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Paradise 7/1/05 Review

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The highlight of this mini cruise was spending time with my DH, DD, and her new DH of 2 months. We planned this as a celebration of our wedding anniversary and the day the newlyweds met a couple of years ago. We had a wonderful time together but there were a few short falls. I will tell the one poor customer service issue, which was resolved above my expectations after getting the Chief Purser involved. The rest of the review will just be about what to expect. I want to keep this positive and fun but I do want to tell the gift story so just skip that part is you don’t want to read my rambling.



The DH and I purchased a Bon Voyage Romance Package for the newlyweds to start their first cruise with a gift and something fun. The cabins were not ready when we boarded so we dropped off our carry bag in the closet of the cabin with the room steward’s OK and went to eat. When we returned the cabins were ready but no gift. I was surprised but thought perhaps since things were running behind they would bring it after we set sail. The next morning the gift was still not in their cabin so I called to purser’s desk and inquired as to why it had not arrived. Sadly, the first response was, “are you sure you purchased it before you left”. I suggested she check and she would see Carnival charged my credit card 1 month prior to the cruise for a $75 Romance Package. Her next response was that Bon Voyage gifts are delivered at dinner the second night that is why they didn’t have it. (Oops, wrong answer) I explained that it is a Bon Voyage gift, which is to be in the cabin when the recipients arrive. Just so, you know, this is not my first time ordering Bon Voyage gifts but this is the first time I have not had one delivered. The Purser then tells me she will notify someone to take care of it and have them call me. I explained we will be in port all day enjoying ourselves but I want to make sure the package is in their cabin when we return. We disembark and there is still not a gift in their cabin when we return around 4 p.m. This time I went to the Pursers desk and explained the situation again and the first thing I was asked was, “do you want a refund”. Sadly, I had to ask to speak to someone else and an officer came over, she gave me the same response. I explained that I really wanted the newlyweds to have their present and I wanted it delivered. I went on to say that thus far I was concerned about the customer service as it is now 1 ½ days and a gift I paid for was still not sent. Her response was to call Carnival when I got home. I was astonished by her answer and I asked to speak to someone else as I felt I was standing on the ship with an immediate issue that at the very least could be resolved with a phone call and an apology for the disappointment. The Chief Purser called when I requested to speak to someone else. He did take care of it right away and the newlyweds loved the gift. The Chief Purser kindly sent us with a bottle of wine, chocolate strawberries and a fruit basket along with a letter of apology. That was a nice touch!



EMBARKATION: We did the early check-in at the Queen Mary after tracking someone down to take our bags. We arrived really early due to our plane schedule. We had breakfast on the Queen Mary with a nice couple we met while waiting in the pre-board line. It was a long wait to board, and they let us on around 12:30. Our cabins were not ready but we asked and received permission from the cabin steward to leave our bags in the cabin. We went to the Lido deck for the buffet lunch and of course the kick off drink of the day. They had a live Reggae band playing which amused us since we thought Carnival would have great Salsa music playing. We purchased the drink in the souvenir glass so the newlyweds would have the keepsake. The Muster drill was held in one of the lounges and not by your lifeboat.



CABINS: We had OV cabins on the Main deck. The cabin had robes and a bowl of samples to use. The samples ranged from a face lotion and razors to shampoo and toothpaste. The bed was comfortable with 4 pillows and a duvet. There are extra blankets in the closet. The safe in the cabin is very small. It will fit the small electronic stuff such as your phones and PDAs. Our cabin steward was very nice and he made really great towel animals. (I am kind of hokey and love the darn things).



DINING AND THE FOOD: We had the early sitting in the Destiny Dining Room and everyone was pleasant. The food was not very tasty unless you prefer bland not seasoned food. We noticed the meat and poultry was “very well done or cooked too much to past dry”. There are signs around stating they cook the meat well etc. due to disease protection but I think they really over did it no pun intended. The newlyweds presented the parents with an anniversary cake and flutes at dinner our last night though they panicked when we were about to be served dessert and they didn’t see the cake. The cake was really delicious and we had that along with the Baked Alaska. We tried the sit down breakfast in the Elation Dining Room and found the food so-so and the service “angry”. Maybe we should not have said good morning or asked for things saying please and thank you. The buffet had the usual buffet fare of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and omelets. Now begins the best food story: The DH and I ordered room service for our breakfast warm-up at 7:00. We ordered coffee, fruit, toast, and pastries. Pretty normal early am grub until the real breakfast we thought. The thumb down, the toast was cold and dry sent up with ice-cold butter and the coffee was bitter but who cares it’s not like there is a lack of food. The thumbs up, the pastries were hot and flaky and I stuck with them the next morning. They could melt in your mouth! The funniest part was the fruit plate a slice of honeydew melon, a slice of cantaloupe, and one grape. Yes, one (1) grape – not a bunch just one which we can’t understand the rhyme or reason of that. The sit down breakfast will give you the same two slices and (3) three grapes!



CASINO: The DH and the newlyweds won on the slots. It was fun and not smoky on the perimeter. We didn’t try any of the tables so I can’t tell you about any wins there.



ENTERTAINMENT: We went to the Shout and Hollywood shows. Both were enjoyable and with great music and dancing. We did not go to the comedy shows. They had the Reggae band playing at the pool everyday. The slide was open and we all went down, the DH and DD twice.



ENSENADA: The shops were not open so we took the shuttle to shop at La Bufadora and then returned to downtown to eat and shop some more.



DEBARKATION: This was painless except for the long wait in the lounge to get off the ship. We had an early disembark because of our flight time and we got through customs, to the airport, and through airport security by 9:02. Our bags were ready for us when we got into the terminal. It was very smooth.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Linda,


Thanks for the Paradise review - you don't see too many of those on these boards! My husband and I will be on the 9/26/05 sailing, and was wondering if they've installed the new beds everyone has been talking about, or if they still have the regular beds??



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I heard in November the ship will be refurbished with the new bedding and will not be cruiseing at all for a week or two... I got in a Nov 14-18 booking, i think thats the last sailing then the ship goes out of service

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yeah, and just remember to have your funship pass completed before going to Long Beach... And check in Early at the back end of the Queen Mary about 9:30, so you can be in the first line of people who go inside the dome for processing...

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