Carnival Paradise Cruise Review by staceyrain: The good, the bad, the creepy entertainer
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The good, the bad, the creepy entertainer
We are not very experienced cruisers. All three times were short cruises. We just like to not have to drive for a few days of travel and actually spend a lot of time reading in our room and enjoying the rocking of the ship. I really have no complaints because we got what we paid for at about $300/person for a 4 day cruise. I just am giving it all the info so people who read this know what they're paying for.
COMFORT: There were not many kids on this cruise because of the time of year but there aren't many quiet placed to relax and read, so if there were a lot of kids and that's not your thing you might be disappointed. The "library" is very uncomfortable and loud because it's also the board-game room. I found the area near the coffee shop best for relaxing when there were no activities.
FOOD: We ate in the Elation dining room. I liked the starter dishes best and toward the end it got so that I'd order soup, salad and another starter, skip the weird dinners and get More a dessert. I'm not that picky but I we each had to send a dinner back with a chunk of fatty prime rib that shouldn't have ever come out of the kitchen. Other people at the table also returned food or didn't eat it. It seemed like a sad waste.
On both of the carnival cruises we took the other people at our table, who had experience on other cruise ships, were really disappointed by both the food and the wait staff. The staff works hard, really hard, but seem overworked, under trained. When someone spilled a glass of water at our table they didn't do anything to clean it up, just let it run and continue until one person had to get up and move because she was getting wet. We asked twice for a clean-up and nothing was done. I don't think they had a clue how to clean it up. The staff was friendly and one had an especially positive personality. No one learned our name like they do on Royal Caribbean, but for $400 less that's okay with me. If it weren't for the fun of meeting other people I'd probably just eat at the buffet, but definitely don't expect superior service there. Many passengers were happy with the sandwich station. You can get better coffee at almost any major gas station chain these days. I'll bring Starbucks instant Via on the next cruise.
Someone else mentioned the half-hearted dance routines and singalongs in the dining room. I agree. They were embarrassed to be doing it because they didn't know the moves. They really tried so hard. One of my tablemates wasn't happy that they seemed to perform to the "other half" of the dining room and it was true, they did.
SHIP-SHAPE: I like the rooms because they're roomy compared to other cruise lines. The beds are comfortable and the shower is big. They're clean and we didn't care that they weren't stylish. Our steward was great. We never saw him and he noticed when we came and went and slipped in quietly. I don't care how many cruises I take, I will always enjoy the towel animals. No hairdryer, what a bummer. We didn't sleep as well as we did on a similar carnival ship. I think it was because we were on a party floor with lots of drunken yelling and we had a window right near the anchor so the first morning we woke up at 5 a.m. to the very loud anchor lowering. I swear the kid in the room above us brought a wii and was jumping around all night. I get grumpy without sleep so I was grumpy a lot.
The ship has some maintenance issues. I have a feeling some of the elevators were down because we were always waiting for elevators. The arms on the seats in the Normandie showroom are falling off. I hope they know these can be re-covered every 15 or so years, but I don't think they do. The decor of the entire boat kind of looks like an aging casino but it's pretty clean except for the many sticky floors I noticed.
PROCESSES and STUFF: Embarkation was a dream. It felt like we walked right on. I was so excited that they didn't make us bring our life jackets to the safety orientation, but then they added this new step of actually going from the muster station to the lifeboats, probably a good step but definitely felt like I was being herded and they didn't warn us about it so we didn't bring a jacket and it was cold. I know all this is required. I *think* they try to make it painless, but it isn't and it's hard to start enjoying ourselves until it's over.
With debarkation they announced this new self-assist early debarkation. One of us took that option to get the rental car for us and thought it was definitely over-hyped as people with tons of luggage and strollers were in the way and she had to stand in line a really long time to disembark. The others of us waited to go through the regular process. It's better than it used to be but they still call each group way too early while the previous group is still in a 30 minute line. If they waited just a little longer the comfortable wait on the boat is so much nicer than standing in a customs line. We just waited until they kicked us off and it was painless.
ENTERTAINMENT: Wow. I guess I must be picky. It was horrible. A "comedian" with some weird puppet making orgasming sounds actually got some laughs. I love comedy but this was not funny. I was sad part of my ticket paid for him. Everything in the Normandie lounge was too loud. The older people in our party found it painful. If you find the free Las Vegas shows entertaining you'll be happy but don't expect Broadway. Less
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Cabin review: U42
Noisy, too close to anchor. No hairdryer, great size shower, low water pressure. Nice view of Catalina and Ensenada when docked. 1 window.