Coral Princess - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Coral Princess


Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 378 out of 500

Accommodation: 146 out of 200

Food: 256 out of 400

Service: 290 out of 400

Entertainment: 77 out of 100

Cruise: 294 out of 400

Overall Score: 1441 out of 2000

Coral Princess Statistics

Size: Mid-size Ship

Tonnage: 91,627

Lifestyle: Standard

Cruise Line: Princess Cruises

Former Names: none

IMO Number: 9229659

Builder: Chantiers de l’Atlantique (France)

Original Cost: $360 million

Entered Service: Dec 2002

Registry: Bermuda

Length (ft/m): 964.5/294.0

Beam (ft/m): 105.6/32.2

Draft (ft/m): 26/7.9

Propulsion/Propellers: gas turbine, diesel (40,000kW)/2

Passenger Decks: 11

Total Crew: 900

Passengers (lower beds): 1,974

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 46.4

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.1

Cabins (total): 987

Size Range (sq ft/m): 156-470.0/14.4-43.6

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 727

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 20

Wheelchair accessibility: Good

Cabin Current: 110 volts

Elevators: 14

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 2

Hot Tubs (on deck): 5

Self-Service Launderette: Yes

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No

Library: Yes

Onboard currency: US$


A comfortable mid-size ship for mature-age cruisers

Overview. The layout is quite user-friendly, and less disjointed than many ships of a similar size. In a 2009 refit, an adults-only ‘Sanctuary’ area was added to provide a quiet zone, comfortable, padded sunloungers, and ‘Serenity’ steward service. Although there’s a daily fee, it’s worth it.

The Ship. Coral Princess has an instantly recognizable funnel due to two jet engine-like pods that sit high up on its structure, but these really are mainly for decoration. Four diesel engines provide the generating power. Electrical power is provided by a combination of four diesel and one gas turbine (CODAG) unit; the diesel engines are located in the engine room, while the gas turbine unit is located in the ship’s funnel housing. The ship also has three bow thrusters and three stern thrusters.

The interior layout is similar to that of the Grand-class ships, but with two decks full of public rooms, lounges and bars instead of just one. Sensibly, it has three major stair towers. There’s a large Movies Under the Stars screen in the second pool area just forward of the funnel. Unlike many modern ships, Coral Princess has a walk-around open promenade deck, a feature much appreciated by many.

Adjacent is the Wedding Chapel, from which a live web-cam can relay ceremonies via the Internet. The ship’s captain can legally marry (American) couples, thanks to the ship’s registry and a special dispensation - though this may depend on where you live and should be verified when in the planning stage. The Wedding Chapel can also host renewal of vows ceremonies, for a fee.

This ship has lots of nooks and crannies - so you can hide away and just read a book if you want to. Also, at the forward end of decks 10 and 11, doors open onto a large observation terrace. There are also several self-service launderettes; these are much appreciated during longer cruises.

Niggles include the fact that the forward elevators go between Decks 15 and 7, but you will need to change elevators to get down to the dining rooms on Deck 5.

Accommodation. With many different price categories, there’s a good choice: 16 Suites with balcony (470 sq ft/43.6 sq m); 184 Mini-Suites with balcony (285-302 sq ft/26.4-28.0 sq m); eight Mini-Suites without balcony (300 sq ft/27.8 sq m); 527 Outside-View Cabins with balcony (217-232 sq ft/ 20-21.5 sq m); 144 Standard Outside-view Cabins (162 sq ft/15 sq m); Interior Cabins (156 sq ft/144.5 sq m). There are 20 wheelchair-accessible cabins (217-374 sq ft/20-34.7 sq m). All measurements are approximate. Almost all outside-view cabins have a private balcony. Some cabins can accommodate a third, or third and fourth person - good for families with children. Some cabins on Emerald Deck (Deck 8) have a view obstructed by lifeboats.

Suites. There are just 16 suites and, although none are really large when compared to such ships as Norwegian Dawn and Norwegian Star, where the largest suites measure a whopping 5,350 sq ft/497 sq m, for example, each has a private balcony. All are named after islands - mostly coral-based islands in the Indian and Pacific oceans. All suites are located on either Deck 9 or Deck 10, but there are no suites or cabins with a view over the stern. There are also four Premium Suites, located sensibly in the ship’s center, adjacent to a bank of six elevators. Six other suites, called Verandah Suites, are located further aft.

All suites and cabins are equipped with a refrigerator, personal safe, TV set with audio channels, hairdryer, satellite-dial telephone, and twin beds that convert to a queen-size bed (there are a few exceptions). All accommodation has a bathroom with shower enclosure and toilet. Accommodation designated as suites and mini-suites (there are seven price categories) has a bathtub and separate shower enclosure, and two TV sets.

All passengers receive turndown service and chocolates on pillows nightly, bathrobes on request, and toiletries (larger kits, naturally, for suite/mini-suite occupants). Cabin attendants have many cabins to look after - typically 20 - which does not translate to fine personal service.

Dining. The two main dining rooms, Bordeaux and Provence, are in the forward part of the ship on the two lowest passenger decks. The galley is all the way forward so it doesn’t intersect public spaces. Both are almost identical in design and layout. The ceilings are quite low and make the rooms appear confined. They have plenty of intimate alcoves, and tables are for two, four, six, or eight. There are two seatings for dinner (or you can opt for ‘Anytime Dining’ in the Bordeaux Restaurant), while breakfast and lunch are on an open-seating basis; you may have to wait for some while at peak times, just as in many large restaurants ashore.

Other dining options. Horizon Court, a casual 24-hour eatery, is located in the forward section of Lido Deck, with superb ocean views. Several self-serve counters provide an array of food for breakfast and lunch buffets, and offer bistro-style casual dinners in the evening. The venue is a bit short on seating, however.

There are two specialty dining rooms Sabatini’s and the Bayou Café. Both cost extra and you need to make a reservation. Sabatini’s is an Italian eatery, with colorful tiled Mediterranean-style decor; it is named after Trattoria Sabatini, the 200-year-old institution in Florence. It has Italian-style pizzas and pastas, with a variety of sauces, as well as Italian-style entrées - all provided with flair and entertainment by the waiters. The food is both creative and tasty, with seriously sized portions. Sabatini’s is by reservation only, and there’s a cover charge.

The Bayou Café, open for lunch and dinner, has a cover charge that includes a Hurricane cocktail. It evokes the charm of New Orleans’ French Quarter, with wrought-iron decoration, and features Cajun/Creole cuisine. Platters include Peel ’n’ Eat Shrimp Piquante, Sausage Grillades, Oysters Sieur de Bienville. Popular entrées include premium steaks (the Porterhouse and New York Strip are good), Seafood Gumbo, and Chorizo Jambalaya, plus Alligator Ribs, Corn Meal Fried Catfish, Chicken Brochette, and Red Pepper Butter Broiled Lobster. Desserts include sweet potato pie and banana whiskey pound cake. The venue has a small stage with baby grand piano, and live jazz is part of the evening dining scenario.

Entertainment. The Princess Theater is two decks high, and, unusually, there is much more seating in the upper level than on the main floor below. There are typically two production shows on a seven-day cruise, and three on a 10-day cruise. These are colorful, glamorous shows with well-designed costumes and good lighting.

A second entertainment lounge (Universe Lounge) is designed more for cabaret-style features. It also has two levels - a first for a Princess Cruises ship - and three separate stages, enabling nonstop entertainment to be provided without constant set-ups. The room, which has a full kitchen set, is also used for cooking demonstrations and other life-enrichment participation activities. There is a good mix of music in the various bars and lounges.

For self-improvement, Princess Cruises’ Scholar Ship@Sea program offers about 20 courses each cruise. Although introductory classes are free, there’s a charge if you want to continue any chosen subject in a smaller setting.

Spa/Fitness. The Lotus Spa is located aft on one of the uppermost decks. It contains men’s and women’s saunas, steam rooms, changing rooms, relaxation area, beauty salon, an aerobics exercise room and gymnasium with ocean views and the latest high-tech muscle-pumping, cardio-vascular equipment. There are several large rooms for individual treatments.

Sports enthusiasts will find a nine-hole golf putting course, two computerized golf simulators, and a sports court.