Ruby Princess Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

Contributor Level: Third Mate

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

2 out of 5

Great itinerary, but not fond of the Ruby Princess

Sail Date: July 19, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

This was our 1st time on Princess and we'd heard that everything was supposed to be "a cut-above" other lines.  We didn't find that to be true at all, except for the food at dinner (Nomer and Francisco were great wait staff) was better.  We also enjoyed Jules the Naturalist.  Princess' way of doing activities and food service was too formal and inefficient.  Having popular events in venues that were too small was frustrating.  Ship felt crowded compared to other cruises we've taken.  No open access to buffet? Dance party in Piazza where only 50 people can fit, with only standing room on the staircases?  Frustrating.  1 comedian and only 1 showing for 3000 passengers? Funny stuff like no ketchup allowed on tables, not being able to pour your own, clean silverware every course, Champagne fountain for photos where ALL the champagne is poured out and thrown away? Also mattress was rock hard.  Classical music all the time --more formal than fun; and inattentive or limited wait staff at pools or bars. Prefer Carnival and RCCL 

Food and Dining
Dinner food was great in dining rooms, but buffet a disappointment because there wasn't open access to the food or food stations like you see on other ships. You had to wait in long lines for single access to enter, so mostly we wait "sit down" even for breakfast and lunch. Burgers on pool deck were awful. Not Guys for sure.
Service and Staff
Wait staff was friendly, but didn't like doing things outside of norms like when we requested a change of table or side dish because of allergy; seemed overworked/too busy to chat most times; too busy changing silverware; Disappointed Cabin Stewards receive NO base salary only $1.80/day/pp and no benefits OFF ship for family; 2 months off without pay mandatory between contracts, so disappointed in poor pay for Princess. Very limited pool or bar staff to serve drinks or clean up.
Nightly "shows" and music onboard was either for the over 70 crowd or mediocre. One show was like a Lawrence Welk episode, another a little girls nightmare; comedian Steve Moris was great, but only 1 performance and venue only held 1000 on ship of 3000? Could have heard him every night. Bands not great; no piano bar for singing; DJ was fun so did lots of dancing in skywalkers only place alive after 9. Best thing was the Naturalist onboard who did "classes" about the area, but frustrating couldn't hear him in cabin or on balconies only if up on deck with him.
Onboard Activities
Venues were too small for the events; Marriage Game in small lounge? All major events in Piazza that holds 50, so everyone standing on stairs at railings, 2-3 deep craning necks to see, most frustrated and gave up; walkways crowded alot; No pool games or activities; outdoor movie screen was muted all day so you couldn't even hear "live concerts" being displayed; too cold for night movies; 4-6 stations total for photo shoots on formal nights made for huge lines;
Destinations and Excursions
High marks for the destinations but not really related to Princess. We booked all our excursions independent of Princess and saved over $300 for the same excursions. Highly recommend "Deadliest Catch" tour, Coastal Helicopters, and White Pass/Yukon train. Tracy Arm was "okay" but only 5-9 AM so had to set alarm and endure outside temps to see anything or hear naturalist; few icebergs, mountains a lot like WA State; didn't get up to glacier to see at all, not like pictures of glacier bay.
Ship Quality
15 levels was alot, got tiring quickly [we're in our mid-50's] going from Lido (15) to Promenade (7) to dinner (4). Felt crowded around Piazza all the time; elevators crowded and slow; hallways so narrow only single-file walking; Ship was pretty but nothing special and in some ways pretentious as well; biggest complaint was venues were too small for events held for people wanting to participate. Missed several things because no seating. Small pools/decks, but extended balcony in room was nice.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Did the "Bon Voyage Experience" with friends and got to board several hours earlier without lines or waiting and also got a tour of the ship, lunch, nice. very nice but cost our friends $39.99 ea. "Faster to the Fun" on Carnival only $49/cabin. Did get on faster. Got off later as well, and hired porter to handle luggage at disembarkation and he took bags straight out and we walked straight to Customs and were out fast, no wait which was great. Will do that again!
Cabin / Stateroom
Location was okay; Room has extended balcony, very nice! Heard the beds were rock-hard and they were right; Pre-cruise requested an extra pad with Princess; got a thin mattress cover (no help); had to request an additional foam pad, difficult/out of the ordinary for our cabin steward, but he found one. A+ for him. Bathroom door/closet across from each other so can't exit bathroom if anyone in closet. No couch, missed that. Been in nicer balcony rooms. Narrow, only 2 feet to get between wall and bed. Nice bathroom.
Seattle, Washington
Love our city!
Ketchikan, Alaska
Interesting to walk thru, but not much to it; "Deadliest Catch" tour was great.
Cruise Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska
Set alarm, dress warm like for skiing, go up on pool deck for best view and to hear Naturalist, from 5-8 AM viewing. Next time we'd take separate boat to glacier to get up closer.
Juneau, Alaska
Didn't spend much time in town, did Coastal Helicopter to top of Herbert Glacier and dog sled with extra landing which was amazing!
Skagway, Alaska
White Pass/Yukon train was great, lunch tasty, and bus ride back a great time.
Victoria, British Columbia
We love Victoria, but a 3 hour stop was too short so stayed onboard since we've visited Victoria alot


Do Naturalist talks and get the book (very informative and interesting); Request foam pad for beds; Book excursions independently; Do the "Bon Voyage" experience; hire a porter for handling your luggage in port; Nomar & Francisco were great in Bottechelli; Leo great cabin steward; Beautiful sights.

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