CruiseClout score: 95.0
Ruby Princess: A wide assortment of standout features
When I first walked on board Ruby Princess, I knew I was going to like this romantic gem of the Princess Cruises mega-ship fleet. Although she weighs in at 113,561 gross tons and houses 1,542 cabins, the floating hotel-like Ruby Princess has a warm, almost cozy feel and an old world meets modern day design. There are enough hidden nooks and crannies to allow you to escape the crowd.
Ruby Princess also sports a stunning atrium in the center of the ship, like most of Princess Cruises' newer ships, which winds around a spiral staircase that leads to bars, lounges, the lobby and most of the places you want to go, except for the pool, spa and jogging decks, which are high atop the ginormous luxury liner.
Like its sister ships Emerald and Crown Princess, Ruby Princess features many of the staples Princess is known for: Movies Under the Stars, the adults-only Sanctuary sun deck and the entertainment-based Piazza main street area. However, there are plenty of unique attractions that make her stand out.
Who will like Ruby Princess
Because of the large amount of kids' services alongside adults-only entertainment, cruises on Ruby Princess are particularly suitable for multigenerational groups. At the same time, Ruby is fabulous for a romantic getaway with your loved one.
Ruby Princess will appeal to those looking for a singular perspective on cruising, whether it's classes in the expanded [email protected] program as well as ship tours and education programs to teach passengers about cruise operations. If you have enjoyed other Princess ships in the past, Ruby Princess should prove to be no exception.
Where Ruby Princess sails
Ruby Princess sails to Alaska, the Caribbean, Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, Pacific Coast (destinations include Catalina, Ensenada and Vancouver), South America and Antarctica. During school break you'll see lots of families with children.
Where I sailed & what I loved
My first mate, Richard, and I sailed on Ruby Princess last Valentine's Day for a good cause. It was one of the company's Cruising for a Cause theme cruises, which left from Fort Lauderdale into the Caribbean for five glorious days. It was the second of a series that devotes an entire sailing to support a charitable cause sponsored by Princess to benefit the American Heart Association. The “heartfelt“ theme ties in with this, the most romantic day of the year.
How romantic is Ruby Princess? Well, on our sailing we started things off with an amorous and delicious dinner at the Crown Grill following glasses of fine Champagne at Vines (an erogenous zone offering wines and bubbly by the glass). After dinner we strolled hand-in-hand out on the open deck where a full moon lighted the way and elated our senses.
There was a whole lot taking place on board. but we opted to head back to our stateroom, where we continued to marvel at the moon from the privacy of our oversize Signature balcony. We slept dreamily and woke up to a romantic breakfast served en cabin of fresh strawberries, papaya, cheese and mushroom omelets and tripe cappuccinos (which are well worth the added charge). We had cards and gifts for each other waiting to be opened that evening over Champagne on our veranda. But before that, we indulged in massages at the Lotus Spa and enjoyed a number of heart-healthy yet indulgent snacks.
On Ruby Princess, you have two options: traditional dining, with fixed times, seating and table mates, or anytime dining, with the flexibility to dine when and with whomever you choose. Both options offer extensive menus of appetizers, entrees and desserts that change each day, as well as several healthy Lotus Spa selections.
For a surcharge, passengers can visit Sabitini's for Italian or Crown Grill for surf and turf for dinner. We snuggled into a window booth at Crown Grill, where we devoured scrumptious porterhouse steaks, grilled asparagus, yummy wild mushrooms, mashed potatoes, assorted cheeses and sinful desserts — all washed down with a beautiful bottle of Simi Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Ruby Princess also offers a pub lunch at the Wheelhouse Bar if you want to grab traditional fish and chips along with a pint. Meanwhile, Horizon Court offers a wide selection of buffet meals or snacks for casual eating.
Inspired by the bustling city squares found throughout Europe, The Piazza not only offers a variety of live entertainment but also features several eateries, such as the International Cafe and Vines. For those who want to take in a show, the Princess Theater on decks 6 and 7 offers signature shows with large casts and Broadway-style production values.
If you're looking for a bit more casual entertainment, the Explorers Lounge and Club Fusion offers stand-up comedy, game show-style games and live music. If jazz is more your style, head to Adagio for live music every night. For those who are looking to dance the night away, head to Skywalkers Nightclub for a disco atmosphere.
Bars & lounges
There are plenty of places to relax and enjoy the view or simply your favorite alcoholic beverage. If you're into martinis and live piano, head to Crooners. The Wheelhouse Bar offers ales and a pub atmosphere, and Vines on the Piazza deck is an intimate wine venue where you can snack on sushi. The Explorers Lounge during the day transforms from its late-night activities to views and occasional champagne art auctions. For younger guests, there are also youth centers and teen lounges available all day and evening.
Spa & fitness
The Lotus Spa and Fitness Center features spa treatments, beauty salon services and the latest in equipment, as well as personal trainers and a variety of different classes throughout the day.
[email protected] offers enrichment lectures and cooking demonstrations, and topics range from digital photography workshops to wine tasting. For more education about the cruise experience, take advantage of the Ultimate Ship Tour, which offers a glimpse at the behind-the-scenes action onboard a Princess ship. And, of course, Ruby Princess offers the traditional Movies Under the Stars, where passengers enjoy feature films, concerts, sporting events and other entertainment on a giant screen poolside.
There are plenty of balcony cabins available on Ruby Princess at affordable prices. All cabins have flat-screen televisions, and the two twins beds can be pushed together to form a queen-size bed.
Patti Pietschmann sailed on Ruby Princess as a guest of Princess Cruises. See Cruiseable's Ethics & Disclosure policy.
Have you sailed on Ruby Princess? Please share a story, tip or discovery. What was the highlight? I'd love to hear about your experience — please share!
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Top highlights on this ship
- Movies Under the Stars, a Princess tradition, is also offered on Ruby Princess.
- Head to the Piazza for live entertainment and a bustling main street feel.
- The Sanctuary offers a spa-like atmosphere to get away from the stresses of the day.