2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Paradise Review – April 2019 5-night cruise from Tampa to Key West, Havana and Cozumel departure on Monday, April 8 and return on Saturday, April 13. This is a long review because we spent several days in Tampa prior to the cruise and ... Read More
Paradise Review – April 2019 5-night cruise from Tampa to Key West, Havana and Cozumel departure on Monday, April 8 and return on Saturday, April 13. This is a long review because we spent several days in Tampa prior to the cruise and have a lot to say about Cuba. We are a couple in our mid-50’s. Pre-cruise Hotel We drove from South Carolina to the Tampa Bay area several days prior to the cruise and stayed at the Hampton Inn next to the St Petersburg/Clearwater airport. The room and hotel were as expected from a Hampton Inn. Our last visit to Tampa we stayed in Ybor City and thought it was great, but we needed to save some $$$ on this trip and the Pinellas Park/Largo area was much cheaper. Tampa pre-Cruise Activities NCAA Women’s Final Four (Downtown): Our original purpose for visiting Tampa was the basketball tournament. We greatly enjoyed the basketball tournament, which was our third. Parking at the Convention Center was reasonable, but the food in Amalie Arena was very, very expensive. We checked what cruises were departing after the tournament ended and this cruise fit perfectly. Busch Gardens (North Tampa): We planned to visit Busch Gardens not sure what to expect. We thoroughly enjoyed the animals, particularly from the Serengeti Express train through the Serengeti Plains exhibit. We rode once in the morning and again in the afternoon and saw different animals in different places. We also were impressed by the massive alligators and the gorillas. Our visit coincided with the annual wine and food festival, which was nice to have good food and drink available for purchase. It is also the Year of Beer at Busch Gardens honoring the founding of the park 60 years ago. Each guest (21 and over) can receive two free beer samples, which we enjoyed. The park maps are not sufficiently detailed and we struggled figuring out where we were and how to get where we wanted to go most of the day. We did not ride any of the huge roller-coasters. We purchased the Tampa Bay City Pass for just a few dollars more than admission to Busch Gardens. Chihuly Collection (St. Petersburg): We decided to purchase a Tampa Bay City Pass because we were spending several days in Tampa. We visited the Chihuly museum in St. Petersburg and enjoyed the exhibit, which is smaller than the Chihuly museum in Seattle. It has mostly similar works of art but some smaller pieces I did not recall seeing in Seattle. Florida Aquarium (Channelside): The City Pass included admission to the Florida Aquarium so we visited before the basketball game at nearby Amalie Arena. The exhibits were nice but not anything we haven’t seen at other nice aquariums. S.S. American Victory Mariners Museum (Channelside): The Florida Aquarium required less time than we planned so we toured the American Liberty, which is a functional WWII liberty ship with exhibits about the role these ships played in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. The ship is moored next to the aquarium between Cruise Terminals 2 and 3. To find it walk between the aquarium and Terminal 3 and follow the signs. The American Victory is not part of the City Pass. Port of Tampa Departure: Could not be easier. Arrived at Terminal 3 slightly before our scheduled time of 11:30. Dropped the luggage quickly (few cars dropping bags) and parked in the parking garage across the street, which had ample spaces available. We pre-paid parking before leaving home and handed the parking attendant our printed ticket and parked on the second level near the elevators. Although we were early, by the time we had competed check-in our group number had already been called. We were still on the ship before many passengers had shown up. We had Guy’s burgers for lunch, at 1:30 we went to our cabin to change and went to enjoy the hot tubs on the Serenity deck before it was crowded. Return: Getting off the ship was quick and orderly and went much faster than the scheduled departure times. We learned that self disembarkation was starting with Deck 14 and we were on Deck 4 (Riviera), so we got luggage tags when they were offered at 10 am on the last day (Friday) and had a low group number (5 out of 28). Customs consisted of checking passports, and asking how many cigars and how much liquor (rum) we were bringing in from Cuba. We were under the duty-free limits and were on our way home. Muster Drill and Sail Away The Muster Drill was reasonably quick and efficient. As usual several passengers did not show and had to be tracked down. We did not need to walk from the muster station to the lifeboats. Sail away takes about two hours to sail down the channel and across the bay to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and the Gulf of Mexico. Guy’s Burgers The burgers and fries were very good and consistent throughout the cruise, as we have experienced on past cruises. Paris Restaurant (Lido Buffet, Deli and Pizza Pirate) The Lido Buffet for breakfast was good, except for the coffee which wasn’t very good. The Lido Buffet for dinner was only okay, except the ribs on the last night were excellent. The Lido serves a sub-set of the offerings in the main dining rooms. The ice cream was good. The other deserts were only so-so. The pizza was always fresh and tasty, and the line was never long. The Deli offered a large variety of sandwiches and hot dogs for lunch and dinner, but sometimes the line was long. The Lido Buffet was under staffed compared to previous cruises on Fantasy and Elation. Tables were not cleared in a timely manner, many times only one side of the main buffet was open, and only one person was typically working the Deli. We had anytime dining but never ate dinner in the main dining room. Lido Deck Rum Fog and Blue Iguana Bars The bars seemed well staffed on the first day, then appeared to have fewer working and walking the Lido deck for the rest of the cruise. There was a special drink offered on embarkation day in a Tervis Tumbler for about $20 (drink and tumbler) which we thought was the best deal of the cruise. We used the tumblers for water and other drinks for the rest of the cruise. Stateroom Our porthole stateroom on the Riviera Deck was near the bow. The carpet and furnishings were in excellent condition. The bathroom sink and shower were also in great condition. The shower curtain tended to drift into the shower. The water pressure was outstanding, and very hot (the warnings in the bathroom about scalding should be taken seriously). Our room steward did a great job keeping the room fresh while we were away having fun. A towel animal made an appearance every day. There was excessive noise and vibration overnight after leaving Cozumel and on the sea day. It sounded/felt like a heavy metal door being slammed below our cabin two or three times each minute. I assume these were waves hitting our side of the ship since we did not hear the noise the first three days. Casino We visited the slots on Thursday after leaving Cozumel and again on Friday. The casino was not as smoky as previous cruises we have taken. Entertainment and Activities The “80s music” show in the theater was well done and we enjoyed it. The “rock music” show had some undisclosed technical issue, requiring the singers to sit in front of the curtain, and it was boring. The other musical performers at the Atrium Bar and Casino Bar were loud and not soothing to our ears, like our last cruise on Fantasy. The “PG” comedy show consisted of bringing some passengers on stage and asking some questions with the comedian making jokes out of the responses. While I appreciate the improv nature of the show, it lasted about 20 minutes and just wasn’t very funny. We skipped the adult comedy shows. We noticed other activities like trivia contests, bingo, etc. seemed limited on this cruise, like our last cruise on Fantasy. Key West We docked at the Outer Mole/Navy Mole and had to take the “conch train” to the depot near Mallory Square. We docked at noon and left at 6 pm so we only had about 5 hours. We had been to Key West on a prior cruise so we walked down Duval St as far a Truman Avenue, walked over one block to the Hemingway House and Old Lighthouse, then walked back toward Mallory Square and enjoyed some Key Lime Pie. A squall line came through late in the afternoon and it was very windy, delaying our departure by 2 hours. Havana We arrived in Havana on-time at 7 am, because it is only 90 miles from Key West. We booked the “Culinary Traditions tour” though Carnival. We gathered in the dining room and waited for our turn to exit the ship, go though Cuba customs, exchange money and start our tour. We asked for small bills to have money for tips when using bathrooms, etc. The entire process lasted approximately 1.5 hours. Our group of 44 people (a bus load) was one of many leaving about the same time. We stayed up front near the tour guide and had no difficulties hearing or getting the photo’s we wanted. Our tour started with a walking tour of old Havana. Many of the streets in old Havana are cobblestones so they can be difficult to walk on unless you wear comfortable walking shoes. There are also numerous unmarked large and deep holes in sidewalks all over Havana so you must watch were you are walking and stop walking to take photos, etc. Some buildings near the major plazas in Old Havana have been restored (or at least painted) but many buildings outside Old Havana are very run-down looking on the exterior. We then boarded a tour bus for drive by several government buildings and eventually stopping at the cigar shop. After being given the opportunity to buy some authentic Cuban cigars, rum, and coffee we boarded the bus and went to lunch at the former Havana Hilton (known as the Havana Libre since 1960). Lunch is on the 25th floor and the views of the city are amazing. There is a lengthy pre-lunch show, which is probably required to meet the “people-to-people” travel requirements of the tour. We were the second group to arrive for lunch and the prime seats to see the show in the middle of the restaurant were already taken, but it wasn’t all bad because we sat by the floor to ceiling windows enjoying the views and were free to move about as we pleased. If you “volunteer” to get on stage and participate in the show you are rewarded with a free drink made as part of the show, which we did instead of buying drinks at the bar. Lunch consisted of corn soup and Cuban pork, it was good but it was not spicy. After lunch we boarded the bus for the Plaza of the Revolution. This is one area where the classic 1950’ cars (which are mostly taxis for hire now) congregate. Our tour then drove along the Malecon back towards the ship. Our last stop was a shopping area with a restaurant and small shops, including another cigar and rum buying opportunity. This is where we learned how to smoke Cuban cigars, along with a small sample of coffee and rum. We appreciated the short cigar smoking “class” as a uniquely Cuban experience. We also noticed very few Cubans other than the tour guides appeared to speak any English, including most of the hotel staff at our lunch and the two cigar stores where tourists probably visit every day. There is also no Diamonds International or Senor Frogs in Havana. For us all these factors made the day very authentic and unlike any other Caribbean port. Cozumel We arrived in Cozumel at noon and left at 10 PM. We walked from the Puerta Maya Cruise Pier where Paradise and other Carnival ships dock about 2.5 miles to the Thirsty Cougar near the Punta Langosta Cruise Pier “downtown”. After enjoying various adult beverages and a late lunch, we walked back to the ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
First off embarkation and debarkation were a total breeeze. Everything went smoothly and getting off the ship in Cuba and through customs was about a 10 minute process. Everyone was extremely organized. I have read other horror stories ... Read More
First off embarkation and debarkation were a total breeeze. Everything went smoothly and getting off the ship in Cuba and through customs was about a 10 minute process. Everyone was extremely organized. I have read other horror stories about going through customs in Cuba and in my experience they were all exaggerations. The upgrades to the states rooms were well thought, as we all know outlets are usually an issue in older ships. There were four usb plugs in my interior room which was spacious with plenty of closet and storage space. The ship itself is a little quirky but I got the hang of it. I am not a fan of a ship that you can not walk straight through (it’s a minor inconvenience and mainly something you adjust to after the first two days on board) the atrium is beautiful but has a lack of seating. This ship also has one pool which wasn’t an issue on our cruise but I can imagine it being packed on a cruise with more families/children. Food overall was great. Guys and blueiguana are my go to for lunch on this ship as the lido deck is more limited than other larger ships. Dinning room service and meals were some of the best I have had. The one thing that fell flat was the pizza. Carnival usually has the best pizza and it’s something I enjoy having late at night once the day is wrapping up but there was something so off about the pizza on this ship. Had it once and didn’t bother trying it again. The standout port on this trip and the reason I even booked it was Cuba. I mentioned above reading several “horror” stories of getting through customs in Cuba and either those were inaccurate or Cuba and the cruise line have learned how to stream line this process. You will have to fill out your visa which carnival gives you at embarkation. If you’re not sure how to fill it out or want to make sure you do it correctly guest services can give you an example of a complete visa or it will be in your fun times printout the day before you arrive to Havana. We booked an excursion through carnival. Culinary traditions and Cuba. It was hands down the best excursion. Our tour guide Viviana made the excursion she was informative and answered everyone’s questions. We started with a walking tour then drove down the Malecón. Had an amazing lunch at the Habana Libre hotel with a band and dancers. From there we went to plaza de revolucion, took pictures with old fashioned cars before finishing our excursion with shopping and a Cuba pairing of cigars, coffee and rum. If you’re thinking of going to Cuba do it and do it now. Cuba is changing that much is obvious and if you want to see it before it does don’t wait just go. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Our group of 5 made a last-minute decision to book this cruise, and we grabbed what seemed to be one of the last 2 or 3 cabins available about 2 weeks before departure. A few days later, we then added another cabin for 2 grandparents who ... Read More
Our group of 5 made a last-minute decision to book this cruise, and we grabbed what seemed to be one of the last 2 or 3 cabins available about 2 weeks before departure. A few days later, we then added another cabin for 2 grandparents who wanted to join as well. I was shocked that our family of 5 (mom, dad, and kids ages 14, 11, and 7) would be able to fit in one cabin, but we did. We would have happily booked a second cabin if it were possible, but it wasn't; certain cabins are apparently designated for certain sized groups, even though I would later find out that all of the cabins (except for the suites) are essentially the same size. For example, there was a period of several days where we couldn't add the 2 grandparents because the only availability was a 5-person room, even though we told Carnival on the phone that we'd pay for 3 additional "phantom children" in that room if necessary (the kids were only $100 or $200 extra each). Luckily a 2-person room later opened up. Embarkation was a breeze, however I was surprised that most of the employees at the port were not very friendly, except for the porters -- who were very nice. Maybe the other employees were tired by the time we arrived at 12:30pm from having to deal with another cruise's disembarkation that morning, followed by our cruise embarking in the afternoon - but whatever the case, it left me wondering what the level of service was going to be on the cruise. In the end, the embarkation process was very easy, and the crew on board ended up being exceptionally nice. Because we were taking a private tour in Havana led by a Cuban tour guide, we filled out our affidavits by choosing "People to People" under option 1, and then "Support of the Cuban People" under option 2. The cruise itself was fine (2.5 out of 5 stars), but our family probably wouldn't do it again. The Negatives were: *It was very much a Spring Break cruise, with lots of families (like ours) and lots of people in their 20s. During the embarkation day and the 2 sea days, the ship was very crowded. The buffet restaurant, the pool, and the main common areas were almost unmanageable. We tried to join one of the games (a Hasbro trivia game) on the first night, but there were over 100 people who showed up, and the moderator told everyone to split into 4 teams - meaning 25 people per team who would be answering trivia questions; and so we wound up not joining. It got to the point that although I wanted to try the various trivia options and other games each day, we didn't because it was just too crowded. The only thing that wasn't really crowded was the casino (which was nice). *I was disappointed with the prices of most things. Eg., the wifi was expensive and limited to just a single device, and there was no free way to use phones among friends or family members while on board (friend chat was $5). It seemed that everything was an attempt to nickel or dime the passengers. E.g., the Build-a-Bear event was $26 per bear. *The bingo was outrageously priced, and the prizes were very low in comparison to the amount of money Carnival must have collected from card sales - what a cash cow for Carnival. We paid over $100 for 3 of us to play; there were probably 300 people in the room who each paid $30-40 to pay. The 3 prizes ended up totaling $1,000 -- and even if the last winner had achieved a black-out on their card in 49 numbers or less and therefore ended up winning the big prize of $2,000, that still would have been only $2,700 in prize money -- compared to over $10K in board sales for that single session. We did not end up playing the next 2 sessions of bingo. *The food did not meet my expectations. The buffet food was generally unappetizing, and the buffet always seemed to be crowded - with very long lines. I couldn't manage to get pizza during the entire cruise. I finally managed to get a taco salad my last day when the line disappeared for a few minutes, but the food was underwhelming. The dining room was much better, but again, not what I would have expected from the dining room. I thought the quality of the dining room food should have been what was in the buffet, and the dining room food should have been better. The boat doesn't have any specialty restaurants (except for the captain's dinner on a couple of the nights), but we knew that going in. *On the first day and on the 2 sea days, there were chunks of time where our family was left wondering what to do. There weren't a wide array of activities to try or sample. The Positives were: *The 4 Cuba lectures by Heidi Siefkas were incredible. She really enhanced the entire Cuba experience. *Camp Ocean was great for my 7- and 11-year-olds. They went there for a few hours most of the days and had a great time. I was disappointed that during the last sea day, it was closed from 2:30pm until 7pm -- which you would think would be prime time for it to be open. *Carnival waterworks (water slides and splash pad) was fun, but we managed to go only during the Cozumel port day, when most everyone else was off the boat. The swimming pool was very small for the number of people, and as mentioned, it was completely unusable except during the 2 port days because it was so crowded. But on the Cozumel port day, we had a blast using it. *The staff was so incredibly nice - I don't think I saw anybody without a smile or a kind word on board. *The musicians, the production shows, and the comedians were good. Not great by any means, but very enjoyable for the whole family. *Guy's Burgers were excellent. *The buffet offered a vegan burger at every seating - which was much appreciated by the vegan member in our group. The dining room was also excellent about accommodating vegan requests (in advance), and all of the vegan food was apparently delicious. *The Port Day in Havana was awesome - and it was the real reason we chose this cruise. What an opportunity to spend a full day in Havana. (The official shore excursions were outrageously priced, and so we wound up getting a private tour for about 20-25% of the cost.) *The Port Day in Cozumel was great for our family because we stayed on the ship (except for a couple of hours) and had run of the place to ourselves. It was a fun time to use the pool and eat in the dining room without fighting the lines. The Neutrals were: *The boat was quite small, which was a positive and a negative. It was nice to be able to get anywhere in less than 5 minutes. But because it was so small, the ship felt very crowded most of the time. The elevators were very slow except on the 2 port days, and so we took the stairs most of the time. We learned to get to the shows, etc. at least 15-20 minutes in advance to make sure we got a seat. We definitely felt movement from the ship in the water, but some Dramamine helped us from having any real problems. *The stateroom was fine. Most people say that the only thing you do in your room is sleep, and so who cares if you sleep 5 in a single room. Well, that would have been true if there had been more uncrowded activities to try on board. As it was, we did spend some chunks of each sea day (and the first day) in our room, which was quite boring. But at the same time, I don't think we needed a second cabin for our family - the one cabin worked just fine for our family. Disembarkation was very frustrating until we actually got off the ship and into the terminal. I couldn't believe how disorganized things seemed on board. Surely there is a better way to get people off the boat without having them wait in line for 30-45 minutes dragging their bags. Once we actually got off the ship, the process was very easy, and the employee at the port were incredibly friendly (as compared to the employees on embarkation day). Some tips: *At Havana, the passengers with the official shore excursions get to leave the boat first, and the others have to wait. So although our ship arrived at port at 7am, our particular group did not get to leave the boat until about 9:30am. After going through immigration and changing our money, it turns out the 10am meeting time with our private guide was perfect. If you're not taking an official shore excursion, make sure you go to Deck 9 on the morning of Havana port day to get your disembarkation sticker. There are about 100 stickers for each letter of the alphabet; and starting at about 6:15am, they start giving away the stickers, starting with the letter A. One person from your group can go to get the stickers for the whole group. I showed up around 7:30am and got Letter L for all 7 of us. Had I been a Letter A sticker, I would have disembarked at about 8am. As it worked out, Letter L was just fine, as it allowed us to sleep in a bit, and still get breakfast on board before getting off the ship. *We loved the Your Time Dining option rather than the fixed-time dining. Some nights we ate dinner right at 5:45pm so that we could make the 7:15pm show, but one of the nights we didn't eat until closer to 8:30pm. It was nice to have the flexibility. *The library was well stocked with board games (Battleship, Monopoly, Cranium) and books, but no playing cards. *We ended up using the stairs most of the time given that the elevators were so busy most of the time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
This cruise in general was a good cruise; Leon the CD is amazing, he brings the passengers together and is very good at doing his job. Good singer too! The food was very good, variety was with many choices, and they take great care to ... Read More
This cruise in general was a good cruise; Leon the CD is amazing, he brings the passengers together and is very good at doing his job. Good singer too! The food was very good, variety was with many choices, and they take great care to control waste. You can have as much as you want, but don't waste it. My negative comment would be that they have taken the couches or chairs out of the rooms, as well the open deck and limited seating in the Main areas. If their intention is to keep people out of the rooms and into the bars, it's is working. Pool area was in excellent shape, clean and well managed. Entertainment could be improved, two independent guitarist and one piano player. Not the best. The shows were very good, you have to get use to the idea that orchestra players are gone. Latin night had musicians, it that was excellent. Staff was excellent. Not a bad cruise! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This ship is small. I didnt think there was enough ro do. The shows were mediocre except for the comedy, that was my favorite Tom Foss was the funniest comedian I have ever seen live. The singers were Horrible. Did not enjoy those shows ... Read More
This ship is small. I didnt think there was enough ro do. The shows were mediocre except for the comedy, that was my favorite Tom Foss was the funniest comedian I have ever seen live. The singers were Horrible. Did not enjoy those shows but we enjoyed the game shows. I did not purchase anything except for 2T shirts and a souvenir cup there was not a lot of selection for shopping on board unless you're intrested in perfume cigarets alcohol or jewelry. There was not much of a selection of souvenirs. I think carnival could make some improvements to their app and allow GPS location of people that are signed in to your group on the apps you'd know exactly where you were on the map in the ship and could keep track of your group. I don't think there was enough outdoor activities for the children they were kept in rooms with views but outside activities. There was only one pool available on this ship which means it's very very crowded. The crew was phenomenal. These people really work hard to make your vacation top notch. Everyone was very friendly. Leon was the best cruise director. I was not impressed with the food but the wait staff always went above and beyond.We had the good weather and enjoyed our excursions in the 2 ports we went to. I did not find value in the faster to the fun package I kept having to explain I had fast forward to the fun to people during embarkation and was passed over for the initial photograph when you come on to the ship. Overall, it was a great vacation. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this 5 night cruise out of Tampa for 2 reasons: celebrate husband's birthday and stay in Scenic OV cabin positioned on top deck with ceiling to floor windows looking straight out (only 2 rooms of this type on Paradise). The ... Read More
We chose this 5 night cruise out of Tampa for 2 reasons: celebrate husband's birthday and stay in Scenic OV cabin positioned on top deck with ceiling to floor windows looking straight out (only 2 rooms of this type on Paradise). The cabin was wonderful; the best we have had on 30 cruises including our cabin on Celebrity Edge which we were on in Dec. Beyond the cabin, this cruise was so much fun. Cruise Director Leon was always seen and involved in all sorts of activities day and night. One night he literally danced on the round bar in the atrium. A couple nights they had good recent movies in the lounge and 2 comedians did shows every night except one night. The nightly shows were really entertaining with great scenery/costumes and the dancers upbeat and in perfect unison. The only negative was the food selection at the buffet was ok but not great so we ended up eating breakfast in the dining room which is something we would rarely do. Meals in the dining room were fine (we are not picky eaters) and we were impressed that the wait staff would ask our names and remember them throughout the dining experience. Just off the new Celebrity Edge we were expecting an experience lower in quality but honestly we had a whole lot more fun on the Paradise (we are in our 60s!!} than we did on the fancy, upscale Edge. If you don't expect 5 Star food this ship delivers in a lot of other ways. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Been on several 7 day cruises and decided to try short one. Chose the Carnival Paridise for the interesting look of the atrium. Since this ship was recently redone and a smaller ship leaving from Tampa. I was only an hour from the port. ... Read More
Been on several 7 day cruises and decided to try short one. Chose the Carnival Paridise for the interesting look of the atrium. Since this ship was recently redone and a smaller ship leaving from Tampa. I was only an hour from the port. Parking garage was just across from the port. Boarding was a easy as Carnival had specific boarding times. Unfortunately dis embarking was a little chaotic with impatient passenger getting in line before their call. I chose check out luggage and at the scheduled time I was off of ship less than 15 minutes Loved the sail away party. The buffet was typical food. Out on deck the guys burgers and the blue iguana tacos tops. The dinning room was cozy and a lot of different items to have. the breakfast buffet had general fare. The seaday brunch was a nice touch. Ordered room service for the continental breakfast, arrived at time requested and it was fresh and warm. Shows were great. The few shops had good buys .The cabin smaller than big ships was very clean and the window big enough to enjoy the outside. Room steward freshen up room daily. I preferred the evening. Towel animals ,cute Carnival Paradise had Staff and crew honored at the dis embarkation program on the last day of cruise. Another thing I liked was the military appreciation show later that day that honored military people on board. Overall I had a great time on the Paradise. Planning to book another cruise Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Cuba was one of the few places we had not visited in the Caribbean. That was rectified January 2019 on a five night cruise aboard the Paradise which proved to be an excellent overall experience. This ship was easy to navigate and not ... Read More
Cuba was one of the few places we had not visited in the Caribbean. That was rectified January 2019 on a five night cruise aboard the Paradise which proved to be an excellent overall experience. This ship was easy to navigate and not crowded like larger ships tend to be. Recently refurbished the public spaces and our suite were clean and bright. We had G3, one of two Grand Suites and the views and serenity was fabulous from Deck 14. Only complaint was the back cushion on sofa bed was easily toppled over and still would have loved a coffee maker like Carnival used to have in higher end suites. The food in the main dinning room was above average and offered wide choices. Staff throughout were friendly and helpful. Major drawback was lack of information regarding Cuban Visa procedure pre-cruise in a timely fashion, not detailed to week before and while the $75.00 fee per person was typical, it should have been clearly stated that the charge would be put on your room account. Both embarkation and debarkation were easy and painless. TIPS: Exchange US dollars for Canadian dollars or Euros pre cruise and receive a much better exchange rate at Havana Terminal Exchange. Also much better and personalized old car tours of Havana can be arranged via the internet (highly recommend Old Cars Havana) prior to the ship and was literally 1/3 longer and 1/2 the cost of Carnival offered excursion. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Always wanted to go to Cuba and I prefer the smaller ships and the price was good and right after the holidays I hoped the ship would not be crowded and not too many kids which turned out to be correct on both counts. The dry dock had ... Read More
Always wanted to go to Cuba and I prefer the smaller ships and the price was good and right after the holidays I hoped the ship would not be crowded and not too many kids which turned out to be correct on both counts. The dry dock had the ship looking great and the crew was really great. Embarkation was so quick and smooth than any other port I have been at, I was on the ship a little after 11. I was E187 inside room and very nice and never did hear any noise from restaurant above my cabin. Food in main dining room had no taste so much better at buffet which I prefer anyway. I Still have no idea why everyone loves guys burgers but I still can't see the attraction. There was a singer on the ship, Emma Jude, who was very talented and enjoyed listening to all the live music on ship. There were very few announcements from cruise director which I really enjoyed. I spent most of the day on the serenity as wind was less noticeable there. They had tv's at all the bars on national championship game and nfl playoff games and there was crowds at those venues. Departure was also very quick and wish every port was as good as Tampa. Did notice cutbacks on food and salad bar fixings have been really cut back on but I always had plenty to eat. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
I've cruised Carnival many, many times, and indeed, I've cruised "Paradise" many times as well. This cruise was very good, but I can see lots of small things slipping. Food was good, but not as many choices as in the ... Read More
I've cruised Carnival many, many times, and indeed, I've cruised "Paradise" many times as well. This cruise was very good, but I can see lots of small things slipping. Food was good, but not as many choices as in the past. Dining room services was OUTSTANDING, and has improved on my last TWO Carnival cruises. Entertainment was O.K., but a bit lacking in the offerings. It seemed to me that if you didn't gamble, there wasn't a lot to do on some evenings. BIG SHOWS were good, but the same ones I've seen over, and over again. Cabins on the recently dry docked "Paradise" were excellent, and the cabin service was also very good, but the lack of choices on the T.V. was disappointing, even though I don't cruise to watch T.V. I rarely leave the ship, so I can't comment on Ports, or Shore Excursions, but others I talked to said they enjoyed their excursions. Read Less
Carnival Paradise Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.5 0.0
Public Rooms 3.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.5 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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