1 Acapulco Princess Coral Princess Cruise Reviews

Basically it was a GREAT trip; we enjoyed all the ports and the shore excursions. The day long excursion through the Panama Canal was truly amazing and well worth the expense. As for the on-board experience...that part was pretty mediocre. ... Read More
Basically it was a GREAT trip; we enjoyed all the ports and the shore excursions. The day long excursion through the Panama Canal was truly amazing and well worth the expense. As for the on-board experience...that part was pretty mediocre. Princess's attention to detail appeared to be virtually non-existent. We'd highly recommend the adventure to anyone...but we'd also recommend NOT booking the trip on the Princess Cruise lines. 1. Princess notified us the day after we could cancel the cruise without paying a penalty that they were canceling the advertised stop in Huatulco. I called Princess and asked why and they said it was for "operational" reasons. I asked what that meant, specifically, and the guy on the phone said he wasn't sure. I emailed Princess, via our travel agent, to inquire as to the reasoning and suggested that if we weren't going to stop in Huatulco, that perhaps the ship could stay an extra day in Acapulco. Princess never responded to the email - obviously, they really care. 2. My wife and I like to watch the docking process when we get into port, so, about a week before we were to leave, I contacted Princess to see if we could switch from the Starboard side of the ship to the Port side - the side that's normally closest to the shore when the ship docs. I was pleased that we could, indeed, get our room switched. I wasn't happy that the Princess wouldn't let me (the guy that paid for it) implement the room switch...I had to contact our travel agent. Only they could switch rooms. As it turned out, it was a bad move. Unlike our earlier cruise, Princess docked on the starboard side 5 of the 7 dockings we made (why do they call it "port"?). The only port we got to watch the docking procedure was in Guatemala. 3. Princess flew us in a day early to assure we would make our early morning flight to Acapulco. According to Princess Cruises' instructions, their representatives would meet us in the Atlanta airport baggage claim area and collect our checked luggage and then escort us to the hotel. Contrary to what they'd promised, there was no one from Princess there to greet us or the 20 other couples who were also waiting). After about a half hour, we called 1-800-PRINCESS and asked where our escorts were. We were told they'd be there in 10 minutes. We waited another half hour before calling again and were told they were on their way. After another half hour before we gave up and walked the block and a half (dragging ALL our luggage) to the shuttle service area. When we got to the hotel and entered the lobby, there was a table set up with the Princess logo on it and a couple of cruise reps there to greet us. When I went up to one of the reps, I said we were disappointed that they didn't meet us at the airport as promised. Instead of apologizing, the Princess rep began his response with, "You think YOU'VE had a bad day...." and went on to explain that they'd had a rough day too. It apparently escaped him that he was getting paid and I was the one who was paying. It's rare to get customer service at that level...thank God. 4. When we got on the ship, the glass patio door separating our cabin from the deck was tough to open, so I contacted the desk to see if they could get somebody to oil it...they finally got to it the next day. 5. As part of the cruise sign up process on their website, we indicated we wanted a couple of complimentary terrycloth robes in the cabin when we arrived....they never did get delivered. 6. For supper the first day on board, we went, as directed, to the dining room on deck 6 only to be told that the card they gave us when we boarded had a typo and we were really to be at the dining room on deck 5. Generally, the food was mediocre at best, not what we'd come to expect on a cruise. 7. I checked out the on-board casino and tried to plug some quarters in the video poker machines. They wouldn't take the quarters, so I asked an attendant why. It was then I was advised that it was a "cashless" casino. In other words, you charged money on your "Sea Pass" for a separate gaming card and then put that card in the gaming machines instead of cash. For me, it's fun to handle the chips and money. A couple of days later they had a $25 buy in "Texas hold-em" tourney. Unlike most other hold-em tourneys, there was no dealer. You sat at a table in front of a video monitor. You didn't get "cards" or chips...it was like playing at home on the computer - which I can do at home...on my computer. Their cashless policy kept me from spending anything in their casino. 8. Guests were supposed to be able to check the weather forecast by punching the "weather" button on the phone. The recording said they update the weather four times a day - they don't. Often the weather forecast on the phone was more than a day old. 9. The ship's daily newspaper "Patter" advised that, in Costa Rica, there'd be a shuttle to take us to the shopping area at the end of the pier (which was about a third of a mile long). Only after we got off the ship, were we told that there was no shuttle and that the tour bus would leave from next to the ship. So if we wanted to shop before the tour (our only option) we'd have to walk to the end of the pier and back. Given the temperature and the anticipated long walks on the tour itself and the limited time before the tour bus left...we weren't able to shop in Costa Rica. 10. Upon boarding, they cautioned us to not throw anything off the balcony in respect for the folks on balconies below (the sea breeze blows it back onto a lower balcony). Still the cabin steward on the floor above us swabbed the their balcony which resulted in us getting a shower. Don't you think they would have checked to see if there was anyone below? 11. The second time we ate in the main dining room, I asked our waiter for my bottle of wine we'd ordered with our first meal and didn't finish. They came back to me several times asking where I was when I originally ordered it. Eventually they found it - just in time for desert. 12. We arrived at the Panama Canal before sunrise and didn't wait to begin our trans-Panamanian journey before it was light enough to take photos. We passed under the Bridge of the Americas (the first notable icon on the Pacific side), a docked U.S. warship (I think it was a cutter) and a huge dredging craft...that I couldn't take photos of because it was too dark - I was disappointed the captain didn't wait until it was light to begin the trip through the canal. 13. The Princess promotional material indicates there's a battery recycling container, a laundry bag and a music system in each cabin - there wasn't. 14. More often than not you missed most of the captain's or cruise director's announcements because you couldn't turn on the TV fast enough and get to the right channel quick enough to catch what they were saying. 15. The "fuel charge" when we booked the cruise seven months earlier was slated to be $140...based on the crude oil price of $126/barrel at that time. When we boarded the ship, crude oil was down to about $45/barrel and still, there was no deduct for the reduced fuel charge. As I said, individually, none of the above was of great concern when it happened and if only a couple of mishaps occurred, it wouldn't have even been mentioned. But, taken as a whole, the Princess Cruise experience was kinda like a Chinese water torture, it seemed like a day couldn't go by without some irksome screw up. In the answer book in the cabin, said Princess's goal was to be the "consummate host" and provide "lasting memories" - indeed, that was true...we won't forget. Again, the trip was fantastic. But, if you go, I'd strongly suggest you consider a cruise line other than Princess Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date November 2008
Coral Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 4.0
Enrichment 4.0 3.9
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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