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Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise because experiencing the Panama Canal was high on our list of travel, the timing was right with the winter break and we like Princess. There is a big difference between a full passage from Pacific to Atlantic or visa ... Read More
We chose this cruise because experiencing the Panama Canal was high on our list of travel, the timing was right with the winter break and we like Princess. There is a big difference between a full passage from Pacific to Atlantic or visa versa, with the interest in mind. Not only did we go through the locks, but we had narration almost the entire time. The old locks are amazing. Princess got a reduced price for passage and paid more to be the first ship to transit for the day and refunded everyone $67 each because of the savings. Ship was in decent shape. Food was good. Entertainment was good. The production were good and 3 of the 5 main entertainers were excellent. The lecturers were outstanding as well. Best part was that we met really nice people by participating in assigned dining and also used roll call to join groups that were planning non Princess shore excursions. The two things that kept me from giving an excellent rating on the cruise was sink water that did not get very warm (shower did) and my wife had a shoreline excursion that was not as advertised. The other excursion that we did together in Cartegena was great. Best of all, we dodged the December freezes. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise to travel with friends over holiday and had a great time despite from the fact some in the party got sick! Overall I rated it three because the seafood was the only thing that tasted different.......the soups, salads ... Read More
We chose this cruise to travel with friends over holiday and had a great time despite from the fact some in the party got sick! Overall I rated it three because the seafood was the only thing that tasted different.......the soups, salads and most entrees all tasted the same in the traditional dining every night! Lots of processed taste, institutional tastes..........not as fresh as the other smaller lines in the industry! Enjoyed the entertainment 4*! Group excursions were absolutely too large!!! In Nicaragua is where I got sick traveling on an excursions bus treated with hanging "trees" and mothballs throughout! I am chemical induced asthmatic and did not have a choice but to go or lose my money! Will probably not consider any cruise with larger ships anymore! Thought Princess would not disappoint but did..............Too many disabled seniors!!! Maybe divide recommended activities toward these people and the hours they keep..........Active hours too late! Maybe not so much "scooter" availability and accessibility!!! especially to the buffet line!!! Just because you have the money to go and the desire to go doesn't mean you should! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
After spending 4 days in Hollywood near Fort Lauderdale we had a rapid, smooth embarkation upon the Coral Princess. We found the ship delightful with spacious well appointed lounges and bars that far exceeded our expectations for a ... Read More
After spending 4 days in Hollywood near Fort Lauderdale we had a rapid, smooth embarkation upon the Coral Princess. We found the ship delightful with spacious well appointed lounges and bars that far exceeded our expectations for a smaller class of ship. Although the ship is older it was not tired with all areas fresh and well maintained. The ship had the feel of a spacious, classic, first class cruise liner where there were both active and quiet spots to suit the needs of all passengers. The area under the most pressure space wise is the Bordeaux anytime dining room where there was invariably a wait of between 10 and 40 minutes to get seated. However with this in mind one just collects a pager and then enjoy a relaxing pre dinner drink. The quality of the food and service staff in both the main dining rooms and the Horizon Cafe was superb. Our only issues arose on the particular evening we dined in the Bayeaux Cafe ( supplemental cost ) where the service was poor, the steaks way overseasoned and the dough on the peach pie was not cooked through. However mistakes happen and the issues were acknowledged and addressed by senior management to our satisfaction. Others dined in this venue on alternate nights and were completely satisfied. INone of the above can detract from the overall excellent dining experience on the ship. The service provided by all cabin, casino and service staff was absolutely first class and was delivered with genuine warmth and good cheer. The shows were very good and the trio ( piano. violin and double bass ) performing mainly in the atrium were exemplary. Although this is not our preferred music genre we invariably spent considerable time listening to their outstanding performances particularly with regard to the violinist whom made the instrument literally sing to the audience. We felt that some of the other acts could have been stronger and there were weak members within the activities team but once again this did not seriously detract from our enjoyment. The itinery was excellent and the tours we went on in each port were great and hosted by well informed and knowledgeable guides. The trip through the Panama canal was a fantastic experience enhanced by the expert and interesting narration provided throughout the day by a specialist broadcasting from the bridge. Overall we had an absolutely fantastic cruise, one of our best. Well done Princess for maintaining such a high quality where P & O continue to let standards slip. considerably. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Fancied doing something different and chose this cruise as we have cruised with Princess a fews times to Mexico at Thanksgiving on the Ruby and Crown. The Coral is an old ship and starting to look a bit tired. We sailed during Xmas ... Read More
Fancied doing something different and chose this cruise as we have cruised with Princess a fews times to Mexico at Thanksgiving on the Ruby and Crown. The Coral is an old ship and starting to look a bit tired. We sailed during Xmas and NYE. It was a bit boring on both nights, but that's okay wasn't expecting Times Square but could have been a bit better. We had 2 balcony cabins and 1 mini suite. We really needed a handicapped accessible cabin for our wheelchair bound disabled child, but low and behold not one was available. My child was the only one on the cruise who actually had her own wheelchair that wasn't rented! But there you go, awful but people seem to think booking a handicapped accessible cabin when you don't need it really but just want the extra space, is okay. But it's not. Food in the Horizon cafe was much better than the Bordeaux restaurant anytime dining. We found that the food in the Bordeaux was quite awful. Either over cooked, bland or cold. Horizon offered much better choices. Wifi is terrible. I spent more time trying to get on and get off the wifi and wasted so many minutes doing so. The internet cafe manager, Mikael couldn't care less. Overall this was an okay cruise, but for what I spent on 3 cabins ($22K) I was sorely disappointed. There are other cruises out there that offer much better food, cabins and entertainment for less. Panama Canal was somewhat interesting but after 8 hours of non stop commentary it got a little boring. Great to see, but don't think I would rush back. The excursions were over priced and really nothing great. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Experience on the ship was overall excellent. The captain was amazing. He could be seen all over the ship. He would walk through the Horizon Court buffet breakfast every morning to greet the passengers and answer questions. He had ... Read More
Experience on the ship was overall excellent. The captain was amazing. He could be seen all over the ship. He would walk through the Horizon Court buffet breakfast every morning to greet the passengers and answer questions. He had his staff announce on the loud speaker when there were whales or dolphins near the ship, (this is the first time I have been on a cruise where they did this). They also had star gazing a couple times at night on the top deck, where they would turn off the lights on the deck, give everyone headphones to listen to a prerecorded lecture and a live talk on the stars. They would point to the constellations with a laser light. What a great thing to do in the middle of the ocean. We were in a balcony cabin on the 14th floor, pool deck. We were right across from the teen center but not on the side with the teen center door. We never heard any noise from the teen center, it was as if it wasn't even there, which was very nice. Our room did have a door adjoining the room next to us. The adjoining door is not sound proofed so we could hear most words and noises in the other room. Luckily our neighbors where fairly quiet so this did not bother us. The room and balcony were small but comfortable and seemed to be newer than other rooms on the ship. The rooms now have big flat screen TV's and new, very comfortable, pillow top mattresses. This floor has the highest balconies so the view is fantastic and there are no balconies above you looking down on you. I did not notice more ship movement on this floor but being in the back of the ship there is some vibration from the ships engines at times. The ports we visited weren't places you have to visit before you die, except for the Panama Canal. The ports were just OK. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This is as much the opinion of experienced cruisers we were with as ours, this being our first cruise. We loved going through the Panama Canal and the ports. The narration during the passage through the canal was great. There were 2000 ... Read More
This is as much the opinion of experienced cruisers we were with as ours, this being our first cruise. We loved going through the Panama Canal and the ports. The narration during the passage through the canal was great. There were 2000 passengers on the boat, but for the most part it did not seem that crowded. The food and the entertainment were just OK. The food in the specialty restaurants was better. The cultural presentations we’re also just OK, and there were not many of them. The medical office would quarantine noncontageous passengers, encouraging people not to go to the doctor. The movie selection was mediocre. The internet was truly abysmal. It did not work at all about a quarter of the time, and was extremely slow the rest of the time. Experience cruisers told us it was the worst they had ever seen. We would strongly encourage people to take a Panama Canal cruise. We would encourage people to look for a better option then Princess, but would not say you should not take Princess if it is the best option. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
best of the 4 crossings I have made. food best yet. lattes better than starbucks--just superlative. the enrichment lectures just fascinating, (thanks for listening Princess), the new Andalusian horse show, outstanding. I always prefer ... Read More
best of the 4 crossings I have made. food best yet. lattes better than starbucks--just superlative. the enrichment lectures just fascinating, (thanks for listening Princess), the new Andalusian horse show, outstanding. I always prefer Princess, been with them now for about a dozen trips I think. Alaska to come this year too. And to be fully candid. Several passengers had to compete for time on the one recumbent exercise bike. older passengers prefer it. another one is needed. and parents need to supervise out of control children. New years' eve was extremely disruptive and they emptied the bar. Princess apparently did nothing to enforce its supervision rules and requirements, to the great frustration of several passengers who took it on themselves to scream at the offenders. Several passengers simply vacated to get away from the annoying noise. A couple of days later I was served with a dessert in a cracked glass with pieces missing on the inside surface. I went to check it out and medical staff took no action. I will check with my doctors - it was pretty distressing at the time. Still, travelling requires some patience and understanding. I think Princess is a good company and I will continue to go with them whenever given the option. The many trips with them have meant a lot to me over the past decade. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Ship Captain Tuco made the trip. He was very personable and very visible. Stopped to talk to passengers and crew alike. Made sure things were running smoothly, taking pictures of things needing attention or speaking directly to the ... Read More
Ship Captain Tuco made the trip. He was very personable and very visible. Stopped to talk to passengers and crew alike. Made sure things were running smoothly, taking pictures of things needing attention or speaking directly to the responsible crew member if on site. Fully participated in special holiday events, playing off Callie the cruise host. By the of the cruise many were emulating his “bye,bye” ending of his noon navigation reports Exit doors to the deck were very heavy and problematic for one if carrying meal or drink; handicapped persons really struggled getting them open and going through the door unless some stopped to help. Christmas theme well done, as well as the New Year’s celebration. Great background for formal nights, introduction of the officers, and other events. Laundry room uses tokens, had problem with empty dispensers, took front desk a while to locate the appropriate deck steward. Best day to do laundry is mid-day in port. Churchill Lounge was supposed to be an elegant cigar lounge, but it became the defacto indoor smoking area. Every time the door was opened in the atrium, the smell of smoke was very evident. Disconcerting to those of us across the width of the ship, even when seated at the far side of the Crooners bar. Evidence of the recent dry-dock refurbishment was very clear in the public areas, with new carpeting and upholstery. Next the cabins need some work, as there are definitely worn. Food Most meals were under-seasoned, and bland, vegetables over-cooked and meat tough; but we did have some great meals. DH favorite meal oysters Bienville and filet steak in the Bayou Café. My favorite Cutis Stone’s Seafood Stew in a delightful creamy sauce; had it three times and it never disappointed. In general meals in the Dining Room were good, but there were a few missteps in either the naming or preparation of the ingredients which led to questionable results. Service depended on which table you sat, as it was a result of who was assigned to your table. In this case Valentino was the most conscientious, and went out of his way to please us, even placing two entrée meats on one plate if DH couldn’t make up his mind as to which to order. The buffet was well a buffet. International flavor at each meal, Mexican buffet was the best; The soups served every meal including congee for breakfast, were consistently excellent, though they never included the promised meatballs. Interestingly rather than the ubiquitous sanitary gel dispensers on other cruise lines, Island Princess had three actual hand-washing sinks on each side, and an employee posted to be sure you washed your hands. But of course so people sneeze, then use the provided utensils to get their food, hence spreading cold and flu germs. And when one gets it, it generally means two because of shared cabins. If all else failed the Grill was a welcome respite, though the location on Deck 15 without elevators, made it tricky to take the food elsewhere. Best were the fries, and the BBQ pulled pork. Bar Service . Problem ran ship ran out of limes on day seven, and didn't get replenished until the last port call two days before departure. And then they were of a sweet variety which didn't work well in some drinks. We used the Crooners Bar as our gathering point, and enjoyed the new friends we met. Still amazes us that by the second day, they not only remembered our names and favorite drink, but our folio numbers as well. Mark took his responsibility for the bar very seriously and ran it with an iron hand. Victor was the equalizer, always cheerful, full of stories, even when things got tense during happy hour. At sea Happy hours were available at the very large Wheelhouse bar, and Crooners. Because they had a very small work surface and only three servers, it became very hectic; particularly at bar where the two bartenders both were working as well as the bar-backs. Soji and Bonifacio were very helpful to both the bartenders and customers. Priya was delightful and gracious in her manner. Embarkation Careful do not follow GPS or AAA routing which takes you down I-710 smack into the industrial port area; multiple “make a legal U-turn” before we started seeing roads named on the Princess provided directions. No parking lot shuttle service visible. Disabled husband had to walk a long distance to get to the terminal and was in extreme pain. Wheelchair assistance had been requested in advance and Tony went out of his way to assist him, even carrying our luggage. But it was a long wait for shipboard transfer via wheelchair Entertainment Productions shows were very good, Encore in particular. Unable to produce one show because the stage was broken. Other entertainers very inconsistent, comedians in particular. Callie was a great host, never obtrusive, gave us just enough information over the intercom, without constant patter. And his jokes were great every evening. Certainly could have used a greater variety of at-sea days activities, constant repeat of bean bag, ring toss etc. were a bit much But you it is needed when you see over 50 people participating every day. Disembarkation Best ever disembarkation in 16 cruises. Only issue was the staff at the door was asking questions, not looking at the "required" colored tabs from the luggage tags. But very timely departure, no delays, and thankfully the shuttle was right across the street. Still in shock from the total cost at $18.00/day Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We arrived at the port at noon and got on board within 30-60 minutes. We rolled our own bags off so we disembarked within 30 minutes. We had interior room A404 which was perfectly acceptable; we would stay in an interior room with ... Read More
We arrived at the port at noon and got on board within 30-60 minutes. We rolled our own bags off so we disembarked within 30 minutes. We had interior room A404 which was perfectly acceptable; we would stay in an interior room with Princess again. Interior rooms are a great value because no one stays in their cabin during the cruise anyway. The food and restaurants, entertainment and service were above average. (Comedian was below average). We bought only one shore excursion from Princess in Limon Costa Rica to see a rain forest which was worthwhile. The excursions to see the sloths were sold out so buy those asap. In Georgetown Grand Cayman we bought a van tour from a local vendor. If you have not gone through a canal and locks before, the journey through the Panama Canal was amazing engineering. The main reason we selected this itinerary was to visit Cartagena Colombia. We were very disappointed the ship skipped this stop. The captain claimed high winds prevented us from sailing from Jamaica but a Royal Caribbean ship next to us was able to sail. Some passengers say the ship had engine problems but the captain did not admit this until 24 hours had elapsed which prevented us from seeking a refund. If we had visited Cartagena, I would have rated this cruise 5 stars excellent. Because of doubts about Princess' reliability, we may select Celebrity next time if the prices and itineraries are comparable. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise for the Panama Canal experience. It was really quite interesting learning about this engineering marvel and the recent improvements. We also were interested in Costa Rica which was also very nice. But, the Cartegena ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the Panama Canal experience. It was really quite interesting learning about this engineering marvel and the recent improvements. We also were interested in Costa Rica which was also very nice. But, the Cartegena port was not accessible because of high winds. That was very disappointing. All of the staff were very friendly and extremely helpful! The dining staff worked especially hard to make our experience very enjoyable. They were clearly willing to make every customer feel special. The daily menus were diverse each night and the food was excellent! The entertainment was really first class. The ship's singers and dancers were awesome and the production shows were excellent. The other nightly entertainers were also quite good. We especially liked that a classical trio was booked for our entertainment as well. There was also a wide variety of on-board activities for everyone to partake in. The embarkation and disembarkation was went very smoothly as well. Read Less
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