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Old October 25th, 2010, 09:14 PM
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Default What I thought of the Ruby Princess

Just returned from a 16 day cruise on the Ruby Princess. We found it to be one of the worst ships we have cruise on. The design of the ship is terrible with no way to travel around the ship easy.
The food was tasteless and the Horizon Buffet should be avoided at all cost if you want good hot food. Tried breakfast three morning to cold eggs, bacon and link sausage.
The dining room fared better but again the food had little flavor.
The staff is excellent and the productions shows were good but only three production shows on the 16 day cruise. The other shows were comedians, singers etc that should have stayed in the smaller clubs on board. They were good but in the big theatre would have ejoyed more production shows as on other cruises.
The stateroom was much larger than with more storage space than NCL.
Still the best Cruises we have been on still belong to Holland American Lines.So far they can not be beaten.
The ports of call were good and all the shore tours thru Princess were excellent with the exception of the Easy Rome Tour as it contained no Photo stops only from the windows of the bus plus only 45 mins at St Peters Square, no time to do anything. So avoid that tour and take one of the others
Two people were left ashore in Rome and caught up with the ship in Cannes but four left in the Azores had to find their own way home.
So always book the ships tours and not tours on your own.
Next cruise is next year to the Baltic ..this time on NCL.
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Old October 25th, 2010, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Tom View Post
Just returned from a 16 day cruise on the Ruby Princess. We found it to be one of the worst ships we have cruise on. The design of the ship is terrible with no way to travel around the ship easy.
The food was tasteless and the Horizon Buffet should be avoided at all cost if you want good hot food. Tried breakfast three morning to cold eggs, bacon and link sausage.
The dining room fared better but again the food had little flavor.
The staff is excellent and the productions shows were good but only three production shows on the 16 day cruise. The other shows were comedians, singers etc that should have stayed in the smaller clubs on board. They were good but in the big theatre would have ejoyed more production shows as on other cruises.
The stateroom was much larger than with more storage space than NCL.
Still the best Cruises we have been on still belong to Holland American Lines.So far they can not be beaten.
The ports of call were good and all the shore tours thru Princess were excellent with the exception of the Easy Rome Tour as it contained no Photo stops only from the windows of the bus plus only 45 mins at St Peters Square, no time to do anything. So avoid that tour and take one of the others
Two people were left ashore in Rome and caught up with the ship in Cannes but four left in the Azores had to find their own way home.
So always book the ships tours and not tours on your own.
Next cruise is next year to the Baltic ..this time on NCL.
Princess is our favorite cruiseline and the Ruby is our favorite ship (and her sister the Crown). We just got back from a trip to Hawaii, and I have to admit I think Princess is slipping regarding the food. We had a problem with it not being hot, and in my survey I told them. Even the Chef's Table was not up to par. Wonder what's going on?
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Old October 25th, 2010, 10:21 PM
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Hi Tom,
I have to agree with you on the layout, if Ruby is like Star and Golden, they take some getting used to moving around the ship. Just not a good flow, but once you get the hang of it, not too bad.
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Old October 26th, 2010, 12:57 PM
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Princess used to be my fav line, but after being on the Emerald in May - the food and wait staff in the main dining room were awful. I always use the comment cards for positive experiences, but this was the first time I gave negative coments.

My previous cruises on the Caribbean Princess, Diamond Princess and Crown Princess were all great - that is why the Emerald was such a disappointment.

Maybe Princess is heading down hill?
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Old October 26th, 2010, 01:51 PM
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We're on Ruby next week, I'll post a full review when we get back. It'll be our 9th Princess Cruise.
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Old October 27th, 2010, 08:37 PM
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Like to hear what you think...seems like it is not only me that think Princess is not up to par. But I hope your cruise is great and the food better. My cruise was a long one so maybe that was part of the problem with the dining rooms.
Have fun and enjoy the sun and sand.
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Old October 29th, 2010, 12:27 AM
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I don't think Princess is going downhill. The food on the Crown was much better than the Solstice imo. I've read some negative reviews on here and now cruise critic. It seems all the cruise lines are dealing with cutting corners in some aspect. Many reviews on the Celebrity Summit talk about food going downhill. Also the reviews on the Independence of the Seas have been lower than usual. It seems all the major lines are cutting corners. Princess is one of top favorite lines and I am sure if there is an issue it will be corrected. I don't think they are alone. My last experience on the Solstice was far below standards set by previous cruises. Cruise lines struggle at times and it is to be expected. Changes are made some good and some bad. I do not understand when a few negative reviews come back people tend to believe the entire cruise line is going downhill.
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Old October 29th, 2010, 12:35 PM
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That's because you liked the food and service. If your previous Princess cruises were great, then you went on one that had bad service and or bad food its logical to think the line may be going down hill.
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Old October 30th, 2010, 12:00 AM
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Princess has been our line of choice. I guess we have been lucky,, because we have never had bad food or service. I truly hope they are not going downhill. I know some lines are cutting back, but at the risk of losing customers makes for negative reviews.
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Old October 31st, 2010, 08:34 PM
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We have been on Princess 3 times and all have been very good and one was great. I wonder if it is that the crew has been on the ship for a very long time and they just get worn out making everyday a special day for everybody.
We all have a bad day, maybe they just have a bad time of the year. Just thinking out loud???
We are on the Diamond next June to Alaska, Hope I'm right!
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Old November 4th, 2010, 12:51 PM
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We too, have always enjoyed our Princess cruises. We've done many of the other Princess ships, but haven't done "Ruby" but, and are sailing her Jan. 30th. I too, will give y'all my honest impression upon our return. Thanks for your posts, and opinion.

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Old November 4th, 2010, 07:16 PM
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I don't it's logical. If it's repetitive I can understand but clearly I think all cruise lines are experiencing growing pains. The market is growing and competition is getting fiercer. I am not a picky eater and yes some cruises are better than others but it seems some (not anyone here) reviewers go on cruises looking for anything negative. Read cruise critic, I rarely take any reviews on that site seriously anymore. There is so much negativity, frankly it's sad. For me to give a cruise one star, the boat would have to sink. I was very satisfied with my dining experience on the Crown Princess. I enjoyed the food on the Solstice, but the service and half eaten dessert were enough to keep me away for a while. If there are dining issues, send a certified letter to Princess. They will address the issue.
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Old November 4th, 2010, 07:58 PM
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Google "Celebrity Food Slipping" and do it for every cruise line. You will find articles all over the internet directed at every cruise line criticizing the food.

celebrity cruises food slipping - Yahoo! Search Results

This is just example. Food is subjective and sometimes we allow ourselves to get overwhelmed by previous experiences and fail to realize how good cruising still is.
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Old November 5th, 2010, 05:13 PM
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Ryan,
You are so right, too much thinking on just food, cruising is more than just food. I've had some meals I wasn't crazy about while others have been excellent and on all different cruiselines.
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Old November 5th, 2010, 07:34 PM
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Ryan,
You are so right, too much thinking on just food, cruising is more than just food. I've had some meals I wasn't crazy about while others have been excellent and on all different cruiselines.
I have to enhance Donna's reply. We can criticize anything on our cruise(s).

The overall experience is what I go for. Was it worth the money? Did I enjoy myself? Would I do it again?

So far... Heck ya!!!
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Old November 5th, 2010, 07:41 PM
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Donna,

I was on the NCL Jewel and got really sick from the food. Yet, I still would not give it a one star out of five. I read reviews on cruise critic and it seems lots of reviewers have nothing good to say. Yet you read other reviews that are polar opposite. We dwell on negativity instead of seeing the positive of the cruise. I read professional reviews and take them a lot more serious than reader reviews. I say this because many reader reviews allow their own bias stand in the way of an honest review. For example, many reviewers begin by saying how they were told Princess was a step above RCI. Then they blast princess their entire review because it was not the same as RCI. People become attached to brand loyalty and fail to recognize every cruise line has something nice to offer. I have sailed on most mainstream cruise lines and have found everyone unique. I have my favorites but still enjoyed every cruise I've been on.

As far as food is concerned, I would say there is at least one meal on every cruise I dislike. I tend to try different things. But I have never had a meal that was not edible. Although the food on NCL was not up to par without lines, I still found things on board I loved. We ate on the MSC Poesia for a tour and the appetizers were good, the soups were awesome but the steaks were not as good as I expected. But they were still edible. I guess when I am on vacation I have fun regardless of the situation.

I can usually overcome most issues, with the exception of a rude rowdy crowd. Have a good weekend!!
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Old November 5th, 2010, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by worthew8 View Post
I have to enhance Donna's reply. We can criticize anything on our cruise(s).

The overall experience is what I go for. Was it worth the money? Did I enjoy myself? Would I do it again?

So far... Heck ya!!!
So true! And so far I agree, any cruise is better than being at home!!!
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 06:05 PM
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Ok, i'm back from our 7 days on Ruby. We had a great time. I agree with you on the ships design, but it didn't really take long to remember to go to the centre elevators for the dining rooms. Horizon Court can be a mess... especially around the salad bar. All they needed to do was move the lettuce! it was placed with the dressings. So everyone was getting their lettuce, doubling back to the other station to get theri toppings, then back where the lettuce was to get their dressing. Bad set up.

We found the hot food to be just fine in the horizon court but usually ended up getting the breakfast sandwiches from the International Cafe as they were certainly the best and made fresh right in front of you.

We ate in the dining room 3 nights... the food went from very good to so/so as did the service...never really bad but you could tell one night the poor waiter was rushed off his feet.

Overall we had great time and wouldn't hesitate to sail her again.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
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Just returned from a 16 day cruise on the Ruby Princess. We found it to be one of the worst ships we have cruise on. The design of the ship is terrible with no way to travel around the ship easy.
This is definitely true of many ships these days. Dining room access is, for some reason, particularly bad.

Quote:
The food was tasteless and the Horizon Buffet should be avoided at all cost if you want good hot food. Tried breakfast three morning to cold eggs, bacon and link sausage.
This is a problem we have never had on any Princess ship. If it is true it is a definite exception.

Quote:
The dining room fared better but again the food had little flavor.
Well, that is why there are condiments on the table, isn't it? Some people complain about over seasoned food.

Quote:
The staff is excellent and the productions shows were good but only three production shows on the 16 day cruise. The other shows were comedians, singers etc that should have stayed in the smaller clubs on board. They were good but in the big theatre would have ejoyed more production shows as on other cruises.
Well, how many times can you watch the same cast dance in the same theater and try to find something new? Personally we like the variety of shows and usually there are some very good magicians, comedians, musicians and so on that make a change of pace from sing, sing, dance, dance.

Quote:
The stateroom was much larger than with more storage space than NCL.
My broom closet is larger than cabins on NCL.

Quote:
Still the best Cruises we have been on still belong to Holland American Lines.So far they can not be beaten.
HAL remains tied with Princess as our two favorites!

Quote:
The ports of call were good and all the shore tours thru Princess were excellent with the exception of the Easy Rome Tour as it contained no Photo stops only from the windows of the bus plus only 45 mins at St Peters Square, no time to do anything. So avoid that tour and take one of the others
Being slightly mobility limited, I frequently take the "EZ" tours. Taking pictures through the window is exactly what I want. Being left in St. Peter's square to lean on my cane for 45 minutes would bother me. Normally the descriptions of the ship's excursions are VERY exact about specifying exactly where you will stop and tour and when you will just "see" or "pass."

Quote:
Two people were left ashore in Rome and caught up with the ship in Cannes but four left in the Azores had to find their own way home.
So always book the ships tours and not tours on your own.
Next cruise is next year to the Baltic ..this time on NCL.
This is much debated, of course. We have taken many ship's tours in Europe and other countries, and we have taken many independent tours. In all of those independent tours, there were three occasions where we rushed back to the ship at the last minute. Once we were the very last passengers up as they raised the gangplank behind us. Each one of those cases was when we booked a "flyer" with an unknown and unrecommended guide because it was a small port with little infrastructure, or because the "standard" tour operators did not do exactly what we wanted.

But when we have chosen a well-recommended professional operator, spent time developing the tour with them, and been careful to let them know our needs, we have never had any kind of problem. Reputable operators know that getting you back to the ship ON TIME is their number one responsibility.

I know you will enjoy the Baltic. St. Petersburg is a place where independent operators are HIGHLY recommended. Check out our trip report and pictures at http://www.bully4.us/baltic.html

Have a GREAT cruise!
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Old December 6th, 2010, 06:01 PM
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I see that you mentioned HAL is the best, in your opinion. Mine too. I am new here...if you have any cruise lines that you would recommend as coming close to HAL, I'd love to hear your input. I am interested in trying a new line...thank you!
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Old December 7th, 2010, 11:35 AM
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I see that you mentioned HAL is the best, in your opinion. Mine too. I am new here...if you have any cruise lines that you would recommend as coming close to HAL, I'd love to hear your input. I am interested in trying a new line...thank you!
It's funny how our perspectives on cruise lines can be so different. After cruising 5 different lines, HAL would be next to the bottom on my list.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 02:08 PM
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We were on this same cruise in Oct. and it was our fourth cruise on the Ruby and have since done a Thanksgiving cruise on her. We love the Ruby. I have always thought the food on her has been good to excellent. We only do the Horizon Court occasionally, but we would never miss the curries in Cafe Caribe.

As for the shows, we had seen the opera singer that was aboard before on the Sea Princess. We were delighted that she was on the Ruby. As for the other shows, we didn't go to any. It just isn't our thing. We can keep ourselves entertained and we do. Just watching the other guests is enough entertainment for me.

Don't care for Sam, the CD, but the CD does not make or break a cruise for us. I loved James Lay, though. Too bad he retired.
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Old December 18th, 2010, 03:23 PM
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We just got off the Ruby on December 12th and had a fantastic time. The food was excellent as was the service on board. The weather was so so, but obviously not Princess' fault.

Entertainment was fine with two productions shows offered on this 7 night cruise.

We leave for the Grand Princess on January 17th for a 14 night cruise and look forward to another wonderful cruise in warm weather.

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Old December 21st, 2010, 02:57 PM
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We just got off the Ruby on December 12th and had a fantastic time. The food was excellent as was the service on board. The weather was so so, but obviously not Princess' fault.

Entertainment was fine with two productions shows offered on this 7 night cruise.

We leave for the Grand Princess on January 17th for a 14 night cruise and look forward to another wonderful cruise in warm weather.

Ken & Nancy
Not to knock the Grand Princess but after you've been on the Ruby don't be to disappointed from what you'll find on the Grand. The Ruby has some of the best cooks of all the Princess ships while the Grand is OK but not up to the Ruby standards by any means. There are lots of little problems on the Grand that don't exist on the Ruby like AC not working that good in some of the cabins & working overtime in the Fusion lounge. (bring a coat or blanket if you want to see a movie)
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Old December 21st, 2010, 07:28 PM
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I thought they supplied blankets for watching movies under the stars??? No?
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Old December 21st, 2010, 08:00 PM
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I thought they supplied blankets for watching movies under the stars??? No?
I remember being in the pool watching MUTS...didn't need a coat or blanket then...???
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Old December 21st, 2010, 09:03 PM
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In most cases it is nice and warm, but not always the case. I was one one cruise comming in from Nassau and it was freezing, in the 50's and windy, so you never know.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 11:57 AM
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I thought they supplied blankets for watching movies under the stars??? No?
They do and they warm them before they give them to you. I had two watching Sunday night football coming out of Ft. Lauderdale as it was a little chilly. They keep them heated.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 08:33 PM
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Thanks Tackypup,
That is what I thought, but I didn't know they heat the blankets up, how nice...

Thanks for the reply, I just knew there wasn't a need to pack a blanket for that.
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Old January 12th, 2011, 05:29 PM
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This thread is a great example of why I love cruising--respectful responses, intelligent differences of opinions. Cruisers are the best! Which is why my motto remains, "Any cruise is better than no cruise."
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