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Jennifer Pinder

Age: 37

Occupation:Mom

Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Paradise

Sailing Date: 2009-11-28

Itinerary: Catalina Ensanada

Our first two cruises were on Princess Cruise Lines (owned by Carnival I believe) and the Paradise was so disappointing. I will say that the kids area, Camp Carnival, was fantastic for our four-year-old. She kept asking if we could please take her to 'class' as she called it.

The food at the buffet was usually very dry or very greasy. When we went to the dining room our waiter seated us at the wrong table and it was quite embarrassing to be moved to another location after our meal had already started. Room service was prompt but the food we got wasn't quite what we had ordered.

I like our stateroom. The bathroom had enough space for our stuff and the shower was much bigger than on Princess. It's hard to fit three people in a small room but our daughter's trundle bed stored under our big bed during the day - VERY helpful. Our steward, was fantastic. He knew all of our names after hearing them once and when my daughter lost her blanket he remembered what it looked like and was happy to help us round it up. The other steward that collected the linens was fine but was whistling at the girls in their swimsuits as the girls passed in the hallway - not professional.

It's neat that they have a pool with a water-slide but we never used it because our daughter isn't yet big enough for their height restriction. Toward the back of the ship there was a big pool for kids and two hot tubs. The main pool was too cold - no one ever used it - but the hot tubs were quite popular. Our daughter LOVED Camp Carnival. We were worried about leaving her there but security is TIGHT and she had so much fun she kept wanting us to take her back to 'class' as she called it. The first evening show was fantastic! It was very patriotic, good choreography and a fiddler that simply can't be beat. I think they should have saved that one for Thanksgiving night, the last show. The other shows were OK but the choreography wasn't as good and you could tell not all the girls were wearing a bodysuit. The audience was treated to views of their thong underwear. There was a pair of dancers that worked together doing amazing lifts and such - I could have watched a whole show of just them! The comedy routines were OK. If you went to the adult one at midnight it was the same jokes with so much profanity that it detracted from his punchlines. The Hairy Chest contest was hilarious!!

On Catalina Island we went on the semi-submersible tour and it was great. Our daughter loved it but was just as happy to be playing in the sand at the beach. Lots of excursions were available but not very many we could include our daughter. Because of unrest in Mexico we didn't get off the boat on Ensanada.

There were great moments on the ship but they didn't outweigh the negatives for us. I would prefer to avoid Carnival in the future. I'm not able to fill out their rating system for some reason on this website but I would give it two out of five.

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