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Overall Rating
Family Friendliness
Shore Excursions
Becky B

Age: 30


Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Paradise

Sailing Date: 2009-05-29

Itinerary: Catalina Island

My husband and I went on this cruise looking for a quick trip away from the kids and not too far from home. We had a great time reconnecting with each other and not hearing "Mom. Dad. Mom. Dad." Unfortunatley, the cruise itself was lacking. The second night our shipboard entertainment featured the song "Razzle Dazzle" from "Chicago" and it seemed very appropriate as a Carnival Paradise theme.

The food on this cruise was quite a disappointment. As expected, food was found in abundance! The restaurants were open at great times and there was a great variety of food. Room service was available 24 hours a day and featured a pretty decent menu with sandwiches, salads, drinks and desserts. All the breads were fabulous. Breakfast was good. Other than that the food was not as good as I expected. My beef was always tough (even the prime rib). I had a hard time choosing what to have for dinner each night because there was little that I got excited about. The best things I ate were a melting chocolate cake and the apple pie a la mode. (If you go on this cruise you really need to try these desserts.)Overall, I felt like while there was plenty to eat, none of it was prepared with much care.

Our stateroom was nice. We stayed in a ocean view cabin. It was as roomy as you would expect and very clean. The bed was a little harder than we're used to but the pillows were amazing. The linens were very nice and kept us the perfect temperature. The A/C system was a little primitive, but we were able to choose our climate and were very comfortable. We had plenty of space to hang our clothes as well as for things we folded. We had a small safe. We had plenty of towels and even had soft bathrobes. There was a small basket in the bathroom with toothpaste, soap and even a razor and the shower had shampoo and body wash. We didn't have a clock in our room. Fine by me, but if you have issues with that, you'll want to bring one! The curtains blocked out much of the light coming in. We had a small TV that played movies, ship goings on, and a couple of channels out of Denver. The movies were all good and recent releases, but both channels started at the same time and only played the same 5 or 6 movies.

If I were a drinker, gambler, or hard-core partier I would've been thrilled with the activities. The parties, dancing, and drinking went late into the night. There were singles events and they had what sounded like great activities for kids and youth. (We didn't bring kids or teens.) The nightly shows were okay. We had 2 comics the first night who did family comedy. They were both funny. Later in the week they did R-rated shows that I heard were pretty funny but very raunchy. The 2nd and 3rd nights a dance group performed "Vegas-style" shows. Again, razzle dazzle 'em. I felt like there was a definite lack of talent. But, if you're interested in seeing long-legged ladies in thongs with mediocre talent...this is your show! There were several things that went on during the day. The hairy chest contest, a scavenger hunt, pool games, etc. They had 1 or 2 quick dance classes. And a few game shows. But I really feel that this was a ship that catered to those who wanted to drink HARD and gamble.

This is a little hard to dispense. Due to the swine flu our ship was diverted from Ensenada to Catalina. Catalina was beautiful. If you go to Catalina, my best advice would be to take care of your excursions when you get off the boat. Don't book through Carnival. You can find the same things on your own for, sometimes, 50% of the cost and there's so much to do. (If you are interested in SCUBA diving, you might want to book through Carnival.) We walked the streets and the "boardwalk" and then walked a bit through the town. We rented a 6-speed tandem bike for an hour for $12 and rode around town and then up to the Botanical gardens. We didn't go in, but I understand it's only $5/person. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from and lots of shopping to do.

Despite my mostly negative review of this ship, we really had a great time. The crew was great. Our room steward and our servers were fantastic and did all they could to make us comfortable and happy. The crew is friendly and helpful. I would consider cruising with Carnival again, but not on this ship.

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