First time Panama Canal cruise: Coral Princess Cruise Review by Mikkosmom3701

Coral Princess 4
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating

First time Panama Canal cruise

Sail Date: December 2013
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
We have sailed Princess before and been very happy with great food and entertainment. This cruise was very nice but we did not feel it was up to par with the one to Alaska. That could be because now I am on a gluten free diet and while the dining room head waiter was extremely helpful and made suggestions to tell me what the chef could fix for me or how he could adapt the meal to be gluten free, we did not always eat in the dining room. The food choices in the Horizon Buffet were numerous for the average eater but I did not see anything gluten free other than some of the fish, cheese, salad and fruit. That was pretty limiting for that amount of time on a ship. The gluten free pizza cooked to order was good for the first two slices. After that, I didn't like the taste. I know I read on a review that the person on a GF diet loved the pizza. I didn't. It is possible she had them put meat on it that gave it more flavor. I just had some veggies on it as I am trying to keep my meat More consumption down. There was one GF dessert each day. Some were very good. Some were OK and some were not very good. Everyone has different tastes though.

The entertainment was very good. My husband and I saw the magician, the mentalist and a comedian. They were all very good. The vocalists, singers and dancers were also very good. We didn't care for the very first show of the cruise. We feel there was more talent there than that show revealed.

We went to Aruba, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Jamaica. We were very disappointed with the snorkeling tour, arranged through Princess, in Aruba. The catamarans were too crowded, the snorkeling site had a few other cruise boats and everyone descended in the same place. Plus, there were divers over the wreck that was supposed to be one of the high points of the excursion. I realize that the hurricane did a lot of damage to the reef but I would assume that Princess knew that so there would not be much to see. There wasn't. The boat did not have a mask cleaner and the masks fogged up almost immediately, even cleaning it in the ocean. The fish were nothing special and the wreck was very crowded, not to mention dive bubbles coming up into your face. I think the write up of the excursions could have a little more detail in them.

The excursions in Panama, Costa Rica and Jamaica were a lot of fun and I would recommend them. We arranged our own tour in Cartegena, Colombia, with Dora de Explorer. It was a small tour of 13 in a very comfortable, air conditioned bus. Dora was wonderful. She wanted to make sure that everyone on the bus enjoyed themselves as much as possible. I would recommend her in a heartbeat. If you are interested, you can read more about that tour on Trip Advisor.

Going through the Canal was an amazing experience. The port lecturer gave information about it before and during our journey through the locks. It was great. We went on a boat on Gatun Lake and saw three kinds of monkeys and birds. The excursion in Costa Rica was a tram ride through the rainforest and a boat ride to see wildlife. We saw a family of howler monkeys, two small caiman crocodiles, a turtle, birds, an iguana and a sloth. That was also wonderful. It included a very nice lunch (which almost all was GF for me.)

We went tubing down a river in Jamaica and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The ride was very relaxing and safe. The innertubes are very tough. As our tour guide said, the water was 'refreshing.' The river guides who accompanied us were very social, personable and funny. Less

Published 01/05/14

Cabin review: C315

The cabin was very nice but small. My husband and I both felt that for a ten day cruise, we should have gotten a larger cabin with a larger shower. The room steward was great, attentive and efficient and always smiling.

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