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Anyone just off Coral Panama Canal cruise?

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[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=Blue]Just wondering about the entertainment, movies;
tips on food, and general thoughts. We are looking forward
to this adventure and hope the heat and humidity does not
overwhelm us (Northwest Coast wimps).
TIA![/COLOR][/FONT]

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Just got off Coral Princess, 15 day from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale through Panama Canal. Nice trip. We stayed on the ship for the 15 days because we have been to the ports several times. We basically took the cruise for the canal which is one of our favorite cruises.
The show Encore is definitely worth seeing. Lunch at Alfredo's on sea days is good. The comedian and magician/comedian were good.

We had Club Class dining which was excellent. Service was excellent and we had an extra item to select from every evening, mostly cooked in Club Class area.

Weather was warm with humidity, but we don't mind it. Nice place to hang out is the promenade deck or the enclosed pool area.

Ship is really showing her age, exterior balconies need cleaning and paint. Inside ship was in good shape.

Have fun.

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[quote name='az2sea']Just got off Coral Princess, 15 day from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale through Panama Canal. Nice trip. We stayed on the ship for the 15 days because we have been to the ports several times. We basically took the cruise for the canal which is one of our favorite cruises.
The show Encore is definitely worth seeing. Lunch at Alfredo's on sea days is good. The comedian and magician/comedian were good.

We had Club Class dining which was excellent. Service was excellent and we had an extra item to select from every evening, mostly cooked in Club Class area.

Weather was warm with humidity, but we don't mind it. Nice place to hang out is the promenade deck or the enclosed pool area.

Ship is really showing her age, exterior balconies need cleaning and paint. Inside ship was in good shape.

Have fun.[/quote]

We just came off the same cruise. There's no Alfredo's on Coral Princess.

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Alfredo's is a different restaurant. On Royal and Regal, as far as I have seen. Maybe on some of the other larger ships. Haven't seen one since Regal. I know they don't have one on Caribbean Princess, either. Been a while since we sailed on others. I like Alfredo's. Pizza FAR superior to Lido deck stuff.

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Sabatini's became Alfredo's Pizza (think that's the name) on some of the sea days. We ate there on the first day at sea before everyone else found it. Good pizzas, better than upstairs. The Bayou does a Pub lunch a couple of times during the trip.
[SIZE=3]One has to look at the restaurant schedule/hours on the last page of the Platter to see if it is available on sea days.[/SIZE]

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We did the Coral Panama partial cruise Nov. 11-21, 2017. I will post a review from my laptop one day this week. Enjoy.


Sent from my iPad using Forums

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[quote name='UpcountryTravelers']Alfredo's is a different restaurant. On Royal and Regal, as far as I have seen. Maybe on some of the other larger ships. Haven't seen one since Regal. I know they don't have one on Caribbean Princess, either. Been a while since we sailed on others. I like Alfredo's. Pizza FAR superior to Lido deck stuff.[/quote]

Two years ago on the Coral Panama Canal cruise that we took Sabatinis was used on some of the sea days to serve a limited Alfredo's menu. Mostly the same pizzas that we had on the Regal the year before. Very good. Highly suggest checking the Patters to see if it is happening on any given sea day and give it a try.

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[quote name='nini'][FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=Blue]Just wondering about the entertainment, movies;
tips on food, and general thoughts. We are looking forward
to this adventure and hope the heat and humidity does not
overwhelm us (Northwest Coast wimps).
TIA![/COLOR][/FONT][/quote]
They just posted my review from 11/21/17 Panama Cruise on the Coral. Just look for earlydiner.
p.s. It was all wonderful.

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Returned from the Coral full transit 12/6 through 12/21 cruise.

I had an excellent time.

Singers and dancers were particularly good this cruise and I enjoyed all the production shows except for the special Christmas show ( which was way too slow). Encore was particularly good.

This cruise, there were a lot of older passengers (older than typical which I guessed was related the dates of sailing), consequently, the anytime dining was filled to capacity earlier than usual.

Anytime dining room opened at 5:00 pm to compensate. They were usually passing out pagers by 5:45, earlier for formal nights. However, there were typically many seats available by around 7:00-7:15. The staff tried very hard to get those early diners out early so they could bring in another seating. After the first few nights, we started getting a mid afternoon snack and then went to the anytime dining around 7:15 and were typically seated immediately or almost immediately.

The 7:30 show was filled up very early. There were typically plenty of seats available up to show time for the 9:30 show. We almost passed up going to the magician's show, but talked to someone who recommended it. Glad we went. It was a combo magic / comedy show and was very entertaining. Overall I found the entertainment to be very good.

[LEFT][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Helvetica Neue]This sailing had the oldest passenger base for a cruise that I have ever been on. I have never seen as many wheelchairs and scooters as I have on this sailing. That said, there was never a problem with waiting for elevators that I observed. Please don't take this as a negative, but for a younger couple, this may be disappointing since it impacted the night life participation. Lots of night time activities offered but with minimal participation by passengers. I would often go into some of the live music venues in the evening, and be one of maybe less than 10 people total listening. This cruise left on a Wed and came back on a Thursday, so for anyone not retired, it would mean taking about 3 weeks off from work, which may have been a contributing factor. [/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Helvetica Neue]
[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Helvetica Neue]There were two lecturers onboard with typically two lectures per day on sea days. [/FONT][/COLOR][/LEFT]

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Other observations: I food the food in the MDR to be very good with the exception of the steak during the first week which was dry and overcooked. I had ordered it med. rare and it was served medium to medium well. I should have sent it back. Fish and seafood entrees were consistently excellent. Desserts were good, but not great.

Food in the buffet for dinner was disappointing. I found the meats to be overcooked, even the meats in the carving station. This may have been improved for anyone going to the buffet later in the evening, but my guess is that early on for dinner, the entrees had been sitting awhile before the dinner time was opened for service.

Food in the International Café was very good.

I found the weather to be on the humid side. Cartagena was 90 degrees with 88% humidity the day we were there. We were told that typical humidity levels are closer to 68%. Other than that, the weather was sunny with only one storm at night. We were not able to tender in Nicaragua due to high winds, which was disappointing but understandable. Most port days the temps were in the upper 80's.


I thought there was a nice variety of movies. I enjoyed watching Wonder Woman outside on the upper deck. We watched a few movies in the stateroom. I heard a few complaints from other passengers that there were too many modern action movies shown in the evenings on the upper decks, but I didn't agree. The movies that were shown were the movies that had been more recently released.

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[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=Blue]Wow! Thank you all for the updated comments and information.
I hope the humidity calms down a bit! This will be quite the
weather shock for us as we are used to a very mild and cool climate
on the beach in the state of Washington.[/COLOR][/FONT]

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Very good info, thanks everyone. We're on this FLL - LAX version of this cruise, leaving 1/20/18. We're also in Club Class and I'm very interested in the Club Class food in the MDR. Your feedback on it was very promising. I will be sure to read the review.

Which nights were the formal nights? If I recall correctly, there are three of them.

Thanks again for the great info!

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[quote name='reiddg']Very good info, thanks everyone. We're on this FLL - LAX version of this cruise, leaving 1/20/18. We're also in Club Class and I'm very interested in the Club Class food in the MDR. Your feedback on it was very promising. I will be sure to read the review.

Which nights were the formal nights? If I recall correctly, there are three of them.

Thanks again for the great info![/quote]

Club class will have the same menu with the exception of one special pasta dish. We were not in club class but one night, few diners came to the MDR (rough seas one night) and they were offering the special pasta dish to anyone interested. It was delicious. In Club Class dining, you won't have to worry about the early lines for the MDR.

There are 3 formal nights. Since we were on the LA to FLL route, I'm not sure which they will be on your cruise but they will likely be the first sea day and not sure which other sea days. By the third formal night, people were not dressing up as much as they did for the first two. The second formal night had the surf and turf option and the third formal night had beef wellington on the menu.

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[quote name='vmom']Club class will have the same menu with the exception of one special pasta dish. We were not in club class but one night, few diners came to the MDR (rough seas one night) and they were offering the special pasta dish to anyone interested. It was delicious. In Club Class dining, you won't have to worry about the early lines for the MDR.

There are 3 formal nights. Since we were on the LA to FLL route, I'm not sure which they will be on your cruise but they will likely be the first sea day and not sure which other sea days. By the third formal night, people were not dressing up as much as they did for the first two. The second formal night had the surf and turf option and the third formal night had beef wellington on the menu.[/quote]

Thanks, vmom, that's helpful. The surf and turf and beef wellington sound good. Looking forward to trying the club class experience.

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[quote name='Nonnie1975']Ok, what is Club Class? Evidently, I don't have it. Just trying to learn all of the stuff and tricks. Thanks![/quote]

Club Class Mini Suites are a new revenue stream for Princess. It costs more than normal mini-suites but they offer you other amenities not offered in the mini-suites. In the MDR, there's a separate check-in, wait staff, and menu (although it sounds like very little is different on the menu). Here's a link to the description of the offering on Princess' website: [URL]https://www.princess.com/learn/ships/staterooms/club-class/[/URL]

We've been in mini-suites before but not the Club Class. The Club Class mini-suites are located midships, which we prefer. Looking forward to trying it. I will review the cruise and Club Class afterward.

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I just thought of another question. We typically sign up for the Sanctuary for the entire cruise. I've read on other threads that the day you go through the locks, the charge for the Sanctuary is $60 for the day. The Sanctuary would be a great place to observe the ship going through the locks. However, we have a canal boat tour once we're in Fuerte Amador that starts at 8:30 AM and I'm guessing that this tour and the Coral Princess going through the locks happen on different days but can anyone confirm that? I don't mind paying extra at the Sanctuary but it wouldn't make sense if we're off on a shore excursion.

Thanks!
Thanks!

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Quote: "Club class will have the same menu with the exception of one special pasta dish".


[SIZE=3]We did Club Class on Coral in December and our extra dishes included things like Steak Diane, Lobster Thermidor, additional surf & turf, several dishes with scallops or shrimp, a couple of flaming desserts besides some pasta dishes (the asian pasta dish was really good), to name a few. A lot of the dishes where prepared in Club Class area.[/SIZE]


[SIZE=3]The real advantage of Club Class is the availability to dine immediately, no waiting, separate entrance with hostess. Most tables are 2 tops but close enough to other tables to socialize if you wish. Staff is excellent with a higher number per diner. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]
[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Corp came on the ship just prior to our cruise, reviewed and made some changes to Club Class on Coral. Peres was added (he is good) to Club Class, review of Club Class with the Chef and Coral came more in line with the Club Class concept. [/SIZE]

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[quote name='reiddg']I just thought of another question. We typically sign up for the Sanctuary for the entire cruise. I've read on other threads that the day you go through the locks, the charge for the Sanctuary is $60 for the day. The Sanctuary would be a great place to observe the ship going through the locks. However, we have a canal boat tour once we're in Fuerte Amador that starts at 8:30 AM and I'm guessing that this tour and the Coral Princess going through the locks happen on different days but can anyone confirm that? I don't mind paying extra at the Sanctuary but it wouldn't make sense if we're off on a shore excursion.

Thanks!
Thanks![/quote]

We did this cruise from San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale in late October/early November. The sanctuary pool was deserted almost every day and I am not surprised as it is such a small pool and in my opinion, not worth the price. The no additional charge indoor lotus pool is larger and was never that crowded and you could always get a chair. It was always very quiet. Of course we only counted six or seven kids on the entire ship. I liked that pool because it had stairs. The main pool on the lido deck is the largest, was a little busier, but you could always get a chair. It is not covered and has no steps, just ladders. You do have the noise from MUTS.

[B]It is not worth it to pay for the sanctuary to use while observing the canal[/B]. Here is a little known fact---the stern of Deck #10 (Baha) has a very large area with chairs (some in the shade and some with sun) and plenty of room for observation. It is no charge and there were only a handful of us there both during sail away and during the canal transit.

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The sanctuary is fantastic for the canal. They served us breakfast mimosas and lox and bagels that was fantastic and lots of cold wash cloths and very comfortable chaise lounges with a covered area to block out direct sun. They had assorted pastries and quiches and cold drinks were delivered all day long .A great lunch was served in the afternoon. Later in the day they had sweets and smoothies. They also have the ship photographer come and take your picture with the locks in the background. They area also has a private bathroom for guest which is a nice convenience.

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Thanks, Fat Albert & Tip. Watching from the stern of Deck 10 is an interesting point. What I'm wondering though, is this when the ship goes through the Atlantic locks or the Pacific locks?

Thanks!

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That is what I am talking about going through the locks, you can purchase a pass for the sanctuary for the day, it will provide you all the service and amenities for the day. We enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere in the shade and had great service for cold/frozen wash cloths and we were served breakfast and lunch and a great photograph. If you go to deck 10 it will be hot,sunny and no chair to sit. The canal is 8-10 hrs long for the passage from one end to the other a long time to stand and no service available for refreshments.

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Not to be argumentative with Mr. Albert, but we found that there were somewhere between fifteen to twenty loungers on Deck Ten with most of them unoccupied. Yes, some were in the sun, but some were in the shade under cover.

You could check out the stern of Deck Ten a day or too before hand and see if it meets your needs. If not, you could always pay for the Sanctuary. Of course, we were just down the hall from the Deck Ten location and had no problem going back to our cabin to use the facilities or get refreshments out of our refrigerator. Then again, some folks like to be waited on hand and foot\!:rolleyes:

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[quote name='CPCruisers']What is open on the ship during the transit? Fat Albert mentioned no service available for refreshments??[/quote]

All food and drink areas were open. I honestly don't remember about the shops or casino.

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[quote name='reiddg']Thanks, Fat Albert & Tip. Watching from the stern of Deck 10 is an interesting point. What I'm wondering though, is this when the ship goes through the Atlantic locks or the Pacific locks?

Thanks![/quote]

We were on the stern of Deck 10 several times throughout the day and this included both the Atlantic and Pacific sides.

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[quote name='vmom']Returned from the Coral full transit 12/6 through 12/21 cruise.

[/quote]Does the Coral have the new flat screen TVs. That are much bigger than the older ones?
Does it have the new pillow top mattress?


Thanks

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[quote name='tip']Not to be argumentative with Mr. Albert, but we found that there were somewhere between fifteen to twenty loungers on Deck Ten with most of them unoccupied. Yes, some were in the sun, but some were in the shade under cover.

You could check out the stern of Deck Ten a day or too before hand and see if it meets your needs. If not, you could always pay for the Sanctuary. Of course, we were just down the hall from the Deck Ten location and had no problem going back to our cabin to use the facilities or get refreshments out of our refrigerator. Then again, some folks like to be waited on hand and foot\!:rolleyes:[/quote]

Thanks, guys - that answers my question. We'll have to decide which one we want to do. They both sound good.

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"Not to be argumentative" "Some folks like to be waited on hand and foot rolling eyes" Yes I can "always pay for the sanctuary" You get enough in there . The idea of being on a cruise ship and having being waited on is really out of the ordinary isn't it? The comment regarding no refreshments is if you go to the front of the ship through passageway on deck ten to view the canal their is no crew member that comes there to ask for service request. I have been through the canal many times and I have been to the area described it is nice but not something I would do for hours.

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[quote name='Fat Albert']"Not to be argumentative" "Some folks like to be waited on hand and foot rolling eyes" Yes I can "always pay for the sanctuary" You get enough in there . The idea of being on a cruise ship and having being waited on is really out of the ordinary isn't it? The comment regarding no refreshments is if you go to the front of the ship through passageway on deck ten to view the canal their is no crew member that comes there to ask for service request. I have been through the canal many times and I have been to the area described it is nice but not something I would do for hours.[/quote]

Happy New Year!;)

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Posted (edited)
We returned from the 12/6 - 12/21/2017 Panama Canal cruise on Coral. On the morning we were about to enter the first lock, the door that opens up to the very front of the ship on Caribe Deck (Deck 10) that is normally locked was open to public. We found that from 5.30am onwards people already started to gather there. It was an exciting anticipation especially to wait and experience passing through the first lock. However, since there are three locks, and the entire process would take the most part of the day, don't worry if you find you can't get the "best spot". There will be openings later throughout the day; and in other parts of the ship that you could still view what's happening. Some people like to stay and watch from inside the Horizon buffet restaurant which is at the very front of the ship - It's comfy with air-condition and no Panama humidity - but you may not be able to take super good pictures through the tinted glass. Other times you can still sit comfortably on the Deck 7 Promenade and enjoy the great views of the huge man-made Gatun Lake when the ship is not going through any of the three locks. Edited by Diddydiddy

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[quote name='reiddg']Club Class Mini Suites are a new revenue stream for Princess. It costs more than normal mini-suites but they offer you other amenities not offered in the mini-suites. In the MDR, there's a separate check-in, wait staff, and menu (although it sounds like very little is different on the menu). Here's a link to the description of the offering on Princess' website: [URL]https://www.princess.com/learn/ships/staterooms/club-class/[/URL]

We've been in mini-suites before but not the Club Class. The Club Class mini-suites are located midships, which we prefer. Looking forward to trying it. I will review the cruise and Club Class afterward.[/quote]

I'm on the same cruise as you and have a midship mini suite, so [LEFT][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Helvetica Neue]I'll be interested to see what you thought of Club Class. [/FONT][/COLOR][/LEFT]

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Saw on another thread that their 15 day CP cruise did't offer a wine package.

Was this the case on your recent cruise? Hope it was just an oversight or I may me lugging a case from Total Wine.

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[quote name='crawford']Saw on another thread that their 15 day CP cruise did't offer a wine package.

Was this the case on your recent cruise? Hope it was just an oversight or I may me lugging a case from Total Wine.[/quote]

No - I bought the premiere beverage package for my upcoming 15 day PC cruise.

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[quote name='reiddg']No - I bought the premiere beverage package for my upcoming 15 day PC cruise.[/quote]

Are you referring to all drinks? I was interested in the wine package.

Thanks.

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[quote name='crawford']Are you referring to all drinks? I was interested in the wine package.

Thanks.[/quote]

I'm referring to all drinks. I'd never seen a wine only package on any of the Princess cruises I've been on. I didn't know it existed.

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[quote name='reiddg']I'm referring to all drinks. I'd never seen a wine only package on any of the Princess cruises I've been on. I didn't know it existed.[/quote]

Yes, they have wine packages that vary depending on the number of days on the itinerary,

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