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
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
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
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
1 Helpful Vote
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: March 2019
We have cruised with Princess 4 times. This embarkation was quick and easy. We weren’t early and had no queues or waiting. The mini suite was very comfortable- the bed was wonderful! The dining room food and food in general, was ... Read More
We have cruised with Princess 4 times. This embarkation was quick and easy. We weren’t early and had no queues or waiting. The mini suite was very comfortable- the bed was wonderful! The dining room food and food in general, was better than our cruise experience in the Baltic however the menus in the speciality restaurants didn’t appeal so we passed on trying them. The shore excursions - we did one in nearly every port - can be a bit hit and miss depending on your guide. We did a boat trip back through the Miraflores locks. The guide was nice but extremely difficult to understand and the organisation of the tour was a schemozzle with the captain/ship pilot and or the food all being late causing us to sit on the boat for an hour before we even left the dock! We did an excellent walking tour with hop on-hop off option in Cartagena. The ship staff have generally been great. Miranda the cruise director is just lovely. We are a retired couple from Australia and have enjoyed our Princess cruises and am sure we will enjoy many more Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This cruise fit our timeline/desired dates (we chose March) and what we were looking for in a cruise through the Panama Canal. We had read about the size of the ship relative to the number of passengers and it was just right; we never felt ... Read More
This cruise fit our timeline/desired dates (we chose March) and what we were looking for in a cruise through the Panama Canal. We had read about the size of the ship relative to the number of passengers and it was just right; we never felt crowded or squished. There were plenty of activities and good variety to choose from. There were also spots to just sit and read quietly if desired. The quality of entertainment was excellent and the cruise staff made us feel welcome to try something new and not feel awkward about it. We really enjoyed our dining room food and service but the awkward set times of traditional dining (5:15 or 7:30) had us wondering if 'anytime' dining would have been a better choice (but we really liked our regular servers and table company). We chose the early time and ended up missing most of the sunsets unless we skipped our dining room dinner or dessert. The ship's staff and crew were so pleasant and helpful and they are one reason why our overall experience was so wonderful. We booked four Princess shore excursions and feel we received good value for our money and every excursion was smoothly and professionally run. Obviously, there are times when you wish you had a bit more time at one site or another but that is balanced by knowing that your group (we had 2 elderly travellers) would be able to see more without the uncertainty of how much walking or time would be needed to get to one site or another. It pays to research the excursions and choose something appropriate for your group (think of air conditioned coaches, level of exertion, what you really want to see and experience). Read the fine print description that details length of bus ride, number of minutes at each site, distance to walk, number of steps, and also whether US cash or credit cards are accepted (everywhere we went, US cash was accepted). We would look at doing another Princess cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The entire trip was magical! Cruising the Canal ocean to ocean was the experience of a lifetime. Our cabin was comfortable and the food was very good - lots of choices and well prepared. The staff was personable, no matter what their job ... Read More
The entire trip was magical! Cruising the Canal ocean to ocean was the experience of a lifetime. Our cabin was comfortable and the food was very good - lots of choices and well prepared. The staff was personable, no matter what their job function, and they bent over backwards to ensure we had a great trip. The entertainment included outside folks, who were very good, and they were supported by cruise personnel. Some of the excursions were average at best, but we thoroughly enjoyed Cartagena, Huatulco, and Panama. Weather caused us to bypass our port in Nicaragua (San Juan del Sur), which was a shame, but better safe than sorry. We received lots of information about the ports prior to arrival and info about ship happenings through their Princess @ Sea app, their Princess Patter daily newsletter and their morning TV show called the Wake Show. Would highly recommend having a balcony to avoid the crowds on deck while cruising through the canal and the perks of Club Dining were very nice and well worth it. Despite several days at sea, we were never bored and found lots of activities to participate in. While embarking and disembarking are not the most exciting parts of a cruise and are often frustrating and long processes, Princess agents were well organized and the processes were streamlined, painless, efficient and completed fairly quickly with little wait times. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We wanted to see the original Panama Canal locks and the experience did not disappoint. Although the Coral is small and older, she has been dry docked and the common rooms looked very new and clean. However, I wish they would redecorate ... Read More
We wanted to see the original Panama Canal locks and the experience did not disappoint. Although the Coral is small and older, she has been dry docked and the common rooms looked very new and clean. However, I wish they would redecorate the state rooms as they are the same décor as years ago. But our stateroom was kept very clean and our steward was exceptional and attentive to our every request. All the staff were friendly --we never experienced any negativity. The food in the main dining room, buffet, and poolside was great. We had no need to eat in the specialty restaurants. I especially love the dinner rolls and desserts!! The entertainment was very good. The broadway production, Silk, was excellent and Encore was superb. The comedians we really enjoyed, too, as well as Bayou. Only one entertainer, the juggler, didn't meet our expectations. I would have liked some more activities during sea days as I don't play bingo, trivia, shop, or use the spa. But I enjoyed the library and learned Sudoku so my time was enjoyable. We also joined people in trivia at times and enjoyed the cruise games hosted by the assistant cruise directors. We also found a casino machine that we enjoyed. It was the quietest cruise we've been on as the majority were retired couples who didn't care to party into the night. That suited us perfectly so it wasn't a problem as it might be for younger people. We only did one excursion. We used Ricky Ricardo in Costa Rico and were satisfied with him. It is the hot, dry season there so the rain forest wasn't very impressive. The monkeys and crocodile safari were very entertaining. We took a taxi and went to the Miraflore Locks in Puerto Amador and we were happy we did as we enjoyed the museum and the I-Max film narrated by Morgan Freeman showing the building of the new and old locks. It was a day well spent. In the other ports, we taxied to the old towns. In Puerto Vallarta we took the city bus to the Malecon which was an experience in itself as the bus drivers drive fast and furious! We love the Malecon and the vibe there. Embarkation and debarkation couldn't have been better! We have priority embarkation and we walk off with our luggage so we were one of the first people to disembark. All in all this was another great cruise with Princess. Read Less
Coral Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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