349 Carnival Paradise Cruise Reviews

Why I booked this cruise- After going on 2 other carnival cruises, I decided to book this cruise with my tax return in January. As a single mom of two boys ages 7 and 12 finances can be tight, but after comparing cruise dates and ... Read More
Why I booked this cruise- After going on 2 other carnival cruises, I decided to book this cruise with my tax return in January. As a single mom of two boys ages 7 and 12 finances can be tight, but after comparing cruise dates and itineraries for over 2 weeks I knew exactly which one I was going to book. I chose The sailing on May 21st because it was my kids last few days of school and was still not quite in peak season so I got a great rate. It was also out of the port of Tampa which meant we could spend some time with family in the area before and after. Parking at the port of Tampa- I originally planned on having family drop us off at port and pick us back up, however they ended up with a last min work meeting. Because the parking rates were so high at the port, I ended up going with Park 4 Cruise. I found the lot with no problems, and although it was extremely close to the port they still shuttled us to our terminal. The cost was actually lower than their website fees at just $42 for our 5 day cruise. It was affordable, our car stayed safe, and it was convenient. Embarkation- Easiest embarkation of the 3 cruises I've been on. The other two were out of Miami. Everyone was extremely friendly. It took about 15-20 minutes from the time we got to the port to the time we set down after check in and only about 5 minutes after that before our section was called to get on the ship. Photo's felt rushed and I wished we would have taken our time to record our first moments and my kids reactions to their first time entering the ship. Because we chose the 12:00-12:30 check in we did have to lug around our carry on and 12 pack of soda's for about an hour which only caused a problem when trying to find seating in the EXTREMELY packed buffet area. But it wasn't long before we were in our room and even had 2 of our 3 suit cases. The Ship- It was the smallest of the 3 I had previously been on, but I almost preferred it. It was our first time on one that had water works, which my kids LOVED!!! But it did not have the Dive in theater and pool side loungers were hard to come by. If you are a smoker there is only 2 places on board to smoke: the casino and a section of the upper deck close to the ping pong tables. The only issues we had was that because it was a smaller ship, you felt most of the waves. It didn't bother me, but my oldest son did have one day of sea sickness. Cabin- After having been in a balcony and an interior on past cruises, I opted for an interior. We just never spend any time in there except to sleep. It was perfect. We were on Deck 5 in room 124 I believe. There was plenty of room for the 3 of us, lots of storage space, a mini fridge to keep our soda's cold, and my son even utilized our safe. My kids were super impressed with the towel animals. Dining- I had never really utilized the main dining room before, but we did this time and I will certainly again on my next cruise. We all discovered that we like strawberry and peach soup. Most of the food was really good, and the waitstaff was wonderful. They even put on a little show. Most of our dining was at Guy's burgers, which was very good. We also trying the deli, the taco's, and the pizza. All were good. Circle C- My 12 year old did not think he would enjoy cruising at all when I originally booked, but by the end of night one he was HOOKED. He made alot of new friends, and I could hardly get him to spend any time with us. He loved that he could come and go as he pleased, and have a little independence, but I was surprised that he chose to stay with the group the majority of the time unless he wanted to go on the water slides, swim, or grab some food. They went as a group to several shows and even did a scavenger hunt. By the end of it he was not ready to leave. Camp Carnival- My 7 year old stayed with me most of the trip but did go 2 days. His first day was while I was in Key West and the second was for night owls after we got back to the ship after Mexico. He loved the Rock and Glow night owls party. Water works- 5 slides of different sizes. My youngest went down all of them multiple times, while me and his brother just went down two of the bigger ones. The tallest by the way is the slowest. Activities- They had alot to do. More than we had time to do. We tried one of the shows but I was not impressed with their choices of musicals. I did karaoke which was fun. The harry chest contest is always funny. I was disappointed in the restrictions of the mixology contest now. It was very limited. My son liked the towel animal theater. We played a few rounds of mini golf... My 7 year old cheated... They also liked the ping-pong and giant chess. Ports- Key West: I did an adults only day. My stand up paddle boarding got canceled which was a bummer. So I spent most of the day at the clothing optional bar called The Garden of Eden. It was AWESOME! I highly recommend. I did get a bit lost trying to find the trolley back to the ship though. It did not pick back up where it originally dropped us off. It was nice having cell service. Cozumel: It was pouring most of the day, but we bought poncho's and got a cab to the local Mayan ruins on the island. Taxi's are VERY expensive by the way. $65 to the ruins and back. The ruins were nice, but not Tulum by any means.... but also not a 3 hour bus ride either.... There is free wifi at fat Tuesdays right when you get into the port. I would defiantly go on this ship and itinerary again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was our 46th cruise and 33rd on Carnival. We live 45 minutes from the Port of Tampa, so prefer to sail from there on the Paradise and Miracle. My husband and I are retired and sail 4-5 times a year. We have sailed on the Paradise 5 ... Read More
This was our 46th cruise and 33rd on Carnival. We live 45 minutes from the Port of Tampa, so prefer to sail from there on the Paradise and Miracle. My husband and I are retired and sail 4-5 times a year. We have sailed on the Paradise 5 times in the past year and have 2 more booked. The ship is in the older Fantasy Class, but is the size we prefer and have found the crew to be very attentive. The Paradise recently underwent a drydock which added new cabins, balconies, Guy's Burger Joint, Blue Iguana Cantina, and Red Frog Pub. This review is specifically about our May 2018 4-day Overnight Havana cruise at a greatly reduced fare courtesy of a casino bounce back offer that also included onboard credit. It was after the dry dock and we were very impressed with the dry dock improvements and the ship is in great shape. Our cabin was an ocean view, mid-ship on the Main Deck. We had Your Time Dining and had the same table for two each night. Our wait staff was very attentive and the food was plentiful and good. We had Steakhouse Selections several times for dinner and enjoyed them very much. Our room steward took good care of our cabin, but didn't seem to get it done before noon which was a bit problematic. I spent most of my time in the casino whenever it was open, while my husband attended some of the comedy shows which he enjoyed. Neither of us participate in activities or are pool sitters, so I can't comment on them. We are Platinums and there is a special line at Guest Services so there was never a wait for service. The only port was an overnight in Havana and People to People excursions were purchased and enjoyed. We wish there was a Steakhouse on board, but we do order Steakhouse Selections in the dining room. We order Room Service for breakfast every morning and often for lunch and find the food good and the service fast. Overall, we would highly recommend the Paradise for its 4-5 day cruises. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was our 10th Carnival Cruise! We cruised out of Tampa which we consider our home port. We live in Cleawater FL. The Paradise had just come out of dry dock and we were looking forward to be one of the first to stay on the new 14 ... Read More
This was our 10th Carnival Cruise! We cruised out of Tampa which we consider our home port. We live in Cleawater FL. The Paradise had just come out of dry dock and we were looking forward to be one of the first to stay on the new 14 floor (Grand). Our room was absolutely amazing! The floor to ceiling windows were even better than I expected. I think I must have said "WOW" at least 10 times the first day. The upgrades were nice! The casino was spacious (still smoky, but nice). The food was good, Guy's Burgers are great!! I won Bingo which always makes it fun! Our Ports were Grand Cayman and Cozumel. We did the excursion thru Carnival and rode the bus that drives into the water and becomes a boat! The water was beautiful and it was fascinating to go from the road to the water and then back to the road. They have tv screens on the bus/boat so you can see under the water. You can also just look over the side the water is so clear and blue! Lots and Lots of Fish! (worth the money). In Cozumel we did some shopping, (lots of grandbabies to bring back a prize). We usually do the snorkeling and I did miss it, so next trip we will definitely be back in the water. The only negative: I was expecting a bocce ball court on the 14th floor. It's listed on the deck plan and in the upgrades from the dry dock, but it's not there. The putt putt goes all the way around instead. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We are Lisa and Bill, From the very start of waiting to get on board, everyone in Tampa was fantastic. We had an awesome time. The cruise director Jaime was awesome and kept everyone going. The Rock 80 show was fantastic. The cast of ... Read More
We are Lisa and Bill, From the very start of waiting to get on board, everyone in Tampa was fantastic. We had an awesome time. The cruise director Jaime was awesome and kept everyone going. The Rock 80 show was fantastic. The cast of that show has amazing voices. The dining room experience was nice. We only ate there the first night and the last night, but I wish we had done it a few more times because I feel like we missed out on the entertainment by the dining room crew. Our cabin Steward Ida was very pleasant attended to our every need. The only change I would make about that cruise is that if when they had a table for selling T shirts, or they were selling at the Pandora counter, they had no markings to form a line, so there was just a huge mound of people waiting and made it very difficult to get up to view the merchandise. We have already booked another cruise with Carnival for May 2019. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise because we were on the Paradise a few years ago and had a good time. Plus it fit in our spring break timeline (teacher) and we love going to Cozumel and Grand Cayman. We were the 2nd cruise after the Paradise's ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were on the Paradise a few years ago and had a good time. Plus it fit in our spring break timeline (teacher) and we love going to Cozumel and Grand Cayman. We were the 2nd cruise after the Paradise's dry dock. The changes are amazing. The color scheme, cabins makeovers, additions of Guys Burgers, BlueIguana Tequila Bar, RedFrog Rum Bar among a few changes make the Paradise a hidden gem in the Carnival Fleet. However, cruise director Jaime Dee is the best cruise director we have ever seen. Her positive and fun attitude, energy, and love for what she does is infectious throughout, not only her staff, but everyone aboard the Paradise. When we told her she was the best cruise director we have ever had, she was quick to give credit to everyone and said she was just a part of the great staff. Being a former high school football and baseball coach, I know what she is saying is true. However, it takes a great leader to get everyone to believe in what you are doing and to get on board with you. She has what is called the "it" factor. If you can't have fun on the Paradise with Jaime Dee as the cruise director, you can't have fun on a cruise. I would highly recommend this ship and cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
we wanted to go to Cozumel and the price was fantastic!!!! we love Carnavale cruises and the experience is always delightful! In chooses a cruise we have found cruises that were much more expensive and never have we found them any better ... Read More
we wanted to go to Cozumel and the price was fantastic!!!! we love Carnavale cruises and the experience is always delightful! In chooses a cruise we have found cruises that were much more expensive and never have we found them any better as far as hospitality as Carnavale cruise lines. Also the recreation for all ages is top notch. The give away's are also fair and very nice! The musical events are top notch and high energy. The porters and the bars the resturant personel were all great ! if you want a great experience with all excurisons and Activities this is the ship of choice for you. Carnaval has the best value.. Greatest person to us was our room attendant Francisco !!! There really was not much left to cover other than the food was Great in the diningroom/ and found that there was always plenty to food served, and Hot food always Hot... Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Went on my first cruise with my wife and 2 sons ages 17 and 20.after reading some reviews wasnt sure what to expect but it better than i thought. We stayed in riveriara room 182 and 186. These are ajoining rooms. There is a door ... Read More
Went on my first cruise with my wife and 2 sons ages 17 and 20.after reading some reviews wasnt sure what to expect but it better than i thought. We stayed in riveriara room 182 and 186. These are ajoining rooms. There is a door inbetween . If you ask will unlock it which makes it easier. This room is midship locaoted between levators. these rooms looked like the have been redone . Beds were like new and we slept well. My kids were surprised. They had they seperated which allowed room between them we kept ours together. Plenty of charging outlets for electric devicecs but only 1 outlet for other things so you may want o bring an extension cord. our romm steward willy wasa very good and helpful. jamie the cruise director is terrific. She is always full of energy and brings alot of excitement. And yes when you see her some were on the ship be sure to say to her hi jamie likes she says to. We had a small problem on our last nite when closing our account. Customer service was of no help. When we saw her we talked to her for a minute told her our problem . She made a phone call told us who to go see and got it taken care of.if you have problems at the desk and dont get anywhere ask for victor he is the supervisor and was helpful. Others there weren't. When we asked to speak to there supervisor were told it would tell you the same thing. Sea day brunch was great. Other food was hit and miss. But try different thing. we left a an extra tip for dinner service and the next time we had dinner we got the same server and he remembered us . His name was fritz. Ask for him a little diappointed with all the desserts. if you order something and dont like it get something else. we saw both the comedy shows and they were very good. We also went to all 3 of the other evening shows and they were high energy and terrific. Took my son to the casino for the first time he ended up winning 50 on the penny machines. 20 his first nite then he played the next nite broke even then won another 30. My wife ended up 25 ahead on the same machines . Saw one lady when 100. So the machines do pay out. The hav alot of other machines if you like spending more.lol plus blackjack craps and poker.the pools were a little disappointing. They were not very warm nor were the hottubs. Somepeople stayed in to logn so you had to wait. the pool and tubs behind the whale tail weren't as crowded. Plenty of seating all around the decks.didnt notice ant soot on the deck like others complained about. Just great views . Overall this was much better than i had for. Cant wait to go on our next cruise. Cabins were bigger than expected.getting on and off the ship was not a problem . All went smoothly. If you get there early you will have to wait anyways until your time is called. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was a free bounce back cruise from the Player's Club (just had to pay taxes and port charges), our 43rd cruise and 29th cruise on Carnival. DH and I live just 45 minutes from the Port of Tampa, so very convenient to sail from ... Read More
This was a free bounce back cruise from the Player's Club (just had to pay taxes and port charges), our 43rd cruise and 29th cruise on Carnival. DH and I live just 45 minutes from the Port of Tampa, so very convenient to sail from Tampa. The ship was in very good condition and the crew was very friendly. The free cruise was for an Inside Cabin, although we normally sail in suites or at least in a balcony cabin. The inside cabin was on the Riviera Deck just around the corner from the mid elevators, so very convenient. We did notice some changes from our May cruise on the Paradise - no pretty cover on the beds, the note pads are now 1/2 the size, no chocolates on the pillows at night, and the Fun Times was one sheet folded in thirds. The cabin turned out to be comfortable and we didn't feel claustrophobic at all. We did Anytime Dining and ate about 5:45pm every evening with little or no wait once the doors opened. We noticed long lines of people waiting when we left about 7pm. Food was very good, especially the Steakhouse Surf and Turf that I had the last two evenings. We sat at the same table, as did the people around us. The casino slots were very good to me and I brought home almost as much cash as I brought with me. I received another bounce back offer the last evening of the cruise. We are Platinum members and embarkation and dembarkation were easy. I was on the cruise to play in the casino and didn't leave the ship because we have been to most of the islands and Central America before, although DH did get off in Roatan. We would definitely sail on the Paradise again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Well, this was a 5 day Western Caribbean cruise. And the highlight was the cruise director, Jamie (female-American), who is Off-The-Chart excellent! The shows were excellent. The shows spilled over into the atrium. Jamie was everywhere! ... Read More
Well, this was a 5 day Western Caribbean cruise. And the highlight was the cruise director, Jamie (female-American), who is Off-The-Chart excellent! The shows were excellent. The shows spilled over into the atrium. Jamie was everywhere! It was very exciting when she popped up places. She had gymnastic energy of Simone Biles, dance moves of Cheryl Burke, and comedic voice of Joan Rivers! The Stand-up comedy was great! Piano Bar off the chart! Karaoke was scheduled numerous times, each offering hours of fun and usually well attended. Dining excellent! Public areas good! Older ship that is well maintained. Promenade decks are short and narrow unfortunately. The two islands offer terrific excursions. Everyone we met had an excellent excursion whether in-house or otherwise. The Captain is an Italian and kept us safe and well informed. Lots of bars for those who like to enjoy that. No pushy waiters though. Crew service was extremely engaging and wonderful. I felt very free and uninhibited - a terrific vacation-home! Go and Try it! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
After reading reviews I was a little nervous leading up to departure. I should't have worried about a thing. Yes the boat is older, but it is still clean and well maintained. The crew was amazing, the food was great for the price of ... Read More
After reading reviews I was a little nervous leading up to departure. I should't have worried about a thing. Yes the boat is older, but it is still clean and well maintained. The crew was amazing, the food was great for the price of the cruise, and the entertainment was also a great deal for what we paid. I'm sure there are nicer ships with better food and entertainment, but the value delivered for the price was amazing. We were never bored, our steward Eddy was awesome. Jaime the cruise director was as talented as any entertainer and made the trip that much more enjoyable. If you want a fun cruise that delivers a ton for the money, don't hesitate to book a cruise on Paradise. If you look for negatives you'll be disappointed in whatever you do. Look at the positives and have an open mind and you'll see just how well Carnival does for what you pay. These smaller ships have many benefits. Lines were never long, you run across the same people all week, and make new friends you might not on a megaship. The cabin was nice and clean, and the water pressure was better than I get at home! After Paradise goes through refurbishment in early 2018 it will only be a better value! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
The service was stellar, food terrific, lots of entertainment.... I also wanted to mention that our Destiny Dining Room (first seating) was wonderful, mainly due to Rodriques, Artana and George! We really enjoyed our dining ... Read More
The service was stellar, food terrific, lots of entertainment.... I also wanted to mention that our Destiny Dining Room (first seating) was wonderful, mainly due to Rodriques, Artana and George! We really enjoyed our dining experience. They were always prompt and courteous and attended to our every need. At the end of our dinner we would indulge with an alcoholic "shot" in a souvenir shot glass and each night Rodriques would wash them all before we left. I also want to mention that our cabin, 103 Empress, was very clean and Mackenzie our room steward surprised us by asking if we would prefer to have the room serviced in the morning or evening, We decided that the am would be convenient for us. I had never been asked that before.... We also requested to have an ice bucket in our room, where we did not have one....Mackenzie brought it to our room and replenished the ice daily. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I absolutely loved this trip. I probably had the best service I have had since taking my first cruise about 10 years ago. Don't know if it was because the cruise was short, 4 days, but the staff was friendly, helpful, and appeared ... Read More
I absolutely loved this trip. I probably had the best service I have had since taking my first cruise about 10 years ago. Don't know if it was because the cruise was short, 4 days, but the staff was friendly, helpful, and appeared to genuinely aim to please. So many times, I feel like a cruise may start that way, but then they just seem to get less and less attentive as the cruise goes on. I LOVED CUBA!!!!!!!!!! I am a big history nerd and I just loved all the old buildings, the cobblestone squares, the fountains, statues, and of course, the cars. I did a private tour and we could not have had a better tour and tour guide. My only disappointment was that we didn't get to go to the Hemingway house, due to it being closed because of damage during the hurricane. If(when) I go again, I will be sure and have something organized for the second day that we were off the boat, but that was my own fault for not thinking that there would be enough time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Always wanted to go to Cuba, booked 6 months prior to Irma. When I left for Florida by car, cruise was in jeopardy of being cancelled. Carnival called when I was almost to Florida, they said Cuba was a go but Key West was off. Three days ... Read More
Always wanted to go to Cuba, booked 6 months prior to Irma. When I left for Florida by car, cruise was in jeopardy of being cancelled. Carnival called when I was almost to Florida, they said Cuba was a go but Key West was off. Three days later as I boarded the ship, Key west was put back on. A lot of trash type damage in Key West along with numerous boats sunk and blown on to shore. The people were glad to see us as tourism is major to lively hoods, took the trolley and seen some of the damage. We were told before we landed in Cuba that it was worth getting up early to see the city all lit up and they were right, I tried to upload a photo but evidently it was too dark and it was not accepted. Quite a few people aboard the Paradise signed up for the excursion to "The Tropicana". Havana was in good shape. more damage in the country side. I intend to go back soon. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We were looking for a cruise that was less than 7 days, and one that included a day-long stop in Key West, and the Paradise offered both. This was not our first cruise during hurricane season, but with so many powerful hurricanes being ... Read More
We were looking for a cruise that was less than 7 days, and one that included a day-long stop in Key West, and the Paradise offered both. This was not our first cruise during hurricane season, but with so many powerful hurricanes being active the week before our cruise, pre-vacation stress level was pretty high! Under the circumstances, Carnival did a good job of posting updates and handling necessary changes, which included an intenerery change. (Grand Cayman instead of Key West) We had a non-stop flight from CVG to PIE that arrived by 10am and a return flight that departed at 1043am, so we didn't do a pre or post cruise hotel stay. I requested a LYFT pick-up at PIE and the driver arrived at the curb just after we did, so that worked out well. It was about a 30 minute drive and was $22 each way. The convenience was priceless, especially on Thursday. Even tho we did self-carry and disembarked early, we were a little concerned about morning traffic to PIE from the port. After a very stressful week of not knowing if the cruise or flights would be cancelled because of the hurricane, it was nice to be greeted with smiling faces and a welcoming staff at embarkation. We arrived early, at 11am, expecting a long wait, but since the ship had been unoccupied for a few days, we were allowed to board right away and had immediate access to our cabin. Our typical cruise day starts with working out in the gym, (the gym was well equipped and had a great view) then heading to the lido deck for breakfast. We spend most of the afternoon on the lido deck enjoying the views, food, and entertainment. After dinner we like to walk thru the public areas and stop to listen to the music, etc. One evening we caught the 80's Tribute show, which was quite good, and another evening we watched a Newly Weds type show hosted by the cruise director that was hysterical. We spent a few hours shopping in Grand Cayman, but stayed on board while we were in Cozumel. One of the things we like about Carnival is the cruise music and the festive atmosphere in the lido pool area. That seems like a given, but some cruise lines don't do it. Besides the music, there was always something entertaining going on at the main stage, which is our favorite place to just chill and relax. We found the cruise director to be very funny and entertaining, where ever he happened to be on the ship. He seemed to have the perfect personality for the job. We were really looking forward to a day in Key West and a week just relaxing on the ship, and while we didn't make it to Key West, we didn't let it spoil our trip and still had a nice, restful cruise. We had an aft OV cabin (M256) that was in a great location. Very quiet area, convenient to elevators that went straight up to the dining area on the lido deck. The bed was comfortable, the shower was large, the window was large and the space was plenty for the two of us. We aren't night owls, so it was a nice surprise to get a good variety of TV channels at sea. Typical of most cabins (and hotel rooms), the vanity lighting needs to be improved. I would definitely choose and aft cabin again. The only criticisms I have about the cruise are related to the food and dining. We aren't picky eaters and are generally easy to please when it comes to food, but having said that, good food is usually one of the highlights of a cruise. Breakfast and lunch were standard fare, and the coffee was good. But they kind of missed the mark on dinner. I can't say anything was memorable or impressive, either in the dining room or the buffet. Even the desserts were bland. Each evening there was a different theme in the main buffet (which closely mimiced the dining room menu), and some of the themes didn't offer much of a selection for those who didn't like that particular type of food. There were decent choices in the deli and the burgers were ok, but not what I expect on a cruise, especially if that's for dinner. And along those lines, the main buffet was closed from 3:30pm-6pm. Families who eat their evening meal from 4-6, were limited to pizza, burgers, or deli food. A lot of folks were not real pleased with that. Everyone has their own opinion on food, and that's just mine. It was ok and we didn't go hungry by any means, but if you're a first time cruiser who has heard great stories about cruise food and are really looking forward to an epic food experience, make sure you read lots of reviews before you pick a cruise. I can't honestly say if I'd do this same cruise again. If I do, it will be to spend a day in Key West, and this current intenerery has the longest stop there. The ship, the staff and the service were great, but the food and lack of more drink package options were somewhat disappointing compared to the other cruises we've taken. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We choose this cruise on recommendation of our AAA agent. It was a wonderful experience we are glad we choose this ship because it was a smaller ship for our first experience. The CD Mat was so funny and our steward was the best his name ... Read More
We choose this cruise on recommendation of our AAA agent. It was a wonderful experience we are glad we choose this ship because it was a smaller ship for our first experience. The CD Mat was so funny and our steward was the best his name was Jeamer. One of the servers on the lido deck was wonderful very attentive he never forgot what we were drinking and always try to make us feel special his name was Gede.All the pictures they took were fabulous. Capturing our time on the ship. We did the exclusive custom photo shoot for elegant night and our photographer Jaymar did a faboulous job. The excursions were the best ....even though we were unable to go to the keys we did the Amphibious bus land & sea adventure in grand Cayman and in Cozumel we did the amazing race our hosts were fantastic alonso and Patty we really recommend this one.The whole crew was fantastic from bingo to everything else. Being our first cruise they made us want to cruise many more times. We fell in love with crusing!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We went with a high school reunion group It was our first cruise and we were very apprehensive. We were amazed at how much we enjoyed the cruise. The cabin was very nice. Dining and room service were great. We do not usually take part ... Read More
We went with a high school reunion group It was our first cruise and we were very apprehensive. We were amazed at how much we enjoyed the cruise. The cabin was very nice. Dining and room service were great. We do not usually take part in the organized activities but passing under the Skyway Bridge, departing/arriving from Tampa was unforgettable. We enjoyed the deck for adults only. Particularly being at sea, for us landlubbers was wonderful. Crowd control is one of Carnivals greatest strengths. We never felt like we were in an uncomfortable number of people on board the Paradise. Our cabin was always well maintained and we thought Room Service was marvelous. Our neighbors were cooperative..no loud disturbances. ( The very loud shrill voice of the youngwoman in charge of the public address system was a bit much, however.) We don't ever travel with children. The very best part of the cruise experience was owed to our Steward Raul! Can't say enough good things about him. You had better try to keep him. He deserves your best promotions..always quietly in control of his position, friendly and helpful. Until next time, Robert & Margaret Trujillo M131, Paradise, Aug.14-19 Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go to Cuba! We were also celebrating my birthday. Embarkation was very easy. We thought the ship was very nice. Maybe it's not the newest or biggest, but it was great for us. Cabin - We ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go to Cuba! We were also celebrating my birthday. Embarkation was very easy. We thought the ship was very nice. Maybe it's not the newest or biggest, but it was great for us. Cabin - We went with a family of 5 and we had an outside cabin. The room was adequately sized even for 5 of us! (We also have a small camper, though, so we are used to small space). There is only one outlet so bring a power strip to charge phones, etc. We did, and it was a lifesaver! Shower was powerful and nice and warm. No complaints about the room. Staff - Everyone on the staff was nice - our room steward, our waiter, guest services, etc. Jaime, the cruise director is full of energy and makes it a lot of fun. All around good service. Food - Food was very good. We ate in the destiny dining room with a nice group of friendly folks from New York. The menu was sometimes short on vegetarian options, but I always found something to eat. Buffet had lots of options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Pizza was very good as was the soft-serve ice cream. My kids loved eating both of those everyday! My husband loved the Mongolian BBQ. I never tried it. All in all, great experience with the food. Activities - The shows were good. We went 3 times, the rock show, the Cuban band, and the romance story with dancing and costumes. We enjoyed all of them. We also attended all three lectures about Cuba given by Patrick. They were very informative, and we were so glad that they were offered. Other activities we enjoyed on the ship were the pool (very salty, be warned!), the slide, miniature golf, lounging, and walking around the track. My 10-year old did the kids club once but wasn't enthused about it, but that's more his personality than any shortcomings of the kids club. Key West - Key West was fun, albeit very touristy. We got off quickly and just walked around on our own - went to the southernmost point, shops, the lighthouse, and to Truman's White House. The Truman's White House tour was very interesting if you are at all interested in American history and presidents. The home is decorated as it was during Truman's time there, and the tour guide shares lots of great stories about the presidents who visited there. We all enjoyed the tour - even the kids. Havana - Wow, what can I say? This was such an amazing place to experience. We got off pretty quickly and went through their customs in a reasonable time (maybe 30 minutes total). Right after going through customs, you can change money and buy an internet card ($1.50 for 1 hour) that you can use in the port are. We chose not to do the ship's excursions due to the high cost. We walked around on our own and met up with a Cuban local who took us on a walking tour for 4 hours for $25 total! We saw so much! The infrastructure is in really poor condition and the poverty is evident, but it's very safe to walk around. It's hard not to feel the disconnect of walking off an all-you-can-eat cruise ship to seeing only small jars of rice and coffee for sale in the government grocery store. It was eye opening for my children, especially. We walked back to the ship for lunch because we were all hot after walking for several hours. We went back out on our own after lunch and walked some more - saw the capital and the José Marti statue and other cites in central Havana. Then back to the ship for dinner. After dinner, we walked on the Malécon and saw them setting up the floats for carnival. People are out until all hours - even young children! My husband had a couple of drinks in Havana, but otherwise we didn't eat there. We brought school supplies, hats, and a baseball (should have brought more) to hand out to the children in Havana. The kid who got the baseball was especially excited. Being in Havana piqued our interest to learn more about its history, and since I've gotten back I cannot stop reading anything I can get my hands on. My husband and I really want to go back to spend more time there. You can not see it all in one day. It's a big city! Disembarkation was very slow! We checked bags, and had number 16, so we waited awhile to be called. Once off the ship, the line in the Tampa terminal was very long. We got up there and were asked about what we brought in. We were over the "free" limit for alcohol, but the guy said it was too low for him to worry about. While waiting for our Uber ride, Carnival called my husband to tell him that he left his bag behind. We were so lucky we hadn't yet left the terminal. All in all, it was a great cruise. It was the right balance of relaxation on the ship and activities at night and in ports. We enjoyed all the food and activities and would go again in a minute. My 12-year old keeps asking when we are planning our next one! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise because of the perfect dates to celebrate our anniversary. The Tampa port was near family so that was helpful. and saved on parking fees. We paid for Faster to the Fun and feel it was worth the price for quick ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the perfect dates to celebrate our anniversary. The Tampa port was near family so that was helpful. and saved on parking fees. We paid for Faster to the Fun and feel it was worth the price for quick embarkation and early access to our room. We chose not to do the early debarkation so we could have a relaxing breakfast. Getting a porter to haul the luggage after debarkation is a very wise choice because we did not have to go through the very long lines. Unfortunately, it was raining before we left port at 4. Then weather continued to deteriorate as we traveled to our destination. The tropical storm made waters rough and the ship rocky. The activities on some of the decks were closed due to weather. The Tuesday entertainment show had to be modified due to safety of the performers during the rough seas. Our cabin was in the aft. It had a beautiful view and was roomier than expected. It was noisy from the engines sometimes but not sure how much weather played a part in that. It did not seem to be any rockier than other parts of the ship but can't be certain. Our steward was wonderful! The staff throughout the ship was always friendly and very helpful.The cruise director,Jaime, is an absolute delight! Loved that the dining staff put on a show the last night! They really rocked! The shows were very well done. The performers were very professional. Just be warned that some of the costumes and actions on stage are not appropriate for young children. It was disappointing that we could not do all the shows or activities we wanted because most are scheduled in the evening. It makes it hard to go to them and enjoy the fine dining because of time conflicts. unless you gamble, there is a lot of time during the day with no planned activities so that was a disappointment. We chose to book our own excursions instead of going through Carnival. We had a wonderful time in Roatan with a Fun-in-Sun group tour at boddentours.com. There were only 7 on the tour and it was very personalized and loads of fun. Be sure to see the monkeys and hold the sloth! In Cozumel, we took a private jeep tour with http://www.cozumelcruiseexcursions.net/ and had an absolute wonderful experience with snorkeling and touring the area. Both tours had amazing tour guides and air conditioned vehicles. Overall, we did have fun and learned a few things that will make the next cruise better. The Paradise carnival is a nice ship with wonderful staff!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I chose this cruise because my mom lives in Tampa so it was very convenient for her. I initially was interested in going to the Cayman Islands....so I was a little disappointed that they cancelled that port of call. I was also very ... Read More
I chose this cruise because my mom lives in Tampa so it was very convenient for her. I initially was interested in going to the Cayman Islands....so I was a little disappointed that they cancelled that port of call. I was also very apprehensive when I read all the negative reviews between March and April. But much to my surprise this cruise was great. Embarkation was very easy. Even though the ship is smaller and older, it was still very beautiful and well maintained. The cabin was very clean and the bathroom in great condition. The cruise director Jaime was wonderful. I signed up for the early dining at 6pm...and I was assigned to the destiny dining room. The food was great and there was good variety. One negative aspect or me was the smell of smoke in the casino areas. The swimming pools were a little small and crowded so the only swimming I did was on the port visits. In Cozumel I went to the paradise beach club which was excellent. It has both a beach and a swimming pool, and the food was great. In Costa Maya I went to the mahahual beach which also had a swimming pool. It was a lot of fun. Here the vendors were very pushy but I just politely said 'no gracias' each time. I saw quite a few of the shows including the Hasbro game show, the 80s rock show and a Cuban Spanish show....all of which were great. I also worked out in the gym and ran on the jogging track a few times. On a whole, this was a great cruise and from what I observed, most of the passengers seemed to have a wonderful time. The staff was also great. So do not be discouraged by negative reviews. A cruise is what you make it out to be. I'm already planning my cruise for next year. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I booked the cruise on the Carnival Paradise so my mom and I could relax without worry. This cruise provided just that! We disembarked from Tampa Bay, and flew in the day before because we live in Phoenix and it's quite a distance to ... Read More
I booked the cruise on the Carnival Paradise so my mom and I could relax without worry. This cruise provided just that! We disembarked from Tampa Bay, and flew in the day before because we live in Phoenix and it's quite a distance to travel. The entire process from booking the cruise to boarding the ship was entirely easy and smooth. I loved how organized it was. The ship was perfect size. It had about 2,700 passengers and 900 crew but it never felt over crowded. There was plenty of space on the ship and activities for everyone to enjoy. My mom and I took advantage of the Serenity Deck which was for adults 21+ years old. We really appreciated that option! The crew was outstanding. The service was amazing and everyone always had a smile on their face. The dining options were great but you do have to pay for soda. Water, lemonade, tea and coffee are free of charge. You do need to pay for alcohol or upgraded food in the dining room (like filet mignon). Our stateroom was small but it didn't pose any problems. We enjoyed having an ocean view. We only had one working power outlet in the room but we managed. I'd recommend bringing a surge protector with you. Our housekeeper, Andy, was such a wonderful person. There were a TON of shore excursion options. We chose to snorkel at Sky Reef and it was well worth the $65 a person. Once again, the process to disembark in Cozumel and get to our meeting point for snorkeling was well organized and easy. I would absolutely go on a Carnival cruise again and I would return to the Paradise without hesitation. I would highly recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this cruise for the price and the departure port being in our backyard. Had cruised on her a bit over year ago but did not recall how great it is. Debarkation and embarkation were smooth and fast. Ship overall condition good and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the price and the departure port being in our backyard. Had cruised on her a bit over year ago but did not recall how great it is. Debarkation and embarkation were smooth and fast. Ship overall condition good and cleaning and ongoing renovations were great....once dry dock and 2.0 upgrades are done in early 2018 the ship condition will be excellent. We had anytime dining and never had over a 5 minute wait. Food and wait service were excellent. Comedy lounge was giant and comics top notch. Spa and fitness center were great. Casino staff were great and it was easy to get a seat at my favorite table games. We were in a grand suite and loved it...room Stewart was excellent. Diamond and platinum party was excellent and cruise director sat and chatted with us for twenty minutes. Cruisers were some of the best we have cruised with...overall great vibe. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We'd been on the Paradise before, 4 years ago, and it was a great experience. Our first cruise, in fact, and this one was just as great. The thing I like about the Paradise is that there are several relatively quiet spaces where ... Read More
We'd been on the Paradise before, 4 years ago, and it was a great experience. Our first cruise, in fact, and this one was just as great. The thing I like about the Paradise is that there are several relatively quiet spaces where you can meet your friends as a group and sit and converse/drink/whatever. We were on the Sunshine a couple years back and, while it's a cool ship, every single space is full of something...every available corner is full and there's a band/singer/DJ in every one of them ALL THE TIME! The Paradise main promenade, the Rotterdam bar, and a couple other places are, a good chunk of the time, relatively quiet and available for gathering. I have to give a shout out to our MDR staff Nelson, Gary, and Lohe, who were absolutely amazing. Our room steward, Jeffry, was outstanding. Our favorite bartender in the casino, Viorica, was awesome as well. The only 2 things I could say in the negative is that I've seen most all of the Carnival-based entertainment shows, so there was really nothing new here. The other thing is that, while I got great food in the MDR, I didn't feel like the new American Table menu was as adventurous or varied as the older Carnival menus. Other than that, this was an outstanding cruise and I'd recommend the Paradise to everybody! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I have to say that this is my first cruise trip, but I am so happy that I didn't cancel my trip after reading the most recent reviews. I was worried about the recent engine problem happened in March. But our trip to Cozumel and Costa ... Read More
I have to say that this is my first cruise trip, but I am so happy that I didn't cancel my trip after reading the most recent reviews. I was worried about the recent engine problem happened in March. But our trip to Cozumel and Costa Maya was quite smooth and on time. The service is definitely the highlight of the trip, everyone was smiling and so welcoming. We had an ocean view cabin and an interior cabin. They were quite spacious for two in each cabin. Our steward Mariono was super nice all the time and we had different towel folding animals every night after dinner. Room service was great and fast. In the cabin, I like the shower head a lot. Food was tasty, not too fancy. We had escargot one night as appetizer. Lobster tail needs extra charge. There are many activities on board and we enjoyed a lot. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Since this is our first cruise we have nothing to compare it to so we give it 5 stars. We celebrated our 7th anniversary the day of embarkation. We loved our room steward and dining room staff. Everyone called us by name which cannot be ... Read More
Since this is our first cruise we have nothing to compare it to so we give it 5 stars. We celebrated our 7th anniversary the day of embarkation. We loved our room steward and dining room staff. Everyone called us by name which cannot be easy with as many people as they come across everyday. The childcare attendants were great. My daughter loved going to play with friends and do crafts. She especially loved the Dr. Seuss breakfast and parade. Our room was bigger than we expected, and I'm claustrophobic. The food and drinks were good nothing out of the ordinary, although I did try frog legs for the first time. The shows were great, we got to see a few of them and enjoyed them all. Every night before we headed to our cabin for the night we played all the games big games and mini golf, grabbed a hot cocoa and ice cream. It became a routine for us. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Fabulous cruise. Gourmet food, except for prime rib which was tough. You get to try snail, rabbit and frogs legs (if U wish) ! A chocolate extravaganza (cakes, pastries & sweets) on the last afternoon! 2 high teas in the piano ... Read More
Fabulous cruise. Gourmet food, except for prime rib which was tough. You get to try snail, rabbit and frogs legs (if U wish) ! A chocolate extravaganza (cakes, pastries & sweets) on the last afternoon! 2 high teas in the piano bar, 2 awesome sea day brunches. 4 main shows, which get better every day viz) Welcome aboard, 80s, Brits & Epic Rock (best). Also 8 comedy shows. 2 Hasbro game shows. Love and marriage show. 2 movies. Daily karaoke and piano bar. Also a great close up magic show. An open library. A water slide emptying into a salty swimming pool. Serenity deck with 2 hot tubs. An excellent teen program, which kept my 17 yr old excited from 9.30 am till 1.45 am daily! 2 champagne art auctions with plenty of prizes just for participating. Daily trivia with souvenir brass medals for winning. Guess the song winner got a Steakhouse meal for 2 and a bottle of champagne Cocktail mixology and hairy chest contests. 2 Rocking Pool deck parties! The shopping expert gave us a superb tour of the ship on Day 1. We were offered a complimentary Baileys Irish cream coffee by an officer (cos the tour was delayed & we had to wait). The enrichment lecture (on health) was also very informative. We got an ice bucket filled every evening (only after requesting) & 3 diff towel animals in our room! Cruise Director Brandon was awesome. Brandon lent his plastic cup to a naked cruiser, who was debarking wrapped in a Carnival towel. It was hilarious when Brandon removed the towel & said ''Can't take Carnival property (towel) off the ship!''Wink Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
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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