Coral Princess Sets Sail with a First for Panama Canal Cruising

When one of the most advanced passenger vessels, the Coral Princess, departed on its inaugural Panama Canal voyage from Ft. Lauderdale this month it signified a new generation of spa ship design.

The 88,000-ton, 1,970-passenger ship offers the same vast array of public room space as Princess` renowned larger Grand-Class ships but, is spread over two decks and with fewer passengers aboard. Previously, in order for ships to feature the necessary space for the new option-filled cruise experience, the vessel had to be built wider than could transit the Panama Canal.
Coral Princess combines all the options of Princess`s other ships, plus more staterooms with private balconies than any other ship in its fleet, while still possessing the ability to pass through the Panama Canal.

“Coral Princess represents an entirely new class of ship,” noted Dean Brown, Princess` executive vice president of customer service and sales. “Its innovative design and unique propulsion system placement have allowed for an unprecedented range of facilities and public spaces throughout the ship -something never thought possible on a vessel built to navigate the Canal”.

Continuing the growth of the Princess trademark, Coral Princess breaks new ground with several cruising firsts, including the Bayou Café, the only New Orleans-style restaurant at sea, featuring live jazz; as well as the Universe Lounge, a dramatic two-deck performance venue which will feature everything from Las Vegas-style extravaganzas to yet another Princess innovation, the new [email protected] programme, offering passengers the opportunity to participate in a variety of enrichment programmes during the course of their voyage.

“This vessel embodies the Princess ideal of providing big-ship choice with small-ship feel,” noted Brown. “An expanded Lotus Spa and fitness centre, a larger children`s centre, tremendous public room spaces, and an unprecedented percentage of balcony cabins are just some of the features that Coral Princess passengers can look forward to”.


The Lotus Spa on-board Coral Princess is a full-service Bali-themed spa with ocean-view gymnasium. Lotus Spa offers everything from facials and scrubs, to massage therapy, body therapy, body wraps and salon services. Passengers can enjoy separate rituals or indulge in days of personalised pampering with treatments such as Reincarnation Facials, Wild Strawberry Back Cleanse, and Absolute Bliss Facial. The company states, “Our goal is to help guests return to the world renewed in body, mind and spirit. Here, guests can choose to enjoy a brief respite or linger for an entire day.”
Fitness programme are equally diverse with gymnasiums on all ships and the newer vessels boasting some of the most lavish, ocean-view gyms afloat. Princess offers the latest in equipment, aerobics rooms, personal trainers, and a range of classes throughout the day.

As on the line`s largest ships, the new vessel also offers a wedding chapel, a nine-hole putting course, a 24-hour Internet Café, and an extensive children`s centre. Additional features unique to Coral Princess include the Churchill Lounge, a haven for cigar aficionados; Crooners, a 1960s-era martini bar, and a London-themed casino, all firsts for Princess.

Princess Cruises, part of P&O Princess (POC:NYSE), is a global cruise and tour company. Its current fleet of 10 ships sail on approximately 150 itineraries around the world, and a further five ships will be added by 2004.