I’ll cover this by area, but overall we could give the ship and trip a grade of “C” and would likely not take it again unless it fell in our laps at an incredible price. Maybe some last minute deal with a couple of friends or something. Knowing what we’re getting into might make it more tolerable than disappointing the next time.
Embarkation and Debarkation – A
After hearing horror stories both directions we were expecting the worst. However, there was minimal pain, suffering and wait with either getting on or off the ship. We arrived at LB just around noon, and after parking we were faced with maybe a 20 person line before we got our cruise cards. Then we went right on the ship. The rooms were ready by 1:30, which gave us just enough time to take a self-tour of the ship. The ship maps showing just the side view were pretty bad, but eventually we figured out how to get around. Debarking was equally painless. They started letting “self assist” passengers off around 6:45am, much sooner than the 8am they had predicted. Instead of 8:45am our floor was called at around 7:45, and after a 10 minute wait on Deck 7 to get off the ship, then another 30 minutes getting through customs, we were heading for our car. No fuss
The Room – B-
We have been on big, small, new and old ships, so we were not surprised that Paradise was showing her age a bit. We were in a window room on Deck 4 (Riviera) towards the back 1/3 of the ship (R194). We felt a fair amount of vibration during the trip, but nothing too bad. Some friends we made had an aft cabin on Upper (6th) and after the first night requested a different room because of the vibration and noise. Glad we were in front of the aft elevators. The cabin was clean and the bed very comfortable. The desk, tiny table and cabinets were showing their age and reminded me of an old dorm room. The life jacket box in the corner was a royal PITA forcing my wife to climb over me to get in and out of bed (oh darn. Lol), and that strange ship art under the TV was laughable. The lighting was good in the room, and we liked that there was a main light switch by the bed. One thing you should know is that there is only 1 outlet in the room – one plug US and the other EUR style. So without my EUR adapter we had only one plug. Bring a power strip if that’s an issue. The TV was old but adequate, and there were more channels than we had on the Epic. However, I think out of 20 channels, 10 of them were hawking Carnival stuff. There were free movies (watched Thor), but the sound volume was all over the place.
The bathrooms were adequate sized and the water pressure fair. The issue with the shower was that it flowed from chilly to scalding about every 10 seconds. It was quite an adventure taking a shower as a result. It was also interesting the first time someone in the hall spoke loudly next to our door (skinniest doors I’ve seen, by the way). Since the walls are so thin it sounded like the person in the hall was in my bathroom with me. Eek. Lol. That was funny, but the paper thin walls were not funny when it came to the partying 20-something males next door. We could hear almost every hoot and howl at all hours of the day and night like they were sitting in our room with us. Out steward apologized but other than asking them to keep it down there was nothing he could do. Again, this might be just the nature of an old ship. On the Epic our neighbors could have been playing the tuba and we would not have heard them. Finally, we had adequate storage for 3 days, but much more might have been a challenge. There are only a few shallow drawers and some shelves in the closet. My wife and I had one small suitcase for both of us so we were fine. Oh, the room had great AC. In fact, we often found a need to crawl under the comforter because it was so cold in the room. Great for sleeping.
Jewel Alaska 2012: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1684157
Epic Western Caribbean 2010: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1246585
Carnival Paradise 2011: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1468875
Epic "hull" cabin info: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1522322
Epic uncovered balcony info: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1523109
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RCI Anthem of the Seas - NYC/Bermuda/Caribbean 2016; NCL Jewel - Alaska 2012; CCL Paradise - Mexico 2011; NCL Epic - Inaugural Western Caribbean 2010; RCI Vision of the Seas - Mexico 2008; Disney Magic - W Caribbean 2005; RCI Viking Serenade - Mexico 1996; RCI Sovereign of the Seas - E Caribbean 1994