14 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) to Caribbean - Western Princess Coral Princess Cruise Reviews

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
This was our seventh cruise on Princess, and eleventh overall. Our last with Princess was the Pacific Princess in 2008 and as with previous trips, all was good and up to expectations. Since that cruise, we've been on Regent Seven Seas ... Read More
This was our seventh cruise on Princess, and eleventh overall. Our last with Princess was the Pacific Princess in 2008 and as with previous trips, all was good and up to expectations. Since that cruise, we've been on Regent Seven Seas and Oceania plus a small ship in Alaska. Our impression on the Coral princess is that the ship needs refurbishiing; she's showing her age. Plus the qulity of the food has dropped since 2008. Is that due to the Carnival effect? We booked a suite for the larger space and the additional amenities and services promised. Some of these never appeared even when requested. Perhaps due to more recent experiences with Regent and Oceania, but the Coral Princess staff gave the impression that volume was their focus. The only time we felt positive vibes was from the staff in the speciality restaurants, especially Sabatini's. Overall, we were disappointed in this experience and are not likely to book swith Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Family of 4 (42, 41, 12, 11) in a mini-suite w balcony C721. Flew in the night before, stayed at Courtyard Marriott Ft. Lauderdale Beach which was nice except for getting stuck in the elevator the next morning. This was our first ... Read More
Family of 4 (42, 41, 12, 11) in a mini-suite w balcony C721. Flew in the night before, stayed at Courtyard Marriott Ft. Lauderdale Beach which was nice except for getting stuck in the elevator the next morning. This was our first cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale and I can see why it is a popular port. The airport, cruise port, beaches, accommodations, etc. are all so close to each other. I could see staying a few days before/after a cruise before flying back home. Embarkation was good. I saw an email the morning of that stated our embarkation should be delayed until 1pm "due to operational reasons" (the first clue this cruise might not go our way) but when we got there at 1pm, we pretty much sailed through and made it to our cabin without issue. We have left out of Port Canaveral and Tampa previously and this was definitely the fastest embarkation we have experienced. The ship itself was nothing to write home about. It was similar in size to other ships we have been on but for some reason it seemed a little smaller. The main atrium area is not very big or open. It is quaint, but its not going to take your breath away. I will say that I liked the open balcony areas that run the length of the aft of the ship on the cabin decks. Those were nice and provided some great views. The fitness center was nice but a little small. We only walked through the spa but it seemed nice, like your average spa area on a cruise ship. Otherwise, I would say the ship is in "fair" shape. There were urine/mold odors on some of the passenger deck hallways on the port side and wet spots in the hallways on the starboard side. Walking through them with sandals on would cause your feet to get wet with whatever unknown liquid caused the issue (assumed plumbing since access panels from the hallway were constantly open). From our balcony we could look down and see paint completely peeled off of the balcony railing below us, running the entire starboard length of the ship. Aesthetic things like that which you would have thought would have been taken care of in dry dock really stood out. The Princess Theater was a little smaller but nice too, and probably our favorite part of the ship. We saw all of the evening shows and they all were great. I would not compare them to something like on the larger Disney ships but for the space they had to work with they really put on some good shows. I should also add here that the pools and hot tubs were not functional for a part of the trip as well, I think this was attributed to the dry dock. I know they weren’t available for the first day but I’m not sure how often afterwards. Food - We all agreed that the food was the best food we have had on a ship as far as quality goes. The selection, especially in the buffet, seemed a little light in comparison but when we did find something that we would eat we enjoyed it for the most part. A good mix of vegetarian options in the main dining room as well. The desserts in the main dining room were great too. We purchased the soda package for all 4 of us and it included a stamp on your room card and also 4 refillable mugs. These are the types of mugs that have the RFID sensor in the bottom so I assumed there would be somewhere on board that you could go and fill up your drink yourself. That is not the case, you must visit a bar each time you want a refill. The main problem with this is that many of the bartenders, and this is not just Princess, act annoyed when you come up to them with 4 refillable mugs. I understand that to a point since they cant charge an automatic gratuity on it but when that is the only option you have of utilizing your beverage package, you expect to be treated like any other customer. Really something that I wish all cruise lines would look at. Activities - Princess delivers the "Princess Patter" to your stateroom each day and it lists all of the scheduled events onboard the ship for the day with the corresponding times. Great, except most of it was about purchasing art, photos and jewelry or purchasing health or beauty treatments. Throw in the mix of ping pong and Pictionary and the daytime activities were really very blah. The cruise director seemed like a nice guy but the only time that we ever saw or heard from him was after one of the evening shows. In 6 days on the ship I never saw him outside of the theater, did not hear him over the PA system or anything like that. I appreciate the information and energy that a cruise director can bring to a cruise but that appeared to be lacking here. I'll add to this that the entire time on the ship there never seemed to be that fun vibe, that "Hey, your on vacation!" vibe. No real hustle and bustle about the ship, it just seemed to lack any energy. The crew (cruise director, etc.) did not create any kind of atmosphere to facilitate a fun time around the ship so it seemed like we were all going through the motions. I would have thought that especially with the problems that we encountered, that trying to lift the spirits of the passengers would be a higher priority. One positive that I should mention, and I'll put it under the activities section is that that family movie channel in the room was appreciated by us. They showed a lot of recent popular movies (Inside Out, Big Hero Six, Peanuts, The Good Dinosaur). While we signed the kids up for the childrens club, we never ended up going there so I can't comment on that. On this cruise I don't think there were any more than 15 kids, from infants to teenagers on the entire ship so I don't know how effective the clubs would have been this time around. Service was mostly good, our steward Bernard did a good job and our server Faye and her assistant Vincent did a good job for us. When my daughter broke her refillable mug when she dropped it, one of the crew replaced it for us without question which was nice. Had some minor issues with some of the folks during embarkation and as I mentioned some of the bar staff but otherwise the service was good. So now, what made this a really disappointing cruise for us? The dry dock was not completed properly so sometime after we left Ft. Lauderdale the ship had slowed. At one point I believe the captain came over the PA system and stated that we were being propelled by the stabilizers. The issue was with an engine shaft bearing. I'm not an engineer nor am I a mechanic or familiar with such things but I can surmise that if your sole means of propulsion is your stabilizers then that is not good. Not only did this issue cause us to lose most of our propulsion, it also made for a rocky ride. While we were supposed to arrive in our first port, Cozumel, at 7am, it was not until after 8pm (3 hours after our scheduled departure time from Cozumel) that we actually arrived there. In the meantime, we weren't even sure what was going to happen, were they going to turn around and go back? Were they going to find another port to stop at for repairs? A lot was up in the air that day without much communication. I should mention that the engineers were able to fix the issue (I assume temporarily) which allowed an increase of speed to allow us to get to Cozumel. They decided to overnight there and then spend the next day there as well which we were told gave them enough time to completely fix the issue. This also meant that they had to cancel Roatan... Now when booking a cruise, for some people the ports of call are more important than others. We are those people. We had done a similar itinerary a few years ago and could not wait to get back to Roatan and Costa Maya. We did not care if we did anything at Cozumel and in fact had just planned to shop that day. To cancel our stop in Roatan because of the ships issues, was very deflating. Still we tried to make the best of things as we had Costa Maya to look forward to. We woke up the morning of our scheduled stop in Costa Maya only to find ourselves far offshore being tossed about. The captain came over the PA system and explained that due to rough seas, swells, etc. that we would not be able to dock there. Safety is the first priority, we can't control the weather, etc. etc. etc. The captain continued to state that there were no alternate ports of call so we were just heading back to Ft. Lauderdale. So now, we are on the 4th day of a cruise where we have missed the only two stops that we actually wanted to go to all of the while on a ship that offered a very rough ride for most of our time on it, either due to technical issues or due to weather. To top it off, we are just going home now but instead of traveling at normal speed to get back, we are going to go very slowly because we have an extra day now to make it back. Very slowly through rough seas. It was on this day that my kids and I finally broke and we took turns being ill in our stateroom. I've never been close to being seasick in my life but we all lost our lunch that day. Again, I'm not an expert on these matters but with an extra day to make it back to Ft. Lauderdale could we have not gone faster through the rough seas to get out of them or perhaps taken a more circuitous route that would have gotten us out of rough water? It was an entire day of rough seas. Alternatively, if the forecast predicted poor weather in Costa Maya, why go there to begin with? Why not find another port to make it to? This is why I do not buy the whole "can't control the weather" excuse they seemed to constantly want to reinforce to us at every opportunity they had (the whole crew at that point was speaking the same mantra). I never expect them to control the weather, I just expect them to use the tools at their disposal to avoid it as best as they can, and I can't begin to imagine that they actually did that in this case. The final sea day was mostly uneventful as far as the weather/technical issues went. The ship seemed to be operating fine at that point. Probably the most excitement we had was when someone spotted a makeshift raft with about 12 people on it north of Cuba and the captain decided to go and see if they needed help. We got to within 300 yards of them (my best guess) and they did their best to ignore us. The logical conclusion was that they were trying to get into the US but since they did not want the help of the ship, we continued on our journey to Ft. Lauderdale. At about 6am on disembarkation day, we were awoken by what felt like an earthquake going through the room. For a good 30 seconds, if not longer, our entire room shook, glasses were clanking all over the place, the whole ship seemed to shudder loudly. My daughter woke up screaming because it was so loud. This apparently is the docking process. I can't recall ever docking so violently before but there you have it, the icing on the cake. So for compensation, Princess provided $100 per person in shipboard credit and half off of what you paid for this cruise, as a future cruise credit to be booked by the end of this year (can travel after 2016, just have to use the credit by the end of the year.) The problem that I have with this is that I have no desire to ever sail with Princess again so I'll lose $1500 in compensation. Even if I did want to sail with Princess again, our family takes other vacations as well. We enjoy going to Disney, we have a trip planned for Europe next year, we would have to rearrange our plans to take a cruise on a cruise line that failed us in the first place. I don't know if this is always the case, but the vast majority of our fellow cruisers on this itinerary were retirees. They would seem to be in a better position to be able to take advantage of this form of compensation than those who are still working full time and have younger children in school. It would have been nice if they would have offered a choice of compensation but I'm not surprised that they didn't. Considering we spent 6 days on the Coral Princess, with a total of 6 hours ashore in Cozumel, and the majority of the time the ship was not very stable, either due to technical or weather issues, it really felt like a disappointing cruise to nowhere. You always hear that "Hey at least you are on a cruise" or "There are no bad cruises" and I've tried to be fair in my review here but this was a very poor experience for us and I can't recommend the Coral Princess nor Princess as a cruise line to anyone that might ask. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
On the January 30th 2016 cruise this was truly the cruise from hell. First the cruise was late getting to port from dry dock and left the port 90 minutes late. At this time there were no pools or hot tubs. Some rooms had no operating ... Read More
On the January 30th 2016 cruise this was truly the cruise from hell. First the cruise was late getting to port from dry dock and left the port 90 minutes late. At this time there were no pools or hot tubs. Some rooms had no operating toilets or A/C. Some had sinks that would not drain. Some, like me, had sinks that had hot water coming out of the cold tap. Many of the casino slot machines were either not operating or having issues. The ship was not pristine, but dirty in places. On Sunday they had an issue with one of the thrusters and had to stop in the ocean for repairs. This took a couple of hours. Then at 3 am Monday we lost a propeller. This took 14 hours to fix and we missed Cozumel that morning. We finally made it to Cozumel at 7 pm and stayed until 5 pm the next day. We did not go to Roatan. We did not go to Costa Maya due to bad weather. We got the pools and hot tubs on Tuesday. On Wednesday I lost hot water in my shower, but it was back the next day. Princess gave everyone on the ship a 50% credit based on the base rate everyone paid for their rooms, but only $27 for the taxes. Nothing was refunded on the port fees, even we did not go to 2 of the ports. This was basically a cruise to nowhere. Many of the public restrooms were inoperable. Some complete floors had not A/C for much of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Embarkation: Very smooth. It took no more than 10 minutes from check-in to entering the ship whether you were Elite or otherwise. Cabin: Our cabin had a nice-sized balcony, far bigger than the one we had on the Royal. The bedding and ... Read More
Embarkation: Very smooth. It took no more than 10 minutes from check-in to entering the ship whether you were Elite or otherwise. Cabin: Our cabin had a nice-sized balcony, far bigger than the one we had on the Royal. The bedding and TV were new, but the TV remote didn’t work properly. Our cabin steward was average. We had to ask him for soap for the shower (not everyone likes body wash) and lotion, which was not provided. Due to mechanical problems, we had no water on arrival until the evening, then until the following day, we had no hot water. We received no notices in our cabin about this, yet the ship kept filling our “mailboxes” with adverts about “champagne art auctions”. The ship’s priorities were clearly askew. Food: The MDR food was quite good, with outstanding waiters. Desserts were on the dull side. Due to the “technical difficulties” the ship had no ice cream the first day. The lunch buffet was decent. The layout of the buffet on this ship was roomier than that of the other older ships, but there is no place to eat outside, unless one eats by the pool. We ate at the Bayou Café one night. Those at the table who had steak were happy, but the waiter informed me the gumbo had meat in it (I don’t eat meat). The only other options were fried catfish (no biggie, to be sure) and shrimp, which was last night’s MDR choice. I took the shrimp, but it had meat in the rice. What bugged me the most was that some at the table complained about their dessert, and were surprised with desserts from Sabatini’s, but I was never offered fish from there (they have an excellent bronzini there)…..and yet I was charged for dinner. Entertainment: I only attended the production shows, which were OK. The dancing in the show “Dancing” was good, but the singing subpar. My traveling companions went to the Billy Joel-type singer and comedian and enjoyed them. They didn’t like the magician. Trivia was fun and smoothly run. Pool: There were never enough pool chairs or towels. This did not seem to be a chair-hog issue, though, they were clearly in evidence. Two pool attendants told me there weren’t enough chairs on the ship. I saw numerous people pull up straight back chairs by the pool. Gym: All brand new equipment! WOW! The square footage of the gym made it hard to fit all of the equipment--no room for stretching compared to other ships. The wraparound promenade was great for fast walking and early morning or evening jogging. My partner, who is an avid jogger, however, that jogging on the promenade felt that jogging is dangerous at any time! What a pleasure to have a deck which goes totally around the ship on one level! Ports of call: Now the fun starts! The captain must have gotten so many complaints about not speaking to the passengers (who realized we were traveling in circles) without any explanation, he made an announcement at 7:00am. I’m sure waking many passengers up, on Day 3 to tell us we had problems. No one still knew whether the cruise would continue. We arrived in Cozumel at 7:30 pm (about 12 hours late). The captain was reactive in telling the passengers we had mechanical trouble. He later told us we’d miss Roatan, and on the next day, we found out we’d also miss Costa Maya, but this time, due to high seas. We were promised 50% of what we paid, plus $100 OBC for a future cruise. Too little, too late, especially for those who didn’t have water or deck chairs. Possibly, the captain held back information due to corporate direction. However, I feel that was not the best way to handle this. Disembarkation: We left around 9:40 am. It was the fastest I’ve ever seen. Not a single person in line at Immigration. It’s possible everyone wanted off the ship fast! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We too had a poor experience. I took my 81 year old mother and her friend on a cruise while they were visiting me. As previous reviewers have mentioned vacation time is precious and while I have never sailed princess before I expected ... Read More
We too had a poor experience. I took my 81 year old mother and her friend on a cruise while they were visiting me. As previous reviewers have mentioned vacation time is precious and while I have never sailed princess before I expected better. I occupied a mini suite B201 and my mother & Friend balcony cabin B315 Overall cabin size good, although I missed the balcony in the minim suite and would opt for less floor space and a balcony on a future cruise. The advertised big picture window was equivellant to just a standard window on other cruise lines. I pre booked two cases of water to be in the cabin. Took three days and lots of phone calls to get them. Not acceptable. Finally after several phone calls it was delivered with my first of several apology letters. The Good The cruise staff (Miranda) and the house band Xtasea were excellent. Entertainment overall very good, although the "New Show" being debuted wasn't great. Fitness staff excellent. The Bad & Ugly On embarkation a strong smell of sewage in the atrium area especially deck 6 and 7. Public restrooms not working in these areas THE ENTIRE CRUISE. Public restrooms in other areas never fully functional. Two of three stalls locked for maintenance. Hand sinks in public restrooms not working (Including the one near the buffet) a public health concern. Refrigeration not working (using time instead of temperature because cold plates were not functional on the buffet lines). Some bars had only warm bottled water (Because as the bartender explained the refrigerators were not cooling.) A/C's in some areas not working No Pool for several days No jacuzzi's for several days. Buckets collecting water leaks in hallways entire cruise. 12:30am water pipe broke with a flood of water coming down in the hallway outside my mothers room. Followed by a shop vac which woke up several cabins.(Yes I have pictures). Bartenders very slow, especially at one particular pool bar, which led to everyone going to a different bar making life difficult for the good staff, who were now working twice as hard. Inconsistent stocking of bars. Ship was just not ready to sail. Got into Cozumel area at 5:30am according to my cell phone and observations. Captain sailed back out to sea then made an announcement that due to the engine problems and slow speed we had not yet arrived (We are not all gullible, honesty is always the best policy). Continued to sail around in circles for an entire day and missed a port day. Missed Roatan due to engine issues Cozumel a day late (Not the reason for anyone to choose this itinerary) Missed Costa Maya (Due to weather?) Big Movie screen not working until the last day Not enough deck chairs. Balcony Cabin only had one chair on balcony for several days. Food poor compared to Celebrity. Ordered Rare steak on the last day. waiter gave me a very well done steak and laughed saying here is your rare steak. Would you like to wait for me to change it! Although paying double for a single fare only received half the OBC compared to other cabins! Given a 50% discount on My Cabin expense only for a future cruise. Since I cannot see may mother choosing to sail princess again (This was a gift to her) the discount on her cabin is useless. The potential for this ship is endless. The public areas really are lovely. The running of operations sub standard and antiquated. Anytime dining a joke. Never possible to make reservations and waiting in line was a given. I have sailed another line with engine issues. We were given notice before embarkation, a credit for the missed port, and kept accurately informed throughout the process. Issues happen and unavoidable, how they are handled is the Key to success. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
After being informed that this ship was dry docked for 14 days prior to our departure, I am a bit confused as to what they were doing!? Aside from being stuck floating in Cuban waters for two days because of engine failure, missing 2 of ... Read More
After being informed that this ship was dry docked for 14 days prior to our departure, I am a bit confused as to what they were doing!? Aside from being stuck floating in Cuban waters for two days because of engine failure, missing 2 of our ports and receiving little information for what was happening, the entire experience was a disaster. Had it not been for the amazing people we met on the ship and a constant flow of drinks because there was nothing else to do, this would have been a horrible trip. For the first 2 days the only pool that was open was the largest middle pool, with no working jacuzzis and hours of silence between a band and DJ that was a staff member working from a computer. As for embarkment, while watching the other ships leave port with music and dancing the Coral Princess simply sat there with low energy staff standing around to hours of silence. The promoted Big screen TV for "Movie under Stars" did start working correctly until the middle to end of the trip. Trash blowing all over the place, ceilings tour apartment and minimal entertainment throughout the day. I can get past the entertainment set up however, non working toilets, lack of sleep from no A/C and missing our excursions was a major disappointment. The biggest insult of all was the lack of understanding that many of us used our vacation time, may have been on special occasion trips and used funds that may not be available again for a while and expect that we would use a small discount to spend more money on another cruise with them. Extremely disappointment and concerned that this is how Princess as a corporation responds to inconsistencies with their product. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My Dh and I, ages 56 and 50, just returned from a 6 day adventure on the Coral Princess. We were in mini suite, D328. Embarkation: great, we arrived at the time Princess recommended, walked through, checked in and photo taken and we ... Read More
My Dh and I, ages 56 and 50, just returned from a 6 day adventure on the Coral Princess. We were in mini suite, D328. Embarkation: great, we arrived at the time Princess recommended, walked through, checked in and photo taken and we were in our cabin within 20 minutes. Cabin: Pros: plenty of room, great bed, bedding, bathtub and most storage we have ever had on a ship, larger balcony. Cons: shower curtain, yuck. Uncovered balcony, shower is hard to get the hang of and no hot water from Saturday u til Monday afternoon. Public areas: not crowded and plenty of room except on the pool decks:Chair hogs were out in full force. Plenty of deck attendants around, but no one removing towels. We went out Tuesday morning at 8:15 am, put our towels and books down. There was 2 chairs beside of us with personal items in them. We went to eat breakfast and we're back in our chairs before 9:00am, the chairs remained empty until we went to our cabin at 3:00pm. This is so annoying and I know it is a problem on all ships. Food: I have had better. Horizon Court Buffet. I found very little that I liked and found it was poorly laid-out. Large salad bar, but main courses seemed like a mish-mash of leftovers, fruit was hard, not ripe, and sandwich meats looked like they were just old. Bordeaux Dining Room:Was okay. We ate there on three nights. The 2nd formal night had large lobster tails and jumbo prawn entire'. If was large and fresh and very good. Crab Pot: it took forever to be served and I thought that was because they were steaming each pot fresh. Ours was cold and had been sitting. What should have been a great meal was disappointing. Bayou Cafe and Steakhouse: Filet and seafood were excellent, jumbalya appetizer was great, but did not care for the Cagun sides. We would have preferred a more traditional steakhouse. Pizza and Burger Grill were very good. Coffee: was bad in the buffet and room service. Not fresh brewed. I guess they want you to buy it or a coffee card. Shows: we only watched the singer, sang Billy Joel, he was great. Movies Under the Stars: showed a great selection of fairly new movies, but the pool deck scream did not work until Wednesday, so they were showed in a louge and in rooms. Smaller ship, I thought the staff was great, no problems other than mechanical issues with the ship on weather related issues at Costa Maya. This ship was just out of dry dock and had many problems. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
On the 6th of January 2012 we flew to miami and boarded the coral princess the following day in fort lauderdale to do a back to back cruise for 2 weeks in the western carribean. We have cruised this region twice before with Thomson also ... Read More
On the 6th of January 2012 we flew to miami and boarded the coral princess the following day in fort lauderdale to do a back to back cruise for 2 weeks in the western carribean. We have cruised this region twice before with Thomson also on back to back cruises. I have cruised before on the Golden Princess to hawaii. As usual the ship was excellent the food wonderful and the entertainment of west end standard. I could not fault any of the facilities However we had one major dissappointment on the 2nd day we were informed by another British couple who had been there a week already that we were going to get the same entertainment itinerary and the same menues in the restaurant the 2nd week as we would have the 1st week. True to this on our 2nd week of the cruise we did indeed have the same entertainment everynight except for the visiting comedians who changed. Also the menue in the retuarants was exactly the same as the week before. We were sold this in the uk as a 14 day holiday. Now we knew this was a back to back, but other cruise lines we have been with on back to back cruising always make a point of rotating the entertainment and menues on a 3 week rotation so that people who are stopping longer than a week have a better experience. This took the shine off our cruise as you can imagine, one night there was nothing for us to do but sit in a bar, and the food I was deciding what to have from the menue before I got there. Part of the excitement of a cruise is to look forward to the entertainment and to wonder what you will have to choose from for dinner. This should be made clear in Princess advertising that if you book this as a back to back cruise you will get exactly the same the second week. The only difference was the ports of call. Also princess what has happened to your standards it is only 18 months since we went to Hawaii, and these other points came to our attention People were allowed in the restaurant wearing shorts. The deck attendants are suppossed to remove towells of sunbeds if they are reserved for a certain amount of time. This did not happen, some seemed to be reserved all day with no one in them. also we found on this trip that the on board photographers were, more in your face, all the time they seemed to mobbing you for photos, but worse than that princess prices have got extortionate I had 4 x A4 photos taken on my ruby wedding night and they wanted $100 unframed just in one carboard frame! The waiter service in the restaurant was not up to par they seemed to have a lot who didnt quite know what they were doing, and one night we spent over 45 minuites between courses and missed the evening entertainment completly and had to ask where the wine was and what was happening to the food we were one of the last tables in the retaurant with people on it and yet we got there at 7.30pm I will be going with princess again as once again I must reiterate the ships are great the staff friendly and the service on the whole is good,but not on another back to back cruise.They must review this back to back cruising, come on princess us brits., travel a long way for a 2 week cruise to have the 2nd week the same as the first!, you must tell us at booking also you must let 2 weekers know that on the change over day in the middle you really must leave the ship as immigration has to have the ship declared empty know one told us luckily we went on an excurion, but those on board had to muster in one of the lounges to be inspected by immigration , great in the middle of your cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
BACKGROUND My wife and I are fairly young for retirees. She is late 50's. I am early 60's. We both love to travel. Most of the time we take off in our motor home. We also enjoy cruise ship travel. Over the years we have ... Read More
BACKGROUND My wife and I are fairly young for retirees. She is late 50's. I am early 60's. We both love to travel. Most of the time we take off in our motor home. We also enjoy cruise ship travel. Over the years we have experienced Holland America, Costa, Princess, Celebrity and NCL. Last year we did a narrow boat trip down the Llangollen (glang -GO- len) canal in Wales. Truth to tell, it was hardly a "cruise" experience because in many places the canal was only a few feet wider than the boat and the water was generally less than four feet deep. I mention this Welsh adventure because it was well worth the trip and a very economical way to experience the UK. E-mail me if you'd like more info on narrowboating. You can also type "narrowboating" in your search engine. Neither my wife nor I are professional cruise ship critic. There are vast numbers of people more experienced in cruises than us. We have been on enough cruises to establish a sort of bench mark on cruise ship offerings. I submit the following as a our opinion of the April 5, 2008 sailing of Princess lines vessel Coral Princess on the "Panama Canal" cruise. TRAVEL TO PORT We live in North Florida, so travel to embarkation in Ft. Lauderdale (a.k.a. Port Everglades) was a six hour drive. For us this was pretty much no pain (South Florida traffic can be a pain): I-75 south to the Sunshine State Parkway, off in Ft. Lauderdale and a short distance to the terminal. To me, it was key that we not get caught in the Friday afternoon rush traffic. This means getting to where we were going before 3:00. We left one day before the cruise was to embark. This gave us plenty of time for unexpected delays. I found the hotels north of Ft. Lauderdale, i.e. Pompano, Boca Raton to be better in price than those around the cruise terminal. We opted for the Marriott Courtyard in Boca. A very clean three star property. Breakfast available for $12.95 . A short drive to other restaurants serving breakfast. Less than an hour to the cruise terminal in moderate traffic It's South Florida, so if you hotel be sure and take your cruise luggage out of your car. If you have the kind of GPS with a suction cup to stick to your windshield, take the GPS too. Wipe the windshield to remove any mark left by the suction cup. They've been breaking into cars with the telltale suction cup mark looking for the GPS. Wanting to save a few bucks I chose a cut rate car park near the airport, less than 15 minutes from the cruise terminal. This place was Quality Car Park and Auto Rental at 500 NE 32 Ct. in Lauderdale. The $8.00 a day rate was not worth it. Despite their claim that our car would be parked in a fenced area it was actually parked in an unfenced, unguarded area right next to the road in a questionable part of town. SHIP INFORMATION The cruise line recommends arriving after 1:30 to avoid the initial boarding rush. We got there just after 3:00 and found the terminal virtually empty. Once checked through security, boarding was a matter of walking up the gangway and onto the vessel. The Coral Princess is one of the larger cruise ships. Built in 2002 she measures 980 ft in length and 105 across the beam. Big at 92,000 ton, she is not to be mistaken with some of the grand cruise ships weighing in at over 140,000 ton. The Coral Princess has a passenger compliment of about 2000. The vessel is designed so that it never seemed crowded anywhere. Even in the quintessential main pool area there lounge chairs to be had, even on the days at sea. What's more, if you want to lounge in the pool area but don't wish to experience the band and general pool noise up close, there are several lounging areas set behind translucent partitions. A more traditional sunning area is on the Promenade Deck, complete with mahogany finished loungers. Of the vessels we have been on the Coral Princess was by far the cleanest. Extremely well maintained inside and out. It's said that Holland America has some of the largest staterooms in the business. Except for the balcony, ours seemed every bit as roomy as that on the Holland America ships. Our Coral Princess room was bright, cheerful, well laid out. The ample closet included a floor to ceiling cabinet with shelves and a safe. Drawers were at the bedside and on the vanity, small and narrow. Being RV owners we have experienced the small shower (it is RV sized !) so it was not an issue. Not so with other travelers on this boat. Even one of the show lounge comedians made fun of the showers. The queen sized bed was a comfortable pillow top. The pillows, on the other hand were awful. It reminded me of those used at economy hotels; small and with little substance. ACTIVITIES Clearly this cruise was designed for a lot of Americans in their seventh and eighth decade. I believe the oldest on board was plucky lass of 96, travelling on her own. Lots and lots of stuff do on the boat. Bingo, shuffleboard, golf putting, trivia, origami, afternoon tea, movies and of course the casino, to name a few. My wife and I like to work out so we did the gym every other day. Crowded in the morning and late afternoon. When we could, we went to the gum around 1:00. The gym had an adequate number of treadmills, a few stationary bikes, nice Cybex equipment and two racks of dumbbells and some barbells (with concrete filled weights). Usually an attendant was on duty and seemed genuinely interested in answering questions or giving general help with the equipment. The men's locker room was well appointed, two showers and a bank of lockers. Towels were also available there. Nice hot sauna. Steam was available but it cost extra. EATING The Coral Princess has no shortage of places to eat. Two main dining rooms. One for traditional (two seatings) dining, the for Anytime Dining. The Horizon Court was another favorite, offering grand buffet style dining three times a day. I especially liked the one luncheon that included a very impressive sushi buffet. Also available was a hot dog and hamburger bar, a pizza bar (in the main pool area and next to the pool bar). There were two specialty dining rooms. Though for $20.00 extra p.p. we were not impressed with the menu. There was also a complete ice cream bar. This was at additional cost. This was our first experience with Anytime Dining. We liked it. Traditional dining would seat us with the same people every evening. Anytime Dining sat us with different people every night. This was an adventure. We met many people from many different places. Virtually all from the US. We met a lot of folks from upstate New York. Both being Florida natives, my wife and I were able to share lots of information about the Sunshine State. We learned of many other peoples travel adventures and great info about their home states. Where you chose to dine is truly a matter of what you like. We have made some nice acquaintances with people we dined with, ala Traditional, on other cruises. With Anytime Dining the food is the same as in Traditional. The dress code is the same. Dining companions are not. Dine most anytime you want after the dining room opens. To make certain you get seated and to shorten the wait time (usually it was less than five minutes) be sure and make reservations each day. The quality of food on the Coral Princess lacked consistency. There were a few highlights. There were also lowlights. The lobster appetizer, the first night, was like a slice of tofu meatloaf with pieces of lobster embedded. No taste of lobster here. Found the Pina Colada soup interesting in that is was listed as a soup but turned out to be nothing more than a pina colada, complete with straw, fruit garnish and drink glass. Between my wife and I, steak was ordered five times on this cruise. I'm not sure I understand why the waiter bothered to ask how we liked it cooked (medium rare) as it always showed up at the table cooked medium well or well done. Other passengers had the same experience (except those wanting their steak medium well to well done). We love lamb, most any cut. The lamb shank was a total disappointment. Cooked more to resemble a Boston Butt with little semblance of lamb flavor. I didn't finish mine. One night rack of lamb was listed on the menu. We were surprised when it was delivered to the table as three lamb chops. They were very good but hardly presented as "rack of lamb" Sometimes the fish was good, other times it was mediocre. The prime rib was good (though somewhat overcooked). I was disappointed to see it served with creamed horseradish. Real horseradish was available on request. Desserts were catch as catch can. Some were very good, others tasted as if they had come from the corner store's frozen food case. I stopped making notes on the food after three days. Too much to keep up with. A lot of us did the breakfast buffet: Picture many pre-coffee passengers, shuffling around the buffet area collecting breakfast (we were glad to see they included grits some mornings). We discovered that it was less of a hassle and the food tended to be a little better when we ate breakfast in the Bordeaux dining room. The coffee was very good. As was the fresh pineapple and cantaloupe. Vegetables were always tasty. The Horizon Court buffet always had lots of variety (including low calorie selections). And of course, wherever we ate, there was no end to the amount of food we could eat. Some days into the cruise another table mate summed it up pretty well when he said "We came on board expecting the food to be an 8 and discovered that it really is a five". ** Just a quick note here about the drink option. This was heartily offered when we first got on board. The option was presented as many soft drinks as you like on the entire cruise for only $39.95 per person. If a person drinks a lot of soda, this doesn't seem to be too bad a deal, especially when one considers the ships price for a bottle of pop. Be warned, this option is not for bottles or cans of soda. It is for fountain drinks only. Included with the deal was a nice plastic coolie drink bottle (with "Coke" logo).. ** One other note, about hand sanitizer. With the bad press cruise lines have received over the Norwalk Virus, vessels we have been on in the past few years have had hand sanitizer available most everywhere; especially around elevators and outside restaurants. We were a bit surprised to find that while the Coral Princess offered this in the Horizon court buffet it was not openly offered in either one of the main dining rooms. Hand sanitizer was available from the maitre d' in the Bordeaux dining room, though he appeared somewhat put out the time I requested it from him. There were none around the elevators. ENTERTAINMENT On board entertainment was either very good or pretty bad. The Coral Princess Dancers did quite well. The first nights comedian did not. We enjoyed Lorena B. Fox's performance. It seemed everyone loved comedian Duncan Tuck and his talent with the guitar. Magician Greg Moreland demonstrated some thought provoking illusions. Cruise Director Ron Goodman seemed to do his job well. The last nights entertainment fell somewhat flat as did the comedian offering "250 jokes". Since we did not see all the entertainment offered, we cannot totally comment on the entertainment. SERVICE Virtually all the service personnel on the Coral Princess seemed to do a very good job. We had no language barrier issues (we only speak English) with the crew. At no time did it seem there was a shortage of service people. Benjamin, our cabin steward was a real professional. He always referred to us by name. At no time did our cabin lack for anything. Our ten nights aboard, he seemed to catch on to our in and out of cabin routine and do his work around our absence. To me a good cabin steward should be almost invisible. Benjamin was terrific ! ***** Tipping on the Coral Princess involves and automatic debit to your shipboard account. This amounted to $10.50 per day per person. People wishing to adjust this amount need to call passenger services and request a change form. The form will be delivered to your cabin. ***** Unlike other cruises we have been on, the Coral Princess did not offer receipts for incidental purchases, e.g. drinks, wine at dinner, ice cream. I'm a retired businessman and I like to have proof of what we've spent money on. Though it was usually no problem when requested, sometimes it seemed to be a major issue: "a receipt sir?, you want a receipt?" Twice, when requested, I never got it. PORTS OF CALL Aruba- If all you want to do is shop, that's good, because that's all of what metropolitan Aruba's about. As with other Ports of this cruise, lots of diamond and jewelry shops. From the few other passengers we talked with, Aruba was a port many could have done without. Cartagena- Once we got over the polluted harbor and stinky air we found Cartagena to be charming in its own way. Finding this charm is not easy for many of our cruise mates because of the sidewalk vendors; they are aggressive to say the least. About every fifty feet we were approached; cigars, handbags, tablecloths, leathergoods. Colorfully dressed native women wearing large hats filled with fruit beg to have you take their picture. Bargains can be had from these folks. Just don't asked price unless you are seriously interested in buying. Haggling is expected. A box of six Cuban Claros was priced at $40.00 American and purchased for $12.00. Don't do the walking tour of downtown Cartagena unless you like to be pestered almost non stop. Usually a simple "no thank you" will turn them away. I used "no tengo dinero" ( I don't have any money) which seemed to work even better. Overall my wife and I liked Cartagena. A final word about illegal drugs. We were approached in this port. It seems best to give these guys wide berth. Simply shake your head no and move quickly on. The boat is very zero tolerant on bringing dope aboard. Panama Canal For us, this was a dynamic experience ! We believe staying on the vessel was the best way to enjoy this port. We ordered breakfast delivered to our cabin at 7:00 am, just when we were getting close to the canal. We ate breakfast and drank Moet & Chandon on our balcony as the canal experience unfolded. A local, brought on board, described the canal as we moved through the locks and into Gatun Lake. His narration was on our cabin TV, so we raised the volume a little and sat on the balcony, listening to the narration. If you wish to experience the Panama Canal from the boat, a balcony cabin is a must. With two plastic chairs and a small table it was adequate for the two of us. One other thing about the balcony cabin on this trip...get one on the starboard side of the vessel. The boat enters the canal early in the morning. Those on the port side (east side) are subjected to the hot morning sun making it uncomfortable at best. Cristobal, Panama Passengers were not allowed out of the dock area at this port. The dock has a large enclosed shopping mall with a large variety of stores. Prices were very good. The mall was interesting in its own way. To me this was one of the better places to make purchases. Limon, Costa Rica We have experienced Costa Rica from San Jose. We loved it. Costa Rica is one of the most literate countries in the world. The country has made great progress in maintaining and growing its vast rain forest. Our adventure here was the aerial tram across rain forest. This tram was built with as little impact on the forest as possible. Even the pillions supporting the tram's cable system were placed on the forest floor by helicopter. The tram was a small open car attached to an overhead cable. The car held six people, including the guide. A strong wire cage on the upper half of each car assured passenger safety and kept passenger debris from falling into the forest (no smoking). The ride took about an hour and a half. We moved silently over treetops and jungle, sometimes as low a three feet or as high as 120 feet. Seeing this unspoiled tropical paradise was an amazing experience. The people of Costa Rica are friendly, many speak English as a second language. We gave this port a solid 'A'. Ocho Rios, Jamaica We were impressed with the well laid out shopping village at this port. Winding paths, lots of palms and hibiscus, many Jamaican style restaurants, lots of good local music, and a general sort of laid back style of living. If there was down side, it was somewhat aggressive vendors and the occasional strong smell of marijuana wafting through public areas. We'd give this port a 'B'. DISEMBARKATION For us getting off the boat was almost as easy as getting on the boat. We opted to do the "Express Disembarkation". For those who can handle their own luggage from their cabin to the pier this was great. The morning of disembarkation we took our luggage to the pre-assigned area. After waiting for perhaps thirty minutes for customs to clear the vessel we were called by pre numbered groups. Being in group 'A' we got off earlier than most. From the time we reached our disembarkation area until the time we cleared customs it was less than one hour. Done and done. SUMMARY I suppose a question most travelers ask themselves after a cruise is "Having experienced this cruise, would I have taken it if I had to do all over again?" My wife says she would have. I shopped around a lot for a good price on this cruise. Weighing the cost against the quality, I'd say it was a bit overpriced, even given the current fuel cost dilemma. The overall issue was with consistency of quality. This showed up in the dining room, the entertainment, and to some degree, with the cruise lines choice of ports. On the other hand, service and overall vessel quality was very good. I thought choice and price of excursions was also good. Experiencing the Panama Canal made this a very memorable trip. On a 1-10 scale I'd book this down as a 5+. Bon Voyage. Read Less
Sail Date April 2008
Review - Coral Princess - Panama Canal - 2008-02-25 to 2008-03-06 This is my first posting of a review on cruisecritic.com. Your feedback is welcome! My partner and I booked a suite (C701 - Tahiti Suite) on the Coral Princess. This ... Read More
Review - Coral Princess - Panama Canal - 2008-02-25 to 2008-03-06 This is my first posting of a review on cruisecritic.com. Your feedback is welcome! My partner and I booked a suite (C701 - Tahiti Suite) on the Coral Princess. This was our 4th cruise and our 3rd on Princess. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale the night before the cruise and stayed at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Grande Hotel and Yacht Club. This is virtually across the street from Port Everglades and within walking distance to Total Wine. We bought a few bottles to bring on board and had no problems. We showed up for embarcation around 14h00 and walked right through to check-in with our e-checkin boarding passes. Everything went smoothly and we were in our stateroom about 15 minutes later. We had requested that the beds be separated, but they were together forming a very comfortable queen. We decided to leave it. The bed was quite comfortable, but we asked our room steward, for an egg-crate underlay and top-sheet. The duvet was nice, but is nicer with a top sheet. This is not normal setup, but worth asking for. The ship sailed about 1.5 hours late as some passengers were delayed due to winter weather up north. The suite itself was nicely appointed and after having stayed in mini-suites previously, the full suite was well worth it. Furthermore, the perks that come with a suite, like free, unlimited internet access, daily hors d'oeuvres, a boutinere/corsage on the first formal night, a welcome glass of champagne, all the complimentary laundry and dry-cleaning/shoe polishing you want and a beautiful flower arrangement (that lasted the full 10 days), plus the many other amenities, really helped to offset the premium on the price. Muster station drill was painless and well done by the crew. It took about 20 minutes. Coral Princess, herself, was very clean and in excellent shape. Other than the lack of a Skywalker's Bar high on the stern, I really enjoyed this ship. We are in our 40's, and felt very young on board! The age demographic was a bit older, but it did not stop anybody from kicking up their heels and having a good time. However, the vessel became a virtual ghost ship after 23h00 every night. The first 2 days were at sea and offered a chance to de-stress. The first stop was Aruba. We did not take any tours, but did a walk-about and had a few relaxing drinks. Cartagena, Columbia was the 2nd stop and I really did not like it at all, although it is a beautiful city. We booked a private walking tour which was mediocre at best - caveat emptor. I have travelled to a lot of places, but I have never been hassled so aggressively or frequently as in Cartagena! It was very annoying and Columbia has a way to go if they want to increase tourism. Beware of the taxi drivers - we got ripped off! English can be a problem. The 3rd stop was the Panama Canal. It was an early rise and the ship entered the Gatun Locks on schedule. It was facinating! Coral Princess has two public decks that are not widely advertised. There exists access to forward and aft decks on the Caribe and Dolphin decks. Obviously, not too many people knew about them as there were very few passengers there for the transit. The forward deck is the best one for observing the transit, and the aft one is just as good as you sail into the next lock. We booked a land tour with Princess to do a boat tour of the Canal. We were tendered and bussed for about an hour to the embarcation point. The small ferry continued through the Miraflores Locks to the Pacific and we then took another 1 hour bus ride back to Cristobal. It was nice, but was a bit of a cattle-ride and was expensive. The 4th stop was Puerto Limon, Costa Rica... by far my favourite!. We booked a private tour with www.okeydokeytours.com and our guide, Jose, was fantastic! I highly recommend them! We did a great 13-station zip-line canopy tour, a 1 hour horseback ride, and an eco-river tour. Lunch and beer were included and Jose even took us to a local grocery store to buy coffee and vanilla, which was much cheaper than at the tourist market. This tour lasted for about 6 hours and cost just $95.00 each... a much better deal than Princess had to offer. The owner of the company, Charlie Soto, even phoned us on Jose's cell phone to make sure we were being treated well. It was a class act! Day at sea... Ocho Rios, Jamaica... we were tired and went to Island Village for a few drinks. Day at sea... We got back in Fort Lauderdale and disembarcation was a breeze. Being suite-passengers, we were invited to the Wheelhouse Bar with the Platinum and Elite passengers to await our call. In general terms, we were extremely impressed with the crew, the food, the entertainment and the level of service. I really have no complaints and highly recommend that you consider taking this cruise or any other cruise with Princess. We purchased 4 future cruise credits on board, so you know where we'll be for the next few Canadian winters! I'm not sure if it was appropriate or not, but we tipped our steward $20 in advance on the first day, and again on the penultimate day. We received excellent service and ended up with a cute collection of "towel-imals" by the end of the cruise (I especially liked the "hanging monkey" on the 2nd last night!)". If you have any questions or want more detail, please ask. Happy cruising! Carl and Brett Halifax, NS, Canada Read Less
Sail Date February 2008
The DW and I drove to Ft Lauderdale early on the 27th, arriving in Ft Lauderdale at 1:30 pm and were in our room by 2pm. Great check-in, painless and fast even though we had to make a last minute change. It's been awhile since we have ... Read More
The DW and I drove to Ft Lauderdale early on the 27th, arriving in Ft Lauderdale at 1:30 pm and were in our room by 2pm. Great check-in, painless and fast even though we had to make a last minute change. It's been awhile since we have been on Princess and we were glad we did this time. The only thing to say is the Coral provides great food, great service, and has a great staff. We ate in the Dining room, the Bayou Cafe, Sabatini's, the buffet, and used room service, they all exceeded our expectations. The DW was hooked on those wonderful room service hamburgers, make sure to ask for a ROOM service burger, It is thick, juicy with a slightly smoky flavor. There are not enough words to describe the quality of the food we had at the Bayou Cafe, succulent Oysters Bienville, a 18 oz Porterhouse that melts in your mouth. The DW had the surf (lobster) and turf (thick filet mignon)special and was not disappointed although a bit overstuffed. Absolutely the best food we had in a long time on a cruise. We ended up taking the left-overs up to the room for a 2 am snack! I suppose I should talk about the room. We had a mini-suite that was more than adequate for 2, with a nice closet. Drawer space was good even though most of the drawers a shallow, there were enough to put away all our clothes. We had to use a eggcrate for the mattress because they were a bit lumpy and hard. Where the beds met, was a hump that was a tad bothersome but was fixed quite nicely by the eggcrate. The room steward (Rodolpho) was great and always cheery and polite. The room was always clean even if it took till 10:30 am to get my butt out of bed. We were never rushed to get out so he could clean up. Our toilet would not flush one day, passenger service said they would have someone check it out, we told Rodolpho about it and in 10 minutes, he was back with the maintenance guy and it was fixed. Going through the Canal Locks on the balcony was a definite plus. Being we like to donate at the Casino, we met the staff early and often and had a great time. The DW won $3000 at video poker and did well at the 3-card poker table. I did alright at the 3-card table and only made $500 at the video poker(1st time player). The last night I also hit $300 on the one of the slots trying to empty the DW's Ocean Player's Card account. They had a get a ticket for prize drawings night for winning poker hands and I won a $500(?) piece of art (number and signed print). The only way to describe the Canal is, you have to experience it to appreciate it! We were pleasantly surprised by Cartagena, Columbia. There were a lot of mixed feelings about on the CC boards so we were a bit leery going in but we really enjoyed Cartagena and would love to go back. Aruba, I'm not a big fan of the place, once outside the city it is nothing but rocks, sand, and cacti. I think they call that a desert anywhere else. There are some interesting sites to see but I wouldn't go out of my way travel there. If it hadn't been on the itinerary, I wouldn't bothered trying to go there. Costa Rica - It rained most of the morning so we stayed on ship and kicked back and relaxed all day. The only thing we heard from most folks was they were overwhelmed by the level of poverty there. Jamaica - Bad weather, big waves, no Jamaica, enough said! Couldn't get my Blue Mountain Coffee again, DRAT the bad luck! Overall it was fabulous trip and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I can;t say how much we appreciated the great crew, exceptional service, and fabulous food. We skipped the show for the Casino so nothing to say about the shows. our friend traveling with us, went to the shows couple of times and always said they were good. Alan and DW Read Less
Sail Date December 2007
My husband and I were on our third cruise, first with Princess. He is 66, I am 60. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale the day before departure. We made our own hotel reservations online, and opted for the Ramada, less than 2 miles from the Cruise ... Read More
My husband and I were on our third cruise, first with Princess. He is 66, I am 60. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale the day before departure. We made our own hotel reservations online, and opted for the Ramada, less than 2 miles from the Cruise port. Ramada picked us up at the airport and delivered us to the ship the next morning. $89.00/night, including full American breakfast. They have a pool, nice restaurant/night club, and Tiki bar. Others on the cruise chose the Plantation motel, some paying as little as $69/night, with the same amenities, but no breakfast. We were pleasantly surprised at how easy the embarkation process was for the Coral Princess. We waited in a large hangar-type building with chairs until our group was called. Our luggage had been taken directly from the Ramada van to our suite. We had a mini-suite which had a bathtub/shower combo, so if you don't like stepping in and out of a tub, even with safety bars, you don't want this type suite. I guess the only difference with the suite is a larger closet (it's not walk-in though as claimed) with plenty of hangars. The balconies are very small. Two TVs were nice. I read an online review by a professional cruiser who swore the Coral Princess had the best crew around. I did not find that to be the case, although I have no major complaints. Our cabin steward, Alfie, was a Filipino who was nearing the end of his contract prior to six months at home, and he was pleasant, but appeared tired. Most of the staff in the regular dining room were Romanians. I didn't care for our main server, a Romanian woman. It has been my experience that the main servers get the job because they are usually a combination of charming, witty, funny, etc. She was none of those and would interrupt lively dinner conversations to simply ask if everything was OK (yes it was, except for her interruptions). There are only 3 maitre'd for the entire restaurant and we were fortunate to have Jose, a Brazilian, and he was everything you could hope for it that position. I am not a strong walker, so I looked for non-strenuous activities. There were lots of trivia type games daily, and I played then regularly. I cannot speak highly enough about the Entertainment staff, headed up by Scott and the DJ Leon. My favorites were Rebecca and Liam from the UK and my husband flipped for Veronica from Mexico. With notable exceptions, you are much better off simply getting off the ship and making your own excursion reservations. But you must sign up early for the train ride at the canal, as that books up. Try not to buy anything onboard, as the prices were wildly out of line for local merchandise you could bargain for onshore. We opted for the early seating in the main dining room at a table for 8. We enjoyed the 3 other couples and often found ourselves the last table to empty because we were so engrossed in conversation. The food was simply wonderful. The entertainment was hit and miss but there were first-run movies daily in the Universe Lounge. We liked the Coral Princess as well as the Celebrity Infinity, which was the only other ship we had sailed on. I would recommend it without hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date October 2006
Overall, the experience was a 7.5/10. Minus Points: Leaving and re-boarding the ship in each port was poorly organized and wasted a good deal of time. Ship-promoted tours started a little late, and definitely ended much later than ... Read More
Overall, the experience was a 7.5/10. Minus Points: Leaving and re-boarding the ship in each port was poorly organized and wasted a good deal of time. Ship-promoted tours started a little late, and definitely ended much later than projected, totally changing our time table for the rest of the day. Next time, we will not use any of their tours, will do our own things in each port. The older people on the ship definitely had some attitude, like "this is my buffet line, out of the way!!!" Many were extremely rude, would cut in lines, etc. during the whole cruise. They were going to get their mon ey's worth, and we were not going to get in the way. Drinks are way overpriced for what you get, they need to take a tip from the all-inclusives in Mexico. For my money, better experience and service at those resorts especially if you drink. Food quality inconsistent, one dish great, the next was poor at best. Charging for WiFi and internet? Please!!!!!!!!! You can go to low-end hotels and get it included with your night. Princess, wake up please and just include this, quit trying to charge for it. Spa services were priced double what they should be, and they are always on the upsell before you even book a service. Plus Points: The staff tries really hard to help you out in every respect. The ship was very clean and appeared to be maintained well. Summary comment: Always trying to sell us something, need to tone that down and develop an inclusive for another 25 per day per person. Will consider an all-inclusive in Mexico before we do this again. Better experience and we pay just one rate and know what that is before hand. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
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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