If you need a wheelchair avoid the Carnival Paradise
Where should I start? Let see. I'm not satisfied with my cruise. The fun ship? Really was not that fun for me. On Feb 4th I took a cruise to Cozumel/Cayman. This was my second cruise ever first with Carnival and most likely my last with your company. There were issues from Day 1 and continue throughout the trip. I do have a physical disability in which I use a small Manuel sport style wheelchair a week before my cruise I because I would be traveling alone. I called up carnival to arrange an airport transfer in which I told the customer service representative I was in a wheelchair and needed accessible accommodations when I got to Tampa. I met the Carnival greeter which was very nice. However they told me they didn't have an accessible bus to take me to the port which I found to be very odd that you guys don't have a bus with a ramp like hotels or airports. She said no worries we will call a cab after about 45mins to an hour wait a United Cab shows up with a ramp finally I thought I'm on the way to the port. The Cab guy had a gripe about yellow cab and carnival that I had to hear about while he loaded my wheelchair up in his cab. He was angry and was going back and forth arguing with the carnival supervisor about money no professionalism what so ever. He finally got me to the port. At this point, I'm not really that excited to take my first cruise with carnival fearing what's next. So I get on boat the Paradise which is an older boat and it shows.
I requested 6 plus months ago that I needed an accessible room. Maybe its just an older boat my little wheelchair could barely fit through the door and the rest room was really small although Guess Services Fernando said that my room was accessible and the rest rooms on the ships are smaller like that. I could barely get my chair in the bathroom this is really unacceptable took a cruise a year ago on the Bahamas Celebration which is older than the Paradise. There bathroom was bigger and accommodating. I don't enjoy crawling on the floor of a bathroom I shouldn't have to do that to take a shower or to get to the toilet because my chair can barely fit in the bathroom. I'm a human being I don't enjoy the inhumane feeling I got and you that are reading this wouldn't like that feeling either I hope your newer boats are in better condition and most importantly the facilities are more accommodating for people with wheelchairs .
Our first stop the Cayman. Was anxious to go on my excursion went to Guess Services and the lady said I could not leave the boat because it was a tender port and for someone to help me down the stairs to the boat would be a liability so now it's like one problem after the other. I'm feeling like a second class citizen now. So the Cayman Island was a no go for me...and totally boring day on the ship. They assured me that I will be able to leave the ship in Cozumel which I did and had a good time which at this point I really needed.
Coming back Tampa airport once again I found myself waiting and waiting for accessible vehicle to take me to the airport. This time after an hour wait the bus with a lift came. I know I just mentioned the bad first impressions are everything, and when you experienced what I've experienced the bad is all you have to really go on. Will I travel with carnival again? Probably, not. I feel that Carnival is really not accommodating to people with disabilities and I could really understand that some ports are tendered but should be alternative fun activities on the boat while the boat is docked or a better way to get people with wheelchairs off the boat and on their excursion.
My recommendations to you, Make sure all your ships rest rooms especially the ones for people with disabilities are up to date and spacious I don't like to crawl on the floor in the bathroom especially when my wheelchair is really small. I have a bad taste in my mouth from this experience and I'm not happy because Carnival is not fun for people with Physical disabilities.