Not what we expected: Coral Princess Cruise Review by ZOCALO

Coral Princess 3
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating

Not what we expected

Sail Date: February 2012
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Ft. Lauderdale, embarkation:
Very efficient, quick and simple. From cab to the ship in twenty minutes, well done!

First impression:
Boarding the ship-a pretty dull routine, no feeling of being welcomed. Missing the " WOW feeling".

Cabin (Sorry, "stateroom"):
Rather small, yet bright and "cosy", no sofa, just two chairs.
Thank goodness for the balcony!
Minimalist-airplane size with a 60x60 cm shower alcove added on. No bath. Was wondering how can full-bodied people fit in!

General presentation of the ship:
Very decent newish ship, 10 years old. Maintenance is very good. Everything worked fine during the full period of 14 days.

No complains. Standards were kept up at all times.
Cabin was serviced twice daily, felt always fresh and looked after.

Being a major component of a cruise, turned out to be extremely disappointing, by far the weakest component of the More cruise.
Dinner: First night-assigned to a table of eight pleasant people.
Food served on cheap looking plain white china. The waiter made an effort but the menu options didn't allow for a balanced composition of courses. The meal served was pretty tasteless and the presentation was very basic. Absolutely no finesse or style; Coffee at the end of the meal-served for an extra charge!
Following nights: Moved between the Sabatini, a specialty restaurant-excellent, beautiful presentation (cover cost $20.00 p.p.) and the Horizon buffet-at least one could see and choose the food, served on plastic plates (!), but unfortunately the sight wasn't uplifting. No fresh juices, had to ask for lemonade...pretty basic flaws!
Overall, with a few exceptions, the dishes were bland, unimaginative, repetitive and tired looking. A very small variety for vegetarians. For health conscious guests the choice was almost non-existent. Overpowering use of heavy sauces and gravies (To cover up the blandness?).
On the last night of the cruise ended up with a food poisoning, probably due to spoiled seafood. Not a nice ending!

Public areas:
Look reasonably appealing, a typical cruise ship "Las Vegas style" decoration.

It is well known that the sale of merchandize is a major component of the business of the cruise lines. Yet here it felt like the push to sell is particularly hard and "in your face".

Las Vegas/off Broadway fare. Good experienced cast providing
polished performances. A couple of good soloists.
All in all-the type of shows you expect on a cruise. A bit of a change from the all American fare could've freshened it up. Why not bring in some local Latin sounds while cruising around Central America?

"ScholarShip @ Sea ", in particular the lectures relating to the ports on the itinerary and the story of the Panama Canal, were very good.
During the rest of the day the range of activities was quite limited.

Many staff members looked bitter and not happy, serving without a smile. Is there is an issue with low morale? Is it the wide mix of nationalities that doesn't allow cohesion? Other reasons for dissatisfaction?

In summery:
Not very impressed with the experience and don't think that we'd book another cruise with Princess. Didn't feel that we were able to "Escape completely", as their slogan claims... Less

Published 04/13/12

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