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

BEST CRUISE EVER! We took the Panama Canal Cruise out of Fort Lauderdale. We had been on a couple more Princess cruises that were good, but this one exceeded our expectations! This one was over the top SPECTACULAR! ONE: It is extremely ... Read More
BEST CRUISE EVER! We took the Panama Canal Cruise out of Fort Lauderdale. We had been on a couple more Princess cruises that were good, but this one exceeded our expectations! This one was over the top SPECTACULAR! ONE: It is extremely well organized from the moment you board to the end of the cruise. The "hurry up and wait" portion was minimal thanks to the many attentive staff. They were friendly and patient. That's what a tourist needs. TWO: The meals on board are very high quality. The dining room is lovely and the menus are amazing. I never had a meal where I didn't LOVE the offerings. The Horizon Court food buffet was equally high quality. Staff there constantly cleaned the area, replenished dishes often and quickly brought you beverages. I liked how they served dishes trying to accommodate everyone's special needs and ethnic backgrounds. THREE: The cruise director and staff were beyond professional and oh so talented. The staff MADE the cruise alive with energy and anticipation. Every activity they led were organized well and made you glad you had a day at sea. They've lead many activities and worked many cruises before but still managed to make each one of us feel special. FOUR: The on-board activities were so fun and offered a chance for all of us to get to know each other and gave us a chance to get to know the staff. Couples Match Game, Yes/No Challenge, movie trivia, music trivia bingo, karaoke, Dancing with the Princess Stars, Murder Mystery Night and the Staff Show were all so well done and led by the best staff ever! FIVE: The excursions were very organized and the cruise had a variety of tours for active and less active guests. Gosh we sure had fun on these excursions! Make your next cruise a Princess Cruise. It's worth it! Read Less
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
Sail Date January 2017
The good. 1. $12.80 +tip cab fare from FLL to the cruise ship. 2. Suites are nice and not claustrophobic. 3. Bed was very comfortable. 4. Head Chef and Maitre D were very nice. Chef's Table was excellent. ($95 ... Read More
The good. 1. $12.80 +tip cab fare from FLL to the cruise ship. 2. Suites are nice and not claustrophobic. 3. Bed was very comfortable. 4. Head Chef and Maitre D were very nice. Chef's Table was excellent. ($95 each) 5. Food was good--but not great. 6. Service was excellent. Especially the cabin attendant for our D711 suite. 7. Quick embarkation and debarkation. 8. Easy access to shipboard charges. 9. Easy internet access--for a charge either by the minute or a package. The Bad 1. Anytime seating usually meant you will have to wait for an available table. 2. This ship rocks more than any of my 12 cruise ships. It didn't rock while it was in port. It looked like everyone was drunk walking on this ship while at sea. 3. The hors d'oeuvres sold to be delivered to the room aren't that good. 4. Very few passengers used the extra charge restaurants (+$29 per person) 5. The casino, especially Blackjack, had the worst playing rules to give the house the advantage, as if they needed it. I guess that's why so few played. 6. The MAJOR reason I will never cruise Princess is they blacked out the Championship NFL games in all rooms on Sunday. They allowed the pre-game shows, then the actual games were replaced by soccer, from who knows where. They only televised the NFL games on deck 14 in the heat of the day so they could sell more drinks. (It was kind of like going in your back yard at 1pm on July 4th in a lawn chair and watching TV with no shade on a 12 inch TV!) Then the evening game was televised while the ship was moving at sea and we were all almost blown away by the wind and had to cover up with beach towels to keep warm. The large screen TV was so poor that following the flight of the football was extremely difficult and many times impossible. I asked if I could complain to the captain and was told I would be able to express my disappointment on line when I returned home. Well Princess Lines--this is my complaint and my promise that you have seen my last green US dollar. I'm still waiting for my email as I haven't expressed my true disappointment with your refusing to allow NFL football in my suite as harshly here as I'm going to in my email. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I was with a group of Physician friends and I did not make the choice of Princess.. I am a vegetarian and the ship did not cater to special diet needs.. The fruits served were unripe and lacking in quality.. Bananas,melons and pine apple ... Read More
I was with a group of Physician friends and I did not make the choice of Princess.. I am a vegetarian and the ship did not cater to special diet needs.. The fruits served were unripe and lacking in quality.. Bananas,melons and pine apple were unripe most of the time.. No berries or tropical fruits were served at any restaurants. Specialty restaurants ( only 2 fro a ship carrying 2200 + 900 staff) had nothing for vegetarians.. The chefs were invisible and never around for passengers to interact and give feed back.. I am not a fan of fixed time dining every day with same people and Princess seem to relish the idea.. The dining servers everywhere were courteous and helpful.. The cruise line did not acknowledge that I traveled with them in year 2000 to Alaska.. There were many sea days and the activities were very limited.. For example, there was no organized bridge ( card game) and no bridge teachers on board.. The card room was overflowing and no room to play during the day on sea days.. The evening shows were excellent.. The dancers, singers, and the magician on board were excellent.. The comedian was poor.. The cruise director seem to work hard. I was on six NCL, 1 Oceania and 1 Princess cruise before and I rate Princess the worst of them all.. Overall, I will never travel again on Princess.. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We went as part of a group of friends. My wife is scooter-bound. We were initially told that because of my wife's mobility issues, we could not go on any of the shore excursions. However, after discussions with the shore ... Read More
We went as part of a group of friends. My wife is scooter-bound. We were initially told that because of my wife's mobility issues, we could not go on any of the shore excursions. However, after discussions with the shore excursion staff, we found we could participate in tours at three of the five ports of call (we could have probably made tours in four ports had we asked earlier). The one port we could not do a tour was the Panama Canal, as my wife could not transfer in and out of a boat to go ashore. Our handicapped access room was excellent; we especially liked the roll-in shower design. However, my wife could not get into many of the public area restrooms with her scooter, even though the restrooms are marked "handicapped accessible". She also has an issue with steps leading to different dining levels in the restaurants. Excellent marks go to the staff and the food. The entertainment was what you would expect on a cruise; not Broadway quality, but enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Cruising to Panama Canal with 19 others. The ship is very nice. Of course, the shower is tiny as all cruises. One night there was the odor of varnish in our hallway. We called the desk and they had the crew stop painting ... Read More
Cruising to Panama Canal with 19 others. The ship is very nice. Of course, the shower is tiny as all cruises. One night there was the odor of varnish in our hallway. We called the desk and they had the crew stop painting whatever it was. We had to open our balcony doors to get rid of the smell. One day the carpet was replaced in our hall. I suppose these repairs have to be done while passengers are aboard as they leave the same day you come into port with another group of passengers. I often saw the crew wiping down handrails and cleaning, so it is nice to know they are trying to maintain a nice and clean ship. Food was well prepared and you get lots of choices. I loved the Prime rib and the Lobster and Shrimp best. Oh, and the desserts were awesome in the Provence Dining room where we had the 5:30 seating. Make sure you try out the cheeseburgers and pizza at the top of the ship. Everyone from the crew I talked to were friendly and so polite. It was fun to meet people from all over the world from crew members to passengers. This was the first ship I've ever been on that had few children. I counted only 13 young kids. I saw somewhere that the average age on this cruise was 70 which surprised me somewhat. As far as shows go we enjoyed the last 2 nights the most. These were the Voice of the Ocean and the International Crew Show. The former was patterned after The Voice and Cory the cruise director made it even better. He is a hoot. The crew show featured talented members of the staff performing. The magician and comedians were great too. We also liked the New Orleans show put on by the dancers and singers on the ship. In Aruba we took a taxi to Eagle Beach and then went shopping near the ship. Didn't have much time to do anything else. The sand was so fine and white. No seaweed or shells. Beautiful. Only there from 7:30-12:30. In Cartegena did the Hop and Go Bus. We got to see the castle, town, and beach. Some of our group got off at the Castle. In Panama we did the complete transfer through the canal. It was long and hot, but I'm glad I did it. The itinerary was different from what it had been advertised. We took the cruise ship into Gatun Lake, then were tendered to the shore in a life boat. Rode a bus to the ferry boat. (This was the part that wasn't mentioned in the advertisement) Finally got on the ferry, then back on the bus to Colon to return to the ship. So not sure we traveled the entire canal, but we did make it to the Pacific side. At least the bus was air conditioned. This all cost $179 which I think is rather expensive. In Limon we rode the train and a boat through the rain forest. Saw some monkeys , a sloth, and some birds. Not as much wildlife as I had hoped. But it was enjoyable. Jamaica was my favorite stop. I went to Kanoka Falls which was much smaller than Dunns River Falls. But at Kanoka the gardens were beautiful. There was a small museum and some animals in cages. When we got back we shopped at the port area. I got to get in the ocean at Marguarita Beach which is close enough to walk to from the port. The sand was pretty and the water a beautiful turquoise color. Very few shells and no seaweed. Beautiful. I wish the ship had more free activities and games. There was scattegories, married game, trivia, and suduko challenge. I took part In an origami session which was fun. There is always something to spend your money on like Bingo, the casino, and the shops. The Effy jewelry shop is a joke unless you have plenty of money. I won a $200 coupon, but when I tried to use it you could only spend it on certain things. The cheapest thing I could find was $1200 . They advertise it as being duty free, but if you spend more than $800 you still have to pay the duty when you go through customs. They finally put out some $10 t shirts of all the places we went to on the last sea day. The ship probably could have sold more if they had put them out earlier. I bought a watch at one of the sales for $7 and a pin is out of the band. Therefore I can't wear it. I was hoping I could at least wear it until the battery died. Probably can get it fixed at a jewelry store for $7 more. Todd from Texas had a free shopping seminar. I bought one of the $25 books with coupons in it. The main necklace I tried to get from the Diamonds International store was sold out. They did give me a different smaller pendant. When I tried to get the jewelry cleaning rag at a different store they gave me one small pearl instead. I did get the other things that were in the book. I'd suggest save your $25. We didn't buy any pictures this cruse, but they do offer a package deal for $199 which includes the memory card. All in all, it was a very good cruise. I'm glad I did it, and may return some day to Aruba and Jamaica. The people in the different countries were all proud of their heritage and so nice. A few people tried to get us to buy things, but it wasn't like harassment like I had heard other people say. I felt safe in all the areas we went too. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Was very excited to go to Columbia, Panama, and Costa Rica. The Coral Princess is an older ship and the cabin bathroom was unbelievably small. The Cabin and restaurant serving staffs were excellent, friendly, and professional. The front ... Read More
Was very excited to go to Columbia, Panama, and Costa Rica. The Coral Princess is an older ship and the cabin bathroom was unbelievably small. The Cabin and restaurant serving staffs were excellent, friendly, and professional. The front desk Passenger staff was not. Twice we were given the wrong information and missed a function entirely. The food was good, and there were several wine tastings that were fun also. The Excursions that were booked through Princess were great. Four were excellent with very knowledgeable guides, and the 5th was average but fun. I was VERY disappointed in the way children were allowed to scream, run, and jump all over furniture and passengers; you could NOT get away from their bad behavior. None of the Princess employees said anything to the parents or children; it was dangerous and horribly stressful. NOT AT ALL what I had planned a cruise for. Although I booked several Spa treatments, the Spa was not good either. It was a traffic thorough fare; no Sanctuary of tranquility and for the high price it should have been. There was noise and a constant barrage of people trying to sell you overpriced products. It did not even have a jacuzzi or pool for private Spa Customers. I do not plan on traveling Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
There were some good and bad aspects to this cruise. Here are the bad points: Terrible food- worst we have experienced on any cruise line. I had read previously about the poor pastries on Princess -none of which are made with butter. ... Read More
There were some good and bad aspects to this cruise. Here are the bad points: Terrible food- worst we have experienced on any cruise line. I had read previously about the poor pastries on Princess -none of which are made with butter. This wasn't a problem since we always overeat the delicious pastries available at Celebrity's Cafe al Bacio. We were OK with skipping pastries- one bite and you had to spit them out- good diet enforcement. Finding some palatable food in general was a big problem though on this cruise line. I don't know where they even got some of this food. I've never tasted such disgusting salmon which was available nightly from the "classic" side of the menu. What is their source? Food Lion? Horrible flavor with the added bonus of being as tough and overcooked as an old shoe. Revolting seafood in tomato sauce at the Italian and Louisiana specialty restaurants- lots of sugar added to the sauce. Stale breadsticks every night. Very poor salads- we never had a nice, interesting, crisp salad in 10 days. Commercial salad dressings. Terrible wines by the glass. All the cocktails were made with chemical laden mixes which rendered them undrinkable. I could go on and on- I think you get the picture. There were some really nice features, however: Excellent crew, helpful, friendly, hardworking. One of the best room stewards we've ever had. Passengers were an interesting mix- many Europeans- the demographics sort of reminded me of Azamara- mostly a more sedate, upper middle class crowd. We didn't attend any shows so I can't evaluate the night time fun but my impression was it wasn't a very lively scene. Mattress was very comfortable. Excellent pillows. The room was sometimes too hot at night and we had to throw off the duvet and sleep covered with just a single sheet. We requested an adjustment but if someone from maintenance did come, it was while we were out of the room and the net effect was the same temp as before. In general, the public areas were attractive and well maintained. The carpet in our room was very stained and needed to be replaced but the room in general smelled fresher and nicer than staterooms on Celebrity which often have sewage smells coming from the toilets. The Sanctuary was great on sea days- highly recommend. Wonderfully comfortable chaise lounges and attentive service. I think I'm off cruising for the next few years- it no longer holds the appeal it used to. We were very fortunate to get a "move over offer"- I would've been furious if we had paid full price for such lousy food. Is Princess slipping because it was bought by Carnival? I don't know- it was our first time sailing with them. But I will never sail Princess again and probably won't ever try Holland America either since it's now also owned by Carnival. Read Less
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
Sail Date December 2016
3 generations of our family travelled together on the Coral Princess for Christmas, Grandparents (70s), Parents (50s) and kids (20s). We have been travelling on cruises all together for the past 15 years and have been on more than 20 ... Read More
3 generations of our family travelled together on the Coral Princess for Christmas, Grandparents (70s), Parents (50s) and kids (20s). We have been travelling on cruises all together for the past 15 years and have been on more than 20 cruises. We loved the Panama Canal Cruise. We had been before when the kids were much younger so we wanted to go again. The Coral Princess was a very nice ship and the service was outstanding, particularly in the dining room and on the lido deck. The trip through the Panama Canal was excellent. The ship went into the canal early, we had coffee and pastries delivered to our room and watched from the balcony. We turned on the commentary on our stateroom TV. After going through the first lock, we went down to the promenade deck where the view was even more impressive because you are even with the canal walls. After going through the locks the ship anchored in the lake and off loaded passengers going on excursions. We stayed on board. It was announced that about 60% of the passengers left the ship. About 10:30, the ship went back through the locks and we docked at the Port of Colon before 3pm, which was 2 hours early. We really enjoyed the transit, there are engineers in all 3 generations of the family so it was particularly interesting to them. The cabin was about standard in size, but the shower was small compared to other cruise lines and newer ships. The entertainment was great and this was a pleasant surprise. The past few cruises we have taken, the entertainment has seemed to decline. This cruise renewed our faith in cruise entertainment. There were the production shows but the costumes and sets seemed at a higher standard. There was an outstanding magician, a piano contortionist (really!), a comedian and a singing impressionist. Our whole group went to the show every night, which is very unusual. Also, most of the shows used live music not taped music for the singers to sync with. We really enjoyed the orchestra. The casino was much smaller than on other ships, this did not deter my father who likes table games, but the slot machine enthusiasts spent less time there than normal. Football was available on the specific days at the lido deck pool big screen, which was very fun, but it was not available in the cabins. This was disappointing. Also every morning there was a movie on the lido deck at 10am. There was both an indoor and outdoor swimming pool. The outdoor pool was the deepest we have seen (over 7 feet). The 40s show tunes music loop they played over and over at the pool between entertainment was annoying to our whole group, regardless of age. The food was very good in the dining room, each evening there was good selection of high quality. Tenderloin was on the menu at least 4 nights. I can't say enough good things about the dining room service, it was outstanding. The lido deck food was more average, but no one in our party complained. Even on the lido deck, the service was some of the best we have had. The ports were all great, but for some reason, the ship didn't stay long. For example, Aruba, the ship was in port from 7am to noon. The short stops made the ports almost useless. Who goes to the beach from 7 to 11 so they can get back to the ship on time. Of course, some people did, but our group that didn't go on the excursion didn't want the stress. They just got off the ship for a few minutes of shopping then went back. We went on 3 excursions: Ostrich farm in Aruba - we recommend this one, it is a bus ride around the island, seeing all the sights including a stop at an ostrich farm. Banana train ride in Costa Rica - this is an average trip, the train is old, take some water. The excursion was ok only because the tour guide was excellent. Walking Tour of the old city in Columbia - This one, we do not recommend. The tour guide was terrible and the stops were at shopping areas where he had made previous arrangements, for example, we stopped to watch a street painter and some break dancers, but when we passed a large beautiful church there was no commentary, even when a question was asked. The tour was endless on a very hot day, and the tour guide would not tell us where to meet the bus so we could stop for a drink in a café. I recommend a taxi to the old city and walk around on your own. This trip was a great way for multiple generations to spend time together and everyone was happy with plenty to do! We would definitely go again and we loved Princess. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was our second cruise on the Coral Princess. Our first experience was cruising Alaska on the same ship. For this cruise the ship was quite fully booked, with many families and children aboard for the holidays. The ship was festively ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Coral Princess. Our first experience was cruising Alaska on the same ship. For this cruise the ship was quite fully booked, with many families and children aboard for the holidays. The ship was festively decorated and immaculately clean. We departed from Port Everglades in Ft Lauderdale. There were eight ships and 23,000 people leaving port that day! Once Princess allowed passengers aboard ship the process went fairly quickly. It seemed to take some time for our luggage to arrive to our cabin. We had a balcony cabin on Aloha deck, A 334. Comfortable bed, and our steward (Moore) did an excellent job looking after us. Aloha is just below Lido deck, where the pool is located. We enjoyed the view from the 12th deck, but there was a fair bit of noise on Lido deck starting 5AM every morning. For disembarkment Princess offered 'EZ check' for certain airlines. This included airline check in with luggage sent directly to the airport, and no overweight baggage fees for $25/guest! The small print does say that all guests will not be able to check in using the ship's remote system, which was our experience. I felt that reception did a poor job of providing communication about our status. We didn't fully understand until 9PM the night of departure. We had to decide how to handle our overweight luggage! When we went to MIA, American Airlines had no knowledge of such an arrangement with Princess. Not a pleasant way to end our cruise. We chose 'anytime dining' at Bordeaux. The first few dinners had long lines waiting for a pager to get a table. We were unable to book reservations in advance. Mima from Peru was hostess extraordinaire, and worked very hard to get everyone seated quickly the other nights. It was generally easier to get a table after the shows began. We requested and received a table for two every evening. Tables were quite close together, so there was always cross conversation taking place. Horizon buffet offered a variety of excellent choices for breakfast, but became a bit repetitive. The baked goods were always outstanding! Pizza and the grill by the pool were great. Chris, from Peru, was an excellent bartender at one of the pool side bars. We opted for the beverage package, at $50/day which covered all drinks under $10. There was also a discount offered for full bottles of wine. This package also included all specialty coffee, including cold bottles of Illy cappuccino, bottled water and soda. It did not cover bottles of water from the fridge in the room...which made no sense to me! We enjoyed the bar at La Patisserie, just outside Bordeaux. Roger, Vyron, Darpan & Mark were really attentive hosts. The billing system is not standardized in all areas of the ship, and we were occasionally charged for items included on our package. I would recommend reviewing your statement often and deal with any errors promptly. Ports/Excursions: -Oranjetsad, Aruba: No excursion, but took a taxi to Eagle Beach (about $15 each way). Beautiful sand and clear blue water, but looking out at oil rigs! Didn’t really enjoy the town as it seemed run down and very touristy. -Cartagena, Columbia: Took the tour to the fort and old city. There was quite a bit of walking, which was indicated in the tour information. There were many street vendors at the fort, but a polite no thank you was understood. The old city was beautiful and highly recommended. -Panama Canal: The transit through Gatun Lock was very cool. We saw other ships transiting on the opposite side of our lock, as well as on the new lock. We anchored in Gatun Lake and tendered for tours. I went to Old Panama City, and did not enjoy the two hour commute both ways! It rained on & off, and was really hot and humid! The old city is a work in progress for the most part. -Limon, Costa Rica: Such a beautiful country! Went to the rain forest. The guides were excellent. It was a sunny, hot day, and the animals were mostly asleep! -Grand Caymen: Did the bike tour to the turtle farm, Hell and Tiki Beach. Biking was fun. Huge iguanas! The turtle farm is excellent. Hell a bit of a tourist trap. Tiki Beach was so crowded, and expensive. Glad I wasn’t there for too long! -Days at sea: The Cruise Director and his staff did a great job keeping everyone entertained. Lots of activities for all who wanted. Lots of options. Two of the days the seas were rough; on one the outer decks were closed due to high winds. I would probably do another cruise with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was our 9th cruise on Princess, and 12th overall. We were going to be home alone at Christmas and decided to go on a cruise instead. We'd been to the Caribbean several times before, but not to the Canal. We selected this ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise on Princess, and 12th overall. We were going to be home alone at Christmas and decided to go on a cruise instead. We'd been to the Caribbean several times before, but not to the Canal. We selected this particular ship because of design details (see below) and prior experience with Princess. I had been interested in traveling on this ship or its sister (Island Princess) since it was built. As noted elsewhere on Cruise Critic, the ship has a more favorable ratio of space to passengers than any other Princess ship and most other mass market cruise ships. I believe the Queen Mary 2 (which we have also sailed on) has a similar ratio. The extra room made the ship feel generally more spacious than others. The only exception was the theater, which was too small for the number of passengers, with only two main entrances (however, there were emergency exits). The ship has a promenade deck that fully encircles deck 7, a rarity in modern cruise ships, It was great for walking or running. Note that (very unfortunately) the Island Princess no longer has such a promenade deck, since Princess got greedy and replaced part of it with more cabins. The fitness center on the Coral was very nicely equipped with two walls of windows, but it was too small when the ship was full of passengers. In particular, it needed more treadmills. The fitness center on the Island Princess is reportedly even smaller, and windowless, The promenade deck and fitness center issues were the main reasons we did not select the Island Princess itinerary. Our trip sailed from Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) on the busiest day of the year in the port. I believe there were 8 ships sailing that day. The port was a madhouse, with virtual gridlock in the roads between the terminal buildings. Our shuttle from a nearby hotel was about an hour late in getting us to the ship. Once at the terminal building, we were processed very quickly and onboard in a few minutes. Disembarkation at the end of the trip was delayed by a shortage of immigration agents. The port roadways were not congested on the way back, and we got to the airport very quickly. We had an obstructed oceanview cabin (E612), which was generally clean and comfortable. The overall condition of the ship seemed to be very good, despite its age and time since a major drydock. We were always able to find a seat in the Horizon Court buffet, and never wound up sitting outside as happens with the larger Grand class Princess ships. We had fixed-time dining for dinner. The food was typical for Princess (generally quite good) but our waiter and assistant waiter seemed to be slower than most of their colleagues on several nights. The waiter was not as friendly as some others we've had. The assistant waiter was more friendly, but his English was not very good. There did not seem to be as much competition for the beach chairs on the open decks as on the Grand class ships. We heard that there were sometimes long delays for the Anytime dining, but I have no details. We did not eat in the specialty restaurants, except for free pizza for lunch one day at Sabattini's. You had a choice of several pizzas, but nothing else. The pizza was excellent. The ship had a very nice library (few books, though) and excellent card room. The card room was always busy, which was a nice thing to see. Internet areas (there were two) were comfortable, and the download speeds were faster than I remembered from several years ago. However, the service is still outlandishly expensive if you don't have frequent-traveler status on Princess. Tablemates from dinner used the Sanctuary private deck area every day. They loved it, but reported that the capacity was extremely limited - they had to sign up immediately upon boarding. Evening entertainment was better than I recalled from my last Princess trip, although not excellent. The best program was "Encore". They could have shown more movies to pass the time. The house band was excellent, the house singers were OK. The dancers were less than OK. I don't know why Princess bothers with the dancers - I've never mistaken their dance programs for Broadway. Despite these criticisms, I wanted to commend Princess for its excellent efforts to put on a comprehensive Christmas program. Considering that Christmas happens but once a year, I was impressed by the level of decoration, Santa visit, special music, pick-up choir, and special evening program offered. Others have written about the various ports - I have little to add except some comments about Panama. This is the focus of the trip. Note that the actual "partial transit" of the lock system takes place in about 1.5 to 2 hours in the morning of the canal day. Everyone is on deck, and it is a very interesting thing to see. What to do with rest of the day is a tough call. All of the Princess shore excursions are expensive, and there are no independent options. Some who took trips that included Panama City (on the Pacific side) spent hours in traffic on the bus. Some of the more local trips brought you back to the ship much earlier, with nothing to do. The port of Colon has a secure adjacent shopping area for cruise ship passengers, but the rest of the town is not safe for tourists without escort. We did the Gamboa Rainforest tram ride and hike. It was a reasonable compromise, and we saw more of Gutun lake and the beginning of the famous Culebra Cut through the hills. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was the first time we’ve cruised with Princess as we’re a fan of NCL. So, I was quite hesitant after reading all the negative reviews. However, we liked the itinerary and figured it was worth a try at least once. Stateroom ... Read More
This was the first time we’ve cruised with Princess as we’re a fan of NCL. So, I was quite hesitant after reading all the negative reviews. However, we liked the itinerary and figured it was worth a try at least once. Stateroom - We were on board by 1pm and our stateroom was ready. We had a forward balcony stateroom on the Caribe deck and it was quite nice. I liked that the closet/bathroom was separate from the bedroom. However, I wished that instead of the desk, there was a sofa instead. Also as we’ve read from previous reviews about the shower, yes, it is very small. Next time, I’d get a mini-suite as it has a tub and a sofa in the stateroom. Dining - From the buffet at Horizon Court to the Bordeaux dining room, our experience was excellent. Food selection and quality was definitely better than NCL, hands down. The buffet breakfast can get hectic during sea days, so be prepared. We choose anytime dining and never had to wait at the Bordeaux dining room. We weren’t into the formal nights, we’re on vacation after all, so we had dinner at the Horizon Court and it was always nearly empty, which was nice. The International Café was also nice to get a snack any time of day or night. Entertainment/Activities - The production shows, “Encore” and “On the Bayou” were alright, it was just singing and dancing, with no rhyme or reason. We enjoyed the voice impressionist Karen, she was very entertaining. The magician Michael was okay, but a little dry. The comedian was quite funny. We didn’t watch the piano guy as he seemed corny. Voice of the Ocean was fun, almost like a formal karaoke night. Lastly, the Crew Talent Show was great! The seats fill up very quick for the shows so it’s best to get there at least 30-minutes prior to show time. Casino was very small. Fitness center was very spacious with featuring newer equipment. There weren’t any other exciting activities, especially during sea days other than Bingo, or games with the cruise staff, otherwise, they had nothing but sales pitches. PS – Don’t buy any of the art on the ship, do your research first and save yourself some money. Actually, don’t buy anything other than photos and souvenir items. Crowd - Mostly senior folks, with a few families, definitely a smaller amount of children than what we were used to. It was a sold out cruise and sometimes we’d wander throughout the ship and it would be empty, including the Lido deck, it was never hectic crowded, of course excluding the buffet during breakfast! Staff - They were all excellent! From our room steward, dining, bar, etc. They were all top notch! I felt bad as we’d see some of them in the morning for breakfast and again closing up for dinner. Also, they do an excellent job with assisting disabled passengers, especially when getting off/on the ship. Itinerary – It was great as we’ve never been to any of the ports. The highlight of the Panama Canal certainly did not disappoint. It was exciting to see a couple other ships cross the canal as we did. It was definitely a memorable experience. Review of the ports will be done separately. Overall, we certainly enjoyed this cruise. The size of the ship, was perfect, easy to navigate. The ship and furnishings were in great condition. We can honestly say that we were super impressed and will be looking forward to our next cruise with Princess! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to do the partial Panama Canal and we wanted to leave from Florida as that is more convenient for us. Our balcony cabin C418 was in a perfect location for us. We prefer to be mid ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to do the partial Panama Canal and we wanted to leave from Florida as that is more convenient for us. Our balcony cabin C418 was in a perfect location for us. We prefer to be mid ship. We were close to the stairway which is what we like as we try not to use the elevators, we want the exercise of walking up and down the stairs. The cruise director and the staff were outstanding. We thought there were many activities to choose from on the ship. We also enjoyed the entertainment on board , we went to many of the shows. We thought the food choices were good and we liked the food. However Anytime Dining was awful. If you did not want to wait an hour in line, you had to call at 8 a.m. and try to get a reservation. There is really no Anytime Dining as you could only get a reservation for 5:30 or 7:30. They need to change the Bordeaux Dining Room to traditional dining times. We also enjoyed the excursions that were offered by Princess. Our favorite was the Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica. We have been on many cruises and many excursions and this one was on the top of our list. We also enjoyed the train in Panama. Another problem on the ship was that it was too warm. We definitely would have preferred a lower temperature in our cabin and other areas of the ship. All in all we really enjoyed the cruise, it was our first time on Princess. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We usually cruise a few times a year but not with Princess because of the itineraries. We wanted to take our family on a Panama Canal cruise for our anniversary which is why we chose this particular cruise. We are from Orlando so we ... Read More
We usually cruise a few times a year but not with Princess because of the itineraries. We wanted to take our family on a Panama Canal cruise for our anniversary which is why we chose this particular cruise. We are from Orlando so we drove down to Ft. Lauderdale the night before the cruise and stayed at the Hyatt Place because they let us park for free while we were on the cruise. They had a shuttle service for $7 per person each way to and from the port. It made it really easy to just get dropped off in front of the terminal. Even though we were in a suite and had priority embarkation, there was a short wait but nothing to complain about. Once we were on board, we were able to go to our cabin directly and our luggage came quickly. We were pleasantly surprised at the condition and decor of the ship. In my opinion, it is a really nice ship and I really liked the decor. Our suite on the Dolphin deck was spacious and had a nice jacuzzi bath tub and separate shower. We also had a nice walk in closet and plenty of drawers for our clothes. The suite has a curtain which can be drawn to separate the bedroom from the living room and the balcony was a nice size with wooden furniture consisting of a table and two chairs and two chaise lounges. We had a beautiful orchid in the room as well as a nice fruit basket and a starter supply of drinks. I traded most of them for Perrier with no problem. The bathrobes were plenty big and the shampoo, conditioner, lotion and soap were just fine. We had free unlimited laundry with the suite which we used extensively. Our cabin steward couldn't have been more attentive....he really was top notch. We did have one of our grandkids spend the night and found that the pull out couch quite hard so we asked for another mattress which resolved the problem. We frequently used room service which was great and also used the room service for afternoon tea. We ate in the Provence Dining room at the 5:45 seating and found the food quite good and the service impeccable. There were 12 of us in our group but it was no problem for our waitstaff. We sometimes used the buffet and pizza area but if there was any shortcoming on the ship, I think it was the buffet. That being said, I think that's just a personal preference because lots of people seemed happy with the food and ate lots of it!! We also went to Sabatinis for the suite breakfast program a few times which was really nice as it was quite peaceful and delicious. I didn't particularly care for the production shows but that was more because of the themes rather than the talent. The piano player, Tom Franek was truly amazing and I could have listened to him every night!! There were several venues for evening entertainment and our kids really enjoyed the karaoke. There were plenty of onboard activities and usually, I had to make a choice between them because I liked more than one. The port lecturer, Chris, was excellent and I found him not only knowledgeable but entertaining as well. We went on only two of the ship's excursions and they were both fine. We did the pirate ship snorkel trip in Aruba and the Miraflores locks in Panama. We felt that we had a good view of the Panama Canal and enjoyed seeing how the locks worked at Miraflores. Our kids did the ship's zip line tour in Costa Rica and were happy with that as well. We used SYL tours in Costa Rica and Dora de Explorer in Cartegena which were really great tours. We also used Dexter in Grand Cayman for a sailing/snorkel tour which was fine but the water was quite rough. Some of the activities we particularly enjoyed were the Zumba classes, line dancing, trivia, karaoke and the lectures. The gym was fine and my husband really liked the spinning classes. I attended the yoga and pilates classes which were also good. We also bought some jewelry and watches at Effy and found the shop attendants really helpful. Although we met some really wonderful people on this cruise, the only negative thing I can say about the cruise is that there were some really cranky passengers that complained a lot and just had a poor attitude. I'm not sure why anyone would be miserable on this cruise but there were those that were. This didn't ruin the cruise for us but it was noticeable and I heard the same comment from others. There was a huge line for immigration at disembarkation. If you have Global Entry, you can to to the front of the line but they tell you that you need to have your Global Entry Card as they don't have the kiosks. We didn't have our cards but went in the Global Entry line anyways and they didn't even ask for the cards. I would suggest bringing them just in case but note that they don't usually check for them. Overall, this was a fantastic cruise and we would be happy to sail on this ship again and we thought it was a good value. Read Less
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 December 2016
Picked this cruise because I liked the itinerary and length. The ship was nice, less than a year out of dry dock. Food quality was ok, but not up to previous Princess standards or expectations. Service in the traditional dining second ... Read More
Picked this cruise because I liked the itinerary and length. The ship was nice, less than a year out of dry dock. Food quality was ok, but not up to previous Princess standards or expectations. Service in the traditional dining second seating was slow. The fish on the dinner menu except for the Baso was not good at all. Had problems with watermelon (very mushy) and bananas. In fact after the first few days of the cruise neither of these items were available. Smaller ship and never felt crowded. Second seating in traditional dining was half empty. First seating was full. A couple of the shows the first two days could not be attended due to our having the second seating. Seemed as if the entertainment schedule was designed for first seating. Did not have any craft activities to pass time on sea days. No towel or napkin folding demonstrations. Did not take any Princess excursions. Used locals after exiting ship to go where we wanted. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We love the Coral Princess because its a smaller ship. The staff is so friendly and helpful. The ship is so clean it sparkles all the time. All disembarkments were very well organized and seemed to run very smooth. No confusion about ... Read More
We love the Coral Princess because its a smaller ship. The staff is so friendly and helpful. The ship is so clean it sparkles all the time. All disembarkments were very well organized and seemed to run very smooth. No confusion about where to go or when. We felt very well taken care of. And the comfort of knowing that if we book through princess we wont be left behind. We were 1 1/2 hours late getting back from the panama canal excursion and we had the comfort of knowing we had a ship to come back to. Our room was always clean and neat. Our steward Glad was very accommodating when we had some odd requests. I cant say enough about the friendliness of the staff. And the food. Wow, wonderful culinary choices. Our waiter Angelo Manabat and his asst waitress Jo Ann R. Vizarra were the best. They where there whenever we needed something but not hovering. You could see they worked very well together, a perfect team. Angelo was very helpful with the menu each night. He could describe each dish well and could answer every question we had. He quickly learned our tastes and gave very good recommendations. Jo Ann was like a busy bee keeping our table clean, glasses full and making sure our every need was met. They made our dining experience very memorable. If you like music there is always some playing somewhere in the ship. Really enjoyed the shows. Would I cruise with Princess again? Most definitely!!! In fact they are the only ones I will cruise with. I know the Coral Princess isn't a newer ship because we were on it when we went to Alaska in 2008. But you'd never know it. The ship looks as good as it did then. Everything worked well and ran smooth. Hands down this is the best cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this cruise for several reasons. First of course, the visit to the Panama Canal which was nearing the top of our bucket list. Secondly, we wanted to travel on another Princess ship after having such a great Alaskan cruise. This ... Read More
We chose this cruise for several reasons. First of course, the visit to the Panama Canal which was nearing the top of our bucket list. Secondly, we wanted to travel on another Princess ship after having such a great Alaskan cruise. This cruise aboard the Coral Princess was just the ticket. We flew in from Colorado a day early and had a transfer from the Ft. Lauderdale airport (a rather nasty airport, but that's a different review) to Embassy Suites, which are always good. We rode the bus to the ship on embarkation day, fast, easy and on the ship in less than 20 minutes. One of the things we particularly like about Princess is that our room was ready on boarding. No lugging around the carry-on luggage til mid-afternoon. We had a couple of sea days to start and for us the production shows were great. The individual performers were good too. The magician and dance band, not so good. There were only a few children and they were well behaved. This cruise had few children being 10 nights and just before Christmas holidays. The cruisers for the most part were retired folks, but there were people of all ages represented. We stopped at Aruba, Columbia, Panama Canal and Colon, Costa Rica and Grand Cayman. Each stop offered a different feel and flow. We only did Princess excursions and all were fun. On the ship, we had a very personable and professional steward, and dining wait staff. We elect traditional dining late. Princess has never gotten the show schedule aligned well with dining, but we worked around it. The buffet was clean and food very good. We did not eat in the pay-extra dining rooms. The casino is quite small, but large enough for one to lose money, The only annoying sales pitches were those for wine tasting. All the rest was pretty much in the background. Surprisingly, there was never a time when pool chairs were not available. Having both an inside and outside pool was a nice feature. We did not use the spa or fitness center. We spent a good deal of time on our extended balcony and enjoyed being laid back. We had a Meet and Greet with Cruise Critic members and had 5 ship's officers present! We also did a slot pull with that group and won our money back. What can I say about the ship, which is marvelous! If you want a smaller ship experience with fewer "bells and whistles," this may be the ship for you. Unlike many ships with clashing color schemes, the Coral Princess has more muted color which shows off her wonderful woodwork. The ship was spotless and sparkling. She's not a new ship, so there are some dings here and there, but I had to look hard to find them. There was only one day when the ship seemed crowded with an early port departure when everyone returned to the ship at the same time. Other than that, elevators were fast and there were always seats. One word of warning, if you aren't early for the shows, you'll likely have to sit up front. Without exception we felt the ship's staff were professional, pleasant, and liked their jobs. The end result was we felt welcomed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The Coral is a lovely ship and the perfect size. It never felt crowded. In the past, we’ve been on the Caribbean, Grand, Royal and Regal. Due to it’s size, and quality of service, the Coral is our new favorite. We arrived at ... Read More
The Coral is a lovely ship and the perfect size. It never felt crowded. In the past, we’ve been on the Caribbean, Grand, Royal and Regal. Due to it’s size, and quality of service, the Coral is our new favorite. We arrived at Port Everglades, shortly after 11am. Check-in was a breeze, however embarkation was slightly hampered by the contract employees that work inside the pier. Boarding had not yet started, and we were meeting friends who we were treating to a "Bon Voyage Experience". The BVE includes early embarkation, usually right after wedding groups. The first few contractors insisted that there was no such thing as early embarkation, and insisted that we would have to wait until everyone else had boarded. Luckily, I found someone who knew what she was doing, and she sneaked us upstairs where our friends were waiting. While in port, the entire ship was really hot. One of my friends literally soaked through his shirt. Once all of the doors closed and we sailed away, things finally cooled down. We enjoyed lunch in the main dining room, browsed the buffet and snacked on some pizza. Our waiter wasn't sure why our friends were supposed to get free wine with lunch, so we had to show him the letter they received at check-in. Our friends really enjoyed the "BVE”, and at 3pm, they picked-up their free embarkation photo and went ashore so we could get ready for the muster drill and our 4pm sail away. We had a balcony, A324, right underneath the Lido deck. We were worried about the noise of dragging chairs early in the morning, so we brought ear plugs. Yes, we needed them the first night, but after that, we got used to the background noise. Our steward, Moore, was exceptional. Special requests were met with a smile, even though he had a total of 18 cabins to deal with on a daily basis. The seas were rougher than usual the first night, and there was quite a bit of racket making sleep tough. When I got up in the morning and went out on our balcony, I found the source of the noise. The partition between our balcony and the cabin next to ours had blown open and had been banging against the furniture all night. I reported this to our steward, Moore, and he took care of it, wedging a folded up postcard into the jam. For the first few days we ate breakfast at the buffet, since it was only one deck away from our cabin. Honestly, I prefer the buffets on the Royal and Regal. There was no smoked salmon at the buffet to go with your bagels and cream cheese unless you knew to ask for it. It came out plated with capers and onions. Hiding it in the galley is clearly a cost-cutting move. The staff at the International Cafe was excellent. Our favorite barista, Ray, always knew what we wanted. He worked in the Explorer's Lounge as well as a bartender. On the first morning, we were one of only 6 or 7 tables in the entire place and the waitstaff just stood there, never offering us anything to drink. I finally got up and poured my own juice and coffee while they just watched me. The service picked up as we went along. We did however find that breakfast in the main dining room was much more civilized, and salmon was clearly on the menu. Practically every time you dine in the buffet, you will be approached by someone walking around pushing the latest wine tasting or crab shack. I don’t mind them having a table set up outside the buffet or a flyer in my mailbox, but let me enjoy my meal in peace. We had Anytime Dining, and the first night, the line was ridiculous. At a Cruise Critic Meet and Greet the next day, the F&B manager explained that this is typical for a first night as nobody really knows what dining room they are supposed to be in, and that the lines would get shorter as the cruise went along. To avoid the lines, we would grab a later snack at the buffet and head to the dining room around 7:45. We were not going to spend our vacation waiting in lines, and made the best of it. Service in the MDR was good most of the time, but we did have one really creepy waiter who would continue to grind pepper after you noted that you had enough, and insisted that my wife’s soufflé needed 3 more spoonfuls of vanilla sauce after she tried to stop him. His younger assistant was a much better waiter. Our best meal of the trip was in the Bayou Cafe. ($29 cover charge) My wife’s filet was huge, she couldn’t even finish it, and my lamb chops, which were a special, melted in my mouth. Our waiter brought us a sampler of all of the side dishes, none were great. The dirty rice was dry. We also dined at Sabatini’s. My wife loved her lobster 3-ways, but my veal chop was disappointing. I would have sent it back, but I was singing in the Voice of the Ocean finals that night and had to be backstage to get ready for the show. Entertainment is always subjective. There’s a new show called, “Encore” which is opera themed. Many people enjoyed the featured soprano, however her solo show a few days before was awful. I saw many people walk out as she talked about herself non-stop and guzzled a huge bottle of water between songs. Vocal impressionist, Karen Grainger was very funny, and enjoyable. The production show, “On the Bayou” was well done, with strong performances. Novelty pianist Tom Franek was just ok in my book. Playing the piano with your hands behind your back is something my friends did in high school. The party band, “Purple Haze” was well liked. The played all over the ship, and had everyone dancing during their evening gigs in the Explorer’s Lounge. The cruise director was Corey Moir. He’s has a great personality and sense of humor. He was not aloof or M.I.A, as was the case with others. His supporting staff was also great, especially a funny young man, Benjamin. Our first port was Aruba, and we have been there before so we just walked around town for a bit, did a bit of shopping and hunted down some free wi-fi. The next day we stopped in Cartagena Columbia. It was 98 degrees with 95 percent humidity. We found someone selling tours in front of the port, 3 hours for $20 each on an air conditioned bus, including a cold drink. (water, soda or beer) Everyone likes to label the street vendors as being aggressive, and I have to disagree. The only problem was that there were so many of them. A polite “no thank you” or “no gracias” was all I needed to say. Our guide warned us before hand that the jewelry was fake as were the Cuban cigars. The next day was our partial transit of the Panama Canal. We watched everything from our balcony and then moved to the Promenade deck. Once through the 3 locks, the ship drops anchor in the lake and those going on excursions, are taken away on tenders. The ship then goes through all 3 locks again. That’s when we moved to the front of the ship. There were no crowds to deal with. We had great views of everything. The ship docks at Colon Panama, and those that were on excursions could now re-board. We strolled a few blocks, to see what the shops had to offer, and ended up in a grocery store where I bought some sodas to bring on board. All of the stores in every port are happy to accept US dollars. Limon, Costa Rica was our next stop, and my favorite, thanks to the folks at SYL Travel. I recommend their 6 in 1 tour. Our driver, Ana and our Guide Roxana treated us as if we were friends of the family, not cattle. Grand Cayman was next, and we had a wonderful visit to the Cayman Spirits Co. Distillery, where we sampled rum all morning. Tendering was quick and painless. Princess chartered two large local boats to help speed up the process. Disembarkation was fast and easy. We were in the first walk-off group at 7:30am, carrying our own luggage, so there was no line for Customs/Immigration. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this cruise specifically to experience the Panama Canal passage. We also wanted to visit Costa Rica and always enjoy Aruba and Grand Cayman. When we first boarded we went to the Horizon for lunch. My wife asked a couple if we ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically to experience the Panama Canal passage. We also wanted to visit Costa Rica and always enjoy Aruba and Grand Cayman. When we first boarded we went to the Horizon for lunch. My wife asked a couple if we could join them as the restaurant was extremely busy. They were very cordial and of course said yes. They were finishing their lunch and we told them to we hoped they had a wonderful cruise. The man then said he had to work and his wife said she would be having fun. He then told us he was Captain Andrea Poggi and showed us his ID. He was so cordial and pleasant and the entire staff and crew continued to show the same throughout the cruise. The food was very good, entertainment excellent, especially the cruise directors staff and Tom Franek. We were one of the couples who asked for a second show to be added and it was. We bought his DVD and had a chance to talk to him. Our Cabin Stewart Saul was excellent. Having been in the hotel industry in both property level and corporate level positions I know great service and cleanliness. We had selected Anytime Dining and chose to dine at the Bayou Café & Steakhouse on my wife's birthday. The New York Strips were so fantastic we booked a second meal there. Embarkation and Debarkation were both a breeze. We are Captain's Circle members and enjoyed this cruise more than our last Princess Cruise to be honest. We will be booking again probably within January 2017. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this Panama Canal cruise because it started and ended in the same port, Ft. Lauderdale. All of the ports on this itinerary were new to us, a great adventure. Embarkation was fine, we were even on the ship in advance of our ... Read More
We chose this Panama Canal cruise because it started and ended in the same port, Ft. Lauderdale. All of the ports on this itinerary were new to us, a great adventure. Embarkation was fine, we were even on the ship in advance of our anticipated boarding time. The disembarkation was terrific because we chose to use EZ Check that took our bags from outside our stateroom and delivered them to our home airport baggage claim. We opted to take an Uber to the Ft Lauderdale airport for $11 (not including tip) instead of the Princess arranged airport shuttle to the airport. The service (bar stewards, wait staff, cabin steward, etc.) on the ship was terrific. Calls to passenger services were slow to be answered. There are only a limited number of indoor comfy seats to relax and watch the water moving by. The Horizon dining room fits that description but it is a heavily used room and not well suited for lingering. The ship’s lounges are nice, but are in the interior of the ship and don’t offer ocean views. The Coral Princess carries nearly 2000 passengers and I felt we were all together at every turn. This seemed most true as we waited in queue for anytime dining. People started lining up before 5pm for first seating that happened at 5:30. One night we started standing in line about 6:30, waited about ½ hour, and when we made it to the front of the line, we were given a beeper and told that we could be seated in about another 30 minutes. That was an optimistic estimate of our wait time. Interestingly, on most occasions, once seated, there were many empty tables around us. Meals in the Horizon buffet were fine. The food in the Bordeaux dining room did not live up to the level of service and presentation that was offered there. Couple examples, I had a couple different veal dishes, they tasted the same. Dinner companions criticized the red snapper and the signature chef’s pork belly entrée. The desserts, however, were terrific. The inability to better schedule dinners had a negative domino effect for taking advantage of the on board entertainment. Getting seats together for our group of four at the first performance of a show required that we show up at least 30 minutes before curtain time. We missed several shows because we didn’t finish dinner in time to secure seats. The shows we did see were good. Shore excursions: Aruba - Princess excursion = snorkeling from the Jolly Pirate. (I don’t see this option listed on upcoming cruises) It was terrific - small group on the “pirate” ship - approximately 30 people. Cartagena - – Princess excursion = "Old City" & Historical Museum of Cartagena tour. There were 3 cruise ships in port on the day we were there and lots of excursions include the Old City. The streets there are narrow and the temperature was HOT. It was very crowded. We were probably more focused on not losing sight of our tour guide in the crowd and missed much of interesting architecture. Bottom line, I’m glad to have seen Cartagena, but probably would have been better had we arranged a private tour. Panama Canal – Princess excursion = Panama Canal & Locks Transit by Boat. This was what we had really been looking forward to. The description in the brochure suggests that this is a 6 hour excursion. Our tickets said that the tour could range from 7 – 11 hours. Actual transit time is dependent on the Panama Canal Authority. In fact, the Coral Princess departure from Panama was delayed because we were so late returning from this excursion. The bus trip from the tender departure to the Gatun Lake location where we boarded the ferry was longer than I expected. There were 7 busses that transported passengers to the ferry. The ferry was packed. Chairs were lined up in tight rows. You really didn’t have room to walk around to see different views of the canal. There was a mediocre lunch served on board. You had to go through a buffet line and return to your seat to eat. Bottom line, I’m glad to have seen the canal, but the day was long. The excursion description says that the return bus trip is 1 hour 15 minutes. It was much longer than that. Traffic in Panama City was terrible. Limon Costa Rico. No excursion – just got off the ship and walked around the city market. Grand Cayman – No Princess excursions. I went to a few shops in Georgetown before finding Diver’s Down dive shop just a couple blocks to the north of the pier where the tender docked. I joined a group to snorkel above a wrecked ship just outside their doors. That was a treat. My husband had made arrangements with a local guide to go fishing. All in all – a nice day away from the crowds. Would we go again? Not on this cruise. I will pay particular attention to comments about crowds and will avoid cruise line excursions - just too much herding. This was a very different experience than we had on the Celebrity Millennium from Alaska 5 years ago. On that ship I always wondered where all of the other 2000 people were. That environment was far less dense - maybe had to wait 10 minutes for a dinner table once, otherwise were always seated immediately. The Cosmos lounge on the Millennium is a great comfortable place to watch the scenery. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Our prior experience with Princess has been on one Alaska cruise and two 28 day repositioning cruises - one across the Pacific and one across the Atlantic. In fact our Alaska cruise was on this same ship - the Coral Princess. It was ... Read More
Our prior experience with Princess has been on one Alaska cruise and two 28 day repositioning cruises - one across the Pacific and one across the Atlantic. In fact our Alaska cruise was on this same ship - the Coral Princess. It was about 10 years ago and I believe the ship is showing some of it's wear and tear now. Overall the staff, especially the room steward and servers, were most courteous and professional and the two tours we experienced were well done. Perhaps the 28 day cruises automatically have better entertainment, entertainment directors, menu selections, food quality, internet connections, etc. than the 10 day cruises because they are longer trips so it may be unfair of us to compare our experiences on this cruise with our prior ones. Nonetheless those are the areas we felt this trip was lacking. And we did hear similar comments from fellow passengers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
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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