Princess Birthday celebration on Ruby Princess: Ruby Princess Cruise Review by Blessedtocruise2011

Ruby Princess 5
Member Since 2011
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Princess Birthday celebration on Ruby Princess

Sail Date: September 2011
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Venice
We are a couple in our late 50's who traveled to meet our daughter ( who resides in Vietnam) half way around the world ( Venice) to celebrate her birthday, take our first ever cruise ( hers too) and enjoy the Greek Isles and the Mediterranean. She has always wanted to see the Greek Isles and it has also been a dream of mine. My hubby as he says came along for the ride. And what a ride. We flew the 11 hrs from Atlanta to Venice by way of Amsterdam. We spent an extra day and night in Venice and enjoyed getting lost among the various nooks, crannies and canals. We did independent walking tours of the city, the Doge's Palace, the Bridge of Sighs and of course just enjoyed St Marks' Square. The Basilica was closed so we did not go in but we just enjoyed soaking up the experience of being in this magical city. We stayed at the Duodo Palace Hotel which was closer to St Mark's Square than where the ship was docked. This was great for exploring Venice proper but a downside in getting to the More Ruby Princess. When I say downside water taxi's are not cheap!! But we were lucky enough to share with another couple. They are also like most taxi's anywhere else except they are on was a fast and raucous ride to the ship! Talk about getting sea legs fast!
On arrival at the port, bags were taken and we did not see them again until they were at our cabin door.
Embarkation was a breeze.The usual photo op then we were on Ruby. What a beautiful ship! We were like kids in a candy store wondering where to look or go next. Staff were everywhere, smiling and guiding us to our cabins and other places as we wandered our new home for 12 days. Our Cabin Steward Rommel was professional and friendly and always made sure that our needs were met. For our daughter's birthday he made a towel monkey ( yes she is an adult but there is something about those little animals, stuffed, towel or otherwise!)and he made our home away from home perfect!
C252 was perfect for an inside cabin. Enough room for the three of us and despite all I read here the beds were perfect for us. One thing that I read here that was great was to keep the TV on on the ships bridge cam at night. That way you get the sense of day and night and with it reflecting in the mirror it appears almost as a window..something I hear Disney has incorporated in their inside cabins.
My hubby was jet lagged and Venice lagged ( after walking the city over and over again)so he slept in after a quick view of Ruby. My daughter and I went to our first Traditional time dining experience and I can tell you the food was great the entire time ( okay one dish I did not particularly find appealing was the veal scallopini..)and yes we did indulge!!Our first meal was when we embarked after lunch closed in the MDR but HC was pretty decent and in general my hubby liked the buffet. Because of the port intensity of this cruise HC saw us for breakfast for most mornings and the fare was good. After awhile however I was getting a bit tired of eggs. One thing I can attest to is that Chef Joel Descrito is the best! He made a curry dish ( Curry chicken one night then curry lamb the next) that my hubby requested that made me wonder how I was ever to prepare these dishes again for my husband to enjoy after eating the ones that Chef Joel created. Scrumptious!!
The ports were fascinating. We were not fans of Corfu or Rhodes per se. Our Dubrovnik excursion was not what we signed up for in that the guide took us almost to Montenegro, did not have lunch in an all day tour ( we signed up for 1/2 day so something went awry somewhere) did not get to climb the wall around the city,but the brandy tasting and Cavat was interesting. Not complaining just a bit perplexing. Efes ( Epheseus) was breathtaking and the Amalfi Coast ( Naples) awe inspiring and beautiful. Oh and the sail away from Venice..heart stopping and soul stirring to say the least!
Lisa Ball was our CD and she and the assistant CD Eric really tried to drum up the entertaining spirit of the passengers. I think in my humble opinion that they did a good job or maybe it was the group that was sailing, I saw many participating in the activities and lots playing cards and table games, laughing and having a good time or relaxing with electronic readers poolside or on the promenade.
All staff were professional and friendly and I felt that anything we needed they would try to obtain.
Okay, so I fell for the first timers gotta have some of those $19-$25 pictures. Hubby liked the casino and we had wine at dinner almost every night, and my daughter and I just had to have that massage with the stones of course! And yes we did the Chef's Table. I've got to say with Generoso( love that man!) being so gracious and Chef Joel providing a wonderful meal not to mention great table was worth every dime even though the pricing has increased.
Sadly we had to disembark. That process was even more of a breeze than embarkation. I thought for sure it would take more time and so we had hired a taxi for 10am and I put us down for disembarkation at 0900 thinking for sure we would have to spend time looking for our luggage, getting to the pick up area etc. Nope we were out of there in 10 minutes flat and waited for our taxi!!
We stayed in Rome at the River Palace ( centrally located near the Villa Borghese gardens and the Piazza Popolo)for two nights and did our own tours of the city, the Vatican etc. The weather was phenomenal all along until Rome where it did rain that first day and was partly cloudy and cool but the Trevi Fountain ( heck all of Rome) at night was breathtaking and yes we did throw our coins in the Fountain and the Spanish steps were not as hard to go up or down as I thought ( after Santorini and Fira's 562 stairs anything else is easy!!).
Our favorites besides Venice was Mykonos, Santorini and the Amalfi Coast.
We loved our Princess experience. We chose this on a whim because our daughter's nick name is Princess and what better way for a Princess to celebrate her birthday but on a Princess ship?Well the fairy tale came true and it was sheer delight. Thanks will see us again. Less

Published 10/21/11

Cabin review: KKC-252

We were initially concerned regarding the space of the cabin as all three of us have varying degrees of claustrophobia. However I can honestly say that there was sufficient room for the three of us to sleep, get ready in the mornings and even take naps if we so felt without feeling cramped or closed in. The key is also keeping organized and tidy so as not to get cluttered in. That over the door shoe organizer was a godsend in keeping small stuff etc where we needed it without becoming clutter. I also found hanging laundry bags that worked great ( they zipped at the bottom for doing laundry later if you so felt like it). Our cabin steward also helped make our home away from home great also.

Port and Shore Excursions

We enjoyed the ships excursion to the Acropolis, Parthenon and Erechtheum and Poseidon's Temple. Our guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining. Also it was not crowded and the experience of being at such a historical site was great.

Maybe it was just us but even reading reviews this port did not appeal to us. We just got off the ship and walked to the old walled town and fort then came back. One thing I appreciated re all the ports of call was Deborah who provided port lectures so you could discern if you wanted to go it on your own ( especially if you did not research before hand or did not want to take ship excursions)or not.
Read 508 Corfu Reviews

This is a port I think we could have done on our own in terms of getting to the old city , walking the wall and enjoying the area.

Beautiful beaches,architecture, seaside and of course little Venice and Pelican Petros ( Pelican Pete!).
Read 838 Mykonos Reviews

5+ not for the actual port of Naples although I know some did venture into this city. However 5+++ for the Amalfi Coast drive through Positano, Sorrento, to Amalfi and very near Salerno. The scenery unbelievably gorgeous that pictures really cannot capture it all. Amalfi quaint. Capri the best lemonade on earth. Then onto Pompeii...everything you ever learned in high school history classes and more.
Read 1171 Naples Reviews

This was another port that we did not really enjoy as much. The history seemed a bit tainted with the "new" old castle. It is as in an effort to rebuild history they have taken away the charm of the old. The trolley/train ride around the island was not an good experience as you could not hear the guide over the traffic. Again this is a port one could conceivable easily do on their own.
Read 390 Rhodes Reviews

Breathtakingly beautiful is the Caldera and the cities of Fira and Oia atop the volcano. Breath taking is the 562 stair climb. Could not use the donkeys and did not take the cable cars. Wine tasting a must. Wished we could have been there for the sunset!

Getting to the port is tricky as is getting anywhere in Venice with luggage. Unless you pack light and are able to travel independently via the People Mover and water buses you will end up in a water taxi. Best bet is to share with someone to help defray costs. The port experience was great. Unlike what has been reported here in the past where you were dropped at the port then had to find your way to a separate area without much instruction to drop off your luggage then find your way back to embarkation area, once you get to port Princess has staff everywhere to assist. They take your luggage and guide you to the embarkation area. Your luggage then arrives at your cabin later in the day or evening... a breeze. Venice...beautiful, magical..get lost and find your way. Eat at a little restaurant by candle light. Enjoy a trip to Murano and Burano. Learn how to trust blindly when riding in a gondola...believe me it is a trust thing not only a romantic thing!!
Read 1149 Venice Reviews

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Member Since 2011
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