My wife and I recently completed the Coral Princess Cruise from Fort Lauderdale through the Panama Canal, returning to Los Angeles. We had a wonderful time. Traveling through the Panama Canal is an experience we'll never forget. It's an engineering marvel.
The Coral Princess is superbly managed; the shows were professionally done; food was good, and the staff was considerate and helpful. We chose any-time dining which gave us a variety of options. If you're interested in using the gym, the daily stretching and core exercises were free and of great help. The ships historian, Bill Keene, gave very informative lectures on all the ports we visited, and several lectures on the Panama Canal which was very helpful. I would recommend reading David McCullough's book "The Path Between The Seas" as it gives a complete historical account of the building of the Panama Canal.
The Natural History museum in Aruba was free and well worth the visit. We took the ships tour of More
the old city in Cartagena. While cruising through the canal, we stood on deck 10 forward and deck 8 aft to get excellent views of the locks and canal sites. A side trip which was well worth it was taking a small craft back through the locks where you get a completely different perspective. Puntarenas, Costa Rica, is a wonderful place to visit. We arranged a tour on the internet with Okey-dkey tours run by Charlie Soto. His price if very reasonable, and he gives a discount to Cruise Critic members. Souvenirs can be purchased where the ship docks for the best prices. We especially enjoyed the sea days for fun and relaxation. Taking everything into account, this was the best cruise we have experienced. I would rate this a 5 star cruise. Less
Coral Princess Cruises to the Panama Canal & Central America
We chose an interior cabin. We were on Deck 8 which made access to ship activities very easy. The room was of adequate size, and we spent most of our time outside. Passage through the Canal is best seen from deck 10 forward and deck 8 aft.
Charlie Soto was recommended by other Cruise Critic members and arranged a great tour. We had a 5 hour tour which included a river cruise, visited the rain forest, saw many birds, crocodiles, etc. Tour was reasonably priced and a discount given to Cruise Critic members. I would highly recommend this tour.