Before going on this cruise I read some poor reviews of the ship. I shouldn't have believed a word.... Yes, the Paradise is a smaller ship but therefore less people, simple and wonderful.
Download the Carnival Hub App, and purchase the 5$ (flat rate, one time fee) to keep in touch with other passengers and know what's happening on board. Every little thing from dining, events, map, etc, is listed here on the app. It doesn't look like much until you get on board and connect to ship's WiFI. You DO NOT need to purchase the WiFi plan to use this app or messenger feature.
We had early dining arrangements meaning less waiting and more time for after dinner events and shows. The food was, fantastic! I chose at least 3-4 appetizers per night to take advantage of the culinary diversity. Breakfast options are buffet style or the taco bar (excellent). Or, if you'd rather, the Elation Dining room with waitstaff. No complaints with either. Of course, if you wait for busy dining times you will wait longer for buffet. I read some upsetting review about the lack of late night food. Well, I found I had plenty of options. The Lido deck offers late night snacks and after 2300 a pizza station. How much can you eat in a day, anyway? We did not use the drink package, if I booked again I WOULD purchase this... expenses do add up, however I did not think the prices per drink were too high - about what I would expect to pay in a restaurant or bar. The catch is that BOTH people in the room must purchase.
Entertainment was what I expected. Shows, singing, dancing, comedy, live music, piano bar, shopping, bingo, casino, sports, slide, game room. Literally something for everyone at all hours of the day. The pool was usually crowded because it's small. Maybe, if you want to be on a cruise ship just to sit and drink at the pool, don't cruise this ship? Service, likewise was expected. I felt pampered, welcome and taken care of at all times.
Cabin was fine. We were on deck 6, forward. I was with another person each with a twin bed, on opposite side of room so we had plenty of space. If you were in a room with another person ("queen" sized bed) it would have been more cramped, but we didn't spend much time in the room.
Our destinations were Key West and Havana, Cuba. We did the Hop On Hop Off bus, let us explore at our own pace. I think the snorkeling would have been fun, too. Cuba was about what I expected. This isn't the glamorous version of the country in the 50's. Remember that tourism is new to Cuba from USA. The events and guides are government sponsored. The streets you will go on are what the government wants you to see. We went on Fort Tour; I was satisfied with the excursion. We came back about 1700, had dinner on the boat and went back out. Yes, getting off the boat was a process. Yes, you wait to get through customs. Yes, you wait in lines to board the buses. I heard a lot of complaints about the wait and crowds.... what did you expect??? A boat of 3000 people debarking into a small port will take time! I strongly encourage guests to do some research on the country & city beforehand. Review your history and understand the United State's history Cuba. I enjoyed the tour but would not say I felt "welcomed" in Cuba. The citizens I saw seemed busy and struggling to keep up with the crowds of people cramming into their shops and small streets. Remember, you are not going to become culturally immersed in a day. You are there as a tourist, and as such, they expect you to spend money!
All in all, this was a fantastic cruise. I enjoyed every moment. The cruise director worked tirelessly bringing personality and a lot of FUN into each event and activity!! I would absolutely go again.