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Coral Princess Cruise Review by SoCal Cruise Critic User

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Coral Princess
Coral Princess
Member Name: SoCal Cruise Critic User
Cruise Date: July 2013
Embarkation: Vancouver
Destination: Alaska
Cabin Category: AD
Cabin Number:
Booking Method: Cruise Line
See More About: Coral Princess Cruise Reviews | Alaska Cruise Reviews | Princess Cruise Deals
Member Rating   4.0 out of 5+
Dining 3.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Cabins 4.0
Entertainment 4.0
Spa & Fitness 4.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 4.0
Embarkation 5.0
Service 5+
Value-for-Money 4.0
Rates 3.0
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Ship Facts: Coral Princess Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Coral Princess Deck Plans
Coral Princess Alaska July 2013

Room (mini-suite) was very nice. Plenty of room, very nicely furnished and well equipped. The bed seemed larger than a queen and was very comfortable. Large bath and sitting area with sofa.

On the negative side there was a lot of vibration in the room, which made sleeping and relaxing somewhat difficult. I thought that being on the 9th level, there would be little or no effects from the engine room. Big mistake. The Princess agent that I worked with failed to mention the vibration throughout the far rear areas also.

I rate the food between average and good. As I recall, the food on previous cruises was noticeably better in terms of variety and taste. However, there were a fair number on the cruise that rated the food as very good. The food on theme days such as Italian Night and Alaska buffet lunch was, indeed noteworthy.

The itinerary and options were probably the best part of the cruise. Alaska is indeed beautiful. The stops along the inside passage were worthwhile and interesting. Cruising Glacier Bay and College Fjord was the true highlight as both were very scenic and would have been extremely difficult to see on your own. The disembarkation and reboarding process was relatively painless, with few long lines, which moved relatively fast.

Other minor notes - poor lighting for makeup preparation (consider lighted makeup mirror), hot water could be a little hotter, no diet sodas in the refrigerator. There was lot of emphasis on shopping, especially for art, jewelry, clothes and souvenirs - no surprise. It was difficult to hear some announcements in our room and the photographers were everywhere - they slowed the disembarkation process at each port and were constantly present at many other functions

The land tour portion gets mixed reviews. The lodging and restaurants ranged from OK (Denali and Fairbanks Riverside Princess lodges) to very nice (McKinley Princess and Captain Cook Hotel). The included tours were interesting but too commercialized. The visit to Denali was quite nice, but a 1-day stay is not long enough. Too often, we felt like we were herded and held captive by Princess at the lodges and on the tours. It definitely would not get a high rating.

Limited free time in Anchorage. Train ride to McKinley Lodge was nice. Talkeetna stop OK but nothing special. Typical small touristy Alaska town with shopping, restaurants, and tour booking as its main calling.

McKinley Princess Lodge is very spread out with older but nice lodge style rooms with attractive furnishings. Limited shuttle service. Denali Princess Lodge has much more in the way of stores and places to eat (both inside and outside the complex) and is much less isolated than the McKinley Princess. However, it does not have the charm or quaintness of the McKinley Lodge. There is extensive shuttle service at the lodge as well as in the park, which is not far from the lodge. Fairbanks Princess lodge was more like a large motel than a lodge. Rooms were decent but sort of plain. Least charming of the lodges. Poor lighting and no comfortable seating.

Denali National Park is definitely worth the trip. Travel inside the park is by park or contractor provided school bus type coach. It took a long time to travel short distances in the park. We especially enjoyed the Ranger dog sled show and the movie in the visitors center. The natural history tour was interesting. All the Princess bus drivers/tour guides were very knowledgeable and interesting. Same for the park bus drivers/guides.

Fairbanks is not a top attraction area and definitely not a "must see", although it is Alaska's 2nd largest city. There is small downtown, lots of larger stores and the airport are key reasons for going there. It is drier and warmer in the summer. The Discovery Riverboat cruise was interesting, but quite commercialized and somewhat contrived. The same for the Gold Dredging tour - longer than needed with way too much shopping time.

Publication Date: 08/05/13
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