Relaxing learning experience

Coral Princess Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 35

Overall rating:

4.6 out of 5
Coral Princess

15 Night Panama Canal - Ocean To Ocean (Ft. Lauderdale To San Francisco)

Sail date: February 19, 2018

Ship: Coral Princess

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: D308

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

This was our third cruise, and I would rate it the best. Princess was well organized, the prices were fair, and the people were great.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Smooth, easy and quick. We were a little early, but we were still able to check in early. Then, when we got on the boat, everything was open and ready for us. The restaurants were ready, the rooms were ready and the pools were ready. Our luggage also arrived earlier than I had expected.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
The dining rooms were excellent. It was always a pleasure to spend the evening with an excellent meal. The food was outstanding. Maybe too good because I gained 5 pounds. The servers were very nice. They brought the drinks as soon as we sat down, and the servers knew exactly what we wanted. That might be the only reason for complaint...the soda was often flat when it came from the dining rooms. The pizza and burger spots on the pool deck were great. The meat was good old American Beef! I've been on another cruise where the burgers had that "wild" flavor to the beef, probably because they got the meat from somewhere else and it wasn't the "grain fed" beef I am used to and love.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
Relaxation was what I was after, and I got plenty of that, so I'm not the best to discuss the activities-- though the two that I joined in on (egg drop and paper airplane) where great.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
All the entertainers that I saw were great. The shows were clean and very enjoyable. The comedians were even enjoyed by my 80 year old father, who I thought would be bored or disgusted. Great job on booking them.

Princess Theater

3 out of 5

a few of the chairs were broken, but the sound and the other seats were great.

Princess Theater

3 out of 5

a few of the chairs were broken, but the sound and the other seats were great.

Princess Theater

3 out of 5

a few of the chairs were broken, but the sound and the other seats were great.

Princess Theater

3 out of 5

a few of the chairs were broken, but the sound and the other seats were great.

Princess Theater

3 out of 5

a few of the chairs were broken, but the sound and the other seats were great.

Princess Theater

3 out of 5

a few of the chairs were broken, but the sound and the other seats were great.

Princess Theater

3 out of 5

a few of the chairs were broken, but the sound and the other seats were great.

Princess Theater

3 out of 5

a few of the chairs were broken, but the sound and the other seats were great.

Princess Theater

3 out of 5

a few of the chairs were broken, but the sound and the other seats were great.

Princess Theater

3 out of 5

a few of the chairs were broken, but the sound and the other seats were great.

Princess Theater

3 out of 5

a few of the chairs were broken, but the sound and the other seats were great.

Princess Theater

3 out of 5

a few of the chairs were broken, but the sound and the other seats were great.

Princess Theater

3 out of 5

a few of the chairs were broken, but the sound and the other seats were great.

Princess Theater

3 out of 5

a few of the chairs were broken, but the sound and the other seats were great.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
The girl on port side for breakfast was the nicest person I've ever met. She was always happy and friendly. I wish I had her as an employee.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Everything was clean and well designed. I loved the indoor pool, which was great when it was windy or cold.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Very comfortable. The size was just what we needed. I'm sure I could have enjoyed a bigger room, but I wouldn't want to pay for it, and like I said, for the two of us, it was just right. The matress, blankets and sheets were very comfortable. To me, it was comparable to a 5 star hotel. But the surprising thing was the size of the queen bed. I think it must be larger than a standard queen because we have a king bed, so I was expecting to elbow my wife all night, which wasn't the case. When we've spent time in other hotels where they advertize queen beds, it must be 6 inches thinner.

Ports of call

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

Just got off the plane and onto the boat, so we didn't spend any time in the town, but the port itself was very well organized.

Oranjestad, Aruba

4 out of 5
Too short of a stay. I wish we could have spent more time, but we had to be back on the boat by 12 or 1 pm. We did the snorkeling excursion, which was great, except for the weather. The weather was rainy and windy, which likely messed up the snorkling visibly as well. We can only blame mother nature on that. The company they did the excursion with was, however, very accomadating and excellent. The price was also very fair.

Cartagena, Colombia

4 out of 5
We did the mangrove excursion, which was fun, but it did feel like it was staged. We went on small boats that were pushed around with sticks, but it felt like they had just wacked down some of the mangrove to create a path and then we were herded through the paths, one after another. Then we stopped at some shops for about 15 minutes, which was plenty for me, but I don't think it was enough for my wife. After that, we did a tour of the old town. The architecture was great. The guide was excellent. He spoke english very well.

Panama Canal Transit

5 out of 5
Amazing. More than I expected. I really appreciated the full boat discussion on the PA system and televisions. I was able to do some other things while we transistioned and could still hear the details no matter where I went.

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

4 out of 5
I love this country. I felt like I was in little America. We did a tram ride excursion, and the facilities were high quality, the lunch was excellent, english was spoken well, guides were knowledgeable and the transportation was high class. The one thing I was disappointed with was the lack of animal life. They had a small zoo, so that was nice to see, but I can see that in any zoo. Maybe it was my expectations, but I wanted to see more animal life, but all we saw (that wasn't in a cage), were some birds and a couple of lizards. If I had my choice, I would have rather gone on a hike to see some real things. Then, if I wouldn't have seen them, at least I would have known it was because of bad luck and not because they weren't there.

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

4 out of 5
We went on the Granada excursion. It was nice and very interesting, but the two hour drive there and two hour drive back took most of the day. Our time may have been better spent closer to port.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

5 out of 5
we went scuba diving and I was very impressed. The fish and animal life was outstanding, even though were we so close to port. It was very busy there, so that was the one drawback. The cost of a two tank dive was very reasonable. I couldn't have done better, and the boat and dive gear were all excellent.

San Francisco, California Did not visit port

Just got off the boat and onto the plane. I've been here a handful of times, so I didn't need to see it anyway.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Very smooth. I really appreciate how Princess schedules your disembarkation times. On other crusies, we were just sent off and there was a mass of people. Treating disembarkation like an excursion was very organized and relaxing.
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