Jump to content
Forum Maintenance: Wednesday March 20 @5:00 am ET Read more... ×

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

rosej

Coral April 7th Review

Recommended Posts

I structured this “review” differently as I wanted to cover some different topics. For me a cruise is an adventure. There are always “unplanned happenings.” I look upon all of them as memorable ....some are pleasant surprises and others just learning experiences (ie ways to improve our next cruise adventure).

 

This is for the Coral Princess April 7, 2005 sailing.

 

Entertainment - Four production shows: Dance, Da Beat, Curtain Up and Tribute. They were great.

Liquid Blue was a very popular dance band.

Movies on the big screen: Ray, Shark Tale, Finding Neverland, I Robot, Being Julia, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, National Treasure, Shall We Dance and The Incredibles. Sideways and Wimbeldon were on the TV.

That 70's Party, Princess Idol, 50's and 60's Rock and Roll Party, Wild West Dance Party.

Tribute to the Big Bands - formal ball in the Universe Lounge.

 

Activities - We thought the cruise director and his staff did a great job. That being said, we did see his staff much more than him. A new activity was remote control car racing which was held on deck 15 one afternoon. My DH won the event, received a Princess medal and was beside himself with pride. In the Wheelhouse Bar, they would play a theme from a tv show and you had to name the tv show it came from. We enjoyed this very much, even though we didn’t win. We also liked to go to the library and get the Brainwaves quiz each morning (they post the answers the next morning). If you miss getting the answers, there is a book with all the answers in it.

 

My favorite has to be the Scrap Heap Wars - Teams had to build a ship sturdy enough to haul a case of beer (24 cans) across two lengths of the swimming pool. The prize - the case of beer. They were given some tape and a few other implements. Everything else had to be collected from around the ship. Two teams built great looking ships but the day they were to sail, the waters were very rough and the wind (WOW!). Needless to say, the water in the pool was sloshing back and forth. A prior event had been cancelled because they didn’t really want any people in the pool. But since they were just putting the ships in...they decided to go ahead with this event. I was picturing someone having to fish the case of beer off the bottom of the pool. Unbelievably, the first ship sailed easily with its cargo of beer across the pool. But by the time the next ship was up, conditions had intensified. Two bottles of wine, placed on the edge of the pool went rolling away in the water but were quickly fished out. The second ship named the Princess Tenderless (after the recent problems with tendering) was exceptional in its detail but was “tall”. A style that did not favor the high winds. The rolling water launched the ship a bit earlier than planned and the skipper and first mate (both young women...one an ER doc)....seeing that it might founder, unexpectedly jumped into the water with it! They held it up and swam with it across both lengths of the pool. In the end, the two teams shared the beer. It was great fun.

 

Photos - Princess now offers videos of YOUR cruise! There are videographers on board who film at various events, go on some of the tours and also show up unexpectedly around the ship. They edit all this into a very nice approx 45 min tape. It’s $34.95 but if you bring in your flyer on a certain day you get $5 off. We thought this was terrific and a great way to show your land-bound friends how much fun cruising can be! They still do the formal 8x10's which are $21.95 each. The 5x7's candid shots are $9.95. On the Panama cruise they offered an 8x10 “info” sheet with an imbedded photo of you viewing the canal. It was $14.95. We happily bought one of these.

 

For those of you bringing film. There are two major factors: the speed of the film and the screening station (airport carry-on, airport checked luggage or cruise line). Anything 400 or below is OK to go through carry-on screening at the airport or cruise ship. The checked luggage gets a much heavier dose...so you don’t want to put any film in there. The airport TSA people were very nice hand checking my 800 speed film. I didn’t realize the screeners at the cruise line were OK for film up to 1600. I was very concerned when they made me send my 800 speed film through but it turned out just fine. We took photos of the colorful fish and coral while snorkeling on Grand Cayman. I had it processed on the ship... $7.95 for a 24 exposure roll and they did a very nice job.

 

Food and Customs - At each port Princess put out a sign that said the local authorities request that you not take any produce or food off the ship. They inferred that fines would be imposed on anyone caught. I saw a number of passengers take what they had back to their rooms. Now I can certainly understand produce, like apples, oranges etc. but not a mini box of cereal you got in Horizon Court or an energy bar you brought from home. For people on half day tours that did not supply snacks...this was really inconvenient. I left all my snacks on the ship as requested. I got to feeling pretty queasy on the long bus tour and sat there wishing I had a few crackers or something. When we got to the site, I was able to buy a couple tiny bags of potato chips for $1 each and that helped some. Still some of the people on the bus had brought snacks...including a couple who had apples. They sat their happily munching and the tour guides didn’t bat an eye. I never saw anyone searched or fined. I wished I had brought my energy bar.

 

Princess said the same thing when we got off in Ft. Lauderdale.....NO FOODSTUFFS etc On the customs declaration, I proudly listed my $75 worth of rum cakes, 4 bottles of vanilla and a bunch of hot sauce. I also took my box of expensive energy bars that I had brought from home. There is no way I was leaving those on the ship! Customs looked over the form and passed us through...no problem! A Canadian family we had met had bought a pound of coffee in one of the ports and told me that couldn’t take it home because coffee was considered food. I told them I was quite sure I could have bought coffee and taken it home. They said, “Yes, but you live in the States. It is different in Canada.” So I don’t know if this is true or not but just thought I’d pass it along.

 

Tendering - We tendered in Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Belize. None of the ship’s tenders were used but rather tenders sent out from the various ports. Local waters were a bit choppy. This caused such a long delay in Cozumel that all shore excursions were canceled. The crew was very disappointed as this was to have been their only day off (in two weeks) and they were not allowed to go ashore at all. The tendering seemed to work OK in Grand Cayman and Belize. There is another thread already posted about this.

 

Misc Tips Observations:

 

Eucalyptus Lotion in the cabins. I love it! But even though it says Lotus Spa on it....you can’t buy it. Not in the spa or ship boutique. Anyone know where I can get a bottle??? I did collect as much as I could from my room and our room steward brought me a small bottle. I left him a nice tip.

 

Internet Connection. I found the speed and efficiency so good that I didn’t want to use the ones in the ports anymore. Because the keys on the keyboards in the ports are sometimes arranged differently, I can’t type as fast. On the Coral, you don’t have to buy a certain “block of time.” Just swipe you cruise card and once you are on the Internet, the counter on the screen keeps track of your time. When you sign off, it tells you exactly (to the penny) how much it cost you. Of course, if you are Platinum it’s free.

 

Email to the ship - This worked great and there was no charge on our bill. It was delivered to our cabin mailbox from the communication center.

 

Island Night - Lots of fun but don’t forget the treats in Horizon Court. If you are too full to eat anymore, grab a couple of those huge chocolate covered strawberries and save them in your fridge for the next night! Thanks to a couple other CCer’s for this idea!

 

Ice Cream - From 3:30 to 4:30. You walk all the way through the Horizon Court serving area and out the other side to the middle of the dining area. There you will see a crew member, cart with two or three big stainless steel tubs (they are full of ice cream) and a few little tubs with nuts, chocolate syrup etc. The passenger who discovered this on the last day of the cruise was most unhappy...”You mean you’ve been out here every day of this cruise and I didn’t find out until now???”

 

Don’t forget to bring a wrap or sweater. Even though it is generally warm, it can get kind of cool in the ship at times (due to air conditioning) or on deck in the evening.

 

Sunburn can happen even if it is overcast. We saw a few people this happened to the first couple days of the cruise. Just something to remember.

 

Health - Overall this seemed to be a healthy bunch. I saw many using the hand sanitizers at the entrance to Horizon Court. I didn’t hear any mention of the Norovirus. The cruise for the most part was pretty smooth. I did see a few people wearing patches though.

 

They offered a special room service champagne breakfast the morning we sailed through the Panama Canal.

 

The Coral has an exceptionally nice crew and is a beautiful ship!

 

This is long enough for now. I’m sure some of the other CC members on this cruise will be posting reviews. If you have any questions, I will be happy to try and answer them. I want to post another section on the ports/tours/shopping but haven’t written it yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the review - I liked how you organized it.

 

I love the Coral Princess - it is my favorite ship!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your great review!!!! I am waiting for my next journey on the coral. These reviews just build anticipation. Did you do any of the fitness classes??? Did they offer the flat fee for unlimited classes?

 

So glad you enjoyed your voyage:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your great review. We will be on the Coral Princess March 14, 2006.

 

 

Just got back from the Sun Princess, March 19 cruise and it was great.

 

Can anyone tell me what the mini suites are like on the Coral Princess. We will be in D503.

 

Bonnie & George

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK I am in "cruise gotta be on one" mood and then I read your great review! :) Thnaks so much for a really wonderful review. I can hardly wait and it is just a little under a year before we go. Did you do any excursions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review. Can you tell me the name of the Maitre D' ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much, 7 days and we will be on the Coral!! Great review on many unusual topics, I will be sending it on to family going along with us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review. We have been on the Coral and it is my favorite ship. We are going on her again next year. Thanks again.

 

Marilyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Can anyone tell me what the mini suites are like on the Coral Princess. We will be in D503.

 

The minisuites on the Coral Princess are similiar to the Grand class minisuites. Here are some pics of our minisuite on the Star Princess:

minisuite

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on the Coral two months ago and loved it all! We learned to love a 10 day cruise as well. Sure wish they would build more ships that size, it was perfect. I am booked for the Caribbean Princess this August. I am apprehensive because of the size, but I'm hearing great reviews. Nice to hear that your cruise on the Coral was wonderful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the great review. It is very well organized and was very informational. Can't wait to cruise on the Coral!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for the review. We are looking at the Coral for an Alaska cruise in 2006 (if the pricing ever comes out) I really appreciated your format. I learned alot.

 

Can you please tell me more about having email sent to the ship? I had never heard of this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alwalaska - Here's how email to the ship works: You have your friends back home send an email to coralprincess@princess.com while you are on your cruise. In the subject line you have them type your name and cabin number.....example Joe and Jane Smith C512. When the email is received in the ship communication center, they print it off, put it in a nice Princess envelope and deliver it to your stateroom mailbox. We always save these bon-voyage or "update from home" letters as fond momentos of our cruise. We were not charged for this service.....although I once read some people were charged $1 per page (which we would have been willing to pay). I don't think many people know this is available and imagine it will continue to be free as long as the communication center doesn't get overwhelmed with too many incoming emails.

 

Largin - the Maitre D' Hotel was Generoso Mazzone

 

Linda the book lover - Yes, we did go on some excursions. I intend to write another little "review" on the ports/excursions/shopping. Hopefully I can get that done today.

 

Denisern2 - No, I didn't participate in any of the fitness classes. Although I probably need to now (haha). They seemed to be very popular though. Fitness program with Paul and Tim:

First Sea day - Body Conditioning, Yoga Class (pre-paid program), Seminar "Eat More to Weigh Less," Seminar Detox for Weight Loss," Pilates Class (pre-paid program), Pulse Group Spin Class (pre-paid program), Stretch and Relaxation Class. Please note there is a minimum of 4 people to hold a class unless it is through the pre-paid program.

 

By the 4th day they were offering the walk a mile with your fellow passengers at 7am. Then a body conditiong class and fitball class. It seems there were many more options/choices towards the beginning of the cruise though. So you might want to check it out as soon as you get onboard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rosej--Thanks for the review--

As for the Lotus Spa lotion...ahh, the drama of that silly lotion. (long story - like you, my mother would have killed for a bottle to take home) Anyway, when Princess ran their own spas on the Sapphire and Caribbean ships, they produced their own line of spa products, including that lotion. It could be purchased in the spa, and I actually purchased some of the shampoo on my trip to Alaska on the Sapphire. However, now that Steiner is once again running all of the Princess spas, they are not selling the stuff anymore but apparently have loads and loads of the cabin-size samples to use up. So, once it's gone, it's gone. Our cabin steward filled us in in on that little secret while we were on the Diamond last month. She also hooked us up with a pile to take home with us. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great review. We will be on the Coral Princes next Wednesday. Really excited about it,:) your review made it more so. Did you happen to notice the pottery wheel. I am really interested in trying that. How much it was and if it was worth it.:confused: I was going to bring my video camera but now not sure if I will or not. Maybe just easier to buy the video from them.:confused:

 

Delores

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for posting this reveiw. Did you happen to get hold of the menues? I am curious about the food. What nights were formal? We are on the coral for Valentines Day next year.

 

Thanks.

 

Lisa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Formal nights are the first full sea day - We set sail on a Thursday...so the first formal night was Friday. The next formal night was the Wednesday of the next week, Our port that day was Grand Cayman. No, I don't have any menus. How do people end up with menus to take home anyway? I have never seen any "printouts" of the menus and always had to walk down to the dining room to see that night's menu (which was posted outside).

 

I'd walk by the VS but never found any of the doors open, so I wasn't able to take a peek inside. I'm sure they are wonderful ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Delores Gardella - On sailaway day....information and signup for the pottery course was from 6 to 7pm in the artium lobby. They held their classes in the upper level of the Lotus pool (usually in the afternoon). Cost was $20 per half hour or $35 per hour. Then a couple days later they would meet and paint/decorate what they had made (there were additional fees that varied depending on what you wanted to do). It looked really fun and the group quite small. If this sounds like something you'd like to do...I say "Go for it!" After all vacations are to have fun.

 

As to the video - It is reallly nice to relax sometimes and not worry about taking a camera and doing the "work" to make your own video. However, the videographers do not go on every tour. In fact they only go on one or two tours per port. If it is not the tour you are on, then you miss out on having a record of your tour. Also, other events that may be important to you in remembering your special Princess cruise may not end up on the commercial video. Just something to think about. Personally, I would still take my camcorder.

 

Now if your goal is to make a video that gets your land-lover friends and relatives excited enough to accompany you on your next cruise, the Princess Reflections video certainly does that! I watched it this morning. It was great fun to see my husband and I waving from the front of the ship as we went through the canal. The video was over an hour long and certainly had me ready to book another cruise! I just noticed (going through my papers) that Princess offers another video for $19.95 that they call a souvenir video. This is NOT of your individual cruise but of some prior cruise. I don't know anything else about it (such as how long it is). So don't get confused between the two videos.

 

Another really nice thing about the Reflections video is that you get to see events on the ship that you missed. There are so MANY activities to participate in on a Princess cruise that you can't possibly do them all. For example, every cruise my husband and I intend to stay up and see the Champagne Waterfall. Unfortunately we've had so much fun during the day that we are worn out by then, fall asleep and miss it. Well, we finally got to see it....because it was on the video!

 

As the crew is fliming the video of your cruise every night they will run what they have shot on the TV. I believe it is channel 21.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you remember if the culinary tour was morning or afternoon. I am sure it would be on a sea day but hope it doesn't conflict with our meet and greet for cc members on the first sea day afternoon. Somewhere I read theirs was the first sea day, but I don't even remember which ship. :confused: Oh well. A little thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On our 10 day cruise, the culinary demonstration and tour of the gally was on the last sea day at 10:15 am in the Universe Lounge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can hardly wait. We're going on the "Grand Canal" , 18 days on the Coral next May (06) Ft Lauderdale tooooooooooo Vancouver!!!:cool:

 

It sounds great. We've been on many Princess cruises, and agree that there is soooooooooo much to do.

 

We were on RCCL's Radiance last Sept for a Hawaii cruise, and they did the video thing. It was great and we bought it. Love to look at it and remember the great time we had.

 

Anyone going on our cruise, we already have a roll call set up. We've even got around 30 people already:) Just look for "Coral princess May 06"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coral I just want to thank you for the pictures of the mini-suite. We will be in cabin number D415. That is across the way but still will give an idea what our cabin will look like. Even though I have seen mini's before this one here really gives a good look at "our" mini. Again thanks Coral for pics.

 

Marilyn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Leaving for Florida in an hour, and then the Coral in just a few days, can't believe it here, I will try to post once or twice. thanks for all the good info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×