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1,253 Princess Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

The cleanliness and quality of furnishings needs serious help. I have cruised with Princess 6 previous times and have never had a ship or staff like this. It was as if no one cared from the company to the staff. I have generalized staff in ... Read More
The cleanliness and quality of furnishings needs serious help. I have cruised with Princess 6 previous times and have never had a ship or staff like this. It was as if no one cared from the company to the staff. I have generalized staff in that statement but there was some good people of course but more rude, abrupt and uncaring staff than good. This includes some higher ranking staff like store managers. I would not recommend this ship to anyone. The itinerary was great although not all the excursions lived up to their write ups. Our cabin must have a service area behind it because the noise thru the walls was awful day and night. The casino is tiny and has outdated machines with a very small smoking area. The area on deck 15 for smokers has no cover from sun or rain and wind. The only other place was the cigar lounge of 12 seats with 0 air conditioning and a portable air exchange that was plugged in. Not a single fan. Most times it was standing room only. The furniture is horribly worn, the walls need washing as well as the windows inside and out. No one does anything but empty the ashtrays a few times a day. I meant to take a picture of the total lack of cleaning on this ship as it was everywhere. To get a drink you had to go to the bar and order it as there was no staff around to order from. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise in order to experience the Panama Canal transit. We were welcomed at the airport and transported to the ship. Embarkment processing was completed within five minutes and disembarking from ship to shore was completed ... Read More
We chose this cruise in order to experience the Panama Canal transit. We were welcomed at the airport and transported to the ship. Embarkment processing was completed within five minutes and disembarking from ship to shore was completed within 15 minutes. Our cabin stewart did an amazing job as well as our dining waiter. The meals were great and the main show each evening kept you well entertained. We found time to relax, read books from the library, and made new friends each day. We took advantage of excursions at each port and found them very informative and interesting. The off-road excursion was one that stood out as we traveled the back roads in Mexico and saw how corn was ground and cooked to make tortillas. The town tours provided us with the local history and background of the local areas.I would recommend this cruise for anyone desiring to experience the canal transit. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Picked this cruise because I wanted to transit the Panama Canal to celebrate my 70th birthday. Everything was just perfect with one glaring exception. I booked one of the 6 Owner's Suites which are all located at the very stern of ... Read More
Picked this cruise because I wanted to transit the Panama Canal to celebrate my 70th birthday. Everything was just perfect with one glaring exception. I booked one of the 6 Owner's Suites which are all located at the very stern of the boat. I purchased Princess' Premium Unlimited Internet Package for an additional $199. The signal strength in our cabin at the stern of the boat was so poor as to be nonexistent. If I took my Ipad to a public area a midship on the boat the internet worked OK (not particularly high speed). If I tried to log on in my cabin either I got no connection or if it connected the signal would be dropped after a few minutes. If you need to stay in touch with the outside world DO NOT book a suite at the rear of the Pacific Princess. Food was better than I expected, especially in the specialty restaurants ($29 P/P upcharge). The public rooms are quite nice and remind you of the luxury liners of the past. The staff on board were all very friendly and knowledgeable. They really strive to make you feel special and they go the "extra mile" to make sure you are enjoying your experience. The boat is quite small (650 passengers) so you get to know almost everyone. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Princess was doing the Panama canal ... we had been on the sister ship Ocean Princess, so were happy to go on the Pacific Princess. Loved the cruise....weather just o.k. service, food, entertainment great......except for the dining ... Read More
Princess was doing the Panama canal ... we had been on the sister ship Ocean Princess, so were happy to go on the Pacific Princess. Loved the cruise....weather just o.k. service, food, entertainment great......except for the dining room. We were told that princess had changed there dining hours to 5p.m. early and 7:15p.m. for late. Since we like early dining and felt 5 was too early, we chose 7:15..... SURPRISE......each ship can decide on their hours.......5:30 and 7:45. We tried late dining......still at the table at 9:30. We requested early seating, a large table and was given table 34. The next night there were 6 people at a table for 8 including us...and were told that no one was at the other 2seat the previous night. We requested that friends be put at our table and again was told no....the table was full....... we spend 10 nights alone at a table for 8. The Matre De Albert Noversa would walk by each night and ask the diners how everything was. He could see we were alone.....did he not think.....I should try to put them at another table. Or just to lazy or could care less... certainly Not doing his job. I put a note in the suggestion box on board. I HOPE SOMEONE READS IT and that it does not happen to another couple. Makes me question going on another Princess cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My husband has always wanted to do the Panama Canal adventure so upon his retirement, we chose the Panama Canal Cruise. We were told by friends, Princess Cruise Line does this cruise. So, we visited our travel club and booked the 15 day ... Read More
My husband has always wanted to do the Panama Canal adventure so upon his retirement, we chose the Panama Canal Cruise. We were told by friends, Princess Cruise Line does this cruise. So, we visited our travel club and booked the 15 day cruise aboard the Pacific Princess. Little did we know what lay ahead!! Everyday was a neat adventure; never a dull moment even on sea days. So much entertainment it’s hard to choose which one to attend. Our favorite port stop was Huatulco! Mexico! Such a quaint secret on the coast line. This town is what it’s all about. Just big enough to taste the real flavor of Mexican life. The people were so nice even when you didn’t purchase their wares. The food was excellent and the setting at the restaurant we ate at was just breathtaking!! We truly think we will revisit Huatulco!! The cruise even had a choir that practiced on sea days and we performed the last day aboard. Such a fun experience. The food choices were excellent and “ If you couldn’t find enough there, something is wrong with you.” Anything you wanted. All our on shore tours were first class. We are already talking and planning our next cruise!! So until next time; “Happy Sailing”. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was a cruise I have been wanting to do for a while. This was a Retirement cruise for me and to celebrate my 20th Wedding Anniversary (close to our wedding date). I was very impressed with the Captain and his crew in sailing of the ... Read More
This was a cruise I have been wanting to do for a while. This was a Retirement cruise for me and to celebrate my 20th Wedding Anniversary (close to our wedding date). I was very impressed with the Captain and his crew in sailing of the Ship through the Panama Canal. You never knew when we were in port due to the expertise handling of the Captain and Crew. Impressed and thrilled with receiving a certificate for sailing through the Panama Canal. Also I want to Thank Princess Cruise for televising the Easter Mass for people who were not able to attend Church Service due to being on the Sea and did not realize that we would be spending Easter on the Cruise. Easter Service meant a lot to me as a practicing Christian. Thank you for that special event to be aired. Loved the Zumba classed to start off our days when we were at sea. Activities were plenty. Dining was superb. Thanks to all who prepared those heavenly meals and exquisite desserts. Embarkation and Disembarkation went smoothly. Staff was very present and helpful. Would like to do this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Always wanted to see the Panama Canai, and do the full cruise through to Vancouver from Ft Lauderdale. A truly amazing experience! GOING THOUGH THE LOCKS-wow-not sure what i was expecting-but it was a very unique experience. This was one ... Read More
Always wanted to see the Panama Canai, and do the full cruise through to Vancouver from Ft Lauderdale. A truly amazing experience! GOING THOUGH THE LOCKS-wow-not sure what i was expecting-but it was a very unique experience. This was one of a few still on bucket list. The staff on this cruise were very friendly and accommodating as needed. Our dining room staff were fantastic, and the food fresh and delicious. This was a cruise to remember-love meeting new people as well. I think Princess did an awesome job of looking after what we required. The excursions we had,were educational, and again all staff informative and helpful.Cartagenha was a little overwhelming with people putting their wears in your face. Overall people very friendly and helpful-trying to meet everyone's expectations. The entertainers on this cruise were awesome-and the cruise directors dealing with everything else going on-they kept everyone very busy. It was an awesome memorable cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was a destination we’ve wanted to do for awhile. Being from Alberta, Canada we liked that we started in Ft. Lauderdale and sailed through the canal and finishing in Vancouver, BC. From there it was a very short flight home. We ... Read More
This was a destination we’ve wanted to do for awhile. Being from Alberta, Canada we liked that we started in Ft. Lauderdale and sailed through the canal and finishing in Vancouver, BC. From there it was a very short flight home. We were lucky enough to be upgraded to a mini suite in which our room steward, Winston, kept very clean. Although we chose anytime dining, we chose not to do it. Instead, we ate breakfast and lunch in the Horizon Buffet where the food was great (sometimes a little too good), but one thing that bothered me was that various passengers refused to wash their hands even when prompted by a crew member. We had huge, delicious meals at both Sabitinis and Bayou restaurants. I would definitely recommend going to either one. You won’t be disappointed. We booked excursions at all our ports of call but would’ve rather done our own thing on a majority of them. We didn’t find them up to Princess standards like others we’ve done on other ships. A special shoutout to the amazing staff in Crooners. Putu, Parban, and Bo became very good friends and I hope that we will cross paths with them again soon. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Destination: Panama Canal and it did not disappoint! Very impressed with this cruise. The Coral Princess was our first ship to sail on with Princess a few years ago and it still is one of our favorites. Small enough to enjoy everything, ... Read More
Destination: Panama Canal and it did not disappoint! Very impressed with this cruise. The Coral Princess was our first ship to sail on with Princess a few years ago and it still is one of our favorites. Small enough to enjoy everything, yet large enough to not feel cramped. Love this line! Service is superb in every venue. I don't know how they do it, but everyone remembers your name on these ships. I can't say enough about Club Class dining. Truly a great experience and so worth a few extra dollars. We also enjoy specialty dining once each trip, but really don't need it as the menu in the dining rooms are extensive and varied. From Embarkation to Disembarking the ship, everything about this repositioning cruise was great. Only wish our travel agent with Princess had told us we could continue on to other ports of call. We would have gone on to Vancouver as the ship headed for Alaska. Thanks Princess for making everyone feel so special on your line! Looking forward to our next adventure with Princess! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
As you will read from many other reviewers; this was "the worse" Princess cruise I have been on -- and I have been on many, many Princess cruises. Something was terribly wrong with 50% of the interactions on this cruise. To ... Read More
As you will read from many other reviewers; this was "the worse" Princess cruise I have been on -- and I have been on many, many Princess cruises. Something was terribly wrong with 50% of the interactions on this cruise. To be fair, I would like to give you a balanced overview. THE GOOD: Our room steward "Randy" was THE BEST we have ever had. He should be training for Princess on how to take care of Guests. The International Cafe people were very friendly and helpful - but they need more staff for the service - everyone goes there. Two casino people really stood out (Hans and Mario) - they were very professional and helpful to guests (more on the casino later) I liked the new market place for eating and for the layout, colors and seating - the food -- that will be later too. The Crown Grill - excellent Chilean Sea Bass and steak for others. Best food and service. The fitness center - the dry dock brought mostly new equipment. I'm always at the gym on shore and the cruises - they did an excellent job here. And, there were 45+ people in the gym at all time -- just goes to show - if you build it, they will come ;) Traditional dining - good fish, nice salmon, excellent asparagus. THE BAD Customer service desk - clueless people, no help or service. It seemed that half the crew must have been new to the cruise industry and all the guest were the guinea pigs. And they were just plain rude at times. You would be talking with them about a problem - the phone would ring and they would cut you off and spend 5-10 minutes on the phone before coming back to you. Casino manager ( I won't mention names - I do have them, but it's not worth mentioning) shut the casino craps table down around 11 or `11:30 and forced everyone to leave - over and over - who does that? (more on the craps table under horrible) Drinks - every night the same thing at the craps table - hour to an hour and a half before they would come to ask if you wanted a drink. If you wanted one before that, you had to stop gambling and go to the bar to buy one. Why would they do that? The food in the new market place - average - and that is being generous. I did like their sandwiches for lunch. Food over all here was far below what you would normally expect from Princess Cruises. I will say their salads were fresh ! Traditional dining - this is the sad part - 50% of the time the meal was good, the other 50% of the time - I couldn't eat the food. The beef stroganoff - couldn't cut the meat with a steak knife - much less chew it. Braised beef - let's just call it braised fat. Their steaks - I wanted medium rare - it took them four times - each one was rarer than the previous one. People at my table were "mooing" because it was such a joke. The 4th steak was perfect. Their lamb - one bite was all I could do - so bad. The excursion for snorkeling at our 2nd port was nice - but the boat was way too small for the number of people who went on the excursion. THE HORRIBLE: Two main things stand out that really ruined this cruise. As others have said, the excursions were ruined for people and Costa Rica was the worse. Hundreds of people missed their buses because Princess wouldn't let you off the ship - seriously - they kept people in the Princess Theatre with no stickers or organization - when they finally let people out - row by row, dozens of buses had already left. So yes, hundreds of people missed their excursions in Costa Rica !! They reimbursed everyone - but it was the one big excursion I wanted to go on. People were standing in the heat of the day on the dock while they waited. Most excursions were cut in half for their time. Someone mentioned that this happened near the beginning of the cruise and people talked about it for the next week and a half - that is an understatement - people were furious - including me. I will give credit to Gary McNeil - he owned up immediately for all the problems and took full responsibility. Princess should be happy to have people like him. Craps table in the casino - okey, something is up with this and Princess needs to look into the issue. The table was "re-done" in the dry dock and new dice were added. 14 days of playing and every player lost every night. The dice would land and bounce at 90 degree angles. The dice would stop rolling and then "suddenly" flip over one more time. Many players there were commenting on what was up with the dice and table. We've played craps for years in Vegas and on cruise ships. NEVER have I seen the dice act so weird AND have 100% of the people loose at the table for 14 days straight. I'm not accusing them of anything - BUT - they need to look into this. We will not be playing craps on our next cruise with Princess. This is serious folks. FINAL WRAP UP: We did not come back "RENEWED" you will find from other reviewers, this cruise really hurt Princess's reputation in so many ways. Which is sad for me, I really liked them a lot until this cruise :( Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise for the full Panama Canal transit. We were on board for the first 15 days from LA to Ft. Lauderdale. The ports visited were Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco Mexico, San Juan Del Sir Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, full transit ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the full Panama Canal transit. We were on board for the first 15 days from LA to Ft. Lauderdale. The ports visited were Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco Mexico, San Juan Del Sir Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, full transit of Canal, Cartegena. This was our 12th Princess cruise and as usual embarkation was smooth and efficient. We enjoyed all the ports and took several excursions - more on that later.The ship had just come out of dry dock. Our balcony cabin was fine except that the balcony had numerous paint chips/rubber pieces all over. In order to get the door to lock we had to slam it. Numerous problems with elevators, laundry facilities didn't work, problem with toilet that was resolved fairly quickly. The food was just ok except for the Crown Grill which was excellent both times we went. Buffet was lacking in selections the few times we ate there, dining room ok, enjoyed the triple smoked burger at the Salty Dog Grill, wanted to go to Planks for the BBQ but was closed the several night we wanted to go. The service in dining room was wonderful, our sever was organized, efficient and very funny. We ate about 1/2 our dinner meals there. Bar service in Crooners was excellent as well. Entertainment was not bad, the production shows ok, comedian was fine, several guest entertainers were fantastic and a few others I could have skipped. Crooners pianist fine, the party band was ok but the other 2 entertainers were ones we checked out once and that was it as didn't enjoy. The destination speaker was outstanding, the other speaker Leo Rossi who talked about his time in rock/roll was interesting. The really ugly part of the cruise were the shore excursions and the staff there. Our Puerto Vallarta excursion was a big disappointment as we only did 1/2 the tour and spent the last 15 min listening to our guide give a sales pitch for his products. We complained to desk and asked for a 50% refund. It took 4 days to hear back and after several lies they refunded us 25%. That was bad enough but the whole fiasco that occurred with the Costa Rica excursions is unforgivable. Except for tender ports we have never met on board somewhere before getting off for an excursion. For some reason this cruise we had to meet in the Princess Theater each day BUT there was no organization, no stickers or tours sitting together. For Costa Rica they had 1 gangway open and lost control as we were all leaving for excursions in long lines, people merging in from all over. We were in the 4th row of Princess Theater - made it to our bus but had to wait over 90 min for everyone to get there due to fiasco. Many people stood out in heat for over an hour, tours were cut short because they started too late - just a general incompetence. People complained to the desk but nothing happened - no apology letter, nothing - no acknowledgement of mistakes or loss of control. Just ridiculous. So bad that for last week of cruise it was a continuing topic of discussion everywhere. I filed a complaint with Princess upon returning home, they responded but all I heard during phone call was excuses - not a real understanding or comprehension of what had transpired. Disembarkation was fairly seamless despite a bit of confusion with the transfer buses. Overall despite everything we enjoyed the cruise but don't think we will be sailing Princess anytime soon as this definitely didn't live up to expectations based on our past experiences. There are other cruise lines such as Celebrity that have better customer service in my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We were looking forward to Pacific coast stops but Princess revised the itinerary by four days to allow for additional time in dry dock. Vancouver embarkation was smooth as silk and the three day cruise to Los Angles was uneventful with ... Read More
We were looking forward to Pacific coast stops but Princess revised the itinerary by four days to allow for additional time in dry dock. Vancouver embarkation was smooth as silk and the three day cruise to Los Angles was uneventful with two ok production shows and many onboard activities. Dined at Curtis Stone "Share" restaurant which was absolutely superb. Also dined at Steamers which was not ready for prime time. Muscles were dry lacking in cream sauce and some of the clams were cold. Others we spoke with had a much better experience, so they must have improved during the cruise. The new "Fresh Market" is a huge improvement over the crowded Horizon set up. Much more space to maneuver. We used Michelangelo any time dining room which was excellent throughout the cruise. The Dining Room Captain and door assistant were friendly and efficiently processed the many any time diners. Everything we ordered was elegantly severed and tasted great. The Panama canal crossing was made exceptional by a very knowledgeable speaker. She had a informed and unique way of expressing the history of the old canal while informing us of the construction required for the new canal. Our cabin was spacious and kept very clean by our steward. Having a bath tub and the additional shower space was a plus. We had been to all of the stops on other cruises except for Huatulco Mexico where we took a "land & sea" excursion through Princess. The contract company handling the excursion was disorganized so the excursion started and finished an hour late with a lot of waiting time in between sea & land portions. Sights along the way were good. The enrichment destination speaker was outstanding (same lady gave the canal talk). She was very thorough and gave great advise in the time allotted. The fitness center was well equipped and clean. All in all it was a very nice relaxing cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise last minute after our transatlantic cruise was cancelled last minute. The cruise was wonderful; the cruise director and staff fantastic, and there were so many activities available each day and night. Both the ... Read More
We chose this cruise last minute after our transatlantic cruise was cancelled last minute. The cruise was wonderful; the cruise director and staff fantastic, and there were so many activities available each day and night. Both the production shows and the music entertainment around the ship were good. Food in the main dining room and buffet was excellent, on par (and sometimes better) than Celebrity. The only drawback was the tours offered. They were pricey and one in particular a "Cooking and Discovery" tour while we were in Nicaragua was very misleading. We arrived at the meeting time for the tour, but had to wait 45 minutes to leave. We then had to wait until a tender filled up to make it to shore. We were put on a tiny bus with uncomfortable seats for a 2 1/2 hour drive. When we got to the city, there were no restrooms available and by now it had been almost 4 hours. At the restaurant we neither cooked nor discovered. Friends at our dinner table took a tour in Panama that was terrible as well. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The Island Princess is a great ship to find your way. we had some rough seas one day but we barely felt it. Embarkation went well and smoothly. we were welcomed on board and went to the atrium until the cabins were ready which was a ... Read More
The Island Princess is a great ship to find your way. we had some rough seas one day but we barely felt it. Embarkation went well and smoothly. we were welcomed on board and went to the atrium until the cabins were ready which was a wait of about 30 minutes. when we got to our cabin we found it spotless and our luggage was outside our door. We had a wonderful lunch in the main dining room. Muster was at 3:30 and I love that we no longer have to lug life vests. One thing I did't like was a lot of deck space was removed as was a show lounge so they could add more cabins to the ship. However, despite the higher number of passengers, the ship rarely felt crowded except during show times and many trivia games. Club class dining had impeccable service. Many of the meals were very good but sometimes they weren't. the quality of meat has gone down. We had the best cabin steward. He was like a ghost but had our cabin refreshed twice a day and happily fulfilled any requests. You have to be careful with the ratings on tours. One "Easy" tour had more walking than I could do and I ended up spending most of it on the bus. The tour desk wasn't very considerate of physically challenged people. Favorite ports included the Panama Canal and Fuerte Amador, Punta Arenas Costa Rica, Puerto Vallarta, San Francisco, and Victoria BC. in Huatulco, there was a horrendous walk from the ship and two three wheel scooters that you could squeeze three people in to get to the shops and tour buses. I think after four times through the canal, it will be a long time before i do this again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Loved going through old locks on this smaller ship. Doesn’t matter which side of ship you select as one can’t be sure which locks you will go through. As it turned out we had the view of locks on the port side as we went through on ... Read More
Loved going through old locks on this smaller ship. Doesn’t matter which side of ship you select as one can’t be sure which locks you will go through. As it turned out we had the view of locks on the port side as we went through on right hand side of old locks. Tip: booking the Sanctuary which on this ship is aft gave us great views of both sides and back. For the front view we had to leave for forward of ship but this was quite crowded. We went down to our port side balcony a few times for a different perspective. Loved being in Sanctuary though as they opened for our reservation at 6am and we stayed all day. Costs extra but worth it. The PC expert gave several talks prior to and after locks. He was interesting and informative. Thought the food was very good. Like the changes in MDR which now offers a select Timon of “starters” then entrees. The Curtis Stone pot pie is excellent! The daily burger offered in MDR is changed up daily and quite good too for a change of pace and likely popular with kids. Drink prices continue to be very reasonable ranging from $8.50 - $10 on average. Ship is in pretty good shape but may be getting close to needing some refurbishment. Definitely smaller ship in comparison of Grand Class which requires some planning. For instance we generally went to Princess Theater or other venues 15-20 min before show times to get a good seat. Not an issue but for those who arrive a minute before it may be hard to find multiple seats together. The chef Gaetano and maitre d’hotel Sylvio are an awesome team. We did Chef’s table which was one of the best culinary experiences of my foodie life! Highly recommend!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Cabin with Balcony Dolphin 235. Had been planning this trip for about a year and a half. Was a bit concerned after reading so many negative reviews about the ships adding 150 cabins in 2015 without increasing the public space. Our fears ... Read More
Cabin with Balcony Dolphin 235. Had been planning this trip for about a year and a half. Was a bit concerned after reading so many negative reviews about the ships adding 150 cabins in 2015 without increasing the public space. Our fears were unfounded as we found the ship to be no more crowded than any of our past cruises with Princess. The ship was in clean and in good repair. Our cabin was in good condition and the flat screen TVs that have been installed since our last cruise were a nice addition. Note- we had some service people in our room one afternoon that were installing hardware on the TV that will be allowing on-demand viewing of movies and shows. We always opt for any-time dining as we don't do Formal nights, and enjoy the buffet as much as the main dining room. Food, as always was excellent in both venues. Entertainment was what we have come to expect with Princess. I did not care for the 3 productions shows, but my partner did. The magician was great, though a bit raunchy for the crowd lol. Sonia, one of the guest female vocalist was amazing. As stated by others, you need to get to the theater a little early as it does fill up, but we never had an issue and almost always sat in the same spot. Service started off a bit "surly", but once they realized that we said please and thank you and actually engaged in conversation with crew members they warmed up. We heard so many rude and demanding older passengers, it is no wonder the wait staff starts off that way. We booked all of our excursions with Princess, and had one at each port. Very well organized! Overall Princess once again provided us with a memorable and relaxing vacation! Thank you to Chris, Duval, Nelly, Sammy, Tania, Giri, Manuel, Emil and Marius for your great service, it is crew like them that make this cruises pleasurable. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
It was on our bucket list to do the whole of the Panama Canal, Fort Lauderdale:- Embarkation, arrived the day before, and thankful we did, the flight from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale, which should take 5 hours inc., airport time, ... Read More
It was on our bucket list to do the whole of the Panama Canal, Fort Lauderdale:- Embarkation, arrived the day before, and thankful we did, the flight from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale, which should take 5 hours inc., airport time, took 15 hours, due to malfunction of a A/C button, Embarkation was a breeze, best ever from 17 cruises with 6 different cruise lines. Arrived at 11am, checked in, on board and lunch with-in 1/2 hour. Cabin, A627, balcony, (we usually have inside, but choose the balcony to celebrate our anniversary). Very nice, large and spacious, lots of closet space and hangers. Bathroom the usual ship board bathroom, shower small, we’re 135 and 150 pounds, and we had problems, The cabin steward very nice, can’t remember his name and I’ve lost the paper with it on. We found the comforter too hot for us, he found a light blanket for us to use instead. Dining:- We had “any time dining “ as we east early at home, the MDR opened at 5.15pm every evening, we chose not to eat every evening meal in the MDR, we alternated with the buffet. We also had two B/F’s in the MDR. Lunch and the rest of the breakfast were in the buffet. The food in both areas were excellent and hot, and very tasty. I have a “blue cheese” allergy and the chef at the buffet come and talked with me to assure if there was any blue cheese in anything, it would be noted. Entertainment and Activities :- The evening theatre was excellent, by far the best we’ve seen on a cruise line. The singers and dancers out did them selves, as did the ships orchestra. Through out the ship, there were other performers who were just as good too. During the day I attended all the trivia, and as many games as I could. The cruise director and his 5 crew staff were just a riot, lots of fun. Service:- Service from all the crew, whether the desk, dining, bar, photography etc., were great, always smiling. Ports and excursions:- Ports from F. L to the Panama Canal, we have done them all before, so unless I was looking to send off emails, didn’t get off the ship, used it as another Sea Day. Panama Canal:- didn’t take any tours, relaxed on the balcony and watched the world go by, Puerto Amador, Puntarenas and San Juan Del Sur, just walked around the port. Huatulco Sur:- just walked around town. Puerto Vallarta:- Took a taxi to the “New Beach”, don’t now how new, but it is a quaint beach area, has some interesting statues along the boardwalk. Los Angeles:- Took a four hour ship tour “ Easy City Tour” not what we expected, we thought we would see some “ stars homes”. but no. It was a waste of time and money. Santa Barbara:- A very nice town, just took the shuttle up the Main Street, and saw the Mission museum, San Francisco:- I booked a Alcatraz tour on line, for the first ferry 8.45, you have to book at least a month in advance. It’s an easy 5 minute walk from the cruise port. A very interesting place, and well worth a visit. We took a “bicycle tutu”, along the boardwalk to catch the “ cable car” there was at least an hour wait, and after an hour in the cold wind, we gave up. Took a taxi back to the ship with a small detour to see some sights. Astoria:- a quaint sea side town, there’s a shuttled around town, you pick up at the dock. We visited the “Marina Museum “ Victoria:- Had a taxi tour around town, have visited Victoria before. Vancouver:- Disembarkation time. Very easy, One thing that did puzzle us we didn’t go through any customs either in Victoria or Vancouver, not even at the airport. We did see 12 police embark at Victoria, so may be they check our customs cards there, as we had to fill them out two days before hand. We didn’t travel with children and there was only a hand full on board, Would I travel with Princess again, yes, it was our first time with them, (have sailed 17 times all told) and really enjoyed the ship and line. I liked the way all the entertainment, from trivia, games and musicians and theatre were on two decks, 6 and 7, making it very easy to get from one to another. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My husband and I took this cruise through the Panama Canal to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. It was our 12th cruise, 3rd with Princess. We booked Ezair for the first time as we were flying from Boston to LA on the day of the ... Read More
My husband and I took this cruise through the Panama Canal to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. It was our 12th cruise, 3rd with Princess. We booked Ezair for the first time as we were flying from Boston to LA on the day of the cruise and it worked perfectly. There were pros and cons with the ship. Pros: Clean ship Friendly staff Wash stations at Horizon Court Silverware at tables at Horizon Good coffee Can walk all the way around on Promenade deck Chris Roberts, Destination Expert Good Entertainment Great weather! Cons: Ship older and design confusing. Doors need to be manually opened going outside instead of opening automatically. Shower tiny (but good water pressure) The pools had no shallow end and there were no lifeguards. Movies under the Stars-movies were shown during the day which took away from relaxing pool time. They were very loud. The ports were all new to us except Puerta Vallarta where we took a taxi to Malecon. All other ports we booked Princess excursions and enjoyed them. The only complaint was we were not given a bottle of water on the excursions. It was very hot and it should have been included. The Canal experience was very interesting and you really could feel the boat going up and down in the locks. We enjoyed the cruise and seeing some new ports of call. There were quite a few sea days which made for a very relaxing vacation. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My husband and I booked this cruise in December. Due to my precarious health we can only book vacations on shorter notice so we picked an item on our bucket list. Last year was a Tanzanian safari and generally prefer land trips so we can ... Read More
My husband and I booked this cruise in December. Due to my precarious health we can only book vacations on shorter notice so we picked an item on our bucket list. Last year was a Tanzanian safari and generally prefer land trips so we can spend more time in an area. We have found cruising to be a great way to explore and get a taste of multiple areas in one trip, thus we cruised the Mediterranean in 2011 and Alaska in 2015 and loved it, Since I do not keep current on the cruising industry, I give my review with consideration that everything I have heard and read leads me to believe things are not what they used to be, i.e., "the good old days". Had this been our first cruise, some of our ratings may have been better. We booked our one way flight thru EZAir flying nonstop from TPA to LAX on our day of embarkation as we didn't find the need to spend extra time in that area. Our flight arrived 30 min early, we were easily able to find our Princess rep and make our transfer to San Pedro, arriving around 11 am. Embarkation was very smooth, we were sitting in the Bordeaux Room shortly after noon, enjoying a rather good bacon cheeseburger. After lunch we went to guest relations to secure the last spot for my husband to go on the Ultimate Ship Tour. We then went back to our cabin to rest a little, wait for our luggage and unpack, and allow shipboard life to begin.... We loved the size of the ship and fond it fairly easy to navigate once we got our bearings. Every once in a while we would find an elevator that didn't go to all decks. The elevator doors closed rather quickly so we always had to be ready to move fast to enter. I walk with a cane so I cannot run. We could tell this was an older ship but it seemed well cared for, nothing was in disrepair. The mini-suite cabin selection available was very limited since we booked late but we were able to have our TA move us closer to midship after final payment when I noticed the availability on Princess.com so we were on Dolphin deck fairly close to midship elevators. I wasn't sure how I would feel with our balcony being open to anyone above us, but it was not a problem. The cabin was very clean, had plenty of storage, outlets, hangars. The couch was a sofa bed that was rather uncomfortable, glad no one would be sleeping on it. We found the two cases of water waiting for us when we arrived and put some in the refrigerator which had an ice bucket which our cabin steward kept filled for us. Despite saying we wanted robes when completing the booking forms, they were absent but promptly supplied wen we asked our steward. We wanted for nothing until tried to get out of the shower. I walk with a cane because all if the muscle surrounding one of my hips was destroyed by a faulty hip replacement. I have limited motion of one leg but the handicap is not severe enough to warrant a handicap cabin. I had read that the sides of the bathtub were high so I was somewhat prepared. The available grab bars made it easy for me to get into the shower but when I went to get, it was entirely different, The bottom of the bathtub was 4-6 inches higher than the floor making the step out impossible for me to keep all of my weight on my bad leg without moving enough that might dislocate my hip. The rim of the tub is very narrow, 2-3 inches wide, so I couldn't sit and get out. I needed something higher to step out onto. We came up with 2 options, 1 was an inverted trashcan and the other was to use the life vest. The latter turned out to be the perfect option, problem solved! We usually ate breakfast at the buffet because we got moving too late for the dining room except for using room service on excursion days. We found the buffet to have a more than adequate selection that we were very happy with. We enjoyed lunch in the dining room but could not always go because of the limited time it was open (12-1:30). Lunch at the buffet was average at best, the selection was fair, they had run out of quite a few items, possibly because we arrived about 30 -45 minutes before closing. We had pizza three times (once from room service) and it was always very good. I'll give dinner its own paragraph because that that is the reason for average rating. We had anytime dining which suited us well. We alternated between a private table for 2 and sharing a table with a group. The companions were always pleasant. Most off the time there were multiple appealing choices. There was no escargot which I understand is part of cutbacks which is no big deal. The Caesar Salad was watery and had little taste on the 2 times I tried it. The food was never served hot, we felt lucky if it was warm. The pasta was way undercooked, it always needed a few minutes additional cooking time to be classified as al dente. Lobster was offered twice and those that had it, enjoyed it. The beef was generally excellent and cooked to request, except that the cowboy New York strip steaks were very chewy. The red snapper, besides being cold, was very fishy tasting and did not seem to be fresh. many of the dishes may have been very good if served at the right temperature. The desserts were usually very good. Service was excellent for the most part with no complaints and some surprises. We were asked when we booked if we were celebrating anything and I answered "our anniversary a few days prior to embarkation". On the second day of our cruise we found many pleasant surprises, balloons and a sign on our cabin door, a greeting card containing gift cards to the spas and shops, plus a letter to give to our waiters at dinner; they sang to us and presented us with a special dessert, bravo Princess Cruises! Everyone works so hard and their efforts are apparent. They were always pleasant to interact with. We have always has anytime dining so that we don't always have the same waitstaff, no problem. We did find the waitstaff on our prior cruises to be much more personable. The purpose of the cruise was the Panama Canal which was awesome. The ports we visited were all new to us except for Puerto Vallarta which we visit on a regular basis so we did not get off of the ship. We were actually disappointed that the port had changed from what we remembered; there used to be a great flea market there. In Huatulco, we didn't do a tour, We just went into the town, walked around the shops and town, watched birds in the park, and had lunch on the beach. We had a delightful day in area that turned back time compared to PV and Cabo. We would certainly consider returning for a longer period of time. San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua is a tendered port so we chose to do Princess tour. We only decided amongst those labeled as easy because of my limitations. We were fortunate to get to go into the port as it was cancelled on the three or four previous cruises because of high winds. I was very windy when we arrived but everything was a go. It was very difficult for me to get on the tender because of the rough waters but we made it. We took a full day tour on a big bus which was a bit of a disappointment as Princess advertises smaller groups. Evidently everything worth seeing is quite a distance from the port so we spent quite a bit of time in the bus, driving, The sights we visited were the Apoyo Crater, a volcano, the city of Granada, and Lake Nicaragua. The buffet lunch in Granada was excellent; we were given time to explore the area but, besides a cathedral across the street, everything worth seeing was 10 -18 blocks away, too far for me to walk in the midday heat. We did enjoy what we saw but do not feel the need to ever return. The next port was Puntarenas, Costa Rica. We had arranges a private tour, the 10 in 1 combo Puntarenas Tour with Thumbs Up Tours who are highly recommended on Cruise Critic and Trip Advisor. Their website is the company name and they were a pleasure to work with. We were the first to contact them so they kept in touch until they had enough people to confirm the tour. as it turned out, enough people for two vehicles signed up so we were in a minivan with another couple and still charged the group of 12 rate of $65, no payment until the end of the tour! We got to see a lot of the Costa Rican countryside, monkeys, macaws, a toucan, and went on a safari boat door. We had wonderful buffet lunch at a restaurant in the rainforest with spectacular views and macaws. Gilbert, our driver and guide was terrific and we highly recommend this tour. We are interested in spending more time in Costa Rica. The port of Fuerte Amador, Panama was another tender port so we chose a Princess tour on a jungle boat excursion through Gatun Lake to see wildlife and scenery found in this area of that Panama Canal System. Getting on the tender boat was again difficult as was the walk down to jungle boat; the tide must have been low so that the slope to walk down to the floating dock was VERY steep, it was difficult but I made it. We saw monkeys who came onto the boat to take grapes from the hands of some of the passengers, some birds, and crocodiles. The tour was fine, no need to revisit. The skyline if Panama City is spectacular. Cruising thru the Panama Canal was an all day event giving everyone the time an viewpoints to see as much as they would like to see. The experience exceeded our expectations. Our final port of Cartagena, Columbia was a pleasant surprise from the skyline of skyscrapers to the amazing city back to port terminal that contained an aviary and wildlife preserve. We did a private tour with Dora the Explorer who is also highly recommended on these boards. I think there was 16-20 in our group with stops at La Popa Monastery, the San Felipe de Barajas Fort, and a walk through the old city with its brilliant architecture. The walking in the heat and humidity got to be too much pain for me so Dora arranged for me to sit in an area where the others would catch up with me later. I missed the inside of the cathedral but that was it. I would consider visiting this area again. All things considered, this was a trip of a lifetime that we are glad we did but would not go again because we wee well satisfied with our experience at the Panama Canal. This was our first Princess cruise and are not sure whether our disappointment with the food is company/ship related or the entire cruise industry. We have friends who are ardent cruisers who are going on their first Princess Cruise next month so we are anxious to hear what they will say. We have intentionally not given them any negative comments so that we can hear an unbiased comparison. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Coral Princess is my kind of ship. The public areas are extensive, comfortable and inviting and there was rarely a crowded feel. We had 8 sea days, and were never bored. Princess had a packed schedule every day and there was always ... Read More
Coral Princess is my kind of ship. The public areas are extensive, comfortable and inviting and there was rarely a crowded feel. We had 8 sea days, and were never bored. Princess had a packed schedule every day and there was always something to do. The food in the main dining room was excellent, varied and beautifully presented. Breakfast in all venues was uninspired but the quality of the pastries, breads and fruit selections was wonderful. Afternoon tea was fabulous! Although I loved the lunch I had eaten in the dining room on the first day, we decided to pass on that and just scavenge at the buffet the rest of the trip (excellent cheeses, breads, sandwiches, salads and shrimp) so we could justify attending the tea. I love the way Princess makes it a point to seat people in groups in the dining room - at every meal you meet and enjoy different people and make new friends. Even when we decided to eat at a table alone, we were so close to our neighbors that it was easy to strike up a conversation - or not, whichever worked best. "Ocean Concierge" is a very fine feature. We logged into the ship's internet, and could see the day's schedule right on our phones. We could tap in and read about the shore excursions we had scheduled, and add daily events to our own personal itinerary. I could "share" an event with my husband, who could then add it to his list. The app also offered texting capability, Although this was of limited usefulness since you didn't know there was a text if the app wasn't open. Still, it made it easier to "find each other" on those busy days. We booked all our shore excursions (and we booked at least one at each port) through Princess and were really glad we did. Two of our excursions were the last to arrive back at the ship, and they arrived after the "all aboard" had sounded. I would have been a nervous wreck if I hadn't known that the Coral would wait. The excursions were generally quite good, the ports were interesting and the organization was superb. We have been on far too many ships where the instructions were to "meet the bus on the pier" and let the devil take the hindmost. Each of our tours started out in the dining room, where we were given our group number, and we were called and escorted off the ship when our group was ready. Specialty dining was a waste. We only did it because it was a gift, but we had been looking forward to a nice, spicy meal at the Bayou. Instead we got a lot of salt and too much meat. It just confirmed my long held belief about specialty dining: We're better off in the main dining room. Everything else was lovely. Common areas were beautifully decorated and all carpets and artwork were attractive and tasteful. What more to say? I would go on the Coral Princess again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I chose this cruise because I had heard they were a notch over Royal Carribbean. The Island Princess is an older ship. No wow factor. A lot of elderly people some in wheelchairs and walkers. Activities were few. Music was very good. I ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had heard they were a notch over Royal Carribbean. The Island Princess is an older ship. No wow factor. A lot of elderly people some in wheelchairs and walkers. Activities were few. Music was very good. I loved the cleanliness of the ship and the stateroom. BUT hated the very small shower stall. However the water was hot and strong. The food was good. but a lot of repetition. Great deserts. Great lattes on fifth deck, but not included,. The first evening I felt like I had boarded a shopping mall . They pushed selling everything from jewelry to pictures and wine. The pictures that were taken were over priced and we were not allowed to take our own pictures when disembarking everything had a price.That was really sad. I took one Princess tour to see the Indians that was very nice. However the trip to the area was gross. Lots of garbage everywhere. On the return to the ship we passed Colon city.What a horrible place. looked war torn and garbage dumped everywhere; knocked down buildings everywhere. Panama is not taking care of the people. And I would never return.. I was totally bored by the pool it was too deep for me, 7.5 feet. and they seemed to show movies half the morning.. and I did not go on this vacation to watch movies. No rules were applied as passengers bogarted the best lounge chairs with towels for hours at a time,even in the theatre people held chairs. The grill by the pool served decent hamburgers but their hot dogs and knockwurst and pizza were not of good quality .We had to stand on line to get grill food. The shows were good. we chose anytime dining but the lines were long and they actually let people ahead of others who had made reservations which I felt was kind of unfair. The people who served the food were very nice, but seemed stressed and tired at times. Same with the activity staff. Not enough activities. In summary it was nice. but I would not go on princess again. Unless its a new ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I wanted to go thru Panama Canal and I had a previous good experience with the Princess Cruise line. I was disappointed on this ship. The food was sometimes below what I expected and the activities on board weren't as fun as my 11 ... Read More
I wanted to go thru Panama Canal and I had a previous good experience with the Princess Cruise line. I was disappointed on this ship. The food was sometimes below what I expected and the activities on board weren't as fun as my 11 other cruises on various cruise line ships. The musicians were good but there weren't any magic shows or acrobatics on this cruise. The back of the boat view was taken over by the Lotus Spa area that you had to pay extra to be in. The fitness center was in a lower deck with no windows. The shower stalls were so small you couldn't bend over in them. Our waiter was the best thing on the ship. He was friendly and brought out the food fast. Most of the tours were good, but one of the tours on Grand Cayman had so many waiting to touch the Stingray that we only got to touch it once for the hour we were waiting in the water. We liked the chocolates left on the pillow each night. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Princess really does it right - effortless embarkation and disembarkation, comfortable cabin, great ports. The cruise was a round trip from Ft. Lauderdale - a really easy port in terms of getting from the airport to the ship. Stops were ... Read More
Princess really does it right - effortless embarkation and disembarkation, comfortable cabin, great ports. The cruise was a round trip from Ft. Lauderdale - a really easy port in terms of getting from the airport to the ship. Stops were Grand Cayman (visited the turtle farm and Stingray City), Columbia, Panama (tendered excursion on Lake Gatun); Limon, Costa Rica; Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Food was good and the staff was excellent. We enjoyed dining at Sabatini's and in the main dining room. They had a really fascinating lecturer on board - he had grown up in the Canal Zone so he had a lot of insight on the area. If you don't like the noise in the main pool area, there's another adults-only pool nearby. We got to see some great recent movies with their Movies Under the Stars. We paid extra to have our bags sent directly to our destination airport at the end of the trip - best $25 I've ever spent! Because we didn't have to stop to get our luggage, time from the ship to the curb was about 5 minutes. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Considering it's age the ship was in good condition.I always wanted to see the Panama Canal .We did the boat tour of the lake and saw monkeys and birds.In Columbia we went to the bird sanctuary and saw the countryside. Saw the same ... Read More
Considering it's age the ship was in good condition.I always wanted to see the Panama Canal .We did the boat tour of the lake and saw monkeys and birds.In Columbia we went to the bird sanctuary and saw the countryside. Saw the same birds and monkeys at the boat dock in their sales area up closer. Did swim with stingrays and the Hell tour, always loved the Cayman Islands. Limon we did the Rain forest walk,I do not recommend this for anyone with walking problems. You go up a steep hill and it's loaded with rocks to see a couple of frogs,it had a great view of the Caribbean sea .Saw a lot of poor and trashy cities that you should not go into un-escorted in Colon and Limon. The ship's crew was efficient and treated us well. The food was above par. Wife liked the lobster but not the rice it was served on. Maybe its just me but I feel that now that they have all these specialty restaurants on the ships the great food is served there at a cost. Here is a thought for Cruise lines . Offer menu items to be served off the specialty menu in the regular dining room. One partner may want a great steak and is willing to pay the price while others in same party are not willing. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise to see the Panama Canal, which was great in itself, so you could say the objective was met. I do have to say though that the excursions were not always as good as the write up, a lot of money for not a great ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see the Panama Canal, which was great in itself, so you could say the objective was met. I do have to say though that the excursions were not always as good as the write up, a lot of money for not a great experience. We complained about one excursion in particular and received a refund, by doing a little bit of research beforehand we could have booked excursions for ourselves at half the price. There is a lot of waiting about, you are told to meet at set time but could still be there for another hour waiting on others or just for staff to get organised with so many people going off on different excursions. The dining experience onboard was also not good standard, you never received a hot meal, it is always served lukewarm, in the dining room the main meals came out with food covers, however if someone had two starters or took a long time to eat the main meals sat by the waiters desk until everybody was done, one night our meals sat for ten minutes before being served. If you have dietary requirements then you struggle, no food labels to advise of ingredients if you are intolerant to anything, when you ask they are unable to inform you without going to find out. Very limited choice if vegetarian (no fish and eggs), ends up being repetitive. They need to bring this area of service more up to date, it is crucial to some people if they are intolerant to particular ingredients, could ruin their cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
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