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I travelled with my husband and two sons ages 6 and 8. We spent two days at Lego Land pre-cruise (fabulous by the way), spent the night in Lakeland then returned our rental car to the airport. We took Uber from the airport to port which was only $13 total for 4 of us, much cheaper than any shuttle and still lower than a taxi. Embarkation went very smoothly. We had an 11:30 check-in time and showed up pretty much right on time. We were on the ship eating lunch by 12:15. Rooms were open around 1pm and our cabin steward Edy was very pleasant. The hamburgers and fries were always great, never half cooked fries like we've had a time or two before. The buffet was really good at breakfast, and only okay at lunch but the deli was fabulous as was the grille so that is where we usually spent lunch. The dinner buffet was okay, often had many of the same items as the MDR, but not everything and of course no chocolate melting cake in the buffet. The MDR was good, not great. Nelson provided good service and was always really good with the kids. Speaking of kids, the boys enjoyed camp carnival. The staff seemed really good although there was minimal organized activities in camp compared to our other cruises. The only crafts or anything they brought home were their treasure chests from pirate night and their t-shirts they coloured. They enjoyed the Dr. Seuss parade and story time, it was fun to watch as well. One of the boys was part of the show. Cruise Director Mike did a fabulous job with it. On to entertainment staff. Mike was a lot of fun when he was out and about, however, he was not out and about nearly as much as any other cruise director we have encountered. Same goes for all the entertainment staff. There were hardly any activities going on around the ship until the last day. The last day there was a few trivia, bean bag toss, trivial pursuit, pool games, paper airplane contest, etc. but on any other day you would find a few trivia and that was it! the first sea day they did have a mixology contest and hairy chest but that was it. The evening shows were very well done, my kids enjoyed them as well. The Cowboy comedian was great, this was our second time seeing him on a ship (three years ago did as well). As for the Geechy Guy, the first time we saw him we really enjoyed him, but he only had two family friendly shows and both were identical! The Cowboy also had two family shows but as most comedians can he was able to come up with two different shows. Not the Geechy Guy, he tells you right off the bat it is a repeat, and after listening to a couple jokes you realise he isn't joking and about the audience walks out as they realize he isn't capable of coming up with two 20 minute shows. One thing to note or is easily missed is Tea Time. It is just plain tea (other flavours available for $1.95) but there are little salmon or cucumber sandwiches and plenty of little desserts and scones. It happens on sea days around 3pm. It was listed in the fun times with the food times. I believe the heading is 'Still Need More' or something like that. It is a free little snack. Overall it was a great holiday. There is no such thing as a bad cruise in my opinion, but of the 10 I've been on, 6 of which have been Carnival, 2 Royal and 2 Norwegian I would put this in the bottom 3 for sure. I have even been on this ship before, three years ago, before dry dock. The biggest change is the lack of entertainment staff offerings. We were supposed to stop in Grand Cayman which I was looking forward to, to bring the boys to the turtle farm but we got detoured to Costa Maya because of weather. Can't fight mother nature. We have been there before and didn't want another ruins tour and my youngest the ship won't let snorkel for another year so we did a bit of shopping (better prices for souvenirs than Cozumel) and swam at the bar pool. In Cozumel we did the 'Everyone Loves Rays' excursion through the ship. Note that although it is only a two minute taxi ride away, it is cheaper to do it through the ship than walking up and buying a ticket. My husband and I did the same excursion three years ago with our older two sons when they were 6 and 8 and it was just as great this time with my younger two. You get to feed the rays, learn all about them while they are swimming right in your feet while standing in waist high water and then snorkel in a deeper area with them and lots of fish and even a shark :) After you can jump on the water trampoline and have a hermit crab race or buy lunch or a drink before heading back to the ship on your own time. Returning is paid through the excursion, but you take individual an individual taxi so you can hang out as long or short as you like.

Average at best, but no such thing as a bad cruise

Carnival Paradise Cruise Review by sardam

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I travelled with my husband and two sons ages 6 and 8. We spent two days at Lego Land pre-cruise (fabulous by the way), spent the night in Lakeland then returned our rental car to the airport. We took Uber from the airport to port which was only $13 total for 4 of us, much cheaper than any shuttle and still lower than a taxi.

Embarkation went very smoothly. We had an 11:30 check-in time and showed up pretty much right on time. We were on the ship eating lunch by 12:15.

Rooms were open around 1pm and our cabin steward Edy was very pleasant.

The hamburgers and fries were always great, never half cooked fries like we've had a time or two before. The buffet was really good at breakfast, and only okay at lunch but the deli was fabulous as was the grille so that is where we usually spent lunch. The dinner buffet was okay, often had many of the same items as the MDR, but not everything and of course no chocolate melting cake in the buffet. The MDR was good, not great. Nelson provided good service and was always really good with the kids.

Speaking of kids, the boys enjoyed camp carnival. The staff seemed really good although there was minimal organized activities in camp compared to our other cruises. The only crafts or anything they brought home were their treasure chests from pirate night and their t-shirts they coloured. They enjoyed the Dr. Seuss parade and story time, it was fun to watch as well. One of the boys was part of the show. Cruise Director Mike did a fabulous job with it.

On to entertainment staff. Mike was a lot of fun when he was out and about, however, he was not out and about nearly as much as any other cruise director we have encountered. Same goes for all the entertainment staff. There were hardly any activities going on around the ship until the last day. The last day there was a few trivia, bean bag toss, trivial pursuit, pool games, paper airplane contest, etc. but on any other day you would find a few trivia and that was it! the first sea day they did have a mixology contest and hairy chest but that was it.

The evening shows were very well done, my kids enjoyed them as well.

The Cowboy comedian was great, this was our second time seeing him on a ship (three years ago did as well). As for the Geechy Guy, the first time we saw him we really enjoyed him, but he only had two family friendly shows and both were identical! The Cowboy also had two family shows but as most comedians can he was able to come up with two different shows. Not the Geechy Guy, he tells you right off the bat it is a repeat, and after listening to a couple jokes you realise he isn't joking and about the audience walks out as they realize he isn't capable of coming up with two 20 minute shows.

One thing to note or is easily missed is Tea Time. It is just plain tea (other flavours available for $1.95) but there are little salmon or cucumber sandwiches and plenty of little desserts and scones. It happens on sea days around 3pm. It was listed in the fun times with the food times. I believe the heading is 'Still Need More' or something like that. It is a free little snack.

Overall it was a great holiday. There is no such thing as a bad cruise in my opinion, but of the 10 I've been on, 6 of which have been Carnival, 2 Royal and 2 Norwegian I would put this in the bottom 3 for sure. I have even been on this ship before, three years ago, before dry dock. The biggest change is the lack of entertainment staff offerings.

We were supposed to stop in Grand Cayman which I was looking forward to, to bring the boys to the turtle farm but we got detoured to Costa Maya because of weather. Can't fight mother nature. We have been there before and didn't want another ruins tour and my youngest the ship won't let snorkel for another year so we did a bit of shopping (better prices for souvenirs than Cozumel) and swam at the bar pool.

In Cozumel we did the 'Everyone Loves Rays' excursion through the ship. Note that although it is only a two minute taxi ride away, it is cheaper to do it through the ship than walking up and buying a ticket. My husband and I did the same excursion three years ago with our older two sons when they were 6 and 8 and it was just as great this time with my younger two. You get to feed the rays, learn all about them while they are swimming right in your feet while standing in waist high water and then snorkel in a deeper area with them and lots of fish and even a shark :) After you can jump on the water trampoline and have a hermit crab race or buy lunch or a drink before heading back to the ship on your own time. Returning is paid through the excursion, but you take individual an individual taxi so you can hang out as long or short as you like.
sardam’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 7 to 9
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Ocean View
Cabin 6C M199
Our ocean view cabin was pretty standard. My children prefer to each have a bunk bed, but this cabin only had one bunk and a roll-away bed/cot was the fourth sleeping area. It was really quiet, although I've never had a loud cabin. Proximity to the stairs was good as well as the MDR, Comedy Theatre and ice cream machine.
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