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May 28-June 2 Paradise Review Part Eight (Embarkation - last one)

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Disembarkation

 

On the morning of the last sea day, we received instructions and luggage tags under our door. We were Zone 18. According to the time chart, we thought that might be too late for a 12:20 flight. (We would have had plenty of time !)

 

We chose Self embarking. Luckily my husband & son are strong because we had 2 heavy bags, 4 carry ons, a couple of back packs, and a beach bag with the scrapbook stuff in it I'd bought.

 

We had breakfast in the Lido at 7:20 and relaxed at a table on the back deck. When they called for Main floor around 8:35 we went back to the room, got our bags, and were off the ship quickly. The only obstacle with all our bags was the 2 escalators, but they did have elevators available.

 

Outside the terminal were all kinds of airport shuttles for sale. On the corner was a taxi sign....."Airport $25 total NOT per person". From the time they called our floor.....to the check in counter at the airport was 40 minutes. We checked in at 9:10 am.

 

We flew from Tampa -via Houston- to Kansas City on United. I had one negative experience with United before but the price was right, so thought I'd give them a second chance. We will never fly United again. I had pre chosen our seats months ago. They were even printed on my confirmation. However, when we checked in, my husband didn't have a seat. They ended up moving us all around. Not a big deal, but why? The plane was sitting there in Houston, but we didn't start boarding until 30 minutes later....when a fellow passenger went up to the agent and asked if would boarding soon. She was handling several gates and I think she really just forgot ?!

 

When we arrived in Kansas City, both of our big checked bags were destroyed. The leather handles were torn, bags ripped , the metal frame was bent on one & curved outward, the wheel was bent on one, the plastic frame by the pull handle was cracked & hanging on one bag and completely gone on the other. If I'm going to pay $25 each for my bags to travel, then I expect them to take care of them !

 

 

Overview & final thoughts

 

We were very pleased with our first cruise. The ship was nice, lots of entertainment choices, a lot of shore excursion choices, good food, etc. We will plan another cruise, possibly farther south to the Virgin Islands. I considered Royal Caribbean next time just because their ships have rock climbing walls, the flow rider, boxing & ice skating. However, I haven't done a lot of research yet on the bigger Carnival ships. There was nothing that would make us not choose Carnival again. It was affordable, well organized, and enjoyable.

 

I especially liked the fact that unlike a hotel/resort, I didn't have to clean up once. No laundry. No cooking or cleaning. I truly had a week off. We could do things altogether, or on our own & meet up later. We always met for dinner.....rule was to be showered & ready by 5:45. It worked.

 

My husband felt the ship was crowded, especially the areas around the pool and in the shows at the Normandie lounge. It was full of people, but I expected that and wasn't much different really than any other place.

 

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Art by the elevators.

 

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Smaller pools & hot tubs in the back. The Basketball court is back here too. This area was quieter than the main pool and usually less crowded.

 

 

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Serenity Deck - hot and quiet.

 

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I finally managed to find all the parts by clicking your user name and looking through the treads you started. I really enjoyed your review and loved all the pics.

Can't wait until we're on Paradise next month. :)

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Took me a minute to figure out the review, but I love how you broke it all down.

 

Upcoming (12/28) will be our first Carnival Paradise (and boyfriend's first ever)... can not wait to get on that boat. We have a little advantage, that we live in Tampa so it's easy for us to get to the ship.

 

Thanks for your reviews!!!

 

Michelle

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