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Carnival LinesParadise ReviewBaja MexicoLarry C. Brown

Age: 47

Occupation:Information Technology - Test Engineer

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Paradise

Sailing Date: March 31st, 2006

Itinerary: NOT FOUND

Carnival Cruise Lines
Paradise Cruise Review
Baja Mexico

Larry C. Brown

My girlfriend and I did the 3 day cruise on the March 31-April 3 weekend aboard the Paradise. We went specifically for the KKJZ-FM (88.1FM) annual Blues Cruise. This was our second cruise. The first was a similar 3 day Ensenada cruise aboard the RCCL Monarch of the Seas. So this gave us a good opportunity to compare the two ships.

Entertainment: I have to qualify my review of the entertainment because the Blues Cruise was a private affair for only about 200-300 guests who booked the cruise through a travel agent who does this annually. So the majority of the entertainment we participated in was related to that, and not open to all of the guests. That being said, the general activities we participated in were great and the rest of the guests appeared to be having a great time.

Of the two ships I definitely like the Paradise better. It was recently overhauled and the décor is very nice. It was much newer and more appealing than on the Monarch. The Promenade deck contains 2 theaters, the casino, a disco, a nightclub and a couple of other bars. It is well laid out with access to all of those places via the Carnival Blvd.

Dining: This is the only area where I had a problem with Paradise, and it was a big issue. The food, for the most part, was just awful! Not one meal could be classified as good. The only thing that was consistently decent was the midnight pizza. And that’s something I really shouldn’t eat very often. Unfortunately, given the poor quality of the other meals I looked forward to the midnight snacks. On our previous cruise the casual dining choices were very good. If like us, you preferred the buffet to the formal dining room you could be assured of a decent meal. Not so aboard the Paradise. Breakfast fare was bland at best. The only lunch I had that was edible was a grilled turkey sandwich on Friday before we got underway. On Saturday we went ashore in Ensenada briefly just to look for some leather goods. I was looking forward to getting back in time for lunch, expecting it to be quiet, since most people would be ashore. Bad idea. I should have had some fish tacos out in town. After seeing what the buffet had to offer and coming up empty, we opted for the grill outside. I had a burger with the limpest lettuce and onions I’d ever seen. The burger itself was tasteless, and no combination of condiments could change that fact. Dinners in the dining room were inconsistent as well, but better than the buffet by a long shot. On Friday night we had a seafood dish with shrimp and scallops. Not terrible but also not very satisfying. On Saturday night I opted for the prime rib. That was the only dinner I actually enjoyed. However, my lady had the lobster and did not like it, and at least one of our table mates who ordered it echoed her sentiment. Saturday night’s late night buffet featured Mexican food and it was probably the best spread of the entire cruise. We went up to get a slice of pizza and found the place packed! If the rest of the buffet meals had been as good as what they had on Saturday night I would rate the food very good. Instead it took me about a week to get back to normal after 3 straight days of bad food.

That being said, I am planning to go again next year, but only because of the Blues Cruise. If it was up to me I would request that they move it to RCCL’s Monarch of the Seas, where I know I can expect decent food. However, if Carnival can improve the quality of the food I would prefer Paradise because I really like the ship.

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