Princess Cruises launched the Ruby Princess in November 2008. Although the Ruby Princess is almost identical to her two older sisters, the Emerald Princess and the Crown Princess, she has a few different features that cruisers will enjoy.
Suite passengers will love the opportunity to enjoy an exclusive breakfast in Sabatini's Italian Trattoria from approximately 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Guests love dining in Sabatini's, and opening it for breakfast to the passengers staying in the 28 suites is a great idea.
The Ruby Princess is using the piazza-area Vines bar to feature wine flights and pairings at Vines, and the International Cafe is a great option for casual dining.
The Ruby Princess also debuted a number of enrichment programs. These programs are aimed to expand passengers' horizons and include diverse topics like mixology, party planning, navigation, art history, and astronomy. In addition to being well fed, Ruby Princess passengers can leave the cruise more educated!
Ruby Princess - More New Features
The Ruby Princess includes other small, but important touches. Since guests on the Ruby Princess enjoyed these features, many have been incorporated into other Princess ships. When added together, they all make the cruise experience more memorable.
For example, in the Horizon Court buffet, fresh, cooked-to-order waffles are available at breakfast and throughout lunchtime, and the buffet now serves complimentary lemonade as a beverage choice. In the evening, several of the ship's public lounges offer a selection of canapes.
Cruisers who need to stay connected will certainly appreciate additional wireless hotspots around the Ruby Princess, including in the cabins. The ship is also equipped so that passengers can use their personal cellular phones if they have international roaming plans while onboard.
The Ruby Princess has many onboard activities that appeal to cruisers, and one "back of house" tour is a best seller. This "Ultimate Ship Tour" offers passengers an exclusive opportunity to experience an array of areas that are key to a ship's daily operations. The Ruby Princess "Ultimate Ship Tour" gives passengers the chance to explore beyond the public areas with visits to the ship's engine control room, medical center, print shop, laundry, photo lab, funnel, bridge and other spaces. In addition to getting a rare insider's view of many areas typically seen only by the ship's crew, participants will receive a variety of themed mementos at many of the stops along the route. The number of guests who can participate in this tour is limited, so be sure to book early.
In addition to all of these new features, the Ruby Princess continues to include many of the design, cuisine, and entertainment elements found on its sister ships. Let's tour the ship.
Ruby Princess Dining Options
The Ruby Princess has several excellent dining options. Princess pays a lot of attention to romance on the Ruby Princess ship, with many meals and delicacies like the dessert pictured above designed for romance.
The ship has three main dining rooms; two are used for Anytime dining at dinner, and the third is used for traditional, two-seating-times dinner.
Princess offers two optional dining options that will be among the most memorable you will ever experience. The first specialty meal on Princess ships is the Chef's Table. This meal starts with canapes and champagne in the galley, followed by an amazing meal accompanied by select wines, and ending with an elaborate dessert. For those looking for romance, an "ultimate balcony dinner" or breakfast is a real treat. The wait staff delivers each course to your balcony, the setting is romantic, and the food is exceptional.
In addition to these special meals, the Ruby Princess has many familiar dining venues. My favorite is Sabatini's specialty restaurant, with its Italian theme, but many cruisers rank the Crown Grill as their top choice. Both are excellent but have a small fee.
Those looking for a casual meal can eat in the Cafe Caribe or Horizon Court buffets, enjoy pizza from the pizzeria, or dine by the pool at the Trident Grill.
As you can see, there's no chance of hunger on the Ruby Princess!
Ruby Princess Staterooms and Suites
The Ruby Princess has five major types of staterooms:
- Suite with balcony
- Mini-suite with balcony
- Oceanview double with balcony
- Oceanview double without balcony
- Interior with two lower beds
As would be expected, the prices for a suite are much higher than those for an interior cabin. Depending on their budgets, travelers need to decide where best to spend their vacation funds. Personally, I love having a balcony, but I have good friends who would rather cruise twice as often and stay in an interior cabin.
Princess Cruises has introduced a special exclusive breakfast in Sabatini's for suite passengers, providing an additional incentive for booking one of these beautiful accommodations.
Ruby Princess - Lounges and Bars
The Ruby Princess has three entertainment lounges--the Princess Theater, Explorers Lounge, and Club Fusion. The Princess Theater features Las Vegas-style production shows as well as other musical entertainment in the evenings. It is used for cultural and educational presentations in the daytime. The smaller Explorers Lounge often has comedians or musical groups, and Club Fusion has passenger-participation games like the "Newlywed Game" and "Princess Pop Star".
Each of the bars has a unique decor. The Wheelhouse Bar with its nautical theme sometimes features small jazz combos or other groups. The Adagio Bar next to Sabatini's Restaurant is quiet and elegant, and Crooner's Bar is in a great location overlooking the active Piazza below. Skywalkers Nightclub sits on the Sky Deck, high above the entire ship on deck 18 aft. It has terrific views in the daytime and in the evening. I also like the location of the outdoor Outrigger Bar, which overlooks the wake of the ship on the Lido Deck.
Ruby Princess Interior Common Areas
The most distinctive common area on the Ruby Princess is the towering Piazza on deck 5. The Piazza serves as the hub or the town square of the Ruby Princess, with live street entertainment scheduled throughout the day. The Internet Cafe, International Cafe, and Vines Bar are all located adjacent to the Piazza.
Moving up a couple of decks, the library, boutiques, Princess Theater, and tour desk are found on the Promenade deck.
The Youth Center has indoor and outdoor activities for young children up through teens.
Ruby Princess Outdoors
The Lido Deck on the Ruby Princess is the hub of outdoor activity, with two large swimming pools, Neptune's Pool and the Calypso Pool, both of which are surrounded by hundreds of deck chairs. The Lido Deck also has the buffet restaurants, a couple of casual eateries, and at least two bars. Passengers could almost just stay on this one deck and have a wonderful cruise vacation!
Ruby Princess - Spa, Fitness Center, and Sanctuary
The Ruby Princess offers many opportunities for its passengers to be either pampered or to improve their mental and physical well-being. The Lotus Spa, located on deck 16 forward, is a large spa with all the usual amenities.
Adjacent to the spa is a favorite area of the Ruby Princess--The Sanctuary. It is a quiet, calming place for adults to escape from the excitement and onboard activities.
The Ruby Princess fitness center is large and impressive, with great views of the ocean from the treadmills. The fitness center has all the latest equipment, including spinners.
With all of these opportunities for relaxation and exercise, Ruby Princess passengers should return home rested and more fit. (Of course, those who drink, party, or eat too much may need a vacation from their vacation!)