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Coral Princess Review

Coral Princess
Coral Princess - The Library Coral Princess - Spacious Suite Coral Princess - Grand Casino Coral Princess - Nightdome
82% of cruisers loved it
461 reviews | Write a Review
  • Lectures and workshops via ScholarShip @ Sea
  • One of Princess' mid-sized ships
  • Relax at adults-only Sanctuary sun deck
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Coral Princess Overview

By Ellen Uzelac, Cruise Critic contributor; updated By Marcia Levin, Cruise Critic contributor
Editor Rating
4.0
Coral Princess blends the exotic (an international staff, elegant Italian restaurant, celebrity-style spa treatments) and the familiar (cruising's ubiquitous buffets, poolside umbrella drinks and, yes, bingo). The ship is a vacation destination that offers up a pleasing amount of glitz yet makes passengers feel right at home.

The 91,627-ton ship, built just trim enough to traverse the Panama Canal, accommodates 1,970 passengers and 900 crewmembers. On our 10-day trip -- from Fort Lauderdale through the Caribbean to Panama and back -- the ship was fully booked. But remarkably, there was a surprising sense of spaciousness onboard, a function of both design and operational efficiency.

Decks 6 and 7, Fiesta and Promenade, are dedicated exclusively to lounges, entertainment venues, main and alternative dining restaurants, boutiques, an art gallery, cigar bar and a wedding chapel. In other words, public space. On many ships, there's a cramped feeling because such space often bumps up against a line of staterooms, making walking through tight corridors somewhat of an ordeal. Not so here.

And nowhere is that feeling of openness grander than on the top deck, which has two outdoor shuffleboard courts, child-size chess pieces along with a gameboard and a netted basketball court. Truly, you feel on top of the world.

To ensure the ship has staying power, Princess gave the ship an enormous makeover in November 2009. Coral Princess came out of dry dock with the line's signature Movies Under the Stars screen on its Lido Deck -- a delightfully attractive, adults-only, two-deck Sanctuary -- and flat-screen television sets in staterooms. New soft goods, carpeting in coral and turquoise hues, draperies and bedding were also added.

Introduced in 2003, Coral Princess -- along with sister vessel Island Princess -- is an aberration for Princess Cruises. The line only launched two ships this size before joining the rest of the cruise industry in building ever-more-massive ships -- like those in the Grand class. Not part of either the group of biggest-in-fleet vessels or the mid-sized Sun class of ships, Coral Princess falls somewhere in between. And in many ways, it represents the best of both.

Size-wise, it falls just within Panamax boundaries, which means Coral Princess can travel through the canal, enjoying an itinerary flexibility not possible with the bigger ships. It also features more "personal choice" amenities and services than would, say, the Sun class of ships. An interesting tidbit: The 77,000-ton Sun Princess carries 1,950 passengers. Coral Princess measures nearly 92,000 tons and carries just 20 people more.

As for operational efficiency, Coral Princess is a logistical showpiece. At our final disembarkation, it took just 10 minutes from the time our group was paged to exit the ship for us to collect our baggage, pass through the U.S. Customs and Immigration checkpoint, walk around the port terminal, and pop into a taxicab. Now that's a thing of beauty -- and it was that kind of crispness that defined our entire voyage.

Our band of travelers, friends and family ranging in age from 2 to 79, found just about everything about Coral Princess to our liking. Sure, there were garden-variety complaints: a table reservation mix-up, Internet access cards that went on the fritz, a couple of room service misadventures and dramatically uneven room temperatures throughout parts of the ship.

In the end though, none of it really mattered. The proof? By the time we had all departed for home, we had already planned our next trip … on Coral Princess in Alaska.

Coral Princess Fellow Passengers

Coral Princess' mainly Caribbean cruises tend to draw largely American passengers with a respectable showing of folks from Canada and the United Kingdom. It's also a noticeably older crowd. Well over half of the passengers on our cruise were 60-plus, with fewer than 230 passengers between the ages of 21 and 50. During summers and holiday periods, the number of children aboard does increase notably.

Coral Princess Dress Code

There are two formal nights on a 10-day cruise, and people dress to the nines on those evenings. Otherwise, dress is so-called "smart casual," which translates into something you might wear to a cocktail party or nice restaurant: A silky top and pants, a skirt and pretty sweater set or a comfy sun dress for the ladies and nice slacks and a shirt (no tie or jacket required) for the men. No jeans or shorts are permitted in the dining rooms, though.

Coral Princess Gratuity

Gratuities, which are automatically charged to onboard accounts, are $11.50 per person (including children), per day, for passengers staying in standard accommodations and $12 for passengers staying in mini-suites and suites. A 15 percent gratuity is added to beverage purchases onboard, including wine at dinner. Spa and casino staff members don't share in the gratuity charges (if you use these services, tips are advised).
Next: Coral Princess Cabins
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Coral Princess Member Reviews

We just got home from a wonderful 11 day Panama Canal Cruise on the Coral Princess. This was our 18th cruise and our 12th with Princess. We can't say enough about how much we enjoyed this trip. Princess has mastered the art of a speedy embarkation. ... Read more
Embarkation, we were in the terminal by noon and check-in was swift then we have to wait at the terminal for more than hr. before we were allowed to board the ship. We reserved two balcony cabins C 314 and 316 on the Coral Princess for a Panama ... Read more
Outstanding bumbershoot1
01/15
My husband and I traveled with two of our first time cruiser friends. Although we had two separate reservations, we had our reservation linked with theirs, so Princess put them in a cabin next door to us. This was a great surprise when we arrived. ... Read more
1 - 3 of 461 Reviews
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Coral Princess Ratings

Editor Rating 4.0 Member Rating
Category
Editor
Member
4.0
4.2
4.0
4.7
4.0
4.4
4.0
3.9
4.0
4.2
5.0
3.5
Shore Excursions
3.0
4.1
Enrichment
4.0
4.0
Service
4.0
4.6
Value-for-Money
4.0
4.2
Rates
4.0
4.2

Explore This Ship

Coral Princess Deck Plans Coral Princess Cabin Reviews
Ship Stats
Crew:
900
Launched:
2003
Decks:
15
Tonnage:
92,000
Passengers:
1,970
Registry:
Bermuda
CDC Score:
97
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