243 Carnival Paradise Cruise Reviews

Cuba was on our (husband and myself) list of places to see at least once. The trip was very good. I was a little skeptical at first because I was reading both negative and positive reviews about the ship (Paradise). I am happy to say ... Read More
Cuba was on our (husband and myself) list of places to see at least once. The trip was very good. I was a little skeptical at first because I was reading both negative and positive reviews about the ship (Paradise). I am happy to say that you should have no doubts on traveling on her. We had an Ocean View cabin and it was more than comfortable for my husband and myself. Our Stateroom Steward - Ni Luh was always available to help us and kept our room in ship/shape condition. My husband and I had Any-Time Dining and there was always availability in the Elation Dining Room. My husband spends his time in the Casino and he thought the service was excellent. I attend the shows and they were very good. The Cruise Director - Jaime was EXCELLENT. We had two Ports of Call - Key West & Cuba. Key West was doubtful for awhile because of Hurricane Irma but we were pleasantly surprise to be able to stop at Key West. We decided since we were stopping in Key West to do the Fury Catamaran & Snorkeling excursion. Snorkeling was a first for both my husband and myself and it was pretty exciting. The Fury Captain and Crew were very attentive and they made the experience for first timers like ourselves to go well. Cuba excursions were really intensive - Hemingway's Hideaways and Cuban Culture; Explore Modern Havana in an American Classic (we got a lavender '53 Chevy!). Both excursions were great! Only negative point I would make would be that the places where we stopped for our Hemingway drinks were just too small or unprepared to receive so many tourist at one time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise because it was going to Cuba, and we wanted to see Havana before you could no longer go as a U.S. citizen, or before it became commercialized. We stayed in the Ybor district before the cruise for 2 days, 1 would have ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was going to Cuba, and we wanted to see Havana before you could no longer go as a U.S. citizen, or before it became commercialized. We stayed in the Ybor district before the cruise for 2 days, 1 would have been plenty. The Columbia restaurant is amazing and I highly recommend it. We stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites and it was adequate for 2 nights. The air conditioning was extraordinarily loud, the pool is tiny, the breakfast is very good and the front desk staff is very friendly, and the security is excellent. Call for the shuttle the morning of your departure at 9:30 sharp - I called at 9:45 and the earlier shuttles were booked, we had a 10 am embarkation time and could not get on a shuttle until 11. We purchased faster to the fun, so embarkation was painless 30 minutes total, which included some clumsy extra's as the Cuba destination is new and unfamiliar to all involved. The Paradise is an older ship and scheduled for dry dock soon, but it is a great sized ship for a short cruise with 2 sea days - plenty to do. We had an ocean view cabin E79 in back of the guest services area, the location was perfect for us, but it can be noisy at night if you are early to bed, because of the atrium lounge. The ship staff is what you would expect from any ship, most are very friendly, but every once in a while you get someone who is less than enthusiastic - never bothers me as they work so hard, I give them a break. TIP - this ship does NOT have hair dryers, in 20 years of cruising this has never been the case so it was a huge surprise to me. The cabins are what you would expect although the shower is a bit larger than on more modern ships. We eat at the Lido most of the time for breakfast and lunch and it was very clean, great variety, and plentiful of course. The Mongolian wok is really good, I suggest going on a port day as the lines are usually long on sea days. The main dining room was good, but nothing stands out as far as dinner was concerned. The sea day brunch, however, was certainly worth taking advantage of! The pizza/salad center that is available for late night needs some attention, the person who worked there was a jerk, there was never any pizza available and if you wanted pepperoni, he would ask you if another would be OK instead because he had that and did not want to make another - so not what you would expect at 9 pm. The activities were the usual, nothing new here. Most of the entertainment was good, especially the musicians. One comedian at punch liners was so bad we walked out, not offensive bad - just not funny at all. We went parasailing in Key West on Fury which was booked through carnival and the experience was great, not our first time, but our best time. Other than that we just wondered around and went into a few shops and had a few drinks here and there. We would not normally buy souvenir's, but as this was the second ship back after the hurricane we bought a few things. We were back on the ship by 1:30, but if Key West had been up to speed as it normally is, we would have spent more time there. Havana is much nicer than I expected. That being said there are some extremely poor areas and some really nice areas - pretty much like most islands you visit on a cruise. Younger adults do speak English, you can tip in US currency, it does NOT smell like garbage or exhaust, the people are very friendly and happy, a few people will ask you to come into their store or restaurant, but no one harassed us - and no one asked us for money. We did the classic car tour and it was really good, and the perfect amount of time. Two tips here: when you pick out your car, pick one with a younger driver, they will be more likely to speak English and that will enrich your tour immensely. We had a very nice older man, he tried hard, but we could not understand each other. And second, at the end of this excursion, they take you to a cigar store/straw market - this is where we tipped the guides and left to go off and do your own shopping. The shopping around the cruise port (I don't mean the terminal) has many things and there are a few really good cigar shops as well. We did not eat in Havana as we spent our CUC's on tips, rum and cigars but I would not have hesitated to do so. In hindsight we would have done the 9pm excursion to the Tropicana as that sounded like a lot of fun from those we spoke to that went as well as the Hemmingway walking tour which got great reviews from those who attended. Finally, the reason we purchased faster to the fun, was to get on the ship early to get signed up for the behind the scenes tour - and I was successful. We really loved the tour and it was only $55 per person and very worth it, especially with all the extra goodies they give you along the way. The back stage and dressing rooms, laundry room, cold storage, pantry storage, through the galley to the pastry area, staff lounge and cafeteria,engine room and bridge were the areas that were visited each with a little talk from the head of that particular area - a cruise highlight. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We took this cruise to see Cuba. When we arrived at the dock a rep told us that Carnival was not sure if the Paradise would goto Cuba because of hurricane Irma. Many passengers stayed out waiting to see if the Paradise was going to Cuba ... Read More
We took this cruise to see Cuba. When we arrived at the dock a rep told us that Carnival was not sure if the Paradise would goto Cuba because of hurricane Irma. Many passengers stayed out waiting to see if the Paradise was going to Cuba or not. Our group of six headed onboard with only 1100 other cruisers. The ship sailed with less than half the normal capacity. The Paradise ended up going to Cuba. She was an hour late getting there & before anyone left the ship it was announced that we would be leaving at midnight. We took the easy Havana tour it was nice but about an hour & 1/2 too long. Saturday the Port of Tampa closed due to Irma. So our course was set for Cozumel for an unscheduled overnight stop. We docked on Sunday morning & set sail Monday at 2pm. The plan was to head for either Port of Tampa if it is open or Port Canaveral if not. The Paradise coasted at 10knots for most of the time. A slow boat to Tampa. The port reopened & we got back to Tampa Wednesday morning. Carnival was nice enough to let anyone stay on board until Saturday. We stayed as the earliest flight back for us was Thursday. People from Florida who had no power at home stayed as did others who had travel issues. About 140 passengers stayed over. It was like being on a ghost ship that night. Carnival was great they even open up one of the dining rooms. We ate on Lido that last night. So our Mysery Cruise was suppose to be four days to Havana ended up being a six day cruise to Havana & Cozumel. The Paradise is in need of dry dock. One of the glass elevators was broke for the whole cruise. Things were worn but the ship's public areas were clean. The crew was great. Our cabins were M210 & M214. Suhendri & Carla took care of our rooms & did an excellent job. The rooms need an overhaul M214 still has part of the facade from the old tube TVs the rooms used to have. The bathrooms have the old Faucet handles & many scars on the sinks. With so few people the whole cruise was open seating. But we ate at the tables with Emmanuael, Soe & Jonathan. Table 365. The were super & we saw them all around the ship. They said hi whenever we saw each other. The comics Al Ernst & Ronnie Bullard were funny. I saw Al twice. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I really feared the worst as the ship was older but to my pleasant surprise. It was clean, not moldy,or smoky. It had some of the best customer service ever. Our waiter, Waylon was great. Food was ok, it was the American table menu..so ... Read More
I really feared the worst as the ship was older but to my pleasant surprise. It was clean, not moldy,or smoky. It had some of the best customer service ever. Our waiter, Waylon was great. Food was ok, it was the American table menu..so ..Fun time! I would take this ship again. Cruiser Director was Jamie Dee. WOW she is wonderful , really enjoyed being with her. We had a port hole cabin. Cabin layout was strange. The cabin was big and with better placement of furniture would have seemed better. Bath was huge. We did the Top 10 best tour and it was a great overview. Had one couple that didnt know the meaning of be back on time we waited 1/2 hour for them, so some of the tour had to be cut short. The walking tour of old Havana the next morning was superb! Even went to a dance recital. Entertainment was great. Had a Havana deck party that was fun. The comedy club was big and The Cowboy was great.. super time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I choose Carnival Paradise to fulfil a bucket list destination..Cuba. We were so excited to go and invited two friends to enjoy the cruise with us. We are Platinum members and that helps with the embarkation. So all went well. Food and ... Read More
I choose Carnival Paradise to fulfil a bucket list destination..Cuba. We were so excited to go and invited two friends to enjoy the cruise with us. We are Platinum members and that helps with the embarkation. So all went well. Food and service was great. Our room was comfortable and cleaned well everyday. Best mattress we've slept on during our 41 cruises. We enjoyed the entertainment venues of dance,singing,and comedians. Rained the first day we were on our excursion of Best Top 10 of Havana, so no good pictures. Second day was Classic Car tour. It was fun riding in the car but they need someone that speaks English in the car. We went all over Havana and didn't learn much because our driver couldn't speak English at all. Disembarkation was a nightmare. We didn't use our Platinum status to get off first due to our flight being at 1:15pm. We waited until 9:00 to leave and stood in line for 1 hour and 35 minutes. Maybe that will get better as this was only their 4th cruise to Cuba. Suggestion: put floor numbers on the wall at each flight of stairs. We had to walk to the elevator to see the tiny floor number because we used the stairs to move about the ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Cuba was the trip of a lifetime. The staff was wonderful to us and really only had one issue with a bartender at the comedy lounge. Fortunately our normal bartender came in and helped out and cut him off as he was very rude. Excursions ... Read More
Cuba was the trip of a lifetime. The staff was wonderful to us and really only had one issue with a bartender at the comedy lounge. Fortunately our normal bartender came in and helped out and cut him off as he was very rude. Excursions were very expensive and they sold out before we had a chance to book. However, we went out on our own and had more fun than even the excursion we did take. Shopping opportunities might have been better. If I had to plan it, I'd bring cuban crafts and food on board for us to purchase. The rooms were tiny. And the steak, unseasoned. Food just wasnt what I expected for my first cruise. Teenagers avoided teen activities. They were not age appropriate for older teens. Slow going getting off the ship in Cuba. And coming back to Tampa, people were going bananas getting off the ship because of too many merging lines. Thought there was going to be some fighting. That was the bad and it truly wasn't awful. The cruise director was amazing! The steward was wonderful. Most staff was pleasant and sociable. Just the one sour person. Steward for four teens in one room, incredible to them! Drinks were good. But everything could have STUNK because they brought actual Cuban orchestra on board and that was worth every LAST penny of that cruise!!!!! Pleasant staff. I'd do it again in a lifetime, but this ship, ONLY for Cuba. I traveled with seasoned cruise goers and the amenities were not what they come to expect. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise when they first announced that they were sailing to Cuba. We wanted to go some place new and some place was hadn't been commercialized yet, this sailing fit the bill for both. The ship is an older one but ... Read More
We chose this cruise when they first announced that they were sailing to Cuba. We wanted to go some place new and some place was hadn't been commercialized yet, this sailing fit the bill for both. The ship is an older one but keep up and clean and the staff was good. We had an interior room because it was only a four day cruise and this ship doesn't have balcony room unless you have a suite and they were a bit pricey./ Food was good, we had a 6 top table in MDR and no one else ever showed up so we were out of there pretty quickly each night/ Entertainment was great, they had a Cuban group performing on the night we were docked in Havana and they were very good, I didn't understand a word they were singing but the music was wonderful. Would definitely go on this ship and this itinerary again/ Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I was not going to take Carnival Cruise to Havana. But due to late planning we had to choose Carnival or not go at all. I was pleasantly surprised by the level of service. The service from the customer service over the phone to ... Read More
I was not going to take Carnival Cruise to Havana. But due to late planning we had to choose Carnival or not go at all. I was pleasantly surprised by the level of service. The service from the customer service over the phone to housekeeping was the best. Everything was given the extra yard. It was my husband's birthday and we were not disappointed. He got a discount on his Spa treatment and strawberries. The entertainment was quite good and the cruise director had energy galore. We meet some wonderful people at our dining table. The staff never forgot our names. I was impressed when I got home we am planning with my kids the next Carnival Cruise. My only regret was that we did not have a longer time at port in Havana. My shore excursions were quite lengthly and we almost missed going from one tour to the next. But I was not disappointed with the excursions. The line for getting on the ship at Havana was quite long but other that it was a good cruise. There was so many people I could compliment and I know all their names!!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was mine and my husband’s first cruise and it was absolutely fantastic! While I could write a novel about our experience but I will try to condense it down. We were able to get right in our room with no problem and met our room ... Read More
This was mine and my husband’s first cruise and it was absolutely fantastic! While I could write a novel about our experience but I will try to condense it down. We were able to get right in our room with no problem and met our room stewards right away Ni Lhu was amazing the whole week. We always had towels, fresh ice and anything extra I needed was in my room right away. Needless to say she got a pretty good extra tip. Dinner every night was amazing. We had Wanchai as our head waiter and he and his team was a blast. We made sure to request him every night. Food was fantastic. Saturday-getting on the ship was not as bad as I anticipated it to be. We had FTTF so we were able to skip the general line but it seemed that they didn’t not have enough people at the counter to quickly move through the different lines so it took a little bit but we were there early enough that it was no biggie. We pretty much just explored the ship and spent time out on the Lido deck. Sunday-This was Key West day. We were able to get off the ship with ease. We bought tickets for one of the trolley tours which took us all around town and gave us history about the different places we saw. We got off on the last stop and went to Kermit’s to get some Key Lime Cookies which were awesome. Monday-Sea Day/Elegant Night On this day we went to the brunch. It was delicious!! I had the funny French toast which was coated in honey nut cheerios. Then I went to the pool while hubs went and took a nap. The pool is saltwater which I was not expecting but rather enjoyed. Then it was time to get ready for dinner. I really enjoyed getting dressed up. We went and did some of the formal pics. I will say I was not a big fan of having to do a ton of poses. I just wanted to stand there arm and arm with Hubs and take a pic. After dinner we went to the Comedy show with is hilarious. Tuesday-Cozumel Again getting off the ship was super easy. We spent the day going through the port shops and watching some of the local singing and dancing. We stopped at Ponchos backyard and had a bite and watched the Marimba Players. They were really good and even let my MIL play with them. Then it was back on the boat for moor pool time and dinner. Wednesday-Sea day. One Wednesday we took the Behind the Fun tour. I recommend this to everyone. We got to see the kitchens, the control room; we went on the bridge and met the captain. It is about three hours and all walking so make sure to take comfy shoes. After that we went to the Chocolate Extravaganza which is exactly how it sounds. Chocolate as far as the eye can see. After “lunch” my In -laws went to rest and we went to play Bingo-which we did every day. We never won but it was fun playing. After dinner hubs and I went to the rock show which was phenomenal, we actually saw it twice. Then back to the room to finish packing and get ready for the next day. Thursday-Debarking Getting right off the ship was as breeze. The only cons for me are that the Casino is smoking. We did not get to enjoy it as much as we would have had it been nonsmoking. I also wish they would enforce the dress code in the dining room. Other than that everything was amazing and I can’t wait to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We live in Tampa Bay and chose this cruise due to the proximity. We have been to Key West and Cozumel several times so the tours didn't jazz us...we needed a getaway! Booked a grand suite as my husband likes to stay on board mostly ... Read More
We live in Tampa Bay and chose this cruise due to the proximity. We have been to Key West and Cozumel several times so the tours didn't jazz us...we needed a getaway! Booked a grand suite as my husband likes to stay on board mostly and the balcony was a draw. Long and Short if you book a suite, things are easier for you. Apparently there is a Faster to fun pass, or some such thing, and you can jump ahead for embarkation and debarkation...but suites get this automatically...your room is ready and in you go. I realized later that this was a luxury. The other passengers are different than other cruises....they are fun, younger....they are thrilled to be on vacation, laugh alot, drink alot and did I mention Laugh A Lot? Carnival does nickel and dime you to death though....The cheaper cruises are made up for the ridiculous amounts of money you spend on drinks....I laughed to my facebook friends that I will spend as much money on alcohol as I did the actual cruise....I am not joking about this-darn near true! If you are a wine drinker and want to have a bottle in your room, that won't happen..you have to get your cocktails drink by drink....no bottles of wine for you! Beware! We spent 31.00 per bottle of wine(minimum). If you are a wine in your room drinker...just adjust your money to spend! Food: The dining room food is like a nursing home....I suggest you pay the 20 bucks extra for the lobster tail and filet mignon....Really...pay the dough. It's 50/50 if you get something tasty, but the appetizers are your best bet! Our room was great....our steward was fabulous....our time was wonderful....so in short...not a bad trip! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We had originally booked to go to Cozumel for July but our itinerary was changed so we moved our cruise up a month. Space was already limited at the time of rebooking so we were limited on room option. Traveling with 2 year old twins and ... Read More
We had originally booked to go to Cozumel for July but our itinerary was changed so we moved our cruise up a month. Space was already limited at the time of rebooking so we were limited on room option. Traveling with 2 year old twins and picking the best option was difficult. Once on board the ship is beautiful but is showing her age a little. We had cabin E22 and with a few modifications it worked perfect for our family. Again showing her age the room was nice but you could see patch jobs in the carpet where threads where coming undone. The doors to the closet area didn't want to shut all that great but we made due. If you are a light sleeper don't plan on going to bed early as you will hear the shows being preformed. We had diner in the Destiny dining room and it was great. Food was good and service even better. Hit the casino a couple times and yes the smoke will drive you out. The cruise directore Jaime was awesome in fact all the staff was great. We enjoyed seeing everyone daily and they loved seeing our twin daughters smiling faces. Overall good ship and looking forward to seeing much needed updates in the future. Disembarkation back home was probably the most aggravating. Our time was mid morning (10ish) to get off and go through customs. It was almost noon before we got out of the terminal. We haven't had a great track record with the Port officals at this location and getting off this time was just uncalled for. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This cruise was my 10th; 3rd on Carnival; 1st on Paradise; 1st solo cruise. I am a middle aged widow. I booked this cruise after my husband's passing to relax and figure out who I am. I live driving distance from port so no flights ... Read More
This cruise was my 10th; 3rd on Carnival; 1st on Paradise; 1st solo cruise. I am a middle aged widow. I booked this cruise after my husband's passing to relax and figure out who I am. I live driving distance from port so no flights nor hotels. Paradise is a smaller, older ship which needs some cosmetic updates. She is a beautiful ship. I had an Oceanview aft cabin facing the wake. The room was on the small side (typical for older ships). The air conditioning control is in the ceiling and not reachable. The only two possible air conditioning levels are very cold or off. The room steward gave me an extra blanket upon my request. There were no cups (plastic, glass nor disposable) in the bathroom. The first night, I didn't even have drinking glasses in the cabin. Fortunately I had a small bottle of water to use to take my medications and brush my teeth. I had to get one from the buffet and hide it in my medicine cabinet in order to have a glass. The room steward told me they put glasses in the bathroom anymore. The food in the Main Dining Room was good but could've been served hotter. I had traditional early dining and was at a table with several other solo travelers as well as a couple of people traveling together. I ate breakfast in the main dining room every morning. There is a brunch on sea days which was very good. Didn't eat much in the Lido buffet, but what I had was okay (the pizza was very good). Chef's Table - try it!!!!! Excellent dining experience and worth the $75 upcharge. Tour of galley with champagne and appetizers; 7 course meal; wine; and entertainment. I enjoyed the casino and the dealers and pit bosses were a lot of fun. However, I wish the casino was smoke-free. I went to one show - the hypnotist. He was very funny and enjoyable. I had no trouble finding a lounge chair on the Lido deck. However, the no babies in diapers in the pool and hot tubs rule was not enforced and I had to leave the hot tub when the baby in diapers entered with her big brother. I took advantage of one of the spa specials. Very enjoyable and relaxing. Embarkation was smooth as was Disembarkation. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Have sailed Paradise many times,crew all the way to staff officers very extra friendly. New hatch on port side done they were just painting same(guess this is for Cuba run). all elevators up and running. Menu so-so. Room service ... Read More
Have sailed Paradise many times,crew all the way to staff officers very extra friendly. New hatch on port side done they were just painting same(guess this is for Cuba run). all elevators up and running. Menu so-so. Room service continental menu same just do a tip. If you want anything on new menu that's cooked average price is $5.00 for each thing $$$$ When getting off ship NO customs declaration was needed,custom agent said they were trying this out. Also the Captain was next to custom station giving all a good bye, nice touch, Casino had lots of new machine,on the tight side,staff and dealers great. As a diamond didn't have to drag the bags down the stairs. Looked to book 1st couple weeks in June and most sailing sold out ( for the cabins I like) So will be booking in July for the KeY West run which is alright don't get off ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I chose the Cruise for the size of the boat. Since this was our first cruise for our children (10yo and 2yo) we didn't want one of the largest ships. Also the Port location had a lot to do with the boat choice since we were driving ... Read More
I chose the Cruise for the size of the boat. Since this was our first cruise for our children (10yo and 2yo) we didn't want one of the largest ships. Also the Port location had a lot to do with the boat choice since we were driving to the Port. I was so impressed by the Kids Camp. The staff was so accommodating to the kids. Unfortunately our 2yo just didn't feel comfortable staying. It wasn't for lack of the staff trying. They provided us a phone to use on board so they would call us when he was unhappy. Our 10yo loved the Kids Camp as well. He met a lot of new friends and enjoyed the activities. I am always pleased with the amount of food selection available on the boat. However I was disappointed with the quality of some of the food. The MDR food was hit or miss each night with the quality. I also had a burger from the Lido Deck's Grill and it was still pink in the middle. It also always bothers me when I see mayonnaise just in a bowl that's not iced down. We greatly enjoyed the Comedians they were hilarious. We didn't see any of the Productions so can't speak on that. The entire staff was nice and accommodating. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I read all the reviews for the Paradise and some were positive and some negative. Im a first timer cruiser with my two daughters.Boarding was no problem took about 35 minutes, room was ready by 1:30,The room and boat was clean.My room ... Read More
I read all the reviews for the Paradise and some were positive and some negative. Im a first timer cruiser with my two daughters.Boarding was no problem took about 35 minutes, room was ready by 1:30,The room and boat was clean.My room stewart Dode kept are room clean and ice bucket full. Some reviews said the room was hot, M188 AC worked great no problem. We ate in the dining room every night,food and service was very good, we ordered two or three appatizers and entrees every night. the shows were great especially the comedy club. Cruise director Brandon was awesome. The worst part was leaving the ship,not the time it took to leave because that was no problem but just leaving. The best way to some up a Carnival cruise is the crew members, they are the most happy courteous pleasent people you could ever meet. Great cruise thanks Carnival Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I've sailed "Paradise" many, many times, but sadly, the cruise has gone down hill since the last time I sailed her. Entertainment, in general, and big shows in particular, have hit rock bottom for me. Way too loud, and ... Read More
I've sailed "Paradise" many, many times, but sadly, the cruise has gone down hill since the last time I sailed her. Entertainment, in general, and big shows in particular, have hit rock bottom for me. Way too loud, and with music that I don't care for, and can't stand to listen to. WAY TOO LOUD! No way nearly as much choice of food, and wait staff way overloaded with tables. Two hours to eat dinner is much, much too long. Embarkation/debarkation good at the port of Tampa. Comedy shows O.K., and not too crowded. Cabin service good, with twice daily service. Karaoke available each, and every night, with a fair selection of music. I was told that the solid state karaoke equipment would be updated with new music frequently,,,but sadly, that hasn't happened. Newly wed, nearly dead show was it's usual self, pretty good, but much better if you haven't heard the questions over, and over again. Hypnotist was terrible, and a total waste of time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Decided to try a Carnival small ship we've never been on, the Carnival Paradise. Embarkation was a mess, took more then 2 hours from the time we arrived at our picked time at the port. Seems the times you pick to show up to get on ... Read More
Decided to try a Carnival small ship we've never been on, the Carnival Paradise. Embarkation was a mess, took more then 2 hours from the time we arrived at our picked time at the port. Seems the times you pick to show up to get on the ship are ignored! Once on the ship, we were pleasantly surprised with the condition of this older ship, was in much better condition then our last cruise on the RCL Majesty. Food in the buffet all through the trip was of a better quality, and larger selection then what we have received on any RCL ship. The same can be said of the selections and quality of food in the dining room for dinner, we were quite satisfied with the food offered by the Paradise! We did not try any offerings of extra pay food, but it was limited if that's your preference, this isn't your cruise. Because kids were in school, there were very few young children, a few looking high school age, but mostly this cruise was a senior/middle aged cruise! Maybe because of the size of the ship, but at ports, only one exit/entrance was used which can block things up a bit at busy times, could easily be fixed by opening up second access that was kept only for crew! The cabin we had, an ocean view at the back of the ship was on the 5th deck. We felt a little vibration when the ship was under full power the first night, and last day, but because it was centered in location we felt no other movement. Walking in the ship, the first night, and on the last day when the ship was crossing the Gulf from Mexico towards Tampa you did the 'drunk walk' I call it, where you can't walk straight, but it was very manageable! Seems all the smaller ships have to deal with this, the Majesty crossing the Gulf Stream towards the Bahamas is famous for its 'drunk walk' the first night also! The cabin at 185 sq ft was 1/3 larger then the average ocean view on the Majesty, it was very comfortable, the shower was large enough for guy my size, overall we were quite satisfied, and as we are usually Balcony cruisers, that's saying something. The regular drinks were around $8-$8.50, and $3. more for a double, which seemed like a fair price in cruising the last few years, the drinks were free poured, not those computerized pour machines, so it made you feel like you got a little extra! In the Buffet they had a draft beer machine located on both sides of the buffet which used your room key, charged by the ounce you wanted to pour. In the back of the buffet was a full service bar that seemed always open. Sandwiches and Pizza in the buffet were some of the best quality we've had at sea, far better then Royal Caribbean! You gotta try the Mongollian Wok/Noodle offerings in the pool area open during lunch, a really good selection of quality buffet food. Pools are small on this ship, so if pools are your thing, pick another ship! As most will state in reviews, the Casino is smokey, likely because the casino along with the bar just outside the casino are the only places on the ship, inside you can smoke, so if it bothers you, stay away from these 2 areas. Like to see Carnival to go smoke free in the casino, let the smokers talk a walk if they are in need of a fix!!! The entertainment was 2 comedy shows every night, 1 kid friendly, 1 adults only and they were very popular, and very good. There was 2 nights of different rock and roll shows of singing and dancing, and honestly it was some of the best we've seen on cruises, except for the RCL Broadway shows on their bigger ships. Can't remember the name, but one night the cruise director ran a 3 couple show of questions that was very entertaining. Karaoke seemed to be every night, and when we passed by, or stopped in, seems to be very popular on Carnival. Availability of drinks by waiters around the ship was very good, you'll have no problem getting a drink! Overall this cruise on a smaller Carnival ship was very positive, and we felt it was better then RCL's smaller ship offerings because of quality of food in the buffet and dining room, a far larger cabin then RCL offers, and because of a slightly better conditioned ship then RCL's smaller ships! Next will be a comparison with NCL's smaller offering, the Sky. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Chose this cruise because a co-worker had taken it in February and it was an easy location for us to get to (Tampa from Cleveland) and the dates worked for my wife and I to get off work. Overall it was a good experience for our first ... Read More
Chose this cruise because a co-worker had taken it in February and it was an easy location for us to get to (Tampa from Cleveland) and the dates worked for my wife and I to get off work. Overall it was a good experience for our first cruise. The ship, while a little dated, was very clean. Our cabin (U-228) had a rear facing window and was very well kept, clean and in good shape. Our steward (Andre) was on top of things and kept the room in tip-top shape at all times. Being in the rear there was a gentle hum of engine/prop noise but it was actually relaxing. Bed was very comfortable. Food/dining was excellent. We chose the 8:15 dining time in the Destiny lounge. They had some food that was extra but we never chose it because we always found something new and interesting on the menu. Only complaint was that we were sat at a 10-seat table and 2 of the 3 nights we ate alone, on the other 2 nights one other couple showed up. The pool was very crowded in the center so we spent most time on the Serenity adult only deck or the upper aft pool area. Health club /spa was very nice. We got a couples massage on the first night and loved it. I used the treadmills most days and the showers, steam room and sauna in the men's locker room instead of showering in my cabin. For an excursion we chose the Cenote Hopping with Lunch in Cozumel. It was a great trip and Paco the guide was awesome. I would warn people about to take this trip though that it is a journey to get to with a 45 minute boat ride from Cozumel to the mainland then a 50 minute bus ride to the Cenotes and lunch is not served until the very end, so I'd bring a snack if I had it to do all over again. But the hiking was very easy along trails and swimming, zip lining and cliff jumping into the Cenotes was a great experience. The atmosphere was very relaxed. The one formal dining night was nice but not everyone dressed up. For entertainment we enjoyed the comedians and also caught a couple shows. The casino was nice albeit very smoky. Embarkation was very easy as was debarkation. Overall I'd rate it a 4/5 stars. We purchased the cruise kind of on a whim during Carnival's sale in February and I would definitely say it was worth what we paid. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
A friend helped me get this cruise and i was happy to be on a ship. i love the trip as a whole and found a new treasure for me in a great restaurant in casta maya. love love love the krazy lobster! The food on the ship was not what i ... Read More
A friend helped me get this cruise and i was happy to be on a ship. i love the trip as a whole and found a new treasure for me in a great restaurant in casta maya. love love love the krazy lobster! The food on the ship was not what i expected. i expected it to be wonderful, it was not. but i will live. i was disappointed by the size and way the food was prepared. Our steward was so sweet. yoko made extra towel animals and they were the sweetest thing. he made sure we had extra ice and the towels were great. The staff as a whole made sure that things went well. with that other than the food the cruise was so much fun. i won at the casino and had wonderful pictures taken! i did enjoy this cruise. i am going on a bigger boat next time.. Can not wait., Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Nice old ship have been on it 4 times always stayed on the Empress deck E74,E76 & E78. It is easier to get any where on the ship in that location. The Paradise need some updates but it is clean and the staff is excellent to say the ... Read More
Nice old ship have been on it 4 times always stayed on the Empress deck E74,E76 & E78. It is easier to get any where on the ship in that location. The Paradise need some updates but it is clean and the staff is excellent to say the least. They go out of their way to make your stay comfortable and very pleasant. I like a smaller ship over a new large one not as many people .I have read all reviews of this ship since 2013 and seen all kind of reviews on it. I have spoken with people who have been on other lines and they told me the Paradise is cleaner the Staff is better and the food is better as well. As to the room it is plenty big enough to accommodate my wife and myself. And always clean. never had any problems with the AC or the bathroom problems I have read about I was a little disappointed on this trips change in port stops I wanted to see Mahogany Bay . We were changed to Costa Maya . I thought it was a bit pricey they tried to charge me $20 for a hamburger and fries in US dollars. That really turned me off. Also the beers were more expensive than the ship prices. Cozumel what can I say it is the best. We have met a lot of nice venders there Like Roberto at Machete's restaurant I will always give them a shout out and see them whenever in port . If you stop there go down for souvenir's see Juan nice old man and he will bargain with you. As to Tampa I live there and only 10 minutes to the part easiest place to embark from. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I'm a loyal Carnival cruiser mainly because it is economical for my young son and I to cruise together that won't break the bank. I've been on now 6 Carnival ships so far including the Breeze when it was less than 6 months ... Read More
I'm a loyal Carnival cruiser mainly because it is economical for my young son and I to cruise together that won't break the bank. I've been on now 6 Carnival ships so far including the Breeze when it was less than 6 months old. The Paradise was the oldest and smallest ship in the Carnival fleet that I have ever sailed (not to sound snobby or anything). I did not plan the trip, I was an "add-on" to my boyfriends family vacation when I suddenly became available for the dates they were sailing. After reading the reviews, I was extremely hesitant but I did not have much choice and it became worse after receiving the news that our Grand Cayman port (which is always my favorite and wanted the first time cruisers I was going with to experience it) was substituted with the Costa Maya port due to "mechanical issues". Again, my expectations went even lower. We arrived at the Port of Tampa and aside from our check in representative being his first day and was a nervous wreck (we went easy on him ;) it was a super smooth boarding process. No super long lines, security was quick and easy, no crazy crowds and traffic. We boarded the ship fairly early (right after the Faster to the Fun crowd, for those of you wanting to pay that "extra" money) and our staterooms were ready by the time we got there around 12:30 (even though they said not until 1:30). Bags came fast with the exception of one of them, not sure why. We headed up to explore the ship and I kept thinking to myself "wow, we must have gotten here really early, theres not many people yet". Well, I was surprised when we set sail and I continued to think how nice it was being on this smaller ship where there were not mobs of people (other than the one and only pool on the lido deck during the day which was very very crowded). Because of that, the lines for the food were much shorter (and sometimes none at all), the bars and clubs were never overcrowded and hot, the elevators are the fastest of any ship I have been on and was never difficult to find an employee. Yes, the ship is older and the decor is outdated but I've never expected it to be so clean. Yes, you can get weird smells here and there and some spots are noisier than others...its a ship, that happens. The room stewards, in my opinion, are one of the greatest parts of every cruise. They are so warm, welcoming, friendly and always have a smile every day. Our steward Andre was no exception! He went above and beyond for us! The only complaints that I have: The food is eh. Its not bad...but its not great. But there were always lots of options no matter the time or day. The dining room dinner is of course better than the buffet and good variety, but again...its just okay. By far, the dining room breakfast or seaday brunch is your best bet for breakfast. I have found this to be true on every Carnival ship so I was not surprised. The line for Guest Services pretty much any time or day was ridiculous. I waited in line for about an hour just to get a new room key. There is no individual temperature control for the cabin. Although it never did get overly warm and was comfortable most of the time, when there were all 4 of us getting ready in our Quad room, it was pretty warm. At night, which is when we spend most of our time in the cabin anyway, it was comfortable but would have been nicer to make it a bit cooler. Other than that, I would cruise on the Paradise again any day! I was so pleasantly surprised at great it was! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We wanted a quick get away from Mardi Gras. Chose the Paradise because their itinerary worked well with our schedule. We had a large suite and it was great, walk in closet, full bath, wonderful balcony, and nice king size bed. The room was ... Read More
We wanted a quick get away from Mardi Gras. Chose the Paradise because their itinerary worked well with our schedule. We had a large suite and it was great, walk in closet, full bath, wonderful balcony, and nice king size bed. The room was hot when we arrived but our steward brought us a fan and the room cooled off and was very comfortable. The ship needs updating, carpets are worn, areas show wear and tear, but the staff worked hard to keep it clean. Boarding was simple but that was a perk from being in a suite, debarkation was the same. Food was very good, our waiter was wonderful very attentive and pleasant. I had the filet one night and there was an extra charge but it was worth it. We ate in the dining room every night and had a room service sandwich one day, it was also good. The pool was fine, actually there are lots of areas to sun and you can find privacy if you look for it. Had two spa treatments and they were wonderful. We have cruised many times and I did not have high expectations, I was pleasantly surprised! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was my first cruise, the boat is an older boat, but if this ship was any bigger I would have been lost for longer! I walked so much just trying to find everything. The staff is VERY friendly and they remember your name, which made me ... Read More
This was my first cruise, the boat is an older boat, but if this ship was any bigger I would have been lost for longer! I walked so much just trying to find everything. The staff is VERY friendly and they remember your name, which made me feel very welcomed. They will go above and beyond for you if you go above and beyond for them. Their gratuities that are added to the bill don't just go to them they have to split them between EVERYONE. I brought cash to tip some of my favorite waiters or bartenders and you don't have to tip like on land, two bucks every other time is fine and the word spreads like wildfire and I got some nice perks. Anyway, some of the hand driers didn't work in the public bathroom and sometimes the extra stall was closed. The rooms were clean but cramped I was on the 4th floor...the dungeon as i called it. These crew members don't get paid much and the turn around time between cruises is like hours. They did a good job based on what they had to work with, this is an older boat but it worked for me as an first timer and my niece went with us, she's 5, she had a blast. We met some great people that we will continue to be friends with in the future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We went on this cruise as a quick, inexpensive getaway to celebrate my birthday. Had a great time. We have been to Cozumel before. Went to Mr.Sanchos and had the best day there. The food was great and plentiful, the drinks were wonderful ... Read More
We went on this cruise as a quick, inexpensive getaway to celebrate my birthday. Had a great time. We have been to Cozumel before. Went to Mr.Sanchos and had the best day there. The food was great and plentiful, the drinks were wonderful and the whole place was awesome! Will go back if we find ourselves in Cozumel again. The cruise itself was laid back and while the Paradise is not top notch, it was more than adequate. The turnaround from the previous cruise was shortened due to late arrival because of fog. Some of the locker room and shower areas could use a deep cleaning but they weren't nasty, just well used. Service was great, wish some of the shows had been less crowded. By the time we got out of late dining, many areas were packed. May do early dining next time. Ready to plan another cruise......where to next? Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was our 4th time on the Paradise. Ship has been kept in excellent condition and really has a lot of nice areas all over the ship to sit and lounge in various areas. The only complaint was that the ship was very cold and even in ... Read More
This was our 4th time on the Paradise. Ship has been kept in excellent condition and really has a lot of nice areas all over the ship to sit and lounge in various areas. The only complaint was that the ship was very cold and even in the cabin, we could adjust the air but not enough and any time in the cabin was spent under the covers. I can see that the ship's cold temperature would be helpful to not spread and viruses, etc. Our dining waiter, Shailesh and bus boy, Bryan and assistant Sophia were outstanding! So nice and provided the Best service. Out cabin person, Lawrence, always had ice in our cabin and when we returned out cabin was so clean, with fresh towels... Ports are great, Cozumel and Grand Cayman are 2 of our favorites. We only use private excursions, so I did not rate Shore Excursions for the ship. We live in Tampa, so the Carnival Paradise is very convenient for us. Read Less
Sail Date January 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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