My husband and I recently returned from cruising on the Carnival Paradise. I believe this is one of Carnival's older ships, but we were pleasantly surprised to find the ship spotlessly clean and well-maintained; loved the decor, and found the color choices a lot more appealing than other Carnival ships we have seen.
Crew members were uniformly friendly and efficient. Our cabin steward and dining room waitress proved to be especially attentive. Although the weather outside was frightful, the atmosphere on the ship was delightful!
I'm in the music business myself, and was very impressed with both the stage shows and the live bands on the ship. We enjoyed the Paradise Show Band very much. I give high marks to sax player/musical director Johnny; vocalist Kelsey was an excellent singer, and very personable as well. The whole band was good; they play a mix of oldies and top-40 dance tunes; and it works, you can't sit in your seat without jumping around. I actually got my husband up to dance! We also loved the high-energy stage shows in the theater. The dancers and singers did a great job of performing all sorts of musical styles and dances. When reading through other critiques, I was surprised to see that some people didn't appreciate the entertainment. How can you not like a high-energy stage show, with a lot of dancing and costumes? Or a live band that gets everyone up on the dance floor? Maybe some people should just stay home and watch TV!
About a week after we got home, my husband and I tried to go out to dinner and catch a show or a live band, and were disappointed that we couldn't find anything nearby. That's one of the wonderful things about a cruise -- there's live entertainment every night -- and you don't have to go far to get to a good restaurant.
Our one minor complaint involved embarkation. As previous Carnival cruisers, we were supposed to have priority boarding. However, the priority line was not clearly marked, and we ended up waiting much longer than we should have in some pretty unpleasant weather.