This was an 8-person family cruise (wife, two daughters, son-in-law, three grandsons and myself) onboard the Carnival Paradise last December. My wife and I cruised with Royal Caribbean in December 2021 and were trying to book with them again, but Carnival was the only cruise line that we could get to line up with all our schedules (SIL is active-duty Army, daughters have active careers as well). Also, it seemed that they had a decent number of activities for our grandsons (14, 12, & 11 at the time of the cruise).
We all met at our timeshare in Tampa two days prior and just kind of chilled prior to departing for the pier. SIL and I rented cars to get everyone around, so we took the group (sans ourselves) to the pier to get boarded while we returned the rental cars and took a pier transfer back to the ship. Everything went smoothly, in part thanks to our buying the "Faster to the Fun" option. Every time we got in a line to board or for the shore excursion, we were shepherded right to the front, which was nice.
The Cruise Director was Leilani Ross (she goes by LeiLei), and she was outstanding in every way imaginable. According to some web research I did, she's scheduled for the Carnival Dream in September. If you're fortunate to be booked on one of her cruises, you'll be in for a treat. I rated her a "10" on the post-cruise survey, but I'd rate her a lot higher if that were possible. She has the ability to engage with anyone of any age, background, etc., and makes them feel like she's a lifelong friend. She is able to lead groups of passengers through any sort of activity (sailaway party, trivia contests, etc.) while making the audience feel like they are just as much a part of the action as the participants.
I was a little bit anxious about the accommodations since I'd read that Carnival Paradise was the oldest ship in the active fleet (couldn't find any ships listed as older in case I'm mistaken on this), but our stateroom was quite nice. We had a balcony stateroom (wife, younger daughter and me) and the older daughter got a 5-person inside stateroom. Accommodations were a bit cozy, but we weren’t planning to spend a lot of time in the rooms outside of sleeping and changing clothes as needed. The only detractor (and a minor one at that) was a bit of rust on the spiral plating on the shower hose. Otherwise, everything was just great.