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Sailed with my daughter and her family again (grandsons are 2 and 5 and this was their second cruise...lucky ducks!). Shorter cruises, usually with pre and post cruise stays work better with little ones; we'd never sailed from Tampa; regional airport offered incredibly discounted flights; we got rental cars on both ends for less than the cost of one-way transfers; a suite for five (king, trundle & two love seats) provided plenty of room: all added up to "why not?" With platinum status, embarkation and disembarkation went well -- and didn't look like others were experiencing delays or problems either. So kudos to the terminal staff. Paradise is definitely an older ship. Even if the wear & tear weren't obvious, the deck plans were nothing like other CCL ships. Took some getting used to, but nothing problematic. The guest services staff was awful, terrible, unprofessional & just plain bad. Particularly Brenda who somehow earned the title of supervisor. Won't go in to details, but they made a huge mistake, blamed Park West and then, when Park West proved the mistake was made by the CCL staff, the guest services staff didn't even hint at an apology. Dining room servers were pleasant, but holy cow, the wait times and inconsistencies with service were ridiculous. The location of the casino and smoking bar that surrounded it made that whole deck hard to tolerate. Not even sure investing in a ventilation system would help the odor is so embedded. Three weeks before our cruise, the one shore excursion we booked (stingrays, turtles and Hell in Grand Cayman) showed "sold out." Still, the night before arrival (just one hour before the tour desk closed & we were due at dinner), we received a notice that it had been cancelled due to 'lack of participation.' As options, they recommended the stingrays only for $20pp less or stingrays & turtles only for $20pp more. How stupid do they think their passengers are? We opted to go independent and it worked out well. I like to listen to music (preferrably rock/classic rock) and couldn't have been more disappointed with the band billed as that (called Groovalicious). They played some oldies and pop, but didn't get any closer than that...after five tries, I gave up. The piano bar was fun, but the player Gustov (I think) could've been so much better if he'd just played, instead of also trying to be a comic.

Won't sail Paradise again.

Carnival Paradise Cruise Review by MidwesternCruiser2

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Sailed with my daughter and her family again (grandsons are 2 and 5 and this was their second cruise...lucky ducks!). Shorter cruises, usually with pre and post cruise stays work better with little ones; we'd never sailed from Tampa; regional airport offered incredibly discounted flights; we got rental cars on both ends for less than the cost of one-way transfers; a suite for five (king, trundle & two love seats) provided plenty of room: all added up to "why not?"

With platinum status, embarkation and disembarkation went well -- and didn't look like others were experiencing delays or problems either. So kudos to the terminal staff.

Paradise is definitely an older ship. Even if the wear & tear weren't obvious, the deck plans were nothing like other CCL ships. Took some getting used to, but nothing problematic.

The guest services staff was awful, terrible, unprofessional & just plain bad. Particularly Brenda who somehow earned the title of supervisor. Won't go in to details, but they made a huge mistake, blamed Park West and then, when Park West proved the mistake was made by the CCL staff, the guest services staff didn't even hint at an apology.

Dining room servers were pleasant, but holy cow, the wait times and inconsistencies with service were ridiculous.

The location of the casino and smoking bar that surrounded it made that whole deck hard to tolerate. Not even sure investing in a ventilation system would help the odor is so embedded.

Three weeks before our cruise, the one shore excursion we booked (stingrays, turtles and Hell in Grand Cayman) showed "sold out." Still, the night before arrival (just one hour before the tour desk closed & we were due at dinner), we received a notice that it had been cancelled due to 'lack of participation.' As options, they recommended the stingrays only for $20pp less or stingrays & turtles only for $20pp more. How stupid do they think their passengers are? We opted to go independent and it worked out well.

I like to listen to music (preferrably rock/classic rock) and couldn't have been more disappointed with the band billed as that (called Groovalicious). They played some oldies and pop, but didn't get any closer than that...after five tries, I gave up.

The piano bar was fun, but the player Gustov (I think) could've been so much better if he'd just played, instead of also trying to be a comic.
MidwesternCruiser2’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Grand Suite
Cabin GS U115
wouldn't have given my dog a bath using the tubs jets

ran water in the sink one day and it was dirty...literally looked like a mud puddle

fridge worked well
plenty of storage
balcony door barely worked
Upper Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins