Five Things to Know About Princess Cruises' Ruby Princess Cruise Ship
World's Best 2016 Awards Rank: #4 Mega Cruise Ship
Best for: Couples and passengers who love the ritual and glamour of traditional cruising
Sails: Alaska, Mexico, Pacific Coast, and Hawaii
At a Glance: A Travel + Leisure World’s Best 2016 winner, placing tenth in the Mega Cruise Ship category. After a 2015 refurbishment, this 3,084-passenger Princess ship is back better than ever with fun new entertainment options and celeb-chef-run restaurants. But some Princess traditions remain, including formal nights and the option to eat dinner at the same time and the same table every night.
Formal Nights and Other Traditions Live On
While many other lines are loosening their dress codes, Princess Cruises continues the tradition of formal nights. (Note, however, that men are more likely to wear suits than tuxes and women tend to stick to cocktail-party attire.) Those who like to stick to cruising traditions at dinnertime can choose to eat at Botticelli Dining Room, which serves passengers at a set time and a set table—and with the same waiter—each night. (Two other dining rooms offer open, anytime seating.) Passengers also love the captain’s welcome party, which features a champagne waterfall, and the balloon drop party in the Piazza, which happens on the last formal night of each cruise.
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Romantic Touches Abound
Couples hoping for a little Love Boat-style magic won’t be disappointed: There’s the chocolate-and-wine pairings at Vines wine bar; couples massages in the Sanctuary spa; stargazing on the deck; and the option for a four-course candlelit meal served on your cabin’s balcony. (Think steak, lobster, and champagne.) There’s even a wedding chapel on board—unlike on most lines, Princess’s captains can actually marry couples at sea. Don’t miss Movies Under the Stars, when passengers cuddle under blankets on lounge chairs by the Calypso pool and watch films while snacking on popcorn and cookies and milk.
The For-Fee Restaurants Are Worth the Splurge
The best meals onboard are held at the ship’s specialty restaurants. With its flavored salts, excellent cuts, and melty smores, the Crown Grill steakhouse has always been a favorite. Guests craving comfort food head to the Salty Dog Gastropub, which takes over the Wheelhouse Bar each evening. Created by Ernesto Uchimura (of Umami Burger fame), the menu is packed with crowd pleasers like lobster mac and cheese, beef short rib poutine, and, of course, the Ernesto burger with grilled pork belly, caramelized kim chi, and beer-battered jalapeño. Those looking for something more upscale book a table at Share by Curtis Stone for charcuterie and seasonal small plates meant to be shared. You can also find “Crafted by Curtis” dishes in the main dining rooms.
The Chef’s Table Is A Must
Passengers who’ve ever wondered what happens behind the scenes in a ship’s galley can sign up for the Chef’s Table. Guests sip bubby and eat hors d’oeuvres while touring the kitchen during dinner service, then are seated at a private 10-person table in one of the main dining rooms for a special multicourse feast.
The Entertainment Is Worth Staying Up For
Princess is known for its live shows, and this ship is no exception. Standouts at the 800-person Princess Theater include Magic To Dos, a Broadway-style show by Tony Award winner Stephen Schwartz and Voice of the Ocean, a passenger singing competition based on NBC’s The Voice.