Group of 8 friends sailed on Paradise on April 6 - got a great deal for spring break & sure got our money's worth. We had 3 in an interior cabin on Empress deck, 3 in an oceanview cabin on the Upper Deck and 2 in an oceanview cabin on the Empress deck. Departure out of Tampa was easy - went through the lines quickly and were soon on board. Cabins were available as of 1:30; luggage arrived little by little, no big delays. Had time to have lunch, explore the ship & walk around. Weather in Tampa was beautiful. Unpacking - and checking out each other's cabins. I was one of the 3 on the Upper deck in the oceanview and believe we had the best cabin. Originally we had an interior cabin on the Empress next to our friends cabin but a week before, I had called Carnival and asked various questions about the ship, my time vs. set time dining, on board credits available with my FunPoints Mastercard, maintenance reports, hoping to get some kind of onboard credits & to my surprise, was offered a comp upgrade to the oceanview Upper deck cabin and didn't turn it down. Thank goodness! Our 3 friends in the interior cabin knew that one of the beds would be a trundle bed. My experience with a trundle bed is totally opposite of what Carnival considers to be a trundle bed. Our friends had a rollaway bed with a mattress that looked like it was a leftover from summer camp. Just awful - it even was lower in the center. With a rollaway in the cabin, there was very little room left. There was also a trundle, but the mattress was also cot style. I had expected a true trundle where the bed rolled out from under the other and popped up, with the exact same mattress. I am so glad my cabin was not the interior cabin. If you are ever offered a cabin with a trundle or rollaway, do not even consider it unless perhaps a small child will use it. My friend asked for a new mattress & was told she would get one but did not. She ended up using both mattresses on the rollaway frame, but one mattress was shorter than the other. My cabin on the upper deck had 2 twin beds and 2 upper bunks - very comfortable. We told our friend to move out of the interior & off the rollaway and have one of our bunks, but she didn't. Oh, well... Sunday day at sea was very relaxing. Stayed away from the pool and the kids & crowds. Sunny breezy day, great for sunning & reading. Too bad the adult only Serenity Deck is too small. This is where Carnival needs to make some improvements. Also, having it at the back of the ship meant no breeze, if you like to sit out in the sun and get really hot and have chairs right up next to each other, then it's okay. We tried to stay one or two decks above the pool area; could still hear the music and enjoy the breeze. First port day was Cayman from 8-3. We had all been there before and didn't go to Stingray City or take an excursion. Took the tender around 10 into town, walked around, browsed shops & I went to Eden Rock & went snorkeling. Had my own gear and it was great. Met back up with everyone at Margaritaville - great view from there; expensive food. Next port was Cozumel from 11-8; due to high winds & strong current we docked at 11:30 at the Longosta Pier instead of Puerta Maya. We had planned on spending the day at Chankanaab Park. Easy to walk off the ship & take a taxi to the park & had a great day. Highly recommend visiting Chankanaab. Next day at sea - very windy, 5-6' waves, but a beautful blue sky & plenty of sun. Fun day at sea - relaxing too. Last night on ship we saw the show "Shout" one of the better shows we've seen on a cruise. Dining Room - we had dinner every night and food was great; service was wonderful; Kristine was our waitress and she was terrific. Empress Deck vs. Upper Deck, for us on the Upper deck we had Jeffrey as our cabin steward & he was great. Our cabin was toward the back of the ship - very quiet area. Empress deck seemed to be much busier, at times walking down the hall there was a terrible odor, not sure what was going on. Embarkation was not too bad; always our least favorite, but one of our group was platinum level so we departed early & didn't have to wait for a zone to be called. Great memories; fun times!
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