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This was my wife and I's first cruise. We went to celebrate our 15th anniversary and her 34th birthday. Overall we had a positive experience. At times we found ourselves a little bored and being this was our first long trip away from our kids, we started missing them around day 2-3. We also spent a couple of days at Disney prior to boarding. The ship itself was great. The cabin we had (R160) was nice but we were near a supply closet and above an obvious work area so we got woke up nearly every night by loud noises and banging around in those areas. We also were very hot, especially at night. Most nights we slept on top of the covers and woke up with the bedding soaked in sweat. The dining experience was pretty good overall. My wife did find a bone in her chicken taco from the Blue Iguana buffet, but that happens sometime. If we went to eat and didn't like the food or wasn't full we would just move on to the next place. The entertainment was pretty good as well. All the shows were well done. We received excellent service from our Steward, the dining room and at the bars. We didn't have great luck getting service while we were seated at shows or out on the sun decks but there were a lot of people. They probably could improve in that area a little. We usually just took turns running to the bar for a drink since most places won't let us get a drink with the drink package without both people present. Some places didn't mind so we tried to use them if they were close by. The service was a little off from what we had experienced most of the trip on the last dining night but it was pretty busy when we arrived. We had the anytime dining but we lucked out most nights and had great service. We did our own thing on the first port (Grand Caymens). It was a little intimidating at first since neither of us had ever left the county before. We stepped off the boat and were unsure what to do. Carnival didn't really offer a lot of help if you weren't paying for one or their excursions. We ended up finding a cab to a little beach half way down Seven Mile Beach ($24 for both of us) that offered chairs and umbrellas for $15 for the both of us. They also had a nearby restaurant and bar but the cab drive told us about a little package store across the street that sold beverages by the bottle/can so we ended up getting a couple of cold drinks for about a third of the bar costs and enjoyed the beach and weather for a couple hours. We weren't at this stop very long and being beginner cruisers we didn't want to chance getting lost or ending up somewhere we shouldn't so we just wandered around the shops across the street from the port for a little while before we re-boarded. The second port (Cozumel) we ended up booking an excursion at a small beach club that offered several activities. We just done the guided snorkeling and then sat on the beach under some palm trees in the shade for a couple hours, ate some really good (fairly cheap) nachos from the restaurant. There were lots of shops and activities to keep busy at this port so we spent a good amount of time shopping for souvenirs. Getting on and off the ship for the port stops at both places was really smooth. You do have to take a water shuttle at the Caymens and that took a minute but wasn't too bad. The embarkation process was extremely smooth with no issues at all. The debarkation, not so much. We choose to take our own luggage thinking it would speed things up for us. We woke up around 6:30 am to make sure we had all we needed, rushed up to the buffet to eat and then came back and got our luggage and moved up to the upper decks. Because we stayed on the lowest deck (Deck 4) we were the last to get called to leave with the express checkout (carrying your own luggage), so we sat for about two and a half hours waiting for our turn. We will probably do the express checkout again if we don't have the kids with us but we certainly won't rush and get up early and sit around and wait. We tried to get the FTTF package before we left but waiting too long and it was sold out, but I think the extra $80+/- would have been worth waht all you get for it. Once we were called we were able to go right down to the gangway and get right off in just a few minutes. Going through customs was a little painful but if you don't want to wait there you can tip a porter to take your luggage and move you up to the front of the line. All in all we had fun and enjoyed our trip, we just aren't sure if we will do it again anytime soon without the kids. The only major complaint we had was the casino deck (Deck 9). They allowed the smokers to sit inside the casino and it made the hole deck so smokey that we avoided that area entirely for most of the trip. We did not play any games in the casino at all because of it. We did go through there when we had to getting to other areas but we held our breath and moved fast.

First Cruise...On the fence about going again

Carnival Paradise Cruise Review by celii22

Trip Details
This was my wife and I's first cruise. We went to celebrate our 15th anniversary and her 34th birthday. Overall we had a positive experience. At times we found ourselves a little bored and being this was our first long trip away from our kids, we started missing them around day 2-3. We also spent a couple of days at Disney prior to boarding. The ship itself was great. The cabin we had (R160) was nice but we were near a supply closet and above an obvious work area so we got woke up nearly every night by loud noises and banging around in those areas. We also were very hot, especially at night. Most nights we slept on top of the covers and woke up with the bedding soaked in sweat. The dining experience was pretty good overall. My wife did find a bone in her chicken taco from the Blue Iguana buffet, but that happens sometime. If we went to eat and didn't like the food or wasn't full we would just move on to the next place. The entertainment was pretty good as well. All the shows were well done. We received excellent service from our Steward, the dining room and at the bars. We didn't have great luck getting service while we were seated at shows or out on the sun decks but there were a lot of people. They probably could improve in that area a little. We usually just took turns running to the bar for a drink since most places won't let us get a drink with the drink package without both people present. Some places didn't mind so we tried to use them if they were close by. The service was a little off from what we had experienced most of the trip on the last dining night but it was pretty busy when we arrived. We had the anytime dining but we lucked out most nights and had great service. We did our own thing on the first port (Grand Caymens). It was a little intimidating at first since neither of us had ever left the county before. We stepped off the boat and were unsure what to do. Carnival didn't really offer a lot of help if you weren't paying for one or their excursions. We ended up finding a cab to a little beach half way down Seven Mile Beach ($24 for both of us) that offered chairs and umbrellas for $15 for the both of us. They also had a nearby restaurant and bar but the cab drive told us about a little package store across the street that sold beverages by the bottle/can so we ended up getting a couple of cold drinks for about a third of the bar costs and enjoyed the beach and weather for a couple hours. We weren't at this stop very long and being beginner cruisers we didn't want to chance getting lost or ending up somewhere we shouldn't so we just wandered around the shops across the street from the port for a little while before we re-boarded. The second port (Cozumel) we ended up booking an excursion at a small beach club that offered several activities. We just done the guided snorkeling and then sat on the beach under some palm trees in the shade for a couple hours, ate some really good (fairly cheap) nachos from the restaurant. There were lots of shops and activities to keep busy at this port so we spent a good amount of time shopping for souvenirs. Getting on and off the ship for the port stops at both places was really smooth. You do have to take a water shuttle at the Caymens and that took a minute but wasn't too bad. The embarkation process was extremely smooth with no issues at all. The debarkation, not so much. We choose to take our own luggage thinking it would speed things up for us. We woke up around 6:30 am to make sure we had all we needed, rushed up to the buffet to eat and then came back and got our luggage and moved up to the upper decks. Because we stayed on the lowest deck (Deck 4) we were the last to get called to leave with the express checkout (carrying your own luggage), so we sat for about two and a half hours waiting for our turn. We will probably do the express checkout again if we don't have the kids with us but we certainly won't rush and get up early and sit around and wait. We tried to get the FTTF package before we left but waiting too long and it was sold out, but I think the extra $80+/- would have been worth waht all you get for it. Once we were called we were able to go right down to the gangway and get right off in just a few minutes. Going through customs was a little painful but if you don't want to wait there you can tip a porter to take your luggage and move you up to the front of the line. All in all we had fun and enjoyed our trip, we just aren't sure if we will do it again anytime soon without the kids. The only major complaint we had was the casino deck (Deck 9). They allowed the smokers to sit inside the casino and it made the hole deck so smokey that we avoided that area entirely for most of the trip. We did not play any games in the casino at all because of it. We did go through there when we had to getting to other areas but we held our breath and moved fast.
celii22’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Ocean View
Cabin 6B R160
The cabin itself was great. Very comfortable beds and a nice view from the ocean view window, but we were near a supply closet and above an obvious work area so we got woke up nearly every night by loud noises and banging around in those areas. We also were very hot, especially at night. Most nights we slept on top of the covers and woke up with the bedding soaked in sweat.
Main Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews