The Coral Princess is not a huge ship, which is fine by me. However, there was so little to do that we found ourselves sleeping more than any cruise ever before!
My husband and I are 29, and some of the youngest aboard. Again, this is fine. We get along very well with an older crowd - better, in fact. It was the lack of activities and places to go that was disappointing. During the sea days, there were lectures and seminars that did not pertain to us; "Fear of outliving your money" - things like that.
Last year we went on a 14 night Hawaii cruise on the Golden Princess, and that ship was great! The Coral had NO shopping. The perfume and makeup selections were pitiful. (saved me money, though). The duty free liquor was abysmal. (First time my husband did not buy a fine liqueur onboard - there were none!)
The casino was very shabby. We like to play craps, and this is the first cruise we've ever taken where craps is not open in the day on sea days, and the casino was this tiny. While the dealers were nice, as soon as midnight hit, they couldn't wait to get out of there and made it well known. A bit uncomfortable.
Our cabin steward was nice enough, but little touches that we've experienced on other cruises just weren't there. No towel animals (not that I really care, actually, just noticed it). VERY slow to refresh the room. We were gone one day from 7am until 2pm and it still wasn't refreshed. We brought on champagne and must have asked for champagne flutes 3-4 times at least, but he never left any in the room unlike our last cruise.
The food on Princess is better that, say, Carnival. But it was not as good as it was on our Hawaiian cruise. There were the same selections most of the time, and not many specialty stations. On the last Princess cruise, there were specialty stations every day along with chocolate buffets and 24hr snacks in the horizon court. Not here.
Overall, we had a great time (vacation is what you make it!) but were not a fan of the ship. We could cover it top to bottom in 20 minutes. Never slept out of boredom so much on vacation before. Also, very few decent shows. BUT - Panama Canal was excellent. Worth the boring ship in the end!
We were only in Aruba for a few hours, but I would like to see more. Lovely island with more of a desert feel that I anticipated. We skipped the overpriced cruiseline tours and picked up a local tour for $20/pp. We toured the island and made a few stops. I would need more time to rate Aruba properly, but I absolutely want to check out the pretty beaches next time.
Cabo San Lucas was gorgeous! Much prettier that I thought it would be! We skipped the cruise tours and negotiated a boat tour for $15/pp to go around the rock formations and see the Arch, seals, lover's beach, pelican rock, etc. Would have liked more time - we only had a few hours. Will go back.
We decided to go ahead with an excursion this time - I wanted to MAKE SURE we saw crocs! (And we did!) We booked the mangrove river cruise and scarlet macaw sanctuary excursion through Princess at $99/pp. We did see crocs and rare birds in the wild. We heard monkeys, but didn't see them. Next we went to the Macaw Sanctuary, which was wonderful. It truly was amazing. Never seen so many macaws and toucans at once in my life. Had some local fruit and bottled water provided by them. We would do it again. Talked to a couple that did the train ride excursion, and they weren't pleased.