Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Paradise
Sailing Date: January3rd, 2005
Itinerary: 4 day Baja
We left for our 4 day cruise to the Baja on Jan 3rd, 2005.
We had heard that Carnival offered the best Kids program around. Well maybe for the Under 7 year olds but my 11 year old daughter was very dissapointed. Kids 9+ can sign themselves in and out of camp so if the parents are off doing something else and the kids get bored they are then wondering the ship by themselves. The under 11's have to wear muster station bracelets so that they and the kids club operators know where to go in an emergency. However if the 9-11 year old's can sign them selves out and aren't back with their parents then what happens in the case of an emergency. They need better supervison and activities designed to get the kids away from video games and tv and doing art projects, more sports. Anything but watching the tube. Also they are closed from 12-2 & 2-4 and as most of the adult activities take place after the kids program closes you haven't much choice but to put your kids in the daycare and pay $6/hour for them to watch more TV and play video games.
The activities were very limited with mostly Video games available for them. The two Party nights included kids from age 4-11 but all the activities were aimed at the under 7 crowd so not very many of the 10-11year old were there unless they liked doing the chicken dance.
Destiny dining room was very nice. Not exceptional if you are expecting or wanting first class food. Portions are small but if you have teh salad and an appetizer and then dessert you will be stuffed unless you are a VERY big eater. The table staff we had were excellent and very efficient. We had one youg boy who was a very picky eater and they were great at trying to keep him occupied and bringing him things he would like. The only downfall of the dining experience was the silly dances and singing that they made the poor wait staff do. They didn't enjoy it and most people want to eat and then leave to do other things, not get up and dance with the waiters.
We were on the Empress deck which is pretty
much the main entrance with the phot display area and main atrium. This was very
convenient to all activities if only the elevators were a little faster.
The room was much larger than we expected. We had basically two twin beds pushed together giving my husband and I lot's of room and our daughter had an upper bunk which she said was quite comfy. Our bed was also comfy but unfortunately what ever was above us - i think a restaurant- was very noisy with lot's of clanking around especially at 5:00 am. Bathroom was small but efficient although the water pressure was terrible.
The room staff was very good although one night they forgot to put my daughters bed down or leave behind her pillow mint that she loved.
As we sailed during the rain storm Catalina was a major dissapointment and the only sunny day was in Ensenada. Basically this was mostly a shopping trip for those who chose. With the weather being bad we chose not to bother with any sightseeing trips and spent most of our time on the ship.
If you want a basic shopping cruise this is fine but any extras are expensive. We wanted temp tattoo's and they were $10-$17.50 and only lasted 3-4 days. Bingo was $10/00 per card or 3 for $20.00.
Show's were good but the Normandie dining room was packed so unless you are willing to sit there with all the bingo player right after dinner be prepared to have a poor view of the stage and show.
Apparently the Sushi bar was very good but we had a 5:45 dining time and as the Sushi bar was only open from 5:30 - 8:00. They need to open it more frequently or away fromt eh times when the first sitting is served.
Next time I would pick a later dining time and a different cruise line/itinerary.
I would rate this cruise at about a C.