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My sister and I took our mother on her first cruise to Catalina and Ensenada on the Carnival Paradise. Both my sister and I have been on several cruises and I have to say we both thought this was the worst cruise either of us have ever been on. Let me say that the boat was nicer than most of the low end boats for the 3 or 4 night cruises. Our room was 185 sq feet with plenty of room for the three of us. We selected this cruise because of the price which was only 169 and we then got an upgrade as our mother was a senior to an outside window for $200 total each. If we were not looking for quality food or service, then the price was right! Most of the employees were not friendly and only on occasion did someone look at you and smile. Our cabin steward was both pleasant and accommodating to any questions or requests. We got the nice towel animals and chocolates on our beds each night with fold down service which was nice to come back to each night. The bathroom which I was told was 4 x 7, was very large and did not feel cramped at all. Plenty of closet space and our room E4 was right off the center atrium area 1 floor down from all the action and promenade deck. Easy access to elevator and stairs. The entertainment was good and was probably the best part of the trip. There were two shows with the Carnival dancers, one night with a comedian,and one with a magician and comedian. You really should arrive early enough to get a good seat because anything beyond rows 2 or 3 had only marginal viewing. The rows in the theater have only a slight rise which did not allow for viewing over the heads of those in front of you. The casino in this boat was HUGE! The slots had a pretty good payout on a few select machines and plenty of open game tables. Lots of penny and 2 cent machines. We hit a few jackpots which allowed us to play quite a bit more than I expected. Although this boat was full, it never felt very crowded except in the buffet on the Lido deck at the end of the boat. The buffet was only so so but it was always packed. There was a 24 hour pizza area which had fantastic pizza. That and the yogurt/ice cream bar were the only items open 24 hours. Room service was available 24 hours but only minimal offerings of sandwiches and desserts. The chocolate cake through room service was better than the desserts served in the main dining room. They had 1 formal night and served lobster tails and prime rib for the beef entree. Both were good. There were no ice sculptures, food carvings etc. and the food was served without any special attention to arrangements or garnishes. You could ask for all you wanted but we did not find a single dish we wanted seconds on. The desserts lacked any imagination. The melted chocolate cake was good but so rich you could not eat more than 1/2 of it. The choices for desserts were minimal. My mother wanted pie and finally on the last night they had apple pie and the crust was so hard and thin you could not eat it. The dinner prior to that was chicken parmesan and it was burned black on the bottom and crispy. I asked for the short ribs instead for my mom and they were so tough that I had to give her my steak because she was too embarrassed to ask for a third meal. Not the kind of meals that everyone told her she could expect on a cruise and it was disappointing for her. They had a nice water slide and several areas with hot tubs that seemed to get lots of use. Drinks were offered constantly and sometimes they even got a little pushy. Lots and lots of bars and lounges on this ship but most were empty. As far as cleanliness is concerned, the boat was clean and late at night and early mornings one could see crew members scrubbing various areas of the ship. One complaint was the buffet area. Tables were not cleared very quickly and the crew that was responsible for cleaning the outside tables were outright hilarious at their attempts to do bare minimum of cleaning. Overall, we had fun but I think next time I will try another cruise line. I mean really, isn't the best thing about cruises the food? Apparently Carnival doesn't think so!

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Carnival Paradise Cruise Review by icangocalifornia

Trip Details
My sister and I took our mother on her first cruise to Catalina and Ensenada on the Carnival Paradise. Both my sister and I have been on several cruises and I have to say we both thought this was the worst cruise either of us have ever been on. Let me say that the boat was nicer than most of the low end boats for the 3 or 4 night cruises. Our room was 185 sq feet with plenty of room for the three of us. We selected this cruise because of the price which was only 169 and we then got an upgrade as our mother was a senior to an outside window for $200 total each. If we were not looking for quality food or service, then the price was right! Most of the employees were not friendly and only on occasion did someone look at you and smile. Our cabin steward was both pleasant and accommodating to any questions or requests. We got the nice towel animals and chocolates on our beds each night with fold down service which was nice to come back to each night. The bathroom which I was told was 4 x 7, was very large and did not feel cramped at all. Plenty of closet space and our room E4 was right off the center atrium area 1 floor down from all the action and promenade deck. Easy access to elevator and stairs. The entertainment was good and was probably the best part of the trip. There were two shows with the Carnival dancers, one night with a comedian,and one with a magician and comedian. You really should arrive early enough to get a good seat because anything beyond rows 2 or 3 had only marginal viewing. The rows in the theater have only a slight rise which did not allow for viewing over the heads of those in front of you. The casino in this boat was HUGE! The slots had a pretty good payout on a few select machines and plenty of open game tables. Lots of penny and 2 cent machines. We hit a few jackpots which allowed us to play quite a bit more than I expected. Although this boat was full, it never felt very crowded except in the buffet on the Lido deck at the end of the boat. The buffet was only so so but it was always packed. There was a 24 hour pizza area which had fantastic pizza. That and the yogurt/ice cream bar were the only items open 24 hours. Room service was available 24 hours but only minimal offerings of sandwiches and desserts. The chocolate cake through room service was better than the desserts served in the main dining room. They had 1 formal night and served lobster tails and prime rib for the beef entree. Both were good. There were no ice sculptures, food carvings etc. and the food was served without any special attention to arrangements or garnishes. You could ask for all you wanted but we did not find a single dish we wanted seconds on. The desserts lacked any imagination. The melted chocolate cake was good but so rich you could not eat more than 1/2 of it. The choices for desserts were minimal. My mother wanted pie and finally on the last night they had apple pie and the crust was so hard and thin you could not eat it. The dinner prior to that was chicken parmesan and it was burned black on the bottom and crispy. I asked for the short ribs instead for my mom and they were so tough that I had to give her my steak because she was too embarrassed to ask for a third meal. Not the kind of meals that everyone told her she could expect on a cruise and it was disappointing for her. They had a nice water slide and several areas with hot tubs that seemed to get lots of use. Drinks were offered constantly and sometimes they even got a little pushy. Lots and lots of bars and lounges on this ship but most were empty. As far as cleanliness is concerned, the boat was clean and late at night and early mornings one could see crew members scrubbing various areas of the ship. One complaint was the buffet area. Tables were not cleared very quickly and the crew that was responsible for cleaning the outside tables were outright hilarious at their attempts to do bare minimum of cleaning. Overall, we had fun but I think next time I will try another cruise line. I mean really, isn't the best thing about cruises the food? Apparently Carnival doesn't think so!
icangocalifornia’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin E54
Feels larger than they are. Bathroom roomy and great hot water. Beds were very comfortable. Window large. Plenty of closet space for even 3 women. Noise level from next room "embarrassing". Crew noisy when walking down hallway.
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