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

The Perfect Weekend Getaway!

Carnival Paradise Cruise Review by VegasK

0 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jul 2011
  • Destination: the Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Interior

Our travel party consisted of my husband, and another couple, our good friends. We left our kids at home for a "weekend getaway". I had heard the "booze cruise" is a party ship, and that is right! It is! I would NOT bring my kids on this 3 day weekend cruise, though lot's of people did. It was a really fun crowd. Lot's of young people (as opposed to my previous cruising experiences) and a very fun crowd. I am looking forward to doing the 4 night version of this cruise, during the week next year and bringing my kids and parents.

Embarkation: Smooth and easy! We drove from Las Vegas. We parked in the parking garage, which was extremely easy to find: drive to the end of the 710 and follow the signs! I had not put my luggage tag on my bag because I was planning on carrying it on. At the dock I was advised my bag might be too big to carry on. But, they had plenty of tags to give me and this took no time at all.

We were quickly checked in, boarded and at the Buffet drinking a DOD (Drink of the Day!) By the time we went back to our room, our bags had been delivered, and we were easily unpacked before Muster.

Public Rooms: Gorgeous! What a pretty ship. Very clean and well kept! Serenity is perfect! Definitely our fav spot on the ship. Love the lounge and Normandy showroom. The curtain in Normandy is gorgeous. My only "complaint" about the public rooms is that there is not a "wrap around" deck where you can walk, as I enjoy that.

Cabin: We booked an inside cabin. We got the trip for "free" using my husbands credit card points, so we booked an inside guarantee, to use as little points as possible. Excellent call on our part, as they assigned us a great room, and we spent no time in our room at all. The cabin was really well appointed. Great shower, not tiny when compared to the other cruise ships I've been on. LOL - we laughed that there is plenty of room with just two people in the room. Usually, our kids are along and the quarters are cramped. Our cabin steward was amazing. Don't know how he could possibly remember our names, but he did. He made us towel animals every day. The robes in the room and such a nice touch! I didn't bring my hair drier and our room didn't have one in it. Of course, I discovered this 15 minutes before dinner on formal night. Our steward snagged me one right away! Such great service! I also really liked the light up ship picture in the corner of the room. Nice night-light!

Fitness & Recreation: Took yoga, Pilate's and spin in the gym. Great classes. Actually worked up a little sweat! The gym is in a great location, on top of the ship. It was very busy! Much busier than I expected. I think it is because it was such a young crowd on the ship! The pool was great, cold, but great. I went down the water slide twice, so fun! Haven't been on a ship with that before! As I said previously, the Serenity deck was our favorite. We spent Saturday and Sunday there! Perfect Days...lying on a comfy lounge chair reading a book....a bar and the lido restaurant just above use to take care of every need! LOL - This is the best place on the ship, if you don't bring your kids! My husband went down at 8AM on Sunday and snagged us the chairs under the umbrella's. My friend and I got their after Pilate's, about 9AM - Perfect Day!

Enrichment: Not sure what this is. Don't think I did any!

Rates: We booked using Credit card points, so I really can't say.

Dining: Again, I heard horrible things about Carnival food. Truly, I don't think those people and I were on the same cruise. I thought the food was great! The Paris restaurant was great! Pizza was OK, great after a day/night of drinking. The grill was good. Made to order omelets were great, and the wait was surprisingly not very long. Really enjoyed the deserts, all of them, Paris and Dining room! LOL, The best were the homemade chips on the outside grill line - Also not to be missed was the cook to order stir fry on the outside grill line: healthy and yummy.

We did set dining, early. This was my first experience with this. I loved it! We ate with two other parties. It was really fun to meet other people and have the same servers every night. Our servers were outstanding: so friendly, and accommodating. I LOVED the dancing in the dining room every night, (Yes, "shorty" did indeed get Low! LOL) It really "worked" on this ship/cruise. It did not on HAL, but was super fun here! The food in the dining room was good, not great, but honestly, how many restaurants have you been too where everything is great? I'd say the buffet was on par with HAL, and the dining room just one notch below, which is quite a compliment to Carnival, in my opinion. Also, in the buffet do not miss the outdoor seating area, behind the bar and pizza at the back of the boat. Our group referred to this area as "VIP" because it was such a great area to sit in and never crowded!

Entertainment: Loved the bands, calypso by the pool, revolver in one of the bars, also loved the piano players. Loved Rex, wished for a little more current music, a little less Michael Jackson. Very, very good. The comedians were also really funny. Quite enjoyable. Also liked the fact they "switched" them, meaning, we went to the 10PM show both nights and saw different comedians. The production shows, however, were just a little odd. Saturday night was 8 Seconds, a country show. Pretty good overall, nice theme, it worked. Sunday night was something called "Shout". It was such an odd show. It seemed as if someone said, "we have these sets and these costumes, what can we do with it?" It was a little bit like watching something my 13 year old daughter and her friends would put together. Not bad, entirely, just odd! The male singer was stronger than the female. Loved the fact they used a live band for the show.

Service: As noted previously, service was just outstanding. Everyone was extremely friendly, saying hello in the halls even.

Shore excursions: Did not partake.

Value for Money: This was the most fun weekend trip my husband and I and our friends have even taken! Loved it! And I think it was a tremendous value, even if we had paid for it. Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Could not believe our bar bill, LOL, need I say more!?

Overall: Heard Kathy Lee singing, "If they could see me now!" At many points, in my head, during this cruise! The ship never felt too big or too crowded. Great mix of people on board. Could have done with less kids, but that is because mine were at home. They certainly weren't doing anything annoying! Can't wait to sail with Carnival again!

VegasK's Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin 4I U187

u187: Great cabin. Very close to the aft staircase. Not noisy at all!

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


Not really fair of me to rate the port, as I only got off the ship so my husband could get his picture taken in Mexico. We chose to stay on the ship, as it was so wonderful!

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