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Here's a brief review of the good and not-so-good on our 10 day cruise to Jamaica, Costa Rica, Panama Canal and Aruba...roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, March 4-14, 2003. The ship was great and new. The public areas are very comfortable and nicely decorated. The outdoor pool is only for swimmers...7 feet deep all the way. There's another pool, smaller and can be covered, about 6 feet deep. The cabin, outside with balcony, was comfortable and well serviced. Room service is always available, with tips covered in the general 15% charge. We heard no noise from adjoining cabins. Temp. control was good and individually adjustable. We had "Personal Choice" dining, which was frequently cumbersome, since we wanted to sit with another couple alone all the time, which took some time and a little aggravation to achieve. Next time we'll go for the fixed seating. The food was exceptionally good and lots of choices. The price to use the internet was outrageous at $ 0.50 per minute. Generally speaking, we felt extra charges are overdone, for the Courses offered, beauty treatments and even the afternoon ice cream is now for extra charge. When the sea was moderately rough, I felt woozy and took some Dramamine, first time I ever needed that on any of our 5 cruises. I read from other reviews that the stabilizers on this ship don't work well. I don't know. I asked the captain about the 2 jet engine casings mounted on the stack. They are purely decoration, the single GE LM 2500 Marine Industrial jet engine is lower in the stack. For security there are no tours of the Bridge any more. We took several excursions: The first in Jamaica/Ocho Rios was led by an excellent guide, a Princess tour to Paradise Park, a "fireman "on the way, the Dunn's River Falls, which we watched from the side, and general tour of the vicinity, with shopping stop. Next in Limon/Costa Rica "Jungle River Eco tour " offered a boat ride through the rainforest, which was OK but got boring after a while. Then a bus ride back to the ship through numerous banana plantations.. The next morning early up to not miss the entrance to the Panama Canal. After the first set of locks, in Gantun Lake, we disembarked via a tender for an excellent excursion, which lasted all the rest of the day. This Princess trip was not listed on the choices presented at home before we left but was offered on the ship, for $ 124 per person. After a 2 hour bus ride through the Canal Zone, we ended up at the Chagres River, where we got on a smaller ship which proceeded through all the rest of the locks behind and around a giant Panmax Hyunda car carrier. This was the highlight of our cruise, especially after reading McCollough's book on the History of the Panama Canal. From outside Panama City, the Pacific Ocean southern end of the Canal, we bussed back to the ship, which was waiting for us, about an hour late. Next stop was Aruba, much changed from 20 years ago. We signed up for a 2 hour guided mini-bus tour at the end of the dock, for $ 10 apiece, which was very interesting. First to the eastern shore/Natural Bridge, then back through the desert to the luxurious beach hotel area, with a lot of time left for downtown exploring and shopping. Overall a great experience and very enjoyable trip. July 2003

Coral Princess

Coral Princess Cruise Review by EKahn35

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 1899
  • Destination:
Here's a brief review of the good and not-so-good on our 10 day cruise to Jamaica, Costa Rica, Panama Canal and Aruba...roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, March 4-14, 2003.

The ship was great and new. The public areas are very comfortable and nicely decorated. The outdoor pool is only for swimmers...7 feet deep all the way. There's another pool, smaller and can be covered, about 6 feet deep. The cabin, outside with balcony, was comfortable and well serviced. Room service is always available, with tips covered in the general 15% charge. We heard no noise from adjoining cabins. Temp. control was good and individually adjustable. We had "Personal Choice" dining, which was frequently cumbersome, since we wanted to sit with another couple alone all the time, which took some time and a little aggravation to achieve. Next time we'll go for the fixed seating. The food was exceptionally good and lots of choices. The price to use the internet was outrageous at $ 0.50 per minute. Generally speaking, we felt extra charges are overdone, for the Courses offered, beauty treatments and even the afternoon ice cream is now for extra charge. When the sea was moderately rough, I felt woozy and took some Dramamine, first time I ever needed that on any of our 5 cruises. I read from other reviews that the stabilizers on this ship don't work well. I don't know. I asked the captain about the 2 jet engine casings mounted on the stack. They are purely decoration, the single GE LM 2500 Marine Industrial jet engine is lower in the stack. For security there are no tours of the Bridge any more.

We took several excursions: The first in Jamaica/Ocho Rios was led by an excellent guide, a Princess tour to Paradise Park, a "fireman "on the way, the Dunn's River Falls, which we watched from the side, and general tour of the vicinity, with shopping stop.
Next in Limon/Costa Rica "Jungle River Eco tour " offered a boat ride through the rainforest, which was OK but got boring after a while. Then a bus ride back to the ship through numerous banana plantations..
The next morning early up to not miss the entrance to the Panama Canal. After the first set of locks, in Gantun Lake, we disembarked via a tender for an excellent excursion, which lasted all the rest of the day. This Princess trip was not listed on the choices presented at home before we left but was offered on the ship, for $ 124 per person. After a 2 hour bus ride through the Canal Zone, we ended up at the Chagres River, where we got on a smaller ship which proceeded through all the rest of the locks behind and around a giant Panmax Hyunda car carrier. This was the highlight of our cruise, especially after reading McCollough's book on the History of the Panama Canal. From outside Panama City, the Pacific Ocean southern end of the Canal, we bussed back to the ship, which was waiting for us, about an hour late.
Next stop was Aruba, much changed from 20 years ago. We signed up for a 2 hour guided mini-bus tour at the end of the dock, for $ 10 apiece, which was very interesting. First to the eastern shore/Natural Bridge, then back through the desert to the luxurious beach hotel area, with a lot of time left for downtown exploring and shopping.
Overall a great experience and very enjoyable trip.

July 2003
EKahn35’s Full Rating Summary
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