My husband and I had both cruised as young adults but never as adults that could drink! We travel all the time and were ready for something different and decided on a cruise. We are so glad we did! Because of our work schedules, we were limited on how long and where we could choose. We chose the Western Caribbean cruise out of Tampa on the Carnival Paradise. After reading reviews, I was worried because it is an older, smaller ship. It was recently remodeled and we had a suite, so our room was perfect. We had priority boarding and it was a breeze. Absolutely no complaints about that. The food was as expected on a cruise. My favorite was Guy's Burger Joint. There is only one pool, but several whirlpools. The deck around the pool was crowded at peak times, but that was fine with us. There was plenty to do and plenty to eat/drink. We didn't get the drink package, but probably should have because we spent almost the same amount. We didn't do any official shore excursions but instead went to places recommended on the forums on Cruise Critic. Calico Jack's in Grand Cayman and Mr. Sancho's in Cozumel. Would recommend both. My only complaints are so much smoking--it was in designated areas but the wind carried the smoke and the movement of the ship was VERY noticeable throughout the ship. Fortunately we didn't get seasick but something to keep in mind if you do. We definitely want to cruise again, but will be sure to try a bigger, newer ship.
Our cabin was newly remodeled and was absolutely perfect. King bed with pull out couch, table, vanity, and plenty of closet and drawer space. Our personal steward, Carlos, attended to our every need. Bathroom had shower only but was perfectly functional for us. Balcony is small but gets the job done. Great value and would definitely book that room again.