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We had a very enjoyable cruise on the Coral Princess partial transit of the Panama Canal. The ship is beautiful and we found almost all of the staff to be friendly and eager to please. We enjoyed the food in the Main Dining Room, the Horizon Buffet and the burgers and pizza on the Lido deck. We love the International Café on other Princess ships and though we sometimes still found things on the Coral, we did miss having a full size IC. We loved that the Promenade deck went completely around the ship as one of our favorite activities is to walk the ship. The Coral is one of the older ships in the Princess fleet and I heard someone complaining about rust spots. I hadn’t noticed…..I guess it is all about your priorities on a cruise. Every cruise has its things that weren’t great. On this cruise, one thing that was a bit annoying was Anytime Dining. It really wasn’t Any time—no surprise if you read the Princess threads. You had to arrive either by 5:45 or after 7:30 if you wanted to sit with your party of 4 and even then, it seemed like you had to be insistent to get a table for just 4. We didn’t mind sharing and we did that on some nights, but sometimes you don’t want to sit at a table for 10 (and it was ALWAYS a table for 10 if we agreed to share). They would rarely give out beepers. It seemed your choice was “share now” or come back after 7:30, which seemed a little odd. I can only guess it's that there is more limited dining room space on the Coral? We adapted by going early or late if we didn’t want to share, or sharing at any other time. Breakfast in the Dining Room was similar. The first time we walked in there and it was just 2 of us, we said there were 2 of us. Without asking, they seated us at a table for 10, of which 2 people were almost done eating. Since we were very early, there were only 2 tables (for 10) in the entire dining room that were taken and waiters were standing around. It would seem in this situation, they could have seated us at a 2-top? I have never seen this occur on other ships at breakfast…usually there are many tables for 2 at that time of day. We learned that if we went to Breakfast in the main Dining Room, we had to be insistent if we wanted a table for just 2. It certainly wasn’t something that I let ruin the cruise. We just adapted and it was all good. There was a variety of entertainment and activities from the shows to the bands in the bars to paper airplanes in the atrium. Our favorites were Project 5 in the Explorer’s Lounge most nights and Angelic Dreams—2 women who played lovely (current) string music in the Atrium, often around the dinner hours. We enjoyed the ports visited very much. Aruba was a short port so we walked a ways down along the water and saw iguanas and crabs. We walked through the city on the way back, though not too much was open as it was Sunday. We found a bar that had Wi Fi, so we stopped in for a Bloody Mary so we could check in with home. We did the Panama Canal ferry transit to the Pacific which was hot and made for a long day, but worth it to us. Limon was a favorite port as we had a leisurely boat ride down the Tortuguero Canal and an outstanding guide in the Veragua Rainforest who obviously loved his job and delighted in teaching people about this Costa Rican ecosystem. In Cartegena, we took a taxi into the Old City and wandered on our own. We especially enjoyed the small zoo area at the cruise port. In Grand Cayman, we almost had to skip the port due to high waves, but they finally decided we could tender into Spott’s Bay instead of Georgetown. Our party of 4 rented a car and went to the Queen Elizabeth 2 Botanical Gardens and went on the Blue Iguana tour. Not as much was in bloom as would have been nice, but it was still a very nice place to visit and the iguanas were quite interesting. We had a great time and love the product Princess offers!

Loved Panama Canal Cruise on the Coral

Coral Princess Cruise Review by dreaminofcruisin

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We had a very enjoyable cruise on the Coral Princess partial transit of the Panama Canal. The ship is beautiful and we found almost all of the staff to be friendly and eager to please. We enjoyed the food in the Main Dining Room, the Horizon Buffet and the burgers and pizza on the Lido deck. We love the International Café on other Princess ships and though we sometimes still found things on the Coral, we did miss having a full size IC. We loved that the Promenade deck went completely around the ship as one of our favorite activities is to walk the ship. The Coral is one of the older ships in the Princess fleet and I heard someone complaining about rust spots. I hadn’t noticed…..I guess it is all about your priorities on a cruise.

Every cruise has its things that weren’t great. On this cruise, one thing that was a bit annoying was Anytime Dining. It really wasn’t Any time—no surprise if you read the Princess threads. You had to arrive either by 5:45 or after 7:30 if you wanted to sit with your party of 4 and even then, it seemed like you had to be insistent to get a table for just 4. We didn’t mind sharing and we did that on some nights, but sometimes you don’t want to sit at a table for 10 (and it was ALWAYS a table for 10 if we agreed to share). They would rarely give out beepers. It seemed your choice was “share now” or come back after 7:30, which seemed a little odd. I can only guess it's that there is more limited dining room space on the Coral? We adapted by going early or late if we didn’t want to share, or sharing at any other time. Breakfast in the Dining Room was similar. The first time we walked in there and it was just 2 of us, we said there were 2 of us. Without asking, they seated us at a table for 10, of which 2 people were almost done eating. Since we were very early, there were only 2 tables (for 10) in the entire dining room that were taken and waiters were standing around. It would seem in this situation, they could have seated us at a 2-top? I have never seen this occur on other ships at breakfast…usually there are many tables for 2 at that time of day. We learned that if we went to Breakfast in the main Dining Room, we had to be insistent if we wanted a table for just 2. It certainly wasn’t something that I let ruin the cruise. We just adapted and it was all good.

There was a variety of entertainment and activities from the shows to the bands in the bars to paper airplanes in the atrium. Our favorites were Project 5 in the Explorer’s Lounge most nights and Angelic Dreams—2 women who played lovely (current) string music in the Atrium, often around the dinner hours.

We enjoyed the ports visited very much. Aruba was a short port so we walked a ways down along the water and saw iguanas and crabs. We walked through the city on the way back, though not too much was open as it was Sunday. We found a bar that had Wi Fi, so we stopped in for a Bloody Mary so we could check in with home. We did the Panama Canal ferry transit to the Pacific which was hot and made for a long day, but worth it to us. Limon was a favorite port as we had a leisurely boat ride down the Tortuguero Canal and an outstanding guide in the Veragua Rainforest who obviously loved his job and delighted in teaching people about this Costa Rican ecosystem. In Cartegena, we took a taxi into the Old City and wandered on our own. We especially enjoyed the small zoo area at the cruise port. In Grand Cayman, we almost had to skip the port due to high waves, but they finally decided we could tender into Spott’s Bay instead of Georgetown. Our party of 4 rented a car and went to the Queen Elizabeth 2 Botanical Gardens and went on the Blue Iguana tour. Not as much was in bloom as would have been nice, but it was still a very nice place to visit and the iguanas were quite interesting.

We had a great time and love the product Princess offers!
dreaminofcruisin’s Full Rating Summary
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