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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: February 2018
I've seen a fair number of negative comments on Ruby Princess in CC, so was wondering what kind of experience we would have on our 7 day Mexican Riviera cruise. I'm happy to say we had a fantastic vacation and I'm a bit puzzled by some ... Read More
I've seen a fair number of negative comments on Ruby Princess in CC, so was wondering what kind of experience we would have on our 7 day Mexican Riviera cruise. I'm happy to say we had a fantastic vacation and I'm a bit puzzled by some of the negative reviews. This is now my favorite Princess ship and crew. Both were outstanding. Embarkation was a breeze. Very well organized, fast process. We've had some horrible embarkation experiences, most notably NCL, so it's nice to see it done well. The ship, while older, is well-maintained by the crew and is still in fine shape. I like this class of ship, with the full wrap-around Promenade deck, 5 pools, Skywalker's nightclub above the stern, and other nice features. I especially like the aft, adults-only pool. It seems like few passengers know about this place, as it never seems overly crowded, and sometimes has few or no people. We were in a balcony stateroom (R723 - BE). Everything worked. Gerry, our room steward, was great. I like this location because we're only steps away from the aft pool and one deck below Lido, where lots of stuff is located. Being extreme aft, we did not experience any noise from Lido deck. The crew were great. The captain made informative announcements each day at noon. The cruise director, PJ, was the best we've seen. Such a nice, energetic, funny guy. He even came to our veterans gathering and spent quite a lot of time with us, expressing genuine appreciation for our service. I don't think I had a single bad encounter with any crew members. This is unusual, as there is usually someone having a bad day or something. Everyone seemed cheerful and happy to be there, even though I know that is not always the case. Let's be real; these people sign-on for 6 months of grueling work and it's hard to always be 'up' for the passengers. Food ranged from good to outstanding. We never had a bad experience. We found the buffet to be pretty good, which isn't always the case. I had chicken cacciatore in Da Vinci DR for lunch on embarkation day and it was fantastic. I do see what some have said about the pizza served by the pool. It wasn't as good as I remember from past cruises. I wonder if Princess has changed the recipe... We had a great shore excursion at Las Caletas in Puerto Vallarta. I highly recommend this one. We paid extra to spend time with the sea lions and stingrays and it was well worth it. On the downside, we wasted our Cabo day on the Cabo San Lucas City Highlights tour. This one spends far too much time on the bus, either driving around or sitting on the side of the road while the guide talks. The glass blowing factory was what we were looking forward to, and the tour only spent 25 minutes there out of many hours. Princess advertises Cabo as 7:00 AM - 2:00 PM. However, what you don't know is that you must be in line for the tender by 1:00 PM, so it's one hour shorter on an already short port day. Cabo is the best destination of the three, so it's frustrating that the ship stays there such a short time. Lots of stuff to do on sea days. Pretty much anyone should be able to find something that appeals to their interests. We enjoyed numerous trivia games, shows and other activities. One thing I really appreciated was not having someone pushing drink packages and other packages constantly. I got asked occasionally and that was fine. I've been on a couple of other cruise lines that really push this stuff to the point of having someone asking me every 15-30 minutes and it gets old fast. Disembarkation was as easy as embarkation. Great cruise overall and I would definitely do it again, sans the Cabo bus tour. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
Overall the cruise was good. Shows were just O.K. The food however seemed to be a little bland and portion size seemed to be that for a 2 year old. I felt like I had to order 2 entrees to complete a meal but stuck to one. Had the sip and ... Read More
Overall the cruise was good. Shows were just O.K. The food however seemed to be a little bland and portion size seemed to be that for a 2 year old. I felt like I had to order 2 entrees to complete a meal but stuck to one. Had the sip and sail package, and when asked for a can of soda to take back to the room for later, was told only fountain sodas with sip and sail. Water was also to be part of the package but when going into port was charged for it. As for the staff they were great. Our cabin steward was quick about his business and always kept our ice bucket full as requested. Our dining room waiter and assistant waiter were always there and service with a smile. On our second formal night, the kitchen could not keep up with the orders for lobster tail and it took an hour and 45 minutes to receive our main course. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
I saw some bad reviews and just don't get it. We just finished 21 Princess cruises all in the VG - Excellent category. I had a conversation with another old timer on the ship and we compared notes about how great cruising is and why a ... Read More
I saw some bad reviews and just don't get it. We just finished 21 Princess cruises all in the VG - Excellent category. I had a conversation with another old timer on the ship and we compared notes about how great cruising is and why a number of cruisers never seem to enjoy themselves. Oh well... From the time we got to the ship everything went smoothly. Very few people in lines and then right on to the ship. Our room was ready so we left our carry ons and headed to the buffet. Our main dining room table was waiting for the 4 of us and the wait staff were excellent - again. There's always more to do than we have time but I especially liked the choice of movies under the stars with popcorn delivered to my chair. We talked to great people, entered many contests, won a bottle of champaign at one (gave it away to a couple near us) and did the Mexican hat dance in the Piazza. We've been to all the ports several times and always find something new to explore. The worst part of the cruise was having to get off the ship when it ended. NOW - the confusion with our Air Canada flight was another issue but we didn't let that take away from our great cruise with Princess. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
Carnival's web site, both before and after our cruise stated that parking was $17 a day at Long Beach, CA. However, parking was $19 a day. For long cruises, this could impact your choice of transportation. It should take less time to ... Read More
Carnival's web site, both before and after our cruise stated that parking was $17 a day at Long Beach, CA. However, parking was $19 a day. For long cruises, this could impact your choice of transportation. It should take less time to update a web site than to update signage and automation at the parking structure. In addition, we arrived early, and could only find parking on the top floor of the parking structure. We did not see any other reasonable options for parking. Good luck. We cruised on the Carnival splendor. The decor was the worst of any ship on any line that we have ever experienced. Decks 3 and 4 have no access from one end of the ship to the other, so one is far too frequently going to the other end of the ship to use just the right elevator to reach your destination. The only good ship's map was in the Carnival Hub app on my iPhone. We never found a single good printed map. However, if your iPhone is set to the wrong time zone, the Hub app will give you the wrong time of day while claiming to be a good reference for the time -- beware. Entertainment was good (with nice costumes for the ladies) provided that you liked music from the 80's -- each and every show had music from the 80's. Food was good, and our wait staff in the main dining room was superb (especially Stanislava from Bulgaria). For a ship with over 3,000 passengers, embarkation and disembarkation was well done. The cruise director, MarQ, did a great job of setting up and handling disembarkation, so we knew progress and could remain comfortably seated until we could get off Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Looking to get away for a short vacation, we traveled on the 4 Day Baja cruise. It was our 4th or 5th Carnival Cruise, but first one since a Celebrity Cruise to the Caribbean. First let me say that you get what you pay for with Carnival. ... Read More
Looking to get away for a short vacation, we traveled on the 4 Day Baja cruise. It was our 4th or 5th Carnival Cruise, but first one since a Celebrity Cruise to the Caribbean. First let me say that you get what you pay for with Carnival. It was a fun trip with at lot of activities. The big shows are pretty average, but one of the comedians was very good. Dining room food was also very good, but the buffet food was sub par. Recommend eating lunch at the two restaurants just outside of the buffet (Blue Iguana and Guy Frieri's). Since school was back in session there weren't a lot of people under 21 on the cruise. If you are looking for a quick vacation it is a nice getaway! This cruise is a great value in the off peak months of October/November and January/February. I would avoid anything close to Spring Break unless you want to be with a bunch of drunk Spring Breakers. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted an inexpensive cruise out of the Los Angeles area and wanted to visit Catalina and Ensenada. I had heard that this was nicknamed the Booze Cruise because it attracts a young drinking crowd and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted an inexpensive cruise out of the Los Angeles area and wanted to visit Catalina and Ensenada. I had heard that this was nicknamed the Booze Cruise because it attracts a young drinking crowd and worried about it as we aren't big drinkers. There were a lot of non-drinking people from Utah on our ship and we were lucky enough to be seated with some at our early dining dinner table for 10. However, we did notice many drunk young adults in the hot tub on the Serenity deck every time we went there for some sun time and relaxation. Matey, our cruise director was entertaining and the shows were pretty good. They were geared to the age of the cruisers, so they were pretty loud! The comedians in the Punchliner comedy club were great! The food was outstanding, as usual on a Carnival cruise! But the best part of this was the excellent service by our cabin steward and wait staff in the dining room. Probably the best, most attentive service I have had on any ship in the past 10 years! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
I redeemed an award for this cruise, so my friend and I essentially went for free. We had only been on one previous Carnival cruise, although we cruise frequently with another cruise line. We both agreed that, while it was a nice, quick ... Read More
I redeemed an award for this cruise, so my friend and I essentially went for free. We had only been on one previous Carnival cruise, although we cruise frequently with another cruise line. We both agreed that, while it was a nice, quick getaway, you definitely get what you pay for. The food was pretty bland most of the time with the exception of Guy's Burger Joint and the salad/fruit bar. The pastries and French toast were great, also. We took advantage of the drink gift cards we ordered for ourselves ahead of time and found the drinks to be very well-prepared. The ability to order a 12 pack of water was terrific. The ports of call were good. We had a lot of fun, particularly on the Beer and Taco excursion in Ensenada. I highly recommend that one! We didn't really take advantage of the onboard entertainment as we were perpetually jet-lagged, so I can't comment on that. I do know they showed the same movie twice during a 4-day cruise, which I don't understand since there are so many great new movies out there. Some of the staff seemed a little grumpy, but the majority were very friendly and helpful. The cabin size was larger than expected for an Ocean View. The beds were great and we slept well. The bathrooms could use a good scrubbing. I tried hard not to look in the corners. The one major criticism I had with the cruise - and the main reason I wanted to write this post - is regarding infection control on the ship. Aside from the fact that this is cold and (an especially vicious) flu season, there was little visible attempt to decrease germ transmission on the ship. There are far too many things for people to "touch" in the buffet line. You have to push buttons to get your drinks instead of having the lemonade and tea pre-poured. There are community salt and pepper as well as catsup and mustard bottles instead of individual packets. I saw people reaching with bare hands into the bowl to grab a couple of cookies. There is nothing in the daily cruise newsletters promoting handwashing or use of hand sanitizer. Sanitizer is everywhere, but people walk right past it. There is no staff on hand to gently insist passengers use it. And during the entire four days, I only saw staff wiping down the stair rails once. Tables got bussed efficiently, but were not wiped - let alone sanitized - after use. Lots of people cleaning the floors - very few people cleaning touchable surfaces. I think Carnival could do a much better job in working to keep passengers healthy as well as happy. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Just not for seniors! Bars are late and excessively loud, too much smoke in the casino, bands not good - the whole experience was not our cup of tea. We have traveled a lot and this is the first time on Carnival and it will be our ... Read More
Just not for seniors! Bars are late and excessively loud, too much smoke in the casino, bands not good - the whole experience was not our cup of tea. We have traveled a lot and this is the first time on Carnival and it will be our last.......... The big show was awful....no one on pitch, cheesy themes! Only one band was good - Free at Mightnight and they didn't play enough around the ship. The staff in the dining room and our cabin steward were wonderful but the rest of the staff we found to be indifferent and at times rude. Food was good but too sa]ty for some of us. Wait staff in the brunch area on sea days need training....... we sat there for over 10 minutes before we got service and even at that we had to ask for it........ overall, the waitstaff needs better training if they are going to be in that area. And it was obviously that the big boss was not respected....he asked the waiters to do something in a very nasty tone and the looks on their faces said everything you needed to know - he is just a big bully! We subscribed to the spa only to find that the water was never warm inspire of talking to management and the heated chairs were lukewarm, again talking to staff. They were just vey indifferent. And getting on and off the ship was a ZOO! It was so disorganized! Not a good example of what good and true cruising can be. Read Less

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