We sailed out of Tampa on Thursday had a day at sea, Cozumel, and a day at sea. This, to us, is a perfect short getaway. Cozumel is, in our view, the best of the western Caribbean ports. They are well equipped, lots to do and very welcoming. The Paradise is an older ship, the last of the Fantasy class for Carnival, not too many balconies but well laid out. We had been on this ship a few years ago and were not impressed at all. It was not well maintained and not very clean. This time was much much better. The crew was constantly cleaning and the signs of wear and tear were not as apparent.
The bed was a little hard, and the room seemed a bit smaller than others of the Fantasy class, but that is because they made the bathroom larger, especially the shower....big improvement. We had an oceanview cabin on the Upper deck near the front of the ship. It was quiet for the most part. I believe the cruise critic review needs to be updated as they no longer provide the freebies in the bathroom. That was a nice touch with the extra razor and breathe right strips....too bad no longer. The cabin was always clean and neat.
The food was very good. We only ate in the dining room one night, the first night, but decided to really relax and not even change out of shorts for dinner. The rest of our meals were taken on the Lido deck restaurant. The dining room staff was pleasant enough. When you do the anytime dining, you dont get as attached to the staff as you do when you have a set dining time and place. The people working the Lido restaurant were great. All of the staff was friendly and quick to smile, except for some of the officers. Many of them usually strut around in their white uniforms looking like they smelled something bad. One guy we came face to face with, I said good morning and he just stared right through me as he passed by. Later on, we saw his picture near the art gallery as Leader of the Month! Really!? Wonder what criteria they use for that.
The cruise director, Steve Chappel, was outstanding. He was a older fella but full of energy and seemed like he really enjoyed his work. They did have some issues which prevented a couple of the shows from going on, but that was okay with us because we really just wanted to relax. There were two comedians on the ship and both were quite funny. Some of Carnival's entertainment is a little hokey, but we have come to accept that and take it in stride. After all, it is all included with the reasonable price of a ticket so you really cant compain that much.
I like to enter the blackjack and slot tournaments that they have on the ship. They are fun and I feel are much better than the blackjack tournament that Royal Caribbean has. The casino manager ( I think he was the casino manager) who was running these must have been new. He didnt make it as fun as i have seen on some Carnival cruises and he wasnt very good at dealing blackjack. Twice he made mistakes during the FINAL! Once, we had a push, meaning he and I had the same score, but he took my money. Another during the final count before the last hand, he started to take my money AGAIN, thankfully he had already counted so we knew how much I had. He needs a lot more training.
All in all a very relaxing good cruise.
Cozumel is probably the best port in the Western Caribbean. They are well equipped to host guests with a great deal of things to do. We just did some shopping in the port area. This was our 10th time to Cozumel (second this year). The excursions offered are great fun though. We just wanted to relax so didnt do anything there.