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MY RUBY REVIEW - KIND OF

C

Conniemc

Guest
#1
This was actually written by someone else on my 12/6/08 sailing, but it could have been written by me. I'm posting it because I REALLY REALLY think the Princess Princess's will be shocked how bad things are now.

Very disappointing food and service

The embarkation was very smooth and the ship was beautiful and had a nice layout. We had a full suite and it was very nice and our room steward did a nice job.
The Casino was very nice and had a good layout and was extremely busy.

The food in the Horizon buffet was OK at best. The staff didn't seem to care if the food looked good or bad. Much of the hot food was cold and when I went back to complain, the server said that I was not the first to complain and he had discovered that nobody had turned the heating element on. One new thing that they advertised was the fact that they were now serving Lemonade in the buffet. Well they were, but you had to ask for it and it sometimes 30 minutes to get and sometimes you had to ask a dozen times to get a glass. If you asked for 2 glasses, you would get an attitude from the server. Why can't they put a pitcher of Lemonade out for customers to get themselves.

The Caribe Cafe was the worst I have ever experienced. We went there 2 nights and found almost nothing that we could eat. I have been on many Princess ships and this is the worst food by far. The service at dinner was terrible as well. Everyone around us were surprised at the poor quality of the food. The only reason we ate there was the fact that the dining room food and service weren't much better. The anytime dining room service was beyond poor. The service was very slow and indifferent and the food on most nights was very low quality. This is the first cruise I have been on that the food and service quality in the dining rooms was so poor and when we complained to the head waiter (no Maitre D' in our dining room, they didn't really care and they weren't surprised. As the week went on, fewer and fewer people were in the dining room for diner.

We finally got some good food from room service -

We ate 2 nights in the upscale dining rooms and the food and service there were good but not over the top. The best food we had was at Sabatini's for breakfast (which is a new perk for suite guests) The service was great and the food was good too!! The decor was really nice as well.

We had 3 ports - Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel and all were very nice.

We were supposed to stop at Princess Cays but the Captain decided not to stay because the weather was not that nice.

Overall we had a nice time but since Princess has lowered their level of service and food quality this much, we will never sail on Princess again. I even sent in a letter and never got a reply even though we are Elite status with them. We had 2 other cruises booked for later this year and we have cancelled both of them and rebooked on other (non Carnival owned lines).


Publication Date: 01/26/09
 
J

juggles

Guest
#2
That's a shame. I went on the Ruby B2B on the 19th January and everything just everything was superb. The food was amazing in the buffet/crown grill/de vinci and micheal angelo. The staff every where were just wonderful and polite and couldn't do enough for you.
maybe the complaints from the 12/06/08 changed things but the whole cruise was brilliant. and I would definitely go on the Ruby again or any other Princess cruise ship.
 
K

klc267

Guest
#3
My wife and I sailed on the Ruby Princess from February 7 through February 14. We sailed last year on the Princess Caribbean are were very impressed with the service, food and everything about the trip. It exceeded our expectations in every respect.

As a result, our expectations for our trip this February were high. Sadly, we were disappointed.

The food in the Horizon Court/Cafe Caribe last year was excellent. This year, it was about what I would expect of a public cafeteria. They served meatloaf (something I would never eat unless prepared by someone I love) two days in a row. They served dungeness crab knuckles (the least desirable part) in place of the promised king crab legs. They served something called "roast suckling pig" that was absolutely awful. I've never tasted dog food, but it tasted like I think dog food would taste.

To be fair, some of the other dishes (e.g. leg of lamb) were excellent, and many were very good.

The other disappointment was the change by Princess from the "everything is included" model to an a la carte model. Princess now charges extra for a quiet place to spend time! They call it the Sanctuary. Give me a break!

Then there are the nearly constant announcements promoting extra cost activities. This is what I came to get away from!

Overall, we had a great time. We're old enough to realize that nothing is perfect, and to make the best of what we have. Live and learn. We won't be sailing Princess again.
 
W

Wingman54

Guest
#4
WOW.......... what a bummer............ I've sailed on the Carib Princess twice as well as the Grand (also twice) and everything on all 4 cruises exceeded my expectations.
makes me want to re-think my 10-dayer planned for this coming October.
Hmmmm.........
 
F

flynplmr

Guest
#5
or maybe this person just complains about everything...we have been on 2 previous cruises and both were excellent...food service entertainment..now we are booked for the ruby in october. some people are just never satisfied. the service you get is better than restaurants at home...what more do people want?
 
C

Cruise cutie

Guest
#6
Too bad.on the Ruby sailings..Oh well to each person is a kind of what happens is...=shrug...

. we just got off our Emerald Princess 10 day Back / Back..a week ago and since the 80 + degree weather change threw me in an immediate sinus infection; :(..and I had to go to work immediately or suffer the wrath of my Director of Nurses..:grin....she barely tolerated my 26 day self imposed Exodus!!..Go Figure!!..Hehehe..

I have yet to get my review typed..our trip was superlative ..we hit the Crown Grill specialty restaurant 4X in the 2 consecutive sailings.. and since my folks have raised organic beef for 25+ years I know of what I speak .it was INCOMPARABLE!!..
the buffet for offerings was Hit and Miss, on Lunch days, but then again I always have pizza & burgers to choose too..=shrug I gained 14# in 20 days..:grin.we do NOT go hungry!!..
we NEVER did the PM Caribe Cafe..we do Traditional Second Seating fixed. the staff was unreal, running around keeping us all stuffed like suckling pigs!!.since we know some nights are NOT to our taste liking; we either had the "always available on the left side of the menu".or bolted that night..booked ahead to the Crown Grill..:grin..
just as a BTW they have ALL the menus to look at ahead to pre-plan and we do check them out..and 2x I did have the Fettuchine Alfredo..I am Italian, and I am incredible fussy.Princess's Fettuchine Alfredo to me is DIVINE!!, and yes I have and do make MY own pasta!!..
I am New England born and raised, and I DO bake /cook etc, so I make quality food hand -made ALL the time,since it was by far the biggest sailing at over 3100 folks I am not thinking I am going to get Wolfgang Puck all the time;No way.. and our personal observation is food is such a touchy subject as Suer says, it's there, I don't have to prepare it, and I have smiling staff offer me all kinds of options..it's like the formal wear /versus wear what I want thing..different strokes for different folks..=shrug..
am I thinking it has changed in the last 15 years we have sailed.. Yuppers but then again cruising has remained the same, or even cheaper, so it's a see what you get on a line that meets your needs..
since food is *SO* everyone has Their own needs/wants/gotta haves/ and since I know for a fact a land cruise at an all-inclusive is more costly and the exact same food as on ship to each their own.Since as a rule living in Vermont..=eek.. we do NOT eat Haute Cuisine off ship..:thumb.but then again when we head home to Maine Wowwee we do partake of it!!.
:grin so to our palate getting Home to Maine it's ruinous ; so I am quite comfortable with Haute Cuisine!!
Happy cruising..we are zipping along to Elite on Princess quite rapidly and for the bang for the buck, and relaxation factor it's where we will continue to stay parked.. I am NOT willing to shell out for Seabourne, or Cunard and cruise every 3-4 years .take care Kids!!. :),,Joanne
 
W

wave runner

Guest
#7
Connie,

I can't believe you are posting a review that you did not write and infact, it is from a cruise you were not even on. Just amazing!!!! Especially when so much of what this "article" says is far from what most of us on this board have experienced on Princess. There can certainly be a bad cruise on any cruise line, but after trying all of the mass market cruise lines, Princess has consistently offered the very best value for the money. Now for some, who want to pay a lot more money, I am sure there are better cruise lines out there. For me, I would rather take two or three cruises on Princess than to blow my entire vacation bankroll on a one week cruise on a luxury cruise line such as Crystal cruises. Some luxury cruise lines even include free drinks. Now I am a generous person, but since I drink very little, I just can't see paying for a couple of drinks every night for other passengers, out of my expensive cruise ticket price. To each his/her own on that one.

Right now I have two Princess cruises booked and am thinking of booking another at the low prices Princess is currently offering. Princess, and yes I have actually cruised on Princess, HAL, and Celebrity among many others. Princess has always offered a consistent product with good food and good service. Unlike some mainstream cruise lines they also sail very reliable ships and none of their ships suffer from chronic mechanical problems as does one cruise line that I won't mention here. The past passenger program on Princess is one of the best afloat. In my opinion, Princess offers the best value for the money, with Holland America not far behind.

The main thing that brings me back to Princess is the way that the corporate handle the business. If there is a problem, they take care of it and do not just offer lip service. Princess also is very good about handing out free upgrades, which most other lines will charge you for. Ship maintenance on Princess ships is very good when compared to other mainstream cruise lines. So for me after trying many cruise lines, all things considered, Princess is my very first choice for cruising.

Wave
 
W

wave runner

Guest
#8
Hi Connie,

I just re-read your post and realized that you were on that Ruby cruise . My bad for thinking you were not on that cruise and I do sincerely apologize for that. I just got confused with the two dates on your post, and trust me it does not take much to confuse me!!!

Hope your next cruise is much better.

Wave
 
C

Conniemc

Guest
#9
wave runner said:
Hi Connie,

I just re-read your post and realized that you were on that Ruby cruise . My bad for thinking you were not on that cruise and I do sincerely apologize for that. I just got confused with the two dates on your post, and trust me it does not take much to confuse me!!!

Hope your next cruise is much better.

Wave
Hi Wave,
Yeah, I was very low key that sailing. But no more main stream cruising for me. If you visit the other cruise board, you can see the level of class of the new passengers is beyond belief. My idea of a vacation differs greatly from what is now being offered So I booked an Oceania and a Regent this year. It is what it is. And meatloaf is meatloaf.
:)D
 
B

Beryl

Guest
#10
Dining expectations are so different for everyone. I know Connie did not like her dining experience on the Ruby and clearly neither did the author of the review she copied here. Connie found this review on Cruise Critic and it was written by someone with the board name crazd....just thought that should be pointed out. I am not arguing that everyone should have loved the food/menu on the Ruby Princess and I am not arguing that everyone should love the service on Ruby Princess but my curiosity was piqued as to what the general consensus was about the dining on that ship. This is what I found.

On the CC site there are 35 member reviews of the Ruby Princess. Each review gives a rating out of 5 for various aspects of the cruise. I checked only the ratings on dining.

Out of 35 reviews there were 2 reviews that gave dining on the Ruby Princess a rating of 1. Four of the reviewers gave dining a rating of 2 and two reviewers gave the dining a 3 rating. That means that twenty seven reviewers (more that 75%) gave the dining a rating of 4 or better....and that includes 10 who gave dining a 5+ rating.

While some people are clearly disappointed in the dining feature it seems that even more are satisfied or even extremely happy with their dining experience. One of these days I'm going to sail on the Ruby and rate the dining myself :grin !
 
W

wave runner

Guest
#11
Hi Connie, I have heard great things about both Oceania and Regent. What is your general itinerary on your two upcoming cruises? I am heading for Alaska this May, on my next Princess cruise.

I don't go near the "other" cruise board as it is so controlled by the moderators and a large click of dedicated posters who are so desparately defending their favorite cruise line that the information on the board is of little or no use in getting fair and balanced information. What separates things here on cruise-addicts from the "other" board is the lack of these types of posters and the openenness of this forum. Even posters who don't read an entire post before responding don't get flamed here!.=sleep

I fully understand your point, that mainstream cruising is not for everybody. I happen to have enjoyed most of my cruises on mainstream cruise lines and have yet to have a bad cruise on Princess, knock on wood. In my case a lot has to do with my vacation budget. Given the choice of flying first class or coach, I would much prefer to fly first class everywhere I go, but alas........

Wave
 
C

Conniemc

Guest
#12
To start off with Beryl - "This was actually written by someone else on my 12/6/08 sailing" was the first sentence of my post. I'm not sure why you thought I was not making that clear.=huh
"even those who don't read the entire post get flamed" - yes Wave, I can see that. :cool:
Sorry Wave, I'm been off this board for some time. I was indeed on the same sailing as the review. Much to my distain. Sometimes I wonder if people don't read carefully enough :help
I'll be going to Europe - Turkey, Italy, Greece, Croatia in October on Oceania, Bermuda in April on Summit (just for the transport), and probably a Carribean on Regent.

I've been FLOODED with mail from Princess. But no way I'd book one again. Beryl, I hope you do indeed get to board Ruby and judge yourself. Yes, the boards are quite different, but it's funny - I actually find more dedicated "cheerleaders" on this board than the other. The other has SO MANY MORE POSTERS that you get a whole lot of "noise", i.e. useless babble, negative snotty comments, etc. However, if you actually have a questions, you'll have a hundred replies within an hour. I think some of them are, if you'll excuse the pun, "Addicted" the posting on cruise boards.

As I've said many times, I'm sure, Celebrity suited me just fine!! for many many years. But it's not "my Celebrity" anymore. I hope those who enjoy Princess continue to, and I hope my future cruises will be more to my liking.:thumb

Oooops - one more point Beryl. The rating system you described is for reviews from MANY YEARS AGO as well as recent reviews. Read the entire reviews and not just the stars. You'll find more detailed opinions. With the tidal wave of changes, I only pay attention to a review less than 90 days old. Last year is no more.
 
B

Beryl

Guest
#13
Hi connie...haven't seen you around for quite awhile. Hope all is well. I must say I indeed envy you your Oceania cruise. I have been looking at their brocures for months now and they have been offering a great many "hard to resist" opportunities for this summer....I just wish I could take advantage.

Let me say that you did indeed make it perfectly clear that the review was not written by you. I just happen to believe when you quote someone verbatim that it is a good idea to post the name of the individual that wrote the quote and say where you found the information...sometimes people would like to read more! Copyright can sometimes become an issue too!

I also need to comment on the numbers that I gave for the rating of dining on the Ruby Princess. These figures were not taken from "MANY YEARS AGO"....indeed, the Ruby Princess has not been sailing for "many years." The numbers were taken taken from member reviews of the Ruby Princess that can be found on the Cruise Critic site. The first review is dated January 08 and the 35th is dated February 09.....the 35 reviews all occurred in approximately a 1 year period....and at the time I was checking out the numbers there were only 35 reviews to check...there are now 48!


The 13 new reviews rate the dining at follows....1 review rates dining as a 1 (very bad indeed..IMO), 1 review rates the dining as 3 (still sub standard in my opinion), 5 reviews rate dining as 4 (a solid average), 4 reviews give the dining a score of 5 (better than average) and 2 reviews give a +5 rating (which I read as excellent). Overall it seems that most diners are still pretty happy with their dining experience while a few are very disappointed.

I read recently that they have rolled out the "new menus" on the Sapphire which is our next cruise. I will be interested to see what the dining is like aboard that ship. It is different with those 4 anytime dining rooms and we always opt for anytime dining...so far that has worked well for us.

I'm still sorry Connie that your cruise on the Ruby Princess was not what you had hoped it would be when you first made your reservation and I hope your Oceania cruise lives up to and even exceeds your expectations.
 
C

Conniemc

Guest
#14
I thought I wasn't allowed to mention the name of the board where the info came from.

$5 for two weeks in Europe, in a veranda suite, including air....sounds way too good for me to pass up!! (Oceania)
$8 for same on Regent, but that ALSO includes all your excursions, ALL on boards (you pay for nothing!) and all the above as well. But $8K was a little high for me, so decided to save them for a cheaper Carribean sailing - one week for $4K

I'm paying $3K for Celeb just for a week out of Jersey to Bermuda...and they've dropped an entire star on cruise.com, etc.

For me, I'd rather sail once a year or 16 months for a great experience. Different strokes. Have a great week Beryl:daisy
 
B

Beryl

Guest
#15
Mentioning names seems to be okay on this board...definitely not on the other one (CC)!

I'm starting to think about trying one or two of the more "upscale" lines too Connie...especially if the economy continues it's slump and the deals are out there. We are beginning to think about "upgrading the cruiseline rather than the cabin"...it's tempting. But there will probably not even be another cruise on my agenda until 2011 at this point. 2010 is all about the granddaughter...I promised her all kinds of things once she turned four. Come September I am going to have to start to deliver :grin! I think she might still be a bit young to cruise (or other passengers might think she is :grin)....but then again there is always Disney!

I know it's a long time 'til October but I sure do want to hear about your Oceania cruise when you get home! Which ship are you sailing?

Wish we still had the other, what might be considered more "upscale" cruiselines represented on this site.
 
C

Conniemc

Guest
#16
Check out the 2010 sailings...free air, 2 for 1, prepaid gratuities, free excursions, etc.

http://www.oceaniacruises.com/T_Home2.aspx?PageUID=64bba38e-d8cb-466d-8b9a-7dd908f1ff1c

I just REBOOKED - as today is the LAST DAY of the 2009 sale. I switched from Nautica Venice to Athens to Insignia Athens to Venice a few days later...snagged the last cabin, so got another $500 off, bringing the full price below $5K for everything.

I don't have a money machine, but how can you resist a far superior line for so little more than a mass line - and if you add in the air, they are the same price. I'M EXCITED. =docdance
 
A

amistad

Guest
#18
Connie and Beryl, Don't you both think the size of the ship and the amont of passengers is the reason we may not be enjoying our cruise experiences as much as we used to? I was a little let down about our Princess cruise on the Crown last October, the lines for everything were alway's long, the food quality not so great, the entertainment so crowded no seats available unless you went very early and so forth. I liked the ship and the crew, but I had read so much about how great Princess was I set my expectations much higher then I should have. I know this is not the cruise lines fault, it's just dissappointing. I think I need to stick with ships that hold around 1500 to 2000 passengers instead of the mega ships. I loved Celebrity, Holland, and some of the Carnival ships and RCI ships, but the Mariner was too big for me also. I am not going to climb a rock wall or slide down a water slide, I'm 50 for goodness sake, so why book a ship with these ammenities? I think I was thinking newer and better and cleaner, but really I don't think so. I don't think they are around anymore, but the Raddison cruise I took several years ago was kind of like what you are describing Connie, they were only about 300 passengers, everything included, filet mignon and shrimp cocktail every night, we went to Spain and Portugal, it was very service oriented very relaxing. Please let us know how it goes. Just wanted to put my 2 cents in.
 
C

Conniemc

Guest
#19
I was just posting on CC that I couldn't even hear the whooosh of the waves breaking on the hull on Ruby...too far down. Didn't even feel like I was on a ship, in addition to everything else you mentioned. The 1800 max is my size as well, but feel like I'm fighting far too many other changes for it to even matter. But yes, for sure, the bloated mega-ships are...different.