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Just returned from the 10 day Panama Canal cruise and had a great time. The ship is beautiful, comfortable, and fast. The staff was excellent and really tried to please even when communication was not always easy. We would do the cruise again in a heartbeat. We had a mini-suite without the balcony which made it a bit larger. Very comfortable and allowed one of us to nap while the other watched tv from the sofa on the second tv. The bathroom had a full tub and shower and was plenty roomy by cruise ship standards. I travel with a messy person and never felt cramped. This review is from the perspective of someone who has cruised 5 times and my other half who was experiencing his first cruise. My first time on Princess. The tours: Next time we would arrange our own tours. We are divers and dove Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. We probably would not even get off the boat in Ocho Rios, what a dump. The diving was ok but we were hounded to purchase cheap beads for that were worth 50 cents for $20 bucks in between dives. We walked into town after and were offered drugs, women, beggars, you name it. If you get off there are two shopping areas close to the ship that are ok. I wouldn't bother to go any further. Take a taxi to Dunns River Falls which is 10 minutes away. No need to take a tour. The Panama Canal is fascinating and once you go thru the first 3 locks they dock at Gatun lake but you can only get off if you have scheduled a tour, otherwise you stay on the boat and go back thru the same 3 locks. We took a Changes River cruise and Nature walk. Interesting but really not as we hoped. It was fun to watch the ship from the canal overlook as it went back thru the locks. Different view altogether. Next time we would stay on the ship. Shopping in Panama was right at the dock and you really don't want to go any further anyway. Highly recommend the rain forest tram tour. Really something to see for sure. Really enjoyed and may consider doing it again. We didn't see much in the way of mammals as other tours did but I'm glad we chose it. Costa Rica shopping is right at the dock as well, and again you probably do not want to go into town anyway. Grand Cayman is great and so is Cozumel. The Food If you are a vegetarian, don't plan on anything too exciting. They need to work on this area. The food I would rate a 7 just due to the inconsistency. The buffet was pretty good with a big selection and the two pay restaurants were ok. My other half enjoyed the fish and steaks at all of the restaurants. Overall it wasn't a big issue and we sure didn't starve for sure! The entertainment was great, the shows were fabulous. They were definitely targeted for the older crowd and if you are under 50 may find the entertainment in the lounges not to your liking. We are in our 40's and enjoyed the shows and dancing. The jazz in the New Orleans style restaurant was fabulous. Wow! The casino was fun and so were the art auctions. Watch someone spend over $100K during the trip on art. Very informative on the artist etc. The recreation was great, something for everyone. The pools very nice and never really had trouble finding a chair. Lots of quieter spaces if you don't like the loud music by the pool. Would have used the spa but found it way overpriced. I'm a big spa person but just couldn't justify what they wanted for treatments. They were offering half off the day we were in Cozumel. The fitness center is great and no charge. If you are a young person and want to party, I would recommend a different cruise. I would say the average age was over 65. You spend alot of time trying to move around slow passengers. On that note, a great cruise for seniors. As someone mentioned in a previous review, they charge for sodas. You can purchase a large soda looking can item and have it refilled thru the cruise for $39.50. What a pain to carry around and to dinner. Pictures were very expensive and yes we did feel there was a lot of nickel and diming going on. Would have paid a flat daily fee for all beverages if offered like an all inclusive. Overall the extras were a bit expensive. Several people we met had cruised with Princess many times and only cruise with Princess they love it so much. They did say they felt it had gone down a little since Carnival purchase. As a side note, we asked some people from the Carnival Inspiration to take our picture at the dock in Cozumel. They told us their ship was horrible and rat infested. They couldn't wait to get off. Again we had a great time, came back rested and ready to go again. We will cruise with Princess again but will try other cruise lines as well.

Coral Princess - Central America/Panama Canal

Coral Princess Cruise Review by worldseekr

Trip Details
Just returned from the 10 day Panama Canal cruise and had a great time. The ship is beautiful, comfortable, and fast. The staff was excellent and really tried to please even when communication was not always easy. We would do the cruise again in a heartbeat. We had a mini-suite without the balcony which made it a bit larger. Very comfortable and allowed one of us to nap while the other watched tv from the sofa on the second tv. The bathroom had a full tub and shower and was plenty roomy by cruise ship standards. I travel with a messy person and never felt cramped.
This review is from the perspective of someone who has cruised 5 times and my other half who was experiencing his first cruise. My first time on Princess.
The tours: Next time we would arrange our own tours. We are divers and dove Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. We probably would not even get off the boat in Ocho Rios, what a dump. The diving was ok but we were hounded to purchase cheap beads for that were worth 50 cents for $20 bucks in between dives. We walked into town after and were offered drugs, women, beggars, you name it. If you get off there are two shopping areas close to the ship that are ok. I wouldn't bother to go any further. Take a taxi to Dunns River Falls which is 10 minutes away. No need to take a tour.
The Panama Canal is fascinating and once you go thru the first 3 locks they dock at Gatun lake but you can only get off if you have scheduled a tour, otherwise you stay on the boat and go back thru the same 3 locks. We took a Changes River cruise and Nature walk. Interesting but really not as we hoped. It was fun to watch the ship from the canal overlook as it went back thru the locks. Different view altogether. Next time we would stay on the ship. Shopping in Panama was right at the dock and you really don't want to go any further anyway.
Highly recommend the rain forest tram tour. Really something to see for sure. Really enjoyed and may consider doing it again. We didn't see much in the way of mammals as other tours did but I'm glad we chose it. Costa Rica shopping is right at the dock as well, and again you probably do not want to go into town anyway.
Grand Cayman is great and so is Cozumel.
The Food
If you are a vegetarian, don't plan on anything too exciting. They need to work on this area. The food I would rate a 7 just due to the inconsistency. The buffet was pretty good with a big selection and the two pay restaurants were ok. My other half enjoyed the fish and steaks at all of the restaurants. Overall it wasn't a big issue and we sure didn't starve for sure!
The entertainment was great, the shows were fabulous. They were definitely targeted for the older crowd and if you are under 50 may find the entertainment in the lounges not to your liking. We are in our 40's and enjoyed the shows and dancing. The jazz in the New Orleans style restaurant was fabulous. Wow! The casino was fun and so were the art auctions. Watch someone spend over $100K during the trip on art. Very informative on the artist etc.
The recreation was great, something for everyone. The pools very nice and never really had trouble finding a chair. Lots of quieter spaces if you don't like the loud music by the pool.
Would have used the spa but found it way overpriced. I'm a big spa person but just couldn't justify what they wanted for treatments. They were offering half off the day we were in Cozumel. The fitness center is great and no charge.
If you are a young person and want to party, I would recommend a different cruise. I would say the average age was over 65. You spend alot of time trying to move around slow passengers. On that note, a great cruise for seniors.
As someone mentioned in a previous review, they charge for sodas. You can purchase a large soda looking can item and have it refilled thru the cruise for $39.50. What a pain to carry around and to dinner. Pictures were very expensive and yes we did feel there was a lot of nickel and diming going on. Would have paid a flat daily fee for all beverages if offered like an all inclusive. Overall the extras were a bit expensive.
Several people we met had cruised with Princess many times and only cruise with Princess they love it so much. They did say they felt it had gone down a little since Carnival purchase. As a side note, we asked some people from the Carnival Inspiration to take our picture at the dock in Cozumel. They told us their ship was horrible and rat infested. They couldn't wait to get off.
Again we had a great time, came back rested and ready to go again. We will cruise with Princess again but will try other cruise lines as well.
worldseekr’s Full Rating Summary
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