Monday, April 09, 2007

Coral Princess Cruise, April 2007 -- Day 1

Monday, at sea

The wake of the Coral Princess.We start this cruise with two days at sea on our way to the Panama Canal. Looking from the ship, all we can see is sky and ocean and the Coral Princess' wake stretching out behind us. According to our TV's link to the bridge, at mid-day Captain Mariano Manfuso has us heading for Cuba at 20 knots. The sea is calm.

In the late afternoon we get to see Cuba's shoreline. We pass the eastern tip of the island at 6:30 P.M. as we turn directly south toward Panama.

By now we have had time to explore the ship and it lives up to its reputation. It is lovely. Smaller than the other two Princess ships we have been on -- the Caribbean Princess (3,100 passengers) and the Golden Princess (2,600 passengers) the Coral Princess can carry only 1,970 so it is smaller and more intimate. And beautifully outfitted -- lots of marble, dark woods, original murals and twinkling ceilings.

Tonight is Formal Night. But we don't do that. A lot of the passengers do dress up and look sharp. Because of the time of year -- near the end of the peak Caribbean cruise season, after Easter, after spring breaks, etc. -- there are few young people on board. And almost no children. We love it.

We went to a new show in the Princess Theater, "What A Swell Party." The singers and dancers were fabulous as were the costumes and sets. The songs ranged from Cole Porter to more recent swing hits -- all very well sung to prerecorded band tracks. The dancers were excellent too and even more so when you remember they are doing all that complicated choreography on a moving ship. It was clearly the best show we had ever seen on a Princess ship.

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