235 Princess Ruby Princess Romantic Cruise Reviews

Wanted a local cruise along the CA coast. Enjoyed stopping at San Francisco and walking along the wharf Santa Barbara was another good walking port of call, charming city The food in the main dining room was excellent each and ... Read More
Wanted a local cruise along the CA coast. Enjoyed stopping at San Francisco and walking along the wharf Santa Barbara was another good walking port of call, charming city The food in the main dining room was excellent each and every night Our table partners were from Hawaii which made for some great conversations We tried the free ice cream on the upper deck, not great but still nice to have The bratwurst though was very good and a great snack, especially when sitting looking out over the ocean. Our room was always cleaned and squared away yet we never saw anybody, ghosts? We could not believe how full the ship was, especially for a November local cruise The staff that we interacted with were always polite and friendly, our dining staff were great. The dining room was very clean with beautiful decor and table settings. We plan on taking another coastal cruise after our cruise to Hawaii. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
The service inboard was very inconsistent I was shocked considering all bar staff gets paid only on the 15% that gets added to all drink orders. That being said, make sure you tip extra on your bar tab, they really rely on it. The ... Read More
The service inboard was very inconsistent I was shocked considering all bar staff gets paid only on the 15% that gets added to all drink orders. That being said, make sure you tip extra on your bar tab, they really rely on it. The activities on board were not in line with the target audience and often we had to seek it out. For example, they offered a towel folding demonstration as well as an ice sculpture demonstration, yet I never saw a folded towel or one ice sculpture on board. The music was more big band, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee when it should have been more classic rock to appeal to the generation on board. The cabin was adequate and our cabin stewart was wonderful. She was one of three staff on board that made us feel welcomed. I felt the entertainment was cheesy, very hand in cheek, and not good at all with the exception of the band who sounded wonderful and played several types of music. I did the "engagement under the stars" and proposed to my (then girlfriend) fiancée and part of the package you get a video copy of the proposal. Don't you think that would include the response too? Well it didn't so now our mothers who cannot travel due to illness cannot enjoy the whole thing. HUGE LET DOWN AND DISSAPOINTMENT.! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The Ruby at one time was beautiful, and the staff wonderful. This time the staff all needs a vacation. The Ruby needs dry dock. The plumbing is the major issue. Many toilets are not up to american standards. especially the smells on ... Read More
The Ruby at one time was beautiful, and the staff wonderful. This time the staff all needs a vacation. The Ruby needs dry dock. The plumbing is the major issue. Many toilets are not up to american standards. especially the smells on deck 8,9,10 aft! our neighbors were lucky enough to move, we had no luck since we were in a suite. The food was fair, the specialty dining was so rude. Specialty restaurants are becoming a joke. we made a standing reservation each night at the Crown Grill. Never have i been told to go to the dining room, they could not provide me with plain fish or chicken, REALLY, Crown Grill. The Ruby doesn't serve lunch in any restaurant during port days. You are on your own for the buffet on international cafe. which by the way is the best food on the ship! We have sailed this Mexico run for 30 times and never have we been told, sorry we are closed today! The Breakfast at Sabatinis was wonderful, staff and food, exceptional friendly, then off to the SPA. Best part of the ship. Now to say during Halloween we expect DRUNKS..but we found the crowd to be OBNOXIOUS! stay out of the hallway and party in your rooms, have fun, but not to the extent we cant get thru the hallways. Some travelers enjoy the cruise just the way we are, quiet ,relaxing and having a great time at the BAR not in the halls. The art auction was great, David we will miss you and your sense of humor. Princess is missing a great guy! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was my first Princess Cruise (second on a Carnival line - the first being Carnival Paradise) We stayed at a Marriott before embarkation. I booked it myself as I am a Marriott Reward member. Very nice and convenient. The name of ... Read More
This was my first Princess Cruise (second on a Carnival line - the first being Carnival Paradise) We stayed at a Marriott before embarkation. I booked it myself as I am a Marriott Reward member. Very nice and convenient. The name of the ship was the Ruby Princess. We did not partake of the activities so a review of them would not be appropriate. The ports and excursions were fair to OK. The one question I have is why do all the buses, at least the ones we were on, have cracked windshields? Travel to embarkation was by car service that I arranged. The cabin, well see below for details. I mean you have to ask for towel animals to be made. When you do a mouse is given. It is the little things that make a cruise enjoyable, after a working toilet that is, and they were not present. Dining, not very good. We sat with a table of 6 frequent Princess cruisers and they also were disappointed. No children for us, so no comment. As for the entertainment, we did not partake so I cannot answer. Disembarkation was without a hitch, so OK. The major concern/problem was the toilet. See below. Our toilet had problems all trip. It wouldn't flush immediately. Sometimes it took 2 minutes other times up to 6 hours. Complained many times. Could not speak with Hotel Manager. Took 6 days to speak with the front desk supervisor. Not just that, when we boarded the cabin, at least the bathroom, was not disinfected. We found a used tooth brush on a piece of toilet tissue. The tissue was dry so it wasn't cleaned and then replaced, though why would someone do that is beyond me. They constantly tell you to wash your hands and put Purel around but disinfect the bathroom between cruises is too much. Add to that the crew. We had one person come to our cabin and told us we were not special. That she had many guests and could not give us priority when we called again, as we would, to have someone come to our cabin when the toilet did not work. Back to the toilet. We had it overflow and yet still nothing. They gave us $500 off the bill to cruise with excrement. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was my second cruise with the first one being on the Carnival Conquest in 2005. I booked this cruise for the romance that this particular ship was supposed to have. I left feeling a little disappointed. The Good: -The itinerary ... Read More
This was my second cruise with the first one being on the Carnival Conquest in 2005. I booked this cruise for the romance that this particular ship was supposed to have. I left feeling a little disappointed. The Good: -The itinerary was great although we lost Cabo due to Hurricane Patricia. -The excursions were great and they had a great selection for each port. -The main dinning rooms food was excellent and there was always a different selection to choose from each night and a beautiful variety, along with the items available overnight. -The ship has a great selection of things to do each day while on the ship. -Our room steward was Outstanding! -Most of the staff are Excellent! -Very few kids. Please don't take it that I don't like kids, I have 3 (they were not with me on this cruise). I was just wanting a more adult cruise and that is what it was. -We met a lot of Fantastic people on this cruise that we hope will end up to be long term friend! The Bad(ish): -The ship is tired and needs a remodel. All the walls and furniture are beat up. -The steak house (for and extra fee) was not worth it at all. The waiter kept disappearing for long periods of time and the steak was super dry even at Medium Rare. -We had numerous issues with the Spa! The first time you have a service you fill out a form which is used each time you come back. I had a pedicure and she had a fail and we also paid for the Thermal Suite at the same time. The second time we returned for a 75 minute massage, we had 4 different people ask us who we were and spent 15 minutes looking for the paperwork. Then gave us a 45 minute massage and wrapped things up 10 minutes prior to the 75 minutes. Charged us full price. Took 2 days to fix this because the manager seams to only work at night. Then we went back a 3rd time (not including the daily use of the thermal suite) for another massage. Each time you use the spa after the first, they are supposed to give you a percent off (10% for first, 20% second, and 30% for third and additional times). Nope, no discounts. had to ask them to review our account. She got her discount but I didn't. They said that my pedicure didn't count and neither did the thermal suite. I still haven't gotten this fixed. -The entertainment was very lacking. -After a Carnival cruise, I expected more from Princess. We paid more for less. I know that Princess is owned by Carnival, but this cruise felt like a carnival cruise without the higher-end feel that you always hear about! Its the same size as the Conquest but with a lot less. Overall it was't a bad cruise, but there was a level of expectation that just wan't there. We did enjoy it, because I absolutely love cruising. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I've been on Princess before and loved it, but this cruise was not like that. I had reserved a wheel chair for embarkation and they didn't have one for me. Our cabin steward never referred to us by our name, we were lucky to get ... Read More
I've been on Princess before and loved it, but this cruise was not like that. I had reserved a wheel chair for embarkation and they didn't have one for me. Our cabin steward never referred to us by our name, we were lucky to get a hello out of him. We encountered a few rude employees which shocked me. When we got on the ship we were the first to sign up or the ship tour and we were told we would be on it and it would be the last sea day & someone would call us the day before to give us details. Well the day before we got a call telling us it was cancelled, I was so upset because that was all I wanted to do on the ship, we went to the purses desk to ask why and was told not enough people signed up for it only two other people signed up for it, there policy is 12 people have to sign up, I would think it's easier to move 4 people around the ship than 12 and your still getting $600. I called Princess when we got home and they said that the policy is no more than 12 people so they should have done the tour. Our fitted sheet had a hole and for four days our steward didn't notice it. Trying to get into the main dinning room was a joke we ate one night in the dinning room and the buffet the rest of the cruise, we didn't pay over $1,700 to eat in the buffet. We never got to Cabo because of hurricane Patricia which I understand it's an act of Mother Nature so we had two days at sea coming home with not much to do at night. The comedian Ocsar Carlos was great and he only did 3 shows one night, why didn't they have him perform the last two days. We were not impressed with the food or ship, we will never do Princess again Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We were in cabin D625. We have many problems that I need to share. First, upon arrival we discovered a used tooth brush on the shelf in the bathroom. Now in and of itself not a big deal. But let us look deeper. Because if someone cleaned ... Read More
We were in cabin D625. We have many problems that I need to share. First, upon arrival we discovered a used tooth brush on the shelf in the bathroom. Now in and of itself not a big deal. But let us look deeper. Because if someone cleaned the bathroom and wiped it down (disinfected it) the tooth brush (that was on a tissue) would have been found. With all the hand sanitizer around and previous bouts of disease one would think that is a situation. But again I report it and it goes nowhere. A clear health problem yet no one seems to care. Second, our toilet has not worked properly since boarding. We flush and the wait for up to 3 hours or more before the toilet actually flushes. And then not completely. Urine may be taken away but the paper stays. A second or third flush is needed. As for solid waste, well we have had to sail with that sloshing around in the bowl with urine for hours as well. We have reported each instance many times and have been apologized to often. Many times with a promise of a plumber being contacted personally by the front desk. Again sailing with excrement and urine is not my idea of a fun cruise. Sloshing and spilling on the floor as the bowl fills up. Again cannot be a healthy situation. I have video of the non flushing if you wish. Again I have asked to speak with ship management and we have been ignored or whatever, but nobody cares. If an outbreak occurred I know where to start looking. Third, the crew that is sent to investigate. Well mostly have been kind or trying to be (Ferdinand is nice) except for the front desk. I believe that is how you spell her name. She came to the cabin and stood at our door in the most condescending manner. Like I was annoying her in explaining that my toilet is not flushing for days and it is spilling onto the floor. When my wife said all we want is to be made a priority as the situation is a health issue that has been going on for days, she told us that we are not a priority. Nice customer service. I reiterated that I would like to speak to the hotel manager and she said she would bring it up at the morning meeting. I guess we are not a priority for we have yet to hear from anyone. We told her to leave before it got really heated. We discussed the situation in the hallway as other passengers passed by. The looks from them really told a story. Next, the next to last night we found blood on our comforter that was not there when we left for our dinner but was when we returned. Again I have pictures. It was gone when we returned from breakfast. Talk about health code violations. Again I would love to be able to speak with management onboard but alas we are not priority. Blood, urine, bowel movements sloshing around on the floor, not a priority. The plumbing was a constant problem throughout the cruise. One 1 occasion we actually saw a plumber outside our cabin working on the system. He showed us a large piece of equipment that he changed out. We asked if we could use the toilet, he said not yet. He saw us enter the cabin. We then entered the cabin. We went to the balcony for a few minutes. We then entered the cabin and began to get ready for dinner. Just as we started to get undressed, he walked out of the bathroom saying it was fixed. Now he saw us go into the cabin, so he entered the cabin without waiting for us to answer the door. It was a good thing we did not start to undress immediately, as who knows if he knocked. Next is the brown water in the bathroom. After the plumber was there and left, we then started to get ready for dinner. We turned on the water and brown water came out. I have video. It went on for 5 minutes. We called the front desk and told them. Ferdinand came to the cabin and we showed him the brown water in the sink, the tub, and the toilet. Now we were told that there was no problem with anyone else and brown water. So I do not know what to think. I also am concerned the same water that flowed into the toilet is also routed to the sink and bathtub. Even if it is water that goes into the toilet from the same source that the sink gets its water from, I think that is a problem. Systems back up, and if nobody else on the ship had the problem, then my cabin's water supply is connected somehow. We were given a $500 credit onboard to make up for the inconvenience of sailing with was basically a Chamber Pot for 7 days, the attitude of the staff towards our problem and their lack of urgency about our potential health issues. I did get a call form customer service a week and a half after the cruise. Again apologies and still I felt that even as I was being apologized to, that I was putting them out. Just a feeling. They offered a $500 credit on a future cruise as an additional apology. But cruising with Princess is not in my future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My sister decided to get married on a cruise. Cool! We had a bad experience with princess before and I was hesitant to give them a second shot, but we did. The online check-in was easy. We got to the port, and security was pretty fast. ... Read More
My sister decided to get married on a cruise. Cool! We had a bad experience with princess before and I was hesitant to give them a second shot, but we did. The online check-in was easy. We got to the port, and security was pretty fast. The Princess people directing to lines to check-in, well he was RUDE. (in my head... strike 1) Then the gal at the check in was AWESOME!... and since we were in the wedding party, sent us on to the head of the line to get on the boat. (good... very nice-plus 1) Got on, our room was ready..unloaded..got some food at the buffet. Next day at sea sis got married. Spa/Salon was great spent lots of time on her. :) yay. Did a great job. The wedding was nice, short, sweet..Lots of Pictures!!! Went to be that night, woke up around 1 am to 3-4 inch of water all over the floor of the cabin! We called and someone was at our room in less then 3 mins,. With room keys to another cabin. Had us get what we needed for the night, and away we went. The carpet was still damp the next day, so we went in to our Excursion in Ketchacan. Eagles/lighthouse/Totem..EXCELLENT Excursion! Came back and Carpet was replaced and room was back in order..WOW.The guest services called and offered a bottle of wine. said thank, but I don't drink wine. So they send us to Chops steak house on them. VERY nice! Excellent dinner. Juneau was nice. The Tram and the Glacier were not expensive, and nice "quick" excursions. Even got to see a bear up close and personal. We didn't get to see the Tracy Fordg. FOG... Sea day, was rough seas. So over all I'd say an ok trip. Not great..But they handled the issues quickly so.. at least a C. (my last trip was a BIG FAT D at best!) so an improvement. The room size was ok. Bathroom tiny.. Bed(ask for the memory foam topper) was ok. TOO hard with out the topper! Found other then 2 "talks" there was not alot of actives for us. :( Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
My wife & I recently completed the 7 night Alaska cruise aboard the Ruby Princess. We had such high hopes for this ship/line, however there were several issues that had occurred that caused us to feel disappointed, for example; from ... Read More
My wife & I recently completed the 7 night Alaska cruise aboard the Ruby Princess. We had such high hopes for this ship/line, however there were several issues that had occurred that caused us to feel disappointed, for example; from the onset of the cruise the toilet was not operating, & the maintenance crew could not correct this matter. There were signs posted on the public restrooms, asking guests to use their cabin restrooms if at all possible, but in our case it was necessary. Another issue was the attitudes of some the Princess Crew, & that includes "Officers" that were curt, & unfriendly. This trip was a bucket list item for the both of us, & the ports were lovely, it was a shame that the ship didn't live up to the standards that are expected of such a lovely liner. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We just got back from our cruise from Seattle to Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway Alaska, over 7 days on the Ruby Princess. Overall, we were very happy with the Cruise. Embarkation and debarkation was the easiest we had experienced. The ship ... Read More
We just got back from our cruise from Seattle to Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway Alaska, over 7 days on the Ruby Princess. Overall, we were very happy with the Cruise. Embarkation and debarkation was the easiest we had experienced. The ship was clean and the crew was friendly. The crew was extremely attentive. The ship is big enough to offer many things to do throughout the cruise. The atmosphere is very casual. Often, we were among several of other cruise line ships in each port and sailing the same route. Ours appeared to be the newest, and it was definitely the largest ship in port. The spa was nice and the fitness center was well equipped. We got to do quite a few things, and the cruise was very affordable. Princess operates and owns many properties in all three Alaska locations along the route. We only had two complaints. The first was that we were unable to sail into Tracy Arm because the entrance was blocked by ice. We circled the inlet a few times before deciding to sail up Endicott Arm instead. However, we used up so much time that we were unable to sail up the fjord far enough to see Endicott Glacier before turning back. We feel we missed out on an important part of the cruise. The second complaint was that the itinerary only provides for 5 evening hours in Victoria. My wife and I decided not to disembark in Victoria because we had spent a few day in Victoria a few years back, and felt that short time frame was not worth the effort. Victoria really takes a full day to enjoy. Otherwise, we really enjoyed the cruise. We saw dozens of bold eagles, whales, and other wild life. Bring binoculars. We chose the anytime dining, but most of the time, we dined at the buffet. We even skipped out on the two formal nights. By the way, the attire for formal nights ranged from tuxedos to a tie and sport coat. That is a big range, considering what other cruise lines require. Someone else here mentioned the Lido deck pizza is fantastic. We agree. It is situated in the same place as the endless ice cream and milkshakes. We both opted for the soft drink sticker that ended up being about $7 a day. A soda normally costs $2 on board. The sticker also get you all non-alcoholic drinks and milkshakes. The adult’s only sanctuary was closed most days due to rain, but if you want privacy, the aft pool is where you want to go. As a couple, we packed two large suite cases and a carry-on. Pack layers for cool weather, as well as some sunny days. You will get wet; its Alaska. Some other people complained about the constant upselling. Its how the Cruise line makes money. It really is NOT hard to simply say no. Also, we recommend a balcony cabin. This time we chose an inside cabin and regretted it. We did save money though. The weather in Ketchikan was rainy, but the temperature was above 60 degrees. If you plan on buying a rain coat for the cruise, wait to buy it in Ketchikan. You can find quality rain jackets in the local shops for less than half what you will pay in the lower 48; most were less than $20. We did the Rainforest Canopy Zipline excursion. It was a bit wet, but ziplines are faster in the rain. We had a blast. If you have a fear of heights, this excursion is not for you. If you like ziplines, you will not be disappointed. The morning we arrived in Juneau, it was cloudy and drizzling, but the clouds opened to a partly sunny day. We chose to do the Mt. Roberts Tramway excursion which is a tram that runs 1800 feet above the bay and a short hike afterwards. We enjoyed this excursion, but felt we could have saved money by doing the tram ourselves. I recommend doing the tram while you are shopping in town, and do one of the other excursions instead. You have plenty of time to do both. Also, we observed that shopping in Juneau was more expensive than Skagway. If you want jewelry or other expensive items, wait until Skagway. The weather in Skagway was windy, but a pleasant 65 degrees. We did the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad. As far as we were concerned this was a “must do” excursion, unless you want to spurge for the helicopter tour. We heard others like the Dog sled excursion as well. The town is small, and situated on a simple grid. Its easy to see every shop on every street within a couple hours on foot. We also discovered this was the least expensive port to shop in. As I said, we didn’t get off the ship in Victoria, BC, but the weather was sunny and 75 degrees. We arrived in Victoria at 7:00PM and would have only had enough time to see one of the many attractions in the city. Granted, it gets dark around 9:30 in the summer, but we felt it wasn’t enough time to do much. If you just want to see the city, I recommend taking one of the many taxis waiting at the end of the pier. If I had to pick an itinerary, I would suggest seeing Butchart Gardens first thing, and then taking a walk through down town. The Butchart Gardens is about 40 minutes away from down town. You can see the Parliament buildings, the Fairmont Empress Hotel, and the Bug museum in town easily on foot as they are all close to each other. Seattle is only a few hour’s drive from where we live, so we didn’t partake in any of the excursions from the cruise line. However, Seattle is a great city to visit. We recommend taking a day or two either before or after the cruise to see it. One couple I spoke with flew into Seattle on Friday so they could spend that evening, all of Saturday, and Sunday morning in Seattle before boarding the ship. That sounded like a smart plan. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
My husband and I went on a 7 day Alaskan cruise on the Princess Ruby. We LOVED this ship. Our cabin was large and the queen size bed was VERY comfortable. Our favorite part of the cabin was the balcony, a must have on an Alaskan ... Read More
My husband and I went on a 7 day Alaskan cruise on the Princess Ruby. We LOVED this ship. Our cabin was large and the queen size bed was VERY comfortable. Our favorite part of the cabin was the balcony, a must have on an Alaskan cruise. My favorite thing was the baked goods and deserts. My mornings began with a steaming, hot cappuccino and 2 warm, homemade almond croissants. YUMMY! We also loved the Crown Grill where we had the most wonderful dinner; grilled scallops, french onion soup, Filet Mignon, Lobster Tail with drawn butter, loaded baked potatoes, 2 baskets of the most wonderful homemade bread, and the best desert we've ever had. The service was perfect! My husband enjoyed the cigar bar and the smoking areas on deck where he met dozens of wonderful people from all over the world. We loved our excursions, which were the Duck tour in Ketchikan, the Gold mining (Soot out to our guild Kai) and Salmon bake in Juneau (a bear came in for some marsh mellows, thrilling!), and the Wilderness Safari in Skagway. The scenery on the Safari was unmatched. The service on this ship was amazing, we really did feel like royalty. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Embarkation was smooth and efficient. We were checked in and in our stateroom in 30 minutes. Ketchikan The Totem Pole tour was both interesting and informative. The Lumberjack Show was occasionally cheesy, highly ... Read More
Embarkation was smooth and efficient. We were checked in and in our stateroom in 30 minutes. Ketchikan The Totem Pole tour was both interesting and informative. The Lumberjack Show was occasionally cheesy, highly entertaining. Juneau Tracy Arm Tour -- What can I say -- OUTSTANDING!!! Exceeded expectations - 5 STARS Tram to Mt. Roberts -- Pass if the weather is not very good. We had rain and low clouds. Evening Whale Watch -- Great -- Saw Orcas, Sea Lions & Humpbacks Skagway Luxury Train Ride -- Very relaxing, informative tour. Sled Dog Training Camp -- Loads of fun. Were able to pet the puppies. Specialty Restaurants - Had lobster in both restaurants. Sabatini's was good. Crown Grill was great Disembarkation, as usual, was smooth and easy. We easily made it to the airport with time to spare. Overall... A FABULOUS CRUISE! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Overall we had a great experience. There were a few minor issues but nothing that would put me off from cruising Princess again. This is our second time cruising, the first was almost 10 years ago on a shorter Carnival cruise of the ... Read More
Overall we had a great experience. There were a few minor issues but nothing that would put me off from cruising Princess again. This is our second time cruising, the first was almost 10 years ago on a shorter Carnival cruise of the Bahamas. We traveled with a group of five of us, and arrived a day early to explore Seattle a little. We ate dinner at the Space Needle (awesome views!) and toured Pikes Market Place. We loved Seattle and wished we had more time. On Sunday we took a charter van (only $35 for all five of us, so pretty cheap considering how much Princess wants to charge you per person to get you to the ship) to the port and since we arrived early (around noon I think) the whole process was smooth, quick and without incident. Honestly, we couldn't have had a smoother check-in process. I think the key is get there early! The Princess ship was clean and the staff was for the most part friendly. We never experienced any rude people, however since the staff is pretty much all foreigners, it could be that where some thought the staff was unfriendly, it could just be their natural demeanor. I could also see where working on a ship day in and day out for several months out of the year could make some staffers tired and a little less energetic. But as I said, we never encountered anyone being rude. I agree with other posters about the upselling of products but the only time it was really in our face was the first day with the beverage cards. I opted not to get one (we took advantage of the allowance of bringing a bottle of wine per person on board so I wasn't deprived of my wine, lol) but my husband got the all inclusive, which I think is too expensive and should be allowed to be shared between two people. At the very least, at the end of the cruise, they should show you what you would have spent per drink so that you can decide if it was worth it or not, but I guess they would lose future sales if you knew you didn't drink near the amount the card cost. But we had onboard credits as part of Princess' 50th Anniversary, as well as a $100 military credit (be sure to take advantage of that if you are retired or current military!). I checked our folio regularly (you can print them off from a kiosk instead of having to stand in line at customer service) and did notice once they charged for a beverage that should have been covered under his drink card. They quickly removed the charge without issue. We mostly utilized the buffet. There was always something we liked and I tried a few new things I never would have had before. The fruit was always fresh and I loved the fruit smoothies. We had anytime dining but only used the dining room a few times. Once was on the first formal night (we opted not to participate in the second formal night) and the food in Da Vinci dining room was good but not great. The second time was on a regular night, in the Michaelangelo, and again the food was good but not great. We aren't really the sit down restaurant kind of people and felt the whole thing was time consuming from start to finish. Some people like that though so there really is something for everyone to find what they like when it comes to the dining options. Based on our room type, we were given a free specialty dining (Princess made the reservation for us on the night of their choosing) as part of their 50th Anniversary so we ate at Sabatini's on the evening we were due to dock in Victoria. The food wasn't that great considering it was a specialty restaurant. They put too much emphasis on presentation, in my opinion, and not enough on taste. Also, by the time dessert arrived we were docked and since you are only in Victoria a few hours, we didn't want to miss anything so we left pretty quickly after eating our desserts. I liked the Purell stations around the ship (you had to use them when entering any dining areas). We never got sick (well my husband got queasy on a particularly rough sea day) and think that's a good idea to help avoid the dreaded cruise ship viruses people sometimes get. We LOVED the Pizzeria pizza. The thin crust was wonderful. They always had a pizza of the day in addition to pepperoni and plain cheese. We ate there almost every day as a snack between meals. I also ate lunch once at the buffet at Cafe Caribe and thought the choices were pretty decent. My husband ate at the fast food hamburger/hotdog stand once but didn't like it much. But others said they really liked the food there so you'll have to judge for yourself. Don't not try something because someone didn't like it. You may love it! The prices for pictures are pretty expensive. Because we were a group, I did buy one formal night picture but I didn't care for any of the individual shots of just me and my husband so I opted not to get any of those. $20-$35 for one picture is way too much, especially in this digital age. Surely they would sell more at lower prices? We didn't take advantage of any of the shows. I played once in the casino at the slots and played bingo once. Since the daylight lasted pretty much all day, we spent a lot of time either up on deck looking for whales and enjoying the scenery, or on our balcony in our room. Our room steward was great, always made sure we had what we wanted. Our main complaint about the way they dispensed information is that they put anything pertinent in with your daily Princess Patter and many times we just threw it on the table and left the cabin for the day. There were a few times when they needed us to return paperwork back to them (filling out customs forms, your disembarking preference, etc) and think they should put a colored tab on these so that they stand out as "needs attention." I'm running out of energy to post about the ports (lol) so I'll sum up quickly. We loved Ketchikan, saw the Lumberjack show and then shopped (don't miss the stores at Tongass Trading Company and be sure to utilize the coupon books you can get at the visitor center and all over the place). We got most of our souveniers there and lots of goodies with the coupons. Juneau was rainy and chilly and industrial looking. Not impressed with it as a whole but we went up to Mendenhall Glacier (took a taxi van, didn't book through Princess) and the hike to see the waterfall and closer view of the glacier was worth it. But be prepared for a lot of walking. DO NOT waste your money on Glacier Gardens! What a joke. Yes, the flowers at the entrance are pretty but there are no other flowers or gardens on the gas golf cart ride up the hill and back. The price for admission is outrageous for what you see. The only thing that saved that tour (we did it on our own, did not use Princess) was I got to see a new bird (Red-breasted Sapsucker). Skagway was very tiny, not much going on besides being a tourist town, but don't miss out on the White Pass Scenic Railway tour! Victoria is beautiful! You definitely don't get enough time to see it and by the time we finished the double decker bus tour (we did book that through Princess) it was getting dark. Overall, I wish we had done some more excursions (maybe the dog sledding, or wildlife tours) but we also enjoyed walking around on our own and seeing the sites. There just isn't enough time to see and do everything you'd like so my best advice is to pick the excursion you really want to do the most and let the rest of the day fall around that. Don't put too much pressure on trying to do too much or you will disappoint yourself. We don't get to vacation like this very often so our next cruise will have to be some years down the road. I would do Princess again but also would like to see what HAL and Norwegian have to offer as well for better comparison. All in all, you won't be disappointed if you just relax and enjoy the scenery! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I have to start by saying that we got married on the ship, so it was a combined wedding/honeymoon. I think we may have received a little extra attention because of this, but not ever having cruised before, I don't have anything to ... Read More
I have to start by saying that we got married on the ship, so it was a combined wedding/honeymoon. I think we may have received a little extra attention because of this, but not ever having cruised before, I don't have anything to compare it to. We flew into Seattle the day before so we could look around. (Beautiful, sunny warm weather.) I loved Seattle and plan to someday go back for a vacation. Pike Place Market is the coolest place ever!! If you go try to go early while the vendors are setting up. There is no crowd and it is fun to watch the seafood sellers set up. We stayed at the Maxwell Hotel, which is about a block from the Space Needle. The price was really reasonable for the location so I was a little worried about staying there, but it was really nice!!! I wish I could post a picture of our room. We arrived at the port at about 12:10 pm and got right on the ship. I expected it to take a couple hours, but it was just so easy! We were in our room by about 12:30 pm. We had a message to meet someone later about our wedding plans and had to go to the Lotus Spa to confirm a couple appointments we had. I immediately called to make a reservation for the Chef's Table. (Found out later that only the first 36 to call get to do it. We did!!) We headed to the spa and the line was already long. I never realized so many people would utilize a spa on a cruise. That is a BIG money maker for them. (We had a couples massage the morning of our wedding, which was amazing, and I had my hair done for the wedding.) We spent the rest of the day exploring the ship. Had our muster in the casino. I was afraid it would last a long time, but it was short and sweet. We had our supper in the main dining room (anytime dining). The food was ok, but nothing to brag about. There we met Erwin. He was our server and so sweet. He always had a smile on his face. For the rest of the week we always tried to sit where he was working because we could always get a smile from him. We didn't see very many of those from the employees. It wasn't that they were unfriendly, I just think that they are so busy and serious about their jobs, that they don't probably feel that they have the time. No one was rude to us at all. My husband got the all you can drink card. We were worried that it wouldn't pay for itself, but I'm sure we at least broke even. He used it but I stole lots of drinks from his glass and bottle. Guess that is cheating. We got married on our first sea day. Since most people probably don't know what happens when you get married on the ship, I will try my best to fill you in. It really was an amazing experience and I highly recommend it. There is quite a bit that goes into the planning so they assign you a coordinator who takes care of making sure everything is arranged the way you want. It was a very easy process. Just had to fill out some paperwork, make a couple decisions and send money. Because Princess is out of Bermuda, the wedding certificate comes from there. They take care of making sure all the proper paperwork is sent there. We started our day with a couples massage. It was a little pricey, but I thought it sounded like an amazing way to start our day together. My husband had never had a massage so he was a little nervous, but he loved it! The two young ladies made us feel very comfortable. They even put our hands together at the end. So sweet. The only bad thing was they tried to sell us some stuff at the end, but we declined. After the massage we showered and soon it was time for my hair appointment. I went back to the spa and my "almost" husband went to the bar. He discovered the bar with the best bloodymarys. I don't remember the girls name who fixed my hair, but she did a fantastic job. Afterwards we ate a quick lunch then went back to our room to get dressed. When it was almost wedding time a young lady came to our room with our flowers and escorted us to the wedding chapel. There they fitted my husband with a small microphone so they could hear us for the video. The ceremony was very short and nice. We had a choice of music and vows, or we could provide our own. I chose their contemporary vows. My bouquet was a dozen red roses and was gorgeous! (I didn't get to take it off the ship at the end of the cruise, so that made me sad.) Our price for having a wedding on the ship was approximately $2,500. This included the ceremony by the ship's captain, flowers for bride and groom, videographers, photographers, a bottle of champagne, two champagne flutes, a cake and a large canvas wedding picture of your choosing. We didn't have any attendants or a reception, so that would all be extra. I didn't think it was horrible. After the ceremony the videographer and first photographer spent about two hours taking us all over the ship for pictures. They did a fantastic job! We even got to go to the bridge and have pictures taken in the captain's seat. It was a very fun experience. The photographers were extremely nice, but the videographer was such a darling young lady. I gave her my bouquet since I couldn't keep it. After they are finished with their pictures they take you to the black and white studio for more pictures. That was another amazing experience. The only bad thing about have such good photographers is that you want all of the pictures. We spent almost as much on pictures as we did on the wedding. We ended up getting the proofs, 20 8x10's, the video dvd, the wedding montage dvd and a dvd with all the pictures so we can print our own if we want. We also got five of the black and whites. I haven't counted the number of proofs, but when stacked they are over 2 inches tall. The worst part was having to wait until Friday to see them. After pictures and before dinner we were able to watch a show. It was pretty good. I would never buy tickets to watch it, but to be able to go in and sit for a while it was nice. That was our introduction to the milky way martini. We had a lot of those over the rest of our cruise! That evening we ate at the Crown Grill. We had a great window seat and the food was ok. I had a ribeye and my husband had lobster tail and something else, but I can't remember what. I'm not a picky eater at all, I will eat almost anything, but I didn't ever feel like anything I ate was great. At this meal is where we got our bottle of champagne and cake. We cut the cake (again for more pictures) and tasted it, then gave it to our server to take back for him and his friends. There was no way we were going to eat it and hated for it to go to waste. It wasn't very good either. Just an old frozen cake, but I didn't expect much so I wasn't disappointed. I don't remember what we did after dinner. I think we watched some of the entertainment in the Piazza and hit a couple bars. We were so exhausted from the constant running that we turned in early. Tuesday we were in Ketchikan. (Beautiful sunny warm weather.) It was a nice little town. There we booked a lumberjack show through the ship. It was entertaining. Before it started we spent some time in a little bar across the street. Fantastic bloodymarys there!!! After the show we walked around for a while and then went back to the boat. That evening we had the Chef's table. I definitely recommend everyone try to do this at least once. It was a really good experience! It was $95.00 per person. You get to go into the galley and see that area. While there you get to sample different hors d'oeuvres and have champagne with the Head Chef and Maitre D". Then you sit with your group and are served a multicourse meal with a different wine for each course. This was definitely the best meal we had on the ship. It was so much fun! After it is all done, the ladies each got a rose and each couple received a complementary copy of the ship cookbook. They only allow 12 people per night for just three nights. So you have to make reservations early to get to do it. The next morning we got up early to see Tracy Fjord. It was very pretty. I've been spoiled with many trips to Glacier National Park, Grand Teton National Park and Cascades National Park so I can't say I was as impressed with it as my husband was but I'm glad I got to see it from a cruise ship. In Juneau we went to Mendenhall Glacier and waterfall. It was very pretty and definitely worth the walk. The day was cold and rainy but not unbearable. Afterwards we walked around town. We figured out that the shops in these towns are all the same and mostly just jewelry. Not something I'd buy on vacation. We had a beer in the Red Dog Saloon. It was a fun place to see, but very busy. Thursday was Skagway. We didn't have anything booked there. We ended up booking a bus ride to Yukon at a place in town. It took the same basic route that the train did but we got to stop at several places to get pictures. And it was LOTS cheaper!! $69.00 per person. There were only about 13 of us on the bus so we got to have lots of interaction with the driver about the area. And we got to see and take pictures of a bear. Afterwards we went to Skagway Brewing Company to try the Spruce Tip Blonde. It was pretty good! Friday was another sea day. We spent quite a bit of time looking at pictures trying to decide which ones we wanted to buy so we didn't make it to any of the activities. That night was a formal night so we had fun dressing up. Saturday was the first day we really felt like we could relax so we sat around and watched for whales and dolphins. We stopped in Victoria that evening. We didn't have anything planned for there either. We walked to the wharf area and looked at the houses for a while then went back to the ship to relax at a bar. When we got back to Seattle disembarkation was very simple as was finding our luggage. We were back at the Maxwell hotel early so we planned some site-seeing for there. We rode the Ducks and did an underground city tour. Both were lots of fun. We had supper at Anthony's. It was delicious!!! We really enjoyed this cruise even though we weren't impressed with the majority of the food. I was afraid that maybe I just expected it to be better than I should have, but after talking to another lady in Seattle, who was on the same ship, it just wasn't normal cruise food. She said it was the worst that she ever had on a cruise and she cruises a lot. That made me feel a little better. I would compare most of the food to a Shoney's or Golden Corral buffet. You won't be hungry when you are done, but you also won't be writing home about it. I might also be a little spoiled because my husband is an amazing cook so I'm used to the best. I have to rate the cruise very good in spite of the food. For us it was such a wonderful experience. We even booked another one while on board, to the Western Caribbean. If it isn't as good as this one was we will probably try another cruise company next time we go. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was our 5 year anniversary trip. We absolutely loved the Ruby Princess. Class act all the way. The ship was beautiful. Staff was super nice and helpful. Met lots of new friends. Our room steward, Armand was amazing and kept our ... Read More
This was our 5 year anniversary trip. We absolutely loved the Ruby Princess. Class act all the way. The ship was beautiful. Staff was super nice and helpful. Met lots of new friends. Our room steward, Armand was amazing and kept our room tip-top, ice always full, impeccable service! We thought the food was awesome, although could have stood a bigger salad bar at the buffet. Thai, our head waiter was simple superb and Menardo our waiter was johnny-on-the-spot. We would recommend Ruby Princess to all our friends in a heartbeat! So much to do we could not fit it all in this trip, so MUST go again!!!! Hopefully very soon, it was a total blast! Entertainment was really enjoyable. Loved singing in the Pop choir. Excursions superb! Embarkation and disembarkation Smooth as could be. Was very nervous about sailing for the first time, but all nerves were dissolved within the first hour of being on board. We love you Princess Cruise line!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
My husband and I (now in our 60s) had always been too busy to vacation much. When we decided the time was right to do that, we chose BIG. For us, that was a cruise around Alaska. We chose a cruise line that was noted for its wonderful ... Read More
My husband and I (now in our 60s) had always been too busy to vacation much. When we decided the time was right to do that, we chose BIG. For us, that was a cruise around Alaska. We chose a cruise line that was noted for its wonderful cruises in Alaska, and that was Princess. We made a great choice. We were on the Ruby Princess with its beautiful cabins, terrific food, and detailed service. Every Princess staff member was courteous and helpful. We took the Inside Passage from Princess and were thrilled with the itinerary. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. We enjoyed the two formal nights. I was surprised that more people were not dressed for the evening, but those that did looked lovely. In a world of jeans and tee-shirts, it was a great opportunity to play "dress-up" and lent an air of romance to our nights. We took our breakfasts and lunches onboard at the Horizon Buffet. Even though there were thousands of people onboard, we never had a sense of that. The one time the seating was crowded, other passengers were friendly enough to offer us seats at their table. We found the food to be very plentiful and good. Food that was supposed to be hot was, food that was supposed to be cold was, as well. I never felt I was in danger of getting sick. Food handlers wore gloves, there was hand sanitizers outside the buffet and the dining rooms, the plates were inverted, and a staff person was there to keep an eye on things. We had chosen our excursions online at home. That was a wise decision for us, as we had plenty of time to read about our choices. The excursions Princess offered were varied in both time and energy. The ones we took were exactly as described. The tour guides were knowledgeable and very pleasant. We loved getting up early to sail through the Tracey Arm Fjord. The trip could not have been any smoother, the water reflected the mountains with barely a ripple felt. Even in the glorious land of Alaska, the most magical moments for us were in the Crooners Lounge listening to Ray Coussins sing and play the piano. The talent that flowed from his fingers gave us such pure joy. Mr. Coussins, a longtime piano player for Frank Sinatra, sang and played a full repertoire of his songs. In addition, Mr. Coussins played his version of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" that had the most "Fascinating Rhythm." What surprised us was how receptive Mr. Coussins was to his audience. He played requests that came from the audience, and he was happy to talk people after his set. Ray Coussins could be the "poster child" for the Princess slogan, "Come Back New." He had a unique ability to reach the members of his audience, cascade them with melodies, and take them to places where they forgot they had been. He mattered to people because he actually made a difference in their lives. His disarming way and his unparalleled ability to use music to evoke a myriad of emotions in people truly enabled passengers, not only to come back new, but come back better, much better. Mr. Ray Coussins was the diamond in a sparkling array of gems on the Ruby Princess. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Sailing on the Ruby's first Alaska cruise of the 2015 season, the dark clouds foretold the embarkation soon to be experienced at the Vancouver port terminal. The picture in my memory fresh with hordes of humans being driven to ... Read More
Sailing on the Ruby's first Alaska cruise of the 2015 season, the dark clouds foretold the embarkation soon to be experienced at the Vancouver port terminal. The picture in my memory fresh with hordes of humans being driven to mind-slaughter. Anticipating our arrival was the "Ruby Princess", certainly a carrier of great capacity, Over 4000. It took only 4 hours to board after arrival at YVR. Late transfers, endless lines and turnstiles would put Disney to shame. The greatest calamity was the ship itself. Uncaring privileged staff in charge, lacking the usual Princess spirit, "To take you away completely." Not from your troubles, but to cause you much stress, anxiety and blood clots in the legs from running back and forth to the pursers desk. If this foretells the 2015 season of cruising to Alaska, I would warn all potential passengers to pack their ice packs and oxy-contin, and possibly consider a more relaxed vacation skate boarding the Great Wall of China! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We stayed one night in Long Beach at the Hyatt Regency, not many restaurants around. Embarkation was great. We liked our cabin, Full suite C751, first time in this suite and room is identical to Penthouse Suites. Balcony was narrow and ... Read More
We stayed one night in Long Beach at the Hyatt Regency, not many restaurants around. Embarkation was great. We liked our cabin, Full suite C751, first time in this suite and room is identical to Penthouse Suites. Balcony was narrow and beam right outside bedroom door did obstruct view and too hard to go out as lounge chair in the way. We did have plenty of room to use the balcony dining table. The lounge chairs did not go back, but we're stationary, we didn't like that, but was to hard to climb around beams to get to other lounge chair. There is a beam out the living space as well, but wasn't an issue for us. Thought this room because of lack of balcony and lounge chair usage is overpriced. Really miss the bathroom in Full Suites, better storage in all other class of cabins. We had wonderful staff. We had Brian and Rowena Vasquez as our Hawaiian Ambassadors and definitely are our favorite! Learned so much and so much fun learning Ukelele from Brian. Appreciated learning "authentic" hula from Rowena. Both are so nice to be around, we hope to sail with them again, our first of 3 cruises with them. Brian is so talented and loved hearing his Santana style on the Uke as well. The seas were rough-again and weather was not great until day before getting to the islands, this was expected and with lots to onboard we did not miss being outside. Pools were on the cool side. We loved the "beach break excursions" offered by Princess on Honolulu and Maui, highly recommend. Remember Waikiki beach in Honolulu is all non-smoking! The food, service and entertainment was excellent everywhere on the ship. Another great Princess cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We flew into LAX and did the transfer which was fine as they checked you into the cruise at the hotel which was convenient; I would have considered flying into Long Beach airport which is closer but no airlines offered a direct flight from ... Read More
We flew into LAX and did the transfer which was fine as they checked you into the cruise at the hotel which was convenient; I would have considered flying into Long Beach airport which is closer but no airlines offered a direct flight from our city, and I like to keep things as simple as possible when I travel. Almost everything about this trip was great - the Cruise Director staff was terrific, specialty dining was good, although the Crab Shack was a bit disappointing. The one area that we found lacking was the Main Dining room menu. We sailed on the Royal in January and the menu selections were virtually identical. I was hoping the Chef had something original or more Hawaiian dishes. Understandably, this cruise was not the norm for the Ruby so I get that they didn't have an abundance of Hawaiian decor, entertainment or cuisine, but some additions here and there would have been nice. Our cabin location was terrific - L250. I really liked that you can just step our the door and be on deck within a few feet. Now I am a Lido deck devotee. Regarding the Sanctuary - they need to do some work to block the wind on sea days - too cold on the Pacific to hang out up there. The Ruby did look in need of a facelift however, there were lots of dented cabin doors due to scooters and some finishes needed a little freshening up - like the drapes in some of the public areas. I must commend the Cruise Director staff - they were the best staff we have encountered - Chad, Bianca, George, Romeo and Tess were a blast and we have not seen such a great band as Passion on a cruise in about 4 years. Well done Ruby. The shore excursions for this trip were really expensive - suggest using toursbylocals.com - we did and our guide for Hilo was great. Also, the deck waiters at the Neptune pool (Marlon and Rowyn) were great - they provided service not sales which was a pleasure. Overall this is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable cruises we have taken. One final tip - stay on the ship at Ensenada. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My husband and I have been on 8 cruises and this was our first Princess cruise. We had a wonderful trip on the 15 night Hawaii cruise on the beautiful Ruby Princess. Upon arrival at the cruise port, we felt it was a bit unorganized with ... Read More
My husband and I have been on 8 cruises and this was our first Princess cruise. We had a wonderful trip on the 15 night Hawaii cruise on the beautiful Ruby Princess. Upon arrival at the cruise port, we felt it was a bit unorganized with all of the luggage porters roaming about and mobs of excited vacationers with luggage trying to track down a luggage porter. There was absolutely no organization. It would be nice if someone from Princess was outside by the luggage drop off to organize lines. Once we were able to get our luggage on a porters cart, the rest of the boarding process went smoothly. We were in a mini suite on Emerald Deck 8, cabin E731. It was a wonderful suite if you don't mind the back of the ship. We did have rough seas a few nights and definitely felt the motion while trying to walk around the ship and while trying to sleep. We were not bothered by this motion but knew we were rocking. We had Anytime Dining and this was the first cruise for us where we had this option. We enjoyed the freedom to eat whenever we wanted. We always seemed to eat after 8pm and never had a wait for a table. Service was good. We also decided to eat dinner in the Horizon Court a few nights. We enjoyed every meal we had on the ship from main dining rooms to the pizza parlor, International Cafe, Carib Cafe and the Trident grill. We didn't have a chance to eat in the speciality restaurants on the ship but heard several other passengers say they were wonderful. We went to most of the after Dinner shows and thought they were all good. We enjoyed all of the activity in the Exploreres Lounge most every night. We spent a lot of time in the casino and thought the staff and all the passengers at the 3 card poker table were wonderful. We had such a great time in the casino with all of them. We thought the ship was beautiful, however, we did feel it was time for cabin updates. Our cabin was in desperate need of new mattresses, new pillows, new curtains, new couch, new carpet and the sliding glass doors and the balcony glass needed a good cleaning in the worst way. We put the glass doors and balcony glass cleaning on every comment card we were given. I sure hope that was done for the next passengers. Our cabin did show it's age but we did not let it dampen our cruise experience or our fun. The layout was nice and the amount of storage and closet space was wonderful. Disembarking was a breeze. It happened so smooth and efficiently and that is all I can say about it. All in all our cruise was excellent and I highly recommend this Hawaii cruise round trip out of Los Angeles and I recommend Princess. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was our fifth cruise with Princess and so far had been our favorite line overall. The ship itself is lovely and has the same set up as it's sister ships. The service, however, we found lacking. Our cabin steward, Lamberto was ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise with Princess and so far had been our favorite line overall. The ship itself is lovely and has the same set up as it's sister ships. The service, however, we found lacking. Our cabin steward, Lamberto was amazing and there were a few bartenders who actually seemed to have a personality, but overall, the crew did not appear to enjoy their jobs. The food was terrible!! Now we are NOT picky people, but other than one night, we were very disappointed with the food in the dining room. The food in Horizon court was fine for buffet food. We had "anytime" dining for the first time which we will NEVER do again. Unless you made a reservation, there was a line every night. And the point of anytime dining was supposed to be that we could go ANYTIME. We had a mini-suite which was very nice with a tub and a larger than normal bathroom. The disembarkation was unbelievably horrible. We have never seen such a confusing process. We had airline connections, but "walk offs" were allowed to disembark first. Our waiting area was in the back of the ship, but we had to "follow" our leader to the front to disembark. It reminded us of our very first cruise twenty five years ago when there really was no organization. Worst disembarkation since then. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
"Oh, you are the Hammann's? You have been upgraded!" OK. I'm not an idiot. I realize that getting upgraded is fairly standard. However, don't we all love to hear that phrase? It put a smile on my wife's face ... Read More
"Oh, you are the Hammann's? You have been upgraded!" OK. I'm not an idiot. I realize that getting upgraded is fairly standard. However, don't we all love to hear that phrase? It put a smile on my wife's face as well as mine and set the tone for our 20th wedding anniversary cruise. We arrived at 2:00 as suggested by our boarding pass. It literally took about 5 minutes to get through the check-in process. We stood for about three minutes behind on family and then was instructed to move to a quicker line by an attendant. We were greeted, given our cruise cards and moved on to the ship. Quick and easy! We had reserved an obstructed view stateroom and were upgraded to a balcony stateroom. We were excited to see our room. Both of us had never cruised before so we were enjoyed each and every step of the process. From the name tag on the room to the greeting from Jeffrey, our steward, we were amazed at the service. The food and food service was top of the line. We loved our meal times. Not only were we served amazing food, we established some great relationships with the servers who come from all corners of the world. While I haven't been on other cruises so I cannot compare, I suspect that it would be hard to beat what Princess offers in this area. We dined using the anytime dining package which offered a great amount of flexibility. The balcony cabin we were booked into was amazing. It offered amazing views. The bed was comfortable. Our steward, Jeffrey, was efficient and stealthy! It took some getting used to the two a day service plan on our rooms but once we had the system down it was great. The 2015 New year celebration was great. We had a great time hanging out with people of all nations. This was a memory for a lifetime. I certainly would sail Princess again! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My family and I are seasoned cruisers. Over the past 15 years we’ve sailed a total of 29 times on Azamara, Celebrity, Holland America, Cunard, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, NCL, and MSC. This was our third sailing on Princess ... Read More
My family and I are seasoned cruisers. Over the past 15 years we’ve sailed a total of 29 times on Azamara, Celebrity, Holland America, Cunard, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, NCL, and MSC. This was our third sailing on Princess Cruise Lines. We picked this cruise over our preferred line, Celebrity, largely because of itinerary and the sailing date. Overview The Ruby Princess is a lovely ship with a pleasant crew, average to above average dining and good maintenance. Basically, it had everything what you would expect from a more upscale cruise line with a few significant weaknesses: their wait staff and specialty dining. Embarkation The embarkation process was relatively average. After a quick check in we waited about one hour for them to call our boarding group. This was a refreshing contrast to our last cruise on the Crown Princess when sailing out of Galveston, which was one of the slowest we’ve experienced. Also, similar to our experience when we sailed on the Diamond Princess, our baggage made it to our stateroom before we did. The Ship The ship is relatively new and in great shape. All the public areas are modern and in good repair. Carpets are clean in both in the public areas and the staterooms. We especially liked the decor of the lounges and bars which were all done in wood. They reminded us of a high-end English pub. It took us several days to get our bearings. This is one of those ships where some of the pubic decks do not span the length of the ship as the kitchen is midship on decks 5 and 6. This requires you to climb a few levels of stairs and then descend back down to reach the Botticelli dining room on deck 6. Dining One nice option offered by Princes is that you could choose from “anytime” seating or the traditional early or late seating. In the main dining room the food quality was average to slightly above average for an upper end cruise line. We opted for the more traditional early seating dinning option, which put us in the Botticelli dining room, which caters only to fixed seating. The anytime dining rooms are the Michelangelo and the DaVinci. Unlike the Diamond Princes that had several smaller, more intimate dining areas, the Ruby Princess dining areas are large and surprisingly noisy. They leave you feeling you are dining in a banquet hall as we had to shout at our table of six to be heard. Maybe that is just the difference of being on such a large ship. We found the wait staff was not up to par with most of our other cruise experiences. While our servers were polite, it didn’t seem some of them really liked their jobs and were just going through the motions. They also didn’t go much out of their way to do any “extras” as we have experienced on other ships. I had to personally leave my dinner guests and hike from Botticelli’s on deck 6 to Sabatini’s on deck 16 to retrieve my unused bottle of wine from the night before. Usually a waiter or wine steward will track down your unused bottle for you, regardless of which dining room you purchased it. We were especially pleased with the coffee on the ship. That may sound like a little thing unless you are a coffee drinker. One of our perennial complaints on other lines is how weak the coffee is. We found the coffee on the Ruby Princess quite acceptable. The International Café served good espressos, gelato ($1.50 a scoop) and pastries. It was usually packed in the mornings. One annoying difference on the Princess line is that the only time juice is available is in the mornings. After then, you’ve got to pay for juice. Most others have complimentary juice available all day Specialty Restaurants The specialty restaurants are the Italian restaurant, Sabatini’s, and the Crown Grille. The additional charge is a reasonable $25 as compared with other cruise lines that charge $40. However, that extra $15 does buy you a slightly better dining experience onboard Celebrity, Holland America, and Cunard. They have a Michelin Star experience, which is largely missing from the Princess ships. Princess specialty restaurants allocate one waiter to a table. Better specialty restaurants have a team of three wait staff serving you, most of whom exhibiting a palpable passion for food. The food preparation and presentation is also a step above. However, and let me emphasize, the cost of Princess is 40% less than the others, so this isn’t a complaint as much as it is information The Crown Grille is a seafood and steakhouse restaurant with dark wood and small dining areas that give it an intimate feel. We found the Crown Grille to be a good value and probably a notch above Sabatini’s. While the appetizers and salads were average, the steaks and lamb we had were done to perfection. Sabatini’s is more open and has less of a feeling of intimacy than the Crown Grille, however, the experience is still a step above the general dining areas. We thought there was no Chef’s Dinner offered on our 12 day cruise, which we found atypical. When time came to disembark we voiced out disappointment to the Executive Chef who was wishing passengers a safe journey home. He told us there had been a Chef’s table. This was confusing to us, as we had called Dining Reservations the day we embarked and had our names added to the list of those interested in the Chef’s table. We generally look forward to these dinners and were very disappointed we were not able to enjoy this experience. The same thing happened to us when we sailed on the Crown Princess. While we have no explanation for the secrecy surrounding the Chef’s dinners on Princes, we are guessing they are by invitation only and made exclusively to passengers in suites. Drink Packages, Avoid Them On Princess! Like most lines, Princess offers a number of various drink packages, covering soft drinks, wine, and coffee. While you will save a little bit if you buy a package and fully use it, I would highly recommend you do not buy a drink package. Why? Unlike other lines that record your name and cabin number when you buy a package on the drink card, Princess does not list any ownership information on the cards. They only have a line for the Ship’s Name and Voyage Date. This means if you lose your card, or even worse if a server doesn’t return your card, you are out of luck. Princess will not replace the card or in any way compensate you for your loss without some extra diligence on your part. I learned this the hard way. I had a server either not return my card, or I forgot to pick it up from the table, early in the cruise. I didn’t receive any help or compensation from the International Café, where I had last used it. The front desk logged the fact I had lost the card and told me to check back daily with them. After checking for a few days to see if my card had been turned in, I asked to have the Food and Beverage manager contact me. Two days before the end of the cruise the Food and Beverage manager kindly sent me a replacement that at least allowed me to get a little benefit out of my initial purchase. In this day and age of technological efficiencies, it’s just unforgivable a line can’t mark a beverage package so it can’t be stolen or at lease print two lines on the back of their card for your name and cabin number. It is little things like this that will negatively impact my future decision to sail with Princess. Wine The wine experience on the Ruby Princes is a mixed bag. After experiencing how the Diamond Princess catered to wine lovers, we were especially disappointed at our experience on the Ruby Princess. Most of the wines were priced at 3x’s retail, which were slightly below the 4x’s retail charged on Celebrity. However, we really commend Princes for keeping their corkage fees reasonable at $15 a bottle, as opposed to HAL and Celebrity who charge $25. The Ruby Princess has two reasonable wine tasting events, one for $10 and one for $25. We had attended the Sommeliers wine tasting ($25) on the Diamond Princess were very impressed as we tasted 6 wines ranging from $32 to $150 with the average being about $80 a bottle. The Sommeliers wine event on the Ruby Princess didn’t feature as many high priced wines as the Diamond, the average cost was about $60. Also, the event was narrated by three waiters rather than a sommelier, a first for us. The reason the event was narrated by waiters is because the Ruby Princes does not have a sommelier, another first for us. All of the traditional duties carried out by a sommelier are carried out by the waiters. Unfortunately, most of the waiter’s wine knowledge is severely lacking. Being wine aficionado’s, we brought our own wine on board to enjoy, happy to pay the corkage fee. We had learned from our previous cruise on the Crown Princess not to ask the staff to decant a wine prior to dinner. On that cruise our bottles were never decanted, or even opened, upon our arrival in the restaurant. This time we took our wine to dinner and asked for a decanter. Most of the waiters had no idea how to properly decant a wine. One waiter dumped our 1990 Bordeaux upside down into the center of the decanter while we looked on in horror. Let’s just say there is a general lack of wine knowledge by the wait staff. Laundry Rooms Laundry rooms are available to passengers on all floors with staterooms. The laundry on our floor, deck 8, was exceptional. The room was large with four coin-operated washers and dryers and four ironing boards, which is very unusual in most cruise ship laundry rooms. The machines were in good repair and washed clothes at a standard speed, though it was hard to tell since the machines do not have timers on them. Another nice feature of the laundry room was a system of double doors to limit noise. Usually we book our rooms as far away from the laundry room as possible due to noise as people usually congregate by the doors to chat while they wait for their laundry. This would not have been a problem on this ship as the laundry room was insulated by two doors to cut down on noise and crowding. Over all, the laundry rooms provided a pleasant way to ensure you have clean clothes for the rest of your trip. Fitness This is an area in which the Ruby Princess is above average. There are a satisfactory number of treadmills and elliptical machines. They also have a good set of barbells and a minimal variety of weight machines. They appear to keep their equipment in good repair as all but one of their cardio machines were in working order the full length of our 12 day cruise. The men’s locker room and saunas were a big improvement from the Diamond Princes and were some of the best of any of the 29 ships I’ve sailed on. The Ruby has both a public and private dry and steam sauna that were acceptably hot, which is a huge improvement from the 105 degree maximum temperature I experienced on the Diamond Princes. Another great feature with their fitness area is the size of the lockers. They are the best designed of any ship I’ve ever sailed. They have plenty of depth and a separate section for your shoes. The combination locks eliminate having to register at the front desk and that makes a big difference in getting in and out of the locker room in a timely fashion. It’s often the little things that count! The only problem I ran into was that the lockers were often full. I tried to leave my valuables with the front desk, but they refused to keep my valuables for me. This meant not being able to use the sauna on several occasions which was particularly disappointing. Unfortunately the Ruby Princess doesn’t have a spa bar featuring a lighter, healthier fare and a selection of fruit juices and smoothies. The Calypso bar on Deck 15 is the only place on board where you can get a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice for $2.75. Entertainment We thought the entertainment was average for most cruise lines. The singers and dancers were talented and performed the standard musical reviews ubiquitous to most cruise lines. The guest comedians and vocal artists were also very good. The theater is unique to most modern ships, which often have two levels and spacious seating with tables interspersed for holding drinks. The Ruby Princess Theater has no balcony and the seating is very much like any theater with no center isle and compact seating. Small fold-out tables located in the arms of the seats (like in the emergency row of an airplane) do resolve the issue of what to do with your drink. The one area that didn’t meet the standards of other lines was the nightly lounge entertainment. On our cruise they seemed to have over-weighted pianists, quartets, and guitars playing elevator music. There just wasn’t much selection of music before or after dinner or charismatic performers that we looked forward to listening to each night. Internet I run a small business and being connected to my staff is imperative, even on vacation. I depend on having a functioning Internet while on board any ship. The Internet was easy to sign up for and operated flawlessly on our cruise. Also, unlike other lines, they didn’t terminate the package immediately on the morning of debarkation. There is a $4 “activation” fee which increases the cost of usage above what is advertised in the package. Internet speeds are ubiquitously slow on cruise ships. I am wondering why airplanes seem to have much faster speeds. Maybe someday the same Internet technology used by planes will become standard equipment on ships! Shopping The shopping experience is ubiquitous to most every other cruise line. There is nothing exceptional to highlight here. Port Talks and Shore Excursions Port and cultural talks were average on this cruise. Getting information on the ports was available via pre-recorded port talks that were not always completely up to date. Information for independent travelers not doing an excursion was minimal. As seasoned travelers, we don’t appreciate cruise lines that push their shore excursions by starving you for general information on port stops. We used the Internet onboard the ship to contact several tour companies that were highly rated by Trip Advisor. Another great place to book private tours prior to departure is by looking under “Tours” and on the chat boards on Cruise Critic. We have never been disappointed following the advice of previous travelers and typically save 25 to 75% off the ship’s prices. We ended up doing relatively well by booking taxis and tours on the dock at about ½ the cost of the ship’s prices. Guernsey was a fairly sleepy stop that required us to tender in, so allow an additional 30 to 60 minutes to wait in line each way. We walked into the town and took in the German Occupation Museum, which was interesting. This is a port that we would not be excited to visit again. Cork was a port we enjoyed. It’s easy to do on your own and for simplicity, was one of the best ports for ease of transportation on our itinerary. The train station is literally on the pier and the cost is an inexpensive 9 EU for the roundtrip, 30 minute ride into the city center. As a bonus, the trains have free WiFi! Once at the central station you will have an easy 20 minute walk into the heart of town. We especially enjoyed the English Market. Dublin is a great stop with much to see and do. The port is almost in the city center, maybe a 30 minute walk from Trinity College. However, we recommend you take a taxi, as opposed to the more expensive ship’s shuttle, into the heart of town if you are in a party of two or more. You will find the cost of a taxi is the same for two as it is on the shuttle bus and much more convenient. We visited the Dublina Museum, St. Michan’s, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Marsh’s Library, Grafton Street, The Old Storehouse (music pub), and the Book of Kells/Long Library. Belfast is another great stop. We recommend a city tour with a private driver who will take you to all the neighborhoods to view the murals and graffiti. We then took off to the country to see the Giant’s Causeway and Bushmill’s Distillery. Glasgow was a tougher stop for transportation. The pier requires a 20 minute walk to the train station and a 45 minute train ride into the city center. The shining star of Glasgow, the School of Art, had been badly damaged by a fire and closed as a result just four days before we arrived. We went instead to the Museum of Modern Art, but half of it was also closed and it was forgettable. Orkney requires that you book any private excursions or car rentals well in advance. We didn’t, so we had to endure the ships tour to see the prehistoric sights. If you are a whisky aficionado, call ahead to Highland Park Distillery and book a tasting for 35 to 75 UK. They will pick you up at the pier and deliver you back. Our three hour tour and tasting was one of the highlights of our trip, and a far better buy than going with the ship’s tour!! Invergordon is located a good 45 minutes from Inverness and requires a 10 minute walk to the train station and a 30 minute ride into town. We recommend you hire a driver or rent a car and head out into the country side to see Cawdor Castle or Dunrobin. There are a number of distilleries in the area, Balblair being one of the smaller distilleries that offers a great value tour and tasting. Edinburg is similar to Inverness, in that getting into town takes time and can be expensive. First, we had to tender so that takes a minimum of 30 minutes to an hour to get to the pier. The train station is then a 20 minute walk, uphill and a 30 minute ride into town. You are let off below the castle and the High Street, meaning if that is not your destination you will need to hire a cab to take you up or hike uphill for another 20 minutes. My suggestion, bag all that messing around and take a 30 minute taxi ride from the pier directly to the castle. The cost is about 25 pounds with tip, making it a much better buy than even the 10 UK per person shuttle bus that still will drop you down below the castle, requiring you to hire a cab for another 5 UK to the castle. Even more, you can fit up to six people in a cab with no additional charge! So get some ship mates together and pay less than 5 UK per person for pier to castle delivery. We toured the castle, did the Whisky Historical Center, had lunch at the Castle Arms Pub just around the corner (try their Haggis, seriously, it was fantastic), walked the Royal Mile to Holyrood and toured that, and then grabbed a cab for the 30 minute ride back to the ship. Movies Under the Stars, Our family enjoys this feature of Princess. The movies on a big screen are a great experience….weather permitting….which wasn’t very permitting on our early summer itinerary of the UK! While they have warm blankets to snuggle up in, my kids especially complained about the poor speaker system and tiling in the big screen. Kid’s Club Our kids have always enjoyed the kids programs on board most ships…on this cruise they opted to stay with the parents and enjoy reading in their cabin, so I don’t have much to report on the Ruby Princess kid’s club. Summary The Ruby Princess is a lovely ship with a pleasant crew, average to good dining and good maintenance. For most people, it has everything what you would expect from a more upscale cruise line. However, we are serious foodies and wine aficionados. While we appreciated their lower corkage and specialty dining fees, we got what we paid for. The wait staff, wine knowledge, and specialty dining was not up to the other upscale lines. This was our third experience on a Princess ship. We will think twice before booking with them again if the main focus would be the ship, like on a transatlantic or transpacific crossing. Still, we would certainly sail with them given the right itinerary where there was no option on one of the better competing lines or they were offering an especially inexpensive rate. For us, the ship’s culinary weaknesses keeps it from playing more than a supporting role in a successful cruise vacation.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
First time on Princess. Been on Silver Sea, Royal, Celebrity, etc. Booked a Vista Suite. Great room with wonderful aft view. Upon entering the room, there was a basket of fruit that had to be left over from the cruise before- the bananas ... Read More
First time on Princess. Been on Silver Sea, Royal, Celebrity, etc. Booked a Vista Suite. Great room with wonderful aft view. Upon entering the room, there was a basket of fruit that had to be left over from the cruise before- the bananas were absolutely black. When I called, room service did send another basket. The cabin steward said that our first day was his first day- but that was wrong- he came from another part of the ship. He had no idea of suite benefits such as a pillow menu, or that the room needed shampoo. Needless to say, our first couple of hours were a little chaotic. Overall we had a good time. BUT, on at sea days, I was on deck to get a chair by 7AM, and often got the last chairs! This is not to say, if you didn't want to sit near a pool there weren't chairs, but the chairs by the pool were packed- and packed early. I know that Princess doesn't use the "no saving chairs rule". The food on the ship was above average. The buffets had great assortments (and varied assortments), of food each day. The regular dining rooms were beautiful, and if you can, request table 230 in the Michelangelo dining room- Best waiter ever!!! We loved Sabatini's. Food was good and innovative. Worth the $25pp cover. However we had a horrible waiter at Crown Grill- who only had one other table, and seemed way to busy to care of his only other table, us at our two top. When he served us, almost all three courses came out on top of each other, and the table wasn't even cleared yet when the steaks came out- all within 30 minutes of our sitting down!!! Pedro was a nice guy, but a horrible waiter, who obviously didn't want to be there. The steaks were fine, but just not great at all. To us, this was a rip off of $50, and we cancelled our reservation for the following night there and went back to Sabatini. As written elsewhere, the pizza was great!! In a full suite, they give you an incredible mattress and the aforementioned pillow menu. The mattress was excellent, and we chose super soft pillows. It was a great night's sleep. The best tip I can give you is this. If you love wine, BRING ON YOUR OWN. There is no corkage for the first two bottles, and then if you bring to a restaurant, they charge you a corkage of $15. Instead of paying their inflated wine markup, you can bring a great wine and drink it for $15!! We did this every night. Overall we had a nice time, although I was pickpocketed on the second to last night- losing cash, credit cards and drivers license. I have reason to believe it was a certain crew member, but since I can't prove anything, let's leave it at that. Would I go back on Princess again? I just don't know. Due to the very incredibly low prices, there were people from every walk of life there, and I think, personally, I like a smaller ship, with less craziness all over the boat at all times. But, that's just me. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Along with another couple, my husband and I boarded the Ruby with high hopes and great expectations, and also to see if we wanted to talk this ship for a longer trip to the British Isles in 2015.Now it is true that we took an inside cabin ... Read More
Along with another couple, my husband and I boarded the Ruby with high hopes and great expectations, and also to see if we wanted to talk this ship for a longer trip to the British Isles in 2015.Now it is true that we took an inside cabin ( inexpensive- however we slept like bears hibernating!) and there were things that we had to pay for that came with the more expensive staterooms- and that was fine. BUT!!! Let me first say that the ship is beautiful- just stunning- ( we have cruised many, many times and this is even prettier than Crystal). The staff is amazing- very eager to please, very helpful and these are the marks of Princess. Just what we had hoped for and had heard from our friends. And that is were it stopped. As it morphed into a Carnival cruise ( we have travelled Carnival) the food was underwhelming, the towels in the rooms where like the ones you put aside to wash your car, dog, etc.- stiff, thin, small. The liquid soap and shampoo was just that, liquid and not great. There is a spa on the ship. You would think they would promote their products for people to buy after they tried them. ( However, I did find out that the towels in mini-suites and suites were plush and lovely- what's next, the sheets) When asking about an upgrade, we were told the ship was full; met a lady who was moved up 3 times! The ship allows smoking on 1 side of the casino- the smoke doesn't stay on that side! It travels through the whole casino and into the halls. We couldn't get near it. Can you imagine being charged for COCO- yup, $1.50 for a cup of hot chocolate! And the juices that are normally self serve and out all day, are not out at all! You must ask the servers if you want any. Needless to say, this was all very disappointing.- not what you think of when you chose Princess. The entertainment was good-movies under the stars was fun, there was a terrific comedian and the dancers and singers were great. And as mentioned before, the ship is beautiful and the staff excellent. I only hope the Carnival people don't screw with that. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
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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