The Carnival Paradise was definitely a "fun ship". If lots of partying is not your thing, this would probably not be the ship for you. We went on a 4 night cruise to Cozumel and had a really fun time. The ship is quite nice, but the rooms could still use some updating. The staff was extremely friendly and the bartenders worked very hard to keep up with the crowds at the bar. The one overwhelming disappointment was the food. It just wasn't good. But we managed to find other options like hamburgers, pizza, etc. to keep from getting hungry. Since we had a suite, embarkation was very easy because we went through the priority line and was able to skip the long terminal check in line. Check in time was 1-3pm and we were on the boat and in our suite before 1:15. The Elation dining room was nice and the service was good. In retrospect, I wish we could have had the option of having a table for just the 4 of us. The tables sat 10 people and 3 of our original table mates had ZERO sense of humor and clearly not on the boat to have any fun. Needless to say they requested a new table. Made for a very uncomfortable and awkward dinner.
Our first day at sea was spent on the upper deck laying out and sipping pina coladas. We were able to enjoy a nice breeze, good bar service, fun music, and lots of entertainment including the "hairiest chest contest". Cozumel brought us perfect weather and we docked right on time. We met in the theater for our excursion (Isla Pasion Twister boat - highly recommend!) and disembarked very quickly. Our excursion brought us back with a couple of hours to spare and those were spent at Senor Frogs. Major party location that I wouldn't take kids to.
Our 2nd day at sea was much like the first. Pool, sun, drinks, music and more partying. The disembarkation process seemed a bit chaotic, but things quickly got moving and we were off the boat and back at the hotel to pick up our car by 9:45. Overall, this is a boat to party on. I would probably refrain from taking small kids unless they plan to spend a good chunk of their time in the kids club. I would have liked to have had another option for nightlife. The Rex nightclub is great for dancing, but mostly full of 20-somethings looking to hook up. The Casino bar seemed to be our favorite place to hang out, but the live music ended at midnight and we found ourselves staying up much later than that. My group opted for the "Cheers" program where we were able to have up to 15 alcoholic drinks per day (6 am to 6 am) and unlimited soda and smoothies. This was $45/day. Beers were $6 and mixed drinks around $8-9 so that saved us some money (don't judge us, we're on vacation). We left the boat feeling like we just left a 4 day party and still smiling about it a few days later. We had a blast, but probably not the best cruise for families or for those that are looking for a quiet, relaxing vacation.
Our room was the largest that we could get. We had 4 adult women and we never felt crowded. We had 2 twin beds and a sofa that folded out into a queen bed. I would have liked more storage for clothing and more outlets for our abundance of flat irons, hair dryers, phone chargers, etc. Of course the logistics of 4 women and one bathroom goes without saying. The room felt dated with mirrored walls and pink ceiling, but for us it just added to the swanky, party feel of our cruise.