With space for over 3000 guests and over 1000 crew, Ruby Princess is one of the larger ships cruising to Alaska. Cruises to Alaska from either Seattle WA or Vancouver BC are popular in the summer, but many of the ships on those voyages are on the smaller side for cruise ships.
For the ship’s first cruise of the season out of Seattle in early May we couldn’t have asked for better weather with no rain during our time in Alaska and bright sunshine at some ports.
Ruby Princess launched in 2008 and was christened by Trista and Ryan Sutter from TV’s Bachelorette. The ship is registered in Bermuda and was refurbished in 2015. Ruby Princess weighs 113,561 tons and has 19 decks and over 1500 passenger cabins.
When we first started cruising the muster stations were always outside on the promenade deck right under the lifeboats. Muster stations are where passengers go in case of an emergency and at the muster drill required before the ship leaves the dock at the start of each cruise. In recent years more and more have gone to having muster stations in lounges or restaurants in the bowels of the ship. Far more comfortable for the drill, but if the ship was sinking or on fire heading inside to the lower decks is the last thing I’d want to do. Our muster station on the Ruby Princess combined the best of both. We were in a comfortable lounge with direct access doors to the promenade deck under the lifeboats.
Ruby Princess has three main dining rooms, a buffet, poolside pizza, ice cream, and grill, a 24 hour cafe, and several premium eateries as well as room service. Of course it has plenty of bars as well. It also has something I’ve not seen on any previous cruise – a fully enclosed cigar lounge. While it’s not a place I would ever enter, I do appreciate that they keep them behind closed doors and people who use that room probably appreciate having a place to go. The ship also has quite a variety of entertainment.
Dining Room Dress Code
This is the dress code from Princess’ website.
Guest attire should be in keeping with what they would wear to a nice restaurant at home.
- Skirts/dresses, slacks, and sweaters for ladies
- Pants and open-neck shirts for men
Inappropriate dinner wear such as pool or beach attire, shorts, ball caps and casual jeans (with fraying and/or holes) are not permitted in the dining rooms. Shoes must be worn.
When formal nights are held, please observe the dress code in the Traditional Dining and Anytime Dining venues for the enjoyment of all our guests.
- Evening gowns and cocktail dresses for women
- Tuxedos, dinner jackets or dark suits with a tie for men
On a typical 7-day cruise the ship has 2 formal nights. People tended to dress a bit more casually than the dress codes indicate. Many wore jeans on smart casual nights. Nice skirts and tops, pantsuits, or dresses were common for women on formal nights. We saw more suits than tuxes on the men.
Food on the Ruby Princess was excellent and they had great service too. They even had one gluten free dinner on the everyday dining room menu. They had 2 restaurants available for any time dining, but passengers with special needs diets do better to choose a set dining time since they need to eat at the same place each night so they can order their choice of meals the day ahead and have it prepared to their dietary specifications.
Ruby Princess had very nice décor. A lot of it looked like something you might find inside a castle or palace in various countries of the world, quite suitable for a princess. From past cruise ship experience I had began to think having ugly statues was a requirement for cruise ships, but the Ruby Princess proved me wrong on that. They had very few statues and none of the odd and ugly sort found on most ships.
Other than a couple that were part of the decor in lounges I only ever found any statues in one elevator bay on the Lido deck and those were of coral with sea turtles and looked quite nice.
The atrium area, which they called the piazza, looked quite royal and hosted all sorts of entertainment from music to (wooden) horse racing to live husky puppies in Skagway. The puppies are scheduled to visit the Ruby Princess at the Skagway port stop on each cruise throughout the summer. One day they had a balloon drop there, with the balloons spending the day on a net suspended over the piazza waiting for their time to drop. Another day the captain gave a speech from the balcony while some of the crew wandered through the assembled guests with trays of delicious chocolates. They had a champagne fountain giving guests the opportunity to pour champagne into a large stack of glasses, and to drink it afterword as they disassembled it. Once they even had moose racing, in which the wooden horses had antlers added and one had the dubious name of You Aren’t Fooling Anyone We’re Horses.
Entertainment on the ship included lots of other games. Each night had the main show in the theater as well as a show in one of the lounges and a movie in the outside theater under the stars. The ship had a larger than average cast for their production shows, which were quite good shows. It also had a casino and a nightclub.
One thing it didn’t have was hallways with seating by windows in public areas of the ship or random nooks with chairs by a window so most of the window seats in all the lounges were occupied the majority of the time whether anything was going in in the lounge at that time or not.
Walls in the staterooms are magnetic, which makes it easy to keep paperwork organized if you bring magnets. Decks with passenger cabins have a launderette, making it easy for anyone who needs to wash or iron their clothes. Hallways between passenger cabins had red borders on the port side and blue on starboard making it easy to know which hallway to head for from the elevator or stairs. Room numbers are even on the port side and odd on the starboard side so one glance at the carpet tells you which way to turn from the elevator or stairs to find your cabin.
Overall Ruby Princess is quite a nice ship.