Carnival LineParadise ReviewBaja MexicoConnie
Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Paradise
Sailing Date: November 19th, 2007
Itinerary: NOT FOUND
Carnival Cruise Line
Paradise Cruise Review
We got there around 1:00pm. They said boarding starts 1:30pm but I think quite a few people had checked in prior. I recommend getting there early as you can, get settled and start enjoying the ship.
Overall Décor and Impression:
When I first got into the ship, I felt like I went into an older Las Vegas casino. On Celebrity Infinity I felt more luxury and felt like living in a resort hotel. Everything looks more flashy on Infiniti. I was a bit disappointed, but not surprised, given this ship is older but cheaper, and so what you pay is what you get. You can see signs of wear and tear everywhere. But after a day or so, I get used to the look and feel and it doesn’t look as old as when I first stepped into the ship. They really try to do a lot of fun stuff and activities on board (e.g. teaching Austin Power dances, having waiters sing and dance during dinners, giving you towel animals at night, up close magic demonstrations, hairy chest competition among the passengers etc. etc..) that get you engaged and after a while you don’t care about the décor as much as you are enjoying yourself. For the price you pay, I think it’s well worth it if you set your expectation correctly.
We had a group of 6 adults. I booked a penthouse suite (which isn't on the top of the ship) and two ocean view rooms. We went on Thanksgiving week, so prices were higher. The penthouse was $2018 and ocean view was $1010 each (taxes included). Normally it would be quite a bit cheaper. The penthouse suite was quite spacious, with a big king bed (two beds put together). There’s also an L shaped sofa that can seat at least 6 people, plus another two chairs in the room. Bathroom had a tub (but since this ship is older the bathroom equipment looks outdated). You need to ask them for a hair dryer. Balcony was spacious with two armless chair and a table. It’s private and no one can see you (except if your next door neighbor decide to peep through the edge of the balcony separators). There was a large window and a pivot door (not a sliding one) going to the balcony. I am glad I brought a string with me, so I can tie the door open. Overall this was an older ship so everything looked a bit outdated, but the room is nice and spacious. The sofa was quite comfy. There was an empty small fridge in the room as well. The TV also provide a jack for video and audio input so you can bring your own DVD player if you like. There was a tape player in the room already. The ocean view rooms were also quite spacious. I liked the bathroom better as they have a standing shower (which is what I prefer). Overall the bathroom was quite functional. If you like bar soap, then bring your own, as they only have liquid soap dispensers. The window in the ocean view stateroom cannot be opened. So if you don’t care about seeing what’s outside, you are fine with a inside stateroom. The inside stateroom has a fake window (i.e. a curtain hanging in a hole in the wall) so you feel like you have a window, except you don’t have any natural light. One last note about the rooms. The door to all the rooms look like the bathroom doors on the airplanes, but don't get discouraged.
I think the shows were great, and better than the ones I saw at Celebrity Infinity’s 3 night cruise. They had one featuring Hollywood (my absolute favorite) and a magic show featuring Bobby Borgio. Try and get the center aisle seats towards the front of the stage. The shows are interactive and it’s always best when you have an aisle seat esp. with the magic shows. You might have to go an hour (or maybe even more) early to get these seats, as they often have other events happening before the show time (e.g. Bingo, which cost $20 for 3 tickets and $10 for one). They have a lot of colorful and nice dresses in the show. They also have some comedy shows (some are adult only) which I didn’t go to.
For the price I paid, I would say it’s awesome. It’s a bit worse than Celebrity Infiniti but I had to pay more for that. It’s average restaurant food. I didn’t care about the buffet at Paris Restaurant as I only enjoy top notch buffets personally. The service was reasonable.
Port: Catalina Island
This is an island still within the USA, and somewhere you can take a ferry to get to from mainland US in an hour. It’s a nice little beach town. You have to take a tender boat to get to the shore. The line could be a bit long ( you might need to wait for half an hour depending on when you go ashore). Once on the shore, we rented a golf cart (it was $60 for 6 passenger cart and $40 for 4 passenger cart for 1 hour, and they let you rent for 2 hour maximum). It’s a nice way to see the island. They gave you a map with a route which you would follow to go up hill. We only had enough time covering half of the route. But they said it will take normally 50 minutes if you take the route non-stop. I recommend doing this activity, unless of course you are into water activities. They also have a glass bottom boat and a submarine tour.
This is the only Mexico port. You can walk ashore. They provide a shuttle for $2 to get you to downtown. Once there, you can join a La Bufadora tour for $15 each where they would drive you for about 45 min to an hour to this place where they have one of the 3 blowholes in the world. This is supposedly the largest too, though I didn’t get to see it in full action due to time of the day/year, but I get to see some action. There’s also a flea market there. Personally I don’t care too much about what I saw, but it’s a nice and cheap activity that gets you outside of downtown. Try and buy some Churros.
I think it’s a pleasant and fun vacation. I think the activities on the ship, the quality of the show and the little things they do (like the towel animals) really made the difference. It’s well worth the money you are spending if you try to go on a regular week when price is not elevated. And even for this (more expensive) week I think I got my monies worth.