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Carnival Cruise Lines: Carnival Paradise

  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Paradise Review

The eighth and final ship in Carnival’s eight-ship Fantasy-class, Carnival Paradise entered service in 1998 as the lines only all no-smoking vessel. While the smoking ban didn’t last, Carnival Paradise has received numerous upgrades since her launch and features a secluded adults-only Serenity Deck. The ship is scheduled for a major refurbishment in 2015, when it will receive Carnival’s "Fun Ship 2.0" upgrades with new casual dining options, poolside bars, and more. After leaving the Port of Tampa, Carnival Paradise sails four- and five-night cruises from Florida’s Gulf Coast to the Western Caribbean and Mexico.

Bathed in fiber-optic light, glitzy Fantasy-class interiors added expansive six-deck atriums and a new dimension to the original superliner concept. To keep the fun going, these ships offer an almost wearying assortment of places to have a good time. As times and tastes have changed, the ships have evolved as well, with new lobby bars, dedicated club spaces for teens and tweens, miniature golf, and Internet centers. Even newer are Carnival’s WaterWorks water park and the Serenity Adult-Only Retreat, which increase the appeal of the older Fantasy-class vessels.

Only one level below the Lido deck, the indoor promenade connects major public rooms on a single deck, with only formal dining rooms, shops, and other small spaces one deck below. Large in size and ideal for a short itinerary, these ships have sprawling outdoor pool and sunning areas, but they can feel cramped when sailing at maximum capacity. Cabins provide calm oases from sensory overload. With the exception of Carnival Sensation, Carnival Fascination, and Carnival Ecstasy, to which balconies were added to existing cabins, you'll have to book a suite if you want the solitude of a private balcony.

The world's largest cruise line originated the Fun Ship concept in 1972 with the relaunch of an aging ocean liner, which got stuck on a sandbar during its maiden voyage. In true entrepreneurial spirit, founder Ted Arison shrugged off an inauspicious beginning to introduce superliners a decade later. Sporting red-white-and-blue flared funnels, which are easily recognized from afar, new ships are continuously added to the fleet and rarely deviate from a successful pattern. If you find something you like on one vessel, you're likely to find something similar on another.

Each vessel features themed public rooms, ranging from ancient Egypt to futuristic motifs, although many of those elements are being replaced with a more tropical decor as older ships are upgraded. Carnival is also introducing features either branded by the line itself, such as the poolside Blue Iguana Tequila Bar with an adjacent burrito cantina and the Red Frog Rum Bar that also serves Carnival’s own brand of Thirsty Frog Red beer, or in partnership with well known brands, such as EA SPORTS to create EA SPORTS Bars at sea and Guy’s Burger Joint, in partnership with Food Network star Guy Fieri. Implementation of the new features is scheduled for completion in 2015.

What You Should Know

Pros

  • Central atriums are stunning when sunlight streams in through skylights
  • Surprisingly large libraries are ideal retreats for reading or playing board games
  • Freshly made pizza and calzones are available around the clock

Cons

  • Despite upgrades, the decor is still pretty gaudy
  • These are ships designed for partying, so quiet spots can be difficult to find
  • Sushi bars earn high marks for their complimentary creations, but sake costs extra
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 920
  • Entered Service 1998
  • Gross Tons 70,367
  • Length 855 feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,028
  • Passenger Capacity 2,056 (2,610 max)
  • Width 103 feet
  • New

Dec 21, 2016

Cozumel

Wonderful ship. Amazing staff. Hats off to Albert in the Destiny dining room at dinner. A guy sitting at a table beside us was loudly complaining that his order had not been taken yet. The table had not even been seated. His family was still arriving. Albert handled the situation so professionally. I don't know how he does it. I wish I could have servers like Albert at every restaurant. Great Christmas celebrations. Great shows. Great room service

on the Emerald forward deck. My whole family wants to sail on the Paradise again. I loved all of the food. Very well kept cabin The staff attended to every need and more. Fun fun fun activities. Wish I had time to do it all. For an excursion, book online prior to the cruise and go to Nachi Cocum (private beach resort with max of 100 guests allowed) and see Angel at the bar. The whole family had a great time. Ages 4 to 52. Family of 7.

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  • New

Dec 26, 2015

western Caribbean

I have taken many cruises with Carnival over the years and sad to say I found a big decline on this cruise. We set sail out of Tampa, my parents, myself and my wife for a Christmas cruise in the sun. The positives: the staff is incredibly friendly, helpful and outstanding. Our oceanview room was clean and comfortable. Unfortunately it was near the Atrium and we had loud music and carrying on till late in the morning that seemed to be right in our

room. The dining in the main dining room was pleasant, not great but acceptable. On the negative Carnival has eliminated the small gift baskets in the room, no more mints on the pillows. They charge for certain new items for room service and in the dining room. We got the feeling they were trying everyway they could to make money. Great cruise for partiers, not so much for those looking for quiet, sophistication and relaxation. The buffet food was horrible and tastless. The Mongolian food and the Deli were okay but strangely tasteless. The ice cream and coffee on the Lido was good though. The Coffee bar also had excellent coffee and desserts. The main dining room food was good not great. They give giant portions and I would rather have high quality over quantity. Ordered room service twice, was okay. Very clean and comfortable. Only negative was a light out in the bathroom that we asked all week to be fixed and they never did. Do not get a stateroom on the Empress deck like we did. Five nights of trying to sleep with loud music blasting right outside until 4am. Plenty to do but they sure love their bingo which seemed to be going on 24/7. Thought they would do more for Christmas. Some decorations and activities but the shows had no Holiday themes at all just 80 reviews. Our shore excursion in Grand Cayman got canceled at the last minute with no explanation by the crew. One minute they said it was about to leave and then nope it's canceled with no explanation. Other excursions like ours we're not canceled and the crew just shrugged their shoulders. In Cozumel we did the Electric Bike, Beach Club and Snorkeling. Stay away from this one. The snorkeling was horrible and very, very disorganized. The biking was fun but we didn't see anything of interest at all. It was so disorganized that we spent so much time waiting that we had no time to enjoy the beach afterwards. A big thumbs down. The crew is always the highlight of my cruise and they did not disappoint with their great service and amazing attitudes. Unfortunately Carnival has gone down in quality and they seem more interested in making a buck than a good quality product anymore. I enjoyed my cruise but it was a let down from my previous cruises with the company.

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  • New

Nov 8, 2015

Cozumel

After reading other reviews of this ship, we were skeptical but were pleasantly surprised because the entire cruise exceeded our expectations. A lot of people we met, and I emphasize a lot, were from Florida. This is a party ship but there were also many families. The food on the Paradise is best described as average to above-average. Each night though we had no trouble finding something that sounded good and turned out to be delicious.

The buffets offer a good selection and we enjoyed the excellent service provided by Rattada, the head waiter, and her team. Each night (after the first night) she remembered our preferences. We had the open seating time, and we happily returned to her section each evening Our stateroom was clean and well-stocked. Frances (a gentleman) gave us great advice the couple of times we asked him specific questions. We had a room with a window and rooms with windows/balconies are a must in my opinion. Fantastic entertainment! The variety shows were very engaging! The first show contained versions of well-known country songs and the 2nd show was built on around songs from the 50's, 60's and 70's! The choreography was pretty amazing! The comedians were both funny and "Relationships" set for the 18 and over crowd was hilarious! The Improv "family friendly" show was also very funny - lots of sly jokes that fly over a kid's head, ones that adults can laugh at! We didn't want to do a beach or adventure type of activity, so the Jose Cuervo Tasting Experience was a very fun, laid-back type of excursion. Tequila tasting and good food. Two flavors of margaritas are absolutely authentic and delicious - mango and agave. You can walk through a small art museum and see a short cultural show near the end of your visit at the "Discover Mexico" park. If you're an adult and need some peace and quiet, find the Serenity Deck and stay there as long as possible!

Read More
  • New

Nov 8, 2015

Cozumel

After reading other reviews of this ship, we were skeptical but were pleasantly surprised because the entire cruise exceeded our expectations. A lot of people we met, and I emphasize a lot, were from Florida. This is a party ship but there were also many families. The food on the Paradise is best described as average to above-average. Each night though we had no trouble finding something that sounded good and turned out to be delicious.

The buffets offer a good selection and we enjoyed the excellent service provided by Rattada, the head waiter, and her team. Each night (after the first night) she remembered our preferences. We had the open seating time, and we happily returned to her section each evening Our stateroom was clean and well-stocked. Frances (a gentleman) gave us great advice the couple of times we asked him specific questions. We had a room with a window and rooms with windows/balconies are a must in my opinion. Fantastic entertainment! The variety shows were very engaging! The first show contained versions of well-known country songs and the 2nd show was built on around songs from the 50's, 60's and 70's! The choreography was pretty amazing! The comedians were both funny and "Relationships" set for the 18 and over crowd was hilarious! The Improv "family friendly" show was also very funny - lots of sly jokes that fly over a kid's head, ones that adults can laugh at! We didn't want to do a beach or adventure type of activity, so the Jose Cuervo Tasting Experience was a very fun, laid-back type of excursion. Tequila tasting and good food. Two flavors of margaritas are absolutely authentic and delicious - mango and agave. You can walk through a small art museum and see a short cultural show near the end of your visit at the "Discover Mexico" park. If you're an adult and need some peace and quiet, find the Serenity Deck and stay there as long as possible!

Read More
  • New

Apr 28, 2015

Review of Carnival Paradise

Burton Age: 52 Occupation:Manager Number of Cruises: 3 Cruise Line: Carnival Ship: Carnival Paradise Sailing Date: 2016-12-21 Itinerary: Cozumel Wonderful ship. Amazing staff. Hats off to Albert in the Destiny dining room at dinner. A guy sitting at a table beside us was loudly complaining that his order had not been taken yet. The table had not even been seated. His family was still arriving. Albert handled the situation so professionally. I don't

know how he does it. I wish I could have servers like Albert at every restaurant. Great Christmas celebrations. Great shows. Great room service on the Emerald forward deck. My whole family wants to sail on the Paradise again. I loved all of the food. Very well kept cabin The staff attended to every need and more. Fun fun fun activities. Wish I had time to do it all. For an excursion, book online prior to the cruise and go to Nachi Cocum (private beach resort with max of 100 guests allowed) and see Angel at the bar. The whole family had a great time. Ages 4 to 52. Family of 7.

Read More

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