Paradise 2/20-2/26: Carnival Paradise Cruise Review by brad09821
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Western Caribbean
We were at the terminal by 11 and on the ship by 12. There was a line for checking in, but they moved extrememly quickly. We had lunch on the Lido deck with no issues. Wifey got a sandwich and didn't wait very long at all. I had your regular buffet fair and found it to be good. The did have typical American food at the buffet by the pool as well as a Mongolian Grill that we never did try. The lines overall moved quickly for us throughout the entire cruise. Our cabin was ready by 1:30 and we went to R173. Starboard side oceanview with the square window and not a porthole. The two twin beds were pushed together to make a king. The bed was made up with a king sheet and comforter and I never really noticed it was two separate beds pushed together. We were off to our muster drill at the REX and after the safety briefing, were all lined up and taken outside More to our lifeboat. We finally set sail and got our first drink of the day. It got very rocky once we passed the Skyway bridge, to the point where some people couldn't hold down their food. We made our nightly 20 donation to the casino and headed to the buffet for dinner. Since I wasn't feeling too well, the wifey ordered pizza and there were a couple people there, and we were told 7 minutes. The pizza came out great and we had no issues with waiting 7 minutes. Later on that night, I ordered room service and had pastrami, ceasar salad, and some good cheesecake.
This was our first at sea day and we started out with breakfast in the buffet. I had an omelette from the station and did wait a few minutes in line, but it was good. The wifey had regular breakfast fair from the buffet and it was also good. Not to jump off track, but we practiced regular hand washing, and tried to not grab the hand rail every time, or just used a knuckle to push the elevator buttons. We were off and up to the sports deck to relax. We managed to get 2 chairs at the starboard end which were great and right where we wanted. Some people would box off the ashtrays with their chairs, but we managed just fine there for a few hours and still managed access through the nonsmokers to the ashtrays. There were plenty of spots available, even with the chair hogs. After a little nap and a trip to the casino we went to the elegant dinner. I acted like a little kid and asked for the strawberry bisque and a shrimp cocktail, which the waiter even suggested that I get a second lobster tail with dinner. I had the warm chocolate cake and it wasn't the best, but it wasn't the worst either. From the time we sat at 8:15 until we were done, was less than an hour. Although, we did have a table for 2. We caught the adult comedy show and it was pretty funny. They were very strict though about it being 18.
We anchored with 5 other ships at Grand Cayman, and tendered in. We left our cabin at 8:00 and were on the street by 8:30. We didn't book an excursion, and just wanted to go to Hell to mail some post cards. I spoke to a taxi driver and we settled on a tour for 20.00 each. We went to a little spot on 7 mile beach, stopped at the Governor's residence, Hell, the Turtle Farm (which was 10.00 extra), the Tortuga Rum cake Outlet(the little meat patty/ empanada there was excellent), and a little tour around the island. It took about three hours, but it was well worth it. They had the main street closed for a Mardi Gras celebration and danced in the streets. Grabbed a bite to eat from a little stand and headed back to the ship by 1. We opted for the buffet as we did for every meal for the rest of the cruise and then off to catch the Lovers game, which was pretty good.
We arrived and docked in Cozumel. We actually signed up last minute for the Beginners shore snorkel for 25.00 each and it was well worth it. Sand Dollar Sports paid for the cab there, we were with a group of about 5 total per guide and he snorkled us around for about an hour. He even dove down and woke up a stingray for us to see. They did take one picture right as we got into the water and another one of us under the water. These were the only two pictures that we bought the entire cruise and we got both of them for 20.00. They did tell us that we could stay and snorkel longer, just without a guide. We went in for another half hour or so and when we told them we were done, they had a cab waiting that took us right back to the peir. If you do this excursion, Antonio Banderas was our guide and he was excellent. He even towed 2 people that couldn't swim around on one of those little life guard buoys for the entire hour. We also haggled with a horse and buggy rid for 10.00 each for a 30 minute tour. We actually just wanted a quick ride around the block, but he talked us into the mini tour.This was great until we got into the back streets about two blocks in from the peir, Cozumel is a dirty place, but it was a nice ride. Had the greatest taco ever right on the side of the street for 1.00. We did some shopping and headed back to the ship. Time for, you guessed it, another good buffet for dinner. They were celebrating Mardi Gras and had a huge deck party that was great. We were dancing on the sports deck looking down at the party on the Lido deck. The wifey and I decided to act goofy and threw on our robes over our clothes just to be different and act like we were little kids lol. After the party wound down, we got some pizza and headed to bed.
Another breakfast buffet and another omlette. We went up to the sports deck and got a nice spot and sat out for a few hours. We headed to the... buffet for lunch and again it was great. We spent some time wondering around the ship and headed to the farewell party for free drinks from 5-6. They always made sure that we had a drink in our hand and a drink on the table ready to go. We hit the buffet and then off on our own little picture taking excursion.
Sadly it was the end of our cruise and we were off of the boat with our luggage by 945.
We really didn't have anything bad to say about anything. I bought a bottle of Malibu rum for 60.00 through Bon Voyage in advance and carried on a 12 pack of coke. Our cabin steward kept us full of ice and I threw the bottle into my bag with some cokes and brought that up to the deck with us. Whenever I needed ice in my insulated travel mug, I just went to the.... BUFFET and grabbed some.
We are just your everyday couple that booked this getaway. It was so sad to have to leave the ship today, but god it was probably the best week that I have spent with the wifey in the 14 1/2 years that we have been married.
There were kids, but they were always busy doing something, they were never off running around causing trouble.
We are definitely planning on cruising again, and if I had the money right now, I would have booked another cruise on the same ship today. It was great for us, and we have no problems about taking our kids on our next cruise on this same ship.
Ok, well, hopefully I did ok for my first review, if you want pictures let me know, but I don't have a photo bucket account, so they show up large on here. All together we spent about 250 in Bingo and the Casino, 150 on alcohol (gotta have the drink of the day) and some money in the Funshop for some souveniers. Less
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