So much worse than I expected!

Carnival Paradise Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Experience: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 9

Overall Rating:

1 out of 5
Verified Review
5 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa Roundtrip)
Sail Date: November 23, 2015
Ship: Carnival Paradise
Cabin Type: Inside
Cabin Number: E88
Traveled As: Family (older children)
Reviewed: 2 years ago

This was my first cruise with my college daughter.  From the moment we stepped on board, disappointment followed everywhere. The ship was much older and smaller than thought. The interior room was adequate and actually quite quiet. Our cabin steward was mainly MIA during our stay. We never received our ship activity schedule so trying to figure out where to go for dinner or what to do was left up to us. We got itinaries the next few days, but they were always a day late! So much for hitting that comedy show. We received no towel animals like everyone raved about until the night before the last, and only on the day that we received the info. On tipping. Same sheets the entire trip, wet towels left on floor for washing were neatly re folded and placed back on the racks!

The best way to describe the food was "school cafeteria". Everything was not special or that tasty at all.  Even the presentation was to be desired. Our dining room staff was the only shining light. They were entertaining, extremely attentive, and very fun. Kudos Diana and Alex!  The other locations to get other types of food (pizzas, chicken nuggets, baked fries, etc.) consisting of long wait in lines only to get a meal that one could get at a convenience store. Even the ice cream was gritty. I was hoping for at least one decent meal by the end of the trip, but none was  to be found. We were charged approx. $25 a day for gratuities, PRIOR to departure which was the main reason why we had such poor service.  The majority of the workers seemed angry or blasé as if they didn't want to be there.  What incentive do they have to insure proper service when they are automatically assured their tips? Activities were lame, casino was small and had people waiting 1 back to get a seat at a table, while other higher bidding tables were left empty. 

They charged me $3 for gluten free bread that my daughter requires! When I tried to complain on departure day, I was told that I should have let them know as things happened so something could be done.  Most of the issues like the lousy food or poor service could not really be addressed after the fact. I told the guest service host that if I came down there to complain about every issue, I would be spending all my vaca waiting in their line to complain. 

And to add insult to injury, Every time you turned around, there was some sort of table set up in the hallways trying to sell you jewelry, make up, etc.  they should use these employees to provide better service, and quit trying to get more money out of you.

The water was rough the entire trip (no fault of the ships), so that didn't help matters. Fortunately,the crew was kind enough to tape vomit bags on the walls by the elevators for us!

Believe it or not, I am not usually a complainer. I just don't want others to waste their hard earned cash on this particular trip. 

But if you like waiting in long lines for absolutely everything, horrible workers with bad attitudes,  poor to mid level meals, and "Carnival" foods...

Then this is the cruise for you.

Food and Dining

1 out of 5
Service from Diana and Alex in our dining room was above exemplary. That was the only saving grace. The quality and taste of the dining food was poor at best. The food stations was similar to convenience store food.

Onboard Activities

1 out of 5
A shuffle board painted on deck, corn hole, a small pool with one sad slide always full of kids is about it.


3 out of 5
I loved the way you included your specials sales and "giveaways" for your products in the activity itinaries. Really?

Service and Staff

1 out of 5
Alexander and Diana were the best! They were the only reason why I didn't Jump ship. Most of the other crew were either adequate or downright angry. This is why you need to let the passengers decide how much and who to tip. you can still charge automatic gratuity, but have us disperse it accordingly AFTER the trip. They have no incentive to do a good job because they know that their tips are already included.

Ship Quality

1 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

1 out of 5
The cabin itself was fine. The steward was awful. He did not bring us out daily itinaries the first day at all, and then they were always a day behind. We had no clue what was going on in the ship and missed quite a few things we wanted to do. We did finally get a towel animal, but only on the day that the tip info. Was sent out...Coincidence? I think not. Did not change sheets, and put wet dirty towels back up on the racks! Never met him, so do not know his name.

Ship Tip

Ask at guest service to let you decide who gets tips and how for how much. I did this the last day, and although it didn't help with the service, it may make a difference if enough people follow suite. Maybe then they will get employees who actually want to be there.

3 out of 5
5 out of 5
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