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Coral Princess Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,031 Reviews

Panama Canal - March 5 - 15, 2011

Coral Princess Cruise Review by zahav1

0 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2011
  • Destination: the Panama Canal & Central America

Ship's Description

Coral was built as a Panamax ship; therefore it's narrower than most new ships and long. There are 2,000 passengers therefore the sq. ft of space per passenger is extremely large. The ship is also designed so the passengers can view the Panama Canal and Alaska views from many different points. The Horizon Court is at the front with large windowed view. There are also multiple terraces for viewing, two forward on 10th and 11th floor, same on aft on both of these floors. Also the Promenade Deck is open all around and so most of the Lido. The Sun Deck is also great for viewing.

The Atrium is open to the 8th floor where you have the Library, internet cafe and very large game room. The Crooners and Patisserie are very large with many areas for seating. The photo gallery is at the aft and restaurants more center and forward so you don' have to always passing the photo studio.

The theaters are beautiful; the Universal Lounge is on two levels with a movable stage. The Princess theater is very large and beautifully appointed. All lounges, bars, restaurants are beautifully designed.

Restaurants and food

We ate breakfast and lunch at Horizon except for a few other occasions. Horizon food for breakfast is great, many choices and also an omelet bar. Lunch has plenty of choices, salads, sandwiches, hot entrees, desserts, all very tasty. We had the reserved late seating for dinner at the Provence dining room. The foods mostly was great, especially fish and seafood. The waiter brought out whatever you wanted and any extra without any problem. I don't recall one mediocre meal, all delicious. The wine list is extensive and prices are reasonable. Our waiter and his assistant were extremely accommodating, polite and very efficient, their aim was to please.


We had an outside cabin, no balcony. I thought the cabin was a bit small; maybe an extra two feet on either side would have been better. We travel heavy so could have used more drawer and counter space. Plenty of closed and shelf space near the bathroom area. Bathroom is small but sufficient.


Embarkation -

Acapulco - we didn't spend any time there, just took the bus from the airport to the ship, embarkation was very quick since we came in late.

Huatulco (pronounced wah-TOOL-co), Mexico

We didn't take an excursion, walked around this quaint little village. Very nice area around the port and we also walked into the center of this small town. Some artisans are selling jewelry, and also interesting bamboo made mugs, bowls, etc. Enjoyed walking around this village.

Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

We took the Princess excursion to the Masayan market, the volcano nearby and the city of Granada. A bus ride to the market. I enjoyed this market, easy to shop and look without too much of a hassle. We bought some beautiful wooden bowls and wooden hot plates. We walked around the outside area of this market and this town was quaint.

We were lucky to be able to see the bottom of the volcano since it was a clear day. You can stand on top and look right inside the volcano, steam coming out with sulfa smell.

Had lunch at a local restaurant, buffet of simple local food.

Disappointed with Granada, very dirty and needs tons of work, children are sent out to beg and also some very poor women begging and following. I couldn't wait to get out of there. A long bus ride back lucky that roads were good.

Didn't have time to walk around the small village

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Took the excursion to Cloud Forest with the train. This was a very long bus ride and once near the mountain, the road was not paved and going up and down winding mountain road. The forest was beautiful and the scenery gorgeous, we didn't see much wildlife. The train was a small narrow train, about 4 cars that goes inside the forest. We had lunch at the visitors building and also later stopped at a large gift shop.

Didn't walk around the port, didn't look like much was there.

Panama Canal

We got up around 5 am and took our spot on the balcony on deck 10 forward; we stayed there till 9:30. We had a nice clear sunny day, but it got very hot later on the day. To watch the canal's operation was very exciting and at time unbelievable that this was constructed over a 100 years ago. It took the ship to complete the canal almost the whole day. We went to deck 10 aft to see the Gatun locks in operation.

Stopped at Colon port for a few hours, we didn't like to shop there, many people pushing and most shops had tons to junk. Couple of good duty free shops, so if you want liquor or perfume this may be a good spot.

Ochos Rios Jamaica

Didn't do an excursion, walked around the port and went to Margarittavile for lunch. I bought some nice glass beaded necklaces but thought that most of the shopkeepers were too aggressive

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