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This was not our first cruise, but it was our first on the Princess line. We booked through an online travel agency and were pleased with the service and price. We flew down to Ft. Lauderdale the day before embarking. It was a good thing we did, as a winter storm delayed flights from many airports. The hotel provided a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel, and transportation to the Port for a charge of $10 per person. Embarkation was well organized and we waited only a short time to board the ship. Ship personnel were stationed at the elevators to direct you to your cabin. The cabin was attractively decorated and had plenty of room for our belongings. There was sufficient hanging space in the closet area, along with a cabinet that had several shelves and a safe. The bathroom had one of the smallest showers I have ever seen on a cruise, but it was immaculate. Unfortunately, there were two very dirty handprints on the drapes over the patio doors. The veranda had four plastic chairs and a small table. A desk in the main cabin area had four deep drawers and one shallow drawer (and a hairdryer on the wall.) We had everything put away within an hour of boarding. We had signed up for a fixed dining time and were assigned a table for nine. Because many of our table mates took advantage of the "anytime" dining or ate at the specialty restaurants, there were only four nights when the entire group was at the table. Despite never knowing just how many people were going to be at the table on any one night, the dining room waiters were excellent. We usually ate our breakfast and lunch in the Horizon Buffet and, although the traffic pattern left something to be desired, there was always an ample supply and good variety. We also tried the pizza and the hamburgers on the pool deck. Although service was excellent, the food was somewhat of a disappointment. Even in the main dining room, the food was OK, just not extraordinary. We chose this trip for the itinerary and, except for Montego Bay, Jamaica, we were not disappointed. We had booked shore excursions online before we left home, but our first excursion in Jamaica, white water rafting, was cancelled due to low water. We immediately went to the Tour desk to reserve another excursion. On the advice of the tour staff, we signed up for, "Rafting on the Martha Braye". What a mistake! Just getting off the ship in Jamaica was a joke. They had people in line down the halls and up the stairs onto another floor waiting to get off. We finally found our tour guide in the terminal and then waited over 30 minutes before she led us to a bus. The bus was clean but certainly not very new. The roads were terrible and we bumped and jolted for almost an hour before we got to the rafting site, where we received our complimentary glass of "rum punch". The Ladies bathroom at the rafting site had only two stalls and one of the toilets was overflowing onto the floor. After waiting another 20 minutes while vendors tried to sell you something, we were led down to the river. The rafts were made of bamboo poles wired together and had a bench seat for two people. Some of the rafts looked pretty unstable, but once you were sitting down, they were surprisingly comfortable. The "raft captain" poled the raft down the river and stopped at one point to try and sell you decorated gourds. The ride itself was pleasant if you ignored the sales pitches. The ride lasted about 40 minutes and then it was back on the bus for another rough ride back to the ship. We were gone from 10:30 AM until 4PM without any food. We found that there was another tour that included a different raft ride. That tour also included a trip through a banana plantation, and a complimentary lunch and cost only $10.00 more. When we complained about our trip at the Tour desk, the young lady who had recommended it acted like it was our fault. Perhaps Princess should have their Tour Desk staff take some of these excursions to find out what the tours are like! Our second port was Panama, and we elected to stay on board the ship to watch the progress through the locks. The cruise had an informative movie about the Canal available on TV, and also had a guest lecturer who spoke about the history of the Canal. We took lots of pictures! Our next stop was Limon, Costa Rica. Our tour here was to the Aerial Tram Ride in the rain forest. Although it was about an hour ride, the bus was very comfortable and the tour guide was excellent. The trip included a 45 minutes ride through the rain forest, lunch, and a guided tour of the grounds. It was a very good experience and well worth the money. There was a market on the pier where we bought reasonably priced souvenirs and several bags of good coffee. After a day at sea, we arrived at Grand Cayman Island. We did some snorkeling and enjoyed the warm water. Not much to do here unless you like the water. Our last stop was Cozumel, Mexico where we took a tour to a park for more snorkeling. We had been to Cozumel many years ago and the progress here was apparent. Everyone we met was pleasant and the stop was enjoyable. We felt we wanted to return to both Costa Rica and Cozumel. Disembarkation was very smooth. We had purchased transportation to the airport from Princess and waited on the bus for a very long time before it left for the airport, and then the driver had everyone stay on the bus until he had unloaded all the luggage. If you have an early flight for home, take a cab! There were not too many children on this cruise, but some were not the best behaved. They took over the pools by jumping and splashing so that many adults just resigned themselves to not using the pools when the kids were around. One gentleman asked them, in a very nice way, to calm down a little, and the adult with them got nasty. One evening we watched two boys take apart some of the pool furniture and throw it around. Later they climbed up on railings to jump into the pool. Two different Princess staff people walked by while this was going on and neither of them said anything to the boys. The Coral Princess is a beautiful ship and the service was excellent. However, food was not up to our expectations, and we did not appreciate the constant sales pitches. The "flea market" of last season's gift shop merchandise was definitely tacky. Would we book a Princess cruise again? We'd have to think about it.

Coral Princess - Central America/Panama Canal

Coral Princess Cruise Review by jw99

Trip Details
This was not our first cruise, but it was our first on the Princess line. We booked through an online travel agency and were pleased with the service and price. We flew down to Ft. Lauderdale the day before embarking. It was a good thing we did, as a winter storm delayed flights from many airports. The hotel provided a free shuttle from the airport to the hotel, and transportation to the Port for a charge of $10 per person.
Embarkation was well organized and we waited only a short time to board the ship. Ship personnel were stationed at the elevators to direct you to your cabin. The cabin was attractively decorated and had plenty of room for our belongings. There was sufficient hanging space in the closet area, along with a cabinet that had several shelves and a safe. The bathroom had one of the smallest showers I have ever seen on a cruise, but it was immaculate. Unfortunately, there were two very dirty handprints on the drapes over the patio doors. The veranda had four plastic chairs and a small table. A desk in the main cabin area had four deep drawers and one shallow drawer (and a hairdryer on the wall.) We had everything put away within an hour of boarding.
We had signed up for a fixed dining time and were assigned a table for nine. Because many of our table mates took advantage of the "anytime" dining or ate at the specialty restaurants, there were only four nights when the entire group was at the table. Despite never knowing just how many people were going to be at the table on any one night, the dining room waiters were excellent.
We usually ate our breakfast and lunch in the Horizon Buffet and, although the traffic pattern left something to be desired, there was always an ample supply and good variety. We also tried the pizza and the hamburgers on the pool deck. Although service was excellent, the food was somewhat of a disappointment. Even in the main dining room, the food was OK, just not extraordinary.
We chose this trip for the itinerary and, except for Montego Bay, Jamaica, we were not disappointed. We had booked shore excursions online before we left home, but our first excursion in Jamaica, white water rafting, was cancelled due to low water. We immediately went to the Tour desk to reserve another excursion. On the advice of the tour staff, we signed up for, "Rafting on the Martha Braye". What a mistake! Just getting off the ship in Jamaica was a joke. They had people in line down the halls and up the stairs onto another floor waiting to get off. We finally found our tour guide in the terminal and then waited over 30 minutes before she led us to a bus. The bus was clean but certainly not very new. The roads were terrible and we bumped and jolted for almost an hour before we got to the rafting site, where we received our complimentary glass of "rum punch". The Ladies bathroom at the rafting site had only two stalls and one of the toilets was overflowing onto the floor. After waiting another 20 minutes while vendors tried to sell you something, we were led down to the river. The rafts were made of bamboo poles wired together and had a bench seat for two people. Some of the rafts looked pretty unstable, but once you were sitting down, they were surprisingly comfortable. The "raft captain" poled the raft down the river and stopped at one point to try and sell you decorated gourds. The ride itself was pleasant if you ignored the sales pitches. The ride lasted about 40 minutes and then it was back on the bus for another rough ride back to the ship. We were gone from 10:30 AM until 4PM without any food. We found that there was another tour that included a different raft ride. That tour also included a trip through a banana plantation, and a complimentary lunch and cost only $10.00 more. When we complained about our trip at the Tour desk, the young lady who had recommended it acted like it was our fault. Perhaps Princess should have their Tour Desk staff take some of these excursions to find out what the tours are like! Our second port was Panama, and we elected to stay on board the ship to watch the progress through the locks. The cruise had an informative movie about the Canal available on TV, and also had a guest lecturer who spoke about the history of the Canal. We took lots of pictures!
Our next stop was Limon, Costa Rica. Our tour here was to the Aerial Tram Ride in the rain forest. Although it was about an hour ride, the bus was very comfortable and the tour guide was excellent. The trip included a 45 minutes ride through the rain forest, lunch, and a guided tour of the grounds. It was a very good experience and well worth the money. There was a market on the pier where we bought reasonably priced souvenirs and several bags of good coffee.
After a day at sea, we arrived at Grand Cayman Island. We did some snorkeling and enjoyed the warm water. Not much to do here unless you like the water. Our last stop was Cozumel, Mexico where we took a tour to a park for more snorkeling. We had been to Cozumel many years ago and the progress here was apparent. Everyone we met was pleasant and the stop was enjoyable. We felt we wanted to return to both Costa Rica and Cozumel.
Disembarkation was very smooth. We had purchased transportation to the airport from Princess and waited on the bus for a very long time before it left for the airport, and then the driver had everyone stay on the bus until he had unloaded all the luggage. If you have an early flight for home, take a cab!
There were not too many children on this cruise, but some were not the best behaved. They took over the pools by jumping and splashing so that many adults just resigned themselves to not using the pools when the kids were around. One gentleman asked them, in a very nice way, to calm down a little, and the adult with them got nasty. One evening we watched two boys take apart some of the pool furniture and throw it around. Later they climbed up on railings to jump into the pool. Two different Princess staff people walked by while this was going on and neither of them said anything to the boys.
The Coral Princess is a beautiful ship and the service was excellent. However, food was not up to our expectations, and we did not appreciate the constant sales pitches. The "flea market" of last season's gift shop merchandise was definitely tacky.
Would we book a Princess cruise again? We'd have to think about it.
jw99’s Full Rating Summary
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