Destination Wedding Cruise
Carnival Paradise Cruise Review to Mexico
Sail Date: January 05, 2012
Cabin Type: Oceanview
Traveled As: Large Group
Reviewed: 5 years ago
Review SummaryThe ship is not that old and is HUGE! This was my first cruise and it was great. The ride over the Gulf of Mexico was pretty smooth, there were only a couple of times we really swayed a lot. The ship was still decorated for Christmas and looked great, the rooms are to be expected, the beds were pretty comfortable as compared to your typical hotel. Navigation across the ship to certain areas is not always easy but we figured it out. We went on this cruise to go to Cozumel, Mexico and have our wedding there on the beach. The staff was great, the wedding was awesome and beautiful!
The only complaint, and it is a big one, is with the photographer pricing etc.
1) you are not allowed to bring your own photographer you HAVE to use Carnival's photographer.
2) The price list was from $500 for about 35 photos to $3000 for the "complete photo package", with no real customization
3) There was an additional $1200 photo book that was available that was not listed on the price list prior to cruising
4)You do not get to see a set of proofs to choose photos from
5) You HAVE to pay for your photos on the cruise, and you get about 30 minutes to decide which photos you want (in our case there were 300 photos to choose from!)
6) They preselected the size of the 8x10 and 5x7 photos, so you have no choice in the size of the photo as it has been chosen for you, you can't change the size they preselected.
This made an awesome cruise end quite bitterly. Had we known that we had to pay for the photos on the cruise we would have brought this budget with us. Also, even if we did find our package there was no way to know about the additional $1200 photo book as it was not listed ANYWHERE. What I would suggest is that Carnival put the proofs on the web and let us choose state side, that would also allow our family to order photos and increase profitability. I think the worst thing I heard from the photo salesman was "can you borrow money from your friends?" What is this?! A used car lot? Really, what kind of professional asks you these things.
All in all the cruise was great, the food was good, the scenery was great, the staff was awesome. The wedding photography system needs a lot of work and I wouldn't recommend going through carnival for your destination wedding based on this alone. I would book the cruise with carnival and book the wedding and photographer outside of them.
Still, thanks for the great price from and thanks for the wonderful cruise from Carnival!
***************Some hint's for first time cruisers - You are allowed to bring a case of soda AND a 750ml bottle of wine or champagne on board. I suggest you do so on the soda if you want to be thrifty. If you don't want to lug the soda on board they have a bottomless soda option for $30 per person.
You DO NOT have to have a passport a valid birth certificate and ID worked perfectly fine for the 12 of us.
There is no reason to sneak liquor on board the liquor store has it cheap as it's tax and duty free. Two 1L bottles of Top shop Vodka will only cost you about $20 or so.
For the smokers, the cartons of cigarrettes are like $22 on-board so buy them if you can, you are allowed to bring one carton per person home so don't buy 10 cartons lol.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Pros: Scenery, Food, Staff
Cons: Wedding Photography Pricing and information