Even if, as we reported last week, the Panama Canal Authority is raising rates for cruise ships to pass through, Princess Cruises seems far from daunted. Princess is actually doubling its Panama Canal sailing's next year, assigning its newest ships -- Coral Princess and Island Princess -- to that region. The itineraries on both will feature a 10-day trip, sailing roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, and include calls at Grand Cayman, Limon (for Costa Rica), Cozumel and Cartagena. The highlight -- this is fairly unusual for a Panama Canal trip -- is that the ships sail roundtrip through the canal.
One of the major attractions these two ships have -- particularly as pertains to Canal sailing's -- is high percentage of cabins-with-balconies, which are an ultra-comfortable and tres-private way to see the sights.