5 Princess Ruby Princess Gay & Lesbian Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise about 6 weeks beforehand as we were looking for a winter getaway. I was looking at a few different options and I am very pleased with the choice we made. Starting with embarkation, the tone was set. Really efficient ... Read More
We chose this cruise about 6 weeks beforehand as we were looking for a winter getaway. I was looking at a few different options and I am very pleased with the choice we made. Starting with embarkation, the tone was set. Really efficient and seamless - we got our luggage quickly and from port to ship was fast and all staff were friendly! Although it was not perfect (what is?) there were so many positives on this cruise. Near or at the top of the list was the social nature of this cruise. We met so many nice people - I feel like the design of the ship really encourages chatting, social time and not rushing! Food was very good. Entertainment was a bit hit and miss - AJ the comedian was quite good, we had a group called the phat pack that were excellent (and not part of the cruise specific entertainment!) and some of the musical acts were fun and location appropriate (eg Mariachi) The colours of the world was not great for a variety of reasons and I found the show times of 630 and 830 really conflicted the dinner times. Dinner was typically at a leisurely pace and we missed quite a few shows. No matter, we just chatted with friendly passengers! We had an inside cabin which was ok but I think we will be back on a balcony next cruise. If you have not had a balcony you may not know what you’re missing. We did and noticed it! One other complaint was a one off - there was an unruly passenger that was picking a fight with another, much older passenger on the tender back from Cabo - I tried to alert the Princess Staff and nobody seemed to know what to do or act with a sense of urgency. I am guessing that it is not common on Princess which may explain why but it could have turned serious and they should have been quicker to act. Overall, loved the ship crew was good passengers were almost universally friendly. We will definitely be sailing with Princess again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our first cruise out of the west coast and we were impressed with embarkation. From the time we arrived at San Pedro, we were on the ship in only a few minutes. The public areas of the ship were in good condition, as the ship ... Read More
This was our first cruise out of the west coast and we were impressed with embarkation. From the time we arrived at San Pedro, we were on the ship in only a few minutes. The public areas of the ship were in good condition, as the ship has very recently come out of dry dock. Everything looked great. We did notice that the clock at the aft pool was out of service during the entire voyage - a minor annoyance. Once we were permitted to go to our cabin, we found the temperature a bit warm. The climate control had no impact, so we simply closed the drapes and waited for the evening. Once the sun set, we were able to open the drapes and the slider, and allow the ocean breezes to cool the cabin and lull us to sleep. The larger television mounted on the wall was great. It freed up a lot of room. We also liked the motion-sensitive nightlight on one on the nightstands. The fridge in our room was caked with ice and badly needed to be defrosted. Food on the ship was mostly disappointing. The first morning, we were searching high and low for the omelet station. We were finally directed to where we could place an order only to find that our order would be taken and would be delivered to us in the dining room within five minutes. Sure. We gave our claim slip to a dining room attendant and he returned, literally, 25 minutes later with a cold, sorry excuse for an omelet. It was thin, like a crepe, and the chosen fillings were stuffed inside like an enchilada rather than cooked into the eggs like a proper omelet. The spinach was not fresh and appeared to be thawed, frozen spinach. Disgusting. That was the last morning we attempted to order fresh eggs. Extremely disappointed that Princess has decided to discourage guests from ordering "omelets" and freshly cooked eggs by serving the dreck they served. In the restaurant for dinner, we were disappointed to see that the steak offering had been removed from the "classics" section of the menu and if one wanted a steak it was only available for a fee. On the evening that surf & turf was offered in the dining room, I was quite disappointed to see the steak served to me. While B's "filet mignon" was about an inch thick, mine was *literally* no more than 1/4 inch thick, though it was cooked to the requested medium temperature. I could not believe the kitchen had the nerve to serve that cut of meat as a "filet mignon." Service throughout the cruise was hit or miss. Efren in the dining room was great and we really enjoyed his thoughtful service. The grill attendants at the Salty Dog Grill on the pool deck were slow and inattentive. The dining room attendants at the buffet became noticeably less attentive as the week wore on. By the final morning, it was like they weren't even trying to be cordial. They also had "run out" of cranberry juice by the final morning. Our cabin attendant, Julio, was great - very friendly and eager to assist. What happened to the late night food offerings/buffets on board? Buffets closed promptly following dinner service and it appeared that the very limited menu at the International Cafe was the only thing available until morning. Overall, the cruise left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth regarding Princess. We have cruises currently booked on other lines and hope they will not be following in the Princess manner of a noticeable decrease in food quality. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My wife and I went on this cruise and brought along my parents and one of our best friends hoping to have a nice 8-day escape to Alaska. We chose this cruise line because they had -- what appeared to be -- a reasonable price for the ... Read More
My wife and I went on this cruise and brought along my parents and one of our best friends hoping to have a nice 8-day escape to Alaska. We chose this cruise line because they had -- what appeared to be -- a reasonable price for the experience we were seeking and they were also a subsidiary of Carnival (of whom we had previously sailed with many times before and with whom we had enjoyed each and every previous cruise experience). Little did we know that these things would not be worth our rather nightmarish experience aboard the Ruby Princess. Embarkation: I would actually rate this relatively high. Princess's embarkation process out of Seattle was one of the quickest most painless processes I've ever been through in my many times sailing. I would even go out on a limb to say that this experience was superior to the other cruises I've taken out of other ports with other cruise lines (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian). This being our first impression of Princess, we were actually pretty excited and expecting our cruise to be better than we thought it would be (after having read many bad reviews about the same ship we were boarding). Cabin: Our cabin was kind of awful. Laying on the top bunk bed felt worse than laying on a plank of wood. There were blood stains on the sheets the entirety of our stay which leads me to believe that the sheets don't actually get changed or cleaned for the duration of the cruise. The air conditioning didn't work the first night in our cabin and we nearly roasted in our room waiting for someone to come fix it. Shortly after our air conditioning was repaired, the toilet stopped working. Our shower had only one (unfixable) setting and that was scalding hot. The room constantly smelled like sewage. Overall, the rooms sucked. But we tried to remain positive since we knew we wouldn't be spending much time there anyways. And for the most part, Princess would send someone (albeit it was usually someone with a bad attitude) to come fix the problems we were having. Dining: One of the better parts of this cruise was the service in the main dining room. Our friend has food allergies and the head waiter made sure to cater to her needs and remained easily accessible to us should there be any question of what ingredients a dish may contain. Though there wasn't ever any question because the menu was always clear and concise about what each dish contained. The food was not the best but decent. There were good nights and bad nights with more just okay nights than not. But you could tell that the staff was willing to go out of their way to make sure your experience was pleasurable and enjoyable. The buffet, however, was a different story entirely. The food was always cold and usually everything tasted like fish (even the baked goods like cupcakes and cookies). We usually tried to stay clear of it if we could. Services: My parents did a few of the spa services on board. And they both said that the spa staff constantly tried to sell them products the entire time. That it's not a very relaxing experience because of how much they are trying to push products on you. Also, my mom had a few issues with scheduling her massage. She scheduled with the manager of the spa for a specific time in the morning and then when she showed up to the spa the day of the scheduled massage the very same manager told her that her appointment wasn't in the system and that it was never scheduled. They ended up rescheduling but I think the entire spa experience definitely stressed my mom out far more than it relaxed her. Activities: This cruise line is very obviously geared towards an older crowd (60+). My wife and I are in our late 20's/early 30's and found it was very difficult to find activities geared towards our age group. Which didn't really bother us too much since we were mainly there to spend time with our family. But we certainly had to make a lot of our own entertainment on this ship (which we haven't had to do as much on other cruise lines). Entertainment: One night we went to the princess exclusive Stephen Schwartz show called "Magic To Do." This was, hands down, the worst thing I have ever sat through in my entire life. The show made no sense. It was supposed to be part musical/part magic show. But the singing was dreadfully bad and hard to listen to. The dancing appeared as if a 4th grader choreographed the show. And the magic tricks were the most basic of basic tricks. Not even a little kid would be entertained by it. It was laughably bad. Kind of like the movie "The Room" (by Tommy Wiseau) is to film. "Magic To Do" is the "The Room" of musicals. A complete disaster. I felt really bad for the cast for being forced into doing it and butchering their potential careers. Towards the end of our cruise we went to a comedy show with Steve Moris as the performer. He started out singing and making a lot of self-deprecating jokes. Then the joking turned darker and he started making homophobic jokes and racist jokes. They were distasteful and certainly not my brand of humor (considering my wife and I are a lesbian couple and don't care much for racism). I didn't think any of them were funny, so I didn't laugh. I didn't heckle him or comment, I simply sat there quietly and waited patiently for the show to end. He noticed that my wife and I weren't laughing and proceeded to call us out in front of everyone. We continued to sit there quietly (still not laughing) and allowed him to poke a little fun. But then he wouldn't stop and his entire show became centered around insulting and harassing us for not laughing. He continued to make racist and homophobic jokes and then harassed us more for not laughing. At that point, my wife and I quietly discussed walking out because his constant attention was starting to make us both very uncomfortable. We ultimately decided to stay because we thought walking out might further fuel the fire so we sat there and continued to take his abuse. Eventually, he harassed us to the point of throwing a water bottle at me and by that point I was so mortified and upset at being treated the way I was that I stood up and walked out. He made sure to harass me the entire way out with jokes about me being a "sensitive millennial." He even had quite a few people making rude comments to me as I walked out. It was one of the most humiliating moments of my life. I love stand up comedy and have been to many live performances from my favorite comics and never have I seen them treat anyone this way (front row or not) -- I've not even seen hecklers get treated this poorly. I feel like any comedian that has to rely solely on bullying audience members (who aren't engaging in the show in any way) for a laugh is not a very good comedian at all and probably won't make it very far in the business. We spoke to management on the ship after the show and they apologized and said they would write up a report and speak to him and the staff about it. We tried contacting them the day after we got back from the cruise for a status report on the report that was written to see if any action had been taken on this matter and they told us they "don't have access to the reports that get written on the ships." I don't feel as if justice has been or will ever be served for how I was treated as a paying customer on board their ship. And I am extremely disappointed in Princess for how they handled this entire situation. Ports/Excursions: This was the best part of the cruise. We stopped at the following ports: Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Victoria, B.C. They were all amazing ports. Absolutely breathtaking views of the mountains and glaciers. We did a seaplane over the glaciers in Juneau which was absolutely amazing. We did dog mushing in Skagway and greatly enjoyed getting to hold and cuddle puppies as well as learn more about Iditarod. We did a jeep and canoe excursion in Ketchikan and it was pretty fun and informative. We explored Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria and it was a beautiful building. The only complaint is that we wish we could have spent more time in Ketchikan and Victoria. We were only allotted about 5 hours in Ketchikan and 4 hours in Victoria and it just wasn't enough time to do excursions and explore/shop the towns. Would we go back to Alaska? Absolutely. It is a beautiful state and the sights were amazingly beautiful. There is so much there to explore and learn. Will we ever go on a cruise again? Of course! We love cruises. They are a great way to explore a number of different locations in one trip and usually are a lot of fun to do. Would we ever use Princess again? Absolutely not. We will never use this cruise line ever again. They seem more focused on making money than assuring customer satisfaction. And I am more than willing to shell out the money for an awesome experience, but when I'm basically paying for discrimination and to feel like I don't belong and like I'm nothing more than an ATM, it's just not worth it to me. I'd rather go somewhere else where I'm treated better and there certainly are places like that that exist. If Princess isn't going to change the way they do business they should at the very least put a disclaimer somewhere that warns against the fact that they have poor customer service and if you are a minority or protected class that you will probably run into some issue onboard -- if not from the staff and entertainment guests then surely from the other passengers. Vacation isn't really vacation on Princess. Would I recommend Princess to any of my family and friends? Not at all. I love and respect my family and friends. I wouldn't want them to have even the slightest chance of going through what I went through on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We choose this cruise and itinerary because we heard that Princess had a great reputation for Alaska. Overall, I had a nearly perfect experience on the ship. The highlights of the cruise were the superior level of service from almost ... Read More
We choose this cruise and itinerary because we heard that Princess had a great reputation for Alaska. Overall, I had a nearly perfect experience on the ship. The highlights of the cruise were the superior level of service from almost everyone on the ship and the seamless way our cruise was handled. Our roundtrip out of Seattle pier 91 was very simple. My first Princess cruise, we arrived at the port around 11:15 and were on the ship by 12:15. Embarkation was handled smoothly in groups. People who had gotten to the pier earlier were called earlier, but they didn't start boarding until around 11:45. We received our bags in our cabin around 6:30PM. My only other cruising experience has been with Carnival multiple times, and I would say overall this is a step up in many ways, especially staff to passenger ratio and service. As Carnival is my only previous experience, most of my observations compare the two experiences. There weren't many children visible on the ship; passengers were mostly couples in their early forties and older. Food The room service and main dining room experience was excellent from a service standpoint. Food quality was pretty good and the breakfast room service menu is better than Carnival, but the MDR food selection was definitely more limited than Carnival. It helps to know that with AnyTime dining, you can make a reservation in advance and not have to wait. Although the MDR opens at 5PM for dinner, we arrived at 5:30 one night and were given a pager and told it would be 30-45 minutes to wait in the DaVinci dining room. Ultimately, we only waited about 20 minutes and enjoyed a drink from Vines wine café across the Piazza. Bartender Mark Anthony in Vines remembered us after the first night and would always offer our glass of Chandon before dinner. Also Vines offers a modest sushi plate or cheese plate in the afternoon if you order a glass of wine. I also loved the quality and selection at the included International Café in the Piazza. From pastries to sandwiches, salads, and desserts, these options were good. As for the specialty dining, we tried the Salty Dog gastropub in the Wheelhouse Bar on the first night for $12 and were impressed with the quality of the pub fare. The umami burger was fantastic, as was the crab cake. On our first elegant night, we opted for the Crown Grill which everybody raves about, but I was underwhelmed. The service was fantastic. The food quality paled in comparison to the Fahrenheit 555 steakhouses on Carnival. For a $29 upcharge per person, we had a nice selection from the menu, and you can order as many things as you want. However, we started with a "special off the menu" appetizer of oysters on the half shell which weren't that fresh. They seemed slightly dehydrated. The scallop appetizer was excellent. Soups and salads were all right. My chop porterhouse steak was too fatty. They served the sides family style in the middle of the table which seemed a little sloppy. There were no amuse bouches served nor specialty breads and butters like on Carnival. We also tried the Crab Shack one night which operates in a special corner of Café Caribe on certain nights. Overall this was better. While the salmon rillettes and clam chowder were fine, the crab and shrimp and royal mixed steamer were very good and an excellent value, the dessert tray was a real let down: just four cakes under plastic domes already partially cut up and not particularly appetizing looking, so we skipped it. The highlight of the specialty restaurants is Curtis Stone's Share at 16 aft. We really enjoyed the ambiance, excellent service by hostess ZaZa, and the food quality was certainly a significant notch higher than on the rest of the ship at $39 per person. This 6 course restaurant aspires to Michelin star territory, and with the exception of slightly under-salted pasta courses, was superb. We didn't use the buffet too often. One night it was just after 10PM and the last pizzas were going into the oven as we approached, so it was our only option. The area can get a little crowded and the selection is okay. Because there were so many Asian passengers on board, I was surprised to find that at least 30% of the dishes on the buffet were Asian. It's wouldn't be my first choice for dining on the ship. I'd rather have a more limited menu with table service than search for a table after the buffet. However, in contrast to Carnival, the buffet dining room tables are set with cloth napkins and silverware and the service staff were quick to come to us after sitting down to ask if we needed anything else like drinks. I regret that the Café Caribe was not open as often, because for food selections, the atmosphere was newer and the choices were healthier. Bar Service I enjoyed the coffee shop in the mornings for our iced espressos and chai lattes. It was only late in the cruise that I discovered the coffee shop also offered spiked frozen chocolate mint milkshakes. Those frozen Polar Bears were awesome! We had booked our cruise with a Sip and Sail promotion, so all of our beverages and drinks were included. With the exception of a few wines by the glass, room service drinks, and wines by the bottle, unlimited beverages are included with the package-- which I loved. I will also note that one major difference between Carnival and Princess with the drink packages is that on Princess, they may ask you to show your card to order a drink, but they never have you sign a slip with the option to tip on each drink. This was very nice, and it kept our overall tipping tab down. Overall bartending was excellent across the ship. My only nits were that the same drink wasn't always served the same from bar to bar. I had an excellent signature bloody mary from the bar next to the Trident Grill on the first night and it was never recreated exactly the same way again. I loved that there were roving servers in the dining rooms and on decks to ask us if we wanted anything, which was a far cry from the Carnival experience where it's rare to have someone on deck ask you for a drink order. We loved the Adagio bar in the back on 16, it was nearly always empty and very private. Our bartender Rosie was special, asking about us and serving us our favorite drinks every time we visited. Entertainment Until the quite fun balloon drop on the second to the last night and it's excellent accompanying Magic To Do stage show, entertainment on the ship was mediocre. It seemed to be focused on an older crowd. The magic show was tired and lame, the singer was good but the shows were basically just singing song after song. One night, there was a pub review sing along with a bunch of old songs our group in our forties and fifties didn't even recognize. The comedian was pretty funny. Otherwise, I found the tone of the entertainment to be several notches below Carnival. We enjoyed the few trivia challenges we entered, and we won two of the four we played. I wish Princess offered a keepsake collectible from winning a trivia challenge like Carnival's ship on a stick. We got some dollar store bargain DVDs for one prize and princess wine stoppers for another. The de rigueur British-accented Cruise Director was fine. Ship Design Most of the ship's dining rooms and bars were nice, but indistinguishable from one another. The interiors were very suburban McMansion styled from the '90s, with a strange mishmash of Sixties clocks and Italian styles. It's not modern with the exception of the Café Caribe and Share restaurant. It's nice to have so many hot tubs and pools on the ship which were unfortunately not really used for the Alaska cruise. There were usually a few people in the hot tubs while on ship. Enrichment I loved the naturalist on board for the Glacier Bay viewing. We also had another naturalist who offered lectures and tips about what to do in port throughout the cruise. These were very good. I wasn't much interested in dancing lessons, but there were many of these. I didn't go to champagne art auctions, of which there were many. I also didn't go to the many "parties" they threw in the shops to sell jewelry. Sanctuary and Gym We booked the Sanctuary first thing for Glacier Bay viewing at $60 per person. From 6:30AM until about 4PM, this included excellent service with unlimited bloody maries and mimosas, our own padded lounger with blankets, a thermal mug, ear warmers, special food service at a private buffet for breakfast, lunch and tea service, and a keepsake picture. In order to see the glaciers without the blue glass of the Sanctuary, I had to move to another part of the ship which was close, but overall, this experience was fantastic. It was cold! I jumped down and stood fully-clothed the sauna for about five minutes when I needed to take the chill off. The gym below the Sanctuary was fine with jogging machines and elliptical trainers. We went to a spin class for a fee one morning, and really broke a sweat! Itinerary and Excursions I don't think I'll go on an Alaska cruise again any time soon, but if I did, I'd be happy to do it again with Princess. This seems like a once in a lifetime experience, and overall Princess didn't disappoint. I wish we had more time in Ketchikan (8AM-noon) and Victoria (6PM to Midnight), but otherwise we had plenty of time in Juneau and Skagway. We booked a dog sled on the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau which was cancelled because of the weather. Instead, my group of 4 booked a float plane to view 5 glaciers. This was considerably less expensive ($215 per person vs. the $600 per person for the dog sled through Princess.) I loved the gorgeous views, but if you're prone to motion sickness, beware of float planes! I white knuckled this for a part of the ride. One nit with the cancellation of the dog sled excursion was that Princess showed that I had a $1300 credit on my bill after we had cancelled the prepaid trip, but still charged my credit card (which dropped off the card), and then they told me that I would have to wait 10-15 days after the cruise to get the refund by mailed check from corporate. That's bogus. They could easily refund the card I used to pay for the excursion. We also booked the luxury car train for the White Pass Scenic Railway. This was SUPERB! If you can afford it, I highly recommend this upgraded experience with unlimited snacks, beers, wines, and champagne for the 2.5 hour train ride. Only 14 people in the car for the experience are allowed. The views are breathtaking! Our final planned excursion was the 4 hour boat ride in Ketchikan to Misty Fjords. This was a long excursion that precluded us from any other activity in Ketchikan. The bulk of the ride in either direction was taken up with talks from the naturalist and native American speaker. However, the cruise through Rudyerd Bay was worth the trip! So beautiful! It was like no place I've ever seen. So green with ribbon waterfalls, seals, bald eagles, and puffins, we were fortunate enough this rainy day to have this part of the ride without precipitation. I loved it. Final Thoughts I went on this cruise with my husband and we've been together for 34 years. We were hoping to experience a vow renewal. It had shown on our itinerary under the payments and schedules section that we had this included, however, there was some sort of miscommunication between me, my travel agent, and Princess, because we were told no service package was included for our cruise without us paying a minimal addition of $229 for a vow package. I had called Princess in advance of the cruise to confirm that our package was included and spoke with someone who said it was. No one at the customer service desk including the manager would consent, and we weren't prepared to pay more for this, despite the fact that we both wrote new vows. We tried multiple times with confirmations, but were ultimately left disappointed in this omission. It didn't ruin our cruise, but we felt sad that we couldn't have our renewal ceremony. This leads me to another point about LGBT meetings on the cruise. Every night at 6:30PM there was an LGBT gathering in the Adagio bar. We'd go with our traveling couple companions nightly, and we were almost the only people in the place. Twice there was just one other couple who weren't particularly friendly. This was inconsistent with our experience on Carnival. Once again, this didn't disappoint or ruin the cruise, but we were surprised that nobody else on this full ship of 3100 passengers would come to a gathering. Princess is an upgraded experience over Carnival, with superior service and a very laid back, mature vibe. It's calm, serene, and a good value overall. The atmosphere is like an upscale suburban traditional wedding reception. It's not a fun ship party atmosphere. It's genteel, refined, and quietly luxurious. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We had cruised the Caribbean 5 times (including Cozumel) and preciously visited Puerto Vallarta (1982) and Cancun twice to all inclusives with the grown up kids. But this was a different way to see Mexico that appealed to us, it being ... Read More
We had cruised the Caribbean 5 times (including Cozumel) and preciously visited Puerto Vallarta (1982) and Cancun twice to all inclusives with the grown up kids. But this was a different way to see Mexico that appealed to us, it being Valentine's Day and everything (my 60th birthday on the 13th). We found our aft cabin, B256 cramped and noisy. Our steward was fine, he needed some time off. I love the food but my wife just gets by with it. Sometimes she liked it but she liked less of it than I do. We had one of the best excursions ever in Puerto Vallarta with Valarta Adventures through Princess. We got WAY more than we paid for with snorkeling, kayaking, a hike, a waterfall, a beach, a close whale encounter, great food, drinks, and entertainment. Highly recommended. The entertainment was OK. The first comedian was really funny and the "Magic To Do" production number tried very hard. The fitness equipment was good but the jogging track was the worst ever. The weather was great, though it seemed it would be too cool (the last day really was) and the experience on the whole was lovely. I prefer going to the Caribbean (and it is easier from here) but this was a nice time too. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Ruby Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.5 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.9
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.2

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