Fodor’s Expert Review

Ship Overview

Princess Cruises
Cruise StylePremium
Ship SizeSmall

Launched in 2003, Coral Princess is one of just two cruise ships in the Princess fleet that was specially built to sail through the Panama Canal, giving the vessel, along with her sister ship Island Princess, access to more worldwide destinations than some of their fleetmates. Renovations have added many of the cruise line’s most popular signature elements, including Movies Under the Stars and The Sanctuary.Read More

All the Personal Choice features attributed to the larger Grand-class ships were incorporated into the design of the slightly smaller Coral Class ships. The four-story atrium is similar to that on Sun Princess, but public rooms are mainly spread fore and aft on two lower decks.

Princess Cruises may be best known for introducing cruise travel to millions of viewers, when its flagship became the setting for The Love Boat television series in 1977. Since that heady time of small-screen stardom, the Princess fleet has grown both in the number and size of ships. Although most are large in scale, Princess vessels manage to create the illusion of intimacy through the use of color and decor in understated yet lovely public rooms graced by multimillion-dollar art collections.

Princess has also become more flexible; Personal Choice Cruising offers alternatives for open seating dining (when you wish and with whom you please) and entertainment options as diverse as those found in resorts ashore.

Lovely chapels or the wide-open decks are romantic settings for weddings at sea with the captain officiating.

  • 11 passenger decks
  • 2 specialty restaurants, 2 dining rooms, buffet, ice cream parlor, pizzeria
  • Wi-Fi, safe, refrigerator, DVD (some)
  • 3 pools (1 indoor), children’s pool
  • fitness classes, gym, hot tubs, sauna, spa
  • 7 bars, casino, 2 dance clubs, library, 2 showrooms, video game room
  • children’s programs
  • dry cleaning, laundry facilities, laundry service
  • Internet terminal
  • no kids under 6 months, no-smoking cabins

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Pros
Cons
The pizzeria serves some of the best pizza at sea
Cabins that sleep third and fourth passengers are numerous
The Fine Art Gallery is a dedicated area, so displays don’t clutter other public spaces
The library and card room often become noisy passageways
There are only 16 suites on each ship
Engine pods on the funnel give the ships a futuristic space-age appearance but are mainly decorative

What to expect on board

Staterooms & Cabins

Layout
Suites
Amenities
Accessibility

Stepped out in wedding-cake fashion, more than 83% of ocean-view staterooms include Princess Cruises’ trademark private balconies. Even the least expensive inside categories have plentiful storage and a small seating area with a chair and table. Suites have two TVs, a seating area, a wet bar, a large walk-in closet, and a separate bathtub and shower. Minisuites have a separate seating area, two TVs, a walk-in closet, and a combination bathtub/shower.

Occupants of 16 suites receive complimentary Internet access, dry cleaning, and shoe polishing, afternoon tea and evening canapés delivered to their suites, and priority embarkation, disembarkation, and tendering privileges. An extended room service menu is also available for them, as are priority reservations for dining and shore excursions.

Decorated in pastels and light-wood tones, typical staterooms have a safe, hair dryer, refrigerator, and bathrobes for use during the cruise. Bathrooms have shampoo, lotion, and bath gel.

Twenty staterooms are designed for wheelchair accessibility and range in size from 217 to 374 square feet, depending on category.

Food & Drink

Food

Passengers may choose between traditional dinner seating times in one assigned dining room or open seating in the other formal dining room; breakfast and lunch are open seating. Alternative dinner options include reservations-only Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria and Bayou Café & Steakhouse (both with an extra charge). With a few breaks in service, Lido buffets are almost always open. A pub lunch is served in the Wheelhouse Bar, and a pizzeria and grill offer casual daytime snack choices. The International Cafe serves light snacks, panini, and pastries, most of which are complimentary, although there is a charge for specialty coffees. The ice cream bar charges for premium ice cream. Ultimate Balcony Dining and Chef’s Table options are available, as is afternoon tea, and 24-hour room service.

Entertainment

Nighttime production shows tend toward musical revues presented in the main show lounge; other performers might include comedians, magicians, jugglers, and acrobats. Live bands play a wide range of musical styles for dancing and listening in the lounges, and each ship has a dance club. The cruise director’s staff leads lively evenings of fun with passenger participation. Movies Under the Stars with popcorn and other movie fare are a popular option.

Spa & Fitness

The spa, which is operated by Steiner Leisure, offers a menu of massages, body wraps, and facials, including treatments specifically designed for men, teens, and couples. Acupuncture is also available. Thermal suites have relaxing aromatic wet and dry saunas and heated loungers and are complimentary for those in suites, but there is a fee for everyone else. Adults can escape to The Sanctuary, a relaxing outdoor spa-inspired setting for which there is also a fee. Complimentary to all are saunas adjacent to men’s and women’s changing rooms.

QUICK FACTS

SHIP STATS
Entered Service
2003
Number of Cabins
987
Passenger Capacity
1,970
Crew Members
900
Passengers to Crew Ratio
2.19
Gross Tons
92000
Width
106 feet
Length
964
CRUISE LINE INFO
661/753–0000 or 800/774–6237

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