Panama Canal Cruise

Coral Princess Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 21

Overall rating:

4.2 out of 5
Coral Princess

15 Night Panama Canal - Ocean To Ocean (Ft. Lauderdale To Los Angeles)

Sail date: December 21, 2017

Ship: Coral Princess

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: D227

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

I have fallen in love with cruising. It is such a great way to see different places and not have to move from hotel to hotel. So many wonderful experiences and new friends made! The Panama Canal was absolutely stunning and a true mechanical marvel.


4 out of 5
Easy and straightforward embarkation. Unlike other cruises we've been on, it was nice to be able to go directly to your stateroom upon boarding the ship. Didn't care for the "ambush" photo. I'd just been traveling all day so do you really think I wanted to be ambushed by a photographer?

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Overall, the ship experience was wonderful. Dining onboard was average with the exception of Sabitini's, which was outstanding. Restaurants and buffet area was clean and staff worked hard to keep it picked up and assist in finding seating.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
Hands down the best dining on the ship. Don't miss it!


3 out of 5

As a non-smoker, it would have been wonderful if the entire inside of the ship was smoke free or restricted to specific areas. There were smoke free casino nights onboard however, the tables and area reeked of smoke from previous users.


4 out of 5
The entertainment on board was pretty good. As in any venue, some was better than others. Overall, I was quite pleased.

Princess Theater

3 out of 5

Overall, the shows were quite enjoyable. The theater itself is starting to show signs on wear and could use a refreshing.

Children's Programs

Did not travel with children.

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
The staff was efficient and friendly. Our steward always greeted us by name and seemed genuinely interested in our on and off board experiences. Staff was willing to share advice based on their experiences of where to go and what to see when at port. I did miss the little personal touches that Norwegian Cruise lines offered. Just small little things that went above and beyond.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Although showing signs of wear and age, the ship was well maintained and kept very clean. I do think the Princess Coral could be refreshed in some areas, for example the Princess Theater.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
The size of the balcony room was very comparable to other cruises we've been on. My only complaint would be the balcony itself. This one seemed a little smaller than ones we have had in the past. Also, it was the least private balcony we've had. It would have been nice to have a solid wall rather than one with a gap. Also would have been nice if the barrier between balconies went out a little farther so you couldn't lean out and so easily look into your neighbors balcony. Can you tell we had very friendly neighbors?

Ship tip

There were laundry rooms at the end of deck and well used. If you have to laundry on board, do it on a port day since they were most used on sea days. If the laundry room on your level is busy, try one on a level that shares staterooms with the atrium. Less rooms on a level equals less use in the laundry room. We were on deck 9 but used the laundry room on deck 5.

Ports of call

Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida Did not visit port

Only used for embarkdation.

Oranjestad, Aruba

3 out of 5
Unfortunately, the time in this port was very short. We did a snorkeling excursion and felt very rushed and wished we would have had more time to actually snorkel.

Cartagena, Colombia

4 out of 5
We did a tour of the Mangrove canals and a walk through the old city. I wish the tour guides on the canoes would have shared information on the mangroves rather than just paddling us through them. I had to research them on my own once we were home.

Panama Canal Transit

4 out of 5
The canal itself was beautiful and truly a work of art. The lake in the center is much larger than I realized. A fantastic experience. The only negatives were that we didn't get a stop in Panama and the narrator through the canal didn't seem to be able to focus and was verbally all over the place. We ended up tuning him out and just enjoying the views.

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

4 out of 5
Beautiful country. We visited the botanical gardens and coffee plantation. The guides were well informed and very knowledgeable about their country.

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

4 out of 5

Huatulco, Mexico

4 out of 5

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

4 out of 5

San Pedro (Los Angeles), California Did not visit port

Disembarkation only at this port


4 out of 5
We did an early walk off with our luggage because we had an early flight. Overall, it went smoothly and the staff was helpful in getting us off the ship and to customs. I would recommend smaller groups than what we had. My only complaint during this process was my rudeness of my fellow passengers. If you are disembarking with your luggage rather than having it taken off for you, please remember to be courteous and keep your luggage confined so there is room for people to get past you into the crowded waiting area.
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