64 Carnival Paradise Cruise Reviews

This review will be short and to the point(s). Food: If you enjoy Steak and Shake, you will be safe on this ship in the Main dining rooms. For buffet and the rest of the locations, just be happy you get full. The quality of the food on ... Read More
This review will be short and to the point(s). Food: If you enjoy Steak and Shake, you will be safe on this ship in the Main dining rooms. For buffet and the rest of the locations, just be happy you get full. The quality of the food on the ship is mediocre. My favorite place to eat was the Mongolian Wok out on the Lido deck. I didn’t try out room service though. Entertainment: I never have seen so many people walk out on shows. It was very weak. There is nothing to do on the boat except get drunk. The game shows and other shows like that were boring to say the least. The only thing that was worthwhile was the comedy acts. On this cruise, there was Diane Ford and JR all part of the circle of Punchliner Comedy Club. Hilarious. Embarkation: We were herded like cattle in the room then outside to look at the boats. A HOT endeavor if it’s summer time. I sailed with RCL and they do everything inside with a TV tutorial, imagine that. We missed the actual embarkation since they were doinking around with the instructions just in case if someone goes over board or have to use the life jackets. I thought we couldn’t leave till those were done. Cabin: Not too shabby. It was an ocean view and I did enjoy looking at the waves to pass some time due to the poor entertainment on the ship. A couple things to keep in mind, there’s only two outlets in the room and one is controlled by the bathroom switch. Bring a power strip if you plan on using electronics such as phones and laptops. Plenty of room for two people, at least the room we were in. The bathrooms were very spacious. You can take a shower with your sig other. The toilet is a little cramped though. Service: Nothing new. It was just as expected except in the dining room. It took 40min one night to just get the starters. I was enraged because we were planning on watching the sunset on all the nights but couldn’t 2 nights on a 4 night cruise due to the service in the dining room.  One of our table mates ordered a simple wine 3 times and it never came. Horrid. The only reason why we stayed in there was for the Chocolate Molten Cake, that’s cocaine right there. Shore Excursions: We didn’t participate any SE from the ship due to the pricing. We went to Cozumel MX and went on our own excursion. The Money Bar is the place to be. They have great food, better than the ships and free snorkeling. We’ve been there twice now and awesome place to be. All it cost was $8 for the taxi ride and snorkel gear if you don’t have it. We brought ours since my mask has prescription lenses. Rates: We wouldn’t pay anything above $100 for this cruise, come next time. The Paradise was far from its name, it was more like The Boring Party ship.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Some cruises bang, some cruises bomb. The Carnival Paradise was sadly, a complete bomb. I first want to say that I have had the pleasure of taking four cruises, three of which where from the Mediterranean. One with Carnival, the others ... Read More
Some cruises bang, some cruises bomb. The Carnival Paradise was sadly, a complete bomb. I first want to say that I have had the pleasure of taking four cruises, three of which where from the Mediterranean. One with Carnival, the others Royal Caribbean. This was our first US cruise. Before I begin, let me say this. I am not a person who complains about every little thing, however we travel extensively and we work hard for our money. We of course expect to get what we pay for. Ok, let's get down to business. The Carnival Paradise has a lot to be desired. When we first boarded the ship, it took a while for your eyes to adjust, vertigo set in if you will. It is, as many stated, dated. Regardless of its upgrades in 2005 or so, it's dated people. When we entered our stateroom R125, it was as if I entered circa 1977! The tv was older than me tucked away in a wooden frame. The walls were grey with a bright orange ceiling. The only plus, a big bathroom. Actually one of the largest I have seen on any other cruise we have taken. Sadly what you gain in the bathroom, you certainly lose in the cabin. No sofa, no nice chair. Two beds, a stool and a small dinette chair. It truly made for cramped cruising. Our room stewart Antonio Jr. was a true gem. We asked for ice, we got it, we asked for early room cleaning, done! He was most obliging! Now dinner. We use to pack the suit coats and dress pants, etc. We chose not to on this trip. Reviews said is was a party ship and believe me folks, it was. We thought we would enjoy some great eats at the buffet as we did on other cruises. I guess the one thing you need to remember is. " don't think ". This way your expectations and hopes will not be shattered. Buffet. Simply put, horrific! I have been in the food industry for over thirty years. Am I a culinary genius, no! Do I understand and appreciate food? Yes! A seven year old could critique the food at the buffet. The food was repetitive, tasteless and well, vile. The salad bar fixings you could have eaten with a spoon they were so soggy. The deli, boring with small sandwiches. There was no imagination of sandwich varieties at all. Side dishes were soggy cole slaw or soggy thin potato salad. A bag of chips would have been good. The Pizza Pirate, store bought Red Baron pizza is far superior. The workers try to push what is already made instead of taking time to make what you want. Oh, ring the bell, they are always in the back slacking. The breakfast buffets choose to use powdered eggs. BEWARE! If you have never had them, watch out. There are the options of omelets and eggs made to order. Definitely your best bet. Grits and greasy bacon along with baked beans were an everyday staple. The baked beans? I don't get. Oh, but it gets better. If you can bare the food, then the shirtless men walking around hovering over what your about to eat is simply delectable. I had to complain twice to the manager that I find this to be utterly disgusting. He agreed and told people to shirt up or get out! If you have a sweet tooth, I will say that the culinary team should be proud cause the desserts were simply and utterly amazing. But I do believe some, if not all the desserts are store bought or previously frozen. After all how can you put out such incredible desserts and fail so miserably with main entrees. The casino host was very kind and offered me two free drinks on occasion. The casino is small, but was never busy. We did pretty well on a few machines, even using the same few hundred dollars for over four days! The staff did make you feel comfortable. A few perks we received, free drinks after 1,000 points earned every fifteen minutes and $10.00 back after a certain point gain. Don't get nervous like I did. No tickets come out for your winnings. They go directly to your sail & sign card and you redeem them at the cage or at another slot machine. We are not snooty individual's, but the class of people are something that I am not use to. Loud, sloppy and extremely DRUNK people. Hey, did we have our younger days of partying, hell ya. I just don't need to see 2,000 adults get lambasted for five days making total fools of themselves. Entertainment was a joke. One night it was the cruise director juggling. We spent more time counting how many times he dropped things than the number of times he successfully juggled things. I guess an A for effort is in order for him. We were then told to stay in our seats for the "show of a lifetime" maybe Vanilla Ice or MC Hammers lifetime, but not ours. Two bumbling jokers break dancing and clapping their hands. Really? Thank goodness the closest exit was behind us. Gift shops, usual $10 trinkets. But as we usually do, some duty free smokes and some nice Citizen watches was our score. We finally made it to the main dining room after four days of hoping and praying that the buffet would get better. As we walked into the dining room we were greeted by a dining room waiter leaning up against a counter. Being our first night, I asked where our table was. He grunted " what's the number", I told him. His reply, " go find it". Really? I said well the manager gave us a new table number, who did you ask he grunted, I said the manager. I grunted back do you need me to tell you again. I walked away and spoke with the hostess. She happily brought us to a nice table with a superb serving team of Martin and Victor After I told her of the greeting we received, she was extremely apologetic. Martin made some nice food recommendations. However the food was not superb, but it was at least fresh, nicely presented and good. Finally a decent meal. My fault for putting to much trust in the buffet. So on the fourth night around 12:30 AM we are awoken to a loud announcement. " Alpha team, alpha team, alpha team. Report to deck 3 AC condenser room". ALPHA if you did not know means fire. We did not take this too seriously at first, then we realized we were only one floor above and then the announcements were more frequent. We got dressed, grabbed our passports and walked briskly up five flights of stairs to an outside deck. The smell of something burning and smoke filled the hallways. The fire doors were closed and people were in the halls waiting for the next report. Some people were so panicked, they grabbed there life vests and ran by us. Another woman simply said " I'm f@&$?ng outta here. The good news, no major fire. There was a small fire and it was contained thanks to the brave and swift moving crew. Bad news we had no AC for a few hours, but we awoke to a nice chilly cabin. We were so not in the mood to abandon ship in the dark of night! In closing, if you want a party ship, I mean a flat out drunken stupor party ship. Book now or forever hold your peace. If you want a nice, relaxing, peaceful cruise book Royal Caribbean, Celebrity or Norwegian you will be treated with class. Carnival, we gave you two chances, you will not get a third. RCCL is our next twelve day trans Atlantic cruise in six months. We cannot wait !! We are certain, they will not disappoint. Good Luck all and remember, you get what you pay for. I'll make certain I never underspend again! Happy Sailing! PS-wait till you try and disembark in Tampa.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Port of Tampa was very nice and I would be happy cruise from there again, however never again on Carnival. This ship needs to be CLEANED and updated. I wish I could post the picture I took of the life jacket that in and emergency I would ... Read More
Port of Tampa was very nice and I would be happy cruise from there again, however never again on Carnival. This ship needs to be CLEANED and updated. I wish I could post the picture I took of the life jacket that in and emergency I would have had to use. I don't think it had been cleaned or removed from the cabin since the ship started sailing in 1998! It was covered in mold, dust and cob webs. While walking around the ship there were many things that were broken or missing like a light on the deck rail on deck 11. Looked like it had been missing for quite some time as there was new paint around the black electrical tape where the light used to be. As far as the food goes I would rather eat hospital food, no taste and just plain yuck. I didn't see any difference between the buffet or the main dining room. Only went to one show and had we not been waiting to go to dinner I wouldn't have wasted my time. Best part about the cruise is that it was only 4 days long. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
Well, after 15 cruises, 12 on Royal Caribbean, 1 on Disney and this my second on Carnival, this was by far the most pathetic of all. I don't quite know where to start so here's the skinny on the experience. For starters, the ... Read More
Well, after 15 cruises, 12 on Royal Caribbean, 1 on Disney and this my second on Carnival, this was by far the most pathetic of all. I don't quite know where to start so here's the skinny on the experience. For starters, the Tampa Port was nice, friendly, and the Valet parking was expensive but worth it at $20 a day. Once on board, we got a Grand Suite, so I was expecting a great room While it wasn't bad, it certainly showed signs of a ship that was in need of some major repairs. The ceiling on the balcony had a dropped down cage. The cage was held in place by screws which were 50% rusty and actually completely deteriorated from what they were intended to hold up. A slight push to the ceiling would cause the entire ceiling to give way in our cabin. Other than that, the cabin was dated, but not bad inside. Typically, on Royal Caribbean, the cabin stewards are awesome. Always upbeat and happy, and make you feel like you just arrived at your long lost relatives home. I didnt see our steward until the second day. When I did, he said, I haven't met you yet, but I can't wait till the last day. Im hoping you take good care of me for my outstanding service. Sorry Ronnell, it doesnt quite work that way! Overall, he was the worste I have ever had. Asking for ice was like you were causing someone a great deal of inconvenience. Headed to the casino for a little action. The casino was not a bad set up and decent size for the ship. The crew was again cold, made you feel as if they were doing you a favor by taking your money ,and even for big betters, I wasn't offered free drinks until the last day of our cruise with only a few hours left to drink. In comparison, on RCCL, I got a complete comp's cruise and all the drinks I wanted on day one. Nay nay on Carnival. They're too worried about the cost of the drinks and too short sighted on the big picture that you've lost me forever. Hope you enjoy keeping your cocktails Carnival!! Lets move on to the food. Wen to the buffet 4 times in the first 2 days. Of that, the buffet was closed 3 of the 4 times. Over the 4 days, it was almost comical how often the buffet was closed. There was a boatload of people watching the NFL Playoffs this Sunday, and we were all hungry. We went to the buffet to grab a dish of cold cuts to bring down to the area where the games were on TV. NO BUFFET. Closed at 2:30 in the afternoon and did not open again until 6:00pm. Are you serious? Closed on a football Sunday from 2: 30 until 6:00??? RCCL is open nearly 100% of the time and with great food. THis food was at best Golden Corral quality. Actually, Golden Corral is pretty good compared to this. One notch above a homeless food pantry. Same boring dishes every day. Pot roast thats over done, fish that tastes like cardboard, hot dogs, hamburgers (on occasion), and french fries. When the buffet is closed (which is 90% of your cruise) you will be directed to a pizza counter and sandwich area. Problem is that there is only one person working the sandwich counter and a line of 40 people non-stop. As for the pizza area, there are at best 2 people working it, never making pizza in advance. Everyone has to order a slice or a small pie, wait 20+ minutes for it and again, the line is non-stop 15 deep. This is the only cruise I ever cam back from and actually think I lost weight (lol). I guess there is a positive to this after all. Upon departure, we decided to do the self assist as we are locals here in Tampa. Waiting was forever!!! The cruise docked at 3 am, but at 9 am we were still waiting to get off the ship. I had to use the bathroom, so decided to go back to my cabin. Couldnt believe that the glasses we used to drink out of were sitting in the bathroom sink (where I spit after brushing my teeth as well as everyone else) with hot water running on them. I am assuming this is how they clean the glasses in your stateroom. BRING PLASTIC FROM HOME!!!!!!! Bottom line, never again will Carnival get a penny of my money. Carnival, you should be ashamed of yourselves for treating people like dirt, having a ship that is in desperate need of many repairs< a staff that needs major help in customer service, a hospitality area that cannot keep food out for guests that are ready to eat, and a hygiene policy that needs to be on 60 minutes! For my money, Royal Caribbean is a much better value and I feel happy, full, and safe the entire time. I'll work out after the cruise and at least have pleasant memories rather than feel the need to write a review here! PLEASE SAVE YOUR MONEY FOLKS! Btw, i have never wrote a review in 48 years, so realize I am not one of the many chronic complainers that thinks the world is an ugly place. This is just a blatant amount of terrible service and amenities that I hope nobody wastes their money on. If I had the balls, I'd short the stock! Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
This just might be the worst cruise ship on the ocean these days. Built in 98', and with no upgrades ever, you can tell every day of it's age. Tag that along with the worst crew in the history of cruise ships, and I'm not ... Read More
This just might be the worst cruise ship on the ocean these days. Built in 98', and with no upgrades ever, you can tell every day of it's age. Tag that along with the worst crew in the history of cruise ships, and I'm not sure how anyone could enjoy this ship. Now let's start the review with the positives: Wayan our steward. Decent and always had ice for us and room immaculate(it is his job!). Ok.............Done with the positives............... Food: You are basically isolated to the back of the boat for 2 buffet areas and this food is just above cafeteria grade. Talk about just bland and somewhat pathetic. I mean don't get me wrong, everyone over the age of 65 was enjoying it, but we are late 30's and were just about done eating that food within the first 2 meals. God awful, and talk about lack of politeness of the crew, on the boarder of rude/ignorant. Then you are going to be so lucky..................You get to have a "fancy"(not fancy at all) dinner each night. Now this dinner is made to look impressive................and if the buffet gets a D- grade then this Elation/Destiny gets about a D+ grade. Shrimp cocktail = 5 super small shrimp. Salads=5 bites. Dinners= portion the size of your fist, and if you ask for more food the servers look at you like you are crazy......oh and don't make any plans right after dinner.........This lovely adventure is about 2 hours long and by the time dessert gets there, you just want to get the hell out of there. 2 hours with D+ food? No thank you! Entertainment: OMG..............Don't even think about being entertained. It's damn near pathetic. I mean there are 7 dancers for the entire boat and on morning duty they are the bingo team! I'm not sure if I've ever seen such a pathetic offering of onboard entertainment anywhere in the world on a cruise ship. The best part of the entertainment was a talent show by the passengers!!! Ship: Ok, now I understand old, but come on Carnival.............some upgrades would be expected. The vinyl seats and the way way way outdated stained glass look should of been a clue as soon as we entered. I mean this ship is OLD. VERY OLD, for a cruise ship. Casino isn't bad, and honestly might be the nicest place on the ship, although due to very old air circulation system, the smoke is horrendous. No free drinks, no free anything in casino not even a soda! Poker 1 table, BJ 3 tables, Roulette 2 tables and Craps 1 table, and about 60 slot machines. Cabin: Took a interior cabin. Typical interior of other ships. Horrible smell to start off with but was quickly gone. Very old, and very outdated, but we usually only sleep in it. This cruise we actually had to kill time watching tv. Pool; Yeah let's not go there.....................It's about as big as my backyard pool, and they were so nice to put a slide on it back in the day, to make it look bigger but it sucks. They should put alittle more salt in it too, so people can smell it in the cabins as well as on the deck! Total experience, well let's just say, you get what you pay for. 65 and older crowd will enjoy it. People looking for a money saver and have ZERO expectations, well................They'll survive. Everyone else...........RUN and SAVE YOUR MONEY! NOTE: If you don't book excursion thru carnival...........you will be the last off the ship at your port of calls. Just a heads up.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
This cruise ship is one of the older ones & it shows. Every bar, meeting place that has a seat was so uncomfortable. The only comfortable thing to sit on was in our cabin & it was, believe it or not, the bed! For 3 adults it was ... Read More
This cruise ship is one of the older ones & it shows. Every bar, meeting place that has a seat was so uncomfortable. The only comfortable thing to sit on was in our cabin & it was, believe it or not, the bed! For 3 adults it was not convenient for a "bunk" bed that folds out halfway down wall. Our cabin was the ocean view window. The window was dirty & scummy. Toilet plugged. Very noisy all night when you try & sleep. The pool was like an over sized hot tub. Too small for the amount of people on board. Chairs around deck were broken & not enough for everyone on board. You had to get up early just to get a lounge chair that was not broken on the "at sea" days. Food was conventional. 2 nights out of 5 one of my family members got hair in their food. Food tasted like I was back at school in the cafeteria. No midnight buffets with ice sculptures, etc.... I have to give kudos to our waiter, he was the best & really took care of us. Entertainment was limited. Plenty of karaoke all day & night! Only savior was the comedy show. That was really good! I felt like I was in a furniture store or a used car lot with someone always coming up to me to try & sell something to me. It was very annoying when they want you to buy something but try to find someone to take care of you when you need something then they pass the buck & this one tells to to see that one & so on... Excursions were another savior. Loved getting OFF the boat but once we had to get back on I dreaded it. It was my husband & daughter's first time on a cruise & after that terrible trip they will never go on one again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We've been several lines, each have a different reason we take it. Sometimes atmosphere, ports, etc. This is our 4th time on Paradise, and the last. When Paradise came to Tampa, I'm not sure where they got their Captain ... Read More
We've been several lines, each have a different reason we take it. Sometimes atmosphere, ports, etc. This is our 4th time on Paradise, and the last. When Paradise came to Tampa, I'm not sure where they got their Captain from but "Over the Top" is an understatement. Then the safety drill was 45 minutes of grueling painful over the top, now it's down to 23 with some over the top but not like it was.... ok a plus. The guy STILL can't get the boat in the same time Inspiration got in (6-7am) WE NEED TO GO BACK TO WORK!!!! NOT HANG OUT ON THAT SHIP!!! Alas this is nothing yet again, the Carnival crew has managed to piss off it's most patient and forgiving guests. ** Dirty Buffet Dining Room - since we were tired of 2 hour dinners due to extremely slow service, we did this cruise in the buffet. What was kept very clean by dutiful staff, no longer is. Try to find someone, not happening. I cleaned my own table. ** Skimping - Carnival definitely came across as complete tightwads on this cruise. No more potato chips with the rueben? I had a list of these small things, they've cut a lot of it. Even the food quality which was going up in October has slid to less than a soup kitchen. I had to intruct the meat carver on how to carve the meat properly for less loss and customer satisfaction - went in one ear and out the other. ** Food quality - as mentioned above what worked was simple - Wok, and any carved meat with a baked potato. Pretty slim pickings, but unless it was a no brainer the food pretty much wasn't worth of dog food. ** Staff anything - Poor attitudes, even security! They were so SMUG, we had to start giving them some crap..... wasn't exactly a great idea but at the end of the day they still didn't get the message. Whether it was bar, casino, restaurant, security, room, the staff was deaf, dumb, and blind. ** Clean??? - the public bathrooms were disgusting! it was a waste hazard everywhere except on certain levels. The worst was the Lido deck, feces and body fluids everywhere! ** How much is that drink? getting to be the thumb on the scale method. Make sure you call your liquor and ask how much each one is. There is a difference in Vodkas as well as others, if you don't call it you could get stuck with a higher priced drink. (HINT - Have a bottle delivered to your room instead it's cheaper) ** Cruise Director??? - ok 3rd time wasn't a charm, yes a nice guy, but this isn't his cup of tea. He comes off as a backwoods idiot who's only purpose in life is to showcase himself in over egotistical outfits and acts as he is the headliner......NOT. Talent is extrememly marginal if that, but the question remains - WHY CAN'T WE EVER FIND HIM???? ** Overall - If we used this ship as a gauge - Carnival is sinking. We feel they have cut in so many places they no longer have the skills necessary to upright the ship in a favorable way. The best part, aside from Cozumel, of this entire cruise was running (YES) off the ship to go home. ** Results - with the exception of 2 ports that we like and are figuring if we can forever live without, We are shelving our VIP status with Carnival and increasing with RCCL to start. I have to say that the last 5 cruises have been interesting, but the last 3 have told the story and we are tired of it all. Carnival has shown the manufactured side of the industry very very well, we don't need it. Poor ethics, moral, quality, and worst of all - they have no intent of customer service. As asked by a fellow shipmate that is writing a letter to Carnival, she asked why we wouldn't - been there done that - tired of the dance around the bush answers that resolve nothing. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Having cruised Carnival about 20 years ago, I had fond memories of my experience. Since my first Carnival experience, more recently I have cruised with NCL and Holland America 4 separate times and throughly enjoyed both cruise lines. ... Read More
Having cruised Carnival about 20 years ago, I had fond memories of my experience. Since my first Carnival experience, more recently I have cruised with NCL and Holland America 4 separate times and throughly enjoyed both cruise lines. Fast forward to last week and my latest experience on Carnival was horrendous. Buffet food was awful, Outside cabin was worn and tired, the staff was quite lacking in key hospitality skills like...smiling, making people feel welcomed and did I say smiling? Dining room food was better but they seemed severely understaffed and our server was never there and when he was he was always excusing himself to go put out another fire. Entertainment (2 shows for 5 night cruise) was lacking. On NCL and HA there was never enough time in the sea days with so many appealing activites. Not so much on Carnival. We found ourselves spending more time in our cabin than we ever wanted. The same cabin with dents in the ceiling and walls. Do yourself a favor, skip this ship and this cruise. Save up for the real deal. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Cons: Why would they not cancel this cruise? It rained 4 days straight and we were in the middle of a major tropical storm. The Lido deck was (partially) occupied maybe 10 hours total for the 4 day cruise. I felt like the whole mission ... Read More
Cons: Why would they not cancel this cruise? It rained 4 days straight and we were in the middle of a major tropical storm. The Lido deck was (partially) occupied maybe 10 hours total for the 4 day cruise. I felt like the whole mission of Carnival is to drain you of every dollar...Bingo, raffles, overpriced spa services, "sales" at the fun shop, annoying pictures. I get that they need to make money but the constant announcements of these "activities" over the entire ship. It was really annoying...and of course b/c it was raining they pushed the envelope with that. We were late getting off the ship and there was little regulation of passengers getting off in an organized manner = stampede. Lines to board were much worse than any aiport I have ever been to (think Newark!). Treadmills and dining tables in the main dining hall were sticky and smelled of old rags. The first night of dining was awful...undercooked meat and ceaser dressing that was literally mistaken for garlic butter. Pros: The service was great..especially house keeping and prep workers (so friendly and always greeted us). The food on two nights of formal dining was phenomenal. The show on the last night was great. Upper deck is great and conveniently located. Overall I would not go back unless my kids begged me and Royal Caribbean was sold out or completely unaffordable. Royal Caribbean from here on out! Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Unfortunately, this was our worst cruise (vacation) experience ever! My daughter chose a 3-day family cruise to Mexico to celebrate her 40th birthday. My husband and I traveled with my daughter, her husband, their 3 children and her father ... Read More
Unfortunately, this was our worst cruise (vacation) experience ever! My daughter chose a 3-day family cruise to Mexico to celebrate her 40th birthday. My husband and I traveled with my daughter, her husband, their 3 children and her father and his wife. Her birthday falls on February 1st, the closest weekend being February 4th, which this year turned out to be Superbowl weekend! We love football, are Pittsburgh Steeler fans, so looked forward to watching the game on a big screen with other football enthusiasts. Little did we know we would barely be able to watch the game, due to rowdiness. Carnival has a reputation for being a "party cruise line", and we like to have a good time, but "party" was hardly the word for what went on on this ship. I have never seen so many "out of control people" in one place in my life. As we walked down the hall to our room, our neighbors (several) had their door opened with "rap" music blaring out of the room. I called security to see if we could change rooms and were told the ship was full. When I asked if they would ask the revelers to quiet down, I was told "we (Carnival Paradise crew) have no control over what the passengers do". Made me wonder if anyone was in control of the ship. And this was just the beginning...Over the course of the 3 days, we witnessed more exhibitions of public intoxication, fights in the hallways, people passed out, the list goes on. As we disembarked in Long Beach, several young men were going aboard (they looked like security) and one said, "Was this a cruise for parolees?" The ship is in need of a drastic remodel, though I can see why Carnival wouldn't spend money on a ship whose passengers don't appreciate nice things. We paid extra for an oceanview stateroom, which consisted of a porthole you could barely see out of. I had to climb over the bed to get into bed, due to lifejacket storage, in the corner. This definitely was not a family experience and I think the agent who booked our cruise should have told us. There were only a handful of kids aboard and I'm sure they saw things kids shouldn't see. As for positives, the food in the dining room was excellent and the comedian "Jon", was hilarious. We did a shore excursion to "Baja" wine country, which was interesting. The winery we visited was as nice as some in Napa. And we did enjoy the company of our family. Needless, to say, this will be our last cruise on Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Having cruised many times before I was very excited to go on yet another trip. I had never been on carnival and was excited to try a new line. We got to the ship early and were actually in line when the early embarkment office opened. we ... Read More
Having cruised many times before I was very excited to go on yet another trip. I had never been on carnival and was excited to try a new line. We got to the ship early and were actually in line when the early embarkment office opened. we were in zone one and got right on board ship. The embarkment went very smoothly. We had two rooms, they were suppose to have a door between them, hmmm no door. I saw pictures of the joining room, I called to inquire, was told of that is on a ship in the same class but not Paradise... ok I paid for a birthday package to be put up for my husband in our room before arrival. It was there and looked way fun and nice. The cabin was big which I thought was great until we tried to get into the bed on the left side. You could not there is a huge life jacket box in the corner making the left side of the bed impossible to get into. I like caring nothing but my room card onboard and locking up everything else. well on carnival you cannot do that as you need a credit card or drivers license to activate the safe. A code would make more sense. The bathroom was big, however the shower had mold growing on the grout. I did like the little bowl of toiletries on the bathroom counter, it was a nice touch. Use them though they are gone and never replenished. We had no hair drier, I called the room steward to get one, no answer EVER on the phone. I then tried calling down to the front desk where your call just loops to nowhere. getting help on this ship is impossible. I made the mistake of taking my shoes off to discover the carpet outside the bathroom was sloshy wet. My husband thinks it is from people going in and out of the bathroom wet. The room steward NEVER once during the cruise came to introduce himself. On other lines we have traveled they always done this. The second day we went to get in the pool and found it to be frigidly cold. There was no way we could stand the water, it stung it was so cold. So we sat in the hot tub with 6 children, who could also not be in the pool as it was too cold. We made door signs, the first night someone stole one of them! We found it three doors down, very disappointing. Upon going back to the room put my suit in the corner o0f the shower, where it stayed till we left, hmmmm must mean no one cleaned the shower, as it never moved. There was no place to hang a wet suit to dry in the shower, there were hooks int he bathroom but the water would have pooled on the tile and become a slipping hazard, so on the floor it laid. could have hung it in the closet, but our cloths were there. I liked the shows. they were campy but very cute and fun. I was disappointed when the dancer pulled my husband on stage and I was not allowed to get pictures. We bought the DVD hoping the event would be on it, but no.... too bad all we have is the memory would have loved a picture. The trivia was fun, it was an individual event would have been more fun as teams so you could get to know your ship mates. My husband won one round and did get a cute little gold ship trophy which I have to say is the cutest ship prize ever. and the joke they tell about the solid 24 caret plastic gold trophy ship on a stick was hilarious. The burgers were good, the hot dog, well the dog was cold and the bun rock hard from sitting under the heat lamp. The pizza and calzone was good. The sandwich station was good loved the arugula, tomato, mozzarella sandwich. I was not impressed with the frozen yogurt it was too frozen. Not impressed with the rest of the buffet the food was mid warm and tasteless. I was shocked when at breakfast they served my husband his bacon and limited how much he could have... Limiting a child is understandable but a 61 year old man knows how much he can eat. The Elations dining room was nice, the service was good, the waiters funny and personable, the photographer very annoying. The food in the dining room was Denny's quality at best, but better than the buffet. Drunks, OMG they stumble all over... Fun ship? I doubt many of the cruisers will even remember their weekend! NOT all people are happy drunks. We got to the venue for the comic early to get a seat we found four and sat to watch. A large bald mid 30's man came and stood right in front of the area we were in. He was drunk and leaned on the rail. The people next to us started calling hey move we cannot see... he stayed, My husband asked him to move he turned around dropped a few F bombs, said he would not move and in a threatening tone yelled at my husband what you gonna do about it. My husband said call security, he turned to the bar tender and asked him to call security since this guy was being obnoxious. The guy remains continuing to threaten and intimidate and drink. One security guard (1/2 the size of the drunk) arrives 10 minutes later and asks my husband to leave with him! Since my husband complained, he is deemed the problem. Even though the guy is standing right in front of a whole section we are told he is not in anyones way. The other people in the section complain they are told to not make trouble by the guard. The drunk loudly boasts he is staying. we got up and left. Don't expect the security to help you if there is a problem. There was a scrap booking event, being avid scrap bookers we were excited and ready to play. The girl who came was sweet but Carnival had given her nothing to work with for the class, there were some scissors, glue sticks, a marker, and plain colored paper. so we cut and pasted some paper and did what we could. I expected more, even if there would have had to be a charge. Disembarking was interesting we followed all the directions from the tv and the written paperwork. we were doing self disembark. The directions said wait till your deck number is called to go to deck 7 and disembark. We were on deck 5. We wanted to avoid the rush at the elevators, so went to deck 8 being we could carry our bags down easier than up. A crew member told us to go to 7 and wait there. We told him, the tv and literature said NOT to go to 7, he said go wait there. so we headed down knowing we were not suppose to. Upon arriving at deck 7 we were ushered to the doors, no question about our deck and were off the ship in 10 minutes! Now that was nice. All in all... I will not travel with carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Where to start... Let me preface my rant with the fact that my girlfriend and I are extremely easy to please. We can make the best out of any situation, and almost never complain. We are both 23 and not wealthy or pretentious. Yet this ... Read More
Where to start... Let me preface my rant with the fact that my girlfriend and I are extremely easy to please. We can make the best out of any situation, and almost never complain. We are both 23 and not wealthy or pretentious. Yet this cruise was without a doubt the worst vacation we have ever been on. To start with, the ship departure was delayed from roughly 11 a.m., to the final departure time of 12:03am the next day. That's right, we didn't even leave the port on the day of departure, instead of Friday morning, we left at past midnight. The actual process of loading onto the ship was an absolute mess. First we checked our bags right by the ship, then they actually bussed us away from the ship to an event center in order to check-in, then bussed us back to actually board. We had to wait in about 4 different lines. Fortunately we were with a wedding party, and because the ship was running so late, they rushed us to the front of every line. If we hadn't been so lucky, I would estimate that the entire boarding process would take at least 3-4 hours. Oh, to degrade slightly, I was continually on the phone with the customer service reps on the day(s) of our departure. Without a doubt the worst customer service I have ever received. They could not even tell me what time the ship would be in... on the DAY OF our departure. And despite my constant requests for some form of compensation for the delays and troubles I had to deal with. Furthermore, despite the fact that we were on the phone with customer service all day, they neglected to inform us that the aquarium near the port, which we visited and paid for in full to kill time, was actually free for any cruisers because of the delay. Not only did we waste an entire day waiting for this cruise to dock and be prepared, we had to waste our own money to make up for it. After all of this, each guest received a $15 refund, which I consider more of a slap in the face than an actual gesture of sympathy. Back to the departure day now. After being herded onto the ship with the other sheep, we made our way to the now 11 hour delayed wedding ceremony. The actual ceremony and reception were great, except for the fact that the ship cut the reception down from 2 hours to only 1 hour because of the delays. Since it wasn't my wedding, I suppose I have no reason to be upset, but if it were my wedding I would have been livid. Our room: We were actually surprised with how nice the rooms were... at first. We had little or no issues the first night, but at 1:00am on the second night there was an incessant explosion sound that shook our entire room every 3-5 minutes. Expecting it to stop eventually, we waited until 1:45 to call the front desk. We were promptly given a new room in a much better location with no questions asked. On that note, the cruise ship employees were very nice and helpful, unlike the customer service over the phone. The food: Awful. Terrible. Nearly inedible. For those of you who have eaten in a college dorm, the college dorm looks like a five star restaurant in comparison. We visited Ensenada, Mexico, and I think you would be just as likely to get sick on the boat as you would be in Mexico. The "nicer" sit-down restaurants served the exact same food, except you would be brought your food by an over-worked cruise employee instead of fetching it yourself. One of the days that we sat down for breakfast, we were unpleasantly surprised to be seated at a shared table, while more than half of the tables in the dining room were completely empty. Why they forced us to sit next to the two most obnoxious people I've ever met, when there were empty tables three feet away, is beyond me. The people: Being our first cruise, we were amazed and disgusted by our fellow passengers. Most of these cruisers were in their 50's, and black-out drunk for three days straight. I love drinking, and I did quite a bit myself, but they could and did drink more than I did in college. We had many other issues with most of the passengers, which I won't go into now. Communication: On the ship, it will cost you at least $2.99/minute to contact the outside(normal) world. To connect to wifi it will cost you $15.00 for 1/2hour, or $0.75 per minute if you don't buy in bulk. This means the only way to contact other people on the ship is to call their room, which they will likely not be in. On top of this, you can not leave messages with these phones, making contact with fellow cruisers impossible. Positives about the boat: The gym is pretty nice, and free. The steam room/sauna is the best place on the ship, as there are usually no people in it. The hot tubs in the adult area were fairly nice, but almost always completely filled with drunk people. The slide looked okay, but we avoided that main deck like the plague as it was often completely packed with screaming children, or playing awful music way way too loud (I'm 23, I got to a lot of concerts, I love loud music, this music was TOO loud). The show that came on after bingo was pretty awesome, but not for the right reasons... it was hilariously bad. Summary: This was my first cruise. I now see how widely they vary, as I've only heard great things about Alaskan cruises on nice cruise liners. Carnival is hands down the bottom ring of the cruise lines, and it shows very clearly. Never ever will I go on a carnival cruise, and very likely any other cruise because of how awful this experience was. Only go on this cruise if you want to get completely trashed for three days straight (which is why I wanted to go in the first place), if you can stomach truly terrible food, if you do not get sea sick in the least, if you have a ton of money to throw away and if you are prepared to deal with awful customer service. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
> My husband, myself and eight of our friends went on a Carnival cruise from 24 December 09 to 28 December 09. In order for all five cabins to get the lowest price, which is the military rate, CF, a Carnival travel agent, suggested and ... Read More
> My husband, myself and eight of our friends went on a Carnival cruise from 24 December 09 to 28 December 09. In order for all five cabins to get the lowest price, which is the military rate, CF, a Carnival travel agent, suggested and approved the following change: Since both myself and my husband are military veterans, and our cruise friends Kand D (mother and daughter) were not veterans, we changed the names of the cabin occupants to show that one veteran would be in each of those two cabins, in name only, for the sole purpose of the reservation, so that I would share my cabin with D, and my husband would share a cabin with K. All four of us were told by CF that making changes to cabin occupants is a common practice to get the lowest possible price, and that changing the cabin assignments once onboard would not be a problem. Just to explain, we changed travel agents from Carnival's CF to an online agency because Carnival's agent lied to us about group rates for ten people. When all four of us boarded the cruise ship, we went together to Guest Services to change the cabin occupant names. We were all told by the Carnival employee at Guest Services, that first hour on board, that Carnival would change the occupant names so that My husband and I were now together in one cabin, and K and D were in another cabin. Guest services also told us that our key cards, which are used to open our cabin doors, used as identification, and also to make purchases on board, were corrected to represent the changes made by Carnival Guest Services. As we boarded the ship, our photograph was taken to make sure that all the other information, including credit or debit card information, was matched to the correct guest and to the correct cabin. At least once, sometimes 4 times every single day on this four-day cruise, either I or K went to the Guest Services desk to correct information about cabin occupants or on board charges that had been applied incorrectly. Each time we went to Guest Services, together or individually, Guest Services told us that they corrected the information, but in fact, they did not. One time, three of the four names were listed as being in one cabin, while the fourth person was listed as being alone in her cabin, onboard purchases were all incorrectly applied to the other cabin's account. What was so frustrating and upsetting was that in each instance, the Carnival employee at Guest Services insisted that they had corrected everything. All 4 of us went over all the details of cabin occupants and credit card or debit card owners and numbers several times with Guest Services in that four-day period. I find the negligence on the part of Carnival's Guest Services to be unprofessional, at best. Even on the last morning, when we were waiting to leave the ship, we all went to Guest Services because our print outs were incorrect yet again! At that point, for reasons I will explain later, my husband and I decided that the employees of Carnival did not earn nor did they deserve the $80.00 service gratuity per cabin, that was automatically added to our Sail and Sign Statement. I spoke with a female Guest Services employee from South Africa, who told me that she would refund the $80.00. Obviously, she did not do as she promised, and that charge remains on our credit card account today. On 30 December 09, I received a frantic call from my friend K, telling me that Carnival had taken $473.93 out of her checking account, which would cause her to bounce checks and create insufficient funds charges from her bank when they automatically withdrew her mortgage payment on 1 January 2010. That $473.93 was the amount stated on our Sail and Sign statement, which included the $80.00 automatic gratuity the woman from South Africa promised to remove. In other words, Carnival not only ignored our demand to refund to us the service gratuity of $80.00, but they also took the incorrect amount out of the wrong bank account! Both K and myself called Carnival that day to straighten out the mess, and to ask that the Carnival accounting department rush the correction before K's mortgage payment and checks began bouncing. We both talked to T, a female employee of Carnival who was not willing to rush the correction nor even pretend to be interested in solving the problem. Carnival took several days to refund the Olson family the amount of $473.93, and apply that charge to the correct credit card account. But now they still have charged us the wrong amount! It is supposed to be $393.93, which is the charged amount of $473.93, minus the $80.00 automatic gratuity we are disputing. I called Carnival on 8 January 2010 in a good faith effort to resolve the dispute with Carnival after the $473.93 charge appeared on our credit card. I talked to T at Carnival, and asked again that the $80.00 be refunded. I explained some of the more disturbing problems we encountered on the Carnival cruise. Tiffany told me that because she saw no documentation of any complaints during the cruise, and that now the cruise is over, she would not refund any charges. Of course, guests cannot force Carnival employees to document complaints, and Carnival employees probably know that the best way to deter or prevent guests from denying them gratuities is to just smile, nod, and fail to document anything. > We flew on Southwest Airlines to SNA, and stayed with a friend overnight before we embarked on the cruise. Embarkation was very smooth. Our stateroom on the Carnival Paradise was sold to us as being wheelchair accessible, which I need because I use a wheelchair. I can walk but not very far, and I have constant pain. It was simply impossible to get my wheelchair into the bathroom or shower because it was way too small of an area. Only the smallest infant wheelchair would fit inside. There was only one electrical outlet in the whole room. The bedsheets were dirty. We complained but the problem was never resolved. The guest services employees simply nodded, smiled, but did nothing to resolve our complaints.Our cabin steward never cleaned the room as he should have done: the drinking glasses he left in our cabin had someone's lipstick on them. The bed sheets had someone's pubic hair all over them. The towels had fresh, dirty footprints on them, and the shower was simply never cleaned at all. There was someone else's hair in the bathroom sink, and someone's bobby pins and used nose tissue paper on the floor. This was more than sloppy service, but a serious health hazard. Yes, we complained. Daily. I asked Guest Services to ask to supervisor of Housekeeping to come to meet us at our cabin so we could show him what the cabin looked like. He never showed up, so we called Guest Services to ask the Housekeeping supervisor to call us when we were in our cabin. He never called us or left any message on our phone. We never spoke to him or met him. We did leave messages for the Housekeeping supervisor at the Guest Services desk, but we don't know if he ever received them. The buffet areas had a nice choice of food, but it was hard to find an open table because the staff only cleared tables once per mealtime. There were dirty tables and chairs everywhere, with stacks of dirty dishes on them where guests had cleared their own tables to make room for themselves. The tables were never disinfected. Even between meals, there were crumbs and greasy areas on tables, and chairs were used as stairs for the children to climb on the tables and jump off. At dinner, we received dirty dishes, dirty silverware and questionable glassware. When we complained, our items were replaced. The steaks were very good, and there were many choices of entrees. Other problems include dirty dishes and used silverware in the supposedly clean stack of dishes at the entrance of the buffet line in the dining rooms, dishes and silverware with dried food on them in the restaurant, dirty glasses in the restaurant, and I saw a bar server take a used straw out of one drink and place it in another drink before he served that drink to a guest. Other members of our group saw and experienced similar sickening behavior from Carnival staff. We took this cruise with a large group so we spent most of our time with them. There were no children in our group, so I can't speak of the quality of children's activities. I observed that of the 500 children on this cruise, the large majority, even children wearing diapers, were unsupervised, screaming, running in the public areas, leaving half-eaten food on the floors and on any public holiday decoration that they could find, and generally behaving like wild animals. As far as the entertainment, we really enjoyed the comedian, but not the singing and dancing shows. The movies available were for the children, since this was a holiday cruise. We did not buy any shore excursions from Carnival, but instead left the ship and hired locals to take us to the same sites promoted by Carnival, at a substantial savings. Disembarkation was the smoothest I have ever seen. If there is one thing Carnival knows how to do right, it's how to get people off the ship quickly. The bottom line is that we as guests feel that we determine how much gratuity is to be given, just like in any other restaurant, hotel, or other merchant that provides a service. Carnival can suggest a gratuity amount, but they can not force guests to pay a gratuity that we determine was certainly not deserved. We found the entire cruise to be sub-standard, unprofessional and Carnival's business practices unethical. Our cruise experience was, and remains, negative. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
I booked this cruise through http://www.carnival.com with the intention of having a very pampered, well-fed relaxing weekend, thus this is not what I received. We boarded from Long Beach on Friday June 9th. We boarded around 1:30 and ... Read More
I booked this cruise through http://www.carnival.com with the intention of having a very pampered, well-fed relaxing weekend, thus this is not what I received. We boarded from Long Beach on Friday June 9th. We boarded around 1:30 and looked forward to enjoying a lavish boy voyage/welcome type party with lots of good food and music and such. The welcome lunch consisted of hot dogs and burgers, and extremely salty fries. Our suitcase never arrived in the room, and we were never informed where they were. I finally saw someone looking as if they were a crew member and asked where the bags were. He informed me that they were on the 7th floor, so we walked around the floor until we found some misplaced suitcases. Since we already missed our set dinner time, we headed upstairs to the buffet for some dinner. There are no dining options at all if you miss your dinner time. You can go to the Paris Restaurant and try to find something to eat. The buffet food consisted of fried chicken or sometimes turkey and white rice and again, french fries. Usually, only one line had food. The desserts were tasteless, and options were chocolate cake and frozen yogurt. The tables were filthy. As I looked around, everyone working in the restaurant was standing around talking to each other, sitting down, not working. They would pick up the plates, but never wiped the table down at all -- every table we sat at was always dirty. I finally stopped someone "working in the restaurant" and asked her to wipe down the tables. She gave me a dirty look and did a crappy job. It was nice to sit outside on the deck they have, just get someone to clean the table first. Breakfast, lunch and dinner in the buffet was horrible, the food is basically continental for breakfast. At 11:00 the deli stand opens and those are pretty good sandwiches, but who wants to go on a cruise to be stuck with a sandwiches as the main food. They did have a 24-hour pizza bar, but the pizza was a little rubbery and old. On Saturday night,  we went to the Captain's Dinner. I ordered the lobster, which included a very hard baked potato and a very overcooked half of a lobster tail. I should've asked for a new one, but wanted to eat at the same time everyone at the table was eating. For dessert, a carmel piece of pineapple. Wow. Food was horrible all around. You'll be hungry so stay up for the midnight mexican buffet. It is probably the most decent meal the whole time, but even that lacked a lot of options. They had tacos and chips. The rooms were decent sized, nothing exciting. They pushed two twin beds together and that left us with a huge gap in the middle, so we might as well have just slept in separate beds. The pillows consisted of a bunch of what felt like a cotton balls stuck together. We kept hearing that Carnival has the comfort bed mattress, but we wondered where those beds were. When the boat docked in Ensaneda, the dock was full of trash. Don't bother getting off her the boat here, it consists of children running around wanting you to buy gum and toys as there mothers lay on the street holding more children and a cup out for you to give them money. No activities on the boat at all. They have a few pools, but the water is extremely cold and it looked really dirty. The main pool was always full of kids and is very small. They have a hairy chest competition and games like the newlywed game, but nothing else to do at all. They just anchor in the ocean all day on Sunday and there is nothing to do. Bring a book and get a chair, prepare for a very long boring day. Don't bother getting off early for the embarkment back at Long Beach. They make everyone line up on one deck and you stand there as crew members walk up and down yelling at you to get to one side for about 1 hour. Stay in your cabin until they claim the line is about 10-15 minutes. Most people rush to get off the boat and wait for about 2 hours. I have been on many cruises and I think this is the worse. If you are looking for good food and activities, do not choose the 3 day weekend cruise, save your money and do a week long cruise. I think they go all out for those cruises wherein the 3 day cruise gets the leftover LAZY CREW and leftover chefs. I wish I could get the money I wasted back. Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
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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