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Background Information Working toward Elite status on Princess - we had 10 prior to this. Cobbled together this cruise with a one night cruise on Ruby Princess into our own Pacific Coastal/Pacific Northwest vacation. First time sailing on Coral (2nd time in this ship class - sailed sister ship Island in 2006). Travel to Embarkation Port We flew into LAX one day early and took a Lyft down to Long Beach (cost $39). Hotel Information We decided to do our pre-cruise night onboard the former cruise ship Queen Mary in Long Beach. We arrived around 1pm, so our room was not ready. We had a very filling and excellent tasting lunch in the Promenade Café. We purchased the $25 all access pass (available to hotel, restaurant, or banquet guests). This got us all 3 guided tours - Glory Days, Haunted Encounters, and Steam & Steel. We enjoyed all the tours as well as on our own exploring the ship. We booked an inside king. The bed was comfortable. The size and storage options were sufficient for our one night stay. The biggest drawbacks were the lack of temperature controls and the exposure to exterior noise. The in room thermostat was not functional (and I had a friend stay here the prior weekend and I know it didn’t work for their room either) - you had to call the front desk and be told that the engineering dept would try to adjust for your room. We did that and it didn’t make that much of a difference. Because the walls are steel, you hear any people outside your room who are talking and for us there were loud groups of people having boisterous conversations and across the hallway parties late at night. We had to call the front desk to request that security come address the issue. Things finally quieted down around midnight. I always travel with earplugs so those would be a must for a stay here. The historical significance of the ship was worth the premium rate we paid - it was a unique way to enjoy a pre-cruise night. But my preference for modern convenience and comfort would lead me to choose elsewhere for my next cruise out of San Pedro/Long Beach. Embarkation Used Lyft to get to Port San Pedro. Cost about $14. Arrived at port shortly after 11am. With two Princess ships in port, Coral was docked at Pier 92. Since we had priority embarkation privileges with Princess Platinum loyalty status, we ignored the check in begins at 1:00pm time on the cruise paperwork. We were thru security & priority check-in and in the embarkation waiting area by 11:15 am. We didn’t even have to sit down as they started Platinum all groups boarding as soon as we walked in. Cabins were supposed to be immediately available. However our section on Caribe wasn’t quite finished so we headed down to the atrium to take care of a few embarkation errands (cruise card hole punched for our lanyards, submit future cruise deposit forms, etc). We returned just before noon and the cabin was ready. Our suitcases were delivered by 2 pm. Muster drill was at 3:30pm (life jackets not required), and sailaway was shortly after 4pm. Cabin We originally booked an obstructed view oceanview stateroom on Emerald deck but about three months prior to sailing we received an offer to upgrade to a premium view balcony stateroom on Caribe deck for $78. We were on the starboard side, which was good since the cruise was up the Pacific coastline. Flat screen TV on the wall now frees up easier access to the wall outlet in the minibar storage tower. Still the crappy hair dryer on the wall. Dreaded shower curtain in the bathroom and a postage stamp sized shower - I think the smallest size shower of any Princess ship I’ve been on. Otherwise, the typical setup for a balcony stateroom. This was our first cruise on a ship with the Princess Luxury Bed. It’s fantastic! Supportive yet cushy mattress. Poofy pillows. Top sheet plus a duvet. Ship Information It had been 13 years since we'd sailed on this mid-size class of ship. There is so much public space per passenger it seemed like the ship was hardly occupied. Medallion Net Internet - If you pre-pay it's $8.99pp/per day, otherwise it’s $9.99pp/per day. Platinum/Elite gets either unlimited access discount 1 device $22.49 voyage plan or 4 device $29.99 voyage plan (available only within first 24 hrs of the cruise) or 150 free minutes one device at a time. iMessage worked even when offline. We pre-paid for the soda package - $8.26pp/per day. Forgotten how huge the Wheelhouse Bar is on this class of ship. Coral is the only ship now to have the Universe Lounge. Best library of any Princess ship we’ve sailed. So weird to have International Café adjacent to the casino instead of in the piazza atrium. Horizon Court had been renovated with new flooring and more stations including the Amuleto Italian Café at the aft where all the desserts are featured. So it’s a smaller version of what you experience now on the Royal class ships. No BOGO happy hour. Activities Attended the nightly Elite/Platinum/Suite Cocktail hour. 1st night salsa & chips were the featured hors d’oeuvres. 2nd night beef steak tartare w/ Melba toast was the featured hors d’oeuvres. 3rd night smoked salmon was the featured hors d’oeuvres. Played morning & afternoon bingo on Day 2. Spent quality time in the Library - my happy place with the comfy leather chairs and a sea view. Spent a couple hours at the indoor Lotus pool area. Pool water was frigid but hot tubs were nice. Played afternoon bingo on Day 3. Watched the farewell balloon drop party. Entertainment Sailaway Party on Lido Deck with the party band Symphonee. Listened to the piano player David Moore in Crooners Bar a couple times. Saw the production show “Encore”. Not any plot - just a collection of songs about 1/3 of which were Italian/opera. The guest soprano Jennifer Fair was impressive. But I was kinda meh about the show. Went to the late night comedian Eric Lyden. He was funny but fairly edgy. Dining Day 1 Lunch - Main Dining Room (Scott and I had the same choices: avocado & bay shrimp appetizer, spinach & ricotta cheese ravioli entrée, and orange soufflé dessert) Dinner/Dessert - Bayou Café & Steakhouse (Scott had the crawfish bisque appetizer, gumbo, trinity smothered filet of beef entrée; I had the sausage grillades appetizer, jambalaya, red pepper broiled 8oz lobster tail entrée; we both had the milk chocolate peanut butter bar w/ honey roasted peanuts dessert which is the Chocolate Journeys dessert exclusive to Bayou Steakhouse). Because we received the Princess coupon book from our travel agent, we got to use the buy 1 get 1 speciality dining on embarkation day offer. Cover charge is $29pp. Day 1 Snacks - Pizza (calabrese) for sailaway. Day 2 Breakfast - Buffet (Chocolate Journeys featured pastry was Chocolate Strawberry Cheese Danish) Day 2 Lunch - Buffet (Oriental/sushi feature) Day 2 Dinner/Dessert - Sabatini’s (Scott had the lamb skewers antipasti, I had the burrata antipasti, we both had the escarole salad, Scott had the fettuccine with carbonara sauce, I had the roasted lamb tortelloni, we both had the chicken scaloppine for the second plate, Scott had the vanilla panna cotta, and I had the Rocher which is the Chocolate Journeys dessert exclusive to Sabatini’s). Dinner took about 2 hours. Day 3 Breakfast - Buffet plus pastries from International Cafe Day 3 Lunch - Alfredo’s Pizzeria at Sabatini’s (complementary; doesn’t offer the pastas that Alfredo’s does on the Royal Class ships but has more pizza offerings than what you can get on deck; Scott had the daily special beef & chili flakes, I had the Coral Princess) Day 3 Snacks - International cafe Day 3 Dinner/Dessert - Buffet (Indian Feature) Disembarkation We left the cabin about 7:00 (required to leave by 8:00) and went to the buffet for breakfast. We had walk off so we were off the ship at 8:00. We were through customs by 8:15. Vancouver does not have Uber/Lyft so we got a taxi to our hotel (cost $9). Service We had consistent service during the cruise - no major issues, no examples of above & beyond. Pretty much what I expect on a short cruise like this. Tips & Tricks - Alfredo’s pizzeria in Sabatini’s - Tiramisu martini is only available at the bar for Bayou Steakhouse - "By the Bayou" production show in Universe Lounge - unique to Coral but they didn’t offer this show on this 3 night cruise which was a bummer Final Thoughts This was our 18th cruise - 11th on Princess. Doesn’t have all the amenities and dining options that the bigger ships in the fleet have. But Coral has some unique features (2 deck Universe Lounge, Library with 8 leather club chairs & foot stools facing out to sea view, Bayou Steakhouse), and you often feel as though you have the ship to yourself with the high public space to passenger ratio. It’s a nice change of pace. We would be happy to sail on Coral again (and we’ve in fact booked another Pacific Coastal on her for May 2021).

Coral Princess - Special Place in the Princess Fleet

Coral Princess Cruise Review by macusr

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Pacific Coastal
  • Cabin Type: Premium Balcony
Background Information

Working toward Elite status on Princess - we had 10 prior to this. Cobbled together this cruise with a one night cruise on Ruby Princess into our own Pacific Coastal/Pacific Northwest vacation. First time sailing on Coral (2nd time in this ship class - sailed sister ship Island in 2006).

Travel to Embarkation Port

We flew into LAX one day early and took a Lyft down to Long Beach (cost $39).

Hotel Information

We decided to do our pre-cruise night onboard the former cruise ship Queen Mary in Long Beach. We arrived around 1pm, so our room was not ready. We had a very filling and excellent tasting lunch in the Promenade Café. We purchased the $25 all access pass (available to hotel, restaurant, or banquet guests). This got us all 3 guided tours - Glory Days, Haunted Encounters, and Steam & Steel. We enjoyed all the tours as well as on our own exploring the ship. We booked an inside king. The bed was comfortable. The size and storage options were sufficient for our one night stay. The biggest drawbacks were the lack of temperature controls and the exposure to exterior noise. The in room thermostat was not functional (and I had a friend stay here the prior weekend and I know it didn’t work for their room either) - you had to call the front desk and be told that the engineering dept would try to adjust for your room. We did that and it didn’t make that much of a difference. Because the walls are steel, you hear any people outside your room who are talking and for us there were loud groups of people having boisterous conversations and across the hallway parties late at night. We had to call the front desk to request that security come address the issue. Things finally quieted down around midnight. I always travel with earplugs so those would be a must for a stay here. The historical significance of the ship was worth the premium rate we paid - it was a unique way to enjoy a pre-cruise night. But my preference for modern convenience and comfort would lead me to choose elsewhere for my next cruise out of San Pedro/Long Beach.

Embarkation

Used Lyft to get to Port San Pedro. Cost about $14.

Arrived at port shortly after 11am. With two Princess ships in port, Coral was docked at Pier 92.

Since we had priority embarkation privileges with Princess Platinum loyalty status, we ignored the check in begins at 1:00pm time on the cruise paperwork. We were thru security & priority check-in and in the embarkation waiting area by 11:15 am. We didn’t even have to sit down as they started Platinum all groups boarding as soon as we walked in.

Cabins were supposed to be immediately available. However our section on Caribe wasn’t quite finished so we headed down to the atrium to take care of a few embarkation errands (cruise card hole punched for our lanyards, submit future cruise deposit forms, etc). We returned just before noon and the cabin was ready. Our suitcases were delivered by 2 pm.

Muster drill was at 3:30pm (life jackets not required), and sailaway was shortly after 4pm.

Cabin

We originally booked an obstructed view oceanview stateroom on Emerald deck but about three months prior to sailing we received an offer to upgrade to a premium view balcony stateroom on Caribe deck for $78. We were on the starboard side, which was good since the cruise was up the Pacific coastline. Flat screen TV on the wall now frees up easier access to the wall outlet in the minibar storage tower. Still the crappy hair dryer on the wall. Dreaded shower curtain in the bathroom and a postage stamp sized shower - I think the smallest size shower of any Princess ship I’ve been on. Otherwise, the typical setup for a balcony stateroom.

This was our first cruise on a ship with the Princess Luxury Bed. It’s fantastic! Supportive yet cushy mattress. Poofy pillows. Top sheet plus a duvet.

Ship Information

It had been 13 years since we'd sailed on this mid-size class of ship. There is so much public space per passenger it seemed like the ship was hardly occupied.

Medallion Net Internet - If you pre-pay it's $8.99pp/per day, otherwise it’s $9.99pp/per day. Platinum/Elite gets either unlimited access discount 1 device $22.49 voyage plan or 4 device $29.99 voyage plan (available only within first 24 hrs of the cruise) or 150 free minutes one device at a time. iMessage worked even when offline.

We pre-paid for the soda package - $8.26pp/per day.

Forgotten how huge the Wheelhouse Bar is on this class of ship.

Coral is the only ship now to have the Universe Lounge.

Best library of any Princess ship we’ve sailed.

So weird to have International Café adjacent to the casino instead of in the piazza atrium.

Horizon Court had been renovated with new flooring and more stations including the Amuleto Italian Café at the aft where all the desserts are featured. So it’s a smaller version of what you experience now on the Royal class ships.

No BOGO happy hour.

Activities

Attended the nightly Elite/Platinum/Suite Cocktail hour. 1st night salsa & chips were the featured hors d’oeuvres. 2nd night beef steak tartare w/ Melba toast was the featured hors d’oeuvres. 3rd night smoked salmon was the featured hors d’oeuvres.

Played morning & afternoon bingo on Day 2.

Spent quality time in the Library - my happy place with the comfy leather chairs and a sea view.

Spent a couple hours at the indoor Lotus pool area. Pool water was frigid but hot tubs were nice.

Played afternoon bingo on Day 3.

Watched the farewell balloon drop party.

Entertainment

Sailaway Party on Lido Deck with the party band Symphonee.

Listened to the piano player David Moore in Crooners Bar a couple times.

Saw the production show “Encore”. Not any plot - just a collection of songs about 1/3 of which were Italian/opera. The guest soprano Jennifer Fair was impressive. But I was kinda meh about the show.

Went to the late night comedian Eric Lyden. He was funny but fairly edgy.

Dining

Day 1 Lunch - Main Dining Room (Scott and I had the same choices: avocado & bay shrimp appetizer, spinach & ricotta cheese ravioli entrée, and orange soufflé dessert)

Dinner/Dessert - Bayou Café & Steakhouse (Scott had the crawfish bisque appetizer, gumbo, trinity smothered filet of beef entrée; I had the sausage grillades appetizer, jambalaya, red pepper broiled 8oz lobster tail entrée; we both had the milk chocolate peanut butter bar w/ honey roasted peanuts dessert which is the Chocolate Journeys dessert exclusive to Bayou Steakhouse). Because we received the Princess coupon book from our travel agent, we got to use the buy 1 get 1 speciality dining on embarkation day offer. Cover charge is $29pp.

Day 1 Snacks - Pizza (calabrese) for sailaway.

Day 2 Breakfast - Buffet (Chocolate Journeys featured pastry was Chocolate Strawberry Cheese Danish)

Day 2 Lunch - Buffet (Oriental/sushi feature)

Day 2 Dinner/Dessert - Sabatini’s (Scott had the lamb skewers antipasti, I had the burrata antipasti, we both had the escarole salad, Scott had the fettuccine with carbonara sauce, I had the roasted lamb tortelloni, we both had the chicken scaloppine for the second plate, Scott had the vanilla panna cotta, and I had the Rocher which is the Chocolate Journeys dessert exclusive to Sabatini’s). Dinner took about 2 hours.

Day 3 Breakfast - Buffet plus pastries from International Cafe

Day 3 Lunch - Alfredo’s Pizzeria at Sabatini’s (complementary; doesn’t offer the pastas that Alfredo’s does on the Royal Class ships but has more pizza offerings than what you can get on deck; Scott had the daily special beef & chili flakes, I had the Coral Princess)

Day 3 Snacks - International cafe

Day 3 Dinner/Dessert - Buffet (Indian Feature)

Disembarkation

We left the cabin about 7:00 (required to leave by 8:00) and went to the buffet for breakfast. We had walk off so we were off the ship at 8:00. We were through customs by 8:15. Vancouver does not have Uber/Lyft so we got a taxi to our hotel (cost $9).

Service

We had consistent service during the cruise - no major issues, no examples of above & beyond. Pretty much what I expect on a short cruise like this.

Tips & Tricks

- Alfredo’s pizzeria in Sabatini’s

- Tiramisu martini is only available at the bar for Bayou Steakhouse

- "By the Bayou" production show in Universe Lounge - unique to Coral but they didn’t offer this show on this 3 night cruise which was a bummer



Final Thoughts

This was our 18th cruise - 11th on Princess.

Doesn’t have all the amenities and dining options that the bigger ships in the fleet have. But Coral has some unique features (2 deck Universe Lounge, Library with 8 leather club chairs & foot stools facing out to sea view, Bayou Steakhouse), and you often feel as though you have the ship to yourself with the high public space to passenger ratio. It’s a nice change of pace. We would be happy to sail on Coral again (and we’ve in fact booked another Pacific Coastal on her for May 2021).
macusr’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Premium Balcony
Cabin B1 C523
We originally booked an obstructed view oceanview stateroom on Emerald deck but about three months prior to sailing we received an offer to upgrade to a premium view balcony stateroom on Caribe deck for $78. We were on the starboard side, which was good since the cruise was up the Pacific coastline. Flat screen TV on the wall now frees up easier access to the wall outlet in the minibar storage tower. Still the crappy hair dryer on the wall. Dreaded shower curtain in the bathroom and a postage stamp sized shower - I think the smallest size shower of any Princess ship I’ve been on. Otherwise, the typical setup for a balcony stateroom.
This was our first cruise on a ship with the Princess Luxury Bed. It’s fantastic! Supportive yet cushy mattress. Poofy pillows. Top sheet plus a duvet.
Caribe Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins