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FreezingInMichigan

Review: Paradise Feb 28 - Mar 4, 2011 - Long Beach, Catalina Island, Ensenada

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Fantasy class design that has that stupid storage bin at the foot of the bed. It works great if you have 2 twins because then it opens up the room and has plenty of room but for the beds pushed together that means someone is going to have to climb over to get in/out of bed. I was on the Elation twice and Paradise once and it was the same layout regardless of inside or oceanview.

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Good information to know. Thanks for sharing. :) Any idea if the balcony/suites are the same way?

 

~ Sheryl

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FYI - The golf ball looking building is where the Spruce Goose was housed. The reason there are no pens is because they were used by other passengers and then probably forgotten.

 

Usually by noon people are already boarding the ship. A few years ago, Carnival stopped the boarding jpassengers about 15 minutes before we got there. We had to wait over 3 hours in the area where the luggage is held because a couple decided to leave the cruise on a sea day and no one knew until the ship arrived back in Long Beach.:eek: :eek:

 

I had no idea about the Spruce Goose. I love trivia. Thanks :) I can't imagine waiting in the luggage hold for three hours!

 

~ Sheryl

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The Paradise and the golf ball! Ahhhhh, memories of my first cruise! Great review and pics, keep it coming. And no, Freddy definitely wasn't looking at your boarding pass! :p

 

Thanks for the encouraging words. I'll try to get more pictures up tonight. :)

 

~ Sheryl

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Let's start with the good stuff. The really good stuff. The "when it's warm" best place on the ship stuff.

 

 

Ahhhh.... the Serenity Deck :D

 

I love my children. Truly I do. They're 19 and 22. I loved them when they were small. I love them as adults. But boy do I love the Adults Only serenity of the Serenity Deck.

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There two of these. Nice, nice nice...

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Unfortunately, we cruised during an unusually cold weather snap. So there wasn't a lot of sun-soaking but this was still a fantastic place to get away from it all. We're on the Freedom in November and I'm crossing my fingers for warm, sunny sea days!

 

~ Sheryl

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One of the things my husband commented on was how much he liked the deck plans posted by the elevators. We remember having the side-view (deck by deck "you are here") on the previous ships but he didn't remember the top-down view.

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Speaking of top down... here's a look going the other way. The atrium dome is beautiful on a sunny day.

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~ Sheryl

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Here's another place we spent more than we anticipated - the Queen Mary Lounge.

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We both got up the nerve (or had enough to drink!... lol) that we tried karaoke for the first time. Both nights were a scream. :p

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~ Sheryl

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HI There!

 

Just subscribed! Great review so far. We just got your tickets today for a last minute excursion in two weeks! :D

 

I look forward to reading your trip fun and excitement. Please keep it coming!

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I brought them all home. If you give me you're email address, I'll scan them and send them to you when I get to the end of the review. :)

 

~ Sheryl

 

alcrbl@aol.com

 

Thanks!!!!!!!

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HI There!

 

Just subscribed! Great review so far. We just got your tickets today for a last minute excursion in two weeks! :D

 

I look forward to reading your trip fun and excitement. Please keep it coming!

 

Do you mean you're going on the Paradise in two weeks? If so, have a great time! :)

 

~ Sheryl

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I'll comb through the .jpgs to find pics of other parts of the ship...

 

There were Fabrege like eggs decorating the main areas of the ship. I never figured out what that was about but I'm guessing there's a story behind them.

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This is the library. I was told those who signed up for the Chef's Table gathered here.

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The Rex Disco Lounge... the place was rocking every night

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The Casino

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We woke up to sunnier skies and chilly but not awful temps. It's the first time I've worn a long sleeved jacket on a cruise. I'm thinking this had something to do with the cheap price... lol

 

Avalon is a tender port and the process went smoothly. At one point the line was pretty backed up but they opened a second door for an additional tender.

 

Hello Catalina

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We decided to do a little shopping before we set out for our excursion.

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So many little boutique-style shoppes to choose from

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I noticed this in a storefront window

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I noticed the old Casino building down a ways and thought it looked intriguing... but maybe too far away from this out-of-shape chic to walk?

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Nope! And we're off... lol

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Half-way there and I'm only one-quarter dead... lol

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We made it!

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The architecture is beautiful

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Built in 1928, razed in 1929 for a newer bigger building, the Casino was formerly known as the Sugarloaf Casino.

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The newer building was designed to house a theatre and aviary. The aviary was abandoned but the theatre lives on.

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Art deco work everywhere.

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They must have known I was coming.... :p

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The view from behind the Casino

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It's time to walk back

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About the time we made it back, my husband said, "We should rent a golf cart." I'm thinking, "Why didn't we do that BEFORE we walked down there?!?".... lol So we plunked down our cash for a four seater. It's $40 for the first hour with a $40 deposit. They only accept cash. If you go into the second hour, they just pro-rate it out of your deposit. When you initially sign up, they offer you three hours for the price of two. If you don't have any other excursions planned, you could easily use the entire three hours exploring the island.

 

Here we are about half-way up the golf cart trail

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The multiple climates on this island are so interesting

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From the furtherest point "up" we went

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We pulled over to watch some brave zipliners. I don't think I could do that and I'm pretty fearless!

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It was nearly time for our excursion so we turned in the golf cart and headed to the dock to get a little lunch. We chose Eric's. Two drinks and two quick meals were around $35.

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The food was excellent

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Next up for us... Whale Watching!

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Our first mate explains the tour... and that they haven't seen any whales so far this week. Some of the passengers groan. He explains, "We are in the wild and we don't keep the whales on leashes." I had a good chuckle.

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I make it into the wee Zodiak without falling and we set off in search of wildlife.

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First we got a shout-out from the California Sea Lions

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And the next moment we were surrounded by a huge pod of dolphins!

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On the way back we gave our own shout-out to the lazy sea lions

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And made the last tender back to the Paradise.

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We didn't see any whales which was disappointing but the surprise of the dolphins made up for it. I'd highly recommend the excursion to anyone interested in seeing nature in it's own habitat.

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It was formal night, so we had a lobster. Or two. With prime rib. It's such a tough life... lol We checked out the midnight show in the comedy club and made it back to our cabin before dawn. The comedian was so-so but we'd had such a good day that our enthusiasm carried into the night with laughter for bad jokes and even more laughter for some very drunken audience members.

 

 

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Up tomorrow - Ensenada, Mexico. City, shopping, Jeep off-roading, wineries, fishbowl sized margaritas, befriending perfect strangers.

 

~ Sheryl

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oh my goodness you guys are just too cute and remind me of my family in a way! i had been looking into the whale watching excursion but the no guarantee kind of scared me away. however, after seeing your surprise you got it has given me a new motivation to book! keep the review coming girl! totally enjoying it

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Good information to know. Thanks for sharing. :) Any idea if the balcony/suites are the same way?

 

~ Sheryl

 

The suites don't have those 'boxes' in the corners and the Paradise doesn't have any balcony cabins. The only balconies are in the suites. We've been on the Paradise several times and other Fantasy class ships and just pull the bed over far enough into the room that you can sneak by the corner of the 'box' and bed to get to the window and/or alternately the bathroom.

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Great review.....you make everything we take for granted her in Southern California look so exciting!!

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Sheryl,

Thanks for taking the time to write the review and also provide photos! We will be sailing in a few weeks and really enjoyed your comments and desciptions. Thanks again.

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I'm loving your review, Sheryl ... thank you for taking the time to post it AND for including your porthole cabin pics (we're staying in a porthole for the first time in August and am looking forward to trying a different type cabin). By the looks of the deck plans, some of the portholes cabins appear larger than the regular cabins ... do you feel this is true? Of course, the past few cruises we've traveled with the children and have stayed 4 in a cabin! This cruise is just DH and I ... even the smallest cabin should seem bigger!

 

Living on the West Coast, we've been to Catalina numerous times, but I've never been as part of a cruise! Looks like you all had a great time ... I can't hardly wait. I haven't been to Ensenada in ages ... so I'm curious about your experiences there. Again, thank you and look forward to more Paradise reading! :)

Edited by Inklight

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FreezingInMichigan - you were in the same room U18, that my hubby and I had for our cruise on the Paradise last week (March 7 - 11).

 

I recognized your name from when I went to upload my cabin pics on cruise line rooms.com. I saw your pics were already there and I must say, yours were better than mine, lol (to be expected when one uses her cellphone camera...).

 

We loved our cruise and the room was perfect.

 

Here are the pics I took:

 

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Uploaded with ImageShack.us

 

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Uploaded with ImageShack.us

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I'm loving your review, Sheryl ... thank you for taking the time to post it AND for including your porthole cabin pics (we're staying in a porthole for the first time in August and am looking forward to trying a different type cabin). By the looks of the deck plans, some of the portholes cabins appear larger than the regular cabins ... do you feel this is true? Of course, the past few cruises we've traveled with the children and have stayed 4 in a cabin! This cruise is just DH and I ... even the smallest cabin should seem bigger!

 

Living on the West Coast, we've been to Catalina numerous times, but I've never been as part of a cruise! Looks like you all had a great time ... I can't hardly wait. I haven't been to Ensenada in ages ... so I'm curious about your experiences there. Again, thank you and look forward to more Paradise reading! :)

 

I can tell you that on the Paradise, some of the porthole rooms ARE larger.

 

Ours was not (U18), but the room next to it was a few feet longer. I believe cabins on the Upper deck cabins U10 and U7 are quite a bit larger, on the Main deck it looks like M10 and M7 along with M14 and M11 are also several feet longer.

 

It may not sound like a lot, but in reality it can make a bit of a difference. I enjoyed our room, particularly when the difference in cost between our room (U18) and the one next door (U22) was about $200 (for the two of us)!

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