Sail Date: February 2019
We wanted a winter cruise to warmer climes and a chance to transit the Panama Canal. Pros: -Our Coral Princess cabin was very quiet and comfortable, entirely adequate. The Promenade Deck was a delight, great place to walk, nice ... Read More
We wanted a winter cruise to warmer climes and a chance to transit the Panama Canal. Pros: -Our Coral Princess cabin was very quiet and comfortable, entirely adequate. The Promenade Deck was a delight, great place to walk, nice deck chairs to relax in, great viewing of the Panama Canal. -Dinners in the main dining room were outstanding. Had seafood virtually every meal, the staff was fantastic. -The Theatre entertainment was also outstanding. Great shows, highly professional, not to be missed. Cons: -Abusive prices for wines purchased on board in the main dining rooms. Outrageous! -Stern Serenity Area: $20/half day!!! Seriously?! -Lido Deck Hamburgers & Pizza - awful, don't bother. Worst we have ever had. -Breakfast sausage - greasy! -Food selections in the Horizons Cafe quite limited except for salads. -Far too few port stops on this cruise, far too many days at sea for length of cruise. One port stop (Nicaragua) was cancelled due to rough weather. -No self serve of beverages except water, tea, coffee. Even lemonade is by special request! -Internet service is hardly worth paying for, marginal at best. -On-board smart phone messaging between passengers about like Windows 95. Terrible, no sound alerts, often had to be re-loaded, re-booted, exasperating! -Main doors to Promenade deck, Lido Deck, Sun Deck, Horizons Cafe are very heavy wooden things that require a huge effort for most people. Great place to transfer germs, they feel sticky and will knock you down if you are not prepared. The should be automatic! -Overall the ship had a very "Stodgy" feel and atmosphere. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise to go through the Panama Canal and it ended in San Francisco which is home for us. The ship, Coral Princess, had been in dry dock for 12 days prior to our cruise and the contractors were not finished with the upgrades ... Read More
We chose this cruise to go through the Panama Canal and it ended in San Francisco which is home for us. The ship, Coral Princess, had been in dry dock for 12 days prior to our cruise and the contractors were not finished with the upgrades such as new carpet and flat screen TVs in the rooms. Nice upgrades, but there were rolls of carpet about the ship and painting still being done. Embarkation was delayed for 4 hours as the ship was late coming from dry dock so we sat in the waiting area until we could board. Our cabin had a new TV and the room was thoroughly functional, but the wi fi was not working properly and there were tech's throughout the ship working on it. Cosmetically the ship was not up to the standards we have experienced on Princess. For instance there were speaker covers sitting on the floor in the Princess theater and seats around us were broken and wobbly. Our cabin was a balcony unit and other than the minor cosmetics we were overall happy with it, it was clean and the bed was comfortable. Dining was excellent, the food was great and a nice variety to chose from. The dinners were a little long, averaged about two hours to finish our meals. We had the early seating for dining, the shows are staggered so we could still see them after dinner. We really enjoyed the Production show, well done. The guest entertainers were excellent, I recommend seeing them, comics, magicians, singers. Lots of activities daily on the ship, we never got bored. The service was excellent, the crew is friendly and works hard. We took a shore excursion at every port through Princess and they were well organized. Only drawback is on ports where you tender in took a long time waiting in tender lines both coming and going. Some ports were short on time and some of it wasted waiting in line. Only one of the excursions we took was misleading in the Princess tour listings description. In Cabo San Lucas, MX we took tour SJD-500 that is titled "4 x 4 Desert and Camel Adventure". There was NOT a 4 x 4 ride "on a guided off-road safari adventure". It is also listed there is a tortilla-making presentation which did not happen, very misleading. We did have a tequila tasting as described and the traditional Baja meal was excellent. The camel ride was fun and unique, well organized. The description says "cameras may not be used whilst atop a camel", however we were prevented from taking photos while greeting the camels too. Disappointing since the vendor had there own photographers taking photos, unfortunately their photos were expensive starting at $40 for one! Way too expensive, we returned without a photo of us on the camel. Guests we dined with took the Whale Watching by Zodiac in Cabo San Lucas and they really liked it, said it was fantastic and they saw about 30 whales and several were up close. If we are able to do this cruise again we plan on doing this excursion. This was a great cruise and we would do it again (probably will in a few of years). Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This itinerary has been on our bucket list for a long time. The enrichment activities provided by Chris Roberts and Dr. Angel Colon were most enjoyable and greatly increased my awareness on the topics covered. Please continue these ... Read More
This itinerary has been on our bucket list for a long time. The enrichment activities provided by Chris Roberts and Dr. Angel Colon were most enjoyable and greatly increased my awareness on the topics covered. Please continue these enrichment lectures with fine speakers like these two gentlemen. The crew was awesome and provided perfect service as well as exhibiting tremendous good morale. Special thanks to bar staff, Shailesh, Komang, Edgar, Mario, Geraldine & Sheila. Thanks to IC staff as well including Papa Ver, Anoop, Lito and Yehven. We loved the numerous spaces for the passengers to sit, eat something or have a drink. Our faves were the Wheelhouse bar (biggest fave), Crooners, the IC, MUTS, Explorers bar. The Blue Jade band was the best entertainment and dance band we have heard so far on a ship. We closed the Wheelhouse bar every night due to them. The ship's band was the best we have experienced to date as well. The theatre really need two more exits. Many somewhat disabled people took a lot of time using the two available exits making me really hope that there would be no emergency that required the theatre to vacate. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Always wanted to do this one. Being able to take 15 days to travel to Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Columbia was icing on the cake. The on-board experience was excellent. We spent a good deal of time at one club, the service ... Read More
Always wanted to do this one. Being able to take 15 days to travel to Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Columbia was icing on the cake. The on-board experience was excellent. We spent a good deal of time at one club, the service and friendly demeanour of the crew made us feel we were in a favourite neighbourhood pub. On shore trips were also great. Our state room steward went out of his way to attend to our every need. I had a malfunction of my running shoes, a glue repair was required. Ronald was able arrange the fix, and did so free of charge. My wife requested distilled water, and and extension cord for her Cpap machine, it was present at check in. When we checked in to board, everything was streamlined and effortless. From the time we checked in until we were in our cabin was less then 30 minutes. Well done on our return as well. Disembarkation was very efficient, and clearing customs slick. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
The last time I cruised with Princess was for my 30th anniversary and have cruised other cruise lines since. The best move I made was to come back to Princess to celebrate our 50th anniversary. The service was outstanding and every staff ... Read More
The last time I cruised with Princess was for my 30th anniversary and have cruised other cruise lines since. The best move I made was to come back to Princess to celebrate our 50th anniversary. The service was outstanding and every staff member we met courteous and ready to meet all your needs. The ship was in very good condition considering it was an older ship. The bed was very comfortable and the room looked like it had updated carpeting. The food in the main dinning room had a good selection for you to choose from and the quality seemed good. The buffet was smaller than other ships I have been on but the quality and variety seemed good. I booked all my excursions from princess and there seemed to be a good selection. All the tour guides were knowledgeable. The tour we took in cartagena at the avery was excellent if you want to see beautiful birds. I was a little concerned that there would not be enough on the cruise to keep me entertained for 15 days but princess did a could job of always having a variety of things to do. I was extremely happy with this cruise and my decision to come back to Princess. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our 5th Princess Cruise. Overall we have been happy with all of our Princess Cruises so when we decided to do our bucket list Panama Canal Cruise, Princess was our first choice. We picked the Coral Princess based on our timing ... Read More
This was our 5th Princess Cruise. Overall we have been happy with all of our Princess Cruises so when we decided to do our bucket list Panama Canal Cruise, Princess was our first choice. We picked the Coral Princess based on our timing with being in San Diego to spend Thanksgiving with our daughter and her husband and being able to take a quick flight to LA for the cruise. The Coral Princess is a nice smaller ship. We never had to wait for elevators and wherever we went onboard there was never a crowd. We’ve been on the Regal and Royal and they are huge so being on the Coral was nice to navigate on and never took long to get anywhere onboard. We did like the promenade deck and did our daily walks there as well as an evening stroll. Many newer ships do not have a full walk around promenade so we really were glad it has remained and maintained the old sailing feel. Overall the food in the main dining rooms was very good. Sometimes there was a bit of a wait for the food but hey, we have nothing but time. Loved our cabin C317. The balcony is about 10’x10’ and is amazing to stretch out on. We watched a lot of the canal from there. Entertainment and the Princess band was top notch! The Sanctuary is on the stern and a bit small but over all we enjoyed our afternoon sea days we booked. They were very accommodating in us being comfortable and if the day was too cold or too much sun we were able to cancel the day of. Staff as always was great. We’d sail the Coral again . All in all a very nice cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
My wife and I chose the Coral Princess for several reasons: the itinerary allowed us to travel round trip from Southern California, home for us; We had sailed on her sister ship, the Island Princess twice before and enjoyed the ship's ... Read More
My wife and I chose the Coral Princess for several reasons: the itinerary allowed us to travel round trip from Southern California, home for us; We had sailed on her sister ship, the Island Princess twice before and enjoyed the ship's size and layout; and we wanted to sail through the historic locks of the Canal before experiencing the new locks. Two highlights of the trip to us were the excitement of sailing through the historic locks and the quality & friendliness of the crew. We had been familiar with the construction and operation of the Canal for years, but to actually see this 100+ year old wonder in operation is amazing. No wonder a Canal transit is on so many bucket lists! There are many good viewing locations on the ship. We spent much of our time on the viewing area on Deck 10, forward of all the cabins. There are two unmarked doors at the end of the halls on either side of the ship. Open and go through both doors (they can be heavy from their weight and air pressure) and you are in open space overlooking the bow. The area was popular, but never overcrowded. We also spent a lot of time on the balcony of of our cabin on Caribe deck (C222). Good views of the Canal operations, including the Mules (the locomotives which guide, not pull, the ship through the locks). The Canal experience was enhanced on our cruise when we followed the brand new US Navy stealth ship Michael Monsoor as we sailed through the locks on our second day in the Canal. The Monsoor is just the second ship in its class. This was our ninth cruise on Princess, so we have become familiar with the personable and professional service we receive from the crew. But this cruise went above and beyond what we have come to expect. Every single crew member we encountered went above and beyond what we expected to ensure we had a wonderful time on board. The Coral is an older ship, but very well maintained. And its (relatively) smaller size makes it easy to get around and never felt crowded. We tried two experiences for the first time on this cruise. We had portrait photographs taken in the Platinum Studio during the cruise, and we ordered the Ultimate Balcony Dinner on the night we were anchored in Gatun Lake in the Canal. Both experiences were incredible. The Platinum Studio Shoot is totally different than the mass production photos taken by the other ship photographers. There were taken in a professional studio on board. Our photographer was Nataliia, a lovely young lady who has been with Princess for several years. She proved to be not just an expert photographer, but an outstanding artist as well. My wife had very specific ideas of how the portraits should turn out (as a former model, she is very knowledgeable of studio photography). Nataliia understood everything my wife was looking for and delivered a perfect product. She took several dozen exposures during our shoot, which we then reviewed at a private appointment the following evening. My wife pick out the shot she wanted almost instantly, Nataliia had gotten it perfect! Even the proof we took off the ship with us is wonderful, and the glass mounted final print we received a couple of weeks after we got home was beyond beautiful. The Balcony dinner was an elegant event right in our cabin. Our waiters, Toniano, assisted by Ajay, were excellent. They were both very pleasant, efficient and sensitive to our privacy. They always seemed to know exactly when to serve the next course, when our glasses needed to be refilled or when plates needed to be cleared. Since it was very warm and humid this evening, we asked them to set up the table inside our mini-suite. At first, we were concerned that might be crowded, but it turned out to be a perfect, intimate setting. The meal was fabulous! The menu is delivered to your cabin at the beginning of the cruise. There are only a few choices to make, although I understand from other reviews,that you can make other selections. There are other posted reviews which describe the details of the dinner, so I will not do that here. Rather, I will just mention that the dinner was wonderful, the dishes were all excellently prepared and served, and Toniano and Ajay were outstanding. We only attended a couple of shows during the cruise, spending most of our evenings in Crooners listening to the piano playing of Daniel Oliver. Chinzal and Putu took excellent care of us in Crooners, keeping our glasses full and engaging in delightful conversation. We did go to two production shows: "On the Bayou" in the Universe Lounge (great show, not so great venue for it) and "Encore" in the Princess Theater. Both shows were excellent and should have been done in the Princess Theater. Our favorite show was "Flamenco Express", with Jose and Leticia dancing beautifully and romantically. They did two shows a few evenings apart, first in the Princess Theater then in the Universe Lounge. Their show was much better suited for the Universe Lounge, smaller and more intimate. They also invited a few members of the audience, including my wife, up on stage in the Universe Lounge to dance with them. My wife was thrilled and did a great job with them as she is an excellent dancer. As usual, we reserved Traditional Early Seating. were assigned a table for six with two other couples about our age and dispositions, so we enjoyed their company, Our waiter, Manuel, was excellent. He remembered our preferences after the first night and was always ready with recommendations on that night's menu if asked. We enjoyed conversing with him on a number of subjects, including his home life in India, experiences he has had over his years working for Princess, and other subjects not related to the cruise. He is a very intelligent and insightful individual Our cabin was a standard mini-suite, which we have become use to on Princess ships. There is plenty of room and John, our room steward, kept it spotless for the duration of the trip. We found both embarkation and disembarkation to run smoothly and well organized. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
The entire cruise from embarkation to disembarkation was truly amazing. The Ship is great, our cabin was terrific, Club Class is wonderful and the entertainment was very enjoyable. The Princess singers and dancers are extremely talented. ... Read More
The entire cruise from embarkation to disembarkation was truly amazing. The Ship is great, our cabin was terrific, Club Class is wonderful and the entertainment was very enjoyable. The Princess singers and dancers are extremely talented. The Panama Canal is truly a marvel of engineering and standing just under the bridge as you enter the Canal gives you such a feeling of amazement you will not believe it. The service on this ship is incredible. From Sabatini's to our Dining Room our Head Waiters, Waiters and Assistant Waiters were more that excellent. The food was excellent and the selection of specials was good. In Club Class the Head Waiter Petros was amazing. He cooked different specials nightly. He and the Club Class Waiters and Assistant Waiters always made dinner extra special. If you like trains the Panama Canal Train Excursion is a must do. The Coral Princess is an older ship, but she is a good ship. Needs a little TLC in some places but the feeling of Coming Back New is truly a good feeling on this cruise. Happy Crusing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
this cruise was the smoothest one so far.... the panama canal was amazing . we took a tour where we went thru the second and third locks by ferry our tour guide was very informative.. on another tour we went by bus to see st pedro ... Read More
this cruise was the smoothest one so far.... the panama canal was amazing . we took a tour where we went thru the second and third locks by ferry our tour guide was very informative.. on another tour we went by bus to see st pedro claver church and other landmarks in cartagena . . we saw a show put on by locals of their native dances. we enjoyed this ...we took the panama canal tour by ferry that was so informative glad we took that great memories . in grand cayman we took a tour went in the semi submersible submarine...went to Hell ( a part of grand cayman) , then went to rum cake stop then turtle sanctuary where my husband held a small turtle...the entertainment onboard was the best. the food was delicious and the dining room staff was very good.. loved tea time . we enjoyed this cruise the most and loved seeing all the movies presented on the tv.. they were all good watched about 7 of them Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
My husband had always wanted to see the workings of the Panama Canal! It was an item on his bucket list. The Coral Princess is a lovely ship - we loved the formal dining and met some great new people onboard. We did the full passage of ... Read More
My husband had always wanted to see the workings of the Panama Canal! It was an item on his bucket list. The Coral Princess is a lovely ship - we loved the formal dining and met some great new people onboard. We did the full passage of the Panama Canal on an excursion on a smaller ship. We were able to see the workings of the canal and learn more about the history and function. If you are looking for something for everyone, probably not the cruise for you. It was definitely an older group with few children and young adults. Food was great and the room was very comfortable. We had a mini-suite without a balcony. We found that we really liked the additional space. The entertainment could not compete with some larger ships that we have sailed on, but enjoyable and creative. Nightly movies under the stars were very fun! Very friendly and attentive staff. A pleasant surprise was in Cartegena - a great nature park right at the port! Monkeys, parrots, iguanas, flamingos roaming around. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
Food was super. Interesting changes at buffet. Lobster twice in main dining. Shows were good. Especially Scott Wyler. Voted entertainer of the year for Princess was so funny. The Universse showroom has sofas and arm chairs. Great for ... Read More
Food was super. Interesting changes at buffet. Lobster twice in main dining. Shows were good. Especially Scott Wyler. Voted entertainer of the year for Princess was so funny. The Universse showroom has sofas and arm chairs. Great for shows and movies. Tv did not offer too many channels. We missed seeing Olympics. A few channels like nbc and cbs would be nice. CNN too. The movies were current and many Academy Awardsones offered. The commentator did a great job for the over 9 hours of transit. The fitness center is wonderful. The ports were interesting, but the amount of sea days was a selling point. There is a pool area in Lotus that has temperature control and lounge chairs with thick cushions. So relaxing this time of year had few children. They were supervised and not a problem. I didn’t see many solo traveler get togethers. It’s really more for couples and families. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Chose this cruise because we wanted to do a full Panama Canal transit, and chose Coral rather than Island Princess because it had had a more recent refit.However, the ship is still tired looking. The furniture in the cabins is shabby, the ... Read More
Chose this cruise because we wanted to do a full Panama Canal transit, and chose Coral rather than Island Princess because it had had a more recent refit.However, the ship is still tired looking. The furniture in the cabins is shabby, the hairdryers are from the dark ages, the showers are the smallest I’ve ever encountered. However we still had a great time. Most of the staff are great, yes you get a hard sell if you have a spa treatment, but on the whole the staff try really hard. The food was mixed, the buffet was sometimes great, other times really odd combinations of food. Did anytime dining and most days I rang early to reserve a table, without a reservation we found we had to wait, maybe up to half an hour. Met some lovely people, enjoyed the ports, especially Huatulco. The expert who talked us through the transit was extremely knowledgeable and my husband found the whole transit fascinating- be warned, you have to be out on deck by 6am! Drinks fairly priced. We did the ultimate balcony dinner which was fantastic for £80 extra, had 2 dedicated waiters, cocktails, canapé, champagne plus 4 course dinner and then birthday cake for my husband, all whilst evening in port in Aruba. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
best of the 4 crossings I have made. food best yet. lattes better than starbucks--just superlative. the enrichment lectures just fascinating, (thanks for listening Princess), the new Andalusian horse show, outstanding. I always prefer ... Read More
best of the 4 crossings I have made. food best yet. lattes better than starbucks--just superlative. the enrichment lectures just fascinating, (thanks for listening Princess), the new Andalusian horse show, outstanding. I always prefer Princess, been with them now for about a dozen trips I think. Alaska to come this year too. And to be fully candid. Several passengers had to compete for time on the one recumbent exercise bike. older passengers prefer it. another one is needed. and parents need to supervise out of control children. New years' eve was extremely disruptive and they emptied the bar. Princess apparently did nothing to enforce its supervision rules and requirements, to the great frustration of several passengers who took it on themselves to scream at the offenders. Several passengers simply vacated to get away from the annoying noise. A couple of days later I was served with a dessert in a cracked glass with pieces missing on the inside surface. I went to check it out and medical staff took no action. I will check with my doctors - it was pretty distressing at the time. Still, travelling requires some patience and understanding. I think Princess is a good company and I will continue to go with them whenever given the option. The many trips with them have meant a lot to me over the past decade. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
This cruise is billed as the Panama Canal cruise. If you accept that then the abbreviated shore excursions in other places become acceptable. If not, then the extremely short layovers will not be satisfactory. That being said, this is an ... Read More
This cruise is billed as the Panama Canal cruise. If you accept that then the abbreviated shore excursions in other places become acceptable. If not, then the extremely short layovers will not be satisfactory. That being said, this is an excellent cruise. It is very relaxing and the ports are excellent. CONS 1. This is an older ship, and showing its age. You can see lots of rusted areas, damaged tiles and carpets, lighting in the dining rooms that doesn’t work, broken lounge chairs, and technical glitches on stage. You can see the difference on the exterior in the ports when you compare it to other ships, which seem to show no rust at all. 2. Total mess up by Princess regarding pre-order of water and beverage service. I was constantly told water pre-ordered would be delivered, but it wasn’t. When I asked Guest Services about it, I was told that the order was lost, and could not be filled while at sea (water pre-order is before it leaves the port). Yet they were willing to sell me individual bottles at an inflated price. Disappointed on how they handled this since it was their error. 3. Very short port stays except for Panama. After 2-1/2 days of sailing, the first port was Aruba where everyone wanted to get out and stretch their legs. Unfortunately the layover is only 4 hours, leaving very limited time to do anything. On top of that, our arrival was on a Sunday and many shops where closed (at least until noon when we were leaving). It would have been better to have a longer stay here and skip Columbia. 4. Port loading and loading is a joke and extremely slow. The boarding at Colon was a total mess. No announcements that could be heard, no explanations for the considerable delay. Everyone just standing around (limited seating) for 2+ hours to re-board. (Holland was next to us and boarded in 30 minutes). Total disorganization. 5. Ship announcements from the Captain or crew during the day can’t be heard unless you are in your room with the TV on. On the 13th and 14th floors they are impossible to hear, even in quiet areas. However, the movie the play in the pool area can be heard all the way to the next port it is so loud. Need to up the volume and the ship announcements. 6. Poor excursion communication. While waiting to disembark at Grand Cayman alternate port, no staff member explained any limitations on any shore excursion. Only when you got on shore did you find out that swimming was not allowed, or other restrictions. Many people refused to go and returned to the ship to get a refund. It would have been much better to explain any limitations in the theater while everyone was waiting. Also, because of the alternate docking location, the on TV display continually showed the next port as “Grand Cayman” even when docked in Fort Lauderdale. Staff was told but no one made an effort to update the information. PROS 1. Extremely friendly staff, some of the best I’ve encountered on cruises. 2. Food was excellent. Buffet themes were not publicized anywhere, so you had to visit the buffet to see what they were serving that day. Sit down dining was excellent, and a good variety during the entire cruise. Beef was properly cooked to the individuals specification every single time. 3. Entertainment is very good. Unfortunately, the majority of the entertainment is the singers and dancers on the ship. Only the first couple of days had outside entertainment (comedian, singer). The dancers are very good, and the shows excellent, but it got old. It would have been nice to have some other entertainment towards the end. 4. The beds are the new Princess beds (soon to be on all ships) and are wonderful! 5. The WiFi access on the ship is good (very slow for outside internet). Their web page gives you the events for the day. It continually requires you to re-log on, which is annoying, but easy to do. The app does NOT have any maps or layouts for the port, which is needed. It also does NOT let you see events for the next day, even late at night, so you can’t plan the next day until it arrives! But the web page gives you the summary of your events you have planned, which is nice. No alerts for messages from your ship mates. You have to have the web page opened to see any messages. It would be nice if the phone buzzed when a message was received. Overall a great cruise with lots of wonderful people we met. As an older ship, it still was very nice, especially for the older crowd aboard. No need of cosmic slides or fancy features. Plenty of lounge chair access and not overly crowed, even on sea days. A wonderful 10-day cruise. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We sailed on the Coral Princess for the partial Panama transit from January 17 to 27, 2017. This was our twelfth cruise and our ninth with Princess. Having encountered a poor all around experience on the Star Princess in April 2016 for a ... Read More
We sailed on the Coral Princess for the partial Panama transit from January 17 to 27, 2017. This was our twelfth cruise and our ninth with Princess. Having encountered a poor all around experience on the Star Princess in April 2016 for a 10 day coastal cruise we were on guard as to what to expect on this cruise. Previously, we have had enjoyable experiences on Princess except for the Star. The Coral Princess cruise exceeded our expectations and renewed what we have always enjoyed on Princess. We were located in cabin D629 which was a balcony unit. Even though towards the stern of the ship being a smaller ship we found it very easy to get around. All of the staff that we passed or had dealings with were extremely pleasant. Thank you Boylyn for being such an attentive and friendly cabin attendant. Our waiter Manuel and his assistant Francis provided excellent service. It was a breath of fresh air to have a waiter with a great personality, sometimes he kept us in stitches. Their character and service made us look forward to dining each night (traditional second seating). Their service was so efficient we always had time to catch the evening shows at 9:45. The Cruise Director (Cory), Assistant (Mikey) and other staff developed a schedule that was full of fun activities for those looking for that. I can't believe their high energy. Our past few cruises have been on large ships, it was a breath of fresh air to be on this smaller ship. I think such enhanced the intimacy. The cruise and ports were great, just a perfect mix of ports vs. sea days. The only negative was the short period of time in Aruba (four hours). This short time either resulted in you taking an excursion or walking around town; there wasn't enough time to do both. Also, somewhat of a waste of time to get off in Colon. The only thing that is worthwhile in doing that is to say you stepped foot on ground in Panama if you stayed on the ship during the transit. It earns the name colon. We stayed on the ship through the partial transit. We watched it from our balcony going up then from the public viewing area on deck 10 bow going back down. A narration was ongoing during the transit by Chris Roberts. It was very informative but also worthwhile to attend his seminar a couple of days before. Throughout this cruise we were fortunate enough to have Project 5 as the house band. They were the best house band we have ever encountered. Unfortunately, there was only one production show called Encore performed by the dance and singing troupe in the Princess Theater. It was spectacular. They did perform at Explorers Lounge and at the Love Boat Disco Night on the Lido. The rest of the entertainment was very good especially pianist Tom Franek and comedian Scott Wyler. The food was well prepared, fresh and always had a nice presentation. I can safely say there wasn't one meal that we were disappointed with. Don't forget to have pizza in Sabatini's at lunch. The specialty restaurant is free for pizza lunch on sea days. Way to go Princess and the crew of the Coral Princess. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My wife's 60th BD loomed large in our planning and we always wanted to go to the Panama Canal so this was a great way to combine the two. On top of that, she was and still is a New Year's Baby so just any old First Night party ... Read More
My wife's 60th BD loomed large in our planning and we always wanted to go to the Panama Canal so this was a great way to combine the two. On top of that, she was and still is a New Year's Baby so just any old First Night party would not do. The Coral Princess met and exceeded our expectations at nearly every point along the way. Embarkation at Port Everglades was smooth and 99% hassle-free. Our EZ Air flight early on embarkation day eliminated any angst over possibly being late due to bad weather. Our first two sea days were a great break from the post-Christmas frenzy. Bloody Mary's were a bit on the spicy side but we managed. Second one was much better. (TIP #1: I left a nice tip for the bartender on the first drink, about 25%, so on second drink I did not leave one. However, in my final bill, they graciously added a tip for me which I had so obviously overlooked. In the future, always leave at least a small tip on your $10 cocktail so you don't get dinged later.). Food was on par with most cruises we've been on. We had flexible dining so we could go when we wanted, but only ate in the dining room about half the time. Other nights were spent at the buffet where the food was just as good as the main dining room, and better in some ways because there was more to choose from. First port of call was Aruba. It was New Year's eve so our stay was less than 6 hours. Although it turned out to be our only rain day, we had a great time because we opted for the Atlantis Submarine excursion which took us down to 140 ft. Got pretty wet walking back to the ship, but it was well worth it. Felt sorry for people who had never seen Aruba before, but we had a great time. New Year's Eve on board was lots of fun. Party hats, noise makers and libations kept the party going. My wife and I joined the party crowd packed into the Atrium and did our best funky chicken till well after the midnight balloon drop. No one noticed my dismal shuffling, because most people noticed my wife's flashing 60th BD tiara which got her the attention she richly deserved. New Year's day was stop #2 in Cartegena. Took the walk through the old city. Bought coffee in the Juan Valdez Cafe (TIP#2. Nobody spoke english in the cafe and they don’t take USD, but a MasterCard and my elementary spanish saved the day. If you no habla espanol, go with someone who does or you will get frustrated.) It was really hot so we wormed our way into a small bar down a narrow alley by the Cathedral and drank cheap beer till we went back to the ship. Princess celebrated my wife's birthday by giving us a complimentary dinner for our party of four in one of the specialty restaurants. The next table was full of friendly Quebecois who even sang Happy Birthday to my wife in French. January 2 was the big day going through the Canal. By 5:30 a.m. I was on deck with a pot of coffee front and center on deck 15. The entire transit was truly wonderful but was marred by chair hogs who insisted on trying to save a dozen spots for people who wanted to sleep in. At one point, the worst of the lot even put one of those little flimsy plastic deck tables on TOP of his chaise lounge pulled right up to the tall glass railing blocking everyone else’s view. Harsh words were exchanged when someone bumped his chair almost causing him to fall, which we were all secretly hoping for anyway. (TIP #3 - Get a spot early by the railing, toss away your sense of personal space and be polite. 99% of everyone else there is too.). After the transit we signed up for a tour of the old and new canals and even got to see the Coral Princess going back through the old canal on her way to dock in Colon. That was a bonus. Our tour included a drive through the old former Canal Zone in the suburbs of Colon. We got back to the port of Colon just as the Coral Princess was docking and left us with an hour or so to kill. There’s not much to do in at the Port area of Colon. A few shops and a restaurant but my favorite spot was the Super 99 market where you could buy reasonably priced snacks and booze. Again, no one speaks english but the touristas and they don’t take USD. Be polite, smile, use your best grade school spanish and pay by credit card and you’ll be fine.. The next stop was Limon Costa Rich and the Eco Adventure Ziplining tour in the Veragua Rainforest. Like everything else the Ticos do, this was a top notch tour. Completely safe, Great company. Upon returning to the port of Limon, we went outside of the terminal area to one of the many coffee shops where for $5 USD you could get all the wifi and coffee you wanted all day. Best deal of the trip. The next day was a much needed sea day where we finally went to the BOGO free drink happy hour in the Wheelhouse bar. (TIP #4. The second drink is not really “free”.) You have to get a second drink of the same type you buy and when you get the bill, they add a $2 “service fee”, Still, it’s cheaper than paying full price for the second drink. Last port was Ocho Rios Jamaica where we signed up for the river tubing adventure. The trip was very fun but we were only on the river for a bit less than an hour. Short, but the guides were good and did a good job of keeping everyone together. They were pretty aggressive asking for tips so just be sure to have a pocket full of dollars to give a little to each of them. We then spent a couple hours at a beach where we were treated to a good variety of munchies (jerk chicken, fried breads, plantains) and strong rum punch. Bob Marley music was ubiquitous even though there are many other fine Jamaican musicians like his son Ziggy and Third World, but you will only hear Bob Marley. Interestingly enough, not one statue or picture was anywhere to be seen of Usain Bolt. Really? The most famous living Jamaican and he was nowhere to be seen. I at least expected a cardboard cutout of him hawking some brand of rum. Our last day of the cruise was greeted by the news of the mass shooting at the FLL airport. The cruise staff didn’t have any more news than we did about changes in arrangements. Although we signed up for the EZ Check baggage program, we had to pick up our bags in the cruise terminal and Princess promptly refunded the money for the baggage handling. The airport was crowded, but in the end, we arrived back home only 2 hours later than planned. Considering what that airport went through, we counted ourselves lucky. Bottom line: Great cruise and great excursions with only a few minor bumps along the way, Keep your sense of adventure intact and you will have a great time. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was our first cruise with Princess and our first cruise over 7 days in length. We found Princess to be gracious and comfortable. The embarkation at Port Everglades was quick and efficient. The days at sea were relaxing and ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Princess and our first cruise over 7 days in length. We found Princess to be gracious and comfortable. The embarkation at Port Everglades was quick and efficient. The days at sea were relaxing and ports were interesting to us for the most part. We chose a partial transit of the Panama Canal because the extra days of the full transit would not fit in our schedule. A partial transit gives enough of the feel of the experience to satisfy the curiosity. The Coral is a mid-sized ship and was almost full for this cruise. There were less than ten children on board as this was early December when schools were in session. The “Anytime Dining” experience was confusing. On other lines, any time meant any time. We found one entrance to the dining room to be for “reservations”. When we call to inquire about reservations, we were either told they weren’t making reservations or the only times available were after 8pm. A few times we had to wait for a table. They use a pager system. As this was an anniversary trip for us, we preferred a table for two but only were able to have one about half the time. Tables for two were often so close together, it felt like shared table for four. It was not what we had in mind. However, on our actual anniversary, the maître d Alejandro took us upstairs to the Provence dining room so we could have a private table. We often ate breakfast and lunch in the Provence dining room. We enjoyed the service. For breakfast trays of pastries were offered. I had the chocolate croissant every morning. It was so delicious. The menu was not extensive but had all standard breakfast items. Each day there were two specials for the day, one entrée and one started of some kind. The lunch menu was like it with standard items every day and special items each day. Service was quick and efficient. The Horizon Court buffet was not huge. It had stations for breads, fruits, salad, and sandwiches at lunch. Breakfast buffet offered unusual items such as rice and other entrees that I would consider lunch or dinner fare. I guess this would appeal to cultures were eggs and bacon are not the standard breakfast. I didn’t try any of these. Breakfast and lunch seemed to be mostly the same daily, although I didn’t check it every day. I did enjoy the afternoon snack. Fresh guacamole and chips were available by 2 each afternoon. The biggest surprise to me was the International Café on deck 6. At first I thought it was only a coffee bar, but I soon learned that the food offered was complimentary. In the morning, sweet treats and breads were offered, but the rest of the day, sandwiches and salads were available. The service here varied by individual. We found that coffee to go was cheaper than coffee in a cup to dine there. The location, near our stateroom and the casino, made this a favorite spot. Although we did not dine in the evenings at the specialty restaurants, we did take advantage of the lunch offerings that were complimentary. Sabatini’s offered pizza at lunch a couple of time. It was excellent pizza, completely different than the pizza offered pool side. Only two other couples were there when we were. We also did the “pub lunch” at the Bayou Steakhouse choosing, as most did, the fish and chips. It was extremely crowded and we had to sit at the very small bar. Go early if you want a table. I think this was only offered once. The main activity we enjoyed was trivia. This was held in the Wheelhouse Bar. At first glance, this is a huge space, but since after trivia occurred just as Happy Hour was ending, there were often no seats left. We made a group of friend who liked to play too and struggled to find six chairs together. Morning sessions were not at crowded. Questions varied between the easy and truly challenging. Prizes consisted of key chains usually. The casino was very small. There were smoking and non-smoking areas. On several nights, the entire casino was non-smoking which I appreciated. I found the Princess Theater to be very congested as the only entrances were on deck 7. I’m used to theaters with multiple entrances on several decks. It seemed claustrophobic and almost hazardous. I only attended two events there and preferred the Universe. It had more comfortable seating and entrances on both decks 6 and 7. There was a variety of entertainment. We don’t care for magic so we didn’t attend those shows. We enjoyed the Bayou show and the comedian. We did not purchase a shore excursion for Aruba. We were only in port for a few hours. We walked down the main street and visited a casino. We were not impressed and headed back to the ship. In Cartagena, we took the City Highlights tour. It was oppressively hot that day and the climb to the fortress was very challenging. Vendors were very aggressive. The area was very crowded (two other ships in port that day) and I could not hear our guide very well. Las Bovedas was simply a shopping stop and should be described that way. Most goods were too expensive anyway. The walk through the old city was beautiful but again, very crowded and hot. I felt as if I spent the entire tour trying not to lose my guide in the press of people. I did not learn much, but I would love to go back and spend more time on my own. We tendered in Gatun Lake to go to Panama City and the Miraflores Locks. The drive was quick and comfortable. The “snack” provided was a chicken sandwich from Subway, just meat and bread. There was another shopping stop before going to the old city. It was uncrowded and two guides split our group so it was easier to hear. However, guides need to judge their groups to take it slower when elderly members cannot walk as fast as they would like. I found this almost disrespectful. Free time was welcome and no vendors harassed us. The visitor’s center at Miraflores was a nice new facility. It was interesting to see ships passing through that part of the canal. When we arrived back at the ship, I was glad I had bought my souvenirs already instead of having to go into Colon. In Costa Rica, we took the Animal Planet recommended tour of the sloth sanctuary. It did not disappoint. The bus ride was not long and we got to see the animals right away. The tour was given in rooms where the sloths were. The guides were informative and passionate about their work. The boat ride in the canal behind the sanctuary was not explained so we just got in the small aluminum boat and paddled away. Our boatman did not speak English so we just drifted along in silence until we encountered wildlife. Fortunately I speak enough Spanish to translate for the others. He pointed out iguanas and then we arrived where the howler monkeys lived. He positioned our boat where we could watch them for a substantial time. We also saw sloths in the wild. It was a great look at the rainforest. Our regular tour guide taught us a great deal about his country and also showed us how banana plantations worked which was a bonus. I found the craft market at the dock the best opportunity for shopping on the trip with genuine crafts, nice vendors and reasonable prices. As we are going back to Grand Cayman next year, we chose not to get off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
This was our 17th cruise and the longest one my wife and I have taken. It was also our first (but not last) cruise with Princess. It was wonderful! The Ports visited were beautiful and the excursions were great. Everyone on the ships ... Read More
This was our 17th cruise and the longest one my wife and I have taken. It was also our first (but not last) cruise with Princess. It was wonderful! The Ports visited were beautiful and the excursions were great. Everyone on the ships staff treated us like we were special. The ship was beautiful and completely relaxing. We had a mini-suite that was all we hoped for and more. It was very spacious and comfortable with a nice balcony. Food was great and the specialty restaurants were outstanding. We took in a couple of the entertainment events during the cruise and they were both very professional and completely entertaining. The photo people were very good, my wife does not like her picture taken yet we left the ship with more photos than any other cruise we have taken. We even had our picture taken in the Platinum Studio, which was an amazing experience, and ordered a spectacular black and white photo that will be prominently displayed in our living room. We were totally surprised at how fast and easy both embarkation and debarkation was. I highly recommend this cruise and cruise line. We have already booked and Alaskan cruise with Princess for 2016. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
We choose this cruise as it was one we had wanted to do & it worked out to be very conveniently for us. It went to all the places we wanted to see esp. the Panama Canal. It started where we wanted it to & on the day we wanted ... Read More
We choose this cruise as it was one we had wanted to do & it worked out to be very conveniently for us. It went to all the places we wanted to see esp. the Panama Canal. It started where we wanted it to & on the day we wanted & ended on the day we wanted. So it worked out great for us. The Islands we stopped at were great, the weather, food on the ship was fantastic, & the people at our table & the ones we met at other tables were also so nice. Entertainment was fantastic!!! The people that did the entertainment are so good they could perform on stage. We really enjoyed the tour of the kitchen & I was sorry I didn't have my camera to take picture to show family how great & clean it is. Look forward to my next cruise if I can think of one. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
It was my husband and my 3rd honeymoon (2 were not enough) as we are both widowers in our 50's who found one another 3 years ago and are celebrating every minute of life together in love. So, on both our bucket lists was the Panama ... Read More
It was my husband and my 3rd honeymoon (2 were not enough) as we are both widowers in our 50's who found one another 3 years ago and are celebrating every minute of life together in love. So, on both our bucket lists was the Panama Canal. Princess delivered an extraordinary experience. (And I am a pretty experienced traveler for business.) There were just a few negatives. Boarding on Princess' timed schedule was a breeze... not one person in line. We zipped through empty roped cattle shoots onto the ship. Our cabin was ready. Attendant Toffee came by shortly after to greet us. But then the first blip occurred... an officer appears with my wheeled carry-on cradled in his arms in what looked like a body bag. The front zippered panel was completely severed off... with greasy tire tracks across the front of the bag. My cosmetic bag... handle ripped off and tire tracked. Extra underwear... black tire treads across it. An evening bag... crushed. My hard-bound book inside the front zippered pocket? Covers marled. But otherwise, most other things in tact. Clearly, the bag fell off the pile, and someone ran over it with a fork lift or some other vehicle. The officer handled it smoothly, apologetically. We completed a report, and they gave us a free carry-on to get us by, but also took the damaged one to try to repair it. 3 days later, a wobbly, tire-tracked war-torn roller bag reappeared- all patched up. They did their best. But it's in the trash already. And what's important is how they reacted to it. All other luggage arrived fine. If that's the worst thing that happened - and it was - it was going to be a great voyage. And it was. Sea days are fabulous, and two days tuning the world out, and enjoying the ship's amenities was glorious. The food was terrific... not the best we've had, but very good quality. We thought we'd try Anytime Dining, but switched to standard. Our servers Randy and Ryan from the Philippines were fantastic. Great sense of humor, and so attentive. Loved lobster night, and the chicken pot pie! The buffet was hit or miss. Breakfast - how can you go wrong? But often so crowded, hard to find a table. Lunch and dinner... standard favorites with some international dishes. Desserts were just OK. Actually the sushi was terrific, as well as eggplant parmesan, and the bread pudding divine. The shows... the comedian Try Thorngill was FANTASTIC. We could have watched him every night. When my skeptical husband belly laughs on both performances, and gives a standing ovation, you know he was great. The production show On the Bayou was one of the best production shows I have ever seen on a cruise ship (and I have produced shows in my career.) The others, such as "It's a Swell Party", well, err... I felt sorry for the dancers and performers... sooooo boring... outdated numbers with songs my grandmother may have heard before (and I am 50 years old.) This cruise definitely catered to the OVER 60 crowd. Average age: 65-70. And the production shows reflected that. The two showcased singers who had their own shows were LOUSY. Tom Jones-copy cat singer-impressionist and a country-western crooner guitarist - both tried to hard. The guitar-playing was great... singing - so phony and over-acted. My husband and I walked out of both. But music is subjective, and I heard some people liked it. Cringe! I know I am tough on performers. The crew show was fantastic. John the assistant cruise director was a hoot... a ham who was very entertaining in every activity he participated in... made you want to participate as well. Singer Muhammed was spectacular... clearly the strongest player, but other vocalists and dancers were good as well. The Love Boat Dance Party on pool deck was fun, as well as the balloon drop party. Disco gets you dancing! (My era, my music. My rock-loving husband people-watched.) Other activities? I felt they were lacking (other than "sell-you-stuff" presentations or drawings or sales) - OR - they were overlapping. Several shows/movies on top of one another? Spread them out, people! Princess... please add more interactive hands-on sessions, such as fruit carving, sushi-making, cooking demos, roundtables where you can meet others with similar interests on sea days. We don't just want detox, accupuncture, shopping tours, bingo, casino games or art gallery hard sells. That was 80% of the activities line-up. (And when I heard one art dealer rep quote $5200 for one painting, and 10 minutes later, the next rep quoted the same painting $6700... you know what's going on there. Not worth the free champagne!) The historical and port talks were very informative. Now, the ports. Aruba? Nice island. We did our own excursion we heard about from others - NOT a Princess excursion. Trikes of Aruba. AMAZING. The best of the trip. Since we were only there 5 hours - from 7 AM to 12 PM... what do you do on a tropical beach island? We were picked up at the cruise ship, and taken to their offices where we rented those 3-wheeled motorcycles. After a brief lesson, we followed the ever-smiling leader/tour guide Zeus in a caravan, drove practically the entire island. What a blast! Stopped at several key spots for a rest, refresh, photos, see cool scenery. Fantastic experience. Exhilarating! Hot but sooo cool with the wind blowing. Others were jealous of our fun, waving to us on the way. And so safe... even with me afraid of traditional motorcycles. But Cartagena, Colombia... we loved our tour operator, but the country? NOT IMPRESSED. We took a private tour with Duran Duran. He was everything people said... an expert, kind, informative. We did a cooking lesson with him and his wife which included a market tour of a local labyrinth of vendors to pick out our ingredients and taste some local fruit. What a 'colorful' trek, to say the least! We were definitely out of our element... and looked like tourists... told "Put your phone away" for safety reasons. Also, you must be good on your feet and be able to keep up with Duran and his wife Maria going through the hot stalls. They then took us to their home and gave us a cooking lesson where we helped prepare an authentic Colombian meal. Delicious! We learned a lot. Their family was lovely. Wonderful hospitality, and everything he advertised. We then asked to return to the port, where there was a lovely wildlife exhibit and air-conditioned shopping. To sum up this port.... it is not the way we would choose to live. Crazy drivers and motorcycle taxis cutting you off everywhere - even the police. Barbed wire everywhere. We didn't feel safe in the inner city. Others had different experiences in the downtown areas by the old forts and churches. But we did not wish to look at old forts, churches or museums, but see how the people lived. We got our wish. It was eye-opening, and to be frank - a relief to be back on the ship. The Panama Canal... AMAZING. I am not one to marvel over mechanical wonders. But THIS? Once you learned the history and ingenuity, and how the US triumphed doing the impossible... you get this amazing feeling of pride! And then when your ship begins to go through the locks, and you see this "water elevator" lifting a cruise ship up 82'... with just one meter to spare going through the locks on either side of the ship... it was amazing! The photo team offers you the chance if you are a balcony cabin to be photographed while going through the locks inside your cabin. We did, but just know it is not the general portrait price, nor can you get them in your $199 package... it's separate. We bought 2 photos of all the ones they took and it came to $49. But they were good, showing you and the locks. During the first part of the trip, you are encouraged to make posters reflecting your family or sentiments of the trip - to display during the canal lock crossing. It's for the camera, and the video! (Yet you can't even read most posters!) They have produced this wonderful video - and drop in the footage of all the posters and wavers during this passage. A great memento... but for $70? How often would you watch THAT? They also add in several other historical Panama Canal videos in the package, but who wants THAT? We said NO to the video, but if it was $25, we would have purchased it. They have screenings to show you the video and then try to sign you up for it, before they tell you the price. Ouch! The photo crew worked their butts off during the voyage, shooting every imaginable event. Bottom line: Formal portraits on the black backgrounds were done well, and we bought several. The other backgrounds were cheesy. The all-inclusive $199 package - who needs all those photos? Perhaps great for a family. But not for a couple. And it does not include the Panama Canal balcony shots nor the videos. Excursion: Gatun Lake & Embera Indians. Loved it! This man-made lake for the canal was gorgeous - and filled with wildlife. Next a trip on a boat (not a canoe) to visit the Embera Indian Village. What a treat! Learning about their culture, meeting their families, photographing their beautiful children, their costumes, seeing them dance, dancing WITH them, then buying their wares was fascinating and so entertaining. LOVED IT! And the women were not topless, which my husband was worried about being uncomfortable. They wore ceremonial large necklaces which covered their chests. A relief for all. The port of Colon was just a few Indian vendors and one duty-free shop. Too scary to walk anywhere else. Costa Rica. GORGEOUS! This is the nature-lover's spot. We did a private tour with Jorge Morales Ramirez with his driver Vic. What a wonderful day. First the Jaguar Rescue Center - far, but so worth it. Sloths up close, monkeys and many other animals. Gorgeous countryside, learning about organic bananas and male-female banana plants. Next a canal boat ride to see wildlife, a beach stop and terrific lunch, then a scenic drive overlooking the city and through it. Nice shopping back near the ship at a market of vendors. Good prices, cheap coffee. Warning... bring your own toilet paper for public bathrooms in most of these countries... NO TOILET PAPER. Have your own stash. Seriously! Final stop: Grand Cayman: The postcard. Gorgeous blue water. Fabulous beaches. Very civilized shopping. We took a taxi, where they group shove you to the gills to get the most people they can in the bus before they budge... we waited 20 minutes... but the ride to the beach was only $4 a person. We rented a private Cabana at the Royal Palms Resort for $100. Not worth the expense... it was just a framework with sheer curtains, table, chairs and 2 loungers... but it was a splurge. Gorgeous views and swimming. Good burgers and drinks. Th ultimate beach day. Then T-shirt shopping before the tender back to the ship. No worries about this port at all... the safest of all. Then sea day back. A glorious and restful way to end the trip. Disembarkation was easy - delayed a bit, but we went straight through to our luggage. Many taxis there waiting. No worries. Final notes: - Movie choices were iffy. Knowing you have an older crowd... showing a film like "Miles Ahead"... about drug addiction with constant cussing... terrible choice. The theater cleared by the first 30 minutes. Better choices and timing! Did not go to Movies Under the Stars once... not good features. - The Love Boat channel was cool. But showing the same episode over and over each day, until the next day... TERRIBLE!!! How about 30 episodes that repeated on a loop? - The drink package for sodas, milkshakes & mocktails was well worth it... $7 per day. - Burgers at the grill were great at the beginning of the cruise, but not so much at the end. We wondered why. - The library had a nice variety of books, including some travel guides. All free to borrow. - Lots of hangers in the closet, even for clothes-horses like me who overpack. Lots of storage for luggage under the bed and in the closet bottom. - The shower was TINY. Make sure the shower curtain stays in. Or flood-time! - Deck chair hogs! A perpetual problem. When you're through, take your towels and GO! 80% of the chairs went empty most of the time, with only 40 people in the pool. So what does that tell you? Pool and hot tubs were great. - When you go to one of their "clearance sales" - sometimes the registers go down. They end up hand writing your orders down and entering them later on. Check your receipts. They over charged me, and then I had to wait 35 minutes while one of the shop folks tried to figure out what went wrong, even when I pointed everything out, had the merchandise there, showed how it was probably mis-entered. Just credit it and re-ring it, for God's sake! Sheesh!!! Check your receipts and your onboard account for mischarges. I hope you all have voyages as wonderful as ours. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
Full transit of Panama Canal, after Aruba and Columbia, and before Costa Rica , Nicaragua , Cabos San Lucas , LA , Victoria and Vancouver . 19 days with 10 days at sea and many things to do on the ship , from lectures to magic lessons ... ... Read More
Full transit of Panama Canal, after Aruba and Columbia, and before Costa Rica , Nicaragua , Cabos San Lucas , LA , Victoria and Vancouver . 19 days with 10 days at sea and many things to do on the ship , from lectures to magic lessons ... Great day experience on the Canal , with commentaries all day on public areas and TV ... very informative and interesting . Near to no kids on board , except from LA to Vancouver , so no running around and noise ... Very pleasant sailing . Chairs always available on decks . Dining for two easy everywhere , without reservation . Service very friendly . Cabin A515 on Aloha Deck has shade from the upper floor extending long over the other balconies . Excellent when sunny , but also when raining ... you can stay on your balcony whatever temperature ... ... Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Just returned on thurs feb 25.. stayed at HAMPTON INN PORT N.. take note there are 2 hamptn inns in the port area..ours had pink lawn flamingos ontop, 2301 sw 12th .they upgraded us again for HHonors.. please see trip advisor for ... Read More
Just returned on thurs feb 25.. stayed at HAMPTON INN PORT N.. take note there are 2 hamptn inns in the port area..ours had pink lawn flamingos ontop, 2301 sw 12th .they upgraded us again for HHonors.. please see trip advisor for positive reviews. Upon arrival (via shuttle from hotel), note, this is a big port we dropped some folks at pier 22 then headed to#2..a 10 min drive. LONG LINES..mis information ie checking bags Again.. (were here in july 15) seems a issue w the port not necessarily the cruise lines.. We bought our 2 bottles of wine registered them, all good. Onto the ship! 1st impression, not pushy w selling things like liquor packages & specialty dining, you go to the venues or call from cabin..while exploring, take the massage teaser its free & a good way to get into vacay mode. We made our sabatinis & steakhouse reservation, which we could have skipped easily, but of the 2, steakhouse better overall. truly the food in Bordeaux ( main) anytime was best we've had; Celibrity came closest. Even the sugar free desserts were good! Grabbed a quick bite at horizon ct buffet , good not a big variety , but remember this is not a huge ship all things r on a smaller scale, including CASINO which was less crowded after 10:30 pm , also dont expect free drinks from pitbosses on this line, even highrollers complained.. On our cruise , ship went to sleep 11:30 ish ( given time of yr & lack of nightclub) this sailing average age 60's & up , a few families, but mostly well traveled well educated. we met some lovely people, dont b afraid to strike up conversation w table nxt to you ! Seems formal nights have scaled back too, no more mother of bride / sweet 16 gowns, a nice cocktail dress or flowy pantsuit ..men leave the tux out. CABIN on ahloha 12.. we were under buffet but only heard a little chair scraping ..mostly lunch so sleep was fine. Shower IS laughable, prefer sliding partition (some other lines) to cold curtain sticking to u. Closet space very good. Balconly was nice for viewing canal transit up CLOSE!, but plenty of spots for photos w/o added expense. SMOKERS... since ur balconies r off limits theres Churchills , but it gets very hot & even smokers couldnt take it..poor ventilation ugh! Also, deck 14 forward (look for silver boxes on walls) , back L corner of casino, but not everynite..& deck 7 aft..which was dopey since this is also promenade deck for joggers.. The potty odor is still very noticeable especially near atrium everyone commented on it, perhaps some airwick stuck aroud.. but it was not good. Also, this was post drydock and heard of a few more burst pipes on D deck. Met some independent contractors replacing copper pipes but that wasnt there area.. If ur plannning to use the Sanctuary, go up in the morning & check.. probably wont b full in advance ..that way u dont wind up stuck w bad weather.(refund if pouring) .ours was fantastic 90 & sunny. did the full day $60 pp for canal day was great! Summer mths maybe crowded though . BOGO Wheelhouse bar, 2x's 3 & 9pm by one drink /beer incl, get one for $1.. comedian & ventriloquist best of the lot. Husband & I split coffee card , worth it.. Excursions. .we hopped a bus to 7 mi beach grand cayman 7$ ea way Cartagena bus tour old city w 2 hrs free time. $39 pp..the hawkers really detract from this lovely walled city, just say " Gracias pero no" & they'll move on. Costa rica..5 1/2 hr rainforest ..saw toucans, leaf cutter ants, 1 sloth. The 350 steps r 125 ea way Ochos rio..walked to margaritaville (wound up at nxt bar better drinks) nice little beach.. We all sprayed repellent and I never even heard the buzz of mosquitoes during entire trip but this was the dry season. All in all good trip ;pretty ship, interesting ports , great dining staff (hi leah..table 30-35) & best of all we got away from the bitter winter! Oh..if u made ur own flights, u can sign up for your luggage to be taken to & checked in at airpt...info in ur cabin mailbox towards end of cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
While I agree that the Coral Princess had the best production show cast I have seen on a cruise ship I was quite disappointed with the Coral Princess. I wonder if it had something to do with the Captain leaving the ship before the end of ... Read More
While I agree that the Coral Princess had the best production show cast I have seen on a cruise ship I was quite disappointed with the Coral Princess. I wonder if it had something to do with the Captain leaving the ship before the end of the cruise. What is it that caused my disappointment? Let's start with the water in the bathroom. All too often you either had cool water or hot water but rarely both. It certainly was not only our cabin. This complaint was a recurring theme in conversations with other passengers. One lady I spoke with had nothing but steaming hot water for 3 straight days in her room. She had to shower in another location because the water was too hot for a shower. As long as I am on the subject of water there was hardly a hallway that did not have evidence of a leak. Carpets were wet everywhere. Fans were blowing up and down hallways trying to dry out the carpets. In addition to the hallways passengers were experiencing leaks in thier rooms. Bottom line was that the plumbing had exceeded its life expectancy and was just being patched awaiting drydock in January, 2016. Then there was the dining room. In days gone by, there was the Maitre 'D; Head Waiters over sections of the dining room; Table Waiters having a section of tables; and, two Assistant Waiters assigned to each section under the Table Waiters. A while ago Princess, in an effort to cut costs, reduced the Assistant Waiters to one per section. I also think they added at least one table to each section thereby further reducing the staff in each dining room. In our section the only Assistant Waiter left the ship after two days and was never really replaced. Someone on occasion came to help our Table Waiter but those times were few. The result of the staffing problem was inordinate delays at dinner. The Waiter failed to get the dinner order of one person at our table on one night. On another night he forgot to get the items that were ordered for one person at our table. Why didn't we say something to the Head Waiter you might ask. I did early on in the cruise and the Head Waiter did absolutely nothing! In case those of you on this cruise of the Coral Princess didn't notice, there was no butter on the table. Apparently in another short-sighted Princess cost cutting move, the butter dishes are no longer allowed to remain on the table. The Head Waiter (yes, the Head Waiter who is already over tasked with the reduction in personnel) is required to personally place a pat of butter on each bread dish and then take away the butter dish. At our table this required the repeated request for butter and the resultant back and forth waste of motion and time of the Head Waiter. Turning to debarkation. eZCheck was offered and we signed up for it. I fully understand that acceptance by the company that runs eZCheck is discretionary with them. However, communication with the passenger is the responsibility of ship's personnel. I was told that if I did not receiving debarkation information by 9:00 pm the night before debarkation I was to contact Passenger Services. I did as I was told and so did a hundred or more passengers. The best that I could tell was that no one received eZCheck and the problem was exacerbated by the fact that we were not notified by Princess personnel. We did not have luggage tags or any information concerning debarkation. This resulted in all of "us" either converging on Passenger Services at approximately the same time or calling Passenger Services. The three (yes only three) people at the passenger Service counter were totally overwhelmed. They did the best they could but there was no superior officer present to assist, direct, or call out more staff. The aggravation was palpable. Phones rang continually and went unanswered because the meager staff present was attempting to assist those who waited in line for an hour or more. It was a very unpleasant way to ean a cruise. Did I hate the cruise? Absolutely not! After 40 overall cruises and 26 on Princess, I was very disappointed in what I see as a diminishment of the excellence service and the overall diminution of what was a really, really good product. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
This was our 10th cruise with Princess, our 2nd on this ship. My wife and I were not part of a group so we had a good chance to interact with the staff and the other guests. Most of the guests were older but there were a couple of families ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise with Princess, our 2nd on this ship. My wife and I were not part of a group so we had a good chance to interact with the staff and the other guests. Most of the guests were older but there were a couple of families on board. Maybe the combination of kids being at school and the length of the cruise (15 days) was the cause for the generational mix. There was one lucky little girl. My comment was that she had a thousand grand parents on board. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale the day before departure and stayed at the Mariott on Hollywood Beach. It is more expensive than the other options in the area but I was looking for a sure thing. Mariott delivered so no complaints there. Embarkation was very smooth. The drive to the cruise terminal was not too bad although traffic was backed up a bit on the way. Once in the terminal, there was practically no wait. We got through the embarkation process in less than 5 minutes. I think the secret here is to arrive at the time Princess suggests, in our case about 1:30. We ate at both of the specialty restaurants, Bayou Café and Sabitini's At the Bayou Café, we both had a filet steak. It was prepared exactly the way we liked. An interesting wrinkle is the 3 types of salt we were provided. I enjoyed the different tastes but for the life of me I cannot recall their names. I do remember one of them was black. Give it a try if salt is not a problem for you. Our waiter, Witold, was very interesting. It turned out he comes from the same area of Poland from which my family originated. Small world. Our dinner at Sabitini"s was also very good. We both selected the lobster 3 ways and were very pleased. The buffet was smaller than on some of the larger ships but I always found plenty of dishes that I enjoyed. Often, depending on the time of day, many of the tables already had diners. However, there were usually open chairs and folks were very ready to share and strike up conversations. What a great opportunity to meet people from all over the world. We signed up for anytime dining. The Bordeaux restaurant is reserved for this choice. If one insists on a table for 2 or 4, there is a good chance there will be a wait during peak dinner hours. My suggestion is to make clear that you want to share a table and meet new people. We hardly waited, had some marvelous dinners and made new friends to boot. We usually checked out the entertainment in the Princess theater in the evening. The nights that featured the ship dancers were a bit hit and miss. We enjoyed the first show, called Dance a great deal but felt the others fell a bit flat, at least for us. We got great laughs from the comedians and particularly enjoyed Karen Grainger, a vocal impersonator, although I liked her natural voice best. In addition to the main attraction, the Panama Canal, the itinerary included 5 port days. We did excursions arranged through Princess at all 5. These are all hot and humid locations. Be sure to bring and drink plenty of water. The first stop was Aruba. We took the California Lighthouse and Moomba Beach tour. We did not have a lot of time here so that colored our decision to take this tour but for my money skip the lighthouse and go straight to the beach. It is right next to the Holiday Inn so a taxi or a bus for the adventurous should be an easy alternative. The 2nd port of call was Cartagena. We took the mangrove swamp and old city tour. Our guide, Sergio, was very informative and a lot of fun. We were there on November 11, a day a big parade was occurring. We had to make a small change in the order that we saw things so that the bus would not get stuck in traffic. We stopped outside the old fortress but did not have time to go inside. To be honest, the fortress is so large that it would be worth a tour all by itself. The mangrove swamp was a little way out of town so it gave us a chance to see the more modest part of the country. The wooden canoes were handled by experienced boatmen that grew up in the area. We also saw the way a local fisherman casts his net then hauls it back. He is not in a boat by the way, just standing in water where there were no mangroves. After this, we returned to the old part of the city and got to see some of the parade. It was very colorful. We did see a lot of police and military in town, probably due to the parade. I hasten to add that I felt very safe and that everyone was very friendly. The 3rd stop was Puntarenos in Costa Rica. We took the garden and crocodile tour. We were supposed to have a sky walk component of the tour but Princess changed things and we did not notice in time to raise an issue. There were 3 main portions. There was a chance to see crocodiles from a bridge, a walk through a rain forest, and lunch and a walk in a garden up in the mountains. On this tour, there were 2 guides. Both were familiar with the plant and animal life we saw and also provided a good description of the history of their country and its culture. On this tour there were also a couple of chances to do some shopping. There is not much shopping at the end of the pier so these tours are a better bet if shopping is important. Right at the end of the pier across the street, I checked out the local beer at a bar. I can recommend it. It is very safe and also has free WIFI. The 4th stop was San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. This is a tender stop so there is not any support for guests with mobility issues. Tendering started an hour late so that threw schedules to the winds. We took the tour to Marsaya, the active volcano. Our guide was informative, the bus comfortable, the scenery on our route providing a glimpse of local color. Along the way, we stopped long enough at Lake Nicaragua for some photos. We drove through but did not stop in Grenada. Folks we ran into at dinner, who took the Grenada tour, complained that they felt rushed. A festival was being set up so the operator likely suffered from the late start more that our group. Lunch was at a very nice establishment and the volcano very interesting. There is a wall right along the rim so you get a chance to look into the caldera. Sulfur fumes are constantly released but on this day, luck was with us as the wind blew the smell away from us. The tour concluded with a stop by a crater lake. There was plenty of shopping here and the view of the lake breathtaking. There were a lot of families out for the day so it was very festive and safe. There is not much shopping were the tenders land but a market is under construction so buy stuff while on your tour. There seemed to be more shops further up the beach but we did not have time to investigate. We did talk to a couple who was on the tour to Nicaragua's capital city. They complained that the police boarded the bus and checked everyone's ID. The process took half an hour or so they said. One look and the authorities should have realized the bus contained nothing but aging tourists. Oh well, it is their country. The last stop was Cabo. This is also a tender stop. We took the El Arco tour with lunch by a beach. Big mistake. The tour itself left late and was comprised of a ship crew that seemed more interested in collecting a tip. There was a very dated recorded narrative by Michel Cousteau but it just did not work for me. At least the guide that joined us for the bus and beach portion of the tour was better. I have no complaint with him. You can get great pictures of El Arco from the ship and it is easy to take a water taxi to several beaches. There are also many good restaurants so get out and explore. It will come as no surprise to anyone reading this but Cabo is a heck of a party town. Oh yeah, we also went through the Panama Canal. What an engineering marvel. Be sure to be up early so that you can get the best viewing spot. Forward views on decks 14 and 15 fill up fast. Aft is less congested and also provides an interesting view. There is blue glass that is intended to shelter guests from the wind but it messes up photos. The best photo spots are at the top of the stairs leading from deck 14 to 15. Decks 10 and 11 forward also offer larger common area verandas that allow better photos than higher decks. Bill, the destination expert, gave a series of great lectures about all the stops but especially about the history of the canal. Bet sure to attend these. So, if this was the best cruise ever, why only 4 stars? Well, the fact of the matter is this ship really needs a visit to dry dock. Our cabin was on the Dolphin deck (9), port side. Several times during the cruise a leak developed somewhere on a higher deck resulting in a shower of leaks out in the hall. There was one time a light fixture was filling with water. The good news was that the water seemed clear if you get my drift. The crew worked hard at fixing the problem. Water was vacuumed and fans set out to dry the carpet. It was clear however that a more complete solution is needed. Our cabin steward, Conrado, did a wonderful job working around the chaos in the hallway. I am happy to report that no water got into our stateroom. In spite of the leaks in the hall, I really like this ship. It seems to be the right size. Sure the buffet and casino are smaller than other ships but it just feels right. This ship also has a large enclosed area aft of the pool (deck 14) that makes it perfect for Alaska cruises or on days when the weather is poor. I suggest a stateroom on deck 9. If you can swing it, get a mini suite. The extra room is nice on a long cruise and the balcony very roomy, easily large enough for 3 or 4 people. Deck 9 is quiet but close enough to the main activity areas so that it is not always necessary to take the elevator, at least if there are no mobility issues involved. I also totally enjoyed the itinerary because there were so many sea days. If I wanted to read, great. If I wanted to do something, I checked the daily Patter and found something to my liking. My wife, who reads books at a lightning pace, was able to find plenty of selections that suited her in the library. The library is not huge for sure but adequate for a cruise ship. Watch the Patter for the Buy One Get One (BOGO) special. It happens twice a day. Disembarkation was very smooth. We found our luggage quickly, went through customs and immigration with no hassle, and were whisked to the airport. All very efficient. So yeah, as far as I am concerned, this is our best cruise ever in spite of the blemishes. I would definitely do it again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
The Good: The food and the entertainment were all excellent. A nice variety of meals and every venue we dined at was equally good. Even the buffet was excellent. The entertainment was varied and top-notch, including two comedians and ... Read More
The Good: The food and the entertainment were all excellent. A nice variety of meals and every venue we dined at was equally good. Even the buffet was excellent. The entertainment was varied and top-notch, including two comedians and two different singers (these were the headliners). The cruise staff also gave two very good performances. The cruise director is to be commended for the good choice of entertainment. The Bad: The embarkation could be handled much better. After standing in line to check in, we had to stand in line again to have our pictures taken for the ship's passenger pass. On other cruises, the ship's pass is given when you check in. Debarkation was okay. The ship definitely needs to be refurbished. We noticed wear in the carpeting in several areas, but the worst thing was leakage in the two hallways, far aft on Emerald Deck. There was "water" leakage from the ceiling in both of these areas. We were told it was the cooling system but it smelled suspiciously like urine. We only took one ship's excursion in Panama (we made private arrangements in other ports) and we disappointed. The excursion was to see both the working and new locks. The tour started out great, spending about 1 hour watching ships traverse the canal (including the Coral Princess). Then we went to visit the new locks. We spent nearly two hours here (at least one hour too long) - I suspect because they wanted to "waste time" until the Coral Princess was docked in Colon. The UGLY: Our waiter (in the Bordeaux Dining Room) attempted to sell us a "complimentary" Princess 50th anniversary glass in a very deceptive way - telling us it was free and then saying it would cost only $5 with a shot of something in it. Very distasteful! The other embarrassing situation occurred when a lounge waiter occurred asked us to take our card game to the card room. This occurred in the Martini Bar, where there were several other tables available and we were not disrupting anything. We felt like school children being scolded in front of other passengers! 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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