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Kim Bower

Age: 51

Occupation:Claims Examiner

Number of Cruises: 5

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Paradise

Sailing Date: 2012-02-18

Itinerary: western caribbean

We are four women in our early 50's, just wanted a girl's winter get-away. The price for the cruise and airfare was good and the trip was a great value for the money spent. We sailed out of Tampa on a 5 day, two port excursion. The ship was due to sail at 4pm, but did not leave until after 6pm. It was announced a couple of times that they were still loading supplies and luggage. As they do this on a daily basis, we were surprised this occurred. Also, it was very windy with temperature in the 60's when we left. Apparently due to the late departure, the captain decided to make up time and around 8pm, the boat was really rocking, people staggering all over the ship and fleeing dinner due to motion sickness. This lasted until sometime in the middle of the night. We did make it to our first port, Grand Cayman on time, but that first night was unpleasant. The rest of the cruise we had no problems like this and we had beautiful weather.

The food overall was good. Plenty of choices for all meals in the dining room and buffet line. We had the late seating in the Destiny Dining Room. The choices were varied each night, although we did not eat there one night. The night lobster was offered was the only night the food was not good. The lobster was really tough and not edible but other than that, no complaints. They were happy to provide another selection.

Our stateroom was difficult to locate. We had cabin U299. Took us awhile to find the cabin as it is in the same hallway as U 51-99, next to the supply cabin. We wandered around for about 15 minutes before we found it. If we took the A stairwell each time we had no difficulty...but we wondered why this cabin is in such an odd spot. The beds were comfortable. We had 4 adult women in the cabin, so two bunks on bottom and two on top...storage was adequate. When I last sailed on Carnival the complementary basket of lotion/sunscreen/toothpaste was not as skimpy as this time. Shower was decent size, but no hair dryers in the cabins and no outlet in the bathroom. I showered in the spa after using the steam room and these showers are much larger, but again no hair dryers. There are four glasses provided in the cabin, which we took out of the cabin. The cabin steward did ask us to return these glasses to the room (we were leaving them in the buffet dining area) Also, do not lose the blue towels for the deck as they will charge you. BRING YOUR OWN HAIR DRYER ON THIS SHIP!

We enjoyed the 3pm high tea on the days at sea, towel folding, singing with the band and the Carnival performers and the late night comedy. The games such as bingo, liars club, marriage game seemed to be well attended. None of us went into the casino due to smoking. Why smoking is still allowed on any ship is a mystery to me. I would have enjoyed the casino, but not worth it due to smoking. Also, walking down Carnival Blvd, smoking makes this unpleasant. At the safety drill you are told how fire is the most dangerous thing on a ship...why allow anyone to smoke at all??? We had fun getting our picture taken, but every night in the dining room seems a bit much, maybe take pictures at the formal evening. Deck chairs were plentiful. It was nice that they had a charity, St Jude's to support. I attended the art auction, very few people and I wonder why this activity is still on board. The few people there drank the free campaign and generally left. There were about 25-30 who stayed for the entire auction, as it was long, about 2 hours. Prices on several paintings were in the ten thousand dollar range...unlikely people will spend this kind of money on art offered on a cruise.

We took the trip to Coba and it was enjoyable and well organized. I prefer just getting off the boat and walking around, but for the ruins, it probably is the best way to go.

We enjoyed our trip, on the ship and in the ports. I would enjoy a no smoking anywhere cruise, but if the ship continues to allow smoking, keep it to outside only, that way everyone can enjoy the casino and the walkways. To continue to allow indoor smoking is a true fire and health hazard.

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