment was good, not great, and the Princess theatre and the Explorer's lounge did not have enough seating. The ship repeated shows for two days in a row to allow everyone to see them and you always had to arrive 30 minutes early to get two seats together. Sam is a very good cruise director-friendly, charming-but it was the deputy cruise director, Dan, whom we really enjoyed. He hosted the game shows and his quick wit and visual shenanigans made it fun. The other cruise director emcees were boring.Although the excursions were fairly priced, the reason is probably because they cram over 30 people into each group. Many are frail and the tours moved slowly, as did loading the tenders. Only loaded one boat at time, and so it took forever to fill a boat.Just a few last comments:There are not enough different specialty restaurants, and their menus don't change during the two week period, so there's no reason to return. For instance, NCL has a lot more specialty choices and the menu changes half way through the cruise so you can try something new.Wine tastings were good.We appreciated the fairly priced washers and dryers. Croque monsieur from room service was great.A good tip to order a pitcher of water from room service every day - it's free.Embarkation and disembarkation excellent. Very fast, efficient, no problemsWe felt the currency exchange machines took advantage of the situation. You not only received a bad exchange rate in changing dollars to Euros, you had to pay a $3.50 fee for each transaction.Good pub food in wheelhouse bar - and it was free. Good lunch option.Would we take Princess again? Maybe, but certainly with not a ship as large as the Ruby Princess. Perhaps we'd go with Princess on the smaller ships (680 passengers) they bought from Renaissance, a line we loved.