The Ruby Princess has a large range of food options; truly something for everyone. Like many cruise lines, some of the dining options are including in your fare, such as meals in the main dining room, the casual buffet on the Lido deck, and a few quick service options. There are also a handful of specialty restaurants that you can enjoy for a nominal fee.
It's recommended that you prebook the speciality dining restaurants prior to your vacation, as these are smaller dining rooms and can filled to capacity, especially on sea days. We imagined that our trip with the kids would not include the speciality restaurants, so we did not make any reservations. However, on the very first night, we decided to splash-out at the steak restaurant, Crown Grill. The first night of a cruise is one of the slowest for specialty dining, so we were easily accommodated and the restaurant was practically empty.
Felix is a bit of a finicky eater, but the staff at Crown Grill was awesome. They ran to another restaurant on the ship to get a big plate of pasta shells and cheese. Felix was thrilled. The rest of us enjoyed steak and seafood. The dessert sampler was divine. It was easily the best meal that we ate on the Ruby Princess and had we been able to secure another reservation, we would have returned. Based on all of my past cruises, I definitely recommend trying the specialty restaurants. They are usually worth paying a little extra.
Although we didn't have a chance to dine in them, we did take a look at the other speciality dining offerings onboard. I was most intrigued by celebrity chef Curtis Stone's Share, which offers a six-course meal. Adigo is the Italian offering and I suspect this is where Felix's shells and cheese was procured. The Salty Dog is the Gastropub option.
We had the late seating in the Da Vinci Dining Room. I always find it difficult to choose between the early and late seating, but since we were a late booking ( only a handful of available cabins when we booked), we were not given a choice.
As far as cruise ships go, the offerings in the main dining room were about average. When we were on a two-week cruise, we found the main dining room choices to get a little same-y, but a week is just enough to enjoy it, without getting board. The dining room staff certainly works very hard ( as does everyone on the ship), but the meals always feels rushed. I think more than that, the stress from the servers trickles over. I noticed this on previous cruises. They try very hard to maintain an air of calm, but the whole meal feels somewhat tense.
There are several main dining rooms and although we were assigned to Da Vinci for dinner, breakfast and lunch were unassigned.
I'm going to close with this cute picture of Felix talking to the captain of the Ruby Princess on one of the formal nights.
Coming next, my port and excursion review of Alaska's capital, Juneau.