I've been on five cruises, the past 3 on Carnival (2006, 2012, & 2015). All three have been on the 'Fantasy class' ships.
For my family and I - it's a great way to spend a vacation. The kids are older now - 19 & 21 and we had all grown tired of the trip to the Florida panhandle - expensive beach condos and the fight for seating at expensive restaurants every night.
First - ignore the posts about 'bad food' as they are either planted by the competition or have very picky tastes. The dining room serves top notch cuisine. If you don't like something - send it back and get something else. If you really liked that starter item - get another : )
The staff was extremely accommodating both in dining and all other areas. More than once they went out of their way to help us. I wanted to book a non-Carnival shore excursion through a resort on Grand Cayman. The lady at the guest services desk dialed the number and let me make the ship to shore call for free.
Wireless Internet is live throughout the ship. For as little as $5 per day per person ($18 for the entire cruise) we all had access to social media AND best of all - could iMessage each other via iPhones (not publicized - but this works)...just be sure to turn off your cell service. I upgraded to the $99 version so I could check email, remote desktop, etc. BUT, this is satellite based so it is painfully slow. Yet, amazing just the same. You can share a plan by simply logging out and into the account via your folio number and birthday. LOGOUT.COM and LOGIN.COM are used for this - easy!
The Paradise was clean - with only a couple of noticeable technical issues. Once our A/C was out for a couple of hours (we were away 99% of the time).
We went on the Behind the Fun Tour - which is a great way to spend two hours on the last day at sea. Book it as soon as you board though - only 16 people are allowed.
Shows were so-so, but I'm not a big show person. They are upgrading to Carnival 2.0 shows soon (all dancers are singers, etc.).
My only negative comment relates to the dinner experience. It's gone downhill since our previous cruises. The staff is far less talented or personable - but courteous and efficient just the same. And, at least 5 times during dinner, you're interrupted to buy shots in souvenir glasses or take pictures (EVERY NIGHT). Come'on Carnival - raise the price $20 and leave us alone.
Again - food was fantastic. No complaints at all.
If one only eats on the Lido deck - you may be less impressed.
I never felt crowded - one can always go find a quiet spot to watch the sea go by.
Debarkation was fairly quick - only took 20 minutes of waiting before we were off (self-assist / 7th deck - first to leave after Diamond).
Sam in Chattanooga, TN
Small - but not cramped.
Nice pool, nice beach. Very pricey.
$100 for lunch... US dollar is devalued here 1.00/1.25 KY Dollar
Bus was $10, cab was $20 (4 people total)
Very little time given on this port -View All undefined undefined Reviews
"La Playa" exclusive resort.
Very nicely landscaped with coconut palms - hammocks, beach chairs, open bar. Food was freshly prepared but not plentiful or with much variety.
At $129 per person, I was disappointed that the tour operator asked everyone to top (waving a $20 bill).View All 696 Beach Reviews