20 Carnival Paradise Caribbean - All Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for the destinations. We flew into Tampa. I highly recommend using Carnival's shuttle service. It's reasonable and drops you off right at the port. Tampa's port was easy to get through in a reasonable ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the destinations. We flew into Tampa. I highly recommend using Carnival's shuttle service. It's reasonable and drops you off right at the port. Tampa's port was easy to get through in a reasonable amount of time. We sailed on the Paradise. It was supposed to sail to Cozumel and the Cayman Islands. However, our itinerary was changed. We sailed Costa Maya instead of the Cayman Islands. Cozumel was fun! I highly recommend visiting Tulum (The Mayan Ruins) or the Salsa, Salsa excursion in Cozumel. The comedians were great! Shows were good for entire family. The food was average. I didn't care for the buffets because they offered a lot of the fried foods. Main dining food was pretty good, service was a little slow. Costa Maya was a big disappointment. I don't recommend staying in port unless you have a planned excursion. The business owners and the insects were extremely annoying! Carnival offered everyone on our cruise a $25 on board Credit because they changed the itinerary. It wasn't worth the headache! I always do research when planning a cruise. I was disappointed with the condition of the Paradise. We stayed on Level 6 where the Upper Deck elevator area smelled moldy, water was leaking from ceiling and they had fans in hallways the entire cruise. One of the main elevators in lobby area wasn't operable the entire cruise. One set of sliding doors to the buffet was inoperable for a day. Was awaken by a very loud noise one night, not sure what it was. The Serenity area (private area for 21+) was very small and crowded. My husband and I have sailed on several Carnival ships. I am not a fan of the Paradise! If you are looking for a reasonable cruise with good service, food and entertainment, look into cruising on Carnival Sensation or Sunshine. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was our first Carnival cruise. IT WAS FANTASTIC! We have sailed on RCI Enchantment twice. I sailed on RCI Liberty as well. Embarkation: we had a check-in time of 1 to 3, but took a chance and headed to the port at 11 am. check-in ... Read More
This was our first Carnival cruise. IT WAS FANTASTIC! We have sailed on RCI Enchantment twice. I sailed on RCI Liberty as well. Embarkation: we had a check-in time of 1 to 3, but took a chance and headed to the port at 11 am. check-in was a breeze and we were on the ship by 12:30 pm. chilled on the Lido deck til about 2:30. then a quick visit to our cabin and then muster. Muster drill, while inside, was one of the very few negatives - this muster drill was almost exclusively over the loud speakers which was good because you could hear it. however, it was to begin at 3:15 and people and staff wandered in over the course of 30 minutes before it truly began and then it took another 30 minutes to relay all the safety information. then we were all led up to our lifeboat stations. we stood there for 15 to 20 minutes then dismissed. so over 1.5 hours for muster. Food was on par with RCL. Not everything 5 star, but nothing bad and many high moments. We are foodies, but enjoy a good greasy burger and fries as much as the next person. We dined every evening in the MDR and had one sea day brunch: Excellent apps: smoke duck, escargot, crab cakes, cured salmon good apps: granited onion soup, sushi, stuffed mushrooms, alligator fritters, thai spiced chicken tenders not again apps: cream of asparagus soup, lobster bisque (dh liked this I did not) Excellent entrees: salmon, braised brisket, redfish, crab ravioli Good entrees: chateaubriand, prime rib, veal parmigiana, fried shrimp Excellent desserts: warm chocolate melting cake, grand marnier souffle, bitter and blanc, good dessert: orange cake, tarmisu reported not again dessert: amaretto cake Food on Lido: Deli - pastrami was excellent and dh had bagel and lox that was excellent Most mornings we had croissants with our coffee which were grand and then simply grazed when hungry. I did visit the omelet station for an excellent ham and cheese omelet. I had one slice of pizza and it was good. dh indulged in hamburgers from the grill several times. We twiced stopped by the Taste bar and enjoyed the experience, although it would have been nice to have at least a fork, even a plastic fork. Service was superb! I requested an ice bucket and put my bottle of wine in it. The next day I had a bigger bucket that allowed my wine to be completely covered with ice and it was refilled twice a day. Room cleaned twice a day. never wanted for anything. Waiters were plentiful on lido where we spent most of our time. They served us with a smile even when all i wanted was water. tables were kept cleared of dishes. All staff were more than friendly and helpful! The ship - yes it is obviously older, yes it is a bit gaudy but we enjoyed it. The one issue I would comment on is the 'choppiness' of the ship made it difficult to go from one place to another easily. Entertainment: We went to the '80's rock and Brits show. Enjoyed both. Saw Mark simmons, the comedian both early and adult shows very good! We tried watching karaoke in the Queen Mary Lounge and were very disappointed to find that the music was so over amplified you basically could not hear the singers. We intended to check out the Leonardo karaoke but did not get to it. I did download the Carnival Hub app and found it very helpful, particularly being able to check our balance and the schedule. We visited Grand Cayman and Cozumel. In Grand Cayman my intention was to wander the port area then take a taxi to My Bar at Sunset House. Unfortunately, once we got away from the taxi area none of the locals wanted to help us find a taxi. 'taxi expensive, you can walk, not far.' well, i knew a taxi would not be cheap and yes it was too far for my dh to walk. so, we ended up at Guy Harveys for a drink and a snack then back to the ship. that did leave room in the budget for dh to get a box of cubans so he was happy In Cozumel we had a private driver show us the sights and history then off to the tequila 'factory' where I learned I like tequila! lunch on the 'wild' side of the island and stops at several natural and beautiful areas. All in all, while I had some reservations about a Carnival cruise and Paradise in particular, we had a blast and will definitely cruise Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We allowed our travel agent to choose the cruise following guidelines we had given her. I am handicapped and on Oxygen so we had many special needs and the staff met those quite well. The ship (mostly the cabins) are very tired. We took ... Read More
We allowed our travel agent to choose the cruise following guidelines we had given her. I am handicapped and on Oxygen so we had many special needs and the staff met those quite well. The ship (mostly the cabins) are very tired. We took a Carnival 11 years ago and the carpet and décor in the cabins are the same now as then just that much more worn. The area I was most disappointed with was the dining. There were no specialty restaurants aboard, and the dining room is only open for lunch if we were not in port. The dinner menu's were very uninspired, meatloaf one night, brisket another. Quite disappointing. I will say when I commented to our waiter about this. He apparently told the dining room supervisor who presented me with chocolate dipped strawberries the following evening. We did order the "off the menu" steaks (extra) which were excellent and one night chateaubriand was on the regular menu. I asked about lamb chops and they said "oh no you had to take a 6 night cruise for lamb" ( ours was only a 5 night). Now for the good parts, the staff was absolutely the best. The main areas were beautiful, Art Deco in style, and very comfortable. They had violinists in the main atrium every night, the piano bar was great, excellent photographers (I always take horrible pictures and they actually did a great job and we bought them all BIG BUCKS but worth it.) The food on the Lido deck was always quite tasty, and because I'm on a scooter there were always people willing to assist me. Will we travel on this ship again, probably not, but would not hesitate to recommend it knowing these limitations. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Being on 20 cruises, we know what to expect on a ship. After reading the reviews of the Carnival Paradise we lowered our expectations. Listed below are pros and cons: Pros: - Service in the dining rooms was excellent - Stateroom ... Read More
Being on 20 cruises, we know what to expect on a ship. After reading the reviews of the Carnival Paradise we lowered our expectations. Listed below are pros and cons: Pros: - Service in the dining rooms was excellent - Stateroom steward was fantastic, as always - The ports were very pretty - We took one excursion (Amphibious Boat) and that was good Cons: - At the very beginning of our cruise, we were notified about an engine problem which changed our port itinerary. - Since this is a fairly old ship, it is in badly need of a renovation - Our room had no Air Conditioning, just a single vent which blew cool air, not cold; cool - The bathroom in our stateroom stunk continuously of urine - Constant clanging of machinery and mallets that woke us up very early in the morning - The teen club needs to be larger - More activities on the ship - Larger buffet with more food - Wifi was very slow no matter what plan you purchased, on the last evening it was very, very difficult to connect - The shows were okay, the two main singers were excellent - The basketball court was a joke, one hoop and a couple lines is not a basketball court - During the safety briefing, it took too long and we actually had to travel to where the life boats were which took around 1 hour We travelled with teens and tweens. They said compared to other Carnival ships, this was one of the worst. Our family will definitely be back to cruise with Carnival but not on a ship built before the 21st century. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was a 4-day cruise with Cozumel as the port. Little background information....This is my 6th cruise and we are in our 30s & 40s... I know not many cruises compared to some of you awesome cruisers! I am going to give a pro/con ... Read More
This was a 4-day cruise with Cozumel as the port. Little background information....This is my 6th cruise and we are in our 30s & 40s... I know not many cruises compared to some of you awesome cruisers! I am going to give a pro/con lists and excursion pro/con.... Hope you find this helpful. This is of course my opinion.... PROS: Embarkation. We had a boarding pass time of 1-3, but came early and was able to get on board. We were on board by 11:45. They were organized and friendly! The entertainment on board was awesome. Loved the 80's show and rock show. They did an awesome job. The shows sure have become short over the years--35 minutes. I remember when they were an hr+ but sometimes it is nice to be able to do other activities....You don't need to get there super early as many folks wait until the last minute to join. Newlywed show was funny like always. They did it different on this cruise but still good. Hasbro show also worth watching. Our room was always clean and bigger than expected. OV room. No couch though? Shower bigger than RCL. Dining room staff very pleasant and willing to please. Pool entertainment was fun like always. The cheesy contests are a must with cruising and the dancing. CONS: FOOD- It was very much hit or miss. I couldn't believe the SMALL hot buffet. At first I was like where is the rest of the buffet. LOL I looked around ....The food was either good or terrible. Nothing was excellent. The homemade pizza was good and we were thankful they had that on board. Our go to food. How sad. LOL The desserts looked good on the buffet but tasted awful. Other people were complaining about the food....The Deli was different and good. The formal dining room food was good or bad. It's funny how the best food was on the last day. Crab cake was delicious and tomato/mozzarella salad. I am use to the room steward greeting you and introducing himself on day 1. NOPE. He called!! Seriously. That was a first. Day 2 I see two room stewards on their phones and I asked if he was our steward and introduced myself. LOL Pools were OLD and above the ground. Had a yucky feel. That salt water was insane. Although, if you are a kid at heart you will love the slide (cross arms/legs & raise your back...you WILL go fast!) I know it came from the ocean but you'd swear they took galloons of salt and dumped it in... Hit and miss again on friendly staff. Missed staff at the beginning of the lido deck restaurants greeting and all. I enjoyed my drinks but my friend didn't. The WOK was yuck! If you have done Mongolian grill before then you will be disappointed. Who has only rice noodles and such a limited selection. The disembarkation was crazy. What happened to first come first serve if you are taking your luggage off??? We were on deck 4 and the last ones. Now, if the shipped took our luggage off it would of been 10:40 am before we would even leave to head to customs. Crazy. Customs took 30 minutes so not too bad. Excursion....We signed up for the ATV and Amazing Secret River excursion. The ATV was a blast. Be prepared to be covered from head to toe in sand and dirt!!! Now, we were aggravated they ran out of single rider ATVs when we signed up for those! My friend had to take the intermediate ATV (double) since I have never rode one before....No guys would let her use the smaller/single riders. UGH. It was fun though. Secret River was awesome. You will be in a wet suit, lifejacket, helmet, and have a walking stick... Very cool experience. The pictures with blue vibrant water was just that an edited picture!! LOL Our guide was very knowledgeable. We felt safe. The ferry ride to Playa del Carmen was about 35-40 minutes and then you board a van for the ATV. After ATV you board another van for the secret river. We waited 45 minutes on the ferry to go home before we ever left That was crazy! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our 3rd cruise, first on the Carnival Paradise and I must say I really enjoyed it! I was not a fan of the other cruises we have taken. We sailed to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The embarkation process went really smooth, there ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise, first on the Carnival Paradise and I must say I really enjoyed it! I was not a fan of the other cruises we have taken. We sailed to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The embarkation process went really smooth, there were lots of agents checking in passengers. Our room was on the 5th floor, M223 with no window. - very comfortable bed - nice size not huge - robes were provided for everyone in the room - never heard any noise from other rooms - BEST shower ever! Always hot right away and stayed that way until you were done - bed always turned down with a towel animal every night - clean towels everyday - beach towels STAFF - GREAT - our waiters were so nice, called us by name every night (8:15 dinner in the Elation dining room) - the deck waiters were also great, knew what drinks you liked on the second day, also called you by name FOOD - I thought everything I ate was great! - waffles were so good ( but only had them every other day) SHOWS - watch late shows and thought they were good - comedy club was also good - casino bar band in the lobby were good I found the ship to be very clean, great staff, great food! The only thing that was a disappointment was the excursion in Grand Caymans. We did the swimming with the stingrays and starfish point. NOTHING like the pictures or reviews. I understand that is nature and there may not always be a lot of starfish but only to see about 5 was disappointing. The swimming with the stingrays was also disappointing, we got in a big circle (25 of us) and watched everyone kiss the stingray and then watch everyone get their picture taken with it, while the guide held it the whole time. They didn't even bring enough food for everyone to feed it, so I was disappointed with that. I would not recommend this excursion to anyone. After talking with other people about swimming with the stingrays, we were picked the wrong tour. I would recommend the Carnival Paradise to anyone, had a great time! If you are looking for some fancy ship, with the big slides, huge TV on the upper decks then this is not the ship for you. I don't think it is the "Motel 6 of the Seas", as an above review, though. It was a nice ship and you make how you want your cruise to go, get to know the staff and they will make you feel like you've been friends for a long time. Thank you staff for all of your hard work! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Decided to try a shorter cruise and go back to Carnival. Enjoyed being back on s smaller ship. Our last cruise was on RC with a bigger ship. It was much easier to find a chair on the decks. The comedy club entertainment was better and more ... Read More
Decided to try a shorter cruise and go back to Carnival. Enjoyed being back on s smaller ship. Our last cruise was on RC with a bigger ship. It was much easier to find a chair on the decks. The comedy club entertainment was better and more of it on a 5 day than the 8 day on RC. The lounge was big, spacious and comfortable. The main theater was very comfortable to watch shows and the shows were better than RC. Getting off and on the ship was much better than dealing with a bigger ship and all the other people. The smaller ship does have a disadvantage when it comes to the amount of choices to eat. The food was good, but some dishes have a very small portion. The only way you get a lobster tail is to pay $20. The biggest thing to be aware of sailing out of Tampa is the possibility of weather delays in the Port of Tampa. The 2 cruises before ours were affected by the weather delays when the port was closed. One cruise lost one day and never got to a port for excursions. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was my fifth cruise with Carnival. Sailed on Carnival Paradise out of Tampa for a 4 day cruise to Cozumel on Dec 17.. Embarkation and disembarkation was a 4 star experience...smooth. Chose a discount cabin in the back of the ship on ... Read More
This was my fifth cruise with Carnival. Sailed on Carnival Paradise out of Tampa for a 4 day cruise to Cozumel on Dec 17.. Embarkation and disembarkation was a 4 star experience...smooth. Chose a discount cabin in the back of the ship on the main level. The smells in the hallway was musty and sometimes had a fecal smell. The cabin was fine except the A/C never cooled the room down-it was bearable but not cool. I had anytime dining in the Elation dining room. On my past cruises these meals were good, but I had only 1 good meal in the dining room-prime rib. My husband agreed that on this cruise the food was not as good as usual. There wasn't as many activities as usual, no scavenger hunt, drawing games, etc. Bingo was fun. In summary, I wish I'd spent a little more and went on a different ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Girlfriend and I booked this as our first ever cruise. We normally stay at a resort when we travel to the Carinbean but decided to try a cruise at the urging of friends. We loved it. Although the Paradise is an older ship, the awesome ... Read More
Girlfriend and I booked this as our first ever cruise. We normally stay at a resort when we travel to the Carinbean but decided to try a cruise at the urging of friends. We loved it. Although the Paradise is an older ship, the awesome staff and great entertainment more than makes up for it. Room service and ship staff were perfect (and I want to stress perfect), extremely helpful and made it easy to kick back and relax. There was so much to do in the way of entertainment but our favorite part of the cruise was the comedy club. The club manager Ashely does a great job and Mike Macy was amazing and absolutely hilarious!! It was grew to have an adult comedy show to go to each night. His show alone is reason enough to book a carnival cruise, we went to every one of his shows. Highly recommend. If an older ship like Paradise has this much to offer, can only imagine what a younger ship is like! Will definitely book Carnival again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Let me preface by saying that I have been on 3+ cruises with Carnival and about 3 with Royal Carribbean. With that said, I was deeply disappointed with the condition of the ship and the fact that we were not credited for pictures. ... Read More
Let me preface by saying that I have been on 3+ cruises with Carnival and about 3 with Royal Carribbean. With that said, I was deeply disappointed with the condition of the ship and the fact that we were not credited for pictures. This was a small group of 7 that went and we were supposed to have a ten dollar credit on our bills towards any photo purchases. Unfortunately no credits were any of the statements. The ship conditions: there were multiple elevators that did not work, the tiles in the bathroom shower need a good mildew/mold treatment, and multiple lights in displays that did not work and the the 8th floor or where-ever the casino is - is mostly a dust cloud. If you don't smoke this is not the cruise for you as well know smoke travels. Also there was a huge number of children on the boat which also proved to be a distraction. In closing the only reason this cruise gets a "2" is due to the staff. They were extremely helpful and kind. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I recently got off the Carnival Paradise and everything was not up to expectations or what you'll think it is. On every deck there was at least two broken elevators. On lido deck (10 top) there was a sink with a out of service sign ... Read More
I recently got off the Carnival Paradise and everything was not up to expectations or what you'll think it is. On every deck there was at least two broken elevators. On lido deck (10 top) there was a sink with a out of service sign and it worked properly. Our cabin E36 toliet didn't want to flush at times. You had to wait and press and then wait and press until it worked. When we first got there the pullout beds were both dirty. My luggage was all scratched when I got it back and my mom's had a hole that it never had before. The lights in our cabin flickered on and off. Everything is out of date and when we ask for a wake up call on the last day 08/27/15. They told us is in the computer and we never got the call. On deck 8 they try to get you to get off the boat and buy jewelry if you go to the Sophie Shopping Expert Show. She'll make you get your free stuff so you can buy a Tansanite bracelet for $5000 and tell you how cheap it is. The Michael Kors watches on the boat had a sign for 10% off on one the displays and the store manager doesn't give them to you. He'll blame it on someone else and got mad at us. They put old shows in the Normande Theater, and play the same one every night. We bought rum and the bottles when we open the box were on top of each other like they were thrown in the box. In the study/game room there games were all broken and old. As for the Elation we had the best service. Serviced by Win, Christopher, and Asep. They knew what we wanted and were very attentive to us. Kind and charming waiters. But what didn't make dinner complete was the forks always had old food on them as the dishwasher was not washing them right. But other than that my waiters were the best. On deck 9 there was the arcade that cost a $1.25 or more to play one game. And the arcade was the smallest I have ever seen. The clud O2 for 15-17 was mostly boring. They had no games to give importance to like the circle club. Other than Andre a nice guy who you can spend time with and he'll teach you how to dance too. In the casino, all you smell is tobacco. But before I got on I was told it was a smoke free cruise. Which clearly was a lie because it smelled mostly like tobacco. Even ones you get in the back entrance from lido deck 10. And then the photographer wants to make you take a picture but you say no thank you and they continue. The only show that was Interesting and funny was Alex Ortiz The Punchliner Comdiean. Who is very humble and is a recommend show. On Lido deck 10, they had 2 pools which were to tiny they all were full of people. Hot tubs were full we never had a chance to get in. The Paris Buffet was open for breakfast to lunch but closed until 11:30pm and they only have nasty pizza and soft serve ice cream to eat. The sliding doors don't open until you are really close and they take to long. The bar lady Kwee doesn't assist you if she doesn't want too. The goft course and everything was to tiny. Back on deck 7, I got hurt walking stairs because the elevators take to long they wanted to charge you for a bandage when your bleeding all over. We made it to Grand Cayman they limit the people of the boat. And at the end you rather stay on the boat because we took the best 10 tour and we went to about 6 places and one was the trash mil. On are way to Conzumel in the middle of the ocean 10 hours away from Conzumel and 8 hours away from Grand Cayman a man got intoxicated. And the captain told someone else to tell us the boat is going back to Grand Cayman. Everyone when downstairs to talk to the captain but he didn't dare to show his face as his excuse was he is driving the boat at 7 or 8 pm. He already turned the boat and the captain never showed up. We got to Grand Cayman hours before but the captain dropped of the Man and started to go around the island. He was going fast to Grand Cayman but he couldn't drop the guy off and go fast to Conzumel. No one wanted to go to Grand Cayman. They gave us $10.04 per person for Conzumel ( we had insurance and they closed there lines for carnival.) And everyone was disappointed. If you are not Vip diamond you aren't treated right. The cruise is not modern or redone as they say. On the last day the there was 3 guys to fix one light. And everything else is broken. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
First and foremost this is my first cruise so this review is all personal opinion and preference. My family and I did the cruise because it was close and we did not have to drive very far to get to the port. The staff are very friendly and ... Read More
First and foremost this is my first cruise so this review is all personal opinion and preference. My family and I did the cruise because it was close and we did not have to drive very far to get to the port. The staff are very friendly and helpful when you need assistance. The room was mid deck and pretty much in the center with a window view. The ship itself in my opinion is older but maintained well. The room was spacious enough for 3 people and the bathroom was bigger than I anticipated. I was a little concerned when the bathroom had a sewer smell to it on day 3 of the cruise but once we docked went out for the day and came back it was not there anymore. The staff did a great job of keeping the room clean and the towels made into the shape of an animal the staff did and left on the bed was nice in the evening. The activities are modest and not over the top. I was very disappointed in the food quality, not the quantity. There was an overabundance of food but the quality was poor to be quite honest. I have heard so many people say, "Oh the food on my cruise was so great" but I can honestly say that was not the case. I don't even think they serve Lays potato chips with the sandwiches you order for room service. I ordered a grilled cheese and the cheese was barely melted. There is a pizza place and to be quiet honest it was lacking flavor. The asian food that is offered on the Lido deck was not good either but again this is my personal opinion. I was a little put off by the little plastic cups that beverages are served in ie juice, tea, water. The tea, lemonade, juice was instant and cheap tasting. We did not do the excursions because we wanted to experience cruising and enjoy the port. Word of advice if you are a person that likes to enjoy and adult beverage there are options to so you can drink but in my opinion is expensive. I had a soda card but you can only order sodas in certain places and if its not on the list then you will be charged for it ie room service will charge you for the soda. By the way all the sodas are in a car they open up which means they will be flat tasting when they put them on ice since they are in the fridge. I would definitely go on another cruise but not on this ship. I am glad we had the chance to experience a smaller ship and what it had to offer. I am glad that the section of the ship we were not able to feel much of the swaying that did occur so there wasn't any motion sickness--that I was happy for. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was a graduation present for my 18 year old daughter. We brought along her friend as well. As from previous sailings I knew that this is an older, smaller ship in the Carnival fleet. This was my first time purchasing Faster to the ... Read More
This was a graduation present for my 18 year old daughter. We brought along her friend as well. As from previous sailings I knew that this is an older, smaller ship in the Carnival fleet. This was my first time purchasing Faster to the Fun and we were aboard and enjoying cocktails and "mocktails" within 30 minutes of our arrival to port. We were able to access our cabin right away with FTTF. It was an inside cabin, U130, with 2 twin beds and a folding cot. I opted for the cot and it was more comfortable than I thought it would be. The 2 cases of water that I had pre ordered were there when we arrived. Jocelyn, our stewardess kept the room as tidy as one could with 2 teenage girls occupying it. The staff was constantly cleaning about the ship. All of the staff were friendly towards us throughout the cruise. We were assigned to the Elation Dining room with early seating. I know the Maitre'D, Josuf from a prior cruise and he does a great job running the room. Michael was our waiter and took very good care of the table. The food was good throughout the cruise. As my daughter's friend is attending culinary school we splurged and reserved 3 spots at the Chef's Table. Our group of 14 toured the Galley and were served phenomenal appetizers by the Head Chef. After we were escorted to the Library where we were served a seven course meal. The Executive Chef and the Head Chef took turns explaining the dishes that were placed before us. I wont spoil the surprise but I can tell you that I takes 12 chefs 4 days to prepare for this meal. If bought at a restaurant ashore it would cost hundreds of dollars per person! As for our shore time we went on the cheap... In Grand Cayman we took the city bus ( a van really) for $2.50 per person to Governor's Beach with our own snorkel equipment. Seven Mile Beach is not to be missed. In Cozumel we rented a car and toured the island on our own. We stopped at the Money Bar and snorkeled from shore, went to Ocean Club (crowded and the water was murky there), climbed Punta Sur lighthouse, stopped for pics at El Mirrador and topped the day off with great Mexican food at Coconuts. Before I sign off I want to thank our Cruise Director, Calvin who made the time spent aboard so much fun. We enjoyed the Comedy Shows and especially The Liar's Club show. Also a shout out to Scwhartz, ACD for the Adult Scavenger Hunt. I was the gal with the false teeth. This was the highlight of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We took our grandsons on their first cruise and were very excited to show them a good time. The good: Our waitstaff at dinner were fantastic!! Kudos to George from Rumania and his staff. He went over and above to be the best waitstaff ... Read More
We took our grandsons on their first cruise and were very excited to show them a good time. The good: Our waitstaff at dinner were fantastic!! Kudos to George from Rumania and his staff. He went over and above to be the best waitstaff member that we've had in many cruises. The boys loved him! Also, I thought that the food was by and large very good. Lobster one night was yummy! The ship is old with a tiny pool and tacky decor, but the staff constantly cleans. They are very friendly and courteous. Our cabin steward however was nonexistent. The cabin got cleaned, but I only met him once on embarkation day. I wasn't overjoyed with his service. I called him and asked if he could bring a hair dryer as I didn't have one. He said that there was one in my cabin which was untrue. No dryer, no explanation. Also, there were an awful lot of drunks onboard by evening hooting and hollering. It's their vacation and they should be able to have a good time, but it just seemed that there were more on this cruise than I've encountered on other cruises. The worst problem that I had was at the start of our cruise. I registered a credit card online 2 days before the cruise. I rarely use it, but made sure that the bank knew that I'd be traveling. On Monday morning the day of the cruise a person from my office called and told me to call my bank fraud division. Two days after I registered my card with Carnival online it was being used for purchases in Pakistan! Needless to say it was cancelled and a new one issued, but not in time for the cruise. I had only my debit card with me for emergencies, but had informed the bank I would be on a cruise, so I was able to use it. I did tell customer services that someone had hacked my card after registering it online, but the lady was not interested at all. Everyone, please be careful!! This was really upsetting, and Carnival did not want to hear that their website was hacked. All in all it was a good cruise, and the boys had fun which is the important thing. I will probably not cruise on this ship again because it is so antiquated, and I may go back to Celebrity, Royal Caribbean or Princess next time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our 11th cruise, 3rd on Carnival and 2nd out of the port of Tampa. Getting to the port and embarkation Tampa is a very accessible port. The Paradise sails out of terminal 3 – the flow of traffic is quick and efficient. ... Read More
This was our 11th cruise, 3rd on Carnival and 2nd out of the port of Tampa. Getting to the port and embarkation Tampa is a very accessible port. The Paradise sails out of terminal 3 – the flow of traffic is quick and efficient. We arrived at 12:45 and were on the ship 20 minutes later. The only issue was parking. We chose the 717 lot at Union Station because of the $5 rate – BIG MISTAKE. There were no signs, no attendant, the lot was unsecured and there was no shuttle (opposite of all things advertised on their website). Pay the extra money and check yelp reviews for the parking you do select. We found that 717 had bad reviews and if we checked that before we booked, we could have avoided the trouble. Ship and staff Even though she is 17 years old, the Paradise is in good condition. The staff was friendly and greeted us often. They were constantly cleaning the ship. Service items rarely stayed in hallways or on tables for long. We were in cabin M160 – an outside cabin on the Main Deck. The room was comfortable for 3 people, well appointed and more than adequate for 4 days. Like all Fantasy Class Ships, the Paradise takes some getting used to due to the galley on deck 8. Make sure you visit the forward observation decks in-front of the Normandy Theatre (you need to go through the exit doors on the lower level next to the stage). The cruise director was very engaging and entertaining. We would like to call out Haley from his staff, who made the trip extra special by setting up a 5 year old age bracket in the Connect 4 tournament. My daughter still carries her 24K plastic ship on a stick around the house. The little things can make a big difference. Thank you Haley! Dinning We were a little disappointed with the dining options. The food was the same quality as other Carnival ships (I always love the soups), but the service in the Main Dining Room was lacking. Service in the MDR was slow and the waiters did not remember drink orders or dinning preferences. The MDR did not have a separate lunch menu, opting for an 8 – 1 brunch menu on sea days. It was closed while we were in port. We attended the Green Eggs and Ham breakfast – this was a wonderful touch and significantly better than the DreamWorks breakfast on Royal Caribbean. The food in the Lido was good (especially the Mongolian Buffet), but the lines were often long. This should improve when the Paradise gets the Carnival 2.0 upgrade. Family programming and entertainment We travelled with my 5 year old daughter – she was thrilled with the kid’s club staff, wanting to go there every evening. The kids club staff was exceptional, I wish we could call each one of them out by name. They always recognized and greeted our daughter on the ship. They hosted a large family 4th of July dance party in the Rex nightclub - the party was a great time for parents to bond with their kids. The staff looked like they genuinely enjoyed hosting the 4th of July events. The kids club also had a Mardi Gras Party, pom-pom wars, bubble play, tee-shirt making and other innovative activities. The Seuss at Sea Parade was a nice touch – make sure you are there early to get the pom-poms (they ran-out). The main pool and hot tubs were often crowded – almost nobody used the aft pool where there is a small adjoining kid’s pool. My daughter really enjoyed the water slide – she was about an inch short, so we padded her water shoes to give her extra height (make sure that your child is a good swimmer if they are under the 48” limit). We caught the family comedy act and the “8 seconds” show. Both were very good and there was some nice theatrics in 8 seconds. Ports of Call Living in Tampa, we had been to Cozumel several times. The ship docks at the downtown pier and there is plenty of tourist shopping right in the port. We went to Playa Mia for the day, leaving the ship at about 9:15 and arriving at Playa Mia around 10. This was our first time at Playa Mia and we were very happy. The resort is not very Mexican, but it was great for families. The splash park was perfect for our daughter; we played on the water slide and had a great time on the floating obstacle course. Contrary to what has been posted, the food was more than sufficient, about the same quality as what is on the Paradise. There was fresh watermelon and papaya, cilantro infused chicken tacos and fresh pico de gallo. The beach area is spacious, with plenty of loungers and despite the amount of people, the park never felt crowded. We had the all-inclusive package – drinks are pre-mixed and not very strong, but after a few doubles, they add up quickly. We booked through Shore Excursioneer (www.shoreexcursioneer.com) and got a nice discount from the Playa Mia direct rates. We paid for the transportation, which was $7 more than just hiring a cab, but saved us the hassle. Disembarkation We walked-off the ship with our bags and passed through customs in less than 15 minutes. We were in the car and out of the port in around 45 minutes total (that is from the time that we got in-line on the ship until we pulled out of the port). I had to catch another company’s shuttle to the 717 lot, because they never returned my call for their shuttle. We were at work by 10:30 AM, so the 4 day cruise only cost us a half day vacation, thanks to the July 4th holiday. Overall The Carnival Paradise provided a very nice, short cruise. School was out, so there were lots of families, lots of 20 somethings, lots of people from Florida (over half the ship), lots of Carnival style cruising. If you are into a more refined, child free cruise vacation, you probably want to book a different ship or different itinerary. If you are looking for a quick, inexpensive getaway, than this is the perfect ship for you. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We signed up for this cruise because all of our family could join. This board is old and doesn't have all the amenities that some of the newer shipts have. The boarding process went fine, the cabins were clean. We bought the ... Read More
We signed up for this cruise because all of our family could join. This board is old and doesn't have all the amenities that some of the newer shipts have. The boarding process went fine, the cabins were clean. We bought the "Cheers" drink program which we thought would be cheaper but the plan limits you to one drink at a time, so if you want to buy a round for your group you can't. I ended up having my brother charge it and paid him back. Carnival also puts a hold on your bank account or credit card (if you use one) DOUBLE to the amount you actually charged on the ship, even once they have charged you the final time. This hold could remain on your fund for up to 10 business days, they told me they could expedite the hold process but we are on day 3 and nothing has been released. I would recommend you use only cash and just load your card as needed, it takes extra time but at least they don't double charge you. Their customer service was great until the day we left the ship, then the staff could have cared less if you needed anything and if you call the customer service line you are treated as a leper unless you are calling to book another cruise. I do not recommend Carnival they don't have a good system for charging people and they don't give you all the facts up front. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
After family problems we decided to take grandchildren on this cruise (from hell) unable to use half cabin due to upper bunk being down, food disgusting same every day children can't eat kids food unless you register them to eat it. ... Read More
After family problems we decided to take grandchildren on this cruise (from hell) unable to use half cabin due to upper bunk being down, food disgusting same every day children can't eat kids food unless you register them to eat it. Had to wait for 20-30 mins for elevators and many times not working or full of staff. Toilets nearest buffet. Restaurant no soap whole cries, no hand sanitiser at destiny dining room, waiting 10 minutes for food to come out after other family embers food has arrived, even getting part of your veggies arriving 15 minutes after course has arrived. Having tickets for smokey Robinson concert we took children up to kids club only to be told that. The baby couldn't attend until 21:30 super stuff the show started at 21:30 on the dot so we had to take her with us. 20 mins wait for bar service and once no bar service at all. Breakfast dibarcal cold coffee 3 mornings, food swimming in grease and generally unappealing and anything that was served to you was miserly potions and once the staff member put 3small pieces of sausage on plate which didn't even equal one whole sausage turned her back when more was requested. Best part of the cruise was the end so happy to get off and back to a hotel for a decent sleep with adjustable aircon and no noise and swimming pool which you can actually swim in. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Carnival Paradise Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.9
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.5 3.7
Public Rooms 3.5 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.3
Service 4.5 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.2

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