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Ruby Princess Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,804 Reviews

A Step Above

Ruby Princess Cruise Review by martinbeks

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2017
  • Destination: the Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Interior

This was the first cruise my family and I had taken, just the four of us since we started in 2009. It was a Christmas cruise, and we almost expected Christmas activities to take place daily, but they didn't. They kept all of that for the last day with Santa, a Christmas party, and lots of gingerbread house displays.

I absolutely loved our inside cabin. I liked that the closet was open and facing the bathroom, rather than having it right as you open the door, potentially blocking anyone who wanted to come in/go out. The beds were comfortable, and our room steward always kept everything impeccable.

The food was wonderful. We ate in the main dining room every night, and usually took our waiter's meal suggestions. The Maitre'D was so kind, and she made sure to visit every table to make sure we were as happy as we could be. She was always smiling, and it just looked like she was happy to have us there.

The shows were okay. I did think they were better than on a previous cruise line I was on, but I didn't really find myself invested in them. The magic show was pretty fun, though. I also didn't care for the way they voted on "The Voice at Sea." It seemed disorganized, but I suppose it helps to have a full crowd to really make it worth it.

Embarkation and Disembarkation were fairly easy with a minimal wait. However, on Disembarkation day we had tickets for a day trip before heading to the airport and were told to go to the theater to meet our group. They didn't say which deck part of the theater, and no one really said anything. Thankfully we didn't miss our bus.

On the last day at sea, we got to see a cooking demonstration between the Head Chef and the Hospitality director, both of whom have been with Princess for their entire careers. In the end, they led us through the kitchen to take a peek, and it was so clean. They followed it up by selling Princess cookbooks that the chef and hospitality director signed. I bought one because I collect cookbooks. I can't wait to use it.

The pools were extremely cold. Despite being in the Mexican Riviera, it was kind of cold, and having a heated pool would've been really nice.

As for excursions, we booked them all beforehand through a third party. In Puerto Vallarta, we went on a Pirate Ship and didn't have as good of a time as we'd hoped, mainly because of lack of information to make a good judgment on their website. In Mazatlan, we went on a Bus tour, and our tour guide was so passionate about his city that he made us love it too. It's a beautiful city and I look forward to going back. Cabo was nice, though getting a warning of having to pay a dock fee after our excursion would've been nice. Thankfully we had it ready.

Overall it was a great cruise and we got a well-needed break. The last cruise I was on had a tired looking ship and not nearly enough activities for someone my age. That wasn't the case for the Ruby Princess, and it was wonderful to try a new cruise line.

martinbeks's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin IB A516

Small, but clean. They use the space wisely. I especially loved how the closet was open and facing the bathroom, almost like its own room. I honestly feel like we got more space that way. The shower could've been bigger, but it's a cruise ship. It is what it is.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Pirate Ship Adventure

My sister used to be a pirate performer, so we know pirates. She was so excited to do this excursion, and it was the big one on our cruise vacation. When we got there, our parents were seated on the main level, where they could see the show perfectly. When we tried to take the first available seats on the next level up, we were told we couldn't sit there, and made to go up higher. To the very back of the ship. We couldn't see anything of the show. Like, literally nothing. Plus, everything felt so disorganized. Our Pirate walked right past us after taking everyone else's order, and it took another guest (who worked on our cruise ship) to get his attention to make sure we got served. I will say, though, the food was pretty good, when they remembered to take you below to GET food, which they didn't with my parents.

Upon getting to the beach, nothing on the description explained you'd have to jump out of boats like you were storming Normandy. My parents don't consider themselves to have limited Mobility, but it was very difficult for them to get out of the boat that way. Thankfully getting back on the boat wasn't as difficult.

The time on the beach was nice. Frankly, it was just nice getting back on dry land after the up and down of the ship. The pirates were attentive with the drinks (Jake was awesome), especially after my parents explained that they didn't get to have breakfast, despite paying for it.

On the way back to the main dock after the beach portion, I mostly read my kindle while music blared in my ears (though it was louder down below where you could see the stage).

I think had we been prepared to jump off a boat onto a beach, we would never have taken this excursion. I'm not a strong swimmer, and my parents, despite being completely mobile, aren't used to jumping off boats. I think they should rewrite their excursion description to make it clear what's involved. That there's no dock on the beach, and that the boat is hella rocky, which, small ship. I get it. But dang. Personally, this wasn't my cup of tea, but if you enjoy jumping out of boats, and can somehow convince the pirates to let you sit where you can damn well see the show, then go you.

View All 14 Pirate Ship Adventure Reviews
City Tour

My parents booked this tour for us, and as it was our first excursion booked outside of the Princess Cruise umbrella, we were all a bit nervous. Nothing to be scared of, though. Our tour guide, Martin, was so passionate about Mazatlan. He wanted us to love everything about the city and had stories about everything. Very funny, interesting guy. Our driver, Daniel, was also a safe driver, and despite the crazy drivers who turn from middle lanes, I felt very secure in the van. I never felt pressured by Vista to buy anything, despite the stores we went to (like the marketplace, where everyone was marketing their wares. It's what they do there). The beach we drove by was absolutely stunning, and he even gave us the option to see cliff divers, warning us beforehand that tips would be requested. I'd definitely recommend Vista tours for anyone who wants to see Mazatlan.

View All 66 City Tour Reviews
The Arch (El Arco) & Lover's Beach

Got a trip around Cabo with a lot of history, including a quick trip to a Tequila factory. Afterward, we got in a boat to go to the Arch. The party was really fun, though I wish we'd known beforehand about the port fee, just so we were prepared (I mean, we were, but I like to know these things in advance). The best shopping of any city on our trip.

View All 37 The Arch (El Arco) & Lover's Beach Reviews

We took this excursion after we disembarked because our flight didn't leave until 6 that night. Our luggage was safe while we explored the Aquarium of the Pacific, and had lunch across the street at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. It was a nice relaxing day, and we didn't have to worry about a thing. Highly recommend.

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