March 2015 - Coral Princess to Panama Canal, Central America
The ship was excellent and the stateroom and dining room service was top notch. The itinerary was great, the level of service was perfect except for one restaurant, comments later. The shows were good and the entertainment is the bars also very good and we enjoyed the piano player/entertainer, Barty (Englishman) in the Crooners Bar. He was popular, warm and great fun each evening.
We went to the one 'fine-dining' restaurant which I think was called the Cajun Restaurant or a similar name. The staff here were not at all responsive. I think they were not busy and it made them lackadaisical in their approach to serving. I asked for ice-cream for desert as the deserts available were limited and did not interest me but was told there was no ice-cream. I found this amazing as it was available everywhere else on the ship. It was symptomatic of the attitude of the staff in that particular restaurant. I think it was a management failure because if it had been led well the staff would have been more attentive instead of gathering together for chats and not doing their job. The food here though for the main course and starter was excellent I have to say. They staff in the main dining room were incredible and did a magnificent job. The ship was immaculate and the rest of the service on board and all communication was very good. We enjoyed the trip and recommended this trip to two friends who joined us and booked through Cruises Only on our recommendation. We felt this was the best of our 14 cruises so far and we will do another one in the not too distant future and book with Cruises Only again as service is great and reliable which is what everyone relies on. One thing we must comment on though is the heavy marketing done by the ship in terms of constantly asking us to buy drinks with special offers. It was 'overboard' (excuse the metaphor), and I don't think the staff enjoyed doing it (most of them were not natural sales people) and it was obvious that they are pushed to do this to drive revenue. It's tacky and took away from the overall ambience...less drinks marketing...we're there ..we'll buy if we want to...don't push it - should be the message to Princess and other cruise ships who are all doing this now, although some less than others.