Carnival Paradise - Key West and Havana

Carnival Paradise Cruise Review to Cuba

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 27

Overall rating:

2.4 out of 5
Verified Review
Carnival Paradise

5 Night Key West & Havana (Tampa Roundtrip)

Sail date: February 17, 2018

Ship: Carnival Paradise

Cabin type: Suite

Cabin number: U88

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

Not a good cruise and not a good value for the money. Try another line - Celebrity, Princess, or Royal Carribbean are much better.


2 out of 5
Embarkation was not organized. The ship was to leave at 4pm and was no where close to this due to the long lines and lack of organization. We also purchased a suite that was supposed to provide priority boarding - there was no such thing. Disappointing.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Nothing special - poor food and service in some areas, while other areas were a bit better. No consistency.

Onboard Activities

2 out of 5
Not a lot of variety. Very minimal compared to other cruises I've been on. Movies were just focused on kids.

Jewelry Shop

1 out of 5

Purchased a Invicta Watch after being told it was the best price available from Invicta. Paid $199 aboard the ship in their jewelry store. After getting home, found the same watch at Invicta Stores online for $58. Extremely disappointing. Now trying to get a refund and Carnival just pushes you off to a company named Harding while telling you they have nothing to do with them. Left Harding 3 voice mails and sent one email detailing the issue - still no response from them!!!


3 out of 5
Entertainment each evening was good.

Service and Staff

2 out of 5
Other than one bar staffer, general service was very poor. Servers were not attentive, at times rude, and not doing what was needed to make the cruise a good one. You could tell they were all looking forward to this cruise being over since it was the last one before taking the ship out of service for an overhaul

Ship Quality

2 out of 5
This was the last sailing before Carnival does an overhaul of the ship. It was very clear the staff were not interested in doing too much on this sailing. Dirty dishes in all eating areas on the ship, dirty windows, trash on floors, etc. Not good.

Cabin / Stateroom

2 out of 5
We paid several thousand dollars for our Grand Suite and upon arrival found excessive dust all over the dressers and counters and to make that worse, there was hair from the prior guests on counters, dressers and the bathroom floor.....totally gross. We reported it and the room was cleaned up a little but was still not truly clean. The closet was so dusty that when removing a blanket or life jackets, the dust was overwhelming.....we were truly surprised at how dirty the room was and that we were also only provided one bar of soap in the bathroom - no other amenities whatsoever. So not worth what we paid.

Ship tip

Don't travel on Carnival. You will spend the same or less on Celebrity, Princess, and Royal Carribbean and get a much better experience and value for your money. It was disappointing that Carnival's service and quality has declined so much - in past years we traveled with them at least 10+ times, but we will never book another cruise with them after this experience.

Ports of call

Tampa, Florida

2 out of 5
We live in Tampa so we didn't expect to take any tours. But I did peruse the tours Carnival offered for this port. Tours and excursions were very limited and did not provide travelers with opportunities to have fun in Tampa before or after the cruise. A shame since there is so much to do in the Tampa/Clearwater/St Pete area.

Key West, Florida

2 out of 5
Again, very limited excursion options. We just walked around and checked out stores.


4 out of 5
We took an afternoon (4 hour) Classic Car Tour, which was a lot of fun and very educational. We also went to the Tropicana Club cabaret show in the evening, which was filled with fun costumes, dancing and Cuban music. I'd definitely recommend either of these tours to visitors. Due to no laws on air quality, the exhaust from all the old cars can be a bit much and hard to breath at times but overall, the tours and city were worth seeing - at least once.


2 out of 5
We got off the boat early but Carnival staff did not check to see if people exiting the boat early were supposed to based on how they were supposed to disembark. The crowd of people was so thick and unorganized that you were touching others shoulder to shoulder in long lines. Not a good experience.
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