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southbayer

Paradise Review from May 9th

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OK, Assuming you want to get on board as soon as you can, like i did, here it goes... Also assuming you already completed your carnival fun pass online early enough, get to the port early.

 

Arrival : You should get there about 9:30-10am, no later than 10 - go to the "Early Check In" Counter which you will find at the back end of the Queen Mary, look for the early check in sign. Once there, the Carnival rep will look over your documents, passport, and you will arrange for your deposit for your sign & sail card, which you will also receive it there. The customer rep will also give you a slip of paper, which will give you one of three "zone" letters. Since you checked in very early, you should get the "Zone A" slip. Which simply means your line will be first inside the dome for processing. You will have around 90 min to kill, I suggest a quik tour of the Queen Mary for $10. You will then start to line up at the west side of the dome. Stand in the line that reads your particular zone letter, hopefully its an A. They open the doors to the dome around 12:40, so you want to start to stand in line around 11:50, as the lines get really long. I would scan the lines at the dome periodically to see how big they are, but just get in before it gets long, the waiting will be well worth it. Once your inside, you will go thru security, metal detectors, and begin your walk up to the ships photograher for your first pic, then you board.

 

On Board: I got on board at 1pm, went to my room, dropped off my carry on bag and went to eat. Once you get to the top deck and head outside from the atrium, you'll immediately be mobbed by the "drink pushers" with thier pre made "specials", sometimes its hard to shrugg them off, don't be afraid to tell them no, there will be many other times for drinking. My luggage arrived fairly early around 2:30, so that was cool.

 

Food: You just got onboard, and you want to get in your first feeding, head to the outdoor grill area.. Its like a buffet line, which they serve pretty good hamburgers hot dogs fries and some other things...You will find the same food daily for your lunch times. Or you can walk past that area and keep heading to the rear to the dining room where its more of a restaurant style buffet indoor setting. Food wasn't bad, always served hot, your dinner nights food is served real fancy looking, but not really filling I usually ordered another entree' for those couple times when i was actually a little more hungry. Breakfast time is typical buffet styled, but it was good. Theres also a 24hr pizza station all the way at the back end of the ship, they make it the way i like it, light on the sauce, with thick crust, quite good, FRESH, and HOT. Your free drinks are fruit punch, apple juice, orange juice, ice tea, coffee, milk, choco milk, grapefuit juice. Room service is free, but tip the guy $2.00 each time ok. TIP: Room service servings are small, so don't be afraid to order multiple items.

 

Carnival Capers: The ships daily newsletter, you will get a copy each day to your room, check out all the activites. Also check out the casino, the slots to me seems pretty loose. It's nice to be playing a slot machine and to look to your right and look out the window and see ocean, ahhh, great! As for the internet cafe, i only seen 3 of them being used at a time, its pricey for the time you can get, I'd pass there. Look for internet cafe's on your excursions, they're really cheap.

 

Last night at sea: I would suggest going to the lounge to see the Cruise Director talk about disembarking procedures, he gave us some good tips. I had to catch a flight to Las Vegas in the morning so I needed to disembark early, the cruise director Trevor, told us whoever had to leave early, to just keep your luggage inside your stateroom and to just walk them off yourself so we could be off fast. The morning back, about 150 of us did just that. We met up in the lounge at 7:30, and waited for them to open up the gangway doors. They opened the doors at around 7:45 and we started to walk off the ship back inside the dome for customs processing. Once finsihed talking with the customs officer, it was five min outside. Tip: when waiting in line for customs, DO NOT USE YOUR CELL PHONE, I saw people getting yelled at for doing so from the customs officer. The cruise director will warn you of this too.

 

Not mentioned: Didn't mention much on the cruise itself, becuase its pretty self explanatory, just ask questions of the staff, they're very helpful. If you have any further questions for me, you may email me at southbaycalif@aol.com :)

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Thanks for the review Southbayer! We go on Paradise on Oct 24th and can't wait as it is our first cruise. :)

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Southbayer! Thanks a bunch for the review from the used to be Southern Cal living group leaving soon! :D Did the ship have the new bed stuff? I figured since this is a basic 3-4 day cruise ship it will be outfitted last.

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Thanks for the review. Its nice to hear about the Paradise, of all the ships it seems to be the one mentioned least on these boards.

 

We are also sailing on the 24th Oct and very much looking forward to it.

 

Julie

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Hey your welcome, glad i could help, but yeah if you follow those instructions you will be eating at 1:20pm :D

 

Just some things i didn't mention, if your drinks are say $4.95, or 6.25, thats NOT including the 15% gratuity, it will be calculated on your receipt. Also, you may want to choose "early" dinner seating, like i should of cause if you happen to get a window seat like i did, it was already dark outside and i was sitting next to a blackened out window - at least with early seating if you by chance luck out and get a window seat you can look out at sea while you eat. Also, you can add "carnival funship dollars" to your sign and sail account before hand... Just go to the Carnival website and call the # for that, and add $$ via your credit card -its' NOT treated as a cash advance by your credit card co. :D If you need to access some of that money in cash, just go to the casino cashier show them your s & s card and ID, and for a small 3% charge, they'll give you money off your card! Let's see, lounge show's are great, and seating is comfortable... Its never filled to capacity, so you don't have to worry about poles in your way or anything. Also, to get to port, if someone is dropping you off, just follow the signs that lead to the Queen Mary, then you will come upon those take a ticket and the gate arm raises - you want to stay all the way to the right side when you take your ticket, it will lead you to the back end of the parking structure where you will find porters there to take your bags - tip them a buck a bag at least!! Thats about it, if you think of anything else, just let me know :o)

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Thanks for a very informative review Southbayer. We're going the 24th of this month with a group of families, most of them 1st timers. Where there a lot of kids during your cruise? We can't hardly wait and very much looking forward to it.

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GSW, I noticed quite a few kids, about average to just above average amount..There were quite a few 12-16 year olds roaming about. I'm sad to see that thier arcade area is so small, I saw on the Holiday, a Much Older ship, and thier arcade was Huge. I did see carnival staff directing groups of kids, like you'd see on a school field trip around the ship, like 6-11 year olds. But being 37 years old, my eye wasn't really looking to what kids activities were, i cruised solo. But all seemed to be having a good time, saw no rowdyness, no wild kids, no screaming, no whinning, NO "annoying" drunks... it was a good time

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I forgot to add, that there wasn't any "live" band on deck, only recorded hip hop music, which wasn't pleaseant... I wanted to hear cruise music.. Only on the last day of the sailing did they bring out the "live" band with cruise music:confused:

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Thanks for the cruise review. Very much appreciated too! We are group of six, three sisters and their spouses ALSO cruising October 24th.... four from N. California and two from Utah....

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Yes, and another update from moi... I hear the Paradise will be going thru some upgrades/refurbishment, and will be in dry dock from late Nov of this year.. I think its for a 3 month period, so anyone wishing to take this same itinerary will have to take the Royal Caribbean Line's Monarch of the Sea's which sailes out of San Pedro, which is just west of Long Beach. It's a much OLDER ship, and has Always been more pricier than Carnival.

 

 

P.S. Again, for those of you sailing her, I can't say this enough, check in Early like about 9:30, so you can be in the first line to board. Check in area is at the rear end of the Queen Mary - The waiting line starts at the west side of the dome afterwards, get in line there early too, the wait will be well Worth It - Have FUNNN

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Yes, and another update from moi... I hear the Paradise will be going thru some upgrades/refurbishment, and will be in dry dock from late Nov of this year.. I think its for a 3 month period, so anyone wishing to take this same itinerary will have to take the Royal Caribbean Line's Monarch of the Sea's which sailes out of San Pedro, which is just west of Long Beach. It's a much OLDER ship, and has Always been more pricier than Carnival.

 

 

P.S. Again, for those of you sailing her, I can't say this enough, check in Early like about 9:30, so you can be in the first line to board. Check in area is at the rear end of the Queen Mary - The waiting line starts at the west side of the dome afterwards, get in line there early too, the wait will be well Worth It - Have FUNNN

 

Drydocks only last 2-3 WEEKS..Not months.

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