26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was our first trip and if we didn't have friends with us that had gone on numerous cruises that advised us this was their worst trip and the others were much better.We probably wouldn't ever cruise again. Pros: The ... Read More
This was our first trip and if we didn't have friends with us that had gone on numerous cruises that advised us this was their worst trip and the others were much better.We probably wouldn't ever cruise again. Pros: The staff for the most part were very friendly. We enjoyed dining in the dining room and choices. Enjoyed the shows. Cons: The shower overflowed into the bathroom and the hallway of the cabin. Got bites around my ankles at night in bed as did my daughter (hopefully not bed bugs). The top comforter Very out dated ship with many flaws. I had heard about the fact we could eat at any time of day or night. This was not the case. Most buffets shut down early and had the same old food (hamburgers,hot dogs and chicken tenders.) There was a small pizza place open that had one person working it and he couldnt keep up. Had to wait 20 to 30 mins for 2 pcs of pizza. It was a $20.00 sur charge for lobster and some other higher end steaks.(my friends said this was a first for them that usually its included. Bars didn't have enough bar tenders therefore it took a while to get a drink. Had conflicting stories from the ship personell about what could and could not be placed on my drink pass. Lastly, we were supposed to be going to Cayman and Cozumel but due to a medical emergency we had to return to the Cayman island. Therefore we spent two days there which is too much . The prices are awful on the island. While we understood why we didnt go to Cozumel we felt taht we were owed something but all we rec'd was 9.95 back. One drink in Cayman is that much . Will NEVER cruise on the paradise ever again. May never cruise Carnival again Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was my first cruise and it was a "so-so" experience. I'll start with the GOOD: Embarkation process was easy. I got to the port a couple of hours before the posted "Embarkation Time" and it was easy to get ... Read More
This was my first cruise and it was a "so-so" experience. I'll start with the GOOD: Embarkation process was easy. I got to the port a couple of hours before the posted "Embarkation Time" and it was easy to get the bags checked and get onto the boat. There was a line but it moved well. Layout of the ship was confusing me and when I asked an employee about it, she went out of her way to physically walk me to my room which was very helpful. This is considered a small ship and a short cruise but I found there were things to do. They always had seminars going about different things (I even won a "raffle" at one of them and got a nice pearl bracelet) but the seminars are more of a "sales pitch" than a real effort to teach or inform you about something....they're trying to sell you products and services. We were lucky and had good weather for the entire trip so I was able to spend a lot of time outside by the pool or on the decks or in the adults-only deck (that was a lifesaver to get away from rowdy children). They had song/dance shows almost every night and they were as good as some productions I've seen in Las Vegas. I also enjoyed the performers in the Comedy Club and they had different "routines" at each show, including routines for non-adults. The cruise director was funny and entertaining when he spoke and did things. I had several treatments done at the spa and they were awesome...expensive but awesome. *Tip: wait and go to the spa later in the trip. The prices seemed to be highest mid-trip...by the last day they were running much cheaper "specials". Also, beware that the technicians will try to sell you everything they use on you (lotions, scrubs, etc.). Still, they all seemed to know what they were doing and the treatments were top knotch. The casino was well-stocked with machines and games. I booked tour excursions through Carnival at Grand Cayman and Cozymel and enjoyed both. They stopped at major points of interest and let us get out at each and take pictures and walk around a bit on our own. I felt they were a good value---got to see a lot for what I paid. The passengers on board were a good mix of people of different ages, ethnicities and everybody was friendly. Going in the summer, there were probably more kids on this cruise than there would be when kids are in school. Now the CONS: the ship is old and it shows. Very dingy and outdated looking. Carpets were stained, walls had chips and marks, many things (public toilets, elevators, washers/dryers) were broken and not working. The pool area is very small and unimpressive. My cabin was absolutely disgusting. I had an Ocenview but you could barely see out of the window because it was so scuffed. The bed was lumpy and one night, I returned to the cabin and found yellow "stains" on the comforter that looked like urine stains. I called Guest Services to ask for the bedding to be changed. It took 2 hours and 3 phone calls to get that done. I also found a dried blood stain on one of the hand towels, there was strange, sticky "gook" on the desk that was right in your face as you slept, and it looked like there was mold on the ceiling. When I got home, I noticed small bumps developing on my feet and am really hoping I wasn't biten by bed bugs. The shower completely floods the bathroom every time you use it. It literally filled the whole room with 2-3 inches of water and I had to wait about a half hour each time for it to drain. The cabin was so gross that I literally stayed out of it as much as possible. Other areas were dirty, too. I was given a beach towel by the pool that also looked like it had dried blood stains on it, dishes in the buffet were dirty, the beach chairs were all very dirty and grimy, seats in the comedy club had big tears in them. I only ate in the buffet restaurant and the food was awful. Even though they have heat lamps, the food is cold. They do have a good selection but it was very low quality food...examples, I ate fried shrimp one night and it was so "mushy" inside I couldn't even tell it was a shrimp, had a piece of roast beef that was so undercooked and tough I couldn't even eat it, and bbq ribs that were nothing but fat. Service was ok-some staff on board were nice, others were rude. It was very difficult to get questions answered by most of them. They just would blow me off when I would ask about things. They do "nickel and dime" you a lot on the cruise, as well. I felt like everything was "extra". The shopping on board was very limited with just a couple shops and not much selection and everything was very overpriced. Sales clerks (particularly in the jewelry shop) were very pushy. All that said, I did have fun moments and I would do another cruise....but I will definitely book on a "newer" ship and might try a different cruise line. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was my very first cruise and I really wasn't sure what to expect. I went with my 2 teenage children, my sister and my teenage niece. My sister and niece have cruised on Carnival before (on a larger ship and loved it). We ... Read More
This was my very first cruise and I really wasn't sure what to expect. I went with my 2 teenage children, my sister and my teenage niece. My sister and niece have cruised on Carnival before (on a larger ship and loved it). We got 2 interior staterooms and to he honest, while the decor was outdated, I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the rooms. Our stateroom steward (Arthur) was fantastic. He cleaned up after 3 teenage girls everyday (for that alone, we tipped him extra). We had fresh towels in our room multiple times every day, the trash was always empty and the beds were either made or turned down every time we entered the room. The shower was larger than expected. The water pressure was good the entire trip. There was a fine line between hot water and 3rd degree burn scalding your skin water...just had to play with the temperature to adjust it just right. The dining staff in the Elation Dining room was hit or miss. 2 nights we had excellent service but the remainder of the trip it was definitely lacking. We attended 1 Sea Day Brunch and honestly, we could of skipped it. The service was horrible and the food took forever. Once we got the food, it was cold and the server never even returned to check on us, let alone refill our drink glasses. We ended up leaving and going to the Lido deck to the buffet. The buffet food wasn't anything to write home about but it was edible and after a long day out in the sun, a nice salad or a ice cream cone always hit the spot. Of course, you always had to fight a line every time you went. We were lucky to grab a buffet lunch and get a table outside one day and eat while watching the ocean just go by. Very relaxing. The food was also hit or miss. I has some fantastic sea scallops and blue crab ravioli in a vodka sauce and some rather nasty eggs benedict and disgusting roasted chicken. One day we were served a chocolate melting cake that was literally, chocolate syrup, the next night, the same dessert was a firm warm chocolate cake. Very inconsistent. Getting a lounge chair was not a problem but the pools and hot tubs stayed packed so trying to get into one was almost impossible. We tried to get onto the Serenity Deck on 3 separate occasions but it was always crowded and we could never find a spot. I'll be honest, Serenity's location, hidden on the back of the ship, doesn't leave it open to a breeze and it gets rather hot back there. I'd almost rather sit on the top deck with the large crowd, were at least, I can get a breeze flowing. Since we cruised for my birthday, my sister and I decided to treat ourselves to massages in the spa. While they were definitely good services, they were way over priced (I know, typical of a cruise ship spa). We were stupid tho and booked on our first day, only to learn that they begin to offer really large discounts on days 3 and 4. We went to the comedy shows (both PG and 18+) and they were both fairly funny. The one comedian used a bit of the same material at each show and was a bit risque (even for the PG show) but the other one was fresh with each show. They also had a live HASBRO game show. It was nice family fun entertainment. My only complaint with it was that they broke it into 2 sessions with the 2nd session being in the middle of the day. Definitely should of been an early evening show like the first session. Leaving the comedy club you will pass by the casino, I am not a smoker and I feel so bad for anyone who has a room anywhere near this casino because the smell is horrible. It is so strong that I didn't even want to go inside and check it out. As soon as you come onto that floor you can smell the stale smoke. They definitely need better ventilation. The first port we visited was Grand Cayman. Can I just say I would live on Seven Mile Beach and rent beach chairs with the locals if I could! I LOVE it there! We bought and excursion to the Turtle Farm because the kids wanted to see the turtles. It really wasn't that expensive. It was really cool that they got to hold the turtles but they loved snorkeling with them. We left the turtle farm early and jumped into the public bus for $2.50 per person, we had them take us to Seven Mile Beach. I was in HEAVEN! Locals will approach you and try to rent you chairs and umbrellas, sell you food or braid your hair, we just politely told them no we didn't have much time and we weren't interested. We got to stay at the beach about 2 hours before we walked back to where the bus (actually the public bus is more like a van) and hopped back on the bus for it to drop us off back at the port. I would of loved more time in Grand Cayman. It is a beautiful island. The next day we arrived in Cozumel. We didn't purchase am excursion for this port. We just got off the ship, walked to the end of the pier, past all the shops and got in line for a taxi. The line was long but it moved quickly. It was $21 for 5 of us to go to Paradise Beach. $3.00 entry fee per person gets you access to the beach and pool plus chairs and umbrellas. There are numerous water inflatables in the water for the kids to bounce on and climb, access to those are and extra $18.00 per person (also includes paddle boarding.kayaking and snorkeling). We let the kids do the banana boat ride at an $15 per person. They expect you to spend $10 per person on food but honestly, no one is really checking. However, we did eat here and they food was pretty good. I did have a few issues, 1. The beach is really rocky, you can really only enter and exit in 1 section without stepping on old coral. 2. It was extremely busy the day we went so the water wasn't as clear as I expected it to be, 3. The same taxi ride back to the port cost $30 instead of $21. The driver said something about it being a "peak time". Not sure I believe that, or just the fact that he saw 5 women he wanted to get a few extra bucks out of. Overall, it was a nice family vacation. We got to visit 2 beautiful places for a fairly descent price and made some awesome memories. I will cruise again, however, I think it will be on a newer, larger ship. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
On Saturday, January 30th 2016 my wife and I and our three children, ages three, seven, and eleven drove to Tampa Florida to board the Carnival Cruise ship Paradise and set sail the next day on February 1st 2016. On Monday February 1st ... Read More
On Saturday, January 30th 2016 my wife and I and our three children, ages three, seven, and eleven drove to Tampa Florida to board the Carnival Cruise ship Paradise and set sail the next day on February 1st 2016. On Monday February 1st 2016 we boarded the Carnival Paradise, and our nightmare began. We went to our stateroom on Deck 5 and placed our luggage with plans to visit Deck 10 so that we could see the dining areas and eat lunch at the buffets, which were supposed to be available. When we arrived at deck 10, many of the buffet food lines were closed, and we immediately noticed that the food that was available was not decent to eat, much of which was not suitable for children. One particular buffet line we visited three separate times over the course of three days at 5pm, 11pm, noon, and it was only open on the last day of the cruise, even though staff assured us it was supposed to be open every day. The carpet in our stateroom was sticky and dirty, and there was evidence of residue that had dripped down the walls and had not been properly cleaned. My wife had to put clean towels down so that the children could walk barefooted on the floor without sticking to the carpet. In all honesty, the condition of the room would easily compare to a Motel 6 or other low quality motel. During the course of this trip, our children experienced spoiled milk, and frozen milk that was undrinkable, and overall, an irregular food availability. The Cruise line offered lemonade onboard, but it was so sweet that it was undrinkable, and it had the consistency of syrup. The tea was bitter, and at no time was plain water available. When we ate at the Elation Dining Room, we inadvertently found out that we were scheduled to eat at a certain time without the availability of any exceptions. In this dining room, we experienced hard pancakes that were difficult to cut with a fork, very tough French toast that was unpalatable, and in general, food that was very bland, old and not fresh, or all of the above. On the second night of the cruise we were never informed that there was to be a formal dining dress code on that evening, and we were turned away because I was wearing khaki shorts with a collared business casual dress shirt. My wife was wearing a tie-dye shirt and sweat pants, and we were told because she was a female that her attire was acceptable, yet mine was not. We were then denied access to the dining room, having to look for food elsewhere aboard the ship, and again had to deal with the issue of other food areas unavailable or shut down. The schedule for this dining room was never explained to us, shown to us, or clarified when we asked questions regarding its availability. On the third night we ordered a steak at the dining room, and it was so tough it was unable to have been eaten. All of the food on this ship tasted as if it were from a package, and not fresh, let alone made to order as promised when we made our reservation. We addressed many of the issues with the on board staff, including the Maître’ D, which in turn sent the Chef to our table, who then gaffed off our concerns. Carnival Cruise Lines advertises that they have “Guy’s Burger Joint”, a “Seafood Shack”, and a Blue Iguana Cantina, all of which NONE of these were available on our ship. Only two other restaurants were available with limited dining times, and each had a bar or casino, in which children were not allowed access to these areas. On the fourth night, my wife ordered stir-fry vegetables that were not only tasted really bad, but were spoiled and inedible. French fries for our children were soggy, cold, and bland. The ice cream was water based, and inedible. On the third night, the potatoes served to me were grey in color (evidenced that they had been in the kitchen for several days and not stored properly prior to being prepared), and when I addressed this with the kitchen staff, it was shrugged off as “no big deal”. On this same night, my son (who is 11 years old) ate his evening meal, which made him incredibly sick, resulting in him puking from 2am to 6am that night (food poisoning). Carnival Cruise Lines assured us that their room service was all-inclusive, and offered exceptional service with wonderful food, all available at any time of the day. Room service only offered cold lunchmeat sandwiches and chocolate cake. Lunchmeat was slick and should not have been served. Fruit was never available as part of the services from room service, and juice was never available after the a.m. period. No vegetables or fruit on this ship were fresh, as all immediately appeared under-ripe or expired. Carnival promised us when we made our reservation that there would be plenty of activities for children; however, when we got onboard the cruise, activities for or involving children was minimal and almost non-existent. The ship had an area called “Camp Carnival” which the reservation representative assured would have arts & crafts, and fun daily activities for children of all ages. When we tried on four separate occasions to use this service and put our children in this area so that they could participate in these activities, the only activity offered each time to them was either video games or TV. When I took my three children swimming in the open deck pool, there was significant amounts of disgusting, soft, soggy, plastic debris that came in contact with our bodies. As we were unsure what these plastic items were submerged in the water, we quickly got out of the pool. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
I booked a cruise on Carnival Paradise to celebrate my upcoming birthday (45). Some friends joined me, which was a couple and another single friend, and we had a pretty great time. We weren't travelling with kids so I'm not ... Read More
I booked a cruise on Carnival Paradise to celebrate my upcoming birthday (45). Some friends joined me, which was a couple and another single friend, and we had a pretty great time. We weren't travelling with kids so I'm not sure what the children's activities were like and there were a lot more on board than what I thought would be at this time of year. The room was bigger and cleaner than I expected with it being my first cruise and on an older ship. Our room steward, Adi, was very sweet and helpful. I LOVED the elegant Captain's dinner on Tuesday night. Delicious food, plenty of activities to choose from. The only issues were the elevators and there were not enough hot tubs and the pool was much smaller than expected. There were a couple of elevators that did not work, which made the disembarkation difficult. The stingray/snorkeling excursion I booked on Grand Cayman with Captain Bryan was by far the best. I learned a lot so the next time I book, I would love to try a singles cruise. I would definitely recommend a Carnival cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
First, I will start off by saying the crew absolutely make this experience wonderful! They went above and beyond to make our stay pleasant. The environment was relaxed and casual. I really can not complain about the room or staff. ... Read More
First, I will start off by saying the crew absolutely make this experience wonderful! They went above and beyond to make our stay pleasant. The environment was relaxed and casual. I really can not complain about the room or staff. However, there really is nothing for young kids to do except go in the pool. The pool is really small for the amount of guests on the ship. The food is horrendous! Dinner time is a disaster. The buffet on the Lido deck only opens one side, even though both sides are open for breakfast. There really is not much at all for the kids to eat for dinner besides pizza. This is a budget cruise at best. I will not be back with Carnival. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
My family and I just returned from our first cruise. The kids are 7 and 9. I was both impressed and under impressed. First, the service by the staff is excellent. This we the first time in my life that I haven't had to clean up dishes ... Read More
My family and I just returned from our first cruise. The kids are 7 and 9. I was both impressed and under impressed. First, the service by the staff is excellent. This we the first time in my life that I haven't had to clean up dishes as they clean up so leaving dishes anywhere is okay. The dining room staff was wonderful as was our room steward. We all truly had the best vacation so far. Just a few things I wasn't impressed by. The smoking seemed to be everywhere. As a child that lost both parents from issues that arose from their smoking, I despise being around it, and certainly don't want my kids around smoking. The areas on the deck near the pool always had smokers. We couldn't breathe when walking by. I was shocked that they allowed smoking on the floor of the lounge and casino. We walked through there to the comedy shows and again, the smoky smell inside was terrible. I'd love to be on a cruise with no smoking around. Another negative, the pool was very small. I didn't check out the ship we'd be on but after investigating a week before we were leaving, I hated to see that newer ships had waterparks which my kids would've loved. The food was good, we are way too much. The food inside the Paris restaurant was very mediocre though. They had a chocolate bar with cake and brownies that were disgusting and the lunch buffet in front of the Paris restaurant wasn't good. My husband said the shrimp had no taste and pork chops were over-cooked. The deli told my guard he couldn't have ham and turkey on the same sandwich, only the options offered could be picked, which I found odd, especially after waiting in the line. We had a hard time all having lunch together because of the lines outside and inside. The dining room food was enjoyed by all of us, no complaints. We chose the your time dining and only waited once for 5 minutes. I think over all the biggest disappointment was not having amenities of newer ships. RC's newer ships have a rock climbing wall, surfing area, and huge pools. Having seen those commercials for years and going on my first cruise at 30, I expected all of those things, and was underwhelmed at the options on the Paradise. I can only handle sitting at the pool for 2-3 hours and got bored on sea days. We also sat for 3.5 hours to disembark. If you've ever sat at the same table with kids complaining for 3.5 hours, you'd know it's torturous. The comedy club was great, both the family shows and adult shows. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
Our first ever cruise left lots to be desired. Not much to offer in shipboard activities, unless you want to buy buy buy jewelry or constantly pose for way overpriced photos. Unorganized schedule when there was activities, nothing ever ... Read More
Our first ever cruise left lots to be desired. Not much to offer in shipboard activities, unless you want to buy buy buy jewelry or constantly pose for way overpriced photos. Unorganized schedule when there was activities, nothing ever started on time including dinner! Buffet food was only average, dining room food was very good but not excellent. Dining room servers were fantastic as well as the cabin steward. Cabin was much roomier than expected. Debarkation was a joke. Got tired of veteran cruisers telling us not to judge all cruises by this one (this happened a lot!). Will we cruise again ? Maybe. Will we cruise with Carnival ? Don't count on it! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We sailed on the Carnival Paradise out of Tampa on 11/14 to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. As a first time cruiser, I wasn't sure what to expect. In no particular order, here are my thoughts... - Overall, had a good time and I believe ... Read More
We sailed on the Carnival Paradise out of Tampa on 11/14 to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. As a first time cruiser, I wasn't sure what to expect. In no particular order, here are my thoughts... - Overall, had a good time and I believe cruising, like anything else, is as fun as you make it - Boarding process was unorganized and chaotic - Friendly staff - Food was decent. Some things like pizza and ice cream were good, other things were bland. You'll never go hungry though! - Take a small power strip or extension cord, there's only one outlet in your cabin - Felt the ship movement WAY more than I ever thought I would. Experienced cruisers in our group (over 20 cruises) said this was the roughest cruise they've experienced - Take seasick meds even if you don't think you'll need them (we brought Bonine and we had no issues, despite MANY getting seasick on this cruise) - If the weather is nice, get to the pool early if you want a chair - I highly recommend the "Serenity" deck for those 21 and over. Very quiet and relaxing - Schedule an excursion, especially in Cozumel where you have 8+ hours to kill - You don't need to purchase the unlimited drink package unless you're going to drink 8 or more alcoholic beverages per day (each person in party) - For a smaller ship, seemed like there was always something to do (shopping, bingo, music, trivia) Enjoy your cruise! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
although this was my 5th cruise on carnival it was my children's first. I also took my girlfriend and her 2 sons which was their first cruise as well. after reading reviews about the carnival paradise I was really nervous that this ... Read More
although this was my 5th cruise on carnival it was my children's first. I also took my girlfriend and her 2 sons which was their first cruise as well. after reading reviews about the carnival paradise I was really nervous that this trip would not live up to the hype. because of the week that we had to go and the port that was convenient for us this was the trip we were taking. I saw a lot of bad reviews about the food, the entertainment, the age and size of the ship, the size of the pools. most of these comments were true but I realized something watching my kids. they were having the time of their lives. they didn't care that there were too many people in the pool or that the food was a little bland. I think we are all just a little too picky bout some things. these employees are trying their best and it cant be easy pleasing 2000 people. there are a few things carnival can do on this particular ship but I do believe they are doing the best they can. I actually enjoyed the smaller ship. lines to the buffet were shorter and common areas were less crowded. we will defiantly be back as soon as we can make it. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This is by far the best vacation that my boyfriend and I have EVER been on. The worst experience was the amount of botox it required to remove the wrinkles from laughing so much over the last week. The service is impeccable and I really ... Read More
This is by far the best vacation that my boyfriend and I have EVER been on. The worst experience was the amount of botox it required to remove the wrinkles from laughing so much over the last week. The service is impeccable and I really believe each and every employee is happy to be apart of the Carnival family. If you're willing to participate and try new things, this is definitely the "experience" for you. I HIGHLY recommend the comedy club at night. If you're looking to cry from laughter, this is for you! In terms of being prepared, I would recommend that you buy the drink package, book excursions prior, bring extra money (you'll love the shops) and lastly, bring a great attitude and enjoy your "ship family" for the week. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
It was my mine and my wife's birthdays and we decided, along with our adult daughter, to celebrate by taking our first cruise onboard the Carnival Paradise to Cozumel. From the moment we boarded in Tampa, until we were back in Tampa, ... Read More
It was my mine and my wife's birthdays and we decided, along with our adult daughter, to celebrate by taking our first cruise onboard the Carnival Paradise to Cozumel. From the moment we boarded in Tampa, until we were back in Tampa, we had nothing but a fantastic time. Our cabin was comfortable and the service received by the attendant was excellent. We did the early dining so we could enjoy the entertainment afterwards. The food was absolutely good. There was no way you could go hungry and the servers treated us to birthday cake and a song. There was plenty to do while onboard. We enjoyed two well produced shows, several comedy shows in the Punchliners Comedy Club, live music and dancing, the casino, Bingo, swimming, hot tubs, miniature golf, and much more. The crew was very friendly, treating us as if they had known us forever. There's no doubt we'll be joining them again in the near future. Never felt more relaxed. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
We, as a family, were looking forward to this cruise for months. it was my and my husband's first cruise. embarkation was easy. Our kids and grandkids have been on several cruises so they know the drill. we boarded and ate lunch ... Read More
We, as a family, were looking forward to this cruise for months. it was my and my husband's first cruise. embarkation was easy. Our kids and grandkids have been on several cruises so they know the drill. we boarded and ate lunch on the lido deck, then on to our cabins to unpack. luggage was at our cabin by 3:30 and we unpacked and got ready for dinner. we had early dining in the elation dining room. christian and eduardo were our waiters and they were beyond great. any request we had was filled quickly and they made our under 18's really enjoy the dining experience....the over 18's, likewise. ( for some of you that have never cruised before, be aware, you can order as many appetizers, entree's or desserts that you want....and this family did just that! lobster night was outrageous....we kept ordering and ordering and ordering and they kept bringing....! there were 11 of us and we must have eaten 25-30 lobsters and shrimp!! needless to say we enjoyed dinner time and our waiters were part of the enjoyment! they became part of the family!!!! Entertainment on board was fun. punchliner comedians were great and my granddaughter was ready to go on stage with the singers and dancers. thoroughly enjoyed. Out cabin steward, francis, was amazing! everything we asked for was brought to us quickly with a smile on his face. he, as well, treated us as family. The reason i cannot give this trip an excellent review is because we, as a family, decided to have a batman adventure night.....we all dressed up as batman characters....batman, robin, batgirl, joker, riddler, poison ivy and alfred. we went to dinner on our last night at sea dressed this way...dining room applauded us and we were so enjoying ourselves. our waiters even called us by character name! looking forward to pictures, dancing and a fun family night. Security put a damper on that when we went to have pictures taken.....said my son could not be on the ship in the batman costume....(his mask only covered his eyes). with some help from other passengers who loved the idea and were enjoying seeing this crazy family having fun, the security person did allow us to have pictures taken but then had to remove our costumes. something we had looked forward to for months and worked so hard on, came crashing down around us.....did they think batman and his friens and villains were going to rob the ship of all the money they had on board?????? anyone that has been on a cruise knows that no money changes hands on a cruise....it's all on a card and charged to you at the end of the cruise!!!!! needless to say, this put a big question mark on a carnival cruise in the future!!!!! Oh yes, a second thing that hampered our vacation....our 6 year old who is small for her age but swims like a fish wasn't allowed to use the water slide because she wasn't tall enough!!!! Although twice she was allowed to use it when an adult family member intervened with the gentleman in charge of the gate.......go figure!!!! she was the only one of the 5 kids with us that was not allowed to join in the fun......very unsettling to her. wanted to know why the other kids were better than her...hard to justify when they did let her go down 2 times!!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 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: June 2015
this was my first cruise vacation and last one.this carnival paradise was too far from being a paradise place to be.we purchase an excursion to Cozumel mexico to passion island for $160 for my wife and me,they told us that it was a five ... Read More
this was my first cruise vacation and last one.this carnival paradise was too far from being a paradise place to be.we purchase an excursion to Cozumel mexico to passion island for $160 for my wife and me,they told us that it was a five hours excursion in the island but they din'd told us that the time to get to that island was included in the five hours excursion,witch it took us over 2 hours on the round trip so it left us less than 3 hours to enjoy the excursion plus the crew that took us was asking for tip all the time.we enjoy more the shopping around the port of mexico.i recommend to bye souvenirs around the port because its a lot less expensive than any were else.we boat a souvenir in the excursion island for $40 dollars and we saw the same item on the port for $9 dollars,i was angry.carnival paradise is a cruise for people that likes to drink all day long,the pool is too small for so many people,the decoration of the ship is a casino stale everywhere on the ship. there's nothing to do on that cruise but to get drunk and hear laud and wack music. i felt trap in that ship.the only good think was the food but after the second day u get tire of eating the same food,burgers and fries and chicken strips.the sodas are not included,there is water and lemonade on the dispenser, most of the crew were nice and friendly but there was a few of them with series faces.there was lack of information for exiting the ship.they sit u with others couples on the dinner witch it was ad at the first but then used to it and made friend with others people but it feels wear at first. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
This was our first cruise so we really didn't know what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised! The food was great, the service was remarkable, and our stateroom steward- Oswald was simply amazingly! He was the only person we tipped ... Read More
This was our first cruise so we really didn't know what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised! The food was great, the service was remarkable, and our stateroom steward- Oswald was simply amazingly! He was the only person we tipped extra because he always serviced our stateroom with a smile. He paid such close attention to detail and made our cabin very cozy! Our dining room staff was great as well. Special shout out to Nicole from St.Lucia! The activities were great. The cruise director Calvyn is hilarious! And extremely nice! A few tips for the first time cruiser(s) as we were: 1) take bleach wipes to wipe down your counters and bathrooms- just in case the previous guests weren't that clean 2) take air freshener - sometimes the hallways and rooms had a damp smell, so having our own air freshner really helped. Our secret- those air freshner car trees. Hang them in the closet and on the doors so every time you come in, your room smells fresh. 3) alcoholic drinks are not included, so be prepared to spend at least 20 dollars for two drinks. They do not take cash, you present your sail and sign every time you want a drink other than their standard ice tea and lemonade. It can add up, so be sure to stop at the kiosks and assess how much you are spending so you won't get sticker shock when your vacay is over! They will charge your credit card at the end of the voyage! But have no fear, you can add money to your account to bring down your final cost. 4) take Benadryl and Advil just in case- one Benadryl cost 10 dollars:((( 5) they have Internet service, at a minimal cost, so don't worry about staying connected! 6) you can call home from your stateroom; its 1.99/min. 7) have fun; it was nice for us to do something different(we always go to all inclusive resorts). 8) the staff is wonderful and hardworking, they do their best to make your trip a pleasant experience. 9) the gym and sauna were great; plenty of equipment for everyone Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
Before everything else, this was my first cruise ever (and I'm 22) so I don't have any biases or pedestal to put this cruise up against. Secondly, the food given the first two days was absolutely scrumptious!!! Lord I ate so ... Read More
Before everything else, this was my first cruise ever (and I'm 22) so I don't have any biases or pedestal to put this cruise up against. Secondly, the food given the first two days was absolutely scrumptious!!! Lord I ate so much! The buffet was splendid and the restaurant we went to the first night with reservations was absolutely out of this world! I definitely enjoyed the karaoke at the pool bar as well... There's two things that stuck out to me specifically, my room attendant- Ayoub ( superb service from all crew members onboard, however I know I am a pain as far as personal room service goes lol. The second thing is the various activities available; we attended both comedy shows on the second night and they were great! Also, the foosball tables!! Definitely brought the kid out in me! As far as cleanliness goes, it was well maintained but you can still tell that it used to be a carnival ship because certain things, like bathroom locks, are not in top shape. However I give it a 4/5 rating in my book :) Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
My husband and I came on this cruise for our honeymoon. Initial thought was they are very affordable. I booked a hotel with a customer service representative through carnival. We stayed at Doubletree Hilton hotel which was about 5-7 miles ... Read More
My husband and I came on this cruise for our honeymoon. Initial thought was they are very affordable. I booked a hotel with a customer service representative through carnival. We stayed at Doubletree Hilton hotel which was about 5-7 miles from the Tampa port. We were able to have our car parked on Hilton's secured parking deck for the duration of our trip which was much cheaper and safer than parking at the port. Doubletree was able to contact a taxi and had it ready for us the morning of the cruise. The staff on this cruise was amazing. So friendly! Knew all of our names after meeting us once! Dining was indescribable. Had lobster with prime rib one night. Our server, George, was probably the best server I have ever had in my life. So friendly and him and my husband truly hit it off. Everyone in the staff was from another country which kept it interesting. There was a staff member, Ivan, who was from Croatia which is next to where my husband is from and they became quite close. It really felt like a little family after awhile. Our stewartist was Gusti and he was awesome. He made little animals and other cool origami with towels and left them in our room and we would see them after dinner. The comedy shows were hysterical!!!!!! Probably the most exciting thing to do on the ship. I would recommend this to anyone!! By far the most fun, while still affordable vacation you can do. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
This was my first cruise and I was afraid of sea sick as I do get motion sickness. Starting takings meds for it on Friday and again for the next three days and was fine. I did find that at the back of the boat was not where I wanted to be ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I was afraid of sea sick as I do get motion sickness. Starting takings meds for it on Friday and again for the next three days and was fine. I did find that at the back of the boat was not where I wanted to be for very long. Since this was my first I did not know what expect. I had a wonderful time. I found that everyone and I mean everyone from the first person I saw on the ship had smiles and greeted me with warm welcomes and thanked me for sailing with them. our stateroom attendant was so sweet and always there even if we had only thought about looking for him for something. lol. KNEW OUR NAMES. Having broke my foot in Dec (2014) I could not do as much as I wanted to do but the entertainment was so good. The Carnival Dancers I think, omg were great. THE RASCALS FLATS CONCERT WAS WONDERFUL. The cleanliness of the ship was amazing with everyone aboard. if I had to complain about anything on the ship, it would never be the food nor the service. Can't wait to go again!!!!!! My first the best vacation in a very long time. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
This was our first cruise ever! I guess you learn as you go! We found the food to be plentiful and very good! We were told by other cruisers that it did not compare to other ships but we found it very enjoyable! We did not take our ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever! I guess you learn as you go! We found the food to be plentiful and very good! We were told by other cruisers that it did not compare to other ships but we found it very enjoyable! We did not take our teenagers but we're told that there were not enough activities for kids. However we thoroughly enjoyed our first experience. Our room was very clean and our steward met our expectations! The dining room staff were very friendly and remembered our names after the first night! Even knowing that other cruises could possibly be better, we would do this one over again! We are hooked! Oh, I did not know this, if you see a piece of jewelry or item on the ship you are interested in purchasing, and you see it at one of the ports for a better price, if you can get a quote from the port store and a photo, the ship will match the price. Like I said, you learn as you go!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
Seeing that this was our first cruise, our family of four decided to go a shorter cruise out of Florida. Our cruise departed on a Thursday with one stop in Cozumel and arriving in Tampa on Monday morning. We picked a cruising vacation ... Read More
Seeing that this was our first cruise, our family of four decided to go a shorter cruise out of Florida. Our cruise departed on a Thursday with one stop in Cozumel and arriving in Tampa on Monday morning. We picked a cruising vacation over a resort vacation because everyone we spoke to said "you can't beat the food on a cruise". I should have know what we were in for during check-in. Loads of loud obnoxious people! I thought, once we get on the boat, it'll be better. It was not the case. The entire four days we were surrounded by loud drunken individuals from early morning until late at night. We were disturbed every night by people partying in the halls outside of our cabin. We called security but it didn't do much good. It was extremely frustrating especially with two kids. We did not get any sleep. It was really bad because you couldn't get away from it. Secondly, embarking the boat in Cozumel was a joke. There was no crowd control whatsoever. Drunk people throwing up beside us and budding in line. "It was a spectacular scene for my kids to witness!" Not one member of my family wanted to get back on the ship. Thirdly, the pool facility was not adequate. We spent a lot of time at sea and the tiny pool was full constantly. The second pool was the size of a hot tub. The hot tubs that they did have were either full or closed for whatever reason. Last but not least, the food....where do I start! The worst food I've ever had. The food was served cold, the chicken was rubber and I can go on. You had to pay extra for a decent cut of meat or seafood. The one night they offered lobster, it was cold and had a rubber texture. It was truly gross! The food was absolutely horrible. I have nothing positive to say about the dining room except the staff was lovely. They were very friendly and attentive. The kids raved about the soft ice cream. On a positive note, the staff was just so great. The nicest people ever. Our cabin stewart was an awesome guy. I'm not sure how they keep a smile on their faces considering the rude and obnoxious people they were serving. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
Background: My friends and I do a guys cruise each year, and for the last five years it has been on Carnival. This year the group decided to do the Carnival Paradise out of Tampa. We’re part of a larger group that had a contract for the ... Read More
Background: My friends and I do a guys cruise each year, and for the last five years it has been on Carnival. This year the group decided to do the Carnival Paradise out of Tampa. We’re part of a larger group that had a contract for the old corporate open-bar package. It is different from the Cheers program in that it isn’t capped at 15 drinks per day, which would not be enough for our group of professional partiers. Unfortunately Carnival, in their infinite wisdom, has chosen to rescind our package in an attempt to get us all into Cheers. So this may well be my last Carnival review for a while, as our group will be heading to Royal Caribbean next year. It’s disappointing, since Carnival’s party scene is better. But we’d end up having to smuggle booze onboard an “open bar” cruise which is ridiculous. Royal’s drink packages are unlimited, so it’s really a no-brainer. We did get one last romp on Carnival though, and it was a blast. Embarkation: This cruise departed on 9/25/14, and we drove down the morning of. We parked off site at The Parking Doctors, which is only a few blocks from the terminal. Check in went very quickly. My roommate and I went to the VIP area, but the rest of our group was done at the same time we were. We were all on the ship within about twenty minutes of arriving at the terminal. The Ship: My last cruise on the Paradise was back in 2008 when she was doing sailings out of Long Beach. The ship looked about the same as it did the last time I saw her. As usual, everything was clean and well kept. Since Paradise is the newest of the class, her décor is a little more modern than her sisters. It was so nice to be back on a Fantasy Class ship still mostly in original configuration. The Rex nightclub has not been chopped in half to make way for a useless conference room. The aft pool hasn’t been eliminated in favor of the Waterworks, which makes the main pool a lot less crowded. She does have the adults-only Serenity area installed, but I never went there on this cruise. The one downside to an un-renovated Fantasy Class ship is that the cabins are now 15 years old. They still have the old CRT televisions and life jacket boxes in the corner. Food and Service: We ate in the dining room for the brunch on the two sea days, and also in the dining room for dinner each night. The food was great overall, and our serving team was excellent. I only ate in the buffet twice, but the food was decent both times. Unlike our experience on the Destiny a few years ago, bar service could not have been better. Most of the bar staff was friendly and kept us well stocked with fresh drinks. Not always an easy task when we started at noonish, and didn’t stop until around three in the morning. Daily Activities: Our first afternoon onboard was spent around the pool bar enjoying beverages and music. We stopped by the Taste Bar for snacks, followed by pre-dinner drinks in the atrium. After dinner it was time for a visit to the piano bar, which is very nicely decorated on the Paradise. The rest of the night was spent in the Rex dance club; we stayed until around 3 in the morning. After the club let out we hung out on the back patio of the buffet eating pizza and finishing our drinks. My next three days went along the same general schedule since I didn’t bother debarking in Cozumel. I woke up around 11 am, after getting about six hours of sleep. On the two sea days we ate in the dining room for brunch, on Cozumel day we ate at the buffet. A trip to the gym was called for to help eliminate excess calories and toxins. After the gymnasium we spent the rest of the afternoon partying around the pool. The sheer volume of beer and shots consumed was absolutely obscene. With the exception of the port day, we spent some time lounging around on the promenade creating stacks of Taste Bar plates. Then, without fail, we would meet at the Lobby Bar for pre-dinner drinks. After dinner it was again time for our merry band of idiots to descend upon the piano bar for the sing along. The rest of the evenings were spent in the spacious, unmodified Rex. Conclusion: Debarkation went fairly quickly, especially for being at Tampa. We were to the car and back on the interstate within an hour of leaving our cabin. I hope that Carnival will someday eliminate the fifteen-drink cap on their Cheers program so that we can return. It really should be left up to the bar staff to decide whether a guest has had “too much”. My friends and I drank all day and all night, but never caused any problems. No one got out of control, just good solid buzzes all around. Their blanket cap seems to be more for profit protection than for the good of the passengers. I’m going to miss my annual visit to Carnival and my beloved Fantasy Class ships. My first CCL cruise was on Sensation, and I’ve had more cruises on Fantasy Class ships than any other by a wide margin. So they’ve always felt like home to me. Next year will be on the Enchantment of the Seas, a ship I also know very well, but it just won’t be quite the same. This annual guy’s cruise goes by much too fast. By the last morning I’m usually very tired. Four days of fourteen-hour benders will cause this sensation. But I’m still always sad to see it end. The pictorial version of this review can be found on the Cruise Critic message boards by following this link: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2111153   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
We stayed the night before at the Quality inn Airport on S. Dale Mabry in Tampa. Very nice for one night. Stores galore around including drug stores if you forgot anything. Free breakfast, transportation from airport to hotel and from ... Read More
We stayed the night before at the Quality inn Airport on S. Dale Mabry in Tampa. Very nice for one night. Stores galore around including drug stores if you forgot anything. Free breakfast, transportation from airport to hotel and from hotel to cruise terminal. Cheap rates too. Let's see to start with we were not given a zone pass from the taker of our boarding pass during embarkation and luckily I noticed and got one from a very sweet lady working another area. But once I got it getting on was a breeze. The lunch on board was alright, and the crew initially very sweet. Most were nice and clearly liked their jobs. The room was a joke. Nothing worked right. No A/C. The toilet flushed when it wanted too. The shower got hot when it felt like it and we had to finagle the water by running the sink at the same time to make it right. I said something at the desk and they put in work orders, which my Steward then cancelled and treated me like a two year old by saying that was the way things were. I was accused of being a racist. By the head of security no less! I tried to help them and report I saw someone grab a camera. He was all for the report till I described him after he asked me to. The gentleman thief was black. Then it was "Ohhh I get it. So you THINK you saw him steal the camera! Are you SURE?" Sad! And yes, later two young girls reported their camera stolen. Same kind! Same guard was later in an altercation with a woman on the pool deck insulting her as well. My excursion was a comedy of errors, and when I complained to the clerk. I was told "They are locals, there is nothing we can do." he was very belligerent so I asked the guest desk for the Excursion mgr. I got him, and he and the clerk ganged up on me. Started telling me "they didn't appreciate me insulting their excursion and if I was going to continue they were done with me." at which point they walked off and left me standing there. I found out from another crew member the MGR has no supervisor on the ship therefore he thinks he can be as rude as he wants to be. Most of the crew were very nice, but there was mass confusion. One would tell you one thing, and another would contradict it. There are no true policies on this ship, and no one to turn to if there is a problem. I took it upon myself to look for an officer who did take my statement and was very nice! Otherwise, I was told over and over "You need to call Miami". My twenty year old daughter and I were bored most of the time. There were the same shows over and over, and no real entertainment. I never once saw the Cruise Director! So glad I brought a deck of cards and a book. It seems they purposely keep you bored so you will got to the casinos. Refuse all pictures! They are expensive and constant. If they weren't trying to take our picture, they were trying to sell us booze, or usher us into a seminar. I felt like they were walking around and not seeing people but giant wallets. The only thing good about the cruise was Gavin Degraw. A phenomenal artist, and great all around guy. He sang to my daughter for half a song, and kept coming out into the audience and being a truly grateful looking artist. We certainly got our monies worth at least with him! Will I cruise Carnival again? Definitely not! The ports were nothing great, and the insults too many from supposed high ranking crew. Clearly they feel they can get away with treating people like dirt. I have twice sailed Norwegian on the Dawn and had wonderful times. This was supposed to be a last hurrah for myself and my daughter before she moved cross country and they ruined it. I will never sail anything other than Norwegian again. Debarkation was a joke. I have three herniated disks and I was on deck seven where the debarking was to take place. They wanted me to leave my cabin carrying my luggage up to deck ten, then come back down to deck seven to leave. Um no. A guy named Nick said it was fine to stay as I was medically injured. Another person, a young lady fought with me to leave. I won. I sat on a chair and told them to call customs (as they claimed it was a Customs directive) to me and I would tell them off too. Simply crazy all the way around. Oh and I had gastric bypass so I was basically on a fruit diet. By the end of the week the "fresh produce" was barely edible. The food in the main dinning room was alright, but nothing wonderful. I was impressed and loved the little dance they did though. Sorry Carnival but epic fail!   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
So this was my very first cruise and I was told by several people that Carnival isn't that great and to not get my hopes up. On the reverse of that I had several people tell me all the great things about cruising and due to that my ... Read More
So this was my very first cruise and I was told by several people that Carnival isn't that great and to not get my hopes up. On the reverse of that I had several people tell me all the great things about cruising and due to that my expectations were exceptionally high. I got more good information than bad so I tried to stay positive. I made sure to have an idea of exactly what I wanted to do and I wanted to make sure I would be able to do all of these things. My biggest things were to eat as much as humanly possible, to never not have a drink in my hand, see EVERYTHING the boat has to offer, take some time to sit back and relax, and enjoy the ports that we were heading in to. I can safely say that I met all of my goals and then some. We arrived at the Port of Tampa around 11am to start the checking in and embarkation process. We made it thru security and checked in, in a very reasonable amount of time and were on the boat within 90 minutes with a little bit of waiting before they actually started boarding. Upon boarding I was amazed at the fact that it was literally a hotel on a boat. The Atrium was absolutely beautiful and I was ready to explore and see everything and get my first drink! Our stateroom wasn't ready yet so we walked around the boat a bit and tried to get some of my bearings. My group brought me up to the lido deck and to the buffet and we got our first drinks and continued walking around and exploring I was absolutely blown away at everything on board. Maybe an hour after boarding we decided to check to see if our stateroom was ready and it was in fact. This was the first time we met our room steward and this was one of my few negative experiences that I had during my cruise. I was told by everyone how great the stateroom stewards were and how they took the time to get to know you and were ready at your service with anything that you may need. This didn't seem to be the case with our steward. During the entire cruise it seemed like we were bothering her so we tried our best to not 'bother' her during our cruise. Our cabin was pretty much exactly as I had been expecting. Small, but not too small to be unpractical. We booked a porthole room as everyone told me that it may help me on my first cruise with being able to see outside and realizing what time of day it was. I was happy with the cabin and everything it offered since we really didn't spend a ton of time in the room anyway so it was perfect. In the future I could definitely book a cabin without a porthole and be just as happy. Dining onboard was great. We ate dinner every night in the Elation dining room with the 'Our Time Dining.' We usually got to dinner between 7:30p and 8:00p and other than the last night at sea we never experienced any sort of delay getting into dinner. We got 2 different waiters during our trip and both were absolutely fantastic. I feel as though I can't say enough great things about these guys and the team that served us dinner each night. They were absolutely amazing and any short comings that I may have experienced with our stateroom steward were definitely made up for by the dining staff. As far as the food in the dining room I found most meals to be great. My obvious favorite was the steak and lobster night, but there were several dishes that I absolutely adored. Unfortunately our last night onboard our dinner was probably our least favorite, but not so bad that it ruined anything. When we did have a sea day and they offered a sea day brunch we took advantage of it and I loved the steak and eggs both times I had them for brunch. We ate lunch and snacked in the buffet whenever we wanted and overall I really enjoyed the food. The Mongolian wok was fabulous and I wish I would have eaten more of that instead of wanting to try everything they served! The 24 hour pizza was good, but it became great after a long day of drinking and needing a bite to eat late at night. The 24 hour ice cream was also a nice treat after a day out in the sun. The 'Taste Bar' that they featured outside of the casino sampled small plates from other restaurants across the Carnival fleet and everything we tried was quite tasty. The ship featured all sorts of activities thru out the day and night and it was a lot of fun walking around and experiencing everything that they had to offer. We watched more than a few of the impromptu dance parties featured on the Lido deck and the Sail Away Party after leaving Cozumel was a ton of fun. We tried our luck with bingo, and participated in some of the seminars that featured raffles but unfortunately never won anything. We played trivia several times and won the movie comedy trivia which was fun and I was able to snag one of the Carnival Paradise trophies! We did spend a ton of time in the casino though. I tried my luck with both blackjack, and roulette and lost my money pretty quickly but had a lot of fun doing so. I did however have a great bit of luck with the slot machines and those winnings helped pay for quite a bit during our cruise. I'd definitely recommend hitting up the casino if that's something you're interested in or at least going up there for some people watching and watching people play the table games. The entertainment on board I feel could be updated a bit. We gave some of the stage shows a go but never saw anything that we really enjoyed. The cruise director and his staff definitely gave it their all though and made it look like they absolutely loved their jobs! It was also quite amusing that the Cruise Director Steve was a dead ringer for Mickey Aldrin from How I Met Your Mother! The one piece of entertainment that we made sure to enjoy every night it was offered was the 18+ comedy shows in the Queen Mary Lounge. George Lopez's Punchliner Comedy Club was hands down one of my favorite things on board the ship. The comedians were absolutely hilarious! If you're not offended easily and are looking for a good laugh you MUST check out these 18+ comedy shows! We went to Grand Cayman and Cozumel during our cruise and I enjoyed both ports however I had a lot more fun in Cozumel than I did in Grand Cayman. Grand Cayman requires a tender to get you to shore which was fine, but the line to get to the tender was ridiculous. While we were in line they made an announcement that due to 'Operational Issues' they were temporarily halting the tendering process which definitely made me wonder exactly what was going on. About 10 minutes later one of the crew members made his way down the hallways informing us that it was a weather delay due to high swells. Once I was told that I felt a lot better. When we did get to the port we walked around for a bit, but I wasn't super impressed. We had decided against any sort of excursions and I don't regret that decision at all. We walked up and down the street and when the weather looked poor again we got back on the ship and enjoyed some quiet time in the pool, gave the water slide a whirl, and was able to get into the Serenity deck hot tubs! So we made the best of it and obviously the weather is not something Carnival has any control over! The next day we hit Cozumel. We were a bit delayed getting docked, but we still got a full day in that port. We walked for quite a few miles and quite a few hours in the extreme heat but we had a great time. The $1 beers definitely made the walk even better! Disembarkation unfortunately came much too quickly, but the process overall when it actually got started wasn't too bad. Embarkation didn't even start until about 9:30a for whatever reason but once it did it went quickly and smoothly and we were off the boat and thru customs in a reasonable amount of time. We waited in the Normandie Theater until our deck was called for self assist, but most people waited at the entrance of the theater blocking the entrance and the host had to constantly ask these guests to clear the entrance way, but no one ever came into attempt to help. Other than that it was a smooth, quick process. Overall I am EXTREMELY happy with my decision to finally take a cruise, and I don't know what took me so long to do it for the first time! Probably a day into the trip I was already bugging my girlfriend to start planning another cruise with me! I am absolutely hooked and I really hope my next cruise is sooner rather than later! We are looking at taking another cruise in January and another next July! Read Less
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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