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Coral Princess, 11th January to NZ


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A short review of the cruise - The weather was kind and the ship was great as usual. Individual comments -

 

Cabins - We had two balcony cabins, one a four berth and one a two. They seem to alternate betwen four and two berth cabins so we would not have been able to get adjoining four-berth cabins. We selected cabins where the door between the two balconies could be latched open. This was ideal for the young children in the party. I suggested to my daughter that the pull-down beds would not be very comfortable and suggested she have her two youngest sleep on blow-up mattresses on the floor. These cost $16.95 at Bunnings and had an inbuilt pump. I am glad my daughter had the job of blowing them up and not me! When they boarded they asked the cabin steward for the bedding off the pull-down beds and also that the two single beds be made into a Queen-size bed. The children's blow-up beds were pushed under the Queen size bed during the day. This system worked very well.

 

Crew - Superb. We got a lot of extra attention because of the young children in our group. They are three lovely girls aged nearly 10, just turned 8 and the littlest at 4 and a half. The dining room staff were excellent. We were assigned the same take for each meal. When we arrived, there were always three children's menu/activity sheet and a pencil and their favourite apple juice waiting.

 

Kids' Club - I cannot praise the Kids' Club and the staff enough. Our girls loved it. There were interesting activities and they always came back to the cabin with something to show us - painted T-shirt, painted little backpack, bead bracelet/necklace, stick-on transfer that looks like stained glass. On the last day they each received a lovely stuffed toy as a gift. The hours were 9am-12, 2pm-5pm, 7pm-11pm (I think) on sea days. On port days the centre is open all day and the staff take the kids to lunch.

 

Food - We had nearly all our meals in the MDR. The service was excellent and the staff made a big fuss over my young grand-children. I was disappointed to see that the lunch-time menu remained the same for the whole cruise. I have not encountered that before on Princess. As someone has already mentioned, on the second formal night, not only has the lobster disappeared, but the beef wellington has also. There is now a dish that has beef and a tiny piece of 'shrimp patty'. It was so tasteless I would not have known what it was if it wasn't described on the menu. The children tried the famous Volcano, but none of them had more than a few scoops. They had a large dollop of fake whipped cream. This was also used on the Black Forest cake, totally spoiling it.

 

Specialty dining - Our travel agent had gifted us two specialty dining vouchers for two. I was not at all impressed by our meal at the Bayou Cafe last year so we went to Sabitinis. The food was very good and the service impeccable. However, I wouldn't like to pay the new price - $55 pp.

 

Captain's lunch - This was held in Sabitinis where we were greeted by the Staff Captain for our photos. Table #1 was hosted by Martina, the lovely Hotel General Manager. The food was good and the service excellent. We had the same waiter we had for our specialty dinners so he made sure our wine glasses were filled regularly.

 

Captain's cocktail party - Captain Diego Perra made an appearance. He didn't attend many of these on the World Cruise. He was leaving the Coral today and a new Captain will be taking over. I am sorry, but I don't know his name. Apparently this will be his first command.

 

Wine - I took the permitted bottle of wine on board at embarkation. Corkage at the rate of AUD$30 per bottle was charged on additional bottles and a 'corkage paid' sticker attached allowing the passenger to take the bottle to the dining room. During the cruise I didn't see many people with corkage stickers. At ports of call passengers were able to take one bottle 'free' on board and corkage was supposed to be charged on additional bottles. Prices on the Princess wine list now start in the 'high 50$' range per bottle.

 

Entertainment - The first entertainer was billed as a comedian, but the general comment from people was that the funniest thing was watching the mass exodus of people. For his second show he was called 'a storyteller'. I missed the first show and didn't go to the second, but people said his stories weren't even funny. Next was a hypnotist I have seen before. Against my better judgement I went to his first show. I don't find it very entertaining. On formal night the production cast put on 'Encore', always a brilliant show. We didn't have a guest soprano but the show was still good. The Champagne waterfall and drinks now ran for just half an hour, not an hour as I recall from previous cruises. Other shows were On the Bayou (excellent even though the main rotating stage wasn't working), Motown, and Secret Silk. I hadn't seen the latter one before, but it was really great. 

 

 

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The same menu every day for lunch? That would get very boring very quickly. I hope they don't try that on the world cruise. Did it have more choices on it than usual?

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3 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

The same menu every day for lunch? That would get very boring very quickly. I hope they don't try that on the world cruise. Did it have more choices on it than usual?

There were more choices on the lunch menu, but still ..... the same menu for three sea days, then again for the three sea days at the end. I was hoping that at least the menu would have been different for the last three days.

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20 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

There were more choices on the lunch menu, but still ..... the same menu for three sea days, then again for the three sea days at the end. I was hoping that at least the menu would have been different for the last three days.

It sounds like Princess is on a downwards slide to mediocrity. What a shame! It used to be at the upper level of the mass market ships.

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The cost cutting will continue until they have paid off most of the huge debts hanging over them from Covid. Then they will likely have lost most of those who remember what it was so no need to change back.

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4 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

A short review of the cruise - The weather was kind and the ship was great as usual. Individual comments -

 

Cabins - We had two balcony cabins, one a four berth and one a two. They seem to alternate betwen four and two berth cabins so we would not have been able to get adjoining four-berth cabins. We selected cabins where the door between the two balconies could be latched open. This was ideal for the young children in the party. I suggested to my daughter that the pull-down beds would not be very comfortable and suggested she have her two youngest sleep on blow-up mattresses on the floor. These cost $16.95 at Bunnings and had an inbuilt pump. I am glad my daughter had the job of blowing them up and not me! When they boarded they asked the cabin steward for the bedding off the pull-down beds and also that the two single beds be made into a Queen-size bed. The children's blow-up beds were pushed under the Queen size bed during the day. This system worked very well.

 

Crew - Superb. We got a lot of extra attention because of the young children in our group. They are three lovely girls aged nearly 10, just turned 8 and the littlest at 4 and a half. The dining room staff were excellent. We were assigned the same take for each meal. When we arrived, there were always three children's menu/activity sheet and a pencil and their favourite apple juice waiting.

 

Kids' Club - I cannot praise the Kids' Club and the staff enough. Our girls loved it. There were interesting activities and they always came back to the cabin with something to show us - painted T-shirt, painted little backpack, bead bracelet/necklace, stick-on transfer that looks like stained glass. On the last day they each received a lovely stuffed toy as a gift. The hours were 9am-12, 2pm-5pm, 7pm-11pm (I think) on sea days. On port days the centre is open all day and the staff take the kids to lunch.

 

Food - We had nearly all our meals in the MDR. The service was excellent and the staff made a big fuss over my young grand-children. I was disappointed to see that the lunch-time menu remained the same for the whole cruise. I have not encountered that before on Princess. As someone has already mentioned, on the second formal night, not only has the lobster disappeared, but the beef wellington has also. There is now a dish that has beef and a tiny piece of 'shrimp patty'. It was so tasteless I would not have known what it was if it wasn't described on the menu. The children tried the famous Volcano, but none of them had more than a few scoops. They had a large dollop of fake whipped cream. This was also used on the Black Forest cake, totally spoiling it.

 

Specialty dining - Our travel agent had gifted us two specialty dining vouchers for two. I was not at all impressed by our meal at the Bayou Cafe last year so we went to Sabitinis. The food was very good and the service impeccable. However, I wouldn't like to pay the new price - $55 pp.

 

Captain's lunch - This was held in Sabitinis where we were greeted by the Staff Captain for our photos. Table #1 was hosted by Martina, the lovely Hotel General Manager. The food was good and the service excellent. We had the same waiter we had for our specialty dinners so he made sure our wine glasses were filled regularly.

 

Captain's cocktail party - Captain Diego Perra made an appearance. He didn't attend many of these on the World Cruise. He was leaving the Coral today and a new Captain will be taking over. I am sorry, but I don't know his name. Apparently this will be his first command.

 

Wine - I took the permitted bottle of wine on board at embarkation. Corkage at the rate of AUD$30 per bottle was charged on additional bottles and a 'corkage paid' sticker attached allowing the passenger to take the bottle to the dining room. During the cruise I didn't see many people with corkage stickers. At ports of call passengers were able to take one bottle 'free' on board and corkage was supposed to be charged on additional bottles. Prices on the Princess wine list now start in the 'high 50$' range per bottle.

 

Entertainment - The first entertainer was billed as a comedian, but the general comment from people was that the funniest thing was watching the mass exodus of people. For his second show he was called 'a storyteller'. I missed the first show and didn't go to the second, but people said his stories weren't even funny. Next was a hypnotist I have seen before. Against my better judgement I went to his first show. I don't find it very entertaining. On formal night the production cast put on 'Encore', always a brilliant show. We didn't have a guest soprano but the show was still good. The Champagne waterfall and drinks now ran for just half an hour, not an hour as I recall from previous cruises. Other shows were On the Bayou (excellent even though the main rotating stage wasn't working), Motown, and Secret Silk. I hadn't seen the latter one before, but it was really great. 

 

 

Well done writing a good detailed review 🥰

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5 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

There were more choices on the lunch menu, but still ..... the same menu for three sea days, then again for the three sea days at the end. I was hoping that at least the menu would have been different for the last three days.

Sad about that, considering the length of the cruise. We did a 3 nighter on Majestic in November and it was a repeat menu, but I thought that was largely due to being a short cruise. Disappointing, as static menus was one of the main reasons we have put a line through P&O for future cruises. Initially I am not as concerned about the lobster or beef welly so much, but with a half world cruise next year it is a bit more alarming that the MDR could have dumbed down menus on a long cruise.

 

They really should spend a few bob more on some better guest entertainers. Then again, I have felt that for P&O and Princess for several years. At least many of the P&O comedians are funny.

 

Thanks for your review. There are some great insights for our next Coral shortie in 5 weeks. I won't be packing a blow-up mattress, due to a risk of Barb making me sleep on it.

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10 hours ago, arxcards said:

Thanks for your review. There are some great insights for our next Coral shortie in 5 weeks. I won't be packing a blow-up mattress, due to a risk of Barb making me sleep on it.

Hah! Hah!

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Additions to my review -

 

Elite wine tasting - I don't always go to the wine tasting but it was my daughter's first cruise as Elite so she wanted to try it. When we entered, instead of just showing out Medallion (in the old days our Cruise Card) to prove that we were entitled to enter free of charge, we had to give our cabin number. We were then crossed off the list. A friend said that when he tried to go to two wine tasting events on a cruise three weeks ago, he was told he had to pay $25 because he had already been to one on that cruise. It was somewhat embarrassing for him.

 

Library - There were probably a hundred or so hand-me-down books in the library - a welcome change from previous cruises when there were only a few.

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Hi Evon

Thank you excellent review

I was impressed with the blow-up mattresses idea, good thinking.

Mock cream seems everywhere these days, hate it, its too sweet, and does not taste quite right does it.

 

Good to hear the you can still carry a bottle on at each port, and that the Princess production shows are still great shows.

 

Disappointing that the entertainers are not great, but we noticed even pre Covid that the standard had declined over the last years.

 

Thanks again for your great post.

 

Edited by Ozwoody
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BTW, the blow-up mattresses I mentioned are surprisingly small, measuring about 30cm x 30cm x 5cm when they were in the box. I don't know if my daughter managed to compress them back to that size when she was packing everything!

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 At ports of call passengers were able to take one bottle 'free' on board and corkage was supposed to be charged on additional bottles. 

Really? I've never encountered this on Princess before, and they certainly don't advertise it. 

It almost sounds too good to be true.

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2 hours ago, cruisermsoon said:

 At ports of call passengers were able to take one bottle 'free' on board and corkage was supposed to be charged on additional bottles. 

Really? I've never encountered this on Princess before, and they certainly don't advertise it. 

It almost sounds too good to be true.

Princess doesn't advertise this but I have found this is the way it works on all my Princess cruises since COVID. 🙂 On these cruises I enquired at the Alcohol Collection Table and was always given the same answer - "one free and after that we charge corkage". When I posted this information on FB during the world cruise, I was ridiculed for asking the person at the Alcohol Collection table. In my opinion, this is the person to ask. BTW, the corkage isn't always charged. 😁

 

BTW, if you haven't enquired as I have done several times, you won't have encountered how it works in practice 😁.

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