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We are seasoned cruisers (over 50) and probably have different expectations and reasons for cruising. This was our 8th trip to Alaska, so shore excursions were not a priority for us. We embarked in Vancouver and all things considered, it went fairly well. No matter how you get to the terminal, everyone has to go through customs, perhaps for the second time if you flew in. It took about an hour and a half in line before we were able to board, but we arrived at the cruise terminal around 12:30 p.m. Lines will probably be longer when ships initially start the boarding process and if there are more ships in port. Nothing any cruise line can do to speed up that process. Here’s my tip for anyone who hasn’t sailed from Vancouver. If you arrive by air, and you are able to move your luggage with relative ease, there is a train (The Canada Line) that has a stop right at the Vancouver Airport. It drops you at the Waterfront Station and from there is it a block and ½ walk to the cruise terminal. Cost is about $6/7 per person and only $2 for seniors. Beats the cost of taxis and bus transfers and is easy to navigate. Once onboard, we checked out our cabin, had a bit of lunch in the buffet and explored the ship. We found the Coral princess to be a very good choice for this trip. It is considered a medium sized ship in today’s menagerie of mega-ships. I thought it was just the right size and we never felt crowded. Others have commented on her age and felt she needed some updating. Perhaps, but we did not feel that way. The décor is quite elegant. The atrium area covered 4 decks with scenic elevators and is generally the hub of things to do and places to go. The Wheelhouse bar is reminiscent of a posh men’s club. Wood accents, leather chairs, small band and stage area and a bar at the back. Good place for wine and chilling. The Explorer Lounge, where many events happen (art auction, game shows, evening dancing, etc.) is midship and offers a casual small club feel. The Universe Lounge (Aft) is a much larger, two deck entertainment venue and is used for some of the live entertainment, including production shows. The Princess Theater is forward, theater style (bar service is by servers) and acts as one of the primary venues for live entertainment. The ship has a smaller casino than others we have sailed. The food on the ship was exceptional. Princess still serves lobster and crab legs, beef Wellington, lots of seafood and wonderful desserts. The menu choices were good and, as always, the left side of the menu is always available – e.g. shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad, steak, chicken, salmon, and several desserts. While we did not go to any of the specialty restaurants, some of our table mates did. We heard mixed reviews with most liking the Cajun Steak House and medium reviews on Sabitini’s (Italian). The International Café is the coffee shop venue. Great morning donuts and pastries. All the drinks are extra, but the food is complimentary. We took a back to back trip so we had two different cabins. The first week was a mini-suite and the second was a balcony cabin. Princess has updated their beds and they were marvelous; two different types of pillows and wonderful top quilts. There is plenty of closet space in both types of cabins as well as shelf space and drawers. The balcony was large enough for two chairs with footstools and a medium sized table; more than enough room for glacier viewing. Alaska is a favorite for us and it never disappoints. The scenery is simply awesome and you will see many things you won’t see anywhere else. We were fortunate to have sunny days for our glacier cruising. The Naturalists/forest rangers did wonderful presentations and commentary. We did take two excursions – one in Skagway and one in Ketchikan. We booked our Yukon Discovery tour with Southeast Tours in Skagway, and it was delightful. We took a mini-bus with 12 other people. Our guide was Bryan Terrell – best in Alaska! The tour was six hours with many picture stops. The Highlight was a visit to the Dog Sled camp with Barbeque Chicken lunch. Truly wonderful (cinnamon sugar donuts were awesome) We highly recommend this one. In Ketchikan, we took the Lighthouse, Totems and Eagles Tour (by boat). The tour guides were really very good, helpful and friendly. Hot beverages, sodas and light snacks were included. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and we did not see the lighthouse because of high swells. Certainly a disappointment, but the Captain was right in considering the safety of his passengers first. Disembarkation was well handled. Staff guided people when it was time to disembark; luggage was in the terminal and again, the only line was to get past customs. Not unusual. Our only complaint was that there were not enough activities on sea days or while cruising the Glaciers. During the latter all the stores and casino were closed. While I understand that many will be on deck viewing the glaciers, we were cruising for 6-8 hours and not everyone wants to be viewing the glaciers that long. While we were fortunate to have good weather. that will not always be the case, so there should be something else to do.

Does Not Disappoint!

Coral Princess Cruise Review by Fortressgirl

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2018
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite without Balcony
We are seasoned cruisers (over 50) and probably have different expectations and reasons for cruising. This was our 8th trip to Alaska, so shore excursions were not a priority for us.

We embarked in Vancouver and all things considered, it went fairly well. No matter how you get to the terminal, everyone has to go through customs, perhaps for the second time if you flew in. It took about an hour and a half in line before we were able to board, but we arrived at the cruise terminal around 12:30 p.m. Lines will probably be longer when ships initially start the boarding process and if there are more ships in port. Nothing any cruise line can do to speed up that process. Here’s my tip for anyone who hasn’t sailed from Vancouver. If you arrive by air, and you are able to move your luggage with relative ease, there is a train (The Canada Line) that has a stop right at the Vancouver Airport. It drops you at the Waterfront Station and from there is it a block and ½ walk to the cruise terminal. Cost is about $6/7 per person and only $2 for seniors. Beats the cost of taxis and bus transfers and is easy to navigate.

Once onboard, we checked out our cabin, had a bit of lunch in the buffet and explored the ship. We found the Coral princess to be a very good choice for this trip. It is considered a medium sized ship in today’s menagerie of mega-ships. I thought it was just the right size and we never felt crowded. Others have commented on her age and felt she needed some updating. Perhaps, but we did not feel that way. The décor is quite elegant. The atrium area covered 4 decks with scenic elevators and is generally the hub of things to do and places to go. The Wheelhouse bar is reminiscent of a posh men’s club. Wood accents, leather chairs, small band and stage area and a bar at the back. Good place for wine and chilling. The Explorer Lounge, where many events happen (art auction, game shows, evening dancing, etc.) is midship and offers a casual small club feel. The Universe Lounge (Aft) is a much larger, two deck entertainment venue and is used for some of the live entertainment, including production shows. The Princess Theater is forward, theater style (bar service is by servers) and acts as one of the primary venues for live entertainment. The ship has a smaller casino than others we have sailed.

The food on the ship was exceptional. Princess still serves lobster and crab legs, beef Wellington, lots of seafood and wonderful desserts. The menu choices were good and, as always, the left side of the menu is always available – e.g. shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad, steak, chicken, salmon, and several desserts. While we did not go to any of the specialty restaurants, some of our table mates did. We heard mixed reviews with most liking the Cajun Steak House and medium reviews on Sabitini’s (Italian). The International Café is the coffee shop venue. Great morning donuts and pastries. All the drinks are extra, but the food is complimentary.

We took a back to back trip so we had two different cabins. The first week was a mini-suite and the second was a balcony cabin. Princess has updated their beds and they were marvelous; two different types of pillows and wonderful top quilts. There is plenty of closet space in both types of cabins as well as shelf space and drawers. The balcony was large enough for two chairs with footstools and a medium sized table; more than enough room for glacier viewing.

Alaska is a favorite for us and it never disappoints. The scenery is simply awesome and you will see many things you won’t see anywhere else. We were fortunate to have sunny days for our glacier cruising. The Naturalists/forest rangers did wonderful presentations and commentary. We did take two excursions – one in Skagway and one in Ketchikan.

We booked our Yukon Discovery tour with Southeast Tours in Skagway, and it was delightful. We took a mini-bus with 12 other people. Our guide was Bryan Terrell – best in Alaska! The tour was six hours with many picture stops. The Highlight was a visit to the Dog Sled camp with Barbeque Chicken lunch. Truly wonderful (cinnamon sugar donuts were awesome) We highly recommend this one.

In Ketchikan, we took the Lighthouse, Totems and Eagles Tour (by boat). The tour guides were really very good, helpful and friendly. Hot beverages, sodas and light snacks were included. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and we did not see the lighthouse because of high swells. Certainly a disappointment, but the Captain was right in considering the safety of his passengers first.

Disembarkation was well handled. Staff guided people when it was time to disembark; luggage was in the terminal and again, the only line was to get past customs. Not unusual.

Our only complaint was that there were not enough activities on sea days or while cruising the Glaciers. During the latter all the stores and casino were closed. While I understand that many will be on deck viewing the glaciers, we were cruising for 6-8 hours and not everyone wants to be viewing the glaciers that long. While we were fortunate to have good weather. that will not always be the case, so there should be something else to do.
Fortressgirl’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite without Balcony
Cabin MY C204
We took a back to back trip so we had two different cabins. The first week was a mini-suite and the second was a balcony cabin. Princess has updated their beds and they were marvelous; two different types of pillows and wonderful top quilts. There is plenty of closet space in both types of cabins as well as shelf space and drawers. The balcony was large enough for two chairs with footstools and a medium sized table; more than enough room for glacier viewing. The mini suite was extra roomy and had a bathtub. It did not have a balcony but our steward showed us a nice secret deck just outside our door. Not many people know about it so not crowded during glacier cruising.
Baja Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Lighthouses, Totems and Eagles
    In Ketchikan, we took the Lighthouse, Totems and Eagles Tour (by boat). The tour guides were really very good, helpful and friendly. Hot beverages, sodas and light snacks were included. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and we did not see the lighthouse because of high swells. Certainly a disappointment, but the Captain was right in considering the safety of his passengers first.
    View All 58 Lighthouses, Totems and Eagles Reviews
  • Yukon Van Tour
    We booked our Yukon Discovery tour with Southeast Tours in Skagway, and it was delightful. We took a mini-bus with 12 other people. Our guide was Bryan Terrell – best in Alaska! The tour was six hours with many picture stops. The Highlight was a visit to the Dog Sled camp with Barbeque Chicken lunch. Truly wonderful (cinnamon sugar donuts were awesome) We highly recommend this one.
    View All 126 Yukon Van Tour Reviews