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18 Night South America Cruise from Los Angeles

18 Night South America Cruise from Los Angeles

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Coral Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)
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Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Los Angeles
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Cabo San Lucas
  • Day 4
    Cruising
  • Day 5
    Cruising
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 7
    Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera)
  • Day 8
    Cruising
  • Day 9
    Cruising
  • Day 10
    Manta
  • Day 11
    Cruising
  • Day 12
    Cruising
  • Day 13
    Lima
  • Day 14
    Lima
  • Day 15
    Pisco
  • Day 16
    Cruising
  • Day 17
    Cruising
  • Day 17
    Cruising
  • Day 18
    Coquimbo (La Serena)
  • Day 18
    Coquimbo (La Serena)
  • Day 18
    Coquimbo (La Serena)
  • Day 19
    San Antonio (Chile)
  • Day 19
    San Antonio (Chile)
  • Day 19
    San Antonio (Chile)

Coral Princess

Coral Princess - Princess Cruises

Pros

Intimate atmosphere with attentive service

Cons

Limited onboard activities, outnumbered by up charges

Bottom Line

Ship's small size and offbeat itineraries tend to draw a more mature crowd


Cruise Reviews

Sail Date: July 2019
We went on this very 1st cruise as a family (2 parents in their 50's & 3 adult children in their 20's in a separate room). I picked this ship and itinerary after hours of researching the best option for us. I knew I really ... Read More
We went on this very 1st cruise as a family (2 parents in their 50's & 3 adult children in their 20's in a separate room). I picked this ship and itinerary after hours of researching the best option for us. I knew I really wanted to be on a smallish ship that could get close to Hubbard Glacier and take us thru Granite Bay (Captain Todd McBain did a fantastic job getting us within 1/4 mile to Hubbard), with full day stops at the ports in Alaska and a balance of enjoyable entertainment for us adults and adult kids. We were not dissappointed. My husband and I especially enjoyed the shows - Encore, Bayou, Cheasa, Comedian, (not magician though as his show was a bit corny) & going to the game shows put on my cruise ship staff. My kids especially enjoyed the games, such as egg drop in the atrium and ping pong contests, trivia, and the other staff led evening shows. The staff was very energetic and our steward, Benjamin Venida, was extremely personable and attentive. We also enjoyed soaking in the hot tub while overlooking the scenic glaciers, watching movies under the stars with blankets they provided for warmth, and my daughters liked reading books in the quiet library. We liked our Anytime Dining experience and the ability to make reservations day of. When we requested seating by the window, we were kindly accommodated and ended up having a regular table (32) which was in the corner by the window. We really enjoyed the lobster and filet mignon especially when we were able to apply our dining credit to the special menu when Sabitini's was booked. We also at in the Bayou Dining rooms which was very nice as well and our waiter was excellent. The food/dessert was generally tasty. The Baked Alaska parade on the last night was fun and we enjoyed hearing the staff sing Happy B-day/Anniversary to guests as well as the taste of the creme brulee - yum! We regularly ate breakfast in the Horizon Buffet which was a great location at the top of the ship with windows surrounding it. The waiters came around asking if we would like beverages. My husband and son ate pizza at the pizzaria. They said the pizza was too hot and the cheese melted quite a bit and it tasted better when it was cold. We also ate lunch at the Grill by the pool area.The seafood chowder was tasty. I felt bad for the poor girl at the ice cream shop who seemed overworked and under appreciated but access to ice cream at anytime was a nice feature. We stayed in an inside stateroom on the Carribe deck (10th floor) in room C517 which I would highly recommend since it is sandwiched between two other stateroom decks. It was quiet, close to muster stations, mid ship so didn't feel much movement. Positivities Loved the enthusiasm of the staff and warm personalities. The atrium was very pretty. Seating near the windows during meal times - lovely. Getting so close to the glaciers. Meeting such friendly guests. Cleanliness. Great shows. I really liked this ship and the open decks, including semi-private one on the Caribbe floor. It never felt really crowded. Everyone was helpful and friendly. Very relaxing and enjoyable experience. Will definetely cruise with Princess again, and specifically Coral due to the size and layout of ship. Some suggestions: We would love to get all the daily Patters (schedules for each day) at the beginning of the cruise instead of day by day so we could plan our dinners (had anytime dining) and entertainment in advance. In addition, we were told in advance that formal nights are sea days, yet were surprised (as were others seated at our table that night) when we learned fairly last minute that the 2nd formal night was the evening we ported in Juneau. My daughter eats a gluten & dairy free diet. The chefs were kind enough to come out to give her recommendations in the dining rooms and she really liked their gluten free bread. Edible options in the Horizon Buffet were not clearly marked. They did not have almond milk that she knew of nor gluten free cereal. We would have liked signage for gluten free and dairy free items and it would be great if they had almond milk and gluten free bread/cereal available. For us, some food, such as eggs and biscuits, were overcooked but they had a good variety of options. My 3 adult kids shared a separate room. The top bunk bed was uncomfortable for my daughter. It was hard for 2 of the 3 to watch tv since the location of the tv was blocked from view though they did not really spend much time in their rooms at all. Perhaps a moveable mount could help. I felt that the pillows were a bit too squishy and my husband and myself in our room and we kept sinking toward the middle of the queen bed though it was generally comfortable. Benjamin Venida was a terrific, personable, and attentive steward. He was cheerful, called us by name, wished us a great day and good evening regularly, and even gave my son a few extra candies which was appreciated. He kept our room very clean. I wrote him a note and wanted to leave a tip and thank him personally, but I didn't seen him the day we disembarked and felt uncomfortable leaving it in my room since the door was ajar. My suggestion: Give thank you notes and tip if you choose when you see your steward; don't wait until the last day. The cruise director (John/aka Mr. Energy) was hilarious. We really enjoyed the staff led gameshows, etc. The big shows were excellent. The comedian was funny, (we would have loved to see his 2nd show but our dinner reservations could not be changed and we didn't know they were going to overlap) but we did not care for the magician show which felt corny. Sales The coupons, sales, and credits were helpful and encouraged me to buy merchandise. I really liked the free gift from Etsy of my pretty silver anchor necklase. A wonderful rememberance of a lovely cruise experience. Photos I wish the photos were less expensive and we could alter the size and have a cheaper package option (less than $150 minimum). They were good quality photos though. Casino We had fun playing Bingo one afternoon. Spa I did not use the spa, but my son did. Wish I could have let him use my credit as it was pricey for his service. Art: I went to the auction, which was fun but went long (it would be great if they could tell you how long it will be since we had to leave early for the wine tasting). My son got art work at a good price but the cost to ship it and time it takes to arrive is a bit pricey and long. Disembark As first time cruisers, this part was confusing to us. The elevators were full and carrying luggage downstairs dangerous. I think I would better plan ahead next time by leaving our large luggage outside our room. Excursions They were wonderful ports. I didn't appreciate that some shops, in particular jewelry shops, had people standing outside trying to convince us to come in and visit. Some ship excursions seemed very rushed - for example, covering too much ground in not enough time, so we booked some excursions on our own. Skagway: We walked off the port and over the creek bridge into town. We saw a man catch a huge fish. We also attended the '98 Show in the Saloon which was fun and ate lunch at the brewery - the beer garden provided excellent views. My daughter did rock climbing/rapelling, while the rest of us took the van up and bike ride down the mountain. A great active scenic option to sitting on a train. Juneau. We bought tickets at the St. Robert's tram (short walk) with a AAA discount at 8am. Were some of the first to board the tram and hike at the top. Definetly hike to the cross and windsock if you have time. Views are spectacular. Afterward, we called a taxi to meet us at the Red Dog Saloon. She drove us to Mendenhall Glacier where we visited the visitor center and walked the paved trail to beautiful Nugget Falls. Our driver on the way back stopped to buy us some lemonade from kids at a stand. Off the clock. They both provided great stories of the culture and of living there as locals. Finally, we ate at the Red Dog Saloon. Had to have the 'Duck Fart' shot which was fun and tasty. Ketchikan: We all had booked excursions in Ketchikan and were very stressed about making it back in time since the time changed and was scheduled to disembark 45 mins. earlier than originally told. This was a tendered location. I wish Ketchikan port stay was longer so it could have been more enjoyable. We walked through town, saw the salmon in the river. My daughters went on the kayak excursion and me - the group canoe and rainforest trip on the lake. (The clam chowder was excellent!) My husband and son went salmon fishing with Baranoff. My husband caught three - son, none. A couple with them gave them their catch and they were all shipped home. We are eating some fillets for dinner tonight. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Alaska is a great destination for sure. Our family had a great time during our vacation - we took both the land trip and the cruise. The destinations and the ports are all awesome! We have made some great memories. During the land trip, ... Read More
Alaska is a great destination for sure. Our family had a great time during our vacation - we took both the land trip and the cruise. The destinations and the ports are all awesome! We have made some great memories. During the land trip, the train ride is great. Also during the cruise the glacier bay experience was breathtaking The cruise itself was 'meh'. If you have a young family, like we did, it was not fun while you are on the ship. The activities for the kids is lacking as compared to other cruise lines that I have taken. While the production shows was good, the other things were not as great. Towards the latter part of the cruise, we actually stopped going to the actives and spent time doing our own things. The food is good. Note the timings though. Some of the wait staff were really nice and went above and beyond. Take a few shore excursions to enjoy the natural beauty. We took a few and it was worthwhile. Bottomline, loved the vacation/destination. But not the cruise experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
In comparison to other cruises that we have taken, there were some obvious similarities as well as differences. Some services were great, some weren't. I will break it down (We took 7 day cruise with Coral Princess from Whittier to ... Read More
In comparison to other cruises that we have taken, there were some obvious similarities as well as differences. Some services were great, some weren't. I will break it down (We took 7 day cruise with Coral Princess from Whittier to Vancouver). Embarkation/ Disembarkation: We boarded from Whittier, Alaska which is a fairly small port. Ours was the only ship. Luggage drop off and check in was very smooth as we already have our luggage tagged. We were in the ship in less than 20 minutes after we got off our bus (by the way, bus ride from Anchorage to Whittier was great and quite scenic. I highly recommend doing this if possible). Similarly, disembarkation was fairly smooth. One pointer is that they would drop off instructions out of your stateroom for luggage tags. If you want to change the time you get off ship, just go to customer service and they will be happy to change the tags for you. On the subject, we were considering transfer by cruise line from Vancouver cruise port to the airport which was 29$ per person if arranged by Princess. However, we decided to use private taxi service which was only 30 Canadian dollars for minivan taxi and was very comfortable. Please note that there is no Uber or Lyft in Vancouver. We did not get greeted while boarding in the ship like we have with Disney or Royal Caribbean. They both provide very warm welcome upon entering the ship. This was definitely missing here with Princess. Ship: Ship looked average size. Not too small, not too big. It was fairly easy to get to our stateroom with minimal help from staff. First impression of ship was that of a fairly clean, well maintained ship with passengers over 50. Cabin: Since we have one year old traveling with us, we decided to choose Ocean view rather than balcony that we typically choose. Stateroom was very clean, well maintained and didn't seem too cluttered. Proper use of the space was very evident in comparison to some other ships we have been in. Overall, good experience. Dining/ Service: As we had issues with this, I am going to combine the two. First day on the cruise, we went to talk to Maitre D as some of the people in our group wanted changes made to our menu which is what we have done for every cruise we have taken without issues. Usually, they are HAPPY to accommodate as it is very simple request. Maitre D on Princess gave us lecture on how US regulation doesn't allow him to cater different menus as he has to worry about food and guest safety. He made it sound like we are cruising for the first time. The request was as simple as providing Chinese/ Mexican/Indian food items for some of the meals for example. I don't see how that interferes with US regulations. He was very difficult to work with. Even some of the servers in buffet dining area (Horizon dining) were far outright rude. When we went to first night of dining, we made similar request to head server and he was very accommodating. Our servers in evening dining area were great. Food quality was above average but nothing to brag about. Not many choices besides Pizza and burgers in off times. Evening snacks were good. We did not have internet service for the entire first 24 hours and could not get internet manager to come on the phone to explain why. Even after that there were issues. When it worked, it was fast. On last day, they sent us a letter stating that we would get refund of one day as a gesture. Gesture would have been to make entire package complimentary. Giving money back for the service not used is not gesture, it is expectation. As Princess won't allow me to buy internet per day, they should not be allowed to refund it for a day either. For the inconvenience of no availability of internet, proper customer service would have been apology and full refund in my opinion (by the way, I am still waiting for my one day refund). Entertainment and activities: Limited choices of shows, very few performances. Big screen didn't show too many movies. Definitely can improve. Ports and shore excursions: As Alaska cruise is mainly about excursions, I would strongly recommend pre-booking excursions either directly with Princess which is what we did or independently. We saw many families who wanted to book on the ports and could not get as they were all sold out. We also strongly recommend checking charges. We have a one year old who was charged for all excursions when we pre-booked it but when the passes came, his passes didn't. Upon inquiry, they told us that infants under 1 are free for all excursions. However, we still got charged at the time of booking and yet to see refund. Conclusion: Alaska is a must see destination anyway. I strongly recommend cruise with excursions to enjoy wilderness as few friends who explored Alaska by renting a car and hotels at the same time we did cruise felt that they did not get to see as much when we compared notes and pictures. However, I would pick right cruise. It seemed like Princess Cruise was not family friendly with less family oriented activities with rude staff. Princess needs to change culture with focus on customer service for paying customers. We will probably not use Princess for our next several cruises. Read Less
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