63 Venice to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Princess Ruby Princess Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
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
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
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
Accommodation- We had a lovely balcony room on the 14th Floor- R620- this spacious room had more than adequate storage space for suitcases under the bed and a huge walk in wardrobe area with plenty of hanging space for clothes. This floor ... Read More
Accommodation- We had a lovely balcony room on the 14th Floor- R620- this spacious room had more than adequate storage space for suitcases under the bed and a huge walk in wardrobe area with plenty of hanging space for clothes. This floor was great as the buffet and main pool were only one floor up. The bathroom, like on most ships, is very compact- the running joke on the cruise was ‘what happens when you slip over in the shower? - nothing, you can’t go anywhere’. We never had any issues with water temperature or pressure. There was also a handy drying line in the shower where you could hand up any clothes you had washed by hand. My word of advice is that if you like to use a hairdryer to blow dry your hair make sure you BRING YOUR OWN! The hairdryer in the room is useless, it was easier for me to sit on the balcony and let my hair dry naturally, this was quicker than using the world’s slowest hairdryer! We were only woken up a couple of mornings by people moving around the sunbeds on the deck above us- but never heard any other noise. I was glad we were not further down the corridor toward the laundry room- there seemed to be an unpleasant ‘smell’ from a cupboard which I can only imagine was to do with the toilets- it wasn’t pleasant and was there for the majority of the stay, I don’t know if anything could be smelt in the rooms in that area though. Our balcony was spacious and being the top deck meant that no one was overlooking us which we liked, we however could see down into everyone’s balcony’s (I think people forget this and we did spot a lot of people in their underwear!) The sail was exceptionally calm- and we could only feel the ocean on one occasion- a very smooth passage indeed. Food We dined in the Botticelli dining room on a late sitting- we had a fantastic table of 8 people and I have to say we had such a great time- a lovely mix of people and the evening always went very quickly as we were chatting all night. Our waiter Tarra was fantastic- very funny and knowledgeable on the menu, he would go out of his way to ensure that everyone on the table was having a good time and enjoying their food. There was always a good selection of things on the menu, however I found that the menu was very fish heavy, which was great for me but no so good for my partner who can’t eat it, but he always found something on the menu. They tried to be very adventurous and on some occasions they combinations were very odd. The Medallions of beef on the everyday menu was very good and if the Duck in plum sauce comes up on your cruise ORDER IT- it was delicious. Our main complaint is that when the food arrives it was never very hot; it was always cooked but never as hot as I would want it. We ate lunch and breakfast in the buffet- there was always a varied choice- my partner was raving about their mash potato, he couldn’t get enough of it. The pizza in the outdoor café was delicious, I definitely advise you go and get some. Entertainment The entertainment on the Ruby was varied. Some days it was fantastic and some days I wished we could have walked out. The comedians Alfred and Seymour were incredible! Like nothing I have seen before. Just make sure you don’t sit near the front, you are not late, and you don’t walk out before the end, else you will be pulled up on stage! For those in the audience who were watching it was hilarious. Its prob not to everyone’s taste though. http://www.alfredandseymour.us/aboutbsb.html The final show- ‘Once upon a dream’- was very good. The staging was very technical with huge projectors and the costumes were fantastic, definitely a highlight. There were always plenty of activities to join in with on board and people seemed to be having a great time (we are more observers than joiners in) but we did feel that things got very quiet after 11 which was a shame, most of the bars were empty and we had to go to the Skywalkers night club to find some people! Destinations We did most of the ports ourselves (having been to a lot of them on a previous cruise)- here is some of my tips for the ports that we visited that I believe you can do yourself if you are willing to get out of bed early! The library on board also had lots of excellent travel books you can take out which helped for some ports. Athens- Once you exit the ship in the port of Piraeus all you need to do is to exit of the port gates and follow the road left- you will soon see a sign for the big red/Blue hop on/hop off buses- the blue line will take you straight from the port of Piraeus into Athens, you can then get the red line for 1.5 hour tour of Athens. http://www.city-sightseeing.com/tours/greece/athens.htm This total cost for the ticket for the red and blue line was €20- the timetable is extensive and we always found it ran on time. There is a bus every 30 minutes and you can get on and off as many times through the course of 24hours as you want. My only advice is that if you are travelling in the afternoon make sure you take something to sit on on the top deck- the plastic seats get unbelievably hot (I have learnt from my mistakes) Corfu- We took the local bus into Corfu old town and navigated the city ourselves- I would say go to the old fort- it is quite walk but the views from the top are amazing. We walked back to the ship- it only took us 20minutes. Santorini- There are lots of messages in forums about this place- and I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to do this destination. If you take one of the organised tours you avoid having to go on the cable card or up on the donkeys. We decided to do Santorini ourselves. We left the ship at 8.15 and at this time there was no queue for the cable cars. We then walked to the bus station, about 5 minutes away out of town, and took the bus to OIA, this place is a must. The buses run every 30minutes and go directly there, we were lucky and got a seat both there and back. The ticket was €1.60, you could not buy a return so had to purchase on the bus. The buses were air-conditioned and comfortable. The queue back down for the cable car at 3.30 was 1.5 hours! This wait was tedious especially in the hot sun. We wished we had walked back down but had heard it was dangerous with all the donkeys using the same path. Katakolon (for Olympia) We used local transport for this again. There was a train but we missed the first and didn’t fancy waiting in the sun, so we used a coach tour that was advertised as soon as you get off the ship- this cost us €10 each and took us straight to Olympia- they gave you 2.5 hours here and this was plenty of time to go and see Olympia and the museum- total cost for dual entry was €8. Mykonos We used local transport again. DON’T WALK TO TOWN- the road was dangerous and had no footpath, the cruise put on a shuttle bus which cost €7 return- but you had to buy your tickets from reception before you left the ship. We eventually found the main bus depot, after asking several locals, and took a bus to the beach to Platis Gialos - cost was €1.60 for this- these ran about every 45minutes and soon filled up so I would advise you go early. We had friends who went on the beach shuttle from the cruise ship and this cost them $38 and they had to leave for 8am and were back by midday! So we saved a lot of money doing this ourselves. The beach was very clean and had lots of lovely beach bars and restaurants. It cost us €10 for the day to hire two very comfortable sunbeds and an umbrella. Be careful, some of the beaches are nudist only so do some research- I heard great things about Paradise beach and saw a local bus going right from near where the shuttle bus drops you off so no need to walk through town, buses here are very frequent too. NEWS FLASH- something I found out through experience, the sea is cold in Mykonos! Be prepared! Make sure you try and track down Petros the local Pelican- he is amazing and so friendly! All in all we had a wonderful time on the Ruby and couldn’t actually find very much to complain about at all. If people are hesitant about going because they are worried a cruise might be too ‘old’ for them, we are in our mid 20’s and had a great time. We had fun on the open deck party which went onto until 1am and you could always dance the night away in Skywalkers so there was always somewhere to party late and we made some great friends who we could always drag out for late night drinks after the show! This cruise was very port intensive but it was amazing to see so many places! we were certainly exhausted by the end of it but have come away with amazing memories and some excellent photos!   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
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
We thought the whole trip was wonderful. Couple of things that we were irritated by. I'll explain as i go along. The balcony stateroom was perfect Deck 12 Aloha. Plenty of space for everything. We decided before we booked the trip ... Read More
We thought the whole trip was wonderful. Couple of things that we were irritated by. I'll explain as i go along. The balcony stateroom was perfect Deck 12 Aloha. Plenty of space for everything. We decided before we booked the trip that it was going to be a complete chill out vacation. And thats what we did. We had already been to some of the cities before on the itinary, and so were happy just to either stroll around or do our own thing. Most of the tours are over priced we think, but we already knew that, as we have cruised before.The weather really had a lot to do with our excursions. It was unbearably hot. It was predicted 97 degrees it could have been hotter than that. We were wilting after 5 minutes. Also we did not fancy getting up early and meeting the tour operator at 7am. We were meant to be on holiday. I did not want to set the alarm. We opted not to eat in the formal dining rooms at all. Our theory was, why should you have to choose from a small menu, when you can eat such a variety of foods in the self service restaurants, and you can go back for more if you wish.There was always somewhere open even late at night to get a snack. The entertainment was good. Not so much the comedy act though. The party band " Lots of fun " were brilliant. Now to the negatives. The staff were all great, but, in the self service restaurant they drove me crazy. Constantly in your space offering you " do you want this " Do you want that " then someone else comes along and goes through the same routine. I just want to eat my food in peace and quiet. I know its there job and they are told to work this way. It was hard to hold a conversation with eachother because we were interrupted all the time. We worked out that if you say yes to a glass of water, they would mostly leave you alone. I sound really grumpy dont i ?. The last thing i want to complain about are the Gratuities. Now before we booked our holiday, we told the travel agent that we do not want to pay the gratuities. We wanted to tip those people we came into contact with. We had been tipping along the way. So when we went to check our bill the day before we disembarked we were shocked to find that they had added them on. For example a Pina Colada was 6.50 dollars. During the night when they do the add ons, they put 11.50 dollars per person. I think thats shocking. When we complained at the desk, the assistant told us " well all the staff work very hard for you, and they deserve the gratuities, all the hotels around the world charge gratuities and everyone has to pay " Well let me tell you i worked two jobs to pay for this trip. Princess should pay there staff more. I felt i had been robbed of 400 dollars. They did eventually reduced the bill. It almost spoiled the whole holiday. So as soon as you get on the boat, go straight to the reception desk and get it sorted out. So we will be more aware the next time we cruise. By the way, we wern't the only ones complaining. There was a very long queue. On the whole, we loved every minute of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Cruise Critic - Ruby Princess Overall. Great Cruise. I recommend it Itinerary. Itinerary is intensive. There are only two days at sea. Port stops are from early morning until late afternoon. be ready to walk, walk, and walk. Ship ... Read More
Cruise Critic - Ruby Princess Overall. Great Cruise. I recommend it Itinerary. Itinerary is intensive. There are only two days at sea. Port stops are from early morning until late afternoon. be ready to walk, walk, and walk. Ship Facilities. Overall facility's are excellent. Gym is well equipped. Running track lap is only 1/12 of a mile. For walkers, there is another track on lower decks. Meals. Anytime dining tables for two are too close, easy to listen to the table next to you. For formal nights it is best to make reservations, or you will wait a lot. Buffet dining does not offer much Mediterranean fare. Food quality very good. No fresh fish. Tables fill easily and you end up waiting a few minutes with your food on hand for an available table. Hand sanitizing policy heavily enforced by waiters. Buffet waiter services were inconsistent. Some days they were on top of everything; in other days you had to grab a waiter to clean up the table and set it up for you. Ship activities. There are movies all over; Under the Stars, in the lounge, and in your stateroom TV. There were no Christian religious services on Sundays as previously done, only daily Bible Studies at 8:00 am when everyone is on a shore tour. The ship scheduled services for other faiths. There were get-togethers for veterans, Service Clubs, grandparents, First Responders,etc, but mostly on days when people were on shore tours. The ship also performed daily LGBT-oriented activities. Shore tours. Shore tours from Princess are costly but are very good and cover everything you pay for. For the full day in Venice, the ship will charge $15 pp for unlimited water taxi transfer from Ship to San Marco. We also booked three tours with CruisingExcursions.com for a lower cost, and in two of them the guides did not deliver everything we paid for. Weather is very hot. Wear light clothes. Travel light as you will walk for hours. Transfers to and from Ship. if you arrive to Venice airport, you can take the Alilaguna water shuttle for a few euros, but will take 75 minutes to get to San Marco. Private water taxis are way expensive, but if you come with a party, you can share the expense. For debarkation, if you can, use the walk-off option. You keep your bags for the last night and you leave the ship straIght from your cabin. If you are staying in Barcelona after the cruise, you get better off getting a taxi at the pier for ship to hotel door service. Princess charges you $21 per person to drop you off at either Plaza Espanya or Plaza Catalunya for you to roll your luggage to the hotel. Taxi fare is cheaper than that. Other Issues. You will receive paper, paper, and more paper. Everything is printed and placed in your stateroom. You end up filling out the trash can with it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
I have never cruised before and would do it again tomorrow! We always book luxury holidays and have high expectations and this cruise ship filled them all. Cruise Staff: i was surprised at how many staff were around to help you. They ... Read More
I have never cruised before and would do it again tomorrow! We always book luxury holidays and have high expectations and this cruise ship filled them all. Cruise Staff: i was surprised at how many staff were around to help you. They are extremely friendly and professional too. Room: queen size comfortable bed, large dressing area/hanging space. This room was an aft room (back of the ship) so amazing views at all times. Large private balcony which had added bonus of an extra corner, so was bigger than other stateroom balconies Food:Wow very high quality, so much choice and we had an anytime dinning which allowed us to eat anywhere at anytime. We did pay 20 dollars each to eat in Sabetinis one night, the food was delicious so well worth the extra money. Drinks : We paid for 2 drinks packages. 54 dollars for a soda package and 84 dollars * 15 dollars tax for non alcoholic cocktails and soda.these entitled us drinks anytime of the day. I was surprised that we did not feel the ship move at all as i was worried i would suffer from seasickness as i am sensitive to movement. Apparently if you do suffer, book a room in the middle of the ship to prevent this. Overall i would rate this as a five star experience and we will definitely book another cruise with princess cruises. This cruise was on the RUBY princess ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
This was my first cruise - Ruby Princess. My father treated us to a cruise for his wedding. This was definitely the way to be initiated into cruising. Transfers. As there were 8 of us converging all from around the world all at ... Read More
This was my first cruise - Ruby Princess. My father treated us to a cruise for his wedding. This was definitely the way to be initiated into cruising. Transfers. As there were 8 of us converging all from around the world all at different times. The reliability, friendliness and amount of organization was great at the airport. The only thing that could have been improved, as a first time cruiser, was maybe a quick briefing of what to expect once we arrived at the port. Embarkation. As they had decided to board by different groups, there was about a 45 minute delay in getting the journey started. I feel that more security staff to increase the rate of passengers boarding would benefit everyone! Although a little lengthy, was a good experience as all the staff were incredibly friendly and willing to assist with any questions or concerns. The Room. The room was great. My brother and I were lodging together in a balcony room closer to the aft of the ship. The room included a safe (punch code), a mini-fridge (very useful), small desk, a chair, nice balcony, and a full washroom. Amenities were included and were refreshed daily - all great (for hotel soaps and shampoos). The room was always clean and comfortable. An incredible experience. The ship itself was huge. I'm happy that the trip took 12 days as it took the first 4 just to become familiar with it. The entire ship was a palace on the water. The restaurants were the most luxurious however it was a little too much (I can take care of my own napkin on my lap, thanks!). The schedule / ports of call were amazing, although I do have to say that as the population on the cruise was more for the 50+ generation, there were very few people on board close to our ages and few activities geared to the younger generation. The staff was phenomenal. Every aspect was incredible. Rod Goodman (the cruise director who is now on the Royal Princess), was amazing as were all of his staff. Friendly, knowledgeable, and fun. The food. The food and culinary staff were exceptional. Throughout the trip, the standards never changed. Although it was a 12 day trip, and some of the fruit and produce was starting to show signs of mold, the taste and presentation was amazing. At the restaurants, the service and food was beyond compare. The steakhouse on the ship was also incredible. With many different special requests from our group, it was so well done. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
This was our family's first cruise, and everyone had a great time. We traveled as husband, wife, 14 year old daughter and 11 year old son. We flew from Boston to Rome and spent a few days in the city. From Rome we took the train ... Read More
This was our family's first cruise, and everyone had a great time. We traveled as husband, wife, 14 year old daughter and 11 year old son. We flew from Boston to Rome and spent a few days in the city. From Rome we took the train to Venice and spent two days before the start of the cruise. Venice is the most beautiful city I've ever seen and a great port to begin a cruise. The ship is very large and offers more activities than you could ever experience. Since we were traveling with children, Movies under the Stars was big part of our evening experience. Each night a different movie was offered with a showing at 7:30 and 10:30. The movies are current (e.g., Hunger Games) and the showing is on a very large screen by the pool. The pizzeria, grill, ice cream stand and buffet are close by if you want a snack during the show. Popcorn, cookies and milk are offered by the staff. My son and I also used the gym and worked out every day. The gym is first rate all the way. We also spent about an hour each day playing basketball. The courts are busy, but we usually managed to get in for some play time. We went to a handful of shows, including a four season's concert, culinary show, and magic show. The shows were very good to excellent. We were so busy and tired from our shore excursions, however, that we didn't take advantage of more shows. We had two cabins side by side with ocean balconies. We were able to connect through the balcony, so we were able to keep our family together through the entire trip. The rooms were spacious and comfortable.... Better than we expected. The air conditioning was very comfortable. Housekeeping was excellent.... We had no issues at all. The food on the ship was fantastic.... Especially the traditional dining. The breakfast buffet was very good, and fairly traditional. I'd compare it to an excellent breakfast buffet at an upscale hotel. Since we were very busy with shore excursions, we had room service most mornings and it was good and dependable. For lunch you had many choices. On sea days, we usually ate by the pool. The Pizzeria was absolutely first rate (better than the pizza in Italy) and the grill was decent (burgers and fries). We occasionally had lunch in the buffet and the food was very good. There was usually a theme (e.g., Mexican) and there we many choices. Dinner was our favorite. We LOVED the traditional dining. The meals were 4 courses and FANTASTIC. The service was as good as the food. On the outside, these meals would cost you $50 to $75 a person. We did not expect the food to be this good. We went on one private shore excursion. The remainder we did with Princess. The Princess expeditions were very good and two of them were OUTSTANDING. One was cheese tasting in Sorrento, and the other was visiting Orvieto (with a meal at the Tipica Trattoria Etrusca, a 5 start Italian restaurant). We were very pleased with the excursions. The employees on the Ruby Princess were pleasant and helpful. They were never far from your table during a meal, and the pool and bar staff deserve special mention. To sum it up, we were very satisfied with our experience. It was truly a trip of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
From the moment we boarded the ship we were delighted with the quality of the fittings and furnishings and especially the professionalism and friendliness of all the crew from our steward to the Captain. We had a stateroom with balcony ... Read More
From the moment we boarded the ship we were delighted with the quality of the fittings and furnishings and especially the professionalism and friendliness of all the crew from our steward to the Captain. We had a stateroom with balcony which was very comfortable and more than met our expectations. The food and service in the formal dining rooms Da Vinci and Michaelangelo was outstanding. The food in the self service restaurants was also excellent but a little manic at times. Two restaurants you pay an extra 25 $ per person: Sabatini's and Crown Grill. Didn't try Sabatini's but Crown Grill was awesome - steaks outstanding and waiting staff brilliant! The ship is kept immaculate all the time and the crew work extremely hard - they should be commended! The sports facilities and entertainment was outstanding. Drinks, wine and trips are expensive and Princess add 15% to all purchases. I wonder if they would sell more if they charged less..? Overall, we had a fantastic 12 days and would definitely book again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
Just arrived home from this fantastic 12 day European Cruise. It was our fifth cruise overall and for me the best ever as we saw some wonderful sights in Europe. My husband and I had an aft balcony on Baha and across the hall my teenage ... Read More
Just arrived home from this fantastic 12 day European Cruise. It was our fifth cruise overall and for me the best ever as we saw some wonderful sights in Europe. My husband and I had an aft balcony on Baha and across the hall my teenage children (age 19 an 16) shared an inside room. It was a wonderful family cruise. I definitely love having a balcony and the kids came over many times to "share" but we had gotten a great price especially for the inside room. Our trip began in Venice after a small snafu in the States. Our first leg of our flight was cancelled but Delta re booked us on new flights which worked but then one of our pieces of luggage didn't make it on our new flight. Good thing we had booked an extra day in Venice before the cruise departed. That was the only snafu we had the whole trip. Embarkation was a breeze for us as we didn't go to the ship until 8 pm (departed 8 am the next morning) no crowds just walked on the ship directly after they screened our luggage. We had spent the day in Venice on our own and had stored our luggage at our hotel. Venice was amazing. Muster drill was at 8 am and then sail-away down the Grand Canal. Beautiful! We spent the next two days at sea. We loved playing Bingo, went to a couple of trivia type games and then my husband and I went dancing. We were surprised when we went to anytime dinner early (5:45 pm) that no one was in the the dining room. On our Caribbean cruise if you didn't get there by 6 pm you had to wait. Our waiter told us that there was only 15-20% American on the ship with about 30% Spaniards and the rest were mainly Russian, English, Australian and Canadian. It seems they all liked to eat later and we did have our only long wait one night when we went at 7:20 pm (took an hour to be seated). It was a very nice and interesting experience being with such an international mix of passengers. We mixed our dining experiences between the formal and in Horizon Court (especially after long port days) I enjoyed both but was really surprised at how good the Horizon Court food was. There was a lot of variety that did well with my family of different tastes (ie very picky teenage girl). The international cafe was also fun to go and try new or several different desserts. I will post individual reviews of the ports we visited but here's a quick review as we are very DIY's and I think saved a lot of money by not doing the shore excursions and we had a great time. It did take a lot of research but I loved cruisecritic and tripadvisor. Venice: stayed on the Piazzale Roma at Hotel Olimpia: Great Location! Walked to the vaporetti and took it down the Grand Canal to St. Mark's Square. Stored our luggage on our day of embarkation and then walked to the People Mover and then to the ship. Athens: DIY. Took taxi's both ways to save time. The drivers were both very nice and although the first wanted to give us an all day tour we politely said no just drop us off at the Acropolis. We actually beat the crowds and were at the Parthenon before it was too crowded. We then walked the city and saw the many sites. Ephesus: Used Meander Travel and took a private tour for four to Ephesus, Terrace Houses and House of Virgin Mary. Hakan our guide (he was an actual archaeologist that was part of the excavating team in the winter in Ephesus) and his driver picked us up at the dock and whisked us away for a 5 hour excursions. His knowledge was phenomenal. Istanbul: DIY We let the ship and took the very easy Metro to Topaki Palace where I had already bought tickets to the museum and Harem. Again were there before the crowds. We then went to Hagia Sophia (pre-bought tickets online) and then to the Blue Mosque. A huge rainstorm hit on our way to the Grand Bazaar so we were drenched. I didn't care for it as it was crowded and the merchants were a little too pushy for my tastes. Easy to jump back on metro to the ship. Mykonos: DIY Our kids had signed up for the ship's excursion to Delos but it was canceled so they went with us and we just went to a local beach and then walked the narrow streets and took pictures and shopped. I loved the shopping! Found some neat handmade jewelry (25-30 euro) Naples: Used Rome in Limo with driver Stefano. He picked us up in front of ship and took us to Pompeii where we had a private guide. We avoided the crowds and saw so much. He then took us down the Amalfi Coast line to eat lunch in Sorrento (Wonderful Pizza) and then a quick stop in Positano. Rome: Used Rome in Limo with driver Francesco. Again picked us up in front of ship and took us to the Vatican where we again had a private guide: Praeda. She was fantastic and again we beat the crowds and had an almost empty hallway (map Gallery and Tapestries) leading to the Sistine Chapel. She said it's usually wall to wall. It was very beautiful. We also saw St. Peter's Basilica before heading to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and then Piazza Navona. It was 104 degrees that day and we were so glad to be driven place to place in air condition. RIL is awesome! Florence/Pisa: Used Rome in Limo with driver Elizabeth. She was so energetic. We were off first thing to Pisa where I had booked tickets in advance to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was so unique. We were then off to the Academia in Florence to see Michelangelo's Statue of David. Simply stunning! and then we toured Florence and on the way out of the city she drove us to a beautiful place on top of a hill for us to really see the Tuscany landscape. It was everything I had dreamed it would be. Beautiful old villa looking over golden rolling hills of vineyards and olive trees. Breathtaking! Rome in Limo gave us three days of superb service Monte Carlo: Just walked around. Enjoyed the port . Overall, great cruise! Great service, sites and loved the family time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
Having just returned from the Grand Mediterranean cruise from 5 -- 17 July, as a first time cruiser, I make the following comments. First piece of advice to give a first time cruiser is "Don't take any notice of the depressing ... Read More
Having just returned from the Grand Mediterranean cruise from 5 -- 17 July, as a first time cruiser, I make the following comments. First piece of advice to give a first time cruiser is "Don't take any notice of the depressing advice given by experienced cruisers". After reading their advice I would have happily cancelled my cruise as I was so put off it by their comments. Forget the excursions! Overpriced rip offs in most cases and if the weather is hot (as it usually is in the Mediterranean you will be obliged to wait for the others many times, not be able to take a break for a coffee or a sit down without losing the group probably be out earlier in the morning and later in the evening than you should be on a holiday. One lady even said that after the cruise she would need a holiday to get over it. People were getting up at 5.00am to leave the ship at 7.00 and not getting back until 6.00 at night, all in 102f heat! Better still, do it yourself. Take Civitavecchia, take the ships free shuttle to a few hundred yards of the main railway station, buy a return to Rome on the 9.19am train and get into your air-conditioned reserved seat to travel to the Termini station. Cost €21 return. Then take the Metro, a new superb system two stops to the Coliseum where EU nationals under 18 or over 18 with photographic proof of age (Passport or driving licence) get in free. (Many national monuments run the same system so saving about €12 each time) After the Coliseum take the metro back to the Termini and then two stops more to the Trevi fountain. Pausing to stop for coffee and watch the world go by. Buses, trains, trams and even water buses are cheap and plentiful and most are air-conditioned. Beware of Kusadasi - it's a free for all rip off land! To me the trip was wonderful, as they say "Escape Completely" and you do. It was a wonderland of superb service (A bit overdone by the waiters perhaps) wonderful food and superb dining. Take the "Anytime Dining" and you will meet the most cosmopolitan crowd of people, different every night unless you want to join them again. Don't even try to see all the sights but pace yourself so you ENJOY IT! Remember, you are on holiday -- not on a travelator that never stops. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
Day 1: Embarkation. Embarkation was supposed to run from around afternoon to overnight. I arrived with my group around 6pm. The security and staff of Princess made us wait at the side for 1-2 hours because we had not embarked earlier. ... Read More
Day 1: Embarkation. Embarkation was supposed to run from around afternoon to overnight. I arrived with my group around 6pm. The security and staff of Princess made us wait at the side for 1-2 hours because we had not embarked earlier. Completely ridiculous customer service. Once we passed security, the checking in was slow and the staff was inexperienced. Staff and food. The staff on Ruby Princess always wanted to pick up a fight with passengers. The buffet was inconvenient on Princess, as the staff wanted to create only one entrance and one exit so as to make it hard to get into the buffet, unlike on Royal Caribbean where there are multiple entrances and entrances and exits aren't separated. The lunch food at the buffet was terrible. The buffet was also closed a lot of the time and is closed very early each night. On Carnival and Royal Caribbean, the buffets are open 24 hours. The only food place open 24 hours on Princess is the International Cafe where you can get drinks and sandwiches. Lame. Crew members were reluctant to become friendly with passengers, unlike on Carnival and Royal Caribbean, crew staff always wanted to hang out and get to know the passengers. Room cleaners did not say hi when passengers walked passed them. Waiters were not very exciting. There were a couple of good staff, like one waiter who was always enthusiastic in Michelangelo, but that was it. The experience and events. It always felt like Ruby Princess just wanted to make more and more money. Almost nothing was free. Prizes for winning competitions, game shows and pool events were extremely lame, such as photos of people from last year's cruise and keychains. On Carnival and Royal Caribbean, bottles of champagne and trophies of their ships were given out to each winner. The events on Ruby Princess need work; they lack appropriate use of modern technology; the game shows didn't show a record of each team's points, etc. The staff continuously wanted to encourage passengers to spend more and more money, which definitely did not provide a good cruise experience. The teens over 17 years old on the ship also had basically nothing to do. The staff was very rude with them and did not give them anywhere to go. The teen lounge was threatened all the teens over 17 years old to stay away from the lounge. The Nightclub did not offer the teens a solution, as not many people their age went to the club - their friends under 18 years old could not enter, which caused them problems. I am saying this from a 33 year old's point of view. These kids had nowhere to go. All they could do was roam around in the back of the ship or somewhere. The cruise ship shows were also terrible and lacked content. I fell asleep each time I went to a show. The magic show was also nothing compared to the ones I've seen on other cruiselines. The people. The Ruby Princess itself was terrible. The fellow passengers I met were incredible though. People from all over the world were on the ship and I made about 100 new friends. Great people. The destinations. It was awesome to be able to visit so many different places in Europe, especially because I've never been to Europe before. The cruise tours were not surprisingly intended to just make Princess more money. I only went with the cruise tours once, but on my Kusadasi tour, my private tourguide was talking about the history and significance of each artifact and part of the ruins we went to, while a cruise tourguide was telling her group, "look over there - there's an apricot tree!" If you plan on going on a European cruise, don't go with the cruise tours, as they cost over double the money needed. The private tours provide you with private vans or buses depending on the size of your group, plus renowned tourguides. My tourguide in Kusadasi has given tours to people like the head of NYU's history department. 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
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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