January 5, 2003
Well, I just returned from another wonderful 7 day cruise on the Paradise. I have been on 3 other Carnival cruises, and I must say the non smoking ship was really paradise. I will write my thoughts down day by day as everyone else does I guess.
We flew in on Saturday from Denver. Flew into FLL and paid for the Carnival transfer to our hotel also provided by Carnival. I like this option the best. We were able to find our own airfare, and get the hotel and transfers through Carnival, and save $150 per person over the Air/Sea package through Carnival. Not bad savings. We stayed at the Biscayne Bay Sheraton, three blocks away from the pier. Nice location, expensive food. What else could be expected from Miami though huh? The next morning we took the transfer to the ship, but there was a problem with the busses and we waited over an hour and a half between busses before we got to the pier. We were able to check in early at the hotel and when we got to the pier, went through security, picked up our sail and sign cards, took our picture, and got on board. The Paradise has a lot more wood throughout the ship, compaired to the Sensation which I have been on three times! Beautiful ship though. The atrium or Paradise bar became one of my favorates. The lifeboat drill went without a hitch, and we were on our way to Nassau. Dinner in the dining room, and off to the Paradise bar for drinks, check out the show, win some money at the casino, and then to finish the night off stop by the Rex club.
We docked at Nassau pretty early Monday morning. It was cloudy, but not too hot which is nice for me. We took a taxi over to Atlantis and walked around the resort. It is an amazing place. The aquarium is amazing. The whole building is huge and took us quite a while to walk through. There is a lot of shopping to do there also. We made our way back to the ship in time and left at 2. I was not that impressed with Nassau at all, flat, and not much to see. Dinner was wonderful as usual. Had the welcome aboard party, and got to meet the captian. Everyone was dressed up and looked really nice. Free drinks for everyone! Yahooooo....
The next day we were at sea the whole day headed to San Juan. It was cloudy once again but the sun did manage to peak through every now and then so people were able to get a little sun. I had time to explore the ship today too. It really is nice having no smoke everywhere you go. I did notice that the casino is a little slower and not as many people are crowding around the slots or other tables. The ship was really clean, with the normal wear and tear. The ship is going into dry dock here at the end of the month. The head bartender at the Paradise bar, Simina from Romania, is wonderful and I recommend everyone to stop by and say hi!
Anyone for San Juan? It was really hot and humid. We got off the ship and tried to find transpertation to Bacardi, only to find that they wanted $25 a taxi to go over there, no matter how many people there were. We found a different way over. We took the local boat transfer over to the other side of the island for $0.50 per person, and then paid the taxi driver $2.00 per person to take us to Bacardi. The tour was wonderful, you only get two very small free drinks though. I guess I should not complain, they were free. After the tour we took the boat back to old San Juan and walked around town, went to El Morro, did some shopping, took pictures, and then back to the ship and the A/C!
St. Thomas today. One of my favorate islands! It was cloudy again, but not as hot at in San Juan. I was able to do quite a bit of shopping, finding some great deals on watches and other gifts. I took the tram up to Paradise Point I believe it is called and got some great pictures of the island from the top. I had lunch up there as well with a local lady as my waitress. She was great! Some more shopping after that at the docks. We were the last to leave of four ships docked, and it was a lot of fun to watch these huge ships move around the little harbor. Two more days at sea to look forward to....
The other two days were very smooth days at sea. "Fun days at sea" as they are refered to. There was always something going on. I have never felt the ocean that smooth. You could hardly tell the ship was moving. The sun came out the last two days and everyone was burnt, or really really red.
Now some general thoughts about the cruise. Both the Las Vegas style shows were good, Shout! being the best of the two. The Cruise director, Shawn, was pretty good. She was always smiling and having a good time so that was good. We had an outside cabin on the main deck. We had an inside cabin on the Empress deck and on the day before we left, were able to get a free upgrade to the outside cabin on the Main deck. Our room steward, Kristina, was wonderful and did a great job. Our waiter, Ketut, and asst. waiter, Yawoaman, were also good, but service was a little slow in the dinging room compaired to the Sensation. The Rex dance club was lively the whole cruise and the DJ did a wonderful job with the music and kept everyone on the dance floor. Everyone has to go visit Simina at the Paradise Bar! She was great! Had our folio number memorised the 2nd day! You go through customs in San Juan, go getting off the ship was the fastest of the four cruises I have been on. All in all it was a great vacation, I have no complaints as Carnival did a great job. I would recomend the Paradise in a second to anyone who does not like smoking. It was a little more laid back then other cruises I have been on, but very relaxing and an enjoyable time. The whole staff was very friendly and went out of their way to fill your request.
Please let me know if you have any questions as I would be happy to answer them.
Happy Crusing Everyone!