1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Coral Princess
We just got back from a wonderful trip on the Coral Princess from Santiago to Buenos Aires. This is the second time we have taken this cruise; the last time was 4 years ago. This time we booked a mini-suite, club class. The short review is that we loved our trip – even the second time. My husband and I have taken 20+ cruises and have cruised on Princess, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Viking Ocean, and Oceania. We tend to book smaller ships now and look for a ship with a full promenade as we love to walk on deck. We are in our 60s & 70s and cruise about once a year. The Coral Princess is a lovely older ship that has been maintained well. Yes, there is a little rust and age showing, but I found that it was still in very good shape and quite liked it. In fact, we just booked another ship on the Coral to Alaska next year. You can’t beat a wrap-around promenade in Alaska. I have broken my review into areas, so you can skip to what interests you about the ship. Itinerary: I enjoyed the itinerary, even the second time. This time we choose different excursions and docked in a port that was skipped the last time. The scenery is just beautiful and the ports have so much to offer in terms of culture and wildlife. We booked several tours to see penguins in different ports as we were aware from our last cruise that ports can be cancelled due to weather and sea conditions. One important thing to realize before you book a cruise around Cape Horn is that you may not get to all the ports. The weather is variable and you have to tender to several of the ports. If the water is too choppy, the ship or the harbor master may close the pier. On this trip, approaching the Falkland Islands, the captain had warned everyone the night before that the weather looked challenging in Stanley, but he didn’t want to give up hope, so he continued there. Unfortunately, many people missed seeing this port. My husband and I were in line early in the morning (7:30) when the captain indicated how rough the water was and that there was a pontoon pier with docking for one tender at a time with two cruise ships trying to use tenders. We decided not to get off. At 9:00, the harbormaster closed the harbor, so only a few people had tendered to the port. Stateroom: Our Club Class Mini-Suite was just lovely. There was plenty of room for storage in both the room and bathroom. While we were on the ship they upgraded our beautiful new TVs to On-Demand – which was wonderful! The bed and bedding were luxurious. The bathroom had a tub with a shower curtain. There was still individual hand soap in the bathroom. The shower had good pressure and temperature control. We were welcomed with Champagne. There were two half bottles of wine in our statement for our enjoyment. The patio, which we didn’t use because it was too cold, had older patio furniture on it. The patio was a good size; included a small table, two reclining chairs and ottomans. Service: We experienced excellent service no matter where we were on the ship. We always experienced lots of smiling faces and helpful folks. Our room steward was great, couldn’t do enough for us. He quickly learned our schedule and always had our room done when we were gone. Food: We ate mostly (and whenever we could) in the dining room. There is a special area for Club Class in one of the dining rooms. Most of the tables are tables for two; however, you get to know almost all the people in Club Class and the tables are near enough to engage should you want to. The wait staff and head waiter are the same for the entire cruise; therefore, they remember you and your preferences. At each meal in Club Class the head waiter prepares something special in your dining area. At lunch and dinner it was usual a pasta or seafood dish. At breakfast it could be a quiche, special cake, crepes, etc. It was usually wonderful. Also, at dinner there were usually one or two other special items that the Chef prepared in the larger kitchen for Club Class. It was a great experience. I think generally the food was good; however, there were somethings I didn’t like and the wait staff took them back and gave me a different selection. We never had to wait to be seated and noticed a line at the non-club class door. We usually ate around 7 p.m. We ate in the horizon court on days when we had early excursions. Of course, there is more variety there; however, I am not fond of buffets and try to not go to them. There were generally good choices for all types of diets there. I was also impressed with the care they took at the horizon court to ensure people washed their hands and placement with hand sanitizers. Internet: Wow! Medallion Net really improved internet on the ship. I could always connect with no problems. We purchased the 4 device unlimited option. One thing to note, you cannot connect a Kindle Paperwhite to the Medallion Net. It seems the device has to be a color device for it to work. Service: In short, it was wonderful! Entertainment: It has been 4 years since I have been on a Princess ship. I think the entertainment has greatly improved. There were many production shows, several different headliners and lounges in the ship with a good band and classical and piano music in the atrium area. Often these were happening simultaneously so you could pick which to attend. I loved the choices. There was also a lot of trivia, name that song and other games that were fun. Excursions: We took a couple from the cruise line and booked some on the roll call. They were all very good. Disembarkation: We had a late flight out so we booked a tour and transfer through Princess. We did a city tour and lunch with tango show. That was really good; however, they drop you at the airport at around 3:00 for a 9:45 flight. There were so many people at the airport waiting to check in for different flights on American and no signs or indication which counter or where the lines would form. About 4:00 pm a random line began forming and it went back about 100+ people. Around 5:30 they began check-in for two or three flights (American Airline). Of course, the check in was not exactly where the line formed; so there were a lot of shuffling, upset and unhappy cruisers who had been up since 6:00 am and standing in line for 1 ½ hours. Of course, this has nothing to do with Princess, but with the airport. Posting some signs could help – basically, there was not information on what to expect, when check-in would happen or where. I guess the only way to avoid this is to book a hotel and stay over a night; however, you could conceivably have the same issue the next day with another ship disembarking. If no one had started the random line, there wouldn’t have been a problem. But when you see so many people waiting, I guess it had to happen. We really enjoyed our time on the Coral and recommend it to those who enjoy cruising on a smaller ship.

Around Cape Horn

Coral Princess Cruise Review by jeriram

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We just got back from a wonderful trip on the Coral Princess from Santiago to Buenos Aires. This is the second time we have taken this cruise; the last time was 4 years ago. This time we booked a mini-suite, club class. The short review is that we loved our trip – even the second time.

My husband and I have taken 20+ cruises and have cruised on Princess, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Viking Ocean, and Oceania. We tend to book smaller ships now and look for a ship with a full promenade as we love to walk on deck. We are in our 60s & 70s and cruise about once a year.

The Coral Princess is a lovely older ship that has been maintained well. Yes, there is a little rust and age showing, but I found that it was still in very good shape and quite liked it. In fact, we just booked another ship on the Coral to Alaska next year. You can’t beat a wrap-around promenade in Alaska.

I have broken my review into areas, so you can skip to what interests you about the ship.

Itinerary:

I enjoyed the itinerary, even the second time. This time we choose different excursions and docked in a port that was skipped the last time. The scenery is just beautiful and the ports have so much to offer in terms of culture and wildlife. We booked several tours to see penguins in different ports as we were aware from our last cruise that ports can be cancelled due to weather and sea conditions.

One important thing to realize before you book a cruise around Cape Horn is that you may not get to all the ports. The weather is variable and you have to tender to several of the ports. If the water is too choppy, the ship or the harbor master may close the pier.

On this trip, approaching the Falkland Islands, the captain had warned everyone the night before that the weather looked challenging in Stanley, but he didn’t want to give up hope, so he continued there. Unfortunately, many people missed seeing this port. My husband and I were in line early in the morning (7:30) when the captain indicated how rough the water was and that there was a pontoon pier with docking for one tender at a time with two cruise ships trying to use tenders. We decided not to get off. At 9:00, the harbormaster closed the harbor, so only a few people had tendered to the port.

Stateroom:

Our Club Class Mini-Suite was just lovely. There was plenty of room for storage in both the room and bathroom. While we were on the ship they upgraded our beautiful new TVs to On-Demand – which was wonderful! The bed and bedding were luxurious. The bathroom had a tub with a shower curtain. There was still individual hand soap in the bathroom. The shower had good pressure and temperature control.

We were welcomed with Champagne. There were two half bottles of wine in our statement for our enjoyment.

The patio, which we didn’t use because it was too cold, had older patio furniture on it. The patio was a good size; included a small table, two reclining chairs and ottomans.

Service:

We experienced excellent service no matter where we were on the ship. We always experienced lots of smiling faces and helpful folks. Our room steward was great, couldn’t do enough for us. He quickly learned our schedule and always had our room done when we were gone.

Food:

We ate mostly (and whenever we could) in the dining room. There is a special area for Club Class in one of the dining rooms. Most of the tables are tables for two; however, you get to know almost all the people in Club Class and the tables are near enough to engage should you want to. The wait staff and head waiter are the same for the entire cruise; therefore, they remember you and your preferences. At each meal in Club Class the head waiter prepares something special in your dining area. At lunch and dinner it was usual a pasta or seafood dish. At breakfast it could be a quiche, special cake, crepes, etc. It was usually wonderful. Also, at dinner there were usually one or two other special items that the Chef prepared in the larger kitchen for Club Class. It was a great experience. I think generally the food was good; however, there were somethings I didn’t like and the wait staff took them back and gave me a different selection.

We never had to wait to be seated and noticed a line at the non-club class door. We usually ate around 7 p.m.

We ate in the horizon court on days when we had early excursions. Of course, there is more variety there; however, I am not fond of buffets and try to not go to them. There were generally good choices for all types of diets there. I was also impressed with the care they took at the horizon court to ensure people washed their hands and placement with hand sanitizers.

Internet:

Wow! Medallion Net really improved internet on the ship. I could always connect with no problems. We purchased the 4 device unlimited option. One thing to note, you cannot connect a Kindle Paperwhite to the Medallion Net. It seems the device has to be a color device for it to work.

Service:

In short, it was wonderful!

Entertainment:

It has been 4 years since I have been on a Princess ship. I think the entertainment has greatly improved. There were many production shows, several different headliners and lounges in the ship with a good band and classical and piano music in the atrium area. Often these were happening simultaneously so you could pick which to attend. I loved the choices. There was also a lot of trivia, name that song and other games that were fun.

Excursions:

We took a couple from the cruise line and booked some on the roll call. They were all very good.

Disembarkation:

We had a late flight out so we booked a tour and transfer through Princess. We did a city tour and lunch with tango show. That was really good; however, they drop you at the airport at around 3:00 for a 9:45 flight. There were so many people at the airport waiting to check in for different flights on American and no signs or indication which counter or where the lines would form. About 4:00 pm a random line began forming and it went back about 100+ people. Around 5:30 they began check-in for two or three flights (American Airline). Of course, the check in was not exactly where the line formed; so there were a lot of shuffling, upset and unhappy cruisers who had been up since 6:00 am and standing in line for 1 ½ hours.

Of course, this has nothing to do with Princess, but with the airport. Posting some signs could help – basically, there was not information on what to expect, when check-in would happen or where.

I guess the only way to avoid this is to book a hotel and stay over a night; however, you could conceivably have the same issue the next day with another ship disembarking. If no one had started the random line, there wouldn’t have been a problem. But when you see so many people waiting, I guess it had to happen.

We really enjoyed our time on the Coral and recommend it to those who enjoy cruising on a smaller ship.
jeriram’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Coral Princess price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.