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We had always wanted to do an Alaskan cruise and had the fun of going on this one with some friends who had never been on a cruise at all. They loved it and had a few misconceptions about cruising corrected. It was fun to watch THEM have so much fun, and of course we enjoyed almost every minute as well. Their main misconceptions (as far as I know) were that the ship would be jammed full of people everywhere you turned, not true, and that the cabin might be uncomfortably small, again not the case. We boarded the ship in Vancouver and got there a day early to avoid and last minute airline mishaps. Boarding time for the Coral Princess was between 1:00 and 3:30; we waited until about 2:30 and the lines were practically nonexistent. Our cruise was a Sip-and-Sail promotion (if you booked a balcony cabin or larger, all your beverages were included). This included cocktails up to $10 ea. (and most were), coffees (including specialty coffees as long as they were under $10) and soft drinks and bottled water. For us, this was a wonderful deal and we all had fun trying various martinis in the martini bar, Crooners. Our cabin was always spotless. The Coral Princess is not a new ship, and the room showed some minor signs of wear, but nothing at all serious or objectionable. The bed was plenty large enough for two of us and the mattress was super comfy! My only caution to a new cruiser would be about the shower: it's tiny, maybe 30"x30"? This was my only negative about the whole cruise. I dreaded taking a shower and I am not a big person. The food was consistently good. Don't expect gourmet meals, but don't expect everyday food either. They do a great job considering the number of people they are serving every day. We usually ate at the buffet for breakfast - plenty of choices to please everyone including lots of fresh fruits, made to order eggs and omelets, cereals, pastries, meats and a few ethnic dishes. We made reservations a couple of nights at two of the "specialty" restaurants that charge a cover charge but have different food than the buffet and everyday dining restaurants. Again, it was always good, but I was never overly impressed by the food, just that they prepare so much of it! You can do a galley tour to get an idea of what goes on in behind the scenes. There is plenty of entertainment of various types on board and two large theaters in which to view it as well as other places on board for various games and activities. We enjoyed the "Dancing with the Princess Stars" one evening - it was very comical. 95% of the service we had on the ship was fantastic. The crew bend over backwards to make sure all is as it is supposed to be. We have been on other cruises with Princess before bit this is the first time we did a LOT of excursions. We did the float plane out of Ketchikan (fabulous). We didn't plan anything else because this is a short day in port, but now I regret not seeing the lumberjack show. Other people enjoyed it and we would have had time. We did a whale watching cruise out of Juneau. I recommend the National Geographic endorsed cruise because it's a much smaller boat and you can see much better. I think it only sat about 20 people. We also did the Mt. Roberts Tram. In Skagway we did the railway (which pretty much everyone does). If there was one excursion I could undo, it might be that one - it's interesting, but it seems like there might've been better things to do with our 4 hours. In the afternoon we did a "river adventure" where a high speed ferry takes you to Haines and then a bus takes you to the river boats. We all loved this excursion because we were the last boat of the day so the waterways were quiet and we saw several moose. Our final excursion was in Whittier and was the 26 Glacier cruise. Princess charges $54/person to transfer to Anchorage and we thought we'd buy an excursion that included the transfer, but as it turned out, the transfer was added to the price of the tour so there was no savings and the boat was so crowded it was unpleasant. The views of the glaciers were much better from the Coral Princess, so I wish we had just paid the $54 for the transfers. There is a tunnel between Whittier and Anchorage that costs an arm and a leg, so I guess that's why taxis don't come there from Anchorage and the busses can charge so much! As a final note, we learned too late that you can book a "behind the scenes" tour that takes you into many not usually seen areas like the bridge, the ship's hospital, the engine room etc.. You have to do it VERY early in the cruise and it's fairly expensive, but I know a lot of people including myself love to see what goes on behind the scenes. I have other family members who have never been on a cruise and I would go on this one again in a heartbeat! We all felt like South to North was preferable to North to South because the scenery just gets better and better!

Fun cruise with friends!

Coral Princess Cruise Review by nnieser

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
We had always wanted to do an Alaskan cruise and had the fun of going on this one with some friends who had never been on a cruise at all. They loved it and had a few misconceptions about cruising corrected. It was fun to watch THEM have so much fun, and of course we enjoyed almost every minute as well.

Their main misconceptions (as far as I know) were that the ship would be jammed full of people everywhere you turned, not true, and that the cabin might be uncomfortably small, again not the case.

We boarded the ship in Vancouver and got there a day early to avoid and last minute airline mishaps. Boarding time for the Coral Princess was between 1:00 and 3:30; we waited until about 2:30 and the lines were practically nonexistent.

Our cruise was a Sip-and-Sail promotion (if you booked a balcony cabin or larger, all your beverages were included). This included cocktails up to $10 ea. (and most were), coffees (including specialty coffees as long as they were under $10) and soft drinks and bottled water. For us, this was a wonderful deal and we all had fun trying various martinis in the martini bar, Crooners.

Our cabin was always spotless. The Coral Princess is not a new ship, and the room showed some minor signs of wear, but nothing at all serious or objectionable. The bed was plenty large enough for two of us and the mattress was super comfy! My only caution to a new cruiser would be about the shower: it's tiny, maybe 30"x30"? This was my only negative about the whole cruise. I dreaded taking a shower and I am not a big person.

The food was consistently good. Don't expect gourmet meals, but don't expect everyday food either. They do a great job considering the number of people they are serving every day. We usually ate at the buffet for breakfast - plenty of choices to please everyone including lots of fresh fruits, made to order eggs and omelets, cereals, pastries, meats and a few ethnic dishes.

We made reservations a couple of nights at two of the "specialty" restaurants that charge a cover charge but have different food than the buffet and everyday dining restaurants. Again, it was always good, but I was never overly impressed by the food, just that they prepare so much of it! You can do a galley tour to get an idea of what goes on in behind the scenes.

There is plenty of entertainment of various types on board and two large theaters in which to view it as well as other places on board for various games and activities. We enjoyed the "Dancing with the Princess Stars" one evening - it was very comical.

95% of the service we had on the ship was fantastic. The crew bend over backwards to make sure all is as it is supposed to be.

We have been on other cruises with Princess before bit this is the first time we did a LOT of excursions. We did the float plane out of Ketchikan (fabulous). We didn't plan anything else because this is a short day in port, but now I regret not seeing the lumberjack show. Other people enjoyed it and we would have had time.

We did a whale watching cruise out of Juneau. I recommend the National Geographic endorsed cruise because it's a much smaller boat and you can see much better. I think it only sat about 20 people. We also did the Mt. Roberts Tram.

In Skagway we did the railway (which pretty much everyone does). If there was one excursion I could undo, it might be that one - it's interesting, but it seems like there might've been better things to do with our 4 hours. In the afternoon we did a "river adventure" where a high speed ferry takes you to Haines and then a bus takes you to the river boats. We all loved this excursion because we were the last boat of the day so the waterways were quiet and we saw several moose.

Our final excursion was in Whittier and was the 26 Glacier cruise. Princess charges $54/person to transfer to Anchorage and we thought we'd buy an excursion that included the transfer, but as it turned out, the transfer was added to the price of the tour so there was no savings and the boat was so crowded it was unpleasant. The views of the glaciers were much better from the Coral Princess, so I wish we had just paid the $54 for the transfers. There is a tunnel between Whittier and Anchorage that costs an arm and a leg, so I guess that's why taxis don't come there from Anchorage and the busses can charge so much!

As a final note, we learned too late that you can book a "behind the scenes" tour that takes you into many not usually seen areas like the bridge, the ship's hospital, the engine room etc.. You have to do it VERY early in the cruise and it's fairly expensive, but I know a lot of people including myself love to see what goes on behind the scenes.

I have other family members who have never been on a cruise and I would go on this one again in a heartbeat! We all felt like South to North was preferable to North to South because the scenery just gets better and better!
nnieser’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BB B404
Everything was great about our cabin except for the tiny shower. I wonder if any of the larger cabins have larger showers??
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