238 Carnival Paradise Cruise Reviews

This was our first cruise so did not know what to expect. Sailed out of Tampa to be close to home. Easy access to ship. Be careful in the casino since they double the amount of cash you insert in machine if you answer yes to charge to my ... Read More
This was our first cruise so did not know what to expect. Sailed out of Tampa to be close to home. Easy access to ship. Be careful in the casino since they double the amount of cash you insert in machine if you answer yes to charge to my card. Just beware. The food in the Elation restaurant is not the greatest and there is a long wait for your dinner, but if you eat in the Paris restaurant you have many choices at the buffet. Drinking, gambling and the pool are the main attractions. All in all for us it was ok. The cabin is sufficient. You have to pay for room service. Just go to the buffet. 5 days at sea is kind of long. Went to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Cozumel is a big tourist trap. No beach close by and many expensive stores. The ship was clean and organized. Make use of the daily schedule to partake in the extra curricular activities to make the cruise enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date May 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
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
Sail Date April 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
Sail Date March 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
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
Sail Date February 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
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
Sail Date January 2019
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
Sail Date December 2018
We just returned for our first cruise. It was a very good experience. We were fortunate to get room G4 With balcony to the side of the ship in a huge window with the blinds that remotely go up and down that were 6 feet wide. The room was ... Read More
We just returned for our first cruise. It was a very good experience. We were fortunate to get room G4 With balcony to the side of the ship in a huge window with the blinds that remotely go up and down that were 6 feet wide. The room was cleaned every day and exceptionally well. Our steward Oakley was very attentive and made sure that we had everything we needed. It was unfortunate that it took several days to get our bottles of water that we ordered (miscommunication with room service and guest services). Luckily we had complementary bottles in our room as well as complementary laundry service which we took advantage of. The frustrations with the elevator was ridiculous we must’ve climbed hundreds of flights of stairs while we’re there I would feel very sorry for people who were not able to negotiate steps because they would be waiting a long time for the elevators if they simply have a car cancel button it would be a lot better. I also thought that I would mention that the karaoke department needs to be reviewed to not allow offensive rappers to sing karaoke which was clearly inappropriate for the multicultural cruise members who were cruising. I have Hispanic, black and Asian friends. There is no place for that Obscene performance. The bar cleared during this obscene performance. Very embarrassing for carnival. It was so fun till that happened. Pros Clean room Good service Destiny restaurant service was excellent. (Roberto and mustafa) Singer Darwin In destiny Embarkation (priority) Guest services Room service though limited was good. They were on time daily Nay & Robert the bartenders! Wine options were excellent Coffee bar lady and Robert head of f&b hooked me up with birthday cake when I did not know I had to order 24+ hours in advance (seriously...thank you ). Cons Need better communication. (The daily Brochures need an overhaul—-we were confused for 3 days) The worst elevators ever (they need a car cancel button) No floor numbers marked as you walk Up/down stairs Water not received from online purchase Small pool Not enough shade on decks Not enough places to cool off. Some bars under-staffed Serenity deck service either great or bad Room service coffee flavor Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
My husband and I had both cruised as young adults but never as adults that could drink! We travel all the time and were ready for something different and decided on a cruise. We are so glad we did! Because of our work schedules, we were ... Read More
My husband and I had both cruised as young adults but never as adults that could drink! We travel all the time and were ready for something different and decided on a cruise. We are so glad we did! Because of our work schedules, we were limited on how long and where we could choose. We chose the Western Caribbean cruise out of Tampa on the Carnival Paradise. After reading reviews, I was worried because it is an older, smaller ship. It was recently remodeled and we had a suite, so our room was perfect. We had priority boarding and it was a breeze. Absolutely no complaints about that. The food was as expected on a cruise. My favorite was Guy's Burger Joint. There is only one pool, but several whirlpools. The deck around the pool was crowded at peak times, but that was fine with us. There was plenty to do and plenty to eat/drink. We didn't get the drink package, but probably should have because we spent almost the same amount. We didn't do any official shore excursions but instead went to places recommended on the forums on Cruise Critic. Calico Jack's in Grand Cayman and Mr. Sancho's in Cozumel. Would recommend both. My only complaints are so much smoking--it was in designated areas but the wind carried the smoke and the movement of the ship was VERY noticeable throughout the ship. Fortunately we didn't get seasick but something to keep in mind if you do. We definitely want to cruise again, but will be sure to try a bigger, newer ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was my wife and I's first cruise. We went to celebrate our 15th anniversary and her 34th birthday. Overall we had a positive experience. At times we found ourselves a little bored and being this was our first long trip away from ... Read More
This was my wife and I's first cruise. We went to celebrate our 15th anniversary and her 34th birthday. Overall we had a positive experience. At times we found ourselves a little bored and being this was our first long trip away from our kids, we started missing them around day 2-3. We also spent a couple of days at Disney prior to boarding. The ship itself was great. The cabin we had (R160) was nice but we were near a supply closet and above an obvious work area so we got woke up nearly every night by loud noises and banging around in those areas. We also were very hot, especially at night. Most nights we slept on top of the covers and woke up with the bedding soaked in sweat. The dining experience was pretty good overall. My wife did find a bone in her chicken taco from the Blue Iguana buffet, but that happens sometime. If we went to eat and didn't like the food or wasn't full we would just move on to the next place. The entertainment was pretty good as well. All the shows were well done. We received excellent service from our Steward, the dining room and at the bars. We didn't have great luck getting service while we were seated at shows or out on the sun decks but there were a lot of people. They probably could improve in that area a little. We usually just took turns running to the bar for a drink since most places won't let us get a drink with the drink package without both people present. Some places didn't mind so we tried to use them if they were close by. The service was a little off from what we had experienced most of the trip on the last dining night but it was pretty busy when we arrived. We had the anytime dining but we lucked out most nights and had great service. We did our own thing on the first port (Grand Caymens). It was a little intimidating at first since neither of us had ever left the county before. We stepped off the boat and were unsure what to do. Carnival didn't really offer a lot of help if you weren't paying for one or their excursions. We ended up finding a cab to a little beach half way down Seven Mile Beach ($24 for both of us) that offered chairs and umbrellas for $15 for the both of us. They also had a nearby restaurant and bar but the cab drive told us about a little package store across the street that sold beverages by the bottle/can so we ended up getting a couple of cold drinks for about a third of the bar costs and enjoyed the beach and weather for a couple hours. We weren't at this stop very long and being beginner cruisers we didn't want to chance getting lost or ending up somewhere we shouldn't so we just wandered around the shops across the street from the port for a little while before we re-boarded. The second port (Cozumel) we ended up booking an excursion at a small beach club that offered several activities. We just done the guided snorkeling and then sat on the beach under some palm trees in the shade for a couple hours, ate some really good (fairly cheap) nachos from the restaurant. There were lots of shops and activities to keep busy at this port so we spent a good amount of time shopping for souvenirs. Getting on and off the ship for the port stops at both places was really smooth. You do have to take a water shuttle at the Caymens and that took a minute but wasn't too bad. The embarkation process was extremely smooth with no issues at all. The debarkation, not so much. We choose to take our own luggage thinking it would speed things up for us. We woke up around 6:30 am to make sure we had all we needed, rushed up to the buffet to eat and then came back and got our luggage and moved up to the upper decks. Because we stayed on the lowest deck (Deck 4) we were the last to get called to leave with the express checkout (carrying your own luggage), so we sat for about two and a half hours waiting for our turn. We will probably do the express checkout again if we don't have the kids with us but we certainly won't rush and get up early and sit around and wait. We tried to get the FTTF package before we left but waiting too long and it was sold out, but I think the extra $80+/- would have been worth waht all you get for it. Once we were called we were able to go right down to the gangway and get right off in just a few minutes. Going through customs was a little painful but if you don't want to wait there you can tip a porter to take your luggage and move you up to the front of the line. All in all we had fun and enjoyed our trip, we just aren't sure if we will do it again anytime soon without the kids. The only major complaint we had was the casino deck (Deck 9). They allowed the smokers to sit inside the casino and it made the hole deck so smokey that we avoided that area entirely for most of the trip. We did not play any games in the casino at all because of it. We did go through there when we had to getting to other areas but we held our breath and moved fast. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I chose Carnival Paradise for two reasons, they advertise gluten free diets and they were inexpensive to try out for a first time cruiser. My meals were always delicious but I felt limited on the offerings. By NO means did I ever go ... Read More
I chose Carnival Paradise for two reasons, they advertise gluten free diets and they were inexpensive to try out for a first time cruiser. My meals were always delicious but I felt limited on the offerings. By NO means did I ever go hungry! The waiters take your order for the next evening so that they will be able to properly prepare for your dietary needs. Staff was very knowledgable about celiac disease and very accommodating. I enjoyed my first cruise with Carnival, but now I'm looking for a larger ship due to the fact that our at sea days were not as busy as we would have liked them to be. I'm looking for adventure at sea and fun things to do while sailing. Movies, Broadway shows, interactive games, sports, anything great to pass the time while parting the blue waters other than the casino (not much of a gambler here). Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This cruise port is close to home. We are Platinum on Carnival and priority boarding is a great perk.The ship was refurbished earlier this year and the improvements were great. Added the Guy Burger and Blue Iguana on the Lido deck and the ... Read More
This cruise port is close to home. We are Platinum on Carnival and priority boarding is a great perk.The ship was refurbished earlier this year and the improvements were great. Added the Guy Burger and Blue Iguana on the Lido deck and the Elation dining room was beautiful. We have been on this ship a few times and I was very pleased with these changes. The Playlist Productions shows were also very good, and I really enjoyed the Punchliner Comedy Club. The Casino was hopping at night and there are some newer slot machines. Unfortunately, I did not hear of anyone getting any great returns on their time in the casino. There is a nice water park on the back of the ship (where there used to be a small pool). Now that there is only one pool, it was always packed when we were at sea. The Serenity area has not changed and it is lacking since it only has 2 small hot tubs. We had an inside cabin on Riviera deck near mid ship and it was comfortable and quiet. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Extensive Cruise Review! Carnival Paradise 8/18 – 8/26, 2018 Hello! We were a strange party of four. L & T, female/male, mid 50’s, from Pittsburgh. Both have cruised before. Accompanied by F & J, 40’s and 30’s, both ... Read More
Extensive Cruise Review! Carnival Paradise 8/18 – 8/26, 2018 Hello! We were a strange party of four. L & T, female/male, mid 50’s, from Pittsburgh. Both have cruised before. Accompanied by F & J, 40’s and 30’s, both male, one from Maryland and one from Florida, neither having cruised before. We chose this cruise because it was 8 nights and offered a full two days in Cuba. We would probably not have chosen Carnival, except for the itinerary. We had two true adjoining cabins on Deck 4 – oceanview, cabins 61 and 65. Embarkation: Ridiculously easy. We were given an arrival time of 12:30 to 1:30. We arrived about noon via uber from an airport hotel. We literally walked in, filled out our Cuba form (where we checked Support for the Cuban People and that was the last question we ever had raised about what we were doing) checked in and walked on board. It all took maybe 15 minutes. Probably the easiest check in process I’ve ever had. We went to the Lido deck and happily settled in to a table by the pool in the shade until the announcement was made that we could access our cabins. I think that was a little before 2 pm. The cabins. As mentioned previously we had two adjoining ocean views. They were small – no chair, no sofa, just a stool under the desk area. But the beds were comfortable, room clean and in good condition, nice access to usb charging ports by the beds, etc. There is a small frig/cooler under the desk. We had to get someone to unlock the door between the rooms. I will say that since we were traveling together this worked out great – but if we had an adjoining room with strangers I wouldn’t have liked it since it seems sound does travel between the doors more than a solid wall. The bathroom was typically compact but the rectangular shower was more spacious than some other ships. Water pressure and temperature was fantastic. There was zero storage space in the bathroom though. We met our steward Inna who was friendly and warm throughout the cruise. We asked for morning service and three sets of towels in each cabin. He happily complied and left the requisite fun towel animals each day. (I celebrated a birthday during the cruise and also received a nice towel cake.  ) TV channels were very limited to the cruise channels, CNN, ESPN, TMC, etc. There seemed to be lots of country music on this ship. Dinners/Food – When we went to dinner we were surprised to find we were seated at a table for four. There were LOTS of smaller tables on this ship which was a different experience for us. We had early seating 6 pm in the main dining room. Our waitstaff team was awesome. Attentive, friendly, and fun. Hats off to Juan, Milagres, and Supriono. So honestly, the food at dinner was better than I expected it to be, but not great. I was prepared for the worst. The guys ordered the steaks a couple of times and found them to be overcooked even when ordered medium rare. I don’t really remember any standout meals in the main dining room, but dinners were fun and the food was certainly edible. Rolls were always great! The guys ate pizza EVERY night and often during the day. The pizza station at the back of the Lido buffet area was a favorite. It was really good. We ate at guy’s burgers a couple of times and also found that to be good – certainly on par with like a meal at Red Robin. The “late night snacks” were the biggest disappointment IMH. Every night it was hot dogs, grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, and like chicken strip sandwiches, apples, pears, and oranges if I remember. And of course the ice cream machine. You’d think they could come up with something a little different every night. We did the two sea day brunches in the main dining room and those were pretty good. We did breakfast in the main dining room several days, too. Entertainment – we went to the 80’s show and the rock show the last night. They were both OK. We tried to go to the comedy shows a couple of times but unless you went early you couldn’t get a seat. The lounge where those take place is pretty small. One of our favorite evenings was the last night spent at the Atriun bar where Cruise Director Erin and the team did an 80’s singalong/trivia thing complete with glow sticks, confetti, etc. It was a ton of fun. She was a good CD and created a fun and friendly atmosphere. We spent a lot of hours on one of the aft decks on the lido deck at night just talking and checking out the stars. The casino paid us no favors. And I didn’t find the machines to be very fun. There was an author and Cuban expert on board who gave several presentations. They were good – but we found them to be a little “inflated.” For example, we never had to use the “pee pee coin” she advised us to carry at all times. The lack of toilet paper was real though! Pools – Not sure why but there were always TONS of chairs available. The one main tiny little pool was usually crowded and we never went in it. The serenity deck was full on sea days and the hot tubs there would fill up. Our favorite place was the deck with the slides. The grown men (and I) thoroughly enjoyed the slides, there were plenty of deck chairs, and when you got too warm you could just hop under the waterfalls/showers. Drink servers passed by regularly. Kids running around the slides, but not bad. This was a great area. Speaking of kids, one of the annoyances of the cruise for us was the number of farel teenagers running about. There seemed to be zero attempt on the part of security to do anything about it. I think they connected through the kids club (which is good) but then basically ran around the ship like a pack. At one point we even saw some of them sitting on the railing of deck 11 which hung out over deck 9. Of course we’re all invincible at that age. Excursions: In Cozumel we only had from 10 am to 4 pm. We took a taxi into the main downtown area. One of the guys had a massage at El Sol Day Spa and was very pleased with that. The rest of us just walked about a bit. We then celebrated my birthday at Senor Frogs which was fun, and moved from there to the Thirsty Cougar. That was a really fun bar with great food and drinks. In Grand Cayman we signed up for a “Rum, Beer, and Beach Tour” via an ad on Trip Advisor. We had some confusion because the tour began at 1, but we were to stay on ship’s time, which made it 2. And all aboard was 5 pm. It got even worse when the guide and driver were late picking us up for the tour. There was our party of four and another large party of about 10 on the bus. First stop was the rum distillery where we had a tour and got to “sample” quite a few flavors/types of rum. There goal was obviously to get everyone tipsy and they were successful. There was music, dancing, it was fun. From there, I though things were going to deteriorate quickly. The advertised second stop was a brewery. The guys I was with are beer drinkers and were looking forward to that. We were told that we weren’t going to be making that stop, but instead would be going to the Tortuga rum cake place, followed by a local restaurant to taste local cuisine. Huh? This wasn’t what we signed up for? The other larger group was unhappy because they were anxious to get to the beach portion of the day. We really didn’t care about the beach portion, we wanted the brewery. So a compromise was struck and after a BRIEF stop at the rum cake factory, the other group was dropped off at a beach, and our group of four went with the driver and the guide to a local restaurant – off the main grid and obviously frequented by locals. I believe it was called Champions? Anyway – they provided beer, local food including conch, other seafoods, beef, flan, etc. We really enjoyed the time spent with the guide and driver and it turned out to be a fun and different way to spend the rest of the afternoon. We’re quite convinced that those who chose the beach chose badly. Despite all of the chatter on the boards about the necessity of using ship’s tours, we booked two days of tours in Havana through a company called Havana Journeys. We couldn’t have been happier and it went VERY smoothly. Prior to our arrival they had us sign a letter indicating we would be participating in Support for the Cuban People and provided us with thorough documentation of our activities. Debarkation on the first day took a while. Ship’s Tour groups started being called off at 7. Our sticker number was called off at about 9:15 – that went smoothly but the line for currency exchange was insane. We were late for our designated time to meet our guide at 10 am by about 15 minutes. If possible, if you are booking a tour with a private company, ask them if they can take you somewhere to exchange money right away instead of waiting in the line at the port. We met up with a delightful young woman by the name of Yeni in the plaza across from the port. We spent the first three hours touring the historic area on foot. We stopped for a couple of beverages, went to the top of a building to see the DaVinci planetarium thing (I know that’s not what’s called but I can’t remember!) We were then picked up by Eduardo in his beautiful 1957 Mercury hard top with AC, complete with a Fiat engine. The guys were fascinated by the car and his work on the engine. He actually owned the car and with the help of Yeni was able to talk about that with the guys. Yeni took us to a palador called Restaurant La Casa for lunch. It was a little pricier than I expected but very delicious, comfortable, and fun. Yeni was convinced to join us for lunch and we enjoyed continued conversation. We had shrimp, lobster, roast pork, etc. with flan for dessert. The mojitos were delicious. I think the tab for the 5 of us came to about $120 including beverages. We toured around the outskirts of the city including El Malecon, and Fusterlandia after lunch. We ended the day with some time in the market with Yeni as our guide then returned to the ship for showers and dinner. (There was open seating on the first Havana night and you could have dinner whenever you wished even in the main dining room.) After dinner we headed back out for our own bar craw. It was getting kind of dusk and the streets looked very different at nightfall – but we didn’t feel unsafe and there was a lot of activity in the area. There were some areas that became very dark as night fell. We started at Floridita for daiquiris, it was pretty crowded and crazy. From there we went to El Patchanka which was great fun. The band was awesome and the drinks cheap. We had planned to stop at the Art Pub for our last stop but it looks too hipster and like a place back home – so we skipped that. We stopped somewhere else closer to the ship – but I don’t remember the name. It was really a fun evening. Our second day in Cuba Yeni and Eduardo picked us up at 7:30 am and we made our way to the countryside and Vinales. We had a spectacular day. We visited the caves, which were kind of cheesy but fun, the downtown area, the hotel with the scenic view of the “haystack” mountains, a tobacco farm and cigar rolling demo, the painted mural, etc. The best part of our day was lunch at Restaurante El Cuajani. Wow wow wow. What a beautiful location, amazingly friendly people, delicious food, and great prices. Both Yeni and Eduardo joined us for our every enjoyable lunch. Our meal choices ranged from pumpkin risotto to filet mignon. We enjoyed mojitos, beer, appetizers, mains, and desserts, and the bill for the 6 of us was about $120. This was a very special meal that I hightly recommend. We wondered if riding in a relatively uncomfortable car for 6 hours (3 out and 3 back) would really be worth it – but I would say if you are lucky to have 2 full days in Cuba, get out to the countryside. This was spectacular. Back in Havana we said our farewells to Yeni and Eduardo, and spent a little more time shopping and enjoying beverages before reboarding the ship. Sailaway at 11 pm was kind of emotional. Most passengers lined the decks, waving cell phone beacons back to the shoreline, where Cubans were lined up saying goodbye. What a special opportunity to visit this beautiful country and its people. Oh one more thing about Cuba – take lots of coins/bills to use for tips. Everywhere you go the bands, guides, waitstaff, etc. are hoping for tips. We had gotten larger bills when we did money exchange and were left scrambling to come up with tip money on several occasions. Our last day was a fun day at sea. The ship had very little movement the entire cruise with water as smooth as glass. We were very fortunate in that regard. We danced with our waiters during our last dinner and enjoyed the evening with new friends and crew members. We opted for self carrying our bags off the ship. Debarkation was pretty bad. Cabins had to be vacated by 8:30 am and we were still waiting for our deck to be called after 10 am. Breakfast and the lido deck got very crowded. Getting through the crowded hallways to exit with bags in tow was rough – and then the line for customs was long – but really there were no questions asked and actually getting through immigration was easy at the end of the long lines. No more forms to fill out. Hooray! My opinion on Carnival was changed on this trip. The crew was amazing. Activities fun. Food was OK. The price was good…. And the itinerary was incredible. Instead of seeing Carnival as the line of last resort if they have an itinerary I want, I’ll be much more likely to check out what they have to offer first. Adding up all of the pieces, I’d give this cruise experience four out of five stars – and one I’ll remember fondly. Havana ooh na na. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My family and I cruised on the Carnival Paradise as the final stop on our summer vacation. We embarked from Tampa on Monday August 13th, enjoying the Lido Deck dance bon voyage party with drink specials. Our interior room with upper bunks ... Read More
My family and I cruised on the Carnival Paradise as the final stop on our summer vacation. We embarked from Tampa on Monday August 13th, enjoying the Lido Deck dance bon voyage party with drink specials. Our interior room with upper bunks was small and ordinary. Our cabin steward, Rudy, always worked hard to please us. Navigating and getting familiar with the extra-large ship was difficult for newbies like us. The Carnival Hub app was useful for the ship map and keeping up with daily activities. It was disappointing that texting between the four of us required a $5 additional fee to give each of our phones access to the app. Sometimes it took a few hours for text to get through. Our luggage arrived, with a broken handle on one bag. Guest relations came through for us, giving us a voucher for a complimentary replacement bag. We were pleasantly surprised by the many food choices at the different restaurants. Guy’s burgers and Blue Iguana Cantina served delicious meals. It was great to be able to go to Pizza Pirate late into the evening. For entertainment, we enjoyed a Rock musical, animal puppet theater (cute), the 90’s trivia musical competition and Bingo. The comedy show with Seth Buchwald was so good that we went to a second show later. Carnival Paradise Waterworks water park was a big hit all day with kids and some adults. The pool and hot tub on the lido deck was entertainment central, where most guests swim and lounge in the sun. We had late dining, and our server Roberto and others were helpful with meal and beverage selections. Through the dining area and at different locations through the ship, photographers were always ready to take photos of us. We had to eventually choose which photos we could afford. Through the relatively short 5 day cruise to Cozumel and Cayman, our family left with a lot of fantastic memories. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Before going on this cruise I read some poor reviews of the ship. I shouldn't have believed a word.... Yes, the Paradise is a smaller ship but therefore less people, simple and wonderful. Download the Carnival Hub App, and ... Read More
Before going on this cruise I read some poor reviews of the ship. I shouldn't have believed a word.... Yes, the Paradise is a smaller ship but therefore less people, simple and wonderful. Download the Carnival Hub App, and purchase the 5$ (flat rate, one time fee) to keep in touch with other passengers and know what's happening on board. Every little thing from dining, events, map, etc, is listed here on the app. It doesn't look like much until you get on board and connect to ship's WiFI. You DO NOT need to purchase the WiFi plan to use this app or messenger feature. We had early dining arrangements meaning less waiting and more time for after dinner events and shows. The food was, fantastic! I chose at least 3-4 appetizers per night to take advantage of the culinary diversity. Breakfast options are buffet style or the taco bar (excellent). Or, if you'd rather, the Elation Dining room with waitstaff. No complaints with either. Of course, if you wait for busy dining times you will wait longer for buffet. I read some upsetting review about the lack of late night food. Well, I found I had plenty of options. The Lido deck offers late night snacks and after 2300 a pizza station. How much can you eat in a day, anyway? We did not use the drink package, if I booked again I WOULD purchase this... expenses do add up, however I did not think the prices per drink were too high - about what I would expect to pay in a restaurant or bar. The catch is that BOTH people in the room must purchase. Entertainment was what I expected. Shows, singing, dancing, comedy, live music, piano bar, shopping, bingo, casino, sports, slide, game room. Literally something for everyone at all hours of the day. The pool was usually crowded because it's small. Maybe, if you want to be on a cruise ship just to sit and drink at the pool, don't cruise this ship? Service, likewise was expected. I felt pampered, welcome and taken care of at all times. Cabin was fine. We were on deck 6, forward. I was with another person each with a twin bed, on opposite side of room so we had plenty of space. If you were in a room with another person ("queen" sized bed) it would have been more cramped, but we didn't spend much time in the room. Our destinations were Key West and Havana, Cuba. We did the Hop On Hop Off bus, let us explore at our own pace. I think the snorkeling would have been fun, too. Cuba was about what I expected. This isn't the glamorous version of the country in the 50's. Remember that tourism is new to Cuba from USA. The events and guides are government sponsored. The streets you will go on are what the government wants you to see. We went on Fort Tour; I was satisfied with the excursion. We came back about 1700, had dinner on the boat and went back out. Yes, getting off the boat was a process. Yes, you wait to get through customs. Yes, you wait in lines to board the buses. I heard a lot of complaints about the wait and crowds.... what did you expect??? A boat of 3000 people debarking into a small port will take time! I strongly encourage guests to do some research on the country & city beforehand. Review your history and understand the United State's history Cuba. I enjoyed the tour but would not say I felt "welcomed" in Cuba. The citizens I saw seemed busy and struggling to keep up with the crowds of people cramming into their shops and small streets. Remember, you are not going to become culturally immersed in a day. You are there as a tourist, and as such, they expect you to spend money! All in all, this was a fantastic cruise. I enjoyed every moment. The cruise director worked tirelessly bringing personality and a lot of FUN into each event and activity!! I would absolutely go again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We decided to cruise on Carnival Paradise due to it being the best itinerary for our travel date. The ship just came out of dry dock & refurbishment in March 2018. They added Waterworks, Guys Burgers, shopping options like Pandora ... Read More
We decided to cruise on Carnival Paradise due to it being the best itinerary for our travel date. The ship just came out of dry dock & refurbishment in March 2018. They added Waterworks, Guys Burgers, shopping options like Pandora & renovated all rooms. We were not first time cruisers but this was our first time on Carnival. As previous Disney cruisers it’s hard for any other cruise like to compare but I can say we were pleasantly surprised. We traveled with our 2 sons ages 13 & 19. We booked a balcony room. The room was clean & balcony was new. The entertainment was good. The comedians did PG shows in addition to adult shows which worked out well for my family & the nighttime musical performances we good also but it’s not Disney & trying to compare the too is like comparing apples & oranges. Simply you can’t compare the 2. Food on carnival is good & I recommend your time dining. It worked great for us. If you have children, plan on staying at the water slides as the pool area is the center of the party for the adults. If you do like smoke, stay out of the casino area. Circle C was great for our 13 year old. There wasn’t as much for the 19 year old just because he’s too old to hang in the teen club & too young to enjoy the night club but he still had a great time. We loved the excursions we booked. We highly recommend beginner scuba in Grand Cayman & the dolphin swim & Xplor Park in Cozumel. If you do Xplor know that it takes the whole time your there so no time to shop or check out Cozumel but if you like zip lining this is the place to go. Also the cruise director Leon was great. All in all one of our best family vacations & my husband & I look forward to cruising without the kids on Carnival in the future. Also book faster to the fun. It’s worth it for debarkation! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was a family vacation. The views were breath taking. It was the first vacation I ever had that I didn't have to clean or cook. So many types of food to choose from and all was delicious. The only negative thing I can think to ... Read More
This was a family vacation. The views were breath taking. It was the first vacation I ever had that I didn't have to clean or cook. So many types of food to choose from and all was delicious. The only negative thing I can think to say is that there is only 1 swimming pool and it is way to small for the thousands of people on board. All else was good! Rolando is the best server you have on staff! Excursions were well planned. Perfect royal blue water near cozemel and grand cayman islands. Our daughter celebrated her birthday on board and the cakes that I ordered from the fun shop were the best I had ever tasted. We were very blessed to have good weather for most of the cruise. Just sit back and take it all in or sleep the day away. Cruise director does a fabulous job planning all events. Thank you! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was our first ever Carnival cruise, and we got really lucky, because the Carnival Paradise had just come out of dry dock/major refurbishment/upgrade shortly before our cruise on April 23. (Dry dock was Feb/Mar, I believe). Since we ... Read More
This was our first ever Carnival cruise, and we got really lucky, because the Carnival Paradise had just come out of dry dock/major refurbishment/upgrade shortly before our cruise on April 23. (Dry dock was Feb/Mar, I believe). Since we had never sailed on this ship before, I can't say how it used to be, but we were very pleasantly surprised with our entire cruise and the accommodations! Our cabin (U49) appeared to be completely new (except for the oceanview window, which, as another reviewer pointed out, is really pretty old/dirty, with lots of caulk marks) - new carpet, new built in closet structure, new bedding and linens, new artwork, new (large!) TV, even appeared to be entirely new bathroom fixtures, lighting, etc. To note, the mirror above the desk has lighting entirely around it (very flattering!) and there are several USB charging ports - at least 4, I believe. The built in closets (2) are big enough to each hold a large suitcase (so no need to store under the bed). I wish there were more drawers - really only 2 usable drawers down near the floor, right by the door. But, there are shelves, instead, and lots of hanging space in both closets. When we arrived, our cabin steward had 3 blue pool towels in our room for us. When we used them (especially off the ship) we simply took the wet ones up to deck 10/Lido deck and exchanged for fresh towels prior to going back to the cabin, so we always had clean blue pool towels in the cabin. Throughout the ship, we thought it appeared that all of the public spaces were in great condition (not sure which were new vs. just well taken care of). It appeared to us that much of the carpet throughout the ship was new, for example. The main pool and at least one of the whirlpool tubs at the main pool were new. To us, it didn't appear that the whirlpools in the Serenity/adults only area (no pool here, just 2 whirlpools) were not new, but also didn't appear to need replacement. We enjoyed both the Guy Fieri's burger joint and Blue Iguana Cantina on the Lido Deck by the pool for lunch more than once - the burritos at Blue Iguana were especially good. All of these foods are made to order. We may have just hit them right, but we never had to wait in line long when we were there. We also found (on about day 3) the omelette station in the Lido/Paris buffet. This was awesome, and the man who made the omelettes - Percival - was awesome - always with a smile on his face, and a great attitude for "his guests"! Again when we ate either breakfast or lunch in the buffet, we never had a problem finding a table and never had to wait long in any of the buffet lines. NOTE: the Serenity/adult only deck (no pool here, just whirlpools and really nice CUSHIONED lounge chairs) is a bit tricky to find at the back/aft of the ship. You can get to it either by walking through the Queen Mary Lounge or by going through the Lido/Paris buffet and exiting out the back door on the left (next to the bar inside the buffet!!) and walking down one flight of stairs. The Serenity area does have bar service, and also provides yellow towels for your use - you just have to sign them out and sign them back in when you return them. For the first time on a cruise, we selected the 6 pm assigned dining room (normally we do "my time dining". Although we were traveling as a couple, we were assigned a table with 2 other couples, which worked out fine for us. We did notice that, especially after the first night, the main dining room was definitely NOT full at the 6 pm seating. Also, 3 out of the 5 nights, the waiters did some dancing and singing around the dining room around dessert time! Very fun and entertaining. We were very impressed with our server, I Ketut, who asked our first names on night 1, and addressed us by our names every night thereafter. He also got to know what everyone drank with dinner, who liked pepper seasoning, etc., etc. We liked him very much, and that personal touch added by addressing us by our first names. We thought the entertainment onboard was really excellent. The shows in the main theater 4 out of the 5 nights featured a cast of only 7 singers/dancers, but they put on 2 really high energy, very creative shows each of the 4 nights, and each show featured many costume changes. The shows included an Epic Rock show on the last night; an outstanding 80's themed show one night; and a tribute to Cuba/Latin music called Amor Cubano one night. Again, these performers worked really hard, and we thought they were very talented! I wish we would have seen both performances of the 80's show - it was that good! Another of our favorites as far as entertainment was the Kraken band perfoming hits from the Decades - almost every night (except night 4). They were outstanding; and played lots of music to dance to. The only drawback is that their stage was located not far from the casino, which meant it was a bit smoky. We also enjoyed the piano bar/sing a long in the evening, although considering this lounge is right off of the atrium (deck 8, I think), the music from the atrium on some of the nights really interfered with his music on some of the nights. There were also two separate solo guitar performers - sometimes in the atrium, sometimes up on the pool deck. Both were good. There was a Latin band that was in one of the clubs almost every night, and there was also Karaoke several times while we were on board. And, there were 2 DJ's on board, I think - sometimes at the pool, sometimes in one of the clubs. I would say that the entertainment on night 4 of the cruise was a bit sparse, and there was an afternoon or two (probably the 2 days in a row that we were in ports) where there wasn't any musical entertainment scheduled. Since we didn't spend full days onshore, that meant things on board were a little bit quiet until after dinner/until the evening theater show. But, overall, we were pleasantly surprised by the entertainment. I know there were also 2 comedians who did several shows - we didn't see them, but people we ate with said they were both good. We arrived a little earlier than our 1:30-2:00 scheduled embarking time - maybe around 1pm, and had only a short wait to get through security and get checked in, then walked right on the ship and into our cabin (cabins are ready by 1:30). When we arrived back in Tampa on Saturday morning, we had chosen to check our bags, so we didn't "walk off" the ship - but it appeared that many passengers did. Honestly, for this size ship, which is relatively small, it seemed like the people who had chosen walk off had quite a challenge, because when we walked downstairs to wait to be called, the elevators were crammed full of guests with their luggage. Once we were called into the terminal (you pick up your own luggage tags the day before - so get there early in the day, so you can choose your departure time) - and we got the first set of tags (#5 were the first tags available) we easily found our bags - again, there were apparently not many that were checked the night before. We had to wait maybe 20 minutes +/- to get through customs, and then we were off to pick up our car. I would say we were at our car by 9:15 am or so... Again, we were genuinely pleasantly surprised with our first Carnival cruise, and would definitely consider booking another one! Go and enjoy Paradise with Carnival! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We couldn't of asked for a more perfect vacation. Being first time cruisers we had no idea what to expect. We sailed out of Tampa, the check-in process in Tampa was very smooth. Traveling with 3 teenagers we made a point when ... Read More
We couldn't of asked for a more perfect vacation. Being first time cruisers we had no idea what to expect. We sailed out of Tampa, the check-in process in Tampa was very smooth. Traveling with 3 teenagers we made a point when we got on the ship, we took time to explore and to get to know the ship. We wanted to make sure all the kids got familiar how to find where you were. We also paid the $5 each to be able to send messages through the Carnival HUB. It was well worth the $5 to use that feature. We used the Carnival HUB app all the time to look at the "What's Going On" feature also. Some of the things we loved about the ship; the two new restaurant's Guy's Burger and the Cantina. The food was awesome and there usually wasn't a long line because they were very fast at servicing the guests. The Cruise Director Jaime was very upbeat and kept everything entertaining. We loved the nightly shows, especially the 80's rock show. The kids loved the mini-golf, Karaoke and all the activities they had on the pool deck. Things we didn't like, which wasn't a lot. We weren't fond of the comedian on-board. We actually left shortly after he started. We didn't think he was very funny. The pool gets crowded but we made sure we got up in time to get a good spot to sun bathe. Also, the elevator's took forever. We chose the stairs a lot, so we definitely got our steps in. Like I said previously, we sailed with 3 teenagers. We booked an inside state room. I was nervous about booking just one room but other's told me that you are never in your room. Well I'm glad I took that advise. The room wasn't that big but we had plenty of room. There was one queen size bed with a bunk above and then a smaller bed at the end of the queen with another bunk. We made it work and were happy with our decision. We sailed to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. We loved Grand Cayman. We did the snorkeling with sting rays excursion. It was a blast. We booked with a private company and they were great. They also took us snorkeling and to dive for starfish. We were not a fan of Cozumel. We booked an all-inclusive day at a resort. It cost $25 by taxi to get to the resort and when we got there the resort really wasn't what it was hyped up to be. Everything cost extra. When we went to leave we were going to share a taxi with another group. They charged us double because we had more people. We did some shopping or should I say tried. We were getting pulled in every directions by the locals. I didn't like that especially when I had three teenagers that got nervous when people were trying to get us in their shops. Final note, even though the Paradise is an older ship for first time cruisers we couldn't tell. We had a great time and it was well worth the money. We would cruise again on the Paradise and/or another Carnival ship. Food was good, staff was great and our experience was unforgettable. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Myself and a group of friends cruised together the overall experience was pretty awesome! Entertainment was on point the entire staff is friendly!! The embarkation was the only problem, checking into the ship was bit of a pain, I feel it ... Read More
Myself and a group of friends cruised together the overall experience was pretty awesome! Entertainment was on point the entire staff is friendly!! The embarkation was the only problem, checking into the ship was bit of a pain, I feel it could have ran more smoothly had they been more organized. The stateroom had a strange smell to the bathroom, the food was pretty good,guys burger joint is amazing the bartenders are simply amazing specifically "Delveroy" from Jamaica and "Gede" from Indonesia was awesome they were very attentive and are hilarious. They made our trips to the bar amazing everytime. as well the nightlife. It is amazing the cruise director Leon is a breath of fresh air! He gets the crowd going and he's very friendly.The mega deck party at night was awesome there was line dancing, giveaways. Karaoke was a good time.Overall we had an awesome time. We would definitely cruise with Paradise again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We like sailing from Tampa because it is close to us. We have been on the Paradise before and we loved the upgrades. The Guy Fieri hamburgers were delicious! We also loved the BlueIguana Cantina. It has a great selection on tacos, ... Read More
We like sailing from Tampa because it is close to us. We have been on the Paradise before and we loved the upgrades. The Guy Fieri hamburgers were delicious! We also loved the BlueIguana Cantina. It has a great selection on tacos, burritos, taco salads and a big toppings and salsa bar. What impressed me the most about the cruise was the live 70s/80s rock show! It started with someone playing the electric guitar, but then they had incredible singers, dancers and visual effects that were just awesome! It is a must see! They also had an 80s show was very upbeat and better than past shows. Comedian was great too! It's nice that they offer several different shows with a different routine each time. Cabins were redone and really liked the beach murals in the hall. Normally we eat breakfast and lunch at the buffet. But this time, we did the sea day brunch in the dining room and it was awesome! They offer the brunch on days when you not in port. We also did a regular breakfast in the dining room when we docked at Cozumel and it was also great! We had early dining and the service was excellent! The main entrees were good, but I agree that they could still be better. They have a salmon and a flank steak that you could order any night and they had prime rib on the formal night. The tiramisu and chocolate melting cake are excellent! We had a large group and really liked the Carnival HUB app. It's a way to chat to other guests. Ours worked well, but I heard from others that they had problems using it. The pool does get crowded. It would be nice to have one on the serenity deck, but they have 2 hot hubs instead. Boarding was really fast and easy. Getting off the ship took much longer. We normally take our luggage off but this time we chose the relaxed way to leave the ship and had them take the luggage. We didn't mind spending the extra time on the lido deck, but once we got off the ship, there was a long time to go through customs. After we stood in line for a half hour, we realized that you can pay a porter to take your luggage through the custom line that's much shorter than the line without the porter. I know larger ships have more things to do and maybe better food, but I still enjoy sailing on these smaller ships. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Carnival Paradise Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.9
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.5 3.7
Public Rooms 3.5 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.3
Service 4.5 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.2

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