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The cruise started off badly when our travel agent fouled up our reservations. We were traveling with relatives and reserved early so that we would have adjoining cabins of our choice. The agent lost our reservations, so, while other members of our party got their packets from Princess in late October, all we got was a runaround about problems. We finally got our packet with immigration forms that were supposed to be mailed 30 days in advance of travel 15 days before the cruise. Thank goodness for Princess's online form filing! Our cruise documents came a week later and that was when we found out that not only didn't we have adjoining cabins, we were two decks down and at the other end of the ship! When we complained, the agent gave us $100 shipboard credit and a bottle of wine. Big Deal! At that late date, there wasn't much more to do, but I will never use that agency again. In spite of all that, the cruise was great! Nice balcony cabin with plenty of storage. The only gripe is the size of the shower. You actually can't turn around in it. It's the size of a coffin. I had to put my foot on the toilet seat outside the shower so I could wash my feet. The room steward was OK, but just. We asked for 3 bath towels instead of 2 and got them once during the cruise, so we used the pool towels in our room. And that brings up another complaint. Passengers are supposed to be responsible for those towels and bring them back to the room, even wet and/or dirty, rather than the ship supplying towels at poolside. Another gripe about the steward. He couldn't seem to keep the room supplied with shampoo, conditioner and lotion. We got all of one thing and none of the others often. We learned to raid his cart in the hall. I wonder if the policy of tips being included in the charges has anything to do with this. Other than that, the service was excellent all over the ship. My husband and I both got soda cards and, unlike on other ships, the sodas were served with a smile, especially at the Lido bar. The boutiques had a nice selection of items from the ports we were visiting. My husband wanted a shirt with "mulo?" decoration on it from Panama, but the size tags were hard to read (smudged). The Boutique assistant manger, Carla, saw our difficulty (at 10 p.m.) and promised, that, if there was a shirt on board in the color my husband wanted and in his size, we would have it. By the next morning, we had a message on our phone that there were two shirts for us to choose from. She really went out of her way for us. The food was good, not outstanding, but there was always something that we liked on the menu and the quality was excellent. We had open seating (not our first choice, but that was the travel agent again). It turned out fine and we met a lot of nice people. We only ate in the dining room for dinner and used the buffet for breakfast and lunch. Plenty of choices with interesting salads and good chocolate chip cookies. My husband says that the pizza on the Lido was the best he's had since leaving NY -- great crust and sauce. The Lotus pool area under the dome is supposed to be for adults only and that policy was enforced if someone complained. I also often saw parents bringing infants in diapers into the hot tubs! Not only is this bad for an infant's health, but it must be against every health code! When wants to swim in a cesspool? There was a very nice 8" deep splash pool on board, but I guess it was too much trouble for some of these self-absorbed people to use it. The entertainment on board was good and two of the production shows were excellent. There were two comedy shows. The one we saw was very good. We've seen him before but he had new material. We couldn't get into the other show. There were also current movies every day. My husband used the gym every day and found it to be of good size and well maintained. No waiting for treadmills or other equipment. The tours offered were some of the best we've been on, especially in Panama and Belize. We took the Panama City tour and went to "Old," new and Colonial Panama City on the Pacific side. The "Old" city was burned by the pirate Henry Morgan and is ruins that are being excavated and are partially rebuilt. The guide explained that under Noriega nothing was done and they are only now developing a tourist industry. He also hoped that we would keep the former dictator in jail "until he rots." The new city is a bustling metropolis with skyscrapers going up everywhere. The colonial city is a typical Central American slum, but it is slowly being restored, building by building, with the facades being reconstructed in the old style. It will be beautiful, but the rule is they have to find housing for the inhabitants before a building can be renovated, so it's a slow go. Belize is very interesting. The sea is so shallow offshore that we had a 20 minute tender ride at high speed to reach shore. Carnival is in the process of excavating a ship channel and building a pier. Our guide explained that Belize is a very small agricultural country and will be very happy to have a tourist industry. It isn't all quite up and running yet but our tour to the Lamania Mayan ruins was excellent. Only 3% excavated. You really need insect repellant for this one and expect to walk trails hacked from the jungle with howler monkeys screaming overhead. Good lunch cooked and served by the locals. Small museum but very nice -- brand new. The "gift shop" was two huts on stilts and the timing was so bad we didn't even have a chance to look inside them. It was a long trip upriver to the ruins and the ship was leaving at 4:30, probably due to tides since the channel is not ready. The tour leader was quite knowledgeable. At one point, we were going up a small incline when he stopped us. "Look to your right," he said. We saw a hill going off into the jungle with large trees and a lot of rubble. "Now look to your left." We saw a steep dropoff with more rubble and trees. "You are walking across the side of an unexcavated pyramid." The ruins are so far inland that with the ship's schedule, we barely made the last tender, tired and happy. All in all, I would highly recommend this ship and itinerary. We had a great time.

Coral Princess - Central America/Panama Canal

Coral Princess Cruise Review by Joyce Salomon

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
The cruise started off badly when our travel agent fouled up our reservations. We were traveling with relatives and reserved early so that we would have adjoining cabins of our choice. The agent lost our reservations, so, while other members of our party got their packets from Princess in late October, all we got was a runaround about problems. We finally got our packet with immigration forms that were supposed to be mailed 30 days in advance of travel 15 days before the cruise. Thank goodness for Princess's online form filing!
Our cruise documents came a week later and that was when we found out that not only didn't we have adjoining cabins, we were two decks down and at the other end of the ship! When we complained, the agent gave us $100 shipboard credit and a bottle of wine. Big Deal! At that late date, there wasn't much more to do, but I will never use that agency again.
In spite of all that, the cruise was great! Nice balcony cabin with plenty of storage. The only gripe is the size of the shower. You actually can't turn around in it. It's the size of a coffin. I had to put my foot on the toilet seat outside the shower so I could wash my feet. The room steward was OK, but just. We asked for 3 bath towels instead of 2 and got them once during the cruise, so we used the pool towels in our room.
And that brings up another complaint. Passengers are supposed to be responsible for those towels and bring them back to the room, even wet and/or dirty, rather than the ship supplying towels at poolside.
Another gripe about the steward. He couldn't seem to keep the room supplied with shampoo, conditioner and lotion. We got all of one thing and none of the others often. We learned to raid his cart in the hall. I wonder if the policy of tips being included in the charges has anything to do with this.
Other than that, the service was excellent all over the ship. My husband and I both got soda cards and, unlike on other ships, the sodas were served with a smile, especially at the Lido bar. The boutiques had a nice selection of items from the ports we were visiting. My husband wanted a shirt with "mulo?" decoration on it from Panama, but the size tags were hard to read (smudged). The Boutique assistant manger, Carla, saw our difficulty (at 10 p.m.) and promised, that, if there was a shirt on board in the color my husband wanted and in his size, we would have it. By the next morning, we had a message on our phone that there were two shirts for us to choose from. She really went out of her way for us.
The food was good, not outstanding, but there was always something that we liked on the menu and the quality was excellent. We had open seating (not our first choice, but that was the travel agent again). It turned out fine and we met a lot of nice people.
We only ate in the dining room for dinner and used the buffet for breakfast and lunch. Plenty of choices with interesting salads and good chocolate chip cookies. My husband says that the pizza on the Lido was the best he's had since leaving NY -- great crust and sauce.
The Lotus pool area under the dome is supposed to be for adults only and that policy was enforced if someone complained. I also often saw parents bringing infants in diapers into the hot tubs! Not only is this bad for an infant's health, but it must be against every health code! When wants to swim in a cesspool? There was a very nice 8" deep splash pool on board, but I guess it was too much trouble for some of these self-absorbed people to use it.
The entertainment on board was good and two of the production shows were excellent. There were two comedy shows. The one we saw was very good. We've seen him before but he had new material. We couldn't get into the other show. There were also current movies every day.
My husband used the gym every day and found it to be of good size and well maintained. No waiting for treadmills or other equipment.
The tours offered were some of the best we've been on, especially in Panama and Belize. We took the Panama City tour and went to "Old," new and Colonial Panama City on the Pacific side. The "Old" city was burned by the pirate Henry Morgan and is ruins that are being excavated and are partially rebuilt. The guide explained that under Noriega nothing was done and they are only now developing a tourist industry. He also hoped that we would keep the former dictator in jail "until he rots." The new city is a bustling metropolis with skyscrapers going up everywhere. The colonial city is a typical Central American slum, but it is slowly being restored, building by building, with the facades being reconstructed in the old style. It will be beautiful, but the rule is they have to find housing for the inhabitants before a building can be renovated, so it's a slow go.
Belize is very interesting. The sea is so shallow offshore that we had a 20 minute tender ride at high speed to reach shore. Carnival is in the process of excavating a ship channel and building a pier. Our guide explained that Belize is a very small agricultural country and will be very happy to have a tourist industry. It isn't all quite up and running yet but our tour to the Lamania Mayan ruins was excellent. Only 3% excavated. You really need insect repellant for this one and expect to walk trails hacked from the jungle with howler monkeys screaming overhead. Good lunch cooked and served by the locals. Small museum but very nice -- brand new. The "gift shop" was two huts on stilts and the timing was so bad we didn't even have a chance to look inside them. It was a long trip upriver to the ruins and the ship was leaving at 4:30, probably due to tides since the channel is not ready.
The tour leader was quite knowledgeable. At one point, we were going up a small incline when he stopped us. "Look to your right," he said. We saw a hill going off into the jungle with large trees and a lot of rubble. "Now look to your left." We saw a steep dropoff with more rubble and trees. "You are walking across the side of an unexcavated pyramid." The ruins are so far inland that with the ship's schedule, we barely made the last tender, tired and happy.
All in all, I would highly recommend this ship and itinerary. We had a great time.
Joyce Salomon’s Full Rating Summary
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