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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise primarily based on timing and the beginning/end points. Less on the cruise line. Holland America met our needs for our criteria. In spite of all that we'd heard about HAL catering mostly to elderly clients, we signed ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily based on timing and the beginning/end points. Less on the cruise line. Holland America met our needs for our criteria. In spite of all that we'd heard about HAL catering mostly to elderly clients, we signed up for a 15 day cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to San Diego. Leaving Ft. Lauderdale, our first stop was Half Moon Cay. Overall, less touristy and was fine for the short time we were there. After 2 sea days, we hit Cartagena. We were there for a half-day. Didn't have time to really go anywhere other than a quick city tour. Honestly, not sure why we visited this port. Would have gladly traded Cartagena for a day in Panama City, Panama. The canal was everything we had heard it would be. The views were amazing and the trip transiting the canal was something we'll never forget. The crew did a nice job making folks comfortable. Seriously made the entire trip worth it. This is where the wheels started coming off. The first thing we found was the hot tub closed at 10 pm. Having dinner at 8 pm made this problematic. Wasn't much else to do after dinner so this was the logical choice for our 40/50 year-old group. There were six of us cruising so we thought we would ask for a little extension for one of the hot tubs. We were quickly told no. The staff was beyond confused when we told them their simple no wasn't good enough and we would like to escalate the issue to a higher authority. This really threw them for a loop. After a fair amount of complaining and 7 days into the cruise, the Captain firmly and finally said no. Guess he wasn't too interested in our opinion or issue. The second issue involved shipboard credits and the communication form our travel agency. It's too long and involved for this but suffice it to say, the crew was little to no help with this issue either. Overall, we found the staff beyond our cabin stewards and waiters to be pretty bored and less than concerned about pretty much anything beyond the basics. Couple that with the fact that everything other than ice water and coffee (even coffee in some areas of the ship were costly) were charged. HAL seems intent on getting every possible cent from their passengers. As I said, the crew was generally not helpful. Not sure if this is the HAL culture or a profound lack of leadership from our particular captain. The ports were a mixed bag with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Guatemala being the best by far. Chiapas, Mexico was a serious waste of time. The crew admitted there was absolutely nothing to do there. Again, not sure what we stopped there. Have to say I've taken my last cruise on Holland America Lines. Not impressed in any way. Oh,the best part of the ship was our shower was the best I've ever had on a cruise ship. This is our 8th cruise overall and was the most disappointing when it comes to the cruise line. The rep they have catering to elderly passengers is well-deserved and earned. We felt totally out of place. Should have listened to my gut! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
The Caribbean Princess is beautiful! Our cabin was very nice. We had great servers in the dinning room! The food was excellent! What we were frustrated about was the theater was full to capacity at least an hour before show time. ... Read More
The Caribbean Princess is beautiful! Our cabin was very nice. We had great servers in the dinning room! The food was excellent! What we were frustrated about was the theater was full to capacity at least an hour before show time. People would save multiple seats for others. We went on to a Culinary kitchen enrichment tour. The presentation was great! I would have liked to see more enrichment programs. We enjoyed the Art enrichment program immensely! The Lotus Spa facilities are beautiful! We did a shore excursion in every port. We thought that the excursions where both informative & fun! Our disembarkation went very smoothly! We checked our bags all the way through. We used Princess transportation to the airport. We meet many wonderful people on the ship! I would do this cruise again! All of the ports went to were fun to explore. Being able to be on a balcony and pass through the Panama Canal was Awesome! I highly recommend it! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
My Mom really wanted to do a Panama Canal cruise as her last big holiday. She turned 80 this past year, so I thought we should do this before her health takes a turn for the worse. She enjoyed this so much, I think she's ready to go on ... Read More
My Mom really wanted to do a Panama Canal cruise as her last big holiday. She turned 80 this past year, so I thought we should do this before her health takes a turn for the worse. She enjoyed this so much, I think she's ready to go on another. This was our first time sailing out of Port Everglades and we found embarkation was efficient with almost no standing in line. We arrived at the port about 11:20 and were on the ship shortly after 12 and cleared to go to our room. The weather wasn't great in Fort Lauderdale, but managed to mostly stay dry before boarding. After our drill and preparation for sailing, we were told that weather at Princess Cays was unsafe for tendering, so they changed the itinerary to Ocho Rios on Day 3 instead. My wife was pleased, as she was disappointed when Ocho Rios was removed from the itinerary a few months prior. However, the weather in Ocho Rios was very rainy and we got soaked. Only went to the little shop area for about 20 minutes and returned to the ship. Fortunately the weather was much better the rest of the way. Cartagena was a great place to visit. We did the Fort and Old Town tour and our tour host, "King Arthur" Arturo was very engaging, knowledgeable and clearly proud of his city and country. Unfortunately, we arrived at Las Bovedas at about 8:20am on a Sunday, so almost all shops were closed, so we didn't get to see much. Touring two of the churches was also a bit awkward as they were in the middle of services. My only real complaint about the tour was that we spent 25 minutes in a jewelry store that Arturo obviously hand-picked. Most of us just stood or sat where we could, waiting to get moving again. The Panama Canal was a great experience, and nice to be a part of a little history in being the first Princess ship, the largest cruise ship (so far) and only the second cruise ship to go through the new Agua Clara locks. We didn't do an excursion in Panama, instead staying on the ship and doing the "Escape Room." It was difficult to get into the Escape Room, but we managed to be there at the right time. This was put together by the cruise director's staff, and while not super challenging, it was not too easy, either. We enjoyed the experience and the effort put in by the staff. We also participated in the Steel Drum class put on by Dennis Smith, along with the accompanying performance. We had a lot of fun and Dennis did well with a varied level of musical talent that he had to work with. Really, these are all about having some fun and participating, so I think everyone had a good time. Costa Rica was my favourite destination. The market there was almost all authentic local stuff. We did the train tour of the banana plantation and jungle and got to see a lot you wouldn't see just in the port. It is a beautiful country and I would return. The train is a little rough because of the condition of the tracks, but I really enjoyed it. I did take a battery operated fan with me and used it a couple times when we were stopped to look at something or wait for the "Dole" train to go by the other way. Grand Cayman was my sister's favourite spot. She wanted to stay there and is contemplating how she can move there. She did the snorkeling at Stingray City and another area with a reef. She loved the warm, incredibly blue water and it made me wish I had gone along. The entertainment on board was overall pretty good. We enjoy going to the trivia games, the game shows, some live music and shows and there was no shortage of things to do. This cruise staff with Tais, Brenna, Lili, Duvall, Victoria and Micca were the best we've had to date. Tais, Brenna and Duvall were especially engaging, clearly not afraid to entertain at their own expense. I hope to see these folks on future cruises. Service was on the whole very good. A few were fantastic, a few less than fantastic, but on the whole, very good service. Our cabin steward, Joey, was perhaps a bit shy or awkward, but he got us anything we needed and served us well. The area where service really excelled was in the dining room with headwaiter Antonio. My wife has a number of food allergies that are difficult enough to accommodate at home and Antonio made sure that she had what she needed every day and went beyond by getting her a special bread every day and even desserts. Her diet has no sugar, dairy, eggs, yeast or soy, so desserts are especially difficult, but she had a special dessert every night. We were quite concerned when she was put on this diet in early December, but we were blown away at how well they did to meet her needs. The ship itself was very familiar, having cruised on it two years ago, but it's been in for upgrades since, so we were looking forward to seeing the changes. On the whole, not huge changes, except on the Lido deck with the World Fresh Marketplace replacing Horizon Court and the addition of Planks and Steamers, neither of which we tried. The Ramen bar was a nice treat, though, in Steamers at lunch time. The ship still shows it's age in a lot of places, but it still feels very much like home, having now spent 17 nights on board. I would have no hesitation sailing her again, and no doubt will. Finally, those little picky things, as a review wouldn't be complete without a few critiques. The selection process for things like the Escape Room and Steel Drum class could be done more fairly, I think. It's like the people that show up the earliest get the tickets, so if you're willing to go 30-45 minutes early, you'll likely get the tickets. The problem with that is if you say something is at 9 and you've already given the stuff away by 8:40, you get frustrated. It shouldn't be about who can get there the earliest, it should be show up at 9 and we'll do a raffle, as the lineups get mixed up and some people get offended that people "butt" in line, when they were just sitting there waiting and when the cruise staff shows up, they walk into line with the rest of their party. In the end, there is no way to make everyone happy, but I think they could do better. Another annoyance was the laundry room on Dolphin deck. Every person that tried to get a box of soap out of the dispenser couldn't, as it jammed up. You'd call customer service and they would come, "unjam" the machine, give you a box of soap, leave, then someone else would come in and the machine would be jammed. It happened to me twice and I waited 25 and 30 minutes for the person to come back and unjam the machine. Every person that came before me that day and after me while I was there had the same issue. I finally called the front desk and told them if they can't get the machine working, they should be leaving the soap out for people and sucking up the cost, which would really be very little. In future, I'm bringing my own liquid soap, as the water doesn't get hot enough to dissolve the "All" brand powder soap they use and you had white powder on your clothes afterwards. My only other "complaint" isn't really with the cruise staff, though I think they could have intervened. We were watching the movie under the stars and a group of people were sitting off to the side at the tables, talking and laughing very loudly, making it difficult to hear the movie. Is it too much to ask for a little courtesy towards your fellow cruisers? Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
After recently sailing on both the Westerdam and the Noordam, the Zuiderdam was a bit of a disappointment. The ship had only recently come out of dry dock, but clearly there is a LOT more updating to accomplish. While the Gallery Bar, Lido ... Read More
After recently sailing on both the Westerdam and the Noordam, the Zuiderdam was a bit of a disappointment. The ship had only recently come out of dry dock, but clearly there is a LOT more updating to accomplish. While the Gallery Bar, Lido and Crow’s Nest were spiffy and polished, the ship was dated and shabby in many places, particularly our cabin (4174), as well as both the Ocean and Pinnacle Bar, and most public bathrooms on the ship. Also, the Zuiderdam was just not as well run as the Westerdam or the Noordam. That being said, we had a wonderful cruise director (Saul Orr) and a great time on all the shore excursions we took in Aruba, Curacao, Cartagena and Panama. The Panama Canal was worth seeing, and the doomed rail car to the Miraflores Locks was well worth the cost and time involved. The food was uniformly good and the service by both our cabin stewards and wait staff was excellent, which is what we expect of Holland America. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
The embarkation process was totally awful. We were made to stand in the very hot blazing sun in a line for more than 1 hour. It appeared that the Miami port authority was doing some major renovations. The ship was using a massive ... Read More
The embarkation process was totally awful. We were made to stand in the very hot blazing sun in a line for more than 1 hour. It appeared that the Miami port authority was doing some major renovations. The ship was using a massive air-conditioned tent for the process. However when we got into the tent we realized that there were tons of space in the tent that could have been used to manage the line but we were left outside in the sweltering heat. I am still dealing with skin irritation issues from being in the hot sun for so long. Finally, upon embarkation, our cabin was not properly cleaned. The carpet smelled musty and the washroom area smelled badly. The cushions on the bed and on the furniture in our cabin had a clammy feel and strange smell.This was supposed to be a premium balcony cabin. On the positive side, the liquid soap for the face basin was a nice improvement on bars of soap which usually can become soggy and slimy. We had paid before-hand for shore excursions and internet packages for all of us including my adult son who was in a separate cabin. At the time of the online booking I had received email confirmation all of the bookings were a success. This I printed and carried with me on board as proof of the transaction. However when we go on board there was no record of his bookings anywhere. By the time that Guest Services - Reception had figured out what was going on, my son had missed out on two shore excursions which the rest of the family was going on, thus marring our overall family experience. Guest services indicated that their system had cancelled my son's bookings for no apparent reason. The ship claimed that they were in no position to do anything meaningful except for a bottle of champagne and some finger food. There was little or no follow-up from the staff to whom the matter was reported until the very end of the cruise at which time nothing could be done to salvage the situation. This was with the exception of Dimitri from Ukraine who attempted to be helpful at 5: AM at Reception to sort out my personal issues related to the non booking of Internet services which I had also paid for in advance but were not showing up on the ship's system. In the buffet restaurant it must be said that the breakfast juices were very good. In fact the best which I have had after cruising several times with other cruise lines. However, the wait staff in the buffet restaurant did not seem to be responsive to the needs of guests. Tables were taking very long to be cleared and no one was offering any assistance or drinks etc. In fact on one occasion a guest requested a spoon from a waiter. The waiter in a condescending manner responded by telling the guest where he could go to get one for himself. The customer service or lack thereof in the buffet restaurant stood in stark contrast to the wonderful, warm and personal attention provided to us by one of our waiters in the main dining room. Virendra Singh displayed excellent service and people skills as a waiter. He clearly enjoyed his interface with us and he deserves favourable recognition for it. On many ships shore excursions are planned for departure at multiple times during the day. And you know this because it is visible at the time of your online booking or on your excursion tickets which are delivered to your cabin upon your arrival. However, on this ship we needed to wait for the daily planner (the daily journal outlining activities) which was delivered under your cabin door at night, to know what time our excursion would leave. Therefore there was no possibility of sleeping late as you had to get up to find out the departure time and meeting point of our excursion. No information was on the ticket. The Fantastica package really was quite useful when it came to obtaining drinks. And the bar did a reasonable job with the preparation of cocktails. The interruptions in your cabin are very limited as it appears that they use your key card in the slot to determine whether you're in your cabin. This was quite useful. However it also meant that you did not see your cabin steward and so there was little opportunity for him to provide requested services. Time changes for the purpose of daylight saving were communicated word of mouth from passenger to passenger instead of using written communication sent to the cabin. It must be noted that there were excellent nightly shows for entertainment in the Theatre. Treasure Island and Spanish Classical stood out in particular. This is my second cruise with MSC, the first one being from Venice to the Greek Isles. That was a positive experience which is why we opted to use them again. I can say that their Theatre entertainment is quite outstanding and it is one of the few things which I will remember positively. And while the absolute distaste for our early experience with the MSC Divina could have been tempered somewhat by the few positives mentioned above, the ship ensured that we left with a totally negative view overall by our disembarkation experience. The disembarkation process was a complete mess. The ship appeared to give priority to guests from the United States and Canada as opposed to those who had same day flights. Additionally, while the group with prepaid ground transfers to the airport were told to gather at the prescribed meeting point at 9:45 AM, we could not get off of the ship for more than two hours thereafter. MSC constantly made an announcement blaming the delays on the Immigration officials at the Miami port terminal indicating that due to congestion they had stopped the disembarkation. However, when we eventually got off of the ship it was clear that the problem was caused by MSC themselves. There were no attempts on their part to assist with persons who were going to miss their flights. No accommodations or exceptions were made. We saw several persons who were very sure they were going to miss their flights. We ourselves only made it to our departure gate with less than 15 minutes to spare. One young MSC representative clearly said that when problems occur all the supervisors disappear. We even had to deal with a rude attitude from the person at the ground transfer kiosk outside of Immigration. We also heard our coach driver yelling at two passengers who had been overcome by the frustration of knowing that they were going to miss their flight to Paris. We are very disappointed by our overall experience with the MSC Divina. And while MSC may have done a good job when we cruised with them in Europe, clearly they are not ready to deliver responsive and caring customer service to customers cruising out of Miami. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This is my first experience with MSC. Previously I have sailed on Princess and one cruise on Cunard and this is obviously different then MSC. Will try not to compare these with this one. but that is very hard not to say, “They did ... Read More
This is my first experience with MSC. Previously I have sailed on Princess and one cruise on Cunard and this is obviously different then MSC. Will try not to compare these with this one. but that is very hard not to say, “They did this on…” We chose this cruise be cause the itinerary and the time frame, being on board Christmas and New Years. But the time was a big problem because it was filled kids. That is not the issue,, their parents were the worse. The rudeness, the running around of the kids, in front of waiters, or other passengers, and the parents' saying "They are just kids," Seriously? Embarkation Firsts impressions… After reading all the stories of the New MSC Terminal in Miami, we were excited that we would be using the newer building, assuming we would be next to the Seaside. Our boarding passes listed that we would be boarding in either “F” or “G”. Found out by an Facebook MSC community member that we were in Terminal “B”, Seaside in “F”, but no other notice where we would be in. Communication was a problem with MSC from the beginning, more about that later. Now for the good and bad experience. Out of the cab, the porters took our bags and more interested then hinting about tips then putting the bags on a cart. All the bags sat on the curbside and it seemed a while before they moved carts in to move them to the ship. Noticed that because we sat in the sun for more then an hour watching them not moving. MSC did a very poor job of planning this part of the process, no signage appeared and very few crew members and staff were available to direct us or answer any questions. We saw one small sign that stated our boarding was a tad delayed by delays of disembarkation earlier. There were a couple of crew members offering small cups of water or juice, the large trash cans of overflowing and no one from the cruise ship or the cruise port came to dispose of the trash. All very bad signs when we arrived to board the ship. Once we got inside the air-conditioned building the process went faster and the staff people were greeting us with smiles and with good attitudes. They gave us our cabin cards, information how to activate our onboard payment methods, a weird way to do that bt that worked out fine, info about purchasing the internet but no map of the ship, or directions and options for lunch. We were told our cabin would not be ready for a while, but did not tell us when they would be available but that was not an issue. Dining Surprised and very disappointed. We were in the second sitting, upstairs at the Black Crab. I guess you like to use the “MDR” slang. Our servers Alex and Livan (I think) were great. We had a table of six, two other couples perfect so it was not to large to have a nice conversation. We have in the past chosen Anytime Dining, just in case… We started off bumpy with our servers when we all asked for ice and they looked at us like we were nuts. The same response when we asked for cocktail sauce for shrimp. The ice was resolved, after three nights, when bucket of ice. That made us all happy. As for the Cocktail Sauce for the shrimp, they brought ketchup and put something in it to perk it up, not sure what t was but it did not hurt us. The first impression of dining is the preparation, the presentation, how served and of course the taste. Many of the menus, especially for breakfast and lunch, were torn, sometimes stained, and not very attractive. The breakfast menu with the morning specials, were the same just about every day, nothing there special. The table cloths looked worn, threads on the bottoms and a few had existing stains. This was embarrassing. As for the presentation, serving and taste, this was the most surprising and disappointing aspects of our dining experience. 60% of the food was served just barely warm. At breakfast, the toast, English muffins etc. were all cold, not even warm. The omelet was the best thing for breakfast and was a little hotter than the rest of offerings. The choices of toast were white or brown, not very exciting or appetizing. with those choices. The presentation at meals was astonishing, at the breakfast the serving of the jelly and ja were the small packets seen in diners and again not very attractive. (Photo attached as well as a photo of the saddest thing ever served on a cruise ship) ... The Buffet. Usually not our favorite place, unless we a have an early excursion or returned after lunch. It was clean, the servers were very nice, and worked incredibly hard. Not our favorite place because the masses are nuts, the people are rude, just wandering around, moving in and out of lines, eating as they get their food and moving to their tables. The presentation looked like a buffet, that is not bad, moving lots of food in and out and keeping it hot is quite the task. The salad bar was always clean and constantly refreshed. The best part in this buffet was the pizza, usually four different pies to choose from. Hygiene at the buffet is the most troubling aspect. Just about everyone does not use the sanitizer, or Purell when they enter the buffet and the other restaurants. They should have the dispensers on both sides of the doors even having a staff member and better signs encouraging people to use these. Many in the buffet will refill their coffee mugs and glasses then getting a new glass. Enrichment Activities I did not notice any of these activities, I could have missed this especially if it was placed in the “Program”. Unless they consider Bingo, Trivia, Quest, Scavenger Hunts and Karaoke enrichment activities. Entertainment Entertainment tastes are very subjective, so my comments are my personal observation, although I did have many people saying the same thing. I had heard before that MSC entertainment was of the best on the cruises, so my disappointment was also very surprising, they advertise there is a different show each night, and the first night was great, but the rest of the shows looked the same, predictable. The “cast” of the show, included three vocalists, two sounded more like tenors then singers, but they were all great, a Soprano and Opera Tenor, she not so great, two Russian Acrobats, a group of three guys also doing some acrobatics stuff, a ballroom dancer couple, a Russian woman doing more acrobatic stuff on a chain curtain ring, and an amazing Salsa couple who were fantastic. And the Divina Dancers. The singers were great and do the actual singing, they do not use a live band, not real music on stage, they use prerecorded tracks with much performed lip synced. The cast walks on and off stage like walking with Pop and Circumstances, very unnatural. The variety acts all were great and very talented, but they looked the same on every show they appeared, although the Salas couple was amazing on the two or three shows they appeared. The stage and lighting are very boring. The stage has four sets of stair cases they move around, and put some props around them, and yes boring. Found out later our ship tour, that the revolving stage was broken and have not been used for a while. The dancers were great, but most of the time in darkness, td by the stage manager that they were too be in the background and not featured although you can light them a little more exciting. And note to the production company and directors, let the dancers sing. They only sang in one piece at the end of the show, they are very talented, not just dancers. Fitness & Recreation We did use the fitness center and the Aurea spa. The fitness center was great, the equipment was new each with access to satellite tv, and the spa treatments gave us access to the Thermal are, they could have some more lounger chairs, and the locker rooms could be refreshed more often, towels, mopped floor etc. But that was a great experience. Spa pet peeve on all the ships, the hard sell of the products. I know they are instructed with the hard sell, but not interested in $197.00 of face cream. They never take no. Onboard Experience The ship is beautiful but some weird design and some space limitations. The photographer people are set up in the middle of high traffic areas, and not situated in places that makes passengers move around. they use ordinary backgrounds on these photos and their display of photos are stuffed into bins and very hard to find. They miss a big opportunity for sales by not taking photos when we get off the ship at the excursions ports. I like getting a set of photos from all the ports. Photo of the ship, the date and port and photo very saleable. If they did this that was not obvious. They have these entertainment crew acting silly, but could be in photos with this or costumes maybe. Shore Excursions The excursions we picked were great. Some confusion and inorganization did happen in Ocho Rios, took us more than 90 minutes to get off the ship, sit in the sun and get on to the bus which was a 3-minute drive. The port there was too small and not very attractive. Service Service on board was very inconsistent. Our steward and dinner servers were great. We did have a few servers for breakfast and lunch were not very pleasant. Made them feel like they were doing us a favor. Of course, serving barely warm food may add to their attitudes. While many of the people at the front desk are very personable and carry with smiles they are not trained to answer the easiest questions. Having to ask others for responses and getting different answers very frustrating. They do have great patience working with different languages and cultures. Maybe a quide book at each service station that they could refer too under the counter? Maybe copies of the “Program” at the desk would help? No one should have to go get this from the different desk only to find out the three people at this desk have three different answers. As for the “Program”, again another hard to do, with different languages, I give them lots of credit for that, but the fonts are hard to read, and seems to change. Information on page three is different than page five, there are lots of spelling mistakes. Again, the first impressions, we have become nick naming this as the “MSC Misinformation” or “MSC Misprint”. Again, the first impression on the ground before we even got on board was very negative. Customer service was inconsistent and mostly badly trained and had some sounded like they were just there and not providing customer service. As for the website, that was an embarrassment. I will not go into the problems, and hassles I had to get information or confirmations. The one person at the website support phone call was the only honest person when she said, “Our website is not very good”. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose the Coral Princess because the itinerary had a nice division of Port and sea days and it worked well for our Holiday schedules. Boarded without issue in Fort Lauderdale. The ship overall I think was well maintained. Unless you ... Read More
We chose the Coral Princess because the itinerary had a nice division of Port and sea days and it worked well for our Holiday schedules. Boarded without issue in Fort Lauderdale. The ship overall I think was well maintained. Unless you have only been on brand new ships I think some normal wear is expected. Always saw workers painting, varnishing, etc. We did anytime dining and it was pretty good! I have been on many cruise lines and overall food quality is not what it was back in the day, but everything was tasty and we certainly never went hungry. I was interested that some preferred the buffet. Although there was nothing wrong with the buffer food, I got easily bored with the offerings at breakfast and lunch after about 7 days... We did try all the specialty dining options. Sabbatini's recently changed their menu and for our tastes, we heavily preferred the old menu. This one was just meh... Service was lovely though. Had a couple of fabulous dinners at the Bayou steakhouse. If you like New Orleans style food, they did a good job. Steak was super tasty! We also did the ultimate balcony dining for the first time and it was SPECTACULAR. What a production and awesome food! Worth every penny of the $100 upcharge. As has been our view on all 12 of our Princess cruises, the entertainment was - Entertaining. Food and entertainment are very subjective, but we are in our early 50s and I think they provided a fair variety of entertainers. I never feel like Princess has enough stuff to do on sea days, but this itinerary allowed a good mix of downtime between ports so I can't say I was ever bored. Service was top notch 99% of the time. The only exceptions would be the future cruise lady was SUPER crabby, the Spa manager was kind of a jerk, and the shopping lady was a bit annoying. ( the rest of the staff was FABULOUS that we dealt with). small potatoes in a sea of lovely people. I do have to say on All cruises lately and this was no exception, rude people and those that see a ship as an opportunity to allow their children to run rampant is not cool. I find it is a privilege to travel and the hard working people on the ship should not have to deal with such nonsense. Again.. overall this was a fantastic journey where you could watch history come to life ( HIghly recommend the book "The Path Between 2 Seas"... very long but adds great meaning to the crossing!). I mention the small things to reign in expectations, but really a fine time was had by my husband and me. As far as ports: we booked all independently from ship. .I do wish we had known in advance that the ports in San Juan Del Sur and Huatulco mainly required cash unless it was a big retail store. San Juan del Sur Nicaragua had many really nice and unique items for sale including woodcrafts but we do not like to carry a bunch of cash with us so we were unable to purchase items. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
After spending 4 days in Hollywood near Fort Lauderdale we had a rapid, smooth embarkation upon the Coral Princess. We found the ship delightful with spacious well appointed lounges and bars that far exceeded our expectations for a ... Read More
After spending 4 days in Hollywood near Fort Lauderdale we had a rapid, smooth embarkation upon the Coral Princess. We found the ship delightful with spacious well appointed lounges and bars that far exceeded our expectations for a smaller class of ship. Although the ship is older it was not tired with all areas fresh and well maintained. The ship had the feel of a spacious, classic, first class cruise liner where there were both active and quiet spots to suit the needs of all passengers. The area under the most pressure space wise is the Bordeaux anytime dining room where there was invariably a wait of between 10 and 40 minutes to get seated. However with this in mind one just collects a pager and then enjoy a relaxing pre dinner drink. The quality of the food and service staff in both the main dining rooms and the Horizon Cafe was superb. Our only issues arose on the particular evening we dined in the Bayeaux Cafe ( supplemental cost ) where the service was poor, the steaks way overseasoned and the dough on the peach pie was not cooked through. However mistakes happen and the issues were acknowledged and addressed by senior management to our satisfaction. Others dined in this venue on alternate nights and were completely satisfied. INone of the above can detract from the overall excellent dining experience on the ship. The service provided by all cabin, casino and service staff was absolutely first class and was delivered with genuine warmth and good cheer. The shows were very good and the trio ( piano. violin and double bass ) performing mainly in the atrium were exemplary. Although this is not our preferred music genre we invariably spent considerable time listening to their outstanding performances particularly with regard to the violinist whom made the instrument literally sing to the audience. We felt that some of the other acts could have been stronger and there were weak members within the activities team but once again this did not seriously detract from our enjoyment. The itinery was excellent and the tours we went on in each port were great and hosted by well informed and knowledgeable guides. The trip through the Panama canal was a fantastic experience enhanced by the expert and interesting narration provided throughout the day by a specialist broadcasting from the bridge. Overall we had an absolutely fantastic cruise, one of our best. Well done Princess for maintaining such a high quality where P & O continue to let standards slip. considerably. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
we booked our cabin on viewing it on the internet. Balcony mid ship 12th floor. Internet shows the cabin to be larger than normal but we have found out this is not true. Our cabin was clean and bed very comfortable our room Stewart was ... Read More
we booked our cabin on viewing it on the internet. Balcony mid ship 12th floor. Internet shows the cabin to be larger than normal but we have found out this is not true. Our cabin was clean and bed very comfortable our room Stewart was great. The crew was also very good and friendly. Dinner: not up to Princess standards our meals lacked flavor. one night corn chowder was on the menu and it was a clear broth not on corn kernel in it?? Shows where great had to rush supper to get to 7:30 show and it was always full. 9:30 was just to late. Enjoyed the happy hour in the wheel house furniture needs updating/cleaning.Singer at this time very good but way to loud as all the music venues were. can no longer walk around deck 7. closed at one end. we did enjoy our evening walks around deck 7. The ship was nicely decorated for Christmas and New years celebrations. Some sort of illness going rampant throughout the ship passengers coughing and with appears to be colds. Read Less

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