This cruise fulfilled a number of my travel criteria:
Check off a bucket list item-Done
Go places I have never been before-Done
Eat in restaurants that I can't find at home-Done
Experiencing the Panama Canal was definitely on the bucket list. Experiencing it on the Coral Princess was icing on the cake! Even before we got to Florida, Princess was taking care of us.
About a week prior to departure, Princess asked us to "move over" from our reserved mini-suite cabin to a balcony cabin; in exchange they would refund a substantial portion of our cruise fare. Yes, please! Embarkation was a breeze-we walked into our cabin less than an hour after arriving at the port terminal.
The ship was beautiful; the public spaces well maintained and our cabin was spacious enough for us, despite the tiny bathroom (we didn't realize how much we appreciated the larger shower in the mini-suite until we didn't have it!). Plenty of closet space for 10 days worth of clothes for two people, too.
We chose late sitting traditional dining (another "traditional" dining room offers Anytime Dining and, of course, the Horizon Court offers buffet style dining) The wait staff in the Provence dining room were attentive and talented (be sure to have Mark sing to you for your special occasion). As you would expect, the food was plentiful and delicious.
We loved attending the enrichment lectures about the port and about the Canal itself. The onboard port specialist was very knowledgeable about the history of the Canal.
The highlight for us was being on the ship as it traversed the Gatun Locks and watching other ships go through them as well. What a sight that was!
We choose Princess because their pricing is fair, their Future Cruise program is very nice, and they offer onboard credits to active duty military and veterans. With both of us being veterans, this benefit will usually cover the cost of one shore excursion for us.
The cabin was spacious enough for two people. The bed was so comfortable that it was hard to get up in the morning! We loved sitting on the balcony. A couple of mornings we enjoyed stateroom dining on our balcony. We were on the port side of the ship; having learned on a previous cruise that selecting a balcony cabin on the stern means that you get ash from the smokestacks in your coffee! The closet was spacious enough for
We took the Everglades Airboat Ride and Flamingo Gardens with FLL airport transfer shore excursion. The guide was very informative and had a great sense of humor. The airboat held approximately 20 people in rows of 4 or 5; so if you aren't on the outside of your row you aren't going to get good photo ops. Other than that, this was a great tour-as a bonus it includes two pictures-one with a baby alligator and one just before getting on the airboat. Everyone gets a nice treat after the Flamingo Gardens tour-I won't spoil the surprise!View All 149 Everglades Tour Reviews
This shore tour was supposed to include time for shopping. Two of the sites had small gift shops; but there was no time for shopping in the downtown area; this was a bit disappointing. However, the guide was knowledgeable about the area and very friendly.View All 29 Butterfly Farm Reviews
We booked this tour through our USAA-affiliated travel agent. The group was small (12) and the guide, Benny, was outstanding. We saw La Popa Monastery, Cartagena's Cathedral, had several shopping opportunities, and was returned to the ship in plenty of time to board prior to sailing. Highly recommend this tour!View All 367 City Tour Reviews
I basically got off the ship to purchase postage stamps and mail a postcard to our grandson. The shops that line the street across from the pier had a good selection of local craft items as well as the usual touristy items. Restaurants had fair prices. We were scheduled to depart Colon at 7:30 PM. Six tour buses from ship-sponsored shore excursions pulled up at 7:20! A testament to the promise that the ship will wait for all cruise line sponsored tours to return before the ship departs.
This was our splurge excursion and it was well worth the money! We toured the coffee plantation that supplies coffee beans to many internationally known coffee brewers, including Starbucks, Tchibo, Lavazza, and Peet's to name a few. Lunch in the local hotel was wonderful. The tour guide was very knowledgeable. Made for a long day, but the scenery on the drive was beautiful.View All 6 Coffee Bean tour Reviews
Weather conditions prevented the ship from docking in Ocho Rios. Initially, we were disappointed but the Cruise Director staff did a great job of offering activities for this unexpected day at sea. It might have been nice to substitute a day at Princess Cay instead...but I don't know if that was practical as I don't know where the private island is in relation to Jamaica and Ft. Lauderdale.