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Age: 41

Occupation:Secretary/Tour Guide

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Paradise

Sailing Date: April 11th, 2004

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

To start - I was once a travel agent for many years so I am picky about my travel. Past cruises were on Regency Rainbow (elegant and sophisticated, but line went belly up years ago), Regal Empress (budget but service oriented and exceptional food), and just last year RCCL Sovereign of the Seas (brass, glass, sophistication of RCCL). I had always viewed Carnival as the "party hardy" line and did not think I would care for it myself. This was a "default" cruise and not my first option for spring break.

With that said, this was by far my favorite cruise to date! Thought I would like it least, but loved it best! The positives far, far outweighed the negatives.

1. Extremely service oriented - approximately 1 service staff for each passenger.
2. Smoke-free environment a fabulous asset to a former smoker who gets tempted on occasion.
3. Show stage and show qualities above par.
4. All staff motivate you to smile and have a great time on board.
5. Itinerary offered Dominican Republic - very nice and interesting place not often frequented by American travelers.

1. Food was sub-par in the formal Elation dining room to what I have had on all other cruises. The wait staff was attentive, and dining in the Paris restaurant (on the Lido deck) was very good.
2. That's it! No other negatives!

I Traveled with two 15 year old girls in my cabin (daughter and cousin). Had a demi-suite V38 - partially obstructed but this was an upgrade from an outside guarantee so we were thrilled to have a balcony. We cruise Easter week and there were easily twice as many children and teens as there were adults. I'm not little toddler or small child friendly. Been there, done that. HOWEVER, the kids on board had a blast!!! And there were plenty of activities to keep them out of my way! Throughout the cruise you could hear down the halls the Camp Carnival kids chanting, playing, anything having fun. There were so many small kids the pools and hot tubs were overrun, but the pool water was freezing so let 'em have it.

I liked this cruise so much I hope to take the Western Itinerary before the ship is moved west and turned into SMOKING!!! Word is that smokers drink more and gamble more and highest profit margin is gawd almighty to corporations. Shame. This ship is almost always sold out - I am certain it doesn't run in the red.

I'm a skeptic and enjoyed this cruise. Now, if you are a Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton demanding type of person, stick to Radisson or Crystal. Don't cruise Carnival and complain. Find something your tastes. If you are a Marriott or Holiday Inn type of person, enjoy!!!!


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