We sailed aboard the Coral Princess -Jan 19-30 on a 'Partial" Transit....The ship was wonderful and the Captain runs a very tight ship!...Many 'Cruise Critics'...think they should have the perfect everything when they travel....well folks.."that ain't never gonna happen"....why..because unlike you...we are all humans..and we are not perfect.....that said..I must say that we had a great cruise..the crew ..as always ..were helpful....happy...very sociable! We did have a period of extra sanitary precautions mid cruise(5 days?)..because of a more than usual incidence of possible Noro virus symptoms...and the passengers took it in stride. ....For those of you thinking about going on the Coral......check out the website found somewhere on Cruise Critic about balconies...covered vs uncovered...we did and was thankful!...someone named 'Tom O' has a great description/photos/deck plan layout about the covered/part covered/ no covered balconies. We were on Caribe ..forward 220..great!!!!!! Food was great...Horizon buffet good!..Really enjoyed the scenery while dining there..all the glass wrap around windows being able to see port, starboard and at the bow of the ship.while eating!
Now about the canal experience....wow!!!..I would HIGHLY recommend studying as much as you can about the Canal before going on the cruise..it makes it more fulfilling!.....our deck..Caribe (and Baja, Dolphin) had a public area all the way forward..(.and aft.).for seeing the entering and progress thru the Gatun locks...don't worry..you will have ample time to move around the ship, including going to the Promenade deck to view all the goings on while in the locks. The ship then goes into Lake Gatun ...stops...tenders all the shore excursions to shore...then will go back thru Gatun locks to port in Colon...OUR EXCURSION:..We took the excursion that takes you on a "ferry" tour boat (holds about 350 people)..and COMPLETES the entire canal transit to the Pacific..then board a bus near Panama City and zips you on a four lane highway back to Colon to the ship..about 1 hour drive......What an experience!!!..Highly recommended!
The other ports on the cruise were equally enjoyable..my second favorite(after The Canal) was Costa Rica...the wildlife..the banana plantation..all good.
The weather was good!..Some 6-8 ft seas..some 35 knot winds...the landlubbers were uneasy...my comments to them..with a smile.."ever been on a Navy ship?"...All in all..I have nothing critical to say about this cruise.The ship or the cruise line.and I would do it again..(after all of the other 'Bucket List" items are done!!!!!!)