Just back from Coral Princess - Panama Canal 11/21-12/06/2017

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#1
Germantown, MD
255 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
We were on the Coral ocean to ocean itinerary. We had mini-suite C211 and were really happy with the room, and the room steward.

This was probably my favorite cruise. The few months leading up to the cruise were very stressful, so all I wanted to do was relax. This cruise was perfect for that, because there were very few ports. We did a tour in Cartegena to the old fort and the old town, and in Costa Rica we went to Monteverde Cloud Forest. Both were private tours booked with others on our roll call. That's the only two times I got off the ship.

Going through the Panama Canal was the highlight. There is an observation deck at the very front on decks 10 and 11 that were never crowded. I don't think most people know it's there. You have to walk past the staterooms all the way to the front, and there's a door that looks like you're not supposed to open it. It has a sign that says emergency exit (or something discouraging like that). But it's fine to open it, and it's the best view on the ship for going through the locks. The narrator on the bridge kept referring to the people on the catwalks on decks 5 and 6 - but we were on 10 and 11. I have a feeling there were a lot of people wandering around on decks 5 and 6 looking for the observation decks!

The service was great, the food was good enough, and there was never a wait for the elevators. The pools were never crowded which I really appreciated because I love to swim. I read books, watched movies, drank wine, and watched the ocean go by. We saw turtles and dolphins and watched the seagulls diving for the flying fish. I did make a larger than I would have liked donation to the casino also.

We went to several movies in the theatres and a couple of the "destination expert" talks, but we didn't go to any of the shows. We went to the dining room only once and ate at the specialty restaurant once. I think if was the Bayou Café. It was okay but only because we got it as a free promotion. It wouldn't be worth the extra $29 pp to me. The rest of the time we ate in the Horizon Court. The pizza out on the pool deck was quite good.

Both embarkation and disembarkation were really smooth. Especially getting on the ship. I doubt it was even 15 minutes from the time we arrived until we were in our room. We took a cab to the airport and the fare was $59 plus tip. We gave him $70, so it's about the same cost as the princess transfers.

One big negative to me: In Cartegena there was an excursion where people took a horse drawn carriage ride through the old town. I always hate seeing that because the horses are never in very good shape - but this was worse than anything I've ever seen. The horses were emaciated. One of the horses was struggling so hard to pull the carriage that it was literally trembling. It really made me sick to see it. Those horses were in bad enough shape that they needed medical intervention, and instead they were being forced to work in the awful heat. Princess should be ashamed to use vendors that take such poor care of their stock.

I'm happy to answer any specific questions if I can. As I said, we didn't do much. It was heavenly.
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Coral Princess - Panama Canal November 2017
NCL Spirit - May 2016 Mediterranean
Celebrity Constellation - Dec 2015 - Western Caribbean
Carnival Breeze - March 2015 - Eastern Caribbean
Celebrity Reflection - 12/2014 Eastern Caribbean
Carnival Glory - 03/2014 - Western Caribbean
Carnival Conquest - 09/2013 - Key West and Bahamas
Caribbean Princess - 12/2012 - Southern Caribbean
Carnival Pride - 02/2012 - Bahamas & Florida
Explorer of the Seas - 08/2009 - Bermuda
Diamond Princess 08/2008 - Alaska
Caribbean Princess 12/2007 - Eastern Caribbean
Mariner of the Seas 06/2004 - Eastern Caribbean
Grand Princess 01/2002 - Western Caribbean
Ocean Princess 02/2001 - Southern Caribbean
#2
Washington
441 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Thank you for your posting- we do full transit west to east in January.
How was food in the Horizon Court? We have never cruised this long before,
so it will be an adventure.
How was the weather? I am a bit nervous because we are very acclimated
to our north Washington coast.

It is a shame about the horses, so very sad.
#4
Germantown, MD
255 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
We had good weather. It was hot in Cartegena and Panama City. In Costa Rica we traveled several hours from the port to Monteverde, and it rained the whole time we were there. But we were in a rain forest - I don't think it rained closer to the port. The day we traversed the canal was mostly cloudy. It rained for about 30 minutes in the morning, and I think again in the afternoon, but not enough to be a problem and not while we were going through the locks. We were grateful for the clouds because otherwise it would have been really hot, and we spent a lot of time out on deck that day. I think that's about it for the rain. I was afraid we would get a lot of rain, but we didn't. The last few days as we got closer to Los Angeles the weather got cooler, and the very last day was down right chilly - enough so that people didn't go to the pool. The rest of the time the temperature was warm.
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Coral Princess - Panama Canal November 2017
NCL Spirit - May 2016 Mediterranean
Celebrity Constellation - Dec 2015 - Western Caribbean
Carnival Breeze - March 2015 - Eastern Caribbean
Celebrity Reflection - 12/2014 Eastern Caribbean
Carnival Glory - 03/2014 - Western Caribbean
Carnival Conquest - 09/2013 - Key West and Bahamas
Caribbean Princess - 12/2012 - Southern Caribbean
Carnival Pride - 02/2012 - Bahamas & Florida
Explorer of the Seas - 08/2009 - Bermuda
Diamond Princess 08/2008 - Alaska
Caribbean Princess 12/2007 - Eastern Caribbean
Mariner of the Seas 06/2004 - Eastern Caribbean
Grand Princess 01/2002 - Western Caribbean
Ocean Princess 02/2001 - Southern Caribbean
#5
Chico, California
9,708 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
The weather in the canal is hot and humid. Very humid. We did SF to FLL via the canal in September of 2015. We did Hawaii and the South Pacific (Tahiti, Bora Bora, Pago Pago, and Moorea) in October of this year. No comparison. The PC cruise was waaaaaaaaaay more hot and humid. We also cruised on Coral Princess and loved it. We had the best wait person (Faye) we've had so far. Hoping to run into her again on a future cruise.
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Thrak

Not Elite but having fun working on it...








#6
Central Illinois
117,639 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Thank-you for the interesting report.
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Bob

Past Cruises

Celebrity: Mercury
RCCL: Adventure, Allure, Brilliance, Enchantment, Explorer, Freedom, Independence, Jewel, Legend, Liberty, Majesty, Mariner, Monarch, Navigator, Oasis, Radiance, Rhapsody, Serenade, Sovereign, Vision, Voyager
#7
new york
607 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Thank you for your report. We did FLL to LA on the Island in 2015 and it was our best cruise! Doing the Coral SF to FLL 2/2019 booked the same cabin as we had on the Island---glad you had a good time!
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Celebrity Summit San Juan to Bayonne 4/22/17
Regal Princess Eastern Caribbean 1/21/18
Celebrity Millennium Hong Kong to Shanghai 3/18/18
Coral Princess Panama Canal 2/15/19
#8
Ottawa Canada
2,378 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
Originally posted by TMS9539
One big negative to me: In Cartegena there was an excursion where people took a horse drawn carriage ride through the old town. I always hate seeing that because the horses are never in very good shape - but this was worse than anything I've ever seen. The horses were emaciated. One of the horses was struggling so hard to pull the carriage that it was literally trembling. It really made me sick to see it. Those horses were in bad enough shape that they needed medical intervention, and instead they were being forced to work in the awful heat. Princess should be ashamed to use vendors that take such poor care of their stock.
We did a Cuba Cruise a few years ago. Took a tour with a horse drawn cart, not to be touristy but because the village had few cars. We were surprised, the delighted when the guide told us we had to walk for an hour because the horse needed a rest! We got out and let the horse have a 1 hour rest in our guide's back yard, while we walked around. That guy loved and valued his horse!
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Martha





Princess Panama Canal 2001
RCI Brilliance of the Seas 2005
Star Princess Western Caribbean 2007
Ruby Princess Southern Caribbean 2010
Emerald Princess February 6-16, 2011
Crown Princess BtB Feb 2012
Caribbean Princess Feb 2013
Emerald Princess Feb 2014
Louis Cristal Jan 2015
#12
Germantown, MD
255 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
Originally posted by nini
Thank you for your posting- we do full transit west to east in January.
How was food in the Horizon Court? We have never cruised this long before,
so it will be an adventure.
How was the weather? I am a bit nervous because we are very acclimated
to our north Washington coast.

It is a shame about the horses, so very sad.
Food in the Horizon Court was fine. Some days it was better than others, and overall I thought lunch was better and had more variety than dinner. They did serve what to me was an excess of pork, which I try to stay away from, but there was plenty of other meats too. I certainly did not go hungry, that's for sure.
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Coral Princess - Panama Canal November 2017
NCL Spirit - May 2016 Mediterranean
Celebrity Constellation - Dec 2015 - Western Caribbean
Carnival Breeze - March 2015 - Eastern Caribbean
Celebrity Reflection - 12/2014 Eastern Caribbean
Carnival Glory - 03/2014 - Western Caribbean
Carnival Conquest - 09/2013 - Key West and Bahamas
Caribbean Princess - 12/2012 - Southern Caribbean
Carnival Pride - 02/2012 - Bahamas & Florida
Explorer of the Seas - 08/2009 - Bermuda
Diamond Princess 08/2008 - Alaska
Caribbean Princess 12/2007 - Eastern Caribbean
Mariner of the Seas 06/2004 - Eastern Caribbean
Grand Princess 01/2002 - Western Caribbean
Ocean Princess 02/2001 - Southern Caribbean
#13
Crozet, VA, USA
271 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
Originally posted by TMS9539
Food in the Horizon Court was fine. Some days it was better than others, and overall I thought lunch was better and had more variety than dinner. They did serve what to me was an excess of pork, which I try to stay away from, but there was plenty of other meats too. I certainly did not go hungry, that's for sure.
Thanks for your report, as well!

We will also be doing a full PC transit in January and was curious about the MDR evening meals.

Since we've never done a cruise beyond 11 days, was curious if they repeat the same menus during the second week?

Thanks