Panama Canal Cruise on Coral Princess

Coral Princess Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 21

Overall rating:

3.3 out of 5
Verified Review
Coral Princess

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

Sail date: April 10, 2018

Ship: Coral Princess

Cabin type: Suite

Cabin number: D316

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

Overall, we rate this as 'Fair'; Panama Canal was great. Ship itself was disappointing; needs to be renovated.

Embarkation

4 out of 5
No issues.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

2 out of 5
Main dining room was mediocre; selection and quality was average to below-average for Princess. Bayou Café was outstanding; we ate there twice. Buffet was poor; worst we've had on any Princess cruise (selections limited; quality poor-mediocre; variety poor). Overall, the dining on this ship was the worst we have ever had on a Princess ship (we've sailed with them over 20 times). Afternoon tea held daily; however, the ship didn't advertise this--which kept attendance to a minimum (for cost saving?). No entertainment at afternoon tea or the Bayou Café (which was advertised).

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Outstanding service and drink quality; was a high point on our cruise. Table tennis was located in an indoor area; which made it much easier to play (normally, Princess places their table tennis facility in a top deck and outside; which makes playing almost impossible due to the 'winds over deck'). No pool games held during the cruise; which made sense--given the guest demographics (mostly elderly).

Gymnasium

2 out of 5

Fitness instructors were almost non-existent. They conducted no spinning classes in 10 days (the bikes stayed locked up the entire time). The only other 'upright' bike was broken. My wife said yoga class was sub-par. The rest of the fitness equipment was OK; cardio equipment was either treadmills or elliptical machines. Free weight area small; made it difficult to lift weights.

Entertainment

2 out of 5
Stage shows were mostly boring; however, the 'bayou' show was outstanding. Dancers (especially female) looked like they hadn't been in a gym in a few years; one male dancer almost dropped a female dancer during a 'lift' due to her weight and girth. Princess orchestra was very good. Band was mediocre; especially their music selections. DJ was the worst we've had; his selections were terrible--whatever venue he 'played' at would empty within 30 minutes of him starting. Overall entertainment was pretty boring; Princess needs to take some hints from other cruise lines (especially Royal Caribbean).

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Room steward was outstanding; same for waiters and other ship personnel.

Ship Quality

2 out of 5
Coral Princess desperately needs a 'facelift'; especially in the cabins. Our cabin had rust throughout; and our cabin flooded while departing Ft Lauderdale port (a storm came upon the ship while sailing out of the port area; the wind drove the rain through our sliding glass balcony door; flooded the balcony; and flooded our cabin). Most cabins on 'Port' side suffered same (talking to other guests). It took 2 days for our cabin floor to dry out (and this was after the steward used a 'floor vac' to get most of the water out of the carpet). After that, I asked for 'duct tape' to seal our balcony sliding glass door; used it every night. No problems after that.

Cabin / Stateroom

2 out of 5
As stated earlier, cabin, bathroom and balconies need to be refurbished. Lots of rust; frayed edges; water damage; etc evident. Room didn't have the normal 'audio-visual' entertainment we've seen on other Princess ships in recent years (i.e.; the selections were very limited). Good thing we both had good books with us. Bed was spongy; made sleeping more difficult.

Ship tip

This ship needs an overhaul. The Princess website stated the ship had been refurbished in 2016; this must have been select portions of the ship (which didn't include many of the areas we frequented).

Ports of call

Oranjestad, Aruba

4 out of 5
No; just walked around town.

Cartagena, Colombia

4 out of 5
Very nice area; we had a 3-hour driving tour.

Panama Canal (Cruise Into Canal)

5 out of 5
Best part of the cruise (especially from an engineering perspective). Made the whole cruise worthwhile.

Colon, Panama

2 out of 5
Dirty; not much there; we stayed within the immediate port area.

Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

4 out of 5
Nice downtown area; we walked around for 2 hours.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica

5 out of 5
We did 'resort for a day' here; had a great time. Ocho Rios has seen improvements and capital investment since our last visit; folks there were very friendly; whole area much cleaner than previous years.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
No issues; fast; efficient; although we disembarked a bit late (due to Customs).
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