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Age: 32


Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Paradise

Sailing Date: 2009-08-7

Itinerary: Ensenada

Went on this cruise with my mother, sister and 9 month old nephew because it was the one cruise that fit in our schedules. Would not suggest this cruise line to others. While the "on the ground" workers were great, we LOVED our dining room waiter and assistant waitress as well as our room steward. The people "higher up" were rude and there were problems with the ship that adversely affected our vacation.

The food was decent. It was very much "buffet food". We ate breakfast and lunch on the lido deck and I pretty much had the same thing because it was the only thing that looked good. There was a stir-fry bar out by the pool where you could pick vegetables and your choice of meat and then tell them what degree of "hotness" (mild, spicy thai, very hot schezuan) you wanted and it was stir fryed on the spot. Otherwise, the food was nothing worth mentioning.

Between the three adults and child we had two rooms. Because we don't have extravagent monetary means, we always travel in a less expensive, inner cabin. While the design was dated, it worked fine for us. My mother and I had one room with 2 twin beds and in the second room they pushed the bed together to make a queen for my sister and brought in a porta-crib for my nephew.

I was very disappointed by the fact that every one of the hot tubs on the ship (all 4 of them) were shut down for maintenance. In addition, the "kiddie" pool (a set of 3 wading pools for young children that we were all looking forward to using with my nephew) was shut down for maintenance. I understand that items need to be fixed... but to have EVERY hot tub shut down as well. It seems to me that the ship is not providing what it advertizes to customers. The least they could do is shut down 2 at a time and rotate so that passengers could still enjoy them.

Due to traveling with a small child, we did not do excursions. Although, I would reccomend going into Ensenada later in the afternoon. My sister and I went in the morning (while my mom stayed on board with my nephew for his nap) and the town was pretty dead (about 10am). We then came back for lunch and my sister and mother went in the afternoon while I watched my nephew for afternoon nap (they went in around 2:00pm) and my sister said it was bustling! There were more stores open, more people around; a totally different experience.

There were 3 big issues I had on the trip... and most of my frustrations with them is because I feel they could have been prevented if the cruise line cared about customers. Again, the service people that served us directly were wonderful!

1) The lack of facilities (hot tub, kiddie pool) that were mentioned above.

2) There were not enough high chairs. We were lucky that we got a high chair for each meal for my nephew but we spoke with other parents of young children on the ship and they were not so lucky. In addition, on the lido deck we often had to SEARCH to find a high chair and haul it across the room to where we were sitting. The ship knows how many young children are booked, and appropriate accomidations/ammenities should be provided. Carnival is supposed to be recognized as a kid and family friendly cruise... but we didn't see that for a young child.

3) On Saturday morning, there was a safety drill. While I appreciate the need for these; from 10am till approximately noon, the captain made an announcement that started with "this announcement is for the crew only...." and proceeded to go with the announcement. This happened approximately every 10-20 minutes. There were over 10 announcements made from the time I started counting. All of these announcements were piped into every stateroom although I can't figure out why any crew member would be IN a personal stateroom. Even if they were, after the first announcement was made commencing the safety drill, all staff would have been in public places. Traveling with a 9 month old who was trying to take a morning nap, this was quite disturbing. While I understand that announcements in public places are loud so that they can be heard, the same announcements are EXTREMELY loud in the stateroom. I can only imagine what the hungover college students who were trying to sleep in must have been feeling. When I went to information to ask if there was a way to turn down the volume, I was treated very rudely. I feel that these trainings should be happening when customers won't be disturbed and, if they MUST be done while passengers are on board, conduct them on a 7 day cruise. This was a 3 day cruise (Friday at 5:30pm to Monday at 7:30am), to have a morning disturbed like that was not something I appreciated.

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