We really enjoyed this 5-day Pacific Coastal getaway!
4 out of 5
Embarkation was fairly smooth. Had a problem with our luggage - finally discovered it was delivered to our previous cabin (before being upgraded) which was unoccupied so noone noticed. :)
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
We ate in the DaVinci Dining Room several times (anytime dining - never had to wait long to be seated) and for the most part the food was good. Our waiter one night, Victor, was hilarious and spot on with suggestions for best food choices. The salmon was EXCELLENT, beef very good, but red snapper was quite awful/dry and asparagus slimy every time it was served. Still, I appreciate most any food I don't have to cook or clean up after! The buffet was mostly typical American, but I did try some unusual ethnic dishes and liked the omelette bar. We ate at the Crown Grill on embarkation day (used BOGO coupon) and the steaks (rib-eye and filet mignon) were tender and delicious.
5 out of 5
The sail away party by the pool was a lot of fun. We enjoyed some trivia games throughout the week, line dancing class and watching the "Dancing with the Crew" finalists. Weather was too cold for the pool or Movies Under the Stars and we had pretty rough seas during our 2 sea days. Beautiful weather for our port days, though! There are lots of offerings on the TV and our room had a nice new big screen. We watched a couple of newer movies, The Wake Show, and old episodes of The Love Boat (nostalgic) in our room. I liked having a wide variety of free activities to choose from on the Ruby Princess - this is something our Holland America cruise did not offer.
3 out of 5
There were some very good musicians on board: pop, jazz, Big Band, Dixieland, rock, crooners, etc. but I could never seem to find a classical style performance - except for the night a waiter in the dining room sang a beautiful impromptu version of "O Sole Mio" to a couple celebrating their anniversary. The comedian Carlos Oscar was FANTASTIC and there was no crudeness, which is a rarity these days. We caught the end of a stage show but didn't care for the overly exaggerated choreography/characters.
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
The service on the Ruby Princess did not compare at all to our Alaska cruise with Holland America last year which was fantastic, but the Ruby is a much larger ship. There were some waiters in the buffet area who did not seem happy, friendly or helpful, however there were many others who were absolutely wonderful. Our room steward was good but we had difficulty getting ice each day. Overall, service on board was okay but not great. Did not try room service.
4 out of 5
I loved the promenade deck and walking around the ship, even during the rough seas - the bow area was closed though due to high winds. The public areas seemed very clean and well maintained. The layout was a bit confusing because some elevators only went to certain floors so trying to get to the top decks or from one end of the the ship to the other was sometimes a challenge. Some favorite spots were the aft pool deck area and the Wheelhouse Lounge nearby.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
We were offered a last minute cabin upgrade when I contacted our Princess travel planner to inquire about a price reduction. We were given a "fully obstructed oceanview" for the same price as our interior room. The only obstruction was a small part of lifeboat and we had a great view of the water. We loved the room - beds were comfy, large closet, plenty of storage in room and bathroom, fridge, desk and chair, large screen TV.
Try to review the deck plan and how to navigate between areas before boarding; visit the International Cafe (great salads and desserts); enjoy breakfast on the aft pool deck; and try something new!
We lived in San Diego/Coronado for many years and there is so much to see and enjoy. We decided to be tourists this time and rode the Old Town Trolley, which was a lot of fun. Hopped off in Coronado and took another couple on a tour of the Hotel Del after visiting the local museum. Grabbed a quick bite at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Miguel's (their jalapeno cheese dip is sooo good) then hopped back on the trolley to complete our tour. HINT: You can save a few dollars by purchasing tickets for the trolley online.
We had fantastic weather to visit Butchart Gardens and the tulips were still in great form! Although I'd reserved a car we decided to save some money and try the regular bus transit system since we had all day to tour around. It was a short walk to Fisherman's Wharf from the cruise port and from there we rode on a cute little Harbour Ferry/Taxi ($7 Canadian) to the Visitor Center near the Empress Hotel. We bought day passes for the bus ($5 Canadian), purchased tickets to the gardens ($32 Canadian) and caught the #75 bus to Butchart. On the return trip our bus developed a strange burning smell and alarm sounded so we had to catch another bus - thankful we had a lot of time to spare. It was a memorable visit to Victoria!
5 out of 5
Disembarkation was very well organized and went smoothly.
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