February 2016 - Coral Princess to Panama Canal, Central America
Coral Princess cruise February 5 -15, 2016.
Cabin B 209
Greg and Melinda Holleman
Positive things about the cruise in no particular order:
1) Movies under the stars is nice
2) Self-laundry facilities are nice
3) All the beautiful wood accent work all through the ship was nice. The lounges were quite soothing and set up well where you could come and go and not feel like you were getting in anyone’s way.
4) Visiting the Panama Canal was the highlight. I think nearly everyone we talked to had that as the primary reason for the choice of this cruise on this ship.
5) Deck 7 promenade had a most excellent walking loop around the ship. I thought they should have installed a sign in places that said “one lap equal this much distance”.
6) 2 tv’s in our mini suite cabin was nice.
7) The indoor solarium pool and hot tubs was designed well. I liked the canopies over each hot tub.
8) We actually played shuffle board several times on deck 16 sports court but I don’t think many people knew this was available. We also enjoyed the putting green and bocce ball games in the links area. This also seemed rather hard to find and a lot of people likely did not know it was there.
9) The international crew talent show was really good. Please keep doing this.
Negative things in no particular order:
1) Our cabin was nice but we needed to get some things fixed. One was a lumpy mattress pad. Only 2 large towel per day. Comforter had a body order smell to it. Only one bed sheet. Once I made these issues aware of the steward he took care of them right away. The point I have is that I as the guest should have never had to bring them up.
2) The shower curtain billowing in and out was a nuisance having the wet curtain stick to your back side while showering. I suggest a section of glass about 24-inch-wide be installed in the shower area and then only use a short curtain to close the opening.
3) It was hard to get hot water at times out of the shower. It seemed that no matter whenever we took a shower we could only get moderately warm water to come out so I think this was not an over use situation.
4) The pool deck had some issues:We ran out of towels numerous times. I cannot understand why there is not and endless supply of pool towels. I never experienced this on any other cruise I have been on. The plastic deck lounges were quite flimsy. I ran across three lounges where the back incline piece was broken. Also I never saw the lounge cushions getting cleaned. I would think these would be sanitized daily by the deck crew. All three hot tubs had no bubbles. And the some of the tubs were not hot. I have seen this type of tub design on several ships and they do have the capability to have air sucked into the jet stream but this function was not in service on these tubs. Water volleyball. Who can play water volley ball in water 5.5 feet deep on one end and 7.5 feet on other. They would not lower the water level down to effectively play. But the water could be lowered as was the case when the seas were rough and pool was sloshing about.
5) The buffet restaurant on deck 14. I had experienced cold pancakes and French toast twice. The first day only one side was open and the lines were a 100 ft. long. Everyone was eating there on first day and some provision should have been made to process that many people in a timelier manner. Also plates were so hot at times you could not hold it without some insulation such as a towel napkin. The table staff was overly zealous to clear your plate. I got up to get another helping and had to open another silverware set and reorder drinks because everything was cleared away in the couple minutes I took to get more food.
6) We chose the anytime dining. This did not work out. We waited in lines outside the dining room for as long as 45 minutes to get seated. We waited in a line every day of the cruise. Service was fine once we got to a table but no one should have to wait in lines repeatly like this in same area while on vacation. They have got to rework this system. The room was open from 5:15 pm until 9:30 pm. We generally went around 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The “rib eye “steak was not much of a steak. It looked like a child’s portion steak.
7) Main atrium area. We passed through this space numerous times. Beautiful design. But there were many times I smelled a septic stinky order near the main center area. I wonder is the small water fall had an issue with bad water or was there a vent open somewhere. This small smelled like a sewer pipe. We would just get a whiff and then it was gone so it was hard to figure out where the source was.
8) Shore excursions: The cruise needs to plan a whole day at each port. 7:00 am until 5:30 pm or longer. Anything less and you feel shorted trying to make sure you get back to ship in time. Also I could not understand why we could not get an extra day in Grand Cayman when our day in Limon was canceled because of rough seas. We tendered in Cayman with only one other ship. There was plenty of room to anchor for an extra day but we slowed down getting to Cayman and wasted a potential port of call day with another sea day. Too many sea days on this trip. The Cayman excursion we chose was a 4.5 hour scheduled event where last stop was for 2.5 hours to snorkel with the stingrays. This portion got canceled because of what the management said was unsafe conditions. We were let off in same place we started after 2 hours of driving about. Then we only get $22.5 off our charge of $75.00 We should have been refunded at least $45 since we had less than half of an excursion. Then we find out later some other guest contracted with a local snorkel boat to take them out to a reef and they had no problems.