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This was our 14th cruise but the first time on Princess. EMBARKATION We flew in from Tahiti the night before and stayed at the Holiday Inn San Pedro. Although there were a number of negative reviews of this hotel, it was within our price range and we had stayed at other HI hotels so decided to take a chance. Very pleased we did. Arriving at 9am we thought we would not be able to get into our room until 3pm. However, it was ready so we were able to have a shower and relax before walking around the area. Our room was spotlessly clean, shower and bed both great. What more do you want ? We did not eat in the hotel as there were a number of restaurants in the vicinity and we also had breakfast at the Gaffey Street Diner. There was also a liquor store adjacent to the hotel where we bought wine to take on board the ship. Hotel shuttle was $5 pp which delivered us right to the dock where our cases were promptly collected. We arrived at about 11am. Embarkation was very efficient and we were in our room around 12.30pm. SHIP After 14 days on board the Coral Princess, we can say that we would be more than happy to sail on this ship again. It is very easy to move around on board. We had a triple cabin with plenty of cupboard space. Sure, the shower is small but you really don't want to spend a lot of time in it, do you ? We enjoyed the first 3 full days at sea just relaxing and familiarizing ourselves with the ship. PORTS OF CALL Huatulco, Mexico - No organized tour. We went swimming at the beach alongside the pier. Lovely clean water and sandy beach. Shops also had good prices for T-shirts, etc. Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala - We took the ship's tour "Antigua on your own". This was a 1-1/2 hour drive each way to and from Antigua. Not a great deal to see. Would probably not recommend this trip. Puerto Corinto, Nicaragua - No organized tour. Very dirty town. Others who booked tours were disappointed. I believe that Princess should omit this port from its itinerary. Puntarenas, Costa Rica -We took ship's "Scenic tour". Alvaro was an excellent guide. We were interested in the fruits and actually saw cashew nuts growing for the first time. The tour included a visit to Espanza township with a short folkloric performance by local school children. Panama Canal Full Transit - This was the highlight of the cruise for my husband who was out on board from 5.15am. Cartagena, Colombia - Took ship's tour of Cartagena. Another excellent guide - Eduardo. Humidity was very high. Visited Fort San Felipe, La Popa Monastery and the old town which is really quite beautiful. Quite a number of passengers expressed concern about leaving the ship at this port so they decided to stay on board. I think that they missed out on a really great travel experience. Aruba - Caught the local bus to Eagle Beach. Really lovely beach. We decided that this is a port that we would like to go back to at some time in the future for a longer stay. Best internet rates at this port - $1.60 for 30 minutes. Fort Lauderdale - Took tour from ship. Disembarking went smoothly. Airboat ride in the Everglades, alligator show and a visit to the Flamingo wildlife sanctuary before arriving at the airport. This was a good tour if you have a late flight. ENTERTAINMENT Comedian, Kevin Hughes, was excellent. Enjoyed Ron Merritt in the Crooners Lounge. Also showtime dancers and singers did well. LAUNDRY As we were travelling for 5 weeks in all, we were grateful for the self-service laundry on board. DISAPPOINTMENTS This was the first time that we have cruised where we did not see the captain at any time - not even at the Captain's cocktail party. The talk on the various ports consisted of hardsell for Diamonds International and other shops. Very little explained about the actual port. Luckily I had done quite a lot of homework before the cruise. Cost of internet. After using the onboard facilities once at the exorbitant cost, we decided to check our emails using port facilities which were so much cheaper. We had to arrive in the Princess Theatre 45 minutes before shows to ensure that we were able to find a seat. Being Aussies - we really dislike the daily gratuity charges imposed on our account. We believe that such gratuities should be earned and rewarded accordingly. I truly believe that passengers should be given the flexibility of rewarding cabin stewards and dining room waiters personally for services rendered rather than have this gratuity charge imposed upon them. Can someone explain why there is a 15% service charge imposed on each and every drink yet there is this additional blanket daily gratuity charge ?

The Path Between the Seas

Coral Princess Cruise Review by aussietravels

Trip Details
This was our 14th cruise but the first time on Princess.
EMBARKATION
We flew in from Tahiti the night before and stayed at the Holiday Inn San Pedro. Although there were a number of negative reviews of this hotel, it was within our price range and we had stayed at other HI hotels so decided to take a chance. Very pleased we did. Arriving at 9am we thought we would not be able to get into our room until 3pm. However, it was ready so we were able to have a shower and relax before walking around the area. Our room was spotlessly clean, shower and bed both great. What more do you want ? We did not eat in the hotel as there were a number of restaurants in the vicinity and we also had breakfast at the Gaffey Street Diner. There was also a liquor store adjacent to the hotel where we bought wine to take on board the ship. Hotel shuttle was $5 pp which delivered us right to the dock where our cases were promptly collected. We arrived at about 11am. Embarkation was very efficient and we were in our room around 12.30pm.
SHIP After 14 days on board the Coral Princess, we can say that we would be more than happy to sail on this ship again. It is very easy to move around on board. We had a triple cabin with plenty of cupboard space. Sure, the shower is small but you really don't want to spend a lot of time in it, do you ?
We enjoyed the first 3 full days at sea just relaxing and familiarizing ourselves with the ship.
PORTS OF CALL
Huatulco, Mexico - No organized tour. We went swimming at the beach alongside the pier. Lovely clean water and sandy beach. Shops also had good prices for T-shirts, etc.
Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala - We took the ship's tour "Antigua on your own". This was a 1-1/2 hour drive each way to and from Antigua. Not a great deal to see. Would probably not recommend this trip.
Puerto Corinto, Nicaragua - No organized tour. Very dirty town. Others who booked tours were disappointed. I believe that Princess should omit this port from its itinerary.
Puntarenas, Costa Rica -We took ship's "Scenic tour". Alvaro was an excellent guide. We were interested in the fruits and actually saw cashew nuts growing for the first time. The tour included a visit to Espanza township with a short folkloric performance by local school children.
Panama Canal Full Transit - This was the highlight of the cruise for my husband who was out on board from 5.15am.
Cartagena, Colombia - Took ship's tour of Cartagena. Another excellent guide - Eduardo. Humidity was very high. Visited Fort San Felipe, La Popa Monastery and the old town which is really quite beautiful. Quite a number of passengers expressed concern about leaving the ship at this port so they decided to stay on board. I think that they missed out on a really great travel experience.
Aruba - Caught the local bus to Eagle Beach. Really lovely beach. We decided that this is a port that we would like to go back to at some time in the future for a longer stay. Best internet rates at this port - $1.60 for 30 minutes.
Fort Lauderdale - Took tour from ship. Disembarking went smoothly. Airboat ride in the Everglades, alligator show and a visit to the Flamingo wildlife sanctuary before arriving at the airport. This was a good tour if you have a late flight.
ENTERTAINMENT
Comedian, Kevin Hughes, was excellent. Enjoyed Ron Merritt in the Crooners Lounge. Also showtime dancers and singers did well.
LAUNDRY
As we were travelling for 5 weeks in all, we were grateful for the self-service laundry on board.
DISAPPOINTMENTS
This was the first time that we have cruised where we did not see the captain at any time - not even at the Captain's cocktail party.
The talk on the various ports consisted of hardsell for Diamonds International and other shops. Very little explained about the actual port. Luckily I had done quite a lot of homework before the cruise.
Cost of internet. After using the onboard facilities once at the exorbitant cost, we decided to check our emails using port facilities which were so much cheaper.
We had to arrive in the Princess Theatre 45 minutes before shows to ensure that we were able to find a seat.
Being Aussies - we really dislike the daily gratuity charges imposed on our account. We believe that such gratuities should be earned and rewarded accordingly. I truly believe that passengers should be given the flexibility of rewarding cabin stewards and dining room waiters personally for services rendered rather than have this gratuity charge imposed upon them. Can someone explain why there is a 15% service charge imposed on each and every drink yet there is this additional blanket daily gratuity charge ?
aussietravels’s Full Rating Summary
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