11 Venice Princess Ruby Princess Cruise Reviews

We boarded the Ruby on Oct.09/12 in anticipation of an extra ordinary experience and were rewarded with ''just ordinary.'' Our cabin was not as big as a lot older Celebrity ship we had sailed on a few years earlier. ... Read More
We boarded the Ruby on Oct.09/12 in anticipation of an extra ordinary experience and were rewarded with ''just ordinary.'' Our cabin was not as big as a lot older Celebrity ship we had sailed on a few years earlier. Our Celebrity cabin had a sofa and a chair as well as a decent sized balcony. The Celebrity bathroom also had a bigger shower and glass doors. This ''newest Princess'' cabin had two small chairs and a bit larger balcony, but had curtains in what I believe was a smaller shower in a smaller bathroom. After eyeballing our not so luxurious Princess cabin we proceeded up to the Horizon buffet for lunch. The buffet had less choices than other cruise lines we had been on and after eating we decided to get acquainted with the Ruby while we waited for our luggage to arrive in our Cabin. As we left the Horizon buffet we were approached by a crew member trying to convince us to pay extra for an adults only area known as the ''Sanctuary.'' He told us that for a mere 10 dollars we could spend 4 hours in the Sanctuary, or we could spend 20 dollars for a whole day. I told him that the Sanctuary sounded a lot like an adults only area that all Celebrity ships have that is called the ''Solarium'' that is free of charge to adults. It seemed like every time we turned around a crew member was trying to sell us on ''Coffee cards, booze cards or Soda cards. You could have gelato, but you had to pay extra for it also. If you are a nostalgia buff, the Ruby has an ultra large screen adjacent to a pool that reminds one of going to a ''drive in theater'' in days of old. That was probably the only oddity that may differentiate it from other ships, but it wasn't enough to make the Ruby stand out in crowd. I don't think I can recall of another cruise where we were as inundated with as much of a sell, sell hype atmosphere that continued throughout the cruise, whether it was around the ship or in your cabin. The in cabin television channels were also a maze of Princess self promotion that continuously prompted the watcher to buy this, or buy that. I felt sorry for anyone that was in quarantine as a result of a an outbreak of ''Noro-Virus'' that left very little choice of entertainment on the Princess's telly. The ''Botticelli'' dining room on the first formal night featured ''Chili'' as one of the entrees which prompted one of the cruiser's at our table to comment: ''we spend thousands of dollars and travel half way around the world for Chili? I could have stayed home and had Chili for a lot less than we've spent to come here!'' Another dinner menu evening featured ''Mac and Cheese'' which also was greeted with some derisive comments. Having said all the previous; we did enjoy all the stops we made and the crew were pleasant enough, but for the dollars spent we expected to be dazzled by the ''Ruby'' and were instead left wanting a lot more for what we had spent... Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We had booked this as cruise only so I will only talk about the cruise. We arrived at he ship at 14:30 the embarkation was simple and easy, very efficient. We were meeting our friends on the ship and they were waiting for us. We had a ... Read More
We had booked this as cruise only so I will only talk about the cruise. We arrived at he ship at 14:30 the embarkation was simple and easy, very efficient. We were meeting our friends on the ship and they were waiting for us. We had a ocean view cabin it was quite roomy with plenty of space for storage, particularly enough coat hangers for all our stuff including all my wife's dresses. The bed and pillows were very comfortable. The emergency drill was very strange, because our muster station was in the casino, I am really not too sure about mustering at an internal location in a real emergency ( thinking about Herald of Free Enterprise and Concordia) I found it disturbing I would want to be at the lifeboat. In future this is something I would want to know before booking a cruise I never thought this would be allowed. The Horizon buffet was good for breakfast and lunch and we ate there one evening when tired after a tour. I really don't like eating at the buffet in the evening too much temptation to put everything you fancy on a plate and you end up with a kind of chop suey. We were on anytime dining which we were not too happy about because we prefer late sitting but we were told it was full. Anytime dining has it advantages ( you can go when you like but if you go after seven there are queues ) there are also disadvantages, you don't have the same waiters and you do not build up a relationship ( which can be good or bad) it explains the tips been added to the cabin account. Otherwise you would have to carry money to tip every night. (They always ask your room number) Talking about service, generally the service was very good our cabin steward was friendly and efficient. The crew in the Horizon buffet were particularly friendly and helpful. There was no shortage of crew anywhere you could get help where ever you were. In the evening we ate at either the Da Vinci or Michelangelo restaurants. The food was good but not exceptional. The service was also good. However we did suffer bad service in the Da Vinci dinning room on the last night. The service was very slow, snail pace they would serve one and not us all. There were six of us but only four of us were drinking wine so we would order a bottle of wine one night and our friends would order a bottle of wine another night. The last night our friends ordered a bottle of wine. When it came it was corked, so he refused it. The waiter argued that it was OK and we should accept it. When you are paying $38 for a bottle of wine and it's corked you don't accept it and you don't expect an argument. The waiter sent for the sommelier who agreed with us that it was corked. So another bottle was ordered. They still tried to charge our friend for the first bottle. This left a bad taste in the mouth in more ways than one. It soured our opinion of Princess. You know it's the little things that count. The entertainment was at best mediocre, it says a lot when members of the crew can sing better than the singers that are on in the theatre. There were two guys from Essex who sang Beetles songs one night and another they sang Everly brothers, trouble is they sounded like Alvin and the Chipmunks. I think if they billed themselves as a Alvin and the Chipmunks tribute band it would be acceptable. The dancers were good, the magician was terrible and the violinist OK. The one bright spot was a group called Music Inc that played in the Explorers bar, the lady singer was quite amazing, great voice. We will always remember the pool party where she and her group were set up on the sun deck above the pool deck she was wearing a long dress with long flowing hair blowing in the wind blasting out great songs and everyone dancing. It was a night to remember like something out of a movie. We also did dance lessons which were fun and enjoyable. Zumba which worked up a sweat. The public areas were somehow lacking when we compared it to Royal Caribbean. On Formal evening we like to take our own photos but there are not that many good spots on the ship. It shows because the ship's photographers except for one place were all using backdrops. A large area was taken up an art galley which obviously you couldn't take photographs. We never used the casino or Sky walkers lounge because the cigarette smoke in the both places was awful, the casino particularly caused contamination of the shopping area on deck 6. We wanted to shop there but I had picked up a cold three days into the cruise and the smell just caused me to have coughing fits so couldn't stay in that area. We always like to get exercise particularly on sea days. So we would walk around on deck 7 if you walked 2 1/2 times round was one mile. But as you walked around the bow there was a awful smell of very strong cigarette smoke being expelled from a vent not nice to walk through at all. Disembarkation was very simple. We enjoyed the cruise particularly the itinerary and not everything was bad however I do not think I would book another cruise on this ship or with Princess, maybe our expectation were too high we found Princess to be lower in quality than RCL. In the ship and entertainment. Generally the service was good except the last evening which was terrible and has possibly coloured my judgement. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
I will try to make this short, but I can see already it won't be. I do not want to waste more time on Princes so there may be some dyslexic spelling and some short form sentences below. My English teacher may not be happy. I will ... Read More
I will try to make this short, but I can see already it won't be. I do not want to waste more time on Princes so there may be some dyslexic spelling and some short form sentences below. My English teacher may not be happy. I will start by saying this is my first cruise but have travelled well in North America, all the Southern islands, and this was my honeymoon. The Decor and room. I swear the colors and materials of the stateroom were in my 1990 33 foot Sea Ray boat. The balcony was huge and very comfortable. The bed hard and somehow short. Bath shower incredibly tight but all and all a decent size sate room. The rest of the decor in the ship, not luxurious and rather dull. I expected more class or imagination for a newer ship. Noisey room with kids running up and down the halls playing games in the hall. Could hear the theatre above. Once smoke stack fumes came onto out balcony. Over all the room was fine. The food and drink. Anytime dinners..... We found it best to go at 8:30 and we got into the restaurants without too much wait. The sauces (gravies or bearnaise) often substituted for ones of another color. Not sure at times what I was eating? I didn't get sick so I assume it was OK. Any crab appitiser had fake crab subbed in pretending to taste good. Processed "Pollock" in crab cakes or in an artichoke crab dip? I nearly choked! Desserts frozen when they should have been room temperature. Some good food and some bad at each meal. It was fun to see what got botched up that eve. You could easily ask to mix and match anything on the menu and give you many small portions which made it much better to try more on each menu. Eventually you would have liked something. Dinners we had paid extra for,...better staff, knowledgeable, better menu and presentation, not even there they could cook a piece of beef till tender, but a better place to eat. We PAID for it!! It better be better! Still, not up to what I had expected when paying more. Everyone says "cruise food is great!". Does most the population have bad taste? (We started making up a game,... if you were on land at a restaurant, how much would you pay for this main dish? Often we though $7.00 but once I would have paid $20. If the food isn't good and I am getting dressed to go out for a restaurant, I won't pay anything for a bad meal!) The buffet..... I felt I was "running with the bulls" at lunch and dinner. Get the good stuff before it was gone. Push push, get out of the way!!! The sushi lasted minutes it seemed. With all the water around us could we not have some more fresh fish? Getting scolded by staff for going in through the "out" at the buffet. No knives and forks unless they see you sanitize your hands. I thought I had left my mom at home and paid others to discipline me at dinner! And when you realize the food was different at each buffet. You needed to wear running shoes to get what you wanted from each buffet and station, and if again you were not scolded on the way to get more with having a plate in hand and not sanitizing again, and eventaully find where your table was! They needed to have a menu in the elevator foyer between both buffets to tell you what each had even though the staff would have said they were the same. At the minimum, you lost weight winding yourself in and out of rooms, around walls, down halls, around tables and servers rarely found when needed when trying to get a meal. Again, a lot of bland food, fruit was good, cheese good, and you could always create something to make yourself happy if you have the will and time. The small cafes and eating areas around the ship.... The pizza was good, fries good, salad, desserts and sandwiches and tapas in the Atrium were good. The soda good if you had paid for a card allowing it to be "all you could drink". Rarely a good coffee unless you paid for it. Atleast the lemonade was good a free! The Soda card, the wine card, coffee card, smoothie cards..... A great Idea, but I thought I was getting some of this stuff for free? The ship is definitely not an "all inclusive". If there was more knowledgeable staff about the products they were pushing, or if the could relate it to you better in English, or, if it was on their website, then it would have been easier to make an informed decision on what to do instead of being cold cocked in the head. The wine card,.... you better know what wine is in each restaurant before making an informed decision on which level of card to buy. They made it difficult to buy a card when you did not know what they had in your price range. They seamed to love "California" wines. Not enough Mediterranean reds,(are we not cruising in this area?) and half way through the cruise they were running out of many of the mid range reds. Best to smuggle it aboard. And why can't I get a bottle at a bar using my card? I did pay for it already? Cork your bottle at the end of a meal and bring the wine to your room or another bar area. Better yet, buy wine off shore so you can have a glass of local wine before going to dinner. All in all, you could more or less get "what you need" but not "what you want" as Mick Jagger says. I expected more. I have had way better service and food at an all inclusive and not been scolded when doing so. The Entertainment. There wasn't any by definition. There was no "party" atmosphere anywhere. If you were late 40's or early 50's, you better conform to disco music or elevator music. There was some middle of the road tunes outside near a pool in the afternoon. A bit of rock and roll being played by a live band trying to be heard over the screaming kids around the pool, or the loud hot tubs full of children like cauldrons from a bedtime story, or the neighboring movie theatre noise. Once, I heard Beatles music from the atrium and I was excited. I had to see. Yes some live Beatles music with the rest of the staff dancing slowly in Victorian clothing like a scene from a Coronation in the 13th century. They couldn't even make that music fun! The theatre was a very room. Great chairs to sleep in during a show. A night of music history. I think they started in the 30's, hours later they may have been in the 50's. I though if they made it to the 90's I may be 90 so I was best leave after a couple hours, extended care on the ship isn't cheap. They had a comedian,.... or was it the puppet guy? I wasn't sure they sounded the same. By the end, If I had to hear a violin or piano again, or Cinnamon in the lounge or Atrium, I would have to have flung myself over board. One more Karoke eve or some lame couples game for entertaiment and I may get divorced on my honeymoon. Movies,..if you liked them they were everywhere! Movies in the theatre, movies on the top deck while laying in the sun, movies in your room, movies playing in the other theatres. You could always watch a movie and get fat. Maybe they should have called the cruise, The "Western Mediterranean Movie Cruise" Could they have at least change the movies up more? Laying on my own balcony I could hear it, laying at the other pool I could hear it. Late at night while trying to have a romantic eve, enjoying the motion of the ocean on a deck, shimmering lights seen off in the distance, a glass of red wine in hand, holding hands, and the rumbling of "John Carter" above my head blowing space ships up. The general stuff. It was hard to have some peace or romance during the sun. Roving bands of children like "gangs" on the street. Taking over all the hot tubs,... roving from one to another tub bored to death. Eating hamburgers and fries over the water, the occasional hot dog floating on the surface of one of the many hot tub adults were not able to use. Nice!! The adult pool often full of kids with staff not understanding the rules of the area or that minuscule sign no one could understand that said "adult pool". Or maybe it was the rap music in another language from I PODS in the adult areas that I did not understand. Maybe it was just me? I was too old for this place? Or was I too young for the other places on the boat. Maybe I did not fit in. The "Timeshare", or shall I say, Princess cruises. Up sell up sell always! "Buy our special coffees at dinner, it's a good deal!" they proclaimed every eve. Please let me relax at dinner and leave me alone! Stop trying to take photos of me every time I try to get off the ship!,..there is a long line and I am hot and not looking my best at 7:00 a.m. I don't want them anyway! Let me get to dinner and don't stop me from strolling through the ship to take more photos of me I won't buy! Buy some Art it's a great deal! Buy more cruises now, it is cheaper! The excursions,.... We had heard you should not take the ships and buy them off shore, but through our experience, we paid more to get to the front of the line at museums and churches, the safety of getting back on time, and good hosts. Once we did our own thing, the wait for the Picasso museum was 2 hours long. If we spent a few hundred more it was worth it for peace of mind and to organize the next day. Paying this kind of money for a dream vacation and going cheap in the end with the possibility of something going wrong was not worth it. We say what we could in the time we could. On your own you may have seem less or with a private guide, you may have not known what you were getting into. By the way, the woman who is on the ship's T.V was knowledgeable on the T.V. and could fill you in well with what was coming up at the next port and the sights, but both times we went to see her for help on making decisions on excursions, she was a total Bi*@h. She needed some manners. Great sights to see! Go swimming in Mykonos! Walk and walk the streets in all cities! Eat the food in all ports of call. Swim off the Pier at Monte Carlo! Window shopping for Jets and Bentley's, See the Vatican. Florence, Rome, Athens, Venice, Istanbul, Spain and lots of sunscreen. Be very good at haggling or they will eat you alive. Bring your bathing suit everywhere. Cheap cover ups for shoulders and knees for women, 5 EU scarves will get you into sacred places. See what you can because you may not be back. It is an adventure and you may need a vacation afterward. An added note,... stayed in Barcelona at the end for a few days, great wind down from the busy daytime excursions from 12 days on the ship,.,a pool on the roof, lots of fun, great Hotel, "Ohla" in the heart of action and walking to all beach, party, food and shopping activities. All and all, the ship was a vessel to take you from and to the ports you wanted to see. We took this cruise for the Ports of Call. Don't expect much more than that. Don't expect great food. The staff was just doing their job and I can't say too many bad things about them. It was clean, safe and OK. Hustle hustle always it seemed. Bring lots of money. I could say more. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
We are a married couple in our mid-30's and are not usually cruisers, but booked this mainly for the destinations. Overall the cruise went well, despite a minor bout of food sickness. Embarkation went very smoothly, although it was ... Read More
We are a married couple in our mid-30's and are not usually cruisers, but booked this mainly for the destinations. Overall the cruise went well, despite a minor bout of food sickness. Embarkation went very smoothly, although it was quite a walk to get from the train to the ship in Venice. Disembarkation went smoothly as well; we opted to carry our own luggage and pretty much walked right off the boat and then took a cab to our hotel. We had an ocean view cabin which was spacious and in great condition. Service was overall very good, and the entertainment was OK despite the fact that they really put in a lot of effort to try and put on a great show. Food was just OK - there was no significant difference between the dining room and buffet food, and we did experience minor food sickness during the cruise. It did pass in a day or so, and the overall cruise rating would have been higher if it wasn't for this incident. Ports - booked excursions for half of the ports and mostly through the ship; the only one that we could find a better deal through a 3rd party was for the one in Istanbul. -Venice - took the Alilaguna to our hotel near St Mark's/Doge Palace (~15 Eur/ea). Rialto, Santa Maria, and all other main sites are easily accessible by walking or Vaporetto water taxi. Venice is a little overwhelming at first due to language and the tiny streets, but it gets better after you get your bearings straight and realize how to catch the water taxis in the right direction. -Athens - saw the Acropolis/Plaka by ourselves. Piraeus train station is not easy to get to from the port, depending on where the ship is docked. We gave up looking for the station and just took a cab (25 Eur), and returned by taking the train (0.7 Eur/ea) to Piraeus station and then walked a mile or so back to the port. People here were extremely friendly and helpful. -Kusadasi --we took an excursion to Ephesus/St John's/Virgin Mary Shrine and were very impressed with all the sites. All the sites were pretty spread out so it was much easier through an excursion. -Istanbul - took excursion to Blue Mosque/Hagia Sophia/Topkapi Palace. The Mosque and Hagia Sophia were awe-inspiring, and Topkapi was very crowded but had some incredible jewelry on display. Traffic was awful so this would have been difficult to do completely by ourselves. -Mykonos - took an excursion for the town/beaches and the monastery at Ano Mera - just didn't want to deal with the logistics here and relax. Could have also just taken the shuttle into town and taken a short walk to see Little Venice/Windmills... -Naples - took a bus (~7 Eur/ea) to Pompeii and returned to Naples with time to spare, so then we walked to Sanservo to see the Veiled Christ statue before heading back to the ship. Bus station was relatively close to the port - will have to ask the local Information for directions. We originally wanted to take a ferry to Capri but the line was ridiculous. Naples is not the nicest or cleanest City, so we walked pretty quickly the whole time... -Florence - took excursion for Florence/David/Uffizi. Florence is not to be missed, with incredible views around every corner. Rome is really far away from port, so doing this on your own would be difficult. -Rome - took an excursion for Coliseum/St Peter's/Vatican Museum. Again, not to be missed, and difficult/costly to coordinate on your own due to port distance from Rome. -Monte Carlo - walked to the nearest bus stop and took line 2 (~2 Eur/ea) to the Exotic Gardens (excellent view of the city/coast), about 20 minutes away. Took the same bus back to the "Rock" (Monaco-ville) to see the changing of the guard, the cathedral, and aquarium. Could also have just taken the elevator right up to the "Rock" from the port and spent all of our time there. This is one of the nicest, cleanest places we have ever seen. -Barcelona - checked into our hotel and found the nearest Metro station. The Metro is relatively clean, very efficient, and covers the whole city. We bought all-day passes for ~7 Eur/ea and headed to Sagrada Familia first to beat the lines - definitely add the admission for the elevator ride up to the "temple". Then we got off at the Urquinaona stop for Palau Musica (expensive to get in), and then headed to Jaume stop on the same line for the Gothic Quarter. Spent some time at the Catedral Barcelona (truly gothic) and in the Quarter, before walking to Las Ramblas and soaking in the scene. Took the Metro from Liceu station back to our hotel for some much-needed rest. There is just too much to cover in Barcelona for one day... Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Embarkation was brutal. The ship was very noisy and our bedroom wall would actually move when our neighbors bumped it. The excursions,for the most part, were fine although over priced. The food was not nearly as good as other ... Read More
Embarkation was brutal. The ship was very noisy and our bedroom wall would actually move when our neighbors bumped it. The excursions,for the most part, were fine although over priced. The food was not nearly as good as other ships. Excursion tickets had to be duplicated because the originals "were lost". All excursions were booked at least a month prior to the cruise. With all of the sophisticated computer capabilities, seems like they could see couples that are traveling alone and not place kids in adjoining rooms. The real problem was the acute gastroenteritis that hit me on day ten and my husband on day eleven. The cost was more than a US emergency room, if you can believe that. Servers, though plentiful in numbers, were scarce when a beverage was needed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We've traveled on Princess many times but have never experiences such great and awful service in a single cruise. High points: Chef's Table: Fantastic and feel honored to have been selected. The food ... Read More
We've traveled on Princess many times but have never experiences such great and awful service in a single cruise. High points: Chef's Table: Fantastic and feel honored to have been selected. The food and wine just kept coming with the Maitre D' and Chef being such wonderful hosts. Being recognized by a bartender who was on the Diamond during last year's trip to Alaska on the Diamond - Excellent memory and great service. Production shows - Best I've seen on any ship, great vocalists and dancers. A peticular deck waitress that helped me make fresh (Not cold) popcorn for my wife during MUTS. She did comment that making another batch of popcorn would make her shift end 30 minutes late, but insisted on helping me even after I told her to not bother. That's excellent service from a great employee - it's not her fault the Ruby shuts down the popcorn machine 10 minutes after the start of the late movie - a poor decision by her boss. Low points: As mentioned in other reviews, the Deck Staff is just awful. It's clear many do not want to be there due to the complete lack of warmth and few smiles. In a particular incident, My Wife and I sat at barstools patiently for several minutes with cruise card in hand waiting to be served. Neither bartender acknowledged us, we still figured one would help us after finished with other passengers. To our amazement, (Now with an empty bar) both proceeded to start cleaning up the bar area while completely ignoring us. Eventually I went downstairs to another bar and reported this to the deck supervisor. He immediately apologized saying he saw us upstairs and assumed we were being served. Then mentioned they cannot always pick great employees and that this was apparently a bad apple of the bunch. While our first trip to the Crown Grill was excellent, It cannot be said of our second visit. After 1 hour and 45 minutes we were still waiting for our steaks. Finally my 75 yr. old Mom became too tired and left leaving with only a dinner salad and bread as the night's meal. Another couple celebrating their 25th Wedding Anniversary was in the same situation. They were still waiting after almost 2 hours and purchasing a very nice bottle of wine from the sommelier, which was now empty without a meal to enjoy. When this was brought up to a manager, he offered to waive the $25 fee, but gave both tables a hard time when asked for consideration on the wine. Finally after waiting another 20 minutes for a higher level manager did they agree to provide us a bottle the next evening. This points to an issue we noticed many times: staff level employees are not empowered to make even the smallest decisions or corrections in favor of a passenger - everything is a big deal and requires one or more supervisiors. An example: My wife ordered a bloody Mary she didn't care for - at any restaurant we've visited, it would be changed out for her drink of choice by any bartender - no questions asked. On the Ruby it took 2 different supervisors to make that decision, that's ridicules and very poor customer service. My overall impression: long term Princess employees have pride in their jobs and enjoy working with the public. The newer ones in many cases come from countries not heavily recruited by cruise lines in the past. The percentage of employees from India and the Caribbean have gone down, being replaced by Eastern Europeans (Previous Soviet Bloc countries) who's culture is simply different - to a degree lacking friendliness and warmth we consider to be essential to good customer service. Does this mean we'll never cruise Princess again? Certainly not, but it points to some disturbing trends Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Arrived in Venice on May 28th and embarkation went smoothly and quickly. Our cabin steward was the very best. He anticipated our every need. The balcony was large with 4 lounge chairs, but the room seemed small compared to other cruise ... Read More
Arrived in Venice on May 28th and embarkation went smoothly and quickly. Our cabin steward was the very best. He anticipated our every need. The balcony was large with 4 lounge chairs, but the room seemed small compared to other cruise lines in same category. The bathroom was a closet, hardly enough room to turn around in. We had anytime dining and the first night set the mood for the rest of the trip. We were in the Da Vinci and the waiter tried to force us to buy wine. After telling him we didn't want wine with dinner for the 4Th time, he finally gave up. The rest of the meal he was very condescending and we ate the rest of the evening meals in the Michelangelo room. The food was "hit and miss" The Prime Rib was great, but most other nights is was just passable. We had to send several items back because they were either cold or just barely warm. The service on the deck was for the most part very bad. Some waiters would avoid eye contact so they wouldn't have to wait on you. We ask one for coffee and he never came back. The food in the Horizon and Caribe "cafeteria" was passable. If you got there late at night it was not edible. The wait staff tended to be arrogant The coffee was bad. The only good coffee you could get was from room service. The room service was good and prompt. The Ship's tours were very well organized. The tour director was very entertaining. Choose the tours carefully as they can be very exhausting. Some as long as 4 hours of walking. Three nights we were too tired to even go to dinner. We chose Princess because of the Ports and were not disappointed on that score. We will definitely go back to Celebrity for the service and the food. They have Princess beat "Hands Down". Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Flew from the States to Venice on 10/4. Booked our hotel, which was recommended by a Cruise Critic member, in Mestre. We were advised to take the bus from the airport to the hotel. It was a smooth operation. The Starter greeted us as we ... Read More
Flew from the States to Venice on 10/4. Booked our hotel, which was recommended by a Cruise Critic member, in Mestre. We were advised to take the bus from the airport to the hotel. It was a smooth operation. The Starter greeted us as we came out of the terminal, he directed us to the bus we needed after showing him the name of our hotel. When the bus pulled up the Starter talked to the bus driver and advised him to let us know when to get off the bus. We were very grateful to him. Arrived at Al Vivit, a lovely little converted mansion on the Piazza in Mestre. We asked a woman when we got off the bus for directions, she could not understand us and we could not understand her but she pointed the way to walk and off we went. We came to a fork in the road and asked another couple who very kindly beckoned us to follow them until we could see the name of the hotel in the Piazza. It was about a 5 minute walk from the bus stop. The hotel staff were so kind and helpful. We neglected to ask if there was a lift and found ourselves starting for the second floor with 4 bags. The woman at the desk was quite adamant about us not carrying the bags. She carried all the bags up 3 flights of steps. The day we were checking out, there were 38 of us going the ship. We opened our bedroom doors and found the hotel had brought in extra help to carry all our bags down to the lobby. The breakfast staff were very friendly and we were also able to buy bus and vapparetto tickets at the front desk. There were cafes in the Piazza for drinks and coffee and watching the locals push their bambinos in their carriages with their dogs. It was lovely. Our embarkation was very smooth thanks to Annette and Lou who booked the bus from the hotel to the port. Can't say the same for disembarkation. Sharon, Future Cruise Director barked at us all morning without a mike. When my husband asked her to use a microphone she yelled "who said that, stand up so I can see you". My husband walked up to her and asked her to use the mike as we could not hear her instructions. She stated she was talking to the wheel chair people on the other side of the lounge and we did not need to hear what she was saying. We left our cabin at 8:00AM after the room steward banged on the door. We sat in the lounge from 8:00AM until 11:00AM before disembarking. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
I booked this cruise to travel in August with Thomas Cook on line but would do so independently next time, arranging a overnight stay in embarkation port and arranging my own flight. We travelled on the Grand Mediterranean cruise Venice to ... Read More
I booked this cruise to travel in August with Thomas Cook on line but would do so independently next time, arranging a overnight stay in embarkation port and arranging my own flight. We travelled on the Grand Mediterranean cruise Venice to Barcelona for 12 nights on Ruby Princess. The airport transfer was excellent and embarkation was very proffessional and all completed in less than half an hour. We were shown to our stateroom which was on deck 10 room 309 which was fairly centrally located. The room was excellent and spotlessly clean with a fairly large balcony. We then disembarked the ship and took the shuttle provided by Princess into Venice and stayed until about 9.00 going for lunch in the Horizon Court restaurant as I had got traditional dining first sitting. I would definitely go for anytime dining next time as the early dining option means the trip feels like you are in a hamster wheel, returning onto the ship at about six in order to maximise very limited time in port then having to rush a shower and hurry down to Boticelli's restaurant which is not easy to find. The next day when I got up and showered I noticed that there was no European plug socket, a fact that I had not noticed in any of the literature or been notified of by Thomas Cook, so I could not use my hair straighteners which would have been a major disaster for me as my hair is very unruly. I went down to the pursers deck to ask if they had an adapter and he said he thought they had all gone but checked and came back with the very last one which I had to leave a 50 dollar deposit for. Unfortunately the very next day the eve of the formal night when good grooming is essential the adapter turned out to be faulty. returning to the pursers desk I was informed that there were no more on board and that they were not sold on board the ship. Panic set in at this point but I decided to ask my steward who very kindly borrowed one from a colleague for me for the rest of the trip. The room steward was excellent and very friendly and so were all the other staff who cannot do enough for you. All the bar staff are excellent especially in Crooners bar where they ensure that the atmosphere is very good and friendly. The ship is amazing and has so many different facilities. Fist impression was WOW. The food was excellent in every venue but was superior in the main dining room Botticelli's where we ate most evenings. The Sushi was amazing in Vines wine bar and the Sushi chef and wine waiter were very nice. We were very disappointed with the entertainment. It is very repetitive. The singer/pianist in Crooners bar is very good but sings the same material every night moving to other venues throughout the cruise but singing the same material in these so it gets very boring. The singer in the wheelhouse bar has a very limited range, again doing the same material every night and the bar was empty every evening with passengers using it as a walkway, or only staying for a few minutes. We went to a few shows, the violinist and the crew show which was quite good and we saw a comedian in another bar on one evening. We spent quite a lot of time in vines wine bar or in the atrium where the entertainment was good, although again very repetitive. We only went on one organised trip, to Athens as the other were too expensive and it was easy to arrange your own transport to the other ports. Rome and Florence can be easily reached by train, a shuttle bus provided in Livorno in order to catch the train which is about 10 euros return to Florence. Rome is also easy accessed after a short walk off the shuttle bus to the train station. We also went to Capri, catching a ferry from Naples which is very easy to do as the ship docks right in the port. Mykanos is also easy to access and Princess provided a shuttle boat to drop us in the harbour where we walked over the hill to little Venice had a beer waterside then went swimming on a small beach for a couple of hours. I enjoyed the cruise but found it very exhausting due to the travel to different places, and our early dining time. Princess cruises are also very expensive with a surcharge of 10.50 dollars fifty added per person per day to the bill, which can be removed if so wished(which we didnt as all staff do such a good job and are not well paid) but what I really objected to was the fifteen percent surcharge also added to to bar bill. I think if I went again I would not book with princess and would do my homework with regards to the bar charges and the entertainment. The disembarkation was also very good and arrival at Barcelona airport was good, but do not go through passport control too early as if you are at gate ten there are no shops and only one cafe and once through you cannot return Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
We chose this cruise primarily for itinerary. Having done the Med a few times before, we were very interested in the transatlantic portion, and being able to relax after our hectic pace in Europe. As we love Rome, we chose to fly in a few ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily for itinerary. Having done the Med a few times before, we were very interested in the transatlantic portion, and being able to relax after our hectic pace in Europe. As we love Rome, we chose to fly in a few days early and spend 3 nights there. Stayed at the Artemide which was local walking distance to everything and was fantastic. We then took the train to Venice, to spend one night there prior to boarding the Ruby. Unfotunately our train ride was more eventful than we liked. We traveled with another couple, and sometime during the 4 1/2 hr ride from Rome to Venice, our friends camera bag disappeared right from under his seat! The camera wasn't the big worry, he had three weeks worth of medication in that bag!! To make a long story short, a very wonderful pharmacist in Venice was able to replace the meds in 24hrs. Whew! After staying at the Locanda Vivaldi one night prior (fab hotel) , we boarded the lovely RubyPrincess late afternoon on the Wednesday. At that point, we stayed on board to wander and explore. We used the Princess Water Shuttle tickets provided to go back into Venice the next morning. We had a minisuite on Dolphin deck. Enjoyed having the extra room but can't seem to get used to the totally exposed balconys on this class of ship. Common/Public Rooms Lots of places to meet and mingle, nowhere seemed crowded except the ever popular International Cafe. Adiagos, Crooners, Wheelhouse, all great spots to linger with a drink. We enjoyed the outside area of Adiagos where you could sit and stare out to sea. Beautiful. The Princess Theater is a little small, and I guess that's why they repeat the Production Shows over 2 nights. The casino was nice, we didn't spend alot of time there. Dining We had second seating and had fabulous staff. Meals in the dining room were usually good to sometimes great. Unfortunately it was the only time we could say that. The Horizon Court was a huge disappointment. Very little selection in my opinion for lunch. Soggy sandwiches wrapped in saran wrap (I've never seen this before!)At least you could get a decent salad. We tried the dining room for lunch one day and again experienced the soggy wet bread. Specialty Dining Had a nice meal in the Crown Grill. And the Ultimate Balcony Dining was the best experience, would recommend to anyone. Sabatinis was a disappointment though. Entertainment Production shows were well done. I thought for 18 nights they could have squeezed an extra show in there - we had three. There was a pretty good comedian. MUTS had lots of good movies to choose from, but we only went once. They had the White Hot Deck party and Ruby Ball also. Ports The magic of Italy, what can I say. We loved Venice, and having spent time in Rome prior, we chose to go to Tivoli the day we docked in Civitavecchia. We enjoyed Tivoli very much. In Naples, we did a private tour to the Amalfi Coast and it was outstanding. Certainly a highlight of the trip. In Florence we walked around on our own in the pouring rain, the only bad weather day in the trip. We missed Marseilles due to high seas and winds, so had an extra sea day. Barcelona is beautiful and we enjoyed Gaudi's as well as strolling Las Ramblas. Lisbon - oh how disappointing to be there only a few hours, how I wished we had more time there. And Azores was a quaint beautiful stop before we headed out to sea. The transatlantic portion was 6 days, and that meant about 2 too many for us. We got a little restless by day 4. There were activities on board during the sea days and venues seemed to be busy most of the time. As the weather was beautiful for the crossing, with calm seas and sunny warm days, we were able to enjoy the outdoor areas, by the pool, mini golf, etc. We overall enjoyed out trip, but I don't think another transatlantic crossing is in our future!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
After many other cruises, my wife and I decided to try Princess. While the ship itself is indeed well maintained and clean, the level of service in certain areas will leave you wanting. Let's begin with the embarkation.If you ... Read More
After many other cruises, my wife and I decided to try Princess. While the ship itself is indeed well maintained and clean, the level of service in certain areas will leave you wanting. Let's begin with the embarkation.If you don't take Princess' transfers, you are left to your own devices to find your way to the ship. There are no signs or directions in Venice to help and Princess Customer Service prior to departure is of little help. There is a causeway from the Santa Lucia train station in Venice that you can use to get to the Piazza where for anywhere from 6-20 Euros a taxi will take you to the pier. There you will be able to place your luggage with cruise staff. From that point, it is fairly smooth sailing to further check in and board the ship according to a number system.Our cabin (an inside job) was very large and nice. We were pleasantly surprised. We were also most pleased with the service rendered by the cabin steward-great job Pramotebut that is de rigueur on cruise ships.There ended the pleasant surprises.We are not gourmands, but the food on the vessel was poor. Baked goods were over baked. Hot food that should have been cold and cold food that should have been hot. Desserts that were generally not sweet (with the possible exception of a chocolate-type cake/pie) and dry and cooks that came from the School of, "Let's Make This Look As Froo Froo As Possible So That People Will Think It Is Good of Cooking." Service in the Lido deck for breakfast or lunch was spotty at best; try to get coffee or ice tea...After a awhile, pizza and/or a cheeseburger became our lunch meal.Entertainment: The comedians were good. Billy Vader was very funny as were the others. The shows in the Princess Theater were also good. However, the rest was designed for a much older audience. The piano bar was pathetic. The other acts like Chucky the Duck were so stupid as to be insulting. Club Fusion was mildly entertaining. Our cruise director, James Ibrahim was a joke; not very funny, very good or very creative; kept using a variation of the same schtick!While many cruise ships "sell," Princess practices this incessantly!! Constantly!! Not just with the jewelry, but with the pictures and excursions and the pictures and the wines and the water and the pictures and the wine and the...anyway, you get the picture. It is oppressive!The ports of call are great. What could be bad about the Greek Isles, Venice, Italy & Ephesus? Some beautiful scenery and absolute antiquity that you can experience and relive. It would be nice if Princess didn't charge to get you into town in some stops like Venice...pretty chintzy, Princess!!!!But the worst of all was our disembarkation in Rome (CIVITAVECCHIA). It was a cluster!! While the rain didn't help, Princess just plopped the luggage in rows under some leaky tents in puddles of water with no signs. After a short while you figured it out but it would have been nice if they had some help available. Also, there was supposed to be a free shuttle from the pier to the gate but once again, no sign or direction of where these shuttles might be. You had to figure it out and there were two different areas where shuttles were parking. Bad planning for a cruise line that has this much experience!!Lastly, a word of caution: my wife and I are in our early 50s.For those of you looking for a younger crowd this (and I understand Princess in general) cruise won't be it. Looking around at our fellow passengers, I'd say that 80% were age 65 and greater. I take no issue with that, just stating a fact. That age demographic could explain the Princess Experience.I know that while generally we had a nice time, we could not recommend Princess nor would we set sail on another Princess ship.  Read Less
Sail Date June 2009
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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