The Embarkation process at the port of Tampa was a breeze. I was traveling with a platinum member so we literally were the first passengers to board. I could see that it was not a hassle for anyone else either. We went straight to the buffet on the Lido deck. I had a fresh made deli sandwich and a salad that was very good.
We were certain to be on deck (up top) when we sailed under the Skyway bridge just after sunset. That was way cool, people cheered as we cleared the bottom of the bridge by a few feet. The weather on this cruise was perfect, you could barely sense any movement as the ship was underway. The Paradise is in excellent condition and one would have to look very hard to find any flaws. There were people cleaning and polishing 24/7.
We chose anytime dining and went to the main dining room at around 7:30 each night and were seated immediately. The food in the MDR was quite good. Our server (A.K.) was outstanding, I was sure to mention him when I took the More
Carnival Survey after getting home. Every staff and crew member I came across were very polite and cheerful. I must say that they take customer service seriously. We had a Ocean View state room (R35) that was plenty roomy and was kept spotless by our room steward (Nyoman) The ice bucket was always full. I was pleasantly surprised how nice the shower was and how great the water pressure was. Breakfast at the buffet on the Lido was good, but skip the scrambled eggs,they tasted like they were made from powdered eggs. Much better to go to the deli station were they make a fresh omelet to order. Lunch at the Lido was good, but I found the burgers to be dry.Entertainment was very fun. The cruise director (Steve) hosted a very funny version of the newlywed game. There is a band that plays the Paradise called Blood Power. They were the highlight of the cruise! What a fantastic band. They do rock standards from the 50's and up. They were very nice and we talked with them between sets. The folks that did the Karaoke, trivia games and scavenger hunts were great. One will not get a cheap buzz at the bars, the pours are weak. (it helps to tip the bartender cash in addition to the built on gratuity) I watched the difference between pours from them for those who tipped and those who did not.
We decided not to do any excursions in Cozumel but disembarked and walked around the little town. The vendors are pushy, but I ignored them and it was no big deal.
Disembarkation once back to Tampa was a breeze. I had so much fun, I am already booked as a single on January 24 on the Ecstasy out of Port Canaveral. Less
Carnival Paradise Cruises to the Western Caribbean