Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Paradise
Sailing Date: January 10th, 2005
This was our first cruise. we decided to take a short cruise to see if it fit our families needs. My son is autistic so we were not sure how this would work. We selected the four day cruise with stops in Catalina and Ensenada.
Getting on the ship is fairly painless. The lines move quickly and with the exception of one security guard at the x-ray machine, everyone was friendly.
Our cabin (E162) was good size with 4 single beds, 2 upper and 2 lower. We had our steward put the 2 lower beds together to make a queen. The carpet in the cabin needed cleaning but otherwise everything was in good order. There was alot of noise around 2 am that always woke us up but we never found out what it was. The bathroom is all tiled and could have used the grout cleaned, some mold in shower.
We were seated in the Destiny restaurant for dinner, and this was the highlight of the cruise. The staff and the food were great. They were accommodating in every way, we looked forward to dinner every night.
The Paris restaurant/buffet is available almost any time of day or night for casual dining and the food is comparable to most buffets. During lunch they offer deli sandwiches which were great. There is also pizza and hamburgers/hot dogs available 24 hrs.
There is more to do on the ship than there is time to do. The shows were great. There always seems to be something going on no matter what part of the ship you are on. Ping-pong tables are popular and there are not enough for everyone, also ping-pong balls are difficult to come by. In room movies are poor, old and re-run for days.
This is the part of the cruise where we had our worse experience. As I mentioned before out son is autistic and after checking the activities at camp carnival we requested ou son be included with a younger age group as the older group was loosely supervised and traveling all over the ship. Unlike the rest of the employees, the director of the children's activities was very un-accommodating. Although we had what seemed like a simple request, we ran into a big hassle and had to involve the Posers office to get it resolved. Camp Carnival does not seem to want to be bothered by any children with special needs. We were very upset by this attitude.
This is an area where Carnival needs to look at. It took 2.5 hours to get off the ship during which time you are just sitting in a common area on the ship with nothing to do. The wait is the fault of Customs, and not of Carnival, but you would think Carnival could provide some type of entertainment or refreshments to make the wait more tolerable.
Except for the experience with Camp Carnival and getting off the ship the Cruise was lots of fun and overall a good value. If you are the parent of a special needs child be aware that they may not be willing to accommodate you no matter how simple your needs are.