My wife and I chose the Coral Princess for several reasons: the itinerary allowed us to travel round trip from Southern California, home for us; We had sailed on her sister ship, the Island Princess twice before and enjoyed the ship's size and layout; and we wanted to sail through the historic locks of the Canal before experiencing the new locks.
Two highlights of the trip to us were the excitement of sailing through the historic locks and the quality & friendliness of the crew. We had been familiar with the construction and operation of the Canal for years, but to actually see this 100+ year old wonder in operation is amazing. No wonder a Canal transit is on so many bucket lists! There are many good viewing locations on the ship. We spent much of our time on the viewing area on Deck 10, forward of all the cabins. There are two unmarked doors at the end of the halls on either side of the ship. Open and go through both doors (they can be heavy from their weight and air pressure) and you are in open space overlooking the bow. The area was popular, but never overcrowded. We also spent a lot of time on the balcony of of our cabin on Caribe deck (C222). Good views of the Canal operations, including the Mules (the locomotives which guide, not pull, the ship through the locks). The Canal experience was enhanced on our cruise when we followed the brand new US Navy stealth ship Michael Monsoor as we sailed through the locks on our second day in the Canal. The Monsoor is just the second ship in its class.
This was our ninth cruise on Princess, so we have become familiar with the personable and professional service we receive from the crew. But this cruise went above and beyond what we have come to expect. Every single crew member we encountered went above and beyond what we expected to ensure we had a wonderful time on board.
We have found that the Princess mini-suites provide us with plenty of room and storage space. This cabin was in excellent condition and well maintained. Being forward on the ship was an advantage, in my opinion, because it was closer to the forward open deck which provided excellent Canal transit viewing.