Carnival Paradise Cruise Review to Mexico

Deck Hand

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

3 out of 5

A mixed bag

Sail Date: October 17, 2011

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Traveled As: Large Group

Room Type: Inside

This was my seventh cruise, and my second on Carnival Paradise. This is a "Fun Ship," and everything had "fun" in its name. If you are familiar with the fun size Halloween candy, you know that "fun" is really code for "cheap" or "bare minimum," which is the fun context of this cruise.
We only paid $78.61 per person per day (including taxes and tips) for a 4-day mid-week Los Angeles, Catalina, and Ensenada cruise. That is a real bargain. I only mention the price because if I paid more, I'd be upset.
The ship was large and fairly well maintained. More Formica than fine hardwoods. As for the clientele, it looked like they raided local DMVs, Greyhound bus stations, and homeless shelters. The staterooms were adequate with the bulletproof finishes found throughout the ship. The sheets and towels were rough and cheap, but clean. The chefs and dining staff did a good job with the HomeTown Buffet-style commodity food. The buffet felt more like a cafeteria, with low-end plastic dishware and cheap stamped silverware. The food quality was well below that of Las Vegas buffets. Lobster was served one night in the dining room and was actually above average. The international staff was kind, professional, hard-working, and attentive.
This wasn't an awful cruise, and I went in with very low expectations. It was, after all, a real bargain. That said, this will be my last Carnival Cruise. I prefer even a hint of elegance to fun/cheap. If you're young and want to go on a cruise with a large group of friends and drink yourself blind, then look no further, this is the cruise for you. If you want a nicer inexpensive Mexico cruise departing Los Angeles, I'd suggest a slightly longer and slightly more expensive Mexican Riveria cruise on Princess or Holland America.

Pros: Staff was good

Cons: Food

Recommends Carnival Paradise? Yes!

Food and Dining
Ship Quality
Cabin / Stateroom
Service and Staff
Children's Programs
Catalina Island, California
Long wait to get tendered ashore
Ensenada, Mexico
What can I say, it's Ensenada

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