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We selected the cruise primarily for the itinerary - I wanted to see Cuba and a cruise seemed like an easy way to do that without too much work. Having just returned from this cruise, I very much wish I had simply flown directly to Havana and skipped the cruise altogether. I knew the ship was on the older side so I wasn't that shocked to find a more limited option in terms of amenities or décor but I didn't expect just how old the rooms would be nor did I expect the lack of activities or good entertainment. We stayed in a Veranda suite (V21). The room is tiny - not a suite at all. We had 2 single beds - one touched the wall, the other touched the couch that touched the wall. It was fine for 2 adults but if this was a suite, I don't want to know what a standard room looked like. Again, i've cruised before so I understand cruise rooms are smaller than hotels but this was a little absurd. The bedding had brown splotchy stains on it. (We had a good laugh when they left us that flyer to try to sell us the bedding). The carpet had stains. The bathroom looked just like a hospital bathroom except less well kept - with holes in the grout and stains. The room telephone did not work. One of the bedside lamps did not work. The balcony was small but did it's job and there was plenty of storage space so no issues there. I expect the food to just be mediocre on cruises but this was sub par to even that low bar. We had one meal that was good - the rest ranged from inedible to just okay. Obviously the quantities of food available were huge but the quality suffered more on this ship than on others. Embarkation was easy since we able to get on the ship early and carried our own luggage. No issues there. Debarkation was simple enough because we were priority guests and carried luggage so we got off first. For those not priority, the process to get from the ship and into Cuba took several hours. Our docking was delayed by several hours so that meant some guests did not get more than an hour of daylight in Havana. That seems ridiculous - Carnival should not sell an itinerary where a guest doesn't even get one full afternoon in a port. The real let down was the entertainment. We had a sea day where there was almost nothing to do during the day if you didn't want to drink or gamble. I wasn't expecting much but a new release movie, a Cuban cooking demonstration or lecture or some other activity would have been greatly appreciated to kill the time. On the plus side, the port of Havana was excellent. I was very happy to have booked a private tour so we were able to make the most of our very limited time there. I would love to return but I would fly directly in. Also a positive were the staff - all wonderful and helpful. No complaints there.

Underwelmed

Carnival Paradise Cruise Review by Sonicstef

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2017
  • Destination: Cuba
  • Cabin Type: Junior Suite
We selected the cruise primarily for the itinerary - I wanted to see Cuba and a cruise seemed like an easy way to do that without too much work. Having just returned from this cruise, I very much wish I had simply flown directly to Havana and skipped the cruise altogether.

I knew the ship was on the older side so I wasn't that shocked to find a more limited option in terms of amenities or décor but I didn't expect just how old the rooms would be nor did I expect the lack of activities or good entertainment.

We stayed in a Veranda suite (V21). The room is tiny - not a suite at all. We had 2 single beds - one touched the wall, the other touched the couch that touched the wall. It was fine for 2 adults but if this was a suite, I don't want to know what a standard room looked like. Again, i've cruised before so I understand cruise rooms are smaller than hotels but this was a little absurd. The bedding had brown splotchy stains on it. (We had a good laugh when they left us that flyer to try to sell us the bedding). The carpet had stains. The bathroom looked just like a hospital bathroom except less well kept - with holes in the grout and stains. The room telephone did not work. One of the bedside lamps did not work. The balcony was small but did it's job and there was plenty of storage space so no issues there.

I expect the food to just be mediocre on cruises but this was sub par to even that low bar. We had one meal that was good - the rest ranged from inedible to just okay. Obviously the quantities of food available were huge but the quality suffered more on this ship than on others.

Embarkation was easy since we able to get on the ship early and carried our own luggage. No issues there. Debarkation was simple enough because we were priority guests and carried luggage so we got off first.

For those not priority, the process to get from the ship and into Cuba took several hours. Our docking was delayed by several hours so that meant some guests did not get more than an hour of daylight in Havana. That seems ridiculous - Carnival should not sell an itinerary where a guest doesn't even get one full afternoon in a port.

The real let down was the entertainment. We had a sea day where there was almost nothing to do during the day if you didn't want to drink or gamble. I wasn't expecting much but a new release movie, a Cuban cooking demonstration or lecture or some other activity would have been greatly appreciated to kill the time.

On the plus side, the port of Havana was excellent. I was very happy to have booked a private tour so we were able to make the most of our very limited time there. I would love to return but I would fly directly in.

Also a positive were the staff - all wonderful and helpful. No complaints there.
Sonicstef’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

Junior Suite
Cabin JS V21
We stayed in a Veranda suite (V21). The room is tiny - not a suite at all. We had 2 single beds - one touched the wall, the other touched the couch that touched the wall. It was fine for 2 adults but if this was a suite, I don't want to know what a standard room looked like. Again, i've cruised before so I understand cruise rooms are smaller than hotels but this was a little absurd. The bedding had brown splotchy stains on it. (We had a good laugh when they left us that flyer to try to sell us the bedding). The carpet had stains. The bathroom looked just like a hospital bathroom except less well kept - with holes in the grout and stains. The room telephone did not work. One of the bedside lamps did not work. The balcony was small but did it's job and there was plenty of storage space so no issues there.

Our room steward was the best part. She was lovely and very helpful.
Verandah Deck Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins