Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this cruise due to the fact that it ended in Los Angeles, started in the USA (in this case I took a transfer from Miami airport to Fort Lauderdale but did not hang out in Florida). It was a good choice for me economically and for ... Read More
I chose this cruise due to the fact that it ended in Los Angeles, started in the USA (in this case I took a transfer from Miami airport to Fort Lauderdale but did not hang out in Florida). It was a good choice for me economically and for relaxation purposes. Both embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. I knew it would be a calmer cruise with few ports. For this vacation, that is what I wanted. The service staff were very nice and did a good job, I loved the production cast shows, and the magician Trigg Watson. They played movies under the stars, in a theater, and in the rooms, that were fairly recent like withing that year (it was great the selection).I really enjoyed the anytime dinner option, along with tea time everyday. I also had personal pizzas made at Alfredo's a few times and that was very nice. The shore excursions I went on were eco tours with crocodile sightings being a highlight in both Costa Rica and Hualteco and I enjoyed both immensely. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Had a great time. Some highlights and lowlights. Highlights: main dining room staff was great. Highlights Matre' d was very responsive to first night request for a table for 2. The line for requesting this was 20+ deep ... Read More
Had a great time. Some highlights and lowlights. Highlights: main dining room staff was great. Highlights Matre' d was very responsive to first night request for a table for 2. The line for requesting this was 20+ deep after we embarked. We asked for table for 2 at the start of the first night's dinner and it was available for the rest of the cruise. Lahito was excellent as a waiter. Crab shack was good. Service was slow. Ambiance (Horizon Ct.) was a bit tack but all elsce considered, I would do it again. Of course, Brenda, our AAA travel Agent had arranged for a meal voucher. Bayou Cafe was excellent. Again, thank you Brenda. Puerto Vallarta Whale Watch via Princess. We've been on several of these over the years and this was absolutely the best. We were fortunate to have Benjamin as a guide. He came with a hydrophone (and recordings) so we could 'experience whales singing. Saw two groups of whales. One female being pursued by 5 males and all of them harassed by a school of dolphins. The second was a mother and calf. The mother breached several times (yes, I've got photos) and the baby slapped its flute over and over. Finally, the baby laid across mother's back and 'snuggled' for a long time. The baby peaked it's head out of the water as if mugging for the camera. I'd recommend this excursion. Lolights Missed Nicaragua stop due to wind and waves. Teenagers on board tended to gather in public spaces and annoy everyone. Twice they occupied the stairs and landing at the elevators on our floor and tried to act mature by dropping f-bombs in their conversations so that all nearby could hear them. Come on parents, get some control. Ship feels a little dated but most are anymore. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise to celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary. I loved the itinerary, but wish we would have chosen other staterooms on a different deck. Overall the ship needs overhauled. Quite disappointed in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary. I loved the itinerary, but wish we would have chosen other staterooms on a different deck. Overall the ship needs overhauled. Quite disappointed in the photography....same 2 backgrounds offered for the first three nights of the cruise. One of those was a white background and it was offered another 2 nights. How many photos with a white background do people need/want?!? The entertainment was ok, the best part was trivia with Hammertime. Trivia with Yris was lame for those not from Mexico -- really all her trivias had bonus questions for Mexicans. There was not as much offered as I would have expected on such a long cruise. NYE was something I was looking forward to on the ship, and I was disappointed. I went to the deck party, but instead of the Princess band hyping us up for the New Year, they played slower songs. Certainly not the hopping party I expected. There were too many children with not enough to do, the playing around in the elevators and running up and down the halls was disruptive and impacted our enjoyment. Do not take your children on a cruise of this length with so few port days without planning something for them to do, Princess will not do it for you. For notes on my cabin, please see that section. It alone has me questioning any future cruises with Princess. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
One of the highlights of every cruise I have been on is the food. The food on this cruise was horrible. Frequently the buffet repeated the food of the previous day, and would offer 3 types of pork as it's main entre selections (and ... Read More
One of the highlights of every cruise I have been on is the food. The food on this cruise was horrible. Frequently the buffet repeated the food of the previous day, and would offer 3 types of pork as it's main entre selections (and the same baked chicken which was always present). The same food served on the buffet would be on the menu for dinner table service. One night 5 of 6 people at my table ordered lobster, and we all returned it- it was rubbery, very salty and smelled terrible). Seriously, almost everyone I spoke with complained about the food, it was awful and not up to the standards of even a discount family restaurant. Two nights I ordered a steak (at an additional cost) and both times they were tough and dry. One meal took over an hour before the entrees were served. The best food on the ship was the hotdogs by the main pool on deck 15, and I frequently resorted to that after not completing a dining room meal. Oh, and the French fries were good. The general service on the ship was very good. Although there were several entertainment highlights which were outstanding, most of the nightly shows were mundane and lackluster. Not many interesting daytime activities. Heavy (in your face) art auction and jewelry store "once-in-a-lifetime lucky you" auction/sale barrages, and a so-so lecture series throughout the cruise discussing the history of medicine, but other than Bingo, not a lot to entertain you during the day unless you like-- no, love chamber music, board games or sewing circle type activities. A metal protrusion was sticking out of a wall where a handrail was missing, and cut my arm one evening. The ship made me pay my own on-board clinic visit made necessary by this injury, and did not re-emburse me for this expense. We were not in territorial waters and the casino closed at 11:45 p.m. on New Year's Eve, and did not reopen until the following day. (Seriously, what casino closes on New Year's Eve? Apparently, Princess Cruise casinos do. Absurd.) One the plus side: great staff and very organized excursion disembarkation. Many passengers who had previously cruised with Princess many times stated this was a bad cruise and not typical of their experiences on other Princess cruises. Overall, in my opinion, this was a boring cruise. It had unacceptably bad food, offered mostly lackluster entertainment and daily activities, and was basically a tired uninspired cruise. Would never want to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We decided to cruise for the holidays and visit in California. We boarded the ship after a flight to Fort Lauderdale. We got into the airport about 1:30 and after a short cab ride we boarded the ship without a line. We did Alaska on this ... Read More
We decided to cruise for the holidays and visit in California. We boarded the ship after a flight to Fort Lauderdale. We got into the airport about 1:30 and after a short cab ride we boarded the ship without a line. We did Alaska on this ship about 5 years ago. We were on the Dolphin deck with a balcony on the starboard side. The rooms and the ship are showing signs of age. We were a little concerned about too many children with a Christmas trip but it wasn’t a problem. We would have enjoyed a little more music during the day in the middle area of the ship. The nightly entertainment was good and we enjoyed most of the shows. The staff on the ship was helpful and they all seemed friendly and outgoing. The meals were just ok. We did the Chefs table one night and it was great! I enjoyed the all day tour in Panamá and especially enjoyed seeing the new locks and the ride on the bus back to the Atlantic side. The internet was very slow all the time. It looks like they could upgrade to a faster system and people would be happy to pay for a system that works. We missed on port because of bad weather but the trip was good. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We choose this cruise for the itinerary. But wish that we had chosen another ship. the Coral Princess seems tired and worn out. The staff was GREAT and really enjoyed the good, clean entertainment. The port of calls were excellent and I ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the itinerary. But wish that we had chosen another ship. the Coral Princess seems tired and worn out. The staff was GREAT and really enjoyed the good, clean entertainment. The port of calls were excellent and I think that Princess worked hard (and succeeded) in making the trip through the Panama Canal very memorable. The narrator through out the crossing, Chris, was excellent as were his daily seminars about the upcoming ports and offered shore excursions. The fact that the Princess photographers were allowed to go off the ship and take pictures of the travelers on our balconies. That was great. The food was good, but as vegetarians, we didn't sample a lot of what was put out. The buffet was always attractive and clean. The nightly entertainment was very good. There was only one performer that was not to our liking, but that should be expected when such a wide variety of shows was offered. We appreciated the self laundry. There were lots of machines and the area was kept very clean. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our 5th Princess Cruise. Overall we have been happy with all of our Princess Cruises so when we decided to do our bucket list Panama Canal Cruise, Princess was our first choice. We picked the Coral Princess based on our timing ... Read More
This was our 5th Princess Cruise. Overall we have been happy with all of our Princess Cruises so when we decided to do our bucket list Panama Canal Cruise, Princess was our first choice. We picked the Coral Princess based on our timing with being in San Diego to spend Thanksgiving with our daughter and her husband and being able to take a quick flight to LA for the cruise. The Coral Princess is a nice smaller ship. We never had to wait for elevators and wherever we went onboard there was never a crowd. We’ve been on the Regal and Royal and they are huge so being on the Coral was nice to navigate on and never took long to get anywhere onboard. We did like the promenade deck and did our daily walks there as well as an evening stroll. Many newer ships do not have a full walk around promenade so we really were glad it has remained and maintained the old sailing feel. Overall the food in the main dining rooms was very good. Sometimes there was a bit of a wait for the food but hey, we have nothing but time. Loved our cabin C317. The balcony is about 10’x10’ and is amazing to stretch out on. We watched a lot of the canal from there. Entertainment and the Princess band was top notch! The Sanctuary is on the stern and a bit small but over all we enjoyed our afternoon sea days we booked. They were very accommodating in us being comfortable and if the day was too cold or too much sun we were able to cancel the day of. Staff as always was great. We’d sail the Coral again . All in all a very nice cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Going thru the process of checking in and boarding in Los Angeles was the easiest and most pleasant of all the cruises that I have taken. I never slowed down from the time I checked my bags until I was having my picture taken for ID as I ... Read More
Going thru the process of checking in and boarding in Los Angeles was the easiest and most pleasant of all the cruises that I have taken. I never slowed down from the time I checked my bags until I was having my picture taken for ID as I entered the ship. Food was subpar in dining room. The food in the buffet at times was better. It is too bad that there is very few that dress for formal nights. Trip was on wife’s bucket list. Half of ports were a waste of time. The ship does need a little TLC. A lot of the furniture needs to be upgraded or replaced. The service crew in the buffet was attentive and was eager to serve and was very pleasant the entertainment was mediocre except for the last night comedian he played the piano like he should have been in a concert hall except for the fact that he was a great comedian. He was able to entertwine the two together with great success. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
The last time I cruised with Princess was for my 30th anniversary and have cruised other cruise lines since. The best move I made was to come back to Princess to celebrate our 50th anniversary. The service was outstanding and every staff ... Read More
The last time I cruised with Princess was for my 30th anniversary and have cruised other cruise lines since. The best move I made was to come back to Princess to celebrate our 50th anniversary. The service was outstanding and every staff member we met courteous and ready to meet all your needs. The ship was in very good condition considering it was an older ship. The bed was very comfortable and the room looked like it had updated carpeting. The food in the main dinning room had a good selection for you to choose from and the quality seemed good. The buffet was smaller than other ships I have been on but the quality and variety seemed good. I booked all my excursions from princess and there seemed to be a good selection. All the tour guides were knowledgeable. The tour we took in cartagena at the avery was excellent if you want to see beautiful birds. I was a little concerned that there would not be enough on the cruise to keep me entertained for 15 days but princess did a could job of always having a variety of things to do. I was extremely happy with this cruise and my decision to come back to Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose the cruise based on desire to cruise through the old locks of the canal as well as wanting to visit the ports. First time having anytime dining so hard to compare service versus traditional dining. Food was better than previous ... Read More
Chose the cruise based on desire to cruise through the old locks of the canal as well as wanting to visit the ports. First time having anytime dining so hard to compare service versus traditional dining. Food was better than previous cruises on the Emerald and Diamond. Enjoyed the Chef Table experience and Chef Eddie and Maitre D’ Daniele hosted an exceptional meal and event. Rating would have been higher, but ship is showing it’s age. Dry Dock in January is needed and should enhance overall appearance of the ship. The Coral being a smaller ship made it very convenient to navigate the decks. Enjoyed Chris Roberts presentation for each of the ports and effort put in on day cruising through the canal. Enjoyed the entertainment except for comedian on day one. Female rock singer was very good and I enjoyed her very much but obviously too loud for a lot of passengers. Enjoyed having the International Cafe back on a cruise as I missed it on board the Diamond this summer on cruise around Japan. Would like to commend Rafael of the Patisserie Bar. He mad excellent coffee drinks in the morning and prepared great cocktails at night. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
The transit through the Panama Canal was magnificent, and we enjoyed most of the ports. We had Anytime Dining, but except for the first night, we had the same table and the same servers every night. The dinners in the Bordeaux Main ... Read More
The transit through the Panama Canal was magnificent, and we enjoyed most of the ports. We had Anytime Dining, but except for the first night, we had the same table and the same servers every night. The dinners in the Bordeaux Main Dining room were excellent, and our waitstaff were the best we have ever had on any cruise. Dinner in the Bayou Café was 3 hours long, yes, 3 HOURS!!!, because apparently our order was ‘lost’, and it required HOURS to fix the problem. A free bottle of wine would have been nice compensation for wasting HOURS of our time. And the food in the Bayou Café was no better than the food in the Main Dining Room. The ‘Scenic Train Ride’ in Puntarenas, Costa Rica was MUCH shorter than it was the first time we took it several years ago; however, to offset the much shorter train ride, there were additional shopping stops so that we would have more time to buy trinkets, and I suppose that Princess/Carnival gets a percentage of the money spent at the additional shopping stops. Even with the negative experiences, overall the cruise was very good, we had a great time, and are looking forward to our next Princess cruise. ________________________________________ Now I would like to present an overall evaluation and description of our experiences with Princess over the past 27 years: My wife and I have been cruising with Princess since 1991 (26 cruises, 247 days), and since Princess was acquired by Carnival Corporation in 2003, we have noticed a slow, gradual degradation in the overall quality of Princess cruises, primarily due to monetization, the attempt to squeeze every possible nickel out of passengers. And if you don’t believe me, just ask other longtime Princess cruisers, because I have asked them, and most of them agree that Princess cruise quality has significantly degraded over the years. Now, having said the above, I want to add that we will continue to cruise with Princess because, having tried other cruise lines, we still think that Princess offers the best value, even with the degradation in quality. However, if my wife and I were young and just starting to cruise, we would do a very careful evaluation of other cruise lines, and maybe focus on another one, instead of Princess. At our age (75), it would take us too long to achieve another cruise line’s equivalent ‘Elite’ status. And don’t tell me (in a whiny voice), “If you don’t like Princess, then use another cruise line.” Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go through the Panama Canal and it went the right direction for us. The staff was great. They always had a smile and would answer your questions or concerns. The steaks could have been better they ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go through the Panama Canal and it went the right direction for us. The staff was great. They always had a smile and would answer your questions or concerns. The steaks could have been better they were tough.But the other food was very good.If you like rolls this is the place they were very good. The two times we had room service it was alway on time and hot.. When we did the arts and crafts they could have had more so more people could have done them. Getting off and on the ship was very easy. I would say the best we had in many years. The art auctions did not run over time, I think that many have been a first for us. We liked that very much. There is the ice cream bar that was good as well. The cabin where clean and neat. I would most definitely recommend this crusie to others Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The full transit Panama Canal cruise has been on my bucket list for a while! I just celebrated my 70th birthday and so this was my wonderful birthday present!! We live in San Diego and had several choices for this cruise but Princess ... Read More
The full transit Panama Canal cruise has been on my bucket list for a while! I just celebrated my 70th birthday and so this was my wonderful birthday present!! We live in San Diego and had several choices for this cruise but Princess came highly recommended by friends and the 3 for Free sale clinched the deal!! We had free grats, +$300 onboard credit from the sale. We also had Carnival stock so another $250 OBC. Then we discovered that Princess also gives military credit for serving at least 3years no matter how long ago you served. DH served when he was 17 and is now in his 70s so another $250 for that service added up to a wonderful $800 OBC to start!! We had a driver take us up the day before the cruise and stayed at the Doubletree San Pedro on Hilton pts. The free shuttle got us to the pier by about 10:30 . We were booked into a full suite so got on board by 11:30 and our cabin was ready!! A nice touch at check in was a note saying that even if the suite was not ready we should feel free to drop off our luggage there! I have to say that the suite and suite perks on Princess are amazing!! I cannot list all of them here but we will be booking suites on Princess whenever we sale again!! Our balcony was delightful with 2 cushy lounge chairs, a coffee table between, a round dining table and 2 arm chairs. We enjoyed suite breakfast on our balcony,breakfast at Sabatinis with mimosas and capuccino,complete bar set up,elite/suite Happy Hour lounge, and many more!! We thought Club Class dining was also amazing!! We had wonderful service and several nights of extra dishes that we enjoyed. There were several pasta extras but the 2 most outstanding were the surf and turf with filet mignon and the baby lamb chops(my all time fave!!) We ate some breakfasts and most lunches at the buffet. It was here that I thought Carnival actually did a better job. I really like the separate stations on Carnival for Chinese, Indian, BBQ and Deli with sandwiches made to order. Princess did a nice job having smoked salmon and white fish for breakfast and the "sushi" offerings were nice too. Princess had Mongolian wok only once on the dinner buffet where we ordinarily would not eat at night while some Carnival ships have it as a regular lunch station. As for entertainment, we also missed Carnival's Comedy Club. We really like good comedians and having a few in the main theater with one show on a few nights was not enough for us. I did think that the singers, dancers and production show cast were great on this ship!! We particularly enjoyed the Down on the Bayou show!!! The juggler/comedian from Cirque du Soleil was also a nice surprise!! We enjoyed the gym, stretch class, and i had a wonderful Thai Herbal Wrap in the spa! We liked the movie selections and I suppose my only other "complaint" was that trivia to us is about facts and the trivia on Princess often included silly riddles.DH loves trivia but did not enjoy it on the Coral Princess! We had fun in all the ports! My highlight was the Embera Village tour from Fuerte Amador! It was like going back in time and I highly recommend it!! DHs highlight was the private tour we took in Puntarenas to see the monkeys and macaws. We thought the ports offered a good variety of nature, history, beach and unusual experiences!! Old Town in Cartagena made me think I was back in a small town in Italy!! All in all we will book on Princess again but will also book on Carnival which may seem strange to the elite Princess cruisers but we just like things about both these wonderful cruise lines!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
November 16,2018. Well, we are soooooo ready to go. Everything is taken care of (we hope) and tomorrow morning we will leave the house at about 10:00 AM for the 1½ to 2 hour drive to the airport. Our flight leaves at 2:40 PM and ... Read More
November 16,2018. Well, we are soooooo ready to go. Everything is taken care of (we hope) and tomorrow morning we will leave the house at about 10:00 AM for the 1½ to 2 hour drive to the airport. Our flight leaves at 2:40 PM and this being a flight to the good old USA the check-in could be a PITA so we figure we should be at the airport at least 2 hours before the flight. As mentioned before we fly with United Airlines, first time so we have no idea what to expect. It is a smaller plane-Embraer 175- only 76 passengers with the 2X2 seating. Which is way nicer than those planes with the 3X3 seating where you most of the time end up with either sitting in the middle or you are fighting for the armrest or something. November 17, 2018. Made it to Los Angeles although after some delays. First I forgot my drivers license and also the BCAA card. Noticed it when we were half way to Abbotsford so back we went. The drivers license I could have let slip but the BCAA card we need to get a $ 200.00 discount for the parking. Arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare and the airport looked almost empty. Needless to say that check-in and security was done in no time at all (15 minutes tops). I take back the PITA remark. But wouldn't you know, plane delayed for 1 hour. Still made it almost in time for our shuttle to the hotel but that one was also late. Anyway, we made it to the hotel by 8:00 PM and after a bite to eat at Denny's we crashed. November 18, 2018. Today was actually a very uneventful day. After breakfast in the hotel we called a cab for 11 O'clock to get us to the cruise terminal where we arrived just before the mass of passengers decided to board also. It took us only 15 minutes to get checked in, go through security and get to our cabin. Just dropped off our carry-on (cabin was not ready yet) and went for coffee. One thing worth mentioning is that we got away with bringing our 4 bottles of wine on board without paying any corkage fee. Nobody asked!! Suitcases arrived at the cabin within an hour and we were all done packing away our clothes by about 3:00 PM. The rest of the day you asked?? 3:00 PM, snooze time--5:00 PM, happy hour --7:00 PM, dinner --10:00PM, bed time (actually 11:00PM clock ahead 1 hour). November 19, 2018. The first full day at sea. Most important things first; I did not snore (I think) because my DW had a good night sleep (she said). Those sea days mainly consist of doing as little as possible without gaining too many pounds. We try to stay away as much as we can from eating too much and too many times but it is not easy with all the good stuff they supply. We also will try to do some more walking (tomorrow, there is always tomorrow). But at least we use the stairs more now instead of the elevator. We also skipped lunch today, kind of, and just had a few pieces of Sushi. The rest of the afternoon we spend on the balcony reading, sunbathing and pumping up the air mattress??? Yes I am going to give it a try, the weather looks good and the outside temperature feels OK. For dinner we went to the dining room where we were seated at one of the few coveted tables for 2, the ones that are far away from other tables. Most tables for 2 are about 6 inches away from the next one. The show in the theatre was good with a unique kind of country singer by the name of Ric Steel. Bedtime (on the balcony) by about 11. November 20, 2018. We both woke up this morning (that's a good thing I guess) well rested. I from a wonderful night outdoor and DW from an equally wonderful night without worrying about a chainsaw next to her. Because I am always up early I have room service duty to get some tea & coffee and so this time. Before going to breakfast (I know, it is all about the food) we actually walked for almost an hour around the promenade deck which with our speed comes to about 2.5 km. Breakfast done and now we are off to an info session about the Panama Canal and some of the ports we will be visiting. Very interesting to see what it took to build this thing. One thing we found out that the Americans are still PO’d that they gave the control of the canal to Panama. This afternoon, just before dinner, we met some of the people from our roll call. We had a couple of drinks, they took the free "Champagne" and we had our regular Chardonnay wine. The Champagne is the very cheap/not good tasting variety but hey it's free. For dinner we managed to nail down the same 2 person table for the rest of the cruise. Shows again that if you don't ask you don't get. After dinner to the coffee shop and watching all the people walking by, and this being formal night, some dressed-up to the nines and some of them not. Also watched the photographer taking the formal pictures. Too bad we did not have our camera with us because the way some people dress, hilarious. Bed time is 10 but the clock goes ahead again so actually 11. November 21, 2018. Very little to report today, just the usual; breakfast first then on to a presentation about one of the future ports - go for coffee - have a (late) lunch - gambled on the horse races (I lost, DW won $ 5.00) - I went to Spanish lesson while DW took a snooze - Happy hour and then dinner. At night we went to a show where a guy played a "xylosynz" a cross between a xylophone and a synthesizer, an incredible show. Side note; Looking at a lot of people on board here, DW (even with her problems) & I price ourselves very lucky the way we are with our health. There is a massive amount of people with wheelchairs, scooters, walkers and walking canes. Yes we are lucky. November 22, 2018. Our port of call today is Huatulco. It is a small town of about 35,000 people. There is a very long pier where we dock but at the end of the pier is the town so it is not too bad. After dodging all the trinket hawkers we sat down in the small church. This church is very small, has no doors or windows but is pretty. Our next stop was the town square which is inside a park. Here we had something to drink and munched from a platter of Nachos. Note; 2 beer-1 sprite-1 platter of Nachos (enough for 2) = 130 peso ($ 10.00) on the ship this would have been at least 2× as much just for beer & sprite (although the Nachos would be free). Back on board I went for a swim while DW took her daily snooze. Happy hour was this time in our cabin. During dinner we started chatting with 4 ladies from Hawaii who were celebrating the 88th birthday of one of them. The birthday "girl" did not look a day older than mid seventy and she was a riot. Flirted with the waiter and called him her Casanova. After dinner we spend some nice time at Crooners listening to a singer/piano player. Bedtime at about 11 but this time not sleeping on the balcony, everything is wet due to over-spray from the bow because of rough seas and a strong wind. November 23, 2018. Puerto Chiapas, our port for the day, is more an industrial port. The area around the cruise terminal is well maintained with good facilities for the cruise passengers but beyond that not much. We took the shuttle bus to the city of Tapachula the closest town of any interest, they said. It was about a 1 hour bus ride through mostly jungle and some small towns which reminded us of the small towns in Yucatan. Tapachula is two things -hot and crowded. It is a city of 320,000 people and I think they were all out and about shopping, what makes you wonder, who is working?? After 2 hours we called it quits and took the shuttle back to the ship. We spend some time looking at the nice handicrafts and ended up buying a pretty little picture. The rest of the day was as usual with the mandatory happy hour, dinner and after dinner coffee. Bedtime and the weather was OK so I am sleeping on the balcony again. I don't mind, I actually love it. November 24, 2018. We docked very early this morning in Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala. The port is another major industrial area and they have to use shuttle buses just to get people to the area where the private tour operators and taxis are. That is most likely the reason that most people book a tour here through the cruise line because they have no idea what to expect. The private operators are not allowed to pick people up or drop them off next to the ship but the tours organized by Princess Cruises are allowed to do that. So, the more experienced cruisers just hop on that shuttle because they know there will be some tours and or taxis available. Guess what, we hopped on the shuttle and booked a tour for half the price what Princess charges for the exact same tour. Turned out to be the best day so far. We had 16 people in a small bus with a guide. We started off with a drive through the banana and sugar cane fields before we stopped at a roadside fruit market. Then it was on through the coffee plantations, never knew that those fields consist of the low growing coffee bean bushes and larger trees to give shade. After that we drove through the area that was covered with rocks and lava ashes from the last volcanic eruption. That same volcano is still throwing some steam and ashes into the sky at regular intervals, we saw it 2 times wile passing by. Luckily that volcano is way in the distance. Our next stop was a native village where they made those beautiful colourful clothes by hand. Of course the idea is that you buy some of that stuff (what we did). Then the city of Antigua, beautiful in its own way. Old, with cobblestone streets and no building higher than 2 levels. This is to preserve the character of the city as the whole city is a UNESCO heritage site (at least the down town area). We made it back to the ship with about 45 minutes to spare. We made arrangements for drinks & dinner with other people and I thought it was for today but I must have had a senior moment, it is for tomorrow, duh. Have to wait and see if the weather is OK to sleep on the balcony again. Tomorrow and the day after are sea days. November 25, 2018. After we woke up we had the bright idea to go for a walk around the promenade deck. Silly us, we should have checked it out first. Walking with the wind in your back on the lee side of the ship is OK but going against the wind on the other side get you soaked due to the spray from the bow. Anyway, we walked 2 times around but then we called it quits. Next exercise was way better, breakfast. After that we went to see a lecture about astronomy, interesting enough especially with the Mars landing coming up, presented by a weird looking lady (probably very smart but weird nevertheless). At 12 O'clock our Cruise Critic group was invited for a special lunch and what a lunch it was. Everything that was served not only looked beautiful but tasted great also. Being higher up in the ranks with Princess Cruises we have free laundry service and we do use it but ones in while there are those items you don't want them to clean so off I went to the laundry room to get some clothes washed & dried. Drinks & dinner tonight with the couple I goofed on yesterday. Nice dinner with Chateau Bryant which was prepared perfect. Tonight is the first night that they have the singers & dancers perform in the theatre with a new show. Was OK. November 26, 2018 Wake up time is way too early this morning probably because our internal clock is not set for those time changes. That reminds me that next time we are traveling east we should do it the slow way. How about this scenario; take the train to New York and then hop on the Queen Mary for the crossing to Europe. That would be nice but as our last name is not even close Rockefeller or Onassis it is not going to happen unless we win the lottery (oh darn, you have to buy tickets for that, forgot all about it). After breakfast this morning not very much going on than just an other "sale" in the atrium. I have no idea what happened between 12 noon and 4 PM because I was kind of passed out due to having a cold and trying to kill this cold with a ton of medication like Tylenol, sleeping pills, neo-citron and whatever else I can get my hands on. Worked OK until after dinner. Also tonight is Captain Circle night (yippy, free drinks) where they give away bottles of champagne to the most loyal passenger with the most cruise days. I think we are never going to make that list, this time the most travelled person.........drum roll.......2015 days at sea with Princess. After this cruise we have about 200. Dinner today was at the Bayou Cafe, one of the specialty restaurants, courtesy of one of our best friends. Marvelous place to have a special dinner. We had a reservation for 7:30 but should have not bothered because of the mainly older demographics on this cruise most people eat early, very early. Bedtime is early tonight because DW did not have her snooze this afternoon thanks to me taking a (very loud and long) nap and I want to get over this cold as fast as possible. Tomorrow, Panama Canal. November 27, 2018. When we woke up this morning the Coral Princess was ready to enter the first set of locks going into the Panama Canal. This ship was actually specially built for the Panama Canal crossing, together with here sister ship the Island Princess. When in the locks there is about 60 cm on each side of the ship to spare. The locks are about 300 meter long and the ship is just short enough that they can close the doors. We are not going all the way through to the Caribbean side but staying overnight in Gatun Lake and then tomorrow we turn around and go back the same way we came. The whole lock system is interesting. On one hand there is the very sophisticated guiding system with the locomotives they call "Donkeys" and then there is the 2 guys in a little rowboat bringing the cables to the ship over a distance of barely 10 meter. Oh well, it keeps some people employed I guess. Most people think that those locomotives pulling the ship through the locks but that is not the case. There are 2 locomotives on each side and the only thing they do is keep the ships in the center of the lock. The ships get in and out under their own power. You can actually following our ship through the web-cam by going to the Princess website and search for "Coral Princess Web-cam". Not much else happened today except to mention that I spend a good part of the day in bed due that nasty cold, oh well maybe better tomorrow. November 28, 2018 The only difference with yesterday is that we went in a southwest direction instead of northeast. Of course we did see the opposite site of the canal and the locks and also all kind of different vessels. One in particular was a weird looking contraption shaped like a pyramid. Turned out to be a very expensive American Navy destroyer that can not be detected by radar. The main weapons are most likely missiles. We left Gatun Lake about 3 hours late and we think it was to let that destroyer pass free of other traffic but we caught up with it anyway because it was in the lock beside ours. We did see a couple of crocodiles while sailing through the canal, they were lazily sunbathing. One thing we did not know that as soon we left the canal we dropped anchor and waited for refuelling with bunker oil. I don't know how long it took but by the time we went to bed we were still anchored. I guess we will find out tomorrow. November 29, 2018. We must have left early in the morning from the anchorage in Panama because when we woke up around 7 we could not see any land (oh no, we are lost at sea). This being another day at sea we will have lots of time to give almost a play by play throughout the day. Not that it would be very interesting but you never know what might come along. First things first; It is was beautiful day with an extremely calm sea, just a small ripple and swell. Although we don't see any land most of the time there is a flock of seabirds following the ship. I have no idea what they are called but they look like a cross between an Eagle (but smaller) and a Seagull. They are skimming the water and then snag a fish ones in a while. It is now 11:30 and we are off to the info session about the upcoming port of San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua. This is the only port during this cruise where they use the large lifeboats to tender us to shore. If past experiences are any indication it's not going to be fun because of the cramped quarters in these boats. Yippee, they have another sale of "overpriced" merchandise on deck 6. That is one of the few drawbacks of cruising, the constant pushing of sales of mainly useless and overpriced products. A good example is the "sale" of watches which they put on sale for the reduced price of $ 10.00 US (about $ 13.00 Can.). The exact same watch you can buy in Canada at Wal-Mart for $ 9.95 Can. 3:00 PM- We are going for high tea in the Bordeaux dining room. Not that it will be the same as the one the Queen sometimes attend in London but nevertheless a small taste of good old England. Talking about coincidence, when we had tea we were sitting right next to a couple from London, England. How British can you get outside of England. Found out the name of the seabirds; Brown Boobies !! I always thought that boobies looked liked this The rest of the day was not very exciting, just the usual happy hour and dinner. After dinner we went to the theatre to watch a comedian, was actually very funny. The clock goes back 1 hour tonight so we get the hour sleep back we lost last week. November 30, 2018. Arrived during a beautiful sunrise at around 7:00 AM in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Yesterday they told us it would be cloudy and about 27 degrees. Wrong, by about 10:00 AM it is bright sunshine and already 30 and by the time we sit down in town to have something to drink it was probably up to 33. Anyway, very uncomfortable. This is the only port on this trip that we have been to before in 2010 when we did the full transit through the Panama Canal from Fort Lauderdale to Vancouver. At that time we did a wonderful tour so we decided that we did not have to do that tour again. The only other tours within our budget included beach stuff and zip lines, we figured we leave that up to the young ones. We walked the endless long pier to the town where we first sat down in a small park under the trees to catch our breath and get some relieve from the heat. Then we wandered over to the market with all its trinkets and souvenirs but also beautiful locally made wood carvings, boxes etcetera. After sitting down at a place where they supply free internet, so we can upload some pictures, we go back to the (air-conditioned) ship by about 2:00 O'clock. We met for happy hour again with other couples and while we were having our drinks we noticed the birthday "girl" from last week sitting in the area next to ours. We took a couple of pictures and had a few laughs before it was time to go for dinner (I know, it is all about the food). We have to say that the quality of food on this ship is better than most of the other ships we have been on, at least that is what we think but so do a lot of other people. As entertainment tonight we had a Ventriloquist, absolutely hilarious. December 01, 2018. Aaahh, the month of Christmas has arrived, not that we really care at the moment but we got reminded about it when 2 people showed up in the dining room wearing Santa hats. We thought we let you know anyway. Arrived at the shores of San Juan del Sur very early and by 7:00 AM they were loading the first tender with passengers who booked a tour through Princess. We have not anything special planned for the day so we headed first to the breakfast buffet before we boarded the tender around 9:30. Because we have the elite status we have this perk that we don't have to wait in line for boarding the tender, we can bypass the line. Not that it was necessary this time because there was no line anymore. Shows you that perks are sometimes worth nothing. San Juan del Sur is a beautiful little town with small shops, a few hotels and some restaurants and on my afternoon walk I noticed at least 4 Hostels. It is a typical Central American town like you find all over the area but it has something different, a little sleepy, unless there is a cruise ship (what only happens a few times a year). Most of the passenger here probably went on the tours to the city of Granada or they went on rainforest & zip-line trips. The trip to Granada takes 1.5 hours on the bus just to get there and of course the same time back but that is what is in the program, many times we heard that those bus trips take longer. We were not looking forward to sitting on a bus for at least 3 hours to visit a city for 2 hours. And can you see us do zip-line stuff, NOT and we have enough rain & forest where we live. Anyway, we ended up walking the town for a few hours supporting the local economy by buying some of the locally made pottery, drinking some coffee & beer and using the internet to transfer pictures to the our Blog. By the time we were back on board it was past lunch time but with an almost 18 hour running buffet there is always something to eat. When DW took her regular snooze I went back with the tender to town and walked around some more through the back streets to snap some more pictures. No show tonight because the performer fell ill during his 7:00 O'clock performance. Bedtime at 11:00 PM December 02, 2018. Don't expect too much to happen the next 2 days because we are going to take it easy. Just the usual. Only thing worth mentioning is the dolphins who swam with us most of the day, they frolic back and fore in front of the bow of the ship. Oh, almost forgot, we had tea again this afternoon. Very exciting isn't. We did not have happy hour either, what is wrong with us? Maybe tonight there is some more to report after we have seen an other comedian (if I can remember the jokes/funny stuff. Well just came back from the comedian show, was 4 out of 10, oh well. We actually had more to laugh about during dinner with our servers, they are a fun bunch of guys. December 03, 2018. Another exciting day at sea. You got to love those days of doing pretty well nothing although it is not so good for the spare tire that is developing just above the belt buckle. Because of that phenomenon occurring we decided that it probably would be best that we start walking around the deck a bit more. Did actually about 3 km this morning en DW did 2. Did I mentioned that a day on board the ship revolves completely around breakfast, lunch and dinner with happy hour and snacking thrown in for good measure. That is probably why we joined the line-up for the pub lunch. Silly really to line up and wait for a while to be seated when all kinds of food is available 24/7. Anyway, the fish & chips were great. An other exciting thing happened last night…..drum roll…… laundry came back clean. I know it is boring but I have to report something. Maybe better stuff tomorrow after we have been to Manzanillo. December 04, 2018 It is 8:00 AM and we are in the doctors office because DW decided it was time to have an ailment again. It is almost tradition now that something is happening with her that requires a visit to the doctor or ER. This time it is her knee that gave out and now she joined the (very) large group of people with canes, walkers, wheelchairs & scooters. Hopefully it will not last that long but for the next few days she is going to be hopping along a bit. Now we got that out of the way I will go ahead and tell about the rest of the day. The port of Manzanillo is the largest Mexican port on the Pacific and the second largest in all of Mexico. For a very industrial port it looks really nice with a lot of flowering trees and funky artwork. Obviously DW did not go ashore this time so I went with an other couple on a tour (honest, she insisted, I did not abandon her). The lady liked to see the turtle sanctuary and the guy is easy, whatever she says is OK with him. So we arranged a tour to go there not knowing it is about 60 km away. The tour operator tried to get more people to go but most passengers were already on their way. We ended up with just the 3 of us in a suburban SUV with driver, perfect. The sanctuary is quite large with a lot of information about the animals. The largest they had was about 50 kg and the smallest a new born of which you probably can hold 10 in 1 hand. Also went on a boat ride through the mangroves and saw a lot of different birds, some snakes and a small alligator. After that we went to the salt flats where they still collect it the traditional way and to the salt museum. Along roadside stands you can buy salt for about 50 cent a kilo. Back at the ship by 3:30 and DW just got up from her second snooze, the medication they gave her seems to be working. Managed to get her to the dining room which took a bit longer than usual. We are not going to the show tonight. Maybe tomorrow is a better day. 5 December, 2018. We skipped breakfast today so we can indulge on the brunch which will be served at 11:00 and we don't want to miss that now eh. In the afternoon there was a choir made up of passengers who practised for the last 2 weeks. Really good if you take into account that they never met before let alone sang before. It was also the last formal night where they request and expect people to show up in formal wear, or at least not in jeans & T-shirt. Of course there are always those people who think it does not apply to them. Very good show tonight with fantastic singers in fabulous costumes singing anything from opera to modern stuff. Clock goes back again so we are back on Vancouver time. December 6, 2018. Our last day on board the Coral Princess and we had a blast. The service was one of the best we ever had on any of the ships and the food ( I know, food is very subjective) too was good, that differs sometimes from one ship to the next. All that is left is packing suitcases and say goodbye. One more sleep before they have to drag us kicking and screaming off the ship. We hope that everyone that followed us had as much fun as us. Thanks to all who send us e-mails. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We booked a flight through EZAir and everything went according to plan. We also used the Princess transfer and that too went without trouble. We started off on the wrong foot with this cruise. Princess had my S&S card, but no ... Read More
We booked a flight through EZAir and everything went according to plan. We also used the Princess transfer and that too went without trouble. We started off on the wrong foot with this cruise. Princess had my S&S card, but no S&S card for DH. We were told to take a seat and one would be made for DH on the ship. We waited for over 45 minutes to get his card. This also happened on the last cruise we took to Alaska. I asked what the problem was, why did this happen. No comment from Princess. We've been on 21 Princess cruises and we wonder if we're now jinxed. We did not receive our luggage until around 6:00 pm. In past cruises, our luggage showed up right after we boarded. Only thing I could think of was they were under staffed. Our room steward said he had 18 rooms to clean. Was he exaggerating or did he tell us that to show sympathy. We always ask for 1 service a day, to clean the room in the morning and no evening turn down. I found the room steward to be lazy. Had to ask for everything! Bar soap, toilet paper, tissue, wine glasses. We wiped the desk off with a Clorox wipe and the desk was filthy. Salt crystals gathered on the sliding glass door and fell onto the carpet. It stayed there the whole 19 days of the cruise. Not once did he vacuum our cabin. No one should have to ask for these things to be done. Our gratuities were "free" as part of a promotional. I wonder if he knew this and decided not to go the extra step.. We did not leave an extra tip for him as we normally do if the steward lives up to what's required or even goes beyond. We found the food to be okay. The usual Princess food. I wish they wouldn't put so many curry dishes on the buffet. Seemed like there were at least 3 dishes of hot curry dishes, and a curry salad. I wonder if they were trying to disguise certain cuts of meat and vegetables to hide the bad taste of the meat and vegetables. Throw some curry on it and see if it sticks! One night at the Pizza venue on Lido, they had Stromboli. It was very good. However, they only served it 1 time the whole 19 days of the cruise. I asked if they could make more and they said "no can do." That was disappointing, they should have it available every day. The entertainment was horrible. The Canadian comedian wasn't funny at all, the musicals were high school theatrics at its best. The blues/reggae band that played late in the evening in the Atrium was good, about the only band that was worth listening to, The ports we visited wasn't worth getting off the ship for. I wouldn't take this cruise again IF the same ports were visited. IMHO, just make it a Panama Canal cruise, return to San Pedro but stop in Cabo San Lucas for 12 hours. Many passengers did not get off at the ports, and they didn't miss anything. We purchased 2 Gold wine packages. We had 2 passengers tell us that they asked about a wine package only to be told "no wine packages." We purchased ours in the MDR first day on board at lunch. Either the crew they asked did not know about the Gold wine package, or simply didn't care. Princess no longer has the Silver wine package, only the Gold. We had a balcony cabin on Caribe, forward. The cabin is your standard balcony cabin but no extended balcony like on other ships. It was adequate for what we used it for - coffee in the morning and wine at night. Room service was fast, hardly any waiting at all. We always gave them a $2 tip in cash. Be sure to sign the paper slip and write that you paid cash so you don't get charged with an additional gratuity. One more thing, get a printout of your cabin charges every couple of days to make sure no mistakes have been made. A charge of $40 was charged to our account for a bottle of wine that we never purchased. I pointed out that we had the wine package, why would we purchase a bottle of wine. Mistakes happen, and they are never in your favor. Harder to correct them when you have debarked the ship than it is to take care of it before you leave the ship. We have another cruise booked for January 2019 on the Sun Princess. Another new adventure out of Sydney. Bon Voyage. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise. This was not a transcanal cruise, but a partial transit with a night spent at anchor in Gatun lake. The ship personnel went above and beyond with service excellence. The Maitre d' arranged for the ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise. This was not a transcanal cruise, but a partial transit with a night spent at anchor in Gatun lake. The ship personnel went above and beyond with service excellence. The Maitre d' arranged for the Roll Call group to have a special lunch that included an incredible seafood risotto and an amazingly beautiful and delicious dessert. Thank you Daniele! We took one Princess shore excursion to the ruins of Izapa from Puerto Chiapas. It is a small Mayan site but interesting and the tour guide was very good. We also used the Princess transportation to Antigua, Guatemala (Antigua on your Own) and the accompanying guide on the van was very informative about Guatemala and was available for anyone who wanted to walk around the city with him. We chose to explore the city on our own. The time in the Panama Canal and Gatun lake was enhanced by the commentary of Chris Roberts who also did the presentations about all the ports. He is excellent, very concise information and beautiful pictures. In Punta Arenas we took a tour with Thumbs Up Tours we booked independently. It was excellent. Our guide, Marcos found macaws and toucans in the wild we were able to photograph through his spotting scope. The boat trip to view crocodiles and shore birds was followed by a lunch at a hillside restaurant with great views and concluded with a quick drive through the town. A delightful day. Overall, we were delighted with this cruise and the itinerary. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Coral Princess cruise was not crowded, very spacious with lots of seating. The entertainment for all 19 nights was fantastic with the exception of two nights - flamingo dances & one comedian. I usually find production shows with tons ... Read More
Coral Princess cruise was not crowded, very spacious with lots of seating. The entertainment for all 19 nights was fantastic with the exception of two nights - flamingo dances & one comedian. I usually find production shows with tons of dancing very boring however, their production shows looked like Broadway with wonderful singing. Pleasantly surprised! I wish they had more lectures other than astronomy. The food was delicious! The service was the best of any cruise line that I have been on. Our waitress Jenn & steward, John could not have done any more for us. Out of 13 cruises, this was only my 2nd cruise with Princess. In the past, I cruised with Celebrity the most. Also Disney, Holland Amer & Costa. Cons: The cabin furniture needs to be updated & more comfortable. Also, they should add a vanity mirror & new remotes. Would like even more activities during the day such as mini golf, cooking lessons, etc. Had a very enjoyable cruise for 19 days. Thank you Princess. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
The ship was kept very clean and was well decorated. The waiters in the dining room dressed up for the themed nights which helped to make them special. Although the food was prepared well and service was very good, the meal selections ... Read More
The ship was kept very clean and was well decorated. The waiters in the dining room dressed up for the themed nights which helped to make them special. Although the food was prepared well and service was very good, the meal selections were very repetitive. We saw the same items over and over again. There were a lot of sea days but not a lot of interesting things to do. The Spa staff provided a lot of lectures that while informative were also used as selling opportunities. There was a lot of selling which got very old as the items for sale did not change. That is, we saw the same items for sale multiple times. For example, the shop had several racks of sale clothing items on racks outside the store every day and then many if not all of those same items were displayed in the dining room during outlet sales. The entertainment was varied and mostly good. Embarkation and disembarkation went fairly smoothly. Checking in for our flight after the cruise and printing boarding passes was very easy thanks to the help provided by the I.T. staff. The electronics in the cabin were not as up to date as we have seen on other ships of the same age. The TV was not interactive and the menu was slow and the offerings limited. The ports were interesting but the Destination Guide only spoke ab lout places that the ship's tours could take you to. Independent travelers got very little information about what was available. His desk hours were very limited, about 2 hours per day, so getting additional information was difficult. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
My wife and I chose the Coral Princess for several reasons: the itinerary allowed us to travel round trip from Southern California, home for us; We had sailed on her sister ship, the Island Princess twice before and enjoyed the ship's ... Read More
My wife and I chose the Coral Princess for several reasons: the itinerary allowed us to travel round trip from Southern California, home for us; We had sailed on her sister ship, the Island Princess twice before and enjoyed the ship's size and layout; and we wanted to sail through the historic locks of the Canal before experiencing the new locks. Two highlights of the trip to us were the excitement of sailing through the historic locks and the quality & friendliness of the crew. We had been familiar with the construction and operation of the Canal for years, but to actually see this 100+ year old wonder in operation is amazing. No wonder a Canal transit is on so many bucket lists! There are many good viewing locations on the ship. We spent much of our time on the viewing area on Deck 10, forward of all the cabins. There are two unmarked doors at the end of the halls on either side of the ship. Open and go through both doors (they can be heavy from their weight and air pressure) and you are in open space overlooking the bow. The area was popular, but never overcrowded. We also spent a lot of time on the balcony of of our cabin on Caribe deck (C222). Good views of the Canal operations, including the Mules (the locomotives which guide, not pull, the ship through the locks). The Canal experience was enhanced on our cruise when we followed the brand new US Navy stealth ship Michael Monsoor as we sailed through the locks on our second day in the Canal. The Monsoor is just the second ship in its class. This was our ninth cruise on Princess, so we have become familiar with the personable and professional service we receive from the crew. But this cruise went above and beyond what we have come to expect. Every single crew member we encountered went above and beyond what we expected to ensure we had a wonderful time on board. The Coral is an older ship, but very well maintained. And its (relatively) smaller size makes it easy to get around and never felt crowded. We tried two experiences for the first time on this cruise. We had portrait photographs taken in the Platinum Studio during the cruise, and we ordered the Ultimate Balcony Dinner on the night we were anchored in Gatun Lake in the Canal. Both experiences were incredible. The Platinum Studio Shoot is totally different than the mass production photos taken by the other ship photographers. There were taken in a professional studio on board. Our photographer was Nataliia, a lovely young lady who has been with Princess for several years. She proved to be not just an expert photographer, but an outstanding artist as well. My wife had very specific ideas of how the portraits should turn out (as a former model, she is very knowledgeable of studio photography). Nataliia understood everything my wife was looking for and delivered a perfect product. She took several dozen exposures during our shoot, which we then reviewed at a private appointment the following evening. My wife pick out the shot she wanted almost instantly, Nataliia had gotten it perfect! Even the proof we took off the ship with us is wonderful, and the glass mounted final print we received a couple of weeks after we got home was beyond beautiful. The Balcony dinner was an elegant event right in our cabin. Our waiters, Toniano, assisted by Ajay, were excellent. They were both very pleasant, efficient and sensitive to our privacy. They always seemed to know exactly when to serve the next course, when our glasses needed to be refilled or when plates needed to be cleared. Since it was very warm and humid this evening, we asked them to set up the table inside our mini-suite. At first, we were concerned that might be crowded, but it turned out to be a perfect, intimate setting. The meal was fabulous! The menu is delivered to your cabin at the beginning of the cruise. There are only a few choices to make, although I understand from other reviews,that you can make other selections. There are other posted reviews which describe the details of the dinner, so I will not do that here. Rather, I will just mention that the dinner was wonderful, the dishes were all excellently prepared and served, and Toniano and Ajay were outstanding. We only attended a couple of shows during the cruise, spending most of our evenings in Crooners listening to the piano playing of Daniel Oliver. Chinzal and Putu took excellent care of us in Crooners, keeping our glasses full and engaging in delightful conversation. We did go to two production shows: "On the Bayou" in the Universe Lounge (great show, not so great venue for it) and "Encore" in the Princess Theater. Both shows were excellent and should have been done in the Princess Theater. Our favorite show was "Flamenco Express", with Jose and Leticia dancing beautifully and romantically. They did two shows a few evenings apart, first in the Princess Theater then in the Universe Lounge. Their show was much better suited for the Universe Lounge, smaller and more intimate. They also invited a few members of the audience, including my wife, up on stage in the Universe Lounge to dance with them. My wife was thrilled and did a great job with them as she is an excellent dancer. As usual, we reserved Traditional Early Seating. were assigned a table for six with two other couples about our age and dispositions, so we enjoyed their company, Our waiter, Manuel, was excellent. He remembered our preferences after the first night and was always ready with recommendations on that night's menu if asked. We enjoyed conversing with him on a number of subjects, including his home life in India, experiences he has had over his years working for Princess, and other subjects not related to the cruise. He is a very intelligent and insightful individual Our cabin was a standard mini-suite, which we have become use to on Princess ships. There is plenty of room and John, our room steward, kept it spotless for the duration of the trip. We found both embarkation and disembarkation to run smoothly and well organized. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We took this cruise to see new ports. The overnight in Canal was wasted time - we could have made one more port and spent one day less at sea, or made the additional port an overnight stay. Food in dining rooms was good to very good, ... Read More
We took this cruise to see new ports. The overnight in Canal was wasted time - we could have made one more port and spent one day less at sea, or made the additional port an overnight stay. Food in dining rooms was good to very good, but Horizon Court meals were only above average. This may be acceptable on a mega ship, but is questionable on a ship with less than 2000 passengers aboard. Dining staff is either overworked/understaffed, or many of them may have been at the end of their contract and just wanted to get off the ship. Ship board talent in general was very good to excellent. The show troupe was outstanding, as were Tom Drake, the showtime theater singers, shipboard musicians and singers, and the ventriloquist (Jerry Goodspeed?). The Canadian comic was totally out of his element both nights. Our cabin showed signs of wear and tear: pinholes in the drapes, and different quality and age of the mattresses were obvious when the beds were put together. Shower curtain was in tatters. Sofa cushions were very worn. Verandah furniture was in decent condition but needed cleaning (paint spots). Shorex tours were generally good but inconsistent from tour company to tour company. One tour guide was exemplary and we gave her an extra tip, while one guide was barely understandable because of a heavy accent, and got a smaller than usual tip. Why is there no CNN television? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We had friends going on this cruise and joined them. We are getting more and more disappointed in the nickel-and-diming done by Princess. Everything seems to cost more every time we cruise. They have taken away "Happy hour". ... Read More
We had friends going on this cruise and joined them. We are getting more and more disappointed in the nickel-and-diming done by Princess. Everything seems to cost more every time we cruise. They have taken away "Happy hour". The Elite Lounge used to have $5 for any drink, now its over $6 for crappy syrupy drinks. No more coffee cards, so they don't roll over - use them or lose them. If you have more than one entree at specialty dining, more money!!! Entertainment was poor, badly spaced and repetitive. The Cruise Director was quite inefficient. However, her staff were fabulous. We only did one Princess Shore excursion, to a luau. This was a large event with other companies participating. Princess had the worst tables with bad visibility. International Cafe was good with excellent service as was the Crooners Bar. However the bar in the Universe Lounge did not have a good bartender, more often than not the drinks tasted like they had no alcohol in them. I think it is time to look elsewhere. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
After 20 cruises on Princess chips, this cruise was such an awful experience that I cannot recommend Princess to anyone anymore. This was a 60 day cruise around the north Pacific. It was round trip from Los Angeles, so it was very ... Read More
After 20 cruises on Princess chips, this cruise was such an awful experience that I cannot recommend Princess to anyone anymore. This was a 60 day cruise around the north Pacific. It was round trip from Los Angeles, so it was very convenient for west coast travelers. We were able to stop at the following ports: Ketchikan, Juneau, Hoonah, Kodiak, Yokohama, Hiroshima, Tianjin, Incheon, Shanghai, Okinawa, Keelung, Hong Kong, Cai Lan, Chan May, Phu My, Manila, Guam, Honolulu, and Nawiliwili. Most of the passengers were Captains Circle elites. After that, most of the passengers were Captains Circle platinum. Surprisingly, there were a few children onboard. SHIP Years ago, my very first cruise was on the Coral Princess. I really like the Coral Princess. I think the size is ideal. I like the wide, wrap around promenade deck, but unfortunately (due to the weather) it was closed for much of the cruise. I think the casino (and all its lights, noise and smells) should be moved to a deck below the medical center. Don’t worry; the gamblers will find it. And please put the “art gallery” space to good use. No one ever goes in there. Princess can still have their “art” auctions without and “art gallery” onboard. The “library” was just a place for passengers to exchange books. I had to find wi-fi in Okinawa and Honolulu in order to download more e-books, since the Princess internet service could not do it. Some days the internet service did not work at all. CABIN We were in a forward balcony cabin on the Dolphin deck. After 60 days, our hallway was a big family! It was unsettling to have to leave our amazing and adorable cabin steward behind. The cabin itself was in pretty good shape, but ready for some new carpet. We had to have some emergency repairs done on the balcony door. The door seal was broken and the wind blew in like a siren. We had some pretty strong winds. WEATHER And speaking of wind, the weather on this cruise was pretty awful. Alaska was rainy. When we left Kodiak the really good stuff began, and the ship was really rocking and rolling. Our progress was so slow that we had to skip our first port in Japan, Kushiro, and head straight to Yokohama. After a port day in Yokohama, we had a “sea day” anchored in the Yokohama harbor, followed by another port day in Yokohama. The crew TRIED to find entertainment and shore excursions on short notice. When we left Vietnam we raced to avoid a cyclone, and the return across the Pacific was often bumpy. EXCURSIONS We did Princess shore excursions in Tokyo, Hiroshima, Tianjin, Incheon, Hong Kong, Da Nang, Ho Chi Min City, Taiwan, Manilla, and Guam. Our Chinese guide to the Great Wall did not speak English. The Hong Kong guide actually lost us. The other tours were great and worth the investment. DINING We always choose anytime dining and we never had trouble getting a table for two. The service however was so slow it seemed like the waiters were staging a work slow-down. Even in the Horizon Court, it was possible to eat an entire mean without anyone asking if you want a beverage. Best to get your own! The food was pretty awful. The menus repeated and repeated. First they ran out of bananas. On the eight days between Guam and Honolulu, they slowly ran out of fresh fruits and vegetables (lettuce!). On the last morning of the cruise, my “fig compote” was a bowl of crunchy dried figs! Honestly, the best meals on the ship came from the hamburger grill on the pool deck. ENTERTAINMENT I love Elua and we were so lucky to have them on board from Guam to Los Angeles. But otherwise, you wonder who decides what entertainment and when. The enrichment lectures were embarrassing. The production shows were all old repeats. I had seen most of the movies. The scheduling was crazy. If you wanted to attend anything in the Princess Theater or Universe Lounge you needed to find a seat EARLY. SORRY PRINCESS This was not a great cruise. It was a great disappointment. I did not come back new. I was relieved to get off the ship. The rumor was that three people died on this cruise. Perhaps they were lucky. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
The itinerary of 60 days from LA to LA, beginning in Alaska, going through Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Guam , and finishing up in Hawaii before heading back to LA was the big draw. However, the many ... Read More
The itinerary of 60 days from LA to LA, beginning in Alaska, going through Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Guam , and finishing up in Hawaii before heading back to LA was the big draw. However, the many operational calamities that befell the ship took away much of the shine of the trip. Two skipped ports, one from not having ordered a fuel barge, very poor communication to the passengers - more like last minute surprises, immigration catastrophes, running out of food items, burst pipes drenching cabins, loss of internet service for days, mediocre entertainment offerings, the list goes on. While Princess tried to maintain a happy face, many passengers were unhappy, vowing never to sail Princess again. The Coral has many sea days behind her, and her age is definitely showing. I believe a trip to dry dock for renovations is on her calendar,and none too soon. Embarkation and disembarkation were Princess smooth. The cabin was as expected, although I hope new mattresses are planned for her. Sleep was not comfortable due to terrible mattresses, and 60 nights is a long time to sleep on a bad mattress. The food was ok but repetitive; but not surprising for a cruise of 60 days. Service was very good. Ship excursions remain expensive and heavily booked, many with filled with people with limited mobility issues who neglected to acknowledge warnings about activity levels and steps/climbing warnings, and who came with their scooters anyway, expecting to be accommodated. The ports we visited were wonders to see. We only wish we could have also seen the omitted ports The enrichment speakers were below average save one, Chris Impey who is a marvelous speaker and who was enlightening and entertaining. Humberto, the port lecturer left much to be desired. His talks were rambling and filled with confusing information, such that one had to stand in line to speak with him at his desk for much clarification. Overall, the trip itself was one to remember. The Coral was ok if great things were not expected; it was transportation. Will we sail with Princess again? Yes, as many other cruise lines face similar issues. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I chose this cruise for the ports in Asia that were offered. One port in Japan was missed because of weatherr, another port in Japan was missed due to the poor organization of fuel delivery causing us to sit at anchor for a full day. The ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the ports in Asia that were offered. One port in Japan was missed because of weatherr, another port in Japan was missed due to the poor organization of fuel delivery causing us to sit at anchor for a full day. The crew seemed to try to accommodate us, but their leadership was sorely lacking. Little things like the wine prices suddenly hiked when the menu prices were still the original price. Laundry was a disaster. Most of the passengers were Platinum or Elite members and it seemed like Princess could care less in how we were treated. The entertainment was lacking. It was necessary to be in the theatre an hour ahead of showtime in order to get seat and then the show was mediocre.The food was repeated too often and was just average. Head waiter was very good, assistant waiter was lacking and seemed to want to visit with other tables and not pay attention to her duties. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Princess Cruise Lines markets this type of a cruise as a "Grand Adventure." The problem was that there was nothing "grand" about it what-so-ever. Aside from the amazing ports of call the on board experience was mediocre ... Read More
Princess Cruise Lines markets this type of a cruise as a "Grand Adventure." The problem was that there was nothing "grand" about it what-so-ever. Aside from the amazing ports of call the on board experience was mediocre at best. There was nothing innovative or unique at all, just a 7 day Caribbean or Mexican Riviera cruise recycled week after week. Every sea day at 10 a.m. (there were 39!) the co-called cruise director would announce over the ship's P.A. system in a flat, monotone voice we luck passengers were in for a day full of "Effy sales...bingo...on board outlet sale...Princess Pop Choir rehearsal." But when we were stuck on the ship at an anchorage in Tokyo Bay for 24 hours and not allowed off the ship because Princess couldn't get the ship fueled (we missed the stop at Osaka!) the cruise director did announce that "bingo was cancelled but a special event was planned." The "special event" ended up being a vegetable carving demonstration...i kid you not! Not once in 60 days did I see the cruise director "out and about" and actually being a proper "cruise director." But the biggest problem with the cruise was how organized and chaotic everything was. And this was entirely the fault of the ship's captain, staff captain and hotel general manager. The captain made very few announcements and was never seen except at the events he was required to attend. The few announcements he made were only to deliver bad news (there was a lot of it), but he made sure to blame "corporate," over and over again. Because of the lack of leadership in all aspects of the cruise I have never seen morale so low among the crew members on a cruise ever before. the staff captain ate several times in the ships' buffet while in port and was mean and nasty to the crew members working there and did not acknowledge us passengers in the very least. If the had a complaint for any reason, big or small instead of trying to solve it on the ship you simple got a form letter from the hotel general manager informing you to contact "Princess Cruises Customer Relations Department upon your return home." I booked this cruise over a year before the embarkation date and was looking forward to a cruise of a lifetime but now cannot express how disappointed in Princess Cruise Lines for the joke of a "Grand Voyage." P.S. my Captain's Circle level on Princess is the highest "ELITE." 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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