January 2016 - 5 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Paradise
This was not a usual cruise, and for us even more unusual. Carnival knows already that this trip was, due to the vagaries of Mother Nature, pretty much of a disaster at the start and at the end, but for us it was in between, as well.
But putting aside the fact that my husband suffered a blockage of his esophagus late on the 2nd day out, and afterwards could not eat any solid food for 3-1/2 days, which was not helped by the confusion at the end of the trip, I just have to add that we were lucky to debark on the night of the arrival, as he had an appointment at Sarasota Memorial Hospital the following morning at 8:00 a.m. to deal with his illness. Lucky, because it seems not all passengers who wanted to debark could, due to the working hours of the Port employees. I should end comment on this complication by saying that everything for us turned out fine. He had his medical problem attended to, and all is well. (We had seen the nurse on the ship and were offered the opportunity to debark at Grand Cayman, that the hospital there is good. But in a call to my husband's physician from the ship it was determined that he should stick with the cruise for the remaining 2 days and an appointment was set up for the day after arrival.)
Well, I know that is not anything you wanted to hear because it had nothing to do with the trip itself and Carnival's part in it. Just couldn't help throwing it in. Anyway, I would like to give kudos to Carnival for the way everything was handled. Conditions had to be continually monitored, and it would have been difficult or rather impossible to deal in an orderly way with everything that was going wrong, but Carnival did come close.
We appreciated the continual updates, and especially the invitation to return to our rooms when it was apparent that the cruise following us could not possibly go on as scheduled. And also the invitation to remain for another day on the cruise, treating it as just another day on board. We couldn't, of course, because of our unusual circumstances, but would have otherwise.
We are not Carnival's target customers; we're much older. But I was impressed with the work of everyone who tried to make all of the passengers as comfortable as possible. I watched with a little envy the crowd of younger adults having a ball with the activities that had been dreamed up or kept in reserve to occupy their minds. They seemed to be totally immersed in the games and fun, and it certainly passed the time in a worthwhile manner. Those responsible for the entertainment on the ship deserve praise. They never let up.
We also want to give a thumbs up to all those of the crew who were always helpful, always smiling, and especially our stateroom steward, Agut, who kept everything there in good order.
I also thought the food was quite good. And that comment refers to the Paris Restaurant, as we never did get to our late night seating; even without the esophagus problem we just do not and cannot eat that late.
And here I might mention the one negative we had: that perhaps you could try to accommodate more people who don't want to eat that late but have had to accept the late seating, because it was all that was left when we reserved. We tried to get into the "dine anytime" program, but were somehow too late for that; it was full to capacity. And we thought we had applied as soon as we could.
Well, that is about all I can think of to say about the cruise. Basically, we think this cruise was about as good as it could get, given the circumstances.