Carnival paradise cruise reviews

Carnival paradise cruise reviews DEFAULT

Carnival Paradise Cruise Review

Insider Take

Overview

One of the oldest "Fantasy-class" Carnival ships (1991), fine for short inexpensive getaways but the age shows in decor.

Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer

Sophisticated "seen but not heard" service people; cabins with private verandas; mega-ship action; understated elegance in a low-key environment; no children; dozens of varieties of food.

Onboard Experience

Identical in all but decor, Carnival Paradise is the eighth and last of the Fantasy-class sister ships (Fantasy, Fascination, Ecstasy, Inspiration, Imagination, Sensation & Elation). These ships always seem to have something of interest going on, and thus are ideal for the up-and-at-'em style cruiser. Carrying 2,052 passengers, the ships are big enough to provide diverse entertainment, but tend to be deployed to the 3 and 4-day market in most cases. They have ample deck space for those whose idea of being entertained is basking in a warm sunshine glow, and separate facilities for passengers of all ages.

Having been launched in 1998, Carnival Paradise is not so full of neon, chrome and mirrors as her younger sister ships. But it's there if you know where to look. Like at the Leonardo's Dance Club with her brass barstools and neon-rimmed mirrors and ceiling panels.

In any case, this is still considered an older ship in today's fast-paced market, and as such one can expect to find bargain sailings on her, which is great because in many ways she feels like a brand new ship.

All of the public rooms recently received new sound and light systems to add a touch of excitement. Flat-screen televisions have been added to many lounges to keep up with sports and other events. The ship now has a specialty coffee bar, new art and photo galleries and purpose-built conference facilities.

An interesting side-note is that Paradise was built and launched as the first completely "smoke-free" ship, with a strict policy that demanded that anyone even carrying cigarettes (lit or unlit) in public would be put off in the next port. Carnival did actually disembark three teenagers mid-cruise, much to the surprise of their guardians. In the long run, however, the rule became not unenforceable, but unprofitable. It proved too hard to sell the ship to groups and families where there were no smokers. The "non-smoking" rule was revoked when the ship was repositioned to California.

Paradise now sails regular three and four-day journeys to the Mexican Riviera, departing from the port of Long Beach. For west-coasters only familiar with the San Pedro port facilities, Long Beach port is highly recommended. You can fly in to the Long Beach airport, and spend a night before your cruise on the original Queen Mary 1, now one of the best maritime museums in the world.

Ideal as it is for the sort of person who likes to have loads of activities planned, Paradise also offers lots of out-of-the-way places to read or just contemplate the sea. During summer cruises, however, when there are hundreds of kiddies aboard, quiet contemplation might become a luxury reserved for another ship.

Public Rooms

The ship consist of 10 decks with most of the public rooms concentrated on Atlantic, Promenade and Lido decks (decks 5, 6 and 7). The cabins are mostly concentrated on decks one through four; Riviera, Main, Upper (which is actually a lower deck 3) and Empress decks.

The ships centerpiece is their seven-deck high Grand Atrium, bathed bronze and woods for a nautical touch, with jade green eggs sitting atop redwood pillars. You can stroll on the "Carnival Boulevard", or plop down into a soft banquette to ogle passers-by. The two-level, 1300-seat Normandie Theater at the front of the promenade presents live production shows, comedians, magicians, and passenger talent shows, with exemplary sight lines and good seating throughout.

The ship's most fanciful decor is in such entertainment venues as the popular America Piano bar featuring an enormous circular piano which doubles as a bar for those who like to sing along. You'll also find a vibrant disco and cabaret lounge along the boulevard.

An upgrade scheduled for 2008 involves upgrades to the pool area, staterooms and some public rooms. Some of the following are complete: a snazzy new pool area with teak decking, new umbrellas, a tile "beach" for the pool water to lap against and a new thatched roof for the hot tub. The kids will rave about "Carnival waterworks," the new water park featuring a 4-story tall and 300 foot long "Twister Water Slide." Another slide is three side-by-side tubes 82 feet long. This is all part of a waterpark with all kinds of sprays and other devices to keep the kiddies cool and fresh. There's also a new nine-hole miniature golf course. As of January 2008, this is almost complete.

As if that isn't enough for the kids, "Camp Carnival" received a makeover, and the ship has new interconnecting staterooms for families.

The adults haven't been left out; there will be a new "adults-only" area called "Serenity" with a deck of solid teak panels for soft cushioned loungers in sun or shady areas and two hot tubs.

New enhancements indoors include a coffee cafe with specialty coffees (for a price) but free pastries. A new art & photo gallery and the atrium bar will be in place. New sound and lighting systems have been installed in every public room, and the ship now has flat screen televisions in several places to keep up with sports and other vital information.

All of the staterooms are scheduled for upgrades with new fabrics and finishings, and flat panel televisions for a more updated look and the important added space.

Other public areas include the Galleria shopping mall, the Virtual World arcade, and the ship's photo gallery. Cafe Ile de France Internet offers access for 75 cents per minute; for those who plan to spend more time on the computer, there are 100 minute packages available for $50 (50 cents per minute) and 250 minute packages for $100 (40 cents per minute).

Cuisine

From the best pizza afloat (available 24 hours per day) to haute cuisine in the main dining room, Carnival really delivers on the food front.

Service

Don't expect formality. Indeed, expect wacky dances after dessert - and then to come back to your cabin to find that your cabin steward, cut up that he or she is, has left a towel folded to resemble a dog on your bed. The hi-jinx never stop!

Entertainment

The prime entertainment venue is the 1,300 seat Normandie Theater, but karaoke draws big crowds to the Rex Dance Club, while the Queen Mary Lounge offers a variety of dance-music combos from pop standards to even folk and country musicians. A variety of dance music is spinning nightly in the Leonardo Disco. Regardless of what sort of music you like most, you're pretty much assured of hearing it.

By day, there are bingo and Trivial Pursuit contests, not to mention such highbrow events poolside as the men's hairy chest contest.

Attire

On the two "formal" nights per week, most men wear a dark suit instead of tux. By day, nearly everyone wears shorts, T-shirt, sneakers/sandals, bathing suit, and a hat.

Best For People Who Want

Non-stop entertainment, lively casinos, extensive deck space for sunning, large, if very pink, facilities for fitness/spa and children's activities, large cabins, good food, and very informal service. Especially recommended for families, singles in groups and first time cruisers.

Decor

Every Carnival ship, designed by fanciful designer Joe Farcus, has a unifying theme for the decor. The unifying idea behind Paradise's interior decor is ships of the world - from the famous and infamous to the mythical and mysterious. You'll find the the Rex Dance Club with its rotating mirror balls and ceiling mounted lava lamps, the Rotterdam Bar, the Normandie Theater and the Cafe Ile de France.

Restaurants

Total Choice Dining provides for four dinner seatings in the main dining rooms, alternative Bistro dining every evening, and an increased number of service staff. Passengers are assigned a table for dinner in one of the two main dining rooms - The Elation Dining Room on Atlantic Deck, mid-ship, or the Destiny Dining Room on Atlantic Deck, aft - at one of four seatings; 5:45 p.m. or 6:15 p.m. and 8 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. There are very few tables for two in either of the two main dining rooms; expect to dine with four, six, or eight fellow voyagers. Both dining rooms are named after future Carnival ships that at the time were only a part of the founder's "imagination."

You typically have a choice of six starters, a couple of salads, and six or seven main courses (pan-fried fillet of red snapper, sweet and sour shrimp, rack of New Zealand lamb and Beef Wellington). The menu also includes Spa Carnival selections for those trying to reduce their intake of calories, sodium, cholesterol, fat, or meat.

Additionally, the poolside Lido eateries are converted into Seaview Bistros between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. each evening, offering buffet dinner with no reservations or advance notice required. The informal Paris (T-shirts and shorts are OK) Restaurant on the Lido Deck offers both inside and poolside seating. All meals here are served buffet style, with open seating for all three meals.

Other alternative eating options include a 24-hour pizzeria, a complimentary sushi bar and 24 hour room service. The "Evolutions of Fun" upgrades started in 2007 will eventually add a coffee bar in the atrium and New York-style deli in the Lido restaurants, if they are not there already.

Tipping

Carnival automatically adds $10.00 per person per day in gratuities to your Sail & Sign card unless you're under two years old, and if you're reading this, you're probably not. This includes $3.60 for the stateroom steward; $5.50 for the Dining Room team, and $.90 for service in the alternative dining rooms. Visit the purser's desk during the cruise to raise or lower this amount.

You may also prepay gratuities for all service personnel at a rate of $10.00 per person per day. On Cruises-to-Nowhere, gratuities of $10 per person per day must be prepaid.

A 15 percent gratuity is automatically added to all beverage tabs. Tip the maitre d', room service, spa, casino and other staff as you deem fitting.

Cabins

Because they were built just before the shift toward lots of verandahs, just the 26 demi-suites (250 square feet) and 28 full suites (400 square feet) have balconies.

However, during 2008 all of the staterooms in the class of smaller Carnival ships will receive a facelift including new flat screen televisions, for example, a subtle change but one that lends a significantly different feel to the room while also adding a little extra space - which never hurts.

The cabins on these older ships always appeared spartan compared to the newer Carnival ships due to their lack of wooden desks and cabinetry. The colors, fabrics and linens will be upgraded, but they are still light on amenities (a color TV with CNN, telephone, radio, no hair dryer, and a basket of "free-sample" toiletries). They are roomy, however, among the largest in the cruise industry: inside measure 185 sq. ft, outside 190 sq. feet. Even in the minimum category inside or outside stateroom you'll still enjoy ample space. for four and five are understandably popular with families, and go fast.

Oceanview staterooms and suites offer a mini bar, bathrobes, and fairly large bathrooms with a shower (with wand) and medicine cabinet. There are also 26 mini-suites (226sq. feet plus 36 square foot private veranda) and 28 suites measuring 350 sq. feet with 71 sq. foot balconies.

Fitness/Spa

With no fewer than 12,000 sq. ft. devoted to fitness and spa facilities, these ships are a dream come true for those who like to keep in shape during their cruise. The "Evolutions of Fun" upgrades scheduled for 2008 will pay particular attention to the spa area by adding more elegance and amenities.

The gyms have a private trainer and 35 state-of-the-art exercise machines. There's a day-long schedule of aerobics, and stretching yoga, and Pilates classes (usually around $10 each), as well as body composition analysis and personal training sessions, $75 for 60 minutes. There's a fully jogging track and a volleyball court. Women who want to sunbathe topless will find secluded areas in which to do so.

Those who prefer to skip shore excursions and snorkel on their own can rent equipment for $26 for three days. The inescapable Steiner's of London operates the ship's spa, which offers lots of different kinds of massage - and pushes its beauty products rather more zealously than most passengers would prefer.

Children's Facilities

Carnival's celebrated Camp Carnival program offers a full schedule of supervised activities, from finger painting and singalongs for younger children to photography workshops, late-night movies, and pool parties for their older siblings. The ships' 2,400-square foot "Children's World" play areas are stocked with a computer lab, a climbing maze, an activity wall, and an assortment of toys, games and puzzles.




Ship Overview

The eighth and final ship in Carnival’s eight-ship Fantasy-class, Carnival Paradise entered service in 1998 as the line's only no-smoking vessel. While the smoking ban didn’t last, Carnival Paradise has received numerous upgrades since her launch and features a secluded adults-only Serenity Deck. The ship is scheduled for a major refurbishment in 2015, when it will receive Carnival’s "Fun Ship 2.0" upgrades with new casual dining options, poolside bars, and more. After leaving the Port of Tampa, Carnival Paradise sails four- and five-night cruises from Florida’s Gulf Coast to the Western Caribbean and Mexico.

Bathed in fiber-optic light, glitzy Fantasy-class interiors added expansive six-deck atriums and a new dimension to the original superliner concept. To keep the fun going, these ships offer an almost wearying assortment of places to have a good time. As times and tastes have changed, the ships have evolved as well, with new lobby bars, dedicated club spaces for teens and tweens, miniature golf, and Internet centers. Even newer are Carnival’s WaterWorks water park and the Serenity Adult-Only Retreat, which increase the appeal of the older Fantasy-class vessels.

Only one level below the Lido deck, the indoor promenade connects major public rooms on a single deck, with only formal dining rooms, shops, and other small spaces one deck below. Large in size and ideal for a short itinerary, these ships have sprawling outdoor pool and sunning areas, but they can feel cramped when sailing at maximum capacity. Cabins provide calm oases from sensory overload. With the exception of Carnival Sensation, Carnival Fascination, and Carnival Ecstasy, to which balconies were added to existing cabins, you'll have to book a suite if you want the solitude of a private balcony.

The world's largest cruise line—and one of the most widely recognized—originated its "Fun Ship" concept in 1972 and has been launching party-packed superliners with signature red funnels ever since. The line's ever-growing fleet features entertainment and activities designed for passengers of all ages, from game shows and lip sync competitions to twisting waterslides and mini golf. These ships are a reliable choice for families as well as young singles and couples who want a vacation that won’t break the bank.

Nearly all onboard dining options are included in the fare, as are comedy and production shows, children’s programs, and use of state-of-the-art fitness centers. With some of the most comfortable accommodations at sea, large new ships are continuously added to the fleet and rarely deviate from a successful pattern, while older vessels are updated with popular features, such as the poolside BlueIguana Tequila Bar with an adjacent burrito cantina, the Red Frog Rum Bar that also serves Carnival’s own brand of Thirsty Frog Red beer, and Guy’s Burger Joint, created with Food Network star Guy Fieri.

Sours: https://www.fodors.com/cruises/carnival-cruise-lines-676515/ships/carnival-paradise-676533

Carnival Paradise Cruise Reviews

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Featured Review

Great excursion but a small ship with limited amenities

"This was a great cruise for the price and cruising out of Tampa was a great experience. The ship itself was nice. Nothing fancy but nice. Excursions - since this was just a last minute getaway we didn't book..."Read More

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1-10 of 935 Carnival Paradise Cruise Reviews


Trip to Cozumel

Review for Carnival Paradise to Caribbean - Western

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mscolli

First Time Cruiser • Age 50s

Chose Paradise basically for the locality, close to home. Was very disappointing when boarding, as a first time cruise, had no direction on what to do or go. Buffet food and service was very poor, help had very poor english, hard to understand, moved very slow, very unorganized, many mistakes and food was stale or not cooked right. Servings were very small, long lines that moved slowly, average ...

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Sail Date: March 2020

Cabin Type: Junior Suite


Great excursion but a small ship with limited amenities

Review for Carnival Paradise to Caribbean - Western

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RLTravels

6-10 Cruises • Age 40s

This was a great cruise for the price and cruising out of Tampa was a great experience. The ship itself was nice. Nothing fancy but nice. Excursions - since this was just a last minute getaway we didn't book anything but we did enjoy 7 mile beach in Grand Cayman and walked around the port in Cozumel (weather wasn't great!). Room/Room steward - We had an ocean view on deck 5; it was ...

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Sail Date: February 2020

Cabin Type: Ocean View


Great Price Great Value Great Service

Review for Carnival Paradise to Caribbean - Western

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Jackie Marie

10+ Cruises • Age 50s

We always choose Carnival....great price and great value. You get the most bang for the buck.We choose the Paradise because it fit the time frame we had without a lot of $ extras. This was the 3rd time on the Paradise and it did not disappoint. The beauty of the older ships is what the new ships are missing. The atrium, the glass elevators,the beauty of the showrooms the new ships are lacking. ...

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Sail Date: February 2020

Cabin Type: Interior


Not Great...Not bad either!

Review for Carnival Paradise to Caribbean - Western

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Volleyvic

6-10 Cruises • Age 60s

I booked this cruise as it was going to be in Grand Cayman on my wife's birthday (we love Grand Cayman's 7 mile beach). Overall...the ship is older but very well maintained...it is also smaller than most of the other ships we have cruised on. Luckily...the weather was great and the gulf was not rough...so it was pretty much smooth sailing. Our room was what we expected...nothing fancy but ...

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Sail Date: February 2020

Cabin Type: Ocean View


Surprising cruise on an older ship

Review for Carnival Paradise to Caribbean - Western

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talltales311

10+ Cruises • Age 60s

There were 6 friends on this cruise and we chose it for 1 reason only. The piano bar with Gustavo. We've cruised 2 other times where we had the fun of seeing Gustavo. But this was the first time on Carnival. I was leery, it's an old ship and I was afraid it hadn't aged well. I was very pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was the easiest I've ever been through. I think it's because you don't ...

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Sail Date: February 2020

Cabin Type: Aft-View Extended Balcony


Cheap Price Equals Low Quality

Review for Carnival Paradise to Caribbean - Western

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goingtocarolina

2-5 Cruises • Age 50s

My daughter and I decided to get away from the cold and take a cruise to Cozumel and the Grand Caymans. We got a pretty inexpensive interior room on the Carnival Paradise ship. Unfortunately it was the only one going the week we needed to go, talk about a ship that desperately needs a Rehab!! Everything is outdated and you can see it the minute you get on it, from the decks needing staining to ...

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Sail Date: January 2020

Cabin Type: Interior


Won't be cruising with Carnival anymore

Review for Carnival Paradise to Caribbean - Western

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Tropical79

6-10 Cruises • Age 50s

My wife and I cruised with Carnival out of Miami several years ago and had a pretty good experience. We've also cruised before with NCL and Royal. There were several reasons why we were very disappointed with this latest Carnival Cruise. Thus, we don't expect to cruise with Carnival again. (1) Too much of a loud/drinking/party atmosphere. Except in the atrium, music throughout the ship was ...

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Great hospitality

Review for Carnival Paradise to Caribbean - Western

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janet13180

First Time Cruiser • Age 40s

First cruise for me and my husband. We really enjoyed our time, our room steward I Made was wonderful! He called us by name every time he seen us and made sure we had everything. He was wonderful! Also the dining team was excellent,Lab Asa, Nujarin,Rojas, Joel and Espinoza, Rogelio Jr Paiso, we thank you for your outstanding service. We will definitely be back to cruise some more. We also had fun ...

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Really a great time-But inconsistent with your time dining still

Review for Carnival Paradise to Caribbean - Western

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jofred

10+ Cruises • Age 70s

We enjoy Carnival because it is indeed Fun Ships. This cruise was exceptional. The executive staff was very friendly every time you saw them on deck, in the halls etc. The performance shows wee outstanding and professional. The crew was great except of course the continued problem in the your time dining. We have sailed to Platinum with Carnival and there is ALWAYS a dining room team that is ...

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Disappointing!

Review for Carnival Paradise to Caribbean - Western

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CruiserLady31

10+ Cruises • Age 50s

I have been on over 10 cruises using 5 different cruise lines over the years. We were invited on this cruise with a group. I would not have chosen it but, then I thought, how bad could it be? Dining room food was terrible. Cold, fatty, soggy, runny, undercooked, overcooked, sparse, lack luster....you name it! I was shocked at how bad the food was. I even upcharged ($20) for a steak one evening and ...

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Sail Date: January 2020

Cabin Type: Ocean View


Find a Carnival Paradise Cruise from $249

Sours: https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/getreviews.cfm?action=ship&ShipID=12
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Carnival Paradise reviews




corneel saw things this way:


Great staff, horrible food, January 7, 2014
Reviewer: corneel

Pros:Hard working and friendly staff

Cons:The food, the food, the food.

Date of cruise:December 28, 2013

Departure port:Tampa

Region visited:Caribbean - Western

Cabin category:Outside

Cabin number:M31

Good for children:No

Good for teenagers:No

This was our first cruise but certainly not our last. We fell in love with cruising but next we will use another company. The food on the Paradise ship was awful. Some of the dinners were so bad, we were convinced the kitchen was run by Costco. My wife had meatloaf on the last night that we were convinced came from a tin and was just warmed up. This seems to be more of a party cruise, our teenagers were bored because so many of the night activities were for over 18 year old.


laurz60 saw things this way:


Great value, good food and service, March 1, 2012
Reviewer: laurz60

Pros:The food in the main dining room was very good, the service even better

Cons:Pool not big enough, too many children, need a bigger pool for adults only

Date of cruise:February 20, 2012

Departure port:Tampa

Region visited:Caribbean - Western

Cabin category:Outside

Cabin number:e221

Good for children:Yes

Good for teenagers:Yes

This was our first cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed it all. The ship was very nice, the cabin very clean and, while small, did the job well. Loved the special towel animals every night. Richard our steward was terrific and friendly. The main dining was great, delicious foods with some nice surprises. Our waitress Snezhanna was great, very friendly and accommodating. Her assistant was great, too. The entertainment was very good and there always seemed to be something to do. The only thing my group felt was lacking was a better pool area, too small, too many children. The excursions were exactly as described and were enjoyed by all. We did the Seven Mile beach in Cayman and the fury paradise beach party and snorkel..would definitely recommend.


cheezz1 saw things this way:


Good for first-time cruise, June 29, 2011
Reviewer: cheezz1

Pros:Low cost, clean ship, food presentation

Cons:Staff could have been friendlier; deck markings only at elevator; food quality

Departure port:Long Beach

Region visited:Mexico

Cabin category:Outside

Cabin number:R194

Just got back from a short cruise - Long Beach > Catalina > Ensenada > Long Beach. It was my friend's first cruise so she got a taste of a good "beginner" cruise ship. I would rate Carnival Paradise below the Norwegian. The staff were friendly enough, but only just - barely saw our room porter. The food could have been better, but there were enough choices to satisfy. It is a confusing ship with lots of decks midway between others and no way to know where you were if you took the stairs (which we always did). You had to get off the stairs, walk over to the elevators and look at the deck plan to see where you were! There were two large gift shops and a library that took us two days to discover. Embarkation was the only hassle. We were there five hours before departure (5:30 departure and 12:30-3:30 was the recommended boarding time). It was jammed with people - better to come later (or earlier than suggested) I guess. It took 20 minutes to grab a porter and get the bags checked. Watch them take your bag away as bags were over-stacked and falling off the cart and and the porter didn't stop to pick them up. One couple still hadn't found their bags (2) by the second day. The paparazzi - honestly, does anyone really like a camera shoved in their face every 30 minutes?! They were at every meal (right as we finished eating - sans lipstick) with partially eaten food everywhere. Not a picture-perfect moment. I guess at $12 per 5x7 photo, they are making a killing. Disembarkation went smoothly. Most of the people dragging their own bags behind them got off first (which took an hour). We got off half an hour later (last group onboard) and had no crowds at all. The room has ONE electrical outlet. There is another outlet in the bathroom, but it says "shavers only". No hair dryer, so bring your own and plan to dry your hair in front of the room mirror. We took turns charging cameras and phones. The beds were very comfy, with warm down comforters. I was impressed with the laundry rooms - I guess it's nice if you're traveling with a lot of kids or only want to take two or three changes of clothes. $3 to wash, $3 to dry, $1.25 for soap and softener, big sink, 2 irons and ironing boards (free to use). Stay in your room to read if you like it quiet - music blasts all over the ship and we had a hard time finding a place quiet enough to read. The "Serenity Deck" is the adults-only deck with two hot tubs, chairs and lounges -- located under the Lido buffet. It ISN'T serene, though, as music is blasting there as well. If you exit the rear of the buffet area to the outside seating area, it is the quietest part of the ship. Or take ear plugs. I was leery of getting on the tender that takes you into Catalina - it is only 1/4 mile but I get seasick easily. Turned out to be a breeze - no problem at all. Lots of people in town and it's easy to do in two to three hours. It's about a mile or more into the shops of Ensenada, so it's easier to take the constant shuttles from the ship. It's $3 round trip and they all go to the same place. Riding into town, they tell you a bit about the city and offer a couple of tours. We took the one to La Bufadora (The Blowhole) as it was half the price of booking on the ship. We had a great guide - Jaimie - and he chatted the whole way to the destination (35 minutes). La Bufadora is one of three blowholes in the world and was quite spectacular. Afterwards, we "ran the gauntlet" through the shops - no other way to put it... they make telemarketers and time share salesmen look pathetic! Had some really good soft tacos with hand made corn tortillas, though. Bought some Kahlua (it's only $1 more to purchase it onboard, though) and pure vanilla (my one "gotta buy" item). Pics posted here: http://maddysmaidenvoyage.shutterfly.com/


jsblatz saw things this way:


Food was terrible, rest of cruise was okay, October 27, 2010
Reviewer: jsblatz

Pros:Good casino

Cons:Food and food services are bad

Date of cruise:October 18, 2021

Departure port:Long Beach

Region visited:Mexico

Cabin category:Jr. Suite

Cabin number:u111

What more can I say?


ragad3 saw things this way:


A very memorable and enjoyable first cruise for my family., July 14, 2010
Reviewer: ragad3

Pros:The cabins, the service, the atmosphere aboard, the enthusiasm and the shows.

Cons:The pool - inadequate, sea water, no temperature control.

Date of cruise:July 5, 2010

Departure port:Long Beach

Region visited:Mexico

Cabin category:Inside

Cabin number:R121

Good for children:Yes




rwdsquared saw things this way:


Very enjoyable, good entertainment, excellent service, but mediocre food, June 23, 2010
Reviewer: rwdsquared

Pros:Good entertainment, excellent dining service, and plenty to do on board

Cons:If the dining room were a restaurant, we would not go back for a second meal

Date of cruise:June 14, 2010

Departure port:Long Beach

Region visited:Mexico

Cabin category:Outside

Cabin number:R28

Good for children:Yes

Good for teenagers:Yes

We cruised from Long Beach to Catalina and Ensenada with our daughter and 10-year-old granddaughter. We had been upgraded from inside cabins on the Riviera deck to outside cabins, a pleasant surprise, since we did have portholes to look out. Our cabin had been made up into a double bed, while the other cabin had two separate twin beds. The cabins were clean and very well-maintained, and the toilets were somewhat small but not uncomfortable. The ship had more than enough facilities, shops, activities, etc. There was an outdoor mini-golf, running track, and fitness center - all of which were excellent and enjoyable. The main pool was small, and there was a waterslide that our granddaughter enjoyed - lines did not appear to ever be too long, but the landing area took up about half of the pool, so swimming is really not possible. There also was a children's pool for small children on a separate deck, away from the main active area, which would be great for families with small children. There was musical entertainment throughout the day at multiple locations around the ship and all of those that we heard were good musicians and added to the enjoyment or relaxing by the pool, etc. We went to two of the evening shows, both of which were filled with energy, good singing, a funny comedian, and suitable for everyone in our group. They did have a late night R-rated show, which was clearly advertised as such, so you cannot mistakenly bring children to the show. The adults in our group did not go, so I cannot comment on the quality of that show. There was abundant food throughout the day, which we felt was over-emphasized by the cruise director. Given the number of obese people we saw, there really was no need to encourage people to eat early and often. There was ample seating in the buffet areas, and the main dining room where we ate most meals (one of two main dining rooms) was pleasant and comfortable. Our serving staff were excellent, as well as very pleasant and sociable - they definitely added to our dining experience. After the first dinner, they knew our preferences and brought water with lemon, one capuccino and two decaf capuccinos after dinner, without the need for us to request them. They brought us special desserts for the anniversary and birthday that we celebrated on board - a nice touch, but they were nothing special in terms of quality. The menu typically had some variety, but not as much as we had expected from cruising on other lines. For dinner there were typically six new dishes each night and four "classic" dishes that were available at all meals. There were cold soups, salads, and vegetarian dishes as well as steak, chicken, fish and pasta dishes. Overall, any diet could be accommodated without ordering outside the menu. Portions were appropriate - not too big, but certainly not too small. Also, as expected, there was never a problem getting two appetizers or replacing a dish that we did not like (only happened once). All of the above would have made the cruise great if the quality of the food had been better. Fish, after the first day, had a metallic taste, indicating that it had not been fresh even on the day of departure. Almost every dish was somewhat bland - a little seasoning, not just salt, would have added a lot to the taste of almost everything. Steaks were prepared as ordered, but they lacked a little flavor. With the exception of one fish dish, there was nothing that was unacceptable. That dish was immediately replaced with no hassle. Overall, the food was such that, if the dining room were a restaurant, after going there the first time we would not have willingly returned for a second meal. The quality of food at the buffets was similar - abundant, but not an overwhelming variety and nothing especially tasty. Frozen yogurt was available 24/7, but it wasn't especially flavorful. We are not food snobs, but we are good cooks, and we had hoped that dining would add to the cruise experience, but it detracted from the overall rating we would give for this cruise. We can still remember great meals from other cruises, so if food is a major factor in your decision about what ship to select, this is not the cruise ship for you. All four of us, spanning three generations, had a very nice time on the cruise and the overall experience was enjoyable, although not memorable. We did not take advantage of the children's clubs, but they do have three different clubs separated into three different age groups. One of the purposes of our trip was to spend more time with our granddaughter, so we did not enroll her in any of the activities offered by the club at her age level, but we did see children around the ship and they appeared to be enjoying the activities sponsored by Carnival. In conclusion, I would definitely recommend this cruise/ship to families with children of any age, with the understanding that the adults will be disappointed by the food. I would definitely not recommend the cruise for adults traveling alone - there are much better options for a similar cost.

Sours: https://www.cruisecompete.com/reviews/cruise_ships/paradise_cruises

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