Lovely Canal Cruise

Coral Princess Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Contributor Level: Purser
Experience: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 4

Overall Rating:

4 out of 5
Verified Review
10 Night Panama Canal Partial Transit (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip)
Sail Date: December 17, 2015
Ship: Coral Princess
Cabin Type: Suite
Cabin Number: C643
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 2 years ago

Very nice cruise.  The ship is a bit tired looking in places but spotlessly clean, well maintained and comfortable.  We had a suite and an adjacent veranda stateroom.  Both were very comfortable and the layout of the suite was far superior to suites we have had on Oceania and Holland America -- particularly the split bath and the separation between the living and sleeping areas.  On both Oceania and Holland America a suite is really just a large room.  The suites on the Coral and Island Princess are designed to live as two distinct "rooms"--one for sleeping and one for entertaining.  Service was very good overall but there was a greater "push" to purchase specialty drinks and extra cost add ins than we were used to based on other cruises we have taken.  We booked the Sanctuary for the whole cruise and that eliminated the issue everywhere but the main dining room where the "hawking" of after dinner drinks was a bit too intrusive for our taste.

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
The food was fine. Nothing extraordinary either way. The extra cost dining rooms on this ship are, in my opinion, nothing to write home about and don't really provide any incentive to stray from the main room. This is another area where Holland America's offerings are better.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
As noted we hung out in the Sanctuary and we're happy there. We also used the gym every day. The hydro spa was sub-par though (another area where both Holland America and Oceania surpass Princess--at least on this ship).


3 out of 5
We attended one show which was corny but my mother in law seemed to enjoy it. Princess could use something like the BB King club that Holland America has developed. Had there been a venue for consistently good after dinner music -- we would have gone every night but there really wasn't anything like that.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
See general comments.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
See general comments.

Ship Tip

The Sanctuary is a must if you want to get away from the crowds around the Lido. But because Princess doesn't allow one to book the Sanctuary in advance, there is something of a crush to make reservations upon boarding.

3 out of 5
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
You can see the whole canal but you need to get off the ship at Gautun and take an excursion--either a boat ride to the Pacific or the antique train which runs along side the canal. Both are fun.
1 out of 5
Colon is really a nasty spot--even the locals acknowledge that it is a dump. Get off the boat at Gautun and see something of the canal and spend as little time in Colon as possible.
5 out of 5
Nicer than Colon but not anywhere I would want to spend time. Get out and see the rainforest -- it is why you came to Costa Rica in the first place!
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