116 Venice Princess Ruby Princess Cruise Reviews

We really enjoyed this cruise – primarily because of the interesting ports and the tours we took. This cruise was unique because so much time was spent off ship. This cruise was more about the ports and onshore experiences rather than ... Read More
We really enjoyed this cruise – primarily because of the interesting ports and the tours we took. This cruise was unique because so much time was spent off ship. This cruise was more about the ports and onshore experiences rather than shipboard experiences. We will always remember the things we saw. We are late 50’s and early 60’s, Platinum cruisers on Princess and Carnival. Our last cruise was a 15 Day Panama Canal repositioning cruise aboard the Carnival Miracle. This cruise has been on our “to do” list for some time and we booked it for the great price and ports of call offered. It was a 12 day Grand Mediterranean cruise departing from Venice with ports of call at Athens, Kusadasi, Istanbul, Mykonos, Naples, Rome, Florence, and Toulon ending at Barcelona. The Ruby Princess is a beautiful ship and was in great condition. It was very easy for us to find our way around. The crew is great. Our cabin was Dolphin 218 – a mini-suite with an uncovered balcony. We used our balcony very little during this cruise but the extra room was greatly appreciated and worth the cost. Our Cabin Steward was Catharine and she was wonderful. We bought air transportation through Princess Air but probably won’t do so again. Three weeks before departure our flights were changed to less favorable flights. Cruise Critic’s Cruise Air board was a very useful source of information about the Paris and Barcelona airports. Upon arrival at Venice, there was no immigration or customs check. We used the Princess transfers which went very smoothly and thankfully, we didn’t have to wait for the bus to be completely full. Embarkation went very quickly and we were on the ship in less than 30 minutes. We spent the afternoon in Venice and took the evening gondola ride and serenade offered by Princess. It was expensive but an excursion we’ll always remember. Venice is a quaint, charming, and picturesque city but a city that dumps its sewage directly into its main attraction. Muster drill was held the following morning at 845am and the ship set sail shortly. The departure from Venice was spectacular. The weather the next two days was windy and overcast and would be that way most of the cruise. It was quite cold in Florence. We took Princess shore excursions in every port. Six of them were all day tours that included a lunch. We enjoyed all of them. Our tour guides were excellent and the food was good. Most of the tours required quite a bit of walking. A couple of the tours were late returning due to traffic so it was comforting to know the ship would be waiting on us. Several times we had to wait for people that showed up late from “on your own time”. During several tours people just disappeared and were left. I don’t know how they found their way back to the ship. The most irritating episode was at the completion of our Rome tour. The missing persons were crew members. We must have waited 30 minutes waiting for approval to depart without them. When we returned to the ship, the two were already in line and laughing. They had taken another tour bus instead. Wendi and the entire shore excursion staff were very helpful. Jet lag and long excursions made this a tiring rather than relaxing cruise. Several of our excursions met as early as 645am in the Princess Theater. 7am to 730am was average. As tiring as it was, it was a very satisfying experience. We really liked Dan Styne, the Cruise Director, and his staff. They were very personable and entertaining. All the production shows were great and well attended. Shows were scheduled for 7, 8, and 9pm meaning those of us with late seating could go to the 7pm show. This helped tremendously considered that some excursions met in the Princess Theater at 645am. There was plenty of musical entertainment throughout the ship in the evenings. The entertainment was the best we have seen on a ship in some time. We had dinner in the Botticelli Dining Room – late seating. Our waiters were Art and Bryan and they were very good. We thought the food was very good although sometimes we had difficulty finding something interesting on the menu. There were several evenings I almost opted for the “always available” hamburger. We requested a table for four but were seated at a table for six. We dined by ourselves during 10 of 12 nights. There were numerous vacant tables and couples dining by themselves at large tables. We ordered room service four or five times for breakfast on early tour days. The first time it was 20 minutes late – outside the 30 minute delivery window. Three other times it was early – only once did it arrive within the 30 minute delivery window. Breakfast and lunch in the Horizon Court was chaotic. The Horizon Court on the Ruby seems to be approximately the same size as on smaller ships such as the Grand and Golden and always seemed crowded during breakfast and lunch. The routine was . . . look for a table and if you are lucky enough to find one it normally needs clearing and cleaning so you have to find someone to clean it; then have one person save the table while the other goes through the line and then look for someone to serve you drinks. The week before the cruise, I dined at a restaurant in Iola, Kansas and its salad bar was comparable to what I saw in the Horizon Court. Princess’s salad bar offerings have declined greatly over the last 10 years. I am thinking that a cruise ship should be able to run a buffet as effectively as say - the Golden Corral. We filled out the forms for Future Cruise Credit – ordering two for each of us and left them at the office. Several days later we received our letters and noticed we had only been sold one each. We went back and talked with the Future Cruise representative and she told us she would take care of it. She didn’t take care of it. This is the first time I’ve been on a cruise ship and they didn’t want my money. Princess Air scheduled our departing flight from Barcelona at 955am. I had concerns but they assured me it would be no problem. We were told to meet at 6am on debarkation morning. The Horizon court was open for full breakfast at 5am but only one person was there serving drinks. Princess needs to rethink how we get our drinks at the buffet. Thankfully, there were plenty of juices available in the VIP lounge that morning. We were off the ship by 610am and at the airport by 650am. There were no customs or immigration checks at Barcelona and no problem making that early flight. We used the Princess transfers at Barcelona. The European porters do a very professional and efficient job of handling baggage. At Venice, they picked our luggage up in the airport lobby and they delivered it to the airport lobby at Barcelona. Aside from our issues with the Horizon Court, we really enjoyed this cruise. We have reservations on the Ruby for a 12 day British Isle cruise in 2014. However, the price is nearly double what we paid for this cruise and we aren’t certain it makes sense to pay that much for a port intensive cruise. Our next cruise is on the Carnival Legend out of Tampa on January 5th.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
I have mixed feelings about this cruise. We booked it because of the all the great ports and the slamming airfare deal that Princess Air gave us. But, a month or so before the cruise, we are informed that we now have a five (5) hour ... Read More
I have mixed feelings about this cruise. We booked it because of the all the great ports and the slamming airfare deal that Princess Air gave us. But, a month or so before the cruise, we are informed that we now have a five (5) hour layover in Germany. Princess Easy Air had us walking across the tarmac 5 different times and FAR away from our next connecting flights. In this case, Princess Easy Air was NOT EASY and we probably won't be booking anything other than a direct flight with Princess Air again. We arrived in Venice the evening before the cruise and took the airport bus to Piazza Roma. We stayed at the Hotel Arlecchino. It is perfectly located near Piazza Roma and the People Mover that takes you to the cruise ships . We booked and got a corner room with a double canal view. Very nice hotel, full of Venetian charm! . This hotel was clean, affordable and the staff was VERY helpful and welcoming. The rooms here are small but cozy and the included breakfast was good. We would definitely stay here again. Embarkation was a breeze, as usual, this is something that Princess has down to a fine art. We were checked in and dropping our bags off in our cabin in about 15 minutes. The Ruby Princess is a beautiful ship and is in great shape. The crew works hard to keep her clean and shiny! The crew on this ship was great. Everyone we came in contact with was very friendly and welcoming. I have to say, that this may be the best cruise for "service with a smile" that we have ever had. And the entertainment was absolutely the best ever! Now onto the downright BAD. The food on this cruise was terrible. We ate in the Crown Grill four (4) times trying to avoid the dining rooms. The food in the Horizon Court was even worse than the dining room. We ate onshore or ate hot dogs and pizza most of the time. We weren't trying to sneak booze back onboard with us, we were bringing back food! I filled out our Princess feedback surveys and complained about the food. I think they've taken the cutbacks too far in this area. I was searching the menu each night for the entree that I thought sounded the least offensive. If we had been in a regular restaurant, I would have walked out without ordering. Ox -tails and floppy potatoes??? Have you ever seen them on a menu (anywhere) before? I don’t think I’m a food snob and I understand that food is a very subjective area… but they took the NY Strip off of the “anytime” menu and replaced it with a hamburger. A hamburger for dinner and you still want me to change out of my blue jeans before I come to the dining room? Hamburgers are for lunch and I don’t have any clue when Ox-tails and floppy potatoes are for. The bar has been lowered. Ok, enough of my food rant. We attended the Cruise Critic meeting and met all the wonderful people we had been writing to online. It’s so much fun, finally putting a face to the name! We also attended a wedding on board. Well, not really a wedding, they were already married. It was a recommitment of their vows. The Captain “re-married” them in a very nice ceremony. Had a good time, glad I went. PORTS: This was our 2nd and/or 3rd time to these ports, so we didn't really do the big touristy stuff this time around. Venice was amazing as usual. We explored away from the tourist areas and found ourselves walking through the parks with the locals on a Sunday afternoon. Great day! In Athens, we joined other CC members for a tour to the Corinth Canal and Ancient Corinth. We also stopped in Athens at the Parthenon and the Olympic Stadium. We ended the day with an amazing view of the Acropolis and Parthenon at sunset, seen from another hill in Athens. Istanbul and the Grand Bazaar were awesome! I bought some very nice pashmina scarves (at least they are tagged pashmina) and think I got a pretty good deal. If you don't like to haggle on prices, just walk the bazaar, don't shop it. The scarf price started out at 20 Euros each. I ended up paying $7.50 American. I bought a couple pair of silver earrings, a nice Turkish tile to frame and a couple of woven tote bags and make-up bags. So many neat shops to browse! We got to go up to the 2nd level of the Bazaar and see where they filmed the latest James Bond movie scenes. Pretty neat. Istanbul is a very cosmopolitan city, don't worry about wandering around by yourself. Take a good map and hop the tram to see an amazing city. Naples was a great day. We took the tram to the train, to get to Herculaneum. Herculaneum is amazing, smaller, but much more complete than Pompeii. Then, we took the train back in to the subway stop. We took the subway to the Naples Archaeological Museum. This really is a top museum, but, I was a little miffed that so many of their ancient mosaics were currently on loan to other museums. Mykonos was just a wander around the city day. It was too cold to eat a gelato on the beach, so we just searched the back streets for Petros. When we found him, he boldly posed for us. What a ham, he loves the attention! In Rome, we set up a tour with other CC members to see some of the "different" tourist areas in the city. We traveled the Appian Way to the Catacombs of St. Callixtus, went to the Castel Sant Angelo, saw the Pantheon, got some great view of the forum and other monuments. But, the most unusual thing we did was to visit the Church of the Immaculate Conception where the bones of 4000 Capuchin Monks are decoratively arranged on the walls and ceilings. Honestly, this place is jaw dropping! Florence was cold…very cold. (This is the chance you take traveling in November) So, I had to buy a pair of gloves…Italian leather with cashmere lining, naturally. :) We visited Santa Croce Basilica and there was a huge Christmas market in the square in front of the church. Countries from all over Europe were represented in the market. They were selling hot mulled wine and it made the weather seem much more bearable. We had a great day wandering the streets of Venice. Barcelona and the end of the cruise. We stayed 2 nights here before we flew home. This has become one of my favorite cities. We wandered around and soaked up all the Christmas displays, street musicians and holiday markets set up in the squares. We learned the "interesting" customs of this area of Spain. The Caganer or “the crapper” was a hot item and was sold everywhere...as was the Tió de Nadal, or pooping log. Who knew? Google these two items, it’s hysterical! All the weird Christmas customs aside. The city was lit and fully decorated for Christmas and we walked it day and night, stopping in for Tapas and wine all along the way. La Boqueria was about a block from our hotel and we literally ate our way through this massive food market, not once, not twice, but three times! We had the best food of the whole trip here. I’d like to spend more time in Spain and explore some of the smaller cities and towns. There you have it, great ports, great ship, great crew…terrible food.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Pre cruise we stayed on the Grand Canal at the Hotel Santa Chiaria in Venice right off of Piazza Roma. This hotel is convenient to the airport bus drop off location (6 Euros per person for the airport bus) and also to the People Mover that ... Read More
Pre cruise we stayed on the Grand Canal at the Hotel Santa Chiaria in Venice right off of Piazza Roma. This hotel is convenient to the airport bus drop off location (6 Euros per person for the airport bus) and also to the People Mover that you can take to the port for embarkation (1 Euro per person). The ship was a delight. It is quite spacious with many public areas to lounge/linger in. There are activities that would please a variety of tastes. We enjoy the bingo (yes we were winners several times!), the dance classes, just wandering around the ship "people watching" and the shows in the theater. We thought the shows were great and there was a nice variety between production shows, comedians and musicians. We found all to be very entertaining. To us, the most important Princess employees on the ship are our cabin steward and our main dining room waiters. These people were superb. We find the ship board employees of Princess to be one of their biggest assets. Everyone is so very helpful and will go out of their way to assist you. We enjoyed dining in the main dining room and the sharing of our daily activities with our table mates. There were always food selections that pleased us and the food was prepared to perfection. We did participate in the Chefs Table experience one evening and that was a total delight. The meal was one of the top five meals I have ever eaten. This is an experience that I would suggest in a heart beat. It is not offered on all cruises and is just by luck of the draw as far as participation. Check with dining via ships phone as soon as you get on board on the day of embarkation to put your name on the list. Our disembarkation in Ft Lauderdale was a tad late but overall very unremarkable. U S Customs did not have enough personnel to handle the size of the ship and things got a little backed up on board. Overall, this was another GREAT trip with Princess and the Ruby was a delight to call home for our 27 days! Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
This was my sister and I's first cruise. We booked a mini-suite, on the recommendation of others. It was wonderful! Nice, roomy, decent bathroom and closet space, plus a cabinet and safe. The room also had a "living area" ... Read More
This was my sister and I's first cruise. We booked a mini-suite, on the recommendation of others. It was wonderful! Nice, roomy, decent bathroom and closet space, plus a cabinet and safe. The room also had a "living area" with couch, chair and table. Two TV's, storage and counter space allowed plenty of places for our collections along the way. Also included was a small refrigerator. Of course, the balcony was wonderful, also. We spent time out hanging onto the railing, watching as we left port and occasionally, as we entered a new port. How these big ships can maneuver and turn is amazing. I was impressed with the speed and organization at Check-IN (embarkation) I've heard horror stories about other cruise lines! Many employees around to guide you in each direction, as needed, for each step of the way. ALL the staff was extremely friendly, always with a smile, no matter how many questions I asked. Our luggage was quick to arrive to our rooms. We hurriedly unpacked. Our Room Steward brought us Champagne and fruit. How nice! We later wandered around the ship. I took the "SHIP TOUR", which was offered. I met a new "Assistant Cruise Director", Catalina, (Cat, for short) Throughout the length of the cruise, when we saw each other, she always recognized me and said a warm, "Hello, Miss Laura". We often chatted for a few moments, as she would tell me how her new job experience was developing. She was such a genuine person! All the staff had smiles and seems willing to help or offer their services. (even when NOT requested) I loved the decor and theme of this ship!! Beautiful beyond imagination! My taste, for sure. Even Fresco paintings on the walls, mosaics and water falls, dark wood paneling. Very elegant,lovely, and quite calming. (I looked at photos of other cruise line ships. Their decor would give me a migraine, what with all the colors, shapes, patterns and craziness!) The TV had a channel that kept everyone updated with location and another channel describing the cities we would visit. The nightly Theater shows were mostly OK. A few were really good, (the song and dance numbers) The magician wasn't very good. The shows filled up so fast, we had to get there about 30 mins. BEFORE show time to get a good seat. The pools looked lovely, but we were not into swimming. We DID enjoy the outdoor movies. Really fun, with popcorn and a blanket to keep us warm. We choose ANYTIME dining....thinking it was the Buffet. It was NOT...it was in a choice of two BEAUTIFUL, Elegant dining rooms. Very fancy, with white table cloths, servers for all our courses. We were quite impressed! We did eat in the buffet often, for dinner. Many items to choose, all the ones we tried, we liked. We never did eat breakfast, choosing ROOM SERVICE, because we had to get off the ship so early to see each city we visited. We were disappointed in the offerings for Room Service Breakfast. Beverages were good, coffee, tea, milk, juices, etc. Food choices very limited. Oatmeal available. I ordered the Egg McMuffin with cheese and ham. Small, dry, (no condiments) and muffin not tasty. Croissant was very small, so my sister started ordering two. We thought to have sandwiches delivered, to take along on our tours. That did NOT work out, as they came DRY, no condiments, no lettuce, and UNwrapped. We put them in ziplock bags we had in our room. We didn't order sandwiches anymore. One thing that was GREAT.....being an American ship, I was able to get money from an ATM, on board. There is also a Money Exchanger for Euros.A small fee of $4.50. was charged. Throughout the cruise, live music was playing in the Piazza, on the 5th deck center. This was so wonderful. Even as we left Venice, the Venice Symphony was playing. Great moment to remember. This was a very exciting time for me. I hope to take another cruise in the future. Thank you to Princess for a memorable time. Plus, good weather! All-in-all, a GREAT first cruise and I hope the beginning of many more! Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We went on the Ruby Princess a few weeks ago, The ship has some good features which were different from other ships such as the Cinema under the stars. The entertainment was excellent with top quality shows and a brilliant entertainment ... Read More
We went on the Ruby Princess a few weeks ago, The ship has some good features which were different from other ships such as the Cinema under the stars. The entertainment was excellent with top quality shows and a brilliant entertainment director. The food on the other hand was not up to standard, we found poor choice and quality, and rarely found we had a hot meal. Variety was not order of the day and found only mashed potates was our only choice on most days which look very unappietizing. We also for that breakfast was tasteless, greasy and of poor quality with strange selections such as lasagne, yes lasagne, noodles and soup . the cruise was geared up to its american guests and took little heed to the fact that it also had guest from europe. The formal dining rooms were pleasant enough and service varied from dining room to dining room, but wine was expensive as was drinks of any kind. The itinerary was good however, although on the last day we were required to vacte our rooms by 8.00am and were transported to the airport being dropped off at 9.30am for a 3pm flight this was totally unacceptable and we felt that PrIncess Cruises had completely abandoned us with atotally unacceptable long wait in the airport. Would we reccommend the cruise to others, well possibly, but we would not return as passengers because there were too many issues which made us unhappy and feel that we were not valued enough . We have been on cruises before and have had better expirences both on board and at the airport. Princess clearly need to improve thier quality where food is concerned and when it comes to airport arrangements, a five hour wait for a flight is clearly not acceptable and makes you feel that they just dont care once you have done your time and spent your money. Dispite the poor food, we had a good time and enjoyed the entertainment so we would rate it as a mixed review and one where people may be happy to be fed in a way that food is not important to them, we fel that it is an important part of our holiday. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Decided to chance going on a cruise at this time of year.For first 8 days the seas were really calm and only the overnight from Naples to Rome was really rough.The flight to Rome was excellent with BA,embarkation was slick as usual.Cases ... Read More
Decided to chance going on a cruise at this time of year.For first 8 days the seas were really calm and only the overnight from Naples to Rome was really rough.The flight to Rome was excellent with BA,embarkation was slick as usual.Cases were in room in an hour.Met Joseph our room steward who always had a smile and his service was wonderful.This ship always has good feel about it and out of all the cruise ships we have been on, its our favourite. We chose anytime Dining,but not sure if we would do this again as we never really got to know the dining staff and missed out on meeting other cruisers which set dining allows.On one evening we went for diner in the Crown Grill,fillet steak was superb as was the service.On another evening we went to Sabatinis on our wedding anniversary and this was an absolute treat. Waiter Vanilson Carvalho excelled throughout this experience, highly recommended.I would say that the Horizon Court has improved signifantly since we were last on this ship.We bought a speciality Coffee card which was worthwhile as our room was near the International cafe. Another treat was Vines wine bar,Joy the wine waitress remembered our names from the first night and she really looked after us.Another tip about Vines they don't really promote is the Flights of Wine which are excellent value , served in Chrystal glasses and served with Tapas.Never really felt ripped off with drinks on this ship(not like some other cruise companies ).As this bar was in the Atrium we were also able see the other entertainment treats going on. The entertainment started with Dan the cruise director and Colin the deputy.They make a fantastic team and probably the best I have come across.They could do a show on there own as the humour was fantastic.Breakfast show was also fun.The theatre shows were also very good but the best was the Freddie Mercury Tribute,we went to both shows and were blown away.The Guitarist doing the Brian May music was also brilliant as were his solos in the Atrium. Been on this Itinarey before so did most of our own thing.I would say most of the Islands are starting to close for winter and its starting to get much cooler in places.We decided not to overdo the trips as the last time we came home worn out.Decided to spend more time on the ship when everyones off. A mistake we made was going on a Naples and coast open top bus tour.We got off before the coast bit as we had seen enough.What a state this City is in !!!,shall go to Capri next time.On the last night and the voyage to Rome,the seas were real rough,it never put us off as we really enjoyed this cruise and met some lovely new friends. Princess arranged our flight back to Heathrow and we were stuck in Rome Airport for nearly 6 hours,not a good end to a holiday especially when we found that others were on a flight to heathrow 3 hours before us. Highly recommend the Ruby Princess with its lovely staff.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Our 21st cruise, 3rd Princess, was all we expected and more. No rain, one overcast day, the rest were picture perfect--50's at night...high 60's days! Embarkation was a breeze once we got to the terminal. We were in Venice one ... Read More
Our 21st cruise, 3rd Princess, was all we expected and more. No rain, one overcast day, the rest were picture perfect--50's at night...high 60's days! Embarkation was a breeze once we got to the terminal. We were in Venice one night before the cruise and took a water taxi to e maritime stazione. Princess had a bag check on the pier which was great---the downside was it was still a 10 minute walk to the cruise terminal. A five minute wait for our turn with the check-in crew, got our room cards and walked on the ship. Our room was ready (R702-a port side balcony 10 steps away from the aft elevator on the 14th floor). The only complaint I have on the whole cruise was the size of the cabin in general and the bathroom in particular. Smallest balcony cabin we have ever stayed in. Great location for our traditional dining though--straight down to floor six and the Bottecelli dining room. Table for eight with great table mates from Canada. Our servers, Edgar and Leah, were excellent--very attentive and great sense of humor. We thought the food was great. It was served hot and was very tasty with a great selection if you were not into fancy fare. This was a port intensive cruise so breakfast was a quick bite in the buffet or room service. Buffet was very diverse and met our expectations. Serving areas are not as large as some other ships but no delay in getting groceries. We didn't eat lunch on the ship but a few times but thought food and selection was fine. We went to the Crown Grill steakhouse one night. The service was great but we have had better food and ambiance but ok for $25 pp cover charge. The entertainment was your usual ship board quality. Ok but not great--production shows as well as specialty acts. Cruise director Dan was a hoot! Made up for some of the entertainment doldrums. For a full sailing, the ship never seemed crowded. Public areas, casino, shops and pool areas were very spacious. We did our own excursions with CC acquaintances. We believe you always get a higher quality experience at a lower cost. We were not disappointed. Neither photographers nor drink servers were pushy with their wares. All the staff was very friendly and the ship was clean and in good condition. Our third Med cruise, all with different cruise lines. Good, not the best, but a great itinerary with good food and great companions. All in all good experience. Recommended.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Well-trained and consistently-trained staff. Unfailingly (apparently) happy in their work and with good people skills.  Good sense of humour (necessary to rebuff the complaints about the food). Relentless up selling of drink options. (I ... Read More
Well-trained and consistently-trained staff. Unfailingly (apparently) happy in their work and with good people skills.  Good sense of humour (necessary to rebuff the complaints about the food). Relentless up selling of drink options. (I don't WANT your "special" marguerita - I want an ordinary one!) Poor organisation in breakfast buffet, though with all waiting staff either assigned to drinks duty ("More coffee, sir" , every three minutes, even when cups still full) or to cleanup when the under-managers were on the prowl (three separate mornings when NOBODY came by our table to ask if I wanted juice or any other drink, I was reduced to pouring it for myself, which of course led to protests from the staff member who noticed!). Wouldn't it make more sense to have some staff assigned to each duty type at all times? Food in main dining room (8.15 sitting) bland and uninspiring. I was tempted to attend the culinary demonstration in order to find out how they managed to remove any flavour from what were (presumably) reasonable-quality ingredients. The highlight was the fried sushi rolls, which were inventive and imaginatively-presented. The lowlight was the food on the Italian night (for some reason scheduled on Halloween, some five days after we had left Italian waters), where great skill had been applied to the desiccation of both fish and meat main courses. The evening entertainment in the theatre varied from reasonable (Siobhan Phillips - beautiful and unusual voice), through adequate (Freddie Mercury tribute), to pathetic (the "other" David Copperfield). Some people seemed to enjpy Copperfield, to judge by the laughter (unless he had a backing tape set up), BUT I have to say to my US co-travellers that this was not "wacky British Humour" - he simply was not funny! The nightclub appeared to be patronised largely by off-duty members of the entertainments team, but was a lively place to relax with a post-prandial marguerita. Adagio was altogether more refined. We just didn't like the lack of atmosphere in wheelhouse, explorers, or crooners, but plenty of other people did. Daytime entertainment appeared to be focused on separating guests from their money (Casino, Art etc). Except, to be fair, the various musicians who played in the Piazza. Special mention should be made of the Atomic party band, who were able to turn their hands to many different styles, but were at their best when allowed to rock! Room was comfortable (inside, Riviera deck), very quiet and supplied with all necessities. I found it strange, though, that a US-dominated boat appeared to have no shoe-shine facilities, nor did our steward seem to understand what should be done to clean and shine a pair of brown leather shoes.  Only ended up taking one tour. The staff member assigning us to buses failed to notice the important words "guiados en Espanol" on our tickets, leaving the guide at Olympia to make some hurried phone calls to get us out of the English-language group from bus 11 and onto the Spanish group from bus 14. The other tour we booked was cancelled, so we instead did Ephesus on our own, as for most of the other ports. The guests were split 1500 US, 500 UK, 500 Aussie and 500 "other". Ages ranged from one year to about ninety, the median being around fifty. The US folk seemed to stick together, but the non-US mixed well (and I include the Latino Yanks in "non-US" here - it was the Anglo-Yanks who seemed to be the most stand-offish). The itinerary was great (Greek Isles, Venice to Rome), but I don't think we will be back on the Ruby in a hurry.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Despite being fully booked with 3000 passengers there was no time We ever felt crowded or had to wait an excessive time. The ship seems to have the right balance between space and passengers in the lounges and decks. The cruise was port ... Read More
Despite being fully booked with 3000 passengers there was no time We ever felt crowded or had to wait an excessive time. The ship seems to have the right balance between space and passengers in the lounges and decks. The cruise was port intensive ie 10 ports in tens days ( and the ship made them all ) with only one tender day at santorini. Independent touring in the ports was very easy and interesting with hop on hop off buses in several cities. If you do your homework touring in the Mediterrean can be significantly cheaper than using Ship tours.The ship was beautifully clean and the staff of course could not have been nicer and more accomodating. The main dining food was good but not exciting which was suprising as the buffet restaurant always had very interesting food Asian, Indian, Continental and British/American. The international cafe is a good place for coffe/cakes and good salads. However in common with many other cruise lines if you want to have top class food you may find yourself spending more money to eat in the Speciality restaurants . I do believe that cost cutting in the Carnival Fleet is having a detrimental effect on standards of food and entertainment. It may mean spending an extra $100 on top of your cruise price but it could be well worth it These cabins are more than adequate for port intensive cruising as you tend not to spend much time in them.Also as the ships now dock in commercial ports you willl often have a view of some container ships or warehouses. There is plenty of storage and hanging space . The cabin has american and european sockets ( look behind the bed ) Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
I reached my 60th Birthday in August but my celebration was my first cruise with my husband in October. It proved to be well worth the wait. We flew from Manchester to Venice via Frankfurt and the embarkation process went very smoothly. ... Read More
I reached my 60th Birthday in August but my celebration was my first cruise with my husband in October. It proved to be well worth the wait. We flew from Manchester to Venice via Frankfurt and the embarkation process went very smoothly. We arrived at 8.40 pm and were able to get a beautiful evening meal in Horizon Court. Choice was plentiful and flavoursome throughout the Cruise. After our meal we had a quick look around the ship to check out the facilities. From Day one the staff in the Wheelhouse Bar were friendly and attentive, making us feel special quickly calling us by our names which is a lovely touch. The International Cafe was lovely especially when the musicians played there. Beautiful snacks and drinks served here throughout our stay. For the first 24 hours I must admit to feeling overwhelmed by the sheer size of the ship and unsure of the protocols around cruising. During our first day at sea we became much more comfortable and familiar with everything. The entertainment was very good, particularly the ships dancers, vocalists and musicians. The Mercury Rising Show was the highlight of the entertainment for us. We would travel to Venice just to see this act again. Ruby Princess and her crew helped me celebrate a very memorable 60th Birthday. The staff on the customer information desk were helpful, especially Tom. We witnessed some customers being very rude and demanding but the staff maintained a professional and helpful attitude. The only down side for me was the disembarkation which was done at 8.30 a.m. We were at the airport at 9.30 for a flight which left at 3.20pm. We were unable to check in until after 12 noon and the only seating available was for disabled persons, consequently we had to stand for nearly three hours with our suitcases before check in. This spoiled an otherwise lovely holiday. This was the only time that we didn't feel like valued customers of Princess Cruises.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We just returned from a 7 day cruise from Venice to Athens. Background information: we have been on 30 plus cruises on Princess, RC, Celebrity, Holland America, NCL and Carnival. We chose this cruise for its length and ports of Venice, ... Read More
We just returned from a 7 day cruise from Venice to Athens. Background information: we have been on 30 plus cruises on Princess, RC, Celebrity, Holland America, NCL and Carnival. We chose this cruise for its length and ports of Venice, Croatia and Istanbul. We flew from NY to Venice the day before the cruise left. After landing in Venice, we took a water taxi to our hotel. It is a little expensive but the way to go. We booked it on-line, Viator, greet and meet option. They meet you once you arrive, take your luggage and walk you to the water taxi. The boat ride into the city is wonderful. We stayed at the Violino D’ Oro hotel. It is a small hotel and our room was overlooking a small canal where there was a gondolier station. The hotel is centrally located, close to St. Mark’s Square. It was reasonably priced and listed as a 3 star hotel. We loved it as it gave us a flavor of Venice. The next day, we boarded the ship late in the day as the cruise ships are about a half an hour from the city central. We checked out of our hotel, left our bags there and explored the city. We took bus boat for 8 euros to the cruise ship. The city was very crowded as 13 cruise ships were in port. Check Inn was easy. The walk to the ship was quite a distance. We stayed overnight on board in Venice but did not go back into the City as we were leaving at 1 o’clock. Princess offers unlimited boat service to the city central for $15 per person which is automatically charged to your room. We didn’t use it and it was credited to our account. Room: We had a balcony on the 10th floor which had an expanded balcony with 4 chairs and a table. We loved it. Food: We were pleasantly surprised. The food was excellent and the buffet was one of the best we have seen. We enjoyed the food in the main dining room, we didn’t do any specialty restaurants. Entertainment: We didn’t do much but what we did we liked. The comedian was very good, the deck party was fun, and the Venice strings were wonderful, offered lots of movies. Ports: Venice-sailing out of Venice past the city was wonderful. Dubrovnik " we took a tour to Ston as we had been to the old city before. Croatia is absolutely beautiful. Corfu-nothing special-lots of shops selling the same stuff. Istanbul: We took an all day tour that went to the Blue Mosque, St. Sophia Church, the Palace and the Marketplace. It was very interesting. Mykonos: we went to the beach. Athens: we did early walk off the ship as we had a 12:30pm flight. It was very easy and there were tour vans and taxies waiting. We took a tour with VIP Mini Van of Athens and they dropped us at the airport. Our driver and tour guide was Tasos who was great. The company’s email address is athensvan@yahoo.com. We were able to go places the tour buses could not go. He took us to the highest peak overlooking the city. It was beautiful. Cost $250 euros for 4 people. Well worth it. All in all, a great cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We sailed on the Ruby Sept.18-Oct.5, 2013...Venice to Rome. We are experienced cruisers, having sailed on several cruise lines, to many ports of call but this was our first trip to Europe. The Ruby is a beautiful ship, well taken care of, ... Read More
We sailed on the Ruby Sept.18-Oct.5, 2013...Venice to Rome. We are experienced cruisers, having sailed on several cruise lines, to many ports of call but this was our first trip to Europe. The Ruby is a beautiful ship, well taken care of, with a terrific crew. All staff seemed genuinely happy in their jobs. We did not find the usual "upsell" push (for casino, coffee,soda cards etc) that we have experienced in the past...I actually had to search out the coffee card. This was a pleasant surprise and Princess seems to have listened to others who have complained in the past. The major design flaw with this series of ships is that sometimes "you just cant get there from here"! You may find yourselves riding elevators or climbing stair to get to another floor that actually goes through to the floor/area that you need to get to! Our balcony room was the usual size room and the usual tiny bathroom. However the space was adequate and with the balcony we never felt "closed in". Our room steward kept everything clean and tidy and seemed to anticipate things we didnt even know we needed yet! We used the ship laundry service 3 times and she had our laundry sent out and returned in less than 24 hours. Room service was polite and prompt. The entertainment was the usual at sea fare with comedians, singers, dancers etc with one of the highlights being the performance form the string section of the Venice Orchestra. Ports of call were what sold us on this cruise. VERY port intensive so be prepared. We took mostly organized Princess tours and a few beach days on our own in the Greek Islands. Pompei and the Amalfi coast were highlight. Our biggest disappointments were the shore excursion desk and the dining room food and service. The staff of the shore excursion desk either knew what they were doing or they didnt. Princess seriously needs to consider staffing the desk ONLY with staff that have travelled to the ports and experienced the tours they offer. I realize not all staff can go on all the tours but between the entire excursion staff there should be SOMEONE that can answer specific questions. I was constantly having to wait for a supervisor or waiting for a phone call back to get answers. Frustrating. This was the first time we have done anytime dining. We usually have second seating traditional dining. We found that the traditional dining just did not fit with the entertainment and the early morning shore excursions. The service at anytime dining is definately different. The waiters see so many different cruisers over 2 weeks,that they cant possibly give the personal attention given to those on traditional dining. We missed this aspect of the dining option. We always felt rushed so the next guest could be seated. The food overall was a disappointment. The Horizon Court is a zoo at all times and food quality was average. In the dining room, there is so much on the "always available" list that there is little left for the chef to come up with. Whenever there was a new item on the menu it was never what we expected when we ordered it. The repeat in the menu during the second week was "cheating" and not what one would expect from Princess. Princess is still our favourite cruise line and we will sail them again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Sailed on the Ruby, 21-night Venice to Barcelona, September 21-October 12, 2013. This was our 4th Princess cruise, 2nd on Ruby. This was a great trip - ZERO complaints. Husband is gluten free. I can not tell you how absolutely fabulous the ... Read More
Sailed on the Ruby, 21-night Venice to Barcelona, September 21-October 12, 2013. This was our 4th Princess cruise, 2nd on Ruby. This was a great trip - ZERO complaints. Husband is gluten free. I can not tell you how absolutely fabulous the staff was in accommodating his needs - and many other people with various food allergies. NEVER had an issue, had multiple waiters, but Francesco, the head waiter, oversaw every meal that was served in the dining room. Pizza station prepared gluten-free pizza upon request, and it was delicious. The excursions we selected were all worthwhile, with very satisfactory guides. The shows were average, but as it turned out, we met so many nice people at "share" tables, that we lingered at dinner and rarely made it to the shows. The ship is very clean, the staff everywhere on the ship was very gracious, friendly and helpful. We are now booked on the Ruby for a 5-day Carribbean, and the Panama Canal trip from Vancouver to Ft. Lauderdale next fall. We are very satisfied with Princess and hope this good relationship continues. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We loved our cruise on the Ruby Princess. The ship is very nice except that the cabins are a little bit outdated. We actually got a sheet with a hole in it and they all looked a little worn out. Princess needs to consider changing their ... Read More
We loved our cruise on the Ruby Princess. The ship is very nice except that the cabins are a little bit outdated. We actually got a sheet with a hole in it and they all looked a little worn out. Princess needs to consider changing their sheets when needed. But the public areas were good and the service was excellent. The only area on the Princess ships that leaves it open to think that the person that designed it was not thinking straight is the Horizon cafe. It is cramped and people run around like the food is going to run out. We try to go early or late to avoid the feeding frenzy. This was a very port intensive cruise so we hardly had to deal with the Horizon Cafe. This cruise was 3 in 1, but we did only 2. First part was Venice to Athens. Second part was Athens to Rome. Third part was Rome to Barcelona. One thing we could not believe is that they put the same menu in the MDR. So I can imagine that those that stayed for the 3rd part ended up eating from the same menu three times. Princess needs to rethink this issue. I am sure that if they can sell a 21 day cruise, they can come up with 3 different menus. Venice, Santorini and Istanbul was the main reason we booked this cruise. We were not disappointed. We spent a few days in Venice before the cruise and loved every minute of it. Best way to enjoy Venice is just walking around and getting lost. The ship leaving Venice is a definite must. We booked a balcony on the port side and were able to enjoy the view without mobs of people trying to see over each other in the upper deck. The view is incredible. Dubrovnik was a wonderful stop. We took the funicular and enjoyed breathtaking views of the old city. We also went up on the wall, but I didn't care much for walking around it. They tell you that they will take euros in town, but a lot of the places refused to and one place even told us that it was illegal. We didn't care much for the cold and uncaring attitude of the vendors in the old town, but overall this place is well worth it. You don't need a tour, you can take the shuttle bus into town and back to the ship. Corfu could have been skipped. We took a tour that took us up mountains in this huge bus. It felt very unsafe. One of the villages you have to go through, the bus could hardly get through because the road was as wide as the bus and it was lined with houses. The guide thought it was funny, but one mistake by the driver and we would have beens stuck. The Virgin Mary monastery was not appealling. It smelled up cat urine and feces. Definitely a waste of time. Istanbul was a great experience. Ladies you have to cover your hair to enter the Blue Mosque. They didnt tell us that in the port lectures, but you do. As you enter if you dont have your own hair cover, they will give you this blue piece of cloth that a lot of other people use. If you are wearing shorts, men and women will have to wrap one of those blue wraps around their body. They also make you take your shoes off. Make sure you were socks, the place smells like feet so I can only imagine how dirty the carpet is. The Blue Mosque was nice, but I liked the Haiga Sophia better. Overall we loved our visit to Istanbul and would go again. We felt safe all the time, except when those annoying kids would push against you to sell you perfume. I bought one for $20 and all I got was alcohol with a smell. THEY ARE FAKE!!! But I was tired of the kid. Mykonos was very nice to walk around and get lost. Go up to the windmills, the view is beautiful. They have an area that they call Venice and it's very nice. You can sit there and have a drink or get something to eat. Athens was a nice experience, except that besides the Acropolis, there is not much more to do. To get up the Acropolis you have to walk A LOT of steeps steps. There were thousands of people there and it was a miracle nobody tripped. It's worth the climb, but very very strenous. Santorini was incredible. We took a tour that first took us to a winery at 8:00am. We didnt have any wine, but the views from up there were breathtaking. From there we went to Oia for 1.5 hrs. The drive to Oia is incredible. You are on the side of a mountain on one of those big buses, but you get incredible views. Oia was wonderful and we got to walk around take a lot of pictures of th blue dome, etc. We went back to Fira and there we were left on our own. We took the funicular down to the ship. Rhodes was a nice place to walk around, do some shopping and sit to have a drink. The place is very crowded. The Gran Master Palace is so full of people at one time that it's hard to even walk around. But it's worth a visit. Crete was a waste, we definitely should have skipped it. We took a tour that took us to Knossos Palace for about 1.5 hrs then they gave us 40 mins in the downtown area that was a waste. I would not even care to get off in Crete again. Kusadasi was interesting but we had bad weather so we chose not to go on the tour to Ephesus. We walked to the Gran Bazaar, did some shopping and went back to the ship. As we were sitting in the Sky Walker lounge, a horrible storm broke out. All of the sudden the ship was pushed by the strong winds, the ropes broke and the ship started drifting sideways. We could feel the ship tilting to one side. The capt came on the speakers to call out an alert. He sounded out of breath. Within minutes he took control of the ship. Thank God we did not hit the pier or anything else when the ship was shifting out of control. The day stayed pretty much the same, so we just stayed on the ship. Our last stop was Naples. We took a tour to Capri. This is an incredible place. It is worth going back to spend a couple of days. The tour was quick, but there wasnt much time. You have to take a water ferry for 50 mins and you have to make sure to get on the 4pm ferry back to make it on the ship on time. We loved Capri and Annacapri. Beautiful place with an incredible view. Our desembarkation was in Rome. We took a tour of the Roman Countryside with RomeCabs. Michele (Michael) our driver was incredible. He knew where to go and always got there on time. We went to Odelgasi Castle where Tom Cruise and Katy got married. Incredible!! We also went to the Necropolis. Very interesting place. He took us to a town named Ceri that is on top of a mountain. There is only one road in and out. We had lunch at a restaurant that was incredible. The best fettucine I have ever had. The service was impecable. We definitely recommend them. Our day ended in the hotel Hilton Garden Inn near the airport. We rested and took our flight back home the next day.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Ruby Princess is a beautiful ship and the Sail Away from Venice was magic. We had a balcony cabin r626 on deck 14. No noise either late at night, early morning or during the day from the public deck above - Horizon. Our cabin steward was a ... Read More
Ruby Princess is a beautiful ship and the Sail Away from Venice was magic. We had a balcony cabin r626 on deck 14. No noise either late at night, early morning or during the day from the public deck above - Horizon. Our cabin steward was a gem, kept the stateroom immaculate, responded to any of our requests with a smile. Embarkation was a breeze and our luggage was in the cabin promptly. We had 18 ports and only 3 sea days so it was a full-on cruise. We would have enjoyed a couple more sea days but wouldn't have liked to miss out on any or the ports, even those we had previously visited. We noticed on the sea days the ship seemed a lot more crowded. We had 'any time' dining and only waited when we wanted to have a table for 4. We were travelling with another couple and occasionally we liked to spend a meal just with each other. Met some lovely fellow cruisers and have kept in touch. The meals on Ruby were good but not as good as we have had on previous Princess Cruises - this could be due to the fact that the ship was full. We have been on longer cruises but never on a full ship before, and we could see the difference. I can't comment on the entertainment as we didn't attend any other entertainment except the musical shows, we tended to spend time with our friends and new people we met which was fun. We did a mixture of Princess excursions, those arranged thru CC and some just the 4 of us. We felt the Princess excursions which were the long full day ones, although expensive, very good value. All in all a terrific holiday on a lovely ship and we look forward to the next cruises booked for 2014.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We sailed on the Ruby on Sept 21st from Venice with stops in Dubrovnik, Istanbul, Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Corfu, Kusadasi, Naples, and Crete. It was a very port intensive cruise but that is why we picked it! The ship was in good shape ... Read More
We sailed on the Ruby on Sept 21st from Venice with stops in Dubrovnik, Istanbul, Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Corfu, Kusadasi, Naples, and Crete. It was a very port intensive cruise but that is why we picked it! The ship was in good shape and we were warmly greeted by every crew member. We had arrived a day ahead of time and stayed at Ca'Doge which is right next to the People Mover and the bus station. It was a great place to get to a ship however..... the Ruby was a good long walk from the people mover! Would have appreciated a shuttle of some type! We checked in later in the day so it was a breeze to get on. My DH however, had carried on his Multi tool and it was confiscated. He was not happy. He got it back later in the cruise however. Our meals were mainly in the buffet for breakfast and lunch and the anytime dining rooms for dinner. Most things were good and replenished often. The layout is a little hectic as people criss cross bake and forth around the buffet area. We sometimes had excellent service for juice and tea and sometimes we had to search it out. Coffee is just not good.... but somehow it grows on you. We also ate at the International cafe for snacks and it was always good. The food in the dining room has changed.. and on a 2 week cruise the menu began to repeat. Service was great some nights and just ok on others. We tried to sit with the same server a couple of times. He was a joy !When sitting in a group table of 8, we found the acoustics make it hard to hear our table companions. We did go to the shows. The individual acts were quite good but the production shows were lacking. They tried hard, but just not enough talent. The cruise director, Dan was a riot!! Very quick on his feet and the rest of the social staff was very engaging. The pool area was easier to access than on a Caribbean cruise. Never had trouble finding a seat but only got there 3 times! We did go the the Muts one night and enjoyed that. We found all tours and transfers to tenders, were pleasant and well organized. They sent you to an area of the ship to get the tender and gave you a group number and called you by group . No standing in line. All the staff helped to keep folks happy while waiting. The day we landed in Civetevechia the weather was awful!! Pouring rain and windy... the staff did a great job of getting folks to their transfers, running back and forth with umbrellas through large puddles. I felt the organization was very good. This was a dream trip for me due to the ports. The ship was full but rarely felt crowded. We enjoyed our stay on the Ruby! Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
My wife and I are experiences cruisers with thirteen ocean cruises and two river cruises in the past. We have sailed with RC, Celebrity, Norwegian, Carnival, and Princess previously. Our only previous experience with Princess was the ... Read More
My wife and I are experiences cruisers with thirteen ocean cruises and two river cruises in the past. We have sailed with RC, Celebrity, Norwegian, Carnival, and Princess previously. Our only previous experience with Princess was the Golden Princess in 2001 shortly after it entered service. We picked this cruise because of its wonderful itinery - Venice, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Sea day, Instanbul, Mykanos, Athens, Santorini, Rhodes, Kusadisi, Crete, Sea, Naples and finishing at Rome. We had a great overall cruise but were dsiappointed with the dining room and the buffets. In my opinion, the food quality has gone down considerably since our last Princess cruise in 2001 and is not as good as RC or Carnival. We had a table of eight in the Boticelli dining room and two couples did not go to the dining room at all because of the food the during last week of the cruise. We ate twice at the extra cost Crown Grill and it was excellent. Our cabin was on deck 11 aft. We like to go to the casino before dinner, but it is awkward from this location. You need to travel to mid ship before you go to deck 6 because if you take the aft elevator to 6 6 you can't get there because the kitchen blocks your access. After we are done at the casino we needed to go up to deck 7, head aft and then drop down to 6 for dining. The Golden Princess is the same as I recall. Shore excursions and departure day were very well organized. The quality of the excursions including the guides was very good. Overall, I would rate the service quality as average at best. We have had better service on other cruise lines.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We caught a water taxi to the ship door to door from our Venice Hotel to the port where we were met by Princess staff. Embarkation was easy and we settled into our room prior to having some lunch in the buffet. We had chosen the 6:15 ... Read More
We caught a water taxi to the ship door to door from our Venice Hotel to the port where we were met by Princess staff. Embarkation was easy and we settled into our room prior to having some lunch in the buffet. We had chosen the 6:15 dinner seating and had a table for 2. We enjoyed the company of the people near us and we thought the food was excellent. This cruise was 3 weeks and many people were on different sectors of it. We have only cruised once before this and we really enjoyed the longer cruise although I did mention in my evaluation with Princess that this cruise was marketed as a 21 day cruise in Australia (not 3 back to back weeks). There were some changes in staff and the menus were repeated but we were too exhausted from walking around ruins to be worried!! We took a couple of Princess tours which were good (they do a good job organising a crowd), several private tours with people we met on CC and in other ports we just wandered around or swam. I loved the ship, the staff and everything about the whole cruise experience - great entertainment, lots of fun activities to join in or just watch. Great cocktails, beer and wine!! Enjoyed meeting up with CC members before, and during the cruise. This was our first trip to Europe and it was fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
It was our second cruise with Princess and the Ruby was everything we wanted. Had marvelous staff loved the Italian Nights especially the "lemincello". Our inside cabin was quite a decent size and it was great to be woken ... Read More
It was our second cruise with Princess and the Ruby was everything we wanted. Had marvelous staff loved the Italian Nights especially the "lemincello". Our inside cabin was quite a decent size and it was great to be woken up in the morning with hot coffee and whatever one felt like to eat by a friendly staff member. It was a 21 day cruise in three segments. Got to see a fair bit of the Mediterranean some ports were places we had been to before but it was great going back for a second time. We just love Sicily and calling into Palermo and have a donkey cart ride was the icing on the cake. As my husband speaks Sicilian the driver just couldn't do enough and the ride lasted over an hour. It was a fairly busy cruise with 18 ports in 21 days and well worth it so apart from the movies and stage concerts we really didn't have much time for any onboard activities but I know there were quite a few things to do. We really enjoyed the entertainment provided. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
We sailed the Ruby Princess from Venice to Rome on the 12 Day Greek Isles on 4 August. This was our 13th cruise and the first on Princess. We were very pleased overall with the ship, crew and dining. We flew in a day before and took the ... Read More
We sailed the Ruby Princess from Venice to Rome on the 12 Day Greek Isles on 4 August. This was our 13th cruise and the first on Princess. We were very pleased overall with the ship, crew and dining. We flew in a day before and took the Alilaguna Water Bus from the airport to a bus stop right at our hotel for 15 Euro each. We chose a hotel, the NH Manin because it is right at the Sant' Angelo bus stop on the Grand Canal. You walk off the landing and take an immediate right and the door faces the canal. It was a good location; only minutes walk from St. Marks Square and the Rialto Bridge. The hotel room was a good size for Europe and they provide a full breakfast. We shared a water/land taxi combination to the ship which deposited us right at baggage drop off. We arranged the transportation through our hotel and it cost 100 Euro which we were fortunately able to share with another couple. All transportation in Venice is expensive, including the local vaporetti or water bus. Embarkation was well organized; we checked in quickly and were provided a number for boarding. We waited only about 20 minutes and by the time we boarded around 1:00PM, our cabin was ready. Our cabin was on Deck 14, all the way aft. It was a great location, near the Terrace pool, a bar, and the buffet. The ship was clean and well maintained. The wait staff and cabin steward did a great job and were friendly and helpful. The food in the buffet was among the best we have had in over 13 cruises. The quality and selection was excellent. There always seemed to be plenty of room to sit and service was excellent for water, coffee, and other such refreshments. We had the second seating for formal dining and the food too was quite good, although I must say some of the more unusual dishes we have encountered. We had great table companions and spending many enjoyable evenings conversing. This is a port intensive cruise with only two at sea days. But you really see a lot of beautiful scenery and ancient ruins. It is fascinating how advanced the Greek and Roman civilizations were 2000 years ago. One of the highlights of this cruise was the stop in Kusadasi Turkey which gave us access the ancient Roman city of Ephesus which was one of our more interesting stops. This city is huge and still partially buried. We took the optional tour of the Terrace houses which is not far out of the way, just a lot of steps. It was well worth it to see how the wealthy lived long ago. We took the ship's excursions in all ports which may be more expensive then local tours, but they proved to be excellent. The guides were very knowledgeable and spoke fluent English. The buses were new and comfortable. The meals provided on two of our tours were excellent local fare. We found the theater entertainment lacking in variety and quality. The ships singers and dancers were excellent but we did not see as much of them as we would have liked. Some nights there was no theater production. One comedian was OK but the mentalist put us to sleep, maybe he was really a hypnotist. This poor showing of shows was the only drawback to an excellent cruise. We particularly enjoyed the "Movies Under the Stars". This is a great feature for Carnival and Princess, we watched several movies. Disembarkation in Civitavecchia was well organized. Within a couple days of boarding, we were provided a form to indicate when we wanted to go ashore. We had to be out of our cabins by 8:00 but could stay in the lounges or Buffet until leaving. Once we left, our luggage was readily available and our transportation to Rome was right on time. We stayed over a few days in Rome and used Bobs Limo for transportation. It was a pleasant ride to our hotel in downtown Rome. We stayed at the Hotel Adriano. The room was comfortable with great air conditioning along with a full breakfast. Additionally, it was a great location, within walking distance of most attractions; Vatican City, Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and the main shopping street Via del Corso.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
We had always travelled "by land" in Europe so this was a huge change for us. We thought this would be the best way to see Greece and it really was. We were delighted with our perfect cabin and wonderful stewart Apolonio from The ... Read More
We had always travelled "by land" in Europe so this was a huge change for us. We thought this would be the best way to see Greece and it really was. We were delighted with our perfect cabin and wonderful stewart Apolonio from The Philippines .. he could not do more for us from the first glass of champage to repairing my suitcase ! In fact the people on the ship were consistantly excellant and had a smile for all occasions. I had been abit worried about certain aspects of cruising - since we always travel alone and like it that way but we opted for casual dining and every night found a table of new friends. The food was varied and after having a large table for 10 which we found hard to speak around - we just asked for 6 or 8 seating - we never waited more than a couple of moments for a table as we always shared - I cant imagine sitting by ourselves and not getting "into" it. And wasnt it nice to not have people on their phones or texting - it is such an annoying habit that we really were pleased to not see !! I find generally British travellers are the ones you want to share with - they have the right attitude to travel - they want to enjoy themselves and are open and friendly (I am abit predjudiced as my husband is Scottish). Other travellers really shouldnt leave home - always finding something to complain about - but when we found ourselves with a couple like that - well we just chatted around them and let them natter away to themselves then avoided them in future ! Most cruisers seemed to be very experienced ! The things we were disappointed in was the expensive and poor quality internet access - and that is only because we have to keep in touch with our office and most of the time it took a long time of your paid allocation to connect - it should really be a free service.We took several excursions and they were really well organised and the guides obviously well versed in their destinations. We felt we got good value for our money. We also went on our own for some places - Corfu, Olympia, Dubrovnik and Naples - it is very easy to get around on your own in any of the ports actually. We also had a good experience embarking - we were in our cabin before noon and cases there soon after .. and leaving went smoothly as well as we had an early flight from Rome. Although we probably wont be cruising again any time soon - we still prefer the freedom a car has - we would recommend this tour for anyone wanting to see this area. We really liked our cabin location too - it was very private and close enough to the elevator we could go to 15th deck easily and stairs to 7th deck for promenade. Although we were right above Club Fusion did not hear a peep (although in saying that - it was never busy ..)The only sound we had was when coming into port - but after the first time - we knew what the noise was and just ignored it ..I am sure seasoned travellers would not notice it. We were also pleased with the comfort of our beds - and used our balcony every day - just relaxing with a cold bottle of wine There are so many places to relax on board that it was easy to find a quiet or active spot - and lets face it the food is available all the time .. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
I have travelled on many ships in my life and was looking forward to our 12 day Mediterranean cruise with Princess, having previously travelled with Costa, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Cunard and P & O and thoroughly enjoyed all of ... Read More
I have travelled on many ships in my life and was looking forward to our 12 day Mediterranean cruise with Princess, having previously travelled with Costa, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Cunard and P & O and thoroughly enjoyed all of them. We boarded Ruby Princess in Venice with our two teenageers and within 24 hours had experienced some very arrogant behaviour by a Restaurant Manager who kept us waiting for Anytime dining for over 30 minutes with no explanation or apology. When he was approached for information regarding the wait , he brushed off saying it wasn't his fault a lot of people had come at once. As a travel professional I suggested that it might have been good service to explain to customers there might be a wait and give some sort of indication how long. He blamed his staff and said it was their job not his and offered no apology and or resolution. After 45 minutes (total) we went to the buffet missing out on a more formal dining experience for which we had dressed. I contacted Customer Services on a number of occasions regarding this matter and some 48 hours later they offered an alternative restaurant. Following that, we were woken daily, when in port (nine days in total) by shipboard announcements at 7am with details of how to disembark etc. After each announcement, in a number of languages, it was impossible to get back to sleep. by day 6 of a 12 day cruise I was besides myself with tiredeness and asked if they would stop. The disembarkation information is available through a number of different means and when awoken with this sort of information you can not take it in so it is of little value.. Additionally, I spoke with other passengers who felt the same. The customer Service Manager admitted there had been complaints but couldn't do anything about it unless the ship's managment agreed. Nothing was done and I returned home exhauseted and unable to appreciate any of the good things about the cruise. I have written to Princess Cruises and had to chase their response (28 days after writing). The eventual response was evassive and said that my comments would be passed on, etc Whilst there is nothing Princess can do to make good an expensive two week holiday that was ruined, I had hoped they would realise how serious sleep deprivation can be for some people. Their response does not indicate it is an issue they are concerned with. I have found some of their responses to cusomer service issues, both on board and off, to be somewhat arrogant and would wish to advise anyone who values sleep to check beofre travelling as to the policy on early morning announcements. I would certainly not have booked with princess had they made me aware and am still cross that they would not listen to me or other passengers. They had every opportunity to put this right on board but chose not to for reasons I still cannot understand. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
We sailed Ruby Princess on her Mediterranean itinerary in July 2013, a 12-night voyage from Venice to Rome with stops in Croatia, Greece, Turkey and Italy. Our party consisted of us, two parents in our early forties with our 8 and 10-year ... Read More
We sailed Ruby Princess on her Mediterranean itinerary in July 2013, a 12-night voyage from Venice to Rome with stops in Croatia, Greece, Turkey and Italy. Our party consisted of us, two parents in our early forties with our 8 and 10-year old daughters. This was our 21st cruise, 3rd on Princess having previously sailed on Dawn and Grand. These are our thoughts on the line, ship and voyage. The line Since our last Princess cruise was in 2001, we had somewhat forgotten the unique differences that Princess offers. For us, the most glaring one, after recent cruises on Disney, Carnival and Royal Caribbean, was the subdued, lower key atmosphere of the line. Princess, like fewer lines these days, actually still seems to pride a more conservative cruise experience and one that doesn't try to make you forget you're on the ocean. This is expressed through the more classical design of the ships and attempt to not cast too much shadow over the fact you are on water with exuberant ship features or obnoxious activity programs. Don't get me wrong, I very much enjoyed Oasis and Allure of the Seas and similarly-intended contemporary vessels but on a port-intensive European outing, the quiet interludes that Princess provided in between stops were quite welcome. The ship For a 2008 ship which hasn't yet gone through a major refurbishment, it is certainly in more than decent condition. Frankly, having a recent cruise history dominated by new ships, we were worried. However, these were quickly put to rest. The line has done a good job keeping Ruby ship shape. If we noticed significant wear, I would say it was in the mini-golf and perhaps in the gym where treadmill reliability was hit and miss but that's about it. Couldn't name another area where upkeep was deficient. Ditto for our cabin. Furniture, beds, fixtures and the like were in good condition and our home away from home would have scored almost perfect if it wasn't for cleanliness. Our cabin steward was friendly and quick, never in the way. However, he probably as a result of his efficiency skimped over details too much like putting back in place dirty glasses, serving welcome aboard bubbly in lipstick-adorned flutes or going a tad too easy on refreshing the bathroom floor. While on the topic of our cabin, we had booked a mini-suite. Before you all ask, no we did not mind the open air balcony. The size was a major plus and the ability to look up was also fun. But above and beyond everything else, we think this cabin layout is the best we've seen on a cruise ship to accommodate a larger party without splurging for a full suite or two cabins. The four of us felt quite comfortable. Food was more than decent. Buffet pleased us 9 times out of 10 and the dining room 7 out of 10. In the latter, we had Anytime Dining and barely ever waited. We tried both Crown Grill and Sabbatini's. Both were enjoyable experiences though we would not rate them at the same level as what we experience on Celebrity, Royal or, frankly, even Carnival's steakhouse. Nothing here was horrible, quite the contrary. Food quality and service were high caliber, just not as elaborate as similar venues we've tried at sea. Finally, two points worth noting on the ship. Service is decidedly friendly throughout. We met very crew members not smiling and quick to accommodate requests. And the pools. After sailing on Carnival Magic two years ago with clearly not enough pools (just two small ones) for the thousands on board, Ruby's 5 pools were welcome. And not only are there many, but they are spread out and offering different ambiances so as to disperse the crowds. Smart. The voyage We chose this itinerary over others, including on Celebrity, our favourite line. This Ruby 12-night cruise starts off (or ends) with two days in Venice. Always a good thing. And though we added 3 nights in a hotel before the cruise, one could opt to fly in straight onto the ship knowing there's another day in port in case you get delayed. We opted not to in an effort to board the ship cured of jet lag. Then, while the ship stops at the fascinating ports of Dubrovnik, Kusadisi and Naples, it gives you a thorough overview of Greece with five port of calls there: Corfu, Olympia, Athens, Mykonos and Santorini. Our favourites stops were clearly gorgeous Santorini and Naples. In the former, we took a full tour of the island through the ship. Quite good though we opted to walk down to the ship from Thira and that ended up being quite a task with two kids and high-heeled spouse. Recommendation: Take the cable car and plan for a wait. In Naples, where we had been before, we hired See Amalfi Coast for a private tour to Sorrento, Positano and Ravello. Beyond the breathtaking sights in each town, the personalized service of a private tour and flexibility to adjust the itinerary as we go were tough to beat. Caution: This is a port-intensive itinerary with only two days at sea. Beware if you are looking for lots time at for onboard R&R. I filmed key public rooms and our mini-suite. Take a look at my video at the link below: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_hnr2vPdb4   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
My wife and I have just returned from our first real cruise (did a 5 day out of Florida previously). PROS: The staff excelent nothing was too much trouble and all well trained, The facilities, food etc all excellent. Even got pizza ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned from our first real cruise (did a 5 day out of Florida previously). PROS: The staff excelent nothing was too much trouble and all well trained, The facilities, food etc all excellent. Even got pizza served to us watching a film in the cinema under the stars! Great mix of fellow guests from all over the world and the average age must have been about 40. Only 1 small wheel chair in sight! CONS: Disappointed with the costs of the internet (to be expected) but the HORRENDOUS COST OF DRINKS on board. We had freedom dining and used both the allocated restaurants at various times, electing to share a table. We had super people from USA, Canada, Australia, Israel, New Zealand, Mexico and Chile and some Brits - share our table throughout the cruise BUT NOT ONE PERSON BOUGHT A DRINK WITH DINNER - TOO EXPENSIVE!! Surely Princess 10% of something is better than 100% of nothing. For example the basic cost of a glass of wine was $8 plus 15% service charge for a SMALL glass - I worked as a hotel inspector for over 20 years and i know that the bottle of wine was costing less than that - if not their buyers need replacing. Yes I know us Brits are known for being tight (its just that we do not like being mugged - we like value for money) but the Australasians, Canadians and even the Americans we were with, decided it was too expensive. Also extra for cappucino or latte coffee - why? FINALLY - yes I would recommend Princess cruises but with the proviso you could remain t'total for the voyage! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Second experience with a meditteranean cruise, and with Princess a much nicer one: Soft embarkation, and the best disembarkation I ever experienced! A nice ship, with nice service, few noise, few announcments and so comfort despite number ... Read More
Second experience with a meditteranean cruise, and with Princess a much nicer one: Soft embarkation, and the best disembarkation I ever experienced! A nice ship, with nice service, few noise, few announcments and so comfort despite number of passengers. Quite impossible to imagine beeing on a mega-ship (despite od course number of proposals ans activities). In fact all the advantages of a mega-ship without the inconveniences, and all of the pleasures of a smedium sized ship (like Pacific Princess) with the offers of a mega. I do not know how Princess gain this result? But wonderful! And "Movies unders the stars" is far awy from a gadget, it 's a very plus. I appreciate too the advices of the port lecturer as I have been abble to sightsee individually, as I prefer generally.Of all my cruises it's the first time I got such nice and pertinent advices. As a frenchman, used to gastronomy (by education an culture) I can say too that cooking on board was a great experience. Furthermore what to say more than the only thinking of my 14years daughter upon end of the cruise was to cruise again with princess next year. Thanks to my fantastic travel agency whick recommended me this cruise, thanks to Princess Crusies team for everything! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
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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