Princess really does it right - effortless embarkation and disembarkation, comfortable cabin, great ports. The cruise was a round trip from Ft. Lauderdale - a really easy port in terms of getting from the airport to the ship. Stops were ... Read More
Princess really does it right - effortless embarkation and disembarkation, comfortable cabin, great ports. The cruise was a round trip from Ft. Lauderdale - a really easy port in terms of getting from the airport to the ship. Stops were Grand Cayman (visited the turtle farm and Stingray City), Columbia, Panama (tendered excursion on Lake Gatun); Limon, Costa Rica; Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Food was good and the staff was excellent. We enjoyed dining at Sabatini's and in the main dining room.
They had a really fascinating lecturer on board - he had grown up in the Canal Zone so he had a lot of insight on the area.
If you don't like the noise in the main pool area, there's another adults-only pool nearby. We got to see some great recent movies with their Movies Under the Stars.
We paid extra to have our bags sent directly to our destination airport at the end of the trip - best $25 I've ever spent! Because we didn't have to stop to get our luggage, time from the ship to the curb was about 5 minutes. Read Less
I wanted to go thru Panama Canal and I had a previous good experience with the Princess Cruise line. I was disappointed on this ship. The food was sometimes below what I expected and the activities on board weren't as fun as my 11 ... Read More
I wanted to go thru Panama Canal and I had a previous good experience with the Princess Cruise line. I was disappointed on this ship. The food was sometimes below what I expected and the activities on board weren't as fun as my 11 other cruises on various cruise line ships. The musicians were good but there weren't any magic shows or acrobatics on this cruise. The back of the boat view was taken over by the Lotus Spa area that you had to pay extra to be in. The fitness center was in a lower deck with no windows. The shower stalls were so small you couldn't bend over in them. Our waiter was the best thing on the ship. He was friendly and brought out the food fast. Most of the tours were good, but one of the tours on Grand Cayman had so many waiting to touch the Stingray that we only got to touch it once for the hour we were waiting in the water. We liked the chocolates left on the pillow each night. Read Less
My husband and I chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Panama Canal. I had taken this cruise 5 years ago with a friend and I knew my husband would enjoy the itinerary and seeing the Canal. And I knew Princess was a reliable ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Panama Canal. I had taken this cruise 5 years ago with a friend and I knew my husband would enjoy the itinerary and seeing the Canal. And I knew Princess was a reliable company. We did not explore Ft. Lauderdale since we are Florida residents and have been there many times. My husband prefers cruises that we can drive to and from, so this itinerary was suitable.
The ship was nice and not overdone and gaudy. It was a bit shop worn in places, but it did not affect our enjoyment. All the staff we encountered throughout the cruise were friendly and helpful.
We upgraded to a Club Class mini suite with a balcony and we are now totally spoiled. The Club Class dining was great. We never had to wait in line to get a great seat in the restaurant and the waiters were excellent, remembering our names and preferences. The extra menu choices for the Club Class were always great.
The extra room in the mini suite was perfect for a 10 day cruise. There was LOTS of storage available and the cabin location was very convenient. The only disappointment in the Club Class Mini Suite was the promised daily afternoon hors d'oeuvres. They were mostly tasteless and dry. After 2 days we didn't order them anymore.
We enjoyed the "movies under the stars", seeing many Oscar nominated movies we had missed last year. It was nice to also be able to see the movies in our room the next day if we missed in on deck in the evening. Because we saw a lot of the movies, we missed the shows in the Princess Theater, except the last night. It was an excellent show and we were sorry we missed the others. The orchestra was fabulous and the singers were sensational.
We were disappointed that we could not stop in Grand Cayman. The seas were too rough for the tenders to get us to the island. But some extra activities were added for the additional day at sea.
The passage through the Panama Canal was awesome. We had our breakfast on the balcony as we watched the intricate process unfold before us.
We bought jewelry in the EFFY store on board. Unfortunately, when we disembarked, it triggered an alert and we had to be escorted to a "special" customs agent to see if we needed to pay any duty. This seemed totally unnecessary since EFFY emphasized that their jewelry was made in the USA and was duty free and duty exempt. Our "special" customs agent was not at her station when we got there. We were delayed about 45 minutes by this process and much annoyed. (This wasn't the fault of the cruise line, though) Another annoyance was that we sailed from Terminal 2 and returned to terminal 19. Shuttles were provided, but the drivers and vans were not efficient. We got on and off 3 shuttles before we were on our way to our car. (again not the fault of Princess) Read Less
Experiencing the Panama Canal was on my "Bucket List" especially since my Grandfather was one of the many electricians that helped build the original one. The partial-transit worked well for my time restraints. I will say my ... Read More
Experiencing the Panama Canal was on my "Bucket List" especially since my Grandfather was one of the many electricians that helped build the original one. The partial-transit worked well for my time restraints. I will say my friend and myself were some of the youngest cruisers at 61! The majority of the fellow passengers seemed to be well over that and limited mobility abound by many - scooters and walkers! Some younger families with only a handful of kids onboard. Don't know if was off-season or just before spring break.
Boarding was a breeze and the cabins were ready before 2 p.m. Our mini-suite was standard but a bit smaller than some of the larger ships I've ben on The beds were comfy and the room décor is basic and the colors are dull. Our Cabin Steward/Housekeeper was outstanding. Liezal was always friendly and warm. She did a great job on keeping our room clean and comfortable. She always inquired how our day was and how we were doing.
We had the "anytime" dining which was o.k. My recommendation is to arrive before any of the evening production shows get out or you will wait for 45 minutes in a very long line to be seated. I found the service to be professional but slow at times. The food was good.
We mainly ate at the buffet. The selection changed every night and enjoyed the specialties. Indian dishes seemed to be offered as a regularly featured evening optional fare Lemonade is on the drink menu but you have to ask for it.
Sabatint's Italian Restaurant was good and the service was excellent. The selections were somewhat limited but the meal was tasty. Reservations were readily available and we had no problem getting in
I thought the ship's entertainment productions were just o.k. The song and dance routines were boring along with the magic show. They did have a pianist that was exceptional.
We didn't get the opportunity to go to Grand Caymans since the seas were too rough and tenders could not operate safely. It was a disappointment for many of my fellow travelers. The ship went ahead to Cartegena early. This particular port was my least favorite due to the pushy street vendors who will follow you and knock on the tour bus window! I will say once we were on the actual horse carriage tour ti was a beautiful ride through the old city.
Going through the Panama Canal was fascinating. You can watch it from your room balcony and live stream on your cabin t.v. You don't have go to the bow of the ship.
Limon, Costa Rica is beautiful. We took a tour of La Hacienda. The bus ride was 2 hours each way! It is long and windy, so take care if you get motion sickness. The Hacienda was interesting but felt the drive was too long for the short time we were in port.
Jamaica is always one of my favorites. Took the tour of the Raft Ride on the Martha Brea. Again the bus ride was over an hour each way. The gentle bamboo raft ride was relaxing with view of the lush vegetation. The "captain" will try and sell you some carvings that he did and there are vendors along the river that will try an sell you trinkets. My complaint is on the way back te bus stopped at a funky trinket mall for a half hour.
There are several sea days during this cruise which were enjoyable. Time to catch up on much needed rest and relaxation. I took line dancing lessons that were fun, and watched several of the "Movies Under the Stars". If you want to do a Arts & Crafts project plan on showing up at least a half hour early because the class filled up fast and people were turned away,
Finally, disembarkation was a breeze since we took a excursion at the Everglades Airboat and Airport Transfer. I think we were some of the first people off the ship. The tour was short but fun and got us to the airport by noon or so. Read Less
Panama Canal was the reason we chose this cruise....I found it very acceptable for an older ship....We stayed in an outside cabin...of course, smaller cabin but was sufficient...room stewards were very good as were our dining room ... Read More
Panama Canal was the reason we chose this cruise....I found it very acceptable for an older ship....We stayed in an outside cabin...of course, smaller cabin but was sufficient...room stewards were very good as were our dining room waiters...Food was very good..the entertainment in BB Kings lounge and Billboard Lounge was absolutely wonderful...Now the negative .....we took a shore excursion in Panama..Aqua Clara locks and area tour....it was terrible...They drove around old housing of former base(about 20 mins) then they took us to Aqua Clara locks and left us there 2-21/2 hours....it was interesting to see ships go through these locks...it is about a 1 hr tops stop....the food at the concession stand was out of food only chips, ice cream and drinks were available....then we were driven to port in Colon to sit until ship arrived.....Definitely not worth the money......In Cartegena, we took the gem stone making tour..it was an acceptable tour until you had to go through the jewelry store to exit...Pretty high pressure to buy emeralds...Maybe they should have paid for the tour so they could get the chance to sell us their emeralds? Read Less
We chose this cruise because of destinations. Unfortunately we did not go to Cayman Isl. Because of rough seas.the entertainment on this ship was exceptional! My wife and I have done 39 cruises and I have never seen this quality of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of destinations. Unfortunately we did not go to Cayman Isl. Because of rough seas.the entertainment on this ship was exceptional! My wife and I have done 39 cruises and I have never seen this quality of entertainment. The food is good the average age of passengers around 60. The ship is in great shape considering its age. We sailed on this ship many years ago and would do it again. The weather was great and we did not have a hard time finding a deck chair. The casino is small and has only 1 roulette table. The only complaint on food was the ice cream bar. The ice cream was very grainy and not enjoyable. We had a balcony which was very nice sitting outside enjoying the views. Our fridge was stocked with drinks and booze.we enjoyed the chocolate covered strawberries brought to us and the dry cleaning . If you like cruising I would definitely suggest the Island princess. Read Less
We chose this cruise to see the Panama Canal, which was great in itself, so you could say the objective was met. I do have to say though that the excursions were not always as good as the write up, a lot of money for not a great ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see the Panama Canal, which was great in itself, so you could say the objective was met. I do have to say though that the excursions were not always as good as the write up, a lot of money for not a great experience. We complained about one excursion in particular and received a refund, by doing a little bit of research beforehand we could have booked excursions for ourselves at half the price. There is a lot of waiting about, you are told to meet at set time but could still be there for another hour waiting on others or just for staff to get organised with so many people going off on different excursions.
The dining experience onboard was also not good standard, you never received a hot meal, it is always served lukewarm, in the dining room the main meals came out with food covers, however if someone had two starters or took a long time to eat the main meals sat by the waiters desk until everybody was done, one night our meals sat for ten minutes before being served. If you have dietary requirements then you struggle, no food labels to advise of ingredients if you are intolerant to anything, when you ask they are unable to inform you without going to find out. Very limited choice if vegetarian (no fish and eggs), ends up being repetitive. They need to bring this area of service more up to date, it is crucial to some people if they are intolerant to particular ingredients, could ruin their cruise. Read Less
Entertainment was terrible. Movies were for teenagers. Activities were for 3 year olds. Cabins are clean. Couldn’t get off in Nicaragua because of wind. Smoking area on 15 is uncovered, and I got hit 3 times with chairs sliding in the ... Read More
Entertainment was terrible. Movies were for teenagers. Activities were for 3 year olds. Cabins are clean. Couldn’t get off in Nicaragua because of wind. Smoking area on 15 is uncovered, and I got hit 3 times with chairs sliding in the wind..and it’s also a walking deck. People were complaining we were smoking up there. The indoor lounge was packed with smokers, and the ventilation was poor. No sports bar. You had to be in your room to watch sports on T.V. Food was good in the buffet and had great staff. Anytime dinning you were given a beeper to be called when a table was ready. It took about an hour, so we ended up eating in the buffet everyday. The Coral Princess is one of the Princess fleet that I will never go on again. Felt like I was steerage. Bought cigarettes on ship 3times and each time, they were a different price. Check your receipts Read Less
The cruise on the Coral Princess from March 17- April 5 2019 was fabulous from the time we started the cruise! The crew, staff, and all aboard made you feel like part of their family! By the second day I think most of the crew knew me by ... Read More
The cruise on the Coral Princess from March 17- April 5 2019 was fabulous from the time we started the cruise! The crew, staff, and all aboard made you feel like part of their family! By the second day I think most of the crew knew me by name and called my parents mom and dad! We were greeted by name each nite going into the dining room by name and they arranged it so we didn’t have to call for reservations each morning! They knew we liked a certain waiter and table. My dad is the adventuresome person so he did all the different land tours and came back with many adventures, ( I am disabled and make the choice not to do them, even though a lot of people still do). Fuad Amal’s the people were so extremely friendly and the local market literally right off the ship is so very nice and clean! The local people welcome you by introducing themselves and welcoming you to their little shopping area! It was so pleasant! The Panama Canal, this was my 4th time through, is even more exciting, I really took the time to watch the mules, (five million dollars a piece) as they GUIDE NOT PULL the ship into the locks. Then watch as the ships go up up up!!! It’s really exciting to know you are expierencing a part of history! After the locks we anchored in Gatun Lake where the Coral Princess spent the night and around 11 am the next day we headed back out the canal to the Pacific side again! It was just as thrilling! Each stop we made was wonderful, three stops in Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala and we weren’t able to stop in Nicaugua due to high winds and seas, but that just gave us an extra sea day!! The sea days you can be busy with activities 24/7 or do nothing 24/7 and just relax and unwind! That is what makes cruising so wonderful, once you are onboard, it is up to you on how you want your vacation to be! Some people need the constant activity, others like me, love to relax, face a chair towards the ocean and be lucky enough to see the pod of over 15 whales, many turtles, flying fish, and many schools of dolphins! The ocean is filled with many wonders! The Coral Princess has a beautiful library and game room, cigar room, internet rooms, casino, laundry facilities, Movies under the Stars, and movies during the day while you tan, there are areas for children, and playrooms for kids and teens! You can eat eat and eat some more, the old cruise joke is you go on board as a passenger and leave as cargo, I sometimes believe it after the incedible pastries and desserts they have on board. They have a very nice menu in the dining room and they also offer you a choice to pay to have a better cut of a steak, lobster if that is what is sounding good to your appetite that night! Whatever your request I know from expience a Princess staff member will either take care of it or find someone who can do it for you. Visit Maria in Calypso store, she has a heart of gold! If you should run into Rafeal, Thomas ( both from Poland ) and Edwin from Bulgaria )some of the Head waiters from the dining rooms, they are the best!!!!!! Just their smiles and laughter will make you smile!!!!! Happy Cruising!! I was traveling with my parents and yes we will be cruising MANY more times with Princess!!! Read Less
-Embarkation was excellent and smooth. We were onboard a little after 11am and only took about 15 minutes from start to finish. Disembarkation was just as smooth, with a slight delay due to a computer glitch with immigration.
-The ship ... Read More
-Embarkation was excellent and smooth. We were onboard a little after 11am and only took about 15 minutes from start to finish. Disembarkation was just as smooth, with a slight delay due to a computer glitch with immigration.
-The ship was great, didn't really notice any wear and tear. It had just been in dry dock recently with upgrades. Elevators were quick and there are many of them. Lots of public spots to be out of your cabin. We did have to work while on vacation on the ship, and thanks to the new Medallion internet service.. it was a breeze and just as good as the internet at home. This made our cruise very stress free! We had been worried about that prior, thinking we would not have good internet until the port days.. and then part of our port days working. But thanks to Medallion, we were able to absolutely enjoy all the cruise activities we wanted, the port days and work when needed!
-Our Cabin was a balcony one. I absolutely recommend a balcony especially for anything longer than 7 days. It is really great to order room service and eat out on the balcony. Also just having that extra semi private space to just sit and read, watch the ocean and marine life.. really makes a difference to be in your pj's and do that! Beds were good. we had 3 in our room. Our daughter was up in a berth bunk, and it was comfy and big, not too high and plenty of room above her as she is 5'1" and she could sit very comfortably and there was still space over her head. Our beds were originally as 2 twins, but the 3rd day in our steward suggested putting them together, and I was pleasantly surprised as that was not an option on our room bed request configuration. He said no problem, and set it up, and from then we were very comfy! Closet space was great with tons of hangers! I also had brought closet shelving and over the door storage, that with the cabinet with the safe was absolutely perfect for the over packing I did. I do have to say.. the bathroom was small, and the shower was TINY..lol. all in all a great room.
-Dining- we had anytime dining. Did not do any of the formal nights.. we are over that. Instead we choose to be comfy and just relax now when we cruise and not be on a schedule or have to go eat at a certain time and dress up. We did go to breakfast at the dining room, only once as the buffet works better for us, and our tastes and times we eat. The buffet was great! lots of variety.. food was good to great on some dishes in our opinion. always difficult to please everyone when it comes to food..lol
-Entertainment and Activities- They cruise director, staff, entertainers, musicians and dancers were great!!! Not all shows were spectacular, but they were very good and entertaining, and thats all you can hope for with nothing else to do! We did have a lot of fun with trivia and the shows though. There really is tons to do.. for all tastes.. and thats the great thing about cruises.. you can do as much or as little as you wish.
-Service - We had exceptional service throughout the cruise. The youth center staff was great as they only had 12 kids on the ship.. and not all were together at most times.. and they really went out of their way to make sure the kids were not bored. Can't thank them enough.. because bored kids would have made this a really LONG cruise..lol
Our steward was great.. a little ninja.. we hardly saw him! but our room was always perfect and clean. The buffet staff were amazing!!! we spent most of our late evenings with them since we are night owls, and the demographic age of the ship went to sleep pretty early compared to us. We would enjoy our coffee and chat with them as they did their cleaning with music coming from the kitchen.. Really a lot of fun! that was very unexpected!
-Ports and Shore Excursions- I will list them individually, but will say that the excursions we did were not with Princess but private tours and they were exceptional, and did the same and more than the Princess excursions but at a fraction of the cost.
-Huatulco Mexico~Absolutely loved Huatulco.. we did a boat cruise that took us to all the bays and the man in the rocks, and other sights to see. Then went to Entrega and went snorkeling with our tour captain. it was just us 6 in our group, and it was exceptional!!! Snorkeling was only about $5 per person..with all the gear. He was great and snorkeled with us, actually towed us around holding a line on a floating ring and went and got different fish and we fed then and we went all along the bay amazed by the coral.. just the best time! The water was wonderful with no currents or waves really in that bay. The coral is literally steps from the beach. This is the place I would recommend you go in the water or relax on the beach. we also enjoyed some great food at great prices, right on the beach.. huge and delicious shrimp cocktails and drinks.. just the best place!
-Chiapas Mexico- not our fave at all.. everything was far from the port and the heat was insane! We didn't venture from the port and visitors center. There are some stores and shops, and a pit where they dance. The dancing and live music was great. Be prepared to tip, the young kids really do a great job and earn their tip. We stayed there about 2 hours then headed back on the ship. Friends we spoke with said the tour to the town wasn't great.. very crowded, small and too many people.. might have been great for others though.
-Puerto Quetzal Guatemala - After reading on the state department website that this was a level 2 place to not visit, we had decided to not do an excursion. there is a really big market area right at the port area where you can really walk around safely. But after being at the port for a bit.. we started chatting with a gentleman who offered us a tour to Antigua. We did go, and am glad we did. You fell like you stepped back in time 200 years in Antigua. There is gorgeous architecture, and a volcano well within view. We ate at a great little bar and had the best tuna sandwich ever! Tuna is one of Guatemala's major exportations, so it was delicious! It is not the safest place, and the tour operator had extra security following us around the markets and streets.. but we never felt un-safe. They did a great job and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there and are very happy we "risked it" and went.
-Panama Canal and overnight stay in Gatun Lake- Well we woke up very very early (4:30am) to get a good spot up on the deck outside, then spent HOURS watching as we passed through the locks. It all began around 8 and we anchored around 5 I think. It is a wonder and amazement to experience it.. and just the engineering that went in on this is mind boggling.. but it is a very very long and slow day. And be prepared for some rude people (fellow cruisers) around you to shove and push a little. that was our experience least. On the return transit, this time it didn't start till 11 am.. so by about 8 am we got a big table at the very front of the buffet and spent another very very long day there repeating the locks, but in reverse.. then anchored again to take on fuel all night long... which was a little noisy as it was on our side of the ship. The anchoring on Gatun lake was great... very calm waters which was great as when we left Chiapas, we had some strong winds for a few hours.
-Puntarenas Costa Rica- This country is gorgeous and the people were amazing!! you can tell that most people live comfortably, and poverty is not very visible like in other countries. It is also a very safe country to visit. We did a private excursion with Chico and he was amazing!!! He has a brand new 14 passenger van, and we were the only 6 with him.. he took us EVERYWHERE!! Went to almost every place the cruise excursions went to, and we had lunch at an amazing restaurant up high in the tropical rain forrest.. it was open air and the views were breathtaking!! He also took us to a private monkey habitat.. and we had the best time.. monkeys everywhere..and they climb right on you and you feed them fruit. it was sooo much fun and only $3 a person... we also bought some arts and craft and water there.. was just the best experience! We also went and saw the crocodiles.. the rain forrest, the volcano, wild life.. beautiful parrots and birds... went shopping.. had great great delicious milkshakes and smoothies... of all the ports, Costa Rica was our favorite country and we hope to return and spend some time there!
-San Juan Del Sur Nicaragua- Captain skipped this port due to high winds.. honestly after speaking with our Costa Rica tour guide and the staff on the cruise ship.. I believe it was mostly due to the political unrest in the country. The week before 3 ships skipped that port as the political protests ended with violence. We knew the night before we were not going to port.. so we just had a very relaxing day on the ship instead.. although it did start early about 6 am, as the captain came over the speakers to inform us of the canceled port.
-Manzanillo Mexico- You really do not need to do any excursions there.. you can have a great time just off the port. LOTS of shops and places to eat.. you can get right on the beach immediately... of all the places we visited, Manzanillo had the nicest and best priced souvenirs. everyone was very nice... weather was great.. not as hot and humid as the other ports. spent the day driving around with a private tour operator.. and had a great time...
We did travel with our daughter age 11, my husband and myself in one cabin. My mother (age 79), my sister and my nephew age 17. the kids had just as much fun as we did. the staff on the cruise were amazing... our ports were good to great! the only thing I can say about this long cruise.. is that it didn't really feel long, and that I give great credit to mother nature as the ocean was almost lake like most of the time. Only about 2 hours of high winds leaving Chiapas Mexico was the worst of it. And the rest of the credit goes to the staff and private tour guides we were lucky enough to meet. We would do the Panama Canal tour again, but I think it would be the back to back tours from Los Angelos to Florida, then back again.. only adds 10 days.. but different ports. The ratio of port days to sea days.. were long.. but not unbearable. Read Less
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Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews from Other Departure Ports