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shipshape sam

Just back from 5 day Carnival Paradise cruise

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Posted (edited)

Just back from a 5 day Carnival cruise and it was great.  Missed a number of things I liked on Celebrity, but all in all not a bad cruise!

 

Interesting, what I missed the most was the Martini Bar and enjoying top shelf vodka! 🙂

 

It was an older demographic, I think,  due to time of year and going to Cuba.  Not a party cruise, but we did have fun on pool deck on both of our sea days.

 

 

Edited by shipshape sam
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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, shipshape sam said:

Just back from a 5 day Carnival cruise and it was great.  Missed a number of things I liked on Celebrity, but all in all not a bad cruise!

 

Interesting, what I missed the most was the Martini Bar and enjoying top shelf vodka! 🙂

 

It was an older demographic, I think,  due to time of year and going to Cuba.  Not a party cruise, but we did have fun on pool deck on both of our sea days.

 

 

 

There is no such thing as a bad cruise!

 

When we do (very) occasionally stray from Celebrity we have always tried not to compare but to focus on the strengths the alternative offers which could be anything from entertainment to convenience to price! 

 

Our last stray was to Oasis of the seas....(convenience)....Whilst we loved the room (Aqua suite) and enjoyed the variety of entertainment we did find ourselves missing the ‘ambience’ of Celebrity....Hard to put into words but we never quite relaxed...Even dining in the speciality restaurants wasn’t relaxing!

 

 

Edited by chemmo

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We also tried Oasis...just not a good fit for us....  more like a visit to the local mall. We were glad we tried something different and enjoyed the aft Adult only Solarium area, but were  happy to return to X after that...

 

Doesn't hurt to venture out and some have found happiness on other lines,,

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, chemmo said:

 

There is no such thing as a bad cruise!

 

When we do (very) occasionally stray from Celebrity we have always tried not to compare but to focus on the strengths the alternative offers which could be anything from entertainment to convenience to price! 

 

Our last stray was to Oasis of the seas....(convenience)....Whilst we loved the room (Aqua suite) and enjoyed the variety of entertainment we did find ourselves missing the ‘ambience’ of Celebrity....Hard to put into words but we never quite relaxed...Even dining in the speciality restaurants wasn’t relaxing!

 

 

A friend of mine would disagree with you on there not being such a thing as a bad cruise.  They were on a Royal cruise a few years ago with the toilet stopping up repeatedly, creating an unpleasant smell for at least 3 days as I remember them telling us.  Also, the A/C was not working the best the whole cruise of 7 days.  

 

I like to compare experiences I have as it really is the subjectiveness we experience that we relate to. Even to your speciality restaurant experiences, we relate.  Our last cruise on Celebrity, we were in AQ and BLU a speciality restaurant to us and BLU was a let down and we ended up enjoying speciality restaurants 4 nights on our 12 day cruise, skipping BLU for those 4 nights. BLU was not bad, just not the WOW we had read about and others experienced.  It is why I enjoy reading others experiences, but determine to try many things for myself.  I also advise others to do the same. For sure, we are not stopping our sailing on Celebrity due to our experience in BLU, just will not book AQ again.

 

Hope you have a cruise or two lined up as that to me is never a bad thing!  

 

We have stayed mostly with Royal and Celebrity, but with many of the changes made and being made, we are now considering other lines for our reduced number of sailings.  Our 4 granddaughters get much more of our leisure time now.  Would like to take them on a cruise in future.

Edited by shipshape sam

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On 5/6/2019 at 11:39 AM, shipshape sam said:

Just back from a 5 day Carnival cruise and it was great.  Missed a number of things I liked on Celebrity, but all in all not a bad cruise!

 

Interesting, what I missed the most was the Martini Bar and enjoying top shelf vodka! 🙂

 

It was an older demographic, I think,  due to time of year and going to Cuba.  Not a party cruise, but we did have fun on pool deck on both of our sea days.

 

 

 

Didn't the Alchemy bar meed your martini needs?

 

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11 hours ago, johno1234 said:

 

Didn't the Alchemy bar meed your martini needs?

 

 

Do not remember a bar with that title on the Carnival Paradise.  We were at a bar called Rotterdam Bar per the deck schematic.  Never even close to the activity and vibe of the Martini Bar on S class ships.  No bartenders making flights of martinis or creating the pouring glass lines.

 

It is a subjective thing that we each like, dislike or are neutral on that make up our experiences.  I love the Martini Bar on S class ships and that is my gold standard.  

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23 hours ago, hcat said:

We also tried Oasis...just not a good fit for us....  more like a visit to the local mall. We were glad we tried something different and enjoyed the aft Adult only Solarium area, but were  happy to return to X after that...

 

Doesn't hurt to venture out and some have found happiness on other lines,,

We have sailed Allure many years ago and liked the ship, but agree it is like a mall with a 'busy' buzz around many of the venues.  Our goal on that cruise was to enjoy all Speciality Restaurants including the Captain's Table dinner which we did enjoy.  Rest of restaurants were okay. I will say too that Samba's (a Brazilian style restaurant) was our best choice and we did it twice.  Not sure they have/had a Samba's on Oasis.

 

Agree that venturing out is good as it has exposed us to different experiences too.

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On 5/5/2019 at 7:39 PM, shipshape sam said:

Just back from a 5 day Carnival cruise and it was great.  Missed a number of things I liked on Celebrity, but all in all not a bad cruise!

 

Interesting, what I missed the most was the Martini Bar and enjoying top shelf vodka! 🙂

 

It was an older demographic, I think,  due to time of year and going to Cuba.  Not a party cruise, but we did have fun on pool deck on both of our sea days.

 

 

 

how was the food in the MDR and buffet?

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7 hours ago, shipshape sam said:

Do not remember a bar with that title on the Carnival Paradise.  We were at a bar called Rotterdam Bar per the deck schematic.  Never even close to the activity and vibe of the Martini Bar on S class ships.  No bartenders making flights of martinis or creating the pouring glass lines.

 

It is a subjective thing that we each like, dislike or are neutral on that make up our experiences.  I love the Martini Bar on S class ships and that is my gold standard.  

 

Ah, no Alchemy on the Paradise, too bad. The newer ships have it. They do a nice Grey Goose VX  martini. 

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7 hours ago, jkgourmet said:

 

how was the food in the MDR and buffet?

For us, there was good choices each night, especially the soups.  I had a Caeser salad each night.  Then between soup and/or appetizer, we all had choices we liked and when served they were good.  Last night was only night we struggled with an entre. I wish they had saved more lamb. Only lamb once.  Don't typically buy at home.  

 

On buffet, I ate at the taco bar or burger bar for lunch.  Loved the taco bar and requested a bowl (a corn bowl and filled it up with what I liked off their choices).

 

Breakfast was good too with made to order eggs and I went to taco bar opening at 7 am to get chicken sausage.

 

Never ate dinner in buffet area.  Did try pizza one night after donating to casino and pizza was hot and fresh.  Only complaint was he dropped  the circular cutter and just rinsed it off.  Others with me complained and refused the cut pizzas.  New people came up and took them happily and finally he went to back to "spit' on it and then he came back and we accepted our pizza slices now cut with a clean circular cutter??!!.  

 

The Parched Pig was a very good IPA beer if you like IPA's

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3 hours ago, johno1234 said:

 

Ah, no Alchemy on the Paradise, too bad. The newer ships have it. They do a nice Grey Goose VX  martini. 

None on Paradise.  They also did not have speciality restauants either to my knowledge.  They did do a Captain's Table dinner at some point, but we did not try.  Will have to check out Grey Goose VX martini.  My DW loves to try new ones.  I get in a rut, liking one and wanting to enjoy it each time.  We can share a VX!

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Yeah, I would miss the Martini Bar as well.  We did the Paradise quite a few years ago for a short Catalina Island, Ensenada (MX) cruise out of Long Beach.  It was fun and served our purpose well.  But, not the ambiance of Celebrity.  Good to have choices.  And I also generally agree there is not a bad cruise (but never experienced toilet back ups or poor air conditioning).

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I did a 5 day Carnival Paradise cruise in February with my friend for her birthday.  It was out of Tampa and we went to Cozumel.  I went on the ship with an open mind knowing it wouldn't be Celebrity but would still be fun.  Some things that stood out to me (other than not being greeted with a glass of champagne lol!) was the smoking.  The casino was a smoking area and there was a large smoking area near one of the pool bars.  We had to walk by/through the casino every day to get to the dining room.  We really didn't care for that...

 

We loved the cruise director Leon and the singer/muscians Emma Jude and Johnny Rocket. 
 

I thought the food in the main dining room (there were two dining rooms - one for those with early/late sittings and one for those with "anytime") was good. The service was nice too. However, I feel like it is just a step up on Celebrity.

 

The choices of beer, liquor and wine were limited and the drink packages are capped at 15 per day. That is a lot I know but is amazing how quickly that adds up when having mimosas/bloody mary's in the am, wine spritzers in the afternoon, pre-dinner drink, wine with dinner, and a nightcap. They also make you wait 5 minutes between drinks. So if you don't like something - you have to wait 5 minutes to order again. And if you don't like something, that still counts towards the 15. (I like to try martini's as I don't normally drink them but didn't on this trip - would rather have things I know I liked.)

 

On our trip there were A LOT of bachelorette groups... A LOT.... lol! There also seemed to be a lot of guy groups too. It made for good people watching 😉

 

Our room was nice (a jr. suite that had a supposedly obstructed view - it didn't) and it was easy to get around the ship. The crew were friendly and there was definitely an emphasis on FUN! lol!  I would do it again as it was short, easy to get to, and affordable.  But it also made me realize - my heart is with Celebrity.  Their service and quality is what I like/prefer 🙂

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On 5/7/2019 at 10:45 PM, Barn Goddess said:

I did a 5 day Carnival Paradise cruise in February with my friend for her birthday.  It was out of Tampa and we went to Cozumel.  I went on the ship with an open mind knowing it wouldn't be Celebrity but would still be fun.  Some things that stood out to me (other than not being greeted with a glass of champagne lol!) was the smoking.  The casino was a smoking area and there was a large smoking area near one of the pool bars.  We had to walk by/through the casino every day to get to the dining room.  We really didn't care for that...

 

We loved the cruise director Leon and the singer/muscians Emma Jude and Johnny Rocket. 
 

I thought the food in the main dining room (there were two dining rooms - one for those with early/late sittings and one for those with "anytime") was good. The service was nice too. However, I feel like it is just a step up on Celebrity.

 

The choices of beer, liquor and wine were limited and the drink packages are capped at 15 per day. That is a lot I know but is amazing how quickly that adds up when having mimosas/bloody mary's in the am, wine spritzers in the afternoon, pre-dinner drink, wine with dinner, and a nightcap. They also make you wait 5 minutes between drinks. So if you don't like something - you have to wait 5 minutes to order again. And if you don't like something, that still counts towards the 15. (I like to try martini's as I don't normally drink them but didn't on this trip - would rather have things I know I liked.)

 

On our trip there were A LOT of bachelorette groups... A LOT.... lol! There also seemed to be a lot of guy groups too. It made for good people watching 😉

 

Our room was nice (a jr. suite that had a supposedly obstructed view - it didn't) and it was easy to get around the ship. The crew were friendly and there was definitely an emphasis on FUN! lol!  I would do it again as it was short, easy to get to, and affordable.  But it also made me realize - my heart is with Celebrity.  Their service and quality is what I like/prefer 🙂

Great points about smoking.  The smoke did extend beyond the casino to the, I think it was called, the USA bar which was just outside the casino.  Also the starboard side of ship on deck 11 was where the smokers were placed.  I love no smoking in casino. 

 

You mention Leon,  I think he was back on ship and was taking over the CD position on the cruise after us.  I took it that he was new when he was introduced to everyone, but maybe, Mel (Melissa) was temporary filling Leons slot.  Mel was great though!  

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, miched said:

Here is a list and schedule of CDs for Carnival

 

https://airtable.com/shrxzucqLGHbpDmm8/tblZJCAW6us7UhDmZ?blocks=hide&fbclid=IwAR3_xleqrytk1c0H_noLBUP_ytz63c5Qb6tSLwTk2D2846J5iUqVX0AhcPI

 

Wish that Celebrity would do the same

 

happy cruising 🌊🚢🇺🇸🌅

 

That a great link.  Thanks for sharing!  😄

 

Interestingly, Mel (Melissa) was not listed on there.  I do recall that when indicating this was her last sailing, they never mention when and what ship she would be on next.

 

 

Edited by shipshape sam

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We have cruised Carnival many times and enjoyed all of our trips. I am honestly thankful that we were able to take our kids on several cruises, their price point hit our budget. Some call them the Walmart of cruising, I'm fine with that. I shop at Walmart.
I would say Celebrity used to be more like Nordstrom's and now is more like a newer Target. They have gussied them up a bit with their latest renovations.

Years ago the difference between the two lines was much greater. Yes today the ambiance of Celebrity is more refined, but, and this is just my opinion, there are more similarities than not. And food being the main one. I'm thankful I learned here on CC that the food was not the same as what we remembered, otherwise it would have been a big disappointment.

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I believe it's mostly matter of expectations. When sailing on Carnival, don't expect it to match Celebrity or Princess. When sailing on Celebrity, don't expect it to match Oceania. Comparing is always good - as long as it doesn't impact your cruise experience. We are sailing on Celebrity in June and September, after last two cruises on Oceania and Azamara. I don't expect it to match Oceania food and service, and I'm sure it will feel much more crowded. But I'm prepared, and I'm sure it will still be a great experience (as long as I don't keep saying "they do things differently on Oceania").

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6 hours ago, ak1004 said:

I believe it's mostly matter of expectations. When sailing on Carnival, don't expect it to match Celebrity or Princess. When sailing on Celebrity, don't expect it to match Oceania. Comparing is always good - as long as it doesn't impact your cruise experience. We are sailing on Celebrity in June and September, after last two cruises on Oceania and Azamara. I don't expect it to match Oceania food and service, and I'm sure it will feel much more crowded. But I'm prepared, and I'm sure it will still be a great experience (as long as I don't keep saying "they do things differently on Oceania").

 

 

Expection is the key!  We sail Celebrity when we like quiet, when wanting a more active cruise we have tended to cruise Royal. 

 

Anyway, I would highly recommend going to Cuba before if WH goes through on its suggested sanctions which will stop tourist cruising to the island.

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7 hours ago, Mike981 said:

We have cruised Carnival many times and enjoyed all of our trips. I am honestly thankful that we were able to take our kids on several cruises, their price point hit our budget. Some call them the Walmart of cruising, I'm fine with that. I shop at Walmart.
I would say Celebrity used to be more like Nordstrom's and now is more like a newer Target. They have gussied them up a bit with their latest renovations.

Years ago the difference between the two lines was much greater. Yes today the ambiance of Celebrity is more refined, but, and this is just my opinion, there are more similarities than not. And food being the main one. I'm thankful I learned here on CC that the food was not the same as what we remembered, otherwise it would have been a big disappointment.

 

 

I shop at Wal Mart too! 🙂

 

 I have decided that we are laid back cruisers not requiring a lot of attention.  That is one reason we liked our last Carnival cruise.  Our expectation was a basic cruise with no speciality restaurants, just relaxing on pool deck (not in a lounger or in a pool) but in the shade and for me a good IPA beer which Carnival delivered and Celebrity has been lacking on my last 2-3 Celebrity cruises.  MDR on Carnival was okay too with each night something everyone in our group enjoyed.

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On our last family cruise (the kids were finally old enough to pay their own way!), my daughter and I enjoyed the "have you ever" portion of the menu. We each would get something different and then share our food. Good fun.

As a family, we are laid back travelers. Such a nice way travel.

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4 hours ago, Mike981 said:

On our last family cruise (the kids were finally old enough to pay their own way!), my daughter and I enjoyed the "have you ever" portion of the menu. We each would get something different and then share our food. Good fun.

As a family, we are laid back travelers. Such a nice way travel.

 

I saw that on menu, but never tried anything.  

 

Anything you tried provide a positive 'I could eat that again'?

 

Our first cruise on Royal we had leeches (sp?)  a small fruit that was not bad.  This was in 1998.

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17 hours ago, shipshape sam said:

 

I saw that on menu, but never tried anything.  

 

Anything you tried provide a positive 'I could eat that again'?

 

Our first cruise on Royal we had leeches (sp?)  a small fruit that was not bad.  This was in 1998.

 

Oh most definitely! We felt they spent more time and effort on these type of offerings, than the other dishes. Probably a smaller amount to prepare.
I can't remember many of them, but the ox tail was very good, as well as several fish dishes. I believe one was red snapper and it was surprisingly good. I almost ordered another serving, I would have in my younger/larger days.
Speaking of that, don't worry about trying something new, you easily ask for something else if you don't like it.

Have fun and live.

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I wish I had tried X when it was the "Nordstrom's" level of food. I loved the food that was served on my HAL cruise. Edge & the soon to be Apex is out of my budget.

 

I was reading up on Carnival"s Blue iguana and how you can get vegan arepas & breakfast burritos. I loved the made to order pizza on HAL. My colleague told me Carnival has the same.

 

I'm going to look at a Carnival cruise for Europe in 2021. Hopefully they have a Baltic one or a Med one. Hoping it will have less kids if it I can find one going right before or after the height of season.

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its a shame they don't have the  Alchemy on your ship. We had it on the Liberty and was great, I think it right up there with the Martini Bar on X. Agree the dinning room leaves something to be desired but the entertainment is above X. Alot of late night shows and entertainers. We did a 12 day Destination Cruise on it and was great cruise, not a lot of over the top partying and very few kids.

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