January 2015 - 4 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Paradise
A great budget cruise
First, know that the Paradise is the oldest ship in the Carnival fleet. There are no balconies. If you believe rooms are for sleeping and showering like I do, this cruise is for you. Tampa is a great place to sail from. Parking is close and cheap. We also boarded and disembarked quickly. There are great views of the city as you depart. Try to be ton the top deck when the ship goes under the Skyway bridge about 2 hours into the cruise. The ship has larger cabins and showers than many newer ships. It is well kept and has nice decorations. The atrium Is wonderful. The food was outstanding. I recommend the anytime dining, which means you eat when you want. You can get a table for 2, or meet new cruisers every night. Try the Seaday brunch. The buffet was better than on my recent RC, Norwegian, or MSC cruises, especially the deserts. Pizza was hot and fast, anyway you want it. I enjoyed the shows, but there are just 3 stage production. 2 comics were aboard offering both family and adult shows. The pool is small, but there is a nice slide into it. There is a nice stage on the pool deck, with a constant party. Be aware that the ship docks at the new Port Maya, and not at the city. I found the port shops too artificial, not real Mexico. It takes an $8 cab ride to get to the city and the authentic shopping found there. If you are doing excursions, that make no difference. Overall, it was a great getaway for a bargain price.