1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Panama Canal & Central America Cruises
  4. Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

632 Panama Canal & Central America Senior Cruise Reviews

Most everyone, especially those who love the sea, has some familiarity with the story of the Panama Canal. David McCullough's marvelous book, The Path Between the Seas, is required reading for anyone making this trip. But no amount ... Read More
Most everyone, especially those who love the sea, has some familiarity with the story of the Panama Canal. David McCullough's marvelous book, The Path Between the Seas, is required reading for anyone making this trip. But no amount of reading or watching videos or documentaries prepares you adequately for the real thing. That's why we chose this trip. We began in Miami's Mandarin Oriental hotel, a splendid accommodation. As usual, the transfer arrangements were well-organized and efficient. We were able to occupy our suite at noon and it was ideal for the transit of the canal with a forward- and side-facing balcony. The stop at Georgetown was pleasant but unmemorable. Cartagena, with its Fort San Felipe, was excellent. Then came the Canal. Our transit began in the early morning, shortly after sunrise and continued until we finally exited into the Pacific at dusk. The narrator - making her 700th transit! - provided rich detail about many aspects of the canal itself, as well as the flora and fauna, along with anecdotes about both the French effort and the subsequent American success. We had room-service breakfast so as not to miss a moment. This one day made the entire trip entirely successful all by itself. Puntarenas, Costa Rica, was the next stop with a very enjoyable river cruise - numerous tropical birds and crocodiles. Other stops - Corinto, Puerto Queztal, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas - provide some interesting sites. All required boarding buses. What we missed on this cruise was the small group option we enjoyed on the two cruised we had on the Explorer. As with other Regent cruises, the cuisine was excellent in Sette Mare, Compass Rose and La Veranda. We weren't quite as impressed with Prime Seven. We found the enrichment lectures short on regional relevance. Many cruisers have commented on Navigator's vibration, particularly notable toward the stern of the ship. It is sometimes noticeable toward the bow, but we did not find it disturbing. Our cabin, a Grand Suite, was excellent. It was spacious and well-appointed. One note of caution for North American travelers: although there are 110 volt outlets, there are only two of them. We found it helpful to bring along converter plugs that allowed us to plug in electronics to the 220v outlets, which are numerous. As I mentioned above, the view from the balcony facing forward is a real treat, particularly if you are interested in watching the deck crew manage the bow and spring lines or deploy and weigh the anchor. One modification that would make the balcony really spectacular is to install a baffle between the forward and side areas. The wind across the deck makes sitting on the side area nearly impossible when the ship is underway. The ship itself is relatively small by today's cruise ship standards: only 490 passengers. But it is perfectly spacious and never feels crowded. The staff are all excellent and cheerful, particularly the stateroom butler and stewards. All-in-all, a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime trip! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was our 20th cruise and 7th on Princess, so we are familiar with all things Princess. We chose this itinerary because we like San Francisco and wanted the stops in different countries before and after the Panamá Canal. The timing ... Read More
This was our 20th cruise and 7th on Princess, so we are familiar with all things Princess. We chose this itinerary because we like San Francisco and wanted the stops in different countries before and after the Panamá Canal. The timing (November 17 departure) fit our schedule and we were very fortunate with the weather; we had only one day of rain, that being an all day rain on the day of PC passage. We were in a mini suite on Dolphin deck, port side. Fairly comfortable with a nice bed (although we heard complaints from the older crowd that it was too soft), plenty of storage, 2 TVs and a smallish if adequate balcony. There was serious salt damage to the sliding door and exterior fixtures on the balcony but it didn’t affect our trip. Very few rattles and creaks as we had pretty calm sailing most days and nights. Now for the review: the crew was mostly nice, although not enthusiastic like we’ve experienced before. Cruise director predictably corny but that’s his job. Best cabin steward (Geoffrey) we’ve ever had. The food (and service) was not that great in the DR and only passably better in the Horizon court buffet. The overall decreasing quality of the DR food over the years is one of our main complaints with Princess. When you see menu inserts offering $20 meal upgrades, it seems like the chef has given up with every day food quality. Pizza still reliable, as is the hamburger/brat bar. Room service was great. Bar-tenders OK. Coffee bar folks very good, as was the coffee (worth the extra cost). The Cajun restaurant was in our opinion not worth the $29 ea upcharge, nor was the Crab night in the Horizon ($25 ea). Because of this we canceled our Sabbatini reservations and never missed it. The British pub lunches were very good. The entertainment was great the first half, especially ventriloquist Don Horn, and another comedian, but they swapped ships when we met the Emerald mid way through the cruise and the second half variety guys not that good. Nice theater though. Princess does a good job with the actual Canal passage, using a running loudspeaker commentary by a canal expert, and this was great. It was nice to finally do the transit. The other stops were ho-hum with tours to match. Cabo was very pretty and there was a nice boar tour. All other stops did not excite, and the tour leaders were either difficult to understand or lacked enthusiasm. Not a great value, especially the tour of Gatlin lake, which was nothing more than 90 minutes on an uncomfortable barge doing a wide circle around a few hundred acre inlet looking for lizards and monkeys in the trees. Wish we’d passed on that one. All in all, I would not do this one again as 15 days was too long, taking into account the 8 sea days (seemed like more) which gets monotonous. On the good side, since the average age on the cruise was maybe 75 years (lots of scooters) there’s no rush for deck chairs by the pool. More people in the shade than sun. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Very clean, well appointed ship. Dining @Lido and Dining Room was usually top rate. Lots of variety, well presented, variety of options through the cruise. Staff, without exception, were terrific for the whole cruise - friendly, ... Read More
Very clean, well appointed ship. Dining @Lido and Dining Room was usually top rate. Lots of variety, well presented, variety of options through the cruise. Staff, without exception, were terrific for the whole cruise - friendly, responsive and efficient. Cabin steward was very responsive and helpful - very knowledgeable. On board entertainment - numerous and varied - from magicians to dance, musicals and comedians. Other activities were directed at an older audience - Holland America seems to attract older demographic which is fine but maybe more active types of activities on board would be welcome. Charges of $15 for fitness classes seemed a bit excessive. Gym was outstanding!! Tours were generally very good - well organized and good guides. One tour occurred (Cartagena) in which the guide (limited English) took us to two different stores during a 3 hour shore tour. This ate up at least 45 minutes of our overall tour - was quite insistent, to the point of raising his voice, if we didn't stay in the store and look at the merchandise. He had little historical/cultural knowledge of the city. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise because the timing was good, it ended up in LA where we could drive home to Phoenix and we needed 15 days to make Diamond level. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale 2 days ahead hoping to do some sightseeing but a cloudburst ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the timing was good, it ended up in LA where we could drive home to Phoenix and we needed 15 days to make Diamond level. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale 2 days ahead hoping to do some sightseeing but a cloudburst stuck with us for much of the 48 hours until we boarded which dampened our plans. We were glad we were staying in an Embassy Suites and had the extra room while we holed up indoors. Overall, we thought the ship was well maintained for an older vessel. It was very nice that management worked to replace the Grand Cayman port that had to be skipped for weather with Huatulco--another Mexican port. The theater is beautiful, Centrum was very nice and cabins in good shape. This was our 20th cruise, on multiple lines, and this was probably the worst design we had ever seen for the buffet. The dining area is pretty but suffers multiple bottlenecks. Food lines are on each side as you enter the buffet so people coming, going and trying to get food items are all competing for limited space. Getting all your food items is kind of a scavenger hunt. Two of the 4 food lines were gluten free which I thought was excessive. Also, items like hard boiled eggs were in the GF line so you had to go through the regular line first and then back track if you wanted a normal item which happened to be also gluten free. I was very happy they had toasting stations because I like fresh toast. Lox plates and bananas were available on demand which was helpful. Biggest disappointment was that they eliminated the baked ham at breakfast--none for ham and eggs, none for eggs benedict--oh no! The Asian girl making omelettes is a wizard. Breakfast is hard to mess up and choices were pretty good. Service was very good and tables cleared very quickly. We thought the buffet lunch was disappointing. Since hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza have no other home on the ship, they are on the buffet. Salad bar was well stocked and bread was great. Sandwich fixings were available daily. There were often a couple of Indian dishes which were pretty good. Hot and crispy French fries (especially the cajun) might have been the best I ever had on a ship! Hot food choices were very limited, quite bland and appeared in too many locations--more variety would be good. There was a carving station but meat was often very dry due to over-cooking. Desserts were very underwhelming and we were saved by chocolate chip cookies and the soft-serve machine. My time dining food was pretty good. We had a couple of different dining teams that took good care of us. Food was usually served at a good pacing, Most of the beef dishes and the lobster were very tasty. We thought the Chicken Kiev entree was a bit weak for one of the formal nights. Desserts in the dining room were vastly better than the buffet. The apple pie and the chocolate cake were winners. We attended some trivia sessions and enjoyed them. Evening shows had several winners--our favorite was Mark Preston and the later show he did with his wife Michelle Murlin. Hayden Smith and Alexa were very enjoyable also. Most of the comedians were good and the Chicago section of the Broadway production show was super. The theater worked well for movies on a few days. Steve Davis was a good CD. We did not travel with children so cannot evaluate that. I have never had a bad cruise and would go again if it met my desired timing, and destination. They are always fun despite the pros and cons that all ships have. That being said, a somewhat larger ship would be my first choice. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this 16 day cruise for it’s itinerary, value and breadth of activities. The ship was a manageable size, offered plentiful activities and many meal and eating options. The cruise directors and activities staff provided ... Read More
We chose this 16 day cruise for it’s itinerary, value and breadth of activities. The ship was a manageable size, offered plentiful activities and many meal and eating options. The cruise directors and activities staff provided many entertainment and participant activities. We were amazed at the friendly and helpful staff. Each staff member went out of their way to make sure we had the best cruise possible. It seemed to be a happy staff that were truly wanting to provide exemplary service! The quality of food was somewhat standard. There was plenty of options both in the main dining rooms and the buffet dining. On a long cruise like this more variety on a day to day basis could have been offered. Vision of the Seas offered a great itinerary with exemplary staff to make this a wonderful cruise! The only improvements we could suggest would be a daily variety in the windjammer and a fridge in the room. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose the cruise for it's destination, the Panama Canal and for it's embarkation port, Ft. Lauderdale. The ship was fine, the stateroom was excellent and the service staff was wonderful. We did NOT feel the same about the ship ... Read More
We chose the cruise for it's destination, the Panama Canal and for it's embarkation port, Ft. Lauderdale. The ship was fine, the stateroom was excellent and the service staff was wonderful. We did NOT feel the same about the ship personnel. They were aloof and never smiled or made eye contact. We also felt that there was a constant sales pitch for jewelry or spa services. We were inundated by daily paper advertisements in our mailbox, definitely not environmentally friendly. The beverage package is NOT worth it. We never knew exactly what was or was not included, forcing us to ask and making us feel uncomfortable. We did not feel that we got our money's worth. The on board activities were lacking which made for boring sea days. The pools were small and too cold, the hot tubs were not hot enough and looked grimy. Service in the Canaletto specialty restaurant was bordering on arrogant and the food was average. We therefore skipped all other specialty restaurants. The buffet food was good. The entertainment at night was very good, especially enjoyed Hilby. Aruba was underwhelming while Willemstad was fun. We walked both cities. Our main event was the Panama Canal and we booked the Canal Experience. We do NOT recommend it. The guide was repetitive, the food was dubious and the boat was very old. It had a malfunctioning engine and spewed fumes all over the decks. We sat there for 4 hrs, breathing through wet towels. HAL refunded the money but otherwise did not check in with the two passengers with medical emergencies this had caused. Again, aloof and did not care despite our complaint. Be aware, HAL definitely caters to older customers. There were a lot of walkers and wheelchairs on board and the ship was quiet after 930p...not catering to the more active, even if senior, customer. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had chosen The Norwegian Joy so we could experience a full transit of the Panama Canal and this cruise fit our time schedule. The Good: The ship is beautiful, there was a fun atmosphere, and a lot of different bars and areas ... Read More
We had chosen The Norwegian Joy so we could experience a full transit of the Panama Canal and this cruise fit our time schedule. The Good: The ship is beautiful, there was a fun atmosphere, and a lot of different bars and areas inside and out to hang out. The Observation Deck on the ship is beautiful, and has it's own little buffet breakfast and lunch that provided lighter fare. The freestyle Dining...no jacket and tie requirements for the dining areas were perfect for my husband and me. I like to dress up a little for dinner, he thinks having a collard shirt on is formal wear. There were a couple of smaller complementary dining areas, the Taste and The Savor that we really enjoyed. The Manhattan is nice but large and noisy with staff running everywhere. We had a nice balcony room which was comfortable and we loved. I was really happy that there weren't cameras stuck in our face every time we turned around. The photographers were respectful of our wishes. The shows we attended were good and entertaining. The food in Cagney's was lovely and the service outstanding. The same with Ocean Blue. The not so good: There are extra charges upon extra charges. A bottle of wine with dinner is as little as $23, but there is a corkage fee (normal) and a 20% service fee AND a tip line with the expectation of a tip on top of it. This was true in the complimentary restaurants as well. There was a 20% service charge, a specialty dining charge and a line for an expected waiter tip. We prepaid our tips but felt awkward because the staff don't know who did and who didn't. Drinks are costly, I ordered a mudslide one day and it was $14, with the gratuity I gave the server I paid $16. We ate at the Teppanaki one night and the meal was terrible, it all tasted like burnt garlic. Things to know: Budget for extra service charges, extra tips and extra extra tips (giving the bar tender a couple of bucks with your wine order will get you a full glass of wine instead of a quarter glass). Budget extra for the specialty restaurants and the al la carte places. Budget extra for the gaming, race tracks and the virtual reality gaming places. Budget extra for tips for the excursions you go on. I did not purchase the Free At Sea packages so can't comment on that but wonder if the extra service charges are included in the packages or put on the bill. The Bad and Ugly Several of us contracted a gastrointestinal illness onboard the last part of the trip. When we disembarked, we (the sickies) were herded into an open fenced parking lot, without water, toilet facilities, or places to sit to be processed through customs which took 3-4 hours. Some of the sickies had to be transported out by EMS. I don't know if this was a ship decision or a customs decision, but hopefully they will review this process. Overall We had a great time, the food was good and the ports of call were great. In spite of our GI stuff we are ready to go again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We wanted to experience the locks at the Panama Canal,. and to see a part of the world we had never visited. We booked a mini-suite for the first time, and we really enjoyed having the extra space. We had four sea days, so we were in ... Read More
We wanted to experience the locks at the Panama Canal,. and to see a part of the world we had never visited. We booked a mini-suite for the first time, and we really enjoyed having the extra space. We had four sea days, so we were in the room more often than on other cruises. We had Club Dining on this cruise, and were very pleased with the service. It was nice to have the same efficient waiters for each meal, and to have our "own" table. The waiters were very attentive and aware of our preferences, as well as being welcoming and friendly. The food was not superior, but it was good. We felt that there was a fairly limited menu from which to choose, but most of the meals we picked were good. The desserts were excellent. We ate in Sabatini's one evening., and were not particularly impressed with either the food or the service. It seemed no better than Club Dining to us. The shows we attended were enjoyable, but not spectacular. We had to be sure to arrive early for performances in order to find desirable seating. The choices of shore excursions was very good. We were on a limited budget, so could not choose some of the more exciting or adventurous ones because of price. We were pleased with all of them except one: Discover Jamaica seemed more of a long bus ride than anything else. We visited a park and some small falls, and had a shopping opportunity, but we did not feel that the ride was worth what we saw. The ship is rather small, and not a new one, but it has been tastefully updated. The entertainment provided was enjoyable - good musicians playing frequently. and several game activities offered if you are interested in that. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
ports of call were very a good variety and accommodating - food service was great and well presented. Rusty was a great server in the Explorers Lounge for daily beverages. there should always be transportation from ship to shore ... Read More
ports of call were very a good variety and accommodating - food service was great and well presented. Rusty was a great server in the Explorers Lounge for daily beverages. there should always be transportation from ship to shore installations for handicapped and elderly embarkation and disembarkation was very efficient and smooth. the anytime dinning was easily adjustable and worked well. the casino is very dated and very poor in winning, we only spent about one third our usual casino time on the ship as we say in our gaming circle the casino was very very tight and not worth playing or paying. other activies were well and readily available - my major concern is that there were no church services offered on this cruise we have taken 44 cruises and this is a 1st for us LGBT seeemed to prevail for services, and the bererage package was outrageous in price you should offer a 10 drink daily limit for $800.00 a cabin not $1415.00 Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We choose this cruise for the experience of sailing through the Panama Canal. We actually had 2 days in the Canal with the first day experiencing going through the locks and the second day a nature sightseeing excursion that gave us the ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the experience of sailing through the Panama Canal. We actually had 2 days in the Canal with the first day experiencing going through the locks and the second day a nature sightseeing excursion that gave us the chance to see the canal on the water while also finding several varieties of monkeys, birds and a croc. Having white faced monkeys in the wild taking banana pieces from our hand while in the boat was a can't miss activity. Also seeing container ships at water level in the canal was amazing. This cruise also gave us a chance to explore San Francisco for 3 days at the end of the cruise which was very well time spent. The Coral Princess is an older ship which needs some TLC. It also has an older passenger list with an average age above 60. Our balcony cabin was very small and the shower was so small it was a challenge to use. We only got warm water from the faucet in the cabin and the sink did not drain well. Entertainment was a disappointment and did not happen often. Food was marginal at best with a limited selection in the main dining room. Service overall was good but 3 of the 5 ports were tender ports which created an extra layer of difficulty in leaving the ship especially if you did not have a ships excursion. We did take some good excursions, but a Cartagena city tour billed as "easy" was not with extensive walking through uneven city streets on a hot and humid afternoon. This was our first Princess cruise and honestly we were disappointed in the accommodations, food and entertainment. We were very surprised when the Casino did not have a bar as my wife likes to play slots and I will usually sit at the bar, have a drink and watch sports. This did not happen on this cruise. We are avid cruisers this being or 3rd cruise this year. There are too many cruise options and destinations to have only an average shipboard experience like this with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We wanted to experience the Panama Canal, but didn't want to go through the ENTIRE lock system. We've been through 68 locks in Europe on our Viking Amsterdam to Budapest River Cruise in June of 2016. That was our BEST ... Read More
We wanted to experience the Panama Canal, but didn't want to go through the ENTIRE lock system. We've been through 68 locks in Europe on our Viking Amsterdam to Budapest River Cruise in June of 2016. That was our BEST VACATION EVER also! This cruise was for our 54th Anniversary and my wife's 74th Birthday and we wanted to just relax and enjoy life. As usual all of the excursions were OVERPRICED and the photographs are in that SAME opinion. Not sure why they charge so much as so so many of the pictures are never bought! Seems like such a wast of money!~ Also WISH the drink prices would be a little lower in price and this applies to ALL Cruise lines too and not just Princess! I REALLY CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHY they have to charge so much for a drink! We have cruised on many different Cruise lines and this applies to ALL of them too! If you have any walking difficulties, as I walk with a cane because of my bad back, I would suggest a cabin MUSH closer than where we were at in the extreme AFT of the ship as the buffet is in the EXTREME FRONT of the ship! Getting there without getting WIND BLOWN or Wet was a challenge at first. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
There were so many wrong things about this cruise...where to begin? Let me start with the positive. Our cabin steward, Wejaya and his assistant Anna were great! They kept the room sparkling clean, with fresh ice and a new towel animal ... Read More
There were so many wrong things about this cruise...where to begin? Let me start with the positive. Our cabin steward, Wejaya and his assistant Anna were great! They kept the room sparkling clean, with fresh ice and a new towel animal every day. Our room was on Lido deck, close to the buffet areas and pools. Anna and Wejaya worked hard from dawn to dark but were always pleasant and greeted us personally. Our cruise was 14 days from Galveston and honestly, it took that long to learn the layout of the ship. A map in the room would have helped, but there were only the maps at the elevators to guide us through the maze. All floors do not connect. For instance, to get to the Posh Dining Room on level 3 or 4, you must cut through another floor such as the casino floor (deck 5) and then take stairs or elevator. After this experience, I will not cruise on another ship with disconnecting floors! Speaking of the casino, the slots were fairly loose the first night. After that, slot hits were few and far between. At the disembarkation talk near the end of our trip, the Cruise Director asked “anyone have a big win in the casino?” Dead silence overtook the room and Not a single hand went up! Also, be sure to check your folio frequently as we had drinks charged to us which we did not purchase! Food Service: The Lido buffet was always busy. Food choices were so-so. After one breakfast of floppy undercooked bacon and runny scrambled eggs, we usually ate breakfast in the dining room. Breakfast in the MDR is good but service is terribly slow. Some days we waited nearly an hour to receive our food. The BBQ restaurant just above the Lido deck is ver6 good and the line moves quickly. Dinner in the MDR (Posh) was usually a disaster. Even though we had an assigned dining time, the wait staff repeatedly requested our names. Drinks were not usually refilled unless we asked. One evening husband and I both ordered steaks, both medium well. One was cooked correctly but the other was extremely undercooked. We asked the waiter to take it back and that was the last we saw of it! Guess we didn’t make it clear that we wanted it back after it was put back on the grill! Two nights later, husband ordered steak tacos for dinner. Most of the meat was inedible gristle with a bone! Again, we returned it to our waiter who said she would show it to the chef. The maitre’d came to our table with a plate of muffins and an apology. Gee, thanks! My entree on our last night was shrimp with penne pasta. The shrimp was fine but the pasta was severely undercooked, tough, starchy and inedible. If you are lactose sensitive, good luck finding a dessert without a lot of cream. Although the cakes are delicious, all are heavily decorated with whipping cream type frosting. Fruit pies were only offered on the two last cruise dinners! Almost every single dinner ended with the announcement of “It’s Showtime!” at which time the wait staff would sing and dance around the room. Once a cruise is definitely enough entertainment and many of the guests felt the same way we did, bolting for the exit at this announcement! Carnival, please update your inroom phone system! The shore excursion desk does not answer their phone after 7 pm and the phone system directs you to reserve your excursions through the interactive TV. There is no interactive TV! The phone option to check port times was totally incorrect and had the itinerary for a prior cruise, not the current cruise! Speaking to our fellow cruisers, many were of the same opinion, and had experienced the same issues as we did. We are not “foodies” and don’t expect 5-star meals, just something Tasty and edible. On the bright side I did lose 2 pounds on this cruise, thanks to the awful food! We are “Gold” Carnival members, this being our fourth cruise and second “Journey” cruise. Our Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle meeting was not scheduled until Day #12 of this 14 day cruise. Hey, Carnival: The purpose of Meet and Mingle is to get to know your fellow cruisers. We do not plan to cruise with Carnival again. As many of our fellow cruisers stated: “Enough is enough!” Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
People from the freedom treated us like family. our server ricky at the chic restaurant has been perfect. we didn't miss a show. we dance a lot and we can tell that the cast on the ship were outstanding. jade and matthew the ... Read More
People from the freedom treated us like family. our server ricky at the chic restaurant has been perfect. we didn't miss a show. we dance a lot and we can tell that the cast on the ship were outstanding. jade and matthew the dancers are beautiful to see and pleasant to speak, there is a violin trio called accidental strings trio. we did many cruises and never we saw violin players like that. these guys are amazing. they can adjust their music with the kind of audience. this is unusual. most of the bands are in their routine and doesn't change . We had so much fun hearing them and dancing on their music thye are the best of the seven seas! finally all your personnel are warm and friendly. a very good mention to jennilyn the hostess at the chic restaurant, always kind and smiling. 29 days on the freedom was too short. WE WILL NEVER FORGET THIS EXPERIENCE THANK YOU Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
At somewhere around 90K gross tons, but only as many passengers as some of the smaller ships, we never felt crowded. It was an itinerary focused on the older crowd and younger cruisers and families should take note that this may not be the ... Read More
At somewhere around 90K gross tons, but only as many passengers as some of the smaller ships, we never felt crowded. It was an itinerary focused on the older crowd and younger cruisers and families should take note that this may not be the right fit for their late night desires in activities. It’s less about high intensity onboard activity than other Cruise lines and more about the destination. The food at times was outstanding and disappointing at others, but overall it was mostly above the average. Certainly, much better than the Fun Ships. The entertainment was very good. The comics were actually funny and not offensive or foul mouthed. The musicians, dancers and singers were exceptionally talented and the production shows were outstanding. On this itinerary the star of the show was the Panama Canal and it did not disappoint. What made the canal experience perfect was that it was done in the historic original locks due to the Panamax size of this ship. Other ships can cram three-, four-, five-thousand passengers onboard, but must use the new 2016 locks. A modern beauty, but lacks the historic credentials of its smaller cousin. Better check this out soon, though. It looks as though Princess has opted to use larger ships after this season, likely to push more paying customers through the turnstiles, history be damned. I recommend that you read Pulitzer Award recipient David McCullough’s book, The Path Between the Seas. You will appreciate what you are seeing and paying for so much more. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 27th anniversary and my wife wanted to see the Panama Canal. One of the ports took us to Cartagena and it was a beautiful experience. This was our first trip to Columbia and to South America. We also ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 27th anniversary and my wife wanted to see the Panama Canal. One of the ports took us to Cartagena and it was a beautiful experience. This was our first trip to Columbia and to South America. We also got a round trip ticket to the place called Hell in the Cayman Islands. LOL. No one-way ticket there for me. This was our 9th cruise and I can tell you that the embarkation (and our luggage getting to our room) was the fastest and smoothest we've ever experienced. Great job Princess. The cabin was in great shape and our steward, Arthur, was impeccable in his duties. He always had a smile on his face. Our dining room staff was awesome, as well. Arvi and Roland (if you're lucky enough to get them as your servers), were very attentive and pleasant. Again, the best we've ever experienced on a cruise ship. Finally, I was a finalist in and wound up winning the Voice of the Ocean singing competition and the mentors (David and Jennifer) were incredible. It was an awesome experience singing with a live orchestra too. If you try this, go for Lola's team!! She was the "best judge." LOL. We love sailing with Princess and can't for the chance to go again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were suppose to do this cruise last year for our 50 th wedding anniversary. But my husband had to have surgery so we celebrated one year later. Wonderful cruise. We enjoyed our itinerary very much. We were in Jamaica many years ... Read More
We were suppose to do this cruise last year for our 50 th wedding anniversary. But my husband had to have surgery so we celebrated one year later. Wonderful cruise. We enjoyed our itinerary very much. We were in Jamaica many years ago but decided to do a tour again. We did the Greenwood Great House and Falmouth highlights tour. We enjoyed the tour of this beautiful sugar plantation home and the tour guide was very knowledgeable about the antique furniture. In Cartagena we did the Old City , fort and museums tour. Loved seeing such a beautiful and historical city. We were warned about the peddlers and how persuasive they can be. It was really bad at the fort. They were in our faces even though we constantly told them no. That was the only thing bad about our tour. The gift shop and animal/ bird sanctuary by the port was wonderful. Very large area to tour and it was free. Wish we had more time to stay there but had to get back to our ship. A monkey ran in front of my husband and scared him a little but it was fascinating seeing monkeys and many beautiful birds. The Panama Canal was fascinating. We watched from our balcony and it was so interesting watching ships going through the canal. We decided to stay on the ship and we were very glad we did. We had beautiful weather in the morning but just as we were getting ready to go back through the locks we had a thunderstorm that lasted about an hour. After the heavy rain slowed the passage back through the locks continued. The ships were backed up so it took awhile to go through. We got to see four ships going through the locks. It was so interesting to watch the whole process. I will never forget this day. And they had talks going all day on the tv and you could hear the talk on the deck as you watched the ships go through. It was almost four in the afternoon before we got back through the locks. In Limon Costa Rica we did a rainforest walk and canal cruise. This was a little disappointing. The rainforest was more like a park with very rocky road to walk and climb. Did see a couple of colorful poisonous frogs but it was too strenuous for many of the seniors on this tour. One man fell but was ok. The canal tour was better. And the tour guide tried to find as many animals and birds that he could. We did see two sloths up high in the trees. Monkeys jumping around in the branches. And some birds and lizards. It was nice. But overall it wasn’t as beautiful as I thought it would be. I expected more. In Grand Cayman we did a trolley tour that went past some beautiful homes and many beautiful flowers. We stopped at a small beach and had some pretty views of the ocean. We’ve been here before so this was something different. The ship is showing its age. But it’s still a nice ship. Our room was in pretty good shape. Liked the new flat screen tv. But this was the smallest bathroom we ever had and the toilet had black stains that could not be cleaned away. The main dining room food wasn’t always the best. And the service varies depending on where you sat. We had anytime dining and we sat at all corners of this room. The buffet food was better than we expected. The entertainment every night was very good. We thought the best we’ve had and this was our ninth cruise. Loved the comedian and magic show as well as the pianist and others. Had to get to the show early or had a hard time finding a seat. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We went to witness the Panama Canal again for the second time to see more of it and understand the sacrifices that it took to build the canal. The Island Princess is smaller and was able to travel through the older canal locks, On our ... Read More
We went to witness the Panama Canal again for the second time to see more of it and understand the sacrifices that it took to build the canal. The Island Princess is smaller and was able to travel through the older canal locks, On our previous Princess cruise to the Panama canal our ship was larger and we got to travel through the newer locks. It was exciting both times. The Island Princess ship was very nice but needs a few new updates. It is showing a little wear in a few places on the ship. The ship's entertainment was very good and Benny the cruise director was very entertaining. The selections of food were also very good and there were always new foods to try. If you like a rich Cajun flavor in your dining experiance the Bayou Cafe is the place to try. Service was excellent and there was plenty to eat. The only disappointment was during a walking tour in Cartagena, Columbia. Street vendors were constantly in your face even after you would tell them no thank you, and made me feel uncomfortable Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We choose this cruise for it's itinerary. We have sailed on NCL 5 times and considered it "our cruise line". Opted for airport to and from ship transfers, 1st mistake. Waited 4 hours in airport and got on board in time ... Read More
We choose this cruise for it's itinerary. We have sailed on NCL 5 times and considered it "our cruise line". Opted for airport to and from ship transfers, 1st mistake. Waited 4 hours in airport and got on board in time for lifeboat drill! Coming home was worse. Late getting off boat due to "new" system. Line for buses would match Disney World or beat. Missed our plane. Our balcony cabin was very nice and our room stewardess met our needs. Dining in the complimentary venues has gone way down. Repeated menus and poor prep. and presentation. We opted to dine in one of the specialty venues and it was OK but not worth the price. Food in the buffet was fair but poorly presented. Not enough staff to keep up with clearing tables. One night the chicken was not fully cooked. We attended 2 of the entertainment productions. Both were excellent. "Elements" was spectacular! Bands and/or musical groups throughout the ship were LOUD! They used the atrium for a large variety of entertainment. They had a large screen that was used in game shows and general. We booked shore excursions through the ship and from a private vendor. Next time we will use private vendor for half the price. Will need ti think long and hard before booking NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Mainly for the Panama Canal The first thing Norwegian did was a few days prior to sailing was to cancel a destination and substitute it for a lesser destination. Never had this happen before many people were not happy about this . ... Read More
Mainly for the Panama Canal The first thing Norwegian did was a few days prior to sailing was to cancel a destination and substitute it for a lesser destination. Never had this happen before many people were not happy about this . The entertainment was good but having to make reservations for these venues was trying . First time i saw a single story theater so space was limited The ship is designed much differently than most, its pool layouts are very different , hot tubs not hot, elevator locations far from each other, not what you see on most ships. Dining venues were good, the best being The Local bar which serves great meals 24 hours a day. Cabin Balcony was ok very little storage space. The service was good throughout. The biggest complaint was that there was no sports bar as my wife said its a guy thing but we had no choice of American sports IE: World series not on any TV Soccer daily on all tvs . Panama Canal was worth seeing would do it on a different Cruise line, not that Norweigen was horrible it just had a different atmosphere more European not American. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We booked this cruise for the Panama Canal Passage which was a wonderful experience . The only blunder of the actual event is that we were told an incorrect time (5;30 am ) for passing under the Bridge of America. I luckily awoke at ... Read More
We booked this cruise for the Panama Canal Passage which was a wonderful experience . The only blunder of the actual event is that we were told an incorrect time (5;30 am ) for passing under the Bridge of America. I luckily awoke at 2:45 am and was on deck as we passed under around 3:30 am . The rest of the morning was spent listening to other passengers complain that they missed it. Panama Canal experience is amazing ! I was disappointed that Costa Rica was deleted . We could have done without the very Dirty port of Cabo ! we were not informed that our excursion was cancelled until we were on the dock. It was not a pleasant walk along the marina front so we returned asap. The Mazatlan topless bus ride was also just a tourist money seeking trek that really did not show anything interesting and took too long. The Guatemala safari drive through was a good excursion. There are a great variety of animals and the property is well maintained . At the Puerto Vallarta port , we enjoyed the Discover PV bus tour . The stops were interesting and our guide was terrific. We arrived in Acapulco ( an added stop) on a rainy day . We decided to just walk the shoreline but soon realized that there is nothing to see . There were "beachfront" restaurants closed due to weather . I am not sure that sunshine would make the area look more appealing . It was especially annoying to try to get off the gangway without being poked by the umbrellas of all the taxi drivers offering to take us somewhere. Overall , The Joy just needs to improve on it's food selections , There is too much of the same menu and the desserts in Buffet are not appealing. The main pool also seems small for such a large ship. There is another smaller pool (SpiceH20) that was available. We were very Happy with our inside Family Concierge 2bed/2bath cabin. Our Steward David and our concierge Reynaldo were both terrific! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Island Princess – Western Caribbean & Panama Canal – October 7 – 17, 2019 Why this cruise? We do not mark Princess as our favorite cruise line, but there were some aspects of this cruise that held an appeal. We had not ... Read More
Island Princess – Western Caribbean & Panama Canal – October 7 – 17, 2019 Why this cruise? We do not mark Princess as our favorite cruise line, but there were some aspects of this cruise that held an appeal. We had not visited any of the ports, and we liked the spacing of the cruise, with sea days between all stops. And Princess is not a bad cruise line; it just does not match our favorites – Crystal – Oceania – Viking – Celebrity. So we flew to Fort Lauderdale and embarked. Embarkation. Boarding a ship in Florida when one lives in Arizona always involves a night in a hotel, and this was no exception. Our hotel provided an early shuttle to the pier, and there was immediate access to an embarkation clerk with no delay in checking in. Of course the cabins were not made up and we had to wait, on comfortable chairs in the cruise terminal building, for a while. We then proceeded on board and to the buffet. All in all it was an easy process. The ship. Island Princess is one of the smallest ships in the Princes fleet, but still holds about 2000 passengers with a crew of 950. Its size allows it to use the old locks in the Panama Canal, but just barely. It is 16 years old and shows this in its design, but the interiors had been redone two or three years ago and were in good shape. There were some design features which were different from our more recent cruising experiences. The buffet, the “Horizon Court” was forward on the Lido Deck (14), which meant that there was no forward facing lounge where one could sit in comfort, coffee (or drink) in hand and see where you were going. There are two dining rooms, The Provence Room on Deck 6, for guests with a “traditional” orientation, with fixed seating and two dinner times – 5:15 and 7:15 and the Bordeaux Room with open seating from 5:00 to 9:30 on Deck 5 directly below the Provence Room. The Theater, which had only one level, although with a nice slope providing good viewing for all, was above these dining rooms on Deck 7. There are two “Specialty” restaurants; the Bayou Café and Steakhouse and Sabatini’s Italian restaurant, both charging extra fees; midships on Deck 7. The usual shipboard services, shops, lounges, an internet café, shopping, art gallery, casino and other offerings are found off the four story atrium midships between Decks 5 and 8. There are two pools on the Lido Deck, and an area called the Sanctuary aft on that deck, offering comfortable seating, a bar and jacuzzi and shaded views off the rear deck, all for a fee which we did not choose to pay. In some venues the air conditioning was set too cold. Our Cabin. We had chosen a “mini-suite” which had some extra room, and a good location. It also made us members of the “Club Class”, which had a few extras, most notably, a separate section of the Bordeaux Dining Room for our use. The cabin was quietly decorated with beige walls and had a large couch, two TVs, a small coffee table, a nice verandah and an open closet with plenty of room. Princess uses mostly shelves rather than drawers, but the space easily accommodated our clothing. We have gotten better at packing fewer clothes on our cruises after 45 tries. The thermostat actually worked. The bathroom had a tub-shower, but the temperature was difficult to control, which resulted in very hot water. All in all it was a pretty good. Sail Away. Our luggage was quite late in arriving, but we had planned a casual dinner anyway. The muster drill was held in each cabin’s muster place; in our case the Wheelwright Lounge. This was much better than standing up on deck. We discovered when we went to the dining room that the “Club Class” had its own entrance, and our cabin number was on a list so that only this class would be led to the special area. We also found out that the shows were held twice each night – 7:30 and 9:30, so we planned to dine early each night to make the early show if we wanted to. The next day was a sea day, with not much to do except attend the destination lecture. These were held by Kerry James, a British lady, who did very thorough and pleasant presentations. We sailed east along the north coast of Cuba, and could see some off shore islands. Amber Cove. This is mainly a cruise port on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. We took a ship’s tour to the nearby city of Puerto Plata; but the tour consisted mainly of visiting the town square a church and a shopping area where we were solicited to buy things we did not want. It seemed a pleasant enough town, quite typical of most other Caribbean port cities. Cartagena. Following a sea day we visited Cartagena, Columbia where we had another ship’s tour. This one was much better allowing us to see this major port and enjoy, among other things, a pleasant Folklorico show. Cartagena is a large city with many new high rises, including several that looked as though they had 45-50 stories. Many seemed to be apartments or co-ops, but some were obviously businesses. As usual, poor areas adjoin fancy new places. Overall, this was a good tour and an interesting city. Panama Canal. While this was not technically a “sea day” we treated it as such since we had no intention of leaving the ship. We had transversed the canal in 2002, and visited it again with a river tour after a Pacific coast stop in 2014, so we remained on board. This was the only day in which there was any real rainfall. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. We had booked a private tour here. All our information said the tour, which was marked with a boat trip up a canal with the chance to see wildlife, was to start at 9:00. It was a long walk from the ship to the tour meeting place and we were passed by another couple headed for the same tour. When we got to the meeting spot there was no tour, and some other tour guides said our bus had left. We had a local phone number and when we called they said they had changed the time to 8:00 and notified us. I keep all e-mails on our tours, and they all said 9:00. The tour bus would not come back to get us so we returned to the ship. So we had another sea day. Falmouth, Jamaica. After a planned sea day we arrived in Falmouth on the north coast of Jamaica. Here we were joined in our private tour by two other couples, and we set out in a small van with our driver/tour guide. Falmouth is a relatively small town, about 20 miles east of Montego Bay and 40 miles west of Ocho Rios. What we did was largely our choice so we decided to go to Montego Bay. On the way we pulled into Rose Hall, but it was not yet open. We drove round Montego Bay. Went back to a store, and then went to a local restaurant for lunch, which was excellent – and very inexpensive. I have had Jamaican jerk chicken on a prior visit, and love it. We then went to Rose Hall. This is a spectacular building on a hillside with a fine view of the Caribbean. It has a legend, almost certainly fictitious, about Annie Palmer who purportedly murdered three husbands here, the first one being the owner. The building was certainly built in the late1700s as the headquarters of a large plantation. It had fallen into disrepair when it was purchased by a former Miss USA and her husband in the late 1960s. They restored it at great expense and it now is a major tourist attraction. It involved too much walking and climbing for me, but my wife and the others of our group enjoyed the one hour tour. We then returned to the ship very satisfied with our tour and its price - $92.00 for each couple for six hours. Disembarkation. After one more sea day we docked in Fort Lauderdale. Since we had purchased our air transportation from Princes, we were offered their “E-Z” plan. This cost $25.00 per person, but we felt it was worth it. What you do is have them arrange with your air carrier a system whereby Princess takes your luggage from outside your cabin and brings it to the airport and the airline, so the next time you see it is at your destination. You do not have to go searching for it at the pier, nor haul it to the airport and check it in. It was well worth it. Princess pays any airline baggage charge and adds it to your ship’s bill. Customs was very slow in Fort Lauderdale, but Princess has no control over that, so we have to say the debarkation was fine. Food and Food Service. This is what many people consider the most important aspect of any cruise. As noted, our mini-suite booking entitled us to enjoy the Club Class in the Bordeaux Room. The service was truly excellent – the equal of any we had experienced even on better ships. Our three waiters, Tarra, Hem and Joan (male) were always there and all provided well informed, friendly, often humorous, fast and efficient service, as did their assistant waiters. They were so good that we often went there for lunch and even breakfast. The maitre’d for this area, Alfredo, was also excellent, overseeing us carefully and often. Unfortunately, the food, while largely very good, did not always live up to the level of service. Two meat dishes were too tough to eat, and a couple of Edith’s vegetarian choices were also far short of good. The buffet provided a pretty good range of choices, all well prepared. The dessert offerings were somewhat limited, although all the desserts were very well done. The service was generally slow, and more people were needed. The coffee was not good anywhere on board. We never tried the specialty restaurants. The pizzeria was quite nice, but the ice cream bar only had three types of soft ice cream; vanilla, chocolate and mixed. All in all, the food was typical of Princess, scoring about 85 - 87, where Crystal and Oceania score at 96 - 98 and Viking, Celebrity and Azamara at 93 - 95. The Crew. Princess does a good job, like all cruise lines, in training their crew to be friendly and appear helpful, and Island Princess was no exception. Our cabin steward was very fast and thorough in cleaning our cabin every day. We did note that there seemed to be some lack of communication between Housekeeping and Guest Services, but this was a small matter. One deck officer stopped me while I was walking to supper on a formal night to compliment my tie! Entertainment. This aspect of the cruise, as usual, was a mixed bag. As we noted, the destination lecturer, Kerry James, was excellent. The production shows were quite good, with several fine singers; and fortunately, they were not too loud. A solo singer was also very good, and a magician reasonably entertaining. A pianist seemed to want to beat the piano to death, so we left halfway through. There were a variety of musical groups throughout the ship, but we did not enjoy them much, except for a Dixieland group from the show band. Overall Rating. This was a reasonably pleasant cruise with some very fine aspects, and some shortcomings. The weather was almost always good, although warm, and the sea smooth. There was far too much pressure including announcements and flyers attempting to sell us products, shore excursions, photographs and future cruises. We would rate this cruise at four stars, or about 82 on a 1 to 100 scale – typically Princess. We would recommend it or cruisers who like sea days and the ports visited. Bon voyage! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The Panama Canal was on our "Bucket List". Aftrr a lot of health challenges, we knew we wanted to do this. We liked the smaller size of the Island Princess. Fewer passengers, not so busy and crowded. We had a balcony cabin ... Read More
The Panama Canal was on our "Bucket List". Aftrr a lot of health challenges, we knew we wanted to do this. We liked the smaller size of the Island Princess. Fewer passengers, not so busy and crowded. We had a balcony cabin starboard and midships. It was more spacious than we anticipated with lots of storage space and a generous balcony. The cabin steward, Zaldy, was a Godsend.He handled all our special requests, including extra pillows to help make hubby more comfortable. He even found a lost hearing aid after we had searched diligently and couldn't find it. We selected early dining, but I don't think we would do that again. Oir table mates were delightful and we enjoyed getting to know them. Restaurant staff (Bernie and Roy) were great. However, there were entertainments that we missed because we were at dinner. Next time we will chose anytime dining so we can enjoy the piano guy or get to the Princess Theater earlier for seating. We also liked the food choices at the buffet as much as we did the dining room menu but felt locked into the dining schedule we had picked. Not Princess' fault, just didnt want to leave our seats at the table empty when we were expected. Amenities on board were amazing. With 3 pools, we rarely lacked for z deck chair when we wanted one, the pools were used but not crowded. Of course, kids were in school so most passengers were adult, we saw very few kids. We particularly liked the big screen movies (3 Cirque shows, Greatest Showman, Dumbo, Spiderman and a couple of others). Entertainment was excellent--awesome comedian, great stage performances, intimate crooners and instrumentalists in the bars and pubs. We.didnt have enough time to see them all, but really enjoyed what we did. Shore excursions were ... disappointing. Our favorite by far was the train/canal/bus tour in Limon. Our guide,Ivan, was remarkable--by far the best guide we've ever had anywhere. Puerto Plata was a lot of bus time without time to really explore any sites. We got off to see a church (be careful: our guides 'helpers' will grab your camera, take a few shots and expect tips when they hand your camera back). Shopping was limited to one store and I'm guessing the guide gets a 'gratuity' for bringing the bus there. Jamaica was also a lot of bus time. We took the Konoko Falls tour, but the tour itself was very rushed, no time to wander the grounds at leisure. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Another great Princess cruise with a few negatives. First of all we love Princess ships and the crises always have just the right vibe for us - in our early 70s but up and going most of the time.we chose this cruise more for the dates than ... Read More
Another great Princess cruise with a few negatives. First of all we love Princess ships and the crises always have just the right vibe for us - in our early 70s but up and going most of the time.we chose this cruise more for the dates than anything else but having done a full transit before we wondered if the partial transit would be disappointing. Not at all! It is a wonder of the modern world and its history is fascinating. The ship was a different matter. The positives - familiarity, excellent Club Class service, fine dining, enclosed pool for swimming during the rain. The negatives - the Island Princess is certainly showing her age. A lick of paint is needed everywhere, there was rust in the pool and the whole ship just feels old. We were extremely disappointed in the quality of the entertainment, in the shows and in the lack of things to do. The bars lacked ambience - one was called the Patisserie but there wasn’t a pastry in sight. We really missed the International Cafe. We recognize that the majority of the passengers were older and many quite infirm, but we felt that Princess had cut down on activities and interesting things to do. Admittedly, for us this was a relaxing cruise and having visited most of the ports before we hade no desire to see them again. However the excursions for the most part began at 7.30 or 8am since the ship sailed at 2.30 or 3pm. Definitely too early for us. We left the ship only once, in Falmouth, Jamaica where a small shopping area had been built especially by the dock. So what did we do, you ask yourself! We paid for entrance to The Sanctuary for the entire cruise - and loved it. It was an area at the back of the ship where the staff were amazing, the service impeccable, and we had a wonderful view of the Canal transit. We got through many books and crossword puzzles and achieved the rest and relaxation we had planned for. We thought the negatives were worth mentioning so that readers’ expectations would be realistic. We will not chose this ship again, but as Platinum members we will return to a larger vessel (loved the Royal and the Emerald) with every intention of supporting our favorite cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was my first cruise and I was really looking forward to enjoying the trip with my grandparents. Overall I had a good time with my family but I was pretty disappointed in the whole experience. The majority of the passengers were over ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I was really looking forward to enjoying the trip with my grandparents. Overall I had a good time with my family but I was pretty disappointed in the whole experience. The majority of the passengers were over 70 years old and combined with the subpar food quality and cheesy entertainment it felt like a glorified nursing home. Although the Coral Princess was supposed to be recently remodeled, the ship was in rough shape with outdated decor and damaged facilities. Our mini-suite with balcony was a good size for four adults and definitely worth the upgrade. Dining was hit and miss. The variety was lacking in both the Anytime dining room and the Horizon Buffet. Again, very nursing home-esque with bland flavors and outdated menu items such as veal and pate (bleh). However, the service everywhere on the ship was exceptional. The staff worked 12+ hour shifts 7 days a week yet provided consistently awesome service. We loved getting to know a few staff members personally and learning about their home countries. The most disappointing part of the cruise was the entertainment. We expected to be going out each night and experiencing world-class performers, instead, we were left with lounge singers and odd impressionists for almost 20 days. The activities on board were also pretty lame and poorly planned. We attended princess shore excursions and a few private shore excursions. The Princess excursions were overpriced and lower quality due to such large group sizes. I would definitely recommend purchasing shore excursions elsewhere. Half the ports we visited didn't have anything to do close by so shore excursions were necessary. As my only cruise experience, I have nothing to compare it to but after travelling on the Coral Princess I don't have much desire to go on another one anytime soon. This was the first vacation where I was happy to head home. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Leaving for port on a Sunday made traffic light, until the port. With the Royal Princess there too, the loop was very congested. Once at terminal everything was smooth and we just went through and boarded quickly. Luggage arrived in about ... Read More
Leaving for port on a Sunday made traffic light, until the port. With the Royal Princess there too, the loop was very congested. Once at terminal everything was smooth and we just went through and boarded quickly. Luggage arrived in about one hour. The Coral is in good shape and the carpets everywhere must have been replaced in the January rehab. We like the 715 pm dining, the 5pm, is way too early. The food was pretty good, and served at a good temperature. On formal night there is petite filet mignonette and shrimp, no rock lobster. The petite is well, petite. It was very tender, and I really don’t need the biggest cut. One thing they can’t get right is rice, almost like instant rice. Several people at our table did have dirty cups with lipstick, it can happen, so best to always check your cup. The desserts are good and the Chocolate Journeys are very good. But I do like butter pecan, always got it on the Golden Princess in April. Now I asked for it, Oh we only have what is on the dessert menu. Alfredos Pizza for lunch is very good, I tried the Lido pizza and it too was good, the crust is crunchy and not soggy at all. Now, for the biggest gripe, no toothpicks or mints anymore. I asked the dining room head waiter why, Oh, the little toothpicks could blow into the ocean. Give me a break, Princess takes people on cruises burning diesel fuel and worries about toothpicks in an ocean full of driftwood. Get one of the self dispensers please. Maybe convert to solar and dock at night and run during the day, Sure? Ou room steward could not figure it out. My wife sleeps in and gets up late, so she always tells them, use do room in evening after we go to dinner. Never had any problems with this. I always take do not disturb sign out before leaving. Come back at 10pm one night, room not done. He said in morning, You left sign in. Two night later we come back, same thing, but my wife saw we had no sign out. Same answer next day, and my wife said don’t report it, don’t want him fired or what. They that night we are on balcony at 6pm he comes in and asks to do room. Our table mates had same thing happen at 710pm for them. I guess they quit early now. We like to go to the casino, the video poker paid off pretty good, didn’t make money but did not loose a lot. Some people hate the “pressure” to buy things, did not bother us. Where else can you get a free happy hour but at EFFY. And my wife won three of the raffles, she also won in April too. We did buy a two pieces at the auction, they were a good price. Only got a 6 pack case of Hennessy Pure White, they don’t sell in the states and it is a good buy. Took the Antigua on you own excursion, nice old town. Saturday there was very busy, lots of Scouts there both boys and girls from Guatemala City and lost just like us. Did not eat there but had a good chocolate dipped cone. But I heard the restaurants there are good. Coming back is a 1 1/2 hour trip, hit a huge rain deluge with lightning hitting nearby. The road in one section was about a foot deep and running like a river over the bridge like a waterfall. Made it back to a sunny port. The entertainment was good, although they only had 2 production shows. The shows they did have had good piano, comedians, and singers, were good. At least we liked them. The Medallion wifi seems to be quicker than on the Golden in April. And the free minutes are a good perk when you get them. Wrote most of this review on the cruise, may have missed something I will think about later. All in all a good cruise. Getting off in LA was fast and easy. Since it was during rush hour, the cheapest way home was the Princess shuttle to LAX, go downstairs and get the Van Nuys Flyaway. Home in 3 hours after leaving ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click