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CREW: Captain Rikard Lorentzen, changed to Captain Andrea Poggi in Cartagena. CD: Miranda McLean, Naturalist Dr. Thomas Ryan, Enrichment Lecture: Mike Raick ENTERTAINMENT: The naturalist came down with pneumonia at Cartagena and struggled though the Panama Canal lecture. He made no appearances after that– he was very good and this was a big loss. Did not go to most events because of immunity issues this cruise. Love Princess’ all-inclusive unhosted events: Get togethers for teachers, veterans, police/fire, knitters, Friends of Dr. Bob & Bill W, singles, LGBT, bible study, book club, bridge, ping pong. Cardroom crowded on sea days, but better than no cardroom. Compounding problem are half finished puzzles with ‘save’ signs on it. There are other table locations available, like in front of Bayou. Some used Horizon, during peak times. ROOMS– Beds... Mattresses were soft and comfortable. Dumb duvets– all or nothing. Pull apart for a top sheet, or have the whole heavy thing on you. Bathrooms small, but do-able. Deck 8 aft have the roomiest balconies. If traveling with friends, like us, can open a door between balconies (except where support dividers). FOOD: **Horizon Buffet. Ate here more than normal, esp since we didn’t do formal nights. It’s difficult to exit– you either walk back thru food area, or wind your way between tables. Princess didn’t listen to me and is installing wash sinks. They don’t work. The first 2 people will stop to wash, and everyone behind them will walk on past. **Trident Grill. Very inconvenient, one staircase up from Horizon. No elevator, not handicap friendly. The wind will blow pickles off your burger. Waiter poured water and it went sideways. **Pizza at Sabatini’s or Pub Lunch at the Bayou (no hot tea!) No beverages beyond water– you must buy your drink. I was almost done with pizza before margarita arrived. Both a change of pace, but disappointing. **Bordeaux: Very good lunch, if you can get past the ballcap police. Dinners were excellent. Kudos to Emanuel who made our dinners seem unharried. **International Café. Coffee and snacks. A frequent stop. Please tell me they’re moving this to the 5th floor. There’s a support post in the aisle and one person in line jams it. It’s next to the casino and smoke wafts (at least put up a plexiglas wall). MISC: Did not pre-purchase tours, flowers or anything because Princess.com now had pre-pay only... I want it charged to room. Elevators are fast, hallways are narrow. Embarkation was the fastest ever. Hotels are high on cruise days! Why I won’t be going with Princess again?? This was our 9th cruise and 2nd Panama, with another couple, in adjoining balconies. Princess gathers luggage the last night, with color-coded tags provided. You pick it up ashore in the morning, all in color-order. Our friends had a large suitcase missing. The pier would not let us search beyond our color area and friends filed a missing suitcase claim. The next day the pier found it and shipped via FedX. FedX lost it. A month later, FedX wants a receipt for every item in the suitcase. Who keeps receipts on every piece of underwear?! Princess has offered no support or communication – through the pier, they said to do what FedX wants.

Very Nice - Probably Won't Cruise Princess Again

Coral Princess Cruise Review by writedesign

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
CREW: Captain Rikard Lorentzen, changed to Captain Andrea Poggi in Cartagena.

CD: Miranda McLean, Naturalist Dr. Thomas Ryan, Enrichment Lecture: Mike Raick

ENTERTAINMENT: The naturalist came down with pneumonia at Cartagena and struggled though the Panama Canal lecture. He made no appearances after that– he was very good and this was a big loss. Did not go to most events because of immunity issues this cruise. Love Princess’ all-inclusive unhosted events: Get togethers for teachers, veterans, police/fire, knitters, Friends of Dr. Bob & Bill W, singles, LGBT, bible study, book club, bridge, ping pong. Cardroom crowded on sea days, but better than no cardroom. Compounding problem are half finished puzzles with ‘save’ signs on it. There are other table locations available, like in front of Bayou. Some used Horizon, during peak times.

ROOMS– Beds... Mattresses were soft and comfortable. Dumb duvets– all or nothing. Pull apart for a top sheet, or have the whole heavy thing on you. Bathrooms small, but do-able. Deck 8 aft have the roomiest balconies. If traveling with friends, like us, can open a door between balconies (except where support dividers).

FOOD: **Horizon Buffet. Ate here more than normal, esp since we didn’t do formal nights. It’s difficult to exit– you either walk back thru food area, or wind your way between tables. Princess didn’t listen to me and is installing wash sinks. They don’t work. The first 2 people will stop to wash, and everyone behind them will walk on past.

**Trident Grill. Very inconvenient, one staircase up from Horizon. No elevator, not handicap friendly. The wind will blow pickles off your burger. Waiter poured water and it went sideways.

**Pizza at Sabatini’s or Pub Lunch at the Bayou (no hot tea!) No beverages beyond water– you must buy your drink. I was almost done with pizza before margarita arrived. Both a change of pace, but disappointing.

**Bordeaux: Very good lunch, if you can get past the ballcap police. Dinners were excellent. Kudos to Emanuel who made our dinners seem unharried.

**International Café. Coffee and snacks. A frequent stop. Please tell me they’re moving this to the 5th floor. There’s a support post in the aisle and one person in line jams it. It’s next to the casino and smoke wafts (at least put up a plexiglas wall).

MISC: Did not pre-purchase tours, flowers or anything because Princess.com now had pre-pay only... I want it charged to room. Elevators are fast, hallways are narrow. Embarkation was the fastest ever. Hotels are high on cruise days!

Why I won’t be going with Princess again?? This was our 9th cruise and 2nd Panama, with another couple, in adjoining balconies. Princess gathers luggage the last night, with color-coded tags provided. You pick it up ashore in the morning, all in color-order. Our friends had a large suitcase missing. The pier would not let us search beyond our color area and friends filed a missing suitcase claim. The next day the pier found it and shipped via FedX. FedX lost it. A month later, FedX wants a receipt for every item in the suitcase. Who keeps receipts on every piece of underwear?! Princess has offered no support or communication – through the pier, they said to do what FedX wants.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Jeep Tour
    4-Wheel Drive DePalm Tour. 7:30-12 Casibara Rock, Natural Bridge, Arashi Beach, Alto Vista Chapel, CA lighthouse. Met 7am Explorers, out to bus, which takes us to nearby tour yard. We get in 4 4-wheel drive, 3 rows of 3 each. Step is maybe 2 ft off the ground, grab a handhold and pull up. It had rained day before and threatened rain again. Rain is rare on Aruba. Casibara Rock is first stop, then Natural Arch, where it poured. Then hit 4 wheel roads along the coastline, to Chapel. Supposed to have healing powers.... nah. Stayed outside and photo’d birds. More 4 wheel, rain, rainbows, to California lighthouse, then to beach. The beach stop was dumb... 40 minutes to swim at a beach, no gift shop, only a hamburger stand, bathroom use is $1. We walked around again photo’ing birds. Thighs sore from getting in and out of jeep. Princess had moved up the all aboard time and the tour didn’t quite make it back in time but we weren’t the only ones.
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  • Cartagena (Spain)
    National Aviary Tour $70, 4 hour. Great. Several pairs of macaws flew overhead for a striking entrance. We’re told not to interact with birds, captive or free flying, but I couldn’t help but tell some how pretty they were. Little owls hiding in the crack of trees. Andean Condor. The guide spoke excellent English but wasn’t a bird person. There’s a walkway loop we all followed. Easy, but gravel surface can be difficult for walking challenged. Loved it, but regret that we had to keep a rapid pace and miss several birds. Negotiating with a taxi might be a better way. The countryside could be quaint but looks like a city in a garbage strike. Lots of poverty, cur dogs. Our guide told us how happy the people were, how tourism has been on the rise since Obama’s secret service got in the tiff with prostitutes, and the drug crackdown has changed the country so much for the better. Didn’t see any pony carts in town (??) But merchants dealing out of heavily laden wheelbarrows.
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  • River Cruise & Scarlet Macaw Sanctuary
    Macaw Sanctuary/Boat Trip. Bus didn’t seem to know how to get to the ‘Yacht Club’ and overshot the entrance several times. Did a u-turn on the highway that took several points and no one honked or seemed to mind (vs. Cartagena). Wanted us to use the bathroom first because there wouldn’t be opportunity later. We just left the ship... Don’t need to go yet. Guide had to keep taking a head count and several efforts later, found everyone. Boat was a long skinny thing but held us all. ‘Captain’ ordered 2 people on the boat to switch to starboard to balance the boat and stop the leaning. We putted along the mangroves. Saw white ibis, sanderling, blue heron, cattle egret, black hawk, yellow belly, osprey, alligator. Back to dock/bus. Drive to Macaw Sanctuary, about 50 minutes. Up highway, loop exit, up hill. Turned L at dirt road barely 2 cars wide. Nice sanctuary, tons of macaws confiscated by police. Trying to rehab for release. Also monkeys. Great local fruit snack lunch. We wore long ‘jungle’ pants and good athletic shoes that could get wet. Noticed some people in shorts, flipflops, getting bit good. Again, the walkways were difficult if impaired.
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  • San Juan del Sur
    4 Wheel Mombaco Volcano Tour - Tour said ‘strenuous’ and it was. Said it was 1 mile... it was 2-3 mi. Up and down steep banks with stair steps of varying distances, made of rock or tropical wood with wet leaves and mud that made it slippery. None of this would have been a problem but my health issues made it challenging. There were many not in shape or older that gave me company. Cloud forest made for heavy fog that dripped rain. Very ‘jungle-y’ no particular visible awareness of volcano or crater. Saw 3 sloths, heard more birds than I saw. 2 vehicles sold out, plus 1. Then they picked up some cute riders to the top. Grenada portion mixed. Walked us through town square. This was a set-up for aggressive vendors. Vendors wear/carry/wave their wares. They chased us 2 blocks down street to restaurant. The food was very authentic– beef, chicken or fish. When we went to leave, the same vendors were at the door. It was a gauntlet. They chased us down the street. I kept my head down– sidewalks are so rough and irregular you need to watch your step anyway. One man did a face plant. Driving the countryside, slightly less garbage, but poverty still a visible problem. Skinny horses grazing side of road. Cisterns catch water from roofs. Little horses pulling carts. Saw cow with long board attached to a collar (??) And a goat with a frame thing over its neck. How can they graze? Saw mother and child kicking and swatting at a young friendly dog cowering, dragging a tie down lead. Guide explained Nicaragua’s desire for canal. Japan is staged to pay. It was the original location because it is so flat. But that raises engineering concerns. It can cut thru Lago Cocibolca (Great Lake size) but that would cause invasive species to destroy the rare local fauna. They can cut a canal but it would devastate the forests and displace indigenous natives. They have a free health care plan. If you have a headache, doctor will treat your headache. But if you still have a headache and need a specialist, an appointment is 2 years out. What do ex-patriots do?
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