Ruby Princess Review

Fresh from a multi-million dollar renovation, the 3,080-passenger Ruby Princess sailed out of dry dock in December 2015 with many new features, including SHARE. Even with the updates, the Ruby Princess still has a traditional cruise decor that attracts cruisers who are looking for a more traditional cruise experience.

The Ruby Princess offers nearly 900 balconies from which to view the world, an array of entertainment options including Movies Under the Stars® with the industry’s best 7.1 surround sound for an immersive audio experience, and sumptuous dining options from Crown Grill to exciting new top deck dining venues including Slice Pizzeria and Coffee & Cones.

  • Capacity: 3080

  • Staterooms: 1542

  • Total Crew: 1200

In this post I’ll go through many points about the ship experience on the Ruby Princess in 2017 during our Alaska cruise and 2019 during our New Zealand cruise, as well as the ports with links to those reviews at the bottom.

Staterooms

Ruby Princess has over 900 balcony staterooms.

The designers of the Ruby Princess wanted private verandas to be available to virtually everyone, and this ship has nearly 900 cabins with balconies, ranging from standard outside cabins to mini-suites and full suites. The unique tiered design means the balcony above doesn’t block the sun, but nor does it offer much in the way of privacy. It’s worth noting that except for the handful of mini-suites on Emerald Deck, the majority of staterooms in this category are situated on the completely-uncovered Dolphin Deck.  Regular balcony staterooms one deck up on Caribe deck feature balconies that are half covered.

Cabin Categories

  • Interior: There are 436 interior cabins sized approximately 158 to 162 square feet.

  • Oceanview: There are 218 ocean-view cabins ranging from 146 to 206 square feet. They have a picture window or porthole, which allows for natural light and views.

  • Balcony cabins: There are 682 balcony cabins, ranging from 214 to 222 square feet. Each includes a private outdoor balcony with a table and two chairs. There are floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors between the room and balcony.

  • Mini-Suites: There are 178 mini-suites, each about 324 square feet including a separate sitting area with sofa bed and coffee table, and a balcony with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors. The balcony (about 50 square feet) has two to four chairs, a table and an ottoman. Cabins also have a bathroom tub, massage shower head and upgraded amenities. Those staying in this room category get a complimentary welcome glass of Champagne on embarkation day, luxury mattress topper and pillows, and two flat-panel televisions.

  • Suites: There are 28 suites onboard Ruby Princess, ranging in size from 460 to 932 square feet including oversized balconies. The balcony (which has sliding glass floor-to-ceiling doors) includes two loungers, four chairs, a table and ottoman.

    Each standard suite also has a separate sitting area with a flat-screen TV, a sofa bed, a chair and two tables, and there’s another flat-screen TV in the bedroom area. The bathroom has a tub and a separate shower.

    The two-bedroom family suite has two bathrooms, a living room and a large balcony with two to four chairs, a table and an ottoman. One of the bathrooms has a tub, perfect for families with small kids, and the other has just the shower. The living room has a sofa bed and a coffee table.

    Passengers in suites get one complimentary mini-bar setup and free daily bottled water, complimentary Lotus Spa Thermal Suite access, complimentary laundry and professional cleaning services, complimentary dinner in a specialty restaurant on embarkation day, priority specialty dining and shore excursion reservations, and priority disembarkation at tender ports. Passengers staying in suites may also partake in an exclusive breakfast served every morning in the Crown Grill restaurant.

    Greater convenience and more ways to tempt your palate are just two of the benefits you can look forward to when you book a Full Suite or Club Class Mini-Suite with Princess. One of the biggest is Club Class Dining. It offers access to an exclusive area within the main dining room with expedited seating, expanded menu options, unique styled décor and dedicated wait staff. Plus no need to make cruise dining reservations through Dine My Way.

Ruby Princess Amenities

The Piazza

Piazza on the Ruby Princess

At the center of the ship, the 3 story atrium is very beautiful, grand, and spacious, with 2 elegant staircases and touches of glass and brass. This elegant atrium serves as the backdrop for some memorable moments, including the Champagne waterfall at the captain’s welcome party.

In the Piazza there are a few shops, a couple of bars, the entrance to the casino, and the International Cafe. There’s plenty of comfortable seating and has a nice dance floor in the middle, where you can dance to the live bands. The Piazza is the central hub of the Ruby Princess and there was always something going on.

Food and Drink

The Ruby Princess has many choices in dining venues; both free and fee-based. The food was great and the options diverse, and if you don’t like a meal you’ve receive, they will promptly replace it with something else you’d prefer.

There are three main dining rooms that come in handy for the line’s Personal Choice Dining Program, which allows passengers to choose from Traditional Dining with early and late seatings for dinner or Anytime Dining. The ship’s 24-hour casual restaurant, the Horizon Court, offers a buffet alternative for breakfast and lunch; at night it becomes a sit-down bistro. Tuscan-inspired Sabatini’s is the ship’s venue for upscale Italian fare, and has established itself over the years as one of cruising’s more popular alternative restaurant concepts.

Entertainment

Say the night-life on-board is entertaining is an understatement. Illuminating the stage in captivating productions, Princess Cruises performers are some of the most talented musicians, singers and dancers at sea. Our Princess Signature Shows, lounge performers, movies and casinos are just some of the entertainment our guests enjoy as they escape completely.

Princess Theatre

Ruby Princess Theater

The Princess Theatre is the ship’s two level and largest entertainment venue located on decks 6 and 7. The theater features production shows, entertainers, singers and comedians at night, during the day there are various workshops, demonstrations and seminars available here.

Princess produces some of the best Broadway style shows at sea and, with great acoustics, comfortable seating, and a state-of-the-art sound and video system, Princess provides cruisers with the ultimate theatrical experience. 

While some of the newer ships have great shows, the Ruby Princess offers passengers something that they can’t; the ability to go and see a show at anytime without needing a reservation. The new ships have too many passengers to allow that kind of freedom. So on a new ship you may have to make reservations ahead of time for the shows. The Ruby Princess offers plenty of seating with clear views and each chair offers a pop up table for your drinks. 

The solo shows and enrichment were quite interesting during our Alaska cruise.

Movies Under the Stars

Ruby Princess Pool and Movie Screen

The Lido Deck, Deck 15, possibly the busiest area of the ship due to the many offerings, is where Movies Under the Stars is located – a giant 300-square foot poolside movie theater with a 69,000-watt sound system.

Throughout the day and night, this exclusive open-air poolside amphitheater is the place to be for feature films, thrilling concerts and exciting sporting events such as live football games. During chilly days or evenings, cruisers can get cozy under a fleece blanket in a comfortable lounger and snack on complimentary fresh-popped popcorn or delicious cookies and milk.

Outdoor Recreation

Pools & Whirlpools Spas

We are not “pool people” but the Ruby Princess has 4 pools and 7 whirlpool spas. The pools looked spacious but possibly under-utilized by passengers on our cruises except on rare occasions when it was a bit overcrowded but, with an ample amount of lounge chairs and tables with chairs, these were, for the most part, a perfect spots to relax on a sea day.

  • Calypso Reef & Pool on Deck 15, the Lido Deck, is a good spot to chill out; there are lounge chairs and two whirlpools nearby.

  • Neptune’s Reef & Pool, also on Deck 15, is located near the Trident Grill and Pizzeria; this is the most popular pool and the one where all the kids hang out. There are plenty of lounge chairs and whirlpools nearby.

  • Terrace Pool on Deck 14, the Riviera Deck, below the Horizon buffet offers a much quieter spot.

  • Lotus Spa and Lotus Pool on Deck 16, the Sun Deck, is the adults-only pool with a hot tub, lounge chairs, tables and umbrellas. There is an extra fee to use these facilities; cost is around $29 per day or $129 for the duration of the cruise. The spa is open from 8am. to 10pm.

Recreation

I would not classify the Ruby Princess as an overly active cruise ship, but there are facilities for exercise and recreational activities

  • Sports Court on Deck 19, the Star Deck, is used for basketball, volleyball.

  • Nine-hole miniature putting course and Cybergolf, a golf simulator, for those who love the game or are newbies and want to have some fun are also located on Deck 19.

  • Jogging/walking track is also located on Deck 19.

  • The Gym on Deck 16, the Sun Deck, is well maintained and has the standard gym equipment; treadmills, bikes, elliptical machines, weights and yoga mats. The gym is open from 6am to 10pm and passengers must be 16 and older.

Sun Decks

If you’re looking for outdoor space to relax, Deck 16, the Sun Deck, has the most space and lounge chairs. The pools also have space but it’s a bit louder, which is okay if you have kids. A lot of people hang out on the sun decks and there are plenty of lounge chairs – unattended items were removed removed at timely intervals to allow others to use the chair.

The Sanctuary on Deck 17, the Sports Deck, is for adults only and entry comes at an additional cost – $20 for half-day; $40 for the whole day during our cruises. You’re paying for seclusion and exclusivity, plus the lounge chairs here are padded, so they are very comfortable.

Children & Teens

Cruising is a popular family vacation, and we saw a few kids of all ages aboard the Ruby Princess during our Alaska cruise (none on our New Zealand cruise). With a full kids club offering of cabin categories with tubs and services like crib rentals and complimentary jarred baby food, Ruby Princess is a good choice for families.

Kids

Camp Discovery is the the onboard kids program; families are free to visit some of the Camp Discovery areas with their babies, ages 6 months to 2 years old, but most sections are off-limits to children under 2 years of age.

The camp is divided into two groups depending on age.

  • The Treehouse is for 3- to 7-year-olds who are kept busy with coloring projects, toys, books, dance parties and sing-alongs. Kids in this age bracket must be signed into and out of the camp by a parent or designated guardian.

  • The Lodge is for the tween set, ages 8 to 12. As long as parents sign a waiver giving permission, kids of this age can come and go as they please. Counselors here will keep the kids busy with talent shows, dance competitions, rocket-building Lego contests, paper airplane challenges and treasure hunts. The space also has video games, which is a big draw.

Teens

The Beach House teen center is for 13- to 17-year-olds. They have video game tournaments; air hockey, foosball and Ping-Pong games; dance parties and movie nights.

Ruby Princess is Best For:

Classic Cruisers: The ship’s nightclub, Skywalkers, is great for post-dinner drinks and dancing, but those looking for an all-night party won’t find it on Ruby Princess.

Couples: From SHARE to Vines to Crooners piano bar, there are many options for date night. Add a couples massage in the Lotus Spa to really feel like you’re on your honeymoon — even if you’re not.

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