This was our first TGG Cruise.........Thank Goodness for Girlfriends... Cruise
We were 8 women, mostly seniors, mostly from Maine & wintering in Florida.
The Paradise surly surpassed our expectations. We've all cruised ..LOTS... and did not expect the high level of service we received. We purposely choose an inexpensive, easy to put together cruise from Tampa ( we are mostly from Venice ).
We were surprised how much room we had in our mid-ship, but lower level cabin. Once we put the twin beds in an L shape.. it opened up the entire cabin for 2 women to get around with ease. The lighting in the bath was great, so it was convenient for 2 people to get ready at the same time, with good vanity lighting and magnifying mirror.
Plenty of closet space,too. I used the RICK STEVES method of packing and bring my clothes on hangers, so, it takes only a few minutes to unpack and hang.
ONLY improvements.....a BLOW DRYER... and a CURTAIN between the closet area and vanity/beds, for privacy, would have been TERIFFIC....!!! Bath came w toothpaste,creams and a few other samples and nice THICK toasty BATHROBES and BEACH TOWELS ..!
Elevators were right around the corner, so easy access everywhere.
The FOOD was especially GREAT...!! From Chateaubriand ( like butter )w/ Bearnaise sauce, to the most incredible WARM chocolate desert.
We first choose the anytime dining, because we wanted to dine around 7PM.... but on another Carnival Cruise, we had to get a buzzer and wait to be seated...
SOOOO, we asked to be wait listed for the early seating. We did get it and were so happy. Our team of waiters were professional and came to know us quickly. There were cheerful and anticipated request. We had our wine waiting for us and occasionally ordered an extra dish we wanted to try and shared with the table of 11.
COZUMEL..ship is docked directly at pier.
This was my second time in COXUMEL. First time took a Carnival excursion to a beach club. Very expensive, crowded and just ok.
THIS TIME I had researched CHANKANAAB NATIONAL PARK.. and it was GREAT.You only need to grab one of the SEVERAL taxis waiting outside the ship. for 6 of us it was about $15-$18 total.
The Park is only a FEW minutes away. it is spotlessly clean and the minute we arrived and bought our DAY PASS TICKET $20 per person USA....the guides asked what we wanted to see and do and directed us. A short walk to the gorgeous cove and beach we were met by another server who asked how many in our party and then found us lounge chairs under a big thatched umbrella facing the ocean. Some of us brought our own snorkel and mask. They were for rent there as well. The SHIP also SOLD your own SNORKEL for $5. A good buy, too.There are a few steps w/rail down to the water. For anyone snorkel shy...You could just stand there and see exotic fish all over. Gorgeous, clean, tropical beach and water.
Exotic drinks, brought by our server were really well priced..about $6. We all brought a snack from the ship, so did not order lunch, there.There are a few shops there.
Another bunch of taxi's were always waiting to bring you back to the ship.
2 of our party took the Dolphin/Manatee encounter and enjoyed it. That was ALSO held at CHANKANAAB....!!You can pay and do that on your own as well.Also, glass kayak's. A walkway behind the seating area has huge ( in cages ) crock's and giant lizards ( not caged) that were color changing and gorgeous to look at and were not at all anxious to meet up with us :-). There are TONS of COLORFUL SHOPS all over the Cozumel dock area.
Grand Cayman, TENDER....First, some of the group had not been there before and wanted to take the 2 hour TOUR in a crowded VAN $25..US...with the USUALL stops at PRE-ARRANGED buying spots...UGH...!!! Awful.THEN, we just shopped and then went to the RITZ HOTEL on the beach for the most incredible PINA COLADA.
The sea days were spent playing lots of RUMMIE-CUBE in the library, sitting on the SERENITY (adult only) deck..almost always got a shade seat.. the sunny ones go fast.The small outdoor deck above it was a great comfortable, shady place for lunch,games, etc.
The entertainment was fine. I think unless you have a special HEADLINER on board, they are always about the same.No, I did NOT win the $20,000 bingo, either :-)
Check-in went incredibly easy and fast.Remember 8 women traveling.!! We were sitting on the LIDO deck having lunch at NOON....!!!!
Luggage in rooms by 2PM..NICE..!!!!
<<<<>>>>> STOP THE LOUD MUSIC..STOP THE LOUD MUSIC...STOP THE LOUD MUSIC...PLEASE..!! Hey we love music..just no need for it that loud on the pool decks, when you can't even TALK. MANAGMENT..LOOK AT YOUR CLIENTEL...how about some soft jazz.. just turn it DOWN.Did you look at your average age???
If you have a SPA treatment...be PREPARED for the BIG SELL for lotions , etc to take home..Also, by the second day there will be SPECIALS offered. WAIT to BOOK.
From Venice, we hired BLUE SKY LIMO. It was very reasonable and efficient.
This will surely be an annual TGG trip for us, now...!!