1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
I enjoyed the cruise, but the Effy jewelry personell conducted a raffle for those buying jewelry. I bought my wife a ring that cost almost 3 grand. There were 3 prizes. The same person won all of the prizes. This is almost certainly ... Read More
I enjoyed the cruise, but the Effy jewelry personell conducted a raffle for those buying jewelry. I bought my wife a ring that cost almost 3 grand. There were 3 prizes. The same person won all of the prizes. This is almost certainly impossible to happen if done randomly, i DID NOT EXPECT TO WIN BUT I DID NOT EXPECT THE SAME PERSON TO WIN ALL PRIZES. Also no drink container delivered to my room even though we ordered drink package for soda and virgin drinks. I was therefore unsure where these could be obtained until after third day, I finally took my own container and asked the person behind the drink counter in casual dinning room, who told me. I would go again but please correct these problems for a perfect score. Disney has drinnk stations free throughout ship. It would be nice to have an onboard movie theatre with current movies. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose the Coral Princess for it's passenger size (2000), the itinerary, timing for our 37 family members, the land tour option, accessibility and wide variety of shore excursion choices. The Coral Princess looks good, she's ... Read More
We chose the Coral Princess for it's passenger size (2000), the itinerary, timing for our 37 family members, the land tour option, accessibility and wide variety of shore excursion choices. The Coral Princess looks good, she's clean and the cabins are comfortable. The entertainment was fun, especially the trivia for my family members. Our service in the cabins was great, but the dining service for the early dining in Bordeaux was very, very slow and disorganized. The staff was changed on the 3rd night of our cruise because the wait staff wasn't managing our 5 tables well. Five well behaved children were part of our group; they loved the experience in the kid zone as well as the on board activities. Their favorite activity was looking for wildlife from the promenade deck. We saw whales, orcas, porpoises, seals, puffins, eagles, sea otters and salmon from the deck! We would do this trip all over again, it was so much fun! 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise because experiencing the Panama Canal was high on our list of travel, the timing was right with the winter break and we like Princess. There is a big difference between a full passage from Pacific to Atlantic or visa ... Read More
We chose this cruise because experiencing the Panama Canal was high on our list of travel, the timing was right with the winter break and we like Princess. There is a big difference between a full passage from Pacific to Atlantic or visa versa, with the interest in mind. Not only did we go through the locks, but we had narration almost the entire time. The old locks are amazing. Princess got a reduced price for passage and paid more to be the first ship to transit for the day and refunded everyone $67 each because of the savings. Ship was in decent shape. Food was good. Entertainment was good. The production were good and 3 of the 5 main entertainers were excellent. The lecturers were outstanding as well. Best part was that we met really nice people by participating in assigned dining and also used roll call to join groups that were planning non Princess shore excursions. The two things that kept me from giving an excellent rating on the cruise was sink water that did not get very warm (shower did) and my wife had a shoreline excursion that was not as advertised. The other excursion that we did together in Cartegena was great. Best of all, we dodged the December freezes. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
The ship is older but the food was good, the service was excellent. We never felt like we were imposing (like the bigger ships you can be). We joined up with a Great group of people (from cc) and it felt like family (in a good way). The ... Read More
The ship is older but the food was good, the service was excellent. We never felt like we were imposing (like the bigger ships you can be). We joined up with a Great group of people (from cc) and it felt like family (in a good way). The shows were okay, I didn't care for the comedian, opera. But the magician was good the musicals (Whitney, entertainer of the year, excellent) were all great. My only comments would be. We ate around 7:30 every night and they need to space the later shows, a bit further apart. I wished they had music on the TV, so when you are in the room you can listen to music while changing. We had the aft room E736 on the ship. The balcony was wonderful!! Covered, could see the back of the ship, which we like. Surprised a few people on the walking deck back there. The ship did vibrate more than I remember our other cruise boats. The beds and bedding was wonderful. The ship shows it's age, but the crew was wiping down, varnishing (which the smell ??) but do note, learn which elevators take you where. Cannot reach the front from the back in all of them. Made it fun for us. I am going to give a shout out to John in the Wheelhouse Bar. He was hands down the best. I cannot say enough how great this guy was. So if he is on your trip. Be sure you take the time to meet him. I did try the exercise bike my first day. could not get it to work. Never went back and that is my story WHY I never went back. No attendant. LOL Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We too had a poor experience. I took my 81 year old mother and her friend on a cruise while they were visiting me. As previous reviewers have mentioned vacation time is precious and while I have never sailed princess before I expected ... Read More
We too had a poor experience. I took my 81 year old mother and her friend on a cruise while they were visiting me. As previous reviewers have mentioned vacation time is precious and while I have never sailed princess before I expected better. I occupied a mini suite B201 and my mother & Friend balcony cabin B315 Overall cabin size good, although I missed the balcony in the minim suite and would opt for less floor space and a balcony on a future cruise. The advertised big picture window was equivellant to just a standard window on other cruise lines. I pre booked two cases of water to be in the cabin. Took three days and lots of phone calls to get them. Not acceptable. Finally after several phone calls it was delivered with my first of several apology letters. The Good The cruise staff (Miranda) and the house band Xtasea were excellent. Entertainment overall very good, although the "New Show" being debuted wasn't great. Fitness staff excellent. The Bad & Ugly On embarkation a strong smell of sewage in the atrium area especially deck 6 and 7. Public restrooms not working in these areas THE ENTIRE CRUISE. Public restrooms in other areas never fully functional. Two of three stalls locked for maintenance. Hand sinks in public restrooms not working (Including the one near the buffet) a public health concern. Refrigeration not working (using time instead of temperature because cold plates were not functional on the buffet lines). Some bars had only warm bottled water (Because as the bartender explained the refrigerators were not cooling.) A/C's in some areas not working No Pool for several days No jacuzzi's for several days. Buckets collecting water leaks in hallways entire cruise. 12:30am water pipe broke with a flood of water coming down in the hallway outside my mothers room. Followed by a shop vac which woke up several cabins.(Yes I have pictures). Bartenders very slow, especially at one particular pool bar, which led to everyone going to a different bar making life difficult for the good staff, who were now working twice as hard. Inconsistent stocking of bars. Ship was just not ready to sail. Got into Cozumel area at 5:30am according to my cell phone and observations. Captain sailed back out to sea then made an announcement that due to the engine problems and slow speed we had not yet arrived (We are not all gullible, honesty is always the best policy). Continued to sail around in circles for an entire day and missed a port day. Missed Roatan due to engine issues Cozumel a day late (Not the reason for anyone to choose this itinerary) Missed Costa Maya (Due to weather?) Big Movie screen not working until the last day Not enough deck chairs. Balcony Cabin only had one chair on balcony for several days. Food poor compared to Celebrity. Ordered Rare steak on the last day. waiter gave me a very well done steak and laughed saying here is your rare steak. Would you like to wait for me to change it! Although paying double for a single fare only received half the OBC compared to other cabins! Given a 50% discount on My Cabin expense only for a future cruise. Since I cannot see may mother choosing to sail princess again (This was a gift to her) the discount on her cabin is useless. The potential for this ship is endless. The public areas really are lovely. The running of operations sub standard and antiquated. Anytime dining a joke. Never possible to make reservations and waiting in line was a given. I have sailed another line with engine issues. We were given notice before embarkation, a credit for the missed port, and kept accurately informed throughout the process. Issues happen and unavoidable, how they are handled is the Key to success. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We were treated so wonderfully by everyone. The men at the International Cafe, where I would go at 3:00 AM were always so thoughtful. The staff at the Horizon Court were cheerful and acted like we were doing them a favor letting them get ... Read More
We were treated so wonderfully by everyone. The men at the International Cafe, where I would go at 3:00 AM were always so thoughtful. The staff at the Horizon Court were cheerful and acted like we were doing them a favor letting them get us things. Our waiter at dinner gave me helpful hints on ways to make our trip more enjoyable, like going to the Sanctuary. We made friends and enjoyed meeting them at the Wheelhouse for Happy Hour. Afterwards we played trivia with them. We had a booked schedule since I had rebooked excursions at every port. We learned so much on all of them. We did go with a private tour in Cartagena and there was a noticeable lack of quality. People who say they get the same tour from private vans don't know the difference. We also had to pay to get into the nunnery, and other places, no lunch was included. I was hesitant to go someplace that had not been checked out already. It verified what I had heard that Princess screens the venders they use for excursions. Many people praised Sabatini's so we went there and it was well worth the surcharge. The enrichment lectures were useful. There was even one on the Camino de Santiago. It was so difficult to leave the ship. I booked two more cruises as soon as I got home, Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
We explored the Alaskan Cruise prior to selecting Princess Cruises. We determined that we wanted to do Land and Sea and the Princess package gave us everthing from the start to the Finish! A Princess Guide met us in Fairbanks and we must ... Read More
We explored the Alaskan Cruise prior to selecting Princess Cruises. We determined that we wanted to do Land and Sea and the Princess package gave us everthing from the start to the Finish! A Princess Guide met us in Fairbanks and we must say an exceptional young lady who went out of her way to show us a good time! Princess had everything with lodges to ship which was outstanding customer service! We had experience with ship dinning however the dinning while at the Princess Lodges was as nice with the same attention of the wait staff and the food quality was first class! The ship met all our previous expectations and more! The cabin steward goes out of his way to make our stay comfortable and all the staff are very friendly and go out of their way to assist. We travel with 4 other family members and enjoy interacting with the waiters and their assistance. We are always treated professionally however we feel they are part of our family when we leave! We consider Princess Cruises as our only choice when booking our next trip! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
My husband and I (in our mid 60's) just got back from our Alaska Princess cruise tour, 12 night Denali Explorer, leaving from Vancouver and returning from Fairbanks. It was the most wonderful vacation!! We both highly recommend it! ... Read More
My husband and I (in our mid 60's) just got back from our Alaska Princess cruise tour, 12 night Denali Explorer, leaving from Vancouver and returning from Fairbanks. It was the most wonderful vacation!! We both highly recommend it! Note: It never got dark! I brought with a black eye cover for sleeping. Lots of mosquitoes on land - bring repellent! First, The CRUISE itself: We were on the Coral Princess. Our stateroom with a balcony was plenty big and comfortable. The small bathroom was very adequate with a small shower which I was surprised to have strong water pressure, which was great! It was fun to have the balcony with which to look outside and occasionally go outside. We finally had time to go into the outdoor pool and hot tub on the last day of sailing, which was great! while watching “Back to the Future” on the big outdoor screen. What fun! DINING: We did ANYTIME dining and loved it! We tried to get to dinner between 5:30 and 6:30 because it ended up being about a two hour meal! But...it was so enjoyable and relaxing! Pampered to the max! EVERYBODY that worked on the ship was so nice and friendly and wanting to please. The meals were excellent as were the choices on the menus. (I usually got more than one dessert!) We met people that tried some of the other restaurants for dinner where you pay, but we couldn’t understand why anyone would want to pay extra when there were such great choices and such good food in the dining room. We always requested to be seated with others. It was so much fun to meet people from all over! Couples from Australia, England, Wyoming, Denver, Nashville, Boston, Texas, Virginia, Kentucky, etc. We would see some of these folks throughout the cruise and it started feeling like a community of sorts. I exchanged e-mails with about a dozen people! BREAKFASTS and LUNCHES we always went to the buffet in Horizon lounge on the 14th floor, opposite the outdoor pool area. LOVED all the choices. Everything was delicious! And the wait staff couldn’t do enough for you! FITNESS: I actually worked out at the fitness center 3 mornings and it was great! I was impressed with the quality of the gym and that so many others made use of it. All the aerobic machines (ellipticals, treadmills, etc.) faced the ocean and mountains and was beautiful! Also went to a couple talks there, which were very good, but didn’t buy anything. I managed to get to a Zumba class and it was great!! SO MUCH FUN!!! SHOWS: The shows we saw were pretty good. Two theaters - one with plenty of seating, the second had all comfortable lounge chairs and small tables, so you had to get there early to find a seat. I especially loved the comedian, Steve Moris, they had one night. He was awesome!! A magician who was a comic too, was entertaining and the big production numbers (esp. “The Bayou”) were terrific! Don’t miss the kitchen galley talk - where you watch the chefs prepare a meal. They were hysterical! and then you go for a tour of the kitchen which is very interesting. NATURALIST: There was a naturalist who gave informative talks about the wild life - whales, otters, sea lions, etc. And also gave a running commentary which you could hear all over the ship and also on your state room TV, while going through Glacier Bay and the College Fjords, and telling you where you should look for whales and other wild life. EXCURSIONS: KETCHIKAN - we didn’t sign up for anything. It was the only place it rained. We took a local bus for $1 to Totem Bight State Park - 1/2 hour ride, and enjoyed talking to other visitors on the bus. We met someone who paid for a tour there and it sounded like they might have learned a lot more from the guide. It was okay - more like something to do. When we caught the bus back after an hour, we walked on the Creek St. boardwalk in and out of the shops, which was fun - in the rain. JUNEAU - We did a whale watch with Captain Larry and ORCA Enterprise, which Trip Advisor folks recommended. We called them from home to make the reservation. It ended up being only 6 of us on board. We immediately saw whales, breaching, which was cool! Then we went to an area where we saw lots of sea lions. but after that, no more whale sightings. The scenery was gorgeous though. But it was disappointing not to see any more whales. Especially since when we got back to the ship, many on other boats (including Princess excursions) saw many more whales than we did. Afterwards, we were dropped off at The Mendenhall Glacier, which is truly spectacular and definitely worth the visit! Walked to Nugget Falls, which is so neat! We were getting picked up in an hour so I felt a bit pressured to rush, but we took some great photos. The town of Juneau was fun to walk through and we ended up at the Red Dog Saloon for a beer and listened to fun live music. SKAGWAY - We booked bus tour with DYEA DAVE to Emerald Lake, all through the Yukon Pass. Same as the train, but less expensive and more personalized, I think. There were six of us. Dave was TERRIFIC!! He stopped at all the best scenic places so we could get out and take pics. And he stopped when we saw a black bear on the side of the road, and also a lynx, on the way back. He gave a running commentary and was so funny! A real character! When we didn’t have enough cash to pay him at the end, he was, like, “no problem”. We went back on ship, got the money, and met him outside, where he was “off duty”. He gave us a ride in his antique convertible Metropolitan sports car to town. Wanted us to see the museum and film about the gold rush, which we did and liked very much. He actually picked us up afterwards and drove us back to the ship!!! Everybody seemed to know him and was taking photos of the car and waving, etc. LAND PORTION - Princess Cruise is amazing for their organization. They totally took care of our suitcases and we only had to carry a tote bag with whatever we needed for the day. The trains and coaches were comfortable and the drivers always gave commentary. Of course you have to tip them at the end of the ride. WE WERE SO LUCKY - the weather was really warm, clear, and sunny! A heat wave! 70’s and even 80’s in Fairbanks!!! ANCHORAGE - A Beautiful city with lots of flowers and a beautiful park across from the hospitality center. Great shops and galleries. We had lunch at the Snow Goose - the upstairs, outdoor deck at the Brewery part. The salmon fish and chips were good. We could see Denali, 250 miles away! Dinner at a pizza shop. TALKEETNA / McKINLEY PRINCESS LODGE - You get dropped off from the train in the little town of Talkeetna, before going to the McKinley Princess Lodge, an hour away. There are shuttles that leave every hour. So we walked around the little town - very little! We spontaneously decided to do a Flightseeing Tour, because it was such a gorgeous, clear day. Went to the visitor’s center and the enthusiastic woman behind the counter got us on a plane that was leaving in 20 minutes! for the discounted price of $199 each. It was an amazing adventure!! I’m afraid of flying usually, but HAD to try this. I mean, these pilots do this several times every day, right?? Not to worry, it was an awesome flight that I’m SO GLAD we took! There were 7 of us in the plane and Andre, our pilot, took us right over Mt. McKinley!! The north face, the east face, etc. etc. Thought we might bump the mountain, we were so close!!! It was about 1 1/2 hours or so. Very exhilarating! Note: The Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage and all the Princess Lodges were exceptionally beautiful and comfortable!!! And in very scenic locations. DENALI - We took the included “natural history” 5 hour bus tour, which started at 6:20 am. UGH! This was the only disappointing thing on the trip. No animal sightings, not too interesting, and MANY MOSQUITOS!!!! Why did we have to get up SO EARLY for this??? On our free day, we took a shuttle to the Visitor’s Center, which is definitely worth a visit, and saw a beautiful film about Denali and wonderful exhibits. We also took a short hike to Horseshoe Lake. Found out we just missed some moose at the lake. Ate at the Salmon Bake restaurant across from the Lodge and we really liked it! Also the fun ice cream shop across from the Lodge is a must! FAIRBANKS - I think this was one of our most FUN excursion days and it was included in our tour! The Paddle Wheel Riverboat Cruise (including a hearty lunch at the end) and then the Gold Dredge 8. Definitely DO THIS TRIP!!! We saw so much! From the boat we saw a bush pilot take off and land his sea plane, sled dogs doing their thing, salmon skinning demo, and got out at an Athabascan Village, with various demonstrations and talks. LOVED IT!! Afterwards we were all treated to a hearty beef stew lunch, family style - all you could eat! Then we went to the Alaskan Pipeline and learned about it’s history. An open tram ride was next, with demos along the way all about gold mining and it’s history. At the end we all got to try panning for gold! So much fun! My husband and I combined our gold (worth about $30) and purchased a pretty locket that they put the gold into and now I can wear it! An AWESOME trip!! To top it off, one of our flights home was overbooked. We opted to get ‘bumped’ and was given $400 flight credit each! And took another flight only 1/2 later!   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
We left from Los Angeles on our adventure aboard The Coral Princess on February 21, 2013. The boarding process was pretty uneventful and quick. We were able to go to our rooms as soon as we boarded and our luggage arrived not much after ... Read More
We left from Los Angeles on our adventure aboard The Coral Princess on February 21, 2013. The boarding process was pretty uneventful and quick. We were able to go to our rooms as soon as we boarded and our luggage arrived not much after that. As to the general impressions of the cruise: The ship was well cared for and kept in beautifully clean shape throughout the trip. All of our staff, from room steward to waiter, were excellent. The food...great! Our only concerns were as follows: The use of tenders at two ports (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua) ate up several hours of our time in port. The way the line handled it was to have everyone go to the formal dining room and wait around (sit) for hours until all the "Princess Cruise Excursions" and "preferred" passengers were tendered. Then (after two hours in Cabo and an hour and a half in San Juan Del Sur) the remaining passengers who wanted to go ashore were taken in small groups (depending on the number on a ticket you were given when you entered the dining room). You were unable to wander around the ship while you waited. You had to sit in the enclosed dining room on a beautiful day and wait. Very disappointing. We had scheduled a tour in Nicaragua and because of this missed two hours of it! Also, when we did go on Princess tours, which we did in Costa Rica, Columbia and Aruba, we were usually herded into jewelry stores even when those were not on the tour. We all felt like we were constantly being "sold" things while on board the ship and while on the tours organized by the ship. While in Costa Rica we went on the "Rainforest Canopy" tour from the ship. Immediately we were told by the tour guide that although the tour states that you will be hiking to 5 bridges through the forest canopy, we will only be including 3 today. No refund, just a shorter tour. The tour took a turn for the worst when we got to the hiking trail and one of the men on the tour (who clearly should not have been there) collapsed and couldn't walk any further. So for the next 2 hours our tour guide and driver along with two of our fellow passengers helped this man make the "hike" though the rainforest. All of us had to wait and the entire tour was altered. He was fine but I wonder why the ship doesn't make it clearer that those who can't walk very far shouldn't be signing up to go on a "hike" through the forest. We went on another tour in Columbia where the tour guide rushed us up and down the beautiful streets of the "old city" at breakneck speeds so that he could try and force us all into, what I'm sure was, a "friends" jewelry store. Those of us who simply said "no thank you" went on about our tour of the streets but he went inside with the others and was none to happy with us. More of a variety of musical entertainment on board the ship in the evening would have been nice. Honestly unless you wanted to listen to one of the "oldies" bands you didn't have much to chose from. I admit the crowd was mostly older but there should be some variety. How much can you play trivia games and do the Foxtrot? There were younger people (say 30's, 40's & 50's) on board and they had nowhere to go for fun music at night. The one exception was the "deck party" at the end of the cruise. Another problem is the lack of any snacks in the lounges at night. When you go for a cocktail before or after dinner shouldn't there be some offering of chip, nut, snack...anything on the tables in the bars. We asked one evening and were brought a little container of peanuts that was mainly dust from the bottom of the bin. When we asked if there were any more the waitress reluctantly said "no" but must have felt badly about it because she went over to the "preferred" (there's that word again) cocktail party and brought us back a few shrimp from their table. Also, the drinks leave a lot to be desired. They are not made well. In the two weeks we had very few that were actually good with the exception of a couple of martinis. The others were either terrible or void of alcohol. There are no drink specials, ever. Princess does a good job but they seem to be going the way of the "nickel and dime" lines. Suggestion: Charge a decent price and don't try and open the passenger's pocket the entire time they are on their trip. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
Cruise: 15 day Panama Canal transit cruise aboard the Coral Princess from Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles with stops in Aruba; Cartagena, Colombia; Fuerte Amador, Panama; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; and Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala Overall ... Read More
Cruise: 15 day Panama Canal transit cruise aboard the Coral Princess from Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles with stops in Aruba; Cartagena, Colombia; Fuerte Amador, Panama; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; and Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala Overall rating 4.5 out of 5 stars Embarkation: Lots of knowledgeable Princess staff made the process smooth and quickly. Unfortunately the drop-off point was over a block away. Why not in front of the terminal like airlines? A waste of time and unwieldy trek carrying personal baggage. Food: Meals were great in the dining rooms or cafeteria. Multiple divergent choices always made my palette happy. Staff was extremely attentive making substitutions or adjustments to enhance the experience. We requested and received early sitting in formal dining with unknown cruisers to enjoy a leisurely dining experience yet leave time for dancing and entertainment. Unfortunately one of the couples made for a poor experience and the matre d', would not make changes. So we opted for "Anytime Dining" with other couples. This meant a different location each evening, with mostly outstanding serving staff except for one evening where they were only good. Staff: "How can I be of assistance?" was a line heard almost everywhere. Fetching a special food item or letting us know the best time to use the aerobics gym floor to practice social dancing. Our stateroom was keep clean, made up and refreshed. We kept busy enjoying activities so we rarely encountered the attendants. Entertainment: Since social dancing is our thing, we only went to a single show, a comic who was very good even using Princess taking the brunt of several jokes. Two small groups provided dance music each night. The three piece Phoenix Rising offered mostly swing with a good mix of Latin even a waltz or two each night. The keyboard and guitarist alternating singing. The floor was usually crowded with great audience participation. The other group, three instrumentalists and two singers was lower key, except when they performed on deck for a very entertaining ruckus audience participation Caribbean night. The day before arriving at each port Bill Keene presented information about the local environment and what to expect at the major tourist sites. Unfortunately neither he nor anyone on board could provide information about each of tours. All would direct us to the material found on the Princess website or its brochures. Bill provided rather conservative information for example, saying do not photograph locals in direct opposition to all tour guides. No one tried to stop us or ask for money. Some actually encouraged photo taking. Princess was continually offering seminars, sales, art auctions and portrait photography session to increase its revenue. Fortunately participating in the sales pitches were optional or the overall experience would drop several stars. Ports and Tours: Aruba was a waste of time and Cartagena too short. The following ratings apply to the tours, not the port or country. Aruba - Arikok National Park Hike, Beach Swim & Shopping Rating 1 star After a pleasant 40 minute De Palm Tours drive through the desert landscape of very low brush and tall cactus; well narrated by Gino. Arriving at "trail head" we were met by a park guide for a leisurely stroll down a paved or manicured pebble path to an old farmhouse being reconditioned using cactus skeletons and mud mixed with grass. Gino provided better commentary of the countryside's plants and animals (bats, birds and lizards) then the park guide. Passengers from two Princess ships were crammed into the bus and tour. There should have been more guides and smaller groups for the tour. Then we were off to a pleasant beach for a quick swim and back to the ship with no time for shopping (fine with us). Cartagena, Colombia - Old City Walking Tour, Las Bovedas & Shopping Rating 2 stars A short trip through the city with narration by a knowledgeable guide. First stop a brief viewing of Fort of San Felipe (so brief we could have stayed on the bus as it slowly drove in city traffic). Then to a walking tour of the old city with equally brief tour of a museum and city parks (shopping limited to street vendors) and a long stay at an emerald museum (read jewelry store not listed on the itinerary and a waste of time for most on the tour) Back to the bus to visit one of a strip of artisan shops (read souvenir stores). Then back to the ship. An inconsiderate passenger got on the wrong bus. We wasted over a half-hour with a distressed spouse while search parties went in vein to find the hapless passenger. He purposely boarded the other bus, their guide should have caught the error but they were actually short a passenger. Never did find out if that person was found. Fuerte Amador, Panama - Panama Canal & Locks Transit By Boat Rating 5 stars Riding a small boat through the Panama Canal and locks gives one an entirely different perspective of the traverse. In the small boat you are dwarfed by the enormity of the locks and Panamax ships (those designed to just fit the canal with a few feet to spare). You are at the mercy of the canal pilot (every boat must have one) we waited almost an hour for him to arrive then wait again to begin the journey with other small boats. We were fortunate to have the same guide on the bus as the boat. He was very knowledgeable of the history, working of the canal and the region. Two other busloads of passengers each had their own guide to describe the journey. Lunch served on board was at beast unremarkable. Puntarenas, Costa Rica - Corobici River-Raft Float, scenic Drive & Lunch Rating 5 stars RCR Rafting provided us with a very enjoyable 2-hour float tour on 6 passenger/paddlers plus guide/paddler rubber rafts commonly used in whitewater rafting. Comparing this to previous rafting trips it was slightly more aggressive than a float trip for a half dozen or so class 2 or 2+ small areas of rapids (on a scale of 5). Before leaving the boat guide explained how to paddle through the rapids (the current carried us down most of the river), then gave paddling commands to negotiate "rapids". During the float portion our guide pointed out a plethora of animal life from lizards to crocodiles, birds and monkeys. At the end we boarded the bus for return to the at the river drop-in point Restaurant Rincón Corobicí for an excellent lunch and view the 200 plus images taken by photographers who leapfrogged the rafts in one person kayak. The entire set of images plus a file of stock Costa Rican flower, fauna and scenery could be purchased for $30 then download a few days later. Then the 45 minute return bus ride to the ship. Our guide narrated the ride in both directions pointing out history and farms from sugarcane to fishponds. We had time left to walk into Puntarenas past the tourist bazaar. The Mega Super market was our destination to purchase local coffee, beer and food. Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala - Highland Textiles, Antigua, Lunch & Shopping Rating 3 stars Only structure at this port is a tourist bazaar and bus parking lot. Our tour required a 45 minute drive to textile cooperative at San Antonio Aguas Calientes. At least 20 stalls offered a wide variety of local textile and other handcrafted items. Most vendors had common offerings and all said they made the articles. It seemed too many items for a single person to create. Perhaps they made a few items but all appear hand made. Then on to a textile museum (read store with a guide to briefly describe several rooms of manikins clothed in region specific garb). Then onto lunch at Casa Santo Domingo, an unexpected pleasant venue. This is an upscale hotel, restaurant, gardens and museum set in the ruins of a monastery. Great local food buffet which we took white clothed tables and chairs (sweet red chili relleno, steak, black and white tortillas, plantains) surrounding plush gardens including the preverbal local artisans weaving and making beadings items, the ruins and a unique museum. It showed many exhibits of original stone carvings found in the ruins and else ware and modern artist creations often in glass. Casa Santo Domingo was an unexpected jewel of this tour. Our last stop was Jade SA American archeologists who .rediscovered Jadeite in Guatemala and built a vertically integrated operation of acquisition production and sale of jadeite jewelry. The tour begin with a lecture of the history of Guatemalan jade and the company then a tour of the demonstration factory and store. While the jewelry was diverse and beautiful I have no idea of the competitiveness of prices. Traveling back to the ship we saw the many small volcano cones and hills of the area. A week later one of the volcanos had a minor eruption. The tourist bazaar stalls had much of the same handcrafted items seen at the cooperative. Disembarkation Went very smoothly with lots of Princess people to answer questions. Our only gripe was that had we known we could have left earlier then our scheduled time. We left a small tagged bag at the luggage collection area. They found it and forwarded to us the same day by FedEx. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
From the Midwest, we have been vacationing together for over twenty five years and have found cruising seems to fit our current lifestyle better then the beach and all-inclusive resorts of the past. We began with a four and half hour ... Read More
From the Midwest, we have been vacationing together for over twenty five years and have found cruising seems to fit our current lifestyle better then the beach and all-inclusive resorts of the past. We began with a four and half hour flight into LAX which we found to be one of the easiest terminals yet to fly into. Hope the new construction doesn't change that. Other then our luggage being last out the chute we were at our hotel, LAX LaQuinta, in ten minutes once we walked out the doors. A good-enough hotel with breakfast included plus let us check in three hours early, though it may border gangland. McDonalds and mini-mart next door was perfect for dinner and a six pack to unwind with. Plenty of time for a morning run behind the hotel and points northward but would probably not be advisable late in the day. Hotel shuttle back to airport late morning to catch the Princess's transport to the boat. Were advised we'd find a Princess rep in the Delta baggage area, terminal One, but Delta is at terminal Four. We got off at One and were glad we did as they could still squeeze our luggage onto the bus. While this is our second cruise on Princess we are no experts. Embarkation went well and it would seem the best way to do this is to just do as told and pay heed to the guides. Only issue is our luggage again as one does start to get a little antsy as the dock fades from view on the horizon and still no luggage outside our door but like last time, it showed up eventually. Side Bar: We are introverts. Do not come onto a cruise to meet people. Don't care who is on the boat really, not their ages, money, grandkids, what surgeries they all have had or how many trips taken. Not many kids on this cruise but you can ask the little girl at McDonald's that needed ice, I do not despise them. As for the age of the boat being skewed to the older crowd I'm getting there my self (54) just as every one eventually does. Other reviews told of the staff as not very friendly. Believe me you, as an introvert, they are way friendlier then I require. All I want is competency and the staff on the Coral is way beyond that. We choose a full covered balcony room on the right side of the boat for the sunsets on the Pacific as we headed south. They were great, and there was plenty of sun to be had thanks to the boats and the suns relative positions. Showers are small but can get use to though can't help wonder how some of the less then thin did. We purchased the soda card (mostly for the tonic and coke needs of cocktails), the seven wine silver card and 100 minutes of internet the first day. Expensive (and you can pay more if you like for more net time or better wines) but we understand that providing us these services on a boat out in the middle of the ocean is not cheap. The first five days of this voyage are "at sea", great for getting into the rhythm of the boat (though she would have liked another port stop in there). Any crew member I encountered was friendly and proficient. Did have a bartender tell me "there are other bars" when I came down for my third tonic water of the night and not at all sure why he thought I wouldn't know that. Picked anytime dining, as we eat early, and were very happy to be able to sit immediately on those nights we ate in the Bordeaux dining room. Good food, great service and while a table for two still required sitting with a second table for two arms length away we found that people that choose such, much like ourselves, are not looking to meet and chat so that was just fine. Working out on the Coral was a little disappointing as there is no dedicated running track and the workout room can be packed at times (at least at the start of the cruise). There are only a few resistant bikes which is my preferred means with out a road to work with. She found the treadmills and some of the classes to her liking and I used the staircases on the ship for the most part. My workout routine was mostly maintenance anyway and no one bugs you on the steps as they are not used all that much. Over did and ran a 102.1 temp one night which coupled with a trade wind induced rough sea passage once into the Caribbean laid me out a bit but recovered and had no effect on the cruise itself save for a dampened appetite for a few days which helped out in keeping off the pounds anyway. No weight gain this trip which is something as buffets, where we ate 70% of intake at, are always my nemesis no matter where I encounter them. The food was very good (other then the German night but that is just a taste preference) and pizza at the pool filled the bill but the hot dog from the grill could have been skipped. Soft ice cream guy seemed to be the happiest server on the boat, but then who wouldn't be serving ice cream. Saw enough wildlife (dolphins, a whale's tail, sea turtles) to keep it interesting and perfect weather throughout the 14 days, other then a little wind, made the trip what it was. As for the stops, we booked only one shore excursion and took walks at the others to at least get off the boat for a bit. I enjoyed Punta Arenas in Costa Rica though she found the razor wire a little disconcerting. However, it was mostly families out and about and the boat docks right on the beach. The locals leave you alone and while the litter seems to grow wild here, such is life. Checked out some local shops for wine but Chilean was all we could find, which can be some good wine but wasn't up for experimenting after buying the card on the boat. Fuerte Amador before the canal was good for a tender ride and a leg stretch but way too far of a walk to get anywhere. The canal is what one comes here for and was not a disappointment. Especially nice to see other land tourists and perhaps some locals as well come out and wave to the boat as it goes through. Being on the right side of the boat (as well as in the right lock) you are at eye level past the viewing stands and we have plenty of pictures of them taking pictures of us. The new canal construction was off the left side of the boat and hard to believe it will be done in a year and a half but they are working at it. Only shore excursion, the old city tour at Cartagena, in Columbia. The shopping stops border irksome due to the constant offers of belts, hats, sunglasses and such that are ever present but they take no for an answer, though sometimes a very hard no, but such is life there. Could have skipped the tourist spots no doubt to get the real flavor of the city but being Columbia, we stuck with the flock. Only fault I found was the guide should have advised restroom locations with out having to be asked. And you knew he was being asked because the microphone he was wearing to narrate picked up everything. Aruba is a good place to stretch legs with lot of shops close by. No one bothered us but then again there is money on this island and that makes a world of difference. Strange, but we did not take in a single show, catch any but a part of one of the movies out on deck, watched no in-room TV nor did we sit in any of the lounges. We really do not need to be entertained. Used the pools twice, spent maybe twenty minutes a day in the sun, shot some buckets, played some paddle ball, shuffleboard, ping pong and played mini-golf. Took plenty of walks and enjoyed almost every minute (rough seas aside) on board. I really do not know what became of it but time flew for us here. Disembarkation was as easy as getting on. Shuttle to airport was quick though long enough for driver to remind us twice how tips are almost considered required. He does earn it I guess, as he had to load all the bags himself. Would not hesitate for a moment in booking our next cruise with Princess but we are leaning towards some other line just to see what else is out there. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
I did a 10 day Panama Canal cruise from Ft Lauderdale to Acapulco. First, stayed at Rodeway Inn, FLL. Free shuttle from airport, free shuttle to cruise (though I didn't need it), decent continental breakfast daily, lovely clean ... Read More
I did a 10 day Panama Canal cruise from Ft Lauderdale to Acapulco. First, stayed at Rodeway Inn, FLL. Free shuttle from airport, free shuttle to cruise (though I didn't need it), decent continental breakfast daily, lovely clean heated outdoor pool, hardly anyone in it, nice staff, free internet, cheap, right next to highway exit and near Enterprise rental so convenient for driving, what more could you ask for? Cruise itself: nice balcony cabin, food was plentiful and good though not stunning, everything orderly and clean. What stands out as excellent were the crew: at least half made special efforts to greet me by name daily, know my preferences, dance with me, chat on a personal basis (not just formal), were always friendly and sincere and helpful. I invited half of them back to visit me and really hope they come! The only thing I could possibly criticize is Princess still allows smoking on balconies (and some people even had cigars though this is supposed to be forbidden). I made it plain I was an avid allergic anti-smoker yet was placed between smokers on either side of me. It again meant I could not use my balcony (like on Carnival, RCI much better) for the whole 10 days. This would not have been a big deal but I was quarantined to my cabin for 24 hours with suspected Norwalk and had no access to air except by balcony. I had no problem with the concept to keep the rest of the passengers healthy, and I was not up to going out anyway, but it was claustrophobic and I would have liked to leave my door open but the jerk especially on one side refused, even after I explained the situation, to stop smoking on his balcony even for a few hours. My point is, if they are going to make me essentially a prisoner with only my balcony for fresh air, they should have told my neighbours to butt out for the duration. That is really my only complaint, but until they confine smokers to one side and let me book on the other, I will go to Celebrity, who, I gather, has outlawed smoking on balconies.The cruise ended in Acapulco and some people were so afraid of crime they didn't even get off the ship. All the news of bad stuff is so highly overrated! I was traveling alone, and walked the street outside my hotel as much as I wanted, up to 2am for 3 nights in a tank top and skirt and had not one hassle. People were friendly, respectful, taxi drivers were honest and on-time, there were lots of people, even little kids, out at night because it was Semana Santa (Holy Week around Easter when lots of Mexicans on vacation), and I felt entirely safe. Buses were easy to use, I wandered the shops and sights, and everyone was helpful. There is crime everywhere in the world, no worse in Acapulco than anywhere else as far as I could see. Police officers even posed for pictures with me, streets were much cleaner than many other places, and I would return anytime. I stayed at the Hotel Emporio and it was an absolute gem. Gorgeous views, beautiful pools, quiet, clean, helpful people, gym, travel agency, restaurants, comfy bed in room with safe, frig and micro, including huge breakfast buffet for less than $100/night. There was an earthquake one morning which scared me to death but they were not concerned and I was assured by their confidence. Hotel is strongly built and had no ill effects, though we shook terribly! Pretty beach but I was told surf was rough. I ended up at the pools all day anyway as they were so peaceful, hawkers will approach on the beach like anywhere, but they are not aggressive. Starbucks and mall across the street, lots of shops and restaurants within 5 minutes. Couldn't ask for more! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
I'm an experienced cruiser -- 18 cruises/6 cruise lines, including several luxury. Princess has always been one of our favorites, UNTIL this last cruise. What happened? a. NONE of the windows were EVER washed!! Not in the ... Read More
I'm an experienced cruiser -- 18 cruises/6 cruise lines, including several luxury. Princess has always been one of our favorites, UNTIL this last cruise. What happened? a. NONE of the windows were EVER washed!! Not in the common areas, like the panoramic Horizon Court, bars, walkways, nor in the cabins! In fact, we could stand on our balcony and watch other guests wash their own windows!! Nor were the plexiglass balcony shields ever watched so it was hard to sit on the balcony and watch the sea! We DID finally tell our cabin steward to clean the windows, which he did regularly, but only after telling us it wasn't done because it would just get dirty again!! b. I look forward to eating the seafood on cruises, and was sorely disappointed. Cod serve 3x in 10 days (!), including 2 consecutive nights!! Red snapper served as breaded fish sticks! No sea bass -- oh, except for the luncheon menu! On formal night they originally had orange roughie scheduled (whoopee!), but changed it to something unknown that the waiter didn't recommend! On formal night!! Lamb and veal were served nearly every day, which hasn't been the case in the past. c. Service/attitude of staff wasn't up to par. I upset a waiter because I asked for a fork for eating my pie! He provided a huge spoon, and proceeded to tell me that many people like to eat their pie with spoons! One of the tour cruise staff was upset when I asked how long before our tour was called, and I had to calm him down. I had Horizon Court waiter's shirt sleeves in my food because he'd reach across to fill coffee cups. d. Any Time Dining is "not" when you have to wait 45 minutes to be called! Particularly because they apparently were allowing people in fixed dining to use ATD (though they denied it). The maitre'd assured us "everyone" was checked, but in fact NO ONE EVER checked our dining preference during our 15 day cruise. e. I read the ship writeup of amenities for mini suites! I wondered what ship that was, since it certainly was NOT Coral Princess. No slippers, no appetizers, no pillow choices (and the pillows were so wimpy that lying on 2 barely felt like 1; I literally had to double them in half to get support), etc. Bottom line, you got the extra square footage, and that was it. It's been 4 years since my last cruise on Princess, and it's certainly degenerated into something I don't recognize. Not sure I'm inclined to repeat this cruise line again, and I'm a platinum member Read Less
Sail Date: June 2010
Vancouver, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, College Fjord, Whittier --> Anchorage, Denali, Fairbanks. Vancouver looked like a nice city to visit. We should have left a day earlier and stayed one night there before the cruise. ... Read More
Vancouver, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, College Fjord, Whittier --> Anchorage, Denali, Fairbanks. Vancouver looked like a nice city to visit. We should have left a day earlier and stayed one night there before the cruise. Boarding the ship was smooth - no lines. The Coral is probably the smallest cruise ship I have been on but it was very nice. The grill and pizza place was where we at most of the time. The few times we tried the dining room it took forever to get our food. We've been on a lot of cruises and this was the first time we had experienced this. The staff all spoke very good english and were very helpful. The entertainment was very Vegas-like. I could take it or leave it. A nice touch was that they offered beer from Alaskan Brewing. Most cruises I have taken it is the usual light, fizzy yellow beers offered with the token Guinness. The shopping was pretty bad. Every stop had the same 5 or 6 stores offering the exact same stuff. They also had the same jewellery stores at every stop - who cruises to Alaska to buy jewelery??? We started looking for the locally owned/operated stores and gave them our business. Most of the stored have something indicating that they are locally owned/operated. DO NOT expect fast internet anywhere on this trip. I had to do some work on the trip and the connection was very slow. I even brought my Verizon usb modem and I did not get 3G anywhere so it was very slow as well. Ketchikan was nice and we did the Canopy tour excursion. It was fun but I will book all excursions outside of Princess next time. More options and better prices. I would recommend the canopy tour. Juneau was smaller than I thought and it rained a bit here. We took the tram and hiked in the rain. We had booked a helicopter and dogsled excursion trough Princess but it was cancelled due to clouds/visibility. We walked down the dock and found Era tours. They had a helicopter and dogsled tour that went to the Norris and Taku glaciers and DogWorld instead of Mendenhall like everyone else. We saved more than $100 per person and still got to do the helicopter and dogselds. We got spectacular views of the glaciers and we able to meet/pet/mush the dogs. It was a highlight of our trip! Skagway was a bit boring but the Skagway Brewpub was worth a visit. Food and beer were both excellent. We also took the Gold Rush trip and that was a waste of our time. Glacier Bay and College Fjord were both amazing as expected. We found that there were small decks on the front and back of the ship on the Caribe, Baja and Aloha decks that almost no one seemed to know about. We had spectacular views of the glaciers and did not have to fight for a position to see them. We also used our balcony. It was a bit cloudy but I still took some great pics. The stop at the Animal Preserve outside of Whittier on he way to Anchorage was nice and I would recommend it. They take in injured animals and nurse them back to health. A lot to see here. . Anchorage was a nice stop. They had a street festival going on and we walked around and enjoyed the city. I recommend the Snow Goose for good beer. We didn't get a chance to try the Glacier brewpub - it was packed. The Captain Cook hotel was very nice and had a great view. Doing the tour after the cruise worked out better for us. The train ride from Anchorage to Denali was painful. It took forever to get there and the seating was cramped. If we had taken the train before the cruise it would have put a damper on the rest of the trip. The Denali lodge was horrible. The rooms were easily the worst we stayed in on any trip we have taken. Paper thin walls and cheap furnishings. We could hear the people on either side of us snoring and if they were moving around at all we could hear it. There were not many food choices there either. The best option is to go across the street and get breakfast/coffee/dinner/beer over there instead of at the lodge. They offer a $14 breakfast buffet or a muffin and coffee - that's it. I'm not eating $14 worth of food for breakfast. We ate at the Salmon Bake twice and got coffee across the street. We also booked a white water rafting trip at Denali Outdoor Center and had a great time. I would recommend this one even though the water was fast and 36 degrees. They gave us drysuits so we were not cold or wet at the end. Our package included a 5 hour 15 mile bus trip into the park. There was no way I was sitting for 5 hours on a bus to only go 15 miles into the park. The desk at the lodge was pushing the upgrade to the Tundra tour. We passed on that and went to the visitors center and traded our tour tickets for a shuttle pass. The shuttle buses go a lot further into the park and have experienced and knowledgeable drivers. They stopped for wildlife sightings and made the trip fun. I would recommend not buying a tour from Princess and getting a shuttle pass instead. We rode with the somewhat famous John Allen. The bus to Fairbanks was ok. The driver stopped at Parks Monument which is really a rock on the side of the highway - nothing to see here folks. It could have been skipped since there was nothing there and we were almost into Fairbanks by that time. Fairbanks was a nice little town. Our room at the Bear Lodge was nice and it had 2 good places to eat within walking distance - Ichiban Noodle and Geraldo's. Both were very good. We took the riverboat tour and this was fun. We saw Lance Mackey and Susan Butcher's dog camp and got to see how the natives lived. It was a long and fun trip. I took 10 gigs of photos and videos.We saw glaciers, whales, moose, caribou, musk ox, bears, eagles, owls, seals, sea otters and learned a lot about the culture of the natives. I would do a few things different if I cruise to Alaska again but we enjoyed it overall. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
We are a family of three, 40's with a teenage son. This was our sixth cruise. We have previously sailed on Princess, Holland America, and Norwegian Cruise Lines. Our Panama Canal cruise on the Coral Princess from LA to FLL 03/09/09 ... Read More
We are a family of three, 40's with a teenage son. This was our sixth cruise. We have previously sailed on Princess, Holland America, and Norwegian Cruise Lines. Our Panama Canal cruise on the Coral Princess from LA to FLL 03/09/09 was fantastic! We were fortunate to have great weather and calm seas the entire trip. Having CCL (Carnival Cruise Line) shares we were able to take advantage of the On Board Credit of $250 for a 14 day cruise with Princess. The OBC was easily obtained after the final payment was made. We flew into LAX the day before and stayed at the Crown Plaza LA Harbor. It is a great location, with enough things to do and plenty of restaurants within walking distance. Crown Plaza's free shuttle took us to the Cruise Terminal the morning of our cruise. The embarkation was very organized and fast, once the previous passengers were all disembarked. Once on board, we made our way to the buffet for lunch, being some of the first on board it wasn't busy at all. After lunch and a little walk to get acquainted with the ship, we made our way to our balcony mini-suite state room C727. This was a wonderful room. We were the last aft balcony on the starboard side. This room could sleep four. There was a bed that came down from the ceiling and the sofa could be made into a bed. There was lots of room for the 3 of us. Our balcony had 4 chairs and a table. The balcony was exposed on 3 sides. We unpacked our luggage, (there was tons of storage and closet areas) and met our room steward. Alvin introduced himself to us and asked if we would like some champagne. Wonderful! After getting our room setup we were off to purchase our Couples Thermo Suite passes for DW and myself, a discount and limited capacity first day only. DS purchased his internet minutes, extra 40 minutes if purchased first day then registered with teen program. The teen room was extremely well equipped. We chose anytime dining as it works best for us. We had our dinners in the Bordeaux dining room usually when it opened at 5:30pm. A table for 4 was always available for us. After a few evenings of trying different tables and waiters, the maitre'ds knew our preferences. We took advantage of Princesses bring your own wine policy. Some nights we arrived for dinner with a glass of wine, or a bottle of wine without a problem. On a few occasions we purchased a bottle from their reasonable selection. Celebrating a wedding anniversary on this cruise, we enjoyed anniversary balloons, heart shaped towel animals, and acknowledgement from the staff close to us. We were up early every morning and in the gym using the very adequate weight machines and free weights. Then a few miles around the promenade deck and off to the Thermo Suite for a steam sauna. Breakfasts were either on the balcony with room service or something quick from the Horizon Court buffet and taken out to the pool area. Huatulco - We taxied to La Entrega beach and snorkeled with our own equipment. There is a nice reef with numerous fish. We rented a Jet-Ski for half an hour. We sampled a few Cervezas, fresh homemade tortillas and guacamole, and local mescal. Ah heaven! Wish we could have stayed longer. Guatemala - What an experience! We booked Princesses "Antigua on your own" bus ride to Antigua. Armed with my own map of all the sites to see, we negotiated a tour with a driver of a three wheeled Baja taxi called a Tuk-Tuks, for an hour. What fun! Photo opportunities galore! Great restaurants are also to be found for lunch, as we discovered. After lunch we negotiated a ride with a horse and carriage operator, who showed us some hotel restaurant establishments. Nicaragua - We booked a private tour with Va Pues tours to climb Cerro Negro Volcano, have lunch, and tour the city of Leon. With all the volcanoes in Nicaragua, I think it's a must. The climb was over an hour. The descent took minutes. It was one of our most wonderful and amazing tours! Fantastic tour guides and tour, I can't say enough. As a side bar, we were talking to some gentlemen outside the gates of the pier, who are offering tours. There are many things to do and the prices are good, if you are the active type. Would love to go back! Do not be afraid of the country. The people are marvelous. Costa Rica - We took a tour through Princess "Corobochi River Float w/ Lunch". Level 1-2 rapids. We saw monkeys, crocodiles, various birds, iguanas and other animals that our guide was very quick to point out and was also very knowledgeable. Panama Canal - All day site seeing and you don't have to leave the ship. I read "The Path between the Seas' before the cruise. This gave me a great appreciation as to what was involved in building the canal. Cartegena - due to Gas Turbine problems on board, this port was missed. Princess gave every passenger $100.00 OBC. Good for Princess, as this has happed before to us, (other cruise lines) and the refunds haven't been as good. Aruba - Due to missing time in Cartegena, Princess gave us more time in Aruba. Yahoo! We booked a catamaran sail & snorkel with lunch through Princess. We snorkeled overtop of the sunken German tanker, "Antilles". This was a rush! We did some snorkeling near a beach, and then had lunch at Pelican Pier. There were many shows every evening, catering to various tastes. We attended a few comedy shows, the galley tour, wine tasting, also participated in numerous sports, pool and stage entertainment. It was all enjoyable. Disembarkation was the easiest we've experienced. We chose express disembarkation and carried our own bags off. We had a quick breakfast and we were amongst the first off and through customs in less than half an hour. A short $12.00 taxi to the FLL airport and we were on our way. Summary - The dinners in the Bordeaux dining room were excellent. The waiters were "excelente". Our favorite table was #30 with waiters Juan Carlos and Ricardo. The room service breakfasts were on time and adequate. Room stewards were friendly and attentive. We stayed away from the buffet as much as possible. (do not enjoy the atmosphere) We also avoid all the aggressive sales techniques on board, and the usual tourist shops in port. We enjoyed the more out of the way ports, and had our best cruise as of yet. Read Less
Coral Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
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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