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This was a cruise to Alaska with my husband and my in-laws for their 50th wedding anniversary. We chose the Coral by chance as it left Vancouver on my in-laws' actual anniversary. We were so happy with our choice. We loved the ship, our cabin and our cruise. I have reviewed the cabin separately. The ship itself was easy to navigate and lots of wide open areas great for viewing. We watched sailaway from Deck 14 and stayed on Deck 7/Promenade for glacier viewing as that deck is partially covered so provides some protection from wind and any rain. Princess did a wonderful job in Glacier Bay shutting the ship off completely so that calving could be heard and making sure all sides of the ship could see the glaciers. As suite guests, we had access to the thermal suite at the spa which was awesome--however at $249 per couple, there is no way I would pay full price for it. We only used it twice and it was free. But it was very nice and we enjoyed it. It was never crowded and we never had to wait for the stone beds. A great suite perk, but not something we would pay for. It was too cold to use the open pool on our cruise although my husband did brave the hot tub once. The covered Lotus pool was a sea of humanity and screaming kids every time we walked through there so we never used it. We lounged in their briefly once but it just wasn't relaxing. We toured the Sanctuary but it was too cold and would not have been worth paying for on our cruise. I must say that not having a free adults-only area would make me think twice about sailing on Princess again. I won't cruise on a ship again that doesn't have one other than to Alaska. Dining: We only ate in the main dining room one night for dinner and were not overly impressed with the food quality. So after that, we stuck to the specialty restaurants, eating at Bayou Café twice and Sabatini's once (both were great), We had breakfast in Sabatini's as suite guests which was nice and also had breakfast in the MDR which was ok also. Overall the food was ok, not spectacular with the specialty restaurants being the best. We enjoyed the pizza at the pool deck (my favorite cruise ship pizza) and the salad bar at the buffet as well as the granola for breakfast which was delicious. However we found the buffet very hectic every visit and it was difficult to find seating--the one breakfast we had on a port day we ended up sitting at a dirty table. The staff did their best to keep up but seem overwhelmed. We also had the pub lunch (fish and chips) which was fine but we never had lunch in the dining room. I didn't care for the soft serve ice cream on the pool deck. My in-laws liked their hamburger at the grill above the pool which is where they ate on embarkation day. We went to the Elite lounge in the Wheelhouse Bar which suite guests can also use twice and it was us and the same small group of about 4 people both times. This was a nice way to have a snack and a drink for free but that's about it. The snack buffet was quite elaborate and I felt bad that more people didn't use it. We had afternoon tea three times, twice in our suite and once in the dining room. I love having afternoon tea on a cruise and everything was delicious. The in-suite tea was WAY too much food so the second time, I ordered scones only. It was a wonderful suite perk and we really enjoyed it. They really do need to cut the food in half though when having it delivered to a suite. We ordered room service one time for breakfast and as expected, it wasn't very good and I don't recommend it unless you get boxed cereal. I did love that the juice tasted fresh squeezed everywhere, even in the buffet and dining room. It's small things like this that really stand out to me. We had the drink package and loved that bottled water was included and it was nice to just order a drink and not have to worry about it. It was free with the Sip and Sail promo and while we don't drink enough to make the cost of the package worth it, we did enjoy having it. Bars: We had a drink in Crooners almost every night. They have a very good red wine there so I had that every night as their martinis were too strong for me. Sometimes we would get a glass of wine or a mimosa and take it back to our room and drink it on the balcony at sailaway. We also got drinks at La Patisserie and had a drink one night at the Wheelhouse Bar. We enjoyed all of the venues and had good service. We did wish that there was a bar with larger windows for better viewing. (Tip: there is a little "nook" across from Crooners with two chairs and a table right by a window. I pointed it out to my ILs and they would always go there if it was open. Great place to sit and have a drink with a view. Another popular spot was a row of chairs by windows across from the Wheelhouse Bar.) Entertainment: We saw two shows, the Motown show Motor City and the Voice of the Ocean finale which was my favorite show I've ever seen on a cruise. We got to both shows a little early and had no trouble finding seating. We are not big show watchers on a cruise but we enjoyed both of these. My in-laws went to the stargazing (not worth it as it wasn't completely dark) and went to several of the Alaska-related presentations which they enjoyed. The captain also had a Q&A one morning which was nice to attend. The captain did a great job of telling us what we would see and when. Also I had the Alaskan Cruise Companion which I highly recommend--they sell them during the Alaskan cruises and the captain was signing them during his Q&A. It was great to know what we would see the next day, what side of the ship to be on, etc. Service: Service was great throughout the cruise--we really only had one waiter at Crooners that was sort of surly. My husband had spilled his drink but he wouldn't give us any napkins because it was Glacier Bay day and he wasn't very nice, pointing and yelling that I go to the bathroom for paper towels (so I can get paper towels but I can't have a napkin?) Otherwise service was great throughout. I wish I could remember the names of all our waitstaff because they were really great. Excursions: We did two ship excursions and both were outstanding: the Misty Fjords Wilderness Cruise in Ketchikan and the Taku Lodge 5-Glacier Seaplane with the salmon meal included which was my family's favorite thing of the whole trip. Highly recommend both excursions, just be aware that the Misty Fjords cruise will take up almost your entire day in Ketchikan. So if you want to see the town, you won't have time. The Taku Lodge excursion is not to be missed. Embarkation and disembarkation were both a breeze. We boarded at 11:40 am and went straight to our cabin which was great. We were in the last group to get off and waited in the Wheelhouse Bar as suite guests. We had a long wait but since we had no flight to catch, they put us in the last group which is understandable. They had water, juice and pastries in the Wheelhouse bar. We got off the ship around 9:45 am. I would take this exact cruise again and not change a thing, it was amazing.

Wonderful Cruise!

Coral Princess Cruise Review by Beachiekeen

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Vista Suite with Balcony
This was a cruise to Alaska with my husband and my in-laws for their 50th wedding anniversary. We chose the Coral by chance as it left Vancouver on my in-laws' actual anniversary. We were so happy with our choice. We loved the ship, our cabin and our cruise.

I have reviewed the cabin separately. The ship itself was easy to navigate and lots of wide open areas great for viewing. We watched sailaway from Deck 14 and stayed on Deck 7/Promenade for glacier viewing as that deck is partially covered so provides some protection from wind and any rain. Princess did a wonderful job in Glacier Bay shutting the ship off completely so that calving could be heard and making sure all sides of the ship could see the glaciers.

As suite guests, we had access to the thermal suite at the spa which was awesome--however at $249 per couple, there is no way I would pay full price for it. We only used it twice and it was free. But it was very nice and we enjoyed it. It was never crowded and we never had to wait for the stone beds. A great suite perk, but not something we would pay for.

It was too cold to use the open pool on our cruise although my husband did brave the hot tub once. The covered Lotus pool was a sea of humanity and screaming kids every time we walked through there so we never used it. We lounged in their briefly once but it just wasn't relaxing.

We toured the Sanctuary but it was too cold and would not have been worth paying for on our cruise. I must say that not having a free adults-only area would make me think twice about sailing on Princess again. I won't cruise on a ship again that doesn't have one other than to Alaska.

Dining: We only ate in the main dining room one night for dinner and were not overly impressed with the food quality. So after that, we stuck to the specialty restaurants, eating at Bayou Café twice and Sabatini's once (both were great), We had breakfast in Sabatini's as suite guests which was nice and also had breakfast in the MDR which was ok also. Overall the food was ok, not spectacular with the specialty restaurants being the best. We enjoyed the pizza at the pool deck (my favorite cruise ship pizza) and the salad bar at the buffet as well as the granola for breakfast which was delicious. However we found the buffet very hectic every visit and it was difficult to find seating--the one breakfast we had on a port day we ended up sitting at a dirty table. The staff did their best to keep up but seem overwhelmed. We also had the pub lunch (fish and chips) which was fine but we never had lunch in the dining room. I didn't care for the soft serve ice cream on the pool deck. My in-laws liked their hamburger at the grill above the pool which is where they ate on embarkation day.

We went to the Elite lounge in the Wheelhouse Bar which suite guests can also use twice and it was us and the same small group of about 4 people both times. This was a nice way to have a snack and a drink for free but that's about it. The snack buffet was quite elaborate and I felt bad that more people didn't use it.

We had afternoon tea three times, twice in our suite and once in the dining room. I love having afternoon tea on a cruise and everything was delicious. The in-suite tea was WAY too much food so the second time, I ordered scones only. It was a wonderful suite perk and we really enjoyed it. They really do need to cut the food in half though when having it delivered to a suite.

We ordered room service one time for breakfast and as expected, it wasn't very good and I don't recommend it unless you get boxed cereal.

I did love that the juice tasted fresh squeezed everywhere, even in the buffet and dining room. It's small things like this that really stand out to me. We had the drink package and loved that bottled water was included and it was nice to just order a drink and not have to worry about it. It was free with the Sip and Sail promo and while we don't drink enough to make the cost of the package worth it, we did enjoy having it.

Bars: We had a drink in Crooners almost every night. They have a very good red wine there so I had that every night as their martinis were too strong for me. Sometimes we would get a glass of wine or a mimosa and take it back to our room and drink it on the balcony at sailaway. We also got drinks at La Patisserie and had a drink one night at the Wheelhouse Bar. We enjoyed all of the venues and had good service. We did wish that there was a bar with larger windows for better viewing. (Tip: there is a little "nook" across from Crooners with two chairs and a table right by a window. I pointed it out to my ILs and they would always go there if it was open. Great place to sit and have a drink with a view. Another popular spot was a row of chairs by windows across from the Wheelhouse Bar.)

Entertainment: We saw two shows, the Motown show Motor City and the Voice of the Ocean finale which was my favorite show I've ever seen on a cruise. We got to both shows a little early and had no trouble finding seating. We are not big show watchers on a cruise but we enjoyed both of these.

My in-laws went to the stargazing (not worth it as it wasn't completely dark) and went to several of the Alaska-related presentations which they enjoyed. The captain also had a Q&A one morning which was nice to attend. The captain did a great job of telling us what we would see and when. Also I had the Alaskan Cruise Companion which I highly recommend--they sell them during the Alaskan cruises and the captain was signing them during his Q&A. It was great to know what we would see the next day, what side of the ship to be on, etc.

Service: Service was great throughout the cruise--we really only had one waiter at Crooners that was sort of surly. My husband had spilled his drink but he wouldn't give us any napkins because it was Glacier Bay day and he wasn't very nice, pointing and yelling that I go to the bathroom for paper towels (so I can get paper towels but I can't have a napkin?) Otherwise service was great throughout. I wish I could remember the names of all our waitstaff because they were really great.

Excursions: We did two ship excursions and both were outstanding: the Misty Fjords Wilderness Cruise in Ketchikan and the Taku Lodge 5-Glacier Seaplane with the salmon meal included which was my family's favorite thing of the whole trip. Highly recommend both excursions, just be aware that the Misty Fjords cruise will take up almost your entire day in Ketchikan. So if you want to see the town, you won't have time. The Taku Lodge excursion is not to be missed.

Embarkation and disembarkation were both a breeze. We boarded at 11:40 am and went straight to our cabin which was great. We were in the last group to get off and waited in the Wheelhouse Bar as suite guests. We had a long wait but since we had no flight to catch, they put us in the last group which is understandable. They had water, juice and pastries in the Wheelhouse bar. We got off the ship around 9:45 am.

I would take this exact cruise again and not change a thing, it was amazing.
Beachiekeen’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Vista Suite with Balcony
Cabin S6 D703
We were in a Vista suite on Deck 9/Dolphin with a covered balcony. I highly recommend a covered balcony for Alaska. We were able to enjoy the balcony so much more than we would have otherwise. The balcony was huge with a table and two chairs, plus two loungers and a side table. Full shower and separate tub, double sinks, and sitting area. TV in living area and bedroom. All four of us were able to visit and have tea in the sitting area comfortably. The bed was comfortable and we slept great every night. No noise whatsoever in the room (just noisy neighbors on the balcony, but what can you do?) This was our first cruise in a suite and we have been spoiled forever!

Princess provides many perks for suite guests: priority embarkation/disembarkation, suite lounge, free access to the thermal suite--a wonderful perk we used many times, one free mini-bar setup, free breakfast in specialty restaurant, priority seating in dining room, and one free dinner in a specialty restaurant. All were used and enjoyed immensely.

Our cabin steward Kanit was outstanding.
Caribe Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Glacier Bay
    Princess did an excellent job in Glacier Bay.
    View All 645 Glacier Bay Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Glacier Bay Cruise Port Review
  • Float Plane
    We took the Taku Lodge 5-Glacier float plan excursion through Princess and it was awesome--probably our favorite thing we did on the whole trip.

    Before the excursion at 12:30, we took the 9:00 am white shuttle to Mendenhall Glacier and hiked to Nugget Falls and took the 11:00 shuttle back.
    View All 80 Float Plane Reviews
  • Wildlife Cruise
    We took the Misty Fjords Wilderness Cruise through Princess. We enjoyed it a lot and saw eagles, seals, and whales. Dress warmly. It does take the entire day in Ketchikan--we only had time to quickly grab some souvenirs on the way back. But we knew it was a 4-hour excursion and we enjoyed it. Part of the reason we were later was that the boat operator stayed as long as she could so we could see the whales.
    View All 22 Wildlife Cruise Reviews
  • Yukon Van Tour
    We took the Yukon Rail and Bus excursion with Chilkoot Charters. We took the bus up (Emerald Lake, Lake Bennett) and the train back from Fraser. Highly recommend. You must bring your passport.
    View All 116 Yukon Van Tour Reviews
  • Stanley Park
    We took a cab to Stanley Park, saw the rose garden, and took the horse carriage tour through the park.
    View All 39 Stanley Park Reviews