1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Background Information Working toward Elite status on Princess - we had 10 prior to this. Cobbled together this cruise with a one night cruise on Ruby Princess into our own Pacific Coastal/Pacific Northwest vacation. First time ... Read More
Background Information Working toward Elite status on Princess - we had 10 prior to this. Cobbled together this cruise with a one night cruise on Ruby Princess into our own Pacific Coastal/Pacific Northwest vacation. First time sailing on Coral (2nd time in this ship class - sailed sister ship Island in 2006). Travel to Embarkation Port We flew into LAX one day early and took a Lyft down to Long Beach (cost $39). Hotel Information We decided to do our pre-cruise night onboard the former cruise ship Queen Mary in Long Beach. We arrived around 1pm, so our room was not ready. We had a very filling and excellent tasting lunch in the Promenade Café. We purchased the $25 all access pass (available to hotel, restaurant, or banquet guests). This got us all 3 guided tours - Glory Days, Haunted Encounters, and Steam & Steel. We enjoyed all the tours as well as on our own exploring the ship. We booked an inside king. The bed was comfortable. The size and storage options were sufficient for our one night stay. The biggest drawbacks were the lack of temperature controls and the exposure to exterior noise. The in room thermostat was not functional (and I had a friend stay here the prior weekend and I know it didn’t work for their room either) - you had to call the front desk and be told that the engineering dept would try to adjust for your room. We did that and it didn’t make that much of a difference. Because the walls are steel, you hear any people outside your room who are talking and for us there were loud groups of people having boisterous conversations and across the hallway parties late at night. We had to call the front desk to request that security come address the issue. Things finally quieted down around midnight. I always travel with earplugs so those would be a must for a stay here. The historical significance of the ship was worth the premium rate we paid - it was a unique way to enjoy a pre-cruise night. But my preference for modern convenience and comfort would lead me to choose elsewhere for my next cruise out of San Pedro/Long Beach. Embarkation Used Lyft to get to Port San Pedro. Cost about $14. Arrived at port shortly after 11am. With two Princess ships in port, Coral was docked at Pier 92. Since we had priority embarkation privileges with Princess Platinum loyalty status, we ignored the check in begins at 1:00pm time on the cruise paperwork. We were thru security & priority check-in and in the embarkation waiting area by 11:15 am. We didn’t even have to sit down as they started Platinum all groups boarding as soon as we walked in. Cabins were supposed to be immediately available. However our section on Caribe wasn’t quite finished so we headed down to the atrium to take care of a few embarkation errands (cruise card hole punched for our lanyards, submit future cruise deposit forms, etc). We returned just before noon and the cabin was ready. Our suitcases were delivered by 2 pm. Muster drill was at 3:30pm (life jackets not required), and sailaway was shortly after 4pm. Cabin We originally booked an obstructed view oceanview stateroom on Emerald deck but about three months prior to sailing we received an offer to upgrade to a premium view balcony stateroom on Caribe deck for $78. We were on the starboard side, which was good since the cruise was up the Pacific coastline. Flat screen TV on the wall now frees up easier access to the wall outlet in the minibar storage tower. Still the crappy hair dryer on the wall. Dreaded shower curtain in the bathroom and a postage stamp sized shower - I think the smallest size shower of any Princess ship I’ve been on. Otherwise, the typical setup for a balcony stateroom. This was our first cruise on a ship with the Princess Luxury Bed. It’s fantastic! Supportive yet cushy mattress. Poofy pillows. Top sheet plus a duvet. Ship Information It had been 13 years since we'd sailed on this mid-size class of ship. There is so much public space per passenger it seemed like the ship was hardly occupied. Medallion Net Internet - If you pre-pay it's $8.99pp/per day, otherwise it’s $9.99pp/per day. Platinum/Elite gets either unlimited access discount 1 device $22.49 voyage plan or 4 device $29.99 voyage plan (available only within first 24 hrs of the cruise) or 150 free minutes one device at a time. iMessage worked even when offline. We pre-paid for the soda package - $8.26pp/per day. Forgotten how huge the Wheelhouse Bar is on this class of ship. Coral is the only ship now to have the Universe Lounge. Best library of any Princess ship we’ve sailed. So weird to have International Café adjacent to the casino instead of in the piazza atrium. Horizon Court had been renovated with new flooring and more stations including the Amuleto Italian Café at the aft where all the desserts are featured. So it’s a smaller version of what you experience now on the Royal class ships. No BOGO happy hour. Activities Attended the nightly Elite/Platinum/Suite Cocktail hour. 1st night salsa & chips were the featured hors d’oeuvres. 2nd night beef steak tartare w/ Melba toast was the featured hors d’oeuvres. 3rd night smoked salmon was the featured hors d’oeuvres. Played morning & afternoon bingo on Day 2. Spent quality time in the Library - my happy place with the comfy leather chairs and a sea view. Spent a couple hours at the indoor Lotus pool area. Pool water was frigid but hot tubs were nice. Played afternoon bingo on Day 3. Watched the farewell balloon drop party. Entertainment Sailaway Party on Lido Deck with the party band Symphonee. Listened to the piano player David Moore in Crooners Bar a couple times. Saw the production show “Encore”. Not any plot - just a collection of songs about 1/3 of which were Italian/opera. The guest soprano Jennifer Fair was impressive. But I was kinda meh about the show. Went to the late night comedian Eric Lyden. He was funny but fairly edgy. Dining Day 1 Lunch - Main Dining Room (Scott and I had the same choices: avocado & bay shrimp appetizer, spinach & ricotta cheese ravioli entrée, and orange soufflé dessert) Dinner/Dessert - Bayou Café & Steakhouse (Scott had the crawfish bisque appetizer, gumbo, trinity smothered filet of beef entrée; I had the sausage grillades appetizer, jambalaya, red pepper broiled 8oz lobster tail entrée; we both had the milk chocolate peanut butter bar w/ honey roasted peanuts dessert which is the Chocolate Journeys dessert exclusive to Bayou Steakhouse). Because we received the Princess coupon book from our travel agent, we got to use the buy 1 get 1 speciality dining on embarkation day offer. Cover charge is $29pp. Day 1 Snacks - Pizza (calabrese) for sailaway. Day 2 Breakfast - Buffet (Chocolate Journeys featured pastry was Chocolate Strawberry Cheese Danish) Day 2 Lunch - Buffet (Oriental/sushi feature) Day 2 Dinner/Dessert - Sabatini’s (Scott had the lamb skewers antipasti, I had the burrata antipasti, we both had the escarole salad, Scott had the fettuccine with carbonara sauce, I had the roasted lamb tortelloni, we both had the chicken scaloppine for the second plate, Scott had the vanilla panna cotta, and I had the Rocher which is the Chocolate Journeys dessert exclusive to Sabatini’s). Dinner took about 2 hours. Day 3 Breakfast - Buffet plus pastries from International Cafe Day 3 Lunch - Alfredo’s Pizzeria at Sabatini’s (complementary; doesn’t offer the pastas that Alfredo’s does on the Royal Class ships but has more pizza offerings than what you can get on deck; Scott had the daily special beef & chili flakes, I had the Coral Princess) Day 3 Snacks - International cafe Day 3 Dinner/Dessert - Buffet (Indian Feature) Disembarkation We left the cabin about 7:00 (required to leave by 8:00) and went to the buffet for breakfast. We had walk off so we were off the ship at 8:00. We were through customs by 8:15. Vancouver does not have Uber/Lyft so we got a taxi to our hotel (cost $9). Service We had consistent service during the cruise - no major issues, no examples of above & beyond. Pretty much what I expect on a short cruise like this. Tips & Tricks - Alfredo’s pizzeria in Sabatini’s - Tiramisu martini is only available at the bar for Bayou Steakhouse - "By the Bayou" production show in Universe Lounge - unique to Coral but they didn’t offer this show on this 3 night cruise which was a bummer Final Thoughts This was our 18th cruise - 11th on Princess. Doesn’t have all the amenities and dining options that the bigger ships in the fleet have. But Coral has some unique features (2 deck Universe Lounge, Library with 8 leather club chairs & foot stools facing out to sea view, Bayou Steakhouse), and you often feel as though you have the ship to yourself with the high public space to passenger ratio. It’s a nice change of pace. We would be happy to sail on Coral again (and we’ve in fact booked another Pacific Coastal on her for May 2021). Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Second time on Princess (first on Coral). Had done the same itinerary two years go on Island. Got upgraded to balcony on Caribe Deck. Location was good and had a covered balcony. However it was really too cold to spend anytime on it! ... Read More
Second time on Princess (first on Coral). Had done the same itinerary two years go on Island. Got upgraded to balcony on Caribe Deck. Location was good and had a covered balcony. However it was really too cold to spend anytime on it! Embarkation and Disembarkation went very smoothly (I was in first group both times with carry on luggage). Ship has supposedly been recently updates..seemingly the public area carpets look fresh, ship has the new internet service. There was some exterior painting going on. The metal frame around my baloney door was corroded. Layout of the ship is better than Island, there is still a full Promenade loop on Deck 7 (although closed during rough seas). Small viewing decks at back of upper floors, below the Sanctuary. Library is limited..very sad compared to Holland America. Viewing areas are blocked by blue-tinted glass, very little is unobscured for photographers (a few corners on upper levels, and the back decks, plus Promenade. Blankets provided for outdoor movie viewing are thin flannel, useless in cold weather! Cabin was small, but had room to walk around bed. Bed was extremely soft and saggy, had a sore back after the cruise! Shower stall is cramped, shower head is fixed. Room has small refrigerator. Large flat screen TV. Wine glasses provided but no corkscrew. Standard toiletries are wall mounted shower/conditioner and shower gel, tube skin cream and soap bar. No fruit basket (steward said to request it through room service). Balcony had two chairs and two footrests. Dining in MDR fixed seating was good service. Food was average and somewhat boring. Prime Rib was good, as was beef and lamb chop in mixed grill at lunch. Corvina was fishy smelling. Good scooped ice cream in MDR (choice of two ice creams and one sorbet). Bread is good. Horizon Court food very mediocre with not much choice. Only one smoked fish (mackerel) was available at breakfast. Sushi was terrible! Beverage service is uneven..usually only offered to large parties, not to single diners. Pizza in Sabattinis at lunch is made to order, thin crust style and skimpy toppings. International Cafe food offerings were versions of what was up in Horizon Court. Nothing Special. Room service has limited offerings but was timely. Very little in the way of enrichment..are crafts enrichment? TV had good selection of movies and news channels. Service was overall good except in Horizon Court. I didn't use any ships excursions. I would chose Holland America over Princess for an Alaska Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
As a travel advisor I wanted to experience life onboard a Princess Cruise. The embarkation and Disembarkation process was very efficient. There were many venues onboard with different nightly entertainment. The public areas never felt ... Read More
As a travel advisor I wanted to experience life onboard a Princess Cruise. The embarkation and Disembarkation process was very efficient. There were many venues onboard with different nightly entertainment. The public areas never felt crowded. The SPA experience was great and the thermal suite can be enjoyed daily at an extra cost. My cabin had a veranda, mid ship. My companion suffers from motion sickness but staying mid ship was very helpful and she did great onboard. I recommended to anyone looking to experience cruising for the first time. It is a great value for the money. The food in the main dining room is good. The menu changes every evening with a decent selection of choices. The food at the buffet as well as the coffee can be improve. The staff is very friendly. The pools were heated and there were 4 spas to relax and watch outdoor movies on the big screen. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
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
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise for the 19 days at a reasonable price with lots of relaxing sea days. I liked the idea of off the beaten path ports and going twice through the interesting parts of the canal. I was also interested in trying the Coral ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the 19 days at a reasonable price with lots of relaxing sea days. I liked the idea of off the beaten path ports and going twice through the interesting parts of the canal. I was also interested in trying the Coral Princess because she has a very loyal following. The Coral Princess is indeed a great ship size and layout. The amenities for the ship size were wonderful. Having the theater and Universe show lounge allowed for lots of entertainment and activity options. The 4 pools allowed for uncrowded main pool areas and you could be alone at the splash or aft pool if you wanted. In fact as reputed it is a very uncrowded ship overall. Never a problem getting into dining and just a small amount of advance planning for the shows. Nothing shockingly long or crowded. I was disappointed with the design that has the toilet sewer vacuum outlet over the starboard aft promenade deck. There was also some type of stinky outlet over the starboard bow area. This would be a valid reason I would not choose this ship again. MedallionNet came on board on our cruise and was fantastic! I loved the interactive personalizer and adding the activities I was interested in to my own schedule. I think I did more things this way than when it was just a printed patter. The messaging function was great/useful but really needs a visual indicator on the main screen and or vibrate/noise to let you know someone is trying to contact you. Not having movies on demand in the room was weird in this day and age. Just a couple of channels broadcasting the same shows over and over seemed very old school. The video quality on the TV was surprisingly bad. Must be something wrong with the cables or something. Movies under the stars was fantastic! The good part about bad room TV was it got you out of the cabin more. I found I enjoyed some things I wouldn't have thought to go to normally. The violin duo was fantastic. The Funk comedian was great. As was the ventriloquist. While I enjoyed the shows (sometimes with ear plugs in as they are way too loud) they aren't really my style. Princess seems to always want to pick popular songs and string them together in a production which is kind of boring to me. Silk had a great story with great theatrics but putting the modern, not quite fitting songs in, made it less than great overall. Also way too loud. But the dancing and singing was good across all the shows so I enjoyed myself appreciating what they did offer. As mentioned by others, the balcony cabin showers are shockingly small. I didn't think it would bother me as much as it did. If I were to book this ship again I would book a mini-suite. The upper management and staff was amazingly responsive to requests and feedback. I was actually kind of shocked how good they were. I has several things that needed to be sorted at the beginning of the cruise. One was a bad room vibration in B730 that caused a ridiculous amount of back pain. It was sorted the next day into a mid-ship room with no vibration. A+++ for that response. The second was that the first room had a brand new bed and bedding. So comfortable! The replacement room had an older bed that was not comfortable. That got sorted the next day to a brand new bed and bedding so we were in heaven the rest of the cruise with great bedding. I also had to sort out the gluten free dining. While they have plenty of tasty options on board, getting to them is ridiculously hard work for a cruiser trying to have a relaxing stress free time. I spoke to other gluten free diners and all were pretty unhappy with how Princess handles things. Until Princess gets a gluten free person somewhere in their management chain I don't think things are going to change. The way they are doing things also puts alot of stress on their staff. I got staff eye rolls, sighs, throwing of gloves when changing and alot of icy treatment from head waiters. Apparently the staff hates the way it is handled just as much as the patrons do. The way I handled the eye rolls and facial expressions was to say "Look, I don't like this either". Some how empathizing with them worked and I got better service. I did have a word with a higher up dining person so got a responsive person in the buffet to go to whenever I needed a run down of the gluten free items. This guy was a gem with a good personality but had a regular job to do also so there were often delays in tracking him down. I also had success with the high tea head waiter and the lunch head waiter. At least one of the guys on the grill was fantastic. Maybe more than one because the grill became a great default option for me. Unfortunately there was at least one who didn't know about gluten free and used the same gloves to handle the lettuce as the previous patrons bun. Then he seemed to put the cross contaminate lettuce back to reuse. But maybe he didn't. It looked like he put it back in the under counter fridge. I did get sick after that meal so he also did something else wrong. Ice cream bar was no problem for gluten free although the person manning it often doesn't speak English enough to understand the request, you just have to watch how/where they handle the cup. They didn't handle it at the rim so all was fine even though they also handled cones. I didn't really give the evening dining staff a chance. I had such a bad experience at embarkation luncheon that I waited until the last night for trying dinner. My fault for not plowing through but I was expending enough energy just trying to succeed in the other dining venues that I didn't feel up to tackling the evening main dining issues until the end. The fundamental problem with the dining room is that they say they can make anything but more often then not, you get plain meat, steamed vegetables and steamed potatoes. No sauce or flavoring unless you are very persistent insisting that they only take an order for something that they can actually provide a sauce for and the majority, if not all, the originally intended ingredients for the dish. This took alot of my energy and their energy. They wanted to assure me that, yes madam, we can provide that. But when you press them they can provide a plain piece of meat or fish. They seemed to think that would make me very happy. It does not. As one other gluten free diner mentioned she was feeling very deprived. I suspect she let them bully her into plain dishes or allowed her to think she was getting the dish but in reality a steamed dish came out. Eventually I could end up with a good dish but there was alot of back and forth arguing with the head waiter (always ask for a head waiter) regarding what the dish would actually be and as soon as they admitted it was nothing but plain meat we would move on to the next selection and repeat the process. Some times we had to do this 3 or 4 times until we landed on a dish that could be made as designed or a reasonably close approximation. After a few rounds the lunch head waiter seemed to get it and it was easier. Then the discovery process on the gluten free dessert would begin. Sometimes they just randomly would bring out the chef selection of tapioca pudding or what not so I ordered ice cream also. Basically no effort was made in the main dining room desert area. On the last night I just lucked out that another diner said you can probably get gluten free baked Alaska. He asked his waiter (who was not my waiter) who confirmed you could. Then we had to find my waiter to tell him. I had wanted to ask him but he was busy not coming by our table. You would think it would dawn on them at the beginning of the gluten free ordering wrestling match (for that is what it felt like) that they might want to be ready to tell you what dessert was available if there was one. But no you have to claw it out of them just like the gluten free info at the buffet and the main dining room lunch and dinner ordering. I know this sounds like I am a problem main dining room orderer. And I am. Otherwise the head waiters try to ice you into accepting whatever steamed plate of food comes out knowing that it is often too much trouble to try another steamed plate of food as that is all they will bring unless you go through the process with them. I saw two big problems with the buffet that would cause me to select another cruise line. #1) No gluten free items labeled in the buffet. This was a huge issue. You have to track down a chef, pull them from their job, have them go through item by item what is gluten free and remember what they said about each item. Often they waved a hand that this, this and this was gluten free while pointing to a whole row. So you have to back them up and go through item by item while memorizing the whole buffet. And all this after waiting around in the middle of the buffet (with traffic flowing around you) while someone gets a chef for you which could be either right away or many minutes later. Not relaxing or fun. I did have great luck ordering from the back of the buffet where if something looked likely to be cross contaminated they would go get a dish of it from the back. It did sometimes take a really long time if they had to go into the ship galley to get it. The assigned chef at the buffet did a good job making the asian stir fry/rice bowls/rice noodle dishes out of the back with gluten free soy sauce. You have to ask about it as they didn't admit to having the gluten free soy sauce until the end. But they do and you can get meals prepared with it. #2) Poorly placed items in the buffet. Princess insists on mixing bread products in everywhere. This increased the chance of cross contamination exponentially. My last Celebrity cruise had whole islands of the buffet with no gluten items. The bread products were all located together. Made things much easier! A good point to the buffet was they had wonderful naturally gluten free curries, Indian food, Thai food and food from the Philippines. Some of the best I've ever had. But after 12 days of it for lunch and dinner I was ready for something different. So I moved on to the grill. Surprisingly they were excellent! The one guy I most often got really knew his gluten free stuff. And the burgers and fries were gluten free so I got to enjoy some excellent fries (as long as they were fresh) which is rare to find gluten free. The burgers also became an excellent non-curry based protein that I paired with the excellent cold salads from the buffet. The dessert area always had 1 or 2 labeled gluten free items. The chocolate fountain was also gluten free but not labeled as such. The meringues were also gluten free but also not labeled as such. On days the pastry chef wasn't trying there where horrible cheese cakes and weird consistency puddings. But when he tried there were fantastic options. On days like this get a couple extra and put them in the fridge to make yourself feel better on tapioca pudding/cheesecake days. They main guy behind the counter always got an allergy serving (fresh gloves right from the refrigerator) of the gluten free dessert when asked. But you have to ask. Don't serve yourself from the offerings as they aren't safe. The other place to get safe desserts was at the tea/coffee place on deck 6. The main guy knew a gluten free allergy order so used separate tongs when asked. You have to watch to see who knows what. If if is a substitute person they often reach for the regular tongs and you have to stop them. Just increases the overall food related stress load on you as you need to evaluate and memorize the knowledgeable personnel early in the cruise and then stay vigilant as to who is serving you. It helps to pace yourself and tackle them in stages so as to establish what is safe and what isn't. The gluten free breakfast muffins (you have to ask for them) were laughably horrible. As were the rice flour and water pancakes. Princess needs to order some commercial mix products for these items. What they offered was beyond bad. The gluten free pizza with the mushy rice crust was also a miss. Overall this was a fantastic cruise! The management staff stood out as being very responsive, as were the staff. All requests were addressed in a satisfactory manner. The buffet clean up staff was exceptional. Drink orders were taken and delivered, plates were cleared, staff was personable. I think they were the best overall department in the entire ship. Oddly the front desk staff wasn't very smiley. Somber and slightly confused would be the way I would describe them. It comes off as a play to be unhelpful if possible. The cruise director did a nice job with the activities. The lecturers were unimpressive and annoying with lame jokes. But alot of people seemed to like them. I just didn't go as seeing presentations from lecherous old guys gets old. I thought the entertainment was good. Weird vibe at the tea/coffee venue. Most staff were good but one guy seems on the verge of an emotional breakdown. Actually saw him throw a tea bag at one of the friendly waitresses and was not quite pleasant to order from. Hopefully his contract is up soon and he can decompress a bit. Not alot of smiles on the ship from the crew. Maybe it isn't the done thing to smile and greet the passengers any more? Many more smiles from the passengers who were overall a delightful lot. Amazing how you seem to run into the same people over and over which makes for a more fun cruise. I was very glad we picked this cruise and we had a wonderful time! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was one of the worst Princess cruises I have ever been on. The music in the lounges was old and tired and lacked any type of variety, the onboard activities were sad, to say the least. Princess really needs to get past the love boat ... Read More
This was one of the worst Princess cruises I have ever been on. The music in the lounges was old and tired and lacked any type of variety, the onboard activities were sad, to say the least. Princess really needs to get past the love boat theme, there is a reason that show is no longer on the air. The cabin was as expected. The production shows and comedians were good. I would like to see princess do what Carvinal has adopted with their comedians and have an early G-rated show and then a show later that is more R-rated. No sports type bar on this ship and no attempt to cover the NCAA championships anywhere other than on TV in the cabins. As far as service goes, it was up to par, but the waits of up to 60 min to get seated using anytime dining was anything but acceptable. Best food on the ship, in my opinion, was at the Grill. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
-Embarkation was excellent and smooth. We were onboard a little after 11am and only took about 15 minutes from start to finish. Disembarkation was just as smooth, with a slight delay due to a computer glitch with immigration. -The ship ... Read More
-Embarkation was excellent and smooth. We were onboard a little after 11am and only took about 15 minutes from start to finish. Disembarkation was just as smooth, with a slight delay due to a computer glitch with immigration. -The ship was great, didn't really notice any wear and tear. It had just been in dry dock recently with upgrades. Elevators were quick and there are many of them. Lots of public spots to be out of your cabin. We did have to work while on vacation on the ship, and thanks to the new Medallion internet service.. it was a breeze and just as good as the internet at home. This made our cruise very stress free! We had been worried about that prior, thinking we would not have good internet until the port days.. and then part of our port days working. But thanks to Medallion, we were able to absolutely enjoy all the cruise activities we wanted, the port days and work when needed! -Our Cabin was a balcony one. I absolutely recommend a balcony especially for anything longer than 7 days. It is really great to order room service and eat out on the balcony. Also just having that extra semi private space to just sit and read, watch the ocean and marine life.. really makes a difference to be in your pj's and do that! Beds were good. we had 3 in our room. Our daughter was up in a berth bunk, and it was comfy and big, not too high and plenty of room above her as she is 5'1" and she could sit very comfortably and there was still space over her head. Our beds were originally as 2 twins, but the 3rd day in our steward suggested putting them together, and I was pleasantly surprised as that was not an option on our room bed request configuration. He said no problem, and set it up, and from then we were very comfy! Closet space was great with tons of hangers! I also had brought closet shelving and over the door storage, that with the cabinet with the safe was absolutely perfect for the over packing I did. I do have to say.. the bathroom was small, and the shower was TINY..lol. all in all a great room. -Dining- we had anytime dining. Did not do any of the formal nights.. we are over that. Instead we choose to be comfy and just relax now when we cruise and not be on a schedule or have to go eat at a certain time and dress up. We did go to breakfast at the dining room, only once as the buffet works better for us, and our tastes and times we eat. The buffet was great! lots of variety.. food was good to great on some dishes in our opinion. always difficult to please everyone when it comes to food..lol -Entertainment and Activities- They cruise director, staff, entertainers, musicians and dancers were great!!! Not all shows were spectacular, but they were very good and entertaining, and thats all you can hope for with nothing else to do! We did have a lot of fun with trivia and the shows though. There really is tons to do.. for all tastes.. and thats the great thing about cruises.. you can do as much or as little as you wish. -Service - We had exceptional service throughout the cruise. The youth center staff was great as they only had 12 kids on the ship.. and not all were together at most times.. and they really went out of their way to make sure the kids were not bored. Can't thank them enough.. because bored kids would have made this a really LONG cruise..lol Our steward was great.. a little ninja.. we hardly saw him! but our room was always perfect and clean. The buffet staff were amazing!!! we spent most of our late evenings with them since we are night owls, and the demographic age of the ship went to sleep pretty early compared to us. We would enjoy our coffee and chat with them as they did their cleaning with music coming from the kitchen.. Really a lot of fun! that was very unexpected! -Ports and Shore Excursions- I will list them individually, but will say that the excursions we did were not with Princess but private tours and they were exceptional, and did the same and more than the Princess excursions but at a fraction of the cost. -Huatulco Mexico~Absolutely loved Huatulco.. we did a boat cruise that took us to all the bays and the man in the rocks, and other sights to see. Then went to Entrega and went snorkeling with our tour captain. it was just us 6 in our group, and it was exceptional!!! Snorkeling was only about $5 per person..with all the gear. He was great and snorkeled with us, actually towed us around holding a line on a floating ring and went and got different fish and we fed then and we went all along the bay amazed by the coral.. just the best time! The water was wonderful with no currents or waves really in that bay. The coral is literally steps from the beach. This is the place I would recommend you go in the water or relax on the beach. we also enjoyed some great food at great prices, right on the beach.. huge and delicious shrimp cocktails and drinks.. just the best place! -Chiapas Mexico- not our fave at all.. everything was far from the port and the heat was insane! We didn't venture from the port and visitors center. There are some stores and shops, and a pit where they dance. The dancing and live music was great. Be prepared to tip, the young kids really do a great job and earn their tip. We stayed there about 2 hours then headed back on the ship. Friends we spoke with said the tour to the town wasn't great.. very crowded, small and too many people.. might have been great for others though. -Puerto Quetzal Guatemala - After reading on the state department website that this was a level 2 place to not visit, we had decided to not do an excursion. there is a really big market area right at the port area where you can really walk around safely. But after being at the port for a bit.. we started chatting with a gentleman who offered us a tour to Antigua. We did go, and am glad we did. You fell like you stepped back in time 200 years in Antigua. There is gorgeous architecture, and a volcano well within view. We ate at a great little bar and had the best tuna sandwich ever! Tuna is one of Guatemala's major exportations, so it was delicious! It is not the safest place, and the tour operator had extra security following us around the markets and streets.. but we never felt un-safe. They did a great job and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there and are very happy we "risked it" and went. -Panama Canal and overnight stay in Gatun Lake- Well we woke up very very early (4:30am) to get a good spot up on the deck outside, then spent HOURS watching as we passed through the locks. It all began around 8 and we anchored around 5 I think. It is a wonder and amazement to experience it.. and just the engineering that went in on this is mind boggling.. but it is a very very long and slow day. And be prepared for some rude people (fellow cruisers) around you to shove and push a little. that was our experience least. On the return transit, this time it didn't start till 11 am.. so by about 8 am we got a big table at the very front of the buffet and spent another very very long day there repeating the locks, but in reverse.. then anchored again to take on fuel all night long... which was a little noisy as it was on our side of the ship. The anchoring on Gatun lake was great... very calm waters which was great as when we left Chiapas, we had some strong winds for a few hours. -Puntarenas Costa Rica- This country is gorgeous and the people were amazing!! you can tell that most people live comfortably, and poverty is not very visible like in other countries. It is also a very safe country to visit. We did a private excursion with Chico and he was amazing!!! He has a brand new 14 passenger van, and we were the only 6 with him.. he took us EVERYWHERE!! Went to almost every place the cruise excursions went to, and we had lunch at an amazing restaurant up high in the tropical rain forrest.. it was open air and the views were breathtaking!! He also took us to a private monkey habitat.. and we had the best time.. monkeys everywhere..and they climb right on you and you feed them fruit. it was sooo much fun and only $3 a person... we also bought some arts and craft and water there.. was just the best experience! We also went and saw the crocodiles.. the rain forrest, the volcano, wild life.. beautiful parrots and birds... went shopping.. had great great delicious milkshakes and smoothies... of all the ports, Costa Rica was our favorite country and we hope to return and spend some time there! -San Juan Del Sur Nicaragua- Captain skipped this port due to high winds.. honestly after speaking with our Costa Rica tour guide and the staff on the cruise ship.. I believe it was mostly due to the political unrest in the country. The week before 3 ships skipped that port as the political protests ended with violence. We knew the night before we were not going to port.. so we just had a very relaxing day on the ship instead.. although it did start early about 6 am, as the captain came over the speakers to inform us of the canceled port. -Manzanillo Mexico- You really do not need to do any excursions there.. you can have a great time just off the port. LOTS of shops and places to eat.. you can get right on the beach immediately... of all the places we visited, Manzanillo had the nicest and best priced souvenirs. everyone was very nice... weather was great.. not as hot and humid as the other ports. spent the day driving around with a private tour operator.. and had a great time... We did travel with our daughter age 11, my husband and myself in one cabin. My mother (age 79), my sister and my nephew age 17. the kids had just as much fun as we did. the staff on the cruise were amazing... our ports were good to great! the only thing I can say about this long cruise.. is that it didn't really feel long, and that I give great credit to mother nature as the ocean was almost lake like most of the time. Only about 2 hours of high winds leaving Chiapas Mexico was the worst of it. And the rest of the credit goes to the staff and private tour guides we were lucky enough to meet. We would do the Panama Canal tour again, but I think it would be the back to back tours from Los Angelos to Florida, then back again.. only adds 10 days.. but different ports. The ratio of port days to sea days.. were long.. but not unbearable. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose the Coral Princess because of its LA to LA itinerary and because it was doing a Panama Canal transit, even if a partial one. A bonus was many ports I'd never been to before. I have zero complaints about anything. I am ... Read More
I chose the Coral Princess because of its LA to LA itinerary and because it was doing a Panama Canal transit, even if a partial one. A bonus was many ports I'd never been to before. I have zero complaints about anything. I am pretty laid back and easy to please; there were no glaring faux pas on the part of the ship or trip. Yes the ship has bumps and bruises, but the way ships get turned around (and thus keep cruising costs reasonable) I expect them. I don't expect perfection, I just want it to be enjoyable without any glaring problems and there weren't any. We ate a lot of meals at the Horizon because I like fast and simple, but the nights we ate the anytime dining room and steakhouse were very good and a nice change of pace. My method at the buffet was to try very small bites of what looked interesting and what turned out to be great, I'd go back for more of. Not everything I tried was great, so it worked out well to go small rather than load up and be disappointed. The entertainment was good to great. There were more activities on board than one could manage and a little something for everyone. I was happy with pool time at the indoor pool and reading time. Ports that I especially enjoyed were Huatulco, Chiapas, Puntarenas and Puerto Quetzal. We visited a colonial city (Tapachula), coffee plantation and Mayan ruins; all of which were very worthwhile. In Puntarenas, I just made it a beach day and local food, both of which were great. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The cruise on the Coral Princess from March 17- April 5 2019 was fabulous from the time we started the cruise! The crew, staff, and all aboard made you feel like part of their family! By the second day I think most of the crew knew me by ... Read More
The cruise on the Coral Princess from March 17- April 5 2019 was fabulous from the time we started the cruise! The crew, staff, and all aboard made you feel like part of their family! By the second day I think most of the crew knew me by name and called my parents mom and dad! We were greeted by name each nite going into the dining room by name and they arranged it so we didn’t have to call for reservations each morning! They knew we liked a certain waiter and table. My dad is the adventuresome person so he did all the different land tours and came back with many adventures, ( I am disabled and make the choice not to do them, even though a lot of people still do). Fuad Amal’s the people were so extremely friendly and the local market literally right off the ship is so very nice and clean! The local people welcome you by introducing themselves and welcoming you to their little shopping area! It was so pleasant! The Panama Canal, this was my 4th time through, is even more exciting, I really took the time to watch the mules, (five million dollars a piece) as they GUIDE NOT PULL the ship into the locks. Then watch as the ships go up up up!!! It’s really exciting to know you are expierencing a part of history! After the locks we anchored in Gatun Lake where the Coral Princess spent the night and around 11 am the next day we headed back out the canal to the Pacific side again! It was just as thrilling! Each stop we made was wonderful, three stops in Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala and we weren’t able to stop in Nicaugua due to high winds and seas, but that just gave us an extra sea day!! The sea days you can be busy with activities 24/7 or do nothing 24/7 and just relax and unwind! That is what makes cruising so wonderful, once you are onboard, it is up to you on how you want your vacation to be! Some people need the constant activity, others like me, love to relax, face a chair towards the ocean and be lucky enough to see the pod of over 15 whales, many turtles, flying fish, and many schools of dolphins! The ocean is filled with many wonders! The Coral Princess has a beautiful library and game room, cigar room, internet rooms, casino, laundry facilities, Movies under the Stars, and movies during the day while you tan, there are areas for children, and playrooms for kids and teens! You can eat eat and eat some more, the old cruise joke is you go on board as a passenger and leave as cargo, I sometimes believe it after the incedible pastries and desserts they have on board. They have a very nice menu in the dining room and they also offer you a choice to pay to have a better cut of a steak, lobster if that is what is sounding good to your appetite that night! Whatever your request I know from expience a Princess staff member will either take care of it or find someone who can do it for you. Visit Maria in Calypso store, she has a heart of gold! If you should run into Rafeal, Thomas ( both from Poland ) and Edwin from Bulgaria )some of the Head waiters from the dining rooms, they are the best!!!!!! Just their smiles and laughter will make you smile!!!!! Happy Cruising!! I was traveling with my parents and yes we will be cruising MANY more times with Princess!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Entertainment was terrible. Movies were for teenagers. Activities were for 3 year olds. Cabins are clean. Couldn’t get off in Nicaragua because of wind. Smoking area on 15 is uncovered, and I got hit 3 times with chairs sliding in the ... Read More
Entertainment was terrible. Movies were for teenagers. Activities were for 3 year olds. Cabins are clean. Couldn’t get off in Nicaragua because of wind. Smoking area on 15 is uncovered, and I got hit 3 times with chairs sliding in the wind..and it’s also a walking deck. People were complaining we were smoking up there. The indoor lounge was packed with smokers, and the ventilation was poor. No sports bar. You had to be in your room to watch sports on T.V. Food was good in the buffet and had great staff. Anytime dinning you were given a beeper to be called when a table was ready. It took about an hour, so we ended up eating in the buffet everyday. The Coral Princess is one of the Princess fleet that I will never go on again. Felt like I was steerage. Bought cigarettes on ship 3times and each time, they were a different price. Check your receipts Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We have cruised with Princess 4 times. This embarkation was quick and easy. We weren’t early and had no queues or waiting. The mini suite was very comfortable- the bed was wonderful! The dining room food and food in general, was ... Read More
We have cruised with Princess 4 times. This embarkation was quick and easy. We weren’t early and had no queues or waiting. The mini suite was very comfortable- the bed was wonderful! The dining room food and food in general, was better than our cruise experience in the Baltic however the menus in the speciality restaurants didn’t appeal so we passed on trying them. The shore excursions - we did one in nearly every port - can be a bit hit and miss depending on your guide. We did a boat trip back through the Miraflores locks. The guide was nice but extremely difficult to understand and the organisation of the tour was a schemozzle with the captain/ship pilot and or the food all being late causing us to sit on the boat for an hour before we even left the dock! We did an excellent walking tour with hop on-hop off option in Cartagena. The ship staff have generally been great. Miranda the cruise director is just lovely. We are a retired couple from Australia and have enjoyed our Princess cruises and am sure we will enjoy many more Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This cruise fit our timeline/desired dates (we chose March) and what we were looking for in a cruise through the Panama Canal. We had read about the size of the ship relative to the number of passengers and it was just right; we never felt ... Read More
This cruise fit our timeline/desired dates (we chose March) and what we were looking for in a cruise through the Panama Canal. We had read about the size of the ship relative to the number of passengers and it was just right; we never felt crowded or squished. There were plenty of activities and good variety to choose from. There were also spots to just sit and read quietly if desired. The quality of entertainment was excellent and the cruise staff made us feel welcome to try something new and not feel awkward about it. We really enjoyed our dining room food and service but the awkward set times of traditional dining (5:15 or 7:30) had us wondering if 'anytime' dining would have been a better choice (but we really liked our regular servers and table company). We chose the early time and ended up missing most of the sunsets unless we skipped our dining room dinner or dessert. The ship's staff and crew were so pleasant and helpful and they are one reason why our overall experience was so wonderful. We booked four Princess shore excursions and feel we received good value for our money and every excursion was smoothly and professionally run. Obviously, there are times when you wish you had a bit more time at one site or another but that is balanced by knowing that your group (we had 2 elderly travellers) would be able to see more without the uncertainty of how much walking or time would be needed to get to one site or another. It pays to research the excursions and choose something appropriate for your group (think of air conditioned coaches, level of exertion, what you really want to see and experience). Read the fine print description that details length of bus ride, number of minutes at each site, distance to walk, number of steps, and also whether US cash or credit cards are accepted (everywhere we went, US cash was accepted). We would look at doing another Princess cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The entire trip was magical! Cruising the Canal ocean to ocean was the experience of a lifetime. Our cabin was comfortable and the food was very good - lots of choices and well prepared. The staff was personable, no matter what their job ... Read More
The entire trip was magical! Cruising the Canal ocean to ocean was the experience of a lifetime. Our cabin was comfortable and the food was very good - lots of choices and well prepared. The staff was personable, no matter what their job function, and they bent over backwards to ensure we had a great trip. The entertainment included outside folks, who were very good, and they were supported by cruise personnel. Some of the excursions were average at best, but we thoroughly enjoyed Cartagena, Huatulco, and Panama. Weather caused us to bypass our port in Nicaragua (San Juan del Sur), which was a shame, but better safe than sorry. We received lots of information about the ports prior to arrival and info about ship happenings through their Princess @ Sea app, their Princess Patter daily newsletter and their morning TV show called the Wake Show. Would highly recommend having a balcony to avoid the crowds on deck while cruising through the canal and the perks of Club Dining were very nice and well worth it. Despite several days at sea, we were never bored and found lots of activities to participate in. While embarking and disembarking are not the most exciting parts of a cruise and are often frustrating and long processes, Princess agents were well organized and the processes were streamlined, painless, efficient and completed fairly quickly with little wait times. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We wanted to see the original Panama Canal locks and the experience did not disappoint. Although the Coral is small and older, she has been dry docked and the common rooms looked very new and clean. However, I wish they would redecorate ... Read More
We wanted to see the original Panama Canal locks and the experience did not disappoint. Although the Coral is small and older, she has been dry docked and the common rooms looked very new and clean. However, I wish they would redecorate the state rooms as they are the same décor as years ago. But our stateroom was kept very clean and our steward was exceptional and attentive to our every request. All the staff were friendly --we never experienced any negativity. The food in the main dining room, buffet, and poolside was great. We had no need to eat in the specialty restaurants. I especially love the dinner rolls and desserts!! The entertainment was very good. The broadway production, Silk, was excellent and Encore was superb. The comedians we really enjoyed, too, as well as Bayou. Only one entertainer, the juggler, didn't meet our expectations. I would have liked some more activities during sea days as I don't play bingo, trivia, shop, or use the spa. But I enjoyed the library and learned Sudoku so my time was enjoyable. We also joined people in trivia at times and enjoyed the cruise games hosted by the assistant cruise directors. We also found a casino machine that we enjoyed. It was the quietest cruise we've been on as the majority were retired couples who didn't care to party into the night. That suited us perfectly so it wasn't a problem as it might be for younger people. We only did one excursion. We used Ricky Ricardo in Costa Rico and were satisfied with him. It is the hot, dry season there so the rain forest wasn't very impressive. The monkeys and crocodile safari were very entertaining. We took a taxi and went to the Miraflore Locks in Puerto Amador and we were happy we did as we enjoyed the museum and the I-Max film narrated by Morgan Freeman showing the building of the new and old locks. It was a day well spent. In the other ports, we taxied to the old towns. In Puerto Vallarta we took the city bus to the Malecon which was an experience in itself as the bus drivers drive fast and furious! We love the Malecon and the vibe there. Embarkation and debarkation couldn't have been better! We have priority embarkation and we walk off with our luggage so we were one of the first people to disembark. All in all this was another great cruise with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We had already taken a partial transit cruise through the Panama Canal previously on the Coral Princess. Some of the ports we had not been into yet. Really did enjoy Cartagena and Huatulco. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We had already taken a partial transit cruise through the Panama Canal previously on the Coral Princess. Some of the ports we had not been into yet. Really did enjoy Cartagena and Huatulco. Only disappointment was not being able to get into Nicaragua because the choppy seas. Apparently this happens often. It was one of the few ports that I was really looking forward to seeing. I understand the safety aspect, but if this happens more often, then look for a different option to get passengers off the ship. We enjoyed the commentary that was presented while we were transiting the canal. It was very informative. Being on the Cora once before, it was fun to be cruising on her again. I enjoyed the newly refreshed ship, but our cabin had some issues. Enjoyed the Lotus Pool area. It was quiet and relaxing. I feel because of the frequent sea days that there could have been a little more variety of intellectual programs and activities during the day. I really enjoyed the Movies Under the Stars with the recent movie releases. We went to the movie almost every night. Really enjoyed the blankets and popcorn. I really enjoyed two of the production shows, The Secret Silk and Encore. Motor City is getting a little old. They also had a production show that was staged in the Universe Theatre, instead of the Princess Theatre that was unique. The rest of the main entertainment was average. We had fixed dining and had a wonderful waiter and assistant waiter. Our waiter sang to us during Italian night and sang an anniversary song to a couple at our table celebrating their 68th anniversary. Our assistant waiter made us napkin animals several times. It made dining fun. The food was good. We enjoyed the galley tour along with the show ahead of the actual tour. Embarkation went smoothly, we were later getting onto the ship, so there wasn't any waiting what so ever. Disembarkation went fairly smoothly. There was a back up in the terminal, but they keep us comfortable on the ship and well informed. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We had a balcony cabin which was big enough except for the shower, but we lived through that. The ship was recently remodeled in the passageways and I am assuming that various other parts were remodeled also. The cabins had large ... Read More
We had a balcony cabin which was big enough except for the shower, but we lived through that. The ship was recently remodeled in the passageways and I am assuming that various other parts were remodeled also. The cabins had large TV's installed on the walls but other than that not much looked new in them. The ports were great but we were disappointed that we missed San Juan, Nicaragua due to bad weather. The food was good and we tried several restaurants on board. DO NOT PRE-PAY for restaurants as they are easy to get reservations for daily and although we cancelled one reservation forty-eight hours in advance, we are fighting to get our pre-paid money back. They claimed that they refunded us but they also charged us again for the reservation. If it wasn't for that I would give the ship five stars. Watch your room bills closely. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We wanted a winter cruise to warmer climes and a chance to transit the Panama Canal. Pros: -Our Coral Princess cabin was very quiet and comfortable, entirely adequate. The Promenade Deck was a delight, great place to walk, nice ... Read More
We wanted a winter cruise to warmer climes and a chance to transit the Panama Canal. Pros: -Our Coral Princess cabin was very quiet and comfortable, entirely adequate. The Promenade Deck was a delight, great place to walk, nice deck chairs to relax in, great viewing of the Panama Canal. -Dinners in the main dining room were outstanding. Had seafood virtually every meal, the staff was fantastic. -The Theatre entertainment was also outstanding. Great shows, highly professional, not to be missed. Cons: -Abusive prices for wines purchased on board in the main dining rooms. Outrageous! -Stern Serenity Area: $20/half day!!! Seriously?! -Lido Deck Hamburgers & Pizza - awful, don't bother. Worst we have ever had. -Breakfast sausage - greasy! -Food selections in the Horizons Cafe quite limited except for salads. -Far too few port stops on this cruise, far too many days at sea for length of cruise. One port stop (Nicaragua) was cancelled due to rough weather. -No self serve of beverages except water, tea, coffee. Even lemonade is by special request! -Internet service is hardly worth paying for, marginal at best. -On-board smart phone messaging between passengers about like Windows 95. Terrible, no sound alerts, often had to be re-loaded, re-booted, exasperating! -Main doors to Promenade deck, Lido Deck, Sun Deck, Horizons Cafe are very heavy wooden things that require a huge effort for most people. Great place to transfer germs, they feel sticky and will knock you down if you are not prepared. The should be automatic! -Overall the ship had a very "Stodgy" feel and atmosphere. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Only ship doing full Panama Canal transit at time of the booking. May be the first person to loose weight on a cruise ship Ship just came out of dry dock. Suppose to be in Ft Lauderdale night before cruise but didn't arrive ... Read More
Only ship doing full Panama Canal transit at time of the booking. May be the first person to loose weight on a cruise ship Ship just came out of dry dock. Suppose to be in Ft Lauderdale night before cruise but didn't arrive until 10 am cruise day prior to cruise. Long wait in terminal. Ship was dirty. Mud / salt on cabin balcony walls & floor. Finally used pool towels to clean area and furniture ourselves. Most exterior public areas filthy. Deck furniture filthy. Cabin bathroom. First 4 days sink drain plugged. Had to dip dirty water from sink with glass to use sink. For 5 days toilet valve was stuck causing toilet to overflow on floor. Every morning bathroom floor was flooded and carpet outside bathroom was wet. Cabin Stewart said maintenance didn't have any repair parts to fix toilet valve. Next 3 days toilet didn't leak but didn't have any water to flush toilet. Had to get water from the shower to flush toilet. Drink service in public areas was terrible. some times 15-20 minute wait for drinks. Most of the time went to bar, tired of waiting on servers. First 2 days of cruise not allowed on upper & sport decks. Crews were still working on ship from dry dock. Sport deck equipment poor. Shuffle Board some equipment missing, deck so rough the pucks wouldn't slide. Court netting loose / torn at several areas. Prominade deck at one end cluttered with shipping crates and rolls of carpeting. Barley room to walk through. Daytime entertainment almost didn't exist. Almost no entertainment on exterior deck. If you did play Trivia or Rip-Off Bingo there wasn't much of anything else to do. Movies under the stars was highly promoted but out of service most on the cruise. Night theater entertainment was excellent. Theater was over crowded and difficult to get seating if not there 45 minutes early. Don't expect drink service, only 2 waiters for the whole theater. Show time scheduled later so both early & late dinners could attend the show at same time causing over crowding of the theatre Getting cocktails in the casino was impossible. One time I seen a waiter walk through but never stopped. Had to go to another bar and get drinks yourself. Food quality was poor. Buffet special was only 1-2 pans. Rest was repeat every day. Food at bottom of pans stuck from being warmed over. Main dining room menu almost the same everyday, usually only had 1-2 changes. Rest was same items every day. Dinner rolls at all dining areas were hard and dried out. Couldn't cut through crust with dinner knife. Dissert was good Probable never again travel with Princess Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
This ship gave us an up close and personal experience with the Panama Canal. The ship was just the right size for efficiency, all the staff was amazing. The entertainment was great, needed a little more variety for daytime, and not just ... Read More
This ship gave us an up close and personal experience with the Panama Canal. The ship was just the right size for efficiency, all the staff was amazing. The entertainment was great, needed a little more variety for daytime, and not just shopping. Food was OK, loved the Movies under the stars, and all the nooks and crannies to spend my day relaxing if I wish. We were in B612, and loved having a balcony to ourselves. We were disappointed that due to weather were unable to stop in Nicaragua, but the experience of the Canal was amazing! Cruise staff was extremely friendly, as was all the dining, bar and wait staff. Loved the Princess experience! Our shore excursion to the Walk in the Clouds was a little disappointing in Costa Rica, way too long bus ride, and not much to see when we got there. We did the arch boat ride in Cabo, which was very good, and the Gatun Lake boat to Monkey Island in Puerto Amador was very good as well, We used Dora in Cartagena and she is amazing. Highly recommended. The Everglades tour at Fort Lauderdale was the worst,,,,only because of the organization...the bus an hour late which shortened the tour due to guests needing to get to the airport. Once we got to Everglades Holiday Park, it was enjoyable. Read Less
Coral Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 3.0 4.0
Enrichment 4.0 3.9
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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