2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
BACKGROUND INFORMATION My husband and I (both in our 60’s) chose this five-day cruise to enjoy with our son and DIL (in their 40’s). I usually cruise with my sister, so this was different for me, and for my husband who had ... Read More
BACKGROUND INFORMATION My husband and I (both in our 60’s) chose this five-day cruise to enjoy with our son and DIL (in their 40’s). I usually cruise with my sister, so this was different for me, and for my husband who had not cruised since 2012. It was my son and DIL’s first Caribbean cruise. We drove from North Carolina to the Holiday Inn in Tampa, a long drive, but enjoyed a “park and cruise” special package which allowed us to leave our vehicle in the parking deck while we enjoyed the cruise. The rooms at the Holiday Inn were spacious, clean, and elegant. Breakfast (included in the park and cruise package) was extensive and delicious. The night before, we especially enjoyed Ulele, a local restaurant with Native American influence. EMBARKATION We had purchased Carnival’s “Faster to the Fun” pass and also booked a Grand Suite, the first ever for me after a dozen cruises. The combination of perks made embarkation quick and easy. We had a noon appointment to board the ship. We enjoyed a special priority line through security and straight to the counter to get our Sign & Sail cards. At or close to the appointed time, we were allowed to follow the Diamond and Platinum passengers to get on the ship early, and go straight to our cabins, which were ready for us. We elected to wheel our luggage on and it was simple because the gangway in the port boards the Paradise at deck 7, making it easier to roll luggage without an extensive uphill climb (there are two escalators in the cruise port). CABIN We booked our cruise over a year in advance and even then, had difficulty getting a cabin. We wanted a regular balcony cabin, but the only thing available at that time were Junior Suites with an obstructed view and the Grand Suites. As my husband and I celebrate our anniversary this month, we threw the budget to the winds and booked the Grand Suite. Our cabin was U79 and our son/DIL’s was U83, with an adjoining door between the Deck 6 suites (“upper deck”). We loved this part as it made it possible for us to share balconies (the partition between could not be lowered as on other Carnival ships). The Grand Suite was about the size of a regular hotel room. The décor was a little dated, but very clean and elegant. Bedding was comfortable (as always on Carnival), and it was a treat to have a jetted tub, a walk-in closet with plenty of hangers, and a large balcony with 3 chairs and enough room for a 4th. SERVICE Our room steward was Jeamer and our room was kept in tip-top condition each day. SHIP The Paradise, a 1998 Fantasy-class ship, is getting a little elderly, but was and still is a grand ole gal. I understand that she is due to be refurbished in 2018 and while I agree it is time, that did not impact significantly on our vacation. The elevators were slow and took turns being inoperative, and there were a few other indications of small problems along the way, but nothing that really impacted my experience. Carnival Paradise is one of the smaller ships still being used by the cruiseline at only 70.3 GT, so there was a little bit of rocking and rolling in choppy seas, but again, nothing untoward. I’m interested to see how the ship is refurbished – I hope they’ll get a “Guy’s Burger Joint”-- and wouldn’t hesitate to visit again. DINING We chose early dining and were surprised to be seated at a table for four. While we enjoy talking to others, it gave us lots of family time, one main purpose for our cruise. Our waiters at our little table (#372) were two men both named Iwanyan and assistant Eko. They remembered our names and preferences and did a stellar job serving us each night. Dining selections show Carnival’s cut-backs more than anything else on the ship. The food is still good, and one can certainly select a delicious entrée, but the lobster and steak special meal is gone, there were only linens on the tables for elegant night, and it seemed to me there were fewer choices each evening across the categories. My son opted for the $20 extra surf and turf meal one evening and said that while it was good, it was not amazing. For both evening and buffet dining, I noticed very little real cheesecake, the cheese being replaced with a jello-type filling and similar cut-backs. I noticed that staff now serve some items, attempting to manage portion-size on more expensive foods such as bacon on the breakfast buffet, or the meat/seafood on the Mongolian Wok station. I felt this was as much a commentary about the greediness of people as evidence of cutting back. Bread selection was still good, the salad bars are very fine, and there was a good array of entrees and desserts. CHEF’S TABLE One evening, we opted to enjoy the Chef’s Table, a combination of a tour of the galley, and an amazing full-service meal, a multi-course dinner that is unavailable anywhere else on the ship. It’s limited to about 12 people and is done once or twice during the cruise. It’s pricey -- $75 on our ship – but is interesting, entertaining and delicious. This was my third Chef’s Table and the food is just amazing. The only thing I don’t like about the experience is the magician who does an up-close private show. The concept is good, but the magicians are just too caustic for me, with cutting comments and sarcasm that I did not appreciate, sometimes bordering on being inappropriate. All three times the magicians were from India and all three made comments which were supposed to be funny, I suppose, about their skin color and that of the guests. In these days, I don’t feel that’s very humorous. Our magician this time made the comment, “why do white people have to be so difficult?” when someone was not choosing a card or following his instructions quickly enough to suit. That soured me on the presentation and I was glad to get back to the meal, which is what I came for, after all. In talking about it with my cruisemates later, we thought if a break is required perhaps having the spa staff come in for a quick neck or shoulder chair massage would be pleasant, touting the benefits of the spa. A brief musical or dance interlude would be entertaining. At a minimum, a magician should focus on the illusions and not on the ethnicity of the guests. SHOWS/ENTERTAINMENT We only attended one show this cruise, a 70-80’s Rock Music presentation, which was entertaining and well-done. We don’t expect Broadway, but are happy to enjoy some skilled dancers and singers for a fun show. This one did not disappoint. The central bar area on deck 7 (with guest services) is very small, allowing only a soloist or possibly a duet. There were two men singing during the evening – one performing jazz-type selections, the other singing oldies. There were other bands throughout the ship, but I avoided the smoke-filled casino area where they performed. Prerecorded music was available throughout the day, and was acceptable. “FUN” SHOPS The fun shops need major attention. I had more of a budget this time for purchasing a few items, but found there was little in the shops to choose from. The shops also did not open on time – once my husband and I waited for a few minutes, then did something else, only to return to a closed shop after 15 minutes. The same was true several other times. Most telling, there was very little “crowd” in the shops buying much of anything. Even the obligatory $10 t-shirt tables did not have all sizes, and were not swamped as they usually are. Rather than hundreds of watches and dozens of faux stone rings and bracelets, I’d like to see some hand-crafted items representing the various ports, something I could be proud to take home to a friend or relative. It’s definitely time for a change here. PHOTOS Again, it’s time to enter into some new technology here. Photos should be viewable from the stateroom or on a kiosk, rather than making jillions of prints. I always get what I call the “pixel headache” from trying to locate photos and craning my neck trying to see all levels. I rarely pose for photos any more because of the hassle of finding them later. Offering a pre-cruise package would be great, too, just as the pre-cruise beverage or spa packages are available. On elegant night, my husband and I spontaneously opted for photos. We purchased one using a coupon given to my husband for his birthday. If photos were easier to find and view and cost less, I would have purchased many more. PORTS GRAND CAYMAN Grand Cayman is a tendered port, but our Faster to the Fun pass bumped us to the front of the line. Even without it, it appeared that the tender service was excellent. I had visited Grand Cayman several times and we decided to use the inexpensive ($2.50/each/way) city bus system for transportation. It’s about a 5-minute walk from the tender cruise port and into a small van which leaves every 15 minutes. It’s a great way to see a bit more of the area and interact with local people. We love the turtle farm, not so much for the educational tour, but for the amenities – a huge salt-water snorkeling area full of hatchling turtles and colorful fish, and a clear refreshing fresh water pool with a water slide on the other side. Both sides have inexpensive lockers and wonderful air-conditioned restrooms and changing areas. The food is also great – we enjoyed fried cheese, calamari, conch fritters, and coconut shrimp – all delicious. We left the Turtle Farm to quickly catch a city bus back to the cruise port. COZUMEL I had visited Cozumel twice before and had planned to revisit PalMar Snorkel Beach Club, a private estate on the Dzul Ha Reef. Taxi service is reached after walking through the extensive shop area of the cruise port, but the price is very reasonable -- 4 of us was only $11. The Beach Club is a real bargain and includes use of the private pool, touring the Butterfly Sanctuary, and using the beach area on the world-famous reef. Day use tickets even include 2 free drinks. The food is excellent – we enjoyed guacamole, cerviche, and chicken enchiladas, all terrific examples of great local food. Best of all is the sweet service offered by the employees – it’s a perfect balance of the staff being humble and grateful for the income we generate, and us being grateful and humbled by the beautiful surroundings and the grace of the local folks. DISEMBARKATION We carried our own luggage off and were pleased to be directed to a special lounge with some breakfast offerings before we left due to our purchase of Faster to the Fun. We were slightly delayed, but still were out and in a taxi before 8am. I have no complaints about the procedure at all. SUMMARY I’m a big believer that there is rarely such a thing as a bad cruise. You may encounter challenges, but when you get your cruise attitude firmly in place, you are able to see and enjoy the amazing opportunities cruising offer. This cruise was no exception and was especially pleasant because of our upgraded splendid surroundings. I highly recommend the Carnival Paradise and would welcome a chance to see her again after the drydock/refurb planned for the spring of 2018. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
I chose this cruise out of Tampa so I could relax after Hurricane Irma and I was not disappointed. I was traveling solo which is always fun to do! This was the new Cozumel Plus with extra time in Cozumel so I was able to go to Chichen Itza ... Read More
I chose this cruise out of Tampa so I could relax after Hurricane Irma and I was not disappointed. I was traveling solo which is always fun to do! This was the new Cozumel Plus with extra time in Cozumel so I was able to go to Chichen Itza for the 2nd time. The first time I went I was visiting friends and they took me there at night for the sound and laser light show on the pyramids. Fabulous! And this trip in the daytime was fabulous too. We were given a light lunch on the bus, sandwich, chips, fruit, water, and a cookie, which was quite good. Our guide was great and pointed out many not readily apparent carvings on the ruins. Overall, a great trip. I also snorkeling with the stingrays in Grand Cayman. Really fun and got great pics of me kissing the rays! Be sure to take an underwater camera. The food was good in both the main dining room and the buffet. No problems there. Casinos were smoky but still fun and slots were loose! I have already booked another cruise on the Paradise for September 2018! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Two little known "secrets" that were awesome: Sea Day Brunch serves Fillet Mignon with eggs with no up charge and the Sea Day Afternoon Tea has awesome specialty deserts at no up charge. Overall, it was an average cruise that ... Read More
Two little known "secrets" that were awesome: Sea Day Brunch serves Fillet Mignon with eggs with no up charge and the Sea Day Afternoon Tea has awesome specialty deserts at no up charge. Overall, it was an average cruise that was ok for the money spent. It is the people you are traveling with that make the cruise. Our cabin was somewhat impacted by the closeness to the atrium (noise wise) and they were also doing some maintenance work with shellac and the odors seeped into our room. It would have been better if they had left those rooms empty when they knew that maintenance work with strong odors were planned. The anytime dining was able to accommodate our group of twelve adequately. The food was average and I was surprised that tablecloths are no longer used on the tables. This was my first experience with anytime dining and I'd rather have schl'd times where I get to know the wait staff. Entertainment and activities were all ok, but trivia needs to be played away from the smoking area. We did no excursions. Access to the ports and disembark were average. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
My wife and I picked this carnival cruise because it was one of the few that spent overnight in Havana. Overall we give the cruise three stars but I must say that Havana is a prime destination. Here’s why. Initial boarding at ... Read More
My wife and I picked this carnival cruise because it was one of the few that spent overnight in Havana. Overall we give the cruise three stars but I must say that Havana is a prime destination. Here’s why. Initial boarding at the Tampa cruise terminal was no problem. Because of a back up in Tampa Bay the cruise left two hours late. Apparently this boat has some mechanical problems and rumor was that it had only one engine operating. Just a rumor though. Room Portering was a problem for us because the first night our steward forgot to clean a room. He did manage to get the last three nights though. We had several orders from room service which was prompt but they struggle to get the order right. We arrived in Havana an hour late as they were only able to make up one hour cruising faster. That pushed back all the tours. We found the tourist to be interesting but very overpriced. The buses are top notch but some of the places that you go to our questionable. The guy was knowledgeable but they do follow a government script. We saw the streets of all the Vanna and we’re taking to to cultural events which included a women’s drum group and a modern dance. Not for all taste but because of the state department rules requirement. Going through customs was rather expensive because of a 10% penalty against American currency to convert into Cuban currency. American dollars are not useful and the actual Cuban peso is not useful. Cuban convertible currency is needed and his pegged at a dollar for dollar. There is a 3% exchange fee and the 10% American penalty. Does represented the so-called people to people tours. We did sign up for a very expensive show at the Tropicana nightclub that evening starting at 10 o’clock. And excellent show. Las Vegas style showgirls, actually the forerunners of the Las Vegas showgirls, and cuban music. Very entertaining. All attendees get either a cigar for the man or a flower for the woman. A bottle of rum for two people is on the table along with mixer. This is a must see. The ship was scheduled to leave at 11 AM on Saturday and they cut one of our tours short so we could be on board to leave. Not sure whether hurry. Then proceeded to crawl back to Tampa to make sure we had a full day at sea on Sunday. The ships food was not up to the standards that we are used to. Variety was much more limited in the quality wasn’t quite there. The waitstaff was inattentive at times. The ship, of course, had photographers wondering about ready to document your cruise for a price. There was also of course the casino with the standard slats and table games. Onboard shopping was somewhat limited and we didn’t think the deals were particularly good. There were several shows and they didn’t seem up to the usual standards that were used to. We walked out on one because of the amateur nature of it. The comedy club is excellent. If you’re on carnival go see it as it’s going to be one of the highlights. There was a speaker who gave three lectures on Cuban culture, Dr. Dave. This was excellent and extremely informative. If you’re on this cruise and he’s presenting go see it. The ship is older and needs a good cleaning. It’s showing it’s age. Havana is a excellent destination but this cruise should have been better. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose Carnival Paradise for the short 5 day cruise that included Key West and Cozumel. We had a window cabin on the upper deck (6). We usually choose balcony cabins, but the only balcony cabins were suits and I didn't want to pay ... Read More
We chose Carnival Paradise for the short 5 day cruise that included Key West and Cozumel. We had a window cabin on the upper deck (6). We usually choose balcony cabins, but the only balcony cabins were suits and I didn't want to pay double for a suit balcony. We certainly missed our balcony, but we managed it with only 5 days. The cabins are small, but very clean. Our cabin steward was fabulous. We had Any Time Dinning for the first time, and it worked out well. We went with my brother and his wife and also me a great couple the first evening and were able to sit together the rest of the cruise. I do see some scaling down on the menu. Usually on the dress up night there would be a choice of steak and lobster, but not this time. You had to buy up for that, but you could do that any time during the cruise. The wait servers were great and very helpful as well as funny. We asked to keep that table every night and we did. Entertainment is a bit of hit and miss. We did enjoy the comedy shows. Key West was in great shape and we had a nice tour to the city. It was plenty hot for October. Cozumel was a great stop. We enjoyed the new tour of the Children's Home, church and lunch. Excursions with a purpose! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
The service was stellar, food terrific, lots of entertainment.... I also wanted to mention that our Destiny Dining Room (first seating) was wonderful, mainly due to Rodriques, Artana and George! We really enjoyed our dining ... Read More
The service was stellar, food terrific, lots of entertainment.... I also wanted to mention that our Destiny Dining Room (first seating) was wonderful, mainly due to Rodriques, Artana and George! We really enjoyed our dining experience. They were always prompt and courteous and attended to our every need. At the end of our dinner we would indulge with an alcoholic "shot" in a souvenir shot glass and each night Rodriques would wash them all before we left. I also want to mention that our cabin, 103 Empress, was very clean and Mackenzie our room steward surprised us by asking if we would prefer to have the room serviced in the morning or evening, We decided that the am would be convenient for us. I had never been asked that before.... We also requested to have an ice bucket in our room, where we did not have one....Mackenzie brought it to our room and replenished the ice daily. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Visiting Cuba was a bucket list item for us and when we saw that Carnival was going to have a trip there, we jumped at the opportunity. Although there were a few glitches here and there that could have made the experience better, overall ... Read More
Visiting Cuba was a bucket list item for us and when we saw that Carnival was going to have a trip there, we jumped at the opportunity. Although there were a few glitches here and there that could have made the experience better, overall it was very good. This was our second cruise on the Paradise, and were well aware that she is an older, smaller ship, but still very elegant and cozy. She was clean and the staff were great, but the ship needs some TLC and some 2.0 upgrades (Guys Burgers!) would be nice too. Our Cabin was on the Main Deck, number 164, and the cabin was fine. A little smaller than the newer ships, but for two of us, it had plenty of room. There was no noise and it was convenient enough to all the ship activities. The food was just OK. Nothing spectacular, the dining room staff was attentive, but a little rushed. We were seated at a long table for eight by the window. The first night, there were three couples, and after that there were only four of us, and we truly enjoyed the company of the other couple. We are also regular casino players, and the casino on the Paradise is very small and had a limited number of slot machines. We enjoyed the sea day, and did not get off the ship in Cozumel. It was nice to sit up on deck and have the ship (mostly) to ourselves. We sailed to Havana overnight and docked at 12 noon. It was 1:30 by the time we got through customs and got to our tour bus for the Top 10 Havana Excursion. We enjoyed the tour, and learned a lot about Cuba, but unfortunately, it did not leave us enough time to buy cigars from the State run cigar shops, which close at 6 pm. That was a disappointment for us. We sailed back to Tampa the next day, which was just another sea day. Disembarkation in Tampa was a fiasco. They had three customs agents for 2,000 people and it took over 2 1/2 hours to disembark the ship. Terrible. So, to me, I would have liked to have had more time in Havana, and scrapped Cozumel altogether. Maybe we will get the chance to go back someday... Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our 12th cruise, 11th on Carnival. All of the others have been on either the Destiny, Triumph or Conquest Class. There is a huge difference in those classes and the Fantasy Class. We had 63 VIFP days and have an 8 day cruise ... Read More
This was our 12th cruise, 11th on Carnival. All of the others have been on either the Destiny, Triumph or Conquest Class. There is a huge difference in those classes and the Fantasy Class. We had 63 VIFP days and have an 8 day cruise booked on the Horizon for 2019. That would have put us 4 days short of Platinum so we booked this cruise to become Platinum on the Horizon. Embarkation was easy as we had FTTF. Your S&S cards are still being handed out when checking in at the terminal. It only takes a minute for the employee to get the cards so I don't see where it saves that much time by putting them in your mailbox on some of the ships. We boarded the ship, went to our cabin then headed for the Lido Deck. Immediately upon entering the pool area we ran into Hong, the bar server. He went out of his way to find us every time we were up there. Always knew our names and folio number. I don't know how they do it but they always do. In Cozumel, we went on the submarine excursion. I was a little leery of trying it but did it anyway. I kept concentrating on looking out the window instead of concentrating on being in a giant tube under water that was going down 100 feet to the bottom of the ocean. The current was quite strong so we only got down to 64 feet instead of 100. We were offered the opportunity to stay back and if the currents got got smoother, we could go back down again. We decided to not take them up on the offer as the chances of it getting better were slim. We all got a certificate that states were did the dive. We were in cabin M62. We found out that they had removed two cabins to make a debarkation station for Cuba right next door to our cabin. (M60 & M58) On the night before Cuba, we came out of our cabin to go to dinner and found that they had put the people and luggage scanners right outside our door and had blocked off the passageway to the elevators. We had to go all the way down to the front elevators from that point on. To enter Cuba, you need a Cuban issued VISA ($75 per person charged to your S&S account) and a Passport. We left the ship and went into the terminal where we were greeting by a line that stretched on forever. When we finally got to Customs, they took our VISAs, entered out Passport numbers, then took our pictures. We were told ahead of time that they have infrared scanners that check your temperature. If you had a high temperature, you weren't allowed to enter. After going through customs, you had to exchange your money for their money. Their money is called CUCs. For every $100 in American money, you got 87 CUCs. Dollar for dollar, it's the same but they charge you 13% for some fee. Exchanging CUCs back to American money, they charge you another 3%. We spent 35 CUCs leaving us with 52 CUCs. We got $40 back. In Cuba, we had the old car excursion. They took us by bus to an area where all of the cars were parked. We got to choose the one we wanted to ride in. On the bus was a nice young lady tour guide who told us about the history of Havana. We picked a 56 Chevy and the tour guide rode with us to the first stop. After that, she rode with someone else and our driver didn't speak English. He would point to a building and say something is Spanish and we had no idea of what he was saying. They then took us to a small theater where they did interpretative dancing for a half hour. All of us on the excursion made the same statement after it was over..."WHAT?" They then took us to a marketplace that was suppose to close 15 minutes after we arrived. We all went in and immediately got bombarded by every seller in there. The line for Cuban cigars stretched for quite a ways. You can bring back 100 duty free cigars. Any over 100 you have to pay 33 cents duty for each one. At that point, it started pouring rain. We were standing by the door trying to decide if we wanted to make a run for the bus. A Cuban young man was standing by the door and tapped me on the shoulder. He pointed to his shorts which were red and white striped with a blue field with stars. He said "I love America!" I don't know what the rest of Cuba was like but Havana was sad to say the least. So many buildings just crumbling. There were a lot of three story buildings that had no roof or windows on the top floor but had people living in the first and second floors. I actually saw a woman throw garbage out of a second story window. We were glad we got to see Cuba but we would never go back there again. Picture the worst slum you've ever seen, then double it. There was only one more cruise on the Paradise after ours for a while. There are more scheduled for 2018 if we are still allowed to go there by then. The real surprise came on the morning of leaving Cuba. We were supposed to be back onboard by 5 am. Around 4 am people started coming back onboard after having a good night at the bars. All were talking very loud and banging into the walls. (Remember, we were right next door to the embarkation station.) That went on until 5 am when the crew then decided to tear down the scanning devices making all kinds of noise. We just laughed it off and got up a little earlier than planned. This cruise was without a doubt, the most friendliest we have ever been on. We met so many people that we kept running in to and would sit and talk for hours with them. One of them was a Mother who's son was one of the dancers. She was spending the week with him. He got to be with her during the day, then performed at night. We went to one of his shows and he certainly had energy. I don't know how they remember all of those steps and can do it night after night. Ah youth!! All in all, this was a great cruise, like all of the others we have been on with Carnival. Now the countdown begins for the 2019 cruise on the Horizon. Only 494 more days from today. UGH! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Went to Cuba on a four-day cruise! Wanted to see Havana! I loved the old cars there!!! The cars made the entire trip worthwhile. Also, out tour project was to Fusterlandia. The most fascinating place!!! We took the easy tour and it ... Read More
Went to Cuba on a four-day cruise! Wanted to see Havana! I loved the old cars there!!! The cars made the entire trip worthwhile. Also, out tour project was to Fusterlandia. The most fascinating place!!! We took the easy tour and it was indeed easy! Anytime dining room was perfect for us. The senior hostess there (Anita) was wonderful. It was only a four-day cruise, but Anita met us on day 1 and looked for us each meal to make sure we were satisfied! Also, the server (Rolin) provided consistently outstanding service. We asked for and was seated with him for every meal. Our special orders didn't upset him one bit! And he got each order totally correct! I've stayed in suites on long trips that didn't give the service that I received from my room steward. He came to our cabin the first day and made note of our wants as to time and amount of cleaning we wanted. He left his card and told us to call anytime! We never came back to an unmade-up cabin! The comedy clubs we attended were very funny. The one musical show we went to had Latin songs and dancing. Unfortunately, the balcony seating is not really good. It's laid out with couches and coffee tables in the lower and middle section. People sitting in front of you block your view,, and of course only the middle seats of the couch let you see the stage directly. Other seats are uncomfortable to view the stage due to the need to turn your head to see the show. And the ceiling equipment and posts block your view too in other balcony seats . Also, get to the shows early or you may not even get a good seat. See my cabin review of oceanview handicapped cabin E73. I do not recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We selected the cruise primarily for the itinerary - I wanted to see Cuba and a cruise seemed like an easy way to do that without too much work. Having just returned from this cruise, I very much wish I had simply flown directly to ... Read More
We selected the cruise primarily for the itinerary - I wanted to see Cuba and a cruise seemed like an easy way to do that without too much work. Having just returned from this cruise, I very much wish I had simply flown directly to Havana and skipped the cruise altogether. I knew the ship was on the older side so I wasn't that shocked to find a more limited option in terms of amenities or décor but I didn't expect just how old the rooms would be nor did I expect the lack of activities or good entertainment. We stayed in a Veranda suite (V21). The room is tiny - not a suite at all. We had 2 single beds - one touched the wall, the other touched the couch that touched the wall. It was fine for 2 adults but if this was a suite, I don't want to know what a standard room looked like. Again, i've cruised before so I understand cruise rooms are smaller than hotels but this was a little absurd. The bedding had brown splotchy stains on it. (We had a good laugh when they left us that flyer to try to sell us the bedding). The carpet had stains. The bathroom looked just like a hospital bathroom except less well kept - with holes in the grout and stains. The room telephone did not work. One of the bedside lamps did not work. The balcony was small but did it's job and there was plenty of storage space so no issues there. I expect the food to just be mediocre on cruises but this was sub par to even that low bar. We had one meal that was good - the rest ranged from inedible to just okay. Obviously the quantities of food available were huge but the quality suffered more on this ship than on others. Embarkation was easy since we able to get on the ship early and carried our own luggage. No issues there. Debarkation was simple enough because we were priority guests and carried luggage so we got off first. For those not priority, the process to get from the ship and into Cuba took several hours. Our docking was delayed by several hours so that meant some guests did not get more than an hour of daylight in Havana. That seems ridiculous - Carnival should not sell an itinerary where a guest doesn't even get one full afternoon in a port. The real let down was the entertainment. We had a sea day where there was almost nothing to do during the day if you didn't want to drink or gamble. I wasn't expecting much but a new release movie, a Cuban cooking demonstration or lecture or some other activity would have been greatly appreciated to kill the time. On the plus side, the port of Havana was excellent. I was very happy to have booked a private tour so we were able to make the most of our very limited time there. I would love to return but I would fly directly in. Also a positive were the staff - all wonderful and helpful. No complaints there. Read Less
Carnival Paradise Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.9
Dining 3.0 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 3.9
Rates 3.0 4.2

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