Cruises

Princess Cruises Ruby Princess Review

The Ruby Princess was designed to be an escape for couples – even if their kids are voyaging with them.

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Christened in 2008, the Ruby Princess is the newest ship in the Princess Cruises fleet, with an emphasis on entertaining couples seeking a romantic getaway. The ship features 18 decks (decks 1-19 with 13 superstitiously absent), five pools and spas (including the adult-only Sanctuary), three bars, three nightclub-style lounges, Gatsby’s casino, traditional and specialty dining. There are also six different types of staterooms, including family suites with room for up to eight passengers and under-18 entertainment options for those traveling with a family.

There is much to do aboard the Ruby Princess, but there are plenty of quiet areas as well. The food is above average, with a variety of choices for every meal. We would like to make special mention of the small bites spread around the many bars and lounges, which were just spectacular. It could be difficult to navigate through the winding decks and passageways. There were a lot of closed areas, like dead ends in a maze.

The Ruby Princess was designed to be an escape for couples—even if their kids are voyaging with them. While there are definitely amenities for all kids to enjoy, including age-appropriate centers, events, and activities, the majority of the on-board attractions are designed for adults, especially the adults-only relaxation center, the Sanctuary.

While there isn’t an extensive amount of pool space, there is a great deal of outdoor areas for those looking to enjoy the sun. At night the Ruby Princess provides no end of entertainment. Whether looking for a night out gambling, a quiet evening watching a movie under the stars, a relaxing night at a quiet lounge like Crooners, or out dancing at one of the ship’s nightclubs, the Ruby Princess has something for everyone. The bars were particularly noteworthy, with innovative drinks and tasty little bites to go with. Even those looking to seal or renew their vows can do so at the ship’s on-board “Hearts and Minds” wedding chapel.

There are some interesting design choices that are common to this class of ship—namely the flimsy privacy divides on the balconies of many rooms, and the ziggurat-like design of stacked decks that defeat the purpose of balcony privacy altogether. The deck planning is a little unfortunate, it is hard to get used to how the ship is built and thus hard to navigate, especially to the main dining rooms. Other than these drawbacks, the Ruby Princess is always elegant and clean.

Our Inside Cabin was very small, especially considering Princess suggests that four people could be living there. The closet space was great on the other hand, so if you don’t mind tight living quarters, you can bring quite a bit of stuff with you.

For two, the Ruby Princess would be a fun trip without spending too much. Couples will find a vacation on the Ruby Princess a welcome getaway from the stresses of regular working life. What else is a vacation for?

Cabin Overview

The staterooms on the Ruby Princess range significantly sizable, with options across the board. The smallest is the 160-square-foot Interior Double, which features basic amenities and two twin beds that can be made into a queen. The largest two staterooms are the Family Suite, with room for eight in two staterooms joined by a large living area and an extended balcony, and the Full Suite with Balcony.

Our Cabin: Interior Cabin

The Interior Doubles are merely one bedroom with a walk-in closet, a desk, refrigerator, and television. There is a small bathroom and the total area comes to approximately 160 square feet.

There is a walk-in closet right in front of the bathroom with one smallish shelf. The desk has some storage space too, where you can also find a safe for important belongings.

Like the other non-suite rooms on ship, the Interior Doubles have two twin beds that can be made into a single queen-sized, and two bunk beds. The bedroom is the only real space in this cabin, though facing mirrors do help to make the limited space feel more open. The night lamps are too tall though, when the beds are bunked, the lamps get trapped under the top bunk.

The bathroom offers only the basics and a stand-up shower in this small space. The bathroom space is not any more tight in the Interior Doubles than in any of the non-suite staterooms on the Ruby Princess.

There is definitely not enough storage space though. There is only a little nook in the shower for toiletries, and a mini, three tier shelf on the wall.

Other Cabins

Cabin With Balcony

The cabins offering a balcony range in size from 233 to 285-square-feet, including the balcony, and are generally laid out with beds overlooking views over the ocean.

The balcony cabins feature amenities similar to the Interior Double, with dual twin beds that can be made into a single queen bed. The rooms could also sleep a third with an optional rollaway bed, but space would be extremely limited.

The bathroom setup has all the requirements, but is quite cramped. There is a stand-up shower and limited space.

The cabins offering a balcony do have a small closet for personal belongings, though again space is at a premium.

The balcony may not have enough room to stretch out on, but it does offer patio furniture to sit out and enjoy the views.

Mini-Suite With Balcony

The Mini-Suite only adds an additional 50-square-feet of space over the standard balcony stateroom, but it’s put to good use with the addition of a tub in the bathroom and a small walk-in closet off the main room. There is also a more separated (if still compressed) living area next to the balcony, with a couch, desk, and second television.

The bedroom is not upgraded greatly over the smaller staterooms, with two twin beds that can be made into a single queen bed and limited extra space.

The Mini-Suite offers a larger bathroom overall. It’s still mostly the basics, but there’s more room to spread out in addition to the full tub and massage shower head.

The living area is quite small, but it is separated from the bedroom, with just enough extra room to put your feet up and watch the second television from the couch.

The floor plan of the mini-suite allows for a larger walk-in storage area alongside the more accommodating bathroom.

The Mini-Suite offers balcony views with patio furniture included. The balconies of each stateroom are separated by a small divider, with ocean views and multiple decks rising upward.

Oceanview Double

The Ruby Princess offers Oceanview Double cabins that range in size from 158 to 181-square-feet (compared to approximately 160-square-feet for Interior Doubles) with a picture window. The cabin offers a similar layout, but with a small sitting area at the rear of the room. (Note: Princess lists category E-G of Oceanview Doubles on this ship as having obstructed or partially obstructed views, but should provide some ambient light compared to Interior Doubles.)

The Oceanview Doubles do not offer anything more than Interior Doubles in the way of sleeping accommodations, with two twins that can be made into a single queen.

The bathroom is still small but appears to be a hair larger than the Interior Doubles in some floor plans, but it’s all basics here.

There is a small storage area visible on the floor plan, though it’s not any larger than the interior rooms.

Cabin Amenities

All rooms come with a standard hair dryer, mounted onto a shelf below the TV. On the desk, there is a phone that can make ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore calls. There is also some complimentary paper and Princess branded pens here as well. Below the desk are two US-style, 110 Volt outlet plugs.

By request, fresh fruit can be provided in your room any time you like. In the bathroom are all of the basic toiletries, such as shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion. If you ask nicely, the steward will bring you waffle weave cloth bathrobes (they will bring you one if your asking isn’t so nice, but why do that?)

The TV gets content from a satellite feed, with six channels as well as a movie channel featuring first-run movies, sitcoms, and dramas. You should be able to catch all major sporting events in your room. Every movie shown at Movies Under the Stars is featured on your cabin’s TV the following day.

The suites have a different set of amenities, detailed by Princess in the following statement:

“Mini-suites include a welcome glass of champagne, two televisions, a sitting area and a spacious closet, while full suites offer all of these premiums plus amenities such as a DVD/CD player and free access to a DVD library. Full suite passengers also enjoy complimentary web access in the Internet Café and via WiFi, laundry and dry cleaning, use of the Lotus Spa® Thermal Suite (on select ships), one-time free mini-bar setup and use of our Disembarkation Lounge.”

Dining Overview

The ship offers a main dining area, several “Anytime Dining” options, specialty restaurants, and a number of casual on-the-go eateries in addition to 24-hour room service.

The Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Da Vinci Dining Rooms are the main restaurants on the Ruby Princess, all with the same a la carte menus for dinner featuring international cuisine. The Botticelli Dining Room does traditional seated dinner with seating times at 6 and 8:15pm. The other two main dining rooms offer “Anytime Dining” where guests are invited to show up at their leisure between 5:30 and 10pm to find a table for dinner. On sea days, breakfast and lunch are served at the Da Vinci Dining Room.

The Crown Grill Steakhouse is one of two upscale dining options, offering prime cuts of meat and seafood, served from an open kitchen where you can watch the chefs prepare your meal. All of this is available for an extra fee of $25 per person. To eat here, you must make a reservation during the open hours of 6 to 11pm.

The other specialty restaurant, Sabatini’s is an authentic Italian eatery requiring an extra $20 per person for dinner. A meal at Sabatini’s used to be a set eight course dinner, Princess has since changed this to everyone’s detriment. We ordered from an a la carte menu on our visit. Reservations between 6 and 11pm are required.

Horizon Court and Café Caribe are the “top-of-the-ship” buffets. Horizon Court has a limited breakfast from 4am, opening to a full breakfast at 6am. This buffet transitions smoothly into lunch at 11:30, scaling back to light snacks at 3:30pm, and closing at 5:30pm, as there is no dinner at Horizon Court. Café Caribe serves food all day from 6am to midnight, with a two hour break in the afternoon between lunch and dinner.

Outside, there are a few grills where you can get fast food items like pizza, burgers, hot dogs, or an ice cream. For other quick bites, Vines has tapas and sushi as well as a cocktail bar. The International Café has some small bites too, with sandwiches, salads, and pastries for dessert.

Botticelli Dining Room

Located aft, on the Plaza deck, this traditional main dining room has seating times at 6 and 8:15pm. This room is brightly lit, with clusters of lights on the ceiling shining down on tables with white linens, and real silverware, surrounded by faded green chairs. Paintings of and by Mr. Botticelli line the walls at this restaurant. Parties can be sat in groups of two or up to eight people. This restaurant is open for dinner only.

The menu features international fare that changes daily. There are heart healthy and vegetarian alternatives all over the menu. Most dishes were pretty straightforward, like a scampi fra diavolo, a broiled lobster or a chicken scaloppine.

For dinner, one of our favorites was the thinly sliced duck breast with sweet cranberries: truly delectable. The spaghetti with seafood was great too, coming to us creamy, not too fishy, and slathered in a white wine sauce. We also recommend the chateaubriand. The meat was tender, and perfectly cooked. The sauce on top was truly amazing. If you were looking at the mussels, we say you should stay away. They didn’t taste very good, feeling rather dry in the mouth.

Dessert was yummy, with choices like tiramisu, different ice creams, sherbets, a cheese plate, a milky chocolate souffle, and a whole menu of different options daily. There were two static staples though: the Princess Love Boat Dream, a heart shaped chocolate mousse covered with more chocolate, and of course a New York cheesecake.

Da Vinci Dining Room

The Da Vinci is quite similar to the Botticelli and Michelangelo dining rooms, offering international fare at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a large beverage and wine list. It is decorated in a similar style, with Renaissance-esque murals surrounding the dining area along curved walls. It is located at the middle of the Fiesta deck.

There are a few reservations for traditional seating, the rest are “Anytime Dining”. The Da Vinci is the only main dining room to offer breakfast and lunch, available only on sea days. There is also a classical afternoon tea here every day.

The Da Vinci Dining Room is the only place on the ship for a seated breakfast. The menu isn’t very long, offering American favorites like pancakes, waffles, french toast, bacon, egg dishes, and pastries.

Here we have a shot of some example fare from the Da Vinci dining room, with an extensive drink menu to go with international fare. The food menu changes daily, what is available depending on date and destination.

We loved the gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce, as well as the gazpacho, and the burgers, which were really juicy, some of the best we have had on a ship thus far in our travels.

The Da Vinci dining room has some after-dinner dessert options to satisfy your sweet tooth and complete your meal, an example of which can be seen here.

A sample of the menu may include a double chocolate fudge cake, mixed berry jello, cheese and crackers, fresh fruits and – our personal favorite – a blueberry roulade with mascarpone creme. It was light, fruity, and not too sweet.

Michelangelo Dining Room

The third main dining room, the Michelangelo is a spacious dining area at the center of the Plaza deck. Just opposite the Princess Fine Arts gallery, this restaurant has curved walls painted to resemble renaissance era murals and paintings. The tables range in accommodations for either intimate meals or group dining. The Michelangelo, along with the Da Vinci dining room, is available as part of the “Anytime Dining” option, where passengers can opt to leave their dining plans open in contrast to traditional fixed-time cruise dining. Dinner is the only meal served at the Michelangelo dining room.

Crown Grill

The place for gourmet steak and seafood, served in the opulent atmosphere of a top-notch steakhouse. There's certainly plenty of rich wood and leather to go around, giving the room a decidedly “old boy’s club” feel. Princess boasts that the Crown offers fare “grilled to your specific tastes,” with wine options to match.

Billed as an upscale restaurant, we were a bit disappointed by what we found. Service was far below expectations: Staff paid no attention to what side they served on, reached over the table, and definitely no ladies first here. They never asked if you'd like your wine refilled, they just went ahead and did it. This may sound picky, and we can dine happily without these extra notes of service, but we know what to expect of upscale dining, and that quality was sadly absent. Our waitress was friendly, but overattentive, not leaving us to enjoy our meal at the appropriate times.

For an appetizer, we had the scallops and foie gas. The foie gras with fennel and a radish salad was quite tasty, the foie gras just melting away in the mouth, perfectly paired with the lighter bit of salad.

As a second course, the mussels in white wine sauce were well cooked, but bland. There was virtually no seasoning. We could pass on this next time around.

To finish, we ordered the veal chop in Madeira, marinated with herbs and sauteed mushrooms and a side of garlic herb French fries. This whole dish was way too big. The mushrooms and veal were cooked well, but a little dry. The fries were good, but they gave us a heaping portion. Curiously, we noticed that the mushrooms had more garlic than the fries. Altogether, we weren't too impressed by our dinner at the Crown Grille.

Of course we had to have the dessert sampler. It started with a seven layer s’mores stack, then a molten dutch chocolate obsession, followed by a wild berry and apple cobbler, and finally a lemon meringue pudding tart. Of the four, the meringue was the best. The s’mores were too sweet for our taste.

Sabatini's

Sabatini’s is a lightly decorated, upscale Italian restaurant, with food options that are designed to “delight any food connoisseur,” according to Princess’ description. The restaurant features an extensive wine list, and both indoor and outdoor dining, with an open veranda overlooking the ocean on the rear of the Sun deck.

This venue is definitely more upscale than the Crown Grille. The waiters are more up to the task of serving to fine dining standards, but we noticed that along with standards came a certain air of arrogance!

We started with antipasti, including some delicious herbed focaccia grissini, rosemary flatbread with air cured parma prosciutto, and marinated green and black olives.

Our first appetizer, the Vitello tonnato, was great. The ingredients, some tuna, some beef, capers and a sauce, come separated and it is up to you to combine them on a fork and consume the deliciousness.

The second course, a cheese ravioli with truffle sauce was great, though we have to say they definitely scrimped on the truffles. This course was spectacularly cheesy and delicious.

For our final dish, we had the lobster three ways, the tail with butter, lobster risotto and a lobster bisque sauce. Each part was delicious, the sauce especially titillating, making the other parts of the meal all the more delicious.

Sabatini’s also features gourmet desserts, for finishing off a romantic candlelit dinner. Just don’t try the lemon tart. The cheese selection on the other hand is great, with delicious cheeses from all over the world.

Horizon Court

The Horizon Court is a casual dining atmosphere with tables and a buffet selection of traditional fare. It sits in front of ocean views on the Lido deck, displaying both the Horizon Terrace and the Neptune/Calypso pools. It offers a more laid-back atmosphere compared to some of the other dining options on ship, with more flexible hours and seating.

The buffet opens early for breakfast at 5:30am, with a more full breakfast starting at 6:30, going till 11:30 am. We liked that this buffet looked more like a restaurant than buffets on other ships, upholding a modicum of elegance. There is cutlery on the tables and the layout is similar to the other restaurants on board.

For breakfast, there is an egg station, pastries, pancakes, waffles, muesli, cereal, yogurt, cold cuts, cheese, and fresh fruits.

Horizon Court is not open for dinner. At lunch, expect some international cuisine, including dishes from the US, Asia, Italy, and France. Pictured here are some selections taken from the buffet at Horizon Court.

The dessert selection was well worth a trip to Horizon Court. The tiramisu, cookies, and fruit tarts were all wonderful.

Café Caribe

During sea days, you can grab three separate meals at Café Caribe: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Regularly, only dinner is served here. The design is the exact same as the Horizon Court restaurant.

Breakfast is served from 6:30 to 10am, but if there aren’t many customers, Cafe Caribe will remain closed, even on sea days.

Dinner is decidedly light at Cafe Caribe. Each night, the food is paired with a theme, like American night where small hamburgers and disastrous international politics are on the menu.

Vines Wine & Seafood Bar

Vines features an open, bar-oriented seating arrangement, with a selection of seafood and wine to choose from.

Located down on the Plaza deck, deck number 5, Vines features open seating with small tables. It is the perfect place for a quick snack or a relaxing few hours spent sipping wine.

The menu has unique, new and old world, vintage wines as well as tapas and sushi rolls. You can order wine by the flight, glass, or bottle.

There is a daily selection of sushi and tapas that come complimentary with any beverage purchase. Made on the spot, the sushi was surprisingly delicious, using only very fresh fish. The seaweed salads were also fantastic, especially the red seaweed salad with sticky rice. You can’t go wrong with the tapas either, we loved the seasoned meatball, the crostini with manchego and prosciutto, the tomato mozzarella and calamari ring as well.

International Cafe

Right in the Piazza with all the other fun, this bar serves light meals, specialty coffee, and a full bar menu throughout the day. The coffee is some of the best we’ve had on the sea, and you can get a cup 24 hours of the day. The tables have marble tops with dark chairs and they decorate this place with aged wine barrels. On sea days this venue is totally crowded in the afternoon, so try to avoid the heavy traffic.

We noticed that service could be really slow at times. We sat down, and for 5-minutes no one bothered to even address us, though we saw many servers standing around with nothing to do. One time we left without ordering anything because we could not get service.

There are a whole host of salads, like shrimp, tuna, and greek. You can get quiches, subs, panini, donuts, danishes, tarts, muffins, basically all the best and most indulgent foods you like. How about some creme brulee, ice cream, and cookies?

Coffee, coffee, wonderfully delicious coffee, is on order at the International Café. There is a large list of specialty coffee drinks, some made with espresso, and a list of Revolution teas. You can purchase a coffee card for about $30, which will get you 15 espresso drinks to caffeinate your voyage.

In-Room Dining

The phone wasn’t working very well during our trip, which made room service orders a bit difficult. On top of this, there were long wait times to order. Sometimes we never got through to place our order. We scheduled breakfast for 8:30am one day, and it didn’t arrive until 9:30.

Service aside, the choice on the menu, including soups, salads, hot dishes, sandwiches, and desserts was great, accompanied by an extensive drink list.

In some of the higher-echelon rooms, Princess serves the Ultimate Balcony Dining experience, where the staff will serve a meal, just like in the restaurants in your private stateroom. This service is available from 7 to 10am and 5 to 10pm. You can order a champagne breakfast for two, with a half bottle of champagne, pastries, smoked salmon, cream cheese, fresh fruits, and a quiche lorraine ($32 per couple). In the evening, you can get a lobster balcony dinner, which includes a cocktail per person, canapés, one flower bouquet, a half bottle of champagne, and a set menu with crab cakes, a mesclun greens salad, broiled cold water lobster tail, a grilled beef tenderloin diane, or a surf and turf combination plus dessert.

Like any other ship, room service was presented under lids to preserve the freshness and temperature of each dish.

Make selections on a door tag and hang it from your door for breakfast. Or you can call room service by 10am for in-room breakfast. The menu is small, with only cereal, yogurt, bread, pastries, eggs, and bacon.

The lunch and dinner menu was large, with a heap of variety. You can order a bunch of different salads like a mixed green garden, a caesers or a chef’s. There were many sandwiches, like a classic club, roast beef, and turkey sandwiches. There were hot dishes like hot dogs, hamburgers, lasagna, Moroccan crock pot and pita bread, and a whole pizza. All of it tasted pretty good.

There are more elegant options too, like a selection of hors d’oeuvres in regular, deluxe and dessert varieties.

In room beverages are done in packages. Beer can be ordered in sixes, for $21.25, soda in sixes for $9.75, wine with four 187 ml bottles for $21, and a combination of beer and wine for $29.50.

Bottles of liquor and stateroom bar packages are available at non-duty-free prices through room service or from designated bar locations.

Drinks Overview

Guests are not allowed to bring alcoholic beverages (other than wine and/or champagne) on board for consumption. All liquor will be collected at the gangway and delivered to the cabin on the last day of the cruise. If you bring a bottle of wine or champagne to your table, you’ll have to pay a $15 corkage fee, unless you drink it in your room. All public lounges will incur the corking fee.

Beer & Wine

You can buy six beers for the price of five, either Beck’s, Coors Light, Dos Equis, Miller Genuine Draft, or Miller Lite for $23.25.

The wine list is respectably long. There are 15 pages, filled with red, white, rosé, champagnes, and some special reserves at the beginning sorted by grape and country of origin. Depending on the wine you order, prices start at $24 for a Chardonnay, going up to $179 for a Moet Chandon or a Dom Perignon.

Mixed Drinks

Mostly the bar menu is the same throughout the ship. At the outside bars, there are more frozen drinks, like margaritas, cooladas, and mojitos. Inside, the “Mediterranean” cocktails start at $7.50, martinis can be had for $7.95, and premium liqueurs and spirits range from $5.50 to $11.50.

Crooner’s Bar is the only place on the ship with a different drinks list. It is the martini bar, after all.

Drink Packages

There are a couple of discounted beverages available as packages. For unlimited soda, mocktails, juices, shakes, and floats, you can pay $5.18 per person, per day, and it comes with a souvenir tumbler. The price includes the service charge as well.

Or you can order six soda cans for the price of five: Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Diet Sprite, orange soda, soda water, tonic water, and ginger ale together for $11.75.

There is the Café Selects Coffee Card, which for $31 you get 15 espresso-based hot or cold coffee drinks, and a coffee mug.

Non-alcoholic Options

There are plenty of non-alcoholic mocktails aboard, like the No-Jito, the Fruity Rita, and the Key West cooler for about $4. Aside from these options are iced tea, coffee, water, juice, soda, and other selections for about $3.

Wheelhouse Bar

The Wheelhouse is made to look like a traditional British pub, with high-backed leather chairs and low tables in a very informal, but elegant environment. The decorations are nautically themed, heavy on sea navigation items like sextants. There is a small stage with a piano and a place for a band.

On sea days, you can grab a complimentary pub lunch. From the traditional menu come fish and chips, sweet and sour shrimps, curry, and the English version of shepherds pie.

Crooners Bar and Lounge

If you head to the Piazza on deck 7, you can find Crooners Bar and Lounge, where this relaxed and dark setting has comfortable chairs and tables. There is a piano up on a stage, surrounded by small, intimately arrange tables for those looking for a more private, quiet time. Crooners is a great place for a drink before dinner.

Crooner’s has a slightly different drink menu than the rest of the bars on the ship. This martini bar has some signature martinis like the Ricky Martin-I (awkward), Suntini, Lemon Tini, Mini Mi Martini and other friskily named beverages. There are a few “Crooner’s Classics” like the Sammy’s Sidekick, Ocean’s 11, and the Leader of the Clan. Don’t forget the Bond Collection of drinks, like the 007 Classic, the Dr. No and From Russia with Love, all of which can be served shaken, or stirred, but come on, you know how to order these ones.

There is music every night at Crooners and occasionally you they will get a trivia contest going too.

Adagio Bar

The Adagio bar is the perfect place to sip on an aperitif while you wait for a table at one of the restaurants. Every drink ordered comes with some crostinis and olives. There is a small piano stage with an outside patio with fountains and fake grass. Smoking is allowed outside, should you wish it.

Explorer's Lounge

This lounge, on deck 7 just before the Crown Grill, acts as the second main stage on the Ruby Princess, hosting nightclub-style performances like a regular comedy act. An oriental theme runs throughout this bar, with huge paintings on the wall and hues of brown and blue. The space is enormous, mostly providing room for some sales events and the evening shows. There is occasional trivia here as well.

Skywalker Nightclub

This nightclub is high atop the rear terrace of the ship on deck 19. The galaxy-themed decor sheds artificial starlight on everything inside, while opening to sweeping views of the ocean at night. There are a few TV screens, a lighted dance floor, and a DJ helping you to party the night away.

Club Fusion

Club Fusion features a nightclub-style blend of entertainment and nightlife, with extensive seating wrapping around the center of the room like a nautilus shell, continuing the subtle sea-faring theme throughout the ship.

Spa & Fitness

Lotus Spa

In addition to the standard list of massages, there are aroma therapy and stone massages. Different facial treatments and acupuncture can also be ordered. The following is a list of some of the more interesting treatments available:

*La Thérapie HydraLift Facial
*Aroma Stone Therapy
*Ionithermie Cellulite Reduction Program
*Cellutox Aroma Spa Ocean Wrap
*Musclease Aroma Spa Ocean Wrap
*Acupuncture Treatments
*Botox, Restylane, & Perlane Treatments

The Lotus Spa pool is a small outdoor pool, offering complimentary access to those staying in suites with balconies. The Lotus Spa features two hot tubs, a full arrangement of massage and body treatments, as well as the pool. There is also a full fitness center located in the spa.

Sports & Fitness

The Lotus Spa and Fitness Center offers a full selection of fitness equipment, including treadmills, elliptical machines, massage tables, open fitness areas, and weight machines.

Like the spa itself, the fitness center is rather small. However, we noticed that it was never crowded anyway. You can join up with one of the many classes like spinning, pilates, yoga, boot camp, and more.

Other Activities

At the salon they do it all: Manicures, pedicures, hair cuts, and styling. You can opt for an “Exotic Hand Ritual” with your manicure, or a “Sole Delight Foot Treatment” with a pedicure, which may be a bit strange for some. Teeth whitening, hair coloring, styling, cleaning, and a full range of men’s barbering services can be purchased here.

Pools, Sun Decks & Public Spaces

The Calypso

The Calypso is an outdoor section on the Lido deck that offers a small pool with fairly extensive seating around the outside. The pool also features two hot tubs and the Calypso bar facing the pool. The loungers are cushioned so you can actually sit down for 2 hours and watch a movie at night or in the afternoon. The screen is large enough to be seen from many parts of the ship. They really jack up the volume to accommodate all areas, which can get pretty loud some times.

There is easy access to the Horizon buffet restaurant from this pool.

At the nearby bar, you can get tropical drinks like margaritas, caipirinhas, and rum based mixed drinks like a pina colada.

Neptune’s Reef and Pool

Neptune’s Reef and Pool sits opposite the Calypso on the Lido deck, featuring a similarly small swimming area with two pools and extensive seating surrounding the water. While both pools are situated right next to one another, the Neptune sits closer to many of the on-deck casual dining options like the Trident Grill.

The Trident Grill that serves up burgers and dogs all day. Neptune’s pool is also closer to the pizza and ice cream bars. The pizza is pretty good (show us a bad pizza anywhere though), and you can top it with chilli or parmesan if you would like. The ice cream bar has gelato and swirl ice cream with a hefty choice of toppings.

The Mermaid’s Tail is the bar at this pool. There is a smoking section at this bar, the only place on the Lido deck to light up. They serve all the same drinks as are available at the Calypso bar.

Terrace Pool

The Terrace Pool is a small pool that sits at the rear of the Riviera deck below the Horizon Terrace and offers a panoramic views of the horizon behind the Ruby Princess. The swimming area is smaller, but the pool itself is located separate from the main pool and deck areas making it a little more private.

This miniscule area is for adults only, you can access it through Café Caribe or through deck 8. There are not many loungers here. The water is a little cooler, but there is a more private hot tub.

You can get drinks from the Outrigger, a small bar here. There is a waiter actually running around and serving guests. We were impressed.

Sun Deck

On the Sun Deck (deck 16), there is extensive outdoor seating across nearly the entire length of the Ruby Princess, with a large video screen for displaying movies for the Ruby’s “Movies Under the Stars” events. The sun deck overlooks both pool areas as well, with stair access to the Calypso and Neptune pool areas.

There is also a bar here, the Tradewinds, directly in front of the spa entrance. There is a smoking area here. We can’t imagine people emerging from the spa really enjoy this, but it wasn’t our decision to make.

This deck area gets pretty full on sea days, but not necessarily overcrowded.

Promenade

The promenade stretches across decks seven and eight, with the main promenade circling the perimeter of the ship on deck 7. On deck 8, this upper-level section offers views off the bow and chairs to sit and soak it all up.

You can jog around the whole ship. If you make it 2.5 times, you have run a mile.

The Sanctuary

If you are taking the kids with you on a cruise, sometimes you need a little “you” time. The Sanctuary is an adults-only area designed for relaxation, with views extending out ahead of the Ruby Princess. The Sanctuary has a hot tub and swimming pool, as well as several shaded seating areas with umbrellas and tables to get away from it—the kids that is—for a short while.

To relax, Princess provides shade and an outdoor masseuse specializing in sport therapy, Swedish, couples, full body, and chair massages. There is a special food menu here, with light dishes and comfort food, spanning from fruit kebabs to full blown burgers and pizza. Food will set you back an additional $3 per delivery per person.

Entrance to The Sanctuary is $20 per day, or $10 for a half day. Drinks are free.

Speakeasy Cigar Lounge

This lounge is open for indoor smoking and cigar buying. Decorated in dark wood and plush white furniture, located on deck 5, The Speakeasy is just off the Casino. There is a big screen TV here showing news and sports most of the time.

Deck 19

Sure, you can't launch golfballs into the ocean, but you can at least launch pretend golf balls while on the ocean. The Ruby Princess has a sixteen hole miniature golf course. There is also a basketball court, as well as an walking area. Circling the track 16 times equals a mile.

Casino

Gatsby's offers a full haul of table games, including poker, blackjack, and craps to keep everyone happy. Those looking for a more interactive thrill can take advantage of either slots or video poker terminals.

Other Activities

Internet Café

Those who need to check up on e-mail or simply need to settle a bet via Wikipedia can do so at the Internet Center. Those guests staying in full suites get complimentary web access at the Internet Café as part of their reservation.

Princess Theater

The Princess theater shows first-run feature films for guests, as well as romantic comedies geared at those couples enjoying the romantic side of the Ruby Princess.

Library

The Ruby Princess offers an on-ship library, with private reading areas and dividers complemented by large leather chairs and ambient lighting.

Conference Room

For those on business, or for whom work can never be too far away, the Ruby Princess does feature a well-appointed conference room.

Hearts and Minds

Hearts and Minds is the Ruby Princesses’ chapel. It can be reserved for private functions.

Children's Area

This area is for the younger crowd. It contains a teen lounge, an arcade, and a kiddie pool. Parents that enter the designated area must show government issued identification.

Retail

Meridian Bay

Here is the place for high-end accessories like handbags, sunglasses, and jewelery.

Essence

Befitting of the name, Essence sells designer fragrances, but also makeup, little Llardo ceramic figurines, and watches.

Facets

There are some serious stones here like diamonds, emeralds, rubies, amber, and other expensive gems.

Photo Video Gallery

Professional photographers walk about the ship taking pictures of you and your party. Right behind the Crown Grille on deck 7 is a kiosk where you can buy these photos. All of the pictures are displayed along the walls. The walls fold up when this shop is closed and thus the photos are hidden. You can also buy disposable cameras, memory cards, and batteries here. They have pretty much everything you need for your camera.

Art Gallery

On deck 5, the Plaza deck, there is an extensive gallery of fine art for enjoyment and purchase. There are auctions almost every day of the cruise.

Calypso Cove

Calypso Cove is the ship’s gift shop where mementos can be purchased.

Deck Plans

Staff & Ship Policies

We felt that all of the staff were friendly and attentive, with the exception of a few experiences at the International Café.

There are laundry services, you can choose from press-only or professional cleaning for a nominal fee. Your clothes will be returned in 48 hours, unless you pay 50% more for the express service. Passengers staying in suites, and Elite Captain’s Circle members, get to enjoy complimentary laundry and professional cleaning, with an extra charge for express service. There are self-service laundrettes about the ship for significantly less money. They stock laundry products, for a charge and irons.

To arrange for another cruise, utilize the Future Cruise booking agents available in the atrium.

Staff

Most of the staff were punctual and friendly. The sommeliers were especially well informed. The wait staff in the restaurants at times came off as arrogant, though their service could be slow as well. The steward could have been more attentive. Hanging the door sign “Please Service” didn’t seem to improve our room situation much, unless we had left for the entire morning. Watch out for crowds at the International Café, it can get really busy and will take forever to be seated.

Tipping

For the mini-suites and suites, Princess expects $12 per day, and $11.50 for passengers in all the other staterooms. This gratuity is automatically added to your shipboard account on a daily basis. The tips are shared among the waitstaff, stateroom stewards, buffet stewards, and housekeeping staff. You can pre-pay this automatic gratuity before setting sail if you like.

A 15% service charge is added to all drinks ordered, both at the bars and sent to your room, split among all bar staff.

Casino dealers and Lotus Spa personnel do not share in these gratuities, as not all passengers will partake in these services. It is expected that you will tip them if you go to the spa or head to the casino.

Health & Safety

General Health and Safety

There is a mandatory fire drill on embarkation day. You will feel safe with all the life boats and fire extinguishers on board.

Clinics

On deck 4, the medical clinic is staffed by full-time registered doctors and nurses. Office hours are held twice per day. Emergency services are available 24 hours a day. Charges for service apply and will be added to your shipboard account.

Smoking Regulations

Designated smoking areas are clearly marked. You can smoke in the cigar lounges, one section of the nightclub, and the casino. There are a couple of spots on the decks where you can smoke.

There has been an update to the Stateroom Smoking Policy, as follows:

For all voyages departing after January 15th, 2012, Princess Cruises will prohibit smoking in passenger staterooms and balconies. This policy change reflects the preferences of a vast majority of our passengers who value having their primary living space (both stateroom and balcony) smoke-free. As balconies are a hallmark of Princess Cruises, we believe it is important to keep this peaceful space clear of smoke. Violations to this policy will result in a $250 fine for each occurrence, which will be charged to the passenger’s stateroom account. Keeping with the global trend toward more restrictive smoking policies and honoring the wishes of our passengers, we feel this change will enhance our onboard experience and do more to help our passengers escape completely.

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