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