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Keith Davis

Age: 52

Occupation:Federal Correctional Officer

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Paradise

Sailing Date: 2010-10-6

Itinerary: Mexican Rivera

Best Vacation EVER!!!!



Exceeded all expectations


On 13 September 2010 my wife and I left on our first cruise, on the Carnival "Paradise," from the Port of Long Beach, CA.

This was ABSOLUTELY the best vacation we've ever had in our lives!!!!!!!

"My" cruise experience couldn't have been better. Let me give it to you by category;

STATEROOM: Comfortable, ALWAYS cleaned and serviced in a timely manner. I was concerned about the "firmness" of the bed as I have severe back problems. I have to say that I slept better on that bed than any "hotel" bed ever. The linens were changed daily and the "comforter" was soft and warm. All aspects of the "bedroom" were far superior to most hotels that I have stayed in over the past thirty years or so.

The shower size was more than adequate for our needs. The adjustable height of the shower head was a nice feature, one that I have in my own home. There was shampoo and body wash dispensers in the shower as well as "milled" soap on the sink along with other amenities. Although there were enough towels, face cloths and shower mats to last for at least two days, every time the room was services all of the "soiled" towels were replaced and every surface in the bathroom was cleaned.

The sitting area was very nice. Each time that the room was serviced we received a fresh bucket of ice, the used glasses were replaced with clean ones and everything was kept clean, clean, clean.

I KNOW that the room was serviced at least two times per day because of the linen and towel exchange and amenities replacement as well as the evening turn down service. They even left mints on our pillows!

Our Room Stewards, Pambudi and Agus, did an EXCEPTIONAL job of seeing to our needs.Even though they receive a gratuity from the "automatic" gratuity charged to each passenger, we gave each of them an additional tip at the end of the cruise for their OUTSTANDING service. That may not sound too significant, but if you knew me you'd know that I'm kind of a tightwad when it comes to tipping.

MEALS: Buffet is excellent. Lots of variety and the food is pretty good. We dine in buffets in our city on a regular basis. There are a LOT of buffets in Reno. I have to say that the buffet on the ship matched or exceeded most of the buffets that we've ever eaten at.

Breakfast had a much better selection than other buffets what with the variety of pastries, fresh fruit, cereals and other items.

Lunch & Dinner always had different dishes to offer daily as well as some "standard" fare that didn't change from day-to-day. Lots of opportunity for "food adventures." The nice part of this was that if you tried a "new" item and it didn't appeal to you, you could go back and get something different that you did like. Plus, no extra change on selecting something different and there were no limits on the amount of food that you wanted. EXCELLENT!

There is also a "short order" area where you can get burgers, hot dogs, fries, etc. for lunch and dinner. On more than one occasion, I wanted "short order" and the wife wanted what was on the buffet. NO PROBLEM since the two areas are connected by a short hallway. We'd get our food and then either eat in the buffet dining area or sit outside by the pool area. Nice to have choices.

The Late Night Buffet was pretty standard, mostly burgers, dogs, fries and usually some sort of pasta. No earth shattering menus, but at 4 am it's just fine.

SANDWICH COUNTER: Open for lunch and dinner. ALL kinda of cold cuts, tuna salad, etc. GREAT Pastrami. Hot or cold sandwiches. Panini sandwich press for your hot selections.

24 Hour Pizza Counter: Night or day, always open. Although you have to select from a "menu" of various pizzas (no made to order like peanut butter and artichoke hearts) the variety is exceptional. You can order a slice or a whole pizza or mix-and-match different kinds. Eat in or take out. Whatever you want. Really nice option, especially for those traveling with kids.

DINING ROOM SERVICE: Breakfast and dinner service only. Breakfast selections are about what is available at the buffet except for eggs to order and omelets. Service was exceptional! I don't know about you, but a big part of an enjoyable meal is the service. Service really made the dining experience superior.

Dinner was "plush." Don't worry about spotty glassware or dirty flatware, everything was clean and shining.

The dinner menu changed nightly, with the exception of the "favorites" that were on every menu, like the Flat Iron Steak and other selections. This was a real "Adventure in Dining." EVERYTHING that we tried was excellent. We tried a lot of "new" appetizers, entrees and desserts. Without exception, everything was OUTSTANDING! Even though we could have ordered additional appetizers, entrees and/or desserts the portion sizes were large enough so that, if you ate everything served to you, by the end of dessert you were stuffed.

On our last night I anticipated having Escargot offered as one of the appetizers and had even asked one of the waiters on our first night if this would be offered at some time during the cruise. He told me it "should" be. I was disappointed when Escargot didn't appear on the menu and asked the waiter if there was any way that I could get just one order. You see, I'm kind of a nut for Escargot. The waiter told me that he would send over the Chef and I could ask him. Chef Remy came over and I told him of my request and he said he would see what he could do. To make a long story short, about fifteen minutes later the waiter delivered not one but two orders of Escargot. Talk about a perfect ending to a perfect vacation!

I could go on and on about the food, but I think you get the idea.

SHOWS & ACTIVITIES: The only reason a person would be bored on this cruise was because they wanted to be bored. Besides the pool, hot tubs, sunbathing, "Bikini-watching" and other "non-organized" activities, there were a lot of other activities to participate in. Various Trivial contests, audience participation games in the showrooms, Musical and variety "reviews" in the evenings in the showrooms, etc. We actually had to "schedule" breaks between activities because something is always going on.

To wrap up this "novel" about our experience just let me say this vacation was as close to perfection as we have ever experienced. We will definitely cruise with Carnival again just as soon as possible!

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