I just got back from a 5 day trip to Grand Cayman and Cozumel on the Paradise.
It is an older ship and as such, the rates are cheaper. Overall, the crew was awesome. Never had to tell a crew member my name twice and they used it every time. Are the rooms dated? Yes, but the cabin stewards did their best to keep everything clean and fresh.
Food: It was your typical cruise fare. There were several items in the dinning room that were very good and a few that were decent. Overall, it was better than my cooking and the variety is good. The buffets were decent and we tried most of the offerings.
M-142 was a small room but fit our needs quite well. Having the window to look out in the morning was nice and helped to ease the motion that my GF felt at times. While it was older, it still had plenty of space and storage. The hot water and shower were crazy! More pressure and volume than at home and I swear you could cook an egg in the hot water out of the tap. Our cabin stewards Francisco and Michael were incredible and always had a smile. My daughter used the upper bunk and it was perfect for the 13 yr old.
Tendering in Grand Cayman was tedious as everyone was trying to get off at the same time. We chose to do an excursion through a private company rather than through Carnival. We did a Waverunner excursion to Sting Ray City. It was incredible and cheaper than through the excursion desk. We also lucked out and had a private tour with just the 3 of us and our guide. We played with the sting rays, snorkeled over the reef and were shown some fabulous fish by our guide and he then took us over to Starfish point since it was just the 3 of us. The tour was supposed to be 2.5 hrs but we ended up at about 3.25. Once back we had the use of the pool at the Holiday Inn and got our ride back to the dock.
Cozumel was interesting. If you can get away from the pier, do so. So much more than the shops right there. We hired a taxi driver for 3 hrs to show us some of the sights and had a great time doing this. Mexican shopping is just that, Mexican shopping. Everyone wants you to look and buy, don't be afraid to bargain for your prices and remember that the shop keepers take pride in their places which is why they all want you to come see. Paradise Beach was a lot of fun and relaxing and you don't have to do the wrist bands to enjoy the beach and chairs.