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Is the Carnival Paradise indicative of quality across Carnival Cruise Line?

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1 hour ago, PhillyFan33579 said:

 

My favorite bar on Carnival is the Alchemy Bar. The best bartenders I have experienced there have been on Miracle and Victory, which are both on the smaller side. Obviously the crew in all areas is constantly changing, but the last time we were on Paradise about 2 years ago the service was outstanding across the board. 

I think you reinforced my point

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1 hour ago, Nic6318 said:

 

Hi

 

Just wondering...why would you continue tipping extra when they are giving you poor service? I would normally ask...why are you giving 2-3 dollars per drink on top of the already added tip? Are you trying to impress someone?

 

 

I was trying to inspire bartenders to do a good job and give me some reasonable service. It was ruining my vacation. Eventually, I did find one bartender that was good and I had no problem tipping heavily. 

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Never sailed on Paradise (but I have a cruise booked on her in July).  If you are looking for service, you have to go with Royal.  In my experience, even on their smallest ship (Majesty), they are tops.  Carnival isn't too far behind.  NCL, recently, has gone down in the service department.  MHO, YMMV.

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It sounds like your service was specific to that cruise.  I can't recall being ignored at the bars when I needed a drink.  Even lounging around the pool area, there have always been crew members asking if I wanted a drink.  I had the same experience in the comedy clubs and theaters.

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We sail on the Paradise quite often and like her a lot. The crew is very attentive, the food good, and we like the enhancements after dry dock last year. We are not cruise newbies by any means and have our 49th cruise coming up in a week, 35th on Carnival and it's on the Miracle. We stopped cruising on NCL a long time ago and have only sailed on Royal Caribbean once, also a long time ago. Holland America is our next favorite cruise line and love their elegant ships and excellent crew and food. Sailed on HAL in Feb. and have another one booked for the Fall. We live 45 minutes from the Port of Tampa and prefer to sail out of there because of the convenience. Having said that, if we didn't like the Paradise we wouldn't sail on her regardless of the convenience. The OP should stick with Royal or NCL, they just aren't for us.....to each his own.

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Posted (edited)

It never seems to fail that when one cruiser states they had a terrible time on XXXX ship, others will come back with how lovely their time was on the same ship or even the same cruise. I think it's the luck of the draw. That's not to say I haven't been on a ship with grumpy staff.  I blame management for the attitude of the staff.

 

I've had some very chatty CDs on Carnival cruises. Those are the worst, unless they're quite funny.  Then I don't mind them so much. I wish the CDs would be restricted to no more than 4 announcements a day.

Edited by fyree39

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48 minutes ago, fyree39 said:

It never seems to fail that when one cruiser states they had a terrible time on XXXX ship, others will come back with how lovely their time was on the same ship or even the same cruise. I think it's the luck of the draw. That's not to say I haven't been on a ship with grumpy staff.  I blame management for the attitude of the staff.

 

I've had some very chatty CDs on Carnival cruises. Those are the worst, unless they're quite funny.  Then I don't mind them so much. I wish the CDs would be restricted to no more than 4 announcements a day.

I can honestly say that we have never had a bad cruise staff.  The worst was a couple of people that were adequate.  I have said this many times, Carnival’s best asset is their people and they know this.  In regards to CD’s and announcements, maybe I zone them out.  Usually there is a morning announcement and1 or two mid day and an evening (none of these go into the state rooms).  If you really want over bearing announcements, sail MSC where every announcers is said in 5 languages which drags announces on for decades......maybe a slight exaggeration.

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1 hour ago, fyree39 said:

It never seems to fail that when one cruiser states they had a terrible time on XXXX ship, others will come back with how lovely their time was on the same ship or even the same cruise. I think it's the luck of the draw. That's not to say I haven't been on a ship with grumpy staff.  I blame management for the attitude of the staff.

 

I've had some very chatty CDs on Carnival cruises. Those are the worst, unless they're quite funny.  Then I don't mind them so much. I wish the CDs would be restricted to no more than 4 announcements a day.

 

How can it be considered "luck of the draw" when one person says they experienced bad service and several others said their service was great while on the same ship?  Do you mean perhaps one person encountered only poor staff while others only encountered helpful staff and therefore there was some "luck" involved?

 

I believe you meant to say "I hold management accountable for the attitude of the staff" because if the staff attitude is great, blame would not be the right word to use.

 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, slugg said:

We went on a cruise on the Carnival Paradise. It was just plain bad, for many reasons, but mainly because the service was so poor and the quality of amenities was pretty terrible compared to our experience on Royal Caribbean. Also, the cruise director would make announcements, VERY LOUDLY, very often, about sales on Invicta watches and other stuff we didn't care for; it was very distracting. However, we also realize that The Paradise is the absolute cheapest cruise you can get, so it makes sense that it's not as good as the Royal Caribbean and Disney cruises we've been on.

 

So if we were to go on a more expensive, newer trip, would it be reasonable to expect a better experience? I don't mind paying more to get more, but I just want to find a good ROI sweet spot, so to speak. I'm open minded enough to try Carnival again if their experience does get better with the newer, more expensive ships. However, with Royal, we've found that the experience is fairly consistently good, even on the cheapo, older, smaller ships.

To be safe and to insure that you don't waste your money on another "just plain bad" cruise, I suggest that you never cruise with Carnival again.... It's the only way to guarantee that you won't be disappointed. 

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maybe, just maybe, it was the guest, not the crew. We have all seen some rather rude  and demanding guests. If you want a good daytime laugh, hang out by guest services and listen to the trivial things guests complain about.

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20 hours ago, purplephenom said:

Also, the vibe on a 4 night cruise is pretty different than the vibe on a 7+ night cruise. Should you try Carnival again? I have no idea but just something to consider. 

 Can you elaborate on this.  My most recent cruise was a four day and I am planning a 7 day next year.  I would like to know what to expect as the vibe.  

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14 minutes ago, coevan said:

maybe, just maybe, it was the guest, not the crew. We have all seen some rather rude  and demanding guests. If you want a good daytime laugh, hang out by guest services and listen to the trivial things guests complain about.

 

I was just thinking the same thing. If someone is having problems with multiple bartenders, there’s a good chance the problem isn’t the bartenders. 

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23 minutes ago, PhillyFan33579 said:

 

I was just thinking the same thing. If someone is having problems with multiple bartenders, there’s a good chance the problem isn’t the bartenders. 

I am a licensed psychotherapist and can attest that people mirror each others' attitudes with corresponding behaviors.  I strive to be nice and respectful to every crew member on a cruise.  I also tip generously when the time and service are right for such.  

 

The crew works very long hours seven days a week for months on end.  They get very little sleep and must rely upon tips and customer reviews to sustain their lives.   As such, it's possible for one to occasionally have a bad day at work, regardless of cruise line.   I agree with you,  for the most part, you get what you give. 

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I too, live within a short distance to the port of Tampa, and have sailed "Paradise" quite a few times.  I've had nothing but GREAT service, food, and fun aboard, but I make it a point to be polite, and smiling at the crew.  Also, I've found that I greatly prefer the smaller ships, whether it's Carnival, RCI, or any other line.  With over 100 total cruises, I pretty much know what to expect, and what NOT to expect.  For me, "Paradise" is a great, relaxing cruise.

 

"SKY"

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I too have been on the Paradise several times and for the most part had a great time.  That doesn't mean that every crewmember was wonderful (on the Paradise or any other ship).  I'm not sure why you guys are assuming the OP had something to do with bad service.  He didn't sound like a "complainer" to me - he seemed sincere in his questions.

 

BTW, I have had jerky bartenders - two on the same ship in two different bars, so his comments about having issues with more than one bartender doesn't seem implausible. 

 

Bad service has little to do with the size of the ship and while it's true that the more experienced CD, Maitre D, and other senior staff are normally placed on the newer ships, that normally only applies to higher positions.  I know many crewmembers who prefer working on smaller ships over the larger ones and request to be placed on those ships.

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Carnival CD's are notorious for being the most long winded shills of all the mass cruise lines, just as the OP stated.

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I was on the Harmony of the Seas in Feb (7 day) & Carnival Paradise in March (5 day).  Like others have commented we never had a problem on the Paradise.  Waiters & room attendant were great.  Now where I did notice a difference was that there were less bartenders on the Paradise (esp. those walking around).  Did the employees specifically give me worse service, no, however it was slower service.  Both ships were very clean, but I did notice a lot more hand washing encouraged on the Harmony.

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The only thing that I get out of this conversation is:

 

$2 -$3 tip “per drink” , on top of the already included 18%-20% tip , 

is Insane beyond belief 🤔

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1 hour ago, MCC retired said:

The only thing that I get out of this conversation is:

 

$2 -$3 tip “per drink” , on top of the already included 18%-20% tip , 

is Insane beyond belief 🤔

LOL, well actually it is not beyond belief, but I think we get your point.

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We sailed on the Glory in Feb. for the 4th time. Our cruise, I did see obvious decline in many areas that I didn't see with our previous cruises on her. Food, customer service, staff at some of the eateries, entertainment, & furnishings. We did have a good room attendant. Glory needs to be refurbish in all public areas & cabins. We still had a good time.

 

So the Paradise isn't the only ship with issues. 

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9 hours ago, coevan said:

maybe, just maybe, it was the guest, not the crew. We have all seen some rather rude  and demanding guests. If you want a good daytime laugh, hang out by guest services and listen to the trivial things guests complain about.

 

Hi

 

Yes...It is standing room only but at times it does rival the comedy club. 😁 Of course it is hit or miss. You just can't count on getting the laughs.

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On 4/9/2019 at 4:07 PM, thunderingherd11 said:

I have not been on the paradise.  But I have been on four cruises, all either fantasy or Triumph class.  The service was awesome.  But I could have found things to complain about if I was one of those people.  The announcements happen all of the time on all carnival cruises.  If this bothers you, you probably don't want to be on carnival cruises.  They do try to sell stuff, which is how they keep the cruise price so reasonable.  

They keep the prices "reasonable" by not giving you as much for your money.everyone values different things.carnival doesn't do it for me.my wife and grand kids like carnival so I do every other cruise a carnival.

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Posted (edited)

OP:

 

You mentioned that you sailed on Disney. If there’s one department where Disney shines and puts other mass market cruise lines to shame is in customer service. In my humble opinion, after sailing on Disney Fantasy, I think that they are by far the best. Always personal, polished, professional, smiling and attentive. “No” is not in their vocabulary, and any issue is resolved quickly and many times well beyond the call of duty. But considering that we paid 7 times what we paid for our last Carnival Cruise, that level of service better be expected. Not fair to compare Disney with Carnival in my humble opinion.

 

About the Paradise, I haven’t sailed on her, but I’ve sailed on several of her sisters, most recently on Carnival Fantasy who had just completed a drydock. We had an enjoyable time and we found the crew to be pleasant and very friendly, albeit a bit overworked and spread thin. But for what we paid, it met expectations. Where I do find a big difference between these older ships and the newer Carnival ships is in overall condition. Fantasy, even with the recent drydock, looked sadly neglected. We encountered many maintenance issues, not only throughout the ship but also in our cabin (leaky window, ripped closet door, broken faucet, and non-working TV). It just felt like Carnival isn’t spending the amount of money that they should in order to keep these older gals still looking youthful. That’s where my biggest disappointment about that sailing came from.

 

With that said, I’ve found service across the Carnival fleet to be pretty consistent no matter which ship or how old. It’s friendly and attentive but somewhat basic and not quite up to the same standards as more expensive cruise lines. But after adjusting expectations based on the money spent, I think that Carnival’s customer service excels, and more than meets those expectations. 

Edited by Tapi

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No one here buys that it took you 20 minutes to get a drink at a dead bar over and over on top of a $2-3 tip. What we do find more probable is a customer being rude (even if not intentional) and/or thinking their $2 tip makes them bar royalty.

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We just completed a 5-day on Paradise (Key West, Havana, Cozumel) and noticed the Lido Buffet was under staffed compared to previous cruises on Fantasy and Elation. Tables were not cleared in a timely manner, many times only one side of the main buffet was open, and only one person was typically working the Deli with a long line. Our cabin attendant was great and very attentive, providing towel animals every day which we have not seen in several years. The bars seemed well staffed on the first day , then appeared to have fewer working and walking the Lido deck for the rest of the cruise. I found the CD somewhat annoying (probably personality and accent). The CD did not bother my wife. The CD made the same announcements and frequency as other cruises. I will eventually post a complete review of the cruise under reviews for those who may be interested in more.

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