Confused about what we do during sail away on the Paradise

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#1
Bracebridge, On
102 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
First cruise and we're stoked!! Going with 2 fellow coworkers. I am mostly in charge of planning etc, a roll I have mainly taken upon myself but I like planning so that's fine.
We're flying into Tampa from Toronto, sailing 5 nights on the Paradise to Cozumel & Grand Cayman mid Feb 2018 and we have an oceanview room.
I hear that sail away is something that is to be enjoyed/celebrated so I want to make sure we make the best of it. Any tips or suggestions as to where we should be during that time? I have heard of secret decks but honestly I am hesitant because I don't want to spend valuable time looking for hidden doors etc that we might not even find (due to not knowing the ship etc). So some sail away tips would be great! We're planning on boarding the ship around noon (we have the Faster to the Fun).
Also open to any other tips for this cruise.
Thank you so much
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#2
Stone Mountain GA
9,971 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Don't over think this-you will have a wonderful time. Mid Feb, can be cool, so grab a jacket and party on the lido-what you need to know is at what time do you go under the Sunshine Bridge, which will be a little over an hour from Tampa-check-that should be one of your questions. The Sunshine Bridge is a fabulously huge bridge, which makes leaving the bay one of those great adventures. Have the cameras with you.

In regards to secret decks, no they are not secret, but if you go to the front of the verandah deck, walk outside, you will find yourself in a more "secluded" outdoor area-very windy. Same with the sports deck, very front, very windy.

Have a great time, and don't party too hardy. You have some great ports to visit!
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#3
CLE OH & TPA FL
436 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
It takes almost 2 hours to get to the Skyway.
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#4
Carolina Coast
3,859 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Sailing out of Tampa in the winter I enjoyed being out on bow of a high deck. As you sail west through Tampa Bay the sun is setting out beyond the Skyway Bridge. If the weather is good it's spectacular. The best pic I've ever taken on a ship was that view with the bridge silhouetted against an orange sunset.
Enjoy some cocktails as you sail-away. Everyone is in a joyous, festive mood.
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#5
North Carolina
760 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by 1lizette1
First cruise and we're stoked!! Going with 2 fellow coworkers. I am mostly in charge of planning etc, a roll I have mainly taken upon myself but I like planning so that's fine.
We're flying into Tampa from Toronto, sailing 5 nights on the Paradise to Cozumel & Grand Cayman mid Feb 2018 and we have an oceanview room.
I hear that sail away is something that is to be enjoyed/celebrated so I want to make sure we make the best of it. Any tips or suggestions as to where we should be during that time? I have heard of secret decks but honestly I am hesitant because I don't want to spend valuable time looking for hidden doors etc that we might not even find (due to not knowing the ship etc). So some sail away tips would be great! We're planning on boarding the ship around noon (we have the Faster to the Fun).
Also open to any other tips for this cruise.
Thank you so much
If you're with coworkers, check the hub or your Funtimes and see where the sail away party is that day. I think it's the Lido. Grab some drinks, have your camera ready and ENJOY!
Hubby and I find private areas for a romantic sail away but we've done the parties too. If you're with coworkers, I'm guessing you don't want the "romantic" route.
If you're in charge of planning, if you haven't been there yet, go over to the First Time Cruisers board and read through that for helpful tips.
Enjoy!
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#6
2 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
Sail Away party on the Paradise is amidships on the Lido Deck (deck 10). When you're leaving out of Tampa, however, I'd say you should head up to the Verandah deck after the lifeboat drill (keep heading forward - there is a door to get to an observation area) and take a look off the starboard side of the ship as you leave. There are a lot of interesting mansions to look at on Harbor Island. Then you can head back down to the Lido deck for a while, and shortly before six-ish the ship should pass under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which, as the others have mentioned, usually provides a great photo if the weather is nice. Go snorkeling in the Caymans if you can. Since you're from Canada: Canadian hockey fans take note: the cruise terminal is right next to the hockey arena, so if you've got fans in your group who are not leaving the day you come back, they can catch a game for a fraction of the price back in Toronto if they want and the Lightning's schedule is cooperating.
#7
mansfield, tx
3,418 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
I love the sail away parties on Lido!
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#8
Chicagoland Area
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Joined Aug 2002
The secret decks are fun. They are accessible via the cabin decks and so initially when you start to walk all the way forward, it can look like a dead end. Keep going all the way to the end and there will be a recessed door that leads to the outside.
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#9
Near Baltimore, MD
1,935 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Do either Anytime Dining or the buffet or the 1st night speciality dining venue (usually a reduced rate that first night) so you can enjoy the sail away. Lots of fun especially if the first ever cruise. Hope you all have a great time. Looking forward to reading your review when you return.
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#10
San Diego County
3,496 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by sandy toes
Do either Anytime Dining or the buffet or the 1st night speciality dining venue (usually a reduced rate that first night)
By specialty dining venue you mean a steakhouse or similar the Paradise is a Fantasy Class ship and does not have a specialty venue.
#11
779 Posts
Joined May 2017
Originally posted by 1lizette1
First cruise and we're stoked!! Going with 2 fellow coworkers. I am mostly in charge of planning etc, a roll I have mainly taken upon myself but I like planning so that's fine.
We're flying into Tampa from Toronto, sailing 5 nights on the Paradise to Cozumel & Grand Cayman mid Feb 2018 and we have an oceanview room.
I hear that sail away is something that is to be enjoyed/celebrated so I want to make sure we make the best of it. Any tips or suggestions as to where we should be during that time? I have heard of secret decks but honestly I am hesitant because I don't want to spend valuable time looking for hidden doors etc that we might not even find (due to not knowing the ship etc). So some sail away tips would be great! We're planning on boarding the ship around noon (we have the Faster to the Fun).
Also open to any other tips for this cruise.
Thank you so much
We liked 2 areas during sail away on the Paradise, in the front at the top deck, and in the back in the adult only area. There are places to sit in the back, not in the front, so add that to your decision.
#12
Charlotte, NC
11,020 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
I enjoy watching the activity during the time we leave port. Then I like to kick back on an upper deck in a lounger, feeling those strong sea breezes letting me know it is finally time to relax.

The parties are really just a reason to sell and consume drinks, and they will be happening all cruise long.
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#13
Carolina Coast
3,859 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Be sure to take a windbreaker jacket with you. Weather in Florida in the winter can be iffy - nice and warm or a damp cold. Out on deck it will be quite breezy. On our Tampa winter cruise it was very, very cool out there the later in the day it got.
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#14
Florida
1,829 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
We sailed on the Paradise in Nov. and we didn't reach the Skyway Bridge until after 7pm. DH and I had already had dinner (anytime dining at 5:45) and went up to the casino and it wasn't open yet because we weren't out in international waters yet. It opened soon afterwards. We left a little bit late, but it seemed like we would never get out of Tampa Bay!

Have a great first cruise - you'll get addicted like the rest of us
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#15
Florida
1,310 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
I recommend calling anyone you want to talk to before sailaway. Tell them you are on a cruise and are going off grid and you will talk to them when you get back to Tampa.

Right before the Muster drill put your cell phone on "Airplane Mode". You will want to use your phone for pictures and the Carinval HUB, if you plan to use it.

If you have no need for your cell phone turn it completely off and put it in the safe. You are on a cruise so forget about that damn technology!

One of the nice things about sailing out of Tampa is that the ship will take over 2 hours to go under the Skyway Bridge. It's really cool to see. After the bridge you are in open waters

Oh yeah, relax and have a drink (or more) and enjoy your Cruise Vacation.

That is called . . .

CruiseHealing
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#16
779 Posts
Joined May 2017
Originally posted by Djptcp
We sailed on the Paradise in Nov. and we didn't reach the Skyway Bridge until after 7pm. DH and I had already had dinner (anytime dining at 5:45) and went up to the casino and it wasn't open yet because we weren't out in international waters yet. It opened soon afterwards. We left a little bit late, but it seemed like we would never get out of Tampa Bay!

Have a great first cruise - you'll get addicted like the rest of us
Takes hours longer when you sail out of New Orleans!
#17
Fredericksburg, va. USA
88,338 Posts
Joined May 2001
Sailaway is simply the excitement most have once the cruise gets underway! Some folks like to be with a crowd, where there is music or line dancing...other's want to be in a bar, having a drink...some like to be on their own balconies, alone. Totally up to you where to be! Last cruise, I was unpacking, and didn't even KNOW we were underway! Oh well!