993 Carnival Paradise Cruise Reviews

A wee bit wordy but a lot of info. Got off the Carnival Paradise yesterday. I’ve cruised in 8-10 Carnival ships including Europe. By far, this was the worst ship. Food was pretty bad, almost embarrassing since we had 1st time ... Read More
A wee bit wordy but a lot of info. Got off the Carnival Paradise yesterday. I’ve cruised in 8-10 Carnival ships including Europe. By far, this was the worst ship. Food was pretty bad, almost embarrassing since we had 1st time cruisers in our group. Pork chops, Mahi Mahi and steak were very chewy. Took several bites before you could actually swallow. Tough to cut even with a steak knife. I used to look forward to Lobster on formal nights but Carnival cut this out for 5-day or less cruises. Big mistake! Guys Burgers were awesome as always. My bed too was slightly lopsided so I slept on the other end. We had a choice of 1-2 cleanings a day. We chose 1. Room steward was great though we only saw him once during our entire cruise. My room was directly under the Galley. DON’T BOOK THESE ROOMS! Loud crashing/banging at all hours of the night/mornings. All our rooms (7th floor) had the same problem. We ALL had to wear ear plugs to sleep. Ship was dated and super small. Shows were mediocre. The Lead female singer needs a stronger voice. Main complaint – we made reservations for Chef’s Table before the cruise plus we booked 2 excursions thru Carnival for Cozumel. Got a Chef’s Table confirmation email for Day 1 of our cruise at 6pm. Day 1 - We ate light meals anticipating the excellent food at the Chef’s Table. Early afternoon, I called Guest Services as no one (6 adults/3 rooms) received our invitations. Supposedly we were “mistaken” and it was the next day. I told her we had the email that confirmed 9/5/18 at 6pm. I informed her we had evening plans in Cuba, we can’t go that day. She called me back and said it was the 2nd day of Cuba (9/7/18). We were leaving Cuba early that day. Day 3 - we all ate light meals again. I called that afternoon because no one received invites. They said we should get a letter soon. We FINALLY got the letters that our Chef’s Table was scheduled 9/8/18 at 6pm. What? We were supposed to be in Cozumel till 8:30pm! We weren’t getting off the ship till after 12 noon. Plus we had excursions previously booked thru Carnival bringing us back to the pier at 6:30pm, others near 8:30pm. I argued that we would get off the ship at 12-12:30pm, we have to return to the ship by 5pm, shower and be ready for Chef’s Table at 6pm! I snapped that we had booked our excursions thru Carnival and we would not return to the pier till 6:30pm, so they SHOULD have known this! I kept asking to speak to a manager and they would not transfer me. She finally said she would have a supervisor call me back. Later some guy (possibly Matri’d) called me to confirm we were cancelling. Before I could explain, he snapped at me that they were all booked for the entire cruise and practically hung up on me. Very rude guy. The same girl called me back later and said we didn’t have any excursions booked thru Carnival? What? 2 different rooms, 2 different families on 2 different computers yet our excursions “mysteriously” disappeared? Umm hmmm. Luckily we were able to rebook the same excursions. No apologies by anyone at Carnival, no call backs by any Supervisors, no attempt to make this right. Worst Carnival Ship and worst Customer Service! The 2 stars is only for Guys Hamburgers. They deserve 5 stars! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Sept. 5, 2018 Just returned from a cruise to Havana and Cozumel on Carnival Paradise and would like to pass along our views. Embarkation at Tampa was quick, painless and an improvement from years past. Living in the area we used Lyft ... Read More
Sept. 5, 2018 Just returned from a cruise to Havana and Cozumel on Carnival Paradise and would like to pass along our views. Embarkation at Tampa was quick, painless and an improvement from years past. Living in the area we used Lyft for drop off and pickup at the curb. Stateroom was small with a window and stool under desk, but otherwise plain. Food quality and service has suffered over the last 10 years. On the Paradise, since February, table cloths have been eliminated in favor of smudged wood tops. Only one night they were used. The buffet featured the same food as the dining room, but without the grilled selections. You can choose from a number unseasoned offerings. First night in the dining room was chaos appearing under staffed. It took 45 minutes to be served. Felt sorry for the girl covering our area. Guy’s hamburgers closes along with the Mexican offerings at 6PM. If you try to avoid the dining room the only choices are pizza or sandwiches. Enjoyed Havana on the overnight by making online reservations at 5 Sentidos Paladar six blocks from the dock. Great food with exceptional service. Next morning we had online reservations with Free Walking Tours. Had a 2 1/2 hour trek through the streets of old Havana by nice young lady fluent in English. She was a school teacher making $25/mo. when she decided to become a tour guide. In order to get the license she had marry someone in that area, once issued they got a divorce. They live on tips so be generous. Most have been to Cozumel and enjoyed water sports or a trip to the ruins. Standard stuff when you really just want to go to Cuba. The only entertainment were a solo guitar singer and with a band. There is no show. It maybe worthwhile to note that shore excursions and not necessary in spite of the active promotion. On the affidavit choose 'Support of Cuban People' and you're good to get off the ship. Lower your expectations for this ship, then lower them again. With this ship you must remember it's the destination, not the journey. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was my first time cruising with Carnival. My sister, who is a Carnival cruise VIP member, and myself booked a Cuba and Cozumel cruise. I want to give kudos to those areas that impressed me. I enjoyed Cuba and the Paradise booked ... Read More
This was my first time cruising with Carnival. My sister, who is a Carnival cruise VIP member, and myself booked a Cuba and Cozumel cruise. I want to give kudos to those areas that impressed me. I enjoyed Cuba and the Paradise booked excursion. I recommend the Local Flavors Excursion. The tour guide was excellent. I met a Guest Services Supervisor SANJA VUK who acted when we had issues with our stateroom. She showed concern and actually came to check our stateroom. Now those areas that did not impress me are: 1) Stateroom - we had E1. It was next to a pipe room which was very noisy and stank. 2) Guest Services - no answer to phone calls. 3) The flies and the food while in the Cuban port were horrible. 4) Elation Brunch - got a seat and waited over 40 minutes for service and left without eating. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We like to just get away sometime at a reasonable price and the 4 day trip from Tampa to Cozumel fits the bill. What has been increasingly negative was the lack of rule enforcement. There were ball caps, flip-flops and tee shirts in the ... Read More
We like to just get away sometime at a reasonable price and the 4 day trip from Tampa to Cozumel fits the bill. What has been increasingly negative was the lack of rule enforcement. There were ball caps, flip-flops and tee shirts in the restaurant and not a word was uttered to the transgressor. On Lido deck there were soaking wet shirtless and shoeless people dining which made it a disgusting experience for the law abiders. Once again, nothing was said. Additionally, the hallways thru the cabins were littered with plates, cups and utensils loaded with half-eaten food. In the fitness club, unaccompanied minors were permitted to enter because the folks at the desk were preoccupied with selling spa treatments. The unlimited drink program is another cause for concern as many younger cruisers cannot imbide sensibly and were seen literally bouncing off the walls. On the positive side, the entertainment was excellent with a very talented troupe of singers and dancers along with great sets and lighting. This was not enough to make up for all the other shortcomings, however. All in all, this trip will be out last on Carnival and we couldn't wait to get off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This is my third cruise and we chose Carnival Paradise because of its two day stay in Havana. Cozumel Mexico and Grand Cayman were ok but Cuba is a must! Amazing beach in Grand Cayman, we went to Royal Palms beach club. Embarkation ... Read More
This is my third cruise and we chose Carnival Paradise because of its two day stay in Havana. Cozumel Mexico and Grand Cayman were ok but Cuba is a must! Amazing beach in Grand Cayman, we went to Royal Palms beach club. Embarkation went very smooth, and we didn't make any long lines. Lines were kind of long to disembark though. We had an interior cabin for 4 people with 2 pull down beds which worked perfect for my kids. Service was excellent. The cabin was cleaned in the morning and serviced again in the evening when we were out to dinner. We were assigned to Your Time Dining and the most we had to wait for a table was 15-20 minutes. Food was excellent at the restaurant, but not too many choices at the buffet. The kids enjoyed the kids club, it had a variety of activities while we spent some time on the Serenity adult deck and never had trouble finding a chair. Best part of the cruise was its overnight stay in Havana. My tour guide Duramis (duramis@nauta.cu) made our two day stay perfect and took us to all the most see spots in Havana. We did a walking tour and a tour in a convertible car. She is full of knowledge on Cuba's history and culture. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I booked this 8-day Carnival Journeys cruise a month before departure! That is not my usual way of planning, but Cuba was so intriguing and the price for a basic cabin for my husband and me so reasonable, I convinced him to go even though ... Read More
I booked this 8-day Carnival Journeys cruise a month before departure! That is not my usual way of planning, but Cuba was so intriguing and the price for a basic cabin for my husband and me so reasonable, I convinced him to go even though we had last cruised in April. We have cruised Carnival on many different ships and enjoyed them all in varying degrees, but the smaller, older Paradise shined, mainly because of the service by the crew and the itinerary. Both were exceptional. We flew from Charlotte to Tampa the day before the cruise. We spent the night at the Marriott Waterside on the vibrant Tampa Riverwalk and enjoyed the water taxi tour, strolling the riverwalk, and having dinner at Four Green Fields. After a buffet breakfast at the hotel the next day, we caught a shuttle for the short ride to the pier. Embarkation was quick and easy. We do have priority boarding as a loyalty perk, but this was the fastest we have ever boarded a ship. This was our first cruise from Tampa and every person in the check-in process had a smile for us. Once onboard, we explored the ship and met some new friends until cabins were ready. I had chosen R42, one of the few cabins available to choose due to our late booking. I knew it would be an inside cabin on the bottom deck forward. It was small but there was adequate hanging storage and a shelving unit to augment the drawer space. It had been freshly updated during dry dock. It had a large, flat screen tv and a refrigerator. The only part that felt too small was the bathroom and its limited storage. I was glad to have a hanging toiletry bag that helped with storage. The cabin proved to be a good choice as it was quiet, well-serviced by our steward Wayan, convenient to the Your Time dining room, and convenient to the debarkation area for two of the ports, including Cuba. Seas were calm and we felt little movement the entire cruise. The ship was easy to navigate and seemed in good working order except for some occasional elevator issues. The carpeting looked new and the decorating as cheerful and colorful as most Carnival ships. The Pixels Gallery had been upgraded to choose photo choices on provided tablets rather than searching rows and rows of printed photos. The Normandie Lounge had good seating and good viewing of the stage, especially on the lower level. The smaller lounge, Queen Mary Lounge, had good seating and adequate space for the comedians and guest lecturers. There was only one pool, so seating around it was crowded, but there were plenty of deck chairs on multiple decks. The Serenity area was small and had two hot tubs but no pool. We decided to try Your Time Dining one more time, even though, in our opinion, the service in that dining option had declined on four previous CCL cruises. The service on Paradise was much better. We only had to wait with a pager one time the entire cruise, and that was about 5 minutes on the first elegant night. We were always seated at a requested table for two. We had a variety of wait staff in the Elation dining room and all were attentive, accurate with our orders, smiling, and eager to please. The food was good and the choices varied. We especially enjoyed the elegant night lobster tail and shrimp, and the Beef Wellington. We ate dinner in the main dining room every evening, and ate breakfast and lunch on Lido off the buffet on days we were on the ship, except for Sea Day Brunch. We ordered Reuben sandwiches from room service one time when we returned from an excursion mid afternoon and had not eaten lunch. The order arrived in less than 15 minutes. We only saw one show in the main lounge, Amor Cubano, an outstanding performance that heightened the anticipation of our Havana port days. We also enjoyed the music of the Latin Connection in the Leonardo Lounge and the Aquaholics in the promenade across from the United States Bar. We saw comedians Seth Buchwald and Lowell Sanders and listened to karaoke one evening. We did not play in the casino or use the spa. We found Cruise Director Erin to be vivacious and personable when hosting the Motown Music Trivia Party. We enjoyed every port but Havana was unique and our favorite. We had been to Cozumel before, but Grand Cayman and Havana were new for us. In Cozumel we took a small group Carnival catamaran snorkel excursion with lunch and drinks. We enjoyed it as the sailboat was beautiful, the people friendly, and the lunch good. There were two Carnival ships in port and we were surprised to meet people from both ships on the excursion. That was a first for us. The fish and coral were not as plentiful or colorful as other places we have snorkeled, but I did get some pictures and even photographed scuba divers below me during the snorkel, which was also a first! In Grand Cayman we also took a small group boat excursion through Captain Marvin’s. We had originally booked and paid online through Shore Excursion’s Group and were scheduled to go with Captain Bryan, but once onshore, the representative walked us to Captain Marvin’s office because of a boat problem and took care of the expenses. We traveled by van to the boat with two families staying on the island. Only six adults, including us, four children, and three crew members were on this tour. Captain Marvin’s crew was exceptional and wonderful with the children. We snorkeled on the Barrier Reef, visited Stingray City Sandbar, where we stood in three feet of water to interact with the huge stingrays, and also stopped at Starfish Point. It was an excellent tour, and we enjoyed the varied stops in lieu of drinks and lunch. One thing we did notice in both Cozumel and Grand Cayman was the current was much stronger than in other places we have snorkeled. The overnight in Havana was the highlight of the cruise. The ship docked right in the city near the Old Town. Through the advice of cruise friends who had already experienced Cuba, we booked small private tours with local companies not affiliated with the Cuban government and which met US requirements. We used Cubaoutings for our first day and toured Havana. The second day we used Cuba Among Cubans to travel to Vinales. Both were excellent and private at reasonable costs. We started the first day with a long wait and snappy Cuban officials getting our visas processed and money exchanged at the port. It was the only place we encountered unfriendly Cubans! The young women in their super short uniforms and fishnet stockings did not look like government officials, but we never saw a smile or greeting! Carnival had no control over this process, so we waited patiently for clearance. Meanwhile, Mary, of Cubaoutings, also waited patiently for us to arrive at the meeting point in the square across the street. We were so relieved she was still there! She assured us it happenened frequently. We quickly walked a couple of blocks to a vintage green Plymouth convertible, where our driver was waiting. We drove through the city to Fusterlandia, where we enjoyed the tile work folk art. Mary explained points of interest and talked about Cuban life. We lunched in a local restaurant then walked the walking portion of the tour—the four main squares and the hotel that Hemingway frequented. We enjoyed the street musicians and the many sculptures and monuments. The architecture of Old Havana was lovely and the Spanish influence evident. The beautiful cathedral was a favorite stop. We took battery-powered necklace fans to be prepared for the heat and humidity and were glad to have them! The five hours on the tour was a good length considering the heat. After dinner onboard the Paradise, we walked on the Malecon and enjoyed the port area at night when it was much cooler. The second day was much easier to get through security. Adrian, our Cuba Among Cubans guide, also met us in the square across the street, and also directed us a few blocks to meet our car. We walked a slightly different route, so we saw more of the city. Our driver was waiting in a beautifully restored, air conditioned 1954 Plymouth hardtop for our two-and-a-half hour drive to Vinales Valley. Adrian made the drive memorable with his commentary on Cuban history and Cuban life today. The countryside was lovely and we enjoyed seeing the vintage cars, horses and carts, and oxen. My husband even got to ride a bull (broken to ride) at one stop! The Cuban farmers we met at the tobacco farm explained and demonstrated the process of making cigars and offered visitors a sample. Part was in English and part in Spanish, but Adrian translated well and even took videos and pictures on his phone of the cigar-making process that he emailed us along with several other videos and other still photos from our day. This was a first from a tour guide! We enjoyed a delicious lunch in a farmstead restaurant and were invited by the owner to come into her home to see where she lived. We also saw a beautiful mural on the side of a mountain depicting the evolution of the Cuban people. The tour lasted from 8 am until 6:30 pm when we were dropped off at the port. We felt we had spent our time in the best possible way. Debarkation was smooth and the porter helpful. He led us across the street to secure a shuttle for transfer to the airport. Our cruise aboard the Carnival Paradise was well beyond our expectations! That is why this is my first review since we began cruising in 2001! The only reason we may not cruise to Cuba again is because there are so many beautiful places to cruise in this world. Our plan is to see as much as we can for as long as we can! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Extensive Cruise Review! Carnival Paradise 8/18 – 8/26, 2018 Hello! We were a strange party of four. L & T, female/male, mid 50’s, from Pittsburgh. Both have cruised before. Accompanied by F & J, 40’s and 30’s, both ... Read More
Extensive Cruise Review! Carnival Paradise 8/18 – 8/26, 2018 Hello! We were a strange party of four. L & T, female/male, mid 50’s, from Pittsburgh. Both have cruised before. Accompanied by F & J, 40’s and 30’s, both male, one from Maryland and one from Florida, neither having cruised before. We chose this cruise because it was 8 nights and offered a full two days in Cuba. We would probably not have chosen Carnival, except for the itinerary. We had two true adjoining cabins on Deck 4 – oceanview, cabins 61 and 65. Embarkation: Ridiculously easy. We were given an arrival time of 12:30 to 1:30. We arrived about noon via uber from an airport hotel. We literally walked in, filled out our Cuba form (where we checked Support for the Cuban People and that was the last question we ever had raised about what we were doing) checked in and walked on board. It all took maybe 15 minutes. Probably the easiest check in process I’ve ever had. We went to the Lido deck and happily settled in to a table by the pool in the shade until the announcement was made that we could access our cabins. I think that was a little before 2 pm. The cabins. As mentioned previously we had two adjoining ocean views. They were small – no chair, no sofa, just a stool under the desk area. But the beds were comfortable, room clean and in good condition, nice access to usb charging ports by the beds, etc. There is a small frig/cooler under the desk. We had to get someone to unlock the door between the rooms. I will say that since we were traveling together this worked out great – but if we had an adjoining room with strangers I wouldn’t have liked it since it seems sound does travel between the doors more than a solid wall. The bathroom was typically compact but the rectangular shower was more spacious than some other ships. Water pressure and temperature was fantastic. There was zero storage space in the bathroom though. We met our steward Inna who was friendly and warm throughout the cruise. We asked for morning service and three sets of towels in each cabin. He happily complied and left the requisite fun towel animals each day. (I celebrated a birthday during the cruise and also received a nice towel cake.  ) TV channels were very limited to the cruise channels, CNN, ESPN, TMC, etc. There seemed to be lots of country music on this ship. Dinners/Food – When we went to dinner we were surprised to find we were seated at a table for four. There were LOTS of smaller tables on this ship which was a different experience for us. We had early seating 6 pm in the main dining room. Our waitstaff team was awesome. Attentive, friendly, and fun. Hats off to Juan, Milagres, and Supriono. So honestly, the food at dinner was better than I expected it to be, but not great. I was prepared for the worst. The guys ordered the steaks a couple of times and found them to be overcooked even when ordered medium rare. I don’t really remember any standout meals in the main dining room, but dinners were fun and the food was certainly edible. Rolls were always great! The guys ate pizza EVERY night and often during the day. The pizza station at the back of the Lido buffet area was a favorite. It was really good. We ate at guy’s burgers a couple of times and also found that to be good – certainly on par with like a meal at Red Robin. The “late night snacks” were the biggest disappointment IMH. Every night it was hot dogs, grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, and like chicken strip sandwiches, apples, pears, and oranges if I remember. And of course the ice cream machine. You’d think they could come up with something a little different every night. We did the two sea day brunches in the main dining room and those were pretty good. We did breakfast in the main dining room several days, too. Entertainment – we went to the 80’s show and the rock show the last night. They were both OK. We tried to go to the comedy shows a couple of times but unless you went early you couldn’t get a seat. The lounge where those take place is pretty small. One of our favorite evenings was the last night spent at the Atriun bar where Cruise Director Erin and the team did an 80’s singalong/trivia thing complete with glow sticks, confetti, etc. It was a ton of fun. She was a good CD and created a fun and friendly atmosphere. We spent a lot of hours on one of the aft decks on the lido deck at night just talking and checking out the stars. The casino paid us no favors. And I didn’t find the machines to be very fun. There was an author and Cuban expert on board who gave several presentations. They were good – but we found them to be a little “inflated.” For example, we never had to use the “pee pee coin” she advised us to carry at all times. The lack of toilet paper was real though! Pools – Not sure why but there were always TONS of chairs available. The one main tiny little pool was usually crowded and we never went in it. The serenity deck was full on sea days and the hot tubs there would fill up. Our favorite place was the deck with the slides. The grown men (and I) thoroughly enjoyed the slides, there were plenty of deck chairs, and when you got too warm you could just hop under the waterfalls/showers. Drink servers passed by regularly. Kids running around the slides, but not bad. This was a great area. Speaking of kids, one of the annoyances of the cruise for us was the number of farel teenagers running about. There seemed to be zero attempt on the part of security to do anything about it. I think they connected through the kids club (which is good) but then basically ran around the ship like a pack. At one point we even saw some of them sitting on the railing of deck 11 which hung out over deck 9. Of course we’re all invincible at that age. Excursions: In Cozumel we only had from 10 am to 4 pm. We took a taxi into the main downtown area. One of the guys had a massage at El Sol Day Spa and was very pleased with that. The rest of us just walked about a bit. We then celebrated my birthday at Senor Frogs which was fun, and moved from there to the Thirsty Cougar. That was a really fun bar with great food and drinks. In Grand Cayman we signed up for a “Rum, Beer, and Beach Tour” via an ad on Trip Advisor. We had some confusion because the tour began at 1, but we were to stay on ship’s time, which made it 2. And all aboard was 5 pm. It got even worse when the guide and driver were late picking us up for the tour. There was our party of four and another large party of about 10 on the bus. First stop was the rum distillery where we had a tour and got to “sample” quite a few flavors/types of rum. There goal was obviously to get everyone tipsy and they were successful. There was music, dancing, it was fun. From there, I though things were going to deteriorate quickly. The advertised second stop was a brewery. The guys I was with are beer drinkers and were looking forward to that. We were told that we weren’t going to be making that stop, but instead would be going to the Tortuga rum cake place, followed by a local restaurant to taste local cuisine. Huh? This wasn’t what we signed up for? The other larger group was unhappy because they were anxious to get to the beach portion of the day. We really didn’t care about the beach portion, we wanted the brewery. So a compromise was struck and after a BRIEF stop at the rum cake factory, the other group was dropped off at a beach, and our group of four went with the driver and the guide to a local restaurant – off the main grid and obviously frequented by locals. I believe it was called Champions? Anyway – they provided beer, local food including conch, other seafoods, beef, flan, etc. We really enjoyed the time spent with the guide and driver and it turned out to be a fun and different way to spend the rest of the afternoon. We’re quite convinced that those who chose the beach chose badly. Despite all of the chatter on the boards about the necessity of using ship’s tours, we booked two days of tours in Havana through a company called Havana Journeys. We couldn’t have been happier and it went VERY smoothly. Prior to our arrival they had us sign a letter indicating we would be participating in Support for the Cuban People and provided us with thorough documentation of our activities. Debarkation on the first day took a while. Ship’s Tour groups started being called off at 7. Our sticker number was called off at about 9:15 – that went smoothly but the line for currency exchange was insane. We were late for our designated time to meet our guide at 10 am by about 15 minutes. If possible, if you are booking a tour with a private company, ask them if they can take you somewhere to exchange money right away instead of waiting in the line at the port. We met up with a delightful young woman by the name of Yeni in the plaza across from the port. We spent the first three hours touring the historic area on foot. We stopped for a couple of beverages, went to the top of a building to see the DaVinci planetarium thing (I know that’s not what’s called but I can’t remember!) We were then picked up by Eduardo in his beautiful 1957 Mercury hard top with AC, complete with a Fiat engine. The guys were fascinated by the car and his work on the engine. He actually owned the car and with the help of Yeni was able to talk about that with the guys. Yeni took us to a palador called Restaurant La Casa for lunch. It was a little pricier than I expected but very delicious, comfortable, and fun. Yeni was convinced to join us for lunch and we enjoyed continued conversation. We had shrimp, lobster, roast pork, etc. with flan for dessert. The mojitos were delicious. I think the tab for the 5 of us came to about $120 including beverages. We toured around the outskirts of the city including El Malecon, and Fusterlandia after lunch. We ended the day with some time in the market with Yeni as our guide then returned to the ship for showers and dinner. (There was open seating on the first Havana night and you could have dinner whenever you wished even in the main dining room.) After dinner we headed back out for our own bar craw. It was getting kind of dusk and the streets looked very different at nightfall – but we didn’t feel unsafe and there was a lot of activity in the area. There were some areas that became very dark as night fell. We started at Floridita for daiquiris, it was pretty crowded and crazy. From there we went to El Patchanka which was great fun. The band was awesome and the drinks cheap. We had planned to stop at the Art Pub for our last stop but it looks too hipster and like a place back home – so we skipped that. We stopped somewhere else closer to the ship – but I don’t remember the name. It was really a fun evening. Our second day in Cuba Yeni and Eduardo picked us up at 7:30 am and we made our way to the countryside and Vinales. We had a spectacular day. We visited the caves, which were kind of cheesy but fun, the downtown area, the hotel with the scenic view of the “haystack” mountains, a tobacco farm and cigar rolling demo, the painted mural, etc. The best part of our day was lunch at Restaurante El Cuajani. Wow wow wow. What a beautiful location, amazingly friendly people, delicious food, and great prices. Both Yeni and Eduardo joined us for our every enjoyable lunch. Our meal choices ranged from pumpkin risotto to filet mignon. We enjoyed mojitos, beer, appetizers, mains, and desserts, and the bill for the 6 of us was about $120. This was a very special meal that I hightly recommend. We wondered if riding in a relatively uncomfortable car for 6 hours (3 out and 3 back) would really be worth it – but I would say if you are lucky to have 2 full days in Cuba, get out to the countryside. This was spectacular. Back in Havana we said our farewells to Yeni and Eduardo, and spent a little more time shopping and enjoying beverages before reboarding the ship. Sailaway at 11 pm was kind of emotional. Most passengers lined the decks, waving cell phone beacons back to the shoreline, where Cubans were lined up saying goodbye. What a special opportunity to visit this beautiful country and its people. Oh one more thing about Cuba – take lots of coins/bills to use for tips. Everywhere you go the bands, guides, waitstaff, etc. are hoping for tips. We had gotten larger bills when we did money exchange and were left scrambling to come up with tip money on several occasions. Our last day was a fun day at sea. The ship had very little movement the entire cruise with water as smooth as glass. We were very fortunate in that regard. We danced with our waiters during our last dinner and enjoyed the evening with new friends and crew members. We opted for self carrying our bags off the ship. Debarkation was pretty bad. Cabins had to be vacated by 8:30 am and we were still waiting for our deck to be called after 10 am. Breakfast and the lido deck got very crowded. Getting through the crowded hallways to exit with bags in tow was rough – and then the line for customs was long – but really there were no questions asked and actually getting through immigration was easy at the end of the long lines. No more forms to fill out. Hooray! My opinion on Carnival was changed on this trip. The crew was amazing. Activities fun. Food was OK. The price was good…. And the itinerary was incredible. Instead of seeing Carnival as the line of last resort if they have an itinerary I want, I’ll be much more likely to check out what they have to offer first. Adding up all of the pieces, I’d give this cruise experience four out of five stars – and one I’ll remember fondly. Havana ooh na na. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Love the Small Feeling of Carnival Paradise... Plenty of Hot Tub space on back of ship for us, Senior Cruisers. So much Information from The Cuban Ambassador. Activities and Shops were at best. Night music was really Great, ... Read More
Love the Small Feeling of Carnival Paradise... Plenty of Hot Tub space on back of ship for us, Senior Cruisers. So much Information from The Cuban Ambassador. Activities and Shops were at best. Night music was really Great, Latin Band was my fav.... Dancing at the Casino Bar. All crew members were friendly. Picture gallery easy to find Myself>>> Captains reception was THE BEST....Drinks & small food..Nice touch. Paradise is an easy Ship to move around on. Elevators & stairs lead You to be proper areas. Food service was excellent in Dining Room each day. My fav. is FUN DAY AT SEA. So many activities, trivia is Funny & I didnot know any answers. The crew again, are friendly, anywhere You see them. Even the maintense guys, say Hello or Good Day. Bars are clean & help is friendly, not crowded. I will Go again on Paradise.... Thanks for a Lovely Week in Paradise.... Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
i havent been on a carnival cruise for a while. First off, i was only offered once a day cleaning, no nightly turn down with chocolate. The buffet doesnt have smoked salmon, the quality has gone down. The debarkation was the worse of ... Read More
i havent been on a carnival cruise for a while. First off, i was only offered once a day cleaning, no nightly turn down with chocolate. The buffet doesnt have smoked salmon, the quality has gone down. The debarkation was the worse of all the cruises I took. I hate when i'm told to be at the express debarkation at 7:20am then every person getting off the elevator and stairs cuts in front of me and the others that have been waiting for an hour. Carnival has decades of experience with cruising and they should have people maning stair ways & elevators. It was totally disorganized. My mattress We had a upper/lower, was so saggy in the middle. I know this is an old boat, but I have never had a mattress that sagged in the middle as bad as the paradise boat's did. By the way, carnival said that the us customs requires two full day People to People excursions in cuba, they dont. I took one and the next day went out on my own.The on your own/beach excursion in Cozumel was frustrating. We were supposed to be in downtown for an hour and a half, but we had to follow him around and he would say meet me in 10 minutes, then take us somewhere else and say meet me in 20 minutes. All that interruption didnt give us time to shop because it's geared to promote the stores his company is connected with. sorry, i'm sleepy just got home a couple of hours ago. so this may be sloppy. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We picked this cruise to go to Cuba. We also enjoyed the other two ports, Cozumel and Grand Cayman, on the way. We enjoyed our snorkel tour in Cozumel. Our guide in Grand Cayman was very polite and informative as we tour the island. Our ... Read More
We picked this cruise to go to Cuba. We also enjoyed the other two ports, Cozumel and Grand Cayman, on the way. We enjoyed our snorkel tour in Cozumel. Our guide in Grand Cayman was very polite and informative as we tour the island. Our cruise director was very personable and we enjoyed the many sweaters that John Stewart wore.:) While most of our dinners were good, there was a couple of times the roast beef on the Lido deck and roast pork in Elation was tough./ The Pizza and where you build your taco or burrito was great! We had a nice surprise by having a lecture, Heidi Siefkas, on board to share what to expect when we port in Cuba. Her talks were very informative and I would encourage Carnival to add these types of lectures to other ships. Cuba was an eyeopener. We are so glad we were able to visit this country. Our room was great and our steward was very prompt on straightening it up. The shows were entertaining and the costumes were wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My family and I cruised on the Carnival Paradise as the final stop on our summer vacation. We embarked from Tampa on Monday August 13th, enjoying the Lido Deck dance bon voyage party with drink specials. Our interior room with upper bunks ... Read More
My family and I cruised on the Carnival Paradise as the final stop on our summer vacation. We embarked from Tampa on Monday August 13th, enjoying the Lido Deck dance bon voyage party with drink specials. Our interior room with upper bunks was small and ordinary. Our cabin steward, Rudy, always worked hard to please us. Navigating and getting familiar with the extra-large ship was difficult for newbies like us. The Carnival Hub app was useful for the ship map and keeping up with daily activities. It was disappointing that texting between the four of us required a $5 additional fee to give each of our phones access to the app. Sometimes it took a few hours for text to get through. Our luggage arrived, with a broken handle on one bag. Guest relations came through for us, giving us a voucher for a complimentary replacement bag. We were pleasantly surprised by the many food choices at the different restaurants. Guy’s burgers and Blue Iguana Cantina served delicious meals. It was great to be able to go to Pizza Pirate late into the evening. For entertainment, we enjoyed a Rock musical, animal puppet theater (cute), the 90’s trivia musical competition and Bingo. The comedy show with Seth Buchwald was so good that we went to a second show later. Carnival Paradise Waterworks water park was a big hit all day with kids and some adults. The pool and hot tub on the lido deck was entertainment central, where most guests swim and lounge in the sun. We had late dining, and our server Roberto and others were helpful with meal and beverage selections. Through the dining area and at different locations through the ship, photographers were always ready to take photos of us. We had to eventually choose which photos we could afford. Through the relatively short 5 day cruise to Cozumel and Cayman, our family left with a lot of fantastic memories. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I've crusied before with Carnival Cruiseline, this was my third time crusing with them. But my first time with Paradise, I must say it will be my last as well. My past experiences has been great, on the other Ships. Don't know ... Read More
I've crusied before with Carnival Cruiseline, this was my third time crusing with them. But my first time with Paradise, I must say it will be my last as well. My past experiences has been great, on the other Ships. Don't know what's up with this particular ship, my biggest complaint with the lack of cleanliness! I wasn't even on board for 15 whole mins, as soon as I walked into my cabin. I noticed thar one of my kids bunk beds had dirty sheets, also the carpet in the cabin was soaked with water. I placed a call to my Stateroom Steward Nicolas and he did come and tend to our needs. So besides the wet floor, dirty sheets, the AC worked off an on. The nob to control the temperature was stuck, could barely adjust it. Our Stateroom Steward, asked us if I would like him to just remove the whole entire face of the control box. That was fine with me, it still didn't help the problem though. The air was one min too hot, next min too cold. It stayed like that throughout our entire 5 day stay. Our beds were made everyday but sheets and pillow cases were never changed. Extra beddings and pillows were placed underneath the bed, which I thought was weird. Ana at Guest Relations/Services, contacted in regards to my complaints of wet carpet and dirty bedsheets. She apologized and stated complementary chocolate strawberries will be sent to our cabin, needless to say. That never happened, I called about them twice and even personally went to Guest Relations/Services and asked for them. Still never got them. Not all the staff in the main dining rooms are friendly, some of them has a look on their face as if they do not want to be bothered. We dined at Elation and met two of the most awesome staff there! Which were Joyce and Adam! They always made our experience while dinning awesome! Throughout the ship itself, the other dinning areas including the main dinning room could use some cleanliness as well. A few times we've ran across. Dirty plastic reusable cups, glasses, mugs, even napkins. I placed an order ar the Piano Bar, for two Pina Colada's. Which one was full of hair, I spotted the mistake as soon as it was handed to me. I returned the drink, I never got an apology. Another drink was made and handed to me, bartender seemes annoyed with me. As if he expected for me to just pick the hair out the glass and drink my beverage. I purchased the social media internet plan which was SLOW! The plan was $4.00 a day, it barely worked. Froze up on me my entire stay. Cam the Cruise Director did an awesome entertaining the guest throughout the entire stay, I loved the different themes they had going on. On certain nights/days. 70's theme 80's, I wish they did implement more hip-hop though. There was none at all. The DJ in the REX night club, played good music. That was a plus. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Chose the cruise for the ports, price and duration. They have PLENTY OF AFTER MARKET CHARGES. A tumbler i bought disappeared from our room. They excursions are in line with other ships so they are extremely crowded. Lines are super ... Read More
Chose the cruise for the ports, price and duration. They have PLENTY OF AFTER MARKET CHARGES. A tumbler i bought disappeared from our room. They excursions are in line with other ships so they are extremely crowded. Lines are super long, the bathrooms were FILTHY. AND YOU COULD NOT EAT IN PEACE BECAUSE THEY HARKED THEIR WARES. They crowd you on buses like starving cattle. Ask you for tips while the cruise ship makes money off promoting these crowded unmonitored excursions. The extra fees and tips will run you another 50 minimum each. The kids aren't encouraged to attend any free activities. You can never find someone to help you. Cant find a trash can anywhere. The food is BLAND AT BEST. The food specialty areas (for example coffee and hot sandwiches) never have more than 2 workers per station for 1000s of people to discourage you from using the services due to the long waits. All extra activities like bingo are extra. The board game rooms have tons of the same few games all with missing parts. No playing cards. Underage drinking was rampant. Kids using their bubbles cards had a difficult time getting sodas from the bars and servers. You dont get a refund for money you won once they get to port. It should be your money...and i could keep going....say no to Carnival Paradise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I took my nine year old daughter and my 79 year old mother on this cruise from Tampa to Grand Cayman and then on to Cozumel. I am 53 and divorced. We have cruised with Carnival 3 other times as a family and enjoyed it. However, it seems ... Read More
I took my nine year old daughter and my 79 year old mother on this cruise from Tampa to Grand Cayman and then on to Cozumel. I am 53 and divorced. We have cruised with Carnival 3 other times as a family and enjoyed it. However, it seems to me that while Carnival is known as the "party" ship and I understand and appreciate that people on vacation want to drink because they don't have to drive, the cruise line should not make most of the activities center around alcohol consumption. Don't get me wrong...I enjoy a drink out with friends, but to have 8 or 9 drinks in one day?!? I actually saw one woman with a drink at the bar at EIGHT THIRTY in the MORNING! Is this what you want your children to see? Not me! You are probably thinking....who is she to tell anyone what to do or not to do on THEIR vacation? You are very right. I'm not. I'm just telling you MY personal experience on the Carnival Paradise from July 21-26, 2018. The embarkation process is smooth and wonderful, but the valet parking is too expensive.....$95. The disembarkation is a nightmare. Very disorganized. I removed all the tips they tacked on my bill. We saw our steward once or twice....he was just kind of there. We never went to the fancy dining restaurant....too dull. Now for the good things.....Camp Ocean is wonderful...my daughter loved it. Our cabin was very nice....the oceanview is good for three people. We loved the Stingray excursion in Grand Cayman. The beach day and shopping in Cozumel excursion spent too much time shopping, but once we arrived at the beach, we had a great time. I am going to try Royal Caribbean or Holland America in two years. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Overall, this was an excellent cruise! The ship was clean and nice. The crew was friendly and helpful. Our cabin steward, Juulius was great and attentive! Special shout out to Petar, bartender at the Rotterdam bar, and Dara, bartender at ... Read More
Overall, this was an excellent cruise! The ship was clean and nice. The crew was friendly and helpful. Our cabin steward, Juulius was great and attentive! Special shout out to Petar, bartender at the Rotterdam bar, and Dara, bartender at the Atrium bar! They are a lot of fun and mix a great drink. The food was quite good, with an attentive staff. The musicians on the Paradise were outstanding, Matthew and Dariel on guitar in the Atrium and on the Lido deck; Lady Red in the America Piano Bar; and a band called Aquaholics playing in the evening at the United States Bar were simply great! My question to Carnival would be, “Do you really need ALL those photographers at night to take pictures? After about the 3rd night, don’t most passengers who want their picture taken have done so by now? I am just asking. The dry dock upgrades seemed to have a made big difference. Yes, this is an older ship; yes, there are 16+ coats of paint on the white hand rails on the upper decks; yes, the pool is very small; and yes, if you look hard enough, there are minor things you can find to complain about. But overall, with the excellent crew and the affordable price, you cannot go wrong booking a cruise on the Paradise! For more details, keep reading: We booked this cruise with Carnival very in early 2018. Many of the reviews from late 2017 and early 2018 (prior to dry dock) were less than stellar. Often times, they reported a tired, old ship in need of updating and repair, but with a great price, we took a chance that the refurbishment would improve things. After the dry dock in 3/2018, the reviews started to change more favorably. With such a mixed bag of reviews, we were a little apprehensive about what our experience on the Paradise was going to be. We went into this cruise with an attitude that we were going to have a great time no matter what, and I am happy to report the experience was great, awesome, fun, terrific and more. We had a travel party of 7, ranging in age from preteen to late 50's. At the end of the cruise, everyone chimed in with a stellar experience. As with any cruise or vacation, there are highs and lows, plusses and minuses. First, embarkation was easy and very organized. From the time you enter the embarkation center, there are plenty of people to help guide you through the process and show you to your assigned waiting area--in our case, zone 1. Our time in the terminal was about an hour, or a little more, from our arrival to boarding the ship mostly because we arrived so early. Once on board, with plenty of time before we could go to our cabin (without the purchase of ‘first to the fun” package, they are not available until 1:30pm), we made our way to the Lido deck for lunch and a cocktail. The buffet was open and we sampled our first taste of Paradise food. The theme on this day was "American", serving plenty of traditional "American" food choices, fried chicken, broiled fish, roast beef, etc. The food for the most part was very good, nothing fancy or elaborate, but tasty and filling. The dessert area was small, with about a half dozen or so choices, but all of them were nicely done and tasty as well. We also took a few minutes to set up the Carnival HUB app on our phones. It was very easy and simple to use! Our group really liked that we could see the day’s plans and entertainment schedule, see what attire was requested for dinner, look at deck maps, chat with each other, and more. There are some weak points, however, but they were easy to work around. For example, if you want to chat with your group members, you have to keep the app running in the background. You cannot kill or close the app if you want to receive or send messages. Also, the app does not work well the farther away from mid-ship you are. The main areas we had trouble with were up on Deck 11 and 12 towards the back. We could not send or receive messages there very well. We just had to confirm plans and locations beforehand like on any other cruise. Also, just a heads up, one of our older members of the group purchased the value package for the internet and found it to be painfully slow. From there, we decided to explore the ship. Unfortunately, being in port, with the shops and casino closed, there was not much to do except grab a cocktail and sit out on the deck until the ship departed. The ship quickly filled with travelers. The rooms were not available for a few more hours, so the decks and passage ways became crowded with our fellow shipmates. With maps in hand, they also were attempting to orientate themselves with the intricacies of finding their way around the ship. From our first moments on the ship, we were very impressed with the cleanliness and appearance of the Paradise. It was apparent to us that the dry dock upgrades really were impressive. New carpet and furniture throughout the ship gave it a modern, upscale look and feel. After lunch and a cocktail, with the rooms available, the remainder of day was spent in our cabin, unpacking and resting from our very early inbound flight. The room was spartan to say the least, but it had plenty of closets, drawers, and shelves to hold all of the apparel we brought with us. We had “Your Time” dining for this cruise. The first dinner experience in the Elation dining room was good. If you are looking for fine cuisine, you may be disappointed, but we thought it was still very tasty. Throughout the cruise, we found the dinner selections, choices and presentation to be very good. This did surprise us as many of the reviews we read complained, or did not speak highly of the quality of the dinner meals. But overall, we thought the food was good, with some of the entries very good. Most of our group had the chocolate melting cakes at least once and for some, three times. You have to try it, it was that GOOD! The first day of the cruise was spent at sea. There were a lot of chair pirates who dropped items off on select lounge chairs around the pool area and then disappeared. Even with a number of chairs "reserved" there was plenty of space and chairs on the Lido deck and on deck 11 to accommodate everyone. There was always a new lounge chair somewhere to relax in. One of the minuses of the Paradise is the one pool is very small. It is very, very small. It does get crowded early, and stays that way throughout the day. The pool deck is loud and noisy with many activities, contest and DJ's doing their thing all day long. Our preteen and late 20s people reported that the DJ and Entertainment Director always made it fun, however. If you do not like crowds or noise, this is not the place for you, though. Carnival Paradise has an adult only area on deck 9 aft, called the "Serenity". It is a small area restricted to 18 year old's and older. It is very quiet, and relaxing with two hot tubs to enjoy. Unfortunately, there was little to no breeze blowing. As such, it got very hot. Even under the umbrellas, without a whiff of a breeze, for my crew, it was uncomfortably hot. Our remedy was to go up two decks to the water park area. There is usually a breeze up there and we were not disappointed. At first, our concern was about the noise from the small kids using the splash area. This was not the case. We were able to find chairs a little bit away from the splash works where the noise was not bad at all. And it was cooler then the Serenity area. Quick tip: wear sandals, flip flops, water shoes or something when walking around the deck—it gets hot!! Day two and we were in Cayman Islands. If you are taking an excursion, there is a short tender boat ride to the dock. Paradise crew did a good job of organizing this process. It was pretty quick and painless. Most in our group took the "Cayman by land and sea" excursion. It was wonderful! A short bus ride to the Nautilus. The tour guide on the Nautilus was informative and funny. We saw lots of different fish and coral, along with a few sunken boats. From there, it was a bus tour of Georgetown, with the highlight being the sea turtle farm. The other stops were your typical tourist traps, rum cake store, and to "Hell". From there it was back to the ship. All the while our driver, Jose, provided us with informative tidbits of info about Georgetown and the Cayman Islands. Our other group with the preteen swam with the sting rays and had a good time too! Hint from Jose: 40% of the island is owned by one person. Day three and Paradise was in Cozumel. After a late and leisurely breakfast, we made our way to the pier. Some in the group decided on the “Champagne Catamaran”. After boarding the catamaran and casting off, the crew gave us a safety talk and opened the bar. About 5 or so minutes into the boat ride, the captain turned off the engine. We were probably only ½ mile, or a little more, from the Paradise and the pier. According to the crew, we were at the start of the 2nd longest reef in the world. Most of the people on board the catamaran jumped into the water and snorkeled. The comments from the snorkelers when they returned were very good. With everybody back on board, the captain took us to the next stop. Along the way, we were served a very good lunch of chicken salad, guacamole, and cheese. The champagne was also served at this time. At the second stop, due to the strong current, the crew threw out a long rope for the swimmers to hold onto and pull themselves back onto the catamaran. This excursion was fun, albeit, there was a “bit” of alcohol consumed, which may have added to the joviality. Day four found the Paradise back at sea for a ssssllllloooooww trip back to Tampa. Once again, the pool area filled up quickly with partiers, and again, we found some really great lounge chairs on Deck 11 in the water park area. Most of our group went down the slides and had a great time. It was the hottest day of our trip, but the water park had these tall mushroom-looking fountains where everyone stood under to cool off. After dinner, there was an atrium party starting at about 10:30pm. The host of the party was the ship’s new cruise director, Cam (the former Entertainment Director). This was by far the best on board ship party I have attended in all my cruise adventures! Lot of fun, lot of singing, lot of love! Day five, and back in Tampa. As well as the embarkation went smooth; as well as the week on board the Paradise went great; debarkation sucked! Our group, and it seemed like half the ship, met in the lounge area of deck 9. We sat there for some time while the group numbers ahead of us disembarked. Finally, our numbers were called. The embarkation terminal had friendly, smiling people to show you around the terminal. The debarkation process was almost the opposite! You were taken off the ship into a warehouse, whereby you had to find your row with your luggage. From there, you were herded into serpentine lines that ran and back forth the length of the warehouse; eventually, you saw the immigration personnel. The process took nearly two (or more hours). Whereas the embarkation terminal had people willing to assist you in the process, the debarkation had people constantly yelling things like “two rows; tighten it up; keep it moving”. I wish that Carnival had a better system in place for this process, especially when you are standing or shuffling along in lines for so long. Most of the issues for the lengthy debarkation process seemed to lie in the fact that there were only two federal security officers to process 2,000+ people. (Not much Carnival can do about this) Overall, this was a pleasant, fun cruise to take. The Paradise is not a new ship. With upgrades that were installed in dry dock, we found the Paradise to be very enjoyable. If you want a newer, larger ship experience, book another ship. If you look for things to complain about on the Paradise, you can find them but you have to look hard. At the end of the trip, my group of weary travelers all agreed that the Paradise and her crew were up to the task of providing a very enjoyable cruise at a reasonable price. Hopefully, you will too. Bon Voyage!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
It’s a brand name so we thought it would have been a great experience. Our first family cruise was a no frills $200 3 days to Bahamas. That was way more enjoyable! This mess on carnival was mostly a money making gimmick. Pros ... Read More
It’s a brand name so we thought it would have been a great experience. Our first family cruise was a no frills $200 3 days to Bahamas. That was way more enjoyable! This mess on carnival was mostly a money making gimmick. Pros Fancy dining. Elations restaurant delivered friendly service and great food with great presentation. Staff Super friendly almost cheesy and over the top but I get it... it’s how they get paid. Childcare Excellent staff and activities Cons Activities Majority set up to get you to purchase overpriced items from their many many stores. Photographs Every corner there’s someone shoving a camera in your face so you can later buy Excursions—way overpriced . Better to go local and pay off the ship. Dj in the REX Corny is an understatement. Limited variety and unable to juggle. Sorry. One song played for way to long. Too many random genre switches and not smooth. Cleanliness Needed more attention to detail in the bathrooms. Towels/rags stained. Food Food was ok in the main dining area. Same greasy breakfast in the buffet daily. Put some cheap bread under the bacon to absorb some of that oil! Long lines!!!! And if you wait too long they close the buffet and you have no choice but to get a sandwich or a burger. The burgers are awesome... it’s pretty much ALL feel good food. Maybe depending on how you look at it, this comment could move to the pros. INTERNET MY BIGGEST COMPLAINT!!!!! Could it be any slower?????? Paid over $50 for torture! So because I’m on a cruise doesn’t mean my business life stops. On my down time I got nothing done as there was limited or spotty service. The carnival app worked great though! Hmph Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise specifically for the waterpark, which was a huge let down. Not only was it much smaller than expected, with only one big slide that was super slow, it was closed for almost half of our trip. I felt the quality of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise specifically for the waterpark, which was a huge let down. Not only was it much smaller than expected, with only one big slide that was super slow, it was closed for almost half of our trip. I felt the quality of the food was poor with limited choices, mainly fried, tons of oil, imitation cheese on eggs, SPOILED foods, extreme lack of healthy options. Our cabin was unclean, all of the lines, towels, sheets, bed spreads, as well as dirty fridge, and commode. I found some of the staff to be rude to customers as well as other staff, especially men towards woman, as noted in the Effy Store. Items were lost...the list goes on. I found budget entertainment some of the evenings, as well as silly day time and evening pool side events that were not always family appropriate. I found their sales pitches disguised as fun, free gift give away events that endured for 2-3 hours with Sam and Lauren extremely annoying and disrespectfully a huge waste of guest's vacation time. We have cruised in the past with Carnival and had a good experience, but this ship, this staff, I found added to just an overall negative cruise experience. Considering the above, as well as the exuberant amount of money spent, I will not sail again with Carnival, especially on the Paradise. The shore excursions booked through Expedia (and not Carnival) were amazing! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Graduation present for my granddaughter. We really enjoyed the ports of Cozumel and Grand Cayman. The cruise itself was OK. We had no real expectations since it was our first. We don’t drink or gamble and the one small pool was just too ... Read More
Graduation present for my granddaughter. We really enjoyed the ports of Cozumel and Grand Cayman. The cruise itself was OK. We had no real expectations since it was our first. We don’t drink or gamble and the one small pool was just too crowded to even think about using it. We loved Evelyn, our housekeeper. She was great. The Nigerian lady who seemed to be over the Spa was not a nice person, either to her customers or the people who worked under her. The ladies that did our massages were sweet. Nigerian lady needs to be replaced. Food was about what we expected, some good, some not, as it would be anywhere. The waiters were great and very friendly. There is always someone cleaning which is good with so many onboard to keep down spreading illness. We decided next time we will fly directly to a resort and skip the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Before going on this cruise I read some poor reviews of the ship. I shouldn't have believed a word.... Yes, the Paradise is a smaller ship but therefore less people, simple and wonderful. Download the Carnival Hub App, and ... Read More
Before going on this cruise I read some poor reviews of the ship. I shouldn't have believed a word.... Yes, the Paradise is a smaller ship but therefore less people, simple and wonderful. Download the Carnival Hub App, and purchase the 5$ (flat rate, one time fee) to keep in touch with other passengers and know what's happening on board. Every little thing from dining, events, map, etc, is listed here on the app. It doesn't look like much until you get on board and connect to ship's WiFI. You DO NOT need to purchase the WiFi plan to use this app or messenger feature. We had early dining arrangements meaning less waiting and more time for after dinner events and shows. The food was, fantastic! I chose at least 3-4 appetizers per night to take advantage of the culinary diversity. Breakfast options are buffet style or the taco bar (excellent). Or, if you'd rather, the Elation Dining room with waitstaff. No complaints with either. Of course, if you wait for busy dining times you will wait longer for buffet. I read some upsetting review about the lack of late night food. Well, I found I had plenty of options. The Lido deck offers late night snacks and after 2300 a pizza station. How much can you eat in a day, anyway? We did not use the drink package, if I booked again I WOULD purchase this... expenses do add up, however I did not think the prices per drink were too high - about what I would expect to pay in a restaurant or bar. The catch is that BOTH people in the room must purchase. Entertainment was what I expected. Shows, singing, dancing, comedy, live music, piano bar, shopping, bingo, casino, sports, slide, game room. Literally something for everyone at all hours of the day. The pool was usually crowded because it's small. Maybe, if you want to be on a cruise ship just to sit and drink at the pool, don't cruise this ship? Service, likewise was expected. I felt pampered, welcome and taken care of at all times. Cabin was fine. We were on deck 6, forward. I was with another person each with a twin bed, on opposite side of room so we had plenty of space. If you were in a room with another person ("queen" sized bed) it would have been more cramped, but we didn't spend much time in the room. Our destinations were Key West and Havana, Cuba. We did the Hop On Hop Off bus, let us explore at our own pace. I think the snorkeling would have been fun, too. Cuba was about what I expected. This isn't the glamorous version of the country in the 50's. Remember that tourism is new to Cuba from USA. The events and guides are government sponsored. The streets you will go on are what the government wants you to see. We went on Fort Tour; I was satisfied with the excursion. We came back about 1700, had dinner on the boat and went back out. Yes, getting off the boat was a process. Yes, you wait to get through customs. Yes, you wait in lines to board the buses. I heard a lot of complaints about the wait and crowds.... what did you expect??? A boat of 3000 people debarking into a small port will take time! I strongly encourage guests to do some research on the country & city beforehand. Review your history and understand the United State's history Cuba. I enjoyed the tour but would not say I felt "welcomed" in Cuba. The citizens I saw seemed busy and struggling to keep up with the crowds of people cramming into their shops and small streets. Remember, you are not going to become culturally immersed in a day. You are there as a tourist, and as such, they expect you to spend money! All in all, this was a fantastic cruise. I enjoyed every moment. The cruise director worked tirelessly bringing personality and a lot of FUN into each event and activity!! I would absolutely go again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We sailed out of Tampa, celebrating my sister in laws wedding. The ceremony was decent, but rushed..I know there's a schedule they have to adhere to, but it just doesn't seem appropriate. The photographers prices were absolutely ... Read More
We sailed out of Tampa, celebrating my sister in laws wedding. The ceremony was decent, but rushed..I know there's a schedule they have to adhere to, but it just doesn't seem appropriate. The photographers prices were absolutely highway robbery, talking nearly 4 grand for an album and some prints. And being that the wedding was rushed the pictures weren't that great either. The kids club for the little ones was ridiculous. Look, kids 0-4 are going to get upset when their parents leave them for some alone time. If your kid cries, or gets upset, they immediately summon you to pick them up. They have absolutely no interest in calming, or distracting them, most likely because they don't seem to really even interact with them in the first place. So basically me and my wife had to take turns going out to enjoy ourselves. The only comedian we saw was awful, I mean it was offensive how bad he was. I'm a fan of stand up..and I'm not expecting a headliner on a cruise ship by any means..but this guy had to have ripped off jokes from at least 10 comedians during his set. No delivery, no effort..just typical fare of "what's the deal with.." and airline jokes that weren't even his! Dinner was great, im not much of a snob, and some of the reviews I've read seem to have unrealistic expectations. This cruise line doesn't seem to be a luxury line, more of a casual blue collar family line. And with that in mind, the food was great. And so was the waitstaff. By far, my sister in law had a small special needs toddler, and there were times she was inconsolable and stayed with her on her sling, the head waiter actually took the time to cut her food up for her because he saw she was struggling. He would also very slyly come behind you and put your napkin in your lap, had impeccable timing with drinks and orders. Would also entertain the kids, and made sure they had activities at the table ready for them. We also caught him doing his rounds I presume as the shift manager in the buffet, and he made an ice cream cone for my son, and made him laugh. That means a lot to me as a dad. Guy had a lot of work to do, but he took the time to make sure we were comfortable and appreciated. The buffet was decent, but the lines, didn't matter what time..there are just so many people on board. I read the chart, and there were 2700 guests aboard. They literally ADDED 700 guests worth of cabin space on an already crowded ship when they did the refurbishing. The official review here says the ship accommodates 2000, lots more now. The casino is spartan, and the machines are tighter than a snare drum. They have about 10 blackjack, or other silly card games, but one poker table, and it's all digital with a MASSIVE rake. Its absolutely unacceptable in my eyes to have that abomination of a poker table, and what's worse is they added silly rules on top of the known variables of holdem. What do I mean by tight? The coin pusher game has chips that spell out bonus, get all 5, win 100 dollars. The trouble is the "S" chips rarely, if ever show up, and the only other prize if any is a stack of 1's to make 20$ there is literally no hope of a return, you might as well just be giving that money away. To me gambling should at least reward the risk with some kind of return with some luck. None such. The slots and video poker seem to be calibrated to give nothing. There are amusingly claw machines with bundles of cash, but obviously the claw strength is set to anemic mode, and it might pay out once every 5 days of heavy play. They also stack all the money back up every night which is bad form, and most likely reset the counter. The pool is an absolute joke. It's about the size of a residential pool, only surrounded by literally a thousand folks on the main deck. At any given moment you can see people packed in there like sardines. There are 4 hot tubs, about the circumference of dinner table. Write those things off. Deck space on the adult only area is scarce, especially under shade. A lot of the space on the main deck in the walkways are occupied by photographers, and stalls hawking massively overpriced designer watches. The live band can't seem to comprehend that you're trying to get somewhere and will shove the microphone in your face as you walk by. If I'm dancing, and have a drink in my hand, sure. If I'm pulling along my 3 year old whose sobbing because he wants back in the splash pad..leave me alone, please. The elevators have a mind of their own, and it's not the ships fault, but people really don't seem to know elevator etiquette..they barrel in the moment the doors open, not even looking to see how many people are in there, and if they're leaving. And the layout seems very confusing, and lends itself to a lot of people mouth agape walking like zombies..which frustrates people like me to no end. There is a movie theater on board, and I did manage to see black panther, which was nice. But due to the DGAF attitude of the daycare (which costs money) me and my wife didn't get to enjoy much of our cruise, neither did my son. I mean we tried to entertain him the best we could, but there isn't much for someone his age to do other than just that..and I have to stress how apologetically lazy that club is. He likes playing with other kids, if they would just be involved with the little ones they would have a lot of fun. I picked him up the first and only time he spent more than a half hour there and they just had him in one of their lap. Make him laugh ,play with toys with him..do something! Jeez why did you volunteer to work with kids? I don't think it's unreasonable of an expectation seeing how far the rest of the staff goes to accommodate everyone else. He's well behaved, just has a little separation anxiety as most kids do his age. As far as entertainment is concerned, and aside from not having much alone time, there really wasin't much for me to do. A lot of the activities were hyper-social, nothing craft related that I knew of, tours are a paid (read: expensive) option. And while I sort of understand the logistics of not allowing only one person out of two in a cabin to have the cheers package, it's totally unreasonable for someone like me. Wife literally does not drink, and I wanted to drink, but the drink prices are nearly 10 dollars for something like a long island. The last time we went my wife was pregnant, and they still wouldin't grant an exception. They wanted my pregnant wife to buy the package. It really feels like they grab you by the ankles and just try and shake all the money out of your pockets. Which lead me to becoming incredibly defensive with my purchases (bright side, only left with a 22 dollar balance) I don't mean to be so negative, but I shelled out a lot of money for a cruise on a very crowded, old ship and it's left a bad taste in my mouth, especially when a bit of effort could have made a huge difference. Also, Cozumel is a joke..the shopping is literally nothing but vastly over priced trinkets and vendors hawking you non stop. The resort we went to was decent, but the snorkling tour was a joke, very short and basically went out to the end of the pier and back. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We do an annual girls trip and have a great gal in our group that literally planned this whole trip for us! We have to do a trip where we are contained (important - trust me) and usually do all inclusive resorts. While I am not big on many ... Read More
We do an annual girls trip and have a great gal in our group that literally planned this whole trip for us! We have to do a trip where we are contained (important - trust me) and usually do all inclusive resorts. While I am not big on many aspects of "cruising" I absolutely 110% recommend the Carnival Paradise Cruise and Crew. Every crew member we encountered more than once remembered our names. The activities were incredibly fun and creative. The food and the service was phenomenal. From the charming maitre d (Mustafa) to our 3 servers, Roma, Karl and Chester (Boogie), dinner was top notch! Our cruise director Cam has so much energy and is extremely creative. He handles the unbelievable sized crowds that are usually drunk, with patience and just rolls with the punches. We were in one of the newer cabins on deck 14 and it was a perfect size for 2 people. Rooms were always very clean - thank you Ipung! There are only 2 things I could say would need improvement and one just is what it is and that's the pool. It is way too small to accommodate that many people. The second thing is iced tea. I know they need to keep the bar tab up but there needs to be a non alcoholic option like iced tea that you can be served on the pool deck. They do have tea in the dining area in tiny plastic cups but when you're being served a drink every 10-15 minutes it can't just be alcohol and soda. Tea and water should be a must on the deck. If cruising is your thing then this is definitely your ship! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My husband and I went on this cruise with 24 other married couples from our church. Every experience was beyond our expectations. We felt famous because everyone seemed to know us by name. I enjoyed the balcony view and being able ... Read More
My husband and I went on this cruise with 24 other married couples from our church. Every experience was beyond our expectations. We felt famous because everyone seemed to know us by name. I enjoyed the balcony view and being able to see the Sun set and rise everyday. There was always something to do and the daily schedule, as well as the Carnival Hub app were very resourceful. Cam is a great cruise director and took time to talk to almost everyone after events. I was mostly impressed with the house keeping staff and our room assistant, Putah. From delivery of our luggage to his greeting us by our name daily with his pleasant personality, the birthday card and always being able to assist and provide answers to all of our questions, I am convinced that Putah provided A Class service in everything. When we sail on the Carnival Paradise again, I hope we have Putah again because he made our vacation a great experience. I also enjoyed the excursions. The Amazing secret River is actually Amazing! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This ship is awful. Our 9th cruise, we know what to expect. Guest relations were terrible. The people on this ship just didn't want to help. From guest services, to house keeping (one day our room wasn't touched) to the ... Read More
This ship is awful. Our 9th cruise, we know what to expect. Guest relations were terrible. The people on this ship just didn't want to help. From guest services, to house keeping (one day our room wasn't touched) to the cruise director (when is it funny to make fun of people who get hurt). The app we paid for didn't work on half my parties phones, so 4 of us could text each other, the other 4 couldn't. The a.c. didn't work while the ship was moving, I've never been so hot in my life and I'm from Florida! I was injured and needed medical services, wasn't able to move my left leg at all, crying in front of the Dr. Asked for her notes to give to my PCP, in there she lied and said "patient had full mobility and was in good spirits." I just don't trust carnival. The food was so bad my teenager, who eats ANYTHING didn't care for it. The pool is tiny and always full. The slides were closed on our trip, so no use of those. The Jacuzzi was cooler than bath water. The entertainment didn't start until 6. No live karaoke, only regular karaoke during dinner time. There was trivia and Hasbro games during the day, but everything else were high pressure sales during the day. Definitely NOT the best cruise. We're gold members but we're leaving carnival. The best part about the whole cruise was the magician. They're awful, and I hope you do too! don't waste your cruise like I did! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was our 5th cruise with Carnival and first on Paradise. We will not be returning on Paradise. Although the employees on the ship were exceptional the ship itself was horrible! Two nights we woke up to the smell of sewage and it ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise with Carnival and first on Paradise. We will not be returning on Paradise. Although the employees on the ship were exceptional the ship itself was horrible! Two nights we woke up to the smell of sewage and it lasted all night. The morning that we were debarking my daughter got sick from the smell and was nauseated for the rest of the day. It also seems to me that the food is not as good as it once was. Every time my husband and I went to get food the only thing opened was Guys Burgers or the Pizza place. On our way home (we drove) we stopped by Chic Fil A and that was the best food we hadn't eaten all week. There is only one pool and it was so crowded everyday that you couldn't put your toe in. The same goes for the hot tubs. Our cabin was good and roomy. The steward was always nice and helpful. I was just so disappointed in this ship! I hope Carnival will get their act together before we have to switch cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Although the Paradise is a older ship, she has been recently remodeled and overall we found it to be a very nice vessel. The kids loved the water park and there was always enough room there. Our room steward Gusti took great care of us and ... Read More
Although the Paradise is a older ship, she has been recently remodeled and overall we found it to be a very nice vessel. The kids loved the water park and there was always enough room there. Our room steward Gusti took great care of us and always had a smile and friendly words. The wait for the Elation dining hall was a little excessive at times but once inside the staff was top notch and worked hard each night to give us a great experience. Room service was fast and friendly and they went out of there way to make sure we had everything we'd need with our meals. The ports of call were great and things were smooth and on time. The only complaint I had was the bartender at the pool bar (Red Rum) seemed to really be phoning it in. Maybe they get burnt out with the unlimited drink crowd but I'm not enough of a drinker to buy that package and when I'm splurging on a fruity tropical drink I'm not looking for any old thing...When I asked about a drink (fresh italian) I had had in the main dining room, the bartender cut me off before I finished talking and just said main dining like I was going to go there while they were closed to order my drink rather than just politely explain they only work off the menu. Once I chose a different drink I waited a few minutes for him to chat up his bartender buddy at which time he brought back my drink in a plastic coke cup with no garnish and an inch below the top of the cup. He then squirted grenadine on top and handed it to me plain (white hard plastic cup, no straw, no garnish, unmixed). I had to ask for a straw and then stir the grenadine in since it was just hanging around thickly at the top. This cost me 11 bucks. Later I ordered another drink in the casino and it was mixed in a shaker and served in a nice glass with garnish so I imagine it was just a bartender having a bad day at the outside bar. Overall it was a fantastic vacation with some of the best cruise staff in the business and the bar issue was just a minor hiccup in an otherwise incredible trip. Happy Travels! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
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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