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11 Princess Antarctica Cruise Reviews

On a big cruise ship you don't get to go off the ship onto the ice, but the cost is about a third of the price, so we thought we'd try seeing Antarctica this way and if we really needed to touch the ice, we could do the ... Read More
On a big cruise ship you don't get to go off the ship onto the ice, but the cost is about a third of the price, so we thought we'd try seeing Antarctica this way and if we really needed to touch the ice, we could do the expedition ship in a few years. We were not disappointed. Captain McBain took us to places not even on the itinerary, and we had a blast doing them. We got to within a couple of hundred feet from the continent so we were more than happy to stay warm in the luxurious surroundings (compared to the expedition ships down there) and pop outside as we needed to, to take photos and just watch the beauty and to steal a line from the iconic Aussie movie 'The Castle', to watch 'the serenity of it all"! Princess did a fantastic job of entertaining us and showing us the continent. We were lucky to have had calm seas both ways on the Drake Passage and only the first day was foggy in Antarctica (cleared up mid afternoon and from then on it was great). Embarkation in Buenos Airs, once inside away from the traffic (it was raining) was smooth, disembarkation in Santiago also went smooth. Rough seas up the Chile coast meant we popped in and out of their Inside Passage, so as a bonus we got to see some spectacular Chilean Patagonia glaciers and scenery (and green stuff - maybe grass???) Our balcony cabin was great - our first time on deck 12 (cabin A619) and we thoroughly enjoyed the different (higher) perspective this gives - we normally cruise on deck 9. Tim our room steward was attentive and patient when we stayed on our balcony all mornings some Antarctica days - we offered for him to skip our room but he always cleaned it twice daily and always with a smile. Then again we've never had a bad cabin steward on Princess (14th Princess cruise but 25th overall - only new to cruising and have only been doing it for 5 years). Entertainment was more guests than the Princess singers and dancers, although we saw their show Encore for the third time on the third ship and we would be happy to watch this show on every cruise - its that good. On the Bayou was a great show they performed too. 3 guest lecturers were absolutely brilliant, as were the Ice Pilots. One poor comedian Steve Bruner had to compete with the American Superbowl one night and the Captain's free cocktail party on the other night. But those that missed his two shows missed some of the best comedy we've seen in a long time. Thanks for the memories! Minimal shore excursions this cruise - Falkland Islands were the best and I'm glad i booked early and we saw the Gentoo penguins @ Bluff Cove - worth every cent! Montevideo and Santiago okay - Punta Arenas we docked on a Sunday and there was hardly anything to do really. Ushuaia was good (train ride excursion) and had great souvenir shops - plus i bought a cheap ($45USD) big suitcase there for all my purchases. If i knew the Drake Passage was as calm as we had it, i'd book this cruise again for next year. i did not speak to any person on that cruise who didn't consider Captain Todd McBain the reason why the cruise was spectacular. And the ice pilot Bob said on the last day in his summary of the cruise the captain would take us places not on the itinerary (less icebergs than normal so we could go further than they have ever been able to on such a big ship), saying 'they'll get a kick outta this' or 'they're gonna love this'. Thank you captain - more captains should be like you and realise you guys have the capacity to make or break our holidays. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The primary reason for this cruise was to see Antarctica - everything else was secondary. Coral Princess is a great ship in very good condition. May have the smallest ration of passengers per ton of any major cruise ship making for a ... Read More
The primary reason for this cruise was to see Antarctica - everything else was secondary. Coral Princess is a great ship in very good condition. May have the smallest ration of passengers per ton of any major cruise ship making for a very uncrowded experience. Superb Captain, very good crew, might be my favorite cruise ship (this was cruise 16.) Embarkation seemed hectic with what felt like a crowded lounge but from arrival to cabin was less than one hour. Disembarkation (Club Class) had a lounge with refreshments and snacks and also went smoothly, less than 20 minutes once our group was called and less than 2 hours after arrival. Dining room was open so we had breakfast before leaving. D412 Cabin (Mini-suite) was spacious, quite and well located (mid-ship). Did not have the squeaks and creaks that we were expecting in this no longer young ship. Note that the large balcony is completely exposed to those above all the way up to the top deck - this is not a private balcony. More outlets than I have ever seen in a stateroom before.Room steward was attentive. Food was very good with the Club Class anytime dining, with a little something extra prepared in the space for you each meal, was outstanding. All the benefits of anytime with the same team serving each evening. Food and wine recommendations were on point. Entertainment options were many, professional shows were okay but not great, few ports meant less variety in the entertainment. Good lectures regarding the cruise destinations. Nice gym, gets good usage as well. Antarctica was simply amazing - this should be on your bucket list! Other ports are small and excursions fill up fast - do not delay in signing up for excursions! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I couldn't believe my luck when a trip to the Antarctica came up. I was saying the night before to my husband that we would not be visiting this part of the world because it was way too expensive, then BINGO the Coral Princes was ... Read More
I couldn't believe my luck when a trip to the Antarctica came up. I was saying the night before to my husband that we would not be visiting this part of the world because it was way too expensive, then BINGO the Coral Princes was cruising down this part of the world with a few stops on the way and on the way back. (at an affordable price) Our cabin was extremely comfortable and we were on the 8th level which was very convenient. The laundry was also on our level which was a bonus to be able to wash and dry our clothes. The ship was spotless and the crew looked and behaved very professional. Our Captain Todd McBain was absolutely amazing. He kept us totally up to date with the conditions and travel day. He made the trip an absolute adventure and ensured that we got the best of all the sites. On the bridge daily whilst in the Antarctica there was a commentary regarding the surroundings, ice and sea life which was fantastic. Never been on a cruise before with so much forthcoming information. We received a map detailing the areas we had cruised with the dates of the Antarctic and a certificate to say we had completed this journey. Very nice touch! The Captain also was concerned with the comfy of his passengers,went out of his way to cruise waters which were calm and not expose us to rough conditions. This resulted in cruising the Patagonia which was an absolute delight. We received a map detailing this leg of the trip which was so nice. We stop at Port Stanley and visited Gypsy Cove to see the penguins then walked around the town taking in the history. Ushuaia was another port visited which is known as the "End of the World". We loved this place such a great ambience and people were extremely friendly. We went to Tierra de Fuego National Park, place of beauty. We had an amazing day exploring absolutely beautiful. The Antarctica was a wonderland of white, blue, ice bergs and sea life. This place takes your breathe away with its beauty. A Must See. We loved cruising with this very professional team on the Coral Princess. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We had been looking at this cruise for sometime and gave it to ourselves for our 40th wedding anniversary. We liked this cruise because it was the only affordable way to see Antarctica (checking off a continent). Also we had not been to ... Read More
We had been looking at this cruise for sometime and gave it to ourselves for our 40th wedding anniversary. We liked this cruise because it was the only affordable way to see Antarctica (checking off a continent). Also we had not been to South American. My wife and I spent 3 days before the cruise in Buenos Aires. We took a city walking tour to understand and see the city and enjoyed some delicious food (steaks). We stayed in the Recoleta area. It was and felt very safe. The Boca area was amazing. The process getting on the ship was easy, uneventful. We chose a balcony suite because we wanted more room. We also chose a room with a view of the land and scenery as to which way the ship was traveling to view from our balcony. We chose the anytime dining and chose to share with a table of 6 or 8 people. Interesting to visit with people from around the world. We went to the lectures and found them enlightening. Went to only 1 show the rest didn’t interest us. The port to Montevideo was too short. We would’ve liked more time there. The other ports of call were excellent. At the end we spent 1 day in Valparaíso and 3 days in Santiago. We throughly enjoyed this cruise/trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We wanted to go to Antartica and felt cruise touring was the way to go. We were not disappointed! The cruise was incredible. Seeing the icebergs, the wildlife (plenty of whales, penguins and seals) and cruising around the island of Cape ... Read More
We wanted to go to Antartica and felt cruise touring was the way to go. We were not disappointed! The cruise was incredible. Seeing the icebergs, the wildlife (plenty of whales, penguins and seals) and cruising around the island of Cape Horn was cool. Although delayed by a huge storm coming from the west towards South America, when it was time to go across Drake passage, it was calm as can be. Perfect cruising on the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula and every day treated to 3 lectures from presenters who have been there as part of their careers. And an Ice Captain who ran the icebreaker Polar Star for about 19 years was very interesting. Captain McBain was the best. He communicated every day, cared about what the passengers were experiencing and very complimentary of his crew all through the cruise. I highly recommend this cruise. (It is done for this season but will do three trips next season.) Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This trip included four days cruising around the Antarctic peninsula and nearby South Shetland Islands. Ice bergs - check. Really bid tabular icebergs - check. Penguins on the shore and on floating ice - check. Penguins swimming and ... Read More
This trip included four days cruising around the Antarctic peninsula and nearby South Shetland Islands. Ice bergs - check. Really bid tabular icebergs - check. Penguins on the shore and on floating ice - check. Penguins swimming and porpoising - check. Whales floating, swimming, diving - check. Sea lions - check. Glaciers - check. Large areas covered by continental ice sheets - check. Even recent lava covered ice. Cape Horn encircle - check. Albatrosses and other birds for watching - check. Plus some actual before before and after - Falkland Islands with penguin nesting areas, Ushuaia and Punta Arenas with Patagonian landscapes. And a stop in Montevideo for those who brought shorts along. Nature galore. Great ship with good forward, rear and side (both protected and open) viewing areas. Solid service, good food and a captain who took advantage of conditions to see as much as possible and more than was initially planned. It was summer in Antarctica and it was cold, ranging from 31 to 37 degrees F. Sometimes with winds. Still, a "must do" trip. For those interested in the "cruising" portion, the entertainment was excellent and the food was very good to excellent. Didn't spend a great deal of time on the internal activities because of the constant scenery. Movies under the Stars (tm) was presented, but few takers in 30 degree temperatures (we did snag the popcorn). Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was my second adventure with The Coral, the first in 2015 to Alaska, so who better to cruise again to Antarctica. I was a solo traveller from Sunderland to Santiago - a very long way! After the nightmare chaos of Santiago Airport, ... Read More
This was my second adventure with The Coral, the first in 2015 to Alaska, so who better to cruise again to Antarctica. I was a solo traveller from Sunderland to Santiago - a very long way! After the nightmare chaos of Santiago Airport, though to be fair there were many Princess reps on hand to guide us through it, embarkation was stress free and in no time at all I was in my cabin. Mark Lee my cabin steward introduced himself to me straight away and throughout the cruise he was helpful and friendly. There was a little wait for cases and some people were huffing and puffing, waiting outside their cabin doors, but generally they were delivered within a couple of hours. Safety drill completed we all eagerly awaited our 6pm sail and waited.... our Captain Todd McBain (who proved to be ‘the very best’ had the unfortunate task of telling us that the fuel barge had been delayed and we would not now sail until 2.30 pm next day. Also, due to the delay and the deep weather system that was following us we would not now be calling at Punta Arenas, but instead sail through the Inside Passage straight to Ushuaia. OK, so you can’t change the weather and the fuel situation was completely out of Princess’ control but nevertheless this was a huge disappointment as I had booked a rather expensive excursion to Paine National Park which was to be a major highlight of my trip. The refund was in my account within an hour and because of that I treat myself to the rather expensive unlimited WiFi package. Normally I would just take advantage of the Platinum/Elite 250 mins free package but it means you have to keep an eye on limits and keep logging out. This way I could keep in touch with all my friends and family back home and this was a real bonus on this cruise as a I felt they had sailed with me! Again, within hours they had arranged an additional Port of call - Puerto Montt, Though another big blow was the change to the Antarctic itinerary, cutting the cruise day’s from 4 to just 2. Again this would have been a huge disappointment to many passengers. So we all picked our spirits up and the ship sailed on Monday afternoon. Getting to know the ship again was easy, my favourite evening drink spot was Crooners. On exploring I found the Horizon Court Buffet was literally minutes away from my cabin. I have not previously made a lot of use of Horizon Court, as a solo traveller it’s always difficult to get a seat and I wasn’t that impressed with the food. However, I found the choice and quality on this trip much much better and even managed to get a seat, though sometimes I just picked up something and took it straight to my cabin for my own private dining! My dining options were Bordeau Anytime and although many passengers praised the restaurant I found it a little ‘stuffy’ and they looked on me very distainly when I requested a table on my own - really, it’s not that I am unfriendly, and some evenings you enjoy the enrichment of talking to passengers from different walks of life, I just get a little tired of explaining myself to different passengers on large tables. I suspect this happens on all cruise ships. So a couple of choppy days at sea and some misty cruising we arrived at Puerto Montt on the day when it rained heavily and we saw nothing! Ushaia was very pretty and thankfully we enjoyed our excursion on the steam train. Don’t forget there are lots of sail days on this trip - another couple of days at sea and we rounded Cape Horn, although a windy and misty day it was quite an emotional experience. Continuing on we arrived at the southern part of the Antarctic Peninsular which proved spectacular and thankfully we enjoyed some decent weather - especially the Charlotte Bay sailing - the whole two days were magical lots of penguins, whales, seals in abundance as we sailed North. There were three lecturers on board, Bob, Tony and Christian who, from day two of the cruise provided daily lectures on the joys of Antarctica, explained the history and natural history of the area. Princess also provided us with helpful maps and descriptions of the birds and wildlife we would encounter along the way. Sometimes you would spend all morning in the Lecture Theatre! They were always well attended. As well as the lecturers the Shore Excursion Director was on hand to tell us all about the ports we were to visit. Now previously I have found this all a bit ‘up selling’ but this was an entirely different take, Humberto was very knowledgeable about the areas we visited, was very entertaining and charming and in no way was this an excursion sell session - quite the opposite. In no time our 48 hours in Antarctica sadly came to an end, another disappointment due to the weather was the very early morning sail past Deception Island, everyone was on deck but unfortunately the weather beat us and the fog was so bad there was nothing to see! We moved on though and enjoyed Admiralty Bay, Prince George and Elephant Islands to name but a few. If you want to have a good close up wildlife experience please remember to invest in a very good camera and/or decent binoculars and you will not be disappointed though on Antarctic day’s expect all the viewing areas in Decks 12/14 to be crowded and unfortunately it’s every man/woman to himself! Two more sail days and we arrived at Falkland Islands, it’s a lovely, fragile place that reminds me very much of the Scottish Islands and the Rockhopper penguin colony was amazing. More sail days and we arrived to the warmth of Montevideo. Which I enjoyed. Then onwards to our disembarkation at Buenos Aires. This was well organised, everyone given their coloured case labels two days before knowing exactly where and when to meet. This was the case with all of the excursions in my opinion. So to sum up and wake everyone up! I would not have missed this for the world, I enjoyed each moment even though some of the itinerary changes were a huge disappointment and I would have loved to have spent more time cruising the Antarctic - though even at the end of 48 hours some people were quite frozen from their time on deck - this is not a sun holiday!! The Coral Princess served me well. Yes, Bar prices are a little pricey, Sabatini’s lovely but an expensive surcharge - I didn’t try any of the other restaurants. I went to two Theatre shows which I enjoyed. I did love the experience, and now back home have some great memories and maybe not so great photos!!! One final note I previously mentioned our Captain, who was very hands on, kept us informed at every turn of events and a very nice man.... Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We choose this cruise because it was a great way for us to visit our last continent, Antarctica. Although we were faced with a disappointment in the beginning as our landing expedition was cancelled due to weather, Captain Todd McBain and ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was a great way for us to visit our last continent, Antarctica. Although we were faced with a disappointment in the beginning as our landing expedition was cancelled due to weather, Captain Todd McBain and his crew did everything to make up for it. They rerouted, added an excellent port and provided us with an experience that was beyond belief. Captain McBain is without a doubt the finest Captain we have ever encountered. We hope to cruise with him again. Also, the entire crew of the Coral is to be commended for their customer service, attention to detail and their desire to make everything perfect. From embarkation to disembarkation we were treated with friendly smiles and a caring attitude. Fernando, our cruise director was fantastic and highly visible and friendly. Our dining experience was excellent as was the entertainment. We highly recommend this cruise and ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Antarctica was the only continent I had not visited before this cruise and it was the last item on my bucket list. I chose a Princess cruise because I am an Elite member and have always found that Princess caters for persons with ... Read More
Antarctica was the only continent I had not visited before this cruise and it was the last item on my bucket list. I chose a Princess cruise because I am an Elite member and have always found that Princess caters for persons with disabilities. I have mobility problems owing to Parkinson's Disease and found the staff friendly and very helpful. Our cabin was, like all Princess cabins, clean and well laid-out, although I found the shower a bit cramped owing to my physical problems. We ate in the Anytime Dining Room when possible, and this is much more civilised than Horizons, which we found a bit "grab and go". The Captain took us to as many places in Antarctica as was physically possible and I do not think this could have been done any better. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and stress-free and the lectures were mainly excellent and informative. As for the sites we visited - they were truly magical. The whole Antarctic experience was unlike anything I have ever experienced before. It truly was a magnificent wonderland of ice and Alaska cannot even begin to compare. I will treasure my memories of Antarctica forever, as my lifespan will not enable me to visit it again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Choose the cruise based on the itinerary. Cruising Antarctica was amazing. Really enjoyed all 34 days. Friendly,helpful staff. The food was great but did get a bit redundant. The captain was engaging and the naturalists we had on board ... Read More
Choose the cruise based on the itinerary. Cruising Antarctica was amazing. Really enjoyed all 34 days. Friendly,helpful staff. The food was great but did get a bit redundant. The captain was engaging and the naturalists we had on board were knowledgeable and entertaining. The interior is getting a little dated and the jokes about the tiny showers are more fact than anything else. The shore excursions were ok but I wasn’t impressed with the knowledge of the staff. I’ll give 5stars to the new Wifi and tv reception. Much improvement from the last cruise. My biggest suggestion to Princess is to offer a social drinkers drink package. The one that was available was nearly half as much again as the cabin price. Princess has cut back on some of perks from last year. I think it’s time for them revamp the specialty restaurant menus as they were exactly the same as last year . All and all we are planning on cruising with Princess again this year. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We wanted to visit South America and Antarctica with US ports of embarkation and disembarkation. My wife is recovering from a stroke. The special accommodations made by Princess/Carnival for her physical challenges were..adequate. ... Read More
We wanted to visit South America and Antarctica with US ports of embarkation and disembarkation. My wife is recovering from a stroke. The special accommodations made by Princess/Carnival for her physical challenges were..adequate. Apparently unbeknownst to the company, on board were both an acupuncturist and personal trainer (Alexandar Stankovic) who had specialized training in stroke recovery! Both provided exceptional service toward continuing my wife's recovery progress and were the unexpected and unplannable, apparently, highlight of trip. The WiFi was great..we were streaming movies on Netflix off Cape Horn. Matt O'Brien was cruise director. He has got to be the best cruise director plying the seven seas. We booked a 56 day voyage in the future simply to be aboard a ship again with Matt as cruise director. Stewards were exceptional. Food was as expected. Excursions were good for us. Still have somewhat of a dispute with Princess about an excursion to Antarctica booked 6 months in advance at $3500/person. I bought the excursion after vetting with Princess and our physicians all available info to ensure my wife would physically be able to participate. Once aboard and hence beyond re-fund cancellation deadline, the description of activity changed (for example, ranking changed from 'easy/moderate' to strenuous. Instead of 'weather permitting zodiac ride to Ardley Island to view wildlife' it became a 'two mile hike across rocky beach to view wildlife'. Trip insurance denied claim which I filed at suggestion of very professional and compassionate excursion department personnel aboard. All and all a truly fantastic voyage, even if we end up eating $7k from excursion debacle. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
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