My husband and I took the 14 night Panama Canal cruise on the Coral Princess. We had not taken any Princess cruises before and were very pleased with the ship and the service that we received. We booked only 6 weeks prior to sailing with Vacations to go. We arrived the day before and stayed at the Fairfield Inn. They set up a shuttle for us from our hotel to the Total wine shop where we bought a case on wine to take with us on the cruise. We then headed to the port. It was a very easy check in at the port.
The Coral Princess is a beautiful ship that was in Ship Shape as they say in the Navy. It was very clean and the service was wonderful. The food was great, the service was great and our room steward was wonderful and kept our room sparking clean. The bed was on the hard side so I requested a egg crate and Richard our room steward had it on the bed the same day.
The excursions were very good and I enjoyed the botanical gardens in Costa Rica the most with the sky walk bridges. The guides on all our tours were very good and gave us a lot of information on each port.
I really enjoyed the movie theater on the ship. I must have seen at least 10 movies while on the Coral Princess. They had a lot of currant release movies. We did not attend the Movie under the stars but heard that it was also very nice.
The cruise director Billy and Boogie his side kick were a wonderful pair that kept me giggling through out the cruise. The Wake up show was nice in the morning.
The only complaint I have is one day we wanted to go to the Sanctuary on the back of the boat while we were in Cabo. We got there in the morning and there was not one customer there. All the loungers were empty so we asked to pay the $20.00PP for the day. They told us that you had to have a reservation. This was not advertised at all on the ship. The sign said first come first serve on the entrance. I was told they only had two loungers in the full sun. When I told the passenger services about this they said that you do not need a reservation. I was called by the head of the department and he said yes that you do need a reservation. He gave us a day pass at the Sanctuary for the following day. We did not use it because it was very cold that day and very windy. The day we wanted to use it was a beautiful day with sunny skies and no wind. Well, at least they tried to make us happy. Just know for the future that you need to reserve a seat at the beginning of the cruise.
We had dinner at Sabatinni's on our last night. It was wonderful with great service. It was well worth the $20.00PP. We only had lunch at the other specialty restaurant three times. They did not have an extra charge for the special lunches that were offered. The three luncher were called Pub lunches and offered british style food like fish and chips. All three lunches were good and very good service was provided.
I do feel like Princess nickel and dimes you a little. They offer ice cream bar but for a shake or malt it is extra cost. The speciality coffees, bottled water, soda are all at a extra cost too. I wish they would just increase the cost and cover all these fees.
We did take advantage of the thermal spa for the cruise. It was nice and never that crowded so we used it almost every day. The thermal spa was on the small side compared to others we have used. They did not have lockers that locked but were in the process of adding locks at the time.
Our tour of Nicaragua was nice but this country is so poor that it made me sad and a little uncomfortable. We took a hike to the volcano which was not much to see. The clouds were covering the view. We did not see any wildlife. We had lunch in Granada that was very good. I would not go back to this port.
I will take another Princess cruise in the next four years and signed up for the early deposit that they offered. Over all we loved our cruise to the Panama Canal and we look forward to cruising again with Princess.