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Carnival Paradise May 2011

CRUISE JULY 2009 001

I never thought too much about taking a three day cruise before. But, my Paradise is leaving California for the east coast later this year and I wanted to sail on her again before she left. The three day cruises that run from Friday evening to Monday morning seemed to be the best fit for my busy schedule.

Dragging my workmate/friend Julie along, I have scheduled four cruises on the Paradise before she departs the Long Beach port for Tampa. I don’t know what my obsession is with the Paradise. Perhaps it is because she was the first Carnival ship I was ever on and as they say “you always remember your first”.

The Paradise was built in 1998 and was the last of the Carnival fleets Fantasy class ship. She is not too large so you feel overwhelmed, nor is she too small that you feel cramped.

A lot has changed on the ship since my first time aboard. Carnival has rolled out things like the Rostisserie Chicken, Steakhouse items in the dining room for a small fee, and the Sushi Bar that had been a big hit on some of the larger ships. From the line I saw at the small Sushi Bar on the Paradise it is a major hit there too.

So, can one really relax on a three day cruise? Is there enough to keep you busy? Is there enough time to do all you want? My answer is yes on all three.

Here is how the first three day cruise went….

Julie and I worked the morning of our cruise and drove to Long Beach about 11:30ish, parked the car and we were on the ship in no time at all.

We have this habit of going to the Lido Deck and getting our first DOD(Drink of the Day), while we listen to a band play music on the stage. After a couple of drinks we head to the Deli to get a Corned Beef/Pastrami Double meat sandwich and another drink. (One has to get in the cruise mood!)

By the time we finish our drinks and sandwich, it is time to go check out our cabin. Now this cabin was located in a different location then the previous sailings on the Paradise. I had booked a smaller balcony cabin on the Verandah deck toward the front of the ship.
I was a little nervous that it may seem too small, but I was very pleased as it was layed out nicely and did not feel “tight”. The balcony was barely big enough for the two chairs and table, but it was still a balcony. I don’t know, I just like to be able to sit outside while a ship is sailing and watch the water, the sunrises, or sunsets, from the comfort of an area that is exclusively mine.

Once you get your clothes put away, clean up a little it is time for dinner. We had walked to the dining room ealier just to see where our table was located. It was in the back of the dining area, in a step-up area by the rear entrance to the dining room. A perfect spot to sit to see the nightly entertainment where the wait staff sing and dance for you. We had an interesting waiter name head waiter named German and a waiter named Mulyana from Indonisa. They were very attentive and very helpful in picking out meals. Although we were at a table for ten the first night there was one other couple that came in late and a mother and daughter from Vegas. So, there wasn’t much conversation, but the service was excellent and the entertainment was well.. interesting! German seemed to live for the singing and dancing.

After dinner, you can go off to the show in the lounge or run over to the Casino. Or both. I elected for the Casino, as I had already seen the show Shout numerous times. Maybe next time I will see the show anyway. It is cheaper!

The next day you are in Ensenada Mexico. This time we were docked in a different location than I have normally been on the four day cruise.
We didn’t get off the ship. We had a nice breakfast in the dining room, than went to the Spa to schedule a nice treatment. A mini-facial, shoulder/neck massage, ankle/foot massage, and scalp massage. A deal at $119.
By afternoon, we were relaxed, showered and ready for some “Fun”. We followed some members of the entertainment staff around the ship as they entertained us with Bingo, Trivia games and just some good laughs.

The Captain’s party on a weekend cruise seems to fall at an odd time. Most I have been too have started right before the early seating for dining. On this cruise it was set at 7:15pm which falls right inbetween the early and late seating in the dining room. This is also “Formal” night on a three day cruise. A ritual I usally relish on a four day or longer cruise. On this cruise, I was lucky to have a semi-dress shirt, pants and decent shoes! We managed to make both the early seating at dinner and still get over to the Captain’s party for the last half of the celebration.

Sunday winds up being your “Fun Day at Sea”, and we filled it with more trivia, more drinks, more laughs with the entertainment staff, more food, and some more money left at the Casino. Saw a new show on Sunday night called Eight More Seconds. It had a bit of a military tribute to it, and was quite enjoyable.

Some wonderful entertainment staff members included the Assistant Cruise Director Amy or “Six Three” as most call her. Here is a shot of her and Julie who is four eleven!

Then there was the beautiful Lenorah (or Leo).. I guess they all have nicknames.

There was Jeff Bronson the Cruise Director. Nick Brown another Social Host and Hollywood, the best bar staff server around!

And one can never forget “Stan the Man” the Maitre D’ of the Elation Dining room.

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