3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We went on this Cruise because the ship was just out of dry dock. We decided to try Carnival again ( we went on the Glory Carnival 2014). Our expectations were very low & we were surprised to see how beautiful & clean the ship was. ... Read More
We went on this Cruise because the ship was just out of dry dock. We decided to try Carnival again ( we went on the Glory Carnival 2014). Our expectations were very low & we were surprised to see how beautiful & clean the ship was. The staff everywhere were very helpful, pleasant & always there to help. TIPS: We had the Faster to the Fun- did get you on fast but our luggage wasn’t at the cabin on time. It did also help with disembarkment! We also had the “eat anytime” the lines were very long! ( FTTF) doesn’t work for restaurants on this ship! (Next cruise we’ll do a regular time slot) Do get the drink package & when at dinner ask for your bottle of water for your room or they charge you if you use the bottles in your room. Tell your room steward you want your room done twice a day & ask for a bucket of ice for your water.(we tipped him in the beginning of the cruise) He did a wonderful job! We also always bring singles with us! We tip after our drinks are served & you will see a difference in how you are treated. (This is on all cruise ships) Don’t go on carnival for great food! The food is ok. Nice they put the two new eateries on board. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I chose this cruise because of its very low price and I wanted to go to Grand Cayman. I was expecting an old, tired ship because the price was so low. Boy was I surprised! Embarkation was smooth and easy; there were no lines, and I ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of its very low price and I wanted to go to Grand Cayman. I was expecting an old, tired ship because the price was so low. Boy was I surprised! Embarkation was smooth and easy; there were no lines, and I heard this same thing from several folks who showed up at different times. The ship is 20 years old and in a few spots that is apparent, but all of the cabins and hallways are brand new after the refurb. They are NICE. And the Lido Deck is clearly updated, including a drink and breakfast station outside that I think is a brilliant idea. Dining is great, just like all other Carnival cruises I have been on. And, again, there have been updates to the dining rooms. Entertainment is fun and varied, as is usual with Carnival. My room attendant was the best one I've ever had in 21 cruises :) I did Isla Pasion at Cozumel and loved it. I went to Royal Palms in Grand Cayman and loved it, but I wished we had another hour or two in Grand Cayman. I traveled alone, and I'd do it again! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I cruise on this ship twice a year out of Tampa. This was our first once since the dry dock. All of the cabins I saw were completely redone. Same size, just everything replaced. (Expect for the windows, which look even worse in comparison ... Read More
I cruise on this ship twice a year out of Tampa. This was our first once since the dry dock. All of the cabins I saw were completely redone. Same size, just everything replaced. (Expect for the windows, which look even worse in comparison to the sparkling new interiors...cloudy, scratched up and with a decade's worth of caulk.) We were in Empress 121, exterior w/ a window. Other than rooms, the updated areas included some new bar stool covers and redecorated Destiny dining room. The two pool deck bars have been replaced with a rum bar and a tequila bar, both with extended shade awnings and both are now non-smoking. In fact, it seemed the only places you could smoke were the casino, part of the casino bar and a small area on the upper deck around the pool. A big improvement for us non-smokers. The Mongolian grill is now a Mexican place and the grill is now a Guy Fieri burger place. Both are very good but unfortunately close at 6pm. The other food areas were the same and still not that great. There seemed to be a whole new crew too and overall they were great. Same fun trivia nights, live music, etc. And the casino has been reconfigured to include more new slots. We did the Chef's Dinner which was excellent, well worth the money. However, the wine served with the dinner was terrible. Overall really enjoyed the updates and glad to see a cruise line cutting money into their smaller, shorter run cruises. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this Cruise because it was only five days and it went to Cuba. We stayed in Tampa for a few days before joining our American family and nine month old grandson on the Cruise. We have been on eight cruises before but It was our ... Read More
We chose this Cruise because it was only five days and it went to Cuba. We stayed in Tampa for a few days before joining our American family and nine month old grandson on the Cruise. We have been on eight cruises before but It was our first trip with Carnival.There were lots of things to like. The food was excellent and the staff great fun ( The waiters danced with my grandson and were really friendly. Adam, Tanto (?), Imade and Anthony. Orland, our steward, was great too. The Tour Lecturer was good and the Latin Show was brilliant. There were few facilities for the baby though as Under Two's could only go into The Kids Club from Eight until Ten in the morning on a sea day even when accompanied with an adult and couldn't go into a pool at all despite wearing swim nappies. That's not good enough. There were a lot of babies on board. Havana was amazing but we weren't there long enough.We could not get off the ship until 4.00 pm on Monday and had to be back on board by 11.30 am on Tuesday. It's hardly the 2 days we were promised. We booked our own excursion with Yosel Vasquez's I love Cuba photographic tours. It was amazing. I would recommend others to take one of his tours too Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I have wanted to go to Cuba my whole life, but it has been closed most of that time. I thought that my traveling days were over, but when my son gave me a Carnival gift card, I booked the first cruise to Cuba I could get. I was NOT ... Read More
I have wanted to go to Cuba my whole life, but it has been closed most of that time. I thought that my traveling days were over, but when my son gave me a Carnival gift card, I booked the first cruise to Cuba I could get. I was NOT disappointed! It was the last cruise for the Paradise before going into drydock for upgrades and improvements. I loved the ship even before the improvements. We had an oceanview cabin on the Main deck. There was some detouring for us because of ongoing construction, but it was not a problem for us except for some trouble at times finding a working elevator. The dining was excellent. We chose the anytime option because we booked two long excursions and our timeline was uncertain. We were glad that we chose that option, although one night we waited quite a while for seating. (That was okay with us though because we had no plans for that evening.) Everything we ordered was very good. I especially enjoyed the frog's legs appetizer, stuffed pork chop, and roast duckling. I had a great omelet at the breakfast bar on the Lido deck, and I especially appreciated the full breakfast that was available for us on the day of disembarking. (On other cruises, we just got rolls and coffee.) The entertainment was a pleasant surprise. We don't cruise for the entertainment, but this ship had a terrific Latin band that played on the Lido deck and in the Leonardo lounge at night. We also took in the evening show Amor Cubano, which was outstanding! This cruise provided a guest lecturer, Heidi, on Cuba and its sights and customs. She was terrific, giving us many valuable insights on what we would be seeing and doing. I heard one person at one of the lectures say that he could listen to her all day! All that being said, there were a few snags that were just the result of going to Cuba. Lining up for our excursions and finding our right group was chaotic! Because of the requirements for travel to Cuba, 2000 people were being herded into excursion groups. My husband and I are senior citizens and we were tired before the excursions even began! And the excursions themselves are not for the faint of heart! We chose the ones we thought had moderate activity, but I don't think there is such a thing in Havana, Cuba. Our first excursion was a bus tour of Havana and a performance of the Compas Dancers. The guide spoke excellent English and was very informative. The dance performance was excellent, but down a huge flight of stairs with no handrails! Our second day we did the walking tour of Old Havana. Again, an excellent guide, but he moved pretty quickly, so it was a challenge keeping up with our group. This tour included a trip to a community center and museum and a performance at the center of a senior citizens group. They were so welcoming and enthusiastic, I wished I could bring them all home with me.Both tours took us by bus up to the fort where we had a panoramic few of Havana with our ship in the port. But one trip was at dusk and the other was mid-morning, so I did not feel that anything was repeated because it looked different each day! Both shore excursions were definitely worth the money! The only real snag for us came on the morning shore excursion. Our tour started so early that we requested the earliest room service we could get. We waited as long as we could, but finally had to meet our tour group. My husband grabbed 2 cups of yogurt as we left which they were just putting out on the Lido deck, but our room service never got to us in time. I think the ship's dining crew were just overwhelmed that day! But it was a long time until lunch! Both my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and were so glad we went in February. The weather was beautiful then, but we know we would fry in Cuba in July! (We also do not cruise in hurricane season.) We will probably not be able to go again, because it is a strenuous trip for seniors. Cuba has none of the modern conveniences that we take for granted (elevators, handrails, air-conditioning, clearly marked fire exits, etc.) and although I would love to see some other places in addition to seeing more of Havana, I realize that this is most likely my last shot at it. I feel very blessed to have finally gotten there. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
First cruise for our family of 4. Ease of boarding and settling in was impressive. Beautiful pools, fun slide. Multiple sun decks to choose from. Great mini-golf. Overall fun atmosphere. Food was good, very kid-friendly. For parents, ... Read More
First cruise for our family of 4. Ease of boarding and settling in was impressive. Beautiful pools, fun slide. Multiple sun decks to choose from. Great mini-golf. Overall fun atmosphere. Food was good, very kid-friendly. For parents, not great tho. No formal dining options on this ship. Entertainment was fun and abundant, for kids and parents. We spent several evenings in the library playing board games! On shore excursion with "Fury" catamaran team in cozumel was exceptional. Would highly recommend the snorkel, beach adventure. Our state-room hostess, Phayom was superb. She was very friendly and learned all of our names the first day aboard. My boys ( 8 & 3 ) fell in love with her! She made us feel at home and was always right around the corner if we needed anything. It was sad to have to say goodbye to her. (Tho my 3 yr old did say goodbye with the biggest hug he could give, followed by a sincere "I love you!"). I'd agree with his sentiment! Thank you for all of the great memories. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I was paying back a friend who arranged a trip for me 44 years ago. We have been friends since then and thought this would be nice to pay them back. My first Carnival and only the 2nd cruise I have ever been on. I found the people were ... Read More
I was paying back a friend who arranged a trip for me 44 years ago. We have been friends since then and thought this would be nice to pay them back. My first Carnival and only the 2nd cruise I have ever been on. I found the people were much more friendly on this cruise than on Celebrity. The food was very good, our waiter was Raymond and he and his help were great. Remembered our names, what beer I drank and even brought 2 shrimp cocktails since they are small. The one thing I didn't like food wise was the flank steak. I have cooked on a grill for about 40 years and this was not flank. It was too thick and had too much gristle in it. The deserts were the best part and I am not a big sweet eater. Cheese cake was very good. One thing that stood out was disembarkation. We had FTTF and I don't think it mattered. I had a 10:45 am flight and hunted down a Carnival rep and told him that. We had been told to meet in the Queen Mary lounge and there was about 200 people there. No one ever said anything about getting off and we got in a line around 7:50 and I made it to the airport with time to spare. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We had a smashing good time due to the high energy entertainment staff. What a fun cruise! I've got to complement Leigh the Cruise Director and his staff, Leon, Christian and (especially) Josh for making this a memorable cruise. ... Read More
We had a smashing good time due to the high energy entertainment staff. What a fun cruise! I've got to complement Leigh the Cruise Director and his staff, Leon, Christian and (especially) Josh for making this a memorable cruise. DH and I loved the trivia shows, Love and Marriage, Quest and the party vibe aboard. The cover band Krakken was super! The ship itself will soon get a much needed facelift so there is no need to say how tired she is. Port of Tampa Officers get you on and off the ship efficiently and the Carnival Check In is fast and easy. We had a Carnival chosen state room this time. I prefer to choose my room as we ended up beneath the exercise room and could hear the free weights being dropped. So when trying to sleep in one morning we could hear thump, THUMP a number of times. One would think that a spa employee would stop that from happening. My guess is that the free weight area is not supervised. So no more cruising under the spa for me. We had the open dining in the Elation with different wait staff each night. All were attentive but my favorite was Ariel. I really enjoyed the food. It is amazing how the galley staff serves so many people so well. Tip: Get the steak served on Sea Day Brunch, it's filet mignon. In Cozumel we got off the ship but stayed in the Carnival owned compound. I've been to the island many times and wasn't in the mood to venture far. I shopped for Vanilla, Bamboo Tee shirts, Pharmacy items (cheap here) and used the wifi at Fat Tuesdays for the price of a drink: $4. I like that here in the compound pricing is shown in both pesos and dollars. Christina gave the best massage right there by the water. Ask for her: $35 american for 30 minutes. Plus a big tip because she was awesome. I should know because I am a massage therapist. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
4th Carnival cruise - a reward to ourselves for getting through Thanksgiving and Christmas. MDR menu selection was great, but food quality still doesn't quite make it. Trick is - order multiple appetizers, order entree-sized ... Read More
4th Carnival cruise - a reward to ourselves for getting through Thanksgiving and Christmas. MDR menu selection was great, but food quality still doesn't quite make it. Trick is - order multiple appetizers, order entree-sized appetizers, order appetizer-sized entrees, or combine appetizer salad with salmon or sliced steak. We tried back-of-the-ship dining and found that multiple lite meals (without eating any fried selections) to be very satisfying. Another trick - bring a big cup for dispensed drinks, plus you can return to cabin with a little left-over for siping on. Ship was always clean, but one of the attrium elevators was out-of-service...probably stay that way until rehab. We did Behind the Scenes (BTS) tour - only $55 now. For that you get detailed tour, Q/A with ship officers and chefs, free photo with Captain on the bridge, post-tour delivery of chocolate covered strawberries, baseball hat, and lanyard used to hold BTS pass. Very interesting to see where (and how) all the below-deck work is done on the ship. Rehab of Deck 4 (starboard side) had already begun. Based upon what we found-out, the Paradise will look very different after 4-5 week extensive rehab in the Bahamas. After rehab, it would be a great ship to do the Cozumel/Cuba cruise. The Epic Rock music show was ok - the actors/dancers costumes looked very post-apocalyptic and their facial expressions seemed very angry with continual fist-pumping during show...need to lighten-up the production a little (actually a lot). Their interpretive dance of popular 70's-80's songs was very aggressive, and not very representative of contemporary dance moves. Oh well, to each their own. They did a wonderful Military Appreciation show - it was nice to hear stories and see older cruisers receiving recognition. Didn't know that Carnival actually has a program (programs) for spotlighting veterans, but the video presented during the show included details about Carnival's commitment to get more involved with veteran appreciation. Very touching to see these men (and a few women also) tell their stories. I wish they would implement a more visible means to identify the veterans (if they so choose to be recognized). Lastly, Paradise is out of Tampa - port is very industrial and takes about an hour to hit the open Gulf. Miami is sooo much nicer, cleaner, and scenic. It's quite the event in Miami to pass into the Atlantic after leaving port. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Background: I love cruising! This was my 10th cruise on Carnival and my 3rd on the Paradise. It was a 4 day cruise to Cozumel. We had a group of 6 girls celebrating my birthday. When it comes to cruising, I’m pretty simple. I expect ... Read More
Background: I love cruising! This was my 10th cruise on Carnival and my 3rd on the Paradise. It was a 4 day cruise to Cozumel. We had a group of 6 girls celebrating my birthday. When it comes to cruising, I’m pretty simple. I expect the boat to be clean and well kept, the staff friendly and knowledgeable and there to be plenty to eat/drink and to do while on board. I’m a happy cruiser from there Embarkation It moved very smoothly and quickly. Once we were checked in there as about a 10 minute wait to board. Great experience. Ship/Cabin I believe the ship is scheduled for a remodel in early 2018. Let me say, it REALLY needs it. It is terribly shabby and worn out. We knew this going in, so it was not a surprise. It’s very dated and shows a lot of wear and tear. The cabin was dusty and I’m not even sure the sheets were that clean. My pillowcases had stains on them. The TV is a super small flat screen in a big hole made for a tube TV. I think the bathrooms on the older ships are bigger. The shower definitely is bigger. And I like that.. With that said, it was an all-girls party cruise and the room was basically a place to sleep, so it served its purpose. And true to carnival, the bed was really comfy! There were several leaks on our floor (thankfully none in our rooms) where the entire hallways were blocked off. One of my friends carpet was damp the entire cruise. We got our cabin service daily , although at odd times of the day while some of our friends didn’t get any service the entire day. Our first day onboard felt very unorganized. The Muster drill took a full hour and we sailed away late. Good thing they now do most of it inside. So we had to sit in the lounge and NO talking for an hour while we waited to locate everyone. Apparently several people were unaccounted for. (I guess that’s not Carnival’s fault)Then once they were apparently located, they walked us outside on the deck and told us to line up. No explanation about why we were standing out on the deck. i.e. lifeboats! Poor 1st time cruisers probably had no clue what was going on. We then headed up to the Lido deck for the sail away party with DJ Vinny. Sadly there was no DJ or party? Just a semi empty lido deck with no music or activities. Not sure what happened with that. It was a little dreary out, but nothing terrible. The ship was decorated for Christmas and looked very festive. It made for many pretty pictures. Also, our floor was Empress deck 7. It was so convenient as this is the floor you board on as well as the atrium is located here. Out of our rooms, down the hallway and right into the center of it all. Perfect location. Food We had the 8:15 dining time in the Destiny dining room and had a table for just our group of 6 which was perfect. They had already arranged our seating together at booking so it was one less thing to worry about when we got on board. Food in the MDR was good. There was nothing exceptional, but we enjoyed or dinner every night. (with the exception of the blue crab ravioli YUCK) Our staff was very friendly and funny. Kristijan and his team were awesome! We looked forward to seeing them every night. I was disappointed that there wasn’t lobster offered at all (without an upcharge). I thought they would at least have it on elegant night. The service was good and everything moved along at a nice pace. The first night they even brought out a little cake and sang happy birthday to me. I didn’t expect that, it was a nice touch and made me feel appreciated. I have become spoiled on the other ships and really missed the additional food options (Guys Burger, Blue Iguana etc.). Without those restaurants available, choices are limited. We usually had brunch in the MDR to start off our day. My omelets were delicious! And it wouldn’t be complete without a mimosa or Bellini. I always received my drink with a cute little heart straw or something special. I feel like all of the staff were genuinely nice and thoughtful. They all made me smile. Then a mid-day snack on the lido deck. No real healthy choices here. Mostly burgers and fries. If we were lucky the Mongolian Wok was open (I think until 2:30?). That is always a good choice. Or even in Paris on Lido we could usually find something good on the buffet. You also have the salad bar and deli. You just have to be aware of the time or your options get very limited. Pizza is available 24 hrs., but we only had it late at night. It was good but beware, once the nightclub shuts down there is a LONG line full of rowdy people. Bars/Entertainment We had a fun cruise and felt there were enough activities to keep us busy. There is a bit of a lull in activities from about 4-6 when people are getting ready for dinner or napping most likely. We had a great time with Leon doing trivia and playing several games throughout the cruise. He had great energy and was a lot of fun!!. The cruise director Jamie was cute. Didn’t see or hear much from her. We didn’t go to any production shows (not our cup of tea) but went to the comedy a few times and it was hit or miss. Piano bar was fun and Gustavo was hysterical! Hit the nightclub a few times and it was fun. The Rex is oh so tacky, it reminds me more of a strip club with its animal print décor. But it’s spacious and feels like a real club. One night was 80’s and another night was all new rap. I wish they would have mixed it up. A little pop, rap, R&B, old school etc. Then everyone would have a few songs they could dance to. I missed out on doing the quest game on my last cruise so that was a must do for me this time. It was more than I expected. They warn you if you are easily offended to leave. They aren’t kidding. We were fine and it was amusing but even drunk there are some things I’m not doing for a plastic ship! If you want to be entertained and are curious…just go! Drinks were great, we had the Cheers package and had a little of everything. Blue moon martinis, tropical mules and blue margaritas were a favorite. They also did a great job making custom drinks if you asked for something not on the menu. As an example, a birthday cake shot. They said just tell me what’s in it and we will make it for you. That was appreciated because I have had them tell me no, you must order off the menu on other ships. I really did miss having the alchemy bar, red frog and blue Iguana tequila bars. But between the casino and Atrium bar, we were fine. FYI They were strict on this ship about the drinks with the CHEERS. They made you wait the full 5 minutes and watched if you shared. And they even counted coconut and bottled water. Which to me is silly. I should be able to have a water with my martini??? One lady even wrote the number of the drink you were on, on your receipt. It was like a reminder that gave me anxiety. I didn’t care for that. I felt like I was being mothered. Maybe it’s helpful to some people? They have rules. I understand. But seriously I shouldn’t have to wait 5 minutes for a water. Excursions We knew in advance it was 100% chance of rain on our day in Cozumel. Since this was the case and we wouldn’t really get to enjoy any beach activities we decided to sign up for the ATV jungle & beach break through Carnival. We really had a great time and the rain made it more fun! It was a short bus ride away from the pier. We were all first or second time riders so they gave us instructions and everyone felt comfortable. They had a beginners and advanced group. You ride through a series of trails that have holes, rocks etc. so you really get an off-road experience. We got wet not only from the rain but from splashing in potholes and driving through puddles. Dress accordingly and prepare to get dirty! They had lockers to hold our stuff while we rode. Then they took us to a beach area that we didn’t get to enjoy much because of the rain. Otherwise, I think it would have been a very nice time. There is a pool and also lounge chairs and water activities for you to enjoy. We were there about an hour. I think they cut it a little short because we were just sitting around under cover due to the rain. Had some chips and guac and a few drinks. Didn’t care much for the food. Overall it was a great excursion and I would recommend it. It was especially nice with a group. Overall We had a good time. Staff were all nice and friendly. Our dining room staff was really one of the best and a group of 6 girls can be a challenge. They handled any issues and requests with no problem. The boat is older, but you can still have a great time. We used the HUB app and kept track of the activities and made it fun. You have to get involved to make the most out of it. I would go again, but will wait for the updates before I sail on the Paradise again. It’s a short trip and very convenient for us out of Tampa for a quick getaway. I am sure the Paradise and I will meet again! After being on the Vista in October, and then the Paradise in December, you realize just how nice and upgraded the newer ships really are. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We wanted to go back to Panama. Unfortunately we didn't port there. We didn't realize that when we booked the cruise. We went through the locks into the big lake, anchored and then returned to the locks and headed out. It was ... Read More
We wanted to go back to Panama. Unfortunately we didn't port there. We didn't realize that when we booked the cruise. We went through the locks into the big lake, anchored and then returned to the locks and headed out. It was very interesting but we would have liked to spend a few hours on land there. The trip was 10 days we couldn't Port in Costa Rica due to 70 knot winds and 15 to 18 foot seas...pretty crazy. This cruise was very strange for us. There were only 21 children on board, that was a first for us. The rest of the people on board were all over 60 (us included). I have never seen so many walkers and scooters and canes on a cruise. The comedians even had jokes about all the scooter traffic. It was different to say the least. The crew was awesome as usual and did their best to keep us entertained and comfortable. Hats off to the captain. He did one hell of a job getting us through the turbulent weather. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
I will try to do this on a day by day basis. Pre-Cruise We stayed at the Hampton Inn, Ybor. The hotel was very nice, they had a shuttle which took us to the pier and will also take you anywhere within 3 miles. We had a very nice room ... Read More
I will try to do this on a day by day basis. Pre-Cruise We stayed at the Hampton Inn, Ybor. The hotel was very nice, they had a shuttle which took us to the pier and will also take you anywhere within 3 miles. We had a very nice room and the front desk staff was very friendly. There are a few places to eat within walking distance from the hotel. The morning of the cruise, we took the shuttle to the pier at noon (our apt was 12:30-1:00). Boarding was pretty easy as we were in our room by 1:00. We met our steward (Arnold). We dropped off the carry-ons and went to lunch on the lido deck. I went to the burger station (decent burgers, great hot dogs). My wife went to the buffet. Ave CCL buffet, not bad but not great. By the time we finished lunch, our luggage had arrived. We did the lifeboat drill which went fast. We then killed a bit of time, my wife had her drink of the day. We had anytime dining which was a mistake. I strongly suggest that you sign up for a set dining time. For the anytime dining, you go to the Elation dining room, wait in a long line to get a pager then wait another 20 min to get seated. The first night was was worst, it took us an hour from when we went upstairs to when we were actually seated. The other nights were more in the 30 min range. Dining room food was "OK", they don't do the lobster tail or the filet anymore (unless you fork out an extra 20$). The food quality was down a bit from cruises we had taken in the past. My wife said she really enjoyed the duck. Since we had anytime dining, we had a different wait staff each night, although you can request to be seated in the same section (although you will have to wait longer). We ate in the main dining room 3 nights and the buffet 2 nights. The buffet was ok, nothing great but it wasn't too bad. I don't remember what time the casino and the shops opened but I don''t think it was any later then 6. The first day was a sea day, I went to the omlet station which was good as always. I have heard people mention that they were stingy on the bacon (they were). This cruise wasn't crowded so we never had an issue finding a seat on the lido deck. We just pretty much chilled out on the sea day. Roatan: They change the ships time 2x during the cruise, they change to central time the night before Roatan. The boat docked about 11:00am. It was a bit overcast and they said it had rained the day before. Other then the slight overcast, the weather was good. If you booked a CCL cruise, you will meet in the parking lot right after you go through the shopping gauntlet. If you booked with a 3rd party, you will have to leave the port compound. It's about 1/4 mile hike. My wife just went to the local beach. It will cost 14$ if you take the cable cars. My wife has limited mobility so she paid a guy 20$ to take her there and back on a trike. I am a scuba diver and I had my tour set up with Subway Watersports. They picked me up where all the other 3rd party tours left from. The diving was pretty good, although the overcast limited visibility a bit. The water was warm and the wall was pretty nice. We also did 2 small wrecks. The advantage of taking a private dive tour is the level of service. I only had 2 other divers on the boat with me. They were staying at a resort. I told the dm it had been 6yrs since my last dive so he more or less had to give 100% of his attention to me. The timing worked out well, after the 2 dives, they dropped me back off at the port with 2 hours to spare. My wife said the beach was pretty nice, she had a good time. We watched the 2 adult comedians. They were pretty good. There was a white guy Ron and a Black guy, Hank? The white guy was funnier on the 1st night but the 2nd show on the last night the black guy was a total blast. Cozumel: They changed back to eastern time on the night between Roatan and Cozumel. We docked at the International Pier. Again the CCL tours started fairly close to the end of the pier. If you are doing something 3rd party, you will have to go through a large shopping gauntlet to get to where the private tours or taxi's are. I went diving with Island Divers. Like an idiot, I paid a taxi driver $10 for a ride to the marina which I found out was 1/2 mile away ( I walked back). The dive was very nice, we had 6 people on the boat and 2 DMs. We did Palancar Gardens at about 100ft and our 2nd dive was on the Chan (not going to try to spell it), about 40ft. My wife did the Deluxe Catamaran / beach and snorkel. Her and my brother came back from that pretty lit up. Apparently slipping the bar tender a few $ makes the drinks a lot better. A warning for anyone who may be affected by this, the Mexican police were checking people's bags getting off the ship, they also had dogs. After the dive, I went right back on the ship, no reason go shopping or stop at any of the over priced bars near the pier. Final Sea day: We just chilled most of the day, I actually went down the waterslide a few times. ( I was the only 50yr old to do so!!). Disembark day. We had to be out of our rooms by 8:30 (although our steward let us keep our bags in there until 9:30) So we hung out on the lido deck until it was time to get off. Since he had mobility issues, we went down to deck 7 and had someone wheel us through line so we were off the ship and outside within 10 minutes (pays to be gimp at times). Homeland security was being a bit of a PITA so most other people were in line for over an hour. The whole operation was a bit behind schedule due to homeland security. Odds and Ends: Other passengers: Seemed to be a mixed crowd, there were some kids but not a bunch. I didn't see anyone walking around too drunk. Most nights, the decks were pretty empty by 11:30. The younger crowd may have been in the club but from what I saw, the ship went to bed early. LIdo Deck: never had a problem getting a lounge chair or a chair on the deck. Didn't see any chair logs or people 'reserving' chairs all day. Casino: It was average, it was pretty dead by midnight every night. I lost a few hundred which was about what I had budgeted. Room Service: Very efficient, we had all of our room service orders within 15 min. My only suggestion would be, if you order a pot of coffee, get 2x creamer or you will run out. Room Steward: Arnold was pretty good. We didn't really have any special requests. We only got evening turn down, no real need for the guy to be in there day and night. Entertainment: We did the adult comedians who were both pretty good. We also did the adult game show ( my team lost so no ship on a stick for me). We also participated in Quest. Overall, that night was a total blast. We did the veterans thing which I suggest you attend if you or a family member are a vet. We didn't do any of the other shows as I am not a singing and dancing fan. The Ship: It is an older, smaller ship which has it's pro's and cons. 1 of the atrium elevators was out. The ship was clean and they had already refurbed the cabins on a few of the decks. Also a smaller ship means less walking around. Luckily other than embarkation, there weren't many long lines. Usually you could walk right up to the burger station, pizza station (so / so), deli (pretty good), buffet without a wait. Odds and Ends: We rented a wheel chair for my wife. If you want to take it off the ship, it will be 135$, if you just use it on the ship it's $50. They are also very wide so it's a PITA to get around with them. Overall it was an enjoyable cruise. The only thing I didn't like was the anytime dining and the decline of food quality from cruises in the past. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise cause of the 2 stops, Cozumel, and Mahogany Bay, we felt like some beach time! The food was good to very good, the service was very good, and we had no problems with the Cruise or the ship! Entertainment was ... Read More
We chose this cruise cause of the 2 stops, Cozumel, and Mahogany Bay, we felt like some beach time! The food was good to very good, the service was very good, and we had no problems with the Cruise or the ship! Entertainment was really good! The 2 rock shows by the regular entertainment staff were really good, and the special Cubano Show they had one night even had the regular show staff who were sitting near us, standing and applauding! Carnival really upped their game this week in entertainment! The crowd on this sailing was the oldest of any Carnival ship we've been on, guess its the time of the year! Although they were older, it seemed everyone was having a good time! We had 2 nice beach days without any problems! The removal of 1 star was because of the Port, which again proves to have problems! In Tampa its always something! Last trip it was getting on, this time it was getting off! The trouble=Homeland Security! There aren't enough, and they always find a reason to slow things down in Tampa! Who ever is running the Tampa office needs to be fired! Homeland Security/Border Control(?) called for a surprise inspection of the ship, so starting the dis-embarkation was running over an hour behind. Then we stood in line for 2 hours after we were called to dis-embark, cause Homeland Security/Border Control(?) simply don't have enough people working! The last cruise out of Tampa we took, boarding the ship was 2 hours late for the same reason! All of this isn't Carnivals fault we understand, but it is part of the cruise! Carnival has a crew they can be proud of on the Paradise right now, from the cabin attendants (like Harold), all the food/restaurant personal we encountered such as our server in the dining room named Nataly, the entire entertainment group of singers/dancers, the casino hostess (Bunny), all were excellent in their jobs! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise mainly because we wanted to see the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza. Even though the ruins are amazing, due to the time of our arrival and some inclement weather on the ferry to the mainland - we only we able to spend ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly because we wanted to see the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza. Even though the ruins are amazing, due to the time of our arrival and some inclement weather on the ferry to the mainland - we only we able to spend about an hour there... (and over 6 HOURS travelling back & forth!) I would suggest people go to Tulum instead, which is closer. Our guide was WONDERFUL, but it would have been much better had Carnival supplied a high speed helicopter to whisk us over. ;) Our cabin was fine - we had a junior suite: V-10. A bit dated and the balcony was smaller than expected (2 chairs and a small table was all that fit on it) and only about 3 feet deep. Shows - SPECTACULAR! Lower lever of theater the chairs were not comfortable for us, upper level were, but you had to watch out for columns that blocked your view. Dining was good, no specialty restaurants but for a $20 upcharge, you could get filet or lobster. We did one night - and wished we just stuck to the regular menu. Not horrible, but not great. We found out on last night that wait staff do a little dance "Showtime"... they were terrific! Cruise director Jamie was the most energetic, engaging and FUN person! She really works hard to make sure everyone enjoys themselves. Our room steward Victor was wonderful as well... I did not see ANY of the 900+ team be anything but pleasant. Embarking was so smooth - disembarking was not - we waited about 1/2 hour in line to get off the ship. However from the time we got into line until we passed through customs, collected our luggage and loaded it into the shuttle bus - it was total about one hour - so certainly not terrible. Would we go again? Absolutely!! Read Less
4 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 not ... 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
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 ... 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
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Cuba was on our (husband and myself) list of places to see at least once. The trip was very good. I was a little skeptical at first because I was reading both negative and positive reviews about the ship (Paradise). I am happy to say ... Read More
Cuba was on our (husband and myself) list of places to see at least once. The trip was very good. I was a little skeptical at first because I was reading both negative and positive reviews about the ship (Paradise). I am happy to say that you should have no doubts on traveling on her. We had an Ocean View cabin and it was more than comfortable for my husband and myself. Our Stateroom Steward - Ni Luh was always available to help us and kept our room in ship/shape condition. My husband and I had Any-Time Dining and there was always availability in the Elation Dining Room. My husband spends his time in the Casino and he thought the service was excellent. I attend the shows and they were very good. The Cruise Director - Jaime was EXCELLENT. We had two Ports of Call - Key West & Cuba. Key West was doubtful for awhile because of Hurricane Irma but we were pleasantly surprise to be able to stop at Key West. We decided since we were stopping in Key West to do the Fury Catamaran & Snorkeling excursion. Snorkeling was a first for both my husband and myself and it was pretty exciting. The Fury Captain and Crew were very attentive and they made the experience for first timers like ourselves to go well. Cuba excursions were really intensive - Hemingway's Hideaways and Cuban Culture; Explore Modern Havana in an American Classic (we got a lavender '53 Chevy!). Both excursions were great! Only negative point I would make would be that the places where we stopped for our Hemingway drinks were just too small or unprepared to receive so many tourist at one time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise because it was going to Cuba, and we wanted to see Havana before you could no longer go as a U.S. citizen, or before it became commercialized. We stayed in the Ybor district before the cruise for 2 days, 1 would have ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was going to Cuba, and we wanted to see Havana before you could no longer go as a U.S. citizen, or before it became commercialized. We stayed in the Ybor district before the cruise for 2 days, 1 would have been plenty. The Columbia restaurant is amazing and I highly recommend it. We stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites and it was adequate for 2 nights. The air conditioning was extraordinarily loud, the pool is tiny, the breakfast is very good and the front desk staff is very friendly, and the security is excellent. Call for the shuttle the morning of your departure at 9:30 sharp - I called at 9:45 and the earlier shuttles were booked, we had a 10 am embarkation time and could not get on a shuttle until 11. We purchased faster to the fun, so embarkation was painless 30 minutes total, which included some clumsy extra's as the Cuba destination is new and unfamiliar to all involved. The Paradise is an older ship and scheduled for dry dock soon, but it is a great sized ship for a short cruise with 2 sea days - plenty to do. We had an ocean view cabin E79 in back of the guest services area, the location was perfect for us, but it can be noisy at night if you are early to bed, because of the atrium lounge. The ship staff is what you would expect from any ship, most are very friendly, but every once in a while you get someone who is less than enthusiastic - never bothers me as they work so hard, I give them a break. TIP - this ship does NOT have hair dryers, in 20 years of cruising this has never been the case so it was a huge surprise to me. The cabins are what you would expect although the shower is a bit larger than on more modern ships. We eat at the Lido most of the time for breakfast and lunch and it was very clean, great variety, and plentiful of course. The Mongolian wok is really good, I suggest going on a port day as the lines are usually long on sea days. The main dining room was good, but nothing stands out as far as dinner was concerned. The sea day brunch, however, was certainly worth taking advantage of! The pizza/salad center that is available for late night needs some attention, the person who worked there was a jerk, there was never any pizza available and if you wanted pepperoni, he would ask you if another would be OK instead because he had that and did not want to make another - so not what you would expect at 9 pm. The activities were the usual, nothing new here. Most of the entertainment was good, especially the musicians. One comedian at punch liners was so bad we walked out, not offensive bad - just not funny at all. We went parasailing in Key West on Fury which was booked through carnival and the experience was great, not our first time, but our best time. Other than that we just wondered around and went into a few shops and had a few drinks here and there. We would not normally buy souvenir's, but as this was the second ship back after the hurricane we bought a few things. We were back on the ship by 1:30, but if Key West had been up to speed as it normally is, we would have spent more time there. Havana is much nicer than I expected. That being said there are some extremely poor areas and some really nice areas - pretty much like most islands you visit on a cruise. Younger adults do speak English, you can tip in US currency, it does NOT smell like garbage or exhaust, the people are very friendly and happy, a few people will ask you to come into their store or restaurant, but no one harassed us - and no one asked us for money. We did the classic car tour and it was really good, and the perfect amount of time. Two tips here: when you pick out your car, pick one with a younger driver, they will be more likely to speak English and that will enrich your tour immensely. We had a very nice older man, he tried hard, but we could not understand each other. And second, at the end of this excursion, they take you to a cigar store/straw market - this is where we tipped the guides and left to go off and do your own shopping. The shopping around the cruise port (I don't mean the terminal) has many things and there are a few really good cigar shops as well. We did not eat in Havana as we spent our CUC's on tips, rum and cigars but I would not have hesitated to do so. In hindsight we would have done the 9pm excursion to the Tropicana as that sounded like a lot of fun from those we spoke to that went as well as the Hemmingway walking tour which got great reviews from those who attended. Finally, the reason we purchased faster to the fun, was to get on the ship early to get signed up for the behind the scenes tour - and I was successful. We really loved the tour and it was only $55 per person and very worth it, especially with all the extra goodies they give you along the way. The back stage and dressing rooms, laundry room, cold storage, pantry storage, through the galley to the pastry area, staff lounge and cafeteria,engine room and bridge were the areas that were visited each with a little talk from the head of that particular area - a cruise highlight. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We took this cruise to see Cuba. When we arrived at the dock a rep told us that Carnival was not sure if the Paradise would goto Cuba because of hurricane Irma. Many passengers stayed out waiting to see if the Paradise was going to Cuba ... Read More
We took this cruise to see Cuba. When we arrived at the dock a rep told us that Carnival was not sure if the Paradise would goto Cuba because of hurricane Irma. Many passengers stayed out waiting to see if the Paradise was going to Cuba or not. Our group of six headed onboard with only 1100 other cruisers. The ship sailed with less than half the normal capacity. The Paradise ended up going to Cuba. She was an hour late getting there & before anyone left the ship it was announced that we would be leaving at midnight. We took the easy Havana tour it was nice but about an hour & 1/2 too long. Saturday the Port of Tampa closed due to Irma. So our course was set for Cozumel for an unscheduled overnight stop. We docked on Sunday morning & set sail Monday at 2pm. The plan was to head for either Port of Tampa if it is open or Port Canaveral if not. The Paradise coasted at 10knots for most of the time. A slow boat to Tampa. The port reopened & we got back to Tampa Wednesday morning. Carnival was nice enough to let anyone stay on board until Saturday. We stayed as the earliest flight back for us was Thursday. People from Florida who had no power at home stayed as did others who had travel issues. About 140 passengers stayed over. It was like being on a ghost ship that night. Carnival was great they even open up one of the dining rooms. We ate on Lido that last night. So our Mysery Cruise was suppose to be four days to Havana ended up being a six day cruise to Havana & Cozumel. The Paradise is in need of dry dock. One of the glass elevators was broke for the whole cruise. Things were worn but the ship's public areas were clean. The crew was great. Our cabins were M210 & M214. Suhendri & Carla took care of our rooms & did an excellent job. The rooms need an overhaul M214 still has part of the facade from the old tube TVs the rooms used to have. The bathrooms have the old Faucet handles & many scars on the sinks. With so few people the whole cruise was open seating. But we ate at the tables with Emmanuael, Soe & Jonathan. Table 365. The were super & we saw them all around the ship. They said hi whenever we saw each other. The comics Al Ernst & Ronnie Bullard were funny. I saw Al twice. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I really feared the worst as the ship was older but to my pleasant surprise. It was clean, not moldy,or smoky. It had some of the best customer service ever. Our waiter, Waylon was great. Food was ok, it was the American table menu..so ... Read More
I really feared the worst as the ship was older but to my pleasant surprise. It was clean, not moldy,or smoky. It had some of the best customer service ever. Our waiter, Waylon was great. Food was ok, it was the American table menu..so ..Fun time! I would take this ship again. Cruiser Director was Jamie Dee. WOW she is wonderful , really enjoyed being with her. We had a port hole cabin. Cabin layout was strange. The cabin was big and with better placement of furniture would have seemed better. Bath was huge. We did the Top 10 best tour and it was a great overview. Had one couple that didnt know the meaning of be back on time we waited 1/2 hour for them, so some of the tour had to be cut short. The walking tour of old Havana the next morning was superb! Even went to a dance recital. Entertainment was great. Had a Havana deck party that was fun. The comedy club was big and The Cowboy was great.. super time. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I choose Carnival Paradise to fulfil a bucket list destination..Cuba. We were so excited to go and invited two friends to enjoy the cruise with us. We are Platinum members and that helps with the embarkation. So all went well. Food and ... Read More
I choose Carnival Paradise to fulfil a bucket list destination..Cuba. We were so excited to go and invited two friends to enjoy the cruise with us. We are Platinum members and that helps with the embarkation. So all went well. Food and service was great. Our room was comfortable and cleaned well everyday. Best mattress we've slept on during our 41 cruises. We enjoyed the entertainment venues of dance,singing,and comedians. Rained the first day we were on our excursion of Best Top 10 of Havana, so no good pictures. Second day was Classic Car tour. It was fun riding in the car but they need someone that speaks English in the car. We went all over Havana and didn't learn much because our driver couldn't speak English at all. Disembarkation was a nightmare. We didn't use our Platinum status to get off first due to our flight being at 1:15pm. We waited until 9:00 to leave and stood in line for 1 hour and 35 minutes. Maybe that will get better as this was only their 4th cruise to Cuba. Suggestion: put floor numbers on the wall at each flight of stairs. We had to walk to the elevator to see the tiny floor number because we used the stairs to move about the ship. 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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