We have sailed Princess several times and have never been disappointed, until now. Princess is our favorite cruise lines so I find it difficult to be negative, however I think a few complaints are in order.
I first want to say that the Coral is a beautiful ship, spotless clean and she sails as smooth as glass. The food was good in the dining room as well as in the Horizon Court and the crew were wonderful. Our room steward, Efren, was terrific. My husband's back was bothering him the first few days and Efren made sure there was plenty of ice and plastic bags in our room and came by to ask about him several times. Kudos to Efren.
We booked an obstructed oceanview. Normally, we always book a balcony, but the economy being what it is made that indulgence too much. The first thing I did when we boarded was to go to the Pursers Desk and request an upgrade. I knew the ship wasn't full (1,300 passengers and they carry up to 1,900) and there had been flight delays all over the country possibly keeping people from boarding. They told us they were going to give passengers that missed boarding a chance to get on board in Aruba, so they wouldn't know about an upgrade until then. In Aruba, they denied us - not because of late arrivals, so I was told. As we met people during the cruise, we heard story after story about how they were upgraded up to 5 categories. Some had booked interior and ended up in oceanview. One oceanview couple ended up in a junior suite and so on. I'm not a person that expects something for nothing, but that put a bad taste in my mouth. The couple with a 5 category upgrade would have been just as happy with 4 categories and give us the 5th!
We obviously stayed in our obstructed oceanview and were happy as clams. I don't let things like that change my mood or attitude while I'm enjoying myself. I'll concern myself later, if necessary.
For those of you interested in hearing about particular cabins....for the sake of searching:
Obstructed Oceanview E510. The room is small, but manageable. Okay amount of storage except flat horizontal surfaces. We seem to clutter the counter tops to the max!. Room under the bed for big luggage, closet is big and there is shelving where the safe is. The shower is insanely small. My husband hung the shower curtain over a hook and just let the water fly. No other choice, you can barely turn around. Note: From balcony room to interior, all the showers are all that small. The obstruction in this room is livable. You get plenty of light and can see the water if you stand towards the left side of the bed.
This cruise took place during Thanksgiving. I didn't know what to expect, but I hoping for more. I realize that Thanksgiving is an American Holiday and many cruisers aren't American, but I guess I assumed most people would enjoy a Thanksgiving celebration. We went to the dining room for the dinner half expecting some American tradition. For instance, I thought maybe the servers would come out of the kitchen holding platters of traditional roasted turkeys and carving stations set up around the dining room. Something along those lines. However, all they did was have a turkey selection on the menu and it was only sliced white meat. Kinda took the tradition out of the equation. It was good food, but not Thanksgiving dinner.
My other disappointment was the entertainment. Typically, we attend all the shows in the Princess Theater and if there is a guest entertainer that will be playing in a lounge, we will go see him/her in the less crowded venue. No point on this cruise. Every show in the Princess Theater was 35 minutes long and not very impressive. There was a good comedian, but he did the same show each time - no variations. The magician was okay, but nothing to get excited about. VERY disappointed in the entertainment.
Keeping in mind we were sailing in and around South America, Central America and the Panama Canal, the temperatures were sweltering. They played some of the Movies Under the Stars during the day. We are not pool people and we don't do hot real well, so those movies were out of the question.
The ports of call were great and the Panama Canal was amazing. We had beautiful, albeit very hot weather the entire cruise.
This will not keep us from sailing on Princess, but I certainly hope they have not cut back on entertainment on all their ships and cruises!