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This was our 20th cruise and 7th on Princess, so we are familiar with all things Princess. We chose this itinerary because we like San Francisco and wanted the stops in different countries before and after the Panamá Canal. The timing (November 17 departure) fit our schedule and we were very fortunate with the weather; we had only one day of rain, that being an all day rain on the day of PC passage. We were in a mini suite on Dolphin deck, port side. Fairly comfortable with a nice bed (although we heard complaints from the older crowd that it was too soft), plenty of storage, 2 TVs and a smallish if adequate balcony. There was serious salt damage to the sliding door and exterior fixtures on the balcony but it didn’t affect our trip. Very few rattles and creaks as we had pretty calm sailing most days and nights. Now for the review: the crew was mostly nice, although not enthusiastic like we’ve experienced before. Cruise director predictably corny but that’s his job. Best cabin steward (Geoffrey) we’ve ever had. The food (and service) was not that great in the DR and only passably better in the Horizon court buffet. The overall decreasing quality of the DR food over the years is one of our main complaints with Princess. When you see menu inserts offering $20 meal upgrades, it seems like the chef has given up with every day food quality. Pizza still reliable, as is the hamburger/brat bar. Room service was great. Bar-tenders OK. Coffee bar folks very good, as was the coffee (worth the extra cost). The Cajun restaurant was in our opinion not worth the $29 ea upcharge, nor was the Crab night in the Horizon ($25 ea). Because of this we canceled our Sabbatini reservations and never missed it. The British pub lunches were very good. The entertainment was great the first half, especially ventriloquist Don Horn, and another comedian, but they swapped ships when we met the Emerald mid way through the cruise and the second half variety guys not that good. Nice theater though. Princess does a good job with the actual Canal passage, using a running loudspeaker commentary by a canal expert, and this was great. It was nice to finally do the transit. The other stops were ho-hum with tours to match. Cabo was very pretty and there was a nice boar tour. All other stops did not excite, and the tour leaders were either difficult to understand or lacked enthusiasm. Not a great value, especially the tour of Gatlin lake, which was nothing more than 90 minutes on an uncomfortable barge doing a wide circle around a few hundred acre inlet looking for lizards and monkeys in the trees. Wish we’d passed on that one. All in all, I would not do this one again as 15 days was too long, taking into account the 8 sea days (seemed like more) which gets monotonous. On the good side, since the average age on the cruise was maybe 75 years (lots of scooters) there’s no rush for deck chairs by the pool. More people in the shade than sun.

Long cruise with few highlights

Coral Princess Cruise Review by gordotx

Trip Details
This was our 20th cruise and 7th on Princess, so we are familiar with all things Princess. We chose this itinerary because we like San Francisco and wanted the stops in different countries before and after the Panamá Canal. The timing (November 17 departure) fit our schedule and we were very fortunate with the weather; we had only one day of rain, that being an all day rain on the day of PC passage. We were in a mini suite on Dolphin deck, port side. Fairly comfortable with a nice bed (although we heard complaints from the older crowd that it was too soft), plenty of storage, 2 TVs and a smallish if adequate balcony. There was serious salt damage to the sliding door and exterior fixtures on the balcony but it didn’t affect our trip. Very few rattles and creaks as we had pretty calm sailing most days and nights. Now for the review: the crew was mostly nice, although not enthusiastic like we’ve experienced before. Cruise director predictably corny but that’s his job. Best cabin steward (Geoffrey) we’ve ever had. The food (and service) was not that great in the DR and only passably better in the Horizon court buffet. The overall decreasing quality of the DR food over the years is one of our main complaints with Princess. When you see menu inserts offering $20 meal upgrades, it seems like the chef has given up with every day food quality. Pizza still reliable, as is the hamburger/brat bar. Room service was great. Bar-tenders OK. Coffee bar folks very good, as was the coffee (worth the extra cost). The Cajun restaurant was in our opinion not worth the $29 ea upcharge, nor was the Crab night in the Horizon ($25 ea). Because of this we canceled our Sabbatini reservations and never missed it. The British pub lunches were very good. The entertainment was great the first half, especially ventriloquist Don Horn, and another comedian, but they swapped ships when we met the Emerald mid way through the cruise and the second half variety guys not that good. Nice theater though. Princess does a good job with the actual Canal passage, using a running loudspeaker commentary by a canal expert, and this was great. It was nice to finally do the transit. The other stops were ho-hum with tours to match. Cabo was very pretty and there was a nice boar tour. All other stops did not excite, and the tour leaders were either difficult to understand or lacked enthusiasm. Not a great value, especially the tour of Gatlin lake, which was nothing more than 90 minutes on an uncomfortable barge doing a wide circle around a few hundred acre inlet looking for lizards and monkeys in the trees. Wish we’d passed on that one. All in all, I would not do this one again as 15 days was too long, taking into account the 8 sea days (seemed like more) which gets monotonous. On the good side, since the average age on the cruise was maybe 75 years (lots of scooters) there’s no rush for deck chairs by the pool. More people in the shade than sun.
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MB
Predictable
Aloha Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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