Carnival's entertainment options are always top-notch, and Paradise is no exception. The ship's lounges and bars really distinguish the ship, with enough active and festive places to enjoy group conviviality and enough quiet spaces to enjoy conversation. The America Bar, with blown-glass stars and stripes, is the ship's piano bar, which gets loud and chummy later in the evening, but it's a great pre-dinner meeting spot for those dining in the Ecstasy dining room. The Rotterdam Bar tends to be a quiet spot for wine before and liqueurs after dining in the Destiny restaurant. The African themed Rex disco stays open until the wee hours to entertain carefree revelers, and its lion-head symbol's eyes flash with the beat.
The United States Bar, located in the promenade just outside the casino, has a funny little stage across from it, in which a lone country-western singer serenades the crowd with his guitar.
And if hokey karaoke is your thing, you'll find it in the Queen Mary Lounge, located aft along the Promenade. The same venue also hosts the comedy show, presented twice: The earlier one is G-rated for families; the midnight show is definitely adults-only fare.
Our favorite is the Paradise Bar, located in the atrium, with its light filtering through the glass panels above. A classical trio plays in the evenings, and a glass of wine here, accompanied by the strains of Mozart or Vivaldi and the rosy glow of the setting sun, provides a relaxing break between a busy day and the promise of an active evening.
The production shows in the main theater, Normandie Lounge, are great fun and professionally presented. The theater itself, done in rust and gold with blue accents, has a fairly level lower floor, with more stadium-like seating in the upper level, where you can choose from regular seating on the sides or round banquettes in the center. The full casino offers slots and 12 tables, all of which were going strong during our day at sea and in the evenings.
Daytime activities are equally extensive, with the usual Carnival "Fun Ship" offerings around the main pool games (including, of course, the hairy chest contest), and trivia contests, bingo and art auctions in venues all over the ship. The arcade on Deck 9 is open day and night for cruisers of all ages. Passengers interested in a behind-the-scenes tour of a cruise ship can pay $55 for the once-a-cruise, nearly three-hour Behind the Fun Tour, which takes a limited number of participants to visit the bridge, engine control room, galley, staff dining areas and laundry room. For the price, tour participants receive special gifts, including a Behind the Fun baseball cap and commemorative photo.
With such short cruises, Paradise has limited shore excursion offerings, but the selection on our cruise was reasonably priced ranging from $22 per person for a shopping tour to $85 for a jeep adventure tour and $146 for golf play at a local resort.