262 Princess Coral Princess Cruise Reviews

This was not our first cruise, but it was our first on the Princess line. We booked through an online travel agency and were pleased with the service and price. We flew down to Ft. Lauderdale the day before embarking. It was a good thing ... Read More
This was not our first cruise, but it was our first on the Princess line. We booked through an online travel agency and were pleased with the service and price. We flew down to Ft. Lauderdale the day before embarking. It was a good thing we did, as a winter storm delayed flights from many airports. The hotel provided a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel, and transportation to the Port for a charge of $10 per person. Embarkation was well organized and we waited only a short time to board the ship. Ship personnel were stationed at the elevators to direct you to your cabin. The cabin was attractively decorated and had plenty of room for our belongings. There was sufficient hanging space in the closet area, along with a cabinet that had several shelves and a safe. The bathroom had one of the smallest showers I have ever seen on a cruise, but it was immaculate. Unfortunately, there were two very dirty handprints on the drapes over the patio doors. The veranda had four plastic chairs and a small table. A desk in the main cabin area had four deep drawers and one shallow drawer (and a hairdryer on the wall.) We had everything put away within an hour of boarding. We had signed up for a fixed dining time and were assigned a table for nine. Because many of our table mates took advantage of the "anytime" dining or ate at the specialty restaurants, there were only four nights when the entire group was at the table. Despite never knowing just how many people were going to be at the table on any one night, the dining room waiters were excellent. We usually ate our breakfast and lunch in the Horizon Buffet and, although the traffic pattern left something to be desired, there was always an ample supply and good variety. We also tried the pizza and the hamburgers on the pool deck. Although service was excellent, the food was somewhat of a disappointment. Even in the main dining room, the food was OK, just not extraordinary. We chose this trip for the itinerary and, except for Montego Bay, Jamaica, we were not disappointed. We had booked shore excursions online before we left home, but our first excursion in Jamaica, white water rafting, was cancelled due to low water. We immediately went to the Tour desk to reserve another excursion. On the advice of the tour staff, we signed up for, "Rafting on the Martha Braye". What a mistake! Just getting off the ship in Jamaica was a joke. They had people in line down the halls and up the stairs onto another floor waiting to get off. We finally found our tour guide in the terminal and then waited over 30 minutes before she led us to a bus. The bus was clean but certainly not very new. The roads were terrible and we bumped and jolted for almost an hour before we got to the rafting site, where we received our complimentary glass of "rum punch". The Ladies bathroom at the rafting site had only two stalls and one of the toilets was overflowing onto the floor. After waiting another 20 minutes while vendors tried to sell you something, we were led down to the river. The rafts were made of bamboo poles wired together and had a bench seat for two people. Some of the rafts looked pretty unstable, but once you were sitting down, they were surprisingly comfortable. The "raft captain" poled the raft down the river and stopped at one point to try and sell you decorated gourds. The ride itself was pleasant if you ignored the sales pitches. The ride lasted about 40 minutes and then it was back on the bus for another rough ride back to the ship. We were gone from 10:30 AM until 4PM without any food. We found that there was another tour that included a different raft ride. That tour also included a trip through a banana plantation, and a complimentary lunch and cost only $10.00 more. When we complained about our trip at the Tour desk, the young lady who had recommended it acted like it was our fault. Perhaps Princess should have their Tour Desk staff take some of these excursions to find out what the tours are like! Our second port was Panama, and we elected to stay on board the ship to watch the progress through the locks. The cruise had an informative movie about the Canal available on TV, and also had a guest lecturer who spoke about the history of the Canal. We took lots of pictures! Our next stop was Limon, Costa Rica. Our tour here was to the Aerial Tram Ride in the rain forest. Although it was about an hour ride, the bus was very comfortable and the tour guide was excellent. The trip included a 45 minutes ride through the rain forest, lunch, and a guided tour of the grounds. It was a very good experience and well worth the money. There was a market on the pier where we bought reasonably priced souvenirs and several bags of good coffee. After a day at sea, we arrived at Grand Cayman Island. We did some snorkeling and enjoyed the warm water. Not much to do here unless you like the water. Our last stop was Cozumel, Mexico where we took a tour to a park for more snorkeling. We had been to Cozumel many years ago and the progress here was apparent. Everyone we met was pleasant and the stop was enjoyable. We felt we wanted to return to both Costa Rica and Cozumel. Disembarkation was very smooth. We had purchased transportation to the airport from Princess and waited on the bus for a very long time before it left for the airport, and then the driver had everyone stay on the bus until he had unloaded all the luggage. If you have an early flight for home, take a cab! There were not too many children on this cruise, but some were not the best behaved. They took over the pools by jumping and splashing so that many adults just resigned themselves to not using the pools when the kids were around. One gentleman asked them, in a very nice way, to calm down a little, and the adult with them got nasty. One evening we watched two boys take apart some of the pool furniture and throw it around. Later they climbed up on railings to jump into the pool. Two different Princess staff people walked by while this was going on and neither of them said anything to the boys. The Coral Princess is a beautiful ship and the service was excellent. However, food was not up to our expectations, and we did not appreciate the constant sales pitches. The "flea market" of last season's gift shop merchandise was definitely tacky. Would we book a Princess cruise again? We'd have to think about it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2007
It has been several years since we cruised with Princess but have cruised often during that time. EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION: This process could not have been smoother. There was a bit of a wait to disembark but that is to be expected ... Read More
It has been several years since we cruised with Princess but have cruised often during that time. EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION: This process could not have been smoother. There was a bit of a wait to disembark but that is to be expected with 1900 people aboard. SHIP: The Coral Princess had a very comfortable, welcoming atmosphere. The decor reminded one of the oceanliners of the past. I found it to be very clean with plenty of public areas as well as deckchairs and sun deck room. The lounges were all well-appointed but the Wheelhouse Lounge lacked good service and need to learn how to make cocktails. This was not a friendly lounge. The wait staff tended to hover over us even after we had ordered drinks. DINING: The food portions were just right although the quality was just okay. There could have been more variety. We had the later seating and enjoyed excellent service from our wait staff. We took breakfast and lunch in the Horizon Court and again enjoyed good service but average quality of food. ENTERTAINMENT: Other than two Broadway-type shows, the entertainment was lacking. The comedians for the most part were raunchy but not funny. Since we were onboard for Superbowl Sunday it was nice to see the game on the big screen in one of the theaters. EXCURSIONS: The Costa Rican Rainforest Tram and swimming with Stingrays were excellent. The Highlights of Panama tour was an absolute waste of time and money. The two young girls who were the guides were silly and more interested in their chewing gum than giving us a professional tour. VERY DISAPPOINTING! MISCELLANEOUS: Service by the staff was very good. What was annoying was the constant "hawking" of the Spa. To have announcements made, literature on your bed everynight about the Spa was over the top. Also, having bottled water for sale as you disembarked for excursions was tacky to say the least. Especially when all the excursions we were on (sponsored by Princess) provided bottled water. Too much nickel and diming. Next time we would probably look for a more upscale line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2007
My wife and I, along with another couple we often travel with, booked this cruise to see the Canal again and to take a break from the cold weather here at home.  This is cruise number 46 for us and we enjoyed this trip but Princess needs ... Read More
My wife and I, along with another couple we often travel with, booked this cruise to see the Canal again and to take a break from the cold weather here at home.  This is cruise number 46 for us and we enjoyed this trip but Princess needs to take a break on a few things. We felt like we were on a floating " QVC CRUISE "...They have gone over the top on trying to sell.sell,sell you something all the time.The one that was way to much was at dinner when the waiter tried to sell a "Special orange juice glass, to drink your orange juice at home and remember the cruise for $3.95 " Then there are the way over priced cruise pictures.....$19.95 for a 4X6 with a digital boarder..I saw very few people buying and simple business is keep prices lower, sell more and make it up on volume...They must throw away thousands of pictures a week and look at the waste...Then the worst presentation of the week is the personal shopping director on board. She does a show that will crack you up... She throws stuff at the ladies sitting down and then tells you where to shop in only the "ships stores" at port. That means where the ship gets a kick back and pays the ship to pre sell the stuff to the passengers. Out of all our cruise around the world this was the worst for trying to sell you gold by the inch, glasses, cheap watches, and his and her spa treatments, cheap over priced jewelry, and we don't want to even talk about the over priced wine at Dinner !!!!!! We like to cruise and I have learned to accept this lately but it needs a little correction in my view... Over all the food was very good, the staff was polite and friendly, the ship was clean and not worn looking. I will not review the ports because that is a different experience for each persons on taste. . The cruise director was not the best one I have seen, he tends to be full of himself and has no redeeming social value that I could see. We enjoyed the cruise but back to Europe for us on the next one.. Read Less
Sail Date December 2006
Just got back ystdy Dec 2/06. Pretty good time and quite good value. My first cruise and my wife's second. I absolutely hated the tourist traps at each shore location, particularly Grand Cayman. Is this really the way to purchase ... Read More
Just got back ystdy Dec 2/06. Pretty good time and quite good value. My first cruise and my wife's second. I absolutely hated the tourist traps at each shore location, particularly Grand Cayman. Is this really the way to purchase diamonds - on a cruise? We had quite a bit of rain (GC, Costa Rica, Panama Canal, Ocho Rios). The ship staff were very good. We had the late seating and the staff were very accommodating. I really enjoyed the wine selection. The Horizon buffet was quite good. Often hard to get a coffee though. I don't know about the special coffees but the coffee on board is generally not that good. The pizza was awesome on the Lido deck. The bartender on the Lido deck bar was great. Took a fully body massage, a lime and ginger treatment, and a seaweed wrap - mostly adventuring and trying out. I have had many massages. I was fairly disappointed, especially at the prices charged. The organization lacked a little also. I was disappointed that I could not use the steam rooms without purchasing a package. The fitness room was very good and easy to access equipment. My biggest complaint was the age of the passengers. My wife and I are both 52 and we felt overwhelmed by the other passengers. One benefit was that there were few children. Read Less
Sail Date November 2006
Our first cruise on Princess, overall this was a good experience. Our cabin was comfortable, and the views from our oceanview double balcony spectacular. Our steward from Poland could not have been better. He was a gracious and ... Read More
Our first cruise on Princess, overall this was a good experience. Our cabin was comfortable, and the views from our oceanview double balcony spectacular. Our steward from Poland could not have been better. He was a gracious and attentive. However, the bed was rock hard, and our requested egg shell cushioned it somewhat. Shower was claustrophobic, I wonder how obese passengers get in and out. The shore excursions were very good, in each off the three ports, Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. I'm glad I consulted Cruise guide books this cruise. Entertainment at the Princess Theater was good, although the size of the theater sometime meant we sat too far from the stage. The overall relaxed atmosphere of the cruise, carefully timed public address announcements were just right. Unlike our previous Mexican Rivera cruise on another cruiseline, we didn't feel like we were in a military bootcamp. We selected anytime dining, however, found the food and service unsatisfactory. The Bayou Cafe's food and service was good, but not spectacular, not worth $15 a piece surcharge. However, the Horizon Court, Lido Deck Buffet was excellent, and that's where we ate the rest of the cruise. Same selection as dining room, only you can see what you're getting, and chose amounts and options. Personnel at the buffet were gracious and efficient. Great view while dining, along with an excellent naturalist, and lots of whales to see. Getting on and off the ship very efficient and organized. We'll be back again to Coral Princess, but not in the anytime dining room. Read Less
Sail Date September 2006
My family and I just got off of the Coral Princess this morning. This was our fourth cruise our first with Princess. We did the 10 day Panama Canal cruise beginning in Fort Lauderdale. Embarkation was a breeze. No lines,walked directly ... Read More
My family and I just got off of the Coral Princess this morning. This was our fourth cruise our first with Princess. We did the 10 day Panama Canal cruise beginning in Fort Lauderdale. Embarkation was a breeze. No lines,walked directly on board and found our stateroom and met our cabin stewardess named Evelyn. All of our luggage arrived shortly thereafter with the exception of mine and that showed up just before going to dinner! I was sweatin that one out! My daughter's brand new suitcase arrived broken. The stand was totally ripped away from the wheels and Princess claimed no responsibility and offered no compensation. 60.00 bucks gone. Our cabin was a balcony cabin and the furnishings were nice. The cabin was very small with just a sitting chair versus a small sofa. The bathroom was ridiculously tiny and the shower was no more than a broom closet. If you were unfortunate enough to drop something in the shower you literally had to get out and pick it up! Not good for those with claustrophobia either. The balcony consisted of 2 chairs and a table and there was no more room. Kind of dirty out there too. The bed was firm and the pillows quite hard. Friends we met asked for feather pillows and got them. Who knew? Evelyn was amazing. The best cabin attendant ever. Always greeted us by name and with a smile and the service was impeccable. Twice daily! The ship itself is pretty. For a ship only 4 years old it does look worn. They keep it very clean. Public areas were well appointed and comfy. The adult only Lotus Pool area was very plain and sparse. Both dining rooms were identical and inviting. The gym is nice with weights, treadmills,and mats. Nice. I did use the Lotus Spa a few times just to take a shower. It was roomy! The food was superb and the personal choice dining ended up to be a lifesaver. Our original tablemates were nice but right away we knew we were not in a level of comfort that we wanted for 10 days. We gave it 3 nights and then decided to switch to personal choice. We requested the same wait person for the rest of our cruise. Her name was Aniko and her assistant was Schukart (forgive my misspelling) from the Philippines. Aniko was from Romania and was the best we have ever had. She was so professional,knowledgeable about each menu and very concerned about our satisfaction each meal. She was a delight. The food overall was wonderful both in the dining rooms and the 24 hour Horizon Court. The grill outside was great because some days ya just feel like havin a burger. They were great. Paying for ice cream stinks! The least they could do was have a soft serve machine that was easily accessible. Each day for 1 hour there was free ice cream in the back of the Horizon Court but it was served to you by a man with a melon ball scooper. Come on Princess! Panama Canal was very interesting and a good experience. We did the bus/train trip through the ship and I highly do NOT recommend it. It is very pricey for what you get. A 90 minute bus ride through Colon seeing nothing but extreme poverty and filth. The bus was freezing cold and a lot of people Napped. The tour guide was well informed and I did learn a lot although not 169.00 worth of knowledge. Maybe 69.00 worth. The train ride promised wildlife sightings. Did not see one- of anything! On board we were given a box lunch and a turkey sandwich. You decide. Then we got on another bus to take us back to the ship, Again- more slums and garbage in Cristobol. Costa Rica was the port we were looking forward to the most. Unfortunately it was pouring rain and all tours were cancelled. On a port day all shops and the casino are closed. No one wanted to zip line during a lightening storm imagine that. It cleared for about 5 min and we ventured our way to the marketplace at the end of the pier. They are very creative with tarps. However even the best tarps leak. We were soaked. Again talk about filth. The wooden crafts were beautiful and the coffee was a good buy. Outside of the marketplace children came up to us begging for a dollar as they were hungry. Heart wrenching and depressing. The other ports were fun. We have been to them before and enjoyed them immensely. Why Grand Cayman is the shortest port I'm not sure. Because its the nicest? The teen center and kid programs were wonderful. Our daughter who is 13 had a blast!The teen center was the most fun I've ever had out of all the cruises I have been on. We did stuff like disco's, Miss Coral Princess, fashion/clothes scavenger hunts, award nominations, board games, and there was unlimited PS2 for all you video game freaks, JUST KIDDING. There's also a free jukebox in the center so we always have music playing. It's a really teen friendly area and I'd like to go back to Princess Cruises. The teen staff there is really outgoing and nice. Except maybe this time he got annoyed at us because some people made up some stuff about him and his girlfriend. That was my daughter's input. The entertainment was so-so. Singers and dancers were ok. Not spectacular. The comedian Sarge should not be missed. He gave 2 shows on 2 different nights and he was hysterically funny! The violinist was very talented but unfortunately very full of herself. This was our first 10 day cruise. It was perfect in length. However we found the people to be a lot older than we are used to. Many older folks with wheelchairs, walkers, and other assistive devices. It was pretty much the geriatric love boat. We met awesome people and will stay lifelong friends. That is priceless. Our previous cruises were on Costa, and Royal Caribbean. Our daughter had the best cruise ever. We had a lot of good times too. We will be returning to Royal Caribbean in the future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
This was our 4th cruise with Princess and 7th altogether. We have decided to stick with one cruise line to build up loyalty points, and I truly believe amongst the major players like Celebrity, Holland America and Princess, there is not a ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Princess and 7th altogether. We have decided to stick with one cruise line to build up loyalty points, and I truly believe amongst the major players like Celebrity, Holland America and Princess, there is not a lot of difference between them. Embarkation: Passengers can start boarding after 11 AM. Check in was very quick for us at about 1230. The cab from the airport (FLL) was only $15 (tip included). The Cabin: We had a balcony which was nice. But it's quite small, maybe 4 feet by 10 feet. Just enough for 2 chairs and a square table. The room is well designed but the shower is the smallest one I have ever used on board a ship. The Ship: Beautiful public rooms and very clean. Big ship for 2000 passengers. I love to use the gym and it was almost never busy each day when I went. Service: Excellent as usual for Princess. Very friendly staff. Food: Love the desserts! Sometimes had 2 at at time! Unfortunately put on some weight after the end of the cruise. The main dining room food was good enough. No need to pay extra for specialty restaurants. Anytime dining is a real bonus onboard Princess. Tip- to avoid excessive weight gain, stick to the dining rooms rather than the Horizon Court buffet. Entertainment: we are in our 40's and the shows were geared to people in their 50-60s. IE most of the passengers. Skipped most of the shows. Enjoyed Curtains Up, couple of guest singers and the guest magician. Excursions: 1) Cozumel. Lots of wreckage cause by last year's hurricane. ?Wilma The Chankanaab National Marine Park is still closed. The snorkeling trip by boat for $35 for 3 hours was a bit of a let down. We booked this on the pier. Snorkeled at 2 sites. Not great. Some corals are wrecked by the aforementioned storm. Shopping is good here. Lots of shops. Nice to walk around. 2) Grand Cayman. We did stingray city trip 3 years ago. This is a must see site. This year we cabbed to famous 7 mile beach. Got dropped off at the Public Beach for snorkeling. Better than Cozumel but still not outstanding. The beach here was not bad. But have seen a lot better elsewhere. Can rent chairs and umbrellas here. 3) Limon, CR. It is a disgusting town. You have to do excursions to get anything out of this port. Best to arrange it on the pier- lots cheaper. In AM we did the jungle aerial ride attached to a cable. We flew through the trees just like Tarzan! 12 cables in all. In PM cabbie took us to a jungle boat trip to see wildlife, flora, etc. as well as a banana plantation. All worthwhile and interesting. 4) Panama Canal. Highlight of the trip. Got up at 5 AM in order to secure the best spot up front to see the ship enter the first lock at 6 AM. Wanted to take some great photos which I did. Highly suggest taking a ship excursion. Otherwise you stay on board and double back through the same locks. Our excursion was the best! We did the ocean to ocean trip which took us by boat to traverse the rest of the canal to the Pacific Ocean. Not cheap though- $169/person. Avoid Cristobel where the ship docked. Security guy from the ship told us his mate almost got killed while strolling in the city. It looked like a poor ugly port city. 5) Montego Bay, Jamaica. Again, an ugly large Caribbean city. Skip the downtown shopping district. You will get the best shopping at the Caymans and Cozumel. We took the cab to doctor's beach. Small but lovely. Good snorkeling here also. Very busy spot. Overall nice cruise. I recommend it. The Canal was the best! Read Less
Sail Date February 2006
Embarkation: We arrived at 12:00 noon from the hotel - on the boat in less than 30 minutes since we pre-registered on the web site. Totally painless. Luggage arrived by 1:30 AM in our rooms. Dining: Since we signed up for anytime ... Read More
Embarkation: We arrived at 12:00 noon from the hotel - on the boat in less than 30 minutes since we pre-registered on the web site. Totally painless. Luggage arrived by 1:30 AM in our rooms. Dining: Since we signed up for anytime dining we were limited to either the Horizon Court or the Bordeaux room. At the Bordeaux Room tables for 2 were 2 inches from the next table. Very strange situation for dining but meet new folks that way. Overall food was OK but not great. Service was quite good. Horizon court food at night was just as good as the dining room and you didn't need to dress up. Went through 4 bottles of wine over the course of the cruise. You can store bottles from night to night so you don't need to drink the entire bottle in one sitting. Ate at the speciality restaurants - Bayou - was good for very large portions. My husband had the biggest steak I ever saw. Sabatini's was better for me since it was 16 courses with a wide variety of food in smaller portions. Both were worth the extra money. For those dining in Horizon court get a plate and eat out by the pool its much nicer then in the dining room. Pizza by the pool: good variety and tasty but sometimes wasn't cooked enough. Pool grill: totally overcooked food but good for a change. Food choices overall were good but not enough variety. Stateroom: We had a normal Balcony room on Aloha deck. Awesome cabin steward. Smallest shower known to man (about 2 X 2) with a shower curtain and small ledge so when you shower expect water on the floor. Our balcony was covered and we were glad it was since it rained on some nights we were still able to use our balconies while those below us could not. All balconies below Aloha deck were viewable and open by those on Aloha deck. I don't think some folks ever looked up. Bring an extension cord if you need additional outlets. There are only 2 plugs in the room. Room service: Better be dressed when you order since it normally took less than 5 minutes. We had coffee on the balcony each morning. Room service was top notch they never messed up any orders. Bar Service: Quick but not very friendly. We tried all the bar's on the ship and they all measure (which can be good or bad). We each had a soda card (about 40.00 for 10 days) which we purchased as soon as we got on the ship. Princess supplies a small insulated cup for soda/water. You may want to consider bringing your own insulated cup. (We did and they refilled it just the same). Pools: Spa pool was covered and air conditioned. Outdoor pool was very noisy. Since our cruise had almost no kids we used the family pool on the back of the boat and it was perfect. Nice and quiet and very clean. Splash pool on 15th although we didn't use it (Only 2 inches deep). Cut through the teen area to get to the family pool (one deck above Aloha). One complaint on Coral since it is used for Alaska trips the windows in the main pool area didn't open and it got quite hot if you were sitting in one of the tables on the sides or the lounge chairs on the sides since no breeze except for the roof. Panama Canal: If you are on Aloha deck or the one below go to the back of the ship. There are 2 decks with chairs. We viewed the Panama Canal from here and had great view while the pool deck was packed with folks this wasn't very crowded and you can see both sides of the ship quite easily. Panama is easily the most humid place on earth. We took the Ocean to Ocean shore excursion through Princess which takes you to the Pacific ocean since the cruise ship only goes through the first set of locks to Gatun Lake. The Ocean to Ocean trip was nice although the women's rooms were disgusting and the lunch was a very bland sandwich in a box with a muffin so eat a big breakfast in the AM if you take this one and go the bathroom before you go. its a 90 minute bus ride from the ship to the smaller boat. There is also a Panamanian women on the boat selling souvenirs. Other shopping in Panama is strictly at the pier. (Christobel). Handicrafts and the usual. Lots of vendors selling the same things. The Panama Canal was amazing overall. Grand Cayman: Took the Stingray City Snorkel trip through Princess. It was very nice and fun. Very short ride (about 10 Minutes to the boat). There were 5 ships in port the same day as us. Shops were utter chaos...Cayman was tendered but the wait wasn't too long. Ocho Rios: We had been there 7 or 8 times so just walked to the plaza right off the ship and did some shopping and walked back to the ship since it was so hot we wanted to swim. Costa Rica: Was the day after Panama and all tours were at least 1.5 hour ride each way so we opted out and did some shopping. Leave the ship terminal and walk through town. Better prices and more variety. Stocked up on coffee and vanilla. Cozumel: We had also been there a few times so just did some shopping (mostly Mexican pottery) took a cab to town (6.00 each way). Very touristy. Entertainment: Geared toward the 55+ crowd which we were not. We attended a few shows (Juggler and ventriloquist were good), Coral princess dancers were terrible. Other shows played music our parents listened to so we left. (We are both in our 40s). Cooking Demo and galley tour: The galley tour is on the last day at sea with a cooking demo and was fun, but very crowded. Art Shows: There were 2 art auctions on board. I attended one was looking for Whalen but didn't purchase anything. SPA: Spa services were nice. Got a full massage and the masseuse was very good. Very clean. Workout Area: Had about 10 treadmills, Ellipticals, weights . Used 3 days never had to wait for a machine. Overall I wasn't overly impressed with Princess. I think we will go back to NCL which had more variety for dining options and better entertainment. In closing ship was clean and well maintained but the cabins on NCL were much nicer than Princess. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
We just returned from this cruise and wanted to provide some insights for other cruisers. This was my second Princess cruise (2 others on Celebrity) and my first to this destination. Here are high points and some areas that could use ... Read More
We just returned from this cruise and wanted to provide some insights for other cruisers. This was my second Princess cruise (2 others on Celebrity) and my first to this destination. Here are high points and some areas that could use improvement. The Ship - The Coral is a beautiful ship. We were in a mini-suite and the cabin size, balcony, and bathroom were the perfect size for us. The cabin steward, Manuel De Leon, was outstanding and provided a consistently high level of friendly service. The public rooms were excellent and the level of service was better than I had experienced on my previous Princess cruise aboard the Dawn a few years ago. Onboard activities were pretty standard, but the cruise staff was very entertaining - especially Peter, the assistant cruise director. Dining - The food was pretty good, but the quality was inconsistent. The beef and seafood both in the dining room and even the buffet was very good. The pastas were almost universally disappointing and the desserts were very hit-and-miss. The Horizon Court buffet was our choice for breakfast and lunch for those days we were on board. The quality was hit and miss, but pretty good. Service was so-so, but you expect that with a buffet. Alternative dining offered 2 venues - the Bayou Cafe (Cajun) and Sabatini's (Italian). We did not try the Bayou because the menu was very limited, but we heard good reviews. Sabatini's was a cut above the dining room, but the way they stage the meal is a little confusing. You only select your entree and dessert (very good Tiramisu). The other courses are a tasting menu and I would have preferred to choose one item for each of the courses. The time devoted to the meal was fine, but there some long lapses between courses. One nit-pick - since there was a $20.00 per person charge for dinning there, they should not charge for $2.00 for a Cappuccino. Entertainment - We did not attend the shows so we cannot give a review. There are three venues - The Princess Theatre, The Universe (2 level), and the Explorer's Lounge. There seemed to be a lot of variety daily. Lotus Spa - The pool was very nice and pretty much off limits to kids (not too many on the ship anyway). We did not take any spa treatments. Gym - Small and usually crowded. There were not a lot of classes (due to the average age of the passengers). Ports - A) Days at sea. This is a personal point for most people. I enjoyed the port-per-day break. I would have paced it to have only one day at sea to begin, but the itinerary was the main reason we selected the cruise. B) Costa Rica - The best. A beautiful country with magnificent scenery and wildlife tours. We took the Costa Rica's Favorites tour and had a wonderful time. Sloth sightings on the way. The aerial tram was an interesting way to see the rain forest but the main sights were plant life, butterflies and an Eyelash Pit Viper. Since this is an all day tour, the gift shop at the tram is an excellent place to shop. The second part of the tour is a cruise on the Tortugero canals. Fantastic wildlife sightings - 4 separate groups of Howler Monkeys, crocs, caimans, many birds, etc. Our guide, Daniel, was the best!! C) Panama - The partial transit through the Gatun Locks was very interesting. One suggestion - see the transit from the back of the ship. Everyone was up front and the back was practically deserted! Great views of the gates, the locomotives, other ships transiting, etc. Our tour was the Caribbean Rain Forest Nature Hike. A very poor and boring tour with almost no sightings except for a few birds. Perhaps take one of the train tours instead. D) Grand Cayman Island - A complete bust since very rough waters caused the cancellation of all snorkeling tours and most scuba tours. We took the Island Highlights Tour and it was pretty boring. Unfortunately, the devastation of Hurricane Ivan was very evident. The island was really devastated with 95% of the buildings either destroyed or damaged. E) Cozumel - A shopper's paradise if that is important to you. We split and took 2 tours - Tulum and the Dolphin Swim. I enjoyed Tulum, my girlfriend really loved the dolphin swim. It was the highlight of her cruise. F) Belize - Another hit! We took the Lamanai and River Cruise tour. It is all day, but it is very rewarding. The ruins were extremely interesting and the cruise provided a lot of wildlife sightings - especially birds. Howler monkeys were very much in evidence at the ruins. No shopping to speak of in this port. Fellow Passengers - Definitely an older crowd. Average age was probably close to 70. Almost no kids. A Final Word - Overall, we had a great cruise, but we feel that Celebrity is definitely superior. Read Less
Sail Date December 2004
My girlfriend and I (she's 23 I'm 30) chose the Coral Princess for our second cruise because of the opportunity to cruise the Panama Canal, the fantastic feedback we have received about the Coral, and because of the 10-day cruise ... Read More
My girlfriend and I (she's 23 I'm 30) chose the Coral Princess for our second cruise because of the opportunity to cruise the Panama Canal, the fantastic feedback we have received about the Coral, and because of the 10-day cruise length. We ended up having an excellent time on the Coral, and would recommend this cruise. I will however point out a few things that I think need to be improved in order for this cruise to get a 5 or 6 star rating. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale from Buffalo, NY, a day prior to our departure. I have family in Palm Beach, and we had a relaxing evening before heading to the port. We arrived at 12:45. My brother was able to drive right up to the pier, and drop us off right where the Princess busses let their passengers off. We both have passports and quickly moved to the line for platinum check-in. However, the folks at Platinum were dealing with some difficult passengers, and the Dolphin deck registration took us instead. After receiving our cards, we went upstairs to board the ship. Here we ran into some confusion, as the photographers really created unnecessary lines at a time when you really just want to get to your stateroom and begin exploring. We were on the ship just before 2:00. Although I have read much about Princess not having people in place to take you to your stateroom, there were tons of staff waiting at every doorway on the ship to guide us--we had no problem at all. After checking out the room and meeting our fantastic stateroom attendant, Thamanoon, we were surprised by wine, champagne, and a huge tray of appetizers from our wonderful family! What a way to start our cruise!!! We booked cabin D705 a mini-suite and were thrilled by our choice. Plenty of room, a full bathtub, covered balcony, and a great cabin steward. We asked for robes and down pillows (and got both on day #2). We then went exploring the ship. While exploring, we looked at the first evening's menu and found nothing that looked too hot, so we made a reservation for Bayou Cafe the first night. The host was nice enough to show us the week's menus for the dining rooms, and we proceeded to book Sabatini's later in the week on French night. Dinner at the Bayou was outstanding. One of the best filets of beef I have ever had, and great shrimp too! Well worth the $10. Sabatini's was very good too, but we were a little too picky to enjoy some of the more daring items on the menu. At both alternative restaurants, the service was A+. We selected PC dining, and would do so again, but ended up sitting at the same table at the same time most nights. We enjoyed Aniko, our fantastic waitress, and her assistant Gary, as well as the company of the nice couple who sat next to us and became our friends on the ship. The food was good, but not ever great. We also had a difficult time with the Maitre 'ds. Not only was it difficult to make reservations, but one time they gave our reserved table to someone else! (I had them reseat the other people). I think we were an afterthought because of our age. The ship was beautiful, the common areas very clean. In fact, it seemed like there was always someone cleaning, painting, etc... I was very impressed. We especially liked Explorer's lounge, which became our hang out. The staff there were excellent and DJ Mike kept the music going long after Princess closed the bar. The Lido pool was very nice as well, with plenty of chairs, lots of waiters to get us drinks, and perfect weather. We participated in Princess Survivor, several versions of trivia games, darts, and for the first time ever, Bingo. We tried to do as many activities as we could! The activities staff was great--Jack, Sam, Melissa, Vicki, the assistant CD Peter - who is so funny and would make a great CD. David, the CD was not too good though. We are not "show" people so I cannot comment on the entertainment, except for the comedian, who was hilarious! We used the Lotus Spa and were completely impressed! A major complaint: Most of the passengers on this cruise were very old and tended to be asleep by 10-11 p.m. There were some passengers who used the bars and lounges which were supposed to be open "till the wee hours." At least 4 times, Princess closed the bars throughout the ship with people in them who were enjoying themselves and wanted to remain out, and they did this at midnight!!!! Where I come from this is not good customer service, and midnight is not a "wee hour." By the end of the cruise, we stocked up on beer during the day to bring down to the bars when Princess decided to close them. Our first port was Limon, and we booked a tour with Oscar Brown to go zip lining. The tour was a mixed bag though--not as great as we had heard on the Ports of Call boards. Zip lining was unbelievable! Such a rush! I would recommend it to everyone- even if you are afraid of heights as I am. We also had the opportunity to hold a sloth, which made Kristin very happy, and got us some cool pictures. We visited the Del Monte banana plantation, and got a behind the scenes look which a large tour would never get. What was bad? First, the van. The van had to be running the whole time, because when it was shut off, we had to push it and jump start it to get it going again. I don't remember that from the brochures. Second, I don't remember reading anywhere what a long ride it was from the port to zip lining--almost 2 hours!!! I guess that is fine, but wish I could have mentally prepared..We did meet some awesome people on the tour, and have new friends because of it! Next was the Canal experience. We ordered breakfast on our balcony to be delivered at 7:30 which ended up being a good guess as to the time we transited the Canal. I got up at 5:30 and went to see if there was a better vantage point, but I think the balcony was best. There were tons of people on the bow thru the canal transit. Once in Gatun Lake, we tendered to shore and went on a very average, yet expensive eco-boat ride/tour which we booked thru Princess. Due to our intense dislike for waiting for slow people, we cancelled our tours in Grand Cayman and Cozumel, and decided to go it alone. In Grand Cayman, we found another couple with whom we shared a taxi, and for $13/pp we got an island tour that included Hell, 7 Mile Beach, and the Turtle Farm. (The exact tour we cancelled from Princess.) If you refuse to get on one of the large tour busses loaded with people, they will find you a small cab--fight the power!! Upon returning, we did some shopping and beach time before returning to the ship. Princess did a poor job with the tendering process. While in line to return, no tenders came for us in the time that 6 came for Royal Caribbean. When I questioned a crew member, he explained that it took a long time to get the older passengers on/off. Cozumel was very nice. We cabbed it to the main shopping area, which is torn up due to construction. We were provided with directions by Princess to give to the driver, which I thought was a nice touch. We made some purchases--nice sliver there, then went to Paradise Beach. PB was great! Relaxing, beautiful water, good drinks. We were hit with some disappointment in Belize. We had booked cave tubing with Extreme Cave Tubing, but were not able to get off the ship (tenders were given to ship excursions before anyone else was let off) in time. There was nothing else to do there. I understand this was completely our fault though. We ended up spending the day by the pool and working on our amazing tans. We were invited to attend a Bridge tour (I have no idea why or how) but were unable to go due to Kristin's participation in Survivor. After seeing the rest of the people on the tour, I can with 100% confidence say that the pool games were a much better choice, although I am sure the Bridge is interesting. On the last at sea day, we had champagne breakfast on the balcony (another gift) which was very good. Due to cold weather, we spent the rest of the day with our friends, Scott and Jenn, finishing the Princess bar hop and competing in activities. Overall, this was a very good cruise. We only have one other to compare it to, but why compare? I think you would have to make a conscious effort not to have a great time on a cruise! Like everything else, a cruise is all about the attitude you bring to it. If you want to have a great time, you will. If you want to be miserable, you will. THE BEST: 1. Service and staff 1a. The great people we met onboard. 2. Cleanliness of ship/common areas. 3. Lido pool. 4. Thermal spa at Lotus spa. 5. Princess Pizza is awesome! THE WORST: 1. No night life. 2. Maitre 'd at PC dining. 3. Tendering process. 4. Food quality -- not availability or selection. Feel free to contact me if I can explain or answer anything for you! Have a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2004
The ship was beautiful and the staff was helpful and friendly. I was a little disappointed with the entry onto the ship. On my last cruise, I was greeted with champagne and an eager staff member to show me to my cabin and take my carry-on, ... Read More
The ship was beautiful and the staff was helpful and friendly. I was a little disappointed with the entry onto the ship. On my last cruise, I was greeted with champagne and an eager staff member to show me to my cabin and take my carry-on, but on this ship we were left to find our own way. The shopping on the ship was limited and they ran out of a few items such as bug spray before we got to our first port. Our cabin steward, Manuel deLeon, was excellent and always available and eager to assist with anything. He also made your day by telling us to have a good day or asking how your day was. Our assistant waiter, Rolando, was top notch and kept us smiling. His smile never wavered through the cruise and he was always entertaining us. The cruise director and his staff were wonderful and made the cruise fun and the time at sea pass quickly. My favorite event was the horse racing with David, Peter, Vicki and Sam...you must see this event. Also, the culinary demonstrations were fun and David's comments and the chef's jokes were funny. Stay away from the guest lecturer/historian unless you need a nap...go to the port and shopping lectures instead. Food -- Was OK Dining room food was better than the Horizon Court, but nothing to write home about. The fresh fruit was wonderful as well as the Baked Alaska the last night. If you think you are going to work off calories at the gym...forget it because you will not be able to get a machine when you want it since the gym is very small. My suggestion is to walk the decks instead. Ports of call: Costa Rica -- I went on the aerial tram and Tortugero canal cruise (Costa Rica's Favorites) and it was filled with wildlife and an excellent view of the rain forests. Our guide, Daniel, was great and went out of his way to show us a banana farm, coconuts, a poisonous frog and other interesting sites. If you go on this, my suggestion is to shop at the gift shop at the aerial tram site. Panama -- The locks were breathtaking, but our Caribbean Rainforest and Nature Hike was extremely boring. I see more nature on my train ride to work than I did on the hike. Grand Cayman -- Unfortunately, due to high winds and seas all water activities were cancelled. We took the Island Highlights Tour and the best part of the tour was the rum cake factory. Cozumel -- ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL! You must do the swim with the dolphins and after that wander through the national park. Swimming with the dolphins is an experience that I will never forget and well worth the money. There is an opportunity to see some natives do their crafts and buy some of their wares at a reasonable price. (Bring cash to buy their crafts since they do not take credit cards.) Be careful buying items on the dock area since some crafts are imported from other areas and not from local craftsmen. Excellent shopping port. Belize -- Lamanai and New River Tour -- The ruins were breathtaking and there was a lot of history about the Mayan culture. We also had Howler monkeys visit us at the ruins. On the river cruise we sited bats, small crocodiles, birds and iguanas. Great trip. Read Less
Sail Date December 2004
We sailed on the Coral Princess to Alaska this summer on the July 31 cruise from Vancouver to Whittier. This was the first cruise for 7 of the 10 people in our party. The ship was a lot of fun for all of us and we ranged in age from 7 to ... Read More
We sailed on the Coral Princess to Alaska this summer on the July 31 cruise from Vancouver to Whittier. This was the first cruise for 7 of the 10 people in our party. The ship was a lot of fun for all of us and we ranged in age from 7 to 69. Both embarkation and debarkation were very easy for all of us. If we were to go to Alaska again, I would do different shore excursions than some of the ones we picked on this trip. Different folks in our party did different excursions in each port and most of us agreed that in the future we would not use the ship excursions, but look for the local ones instead. Alaska is an amazing trip and we highly recommend it. The Coral Princess was perfect for our group. We ate at both the Bayou and at Sabatinis, both were very good, but don't eat for a day or two before going to Sabatinis! The regular dining room was good food, we didn't have too many amazing meals there but it was very good. We also preferred the dining room for breakfast to the buffet. We found the crew to be very friendly and very willing to accommodate us, that's not always easy when you have to deal with 10 loud people! The service we received was very good. 6 of us had the same cabin steward, Homer, and he was very good to all of us, but did need to be reminded about a few requests more than once. My husband and I have already booked another cruise to the Caribbean next spring, this time we will try Celebrity's Summit to try something a little different. We debated between another Coral Princess cruise and the Summit one pretty heavily before deciding that we liked the one day longer on the Summit more. I would not hesitate to go with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2004
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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