422 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Princess Coral Princess Cruise Reviews

CREW: Captain Rikard Lorentzen, changed to Captain Andrea Poggi in Cartagena. CD: Miranda McLean, Naturalist Dr. Thomas Ryan, Enrichment Lecture: Mike Raick ENTERTAINMENT: The naturalist came down with pneumonia at Cartagena and ... Read More
CREW: Captain Rikard Lorentzen, changed to Captain Andrea Poggi in Cartagena. CD: Miranda McLean, Naturalist Dr. Thomas Ryan, Enrichment Lecture: Mike Raick ENTERTAINMENT: The naturalist came down with pneumonia at Cartagena and struggled though the Panama Canal lecture. He made no appearances after that– he was very good and this was a big loss. Did not go to most events because of immunity issues this cruise. Love Princess’ all-inclusive unhosted events: Get togethers for teachers, veterans, police/fire, knitters, Friends of Dr. Bob & Bill W, singles, LGBT, bible study, book club, bridge, ping pong. Cardroom crowded on sea days, but better than no cardroom. Compounding problem are half finished puzzles with ‘save’ signs on it. There are other table locations available, like in front of Bayou. Some used Horizon, during peak times. ROOMS– Beds... Mattresses were soft and comfortable. Dumb duvets– all or nothing. Pull apart for a top sheet, or have the whole heavy thing on you. Bathrooms small, but do-able. Deck 8 aft have the roomiest balconies. If traveling with friends, like us, can open a door between balconies (except where support dividers). FOOD: **Horizon Buffet. Ate here more than normal, esp since we didn’t do formal nights. It’s difficult to exit– you either walk back thru food area, or wind your way between tables. Princess didn’t listen to me and is installing wash sinks. They don’t work. The first 2 people will stop to wash, and everyone behind them will walk on past. **Trident Grill. Very inconvenient, one staircase up from Horizon. No elevator, not handicap friendly. The wind will blow pickles off your burger. Waiter poured water and it went sideways. **Pizza at Sabatini’s or Pub Lunch at the Bayou (no hot tea!) No beverages beyond water– you must buy your drink. I was almost done with pizza before margarita arrived. Both a change of pace, but disappointing. **Bordeaux: Very good lunch, if you can get past the ballcap police. Dinners were excellent. Kudos to Emanuel who made our dinners seem unharried. **International Café. Coffee and snacks. A frequent stop. Please tell me they’re moving this to the 5th floor. There’s a support post in the aisle and one person in line jams it. It’s next to the casino and smoke wafts (at least put up a plexiglas wall). MISC: Did not pre-purchase tours, flowers or anything because Princess.com now had pre-pay only... I want it charged to room. Elevators are fast, hallways are narrow. Embarkation was the fastest ever. Hotels are high on cruise days! Why I won’t be going with Princess again?? This was our 9th cruise and 2nd Panama, with another couple, in adjoining balconies. Princess gathers luggage the last night, with color-coded tags provided. You pick it up ashore in the morning, all in color-order. Our friends had a large suitcase missing. The pier would not let us search beyond our color area and friends filed a missing suitcase claim. The next day the pier found it and shipped via FedX. FedX lost it. A month later, FedX wants a receipt for every item in the suitcase. Who keeps receipts on every piece of underwear?! Princess has offered no support or communication – through the pier, they said to do what FedX wants. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We were truly impressed by the crew at the Coral Princess. Our waiter, Jay Canas, was truly outstanding at the traditional dinner table in the Bordeaux Dining room. The food choices at the Horizon Court were ok. The menu at the dining ... Read More
We were truly impressed by the crew at the Coral Princess. Our waiter, Jay Canas, was truly outstanding at the traditional dinner table in the Bordeaux Dining room. The food choices at the Horizon Court were ok. The menu at the dining room was about the same quality as the Grand Princess. However, the entertainment at the Princess Theater was the best we have ever seen in the Princess line so far. Kudos to all the dancers and vocalist and especially the orchestra who did a great job! The Voice of The Ocean is always a great fun. The ship was not new but kept up to its standards. Our cabin steward, Arnel Carillo was excellent. He kept our cabin spotless and was always there when we needed him. The size of this ship is just perfect for the Panama Canal. The common areas were never too crowded at all compared to the bigger ships like the Grand or Emerald Princess. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We've been on Coral Princess twice before, but this was definitely the best of the 3 cruises. Why? The staff! To an individual we had very friendly service from all, and absolutely excellent service from the vast majority. Our ... Read More
We've been on Coral Princess twice before, but this was definitely the best of the 3 cruises. Why? The staff! To an individual we had very friendly service from all, and absolutely excellent service from the vast majority. Our nits were small and related mainly to delays in bar areas at peak times - you'd think they would overload with staff and maximize profits - but we truly struggled to spend money on 2 or 3 occasions. To be honest we never actually went thirsty, but we would have gladly paid for more timely refills - strong hint to Princess. Aside from the our fixed, late-seating dining room staff were the best we've ever had. Big shout out to Jomer and Richmond! Cabin steward was fast and efficient, never failed to wish us a good morning/day/evening. Never caught him in the cabin - he quickly identified our pattern and worked around it. Coral Princess is holding up well, we saw the usual amount of maintenance going on with new carpets appearing here and there most days. Our room was in good repair though is starting to show its age now that the ship is 15 years plus in continuous service. In cabin audio/video offerings are starting to look quite out dated. This was by far the best embarkation and disembarcation we've ever had with Princess. Checked in and on the ship by 11:30 in Ft Lauderdale. Off the ship and through immigration in San Francisco by 9:10. Very efficient both directions. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
As always, this Princess cruise was chock full of the senior set, which is fine - we're just coasting into qualifying for AARP ourselves, so it's not a problem - we're not party animals by any stretch. The good: The ... Read More
As always, this Princess cruise was chock full of the senior set, which is fine - we're just coasting into qualifying for AARP ourselves, so it's not a problem - we're not party animals by any stretch. The good: The Coral Princess is one of their smaller ships, which meant we developed more friendships with people than on larger ships, which was nice. Likewise, we got to know more of the staff members on a more personal basis. The ship is able to go through the Panama Canal (only just, it squeeked through) and it's amazing to watch. The activity tours we went on were amazing (ziplining in Costa Rica, swimming with stingrays in Grand Cayman) but the walking tours (Gautamala, Cartagena) were really bad (how much will you buy, rich American tourist? Oh, yeah, there's a bit of history here, but let me show you where to spend your dollars...) My advice: do the activities. Serious fun. You do NOT need to be in fabulous shape to do them. It's okay to be chubby and wheeze a bit. You do need to be willing to laugh and feel a bit ridiculous. You will make the BEST memories if you do. We stayed at the Ft. Lauderdale Renaissance Cruise Ship Terminal, and it's literally right next door to the terminal. This does NOT mean you can stay there then walk to your ship, but it does mean it's an easy Uber/taxi ride. I would not walk it - it must have been a good 2 miles considering we had to drive all the way around the port to get to the ship. It's a decent hotel and we were able to Uber from the airport to the hotel, then walk over and get dinner from Chipotle next door. It made getting on the ship the next morning stress free. We're a lesbian couple celebrating 25 years together and despite this being an overwhelmingly straight, elderly demographic, we felt nothing but welcomed and accepted, which was the best thing ever. The bad: "Anytime Dining" on the Coral Princess apparently means line up at 4:45 or you won't eat until 7:00pm - and those old folks are SERIOUS about getting din-dins on time. Don't be messing with their meals. It's worse than third grade recess with line-cutting. One person will stand in the line and 42 people will walk up and join them before the doors open. The Universe Lounge has movies and production numbers, but the balcony level is awful to be watching anything - there's multiple safety bars. No idea why they don't put in plexiglass instead so people can actually SEE what's going on. There's less food selection in the Horizon Court than the larger Princess ships - a LOT less. I found that really disappointing. Same ol', same ol' every morning for breakfast. The ugly: Sales, sales, sales. I imagine it's the same on all cruise ships - we haven't been for a couple of years, and wow, it seems like they're selling at every turn. Most conversations seemed to start with "You want to buy..." Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This cruise has been on our "bucket list" for some time. It was our 17th Princess cruise, and our second on the Coral. We had a balcony on this cruise, rather than our preferred mini-suite, largely because of price. Princess ... Read More
This cruise has been on our "bucket list" for some time. It was our 17th Princess cruise, and our second on the Coral. We had a balcony on this cruise, rather than our preferred mini-suite, largely because of price. Princess and the Coral did not disappoint! We like this class of ship. It's size just "feels right", with about 2,000 passengers. Princess does an outstanding job of handling onboard crowds so you almost never feel crowded. The atrium is a bit smaller than the Crown class of ships, with less seating, but there was still plenty of seating space throughout the ship. All the stops were excellent, and Princess offers a wide variety of shore excursions and prices. It was disappointing to note that you cannot snorkel with Princess once you are over 70 years old. Fortunately there are many other excursion companies that do not have such a restriction. Our cabin, on Emerald deck, was ready when we arrived. (As Princess Elites, we are usually on board before many other guests.) We had our usual, incredibly competent room steward that we have come to expect on Princess. The room was clean and well-furnished. Our baggage arrived promptly. The food aboard is typical Princess food, which I feel is a true notch above other such food. The portions are good sized, service is excellent. There is no Crown Grill aboard, but Sabatini's was up to their usual standard, and there were a few other restaurants we didn't try. Sadly, Sabatini's is due for a refit, and I must say I will miss the tablecloths and other amenities scheduled to be taken away. Princess features an excellent wine list, generally filled with wines of remarkable value for money. We haven't decided on our next cruise yet, but it will most likely be with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We always wanted to go through the Panama Canal, and loved most of the cruise and experience. The ship itself is old and falling apart. There were areas that had a moldy odor. There were areas where the air conditioning wasn't ... Read More
We always wanted to go through the Panama Canal, and loved most of the cruise and experience. The ship itself is old and falling apart. There were areas that had a moldy odor. There were areas where the air conditioning wasn't working. In our stateroom the thermostat didn't work, the remote for the TV didn't work, the shelf in the bathroom was broken and the carpet was dirty and worn. As in all other Princess cruises we have been on, the staff was wonderful and the food was terrific. The demographics on our particular cruise really leaned hard to the over 75 years old crowd with lots of walkers and canes. That may have influenced the entertainment, which filled up immediately after dinner. But after 8 PM the ship seemed deserted. We would have preferred more active activities too. We did 3 Princess excursions. The first was billed inaccurately as a scenic cruise and snorkeling of a reef and shipwreck. It was none of those things. We went in a boat right off the shore close to our ship to snorkel. There was no reef and no shipwreck and no scenic cruise. The second was a scenic drive, raft trip and lunch at a restaurant and it was fabulous. Our guide spoke the entire way there and back. The raft trip had another guide who was very knowledgeable. We saw crocodiles, iguanas, monkeys, etc. on the raft trip. The lunch was at a local restaurant and was very scenic. Our third excursion was a hike up a volcano. This was a little more iffy. We were not warned that it would be freezing on the trail (50's) when we had been experiencing high 90's. There were very high winds. The trail was covered with older, but recent volcanic ash that got into everything. We were not able to look right into the volcano like I have done on other similar hikes. The path down was very, very difficult. Several people fell. People who were athletic and in good shape injured themselves. I am not sure I would recommend this. I enjoyed the Cayman Islands, Cartagena, Panama City and Costa Rica ports. The Guatemala port was just another glimpse of a very poor country. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We cruise with another couple and usually select a narrow window in the Jan-Mar period to get away from the cold Canadian winter. The four of us travel with low expectations, so when things go as planned, that is a bonus. We have ... Read More
We cruise with another couple and usually select a narrow window in the Jan-Mar period to get away from the cold Canadian winter. The four of us travel with low expectations, so when things go as planned, that is a bonus. We have traveled with most of the major lines, but prefer Princess; this was our first trip on the Coral. Embarkation was quick and slick....eating lunch in Horizon Court half an hour after arriving at the port (we're Platinum status so get priority boarding, but the regular boarding line was moving almost as quickly). We always book a partially obscured ocean view....it was small, but perfectly adequate since we did not spend much time there. (Any reviewers who claim the ship is old, beat up and scruffy are way off base. Yes, Coral is 12 years old and is showing a few signs of age, but the crew work diligently to keep her looking good and shipshape). Storage was adequate with more than enough room for our everyday and formal wear. We always bring extra clothes hangers and our cabin steward provided some more. The food was not quite up to what it was a dozen years ago, but other reviewers who claim it is "crap" must be used to living on caviar and lobster. The food in the main dining room where we ate all dinners varied from good to excellent; Horizon Court we rated fair to good, but it is a cafeteria so that is to be expected. The cold selections, fruits and rolls were always excellent. I think one of the menu "misses" in the dining room are the special recipes of Curtis Stone and (?) Love. At least one person at the table sampled each dish and generally rated them "OK, but I would not order it again." Enrichment activities were OK....Dr Ryan's presentations varied from well researched and presented to what sometimes seemed quite random, disjointed musings. The aviation history lectures were well documented, but the presented lacked charisma and presentation skills (read scripts word for word as was on the screen). The entertainment was very good to excellent, with a good selection of comedians, musicians, magicians, etc. while the ship's troupe of singers and dancers was out-standing. Sure, none of them are A-listers, but that doesn't mean they aren't worth watching. Our only peeve here was saving seats....I know, we have all done it at one time or another, but there is a difference in holding a seat for your spouse for five minutes so she can have a bathroom break, and one person holding five seats for up to half an hour for their friends who don't show up until 30 seconds before curtain rise. We didn't use the gym....instead a walk the Promenade deck for three miles prior to breakfast. Overall, the on-board experience was great, although the event scheduling could be tweaked a bit. Certain events are more popular than others and effort should be made to avoid scheduling them at the same time, or five minutes apart at opposite ends of the ship. There is lots of public space....never a problem finding somewhere to sit down and relax for a few minutes. The library does not match those on Holland America, but is adequate for a two or three week cruise...not much longer. The location of the Inter-national cafe away from the Atrium where it is located on other ships was a great idea. The seats were always available for the intended purpose (coffee and a quick lunch) rather than taken for hours by readers, card players and sleepers. Bathrooms are spotless! Service is--as always--excellent with everyone doing pretty well all they can to help. I only took one shore excursion (reason below) to visit an indigenous peoples' village and it was excellent, although it did go off the rails a bit. We were an hour and a half late arriving back at the tender port and then had to wait for a tender to come out from the ship, which meant two hours late back on board. When reboarding the ship in Cartagena (day 4) my wife stumbled over the end of the boarding ramp (actually an accident waiting to happen if one isn't really vigilant), fell and cracked a rib. The security staff at the ramp did not report it, but the next day, the pain was really bad and she had to see the ship's doctor who took action to see that a proper investigation was held and a report filed. That was done, although we were not provided with a copy. Given that this was partially Princess' responsibility, we thought that perhaps, in the interest of good PR and customer loyalty, they might waive the cost of the medical treatment, but no such luck. That was really the only sour note and prevented us from doing much further exploration ashore....and also kept us off the dance floors where we usually spend up to two hours per day. Other than wine with dinner, we are virtually non-drinkers, so no complaints about the price of drinks from us.. Disembarkation happened on time, quick, smooth with plenty of Princess ground staff on hand to make sure everyone got on the correct bus to get us to the airport in plenty of time. The flight home was a 30 hour nightmare, but that is due to Air Canada, nothing to do with the ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Straight forward embarkation after over night stay in hotel organised by Princess. Good cruise with excellent staff, good food and good choice of activities. Cabin was clean but showing some signs of wear and tear - upholstery on sofa ... Read More
Straight forward embarkation after over night stay in hotel organised by Princess. Good cruise with excellent staff, good food and good choice of activities. Cabin was clean but showing some signs of wear and tear - upholstery on sofa threadbare in places and buttons on remote control for TV not working. We were on traditional dining for evening meal and were really happy with choice and quality of food. My wife has an allergy that the staff were made aware of and they were really good at making sure that the meals would not effect her and offering a choice of alternatives if there were problems with the choices on the menu. This service and consideration was excellent and very much appreciated. There was a good choice of entertainment and activities. Not all to our taste, as is to be expected, but we were not short of things to do! We used ships tours in Costa Rica and Guatemala, both of which provided excellent guides and good transport. We used local services at other ports: "Dora the Explorer" in Cartagena who was excellent and I highly recommend and, likewise, Clemente through "Tours by Locals" in Panama City. The only issue we has was with disembarkation when we had booked a stopover, again with Princess. They tried to leave us to the last group to disembark, even though they were aware that we wanted to be off early to be able to see LA. This meant that we would not arrive at our hotel until the afternoon severely cutting down the time we had to explore and going against the whole idea of booking a stopover. Despite my protestations no alternative disembarkation was offered until I demanded to see the manager and suggested the provision of a taxi would be simple enough to sort out. Not the best end to the holiday but it was sorted out for us eventually. All in all a very good trip with the "blip" at the end that could have easily been avoided. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We had taken a Princess cruise 18 years before that started in Florida, went through the canal to the lake and back to Florida again. This time we wanted to do a full transit and take our son and daughter-in-law along, ending up in LA ... Read More
We had taken a Princess cruise 18 years before that started in Florida, went through the canal to the lake and back to Florida again. This time we wanted to do a full transit and take our son and daughter-in-law along, ending up in LA where a car ride would bring us home. The embarkation at Port Everglades could not have been smoother as was the disembarkation, examples of how organized the whole trip was. This is an older ship and not as ritzy as some we have been on, but it was clean and attractive. We had a balcony cabin which was ideal for the transit. The room was efficient, but not lavish, with a large closet and nice flat screen TV. The bathroom was very small, as was the shower, but serviceable. We chose early seating in the MDR for 4, as we are early eaters and found it most convenient for the shows. The service at our table was excellent, and we like having the same staff throughout the trip. We don't like having to make daily reservations for Anytime Dining or the "job interviews" every night with new table mates, but it's probably fine for extroverts. The food was very good with much variety although not as outstanding as some ships. We went to the buffet at the Horizon Court for breakfast and lunch. There the food was fine but finding a table at busy times was a bit challenging. The population on this cruise skewed much younger than usual, with many families that included children and adolescents but we did not notice a problem. We went to most of the shows and enjoyed them all. Be sure to get there 15 to 20 minutes early. The internet was very frustrating and fortunately we got 250 minutes free but it took up lots of minutes waiting for downloads. We bought a data plan from Verizon before the trip, and I found that most useful at all the ports to get my emails. Except for Aruba, we took the Princess excursions at the other ports and thought they were all worthwhile. The activities on sea days were not really my cup of tea (silly games, bingo, art sales) and thought there could have been more interesting presentations about the area. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We like cruising, and save for it for quite a while, so we kind of build up this perfect/pampered dream cruise in our mind before hand. This cruise was not perfect, but it sure beats the best day at work.. Without exception the ... Read More
We like cruising, and save for it for quite a while, so we kind of build up this perfect/pampered dream cruise in our mind before hand. This cruise was not perfect, but it sure beats the best day at work.. Without exception the staff was amazing, attentive, helpful, friendly, and really hard working. Highest marks to the staff. The entertainment was also very good, but the shows were only about 40 minute long. The one area that I was VERY disappointed was the food. to call the food Crap would be an insult to crap. Overcooked, poorly cooked, improperly seasoned...the food was not good. One of the greatest joys I have on a cruise is seafood. Since my wife does not like seafood, I only get it when we go out or on a cruise. Past cruises I had a different Seafood every night, not so on the cruise. They served the same fish entre three times, it was bad the first time uneatable the second, untried the third. overall I was very disappointed in the food. the one shining spot was the hamburger grill on Deck 15, the burgers were always good, but I wanted more than good burgers. The shore excursions were okay. We were in Aruba way to short to do anything fun so we just walk around town for an hour and went back to the ship. We did not get of in Columbia, or Niagara. had a great tour in Costa Rica. This cruise had way more kids than most of the longer cruise, so we thought there would be an adults only pool -- there was not. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose the Coral Princess because the itinerary had a nice division of Port and sea days and it worked well for our Holiday schedules. Boarded without issue in Fort Lauderdale. The ship overall I think was well maintained. Unless you ... Read More
We chose the Coral Princess because the itinerary had a nice division of Port and sea days and it worked well for our Holiday schedules. Boarded without issue in Fort Lauderdale. The ship overall I think was well maintained. Unless you have only been on brand new ships I think some normal wear is expected. Always saw workers painting, varnishing, etc. We did anytime dining and it was pretty good! I have been on many cruise lines and overall food quality is not what it was back in the day, but everything was tasty and we certainly never went hungry. I was interested that some preferred the buffet. Although there was nothing wrong with the buffer food, I got easily bored with the offerings at breakfast and lunch after about 7 days... We did try all the specialty dining options. Sabbatini's recently changed their menu and for our tastes, we heavily preferred the old menu. This one was just meh... Service was lovely though. Had a couple of fabulous dinners at the Bayou steakhouse. If you like New Orleans style food, they did a good job. Steak was super tasty! We also did the ultimate balcony dining for the first time and it was SPECTACULAR. What a production and awesome food! Worth every penny of the $100 upcharge. As has been our view on all 12 of our Princess cruises, the entertainment was - Entertaining. Food and entertainment are very subjective, but we are in our early 50s and I think they provided a fair variety of entertainers. I never feel like Princess has enough stuff to do on sea days, but this itinerary allowed a good mix of downtime between ports so I can't say I was ever bored. Service was top notch 99% of the time. The only exceptions would be the future cruise lady was SUPER crabby, the Spa manager was kind of a jerk, and the shopping lady was a bit annoying. ( the rest of the staff was FABULOUS that we dealt with). small potatoes in a sea of lovely people. I do have to say on All cruises lately and this was no exception, rude people and those that see a ship as an opportunity to allow their children to run rampant is not cool. I find it is a privilege to travel and the hard working people on the ship should not have to deal with such nonsense. Again.. overall this was a fantastic journey where you could watch history come to life ( HIghly recommend the book "The Path Between 2 Seas"... very long but adds great meaning to the crossing!). I mention the small things to reign in expectations, but really a fine time was had by my husband and me. As far as ports: we booked all independently from ship. .I do wish we had known in advance that the ports in San Juan Del Sur and Huatulco mainly required cash unless it was a big retail store. San Juan del Sur Nicaragua had many really nice and unique items for sale including woodcrafts but we do not like to carry a bunch of cash with us so we were unable to purchase items. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
It was a great cruise. You have to take the good with the bad and not nit pick like so many do. The weather was fantastic, the ports were great. The ship overall was in good shape for her age but needed some touch up. The food was ... Read More
It was a great cruise. You have to take the good with the bad and not nit pick like so many do. The weather was fantastic, the ports were great. The ship overall was in good shape for her age but needed some touch up. The food was average in the MDR and I am not a foodie. The cruise directors staff was a bit young. There were 10% more then capacity and you never felt like there was a crowd. Always a lounger and never a wait. The ship was the perfect size for me and easy to get around. The entertainment was good and bad, but that is subjective. The 1 thing I loved was that there was so much more then just the production shows. Maybe this was because it was 15 days and they had time but it was nice that there was other offerings. I have read some are complaining about the pizza but thought it was the usual Princes pie. Embarkation and disembarkation was fast and easy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise because experiencing the Panama Canal was high on our list of travel, the timing was right with the winter break and we like Princess. There is a big difference between a full passage from Pacific to Atlantic or visa ... Read More
We chose this cruise because experiencing the Panama Canal was high on our list of travel, the timing was right with the winter break and we like Princess. There is a big difference between a full passage from Pacific to Atlantic or visa versa, with the interest in mind. Not only did we go through the locks, but we had narration almost the entire time. The old locks are amazing. Princess got a reduced price for passage and paid more to be the first ship to transit for the day and refunded everyone $67 each because of the savings. Ship was in decent shape. Food was good. Entertainment was good. The production were good and 3 of the 5 main entertainers were excellent. The lecturers were outstanding as well. Best part was that we met really nice people by participating in assigned dining and also used roll call to join groups that were planning non Princess shore excursions. The two things that kept me from giving an excellent rating on the cruise was sink water that did not get very warm (shower did) and my wife had a shoreline excursion that was not as advertised. The other excursion that we did together in Cartegena was great. Best of all, we dodged the December freezes. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
After spending 4 days in Hollywood near Fort Lauderdale we had a rapid, smooth embarkation upon the Coral Princess. We found the ship delightful with spacious well appointed lounges and bars that far exceeded our expectations for a ... Read More
After spending 4 days in Hollywood near Fort Lauderdale we had a rapid, smooth embarkation upon the Coral Princess. We found the ship delightful with spacious well appointed lounges and bars that far exceeded our expectations for a smaller class of ship. Although the ship is older it was not tired with all areas fresh and well maintained. The ship had the feel of a spacious, classic, first class cruise liner where there were both active and quiet spots to suit the needs of all passengers. The area under the most pressure space wise is the Bordeaux anytime dining room where there was invariably a wait of between 10 and 40 minutes to get seated. However with this in mind one just collects a pager and then enjoy a relaxing pre dinner drink. The quality of the food and service staff in both the main dining rooms and the Horizon Cafe was superb. Our only issues arose on the particular evening we dined in the Bayeaux Cafe ( supplemental cost ) where the service was poor, the steaks way overseasoned and the dough on the peach pie was not cooked through. However mistakes happen and the issues were acknowledged and addressed by senior management to our satisfaction. Others dined in this venue on alternate nights and were completely satisfied. INone of the above can detract from the overall excellent dining experience on the ship. The service provided by all cabin, casino and service staff was absolutely first class and was delivered with genuine warmth and good cheer. The shows were very good and the trio ( piano. violin and double bass ) performing mainly in the atrium were exemplary. Although this is not our preferred music genre we invariably spent considerable time listening to their outstanding performances particularly with regard to the violinist whom made the instrument literally sing to the audience. We felt that some of the other acts could have been stronger and there were weak members within the activities team but once again this did not seriously detract from our enjoyment. The itinery was excellent and the tours we went on in each port were great and hosted by well informed and knowledgeable guides. The trip through the Panama canal was a fantastic experience enhanced by the expert and interesting narration provided throughout the day by a specialist broadcasting from the bridge. Overall we had an absolutely fantastic cruise, one of our best. Well done Princess for maintaining such a high quality where P & O continue to let standards slip. considerably. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Fancied doing something different and chose this cruise as we have cruised with Princess a fews times to Mexico at Thanksgiving on the Ruby and Crown. The Coral is an old ship and starting to look a bit tired. We sailed during Xmas ... Read More
Fancied doing something different and chose this cruise as we have cruised with Princess a fews times to Mexico at Thanksgiving on the Ruby and Crown. The Coral is an old ship and starting to look a bit tired. We sailed during Xmas and NYE. It was a bit boring on both nights, but that's okay wasn't expecting Times Square but could have been a bit better. We had 2 balcony cabins and 1 mini suite. We really needed a handicapped accessible cabin for our wheelchair bound disabled child, but low and behold not one was available. My child was the only one on the cruise who actually had her own wheelchair that wasn't rented! But there you go, awful but people seem to think booking a handicapped accessible cabin when you don't need it really but just want the extra space, is okay. But it's not. Food in the Horizon cafe was much better than the Bordeaux restaurant anytime dining. We found that the food in the Bordeaux was quite awful. Either over cooked, bland or cold. Horizon offered much better choices. Wifi is terrible. I spent more time trying to get on and get off the wifi and wasted so many minutes doing so. The internet cafe manager, Mikael couldn't care less. Overall this was an okay cruise, but for what I spent on 3 cabins ($22K) I was sorely disappointed. There are other cruises out there that offer much better food, cabins and entertainment for less. Panama Canal was somewhat interesting but after 8 hours of non stop commentary it got a little boring. Great to see, but don't think I would rush back. The excursions were over priced and really nothing great. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This is as much the opinion of experienced cruisers we were with as ours, this being our first cruise. We loved going through the Panama Canal and the ports. The narration during the passage through the canal was great. There were 2000 ... Read More
This is as much the opinion of experienced cruisers we were with as ours, this being our first cruise. We loved going through the Panama Canal and the ports. The narration during the passage through the canal was great. There were 2000 passengers on the boat, but for the most part it did not seem that crowded. The food and the entertainment were just OK. The food in the specialty restaurants was better. The cultural presentations we’re also just OK, and there were not many of them. The medical office would quarantine noncontageous passengers, encouraging people not to go to the doctor. The movie selection was mediocre. The internet was truly abysmal. It did not work at all about a quarter of the time, and was extremely slow the rest of the time. Experience cruisers told us it was the worst they had ever seen. We would strongly encourage people to take a Panama Canal cruise. We would encourage people to look for a better option then Princess, but would not say you should not take Princess if it is the best option. 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
Sail Date December 2017
The Panama Canal had long been on our bucket list and we were not disappointed. It was so good that we would do it again any day. We found that the ship though a little dated is very comfortable. Having just cruised with HAL it was ... Read More
The Panama Canal had long been on our bucket list and we were not disappointed. It was so good that we would do it again any day. We found that the ship though a little dated is very comfortable. Having just cruised with HAL it was great being back on a Princess ship. Our only disappointment with the ship was the position of the International Café. We prefer it on the other ships where it is in the Atrium. The quality of the entertainment was first class especially the dancers and singers. We didn't enjoy the port lecturer as we found him to be arrogant, constantly telling us how good he was. He drifted off his subject and was totally boring. We found that we were eating more often in the Horizon Court this time, mainly because we didn't have dining companions. This seemed to be a feature with having late dining. We found that the buffet gave us what we wanted and was nice and quiet. The shore excursions were what we expected though the Fuerte Amador excursion to see the new locks was disappointing. Too much time was spent driving around old US bases which are mainly derelict now rather than time at the locks themselves. Best excursion was the semi sub in Aruba. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This cruise has been on our bucket list for many years. The ship, the itinerary, the time, and the price all came together for us to book the cruise just a couple of weeks before embarkation. I had gathered a lot of information and ... Read More
This cruise has been on our bucket list for many years. The ship, the itinerary, the time, and the price all came together for us to book the cruise just a couple of weeks before embarkation. I had gathered a lot of information and decided that the Coral Princess was the ship that we wanted to travel on. Arriving about 10 am, embarkation went very smoothly, checking in quickly and only having to wait a little while before boarding the ship. We were in our room, got unpacked, and having lunch by noon. Ship: The ship was perfect size and specially designed to do the Panama itinerary. Areas to view the passage through the canal were great. The only suggestion I could make would be to replace many of the windows that are very cloudy, distorting your view. Public areas were beautiful and clean. A special shout out for the rest rooms being very clean. Dining: We really enjoyed anytime dining because we were able to eat with a variety of very wonderful people in the dining room. The only problem that we had was the time waiting in line. Princess needs to take a lesson from RCL in being able to book reservations online in advance of leaving for the cruise. Food and service was great in the dining room as well as the Horizon Court. We enjoyed the afternoon tea each day in the Bordeaux Dining room. Entertainment: We felt that the shows in the Theater and the Universe Lounge were some of the best in our twenty one cruises. The entertainment in the other lounges and atrium were also special. Imperial String Trio were great. The only complaint would be the movies that were shown in the Theater. One had so much profanity that we walked out after only a couple of minutes. Service: Not a single complaint about the service anywhere on the ship. Our cabin steward, JayBee kept our room sparkling at all times. Dining service was great both in the dining room and the Horizen Court was as good as it gets. Itinerary: We picked this cruise for the Panama Canal and were not at all disappointed. The other ports were all a bonus for us. Disembarkation: We did self disembarkation so we went off early and quite swiftly. All in all we were very satisfied with everything on the cruise and in the right situation, we would do it again in a minute. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Found the restaurant and theatre very cold. Also, the anytime dining was not a very efficient as if we didn't line up at 5pm, we had to wait until 8 pm to eat! Need more restuarants for anytime dining. Entertainment kinda died off ... Read More
Found the restaurant and theatre very cold. Also, the anytime dining was not a very efficient as if we didn't line up at 5pm, we had to wait until 8 pm to eat! Need more restuarants for anytime dining. Entertainment kinda died off after 9pm. There was some, but I think due to the majority being seniors it was mostly piano playing type entertainment. low key. Some nights there were deck parties which were fun. Enjoyed the Love Boat night. We did enjoy our 1st Princess Cruise and will do another. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth. Was disappointed in the lack of communication on the boat. Didn't hear most of the announcements when there were ones. Missed out on things due to lack of communication. Should be able to turn on/off speaker in room so we can hear announcements. EX: when we were at port...would be nice to hear we were there and give times when we can disembark and time to be back. Also, when on the deck, they didn't turn off the movie/music when there were announcements. Also, would be nice for them to let us know where people can find wi-fi as everyone wants it. The buffet was pretty good. Loved that they brought us our omelets so we didn't have to stand around waiting!!!~ Also, wait staff were great! We are vegetarian and found lots to eat but a vegan would have more issues at the buffet. Need more options. Loved the Wake Up Show once we knew it was on! Watched it every night so we knew what was happening the next day. Clean ship! Public bathrooms were excellent. Gym was ok. Water dispenser with paper cups would have been nice. Should have smaller photo pkg for people that only want 2 or 3 photos. Some staff in dining rooms I didn't find friendly and at the Coffee Grounds. Enjoyed the majority of the entertainers, comedians, singers, magicians, impersonators etc.... Loved the Free Zumba! Every class was full! Keep that program please! Look forward to our next cruise! Need free wi-fi. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Great way to see the Panama; the ship, crew, staff, service, entertainment and particularly the evening dinners were outstanding. The exercise equipment, and room was terrible... to crowded, and only 1 working bike and rowing machine. ... Read More
Great way to see the Panama; the ship, crew, staff, service, entertainment and particularly the evening dinners were outstanding. The exercise equipment, and room was terrible... to crowded, and only 1 working bike and rowing machine. The Pickleball/Volleyball court not great. The court is too small for PB, the net is right behind the back line; and the lines are wrong. They could remedy this by turning the court 90 degrees, and increasing the enclosing net size, and drawing in the proper lines. Which would mean moving the shuffleboard to the very back. The excursions were also good; but the "lectures" are getting a little "tired"; but somewhat informative. We stopped at Aruba, great beaches, Cartagena, interesting history; the canal, which is amazing; Panama City... also historically interesting, and a great tour; then stops at Puntareas, Costa Rica, and finally Puerto Vallarta. Overall, a great trip; but a major problem was the A/C which I'm sure contributed to many colds onboard. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
First off, I've never cruised with Princess so we were in uncharted territory. Furthermore, I'm not really a big fan of cruising as I prefer to travel more independently. However, transiting the Panama Canal was in the back of ... Read More
First off, I've never cruised with Princess so we were in uncharted territory. Furthermore, I'm not really a big fan of cruising as I prefer to travel more independently. However, transiting the Panama Canal was in the back of our minds for a few years and when it came up this year for serious consideration, the only option from our home port (Ft. Lauderdale or Miami) was to cruise on Princess. We did a 10-day round-trip partial transit primarily due to work obligations and also a lack of desire to cruise for 15 days as required for a full transit. Never having cruised with Princess, but having cruised on RCCL and Celebrity, I relied on many reviews on this site to give me an idea of what to expect. A lot of what I read here turned out to be true of this itinerary: older crowd, older ship with a more "traditional" cruising experience but with the bonus of a roomy feeling on the ship due to its decent size, open area layout and relatively low passenger capacity. The latter can't be stressed enough. While we tried to walk up and down the stairs instead of taking the elevator, the elevators almost always were empty when we decided to get on one. You never felt like there was a crowd of people on the ship. Except for an advertised "sale" on t-shirts on the next-to-last-day, we never experienced a crowded feeling on the ship in any venue, including the buffet. Back to the demographics, we certainly didn't expect to see much in the way of young families on a 10-day Panama Canal cruise in mid-November so the older crowd was to be expected, but on occasion we came across a smattering of travelers on the younger side of the adult spectrum, e.g., 40-50 somethings. There was a toddler or two but I didn't see any school-age childen or teens at all. That said, we are not party cruisers and appreciated the more laid back tone that this cruise was geared to. There are a good deal of sea days due to the itinerary and the on board activities were aimed at an older crowd, e.g., unhosted mah jongg and bridge. There was an occasional poolside contest but it was the exception and not the norm. The evening entertainment never caught our eye on any day so I cannot comment on the quality of the entertainment. Seemed to be a typical representation and rotation of a production show, solo singers, small bands in the one or two lounges on board and a comedian doing impressions. We prefer to walk around the ports on our own but took the excursion in the Panama Canal as that is the only way to go shoreside on the canal day. We're in our 40s and maybe there were a handful of others on our bus who were our age or younger. I thought the tour was poorly organized and the description should have had better warnings about the poor condition of the streets in Colonial Panama. There were numerous hazards due to the uneven pavement (and lack of it) on the sidewalks and many of the older people logically had to take extra precautions; others caught cabs back to the bus to avoid walking more. The weather didn't cooperate, which of course is uncontrollable, but I think they should have had a "plan B" for working around inclement conditions, e.g., reorganizing the order of the stops on the tour. Either way, it was worthwhile or else we would have seen nothing of Panama City but the tour wasn't well organized in general and I wouldn't recommend it. I will note that we had briefly considered taking the ferry tour which allows you to go through all the locks through to the Pacific, but after reading many of the reviews on CruiseCritic, I opted not to due to the many variables that can affect the ferry, notably the long wait times. I am glad we did not take the ferry tour as we ran into a couple that did and they said it was an uncomfortable and long day. The wait times were exorbitant to go through the various locks, the rain was coming down in sheets, they got soaked through the tarps and the chairs were plastic garden chairs without padding. The ship departed Panama hours late due to the length of the ferry excursion and the time they needed to get back to the port by bus in rush hour traffic. Our land-based tour to Panama City took 3 hours longer than normal due to traffic and when we departed Panama much later in the evening then planned, I figured it was due to the ferry excursion which was the only one that was scheduled to last longer than ours. Back to the ship, there are not a lot of bells and whistles that you find nowadays on the modern ships competing for your cruise dollar. For as much as the ship was comfortable for this particular itinerary, I would not recommend this ship at all for active families or teens. After 10-days I was getting a bit bored as the options are limited. The options are adequate though for a few days for a low-key traveler: an occasional stop at the putting green (not mini-golf, rather a putting green), feeding coins into the casino, walking on deck, sitting on the balcony and watching a concert on the Movies on the Stars screen. The food was where I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't expect much, but the pizza and occasional burger were very decent all things considered and we actually enjoyed eating in the MDR most nights (which we typically eschew on cruise ships for the buffet as the MDR tends to be stuffy or at the very least an overly long dining experience). We did avoid the MDR on formal night as we are casual travelers and there was no way were we bringing clothes to wear on formal night. My understanding is that they enforce the dress code. Dining was definitely more traditional here than on RCCL or Celebrity. I'm not saying every night the menu appealed to us, but on the nights that we found something on the menu that sounded good, we actually enjoyed the food. Lunch in the MDR was much more casual and good. The buffet disappointed a bit. There was somewhat of a selection at the buffet but a lot of the entrees were heavy and I often ended up with just some salad on my plate after walking through it. We had club class dining so we never had a problem getting a table for two which helped us to enjoy the MDR more as the prospect of eating with others and being somewhat tied to not being able to truly come and go is not for us. Not to say we didn't engage in some ad hoc conversation with others in adjacent tables. The tables are so close that sometimes it's the natural order of things and for what it is worth, all those random conversations were pleasant and enhanced the dinner experience overall on many evenings. As for the food quality, it's so subjective, but we enjoyed most of what we ordered but I heard grumblings around where we were seated when the emcee (head of F&B) asked the crowd how the food was during a culinary demonstration and galley tour on the last sea day. I'm not a food snob but on the other hand bad food would be cause for a lukewarm review and due to all the reviews I read in the months before we sailed, I was pleasantly surprised how palatable it was overall -- except on the buffet. We noticed that many of the officers and F&B managers on our particular sailing were Italian, so perhaps that's why the Italian menu offerings were particularly good. Also, I think (but don't know) that some of what affects the food is where the ship onloads its provisions from. We embarked from Fort Lauderdale and perhaps due to the tropical location, the seasonal fruit was especially good. The service in the cabin was very good, nothing to really comment on. Some very minor quirks were more for the cruiseline: supposedly there was a choice of mattress toppers (firm or plush) as per an in-cabin placard but when we asked, the steward said there was only the one that was on the bed, i.e., no other options. Also a curious inquiry about the pillow menu elicited the same response although we were able to change feather pillows for foam ones. Something odd worth noting is that the steward tended to oil the furniture on the balcony which I understand as it is wood, but on the other hand it was greasy when you touched the arms of the furniture or back of the chair and a shirt got stained with dark oil after sitting in one briefly. I understand an occasional wiping down with oil to help preserve the furniture (which I would think would be sealed to begin with) but it seemed to be an every day occurrence. We had to use towels from the room to wipe off the oil ourselves when we wanted to use the balcony furniture, something that gets slightly annoying day in and day out. It stained the towels pretty well but better the towels than our clothes. The port lectures were history-oriented and not shopping oriented which was a pleasant change of pace from RCCL. Typically the lectures tell you which way to turn when you get off the ship to go to an "approved" shop. On the contrary, the lecturer was focused on history and was refreshingly honest in some instances where he said excursions weren't necessary in all ports and cabs could be taken to reach sites of interest, etc. It's not to say the in-room TV and leaflets don't push the shopping and act as if "EFFY" is a high-end "household" jewelry name (which if you're like me, you've never heard of before the cruise or since), but they don't accost you from all sides with the shopping opportunities and they are easily avoided. The gym is well-appointed and more than adequate. This is where we tended to see a cross-section of adults from various age groups. Initially, I was skittish about cruising with Princess on an "older" ship for such a relatively long cruise and although we had the option to sail to the Panama Canal a day earlier on the larger Caribbean Princess with more on board activities, we opted for the Coral Princess as it had so many devotees on this and other sites and also the Caribbean Princess was spending a day on the cruiseline's private island instead of stopping in Aruba -- and we preferred to go to Aruba. We are more itinerary-driven than ship-amenity driven. We really liked it and it was one of the more enjoyable cruises due to the many factors I listed above. I would sail Princess over RCCL any day of the week (I realize that Celebrity, a RCCL company, is Princess' direct competitor) but RCCL sails the mega-ships out of Ft Lauderdale, my home market, so that is the reason I make this statement. Celebrity is good as well and I would give them an another opportunity if the itinerary was right.) However, my opinion is that fun-seekers and families likely would get bored quickly, at least on this itinerary. The cruiseline likely changes the on-board activities for the Alaska season, but you can't change the fact that this ship doesn't have much in the way of "modern" bells and whistles so they are important to you I would look elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
The 15 day full canal transit was outstanding. The cruise staff, in spite of being short staffed, provided a regular, diverse set of activities, from trivia to games to exercise classes. You could be as busy or as laid back as you wanted ... Read More
The 15 day full canal transit was outstanding. The cruise staff, in spite of being short staffed, provided a regular, diverse set of activities, from trivia to games to exercise classes. You could be as busy or as laid back as you wanted to be. The Coral, unlike the Island, has two theaters for shows, an adequate-sized gym, an international cafe for coffee, a Promenade deck circuit for walking, and sufficient public areas for the numbers of passengers. They have resized Club Class in the dining room so that, unlike our cruise in July, the waiting for seating in Anytime Dining was reasonable. The entertainment was good, especially the Imperial Trio, a fantastic group from Hungary, who played regularly in the atrium. The dance bands, like Rhapsody, not so much. Of course, there is the downside that Princess overprices photos and the spa and is so intent on selling extras that it feels like QVC. This, however, is easily ignored. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Coral Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
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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