My husband and I wanted to celebrate our anniversary but I was a bit skeptical to book on the Paradise since it's an older ship and I've sailed on the Destiny and the Sensation and wasn't too impressed.
I was pleasantly surprised. The embarkation is the fastest and easiest of all ports we've sailed (Port Canaveral, Ft Lauderdale and Miami). Getting off the ship is a different story - a very long, slow process.
The cabin - was bigger than I expected and very comfortable. We had a window room on the main deck - Cabin M59. Jay Jay our room steward, kept the room immaculate and was very friendly and attentive. The shower in the cabin was awesome - hotter than you can stand it (if you like hot) and great shower head. The decor is definitely dated (as has been stated in many other posts) but the ship is kept very clean.
The food is decent - I know Carnival gets beat up pretty badly regarding their quality of food. But, again, this is a very economical cruise with a great itinerary. The buffets are OK and the dining room food is decent. It isn't 5 star quality, but I didn't pay for 5 star so I wouldn't expect it. I can say my husband and I dined in the Main Dining Room every night and enjoyed everything we tried. We usually had one appetizer, one meal and a dessert. I like the bread pudding, my husband loved the melting chocolate cake. The biggest reason for not being impressed by Destiny and Sensation was the buffet dining and service - Paradise was 100% better in both of these aspects compared the the other two referenced ships.
Grand Cayman - we didn't choose an excursion in this port because the stop was short and we wanted to walk around the town and see what there was to do. Not much.... if we go again we will either do the Stingray excursion or one of the beaches. Spoke to several other guests onboard and they loved both of these.
Cozumel - loved this stop! We chose an excursion outside of Carnival (Eagle Ray Divers) - best snorkeling ever! The boat is old - they have two Miguelito and Chucos Vivas (the Miguelito is the boat that takes you snorkeling). The hosts (sorry can't remember their names) were super friendly and more than willing to make the snorkeling experience excellent. We saw tons of fish, coral reefs, sea urchins, lobster, much more. They offered us drinks, cerveza, fruit and cookies. We chose the 2 reef snorkeling, which was more than enough time in the water and sun. My husband and I run 3 - 4 times a week and consider ourselves in Ok shape - after two trips in the water to snorkel, we were worn out! It's a different exercise and the sun beating down is very draining and we're from Florida - so we are used to sunshine. After snorkeling, we had the taxi driver take us to a mexican restaurant in downtown where the locals dine. I was definitely nervous about eating in Mexico and getting sick - but when we got there, there were other boat guests and ship personnel. I think the name was La Hoza (sorry can't remember that name either) but the food was excellent! I had chicken mole and it was the best I've had in years! We shopped at the shops by the port after lunch - found a great deal on silver and turquoise jewelry, bought vanilla (it's a must) and some small souvenirs. Then had a drink at three amigos before boarding the ship again.
The shows were OK - we tried to watch a show a night. They are typical Carnival shows - the couples game show, gender shows, Shout (dance show), comedians, bingo etc. Fitness center is OK - my husband and I run and do a bit of weight lifting. Some of the treadmills wouldn't go above 3MPH - but we didn't go on the cruise to workout - the fitness room could use some improvement.
We loved the Serenity deck - adults only - we went there on the sea days and read, laid out in the sun and napped. Only one bad episode happened and I didn't see it - just heard about it. Apparently a couple decided to "do it" in the hot tubs on the serenity deck and somebody said something - and they just ignored them! We have a hot tub at home, so i didn't plan on sitting in a communal one - but after that story - it pretty much sealed the deal on me never going in a public hot tub :( definitely gross and we aren't prudes!
All in all - my husband and I had a wonderful, relaxing cruise - we didn't have to work, cook, clean, do laundry, or make beds! The food was decent, the room was nice, the staff were very friendly. We met some nice people every night at dinner (we had anytime dining) and we prefer this seating for future cruises if available. This is a party boat for sure - that's what makes it so much fun.
Sorry so long - but I hope it helps anyone who might be on the fence in regards to this ship.