We flew to Tampa the morning of the cruise with no trouble. A taxi ride is $25.00 no negioation required,standard rate for everyone. Check-in took about 20 minutes. The staff at the port was very organized and things moved smoothly. We would NOT usually cruise on Spring Break and I am sure never again will we even discuss going on a Spring Break cruise. However, Carnival did a good job handling the number of young people. One problem on this cruise on the Lido deck was the tables were not cleaned reguarly, so if you found a table it was always dirty and you had to literally hunt down someone to clean it for you. On Carnival you must get your own silverware and drinks.
I found the food to be good, even better than most cruise ship food in all areas of the ship.
There was no adult pool. All pools were extremely full of kids all day long, so I did not even get to enjoy the pool. I really did miss this because the weather was so nice. Chairs were always full with people leaving stuff on them all day long, so forget it. Even the adult only hot tub was full of children often with their parents. There was two adult hot tubs on back in the serenity area, but no pool to cool off in plus you had to climb quite a few stairs to get to it. It was also always very full. I really missed using the pool and hot tubs on this cruise.
Cabin R229 Room had a great window, but a big box (You had to climb over) messed up the whole room. Shower was great!! However you could hear everything going on at the bottom of the ship, so noisy some nights you could not sleep.The Carnival Paradise does NOT have a promoada deck, which I greatly missed. Also two nights there was NOT a production show of any kind. Young adults were loud all over the ship in the bars and etc. and everywhere was crowded. The most crowded ship I have ever been on.
The production shows were really enjoyable. One comedian was enjoyable, the other one was just too nasty for me to even listen to. I mean really bad!!
Embarkment went smoothly.
We took the taxi for $4.00 to Royal Palms Resort. It is a great beach, for $2.00 admission. There is a tiki bar, chairs and umbrellas for rent, and clean restrooms. Great place for a beach day!! Beautiful water, easy access to the water. Just one of my favorite beaches. My husband likes the tiki bar and red stripe beer. We actually walked out and ate lunch at Coconut Joes. It was okay, not great. Then just walked back to the ship, really about a 15 minute walk.
My husband refuses to leave the port area because he feels it is NOT safe in Mexico. However, there are lots of shops, a band playing, chairs on the beach, and the best Mexican restaurant ever right at the port. Also, two great tiki hut bars and grills that are really fun. Panchos Backyard has great food and great drinks, well worth the money. The chairs on the beach are nice to sit in with the coconut trees providing a nice breeze; however, you can NOT enter the water here. The water is very clear and enjoyable to look at, but a reef(rocks) are right there.