3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We booked in Club Class, mini suite, so private small area for eating, with decayed staff, very nice. room was located near elevators, helpful. ship is old, 2002. so rust everywhere. food inconsistent. one day tasty, one day, inedible. ... Read More
We booked in Club Class, mini suite, so private small area for eating, with decayed staff, very nice. room was located near elevators, helpful. ship is old, 2002. so rust everywhere. food inconsistent. one day tasty, one day, inedible. like last breakfast, pancakes were bricks. eggs great. service perfect and friendly. eating in buffet, horizon, is quick, but food quality sad. good views. we liked priority boarding with club class. got on earlier and quicker. worth it. room was roomier too for private time. balcony was not kept up. chairs dirty, not cleaned. ship was ok, but needs major overhaul. and install showers, I am only 5'11" and hit head in shower. laundry was ok, costs, $8 for wash/dry/soap, was told it was free. entertainment for broadway musical type shows excellent. comedians were good too. if you like trivia games, it's offered all the time. we traveled with 18 relatives, and enjoyed it all together. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I traveled with 3 other relatives, ranging in age from 53 - 75 yrs. old. We wanted to go to Alaska and see the glaciers along with the totems and the scenery. We all had a great time, though it also helped that our weather was nearly ... Read More
I traveled with 3 other relatives, ranging in age from 53 - 75 yrs. old. We wanted to go to Alaska and see the glaciers along with the totems and the scenery. We all had a great time, though it also helped that our weather was nearly perfect the whole trip. This was the 1st time on a cruise ship for all of us and we were leery if it would meet our expectations, if we would be bored, not like the food, and so on. What a shock! The ship gives you so many options of things to do from educational to entertainment to spa treatments, if you have a bad time it's your own fault. I did everything I possibly could that was offered while onboard to learn about Alaska. And I did alot of excursions when we off the ship. The food was good and they would switch up the menu, the rooms were clean, the bed was comfortable, every employee was extremely polite, everything was very well organized from getting on to getting off. It was a great experience. I loved it and so did my relatives! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
This was my first time on a cruise. Embarkation was organized and quick, as we entered the boat we felt the energy and fun that awaits us. Our room door was decorated with balloons to help celebrate my buddy’s birthday as well as a card ... Read More
This was my first time on a cruise. Embarkation was organized and quick, as we entered the boat we felt the energy and fun that awaits us. Our room door was decorated with balloons to help celebrate my buddy’s birthday as well as a card placed in the room for her with a special treat at the dinning room. Everyone was so wonderful and happy to serve with a smile. They worked hard to make sure are stay was as pleasant as could be The food was outstanding, one will never go hungry there 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Alaska was the 50th state to visit. The Coral Princess was a perfect size ship. We also like the itinerary and number of days for the cruise and land tour. Our cabin was very nice and clean and our steward, Toffy, was very attentive. ... Read More
Alaska was the 50th state to visit. The Coral Princess was a perfect size ship. We also like the itinerary and number of days for the cruise and land tour. Our cabin was very nice and clean and our steward, Toffy, was very attentive. We chose the early seating for dining which was perfect. Our wait staff, Gary and his assistant, were wonderful and remembered what we had ordered from previous days (even when we changed seats with our friends at the table.). We enjoyed the variety of food both at the sit down meals and the buffet lines. The Alaska North talks were interesting; however, one person read his notes which told me he wasn’t that well informed. Our favorite part of the cruise was College Fjord and the views along with wildlife. We had a balcony which added so much to our experience. We could sit outside and watch the scenery and the wildlife. One day I went to Lotus Spa for a facial. This was my most disappointing part of the cruise! I found out Lotus Spa is not Princess owned. I booked online before we left home and the price listed was not what I was charged. They said the facial I booked they did not offer so I was upgraded....yes, money upgraded also. I complained and was reimbursed for the overcharge. The technician was very good! I had a good experience with Hemna. BUT Princess should not list a certain procedure with a price that is not accurate. Very disappointing. I even complained to the Passenger Service Desk and suggested the ship check their facts before listing on extra things they offer. The train to Denali was outstanding. We saw Denali which was amazing. The Denali Princess Lodge was nice and the Wilderness Tundra tour was exceptional. Our guide/driver was so knowledgeable and told us about the park, wildlife, and landscape for 9 hours. This tour was well worth the cost! Whenever he or we saw wildlife or something interesting, he would stop the bus for a closer look. It was a cloudy day so we only saw a portion of Denali during this tour, but thank goodness we did get our view the day before. I encourage others to take this cruise! 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose to transit the Panama Canal a second time because we joined a group of 42 ballroom dance students with their teachers and to see the new channel. We had eight sea days with 15 private group lessons. It kept us busy and physically ... Read More
We chose to transit the Panama Canal a second time because we joined a group of 42 ballroom dance students with their teachers and to see the new channel. We had eight sea days with 15 private group lessons. It kept us busy and physically and mentally active as we are beginners compared to other students. We are platinum level with at 10 cruises with Princess and ten with various other lines. Embarkation in SF was swift and easy. No long lines. We were there at 12:15pm. We had an ocean view cabin on Deck 8. Our room was ready when we arrived. The shower was one of the smallest but we managed. One complaint was the bed was lumpy and not as firm as we liked. Our request for robes was honored later in the evening but was stained and quite "ratty". My friends next door received unclean robes and requested new ones. I usually wipe down areas of the cabin with Lysol wipes. This time, it appeared slightly dirty. I don't blame our steward. He has 19 cabins to handle alone. In the early days, the stewards had assistants. Now they are rushed. They generally keep the cabins tidy and freshened. I notice that the shower curtain was beginning to smell moldy and I am allergic to mold. The bottom was turning pink from mold. The steward changed it and said they change it every two weeks. I think they should change after each passenger leaves even if before two weeks because the shower is so small. Our bed linens were nice but our pillows weren't that good. TV remote was awkward to use. Hard to find channels. Public areas: The gym was a good size with newest equipment. They didn't have a morning stretch class. Liked the laundry rooms and the token system. Best thing ever for long cruises. The Coral Princess production shows were very good and had great singers eg. Stephen and dancers. On previous cruises on Princess, I had stopped going to the production shows because the singers were awful. I enjoyed the contract musicians, e.g. David Klingkenberg and the comedians, Gary Delina and Doug Funk. Rhapsody dance band was excellent. The cruise director Martin and his staff were hardworking and he and his staff were all over the ship. Limited egress was a problem with Princess Theater. Other ships have multiple exits for the crowd to disperse. Food: pastries always a great selection and too tempting. Breakfast, enjoyed chicken congee and oatmeal and fruits. Smoked salmon was not available everyday. Lunch: soups too salty. Usually found something good to eat but in general, Chinese food was subpar. Try and find someone to cook decent buffet Chinese /Asian food. One good item was the butterfly shrimp. Main dining room for lunch was great but we were usually in a hurry to dance class so couldn't go often. Dinner: They always had some great food options for dinner. They had Mongolian stir fry but I didn't try it. Outdoor grill had excellent chicken breast sandwich. Pizza and other hamburgers and hotdogs were good. Sabatini's pizza was the best. Fish and chips at pub lunch was very good. Our wait staff at Bordeaux Dining were excellent. Cheers to Lorena and Yan, the assistant. Disembarkation was horrible. All the public rooms were crowded and over capacity. Elite lounges were overflowing too. Need a new system. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Was very excited to go to Columbia, Panama, and Costa Rica. The Coral Princess is an older ship and the cabin bathroom was unbelievably small. The Cabin and restaurant serving staffs were excellent, friendly, and professional. The front ... Read More
Was very excited to go to Columbia, Panama, and Costa Rica. The Coral Princess is an older ship and the cabin bathroom was unbelievably small. The Cabin and restaurant serving staffs were excellent, friendly, and professional. The front desk Passenger staff was not. Twice we were given the wrong information and missed a function entirely. The food was good, and there were several wine tastings that were fun also. The Excursions that were booked through Princess were great. Four were excellent with very knowledgeable guides, and the 5th was average but fun. I was VERY disappointed in the way children were allowed to scream, run, and jump all over furniture and passengers; you could NOT get away from their bad behavior. None of the Princess employees said anything to the parents or children; it was dangerous and horribly stressful. NOT AT ALL what I had planned a cruise for. Although I booked several Spa treatments, the Spa was not good either. It was a traffic thorough fare; no Sanctuary of tranquility and for the high price it should have been. There was noise and a constant barrage of people trying to sell you overpriced products. It did not even have a jacuzzi or pool for private Spa Customers. I do not plan on traveling Princess again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This was our third time on a Princess Cruise ship and our 21st cruise so far. The Coral Princess was a bit disappointing because of its “tired” look and feel in about 60% of the ship. The only reason we choose Princess for this ... Read More
This was our third time on a Princess Cruise ship and our 21st cruise so far. The Coral Princess was a bit disappointing because of its “tired” look and feel in about 60% of the ship. The only reason we choose Princess for this cruise was the itinerary and the fact that our good friends were also joining their children who took a similar cruise on their honeymoon 10 years ago. The good parts were the size of the mini-suite and the amount of storage space in the room. Although the rooms are indeed looking a bit tired, we did have a very comfortable mattress. The Universe Lounge, Wheelhouse Bar, Explorer’s Lounge and Sabatini’s all looked like they were either fairly new or just refurbished. The Universe Lounge was a very nice place to relax and the Bayou Show was terrific. There was one nice thing in the Horizon Court Buffet, it you like your eggs made to order, you place your order and they give you a ticket with a number. You give this ticket to one of the roaming table waiters and they bring you your eggs! No waiting in line. This is a great idea. The bad parts were not all that bad but could have been much better. We had no hot water in our room (D506) on the first day but once we reported this to our room steward, the problem was corrected! The Horizon Court Buffet was adequate but we missed the little things like no skim milk by the coffee, (you had to get it back by the cereal which was the other end of the room!). No sandwich station at lunch, what’s up with that? Not enough seating – always a problem at the buffet. The elevators were another source of confusion. Only one set of elevators went to most floors. They also block the use of the central elevators during embarkation and disembarkation at ALL ports. All very confusing to the point of folks on the last day still saying, “how do I get there from here?”. The scenic cruising to Yakutat Bay and Glacier Bay were two of the highlights of the cruise. Having the park rangers aboard the ship while in Glacier Bay was a nice touch. The excursions we choose were all fairly expensive but well worth the money, in my opinion. If you get the chance to go whale watching and to Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, take it. I would also highly recommend the nature walk and crab feast in Ketchikan. The White Pass train ride from Skagway was also full of beautiful scenery and breathtaking vistas. We also booked a hotel for two nights and an all day excursion to Vancouver Island, Butchart Gardens and Victoria. The hotel was the Four Seasons and that was simply top notch in every way. The excursion was a bit of a hassle at first since Princess made a typo on the reservation letter they gave us when we got to the hotel. The date they had printed was for our departure day and NOT the following day as it should have been. It took a few hours before they realized that it was a typo but it finally was corrected. I would suggest that anyone planning to book this post-cruise hotel and excursion, check with Princess before you leave home to confirm that they have the correct information. The excursion itself was great but a very long day. It started at 8:45 AM when we boarded the bus. We then stopped at 4 other hotels to pick up a handful of other passengers. From there the bus drove 45 minutes to the ferry port where we proceeded to board the ferry (on the bus). Once loaded we were free to leave the bus and roam the ferry which was very large. They had a full cafeteria and buffet lunch/dinner as well as a small snack bar. The ferry ride was an hour and 35 minutes. We then boarded the bus and drove to Butchart Gardens which was about 40 minutes away. We had two hours in the Gardens, if you get the chance to see this, don’t miss it. The bus then took us to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. The city itself is pretty magnificent and very European. After an hour and a half here we got back on the bus to drive back to the ferry terminal, which was about 50 minutes away, to catch the 7:00 PM ferry. The ferry ride back was another hour and 35 minutes so we returned to Vancouver around 8:50 PM. This time we were the first hotel stop so we arrived back at the hotel by around 9:30 PM roughly 13 hours after we left. We now had to get up at 5:00 AM to catch our flight home. A very long day! All-in-all I would rate this cruise somewhere in the middle of the 21 cruises we’ve taken to date. Certainly not the best or the worst but glad we did it. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
I have only taken three cruises in the past though I've traveled extensively by air and auto. I went on this cruise alone (for privacy and paid the premium), and had a single inside stateroom, as part of a group of 30-40 people ... Read More
I have only taken three cruises in the past though I've traveled extensively by air and auto. I went on this cruise alone (for privacy and paid the premium), and had a single inside stateroom, as part of a group of 30-40 people particpating in a conference. The most noticeable feature of this cruise is that its like being in an assisted living home. The average age was well over 65 and you encounter people in wheelchairs, walkers and with oxygen tanks around every corner. Very few children and hardly any 20-40 year olds. That said, it was quiet by 9pm, not crowded, and I met some very interesting people with a wealth of life experience. Here's a recap. 1. Flew from home to Ft Lauderdale and stayed the night before at the Comfort Inn & suites near the port. Perfect choice, CVS Pharmacy next door was handy for last minute shampoo, bug spray and suntan lotion. 2. Used Princess transport to/from airport. This was very convenient as they shepharded me through embarkation and disembarkation and it was very smooth and efficient. I had to take the hotel shuttle to the airport to meet them since I'd stayed the night before at the hotel. 3. Ship is in very good shape, AC was always comfortable and working on board, food was beautifully presented and appropriately sized servings for lunch and dinner in the dining rooms. I took a small plate for breakfast or buffets. There's no need to overeat. 4. The excursions I could have skipped except for the Panama Canal ferry through to the Pacific, which was worth every penny ($179), because I had the conference to go to that took up all my time when we were at sea. I would have liked to skip the smaller excursions and just enjoy relaxing around the ship. The excursions were well run with excellent knowledgable guides. 5. Panama Canal - This was one of my main reasons for going and it exceeded my expectations. I wa up at 4:45 am at the front of the ship on deck 11 where the guide was broadcasting all day. I had an unobstructed view of the approach and all the way through the locks to Gatun Lake. We transferred to a ferry to complete the transit through to the Pacific and then took a motorcoach bus back to the ship by land. Loud mouth group complained about everything, otherwise everyone seemed to enjoy it, though it was very warm and humid. We got back about 6:00 pm. 6. Our group was the 2nd reason I went on the cruise and the comraderie of being with like-minded individuals and sharing interests made the trip about something other than stuffing your face all day or getting tipsy. I would look for a group experience on any future cruise. 7. I didn't attend the entertainment and I wasn't with folks that talked much about it - it seemed that a lot of the older crowd went to bed after dinner. 8. The internet was way over priced and not worth it and I didn't use it though several in our group did and complained loud and long. I'd bought the Verizon international phone package ($40, 100 minutes, 100 texts, 100 MB data) and barely used it except while in port. Divorce yourself from being connected or use wi-fi in ports at easily accessible restaurants and cafes. The Princess on board was a closed wi-fi that had to be ON and manually checked to see if you had any messages. If it pushed messages to your native message app it would be useful for reaching others on board. I'ts going to be very different as all the baby boomers age and swell the ranks of all travel destinations. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Wife and I were traveling with our friends and both couples have cruised many times. We flew or waited to fly all day from Boston to MSP and then to Fairbanks. No problems just a very long day, perhaps I would spend a day in between next ... Read More
Wife and I were traveling with our friends and both couples have cruised many times. We flew or waited to fly all day from Boston to MSP and then to Fairbanks. No problems just a very long day, perhaps I would spend a day in between next time. From the get go all hotel accommodations were really nice, much better than anticipated. One thing I did notice in each place and port was the knowledge that things were closing up next week. This gave us the impression they were done with this for the season but we also found some good deals in the shops. Ship was clean and operating well. First real displeasure was for the first night they knew to place our traveling companions across the hall from us. From that point on they were a five minute walk from us. On board we were 603 (starboard side) and they were 602 (port side). This was also a walk to meet up with them. Originally they were not seated with us for dinner but was corrected easily. Our shore excursions were good. We did a photographic class excursion, which with better weather would have been excellent. Reminder to all going to Alaska, They do have RAIN in certain areas. Our trip rain was only a factor for one whole day, a few others had periodic showers. The trip to Whittier was fun. Train ride and bus ride the next day. The tunnel was a hoot. On the hour south bound traffic thru the tunnel and on the half hour it was north bound and if the train needed it all vehicle traffic ceased. The port, well it was a clean terminal. Let's face it Whittier is a good place to jump on the cruise ship, but I wouldn't want to visit it for very long. Guess that's why they do it this way. Also got to give them credit, I saw no long lines while going aboard. What kind of a review can you give a cabin on a cruise ship! Unless you save up and get an owners cabin, well they are pretty much the same. Very clean, Jesse made sure of that, and have all the needed functions. We did have a laundry 8 to 10 doors aft from us and we did make use of it. If you do shore excursions and are active and enjoy them you might get a little dirty in Alaska. Our food was great for the entire trip. Dining room or what I like to call the cattle call. But even this was not as bad this time. Very clean and don't take your eyes off that almost done plate as they whisk it away and clean the area. Finding a seat for four of us at times took a minute. The shows and comedians were typical for cruise lines. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed them and laughed my butt off. Our Naturalist was on stage almost every day with something interesting about our port of call or narrating what was outside the ship while we were going by. I have never gotten off a ship so easy as one we hit Vancouver. We walked from our room, met our friends, just found a seat in the lounge. They called our number and off we went. This was a very easy procedure. We were off the ship and in front of our hotel Ramada by 9:20 am. We spent Wednesday and Thursday there looking at the sites, and there was plenty. Stanley Park was still very much in bloom and the city was clean and friendly. Yaletown offered many good Restaurants and to mention one we went to Cactus for our anniversary. It is over a six block area so walk them and look at the menus before deciding. Our Alaska cruise/tour was a big hit. After editing the poor photos I ended up taking 1200. My wife was also shooting with her Nikon and must have the same. I would visit Alaska again but this time spending time in a few spots to see the excursions we didn't get to take. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
We sailed on the Coral Princess 7/8/15 to 7/15/15 northbound from Vancouver to Anchorage. We were in cabin C721, deck 10, starboard side, aft (3rd cabin from the back of the ship), in a mini suite. We are a family of 4, kids ages are 9 ... Read More
We sailed on the Coral Princess 7/8/15 to 7/15/15 northbound from Vancouver to Anchorage. We were in cabin C721, deck 10, starboard side, aft (3rd cabin from the back of the ship), in a mini suite. We are a family of 4, kids ages are 9 and 11. We had pre-pruchased our drink packages so our stickers were already on our key cards when we checked in at Canada place (handy to get a drink as soon as you board the ship). Our bags were taken at drop off, and delivered to our room, and you will go through customs before boarding the ship, buts it quick. I highly recommend purchasing a beverage package. They have several packages from just soda at $5.18/day to All inclusive alcohol, soda and coffee at $56.35/day. We got our kids the soda and more package $8.05/day which includes soda, milkshakes and mocktails and I'm pretty sure they lived on strawberry smoothies. My husband and I got the All-Inclusive package each and it was well worth it. Between a blended coffee in the morning, sodas during the day and a few drinks at night, plus bottled water its just worth it. Plan ahead, purchase ahead online and just include it as part of the cost of the trip. We prepaid our drinks and gratuities so at checkout our only cost was tours and additional gratuities we gave our waiters. The ship is smaller than some other grand class ship (or so we were told) but this being our second cruise, it’s the biggest ship we have been on. There were about 200 guests (or so we heard) that missed boarding due to the United Airlines computer glitch that grounded a lot of flights (plan to arrive a day ahead to be safe) but even once all passengers joined us it never felt crowded and there was always room to sit in any of the lounges, at the pool and in the buffet. The public areas are really big, even at events in the atrium it wasn't bad. There are three smoking areas on the ship, on deck 15 starboard forward (take the stairs up from Pizza), Deck 7 starboard aft (take the last doors out by the Universe lounge, turn left and its just on the left, and the Churchill Lounge on deck 7 in the atrium. If you don’t smoke, these areas are easy to avoid and since passengers are not allowed to smoke on their balconies I never smelled smoke from these areas or anywhere else on the ship. They give you a daily "patter" outside your room each day. This lists all the days activities, port times and glacier viewing times (when applicable). You can also get this for free on your smartphone by connecting to the wifi and going to coral.princess.com. From this app you can set up messaging to friends on the ship, look up times, check your balance etc. You can not access anything else without purchasing an internet package but its great to have this info with you around the ship. There are several bars and lounges on the ship. These is one off the atrium on decks 5, 6 and 7 open from different times, La Patisserie on deck 5 is open early so soda or an early cocktail, Calypso on deck 6 (which features an amazing piano player), Wheelhouse on deck 7 (my favorite, especially when Jacob DeCasper was playing - seriously he is AWESOME). There is the Explorers lounge also on deck 7 (bar opens after dinner) and then there are several outdoor bars on decks 14 and 15 outside. We had anytime dining in the Bourdaeu and we rarely had to wait more than 5 minutes for a table. They will ask you if you want to dine alone or with others. We did both and met some really awesome people. The later you go the longer it seems to take for food to come out, but the food is always good, and remember that you can order an appetizer portion of any main course if you just want to try it. They do offer a pub style lunch in the Bayou Café a couple times and its delish. We put out our card for breakfast every night and received coffee, danish and cereal every morning. If you need butter, creamer etc make sure you note it or they will not bring it! We also ate breakfast in the buffet which was great and in the provance dining room and both are great. Honestly for breakfast I prefer the variety of the buffet to the dining room. The shows are all cruise ship quality, we weren't huge fans of the comedian but he was fine, but we loved the magician and the ventriloquist. The "On the Bayou" show in the Universe Lounge is a cant miss, and the other musical productions are fun too. Although we signed our kids up for he kids club, there seemed to never be other kids in there of heir same age so they mostly stuck together and played on the sports decks. We participated in arts and crafts and game shows / trivial and had a blast. The naturalist Mark and rangers were great info during the glacier days and you don't need to run around the ship to get pics, if you have a balcony just hang out and wait till they turn the ship to your side. If you turn the TV to channel 41 you can hear the naturalist give info as you cruise by. Plan to be in your room (or a good spot outside) for Margerie Glacier as its not to be missed. Also if you are fortunate enough to have a visit from Libby Riddles (first femals to win the Iditarod) plan to be back on ship for it, well worth the time! In Ketchikan we took a cab to Potlatch / Titembite and took the bus back to town. If you time it right you can take the bus both ways for $1 per person. You can book a tour for this but I prefer to go alone to get better pics without all the crowds. In Junaeu we booked a helicopter Ice tour (through Panhandle Excursions) on Costal Helicopters and landed on Herbert Glacier, really amazing and In Skagway we went ziplining on a trou booked through princess. All are great little cities. When you arrive in Whittier you will need to book a transfer to get to Anchorage, we met a lot of people going to trail to Denali for another week, which sounded fun. Ok last but not least, things to bring: Power Strip if you need to charge more than 2 things at a time, dim night light (it stays light till after 11pm but still helpful), hair conditioner, first aid kit (just in case), lanyards (they will punch holes in your key card for you to wear on a lanyard, great for kids). It was really a great time. If you are planning to visit Alaska I can't stress enough to choose a cruise that includes both glacier bay and college fjord, these are both amazing places. This cruise is very diverse from families to couples, large groups and seniors. We mat a lot of awesome people and had a blast! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2013
Background: We planned this trip for a year in advance. 10 signed up and 2 dropped out due to a medical situation. Our initial contact was with Vacations To Go but we were disappointed in call-back responses so we dealt directly with ... Read More
Background: We planned this trip for a year in advance. 10 signed up and 2 dropped out due to a medical situation. Our initial contact was with Vacations To Go but we were disappointed in call-back responses so we dealt directly with Princess and were glad we did so, traveling from the East Coast left too much room for problems and we wanted the Princess "assurances", even though another, earlier, booking experience with VTG was fine. The Princess booking people were a pleasure to deal with. We used Princess Air and all of us got on the same planes. Our only hitch was that we found on our own, without any notice from Princess, that our return flight was booked into Dulles, not BWI as we had signed up for (lesson: keep checking your itinerary). One key element in this cruise was the desire to be able to have adjoining cabins with interconnecting balconies, which was a big selling point for our group and we were able to do that on Coral Princess, so everyone was pleased with that. More on the cabin arrangements later, but a balcony cabin is almost a must for this cruise. Arrival in Anchorage: We flew into Ted Stevens Intl. Airport. We were greeted warmly by Princess reps. Our bus was waiting for transfer to Cpt. Cook Hotel. Baggage was handled efficiently and ALL of it went to the hotel. We boarded and were off for about a 45 min. ride into Anchorage with some good commentary along the way. Capt. Cook Hotel: One of several in downtown Anchorage, which is more cosmopolitan than we imagined. Arriving around 9 p.m. (still daylight) we were tired from a long trip and hungry. We went to the rooftop "Crow's Nest" restaurant with a great view. However, that restaurant does not allow shorts, flip flops, or hats. We found the staff in it somewhat condescending. We had a drink in the "Nest" and went to Fletcher's on the ground floor where the food selection was much better and the staff eager and accommodating. The room in the hotel was very nice, not extravagant. The one issue with this leg of the trip was that our bags were to be tagged with "Meet Me Onboard" or "Keep With Me" luggage tags and NOT placed in the hall the night before, but left in the vestibule to the room which the porter would enter around 7 am the next morning to retrieve. We got up early to make sure all was in order and not be surprised by his arrival. Leave plenty of time for breakfast as the hotel lobby restaurant was mobbed and the service was slow. We walked around Anchorage the morning of our departure. Mosquitoes (it was very mild) were an issue down near the waterfront, but the downtown area is nice. We saw our luggage loaded on to trucks for transport to McKinley lodge (not on the bus) and to Whittier, for the ship, then ate our breakfast and boarded our motor coach for McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge in Talkeetna. Arrival at McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge and Talkeetna: The bus trip of about 2.5 hours from Anchorage to Talkeetna went quickly. Nadine. our driver, provided great commentary. Views of the countryside were excellent. On arrival at the Lodge, our luggage had not yet been delivered, but it was promised soon. Again, a lot of mosquitoes (some said it was the worst in the last 40 years due to the mild weather with temps in the 70s and 80s F). A fabulous view of Mt. McKinley greets you at the lodge. New arrivals crowd the deck in the back for views of the mountain. Our room was spartan, but neat, with a tv, desk and a fan since there is no air conditioning in the rooms. We could have used the a/c but the fan proved enough. The staff at the Lodge was pleasant and answered questions. The Lodge operates a shuttle into Talkeetna, since the Lodge is about 45 mins. outside of town. The shuttles run throughout the day and into the early evening and are free, except for gratuities. Our first experience with "Roy" was not too pleasant as the a/c on the bus went out and it became very warm inside. After arrival at the bus "turnaround", we walked through the town. The women did some shopping and the men went to Denali Brewing Company where the food was good and the beer excellent and cold and we were subsequently joined by the women. Talkeetna Air Taxi Excursion to Ruth Glacier at Mt. McKinley. This was not booked through Princess. The air trip and the glacier landing was a FABULOUS experience. The staff was warm, welcoming, and competent. It takes a bit of an easy walk from the town center to the airpark. Once at TAT, you are weighed and given boots to protect your feet from the slushy snow on the glacier. Sunglasses are a must and TAT will provide them if you don't have them. Trent was our pilot and he advised he had a lot of hours on multiple aircraft and was fully certified. To say this was a breathtaking excursion would be putting it mildly. The weather was perfect - clear skies and great visibility. Trent remarked that the weather is not often like it was that day since the Mountain generates its own weather. Anyway, we landed smoothly on Ruth Glacier. No one needed a jacket even though we had them with us. Long sleeve wicking material and a tee shirt over it (we were our Ravens' shirts) was sufficient with a pair of jeans. We stayed on the glacier for about 20 to 30 minutes and then smoothly took off. Trent took us over "Moose Meadow" where we spotted some of them grazing. Our flight back to Talkeetna and landing were smooth and uneventful. Do not miss this type of excursion if you can help it. (Note: We learned after our return that another TAT pilot's plane and passengers suddenly got "fogged in" while on the Glacier. News accounts stated that the passengers spent about 2 days on the plane, which carries emergency supplies and sleeping bags, on the glacier with additional emergency supplies delivered by rangers who hiked in. The lesson is not to take this excursion for granted.) Dining in Talkeetna. There are not a lot of restaurants in Talkeetna, as you might expect, but what's there is very good. In addition to our lunch at Denali Brewing Company, we ate at West Rib (site of the tv show episode of Man vs. Food for its giant burger) for dinner after our TAT flight and were served by Trent's girlfriend and a charming and pretty young woman. The next morning we had a great breakfast at Roadhouse, which truly is a Roadhouse, with accommodations for day hikers, etc. Alaska Railroad's Denali Express: Our "Keep With Me" luggage was placed outside our door in the a.m. and picked up for transport to the railroad. The rail trip was a great experience. Different cruise lines have different cars. We were in the last car. They are double deck with the dining area below and seating on top. The panorama is great. You sit at a table on the top level and have plenty of room to spread out at your table which fits 4 comfortably. The trip takes about 4.5 hours after about a half hour ride to the train depot. Our coach supervisor, "Zach", kept the trip interesting. The service was great. You are assigned a time to eat lunch but you can "defer" your time until a later point if you are not yet hungry, but at some point dining service stops. The food served is soup and sandwiches, but it was very good. Upstairs and down in the rail car you can have beer, soft drinks or mixed drinks. The bartender has "specialty" cocktails available. All of this is paid for at the end of the trip by credit card. We had no issues with the rail car travel at all - it was a pleasant experience. Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge: Again, this Lodge is Spartan but nice. The dining here is limited. The area across the street is rather "honky tonk" but a number of people were seen going over there for liquor or food at Subway and another restaurant. The bar at the Lodge serves food which is fairly reasonably price and seats a large number of people both outside and in. There is a pizza parlor on the site which we did not use. The view from the bar's dining area is fabulous. Again, mosquitoes were an issue outside. The King Salmon dining was "overpriced" in our opinion. The main lodge area has a snack bar and the ever present gift shop. Get to the snack bar early on the morning of any excursion as it becomes "mobbed" and you might miss departure. Be warned that the Visitors Center at the Park and the Wilderness Center are not easy walks from the Lodge as we were led to believe. It's about 3 miles to the Visitor Center on foot. Kantishna Experience: We were up early to take this excursion, grabbed a bite at the snack bar and boarded a bus to the Denali National Park Wilderness Center. Tours of Denali depart from there. Watch the excursion you book as this one goes all the way into Denali and turns around to head back out. It is a long day but a great trip. We heard that the partial trip into the Park was not as enjoyable. Our driver, Don, spoke the entire length of the trip, save for brief times when he had to negotiate traffic on switchbacks. The buses are not air conditioned and do not have bathrooms on them but there are frequent rest stops. We saw the "Big Five" game in the Park and additional wildlife. Photographers were living a dream. The bus provides a "bag" lunch of snacks and drinks with plenty to keep hunger at bay. At the end of the trip, a Park Ranger boards the bus for the final leg into Mirror Lake and to tell the fascinating tale of Fannie Quiqley. Again, this is a long day but highly recommended if you wish to see all Denali has to offer. Don said that only about 10% of all the visitors to Denali see what we saw on that day. It was great. Denali to Whittier: Our final day of the Cruise Tour was marked by a 8 hour or so bus trip from Denali to Whittier. Our driver, Bob, provided great commentary. Frankly, the time passes quickly. We were so tired from our land adventures we slept most of the way. But if you don't think you'll sleep, bring lots to do. To get to the port at Whittier you will pass through the Anton Anderson Tunnel, only one way each hour and your coach's arrival is scheduled so it has to be on time or else you might miss the ship's departure. There is a brief stopover in Anchorage on the way to Whittier where you can buy some liquor in accordance with Princess rules to bring onboard. The Coral Princess: We were one of the first buses to arrive. Embarkation went smoothly and continued for others throughout the afternoon. The ship looked to be in fine shape with no showing of excessive wear and tear. As promised, our travel companions and we had adjacent cabins. Also, as promised, doors on the balcony opened to allow all the balconies to flow as one and we could move freely between our cabins. We were on the Emerald deck on the starboard side, which I would recommend to anyone going Southbound because on our trip the prevailing winds coming over the port side made for colder and windier conditions than the starboard. We found our cabin steward to be pleasant and provided good service. We only attended one show which was comedy and pretty good but very short (an hour at most). We enjoyed a movie on deck on several nights. We would not recommend the dining room for breakfast, we found the buffet had a greater selection and the service in the dining room for breakfast did not merit using it. Plus, the view was better. When we arrived on board we cancelled a helicopter glacier landing since we had already done that and thought our prior experience with Talkeetna Air Taxi could not be topped. Our dining experiences in the Bordeaux Dining Room were just superb. The food was good and our server was excellent. A nice feature from Princess is a kiosk near the service desk on the main deck that allows you to check your bill each day. We had no children with us but I do not think this is child's type of trip. We did not see many children on board. Hubbard Glacier: We could not see this stop on the trip as we were fogged out of Yakutat Bay with much ice floating in the water. The Captain apologize for this but felt it just unwise to proceed for safety reasons. It was creepy moving through the waters in the fog with ice floating by and the fog horn sounding. Shades of "Titanic". Glacier Bay: Here we had a great visit and the Captain spent much time in the Bay and he maneuvered the ship marvelously to allow those on both sides of the ship a view of the Marjerie and Grand Pacific Glaciers, as well as some "lesser known" such as Johns Hopkins (which we did not maneuver around but passed going and coming). The weather was perfect. Skagway: Having cancelled our helicopter trip over the Chillkoot Mountains we opted for a walking trip to White Pass Gardens, which was beautiful, then walked back into town to eat at Skagway Brewing Company, doing some shopping, and hitting The Red Onion for a drink before returning to the ship. Skagway can become very crowded on certain days of the week with multiple ships in port. Watch out, we were told, for long lines on those days which I believe were M-W. Juneau: Here we got a close up shot of an eagle AND a close up view of whales with a calf on the Whale Watching and Wildlife Quest run by Allen Marine Tours (Princess Excursion). Our boat for the Quest was big, very comfortable seating (airplane like) with lots of viewing area and with a bar with snacks. Be prepared for the wind up top if you go and dress warmly even if the day is warm. The commentary on the trip was superb. We walked the town, went to the Heritage Center (but did not go in due to limited time) and passed on the Roberts tram which is very expensive to ride. Ketichikan: We ended our trip with a great excursion with Backcountry Zodiac Expedition. Jeff, our guide was wonderful and it is an experience that can be shared with young and old alike. All gear is provided for the trip. The Zodiacs are fun to drive and easy to do so. A more comprehensive review of this great excursion (also through Princess) is posted on Tripadvisor as the vendor requested. Disembarkation: This went smoothly. We boarded buses for Vancouver Intl. Airport at the dock and waited for several hours until our plane was ready to go. The plane ride was pleasant and uneventful. In summary, this is a very active Cruise Tour but a great experience. If you have good weather, as we did, and you allow Princess to give you some peace of mind as to your travels, it is a wonderful experience. All of group shed tears remembering it. A true "bucket list" voyage. Bon Voyage!   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
This was a "family" vacation with members ranging from 5 to 65 in our party. I found this ship to be "average" with a couple of odd observations. First, there is NO bar or lounge where anyone can watch TV. Not ... Read More
This was a "family" vacation with members ranging from 5 to 65 in our party. I found this ship to be "average" with a couple of odd observations. First, there is NO bar or lounge where anyone can watch TV. Not an issue until there is a major sporting event that part of your group HAS to see. (On this trip it was the Womens World Cup championships.) Not only was it not available in any bar or lounge, but not even on TV's in rooms. While not a big deal for me, it certainly was for other members of our party. (And considering the numbers of people asking at the front desk, others also.) The second oddity was the lack of a club/disco for the younger set. This was the first ship I have ever sailed on that had no dedicated "club" for the "20 something" set. (There was an open lounge that was "converted" at 10 PM, but it was a joke according to my son/daughter/nephew.) I do realize that Alaska cruises attract an older clientele, BUT... Aside from that, Princess does do most things right. Food was "on par" with most other mass market lines, service was excellent, everything was clean, well kept and presented well. The only negative was the bar service in the Wheelhouse lounge, where the wait staff spent more time chatting among themselves than helping customers. (Having said THAT, the Wheelhouse lounge itself was a wonderful place, open, cozy, and with wonderful entertainment.) As far as the cruise itself goes, excellent. Considering the size of Ketchikan, Skagway, and even Juneau, the ports were not mobbed, and there were a number of excellent excursions available. (I could go on for hours on the 10 hr train excursion in Skagway.... but lets just say it far exceeded expectations.) In closing, Princess provided what it claimed to, in a comfortable, relaxed way. Lots of kids (and BTW I am told by the two parents in our group that the Kids program was spectacular.) but few unattached college age types. Like most of my Princess experiences (There have been 4) I leave with few horrible, OR Spectacular memories OF THE SHIP. (The itinerary, location, and scenery were spectacular.) Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
By H Cato: This was our first major cruise, and it was great. We were a group of 11 people, including a couple from Denmark. To start with, through no fault of Princess Cruise Line, as each family had arranged their own booking, there was ... Read More
By H Cato: This was our first major cruise, and it was great. We were a group of 11 people, including a couple from Denmark. To start with, through no fault of Princess Cruise Line, as each family had arranged their own booking, there was a mix up in our dinner seating, with some seated in "Traditional Dining, and some in "Anytime Dining", but after the first dinner, with the expert guidance of the maitre'd , this was straightened out, with us getting a table for our whole party of 11, in the "Dine Anytime" dining room, receiving special attention from the headwaiter, and our table waiter Adi, who took the time to explain the different dishes on the menu, and the wine steward, who made certain that no glass was empty. With 5 birthdays and one graduation, being celebrated, we had no shortage of special cakes with candles. With the variety selection on the menu, each meal was an adventure in it self. As for the staterooms, I did hear anything, but praise from the rest of our party, one cabin steward even folded towels into animal figures, for myself, we weer three in our cabin (B-503), I do not remember the cabin stewards name, but service was explicit, from straightening out the cabin in the morning, while we were at breakfast, to turning down the beds, with a chocolate, in the evening, with everything else in between. We even experienced a deep sea rescue, of which, one in our party, was able to get some excellent video clips. the whole operation, was carried out with great professionalism. As entertainment tastes vary, our whole group were very happy, the bar servers were very friendly. In all we had a very enjoyable cruise, and looking forward to the next one, which, for us is coming up, with a short, repositioning cruise, Los Angeles to Vancouver, 3 days in May, on, you guessed it, the "Coral Princess".. 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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