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mmsoko

Coral review 2/22- 3/4

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We flew to FLL on the Saturday before the cruise (cruise left on Wed), rented car from National and visited mom for a few days. On Wednesday, we dropped off baggage at ship before returning car to airport. This worked out very well. National provided a shuttle to ship. Runs every 15 minutes and best of all-Free!

We traveled as a group of 10, 5 couples. This was the sixth cruise for most of us and the 2nd for one couple. We range in age from mid 50's to mid 60’s! We like to consider ourselves as young. We're an engineer, a dentist, a retiree, a detective (previous security specialist), retirees, teachers, real estate manager, court assignment clerk, etc. We work! We play!

 

First impressions:

Embarked about 2 pm. No wait, no lines! In cabin D412 promptly. Luggage wasn’t there yet even though we’d dropped it off earlier.

Muster drill at about 4:00. Nicely done, without much time spent there. Each cabin is directly to their muster station. Ours was the Wheelhouse.

 

Met with Hector our cabin steward and made requests suggested on CC boards. Egg crate mattress, preferred pillows, robes, opening balcony doors between our groups 5 cabins, etc. Fruit bowl was already there because I had filled out preferences on Princess personalizer. Hector followed through with a smile! Never saw the “minisuite perk” of “complimentary champagne”, but not a big deal. The new mattresses, towels, and sheets were a nice upgrade.

 

Coral is a beautiful ship. The atrium area is impressive and the public areas never seem crowded. The only place that sometimes seemed crowded were the elevators. Many folks used the card room but there were always empty tables. The internet area was also busy but never had a problem getting a computer. They are much slower than the cable I’m used to. Obtaining and printing boarding passes cost about $7.00. All in all, we had a full ship and all was handled well.

 

Did seem to experience more ship movement through the week than on the Golden. Don’t know if it’s due to ship size or weather conditions.

 

Dining:

We chose first seating traditional dining. For the past two years our party of 8/10 had chosen PC. We all preferred the traditional dining. No waiting for table, waiters that know your preferences, etc. We were at Table 146 with Aurel and Jerry. They were professional and good servers. They never spent time socializing with us as waiters have done in the past. They always seemed “busy.”

Food was good to excellent. Found that you should order beef rarer than you would like it. I usually order mine, medium but found medium-rare came closer to what I wanted. Fish dishes were always excellent. Forget the tiger prawns...just small shrimp. DH and others in group enjoyed all the cold fruity soups. Most creamed soups were also excellent....try the mushroom soup!

As for desserts: The soufflés were great, others liked the cheesecake. Princess Dream didn’t seem as good as in the past.

 

We ate breakfast on our balcony, in dining room and in the Horizon.

You can add anything to the standard continental room service order form. Be aware to spell everything out. Ordered ham and cheese omelet that’s what I got; an order of ham and a cheese omelet. Maybe I should have ordered an omelet with ham & cheese. Don’t forget to say “toasted” English muffin w/ butter. Make sure to order milk for your cereal. Get the idea?

 

Breakfast in the dining room has limited menu but atmosphere and service is nice.

 

The Horizon has a good variety and eggs & omelets “made to order”

 

Don’t miss the “homemade” ice creams served in Horizon between 3:30 and 4:30 each day. Not in the usual serving area but near the table at the front of the ship. Keep looking, you’ll find it.

 

Tried the grill (Deck 15 by pool) for lunch one day. Ordered chicken sandwich, which was just OK. Didn’t return.

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Port Days:

 

Cozumel: Waited until later to get tender passes, got tickets #7 and didn’t have to wait at all to board. We simply shopped. No need to take a cab. Stores are an easy walk from tender. Bought our vanilla here.

 

Grand Cayman: Tendered here also. Group decided we wanted to go to the beach. We got a van/taxi for $4pp to Sea Grape Beach (recommended on CC boards). Rented beach chair and umbrella for $15. Enjoyed the sand & sea in this area. Bathrooms were very clean. Drinks were good but at $10/frozen drink, they should be.

 

Limon: Booked Jungle Eco tour. Enjoyed this boat ride on the canal of the rain forest. We saw sloth, holler monkeys, many birds, crocodile, etc. Our tour guide was fantastic. Don't pass up a banana....so fresh and delicious. Our bus ride back was through a banana plantation. Very interesting.

I wouldn't rate this my "favorite tour ever" but we enjoyed the tour.

 

Panama: Stayed on ship for passage through canal. Did view from the front of ship on Baja and Caribe decks. (Go through two doors..emergency exit only...to reach this area)

Cristobal: Shopped the warehouse of native crafts, etc. Try the cream rum that is offered. Yummy!

 

Montego Bay: Wet and wild Party Boat. We were surprised at the small group on the boat. Our group of 10 and 3 other couples. Had a great time on the catamaran. The stop at Marqueritaville was fun. DH tried the water slide.

The snorkeling was good and if you didn't snorkel, you enjoyed a foot massage!! Well worth the $49/pp.

 

Entertainment and activities onboard:

 

Although we personally didn’t use the spa this time, other in our group did. Heard no complaints. Recall that a repolish on toenails was $17, and a wash & set was $39.

 

Our group made our own fun at the minigolf (midship 15). Each sea day we had a guys against gals tournament. It’s a fun, challenging course. The prize....ice cream!!

 

Never had a problem finding a pool chair or room in the hot tubs.

 

The Princess singers & dancers were good. Enjoyed their shows more than the Golden’s

 

Enjoyed Roger Carr in the Crooners bar. Sing-along piano entertainer. Pay him a visit.

 

Attended the Princess “Pop Star”, a combination of karaoke and American Idol. It’s amazing how talented the passenger are.

 

Casino: Our group spent lots of time here. The machines seemed comparable to all other slots! Saw many win $300+ jackpots on the $.25 Blazing Sevens. The table dealers were all friendly, made you enjoy losing your $$. Had Blackjack, Caribbean Poker, Let It Ride, 3 card Poker, Roulette, and Craps tables. Also had a table of Texas Hold’em playing each night.

 

Missed the “drink of the day” specials, but were able to buy bottle of favorite liquors at Lobby Bar to take to our cabins for cocktails. Call room service to get wine/champagne glasses for your cabin.

 

 

All in all in was another wonderful cruise. It’s the first 10day cruise we’ve taken, enjoyed everyday of cruising.

 

 

Not sure that there is any info of importance here, but remember how I wanted to read about the Coral in anticipation of our cruise. Enjoy!!

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Thank you for taking the time to write your review, I enjoyed reading it very much. We sail the Coral on 3/24. Can't wait! Thanks again. Teri

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Thanks too -- I'm looking forward to the 4/22 trip. Just a few questions,

 

"Obtaining and printing boarding passes cost about $7.00" -- what are you refering to? Don't you have boarding pass in pre-docs & get the plastic key/charge card when you check in to board?

 

"Cristobal: Shopped the warehouse of native crafts, etc. Try the cream rum that is offered. Yummy!" -- where was this offered? were you allowed to bring it back to your cabin? I'm planning to follow the same plan you did for the Canal/Cristobal so any addition info on Cristobal would be great.

 

Thanks again

MHS

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Thanks too -- I'm looking forward to the 4/22 trip. Just a few questions,

 

"Obtaining and printing boarding passes cost about $7.00" -- what are you refering to? Don't you have boarding pass in pre-docs & get the plastic key/charge card when you check in to board?

 

We used the internet to obtain and print our AIRLINE boarding passes for our return flight. Sorry to confuse you.

Yes, you get your plastic key/charge card when you board ship.

 

"Cristobal: Shopped the warehouse of native crafts, etc. Try the cream rum that is offered. Yummy!" -- where was this offered? were you allowed to bring it back to your cabin? I'm planning to follow the same plan you did for the Canal/Cristobal so any addition info on Cristobal would be great.

There was a stand/booth set up about 1/2 way into the "warehouse" that was giving out samples and selling the liquor. We did buy two bottles and were able to carry them back to our cabin. The other liquor in the liquor store didn't seem to be much of a bargain. The booths at Cristobal had lots of souvenir items. There was also a booth with handcrafted items by the Embera Indians...wood cravings&canes, baskets, molas. The intricate baskets were priced about $25+. We bought a wood craved bird and were able to "bargain" with the seller.

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Think someone was asking about these:

 

Mini Facial normally $65 --$30

Aromaflex: 25 min back massage, 25 min feet massage, normally $109, $89

Spa Taster: Only $89 Combination of 2: 25 min back massage, 25 min facial, 25min tlime and ginger scrub,25 min foot massage OR 25 min Hot stone combined with any of above for$99.

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If you need to get to airport from pier:

Get a porter at the pier to transport your luggage to cab. Cost: tip $5. You don't wait for a cab then, the porter took us directly to a waiting cab.

Some of our group didn't use porter and arrived at airport at least 1/2 hour after we arrived.

Another couple used the Princess transfer and sat on the bus for over 1/2 hour before they left for airport. You save no $ doing this.

 

Once at airport, suggest taking luggage inside to check. The line outside was very long. It appeared that the Continental line was the worst....so make sure you're in the right line.

You cannot check luggage until 3 hours before your flight so there we many folks in lobby area w/luggage at noon that didn't have flights until 7pm.

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