Carnival Paradise Review

Editor Rating:  3.5
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Editor Rating
3.5
Cruiser Rating
Why Choose Carnival Paradise?
  • Great for multi-generational groups
  • Sails short "sampler" cruises
  • Hidden sun deck for adults only

Carnival Paradise Overview

By Jana Jones, Cruise Critic contributor; updated by Erica Silverstein, Features Editor
At 2,052 passengers and 70,367-tons, the mid-sized Fantasy-class ships (which include Fantasy, Ecstasy, Inspiration, Imagination, Fascination, Elation, Sensation and Paradise) are the workhorses of Carnival's fleet. These vessels, which lack some of the up-to-the-minute accouterments sported by Carnival's newer ships -- plentiful balcony staterooms, distinctive indoor promenade -- are typically assigned shorter-than-a-week itineraries and, as such, make frequent turnarounds. Paradise is no exception.

Paradise, which at one time was the industry's only all-non-smoking cruise vessel (the company abandoned the philosophy at the end of 2003) remains a beautiful ship, spiffy-clean, easy to navigate, and filled with the attributes -- tons of activities, great food, Camp Carnival for kids, wonderful pools and sun decks, first-rate entertainment -- that draw guests to Carnival again and again. Its short cruises -- four- and five-night Caribbean cruises out of Tampa -- are affordable getaways that attract everyone from young families to seniors.

However, make no mistake that this is an older ship. Carnival is doing its best to spiff it up -- adding in dedicated teen and tween clubs, an adults-only sun deck tucked away on an aft deck and even extra-fee, higher-end steak and seafood options in the dining room (to make up for its lack of a specialty dining venue). And further Evolutions of Fun upgrades, including the addition of more waterslides and a redesigned pool area, will take place over the next few years. In the meantime, though, cabins definitely have an outdated look with wardrobes and bathroom vanities showing some wear, as well as a lack of balconies. (And the suites with balconies don't even have floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass doors.) The dining rooms are one level with low ceilings as opposed to the airy, multi-level venues found on newer ships.

Still, if you can keep from comparing this ship with its younger siblings, it's easy to have a good time on Paradise with plenty of activities and casual dining options available nearly round the clock. Because with such brief itineraries, you will run out of time onboard before you run out of things to do.

Carnival Paradise Fellow Passengers

The weekend passengers are onboard to party and tend to be a rowdy lot; there are more children on the weekend trips as well. The midweek trips are slightly more serene. The ship appeals to people of all ages who know that they are receiving exceptional value for an all-inclusive weekend or midweek getaway. However, the shorter trips do bring on a generally younger crowd.

Carnival Paradise Dress Code

Dress is casual during the day. Evening-wear is typically resort casual, which encompasses everything from nice khakis and sundresses to dress shorts and jeans (no cut-offs). However, there's one formal night per cruise where you can go as laid back as a dress shirt and slacks or a skirt and blouse or as fancy as a tux or cocktail dress. No shorts, swim suits or tank tops are allowed in the restaurants in the evenings.

Carnival Paradise Gratuity

Carnival recommends $12.00 per person, per day. The guidelines allocate $6.10 to dining room services, $3.90 to cabin services and $2 per day for alternative services, which include kitchen, entertainment, guest services and other hotel staff members. The amount is automatically added to your shipboard account, but it can be adjusted in either direction at the guest services desk. A 15 percent gratuity is automatically added to bar bills. Tipping a couple dollars for room service at delivery is expected (and appreciated) by the service staff. Note: On sailings departing September 1, 2016, or later, gratuities will increase to $12.95 per person, per day ($13.95 for those in suites).
Next:  Carnival Paradise Cabins
By Jana Jones, Cruise Critic contributor; updated by Erica Silverstein, Features Editor

677 Carnival Paradise Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

Start your review of Carnival Paradise
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cruisinfromTPA
Member Since 2016
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed two weeks ago
This is my 3rd and last time on Carnival Paradise. While the group we sailed with was a lot of fun and the ports provided a great day each time, there is much less to be desired onboard the Paradise. This ship needs a serious upgrade ... Read more
lakelandmom
Member Since 2016
1 review
2 forum posts
2 helpful votes
Sailed four weeks ago
We chose this cruise because of the price and proximity of the port. We live about an hour away and have 3 kids (10, 8 and 2) so we didn't want to drive to Miami. Boarding was easy, I almost bought the early to the fun, but we haven't ... Read more
SkyMaster
Member Since 2004
6 reviews
6,783 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed four weeks ago
Tampa is pretty much our "local port", as I live just 40 miles East of the port. I sail a lot on whatever ships are sailing out of Tampa. I've always had a GREAT time aboard "Paradise", but this particular cruise left ... Read more

Carnival Paradise Editor Ratings

  • Category
    Member
    Editor
  • Dining
    3.7
    4.0
  • Public Rooms
    4.0
    3.0
  • Cabins
    3.6
    3.0
  • Entertainment
    3.7
    4.0
  • Spa & Fitness
    3.7
    3.0
  • Family & Children
    3.5
    5.0
  • Shore Excursions
    3.7
    3.0
  • Enrichment
    3.3
    2.0
  • Service
    4.2
    4.0
  • Value-for-Money
    3.9
    4.0
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