We just came back from a 4 night cruise on the Carnival Paradise to Catalina and Ensenada. We've taken this cruise several times in the past and were pretty happy with it. But this particular cruise really disappointed us. The service, food, activies all went downhill since our last cruise about 4 years ago.
First of all, the ship was in poor condition, needs a major renovation.
Secondly, the activites were not up to par to other cruises. Especially on the last day, when we were at sea, we found ourselves bored the entire day with nothing to do, other than play Bingo or lay out by the pool. Our 2 daughters (7 and 10) did not like Camp Carnival and were totally bored. They also had nothing much to do.
As far as the food, the Dining Room food was good, but the Buffets were horrible. Basically they had Hamburgers, Hot dogs, fench friends and mushrooms, maybe a pasta or 2. Normally the Buffets offer a different selection every day, with a different theme. Sometimes we would prefer the Buffets over the Dining Room meals. It also did not offer any "Midnight" or "Gala" Buffets.
Lastly, service. When we go on cruises, we feel like we're completely pampered and feel like Royalty. The Staff goes always goes above and beyond to make you feel special. On this cruise, we didn't feel pampered at all. No one went above and beyond. We feel this is mostly due to the fact that the Gratuities were pre-paid at the beginning of the cruise. Normally, gratuities are paid at the end of the cruise, so the Staff is trying really hard so they will get a good gratuity. Just our opinion.
If you're thinking about cruising, take a different cruise.