I can honestly say that this was one of, if not THE, best cruise that we have taken in about 20 years of cruising. For us, this cruise brought us many firsts, including our first out of LA/Long Beach, our first along the Mexican Riviera, first through the Panama Canal, and first 14-day sailing. We have cruised The Carnival Paradise several times when it sailed out of Miami into the Caribbean and have always enjoyed this class of ship.
As expected, we were amongst the minority on this sailing, that is to say that we are not yet retired and still "work-to-cruise". I can also say that we made some great friends on this sailing and hope to cruise with them again in the future (both through CCritic and people that we met on the ship).
While the Carnival Paradise is an older ship and will be going into dry dock in early 2012, everything worked as expected, hot water was hot, cold air was cold, and everything was clean and neat for a ship of her age.
On this class of Carnival ship for such a long sailing (14-days) it was great to have the added space of the Grand Suite. The room, balcony, closet space, and bathroom are all oversized for a ship of this age. While this ship had very few balconies (or suites) - those with interior and/or ocean view staterooms all seems to have great sailing as well, and that is the bottom line for any sailing.