My wife and I sailed out of Tampa on the Carnival Paradise, a five day getaway cruise to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The ship was remarkably clean and well maintained for it's age. Having cruised on the Carnival Dream last April, I have to say I enjoyed the smaller ship, less people, shorter lines. On the other side of the coin, the activities and amenities offered are a fraction of what is offered on the larger ships.
We found ourselves more often than not wondering what to do, as the ship really had very few activities planned that even came close to our interests. Come prepared to entertain yourselves. Carnival does not put a premium on entertainment on the Paradise.
I will rate the behind the scenes people, housekeeping, maintenance, etc., as excellent. Again, the ship was very clean, our room steward was fantastic, and that staff worked diligently to keep it that way.
I will rate the rest as poor. The dining room staff was inattentive at their best, the food itself was edible, but nothing to write home about. The entertainment staff knew they were riding a lame horse and couldn't wait to get back to the stables. The show(s) were painful renditions of the "Donny and Marie Show" Ala the 1970s. Ugh.
I can best sum it up as execution. The housekeeping staff executed their mission, the other staff simply did not. Such a shame, because all the tools are there to have a great product.
Would we go on this cruise again? Considering it was a very affordable getaway that matched our schedule perfectly, I have to say we would not. I would go out of my way, and pay considerably more for a better product.