Sail Date: May 2017
It was my first time my son had his graduation the room was ok there where two towel where dirty food was ok and some staff where rude love the photos and had good server at the formal dining room drinks needs bit more alcohol but I ... Read More
It was my first time my son had his graduation the room was ok there where two towel where dirty food was ok and some staff where rude love the photos and had good server at the formal dining room drinks needs bit more alcohol but I heard that it was boring from the people that I went with because they had been before but the WiFi was horrible and TV too loved some of there desserts but did not like the beach we went too too many rocks I heard they where supposed to give something for his birthday and he didn't get nothing but a friend of my son did get some gift card and his birthday is in 2 weeks went to ask guest services and they said it was atomic machine that picks people out pool was small and full all the time the where so not happy or nice Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
Our sole purpose on this trip, was going to Key West, 3 weeks before we sail, they changed the ittenarrary , no refund offered, but gave our party of 4 , 25.00 dollar credit on our sign and sail card, the reason " A technical problem ... Read More
Our sole purpose on this trip, was going to Key West, 3 weeks before we sail, they changed the ittenarrary , no refund offered, but gave our party of 4 , 25.00 dollar credit on our sign and sail card, the reason " A technical problem ", then the water in our bathroom was rust brown, so in Cozumel, another " Technical problem " with the water system, on our last port, we were informed of yet another " Technical problem " with a door and would arrive back in Tampa at 3am, 6 hours early, upon arrival , the cutting torch went to work on the door, so we could get off this ship, all the while, they're loading this thing for there next trip, this was my forth trip with Carnival and by far the worse, so if you add it all up, NO Key West, and three technical problems, what is there to be said about this company Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
First i will say, i have never took the time to write a review of any cruise that my wife and i have been on. we are experienced cruisers with over 30 cruises. the issues started at the port of tampa with check in. carnival for whatever ... Read More
First i will say, i have never took the time to write a review of any cruise that my wife and i have been on. we are experienced cruisers with over 30 cruises. the issues started at the port of tampa with check in. carnival for whatever reason has this port extremely undermanned. it took over 40 minutes just to check in and get our room keys. second issue, the cards we received were incorrect. we are gold members for carnival. i got a gold card ok, my wife was issued a blue card. (first time cruiser). we tried to get it changed, but was told we would have to stick with the cards given. Next issue, and this is a huge one for travelers. we were walking to our cabin on the empress deck and there was two mattress sets setting in the hallway that were covered with bed bugs. once we got to our room the room was somewhat clean, although by far the worst shape of any cruise we have taken. the ship is older and is way past due for an update. the next issue came when we went to dinner the first night of the cruise. the food is not good at all. the service was way below any cruise line we have been on. cold food, tasteless food, and bad service. we got the cheers drink package. the cocktails were good. however getting served at any bar on the ship is difficult at best. we waited at one bar for 25 minutes and finally gave up. by the way there was on 10 people at the bar. disembarking is what you would expect from a bad crew and cruise director, not good. we will not go on a carnival cruise again. please go with another cruise line and don't allow carnival to spoil you vacation. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
This cruise started badly when Carnival changed the port itinerary a few weeks prior to departure and didn't have the courtesy to inform us. We found out by accident that the visited ports had changed, and we had to dig through the ... Read More
This cruise started badly when Carnival changed the port itinerary a few weeks prior to departure and didn't have the courtesy to inform us. We found out by accident that the visited ports had changed, and we had to dig through the news to find out what had happened. (The main point of the cruise was to visit Grand Cayman.) Our 'personal cruise planner' at Carnival promised us he'd find out what our options were and get back to us. (Switching to a cruise later in the year would have been acceptable.) That was the last we heard from him, as he never took our calls and never returned our voice messages. We live not far from Tampa, so the drive up was simple, parking easy and well-priced (Parkway) and the boarding process was mostly smooth and efficient, certainly better than previous cruises. Having booked boarding times in advance is a good move to spread the load, so within 30-40 minutes of arriving at the terminal we were on board. The Carnival Paradise is really showing its age and is in need of a refurbishment. In many locations it looks dated and tired. There are the regular Carnival problems. Not enough pool/hot tub facilities, inadequate quiet areas, and the constant drink, drink, DRINK encouragement. The Serenity area was packed every day, and sometimes with under-21s. Perhaps they need an over-50s area for the ones who want some quiet. And smokers who just light up where they want. Dining was up to the Carnival standard we've come to expect on our cruises. Perhaps not quite haute cuisine, but solid, varied, edible fare that was always available. (I will point out that I have incredibly low standards and will eat almost anything put on a plate, however.) Entertainment was by far the worst I've seen on a Carnival cruise. No live band playing in the theater this time, just dancers/singers with canned music and way more skilled at the former than the latter. Instantly forgettable. In the other lounges, singers who sang flat and with limited vocal range. The comics in the comedy bar were up to the usual high level, though, and we spent most of our entertainment time there. Cozumel had some interesting shops, and there wasn't a great deal of pressure from the vendors. Costa Maya, on the other hand, was hustle city, and we almost had to beat off the vendors with a stick. If we ever were again on a cruise that visited Costa Maya we wouldn't get off the ship. Once more the jewel in the Carnival crown were the gang of stewards that served meals, cleaned rooms, and were always ready with a smile and a hello. Truly wonderful. Given all that, we're now looking at other cruise lines, and I really can't see us returning for a Carnival cruise in the future. Despite the low prices, they didn't even live up to that low standard. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
When disembarking off of the cruise ship, me and my husband summed up the trip in one word: disappointing. We have sailed with Carnival before--him one other time; me two previous trips. Both of those were amazing.The ship overall ... Read More
When disembarking off of the cruise ship, me and my husband summed up the trip in one word: disappointing. We have sailed with Carnival before--him one other time; me two previous trips. Both of those were amazing.The ship overall outdated, and had a smell to it. Many of the elevators were out of service. Our cabin smelled of cigarette smoke. Our steward smoked in the hall next to our room. If you needed to call room service or guest services--good luck getting anyone to answer. The staff was rude, and pushed drinks and sales on us. We could not walk 5 feet without someone pushing another sale, and when you declined, they were rude. We prepaid gratuities and then was charged extra gratuities--we ended up paying over $200 in gratuities. Our ports were cancelled. Our excursions were cancelled. In lieu of this, the crew had nothing planned on the three sea days. We spent the last sea day in our room because there was NOTHING to do without spending more money. This company with squeeze every dime and dollar out of you. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
The reason we booked this cruise was due to the ports of call, specially Grand Cayman. A week before we left we found out a change in itinerary from a excursion company we booked with. After over an hour trying to change cruise they ... Read More
The reason we booked this cruise was due to the ports of call, specially Grand Cayman. A week before we left we found out a change in itinerary from a excursion company we booked with. After over an hour trying to change cruise they wanted to charge us $89 Per Person to change from a 5 day to a 4 day cruise! We were reimbursed $25 for our inconvenience. The reason we were told we couldn't go to Grand Cayman was engine problems wouldn't let us get to port. When we went to Costa Maya, the new scheduled stop we still could not dock due to wind issues. There were two other ships docked. We think it was due to the mechanical problems they knew in advance that we had. We had 4 days at sea which was just too many days stuck on this ship with little to do. The pools are too small to accommodate the population. The kids activities with Build a Bear was a joke- it was just buy a bear. Dr. Seuss was supposed to be a feature on this ship but that include a parade and a story - one day at nap time! There was a breakfast but that was an additional cost. The evening entertainment was good but lasted about 45 minutes. When we tried to get some satisfaction from Carnival for this trip all we got was a run around and they act like they do not care about our criticism. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
Throughout the whole cruise we were told it would be a magical experience and so much fun. This was Incorrect. We started out very hopeful on day one, until that night when we were trying to sleep. We stayed in Cabin R94 on deck 4..... ... Read More
Throughout the whole cruise we were told it would be a magical experience and so much fun. This was Incorrect. We started out very hopeful on day one, until that night when we were trying to sleep. We stayed in Cabin R94 on deck 4..... There was TONS of loud banging, and what sounded like carts moving up and down scraping against the wall of out cabin. We complained about all the noise, they had no idea what it could be but said it was probably ship maintenance. These noises began happening at midnight and continued until 7AM................. We were giving $60 each cruise credit to spend on board and were promised that the noise would not happen after 7:30pm............... The next day there was some noise but it wasn't unbearable, we slept with the ear plugs they gave us (who would think you would need ear plugs on a dream vacation right). On day 3 there was no noise at all, we were surprised that we actually were able to sleep..... but then on our last night again banging, VERY loud banging..... my husband called guest services like he was instructed to call, a very condescending lady came to the cabin to investigate the noise....... she said "I dont know why there is noise that is a void space, there is nothing there" she stated that guest services would contact us back..... we waited 30 minutes for a call back never to get one. Other than this the food was sub par, and the dishes were dirty. You know its bad when everyone is running to get fries and burgers and not eating from the other stations on the lido deck. The food was either incredibly spicey, or incredibly bland and just horrible.My husband ordered the Prime Rib one night expecting it to be wonderful, and it was filled with fat, and was grey and rotten looking. Same with the desserts. I was expecting a magical experience, but it was a major let down and a waste of money. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
First off the ship definitely in need of updates. We stayed in cabin M127, the room was spacious but had a very musty smell. The shower was nice and hot but the exhaust didn't work making it impossible to use bathroom mirror to shave ... Read More
First off the ship definitely in need of updates. We stayed in cabin M127, the room was spacious but had a very musty smell. The shower was nice and hot but the exhaust didn't work making it impossible to use bathroom mirror to shave or brush teeth. We were supposed to have port calls in Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Grand Cayman was canceled a week before our sail date and Puerta Maya was scheduled as a replacement. The entertainment on board was not what I expected. It was impossible to find a chair around the pool. All wasn't a waste, The ships crew was extremely friendly and hard working, our room was always clean due our great steward Dewa. The food was good (not great) The highlight was the Chef's Table dining.If you have the opportunity I highly recommend it. We had purchased FTTF which worked great for boarding, our room was ready as soon as we boarded. Disembarkation was a joke. FTTF we were supposed to be first off the ship which didn't happen. They called for others to disembark while we were still staged to leave. his was my first Carnival cruise, yes i was disappointed, I will give them another try on their new ship Horizon next year in Barcelona. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
I chose this cruise as a budget trip for me & a friend. I've never been on Carnival, but have cruised several times on Holland America. About 2 days before the trip, which had planned ports of Grand Cayman & Cozumel, some ... Read More
I chose this cruise as a budget trip for me & a friend. I've never been on Carnival, but have cruised several times on Holland America. About 2 days before the trip, which had planned ports of Grand Cayman & Cozumel, some people received an email the Grand Cayman was out & had been replaced by Costa Maya. I did not receive this notification so I didn't find out until we were on the ship. I spent over 2 hours in line at Guest Services to get new shore excursions booked and when I asked why the change I was told there was a problem with the boat. That was an understatement. Evidently there was something wrong with the stabilizers because this was the roughest ride I've ever been on. Most people had recurrent bouts with seasickness, one elderly woman took an awful fall just trying to walk straight. I have been on many cruises, some in very rough seas in Alaska and the Caribbean. I've never experienced the rough ride of this trip and it was not the weather. The weather was about the only thing that went as expected on this cruise. The cabin was acceptable and clean, steward was very good. The food was unvaried - same thing every night with one exception. The food was presented well enough, but I didn't plan on 5 days of salmon, chicken, inedible "beef", unless you wanted to kick in an extra $20 for an edible piece of beef! Day 2 we were in Cozumel & had a great time. Day 3 we were supposed to be in Costa Maya - but, we're waiting for the ship to dock and - surprise - No Costa Maya! The Captain said it was "weather", but it was a beautiful day, moderate seas at best. Didn't matter - we were stuck on this lousy ship an extra day. The pool and adjacent area are awful. People sit around the pool, but no one goes in because it's that nasty. And, there is no "Adult" pool although the staff insists there is and points to a couple of hot tubs in the Serenity area. The ship is so old, the staff cannot keep the public areas, particularly the pool & casual dining areas, clean. The pool area has one Ladies rest room which has 2 stalls. This accommodates hundreds of women? Rest rooms are rare throughout the public areas and rarely have more than 2 stalls. Incredible! To say the ship is dated is being kind. This tub is just stuck in the 80's - you expect to see Saturday Night Fever on their stage - but - I almost forgot, they canceled most of the stage shows! There was no contingency plan for our extra day at sea, no entertainment except in the bar areas - and I will say the bands were pretty good, so was the comic. Overall, this was an awful cruise and I know I will never go on Carnival again and will tell all my friends, and anyone who wants to listen, that you need to pay the extra bucks and go on a different cruise line. They're the cheapest for a reason. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
I've cruised with Carnival several times before and had great experiences. This ship just needs to be retired. The engines couldn't power us to Grand Caymen so we had a new schedule assigned just the day before sailing (even ... Read More
I've cruised with Carnival several times before and had great experiences. This ship just needs to be retired. The engines couldn't power us to Grand Caymen so we had a new schedule assigned just the day before sailing (even though we PAID for a trip to Grand Caymen - I heard several guests say they read that's happened a few times before )... Weather was rough one day so we couldn't dock at the replacement port they gave us (Costa Maya). I obviously don't blame them for THAT, but it left us with LOTS of extra time on the ship... during which the elevators broke, the water stopped working temporarily, the boat smelled like a sewer on again and off again on day, several of the sinks in the bathroom were so backed up with water you couldn't wash your hands... just needs serious upgrades. On the other hand, the wait staff and room cleaning crew were awesome. Super nice, very attentive. Food was also very good. Had a great time at dinner every night. Michael was an exceptional waiter. And the magic shows by Suraj kept us amazed and guessing each night. Transfer this team to a newer, cleaner, fully operational ship and good things will happen, Carnival! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
This was my boyfriend and I first cruise. We had $1,000 gift card that we won and decided to use it to pay for a junior suite. That alone cost $1,400 in the end and thank god we got the suite. We both agreed we would have been very unhappy ... Read More
This was my boyfriend and I first cruise. We had $1,000 gift card that we won and decided to use it to pay for a junior suite. That alone cost $1,400 in the end and thank god we got the suite. We both agreed we would have been very unhappy staying in anything smaller. I'll begin by saying that our expectations for this cruise started pretty low based on reviews. We didn't want to cruise for a long time for our first time ever and we also wanted to travel to a port that was close to home. I'll honestly say all the poor reviews we read, we did in fact either experience or observed for ourselves. A perk to having a suite is the priority boarding. We skipped like 100 people and got right to the ship. Really the only thing that was a perk with booking a suite. Food on this ship is SCARY. My boyfriend who is not a picky eater (and nice) says food was "okay". I stuck with ordering a couple small appetizers that I managed to get down. ALL wait staff is sooooo snobby. I swear each one of them scoffed at my level of gratuity. So after day one I de used to increase my amount of gratuity. I promise it makes no difference to them. Our room steward also did not make our suite stay any more special. She didn't know where brunch was being served, failed to get us a wine key, or bring us ice for two days back to back. The pool area is also a very ugly place. I never once got into that thing. It's super small and will always bee overwhelmed with people in it. All bartenders are slow to make and serve beverages that I dont even see how people with a drink package can even reach the amount of drinks to make it a value. Weird smells every turn you take on this ship too. Some rooms smell like straight garbage. The reason why I found any enjoyment from this trip is this; I was with my boyfriend, and we can make our own fun anywhere. I liked this trip mostly cause I LOVED our all inclusive day at a place called Nachi Cocom. A very quiet beautiful beach where we were served beer, cocktails and food alllllllllll dayyyyyyyy! I left with a tan and a memorable day with my boyfriend. Kim Harrison is also a reason why we enjoyed our cruise. She is one of the late night comedians. Very funny women and def gave us great laughs. The 80's rock shows were much more entertaining for my boyfriend that for me. Also I liked that they have an "early flight" debark time. We got off that ship and in our car by 8:30am Next time, there won't be a next time on this ship. If we ever cruise again it will be on a much more luxurious cruise ship. $1,400 was not worth it. Be honest with yourself if you think you will really need the drink package. We thankfully found that we didn't. That's an additional $400 that we saved. Also on our last day we removed our gratuities from our account. We left cash and believe me with that level of service, we were NOT sorry we did. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
I have a lot to say but I don't want to bore anyone with too many details so I'll try to be brief. This was our second time on this ship. This time it was by chance, it worked with our schedules, where we were, where we wanted to ... Read More
I have a lot to say but I don't want to bore anyone with too many details so I'll try to be brief. This was our second time on this ship. This time it was by chance, it worked with our schedules, where we were, where we wanted to go, etc, as we live in Vermont. This is my 8th cruise, my husband's 3rd. The ship has major plumbing issues. Sept 2015 there were septic issues. This time the shower drain backed up immediately. There is another drain to the rest of the bathroom which would then flood the rest of the bathroom while showering. It was gross. We reported it twice, it was never fixed. In Grand Cayman we went on the "Stingray City Sandbar & Rum Point Beach Safari". It was reported to be from 8:00am-12:30pm according to the email confirmation. We were to be at the meeting place at 7am to leave at 7:15am. We were there at 7am but our excursion group was not called until 8:20am. We had a very quick tender and left the dock at 8:45am. So, 45 mins late. We did not get back until 1:55pm which left us no time to shop. The last tender was at 2:15pm but that did not matter: we found our line and proceeded to wait 45 mins in the hot sun to get on the tender (it was a LONG line, there were still people waiting behind us!)! Back on the ship at 2:55pm with many others waiting in port (ship was supposed to leave at 3pm). The excursion was ok. Not nearly as many stingrays because we were one of the last boats to get to Stingray City. Our tour operators did not have much food so it was difficult to get the stingrays around. (I've been on a similar excursion many years ago and it was WAY better than this time.) But, the tour guides took an exorbitant amount of time with each couple or family, taking pictures which they would then sell to you for $40 (for approx a dozen pics), delivered electronically, cash only. Drinks and food at Rum Point Beach were expensive. They will take American $$ but at the Grand Cayman rate (American is worth LESS there) so be prepared for that. If you pay in American they will give you change back in Grand Cayman currency, be prepared for that, too. We were told this ahead of time so we paid with a credit card. They also add the tip in for you.... Four drinks and $60 later, we had spent enough. We never purchased food and were so tired and hungry by the time we got back to the ship, since we were not expecting the long delay to get back to the ship. In Cozumel we did the Pasion Island Beach with all you can eat buffet and drinks. That was a great excursion and one we would do again. We were SO excited for the comedy shows but they were so late into the evening and were timed on the wrong days: First night at 11:45pm! We tried but were just too exhausted to stay up (by the way, we are under 40 yrs old with no children). Next night was late comedy again but we were in Grand Cayman at 7am sooooo, yeah no. Last night was late comedy yet again and we tried but we just couldn't hack it, we were too tired from the week. On the first day I won a spa certificate for $100 so I had a massage (my first spa-anything ever on a cruise) and was told because I won it had to be on port days. Hmm. We had excursions on both days so I was given 2 times. It was not very convenient. Once the massage was over, they tried peddling their products to me, which were of course super expensive! Not what I expected after a relaxing massage. We were super excited about the Piano Bar as we had a great time in Sept 2015. This time, there were maybe two times they had someone play in there. We are HUGE piano bar fans and this was SO disappointing for us. We met a couple on the first day who told us every day their group had a private show in the Piano Bar from 6pm-8pm or 5pm-7pm. We never saw this show happening (you can see thru the glass). Also, when someone DID play, they didn't start until 10:30pm. It was a joke. This is not a big ship and to not utilize a huge feature is such a waste. One of the two glass elevators in the lobby did not work in Sept 2015 and it didn't work on this cruise, either. We take the stairs everywhere but for those who rely on it, it's good to know. There are limited options as it is, because of the size of the ship. Most workers were not happy. We were not the only cruisers to pick up on this. In my 8 cruises, I have never seen so many unhappy workers. Some were even downright rude. The plusses: Bustomi in the Lobby Bar was awesome, he remembered our names from day one, the first drink. Whether we wanted water or alcohol, he was our guy. So personable, happy to be there, chit chat, he was great. Sami(?) in the Paris Bar was nice, too, very attentive. The Caribbean Boyz were awesome; it isn't a cruise without some steel drums! They were under-utilized and it would have been nice to see them in the Lobby area like last time. I think I'm done with cruising for a long while, especially with Carnival. I have been on Royal Caribbean and my husband and I went on a Norwegian cruise together; they would be our second and first choices, respectively. Maybe even Disney, too. We heard so many great things about Disney cruises while on this cruise, how they have separate areas for adults, and even though it is pricey it is worth it. I don't know, I need a vacation where I can relax. This was not it. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise because port was closest to home. We met friends to join us from the same distance in other direction. The ship was said to be refurbished but was not. It was 18 years old and perhaps some part was redecorated. The AC ... Read More
We chose this cruise because port was closest to home. We met friends to join us from the same distance in other direction. The ship was said to be refurbished but was not. It was 18 years old and perhaps some part was redecorated. The AC control in the cabin was located on the ceiling, requiring one to stand on the bed to adjust it. No drinking cups/glasses in bathroom, requiring one to use wine stem ware from tray in main section. No ice provided, no refrigerator provided, no hair dryer provided. Elec. system couldn't handle it we were told. Room steward was kind enough to get us a hairdryer to use for the length of the cruise. The entertainment consisted of singers/dancers 3 nights (ship's entourage of dancers) out of 5 and 2 comedians in comedy shows after hours.. One was excellent, the other was not funny, just lewd language. The seating in the theatre was uncomfortable as the backs were so low, one could not lean back. We did find nightclub type seating further from the stage that was bearable except for the poles being in way of the view. The public restrooms were few and far between, the décor being disgusting but worst of all, not enough stalls for the number of people aboard and at least one of 3 out of order. No hand towels or even paper towels, just blowers, noisy enough to wake the dead! Of 37 cruises between me and my significant other, this was the worst of all. We used to like Carnival but don't think we will go with them again. The staff was good, the food was good but the ship needs to go into mothballs. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
I chose this cruise mostly for its timing, and for its cost. The description of the ship made it sound fine. I was already headed to Tampa for a charter cruise on another line, the following week, and wanted a longer ship board ... Read More
I chose this cruise mostly for its timing, and for its cost. The description of the ship made it sound fine. I was already headed to Tampa for a charter cruise on another line, the following week, and wanted a longer ship board experience. The cost was reasonable. I had heard many raves about Carnival, none of which seemed true on this ship. I had an inside ADA room. When I arrived, there was a giant fan drying the floor. The steward was very apologetic, and guest services even gave me onboard credit for the inconvenience. Wow, I was impressed. I had not complained and as it was a new ship for me I wanted to be out exploring anyway. The door opened nice and wide, and was held open by a magnet on the bathroom door. this worked well. Though sometimes was hard to release and close. As I use canes, and not a wheel chair, this is only an observation, not a necessity for me. It was the smallest room, I have ever had, ADA or not. It was perfectly adequate for one, or even two I'm sure. (If I hadn't read that Carnival had very large interior rooms, i would not consider it worth remarking). The shower head would not stay in its bracket and actually came off and apart twice "attacking me." The bathroom has plenty of storage space including a huge medicine cabinet, The television was a nice flat screen. Though I was very disappointed not to have MSNBC. I thought that was a standard international station. I was wrong. I had to order the distilled water, for my cpap machine, from room service so it cost about $4, I am accustomed to it being in my room when i arrive, and a courtesy, not a charge. The muster drill was one of the least tedious i have attended. Perhaps it was just the stage presence of our group leader, but he made it not so bad at all. The ship itself was a maze. There was no outside promenade deck to walk around the circumference of the ship. There were short sections where one could go out, and a beautiful bow deck that I found once. There is both a USA bar and an American bar, just to add confusion. The ship activities such as trivia, were held at the USA bar which is right next to the Casino, and therefor smokey. This meant I couldn't participate in those activities. I signed up for late dinner, believing that meant: early show, late dinner. In fact it meant, late dinner even later show. I was seated at a table for 12. The first night there were four of us. A couple sat at the other end, another solo traveler and myself. We never saw the other two people again. I did enjoy the company of the other person at the table. She finally convinced the waiters to allow her friend and the friend's son to join us, and then their two table mates joined us for the final night. The wait staff was lovely. They definitely were attentive. The food was nothing to write home about. Another area in which i was disappointed having read such rave reviews of Carnival's food. Other food areas were even worse in my opinion. There was not a great variety. Quite a few fried foods it seemed. The pizza was not up to this former New Yorker's standards. The crust was good, but the sauce was too sweet for a good pizza. Also as the area was clustered, no one seemed to be around to help with a tray. (there were no trays). I purchased the soft drink package (bottomless bubbles) which included certain sodas and fruit juices. There are only two soda flavors I like: Ginger Beer (which was not included) and Root Beer, which was included. I thought I would be fine. The problem was they ran out of root beer on day 2. When I asked if they would be getting more at our port, they said not until we returned to Tampa.. (Well, the on board credit for the room i guess paid for the soda package that was now worthless to me). I had thought the "small pool" would be the same as other cruise ships small pools. No this one had been blocked off so that 3/4 of it was part of the water slide. What was left was barely enough to bother to get wet in. . . and no one did when I was there. As I generally get up early to swim during a cruise, i was very disappointed. The evening shows in the theater were all musical reviews One was very good, the others were mediocre, and there simply was no show on Thursday (day four) night. There were comic shows around the ship in the early evening and later at night. Some were good, some not so good. All were doing their best for the crowd. The serenity area was very nice. It had two hot tubs and towel distributer. The towels were gold and fluffy. A very nice calm area. There were also chairs for lounging or reading. This space was out of doors, though somewhat protected. We had quite a bit of rain on this cruise, so I noticed. The crew were great. Though they may have been overstretched a bit. I am sure alternating between four and five day cruises must take its toll on people. Overall, I will give Carnival another chance, on a larger ship I guess. (though I thought i liked the smaller ships). Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was a family cruise, it was myself, my husband and my nephew and his wife and his family. I've only ever been on 1 other cruise line in my life, and it was a great experience, this cruise however I wasn't thrilled with. We ... Read More
This was a family cruise, it was myself, my husband and my nephew and his wife and his family. I've only ever been on 1 other cruise line in my life, and it was a great experience, this cruise however I wasn't thrilled with. We had a weird, loud, knocking noise in the wall of our cabin room at different hours of the night when we were trying to sleep. It would last anywhere from 30 seconds to a full minute. The buffet's were few and far between, they closed at different hours which they never advertised so you had no idea what was open when or when some place was closed. The only 24 hour definite was Pizza, and ice cream. The dinners were o.k. it was basically the same appetizer choices every night, which to me was boring. The main meal's were o.k. nothing to write home about. The cruise on a whole was o.k. also the biggest turn off for us, and disappointment was that the casino, of which there was only 1 on the ship was smoker friendly, and people used it to their advantage, it was gross! I am not sold on Celebrity Cruise's and doubt very seriously I'll take another one any time soon. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I honestly don't know how this ship has a 3.5 star overall review. It's easily the worst cruise experience I've ever had, even scaling down expectations based on the low price. In short, I'd recommend paying $50 to $100 ... Read More
I honestly don't know how this ship has a 3.5 star overall review. It's easily the worst cruise experience I've ever had, even scaling down expectations based on the low price. In short, I'd recommend paying $50 to $100 more per passenger to avoid Carnival Paradise and move up to a better cruise. Read on to find out why. To make it a quick read and so you can focus on what you're most interested in, I'm going to break this review up into "bad" and "good" sections of the following topics: 1. Ship Layout 2. Service 3. Activities and Entertainment 4. Dining 5. Amenities 6. Final Verdict 1. Ship Layout - the bad: The single biggest issue is that practically every point of interest is concentrated on the Lido Deck. A vast majority of activities and dining options are either on or directly adjacent to the Lido Deck. This creates a crowded, noisy, impossible-to-relax environment with long lines for basically everything. The next biggest issue is the layout of the casino; it's disproportionately large for the size of the ship, sparsely arranged, and wastes a lot of space. If they had rearranged all of the exact same casino activities, equipment, etc, they could have easily added an additional venue or two on the ship (more about this later). 1. Ship Layout - the good: With the Paradise being small, there are major advantages in traversing the ship. You may see other reviews say that there aren't enough elevators and that the elevators are too slow; that's simply not the full story. Aside from the main staircases, there are many staircases scattered throughout the ship that connect 2 or 3 decks at a time. Once you learn them, you can get from any part of the ship to another in almost no time at all, so long as you avoid the Lido Deck and casino as much as possible. Not only can’t you do this on a huge ship, but you can’t do this on a small ship that doesn’t have strategically well-placed stairs like the Paradise. It also makes picking a state room much easier; they're *all* easy to get to. 2. Service - the bad: Almost across the board, the service was awful. I would say that roughly 95% of the staff and crew (please look up the difference between "staff" and "crew" if you don't already know) were just plain rude. This majority always had attitude whenever you asked for something, even if you were tipping huge numbers. They gave off the "how dare you bother me by making me do my job" vibe. Common areas were frequently dirty, a lot of the time to the point where you couldn’t even clean it up yourself with just napkins, and crew would sometimes outright refuse to clean up. Crew and staff would also frequently yell in the stateroom hallways and slam doors, despite it being 4 in the morning. Bartenders, in general, were largely inattentive, incompetent, and downright rude, with or without large tips. It did not matter. Shop attendants were outright jerks and would get very angry and ask people to “move on” when they pulled out their phones to look up prices of similar items (mainly alcohol) back at home. There was *one* bar that had mixed good and bad service, and when it was good, lines were long. 2. Service – the good: There was one bartender named Cathy that was just plain awesome. She was attentive, funny, fast, and could juggle 20 conversations at the same time. Amazing. I’ve never tipped anyone so much in my life; she deserved it because she made our trip great! Also, our room steward was overall fantastic, making sure everything was pretty much spotless, and I’m the type of guy to bring a blacklight with me. I can tell you with 100% confidence that our room was sanitary at all times. 3. Activities and Entertainment – the bad: Lido deck, lido deck, lido deck; everything is on the lido deck! Crowds, chokepoints, and chaos non-stop without a break. They completely failed at spreading people throughout the ship to diffuse the crowds. Also, every 15 to 30 minutes or so, you’d get a *very* loud, 2 to 3 minute “announcement” about some kind of sale, raffle, or contest at one of the stores, the lido deck, casino, lido deck, or (you guessed it), the lido deck. I mean you could literally be sitting at a table drinking your morning coffee, relaxing and slowly waking up, then BAM – smacked in the ears with an infomercial! I felt like I was at Walmart on Black Friday. It was HORRIBLE. They would even interrupt dinner in the main dining hall sometimes to announce a stupid lap-dancing contest on the lido deck. It just never ended! To add insult to injury, the actual organized activities, such as the stand-up comedy, hardly had any capacity at all. We had to get to the stand-up show over 1 hour early just to make the last one on the cruise. Otherwise, unless you specifically like gambling on cruises, there really wasn’t much to do. 3. Activities and Entertainment – the good: The cruise director at the time, Calvin, was hilarious and a super cool guy. His humor was a bit jarring for some people (especially if you were vegan or vegetarian, since he’d crack these jokes a lot), but it was right up our alley. He made the muster drill its own entertainment event! Also, the stand-up comics they got for our cruise were first-class. Again, maybe not good for sensitive people, but that’s part of the fun. 4. Dining – the bad: Other than the main dining hall, there was a buffet and two cafeteria style walk-through lines that, allegedly, served their own cuisine. While this was true sometimes, about 75% of the time, these walk-through lines (despite having Asian and American themes) would simply just serve whatever was in the buffet. Additionally, lines were super long and really, the food wasn’t good at all at these places. Again, service was horrible and staff/crew were always displeased to do their jobs. In the main dining rooms, crew would repeatedly interrupt your dinner conversations with sales pitch after sales pitch to upsell you on stupid stuff. Sometimes you’d even get interrupted by the intercom system during an announcement for a contest on the lido deck! There was an interesting food place called “taste” that had difference cuisine every day, but I think we only saw it open just once. It may as well not even have been there. 4. Dining – the good: The main dining room food during dinner was a lot better than I would have expected, given that everything else was pretty bad. It was actually quite good, so long as you don’t expect lobster (which you shouldn’t, on this value-level cruise). The dining room had the traditional, share-a-table arrangement, which I’m considering neither bad nor good, just mentioning it. 5. Amenities – the bad: The pool was too small and overly crowded. It was impossible to enjoy. The only time I was in it was when I waited 45 minutes to go down the water slide; you splash into the pool. Also, it’s salt water, which I consider a negative (trust me, due to bacteria, chlorine is your friend on a cruise). Out of the two hot tubs on the entire ship, only one was actually heated. Of the two fresh water showers (for when you’re getting out of the pool or hot tub), only one worked with proper water pressure. Spa services (massage, specifically) were over-priced and below average in quality. Carnival also charges for on-ship, passenger-to-passenger instant messaging with their app, even though it costs them nothing, is available for free on other ships, and improves the crowding problem of the ship since people don’t need to travel just to find their friends and ask them a question. 5. Amenities – the good: While I think charging for on-ship instant messaging is ludicrous, at least it’s only $10 per person for the whole trip; that’s significantly cheaper than other cruise lines and it’s definitely nice to have. Sadly, that’s all I have to say that’s good about the amenities on this cruise. 6. Final Verdict – the good AND the bad: Cruises on the Carnival Paradise are the extreme low-cost option, and I’ve very carefully chosen those words. I definitely did not say the word “value,” and there is a difference. I do not think the money you save going with a cruise on this ship is worth the grief you face on your vacation. There are other value cruises that cost a bit more, but they’re absolutely worth it. Considering that you can get 4 night cruises on Carnival Paradise for $250 a person, it is, in fact, as cheap as you can get. If that’s important to you, then it’s a win. But my argument is that for “enjoyment per dollar” for a value cruise, you’d be better off spending $350 per person on basically any other similarly sized ship from Royal Caribbean or Norwegian Cruise Line, each of which come with their own pros and cons, but will generally give you a better experience for the money. So why didn’t I give it a one out of five, rather than the two that I’m giving it? Well, look at the Carnival Triumph disaster, or even something like the more recent Norwegian cruise that got stuck in a storm. While the experience on the Paradise was bad, nothing went inherently wrong. Plumbing didn’t fail, we didn’t run out of food, and we stayed on schedule. Also, Cathy, the bar tender, made the trip better. So in my eyes, a 1 out of 5 would basically have to be some kind of disastrous experience, which this was not. Simply put, cruising on the Carnival Paradise may cost less money than other options, but I believe it is money poorly spent. The only way I’d go on this ship again, or a similarly classed Carnival cruise, is if it were free. Even then, considering the time I’d have to take off work, I may even pass on it in favor of a non-free, but better experience. My final thoughts: Going on a cheap cruise on the Carnival Paradise is the definition of being penny wise and dollar foolish. And that, my friends, is my two cents on the Carnival Paradise. I hope you find this review useful. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Left over 2 hours late due to "maintenance". Never a reassuring sign! We were a group of friends generally in our 40s (34 of us). Most were on the Empress Deck. My first cruise and reading reviews of Paradise, I was prepared ... Read More
Left over 2 hours late due to "maintenance". Never a reassuring sign! We were a group of friends generally in our 40s (34 of us). Most were on the Empress Deck. My first cruise and reading reviews of Paradise, I was prepared for a low bar, but fun with friends. It was spot on. Everything about this ship is hit or miss. Steward? Awesome, good cheer and personality. Bartenders behind any bar on the ship? Likely understaffed, never cracked a smile, left some people waiting for 15 minutes while everyone else got their orders. Wait staff poolside? Awesome! Again, good attitude. Piano bar guy? Did not crack a smile, wasn't going to look at or engage the crowd, and pretty much just wanted to get through the list on his iPad. Food? I read reviews, so I knew it was "meh". But it really was "meh" for the simplest things. The wait staff, while good natured, were confused. One of our 3 tables was constantly one course behind. People who ordered coffee never got coffee. Or soup. Or, you'd get a tea bag, but the hot water didn't show up. People in our group who take this cruise every year said the quality has taken a severe nose dive. Again, the restaurant staff (Elation) were very pleasant and did crack smiles, unlike the bartenders behind the bars. It really is like employees do NOT want to work there, and in the "old, tired" decor and ship conditions, I don't really blame them. Cruise directors were very peppy and personable and had energy! One more food tip. Forego the Paris restaurant buffet at breakfast and go for the 8:30 opening of the Elation restaurant for brunch. MUCH, MUCH better and the food in Elation for breakfast had taste (eggs tasted like eggs, was brought to you hot, etc). You can even order "off" the brunch menu, if your item isn't listed that day (i.e. get sausage or bacon, even if it's not listed, they'll have it). Decor? Tired (as expected from reading other reviews). Some areas are really smoky, and just spills out onto the entire floor aft (deck 9). Pool? Ok. Not great, but doable for a day at sea. TIP: Go to the Serenity Deck (on 9) - it's quiet, with very comfy padded loungers, better towels, 2 hot tubs and is adult only. In summary, I feel it was OK for my first cruise. The group of people made the cruise fun and memorable, rather than anything about the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2016
Nothing bad to say about the people that keeps you entertained, or the waiters, room service, well people in general. They were as pleasant as they could be; they truly deserved every thank you; now the boat itself has very little to ... Read More
Nothing bad to say about the people that keeps you entertained, or the waiters, room service, well people in general. They were as pleasant as they could be; they truly deserved every thank you; now the boat itself has very little to offer, maybe few years ago was a nice ship but I saw lots of things that made me take the decision of probably looking into another cruise line; the showers in out 2 cabins were horribly disgusting it saw so hard to take a shower on those back (moldy) tiles; the toilet made this horrible noise every time it was flushed and so did my neighbor's. Both pools had the old dirty tiles and so did the blue water slide. The basketball hood was rusty, and the boat itself (again) me personally think that is very out dated. Everything looks 90"s. Food was good all around; club Rex was good as well. I would say 2.5 out of 5 but in reality I think the boat needs some mayor updates ASAP. I already did Destiny ... I may try Breeze or like I said before "another cruise liner". Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise for the length and the ports. This review will be specifically about the ship and only one port of call, Grand Cayman. First the Grand Cayman port. Don't book a snorekling tour. Get off the ship, hang a ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the length and the ports. This review will be specifically about the ship and only one port of call, Grand Cayman. First the Grand Cayman port. Don't book a snorekling tour. Get off the ship, hang a right, walk 5 minutes to the first blue building on the water and dive in. 30 yards off shore and no more is Eden Rocks and about 60 yards to the left is Devils Grotto. I did this for free. If you don't have gear the guy will rent it to you for about 18.00. It's gorgeous and beautiful. I spent 3 hours plus in the water. Go about two buildings more and you can get dive gear. O.k. so the ship. We knew it was going to be old and it didn't dissappoint. In fact we laughed at how they have adjusted things with the newer ships. 1st I will say this, if this were my 1st Carnival Cruise I would never cruise with them again. Yes, for us it was that bad. Getting on the ship was very easy and we were in our stateroom (five of us in an ocean view room) it was actually comfortable for the extremely cramped space. However, the biggest complaint was our AC didn't work well and it was very hot most of the time in our room. Our ships steward was o.k. my wife actually talked to him more than I did so I really have no complaints other than the fact that the attention to little details were bad. If clothes were left on the bed, they were tossed in a corner or even laid on the bed and then had the sheets pulled down over top of them. If not the clothes then the TV remote. It was frustrating but no big deal, just expected more. Two of the five nights there were no towel animals which my kids loved and were disappointed about. The Food We found the Lido deck food to be extremely bland and the layout of the buffets were horrible. The drink stations were right there and you often bumped into people. They were not very big so the lines were sometimes long. Still it was better than the food in the main dining room. We ate in the main dining room all 5 nights because of the company we had (in-laws) they couldn't get a steak cooked medium rare and finally we ordered steaks rare and got them medium. I have never sent more steaks back in my life than I did that week. Stuffed pasta was still doughy and some food was downright uneditable. Very sad. On 4 of the 5 nights however the waiters were exceptional and apologetic for the food issues. The itenerary. The first night we were at see we were woke at 2:00 am and every 30 minutes for two hours because of smoke on our deck at the front of the ship. On our day at sea we learned that the ship could no longer maintain it's cruising speed and that the itenerary was changing. We were going to Cozumel first and then GC. But that wasn't all. The 12 hours in Cozumel was cut to 8 hours and the time in GC was cut from 8:30 arrival to 10:15 arrival. People were complaining about excursions they booked in the mid-afternoon that were now changed to early morning. They didn't get refunds if they chose not to go...at least a few of them didn't. When the morning arrived at GC we woke to learn that we were still at sea at 10:00 and then learned that the ship would not arrive until after 11 am. We didn't get off the boat until after 12 and arrived on land at 12:30 and needed to be back on board at 5. My plans on GC which included a trip out to Spots beach to see turtles was nixed. Needless to say I was a little pissed. When my nephew asked if Carnival was going to do anything for us due to the time changes and lack of shore time we were told "no, it's considered a safety issue". To which we said, "no it's a technical issue and that is not our fault". Luckily that was the day before the final day at sea so we just relaxed and packed. Honestly by the time we left GC we were all ready to get back to port and be done with it. Service The lady, Lisa who runs the Karoake, is AWESOME, such a great person and there is a deck waiter named Hahn You (I think) and he was phenomenal as well. The rest of the service (sans the guy who bartends in the Normandy lounge) were horrible. We ordered water at a show and the waitress walked away after the first two people (11 of us) asked for water. 45 minutes later we asked her where the water was and she said she other orders to deliver (we were the first people in the room). Needless to say we complained to management and filed a complaint because she actually back talked to my wife when she asked about the water. When she said ma'am we were the first ones here, the lady turned around and said "no, you weren't, shook her head and walked away". Sucks for her because I tip VERY well on cruise ships. There was problems getting ice sent to the room, room service was over an hour late with a bottle of wine for my father-in-law that we had to leave and he still got charged despite not being in the room to receive it...and no wine. We had to go to guest services to get it removed. The pools There was a lot of people crammed into the two pools on the ship and it was basically find a spot to get into the water and stand there to cool off. No big deal, it's not a huge ship and we understood this was going to happen or be a potential problem. My wife and I and our 12 year old son didn't really care but our two younger kids were dissappointed. All in all, it was not what we had expected and we will not be going back on Paradise again. Which is ashame because the port in Tampa and is very convenient. Will just have to do something else next time. If you have any specific questions I will try to answer tham best I can. I waited two weeks to write this to see if my opinion on the ship had changed...:( it did not. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise based on the vacation dates we wanted to travel. We had never cruised out of Tampa and have family in the area so we thought we would try it. We were disappointed in the overall service and lack of seaworthiness ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the vacation dates we wanted to travel. We had never cruised out of Tampa and have family in the area so we thought we would try it. We were disappointed in the overall service and lack of seaworthiness of the Carnival Paradise. This ship is older and clearly not well maintained. We had our itinerary changed during the journey due to the inability of the boat to cruise at certain speed to get to our destination. We challenge that Carnival was not aware that there were issues with this boat ahead of time and could have made cruisers aware and they chose not to. Overall that was the theme of the cruise- Carnival did not communicate or take any responsibility for the disruption . When you are a traveller everyone knows that things can happen but the lack of communication and lack of organization when these changes were made led to confusion at our ports of call and the timing of excursions. ( We went to Cozumel first and then Grand Cayman instead of original plan). Not only did we lose time at both Cozumel and Grand Cayman, but the time of reschedule of excursions was not communicated in Grand Cayman. The tender off the boat at Grand Cayman was not prioritized based on excursion time- it was unorganized chaos with an hour wait to tender. The reason why this cruise was not rated terrible was that we really enjoyed the excursions. In Cozumel we did the Jaguar Bus and beach bbq . The ecological area was beautiful , amazing beach views ( the private beach area was disappointing ).The Grand Cayman excursion of sand bar and snorkel was amazing! The staff on this excursion was informative, friendly and made sure that everyone enjoyed themselves. The staff had some bright spots- our sit down dinner staff was good but other buffet areas were disappointing. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We love to cruise but this was the first time on Paradise and it was sadly not paradise at sea. While the staff was friendly enough in most areas of the ship there were many who you could tell just didn't want to be there. The ... Read More
We love to cruise but this was the first time on Paradise and it was sadly not paradise at sea. While the staff was friendly enough in most areas of the ship there were many who you could tell just didn't want to be there. The dining room staff were nice and smiling but the food was a disgrace and whoever the chef or chefs were they should be completely embarrased by the food they serve to guests. This was seriously 2 star dining at best. The food was overcooked, bland, and oh lord how long it took. 2 hours from start to finish if you were lucky. By the 3rd day we said to hell with it and ate at the buffet. Tried again on the last night and left in the middle of dinner because our entree hadn't arrived and we had been there for an hour and a half. The guy who is at the piano bar, Clark or something like that was a real joy. Sarcasm folks. He didn't smile and you could tell he just didn't care. The other shows were low end at best but at least they seemed to enjoy themselves. It's a shame when the guy singing Family Tradition at karoake was better than the Carnival entertainment. No lie. We skipped the last night of shows because he said he was going to come back and sing more. Best entertainment on ship all week. That's pretty freaking sad. Some of the other areas were o.k. but the smell of smoke around the casino was a joke and we watched families with kids have to walk through it and when I say it was bad...IT WAS HORRIBLY bad. No excuses for this on a family ship. They do this game where you have to find all the American staff but some of the staff you don't get to interact with. You have the entirety of your cruise to find them all and someone will give you a coin or something. But most of the American are in the show...good luck finding out their names and where they are from. The bar staff in most areas were really nice but not very welcoming with smiles. More like over worked and underpaid. Some of the staff were a lot happier and it showed in their service. This particular cruise was full of issues. Fire alarms early in the morning, like 2 am early. The safety thing you have to go to was a complete joke and I will say if we ever needed to use the lifeboats I wasn't about to go to the lounge and sit and wait for my row to call because they have NO CLUE what the freaking hell they are doing. By the time we got out on deck, which BY THE WAY there was no staff person out there to tell us what to do next. They were all pretty much more concerned that all of their person counts were right. The last cruise I was on was so organized I knew right away it would be fun. The shore excursions were cut short and we didn't get to spend as much time as we thought we would because of "engine problems" as one Carnival employee called it. Instead of 12 hours in Cozumel we got around 7 and a half or so. I had to cancel the excursion I booked on my own outside of Carnival. They were very understanding about that and also said it wasn't the first time with this ship. Grand Cayman was nice but again, our time was cut short because of the "engine trouble" so we didn't get to see what we wanted to and what we did see was rushed so much. Overall it was a poor experience that I don't want to repeat in the near future. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Being on 20 cruises, we know what to expect on a ship. After reading the reviews of the Carnival Paradise we lowered our expectations. Listed below are pros and cons: Pros: - Service in the dining rooms was excellent - Stateroom ... Read More
Being on 20 cruises, we know what to expect on a ship. After reading the reviews of the Carnival Paradise we lowered our expectations. Listed below are pros and cons: Pros: - Service in the dining rooms was excellent - Stateroom steward was fantastic, as always - The ports were very pretty - We took one excursion (Amphibious Boat) and that was good Cons: - At the very beginning of our cruise, we were notified about an engine problem which changed our port itinerary. - Since this is a fairly old ship, it is in badly need of a renovation - Our room had no Air Conditioning, just a single vent which blew cool air, not cold; cool - The bathroom in our stateroom stunk continuously of urine - Constant clanging of machinery and mallets that woke us up very early in the morning - The teen club needs to be larger - More activities on the ship - Larger buffet with more food - Wifi was very slow no matter what plan you purchased, on the last evening it was very, very difficult to connect - The shows were okay, the two main singers were excellent - The basketball court was a joke, one hoop and a couple lines is not a basketball court - During the safety briefing, it took too long and we actually had to travel to where the life boats were which took around 1 hour We travelled with teens and tweens. They said compared to other Carnival ships, this was one of the worst. Our family will definitely be back to cruise with Carnival but not on a ship built before the 21st century. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
My first cruise. The ship was clean,but the food in the main restaurant was terrible. The food in the food court was better. The main pool was way below my expectations. I have seen back yard pool larger. To accommodate 2000 people you ... Read More
My first cruise. The ship was clean,but the food in the main restaurant was terrible. The food in the food court was better. The main pool was way below my expectations. I have seen back yard pool larger. To accommodate 2000 people you eyed a pool about twice the that size. Also, the need to have more outside activities like sip lines and a rock climbing course The shuffle board court was on a wood surface was cannot be used. The worst experience was thr jeep snorkeling experience . You had to swim out to the reaf and when we got there no fish or coral was no where to be found. That was a big rip off for the money, and everyone agreed. Would I go on this boat again --NO P.s. The cruise was very smooth but there needs to be pool space and on th put put course there were only a few golf balls. There were no ping pong balls a couple of times when we wanted to play. 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was our 3rd cruise...and was not a great experience. As usual, the staff were fantastic, and the ship was kept clean. However, the ship is very dated, with a broken atrium elevator (judging by the reviews, it has been broken for ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise...and was not a great experience. As usual, the staff were fantastic, and the ship was kept clean. However, the ship is very dated, with a broken atrium elevator (judging by the reviews, it has been broken for months now), with lots of ripped upholstery and broken items. I appreciate the staff keeping it clean at least, but it could use a major refitting. The constant nickel and diming seems to get getting worse as well. The shows are great (especially the 80s one), comedians were great, and the food was fine. Don't bother with the dining rooms, the staff are shortstaffed and overworked. I don't think the food is worth it to deal with that and preferred the buffets. We lost the Caymans port due to Tropical Storm Colin. That is not Carnival's fault, but it seems the Port of Tampa closes the port for just about anything, and left the port closed into midday the following day. It was sunny and calm for a few hours before they officially opened the port. Keep that in mind before departing from here. The Paradise left, and the cruise director came on and informed us we would do an overnight in Cozumel instead. We were scheduled to arrive at 6 pm at Cozumel. No problem...however, the ship had a "propulsion issue" and we ended up so late to Cozumel that we basically only had one day there. Unfortunately, Carnival did no compensation at all for the ship's propulsion problems that caused us to have a single port day on a 5 day cruise. We booked an excursion to Chichen Itza. I STRONGLY discourage booking it. It is too far, we left late, and you get a 5 minute bathroom break on the entire 8 hour tour. We also only got 20 minutes at Chichen Itza, and so we only saw about a quarter of the place. We stayed in a grand suite. The size was fantastic...came with a nice private balcony with 4 chairs. Also had a sectional sofa that rolls out to another queen bed. There is a minifridge, a tub (only tub I've ever had on a cruise ship!), a walkin closet, and 2 electrical outlets. The tub is also a jetted tub. The room was the highlight of the cruise. Overall, I would never cruise out of Tampa, would never cruise an older ship like the Paradise again, and can only hope the next cruising experience is far better. 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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