Exciting, Beautiful, Educational and service was excellent: Coral Princess Cruise Review by painthorselover

Coral Princess 5
Member Since 2010
36 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Exciting, Beautiful, Educational and service was excellent

Sail Date: January 2010
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Los Angeles
First, EMBARKMENT went quickly and very smoothly. We did not have to wait to get through to the terminal. Once in the terminal we waited approximately 20 minutes before we were quietly and without rush boarded onto the ship. We found our cabins quickly and easily. My husband and I explored the ship and were able to find our way around the ship with great ease.

CABIN: We reserved a cabin with a balcony. It has been commented by other Coral Princess cruisers that the shower is extremely small. Yes, it's small but quite servicable. The bathroom is quite roomy, the closet/changing area is wonderfully large, the bedroom is fine and the balcony is the highlight. The cabin service was impeccable. Carman kept our room spotlessly clean. We always had clean towels no matter when we used our towels, freshly cleaned room and she is a quiet, sweet woman. The ship itself was always being cleaned, painted and varnished. A superb ship that offered clean chaise lounges, immaculate decks and More almost-invisible, efficient ship's personnel.

DINING: We chose the Personal Choice Dining which allowed us freedom to eat whenever and wherever we wanted. Breakfast: We always ate breakfast up in the Horizon Court Buffet. Anything you could think of to eat for breakfast was there. The food was always presented in a clean tasteful fashion and the personnel working there were always friendly and smiling. If we happen to choose a table that didn't have silverware wrapped in a linen napkin, it would appear at our elbow as we sat down. The servers would ask us what we'd like for drink and were always quick to help in any other way. The tables were always kept clean and inviting. Lunch: We only snack at home, so we tried keeping with this habit on our cruise - VERY hard to do with all the gorgeously appealing dishes presented to us in the Horizon. They always offered fresh fruit, cheeses, premade sandwiches (which were different every day) and the best - fresh breads and sliced cold meats and cheeses. There were other dishes offered, hot and cold. We were unsuccessful in keeping with just fruits and cheeses for lunch! Dinner: Although the Bayou Cafe Steakhouse - $15 cover charge and Sabatini's Trattoria - $20 cover charge are offered, we were more than pleased with the meals offered in the Bordeaux Dining Room. We met a wonderful couple not only in the hotel the night before boarding the Coral Princess, but we met in the Bordeaux Dining Room. We ended up finding a table that was extremely pleasing and service that was perfect. We enjoyed our dinners on board the ship with each dinner usually lasting at least 2 hours. Every evening the left side of the menu would have alternative dining choices which pretty much remained the same and would offer four courses with two to four choices per course. Each evening the menu on the right would change with a variety of choices for each course. Dessert was on its own menu and offered only after we thoroughly enjoyed our first three courses. The two dress codes: "Smart Casual" - Basically no short-shorts, cut-off jeans, bathing suits. "Formal" for the men varied from tuxedos to slacks, sports jacket and tie. Ladies: Go for it! If you want fancy, wear it. If you prefer less "formal" wearing a nice skirt/blouse or dress and anything but sneakers for footwear.

THE PRINCESS PATTER: Whoever takes the trouble to publish this little daily newsletter should be commended. This is the cruise ship's publication that is found on our beds every evening. It's the perfect little newsletter that lets us, the passengers, know exactly what's going on the next day. Everything that is happening on the ship was in the daily publication. I was wondering why there wasn't any recognition to the people who put this valuable material together.

ROOM SERVICE: Perfect with every detail.

TOUR DESK: I wish we had used them instead of planning our shore excursions in advance.

ENTERTAINMENT: Much better than some professional performances found here in Kansas City! We were delighted with our many choices. The Coral Princess Dancers were absolutely fabulous. We're still trying to figure out how they kept their balance while the stage was rocking and rolling. Al Katz was absolutely fabulously funny. Larry Dunsmore was a delight. He is an average vocalist but great on the piano and can joke with passing passengers to the delight of his audience. He played in the Atrium so his field of comic scenery was ever-changing. There was always something for everyone on this cruise.

Some of ports are not included on the "Ports Review" list, so I have included them below:

HAUTULCO, MEXICO: All water excursions were cancelled - for good reason. We unexpectedly ran into the Tehauntepecanos. These are winds that can increase in strength without warning. The winds got to 90 mph with surf from 5-7 feet high! We spent 1 1/2 days in rough waters. The port itself was a delight. The beaches, even with high winds, were gorgeous.

Finally got to PUNTARENAS, COSTA RICA: Well worth the stop. We did the Original Canopy Tour at Mahogany Park. The description on www.princess.com is absolutely correct except they don't tell you how absolutely exciting, fun and safe this tour is. A definite must. We did not see many birds, but the actually Native experience was worth every minute.

PUERTO AMADOR, PANAMA: Authentic Embera Indian Village. What a wonderful experience. Going in their dug-out canoes and being greeted by a young group playing their native instruments (flutes and drums). After being greeted we walked up into their village where we were permitted to go into their lodgings and wander the village. We were given American bread with cold cuts and cheese before we sat around their central meeting building and were explained the various plants and animals and their function with the Embera people. A very interesting, educational and wonderful tour.

PANAMA CANAL: What's to say about this day of ever changing scenery. What an engineering marvel. On our way to Colombia the Captain came on the loudspeaker and announced that by Maritime Law, we were requested (and required) to assist in a rescue mission. A Tuna vessel had sunk and 18 crew members needed to be rescued. There is two suggestions I would like to see Princess Cruise line do. First, keep their website up-to-date. A lot of the excursions they had listed when we signed up for the cruise were either unavailable or non-existant. We do realize that companies come and go but some of the excursions we wanted to take were still listed even a week before our cruise was to leave Los Angeles. Also another point of interest that would have been helpful is to be informed whether there were local merchants within walking distance of the ship. Of course if we knew this, there are some excursions we would not have taken.

DISEMBARKMENT: Easy! Fill out some paperwork the night before we dock. Wake up and have a nice last breakfast in the Horizon Court then disembark at our leisure. Although we were assigned times for disembarkment we found that people got off the ship according to their plans. Some people had planes to catch so they left early. Some passengers relaxed on their balcony and watched the dock workers unload and start reloading the ship. Once we got off the ship, getting around the Immigration and getting to our hotel was easy. I would recommend cruising with Princess to anyone. Less

Published 01/30/10

Cabin review: BDB303 Balcony

New flat screen TV would have been nice. Shower, although serviceable, could be larger Loved the location - quiet, easy location, fantastic balcony view, absolutely perfect cabin stewardess. Would love to try mini-suite for balcony (or less) price. Wonderful decor in cabin. simple, easy-on-the-eye color. Loved the non-skid flooring on the balcony.

Read All Balcony (BD) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

We took the Acapulco City highlights and Cliff Divers tour. Basically, disappointing. We were taken for an air conditioned bus ride through town to a restaurant overlooking the area about 50 feet above the divers platform which was about 150 feet above the Pacific Ocean, waves and very dangerous cliffs. But from our viewpoint we really couldn't see just how dangerous it is for these divers. Viewing the actual dives was not set up for the number of people in our tour. Only 20-25 people had any kind of view. And all of us being so much higher than the divers, those of us who wanted to take pictures of the dives had to use our zoom lenses on our cameras and hope the pictures got close enough to see the dots-as-divers pictures. There was a perfect empty observation platform level with the diver's platform but we were not given access to it.

Read 204 Acapulco Reviews

VERY disappointing. We shared this excursion with another cruise ship and the local company squeezed 100 of us on one of their catamarans where we all sat shoulder-to-shoulder while the catamaran took us to the first snorkel sight. They allowed us 15 minutes to snorkel at this sight. For some of us less forceful snorkelers, it took 10 minutes to get into the water which gave us a total of 5 minutes to snorkel. We were required to stay within a certain perimeter of the catamaran which meant we were bumping into each other the entire time. The guides kept yelling at us in Spanish so we never knew if they were calling to us or someone else. After seeing several types of fish and coral we were called back to the boat. It was very confusing getting back onto the catamaran and the guides offered no assistance. Once everyone was aboard the guide took a very casual count to be sure no one was left behind. Then on to the next stop. We thought this was going to be a fantastic stop. The description said it was the "Antilla" - a 440-foot long shipwreck which attract schools of fish and coral. Nope. We saw one little piece of coral and not very many fish. When we tried following the shipwreck we was called back to a very small area, again where everyone was bumping into everyone else. Once aboard after 15 minutes, they tried to entertain us with "free" rum and drinks and turned up the volume on recorded hard-to-hear music to dance by. Since we don't drink and surely wouldn't chance dancing on a bouncing boat, we considered this excursion a total waste of time and money. We did have time to explore the local merchants. It would have been more fun to explore the various kiosks with varied merchandise, than to take this excursion.

Read 1286 Aruba Reviews

4x4 Desert Safari: What fun! We traveled in a large truck with benches along each side and a canopy top to keep the sun off us. Do not make the mistake we did and think the Baja Desert as flat. Far from it! This excursion involved riding up and down steep mountain dirt trails that were rough, twisty, pot-holed paths and totally FUN! Our guide told us how the farmers lived on this dry land. He was very informed on every subject and readily answered all our questions in very good and understandable English. After bouncing around for about 45 minutes we stopped at a local farmer's ranch and had a genuine Mexican Baja meal prepared by the wife. The guide showed us how and what were the best Tequila and how to drink shots of Tequila and hot burn the throat. Another 30 minute ride down to our ship ended our great excursion. We did stop for several photo opportunities which were spectacular.

I would have given this port a 5+ if the tour had given us more time to shop the lovely Pierino Gallo Shopping Center. One hour is not enough time to explore not only the commercial merchants, but there were so many local storekeepers along the sidewalks and in every little nook and they had so many different kinds of merchandise to choose from. I was disappointed with this lack of time, but then again, the local Emerald merchants gave us plenty of different pieces of jewelry to choose from.

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Member Since 2010
36 Forum Posts
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