Better the second time around
My girlfriend and I did the 3 day cruise on the March 23rd - 26th weekend aboard the Paradise. This was our second year attending the KKJZ-FM (88.1FM) annual Blues Cruise. This was our third cruise. The first was a similar 3 day Ensenada cruise aboard the RCCL Monarch of the Seas.
Cabin: We liked the cabin we had in 2006 and requested the same one this year. We were on the main deck, category 6B. These have one large window as opposed to the small port holes you get on some ships. This makes a huge difference in the ambience of the cabin. Even though you don't plan to spend much time in the cabin having sunlight makes it much more hospitable.
Entertainment: I have to qualify my review of the entertainment because the Blues Cruise was a private affair for only about 200-300 guests who booked the cruise through a travel agent who does this annually. So the majority of the entertainment we participated in was related to that, and not open to all of the guests. That being said, the general activities we participated in were great and the rest of the guests appeared to be having a great time.
Dining: This was a big improvement from last year. In my prior review I talked extensively about how bad the food was. So I feel it's only fair that I praise the Paradise for getting it right this time. Last year we were pretty disappointed because the food in general was terrible and it detracted seriously from our experience. It was so bad that we might not have come again this year if it had not been for the Blues Cruise. However, we decided to give it another shot, and that was a good move! This time around the food was very good.
Now that my only criticism has been corrected I have to say that Paradise is indeed a "fun ship". The experience might be a bit different if we were not there for the private parties given for the Blues Cruise crowd, but it would still be a very fun and relaxing trip.
This is the only Carnival ship I've been on so I can't speak for any of the others, but I had heard that they tend to attract a younger adult crowd than RCCL or some other lines and that they can get a little rowdy. Maybe this is more likely to happen during the spring break and summer months, but in March it's not bad at all.
Overall, this was a great cruise and as long as the Blues Cruise will be hosted on this ship I plan to attend every year.
Larry C. Brown