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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
As always, this Princess cruise was chock full of the senior set, which is fine - we're just coasting into qualifying for AARP ourselves, so it's not a problem - we're not party animals by any stretch. The good: The Coral Princess is ... Read More
As always, this Princess cruise was chock full of the senior set, which is fine - we're just coasting into qualifying for AARP ourselves, so it's not a problem - we're not party animals by any stretch. The good: The Coral Princess is one of their smaller ships, which meant we developed more friendships with people than on larger ships, which was nice. Likewise, we got to know more of the staff members on a more personal basis. The ship is able to go through the Panama Canal (only just, it squeeked through) and it's amazing to watch. The activity tours we went on were amazing (ziplining in Costa Rica, swimming with stingrays in Grand Cayman) but the walking tours (Gautamala, Cartagena) were really bad (how much will you buy, rich American tourist? Oh, yeah, there's a bit of history here, but let me show you where to spend your dollars...) My advice: do the activities. Serious fun. You do NOT need to be in fabulous shape to do them. It's okay to be chubby and wheeze a bit. You do need to be willing to laugh and feel a bit ridiculous. You will make the BEST memories if you do. We stayed at the Ft. Lauderdale Renaissance Cruise Ship Terminal, and it's literally right next door to the terminal. This does NOT mean you can stay there then walk to your ship, but it does mean it's an easy Uber/taxi ride. I would not walk it - it must have been a good 2 miles considering we had to drive all the way around the port to get to the ship. It's a decent hotel and we were able to Uber from the airport to the hotel, then walk over and get dinner from Chipotle next door. It made getting on the ship the next morning stress free. We're a lesbian couple celebrating 25 years together and despite this being an overwhelmingly straight, elderly demographic, we felt nothing but welcomed and accepted, which was the best thing ever. The bad: "Anytime Dining" on the Coral Princess apparently means line up at 4:45 or you won't eat until 7:00pm - and those old folks are SERIOUS about getting din-dins on time. Don't be messing with their meals. It's worse than third grade recess with line-cutting. One person will stand in the line and 42 people will walk up and join them before the doors open. The Universe Lounge has movies and production numbers, but the balcony level is awful to be watching anything - there's multiple safety bars. No idea why they don't put in plexiglass instead so people can actually SEE what's going on. There's less food selection in the Horizon Court than the larger Princess ships - a LOT less. I found that really disappointing. Same ol', same ol' every morning for breakfast. The ugly: Sales, sales, sales. I imagine it's the same on all cruise ships - we haven't been for a couple of years, and wow, it seems like they're selling at every turn. Most conversations seemed to start with "You want to buy..." Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We always wanted to go through the Panama Canal, and loved most of the cruise and experience. The ship itself is old and falling apart. There were areas that had a moldy odor. There were areas where the air conditioning wasn't working. ... Read More
We always wanted to go through the Panama Canal, and loved most of the cruise and experience. The ship itself is old and falling apart. There were areas that had a moldy odor. There were areas where the air conditioning wasn't working. In our stateroom the thermostat didn't work, the remote for the TV didn't work, the shelf in the bathroom was broken and the carpet was dirty and worn. As in all other Princess cruises we have been on, the staff was wonderful and the food was terrific. The demographics on our particular cruise really leaned hard to the over 75 years old crowd with lots of walkers and canes. That may have influenced the entertainment, which filled up immediately after dinner. But after 8 PM the ship seemed deserted. We would have preferred more active activities too. We did 3 Princess excursions. The first was billed inaccurately as a scenic cruise and snorkeling of a reef and shipwreck. It was none of those things. We went in a boat right off the shore close to our ship to snorkel. There was no reef and no shipwreck and no scenic cruise. The second was a scenic drive, raft trip and lunch at a restaurant and it was fabulous. Our guide spoke the entire way there and back. The raft trip had another guide who was very knowledgeable. We saw crocodiles, iguanas, monkeys, etc. on the raft trip. The lunch was at a local restaurant and was very scenic. Our third excursion was a hike up a volcano. This was a little more iffy. We were not warned that it would be freezing on the trail (50's) when we had been experiencing high 90's. There were very high winds. The trail was covered with older, but recent volcanic ash that got into everything. We were not able to look right into the volcano like I have done on other similar hikes. The path down was very, very difficult. Several people fell. People who were athletic and in good shape injured themselves. I am not sure I would recommend this. I enjoyed the Cayman Islands, Cartagena, Panama City and Costa Rica ports. The Guatemala port was just another glimpse of a very poor country. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Straight forward embarkation after over night stay in hotel organised by Princess. Good cruise with excellent staff, good food and good choice of activities. Cabin was clean but showing some signs of wear and tear - upholstery on sofa ... Read More
Straight forward embarkation after over night stay in hotel organised by Princess. Good cruise with excellent staff, good food and good choice of activities. Cabin was clean but showing some signs of wear and tear - upholstery on sofa threadbare in places and buttons on remote control for TV not working. We were on traditional dining for evening meal and were really happy with choice and quality of food. My wife has an allergy that the staff were made aware of and they were really good at making sure that the meals would not effect her and offering a choice of alternatives if there were problems with the choices on the menu. This service and consideration was excellent and very much appreciated. There was a good choice of entertainment and activities. Not all to our taste, as is to be expected, but we were not short of things to do! We used ships tours in Costa Rica and Guatemala, both of which provided excellent guides and good transport. We used local services at other ports: "Dora the Explorer" in Cartagena who was excellent and I highly recommend and, likewise, Clemente through "Tours by Locals" in Panama City. The only issue we has was with disembarkation when we had booked a stopover, again with Princess. They tried to leave us to the last group to disembark, even though they were aware that we wanted to be off early to be able to see LA. This meant that we would not arrive at our hotel until the afternoon severely cutting down the time we had to explore and going against the whole idea of booking a stopover. Despite my protestations no alternative disembarkation was offered until I demanded to see the manager and suggested the provision of a taxi would be simple enough to sort out. Not the best end to the holiday but it was sorted out for us eventually. All in all a very good trip with the "blip" at the end that could have easily been avoided. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our third cruise on the Caribbean Princess--first since 2017 ship's make-over. The mini-suite was fine, and cabin service ok but not spectacular. Very sMmooth sailing to Columbia, Panama Canal, Costa Rica, and Grand Cayman. ... Read More
This was our third cruise on the Caribbean Princess--first since 2017 ship's make-over. The mini-suite was fine, and cabin service ok but not spectacular. Very sMmooth sailing to Columbia, Panama Canal, Costa Rica, and Grand Cayman. Stopped first in Jamaica, but weather very bad, so got off ship and back on. Weather in other ports very nice. Castaneda boat and city tour was good, had excellent tour guide. Stayed on boat in and out of Panama Canal--enjoyed the locks and scenery very much. Costa Rica canal boat and train tour was fabulous--saw many animals and birds--good tour guide again. Did shopping and lunch at Grand Cayman--no street vendors, very upscale place. The meals on the new "Club Class" category were excellent. Mariela, dining room supervisor from Romania, was spectacular in how see treated all diners, and went out of her way to prepare special deserts and treats. By contrast, the 15th deck buffet was terrible--sometimes inedible!-- and we had to survive on pizza (good but better on other Princess Ships), and very good huge hot dogs--great new ship addition. Entertainment was not great--really missed having Jazz sessions. 10 days went by quickly--would recommend this cruise at this time of the year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose the Panama Canal cruise because it was on our bucket list. The itinerary was great. We felt the cruise was overbooked, understaffed and over priced. Everything on board was pricey - excursions, drinks, photos and shops. Our 2 ... Read More
We chose the Panama Canal cruise because it was on our bucket list. The itinerary was great. We felt the cruise was overbooked, understaffed and over priced. Everything on board was pricey - excursions, drinks, photos and shops. Our 2 independent excursions were excellent. The ships excursions were not. The pastries were excellent. The rest of the food did not match the standards we expected especially the Horizon Court and the ice cream. Pizza on deck was very good. The entertainment was very good but we were not able to enjoy much of it because of the over crowding. If you wanted to view these offerings, you needed to get there a half hour early. The staff members were all very friendly and helpful, often going above and beyond their call of duty. The Promenade deck now has cabins at the rear and the walking track on the Lido has the pricey Sanctuary in back, thus no complete circuits or rear view. Princess was our go to cruise line - 8 times. We began to notice these same problems on our last cruise with them. We feel we no longer get the quality experience we are paying for. So, Princess, bye-bye! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We always wanted to complete a Panama canal cruise. We decided on the full transit because the itinerary had several beautiful stops on both the Caribbean and Pacific side. Except for Aruba we arranged our own tours or did our own ... Read More
We always wanted to complete a Panama canal cruise. We decided on the full transit because the itinerary had several beautiful stops on both the Caribbean and Pacific side. Except for Aruba we arranged our own tours or did our own thing. Scuba diving at Aruba was very good. I would recommend it. One reason we enjoy Princess is very few children on Princess cruises. They cater more towards a mature adult theme. A few things for Kids to do but not a lot. The crew was fantastic. Captain Michele Tuvo was the best Captain we have seen on a cruise ship. He was always visible and talking with guests. He also has a great sense of humour. We feel he is the standard by which all Cruise Ship Captains should aspire too. Embarkation & Disembarkation with Princess is always well organized and quick. The ship is getting a bit dated though. The center court is cramped and there is no international cafe on this ship. Specialty coffee and occasionally some finger foods is available at center court. We also did not like the new location of the Horizon court at the front of the ship. We miss being able to sit outside at back of ship. Our room was a bit cramped but we had a large shower in bathroom. The other two couples we traveled with they could barely move in shower but a slightly larger room. Our room at the back of ship was a bit noisy on rough sea days. A pipe was banging within walls. Entertainment quality was mixed. Several nights the entertainment was not enjoyable and other nights the entertainment was fantastic. The food was very good. We always have great meals on Princess. Lineups for dinner when a good show was playing later was a bit of a challenge. Everyone wanted to eat and see the show. Overall I still highly recommend this cruise. A balcony is nice to sit and watch the transit of the locks. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We have sailed at least ten times on Celebrity and decided to try Princess as the dates and the price lined up nicely. To begin, it is an older ship but kept in excellent condition, however, certain structural problems could not be updated ... Read More
We have sailed at least ten times on Celebrity and decided to try Princess as the dates and the price lined up nicely. To begin, it is an older ship but kept in excellent condition, however, certain structural problems could not be updated due to age. The shower is tiny tiny, and I doubt if anyone weighing over 200 pounds could even fit. They have no chest of drawers for clothing but shelves in the closet area. However, the beds and pillows are fantastic. Crew as a whole are friendly and the three foot rule of speaking to you makes you feel wanted and appreciated. Food is good, but not in my opinion as good as Celebrity, the always menu in the main dining room contains not steaks but burgers and bad pasta. Horizon buffet is constantly changing meals that are quite good, however, again due the age of the ship the food is not really hot but warm. Maitre d explained only heat lamps are used not latest technology. Sabitni\s was excellent and on sea days pizza served custom made at lunch. Entertainment production shows were excellent however, the individual acts ranged from a great comic to a ventriloquist and trumpet player (heard better in high school bands). Magician fantastic. Cruise director was shrill and shouted at audience at shows, and I found her really annoying. Question? Why is no music played on ship by live bands that was written in past 40 years? Embarcation and departures well handled and easy.. Appreciated that late dining has been moved to 7:30 but early dining at 5:30 on shore excursion days is tough to understand. All in all we prefer Celebrity for travel and will probably only return to Princess if price and itinerary cannot be found on Celebrity. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Chose this cruise because we wanted to do a full Panama Canal transit, and chose Coral rather than Island Princess because it had had a more recent refit.However, the ship is still tired looking. The furniture in the cabins is shabby, the ... Read More
Chose this cruise because we wanted to do a full Panama Canal transit, and chose Coral rather than Island Princess because it had had a more recent refit.However, the ship is still tired looking. The furniture in the cabins is shabby, the hairdryers are from the dark ages, the showers are the smallest I’ve ever encountered. However we still had a great time. Most of the staff are great, yes you get a hard sell if you have a spa treatment, but on the whole the staff try really hard. The food was mixed, the buffet was sometimes great, other times really odd combinations of food. Did anytime dining and most days I rang early to reserve a table, without a reservation we found we had to wait, maybe up to half an hour. Met some lovely people, enjoyed the ports, especially Huatulco. The expert who talked us through the transit was extremely knowledgeable and my husband found the whole transit fascinating- be warned, you have to be out on deck by 6am! Drinks fairly priced. We did the ultimate balcony dinner which was fantastic for £80 extra, had 2 dedicated waiters, cocktails, canapé, champagne plus 4 course dinner and then birthday cake for my husband, all whilst evening in port in Aruba. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
I have sailed aboard the Princess before and found it to be a really relaxing experience. The atmosphere is friendly. The crew is very helpful in many ways such as greeting you by name when going to dinner or nearing your cabin. The gym is ... Read More
I have sailed aboard the Princess before and found it to be a really relaxing experience. The atmosphere is friendly. The crew is very helpful in many ways such as greeting you by name when going to dinner or nearing your cabin. The gym is not crowded and getting a workout can be done in a short time. The view from the gym is up high and forward so you can see the sea life during your time in there. My nine dining partners were a mixed set of people. Most of them had cruised before and were very knowledgeable. For the most part they were friendly and cheerful (with a couple of spats). The British pub was a chance to eat some foods from fish and chips to a ploughmans lunch drink a proper Guiness. I enjoyed singing in the Pop choir. The Princess singers and dancers were very good but put on not nearly enough shows. The other performers were not to my taste. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
The Caribbean Princess is beautiful! Our cabin was very nice. We had great servers in the dinning room! The food was excellent! What we were frustrated about was the theater was full to capacity at least an hour before show time. ... Read More
The Caribbean Princess is beautiful! Our cabin was very nice. We had great servers in the dinning room! The food was excellent! What we were frustrated about was the theater was full to capacity at least an hour before show time. People would save multiple seats for others. We went on to a Culinary kitchen enrichment tour. The presentation was great! I would have liked to see more enrichment programs. We enjoyed the Art enrichment program immensely! The Lotus Spa facilities are beautiful! We did a shore excursion in every port. We thought that the excursions where both informative & fun! Our disembarkation went very smoothly! We checked our bags all the way through. We used Princess transportation to the airport. We meet many wonderful people on the ship! I would do this cruise again! All of the ports went to were fun to explore. Being able to be on a balcony and pass through the Panama Canal was Awesome! I highly recommend it! Read Less
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