We got what we paid for

Carnival Paradise Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 4

Overall rating:

3 out of 5
Carnival Paradise

5 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa Roundtrip)

Sail date: November 24, 2018

Ship: Carnival Paradise

Cabin type: Oceanview

Cabin number: M142

Traveled as: Family (young children)

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

We were on a budget so we chose carnival for our young family (ages 6yrs and 4yrs). Pretty much everything we were looking forward to was just "meh". One pool which was always too packed to swim in. Adults only area also always full. Too much down time, not much to do if you're not in port or into gambling. One mediocre entertainment option per evening (like a 20 minute comedy show. One evening there was nothing scheduled!) and it was always at a weird time where we had to rush through dinner and skip dessert to make it. Kids club was basically just watching movies and coloring. Food was decidedly lackluster. The upscale options which used to be included (and really good!) are now an extra $20 upcharge. So if you don't want to pay you're stuck with really plain choices like grilled chicken breast with veggies or pasta. On the upside, the staff was amazing and Guys Burger Joint is delicious. Overall, we got what we paid for. Next time I'll save for longer and take a Disney cruise. Carnival is definitely still pandering to an older crowd and is not a good option for families.


3 out of 5

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

2 out of 5

Grand Buffet

1 out of 5

The buffet was either closed or too packed to enjoy (like no seating left). The food options were either weird (roast lamb leg) or bland (white rice). The 24 hour options of pizza and ice cream were really bad (even to my little kids!), we tried each one exactly once.

Onboard Activities

1 out of 5

Serenity Adult-Only Retreat

1 out of 5

My husband and I tried to use the adult-only deck twice and each time there was no seating available. Other than deck chairs there is only 2 small hot tubs (also full) and nothing else. It's a very small space.


2 out of 5

One pool on the ship and it was always too full to swim in. The deck had plenty of chairs though.


1 out of 5

Children's Programs

1 out of 5

Children's Pool Area

3 out of 5

The kids loved the slides but that's literally all there is to do. No pool area for kids.

Camp Carnival

1 out of 5

Nothing at all like advertised. The staff seemed great however the activities were just movie watching and crafts. And it's closed at strange times which made it impossible to have an adult meal without the kids during the day.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5

Ship Quality

3 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5

Ship tip

LOTS of down time

Ports of call

Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras

4 out of 5

Cozumel, Mexico

4 out of 5


1 out of 5
5 hour delay disembarking once we were docked. No food, nothing to do.
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