3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We decided we needed a break and chose to go on a three-day cruise to simply relax. The price was quite reasonable and affordable for almost any budget. We chose the three-day cruise on the Coral Princess departing Los Angeles on Sunday ... Read More
We decided we needed a break and chose to go on a three-day cruise to simply relax. The price was quite reasonable and affordable for almost any budget. We chose the three-day cruise on the Coral Princess departing Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon and docking in Vancouver BC on Wednesday morning. Both ports provided incredibly easy arrival and departure options. The Coral Princess is one of the best ships in the Princess fleet. And it is now our favorite of all the ships we've sailed. It was comfortable, welcoming and warm. The wait and cabin staff were among the best we have ever encountered. The decor was rich and inviting. The Balcony Cabin on the Caribe was comfy. Those Princess beds are the best. You can just snuggle right in. We chose Anytime Dining in the Bordeaux where the menu selections were many. One of the best appetizers on the menu is any of the chilled soups. The Horizon Court food was always fresh with lots of choices. And finally the entertainment in the Princess Theater was high quality, with some of the best singers, dancers and musicians we've ever encountered on any cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Quick 3 day repositioning cruise heading north to Vancouver. Flight in to LAX was perfect since Princess has staff at the baggage pickup area. My flight came in at 9:20 am. Bought transfer to ship at baggage claim from Princess ... Read More
Quick 3 day repositioning cruise heading north to Vancouver. Flight in to LAX was perfect since Princess has staff at the baggage pickup area. My flight came in at 9:20 am. Bought transfer to ship at baggage claim from Princess personal and waited for bus. Our luggage stayed with staff and we were taken directly to ship. On the Coral Princess ship by 11:30 am. Luggage made it onto ship without any problem & was so nice not to deal with it on bus or pier. Beautiful day in LA. Blue sky and able to sit on padded lounge chairs by the indoor pool and watch the seals swimming near the ship. Nice lunch at Horizon buffet which is at the front of the ship. Went to one production show at the Princess Theater/ front of the ship. Enjoyed the special guest singers, Princess singers and band that preformed. Went to a comedy show at the back of the ship, really like that lounge and comedy was nice with little or no profanity. Relaxing Trip. Still like to watch the Yes, No game. Anytime dining was good. For Vancouver I was in walkoff group 2 taking own luggage off. Although we were slightly late to the dock/pier, I was walking off the ship by 7:45 am. Made prior reservation with Quick Shuttle and able to catch the 9 am bus to Seattle without any problem for my flight. This reposition sailing only offered transfers to Vancouver airport. I really liked the size of the Coral Princess and thought it was a pretty ship and like it, would sail on it again. Someone mentioned no seating by the Atrium on this ship, I didn’t really go there much. Didn’t notice any smoke smell from casino which was really nice. Loved that their was always lounge chairs available to use. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Background Information Working toward Elite status on Princess - we had 10 prior to this. Cobbled together this cruise with a one night cruise on Ruby Princess into our own Pacific Coastal/Pacific Northwest vacation. First time ... Read More
Background Information Working toward Elite status on Princess - we had 10 prior to this. Cobbled together this cruise with a one night cruise on Ruby Princess into our own Pacific Coastal/Pacific Northwest vacation. First time sailing on Coral (2nd time in this ship class - sailed sister ship Island in 2006). Travel to Embarkation Port We flew into LAX one day early and took a Lyft down to Long Beach (cost $39). Hotel Information We decided to do our pre-cruise night onboard the former cruise ship Queen Mary in Long Beach. We arrived around 1pm, so our room was not ready. We had a very filling and excellent tasting lunch in the Promenade Café. We purchased the $25 all access pass (available to hotel, restaurant, or banquet guests). This got us all 3 guided tours - Glory Days, Haunted Encounters, and Steam & Steel. We enjoyed all the tours as well as on our own exploring the ship. We booked an inside king. The bed was comfortable. The size and storage options were sufficient for our one night stay. The biggest drawbacks were the lack of temperature controls and the exposure to exterior noise. The in room thermostat was not functional (and I had a friend stay here the prior weekend and I know it didn’t work for their room either) - you had to call the front desk and be told that the engineering dept would try to adjust for your room. We did that and it didn’t make that much of a difference. Because the walls are steel, you hear any people outside your room who are talking and for us there were loud groups of people having boisterous conversations and across the hallway parties late at night. We had to call the front desk to request that security come address the issue. Things finally quieted down around midnight. I always travel with earplugs so those would be a must for a stay here. The historical significance of the ship was worth the premium rate we paid - it was a unique way to enjoy a pre-cruise night. But my preference for modern convenience and comfort would lead me to choose elsewhere for my next cruise out of San Pedro/Long Beach. Embarkation Used Lyft to get to Port San Pedro. Cost about $14. Arrived at port shortly after 11am. With two Princess ships in port, Coral was docked at Pier 92. Since we had priority embarkation privileges with Princess Platinum loyalty status, we ignored the check in begins at 1:00pm time on the cruise paperwork. We were thru security & priority check-in and in the embarkation waiting area by 11:15 am. We didn’t even have to sit down as they started Platinum all groups boarding as soon as we walked in. Cabins were supposed to be immediately available. However our section on Caribe wasn’t quite finished so we headed down to the atrium to take care of a few embarkation errands (cruise card hole punched for our lanyards, submit future cruise deposit forms, etc). We returned just before noon and the cabin was ready. Our suitcases were delivered by 2 pm. Muster drill was at 3:30pm (life jackets not required), and sailaway was shortly after 4pm. Cabin We originally booked an obstructed view oceanview stateroom on Emerald deck but about three months prior to sailing we received an offer to upgrade to a premium view balcony stateroom on Caribe deck for $78. We were on the starboard side, which was good since the cruise was up the Pacific coastline. Flat screen TV on the wall now frees up easier access to the wall outlet in the minibar storage tower. Still the crappy hair dryer on the wall. Dreaded shower curtain in the bathroom and a postage stamp sized shower - I think the smallest size shower of any Princess ship I’ve been on. Otherwise, the typical setup for a balcony stateroom. This was our first cruise on a ship with the Princess Luxury Bed. It’s fantastic! Supportive yet cushy mattress. Poofy pillows. Top sheet plus a duvet. Ship Information It had been 13 years since we'd sailed on this mid-size class of ship. There is so much public space per passenger it seemed like the ship was hardly occupied. Medallion Net Internet - If you pre-pay it's $8.99pp/per day, otherwise it’s $9.99pp/per day. Platinum/Elite gets either unlimited access discount 1 device $22.49 voyage plan or 4 device $29.99 voyage plan (available only within first 24 hrs of the cruise) or 150 free minutes one device at a time. iMessage worked even when offline. We pre-paid for the soda package - $8.26pp/per day. Forgotten how huge the Wheelhouse Bar is on this class of ship. Coral is the only ship now to have the Universe Lounge. Best library of any Princess ship we’ve sailed. So weird to have International Café adjacent to the casino instead of in the piazza atrium. Horizon Court had been renovated with new flooring and more stations including the Amuleto Italian Café at the aft where all the desserts are featured. So it’s a smaller version of what you experience now on the Royal class ships. No BOGO happy hour. Activities Attended the nightly Elite/Platinum/Suite Cocktail hour. 1st night salsa & chips were the featured hors d’oeuvres. 2nd night beef steak tartare w/ Melba toast was the featured hors d’oeuvres. 3rd night smoked salmon was the featured hors d’oeuvres. Played morning & afternoon bingo on Day 2. Spent quality time in the Library - my happy place with the comfy leather chairs and a sea view. Spent a couple hours at the indoor Lotus pool area. Pool water was frigid but hot tubs were nice. Played afternoon bingo on Day 3. Watched the farewell balloon drop party. Entertainment Sailaway Party on Lido Deck with the party band Symphonee. Listened to the piano player David Moore in Crooners Bar a couple times. Saw the production show “Encore”. Not any plot - just a collection of songs about 1/3 of which were Italian/opera. The guest soprano Jennifer Fair was impressive. But I was kinda meh about the show. Went to the late night comedian Eric Lyden. He was funny but fairly edgy. Dining Day 1 Lunch - Main Dining Room (Scott and I had the same choices: avocado & bay shrimp appetizer, spinach & ricotta cheese ravioli entrée, and orange soufflé dessert) Dinner/Dessert - Bayou Café & Steakhouse (Scott had the crawfish bisque appetizer, gumbo, trinity smothered filet of beef entrée; I had the sausage grillades appetizer, jambalaya, red pepper broiled 8oz lobster tail entrée; we both had the milk chocolate peanut butter bar w/ honey roasted peanuts dessert which is the Chocolate Journeys dessert exclusive to Bayou Steakhouse). Because we received the Princess coupon book from our travel agent, we got to use the buy 1 get 1 speciality dining on embarkation day offer. Cover charge is $29pp. Day 1 Snacks - Pizza (calabrese) for sailaway. Day 2 Breakfast - Buffet (Chocolate Journeys featured pastry was Chocolate Strawberry Cheese Danish) Day 2 Lunch - Buffet (Oriental/sushi feature) Day 2 Dinner/Dessert - Sabatini’s (Scott had the lamb skewers antipasti, I had the burrata antipasti, we both had the escarole salad, Scott had the fettuccine with carbonara sauce, I had the roasted lamb tortelloni, we both had the chicken scaloppine for the second plate, Scott had the vanilla panna cotta, and I had the Rocher which is the Chocolate Journeys dessert exclusive to Sabatini’s). Dinner took about 2 hours. Day 3 Breakfast - Buffet plus pastries from International Cafe Day 3 Lunch - Alfredo’s Pizzeria at Sabatini’s (complementary; doesn’t offer the pastas that Alfredo’s does on the Royal Class ships but has more pizza offerings than what you can get on deck; Scott had the daily special beef & chili flakes, I had the Coral Princess) Day 3 Snacks - International cafe Day 3 Dinner/Dessert - Buffet (Indian Feature) Disembarkation We left the cabin about 7:00 (required to leave by 8:00) and went to the buffet for breakfast. We had walk off so we were off the ship at 8:00. We were through customs by 8:15. Vancouver does not have Uber/Lyft so we got a taxi to our hotel (cost $9). Service We had consistent service during the cruise - no major issues, no examples of above & beyond. Pretty much what I expect on a short cruise like this. Tips & Tricks - Alfredo’s pizzeria in Sabatini’s - Tiramisu martini is only available at the bar for Bayou Steakhouse - "By the Bayou" production show in Universe Lounge - unique to Coral but they didn’t offer this show on this 3 night cruise which was a bummer Final Thoughts This was our 18th cruise - 11th on Princess. Doesn’t have all the amenities and dining options that the bigger ships in the fleet have. But Coral has some unique features (2 deck Universe Lounge, Library with 8 leather club chairs & foot stools facing out to sea view, Bayou Steakhouse), and you often feel as though you have the ship to yourself with the high public space to passenger ratio. It’s a nice change of pace. We would be happy to sail on Coral again (and we’ve in fact booked another Pacific Coastal on her for May 2021). Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Second time on Princess (first on Coral). Had done the same itinerary two years go on Island. Got upgraded to balcony on Caribe Deck. Location was good and had a covered balcony. However it was really too cold to spend anytime on it! ... Read More
Second time on Princess (first on Coral). Had done the same itinerary two years go on Island. Got upgraded to balcony on Caribe Deck. Location was good and had a covered balcony. However it was really too cold to spend anytime on it! Embarkation and Disembarkation went very smoothly (I was in first group both times with carry on luggage). Ship has supposedly been recently updates..seemingly the public area carpets look fresh, ship has the new internet service. There was some exterior painting going on. The metal frame around my baloney door was corroded. Layout of the ship is better than Island, there is still a full Promenade loop on Deck 7 (although closed during rough seas). Small viewing decks at back of upper floors, below the Sanctuary. Library is limited..very sad compared to Holland America. Viewing areas are blocked by blue-tinted glass, very little is unobscured for photographers (a few corners on upper levels, and the back decks, plus Promenade. Blankets provided for outdoor movie viewing are thin flannel, useless in cold weather! Cabin was small, but had room to walk around bed. Bed was extremely soft and saggy, had a sore back after the cruise! Shower stall is cramped, shower head is fixed. Room has small refrigerator. Large flat screen TV. Wine glasses provided but no corkscrew. Standard toiletries are wall mounted shower/conditioner and shower gel, tube skin cream and soap bar. No fruit basket (steward said to request it through room service). Balcony had two chairs and two footrests. Dining in MDR fixed seating was good service. Food was average and somewhat boring. Prime Rib was good, as was beef and lamb chop in mixed grill at lunch. Corvina was fishy smelling. Good scooped ice cream in MDR (choice of two ice creams and one sorbet). Bread is good. Horizon Court food very mediocre with not much choice. Only one smoked fish (mackerel) was available at breakfast. Sushi was terrible! Beverage service is uneven..usually only offered to large parties, not to single diners. Pizza in Sabattinis at lunch is made to order, thin crust style and skimpy toppings. International Cafe food offerings were versions of what was up in Horizon Court. Nothing Special. Room service has limited offerings but was timely. Very little in the way of enrichment..are crafts enrichment? TV had good selection of movies and news channels. Service was overall good except in Horizon Court. I didn't use any ships excursions. I would chose Holland America over Princess for an Alaska Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
As a travel advisor I wanted to experience life onboard a Princess Cruise. The embarkation and Disembarkation process was very efficient. There were many venues onboard with different nightly entertainment. The public areas never felt ... Read More
As a travel advisor I wanted to experience life onboard a Princess Cruise. The embarkation and Disembarkation process was very efficient. There were many venues onboard with different nightly entertainment. The public areas never felt crowded. The SPA experience was great and the thermal suite can be enjoyed daily at an extra cost. My cabin had a veranda, mid ship. My companion suffers from motion sickness but staying mid ship was very helpful and she did great onboard. I recommended to anyone looking to experience cruising for the first time. It is a great value for the money. The food in the main dining room is good. The menu changes every evening with a decent selection of choices. The food at the buffet as well as the coffee can be improve. The staff is very friendly. The pools were heated and there were 4 spas to relax and watch outdoor movies on the big screen. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Coral Princess is my kind of ship. The public areas are extensive, comfortable and inviting and there was rarely a crowded feel. We had 8 sea days, and were never bored. Princess had a packed schedule every day and there was always ... Read More
Coral Princess is my kind of ship. The public areas are extensive, comfortable and inviting and there was rarely a crowded feel. We had 8 sea days, and were never bored. Princess had a packed schedule every day and there was always something to do. The food in the main dining room was excellent, varied and beautifully presented. Breakfast in all venues was uninspired but the quality of the pastries, breads and fruit selections was wonderful. Afternoon tea was fabulous! Although I loved the lunch I had eaten in the dining room on the first day, we decided to pass on that and just scavenge at the buffet the rest of the trip (excellent cheeses, breads, sandwiches, salads and shrimp) so we could justify attending the tea. I love the way Princess makes it a point to seat people in groups in the dining room - at every meal you meet and enjoy different people and make new friends. Even when we decided to eat at a table alone, we were so close to our neighbors that it was easy to strike up a conversation - or not, whichever worked best. "Ocean Concierge" is a very fine feature. We logged into the ship's internet, and could see the day's schedule right on our phones. We could tap in and read about the shore excursions we had scheduled, and add daily events to our own personal itinerary. I could "share" an event with my husband, who could then add it to his list. The app also offered texting capability, Although this was of limited usefulness since you didn't know there was a text if the app wasn't open. Still, it made it easier to "find each other" on those busy days. We booked all our shore excursions (and we booked at least one at each port) through Princess and were really glad we did. Two of our excursions were the last to arrive back at the ship, and they arrived after the "all aboard" had sounded. I would have been a nervous wreck if I hadn't known that the Coral would wait. The excursions were generally quite good, the ports were interesting and the organization was superb. We have been on far too many ships where the instructions were to "meet the bus on the pier" and let the devil take the hindmost. Each of our tours started out in the dining room, where we were given our group number, and we were called and escorted off the ship when our group was ready. Specialty dining was a waste. We only did it because it was a gift, but we had been looking forward to a nice, spicy meal at the Bayou. Instead we got a lot of salt and too much meat. It just confirmed my long held belief about specialty dining: We're better off in the main dining room. Everything else was lovely. Common areas were beautifully decorated and all carpets and artwork were attractive and tasteful. What more to say? I would go on the Coral Princess again in a heartbeat. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband and I took this cruise through the Panama Canal to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. It was our 12th cruise, 3rd with Princess. We booked Ezair for the first time as we were flying from Boston to LA on the day of the ... Read More
My husband and I took this cruise through the Panama Canal to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. It was our 12th cruise, 3rd with Princess. We booked Ezair for the first time as we were flying from Boston to LA on the day of the cruise and it worked perfectly. There were pros and cons with the ship. Pros: Clean ship Friendly staff Wash stations at Horizon Court Silverware at tables at Horizon Good coffee Can walk all the way around on Promenade deck Chris Roberts, Destination Expert Good Entertainment Great weather! Cons: Ship older and design confusing. Doors need to be manually opened going outside instead of opening automatically. Shower tiny (but good water pressure) The pools had no shallow end and there were no lifeguards. Movies under the Stars-movies were shown during the day which took away from relaxing pool time. They were very loud. The ports were all new to us except Puerta Vallarta where we took a taxi to Malecon. All other ports we booked Princess excursions and enjoyed them. The only complaint was we were not given a bottle of water on the excursions. It was very hot and it should have been included. The Canal experience was very interesting and you really could feel the boat going up and down in the locks. We enjoyed the cruise and seeing some new ports of call. There were quite a few sea days which made for a very relaxing vacation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband and I booked this cruise in December. Due to my precarious health we can only book vacations on shorter notice so we picked an item on our bucket list. Last year was a Tanzanian safari and generally prefer land trips so we can ... Read More
My husband and I booked this cruise in December. Due to my precarious health we can only book vacations on shorter notice so we picked an item on our bucket list. Last year was a Tanzanian safari and generally prefer land trips so we can spend more time in an area. We have found cruising to be a great way to explore and get a taste of multiple areas in one trip, thus we cruised the Mediterranean in 2011 and Alaska in 2015 and loved it, Since I do not keep current on the cruising industry, I give my review with consideration that everything I have heard and read leads me to believe things are not what they used to be, i.e., "the good old days". Had this been our first cruise, some of our ratings may have been better. We booked our one way flight thru EZAir flying nonstop from TPA to LAX on our day of embarkation as we didn't find the need to spend extra time in that area. Our flight arrived 30 min early, we were easily able to find our Princess rep and make our transfer to San Pedro, arriving around 11 am. Embarkation was very smooth, we were sitting in the Bordeaux Room shortly after noon, enjoying a rather good bacon cheeseburger. After lunch we went to guest relations to secure the last spot for my husband to go on the Ultimate Ship Tour. We then went back to our cabin to rest a little, wait for our luggage and unpack, and allow shipboard life to begin.... We loved the size of the ship and fond it fairly easy to navigate once we got our bearings. Every once in a while we would find an elevator that didn't go to all decks. The elevator doors closed rather quickly so we always had to be ready to move fast to enter. I walk with a cane so I cannot run. We could tell this was an older ship but it seemed well cared for, nothing was in disrepair. The mini-suite cabin selection available was very limited since we booked late but we were able to have our TA move us closer to midship after final payment when I noticed the availability on Princess.com so we were on Dolphin deck fairly close to midship elevators. I wasn't sure how I would feel with our balcony being open to anyone above us, but it was not a problem. The cabin was very clean, had plenty of storage, outlets, hangars. The couch was a sofa bed that was rather uncomfortable, glad no one would be sleeping on it. We found the two cases of water waiting for us when we arrived and put some in the refrigerator which had an ice bucket which our cabin steward kept filled for us. Despite saying we wanted robes when completing the booking forms, they were absent but promptly supplied wen we asked our steward. We wanted for nothing until tried to get out of the shower. I walk with a cane because all if the muscle surrounding one of my hips was destroyed by a faulty hip replacement. I have limited motion of one leg but the handicap is not severe enough to warrant a handicap cabin. I had read that the sides of the bathtub were high so I was somewhat prepared. The available grab bars made it easy for me to get into the shower but when I went to get, it was entirely different, The bottom of the bathtub was 4-6 inches higher than the floor making the step out impossible for me to keep all of my weight on my bad leg without moving enough that might dislocate my hip. The rim of the tub is very narrow, 2-3 inches wide, so I couldn't sit and get out. I needed something higher to step out onto. We came up with 2 options, 1 was an inverted trashcan and the other was to use the life vest. The latter turned out to be the perfect option, problem solved! We usually ate breakfast at the buffet because we got moving too late for the dining room except for using room service on excursion days. We found the buffet to have a more than adequate selection that we were very happy with. We enjoyed lunch in the dining room but could not always go because of the limited time it was open (12-1:30). Lunch at the buffet was average at best, the selection was fair, they had run out of quite a few items, possibly because we arrived about 30 -45 minutes before closing. We had pizza three times (once from room service) and it was always very good. I'll give dinner its own paragraph because that that is the reason for average rating. We had anytime dining which suited us well. We alternated between a private table for 2 and sharing a table with a group. The companions were always pleasant. Most off the time there were multiple appealing choices. There was no escargot which I understand is part of cutbacks which is no big deal. The Caesar Salad was watery and had little taste on the 2 times I tried it. The food was never served hot, we felt lucky if it was warm. The pasta was way undercooked, it always needed a few minutes additional cooking time to be classified as al dente. Lobster was offered twice and those that had it, enjoyed it. The beef was generally excellent and cooked to request, except that the cowboy New York strip steaks were very chewy. The red snapper, besides being cold, was very fishy tasting and did not seem to be fresh. many of the dishes may have been very good if served at the right temperature. The desserts were usually very good. Service was excellent for the most part with no complaints and some surprises. We were asked when we booked if we were celebrating anything and I answered "our anniversary a few days prior to embarkation". On the second day of our cruise we found many pleasant surprises, balloons and a sign on our cabin door, a greeting card containing gift cards to the spas and shops, plus a letter to give to our waiters at dinner; they sang to us and presented us with a special dessert, bravo Princess Cruises! Everyone works so hard and their efforts are apparent. They were always pleasant to interact with. We have always has anytime dining so that we don't always have the same waitstaff, no problem. We did find the waitstaff on our prior cruises to be much more personable. The purpose of the cruise was the Panama Canal which was awesome. The ports we visited were all new to us except for Puerto Vallarta which we visit on a regular basis so we did not get off of the ship. We were actually disappointed that the port had changed from what we remembered; there used to be a great flea market there. In Huatulco, we didn't do a tour, We just went into the town, walked around the shops and town, watched birds in the park, and had lunch on the beach. We had a delightful day in area that turned back time compared to PV and Cabo. We would certainly consider returning for a longer period of time. San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua is a tendered port so we chose to do Princess tour. We only decided amongst those labeled as easy because of my limitations. We were fortunate to get to go into the port as it was cancelled on the three or four previous cruises because of high winds. I was very windy when we arrived but everything was a go. It was very difficult for me to get on the tender because of the rough waters but we made it. We took a full day tour on a big bus which was a bit of a disappointment as Princess advertises smaller groups. Evidently everything worth seeing is quite a distance from the port so we spent quite a bit of time in the bus, driving, The sights we visited were the Apoyo Crater, a volcano, the city of Granada, and Lake Nicaragua. The buffet lunch in Granada was excellent; we were given time to explore the area but, besides a cathedral across the street, everything worth seeing was 10 -18 blocks away, too far for me to walk in the midday heat. We did enjoy what we saw but do not feel the need to ever return. The next port was Puntarenas, Costa Rica. We had arranges a private tour, the 10 in 1 combo Puntarenas Tour with Thumbs Up Tours who are highly recommended on Cruise Critic and Trip Advisor. Their website is the company name and they were a pleasure to work with. We were the first to contact them so they kept in touch until they had enough people to confirm the tour. as it turned out, enough people for two vehicles signed up so we were in a minivan with another couple and still charged the group of 12 rate of $65, no payment until the end of the tour! We got to see a lot of the Costa Rican countryside, monkeys, macaws, a toucan, and went on a safari boat door. We had wonderful buffet lunch at a restaurant in the rainforest with spectacular views and macaws. Gilbert, our driver and guide was terrific and we highly recommend this tour. We are interested in spending more time in Costa Rica. The port of Fuerte Amador, Panama was another tender port so we chose a Princess tour on a jungle boat excursion through Gatun Lake to see wildlife and scenery found in this area of that Panama Canal System. Getting on the tender boat was again difficult as was the walk down to jungle boat; the tide must have been low so that the slope to walk down to the floating dock was VERY steep, it was difficult but I made it. We saw monkeys who came onto the boat to take grapes from the hands of some of the passengers, some birds, and crocodiles. The tour was fine, no need to revisit. The skyline if Panama City is spectacular. Cruising thru the Panama Canal was an all day event giving everyone the time an viewpoints to see as much as they would like to see. The experience exceeded our expectations. Our final port of Cartagena, Columbia was a pleasant surprise from the skyline of skyscrapers to the amazing city back to port terminal that contained an aviary and wildlife preserve. We did a private tour with Dora the Explorer who is also highly recommended on these boards. I think there was 16-20 in our group with stops at La Popa Monastery, the San Felipe de Barajas Fort, and a walk through the old city with its brilliant architecture. The walking in the heat and humidity got to be too much pain for me so Dora arranged for me to sit in an area where the others would catch up with me later. I missed the inside of the cathedral but that was it. I would consider visiting this area again. All things considered, this was a trip of a lifetime that we are glad we did but would not go again because we wee well satisfied with our experience at the Panama Canal. This was our first Princess cruise and are not sure whether our disappointment with the food is company/ship related or the entire cruise industry. We have friends who are ardent cruisers who are going on their first Princess Cruise next month so we are anxious to hear what they will say. We have intentionally not given them any negative comments so that we can hear an unbiased comparison. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise for the 19 days at a reasonable price with lots of relaxing sea days. I liked the idea of off the beaten path ports and going twice through the interesting parts of the canal. I was also interested in trying the Coral ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the 19 days at a reasonable price with lots of relaxing sea days. I liked the idea of off the beaten path ports and going twice through the interesting parts of the canal. I was also interested in trying the Coral Princess because she has a very loyal following. The Coral Princess is indeed a great ship size and layout. The amenities for the ship size were wonderful. Having the theater and Universe show lounge allowed for lots of entertainment and activity options. The 4 pools allowed for uncrowded main pool areas and you could be alone at the splash or aft pool if you wanted. In fact as reputed it is a very uncrowded ship overall. Never a problem getting into dining and just a small amount of advance planning for the shows. Nothing shockingly long or crowded. I was disappointed with the design that has the toilet sewer vacuum outlet over the starboard aft promenade deck. There was also some type of stinky outlet over the starboard bow area. This would be a valid reason I would not choose this ship again. MedallionNet came on board on our cruise and was fantastic! I loved the interactive personalizer and adding the activities I was interested in to my own schedule. I think I did more things this way than when it was just a printed patter. The messaging function was great/useful but really needs a visual indicator on the main screen and or vibrate/noise to let you know someone is trying to contact you. Not having movies on demand in the room was weird in this day and age. Just a couple of channels broadcasting the same shows over and over seemed very old school. The video quality on the TV was surprisingly bad. Must be something wrong with the cables or something. Movies under the stars was fantastic! The good part about bad room TV was it got you out of the cabin more. I found I enjoyed some things I wouldn't have thought to go to normally. The violin duo was fantastic. The Funk comedian was great. As was the ventriloquist. While I enjoyed the shows (sometimes with ear plugs in as they are way too loud) they aren't really my style. Princess seems to always want to pick popular songs and string them together in a production which is kind of boring to me. Silk had a great story with great theatrics but putting the modern, not quite fitting songs in, made it less than great overall. Also way too loud. But the dancing and singing was good across all the shows so I enjoyed myself appreciating what they did offer. As mentioned by others, the balcony cabin showers are shockingly small. I didn't think it would bother me as much as it did. If I were to book this ship again I would book a mini-suite. The upper management and staff was amazingly responsive to requests and feedback. I was actually kind of shocked how good they were. I has several things that needed to be sorted at the beginning of the cruise. One was a bad room vibration in B730 that caused a ridiculous amount of back pain. It was sorted the next day into a mid-ship room with no vibration. A+++ for that response. The second was that the first room had a brand new bed and bedding. So comfortable! The replacement room had an older bed that was not comfortable. That got sorted the next day to a brand new bed and bedding so we were in heaven the rest of the cruise with great bedding. I also had to sort out the gluten free dining. While they have plenty of tasty options on board, getting to them is ridiculously hard work for a cruiser trying to have a relaxing stress free time. I spoke to other gluten free diners and all were pretty unhappy with how Princess handles things. Until Princess gets a gluten free person somewhere in their management chain I don't think things are going to change. The way they are doing things also puts alot of stress on their staff. I got staff eye rolls, sighs, throwing of gloves when changing and alot of icy treatment from head waiters. Apparently the staff hates the way it is handled just as much as the patrons do. The way I handled the eye rolls and facial expressions was to say "Look, I don't like this either". Some how empathizing with them worked and I got better service. I did have a word with a higher up dining person so got a responsive person in the buffet to go to whenever I needed a run down of the gluten free items. This guy was a gem with a good personality but had a regular job to do also so there were often delays in tracking him down. I also had success with the high tea head waiter and the lunch head waiter. At least one of the guys on the grill was fantastic. Maybe more than one because the grill became a great default option for me. Unfortunately there was at least one who didn't know about gluten free and used the same gloves to handle the lettuce as the previous patrons bun. Then he seemed to put the cross contaminate lettuce back to reuse. But maybe he didn't. It looked like he put it back in the under counter fridge. I did get sick after that meal so he also did something else wrong. Ice cream bar was no problem for gluten free although the person manning it often doesn't speak English enough to understand the request, you just have to watch how/where they handle the cup. They didn't handle it at the rim so all was fine even though they also handled cones. I didn't really give the evening dining staff a chance. I had such a bad experience at embarkation luncheon that I waited until the last night for trying dinner. My fault for not plowing through but I was expending enough energy just trying to succeed in the other dining venues that I didn't feel up to tackling the evening main dining issues until the end. The fundamental problem with the dining room is that they say they can make anything but more often then not, you get plain meat, steamed vegetables and steamed potatoes. No sauce or flavoring unless you are very persistent insisting that they only take an order for something that they can actually provide a sauce for and the majority, if not all, the originally intended ingredients for the dish. This took alot of my energy and their energy. They wanted to assure me that, yes madam, we can provide that. But when you press them they can provide a plain piece of meat or fish. They seemed to think that would make me very happy. It does not. As one other gluten free diner mentioned she was feeling very deprived. I suspect she let them bully her into plain dishes or allowed her to think she was getting the dish but in reality a steamed dish came out. Eventually I could end up with a good dish but there was alot of back and forth arguing with the head waiter (always ask for a head waiter) regarding what the dish would actually be and as soon as they admitted it was nothing but plain meat we would move on to the next selection and repeat the process. Some times we had to do this 3 or 4 times until we landed on a dish that could be made as designed or a reasonably close approximation. After a few rounds the lunch head waiter seemed to get it and it was easier. Then the discovery process on the gluten free dessert would begin. Sometimes they just randomly would bring out the chef selection of tapioca pudding or what not so I ordered ice cream also. Basically no effort was made in the main dining room desert area. On the last night I just lucked out that another diner said you can probably get gluten free baked Alaska. He asked his waiter (who was not my waiter) who confirmed you could. Then we had to find my waiter to tell him. I had wanted to ask him but he was busy not coming by our table. You would think it would dawn on them at the beginning of the gluten free ordering wrestling match (for that is what it felt like) that they might want to be ready to tell you what dessert was available if there was one. But no you have to claw it out of them just like the gluten free info at the buffet and the main dining room lunch and dinner ordering. I know this sounds like I am a problem main dining room orderer. And I am. Otherwise the head waiters try to ice you into accepting whatever steamed plate of food comes out knowing that it is often too much trouble to try another steamed plate of food as that is all they will bring unless you go through the process with them. I saw two big problems with the buffet that would cause me to select another cruise line. #1) No gluten free items labeled in the buffet. This was a huge issue. You have to track down a chef, pull them from their job, have them go through item by item what is gluten free and remember what they said about each item. Often they waved a hand that this, this and this was gluten free while pointing to a whole row. So you have to back them up and go through item by item while memorizing the whole buffet. And all this after waiting around in the middle of the buffet (with traffic flowing around you) while someone gets a chef for you which could be either right away or many minutes later. Not relaxing or fun. I did have great luck ordering from the back of the buffet where if something looked likely to be cross contaminated they would go get a dish of it from the back. It did sometimes take a really long time if they had to go into the ship galley to get it. The assigned chef at the buffet did a good job making the asian stir fry/rice bowls/rice noodle dishes out of the back with gluten free soy sauce. You have to ask about it as they didn't admit to having the gluten free soy sauce until the end. But they do and you can get meals prepared with it. #2) Poorly placed items in the buffet. Princess insists on mixing bread products in everywhere. This increased the chance of cross contamination exponentially. My last Celebrity cruise had whole islands of the buffet with no gluten items. The bread products were all located together. Made things much easier! A good point to the buffet was they had wonderful naturally gluten free curries, Indian food, Thai food and food from the Philippines. Some of the best I've ever had. But after 12 days of it for lunch and dinner I was ready for something different. So I moved on to the grill. Surprisingly they were excellent! The one guy I most often got really knew his gluten free stuff. And the burgers and fries were gluten free so I got to enjoy some excellent fries (as long as they were fresh) which is rare to find gluten free. The burgers also became an excellent non-curry based protein that I paired with the excellent cold salads from the buffet. The dessert area always had 1 or 2 labeled gluten free items. The chocolate fountain was also gluten free but not labeled as such. The meringues were also gluten free but also not labeled as such. On days the pastry chef wasn't trying there where horrible cheese cakes and weird consistency puddings. But when he tried there were fantastic options. On days like this get a couple extra and put them in the fridge to make yourself feel better on tapioca pudding/cheesecake days. They main guy behind the counter always got an allergy serving (fresh gloves right from the refrigerator) of the gluten free dessert when asked. But you have to ask. Don't serve yourself from the offerings as they aren't safe. The other place to get safe desserts was at the tea/coffee place on deck 6. The main guy knew a gluten free allergy order so used separate tongs when asked. You have to watch to see who knows what. If if is a substitute person they often reach for the regular tongs and you have to stop them. Just increases the overall food related stress load on you as you need to evaluate and memorize the knowledgeable personnel early in the cruise and then stay vigilant as to who is serving you. It helps to pace yourself and tackle them in stages so as to establish what is safe and what isn't. The gluten free breakfast muffins (you have to ask for them) were laughably horrible. As were the rice flour and water pancakes. Princess needs to order some commercial mix products for these items. What they offered was beyond bad. The gluten free pizza with the mushy rice crust was also a miss. Overall this was a fantastic cruise! The management staff stood out as being very responsive, as were the staff. All requests were addressed in a satisfactory manner. The buffet clean up staff was exceptional. Drink orders were taken and delivered, plates were cleared, staff was personable. I think they were the best overall department in the entire ship. Oddly the front desk staff wasn't very smiley. Somber and slightly confused would be the way I would describe them. It comes off as a play to be unhelpful if possible. The cruise director did a nice job with the activities. The lecturers were unimpressive and annoying with lame jokes. But alot of people seemed to like them. I just didn't go as seeing presentations from lecherous old guys gets old. I thought the entertainment was good. Weird vibe at the tea/coffee venue. Most staff were good but one guy seems on the verge of an emotional breakdown. Actually saw him throw a tea bag at one of the friendly waitresses and was not quite pleasant to order from. Hopefully his contract is up soon and he can decompress a bit. Not alot of smiles on the ship from the crew. Maybe it isn't the done thing to smile and greet the passengers any more? Many more smiles from the passengers who were overall a delightful lot. Amazing how you seem to run into the same people over and over which makes for a more fun cruise. I was very glad we picked this cruise and we had a wonderful time! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was one of the worst Princess cruises I have ever been on. The music in the lounges was old and tired and lacked any type of variety, the onboard activities were sad, to say the least. Princess really needs to get past the love boat ... Read More
This was one of the worst Princess cruises I have ever been on. The music in the lounges was old and tired and lacked any type of variety, the onboard activities were sad, to say the least. Princess really needs to get past the love boat theme, there is a reason that show is no longer on the air. The cabin was as expected. The production shows and comedians were good. I would like to see princess do what Carvinal has adopted with their comedians and have an early G-rated show and then a show later that is more R-rated. No sports type bar on this ship and no attempt to cover the NCAA championships anywhere other than on TV in the cabins. As far as service goes, it was up to par, but the waits of up to 60 min to get seated using anytime dining was anything but acceptable. Best food on the ship, in my opinion, was at the Grill. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
-Embarkation was excellent and smooth. We were onboard a little after 11am and only took about 15 minutes from start to finish. Disembarkation was just as smooth, with a slight delay due to a computer glitch with immigration. -The ship ... Read More
-Embarkation was excellent and smooth. We were onboard a little after 11am and only took about 15 minutes from start to finish. Disembarkation was just as smooth, with a slight delay due to a computer glitch with immigration. -The ship was great, didn't really notice any wear and tear. It had just been in dry dock recently with upgrades. Elevators were quick and there are many of them. Lots of public spots to be out of your cabin. We did have to work while on vacation on the ship, and thanks to the new Medallion internet service.. it was a breeze and just as good as the internet at home. This made our cruise very stress free! We had been worried about that prior, thinking we would not have good internet until the port days.. and then part of our port days working. But thanks to Medallion, we were able to absolutely enjoy all the cruise activities we wanted, the port days and work when needed! -Our Cabin was a balcony one. I absolutely recommend a balcony especially for anything longer than 7 days. It is really great to order room service and eat out on the balcony. Also just having that extra semi private space to just sit and read, watch the ocean and marine life.. really makes a difference to be in your pj's and do that! Beds were good. we had 3 in our room. Our daughter was up in a berth bunk, and it was comfy and big, not too high and plenty of room above her as she is 5'1" and she could sit very comfortably and there was still space over her head. Our beds were originally as 2 twins, but the 3rd day in our steward suggested putting them together, and I was pleasantly surprised as that was not an option on our room bed request configuration. He said no problem, and set it up, and from then we were very comfy! Closet space was great with tons of hangers! I also had brought closet shelving and over the door storage, that with the cabinet with the safe was absolutely perfect for the over packing I did. I do have to say.. the bathroom was small, and the shower was TINY..lol. all in all a great room. -Dining- we had anytime dining. Did not do any of the formal nights.. we are over that. Instead we choose to be comfy and just relax now when we cruise and not be on a schedule or have to go eat at a certain time and dress up. We did go to breakfast at the dining room, only once as the buffet works better for us, and our tastes and times we eat. The buffet was great! lots of variety.. food was good to great on some dishes in our opinion. always difficult to please everyone when it comes to food..lol -Entertainment and Activities- They cruise director, staff, entertainers, musicians and dancers were great!!! Not all shows were spectacular, but they were very good and entertaining, and thats all you can hope for with nothing else to do! We did have a lot of fun with trivia and the shows though. There really is tons to do.. for all tastes.. and thats the great thing about cruises.. you can do as much or as little as you wish. -Service - We had exceptional service throughout the cruise. The youth center staff was great as they only had 12 kids on the ship.. and not all were together at most times.. and they really went out of their way to make sure the kids were not bored. Can't thank them enough.. because bored kids would have made this a really LONG cruise..lol Our steward was great.. a little ninja.. we hardly saw him! but our room was always perfect and clean. The buffet staff were amazing!!! we spent most of our late evenings with them since we are night owls, and the demographic age of the ship went to sleep pretty early compared to us. We would enjoy our coffee and chat with them as they did their cleaning with music coming from the kitchen.. Really a lot of fun! that was very unexpected! -Ports and Shore Excursions- I will list them individually, but will say that the excursions we did were not with Princess but private tours and they were exceptional, and did the same and more than the Princess excursions but at a fraction of the cost. -Huatulco Mexico~Absolutely loved Huatulco.. we did a boat cruise that took us to all the bays and the man in the rocks, and other sights to see. Then went to Entrega and went snorkeling with our tour captain. it was just us 6 in our group, and it was exceptional!!! Snorkeling was only about $5 per person..with all the gear. He was great and snorkeled with us, actually towed us around holding a line on a floating ring and went and got different fish and we fed then and we went all along the bay amazed by the coral.. just the best time! The water was wonderful with no currents or waves really in that bay. The coral is literally steps from the beach. This is the place I would recommend you go in the water or relax on the beach. we also enjoyed some great food at great prices, right on the beach.. huge and delicious shrimp cocktails and drinks.. just the best place! -Chiapas Mexico- not our fave at all.. everything was far from the port and the heat was insane! We didn't venture from the port and visitors center. There are some stores and shops, and a pit where they dance. The dancing and live music was great. Be prepared to tip, the young kids really do a great job and earn their tip. We stayed there about 2 hours then headed back on the ship. Friends we spoke with said the tour to the town wasn't great.. very crowded, small and too many people.. might have been great for others though. -Puerto Quetzal Guatemala - After reading on the state department website that this was a level 2 place to not visit, we had decided to not do an excursion. there is a really big market area right at the port area where you can really walk around safely. But after being at the port for a bit.. we started chatting with a gentleman who offered us a tour to Antigua. We did go, and am glad we did. You fell like you stepped back in time 200 years in Antigua. There is gorgeous architecture, and a volcano well within view. We ate at a great little bar and had the best tuna sandwich ever! Tuna is one of Guatemala's major exportations, so it was delicious! It is not the safest place, and the tour operator had extra security following us around the markets and streets.. but we never felt un-safe. They did a great job and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there and are very happy we "risked it" and went. -Panama Canal and overnight stay in Gatun Lake- Well we woke up very very early (4:30am) to get a good spot up on the deck outside, then spent HOURS watching as we passed through the locks. It all began around 8 and we anchored around 5 I think. It is a wonder and amazement to experience it.. and just the engineering that went in on this is mind boggling.. but it is a very very long and slow day. And be prepared for some rude people (fellow cruisers) around you to shove and push a little. that was our experience least. On the return transit, this time it didn't start till 11 am.. so by about 8 am we got a big table at the very front of the buffet and spent another very very long day there repeating the locks, but in reverse.. then anchored again to take on fuel all night long... which was a little noisy as it was on our side of the ship. The anchoring on Gatun lake was great... very calm waters which was great as when we left Chiapas, we had some strong winds for a few hours. -Puntarenas Costa Rica- This country is gorgeous and the people were amazing!! you can tell that most people live comfortably, and poverty is not very visible like in other countries. It is also a very safe country to visit. We did a private excursion with Chico and he was amazing!!! He has a brand new 14 passenger van, and we were the only 6 with him.. he took us EVERYWHERE!! Went to almost every place the cruise excursions went to, and we had lunch at an amazing restaurant up high in the tropical rain forrest.. it was open air and the views were breathtaking!! He also took us to a private monkey habitat.. and we had the best time.. monkeys everywhere..and they climb right on you and you feed them fruit. it was sooo much fun and only $3 a person... we also bought some arts and craft and water there.. was just the best experience! We also went and saw the crocodiles.. the rain forrest, the volcano, wild life.. beautiful parrots and birds... went shopping.. had great great delicious milkshakes and smoothies... of all the ports, Costa Rica was our favorite country and we hope to return and spend some time there! -San Juan Del Sur Nicaragua- Captain skipped this port due to high winds.. honestly after speaking with our Costa Rica tour guide and the staff on the cruise ship.. I believe it was mostly due to the political unrest in the country. The week before 3 ships skipped that port as the political protests ended with violence. We knew the night before we were not going to port.. so we just had a very relaxing day on the ship instead.. although it did start early about 6 am, as the captain came over the speakers to inform us of the canceled port. -Manzanillo Mexico- You really do not need to do any excursions there.. you can have a great time just off the port. LOTS of shops and places to eat.. you can get right on the beach immediately... of all the places we visited, Manzanillo had the nicest and best priced souvenirs. everyone was very nice... weather was great.. not as hot and humid as the other ports. spent the day driving around with a private tour operator.. and had a great time... We did travel with our daughter age 11, my husband and myself in one cabin. My mother (age 79), my sister and my nephew age 17. the kids had just as much fun as we did. the staff on the cruise were amazing... our ports were good to great! the only thing I can say about this long cruise.. is that it didn't really feel long, and that I give great credit to mother nature as the ocean was almost lake like most of the time. Only about 2 hours of high winds leaving Chiapas Mexico was the worst of it. And the rest of the credit goes to the staff and private tour guides we were lucky enough to meet. We would do the Panama Canal tour again, but I think it would be the back to back tours from Los Angelos to Florida, then back again.. only adds 10 days.. but different ports. The ratio of port days to sea days.. were long.. but not unbearable. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose the Coral Princess because of its LA to LA itinerary and because it was doing a Panama Canal transit, even if a partial one. A bonus was many ports I'd never been to before. I have zero complaints about anything. I am ... Read More
I chose the Coral Princess because of its LA to LA itinerary and because it was doing a Panama Canal transit, even if a partial one. A bonus was many ports I'd never been to before. I have zero complaints about anything. I am pretty laid back and easy to please; there were no glaring faux pas on the part of the ship or trip. Yes the ship has bumps and bruises, but the way ships get turned around (and thus keep cruising costs reasonable) I expect them. I don't expect perfection, I just want it to be enjoyable without any glaring problems and there weren't any. We ate a lot of meals at the Horizon because I like fast and simple, but the nights we ate the anytime dining room and steakhouse were very good and a nice change of pace. My method at the buffet was to try very small bites of what looked interesting and what turned out to be great, I'd go back for more of. Not everything I tried was great, so it worked out well to go small rather than load up and be disappointed. The entertainment was good to great. There were more activities on board than one could manage and a little something for everyone. I was happy with pool time at the indoor pool and reading time. Ports that I especially enjoyed were Huatulco, Chiapas, Puntarenas and Puerto Quetzal. We visited a colonial city (Tapachula), coffee plantation and Mayan ruins; all of which were very worthwhile. In Puntarenas, I just made it a beach day and local food, both of which were great. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The cruise on the Coral Princess from March 17- April 5 2019 was fabulous from the time we started the cruise! The crew, staff, and all aboard made you feel like part of their family! By the second day I think most of the crew knew me by ... Read More
The cruise on the Coral Princess from March 17- April 5 2019 was fabulous from the time we started the cruise! The crew, staff, and all aboard made you feel like part of their family! By the second day I think most of the crew knew me by name and called my parents mom and dad! We were greeted by name each nite going into the dining room by name and they arranged it so we didn’t have to call for reservations each morning! They knew we liked a certain waiter and table. My dad is the adventuresome person so he did all the different land tours and came back with many adventures, ( I am disabled and make the choice not to do them, even though a lot of people still do). Fuad Amal’s the people were so extremely friendly and the local market literally right off the ship is so very nice and clean! The local people welcome you by introducing themselves and welcoming you to their little shopping area! It was so pleasant! The Panama Canal, this was my 4th time through, is even more exciting, I really took the time to watch the mules, (five million dollars a piece) as they GUIDE NOT PULL the ship into the locks. Then watch as the ships go up up up!!! It’s really exciting to know you are expierencing a part of history! After the locks we anchored in Gatun Lake where the Coral Princess spent the night and around 11 am the next day we headed back out the canal to the Pacific side again! It was just as thrilling! Each stop we made was wonderful, three stops in Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala and we weren’t able to stop in Nicaugua due to high winds and seas, but that just gave us an extra sea day!! The sea days you can be busy with activities 24/7 or do nothing 24/7 and just relax and unwind! That is what makes cruising so wonderful, once you are onboard, it is up to you on how you want your vacation to be! Some people need the constant activity, others like me, love to relax, face a chair towards the ocean and be lucky enough to see the pod of over 15 whales, many turtles, flying fish, and many schools of dolphins! The ocean is filled with many wonders! The Coral Princess has a beautiful library and game room, cigar room, internet rooms, casino, laundry facilities, Movies under the Stars, and movies during the day while you tan, there are areas for children, and playrooms for kids and teens! You can eat eat and eat some more, the old cruise joke is you go on board as a passenger and leave as cargo, I sometimes believe it after the incedible pastries and desserts they have on board. They have a very nice menu in the dining room and they also offer you a choice to pay to have a better cut of a steak, lobster if that is what is sounding good to your appetite that night! Whatever your request I know from expience a Princess staff member will either take care of it or find someone who can do it for you. Visit Maria in Calypso store, she has a heart of gold! If you should run into Rafeal, Thomas ( both from Poland ) and Edwin from Bulgaria )some of the Head waiters from the dining rooms, they are the best!!!!!! Just their smiles and laughter will make you smile!!!!! Happy Cruising!! I was traveling with my parents and yes we will be cruising MANY more times with Princess!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Entertainment was terrible. Movies were for teenagers. Activities were for 3 year olds. Cabins are clean. Couldn’t get off in Nicaragua because of wind. Smoking area on 15 is uncovered, and I got hit 3 times with chairs sliding in the ... Read More
Entertainment was terrible. Movies were for teenagers. Activities were for 3 year olds. Cabins are clean. Couldn’t get off in Nicaragua because of wind. Smoking area on 15 is uncovered, and I got hit 3 times with chairs sliding in the wind..and it’s also a walking deck. People were complaining we were smoking up there. The indoor lounge was packed with smokers, and the ventilation was poor. No sports bar. You had to be in your room to watch sports on T.V. Food was good in the buffet and had great staff. Anytime dinning you were given a beeper to be called when a table was ready. It took about an hour, so we ended up eating in the buffet everyday. The Coral Princess is one of the Princess fleet that I will never go on again. Felt like I was steerage. Bought cigarettes on ship 3times and each time, they were a different price. Check your receipts Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This itinerary has been on our bucket list for a long time. The enrichment activities provided by Chris Roberts and Dr. Angel Colon were most enjoyable and greatly increased my awareness on the topics covered. Please continue these ... Read More
This itinerary has been on our bucket list for a long time. The enrichment activities provided by Chris Roberts and Dr. Angel Colon were most enjoyable and greatly increased my awareness on the topics covered. Please continue these enrichment lectures with fine speakers like these two gentlemen. The crew was awesome and provided perfect service as well as exhibiting tremendous good morale. Special thanks to bar staff, Shailesh, Komang, Edgar, Mario, Geraldine & Sheila. Thanks to IC staff as well including Papa Ver, Anoop, Lito and Yehven. We loved the numerous spaces for the passengers to sit, eat something or have a drink. Our faves were the Wheelhouse bar (biggest fave), Crooners, the IC, MUTS, Explorers bar. The Blue Jade band was the best entertainment and dance band we have heard so far on a ship. We closed the Wheelhouse bar every night due to them. The ship's band was the best we have experienced to date as well. The theatre really need two more exits. Many somewhat disabled people took a lot of time using the two available exits making me really hope that there would be no emergency that required the theatre to vacate. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
An amazing cruise and would recommend a Panama cruise to all. The ship was going into dock for some refurbishment but this did not spoil our trip. It did look tired and old fashioned in some areas. It certainly did not detract from our ... Read More
An amazing cruise and would recommend a Panama cruise to all. The ship was going into dock for some refurbishment but this did not spoil our trip. It did look tired and old fashioned in some areas. It certainly did not detract from our enjoyment. The entertainment in the theatre was a little disappointing overall but there were plenty of alternatives if you wanted. Driinks packages were expensive as with many of companies and would look for offers next time. The trips we took with the ship overall were good and very well organised. Staff were all exceptionally helpful and friendly. Restaurant staff in particular we r out of their way to ensure we had a positive experience every day. Would definitely cruise with Princess again and try one of the newer and/ or larger ships in the fleet. Will look for offers and also consider sailing from Southampton uk Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Transit through the Panama Canal is really interesting. It was sunny every day but oppressively Hot during excursions in the afternoon. Service is excellent and the fellow passengers are very friendly. The food is fine, not gourmet ... Read More
Transit through the Panama Canal is really interesting. It was sunny every day but oppressively Hot during excursions in the afternoon. Service is excellent and the fellow passengers are very friendly. The food is fine, not gourmet except if you want to pay extra. The coffee card is not transferrable from Cruise to cruise anymore. Ship is impeccable. The Internet was spotty but I understand that the ship is in for refit and upgrade to Internet services right now. I really recommend this excursion if you want a relaxing trip with several Sea days. It is definitely a more senior crowd that takes this cruise. The entertainment by and large is excellent, especially the production shows. There is a good variety of guests entertainers and also groups in the lounges. I recommend taking a snack on excursions as our for our trip in the jungle of Costa Rica turned out to be 6 1/2 hours with no lunch. We were on a train and had a boat ride through the mangroves and it was well worth it but we were really hungry. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We selected this cruise as we wanted to do the full transit of the Panama Canal. We had previously been on the Coral Princess for partial transit and enjoyed the ship. This time did not disappoint. The service was top notch all the way ... Read More
We selected this cruise as we wanted to do the full transit of the Panama Canal. We had previously been on the Coral Princess for partial transit and enjoyed the ship. This time did not disappoint. The service was top notch all the way around. In the main dinning room the food was very good with amply selection. Club Class dinning was worth the extra money with no wait to be seated and excellent service. The extra menu item each night was a plus and cooked to perfection. We didn't use the buffet so cannot comment on this. The ports were nice with lots to do within walking distance on most. Ship tours were very good. Ship was in good shape considering it was last cruise before dry dock only showed some wear but they were continously painting and cleaning. Only complaint was slow internet. I would definitely recommend this cruise on the Coral Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We have been on the coral 3 times previously. This was our third time thru the Panama Canal, and 2nd time through on the Coral. Since we wanted to go through the original locks this was or the Island were the only ships. We had a ... Read More
We have been on the coral 3 times previously. This was our third time thru the Panama Canal, and 2nd time through on the Coral. Since we wanted to go through the original locks this was or the Island were the only ships. We had a wonderful experience. We were in a mini suite that was upgraded to club class. The entire staff was friendly. The service was wonderful and club class was an unexpected joy. It is great to be able to walk into the dining room and find a table for 2 during any time dining without having to wait. It is in its own section of the dining room and the staff stays the same during the entire cruise. They remember your name and your preferences. In Panama we choose to take a ferry thru two sets of the locks. It is a totally different experience then being on the ship when it goes through the canal. In Puerta Vallerta we went whale watching in a Zodiac which was awesome. The only cons on the ship were that the international cafe does not carry a non-milk substitute such as almond milk. Also there were not as many shows as I expected. A lot of one person singers or musicians in lieu of the cruise singers and dancers. Having cruised with Princess on a total of 9 cruises I can honestly say that this was the best cruise in every way I have taken on the line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
The ship needs an overhaul. Common areas are a tad ragged. Service in the dining rooms was indifferent. The dress code is not enforced which diminishes the overall experience. Hawaiian polo shirts on formal night just doesn't make ... Read More
The ship needs an overhaul. Common areas are a tad ragged. Service in the dining rooms was indifferent. The dress code is not enforced which diminishes the overall experience. Hawaiian polo shirts on formal night just doesn't make it! The food, for the most part was just OK. Entertainment was not so great. The forced musical numbers were horrible and we walked out. Good comedians. There was not many places on the deck to sit and read as the big screen at the pool was constantly on with either music, ads, or movies even when the forward decks were closed because of high winds. Gidget Goes Hawaiian was one of the movies- REALLY! It also would have been nice if an officer (security) walked the deck and asked folks not to play their Bluetooth boom boxes. The sailing through the canal was very nice especially with the narration. We won't sail with them again. Very disappointed. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We wanted to take this cruise as we have never cruised the Panama Canal and wanted to go through the old locks. We usually cruise the grand class ships, so I was a little apprehensive about the smaller ship (no Vines, small International ... Read More
We wanted to take this cruise as we have never cruised the Panama Canal and wanted to go through the old locks. We usually cruise the grand class ships, so I was a little apprehensive about the smaller ship (no Vines, small International Cafe) but we were pleasantly surprised. The layout of the ship was fine and it was very easy to get around. Having less passengers meant it was easy to find seats in venues, dining rooms and the pool. I have heard about issues with Anytime dining if you weren’t Club Class but, other than the first night, we had no trouble getting seated either with a group or by ourselves. The food was good and there were several options to choose from including an option to choose an entree from the steakhouse, Bayou Cafe, for an upcharge. Our room location was great, the steward was fantastic. The only complaint we had was the sofa in the room. It was very worn out. I am hoping it is replaced when the ship goes into dry dock. We took the Princess shore excursions which were very good. All in all it was a great cruise. I wouldn’t hesitate to do this cruise again on the Coral Princess. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Always wanted to do this one. Being able to take 15 days to travel to Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Columbia was icing on the cake. The on-board experience was excellent. We spent a good deal of time at one club, the service ... Read More
Always wanted to do this one. Being able to take 15 days to travel to Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and Columbia was icing on the cake. The on-board experience was excellent. We spent a good deal of time at one club, the service and friendly demeanour of the crew made us feel we were in a favourite neighbourhood pub. On shore trips were also great. Our state room steward went out of his way to attend to our every need. I had a malfunction of my running shoes, a glue repair was required. Ronald was able arrange the fix, and did so free of charge. My wife requested distilled water, and and extension cord for her Cpap machine, it was present at check in. When we checked in to board, everything was streamlined and effortless. From the time we checked in until we were in our cabin was less then 30 minutes. Well done on our return as well. Disembarkation was very efficient, and clearing customs slick. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
If you like smaller older ships with a full promenade deck, service with a smile, and a full transit of the Panama Canal this is the cruise for you. We chose this itinerary as it left from Los Angeles, a direct 2 hour flight on Southwest ... Read More
If you like smaller older ships with a full promenade deck, service with a smile, and a full transit of the Panama Canal this is the cruise for you. We chose this itinerary as it left from Los Angeles, a direct 2 hour flight on Southwest Airlines from El Paso for us. I cannot compare to the itinerary that begins in Fort Lauderdale but we loved this one that visited Fuerte Amador at the Pacific end of the canal, a full day transit through the old locks, and Cartagena after the transit; for us the other ports were "icing on the cake". On arrival in LA we had a smooth journey, using Execucar, to San Pedro where we stayed overnight at the Doubletree Hotel. The hotel food is enjoyable and they provide a shuttle to the port. Our shuttle was at 10:30 am and we quickly gave luggage to the porters, checked in at the cruise terminal and were through security and onboard before noon. On boarding we were given a list of places open for embarkation dining with their times -- it included one of the main dining rooms! We chose the International Cafe then headed for our mini-suite cabin D711. Robert, our cabin steward, arrived with the sparkling wine, and the cruise began! I located the Maitre D' and ensured that we had a table for two. We use early traditional dining, on this ship it was at 5:15 pm in the Provence dining room. After our first dinner we met with the head waiter to request low sodium meals. He provided us with the menus for the next day, we made our selections for the starter and main course, and he delivered them to the galley where the chef's worked their magic. All our dinners were delicious. Lunch for us was usually at the International Cafe or the wonderful freshly made individual pizza at Sabatinis. Pizza and a Grolsch beer became a favorite treat. We had two pub lunches on this cruise. I will not review the enjoyable varied evening entertainment as it was as described in Princess literature. On sea days we really enjoyed the port and enrichment lectures. The port lectures were invaluable to visualize how we would get off and back on the ship and gave glimpses of Princess excursion sights. The enrichment lectures on this cruise were on the History of Medicine and Surgery -- fascinating! On the first sea day at 10:30 am we had our Cruise Critic meet and greet with about 50 members attending. Several of the senior officers welcomed us including the Captain, Maitre D', Executive Chef, Entertainment ,Hotel and Bar Directors. They were all very gracious and obviously worked as a good team. This was reflected in all the crew members that we had contact with. Part of the fun at this Meet and Greet was a gift exchange of items that represented us in some way. For the first time we used shorter Princess excursions in all ports except for Cartagena. As the ports were new to us, and we have joint issues, we decided to mostly do bus tours in Mexico with short stops to see sights and buildings. People were on time when getting back to the bus and the excursions went smoothly and were as described. We live near the Mexican border in southern New Mexico so the culture and foods in Puerto Vallarta and Huatulco were not new to us. What was new was the tropical setting! Due to the unrest in Nicaragua we decided prior to the cruise not to do an excursion but went to the San Juan Del Sur Victoriano Hotel for coffee, use their internet, and view the bay. Many locals were using the beach as it was a Sunday. Choosing an excursion in Costa Rica was a challenge for us as we had both spent several weeks there independently. We eventually decided to do the very enjoyable Macaw Sanctuary and mangrove boat ride; the guide was excellent and we felt we had experienced Costa Rica in a new way. In Fuerte Amador we wanted to visit the colonial part of Panama City and could not locate a local guide. The Princess tour took us on a bus ride through the city to the old city (Panama Viejo) and then back to the colonial part (Casco Viejo) that is undergoing restoration where we had a walking tour. It is always fascinating to see the history of modern cities and how they are restoring areas. We had chance to do a little shopping, pick up a cold soda at the farmacia, and visit restrooms in shops ($1 pp) then back to the ship. Next morning we were up at 6 am to begin the canal transit. I highly recommend you read or watch videos on the history of the canal and attend the ship lectures to put the transit into context. We had a perfect sunny day with a slight breeze in the mid 80s. The locks are fascinating and an engineering marvel. We had a map of the canal from a guide book that was very helpful and another I had downloaded from the internet. I found it to be an exciting day. Cartagena was our last port. I had arranged for an 8 person tour with Dora a year in advance and it exceeded our expectations! http://www.cartagenatour.com I had requested a tour for slower walkers and we had the humorous and highly knowledgable Mercedes as our guide. What a great day as we began at the monastery La Popa overlooking the city, had short visits to the fort and old dungeons that have been converted to artisan stores, then a stroll around the old town and it's churches and plazas. I had the most blissful iced coffee from a jeep at the dungeon area (they use purified water and ice) as it was very hot. One of those memories that stick with you while on a fabulous tour. Two days later we were in a cold (46F) Fort Lauderdale. Debarkation was very easy as we were on a debarkation tour to the Everglades and had used Easy Check valet service for our bags. We were first in the US immigration line and also had a Global Entry card so it was very quick. It was interesting to see the Everglades from an air boat but the reptiles were well hidden due to the unusually cold weather. In all it was a great cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
B423 Coral Princess, 06Jan-21JAN2019, San Pedro to Fort Lauderdale via Panama Canal - Bucket Trip :D. First the bad, yes the ship shows signs of wear, but what do you want for a ship going into refurbishment after our trip? The crew was ... Read More
B423 Coral Princess, 06Jan-21JAN2019, San Pedro to Fort Lauderdale via Panama Canal - Bucket Trip :D. First the bad, yes the ship shows signs of wear, but what do you want for a ship going into refurbishment after our trip? The crew was working on things so unless you are a real nit picker, it really was not that bad (about a dozen seats in the theater were broken? Rusted out areas?) but I did not mark anything down. Hopefully the next group will have a fresh ship. Bedding, our bed had one mattress that had a 3 inch or so dip, BEFORE putting weight on it. But the steward had that changed out within a few hours of our complaining. Smaller ship than we are used to, so there was some adjustment for the strange traffic patterns like elevators and passageways, but nothing that an intelligent person should mark down since it was a matter of learning routes and knowing where things are. The international cafe was in an odd area, small, and not as good as the other ships we have been on, that was worth a quarter point off. The Atrium (Piazza) was poorly designed for the few entertainment venues held there, more of a nexus for the stairs, shops, and services. Anytime dining tended to have a line, but then this trip was mostly older folks who eat early. The good. The aft pool was covered, nice for the cooler days and help prevent sunburn during the hot days. Horizon Buffet, small, but a nice linear layout with a large selection of hot items (I ate more hot lunches on this trip instead of just making a salad). Usually the buffet also had several ethnic dishes and often a curry dish I liked, and several times large shrimp from the grill. And after about 2PM, chips, guacamole, and salsa (on the days they left out the quac, I asked and received it). Had good to great service there. Dinner was mostly great, food was much better than our last trip on the Caribbean. Granted there were ho hum days, but even then I had a lot I liked (2-7 appetizers and all but two times a main + desert?). Actually gained some weight on this trip[ despite all the stairs I did (up to 38 flights a day). We got the same table every night and the table assigner started telling us “Go to your table”, loved it! Our server, Lorina, was excellent Evening main shows were mostly ranged from very good to excellent (“On the Bayou” and “Encore” were excellent), one good, and two fair (the comedian, Scott Wyler, and juggler, Mark Nizer, were not very good). Still lacking late morning and early afternoon music. One thing I enjoyed were the enrichment lectures by Dr. Angel Colon, ranging from various medical breakthroughs in history to art and environmental. And the Blue Jade Band was very enjoyable. Actually had several tours we took that we enjoyed a lot. Embarkation and disembarkation all went very smooth and fast (but then we are elite level). Due to lack of formatting in this, I am just going to finish and say - GREAT TRIP, well worth the cost, all the pluses and minuses added up to a 5 star trip. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We had a terrific cruise through the Panama Canal. We'd only been on the royal class ships and weren't sure if we'd like the small ship - we loved her and she is now our favorite. The ship has lots of public seating areas ... Read More
We had a terrific cruise through the Panama Canal. We'd only been on the royal class ships and weren't sure if we'd like the small ship - we loved her and she is now our favorite. The ship has lots of public seating areas and I always found a seat where I wanted one. The staff were cheerful and helpful. The cruise director was funny and his staff were personable and entertaining. There was a very nice vibe in the ship because of the staff. Food was good (although sometimes 'just' good and not fantastic). The band in the Wheelhouse was fantastic. Blue Jade played a good variety of music and we enjoyed watching more accomplished dancers glide over the floor. The female vocalist has a lovely voice - I could (and did) listen to her all night! The itinerary was interesting with good excursions. My favorite were the sea days though :-) I've already put this cruise on the 'do it again' list! Read Less
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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