This was only our second cruise also second on Princess. We are a retired UK couple and fairly new to cruising. However I am a former Merchant Navy (Merchant Marine to US people) Electrical Officer, so have spent plenty of time on a ship. I had previously transited the Panama Canal in 1973 but I seen very little as I spent most of time in ships engine room on stand by. However this cruise more than made up for that. We flew from Glasgow to Miami via London Heathrow,BMI and Virgin Atlantic. All went fairly smoothly and arrived in Miami to pleasant temperatures after UK winter weather. Picked up a rental car at MIA and had easy drive to Hyatt Place N., Fort Lauderdale. Where we stayed for four days pre cruise. Found the Hotel to be a great location for local bars,shops and restaurants. Had a nice few days in FLL and used the hotel shuttle to port for our Coral Princess cruise. Boarding was really quick and easy and by the time we had got to our cabin and settled in our luggage arrived. We were in the buffet for 1pm having left hotel at midday.
As to the Coral Princess we really loved our stateroom and most of the public areas. Our cabin steward Jonathan could not have been better and most of the other Princess people were first class. We enjoyed all of our meals and used main dining room, buffet and room service breakfast. We never had any problem finding space either on deck for viewing or lounging. For dinner in anytime dining we had a few short waits with a buzzer, we normally ate around 8PM
Comparing the Coral to Star Princess liked them both although missed the aft pool which on Coral is part of Sanctuary. At the main pool on Coral the noise from MUTS was over the top during the day so aft would have been a good refuge.
We did not do many shows but what we seen was fairly good and Mauricio in Crooners bar was an excellent entertainer.
Disembarkation was very easy and took taxi to Manhattan Beach.
On completion of cruise we had a few days in Los Angeles and flew home to cold Scotland.
Not on port list
Fuerte Amador for Panama City
Only bad experience of cruise took place here, we were approached at the tender port by a taxi agent and he took us to a drver where we arranged a return trip to Panama City (old town) with him waiting to take us back to tender dock. We got in car and he then started to change the deal. A row ensued and we got him to stop car and we got out. We flagged down a passing taxi and resumed our journey without problems. We arranged for him to pick us up later and had no problem. In town we visited the Panama canal museum and walked around the historic area. We bought some Molas which my wife loved and some other craft pieces. There are great contrasts here between some beautiful old buildings and others which are completely derelict.