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Coral Princess Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 5
Helpful Votes: 58

Overall rating:

4.6 out of 5
Coral Princess

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

Sail date: January 06, 2019

Ship: Coral Princess

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: B423

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

Coral Princess, 06 Jan-21 Jan 2019, San Pedro to Fort Lauderdale via Panama Canal. First the bad, yes the ship shows signs of wear, but what do you want for a ship going into refurbishment after our trip? The crew was working on things so unless you are a real nit picker, it really was not that bad (about a dozen seats in the theater were broken? Rusted out areas?) but I did not mark anything down. Hopefully the next group will have a fresh ship. Bedding, our bed had one mattress that had a 3 inch or so dip, BEFORE putting weight on it. But the steward had that changed out within a few hours of our complaining. Smaller ship than we are used to, so there was some adjustment for the strange traffic patterns like elevators and passageways, but nothing that an intelligent person should mark down since it was a matter of learning routes and knowing where things are. The international cafe was in an odd area, small, and not as good as the other ships we have been on, that was worth a quarter point off. The Atrium (Piazza) was poorly designed for the few entertainment venues held there, more of a nexus for the stairs, shops, and services. Anytime dining tended to have a line, but then this trip was mostly older folks who eat early. The good. The aft pool was covered, nice for the cooler days and help prevent sunburn during the hot days. Horizon Buffet, small, but a nice linear layout with a large selection of hot items (I ate more hot lunches on this trip instead of just making a salad). Usually the buffet also had several ethnic dishes and often a curry dish I liked, and several times large shrimp from the grill. And after about 2PM, chips, guacamole, and salsa (on the days they left out the quac, I asked and received it). Had good to great service there. Dinner was mostly great, food was much better than our last trip on the Caribbean. Granted there were ho hum days, but even then I had a lot I liked (2-7 appetizers and all but two times a main + desert?). Actually gained some weight on this trip[ despite all the stairs I did (up to 38 flights a day). We got the same table every night and the table assigner started telling us “Go to your table”, loved it! Our server, Lorina, was excellent Evening main shows were mostly ranged from very good to excellent (“On the Bayou” and “Encore” were excellent), one good, and two fair (the comedian, Scott Wyler, and juggler, Mark Nizer, were not very good). Still lacking late morning and early afternoon music. One thing I enjoyed were the enrichment lectures by Dr. Angel Colon, ranging from various medical breakthroughs in history to art and environmental. And the Blue Jade Band was very enjoyable. Actually had several tours we took that we enjoyed a lot, the Getsemani walking tour was very informative. Embarkation and disembarkation all went very smooth and fast (but then we are elite level). Due to lack of formatting in this, I am just going to finish and say - GREAT TRIP, well worth the cost.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Was in the MDR by 12:10, no fuss, no muss (we are elite though)

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Buffet was nicely laid out, all in a line so it was easy to go back and forth. Food was varied with many ethnic and American dishes, I actually ate a lot of hot lunches there instead of just making a salad, gained some weight despite doing up to 38 flights flights of stairs. MDR was mostly excellent food, had a great server Lorina that we managed to get every time. Ate in both specialty restaurants, good, lots of food, but overpriced and the MDR was just as good.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
One thing I enjoyed were the enrichment lectures by Dr. Angel Colon, ranging from various medical breakthroughs in history to art and environmental. Fitness center was good, pool was covered and saved us from sunburn. Very good library and card playing rooms.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
Evening main shows were mostly ranged from very good to excellent (“On the Bayou” and “Encore” were excellent), one good, and two fair (the comedian, Scott Wyler, and juggler, Mark Nizer, were not very good). Still lacking late morning and early afternoon music. And the Blue Jade Band was very enjoyable.

The Library

5 out of 5

The best library on the ships we have taken, many books, large, lots of reading seats with local lamps.

Children's Programs

Took no kids on the trip.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Lorina was excellent in the MDR, the table assigner started telling us “Go to your table”, loved it! 99% of the other staff was very friendly.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Even though in need of a refit, the main areas were still good. Atrium (piazza) not very good for entertainment, stair/elevator patterns were odd, but not a big issue.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Bedding, our bed had one mattress that had a 3 inch or so dip, BEFORE putting weight on it. But the steward had that changed out within a few hours of our complaining. Shower had good water flow but the soap and handle were on the side where it cramped the stall.

Ship tip

Walk all over and get a feel.

Ports of call

San Pedro (Los Angeles), California

5 out of 5
Fast on to the ship.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

4 out of 5
Had a nice excursion to the Hyatt Ziva, beach closed for high surf but nice pools, good buffet, and great fresh made fish tacos that you could ask for extra fish and you put your own toppings on.

Huatulco, Mexico

4 out of 5
Did a dive, but they had high waves the night before so it was stirred up a bit.

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

3 out of 5
Walked into town.

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

4 out of 5
walked into town, not bad.

Fuerte Amador, Panama

5 out of 5
Town was a bit far from the dock, but there are building a real cruise port so soon that will be better. Did the Monkey Island tour, had a great guide who talked a lot about the area.

Panama Canal Transit

5 out of 5
Well, the whole trip was an excursion. The only bad thing was the outside speakers were too faint to hear the stories and the few drunks would not shut up.

Cartagena, Colombia

5 out of 5
The Getsemani walking tour was very informative, made a very nice lime and coconut drink.

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
Excellant up untill we went to the busses to go to the airport. Not very organized.

Traveler Photos

Holy Trinity Filet Mignon, very tasty. Leaving the harbor on the dive trip Street view. Nice town Monkey Island, Tamarind monkeys New locks, water recycling basins (Pacific side) Approaching the first lock, Pacific side, old locks. Neighbor ship ready to lift Neighbor ship enter next lock (old) Almost to first stop in lock (old) Ready to lift And off to the second lock Pulling the lines over to guide us through the old locks. Looking out toward the Caribbean Ocean
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