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Carnival Paradise--Did I make a mistake?

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Taking mom on her first cruise. Carnival Paradise out of Tampa. After booking, I am finding all the negative reviews on this older ship. ugh! We are not stuffy people and can make a party out of any situation, but I so want this to be a memorable (in a good way) for mom. Please share with me the good things about the Paradise so I will feel better. Thanks!!

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You will have a fantastic time. The Paradise was the first cruise ship I ever set foot on and I was very impressed. Your mom will have nothing to compare it to so I imagine she'll be impressed as well. I've sailed on bigger ships and actually prefer the smaller Carnival vessels for the intimate feel.

 

We sail fairly often on the Imagination and Inspiration, sister ships to the Paradise, and always have a great time. Please come back and let us know how it was for you.

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Personally, I love the Fantasy class ships. Less people, seems like you get to know the other passengers more so than being lost in a crowd in the bigger ships.

 

The only difference I can tell is that there is no steakhouse, or pay restaurants, which is fine with me. There is still a casino, shows, comedy club, piano bar, atrium, Lido deck with buffet and pools, main dining rooms, etc. The Paradise has not been upgraded to include Guy's burgers/Blue Iguana, but still has plenty of options for lunch. Also, waterworks has not been upgraded so the slide is an older type slide which goes directly in the main pool, if that is a big deal. Not for me.

 

I have sailed Paradise two years ago and will again next month and looking forward to it. Bigger and newer isn't always better. I am going to bet you will have a wonderful time. Happy cruising.

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We sailed on the Paradise last year and while it is a older ship the entertainment crew were the best ever . We had a great time . In fact we are sailing her to Cuba in two weeks .

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We love the smaller ships. Yes the Paradise does need some work She will be getting that in February I think

 

We will be getting back on her this Saturday. Can't wait

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Just came back from paradise. Extremely clean. Great crew, very friendly. We had a great time and have been on many carnival ships. It really is whatever you make of it. Yes, larger ships may have more bells and whistles, but we did not have enough time to do everything on the ship. Tampa embarkation was efficient. Best advice is to go with an open mind and have fun.

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If you look you'll usually find only negative comments posted on almost everything. Just the nature of people to spend a few minutes to complain but rarely spend the time when things go as expected. We've been on Paradise recently and had great time. We've sailed her several times and we'd do it again and probably will. Tampa port is great in/out.

 

Sent from my LG-H872 using Tapatalk

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Lets hope you go after dry dock. I went on it recently because of the Cuba itinerary. What a run down ship. Worst ship in 20+ cruises but would do it again to go to Cuba.

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I've been on 3 cruises. The first was Carnival Ecstasy before It got all the upgrades (there was waterworks, but no Guys burger). It is the 2nd oldest ship and we had an amazing time! We just got off Carnival Fantasy last month, the oldest ship, and again, it was an amazing time! We were also on Carnival Pride in February, good ship! But not new by any means.

 

In 6 months, we will be on Carnival Vista. I'm excited to try the newer ship, but my heart is on the smaller, older ships! Don't let the age of the ship scare you! It is so much fun!

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You will have a fantastic time. The Paradise was the first cruise ship I ever set foot on and I was very impressed. Your mom will have nothing to compare it to so I imagine she'll be impressed as well. I've sailed on bigger ships and actually prefer the smaller Carnival vessels for the intimate feel.

 

 

 

We sail fairly often on the Imagination and Inspiration, sister ships to the Paradise, and always have a great time. Please come back and let us know how it was for you.

 

 

 

Completely agree with all of this! We've sailed the Paradise and three of her sisters repeatedly over the years.

Some like bigger and newer. But this isn't necessarily better. Need to decide what best for you. We can entertain ourselves so we don't need ropes courses or special movie screens to make a cruise enjoyable.

The biggest complaint many have is the bathroom vanity. It's puny and barely practical, but this hasn't stopped us from booking two more cruise on her sisters in CA.

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Don't let the sticks-in-the-mud get you down. I went on my first ever cruise on the Paradise, and I had a ton of fun. I always have a lot of fun on every cruise my wife and I go on. The cruise is what you make it. Always go in with an open mind and a smile on your face :)

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Thank you! Thank you! I so very much appreciate your positive responses. You made me feel better! We leave November 2, so, yes, it is before the ship goes to dry dock. I guess that is why I am worried. I can handle stains and worn. (Hell, I'm stained and worn! ;)) As long as the people around us are enjoying themselves, then life is good. We are so excited about this trip! My mother has been packed since June!

 

I will let you know how the trip went!

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I had a great time back in June. If it is your mom's first cruise this will be her first ship experience so there will be plenty for her to take in.

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DH and I have been on 41 cruises on both older and newer ships. We love them all. Sailed on the Paradise in May and doing it again in Nov. The ship is in great shape with a nice crew and good food. Even though there isn't a Steakhouse, you can still order some of the Steakhouse selections in the main dining room for a $20 charge. Happy cruising!

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A cruise is what you make of it. Many people may not know how old the ship is and have big expectations of what they will get. We have been on eight or nine Carnival ships but not anything that old in a long time. Just don't expect the experience you would have on any cruise lines newer ships. To a new cruiser with no expectations, they should have a wonderful time. Can't remember anytime we have not had a great cruise on Carnival.

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My wife and I sailed the Paradise as our first cruise and have been on 2 other Carnival ships the Freedom and the Valor and the steakhouse and Guys burgers will be missed I appreciate the smaller ship and we are going again on the Paradise in 2 months

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Thank you! Thank you! I so very much appreciate your positive responses. You made me feel better! We leave November 2, so, yes, it is before the ship goes to dry dock. I guess that is why I am worried. I can handle stains and worn. (Hell, I'm stained and worn! ;)) As long as the people around us are enjoying themselves, then life is good. We are so excited about this trip! My mother has been packed since June!

 

I will let you know how the trip went!

 

Thank you for this post ...booked this cruise as a quick surprise getaway for Mom's 75th bday.... I take all reviews with a grain of salt and have never had a bad cruise but was still a little concerned ....posts like this made me feel better...I'll look forward to what you have to say when your return ....we leave 11/30.

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I too, think you'll have a FANTASTIC time aboard "Paradise". Yes, she is a smaller, older ship, but that doesn't take away from her many positive things, and the fact that she is smaller, means fewer people, less lines, and less walking. You and yours are in for a great cruise.

 

"SKY"

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We did the Paradise in July and she was clean, yes she is old, but we all get that way. we had a great time, a cruise is what you make of it.

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Because of your responses, I am more at peace with our choice of ship. You are right; if you go in with the mindset that you will have a great time, then it will happen. Sooo excited!

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My daughter and I cruised on the Paradise just two weeks ago. We did the 5 night Key West and Havana,Cuba itinerary. I,too, had some reservations when we booked but was pleasantly surprised. We are experienced cruisers - she's done 50 and I've got her beat with 54 - and have cruised on big, medium and small ships. We've sailed on old Chandris, Dolphin, Premier's Big Red Boat, NCL, Celebrity, Princess, HAL, Carnival and RCCL. The Paradise held her own with all of them!

The MDR food was great. Wine list was not extensive but was not priced sky high. Entertainment was some of the best we've seen - Latin themed and 80's music shows. Cruise director and staff were everywhere and doing a great job. Housekeeping was efficient and friendly. All public areas were clean and well cared for. The casino was not smoky and you could actually walk through and breathe normally! There was a variety of music in different venues - all were worth listening to. The buffet was small but well stocked. Two lines were actually outdoors near the pool on the Lido. They offered burgers, etc and the Mongolian Wok dishes. Pizza Pirate was open 24 hours and the pizza was always fresh.

 

What wasn't great? Well, the cabins were old school. No refrigerator, no hair dryer. Very basic, but clean and well taken care of. We had ordered bottled water and had to ask for an ice bucket and get a bucket of beers from the bar on the first day to hold extra ice. A real sacrifice! LOL!

 

I think you will enjoy your time on this ship. I would sail on the Paradise again if I found an itinerary that interested me.

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Perfect ship for a first time cruiser. It's dated but still a great ship. Less people, smaller ship. You'll love it

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Just got off the Paradise..I have only been on bigger/newer ships..was so pleasantly surprised..the ship was clean, well maintained..entertainment was the notch..Cruise director was Jaime Dee..one of the best..crew was friendly, we had the best servers ever..

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The Paradise was my very first Carnival cruise waaay back in 2003 when the Paradise was a non-smoking ship. And what a trip we had! The food, the entertainment, the service was amazing. Fast-forward 14 years and more than 16 Carnival cruises later, we have moved on to NCL's newer ships, as we saw the Carnival product change and especially the food decline steadily from what it had been a decade and a half ago. That said, I recently advised a coworker of mine on his family's first cruise (they booked an older Carnival ship) and he came back with raving reviews of the food, the accomodations, the service. I firmly believe that Carnival is a good product that delivers value for the dollar, especially for new cruisers. After many years sailing Carnival and enjoying their staff, state rooms, and entertainment, we have moved on almost entirely because of food quality. Having said that, some of my best cruise memories and some of the most fun I've ever had was on a Carnival cruise ship. Our voyages on the Paradise, Carnival Fascination, Carnival Victory, and the Miracle and the Liberty rank among my best cruises ever. Happy sailing.

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Taking mom on her first cruise. Carnival Paradise out of Tampa. After booking, I am finding all the negative reviews on this older ship. ugh! We are not stuffy people and can make a party out of any situation, but I so want this to be a memorable (in a good way) for mom. Please share with me the good things about the Paradise so I will feel better. Thanks!!

Sorry but it's an old clunker.

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Love the Paradise! Don't second guess your decision.

 

This site is full of negative reviews for every single ship. Take them with a grain of salt...

 

You have made a very nice choice - take your mom and enjoy every moment!!

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We absolutely love the Paradise! We have been on her 7 times and have booked another again for next year. The staff has always been exceptional. While the ship is older, we believe that it is maintained well. Your vacation is what you make of it. Go relax, have fun and ignore the grumps.

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I love the Fantasy class ships! If you go into the cruise with a negative attitude, you probably won't have a good time.

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She will have a great time and you will as well. We sailed on the Paradise in May 2017. I had the same concerns after reading many peoples negative posts. Yes the ship is older but it was clean, food was good, staff was great and the entertainment was wonderful. I had no horror stories of any kind to report. Some people just look for things to complain about so of course you can pick things apart. If you are going with the expectation of just enjoying yourself and all the Ship has to offer then you will have a great time.

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My first cruise was on Holiday. Even smaller and older than Paradise and no longer even in the fleet. Reviews were terrible and I had paid attention to those, I probably never would have cruised in the first place.. Most everyone here hated that ship. I was totally blown away by everything and that was what hooked me on cruising. Your mom has nothing to compare to. Pay no attention to the reviews and go make the best of your time together :)

Edited by ryano

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We leave November 2

 

November 2nd? No no no, you shouldn't be worried at all, you just won the piano bar lottery! You'll be sailing with my second-favorite piano bar performer Gustavo! If I were you I wouldn't be concerned, I'd be celebrating!

 

Here he is performing on the Paradise...you'll have a grand time, he's not to be missed

[YOUTUBE]U29J2-NM5N8[/YOUTUBE]

 

I've also been on the ship before, she's fine. :)

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Oh! Thank you for the video, CoW mAn! And everyone's replies! I feel that this trip will be the best yet! My mother (her first cruise) is 82 years young, and I want it to be awesome for her! I know it will because of everyone's help.

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Oh! Thank you for the video, CoW mAn! And everyone's replies! I feel that this trip will be the best yet! My mother (her first cruise) is 82 years young, and I want it to be awesome for her! I know it will because of everyone's help.

Glad to hear you're now excited about this trip. As others mentioned, your mother has never been on a cruise and has nothing to compare it to so I think she will be extremely impressed. The naysayers have lots of experience cruising, often on only newer ships in recent years, so take their comments for what they are worth. Enjoy! :)

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Been on the big ones the small ones and the medium ones. Been on the Vista and don not care to return, like a floating motel.

 

Older does not mean less it means character with fewer passengers and a higher crew to passenger ratio. You will enjoy it as you really cannot equate someone with different likes and dislikes with your own. Throw out the high and the low and look at the 3 and 4 star ratings then go and have some fun.

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Lets hope you go after dry dock. I went on it recently because of the Cuba itinerary. What a run down ship. Worst ship in 20+ cruises but would do it again to go to Cuba.

 

We're all entitled to our own opinion but when we were on her in October of this year, she didn't seem run down at all. No worn out carpets, no lights burned out, no rust showing, etc. She's older but still in great shape for her age.

She doesn't have all of the bells and whistles of the newer ships but a lot of people don't sail for those things anyway.

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I think the Fantasy class ships are a much better experience. After sailing the Dream this past March, I have told many that I do not think I would have fallen in love with cruising if that had been my first experience. It was a week of waiting in line for everything, even the elevator, and the design was horrendous.

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