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RNCheryl

Coral Panama Canal, quick review

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Yesterday at 1:29pm

OK, quick review of Coral Princess Panama Canal. It is a smaller ship, 1900 passengers. Easy to learn your way around. Mostly retired folks. We had anytime dining, sat with many people. They are very well traveled and great conversationalists. Staff was very friendly; guy in the coffee bar and our waitress at the Martini bar knew our names and preferred drinks by the second day. Love that!

 

 

Ft Lauderdale to Aruba was a very rough passage. No one in the swimming pool, really too rough to even walk on deck. I would say the on board activities were fairly good. DH enjoyed digital photography classes. I found a cruise chorus. We rehearsed every sea day for about 45 minutes. About 25 members, lead by a gal from the musical dept. We had a great time, and performed in the atrium on the last day. Super fun.

 

 

Rode the trikes in Aruba. Very well run operation, and had a lovely afternoon.

 

 

The Canal is an engineering marvel, even for non teckies like me.DH was in engineer heaven. We did the first three docks on the ship. Then in Gatun Lake tendered to shore. Bus ride for several miles, then on a ferry to go all the way to the Pacific. The ferry was crowded and facilities (restrooms and dining) were sub-par, in my opinion. The only excursions here were thru the cruise lines. Oh well, how many folks can say they sailed on the Atlantic and the Pacific on the same day!! CRAZY drivers in Panamaaaaa!!!

 

 

Cartagena Colombia, took a local tour. It was hot, but the scenery/history was very nice. The tour had several Air Conditioned stops built in.

 

 

Next was Limon, Costa Rica. Really rain forest. We toured with our Cruise Critic group again. Del Monte banana plantation very interesting,as was an animal rescue sanctuary.

 

 

In Jamaica, we did the Blue Hole excursion. Really enjoyed this.

 

 

Comparing Princess to Celebrity: Princess does many things right. On board self serve laundry, I brought home a minimum of dirty clothes. Food was good to very good. Service in the MDR anytime dining was much too slow. Buffet was well organized and offered a good variety.

 

 

Evening entertainment was OK. 3 production shows (we saw 2), comedian, who was very funny, magician, etc. Not much night life. In room and MUTS (movies under the stars) had a great selection.

 

 

Big pet peeve: we paid mucho doneros for the beverage package, as we hate signing every time we have a coffee/bottled water/drink. Well, on Princess you still have to sign every time. Maybe they want you to add a tip??to the already charged 15%??? Gritted my teeth with every signature. Celebrity has it much better

 

 

 

 

When we docked in FLL, there must have been 6 ships in port. Oasis of the Seas was directly across from us with golden sunrise on her windows, just lovely. Still curious how that would be.

 

 

Well, off island time, back to the real world. A bad day of cruising is better than a good day at work!!

 

 

 

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Reading other posts, reminded me of another peeve during this cruise. Constant selling of wine tasting and special buys of Limoncello or Baileys light. Interrupted conversation at dinner for each EVERY night. Not cool.

 

We did attend both wine tastings: The more expensive one was great. Mass market $9.50 much less so.

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If anyone is interested in the specifics of the port excursions, just ask; will be glad to oblige.

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I must be in forgetful mode,want to make a couple more observations.

 

Bayeau had a wonderful steak dinner. Perfectly done. Great service. But how can they continue to operate? We showed up on dining day at 7PM. Maybe 4 other couples in the restaurant. Sabatinis was worse; no body there. Wasted space as far as the revenue producing accountants remember.

 

Shower in balcony cabin C639 was claustrophopic. Not sure how larger passengers (and there were many on our cruise) would cope. Another plus for Celebrity.

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Shower in balcony cabin C639 was claustrophopic. Not sure how larger passengers (and there were many on our cruise) would cope. Another plus for Celebrity.

 

 

Like the comedians say, soap up and spin. :)

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Would love to hear the details of your excursions as we are taking this cruise in December. Thanks.

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Glad to oblige about the tours:

 

Aruba Trikes: http://www.trikes-aruba.com/

 

They made sure the drivers were comfortable with standard transmission before the tour.

 

In Cartagena, we used Marelvy. http://www.tourincartagena.com/

Very good Tripadvisor reviews. A very smart lady, well versed in her country's history. Just ignore the persistent street vendors.

 

Panama, took the ship's ferry boat trip thru the canal. Review the options carefully. We were disappointed in the length/quality of this trip. Think going to Gatun Lake is far enough.

 

In Costa Rica, our CC group did this trip: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g309264-d1754971-Reviews-Your_Lucky_Tour-Puerto_Limon_Province_of_Limon.html

 

Be aware, this is a day long tour, and the only food provided is a banana. Bring something to tide you over. I had mixed feelings about this trip, but the sights were memorable.

 

Finally, in Jamaica we went to the Blue Hole.

 

http://www.libertytoursjamaica.com/

 

It was degrees cooler than the ambient temperature. Very rough road to get here, great driver. The young men who assist you in climbing were amazing. Even this old girl scampered up the falls. DH sat in the falls, one of our group dived into the pool. Afterwards, lunch at Scotchies was wonderful; chicken perfectly done and seasoned. Ricardo is a lovely young man; you will love him!

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The animal sanctuary in Costa Rica... Tell me about that. Our tour guide offered us that option at the end of the tour. We did not feel we had enough time, seems like it was $30(?) to enter. I did want to see more sloths and bet they had the little guys.

 

We were on the Coral Princess Feb 16. I agree with the overcrowding on the ferry through the Canal locks! -but a great cruise!

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Yesterday at 1:29pm

OK, quick review of Coral Princess Panama Canal. It is a smaller ship, 1900 passengers. Easy to learn your way around. Mostly retired folks. We had anytime dining, sat with many people. They are very well traveled and great conversationalists. Staff was very friendly; guy in the coffee bar and our waitress at the Martini bar knew our names and preferred drinks by the second day. Love that!

 

 

Ft Lauderdale to Aruba was a very rough passage. No one in the swimming pool, really too rough to even walk on deck.

 

Thanks so much we are cruising the Panama from FLL back to LAX. does anyone know if that is normal for that stretch of water to be rough. FLL to Aruba / no one has talked about it that I have seen. so not too sure what to expect: cool:

Edited by cuckoo32

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I found a cruise chorus. We rehearsed every sea day for about 45 minutes. About 25 members, lead by a gal from the musical dept. We had a great time, and performed in the atrium on the last day. Super fun. Princess has been advertising that they are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the movie "The Sound of Music." The publicity says that some of the songs from the movie will be part of the Princess Pop Choir selections. Was that true for your cruise?

 

 

 

The Canal is an engineering marvel, even for non teckies like me.DH was in engineer heaven. We did the first three docks on the ship. Then in Gatun Lake tendered to shore. Bus ride for several miles, then on a ferry to go all the way to the Pacific. The ferry was crowded and facilities (restrooms and dining) were sub-par, in my opinion.

 

As I understand it, there are several boats that can be used for the ferry ride to the Pacific. Some are better than others, but there is no way to know in advance wheather a good or poor ferry will be used.

 

Thanks for your report.

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We were on the Coral back in Feb....same thought regarding the showers. Saw a number of people that could never have fit, and whatever you do "don't drop the soap" (which by the way I suggest people bring their own). Frankly didn't care for the selection of food, but my wife and I do not care for Caribbean/Spanish food (had pizza for lunch more than a few days). All in all love the rain forest in Costa Rica and Dunn's River Falls (did the walking path along-side) in Jamaica.

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whatever you do "don't drop the soap" (which by the way I suggest people bring their own).

 

Why? I find the bar of soap they still supply is quite acceptable even if thinner than before.

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Did the full transit a couple years ago on the Coral and loved it. Trikes of Aruba was the highlight of the cruise, other than the Canal itself of course. Great way to see the entire island and have a blast doing it on amazing machines.

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Hi, we are doing Panama on Coral in September and trying to decide whether to purchase the drink pack, can you tell me if there is many drinks over the $10 limit, like cocktails or premium spirits? I was told if a drink costs over $10 you have to pay the whole amount of the drink not just the difference, is that right?

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Hi, we are doing Panama on Coral in September and trying to decide whether to purchase the drink pack, can you tell me if there is many drinks over the $10 limit, like cocktails or premium spirits? I was told if a drink costs over $10 you have to pay the whole amount of the drink not just the difference, is that right?

 

Most are under $10, but they are getting close.

Here is a link to a beverage evaluator that someone put together. This is from 2014 and many drinks have gone up in price about $1 and change. Still gives you a good idea. Yes if its over $10 it is not free. You pay the entire price.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2038576&highlight=all+inclusive+drink

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Thanks for your review. I am going with my Father on the April 12th Full Transit on the Coral from Fort Lauderdale-LA. Some questions that I had were.

 

1. What did you find good to order on the menu?

2. Were you happy with the commentary provided during the navigation of the canal?

3. What were you expecting that either met exceeded or did not meet your expectations on this cruise?

 

Thanks

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Hi, we are doing Panama on Coral in September and trying to decide whether to purchase the drink pack, can you tell me if there is many drinks over the $10 limit, like cocktails or premium spirits? I was told if a drink costs over $10 you have to pay the whole amount of the drink not just the difference, is that right?

 

Correct on what you pay if over $10.

 

Less than a handful of drinks are over $10.

 

Of course if you ask for a double, it will be over $10.

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Looking at the Coral 10 day Panama in Jan 2016. Looking at this one because of a friend but wondering about the pricing. Now quoted $1249 inside, $1649 balcony, $2049 mini, plus port taxes of about $300. Seems awfully high for 10 days. What has been experience this year on pricing? How much might these come down?

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No bar soap in shower...just a pump dispenser.

 

 

Not true..........

 

Pump dispenser for soap in the shower? :eek:

Were you using the shampoo/conditioner/body wash for soap? :eek:

Although miniscule there is bar soap privided by Stewart but no soap dispenser.

Edited by Colo Cruiser

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