We'll be back!: Carnival Paradise Cruise Review by craftynovice
Overall Member Rating
We'll be back!
Destination: Western Caribbean
The anytime dining staff was incredible, I could tell they worked together, and even if we had a different server every night I felt like they were genuinely interested in making sure we had a good time at dinner. The dining room dancing and singing was actually pretty funny, and I usually like to avoid that stuff. Obviously it was not Broadway material, but hey, these guys were hired as servers so cut them some slack! I wish I had noticed the fine print on the back of the card that said they automatically added gratuity to bar drinks. Even though we only had one or two apiece I felt it was kind of sneaky for them to give you a thing to sign with a blank tip line. Unknowingly I double tipped which kind of ticked me off. While we are on the topic of the bar, let me say that the number of people approaching you asking you if you want alcohol is excessive. It was not uncommon for three bar people to approach you trying to sell drinks before you even saw your server. Get ready to smile and say no thank you A LOT. The price of the cruise was so reasonable (compared to the other cruises we have taken with Royal Caribbean) I understood that most of the boats revenue probably comes from alcohol, so I was willing to overlook it and just go on with dinner. The food was delicious. We tried a few odd things like frog legs, but everything was presented beautifully and cooked perfectly.
The cruise director Steve was quirky and funny, he seemed like a cool guy. Loved his violin playing! The singing and dancing shows were fun to watch, Aretha and Nick need louder microphones. Overall the dancers were beautiful & graceful and you could tell they were passionate about what they were doing which is nice. The comedy shows were funny; the guy who was directing them was entertaining as well. It was a little deterring that we had to share circular couches with people we didnt know. We met some nice people one night, and sat on a double couch the other nights. In the Normandie lounge I would suggest a balcony seat. The couch backs on the first floor are much too low and make you sit at an awkward angle. We wasted some money at bingo. It was exciting, but we didnt win. Rats!
Our excursions in Grand Cayman (barrier reef snorkel) and Cozumel (Mayan ruins of Tulum) were both incredible with genuine and informed tour guides. Ill be writing separate reviews for those!
Room service was timely and tasty. I think we used it every day. We felt a little piggy at times because everything comes on its own plate, so if you both get a sandwich and salad and a fruit plate to share and drinks the poor server looks like theyre balancing a feast for 20 people lol
Debarkation went smoothly, we were among the first people off the boat and we simply waited for our checked baggage on the other side. This was kind of sneaky on our part, but when we saw how they had all the suitcases just arranged in huge lines (no conveyor belt) we were glad we snuck off first. I felt bad for other people who were going to get caught trying to run around in that big room with 1000 other people trying to find their luggage. This is of course, how the port of Tampa must work, and isnt carnivals fault.
Overall it was a great way to get away for a few days. I would love to go again. We had lovely service and met some very nice people. A BIG thank you to Carnival Team member Avinash who actually loaned us money out of his OWN WALLET when we left all of our cash on the boat in Cozumel and didnt have time to go back to retrieve it before our 7 hour excursion left. We paid him back, and will forever remember his kindness. Overall I was very pleased with the carnival experience, and look forward to sailing with them again. Less
Cabin review: OBV42 Junior Suite (obstructed views)
we did not mind the obstructed view at all! there is a video available on youtube that shows the carnival ecstasy's V42 room in detail, and the room is pretty much identical to the one on the paradise. before we booked i was hesitant to have an obstructed room, and this video was the most helpful/useful thing I found on the internet that helped me make my decision to book the obstructed room. we liked that the obstruction actually make it harder for random people on the deck beneath us from being able to look up and see us. the room had plenty of outlets, and the lighting worked really well for putting on makeup. the mattress was firm, but i like that so it didn't bother me at all. i liked being up higher on the boat, and we could see the stars laying in bed with the curtains open. i will suggest that you close the curtains when changing. a few times we saw maintenance people right outside the windows messing with the lifeboats. that was kind of funny! overall great room, fabulous service. youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnkoQJEA3RcRead All Junior Suite (obstructed views) (OB) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
HOT but there's no changing the climate! :) we had a lovely time and our guide was helpful, informative, and had a lot of pictures, hands-on examples, and even showed us personal things like his wife's birth certificate that gave a truly unique look into the mayan culture.
beautiful, professional and well informed. the guide took time to have a personal conversation with every guest on the boat. he took time to find a map and show us how to get to a specialty shop we asked about. the reef was a god 'first time' reef, and had lots of fish.