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Coral - Panama Canal?


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We've done the canal on Coral Princess twice. We didn't book a balcony. Both times we booked B731 which is an Ocean View cabin all the way aft. It's just a few steps from the cabin door to the outside door where there is a ship-wide viewing deck with loungers. The deck is really underutilized and is "almost" like having a huge private balcony. The window looks out onto that deck but you can't see into the cabin during the day. We just kept the gauzy sheer curtains closed and no matter how I tried I couldn't see into the cabin. At night we did close the heavy curtains. It was great to have drinks out on the observation deck while getting ready for dinner. We could watch the dolphins playing in the wake many nights. Below is a pic of the viewing deck. The window next to the outside door is our cabin. When we cruise Coral Princess again we will book this same cabin. We absolutely love the location. One night we watched a huge lightening storm (in the distance) while hanging out on this deck. It was pretty spectaclar.

 

 

image.jpeg.5c70da26bccb3f943ad6ce286375d805.jpeg

 

image.png.4316d5ae4bb99579baed1103d80364ac.png

Edited by Thrak
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We had C209 mini suite in February, very close to a forward observation deck looking over the bow.

Convenient to forward staircase to go up to the Buffet or down to public rooms.

And a nice stern facing deck like Thrak has shown a photo of.

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1 hour ago, Thrak said:

We've done the canal on Coral Princess twice. We didn't book a balcony. Both times we booked B731 which is an Ocean View cabin all the way aft. It's just a few steps from the cabin door to the outside door where there is a ship-wide viewing deck with loungers. The deck is really underutilized and is "almost" like having a huge private balcony. The window looks out onto that deck but you can't see into the cabin during the day. We just kept the gauzy sheer curtains closed and no matter how I tried I couldn't see into the cabin. At night we did close the heavy curtains. It was great to have drinks out on the observation deck while getting ready for dinner. We could watch the dolphins playing in the wake many nights. Below is a pic of the viewing deck. The window next to the outside door is our cabin. When we cruise Coral Princess again we will book this same cabin. We absolutely love the location. One night we watched a huge lightening storm (in the distance) while hanging out on this deck. It was pretty spectaclar.

 

 

image.jpeg.5c70da26bccb3f943ad6ce286375d805.jpeg

 

image.png.4316d5ae4bb99579baed1103d80364ac.png

 

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3 hours ago, foodsvcmgr said:

We had C209 mini suite in February, very close to a forward observation deck looking over the bow.

Convenient to forward staircase to go up to the Buffet or down to public rooms.

And a nice stern facing deck like Thrak has shown a photo of.

 

We sailed on Island Princess in one of the forward "window mini suites" which also exist on Coral (Baja and Caribe). They are the size of a regular mini including balcony but the balcony area is part of the cabin and there's a window instead. The only issue was that the forward viewing decks (which as you note are right there) don't have any furniture. Great viewing decks for canal day though. Loved watching from there and that is where the info is broadcast from during the crossing.

 

I guess I do have to agree with others regarding the advisability of a balcony given the uncertainty involved these days. I love that aft OV cabin but wouldn't want to be confined to it with fresh air only a few steps away but not accessible.

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specifically to the canal portion I don't think we found one side better then another.    Both sides had plenty to see.   We even liked sitting in the Atrium by a window as the ship was raised and lowered in the lock.    Have you ever seen the bottom and walls of a lock.   One of the best cruises ever.   Loved going through the canal.   We have done it 3 times.

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Having sailed on both Island and Coral, I prefer Coral at least Carnival did not butcher her for the sake of extra cabins, like removing the Universe lounge forward and taking most of the viewing decks aft out, which means no full walk around promenade deck on Island. A lesson was learnt and thus far Coral has been left unscathed. Beautiful ship, it is coming to work in the Australia/NZ Region next year. 

Edited by NSWP
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2 hours ago, NSWP said:

Having sailed on both Island and Coral, I prefer Coral at least Carnival did not butcher her for the sake of extra cabins, like removing the Universe lounge forward and taking most of the viewing decks aft out, which means no full walk around promenade deck on Island. A lesson was learnt and thus far Coral has been left unscathed. Beautiful ship, it is coming to work in the Australia/NZ Region next year. 

 

Sailed Coral through the canal and the very next cruise was Island southbound after an Alaska land tour. GAH! Talk about rubbing in the horrible changes. Doing one ship right after the other really emphasized the difference. Island = no bueno.

 

EDIT:  If you sail Coral be sure to catch the show On The Bayou. Also, be sure to sit reasonably near the front. You won't see this show on any other ship (unless they are still "faking it" on Island) as it is designed specifically for the rotating stage in the Universe Lounge. I love the reaction of people who have never seen the show when the show first starts. 😎

Edited by Thrak
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Does the Coral Princess have on demand TV? Just curious, not a deal breaker.

Just wondering as it will be sailing out of Australia in 21/22.

Thrak, thanks for the photo of the rear deck it may have just changed our minds about what cabin to choose.

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23 hours ago, phabric said:

Any recommendations for a balcony cabin that is covered?

 

Preferred side - port or starboard?

 

We would be on deck most of time but would like to sit on the balcony and watch sometimes.

 

Others have given good suggestions into particular cabins, I'll take this from a different angle.  You didn't mention which panama cruise your considering.  Assuming however it's a full transit I'll point out the following:

 

The sail up the west coast is far longer than the sail from the canal to Ft Lauderdale.  That being the case, realize your balcony will face directly into the setting sun (or not, depending on side & direction).  We made the mistake of choosing a port side cabin on a FLL - SFO run once.  Basically the balcony was unusable after say, 1:00 in the afternoon, for about half of the cruise.  

 

I have chosen more carefully since.  Those who enjoy full sun might have a very different opinion, but that's mine.

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7 hours ago, Tedferg said:

Thrak is there any noise form other Pax opening and closing that door ? 

 

Not "usually" but, the door can slam shut. Most folks don't do that and, if they do, they tend not to do it a second time. In the course of a 17 day cruise I think we may have heard it twice. During the 19 day cruise I don't recall it banging but then we aren't in the cabin all the time. In the evening that outer deck was quite often "ours".  Other than Canal Day I don't recall the deck ever being "full". A few times there were maybe 4 or 5 folks reading in loungers. Even during Canal Day most folks were up front or all around the ship. I don't think a lot of people realize those aft decks are available and have loungers.

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On 9/4/2020 at 7:22 PM, Thrak said:

EDIT:  If you sail Coral be sure to catch the show On The Bayou. Also, be sure to sit reasonably near the front. You won't see this show on any other ship (unless they are still "faking it" on Island) as it is designed specifically for the rotating stage in the Universe Lounge. I love the reaction of people who have never seen the show when the show first starts. 😎

We loved this show on the Grand.  

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11 hours ago, jondfk said:

 

Others have given good suggestions into particular cabins, I'll take this from a different angle.  You didn't mention which panama cruise your considering.  Assuming however it's a full transit I'll point out the following:

 

The sail up the west coast is far longer than the sail from the canal to Ft Lauderdale.  That being the case, realize your balcony will face directly into the setting sun (or not, depending on side & direction).  We made the mistake of choosing a port side cabin on a FLL - SFO run once.  Basically the balcony was unusable after say, 1:00 in the afternoon, for about half of the cruise.  

 

I have chosen more carefully since.  Those who enjoy full sun might have a very different opinion, but that's mine.

I agree with the port cabin.  We had one for the Panama Canal and couldn't sit out there during the transit as it was so hot. (in February!)  If you are doing a westbound transit get a starboard balcony.

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17 hours ago, Thrak said:

 

Not "usually" but, the door can slam shut. Most folks don't do that and, if they do, they tend not to do it a second time. In the course of a 17 day cruise I think we may have heard it twice. During the 19 day cruise I don't recall it banging but then we aren't in the cabin all the time. In the evening that outer deck was quite often "ours".  Other than Canal Day I don't recall the deck ever being "full". A few times there were maybe 4 or 5 folks reading in loungers. Even during Canal Day most folks were up front or all around the ship. I don't think a lot of people realize those aft decks are available and have loungers.

Thanks for the update. There was a similar cabin aft on another ship, I can't recall the details. It was an OV but the person pointed out that it was easy to go out and a few steps to a rear pool / bar area. One comment was that the crew use this back stairway and there was a lot of noise from door banging. Hence my question.

3 minutes ago, Thrak said:

 

Really?  They actually staged On The Bayou on Grand Princess???????????

We saw it too originally on Island before carve up and later in a different theater, possibly Island after re-work.

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44 minutes ago, Thrak said:

 

Really?  They actually staged On The Bayou on Grand Princess???????????

Yes, we were on it for a Caribbean cruise in 2012 and saw it at that time.  We were on the Island Princess in 2013 for Alaska and don't remember if they offered it at that time.

 

 

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43 minutes ago, voljeep said:

#ustoo - prolly the only Princess 'show' I would want to go back and see again

 

3 minutes ago, shofer said:

Yes, we were on it for a Caribbean cruise in 2012 and saw it at that time.  We were on the Island Princess in 2013 for Alaska and don't remember if they offered it at that time.

 

I've seen it twice on Coral and actually did see it on Island after they trashed the ship. Sadly, on Island they did it in the Princess Theater and it wasn't right. It really needs that revolving stage and having the stage "way up there" as it is on ships other than Coral is just really wrong. I never imagined they would try to port the show over to Grand Class ships.

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3 minutes ago, shofer said:

Yes, we were on it for a Caribbean cruise in 2012 and saw it at that time.  We were on the Island Princess in 2013 for Alaska and don't remember if they offered it at that time.

 

 

prolly did, as 2013 we did the partial transit - 10 day RT PE/FLL - and that's when we saw it on Island

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14 hours ago, shofer said:

We loved this show on the Grand.  

I heard of this show but unfortunately I have never seen it with my own eyes. I even searched the internet looking for it but the only thing that I could find was some trailer video of a "one-time" only show on board... it made me feel kinda sad 

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19 hours ago, shofer said:

Which category cabin was this and which deck were you on?

 

 

We always book a balcony cabin, this is what we enjoy. Fairly sure our cabins on the Coral were cat. BB on deck 11. But the point I was trying to make with my Sept. 4th posting was that during the pandemic if there is a covid outbreak cabin confinement for all is possible. If that happened I would want to be in a balcony cabin so that I could go outside anytime and not just the scheduled times for none balcony passengers. 

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11 minutes ago, skynight said:

We always book a balcony cabin, this is what we enjoy. Fairly sure our cabins on the Coral were cat. BB on deck 11. But the point I was trying to make with my Sept. 4th posting was that during the pandemic if there is a covid outbreak cabin confinement for all is possible. If that happened I would want to be in a balcony cabin so that I could go outside anytime and not just the scheduled times for none balcony passengers. 

we were perfectly content with insides ... not anymore for that exact reason ... OB minimum for us now

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