1,013 Princess Coral Princess Cruise Reviews

Overall, the cruise was fantastic. We've cruised at least 25+ times with various cruise lines and I can honestly say that the majority of the service on this ship was head and shoulders above the rest. In particular, the Internet Cafe ... Read More
Overall, the cruise was fantastic. We've cruised at least 25+ times with various cruise lines and I can honestly say that the majority of the service on this ship was head and shoulders above the rest. In particular, the Internet Cafe Manager (Amith), our dining room waitress (Faye), and the head waiter (Mauricio). We are very tech savvy and spend more time that we should on our computers during cruises and have consistently found that the Internet Cafe staff is generally incompetent, surly and either untrained or under-trained. BUT, Amith was amazing. He understood his job, understood how to effectively and politely deal with irate newbies that didn't understand their phones or iPads, etc. and was a true delight to those of us that did understand our technology and just needed quick responses to an issue. We have NEVER seen someone that competent in the internet cafe and I hope that Princess takes an example from him and starts hiring people that bring that kind of service to the Internet Cafe on other ships! Our waitress, (traditional dining) Faye was happy, thoughtful, thorough and remembered all the little things that we like to have when we sit down to dinner. We haven't seen that level of service in Dining Staff in years. Honestly, I think the dining staff service on all ships has declined dramatically since gratuities have been added to our bills as compared to handing them out ourselves. Faye and Erwin (her Assistant Waiter) were a joy and set a standard for what traditional dining service should be like! Finally, Mauricio - the head waiter. Personable, informative, thoughtful and on top of everything! There was a visible difference in the dining room between the service and staff in his area of responsibility and the areas of the restaurant that had different head waiters. On one open seating evening, I had a different waiter and head waiter. Unfortunately, the waiter spilled some red wine on my white (new) shirt. The waiter apologized and that was that. Except when I got back to the room and asked my room steward how to instruct laundry to handle this - he told me to talk to my head waiter (not the one in the area that had created the spill). Mauricio immediately did paperwork for the laundry to handle it and then, when the laundry wasn't able to get it out completely, he asked to take the shirt from me and took it to them himself. The next day, my shirt was returned and the stain was completely gone. Amazing. Above and beyond what someone else would have done. So, now on to our stateroom. We were in C212 - a mini-suite. We're certain that we had brand new mattresses. Coral Princess had been in dry-dock two weeks before and the beds were amazingly comfortable. Unfortunately, they didn't replace the sofa. We couldn't even sit on it. The cushions had little padding left and if you sat down, they depressed so far into the couch that your knees were higher than your butt! In retrospect, we should have told them and asked for a different couch. Next time, we will. Finally, the Panama Canal tour. We had a partial transit on the Coral Princess. So, once we arrived in Gatun Lake, if you had booked a Princess tour - you could leave the ship there and then reboard after the tour. Based on recommendations from our Roll Call on Cruise Critic, we booked the small boat tour that took us through the rest of the locks to the Pacific. AMAZING!!! Completely different experience and worth every dime. Would do that again in a heartbeat! A couple more comments. * Grand Cayman beach tour wasn't worth the money. It took a long time in a very small bus to get there, a crowded and small beach, a bit of a hike and the beach was right next to an active construction site and only about 30 feet of sand between the construction fences and the ocean. And, to return, there was lots of turmoil, no ability to get sand/water off your feet and drivers insisting you couldn't get on the bus until you had completely cleaned off the sand/water. I understand that - but they should have provided a mechanism to do that. The shower for feet was about 150 feet from the bus area and you had to walk back through sand to get to the bus! If they had though ahead, a simple hose and a few towels along with a bench or two for people to sit on to put their shoes back on - problem solved! * Was not impressed with the cruise director and his staff. To be fair, the cruise director appeared to be invisible - his assistant was around but seemed overwhelmed. Cruise staff seemed to be either new or just poorly trained. * The Horizon Buffet on Lido deck was okay, but not impressive at all. They didn't have much food available. Salads, lots of bread and sandwich meats/cheeses, a few Asian/Indian food items and only a few of the regular food items. Perhaps because the Coral Princess is a smaller ship - but I've never seen so few items available on the buffet. * Seas were rough and we had to cancel the Costa Rica stop for that reason. Some people were very upset and I think the cruise staff could and should have done a better job explaining why we had to cancel. Once people understood why, they were no longer upset. Overall, this was an excellent cruise and we really enjoyed the Coral Princess. So much so, that we just booked another cruise on her in April! Repositioning cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Vancouver - 19 days! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Enjoyed our time on the ship. Panama Canal full transit is a must do except the 8 "at sea" days are too many. Staff for the most part were excellent. Most of the entertainment was very good. There were a couple of acts that were ... Read More
Enjoyed our time on the ship. Panama Canal full transit is a must do except the 8 "at sea" days are too many. Staff for the most part were excellent. Most of the entertainment was very good. There were a couple of acts that were not. The lectures, for the most part were good except one - the destination lecture could not speak English very well. Time spent was a waste. We opted for the "anytime" dining. I would do that again. Beware though that if you say you will share a table you can be seated with up to 8 people - for us it was too many. After that we requested either 2 or 4 seating which turned out to be no problem. As far as specialty dining, we were comp'ed one meal which normally would have been $25 each. We purchased their "Crab Shack" event, $20. most of the crab was tasteless - not worth the $20 each. Compared to the meals in our main dining room, the specialty dining is not worth the price. For really dine anytime eating, it would be hard to beat the buffet! Great selection and good food. The wait staff were more bus boys than waiter. Had to wait too long for drinks. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our 10th cruise with Princess, our 2nd on this ship. My wife and I were not part of a group so we had a good chance to interact with the staff and the other guests. Most of the guests were older but there were a couple of families ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise with Princess, our 2nd on this ship. My wife and I were not part of a group so we had a good chance to interact with the staff and the other guests. Most of the guests were older but there were a couple of families on board. Maybe the combination of kids being at school and the length of the cruise (15 days) was the cause for the generational mix. There was one lucky little girl. My comment was that she had a thousand grand parents on board. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale the day before departure and stayed at the Mariott on Hollywood Beach. It is more expensive than the other options in the area but I was looking for a sure thing. Mariott delivered so no complaints there. Embarkation was very smooth. The drive to the cruise terminal was not too bad although traffic was backed up a bit on the way. Once in the terminal, there was practically no wait. We got through the embarkation process in less than 5 minutes. I think the secret here is to arrive at the time Princess suggests, in our case about 1:30. We ate at both of the specialty restaurants, Bayou Café and Sabitini's At the Bayou Café, we both had a filet steak. It was prepared exactly the way we liked. An interesting wrinkle is the 3 types of salt we were provided. I enjoyed the different tastes but for the life of me I cannot recall their names. I do remember one of them was black. Give it a try if salt is not a problem for you. Our waiter, Witold, was very interesting. It turned out he comes from the same area of Poland from which my family originated. Small world. Our dinner at Sabitini"s was also very good. We both selected the lobster 3 ways and were very pleased. The buffet was smaller than on some of the larger ships but I always found plenty of dishes that I enjoyed. Often, depending on the time of day, many of the tables already had diners. However, there were usually open chairs and folks were very ready to share and strike up conversations. What a great opportunity to meet people from all over the world. We signed up for anytime dining. The Bordeaux restaurant is reserved for this choice. If one insists on a table for 2 or 4, there is a good chance there will be a wait during peak dinner hours. My suggestion is to make clear that you want to share a table and meet new people. We hardly waited, had some marvelous dinners and made new friends to boot. We usually checked out the entertainment in the Princess theater in the evening. The nights that featured the ship dancers were a bit hit and miss. We enjoyed the first show, called Dance a great deal but felt the others fell a bit flat, at least for us. We got great laughs from the comedians and particularly enjoyed Karen Grainger, a vocal impersonator, although I liked her natural voice best. In addition to the main attraction, the Panama Canal, the itinerary included 5 port days. We did excursions arranged through Princess at all 5. These are all hot and humid locations. Be sure to bring and drink plenty of water. The first stop was Aruba. We took the California Lighthouse and Moomba Beach tour. We did not have a lot of time here so that colored our decision to take this tour but for my money skip the lighthouse and go straight to the beach. It is right next to the Holiday Inn so a taxi or a bus for the adventurous should be an easy alternative. The 2nd port of call was Cartagena. We took the mangrove swamp and old city tour. Our guide, Sergio, was very informative and a lot of fun. We were there on November 11, a day a big parade was occurring. We had to make a small change in the order that we saw things so that the bus would not get stuck in traffic. We stopped outside the old fortress but did not have time to go inside. To be honest, the fortress is so large that it would be worth a tour all by itself. The mangrove swamp was a little way out of town so it gave us a chance to see the more modest part of the country. The wooden canoes were handled by experienced boatmen that grew up in the area. We also saw the way a local fisherman casts his net then hauls it back. He is not in a boat by the way, just standing in water where there were no mangroves. After this, we returned to the old part of the city and got to see some of the parade. It was very colorful. We did see a lot of police and military in town, probably due to the parade. I hasten to add that I felt very safe and that everyone was very friendly. The 3rd stop was Puntarenos in Costa Rica. We took the garden and crocodile tour. We were supposed to have a sky walk component of the tour but Princess changed things and we did not notice in time to raise an issue. There were 3 main portions. There was a chance to see crocodiles from a bridge, a walk through a rain forest, and lunch and a walk in a garden up in the mountains. On this tour, there were 2 guides. Both were familiar with the plant and animal life we saw and also provided a good description of the history of their country and its culture. On this tour there were also a couple of chances to do some shopping. There is not much shopping at the end of the pier so these tours are a better bet if shopping is important. Right at the end of the pier across the street, I checked out the local beer at a bar. I can recommend it. It is very safe and also has free WIFI. The 4th stop was San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. This is a tender stop so there is not any support for guests with mobility issues. Tendering started an hour late so that threw schedules to the winds. We took the tour to Marsaya, the active volcano. Our guide was informative, the bus comfortable, the scenery on our route providing a glimpse of local color. Along the way, we stopped long enough at Lake Nicaragua for some photos. We drove through but did not stop in Grenada. Folks we ran into at dinner, who took the Grenada tour, complained that they felt rushed. A festival was being set up so the operator likely suffered from the late start more that our group. Lunch was at a very nice establishment and the volcano very interesting. There is a wall right along the rim so you get a chance to look into the caldera. Sulfur fumes are constantly released but on this day, luck was with us as the wind blew the smell away from us. The tour concluded with a stop by a crater lake. There was plenty of shopping here and the view of the lake breathtaking. There were a lot of families out for the day so it was very festive and safe. There is not much shopping were the tenders land but a market is under construction so buy stuff while on your tour. There seemed to be more shops further up the beach but we did not have time to investigate. We did talk to a couple who was on the tour to Nicaragua's capital city. They complained that the police boarded the bus and checked everyone's ID. The process took half an hour or so they said. One look and the authorities should have realized the bus contained nothing but aging tourists. Oh well, it is their country. The last stop was Cabo. This is also a tender stop. We took the El Arco tour with lunch by a beach. Big mistake. The tour itself left late and was comprised of a ship crew that seemed more interested in collecting a tip. There was a very dated recorded narrative by Michel Cousteau but it just did not work for me. At least the guide that joined us for the bus and beach portion of the tour was better. I have no complaint with him. You can get great pictures of El Arco from the ship and it is easy to take a water taxi to several beaches. There are also many good restaurants so get out and explore. It will come as no surprise to anyone reading this but Cabo is a heck of a party town. Oh yeah, we also went through the Panama Canal. What an engineering marvel. Be sure to be up early so that you can get the best viewing spot. Forward views on decks 14 and 15 fill up fast. Aft is less congested and also provides an interesting view. There is blue glass that is intended to shelter guests from the wind but it messes up photos. The best photo spots are at the top of the stairs leading from deck 14 to 15. Decks 10 and 11 forward also offer larger common area verandas that allow better photos than higher decks. Bill, the destination expert, gave a series of great lectures about all the stops but especially about the history of the canal. Bet sure to attend these. So, if this was the best cruise ever, why only 4 stars? Well, the fact of the matter is this ship really needs a visit to dry dock. Our cabin was on the Dolphin deck (9), port side. Several times during the cruise a leak developed somewhere on a higher deck resulting in a shower of leaks out in the hall. There was one time a light fixture was filling with water. The good news was that the water seemed clear if you get my drift. The crew worked hard at fixing the problem. Water was vacuumed and fans set out to dry the carpet. It was clear however that a more complete solution is needed. Our cabin steward, Conrado, did a wonderful job working around the chaos in the hallway. I am happy to report that no water got into our stateroom. In spite of the leaks in the hall, I really like this ship. It seems to be the right size. Sure the buffet and casino are smaller than other ships but it just feels right. This ship also has a large enclosed area aft of the pool (deck 14) that makes it perfect for Alaska cruises or on days when the weather is poor. I suggest a stateroom on deck 9. If you can swing it, get a mini suite. The extra room is nice on a long cruise and the balcony very roomy, easily large enough for 3 or 4 people. Deck 9 is quiet but close enough to the main activity areas so that it is not always necessary to take the elevator, at least if there are no mobility issues involved. I also totally enjoyed the itinerary because there were so many sea days. If I wanted to read, great. If I wanted to do something, I checked the daily Patter and found something to my liking. My wife, who reads books at a lightning pace, was able to find plenty of selections that suited her in the library. The library is not huge for sure but adequate for a cruise ship. Watch the Patter for the Buy One Get One (BOGO) special. It happens twice a day. Disembarkation was very smooth. We found our luggage quickly, went through customs and immigration with no hassle, and were whisked to the airport. All very efficient. So yeah, as far as I am concerned, this is our best cruise ever in spite of the blemishes. I would definitely do it again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
I have only taken three cruises in the past though I've traveled extensively by air and auto. I went on this cruise alone (for privacy and paid the premium), and had a single inside stateroom, as part of a group of 30-40 people ... Read More
I have only taken three cruises in the past though I've traveled extensively by air and auto. I went on this cruise alone (for privacy and paid the premium), and had a single inside stateroom, as part of a group of 30-40 people particpating in a conference. The most noticeable feature of this cruise is that its like being in an assisted living home. The average age was well over 65 and you encounter people in wheelchairs, walkers and with oxygen tanks around every corner. Very few children and hardly any 20-40 year olds. That said, it was quiet by 9pm, not crowded, and I met some very interesting people with a wealth of life experience. Here's a recap. 1. Flew from home to Ft Lauderdale and stayed the night before at the Comfort Inn & suites near the port. Perfect choice, CVS Pharmacy next door was handy for last minute shampoo, bug spray and suntan lotion. 2. Used Princess transport to/from airport. This was very convenient as they shepharded me through embarkation and disembarkation and it was very smooth and efficient. I had to take the hotel shuttle to the airport to meet them since I'd stayed the night before at the hotel. 3. Ship is in very good shape, AC was always comfortable and working on board, food was beautifully presented and appropriately sized servings for lunch and dinner in the dining rooms. I took a small plate for breakfast or buffets. There's no need to overeat. 4. The excursions I could have skipped except for the Panama Canal ferry through to the Pacific, which was worth every penny ($179), because I had the conference to go to that took up all my time when we were at sea. I would have liked to skip the smaller excursions and just enjoy relaxing around the ship. The excursions were well run with excellent knowledgable guides. 5. Panama Canal - This was one of my main reasons for going and it exceeded my expectations. I wa up at 4:45 am at the front of the ship on deck 11 where the guide was broadcasting all day. I had an unobstructed view of the approach and all the way through the locks to Gatun Lake. We transferred to a ferry to complete the transit through to the Pacific and then took a motorcoach bus back to the ship by land. Loud mouth group complained about everything, otherwise everyone seemed to enjoy it, though it was very warm and humid. We got back about 6:00 pm. 6. Our group was the 2nd reason I went on the cruise and the comraderie of being with like-minded individuals and sharing interests made the trip about something other than stuffing your face all day or getting tipsy. I would look for a group experience on any future cruise. 7. I didn't attend the entertainment and I wasn't with folks that talked much about it - it seemed that a lot of the older crowd went to bed after dinner. 8. The internet was way over priced and not worth it and I didn't use it though several in our group did and complained loud and long. I'd bought the Verizon international phone package ($40, 100 minutes, 100 texts, 100 MB data) and barely used it except while in port. Divorce yourself from being connected or use wi-fi in ports at easily accessible restaurants and cafes. The Princess on board was a closed wi-fi that had to be ON and manually checked to see if you had any messages. If it pushed messages to your native message app it would be useful for reaching others on board. I'ts going to be very different as all the baby boomers age and swell the ranks of all travel destinations. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We just got back from our first Princess cruise and I have to say the staff are amazing and we loved the size of coral but the age was not really suited to us at 40 years old but we enjoyed it all the same,. The itinerary was fantastic and ... Read More
We just got back from our first Princess cruise and I have to say the staff are amazing and we loved the size of coral but the age was not really suited to us at 40 years old but we enjoyed it all the same,. The itinerary was fantastic and my favorite port was Nicaragua. I didn't think the food in the buffet was as good as Celebrity but the dining room was better. We had a mini suite on deck 10 forward and we loved it, it will be hard going back to an ordinary balcony room on our next 2 bookings that's for sure, the bath was a bonus and the spacious room with the closet. I am still undecided on who does the best pizza between celebrity and princess but they are both fantastic. We loved movies under the stars too. Unfortunately the entertainment was limited for a younger crowd but we enjoyed the music by Jonathan Lewis as he had a variety of music for all ages. We were a bit shocked at the rudeness of some people on board and it was mainly from the very elderly that were very self entitled, we though being an older crowd the people would be more friendly and less rude, not so. We caught a taxi from downtown LA to San Pedro and it cost $70 incl 18% tip which we thought was ok and very quick no hassle. We arrived early and it was a breeze going through the steps and we didn't have to wait long to board, we were on by 1 pm. We got a unlimited alcohol pack and we did get our moneys worth with water, specialty coffees and wine with dinner, a few cocktails and drinks in the afternoon and evening. Cabo- We did a Luxury Sail boat tour through Princess which was great but the swell was bad on that day and half the people on 2 boat myself included, had to be evacuated via speedboat back to shore as it was very rough and people were vomiting everywhere, if I wasn't feeling so sick I would of loved to take pics of the evacuation as it was pretty intense, felt much better once on speedboat, so was a bit of a waste of $400 since we only were on board 45 mins, certainly no ones fault it's just the way it was, they said it was the first time in 2 years that they had to bring in the speed boat. I still enjoyed Cabo but not my favorite port. We got big swells that afternoon too and they had to drain the pool and there was fear we may miss Nicagragua but luckily that didn't happen, good call by the Captain to charge through the storm. Nicaragua- We organized a private tour for myself and my husband with Macua Tours and it was hands down our favorite Tour on this trip or ever. We got Edwin who is one of the founders and he was fantastic and so very knowledgeable. We had a great day and covered so much including a hike up to see the Jesus Christ statue on top of the mountain with amazing views, apparently we were the only visitors that day from our ship. We visited Granada, which was very cool and Lake Nicaragua and did a little boat tour around the islands and seen monkeys too. Lunch was supplied and very nice too. Then Masaya Volcano then markets and also a stop to Catalina with more markets then because we decided not to shop we had 30 mins spare to see the statue of Jesus Christ, while the very steep 50 steps or so was tough it was so very worth it. I got some amazing pics and we had a great day with Edwin and the driver. We were picked up at 8am and were back on board by 3.45. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Macua Tours, I found them on trip advisor and their reviews were exceptional. Puntarenus- We did another private tour found from Trip Advisor with Rick Ricardo and it was just the 4 of us. We were picked up at 7.30 and returned about 4.30. We covered a lot with Rickys tour also, we went to a house and learnt about natural medicines from fruits and leaves etc, very interesting,then saw some monkeys on the side of the road then went to do a boat tour of the mangrove and see crocodiles and birds etc then for a beautiful lunch before catching a cable car thing down into the rainforest and we could of did a city tour but the weather turned bad and we wanted to get back to the boat before the rain started.Ricky was a lovely guy and also very informative, he has great reviews on tripadvisor too. Panama Canal crossing was so good, but so very hot, we got out the front of the boat by 6am on deck 10 and it was half full already, it filled up fast and it was a long few hours going through miraflores Locks but fascinating. We went to the back of the boat for the last lock and took some great pics then up to pool deck for a while before the next Locks. What a great experience. You need sunscreen and a hat and lots of water, it was very hot. Cartegena- We did the walking tour through Princess and whilst it was a large group tour , which we usually avoid but it was interesting all the same and Cartegena is a beautiful colorful city, we had a great time in the Old city. Aruba- We had another private tour with Cyrillo Croes found on trip advisor and packed a fair bit in for our short stop in Aruba. We saw the beaches, the lighthouse, the tourist areas and the rich homes and a few other stops. We went to Iguana Joes for a quick snack and a few drinks before tour and that was great, I wish we had more time to hang out there and shop in the markets across the road but it was kind of rushed, there is always next time, right! We did not eat at any specialty restaurants. We did notice that the toilets were often out of order in a few different bathrooms, just 1 in a few bathrooms which caused a wait at peak times before and after shows etc. We didn't have much to do with the cruise director but we did talk to Matt many times and we found him to be a great guy, lots of fun and I would love to see him as Cruise Director in the future. We also were lucky enough to do the Ultimate Ship Tour and it was so worth the money, max of 14 people and it was fantastic, we all got a bath robe, an apron, a personilised note pad, 5 photos including 1 with the captain and frames too. We covered the Bridge, galley, engine room, laundry and more, you must wear closed in shoes and pants. Overall we had an amazing Cruise with Princess and would be more than happy to cruise with them again. We have decided to do Panama again in 10 years on a bigger ship. The staff made our experience so much better on this trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We started off our Land/Cruise tour on the 3rd September. We were met at the airport by Princess as promised and received a pack with room keys, luggage tags and itinerary etc. The whole land tour was carried out very efficiently by ... Read More
We started off our Land/Cruise tour on the 3rd September. We were met at the airport by Princess as promised and received a pack with room keys, luggage tags and itinerary etc. The whole land tour was carried out very efficiently by Princess, top marks for this portion of our tour. Then we got to the ship. Right away the ambiance seemed off. The female staff were great but a lot of the male servers were surly and seemed unhappy. One actually cried on our shoulders about how unhappy they were and felt they had no one to go to with their problems at home or they would lose their job. We never saw the Captain or uniformed crew, whereas on other cruises with other lines they were always visible. So this may well have been just a problem with this ship. This was our first cruise with Princess but our 7th using other lines. We are already booked for a cruise on the Crown Princess in January so it will be interesting to compare. The food in the dining room was very good, certainly no complaints there, but the buffet was not wonderful although I always found something to eat. I have actually never seen such watery mashed potatoes. The entertainment was also excellent, apart from 1 comedian. The entertainment group who carried out quizzes etc, Mark and Max among them were absolutely great. Try the acupuncturist if you have a health problem, a little pricey but got me back walking so I could enjoy my cruise. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our land and sea cruise but this ship needs looking at re the bad atmosphere amongst the servers - look to the top. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Wife and I were traveling with our friends and both couples have cruised many times. We flew or waited to fly all day from Boston to MSP and then to Fairbanks. No problems just a very long day, perhaps I would spend a day in between next ... Read More
Wife and I were traveling with our friends and both couples have cruised many times. We flew or waited to fly all day from Boston to MSP and then to Fairbanks. No problems just a very long day, perhaps I would spend a day in between next time. From the get go all hotel accommodations were really nice, much better than anticipated. One thing I did notice in each place and port was the knowledge that things were closing up next week. This gave us the impression they were done with this for the season but we also found some good deals in the shops. Ship was clean and operating well. First real displeasure was for the first night they knew to place our traveling companions across the hall from us. From that point on they were a five minute walk from us. On board we were 603 (starboard side) and they were 602 (port side). This was also a walk to meet up with them. Originally they were not seated with us for dinner but was corrected easily. Our shore excursions were good. We did a photographic class excursion, which with better weather would have been excellent. Reminder to all going to Alaska, They do have RAIN in certain areas. Our trip rain was only a factor for one whole day, a few others had periodic showers. The trip to Whittier was fun. Train ride and bus ride the next day. The tunnel was a hoot. On the hour south bound traffic thru the tunnel and on the half hour it was north bound and if the train needed it all vehicle traffic ceased. The port, well it was a clean terminal. Let's face it Whittier is a good place to jump on the cruise ship, but I wouldn't want to visit it for very long. Guess that's why they do it this way. Also got to give them credit, I saw no long lines while going aboard. What kind of a review can you give a cabin on a cruise ship! Unless you save up and get an owners cabin, well they are pretty much the same. Very clean, Jesse made sure of that, and have all the needed functions. We did have a laundry 8 to 10 doors aft from us and we did make use of it. If you do shore excursions and are active and enjoy them you might get a little dirty in Alaska. Our food was great for the entire trip. Dining room or what I like to call the cattle call. But even this was not as bad this time. Very clean and don't take your eyes off that almost done plate as they whisk it away and clean the area. Finding a seat for four of us at times took a minute. The shows and comedians were typical for cruise lines. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed them and laughed my butt off. Our Naturalist was on stage almost every day with something interesting about our port of call or narrating what was outside the ship while we were going by. I have never gotten off a ship so easy as one we hit Vancouver. We walked from our room, met our friends, just found a seat in the lounge. They called our number and off we went. This was a very easy procedure. We were off the ship and in front of our hotel Ramada by 9:20 am. We spent Wednesday and Thursday there looking at the sites, and there was plenty. Stanley Park was still very much in bloom and the city was clean and friendly. Yaletown offered many good Restaurants and to mention one we went to Cactus for our anniversary. It is over a six block area so walk them and look at the menus before deciding. Our Alaska cruise/tour was a big hit. After editing the poor photos I ended up taking 1200. My wife was also shooting with her Nikon and must have the same. I would visit Alaska again but this time spending time in a few spots to see the excursions we didn't get to take. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We missed first shuttle from Seattle to Vancouver and thought we might miss boat, but we and many more were shown right through and everything went smoothly. Heard from the bus driver that the morning group was very large with lots of ... Read More
We missed first shuttle from Seattle to Vancouver and thought we might miss boat, but we and many more were shown right through and everything went smoothly. Heard from the bus driver that the morning group was very large with lots of ships in port and long lines. Did not mean to be that late (3:30) but worked out great for us. Luggage came promptly. Traveled with grandsons (14 & 16). Horizon buffet had a good assortment at breakfast; only ate lunch there one time with all seafood and it was not so good. Also ate the Crab Shack special one night - really good and more than you could eat. Dining room (Bordeaux-anytime) had very good food and service as did Sabatini's and Bayou Steakhouse. I think the specialty restaurants are worth the extra. Also did the Chef's Table which was fabulous. Got to see the kitchen with champagne and appetizers, lovely table for 12 in dining room with excellent food and wine paired with courses. Received the 50th Anniversary Princess Cookbook and our pictures with the chef and maître de. Really worth the extra money. Boys ate with us at dinner every night except the Chef's Table and also liked the food. They also liked the free pizza by the pool they could get anytime. Ate in the dining room for lunch one time, but nothing special there. Sabatini's has free pizza for lunch and that was good. Had the pub lunch one day with fish and chips and that was good - even brought the boys an extra helping. Only saw part of the theater entertainment once, and it was OK. Never saw the comedian or magician - not my preference. Piano bar guy was very good but layout of room was long and narrow. Had to sit very close-too loud, or back and could not hear well. They always put these places around the atrium which is always noisy. The trio that was supposed to be for dancing did not play our kind of dance music. Never went to late-night clubs - too late for us with excursions the next day. I frankly do not know who goes to the late-night disco type clubs because most of the younger people had young children (to put to bed), and the older ones (55+) are not starting at 11 and staying up til 2. The ship's idea of country western two stepping music is line dancing - not real dancing. No oldie R&R. Very disappointed in the music choices and dance times. I would prefer good danceable music from 7:30-9:30 for my age group, but acts are either during dinner time or much later. The ship is really nice looking with a lovely 4 floor atrium that the shops are around. I appreciated that they did not crowd the floors with extra things for sale and had sales in a separate room other than the atrium. Can't imagine who buys all that jewelry and watches on all cruise ships, but they all have it. Only problem was getting to Horizon buffet without having to go outside around outside pool, but could walk to front elevators or middle elevators (we were at back) and only go through the covered pool area. Seems stupid to have the buffet on the same deck as pools and no area to eat outside if you wanted to. However, we were in Alaska and not conducive to eating outdoors at any time. Staff was trained to be friendly and smiled all the time. Room steward was excellent and wait staff was efficient and courteous. Really pleased with all. Only went on one excursion through ship because company would not book cruise passengers except through ship, but was only $10 higher than regular rate. Jet boat tour was great. Saw lots of animals, eagles, and waterfalls combined with fast boating and fast turns in boat. Boys loved it. Booked other excursions online before going - Seawind Aviation bear tour in sea plane, Northstar Ice Treking on Taku Glacier with helicopter, Chilkoot shuttle up then train ride down, Anchorage Transfer Whittier to Anchorage with animal preserve stop - all excellent!. Wish we had had time for whale watching because everyone said it was great too. Lots to see and do in Alaska, but with only 3 ports and one day really short (Ketchikan) cannot do it all. Grandsons met lots of friends in teen club and always had something to do when we were not on excursions. Great time for them. Disembarkation was very fast and smooth. Filled out our cards ahead of time for the time we needed. Gave us the color coded luggage strips and we left right on time. Since our transfer to Anchorage was not with the ship, I thought we might have to wait until those groups unloaded. We really enjoyed this trip and the ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Alaska was incredible beyond words and pictures. We traveled with my brother and his two teenage children (their first cruise). They were in adjoining mini suite D715. Our room steward opened the balcony between us and gave us freedom ... Read More
Alaska was incredible beyond words and pictures. We traveled with my brother and his two teenage children (their first cruise). They were in adjoining mini suite D715. Our room steward opened the balcony between us and gave us freedom to visit each other. It was great. Taking photos on the balcony especially through Glacier Bay. Our cruise for the most part was fantastic. The ship was in great need of a face lift but the service was absolutely fabulous. This was our 5th Princess Cruise and the entertainment leaves something to be desired. Princess definitely needs to up their game in that department. It has become predictable and boring. The food seems to be mediocre at best. Bland and in need of spicing up. We seem to end up picking Princess for their itineraries. They have proven so far to have that nailed and at this point we are cruising for the destination. For food and entertainment we prefer Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We were a family of four adults traveling on the Southbound Alaskan cruise from Whittier to Vancouver July 15. My husband and I have taken 8 or so cruises. Most of these have been with Carnival, but this was our second with Princess. In ... Read More
We were a family of four adults traveling on the Southbound Alaskan cruise from Whittier to Vancouver July 15. My husband and I have taken 8 or so cruises. Most of these have been with Carnival, but this was our second with Princess. In fact, we took this exact same cruise 8 years ago and loved it so much we wanted to do it again. Maybe because we are more seasoned cruisers now, but I was disappointed in this vacation. The ship itself was fine. It is going into dry dock in January for a needed update. (We saw places being marked for repair even in July.) ENTERTAINMENT The entertainment was pretty good. I really enjoyed the comedian. The magician and ventriloquist were okay. I felt like I had seen their acts before. The pianists onboard were excellent. The singers and dancers were good. I really enjoyed the Bayou production. STAFF We made the Crooner's Bar our meeting point due to the seating by windows and it being a central point to our evening activities. Having a pianist who had been employed by Frank Sinatra was certainly a bonus. The excellent servers and bartenders became friends during our week. In fact, all of the men and women staff onboard were friendly and helpful. Edmundo was our cabin steward and was fantastic. Darwin and Ryan took care of us during dinner each night. My two dealings with the customer service desk went well. The Captain was more engaging (and understandable!) than other ship captains. I enjoyed Susan, the Cruise Director, and her staff. She made her role understated appearing when necessary and not trying to steal the show from the main entertainment. As a bonus, having been a past dancer, she led a Zumba class a couple of days which I really appreciated. Her staff were funny and made the trivia games and dance classes in the Explorer's Lounge fun. Mark, the Naturalist, held a few classes in the Princess theater, but we expected him to be on the lookout for wildlife and report findings all along our trip. It was in our Princess Patter newsletter that he would do so. Nothing. This was one of our main reasons for choosing Princess. On our first cruise, the naturalist was fantastic and kept us informed all along the way. I will blame the fog for limiting his sightings, but there were times when he could have seen things and reported. I saw whales and dolphins myself from the promenade deck. FOOD AND BEVERAGE One of my biggest complaints was the coffee! It seems like a small thing, but it was HORRIBLE. It had to have been a powdered instant, reconstituted and then pumped from the kitchen via spigots in the Horizon restaurant. The food selections in the Horizon were excellent and the quality overall was very good. Unfortunately, the desserts were tasteless. On vacation, I was ready to splurge, but....not worth it. The main dining room and the specialty restaurant, the Bayou Cafe, were just so so. The choices were limited and the quality was average. I enjoy Carnival food so much more. CABIN We had a balcony which was a good idea in theory, but wasn't used as much as we expected due to the fog and rain on our cruise. We were in B718 on the 11th deck. The bed had a distinctive lip to the mattress on my side of the bed, but perhaps it kept me from rolling out from the shimmy we felt from the engines. Truthfully, it really did not disturb my sleep though.The shower was smaller than what we were used to on Carnival, which is pretty small. One had to squat to recover anything dropped. There was a lot of storage area. The safe opened via a coded number you chose rather than the credit card system on Carnival. EXCURSIONS I booked our excursions myself and did not use Princess. As I have said, we had thick fog and it rained everyday at some point. We dressed accordingly. Do not let that stop you from exploring the different ports! We had phenomenal excursions and the weather was perfect for the majority of the time off of the ship. Alaska is a beautiful place and everyone should experience the majesty of the mountains, wildlife and glaciers. I would compare and consider all the different cruise ships sailing here...even other Princess ships. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We decided on the Connoissur cruisetour because we have been to Europe a number of times without a guide and always felt that we were missing something. Alaska was almost a foreign country to us so we decided a guided tour was the way to ... Read More
We decided on the Connoissur cruisetour because we have been to Europe a number of times without a guide and always felt that we were missing something. Alaska was almost a foreign country to us so we decided a guided tour was the way to go. In this case our tour director, Chris, was a big help. He made all the reservations for our dinners and shows while we were on land and that got us seated when and where we wanted. Plus, the cost of most of our meals was included in our package. That was a nice feature when you consider the cost of meals in the Princess lodges. When Princess ruined a piece of luggage transferring it between lodges Chris was there to take care of the paperwork. He never hesitated to ask if everything was as expected or if there was anything he could do to help us enjoy our trip. He did not follow us when we boarded the Coral Princess so we said goodbye and moved on. We found the Coral to be a very nice vessel. It was not so large that you felt overwhelmed but it was not small either. It never seemed crowded yet you never felt alone. There were many seating areas around the ship that you could go to to read or simply watch the Alaskan sights. All were very comfortable and plush. Getting on and off the ship was really pretty quick at every port. In fact it was probably much easier than it had been on previous cruises on larger vessels. We decided to book the early dinner seating, which worked well for us. However there was one night when we knew that we wanted to eat later. A simple call was all it took and we were able to get a table at the second seating. The food was better than we had experienced on other cruise-lines but it was still cruise food. The Horizon is a great alternative for a quick meal. The food there is almost as good as served in the main dining rooms. A number of people were using the hot tubs and a few people also were in the pools. Being from Florida we bypassed the pools, but the people using them seemed to be enjoying themselves. Plus, the chairs around the pools were very comfortable with seat pads as good as we have at home. We booked a mini-suite in order to have a bit more room in the bathroom and cabin. I did find the bed to be a bit small, a little too short and narrow for me, but that was my only complaint. The balcony on our deck, Dolphin, was not covered but we had great weather the entire trip so the lack of a balcony cover didn't bother us a bit. Internet access is a joke on-board. They tell you not to expect speeds that you would get on shore. We understood that and have dealt with it on a number of other cruises. But the access we had during the entire voyage was pitiful. Add that to the fact that none of our four cellphones, with three different carriers, worked and you end up being pretty isolated. If you know that in advance you can deal with it but we found it to be a bit troublesome. The crew members were friendly, but not overbearing. They were always smiling and eager to help if needed but they never seemed pushy. If you needed them they were there for you. If not they left you alone. No pushing the daily drink like you might find on other cruise lines. I was a bit disappointed in the size of the casino. It was the smallest I've ever seem on a cruise ship. But the strange thing was that the tables were never crowded. Apparently the majority of people who take this particular cruise aren't interested in gambling. So Princess knows their clientele and outfits the ship accordingly. A number of people on board were sick with colds. I don't know if that started on land or on the ship. It hit us for a few days so we didn't get to see too many of the shows. However, the one on the final night, The Bayou I think it was called, was outstanding. I would highly recommend it to anyone who takes this cruise. Overall I liked this ship a lot. It was the right size for us and the crew was great. There is a wildlife expert on board the ship during the entire trip. He gave a number of interesting presentations describing what to expect when you got to the glaciers and gave us a history of how and when the glaciers were formed. Plus a national parks rep comes on board while you are viewing the glaciers. They give you some great commentary while you view the glaciers and are there to answer any questions. This was only our second trip on a Princess ship but it certainly won't be the last. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Well into our mid-seventies, we are still active and this was our 12th cruise, 7th on Princess and first guided Cruise Tour from Princess. Cruise Tour (Connoisseur) - This is the best way to visit Alaska prior to cruising to Vancouver. It ... Read More
Well into our mid-seventies, we are still active and this was our 12th cruise, 7th on Princess and first guided Cruise Tour from Princess. Cruise Tour (Connoisseur) - This is the best way to visit Alaska prior to cruising to Vancouver. It is important to read the FAQ section on the web site for detailed instructions on how to have a hassle-free holiday. Ex: dual baggage policy – land and ship. We do not travel without serious precautions which begin by a visit to our travel medicine specialist. It is critically important to wash our hands often on the ship as many were sick and confined to their staterooms. We remained healthy throughout. Accompanying guide Our guide Sandy Malen was simply outstanding in every respect. She has a wonderful approach to human interaction and was very knowledgeable. She ensured our well being and that we got the most out of the voyage. We could not have asked for more. Accommodations These are all wilderness lodges that operate May-September. They were all good, some better than others but we rated them all above average with excellent restaurants. The food prices are very high but Connoisseur level tour includes just about all the meals. That is great value for money. Fairbanks Riverside Lodge: Lodge is quaint with lots of charms and pleasant staff. The rooms are nice but there is no room safe, no bath soap (gel wall dispenser), shampoo and conditioner comes in the same wall dispenser. Minuscule wardrobe. Excellent bed. Denali Wilderness Lodge: Largest Lodge that we stayed at. Rooms are in various ‘blocks’ with outside corridors. There are no elevators. Here again, small wardrobes and gel dispensers in the shower instead of bath soaps etc. Copper River Wilderness Lodge: Lovely lodge facing the mountain and with a spectacular lobby. Many trails adjacent to the lodge. There is an evening flag ceremony honoring veterans and serving members. Kenai Wilderness Lodge: Best of them all. Spectacular lobby deck overlooking the gorge below. The rooms are in two-unit bungalows. Great beds as usual and each room has a small fireplace. Lots of charm and fantastic staff. Transportation on land Princess cruises have their own set of tour busses. They are very comfortable 45 passenger cruisers with washrooms on board, close-circuit TV, AC, overhead limited storage and our bags travel either separately by trucks on in the baggage hold of the buses. From Fairbanks to Denali we travelled on the Alaska Railroad Gold Star dome observation car which was superb. The cars are comfortable with a 360 degree view, washroom facilities, bar service and very friendly staff. In Denali Park we used converted school busses that are reasonably comfortable but with very limited storage. Park visits (part of cruise tour) The Connoisseur Land Tour includes a number of excursions that are first class throughout. These included a paddle-wheel boat tour in Fairbanks followed by a gold dredges visit. In Denali we toured the park (62 miles) in converted but comfortable school busses. The drivers have TV cameras and the busses have a set of TV screen throughout so that we can see the wildlife identified by the driver/naturalist. That is an outstanding tour where you can observe wildlife in its own habitat. There are regular health stops during the tour. There is an evening event called Music of Denali which involved local talent and was great fun. Other Excursions (through Princess) In Copper River we took the air panorama flight tour that included a very close encounter with glaciers offering an excellent view and photo opportunity. The aircraft was in reasonable shape and the pilot was a retired airline captain with an enormous amount of flying hours. In Kenai with toured Cooper Landing which gave us a close look at the local pioneer conditions. It included a close encounter with a musher and her dogs. Coral Princess The seamanship was exceptionally well done. This is a very nice ship that has a forward facing Horizon Court (buffet) which is just lovely. Wish more Princess ships had that lay-out. It also has a single-level promenade deck that goes all the way around the ship. To protect passengers from the wind glass panels have been added to the Sun and Sports decks thereby preventing good access for photography. Bad move. There appeared to be a leadership issue in the hotel department based on a number of annoying events. However we encountered far more positive than negative. The vast majority of the crew were friendly and cared for the passengers. Another wonderful lay-out is the back of the ship on decks 9, 10, and 11 where there are no rooms but a nice open deck with lounge chairs. Gorgeous spot to enjoy the wake of the ship in the fjords. Embarkation Just a breeze but then again we arrived as a land tour group accompanied by our guide who left us at that point  The baggage was a bit slower than normal but it all showed up before departure. Cabin/Stewart/Amenities The room steward is a key crew member as he/she sets the tone and is the first impression one gets from the ship. In our case, she either needed more training or was overwhelmed by her duties. On arrival there were no hand towels in the room. She had to be asked twice for them to appear the next day She would remove dirty glasses but not replace them with clean ones. It took a day before we got our gifts cards (2) and our excursions booking. On the second day at sea I enquired at the Captain’ Circle desk about the cocktail for platinum, elite, and suite passengers only to be told that my invitation should have been in my room on arrival. The room was fine with ample storage space. The bed was excellent. The bathroom is small but quite acceptable except for the shower. The space is minuscule, the shower curtain is always clinging and who knows when it was last cleaned. In addition, there is no bath soap but rather two gel dispensers attached to the wall. We now carry our own soap dish and bath soap bar just like in developing countries... Princess can do better that that. Restaurant/Food/Service Food was excellent. Princess now augments its menus with local fares which made this trip even better. There were some excellent waiters but we were not blessed at our table: the server took our order (no comment of the menu) served us and then was quick to see us off. For the first time in 12 cruises we did not add a gratuity. Our major complain on this voyage was the disinformation regarding the traditional seating times. We, like all our table mates, were told that we had confirmed 1745 seating at a table for six. On boarding we were told that our first seating was at 1715 and upon arrival in the Provence dining room discovered that we were at a table for 10!!! As is our custom, we booked the Bayou Café & Steakhouse. We went to the restaurant to do our booking yet they lost our reservation. The Maitre-D found us a nice table anyway and the food and service were excellent. Itinerary Outstanding itinerary. The highlight was a day of cruising Glacier Bay National Park accompanied by Park Rangers. The manoeuvring of the ship close to the glaciers was magnificent and the view spectacular. This was the best part of the seven-day cruise. Shore Excursions In Skagway we took the Yukon Expedition White Pass rail tour. Great tour but it is not a complete rail tour. The rail portion in only from Skagway to the Canadian Border. The rest of the way to Carcross Yukon and the return to the ship are by tour busses. This itinerary can also be done in reverse. In Juneau we took the Mendenhall gardens and glacier visit which is excellent in every respect. The glacier is very impressive and the Park visitor centre excellent. In Ketchikan we took another flight tout to the Misty Fjord Park. The weather was perfect, the aircraft in excellent shape and the water landing very smooth indeed. Disembarkation The disembarkation was well planned and executed. We have been known to have issues with this part of the cruises for a variety of reasons; not so on Coral Princess. All was perfect until inside the terminal where it was pandemonium. Our wait and disembarkation was perfect; we were effectively directed to our baggage and proceeded through CBSA without any glitches. Past that point the terminal staff seemed to be headed in all directions snapping directives to passengers that made no sense and it is only the experienced travellers that directed the newbies to their appropriate areas for either going directly ashore or to booked tours. Cost This Connoisseur Cruise Tours was expensive but it was great value for money. Recommendation. We would highly recommend this vacation to any of our friends interested in pristine nature. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We loved our Northbound Voyage of the Glaciers. The scenery was stunning - even more so than I imagined. The cabin was all neat and ship shape.The room was clean and staff helpful and friendly. I found the bed particularly hard and ... Read More
We loved our Northbound Voyage of the Glaciers. The scenery was stunning - even more so than I imagined. The cabin was all neat and ship shape.The room was clean and staff helpful and friendly. I found the bed particularly hard and requested and extra duvet and blanket which I folded under my bottom sheet to create a little more softeness. Staff were friendly and seemed to be enjoying themselves. A couple of negatives though. 1. Photography is difficult. The main viewing decks have blue glass all around with small gaps. You have to lean forward and try as best you can to stick your camera in this gap. The blue tint to the glass was very annoying because you couldn't see the actual colours of the scenery. For this reason alone I would not go on Coral Princess again. 2. There was very little information about where we were. We just sailed out and had no idea of the ship's position in relation to the beautiful scenery. I have been on other boats that have a gps screen similar to those shown on aircraft. 3. Getting off at port was confusing - either on decks 5, 6 or 7 depending on the tide. There was no information regarding which deck it was, you just had to try each deck out and see. Surely they must know in advance which deck it will be. Even I can work out the tides at a give port at a given time. And surely they could post the information near the elevators so you don't have to run around each time. 4. Getting into town was difficult if you couldn't easily walk 2 kms or 1 mile. Each town was quite a long way from the ship and they would not hire out wheel chairs. There was no other way to get into town other than walking. No taxi, and a shuttle only in Ketchikan. There were many people hobbling on and off the boat with sticks. Princess call themselves consumate hosts, but there is no way I would treat my disabled guests in this way. 5. Advertising. Grrrrrrrrr. They can't give information, but boy can they advertise. The last straw for us was when my husband was filling in an evaluation form and they asked for our income. Too much Princess. Next time I will try another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We just returned from a northbound cruise from Vancouver to Anchorage (Whittier) with stops at Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, and College Fjord. This was only our second cruise (previously sailed on Celebrity Millennium in the ... Read More
We just returned from a northbound cruise from Vancouver to Anchorage (Whittier) with stops at Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, and College Fjord. This was only our second cruise (previously sailed on Celebrity Millennium in the Caribbean) and our first time in Alaska. Alaska did not disappoint--each day brought more magnificent and beautiful scenery. We were very fortunate with weather, with mostly sunny days and no rain. Several people had recommended a northbound itinerary and this does seem to be the better way; coming south it seems that each day would be a little less dramatic. We did two shore excursions through Princess: A rainforest walk in Ketchikan and the White Pass & Yukon scenic railway in Skagway. Both were excellent. We both had some mixed feelings about the cruise experience with Princess. Overall the ship was fine...a little worn around the edges, but comfortable and roomy. The staff overall was very friendly and warm. The dining experience was only so-so. Nothing was bad, but little was particularly excellent. I had a gravlax appetizer on the first night that was terrific, and it was the best thing I ate all week. We opted for Anytime Dining in Bordeaux, and in general we found that the starters (soups, salads, appetizers) were better than the main courses. Desserts were very good. Service was mostly good. The Horizon Court buffet was, to me, a mostly unpleasant place to eat but it is important to note that I just don't like buffets. The amount of food, the odd combinations, the search for seating...all of it adds up to an unappetizing experience regardless of the quality or quantity of the food. We ate at the Bayou Cafe which, on this ship, apparently takes the place of the Crown Grill. Because we were first-timers, apparently, we were given a reservation and the $25 surcharge was waived. Good thing, because I would have been disappointed had we paid extra. Nothing was wrong with the food, service, or atmosphere but it wasn't particularly special. My sisters cruises a lot on Princess and she always raves about the specialty restaurants so perhaps my expectations were too high. Both the bars that we tried (Crooners and The Wheelhouse) were nice. Crooners was particularly fun because the guys working there seemed to have a good time. The beginning and end of the cruise were both handled very well. The terminal in Vancouver is very nice and things ran very smoothly. We dropped our luggage off at around 10:30 and then came back to board at around 2. The entire boarding process took about 30 minutes. On the other end in Whittier/Anchorage the transportation was efficiently arranged. We took advantage of the program that allows you to check your bags to the airline directly from the ship and that worked very well and was worth the $20 it cost. A general comment is that the overall demographic of passengers on this cruise seemed a little more downscale than we experienced on Celebrity. I don't know if that is a Princess trait, the nature of the destination (lots of Alaska reality TV fans), or just a general trend in the population. But for me, too many ball caps in the dining room, coarse T-shirts, and so forth...it made it feel less special than it should be. Overall, when we cruise again (and I am sure we will), we will certainly consider Princess. But we're more likely to go back to Celebrity or try another line altogether. It will probably come down to itinerary and schedule as much as anything else. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our first cruise with Princess and our first time to Alaska. We did a cruise tour - cruised first then spent a few days on land. Mid-May was a great time to go for several reasons: -We were the only ship in all of the ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Princess and our first time to Alaska. We did a cruise tour - cruised first then spent a few days on land. Mid-May was a great time to go for several reasons: -We were the only ship in all of the ports, so we didn't have to deal with practically any crowds or lines anywhere in the towns we visited. -The weather was incredible. It didn't rain the entire trip until the day we flew out of Anchorage. It got into the 40s at times but the highs were always high-60s to the low 70s. -Prices for flights and the cruise itself were cheaper than the rest of the season. -We got to see Denali. Mid-May was a bad time to go because: -Only one species of salmon were running in a small area, so the animals weren't out. We did see a ton of moose from our train ride into Denali and while we were there, and a couple of black bears. Bald eagles were everywhere around the Inside Passage. We saw a bunch of sea lions and the tops of a couple whales from the boat. You likely have to go on an excursion to see a lot of animals. Princess employees were everywhere. On the boat, it was easy to get service. On land, seasonal employees also were at every step. It was amazing to see how Princess had everything in order, from bus transfers to excursions to restaurants at the lodges. For the cruise, we were easily some of the youngest people on the boat. The average age had to have been about 50, and we pretty much counted on our hands how many under-40s we saw. But we enjoyed it because we got to meet so many great people and families from all over, especially a lot from Australia. So it's certainly not a party atmosphere. The shows weren't exciting, and the food was standard (although our servers were great). We had credit for Sabbatini's and it was easily the best cruise meal I had ever eaten. So that's worth a little money if the dinner menu in the main dining rooms don't look good. And there are several other great options but for extra $$. The ship wasn't huge, so it was easy to get around and not get lost. They always had a BOGO happy hour during the day and that is when beer should be purchased and even taken back to the in-room fridge. Oh, and stick to drinking local/Alaskan/Pacific Northwest adult beverages. Speaking of, the wine package was really good and we got to take bottles back to our room if we wanted. For sea days, there were some good activities and music, and a naturalist announcing if there are animals around the boat. HINT: instead of going to the top of the boat where so many people are, going to the back of the boat around deck 10. There are lounge chairs and sometimes there are better views. Plus less people fighting for a good view of animals. As for the excursions, there were so many to choose from and several were very expensive. But we didn't know if we'd ever return to Alaska so we wanted to do as much as we could and it was worth it. In Ketchikan, we took a taxi for $10 to the Rain Bird hiking trail and it was the best $10 we ever spent. In Juneau, we went kayaking near Mendenhall which did require a lot of physical effort but the scenery was amazing. Plus it was a way to shed the pounds we already gained. We also went to the salmon bake at night which was great since not a lot of people were there and the food was fantastic. In Skagway, the dog sledding was a great experience all around including the drive and haul to get up the mountain to the camp. Try and get a front row seat in the sled. Also, the scenic tour to the U.S./Canada border was worth it as well and we got to play in the snow on a mountain with incredible views (some went to the suspension bridge and said it was even better). This really was a cruise for those who have always wanted to go to Alaska and maybe are retired or the kids are all grown up and moved out of the house. Very relaxing. We still loved it and I hope to get on another Princess ship again. As for the land tour, disembarking was so simple. The train in Whittier is right next to the ship and we were on it about 15 minutes after leaving our state room. For the train ride, bring a couple things to do. Although the scenery is still amazing and lunch wasn't bad at all. And Princess has some great lodges (we stayed in two). I would stay in both Denali and Mt. McKinley lodges again if I could. Unlike the cruise, you have to pay for everything on land instead of putting that on the cruise card, so plan ahead financially here too. Also, Princess takes care of your heavy bags, but they sometimes arrived pretty late into our room when we arrived, so definitely pack what you need for that day just in case. We were able to ride horses and go horseback riding on the land tour, but there are several things to do outside of excursions that it's really easy to go it alone. Once it was done, Princess took us to Anchorage and had us stay at Captain Cook Hotel so we had plenty of time to enjoy the city (especially its food) before our flight the next night. Doing a cruisetour (instead of just a cruise) is a must for Alaska. If we went back, we would easily book something similar and possible get up to Fairbanks or the Kenai. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was our second Princess cruise; previously in 1992. I am in a wheelchair and previously was able to disembark using the tender; not so now. Even when at the dock most Princess shore excursions would not accept wheelchairs, unlike ... Read More
This was our second Princess cruise; previously in 1992. I am in a wheelchair and previously was able to disembark using the tender; not so now. Even when at the dock most Princess shore excursions would not accept wheelchairs, unlike previously. We went ashore anyway and got our own tours with private operators. They were very accommodating...one had three of us in wheelchairs....and gave us a better, more personalized tour for less money!! We went to the same "tourist spots" as the big tours but when asked, they took us to out of the way places and explained life in their countries. Bill Fall, a presenter on the cruise had very good sessions on what to expect while ashore and gave EXCELLENT presentations on the new and old Panama canals. The shows and activities were as expected, good musicians, magician, comedians and variety shows. Food was very good....buffet and dining room...but the extra restaurants were a bit pricey with a $25 extra charge for a meal no better than the regular free meals. Drinks were expensive...a charge for everything except regular coffee, iced tea and water. Unlike our first cruise, this one we were searched upon each boarding and not allowed to bring drinks aboard. There is a charge for internet....by the minute or package deals for bigger minute bundles. The staff were always trying to sell something....jewelry, clothing, pictures, books, drinks, paintings etc Gratuities....tips...are charged for each transaction and are also set "by the day". I had heard before we went that Princess was "chincy" .Maybe if they charged a bit more for each fare they could cut out the "chincyness". The ship itself is well looked after and very fancy. Nice pools, fitness and games areas, show theaters and lounges/bars, spas, kids zone etc but the AC is set so cold that many of the areas require a sweater or wrap to enable you to stay long. We liked the cruise but are likely to explore different companies for our next one. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
First Cruise with Princess Pros Clean ship refurbished in 2013. Much older crowd than we expected. Great service and food in the Horizon buffet. Liked the more formal table settings than other lines we had been on and good variety Nice ... Read More
First Cruise with Princess Pros Clean ship refurbished in 2013. Much older crowd than we expected. Great service and food in the Horizon buffet. Liked the more formal table settings than other lines we had been on and good variety Nice rooms - we had a nice Ocean View on deck six right near the casino that had a large window and did not pick up any casino noise. Good service by room steward. Cons We selected Anytime Dining and were disappointed with the service when we choose to sit with groups of 6 or more the first 4 nights. Dinner took over 2 hours with a lot of time between soup/salad and entrées. We switched to a table for two at the same time (5:15-5:45) and the service was very good. In Colon,. Panama we choose to take the ships excursion to the Pacific (full transit). We needed to get a police escort when we returned to the ship because it ran late. We met for our tender at 9:00 and did not get back to the ship until 6:45. This is a high priced $179 each excursion and is advertised as 6 1/2 hours. If you choose it be ready for some very time consuming and boring (after one lock they are all the same) time in the four locks on the Pacific side. Lunch was very disappointing so bring some snacks Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Embarkation, we were in the terminal by noon and check-in was swift then we have to wait at the terminal for more than hr. before we were allowed to board the ship. We reserved two balcony cabins C 314 and 316 on the Coral Princess for a ... Read More
Embarkation, we were in the terminal by noon and check-in was swift then we have to wait at the terminal for more than hr. before we were allowed to board the ship. We reserved two balcony cabins C 314 and 316 on the Coral Princess for a Panama Canal Partial Transit Cruise on Feb 5th cruise. This was our 14th Princess Cruise and first time on the Coral Princess. The ship was built 2002 a beautiful vessel bit worn out. Our Cabins were in the forward section on the port side. Shower is bit small. Hot water in the shower and faucet were infrequent and temp range from cold to warm. The Captain made an announcement that hot water system in not working and they are making repairs. Even after repair hot water in the shower was not very warm until we reached Grand Cayman. The cabin itself was spacious. My wife’s 2 aunts in their 80 were cruising on the Princess for the first time was impressed by the ship facilities. My wife and I are platinum members.In Princess they provide excellent and courteous service for repeat passengers. We ate in the Provence dining room. Being Vegetarian the head waiter Erno and waiter Manual paid more attention about my meal choices and provided me with alternative menus. Overall the cruise was great; we plan to cruise again with Princess. The Panama Canal cruise itineraries were great. The shows in the Theater were excellent, music in the public lounges were enjoyable. We celebrated my wife and her cousin’s birthday on this cruise. While on the ship I was a victim to Norovirus,I was isolated by the ship Dr for 24 hr. Part of the problem the dispensers to clean the hand at the entrance to the dining room didn’t work all the time. The last 3 days of the cruise the ship operated on CODE: RED which means no one was allowed help themselves with food or beverages. The entire shore excursion we did it ourselves through private tour operators. In Aruba we got all wheel drive taxi owned by John Roger, an excellent tour guide for 4 hr. He took us to all the places the tourist normally never visited. In Cartagena we had Dora’s tour. Our guide said spoke good English but he didn’t explain the history behind the dungeon, the fort, we were bit disappointed. In Porto Limon we arranged tour with price fixed in advance. The tour itself was excellent, the tour operator Mr. Eduardo Humphrey is not trust worthy. At the end of the tour he demanded $30/person than agreed price and implied if we didn’t pay we have to find our own transportation to the ship. Overall this is an excellent cruise and I will recommend this ship and Panama Canal cruise. Negative. Our state room carpet was worn out stained in several places; one can see the water mark.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Have just return from a Great Cruise , good facilities : except the shower was a bit on the small size, with excellent food and good ports of call . Big issues was that we felt concerned by the lack of Discipline of the passengers by the ... Read More
Have just return from a Great Cruise , good facilities : except the shower was a bit on the small size, with excellent food and good ports of call . Big issues was that we felt concerned by the lack of Discipline of the passengers by the crew. There was a split of 85% + of Americans who ignore the Dress Code and the placing of Sunbeds on deck. The cruise offers 2 x Formal nights the remainder being Smart Casual. Formal to some passengers was trouser, polo shirts and some in braces ??? Smart casual was shorts . The information that the cruise line give out about dress both prior to the cruise and in the daily news letter is very specific . I did question with reception about the dress code , they passed this on to the Maitre De who advised me by phone that it was impossible to observe this Dress code as some passengers would not follow the rule and it was impossible for him and the Restaurant Staff to do anything about this. Hard luck if you follow the directive then ..... Flying from UK with weight restrictions and taking Evening Suits was a waste of time . On deck Sunbeds were moved to any spot people chose regardless of whether they blocked walkways and door ways . So if any emergency was to happen and the crew admit they have no control of passengers who chose to ignore rules and common sense if you have to evacuate the ship your life could be in danger !!!!!!!! Much as we enjoyed the experience we WOULD NOT TRAVEL WITH PRINCESS CRUISES AGAIN. Sorry Princess our lives are to precious to take the risk . You need to sort out Crew Training and get ALL passengers to observe and follow the rules you have in place. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We have travelled on the Island Princes, sister ship to the Coral before. identical layout, nice mid size ship, easy layout, ample room in theater, 2 pools, one enclosed. We stayed on Aloha deck forward Port side, 6 cabins from the ... Read More
We have travelled on the Island Princes, sister ship to the Coral before. identical layout, nice mid size ship, easy layout, ample room in theater, 2 pools, one enclosed. We stayed on Aloha deck forward Port side, 6 cabins from the front of the ship. We're able to walk out on a bow deck to view transit through the Canal. It was interesting to watch from there or our balcony. Many newer ships are eliminating bow decks to squeeze in suites. Don't do this Princess, it is nice to have an observation area forward outside. Nicely appointed mini suite, plenty of counter space and storage areas in bathroom, tub and shower, ample closet and drawers, couch. Excellent cabin steward. This was a quiet area of the ship. Nice balcony. Could use new bathrobes, most were shrunk to "mini" size. Typical Princess food, waiters very good, seasoned staff who take pride in their jobs. We typically eat in the dining room for most of our meals. Buffet area layout works well, nice omelet station, ample seating. 2 pools, one covered. Both adequate for lap swimming. Appreciate covered area in case of cool or rainy weather. Many newer ships are eliminating covered pool except for high end guests. Princess, do not change this feature. Typical ship entertainment, nothing to brag about. Guest lecturer on board well versed in ports of call, able to discuss economic impact of new canal, very interesting man to converse with. Did ports of call overview, presentation a bit corny but get him 1 on 1 and extremely interesting and approachable. Excursion on Aruba just okay. Cartegna excellent. Jamaica walked off and hit local beach for small fee--changing room, bathrooms just okay. Stayed on ship in Panama and did half transit both directions. Costa Rica had a nice local craft shopping area inside cruise port gates. Nice items for sale. There are lovely little sitting areas outside the wheel house lounge where you can sit and watch the sea. Many newer ships are eliminating this which is sad. Nice size library on this ship with comfy chairs to sit and read. Would take this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I would like to begin this review stating that this was our(my husband and myself) first trip on Princess Cruise Line. We have sailed 9 times on Royal Caribbean and once on Norwegian. Embarkation was very smooth and we were able to access ... Read More
I would like to begin this review stating that this was our(my husband and myself) first trip on Princess Cruise Line. We have sailed 9 times on Royal Caribbean and once on Norwegian. Embarkation was very smooth and we were able to access our cabin when we got on the ship which was around 12:30 pm. We found our cabin to be a nice size with ample closet and drawer space. There also were several shelves in the area where the safe was that held a good bit of clothing. The closet was apart from the main cabin area, adjacent to the bathroom, which made it seem as though it was a separate room. We liked this very much. The bathroom shower however, was not a good experience. It was not only smaller that we've had before, but the configuration made it very awkward to use. I realize that all cruise ship showers are small but this was just not well designed. And the shower curtain wasn't effective as water kept leaking out to the bathroom floor. I read years ago on cruise critic that clothespins with the spring clip attached to the bottom of the shower curtain help to keep it from moving inward and attacking you. It worked somewhat, but not enough to keep the water in or the curtain from hugging us while we showered! All cruise lines should follow Royal Caribbean's idea of having a shower door instead of a curtain. Yes, the shower is still small but with the rounded door, it gives the area a little more space. We did have a wonderful cabin attendant, Morvin, who in our opinion, was very efficient without being intrusive. A very soft spoken man & well mannered, who did a terrific job of keeping our cabin in order and kept us in clean towels our entire trip. Can say enough nice things about this man. We had early seating(5:30) in Provance dining room. Our waiters were Alex and Oliver. Very nice and polite, but we just didn't feel the connection that we usually have with our waiters, especially on a longer cruise like this one. Food was good, nothing remarkable.....we did, however, think the lobster served on the second formal night wasn't good at all. We always look forward to this dinner but no need for seconds this time! We usually had our breakfast in the Horizan Court, which was nothing ourstanding but good and fresh so we were satisfied. You can also have breakfast in the dining room, which was good or grab something quick like doughnuts(loved the cro-nuts) at the International Cafe which was adjacent to the Casino. They also served sandwiches & other things for lunch or a late night snack and were yummy! The food here is complimentary but there is a fee for coffee and other drinks. The entertainment was very good in our opinion. Kudos to the Princess singers and dancers. They are very talented. We enjoyed their productions very much. The two comedians were both great as was the young man who played the saxophone. The magician was good but not great. Bobby Brooks Wilson was terrific. He is the son of the late Jackie Wilson. He sang and danced......the best show of the cruise. One major disappointment was the size of the casino. It truly was the smallest casino we have ever seen on a cruise ship. Can't understand that. A lot of passengers were in there each night but there clearly weren't enough slot machines for each passenger to have a turn playing. They really need to address this issue. On the other hand, Sabatini's Italian Restaurant( a "for fee" venue) was practically empty each night. Only 1 or 2 couples were ever in there! It's quite large and really a wasted space that could be used to enlarge the casino. No real need for this restaurant, in our opinion. We did a couple of ship sponsored tours and they were just okay. The best being in Cartegnia, Columbia. Walking along the cobbled streets and visiting the churches and other landmarks were really impressive and we are so glad we did this tour. The tour in Limon, Costa Rica took us through a very impoverished area which was heartbreaking to see. I think they need to do away with this. Better to see the beautiful scenery in another area. And, before our tour, we took a walk close to the pier just to see what the locals had to offer in handcrafted items. We were practically attacked by these people wanting us to buy and take tours with them. Also, in walking a little further, we came upon people with limbs missing laying on the sidewalks, up against the buildings begging, including homeless people. This should not be allowed in such close proximity to the cruise port. We feel very bad for these people but very uncomfortable just the same. Aruba was a disappointment...just very touristy with pushy people selling their items. Not what we expected. The Panama Canal was quite interesting. We were able to see so much just from our balcony and from various areas of the ship. Did not participate in any tours. We did however get off the ship in Colon where we stopped to pick up the passengers who did do the tours of the Panama Canal. It was a nice little area with some good shops and a casino that we, along with our friends stopped in to see. We were really taken with the grocery store there and found it to be very interesting and enjoyed looking at the products sold there. Good experience. Cruise Director was Bob was personable but didn't win us over as we are spoiled by our experiences on RC having Richard Spacey and Allen Brooks as cruise directors early on. Sorry. To summarize, it was a enjoyable cruise, the ship is nice and the crew as well, but we will be going back to Royal Caribbean. We were glad to be able to see what Princess had to offer and compare them with RC.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Travelled 1st time to Panama Canal & 1st time with Princess. Comparing with other cruise lines I'd say quality of food was lower (menu was far too fancy) & level of gratuities (20% + tax on every drink as well as $11.50 per ... Read More
Travelled 1st time to Panama Canal & 1st time with Princess. Comparing with other cruise lines I'd say quality of food was lower (menu was far too fancy) & level of gratuities (20% + tax on every drink as well as $11.50 per day each as standard) far too high. There was loads of entertainment with nightly shows very professional & cruise staff couldn't do enough for you so felt very much 'at home'. Only point of not from a British beer drinker there was nothing available on tap albeit plenty choice of bottled lagers Pro’s Good quality ship Very attentive staff Good nightly entertainment – artists very professional & all in English. Had singers dancers & comedians Got auto gratuities removed which was no problem Alaskan amber bottled beer was excellent (albeit limited supply as left overs from previous Alaskan cruise) Movies under the stars – excellent atmosphere to watch films on the large outdoor screen from 21:30 in the warn night air Took soft drinks package (inc moctails)which was well worth it & saved money Con’s Drinks Very pricey + tax & tip on every drink which meant beer (bottle) was £4 and G&T was £6 (at converted rate of 1.6) No beer on tap & mostly bottled lager (had Guinness in cans) Food Breakfast & lunch in buffet restaurant was good with plenty choice & reasonable quality Dinner – menu choice was poor & quality def not up to P&O nor Celebrity. Managed to get something suitable but only a few courses lived up to the standards expected Tours In the main done our own thing but ones we did take can have no real complaints except the pittance we received for a snack on the all day panama trip Main complaint in the fact we booked an Everglades tour for Saturday 18th which dropped us off in Miami airport. This was cancelled & didn't receive notification until Thursday 16th by letter which was too late to arrange an alternative ourselves. The tour staff offered us a similar trip which ended in Hollywood airport with no help from the princess tour staff on how we would get from Fort Lauderdale airport to Miami airport not offering alternative tours. Most unhelpful We did end up booking a Fort Lauderdale trip for Saturday 18th which I’ll update later on how we actually got transferred to Miami Entertainment Nightly was good & always something happening in the 2 * main bars however, daily was fairly limited around the pool area. The outdoor large screen showed movies some days but in general the pool area was quiet with the princess staff not fully motivated to create the atmosphere we expected. We even hadNFL games shown some days which we should have expected from a USA focused cruise line. Sailaways are normally a highlight but only once (from Jamaica) did the band play & good atmosphere created All in all it was a good cruise, very relaxing & the highlight was worth the trip in itself. The only downside was the weather around the mainland Columbia, Panama & Costa Rica areas where it was wet on occasion but we were warned on arrival that October is during the rainy season. Best time for this cruise would be January thru April. Princess is more focused on the American market but that didn't detract from our enjoyment Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Great itinerary, food was good, not great. There were a couple really great items, The build your own pizza, great, but only out two days... The chocolate lollipop at Served during champagne fountain, great, but again only served once. ... Read More
Great itinerary, food was good, not great. There were a couple really great items, The build your own pizza, great, but only out two days... The chocolate lollipop at Served during champagne fountain, great, but again only served once. And one night at dinner they had a chocolate dome with pistachio which was perhaps the best dessert I've ever Had on a cruise. ( I have been on at least 12 cruises ) this was my third with Princess. A big disappointment was the captains circle welcome party for return Guests. It wasn't a reception, it was a sales pitch held in the theater, they Handed out a coupon at the exit! I have never felt like that on any cruise. The tv In the cabin same thing, between every show, and for extended periods constant Commercials for future cruises. I take cruises to RELAX, I really felt like I was in a Used car dealership. Cabin steward was very poor, ice was delivered after like 9pm Nightly? Soft drinks not refilled when requested. One morning breakfast arrived One hour early? The daily news letter arrived too late on several nights after turn down and after going to bed. One night there was no turn down at all. Also several times I would "bolt" the door, yet the steward would tap and then walk in? So the bolt doesn't assure privacy? Final issue is the thermal suite, I take this option on every cruise I Take, I have taken it on all three with princess and every celebrity cruise I have Taken as well. This one was the most disappointing. There were three steam rooms And one sauna plus two nice showers. Not once during the cruise did all of the Rooms work. The sauna wasn't usable on any day, the tiles so hot that you could Not sit even without a dry doubled up towel, at least one of the three steam rooms Was always down every day. And the special showers were constantly Malfunctioning. My impression was once it was sold no one cared. Yes I Complained twice at the spa, not impressed at all. Final issue was platinum studio, it was very nice, attendant very nice, prices... Oh my god! $200 for an 8x10 photo. Session was fun, after reviewing photos Then you see prices, welcome back to the car lot. Prices on photos taken around the ship, $25 for 8x10 not cheap but .... In studio cheapest package $599. Almost as much as the cruise for one person. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My husband and I cruised for 7 nights from Whittier, Alaska to Vancouver, B.C. (one-way south bound). This was our 6th cruise, all of them week-long cruises, but our first with Princess. We spent two nights pre-cruise at The Hotel Captain ... Read More
My husband and I cruised for 7 nights from Whittier, Alaska to Vancouver, B.C. (one-way south bound). This was our 6th cruise, all of them week-long cruises, but our first with Princess. We spent two nights pre-cruise at The Hotel Captain Cook, which we booked through Princess. We had a great experience in Anchorage, which is a really clean, charming town. We also enjoyed the 2+ hour train ride to Whittier. You can stand on the outside platform between the train cars and soak up the gorgeous scenery. One really nice touch was the cruise line collecting our luggage from our hotel room and then depositing it outside our cabin door on the ship. It made traveling from hotel to train to ship very easy. Boarding the ship was a breeze. Within 5 minutes of stepping off the train from Anchorage, we were stepping onto the ship. Can't beat that! We had about 7 hours until the ship set sail, but not to worry, our cabin was ready and the buffets and bars were open. The weather was so nice and sunny and our luggage made it so quickly that we were in the pool enjoying cocktails by mid-afternoon. The pool area was very nice and clean, and was rarely crowded, except during movies. They show "Movies Under the Stars" here and give out blankets and popcorn in the evenings. Our kids would have loved it, but they did not sail with us this time. Our mini-suite was clean and quiet. It seemed longer and more narrow than other mini-suites I've traveled in, but was nicely appointed, made good use of space, and felt spacious and comfortable for two. Our room steward quietly went about his job and was always courteous, although we didn't interact with him much. We dined in the buffets for breakfast and lunch, but always in the Bordeaux Dining Room for dinner. We never had to wait for open seating, as we discussed with the head waiter our time/table preference and gave him a tip. All the wait staff were professional and friendly, although sometimes meals took awhile. It wasn't an issue, since we drank more wine and cocktails and relaxed; the whole purpose behind the cruise. All of the food was good, although I didn't like a few things I ordered. This was never a problem, I just asked for something else. I will say that the best thing I ate on the cruise was the Glacier Bay pizza special with white sauce, garlic, and four cheeses. Amazing!! The pizza on the ship was better than expected. We also ordered room service in our cabin a few times, and everything was fine. The Coral Princess is not as big a ship as we have sailed in the past, and that is actually how I prefer it. The ship is well maintained, albeit a bit outdated with the décor. The public spaces never felt cramped, and it is easy to find your way around this ship pretty quickly. We swam in the nice outdoor pool and Jacuzzi, worked out at the gym, ran on the running track (Deck 7), went to the Spa, and even played bingo. We never went to any of the shows, as those are not our thing, nor did I really visit the casino. The gym can be pretty crowded in the mornings. We booked two shore excursions through the cruise line. They were both nice, although pricey. You can walk off the boat and book your own tours to save money, which we have done in the past. There are tons of excursion vendors when you stop in all the ports, of course. Alaska is gorgeous and we especially loved seeing the glaciers calve in Glacier Bay. You are at the mercy of the weather in Alaska, and we had both good and bad weather. It poured in Ketchikan! It would have been nice to have some type of cover when waiting in line to re-board the ship, as we stood in the driving rain. Bring your umbrella there! I was curious to see how Princess would do in comparison to other cruise lines. It didn't feel any fancier or more upscale than Royal Caribbean, but it was very nice. There were very few children, which was a bonus for us this trip, but that might have something to do with the destination. I informed Princess about our anniversary before we set sail, and they gave us a nice 8x10 photo frame, a voucher for a free 8x10 photo, and a bottle of wine. Nice touch! Overall, a very positive experience. I would definitely sail with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We booked this cruise tour to celebrate our 40th anniversary. Princess seemed to have the advantage over other cruise lines due to owning their own lodges on the land tour so that played a major factor into our choice of cruise lines. We ... Read More
We booked this cruise tour to celebrate our 40th anniversary. Princess seemed to have the advantage over other cruise lines due to owning their own lodges on the land tour so that played a major factor into our choice of cruise lines. We did a 7 day northbound cruise and a 4 day land tour ending in Fairbanks. We have no regrets! Our cabin steward was wonderful and met every need. I booked everything online thru Princess with a few phone calls to confirm everything was done correctly and it worked out perfect for us. We were in Cabin A505 which was a great location and protected during our nasty weather so we were still able to be on our balcony where the people in the mini suite next door were not. The cabin was a little smaller than we have had on Royal Caribbean and I didn't like having a shower curtain vs. a door like we had on Royal. Closet space and storage was very spacious. The food was good but we didn't think it was as good as we had had on Royal Caribbean and the service from some of the waiters was definitely not up to par. We often sat with dirty dishes in front of us while the wait staff would walk by and never pick them up. It was often difficult to get them to bring you juice, coffee, etc. and one night at dinner I ordered coffee and never received it even though the rest of the table did. They really pushed the drink specials in the dining room. One waiter would come by first and then another one would come by and try again. I felt like it was a timeshare presentation. The entertainment was far better than we had experienced on other cruise ships but we did notice that the bars and shows were not well attended and things ended early which probably was due to the fact that you were often up early for excursions and to take in the beautiful scenery. In my opinion this is not a cruise for children even though there were a fair number of them here with their parents and grandparents. Too much time is spent sitting on buses, trains, etc. traveling from one place to the next. Overall it was a good experience.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Coral Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 4.0
Enrichment 4.0 3.9
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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