Overall, we loved it! I left a deposit at the "Future Cruise Desk" to sail on Princess again.
5 out of 5
Crazy fast and efficient. We had a 1 PM boarding time so we arrived a bit early about 12:20 shuttle drop off. We were on board and in our Cabin before 1 PM.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
Main Dining Rooms:
We had Anytime dining option which I would do exclusively in the future. We only waited one out of the five evenings that we dined in the Main Dining rooms which was because we went to a show first and when it let out, everyone wanted to go to the dining room. Even with that we didn't wait more than 20 minutes.
The main dining room food is less than gourmet but sufficient. Remember that they are serving 3000 meals. This is not a cook to order situation. Think fine catering as in "a nice wedding." It was overall good and presented beautifully and always hot.
We also spent an evening dining at the Crown Grill. This is what you would expect from a high-end steakhouse with an warm wood decor and a classic feel of shipboard dining from a bygone era. Service here was a step above the main Dining room. We were very please. it was well worth the $29.00 per head cover charge.
I purchased the premium drink package. This is a tough call because of the first two port days getting in the amount drinks to cover the cost is a challenge. When you have the drink package, the bartenders will not give you a "double" anything. This is ridiculous if you ask me. The drinks are loaded with juice and syrups. I had to ask for drinks in a smaller glass so that I would get the proper ratio of juice to alcohol. Even then it was too sweet for my taste. After the third day, I just kept it simple with Vodka tonics, Bourbon on the rocks and Martinis. Cruise and learn!
2 out of 5
"Baristas" are poorly trained, unsupervised and very unorganized. The line for specialty coffees was often twenty passengers deep. The "Baristas" made numerous mistakes. Twice after waiting a long time (over 20 minute) I went up to ask about my order. They said they called my name and some one else must have taken my coffees. I was feet away from the counter, my name wasn't called. Two days later guess what? the same thing happened. Again they gave the same response, "another passenger must have taken my order." On the second to last day, I witnessed the same thing happen to another passenger. It was very obvious at this point that is their "go-to excuse" for their screw ups. My wife didn't even use half of her coffee card because it wasn't worth the wait or frustration. This was the only gray cloud of the cruise.
Botticelli Dining Room
4 out of 5
Dining room food was good overall.
3 out of 5
Its just a buffet. Good for breakfast. Enough said.
5 out of 5
There are five pools on board. The mid-ships pools are a center of activity and were the most crowded and loud with plenty of bustle going on. The Terrace pool was my favorite. (Shhh don't tell anyone), it is on the aft end of the ship which is less windy, has spectacular views of the wake and a more accessible Calypso Bar. It is also Adult Only!
The fitness Center was well appointed with plenty of treadmills, ellipticals, weights etc. they have spinning and various fitness classes as well. There is a men's and woman's locker room with steam room and dry sauna as well as showers. These showers were larger than the stateroom and I showered there instead of my stateroom a couple of times.
5 out of 5
The comedian, Carlos Oscar was funny and is worth seeing. The Magician is OK, Its magic...card tricks, crazy ropes guess what I'm thinking?? bla, bla, bla. Seen one seen them all.
The Voice of the Ocean is a fun event for Karaoke lovers with the Grand Finale on the last night. Definately worth attending.
Don't miss the Disco Deck Party. The Cruise Director Staff does a great job here. plenty of dancing costumes and a nostalgic fun look at the "Love Boat' Theme. Good times.
The Marriage Match game was fun, and there was various trivia games each day.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
The Cruise Directors Staff had plenty of events going on. PJ the cruise Director was great. He reminded me a lot of Ricky Grevais. Big points score for him hosting a small get together for Veterans in which he said a few heart felt words of gratitude. Very nice touch here PJ!
One of the Assistant Cruise Directors, Anna, really stole the show for me. She seemed to be everywhere doing everything. She was tireless, energetic, funny and down to business all at the same time. Anna became the face of Princess for us. Great Job here. I'd Cruise with here again anytime.
The Photography staff was very good with a couple of real stand outs. Ruslana and Andrea were two lovely young ladies who were so helpful in location our photos each day. We had the all inclusive photo package, so we stopped by each day and it was a real treat to chat with these two. Outstanding customer service.
5 out of 5
everything is always being cleaned. I was impressed to see people on their hands and knees scrubbing grout. When returning from port visits the crew was painting the sides of the ship. There is no rest going on here. They are a hard working staff.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
Our Cabin was a mid-ships balcony cabin. The Caribe Deck has the larges balconies of all the other deck baring the suites. The mattress and pillows were superb. I think I want those pillows at home! Out Steward Gerry kept it impeccably clean and refreshed each time we stepped out of the cabin.
If your sailing on the Ruby anytime soon, I suggest:
1. Get to know Anna of the Cruise Director's Staff shes a blast.
2. If you like portraits get the all inclusive package for $199.00. We had over 90 very nice portraits done. That works out to about $2.21 per photo. A great bargain. They give you the 8X10 print plus the electronic copy on a thumb drive so you can have them made into larger portraits. (Doing mine at Costco this week) Say Hi to Ruslana and Andrea.
3. Sea Days get a slice of Pizza and a beer and go back to the terrace pool for relaxation.
4. If you like Martinis, The Crooners lounge is great. You might even get to see a waitress do the Martini shake dance.
5. Have reasonable expectations. Be friendly to the crew and they will bend over backward to provide you good service. Remember that these folks do not get a day off. One group disembarks the next group of passengers start embarking an hour later. These folks typically work 6 to 9 months straight. They are lovely people not servants. I did see some passengers being unreasonable sadly. I really fell in love with this dedicated staff.
Stayed at the Doubletree San Pedro, just a few minutes from the terminal. Used the Stay and Sail Package. You park your car there free as a guest and they shuttle you to the terminal and pick you up at the end of the cruise. Beats $20/day at the Terminal. Stay the night before and begin the relaxation so you don't have to go through the stress of LA traffic on sail day.
Nice city. No excursions, but went down to Playa De Los Muertos. Got a couples Massages at Metamorphosis Day Spa which was awesome and very inexpensive compared to the resorts or Ship. Did the Shopping at Rio Cuale. Nothing special here and you really have to work at bargaining. No real deals or steals to be found.
I loved Mazatlan. We hired a "Pulmonia" which is an open air taxi that looks like a golf cart. The price is negotiable. Our Driver/Guide was Victor, his nickname is Scooby-Doo. He took us all over Mazatlan. We originally negotiated for two hours for $30 but were enjoying it so much we told him to just keep going. He took us to all the "tourist spots" for photos, and then took us up the hillside into the real Mazatlan to see some of the houses he liked and incredible views. He took us to some local taco stands where we ate way too many tacos. We tried a little of everything. We finished the sight seeing at Playa Brujas which is a beach at the far north end of Mazatlan. There we ate some fish tacos, Shrimp tacos and Shrimp Cocktail washed down with Margaritas and Beers on the beech. What a spectacular day!
If your in your 20's this is the place for you. Its Vegas but with a beach. Think loud college spring break. Marina area is full of aggressive vendors. it is a walk through an endless gauntlet of non-stop heckling. With the stop being so short here it is difficult to venture to far off. The last tender back to the ship was at 1PM. The next visit will probably stay on-board and enjoy the ship.
4 out of 5
Efficient and well planned. The ship can only move you as fast as US Customs gets people through so it's out of the Ships control.
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