November 2015 - Coral Princess to Panama Canal, Central America
Princess knows the Panama Canal and the on board expert was top notch. We learned a great deal about the canal and the experience was a bucket list moment. The ship itself was in bad need of the dry dock that it is scheduled for in early 2016. Specifically water pipes leaked sporadically and air conditioning in parts of the ship did not work. Princess continues to cut back on passenger services such as dry cleaning is no longer available, lesser canapés on formal nights and a bunch of little things that add up to cheaper services. The staff was generally less friendly than found on previous ships. this was especially true of the pursers staff whom many passengers found patronizing and condescending. The cleanliness of the ship was very sub par for a cruise ship. Rest rooms were not as clean a they should be and public areas especially Lido deck areas were not promptly cleaned. The dining room service was good and the specialty dining services were excellent. The itinerary was OK, although most passengers did not enjoy Nicaragua. Princess pushes its all inclusive liquor packages. These are a value for some but create for alcohol related situations than we have observed on past cruises.
Overall 3 stars, but, if this was our first Princess Cruise it would have been our last one. We will see if this experience is their new normal or if the next cruise is better.