Spectacular summer trip: Ruby Princess Cruise Review by eclue

Ruby Princess 5
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Spectacular summer trip

Sail Date: July 2011
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Venice
Having decided to finally return to Europe after many years, it was a cruise that came to mind. We had already done two Princess cruises in the past year to the Caribbean so I knew that Princess was the way to go. The itinerary was what finalized the decision..they offerd the most time in the most interesting places on a cruise that is very port intensive.

We flew from Houston to Newark to Frankfurt to Venice...lucky to go first class in the new lie down seats on Continental...all was great until we got to Frankfurt.....terrible place to connect. They post inaccurate gate info and the airport is huge; we almost missed the Lufthansa connection to Venice and that was also a joke....no boarding order. just cattle rushing the gate...really funny.

Spent two days in Venice prior to boarding the ship. Stayed in Mestre at the Hotel Tritone strictly for thr convenience of not hving to haul all the luggage over the bridges and canals...worked out well as Venice was extremely More hot and humid. Mestre is not exactly a tourist attraction but has the easiest access to the port.

Boarding the Ruby was simple. Princess has this process down to a science and it is always easy....very little waiting. Checked out the cabin and then headed for lunch and then the shuttle back into Venice. The shuttle is easy and convenient..took the people mover back over to Piazza Roma to buy some wine and then just settled in to watch the water taxis hurrying passengers to the ship.

We always get a mini suite midship and this was no exception. Our only complaint was the cabin steward ( Edgardo ). He was very lax and almost disinterested in his job...Previous Princess stewards have been fantastic

We asked Edgardo for an extra ice bucket and he asked " why"? Well, that is not his place to ask...maybe we like a lot of ice. The only other request during our trip was for him to bring some lotion. We use mainly our own toiletries and had run out of lotion....had to ask twice. There were several nights that we told him to skip the turn down as it was late and still not done...had to ask repeatedly for a room service morning ticket for the door. Other than that the dining room staff is very attentive .

We took the Ultimate Ship Tour on the last sea day. It is $150.per person and worth every penny. It was great to meet Commodore Romano and spend time on the Bridge having him answer so many questions. Met all the ship officers of each division...loved going throught the galley and seeing how they organize all the food, bakery, etc. It is quite amazing. In return, we got a lovely album of 8x10 photos posed with the various ship officers, the big thick Princess robes, a Pricess chef jacket, personalized stationary and a wonderful experience.

The itinerary was busy...our favorite place was Turkey. Kusadasi and Istanbul need to be revisited. In Livorno, we did our own trip to Pisa and then on to Lucca via train. It is easy and Lucca is a great alternative to Florence if you have already been there..we rented bikes and biked arond the city and the walled enclosure. Visiting Pompeii was a real highlight of the trip. It was overcast and a bit drizzly, so it was cool and the photos came out perfectly.

The only downside to our itinerary was AThens...ther was a taxi strike that day and we were not allowed to leave the ship. Costa lines right next to us allowed their passengers to disembark. It was frustrating having to stay onboard and miss the great sights. What was puzzling to me was that they knew about the strike ahead of time and should have made a different stop as I know the Celebrity line did that. My taxi driver that we had booked in Athens sent me an email the previous day telling me that our tour was cancelled because of the strike so I am certain that the ship also knew.

All in all, a fantastic itinerary and wonderful trip.

We visited the casino and met our old friend, Marek, who works in the casino..had met him on the Caribbean Princess earlier this year. What a nice coincidence.

We never made it to the shows because we had such busy active days..In the evening, there was dinner and then enjoying wine on our balcony as we sailed away to a different place.

Anytime dining is our favorite way to go....we enjoyed one formal night but the other one we just dined at the Cafe Caribe...usually going outside to watch the ships wake..the water is so blue and clear , it is a totally relaxing way to end the day.

So I give Pricess a gold star for another wonderful trip.

We will be looking to the Caribbean in the next few months as those are our favorites for the great beaches.

Highly recommend Princess!!!

In closing, if you are adults and do not wish to be bothered with a lot of noise from kids running around, then do this cruise anytime but the summer. There were so many children and the parents do not discipline them..constant running in the cabin over head and we heard this from so many other cruisers. Less

Published 08/23/11
Helpful? Thank eclue

Cabin review: AAD418

Our cabin location was perfect. Close to the elevators so no racing around if you forgot something..absolutely no noise except for children running in the cabin overhead.

Port and Shore Excursions

Cannot comment as we were stuck on the ship due to a taxi strike.

Have already been to Florence and did not wish to fight the crowds so planned a side trip to Pisa and then on to Lucca on the train. It was great. I highly recommend Lucca as an alternative to Florence. The train ride is scenic and inexpensive...about 40 minutes total from Livorno. Lucca is a fascinating place...rented bikes to ride around the walled city. It was cool and a real joy. Had a spectacular lunch in town, took a bunch of great pictures, and had a relaxing day.

We simply loved Istanbul....the people are so friendly and the sights so amazing. WE did it on our own, taking the tram over to Sultanahmet was so easy although a bit crowded with the morning rush. The Blue Mosque and AyaSophia are beyond words..had private guided tours of both and again tons of photos. We went to the Arasta Bazaar and of course, I purchased 6 hand bags there of which we had shipped back home. My husband had a leather jacket tailored to fit....very reasonable and good quality leather. I wish we had several days in Istanbul....the leather shop owner invited us to lunch in his private garden and we enjoyed the Turkish food which was very delicious. Hope to return there one day...I especially like the way the Moslems and Christians are able to gather peaceably and respect each others beliefs.

Read 403 Istanbul Reviews

Wonderful port....WE had a private tour guide to Ephesus and it was simply incredible. I have an entire album of photos of all the ruins and terrace houses. I only wish we had a full day to spend there...we had only a half day and the time went so fast....would have enjoyed seeing more of the countryside and beaches.

Read 614 Kusadasi Reviews

If only for the beauty, one needs to see MOnaco. Had also been there many years ago...it is more developed today...bigger yachts in the marina. Took the Little Red train tour around the city, watched the guard change at the palace, walked up those incredible steep hills for more great pictures, got totally ripped off for 2 capucchinos ( $25 euros).....oh well, it is MOnaco. I seemed to have skipped Mykonos which was another favorite port.Went to the St JOhn's Resort for a wonderful beach experience and loved the town of Mykonos. Also Barcelona was the final stop....did the Ramblas, etc...loved Familia Sagrada/ Had three days there..did the Hop on and off bus which is a good way to go. Too many people there for us..we could have done with two days.

Another awesome experience....had a private guide in Pompeii which should be on everyone's bucket list. Lots of walking, but worth it. Also went to Sorrento , Positano, Amalfi coast drive which is breathtaking.. Loved the Lemoncello and brought some home.

Read 1172 Naples Reviews

Had planned to join others on a trip to Rome but developed a headache and just could not bear the thought of the crowds there. I had been to Rome previously so just stayed in Civetechhia(sp ),....walked around the town..not much to see, spent a few hours just relaxing on the town beach which had beautiful clear water but very rocky, had a good lunch for a reasonable price....was Sunday and many shops were closed.

Incredible city but difficult to access the port. If you stay outside of the city in Mestre, it is easier as a cab can bring you direct for a very reasonable price. Staying in the city means hauling the luggage over the bridges, etc. Hiring a private taxi to tour the city was great ($125)..we did that early one morning as we stayed there prior to the cruise. Hiring a private taxi to the port is $150. Venice is a photographer's dream... We walked every day for 6 to 8 hours...left us exhausted as it was very hot even by Texas standards. The food was okay except for the calamari which was the very best ever..we had that three days in a row. Everyone speaks English and are friendly. The train station is a bit confusing but we did it. The prices are quite high so be careful. I would choose a different embarkation point.

Read 1149 Venice Reviews

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