Sail Date: January 2015
Although we have taken numerous cruises to a variety of ports, this was the first time for a short cruise, and we were skeptical - was it worth the effort? yes. Would we return rested or exhausted? rested. Embarkation and everything was ... Read More
Although we have taken numerous cruises to a variety of ports, this was the first time for a short cruise, and we were skeptical - was it worth the effort? yes. Would we return rested or exhausted? rested. Embarkation and everything was easy. The three night cruise is casual - no formal night, so packing was easy and we carried our luggage with us with no problem (one suitcase each). We had anytime dining and were able to make reservations with the same waiter every night. Taking this cruise was better than going away to a hotel for a weekend - our meals and entertainment were taken care of and good enough. We particularly enjoyed the opportunity to tour the bridge - offered as a first come first serve "excursion" that was not well publicized. They had a small sign at the passenger services desk. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
This was our first time on the Coral Princess for my husband and I and we were not disappointed. From the embarkation to our disembarkation, everything went smoothly. Our cabin steward, Ronald, was very attentive to our every need. We ... Read More
This was our first time on the Coral Princess for my husband and I and we were not disappointed. From the embarkation to our disembarkation, everything went smoothly. Our cabin steward, Ronald, was very attentive to our every need. We toured the Panama Canal, Aruba, Cartagena, and Grand Cayman. We were to go to Limon, Costa Rica but because of the high winds, we were not able to get into port and the crew had to quickly do another "sea day" for the passengers. We always choose "traditional" dining because we really enjoy meeting other people from around the world and sharing our stories. Our waiters, Denmark and Alex were wonderful and met our every need. The activities aboard on sea days were also a lot of fun. We enjoy trivia and met a lot of really nice people. We also went to the art auctions where they serve free champagne and you can win free artwork...which we did... I can't wait until our's arrives home. Of course we had to pay the $35 S&H., but for a seriolithograph of artist Anatole Krasnyansky, it was well worth it! The evening shows were awesome and so professional, from the dance productions to comics and magicians....every thing was great. Our shore excursions to the Panama Canal new site and bus tour of Cartagena were well worth the money. Princess once again did not disappoint us and we have already booked another cruise in Sept. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Have just return from a Great Cruise , good facilities : except the shower was a bit on the small size, with excellent food and good ports of call . Big issues was that we felt concerned by the lack of Discipline of the passengers by the ... Read More
Have just return from a Great Cruise , good facilities : except the shower was a bit on the small size, with excellent food and good ports of call . Big issues was that we felt concerned by the lack of Discipline of the passengers by the crew. There was a split of 85% + of Americans who ignore the Dress Code and the placing of Sunbeds on deck. The cruise offers 2 x Formal nights the remainder being Smart Casual. Formal to some passengers was trouser, polo shirts and some in braces ??? Smart casual was shorts . The information that the cruise line give out about dress both prior to the cruise and in the daily news letter is very specific . I did question with reception about the dress code , they passed this on to the Maitre De who advised me by phone that it was impossible to observe this Dress code as some passengers would not follow the rule and it was impossible for him and the Restaurant Staff to do anything about this. Hard luck if you follow the directive then ..... Flying from UK with weight restrictions and taking Evening Suits was a waste of time . On deck Sunbeds were moved to any spot people chose regardless of whether they blocked walkways and door ways . So if any emergency was to happen and the crew admit they have no control of passengers who chose to ignore rules and common sense if you have to evacuate the ship your life could be in danger !!!!!!!! Much as we enjoyed the experience we WOULD NOT TRAVEL WITH PRINCESS CRUISES AGAIN. Sorry Princess our lives are to precious to take the risk . You need to sort out Crew Training and get ALL passengers to observe and follow the rules you have in place. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
This was a perfect cruise. Length was just the right amount of time. Days to relax, days in port! The cabin was typical Princess cabin and always enjoy the balcony! This ship is smaller to accommodate going through the Panama Canal and had ... Read More
This was a perfect cruise. Length was just the right amount of time. Days to relax, days in port! The cabin was typical Princess cabin and always enjoy the balcony! This ship is smaller to accommodate going through the Panama Canal and had a beautiful Atrium, special restaurants and entertainment venues. Much cozier ship. We really enjoyed the on board entertainment - shows were very good and comedian hilarious. Food was excellent in the dining room and the service outstanding. This staff is superior - from our cabin stewardess, our many waiters and waitresses and the bar staff. As always the pizza is fabulous and addictive! Beautiful to watch arrival into Cartegena on port side early in the morning. Columbia was amazing just wish we'd had more time in port (left at 1:30) and had to do the usual gem store visit but Old Town is fascinating and beautiful. If you go to Dungeons head to stalls 1-5, they have more local art. Be sure to be up early to watch approach into Panama Canal. Go to either floor 10 or 11 and through doors usually closed to staff only because you can go out on front deck of ship for an amazing view. This is an incredible experience and an amazing engineering feat! The tour we took where we went to the observation deck at the Canal gave an up close view and education. Tour was ok (boat ride on lake). but would probably have chosen to go on train or to Panama City. Our tour guide did recommend going to the grocery store where ship docked in Colon. Great coffee recommendation - Duran - and only $2.50! It's delicious and brought home lots for gifts. Enjoyed Costa Rica and took Airal Tram, great local lunch and excellent shop. Also great coffee - Brit - light roast but $11 here but so good!! Had a joyful ride down the Martha Brea and the best guide on our special river raft. Captains sell interesting gourds they carve and then they customize them for you (about $20).   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
We have travelled on the Island Princes, sister ship to the Coral before. identical layout, nice mid size ship, easy layout, ample room in theater, 2 pools, one enclosed. We stayed on Aloha deck forward Port side, 6 cabins from the ... Read More
We have travelled on the Island Princes, sister ship to the Coral before. identical layout, nice mid size ship, easy layout, ample room in theater, 2 pools, one enclosed. We stayed on Aloha deck forward Port side, 6 cabins from the front of the ship. We're able to walk out on a bow deck to view transit through the Canal. It was interesting to watch from there or our balcony. Many newer ships are eliminating bow decks to squeeze in suites. Don't do this Princess, it is nice to have an observation area forward outside. Nicely appointed mini suite, plenty of counter space and storage areas in bathroom, tub and shower, ample closet and drawers, couch. Excellent cabin steward. This was a quiet area of the ship. Nice balcony. Could use new bathrobes, most were shrunk to "mini" size. Typical Princess food, waiters very good, seasoned staff who take pride in their jobs. We typically eat in the dining room for most of our meals. Buffet area layout works well, nice omelet station, ample seating. 2 pools, one covered. Both adequate for lap swimming. Appreciate covered area in case of cool or rainy weather. Many newer ships are eliminating covered pool except for high end guests. Princess, do not change this feature. Typical ship entertainment, nothing to brag about. Guest lecturer on board well versed in ports of call, able to discuss economic impact of new canal, very interesting man to converse with. Did ports of call overview, presentation a bit corny but get him 1 on 1 and extremely interesting and approachable. Excursion on Aruba just okay. Cartegna excellent. Jamaica walked off and hit local beach for small fee--changing room, bathrooms just okay. Stayed on ship in Panama and did half transit both directions. Costa Rica had a nice local craft shopping area inside cruise port gates. Nice items for sale. There are lovely little sitting areas outside the wheel house lounge where you can sit and watch the sea. Many newer ships are eliminating this which is sad. Nice size library on this ship with comfy chairs to sit and read. Would take this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Cruised on CP to Alaska last year on a wonderful trip with a group of friends and a smaller group sailed with us on this occasion. The ship and staff brought us back for a wonderful sail to PC and the Carribean. 11 day sailing from Port ... Read More
Cruised on CP to Alaska last year on a wonderful trip with a group of friends and a smaller group sailed with us on this occasion. The ship and staff brought us back for a wonderful sail to PC and the Carribean. 11 day sailing from Port Everglades. No need for Princess transfers from airport as cabs are plentiful (except for large groups) and inexpensive. Princess is trying/tried staggered boarding times but they are not mandatory. Embarkation went smoothly. Waited some time in the "lounge area" until the ship was ready for boarding. Activities are typical for a ship of this size. We enjoy the moderate size of the ship. The service was just outstanding save for one episode when a crew member working the ice cream bar must have been having a bad day. The first two days were spent at sea. We had a rough ride the first day. It seemed that Cpt. Austin was trying to outrun some foul weather and get to calmer water. Which he did. Day 2 was okay. Day 4 in Aruba marked our second visit to that country and Oranjestad, its capital. The latter has nothing particular to offer us. We walked through town to a small and relatively secluded beach area and ate at The West Deck which was a great spot with wonderful service and basically light fare. We spent time lounging there and there is a gazebo for shade. The water and bottom are nice as well. A nice way to spend a relatively short shore time. Day 5 was at sea. Sunny and pleasant. 82 degrees Day 6 in Cartegna. Terrible traffic there. Bus drivers have nerves of steel. Took the Highlights of Cartegna tour. A little problem with language - one had to listen closely to our guide who was a school teacher. But all in all a very good tour, albeit with a little too much emphasis on cheap shopping. Day 7 is the Canal. Get up early and get to the bow of the ship for a good spot on the highest deck. We were up at 5 or so. The light was just breaking with mist hanging over the rain forest. There are two approaches. Our cabin was on the starboard side and the ship took the port side cut. That meant we could run down to our balcony and really get a close look at the operation. Once through the Canal we were on Gatun Lake and were tendered to the Embrera Indian Village. Much has been said about the authenticity of the EIV. However, we enjoyed the visit for what it was on its face - informative and fun, even if recreated. (Our guide insisted the villagers do live there and the children must attend school off the island). We then were bused to an observation deck and saw the ship passing back through the Canal to Colon. We then left to return to the ship which was delayed by a faulty anchor. The waiting area in Colon is awful so if the ship is late, as it was, there is little to do or see and the facilities are terrible (both bathroom and seating in the terminal). Day 8 in Limon we drove about an hour or so to Braulio Carrillo National Park for Rainforest Aerial Tram and Tortuguero Canals and Lunch. This was a great excursion. Be sure to take rain gear. It's the Rain Forest and it lives up to its name. Ponchos were handy. The tram ride was awesome and the lunch was delicious and plentiful. But the highlight was the Canals trip at the end. We saw many forms of wildlife and even the guides remarked that it was a banner day for animal and bird spotting. Afterward we were served a light snack of fresh fruit. Day 9 we spent at sea. It was sunny, then rainy and windy. Again, temps in the 80s but the wind made it feel much cooler. Day 10 we docked at Ocho Rios in Jamaica. We took a great excursion to Green Grotto Caves and Dunn's Falls. The Caves are in a National Park and are quite a nice tour. The Falls can be climbed fairly easily and during the climb a staffer is filming the trip. Although they push everyone buying one of the DVDs, you can get one for your group and reproduce it. It's a fun item but not all that great. Day 11 we were at sea again and making headway for Port Everglades and we docked the morning of December 12. Disembarkation went very smoothly. We boarded a cab at the pier and were back at the airport within 20 minutes. We love CP. We were on Emerald Deck (Deck 8) with a balcony. The nicest thing about this is that if you are with friends in adjoining cabins the cabin steward will open the dividers on the balcony on request and you can join together on the balcony and move back and forth freely without having to go into the corridors. Take some rope (a small diameter) to tie back the dividers. The dining was wonderful. The food delicious. Our wait staff, Minino and Brad, at table 97 in the Bordeaux dining room was excellent and we had a good time with them. The Maitre'D, Marius, who we met on our earlier cruise to Alaska, was very accommodating. We had anytime dining but made a reservation with him. Unfortunately, it marked his last cruise on the ship. The entertainment was the best we have ever encountered: Vocalist Jamila was excellent as a Motown style singer. Illusionist Alexander Great (Really?) was excellent on first show, not quite as good the second time. Instrumentalist Craig Richard on sax could rival Kenny G. Comedy and guitar music of Gary Delena was funny and wonderful. We had never gone to shows on a ship before and loved all of them. This was a wonderful cruise and fulfilled a lifelong dream. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
This was our first cruise on Princess and our longest cruise. I was concerned with the multiple days at sea that we would be bored with not much to do. Not so! There was always something interesting going on - trivia contests, production ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Princess and our longest cruise. I was concerned with the multiple days at sea that we would be bored with not much to do. Not so! There was always something interesting going on - trivia contests, production shows, comedians, lectures, movies, "game shows" with cruise staff and passengers, lots of music, places to dance, Karoke, pro football game broadcasts and more. Princess also offers meeting space for various groups (unhosted) - veterans, LGBT, singles,and more. Each room has its own thermostat, the PA system is not piped into cabins unless it is very important, the double beds each have a lamp and nightstand (unlike other ships we have been on where one climbs over their partner). The Panama Canal lecture was very informative and the passage itself fascinating. We toured in Panama City with a terrific guide named Roxy. Traveled on the highway connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific, did a walking tour. Take an umbrella - it rains often. Book your tours before boarding and save $10 or more per person. Also took a tour in Limon to a rainforest, animal sanctuary and banana plantation. I have lot more respect for bananas now. We booked a taxi with another couple in Cartegena. Arrange your trip with the taxi driver ahead of time - where you want to go and for about how long. Make sure he understands enough English and do not pay him until he takes you back to the ship. We paid $15 each. Went to a shopping area/mall, the Fort and Old City. At the Old City plaza go to the tourist office for a map and take a walking tour. We just shopped in Ocho Rios - did not want to go to Dunns Falls and that seemed to be the most popular destination. The food was OK, not great. If you choose anytime dining you will not always be able to eat when you would like unless you make a reservation and you will be asked to share a table. This is not mandatory but can result in a longer wait or being sent to the other dining room if you are tired and not in the mood for conversation. There is only 1 electrical outlet in the bathroom and it is only for shavers. The other outlet is at the desk and handles any 2 items. The internet on the ship is pricey so get it in ports sometimes for free or with a small charge - $3 - $5. Aruba at the Starbucks in the mall. At the Subway in Cartegena in Old City (clean bathroom too (free with a purchase - buy a coke) at the terminal in Limon (free) and in the first shopping area in Jamaica ($3). Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
We sailed in December, 2014, on our honeymoon. We took an 11 day cruise on the Coral Princess through the Panama Canal with stops in Aruba, Cartagena (Colombia), Limón (Costa Rica) and Ohio Rios (Jamaica). Our first impression of the ... Read More
We sailed in December, 2014, on our honeymoon. We took an 11 day cruise on the Coral Princess through the Panama Canal with stops in Aruba, Cartagena (Colombia), Limón (Costa Rica) and Ohio Rios (Jamaica). Our first impression of the Coral Princess was that it is a smaller ship (we'd previously cruised on the Royal Caribbean Allure). That being said, the Coral Princess is a well kept. The ship is classy, with an Art Deco meets the seas motif, gold, and marble as far as the eye can see. We chose cabin E201. One of the largest cabins on the ship (just below the mini suites). Cabin E201 comes with a 3 by 4ft window (est.), two desk areas, 1.5 by 4ft (est.), with seating, a mini fridge, and ample closet space. The only complaint my husband and I had regarding the cabin, was the bedding. The mattresses and bedding could use an update. The mattress was a little too firm and uneven. The pillows were either too thin or too thick. Be warned, there is an extreme shortage of nightlife on the Coral Princess. If I had to guess, I'd say that this is due to a shortage of the partying type of crowd. From what we've read and our experience thus far, Princess attracts a rather distinguished crowd of vacationers. You'll notice the entertainment is geared towards a more mature and easygoing crowd as well. Just a side note, our cruise was a partial transit through the Panama Canal and I'd previously cruised to Alaska on the Sapphire Princess. Based on our previous cruises, the older demographic could be due to the more educational destinations and not typical of Princess cruise lines as a whole. The food is really very enjoyable on the Coral Princess. This goes for the vegetarian cuisine as well. We've sailed Princess, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Norwegian. Princess has some of the best food we've ever tasted. The Coral Princess offers a wide selection of vegetarian dishes, which includes their in-room dining selection. Speaking of in-room dining, be careful what you leave on the in-dining room trays. My husband left his retainer on the tray, our room attendant removed it, and it was never to be seen again. We chose anytime dining. Regarding the dining room atmosphere, we had few complaints. For the most part, the staff on Coral Princess are very friendly and accommodating. Aside from the over selling of alcoholic beverages. Our only major complaint, with dining, had to do with our distaste for the lighting in the 5th floor dining room. The lighting was far too bright, as if we were being interrogated every evening. Upon further examination, it would appear that the tables and spotlight lighting are not aligned properly, creating a less then desirable effect. On an interesting side note regarding the Panama Canal, currently the Coral Princess is the largest of the ships permitted to pass through the Panama Canal. That being said, a new canal is in the process of being constructed. The new canal will allow much larger ships to pass through Panama. According to our tour guide, the fee for the Coral Princess to pass through the Panama Canal was approximately 350 thousand USD. It took about an hour for the Coral Princess to pass through the Gatun Locks. An amazing sight to see. The Panama Canal is one astonishing engineering feat. We couldn't have asked for a better honeymoon and we'll definitely be sailing with Princess again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
Having cruised on large ships before, I was prepared for the herding but not for the lack of caring by management. An attitude of "company policy" and "couldn't care less" were exhibited by front desk personnel. ... Read More
Having cruised on large ships before, I was prepared for the herding but not for the lack of caring by management. An attitude of "company policy" and "couldn't care less" were exhibited by front desk personnel. Hanukkah and Christmas occurred during cruise time and there was neither a rabbi or priest on board for Mass or rites. The entertainment was an embarrassment and the food lackluster. The company seems to have adopted a policy of scrimping to get by. I took one arranged excursion, zip lining in Costa Rica. I prearranged it on line before the trip. It was an adventure in the rain that I thoroughly enjoyed but it would have been better if the group of 25 had been smaller so as to make a speedier trip. The ship interior is badly in need of renovating. The carpeting was beyond repair in the hallway, the hot tub leaked and swamped the deck daily. On the other hand the wait staff was impeccable as was the room steward. I enjoyed dining with pleasant people of various backgrounds. I took a taxi in Aruba to spend the day on a public beach. It was a breath taking sight and an enjoyable afternoon. Since the trip I have heard that this cruise line is under the umbrella of Carnival Cruise Line along with Holland America and Cunard. After this cruise experience I doubt that I ever cruise those lines again.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2014
My tips: *If you’re driving to the Port in Ft. Lauderdale, consider parking at Embassy Suites (no requirement that you stay there) at the parking lot operated by United Airport Parking. Only $4 a day, ten minutes to the port and ... Read More
My tips: *If you’re driving to the Port in Ft. Lauderdale, consider parking at Embassy Suites (no requirement that you stay there) at the parking lot operated by United Airport Parking. Only $4 a day, ten minutes to the port and includes free shuttle to the port. They’ll take you right to the ship. (www.unitedairportparking.com) Note that you must make a reservation in advance, and have your printed receipt to present to the staff when you arrive at the hotel. It’s much less expensive than parking at the port. *Standard cabins have only one electrical outlet in the main cabin (and one in the bathroom). Bring a small power strip (we were very happy with our three outlet strip) if you plan to charge any electronic devices. *If you plan to do your own laundry while on board (there are passenger laundry facilities on most decks) consider bringing along your own detergent to save money. Washers cost $3.00 per load, Dryers are also $3.00 per load and the cost is deducted from your ship account. So, no need for cash or coins. *Bring a lanyard with you, or buy a Princess lanyard in the ship’s store. You can ask the staff at the Passenger Services desk onboard to punch a hole in your cruise card, and then you can wear it around your neck if you’re heading to the pool, to work out, if you’re just wearing an outfit without pockets or if you tend to lose your cruise card if it’s not fastened somewhere. *Sabatini’s Restaurant serves Alfredo’s Pizza at lunch nearly every day of the cruise. There’s no extra charge, it’s delicious, and there are around seven varieties of personal pizzas (8” round pie = 4 slices) to choose from. *Find out when The Crab Shack Luncheon is being offered (usually only twice per cruise) and served in the Bayou Café. There’s a $20 per person service charge, but you get appetizer (hush puppies and popcorn shrimp with two dipping sauces), soup (chowder), your choice of four pots of different steamed shell fish (includes mussels, clams, king crab, shrimp, snow crab) and dessert. It’s filling and really good. *The Panama Canal (after all, this is why you chose this cruise!): Do not remain on one deck with one view for the complete transit. You will miss too much. There’s a unique perspective from each deck and different sides of the ship. Get up early so you can enjoy the entry into the Canal in the dark before dawn with the various ships in the Canal lit, and the Canal approach lit up like an airport runway. We got up early enough to be out on Baja Deck forward with our camera by 5:30am. A friend had told me it would be magical, he was right! See my Wednesday, November 26 entry for information about the not-well-known access to out-door viewing from the Baja deck (also available on Caribe). *Are you a wine drinker? Consider the special wine package and you’ll save money. We chose the silver wine package (you can buy a 7, 10 or 12 bottle package) which allows you to purchase any bottle of wine valued at up to $29 a bottle. There’s also a gold 7, 10 or 12 wine package for wines valued up to $45 a bottle. This package can be used in any dining location (excludes bars and room service), and if you don’t finish a bottle with the meal, dining staff will cork and store it for you and bring it out at your next meal. *If you’ve done a number of Princess excursions and would like to try something different, consider a private excursion at one or more ports of call. They’re much more personalized, flexible, frequently more interesting and usually less expensive. The reputable companies are just as concerned as you are with getting you back to the ship on time. See the description of our private excursion experiences in Cartagena and Puerto Limon. *“Motor City” and “On The Bayou” were our favorite theatrical performances on the cruise. Try not to miss them! “Motor City” is a must if you love the music of Motown. The comedian Scott Wyler was very funny. It was essentially 45 minutes of non-stop jokes, and he had two shows with different material (one earlier in the cruise, and one on the next to last evening). *You’re going to take a lot of pictures. I had brought an extra set of batteries for the camera and felt very smug about that until I had to replace that set of batteries with new ones. So, you may want to bring two sets of batteries along with you. *Into Zumba? A 45-minute Zumba class is offered on all “at sea” days, and it’s free! *Wine tastings. There’s a wine tasting that’s offered at the beginning of the cruise for $25/person, featuring top shelf wines, high-end small plates of food (e.g. caviar), linen napkins and the wait staff in dinner jackets. Towards the end of the cruise, there’s another wine-tasting for $9.50/person, featuring wines under $30 (except for one high-end red), cheese, grapes and a miniature cheese cake for tasting with the one dessert wine, paper napkins and the wait staff in more casual white linen jackets. We went to the $9.50 one and had a great time. Neither are advertised; your wait staff at dinner will tell you about it. The Coral Princess is an older ship (I believe it was commissioned in 2003) with a friendly crew. It doesn’t have all the amenities of the larger ships in the Princess fleet but the public spaces are attractive, the Promenade Deck goes completely around the ship, and one of the large outdoor pool areas is protected by a roof (great for inclement weather or when it’s just too hot to be at the open pool). The Universe Lounge is a very pretty venue with seating on two levels. It’s very different architecturally from the show lounges we’ve seen on the other Princess ships and I really liked it. One of the reasons we keep coming back to Princess is the food, and the Coral Princess did not disappoint. While Sabatini’s and the Bayou Café (specialty restaurants each with an extra cover charge) are fun to try, the evening dining room fare is excellent. It’s the same menu for dinner in both the Provence (traditional seating) and Bordeaux (“anytime”) dining rooms. The desserts are sinfully good from the flourless chocolate cake to the orange soufflé.. We are fish eaters and all the fish we tried were in every case deliciously seasoned and very fresh. This was our first cruise with so many days at sea (there were four) and we loved them. There was lots of time to relax, read, enjoy a small project, work out, attend a lecture or a film and just enjoy the gift of time. Our CruiseCritic roll call group sponsored a Meet & Greet aboard ship on our first full day at sea. Five members of the crew attended along with nearly forty CruiseCritic cruisers. It was a lot of fun and we made friends who we’ll keep in touch with long after the cruise ends. The rainy season for Cartegena, the Panama Canal, and Limon runs from May through November. While the temperatures were in the mid-80s, the humidity matched the temperature. So, when the sun isn’t hidden by clouds, it’s hot. For this cruise, the weather gods were mostly kind. The small amount of rain we did have came in the late evening or early morning hours. There were occasional high winds, especially when in the open ocean. There were also some swells. Probably the day with the most rocking was our at sea day between Colon, Colombia and Grand Cayman Island (Friday, Nov 28). It was cloudy and relatively cool on Grand Cayman, and some excursions that involved boats or diving were cancelled due to strong currents or the water having been stirred up by the previous day’s winds and swells. The Panama Canal was our favorite port of call, Cartegena was our second favorite. The old city has some gorgeous architecture (it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site) and there was so much to see. While we saw quite a few things in Puerto Limon, we were very happy to have an escorted tour. We would not have felt safe going off by ourselves beyond the confines of the port area. The ship offers bottled water for port days (for $2.00/bottle plus gratuity). Take it with you to stay hydrated. We saw a few people bringing their own 12 -18 packs of bottled water on board on embarkation day, but that seemed a bit excessive to us. Very efficient boarding. We arrived at the dock just prior to 12 noon and we were in our stateroom by 12:30pm. We took advantage of the sit down luncheon in the Provence Dining Room where they serve from noon to 1:00pm on Embarkation Day. Otherwise, the choice is Horizon Court. But the sit down luncheon with full service is a lovely way to start the cruise if you get on board early enough. On the day we visited the Panama Canal, we decided not to take an excursion, but remained aboard the ship. More than 1100 passengers chose to do an excursion, but we did not regret our choice. We enjoyed observing the ship pass through the Gatun Locks twice. We woke up early in order to be on the Baja Deck with our camera at 5:30 am. We were through the canal and on Gatun Lake by 8:30am. The following is a quote from someone else’s posting, and addresses the matter really well. “While the forward section has the best views of entering the Canal chambers, you don't want to miss the Promenade Deck either, as the ship different perspective of this Modern Marvel. “Also check Baja deck forward (and Caribe deck forward) for an area not normally accessible to passengers. If you walk all the way forward on Baja on either the port or starboard side, there is a door at the end of the hall that is normally locked. It leads through a short hallway (forward of cabin B201 or B202, depending upon whether you are on the port or starboard side). The door at the end of the short hallway leads to an observation deck. It's a nice spot to watch the ship go into the locks and gives a good perspective of the size of the ship, size of the locks and any ships already in the locks in front of you. The observation area spans side to side (Port to Starboard) and is fairly wide. Not much protection though if it rains! It’s not a huge secret – but the door is normally locked, and unless you know it’s there, you probably would never try to enter since it’s not a cabin or general passenger area/location.” We were blessed with a beautiful sunrise and a lovely sunny morning with sunshine and a gentle breeze. Being up on Baja deck while it was still dark out and with all the lights from the ships on made for a magical viewing experience. We had an outstanding view throughout the entire transit, and we were much more comfortable than the crush of people up on the Lido and Sun decks, especially because portions of those decks obscure the view (and picture taking) with tall glass panels. Seeing how the Canal gets the boats through was fascinating, especially knowing that Coral Princess had only two feet of clearance on either side of the ship. we also enjoyed watching the other ships go through ahead of us through both channels. This was clearly the highlight of our cruise, and we just LOVED it. We later learned that two of the metal “mules,” the heavily fortified trucks that guide the ships through the channels, had a minor accident. One mule drove into the back of another at the rear of the ship. A cable became caught, and it took about a half hour to free it up. Then things proceeded as normal.   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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