3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Just got back from a 5 day Carnival cruise. This is my 3rd time on Carnival, either the food got worse over the past few years or I somehow forgot how terrible it was. The boat itself was fine, good size shower, nice staff, plenty of ... Read More
Just got back from a 5 day Carnival cruise. This is my 3rd time on Carnival, either the food got worse over the past few years or I somehow forgot how terrible it was. The boat itself was fine, good size shower, nice staff, plenty of spots to sit & relax, great room attendant, free room service (with limited menu). However...when I'm on vacation I enjoy good food. If you enjoy going to Golden Corral you may enjoy this food. First night had Salmon, it wasn't bad but nothing exciting. My boyfriend had a beef brisket, it tasted good but was super chewy. Most other dining room dinners were blahhh or pasta based, or thin overcooked pieces of chicken/pork, or maybe some random fish. Oh yeah, their mac and cheese..is pretty much flour & water, and maybe a couple pieces of shredded cheese - so tastes like roux sauce elbow noodles. Was hoping last night's dinner would at least be decent, my Mahi Mahi was bland and sooo overdone you couldn't even flake it with a fork to eat, had to use a knife for FISH! The safest meal bet is the sandwich grill and the salad bar, those 2 were consistently good. But the rest of the food is almost a joke.. in the buffet area there's even sign about Carnival's master chef.. MASTER of what??..?? gross cheap food?? Then YES, he is the master!! Soooo disappointed in Carnival, not sure if I'll ever take another cruise with Carnival, even if it was free.. I just cant eat days of hog slop wallyworld grade food... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We have been cruising since 1972. We drove to the Port of Tampa. Our Cabin M8 on Carnival Paradise September 14, 2015. We enjoy the Musicals, Comedy, Karaoke, Magician. The staff and service were very friendly and quick to respond to ... Read More
We have been cruising since 1972. We drove to the Port of Tampa. Our Cabin M8 on Carnival Paradise September 14, 2015. We enjoy the Musicals, Comedy, Karaoke, Magician. The staff and service were very friendly and quick to respond to request. No shore excursion in Grand Cayman cause we have been on everyone of them. Cozumel we went to La Casa La Playa and it was wonderful. A private home with staff to serve you food and drinks on the beach. Our disembarkation is exceptional cause we are Platinum. Downside to cruise, The smoke was horrible, in, around, and on the entire deck the casino was located. My solution would be that Carnival enclose the casinos with plexiglass with a small door so the smoke cannot escape. Why don't they do this. Every ship is the same. OPen casinos. We also had a smoke issue in our Cabin M8. I called the Steward and ask him if he had been smoking in our cabin. He advised he doesn't smoke. I told him someone had been smoking in the cabin. It reeked of the smell. After about 5 minutes in the cabin you become ammune to the smell and you can't smell it any more. Until you once again leave the cabin. I called Customer Service and complained. I called a second time and they finally came to the cabin. They must have been a smoker. They couldn't smell it. They finally had the Steward come and clean the walls and bed linens. That helped for the room. The smell was coming thru the vent in the ceiling. I called Customer Service again. They explained they have not been able to find the passenger that it smoking. The vents are connected to the other cabins. I told them to take my nose and I would find them. We finally ran into another passenger and they had the same problem. They are in the cabin across from our cabin. Smokers break the rules. E-Cigs should not be allowed anywhere on the ship. The chemical smell is worse. Fix it Carnival or have non-smoking cruises. We thoroughly enjoyed the magician Soorya in the dining room. He is amazing. Up close you still can't see how he does his tricks. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
If you like to drink non stop, this is the cruise for you, but I don't drink. There were many good things about the ship and crew. The ship and rooms were older, but kept very clean. The food was much better than average and our ... Read More
If you like to drink non stop, this is the cruise for you, but I don't drink. There were many good things about the ship and crew. The ship and rooms were older, but kept very clean. The food was much better than average and our waiter went way beyond expected service. Now for the bad part. I have been on about 15 cruises and this ship had by far the worst entertainment or maybe a better description is lack of entertainment. Only two of the five nights was there any professional entertainment. One was a country western theme show and the other a 50, 60's type of song and dance. They were ok although I do not like country western. The other nights the shows were provided by the audience. They were the kind of contest things we might have done in grade school. Boring, Boring, Boring. There were some comedy shows that started at 11:30 pm. Since I was asleep by then, I can't say if they were good or not. They wasn't even live music most of the time. If I hadn't gone with friends, I would have been bored to tears. It's certainly not a cruise I would take again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
This was a cruise for my 25th wedding anniversary but Carnival did nothing special. Our 20th was on The Safire Princess (Alaska) and they went all out decorating our room and giving us a bottle of champagne so we were a little disappointed ... Read More
This was a cruise for my 25th wedding anniversary but Carnival did nothing special. Our 20th was on The Safire Princess (Alaska) and they went all out decorating our room and giving us a bottle of champagne so we were a little disappointed (yes, Carnival was informed and it was listed on our paperwork). My wife even went to Guest Services who told her they would do something to help celebrate later in the cruise ... but they never did. Other than that, the service was very good and all crew members were friendly, smiling, and helpful. Embarkation was a breeze and we boarded at noon despite NOT purchasing the Faster to the Fun option. The ship is showing its age but was nice nonetheless. One of the glass elevators in the atrium wasn't functional the entire cruise and the other one was slow as molasses in January but the other elevators were surprisingly fast. We didn't do any cruise ship sponsored shore excursions. The tendering process in Grand Cayman will take about an hour both ways from your shore excursion time. Keep that in mind. In Grand Cayman we took a public bus ($2.50USD each) to Calico Jacks, rented 2 lounge chairs and an umbrella ($15USD) and swam in the ocean. Drinks there were expensive at ten dollars each but they were tasty! The beach wasn't very crowded early on but it did get crowded as the day progressed. In Cozumel we generally stayed in the port area and shopped and ate at Pancho's Backyard. That restaurant isn't nearly as crazy as Senior Frog's or Carlos and Charlie's but is rather relaxed and a bit more mature. We're not the wild party type so we liked it. Our cabin steward was nice but it seemed like this was his first gig. It seemed like he needed to clean our room at inconvenient times but as the cruise progressed he seemed to learn our particular pattern and it got better. Dining ... food was okay but Carnival is becoming stingy with the portions. Several appetizer courses couldn't have had more than 40 calories and everyone at our table usually ordered several each! When I went on my first cruise in 1990, there were at least 7 courses on the menu. Now, there are only 3. I'd usually order an appetizer (or two), then a salad "appetizer", then my entree. Multiple people at our table ordered multiple entrees (up to three). The food was beautifully presented and made for stunning photographs but everything seemed to need more seasoning and flavor ... and quantity. Four little 41-50 shrimp as a shrimp cocktail is a little cheap if you ask me. The beef carpaccio was the best thing we had all week. If you're having seafood, I'd highly recommend the Oyster Bay New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. It was great! The Paris restaurant was good of breakfast and lunch. I usually ate an omelette and some fruit for breakfast. Entertainment was pretty good with a couple of shows and dancing but nothing spectacular. We were more impressed with how the dancers could change costumes so quickly. The cruise director, Steve Cassel, was kinda quirky but he grew on you. He provided some of the entertainment himself in the form of fiddle playing (he is highly accomplished) and juggling. Wow on the juggling. He was impressive. The comedians were *less than mediocre* in our opinion. We went to hear two of them and while one was ok, the second one wasn't really even funny. What passes as comedy these days appears to be either complaining about something or harassing an audience member. And to insure it's 18+, throw in a couple of errant, out of place f-bombs. Not impressed with George Lopez's picks for comedians in their Punchliner Lounge. Our intent for this cruise was to get away and relax with each other and we were able to do that. Would I go on this cruise again? No, especially not after docking next to RCCL Oasis of the Seas ... just sayin' ... that's our next ship. Bon Voyage! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
We drove down to Tampa on Friday, July 24th and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Tampa I-75 & Bruce B. Downs. Great hotel but bed was firm as a rock. Drove to the Port where we paid for the $75 parking pass for 5 days. I heard ... Read More
We drove down to Tampa on Friday, July 24th and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Tampa I-75 & Bruce B. Downs. Great hotel but bed was firm as a rock. Drove to the Port where we paid for the $75 parking pass for 5 days. I heard of others who got a better package at hotels closer to the port that included a night's stay, parking and a shuttle to and from the cruise. We purchased the "Faster to the Fun" package for $60 and were amazed at how easy it was to get on the ship. Unfortunately, our bags didn't get there any faster than anyone else and they just left them there in the hall. Excursion - took the Rum Point Beach and Starfish excursion in Grand Cayman. It was okay. We only saw maybe 4 starfish for 30 mins in the water then went on to Rum Point for about an hour. Then, we were late getting back to the ship. In Cozumel, we got off the boat and just stayed in the immediate area using the free beach chairs. It's sad that Carnival won't provide free shuttles to a nearby beach or shopping without charging exorbitant excursion fees. The casino, evening dining room, and some people we met were amazing. The worst part was teenagers who were on drugs and alcohol on our floor and started a fight with a lot of our neighbors the last evening. The Carnival security team did not know what to do and we were very scared. It made the trip end on a sour note. This ship also seems very old and the entertainment left something to be desired. And I don't know if the Faster to the Fun was really worth it in the end. We liked our trip on Carnival Ecstasy from Port Canaveral to Freeport, Nassau, and Half Moon Cay better! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
First and foremost this is my first cruise so this review is all personal opinion and preference. My family and I did the cruise because it was close and we did not have to drive very far to get to the port. The staff are very friendly and ... Read More
First and foremost this is my first cruise so this review is all personal opinion and preference. My family and I did the cruise because it was close and we did not have to drive very far to get to the port. The staff are very friendly and helpful when you need assistance. The room was mid deck and pretty much in the center with a window view. The ship itself in my opinion is older but maintained well. The room was spacious enough for 3 people and the bathroom was bigger than I anticipated. I was a little concerned when the bathroom had a sewer smell to it on day 3 of the cruise but once we docked went out for the day and came back it was not there anymore. The staff did a great job of keeping the room clean and the towels made into the shape of an animal the staff did and left on the bed was nice in the evening. The activities are modest and not over the top. I was very disappointed in the food quality, not the quantity. There was an overabundance of food but the quality was poor to be quite honest. I have heard so many people say, "Oh the food on my cruise was so great" but I can honestly say that was not the case. I don't even think they serve Lays potato chips with the sandwiches you order for room service. I ordered a grilled cheese and the cheese was barely melted. There is a pizza place and to be quiet honest it was lacking flavor. The asian food that is offered on the Lido deck was not good either but again this is my personal opinion. I was a little put off by the little plastic cups that beverages are served in ie juice, tea, water. The tea, lemonade, juice was instant and cheap tasting. We did not do the excursions because we wanted to experience cruising and enjoy the port. Word of advice if you are a person that likes to enjoy and adult beverage there are options to so you can drink but in my opinion is expensive. I had a soda card but you can only order sodas in certain places and if its not on the list then you will be charged for it ie room service will charge you for the soda. By the way all the sodas are in a car they open up which means they will be flat tasting when they put them on ice since they are in the fridge. I would definitely go on another cruise but not on this ship. I am glad we had the chance to experience a smaller ship and what it had to offer. I am glad that the section of the ship we were not able to feel much of the swaying that did occur so there wasn't any motion sickness--that I was happy for. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
We took our grandsons on their first cruise and were very excited to show them a good time. The good: Our waitstaff at dinner were fantastic!! Kudos to George from Rumania and his staff. He went over and above to be the best waitstaff ... Read More
We took our grandsons on their first cruise and were very excited to show them a good time. The good: Our waitstaff at dinner were fantastic!! Kudos to George from Rumania and his staff. He went over and above to be the best waitstaff member that we've had in many cruises. The boys loved him! Also, I thought that the food was by and large very good. Lobster one night was yummy! The ship is old with a tiny pool and tacky decor, but the staff constantly cleans. They are very friendly and courteous. Our cabin steward however was nonexistent. The cabin got cleaned, but I only met him once on embarkation day. I wasn't overjoyed with his service. I called him and asked if he could bring a hair dryer as I didn't have one. He said that there was one in my cabin which was untrue. No dryer, no explanation. Also, there were an awful lot of drunks onboard by evening hooting and hollering. It's their vacation and they should be able to have a good time, but it just seemed that there were more on this cruise than I've encountered on other cruises. The worst problem that I had was at the start of our cruise. I registered a credit card online 2 days before the cruise. I rarely use it, but made sure that the bank knew that I'd be traveling. On Monday morning the day of the cruise a person from my office called and told me to call my bank fraud division. Two days after I registered my card with Carnival online it was being used for purchases in Pakistan! Needless to say it was cancelled and a new one issued, but not in time for the cruise. I had only my debit card with me for emergencies, but had informed the bank I would be on a cruise, so I was able to use it. I did tell customer services that someone had hacked my card after registering it online, but the lady was not interested at all. Everyone, please be careful!! This was really upsetting, and Carnival did not want to hear that their website was hacked. All in all it was a good cruise, and the boys had fun which is the important thing. I will probably not cruise on this ship again because it is so antiquated, and I may go back to Celebrity, Royal Caribbean or Princess next time. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
Me and my family are waiting to disembark the Carnival Paradise. In general we love cruises. This was our 14th cruise and our 7th Carnival. The good: The dining room staff is one of the best. ..Cruising in general is a wonderful way to ... Read More
Me and my family are waiting to disembark the Carnival Paradise. In general we love cruises. This was our 14th cruise and our 7th Carnival. The good: The dining room staff is one of the best. ..Cruising in general is a wonderful way to vacation. The food in general was very good, the selection was a bit limited but was fresh... The bad: I wanted to like this ship and cruise but no matter what I tried the crew did help. This ship is small...did I mention it is small...also the shows for entertainment are very limited and not much compared to NCL and RCCL...They spend more time trying to get you to buy drinks and purchase their limited merchandise then trying to create a great vacation. Please note that of the 7 Carnival ships we have been on this was the worst. If you can select a different ship do so. The senior staff was non-existing which was odd compared to other ships. I am very disappointed at Carnival and the senior staff of the Carnival Paradise. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
My family just disembarked a few hours ago so this information is quite fresh in my mind. It was a first cruise for my 14 & 11 year old children, but not for my wife & me... OVERALL -- It's a discount cruise line; you ... Read More
My family just disembarked a few hours ago so this information is quite fresh in my mind. It was a first cruise for my 14 & 11 year old children, but not for my wife & me... OVERALL -- It's a discount cruise line; you can't shop big box stores and expect boutique merchandise. Still, I'm not convinced at the moment that we got our money's worth. Only time will tell as the memories are relived. CABIN -- The cabin was OK with a fair sized window on the starboard side of the Empress Deck (deck 7). DINING-- The food was mostly OK with an occasional "WOW!!!". Smoked duck starter was phenomenal, anything fried was served dripping with grease and very, very heavy. Melting chocolate cake is a must, but try other desserts as well. EMBARKATION/DEBARKATION-- We had no VIP or First to the Fun privileges, yet this was still the best embarkation/debarkation process I've ever completed. We arrived at the terminal at 1130, valet parked the car, and were on board signing up for excursions by 1215 and having lunch on the Lido deck shortly thereafter. There was a glitch delaying delivery with two of our four suitcases, but no biggie, it was fixed. We chose "self assist" for debarkation. Our deck was called to the gangway to disembark at 0910, giving us plenty of time for a good breakfast in the Elation dining room. I made sure our US Customs form was accurately filled out and we were in our car driving away from the terminal at 0933. Yep, 0933. Fantastic! ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES-- My children didn't participate in the programs designed for them. Their loss; the children who did participate seemed to thoroughly enjoy the programming and made several new friends. The activities we did participate in either individually or as a family were very well done. The towel animal class was excellent. ENTERTAINMENT -- One comedian (Mike?) was hilarious in both the PG and the 18+ sets. My wife & I were both laughing continuously. The other comedian (Kim?) didn't tickle our funny bone at all, though a portion of the crowd liked her. The dancers were excellent in all forms & genres. And beautiful! The show singers were OK. Male lead Jason was definitely better than the female lead, though both sing better than me! Both solo artists were Canadian acoustic guitar pop/classic rock singers. They were OK. The rock band Raptorpack was very good. Excellent musicianship and harmonies with male & female lead singers sharing duties in a catalog that covers every music genre. The female lead also did a solo performance of Broadway and opera arias in the Atrium one afternoon. It was a "WOW!!!" moment. FITNESS & RECREATION-- The gym was excellent and several classes were available for anyone interested. I am an erstwhile triathlete and spent most of my exercise time either on a stationary bike or on the springy jogging track (easy on the joints!). Bikes are fine, 11 laps on the jogging track = 1 mile. There is a mini golf course on the infield of the track, but it's not a bother most of the time. My only suggestion would be to divide the track into a walking lane and a jogging lane, and perhaps indicate which direction traffic should flow. PUBLIC ROOMS-- Didn't use any, but they looked well equipped for group or solo entertainment & relaxation. SERVICE-- Flawless. Simply flawless. We dined in the Elation dining room at table #236. Our headwaiter was Kon from Thailand; beautiful, friendly, knowledgeable, and knew everyone's name by dinner on day 2. Wenscelaus from Guatemala was our primary waiter; very attentive and friendly. The service crew constantly patrolled all areas of the boat for dishes, towels, out-of-place deck chairs, etc... They kept the ship neat & tidy at all times. SHORE EXCURSIONS-- Grand Cayman; see prior comment about shopping big box and expecting boutique buys. It's a nice place, just have realistic expectations. Cozumel; we enjoyed a day of snorkeling, sea lion show, tequila tasting, & buffet. The tour guide was excellent, quickly pulling our group of strangers together as friends. His name was Charly. I heard naught but positive comments about several different Cozumel shore excursions. VALUE FOR MONEY-- The memories will define this in the long run. For today, however, I'd say the price was OK at $4k all in for a family of 4, but I'm not sure about the value because... (A) The cruise director's body language, voice, and mannerisms grated on me so much that it is unpleasant to recall any of his ship wide announcements, videos, or stage presentations. He apparently fills in on several ships in the Carnival fleet as needed. (B) Being on a Carnival cruise was like being trapped in the QVC channel on a cruise ship. Every other minute a crew member was trying to sell you a drink/shot/commemorative cup/etc... even during the formal attire dinner, up-sell your spa package, up-sell your merchandise, sell you pictures then up-sell a commemorative frame, "the show starts in 10 minutes so this is an excellent time to purchase ________ at a 10% discount", just sell sell sell sell sell sell sell sell sell, all the time SELL. And then up-sell whoever buys anything at all. The entire experience we paid $4k for was cheapened by Carnival's blatant nickle & dime profiteering. For this reason I will not patronize Carnival for future "average" cruises unless they change this practice. I'll gladly return if they do! BOTTOM LINE-- My family was happy before our Carnival experience and we're happy after it as well. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
This is our third Carnival cruise, but never on one of their older ships. If you're not in a balcony, I guess it really doesn't matter. The ship was clean, but the dining rooms are depressing w/their low ceilings. Also, ... Read More
This is our third Carnival cruise, but never on one of their older ships. If you're not in a balcony, I guess it really doesn't matter. The ship was clean, but the dining rooms are depressing w/their low ceilings. Also, didn't like the seating assignment of a booth. Never had that before on 20 other ships. This is definitely a "blue collar" cruise. We only did it as we had access to a VERY low fare. Our room was fine--we had portholes so got daylight. It wasn't necessarily smaller than an inside room on many other ships. The bathroom sink needs replacing--it's not counter style and there's no place to put your cosmetics and things while you're using them. They could also get rid of the huge TV "boxes" that they have since the TV is a flat screen and can be mounted to the wall. The 2 cast shows that they do are great, but for entertainment on the other nights, they use the passengers instead of paid performers. The food is fine--even get lobster one night. The buffet is a total zoo as on most ships. We use the dining room for all meals that we can. Because this was summer (and a less expensive cruise) there were tons of families which really isn't a problem except that just means more people at the buffet. Their Serenity pool area (adults only) was great except they should probably raise the age from 21 to 25. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
We have been on 5 cruises, this was our 4th with Carnival. Here is our take....the Paradise is an older ship, maintained fairly well, comfortable, nice sized rooms, atrium and lobby have that WOW factor that doesn't feel outdated. ... Read More
We have been on 5 cruises, this was our 4th with Carnival. Here is our take....the Paradise is an older ship, maintained fairly well, comfortable, nice sized rooms, atrium and lobby have that WOW factor that doesn't feel outdated. Getting around the ship was pretty easy. We went with 3 other couples and we're always able to find seating that would accommodate all eight of us. Now for the part of this review that puts our brand loyalty to the test.....1) We did the Cheers package it was nice to not have to worry about our bar bill but my spouse could not even go to the bar and order drinks for us without me having to give up my seat to come and sign the bar slip...How do you keep your seats when you can only hold them for 45 minutes and the wait to get a drink at most of the bars was at least that long....??? 2) while waiting for a drink most of the bartenders either helped people out of order or NEVER EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE WE WERE STANDING THERE....not cool when waiting that long-what happened to the Carnival vibe that we so look forward too? 3) the Main dining room service was beyond poor, inconsistent service, lack of enthusiasm and once again long waits for anything other than water 4) the overall crew interactions was so poor almost no one smiled. It almost felt like this was a training ship. The bottom line is this we recommended Carnival to the other 3 couples but we at times actually felt embarrassed by the lack of enthusiasm and poor service on this ship. We will continue to cruise on Carnival but never again on the Paradise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
We just completed a 4 day cruise from Tampa to Cozumel on the Carnival Paradise. Even though we cruise often with another cruise line, we decided to try Carnival. I'm a a retired military office and cruise with my wife and daughter ... Read More
We just completed a 4 day cruise from Tampa to Cozumel on the Carnival Paradise. Even though we cruise often with another cruise line, we decided to try Carnival. I'm a a retired military office and cruise with my wife and daughter frequently. On the good side: we stayed in a Grand Suite (U112) which had a great layout, plenty of space with comfortable bedding and a nice balcony. The food was excellent and there were plenty of onboard activities. The boarding process was excellent. The Serenity area (adults only) was nice but very small. One of the two hot tubs were not working on the second day. Nothing compared to the Solarium on the Royal Caribbean ships. On the not so good side: Considering we paid for a Grand Suite, we expected additional amenities other than the priority boarding. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The debarkation process was a nightmare. We were given the wrong information. It took us more than two hours to get off the ship and we were told that we had no priorities regardless of where we stayed. During our booking we requested a small table, preferably by the window. We were seated initially with a large group in the middle of the dining room and then moved to a small table next to the kitchen door with lots of traffic and no window. During lunch on our second day we tried the Elation dining room. We were seated at a table so small that we had to put the bread basket on seat next to me. We won't be cruising with Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
The crew of the Paradise seem to work hard, but they fall short. Our cabin steward, Wayan, did a fine job for us. Our little 1A cabin on the Riviera Deck was nice enough and had enough room for the Two of us. One of the big problems ... Read More
The crew of the Paradise seem to work hard, but they fall short. Our cabin steward, Wayan, did a fine job for us. Our little 1A cabin on the Riviera Deck was nice enough and had enough room for the Two of us. One of the big problems aboard the Paradise is the food. In a word, it was LOUSY. The first meal or two, I just assumed that they had a bad night. I was wrong. The food is lousy all the time. Bussing the tables is obviously not a priority here. The Paris restaurant could use a makeover. The décor is kinka tired and worn out. The waiters (when you can find one) stand at the table next to you, or sometimes your own table, and scrape all the leftovers and garbage onto one plate. This should be done somewhere else and out of sight. If you want a drink refill, go get it yourself. There is no such thing as a waiter actually waiting on you. We did try the Elation Dining Room a couple of times. The food wasn't much better, but the service was. The ship needs more bartenders. You can sit and wait for a LONG time before a bartender will get to you. They are hustling as fast as they can, but they just don't keep up. The comedy theatre is a nice touch, but the shows repeat, like they do on most ships. The music at the pool area thumps non-stop, but it didn't seem to bother many of the passengers. The hot tubs seemed to be filled with children all the time. As kids, they don't understand how they're bothering other people and the parents are all off-duty. The kids also did a lot of running and bumping into passengers. I was surprised that the cruise line let people walk into the buffet wearing only a swim suit and no shoes. No shoes, no shirt, no problem, Huh? This was our first time on Carnival, and I'm sure it will be our last. It just wasn't my kind of cruise, but judging from the way the Cruise line is making money hand over fist, I doubt they'll change anything. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
Unfortunately I was a bit disappointed in this ship. It's been 7 years since my last cruise with Carnival and it seems as though things have changed since then. I was sad to see that the food in the dining was not as good and that you ... Read More
Unfortunately I was a bit disappointed in this ship. It's been 7 years since my last cruise with Carnival and it seems as though things have changed since then. I was sad to see that the food in the dining was not as good and that you now have to pay for a decent steak. The only night we enjoyed the food was on lobster/ formal night. I also noticed that there was no captains cocktail party for returning guests. The ship is need of some updates so I wont be to critical of the condition of the ship. It was fairly clean throughout. Other than a few areas that had puke and sewage smell. I was not pleased with the attitudes and slowness of the bar staff and dinner staff. All other crew were helpful and friendly. Buffets were okay and it was hit and miss. Shows were good but I wasn't impressed with the comedy. The port stops were really nice and I would do this itinerary again just not on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
This was my first time on Carnival and on a smaller ship. I was very under whelmed, but it could be the right ship for someone else. The smaller size of the ship was handy since I was with a group of women and it wasn't hard to run ... Read More
This was my first time on Carnival and on a smaller ship. I was very under whelmed, but it could be the right ship for someone else. The smaller size of the ship was handy since I was with a group of women and it wasn't hard to run into each other or meet up. I really liked the outdoor space especially on the aft of the ship. We could also eat outside as there were several tables around the the buffet on the outside. A big plus for me. The food was average at best. The buffet lunches looked interesting but i could never get the timing right and missed a lot of lunches. Disappointed that they closed at a specific time. I actually saw a staffer pull a dish away from someone trying to take a piece of cake!!!!! We did anytime dining which was convenient and easy to get seated. They had a pizza (good) spot and a grill at all times so you wouldn't go hungry. And the favorite:soft serve ice cream. The cabins were COLD!! Also R182 had a garbage smell. (longer review in forums) You can really feel the movement of the ship throughout. It took a day to get our sea legs, but the motion was always there, and every once in while you could feel a big swell. We had high winds one night and you could hear the ship creaking. This was not a negative for me, but might be for others. The time at port was very short in my opinion, but it is what it is. The weather was cold-ish and windy within a half day of Florida. If I had had a sweatshirt and windbreaker I would have been fine. Others were in the sun in their swimsuits but they were the die hards. I realize this is variable , but I would recommend a sweatshirt just in case. The show was pretty good, the comedy was outstanding! If laying in the sun is your number one goal you would be fine on this ship.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
This was my third time cruising on a Carnival Fantasy class ship and I must say that this one is showing its age in different ways than the others. Although we did have the flat screen tv (shoved inside the giant box where the old one ... Read More
This was my third time cruising on a Carnival Fantasy class ship and I must say that this one is showing its age in different ways than the others. Although we did have the flat screen tv (shoved inside the giant box where the old one was), the room was kind of rough. We are not very picky when it comes to our room needs because the majority of our time is spent out and about, but this room was not very inviting. There were massive scratches and paint chips throughout the room and the bathroom was kind of gross. Lots of mildew and it reminded us of an old creepy hotel shower. There was also some bizarre hammering noise that would happen anywhere from mid morning to early afternoon that really prevented us from enjoying any peace and quiet at those times. The stewards did keep up with the cleaning of the room and we always like to act silly with the towel animals. The rest of the boat was about as we expected. Very similar to the other Fantasy ships. We did find there to be more smokers on this boat and given the location of our room, we had to walk through some of the smokey areas to get to our destinations. Who wants to smell like smoke after just getting out of the shower? Our favorite area was the Atrium Bar, which is not a place that we ever spent time on our previous cruises. The WONDERFUL bar staff (Eugenia and the woman who's name I can't spell, but begins with an M) kept us laughing and engaged and made us look forward to seeing them every night. There was a group of rowdy guys that made a rather inappropriate joke that was both distasteful and downright rude and was only made worse by their attempts to explain the meaning. We felt awful for Eugenia, but she handled it like a champ and smiled through the whole thing. I would happily follow those ladies to any bar they would be tending. We are both big dancers but found the dance club to be a bit of a drag with not many people dancing and the hours seemed a bit off. We booked this cruise because neither of us had never been to Grand Cayman and even after our trip, neither of us has been. We didn't realize that you had to get sorted into a group to be allowed onto the boat to take you to shore and after spending about an hour and a half waiting and seeing little progress, we gave up and decided to enjoy our day of sun on the boat. We felt like it was really unorganized and kind of felt like kindergarteners waiting in an endless line. In the past, it was line up, get on the boat and go. I feel like by sorting into groups, calling group numbers, waiting for everyone in that group to board and then calling the group number again, you really just waste a bunch of time. I would have no problem waiting in a line that was moving instead of sitting in a giant room and hearing the same group called over and over again, while realizing that your island time is dwindling away. We were also not given our requested dinner seating time of 6:00 and neither of us wanted to wait until after 8pm to eat dinner, so we ended up hitting the buffet every night. The food was decent and random, but nothing super special. LOVE the pizza and the pizza guys. They even figured out that I loved goat cheese and tossed extra onto my slices for me. Overall this was quite an underwhelming Carnival cruise for us and will likely be our last for a while. The reasonable drink prices (Cheers package is a MUST) and awesome staff will have me look to Carnival if I choose to go on a cruise in the future, but I will likely look for a newer ship.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Having only traveled on one other cruise line for several trips, this was my first experience from someone other than RC.although the staterooms were bigger and had larger bathrooms, the rooms were outdated. This was a smaller ship than ... Read More
Having only traveled on one other cruise line for several trips, this was my first experience from someone other than RC.although the staterooms were bigger and had larger bathrooms, the rooms were outdated. This was a smaller ship than what we have been used to but with our limited window of travel, this trip was our only choice. Our stateroom attendant Gregory, did a remarkable job for two people who are a little spoiled in our travels (200 nigts/yr for business). With the ship a little smaller the entertainment was limited but acceptable. The amenities were acceptable again given the size of the ship. What I found to be unacceptable was the seated dinners. The menus were lacking in presentation. I like to see structure showing several courses for the dinner experience. They have grouped everything between "starters" and then main dishes. In the main dish section there are the typical daily specials and then also ones that are offered every night. We tried a few off of both sides of this menu and found NOTHING worth bragging about. In the four nights we were seated the best item had by many at our table was the pumpkin soup. I ordered off the upscale side of a strip steak and it wasn't even something acceptable at a dive bar $10 special. Since the dinner experience is what we like most in traveling by way of cruise line, we will not be booking another cruise with this company. The table service was adequate and you may ask if I complained about my steak or another dinner, but realized it wasn't that peticular dish but the level of quality acceptable by the cruise line. I must also mention the excellent experience both my wife and I had in the spa. We both booked two different sessions and these were excellent. Petra was outstanding in her skills and demeanor. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
First lets preface this review with: This is only our second cruise and the first was to Alaska on Princess. The port and boarding: The port was well set up as we were able to be drop right at the Carnival desk. We used First to the Fun ... Read More
First lets preface this review with: This is only our second cruise and the first was to Alaska on Princess. The port and boarding: The port was well set up as we were able to be drop right at the Carnival desk. We used First to the Fun and boarding was quick and uneventful. The Ship: The ship was great. It was set up well and was comfortable. The Hot tubs on the top deck were not hot, But you can't have everything. Our cabin was clean and functional and although it needed to be refurbish it was still nice. The Staff: We did not see our cabin steward until day 2(even though we were on the ship by noon.) and I only saw him in the hall after that unless I went to find him. Wait staff in the dining room (We had early seating) we not very attentive until night three (After a nice tip on night two). Then the service was great. The Food: It was not bad most of the time and great some of the time. We do not cruise to eat meatloaf! I would say most of the time it was no better than average. Just because the dining room was great and the view was great doesn't make the food great. As for the Buffet! It was no even average. The Entertainment: We enjoyed all the entertainment that we attended. We tried Carnival to check out discount cruising and that is what it was. It was not even close to the service and food quality we had on Princess, so the title: you get what you pay for and we will not be back to Carnival for our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
I am going to attempt to summarize our issues with our latest cruise. Before I do, I would like to mention that this was our 3rd Cruise with Carnival. Our two prior cruises were on the Carnival Sensation. We had many great experiences on ... Read More
I am going to attempt to summarize our issues with our latest cruise. Before I do, I would like to mention that this was our 3rd Cruise with Carnival. Our two prior cruises were on the Carnival Sensation. We had many great experiences on the Sensation and have many great memories. It was because of our previous experience that we continued to sail with Carnival. Everything seemed to start out well for our cruise. I purchased the Faster to the Fun pass, which made the wait to embark the ship much more bearable. I had hoped that it would provide for quicker service if a problem came up on the cruise, but I was wrong. During our cruise, my wife and I were attempting to locate an activity that was published in the daily activity brochure. I went to customer service to see if they could assist. They gave me the same information that was contained in the brochure, which was already inadequate. They sent me on my way once again to find something that later turned out to not exist. When I went back to customer service for additional service, I explained that the information that they provide was not helpful and could they find out what the error was. The representative made a quick call, then went back to assisting other guests rather than me. (I was in the F2F line and being ignored!). After standing there for about 5 more minutes while being ignored, I left the customer service desk, disappointed in the lack of service or assistance. On two different evenings, my wife and I were seated at tables in the dining room that were off in a far corner of the dining room. Each night it took more than two hours for us to dine, as the service was extremely slow and we were often ignored. We had to ask for the bar staff to come to us, but for two nights, received nothing from the bar staff. On the second night at these tables, another couple was seated at the table next to us. They ordered a drink with their dinner, but the drink never came. I empathized with them as we could not get service either. On the following evening, I spoke with the Maître d’ about the issue. We were then seated at a table in the middle of the room and received our service in a more reasonable time frame. My wife and I decided to break out of our normal comfort zone and participate in some of the games that were being offered by the entertainment staff. It seemed like it would be fun to “win” a Carnival trophy for our efforts. We did our best in a “scavenger hunt” and seemed to perform well. A different team won because the young lady, who was quite drunk, dropped her pants and let the entertainment person feel her wet bikini. She got the trophy, we simply got ignored (again!). On a positive note, the only one that I had for this cruise, our Cabin Steward was above expectation. He met our needs and seemed to be genuinely concerned about us during the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
We were on the Paradise for a wedding that took place prior to sailing, we arrived at 9:30 AM per the brides instructions only to be left waiting outside in the heat for 45 minutes all while everyone were dressed for the wedding, she was ... Read More
We were on the Paradise for a wedding that took place prior to sailing, we arrived at 9:30 AM per the brides instructions only to be left waiting outside in the heat for 45 minutes all while everyone were dressed for the wedding, she was told if her guest were not in line by 9:30 they may not be let onto the ship, not true. The wedding was held in the Normandy Lounge, there we 2 weddings that day, ours was the first. We were told that there wasa strict timeline and that everything had to be done quickly so the next wedding could take place so the wedding felt very rushed, it was like, bride walks, vows, filling the sand block, kiss, bride and groom leave then immediately come back for pictures which was really rushed. We were directed to go to the Rex lounge for the reception, that was also quickly done, announce bride and groom, quick dance, cut the cake, toasts, eat apps, have a couple of drinks then we were done. At that point the non-sailing guest were asked to depart while the sailing guests could make it to our rooms. The rooms are very small and in need of an overhaul. We had an oceanview room and had the twin beds pushed together; there was a strange box built into the corner of the cabin so for my husband to get into the bed or to open and close the curtain he had to crawl around the box onto the corner of the box. There are no hair dryers or ice buckets in the rooms, you can ask for one if the room steward can locate one. The walls were scraped by the phone, the laminate was chipped on the counters, the walls are scraped from luggage. There is only 1 plug in the entire room. On the upside, the bed was very comfortable and the bathroom was decent in size. The food was okay, they have burgers on the pool deck, a deli and a buffet in the Paris Cafe in the back of the ship. We had early seating in the dining room, I was served a pork steak that was so tough I could barely cut it and another person had the same problem with the veal parmesan, the rest of the dinners were average. The servers were very good, attended our every need and request I just wish dinner was better. Breakfast in the dining room was excellent. We got a great deal on this cruise but wouldn't cruise again on this ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014
We recently went on a cruise on the Carnival Paradise and over all the cruise was good but not great. I will attempt to break it down logically. This would not have been my first choice, but was force to for a wedding. Ship: The ship is ... Read More
We recently went on a cruise on the Carnival Paradise and over all the cruise was good but not great. I will attempt to break it down logically. This would not have been my first choice, but was force to for a wedding. Ship: The ship is older but contrary to some reviews Carnival does do a good job with what they have and keep a pretty tidy ship. The ship's decor is a bit dated and the pools are a bit old but overall the accommodations are on par with a three to four star hotel. The word on the ship is the boat is being 'dried docked' end of year to be renovated. Hope that is the case because it needs it! Room: We got a suite because it was my wife, my 4 year old and I. It was cheaper and easier to do this and any expert cruiser knows the rooms are pretty darn small otherwise. The suite is a bit smaller than a regular hotel room. They have a balcony that honestly made the trip! The bed can be configured into two twins or a king. The couch pulls out and compared to the other rooms, the suite has decent space. Worth the money, sure. our steward Semadi rocked! Food: Food was HORRIBLE! I can tolerate OK food, but the food was mediocre at best and in fact would argue the quality went down as we got closer to the end of the cruise. The highlight of my day was eating a burger because honestly that was the best food on the ship. The second highlight was fried eggs over easy because they cook them right in front of you. Otherwise, the food horrible. Entertainment: Was actually pretty solid. There was a country band that played near the 'American Bar' and they were great! The 'Punchline Comedy Show' is a must attend (all nights if possible). and the piano bar is a good time as well. End of day, Steve the entertainment director does a great job and Fuzzy does a great job running the comedy club! Staff: For being on an older ship that goes to the same ports over and over again, they are surprisingly great. I only had one bad experience with a bartender whom I assume was having a bad night. End of day, the staff is awesome. Summary: If you are looking for cruise and live in the Tampa area, great option. If you live else where, go to Miami or choose another company. This boat is old, the food was not great and there are only two stops. On the flip-side, the staff do pretty well with the cards they have been dealt. End of day... great vacation/wedding cruise, but definitely will not be cruising on this ship again or with Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
We stayed the night before at the Quality inn Airport on S. Dale Mabry in Tampa. Very nice for one night. Stores galore around including drug stores if you forgot anything. Free breakfast, transportation from airport to hotel and from ... Read More
We stayed the night before at the Quality inn Airport on S. Dale Mabry in Tampa. Very nice for one night. Stores galore around including drug stores if you forgot anything. Free breakfast, transportation from airport to hotel and from hotel to cruise terminal. Cheap rates too. Let's see to start with we were not given a zone pass from the taker of our boarding pass during embarkation and luckily I noticed and got one from a very sweet lady working another area. But once I got it getting on was a breeze. The lunch on board was alright, and the crew initially very sweet. Most were nice and clearly liked their jobs. The room was a joke. Nothing worked right. No A/C. The toilet flushed when it wanted too. The shower got hot when it felt like it and we had to finagle the water by running the sink at the same time to make it right. I said something at the desk and they put in work orders, which my Steward then cancelled and treated me like a two year old by saying that was the way things were. I was accused of being a racist. By the head of security no less! I tried to help them and report I saw someone grab a camera. He was all for the report till I described him after he asked me to. The gentleman thief was black. Then it was "Ohhh I get it. So you THINK you saw him steal the camera! Are you SURE?" Sad! And yes, later two young girls reported their camera stolen. Same kind! Same guard was later in an altercation with a woman on the pool deck insulting her as well. My excursion was a comedy of errors, and when I complained to the clerk. I was told "They are locals, there is nothing we can do." he was very belligerent so I asked the guest desk for the Excursion mgr. I got him, and he and the clerk ganged up on me. Started telling me "they didn't appreciate me insulting their excursion and if I was going to continue they were done with me." at which point they walked off and left me standing there. I found out from another crew member the MGR has no supervisor on the ship therefore he thinks he can be as rude as he wants to be. Most of the crew were very nice, but there was mass confusion. One would tell you one thing, and another would contradict it. There are no true policies on this ship, and no one to turn to if there is a problem. I took it upon myself to look for an officer who did take my statement and was very nice! Otherwise, I was told over and over "You need to call Miami". My twenty year old daughter and I were bored most of the time. There were the same shows over and over, and no real entertainment. I never once saw the Cruise Director! So glad I brought a deck of cards and a book. It seems they purposely keep you bored so you will got to the casinos. Refuse all pictures! They are expensive and constant. If they weren't trying to take our picture, they were trying to sell us booze, or usher us into a seminar. I felt like they were walking around and not seeing people but giant wallets. The only thing good about the cruise was Gavin Degraw. A phenomenal artist, and great all around guy. He sang to my daughter for half a song, and kept coming out into the audience and being a truly grateful looking artist. We certainly got our monies worth at least with him! Will I cruise Carnival again? Definitely not! The ports were nothing great, and the insults too many from supposed high ranking crew. Clearly they feel they can get away with treating people like dirt. I have twice sailed Norwegian on the Dawn and had wonderful times. This was supposed to be a last hurrah for myself and my daughter before she moved cross country and they ruined it. I will never sail anything other than Norwegian again. Debarkation was a joke. I have three herniated disks and I was on deck seven where the debarking was to take place. They wanted me to leave my cabin carrying my luggage up to deck ten, then come back down to deck seven to leave. Um no. A guy named Nick said it was fine to stay as I was medically injured. Another person, a young lady fought with me to leave. I won. I sat on a chair and told them to call customs (as they claimed it was a Customs directive) to me and I would tell them off too. Simply crazy all the way around. Oh and I had gastric bypass so I was basically on a fruit diet. By the end of the week the "fresh produce" was barely edible. The food in the main dinning room was alright, but nothing wonderful. I was impressed and loved the little dance they did though. Sorry Carnival but epic fail!   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Overall this is fairly fun, short, and relatively cruise option. Nothing about the ship blew you away but all in all I was able to enjoy my vacation. FOOD: This was one of my family's biggest complaints. We decided to pick the early ... Read More
Overall this is fairly fun, short, and relatively cruise option. Nothing about the ship blew you away but all in all I was able to enjoy my vacation. FOOD: This was one of my family's biggest complaints. We decided to pick the early dining option to guarantee we would be finished in time to watch the sunset. Every night you are seated at the same table in one of the two dining rooms (Carnival sorts you into them and you only use one for the entirety of your cruise. The waitstaff was fantastic and you have the same server every night. Unfortunately, the food was mediocre at best. While the options generally sound upscale (steak, lobster tail, etc.) the quality of the meals was generally on par with a college dorm's dining hall. The dessert is delicious though, the molten chocolate cake is the way to go. For lunch and breakfast there is the Paris restaurant, a buffet style food court, and the poolside grills. These options are just as average as dinner, except for the stir fry/Mongolian grill section this was the best dining option on the ship. The general dining theme seemed to be quantity>quality. ROOM: The room is small and a little cramped but generally worked pretty well for three guys in their late teens early 20s. The beds weren't notably uncomfortable and the bathroom was small but functional. The pleasant surprise in the room was the shower water pressure, it was tremendous. However, there was an issue that made the room UNINHABITABLE at times at roughly 2pm and 12am our room would suddenly REEK of what we believed was the smell of used cooking oil. Given time and some powerful air freshners you could eventually sleep after letting the room air out. This problem really has the potential to ruin a vacation if you do not have some air freshners on hand. It should also be noted the cleaning staff was great and always very friendly. EXCURSION: We took an excursion while we were in Cozumel. We picked the Secret River/Cave Diving excursion and it was AMAZING. This excursion is on the pricier side but i wholeheartedly recommend you take this trip if you can. You're put in a small group (under 10) and your guide takes you underground to explore an 18 mile cave system that was discovered just 7 years ago. You only explore a mile or so of the cave but that is still plenty. The cave is almost entirely natural and untouched. At the cave openings there are stairways but otherwise the cave is natural and lit only by the flashlight on your helmet. Our guide Carlos was great, friendly, knowledgable, funny. This was probably the best part of our trip. Really the only downside is that the was is a bit cold but you get a wetsuit which helps quite a bit. If you are unsure about which excursion to take please take this one, you won't regret it. While on the ship I didn't use the spa or the pools but the fitness center was surprisingly well equipped. My favorite parts of the ship were the balconies to the sides and behind the Paris restaurant. The comedians were both pretty good and worth going to at least once. In general the service was outstanding. One of the major problems encountered on our ship won't bother anyone else for four more years but still should be noted. On the ship the TVs in the public areas got ESPN which was important to our family because we would be on the boat during the World Cup's two semi final games. When the first games was supposed to come on all the TVs on the ship showing ESPN suddenly went to static. Apparently Carnival decided not to pay for the rights to show the game. Despite an angry mob of at least 50 people confront the customer service counter nothing was done to obtain the rights to the game nor was anything done to appease the angry customers (for example a drink credit) instead we were simply told there was nothing they could do and that we should find some other way to spend our afternoon.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
We on the Carnival Paradise on July 31st out of Tampa. Were on the cruise with a total of 52 people, we had 17 cabins. Been on several Carnival cruises prior. Other lines as well. Here's my take. Embark: Port of Tampa is easy. One of ... Read More
We on the Carnival Paradise on July 31st out of Tampa. Were on the cruise with a total of 52 people, we had 17 cabins. Been on several Carnival cruises prior. Other lines as well. Here's my take. Embark: Port of Tampa is easy. One of my favorite. Got there around 11am. No long lines. Easy parking. On board by 11:30. We had friends that paid for the Faster to the Fun pass. They paid $50 to get on 8 minutes before us. We even had our luggage before some of them. Not worth it on this cruise. Overall an A. Rooms: All were on Main deck. Very friendly staff. Clean ship for it's age. I could never get the air to cool our room. Hottest room I've ever cruised in. Some said the same others said they were cold. Overall a B. Dining: Waiters were great. Food was hit and miss - mostly miss. But, what do you expect for a cheap cruise? I was impressed most by the Sea Day Brunch. That was really good. Buffets always had long lines and mostly bad food. Hamburger - yuck, Pizza - yuck, Mongolian Wok - OK, ice cream - whatever, it's ice cream. Shows: Never went to one. I found the cruise director annoying. Piano Bar singer was a joke I heard. Comedians were good - enjoyed all their shows. Singers around the boat were good. Pools - Only went to the main pool. Line at slide. Always jam packed. Bartenders - Had Cheers program. Never got more than 15 drink in a day. Probably won't do again. Overall the cruise was a C. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
Let's be short and sweet here, the ships food is pretty bad, overall ship condition is very good, the ship does get kind of boring on the "cozumel" closed loop cruise unless you're one of the aforementioned south tampa ... Read More
Let's be short and sweet here, the ships food is pretty bad, overall ship condition is very good, the ship does get kind of boring on the "cozumel" closed loop cruise unless you're one of the aforementioned south tampa pool drunkards.Saw one guy dry humping another guys head at the pool...as he almost fell off the railing, they were ripping the ropes off the closed pool and getting in, another time we heard the pool was closed because of broken glass at the bottom... Dining room was decent, but overall service and food was meh, i ordered 2 separate drinks because i knew only one would come, surprising on the last day for the first time, both came! The best thing about this trip is the $8 taxi to cozumel palace for some all inclusive luxury day relaxing by the infinity pool, that's what vacationing is about, worth the $97 each. I wouldn't cruise again on the paradise, mainly because it's a party ship, and they do party.. And because it's out of tampa, the home of south tampa college kids. The comedy was out of this world. Both guys were hilarious. Read Less
Carnival Paradise Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.9
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.5 3.7
Public Rooms 3.5 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.3
Service 4.5 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.2

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