Ruby Princess Cruise Review to Hawaii
Sail Date: November 15, 2015
Ship: Ruby Princess
Cabin Type: Balcony
Cabin Number: A747
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 2 years ago
This was my third Princess Cruise and my tenth overall. We should have realized this was not what we were expecting as soon as we arrived at the pier. I have never been given a number and asked to wait in a room until my number was called for boarding. Usually when you are given a time to arrive you embark as soon as you are given your card to board the ship. That was just the beginning of waiting. The ship was booked to capacity (about 3500) and at least 10% of the guest were either using walkers or scooters. As a result, getting an elevator anywhere was impossible. One scooter and the elevator was full.
The room was exceptionally small for a room with a veranda and I had one of the larger verandas which would have helped but we had exceptionally cold and windy weather which made it hard to use.
The majority of the staff were pleasant and helpful but we encountered more than a handful of sarcastic, rude staff members. Activities were the same everyday and after a week were boring but all that was offered. For two weeks one activity was making leis, even for the five days after we left Hawaii. There were two weeks of hula dancing, ukulele lessons, and a choir of guests was formed all for a show on the last day.
The dining room staff in Horizon were exceptionally pleasant considering the conditions. The dining room was worn and tired. Many of the chairs had ripped leather seats. There were never enough tables for all the people. One morning I handed my breakfast tray to one of the head waiters because we could not find a table. This is the first cruise I have been on where I lost weight. I was eating an average of twice a day, partly because of the crowds and partly because the food was repetitive and bland. We spent 15 days on this ship and the menu never changed. They had specials every night but most were either very spicy or very bland.
Entertainment was just another horrible experience. There was an 8 o'clock show and a 10 o'clock show. The theater was big enough to accommodate 1/3 of the guests. The average age of the guest was about 60 so everyone wanted to see the show. If you were not at the theater at least 45 minutes before the show you were not getting a seat. There were about 12 shows and we were able to see 6. As you can imagine they were not the best 6, There was a magic show which everyone said was wonderful. I was not able to see the early or late show in spite of getting to the theater at least 40 minutes before each show only to be told many of the guests stayed to see the second show because they enjoyed the first so much. There were many times on this ship when I felt no one was in charge. Most ships offer the shows on tv the next day, for guest who missed them, not this ship. They did have lots of advertising for Princess and you could buy a video at the end which had many of the shows you missed. Everything on this ship was about the money. They had sales everyday which looked more like garage sales. If I am sailing to Hawaii why were they selling items with Alaska and The Caribbean written on them.
Disembarking was another nightmare. I can only assume the majority carry their own luggage. Try getting an elevator with at least 2000 guests carrying their own luggage and all the walkers, wheelchairs and scooters. The rooms where you were asked to wait could not accommodate all the guest and so every passage way was full of standing guests with their luggage.
I am trying very hard to say one nice thing about this cruise but unfortunately other than the pleasant staff there is not much I can say. I think I am convinced I will never sail on Princess again. As a returning guest I was given one free drink, I hope it did not break their bank.
This trip was planned over a year ago and the cost including transportation to and from the ship, car rentals, hotel rooms, etc was almost $8000. I felt as though it was a waste of hard earned money.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Sail on Disney, where they know how to treat their guests. Even their older ships are better than the Ruby Princess.