Carnival Paradise Cabins
The Fantasy-class sleeping quarters are fine for sleeping and showering but were not designed for cocooning. It works out though, since the objective is to get you out on deck where this "Fun Ship" really shines. That said, the ship has gone partway into its cabin refurbishments, adding Carnival's new, luxurious beds and bedding, including plump pillows and fluffy duvets. However, the style of the cabins and the amenities (wardrobes, bathroom vanities) definitely show their age.
Standard inside and outside cabins are spacious enough, at an average size of 185 square feet, and have ample storage and closet space. Each cabin has a small desk with five nice-sized drawers and a stool, a closet with shelves on one side and hanging space on the other, an open storage area, twin beds that can be made into a king, a 19-inch television (not flat screen), a small round coffee table, and a small chair. The predominant color in the cabins is coral with red highlights; the ceiling is coral, the Formica desktop is coral, the little coffee table is coral. The spreads and window treatments are a mix of pink, orange, blue and purple, and the carpeting adds dark grey and light blue to the underlying coral color.
One corner of the cabin has a built-in box that is used for extra blankets and the life jackets. When the beds are configured as a queen, the person on the inside has no access except to climb over the outer bed. Above the box and angled into the corner is the television, which does not swivel but instead faces the center of the room. It's almost impossible to view comfortably from either bed when they are configured as twins, and the lone chair is too uncomfortable for relaxing.
Television programming is minimal, with three network stations from the eastern U.S., one movie channel for adults and one for children, and several in-house channels with information about shore excursions, shipboard activities and shopping.
The standard bathrooms are also spacious, with a roomy shower, sink with storage space above for makeup and other necessities, and an explosively loud vacuum toilet. Hot water is plentiful and the water pressure great; the cloth shower curtain does tend to billow and cling, but otherwise the shower is excellent. The old, flat, beige, scratchy towels have been replaced with big, new, fluffy, absorbent, luscious white ones.
Carnival has partnered with companies that provide sample sizes of their items including Crest toothpaste, Johnson & Johnson dental floss, Bic razors and Listermint mouthwash, which arrive in your room in a bowl or basket on your bathroom sink. These baskets are really fun, because, like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.
Paradise does not offer standard balcony cabins. To get a verandah, you'll need to upgrade to a Grand Suite (GS) or a Balcony Suite (OS). The extra-large 330-square-foot Category GS suites are located mid-ship on Deck 6 (Upper Deck), and are nicely furnished with a bar, large sofa and full-sized whirlpool tub. The 70-square-foot balcony is deep and wide, with two metal-and-mesh chairs and a round metal table, perfect for lazing around outdoors on warm days. The 220-square-foot Category OS suites are slightly smaller, located forward on Deck 11 (Verandah Deck), and although similarly furnished, have a tiny 30-square-foot balcony and no whirlpool tub. Note that in both categories, there are no floor-to-ceiling windows with sliding glass doors leading out to the balcony, but a large picture window adjacent to a regular door with a small window in it.
The ship has 24 wheelchair-accessible cabins in inside categories 4B - 4E and outside categories 6C - 6E.
Hint: Even though there are no prized aft balcony cabins, there are aft cabins with windows over the stern wake. Some of them are handicap-accessible rooms with a modified configuration and less closet space, but most are the same as the side cabins, albeit with a different (and unique) viewpoint. The ones in the middle of the six that span the aft have an extra foot or so of depth, and if you move your bed close to the desk, you actually have room to fit a chair under the window, the better to see where you have just been.
Next: Carnival Paradise Dining
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