Background: I've been on about 15 cruises on just about all major lines (NCL, Princess, Celebrity, HAL, RCCL) EXCEPT Carnival, so some friends and I decided to do cheap 3 nighter to ensenada.
Well, there were suprises, both good and bad. This particular cruise has been reviewed to death so I'll stick with some of the good/bad points to keep it simple compared to my past experience.
-Ship design is rather old (from 1990 fantasy), meaning not as much public space but it was laid out quite well. A lot of ourdoor deck room which was nice, but when waterworks added on the back fantail deck it should greatly improve the allure of this ship. I'd honestly say I was neither impressed or dissapointed with it. Wish the pools had been bigger but it still worked.
-Dining and drink service was great, no complaints here, everyone seemed to be quite happy about their jobs, and even if they werent, there was no way to tell. Food was pretty good throughout, althought I felt the Paris Restaurant was kind of stripped down. It was nice they offered options in the form of "stations" but some of the dishes that were more than sandwiches or grill food was few and far between.
-Room was big, albeit dated, itll get upgraded soon enough. The halways for the rooms was not something I was expecting, the Upper deck hallways were red with dark brown accents....took a bit to get used to.
-Decor was close to expecations (or lack thereof). I liked the variety from one area to the next but sometimes it was a bit much and not as tasteful as I would have hoped (expectations were low). It reminded me of a vegas hotel from the 80s (ala Ballys). Personally, I find princess, HAL, and RCCL interiors to be bland, Celebrity and NCL seem to provide the most interestingly designed and decorated interior spaces. I guess if you comebined Carnival and Princess you'd have a happy medium similar to that of NCL. While the ship was very clean, alot of the more garsih decor details (small fake jewells in the faberge eggs throughout) were missing or broken. It just gave it a run down look.
Overall I don't think I would cruise on the paradise again, or another fantasy class ship. For the money it was more than I had paid for a 3 night on NCL previously and liked NCL better though the service wasnt quite as good as carnivals and the rooms were smaller.
Good size, quiet, guady decor and colors.