Sail Date: April 06, 2013
Reviewed: 3 years ago
Traveled As: Family w/young children
Room Type: Inside
the overall staff on Carnival Paradise was friendly and one or two people tried to go above and beyond to make my experience better but the majority of the cruise was a bit of a disappointment. for starters, a representative guaranteed me that i would get a credit to use onboard. when i got on the ship they had no information on this. they let me call and a rep said she would investigate and would call me back after i returned from my cruise. they haven't called. DISAPPOINTING to say the least.
the kid's camp is very unsafe in my opinion. they let the preteens and teens run around the ship unattended. i lost my 12 y.o. daughter when i went to look for her at the camp, the staff member said she was not there. i then found her myself at the Paris buffet restaurant with a gaggle of other kids unattended. This was at midnight because the camp was having a late party for them but this group of kids wanted a snack. Thank God i tell my kids over and over again not to get anywhere near the lido deck railings or any railings for fear they can go overboard. The gaps in those railings are very big. I feel like any small child can fit right through them. After this experience i was hesitant to let them go anywhere alone for too long and they are 12 and 14 so they were not happy.
the food at the buffet and diningroom was good but at times there was not enough of a variety and room service was not great, no real hot food and only continental breakfast which is crazy. on the morning of disembarkation breakfast was until 9:30am but they closed the buffet at about 9:10am. i was then trying to toast a bagel and i did not notice that the toaster was unplugged and the staff member who works this station CLEARLY SAW me trying to use the toaster but did not say a word to me.
the basketball court was almost non-existent (no real designation for a court just a backboard hung up where tons of people would pass by daily). same thing with a huge beanbag toss game, right in the middle of the lido deck where i got smacked on the ankle by a flying bag. the pools are small and there were not enough chairs available. long lines for the outside grill and mongolian wok food stations and they are akwardly placed on the lido deck instead of being indoors.
too much outside noise in the hallway to relax in the spa during a massage. no real promenade, only one store and one gift shop. the main entertainment shows were terrible (cowboy show-really?) and then another show with the same dancers and old fogey music, including once again cowboy outfits and country music. i'm 41 and i know all the oldies and some country music but we needed to hear some new stuff too. i felt bad for the dancers because they were good but the outfits and the music and the two singers were HORRIBLE. the only good entertainment were the adult comedy shows late at night, lots of profanity but we were bored to death so may as well hear someone curse up a storm. it was funny though. and the gender game(men vs women) was also fun.
Pina coladas (virgin) were way too sweet to the point of being undrinkable and that is pretty much the only drink i like besides soda. The casino and bars are obviously full of smokers and we are non smokers so we couldnt hang out there.
the cruise director was nice but not funny. although he is very talented on the fiddle, violin and juggling.
the regular interior rooms (floor 5 ,M96)were very roomy, with a king sized bed for my husband and i two top bunk beds for the kids that would fold back into the wall and we still had enough walking room. Big closets, full size shower. i was happy with that but unfirtunately I will not take another Carnival cruise on the Paradise again and it may be years before i try a different, much bigger carnival ship. This cruise ship is ok for people who are not very picky. I am but i wanted to give it a try since it was my kid's first time. I have cruised on Royal Caribbean several times (explorer of the seas) and there is a difference in service, food and entertainment which is much better .although i don't like the interior rooms on Royal Caribbean, they are too small even for two people compared to Carnival's rooms which are great.
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to save money, instead of booking excursions, find a local taxi driver who will take you and possibly other cruisers on tours and/or the beaches for much less. We did this at grand cayman and cozumel and saved hundreds!