My family and I (Trudy and the Cruisers) have sailed 4 times on Royal Caribbean. But due to the fact that they went virtually nowhere in 2013 in the Caribbean (we prefer 5 nights), we decided to try Carnival. I have heard mixed reviews about the Paradise, and that's what I expected boarding the ship, an average cruise line.
Probably the worst out of the bunch. Boarding was a breeze. But there was literally no food at the buffet. Me and my dad waited 20 minutes on pizza that we never got. I think they were using the rest of the food from the previous cruise. But that is no exception. They know the ship will have about 2,000+ on it. I recommend that you go to lunch BEFORE the cruise if you go on Carnival, there were no problems on RCCL. To add on to the negatives, me and my mom didn't get our luggage until after 7:30. My luggage tag even had the wrong room number! Let's hope for better on day 2.
We were at sea. Breakfast at the buffet was great. The pool was packed. If you ask me, I think it's too small to handle everyone up there. The hot tub in the back was more like a cold tub. The shops were fairly decent. The entertainment finally started to kick off and it was awesome!
Me, my dad, and my uncle stayed on the boat while everyone else went to the Cayman Islands. I already went there in 2010, and we wanted the ship to ourselves since it was mostly empty. The Carnival Paradise finally started to turn into Paradise. The mini golf course was great, we got into the pool and it was nice.
We all went into Cozumel for about an hour. When we went there in 2010, it was about 110 degrees. It was much cooler and relaxing this time around. Lots of shops, great views, and food. I recommend Cozumel to everyone!
Last day. Make it count! We had all our meals in the main dining room, and they were amazing! I got more great views and pictures, and became friends with a lot of the crew. The best part was sitting with everyone on the back balcony of the Paris restaurant during sunset having a drink. This was probably the best day.
We had one last breakfast in the dining room, and it was incredible as expected. Disembarkation was a breeze, we got off, got our luggage, and were on our way to the airport in less than 10 minutes. Although if you have expensive luggage, I would take it off with you. When I got mine, it was smashed up badly. I already needed a new one, but that just made it look worse.
If you are going on a first cruise or you have young kids, Carnival is great! But it doesn't compare to Royal Caribbean much at all. 4 stars.