235 Princess Ruby Princess Romantic Cruise Reviews

For the most part just what you would expect of a cruise. The things that most disappointed us were... 1. Conflicting information. From reading in the information book in the cabin that we could go to any MDR at any time for ... Read More
For the most part just what you would expect of a cruise. The things that most disappointed us were... 1. Conflicting information. From reading in the information book in the cabin that we could go to any MDR at any time for "Anytime Dining" then being told we could only go to Micheal Angelo. To being told so many different stories about the tendering procedures that we ended up canceling our shore excursion our of sheer frustration of not knowing what to believe. 2. Not having our pre-purchased wine in our cabin and literally waiting hours on hold to get through to Room Service to get them delivered. 3. Food in Horizon Court was usually closer to room temperature than hot soup or cold deserts one would expect. Snapper Ceviche in MDR was also room temperature and not chilled as it should be. One "so good it was bad" note is that the comedian, AJ Jamal was so popular his 3 extra shows were overflowing from the Explorers Club and should have been relocated to a larger venue. On the positive side, the coffee was smooth and excellent. Salty Dog's is definitely worth the up-charge. ( and a special shout out to Meena ) Movies Under the Stars, with pillows, blankets and popcorn, was a treat. The transfers to and from LAX were smoother than I expected Other than these things, I would say the good and bad were the usual for what you would experience on a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Ship is old. Cabin was roomy but we had to go in and clean the entire cabin. And this cruise line is suppose to be luxury? LOL it is worst than Carnival. They don't make the towel animals. They make you wait a very long time to ... Read More
Ship is old. Cabin was roomy but we had to go in and clean the entire cabin. And this cruise line is suppose to be luxury? LOL it is worst than Carnival. They don't make the towel animals. They make you wait a very long time to get your luggage. The food was eh. Entertainment shows were good. Lots of Trivia to much in fact. Port was so boring. We went off the ship for 45 mins there was nothing there. I think this was the most I ever paid for a cruise and never again. I even wrote Princess and a week later no one has even sent an I am sorry. NOTHING. DO NOT GO ON THIS TRIP waste of money. I will not be Cruising with Princess again. It is not the love boat that is for sure. Please read the reviews I did not think this was great at all. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Fitted our timeline. This cruise line is so tight. The food is terrible. The ship needs to be scuttled. The entertainment was extremely amateurish. The cruise director is the worst try hard we have ever encountered he should be fired. But ... Read More
Fitted our timeline. This cruise line is so tight. The food is terrible. The ship needs to be scuttled. The entertainment was extremely amateurish. The cruise director is the worst try hard we have ever encountered he should be fired. But the worst thing about this cruise is the food, it is disgusting. The tequila hacienda, tiles shopping tour is a con, you are taken to 3 stores so the tour people can earn some extra funds,joyously waste 1.5 hours and then are rushed at the tequila tour. The tour group appear to own the tequila place as well. This whole tour is a waist of money, do something else. The wind up at the end was all angled for a big tip as they are so poor. DO NOT DO THIS TOUR. Overall this cruise is the worst we have done, poor timing for ports, Cabo should be the longest but it was the shortest. I read lots of reviews and no feel some people who write great reviews must have been on a different ship.Never choose princess they are the worst and tightest cruise line ever. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I bought a drink package for just over $500. On our seven day cruise, I had no more than 8 drinks (I started counting). The reason for not having more is because each drink took an average of a half hour to get to me. I believe they do ... Read More
I bought a drink package for just over $500. On our seven day cruise, I had no more than 8 drinks (I started counting). The reason for not having more is because each drink took an average of a half hour to get to me. I believe they do this because they know the sooner you get your beverage, the sooner you may order a second one. It's a scam and I feel I was robbed. I'm not a crazy drunk but I do like a drink at lunch and with dinner while on holidays. It was IMPOSSIBLE to get a drink. Don't bother wasting the money. Our second problem was the fact that there was no coffee maker in the room. We spent the extra money for a balcony with the vision of waking up early to watch the sunrise while sipping our coffee. We had to get up, get dressed, walk to the nearest café just to get a morning coffee! Not good. We are a young couple. Princess had a chance to secure us as long term guests but that won't happen as we were deprived of what we consider basic amenities. There are plenty of daily activites but watch out, the majority of the activities have a heavy sales pitch attached to them. i.e. how to look 10 years younger (buy pills and lotions), how to start exercising (pay huge fees for on ship trainers), and the list goes on.... The fitness room was one of the main reasons we chose this ship. We work out everyday. While I was doing floor work on a huge spacious floor, I was asked to leave the space because there was either a yoga class or a spin class about to start. There was plenty of room to run the class without having to ask me to stop my workout. The trainers became rude to me after I told them I wouldn't move. They told me the guests participating in the classes were paid customers. I am a paid customer!!!!! It was awful. I eventually said they could have to have security move me. Only then did they digress. I won't cruise with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was a great cruise. We were celebrating out 30th wedding anniversary on Valentine's Day. I loved that the ship had many public places decorated for Valentine's Day, it really added to our day. We participated in the ... Read More
This was a great cruise. We were celebrating out 30th wedding anniversary on Valentine's Day. I loved that the ship had many public places decorated for Valentine's Day, it really added to our day. We participated in the renewal of our wedding vows. It was a very sweet ceremony and there were lot's of other participants and onlookers to cheer us on. The balloon drop added to the festivity. We enjoyed the (new for us) Happy Hours and the photo package we purchased ended up being a great deal. We really enjoyed all the staff on board and had a few favorites. Ivan in the Da Vincci dining room was especially talented at making you feel well taken care of. We loved hanging out in the Sanctuary and the food in the dining room was excellent. We can't wait to go again. Princess never fails to provide us with a great cruise at a great value. Sandra 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 ... 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
Sail Date February 2018
We booked this cruise was for my 75th Birthday celebration. Our cabin steward, Cyrus, was excellent and kept the cabin neat and clean without being intrusive. The Botticelli dining wait staff, Richard and Edson, were excellent and service ... Read More
We booked this cruise was for my 75th Birthday celebration. Our cabin steward, Cyrus, was excellent and kept the cabin neat and clean without being intrusive. The Botticelli dining wait staff, Richard and Edson, were excellent and service was what we've come to expect from Princess. The Princess Theater singers and dancers were very enthusiastic and talented and although we've seen these production shows many times, they still are interesting and exciting to watch. The featured singer, David Austen, was one of best we heard on a cruise and we bought his CD. The comedian, Doug Funk, was a fantastic improvisationalist, and had the audience laughing from the beginning to end of his performance. He was assisted by some very bright and engaging volunteer audience participants. The assistant cruise director, a young man from Australia, was very funny and always had a smile for everyone entertaining everyone with his dialect impersonations. The Ruby, even thought it is not one of the newest Princess ships, still looked great and was well maintained. However, it is due for a refurb, especially the cabin carpets because some passengers are not careful about spills that leave minor stains that can't be removed by shampooing. We saw about a dozen whales and many, many dolphins that rollicked in the bow waves of the ship jumping and doing flips at the cheers and laughter of the passengers. In Puerto Vallarta we were in port with the Grand Princess and were berthed at pier 3 since the usual pier 1 area is under construction. We repeated the Viva Tequila excursion since we enjoyed it so much the last time we did it in March 2017. It has changed with the open air, multi-car "trolley" thru the city tour was replaced with a bus because the city decided it was too disruptive to local traffic. The Tequila Museum is a newer building converted by the Mexican Tequila producers and is in a refurbed large stage theater. We were given "unlimited" margaritas made the traditional Mexican way not the American way and they were much better. The museum staff gave a tour and presentation on the myths and origin of tequila and how it is made which was very informative. In the theater there was an enlightening discussion of how to drink and distinguish between the major varieties of tequila based on its processing and aging. We then had a sample of each of the tequila varieties, Blanca/Silver, Reposado and Anejo to taste. One of the best folkloric shows that we've ever seen was then presented. This was then followed by a short walk to the beach for a complementary lunch at the Mangos beach side restaurant. Highly recommend this excursion when in Puerto Vallarta. At Cabo we were in port with Holland America's Westerdam which left with us and we paralleled our courses all the way to LA being only a little more than mile or so apart for the last 2 days. It was neat to see their lights at night off the port side. In summary, the cruise on the Ruby was great and we truly did come back relaxed and renewed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I recently booked a vacation on the Ruby Princess and used a travel agent for the booking, our travel agent assured/guaranteed Princess Cruises will do everything to accommodate special diets, this was not the case. Our Travel agent told ... Read More
I recently booked a vacation on the Ruby Princess and used a travel agent for the booking, our travel agent assured/guaranteed Princess Cruises will do everything to accommodate special diets, this was not the case. Our Travel agent told us that they sent Princess a list of our dietary requirements including the various foods items required. At our first dinner sitting there were no Vegan options on the menu and in speaking with the service staff we were informed that the only vegan protein they had available was Tofu. One of my biggest concerns in arranging the booking was that Vegan meals would be provided and there would be a variety of choice, I was extremely dismayed to find that there were no vegan options on any of the menus including the dining room. Further, the only protein source they had available on the ship was Tofu. It is my expectation that when I make a specific request for a Vegan Menu that this be provided. The Anytime Dining and the Buffet did not provide the ingredient list for their prepared items and there was no indication if the various dishes were Vegan or not. I would expect to have available meals that are prepared using organics, healthy oils, no refined sugars, etc. Vegan ingredients for the most part are easy to find and not expensive, alternative protein sources include Tofu, Beans, Lentils, Quinoa, Kale, Hemp Seed, and Chickpeas. As a result of the limited menu, I ended up with essentially the same meals each day, not what I was expecting. Why are there no Vegan dishes on the menu? Quinoa Salad, Chickpea salads, Kale Salads, Bean Salads, Lentil dishes, Chia Pudding, is often available in most restaurants as entrées, why would Princess not also have these available? Customer service by the staff on board the ship was exceptional, if Princess educated their chef and kitchen staff on how to prepare tofu entrées with flavor, quinoa salads, bean & lentil entrees they would open doors to customers that have special need diets as well as ones that choose to eat clean. Vegan entrees should be included on the menu. As well, this could enhance the wonderful vegetable & fruit salads in the buffet. I also would like to comment on the excessive number of sales pitches onboard the Princess, so many talks etc. were just there to sell a product and this was especially true of the fitness center. As an example one of the trainers presented on how to get flatter abs, with the comment that 50% is from Diet and Exercise and the other 50% from a detox product which they would be happy to have you purchase on a monthly subscription. They also stated that we all know about diet and exercise so he would not comment on this. I found this presentation particularly offensive as this information is just not true. There are absolutely no scientific studies that have shown a detox product to specifically result in a flatter abs. Flatter abs will come from diet and exercise alone and the assumption that everyone knows about diet and exercise is also wrong. I am very well educated in diet and fitness and yet know I still have much to learn and any information on this is always welcome. I also booked the Chileno Bay Sail and Snorkel in Cabo San Lucas and was under the impression that we would have 40 minutes of snorkeling time, at best only 15 minutes of snorkeling time was provided. The host were very good, but quite disappointing to have booked a snorkeling adventure and then only have such a limited time in the water. Much of the time was spent watching whales, which is fantastic, but this was a snorkeling excursion not a whale watching one. This was my first time on a cruise ship and I have to say I was quite disappointed with the level of food service provided. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We had always wanted to do Mexico and it was the second cruise of our trip making the first was Cuba The bar staff (making the drinks) were very good but the waitress service to the tables and around the pool areas was very bad. We were ... Read More
We had always wanted to do Mexico and it was the second cruise of our trip making the first was Cuba The bar staff (making the drinks) were very good but the waitress service to the tables and around the pool areas was very bad. We were in a night club area 1 night waiting for the band to come and play, there were about 4 groups of people there. There were 2 waitresses standing in a corner talking. Each group had to go to the bar themselves while the waitresses stood around talking Occasionally they walked around the area picking up glasses and not offering to get drinks On 1 occasion we noticed then attempt to take a glass where the lady had not finished her drink We are planning our next cruise and Princess lines would not be our first choice Also there were too many people for the open spaces. The free ice cream was only soft serve (Holland America have a choice of 3 flavours plus soft serve each day with lots of topping options) The buffet food selection was not as good as Holland America Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
My boyfriend and I chose this cruise in particular because it left from LA (where we both live) and the price was right. I've cruised on Princess before, but it's been almost exactly 10 years so I was interested to see what had ... Read More
My boyfriend and I chose this cruise in particular because it left from LA (where we both live) and the price was right. I've cruised on Princess before, but it's been almost exactly 10 years so I was interested to see what had changed. For reference, I am 27 and my boyfriend is 30. Embarkation was easy. The people that work in the cruise terminal clearly deal with people boarding the ship every week so they have everything down to a science. From being dropped off at Pier 93 to opening the door to our cabin, I think it was about 15 minutes. Our cabin was nice. We were on Baja deck, cabin B623 which is a balcony cabin. It was clean and well maintained. The bathroom though, and the shower in particular, was pretty small. It was barely manageable for me (at 5'9"), but my boyfriend is 6'4" and he had a really hard time in the shower. I chose Baja deck specifically because the deck above you cannot look directly down to see your balcony. We could see the balconies of the people below us (decks 9 and 10). So if you want more privacy, Baja deck is nice. Our cabin steward, Dennis, was great. He had an uncanny ability to know when we were out of our cabin and it was almost always cleaned when we got back. I don't know if he learned our schedule or if we were just lucky, but no complaints there. We had an issue with an unpleasant fishy smell in our cabin one night. I left him a note before we went to dinner to see if it was something in the plumbing or what, and he called later that night. He offered to have the carpet shampooed, which I really appreciated. We had early dining in the Botticelli dining room. I had requested a table for two since we were celebrating our anniversary and was pleasantly surprised when we were given a table for two. The dining room was beautiful and the our waiter and assistant waiter were nice and attentive. I was almost always happy with the food in the dining room. I had a gnocchi dish one night that I wasn't the biggest fan of, but all the meat dishes were delicious. The portions were perhaps small if you compare them to a typical American restaurant, but I thought everything was a good size since you're eating an appetizer, main course, and dessert. If you're expecting Claim Jumper portion sizes, then you'd be disappointed. But I was happy, and never left the dining room hungry. The food in the Horizon Court, which was the ship's buffet area, was a bit of a let down. I get that breakfast buffets are a bit of a challenge. Scrambled eggs (and eggs in general) get weird pretty quickly, but I was disappointed with the offerings for breakfast. Nothing really impressed me and I found myself reaching for the pastries instead of the hot items. The seating area in the Horizon Court always seemed to be crowded so it was often hard to find a table. We ended up sitting outside on the Lido deck most mornings. However, I did eat one of my favorite items the whole cruise in the Horizon Court for dinner one night. The pumpkin gnocchi with mushroom sauce was delicious! I ate two servings of that and wanted more if I wasn't so stuffed. The pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers served up on the deck were tasty. We ate that for lunch most days instead of risking the buffet. They offered calzones on the last day of the cruise, which I was excited for, until I took a bite. The whole calzone was empty! No cheese, sauce or any kind of filling. Not sure if I got a dud or what exactly happened there. We ate dinner one night in the Crown Grill, which is an additional charge of $29 per person. The food was delicious! We both thought it was a great deal since a steakhouse of that quality would have been at least triple the cost on land. Shout out to our great server Sheldon who really went above and beyond to make sure we enjoyed ourselves and that our food was perfect. Entertainment was great for the most part. I loved the cruise director, Peter, and his staff. Martin, Andrew, Kassia, and Renee were all very entertaining and seemed to genuinely enjoy their jobs. There were different game shows each night that were fun to watch and participate in. My boyfriend and I were kind of meh about the one production show we went to, Magic to Do. I wasn't particularly impressed with any of the singers and they "magic" tricks they do aren't particularly impressive. The comedian on board, Phil Tag, was great! Very funny and entertaining. Service overall was good. We went to happy hour in the Wheelhouse Bar almost every day from 3-4. It was buy one get one for $1. The servers were quick to bring us drinks and always offered a last call before the happy hour was over, which I appreciated. There was always a lot of staff working for happy hour, which was nice since it got crowded. I also don't think we ever waited more than 5 minutes in one of the lounges for someone to take our drink order. There always seemed to be a lot of people working in the bars so service was quick. We didn't get to try the Salty Dog gastropub but I really wish that Princess would have that open for lunch instead of just dinner. We definitely would have tried it for lunch. They did offer a complimentary pub lunch on one of the sea days which was good. I wished they had offered it more than once. Though we were one of the younger couples on the cruise, we had a great time. The ship was well maintained and we always found stuff we wanted to do. I think you can always find stuff to nitpick and I feel like a lot of reviews on this ship are nitpicky. I was kind of worried after reading a lot of these reviews because it seemed like a lot of people had bad experiences. But I was really pleasantly surprised by the crew and food (for the most part). I think if you go into the cruise with an open mind and a positive attitude, you'll have a great time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This is for the Mexican Riviera sailing on 11/18. Embarkation/Debarkation were sadly the best parts of this cruise. The cabin itself was decent and clean. The TV options were better than other cruiselines with a rotating schedule of ... Read More
This is for the Mexican Riviera sailing on 11/18. Embarkation/Debarkation were sadly the best parts of this cruise. The cabin itself was decent and clean. The TV options were better than other cruiselines with a rotating schedule of movies and various other programming. Managed to watch 7 NFL games while there which for me was a positive (wife not so much). The two main issues I had with the room was the temperature was too high. Neither my wife or I were comfortable with the temperature at any time. Made sleeping difficult. The pillows were awesome...at first. They are feather pillows and the feathers do poke you - but worse than that is when you've laid on them for about 5 minutes your head sinks all the way through and the feathers move to the side and you no longer have support. Again - sleeping was greatly affected by the high room temperature and the pillows lack of lasting support. Our first experience outside the dining room was to grab a burger at the burger/hotdog shop on the Lido deck. The food was ok but while we sat there for 10 minutes eating we had a guy try to sell us beer THREE TIMES! Man alive!! Let me eat my food! If I didn't want a beer the first time then I don't want it the second or third time and if I do I will come find you! Next experience was going to the bar. Was at the pool area and waited at least 15 minutes without being acknowledged at all and then walked away. They were very busy and clearly could not handle the amount of people with the 2 bartenders they had working. Then there were the children...wow I have never seen so many children. It was truly unfortunate because this caused adults to not be able to use the pools. BOTH pools were overrun with children and if you got in you would be that one weird adult in a pool full of children. How about segregating the children as to not overrun the ship! Next was trying to get something to drink...as in some juice or water. I found the water in the restaurant (buffet) however you couldn't get juice...just water. Lemonade is available occasionally. They put it in a pitcher however the majority of the time it was empty. There are no straws available. So I hunt down someone in the restaurant and ask for straws. They tell me that I have to go to the bar. So I'm at the restaurant and I have to leave the restaurant, wait in line at the bar just to get a straw to take back to the restaurant? WOW - that's crazy amount of work to get a straw. I am not exaggerating when I say this - we were on the cruise 7 days - we saw 2 crew members smile. One was a room service girl and one was a plate hander-outer at the buffet. In my time on the ship I spoke to 3 people at guest services, 4 or 5 bartenders, several waiters and several random people throughout my time there - none of them smiled and most of them made me feel like they were indentured servants. I didn't want to ask for anything because they just made me feel bad for asking more of them. Now let's talk about the Princess Theater - a nice theater that was made completely useless. The shows were a joke - there was only one night out of 7 that had true entertainment and it wasn't that great (Cheaza...yes that's the Whitney Houston tribute singer). Other than that it was things like a "multi-media presentation" or a movie. Other cruiselines I've been on had some really good shows they put on. I will say that there were a few times where there were dancers truly entertaining and seemed to be really into it - including an old white guy who just seemed to have so much energy it was fun. That was during a Love Boat montage at the pool. That was actually really entertaining. Then there as the dining - some cruiselines offer the ability to have a nice dinner sitting by yourself as a couple - you're next to other people but they're actually separate tables. This was not available to us on this cruise. If we were to eat in the main dining area we would be forced to sit at the same table with the same people each night. My marriage has some visual quirks to it and I have ZERO desire to discuss where I'm from, how we met, where we work or anything like that. I just want to have a nice dinner instead of being the topic of conversation at dinner. This forced us to eat at the buffet or burger stand and pizza joint. Didn't take any cruise sponsored shore excursions - however we had a good time at each port. The fitness area - well it was more packed than a gym the day after new years resolutions are set. Too many people all the time EVERYWHERE. I bring it up in the fitness area because it made it impossible to get anything done however it was truly a ship-wide issue. Overall I can say out of the three cruiselines I have sailed this was far and away the worst experience I've had. I had a nice time but that was despite Princess instead of because of Princess. The amount of children and the terrible attitudes of the crew made me never want to give Princess another dime...hate the fact that I tipped them the standard gratuity since almost no one did anything for us or improved our experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Bathroom Shower did not drain Shower leaked – had to put towels on floor daily to catch water from running on floor Only one AC wall plus marked for “shaver only” Wall plug would not accept standard American plug of my water ... Read More
Bathroom Shower did not drain Shower leaked – had to put towels on floor daily to catch water from running on floor Only one AC wall plus marked for “shaver only” Wall plug would not accept standard American plug of my water pic. We requested extension cord and were told we had to “pre-order” one. We had to brush our teeth in the wet bar sink Dead flower for four days in bathroom Balcony If this ship was refurbished in 2015 why was there: Rust and paint peeling on balcony ceiling (see picture) Sea gull deposits on furniture (see picture) Asked cabin steward to notify cabin next door balcony light had been left on for five days – no action taken. Concerts On Movies Under The Stars – False Advertising “Located on the ship's top deck, Princess makes this experience even more special with personal touches including comfortable chaise lounges, complimentary popcorn, warm cookies & milk and cozy blankets in the evening.” Sam Smith Concert I was so looking forward to this concert as I am a big fan of Sam Smith. Arrived at 5:00pm – asked for a blanket. I was told they would be passed out at 5:30pm. No blankets passed out (had to use beach towels) - no popcorn, warm cookies & milk Sound was not turned on until 15 minutes after concert started. Distractions During Concert Three staff members behind us putting away dirty beach towels talking, singing and dancing during concert Staff pushing squeaky cart around pool area during concert Staff pushing squeaky cart setting up lounge cushions during concert Kids jumping on benches and screaming Piazza Once you have sandwich, salad, etc., in hand where do you sit? Tables were taken over by passengers who were playing card games, dominos, etc. Walking around trying to find a table was ridiculous. Passengers should not be allowed to sit for hours on end when tables are scarce especially during the lunch hour. Celebrations A disappointment finding our balloons on the floor of our cabin after one day. We were told they had to be removed for safety reasons. While travelling other cruise lines our balloons were left out the duration of the trip. Anniversary poster on our cabin door was generic. My husband added our names to it for a personal touch. A letter was written to their Post Cruise Customer Relations on November 20, 2017 outlining in detail our true disappontment. I have never had the courtesy of a reply to my letter. Never will I cruise on Princess. We are not new to cruising as having cruised on Carnival, Cunard and Holland America. It is heartbreaking to have spent over $5,000 for one of the worst cruises we have ever experienced. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We so enjoyed this cruise and chose it because LAX is an hour away from PHX. Chance to visit Monterey Bay Aquarium and to visit a client in Sausalito were major reasons we chose this cruise. Thought Princess did a great job for the ... Read More
We so enjoyed this cruise and chose it because LAX is an hour away from PHX. Chance to visit Monterey Bay Aquarium and to visit a client in Sausalito were major reasons we chose this cruise. Thought Princess did a great job for the price. Total for us: $2308. Free Gratuities. Free Balcony Upgrade. $550 credit (Cru-Con, Princess, Military). Where else can you enjoy 21 meals (and yes, maybe food isn't as great as it used to be, but over 12,000 meals are prepared daily; plus 24/7 in International Cafe), 7 days in a cabin that is freshened 2X daily, chocolates on your pillow, live entertainment all over the ship, recent movies, fun games, fabulous interview with Lainie Kazan and more. And, of course, transportation from LA to San Fran to Monterey to San Diego to Ensenada to LA. We also paid far more for glasses of wine and mixed drinks and meals in Phoenix, San Fran and San Diego. Also Princess crew was courteous and greeted us throughout the ship. Think about this, too. Crew members work 10-12 hours per day, 7 days a week for 7-9 months. Embarkation and Debarkation were very organized and went smoothly. Only negative was muster drill. We were standing in front of Crown Grill for about 30 minutes It was hot and stuffy. One passenger fainted. Other than that, we are pleased with Princess and have 3 more Princess cruises coming up. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Embarkation/Debarkation: We were shocked as to how quick we got on the Ruby! We arrived at about 11:00 AM (were told to be there at 1:30 PM) and were literally on within 10 minutes! Debarkation was just as fast and efficient on the Ruby. ... Read More
Embarkation/Debarkation: We were shocked as to how quick we got on the Ruby! We arrived at about 11:00 AM (were told to be there at 1:30 PM) and were literally on within 10 minutes! Debarkation was just as fast and efficient on the Ruby. X was terrible since they could not locate 2 passengers to get off of the ship! Because of that, it took longer than usual. Hands down, the Ruby wins! Staff: I don’t know how else to say this, but workers on the Ruby rarely smiled. Most seemed tired or not happy to be there. May (from Japan) in one of the bars was AWESOME! Her peers definitely need to work with her. Also, our cabin steward Darios was great and loved to chat (briefly). Also, we heard things that we’ve never heard before on any of our cruises. One worker in the International Café said to my friend ‘You’re rude’ when my friend KINDLY let him know that he was next (and not the person after him). We were SHOCKED and have never heard this before. In the dining room, time and time again we kept hearing ‘we can’t do that’ or ‘I’ll come back to you’, without them coming back or remembering what we said or requested. When we did have a question for someone on the ship, they didn’t seem like they wanted to help. X was the TOTAL opposite! We never heard a no, everyone was always smiling and ready to assist. We felt wanted and pampered from ALL of the staff. Hands down, X wins!!!!! Food: Food is very subjective, so this is my opinion only. We’re not foodies, but tend to enjoy good food while on a cruise. The menu was ‘boring’. Some of the foods were bland and just ok. Wait staff would tell us to wait when we had a request and would never follow up. We had a large group with 5 different tables. We were free to sit at any table. One of the waitresses was INCREDIBLE! She was fast, polite and accurate! Whoever sat at her tables were fed at least 15 minutes before the other tables. Everyone rushed to sit at her tables, lol! We were all in the same area and could not figure out why she was so efficient and quick compared to the other waiter. My timing is not exaggerated. We’d be finishing dinner while our friends at other table(s) were just getting their entrée…. Food by the pools was very good! Pizza and burgers, etc. International Café was our nightly place to eat, since the pizza place closed early! Who would close a pizza place early!?! The Cuban sandwiches were very good as were some of the pastries. Buffet food was ok, simple as that. Same ole thing. Got crowded too. Service was fair. Nothing popped, just ok…… On X, the food was very good.. I wouldn’t say great, but very good. Wait staff was attentive but I wouldn’t say fast. Food by pools was very good. Pizza place open very late! Great pizza and pasta. Buffet was very good and very efficient, easy to navigate. Never seemed overcrowded. Service was good. For food, X wins hands down. For Service in dining room, X wins! Our waitress on the Ruby should work for X! Activities: I expected so much more from the Ruby. The pool area was BORING! The band rarely played. The pool DJ was not that great! Volleyball was fun though! Everything seemed to die down by 10ish.. The night club was the only real happening place after hours. We/our kids usually shut it down. We karaoke’d and had a blast. On X, I felt that there was more to do, even though I was expecting a ‘dead’ ship! Seemed to close down later. More options, livelier. This really surprised my wife and I being that we expected an older crowd and less activity. Music and band by pool was good. Things were happening throughout the ship. Again, X wins! Fellow passengers: We noted that many of the passengers were a little older than us (60+). There’s nothing wrong with that, but we were expecting a younger crowd, being that it was Princess. Comparing to X, I think that the crowd might have been a little younger than on the Ruby, which again surprised me. I enjoy associating with people of all ages, so don’t slam me for my comments. Overall, X wins again! Ship/Cabin: We knew going in that the Ruby is an older ship. She has held up though. Ship is in really good shape, however the colors and the ‘feel’ are not up to date. Seems outdated. Sort of easy to navigate. I think that if the staff was nicer and smiling, it would’ve made the ship feel nicer (if you know what I mean)….. We had an aft cabin, D735. Cabin seemed a bit tight but balcony was awesome! Equinox was very nice, up to date. I can’t really say much more, but great ship! I can’t compare the cabins to the Ruby because it’s equivalent to a mini suite. Our friends did stay in a mini suite and it was very comparable to X In regards to the ship, X wins! Specialty Dining: We only visited the Crown Grill. Food was good. Porterhouse was a very generous cut and mashed potatoes were the bomb! Service was blah, no emotions/feelings from the staff. Felt like they were just going thru the motions! Come on guys, SMILE!!!!!! We also had the English lunch at the Wheelhouse. Our party of 3 was seated next to the service entrance. After being seated, we were blatantly ignored! People next to us were ordering drinks, while we just sat and sat. This is not an exaggeration! We finally got up and left. As we headed out, an officer asked how it was. I explained to him that NO ONE ever stopped by our table and that we were leaving! He apologized and asked us to please stay. We told him no kindly and that we’d be going somewhere else. He insisted that we stay. We gave in and he seated us in a ‘VIP’ area. He deeply apologized and wanted to know where we were seated so that he could talk to his staff. He had a waiter take our order. Within FIVE minutes, we received our food! Others in the same section were looking at us wondering how/why we got our food so fast. While we ate, he spoke to his staff. A few came over to apologize. We felt bad because we didn’t want anyone to get in trouble. He said that he needed to know so that this does not happen again. On X, we visited 3 specialty dining’s. The food was very good, but again, it was the SERVICE that made the difference! We were treated special and treated like it was a special night on the town. We didn’t get that feeling at all on the Ruby! It felt like we were intruding on their evening! X wins, without a doubt! Final Comments: I went with a group of 30, friends and family. I can honestly say that they made our trip! If it was just my wife and I, I think I would’ve either jumped off the ship or flew home from Puerto Vallarta! It really was that boring and DEAD! Being that we’ve been on many cruises, I kept my comments to myself so that I could get an honest opinion from others. From the ones that rarely cruised, they said that it was slightly boring. They said that the food was ok and that the ship was ok. They too noticed the crew and how they seemed ‘not interested’. For those that have cruise several times, a few said that the food ‘sucked’ and that the ship was boring and that there was nothing to do! All agreed that if it wasn’t for our group, that this cruise would’ve been a failure! The kids, aged 19 – 24 enjoyed the company of one another. They too said that it was BORING! My two boy, who have cruised about 7 or 8 times said that it was boring and that the food was terrible! For those 60 and older, they said that they had a great time and would’ve loved to do a B2B! So there you go, lol! Again, I kept my comments to myself and wanted to know what everyone thought. We have another Princess cruised booked and we are now seriously considering if we should cancel. It’s on a newer ship, the Royal, so we have hopes that maybe it will be better. I really think that X spoiled us and set the notch/bar high. I’m trying to be open minded and fair, but honestly think that X is what we’re looking for. Also, just to show you how Princess left a bad taste in our mouth, we’re actually considering cruising on the Carnival Horizon in Sept. of 2018! I never thought that we would go back to CCL, however I think that this might even be a step up from the Ruby! Please don’t hate or slam, this is my sincere review. I had HIGH expectations for the Ruby and came back feeling like a total downer! The funny thing is that the only ones to really have a smile were the Princess employees that worked at debarkation! Even those that were sending us off were robotic, my friend told them, ‘Smile! Say bye or say something, sheesh’!!! So that basically summarizes our cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We love California and getting to cruise the California Coast is amazing!!! San Francisco is magical. Loved all the ports. Seas were very calm. Embarkation was a little crazy as there were long lines to drop off your luggage. Once ... Read More
We love California and getting to cruise the California Coast is amazing!!! San Francisco is magical. Loved all the ports. Seas were very calm. Embarkation was a little crazy as there were long lines to drop off your luggage. Once this was accomplished it was all great! Loved the ship and the food was good. Wish the breakfast in the diningroom hours were a tad longer. My biggest complaint is that most people today really need their phones or the internet to stay connected. Prices were outrageous and should be brought down so that it is affordable. Carnival has a social package whereby if this is all you are looking for, it is affordable. Princess should be able to get something in line with this. Debarkation went smoothly and all in all, we really enjoyed the cruise immensely. Will defintely look forward to our next Princess Cruise and hope to do the Calfornia Coast again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This was my first cruise so my opinion may need to be taken with a grain of salt. The ship seemed well maintained, common areas neat and clean. I had been warned to expect a tiny cabin but IMHO the cabin (with balcony) size was fine for my ... Read More
This was my first cruise so my opinion may need to be taken with a grain of salt. The ship seemed well maintained, common areas neat and clean. I had been warned to expect a tiny cabin but IMHO the cabin (with balcony) size was fine for my wife and I, clean and comfortable. Bathroom was dated, chips in the sink, slow shower drain. Onboard entertainment was lacking. There were so many missed marketing oppertunities for Princess. For instance, people don’t like playing games for fun, give a prize to the winner, even if it’s cheap cruise line merch. You get something for winning and the business gets some advertisement. Being a gym rat, this area of the ship (or any vacation spot) is always an area of a concern for me. Princess did not disappoint! The fitness facility had everything needed to get in a complete workout, plenty of ellipticals and treadmills, weight machines all well maintained, plenty of free weights and a very nice “studio” area. The hot tubs were warm at best and the jets were not working on any, the only negative about this area. And now for the worst of it, the food. I realize the masses must be catered to but I have NEVER eaten so much bland tasteless food in all my life! I know they need to make a profit but cutting back on spices and seasonings is the wrong place to do so. Apple pie should taste like apples not mystery goop with only a hint of cinnamon. I won’t even comment on what they called pizza and soft serve is NOT ice cream! Would do t kill you to serve regular hard packed ice cream? Service in the formal dinning room was slow on all 3 nights, one of which we waited 20 minutes just to get water. Courses were served to the entire section at the same time. It didn’t matter if you orderd 10 minutes before another party in your section arrived. The servers waited until the entire section had ordered. Again the same problem with the buffet hampered the formal dining room, bland food. Mind you everything was prepared properly, nothing over or under cooked but it all had NO flavor. I was hoping the speciality restaurants would be different, alas I was disappointed here as well. Service was slow even when there were all of 6 tables seated. Everything was cooked properly but it was all bland. All throughout the cruise I kept getting the feeling the wait staff, bartenders, baristas, etc were looking at the passengers with much disdain. I honestly believe after serving us they were walking away thinking to themselves “Explictative! Americans!” Mind you we were treated properly, this was just a feeling we got. As the cruise wore on the staff seemed more and more annoyed simply by our presence. One morning our steward was most annoyed we were still in our room at 8:30. Another was annoyed to have to move so we could pass him in the hall. Words cannot describe how rude the barista at the 24 hour coffee bar was. Disembarkment was a complete and total cluster. It was clearly printed on the daily letter to meet at 8:45. Much to our surprise when arriving in the theater at 8:30 we discovered our group had already left the ship. Apparently the 8:45 meeeting time was the time our bus was leaving for LAX. All in all I feel the cruise was nice, nice enough to make me want to cruise again........on a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I have cruised over 20 times. This was my first time trying Princess. I thought the customer service was excellent. The room was comfortable and roomy. There was a lot of space for storage. The bathroom had shower gel and shampoo. ... Read More
I have cruised over 20 times. This was my first time trying Princess. I thought the customer service was excellent. The room was comfortable and roomy. There was a lot of space for storage. The bathroom had shower gel and shampoo. Our large picture window gave us a great view. We thought the staff was extremely accommodating. There were over 2,000 people on the staff but they remembered your name. I thought it was extremely nice how they really saw to people who had special physical and dietary needs. The only issue that we ran into was the septic system wasn't working properly near the gym area and the buffet area. They strongly encouraged guests to use the restroom in their personal stateroom. This issue went on for at least two days of our cruise. The entertainment was great. We especially appreciated the ship having happy hour. I have never experienced this before on other cruise lines. I also liked that they built into their schedule daily meetings for bible study, friends of Bill W. and the LGBTQ community. I thought this was extremely thoughtful. Kudos to the cruise director and his staff. We truly enjoyed our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We went with Princess based on the recommendation of our travel agent. She also pointed us toward the Glacier Bay sailing, so the Ruby Princess was our ship! We loved the food in the main dining room. The buffet food was good in a pinch, ... Read More
We went with Princess based on the recommendation of our travel agent. She also pointed us toward the Glacier Bay sailing, so the Ruby Princess was our ship! We loved the food in the main dining room. The buffet food was good in a pinch, but tasted like buffet food. The entertainment was great! We saw two of the productions, the comedian, a cooking demo, and several talks with the naturalist. So much to do we never could have done it all. Most of the staff was helpful and friendly with exceptions being the Lotus Spa and the Fitness Center. They do have a lot of 'sales' type events and we avoided most, but the Fitness Center had a few class offerings that turned out to be a Good Feet sales pitch, instead of a real fitness class, and the instructor was horrible and kept telling people if they were 'not in pain, they were not doing it right', which is not good fitness advice! The free Zumba classes were great and the other fitness equipment was great. We were ignored by the Lotus Spa staff on 3 different visits, so we never booked anything with them. We had a great time and would recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
My husband and I just got back from a 7 day Alaska cruise on the Ruby. As someone who grew up cruising, I was very much looking forward to experiencing it in a different stage of life. Starting at the beginning, I thought embarkation ... Read More
My husband and I just got back from a 7 day Alaska cruise on the Ruby. As someone who grew up cruising, I was very much looking forward to experiencing it in a different stage of life. Starting at the beginning, I thought embarkation was flawless. We had a later check in time and arrived a little earlier than suggested (around 1:30) and found that we were able to get on the ship quickly without a hitch (probably took about 20 minutes, which is not as easy as I had remembered it being in the past.) Cabin: We met our room steward, Ed, immediately upon arrival to our room. He was probably one of the highlights of the actual cruise, as he immediately knew us by name and continually referred to us by name and a friendly greeting every time he saw us, just as he did with all of his other passengers. Our cabin was an interior and par for the course for cruise cabins. The bed was super comfortable. Room temperature felt a little stuffy at times, even though we had it set on the coolest temperature. My biggest regret is not having splurged on a balcony cabin for this cruise. Dining: As with any cruise, we thoroughly enjoyed the food. There was a ton of variety and everything always seemed fresh. Desserts were phenomenal - creme brulee, pavlova, and baked alaska being my favorites! I was personally disappointed to see how many people chose not to follow the dress code for dinner. I'm not sure if it felt more casual since we opted for anytime dining, but on the non-formal nights I observed people in the dining room that had on everything from pajama pants, to sloppy t-shirts. Formal nights, they seemed to be more strict and turned people away if they were wearing shorts. Also, on nights that we wanted to sit at a table for two, we were essentially placed at a very long bench with other "tables for two" with each table separated by only a few inches. So it still felt like we were eating with a bunch of other people, which was fine at times, just unexpected. The buffet was often crowded and on more than one occasion, we had to wait several minutes before jumping in to quickly grab the seat of someone who just left. This may be different on warmer itineraries when people prefer outdoor seating. Our main qualm with the food was the poor quality of coffee, which seems to be yet another upselling scheme - which worked on us, we went straight for the International Cafe so we could actually get some decent drip coffee. If you are an avid coffee drinker at home, beware that the coffee served in the buffet isn't going to cut it. If you need caffeine, try the Earl Grey teabags or just do what we did and beeline it for the nearest cafe while in port. We were told by a worker there that all the cruise passengers come into their shop begging for drip coffee. I would think that would be an easy and affordable perk that should be included in our package. Entertainment: We opted out of a lot of the daily entertainment, if anything, because we were afraid that a lot of it was more upselling schemes that were masked as "activities." We went to the magician/comedian one night who was okay. I remember hearing rave reviews about Magic to Do and was disappointed with that show. There was no real story line and the magic tricks used were cliched and cheesy. The singing was great and I did enjoy the selection of songs they chose to use. Colors of the Wind was probably the best number IMO. We enjoyed the culinary presentation of the head chef although probably could have skipped the galley tour. I also wish we had taken advantage of the Iditarod lecture and some of the other lectures that were offered about Alaska, I heard that those were really good. Ports: Loved all of the ports, although didn't feel like we had enough time in Ketchikan or Victoria. We did one excursion through Princess in Juneau - we got to see Mendenhall Glacier Park, Salmon Hatchery, and Glacier Gardens. We felt like we got really good bang for our buck on this tour as we got to see three totally different highlights in Juneau. In Skagway we booked through a private tour company - Alaska Excursions and got to go to the summer musher's camp. This was probably one of the main highlights for me, as it was so interesting to learn about the musher's lifestyle and meet all the sweet dogs. If you are a shopper, note that Juneau and Skagway mainly consist of your typical cruise port jewelry, Del Sol, etc shops that have deals set up with the cruise ships. Save your shopping day for Ketchikan when you will find more of the local artists and shops on Creek Street. Glacier Bay was breathtaking and the best day for pictures. We were a little annoyed though, as we staked out a spot on the ship and waited for it to turn so we could have prime viewing of Marjorie Glacier, but were immediately crowded by others once we had a good view. In summary, this cruise definitely isn't about the bells and whistles. They seem to focus on the food, service, and upselling. If you're looking for a luxury cruising experience, this probably shouldn't be your first choice. But if you are looking for a great itinerary and don't care as much about a fancy cruising experience, it may be a good option. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
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
This was my first cruise and several years in the making. Overall a four 'star' rating feels very fair to the Ruby, which was a very nice ship with only a couple of issues that would have made this a 5-out-of-5 affair. My ... Read More
This was my first cruise and several years in the making. Overall a four 'star' rating feels very fair to the Ruby, which was a very nice ship with only a couple of issues that would have made this a 5-out-of-5 affair. My boyfriend and I were the youngest couple without kids on the ship as far as I could tell, aside from a cluster of bros who seemed to constantly occupy one mid-ship jacuzzi (more on the jacuzzi situation later). It was just the two of us, and we were looking for a mostly quiet and relaxing getaway. After much back and forth I booked a balcony cabin and boy am I glad I did. I literally saw whales while wearing my pajamas. Worth it for that alone. Departure from Seattle was fairly easy – like I said, first cruise, so having no status of any kind our appointed boarding time was around 1pm. That was actually pretty nice – lines weren't too long, we were able to board as soon as we checked in and our room was ready right away. I was prepared for a tiny room but our cabin honestly felt like just the right size. The balcony certainly helped. There was room aplenty to store my massive suitcase, clothes for all weather and the dozen shoes I brought (that's just how it had to be). There was faint smell of urine in the corner of the balcony. We probably could have insisted on someone coming out and cleaning it but honestly it didn't bother me a lot. I did keep my flip flops on when I was out there. Getting from the muster drill back up to our room was the most stressful moment of departure day. The complete standstill bottleneck at the elevators prevented anybody trying to use the stairs to get out of the way and get on with their vacation. Might have been helpful to have someone directing traffic. After what felt like 10 minutes shoulder-to-shoulder with my fellow cruisers, we finally made it out and up to the bar just as the ship started to sail. We chose anytime dining and never waited too long for a table for two. The food was about as expected: just fine, considering the thousands of people being fed on the ship. Nothing was too memorable but neither did I find any of it disappointing. Don't skip lobster night (the second formal night for us). Despite everyone I know reassuring me that massive boats don't rock that much, day one at sea was very choppy. Turns out I don't get seasick easily but I did see one unfortunate lady lose her lunch by the pool at the back of the ship. We took a full tour of the upper decks of the ship when the weather was still nice in the morning and enjoyed a drink from the lawn chairs at the back of the ship – very nice. We also found the ping pong table which was stocked with plenty of paddles and balls, way to go Princess. The putt putt looked extremely sad. The darts for the bar at the Wheelhouse were MIA and that was a disappointment. Word to the wise, don't sleep on happy hour. It was from 4-5pm in the Wheelhouse and we got our share of dollar Manhattans out of that deal. Speaking of, the Wheelhouse has a good whiskey selection and a nice cocktail called the Seawitch Steamer that was on the evening dinner menu, but I was able to order off the menu the rest of the day. We had a drizzly and foggy day in Juneau but that only put a mild damper on things. It's a gorgeous place. Helicopter ride onto the glacier: worth it. Do it. The Mt. Roberts tramway was also cool and the little restaurant at the top has a good selection of Alaskan on draft and some local spirits. I found out too late that Alaskan Brewing operates a shuttle from downtown out to its brewery, I would have jumped on that, alas. Hanger on the Wharf was recommended by our ship naturalist and he was on the money: great draft selection and tasty food, with a very cool view to boot. Oh and do NOT miss Tracy's. Our weather in Skagway was unbelievably gorgeous despite the forecast and we did the Klondike summit to sea bike ride. It was the highlight of the trip. The views were unreal and it felt like we were finally getting out of the 'touristy' stuff (let's be real, it's all touristy) and getting a look at actual Alaska. Skagway Brewing was a highlight too. The next stop was Glacier Bay and it's another do-not-miss for me. I waffled between this and the cheaper route sailing Tracy Arm but a pal who had cruised to Alaska before insisted on Glacier Bay. He was right. It's amazing and once in a lifetime. It's also pretty much inaccessible except by boat, so it doesn't feel touristy. We got excellent views of the glaciers from the walkway on deck 7/8, and it was much cooler seeing it from closer to water level than up higher. Highly recommend getting out on the deck with your camera a little early and getting a sweet spot out there. The stop in Ketchikan felt very short, which was too bad. We saw the lumberjack show which was excellent, but there wasn't much time for anything else before or after. Maybe I was just over souvenir shops at that point but the area surrounding the lumberjack show just felt like the same shop over and over. I wish I'd scouted out something cool and maybe slightly less touristy to do in Ketchikan after the show, but oh well. As many have noted, the stay in Victoria is very short. You can walk to downtown but it's a fairly long walk, and I say that as a person who does not mind walks. Gerrick's Head is a little ways into downtown and has a bunch of local beer on draft, plus poutine. If I could do it again, I think I would have just booked the brewery excursion (you may at this point be sensing a theme in this review) for the sheer convenience of transportation. Being local to Seattle and in reasonably good shape I thought we could take the walkoff option. We were in the last group and I guess should have gotten to our appointed station earlier, because by the time we had hauled our bags (a dozen shoes, remember) down to whatever bar we were supposed to be at, our group had already left and we got stuck in an absolute mob disembarking. Not fun. Would do the version of that where they handle your bag for you next time, even though that felt unnecessary. In no particular order, some other thoughts/tips on the ship: - Crooners is delightful, shoutout to Kevin and Yulia who took great care of us - The massage was nice, but kind of pricey. They try and upsell you some product afterward. Hit up the hot tubs outside the spa/fitness center whether or not you book a massage, they are quiet and wonderful. - Also, I wish more jacuzzis had been open. We had to wander around to find one as many had a tarp over. Maybe because it was early in the season. When I finally got in one I saw a rainbow and a sunset over some mountains while enjoying a drink. That was delightful. - There's a lot of emphasis on shopping and art auctions which I had zero interest in. It was not a big deal tuning all of that out but just be prepared. - The gym is actually quite nice and helped me work off a little bit of my vacation calories. - Salty Dog at the Wheelhouse was a nice dinner and not as pricey as the other specialty dining. - I expected very little from the buffet quality-wise but it was honestly just fine. Enough variety to make it interesting. An endless supply of deviled eggs and cheese cubes is a vacation in itself in my book. - Champagne waterfall was cool. You get free champagne out of it. - I requested robes for our room and checked multiple times that the request went through and sadly, no robes. We asked our steward and he said something about them being washed. No robes ever arrived. - Get a coffee card if you're like me and mainline lattes all day. It's not free but makes it feel like they're free because you already paid for it, which is nice when you're on vacation. My cruise insider pal got us one which was very kind. We ate dinner on our last night at a table with a couple who were very nice and veteran cruisers. They mentioned that their first cruise many years ago was one to Alaska and it got them hooked. I can see why. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this cruise because of it's location and destination. It was an Anniversary/Birthday event. We also thought that it was a reputable cruise line. The steward was the only real bright spot. 30 % crew was nice 40 % marking ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of it's location and destination. It was an Anniversary/Birthday event. We also thought that it was a reputable cruise line. The steward was the only real bright spot. 30 % crew was nice 40 % marking time 30% rude. (don't like Americans?) Aft deck bartender was terrible didn't know how to make the drinks in her menu. Refused to get coffee for an Irish coffee. Berated a waitress in front of passengers for no reason. WE ere tricked into a sham wow style presentation on Jewelry. We thought we were going to a seminar to learn about the points of interest sights and shops at the towns we visited. Instead it was all about ten diamonds and other jewelry. Who goes to Alaska to buy a Diamond? I think that is what reputable companies do like Ben Bridge. No Sing's alaskan Diamond shop. We walked out on the sham wow kid. It was our anniversary and while we saw lots of cards and Balloons on other cabin doors there was nothing on our. Ay4pm the last night of the cruise they deposited a card that told us to give it to the waiter for some free thing or another. we just laughed. Everything I went on their sight the weeks before the cruise and double checked the night before the cruise never made it to our room. I ordered the water package and bathrobe. When I asked guest services they told me to email their corporate HQ. and that the bathrobes don't come out until the second day because they are washing them. I have up on the water and no bathrobes came until the steward fixed it late on the second day. Just a real crappy experience. I filled out their survey in more detail because there was so much bad service. I need heard a peep out of them. No letter back they and here is the truth really do not care about your experience not the $$$. So this was a $5,700 vacation down the drain. Make s e feel bad. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to take a Princess cruise. We had enough miles on SW to fly round trip from Seattle. The price was reasonable. We wanted a cruise with less children on board. We enjoyed the entertainment and the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to take a Princess cruise. We had enough miles on SW to fly round trip from Seattle. The price was reasonable. We wanted a cruise with less children on board. We enjoyed the entertainment and the lectures. Our favorite day was cruising Glacier Bay while relaxing in the Santurary. It was so nice to be pampered. We were swerved breakfast, lunch and tea. They also served coffee and hot chocolate. We enjoyed the excursion at Skagway and Ketchikan. We took the white pass railroad train. Went to the lumberjack so. So much fun, lots of hoopin and hollaring. In Juneau, we took the tram up Mt. Roberts. We hiked a little,many saw the film about the Tlingets. Very interesting. All, in all, a very pleasant time. We will definitely consider a Princess cruise again. Our next cruise, will be in th Gulf of Mexico. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
My Girlfriend is an avid cruiser, and she was so excited about our first cruise together, her 5th, my first. We perused all of the cruise lines, found our perfect port, destination and length of cruise, Cabo San Lucas, Princess (Ruby) 5 ... Read More
My Girlfriend is an avid cruiser, and she was so excited about our first cruise together, her 5th, my first. We perused all of the cruise lines, found our perfect port, destination and length of cruise, Cabo San Lucas, Princess (Ruby) 5 nights. Perfect for the land lubber that I am . We chose anytime dining, skipped the drink package, and the photo package, something I would recommend at initial booking. BUT ***SUGGESTION*** take the cheesy logos off of the pictures Princess please. *****NEXT SUGGESTION****** your crew is too pushy. I know they do this every day with the cattle you move, but they should be reminded of the reason they are even there. the passenger. OUR ROOM-The room was a level 10 balcony, It was lovely and bonus, the balcony was as big as the stateroom. our Steward was great, forgot your name buddy, I hope you have a great time on Vay K this summer. We really enjoyed the room ;} OUR FOOD- We had anytime dining. That for me is preferred to a reservation any day of the week . We did make reservations at "SHARE" lovely atmosphere. ready to be treated to a two and a half hour culinary cavalcade. Well, we would barely finish our last bite of these delicious morsels lain out before us, when the fairly new waiter would come over and drop the next course. Barely audible in his announcement of the course, i just chalked it up to his freshman status. The food made me sick, I don't know it was the lemon grass, or the rapid fire slinging of tapas my way. OUR SPA TREATMENTS- Couples massage, facials, scalp massage. Scalp massage -meh, the technician was great (sylvana) but the oil for me was maybe just a too much. Facial was great, our Tech was fabulous, fun to talk to. great results. The Couples cabana massage @the Sanctuary was divine, we came out of that in a dreamlike state, but the up sell of the lotions while we were loopy from the service was not cool. NOT COOL! OUR BALCONY DINNER- amazing it was lovely, port side over looking the lovers arch in Cabo San Lucas, we even had some light entertainment from the Mexican Navy (who knew) in the form of a huge drone that dipped and dove much to our delight, thank god i still had the speedo on. All in all, i would cruise again. but I would most likely test the waters, hue hue, of another carrier. Princess got some work to do on their buffet. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We took a 5 day out of Los Angeles, it was a nice ship with kind employees. Not too big of a ship, and not too small. One of those that you become familiar with on your last day. I was not impressed with their buffet food whatsoever. Half ... Read More
We took a 5 day out of Los Angeles, it was a nice ship with kind employees. Not too big of a ship, and not too small. One of those that you become familiar with on your last day. I was not impressed with their buffet food whatsoever. Half of it was okay, the rest tasted off putting. We chose to do anytime dining and it wokred great for us. Pizza was great. Spa is even better with the best ladies. They were so helpful and not pushy on the products they used too much. The pools were nicely spaced out and there was plenty of space for everyone. The aft pool is the best. Their casino also had just enough space for everyone to enjoy. We never once felt cramped during this trip. The cabins were clean, and your stewards become your friends. Overall, it was a good time with a good price. I expected more from their food though. 7/10. Read Less
Sail Date April 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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