Sail Date: January 2007
This was our first cruise. After hearing the raving reviews from friends and strangers alike my wife and I decided to try a cruise. First let me say that we are independent experienced travellers and the thought of a cruise gave us mixed ... Read More
This was our first cruise. After hearing the raving reviews from friends and strangers alike my wife and I decided to try a cruise. First let me say that we are independent experienced travellers and the thought of a cruise gave us mixed feeling. Anyway we did it book or 10 day Panama Cruise and anxiously awaited the trip, we booked almost a full year in advance so we had a lot of expectations. Well we got to Ft. Lauderdale 5 days early and had plenty of time to relax in the south of Florida, went to Key West etc. The day of embarkation was excellent, we arrived early and had no lineups to deal with and we were in our cabin before noon. This was great! Its was then that it went down hill, you see I had ordered a dozen roses to be in our stateroom when we arrived. Paid 60.00 US for this a week in advance, and guess what? Right, they were not there, nor were the chocolate covered strawberries or the drinks that I had ordered and paid for. The flowers arrived three days into the cruise and the strawberries shortly after that and even then only after several discussions with the front desk. Needless to say the moment was lost. The ship itself was splendid, the cabin was small but nice. I would not even consider a cruise without a balcony though! Thank goodness for the balcony. The staff was very nice, although the stewarts and anyone other than officers and entertainment staff had less then stellar english comprehension. I must say I felt that throughout the cruise I was being nickled and dimed to death. To charge extra for soft drinks and icecream, no really! Why not just make it all inclusive like at the resorts. Thats really the competition. I know some of you will say I don't drink, and I agree however we don't all eat the same amount either. Which brings me to the food, other than the Lobster night (one out of 10), the food was just ok! We go out to eat a fair bit and are used to better. The ship has a "shopping expert", I call it person on the take. Which provides little service to the passengers other than to fill her own and or the cruiselines pockets. Our first port was Jamaica, we had a White water tubing adventure booked, which we were looking forward to. Almost totally spoiled by the disembarkation process, I do not appreciate 1.5 hour lines ups much less in hallways, and stairway. This was absolutely ridiculous. It continued throughout the trip line ups and hurry up and wait. The ship has a "shopping expert", I call it person on the take. Which provides little service to the passengers other than to fill her own and or the cruiselines pockets. I also was not aware that when a ship is in port, that basically the ship is closed. Yes thats right for you people that have not been on a cruise before, you pay full price for a 10 day cruise and if the ship is in port for 5 days, the ships shops, and attractions are CLOSED. Just another cruise line cash grab. You see they want you off the ship so that you can spend money in the shops that they make deals with on shore. That right, those places that they advise you to shop in get charged a fee, 10,000.00 per quarter, in one case for a store owner to be on the ships list. Not only does the store pay the cruise line 10,000.00 but they also pay 5% to the ships "shopping expert?" Needless to say if you think you are getting the best deal in the shop recommended by the line, forget it. The entertainment was nice but other than the first couple of nights we missed out because the entertainment was held before dinner. I like to have a dinner and then go to a show not the other way around. Zero flexibility on a cruise. We like to do our own thing and this is really not possible on a ship. If you like structured vacationing, standing in line, and being ripped off, then cruising is for you. If you are an independent individual with a mind of your own, then cruising is likely not for you. This will likely have been our last cruise, (may do Alaska, as it's likely the best way to see Alaska) but thats it. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2007
Hello: We sailed the Coral Princess's first season voyage to Alaska this year. I have planned this trip for a year. I loved some things about this trip and there are many things that will make it hard for me to book Princess lines ... Read More
Hello: We sailed the Coral Princess's first season voyage to Alaska this year. I have planned this trip for a year. I loved some things about this trip and there are many things that will make it hard for me to book Princess lines again. The embarking process was smooth out our Vancouver --- very quick but found it interesting that no one had a map to give up of the ship! This is odd other cruise lines will give you maps of the ship at the embarking process. Also we had to fill out a Norovirus survey and they did not have enough pens or pencils at the table....Why was this necessary at the beginning of the process holding up people in lines? Got inside the ship and found the elevator upstairs to our floor. Staff directed our way to our cabin rudely! When we came back to these same elevators we were told to go to the back and front and find elevators to take upstairs to the Horizon Court. When I asked how far back I was told by a English gal to keep walking either direction and I will find elevators. This should have been my tip off to get off the ship NOW. She also proceeded to inform us that we should have known these elevators that took us up to our floor are not to be used except by staff on embarking day. Now, we finally get to the Horizon Court and the food was mediocre at best. Things were stale and across the board of unusual. Not sure why they think that some of there desserts being offered are any good. Would suggest they expand there salad bar offerings. Waited for our luggage to arrive and it finally did just as we are leaving for our traditional dining time of 5:45 that the Patter printed on the first day to be 6 PM not 5:45. The head waiter went to every table and apologized for the error and told us to be here at 5;45 PM from now on. Our waiter was from the Philippines and his English was not very good. He constantly spent his time trying to sell us on bottled water and alcohol which we did not want. Our tablemates where older than us by quite a bit. The food was again mediocre and needed seasoning. Since most the majority of the cruisers seemed to be in the 70, 80's I assume Princess is afraid of seasoning food items. Our waiter keep forgetting what we ordered and took it upon himself to bring us other things that he assumed we wanted. Iced tea glasses to be refilled we had to order again iced tea. The bread needs to be warm when it arrives to the table! Cold is not appropriate for what this cruise costs. Our room was nice and clean and our room stewart Christina was GREAT. Very kind and very attentive. The room was very small compared to our RCCL NOS balcony stateroom. I found a too large closet that had space that could have been added to the bathrooms that are ridiculous and one of the main reasons that I did not like this cruise. The toilet seat kept coming apart and we had maintenance attempt to fix but did not fix. The shower is utterly crazy. I am a 6ft gal and my husband and I find this to be one crazy design flaw in this ship. How about a comfortable chair in the rooms Princess! Since you cannot get a couch in a balcony stateroom addition of a comfortable chair would be a great addition. Now for the beds in the room-----TOO SHORT for me and my husband. Our feet hung over the end of the bed. I asked for an egg crate mattress and feather pillows and faxed in my request to Princess as instructed. Never received! The beds and pillows are very uncomfortable! The food throughout the cruise was not great just average. Nothing memorable to say the least. The desserts were uninspiring for a ship that has a culinary program with the highlight of its culinary program to be a tour of the kitchen and how to garnish. At the end of the cruise they had a dessert event up in the Horizon and all the desserts looked attractive but they all tasted pretty much the same. I was very disappointed with the breakfast items in the main dining room the French toast is dry and the bacon greasy. You cannot get custom omelets. Princess work on your menus and listen to your guests for feedback. Entertainment on the ship was rather so so. The first comedian was good and the juggling act was good. THe magician/comedian was horrible. As for the Princess dancers they were fine but not as good as some other cruise lines. I think they need new material as they really only appeal to the elderly cruisers. Princess please get activities for younger cruisers who are not into bingo and bridge. Also get more talent support for middle age cruisers then you will get more middle age cruisers in the 30's, 40's, 50's and early 60's range. How about getting better tv channels and tv's with something better than Princess ad's and Cruise Directors talking about total nonsense. I have never experienced such rude treatment by fellow cruisers as I had on this trip. THe older cruisers have the nerve to cut in line and say things to us like you are younger as if this was a comment that could excuse their RUDE behavior. THis same behavior followed us throughout our land tour which I will never do again with Princess. NOW, the scenery and the wildlife were fantastic. I booked fishing expeditions in Ketchikan and in Juneau with whale watching too! The worst experience I had was disembarking from the Coral Princess in Juneau and have Coral princess workers push me over as a group of 6 engineering men flew by me to get to their phone booths at the bottom. This scared me pretty bad and left my husband sputtering mad. My excursions were fantastic that I booked myself---I was not disappointed at all! Well worth the money I spent. I researched the firms I used via CruiseCritic and on my own. Even called references! In Skagway I took the train and bus trip for White Pass and Yukon Trail via a hot tip I found on CruiseCritic and this trip was with six people total and we loved our day traveling. We loved the Glacier area and College Fjord so much. We even witnessed hundreds of sea otters with many of their mommies carrying their babies through the area. What a site and what great photos I have gotten. We saw brown, black and grizzly bears on this trip. We saw whales, sea lions too! And the best was the eagle that landed near me so I have a most excellent photo of our American Eagle to display at my work since I work in government. The cruise tour out of Whittier was something else. I was shocked to see that their where about only 4 young couples on the tour that we encountered. We all commented about the large amount of seniors on this trip. Many of which had problems with the train steps and the bus steps. The Princess Lodges need help with more updated bedding, better food choices and maybe consider all inclusive food in the price of these cruise tours. More time in Denali and expand that gosh darn Wilderness History Tour that to the longer trip into Denali Park. Fairbanks excursion on the Riverboat trip was excellent and enjoyed seeing Susan Butcher's dogs! Did not like the hidden gift shop approach to these excursions. Also,leaving Fairbanks and being told be be out of our room at 6:15 for departure to the airport for our 9 AM flight with the Princess Shuttle being 50 minutes late and staff that was rude at the Fairbanks Princess Lodge Outfitters section was inexcusable! Our luggage was damaged by Princess and we discovered this when we had our bags checked by the TSA staff at the airport. So, Princess so much for safe keeping of our bags! Overall: Not happy with Princess and probably will not book again with Princess until the staff issues are addressed and the type of customer that books with Princess is somewhat younger. The food for what the price of this Alaskan cruise costs is very disappointing. Why not more Alaskan based in food products and why not enhance your culinary program by offering cooking instructions for Alaskan seafood! I would have paid for that offering! Okay, Princess enough with your computer training classes! Coral Princess May 21, 2007 Cruise Tour 5 day leaving from Fairbanks. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2008
Basically it was a GREAT trip; we enjoyed all the ports and the shore excursions. The day long excursion through the Panama Canal was truly amazing and well worth the expense. As for the on-board experience...that part was pretty mediocre. ... Read More
Basically it was a GREAT trip; we enjoyed all the ports and the shore excursions. The day long excursion through the Panama Canal was truly amazing and well worth the expense. As for the on-board experience...that part was pretty mediocre. Princess's attention to detail appeared to be virtually non-existent. We'd highly recommend the adventure to anyone...but we'd also recommend NOT booking the trip on the Princess Cruise lines. 1. Princess notified us the day after we could cancel the cruise without paying a penalty that they were canceling the advertised stop in Huatulco. I called Princess and asked why and they said it was for "operational" reasons. I asked what that meant, specifically, and the guy on the phone said he wasn't sure. I emailed Princess, via our travel agent, to inquire as to the reasoning and suggested that if we weren't going to stop in Huatulco, that perhaps the ship could stay an extra day in Acapulco. Princess never responded to the email - obviously, they really care. 2. My wife and I like to watch the docking process when we get into port, so, about a week before we were to leave, I contacted Princess to see if we could switch from the Starboard side of the ship to the Port side - the side that's normally closest to the shore when the ship docs. I was pleased that we could, indeed, get our room switched. I wasn't happy that the Princess wouldn't let me (the guy that paid for it) implement the room switch...I had to contact our travel agent. Only they could switch rooms. As it turned out, it was a bad move. Unlike our earlier cruise, Princess docked on the starboard side 5 of the 7 dockings we made (why do they call it "port"?). The only port we got to watch the docking procedure was in Guatemala. 3. Princess flew us in a day early to assure we would make our early morning flight to Acapulco. According to Princess Cruises' instructions, their representatives would meet us in the Atlanta airport baggage claim area and collect our checked luggage and then escort us to the hotel. Contrary to what they'd promised, there was no one from Princess there to greet us or the 20 other couples who were also waiting). After about a half hour, we called 1-800-PRINCESS and asked where our escorts were. We were told they'd be there in 10 minutes. We waited another half hour before calling again and were told they were on their way. After another half hour before we gave up and walked the block and a half (dragging ALL our luggage) to the shuttle service area. When we got to the hotel and entered the lobby, there was a table set up with the Princess logo on it and a couple of cruise reps there to greet us. When I went up to one of the reps, I said we were disappointed that they didn't meet us at the airport as promised. Instead of apologizing, the Princess rep began his response with, "You think YOU'VE had a bad day...." and went on to explain that they'd had a rough day too. It apparently escaped him that he was getting paid and I was the one who was paying. It's rare to get customer service at that level...thank God. 4. When we got on the ship, the glass patio door separating our cabin from the deck was tough to open, so I contacted the desk to see if they could get somebody to oil it...they finally got to it the next day. 5. As part of the cruise sign up process on their website, we indicated we wanted a couple of complimentary terrycloth robes in the cabin when we arrived....they never did get delivered. 6. For supper the first day on board, we went, as directed, to the dining room on deck 6 only to be told that the card they gave us when we boarded had a typo and we were really to be at the dining room on deck 5. Generally, the food was mediocre at best, not what we'd come to expect on a cruise. 7. I checked out the on-board casino and tried to plug some quarters in the video poker machines. They wouldn't take the quarters, so I asked an attendant why. It was then I was advised that it was a "cashless" casino. In other words, you charged money on your "Sea Pass" for a separate gaming card and then put that card in the gaming machines instead of cash. For me, it's fun to handle the chips and money. A couple of days later they had a $25 buy in "Texas hold-em" tourney. Unlike most other hold-em tourneys, there was no dealer. You sat at a table in front of a video monitor. You didn't get "cards" or chips...it was like playing at home on the computer - which I can do at home...on my computer. Their cashless policy kept me from spending anything in their casino. 8. Guests were supposed to be able to check the weather forecast by punching the "weather" button on the phone. The recording said they update the weather four times a day - they don't. Often the weather forecast on the phone was more than a day old. 9. The ship's daily newspaper "Patter" advised that, in Costa Rica, there'd be a shuttle to take us to the shopping area at the end of the pier (which was about a third of a mile long). Only after we got off the ship, were we told that there was no shuttle and that the tour bus would leave from next to the ship. So if we wanted to shop before the tour (our only option) we'd have to walk to the end of the pier and back. Given the temperature and the anticipated long walks on the tour itself and the limited time before the tour bus left...we weren't able to shop in Costa Rica. 10. Upon boarding, they cautioned us to not throw anything off the balcony in respect for the folks on balconies below (the sea breeze blows it back onto a lower balcony). Still the cabin steward on the floor above us swabbed the their balcony which resulted in us getting a shower. Don't you think they would have checked to see if there was anyone below? 11. The second time we ate in the main dining room, I asked our waiter for my bottle of wine we'd ordered with our first meal and didn't finish. They came back to me several times asking where I was when I originally ordered it. Eventually they found it - just in time for desert. 12. We arrived at the Panama Canal before sunrise and didn't wait to begin our trans-Panamanian journey before it was light enough to take photos. We passed under the Bridge of the Americas (the first notable icon on the Pacific side), a docked U.S. warship (I think it was a cutter) and a huge dredging craft...that I couldn't take photos of because it was too dark - I was disappointed the captain didn't wait until it was light to begin the trip through the canal. 13. The Princess promotional material indicates there's a battery recycling container, a laundry bag and a music system in each cabin - there wasn't. 14. More often than not you missed most of the captain's or cruise director's announcements because you couldn't turn on the TV fast enough and get to the right channel quick enough to catch what they were saying. 15. The "fuel charge" when we booked the cruise seven months earlier was slated to be $140...based on the crude oil price of $126/barrel at that time. When we boarded the ship, crude oil was down to about $45/barrel and still, there was no deduct for the reduced fuel charge. As I said, individually, none of the above was of great concern when it happened and if only a couple of mishaps occurred, it wouldn't have even been mentioned. But, taken as a whole, the Princess Cruise experience was kinda like a Chinese water torture, it seemed like a day couldn't go by without some irksome screw up. In the answer book in the cabin, said Princess's goal was to be the "consummate host" and provide "lasting memories" - indeed, that was true...we won't forget. Again, the trip was fantastic. But, if you go, I'd strongly suggest you consider a cruise line other than Princess Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2009
This trip to AK was planned and purchased in Dec, 2008. We stayed 1 night on our own in Vancouver, CA and had a great time there. We boarded the Coral Princess and left port on Aug 24,2009. We thoroughly enjoyed the 3 ports of call in ... Read More
This trip to AK was planned and purchased in Dec, 2008. We stayed 1 night on our own in Vancouver, CA and had a great time there. We boarded the Coral Princess and left port on Aug 24,2009. We thoroughly enjoyed the 3 ports of call in AK including Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway even though the weather was somewhat rainy. We had excellent service on the ship and found the Princess employees to be very kind and professional. But 34 hours before we were to disembark and go on the land portion of the tour, Princess left a note in our room with the itenerary for the land portion of our tour. On comparison, we found that it was very different from the original one. There was no one at the Princess office in Seattle who could assist because this occurred on a weekend. Not only did they cancel our stop and 1 night stay in Anchorage, they now had us staying an extra day in Fairbanks. We had planned to visit family in Anchorage who we had not seen in over 20 years but now that was not possible. We had already paid extra to stay an extra night in Fairbanks but now we were staying there for 3 nights. This was not something we would have chosen to do. But Princess did not make arrangements for that 3rd night. So it took us 3 days to get this corrected which meant we spent time at each stop trying to get answers. No one was answering the phone in Seattle nor did they call us back as they stated they would. We tried to make the best of a bad situation, but we felt we were not treated very well by Princess. I wrote a letter when we arrived home but it took Princess over 3 weeks to respond. They blew us off so I worte a letter of rebuttal which was supposed to go to corporate offices for review, but it did not. It went to the same person who wrote the first letter and I got the same response. I would never travel on Princess again nor would I recommend it to anyone else. We were also very disappointed that we were unable to book any land excursions at Mt. Mckinley Princess Lodge because the ones we were interested in were either booked up or there were not enough people signed up to participate so they were cancelled. We also would have liked to spend more time at Denali and at Mt. Mckinley instead of just overnight. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
If you are thinking of booking a Princess Cruise please consider the following: Movies Under the Stars OK if it was really that! Unfortunately princess think its a really good idea to show "Movies Under the Stars" ... Read More
If you are thinking of booking a Princess Cruise please consider the following: Movies Under the Stars OK if it was really that! Unfortunately princess think its a really good idea to show "Movies Under the Stars" during the daytime too. So if you fancy relaxing in the sun and maybe raed a book, listen to your iPod or have a chat wih friends - FORGET IT!! The din from a second rate moviw (or occassionally otherwise) will explode in to your relaxation time. Want to get away from it and sit somewhere else in the sun? Forget it!! The stern of teh ship has now been converted to the "Sanctuary" and that will cost you $20 per day per person. Dining Times Do you prefer early dining at 18.30? Forget it - Princess have now moved the early sitting to 17.30 - so make sure you get back to the ship very early to make sure you're ready in time for dinner. We prefer dinner late - 20.30 or 20.15. Forget it - Princess have now moved the LATE sitting to 19.45. Now you may think that 45 mins isn't a big deal. I tend to disagree but think about this. Do you like a cocktail before dinner and maybe take in one of teh combos in one of the bars? Think again. Princess have arbitrarily changed teh dining times but not altered any of the other entertainment schedules. Result? The bar's you'd normally use for a pre dinner drink are packed with diners from the early seating because their dining time has been put back further than yours and hence they finish earlier relative to you staring. What's more teh bar entartainment doesn't start until 19.30 just 15 mins before you need to go in to dinner. So even if you get a seat in the bar you only have 15 mins to enjoy iy. Tours Today many of us - some in their 80's were left for over an hour on the dock in very hot and humid conditions waiting for the tour busses to arrive. No shade, no water and no information. If yiou must go on a Princess cruise - take an independent tour - they're save, more efficient and MUCH MUCH better value for money. Food definitely deteriorated since last year. Examples: Sirloin steak that would be better lining the sole of your shoe Duck that was inedible Chateaubriand that looked liked rework Prime Rib from the previous night (Incidentally the Spare Rib was fine) Daytime Activities Not joined up!! Rooms double booked, wrong locations in the Princess Patter, popular activities overlapping. The service from the cabin, bar and dining room staff remains as ever efficient and friendly but you get the impression that as far as the management are concerned the cruise is being organised for their convenience. The cumulative imapct of all this? Despite being a Platinum member of the crusie club I doubt we'll choose to take another Princess crusie. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
We have been on several Princess cruises (as well as NCL, Celebrity, Royal Carribbean, Carnival and others) and should reach Platinum level with Princess after this cruise. But, over the years, we have noticed a degradation of service ... Read More
We have been on several Princess cruises (as well as NCL, Celebrity, Royal Carribbean, Carnival and others) and should reach Platinum level with Princess after this cruise. But, over the years, we have noticed a degradation of service and I believe it unlikely we will ever reach the top Black level of Princess' customer loyalty program. Service levels have receded over the years and while in the past, Princess provided engaging onboard programs, the emphasis is now on selling photos and jewelry. On ship culture seems to have become one of just going through the motions. No staff appeared to even want to provide a good experience to the passengers. In past cruises, staff often tried to interact with us, but on this cruise, they were very standoffish. Our first cruise, on the retired Royal Princess, was exemplary, but things have gone downhill ever since. In general categories: The ship. The Coral Princess is one of the newer Princess ships we have been on with the typical spaces found on medium sized ships including a large screen on the upper deck (servicable, but with a few broken pixels and sound subpar to what we have heard on Carnival). There is an outdoor pool and an indoor pool (movable top) which is reserved for adults. Two outside decks in the back are reserved for paying guests ($10 for a morning or afternoon). There was one upscale Italian restaurant($20)and another New Orleans specialty restaurant ($20) which we didn't go. We wanted a steak and seafood restaurant, but none here. There is a theater at the front and a two level lounge at the back which often provided different shows with two showings each night. Some shows were repeated multiple days as well. Itinerary. Because of unrest in Mexico, we were informed that Princess chose to avoid the country, instead making a beeline from Los Angeles California to Puntarenas, Costa Rica, with 5 days at sea. Other ports included Panama, a refueling stop in Cartegena, Columbia (4 hours), and a short stop in Aruba (Compare this with our last Princess Panama Canal cruise which offered 3 additional stops in Mexico and another in Guatamala and a second in Costa Rica within 10 days - this cruise was 14). Food. In short, very disappointing. It appears that the cooking staff are international without any concept of American food. Pizza is served outside and the first reaction to the giant (24"?) flat pads was yuck. However, they tasted much better than they looked. Selection was minimal with cheese pizzas and pepperoni pizzas provided along with a varying additional selection (we recall a four cheese pizza (not good) and one or two other varieties served over the 14 day run). Note that the sparse pepperoni was not evenly distributed with some slices getting several pieces and some slices being very sparse. If you are used to getting pizzas with lots of toppings piled on, forget it. These were actually as flat and maybe thinner than a pancake. Without a sign, it was difficult to determine what was on the pizzas (Pepperoni is easy to spot, but the others could be anybody's guess. This was very disappointing compared with our cruise on the Regal Princess (5 yrs ago, Panama) which had a dedicated pizza restaurant also serving calzones in a relaxed atmosphere in a dedicated dining area or our Princess cruise to Alaska (from San Francisco) which had a part time pizzeria in a lounge area. Typical hamburgers, hot dogs (the typical stereotype - what's in the dogs - applies) and fries are served on the top deck. Soft serve was provided, but the machines could not handle the demand until well into the cruise. An enhancement ($$) to the soda card allowed shakes, but they used regular blenders which resulted in very thin shakes. They should have invested in a dedicated shake dispenser or a real shake mixer. The Horizon buffet was a typical cruise buffet experience with often rude staff (they scolded people caught in the unmarked queues the wrong way) and a lack of viable choices. While other cruises provided different foods on both sides of the restaurant and the front, they were the same here). In the past, cruise buffets would be decorated with carved fruit, but this proved sparse on this trip. There were no noodle bars, stir fry stations, nor other amenities offered on competing cruiselines. Breakfast was repetitive, with the same thing served everyday, albeit with minor variations (sometimes rice, sweet potato hash (yuck), other hashes). Breakfast sandwich was almost always ham and egg on a muffin. We ate around 9:30 and the once warm sandwiches were invariably soggy on the bottom and rock hard on the top. They had an egg/omelet station, but the other eggs were big premixed cakes of pour out of the carton goodness. Beverage service was poor. Orange juice was only available through the wait staff, who often quickly asked what you wanted, but rarely delivered anything, and at other times delivered something other than what you asked. I usually asked for orange juice, but only got it a couple of times. No refills were provided, and we seemed to be ignored when we tried to get some. There were only a few types of lunch meat which remained unvaried throughout the trip. Lunch and dinner provided variety but only a few outstanding dishes. There was a lot of Indian foods available - different chicken, multiple rice, curry, etc., but very few Indian passengers. No Mexican, Italian was the same everyday with a bland tomato sauce. Tortilla chips were unflavored, unsalted, and not cooked correctly, with bad sauce, if available. At one lunch, a sandwich bar was provided with a variety of breads and a few different meats, cheeses and garnishes, but it was obvious the staff was not accustomed to making sandwiches, and their assembly was entertainment in itself. We did not taste any since the line was long, and the slow assembly process was a joke (How hard is it to put sliced meat on bread?). At another lunch, there was a dessert bar (which we were told took 3 days to prepare), but it was little more extensive than a typical American coffee shop, and the staff had difficulty figuring out how to cut slices of cake. Lemonade was advertised and often requested, but only delivered once in 14 days. Traditional dining. The wait staff was okay, but spent a great deal of time waiting for the food trays to come. Dinner took around 1 1/2 hours for our assigned seating (with the room typically half empty). Appetizers were okay, but with middling variety (a different pate each day, all tasting the same. Soups were mostly broths with slight variation. I am not sure, but it seemed like a college cafeteria where what you didn't finish one day would be served the next day with a few different vegetables thrown in. Desserts were good if you like souffles and creme brulee (both very good)(different descriptions each night, but they tasted the same), but other choices were minimal. The baked alaska was disappointing. This is the first parade which did not have a flame - they used led lights, and the ones we got were not the same ones paraded (different shape - ours were very even and may have come from a box). Beverage service was lacking after the first night. Portions were small, but reasonable. The soup was hot once, but otherwise was just lukewarm. This is our first cruise without a midnight buffet, and although we had king crab one night, our waiter claimed to be surprised indicating that in prior cruises, it was not available. It was very disappointing NOT to have a Midnight Buffet (No Champagne tower on New Years Eve either (they did have a Champagne tower earlier on the trip). I did not have to worry about gaining weight on this trip. Bars. Very plentiful with reasonably good service, but we noticed that if they ran out of mix (eg: Margarita Mix), instead of getting another box, they would add ice or orange juice, or leave the glass half full. There was a lot of drinking on this ship, so bar sales seemed good. On board shopping. "Sales" were very frequent, but not much new merchandise. On the Panama Canal transit, they had beer carts roaming on deck as well temporary stands on deck selling the same merchandise like street vendors (tacky). Entertainment. This was the first cruise which did NOT have live entertainment on deck on embarkation. Live entertainment on deck was limited to one hour on a few selected days. The atrium had a good classical trio (violin, bass, piano) and the guitarist (good) from the ship's band (mediocre) played on occasion. The bars had the typical groups each evening. Shows varied. Guest performers (magic, comedian, singer) were very good although the comedian missed his audience on his first performance (Southern California jokes are not good for a conservative older audience). The ventroliquist was entertaining. The hypnotist was fake (don't have an audience participant leave after the performance through a stage door). The ship's cast was very disappointing with the singers well below typical for cruiselines with the dancers high schoolish (except one - the short one (Filipina?) - the only one who appeared to dance to the music). This was unfortunately accentuated when the ship regulars tried to do a Motown show the evening after Jimila, an excellent guest singer who sang Motown the night before. Activities. The worst of all of our cruises. No variety. There were a few lectures (not generally on topics related to ports of call), but no handicrafts nor much of anything else (prior cruises had activities to kill the time - drawing needlepoint, other things). There was trivia everyday and a few bridge sessions, but in general, nothing of substance was scheduled. A few times, they tried on deck activities. Photos. There were 3 formal days with multiple opportunities for photo sessions. They provided incentives to buy more photos (eg: buy 4, get 1 free, buy 3 more, get another free, etc), but once you reach the end, you start over. We would have bought more if offered a discount, but since the discount card started over, instead of spending a few hundred dollars more, our extra photos were disposed of. Service desk. Our bill was wrong (double billed for an item), and they really did not want to correct it. First reaction was that we were trying to pull something, but they manually went through all the ships receipts and finally discovered we were correct. Our credit was run on an imprinting machine, the first I had seen in several years. The counterperson "helping" us was busy with answering the phone and doing other stuff, so it took a long time to get our credit, and there was a long line behind us. Last day service. Forget about it. It appeared that they know you are getting off the ship, and it felt like the staff was done with everything - get the passengers off the ship and start with the new incoming clientele. Would we go on this cruise again. Probably. It was our daughter's best cruise yet, but because of other passengers she met on board, not the food, amenities, ship nor ports of call. It was a cheap last minute cruise for us booked for the holidays. It was available and served its purpose. If we found a viable alternative (with available connecting flights), we would have gone elsewhere. Not a dream vacation, but still a vacation. Kind of like eating at McDonalds. It is not good food, but it will satisfy if you are hungry. Disclaimer (or disclosure). On a previous Princess cruise (Panama - 5 years ago on the Regal Princess), our luggage went overboard on embarkation. Princess did not know what to do, other than to tell us they were not responsible, blaming it on longshoremen (We placed our luggage into Princess' hands at the airport while we transferred by Princess shuttle to the Cruiseport). Princess currently makes it a point to disclaim responsibility for luggage at any time even if they are the ones handling it. After our cruise, Princess finally reimbursed us for our out of pocket (replacing our damaged possessions which were inventoried on the ship), but they refused to replace our trip, which continues to cause us consternation. Compare this with Carnival, who recently had a mishap on one of their cruises - they refunded their passengers as well as provided their passengers with a free future cruise. With a refusal to reimburse us for our lost vacation, Princess has become second tier for us in our future cruise vacations, but we will still consider them as an alternative. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
Just got off my first princess cruise and was not impressed with the layout or the mothership's (carnival)Ideas 1st problem design ideology. . Elevator banks are limited to different floors, The front bank of elevators goes from the ... Read More
Just got off my first princess cruise and was not impressed with the layout or the mothership's (carnival)Ideas 1st problem design ideology. . Elevator banks are limited to different floors, The front bank of elevators goes from the 7th to 14 floors ,The lobby bank of elevators goes from the 5th to 8th floors then center bank goes from 2nd to 15 floor.My cabin was on the 10th floor forward... In order to reach 5 th floor dinning room I had to take two sets of elevators or walk the narrow hallways to center ship elevators (about 350')and then double back the other way. 2nd problem Casino Ideology.Carnival lets you put money into there slot machines but does not let you take it out . If you are lucky and win some money you have to insert your sail card and create a pin number along with your birthdate on the smallest keyboard at sea. It's HORRIBLE, you need reading glasses or read brile ,then wait 15 seconds, and guess what happens if you pull the card out a milli second early ..... You have to go to the cashier cage or jail as i see it to get one of the guards. The joy is G O N E ...P.S. don't leave money on "your card" pass midnight on the last night of the cruise or....it's G O N E (carnival cyberspace )I was told that this idea was for "my safety". Directive from the mothership GO CARNIVAL! Surprised Las Vegas hasn't followed that ideology. Simply trendsetting 3rd problem alcohol measuring! I don't want togo on ANY CRUISE that the bartender becomes Betty Crocker with a measuring cup. I spent $9.13 With a tip x 2 on drinks that were horrible My bartender was a chemist..... who kept on apologizing about the mothership's drink pouring rules My recommendation is to go on a celebrity cruise, where elevators go to every single floor and where alcohol pours generously,And you don't need reading glasses and a bank pin number to play the casino Slots. Thank you Read Less
Sail Date: September 2012
Princess did an excellent job with the land portion of this and the arrangements. However the ship was very lacking in various ways. First, the food, I'd rather go to Red Lobster for seafood and Outback for beef than dine aboard the ... Read More
Princess did an excellent job with the land portion of this and the arrangements. However the ship was very lacking in various ways. First, the food, I'd rather go to Red Lobster for seafood and Outback for beef than dine aboard the CP, portions were small and of poor quality. Numerous passengers noted that their requests for salt free meals, Kosher, etc were not fulfilled. Many of the wait staff seemed to have only limited command of English. The entertainment was well below what I've experienced on Royal Caribbean, two nights were repeats of the previous night, one night there was nothing. The cabin had worn out pillows with no support, scratchy towels, the toilet paper was so thin I could read through it, take a roll of your own. Cabins not turned down. Very hard sell, from the time we stepped onto the gangway and got aboard the ship we had been offered three deals of one kind or another, then there was the wine tasting, cola deal, wine deal, photos, etc. The smoking lounge was located off the atrium and the stench from it was obnoxious for many feet in any direction. It's only fair to say that I'm not criticizing the personnel of the CP, they were doing their best with what they were given. I'd tell anyone going to Alaska to do the land portion with Princess and the cruise with someone else. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
They were terrific in luggage handling, I will give them that. The website states that small children must have a car seat to travel in Alaska.. We packed up the bulky car seat and found the only place required was the Denali park tour and ... Read More
They were terrific in luggage handling, I will give them that. The website states that small children must have a car seat to travel in Alaska.. We packed up the bulky car seat and found the only place required was the Denali park tour and the hotel provided it...why weren't we told this when we called and asked if we needed to bring that bulky piece of luggage? They did store it for, however, would have preferred not to have to lug it thru airports if it wasn't needed. The wait staff was terrific, as was the cabin stewart. Customer service desk and some land crew we snippy, sarcastic, and mocking. I heard numerous comments after a passenger asked a question and walk beyond earshot [poor behavior] .. Every tour seemed to be a canned script and the guides did not venture to far off line and ALWAYS included was a blatant [often numerous] reminders to buy more tours [and they are not inexpensive]...with a tinge of guilt thrown in... "you don't want to leave here and regret that you didn't --- whatever tour they were pushing that day. Hotels were on a par with a 2 star hotel...really nothing to write home about except that they were all in areas so that you had to eat at their restaurants [except for McKinley]... food was and average to blah, in most cases ... We did see some wonderful and amazing things, however, if this is what cruises are like... I shall not do another, and I certainly will not cruise with Princess again. I don't feel I need to go into a laundry list of the goods and bad...let's just leave it at the bad experiences and treatments outweighed the good experiences and treatment. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
I expect the tour itinerary I book and pay for to be honoured by my cruise operator. The failure to call at Costa Rica due to the danger of a civil servants strike is not acceptable. The ship is registered in Bermuda as such I would expect ... Read More
I expect the tour itinerary I book and pay for to be honoured by my cruise operator. The failure to call at Costa Rica due to the danger of a civil servants strike is not acceptable. The ship is registered in Bermuda as such I would expect the captain to take advice from HM Foreign Office which is responsible for such matters relating for this colony. I have checked HM Foreign Office web site and no travel advisory was issued by this ultra conservative body in relation to the issues in Lemon. The company’s choice Princess Cays as an alternative port was in my view was a cynical attempt by Princess to increase its revenues; as everything in Princess Cays is owned by and for the profit of that company. Frankly, there is no comparison between a private beach resort and what I had booked for. I understand that other cruise ships called at Lemon on the day we were diverted. The ease displayed in re-arranging the visit to Grand Cayman totally dispels the crew’s contention that arranging another venue at short notice would be impossible. A very poor show... I will cruise again but not with this company; they ripped me off. On the rest of the cruise the entertainment was good but oh boy they were short average about 45 minutes and lacked variety. It was either Magic, or song and dance or hypnotist. there was no mixing of acts to put together a proper variety show. Also don't trust there daily programme in the Princes Patter newsletter. My partner and I had planned to watch a film which was cancelled from the 'movies under the stars' which was replaced by an American Football match at short notice. The restaurant food was mainly very good but the buffet was very mixed some days excellent others it was far from good. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
For starters, let me say everyone should visit the Panama Canal, via a Cruise Ship. It is one of the most spectacular places on earth. However, be cautious of the WHOLE Itinerary. Our itinerary looked great, Aruba, Cartagena, Panama, ... Read More
For starters, let me say everyone should visit the Panama Canal, via a Cruise Ship. It is one of the most spectacular places on earth. However, be cautious of the WHOLE Itinerary. Our itinerary looked great, Aruba, Cartagena, Panama, Costa Rica, and Jamaica with 4 days at Sea. When the shipped Docked in Aruba, we were there for 4.5 hours. We didn't have enough time to really enjoy the island. PLUS, the Tour Guide never shut up. He spoke aimlessly about nothing. Caratgena was nice, but the shore excursion added to much fluff. We didn't need to pay to see local cultural dancers for 10 minutes, break dancers for 10 minutes, and a torture chamber on vacation. I would avoid the Palace of Inquisition. When our tour guide explained how they would tie the ropes to a certain part of the man, then stretch them out, let's just say I didn't need to hear that. Colon, Panama was nothing more that a supply stop. We also had to wait for those folks that did shore excursions. The Panama Canal was AWESOME!!!!!!! Limon, Costa Rica. The Shore Excursion described was NOT the one we got. While we visited the Banana Plantation, the Scenic Drive and Photop was NOT what we expected. It was nothing more that the bus racing to get back on time. We were shown some beautiful coastline, but NO stopping. It was awful. Jamaica was OK. We had been there several times, so this was no biggie. The Photo Team was fantastic. Very informative and ALWAYS willing to answer questions. Some of the Cruise Director's Staff, including the Cruise Director herself, were terribly boring. Some of the Junior ones were great! The Wait Staff, for the most part was Horrendous.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2014
I’m sorry to say that had this cruise been our first on Princess, it would have been our LAST. We’ve had 5 positive experiences, so we had little doubt that our 6th would be problem-filled, but it certainly was. Princess has joined the ... Read More
I’m sorry to say that had this cruise been our first on Princess, it would have been our LAST. We’ve had 5 positive experiences, so we had little doubt that our 6th would be problem-filled, but it certainly was. Princess has joined the Carnival/Costa “family” – and I’m afraid the result is NOT good. THE GOOD (MOSTLY): Cabin We’re both on tight budgets, so opting for an interior cabin was a must, however we never felt “2nd class”. Our room steward, Dante, did an excellent job of keeping our environment clean and looking good with his twice-daily visits. As you’ll read later, he maintained his good spirits, despite “challenges” from the ship’s faulty equipment. We ordered morning coffee from room service and it was always delivered piping hot and on-time by Clifford. Food We’re not partial to sit-down dining, so we used the Horizon Court exclusively. We got to choose from a wide variety of menu items, sample new ones, and return to the buffet for more of the ones we liked. The food was always fresh, and well-presented. If there’s a down-side to dining on a Princess ship these days, it’s the desserts. They’ve taken the “economic” route. Most of their dessert offerings were “pre-fab” items that had been made onshore and frozen. The soft-serve ice cream (served at a venue off one of the pools) was really ice-water. It lacked the rich taste of the soft-serve offerings from Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, etc. Perhaps Princess should brand it as a “diet” dessert. Entertainment The onboard specialty acts (comedian, pianist, illusionist) were great, as were the singers and dancers, but I got the feeling that much of the singing and music was pre-recorded. The ship offered an internet lecturer as part of it’s “enrichment” program and he was a joke. His lecture was supposed to be about developing websites as a means of aiding one’s business, but he focused on the “quick buck” business of registering domain names that others would buy from you. What should have been a 10 minute discussion, ran on for 5 sessions. I gave up after 3. If Princess offers these “experts” any sort of compensation for their “work”, the cruise line is being ripped off. Another cruise line offers guests the services of a Microsoft-trained computer expert. Princess’ offering looked like a bargain-basement version, and was a complete waste of passengers’ time. We’re not drinkers, so we didn’t partake of the ships’ lounge offerings. Those who did seemed pleased. Speaking of drinking, a mid-cruise check of our billing showed mixed drinks. A visit to Customer Service rectified this, but passengers would be well-advised to check their onboard account frequently. Shore Excursions We chose an excursion that included the Skyride and Bobsled in Jamaica – combined with a climb of Dunn’s River Falls. What a great day! However, the Falls are really not for those who have heart problems, breathing problems, or whose joints don’t work as well as they once did. We also purchased a shore excursion in Panama that included a visit to the Visitor’s Center at the Canal, and a boat ride on Gatun Lake. The Visitor’s Center trip was worthwhile, but our guides did little to earn their $$ at that stop. It was pretty much self-guided. The Gatun Lake boat ride was interesting, but we saw no wildlife – our bad fortune. I realize that Princess has no control over that. My only complaint was our difficulty in understanding one of our 2 guides. His accent was extremely thick. We switched guides (and buses) halfway thru the trip – problem solved. I assume Princess contracts with local tour companies for these excursions, but they could do a better job of insisting that guides are good communicators. THE BAD Our cruise was marred by what the captain called “norovirus”. We were not alone. News reports indicated that several other ships, on various cruise lines, were also stricken to a greater or lesser degree. One of us spent three days in our cabin – eating nothing but bread and Jello. To it’s credit, the ship adopted numerous measures to help lessen the spread of the virus. We chose not to report the incident, and it’s a good thing we did. Reports from other passengers indicated that the ship’s medical department charged them hundreds of dollars for diagnosis and remedies. Our dose of unpleasantness came in our cabin, when the fire sprinkler directly over our bed erupted on a Monday afternoon. We brought it to the attention of our cabin steward, who immediately changed the bedding, which was soaked right down to the mattress pad. We also contacted onboard Customer Service. When no further eruptions occurred the next day, we assumed the matter had been addressed by the ship’s maintenance personnel. On Wednesday, the sprinkler erupted again – same procedures. Customer Service was notified a second time. When it happened again on Thursday night, and we had to report the incident a third time, the Customer Service agent said she’s “take it to a higher level”. Apparently, that’s’ what it took because the eruptions stopped. Through it all, our cabin steward maintained his cheerful and cooperative attitude. While they were pleasant, Customer Service personnel apparently had no ability to address the problem after the first two reports. As I’ve pointed out to Princess management after we returned, had this happened in a land-based hotel, we’d have changed rooms, or changed hotels. Onboard a sold-out ship, those aren’t options. THE UGLY I would have thought that Princess management would have made a serious offer of restitution for the problems we experienced. Not so. We were offered complementary dinners at one of the ship’s upscale restaurants while we were onboard. We declined. Upon notification after our cruise, Princess management offered us each a $100 credit toward a future cruise and $50 in onboard credit. This, after 3 days of being drenched from above by an obviously faulty sprinkler. I have to wonder how that sprinkler would have performed in the event it was really needed! We have also declined this offer and will take action involving our attorney. As I said at the outset, had this been our first Princess cruise, it would have been our last. Suffice it to say that we’ll think long and hard about traveling with them again. I sense that now that Princess is part of the Carnival/Costa family, we’ll see continued belt-tightening.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
No matter how old you are, if there is any live in you, you don't want to go on this cruise. The whole atmosphere on this cruise was old, old, old, from the piped in music to the entertainment. A constant barrage of music, originally ... Read More
No matter how old you are, if there is any live in you, you don't want to go on this cruise. The whole atmosphere on this cruise was old, old, old, from the piped in music to the entertainment. A constant barrage of music, originally performed by people now all dead. What really turned me off is all the people that took their naps in all the public places. Everywhere you went on this ship there were people sleeping in chairs, head back, mouth open and snoring. Not a pretty sight. I am 71 years old myself and if I feel sleepy I go to my cabin This was my first princess cruise, also the last. The food was boring, same O, same O every day. The hallway to my stateroom smelt musty, and there always were fans running, drying off something or other. They were working on some water pipes and our toilet wouldn't flush 5 times and it would take a couple of hours to have running water again. The cabin next to us was being remodeled and for 3 days we had tapping and banging noise all day. As soon as that was done, they started scraping paint right above and below us and we had that noise all day long. We had booked a junior suit, hoping for some quite reading time, but no such luck. It really was all very disappointing the whole ship has such a tired feel to it. I felt sorry for the few younger people on board. Thankfully there were port days, we could not wait to get off this ship, even for a few hours. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
I am a seasoned cruiser having cruised with several cruise lines and I'm an elite member with Princess. Overall this cruise was somewhat disappointing. I agree with all that was said in the previous review by Rebel2386, except that I ... Read More
I am a seasoned cruiser having cruised with several cruise lines and I'm an elite member with Princess. Overall this cruise was somewhat disappointing. I agree with all that was said in the previous review by Rebel2386, except that I thought the quality of the food in the main dining room and the buffet was not up to the usual standard of Princess. There wasn't a lot of taste, spice, seasoning in the food to make it shine. Presentation was good but flavour lacking. There was little to do on sea days. Trivia was the only thing that interested me. The port lecturer was quite good, but I didn't enjoy the guest presenters and their subjects (as per rebel2386's review). Were they catering to the older age demographic????? There was nothing happening after 10 at night anywhere.... I was glad to get off in LA and I don't usually say that after a cruise. We went on to do an Alaskan cruise a week late with Carnival and it surpassed the Coral Princess in food and entertainment. I will travel with Princess again. I'm putting this one down to a one off. At least I hope so! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
My wife, children, and I have traveled all over the world. Both on our annual vacations (typically one or two) and my time served in the US Navy. As far as Cruises go, this is our third different Cruise Line we have tried. We must say, it ... Read More
My wife, children, and I have traveled all over the world. Both on our annual vacations (typically one or two) and my time served in the US Navy. As far as Cruises go, this is our third different Cruise Line we have tried. We must say, it was pretty disappointing compared to the other two. I will try to be as detailed as possible so that this review is actually published. Embarkation: A fairly long, single line that moved at a relatively slow pace. All told, it probably took about an hour to get to our stateroom. We were allowed to bring one bottle of wine onboard, and I did like that our luggage was transferred to the ship directly from the airport. The embarkation crew were very polite and courteous. Stateroom: Our room was actually very nice and spacious, with a window view on the bottom level of the ship. The disappointment came with the bathroom, however. I have never in my life seen a shower that small. It was physically impossible for me to use it without completely soaking the floor and wasting towels trying to keep the mess manageable. The room was always warm, despite the thermostat setting, and the tapwater was HEAVILY chlorinated. The stateroom staff was very polite but they lacked a lot of the little extras you would experience on other cruise lines such as folded towel creatures or other little suprises in your room to brighten your day. That was disappointing. Dining: Breakfast had a wide assortment of fruits, parfaits, eggs, pastries, and the typical breakfast meats. The parfaits were made ahead of time so the granola was very soggy. Eggs were always overcooked, especially disappointing on the day they had eggs benedict. Lunch was hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, nachos, and other similar items. The hamburgers actually made my wife ill so we stuck with pizza for lunch. We attended the sit-down "fancy" dinners every evening. The waiting staff were extremely polite and would always seem interested in how your day was. They always remembered our names and our favorite drinks. The food was a hit-or-miss at these dinners. Some dishes were very good while others I could not even finish. The ones in between were very bland, with almost no seasoning. I'd like to mention that as much money as this cruise costs, the only free coffee you have access to is actually instant coffee from a spigot. Public areas: Areas were visually very appealing, but could get extremely crowded during any shipboard events. The hot tubs were very nice and relaxing.....when they were working. They had a total of six, but typically only half of that were actually hot or had all of the jets working. Out of the 2 or 3 that were fully functional they were typically filled with ten year old children so my wife and I considered ourselves lucky when we could actually get into one that worked. The pool areas were smaller than the other cruise lines I have been on and only about 5 feet deep. Bathrooms were typically well maintained but after the third day at sea one of the bathrooms had some kind of septic backup or failure. Every time you passed that area of the ship you were inundated with the foul, noxious odor of human sewage. This was not repaired at all during the cruise. Children's Areas: It was only my wife and I so I cannot comment on these areas, however it seemed as if all of the children were constantly in the hot tubs. Entertainment: One of the things my wife and I loved most about our previous two cruise experiences was the plentiful and varied amount of entertainment that was available to us as passengers. We were sorely disappointed with what Princess had to offer. Don't get me wrong, the quality was very good. But I can honestly say that there was MUCH less options and a LOT more "empty" or down time as opposed to our other cruises. Also, after every single event there was something they were trying to sell. It has happened on other cruise lines as well but the sales pressure on Princess was very, very intense. And it was with every entertainment venue. Excursions: They had a large variety to choose from but they were extremely expensive compared to just hiring somebody on shore independently. I will say that I heard a few of my fellow cruisers complaining about the professionalism of some of the independent contractors. We did not have that problem with the Princess excursions, but the politeness must have been included in the price. Customer Service: This is the biggest problem I had with Princess. You can only purchase items on the ship with your Cruise Card. Princess's finance department kept shutting my wife's and my own card off, which would sometimes even lock us out of our own room. We had to go to the service desk on 4 separate occasions to sort out the mess, and each time they neglected to annotate the problem in their computers so it kept on happening. When I complained, I received a call from the "Finance Manager" who first apologized, and then proceeded to tell me that it was all my fault and that even though I wasn't satisifed with Princess, 99% of their customers ARE satisfied. What kind of an apology is that? Just imagine how frustrating it would be if you are trying to buy a toothbrush in the ship store, or a bottle of wine at dinner, and you are told that your ship card has been shut off AGAIN. Disembarkation: We disembarked at 5:45 am, which seemed very early to us. However, it went smoothly and even though it was raining, Princess had these portable tube-like structures that kept the rain off of us until we could reach the train. Summary: For the price that we paid, we expected a lot more in terms of quality. The sales pressure and the poor customer service was perhaps the breaking point that will prevent us from ever trying Princess again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014
This was our first cruise ever, so we did not know what to expect, though Cruise Critic was a good source of information. Overall, we were disappointed. The crew seemed tired and, in general, were not very helpful (perhaps understandable ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever, so we did not know what to expect, though Cruise Critic was a good source of information. Overall, we were disappointed. The crew seemed tired and, in general, were not very helpful (perhaps understandable as this was their last trip north for the season). The 1st day was a madhouse and we were not prepared for the zoo in the boarding area where we had to clear customs (we were directed to the wrong staging area and, in general, we did not get any directions on what do do and where to go). The minute we got on board, the push began to buy the unlimited alcohol passes - we were dismayed by this effort to take advantage of the passengers; either they would make an unwise financial decision (drink passes very expensive) or would drink an unhealthy amount of alcohol during their week aboard. We were also disappointed in that our special requests made at the time of booking were ignored. One member of the party purchased the unlimited soft drink pass only to find that the soft drinks were only available from the bars on the boat and were not carbonated (when we complained, we were told that is just the way it is - the bartenders apparently do not go to the trouble to hook up new CO2 cylinders when they run empty). The assigned dining room was okay, and the food is also okay, though plentiful; recommend going with anytime dining as this gives you so much more flexibility. Recommend the specialty restaurants, especially on formal nights, though they do cost an extra $35 per person per night - they made a nice change from the tiresome buffet. My wife had the best comment about the food in the buffet: "sure looks good but it has no taste". The buffet, though had some advantages: open most of the time and nice views (all of the other restaurants have no views). Overall, our opinion of the food was that it was mediocre, which was disappointing, since we were looking forward to it. Other more experienced cruisers told us that they shared our opinion. You should know that tipping is completely optional, despite the verbiage in the Princess literature (another tip from an experienced cruiser). You can see the purser at the beginning of the cruise and have that automatic tip removed from your bill. We would have much preferred to tip as we went, as the level of service definitely varied from good to bad. Recommend not using the Princess shore excursion booking service unless you like being moved around like sheep, paying more than you would like and being misled (we were wait-listed for tours that were no longer running!) We booked the cruise thru Costco Travel and they have a very nice shore excursion booking service. Another nice way to handle sightseeing on shore is to book a rental car in each port (offices always close to the docks) and see the sights yourself. We actually enjoyed when we did this and found our sightseeing much more enjoyable than the escorted crowded shore excursions we booked thru Princess. The end of the cruise was especially disappointing. Roused at 5 am, we were hustled outside in the dark into a cold rain and a long walk to the trains for the land phase of our trip. We were ordered not to bring any food (there were vague statements about Alaska not allowing food to be brought ashore, though the shore personnel said that no such policy exists). After we boarded the train, we found out the reason for the policy as were given the option to purchase expensive food and drink while we listened to sales pitches). Nothing like being a captive audience while sitting in a crowded little booth on board a train sharing leg space with strangers across from you! All in all, our first cruise was very disappointing. We gave Princess a chance to address our complaints; while they did respond, the level of their response was definitely disappointing especially in the light of their supposed attitude towards customer service. We honestly cannot recommend Princess. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Our cruise started with a 3 day land portion. Sights were great, lodging and food were not. Rooms at both lodges were equal to a stay at a Super 8 motel, in fact our room at the Denali lodge had mold in the shower. Food was over priced ... Read More
Our cruise started with a 3 day land portion. Sights were great, lodging and food were not. Rooms at both lodges were equal to a stay at a Super 8 motel, in fact our room at the Denali lodge had mold in the shower. Food was over priced and below average. We did a Back Country dining tour in Denali--don't waste your time or your money. 2 high school students took us back on a covered wagon, and struggled to answer basic questions about the area. We were then served Costco heated food for dinner which was pretty awful. To top it off we got a flat tire on the way back and were asked to hike the rest of the way. Denali was a different story, we upgraded to the Tundra tour, and would highly recommend it. Our tour guide/bus driver was amazing and we saw beautiful sights and lots of wildlife. Our train trip back into Whitter to meet the cruise was less than steller. 12 hours, and our A/C stopped working turned our rail car into a 90 degree hot box. The "princess customer representative" did nothing, nor apologized,but seem to avoid our car all together. Once we boarded the Coral, the ship is in need of some dry dock time (which I think it is scheduled for). Biggest disappointment--food. The buffet choices was very limited, and was very subpar, as far as my previous cruise experiences go. Dining room was equally disappointing. The menu choices, as well as the actual food was just not good. We had better meals in town. We booked a few excursions indepently in Anchorage, both I would high recommend. Salmonberry tours--Anchorage conservation center. Great tour guide, and a great place to see the animals up close. And in Whittier, Philips 26 glacier tour, beautiful sights. On the cruise we booked through Princess, would highly recommend Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier with Allen Marine in Juenau. Great crew, and overall great tour. Don't miss White Pass Rail in Skagway. One of the most scenic yours I have ever been on. In fact it was the second time, we had done the same tour 5 years ago. All in all I would skip the land portion, spend some time in Anchorage, and privately book a trip in Denali, mind you not staying at the Princess Lodge. The inside passage is something you shouldn't miss but I would recommend a different cruise line. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
On the January 30th 2016 cruise this was truly the cruise from hell. First the cruise was late getting to port from dry dock and left the port 90 minutes late. At this time there were no pools or hot tubs. Some rooms had no operating ... Read More
On the January 30th 2016 cruise this was truly the cruise from hell. First the cruise was late getting to port from dry dock and left the port 90 minutes late. At this time there were no pools or hot tubs. Some rooms had no operating toilets or A/C. Some had sinks that would not drain. Some, like me, had sinks that had hot water coming out of the cold tap. Many of the casino slot machines were either not operating or having issues. The ship was not pristine, but dirty in places. On Sunday they had an issue with one of the thrusters and had to stop in the ocean for repairs. This took a couple of hours. Then at 3 am Monday we lost a propeller. This took 14 hours to fix and we missed Cozumel that morning. We finally made it to Cozumel at 7 pm and stayed until 5 pm the next day. We did not go to Roatan. We did not go to Costa Maya due to bad weather. We got the pools and hot tubs on Tuesday. On Wednesday I lost hot water in my shower, but it was back the next day. Princess gave everyone on the ship a 50% credit based on the base rate everyone paid for their rooms, but only $27 for the taxes. Nothing was refunded on the port fees, even we did not go to 2 of the ports. This was basically a cruise to nowhere. Many of the public restrooms were inoperable. Some complete floors had not A/C for much of the cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Embarkation: Very smooth. It took no more than 10 minutes from check-in to entering the ship whether you were Elite or otherwise. Cabin: Our cabin had a nice-sized balcony, far bigger than the one we had on the Royal. The bedding and ... Read More
Embarkation: Very smooth. It took no more than 10 minutes from check-in to entering the ship whether you were Elite or otherwise. Cabin: Our cabin had a nice-sized balcony, far bigger than the one we had on the Royal. The bedding and TV were new, but the TV remote didn’t work properly. Our cabin steward was average. We had to ask him for soap for the shower (not everyone likes body wash) and lotion, which was not provided. Due to mechanical problems, we had no water on arrival until the evening, then until the following day, we had no hot water. We received no notices in our cabin about this, yet the ship kept filling our “mailboxes” with adverts about “champagne art auctions”. The ship’s priorities were clearly askew. Food: The MDR food was quite good, with outstanding waiters. Desserts were on the dull side. Due to the “technical difficulties” the ship had no ice cream the first day. The lunch buffet was decent. The layout of the buffet on this ship was roomier than that of the other older ships, but there is no place to eat outside, unless one eats by the pool. We ate at the Bayou Café one night. Those at the table who had steak were happy, but the waiter informed me the gumbo had meat in it (I don’t eat meat). The only other options were fried catfish (no biggie, to be sure) and shrimp, which was last night’s MDR choice. I took the shrimp, but it had meat in the rice. What bugged me the most was that some at the table complained about their dessert, and were surprised with desserts from Sabatini’s, but I was never offered fish from there (they have an excellent bronzini there)…..and yet I was charged for dinner. Entertainment: I only attended the production shows, which were OK. The dancing in the show “Dancing” was good, but the singing subpar. My traveling companions went to the Billy Joel-type singer and comedian and enjoyed them. They didn’t like the magician. Trivia was fun and smoothly run. Pool: There were never enough pool chairs or towels. This did not seem to be a chair-hog issue, though, they were clearly in evidence. Two pool attendants told me there weren’t enough chairs on the ship. I saw numerous people pull up straight back chairs by the pool. Gym: All brand new equipment! WOW! The square footage of the gym made it hard to fit all of the equipment--no room for stretching compared to other ships. The wraparound promenade was great for fast walking and early morning or evening jogging. My partner, who is an avid jogger, however, that jogging on the promenade felt that jogging is dangerous at any time! What a pleasure to have a deck which goes totally around the ship on one level! Ports of call: Now the fun starts! The captain must have gotten so many complaints about not speaking to the passengers (who realized we were traveling in circles) without any explanation, he made an announcement at 7:00am. I’m sure waking many passengers up, on Day 3 to tell us we had problems. No one still knew whether the cruise would continue. We arrived in Cozumel at 7:30 pm (about 12 hours late). The captain was reactive in telling the passengers we had mechanical trouble. He later told us we’d miss Roatan, and on the next day, we found out we’d also miss Costa Maya, but this time, due to high seas. We were promised 50% of what we paid, plus $100 OBC for a future cruise. Too little, too late, especially for those who didn’t have water or deck chairs. Possibly, the captain held back information due to corporate direction. However, I feel that was not the best way to handle this. Disembarkation: We left around 9:40 am. It was the fastest I’ve ever seen. Not a single person in line at Immigration. It’s possible everyone wanted off the ship fast! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We too had a poor experience. I took my 81 year old mother and her friend on a cruise while they were visiting me. As previous reviewers have mentioned vacation time is precious and while I have never sailed princess before I expected ... Read More
We too had a poor experience. I took my 81 year old mother and her friend on a cruise while they were visiting me. As previous reviewers have mentioned vacation time is precious and while I have never sailed princess before I expected better. I occupied a mini suite B201 and my mother & Friend balcony cabin B315 Overall cabin size good, although I missed the balcony in the minim suite and would opt for less floor space and a balcony on a future cruise. The advertised big picture window was equivellant to just a standard window on other cruise lines. I pre booked two cases of water to be in the cabin. Took three days and lots of phone calls to get them. Not acceptable. Finally after several phone calls it was delivered with my first of several apology letters. The Good The cruise staff (Miranda) and the house band Xtasea were excellent. Entertainment overall very good, although the "New Show" being debuted wasn't great. Fitness staff excellent. The Bad & Ugly On embarkation a strong smell of sewage in the atrium area especially deck 6 and 7. Public restrooms not working in these areas THE ENTIRE CRUISE. Public restrooms in other areas never fully functional. Two of three stalls locked for maintenance. Hand sinks in public restrooms not working (Including the one near the buffet) a public health concern. Refrigeration not working (using time instead of temperature because cold plates were not functional on the buffet lines). Some bars had only warm bottled water (Because as the bartender explained the refrigerators were not cooling.) A/C's in some areas not working No Pool for several days No jacuzzi's for several days. Buckets collecting water leaks in hallways entire cruise. 12:30am water pipe broke with a flood of water coming down in the hallway outside my mothers room. Followed by a shop vac which woke up several cabins.(Yes I have pictures). Bartenders very slow, especially at one particular pool bar, which led to everyone going to a different bar making life difficult for the good staff, who were now working twice as hard. Inconsistent stocking of bars. Ship was just not ready to sail. Got into Cozumel area at 5:30am according to my cell phone and observations. Captain sailed back out to sea then made an announcement that due to the engine problems and slow speed we had not yet arrived (We are not all gullible, honesty is always the best policy). Continued to sail around in circles for an entire day and missed a port day. Missed Roatan due to engine issues Cozumel a day late (Not the reason for anyone to choose this itinerary) Missed Costa Maya (Due to weather?) Big Movie screen not working until the last day Not enough deck chairs. Balcony Cabin only had one chair on balcony for several days. Food poor compared to Celebrity. Ordered Rare steak on the last day. waiter gave me a very well done steak and laughed saying here is your rare steak. Would you like to wait for me to change it! Although paying double for a single fare only received half the OBC compared to other cabins! Given a 50% discount on My Cabin expense only for a future cruise. Since I cannot see may mother choosing to sail princess again (This was a gift to her) the discount on her cabin is useless. The potential for this ship is endless. The public areas really are lovely. The running of operations sub standard and antiquated. Anytime dining a joke. Never possible to make reservations and waiting in line was a given. I have sailed another line with engine issues. We were given notice before embarkation, a credit for the missed port, and kept accurately informed throughout the process. Issues happen and unavoidable, how they are handled is the Key to success. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
My Dh and I, ages 56 and 50, just returned from a 6 day adventure on the Coral Princess. We were in mini suite, D328. Embarkation: great, we arrived at the time Princess recommended, walked through, checked in and photo taken and we ... Read More
My Dh and I, ages 56 and 50, just returned from a 6 day adventure on the Coral Princess. We were in mini suite, D328. Embarkation: great, we arrived at the time Princess recommended, walked through, checked in and photo taken and we were in our cabin within 20 minutes. Cabin: Pros: plenty of room, great bed, bedding, bathtub and most storage we have ever had on a ship, larger balcony. Cons: shower curtain, yuck. Uncovered balcony, shower is hard to get the hang of and no hot water from Saturday u til Monday afternoon. Public areas: not crowded and plenty of room except on the pool decks:Chair hogs were out in full force. Plenty of deck attendants around, but no one removing towels. We went out Tuesday morning at 8:15 am, put our towels and books down. There was 2 chairs beside of us with personal items in them. We went to eat breakfast and we're back in our chairs before 9:00am, the chairs remained empty until we went to our cabin at 3:00pm. This is so annoying and I know it is a problem on all ships. Food: I have had better. Horizon Court Buffet. I found very little that I liked and found it was poorly laid-out. Large salad bar, but main courses seemed like a mish-mash of leftovers, fruit was hard, not ripe, and sandwich meats looked like they were just old. Bordeaux Dining Room:Was okay. We ate there on three nights. The 2nd formal night had large lobster tails and jumbo prawn entire'. If was large and fresh and very good. Crab Pot: it took forever to be served and I thought that was because they were steaming each pot fresh. Ours was cold and had been sitting. What should have been a great meal was disappointing. Bayou Cafe and Steakhouse: Filet and seafood were excellent, jumbalya appetizer was great, but did not care for the Cagun sides. We would have preferred a more traditional steakhouse. Pizza and Burger Grill were very good. Coffee: was bad in the buffet and room service. Not fresh brewed. I guess they want you to buy it or a coffee card. Shows: we only watched the singer, sang Billy Joel, he was great. Movies Under the Stars: showed a great selection of fairly new movies, but the pool deck scream did not work until Wednesday, so they were showed in a louge and in rooms. Smaller ship, I thought the staff was great, no problems other than mechanical issues with the ship on weather related issues at Costa Maya. This ship was just out of dry dock and had many problems. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Family of 4 (42, 41, 12, 11) in a mini-suite w balcony C721. Flew in the night before, stayed at Courtyard Marriott Ft. Lauderdale Beach which was nice except for getting stuck in the elevator the next morning. This was our first ... Read More
Family of 4 (42, 41, 12, 11) in a mini-suite w balcony C721. Flew in the night before, stayed at Courtyard Marriott Ft. Lauderdale Beach which was nice except for getting stuck in the elevator the next morning. This was our first cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale and I can see why it is a popular port. The airport, cruise port, beaches, accommodations, etc. are all so close to each other. I could see staying a few days before/after a cruise before flying back home. Embarkation was good. I saw an email the morning of that stated our embarkation should be delayed until 1pm "due to operational reasons" (the first clue this cruise might not go our way) but when we got there at 1pm, we pretty much sailed through and made it to our cabin without issue. We have left out of Port Canaveral and Tampa previously and this was definitely the fastest embarkation we have experienced. The ship itself was nothing to write home about. It was similar in size to other ships we have been on but for some reason it seemed a little smaller. The main atrium area is not very big or open. It is quaint, but its not going to take your breath away. I will say that I liked the open balcony areas that run the length of the aft of the ship on the cabin decks. Those were nice and provided some great views. The fitness center was nice but a little small. We only walked through the spa but it seemed nice, like your average spa area on a cruise ship. Otherwise, I would say the ship is in "fair" shape. There were urine/mold odors on some of the passenger deck hallways on the port side and wet spots in the hallways on the starboard side. Walking through them with sandals on would cause your feet to get wet with whatever unknown liquid caused the issue (assumed plumbing since access panels from the hallway were constantly open). From our balcony we could look down and see paint completely peeled off of the balcony railing below us, running the entire starboard length of the ship. Aesthetic things like that which you would have thought would have been taken care of in dry dock really stood out. The Princess Theater was a little smaller but nice too, and probably our favorite part of the ship. We saw all of the evening shows and they all were great. I would not compare them to something like on the larger Disney ships but for the space they had to work with they really put on some good shows. I should also add here that the pools and hot tubs were not functional for a part of the trip as well, I think this was attributed to the dry dock. I know they weren’t available for the first day but I’m not sure how often afterwards. Food - We all agreed that the food was the best food we have had on a ship as far as quality goes. The selection, especially in the buffet, seemed a little light in comparison but when we did find something that we would eat we enjoyed it for the most part. A good mix of vegetarian options in the main dining room as well. The desserts in the main dining room were great too. We purchased the soda package for all 4 of us and it included a stamp on your room card and also 4 refillable mugs. These are the types of mugs that have the RFID sensor in the bottom so I assumed there would be somewhere on board that you could go and fill up your drink yourself. That is not the case, you must visit a bar each time you want a refill. The main problem with this is that many of the bartenders, and this is not just Princess, act annoyed when you come up to them with 4 refillable mugs. I understand that to a point since they cant charge an automatic gratuity on it but when that is the only option you have of utilizing your beverage package, you expect to be treated like any other customer. Really something that I wish all cruise lines would look at. Activities - Princess delivers the "Princess Patter" to your stateroom each day and it lists all of the scheduled events onboard the ship for the day with the corresponding times. Great, except most of it was about purchasing art, photos and jewelry or purchasing health or beauty treatments. Throw in the mix of ping pong and Pictionary and the daytime activities were really very blah. The cruise director seemed like a nice guy but the only time that we ever saw or heard from him was after one of the evening shows. In 6 days on the ship I never saw him outside of the theater, did not hear him over the PA system or anything like that. I appreciate the information and energy that a cruise director can bring to a cruise but that appeared to be lacking here. I'll add to this that the entire time on the ship there never seemed to be that fun vibe, that "Hey, your on vacation!" vibe. No real hustle and bustle about the ship, it just seemed to lack any energy. The crew (cruise director, etc.) did not create any kind of atmosphere to facilitate a fun time around the ship so it seemed like we were all going through the motions. I would have thought that especially with the problems that we encountered, that trying to lift the spirits of the passengers would be a higher priority. One positive that I should mention, and I'll put it under the activities section is that that family movie channel in the room was appreciated by us. They showed a lot of recent popular movies (Inside Out, Big Hero Six, Peanuts, The Good Dinosaur). While we signed the kids up for the childrens club, we never ended up going there so I can't comment on that. On this cruise I don't think there were any more than 15 kids, from infants to teenagers on the entire ship so I don't know how effective the clubs would have been this time around. Service was mostly good, our steward Bernard did a good job and our server Faye and her assistant Vincent did a good job for us. When my daughter broke her refillable mug when she dropped it, one of the crew replaced it for us without question which was nice. Had some minor issues with some of the folks during embarkation and as I mentioned some of the bar staff but otherwise the service was good. So now, what made this a really disappointing cruise for us? The dry dock was not completed properly so sometime after we left Ft. Lauderdale the ship had slowed. At one point I believe the captain came over the PA system and stated that we were being propelled by the stabilizers. The issue was with an engine shaft bearing. I'm not an engineer nor am I a mechanic or familiar with such things but I can surmise that if your sole means of propulsion is your stabilizers then that is not good. Not only did this issue cause us to lose most of our propulsion, it also made for a rocky ride. While we were supposed to arrive in our first port, Cozumel, at 7am, it was not until after 8pm (3 hours after our scheduled departure time from Cozumel) that we actually arrived there. In the meantime, we weren't even sure what was going to happen, were they going to turn around and go back? Were they going to find another port to stop at for repairs? A lot was up in the air that day without much communication. I should mention that the engineers were able to fix the issue (I assume temporarily) which allowed an increase of speed to allow us to get to Cozumel. They decided to overnight there and then spend the next day there as well which we were told gave them enough time to completely fix the issue. This also meant that they had to cancel Roatan... Now when booking a cruise, for some people the ports of call are more important than others. We are those people. We had done a similar itinerary a few years ago and could not wait to get back to Roatan and Costa Maya. We did not care if we did anything at Cozumel and in fact had just planned to shop that day. To cancel our stop in Roatan because of the ships issues, was very deflating. Still we tried to make the best of things as we had Costa Maya to look forward to. We woke up the morning of our scheduled stop in Costa Maya only to find ourselves far offshore being tossed about. The captain came over the PA system and explained that due to rough seas, swells, etc. that we would not be able to dock there. Safety is the first priority, we can't control the weather, etc. etc. etc. The captain continued to state that there were no alternate ports of call so we were just heading back to Ft. Lauderdale. So now, we are on the 4th day of a cruise where we have missed the only two stops that we actually wanted to go to all of the while on a ship that offered a very rough ride for most of our time on it, either due to technical issues or due to weather. To top it off, we are just going home now but instead of traveling at normal speed to get back, we are going to go very slowly because we have an extra day now to make it back. Very slowly through rough seas. It was on this day that my kids and I finally broke and we took turns being ill in our stateroom. I've never been close to being seasick in my life but we all lost our lunch that day. Again, I'm not an expert on these matters but with an extra day to make it back to Ft. Lauderdale could we have not gone faster through the rough seas to get out of them or perhaps taken a more circuitous route that would have gotten us out of rough water? It was an entire day of rough seas. Alternatively, if the forecast predicted poor weather in Costa Maya, why go there to begin with? Why not find another port to make it to? This is why I do not buy the whole "can't control the weather" excuse they seemed to constantly want to reinforce to us at every opportunity they had (the whole crew at that point was speaking the same mantra). I never expect them to control the weather, I just expect them to use the tools at their disposal to avoid it as best as they can, and I can't begin to imagine that they actually did that in this case. The final sea day was mostly uneventful as far as the weather/technical issues went. The ship seemed to be operating fine at that point. Probably the most excitement we had was when someone spotted a makeshift raft with about 12 people on it north of Cuba and the captain decided to go and see if they needed help. We got to within 300 yards of them (my best guess) and they did their best to ignore us. The logical conclusion was that they were trying to get into the US but since they did not want the help of the ship, we continued on our journey to Ft. Lauderdale. At about 6am on disembarkation day, we were awoken by what felt like an earthquake going through the room. For a good 30 seconds, if not longer, our entire room shook, glasses were clanking all over the place, the whole ship seemed to shudder loudly. My daughter woke up screaming because it was so loud. This apparently is the docking process. I can't recall ever docking so violently before but there you have it, the icing on the cake. So for compensation, Princess provided $100 per person in shipboard credit and half off of what you paid for this cruise, as a future cruise credit to be booked by the end of this year (can travel after 2016, just have to use the credit by the end of the year.) The problem that I have with this is that I have no desire to ever sail with Princess again so I'll lose $1500 in compensation. Even if I did want to sail with Princess again, our family takes other vacations as well. We enjoy going to Disney, we have a trip planned for Europe next year, we would have to rearrange our plans to take a cruise on a cruise line that failed us in the first place. I don't know if this is always the case, but the vast majority of our fellow cruisers on this itinerary were retirees. They would seem to be in a better position to be able to take advantage of this form of compensation than those who are still working full time and have younger children in school. It would have been nice if they would have offered a choice of compensation but I'm not surprised that they didn't. Considering we spent 6 days on the Coral Princess, with a total of 6 hours ashore in Cozumel, and the majority of the time the ship was not very stable, either due to technical or weather issues, it really felt like a disappointing cruise to nowhere. You always hear that "Hey at least you are on a cruise" or "There are no bad cruises" and I've tried to be fair in my review here but this was a very poor experience for us and I can't recommend the Coral Princess nor Princess as a cruise line to anyone that might ask. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
As mentioned by others , intermittent sewage smells throughout cruise. Water problems in Cabin three times during cruise ( Dolphin deck 9). Crew did not seem happy . Service for any time dining generally very poor, portions for starters ... Read More
As mentioned by others , intermittent sewage smells throughout cruise. Water problems in Cabin three times during cruise ( Dolphin deck 9). Crew did not seem happy . Service for any time dining generally very poor, portions for starters seemed small, food quality only average, all fish dishes overcooked . I tried to discuss matters with Hotel Manager/ Chef but was told I needed to fill out a form !! I gave up at this point, could have been filling out forms all cruise. Entertainment scheduling poor . We like to dine at 7.30 and show schedule was mostly 6.45 & 8.30, so not possible. Only caught two full shows all trip. Cabin was very good ( apart from water issues) and cabin attendant excellent. The ports visited & tours taken were good, and experiencing Panama Canal great. Will not travel Princess again. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose this cruise because of the land tour that we could take in conjunction with it. The land tour was very good: well run, nice facilities. We had been on a Princess cruise about 30 years ago and were disappointed. We thought we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the land tour that we could take in conjunction with it. The land tour was very good: well run, nice facilities. We had been on a Princess cruise about 30 years ago and were disappointed. We thought we would try them again, but again disappointed. We had been cruising on a "more expensive" cruise line. (Please note my explanation at the end why more expensive is in quotes) However, we went with an open mind to try Princess again. Disappointment starts with embarkation. On the other lines, you are given a map of ship - I had to go to passenger services, and wait in line to get one. In other rooms, there is a deck layout - not here, never found one - had to ask steward where the laundry room was. To get a equivalent sized room to the standard room on the "more expensive". we booked a mini-suite. The size and storage was good. The first disappointment was the bathroom. The shower curtain continually billowed in and stuck to us. I am average size person. I tried everything I could think of to not be stuck to the shower curtain - tried open door, closed door, cool water, hot water - always having the curtain sticking to me - yuck! The biggest disappointment was dining. We chose "anytime" dining, and I guess just about every one else did because most nights the lines were just too long to wait (clear down the hall, across the Atrium) That forced us to eat at the buffet - which we NEVER normally do. We do not like buffets in the first place. However, really gross was that in the Horizon buffet the dishes and "glass ware" was PLASTIC - yuck! Imagine drinking wine out of a plastic glass. And how do they sanitize them - yuck! I only see plastic ware justified if is adjacent to a pool, which this is not. In general, the food tasted good except for desserts. They may have started OK, but seemed like the cut pieces sat out for hours and some of the cake was rock hard and inedible. What a waste. The service was passable, but certainly not good. On the "more expensive" cruise line, although the ship was almost 1/2 as large, there were 5 specialty restaurants - 4 of which had NO additional charge (like the $29 per head charge on Princess), plus a buffet, main dining room, grill, etc, So no, or minimal lines, for dining. You absolutely cannot compare the dining experiences - one is a 2 and the other a 10. Another disappointment, we had the "all inclusive" beverage card. However, no beverages were supplied to your room. You had to go to a bar to get a bottle of water - and they would only give you one at a time. On other lines, water is available lots of places including in your room fridge for no extra charge. The entertainment was good, but one had to go really early to get a seat. Again, on the much smaller "more expensive" line, the venues were about as large, so no hurrying to get a seat. We did not find this relaxing which we look for on vacation. Moreover, there was a constant selling, mandatory stop for picture taking, auctions, etc. Some people may like this, but we do not like all the hype, and it jangled our nerves. The gym seemed adequate, but there was no one to monitor, and no means to wipe down the machines! - yuck! Did not go back there As you can see that is more than 3 "yucks" - 3 strikes your're out! Please note: when comparing price, the "more expensive" cruise line, not only was it more pleasant, but the price INCLUDED air fare, a regular room is equivalent to a mini suite, beverages, free wi fi, some shore excursions, etc. So in the final total, the cost is about the same for a much better product! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We are elite Captain's Circle passengers. Had a problem with the spa on Royal Princess and went to RCCL and Celebrity for a few cruises. Thought Princess would do a good job on Alaska. Stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver for 1 ... Read More
We are elite Captain's Circle passengers. Had a problem with the spa on Royal Princess and went to RCCL and Celebrity for a few cruises. Thought Princess would do a good job on Alaska. Stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver for 1 night before cruise. Had an excellent meal in their restaurant. We sailed on Coral a few yeas ago to Panama Canal and liked it. Service was excellent except for a few managers. Only took Princess excursions on land part of the trip. In Juneau I booked a whale watch cruise with a company that had a little stand on the pier because it was a smaller group. It was okay but didn't go close enough to the few whales we saw. The naturalist talks always seemed at a time when we were eating or otherwise busy. I wish they had multiple talks. Dining was a big disappointment. We had anytime dining and had to wait in line every single night. It was difficult to find something on the menu every night. We had to send some meals back because they were over cooked and dried out. There was nothing that I could say was good except the crab legs we had one night. The buffets were like school cafeterias. Okay my biggest gripe. We got a free dinner in one of their restaurants. They gave us Sabittini's. We've eaten there before and hated it. I was going to try to change it. We went to the restaurant and saw posted outside a large photo of a king crab bake with clams and shrimp and lobster. We went there and tried to order it. We were told that was only served at the Crab Shack I asked them to go to the crab shack and get it for me. The manager said, "I understand" about 10 times bur would do nothing for me. Why was the sign posted in front of Sabitini's?? We ate our meal and it was bad. Now the best part. On the first day of the cruise we got a schedule for the crab shack. I made a reservation for the 3rd day, June 2. That was the day we were at Glacier Bay. We were out of the cabin most of the day. When we returned to the cabin to get ready for dinner there was a message for us. It was from reservations. There was a misprint and there was no Crab Shack that night. I could call and they would get us a res. in Sabitini's. They had had the Crab Shack for 2 nights already so I was out of luck!!!! How could they take a reservation for something that doesn't exist??? Why didn't they call earlier when I could have still gotten the Crab Shack? I was told they don't have the Crab Shack on formal night when they have lobster. Was I supposed to know that? I was told to go to the dining room and have some nice lobster. The problem at Sabitini's was bait and switch. It was done for a reason. There is nothing there that justifies an upcharge. ( We paid tor our son). We will not go back to Princess again. We will go to RCCL or Celebrity. We are satisfied with those cruises. Bye bye 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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