13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This cruise was selected because my brothers, sisters and I get together annually for a memorial trip honoring my father. This was the first time we elected to take a cruise. It was the 5 day, Monday-Saturday Cayman and Cozumel itinerary. ... Read More
This cruise was selected because my brothers, sisters and I get together annually for a memorial trip honoring my father. This was the first time we elected to take a cruise. It was the 5 day, Monday-Saturday Cayman and Cozumel itinerary. Personally, this was my first cruise as an adult and I was very happy and satisfied with my experience overall. Keeping in mind that the ship is nearly 20 years old, my expectations were realistic. I know this is technically a small ship but it really was big enough for me. I never felt like there was too much of a crowd in one place with the exception of elevators after shows or events. We had an ocean view cabin on deck 7 which is the central deck of the ship and our room was very clean and nice. Our steward, Ericson, was fantastic. Kept fresh ice on our wine each day. Deck 7 (Empress) is the deck you walk onto with the atrium bar and elevators, the center of the action. So it's a nice deck to stay on. The ship has a small but decent casino, nice promonade deck with plenty of seats and places to gather, adult only deck with 2 hot tubs, music and comedy shows, family game shows, and more. Entertainment is definitely a huge positive on this ship. This trip did not come without cons, however. First off, my biggest and most frustrating complaint is with the bartender service. No matter what bar you go to on this ship, they move at the absolute slowest pace of any human beings you have ever seen. Just completely emotionless, lifeless, and in absolutely no hurry to do anything. 3 different times I left one bar to go to another one farther away because I just couldn't justify wasting my time any longer. The dining staff and entertainment staff are the complete opposite and are fabulous. Another problem with this ship on our sailing was the atrium elevators. One never operated the entire trip and the other had the 7 (empress deck) button jammed so you could not enter the elevator and reach that floor. One power outlet in the cabin - Next time I will be prepared with some type of adapter to plug more than one thing in at a time. Overall I would recommend this ship and itinerary. Maybe not on a 4th of July because I feel it was extremely overpriced but it was definitely a nice time for my family reunion, and a great first cruise for my kids and wife and I together. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We traveled out of Tampa because that is our home port and very convenient .We cruise every year and usually choose other ports because of bigger ships. There is nothing wrong with the smaller ships we just like the extra amenities. My ... Read More
We traveled out of Tampa because that is our home port and very convenient .We cruise every year and usually choose other ports because of bigger ships. There is nothing wrong with the smaller ships we just like the extra amenities. My joke before the cruise was that we were stepping down from the Hyatt,Hilton class ship to Days inn class. After reading reviews I didn't have very high expectation for this cruise. After boarding I have to say the ship itself is in good shape. I didn't see anymore wear and tear than other ships. the only thing that was dated was our bathroom but other than that I wouldn't have noticed this was an old ship. It is a small ship though and I think this is where some of the problems start. Small ship means less passengers and less crew. Carnival must be going through budget cuts or something because the staff on this ship consistently missed the mark set by all the other carnival cruises I've been on. Usually the crew makes your cruise great . Except for a few of the dining room staff this entire staff had issues. From the our stateroom Stewart who we didn't even see till the 3rd day and then we saw him when we were leaving. He did his job , but that was it. Usually we have a lot of fun with them. Bar staff was just plain unhappy. bordering on rude sometimes. Another first. Buffet staff and execution was poor. Usually when they switch out from breakfast to dinner they close 2 and leave other 2 open and have the omelet/deli as buffer. This time they closed everything but one, funneling everyone into one buffet line so it took forever and because they are small buffet stations, they have to stack entrees front and back. No problem if staff helped and served the back items to you but they just stood there and watched as you bent under glass trying to reach back items.. Didn't make any sense. Then when you did get out of line, none of the tables were cleared . This is all a management issue on this ship. Not sure if they are way under staffed or what issue is but from attitudes of crew and performance I can say that someone in upper management needs to seriously look into this ship and see why this is happening because it is not typical. Budget cuts in food is also very noticeable. Usually you get about 3 good items to every 1 that is so so. It was opposite on this cruise. It got to the point that I ordered a flat iron steak of everyday menu because I figured its really hard to mess up steak. I've been a meat manager for a long time so it's not a good thing when the steak came and I could not identify what type of meat is actually was. It was previously frozen and the chefs did what they could to save it but that would be like trying to make a gourmet meal out of spam. which is exactly what they did the next night when I ordered Chateu and the same meat came out ,cut differently and with different sauce. Very disappointing. I just think Carnival needs to be very careful on how they are running this ship. I am a die hard cruise fan and I think it is almost impossible to have a bad cruise but this ship is mismanaged from top to bottom. a lot of it you can tell is corporate directed which is sad. example : We were late leaving Cayman which happens all the time . The next day we arrived in Cozumel an hr late. ? That only happens when company doesn't want to spend gas money to make up time. So they would rather short everyone that has already paid . poor decision from a service stand point . Entertainment staff was pretty good. Calvin is a good criuise director. DJ Saxxy was not in tune with the crowd he had on board so night club was dead most nights which meant everything was done by midnight except last night. was wondering why rest of night weren't like that. Shows were some of best Ive seen. Ive seen them all before and rarely go see them now because the artists are just ok . The artists on this ship are really pretty good and I actually saw every show. Overall this was just an average cruise. the crew and staff make or break how good a time you have and they seriously missed on this cruise. I'll give them a strike 1 on this cruise. Carnival has earned my trust over last 10 yrs and everybody deserves a mulligan but if this happens again I'm going to have to re-think where I spend my money. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Chose this cruise because the port is only 30 mins from home. Found out later that all cruise ships out of Port of Tampa are usually older and smaller. The reason for this is the Skyway Bridge that spans the entry between the Gulf of ... Read More
Chose this cruise because the port is only 30 mins from home. Found out later that all cruise ships out of Port of Tampa are usually older and smaller. The reason for this is the Skyway Bridge that spans the entry between the Gulf of Mexico, and the Tampa Bay. The newer and larger cruise ships are simply too large to travel beneath the Skyway Bridge. I will say that it was really cool being up on the top deck and watching as we cruised beneath the bridge. It appeared as though there was only a few feet of clearance between the ship's top antennas and the underside of the bridge. I wonder if they have to time these departures and arrivals based on the tide. Because this ship is older, it shows it's age a bit. The rooms do not have refrigerators, and it is not all brand new and shiny clean. We had an interior room for this trip, and that actually worked to our advantage. No sunlight beaming in through the cracks at bedtime or in the morning; so it was much easier to get the kids to bed and to keep them in bed until we were ready to get up. When I booked this trip about a month before departure, I was not given the option to choose a dining time. On the Carnival website, I could not change the dining time; I was assigned an 8:15pm dining time. This was only our 2nd time cruising and we were not aware that if you do not book way in advance, all of the early dining slots will be booked. We usually eat dinner very early, like 4:30-5:00pm... so even the earlier dining option would have been a bit late for us. So we had to settle for the alternative buffets and other dining options. With all of the elderly we see out at the "early bird" specials in restaurants, I'm surprised that these cruise operators haven't taken notice and adjusted their dining schedules. I'm sure they could accomodate more people by offering 5p & 7p options, as opposed to the 6p & 8p they currently offer. This ship had a Camp Carnival for the kids with supervised activities that worked very well for us. Our 8 & 10 yr old had more fun than a Disney Cruise we took 6 months ago. The pool on this boat was so small, it was pointless. On the days at sea it was standing room only with guests in chest deep water holding their arms up to keep their drinks above water. The water slide looked nice, but we didn't bother with it. Our cabin, though small was decent. One king bed, with two fold down from the wall bunk beds for night time. With the bunks down, it became quite cramped and everybody bumped their head at least once on the hard corners of the bunk. Additionally, being only about 5" thick, the bunk beds had very hard foam mattresses that were only slightly softer than pavement; surprised they haven't put a thick memory or gel foam pad in these to improve comfort. The room had ONE power socket! Knowing this in advance I brought a power strip, a couple extension cords, multi socket adapters, etc. It looked like a mess, the jumble of wires, but we have several tablets and phones, and a laptop and they all require chargers. Which brings me to the internet... this cost extra of course, but it wasn't as bad as I expected. For the entire trip, their premium internet package was $70; but this only allowed one device to be connected to the internet at a time. In order to have our 3 tablets and 2 phones connected simultaneously, I would have had to purchase a separate internet package for each device. Instead, I brought my Windows 7 laptop along, connected to ship's WiFi with the laptop and logged in to my premium internet plan. Then I enabled ICS (internet connection sharing) in Windows 7, with the wireless connection as the shared connection, and the ethernet port as the "shared to" connection. From there, I connected a TP-Link travel router ($15 on Amazon) to the laptop via ethernet cable, and re-broadcast the internet connection to my cabin, with my own SSID and password. A lot of trouble, yes... but it served our needs well. Overall, the internet in the cabin was weak and slow - even on mobile sites. We had two stops on this cruise, Grand Cayman& Cozumel. At Grand Cayman we did an excursion that we booked ourselves online, to see the Stingray City sandbar and snorkel. This trip was booked through Captain Marvin's, and they were incredibly helpful and informative with regard to tour timing and so forth. Our ship was only scheduled to be in Cayman for 8hrs (8a-3p) so timing was critical. I unknowingly booked an 11:15am tour, and Captain Marvin's replied saying I would not make it back to my ship on my time, so they re-scheduled me to an earlier time slot. The excursion was FANTASTIC, we got GREAT family photos with the stingrays; and best of all with admission, tips, and purchasing their photo package it was only $214 TOTAL COST for this 3hr excursion for a family of four. The following day in Cozumel, we had booked the Swim With the Dolphins excursion at Dolphinarus, through the Cruise line website. This too was a great experience, but for comparison the cost was about $800 for a family of four. The worst part about the Dolphinarus experience is that after you've paid what is a fairly hefty price for this excursion ($480 for 2 adults/2 kids), they spend the bulk of your interaction time with the dolphins asking you to stand still and look at their staff taking the photos. It is more like a photo shoot than a dolphin experience. Of course they do not permit guests to bring any cameras or take any kind of photo, and at the end of your family's 30 minute photo shoot they herd your group through the chutes into a room with computer monitors to choose and purchase your photo package. To buy all of your family's shots on CD, they ask $365!!! This really left a very taste in my mouth, and I felt it was almost criminal. To make matters worse, after I haggled the price down to $253 and paid for the photo package with my credit card... my credit card information was hacked. I went to purchase a souvenir for my daughter in the gift shop, and my card was declined. I didn't have internet/phone while there, so it wasn't until I got back to the cruise ship that I saw CHASE FRAUD ALERT had sent me several texts and emails in an effort to contact me and validate transactions. Prior to our cruise, I had called CHASE and informed them of our travel plans... Back on the cruise ship after Dolphinarus, Carnival Guest Services provided me with a phone to contact Chase customer service. Shortly after my photo purchase at Dolphinarus, several hundred dollars of charges started being charged to my credit card account. I guess this was occurring while we ate at the free buffet included in the Dolphinarus package. By the time I tried to purchase a souvenir for my daughter just prior to our departure from Dolphinarus, my account had been frozen by Chase and I had to use a different credit card (which thankfully, I was carrying). Chase was helpful, but had to close my card and send a new card to my home address. So for the remainder of our cruise we had to use a different credit card. Despite these unfortunate events and the price gouging at the phot booth, we enjoyed the Dolphinarus experience and would recommend it to others. Just take the appropriate precautions and know that you will be mercilessly pilfered for photos at the conclusion. Overall we enjoyed this cruise. It was a bit pricey because it occurred during a holiday week in July, but we knew that. Our steward was great, and we were quite pleased with the experience overall despite some of the things mentioned. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
The Paradise ship was enjoyable. It is an older one and from what I understand smaller in comparison to like the Magic. Met people who sailed this cruise many times and really liked it. Our cabin was roomy and was good but we spent most ... Read More
The Paradise ship was enjoyable. It is an older one and from what I understand smaller in comparison to like the Magic. Met people who sailed this cruise many times and really liked it. Our cabin was roomy and was good but we spent most of our time out of the room doing things on the ship. We liked the nightly shows, comedy clubs, karaoke and casino. Our service was responsive to request and kind. The workout center was amazing and I was able to work out 3 times on the ship. I would like to have had a bigger pool for the number of people on the ship but those in the pool enjoyed themselves. We liked the adult area but would liked more umbrellas available to us. My adult children 18 & 19 enjoyed themselves on the cruise. They spent their time with their cousins. Our time in Cozumel was spent shopping and then at Paradise Beach. Excellent day. Loved Cozumel. The food for breakfast and lunch at the buffet were good. We found for dinner the best items on the menu were the appetizers. Overall a good experience and would recommend it for large families for reunions. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We were on a 5 day cruise leaving from Port of Tampa. We sailed on Carnival Paradise. Have your luggage tagged and ready to go when you arrive for embarkation. The elevators on the ship were so busy and one was apparently not working. You ... Read More
We were on a 5 day cruise leaving from Port of Tampa. We sailed on Carnival Paradise. Have your luggage tagged and ready to go when you arrive for embarkation. The elevators on the ship were so busy and one was apparently not working. You get your exercise in. The ship is older and it shows. My biggest disappointment was the pools on the ship. There was only one larger pool that had to be shared with the waterslide. There was a total of 2 "larger" pools for 2000+ folks and one kiddie pool that was smaller than a inflatable kiddie pool. Do not book on this cruise ship if hanging out a pool is your thing. We had interior cabin and it was small but fine. Service was exceptional in our cabin. We had Ronino and he was absolutely awesome. Shows were good. Recommend the comedy club and the trivia. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
The crew was amazing. Checkin/sailing was easy. Cabins were good and clean and service was excellent. Not enough good entertainment, considering you're at Sea a lot. Lots of "spa" seminars. Seriously??? Boring! The crew ... Read More
The crew was amazing. Checkin/sailing was easy. Cabins were good and clean and service was excellent. Not enough good entertainment, considering you're at Sea a lot. Lots of "spa" seminars. Seriously??? Boring! The crew director was very funny but he seemed to have issues. Not outwardly friendly yet very funny when it came time to perform and do his job. Not very tasty food and the food stations were limited and few. Confusing layout of ship. Slow elevators. The only place to tell what floor you were in was the elevator number. Poor layout of floor numbers/ Not enough toilets and 99% of the time one stall was broken. Sometimes no toilet paper. Everywhere I turned passengers were complaining about the ship, food and entertainment. Pools/hot tubs were always crowded with noisy teenagers. Gym was great. Steam room and spa was not at it's best. This was our 2nd Carnival cruise and definitely our last. The Staff was beyond amazing! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was my very first cruise and I really wasn't sure what to expect. I went with my 2 teenage children, my sister and my teenage niece. My sister and niece have cruised on Carnival before (on a larger ship and loved it). We ... Read More
This was my very first cruise and I really wasn't sure what to expect. I went with my 2 teenage children, my sister and my teenage niece. My sister and niece have cruised on Carnival before (on a larger ship and loved it). We got 2 interior staterooms and to he honest, while the decor was outdated, I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the rooms. Our stateroom steward (Arthur) was fantastic. He cleaned up after 3 teenage girls everyday (for that alone, we tipped him extra). We had fresh towels in our room multiple times every day, the trash was always empty and the beds were either made or turned down every time we entered the room. The shower was larger than expected. The water pressure was good the entire trip. There was a fine line between hot water and 3rd degree burn scalding your skin water...just had to play with the temperature to adjust it just right. The dining staff in the Elation Dining room was hit or miss. 2 nights we had excellent service but the remainder of the trip it was definitely lacking. We attended 1 Sea Day Brunch and honestly, we could of skipped it. The service was horrible and the food took forever. Once we got the food, it was cold and the server never even returned to check on us, let alone refill our drink glasses. We ended up leaving and going to the Lido deck to the buffet. The buffet food wasn't anything to write home about but it was edible and after a long day out in the sun, a nice salad or a ice cream cone always hit the spot. Of course, you always had to fight a line every time you went. We were lucky to grab a buffet lunch and get a table outside one day and eat while watching the ocean just go by. Very relaxing. The food was also hit or miss. I has some fantastic sea scallops and blue crab ravioli in a vodka sauce and some rather nasty eggs benedict and disgusting roasted chicken. One day we were served a chocolate melting cake that was literally, chocolate syrup, the next night, the same dessert was a firm warm chocolate cake. Very inconsistent. Getting a lounge chair was not a problem but the pools and hot tubs stayed packed so trying to get into one was almost impossible. We tried to get onto the Serenity Deck on 3 separate occasions but it was always crowded and we could never find a spot. I'll be honest, Serenity's location, hidden on the back of the ship, doesn't leave it open to a breeze and it gets rather hot back there. I'd almost rather sit on the top deck with the large crowd, were at least, I can get a breeze flowing. Since we cruised for my birthday, my sister and I decided to treat ourselves to massages in the spa. While they were definitely good services, they were way over priced (I know, typical of a cruise ship spa). We were stupid tho and booked on our first day, only to learn that they begin to offer really large discounts on days 3 and 4. We went to the comedy shows (both PG and 18+) and they were both fairly funny. The one comedian used a bit of the same material at each show and was a bit risque (even for the PG show) but the other one was fresh with each show. They also had a live HASBRO game show. It was nice family fun entertainment. My only complaint with it was that they broke it into 2 sessions with the 2nd session being in the middle of the day. Definitely should of been an early evening show like the first session. Leaving the comedy club you will pass by the casino, I am not a smoker and I feel so bad for anyone who has a room anywhere near this casino because the smell is horrible. It is so strong that I didn't even want to go inside and check it out. As soon as you come onto that floor you can smell the stale smoke. They definitely need better ventilation. The first port we visited was Grand Cayman. Can I just say I would live on Seven Mile Beach and rent beach chairs with the locals if I could! I LOVE it there! We bought and excursion to the Turtle Farm because the kids wanted to see the turtles. It really wasn't that expensive. It was really cool that they got to hold the turtles but they loved snorkeling with them. We left the turtle farm early and jumped into the public bus for $2.50 per person, we had them take us to Seven Mile Beach. I was in HEAVEN! Locals will approach you and try to rent you chairs and umbrellas, sell you food or braid your hair, we just politely told them no we didn't have much time and we weren't interested. We got to stay at the beach about 2 hours before we walked back to where the bus (actually the public bus is more like a van) and hopped back on the bus for it to drop us off back at the port. I would of loved more time in Grand Cayman. It is a beautiful island. The next day we arrived in Cozumel. We didn't purchase am excursion for this port. We just got off the ship, walked to the end of the pier, past all the shops and got in line for a taxi. The line was long but it moved quickly. It was $21 for 5 of us to go to Paradise Beach. $3.00 entry fee per person gets you access to the beach and pool plus chairs and umbrellas. There are numerous water inflatables in the water for the kids to bounce on and climb, access to those are and extra $18.00 per person (also includes paddle boarding.kayaking and snorkeling). We let the kids do the banana boat ride at an $15 per person. They expect you to spend $10 per person on food but honestly, no one is really checking. However, we did eat here and they food was pretty good. I did have a few issues, 1. The beach is really rocky, you can really only enter and exit in 1 section without stepping on old coral. 2. It was extremely busy the day we went so the water wasn't as clear as I expected it to be, 3. The same taxi ride back to the port cost $30 instead of $21. The driver said something about it being a "peak time". Not sure I believe that, or just the fact that he saw 5 women he wanted to get a few extra bucks out of. Overall, it was a nice family vacation. We got to visit 2 beautiful places for a fairly descent price and made some awesome memories. I will cruise again, however, I think it will be on a newer, larger ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This is our second cruise in 2 months. We loved the last one so much that my husband and I decided that we needed a much needed "Honeymoon Redo". So what it wasn't anywhere near out anniversary which is in the middle of ... Read More
This is our second cruise in 2 months. We loved the last one so much that my husband and I decided that we needed a much needed "Honeymoon Redo". So what it wasn't anywhere near out anniversary which is in the middle of hurricane season. So now we went. I will start with the bad-the boat, UGH! It is old it is broken down and it needs help and love. The public bathrooms throughout the ship were in bad shape, counters were missing their facing, out of supplies and broken. No one wants to see moldy particle board on the counter. The lounge chairs all over the boat were stained and old and needed to be replaced. Paint all over the boat was coming off railings, walls, it looked like there was no one taking care of things. More bad, the cruise director-Calvin. I heard him talk about nothing but hot dogs and CostCo. who does that? He seemed lazy and we rarely saw him. Nothing like the last cruise director, I guess thats what happens when your last one is so over the top amazing, the next one seems lame. And that he was! On to the excursions, one was ok and the other was over the top blow your socks off amazing. Grand Cayman's Land and Sea Tour-It was ok the other people on our bus really had an bad impact on the bus. The submerged boat ride was neat, saw some cool fish and a few ship wrecks. Rum cake store was crowed, good cake but $$$ we bought a small one. Hell was weird, I like rocks and geology so I liked the rock formation the area around it was very strange though, very memorable though. Plenty of iguanas and neat birds here, if you are a bird watcher this is a great place. Sea turtle farm was great, agin people on the bus cause issues, they were rude and didn't care what the guide was saying and he was very annoyed and so where we. The guide was great, he showed is a good portion of the island by bus so we were able to see some of the resorts and beaches as well. Cozumel's excursion was so much fun, it was a little on the pricey side at $89 but it included a speedboat ride, food and all you can drink. The excursion was the Twister Boat to Isla Pasion. The boat staff was great, the island staff was great and we had the best day ever. I highly recommend this excursion. Plus you get to the island 30 minutes before the bigger boat and your choice of seating. We had 2 lounge chairs and a table with 2 chairs to eat at. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
It was the only cruise that fit when we could get off work. We selected to try this cruise as we have been to both Grand Cayman and Cozumel before. The ship is very small and we was disappointed that the fun ship 2.0 hadn't been ... Read More
It was the only cruise that fit when we could get off work. We selected to try this cruise as we have been to both Grand Cayman and Cozumel before. The ship is very small and we was disappointed that the fun ship 2.0 hadn't been implicated on this ship. The dining room was a total disappointment. The menu wasn't even worth the effort on 3 of the nights. The deli was very good. The excursion we chose on Cozumel was to buy from the boat and go to the XPLOR park. We definitely are glad we did. They got us off the boat at 10am and we got back with just 30 minutes before sail away. We had the best time at the park and was able to Zip Line, Swim, Drive adult Go Carts and paddle through the caverns. There was a Buffet that was included that was much better than the food on the ship. On Grand Cayman we chose to do the turtle farm on our own, which we found out after the fact that it cost us about $10 more than if we'd just purchased it through the ship. My wife thoroughly enjoyed snorkeling with the sea turtles, holding the smaller turtles and going through the aviary. There was a fresh water lagoon that had a water slide, but we didn't take advantage of it. I would rate this cruise a 8 out of 10, with the ship getting a 4 and our two excursions getting a 10 each. The 8 was taking the average of the 3. The ports are what made this cruise worth anything. Carnival really needs to look at the menu on the shorter cruises as we've been on several 7 to 10 day cruises and the food was much better. The crew did amazing jobs with what they had to work with on this small boat. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We went with a group of friends, 8 in total. This was our first time on Carnival. Getting on the ship was quick and easy and our rooms were ready when we got on the boat. The ship was outdated but no major problems. Cabin was clean ... Read More
We went with a group of friends, 8 in total. This was our first time on Carnival. Getting on the ship was quick and easy and our rooms were ready when we got on the boat. The ship was outdated but no major problems. Cabin was clean and the steward kept them up very well. There was a lot of food outside of the cabins the last night and still there the next morning, that's not acceptable. Food was great but the service was nothing extraordinary, pretty sure our head waiter didn't smile until the last night. I do not enjoy having to wait on my food so the servers can dance, most of them just looked uncomfortable and unhappy about having to sing and dance. The deli/sandwich station is everything you have heard about and more! We couldn't watch many of the shows because we had the late dining and they all started before we could even get dinner finished. Hated the liars show, not funny at all, the cast seemed a little drunk, especially the CD. I did enjoy the marriage show, its always a riot. Cozumel was nice and clean and the excursion was fun. The trivial was so so, they need to have someone proofread their questions and answers. Some were wrong and some had multiple answers. Need to start swapping papers to verify answers, saw many people cheat, clearly the honor system does not work. Overall a good cruise for a quick getaway. I might go again if they update the ship but I prefer longer cruises. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was only our second cruise, our first one being on Disney Cruise Line. I choose this cruise because it fit into our families time frame, we wanted to try a non Disney ship and also the price. The ship is looking a little tired and ... Read More
This was only our second cruise, our first one being on Disney Cruise Line. I choose this cruise because it fit into our families time frame, we wanted to try a non Disney ship and also the price. The ship is looking a little tired and due for a refurb. We had a few problems on board but nothing the couldn't be or wasn't rectified. The room steward was great as was the dining staff. The dining room food was ok but nothing that knocked my socks off. The buffet on Lido deck was pretty good as was the pizza. The 3 of us that went did have a good time overall but after being on Disney Dream we weren't wowed by the food on the ship or the overall cleanliness. What we did like was the casino, the disembarkation was more relaxed with less of a rush to get rid of you. My son loved club carnival and the salt water pool at the back of the ship. The little things is what we noticed being different between Disney and Carnival. Empty bowls of food were left lying around on seats in non food areas, ash trays were always full with no sign of anyone coming to empty them, rust on the inside part of the pool. Although we did have a good time overall, the ship left us with a feeling of been on Carnival, time to try another non-Disney Cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian or Princess. Read Less
63 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We are an engaged couple, 29 and 27 years old for reference. We got on the ship very easily, and were told that our room was already all set up and waiting for us, since we were 'guaranteed' sailors on the bottom deck ... Read More
We are an engaged couple, 29 and 27 years old for reference. We got on the ship very easily, and were told that our room was already all set up and waiting for us, since we were 'guaranteed' sailors on the bottom deck (Riviera) we were pleasantly surprised. Went to our small interior room, the style is dated a bit, but nothing obnoxious. The room was very clean, and always felt that way the entire time. We got unpacked and of course headed to lunch, like everyone else, but didn't have to wait too long to get a burger and a drink. Overall the food was fine. We are big foodies and usually cruise Holland America even though we are younger just for the lack of children and higher quality food, but this was a last minute trip for us. The dinners and sea day brunches in the dining room were a 6.5ish/10, very slightly better than going out to something like longhorn steakhouse etc, but with much better service. The Paris (buffet) food was akin to private high school lunches, ranging from crappy pizza, to ok pressed sandwiches to pretty darn good stirfry. The first evening was chilly out of tampa, but I wanted to be on deck to watch us go under the Skyway bridge (for anyone wondering, that is why larger cruise ships don't service Tampa, they have to fit under it) and man, we *barely* made it, kind of cool. The hot tubs filled up fast with bros from UF and FSU, so get there early if you want space and it's cold out. The next day was a sea day and we got up early. I wanted to hit the casino, and check out our ship. We just enjoyed the day, and took a good liking to the serenity deck where it could be hard to find a spot, but it was great once you got settled in. Carnival says they have a policy about people leaving their stuff on a chair for 40+ minutes and just leaving it, but we didn't see that enforced, and 40 minutes is too long in my opinion. The double hot tubs on the Serenity deck were rarely super full. The brunch was very good, steak and eggs, and eggs Benedict, though I did find the menu to be a bit mocking in a weird way, like how it said under the eggs *Only Americans would name eggs after some guy named Benedict* or the section on the dinner menu that said *the food you always wanted to try but were too afraid to* and had sushi listed. That night was formal night. Many people dressed fine, but it tended to be more of a prom night with misfitting suit jackets on guys who were only wearing a button down to try to impress the girls. The dinner staff was great and did know our names each time, but even though we had a set dining time, we never really felt like they got to know us, or us them, since there were 3 people in charge of our table. The second full day was at Grand Cayman. If you want to go diving/snorkeling DO NOT do an excursion. We got off the boat and walked 10 mins down from Margaritaville to Eden Rock Dive Shop. It was Very easy and hands off, 15 bucks per person got you the snorkel gear and fins, with or without a float vest and a locker, and you just jump right into some of the best reef off the rocks. We saw a couple small sharks, a TON of colorful fish, and a sea turtle! Then as soon as we were done, we showered up at their place and headed back to the boat for a late lunch. The third day was at Cozumel, and since we had the beginnings of spring break on our ship, we opted out of Mr Sancho's and instead went to Occidental Resort. I found it on Resortforaday.com. They encourage you to book ahead of time but we didn't and figured they wouldn't turn our money away if it's what we wanted to do, they didn't. The taxi was 18 bucks (1 more than going to Mr. Sancho's) and we paid $60 per person for unlimited drinks/buffet food use of 2 pools and private uncrowded and quiet beach. Plus use of kayaks and sailboats for free. Unfortunately we didn't get to use them since it rained for 3/4 of our time there, we did use the bar enough to make up for it though! That night we played blackjack a bunch and made some friends, and after playfully asking the pitboss for a tshirt after getting blackjack 3 times in a row, she bought us each a drink even though we were far away from having enough 'points' to get them the usual way. That kind of service really stuck out to us. The last full day was at sea again, and we got up early did the brunch again, and just had a great day reading in the sun and sitting in hot tubs, trying to make up for our less than sunny beach day the day before. Super relaxing. We went to the spa, my fiancee got her nails done and I got a shave/facial and scalp/arm/neck massage, it was my first time getting skin stuff done and guys, do it. Really. I swear the ladies make it seem girly so we don't clog the place up, but it is NICE. We did a bit of trivia, and saw both 18+ comedy shows late into the evening. The comedy club is sponsored by George Lopez, and I get it, they exchanged money somewhere for the name, but it felt really shoehorned in. One of the comics was really much more low brow, lots of poop jokes and stories about his dad beating him, which I guess people liked? The other guy, Tim Young, was much funnier, and we really had a great time. The morning of disembarkation was easy too despite the crowds. We just grabbed food and sat in the library waiting our turn, reading our books, got off and walked right out. Our bill was correct, and everything went smoothly. Overall we had a great time! We noticed many little things that we missed from Holland America, but nothing was big or bad enough to ruin anything. Don't go looking to complain and you'll have a great time too! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Me, my wife, and my son decided to take a bit of an impromptu cruise since we were going to be back in our old stomping grounds of Tampa. And since we lived in Tampa for so long, it was always very easy to take a cruise basically ... Read More
Me, my wife, and my son decided to take a bit of an impromptu cruise since we were going to be back in our old stomping grounds of Tampa. And since we lived in Tampa for so long, it was always very easy to take a cruise basically whenever we wanted. And that meant it was usually Carnival. Since our son was born, we have had a cruise dry spell. But this was a good opportunity, and we thought we would try out a short one to see how a toddler would take to it. If you want to read about the perspective of taking a toddler on a cruise, I'll save that for the flyinglad.com blog. This will me more focused on the cruising itself. And rather than rehash the same things that are said over and over again, I'd like to point out how Carnival is taking cost cutting measures and how it affects the cruise experience, especially for past cruisers who are used to certain things. EDIT- I understand the longer cruises still offer some of these things Dining - In the past there was always the lobster night. And of course you'll hear about beingly able to eat 5 lobsters in one sitting. Same with steaks. That is no more. There is a $20 upcharge PER SITTING if you want lobster, steak, or 1/2 of each. The service in the dining room as really fallen off. It's not terrible, but it's not the over the top service you may have become used to. Heck, I couldn't even tell you who the Maitre D was. In the past they were always the most entertaining, charismatic people on the ship (See George the Greek). The kind of person you wanted to talk to and hang out with. Buffet. They seem to be understaffing it on purpose. This slows down the amount of people they can handle and people get tired of waiting. Seuss at Sea. This is a new thing, and a great offering for little ones. I don't really have any issues with this other than the food, as was all the food on the ship was lacking. Oh, and the green eggs from the green eggs and ham plate looked horrible. Like a dark green scoop of scrambled something. Take pride in your food even if it's for children. And the cereal crusted french toast was apparently a random cereal. Not corn flakes, or any one thing. The person next to you could have lucky charms vs your cheerios. Pizza pirate. 24 hours? I'd say the pizza server was MIA for 23.5 of them. If you could get a pizza, it was still pretty good. Faster to the Fun. You're supposed to get your bags before anyone else. I got one of my bags early. The other one, I think may only be considered to have been faster if it were going on the next cruise. It was just about the last bag ever. And of course it was the most important one. Cabin steward. Who? Where? We ordered some things to be delivered to the room for our anniversary. Those never arrived, and they couldn't find anything showing that I had ever ordered anything. When I got back I looked at my credit card statement to see that I had indeed purchased them, only to have them refunded a day later. Without anyone notifying me as to when or why. Carnival now automatically charges gratuity to your account. No longer can you pay them yourselves or pay what you think you should (unless you go have the charges removed), it automatic. It seems like the staff is not getting raises, so Carnival is having people automatically pay their chooses amount for tips. And from this experience they no longer deserve the sort of tips we gave in the past. But I paid it anyways. The ship. I know it's an old ship, and I know not to expect the world, but the usual wear and tear on the ship and the sorts of things you wouldn't see in the past are starting to slip through the cracks. Loose screws, furniture coming apart, things falling off of walls, etc. The water thing. Is another way of recouping some funds for Carnival. No longer can you bring your own water, but you have to pay for theirs. It's not enormously expensive, but it's another knock against what we are accustomed to. You can still bring one bottle wine per of-age drinker though. For now. Now I know this comes off as a negative review, but really it's a "be forewarned past cruisers" review. If you know you're getting a cheap, and it is cheap cruise and have low expectations, it's still a fun time especially if you don't know better. But if you're a seasoned cruiser you're going to be let down and unlikely to take a shorter cruise again (since apparently the longer cruises still offer premium services). I even won the slot tournament, but opted not to go on the final tournament cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Originally we were scheduled to sail on the Carnival Triumph out of New Orleans. Due to our daughter getting a Disney Internship job in Florida, we switched ships and sailed on the Carnival Paradise out of Tampa. Check-in went fairly ... Read More
Originally we were scheduled to sail on the Carnival Triumph out of New Orleans. Due to our daughter getting a Disney Internship job in Florida, we switched ships and sailed on the Carnival Paradise out of Tampa. Check-in went fairly smooth. We purchased the "Faster To The Fun" package which I do recommend. It got us onboard a few hours before everyone else and there were some other perks during the cruise. The only issue we had was that I bought a Carnival gift card to use as spending money. I called Carnival previously to see if this could be put on our onboard account and was assured that wouldn't be an issue. After about 30 minutes and several people later, they figured out how to add it to our account. They were very pleasant so we weren't too upset. The ship is one of Carnival's older ships, but it wasn't too bad. It was clean and well-maintained. I had read that there was a smokey smell on another review, but we never smelled it. A few days before we left for our cruise, Carnival called and asked my husband if he would like to upgrade to a junior balcony suite for an extra $350. At the time, we had an ocean view room, so we decided to upgrade. it was a nice room and the balcony had a great view, but their definition of a junior suite is a bit exaggerated. The room wasn't really any bigger than other rooms on the ship, but it had a balcony so I'm not complaining. We had decided beforehand not to do any excursions. Originally this was a cruise for myself and my husband, but we ended up taking our 16 year old son with us. (He had recently become involved with his first girlfriend and we were a little reluctant to give him access to an unsupervised house. Our older daughter was supposed to be there, but got the Disney job so we decided it was in our best interest to take him with us. :) ) The room had a king size bed and a fold out couch. There was plenty of storage for our bags and a lot of cabinet space. If I remember correctly, this was one of the perks to the junior suite. We had no problems with the room at all. Our cabin steward was very nice and always had the room done on time. Together, this was our third cruise together. I had been on two previously. We sailed on the Carnival Valor and on Royal Caribbean's Oasis Of The Seas. Due to the cost and the fact that we had an excellent experience on the Valor, we decided to book with Carnival this time. Our cruise director, Brandon, was awesome and was really involved with the guests. He was always out and about chatting it up with the guests and encouraged everyone to take a selfie with him. On my previous cruises I had not seen that. We only saw the cruise director occasionally and honestly, they weren't overly friendly. Brandon was great. I can't remember his last name. All I remember is that he is from Canada. The food on the Paradise was average. It wasn't horrible, but definitely the worst that we have had. We primarily ate at the buffet since we planned on just having a very relaxing cruise. We only ate in the dining room one time and we were not impressed with the food there as well. I'm not saying the food was bad. It reminded me of a Golden Corral type buffet, although I have to say Golden Corral is sometimes better. The entertainment was very good. Their shows were well rehearsed and thoroughly enjoyed them. There were two comedians that were pretty good. For the life of me, I can only remember one of them, John Wesley Austin. He was very funny. We went to Cozumel and Grand Caymen on our cruise. We just got off the ship and did some shopping and then returned to an almost empty ship to spend the day. It was great to be able to sit wherever you wanted at the pool! Both cities were nice and clean and we had no problems at all. The one thing about the cruise that took my rating from a 4 to a 3, was the lack of gift shops. There are two gift shops on board. I always buy a t-shirt and other ship souvenir type things on cruises. BOTH shops were closed during our cruise for a complete renovation. They would sell emergency type supplies (toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, etc) in the hallway outside every night. When I asked when the shops would open, I was assured that they would open the next day. They never did open. I do not get why they had to renovate both shops at the same time. How about do one shop one week and the other shop the next week. Oh well! Carnival probably lost at least $100 from me and I am sure from many other passengers. Not a smart thing to do. Overall, we had a good time, but I doubt we will travel on the Paradise or her sister ships anymore. I still plan to sail with Carnival in the future though, (I have booked a trip with my daughter for October 2017 on the Triumph). I hope this review was helpful. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We recently returned from a cruise from Tampa to Cozumel on the Carnival Paradise (2/11 – 2/15). We are fairly new to cruising, having taken two cruises prior to this, both on Celebrity. Having said that, below are my observations: ... Read More
We recently returned from a cruise from Tampa to Cozumel on the Carnival Paradise (2/11 – 2/15). We are fairly new to cruising, having taken two cruises prior to this, both on Celebrity. Having said that, below are my observations: Pro’s: Convenience – The cruise terminal is a short drive from our home in St Petersburg, FL Excellent staff – The entire Carnival staff was friendly, competent, and always eager to provide the best possible experience. Ease of Access – As this is a smaller ship, we felt that we had very easy access to elevators, embarking/disembarking etc. Con’s: Cheer’s Drink Package – Very cumbersome to have to sign sales slips each time we ordered a drink. The package should allow seamless ordering without the additional documentation. Also, we noted on day 2 of the cruise that a double shot was and additional charge of $3.00. As the total cost with the shot was well within the $10.00, we felt there would be no issues. However, we were denied the drink, after the bar tender had already poured them! We were told that each shot was counted separately, and since the Cheers package had a 5 minute minimum between drinks orders we could not have them. When we offered to pay the full price so the drink would not be wasted, we were told that there was no way to charge us for it. We watched as the bartender poured two Crown Whiskey Doubles into the sink. What a waste, and what a bureaucratic mess that we could not purchase the drink. Accommodations - What a disappointment!! We were in Cabin R233. When I completed the online check in, I indicated that we were requesting a king bed. Imagine our surprise when we opened the door, and found two twin beds on opposite walls, dormitory style… This was our first impression of this cruise. The condition of the cabin. Substandard. The décor was worn and dated, and did not appear to have been updated in years. The carpet was soiled and ripped near the bed, and the "window" was filthy. In the corner of the cabin is a huge box hung on the wall that used to house a tube type television. The box is still there, and had a very small flat screen tv mounted inside of it (which had visibility issues due to the box). The location of this cabin put us right above what sounded like the engine room. Two of the four nights of the cruise we got very little sleep, as there was a persistent and very loud banging. As we did not have the ability to pick our cabin when we booked the cruise, I would have expected at the very least a cabin that allowed us a restful sleep. The reason for the cruise was to relax, we didn’t get that chance on two occasions. Synopsis: Based on conversations with fellow travelers, and Carnival Paradise crew: It’s time to update this ship. We have been told that Carnival has ships that are very nice. Why is this ship/port of call ignored? The accommodations, (Cabin R233) is nothing more than a night stay at Motel 6… Is this the reputation that Carnival wants in the Tampa area? Looking back at our last two cruises with Celebrity… We had balcony cabins and free drink packages. On a ship that was less than 2 years old. We spent less per day then what we spent on this cruise. I reiterate what I stated above… What a disappointment!! Based on this experience, Carnival will not be on our short list for any future cruises. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Despite some rain on the first day and a half, we had a great time on the Paradise. I knew going in that it was a smaller ship and a short cruise, but it fit into our schedule and budget and short cruise is better than no cruise. We ... Read More
Despite some rain on the first day and a half, we had a great time on the Paradise. I knew going in that it was a smaller ship and a short cruise, but it fit into our schedule and budget and short cruise is better than no cruise. We got to the cruise port early. WARNING: They will not let you bring ANY bottled water or sodas on with you!!! You can, however, bring cans of soda. I wish I'd know that because they took away about a dozen bottles of water and soda from me. About 11:30 am they started letting people on, by category. We were not disabled, diamond, wedding or faster to the fun, but we were still on the lido deck having lunch a little after 12. Our room was ready when we went to check on it about 1. Our bags were there by 3. Muster was held indoors as it was raining. It takes almost 3 hours to get out of Tampa bay so the casino didn't open until about 7 pm. When we got done with dinner it was open, and it was PACKED! We played for a while, then went to the Epic Rock show. That was really good, but very loud! The next day was a "fun day at sea" and raining in the morning, but was sunny by afternoon. I managed to win about $300 on a slot machine after lunch, then we went to the pool. After dinner we went to see the british rock show... funny, same people as the previous night, but the show wasn't that good. The guys singing were ok, but the girls singing sounded a little operetic... and I didn't care much for it. After the show we went back to the casino and I hit a royal straight flush on the video poker for $1000 so I was really happy. About the time we were rounding Cuba an announcement came over the PA system that they had spotted a "craft" and were turning around to see if they were in distress. Indeed they were... there were about 10-12 people on a craft made of styrofoam and sticks. They pulled them in and brought them on board. I heard they were quaranteened and delivered to the authorities at Grand Caymen the next day. The next day was Grand Caymen and despite the delay the day before in the rescue procedure we arrived on time. Tendering is a pain in the butt, but once it got started it went quick. We booked a sting ray city excursion with discount excursions. That was awesome and I highly recommend going there if you're ever on this island. The only complaint I had was that our time here was too short. We were only on Grand Caymen from about 9 am until 2:15 pm. Our excursion took us from 10 to about 1:45. It was ok with me since I didn't really care about shopping here anyway, but it would have been nice to have more time to look around. The next day we pulled into port in Cozumel about 11 am. We walked around and did a little shopping in the area right by the pier, then took a taxi to Paradise Beach. They charge $3 per person. I had heard it was free but you had to spend $10 per person on food and/or drink. Actually worked out better for us since we weren't hungry and don't drink. They have nice beach chairs in the shade and we watched the people playing on the big blow up water toys. They also have a big pool area you can relax by, but we didn't. After spending a few hours on the beach we took a taxi to "downtown" to do some shopping. I really get annoyed with the vendors and their pushy sales tactics. I just try to be polite, but firm. No great bargains. The fun day at sea the next day wasn't so much for me. The water was choppy and I was queasy for most of the morning. It settled down in the afternoon. We did go to the comedy show at 7:30 and the comedian was pretty good. Some friends we met on the ship were going back for the later show, but we weren't up for that. We went to the dining room for dinner every night and had a great time with our dining companions. Very nice people and good conversation. Food was ok. I got so I'd order 2 appetizers so if I didn't care for my dinner, it was no big deal. Most of the entrees were good. The turkey dinner I had one night, though, not so much. We only stayed for dessert one night. When we got back to port we decided to take our own luggage with us so we were off the ship and at the airport by 9:30 am. Things I would have liked to have: 1) more pools, or at least an adult only pool. We spent a little bit of time on the serenity deck one morning, but didn't stay long as it was raining and didn't go in the hot tub. I went down the water slide but you can't stay in the pool at the bottom and the other half of the pool was pretty full with kids. There are a couple of hot tubs and a small pool for kids on the top deck at the back of the ship. 2) more time in Grand Caymen 3) maybe another stop. So next cruise I will look for a 7 night cruise on a ship with more pools. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was our fourth Carnival cruise and certainly our most disappointing. We booked this as a last minute get away from the cold. We did this exact cruise in March and really enjoyed it. Of course, the crew was wonderful, friendly, ... Read More
This was our fourth Carnival cruise and certainly our most disappointing. We booked this as a last minute get away from the cold. We did this exact cruise in March and really enjoyed it. Of course, the crew was wonderful, friendly, and helpful as always, but that is where it ended. The food was just off in both the dining room and the buffet. Most of the main courses were over cooked, dried out, and tough. However, the seafood dishes were pretty good. Overall, I would give the food a "C" at best. The entertainment on board was really a miss. The talent in the shows was not good. The singing was terrible and the dancing worse. The props and light show was the only thing that carried the stage shows. Both of our at sea days had rain, so your entertainment had to come from inside the ship. One day, they did not have any live music performers in the evening. The casino bar was dead. We could have set up a bowling alley there. They had very few on board activities planned other than "sale shows". We did enjoy bingo and the Hasbro Show. This was our third time to Grand Cayman so we just enjoyed the beach for a few hours. We had to be back on the ship in the early afternoon, so not a lot of time. Cozumel was our long day in port. This was our second time here. We decided to explore San Miguel. The condition of the city was disgusting with piles of garbage everywhere, dirty streets, dogs running loose and store owners that accosted you. We did find an open air café with live music where we enjoyed our lunch and the entertainment. I find the Tampa port a great port to sail out of, but we won't going on this itinerary again. Our next cruise in just a few weeks away. We are sailing on the Liberty out of San Juan. If we have another bad experience, we will be looking at another cruise line for our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
This was my fifth cruise with Carnival. Sailed on Carnival Paradise out of Tampa for a 4 day cruise to Cozumel on Dec 17.. Embarkation and disembarkation was a 4 star experience...smooth. Chose a discount cabin in the back of the ship on ... Read More
This was my fifth cruise with Carnival. Sailed on Carnival Paradise out of Tampa for a 4 day cruise to Cozumel on Dec 17.. Embarkation and disembarkation was a 4 star experience...smooth. Chose a discount cabin in the back of the ship on the main level. The smells in the hallway was musty and sometimes had a fecal smell. The cabin was fine except the A/C never cooled the room down-it was bearable but not cool. I had anytime dining in the Elation dining room. On my past cruises these meals were good, but I had only 1 good meal in the dining room-prime rib. My husband agreed that on this cruise the food was not as good as usual. There wasn't as many activities as usual, no scavenger hunt, drawing games, etc. Bingo was fun. In summary, I wish I'd spent a little more and went on a different ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This ship needs some renovation. One of the elevators in the Atrium was not working for most of the cruise. The staff are very nice with the exception of the bartenders at the Atrium bar. We were not even acknowledged a couple of times at ... Read More
This ship needs some renovation. One of the elevators in the Atrium was not working for most of the cruise. The staff are very nice with the exception of the bartenders at the Atrium bar. We were not even acknowledged a couple of times at this bar so we left and went to one of the other bars on deck. The quality of the food was not good. The prime rib that was served on formal night was over cooked and about a quarter inch thick, very skimpy and no flavor, no at jus either. I was told they could bring me plain horseradish. No more lobster tail with dinner. You can order it for an additional cost of $20.00. There are a lot of additional costs on the ship and the off shore excursions are very expensive and everyone wants a tip in addition. The room service and steward were very good. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
This was our 4th cruise with Carnival and I would have to say that it was our least favorite out of all of them. We made the best of it and still had a good time, but we noticed a lot of differences between this cruise and our previous ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Carnival and I would have to say that it was our least favorite out of all of them. We made the best of it and still had a good time, but we noticed a lot of differences between this cruise and our previous three. I'm not sure if the changes made are all throughout Carnival, or if they were just for this specific ship. Something that is always a favorite is lobster night in the dining room and they have done away with it. Now you have to pay an additional $20 for lobster. They have also done away with some little things, like chocolates on your pillow with turn down service. The buffet food was nothing to brag about. It was actually the worst we've ever had on any Carnival ship. The entertainment wasn't very good. They had the love & marriage show (which is always hilarious), and a couple of other things. We were in bed by 9 or 10pm most nights and so was most of the ship. I've never seen a Lido deck completely empty at 9pm before. All that said, we got a great deal on the cruise so we can't complain much. If they made better changes to the entertainment and the food I would give it a 5. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
Boarding easy, had cabin M deck port holes. The box which stored life jackets gone now you can walk around bed, life jackets new not the old black greasy ones. As reported in other reviews NO lobster, also the roasted pumpkin soup ... Read More
Boarding easy, had cabin M deck port holes. The box which stored life jackets gone now you can walk around bed, life jackets new not the old black greasy ones. As reported in other reviews NO lobster, also the roasted pumpkin soup gone In the Fun Times 9/11/2015 VETERANS DAY EVENT A special gathering to honor all heroes who served their country, and to recognize their families. and loved ones. Director Steve There was a good showing, we saluted the flag, sang some songs, music clip played theme songs of each branch. Persons stood up each time a branch was called. also person stood for each war etc. At the end pictures where taken of vets in groups of each branch. Next day went to view the pictures and see what the cost would be OH just $21.99 no discount for vets. Let me tell you after word got around there was a lot of un happy vets. JUST ANOTHER WAY TO MAKE MONEY !!!! Ship arrived back to Tampa 4 hours early, BUT pax's didn't getting off till 9:30 Oh yes very few shows. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We sailed on the Carnival Paradise out of Tampa on 11/14 to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. As a first time cruiser, I wasn't sure what to expect. In no particular order, here are my thoughts... - Overall, had a good time and I believe ... Read More
We sailed on the Carnival Paradise out of Tampa on 11/14 to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. As a first time cruiser, I wasn't sure what to expect. In no particular order, here are my thoughts... - Overall, had a good time and I believe cruising, like anything else, is as fun as you make it - Boarding process was unorganized and chaotic - Friendly staff - Food was decent. Some things like pizza and ice cream were good, other things were bland. You'll never go hungry though! - Take a small power strip or extension cord, there's only one outlet in your cabin - Felt the ship movement WAY more than I ever thought I would. Experienced cruisers in our group (over 20 cruises) said this was the roughest cruise they've experienced - Take seasick meds even if you don't think you'll need them (we brought Bonine and we had no issues, despite MANY getting seasick on this cruise) - If the weather is nice, get to the pool early if you want a chair - I highly recommend the "Serenity" deck for those 21 and over. Very quiet and relaxing - Schedule an excursion, especially in Cozumel where you have 8+ hours to kill - You don't need to purchase the unlimited drink package unless you're going to drink 8 or more alcoholic beverages per day (each person in party) - For a smaller ship, seemed like there was always something to do (shopping, bingo, music, trivia) Enjoy your cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
15 year veteran cruiser couple who have always enjoyed Carnival and have never had a reason to try another cruise line will be trying out the competition after this cruise. Carnival has changed in several ways, and none of them for the ... Read More
15 year veteran cruiser couple who have always enjoyed Carnival and have never had a reason to try another cruise line will be trying out the competition after this cruise. Carnival has changed in several ways, and none of them for the better. I booked the cruise on the Carnival website only to immedately thereafter be pelted with ads from an agency for the same cruise at the same price with a free shore excursion. Carnival's price guarantee only applies to an actual cheaper price on the cruise so it did not apply here. So things did not start well even before departure. Check out the new soda and bottled water policy before you go - no bottles of any kind. You can bring 12 cans of soda each. Hope you like canned soda and either drinking the ship's water/iced tea/lemonade or buying bottled water onboard. As repeat cruisers, they did give us each one complimentary bottled water. No more mints with your towel animals at night. I always imagined the towel animals were bringing the mints as some sort of offering. Now they bring nothing. No more lobster night on cruises of 5 nights or fewer. You can add it for $20. Main dining room menu was generally uninteresting. I ended up eating the flat iron steak 3 out of the 5 nights. My wife's redfish was very fishy tasting. Order only fresh eggs (over easy, etc.). They must be using reconstituted eggs for scrambled and omelettes. They had an odd metallic flavor, like they were made with water that had been in a piping system too long. Otherwise the food was fine and in line with past cruises. They used to have a reception for repeat cruisers with hors d'ouvres and a free drink. Now no reception. You get a coupon for a free drink that you can inexplicably only use after 5pm on the last night of the cruise. In our case, the bartender had no idea how to process the coupon and charged our account anyways, so we ended up having to stand in line at guest services to have the charge removed. It was not a fun time. There was just one floor show - 8 More Seconds, but that was wonderful. The hypnotist show on the second sea night was also excellent. The comedians were funny enough. The CD Steve Cassel is very talented and funny. He played a mean fiddle during the floor show and also juggles. His assistants were friendly. The front row seats in the Normandie theater are painfully uncomfortable. If you have a back problem, they will exacerbate it. If you don't, they may give you one. They are that bad. We had an inside cabin this time, E25, under the Normandie theater. Some have reported noise issues. We had no issues. Room service was fine as always. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
Just returned from a 5 day 2 stop cruise. I referred to this cruise as the "Walmart" cruise, totally no frills. The boat was super clean. The food was good and all service was very good. That's about it for the good. There ... Read More
Just returned from a 5 day 2 stop cruise. I referred to this cruise as the "Walmart" cruise, totally no frills. The boat was super clean. The food was good and all service was very good. That's about it for the good. There was only one stage performance all week. Makes you wonder what those talented performers did the rest of the time,[fold towels perhaps?]. The cruise director Steve played the fiddle in the one production show and the next night he was the stage act alone as a juggler.There was very little entertainment on the ship. Two guitar players who moved about the boat and a 5 piece band. These acts were seldom performing before dinner and usually not until after 10 P.M. Daytime activities included a DJ at the pool, bingo,various trivia games and napkin folding. Gambling and drinking continue to be a big part of cruising and that's cool. The dinning experience continues to be less special as printed T-shirts, backwards ball caps and sleeveless "wife beater" shirts are now considered appropriate as are blue jeans and shorts. There's still hope for some class at dinner, they did refuse service to two guys who showed up in the dinning room in their Bath robes. Why is the cruise line afraid to enforce the rules? Don't get me wrong it was cheap, cheap, cheap! so what do you expect? Oh, no longer do they place a mint on the pillow. No big deal, just another cost cutting measure. It did take us 2 hours to get off the ship upon arriving home and we were the in the first group off, so allow plenty of time for pick-up and early flights. Lastly,Veterans were invited to a program honoring them,no food,no drinks. A picture was taken and the Vets were ask to pay $22 for the photo. Happy Veterans Day! Are you kidding me? The whole weeks experience reminds me of Walmart. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Just got back from a 5 day Carnival cruise. This is my 3rd time on Carnival, either the food got worse over the past few years or I somehow forgot how terrible it was. The boat itself was fine, good size shower, nice staff, plenty of ... Read More
Just got back from a 5 day Carnival cruise. This is my 3rd time on Carnival, either the food got worse over the past few years or I somehow forgot how terrible it was. The boat itself was fine, good size shower, nice staff, plenty of spots to sit & relax, great room attendant, free room service (with limited menu). However...when I'm on vacation I enjoy good food. If you enjoy going to Golden Corral you may enjoy this food. First night had Salmon, it wasn't bad but nothing exciting. My boyfriend had a beef brisket, it tasted good but was super chewy. Most other dining room dinners were blahhh or pasta based, or thin overcooked pieces of chicken/pork, or maybe some random fish. Oh yeah, their mac and cheese..is pretty much flour & water, and maybe a couple pieces of shredded cheese - so tastes like roux sauce elbow noodles. Was hoping last night's dinner would at least be decent, my Mahi Mahi was bland and sooo overdone you couldn't even flake it with a fork to eat, had to use a knife for FISH! The safest meal bet is the sandwich grill and the salad bar, those 2 were consistently good. But the rest of the food is almost a joke.. in the buffet area there's even sign about Carnival's master chef.. MASTER of what??..?? gross cheap food?? Then YES, he is the master!! Soooo disappointed in Carnival, not sure if I'll ever take another cruise with Carnival, even if it was free.. I just cant eat days of hog slop wallyworld grade food... Read Less
Carnival Paradise Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.5 0.0
Public Rooms 3.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.5 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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