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deliver42

RUBY PRINCESS MAY11 - MAY18, GOOD, BAD, UGLY

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Flight through EZ Air from Orlando to Seattle very good and on time. My first impression of the ship from the terminal was "what did I get us into?" The amount of rust on the ship surprised me, especially on the sides under the balconies. Embarkation went without a hitch. My wife made her hair appointment first, then we went to guest services. I jokingly said I had two complaints that they had no control over. One was the chair in the cabin, the 2nd, no cigar smoking on the outside decks. The response amazed me. The smoking they can't do anything about, but they may be able to help with the chair. We then went to the cabin, which was now open, and found our luggage waiting there. We met our steward, Edgar, and asked for 2 robes, which he said no problem, but it may take some time. I said no rush.The round table was in the room, which is contrary to what I heard on CC.  We went to the buffet for lunch, and no surprises there. It was OK. The ship on the inside was beautiful, well maintained, and rich looking. The crew was the among the best we ever encountered, always smiling an helpful. By the time we got back to our cabin before dinner, the chair and robes were there.

 

  The shows were very good, as were the various bands throughout the ship. The food, on the other hand was inconsistant, in the MDR and dinner in the buffet was awful, both in choices and taste. The MDR food for the most part was OK, except for the lobster dinner. They had some green slop with the lobster over rice, which overcame the lobster taste. Just by looks alone, I wouldn't have given it to my dog. The wait staff was very good, but the kitchen was very slow getting food out, especially on the 2nd formal night.

 

   When we got to Skagway, we saw the Solstace and Eurodam up close, no rust showing on either. In Ketchikan, we docked behind the Golden Princess, which had more rust then the Ruby. Evidently Princess can't find white paint. When you compare the maintenance to Celebrity, HAL, and Princess, Princess lags far behind.

 

  On the whole, the cruise was very good, and we had a very good time. Princess's biggest asset is the crew, who were amazing. Would I sail on Princess again? Doubtful unless it was a very good price and itinerary and on a Regal Class. The food problems were the same on the Regal, but the ship much less crowded, and more to do on board. On more thing. I never heard as much advertising and self promotion on any cruise, including the Regal.

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I would agree with you about the sales and promotion.  I felt like I was walking the gauntlet each time I walked by the spa.  I was surprised at the rust as well especially since she just got out of dry dock. 

 

I loved the crew and enjoyed the majority of the food.

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Interesting that you saw all that rust. In my experience, every time Princess ships are in a port, the painters are painting the hull of the ship.

Reminds me of the lady who was standing in line to get on a tender to go back to the ship and said, "Look at those windows! Don't they ever wash them?"

Ships rust, windows get covered with salt spray. The maintenance is constant and never ending.

 

As far as food goes, it's always subjective. If you don't like the look of the sauce, ask for a replacement meal without the sauce.

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I think the green slop was risotto.  Have a friend who will not eat anything just because it is green :)..  Do you normally eat risotto?  How did it compare?  What food choices were you looking for?  How long is slow services?  1.5 hours?  Thanks for the report.

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No, I don't normally eat risotto. The service on the slow nights was between 1 1/2 and 2 hrs. That was only twice. It wasn't the server's fault. All the servers were waiting on the kitchen.  I didn't say anything about the hull, other than on the Golden, which  thought was brown instead of white. I was talking about the bottoms of the balconies. I don't know what changed the fonts.

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Obviously, food is subjective.  Personally, I can't remember ever having a "bad" meal on a Princess ship.  Some maybe not as incredible as others, but all have been very good.  Sorry you didn't enjoy yours.  As far as 1 1/2 hours for dinner, I think that's about perfect.  The best part of dinner for us is sitting around enjoying each others company, interacting with the Staff, and having good food and beverages every night.  Quicker than 1 1/2 hours would seem like a restaurant trying to get table turnover and pushing you out the door.  Relax and enjoy.  You only live once!!

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Thanks for clarifying your report, it helps to understand.  Regarding the food problems, you could try  something else with less traditional dining, maybe NCL with the bigger buffet and many specialty dining.  Princess so far stays very traditional in the MDR (which many of us like 😉 ).  But as you noted Princess has a very good service level which is also part of tradition... 

 

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7 hours ago, JF - retired RRT said:

Interesting that you saw all that rust. In my experience, every time Princess ships are in a port, the painters are painting the hull of the ship.

Reminds me of the lady who was standing in line to get on a tender to go back to the ship and said, "Look at those windows! Don't they ever wash them?"

Ships rust, windows get covered with salt spray. The maintenance is constant and never ending.

 

As far as food goes, it's always subjective. If you don't like the look of the sauce, ask for a replacement meal without the sauce.

 

Agree with JF - painters are almost always out painting the ship while at the dock. 

 

OP, as for seeing the rust, were you leaning over your balcony looking at your neighbor's railing?  Just arriving at Pier 91 passengers are kept a safe distance from the ship, so unless you have eagle eyes or looking through binoculars, I can't imagine that you could see rust from dockside.

Edited by Ferry_Watcher
typo

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5 hours ago, deliver42 said:

No, I don't normally eat risotto. The service on the slow nights was between 1 1/2 and 2 hrs. That was only twice. It wasn't the server's fault. All the servers were waiting on the kitchen.  I didn't say anything about the hull, other than on the Golden, which  thought was brown instead of white. I was talking about the bottoms of the balconies. I don't know what changed the fonts.

1 to 2 hours is called dinning that's what it is if you want fast food buffett it 

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d42, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.

 

A few weeks prior to your cruise we were on the Ruby Princess on the Los Angeles-AK R/T.

 

I honestly can't say that I noticed excessive rust on our balcony.  Of course, I wasn't looking for it, either.

 

We had pretty good food on our cruise.  Of course we only ate in the dining room one evening, and that was OK.  Not the kind of dining that I eagerly anticipate, but, pretty much, what I expected.

 

A couple evenings we went to Vines and made dinner of their noshes.  I, usually, order the Tapas and Mrs, XBGuy, usually, orders the Sushi.  The Tapas were the best I have ever had in Vines on previous cruises on various ships.  They were actually prepared dishes--e.g., shrimp, lamb meatballs, wings--not just cold cuts and slices of cheese.

 

We enjoyed multiple dinners in the specialty restaurants.  SHARE was outstanding--we had three dinners, there--and Crown Grill was, well, Crown Grill--better than the dining room.

 

On two evenings we ordered pizzas from room service, and, I have to say, they were pretty good.  No, I'm not from Brooklyn.  So feel free to denigrate my pizza evaluation credibility.

 

On the final evening we went to the buffet for dinner.  Mrs. XBGuy hates buffets, but, for reasons unknown, going to the buffet on the final night of a cruise has become our new tradition.  I noticed that they had fried chicken.  I thought it looked pretty good, and I could not remember the last time I had fried chicken.  So, I took some and added mashed potatoes and lima beans.  At the "Action Station" I asked them to grill a couple of their "smallish" salmon fillets for me.  OK, I am pretty sure that the mashed potatoes were made from flakes out of a box, and I'm pretty sure that the lima beans came out of a bunch of #10 cans (unless bigger cans are available), and, no, I am not from the south, and I'm sure that I've never had anybody's grandmother's fried chicken, and I positively know for sure that I was not eating wild caught Copper River Salmon.  However, I have to say that I enjoyed that meal quite a bit.  

 

My wife visited the Lotus Spa for a haircut, and she was very pleased.  A year ago on another cruise, the stylist pissed her off so much that she walked out before he even started.  So, this year's visit was much more successful.

 

We had a balcony cabin and, of course, it did not have the barrel chair.  Mrs. XBGuy brought in one of the balcony chairs, and that worked fine.

 

We even received 24-hour turnaround on two bundles of laundry that we sent out.

 

I will add a shout out to Christopher, our room steward, Nasri and Nino, in SHARE and Citroen (He was named after a car?) in Vines.  All were particularly outstanding.

 

We are booked on the same itinerary in September on the Royal Princess.  Sadly, the Royal Princess does not have SHARE.

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9 hours ago, happy cruzer said:

I think the green slop was risotto.  Have a friend who will not eat anything just because it is green :)..  Do you normally eat risotto?  How did it compare?  What food choices were you looking for?  How long is slow services?  1.5 hours?  Thanks for the report.

More important than if the OP eats risotto is if his dog eats risotto, because he said he would not feed that dish to his dog.  My dog enjoys risotto and would probably have loved the lobster and risotto dish.

 

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1 hour ago, XBGuy said:

I will add a shout out to Christopher, our room steward, Nasri and Nino, in SHARE and Citroen (He was named after a car?) in Vines.  All were particularly outstanding.

 

I know someone who was named after the model of car that his parents were affectionate in, in the old days of Lovers' Lanes, but a Citroen is pretty small!  We Americans had  rumble seats and ….

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The risotto is terrible , as many have reported. Not sure why they dont fix this but I will ask for french fries on my next cruise.

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12 hours ago, JF - retired RRT said:

Interesting that you saw all that rust. In my experience, every time Princess ships are in a port, the painters are painting the hull of the ship.

Reminds me of the lady who was standing in line to get on a tender to go back to the ship and said, "Look at those windows! Don't they ever wash them?"

Ships rust, windows get covered with salt spray. The maintenance is constant and never ending.

 

As far as food goes, it's always subjective. If you don't like the look of the sauce, ask for a replacement meal without the sauce.

I have to agree with the OP and the rust comments (hull).

I have noticed the decline for a long time.

I really started noticing it as I watched the Coral sail out of PE a few years ago.

IMO.........

I think Princess has cut their deck crew and the budget.

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to XBGuy:

But Royal has Alfredo's! Not as good as SHARE in my opinion (DH is the opposite), but their veal tortellini are amazing! Plus if you DW likes sushi, Royal has whole sushi/raw fish bar with excellet view of piazza.

I am sure you will enjoy it as much as Ruby!

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48 minutes ago, Colo Cruiser said:

I have to agree with the OP and the rust comments (hull).

I have noticed the decline for a long time.

I really started noticing it as I watched the Coral sail out of PE a few years ago.

IMO.........

I think Princess has cut their deck crew and the budget.

 

You'd think it would be a point of pride for Princess to keep the ships looking nice. 

Especially right out of dry/wet dock.  

 

It it drives me nuts that the windows in the MDR seem to always be dirty. I’m certainly not a ship maintenance guy but constantly dirty windows? How long does it take to spray off the windows on turn around day?

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This was our first cruise and 25th anniversary.

 

The people we met at Speak Easy (new friends now), the server in Speak Easy named Aiza, and our room steward, Michael, were the best part of the ship.  I filled out recommendation cards and gave them glowing reviews in the post-cruise survey.  Michael put an anniversary poster on our door as well as two congratulations balloons and gave us an anniversary card.  He even made us two wash cloth bunnies.

The lay-out of our after balcony suite was great except for the second television being placed in such a way that if you have to round the corner from the sofa in front of the foot of the bed, you need to duck a bit on your way to the bathroom.  I was also the one who needed soft foods but decided to bring my own Carnation Breakfast Essentials.  Other than that, my buffet and dining room "go to" foods were the mashed potatoes and gravy and the corned beef hash.  I absolutely fell in love with the Coffee And Cones "mocha milk shake" and had one or two every day.

 

I agree that the promotions were a bit crazy.  When not up on 15 at the buffet or getting my mocha shake, we were on seven or six.  Walking through seven, they were always trying to get you to buy photo packages.  Which brings me to the ports.

 

We did our own walking tours of Juneau (diamond district and not much else really), Skagway (a few different shops but still a lot of that) and Ketchikan.  Ketchikan was rainy and a bit on the chilly side and if you wanted to cover the distance, you needed to take their free shuttle which was over-crowded.  We were getting stepped on and shoved both directions.  We did find some nifty things to buy in all of the ports and got some awesome photographs and video.  We did not bother to get off in Victoria as it was too late (the shops we would have wanted to visit were closed and too far for the short time limit we would have to go and get back).

Glacier Bay was nice to me, but hubby was not impressed as he had lived in Alaska before and thought that the glaciers have a better look to them later in the summer.

 

I really enjoyed the movies they offered both in our suite and available down in the Speak Easy.  Hubby came home with lots of new cigars to enjoy as well.

Neither of us really drinks alcohol.  One of our new found friends was in the "Voice Of The Ocean" competition which we did go to see and vote on.  He did not get picked as one of the final three, but it was nice hearing the talent they had.  We got together later and I had some champagne to celebrate that he was at least a contestant in the show.

 

Over-all, the cruise was wonderful.  Disembarkation went smoothly except one of our bags ended up in a different group line and we had to go hunt it down.  Wait for porters with carts was a bit long, too.

 

The ship itself is very beautiful and they were painting it when docked at the ports because when we would go down to the deck 7 smoking area, we would smell the paint.

 

If I think of anything else, I will post it here.

 

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8 hours ago, Lindaru said:

 

We did our own walking tours of Juneau (diamond district and not much else really), Skagway (a few different shops but still a lot of that) and Ketchikan.  Ketchikan was rainy and a bit on the chilly side and if you wanted to cover the distance, you needed to take their free shuttle which was over-crowded.  We were getting stepped on and shoved both directions.  We did find some nifty things to buy in all of the ports and got some awesome photographs and video.  We did not bother to get off in Victoria as it was too late (the shops we would have wanted to visit were closed and too far for the short time limit we would have to go and get back).
 

Next time you get to Alaska - make it a point to get out of the downtown areas. The beauty of the ports is not located downtown. It is outside of downtown. Victoria is worth getting off the ship for.

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On 5/19/2019 at 8:16 PM, deliver42 said:

The MDR food for the most part was OK, except for the lobster dinner. They had some green slop with the lobster over rice, which overcame the lobster taste. Just by looks alone, I wouldn't have given it to my dog.

You should have sent it back & asked for lobster without the green slop on it. They would have been happy to exchange it & just provided clarified butter. 

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Princess crews are great. Thank you for your review. Glad to see you had fun

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16 hours ago, XBGuy said:

 

 

We enjoyed multiple dinners in the specialty restaurants.  SHARE was outstanding--we had three dinners, there--and Crown Grill was, well, Crown Grill--better than the dining room.

 

 

 

We finally were able to go to SHARE on the first night, very impressed. The portion size of the plates was just right and the food was delicious.  I always feel overstuffed at the other specialty restaurants or maybe it’s just the wine.  

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14 hours ago, Ep010835 said:

 

You'd think it would be a point of pride for Princess to keep the ships looking nice. 

Especially right out of dry/wet dock.  

 

It it drives me nuts that the windows in the MDR seem to always be dirty. I’m certainly not a ship maintenance guy but constantly dirty windows? How long does it take to spray off the windows on turn around day?

 

We noticed this, too, over the last decade or so.  Our balcony on the Grand (and the Golden for that matter) was so full of rust and the windows up top in the lounge looked like someone lost their lunch all over them, you'd sink into cushions on the furniture that was so old and the public bathrooms were just shameful.   And I hear ya all when you say, ships rust, windows get dirty, tiles break, furniture takes a beating  ... the funny thing is, we've really noticed this only on the Century when they were just about to sell her off and some older Princess ships, including the Grand, Golden and even the Crown (their mini golf course was in shambles ... take it out if you're not going to maintain it).  We have sailed on many different cruiselines and so don't give a pass to rusty, dirty, poorly maintained ships just because that what ships are supposed to look like when they are old.  We sailed on the Explorer of the Seas a couple of years back and it was immaculate and she was built in 2000, so actually a year older than the Golden.  

On a positive note, I recently sailed on the Royal and she was absolutely gorgeous!  I was so impressed with how everything just sparkled.  And .... thankfully, no filth catcher (that blue matting) on the balconies as I've seen on the Grand Class ships.  

I was also very impressed with the food on the Royal ... not one bad meal to be had.  Everything was so very good.  The only sticking point about the MDR is that they appeared to have such a inadequate number of staff.  The meal wasn't dining ... it was sitting around waiting to be noticed and served,  with the exception of one team we had three times only ... they were outstanding!!  But, the other meals had us waiting an entire 30 minutes between courses with dirty dishes sitting in front of us the whole time.  The waiters were not standing around, they were running their butts off ... there just weren't enough of them.  

BTW, I really liked the risotto but I could see how some would be off put by the looks of it.  It's a texture thing ... on the Royal, it was actually quite good. 

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