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#1
Prince George, BC
91 Posts
Joined Nov 2013
Looking at cruising to Alaska in the fall and choosing between ruby and emerald. Itineraries are exactly the same. Anyone been on both ships and have a preference?


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#2
Land of Bad Comedy
3,253 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Since they are the same ship, they change the paint on the bow every Sunday, take the ship that will get you the sunny weather.
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#3
Raleigh, N.C.
12,533 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
They're basically the same. It would depend on the captain, entertainment director, and cruise director for me--but those are something subject to change this far out.
#4
South Florida
4,988 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
I have sailed on both. And if you drove me to the port blindfolded and escorted me onto either ship I doubt I could distinguish between the two. (Until I looked at the Patter or the Princess at Sea on my phone)

Now that we have settled that part...are you sure the itineraries are the same? Both sail round-trip Seattle, but Ruby via Glacier Bay vs. Emerald via Tracy Arm Fjord. You did say you were looking at the fall (2018 I assume) but I don't see any one-off Alaska sailings from Seattle at the end of the season that would match each other.
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Debarking is a cruel procedure done to dogs.
Upgrades, Upsellls and Move Over Offers are completely different things.
As are being denied boarding and being disembarked early.
And don't get me started on Port Charges vs. Government Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses.
The Jones Act is for cargo. The PVSA is "that terrible law" that restricts USA domestic sailings. But without which there would likely be no cruise ships with casinos, duty free shops, and international crew members willing to work fantastically hard every single day.
Lots of people fly in the morning of the cruise and catch crazy early flights home. Why ask us if you can? Just to be harassed by the regulars?
No hotels have free shuttles, free breakfast, free wifi, or free parking. You pay in the rate. And could have found a better deal paying by the piece.
And don't forget: the cruise line is in complete control of the weather, political unrest, medical emergencies, and anything else that delays or re-routes your cruise. Be sure to demand compensation as it is you and only you who were affected.
#5
Northern California
1,931 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
I've been on both, they are identical, at least in all the ways I can recall.
What I like about them is that SHARE is available on these ships.
#6
Oakville, ON
2,775 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Two peas in a pod - physically. Just different staff and artwork on the walls.
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2. Majestic Princess - 13-night NZ (out of SYD) - March, 2019 (We'll see...booked w/Cyber Sale)
#7
Chicago, IL, USA
2,033 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Hi,

I have cruised on both ships. I agree with the comments above. The ships are nearly identical. Both ships are great.

Chuck
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554 days - 87 cruises - 64 ships

Royal Caribbean (124 days, 22 cruises); Princess (120 days, 18 cruises); Cunard (105 days, 17 cruises); Norwegian (53 days, 8 cruises); Celebrity (51 days, 8 cruises); Crystal (43 days, 5 cruises); Holland America (38 days, 5 cruises); Other (20 days, 4 cruises)

Future cruises: Crown Princess, Feb. 23, 2018 (8-day Southern Caribbean); Emerald Princess, May 9, 2018 (4-day Pacific Coastal); Queen Victoria, Sep. 22, 2018 (7-day Mediterranean); Celebrity Edge, Dec. 6, 2018 (3-day Bahamas); Oosterdam, Feb. 23, 2019 (7-day Tropical Caribbean)


Areas cruised to: Alaska; Asia (Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand); Australia; Bahamas; Bermuda; Canada/New England; Caribbean; Greek Islands; Hawaii; Mediterranean; Mexican Riviera; Norway; Pacific Coastal; Panama Canal; Scandinavia/Russia; Spain/Portugal; Tahiti; Transatlantic Crossings
#9
Lady Lake, Fl
347 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
I think the Emerald is a training ship given the experience we had on her to Alaska. Not great. Ruby was great.
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Royal Princess Sept 2018 Norway & Atlantic Passage
#10
Pismo Beach, CA
43 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Staff on Ruby always seems friendlier and the food on Ruby was better prepared. Cruise director on Emerald was never around, Ruby always saw him...same layout, same routines. I like Ruby much better overall.
#11
Oakville, ON
2,775 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by Alimariecruisin
Staff on Ruby always seems friendlier and the food on Ruby was better prepared. Cruise director on Emerald was never around, Ruby always saw him...same layout, same routines. I like Ruby much better overall.
When did you cruise them both? The CD's could have changed in the interim. What if they happened to swap?
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2. Majestic Princess - 13-night NZ (out of SYD) - March, 2019 (We'll see...booked w/Cyber Sale)
#13
Vancouver, BC
2,059 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
The only difference I found between the two is that the Ruby shows a little newer but otherwise they are the same beautiful ship


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#14
Pismo Beach, CA
43 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Originally posted by steelers36
When did you cruise them both? The CD's could have changed in the interim. What if they happened to swap?
I've cruised Ruby 3 times and Emerald 2...actually was a different cruise director on all due to their time off or swapping. But still came away with Ruby's CD always being memorable and Emerald's not, Was on Emerald at Thanksgiving...never saw CD once...not even at sailaway. Seemed like everyone was just on their own...whereas on Ruby the CD was in full sight, with microphone, full of energy, etc. But it was an extremely over populated cruise with way too many kids so he could of been lost in a sea of cruisers.
#15
Auburn, CA
3,124 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by Tweedy
The only difference I found between the two is that the Ruby shows a little newer but otherwise they are the same beautiful ship


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This was our experience also. Although both ships are nice, if all things were equal, I would pick the Ruby.
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#16
South Florida
4,988 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Originally posted by Alimariecruisin
I've cruised Ruby 3 times and Emerald 2...actually was a different cruise director on all due to their time off or swapping. But still came away with Ruby's CD always being memorable and Emerald's not, Was on Emerald at Thanksgiving...never saw CD once...not even at sailaway. Seemed like everyone was just on their own...whereas on Ruby the CD was in full sight, with microphone, full of energy, etc. But it was an extremely over populated cruise with way too many kids so he could of been lost in a sea of cruisers.
Love the debate over CDs. My Thanksgiving 2014 cruise on Ruby ranks near the top of my list of all cruises on all lines. Best service on all my Princess cruises for sure. Yet the CD was one that is near-unanimously disliked here on Cruise Critic as all-but-invisible and when visible having the personality of a rotting carp. (Accurate on both counts).

Forward to Emerald's final (to this point) Caribbean cruise in 2016: the CD was one of the most well known ones with a (deserved) reputation for being effusive and gregarious. And made not one whit of difference to me.

I will let you guess the names. And will also add that in 2009 and 2011 I also sailed with two different CDs that were well criticized on this board at the time--yet I thought the activities and entertainment were better run than usual. So to each our own I guess.
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Debarking is a cruel procedure done to dogs.
Upgrades, Upsellls and Move Over Offers are completely different things.
As are being denied boarding and being disembarked early.
And don't get me started on Port Charges vs. Government Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses.
The Jones Act is for cargo. The PVSA is "that terrible law" that restricts USA domestic sailings. But without which there would likely be no cruise ships with casinos, duty free shops, and international crew members willing to work fantastically hard every single day.
Lots of people fly in the morning of the cruise and catch crazy early flights home. Why ask us if you can? Just to be harassed by the regulars?
No hotels have free shuttles, free breakfast, free wifi, or free parking. You pay in the rate. And could have found a better deal paying by the piece.
And don't forget: the cruise line is in complete control of the weather, political unrest, medical emergencies, and anything else that delays or re-routes your cruise. Be sure to demand compensation as it is you and only you who were affected.
#17
Michigan
10,190 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
And we just recently sailed on the Emerald 28 day LA-Tahiti cruise with Dave Clark, who is BY FAR the VERY best CD we've had in our almost 50 cruises!!!
The crew were attentive and seemed happy. I think they respond to management's attitude.

I'd go by itinerary - the ships are virtually the same.
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#18
Castro Valley, California
2,003 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Although the ships are nearly identical, I have found the entertainment on Ruby to be superior, particularly the musicians.

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#19
Pismo Beach, CA
43 Posts
Joined Aug 2015
Originally posted by chamima
And we just recently sailed on the Emerald 28 day LA-Tahiti cruise with Dave Clark, who is BY FAR the VERY best CD we've had in our almost 50 cruises!!!
The crew were attentive and seemed happy. I think they respond to management's attitude.

I'd go by itinerary - the ships are virtually the same.
LOVED Dave Clark too!!!!
#20
South Carolina
1,468 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
We sailed on the Ruby, then the day after disembarking from Ruby, sailed away on the Emerald. Even had the same cabin on both ships. Yes, they are "twins", but we very much preferred the Emerald. Hard to say why, just that the Emerald seemed to have it all together better.
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