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Carnival Paradise Cruise Review
3.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
991 Reviews

Enjoyable Cruise - Nothing bad, nothing exceptional.

Carnival Paradise Cruise Review by bikerjohn1

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Nov 2017
  • Destination: the Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View

I will try to do this on a day by day basis.

Pre-Cruise We stayed at the Hampton Inn, Ybor. The hotel was very nice, they had a shuttle which took us to the pier and will also take you anywhere within 3 miles. We had a very nice room and the front desk staff was very friendly. There are a few places to eat within walking distance from the hotel.

The morning of the cruise, we took the shuttle to the pier at noon (our apt was 12:30-1:00). Boarding was pretty easy as we were in our room by 1:00. We met our steward (Arnold). We dropped off the carry-ons and went to lunch on the lido deck. I went to the burger station (decent burgers, great hot dogs). My wife went to the buffet. Ave CCL buffet, not bad but not great. By the time we finished lunch, our luggage had arrived. We did the lifeboat drill which went fast. We then killed a bit of time, my wife had her drink of the day. We had anytime dining which was a mistake. I strongly suggest that you sign up for a set dining time. For the anytime dining, you go to the Elation dining room, wait in a long line to get a pager then wait another 20 min to get seated. The first night was was worst, it took us an hour from when we went upstairs to when we were actually seated. The other nights were more in the 30 min range. Dining room food was "OK", they don't do the lobster tail or the filet anymore (unless you fork out an extra 20$). The food quality was down a bit from cruises we had taken in the past. My wife said she really enjoyed the duck. Since we had anytime dining, we had a different wait staff each night, although you can request to be seated in the same section (although you will have to wait longer). We ate in the main dining room 3 nights and the buffet 2 nights. The buffet was ok, nothing great but it wasn't too bad. I don't remember what time the casino and the shops opened but I don''t think it was any later then 6.

The first day was a sea day, I went to the omlet station which was good as always. I have heard people mention that they were stingy on the bacon (they were). This cruise wasn't crowded so we never had an issue finding a seat on the lido deck. We just pretty much chilled out on the sea day.

Roatan: They change the ships time 2x during the cruise, they change to central time the night before Roatan. The boat docked about 11:00am. It was a bit overcast and they said it had rained the day before. Other then the slight overcast, the weather was good. If you booked a CCL cruise, you will meet in the parking lot right after you go through the shopping gauntlet. If you booked with a 3rd party, you will have to leave the port compound. It's about 1/4 mile hike. My wife just went to the local beach. It will cost 14$ if you take the cable cars. My wife has limited mobility so she paid a guy 20$ to take her there and back on a trike. I am a scuba diver and I had my tour set up with Subway Watersports. They picked me up where all the other 3rd party tours left from. The diving was pretty good, although the overcast limited visibility a bit. The water was warm and the wall was pretty nice. We also did 2 small wrecks. The advantage of taking a private dive tour is the level of service. I only had 2 other divers on the boat with me. They were staying at a resort. I told the dm it had been 6yrs since my last dive so he more or less had to give 100% of his attention to me. The timing worked out well, after the 2 dives, they dropped me back off at the port with 2 hours to spare. My wife said the beach was pretty nice, she had a good time. We watched the 2 adult comedians. They were pretty good. There was a white guy Ron and a Black guy, Hank? The white guy was funnier on the 1st night but the 2nd show on the last night the black guy was a total blast.

Cozumel: They changed back to eastern time on the night between Roatan and Cozumel.

We docked at the International Pier. Again the CCL tours started fairly close to the end of the pier. If you are doing something 3rd party, you will have to go through a large shopping gauntlet to get to where the private tours or taxi's are. I went diving with Island Divers. Like an idiot, I paid a taxi driver $10 for a ride to the marina which I found out was 1/2 mile away ( I walked back). The dive was very nice, we had 6 people on the boat and 2 DMs. We did Palancar Gardens at about 100ft and our 2nd dive was on the Chan (not going to try to spell it), about 40ft. My wife did the Deluxe Catamaran / beach and snorkel. Her and my brother came back from that pretty lit up. Apparently slipping the bar tender a few $ makes the drinks a lot better. A warning for anyone who may be affected by this, the Mexican police were checking people's bags getting off the ship, they also had dogs. After the dive, I went right back on the ship, no reason go shopping or stop at any of the over priced bars near the pier.

Final Sea day: We just chilled most of the day, I actually went down the waterslide a few times. ( I was the only 50yr old to do so!!).

Disembark day. We had to be out of our rooms by 8:30 (although our steward let us keep our bags in there until 9:30) So we hung out on the lido deck until it was time to get off. Since he had mobility issues, we went down to deck 7 and had someone wheel us through line so we were off the ship and outside within 10 minutes (pays to be gimp at times). Homeland security was being a bit of a PITA so most other people were in line for over an hour. The whole operation was a bit behind schedule due to homeland security.

Odds and Ends:

Other passengers: Seemed to be a mixed crowd, there were some kids but not a bunch. I didn't see anyone walking around too drunk. Most nights, the decks were pretty empty by 11:30. The younger crowd may have been in the club but from what I saw, the ship went to bed early.

LIdo Deck: never had a problem getting a lounge chair or a chair on the deck. Didn't see any chair logs or people 'reserving' chairs all day.

Casino: It was average, it was pretty dead by midnight every night. I lost a few hundred which was about what I had budgeted.

Room Service: Very efficient, we had all of our room service orders within 15 min. My only suggestion would be, if you order a pot of coffee, get 2x creamer or you will run out.

Room Steward: Arnold was pretty good. We didn't really have any special requests. We only got evening turn down, no real need for the guy to be in there day and night.

Entertainment: We did the adult comedians who were both pretty good. We also did the adult game show ( my team lost so no ship on a stick for me). We also participated in Quest. Overall, that night was a total blast. We did the veterans thing which I suggest you attend if you or a family member are a vet. We didn't do any of the other shows as I am not a singing and dancing fan.

The Ship: It is an older, smaller ship which has it's pro's and cons. 1 of the atrium elevators was out. The ship was clean and they had already refurbed the cabins on a few of the decks. Also a smaller ship means less walking around. Luckily other than embarkation, there weren't many long lines. Usually you could walk right up to the burger station, pizza station (so / so), deli (pretty good), buffet without a wait.

Odds and Ends: We rented a wheel chair for my wife. If you want to take it off the ship, it will be 135$, if you just use it on the ship it's $50. They are also very wide so it's a PITA to get around with them.

Overall it was an enjoyable cruise. The only thing I didn't like was the anytime dining and the decline of food quality from cruises in the past.

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Cabin Review

Ocean View
Cabin 6B R124

Standard CCL cabin. They do have hairdryers now. The cabin was clean and it looks like they had new carpets already installed.

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