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There were some good and bad aspects to this cruise. Here are the bad points: Terrible food- worst we have experienced on any cruise line. I had read previously about the poor pastries on Princess -none of which are made with butter. This wasn't a problem since we always overeat the delicious pastries available at Celebrity's Cafe al Bacio. We were OK with skipping pastries- one bite and you had to spit them out- good diet enforcement. Finding some palatable food in general was a big problem though on this cruise line. I don't know where they even got some of this food. I've never tasted such disgusting salmon which was available nightly from the "classic" side of the menu. What is their source? Food Lion? Horrible flavor with the added bonus of being as tough and overcooked as an old shoe. Revolting seafood in tomato sauce at the Italian and Louisiana specialty restaurants- lots of sugar added to the sauce. Stale breadsticks every night. Very poor salads- we never had a nice, interesting, crisp salad in 10 days. Commercial salad dressings. Terrible wines by the glass. All the cocktails were made with chemical laden mixes which rendered them undrinkable. I could go on and on- I think you get the picture. There were some really nice features, however: Excellent crew, helpful, friendly, hardworking. One of the best room stewards we've ever had. Passengers were an interesting mix- many Europeans- the demographics sort of reminded me of Azamara- mostly a more sedate, upper middle class crowd. We didn't attend any shows so I can't evaluate the night time fun but my impression was it wasn't a very lively scene. Mattress was very comfortable. Excellent pillows. The room was sometimes too hot at night and we had to throw off the duvet and sleep covered with just a single sheet. We requested an adjustment but if someone from maintenance did come, it was while we were out of the room and the net effect was the same temp as before. In general, the public areas were attractive and well maintained. The carpet in our room was very stained and needed to be replaced but the room in general smelled fresher and nicer than staterooms on Celebrity which often have sewage smells coming from the toilets. The Sanctuary was great on sea days- highly recommend. Wonderfully comfortable chaise lounges and attentive service. I think I'm off cruising for the next few years- it no longer holds the appeal it used to. We were very fortunate to get a "move over offer"- I would've been furious if we had paid full price for such lousy food. Is Princess slipping because it was bought by Carnival? I don't know- it was our first time sailing with them. But I will never sail Princess again and probably won't ever try Holland America either since it's now also owned by Carnival.

Golden Corral of the Seas

Coral Princess Cruise Review by flowery

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
There were some good and bad aspects to this cruise. Here are the bad points:

Terrible food- worst we have experienced on any cruise line. I had read previously about the poor pastries on Princess -none of which are made with butter. This wasn't a problem since we always overeat the delicious pastries available at Celebrity's Cafe al Bacio. We were OK with skipping pastries- one bite and you had to spit them out- good diet enforcement.

Finding some palatable food in general was a big problem though on this cruise line. I don't know where they even got some of this food. I've never tasted such disgusting salmon which was available nightly from the "classic" side of the menu. What is their source? Food Lion? Horrible flavor with the added bonus of being as tough and overcooked as an old shoe. Revolting seafood in tomato sauce at the Italian and Louisiana specialty restaurants- lots of sugar added to the sauce. Stale breadsticks every night. Very poor salads- we never had a nice, interesting, crisp salad in 10 days. Commercial salad dressings. Terrible wines by the glass. All the cocktails were made with chemical laden mixes which rendered them undrinkable. I could go on and on- I think you get the picture.

There were some really nice features, however:

Excellent crew, helpful, friendly, hardworking. One of the best room stewards we've ever had.

Passengers were an interesting mix- many Europeans- the demographics sort of reminded me of Azamara- mostly a more sedate, upper middle class crowd. We didn't attend any shows so I can't evaluate the night time fun but my impression was it wasn't a very lively scene.

Mattress was very comfortable. Excellent pillows. The room was sometimes too hot at night and we had to throw off the duvet and sleep covered with just a single sheet. We requested an adjustment but if someone from maintenance did come, it was while we were out of the room and the net effect was the same temp as before.

In general, the public areas were attractive and well maintained. The carpet in our room was very stained and needed to be replaced but the room in general smelled fresher and nicer than staterooms on Celebrity which often have sewage smells coming from the toilets.

The Sanctuary was great on sea days- highly recommend. Wonderfully comfortable chaise lounges and attentive service.

I think I'm off cruising for the next few years- it no longer holds the appeal it used to. We were very fortunate to get a "move over offer"- I would've been furious if we had paid full price for such lousy food. Is Princess slipping because it was bought by Carnival? I don't know- it was our first time sailing with them. But I will never sail Princess again and probably won't ever try Holland America either since it's now also owned by Carnival.
flowery’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BB A510
Nice balcony cabin. We liked being up high on Deck 12 with a full balcony overhang. Lots of red/pink makeup stains (?) all over the carpet. Very comfortable mattress.
According to the ship's floor plan, above us was the ice cream station (?). Occasionally we heard sounds like kids running but mostly just some loud rolling sounds- as if staff was rolling heavy food carts around for a brief period around 10p each night.
In general, a good, quiet room.
Aloha Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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    Toured entire island with a taxi driver that we hired at the port. Interesting to see but not very attractive or appealing to us. Would not return for a land based vacation.
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  • Cartagena (Colombia)
    We had a good experience with a private guide, Eusebio Pisciotti Casares, eusebiopisciotti@hotmail.com
    He picked us up promptly in a small, air conditioned sedan with a driver. The cost was 160USD for about 4-5 hrs. We did a quick tour of the monastery and then toured the old section on foot. We had a superb lunch at Cande restaurant in the Centro Historico district. He waited outside with the driver while we ate. He also took us to a great coffee shop, San Alberto.
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  • Colon (Cristobal)
    We did a required ship excursion by bus- Miraflores locks and the old section of Panama City. Our driver talked waaaay too much- stood at the front of the bus with a microphone and blabbed on and on for 2 hrs. A bright spot was the tasty lunch buffet at Atlantic and Pacific Co at the locks. Great views and much better food than what was available on the ship. We were glad we ate here instead of waiting for the provided "Subway" chicken salad sandwich which appeared a little later in the tour. Uncomfortably hot and humid in Panama City. I recommend ear plugs and noise canceling head phones for these ship excursions.
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  • Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
    Long lines at the port on disembarkation following the shooting at FLL the previous day. Short, fast line for passengers with Global Entry cards.
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  • Ocho Rios
    We had a wonderful half day at the Jamaica Inn. Beautiful breezes, views, excellent lunch, excellent drinks. Comfortable chaise lounges under shade trees or palapas. Nice sand, pretty beach. We were given a beautiful suite as part of our day pass, unfortunately, had to get back on our ship too soon. Snorkeling and paddle boards appeared to be available although we didn't use them. A beautiful spa is also on the premises but we didn't have time to use it. Transportation to and from the Jamaica Inn was a small additional cost- the inn is about 10 min from the port.
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  • Tayutic Hacienda
    Excellent experience at this beautiful, high spot in the hills of Costa Rica. A long bus ride (2 hrs) but worth it. Fun demonstrations of sugar cane extraction, macadamia harvesting and hulling etc. Excellent simple lunch, much better than the food on Princess cruise line. The only drawback was the nonstop monologue via microphone by our guide- a full two hours on the way up to the hacienda. Thankfully, he was quiet on the return. Bring earplugs and or noise canceling headphones.
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