Princess Elite passengers spent pre-cruise night at LAX Airport Marriott. We found a better rate through AAA for the same hotel that Princess uses and were able to use the Princess "airport" transfer from the HOTEL to the ship. If boarding in Ft.Lauderdale a cab is the way to go...less than $20 to the ship includes a stop at "Total Wine" on the way. The Coral Princess was decorated for Christmas with holiday music playing in the atrium. Our balcony cabin E210 was ready when we boarded at 1PM. Our category "BG" was the lowest priced unobstructed balcony at the time of our booking on a "guarantee" basis seven months prior to sailing. We did not get upgraded.
The Horizon Court was well stocked for the hungry travelers. Pizza was available on deck 14 and burgers and hot dogs on deck 15. The only fault I could find with the food in general was weak coffee and watered down juice. I switched to tea which had lots of different choices. We had second seating traditional at 8:15 PM which was wonderful. The new menus are great with lots of choices. The always available steak went away (tornados still available) and the fettucine alfredo was not as good as in the past. The caesar salad is still available every night, with anchovies on request...yummy. There were three formal nights on each 14-day cruise.
You can expect lots of children on any Christmas/New Years cruise. We had 350 minors, mostly teenagers who were not very well behaved, ignoring most of the rules and roaming the ship in groups of ten or more. Our second cruise which began on 1/6 had 26 well behaved children.
We only took part in one shore excursion"Colonial Granada and Las Isletas Boat Ride" out of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. It was a long bus ride (4 hours plus) for a so so meal and a 45 minute boat ride. A total waste of time and money. We went mainly for the "cruising" and not the ports. Our favorite ports were Huatulco and Aruba. The highlight of this trip is the Panama Canal and of course the beautiful Coral Princess.
I am a fairly big guy and did not have any problems with the small shower. If one puts the curtain inside the shower enclosure, the water will not get all over the floor. DUH!
Yes, the grab rail could be better located; it is a ship afterall. E210 is forward on a dead end passage with very little traffic. It is the lowest non-obstructed balcony on the port side and is very quiet....a real gem!