Great way to experience Panama Canal via cruise.

Caribbean Princess Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 40

Overall rating:

3.9 out of 5
Verified Review
Caribbean Princess

10 Night Panama Canal With Costa Rica & Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip)

Sail date: January 03, 2020

Ship: Caribbean Princess

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: D524

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

We were glad that we had the chance to see and experience the Panama Canal. We are disappointed that so much misinformation is given by both cruise lines and shore excursion companies about how "scary" it is if you dare stray out on your own. In our 15 years of cruising, this was only the second time we did a shore excursion with the ship, and only out of necessity. Princess does a nice job of maintaining their ships. We had a lot of yummy food (but no gelato to be found). All staff was friendly and helpful. Do your research before you go if you want to save a lot of money at the various ports.


5 out of 5
We had our new medallions, so from the time we arrived it was 20 minutes to our cabin.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Service was slow in the main dining room for Anytime Dining. We issed a few shows, as we waited too long for our food, especially the time between the starters and main course. We arrived by 5:30 at the latest and were lucky to be out by 7.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
Used the Fitness Center and went to Zumba. Would have loved Zumba to be every day.


5 out of 5
Enjoyed what we were able to see.

Children's Programs

no kids

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Waiters were nice, service too slow. Had a great room steward. Excellent service at the omelette station.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Clean and well-maintained.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
My husband's side of the bed was way to soft, it even had a dip in the middle. Tried to get it changed, didn't happen. Husband's back ended up going out and he couldn't even get off in Grand Caymans.

Ship tip

Do not listen to the fear mongering about the safety of the ports. So much cheaper to go outside the "cruise city" gates to get taxis, etc.

Ports of call

Falmouth, Jamaica

5 out of 5
We negotiated with Marlon ( outside of the gate for our transportation to Blue Waters beach. Charged half of what inside the gates wanted. Was waiting for us to transport back to ship as promised. Very professional. It's a disgrace how the people inside the gate (and Princess) use scare tactics to get people to use their highly over-priced services. This was our 3rd time to this port. It's nice to go to a beach and have a nice beach chair. Worth the money spent. Our total out of pocket was $40 for the day.

Cartagena, Colombia

5 out of 5
As in Jamaica, a lot of misinformation. We only used US dollars, unlike research that said you had to change money at ATM. Instead of paying $20 each way to go to the old walled city, we paid $15 round trip by walking outside of the gates. We were told it was a 2 block walk to taxi outside, it was literally right outside. Another fear tactic. It's a disgrace how the people inside the gate (and Princess) use scare tactics to get people to use their highly over-priced services.

Panama Canal (Cruise Into Canal)

5 out of 5
We are very independent travelers and were dismayed to find that the only way to actually get off the ship was to take a shore excursion with Princess. Had we realized that, we would have pre-booked to get discount. We ended up doing the Miralocks and IMAX experience. Glad we did.

Cristobal, Panama

1 out of 5
Not even a port. A flea market set up right as you step off the ship. Also had porta potties. No idea if one could even leave the area, or why you would. This is where we were dropped off after our excursion in Panama.

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

5 out of 5
Again, had researched and knew the price of taxis to pay to visit Playa Bonita. Went up the street to the grocery store and got a taxi for $13 for two round trip. Right by the ship they said $10 per person each way. Quite a difference. Playa Bonita is a nice beach for a swim. Nobody tried selling us anything, which was a nice change.

George Town, Grand Cayman

4 out of 5
We had been here before. I took the tender in, turned left outside of cruise port area and walked less than two minutes to a small beach. Perfect for a quick dip.


5 out of 5
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