Amazing Panama Canal

Coral Princess Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 17

Overall rating:

4.6 out of 5
Coral Princess

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

Sail date: January 31, 2019

Ship: Coral Princess

Cabin type: Balcony

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

We chose this cruise to go through the Panama Canal and it ended in San Francisco which is home for us. The ship, Coral Princess, had been in dry dock for 12 days prior to our cruise and the contractors were not finished with the upgrades such as new carpet and flat screen TVs in the rooms. Nice upgrades, but there were rolls of carpet about the ship and painting still being done. Embarkation was delayed for 4 hours as the ship was late coming from dry dock so we sat in the waiting area until we could board. Our cabin had a new TV and the room was thoroughly functional, but the wi fi was not working properly and there were tech's throughout the ship working on it. Cosmetically the ship was not up to the standards we have experienced on Princess. For instance there were speaker covers sitting on the floor in the Princess theater and seats around us were broken and wobbly. Our cabin was a balcony unit and other than the minor cosmetics we were overall happy with it, it was clean and the bed was comfortable. Dining was excellent, the food was great and a nice variety to chose from. The dinners were a little long, averaged about two hours to finish our meals. We had the early seating for dining, the shows are staggered so we could still see them after dinner. We really enjoyed the Production show, well done. The guest entertainers were excellent, I recommend seeing them, comics, magicians, singers. Lots of activities daily on the ship, we never got bored. The service was excellent, the crew is friendly and works hard. We took a shore excursion at every port through Princess and they were well organized. Only drawback is on ports where you tender in took a long time waiting in tender lines both coming and going. Some ports were short on time and some of it wasted waiting in line. Guests we dined with took the Whale Watching by Zodiac in Cabo San Lucas and they really liked it, said it was fantastic and they saw about 30 whales and several were up close. If we are able to do this cruise again we plan on doing this excursion. This was a great cruise and we would do it again (probably will in a few of years).


2 out of 5
Ship was in dry dock prior to our cruise, 4 hours late getting on the ship.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Food was excellent, great variety.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
Participated in golf, bean bag toss, egg drop, and ring toss. All fun. The gym has a spectacular view as I walked the treadmill.


5 out of 5
Great stage production show with the Princess dancers and singers. Guest performers included a magician, comics, singers, all very good.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Staff works hard, excellent friendly service.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Good layout and design, ship is getting old and the wear and tear is beginning to show. It was clean, dry dock refurbishing had not been finished and contractors were still working on the ship.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Nice cabin, new carpet and flat screen TV installed. Just needed some paint and patchwork, nothing to dampen our stay.

Ship tip

Access the front of the ship when going through the Panama Canal. On deck 11 the door for crew only can be opened to access the front of the ship.

Ports of call

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

Arrived night before cruise started, no time.

Cartagena, Colombia

4 out of 5
Visited the National Aviary, good tour for viewing birds.

Panama Canal Transit

5 out of 5
Excellent, what we cruised for.

Fuerte Amador, Panama

4 out of 5
Visited Gamboa Rain forest resort, great tram ride and view from the top. Also saw the butterfly and sloth sanctuary.

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

3 out of 5
Did a nature walk through private gardens, saw some birds and flowers.

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

4 out of 5
Did a cooking class and tour of Granada. Long bus rides, nothing close to the port. Excellent guide and excursion. Had to tender into port which eats up some sightseeing time.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

5 out of 5
The excursion we took was misleading in the Princess tour listings description. We took tour SJD-500 that is titled "4 x 4 Desert and Camel Adventure". There was NOT a 4 x 4 ride "on a guided off-road safari adventure". It is also listed there is a tortilla-making presentation which did not happen, very misleading. We did have a tequila tasting as described and the traditional Baja meal was excellent. The camel ride was fun and unique, well organized. The description says "cameras may not be used whilst atop a camel", however we were prevented from taking photos while greeting the camels too. Disappointing since the vendor had there own photographers taking photos, unfortunately their photos were expensive starting at $40 for one! Way too expensive, we returned without a photo of us on the camel. Guests we dined with took the Whale Watching by Zodiac in Cabo San Lucas and they really liked it, said it was fantastic and they saw about 30 whales and several were up close. If we are able to do this cruise again we plan on doing

San Francisco, California Did not visit port

End of cruise, live locally.


5 out of 5
Fast and easy.

Traveler Photos

Gatlin locks, Panama canal. Lock gate. National Aviary in Colombia.
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