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Old January 18th, 2005, 08:48 AM
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derf5585 derf5585 is offline
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Default Paradise review from "seacrystal"

I haven't seen this review on this board. Seacrystal emailed it to me and I am posting her review.

FIRST CRUISE – Paradise 3-Day Review

Let me start this review by telling you that the reason we took this short 3-day cruise on the Paradise for a first cruise is because my DH was paranoid he would get seasick on our planned 12-day cruisetour to Alaska in June. I suggested a short cruise so he could get used to the ship and see that Bonine would work for him. My two sisters and their husbands wanted to come too so we dubbed it the “3 Sisters Cruise to Test Jerry for Seasickness.”

We live locally so we hired a limo to get us to Long Beach in style for six people and lots of luggage. We arrived at the Long Beach Terminal with the weather forecast predicted for the January 7th weekend for huge ocean swells, coastal area flooding with the high tide surges between 6-8’. What a way to start out! After you go through the embarkation building you go to a gangway that is about 50 ft. above the water. We had to keep our heads down and push forward because the wind and rain were pushing us back so hard we took 2 steps forward and 3 steps back. We got halfway over the gangway and started to laugh hysterically because we thought what a way to start out on our first cruise. The winds were 25 mph. We arrived at 11:45 and were in our room by 12:30 p.m. Amazing! The embarkation process was painless in spite of the weather.

Our room (E160-oceanview) was ready immediately so we dropped our carry-ons in the room, met our steward, Adolfo and went to the buffet for lunch. We thought the food was good in spite of other reviews. One note on our room location – it was directly below the galley and at times during the night we heard items dropped on the floor and pots and pans banging. Next time I will make sure I check out what is below or above my cabin choice.

Our first night experience in the Elation Dining Room was fantastic. Our servers were Raluca and Robert from Romania. They were both attentive and we thought they were top notch. We all ordered lobster the first night. Some members of our group ordered another lobster and it was brought promptly and was hot. Successive night choices among members of the group were salmon, whitefish, chateaubriand, roasted chicken and prime rib. We all thought the food was very good and the presentation was better than we had expected. The desserts were delicious and not stale as had been experienced by other posters. What is wrong with us? We only have good things to say about the Carnival experience. Each member of our party has gone to many fancy restaurants, so we know good food. We all liked everything we ate.

The ship docked in Ensenada for the day. This was the first experience for all of us. What a bummer! It was raining off and on. The only refuge from the rain of course was Papas and Beer. The girls did a little shopping (very little) and the guys drank beer. We got a kick out of a local movie theatre billboard. They were showing “Los Fockers.”

Getting off the ship was a little depressing for a first time experience. The women were begging on the street in the rain with their babies strapped papoose-style to their backs holding a cup for money. It really brought us back to reality how lucky we all are.

We left Saturday night knowing that Sunday was a sea day. We were eating breakfast Sunday morning and realized we could see Ensenada in the distance again even though we watched the ship head home Saturday night. We were told that there was a medical emergency and that a patient needed to be taken to Ensenada. We wondered about that because if I was half-way back to the US I certainly would rather be taken to San Diego or Long Beach. What person wants to be treated in Ensenada? Maybe I will hear more on these boards about what happened.

We watched the show “Shout” on Saturday night. It was pretty good. It was our first show. We also enjoyed watching the Carnival “Newlywed Game,” “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” and we watched one of the show dancers teach volunteers how to do the Austin Powers dance. That was funny!

We all felt that for the money, the 3-day cruise is a good value. It introduces you to cruising and makes you want more. We are really looking forward to our Princess Alaska cruise in June.

Our only disappointment came when we had finished watching the San Diego Chargers playoff game at one of the bar TVs and kept waiting for the Green Bay Packer game. We couldn’t believe that Carnival does not subscribe to the FOX network. Of course that is where the Green Bay game was. Lots of griping!!!!!!!!!!!!! They even brought one of the officers over to the bar to see why they couldn’t dial the channel and he told them Carnival didn’t carry FOX. Lots of cheeseheads were (my BIL) disappointed!

I have been watching these boards since June of last year and have read lots of reviews – good and bad - and copied many of the comments from previous cruisers into a document for future cruise information. I learned a lot and I have a huge THANK YOU to each of you. My sisters thought I was an absolute genius on some of the things I brought with me and things I told them I had read. I told them I learned everything on these boards. They were amazed and are now lurking on cruisecritic.

Any questions????
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