20 Tampa to Caribbean - Eastern Carnival Paradise Cruise Reviews

This is my second carnival cruise.:-reasonable prices..good food...however the paradise needs a remodel..can't see out if cabin windows..can't regulate ac...not enough outlets..( only one )..no hairdryer..although very pleased ... Read More
This is my second carnival cruise.:-reasonable prices..good food...however the paradise needs a remodel..can't see out if cabin windows..can't regulate ac...not enough outlets..( only one )..no hairdryer..although very pleased with the wait staff..housekeeper..pleasant..friendly.. accommodating...I will definitely cruise again on carnival ..but..it will be a newer ship..I was on the valor..that was very modern..had hair dryers..bigger bathrooms.. but overall prices are reasonable..ports were great..smooth ride no rocking...embarkmentvwent smooth but long lines..alit of waiting in line ...our service team in the restaurant. Were excellent..a big shout out to Alberta...Ivan..and Islam...very good...shore excursions were nice but fill up fast..the pool had salt water in it which I thought was weird..but overall water was nice and refreshing..we will definitely be booking another cruise in the future with carnival..newer ship for sure.w hen embarking didn't like the new policy about bringing plastic bottles of water on board..only soda cans..had to throw all out water away..was not happy Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Nothing bad to say about the people that keeps you entertained, or the waiters, room service, well people in general. They were as pleasant as they could be; they truly deserved every thank you; now the boat itself has very little to ... Read More
Nothing bad to say about the people that keeps you entertained, or the waiters, room service, well people in general. They were as pleasant as they could be; they truly deserved every thank you; now the boat itself has very little to offer, maybe few years ago was a nice ship but I saw lots of things that made me take the decision of probably looking into another cruise line; the showers in out 2 cabins were horribly disgusting it saw so hard to take a shower on those back (moldy) tiles; the toilet made this horrible noise every time it was flushed and so did my neighbor's. Both pools had the old dirty tiles and so did the blue water slide. The basketball hood was rusty, and the boat itself (again) me personally think that is very out dated. Everything looks 90"s. Food was good all around; club Rex was good as well. I would say 2.5 out of 5 but in reality I think the boat needs some mayor updates ASAP. I already did Destiny ... I may try Breeze or like I said before "another cruise liner". Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
My history: 5 cruises. 2 disney (small and large), 1 carnival (sensation, tugboat class), 1 norwegian (Epic, large class). Having cruised from ports of Canaveral and Miami, large and small ships, i feel like I have a good grasp of ... Read More
My history: 5 cruises. 2 disney (small and large), 1 carnival (sensation, tugboat class), 1 norwegian (Epic, large class). Having cruised from ports of Canaveral and Miami, large and small ships, i feel like I have a good grasp of Caribbean cruising including Cozumel. When we booked this cruise, we knew what we booked, we booked an inexpensive small cruise ship (for today), with a single stop over 5 days travel. I think most would agree that the general rankings for carribean cruise lines are : Royal Caribbean, Disney, Norwegian, then Carnival. I was familiar with this class ship, cozumel, and carnival. General summary : Cruises to me are defined in order of importance : 1)cruise ship amenities / attractions 2)Ports of calls 3)Other Passengers 4)Food 5)ship organization / leadership Here's a brief explanation as to why that order. I cruise with a family and want to stay busy on these floating resort islands. The amount of stuff to do and the variety of it is more important than other matters because if a ship has enough stuff, then the ports don't matter as much. Nearly as important is the other passengers factor. If they are rude , drunk or plain annoying, you won't enjoy a cruise regardless of port of port or attraction. On a ship with multiple stops that stop in great locals, you may be ok with annoying passengers if you don't spend alot of time on the ship. Food is plentiful on any cruise. Some aren't great, but you can order any replacement meal and get one to your liking if you're a little patient. This part is very important to some, especially foodies that come for high quality meals. Lastly, the ship's organization, the way they dish out information, via television and pamphlet is my last critical importance. A poorly placed plan can ruin a novice cruisers experience quite quickly as they learn time after time they have missed shows and events due to poor communication. There is lots going on cruises, you need to stay on top without it feeling like a lot of work. So with that, here is my summary of this ship. This ship has poor organization and communication, just one channel (13) and a lousy paper that isn't organized well compared to the organizations of Norwegian and Disney. The food is on the red lobster scale, that is casual dining experience. You won't find anything you'll be raving about and some of the food will be undercooked, cold and overcooked. I sat at a table with others who had this experience as well. On one night, i asked for a medium steak and got it well done and cold. But I knew i could just ask for another, in fact i asked for 2 just in case. I asked for another medium and a medium well. both came out great in 2 mins. Just expect this as par for the course. Passengers, a mix of people. A few drunks, grumpy elderly frequent cruisers that are annoying because they are annoyed at your mere presence on their beloved ships. Port of call. This is a mexico bound ship. Just one stop. Having been to Cozumel before, i had rented a Thrifty car rental car for $34 at the port and grabbed it, and drove around. We did snorkeling (on the cheap), tequilla taste tests, authentic food and beer (total was $4 usd) while others who stayed visited resorts were paying $15 for a burger. Again, if you know what you're doing.... Lastly, the amenities were not plentiful. A large casino, a seldomly used theater, boring shows, and a painfully weird nightclub. The george lopez comedians were great, Mark Macy and the carrotop of carnival were great. Carnival has the best comedians. So as a wrap, we knew the people were going to be a mixed bag, so no problem, we knew the amenities would be some of the worst, so no problem, we knew the food would be 2 star quality, so no problem their either. In the end, this cruise is all about the port. 3 days cruising and a day in cozumel. Overall it went better than expected. The port day was easy to get on and off of, we controlled our port fun and didn't rely on carnival. In my experience, if you go the route of cruise control of ports, disney was better followed by Norwegian. Carnival has a fake mayan town in cozumel where the prices are all jacked up, stay the hell away from it. The ship has a 70's/80's theme to it that just feels cool today. Will likely miss this when it gets refreshed. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Was really looking forward to this cruise but was extremely displeased with it overall as were my fellow travelers! Had Oceanview Upper 214. The hum of the motors drowned out other hallway sounds until last night when staff were very loud ... Read More
Was really looking forward to this cruise but was extremely displeased with it overall as were my fellow travelers! Had Oceanview Upper 214. The hum of the motors drowned out other hallway sounds until last night when staff were very loud picking up luggage from hallways. The window was beyond dirty! Could barely see out of it because of lack of cleaning inside and out. We never figured out which of the people in the hallway was our room attendant which was a first. It took 2 days to get glasses in room and had to request ice bucket and ice! Shower & bathroom tile need bleach and need new robes for rooms! We received one robe for our two person room. When a new robe was requested we received a robe with holes in it and stains. The Lifeboat Drill lasted over an hour with the boat workers threatening to confiscate any IPhones, IPads, or electronic devices if seen by him while we sat in the lounge crammed elbow to elbow with strangers. Very hostile, indifferent staff. The Lido buffet food was disappointing at best. Ended up eating from the pool side Hamburger Buffet and Deli during the day. At dinner time we had Late Seating and the food was unseasoned and bland. Very rushed! Missed most of nightly shows because of timing issues with dinner and shows. When reaching Grand Caymen we had to wait until almost lunchtime to tender off boat which really cut our time on the island short! Cozumel was slightly better. Since we were short on time at Grand Caymen, we took a local air conditioned taxi and got all of the highlights of the entire island including Hell, Seven Mile Beach, and other local landmarks for $12 !!! Over 2 hours with a local and had a great time, learned about the history of the island, and a little about the native people. We paid him what we would have paid Carnival and got one on one service with a great attitude! We did do the Mayan Ruins tour on Cozumel and enjoyed our tour guide Denisse. The boat service overall was severely lacking. This ship needs a good cleaning and a staff attitude adjustment! We will spend our money elsewhere when cruising again! Don't recommend! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
I booked my cruise to participate in my best friend's wedding. Upon arrival to the port, we were told we would board at 12 and instead boarded an hour late which made us start the wedding a half hour late as well. My best friend was ... Read More
I booked my cruise to participate in my best friend's wedding. Upon arrival to the port, we were told we would board at 12 and instead boarded an hour late which made us start the wedding a half hour late as well. My best friend was promised an hour reception which turned out to be 30 minutes because the wedding was pushed back and because we had to attend the safety meeting. Once the reception was over, I went to hunt for my room and found that it was a floor above everyone else in the wedding party and on the complete opposite side of the ship. I asked if my room could be moved and I was told that no accommodation like that could be made. I also was not seated at the table during dinner with the rest of the wedding party either. They did add a leaf to the table to accommodate me but, there were several nights when the table was not properly set up to accommodate 2 more people. Also, since we booked as a group, the cruise gave every person a 50 dollar comp. to use on drinks or in the casino. I was left out of this deal as well. When I spoke to guest services again, they told me there was nothing AGAIN they could do about it. Their response was that when I booked my trip, I didn't use to group code. I tried to tell them that, that must have been an error on the employee with Carnival who booked my trip but, they refused to take responsibility. This unfortunately is the last cruise I'm willing to take a chance on with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Ok, I'm not a hard guy to please, actually I'm the type that would just take the piece of hair out of my food and roll with it, BUT this cruise got worst by the day. First night, after my eldest son all of 6'4 was attempting ... Read More
Ok, I'm not a hard guy to please, actually I'm the type that would just take the piece of hair out of my food and roll with it, BUT this cruise got worst by the day. First night, after my eldest son all of 6'4 was attempting to pull out the sofa sleeper in the GS Suite we called room service to make sure we wouldn't damage anything, our response was after 9:00pm they couldn't assist, we would need to wait until tomorrow. First night at dinner (Elation Dinning Room) I ordered a glass of wine and was changed for an entire bottle. I informed the waiter that i didn't order a whole bottle of wine because I purchased a wine package after boarding the ship; therefore I have a entire bottle of the wine they opened in the restaurant, in my room. The waiter insisted that i stop eating dinner with my family and good to my cable (U117) to get the unopened bottle I purchased and swap it out with the bottle they opened. I actually thought about doing it, BUT after thinking about the bigger picture ( A GLASS of WINE ) I was like no. Then after really thinking about it the next day, I spoke with the manager of Elation and was informed the they credited the $40 bottle off my account. The bigger issue here was the way the waiter insisted that I get the un-open bottle from my cabin in the middle of eating dinner with my family. On top of this issue the food in this fine dinning restaurant was cold and pre-prepared. My daughter asked if she could order a item on the menu without the mushrooms, the waiter said, no it comes pre-cooked. This was my families first cruise and from this experience I'm sure it will be our last. We'll continue to fly to our destinations. Cruising is not for us especially on the Paradise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I just got back from a 5 day trip to Grand Cayman and Cozumel on the Paradise. It is an older ship and as such, the rates are cheaper. Overall, the crew was awesome. Never had to tell a crew member my name twice and they used it every ... Read More
I just got back from a 5 day trip to Grand Cayman and Cozumel on the Paradise. It is an older ship and as such, the rates are cheaper. Overall, the crew was awesome. Never had to tell a crew member my name twice and they used it every time. Are the rooms dated? Yes, but the cabin stewards did their best to keep everything clean and fresh. Food: It was your typical cruise fare. There were several items in the dinning room that were very good and a few that were decent. Overall, it was better than my cooking and the variety is good. The buffets were decent and we tried most of the offerings. Activities: We found plenty to do from the comedy shows to the Karaoke. All good times. I would suggest that they do more d.j. time on the Lido deck in the afternoon but it may have been enough for most. Some more crowd interaction to keep it moving would have been nice. Port: With the Faster to the Fun option not available in Grand Cayman, the wait to disembark was a bit chaotic and tedious but we only waited 45 min to get off the boat. The return was much smoother with no wait. Would have liked to have more time on the island but that is what makes you go back. Cabin: M-142 was a small room but fit our needs quite well. Having the window to look out in the morning was nice and helped to ease the motion that my GF felt at times. While it was older, it still had plenty of space and storage. The hot water and shower were crazy! More pressure and volume than at home and I swear you could cook an egg in the hot water out of the tap. Our cabin stewards Francisco and Michael were incredible and always had a smile. Disembarkation: Faster to the Fun got us off the ship in 20 min total. We waited about 10 min and then were off the ship before 9am. Overall: I would take this cruise again without a second thought. They push the drinks, but that is part of the cruise. The boat is in need of some updates but is fully functional and you make your own vacation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
I would like to start by saying although this was our first cruise and we were fortunate enough to have feedback about what to expect and reading reviews on Trip Advisor were helpful I came into this cruise with an open mind. I work in the ... Read More
I would like to start by saying although this was our first cruise and we were fortunate enough to have feedback about what to expect and reading reviews on Trip Advisor were helpful I came into this cruise with an open mind. I work in the hospitality industry and I have learned to take reviews with a grain of salt. Never judge a book by it's cover because you could be missing out on an amazing story. Your cruise/vacation is what you make of it. Having said that here is my feedback on our experience aboard The Carnival Paradise. This was a last minute booking as our previous plans unfortunately (or now fortunately) had to be canceled. We swore we would never go on a cruise as we felt they were overrated and being on a ship for a week just didn't seem appealing. We couldn't have been more wrong. We arrived at the airport unsure of what to expect and quickly found a Carnival representative waiting at the bottom of the stairs with a warm greeting and directed us to the young lady across the room for our transportation. unfortunately before we were able to get over to her she went outside. Unsure whether we should wait inside or not we waited just a few minutes before going outside. Again a Carnival Representative spotted us right away and walked us to the bus. Upon arriving at the port we were given very clear direction as to what we needed to board the ship. I would say it took less than 10 minutes from the time we stepped foot off the bus to boarding the ship. It was a very quick and smooth process. My first initial impression after boarding was this ship needs to be updated but it is very clean! To me the age of the ship was apparent in the decor but it gave it character. It was immaculate! We had booked an ocean view stateroom which was also immaculately clean. The size is what I expected not very big but quite honestly the right size for us. I'm not a fan of oversized rooms as I personally do not spend a lot of time in my room. Our luggage was promptly delivered to our stateroom and we immediately met our steward Than! he was absolutely amazing! Friendly and informative. Always greeted us in the hallways! I will say that the line for the lunch buffet on the first day was crazy but that is somewhat expected as there are a couple thousand people boarding! The food on the lido deck was ok, I wouldn't say great. Breakfast was ok, I am not a fan of powdered eggs but did notice a considerable difference when we ordered an omelette;much tastier. The pizza in the Paris Restaurant was to die for and they have all different varieties! I am sad that I didn't try it sooner than mid week! :) Our dinner was a late seating in Elations and I cannot say enough about our waitstaff! Privett & Vlad were outstanding as was every member of the waitstaff and cocktail staff that we encountered. What impressed me most about the staff ship wide was their ability to remember your name and always greet you with a warm smile! The food in Elations was excellent. The steak was tender and the vegetables were perfectly cooked ( i generally do not eat cooked vegetables unless they are lightly steamed) for my liking. The desserts were to die for! If you haven't tried it you must order the Chocolate Melting Cake! I have only ONE request to add to the dessert menu; Cheesecake! The entertainment on board was good again not great. I feel there could be more done. Nonetheless we enjoyed ourselves. We spent most of our time on the Serenity deck during the day while at sea it was difficult to find chairs. Maybe another deck at the front of the ship or expanding the current one would be great! As for sure excursions I recommend booking through Carnival as you are gtd to get back to your ship on time. Having said that we were very disappointed with our visit to Grand Cayman, the port was to say the least uninviting. A tall chain linked fence is what you walked into and it prevented you from venturing out into town. We did the Barrier Reef Excursion which was PHENOMENAL! Reed and Kai our guides were great! That was literally the ONLY highlight to Grand Cayman. We are trying to keep an open mind that there is more to the island than a chain link fence at port and a run down town. Cozumel was beautiful! you got off the boat and were presented with a welcoming little town. We did the Beach Buggy/snorkel which was sooo much fun! When they say a cruise is a chance to meet new people and form new friendships they weren't kidding! We met some great new friends. When we disembarked the ship it was almost as easy as when we boarded. No complaints here! We will certainly rebook with Carnival! Overall this was the most relaxing and enjoyable vacation we have every had! I would like to thank the crew of Carnival Paradise for helping make our first cruise special!   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
I am a very experienced and well travelled female and I enjoyed every minute of my recent cruise on Paradise. The initial cost is fantastic & they make their money on add ons so you can make it as cheap as you want & $300 for five ... Read More
I am a very experienced and well travelled female and I enjoyed every minute of my recent cruise on Paradise. The initial cost is fantastic & they make their money on add ons so you can make it as cheap as you want & $300 for five nights is about the best deal around!!! So people want everything for nothing??? The service on this ship was exemplary. Never once did I not feel like I was treated as a VIP and I liked the emphasis that Carnival has on remembering customers names. I don't think I even knew half the people who adressed me by name!! The ship was exceptionally clean & there was always someone picking up after the slobs who left their garbage out whoever they went. Also the ships staff is very eclectic and interesting. I don't think there was a country not represented by them . Very interesting stories from them as to why they were on the ship. Most we're more interesting than the passengers! The kids in the kids club looked like they were just as glad to get rid of their parents as we're the parents. The activities were plentiful and appealed to all ages. Some of the " old folks" we're booting and having more fun with the pool games as we're the younger ones. This is a FUN ship and may not be for people who just want to veg. The dining was very good in all areas. Definitely not a 4. Or 5 star but let's be realistic for the price!! The main dining room had well prepared and varied menus to suit every taste. Meals were well presented and served in a timely manner. I did get a couple of warm meals but they were cheerfully replaced.the buffet area on the top deal has an incredible variety for those wanting casual dining.many of those folks never DID eat in the dining room.! The ship itself is from the Grand old Dame time of shipping & has an opulence and elegance all it's own. Reminds me of the old US and Cunard line ships when a cruise ship was a means of elegant transportation and not a vacation as it is today.the rooms are spacious and have good sound sound buffering unlike many hotels. My room had but one elec outlet tho and with a European converter, I could have had 2.bring your own hair dryer... None is furnished.otherwise a great place to spend very little time except to sleep. I don't get the complainers for this cruise at all. Perhaps they just need a fancy expensive cruise. This was perfect for me!!   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
This just might be the worst cruise ship on the ocean these days. Built in 98', and with no upgrades ever, you can tell every day of it's age. Tag that along with the worst crew in the history of cruise ships, and I'm not ... Read More
This just might be the worst cruise ship on the ocean these days. Built in 98', and with no upgrades ever, you can tell every day of it's age. Tag that along with the worst crew in the history of cruise ships, and I'm not sure how anyone could enjoy this ship. Now let's start the review with the positives: Wayan our steward. Decent and always had ice for us and room immaculate(it is his job!). Ok.............Done with the positives............... Food: You are basically isolated to the back of the boat for 2 buffet areas and this food is just above cafeteria grade. Talk about just bland and somewhat pathetic. I mean don't get me wrong, everyone over the age of 65 was enjoying it, but we are late 30's and were just about done eating that food within the first 2 meals. God awful, and talk about lack of politeness of the crew, on the boarder of rude/ignorant. Then you are going to be so lucky..................You get to have a "fancy"(not fancy at all) dinner each night. Now this dinner is made to look impressive................and if the buffet gets a D- grade then this Elation/Destiny gets about a D+ grade. Shrimp cocktail = 5 super small shrimp. Salads=5 bites. Dinners= portion the size of your fist, and if you ask for more food the servers look at you like you are crazy......oh and don't make any plans right after dinner.........This lovely adventure is about 2 hours long and by the time dessert gets there, you just want to get the hell out of there. 2 hours with D+ food? No thank you! Entertainment: OMG..............Don't even think about being entertained. It's damn near pathetic. I mean there are 7 dancers for the entire boat and on morning duty they are the bingo team! I'm not sure if I've ever seen such a pathetic offering of onboard entertainment anywhere in the world on a cruise ship. The best part of the entertainment was a talent show by the passengers!!! Ship: Ok, now I understand old, but come on Carnival.............some upgrades would be expected. The vinyl seats and the way way way outdated stained glass look should of been a clue as soon as we entered. I mean this ship is OLD. VERY OLD, for a cruise ship. Casino isn't bad, and honestly might be the nicest place on the ship, although due to very old air circulation system, the smoke is horrendous. No free drinks, no free anything in casino not even a soda! Poker 1 table, BJ 3 tables, Roulette 2 tables and Craps 1 table, and about 60 slot machines. Cabin: Took a interior cabin. Typical interior of other ships. Horrible smell to start off with but was quickly gone. Very old, and very outdated, but we usually only sleep in it. This cruise we actually had to kill time watching tv. Pool; Yeah let's not go there.....................It's about as big as my backyard pool, and they were so nice to put a slide on it back in the day, to make it look bigger but it sucks. They should put alittle more salt in it too, so people can smell it in the cabins as well as on the deck! Total experience, well let's just say, you get what you pay for. 65 and older crowd will enjoy it. People looking for a money saver and have ZERO expectations, well................They'll survive. Everyone else...........RUN and SAVE YOUR MONEY! NOTE: If you don't book excursion thru carnival...........you will be the last off the ship at your port of calls. Just a heads up.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
New Years cruise with eight of our family and friends: Tampa cruise port: this was our first time out of Tampa and the best port yet. We took taxis from our hotel to the port and was dropped off on sidewalk beside the ship. The group had ... Read More
New Years cruise with eight of our family and friends: Tampa cruise port: this was our first time out of Tampa and the best port yet. We took taxis from our hotel to the port and was dropped off on sidewalk beside the ship. The group had purchased Carnivals F2F (fast 2 fun) pass for $49 per cabin, so we were taken right to the front of line to check in along with the platinum cruisers. My advice to anyone going on a Carnival cruise would be to buy this pass. There is a lot of benefits, you need to read on Carnival website for the list. Room: we all stayed in an inside cabin on the Rivera Deck. The cabin was spacious and well appointed. We usually don't up grade to a window or balcony room, as we aren't in the room that much. Ship/staff: the Paradise is an older ship, but is in very good condition. She was decorated beautifully for the holidays! The staff was very nice and helpful. The Paradise is one of the smaller ships in the Carnival line with 2000 guests plus staff. We never felt crowded, we really liked that. Entertainment: I felt like the entertainment could have been better. Every night there was karaoke in several places, we enjoyed that, but it seemed to be the main focus. I will have to say the musical in the main lounge was very good! Ports: The first port was Cozumel, most of the group had been there before, so we just rented a van and driver in port. We paid $16 per person and he took us where we wanted to go and stayed with us all day. He recommended different things and everything was good. The last port was Grand Cayman, we decided we would do the same thing we did in Cozumel, but this time we just went to a resort and laid on the beach and played in the beautiful water. The price for this was $4 per person each way and around $5 each for entry and a chair at the resort. The resort was very crowded, so we walked a little further down the beach and just used our towels to lay on. Meals: We ate breakfast and lunch each day at the buffets. Everyone loved the 24 hour pizza and ice cream! Each night we ate in the formal dining room. Our waiters were wonderful and attended to our every need! The food was good, we all tried different things every night and enjoyed it all. Overall this was a GREAT vacation!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I chose a 4 day cruise out of my home area Tampa Bay Fla to see if I would enjoy Cruising. I took the Carnival Paradise to Cozumil Mexico and back to Tampa September 26-30 2013. I read alot of reviews on this site as well as others and ... Read More
I chose a 4 day cruise out of my home area Tampa Bay Fla to see if I would enjoy Cruising. I took the Carnival Paradise to Cozumil Mexico and back to Tampa September 26-30 2013. I read alot of reviews on this site as well as others and talk to alot of people that cruise on several lines prior to making my decsion and I was well aware of all the problems that Carnival had prior to my booking passage. Now I am a 56 yo male and I found that Carnival Paradise was a Tremendous ship for anyones first cruise experience. Arrival at Port of Tampa was at 1030 hours and was treated like family from that point. The Port Porters were effiecient and freindly, made sure everyone had there documents and assured any new passengers that bags would be treated with care. Inside the Terminal ALL the Carnival employees made me feel like I was the only one cruising that day even if there were several hundred already there. Check in was a breeze, Do online check in and all you do in verify documentation. A short 30 min wait and All aboard by 1130. My cabin was already clean and wating and bags arrived within an hour later. So off to Lido deck for bite of lunch. A fantasic welcome buffett of Italian food, Hot /Cold Sandwiches drinks and of course a full dessert bar. Then time to explore the Paradise, Drink in hand, I opted for the CHEERS program. about 50.00 a day for each day of the cruise includes 15 drinks gratuity included. NOTE: If you complain that you have reached your 15th drink do you really need that 16th before 0600. I do not drink alot but wanted to have a kind of insurance policy as this was vacation and I fiqured I would not be driving the boat anywhere. The Paradise was clean and inviting, I do realize that we all have different color schemes and decoration ideas but as it is someone elses property and I am a paying guest I loved it. My room steward called me by name even though we had never met before I returned to my cabin, earned points with me for that, and made sure if I needed anything to let him know. Also a quick plug for Rusti, Bartender in Atrium Bar as soon as you enter the ship, Great Personality as well as informative of Carnival and everything about the ship. Muster Drill at 1500 hours yes that is 3 pm for 40 min. Just deal with it , its international law. Then up to the Lido deck or SunDeck for Sail Away. Two hours later pass under the Skyway bridge and into the open gulf of Mexico. The trip was perfect I have no complaints. Staff and Crew of Paradise went to great lengths to ensure that everyone needs were met and exceeded. If you want a first time cruise this is the way to go. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
I have sailed multiple ships in the Fantasy class, Paradise included (back in '03 when it was still no smoking). Due to this, I knew going in how this ship would compare to newer offerings from Carnival and competing lines. First of ... Read More
I have sailed multiple ships in the Fantasy class, Paradise included (back in '03 when it was still no smoking). Due to this, I knew going in how this ship would compare to newer offerings from Carnival and competing lines. First of all if you are capable of "making your own fun" you will probably have a good time on this boat. I started cruising in '95 (I was 21 then), so I'm familiar with the activities boats of this size typically offer. If you are content with the pool deck, casino, meals, comedians, and maybe a show or two you should be fine. If all you know is Carnival Fun Ship 2.0 (upgrade) boats (or RCCL for that matter) the Paradise may seem kind of boring. Cons: -Lido deck restaurants (outside or inside, including the deli and pizza) were always nuts. It seemed like 10 minute lines for at least an hour (sometimes more) during both breakfast and lunch. I only ate in the MDR during the day once (lunch), and it wasn't busy at all. It appears that the people on this boat prefer the buffet meals. Dinner (buffet) selection was very poor during the one evening I checked it out, although (again) this may be typical on this ship. -Yes the interior looks dated. No way to hide this given that you enter the boat and the first thing you see is the atrium (which looks as dated as anything on the boat). -Stateroom looked dated as well, and had a "yellowed" robe, but served its purpose as a comfy place to sleep. -MDR (we had my time dining) hostess didn't know the show schedule, as was surprised when they got crushed immediately after the show. Service was VERY slow that night. This was surprising as it isn't like they don't go through this every few days. -Seemed like the pool deck bars were understaffed. One bartender for a ~10 seat bar for extended periods of time. They were pushing buckets of beer hard, I assume this helps relieve the pressure some. -MDR food was average. Not necessarily a con, but as someone who has been on 9 Carnival cruises in 16 years the gradual decline is something I can't help but notice. -Stop with the bacon police. It only backs up the buffet lines even more. I'm sorry that people waste a bunch of food (sad really), but add $1-2 to everyone's fare and let people grab their own bacon. Deserts I get (they are separate anyway), but the primary buffet lines really need to move faster. Pros: -Less than $90/person/day (family of 3, not including tips). Cons aside, I felt that I got what I paid for. -Serenity deck + waterslide are a nice touch for this older boat. -Pool deck (pools, deck, chairs), while worn, was in good shape. -Bed was really comfy. In my opinion, if you have complained about Carnival in the past you will likely do so again if you sail on this ship. In addition, if you are familiar with the Fantasy class ships nothing on this boat should surprise you. If all you care about is some food, the casino, the pool, alcohol, a few ports here and there, this boat will do. If you want more, you need to pay more. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We drove to Tampa from Georgia and found easy discounted parking right away. It was easy,no wait and quick courteous service. We were dropped off in front of the terminal and were on the ship in less than 10 minutes. We arrived around ... Read More
We drove to Tampa from Georgia and found easy discounted parking right away. It was easy,no wait and quick courteous service. We were dropped off in front of the terminal and were on the ship in less than 10 minutes. We arrived around 2:30 for a 4:00 departure. Of course the lines were long at the buffet when we arrived but that is to be expected. Our luggage arrived very quickly to our room, no complaints. We had a wonderful room attendant. The food is less than desired. I believe the great service in the dinning room makes up for the terrible food. The servers are wonderful and very professional and really work hard for you to have a great dinning experience. We had dinner with another family every night which turned out to be very fun. We decided to go to the dinning room for our meals. Even in our bathing suits with cover ups. The food was so much better than the buffet. For breakfast and lunch it was quick and the food was much, much better than the buffet. We traveled with a 16 year old and a 13 year old. They had a great time. The teen club for the 16 year old was a ton of fun and was a great way to meet others the same age on the ship. The 13 year old did not feel as lucky about her club and opted not to attend after the first night. We loved the Cayman Island. We took the advice of some others on the message boards and booked a tour through Capt. Marvins. They were awesome. Very professional and took wonderful care of everyone on the boat. They take out about 4 or 5 families at a time. They took us to 3 spots, stingray city, reef snorkeling and one other spot for snorkeling. We emailed them before we arrived and they told us the best tour for us based on our ships time in port. We were truly impressed. Much less expensive than the cruise prices and it is right at the port. Once you leave the ship and off the pier to to the left and it is about 2 short blocks on the right. Great find, wonderful service, professional and great price. https://www.captainmarvins.com/ We took a taxi out of the Cozumel port and went to Mr. Sancho's beach. Well worth it. So much fun and a wonderful time. This was our 2nd time to Mr. Sancho's Beach and we'd do it again. We went for the all inclusive option, which was great. The food was wonderful and made up for the bad food on the ship. Mr. Sancho's beach is food, and beautiful. The entertainment on the ship was fun and a bit corny, but it is expected. There is a wonderful rock band aboard ship that we only caught the last night at the bar outside the Casino. They were awesome. We wish we would have found them sooner. The ship is cleaner than clean and I think the decor is very up to date. I have no issues at all. The ship is beautiful and extremely clean. Debarking was fine, although, just a little confusing when you arrive at deck 7. We waited on floor 9 for our deck to be called. Once it was called we took the elevator down to floor 7, which landed us right in the middle of the line to get off the ship so no one knew where to go. People were being rude yelling at those getting off the elevators about the line, but we just followed the procedures. I think it was those that did not follow procedures that were making the biggest stink. I had some young girls, 14 -16 saying we (about 20 or 30 of us how took the elevators down) sucked and were really disrespectful. Other than that 2 minutes of confusion, we were off the ship and on to our way to parking in less than 10 minutes from the time our floor was called. Quick and easy! Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Having cruised Carnival about 20 years ago, I had fond memories of my experience. Since my first Carnival experience, more recently I have cruised with NCL and Holland America 4 separate times and throughly enjoyed both cruise lines. ... Read More
Having cruised Carnival about 20 years ago, I had fond memories of my experience. Since my first Carnival experience, more recently I have cruised with NCL and Holland America 4 separate times and throughly enjoyed both cruise lines. Fast forward to last week and my latest experience on Carnival was horrendous. Buffet food was awful, Outside cabin was worn and tired, the staff was quite lacking in key hospitality skills like...smiling, making people feel welcomed and did I say smiling? Dining room food was better but they seemed severely understaffed and our server was never there and when he was he was always excusing himself to go put out another fire. Entertainment (2 shows for 5 night cruise) was lacking. On NCL and HA there was never enough time in the sea days with so many appealing activites. Not so much on Carnival. We found ourselves spending more time in our cabin than we ever wanted. The same cabin with dents in the ceiling and walls. Do yourself a favor, skip this ship and this cruise. Save up for the real deal. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
I think we had bed bugs in V36. Itchy red bumps started on third night.I am going to call Carnival today. My one son and I both had them my other son on the trundle did not. Which make sense. Ugh. Overall was very happy with the ... Read More
I think we had bed bugs in V36. Itchy red bumps started on third night.I am going to call Carnival today. My one son and I both had them my other son on the trundle did not. Which make sense. Ugh. Overall was very happy with the ship/cruise. Food - tablemates who had cruised on the Sensation said that the food on the Sensation was good but the Paradise was OK. I thought it was good. There are so many choices nothing to complain. Got the recipe for the chocolate molten cake! Dinner and Staff: early sitting 6 pm in the Destiny. Wait staff (Marilee was great). During the last dinner it was announced the wait staff is in the top 5 for service for all Carnival ships. Went on the Behind the Scenes tour which was interesting. Received some chocolate covered strawberries and muffins as an extra thank you for taking the tour besides, the lanyard, baseball hat, and a picture with the captain. Cozumel - didn't like the maze of shops to get on and off the ship. Went to Playa Mia a bit dumpy and the water inflatables were too far off shore. Note: the taxi fare to the port is cheaper then getting back for some reason. It was $25 to get back to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Okay, Let me just start off by saying although it was my first cruise, it was by no means my first vacation. I did a lot of research before our cruise, from the Internet and by asking a lot of questions to friends that I knew had been ... Read More
Okay, Let me just start off by saying although it was my first cruise, it was by no means my first vacation. I did a lot of research before our cruise, from the Internet and by asking a lot of questions to friends that I knew had been on cruises recently. I felt like I had a pretty good idea what to expect. Hopefully other people reading this can gain some insight as as they prepare for their cruise. 1. No, they don't feed you lobster (or crab, or ribeyes) every meal or every night. On our 5 night cruise I was offered lobster tail one night (it was good) and shrimp maybe two nights. Same with cheesecake. They had it--for sale. Now I'm not saying the food was bad, because it was pretty good, but honestly, the buffets did serve the same thing every single day. 2. The entertainment was weak. Maybe I expected too much, I don't know. I was kind of thinking each night at 8pm they would have a Broadway type show that repeated itself around 930pm. Could be we missed them in spite of scouring our nightly program for something to do. Were there things to see? Sure. We saw a couple of comics that were good, and there was a singing/dancing show the last night that was really nice, and a few other short mildly entertaining acts, but nothing like I expected. Most nights it was a choice between playing bingo or watching children sing bad karaoke over and over again. No, I'm not kidding. 3. Also, unless you're an absolute Coke/Pepsi fiend - don't bring them. They're heavy and there's plenty of other stuff to drink. We brought three twelve packs with us and brought two back. 4. Drinks are high. Miller lite cans were about 6 dollars a piece and mixed drinks between $7.50 and $10 dollars (plus 15% tip). Think about slipping a half pint in your pocket before you board. We spent about $350 dollars on drinks in just 5 nights!! Over all, it was a fun time (my 8 year old loved it) and we will definitely be going back, next time a little wiser and my pockets a little fuller. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
This may be a little lengthy but I wanted to offer as much detail as possible. I scoured this site before our cruise and am so appreciative of all the information I gathered here. This was our first Carnival cruise and a first cruise ... Read More
This may be a little lengthy but I wanted to offer as much detail as possible. I scoured this site before our cruise and am so appreciative of all the information I gathered here. This was our first Carnival cruise and a first cruise for my children. I purchased this vacation as a surprise for my husband's 50th birthday and my son's 16th birthday. Gave it to all of them on Christmas Day - needless to say we were all very excited and very much in need of a vacation! We flew into Tampa on the 19th - didn't arrive until very late - about 1am. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott as I had rewards and the hotel stay was free. It was adequate and certainly close to the port. Breakfast was horrible - I would not recommend staying here unless it is was free! Had a beautiful day Monday to head out to see - about 75 and sunny. We headed to the port around noon and when all was said and done we were on board by 1pm. Very easy! We were told our rooms would be ready around 1:30. We immediately headed to the pool area to lounge and have our first cocktail! Kids were pretty excited to see the size of the ship. We explored, played ping pong for a bit, grabbed lunch and then headed to our room. Muster was at 3:30 and then we headed to the front of the ship for sail away. It was incredible - going under that bridge! I got some great pix. We had all intentions of going to the dining room that evening but everyone was having a good time and not hungry for 6pm dinner so we skipped it. Wound up eating at the buffet later that night. After the sail away we headed back to our rooms to unpack. I had mentioned on John Heald's FB page that we were cruising to celebrate birthday milestones and he sent us some champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, 2 ships on a stick and Paradise medals. Nice surprise! My son met up with some kids in Club O2 and had a great time that night. My daughter who is 10 was still leery of going to the kids club. We let her stay with us that night but told her the next night Dad and I were going dancing! LOL! Tuesday was a sea day so after breakfast I headed to the pool. It was packed! But the smaller kid pool up at the front of the boat had a few empty chairs - so we moved things around and made ourselves comfortable. The boys didn't stay long and went exploring. My daughter swam and then we headed to one of the activities at the kids club so she could see what it was all about. Beautiful day over all. Formal night Tuesday night - that was fun and dinner was great. The bread pudding is to die for! I wanted it every night but unfortunately they only had it on Tuesday! Wednesday was Grand Cayman day. I had booked the Stingray/Snorkeling adventure online a few weeks before the trip and unfortunately our time slot was changed from 11am to 8am. Oh well. We met in the lounge as directed, but they never called our particular tour. I asked the person running the show and he confirmed that he had not called us yet to get off the ship. So we waited and waited and finally got into the tender line at 9am. It took nearly 30 minutes to get off the ship and then a 10 minute tender ride to shore. Well needless to say, our excursion left without us, and about 10 other people. A little ticked off to say the least and I let them know it! They refunded the excursion of course, but we were so disappointed. So, I took my chances and went with a local - George's Stingray tour. $100 for all 4 of us. I was a bit nervous when she walked away with my money and said I'll meet you over there in 20 minutes, and when we all loaded into 2 vans, and when I saw the size of the boat (can you say small????) but it all worked out. We had a great experience, some awesome pictures and good snorkeling. Oh, and besides the fact that the engine died on the boat on the way back and we had to be towed in while I and a few others were having serious panic attacks that our boat would leave without us in the next 30 minutes! But stress aside, it turned out to be a good time. Oh I almost forgot - my daughter also lost her sign and sail card. Yep and I can still say it was a good day! Thursday was Cozumel. We didn't book any excursions for this day and decided it would just be a day of walking around and some shopping as my daughter had way too much sun on Wednesday. I have to say I wish we had done the beach. Not a fan of the town or the shops - everything in every shop is exactly the same. We did buy a few touristy things. We hit Senor Frogs for lunch and a drink - always fun there and it was nice to sit and relax. Headed back to the ship early and played some bingo. Friday was another day at sea and another day of lounging for me. The kids were up late Thursday night so they slept in until 11 or so that day. We just relaxed all day - played in the arcade, walked around the ship, ate and drank. :-) And before we knew it Saturday morning was upon us and it was time to head home. Went by way to fast. I liked the Paradise - it was a little difficult to navigate, but that could just be me. The food was good - nothing to knock your socks off except that bread pudding! The deli was great and the omelets in the morning were very very good. Service was great at all the bars and the pool area - in the dining room, not so fabulous, but it didn't ruin it for me. The Caesar salads were awesome - something about the dressing they used just put it over the top. The entertainment was great - especially the comedy shows and the awesome band that played most nights at the casino bar. They were incredible! We had a fabulous time and I would definitely book a Carnival cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
WOW They sure do New Years Eve great. We arrived on the boat and it looked great. There was party on the Lido deck at midnite. Done up wonderful. Champagne, hats , blowers, glow sticks. It was awesome. The cruise was fun. We did the ... Read More
WOW They sure do New Years Eve great. We arrived on the boat and it looked great. There was party on the Lido deck at midnite. Done up wonderful. Champagne, hats , blowers, glow sticks. It was awesome. The cruise was fun. We did the usual hot tub and bingo. We ate in the Elation every nite. We did the my time dining. I liked it because we didnt have to schedule dinner but one nite we arrived at 8;30. It was a scheduled dinner time and very crowded as the people had 8:30 seating. So they asked us to wait about 10 minutes. No big deal we just made sure we arrived a little later than 8:30 and wre seated right away. The dinner was delicious. I had frog legs, duck liver, quail, and that was just appetizers. For the main course we had lobster tail and steak on New Years Day. Also chateaubriand, veal, pasta, meatloaf all very good. Of course I hit the sushi bar every nite. Desert was great but I would have liked creme brule.For breakfast and lunch I was a little disappointed as the menu was the same the whole trip. The entertainment was good. There was 2 comedians who were funny but they played for 2 nites. I like to see a variety of acts. The dance shows were great. It was quiet bumpy for two nites. I found it hard to sleep because that is when I fely the bumpiness the most. We went to Grand Caymans and went to Hell. Corny I know but we went. We were going to have a drink at Margaritaville but for us to split a burger and have a drink each it would have been over 50.00 so we made our way back to the ship. We went to Cozumel and because of the weather any boat excursion was cancelled. I told you it was a bit bumpy. We got a cab and for 20.00 x 4 people we had a tour of the island. We stopped at the beach. I put my toes in the water and we went to the tequilla factory where we tasted and bought tequilla YUMMY. When we arrived on the boat on New Years Eve we tried to sneak on booze. There was us and another couple. Our booze was in our case but the other couple got caught. I am thinking maybe because our suitcase was locked.When we came back to the boat our tequilla was confiscated but our friends wasnt. Luck of the draw I guess. I would reccomend this cruise wholeheartedly Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
The cruise was fun. There really is no down time if you're willing to participate in many activities. You do need to get to activities early to get seats or tables. We arrived to the deck party 1 hr early and got the last table. We ... Read More
The cruise was fun. There really is no down time if you're willing to participate in many activities. You do need to get to activities early to get seats or tables. We arrived to the deck party 1 hr early and got the last table. We arrived to a few shows 45 min early to limited seating. The cruise over all was nice. The boat is small and from what I heard a little outdated. I did not find issues there but I guess I am happier to be away and with good company. The ship just came out of dry dock but the upgrades are not really noticeable it was a few carpets and the outside painting, redid the ships name on the boat things like that. The crew on this ship is friendly and more then helpful. Don't be shy participate in all events. You will never see these people again. Try new foods. If you don't like your meal don't be afraid to say I don't like this I want this. They are more than happy to accommodate you and get it for you anything order two starter if you wasn't to try two my son did the skinny minny he is tried all types of seafood he normally would never have tried. The wait staff is great all of them. The pool is always crowded on these size ships if you're going to sit by the pool be early after 10 Am it's pretty filled. We are booking a cruise Feb of next year on the new ship the Breeze. I will say this if you have children ages 10 to 17 this cruise is perfect. We have kids 12, 14, 16 and 17 between two families we really did not see much of them they had events up till midnight or later parties and stuff for the kids it was great! So the kids on days we are not in port will be busy all day! We did a dolphin swim and stingray Island kids loved it swimming with the dolphins was fun in Grand Caymans and Cozumel we did a party boat reef swim with Fury and was fun. Both were fun and a good time I think I would opt for a different event Cozumel next time this was great to do once, so do it if you're looking for a party event but if you looking for laid back try another event. Over all was fun and can't wait for my next cruise. My main down was we left port 2 and a half hrs late and that made for no fun we were in dinner missed the sail away and that was a bummer we had 6 Pm dinning set sail at 6:30 for being our first cruise we missed out there and Carnival needs to remember that and work on leaving on time 30 min to 1 hr late ok but 2 and 1/2 half hrs makes for a lot of people to miss the fun in set sail! My only other issue I found was an elevator was down making for issues for the elder and people with small children this was one of the glass elevators down the whole cruise. The kids really enjoy the events especially the picture taking at night. The deck part was a blast they should have a few of them throughout the cruise different times of the day it's a crowded event. Also we bought the CD don't waste your money what you see on the TV is it so if you see it on the TV why purchase it? Over all it was fun and exciting and a good event a few mishaps but some Carnival could have fixed. We watched the packing and loading from our balconies and well a lot of talking and standing around the forklifts. Did the stay and sail Holiday inn express and that was perfect. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Carnival Paradise Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.9
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.5 3.7
Public Rooms 3.5 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.3
Service 4.5 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.2

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