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5 Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Tampa

5 Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Tampa

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Carnival Paradise
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Itinerary


Carnival Paradise

Cruise Critic Editor Rating:
3.5
864 reviews
Why Choose Carnival Paradise?

Pro

Extremely friendly service and outstanding entertainment

Con

Older ship with limited dining options

Bottom Line

Fun to be had onboard, upgrades coming soon and cruises to Cuba are fabulous


Cruise Reviews

Sail Date: June 2018
This was our 5th cruise with Carnival and first on Paradise. We will not be returning on Paradise. Although the employees on the ship were exceptional the ship itself was horrible! Two nights we woke up to the smell of sewage and it ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise with Carnival and first on Paradise. We will not be returning on Paradise. Although the employees on the ship were exceptional the ship itself was horrible! Two nights we woke up to the smell of sewage and it lasted all night. The morning that we were debarking my daughter got sick from the smell and was nauseated for the rest of the day. It also seems to me that the food is not as good as it once was. Every time my husband and I went to get food the only thing opened was Guys Burgers or the Pizza place. On our way home (we drove) we stopped by Chic Fil A and that was the best food we hadn't eaten all week. There is only one pool and it was so crowded everyday that you couldn't put your toe in. The same goes for the hot tubs. Our cabin was good and roomy. The steward was always nice and helpful. I was just so disappointed in this ship! I hope Carnival will get their act together before we have to switch cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Although the Paradise is a older ship, she has been recently remodeled and overall we found it to be a very nice vessel. The kids loved the water park and there was always enough room there. Our room steward Gusti took great care of us and ... Read More
Although the Paradise is a older ship, she has been recently remodeled and overall we found it to be a very nice vessel. The kids loved the water park and there was always enough room there. Our room steward Gusti took great care of us and always had a smile and friendly words. The wait for the Elation dining hall was a little excessive at times but once inside the staff was top notch and worked hard each night to give us a great experience. Room service was fast and friendly and they went out of there way to make sure we had everything we'd need with our meals. The ports of call were great and things were smooth and on time. The only complaint I had was the bartender at the pool bar (Red Rum) seemed to really be phoning it in. Maybe they get burnt out with the unlimited drink crowd but I'm not enough of a drinker to buy that package and when I'm splurging on a fruity tropical drink I'm not looking for any old thing...When I asked about a drink (fresh italian) I had had in the main dining room, the bartender cut me off before I finished talking and just said main dining like I was going to go there while they were closed to order my drink rather than just politely explain they only work off the menu. Once I chose a different drink I waited a few minutes for him to chat up his bartender buddy at which time he brought back my drink in a plastic coke cup with no garnish and an inch below the top of the cup. He then squirted grenadine on top and handed it to me plain (white hard plastic cup, no straw, no garnish, unmixed). I had to ask for a straw and then stir the grenadine in since it was just hanging around thickly at the top. This cost me 11 bucks. Later I ordered another drink in the casino and it was mixed in a shaker and served in a nice glass with garnish so I imagine it was just a bartender having a bad day at the outside bar. Overall it was a fantastic vacation with some of the best cruise staff in the business and the bar issue was just a minor hiccup in an otherwise incredible trip. Happy Travels! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Why I booked this cruise- After going on 2 other carnival cruises, I decided to book this cruise with my tax return in January. As a single mom of two boys ages 7 and 12 finances can be tight, but after comparing cruise dates and ... Read More
Why I booked this cruise- After going on 2 other carnival cruises, I decided to book this cruise with my tax return in January. As a single mom of two boys ages 7 and 12 finances can be tight, but after comparing cruise dates and itineraries for over 2 weeks I knew exactly which one I was going to book. I chose The sailing on May 21st because it was my kids last few days of school and was still not quite in peak season so I got a great rate. It was also out of the port of Tampa which meant we could spend some time with family in the area before and after. Parking at the port of Tampa- I originally planned on having family drop us off at port and pick us back up, however they ended up with a last min work meeting. Because the parking rates were so high at the port, I ended up going with Park 4 Cruise. I found the lot with no problems, and although it was extremely close to the port they still shuttled us to our terminal. The cost was actually lower than their website fees at just $42 for our 5 day cruise. It was affordable, our car stayed safe, and it was convenient. Embarkation- Easiest embarkation of the 3 cruises I've been on. The other two were out of Miami. Everyone was extremely friendly. It took about 15-20 minutes from the time we got to the port to the time we set down after check in and only about 5 minutes after that before our section was called to get on the ship. Photo's felt rushed and I wished we would have taken our time to record our first moments and my kids reactions to their first time entering the ship. Because we chose the 12:00-12:30 check in we did have to lug around our carry on and 12 pack of soda's for about an hour which only caused a problem when trying to find seating in the EXTREMELY packed buffet area. But it wasn't long before we were in our room and even had 2 of our 3 suit cases. The Ship- It was the smallest of the 3 I had previously been on, but I almost preferred it. It was our first time on one that had water works, which my kids LOVED!!! But it did not have the Dive in theater and pool side loungers were hard to come by. If you are a smoker there is only 2 places on board to smoke: the casino and a section of the upper deck close to the ping pong tables. The only issues we had was that because it was a smaller ship, you felt most of the waves. It didn't bother me, but my oldest son did have one day of sea sickness. Cabin- After having been in a balcony and an interior on past cruises, I opted for an interior. We just never spend any time in there except to sleep. It was perfect. We were on Deck 5 in room 124 I believe. There was plenty of room for the 3 of us, lots of storage space, a mini fridge to keep our soda's cold, and my son even utilized our safe. My kids were super impressed with the towel animals. Dining- I had never really utilized the main dining room before, but we did this time and I will certainly again on my next cruise. We all discovered that we like strawberry and peach soup. Most of the food was really good, and the waitstaff was wonderful. They even put on a little show. Most of our dining was at Guy's burgers, which was very good. We also trying the deli, the taco's, and the pizza. All were good. Circle C- My 12 year old did not think he would enjoy cruising at all when I originally booked, but by the end of night one he was HOOKED. He made alot of new friends, and I could hardly get him to spend any time with us. He loved that he could come and go as he pleased, and have a little independence, but I was surprised that he chose to stay with the group the majority of the time unless he wanted to go on the water slides, swim, or grab some food. They went as a group to several shows and even did a scavenger hunt. By the end of it he was not ready to leave. Camp Carnival- My 7 year old stayed with me most of the trip but did go 2 days. His first day was while I was in Key West and the second was for night owls after we got back to the ship after Mexico. He loved the Rock and Glow night owls party. Water works- 5 slides of different sizes. My youngest went down all of them multiple times, while me and his brother just went down two of the bigger ones. The tallest by the way is the slowest. Activities- They had alot to do. More than we had time to do. We tried one of the shows but I was not impressed with their choices of musicals. I did karaoke which was fun. The harry chest contest is always funny. I was disappointed in the restrictions of the mixology contest now. It was very limited. My son liked the towel animal theater. We played a few rounds of mini golf... My 7 year old cheated... They also liked the ping-pong and giant chess. Ports- Key West: I did an adults only day. My stand up paddle boarding got canceled which was a bummer. So I spent most of the day at the clothing optional bar called The Garden of Eden. It was AWESOME! I highly recommend. I did get a bit lost trying to find the trolley back to the ship though. It did not pick back up where it originally dropped us off. It was nice having cell service. Cozumel: It was pouring most of the day, but we bought poncho's and got a cab to the local Mayan ruins on the island. Taxi's are VERY expensive by the way. $65 to the ruins and back. The ruins were nice, but not Tulum by any means.... but also not a 3 hour bus ride either.... There is free wifi at fat Tuesdays right when you get into the port. I would defiantly go on this ship and itinerary again. Read Less
View All Carnival Paradise Reviews
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