Carnival Paradise Cruise Review by DiveMasterMark: Carnival Paradise May 2012
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Paradise May 2012
Destination: Western Caribbean
We just returned from the 5-night Western Caribbean cruise aboard the Paradise. With one first-timer and one traveler with no recent experience aboard a "normal" cruise ship (several trips aboard the now-defunct Cruise West small ships, and many dive liveaboards) we both found the ship in good shape and very clean.
Our ocean-view cabin on the Upper deck was chosen for its proximity to travelling companions, and was comfortable. The beds were not converted from twins to a king as reserved, but was handled by steward Mario during dinner. Storage, bath/head space, etc. were all great, with the ubiquitous lifejacket box being the only impediment to being able to move freely throughout the cabin.
We had only one complaint that plagued us the entire cruise: lack of water pressure in the shower. Specifically, there was no cold water pressure. With it fully on, there was less flow than a normal bathroom sink. The hot water was so scaldingly hot, that you could barely More turn it on, so the combined water pressure came out as a small stream, rather than a spray.
On a positive note, our steward Mario was very accomodating to any requests. We had brought aboard a small cooler, and by leaving a note & $5 bill (originally) asking for some ice, we returned to find it filled. Leaving an addtional $10 the next day kept it topped off the entire trip. Another poster's advice to bring insulated tumblers was a good idea (although they sell them aboard), coupled with our ordering of some liquor through the Bon Voyage service meant we could fix our own drinks as often as desired.
We booked no onshore excursions through the ship, opting to take the advice we read here, and booked a Stingray City snorkel aboard Captain Bryan's Buccaneer via Island Marketing for our Grand Cayman stop. However, a monsoon decided to visit the island that day, so the trip was cancelled. The lady keeping us posted throughout the morning of the excursion called when the decision to cancel was made, and promised a refund of our deposit.
In lieu of snorkeling, we wore our swimsuits & ponchos ashore and shopped for souvenirs, making the most of the inclement weather.
Similarly, for our visit to Cozumel we followed the advice of posters here and booked a day at Nachi Cocom (again through Island Marketing), and a $16 cab ride deposited us at the beach. We enjoyed our day under the shade of our beach tiki, while Manuel kept us in drinks and food. Between the beach, ocean, pool, and bar, we enjoyed our day there, and add our recommendation to others posted here.
We visited the onboard spa for a couples massage on the last sea day, and found the service and ambiance to be nice. However, the location of the spa facilities directly below the miniature golf and running track meant a bit of intrusive noise that we felt distracted from the overall experience.
We used the fitness facilities (specifically the gym) on a couple of days, and faound the equipment and space in good order. Both visits were mid-morning (9:30 or 10:00) and had little problems with crowds.
Overall, we enjoyed the ship, the staff, and the experience, and look forward to another cruise in the future. Less
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TURN IT DOWN!
Won't sail Paradise again.