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Carnival Paradise Cruise Review by FightOnRon: This really was a Funship

Carnival Paradise 4
Member Since 2009
656 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 4.0
Dining 4.0
Embarkation 5.0
Enrichment Activities 4.0
Entertainment 4.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0
Rates 5.0
Service 5.0
Shore Excursions 3.0
Value for Money 5.0

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This really was a Funship

Sail Date: March 2010
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles

I had been on four Holland America cruises but decided to try a short Carnival cruise just to try it. That plus the fact the cruise was pretty cheap so I wanted to try a fun ship from my home port, plus I had taken two frineds that had never cruised before to get their reaction. In a nutshell,,,weel worth the money, this really was a Funship. BTW I am 57 and my wife is 56 years young.

We arrived early so were sent to the early embarkation desk. I took all of 10 minutes to get checkd in. However the ship wasn't ready for boarding. we arrived at 10:55 but were onboard by 11:45 and going to the Lido for lunch. If you get onboard early may I suggest the Mongolian grill, lines get really long during the week. Our ocean view cabin was smaller then what I was used to, but I had only had balconies in the past on HAL. I will say there was a lot of storage, it was very clean, the bathroom was pretty large, in all it taught me I can live in an OV cabin. Our cabin stewrad kept it More immaculate.

The food on the ship was pretty good. There are more choices on HAL, but you won't starve ont he funship. We ate all our meals in the main dining room. I am not fond on buffetts on cruiseships so I cannot comment on that. My friends did try the sandwich bar and liked it. The food was not 5 star, but it was good. I would suggest trying anytime dining. Seems the earlier you eat, the fresher the food is. We ate every day between 645 and 730 pm.

There are a lot of age groups on this ship, from babies to older people. Carnival did a good job arranging activities so all ages could be represented, hence the Funship moniker. I found I could do the same things on Carnival as I do on Holland America with no problem. I am used to HAL ships with a little older crowd but this was actually more fun to me. The teens and younger kids and families I observed seem to all be having a good time.

The Vegas shows were pretty good too. Of course this is not Vegas but the singers and dancers were pretty talented, my wife hates cruise ship shows and said the one called Xtreme Country was the best she had ever seen, and we don't even listen to country music.

One of my friends tried the spa and she stated to me it was about he same caliber as the ones she uses in Las Vegas so she was pretty happy with it.

Our first port was to be Avalon on Catalina but the winds made it impossible for the tenders to get us off the ship so our first day became a sea day. It was pretty rocky but the Captain did his best to try and find us a calm sea but that took until about mid-day. We did port into Avalon the next day. they did a really good job to change the daily program to add ship board activities for our unplanned sea day.

Debarkation was a bit hectic. There was no announcements over the PA as to which zones were to disembark as we were expecting. Seems that US Customs had a few passengers they had to do "raids" (for lack of better word) in the staterooms and that slowed us down. So the line to get of the shipw as very long, but it probably took no more then 30 minutes once Customs cleared the ship.

All in all I think Carnival does a really good job for the price. Given the choice, if I had an itinerary that was the same on Holland America as Carnival, I would take the cheaper fare which probably would be Carnival. If the fares were the same I would go with HAL, but as I stated, Carnival gives you some bang for your buck.t Less

Published 03/19/10

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Cabin review: OV181

I had heard the there is a lot of noise in the hallways on Carnival and this may indeed be true, but not for me on this ship. I selected my cabin knowing what I do know by what was above, below and around me and my cabin was pretty quiet.

Port and Shore Excursions

Not much to tell about Catalina. I have been there numerous times. Rather then taking a ship excursion I took my friends on our own tour of Avalon by renting a golf cart. After which we did some shopping before returning to the ship. The ride on the tenders were still pretty rocky, but I think the Captain was determined to get us to the port and he did.

Ensenada is what you make of it. If you go in knowing what to expect you will have fun as we did. We took the Scenic Gold Coast tour. Wasn't my choice bu this is what my group wanted to do. Not the best excursion but it was a nice ride to see what the coast of Baja looks like. Next time,,and there will be a next time,,I will do the Jeep adventure or the winery tours.

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