Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 377 out of 500
Accommodation: 147 out of 200
Food: 249 out of 400
Service: 285 out of 400
Entertainment: 81 out of 100
Cruise: 295 out of 400
Overall Score: 1434 out of 2000
Ruby Princess Statistics
Size: Large Resort Ship
Cruise Line: Princess Cruises
Former Names: none
IMO Number: 1890038
Builder: Fincantieri (Italy)
Original Cost: $500 million
Entered Service: Sep 2008
Length (ft/m): 951.4/290.0
Beam (ft/m): 118.1/36.0
Draft (ft/m): 26.2/8.0
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (42,000kW)/2
Passenger Decks: 15
Total Crew: 1,200
Passengers (lower beds): 3,114
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 36.4
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.5
Cabins (total): 1,557
Size Range (sq ft/m): 163-1,279/15.1-118.8
Cabins (for one person): 0
Cabins (with private balcony): 881
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 25
Wheelchair accessibility: Good
Cabin Current: 110 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 3
Hot Tubs (on deck): 9
Self-Service Launderette: Yes
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No
Onboard currency: US$
This large family-friendly resort ship has pleasant decor
Overview. This ship, among the best in the standard family market, is a veritable resort playground. Princess Cruises delivers a consistently fine, well-packaged vacation product, always with a good degree of style, at a highly competitive price. Passenger flow is well thought-out and, despite its large capacity, there’s little congestion.
The Ship. Ruby Princess has the same profile, interior layout, and public rooms as sister ships Crown Princess (2006) and Emerald Princess (2007). Accommodating over 500 more passengers than earlier half-sisters like Diamond Princess, the outdoor deck space remains the same, as do the number of elevators.
The Sanctuary, an extra-cost adults-only retreat, is worth paying extra in warm-weather areas. Located forward on the uppermost deck, it provides a ‘private’ place to relax and unwind. Attendants provide chilled face towels and deliver water and light bites; there are also two outdoor cabanas for private couples massage.
There’s a good sheltered faux wood promenade strolling deck - it’s actually painted steel - which almost wraps around the front and aft areas of the ship; three times round is equal to one mile. Movies Under the Skies and major sporting events are shown on a 300-sq-ft (28-sq-m) movie screen located at the pool forward of the large funnel structure.
The main public bars and lounges are located off a double-wide promenade deck. The main lobby is the focal meeting point. Called The Plaza, it’s like a town square, and includes a 44-seat International Café (patisserie/deli) and lots of nice cakes and pastries, and Vines, a combination wine/cheese and sushi/tapas counter.
The library is in a little corner adjacent to the wood-paneled Wheelhouse Bar. There are many other pleasant bars and lounges to enjoy, including Crooners, an intimate New York-style piano bar, with around 70 seats on the upper level of the lobby, but perhaps the nicest of all is Adagio’s.
High atop the stern, with great views, is a ship-wide glass-walled disco pod (Skywalkers), which looks like an aerodynamic spoiler (it would make a great penthouse), but is a good place to read a book during the day.
The casino, Gatsby’s, has over 260 slot machines (linked slot machines provide a combined payout), and blackjack, craps, and roulette tables for serious gamers.
Families. For children, there are several playrooms, a teen room, and a host of trained counselors. There are swimming and splash pools, hot tubs, and open deck area at the stern, away from adult areas. There are good netted-in areas; one section has a dip pool, while another has a mini-basketball court. The Wizard’s Academy is an enrichment program from the California Science Center.
Accommodation. There are six main types of cabins and configurations: (a) Grand Suite, (b) suite, (c) mini-suite, (d) outside-view double cabins with balcony, (e) outside-view double cabins, and (f) interior (no-view) double cabins. These come in a multitude of different brochure price categories. Pricing depends on size and location. Two family suites have an interconnecting door, plus a large balcony. These can sleep up to 10 if at least four are children, or up to eight adults.
By comparison, the largest suite is slightly smaller, and the smallest interior cabin is slightly larger than the equivalent suites/cabins aboard Golden, Grand, and Star Princess. Almost all balcony suites and cabins can be overlooked both from the navigation bridge wing, as well as from the port and starboard sections of Skywalkers, high above the ship at the stern. Suites C401, 402, 404, 406, 408, 410, 412, 401, 405, 411, 415, and 417 on Riviera Deck 14, and D105 and D106 (Dolphin Deck 9) have only semi-private balconies that can be seen from above, so there is little privacy. Also, most outside-view cabins on Emerald Deck have views obstructed by lifeboats.
Some cabins can accommodate a third and fourth person in upper berths, but, in these, the lower beds can’t be pushed together to make a queen-size bed.
Cabin bath towels are small, and drawer space is tight. There are no butlers - even for the top-grade suites, which are not large in comparison to similar suites aboard some other similarly-sized ships. Suite-grade occupants get better service, personal amenities, and other perks.
The Grand Suite (A750), is the largest suite, and is located at the stern. It has a large bedroom with queen-size bed, huge walk-in closets, two bathrooms, a lounge with fireplace, sofa bed, wet bar and refrigerator, and a large private balcony on the port side, with a hot tub accessible from both balcony and bedroom.
The 28 wheelchair-accessible cabins measure 250-385 sq ft (23-35.7 sq m); but there’s no mirror for dressing, and no full-length hanging space - some passengers in wheelchairs do use mirrors and full-length clothing.
Dining. There are several dining options, including three main dining rooms, plus a Crown Grill, and Sabatini’s Trattoria.
The three rooms for formal dining are Botticelli, Da Vinci, and Michelangelo. The Botticelli Dining Room has traditional two seating dining (typically 6pm and 8.15pm for dinner), while ‘anytime dining’ - where you choose when and with whom you want to eat - is offered in Da Vinci and Michelangelo. They are split into various sections in a non-symmetrical design that presents smaller sections for better ambience, and each restaurant has its own galley.
Other dining options. Sabatini’s and Crown Grill, both extra-charge and reservations-needed venues, are open for lunch and dinner on days at sea. Sabatini’s is a 132-seat Italian eatery with some painted scenes of Tuscan villas and gardens and colorful tiled Mediterranean-style decor; it is named after Trattoria Sabatini, the 200-year-old institution in Florence. It has Italian-style pizzas and pastas, with a variety of sauces and Italian-style entrées - all provided with flair and entertainment by the waiters. It is also open for breakfast for suite/mini-suite occupants only - when it really is a quiet haven.
Crown Grill is a 138-seat restaurant featuring a good range of premium steaks, chops, and grilled seafood items (everything is cooked to order), and is located off the main indoor Deck 7 promenade. Seating is mainly in semi-private alcoves, and there’s a show kitchen so you can watch the action.
The 312-seat Horizon Court, with its indoor-outdoor seating, is open 24 hours a day for casual meals, and has large ocean-view windows on both sides. Plastic plates are provided and the central display sections are often crowded.
Other casual eateries include a poolside hamburger grill and pizza bar, while extra charges apply if you order items to eat at the coffee bar/patisserie, or the caviar/Champagne bar.
The International Café, on Deck 5 in The Plaza, is the place for coffees and specialty coffees, pastries, light lunches, and delightful afternoon cakes, most at no extra cost.
For something different, try a private meal on your balcony: an Ultimate Balcony Dinner - an all-inclusive evening featuring cocktails, fresh flowers, Champagne, and a deluxe multi-course meal - or an Ultimate Balcony Breakfast; all served by a member of the dining staff. It costs $50 per person for dinner, or $32 per couple for the breakfast - superb value for money.
For a $75 per person charge, an exclusive dining experience showcases the executive chef in a mini-dégustation that includes appetizers in the galley. It is a fine dining experience that includes good wines paired with high-quality meat and seafood dishes, and extremely creative presentation. You’ll need three hours to enjoy this special dinner; the slow-cooked roast veal shank is outstanding.
Entertainment. The Princess Theater spans two decks and has comfortable seating on both levels. It has $3 million worth of sound and light equipment, plus a live orchestra for backing colourful production shows and major cabaret acts. The ship has a resident troupe of singers and dancers, plus an army of audio-visual support staff.
Spa/Fitness. The Lotus Spa is located forward on Sun Deck. Separate facilities for men and women include a sauna, steam room, and changing rooms; common facilities include a relaxation/waiting zone, body-pampering treatment rooms, and a gymnasium with high-tech muscle-pumping equipment, and great ocean views. Some fitness classes are free, while others cost extra.