241 Carnival Paradise Cruise Reviews

This was our 11th cruise, 3rd on Carnival and 2nd out of the port of Tampa. Getting to the port and embarkation Tampa is a very accessible port. The Paradise sails out of terminal 3 – the flow of traffic is quick and efficient. ... Read More
This was our 11th cruise, 3rd on Carnival and 2nd out of the port of Tampa. Getting to the port and embarkation Tampa is a very accessible port. The Paradise sails out of terminal 3 – the flow of traffic is quick and efficient. We arrived at 12:45 and were on the ship 20 minutes later. The only issue was parking. We chose the 717 lot at Union Station because of the $5 rate – BIG MISTAKE. There were no signs, no attendant, the lot was unsecured and there was no shuttle (opposite of all things advertised on their website). Pay the extra money and check yelp reviews for the parking you do select. We found that 717 had bad reviews and if we checked that before we booked, we could have avoided the trouble. Ship and staff Even though she is 17 years old, the Paradise is in good condition. The staff was friendly and greeted us often. They were constantly cleaning the ship. Service items rarely stayed in hallways or on tables for long. We were in cabin M160 – an outside cabin on the Main Deck. The room was comfortable for 3 people, well appointed and more than adequate for 4 days. Like all Fantasy Class Ships, the Paradise takes some getting used to due to the galley on deck 8. Make sure you visit the forward observation decks in-front of the Normandy Theatre (you need to go through the exit doors on the lower level next to the stage). The cruise director was very engaging and entertaining. We would like to call out Haley from his staff, who made the trip extra special by setting up a 5 year old age bracket in the Connect 4 tournament. My daughter still carries her 24K plastic ship on a stick around the house. The little things can make a big difference. Thank you Haley! Dinning We were a little disappointed with the dining options. The food was the same quality as other Carnival ships (I always love the soups), but the service in the Main Dining Room was lacking. Service in the MDR was slow and the waiters did not remember drink orders or dinning preferences. The MDR did not have a separate lunch menu, opting for an 8 – 1 brunch menu on sea days. It was closed while we were in port. We attended the Green Eggs and Ham breakfast – this was a wonderful touch and significantly better than the DreamWorks breakfast on Royal Caribbean. The food in the Lido was good (especially the Mongolian Buffet), but the lines were often long. This should improve when the Paradise gets the Carnival 2.0 upgrade. Family programming and entertainment We travelled with my 5 year old daughter – she was thrilled with the kid’s club staff, wanting to go there every evening. The kids club staff was exceptional, I wish we could call each one of them out by name. They always recognized and greeted our daughter on the ship. They hosted a large family 4th of July dance party in the Rex nightclub - the party was a great time for parents to bond with their kids. The staff looked like they genuinely enjoyed hosting the 4th of July events. The kids club also had a Mardi Gras Party, pom-pom wars, bubble play, tee-shirt making and other innovative activities. The Seuss at Sea Parade was a nice touch – make sure you are there early to get the pom-poms (they ran-out). The main pool and hot tubs were often crowded – almost nobody used the aft pool where there is a small adjoining kid’s pool. My daughter really enjoyed the water slide – she was about an inch short, so we padded her water shoes to give her extra height (make sure that your child is a good swimmer if they are under the 48” limit). We caught the family comedy act and the “8 seconds” show. Both were very good and there was some nice theatrics in 8 seconds. Ports of Call Living in Tampa, we had been to Cozumel several times. The ship docks at the downtown pier and there is plenty of tourist shopping right in the port. We went to Playa Mia for the day, leaving the ship at about 9:15 and arriving at Playa Mia around 10. This was our first time at Playa Mia and we were very happy. The resort is not very Mexican, but it was great for families. The splash park was perfect for our daughter; we played on the water slide and had a great time on the floating obstacle course. Contrary to what has been posted, the food was more than sufficient, about the same quality as what is on the Paradise. There was fresh watermelon and papaya, cilantro infused chicken tacos and fresh pico de gallo. The beach area is spacious, with plenty of loungers and despite the amount of people, the park never felt crowded. We had the all-inclusive package – drinks are pre-mixed and not very strong, but after a few doubles, they add up quickly. We booked through Shore Excursioneer (www.shoreexcursioneer.com) and got a nice discount from the Playa Mia direct rates. We paid for the transportation, which was $7 more than just hiring a cab, but saved us the hassle. Disembarkation We walked-off the ship with our bags and passed through customs in less than 15 minutes. We were in the car and out of the port in around 45 minutes total (that is from the time that we got in-line on the ship until we pulled out of the port). I had to catch another company’s shuttle to the 717 lot, because they never returned my call for their shuttle. We were at work by 10:30 AM, so the 4 day cruise only cost us a half day vacation, thanks to the July 4th holiday. Overall The Carnival Paradise provided a very nice, short cruise. School was out, so there were lots of families, lots of 20 somethings, lots of people from Florida (over half the ship), lots of Carnival style cruising. If you are into a more refined, child free cruise vacation, you probably want to book a different ship or different itinerary. If you are looking for a quick, inexpensive getaway, than this is the perfect ship for you. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our first cruise so we really didn't know what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised! The food was great, the service was remarkable, and our stateroom steward- Oswald was simply amazingly! He was the only person we tipped ... Read More
This was our first cruise so we really didn't know what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised! The food was great, the service was remarkable, and our stateroom steward- Oswald was simply amazingly! He was the only person we tipped extra because he always serviced our stateroom with a smile. He paid such close attention to detail and made our cabin very cozy! Our dining room staff was great as well. Special shout out to Nicole from St.Lucia! The activities were great. The cruise director Calvyn is hilarious! And extremely nice! A few tips for the first time cruiser(s) as we were: 1) take bleach wipes to wipe down your counters and bathrooms- just in case the previous guests weren't that clean 2) take air freshener - sometimes the hallways and rooms had a damp smell, so having our own air freshner really helped. Our secret- those air freshner car trees. Hang them in the closet and on the doors so every time you come in, your room smells fresh. 3) alcoholic drinks are not included, so be prepared to spend at least 20 dollars for two drinks. They do not take cash, you present your sail and sign every time you want a drink other than their standard ice tea and lemonade. It can add up, so be sure to stop at the kiosks and assess how much you are spending so you won't get sticker shock when your vacay is over! They will charge your credit card at the end of the voyage! But have no fear, you can add money to your account to bring down your final cost. 4) take Benadryl and Advil just in case- one Benadryl cost 10 dollars:((( 5) they have Internet service, at a minimal cost, so don't worry about staying connected! 6) you can call home from your stateroom; its 1.99/min. 7) have fun; it was nice for us to do something different(we always go to all inclusive resorts). 8) the staff is wonderful and hardworking, they do their best to make your trip a pleasant experience. 9) the gym and sauna were great; plenty of equipment for everyone Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We boarded the Carnival Paradise on June 13th in Tampa. The ship is outdated and our cabin was small even though we had an ocean view. One elevator did not worked during the whole cruise. The ship was very clean and the crew does their ... Read More
We boarded the Carnival Paradise on June 13th in Tampa. The ship is outdated and our cabin was small even though we had an ocean view. One elevator did not worked during the whole cruise. The ship was very clean and the crew does their best to keep it out with the minimum tools they have. Circle C - this program was great and our son had a blast. His coach was very patient, nice and understanding with the kids. Our son made good friends and we always felt he was safe throughout the cruise ship. We were very impressed with this program and our son was very happy. Entertainment - we love when Calvin was directing the shows and telling his anecdotes. Haley (the bingo lady) was so nice and friendly. We also loved Mark (the late night comedian). He made me cry of laughter every night. The group in front of the bar near the casino was good too. Overall, the music was upbeat though not modern. We went for family karaoke and there was not enough time for families to sing and no new songs either. Credit onboard - the ATM's fee is way too much ($6.00 fee for one time). The statement should be available on TV to be viewed every day in the comfort of your cabin. Crew - cabin stewards, waiters, sales associated and spa personnel were awesome and very accommodating. They had a lasting impression on us. I had a free hairdo at the salon and the pictures for that formal night came out incredibly beautiful. Officers - the only time we could interact with one of them was the night of the captain when we had a moment to speak to him and take pictures. The rest of the officers were on cloud 9. They never interact, speak or even had manners towards the passengers. Ports - the ports were nice and great to visit. Grand Cayman is not as expensive as we thought and we did not have much time at Cozumel. If you take a tour, be sure to make alternative plans for dinner if you have first seating. Shore Excursions - we had a blast with the stingray city at Grand Cayman and underground river at Cozumel. They were both amazing and unforgettable experiences. We highly recommend them. Dining - the dining experience was great with our waiter Iss. She was impressive and nice. The maitre'd Yusuf helped us all the way with our requests and had a great show time with the crew at the end of each dinner. The service was impeccable although the food needs to be more sophisticated. Check in and check out was a breeze. We had our luggage by 2:00 p.m. and got onboard by noon. We got off with our luggage and went thru customs and immigration super fast. We would definitely return to cruise with Carnival on a newer ship and a different route. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Before everything else, this was my first cruise ever (and I'm 22) so I don't have any biases or pedestal to put this cruise up against. Secondly, the food given the first two days was absolutely scrumptious!!! Lord I ate so ... Read More
Before everything else, this was my first cruise ever (and I'm 22) so I don't have any biases or pedestal to put this cruise up against. Secondly, the food given the first two days was absolutely scrumptious!!! Lord I ate so much! The buffet was splendid and the restaurant we went to the first night with reservations was absolutely out of this world! I definitely enjoyed the karaoke at the pool bar as well... There's two things that stuck out to me specifically, my room attendant- Ayoub ( superb service from all crew members onboard, however I know I am a pain as far as personal room service goes lol. The second thing is the various activities available; we attended both comedy shows on the second night and they were great! Also, the foosball tables!! Definitely brought the kid out in me! As far as cleanliness goes, it was well maintained but you can still tell that it used to be a carnival ship because certain things, like bathroom locks, are not in top shape. However I give it a 4/5 rating in my book :) Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I've been on five cruises, the past 3 on Carnival (2006, 2012, & 2015). All three have been on the 'Fantasy class' ships. For my family and I - it's a great way to spend a vacation. The kids are older now - ... Read More
I've been on five cruises, the past 3 on Carnival (2006, 2012, & 2015). All three have been on the 'Fantasy class' ships. For my family and I - it's a great way to spend a vacation. The kids are older now - 19 & 21 and we had all grown tired of the trip to the Florida panhandle - expensive beach condos and the fight for seating at expensive restaurants every night. First - ignore the posts about 'bad food' as they are either planted by the competition or have very picky tastes. The dining room serves top notch cuisine. If you don't like something - send it back and get something else. If you really liked that starter item - get another : ) The staff was extremely accommodating both in dining and all other areas. More than once they went out of their way to help us. I wanted to book a non-Carnival shore excursion through a resort on Grand Cayman. The lady at the guest services desk dialed the number and let me make the ship to shore call for free. Wireless Internet is live throughout the ship. For as little as $5 per day per person ($18 for the entire cruise) we all had access to social media AND best of all - could iMessage each other via iPhones (not publicized - but this works)...just be sure to turn off your cell service. I upgraded to the $99 version so I could check email, remote desktop, etc. BUT, this is satellite based so it is painfully slow. Yet, amazing just the same. You can share a plan by simply logging out and into the account via your folio number and birthday. LOGOUT.COM and LOGIN.COM are used for this - easy! The Paradise was clean - with only a couple of noticeable technical issues. Once our A/C was out for a couple of hours (we were away 99% of the time). We went on the Behind the Fun Tour - which is a great way to spend two hours on the last day at sea. Book it as soon as you board though - only 16 people are allowed. Shows were so-so, but I'm not a big show person. They are upgrading to Carnival 2.0 shows soon (all dancers are singers, etc.). My only negative comment relates to the dinner experience. It's gone downhill since our previous cruises. The staff is far less talented or personable - but courteous and efficient just the same. And, at least 5 times during dinner, you're interrupted to buy shots in souvenir glasses or take pictures (EVERY NIGHT). Come'on Carnival - raise the price $20 and leave us alone. Again - food was fantastic. No complaints at all. If one only eats on the Lido deck - you may be less impressed. I never felt crowded - one can always go find a quiet spot to watch the sea go by. Debarkation was fairly quick - only took 20 minutes of waiting before we were off (self-assist / 7th deck - first to leave after Diamond). Sam in Chattanooga, TN Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was my first cruise and I was afraid of sea sick as I do get motion sickness. Starting takings meds for it on Friday and again for the next three days and was fine. I did find that at the back of the boat was not where I wanted to be ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I was afraid of sea sick as I do get motion sickness. Starting takings meds for it on Friday and again for the next three days and was fine. I did find that at the back of the boat was not where I wanted to be for very long. Since this was my first I did not know what expect. I had a wonderful time. I found that everyone and I mean everyone from the first person I saw on the ship had smiles and greeted me with warm welcomes and thanked me for sailing with them. our stateroom attendant was so sweet and always there even if we had only thought about looking for him for something. lol. KNEW OUR NAMES. Having broke my foot in Dec (2014) I could not do as much as I wanted to do but the entertainment was so good. The Carnival Dancers I think, omg were great. THE RASCALS FLATS CONCERT WAS WONDERFUL. The cleanliness of the ship was amazing with everyone aboard. if I had to complain about anything on the ship, it would never be the food nor the service. Can't wait to go again!!!!!! My first the best vacation in a very long time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Having read the reviews on many websites, I was not sure what to expect when I boarded the Paradise for my recent cruise. While the ship is definitely one of the older ships and does not have the amenities of some of the newer ships, the ... Read More
Having read the reviews on many websites, I was not sure what to expect when I boarded the Paradise for my recent cruise. While the ship is definitely one of the older ships and does not have the amenities of some of the newer ships, the Paradise is still a great ship. I found the staff to be extremely friendly and looking to go the extra mile for us. The reviews are correct as the ship does have lots of motor noise and humming but it I got used to it after the first evening. The pool deck is a bit small but there was plenty of room for people to lay out. The cruise director was great, the entertainment was good but the highlight of my time on board the ship was definitely the comedy shows. The comedians were extremely funny. We chose anytime dining and the longest we waited for a party of 6 was 10 minutes. The food in the dining rooms was good, some nights were better than others. Only one night did we think the food was barely passable. We purchased the faster to fun package which allowed us to get onto a tender early when we arrived in Grand Cayman. We did not purchase any excursions through the ship but purchased them ourselves. We chose to go to the Royal Palms in Grand Cayman where we paid $2 entry and $8 for a chair and $4 per person each way for the taxi to get there. It is a very nice beach club that has a pool, bar, restaurant, bathrooms, and showers. It was a great place to spend the time. We were in an oceanview cabin on the riviera deck and the only complaint I have was that over half of the elevators on the ship don't work at any given time. Overall, I enjoyed the cruise and the ship and would not hesitate to go again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Carnival Paradise Well this is my third time using the port of Tampa for Carnival cruise. From my location the Port of Tampa is only 1 hour and 55 minutes away, which is the best part of the location of the terminal. With that being ... Read More
Carnival Paradise Well this is my third time using the port of Tampa for Carnival cruise. From my location the Port of Tampa is only 1 hour and 55 minutes away, which is the best part of the location of the terminal. With that being said!!! I booked the cruise and decided this time I would let them pick the cabin. It took just under two weeks for them to let me know were my cabin was. It was an outside porthole cabin on the starboard side of the ship. I also decided I would use the valet cruise parking provided by the Port of Tampa. The cost was only extra $20.00 different than self-parking. That was one of the best deals, not to worry about self-parking and then having to go get my vehicle when I get back. Embarkation: While I drop my vehicle of at the main entrance of the terminal walked across the street and up the stair to check in. I purchased the Faster two the Fun excursion; it was long before I went through the normal process of check in. They were already calling diamond and platinum to board, so with in an half hour I was on board bring my luggage to my room, I do have to say the cabin was a good size; the shower was bigger than any bathroom in any cabin I stayed in so far to date. Then I walk around checking thing out for my home for the next five days. I was happy to see that. Dinning: As far as the food in the dining room I found most meals to be great. My obvious favorite was the steak and lobster night, but there were several dishes that I absolutely enjoyed. I ate lunch and snacked in the buffet, overall I really enjoyed the food. Entertainment: I did both main shows and enjoyed the second show more than the first show. I made my way to Queen Mary Lounge. George Lopez's Punchline Comedy Club was hands down one of my favorite things on board the ship. I went to both shows family friendly and 18+. The comedians were absolutely hilarious! If you're not offended easily and are looking for a good laugh you MUST check out these 18+ comedy shows! There were things for everyone one to do around the ship every day. Shore Excursions: This was my first time going to Grand Cayman, it was a tender port, so my faster two the fun worked perfect again one of the first groups off to shore. I have been to Cozumel 4 times, and did different excursion in the past, this time we went to a different terminal entrance and I went and did a little shopping. Disembarkation: The departure video was good, and the information that left in our room was self-explanatory for those that missed the video. Once again my Faster 2 the Fun Package that I purchase when I booked the cruise paid off, one of the first groups off. As I leave the terminal I go to the valet parking area across the street and pick up my vehicle with in a matter of 5 minutes I was on my way home. All in all, a wonderful vacation experience. A trip that you enjoying like this always goes by very fast! Now it’s time to plan the next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was our first cruise ever! I guess you learn as you go! We found the food to be plentiful and very good! We were told by other cruisers that it did not compare to other ships but we found it very enjoyable! We did not take our ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever! I guess you learn as you go! We found the food to be plentiful and very good! We were told by other cruisers that it did not compare to other ships but we found it very enjoyable! We did not take our teenagers but we're told that there were not enough activities for kids. However we thoroughly enjoyed our first experience. Our room was very clean and our steward met our expectations! The dining room staff were very friendly and remembered our names after the first night! Even knowing that other cruises could possibly be better, we would do this one over again! We are hooked! Oh, I did not know this, if you see a piece of jewelry or item on the ship you are interested in purchasing, and you see it at one of the ports for a better price, if you can get a quote from the port store and a photo, the ship will match the price. Like I said, you learn as you go!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We booked this cruise five days before sailing. We were only able to get an inside cabin which was interesting but bearable. The cabin was fine but really needed some updating. We were directly below the stage which was very loud. We ate ... Read More
We booked this cruise five days before sailing. We were only able to get an inside cabin which was interesting but bearable. The cabin was fine but really needed some updating. We were directly below the stage which was very loud. We ate dinner during the early shows and went to late shows, so we survived. Our room steward was exceptional and he made the inside cabin much more pleasant. The shows on this ship were very good and food was good as well. Many of the common areas had been recently spiffed up. I know this ship gets a bad rap but we really enjoyed it, even with the drunk spring breakers. We did the Chef's dinner which was exceptional, well worth the extra money. Such an amazing dining experience. Our two ports were Cozumel and Grand Cayman. On Cozumel we went to Isla Passion. It was any okay beach but I think I would have preferred just exploring Cozumel. On Grand Cayman we did the turtle farm. We really enjoyed it here. They have a beautiful, fresh water pool that we spend a few hours at. It was empty and we practically had the whole pool to ourselves. This was our first time at the Port of Tampa. What a great port. On our return day we did not fly out until the evening. We went to the Aquarium which is right outside the Port. They checked our luggage for the day for free!!! We even left the aquarium and rode the trolley to Ybor. I prefer to do lots of pre-planning but this trip was a total wing and we had a great time. Renee Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Older and smaller ship, but spacious staterooms. Service was not as good as on other ships. When we went to lunch after boarding, there were so many dirty tables in the buffet area that stayed there the whole time we were eating. They also ... Read More
Older and smaller ship, but spacious staterooms. Service was not as good as on other ships. When we went to lunch after boarding, there were so many dirty tables in the buffet area that stayed there the whole time we were eating. They also didn't come around as much for drinks while out on deck. Some common areas up on deck were not as clean as they could have been. The Serenity area is on the back of the ship, which is nice bc you can watch the water, but it is small and noisy because the restaurant is above it. The DJs actually played decent music, but there was only ever a handful of people in the nightclub, which sucked. We went to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Did Sting Ray City tour through Captain Bryan's Buccaneer Catamaran in Grand Cayman and went to Nachi Cocom Beach Club in Cozumel, both booked separately from the cruise line. We booked this cruise for super cheap, so it was definitely worth the money, but not the best one I've been on. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We were looking for a fun, quick, and relatively cheap cruise out of Tampa to start the new year, and that's exactly what we got. Arrived at the port New Year's Day around 11 AM. No crowds at all. Thought maybe I had wasted ... Read More
We were looking for a fun, quick, and relatively cheap cruise out of Tampa to start the new year, and that's exactly what we got. Arrived at the port New Year's Day around 11 AM. No crowds at all. Thought maybe I had wasted money on the valet parking until it started to rain just as we got out of the car. From curbside to onboard (FTTF) took us about 20 minutes total, and maybe 10 of that was waiting for them to begin boarding. When we went onboard, everyone told us we would have to wait for our room despite the FTTF. We went ahead and opened a door and walked in to drop off our carry on bags and our room was ready and our bags were already there! We were upstairs with a drink in our hands looking for bowl games within 30 minutes of getting there. Only problem was they had just a single game on (at that point, they were only showing ESPN). Oh well. Bar service was attentive and pretty good for the most part with one or two exceptions, as it was throughout the cruise. Food quality was as bad as I had expected but no worse. If you go on this cruise for the food, you are kidding yourself. The pizza area in the buffet was typically crowded, and they seldom if ever had more than one person working there, which did not make sense at meal times and late nights. You could easily wait 15 minutes for a slice of cheese pizza. There seemed to be some sort of leak at the stern area of the buffet, and they had a pretty large area back there roped off for cleaning or something for most of the trip. We ate in the dining rooms 3 out of 4 nights with the early 6:00 seating. Service there was very very slow. Not sure if that was partially due to our table mates. Our group of 4 was put at a table with a family of 7, including a bunch of young kids. They were late to dinner every night, and even announced they would not be there on the last night. The restaurant staff seems to try to wait until everyone at the table is seated before service begins. The delay on the second night meant we were unable to get upstairs in time to meet the captain and ships officers. And our waiters waited for them until almost 7:00 on the last night before anything at all was served. We complained to our waiter, headwaiter, and eventually the restaurant manager before finally being served. And then, in the middle of serving entrees, they all had to leave to do their dance thing. We got up right behind them and walked out so that we could make the family comedy show. Since the food wasn't that great anyway, we did not feel like we missed out. Stage and lounge entertainment was pretty standard - not memorable in any way really. The crowds were there, sure, so some people really enjoyed the shows. Something happened prior to the 8 More Seconds show, and a couple of the guys in the show were injured. They had to re-block parts of the show and eliminated or changed numbers. Stuff happens, but it was pretty evident that people were missing as some of the girls did not have partners in the dance numbers. Also, in case anyone is wondering about the 20 minute delay in show time, I think that was a large part of it. Cruise entertainment staff were awesome. I think we attended every trivia session and as many game shows as we could. Sonny and Fluffy, Hugo and Kevin, and the other guy who plays the fiddle (wink wink) were extremely good at keeping it fun. Mark in the piano bar is doing all right and knows it was him we were coming to see by the last night. Our teenagers enjoyed Circle C and O2 as well, and would have stayed out past curfew if allowed. Paradise was definitely a Fun Ship! Our cabin actually exceeded expectations. Yes, it was, umm, 'experienced'. And yes, if you looked closely at all, there are many things broken or worn. But it was a good size for two and was kept clean. Definitely pay attention when turning on the hot water - I was able to make tea using the hot water. We brought our own toiletries (good idea there) and had plenty of room for them. 'Tri' was our cabin steward and did a great job, in spite of his own injury on the first night and being unable to work the second day of the cruise. We chose a cabin at the very stern of the ship thinking it would be away from any noise and action, and it was. It was very quiet. I only wish it was not quite so far a walk to everything! Our only port was Cozumel. Many people have been there many times, so I won't spend much time on it. I will say that I absolutely HATE being forced to walk through the duty free shopping area while carrying all of our beach gear, and having to fight the stream of people stuck there while someone does a rum tasting along the aisle. Security would not let me avoid the area at all - only ships crew can bypass the stores. We did the sail and snorkel and deluxe beach excursion through Carnival. It was fun. and then back on board. Our trip was extended by an hour or so on the way back into Tampa due to fog at the mouth of the bay. I was thankful it was not worse, as it seems it often is in January. FTTF debark and the ability to carry our bags down stairs rather than waiting for an elevator had us off the ship among the first two dozen people, and we were in our car and out of the port area within about 20 minutes of the ship being cleared. We had a good time. We would consider another trip out of Tampa in the future, but probably would look for a nicer ship. But for the price and convenience, it all worked out pretty well. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Was aboard the paradise from Tampa to Cozamel and back to Tampa FL in Jan 2015. Compared to other cruises we have been on, this boat was smaller but have to admit the cabins were same comparable size. the food was the usual for cruise ... Read More
Was aboard the paradise from Tampa to Cozamel and back to Tampa FL in Jan 2015. Compared to other cruises we have been on, this boat was smaller but have to admit the cabins were same comparable size. the food was the usual for cruise food, - dining room was very good. It was relaxing and we had a good time. Shows were very good and the cruise director was great. He was in one of the shows - played the fiddle as a pro. Our only real complaint was the bartending, some were great but quite a few were not so friendly. All bars were understaffed and it took a long time to get a drink. Worst of any cruise I have been on. The entertainment besides the shows was a bit lame as well. The piano bar, he could play the piano but didn't have a great voice. Karaoke was lame, normally the staff will make it fun but I think it was his last cruise and he was ready to be done. You could really tell. We sailed over SuperBowl and I would have thought they would have had a better setup for the big game. Maybe some type of entertainment. Some big screen TV's on the outside stage where more could watch the game. Otherwise the wait staff was wonderful around the ship. We had a very good time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Living 30 minutes from Port Tampa makes this a great and affordable cruise. The ship is definitely "dated", especially with some of the big cruise liners available. I found it to be nostalgic. The ship itself was clean and well ... Read More
Living 30 minutes from Port Tampa makes this a great and affordable cruise. The ship is definitely "dated", especially with some of the big cruise liners available. I found it to be nostalgic. The ship itself was clean and well maintained. The staff was friendly. Especially the entertainment, bar and wait staff. The rooms were tiny. The beds were no so comfortable. The AC in the cabins was freezing, but the hot water was scalding hot! Be sure to bring your own toiletries....including soaps, shampoos and tissue. They were bad. The food was not good at all. Long lines at the breakfast buffet, and the food wasn't good. There was a made to order omelet station if you had 45 minutes to wait. The coffee was once again, scalding. Lunch was very similar. The food choices were not great. The deli line was awfully long and same for the piz The dinner experience was good. Our waitress was very good and efficient. The entrees, with the exception of the lobster, was very bland. After leaving dinner the first night hungry, I ordered 3 or 4 appetizers for every dinner. The appetizers were much better than the entrees. The melted chocolate cake was amazing! You need to get rid of indoor smoking. It was AWFUL on the day it rained. The entertainment was excellent. Really funny comedians and games throughout the day were fun with Fluffy. Cozumel was fun, as always. The souvenir prices (especially silver) at the port were outrageous. I got a silver piece for a fraction of what I was first quoted. Barter! Leaving the cruise disembarkation was a nightmare. Carnival....you have been in this business for too many years to allow this to happen. Overall it was a fun time.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I sailed the Carnival Paradise on October 13, 2014 for the five night sailing to Cozemuel, and Grand Cayman... Have been on this ship quite often when it use to sail out of the POM... Check In was a breeze...the cruise terminal in Tampa is ... Read More
I sailed the Carnival Paradise on October 13, 2014 for the five night sailing to Cozemuel, and Grand Cayman... Have been on this ship quite often when it use to sail out of the POM... Check In was a breeze...the cruise terminal in Tampa is quite nice to sail out of... I boarded the ship by 12:30 in the afternoon, and being as i was a platitum member, i was able to go to the room to drop off my carry on luggage. From there i went up to the buffet to have lunch, and then walked around to see the rest of the ship.... I have to say that the Carnival Paradise does looked quite tired and needs touch up in quite a few areas... Definitely the rooms needs sprucing up, as well as some of the lounges, the pool area... In the aft pool area, it needs definitely a makeover. I had went up there, to find a big rope at the bottom of the pool, and all dead bugs in the water. The jacuzzi was ice cold, and the only area that was pretty clean and water warm, was the kiddie pool... Believe that turned me off. The Main Pool instead of the water being blue, it was green... The kids took over the entire pool and jacuzzis....Really and truthfully it was not enjoyable being either in the water or the jacuzzi...until we hit the ports of call... that is when you really can enjoy both the jacuzzis and pool... As far as the food, I have to say it was very good...alot of different choices from the menu...I really enjoyed the sea brunch at seadays.....being as i was a platium member I got a choice of a free drink which was nice...and the menu at the sea brunch was from omlettes, french toast, steak and eggs, eggs benedict etc... The dining room experience was quite nice.... the waiters still dance around... service in the dining room was fast, and the food came out nice and hot... The shows were excellent.... and so was the Punchliner Comedy shows.... all in all i had a nice time on the ship.... would i sail the paradise again? Once she gets a makeover, yes i would sail her....but for a quick getaway, it was a very pleasant experience.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Good family value for family of 4. Kids (15, 19) had a good time. Club oxygen had a lot of activities for the 14-17 year old group, but the 18-20 year olds were in a dead zone (too old for the youth activities and too young for the 21 and ... Read More
Good family value for family of 4. Kids (15, 19) had a good time. Club oxygen had a lot of activities for the 14-17 year old group, but the 18-20 year olds were in a dead zone (too old for the youth activities and too young for the 21 and older functions). Our kids found enough to do anyway. Nothing fancy, but ship is clean, with rooms better than expected. The dining room food & wait staff were excellent. Alternate dining options had longer wait times, and limited hours- but a good variety when we found them open. We never got through the Mongolian Wok line-which looked great, but always had a long line. Healthy food options were available and clearly marked. There was a good variety of things to do on the ship. Casual to elegant are seen side by side. You will see hard core partiers, to families, honeymooners and elderly. Deck chairs were hard to come by on the first day at sea, but not a problem on the second sea day. Everything is smaller than ships we have been on in the past, but enjoyable, and you can be as busy or as relaxed as you like. We found longer than expected wait times in the Tampa Port at embarkation (recommend arriving at earliest boarding time), as well as for getting off the ship in the ports. Weather did impact our Grand Cayman tender time, but there was no announcement, and we did not know standing in line in the bowels of the ship that it was storming until we got to the door to board. We were promptly refunded when the second half of our excursion was cancelled due to the weather. Disembarkation was a smooth process, and ran pretty true to the planned schedule. We would cruise on Paradise again as a convenient local option for a weekend get-away, but will seek out a ship with more amenities for our next cruising vacation.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was my second cruise (first time on Carnival) and my boyfriend's 1st!! We arrived at the terminal and went through security fairly quickly. We didn't use our passports and were surprised at how fast we got through. We ... Read More
This was my second cruise (first time on Carnival) and my boyfriend's 1st!! We arrived at the terminal and went through security fairly quickly. We didn't use our passports and were surprised at how fast we got through. We brought our own non-alcoholics and they checked us but we did see people with alcohol that got stopped. Once aboard the ship we went down to our room to see if it was ready (R129) we could see them still cleaning rooms so we returned about 30 mins later and our bags were outside ready for us. Some people say they put your bags inside for you but we wanted to know who our neighbors were so we went down there so early. Dinner in the main dining room was just okay. We had 6pm early dining. We always sat at the same table and had the same Waiter. The prime rib had no flavor. I enjoyed the shrimp, though. The pool itself was pretty small. the water was very salty most of the time unbearable. We went down the water slide and that was fun. The atmosphere around the pool was always a lively time. The buffet was alright, as long as you didn't go during peak times when the lines took forever. Joey at the casino bar is awesome!! He has a huge following of cruisers that go on the ships he's working because he's just that good. The drinks were awesome too. Definitely do the stingray excursion in the Cayman islands. We saw that there were a lot of different captains that all bring you to the same place and if you wait until you get into port you can get it for much cheaper. when we got off the boat we waited around for 30+ minutes until it was time to get on our shuttle. In cozumel we asked a taxi driver to bring us to a popular beach. it cost us $12 for a taxi to go probably 8 miles... and we had the best time at the resort!! Definitely worth the last minute planning. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Just got back from family cruise on Carnival Paradise, departing from Tampa, went to Cozumel. Total cruise time 4 days. Here are some tips: Embarking: arrive at the Tampa port anytime between 1-3pm, it ok to go even earlier, like 12pm if ... Read More
Just got back from family cruise on Carnival Paradise, departing from Tampa, went to Cozumel. Total cruise time 4 days. Here are some tips: Embarking: arrive at the Tampa port anytime between 1-3pm, it ok to go even earlier, like 12pm if you want. We arrived at 1pm and it was somewhat crowded. I recommend go later, about 2-2:30pm (you will be spending a lot of time on the ship on the cruise, so no need to rush to get there early). For parking you can self-park across the street in the garage or drive right into the terminal and do valet (someone else paid it so I don’t know how much this cost, sorry). Contrary other reviews, I found the port employees at the front of the terminal, in the security area, and luggage area to be perfectly pleasant, sometimes they did have to yell to get attention in directing people in the right area but that’s what you have to do when there are crowds. Getting through the security line is fast and efficient, it’s similar to going through airport security, take all the metal stuff out of your pockets. It’s ok to bring sealed bottled water(s), but don’t bring any visible bottles that have already been opened (or just put it in your bag so they don’t see it), I saw people carry cases of water bottles. Once you’re through the security line, there’s another line for cruise check-in, this line splits into the credit card (to pay for everything on the ship) vs cash line, seems like everyone takes the credit card line, took us 20 minutes to get through this. I highly recommend go into the cash line, it’s much faster, then later if you decide to use credit card, just go to guest services to change it. Once on the ship you can go grab lunch on the 10th deck (also called the Lido deck), skip the long line at the “On the Grill” and go over to the “Mongolian Grill” or walk into the sliding glass doors to the “Paris Restaurant” which is basically an indoor, air-conditioned food court/buffet. On the Ship: Rooms are cleaned twice daily at least. All the food and drink (tap water, ice tea, juice) is free, except bottled water, alcohol and dessert at the french place on deck 9 (coffee drinks are about $4-$5). The casino is very smoky. The pool is small. There’s a kiddie pool on the 11th deck in the back of the ship. The mini golf is fun but can get very windy, located on the 12th deck at front of ship. There’s a nice observation deck on the front of the ship on deck 11, you have to walk through the hallway of the “V” cabins, it’s weird but if you just keep walking toward the front of the ship, find the door that says emergency exit and walk out, you will get a great view of the ocean from the front. There’s also a nice view from the front of the mini-golf area, if you walk to the right corner, there’s an opening leading to a walkway. The gym is surprisingly spacious and nice, it closes at 10pm, you have to walk through the spa area to get to the gym. There are two laundry rooms, $3 for each load to wash and $3 to dry, get quarters from the Guest Services on deck 7. The beds are ok, not very comfortable, it you go with a queen size bed, they put together 2 twin beds, we got the room with a window, I don’t think it’s worth the extra money (I think it’s at least a couple hundred cheaper per person for no window cabin, we paid $1000 per person for the rooms with window), it’s even more to have a balcony and I don’t think that would have been worth it either. The 9th deck has lots of lounges/bars and places to sit. The French dessert place on the 9th deck is not free. If you decide to get late dinner, the Deli closes at 11pm. After that you can only get pizza and ice cream. Or you can call for room service for sandwiches, salads, or dessert, I did this once, it took 30 minutes to get a sandwich. On some nights they will have a buffet open late on the deck near the pool. Port of Call – Cozumel, we docked about 8:30am at Puerto Maya pier. Instead of buying excursion online or buying them on the ship, we decided to go cheap, which was a mistake I think. We booked a jeep tour with a private company called “Cozumel Cruise Excursions” for $50 per person, for a tour of the island on 2 jeeps that took us to the beach for snorkeling for about 45 min, the lighthouse for about 10 minutes, to see crocodiles for about 10 minutes, lunch/fajitas is included at the restaurant on the beach but you have to pay for drinks ($2 for soft drinks). The “Maya ruins tour” was a total ripoff, literally 2 small stone buildings on the side of the road. We decided to skip the Tequila tour, since we don’t drink and have no interest in seeing how Tequila is made, the tour guide didn’t seem to happy with us for some reason, even though on the website it side we can customize the tour any way we want. Duration was about 3.5 hours, about half the time was spent driving. The jeep fits 4 people, so for our group of 6 we got 2 jeeps. They provided only 1 tour guide/driver, so someone else in our group had to drive the other jeep, which was a stick shift/manual. I recommend skip this “excursion” and do something else. If I had to do it again, I would rent my own vehicle, either a car or a van and just drive around myself, go where I want and stay for as long as I want. Also Skip the Eco Park, it costs $12 per person all it has is a beach (with decent snorkeling) and restaurant and lighthouse and crocodile sanctuary, not worth the money or the time. The local time is Cozumel is 1 hour behind, make sure to go by the ship time (i.e. eastern standard time), it leaves the dock at 6pm (yes it was on time), you should be back on the ship around 5:30pm. When getting back on ship, I recommend use the rear entrance, everyone else will be in a long line at the first entrance at front of ship, walk past that to go to the next ramp. Gratuity: Don’t recommend you pay extra tips to the waiters or stewards unless you really want to and get exceptional service. You will get charged gratuity of $46 per day per room, which I think is divided among the crew, so don’t feel bad about not tipping extra during the cruise. Cons: I felt we spent too much time on ship, there’s was not enough to do, the TV’s in rooms are small 19in tube TV’s but has basic cable channels. For someone who doesn’t’ drink alcohol there’s not much else to do on the ship. There’s not enough restaurants, got bored with going to same sit-down restaurant for dinner, you get assigned to either Destiny or Elation restaurant and either the early 6pm or late dining option at 8.15pm. However it’s ok to always eat at the food court area anytime if you want to change things up for dinner. There’s no free internet (have to pay by the minute), at night you can hear people talking and running down hallways which if you’re light sleeper like me can get very annoying, the ship is not stable, there was a lot of rocking back and forth towards Mexico on the 2nd night, so make sure to bring Dramamine or a medicine to prevent or treat sea sickness. The arcade area is small and not enough arcade games, the spa is super expensive (over $100 for a massage). Pros: rooms are clean, somewhat spacious but have to step over the corner of bed to get to the window to enjoy the view, bathroom relatively spacious, hot water in shower works fast and can be scalding hot so be careful, the service all over the ship is friendly and excellent, nice gym, cheap T-shirts on port (5 for $20) in the shops at the port, you can also get a cheap massage at the port too, chair massage 10 minute for $10, atrium on 7th deck is great place for pictures and to hang out and listen to live music, there’s a girl that sings there every night. The food at Destiny restaurant is good, server is very friendly, food comes out within 5-10 minutes, no tip needed, the servers dance to music after dessert, the music/dance shows in the Normandie lounge are good, I recommend going to them. The clubs/lounges/bars are open late at night so if you like dancing and drinking, this would be fun for you. Overall I mostly had fun and enjoyed my first cruise, just wish there was more to do on the ship, wish we could have stayed on Cozumel for longer I would not do this particular cruise again, but I would go with a bigger ship, even if it costs more money. Same thing with the excursion, safer to pay more and enjoy yourself than trying to go cheap like we did and feeling like you got ripped off.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
* I decided to book this last minute cruise for my husband's birthday. I read all the reviews and set our expectations prior to boarding. Check-in process was fast, our rooms were ready when we boarded (12:30pm) and our luggage made ... Read More
* I decided to book this last minute cruise for my husband's birthday. I read all the reviews and set our expectations prior to boarding. Check-in process was fast, our rooms were ready when we boarded (12:30pm) and our luggage made it to our rooms prior to leaving the dock. The main entry was quite cramped and I felt claustrophobic however I was not spending much time there so it really did not matter. * The buffet on the Lido deck were nothing to write home about. Unless you have to have a cheeseburger or fries, avoid that line as it stretched 15+ people the entire trip. They did have a Mongolian Grill which was pretty decent. * I avoided the pool area as much as possible. At any time of the day or night, there were always way more people in the pools and hot tubs than should be. The music was so loud that I could not hear my husband talking to me and he was sitting next to me. I avoided the pool area all together. * The shows were great. We were happy to see that the dancers and singers performed almost every evening unlike some other Carnival ships. I hope you like country as most of the shows evolved around country music. * On most Carnival ships, the cruise director always has an accent and was a strikingly good looking guy. The Cruise Director on the Paradise is Steve Castle. He was a tall thin gentleman who was quite dorky but you can see that he loves his job. He also plays a mean fiddle. He cracks jokes and by the end of the cruise he grows on you. * We signed up for the Chef's Table which was an enjoyable evening. You are treated to a 10 course meal that takes 3 hours to eat. That also includes a tour of the kitchen. If you love food and don't mind trying new things, this is something you want to pay the extra money for. There is a limit of 14 people for this event so sign up ads soon as you get on the ship at Guest Services.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Itinerary: Sea Day/Cayman/Cozumel/Sea Day This is an older ship, but it is clean and well kept, and a very manageable size. I knew from sailing the Legend that the décor would be over-the-top – way too flashy for my tastes – but for ... Read More
Itinerary: Sea Day/Cayman/Cozumel/Sea Day This is an older ship, but it is clean and well kept, and a very manageable size. I knew from sailing the Legend that the décor would be over-the-top – way too flashy for my tastes – but for the price paid, I can ignore a lot. :D My cabin was R12, porthole (curiously, Carnival considers this an inside), port side. This was my first PH cabin, and first time sailing alone. Loved the cabin and loved sailing alone. There was good and bad as in all things, but nothing bad here would keep me from sailing this ship again. I figure a bad day on a ship will always trump a good day at work, so I go with the flow, and pretty much always have a good time. Attitude is everything. That said… Things I liked, in no particular order: * Embarkation was fast; I was dropped off at 11:30, was on board by 12:15 and had my luggage by 2:30. This is the only cruise line I’ve been on that doesn’t require a “have you been feeling ill lately” form completed prior to checking in. I don’t know if this is good or bad. * Hot tubs were open at embarkation, and I was in one before 2:30.  * Serenity deck – smallish, but adequate, and the only even remotely quiet place on the ship. I spent most of my time here. Loved the two hot tubs – for the most part they were hot and jets were good, tho’ one was decidedly better than the other. There was chair saving; I never had a problem getting one, but traveling solo makes this easier. * Cabin was quiet and very comfortable, if dated in décor (expected). Plenty of towels, shower was roomy, water very hot and strong! Lots of hooks; I always pack suction cup hooks and didn’t even need them. Also enough hangers and great storage. Steward Teofilo was extremely nice, unobtrusive and efficient, and he filled my little cooler twice daily as asked, no complaints here. Noticed a slight “sewer” smell in the bathroom late on the first night, but it was gone by the next morn. And it took a few days, but I eventually realized there was a thermostat over the bed, and I did need to adjust the temp a few times. I’ve always thought thermostats in cruise cabins were for decoration only; this is the first time I had one that actually worked. * Had fixed 6pm seating at a large table of other solo travelers. Very smart of Carnival to seat this group as they did. People came and went – one night only 3 of us showed up – but for the most part, it was a fun and congenial bunch. Servers Danilo (Danny), Emery and Marlon were all terrific. * Lido was well laid out, and easier to negotiate than other ships I’ve sailed. If there was a line at one station, there was usually none at another station. I liked that there were also tables outside along the sides of the Lido, not just aft. * All crew I encountered were friendly and accommodating. * The muster was almost an hour long, but given the last couple of years in the industry, I was pleased that they took it seriously. It didn’t seem very efficient, but it was thorough. One large group of 20-somethings talked and laughed through it and had to be repeatedly “shushed” by crew. If there was a problem, who do you think would be the first to scream “lawsuit!”?? * Mongolian wok – freshest food offered anywhere. Very good! Food otherwise was okay. Some was good, some not so. Desserts were better than main dishes (chocolate melting cake and cappuccino pie to name two. Fortunately, food is just fuel for me. * Very much enjoyed the comedy shows that were on most nights, but don’t understand why they are so short. If you’re going to have shows at 10:30 or 11 pm, consider making them at least 45 minutes. * Newlywed show was a blast – as they always are. Not sure about having it at 11 am on the last sea day…? * REO Speedwagon was fun. I didn’t plan to go but got free tickets and there was nothing else going on that night (at all – zip, nada). I was glad I went, it was fun. One thing: there were some very drunk women at that concert – one who actually tried to start a fight with another woman. Very classy… Just sayin’. * Kudos to the cruise director and staff for their ability to get people involved. It was indeed a FUN ship, and if you want to get involved in activities, there were plenty. I’m not a joiner, but I caught some of the hairy chest contest the first sea day and it was hilarious; major props to both the men and women who participated. You wouldn’t catch me doing that, but I sure enjoyed watching it! Things I didn’t like, or that I liked less, or that I thought curious... also in no particular order: * My biggest complaint and the thing I had the hardest time ignoring (er, not complaining about): This is a very noisy ship. And loud. Everywhere. All. The. Time. Rap / funk / techno-pop at 7 a.m. on Lido deck… Can’t play a little nice jazz or blues for the morning coffee? Other than the Serenity deck, it was nearly impossible to find a quiet place to sit and talk, at 7 a.m. or at midnight. I don’t understand the need to amplify everything to the maximum 24/7. Will the ship be considered any less a Fun Ship if pleasant music at a more reasonable noise level is played from, say, midnight to 8 am?? Motown is cool, classic rock is fine, whatever – but everything was just too loud. * The Lido was the only place to eat at embarkation. MDR was closed, and no alternative dining is offered on this older ship. Not serious, tho’ more options would be nice. * Limited meal service in MDR. I always try to lunch in the MDR at least once per cruise, but I don’t think it was ever even open for lunch. There was a brunch both sea days, but I didn’t go. * Very odd and particular to Carnival – I thought this on the Legend as well: why do the servers sing & dance every night? Don’t they have enough to do? Fortunately, our team embraced the task with gusto, and seemed to have fun with it, which made it less painful to watch anyway. I do think the tradition (on all cruise lines) of diners twirling used napkins overhead in solidarity with the singing waiters (or the “Baked Alaska March”) is pretty disgusting. Ick. * They did not seem concerned if passengers used hand sanitizer. Other cruise lines have dispensers everywhere and someone at the doorway to every dining room, dispensing cleanser. Not on this ship. * The daily paper is so poorly done. Lots of plugs for bingo, spa treatments and other activities with a cost, plus a list along one side with everything going on every 10 minutes all day, but virtually no descriptions or information about those activities. They could do this a lot better – and might even have more participants if they did. * This is the first cruise I’ve been on that I didn’t go to the main show every night. I didn’t see even one. Went one evening, but something else going on in the theater prior was running late, and no one seemed concerned about the main show starting on time. So I left. The theater shows just seemed a very low priority. Too many other things to do, I suppose, but I kind of missed the nightly show. * Constant announcements. More noise. And of course, as is the case on most ships, the PA system sound quality is awful, and sounds like someone talking very loudly with marbles in their mouth. * Regarding the spa drawing on embarkation day: Advertised as one $500 prize, it was ultimately split into 5 smaller prizes, which was fine and more fun for more people, to be sure. However, the last drawing was for $200 – no small thing. They let a woman who had entered the drawing pull the name and – wait for it… you got it – she pulled her own name. No kidding. We saw her look into the tub of tickets and pull out her own name. Blatantly cheated, the staff saw it and allowed it. It seems quite ill-advised to let someone who entered a drawing pull a name – especially looking into the bucket. People were justifiably upset. Shame on the woman, and shame on the staff for allowing it. And that’s all I’m saying about that. ;-) I can always opine more, but without going into excruciating detail, that’s about it. Good and bad in balance, I came to appreciate that Carnival does some things very well. In sum, I enjoyed this cruise and would do it again. It’s a good value for the cost.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
First: this is a beautiful ship. Embark/Disembark: it took only 30 minutes to get to the cabin from the time we walked into the terminal at 12:00 noon. It was the best and fastest embarkation I’ve seen. I think arriving early is the ... Read More
First: this is a beautiful ship. Embark/Disembark: it took only 30 minutes to get to the cabin from the time we walked into the terminal at 12:00 noon. It was the best and fastest embarkation I’ve seen. I think arriving early is the key. Disembarking took longer than expected, but that often occurs when Customs is slow. Food: the food in the Paris buffet and dining room was 7 on a scale of 10. It was plentiful, but lines to the egg, grill, wok, and rotisserie stations were consistently long because there are no other dining options on the ship: only the buffet and 2 main dining rooms. There is the usual ice cream (free) and specialty coffee (extra fee). There is 24 hour room service (even on the morning of departure) which I did not try. The Paris buffet tended to brake down 15 minutes before the published closing time as the crew rushed to end their shifts. Crew: the crew was, without exception, nice and helpful. The only downside was that some had very limited English and were unable to answer the simplest of questions. Entertainment: the 2 nights of professional entertainment in the theater were very good. But the other 2 nights (of the 4 night cruise) utilized guests for entertainment (gender challenge, trivia) which I thought was cheap. There were comedians, but I did not see their show (more on that later). The cruise director (Marcelo) was annoying at best and his heavy accent and rapid speech make him difficult to understand. Perhaps this was due, in part, to the poor sound system throughout the ship that did not lend itself to clear communications. Casino and bars on deck 9: this is the main entertainment area and it’s where the Paradise fell short: really short. This is a smoking ship. The casino and much of the entertainment (including the comedians) were populated by extremely heavy smokers making it impossible for non smokers to enjoy any of these venues. The smoke from deck 9 was so strong that you could clearly smell it on deck 5! I have friends that smoke, so I am not one of those people that hates smokers, but this was the worst example of poor ventilation that I have experienced. If you are sensitive to smoke do not take this cruise. Noise level: this is a very loud ship. It’s billed as a “fun” cruise, so I guess they think it’s more fun if the music is cranked up. But it’s not just the music: the entire ship is noisy. There was a loud engine sound in the cabin and throughout the ship that was deafening. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I returned home. Conclusion: did I enjoy myself? Yes. Would I sail this ship again? No. And I most likely will not take another Carnival cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
After booking airfare for springbreak and a hotel and car rental, we looked into a cruise instead. It was 300.00 cheaper to cruise not including FOOD. So we just returned from the Carnival Paradise out of Tampa. It is a smaller ship which ... Read More
After booking airfare for springbreak and a hotel and car rental, we looked into a cruise instead. It was 300.00 cheaper to cruise not including FOOD. So we just returned from the Carnival Paradise out of Tampa. It is a smaller ship which we tend to like. However, we have to say, the food was TERRIBLE. (the buffett by pool was acceptable) the dining room, NOT SO MUCH. Everything else was typical cruise. We did my time dining. Did not work. We wanted to eat at 6 we ate at 7. They gave us a beeper and we had to wait. We tried to communicate with hostesses but the language barrier prevented us from getting an answer as to whether or not waiting an hour for dinner would be the norm. My 16 year old daughter and her 17 year old friend had a blast. Lots of good times in Club 02. However, she made a comment to me, "boy, it is different in the older kids club, they swear and talk about everything right in front of you". Their director of that club was leaving this cruise was his last after 8 months. Maybe that was why he felt it was ok. Not sure. Also, he was observed in the clubs late nite by a fellow cruiser (pantsing) another worker who did not have any underwear on!! And "grinding" and hanging all over passengers... Inappropriate behavior by staff with other staff and passengers. She was appalled. They both had their name tags on otherwise would not have known they were employees. We had a problem coming into port on last day. Fog made us late which resulted in me missing my flight and not being able to get another until the next day out of ORLANDO which meant renting a car or taking a shuttle and getting a room. All not compensated by the airline or cruiseline because it was weather related.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
My wife and I have sailed Carnival with some frequency. We booked this cruise at the last minute. We read the reviews and most were fairly accurate except the extremely low and extremely high. The ship does not merit extreme reviews. Like ... Read More
My wife and I have sailed Carnival with some frequency. We booked this cruise at the last minute. We read the reviews and most were fairly accurate except the extremely low and extremely high. The ship does not merit extreme reviews. Like many reviewers have observed, the ship is of an older vintage. This translate into a scarcity of balconies and a plethora of ocean view and interior cabins. A lot has changed in 25 years since its construction so don't expect the same accouterments of a newer vessel. Wisely Carnival has made this ship into a four day wonder. We got on in Tampa at about 1 p.m. and were shown to our adequate but tiny cabin. It was clean and neat but had a CRT TV, a large mass that contained our life jackets in one corner, and two twin beds combined into a king. There was no sofa or chair (except a very little one) so while in the cabin, you stand or lay down in the bed. There is no interactive programming to check your account or to view the menu or other ship's activities. These are some of the obvious signs that the ship is dated. In the dining room, the waiters/waitresses are getting used to "anytime dining" and it seems to have impacted on their ability to render good service (although they did try). The food in the dining room was better than the Carnival norm and the food on the Lido Deck about what you would expect on any Carnival ship. Given the length of the cruise (very short), we only interacted with our waiter. I never learned the names or was introduced to the lesser staff which was a Carnival first. As typical the maitre d' was a behind the scenes guy who occasionally acted as the MC for the waiters'/waitresses' nightly dance numbers. There was no breakfast or lunch served in the dining room but rather a George Lopez themed brunch. If you looked around, you could find fault with the ship's maintenance. There were rust stains visible that are never seen on a newer Carnival ship and food left on deck surfaces and chairs were slow to be cleared. We watched a plate of chicken bones sit unglamorously on a deck chair for about 30 minutes. We left before we ever saw anyone remove it. Our destination (not that we cared) was Cozumel, the Carnival owned docking area. We decided on a trip to Tulum, the Mayan ruin, which upon reflection was a three out of five star affair. The transportation both sea and land take so long that the actual visit to the sight is horribly truncated. Our guide was of the verbose variety who commercialized many aspects of this "Mayan Adventure". He took us to a souvenir store (a total waste of 20-30 minutes), sold beer, pushed Mayan cartouches, and chattered endlessly about the wonders of Mayan life and culture. (We were interested but not inclined to believe half of his patter.) Within the context of the trip's price, the Paradise was a bargain. There are many better ships and many better cruises but you do get your money's worth. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
This was our second cruise. First time with Carnival and after seeing on the local news all the troubles with Carnival ships we were a little hesitant to book with them. We found a great cabin ocean view for around $200 per person and were ... Read More
This was our second cruise. First time with Carnival and after seeing on the local news all the troubles with Carnival ships we were a little hesitant to book with them. We found a great cabin ocean view for around $200 per person and were not sure what to expect. First impression of the grand atrium was late 70s Vegas and much smaller than Caribbean Princess (our first cruise). Our stateroom was clean and in good condition, everything worked. Yes, somewhat outdated but we found the bathroom and shower more specious than on the Princess ship. We love going to the shows so attended all Carnival Paradise and Caribbean Princess shows. Princess shows more like an actual Broadway production, Carnival more like High School Musical but still good shows. Food: We were a little disappointed in the variety, selection, and quality of the food but dining room service was exelent. We even got a table side magic show one evening. Cruise director Steve was a one man show. Very multi-talented and friendly. My biggest concern was the size of the ship and the windy weather made for an uncomfortable ride. But over all great value! Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Where do I start. Maybe with my #1 recommendation that EVERYONE should do. Drink prices are absolutely outrageous now. you are allowed to bring on one small case of pop that you must carry yourself! and....one bottle of wine. I suggest you ... Read More
Where do I start. Maybe with my #1 recommendation that EVERYONE should do. Drink prices are absolutely outrageous now. you are allowed to bring on one small case of pop that you must carry yourself! and....one bottle of wine. I suggest you do this!!! People kept looking at us asking I didn't know you could do that! You have to read the contract. Last year on this boat was ok. Whenever you go at Christmas you can expect it to be packed so no surprises there. We WERE scheduled to be on a Royal Caribbean ship. We should have stuck with it. We found a great deal for this one and love Cozumel and Grand Cayman so we changed to this boat since last year was good and we knew what we were getting. Emilija our dining room waiter was beautiful she made up for the real problems I'm about to get into, and we also loved Putu our room steward he always greeted us and always has a smile!! Food on Carnival is also above par out of any cruise liners out there and the chef even came to our table to greet us which has never happened before! .......now the problems.... Who came up with this new point system for the cards!?!?!? It sucks!!! We were well on our way to Platinum when they changed this. our parents have upwards of at least 12-15 cruises from them and when they went to the service desk they could find only a few of their past twenty year cruises and are stuck at Gold level. And with this NEW system it's going to take us FOREVER to get to platinum!!! My parents have Diamond status on Royal Caribbean and are treated like royalty!! And it only took upwards of 15/16 cruises to get there! On this new plan with Carnival it's going to take us forever!!! And for what?? Just to have our own lounge for boarding?? Oh? We got on the ship within five minutes last trip and fifteen minutes this trip. You have no leg to stand on Carnival. They were late getting to every port we went to and considering the days were short to begin with by the time we were an hour and half behind at Grand Cayman we were furious because they only allowed their own paid excursions off first which p'eed me off!! So we only got 4 hrs in Cozumel and 4 hours in Grand Cayman. Keep that in mind when booking this boat!!! The Captain didn't seem to care about making up time either because by the time we got back to port in Tampa he was an hour and half behind and we sat and sat and sat waiting to get off the freaking boat and I can only guess that the New Years Eve people were late getting on. We have always had the Captains going faster to make up time. We've been on eight cruises and my parents the "We've lost count more than 70 plus now people" were absolutely aghast at the stupidity on board. 1. Lack of things to do period 2. Serenity is too small always packed can never get a seat 3. They take up Promenade completely with their picture taking after 4 pm and I couldn't sit anywhere with a good book without flashes going off in my face. 4. Oh I almost forgot! They constant battery of asking take your photo, and then it happened they started calling my daughters and I Barbie. Take your photo Barbie!!! I was so angry and later my daughter said she was asked by several of the photographers the exact same thing night after night. I was furious!!! 5. Then there was the captains party for past guests. They slipped what looked like a door hanging tag under the door. Pete and I read everything we don't want to miss a thing, but my parents thought it was just another piece of paper or something for their door so they threw it aside. It wasn't until my husband and I said something that they went "really? There was no announcement!" and in fact a lot of the ship didn't. We went in to Queen Mary lounge and there was very few people there!!! they had free drinks for past guests and no one got the message it seemed and they had all these hors d'oeuvres that they didn't have near the people to give to. We were shaking our heads. 7. I don't know what it is about smaller ships but they have the most ignorant passengers. Not the cruise liners fault but I think next time we'll pay a bit more because only one working pool on that ship sucks. The other one has the slide going into it and as usual no one is doing anything about the kids in the jacuzzi and at least Royal Caribbean actively tells kids to get out! All in all this ship should be tanked, the Captain should be ashamed, the only thing that saved their butts was our dining room experience. thank goodness for our servers and the food. All I can say is Royal Caribbean is looking good for next year. My husband wants me to mention this last slap in the face. We had to go to Normandy lounge last day for US Immigration and because they were an hour and half late getting to Tampa we had to wait there for an hour then another half hour and they promised that the dining room hours would be extended....well no surprise they weren't and we were forced to go to Lido for breakfast which we NEVER do and my daughter promptly got food poisoning from wet eggs. They could have announced the delay and we could have gone and ad relaxed breakfast first and THEN gone to do immigration when we docked!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
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

Find a Carnival Paradise Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click