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My husband and I have travelled extensively, but only cruised 4 times. Our last cruise was on Holland America to Alaska and the travel agent who had booked that trip for us claimed that we would be disappointed if we changed to Princess. Thank goodness we didn't listen to her. Our trip was fabulous!! The only complaint I can think of was that the Ranch dressing was real Ranch! Otherwise everything else was great. Sanitization and cleanliness were evident everywhere we went. There were always staff cleaning. The public rooms were beautifully decorated and always tidied up by the staff The best bargain of the trip: buy the soda pass when you get on. This gives you unlimited sodas, tonic, non-alcoholic drinks. This is not well marketed and I wish I had taken advantage of this. The option of being able to bring on your own wine is great. A friend gave the four of us 8 bottles of champagne to drink on the cruise on our balconies. What a treat! The embarkation process went extremely smooth and quick. Much better than Holland America where we stood in line for over 2 hours. Finding our way around the ship was very easy. We travelled with close friends who had the cabin next to us. In reading about the other reviews regarding lack of balcony privacy we found this to not be true. Yes, if you hung way over the edge or around the divider you could see your neighbors. The only problem was that the swinging gate between balconies on conjoined cabins could not be latched open and there was not way to open it ourselves. The first night it banged. But we quickly solved the problem by using a luggage belt to keep it open. We were lucky as our weather was good. It was windy the first day at sea and then some drizzle. The ship was very steady in some rough seas and we never felt any rolling. The food was much better than Holland America, although we did not try the separate restaurants. They never looked to be that busy. As we were travelling as a foursome, we requested a large table. We were booked with the most delightful travelling companions: a family of four and two singles. We had a late seating, which as we were usually the last out of the dining room, we were unable to get seated at most of the late shows. But this was a self inflicted problem as if we really wanted to see the shows we could have made more of an effort. I do think they should start the late show at 10:30 instead of 10. It seems that a lot of the early seating diners wait until 10 to see the show, making it hard for the late seated to get in. Our waitress, Daniela, was from Romania and she was spectacular! We did experience problems with personality from another waitstaff when we attended one of the wine tastings, but otherwise, all staff that we encountered were top notch, no matter where we saw them. They all seemed to work several areas of the ship and it was nice that the staff developed a rapport with the passengers. The Horizon Buffet was much better laid out than Holland America or Costa. We never had to wait in line and they were quite stringent on hand sanitation. The food was also hot We booked all our tours in advance via the internet. We were not impressed by the stop in Costa Rica. The portside shopping was not much better than Tijuana, and the stallkeepers were pushy. This pushiness was not experienced in any other port. We took a jungle excursion and viewed lots of birds and wildlife. Our stop in the Panama Canal was 1st class. We booked the train trip Atlantic to Pacific; do not bother with upgrading the $10 to the higher class. The "snack" was more than adequate: sandwich, water, cookie, chips; not at all lacking as we were told. Grand Cayman was hard hit by the storms and it is still in evidence. We booked a tour to the turtle farm which was well worth it. I would have felt comfortable not booking the tour on board and just taking chances getting a tour as you get off the boat. The tour operators were very nice and I think you would have gotten an honest tour operator. We booked the Mayan ruin tour in Belize. While that was very interesting, the tour guide felt it her obligation on the return trip to take us through the extreme poverty areas of Belize. I felt this was very unnecessary to drive a tour bus full of "wealthy" foreigners through such an area of poverty. We swam with the Dolphins in Cozumel. What a treat! The water was unbelievably clear. While I would not have traded in this opportunity, I would have no problem taking a taxi to the snorkeling area ($10 per taxi) and there is plenty of snorkel equipment to rent. We out a deposit down on a future cruise (2006) which is good for four years. What a great bargain. If your travel agent also offered any shipboard credits, these will apply as well. I will gladly be a return customer to Princess. The disembarkation process was handled very well. We booked an Everglades tour, which unfortunately can only be booked on board. Therefore, if you have scheduled a late flight to take advantage of this and not enough people sign up for it, you could be hanging around for several hours. But, there were plenty of people booked and the tour was worth it.

Coral Princess - Central America/Panama Canal

Coral Princess Cruise Review by gologo

Trip Details
My husband and I have travelled extensively, but only cruised 4 times. Our last cruise was on Holland America to Alaska and the travel agent who had booked that trip for us claimed that we would be disappointed if we changed to Princess. Thank goodness we didn't listen to her. Our trip was fabulous!! The only complaint I can think of was that the Ranch dressing was real Ranch! Otherwise everything else was great.
Sanitization and cleanliness were evident everywhere we went. There were always staff cleaning. The public rooms were beautifully decorated and always tidied up by the staff
The best bargain of the trip: buy the soda pass when you get on. This gives you unlimited sodas, tonic, non-alcoholic drinks. This is not well marketed and I wish I had taken advantage of this. The option of being able to bring on your own wine is great. A friend gave the four of us 8 bottles of champagne to drink on the cruise on our balconies. What a treat!
The embarkation process went extremely smooth and quick. Much better than Holland America where we stood in line for over 2 hours. Finding our way around the ship was very easy. We travelled with close friends who had the cabin next to us. In reading about the other reviews regarding lack of balcony privacy we found this to not be true. Yes, if you hung way over the edge or around the divider you could see your neighbors. The only problem was that the swinging gate between balconies on conjoined cabins could not be latched open and there was not way to open it ourselves. The first night it banged. But we quickly solved the problem by using a luggage belt to keep it open.
We were lucky as our weather was good. It was windy the first day at sea and then some drizzle. The ship was very steady in some rough seas and we never felt any rolling.
The food was much better than Holland America, although we did not try the separate restaurants. They never looked to be that busy. As we were travelling as a foursome, we requested a large table. We were booked with the most delightful travelling companions: a family of four and two singles. We had a late seating, which as we were usually the last out of the dining room, we were unable to get seated at most of the late shows. But this was a self inflicted problem as if we really wanted to see the shows we could have made more of an effort. I do think they should start the late show at 10:30 instead of 10. It seems that a lot of the early seating diners wait until 10 to see the show, making it hard for the late seated to get in.
Our waitress, Daniela, was from Romania and she was spectacular! We did experience problems with personality from another waitstaff when we attended one of the wine tastings, but otherwise, all staff that we encountered were top notch, no matter where we saw them. They all seemed to work several areas of the ship and it was nice that the staff developed a rapport with the passengers.
The Horizon Buffet was much better laid out than Holland America or Costa. We never had to wait in line and they were quite stringent on hand sanitation. The food was also hot
We booked all our tours in advance via the internet.
We were not impressed by the stop in Costa Rica. The portside shopping was not much better than Tijuana, and the stallkeepers were pushy. This pushiness was not experienced in any other port. We took a jungle excursion and viewed lots of birds and wildlife.
Our stop in the Panama Canal was 1st class. We booked the train trip Atlantic to Pacific; do not bother with upgrading the $10 to the higher class. The "snack" was more than adequate: sandwich, water, cookie, chips; not at all lacking as we were told.
Grand Cayman was hard hit by the storms and it is still in evidence. We booked a tour to the turtle farm which was well worth it. I would have felt comfortable not booking the tour on board and just taking chances getting a tour as you get off the boat. The tour operators were very nice and I think you would have gotten an honest tour operator.
We booked the Mayan ruin tour in Belize. While that was very interesting, the tour guide felt it her obligation on the return trip to take us through the extreme poverty areas of Belize. I felt this was very unnecessary to drive a tour bus full of "wealthy" foreigners through such an area of poverty.
We swam with the Dolphins in Cozumel. What a treat! The water was unbelievably clear. While I would not have traded in this opportunity, I would have no problem taking a taxi to the snorkeling area ($10 per taxi) and there is plenty of snorkel equipment to rent.
We out a deposit down on a future cruise (2006) which is good for four years. What a great bargain. If your travel agent also offered any shipboard credits, these will apply as well.
I will gladly be a return customer to Princess. The disembarkation process was handled very well. We booked an Everglades tour, which unfortunately can only be booked on board. Therefore, if you have scheduled a late flight to take advantage of this and not enough people sign up for it, you could be hanging around for several hours. But, there were plenty of people booked and the tour was worth it.
gologo’s Full Rating Summary
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