First Time Family Cruise On Paradise
Booking: I decided to book with CCL Paradise after hearing so much about it. I booked my first family trip In October 2009 for Dec. 14-18th baja cruise. i started joining carnival connections and cruisecritic.com to read everyones reviews.
EMBARKATION: We arrived at the port at 11:30am once i parked there were porters offering me there helping hand. i took a few photos before entering the dome. there was no lines the security was friendly. once going through security screening,my boyfriend, my 8yr old daughter and I had to sign these medical release form and handed it to the reception lady as she checked our IDs & birth certificates. She was really nice, and fast too we all got our SS Card immidately and she explained how it all works. as we walked away we took our first photos in a nice scenery backround and headed upstairs to the ship. We all handed our cards again to the last check point of security and took another photo and finally followed everyone else onto More
the ship. The first step inside i had to take a photo for security purposes and once that was done i was greeted by a female who handed me a camp carnival caper and the caper for the day. She advised us that our room wouldnt be done until 1:30p and guided us to the elevator onto the Lido deck for lunch. when we arrived up on the deck we were greeting by friendly wait staff offering us drinks i felt so welcoming but we arent drinkers so we said no thanks. I felt anxiety and a little queezy since my boyfriend chose to sit by the window even though the ship wasnt moving i was staring at the water and felt it rocking a little. i checked out the lido buffet and put a few things onto my plate but took a few bites and decided not to eat until i got used to being on the ship. while sitting i took alot of photos, 1:30 came around and decided to check out our room on the main deck it was a good size for a family of 3. the bathroom was a good size too. we started to unpack and checked out the rest of the ship. once 5:30p came around we all went up on the sports deck and took some video of the ship leaving that was awsome. at 7p i checked in my 8 yr old into camp carnival and went to have dinner in the elation dining area. i had the anytime dining it was fast service. the food and the menu selection was really good. the wait staff was friendly. by 10p i got my daugher out of camp carnival she enjoyed it they gave her a tshirt to color on the min we got to our cabin there was a cute towel animal, chocolates & a caper for tues catalina island waiting, At 11p we all went to bed i couldnt sleep well the first nite i wasnt use to being away from my own bed. Less
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Cabin review: Carnival Paradise
quiet make sure to get a cabin in the middle u feel less rocking movement, clean, they clean twice a day. sometimes u can hear kids running down the halls at midnite but kids are kids
Port and Shore Excursions
DAY 2 CATALINA ISLAND Since we had an interior room with no window and no clock we woke up around 9a. my boyfriend went to the gym, me and my daughter ran the track and played miniture golf. we had breakfast an hr later at the lido deck it was good but inside paris restraunt they have a better selection, got showered and dressed and took a boat to catalina island at noon. I must say it is a very small city, quiet, and from what i hear you must live there 12 yrs before you can have your car shipped out to you. all you see is people riding there bikes or golf carts. but each store you go to they sell practically the same thing and the same price or higher. we didnt spend too much time there by 3p we were all back on the ship i had my daughter eat at the lido deck before checking her in camp carnival. since i was tired i took a nap till 5p got checked my daughter out of camp and got ready for formal night. we all got dressed up took some beautiful photos, the big one was $22.00 and i bought some from embarkation that was $8.00 expensive.. we headed to the elation dining room and got a window seat my daughter felt uncomfortable there and she wanted to go to camp. she said there was alot of older people, and wasnt use having her seat pulled out or having a napkin placed on her lap. she had steak & potatoes, i had lobster tail and shrimp it was good so did my boyfriend. that nite i felt bad the wait staff wasnt very friendly to me. im pregnant (early stage) and i am now getting more hungry than usual. so i ordered more food once i was done with my plate and the wait staff looked pissed off just because i wanted steak too. even though i read it was okay to ask for more. my eyes got watery but i held my tears back. i didnt purchase any sodas,or bottled water i stuck to free water, lemonade, ice tea, milk & juices. i signed in my daughter at camp and went to the casino. the casino i must say its small and i dont like the fact that its coinless. i put money in the machine and my winnings gets transfered onto my SS card. if i decide to go to another machine it charges 75 cents. there after my boyfriend and I decided to check out a comedy show at the queen mary lounge. the comdian was funny but i started feeling queezy shortly before it ended. i went outside for air i was okay after i put gum in my mouth and drank gingerale. i took sea sick pills and wore seabands. i did some light shopping at the gift shop. played battle of the sexes that was fun, and bingo but i didnt win. i did win with the $1 scratchers they offer you to buy. it got late and got my daughter out of camp and went to bed.
Day 3 Ensenada that morning my daughter begged to go to camp so i took her, i walked the track and around the ship while my boyfriend went to the gym. my daughter didnt want to get off she thought she would catch the swine flu and decided to stay at camp. i told the staff that i will be getting off for a few hours and will check up on my daughter and that she doesnt want to get off and the staff looked bothered by it. and that pissed me off but i had to bite my lip. i made sure my daughter ate breakfast with us before we left. the minute i was done getting ready at noon again lol i checked up on her at noon and she was eating lunch with other kids in a section of the paris restraunt. i was impressed. my boyfriend and i got off the ship to ensenada went through security before leaving the ship and went through security again once i walked in the gates of ensenada. there were men asking if we needed a taxi or wanted to take a tour but i wanted to stay near the port so we walked over to the shopping area. its overwhelming soo many store soo many things to see and buy but it isnt cheap as i thought. i walked by a few kids that were trying to sell chicklets, some had cups in there hand asking for money. i felt bad i didnt want to be there but that was the whole point of the trip to see mexico. i seen 2 old ladys looking in there 80's pan handling to0. i couldnt believe it. there were a few pushy people even men one of them was asking me to go in there store to try to "bargin" for a shirt i wanted to buy my boyfriend was looking at a cart and one of the store guys thought i was alone. i felt un-easy. just breathing their air i felt dirty. i had to get out of there. i got back to the ship an hr later. there was too many pushy people and the poverty they live in made me realize how lucky i am to have what i have. once on the ship i got hungry but didnt make it to the buffet on time they were closed to prepare for dinner. so i took a nap and checked up on my little one grabbed her out for a few hours we went to see a show she loved it so did i. im not sure if it was a comedy or just a show. i took her back to camp shortly after and ate dinner. at the time we were eating the wait staff had put on a dance show for us. it was funny in the elation dining room, took a walk out on the deck and looked at stars. got tired and went to bed early.
DISEMBARKATION Wow the days went away real fast, while my boyfriend slept in me and my daughter had breakfast, got dressed and by 9a we were out. we went through a security check before getting off the ship, than back to the dome grabbed more of our luggage thanks for the porters without their help i dont think we could have done it. we left on vacation with a little baggage and came home with more. we went through US customs and vacations over. since i got home i still feel a little queezy and have sea legs. i feel like im still on the ship and its rocking. not good. well over all we had a good time, will take another cruise with carnival but this time id like to try splendor. the food was great, staff were friendly dining room staff not too friendly. based on what they say the staff workers work 6 months straight everyday. they live on the ship like pirates. i couldnt believe it.