Sail Date: March 2019
The cruise on the Coral Princess from March 17- April 5 2019 was fabulous from the time we started the cruise! The crew, staff, and all aboard made you feel like part of their family! By the second day I think most of the crew knew me by ... Read More
The cruise on the Coral Princess from March 17- April 5 2019 was fabulous from the time we started the cruise! The crew, staff, and all aboard made you feel like part of their family! By the second day I think most of the crew knew me by name and called my parents mom and dad! We were greeted by name each nite going into the dining room by name and they arranged it so we didn’t have to call for reservations each morning! They knew we liked a certain waiter and table. My dad is the adventuresome person so he did all the different land tours and came back with many adventures, ( I am disabled and make the choice not to do them, even though a lot of people still do). Fuad Amal’s the people were so extremely friendly and the local market literally right off the ship is so very nice and clean! The local people welcome you by introducing themselves and welcoming you to their little shopping area! It was so pleasant! The Panama Canal, this was my 4th time through, is even more exciting, I really took the time to watch the mules, (five million dollars a piece) as they GUIDE NOT PULL the ship into the locks. Then watch as the ships go up up up!!! It’s really exciting to know you are expierencing a part of history! After the locks we anchored in Gatun Lake where the Coral Princess spent the night and around 11 am the next day we headed back out the canal to the Pacific side again! It was just as thrilling! Each stop we made was wonderful, three stops in Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala and we weren’t able to stop in Nicaugua due to high winds and seas, but that just gave us an extra sea day!! The sea days you can be busy with activities 24/7 or do nothing 24/7 and just relax and unwind! That is what makes cruising so wonderful, once you are onboard, it is up to you on how you want your vacation to be! Some people need the constant activity, others like me, love to relax, face a chair towards the ocean and be lucky enough to see the pod of over 15 whales, many turtles, flying fish, and many schools of dolphins! The ocean is filled with many wonders! The Coral Princess has a beautiful library and game room, cigar room, internet rooms, casino, laundry facilities, Movies under the Stars, and movies during the day while you tan, there are areas for children, and playrooms for kids and teens! You can eat eat and eat some more, the old cruise joke is you go on board as a passenger and leave as cargo, I sometimes believe it after the incedible pastries and desserts they have on board. They have a very nice menu in the dining room and they also offer you a choice to pay to have a better cut of a steak, lobster if that is what is sounding good to your appetite that night! Whatever your request I know from expience a Princess staff member will either take care of it or find someone who can do it for you. Visit Maria in Calypso store, she has a heart of gold! If you should run into Rafeal, Thomas ( both from Poland ) and Edwin from Bulgaria )some of the Head waiters from the dining rooms, they are the best!!!!!! Just their smiles and laughter will make you smile!!!!! Happy Cruising!! I was traveling with my parents and yes we will be cruising MANY more times with Princess!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
This was the first cruise of the Coral Princess after a rehab in dry dock. Carpets have been replaced, flat screens added to all rooms with satellite reception, new paint and improved internet access are among the changes. The ship is ... Read More
This was the first cruise of the Coral Princess after a rehab in dry dock. Carpets have been replaced, flat screens added to all rooms with satellite reception, new paint and improved internet access are among the changes. The ship is small and was built for the Panama Canal. Overall the cruise gets high marks. My husband and I are in our early 60's and were among the youngest people on the ship. Lots of folks with walkers, wheelchairs, scooters and canes. Excellent weather, no rain and not too hot. We did the Princess excursion "Aromas and Flavors of Cartagena" which was excellent. Demonstration and coffee tasting, local cooking class and tour of the Old City. Very well done. We were a group of 28, split into two class groups. The small size allowed for a high level of interaction with the guides and young people who were teaching the classes. Humberto is the ship's guide to the Canal. He did a fabulous job of narrating the passage through the Canal all day. We made our way around the ship throughout the day. The emergency doors on level 11 was opened so we could view the locks from the front of the ship. This is not advertised. So check "non-traditional" access points. Princess is one of the few ships that stops at Puerto Amador. We did the train trip and the new locks. We did the dome car which wasn't worth the extra expense. There wasn't much to see that you would miss if you were below. Save your money. The new locks are very interesting especially when compared to the old locks and well worth the time to visit. Our tour also took us through the city and past the old town. No stops just the bus ride. Costa Rica was our least favorite stop. All excursions are very long as they take you a good distance from the port of Puntarenas. We did the tour of the Botanical Gardens, Coffee Plantation and some old church. The Botanical Gardens left much to be desired. Birds in very small cages and green houses of orchids that need more TLC. The Doka Coffee Plantation was excellent. We could have spent another hour there, but the guide hustled us on the a public park and church. This stop could have been eliminated and we would have been able to see all that the coffee plantation had to offer. Way too long on the bus. In Nicaragua, we did the Hacienda on Lake Nicaragua. Very relaxing. It's a working hacienda. The family was our host. Local dancers performed traditional dancers and local crafts were demonstrated. Lunch was delicious. This is not an exciting adventure. I sat with the lake in hammock and renewed my soul. My husband watched the performances of the horses and interacted with the local folks. Our last stop was in Cabo. We did the half day sailing adventure. It was fabulous. Wonderful guide. Plenty of food and drink. We saw about whales, sea turtles, marlins and a variety of birds. We had a wonderful room steward and great waiters for dinner. We chose the Anytime Dining but had the same table every night. Food was better than average. Food that we did not like was relaced quickly. Activites on sea days left much to be desired. Mostly trivia, and craft kits during the day. Each night was a different performer. Three nights were productions. All others were one-person shows. Comics with jokes that addressed the age of the majority of the guests. The "enrichment speaker" was terrible. Very dated presentations with extremely poor visuals (think powerpoint with old B/W videos embedded). The wine tasting was excellent as was the cooking demonstration by the Chef and the Head of the Hotel and the tour of the galley. All in all, it was a very relaxing expereince. No drama. Just a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Cruise was OK for a holiday getaway. Ship (Coral Princess) is showing her age. We are unhappy with the daily "gratuity" charged to each person. The cruise itself wasn't cheap; however, the "gratuity" charges ... Read More
Cruise was OK for a holiday getaway. Ship (Coral Princess) is showing her age. We are unhappy with the daily "gratuity" charged to each person. The cruise itself wasn't cheap; however, the "gratuity" charges added $400+to our charges. I would pay an additional amount to be included in the overall cruise charge, rather than pay an exorbitant tariff at the end of the cruise. I don't feel I'm responsible for the extra supplement for the crew's pitiful salaries. 2. The onboard facilities for mobility challenged patrons who use mobility devices are adequate. The shore excursion choices are dismal for us. Besides not being able to disembark at tender ports, the excursion experiences are few to none. Also, the gangways at some ports are made up with steps that are too steep to be able to accommodate the scooter/chairs/walkers needed on shore. We only took one excursion, and that was mediocre at best. Unable to debark at Huatulco and Puerto Vallerta because of the gangway situation. Crew told me I'd have to WALK up and down the gangways! ThAT'S NOT POSSIBLE FOR ME. Put some of your NEWER ships on some of these runs. 3. Mediocre entertainment and very little enrichment lectures/activities. Not all of us cruisers are into all the fluff and games. Difficult to watch movies "Under the Stars) both day and night. Too much noise during the day and hard to see screen. Too cold and uncomfortable seating at night. Food was very good and of great variety, so we didn't go to the specialty restaurants. Ate in the Bordeaux dining room. Waiters very good. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We have been on 5 cruises in the past but this was our FIRST Princess Cruise and what an Incredible time we had! Princess Cruises really knows how to spoil their passengers! The food that was served in the Bordeaux Dining Room was ... Read More
We have been on 5 cruises in the past but this was our FIRST Princess Cruise and what an Incredible time we had! Princess Cruises really knows how to spoil their passengers! The food that was served in the Bordeaux Dining Room was absolutely Superb! Our waiters were both entertaining, as well as, accommodating. Our cabin was Beautifully appointed and our bed and pillows were sooooo incredibly comfortable! I slept like a princess each night! The entertainment was first rate and the comedian was a total crack up! We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Princess Cruises has it down pat as to organization when it comes to embarking and disembarking. The process flowed very smoothly and was seamless. Even though we had very specific time constraints for disembarking, a front desk staff member was Outstanding when taking our concern into consideration, and took care of the matter, personally. We were able to make our appointment on land, without a hitch, all thanks to the exceptional professionalism of an accommodating front desk Princess Cruise Staff Member. The staff went out of their way to make me feel special during my birthday cruise! I can assure you that our future vacation cruises will certainly be spent on Princess Cruise Lines, from here on out! They also had an ample amount of spacious, clean bathrooms throughout the ship, which made it very convenient for us as well. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this particular cruise, as it was a full Panama Canal Transit. This had been on my husband's Bucket List for many years now and when he retired and we had unlimited "vacation time", I booked it immediately The ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise, as it was a full Panama Canal Transit. This had been on my husband's Bucket List for many years now and when he retired and we had unlimited "vacation time", I booked it immediately The Coral Princess is a pretty ship, smaller in size and has everything one needs. I will admit it is looking a bit worn, but kept immaculately clean. The public areas were decorated very nicely and all the seating was very comfortable. Be sure if you want to attend an event or one of the larger production shows, you get into the venue 45-60 min before show time. Usually there are things going on prior to the event in the same venue and a lot of people just stay. Getting a table in the Card Room was difficult at times, but we managed to ask people that were "saving" multiple tables to give one of them up. Many of the tables lift sides were in sad condition and one had to "work" on them to get them to stay up in place. One thing I did notice, is that our mini-suite balcony had quite a bit of rust on the metal parts of the ship and the patio furniture desperately needed to be replaced, It was usable but stained and faded. Plus I hated those plastic tiles that are laid down on the decking, like walking on Lego's! The banister railing had been recently varnished. The inside of our cabin was nice and very clean. Thanks Boylin, for taking good care of us! Some of the minor enhancements that could be looked at are, replacing or re-stretching the carpet, updating the old pictures, retiling the bathrooms. All of the previous items are cosmetic and did not effect my cruise. My biggest complaint was those small TV's with such limited programing to watch!! I know I am not on a cruise to watch TV, but I am a night owl and like to do so after the evening events have wound down!! I guess I was totally spoiled on the Royal Princess that have 50" TVs with On Demand programming!! Oh, the beds are to die for!! No, none, nada, complaints there!! The food and service was really good. In the main dining rooms it was a bit slow, as it seems like they had several new crew and the main waiter and helpers were getting to know each other? The food in Horizon Court was fabulous. I have never had such great tasting breads, meats, and gravies. Not to mention the absolutely fabulous desserts at least 8-10 to choose from, plus the most delicious tasting cookies ever! Try the Peanut Butter they are to die for!! Say hi to Carlos for me! We were on first name basis. Over all the cruise was wonderful. We met so many awesome people, several of which we will keep in contact with! If you are thinking of this itineray, do it! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
When you read everything about the tours it is not accurate. They say no steps, but they do not tell you that it is uneven ground and steep inclines. All the pools were 5 feet or more. So you could not walk in water or exercise. ... Read More
When you read everything about the tours it is not accurate. They say no steps, but they do not tell you that it is uneven ground and steep inclines. All the pools were 5 feet or more. So you could not walk in water or exercise. Pool chairs were reserved with no one using them for hours And to charge for the one pool. Come on The guest service desk was very unfriendly and was not there to help and we had to go back many times to get things correct, The internet was fault advertising in the price. The staff did not explain the charges until you got the bill and saw the price was doubled. We were told we needed to have our bags outside our door by 11 pm on the last day and they came around at 10. Communications with passengers was very poor. We will not use Princess again because of this cruise Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Fancied doing something different and chose this cruise as we have cruised with Princess a fews times to Mexico at Thanksgiving on the Ruby and Crown. The Coral is an old ship and starting to look a bit tired. We sailed during Xmas ... Read More
Fancied doing something different and chose this cruise as we have cruised with Princess a fews times to Mexico at Thanksgiving on the Ruby and Crown. The Coral is an old ship and starting to look a bit tired. We sailed during Xmas and NYE. It was a bit boring on both nights, but that's okay wasn't expecting Times Square but could have been a bit better. We had 2 balcony cabins and 1 mini suite. We really needed a handicapped accessible cabin for our wheelchair bound disabled child, but low and behold not one was available. My child was the only one on the cruise who actually had her own wheelchair that wasn't rented! But there you go, awful but people seem to think booking a handicapped accessible cabin when you don't need it really but just want the extra space, is okay. But it's not. Food in the Horizon cafe was much better than the Bordeaux restaurant anytime dining. We found that the food in the Bordeaux was quite awful. Either over cooked, bland or cold. Horizon offered much better choices. Wifi is terrible. I spent more time trying to get on and get off the wifi and wasted so many minutes doing so. The internet cafe manager, Mikael couldn't care less. Overall this was an okay cruise, but for what I spent on 3 cabins ($22K) I was sorely disappointed. There are other cruises out there that offer much better food, cabins and entertainment for less. Panama Canal was somewhat interesting but after 8 hours of non stop commentary it got a little boring. Great to see, but don't think I would rush back. The excursions were over priced and really nothing great. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this cruise because of the time of year and we wanted to sail the inside passage. We were traveling with a high-functioning autistic child and a new diagnosed Alzheimer's patient, we were also a larger party of 6 traveling ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the time of year and we wanted to sail the inside passage. We were traveling with a high-functioning autistic child and a new diagnosed Alzheimer's patient, we were also a larger party of 6 traveling together. Everything went smoothly and was beyond our expectations! The embarkation was easy and very smooth. The only complaint would be the Canada Place port is VERY crowded and a little chaotic. Once we got to the port and to our cruise terminal, we were on-board the ship within 2 hours (that included checking our bags, ship check in and welcome pictures). Check in was easy and they very accommodating to traveling with disabled passengers. Our cabin was a balcony. The cabin was neat and clean. The mattresses on the beds were awesome. We had plenty of room in the closet for our family of four clothes and jackets. We had the bunk beds that came down out of the ceiling for our children and they thought those were grand. My in-laws had the cabin next door, so we had connecting balconies. Overall the ship was clean and well cared for, it seemed to have an Grand Ole Ship feel to it. We had a set time in the main dinning room for each night. The service was fantastic and the food was very good. For Breakfast, we ate at the buffet which was also good. We did try the Crab Shack and Bayou Cafe, and they were good but not really worth the additional up-charge for the meals. We did multiple shore excursions in Ketchikan. We took the Lighthouses, Eagles and Totem boat tour and it was fantastic! Highly recommend. We saw 20+ eagles, seals and other wildlife. Sailed around Totem State Park and the Guard Island Lighthouse. My husband and FIL, took a Halibut fishing excursion and had a very successful, they caught about 17 lbs of Halibut (we had the fish sent home for a July 4th Fish Fry in GA). We wish there was more time in Ketchikan as there were a couple other excursion we would have loved to do. In Juneau, we 'tooled' around the town and also rode the Mt Roberts Tram and hiked atop Mt Roberts. Definitely a don't miss attraction. The stay in Juneau could have been shorter. The Skagway, we rode the White Pass railway and it was fantastic and well worth it. The town, like Ketchikan, is very charming! Next we rolled into Glacier Bay, which was simply beautiful. After Glacier Bay, was the Grand Finale of the trip, we entered College Fjord. The glaciers were beyond words and the captain got the ship very close to the Harvard Glacier. As in Glacier Bay we got to see several chunks as the 'calved' into the ocean. The service on the ship was excellent and very responsive. Not sure about the on-board entertainment as we did not attend any shows or such, the scenery off our balcony WAS the show! We did travel with 2 children (12 yr old and 13 yr old (HFA)). They both seemed to have a great time. Never asked to turn the TV on. They were not interested in the on-board Tween and Teen rooms, because they wanted to stay together but because off their ages they were going to split them up (our only complaint was that the person in control of the entertainment rooms would not allow them to go in a room together) SO we didn't use this option at all. The disembarkation was super easy and super fast! We selected a 7AM disembark time and we were off the ship, had collected out luggage and in our rental car by 8AM. We chose Midnight Sun Car Rental. They had our car waiting for us at the terminal in Whittier, no lines or Avis rental check in desk to deal with. I HIGHLY recommend this company to rent your car from if you are driving after your cruise. Overall, this was fantastic cruise. We are already talking about planning another one to Alaska. I would definitely recommend Princess to cruise with. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We have long wanted to see Alaska and this was a convenient Drop-and-Go opportunity. Unfortunately, things were pretty disorganized, starting with a completely chaotic embarkation process in Vancouver. To make things worse, one of us uses ... Read More
We have long wanted to see Alaska and this was a convenient Drop-and-Go opportunity. Unfortunately, things were pretty disorganized, starting with a completely chaotic embarkation process in Vancouver. To make things worse, one of us uses a wheelchair and/or cane and can't stand for long periods. This was a nightmare for him. Constant misdirection, no signage, clueless staff members, and a 2-hour wait for a wheelchair to the Coral Princess. Oddly, many wheelchairs were immediately available for boarding the Emerald Princess, but they couldn't be used for Coral Princess px--? Food was a shade worse than mediocre. The kitchen seems most comfortable with classic American food, simply prepared. Sushi, Mexican, even Indian food were not remotely like the real thing. Ditto for the Bayou specialty restaurant, whose cook had apparently never even seen Louisiana classic dishes, much less tasted them. In general, the staff were kind and well-meaning, but often uninformed. Getting correct information about where this gangway was located in each port was a major hassle. Everyone we asked had an answer, and most of them were wrong. No useful signage. The exit for people with disabilities was marked "Do Not Enter." We had the impression that many of the staff were very new and not knowledgeable about the ship. This was also true of shore excursions, where there was constant confusion among the staff about where and when various tours were meeting. We had one excursion cancelled without prior notice, and found this out only by being the last people left standing at the dock. The director of excursions himself seemed to be the only person with complete and accurate information. We wanted to see gorgeous scenery and lots of wildlife, and it was every bit as fabulous as we expected. I would certainly do it again, despite the numerous disappointments with Princess (we are Platinum level with Princess). Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
This cruise is billed as the Panama Canal cruise. If you accept that then the abbreviated shore excursions in other places become acceptable. If not, then the extremely short layovers will not be satisfactory. That being said, this is an ... Read More
This cruise is billed as the Panama Canal cruise. If you accept that then the abbreviated shore excursions in other places become acceptable. If not, then the extremely short layovers will not be satisfactory. That being said, this is an excellent cruise. It is very relaxing and the ports are excellent. CONS 1. This is an older ship, and showing its age. You can see lots of rusted areas, damaged tiles and carpets, lighting in the dining rooms that doesn’t work, broken lounge chairs, and technical glitches on stage. You can see the difference on the exterior in the ports when you compare it to other ships, which seem to show no rust at all. 2. Total mess up by Princess regarding pre-order of water and beverage service. I was constantly told water pre-ordered would be delivered, but it wasn’t. When I asked Guest Services about it, I was told that the order was lost, and could not be filled while at sea (water pre-order is before it leaves the port). Yet they were willing to sell me individual bottles at an inflated price. Disappointed on how they handled this since it was their error. 3. Very short port stays except for Panama. After 2-1/2 days of sailing, the first port was Aruba where everyone wanted to get out and stretch their legs. Unfortunately the layover is only 4 hours, leaving very limited time to do anything. On top of that, our arrival was on a Sunday and many shops where closed (at least until noon when we were leaving). It would have been better to have a longer stay here and skip Columbia. 4. Port loading and loading is a joke and extremely slow. The boarding at Colon was a total mess. No announcements that could be heard, no explanations for the considerable delay. Everyone just standing around (limited seating) for 2+ hours to re-board. (Holland was next to us and boarded in 30 minutes). Total disorganization. 5. Ship announcements from the Captain or crew during the day can’t be heard unless you are in your room with the TV on. On the 13th and 14th floors they are impossible to hear, even in quiet areas. However, the movie the play in the pool area can be heard all the way to the next port it is so loud. Need to up the volume and the ship announcements. 6. Poor excursion communication. While waiting to disembark at Grand Cayman alternate port, no staff member explained any limitations on any shore excursion. Only when you got on shore did you find out that swimming was not allowed, or other restrictions. Many people refused to go and returned to the ship to get a refund. It would have been much better to explain any limitations in the theater while everyone was waiting. Also, because of the alternate docking location, the on TV display continually showed the next port as “Grand Cayman” even when docked in Fort Lauderdale. Staff was told but no one made an effort to update the information. PROS 1. Extremely friendly staff, some of the best I’ve encountered on cruises. 2. Food was excellent. Buffet themes were not publicized anywhere, so you had to visit the buffet to see what they were serving that day. Sit down dining was excellent, and a good variety during the entire cruise. Beef was properly cooked to the individuals specification every single time. 3. Entertainment is very good. Unfortunately, the majority of the entertainment is the singers and dancers on the ship. Only the first couple of days had outside entertainment (comedian, singer). The dancers are very good, and the shows excellent, but it got old. It would have been nice to have some other entertainment towards the end. 4. The beds are the new Princess beds (soon to be on all ships) and are wonderful! 5. The WiFi access on the ship is good (very slow for outside internet). Their web page gives you the events for the day. It continually requires you to re-log on, which is annoying, but easy to do. The app does NOT have any maps or layouts for the port, which is needed. It also does NOT let you see events for the next day, even late at night, so you can’t plan the next day until it arrives! But the web page gives you the summary of your events you have planned, which is nice. No alerts for messages from your ship mates. You have to have the web page opened to see any messages. It would be nice if the phone buzzed when a message was received. Overall a great cruise with lots of wonderful people we met. As an older ship, it still was very nice, especially for the older crowd aboard. No need of cosmic slides or fancy features. Plenty of lounge chair access and not overly crowed, even on sea days. A wonderful 10-day cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We went as part of a group of friends. My wife is scooter-bound. We were initially told that because of my wife's mobility issues, we could not go on any of the shore excursions. However, after discussions with the shore ... Read More
We went as part of a group of friends. My wife is scooter-bound. We were initially told that because of my wife's mobility issues, we could not go on any of the shore excursions. However, after discussions with the shore excursion staff, we found we could participate in tours at three of the five ports of call (we could have probably made tours in four ports had we asked earlier). The one port we could not do a tour was the Panama Canal, as my wife could not transfer in and out of a boat to go ashore. Our handicapped access room was excellent; we especially liked the roll-in shower design. However, my wife could not get into many of the public area restrooms with her scooter, even though the restrooms are marked "handicapped accessible". She also has an issue with steps leading to different dining levels in the restaurants. Excellent marks go to the staff and the food. The entertainment was what you would expect on a cruise; not Broadway quality, but enjoyable. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was the first time we’ve cruised with Princess as we’re a fan of NCL. So, I was quite hesitant after reading all the negative reviews. However, we liked the itinerary and figured it was worth a try at least once. Stateroom ... Read More
This was the first time we’ve cruised with Princess as we’re a fan of NCL. So, I was quite hesitant after reading all the negative reviews. However, we liked the itinerary and figured it was worth a try at least once. Stateroom - We were on board by 1pm and our stateroom was ready. We had a forward balcony stateroom on the Caribe deck and it was quite nice. I liked that the closet/bathroom was separate from the bedroom. However, I wished that instead of the desk, there was a sofa instead. Also as we’ve read from previous reviews about the shower, yes, it is very small. Next time, I’d get a mini-suite as it has a tub and a sofa in the stateroom. Dining - From the buffet at Horizon Court to the Bordeaux dining room, our experience was excellent. Food selection and quality was definitely better than NCL, hands down. The buffet breakfast can get hectic during sea days, so be prepared. We choose anytime dining and never had to wait at the Bordeaux dining room. We weren’t into the formal nights, we’re on vacation after all, so we had dinner at the Horizon Court and it was always nearly empty, which was nice. The International Café was also nice to get a snack any time of day or night. Entertainment/Activities - The production shows, “Encore” and “On the Bayou” were alright, it was just singing and dancing, with no rhyme or reason. We enjoyed the voice impressionist Karen, she was very entertaining. The magician Michael was okay, but a little dry. The comedian was quite funny. We didn’t watch the piano guy as he seemed corny. Voice of the Ocean was fun, almost like a formal karaoke night. Lastly, the Crew Talent Show was great! The seats fill up very quick for the shows so it’s best to get there at least 30-minutes prior to show time. Casino was very small. Fitness center was very spacious with featuring newer equipment. There weren’t any other exciting activities, especially during sea days other than Bingo, or games with the cruise staff, otherwise, they had nothing but sales pitches. PS – Don’t buy any of the art on the ship, do your research first and save yourself some money. Actually, don’t buy anything other than photos and souvenir items. Crowd - Mostly senior folks, with a few families, definitely a smaller amount of children than what we were used to. It was a sold out cruise and sometimes we’d wander throughout the ship and it would be empty, including the Lido deck, it was never hectic crowded, of course excluding the buffet during breakfast! Staff - They were all excellent! From our room steward, dining, bar, etc. They were all top notch! I felt bad as we’d see some of them in the morning for breakfast and again closing up for dinner. Also, they do an excellent job with assisting disabled passengers, especially when getting off/on the ship. Itinerary – It was great as we’ve never been to any of the ports. The highlight of the Panama Canal certainly did not disappoint. It was exciting to see a couple other ships cross the canal as we did. It was definitely a memorable experience. Review of the ports will be done separately. Overall, we certainly enjoyed this cruise. The size of the ship, was perfect, easy to navigate. The ship and furnishings were in great condition. We can honestly say that we were super impressed and will be looking forward to our next cruise with Princess! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Being able to see the Panama Canal was the big deciding factor in picking this cruise on the Coral Princess. We were also able to book a very nice cabin with handicap accessibility which is important since by partner as serious mobility ... Read More
Being able to see the Panama Canal was the big deciding factor in picking this cruise on the Coral Princess. We were also able to book a very nice cabin with handicap accessibility which is important since by partner as serious mobility problems. From the start of the cruise to the finish everything went very smoothly, with no unpleasant surprises. Embarkation was a breeze. I think we were on the ship and in our stateroom in less than 30 minutes after arriving at the pier. Moments after arriving at our cabin our steward, Jimmy, came to introduce himself and see if there was anything we needed or if we had a special requests. We chose to dine in one of the specialty restaurants the first night in order to avoid the usual first-night pandemonium in the main dining rooms. We enjoyed our meal in Sabatini's thoroughly -- which probably wasn't more a quarter full. But the rest of the cruise we ate in the Bordeaux dining room. We found the menu selection was excellent, and the service top-shelf in every way, from the dining room captain to the server and her assistant. Every meal we had was a wonderful experience. While the presentation on the plate was a notch below what you'd get on a more upscale cruise line, the food was very nicely prepared and tasty. The menu offered a lot of variety, and there were plenty of Caribbean-inspired dishes. We did not take in the showroom programs, but the musicians who performed in the various bar venues offered excellent entertainment. The bar servers were outstanding, and impressed us by remembering what our favorite drinks were. I think we were fortunate that there were a good number of unsold cabins on our cruise. That meant that waiters, bar servers, etc. had the time to give us plenty of attention, and were able to spend some time talking to us about their experiences and life back in their respective home countries. Truly this cruise was everything we could have hoped for and was a great value. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was a Pacific coastal cruise--somewhere I wanted to see. It was vintage Princess, but the Coral Princess is very nice no matter what you may read in these reviews on Cruise Critic. Yes, there are a couple of chips, etc here and ... Read More
This was a Pacific coastal cruise--somewhere I wanted to see. It was vintage Princess, but the Coral Princess is very nice no matter what you may read in these reviews on Cruise Critic. Yes, there are a couple of chips, etc here and there, but it's very nice, very clean. The size is good. I hardly every had to wait in line for elevators or food at the buffet. My husband's leg started giving him trouble while walking when we were gone and Princess staff couldn't have been nicer even going so far as to bring up a wheelchair at Santa Barbara tender port out of nowhere and loaning us a cane from the desk until the medical area opened. The food was so-so, and I thought more varied in the buffet than in the dining room. Why can't there be some regular food like ordinary cake or pie or fried chicken or a casserole? The shows were much, much better than before that I've seen on Princess. They were modern with modern music and enthusiastic singers and dancers and a very funny comedian. The northwest area of the continent is beautiful. We stayed at the Pan Pacific in Vancouver. It's the way to go if you can swing it. The hotel takes your bags to the ship, and you just go downstairs to board. Nanaimo has a beautiful harbor and a great Dollarama store close by. There's also a grocery store and drug store. Just hop on the free shuttle and get off at the harbor. The mall is across the street. Volunteers couldn't wait to showcase their town. Astoria, Santa Barbara, and San Francisco were all pretty and have their own things that you would want to see. Alcatraz, the wharf, vineyards, scenic views--all beautiful. If you use Gray Line in San Francisco, make sure you know exactly where you are going and the address. We and several other passengers had trouble finding it even with a taxi. It's a very small place on a corner. Book your tour of Alcatraz from home. You'll be sorry if you don't. Also Alcatraz is a long winding, slanted (13 story) walk uphill. It's doable, but, again, know your abilities. In Santa Barbara, it is a 3-4 block walk to any shopping or eating after you get off the tender. Most of the walks from the ship to the ports themselves are long. I say this not for those who are used to walking, but for those who may have physical limitations. Santa Barbara is a tender port where wheelchairs are not permitted unless they fold and the person can walk on to the tender. There aren't many activities on the ship. That was a bit of a disappointment since I like to stay busy and not just read and relax although some of that is nice too. Maybe historical classes, free smaller tours of the kitchen. The one tour was much too large to hear what was said. Tours of back stage? Information on the towns we are visiting? Of course, no one wants to get off, but it has to be done. It's my most unfavorite part of the cruise. Get your bags out before bedtime then sit and wait for awhile the next morning. But it was a smooth disembarkation. We had an extremely long wait to get on Super Shuttle at the port. The shuttle was there, but the driver would not leave until the van was totally full. I'm ok with that except in this case we sat there full except for two people for 45 minutes. No one was happy. He ignored us wanting to go ahead and leave. The shuttle people there were on our side, but he refused to leave. There aren't many of these cruises during September and I know sometimes it's rainy. We had beautiful weather the whole way. We were very lucky. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
I travelled with my husband & daughter (adult). We all had a very relaxing and good time during the cruise. The (Bordeaux) dining room food was good and the staff were very accommodating and would do anything to please you. The ... Read More
I travelled with my husband & daughter (adult). We all had a very relaxing and good time during the cruise. The (Bordeaux) dining room food was good and the staff were very accommodating and would do anything to please you. The Horizon buffet food was only 50% likeable for me although I was always open, so it's convenient. I do not care for spicy food such as the Indian food that were served. We enjoyed the piano bar entertainer "Jeri Ring",; "Boston comedian" was good but the entertainment production was not that good. Port excursions were a bit pricey but enjoyable; it was worry free that you'll get back to the ship on time. Embarkation in Whittier, Alaska was smooth except for a 30 minutes wait for the wheelchair service to arrive. Disembarkation was a complete disaster in Vancouver. We bought the Stanley Park and City Tour excursion with airport drop-off at the end of the tour. We waited on line standing-up for about an hour before getting on a bus. The land agents were not saying what the line was for. Finally, one of the agent said that there were just too many passengers and few busses. In short, they overbooked since several ship were at the port that day. Overall, I would do the same Alaska route again and will go on a newer Princess Ship. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
Full transit of Panama Canal, after Aruba and Columbia, and before Costa Rica , Nicaragua , Cabos San Lucas , LA , Victoria and Vancouver . 19 days with 10 days at sea and many things to do on the ship , from lectures to magic lessons ... ... Read More
Full transit of Panama Canal, after Aruba and Columbia, and before Costa Rica , Nicaragua , Cabos San Lucas , LA , Victoria and Vancouver . 19 days with 10 days at sea and many things to do on the ship , from lectures to magic lessons ... Great day experience on the Canal , with commentaries all day on public areas and TV ... very informative and interesting . Near to no kids on board , except from LA to Vancouver , so no running around and noise ... Very pleasant sailing . Chairs always available on decks . Dining for two easy everywhere , without reservation . Service very friendly . Cabin A515 on Aloha Deck has shade from the upper floor extending long over the other balconies . Excellent when sunny , but also when raining ... you can stay on your balcony whatever temperature ... ... Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Check in was very swift and we were soon in our cabin where we were met by our wonderful steward John. Once again everything was clean and the new bed looked very inviting. The queue for anytime dining on the first evening was very ... Read More
Check in was very swift and we were soon in our cabin where we were met by our wonderful steward John. Once again everything was clean and the new bed looked very inviting. The queue for anytime dining on the first evening was very long and took around 40 minutes to move along but after the first night we prebooked and everything went smoothly. The food was very good and plentiful the only downfall was the wait staff seem to have more tables to serve and there is sometimes a long wait for items. My husband is a wheelchair user and everyone was very helpful, we found some of the door thresholds rather high and he wouldn't have been able to manage on his own. The entertainment was average we find maybe 3-4 good shows and the rest are fairly poor. On this cruise they obviously catered for the older market as shows were timed to start at 6.45 after first dinner sitting and 8 pm, but we like dinner around 7.30 we didn't get to many. Room service was excellent as was the specialty dining we tried crab shack which was a great experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
Enjoyed our time on the ship. Panama Canal full transit is a must do except the 8 "at sea" days are too many. Staff for the most part were excellent. Most of the entertainment was very good. There were a couple of acts that were ... Read More
Enjoyed our time on the ship. Panama Canal full transit is a must do except the 8 "at sea" days are too many. Staff for the most part were excellent. Most of the entertainment was very good. There were a couple of acts that were not. The lectures, for the most part were good except one - the destination lecture could not speak English very well. Time spent was a waste. We opted for the "anytime" dining. I would do that again. Beware though that if you say you will share a table you can be seated with up to 8 people - for us it was too many. After that we requested either 2 or 4 seating which turned out to be no problem. As far as specialty dining, we were comp'ed one meal which normally would have been $25 each. We purchased their "Crab Shack" event, $20. most of the crab was tasteless - not worth the $20 each. Compared to the meals in our main dining room, the specialty dining is not worth the price. For really dine anytime eating, it would be hard to beat the buffet! Great selection and good food. The wait staff were more bus boys than waiter. Had to wait too long for drinks. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
We loved our Northbound Voyage of the Glaciers. The scenery was stunning - even more so than I imagined. The cabin was all neat and ship shape.The room was clean and staff helpful and friendly. I found the bed particularly hard and ... Read More
We loved our Northbound Voyage of the Glaciers. The scenery was stunning - even more so than I imagined. The cabin was all neat and ship shape.The room was clean and staff helpful and friendly. I found the bed particularly hard and requested and extra duvet and blanket which I folded under my bottom sheet to create a little more softeness. Staff were friendly and seemed to be enjoying themselves. A couple of negatives though. 1. Photography is difficult. The main viewing decks have blue glass all around with small gaps. You have to lean forward and try as best you can to stick your camera in this gap. The blue tint to the glass was very annoying because you couldn't see the actual colours of the scenery. For this reason alone I would not go on Coral Princess again. 2. There was very little information about where we were. We just sailed out and had no idea of the ship's position in relation to the beautiful scenery. I have been on other boats that have a gps screen similar to those shown on aircraft. 3. Getting off at port was confusing - either on decks 5, 6 or 7 depending on the tide. There was no information regarding which deck it was, you just had to try each deck out and see. Surely they must know in advance which deck it will be. Even I can work out the tides at a give port at a given time. And surely they could post the information near the elevators so you don't have to run around each time. 4. Getting into town was difficult if you couldn't easily walk 2 kms or 1 mile. Each town was quite a long way from the ship and they would not hire out wheel chairs. There was no other way to get into town other than walking. No taxi, and a shuttle only in Ketchikan. There were many people hobbling on and off the boat with sticks. Princess call themselves consumate hosts, but there is no way I would treat my disabled guests in this way. 5. Advertising. Grrrrrrrrr. They can't give information, but boy can they advertise. The last straw for us was when my husband was filling in an evaluation form and they asked for our income. Too much Princess. Next time I will try another cruise line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
This was our second Princess cruise; previously in 1992. I am in a wheelchair and previously was able to disembark using the tender; not so now. Even when at the dock most Princess shore excursions would not accept wheelchairs, unlike ... Read More
This was our second Princess cruise; previously in 1992. I am in a wheelchair and previously was able to disembark using the tender; not so now. Even when at the dock most Princess shore excursions would not accept wheelchairs, unlike previously. We went ashore anyway and got our own tours with private operators. They were very accommodating...one had three of us in wheelchairs....and gave us a better, more personalized tour for less money!! We went to the same "tourist spots" as the big tours but when asked, they took us to out of the way places and explained life in their countries. Bill Fall, a presenter on the cruise had very good sessions on what to expect while ashore and gave EXCELLENT presentations on the new and old Panama canals. The shows and activities were as expected, good musicians, magician, comedians and variety shows. Food was very good....buffet and dining room...but the extra restaurants were a bit pricey with a $25 extra charge for a meal no better than the regular free meals. Drinks were expensive...a charge for everything except regular coffee, iced tea and water. Unlike our first cruise, this one we were searched upon each boarding and not allowed to bring drinks aboard. There is a charge for internet....by the minute or package deals for bigger minute bundles. The staff were always trying to sell something....jewelry, clothing, pictures, books, drinks, paintings etc Gratuities....tips...are charged for each transaction and are also set "by the day". I had heard before we went that Princess was "chincy" .Maybe if they charged a bit more for each fare they could cut out the "chincyness". The ship itself is well looked after and very fancy. Nice pools, fitness and games areas, show theaters and lounges/bars, spas, kids zone etc but the AC is set so cold that many of the areas require a sweater or wrap to enable you to stay long. We liked the cruise but are likely to explore different companies for our next one. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
All in all, this was a great cruise. We drove from Wisconsin to spend Christmas with our son and grandkids. We arrived four days before the sailing and played tourist and spent some good family time. Embarkation was a snap. Our son drove ... Read More
All in all, this was a great cruise. We drove from Wisconsin to spend Christmas with our son and grandkids. We arrived four days before the sailing and played tourist and spent some good family time. Embarkation was a snap. Our son drove us over dropped us off. Traffic was really efficiently handled. They took our bags and from that point on we had minimal delays. They were measuring the time to get through the check in process so we were given a card with the start time (12:00 pm was penciled in—it was actually 11:55 am by my watch). We handed the card in when we were given out room keys/cards at 12:02 pm. It was handled quickly and I didn’t see the value in writting a wrong start time down to make it look better. We were able to go directly to our room to drop off the carry on (C602). The room was comfortably large without a sofa. The closet area was also large. The only complaint was the truly tiny shower. I’m 6; 3” tall and about 250 lbs. There was not enough room in the shower for me to lift my legs up to wash my lower legs and feet. I dropped the wash cloth once and had to shut the shower off and step out to bend over to pick it up. The steward was friendly and did a fine job in keeping the cabin nice. The bed was very comfortable. The Horizon Court was very nice. We never had trouble with seating or waiting in line. I believe the ship had some number of empty cabins but I don’t know how many. In any case, crowds were never an issue. Breakfast in HC had very little variety. I have complained in past reviews about the eggs. I originally thought they may have been powdered but this time I spotted a carton of frozen eggs. They are not inedible but they are certainly not very good—there is a marked graininess to them. There was a fair amount of variety to the other meals. They were all uniformly good—especially for buffet food. The dinners in the main dining room were all good. I confess to being a bit put off by the descriptions in the menu. I felt they were stuffy—i.e. macerated strawberries, infused garlic, etc. A little simplicity would have been more appropriate. I found I had to study the menus for a bit to determine what would be the best selection. I always came up with something I liked though. I recommend the sorbets for desert—the apple cider sorbet is outstanding, We ate at Sabatini’s one night. We ordered the Lobster Three Ways and were very disappointed. We were served a lobster tail (way one), a spoonful of Lobster bisque (way two) over the lobster and a pile of orzo with a ½” by 1” piece of lobster on top (way three). This was definitely not what I expected and had to ask them to point out the three ways. The lobster tail was appropriately cooked but was tasteless. There was none of the natural sweetness I expect with lobster. I gave half of mine to my wife who left it and most of if hers on the plate. I did complain and was asked if everything else was satisfactory—it was, in fact the service was excellent. I do advise others to stick with the main dining room. The entertainment was all good to great. I really enjoyed the production shows, especially “On the Bayou”. The magician was good. The first show for the mind reader was great but the second was a bit of a letdown. I felt it was a bit obvious how the tricks were done on the second show. The comedian was very funny. He repeated a joke in the second show and it seemed to unsettle him. He walked back and forth, took a sip of water and finally got his mind back in order and continued on. I did enjoy his act. Princess did a great job with filling our days with activities. The tours we took were a disappointment in that the busses were severely uncomfortable. In Cartagena there was absolutely no legroom—even for the shorter people. The Panama tour had more legroom but the seats were extremely narrow. When a fellow sitting in the back got on there was no room for him to pass down the aisle as people were over hanging the aisle and had to put their feet in the aisle due to the lack of leg room. Disembarkation was a mess to my way of thinking. Princess blamed it on a lack of customs people. The start was delayed by 45 minutes. By the time we got out, we had been delayed for nearly two hours. I found it very irritating to see the Princess people moving passengers to the line for those with disabilities. I am 100% in favor of giving disabled people a break. My daughter, who is in a wheel chair, often travels with us. Managing a wheelchair, luggage and paperwork through customs in a real strain—help is welcome. This time I saw people who hired baggage handlers bumped to the head of the line, I also saw small parties pulled out of line after talking to a Princess rep and moved to the front. Line jumpers should not be tolerated.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
The best part of this cruise was the people. The ship is large enough not to feel crowded, but small enough that you can see folks you met at dinner walking about. A few items that I would have liked to be a better experience: 1) FOOD - ... Read More
The best part of this cruise was the people. The ship is large enough not to feel crowded, but small enough that you can see folks you met at dinner walking about. A few items that I would have liked to be a better experience: 1) FOOD - it was just horrible--anytime dining was the best, but the quality of the food was poor. Salty, undercooked, overcooked and just not a wide variety. I would have rather paid a fee for a good steak then have them serve meat that wasn't filled with filler (burgers at grill - disaster);. Pizza station was great, make you own pizza-wonderful. Speciality Bayou Cafe worth the 20 pp for a GREAT steak--filet and strip outstanding--Sabitinis Lobster 3 ways--undercooked and not work 25--strip steak was good. Italian night served all German food--Mexican night had American food. Cold for the most part most nights. 2) STAFF/SERVICE--EXCELLENT--Princess know how to train the staff. Only had on issue where a bar server wouldn't go up on the 15th deck to get drinks cause it was too far to go--otherwise--best service I have seen in a long time. 3) ROOMS-Balancy room was good size and closet good size. Bathroom way too small-a full size person (140 lbs) could not even turn around in that shower. 4) PEOPLE-wonderful mix of americans and Europeans--all age; majority was over 50, but that made it even better--be an old soul and you will meet the most amazing people. 5) Excursions-stay away from the all day Panama boat transit--we we suck on the boad for almost 11 hours and it cause the ship not be able to leave port. --Again this is where I think Princess has got customer service down--got a 65% refund to all and didn't even have to request it. Surprisingly Cartenga was very enjoyable city tour--its was really hot and humid but the bus had great air conditioning. . Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
We actually began our vacation by flying into Vancouver BC 4 days before embarking. We spend our time on Vancouver Island and heading to Vancouver on the the 24th and being shuttled to the pier by our Hotel. We arrived at the pier about ... Read More
We actually began our vacation by flying into Vancouver BC 4 days before embarking. We spend our time on Vancouver Island and heading to Vancouver on the the 24th and being shuttled to the pier by our Hotel. We arrived at the pier about 10:30 am and handed our luggage to the porters and walked into the terminal. There was NO direction by anyone in the very large area....after asking 3 different staff what to do, we were told (in a general manner) to fill out medical form, nothing else, like then go to....nothing. Finished form and again had to ask where to go. Another line to turn in form, OK. Now what...after asking was told to go "that way" again a general area. Saw a smaller room that had some chairs occupied and 6 to 8 booths with a small line. This was the line to give Princess our documents and credit card. We where then told to go to security where we waiting in a VERY LONG line for almost 1 hour. We say people being issued by the side through security and thought maybe they were platinium or Elite members, but then noticed, that Platinum and Elite members were in the same line as us (Ruby). (I thought Platinum & Elite got priority boarding??). Turned out these "special" people where crew and passengers who were on the leg of the cruise before us and were continuing on. Got security and off to the ship. We actually made it on the ship right @ noon. Dropped off our hand carry on and off the Horizon to eat a quick lunch. Not very many in Horizon yet so had a quiet lunch. There was a lady hawking the Crab Shack to specific people, she never asked us or even acknowledged us. After lunch we took quick walk around ship. This was the smallest ship we had ever traveled on since 84 so was kind of quiet. We ran back to our room to do a quick load of laundry which was right down hall from our room. This ship was a lot of "firsts" for us. 1st time have room on Plaza deck (thought it might be noisy, but was not). 1st Ocean View (unobstructed), 1st less than 7 day cruise. 1st non-stop cruise. We always select traditional dining (first seating) because my husband usually loves the shows on board. We requested 6-8 people for dinner. Arrived at a large table and only had 1 other couple. During dinner, a single diner joined us. Dinner was typical. We had a very bubbly head waitress from Ukraine. She talked and entertained us the entire dinner. After dinner headed to the 7:30 show which really surprised me. It was wonderful. We went to every show for the rest of the cruise. Last night had a tribute show with the son of Jackie Wilson. He was OK, but that's all I can say. I almost walked out during his first song because he was terribly off key which is something I will not stand (had 2 children as music majors so I can tell when off key or not). One thing that both my husband & I both noticed....very often when walking around ship, we would not see a sole....no mater what time of day. It was so quiet. I almost felt like we were only people on the ship. Meals were OK. Wish Princess would bring back the special meals but I think they are reserving these for the specialty restaurants. This was a small ship and had 1 dining room for anytime dining, 1 for traditional and 2 specialty (New Orleans, and Sabatini). We always enjoy sitting in the International Café but no so much this time. It was smack dab next to the casino without any wall dividing they. So noise was constant in International café. Poor planning. What I did not understand was the Churchill lounge. It was in a Prime location along the windows. People in Churchill had best spot on the ship! Great if you were a smoker! There was a medical emergency on our last sea day and they informed us that we had to change course a bit to get into San Francisco waters to air lift the patient to shore. We were instructed no to go out on deck and stay inside (no one to be on balcony) and NO PHOTOS were allowed. They precisely explained when all of this would occur. Again just before airlift began they reminded us what to do and not do. After the event they came back and gave us an update that all went well and we were returning to our course without any delay to our schedule. They last day at sea they sent us our disembarking time and luggage tags but we did need and reschedule our time because we needed 1st off due to scheduled meeting next day. We had purchased transfers to airport but they failed to give the transfers to us. Went to desk and they said we'd have to wait til 4 to go by excursion desk to get them to reprint our transfers. Did this and they made us feel like we must of "lost" our transfers. Kept insisting they were sent to our cabin with luggage tags. Disembarking went well and smoothly. We got to airport in time to get rental car and make our meetings. I enjoyed the cruise being so relaxing (no excursions) but enough offered in entertainment to keep us busy or not busy as we wanted to be. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2010
We just got back from the Coral Princess (Ghost Ship more on that later) 19 day Panama Canal Cruise Ft. Lauderdale to Vancouver and here is my review. We left Ft. Lauderdale on April 21st about 300 passengers short as many people including ... Read More
We just got back from the Coral Princess (Ghost Ship more on that later) 19 day Panama Canal Cruise Ft. Lauderdale to Vancouver and here is my review. We left Ft. Lauderdale on April 21st about 300 passengers short as many people including the captain were unable to make it over from Europe due to the volcano. I'm not sure if this is why the ship was so quiet but most nights the sip was desserted by 11:00 p.m. sometimes earlier. The demographics definitely leaned to an older crowd 60+ with maybe two or three children that we saw. Pre Cruise - We stayed at the Cambria Suites Hotel in Dania Beach. This is a new hotel and overall we were pleased with everything. The hotel provides free shuttle to/from the airport and cruise terminal. While we did have to wait a little while at the airport the service was excellent and the drivers friendly. The hotel provides a wheelchair shuttle (which we required) and may have been the reason for the delay getting picked up at the airport. The hotel has an onsite restaurant with decent quality food for a reasonable price. Breakfast buffet is $8.00 a person and a good value. The restaurant does not open during lunch time. The rooms are very nicely decorated with a separate living room area, fridge and microwave. Complimentary coffee is also provided (Wolfgang Puck brand which was excellent) The bathrooms are very large. Staff at the hotel were pleasant and very accommodating. We paid $99.00/night which was an excellent value compared to other hotels in the area which were almost double the price. Embarkation - We arrived at the cruise terminal by 11:00 a.m. and were onboard by noon. Other than the onsite Princess staff being a little rude when the special need group was brought up to check in this was the quickest and smoothest embarkation we have had so far. I did mention to the lady who was harping about them not being ready for us yet that she wasn't making me feel very welcome and she changed her attitude so I can't be overly critical about this. Meet and Greet - We held a meet and greet on the first sea day in the Wheelhouse and had about 50 people in attendance. I had the opportunity to organize it so any opinion I might provide would be biased. I did receive very positive feedback however. Other than the Captain's Circle Host (who send me a note to apologize) all the senior members of the ship stopped by to say hello. I should note that I sent invitations to them as my Princess contact provided me their names. We also had a gift exchange on our second sea day, also in the Wheelhouse which was attended by about 40 people. We had a great time and lots of laughs during the gift exchange which really went well. I would recommend to anyone going on a cruise to at least get on the roll call even if you don't want to go to the meet and greet. The information that was shared among us was really useful and it was fun to have others to share the excitement of an upcoming cruise with. Our Cabin - We had a wheelchair cabin B633 and it was well laid out and the bathroom was easily accessible. I rented a shower bench as the fold down seat in the roll in chair is not adjustable and doesn't feel as secure as a shower bench. I recommend anyone needing a wheelchair cabin to rent this piece of equipment as it really is safer and makes life much easier. The Ship - Having previously sailed on the Caribbean and Star Princess we found the layout of the Coral excellent and easy to get around once we figured out everything was pretty much reversed. The Horizon Court is forwarded while the Spa is Aft. The dining rooms are both forward as well. The Wheelhouse Bar is much larger than on the other ships we sailed but just as elegant. Sabitini's is larger and the Bayou is also larger than the Steakhouses on the other ships we sailed. The two pools on the Lido deck (one is covered) seemed to be bigger than on previous ships as well but we aren't pool people so I didn't pay a lot of attention to them. The Casino seemed a bit smaller but for the most part we didn't have problems getting a machine to play. The layout of the spa wasn't quite as nice as the larger ships particularly in the area of the thermal spa but the spa rooms were slightly larger. We missed having an International Cafe and Vine's but it didn't deter from our enjoyment of the cruise. The Sanctuary which is on two levels looked very nice and while we didn't take advantage of it on this cruise we would definitely consider in the future. The Staff - Probably the best overall crew we have come across so far on Princess. I'm not sure if this is because there are fewer passengers are if it was just an overall happy crew. Other than the Captain you always saw senior staff around the ship and available to talk to passengers. Our cabin steward, Carmelita was excellent and really paid attention to little details and how we liked things in our room. She would notice things like us using the extra bedding as a pillow and bring more pillows without us asking. When I asked for extra Kleenex she always made sure to have it on hand and instead of removing our wine glasses like on other cruises she washed them and left them in the room. Unfortunately she was moved to another area of the ship when we reached Los Angeles and our next steward was not nearly as attentive. We had traditional late dining and when I saw we had a waitress instead of a waiter I was a bit taken back. I'm somewhat old school when it comes to formal dining but our waitress Gabriella changed my tune with her outstanding and friendly service. She was such a delight and one of the highlights of our cruise. Unlike reports I've read on cruise critic our head waiter Alex and the Maitre' D Guiseppe were around consistently and both were very accommodating with any special requests we had. The bar staff were extremely friendly and helpful with drink suggestions. They remembered our names from the first day and always made us feel welcome. If you sail on the Coral make sure to find Mile the waiter who serves Crooner's Bar and Churchill Lounge (smoking and cigar lounge). He really is a lot of fun. The Cruise staff were everywhere and also remembered our names and had a smile a welcome whenever we saw them. We loved Andrew (ladies who wouldn't) who was a fellow Canadian and a real joy to be around. Billy Hygate was the CD and he and Andre (assistant CD) put on a great morning show which was always hilarious. I can honestly say I never once felt that our staff were looking for tips, they all seemed genuinely pleased to be there and to accommodate us in anyway possible. Dining - As I previously mentioned we had traditional dining at the late seating. The food was excellent throughout and seemed to be better than on previous cruises. We booked the Chef's Table ($75 per person) and were not disappointed. If you enjoy food and wine you should try this at least once. Sign up is limited to 10 passengers and due to the popularity of it 3 Chef's Tables were held on the first 15 days of the cruise. We ate at both the Bayou and Sabitini's twice each over 19 days and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Sabitini's has a $20 per person surcharge and the Bayou has a $15 per person surcharge with an additional $5 for lobster tail (well worth the value). The Island and Coral are the only two ships with a Bayou which I thought was much better than Sterlings or Crown Grill. We didn't eat in the Horizon Court very often but enjoyed the meals we did have. As I previously mentioned we missed having the International Cafe but enjoyed the specialty coffees at the Patisserie which does not serve food. We had pizza a few times on the Lido Deck which was pretty good and my DH enjoyed the hotdogs and hamburgers at the Grill on the Sun Deck. Our travel agent sent us a gift of the champagne balcony breakfast which we enjoyed while docked of Cabo San Lucas. We have done this on both our previous cruises and enjoyed it thoroughly. There is a lot of food so be prepared. My DH doesn't like smoked salmon but we were allowed to substitute eggs Benedict. Entertainment - For some reason the main rooms on this cruise didn't seem to have the calibre of entertainment we enjoyed on previous cruises. Crooner's which is usually one of the most popular places on the ship had a woman who most staff and passengers thought was awful and this was evident in the number of passengers who abandoned the lounge when she was playing. My DH a former musician said she was a competent piano player but she sang and played way to high which was a turn off and probably a killer for anyone with a hearing aid. The band in Explorer's lounge Indigo was okay a decent band with a good guitarist and pleasing to listen to. The band in Wheelhouse was again okay but not up to level of bands on previous ships. For the most part this is all very subjective and travelling with a former musician you get a different outlook on things but the Crooner's entertainment was really brutal. The ships house band that backed the entertainer's was great. We saw the comedian Al Katz who was awesome. A musical review of the Beatles, Rat Pack, Beach Boys, and Diva's was extremely well put together and enjoyable. We also saw a show by Jackie Wilson's son Bobby Brooks Hamilton that was very good. Unfortunately the night we went the crowd seemed to be in a coma or sitting on their hands so it didn't have the energy it could have had the crowd been more involved. The Ports - I wish Princess would give a bit more time in some of the ports as we would have loved to explore a bit more. Aruba was quaint and the shopping area was varied and had some good deals. Cartagena is a fascinating port but the vendors just spoiled it as they were way to pushy and probably did themselves a disservice by turning off the tourists. This is one port were more time would have nice. Costa Rica was another nice port with a nice selection of vendors with very reasonable prices and while you could barter the prices were so good you really didn't need to. Going through the Canal was just amazing and I would do it again in a heartbeat. We really enjoyed Huatulco and were surprised at how beautiful and for unblemished it was. Cabo San Lucas (we didn't disembark) was also gorgeous and we enjoyed the time sitting on our balcony and just watching the activity in the harbour. Acapulco has a gorgeous harbour but I found it to be overcrowded. We did take a taxi tour and had some fantastic views of the harbour and also saw the cliff divers. We rented a limo in Los Angeles and took a tour of the highlights and stopped for a bit a the Farmer's Market. Since we are Canadians and have been to Victoria we didn't do any touring but if you go there for the first time be sure to go into town at least. Overall - We had a wonderful cruise but it really was like a ghost ship with things shutting down early almost every night including the casino. We are not big partiers but there were nights when we walked around the public areas at 10:30 p.m. and didn't see one single passenger. I think this is in most part to the demographics on longer cruises. After 19 days cruising we were ready to come home and never eat again. Notes to Princess - Is it really necessary to have sale tables set up near the dining room, we found this tacky and it blocked passengers entering and leaving. If you sell a 19 day cruise why does everything have to be reset after 15 days? We got a new cabin steward, had to have casino and internet credits reinstated and also started our billing process again along with getting new cruise cards etc. We found this entire process very disjointed. With all the technology available today there should be some way to avoid this disruption to passengers. The staff on the Coral Princess are awesome I hope you realize what a treasure you have with this group of staff. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2009
Over the past five years, we have spent almost 300 nights on more than 20 cruises to all parts of the world.  Even though I have leg problems, I have managed to climb the Great Wall, traverse the Acropolis, catch piranha in the Amazon, go ... Read More
Over the past five years, we have spent almost 300 nights on more than 20 cruises to all parts of the world.  Even though I have leg problems, I have managed to climb the Great Wall, traverse the Acropolis, catch piranha in the Amazon, go on safaris in Africa, climb to the top of Edinburgh Castle, etc.  In other words, we have seen almost the whole world and were looking forward to the Panama Canal, Central America, and southern ports in Mexico - one of the few places we have not visited.  As a result, we embarked on the Coral Princess on April 26, 2009. To be very honest, there were several excellent features to this trip.  Embarkation and disembarkation were the easiest we've ever encountered in all our travels.  The floor shows, pianists, violinists, and singers were again the best we've ever seen and the quality and timeliness of the movies excellent (I just don't like going on a cruise and spending my days in the theater).  My husband adds that he loved the opportunity to play basketball every day and to practice whenever he wanted! With the exception of the toilet (details later), our handicapped stateroom was excellent (roomy, enjoyed the window even though obstructed, room for my scooter) and the services of our steward, Pedro, were excellent. All of the public rooms were also lovely, well cared for, and with excellent service.  The alternate restaurants (Sabatini's and Bayou Cafe) had excellent food and service for an additional $20 a person.  Instead of lukewarm, tasteless coffee in the dining areas, one could, for a price, get excellent coffee in one area of the ship, and excellent ice-cream could be purchased as a substitute for the mediocre fare in the dining areas. Unfortunately, that is really where the excellence ended.  Through no error of the cruise line, the swine flu virus cancelled all five Mexican ports.  Rather than extending our time in Costa Rica and allowing more time and tours in Panama, we were given two ports - San Diego (over 50% of the passengers on this ship live within a day's drive of San Diego) and San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua, where dire warnings were issued about the difficulties facing anyone with leg problems should they go ashore (tendering, a moving pontoon platform, and steep and hard-to-negotiate stairs). While I tried to work with the tour office, I learned several things:  1) although they would allow wheelchairs to be tendered ashore, those of us with light-weight, portable scooters that come apart could not use the tenders -not even during quiet times when the tours were out   2) that their information was often Incorrect -San Juan del Sur was not a difficult landing and there was shopping nearby which could be easily reached by wheelchair or scooter - you could go ashore in Puerto Corinto, Nicaragua, and get transportation that would drive you through Antigua.  Often, though, we didn't know that until it was too late;   3) even though the average age of the passengers was close to 80 and there were dozens of scooters, walkers, and wheelchairs and hundreds of canes, no special accommodations were to be made;  4) that e-mailing Princess Cruises for assistance does not even get the respect of a reply;  5) that, when all was said and done,  I was only able to get off ship to see a foreign port twice in 19 days! You would expect, then, that Princess would try to find some other way to keep us happy while on board - maybe 2 sheets of paper for scrapbooking.  Maybe more games other than Trivia (4-5 times a day) or even Trivia where you were lucky if you knew even half the answers.  It was amazing to hear the silence when a question was read and no one had a clue, but even more amazing when the answer was read - also to dead silence.  While our Trivia crew captain was a delightful young man, his accent made it difficult to understand much of the time and the questions were often obscure.  Imagine the top team getting a score of 9 out of 20!  Many of us would have quit, but you can't desert your team mates.  A qualified craftsperson was not available to provide really good craft experiences - making something you would want to keep. Rec crew members would teach a paper rose or a simple paper box.  They also ran the scrapbooking program, even they though didn't have a clue.  They provided a die cut machine and a few die cuts, scissors, glue, and ONE 12X12 paper per passenger for the whole cruise.  We started out with 45 enthusiastic passengers (including teachers and owners of scrapbooking companies).  It would have been a fantastic opportunity had we had any supplies; no one came back again.  In the past, I have had marvelous arts and crafts experiences. There was a ceramic (throwing clay) class taught by a ceramist at $40 an hour or you could paint ceramics for $20 an hour or more.  You could also take computer lessons for $25 an hour.  The teacher was good, but the actual breadth of the learning was very narrow.  But the end feeling iwas one of being nickeled and dimed to death. Knowing this might be a looooooong trip, I signed up for 500 minutes of Internet time so that I could use my laptop wirelessly from most areas of the ship.  Several days out, the ship lost all power.  Apparently, according to the Internet attendant, when it came back on there was a huge power surge that took out the wireless network.  No one informed us of this, so for two days I kept trying without success to get online.  Finally I called to see if there was a problem, only to discover I could no longer use my laptop on board.  Actually, I was lucky because I'm knowledgeable enough to figure out I could use my memory stick as a drive to hold my data files, insert it in a memory card slot on their computers, and attach files to my e-mails.  The wireless network was never repaired.  There was no credit for this. Our cabinm while wonderfully appointed and suited for handicapped access, had a toilet so low a person on a wheelchair could not have transferred, and the bars were right next to the toilet rather than extending in front of the toilet to give the passenger the leverage to get up.  So I requested a toilet seat riser.  It came with tight arms so one could not wipe making it unusable.  The arms were just screwed on so I requested that they be removed.  Absolutely NOT, I was told.  It took two weeks to get a commode so I had to use the public restrooms instead. The food was another issue.  Perhaps it was because we were on anytime dining (a new experience for us), but there were frequent examples of waiting to be paged for dinner, very long dinner services (once it was just short of 3 hours) wilted Caesar salad, tasteless foods that were described as mango or passion fruit, but just tasted vanilla, butter dishes and beverages are not refilled, lukewarm soups and coffee, and frequent evenings where everyone at the table (8) ordered the always available grilled chicken or grilled salmon because the menu offerings were so unappetizing.  The one time I decided to try it anyway, I ordered a favorite, Irish Stew, and received a broth-based soup with some lamb, potatoes and carrots floating in it as my entrEe.  I did not make that error again.  Even the desserts just didn't match the desserts we've had on other cruises.  The buffet was actually better tasting and hotter food, but without the nice ambiance of the dining room. On the last two nights, the passengers expressed their feelings about the dining room by giving little or no applause for the food and service they had received.  Hundreds of passengers left the ship with very negative attitudes toward the ship and cruise - that's all you heard the last week. For me, it ended up being a long and boring trip - I've been on a 60 day voyage and several 30+ day trips and didn't want them to end, but this was the first time I wanted to go home before it was even half over. Shame on Princess!   Read Less
Coral Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

Find a Coral Princess Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise