Well this was my second cruise on the Paradise in 3 months - my 14th Carnival Cruise out of 19 cruises overall. I am lucky enough to be Platinum on my last 4 cruise, so some of the extra perks are great. We had a hired car dropping us off, which we arrived around noon. The embarkation is great compared to many of the cruise I had done out of San Pedro. Although the Platinum room is separate, and you pick up all of your documents there - also if you are traveling with another party they are more than happy to give you yours and take them right to a counter to collect their documents. Everything went 100% at embarkation!
They have been keeping the hallways closed off now until the 1:30 pm opening so the stewards can finish the cabins. There are plenty of areas to wait in, and maybe have a drink until then - or you can wander upstairs to the Lido and have some lunch. Honestly I have never found the buffet food on any cruise to be spectacular, but the regular fare is good. Then you also have that option of Pizza, or a fresh deli sandwich.
Not that I'm making any excuses for them, but the stewards do have a large block of cabins to attend to - unlike some of the other boats where the ratio is better. The cabins on the Paradise are fine, and yes they are just a little worn - but comfy. The only problem I ever have with just an outside is the layout - once the beds are together it's always a little weird. The bed bumps up to the corner table, and it's always hard to be the one sleeping by the window - just harder to get out, so I make my hubby sleep there! Ha Ha! Our steward was ok - but not too great this time. We had asked for only regular Coke & Sprite - needless to say he never gave it to us, but that was ok. He was helpful otherwise.
As for our waiter & assistant waiter they were as usual, just a bit frazzled the first night at dinner. I always give them the "first night free" to let them feel out what I will want the next few nights on a regular basis. Ours was fine, and became really accommodating, which was nice. Food as always in the dining room is great - to me at least. Luckily there are always two entrees that I love each night that I have a hard time deciding between - so of course my hubby & I would order a 3rd and split it. Whew roll us out of the dining room!!! After our desert & cappuccino we were done....then off to gamble!
Casino was great, and they had given us a 500 point bonus as Platinum members - so we were halfway to our $10! That was the best, and the hosts are very friendly. You know we don't gamble like high rollers - so don't get the wrong impression, we are just lucky enough to play for a while at a machine with little investment.
We never go to the shows unless Merle Hobbs is playing - great comedian!! Can't say enough good things about him - he rocks! We also for the very first time attended an art auction....crazy. They roll right through it, and it was actually fun! On the October one, and this one we found the Pursers desk to be friendly & accommodating.
All in all we had a great time on the Paradise - remember, you vacation is only as fun as you make it! I am taking my mom on her 69th birthday on another in April - so we plan to have another great time! I wish all of you Happy Cruising!!!