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Age: 33

Occupation:Executive and Personal Assistant

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Paradise

Sailing Date: 2011-12-31

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

This was my very first cruise. I had the time of my life. 5 days was not long enough! Good food was there, so was the bad, you just had to try a little of everything so you would know what you liked and what you didn't like. The service was good, nothing to base my next cruise on, but it was decent.

Drinks on board are a bit pricey, and although I would order rum runners, I would end up with the drink of the day!!! I was still wasted and had a blast!

I think the people who complain about these cruises, are people who in general are just not very happy people. When everything about the cruise SOMEHOW ended up in a negative experience, SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOU!!!!! The others who had bad experiences are the people who have cruised for over 50 years. TIMES HAVE CHANGED, CUSTOMER SERVICE HAS CHANGED, PRICES HAVE ALL CHANGED SINCE THE 80'S! YOU CAN'T EVEN GET A PACK OF PEANUTS ON AN AIRPLANE ANYMORE! CRUISE SHIPS ARE NOT THE ONLY INDUSTRY THAT HAS HAD TO MAKE CUT BACKS.

The food on the Lido deck was mediocre. The food selection and quality was better inside on the Lido deck than it was on the outside buffet line. The Mongolian Wak was the best in my opinion for a quick meal on the Lido's buffet line. Fresh meat, (you can choose chicken, beef, shrimp or combos of 2 or all 3 of them) and your choice of veggies cooked in front of you in a sauce of your choice. It was hot, fresh and delicious! Only thing I would touch in the buffet line! Dinning every night on the 8th floor at the Elation was my favorite though. The steak was cooked to perfection, so I ordered it every night! I ordered my steak well done and was afraid it would be tough, but all 5 nights it was so tender and juicy that you could cut it with a fork! Many, many restaurants get this wrong over and over! Either under cooked or badly burned! It was nice that they got it right on the boat! Our server Michael was awesome! He called me and my guest by our names and it really gave dinning a more personal feel. The most enjoyable at dinner, at the Elation, was our dining guests. The other couples were fabulous. At first, me and my travel companion thought our table was filled with old people, but let me just tell you, they were a lively bunch! I loved them so much, by our last night on the cruise we were all crying at dinner. We exchanged our contact information, and we have booked a cruise in April, that 2 of the couples we dinned with, will be joining us for "ROUND 2!!!"

Our state room was great. There is lots of closet space, so if two ladies are sharing a room, (like we were), there should be no problems! Our steward kept our room clean and we enjoyed coming back to our room and seeing the different animal towels left on our beds. Every time you leave your room and come back, they have cleaned your room! One thing that can annoy you is that there is only 1 power outlet per room. I read reviews on this issue before my cruise, so I decided to bring an additional extension plug, (not extension cord, but a plug that goes into the wall and then it has 3 spaces to plug 3 different things into - sorry I don't know the name of those things!) that gave me 3 extra outlets! That's one way to outsmart the ship, or cause a boat fire! lol!

The onboard activities were great! I never had the nerve to do Karaoke, but after a few drinks, I became a mic whore! The karaoke director, Mike, was a blast, and he had a pretty damn good voice too! He actually sang a couple of numbers, and his performances were a breath of fresh air compared to the drunkin' mess's that are usually preforming, (myself included)! lol! It was so much fun though. Everyone laughing and having a great time! Club Rex surprised me by playing up-to-date music. I had a ball in there EVERY NIGHT! I'm not big on the shows, but if you miss one, they play repeats of them on their own station that can be viewed from your room's tv.

HONESTLY SHORE EXCURSIONS ARE LAME AND OVER PRICED. These options are for people that have a lot of money, are old and retired or families that saved up for the trip because "Sally wants to swim with the dolphins!"... Only to find out Sally was swimming alone and ended up petting the dolphin on the head for 5 seconds and $250.00 bucks later! The zip line excursion in Mexico was also a disappointment. The equipment/harness's were frayed and looked like they would fall apart. The picture on the brochure makes it look like you are hundreds of feet in the air, in the jungles of Mexico. In all actuality, you're about 75 to 100 feet up, and no where near the jungle! Then they are very short rides from one ladder to the next. Not like one really long zip line ride people are used to, and what people think they are paying for. HONESTLY YOU CAN DO BETTER BY SAVING YOUR MONEY AND SKIPPING THE SHORE EXCURSIONS! Buy your wife some reasonably priced jewelry or designer hand bags instead!

In Mexico the men are very perverse sometimes. You are better off in groups or with your partner arm in arm. Although my partner is another woman, so this just made things worse for us I think!!! lol! They wolf whistle, grab at you and ask inappropriate questions. I was asked "How do you like to do it?" and I was grabbed repeatedly, and while taking a photograph with one of the jewelers I had purchased jewelry from, he slid his hand down my bra! Even kissed my chest last second and ended up with a picture of this ordeal.

The clothing is way over priced. A dress that you can get here in the states for 10 bucks was going for $45.00 there. They say you can haggle with vendors to drop their prices, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT! Grand Cayman was beautiful. I should have done more shopping there. I thought Mexico would have the better deals and bartering/negotiating practices, but I was wrong!

I cruised on the smaller Carnival Paradise from 12/31/2011 - 1/5/2012, and had the time of my life! What a way to have brought in the new year! It was my first cruise ever, (thanks to my boss who purchased my Carnival cruise package for me as a Christmas present)! I did things that I wouldn't ordinarily do, like Karaoke! After a few drinks, (which I NEVER drink by the way), I was a mic whore! lol! I am deathly afraid of needles, but ended up getting a tattoo in Cozumel, Mexico! Good times! To make a long story short, (too late), I booked another cruise this April on the Carnival Legend, and I can't wait! Looks like this ship is bigger than the Paradise, so that may mean a lot more fun! If you read bad reviews, IGNORE THEM! I heard all the gripes before heading out on my cruise, from the bad food to poor service etc. Yes, there were some foods I passed on, but there were great options all day every day. The staff was very friendly, as I only had to "get loud" with one staff member on the Lido deck and the situation was not that serious. Also, as an extremely motion sick person, (gets sick driving my own car, lol), I had NO ISSUES what so ever! I didn't even take any Dramamine or anything. You can't get more bang for your buck either! Come on, where else are you going to go for a whole week with 5 family members for a little over $2,000 bucks and lodging, food and gratuities are all included! Cruising with Carnival has been a great alternative. I look forward to becoming a gold member! Cruising twice a year will be a for sure thing for our family. One cruise for the adults, and the second cruise for the whole family!

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