First, the ship is really wonderful. It's a very nice blend of the Sun Class ships (such as the Dawn or Sun Princess) and the Grand Class ships (such as the Grand and Golden Princess). The following were things that seem worth noting:
1. On this ship, the Deck 7 Promenade Deck does have the outside wraparound deck with the wonderful large teak lounge chairs. This is very similar to the Sun Class ships. The difference on this sailing was that rarely did people use this area, and lounge chairs were always available here. Honestly, we just assumed people didn't realize there were actually lounge chairs outside on this deck!
2. The layout of the shopping area in the center of the ship seems much less crowded than the Grand Class ships. While I know many people love the Grand Princess and its sisters, we found those ships to be a little more commercial than other ships, meaning you practically had to walk through shops to get anywhere. The Coral Princess has a better layout---of course this is just our opinion!!
3. The Pizzaria is different here than the Sun Class ships in that it is located on the upper pool deck near the Burger Bar rather than a separate eating area in the middle of the ship. Both the Pizzaria and Burger Bar are only open until 6pm. There is an alternative Italian restaurant on this ship but there is a $10 cover charge if you choose to dine there.
4. The casino on the Coral Princess has many more nickel slot machines than the previous ships we have been on. Plenty of quarter machines too. There are also several penny slots, which were always very crowded. And there were many dollar slot machines, most of which were not being played. But this casino is laid out very nice, with a London theme throughout. The one slight downside seemed to be less ventilation in the casino, and the cigarette smoke would get pretty bad for those who don't smoke.
5. We had a mini-suite on the Caribe deck (Deck 10). C229 to be exact. I had seen postings referring to possible noise troubles in this area of the ship before we left on our cruise. Additionally, we had friends directly across from us (via a small hallway) in C228. Both rooms were extremely quiet, except for the normal creaking sounds of a ship during rougher sea days. I can't speak for other rooms around us; however, I never heard anyone complaining about noise nearby and we did speak to others that were in rooms near us. Also, this front part of the ship is very convenient to the Horizon Court (3 floors up), as well as having easy access to other public areas.
6. The mini-suite balconies in our area on the Caribe deck were a bit larger than the regular balconies we have had on other Princess ships, and most all the balconies from C231 forward were completely covered. The only drawback with these balconies is that the two connecting panels between the neighboring balconies on either side had a couple of inches of spacing between the two side panels. This made it only slightly less private as you could easily tell whether people were on their balcony next to yours and it was very easy to hear others talking while outside. Still, the larger balcony was great...and in this area of the ship, you cannot see up or down into balconies above or below you, which was nice.
7. Even though we were toward the front of the ship, there was no noticeable difference in rocking motion when the sea was rough.
8. The Internet Cafe was very nicely laid out, with 10 to 12 computer stations. You just swipe your stateroom card at a terminal and it automatically opens up Internet access and charges it to your account. There was no need for personnel to be there to check you in and out as on older ships. And as Princess Platinum members, it was even better when our Internet charges were credited back to us each evening for the free Internet access!
9. We did use the laundromat facilities at the other end of our floor. I believe there were five washer/dryer combos in this room. We never saw it crowded, and the washers and dryers worked really well. Each washer has a timer which tells you how much longer it will be, so you know exactly your load will be done. I assume other floors had a similar set up.
10. We've never had problems with food on Princess ships, and this was no exception. Actually, we found the desserts on this ship (at the buffet specifically) were better than any previous cruises we have sailed. The Horizon Court (buffet) could get pretty crowded at peak times during breakfast and lunch, but the lines rarely backed up at all. One thing we noticed that was different on this ship was fewer tables for 4 in the Horizon Court area. Most tables were for 6 people which made for lots of wasted space when only 2 to 4 people were eating together!
11. While I know it can be a hot topic here, there seemed to be a few more people NOT dressing up for dinner on both "formal nights" and "smart casual nights." We saw more people in shorts and more casual attire throughout the ship during the evenings. For us, this was not a problem. If we like to dress up, that's all that matters to us! If others want to be more casual, it's their vacation too. And while it might have upset some, I never heard others complaining about people being too casual at night.
12. The Lotus Pool area at the back of the ship has a retractable roof that they open in nice weather. This pool was designated for "Adults Only" which was very nice for those of us with no children. Even when there were lots of people in this area, it never seemed too crowded. Also, there is a very nice area at the very back of the Caribe Deck (and I assume other decks as well) with a number of pool-type lounge chairs that was a great private area for being outside, and for seeing where the ship has been!
While I know the Coral Princess is no longer in Fort Lauderdale for the season, I do want to mention that the embarkation and disembarkation processes were nearly flawless at Port Everglades. Something new since our last cruise was not having to stand in a long line on board ship to go through Immigration on our return. The line would always snake its way down the entire ship, causing lots of stress for those who don't like to wait in lines. The new procedure has Immigration checking your passport once you are off the ship and in the terminal building, which makes so much more sense. You then proceed to get your luggage, then on through Customs and on to your taxi/shuttle/car. It took less than 5 minutes from the time we left the ship, found our luggage, went through Customs, and were in a cab to the airport. We were at the airline terminal before 9am.
Hopefully, this will answer a few questions that people might have about the Coral Princess. But keep in mind, it's all relative. Others might have different opinions than ours, which is not a bad thing!!