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Coral Princess/Panama Canal - Tell me about it!


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Never sailed Princess. Always a celebrity customer. Thinking of Coral for a panama canal cruise. Would like to know people's opinion on mini suites specifically difference in club class and regular. I have read the scant information on the website but value what posters say. Thanks

Just off the Coral...1st time Princess cruisers...have done mostly RCCL and 1 cruise on Celebrity. We had a mini-suite on Coral....it was lovely! We thought there was more space then a similar cabin on RCCL.I would choose that again in a heartbeat! Plus they have a tub/shower combo so much nicer than typical showers. The Club Class is brand new...I am not even sure they have started actual sailings with Club Class yet...if they have, maybe someone can speak to that. The one thing I think you get with Club Class is a better room service menu. Our room service breakfast menu was pathetic compared to RCCL.That's one thing we look forward to each cruise, but we only did in twice in 10 days. Be aware that when choosing a mini-suite, not all cabins are covered or are only partially covered. There is a chart posted on here many times over to see which ones are covered or not. We were in D705, completely covered...loved it for the shade, privacy and when it rained a couple times, we could still sit out on it.

 

Princess did an excellent job with the Panama Canal! Great info...lectures about the canal, overhead narration as were were going through, etc. Great organization on the canal tours and keeping us all informed on times, meeting places, etc. We REALLY enjoyed this cruise!

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Lots of great info in this thread - thanks all for providing your thoughts!

 

Kinda bummed b/c one of the reasons we chose the itinerary (besides the canal of course) was to see sloths in Costa Rica. The sanctuary is closed, so we're hoping our excursion through the rain forest lets us see some in the wild.

 

We took the Train, Boat, Bus tour in Costa Rica...loved it. Saw sloths on all 3 parts. They stop the vehicles intentionally so we can see them. Keep in mind they are so far up in the tree....one sloth was actually looking at us. Others were just curled up. The guides have electronic pointers to help you locate them. Pictures don't turn out great unless you have a huge lens, but I would recommend binoculars. We didn't bring them and wish we had.

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Doing the partial transit in December...... We have early seating for Dinner at 5:30. How does Princess handle dinner on days that our escusrion arrives after our assigned dinner time? Is the buffet or specialty dining our only option?

 

The two trips we did, on canal day, they let everyone know the day before that there would be no traditional dining and both dining rooms would be treated as anytime dining that one night. It's the only time we encountered that and also had early traditional dining. We never had any problems being there the other nights.

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We took the Train, Boat, Bus tour in Costa Rica...loved it. Saw sloths on all 3 parts. They stop the vehicles intentionally so we can see them. Keep in mind they are so far up in the tree....one sloth was actually looking at us. Others were just curled up. The guides have electronic pointers to help you locate them. Pictures don't turn out great unless you have a huge lens, but I would recommend binoculars. We didn't bring them and wish we had.

 

Good to know!! Sounds similar to what we booked (it does bus/boat/tram) - and we're hoping to see some. If not, I've heard such great things about Costa Rica I'm sure we'll have a great time. I'll be sure to pack the binoculars!!

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We did the Coral partial-canal cruise in 2014 -- see the link in my signature for lots of detail. As others have said, Coral is the perfect ship for this itinerary because she was built for the Panama Canal. All those public viewing areas fore and aft are just perfect for the Atlantic locks transit [they are also great for Alaskan glaciers, her other main itinerary :)] On the Canal day, you can only take Princess excursions -- the ship transits the 3 Atlantic locks and allows ship-excursion passengers to tender off in Gatun Lake; the ship then turns around and goes back through those same locks and docks in Colon to wait for the excursions to return [Colon is NOT a port you want to spend any time in, so I strongly advise taking one of the Princess excursions!] We took the ferry boat through the rest of the Canal, having lunch on board the ferry, and then returned via a very nice bus across the isthmus back to the ship [it was cool to have done a full transit, and to see the Pacific and Atlantic oceans on the same day!] -- on our trip the ferry made all the locks without waiting and the weather was hot but tolerable [apparently this is not always the case, but the OCD in me would have put up with a lot to go all the way through the canal!]

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Just off the Coral...1st time Princess cruisers... Princess did an excellent job with the Panama Canal! Great info...lectures about the canal, overhead narration as were were going through, etc. Great organization on the canal tours and keeping us all informed on times, meeting places, etc. We REALLY enjoyed this cruise!

 

Appreciate this great info and background from our "neighbor" in Dayton. Very helpful!! Glad that the mini-suite worked well. What was lacking and/or needed/offered with the in-room breakfast options? How should it have been?

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

From our Jan. 25-Feb. 20, 2015, Amazon River-Caribbean combo sailing over 26 days that started in Barbados, here is the link below to that live/blog. Lots of great visuals from this amazing Brazil river and these various Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, etc.) that we experienced. Check it out at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Now at 44,631 views for these postings.

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Hi Terry: looking over some records, here were the tours we did on our semi-transit tour on the Coral.

 

Cartagena: "Tour in Cartegna" with Marelvy Pena-Hall - $65 per person (approximately 6 hour tour):

 

Limon: "6 Highlights in 1 Tour" with Eduardo Humphreys - $71 per person (5-6 hour tour):

 

Ocho Rios: "Blue Hole Tour" with Liberty Tours - $50 per person:

 

 

Cartagena: there are many private tour organizers that go to approximately the same locations. We chose this one based on trip advisor reviews and were not disappointed. Very active vendors at some sights. Hot hot hot

 

 

Limon: this was a very interesting tour. We went to an animal sanctuary, along a very scenic drive.

 

 

Ocho Rios: The Blue Hole is a great natural sight. Some very agile locals helped us up to the top of the hill and dived into the blue hole. I am a complete klutz, but these guys made the transit easy. On the way back, stopped for jerk chicken. Delicious. The guide (owner?) Ricardo was delightful.

 

 

The Coral size ship is our favorite. Small enough that the servers get to know you. In just 2 days, we had our favorites for morning coffee in the International Cafe, and drinks at Crooners Bar. And there are laundry facilities on each deck, reasonably priced, which is helpful in a hot/humid environment for this length of time.

 

My husband, who is a techie/engineer type, loved this cruise thru the canal. Me, not so much. But glad we had the opportunity to do it. Would suggest you get The Path Between the Seas; a great, easy reading history of the sacrifices made in building the canal.

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  • 2 months later...
Lots of great info in this thread - thanks all for providing your thoughts!

 

We're doing the partial transit on the Coral for Xmas this year .... so we're hoping our excursion through the rain forest lets us see some in the wild. We're planning on snorkeling in Aruba, an aviary in Colombia, sting rays in Grand Caymans. ...

Thanks again original poster for starting this - I also didn't find much trying to query on Coral.

 

Hi there! Your cruise (now completed) sounds almost identical to ours. We have my dad (80) and aunt (75) with us. Doing the Coral partial transit. Snorkeling in Aruba, Aviary in Columbia, Rainforest and Gatun Lakes & Lock cruise, Veragua Rainforest tour, & Turtle Farm at Grand Cayman.

 

Having returned, what tips do you have? what was the best thing you packed or worst thing you forgot (wished you'd had)? Can't wait to hear more about your experience! Thanks!

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