Gourmet Girlfriends Getaway on the Ruby Princess

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Gourmet Girlfriends Getaway on the Ruby Princess – a foodie guide to the Ruby Princess and all the culinary options onboard! 

Gourmet dining on the Ruby Princess cruise ship

I always sort of thought of cruises as a couple’s thing – but cruising is a fantastic vacation opportunity to get away and enjoy friends!

And when your friends are huge foodies?

There is NOTHING better than a cruise that gets you and offers tons of tasty options!

When Princess invited me to a fantastic media trip full of some of my favorite food bloggers ever, I knew I would not want to miss out on all the delicious food they had to offer!

I will admit that I was a bit worried about going with a friend on a cruise since my husband couldn’t make it on this trip.

I get a bit grumpy around people day in and day out – but I quickly realized cruising was fantastic for people who like a little independence while together on a vacation, and provided lots of things for us to explore, try, and taste.

The ship is so big and offers so many things to do, it is easy to spread out and not get on each others nerves (I brought my sweet friend Sandra from a Dash of Sanity, who I don’t think I could ever be sick of) but there were so many options and things we could try out, being on a ship for seven days never felt stale.

Gourmet desserts Ruby Princess

I can’t wait to share all about the destinations we visited – but I want to start off sharing my favorite part of our trip on the Ruby Princess– ALL THE FOOD!

Princess seriously has the best food at-sea – just take a peek at some of the delicious offerings on ship! 

They have highly trained and esteemed chefs with prestigious international pedigrees- making for delicious, diverse, and unique meals we LOVED.

The Foodie Guide to the Ruby Princess

The Sanctuary 

The adults quiet area, the Sanctuary, became our favorite place to rest and relax on the ship- and being at the top of the front of the ship, it offers a fantastic view to relax and nibble in style.

While not specifically a dining room, the Sanctuary does offer nibbles, juices, smoothies and drinks so you can have a light lunch, snack, or tea.

The Sanctuary, Ruby Princess

The Sanctuary has padded loungers, a very attentive staff (who comes around to spray you with misters and offer iced towels on hot days – or attentively wraps you in a fleece blanket on chillier days) to cater to your every whim, a special spa menu packed with light and healthy options including dips, wraps, juices, and smoothies; as well as a luxuriously quiet and calm ambiance.

There is a daily (or afternoon) charge to enjoy the Sanctuary, and you would be best served to make reservations (it can fill up quickly), but you can reserve your own seat or even an entire section if you are traveling with a group!

Some of the seats are also double loungers, so you can snuggle up and enjoy it with someone you love.

Tea time treats in the Sanctuary, Ruby Princess

Our picks: fruit kabobs, creamy salsa, greek pinwheels, Key West cooler, Princess smoothie.

Want some soothing tunes? The Sanctuary stocks MP3 players with pre-loaded relaxing music so you can eat in tranquility! 

Pool Deck Foods- Pizza, Ice Cream, and Cocktails

Since our cruise was along the very hot Mexican Riviera route, there was plenty of action on the pool decks during our trip.

Luckily, when it’s hot and you don’t feel like dressing up for a meal, there is some delicious food right by the pool!

First things first…. enjoying everything the @princesscruises Ruby has to offer! I can’t wait to jump in this pool and head to Puerto Vallarta- a girls getaway is just what I needed to #comebacknew ! #sweetcs #travel #travelblogger #trip #vacation #passportready #travelnow #girlstrip #cruise #besttripever #ad

A photo posted by Courtney | Food & Travel ? (@sweetcsdesigns) on

I loved the pizza and ice cream bar (the pies were crunchy New York style thin crust and SO delicious- we’d often walk by to see if there was a fresh slice pulled out of the oven and then pounce) and hardly ever a line more than one to two people deep. It was a great quick dining option!

Anyone else wish this was their view right now?? I’m flashing back to last Sunday’s activities on the Ruby with @princesscruises – man I miss their 3 Citrus Margarita (ask for it on the rocks and with salt instead of sugar)- it was one of my favorite cocktails on board! #sweetcs #comebacknew #cocktail #happyhour #drinks #cheers #travel #travelgram #eattheworld #cruiselife #mexico #pretty #instagood #hosted #eeeeeats #forkyeah #nom #ad #besttrip #passportready

A photo posted by Courtney | Food & Travel ? (@sweetcsdesigns) on

As far as the bars go, we tried a few cocktails and mocktails and loved them- but my favorite was the 3 Citrus Margarita, ordered on the rocks, and with a salt rim instead of sugar (the drink normally comes frozen and with sugar, but trust me- this is my absolute favorite new margarita now after asking them to make it on the rocks! I got almost everyone in our group drinking them by the end of the trip!!)

The Salty Dog GastroPub

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The Salty Dog ended up being one of our very favorite dining experiences of the trip – probably because the restaurant embraced our spirit of ordering many dishes to taste everything.

I sat at a table of four, and we strategically ordered so we could cover as much of the menu as possible and try out everything!

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Salty Dog serves small plates, meant to mix and match, so you can get a ton of different flavors and find your own ideal meal. There are tons of innovative, interesting dishes with a gourmet pub feel – and a staff that is ready to pair the perfect mocktail, beer, wine, or cocktail with your dishes!

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Must Order: Asparagus and Haloumi, The Ernesto Burger, Cheese Fondue, Beef Short Rib Poutine, Coffee and Doughnuts, Lemon Pousset 

Tea Time (dining rooms, the Sanctuary (free with Sanctuary price) $10 surcharge, $20 with champagne)

Every day at 3:30pm, Princess cruises observes Tea Time – and fully embraces the tea ritual!

Whether you are in the Sanctuary or one of the Dining Rooms, impeccable trays of tea sandwiches and desserts pass around as they pour a perfect cuppa. It’s a lovely and super delicious ritual while at sea!

Tea time, ruby princess

Must Try: scones (a MUST with clotted cream and jam!!), fruit tart, mini tiramisu, ham and prosciutto sandwiches.

Dining Rooms – DaVinci, Boticelli, Michelangelo 

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The main dining rooms on board offer a number of seating options – from large tables for groups or shared dinners, to small intimate tables. In the dining rooms there are rotating menus full of favorite choices from around the world, in addition to fun themed nights (I loved the uniforms the staff donned on Italian night!).

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There are always tons of options to pick from, and you can aways ask for more if you are still hungry after a course.

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The presentation in the dining rooms is fantastic, and it always feels like a four star dinner, with no additional surcharge.

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Must try: Surf and turf, lobster, roasted pheasant, Pistachio Dome Dessert, Chocolate Love Boat Dessert.

Share by Curtis Stone

The first night on ship, we had dinner at Curtis Stone’s resteraunt on board- Share.

Share is sleek, rustic, and modern all in one – it was my favorite space on board and so cozy.

It was also incredibly delicious!

Share by Curtis Stone on the Ruby Princess

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Our dinner was fantastic – and we loved sharing each other’s dishes.

I wish we had more time to try out everything at Share – it was so delicious, and the space was so cozy and perfect for a romantic night out or a great way to hang out with friends and feel at home on ship!

Lobster Tagliatelle, Share by Curtis Stone on Ruby Princess

I had a meal chock full of lobster – the Tagliatelle and Butter poached lobster were fantastic and a great way to start off a week’s long cruise!


Must order: Lobster Tagliatelle, Butter Poached Lobster, Melted Leeks with Confit Egg yolk, Dark Chocolate Cremeaux. 

Chef’s Table

 

The Chefs Table is more an experience in the main dining room, not a standalone restaurant, but has it’s own function and menu (and does involve a surcharge.)

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To kick off the Chef’s Table experience, we were taken on a galley tour through the Ruby’s main kitchens. Let me tell you- this was nothing short of exceptional!

Ruby Princess Kitchens - so spotless!

The galley is SPOTLESS. The entire kitchen crew- dishwashers, chefs, and waiters, were sticklers for sanity. And when I say sticklers- I mean it! As we toured through, we were asked to wash our hands over and over, and use antimicrobial wash.

It was so clean, you could literally eat off the counters and the floor – I want them to come and clean my house!!!

Thai Steak Skewers, Chefs Table on the Ruby Princess

While in the kitchen, we were presented with one-of-a-kind appetizers that were so delicious and unique- and got to meet the Executive ship and Maitre D on board. They were such a hoot- and really talked a lot about the importance of sitting down to savor a meal, feel your food’s texture, and savor every note.

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It was a really poignant message that I appreciated so much – we need to sit down and take more time with food and friends, instead of just ramming stuff down our throats. I loved hearing from Chef!

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The menu on offer at Chef’s Table changes every time – so I can’t give you my picks and guarantee they will be on offer.

That being said, I can talk about my favorites!

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The Margarita sorbet – a mid-menu palate cleansing course- was fantastic. It was full of rich tequila flavor, but light and bright – perfect to reset your palate for the next meal!

I could have eaten this by the bucketful, it was so delicious!

The desserts were UNREAL.

So many delicious and elegant creations to taste and ogle over – it was hard to not try them all.

The petit fours were stunning works of art – their chocolatier was definitely world class!

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Vines Wine Bar

The Vines Wine Bar is an amazing spot for a glass of wine (surcharge does apply) as well as plenty of complementary tapas and sushi when you order wine.

Grand Piazza, Ruby Princess

Vines sits in one corner off the Grand Piazza, so it is perfect for people watching and a great place to watch the numerous Colors of the World Entertainment programs throughout the cruise (during our cruise, there were dancing lessons, an Oktoberfest program, a Dia De Los Muertos day and more) that were really fun to watch.

The menu changes throughout the journey, so I don’t really have a must order, but I really liked the sushi.

The fish is cut a little leaner than most sushi joints, but it was very fresh and delicious.

If you’re looking for a good wine pick, don’t be afraid to speak up!

We came to love the wine bar waiter (yes, we were there quite often), who always found interesting and delicious wines for us and wasn’t shy to give his opinions on them.

We didn’t find one we didn’t love!

International Cafe 

The international cafe has fabulous coffee, tea, and chai selections all day priced around $2-3, and offers free baked goodies and chilled desserts all day- as well as salads, sandwiches, and even gelato (under $2 surcharge).

Tiramisu from International Cafe, Ruby Princess

Must order: lattes, almond croissant, chocolate croissant, gelato, tiramisu, watermelon caprese salad, ham and cheese croissant.

There were so many delicious options on board, I didn’t get a chance to try them all. Now I just need a cruise thats longer so I can try everything! I am DYING to take my husband on a Princess ship soon – and taste everything all over again!

Now excuse me as I try to some of the extra baggage I came home with – you know, that is making zipping up my jeans comfortably a bit tricky! Next cruise I need to make use of the gym a bit 😉

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About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style. Courtney writes the popular creative lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs- a site devoted to delicious everyday recipes, home decor, crafts, DIY inspiration, and photography tips to help make your every day extraordinary.

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3 Comments

  1. Lori @ RecipeGirl says:

    Beautiful photos and such a delicious, fun trip! So happy to have finally met you- I love you!

    1. Courtney ODell says:

      I loved hanging out with you and your cousin SO much Lori– don’t be shocked when you find me stalking you in NV someday!!!