Carnival Paradise, a Fantasy-class cruise ship, has been delivering paradise-worthy travel adventures to families since she was first floated out in 1998. Immediately, Carnival Paradise was unique and notable for several reasons.
Carnival Paradise Cruise Ship Facts and History
Firstly, Carnival Paradise was built with the intention that she would be the very first non-smoking cruise ship in the entire world. As such, Carnival Paradise received a lot of good press and support from anti-cancer groups.
Unfortunately, cruisers didn’t like it that much (possibly because any passenger found smoking or owning any smoking paraphernalia was fined $250 and then dropped off at the next port) and Carnival discontinued the smoke-free policy after five years, quoting revenue reasons.
Now, Carnival Paradise no longer proudly proclaims its strict smoking policies, but it does have a very strict policy relative to some other cruise ships in the world.
That wasn’t the end of Carnival Paradise’s unique features, though. Later on, in the ship’s life, it was outfitted with the very first Earth-friendly dry-cleaning system found on a cruise ship. The system uses environmentally-safe detergents and limits chemical runoff.
Most recently, Carnival Paradise was dry-docked in the Bahamas in 2018, during which Carnival added a 14th deck and 38 cabins to the ship.
Now, the 855-foot cruise ship caters to typically just over 2,000 cruise passengers per cruise, though it can fit just over 2,600 guests and its crew of 920, if needed.
Carnival Paradise offers a nice array of accommodations, and most of them are quite nice. The majority of staterooms are ocean-view staterooms with either a balcony or a lanai. Beyond these 662 ocean-view, balcony or lanai staterooms, there are 391 ocean-view staterooms without balconies, 78 suites and grand penthouse suites and just 31 interior staterooms.
The Fantasy-class cruise ship offers quite a few different entertainment venues, the largest being the main show lounge, Normandie. You’ll find a lot of venues on this ship, in fact, that you won’t find on other Carnival vessels, so if you really enjoy Carnival’s service and style, but want to try something new, this might be the perfect ship for you.
Ready to explore Carnival Paradise for yourself? If you’re still not convinced, we’ve put together the 10 top reasons you need to take a Carnival Paradise cruise, stat.
1. Your Stateroom is Practically Guaranteed to be the Perfect Mix of Luxury and Convenience
Because of Carnival Paradise’s amazing ratio of staterooms, you’re almost always guaranteed that there’s a great stateroom option for you and your family. With the majority of staterooms being ocean-view staterooms with either a balcony or lanai, there’s no need to worry about getting stuck in one of the very few interior staterooms (unless, of course, that’s what you prefer).
The ocean-view, lanai and patio staterooms offer the perfect water views throughout the entirety of your cruise, along with plenty of space to stretch out and relax. Now, do note that these staterooms break down further into two categories.
The plain patio and lanai ocean-view staterooms come with a large bed, desk space, seating on your balcony, closet and spacious bathroom with a shower.
There’s an aft-view extended balcony option in this category, though, that features a larger balcony and stern-side views. The balconies and lanais in this category are truly expansive, as are the staterooms themselves, which feature two twin beds.
Similarly, the ocean-view staterooms (with no balcony or lanai) are split into two categories. You have your regular ocean-view staterooms, with plenty of sleeping and lounging space, and then the scenic ocean view option, with floor-to-ceiling windows that assure you can always see whatever lies ahead of the ship, from every single vantage point.
2. There’s a Special Suite that you Won’t Find on Other Carnival Ships
You won’t find the Grand Suite with Extended Balcony on many other Carnival ships, so if you like to book Carnival’s suites when you cruise with the brand, you ought to snatch this one up quickly.
The Grand Suite with Extended Balcony boasts one of the largest, most luxurious staterooms and balconies on the ship. There’s a big stateroom with a spacious seating area with a full-size couch, a huge balcony with seating for four or more, a large bathroom with a tub and even a dressing area with vanity. Plus, when you book the Grand Suite, you also get VIP check in, for an added level of luxurious service.
3. There’s No Need to Spend Extra to Enjoy a Great Dining Experience
The free dining aboard Carnival Paradise is more than sufficient to meet all your foodie needs, so you don’t have to feel left out of the fun if you don’t want to drop extra cash on specialty dining experiences (though they are available if you’d like to try them out).
The main dining rooms on the ship are Destiny and Elation. Cruisers need a reservation for Destiny, but if you want to just show up and eat, you can do so with Carnival’s Your Time dining feature at Elation. Catch musical performances by the crew during formal and final cruise nights in the Destiny dining room.
Related: Free Carnival Cruise Dining Options
The breakfast options in both include your typical breakfast goods — pancakes, steak and eggs, omelets and more. The dinner menus vary every night, and the staff is very good about accommodating cruisers with food allergies.
The buffet aboard Carnival Paradise is also complimentary, with two outside stations and four inside stations. There are salads, deli items, grilled fare, pizza and more.
And, pro tip, room service is complimentary, too! So, if you don’t feel like getting out of bed for breakfast one day, just hit the snooze button and order your eggs delivered freshly cooked to your door.
4. You Can Find a Mix of your Favorite Carnival Dining Venues and some New Favorites
Carnival Paradise offers some of Carnival cruisers’ favorite dining venues, but also some other venues that you’ll be hard-pressed to find on any other Carnival ships.
For example, try family favorites like Guy’s Burger Joint and BlueIguana Cantina. Then, explore something new when you try out the United States Bar, a red-, white- and blue-themed watering hole on the promenade; the America Bar, a piano bar; or Paradise Bar, the ship’s lobby bar.
5. There are Plenty of Ways to Upgrade Your Dining Experience
If you do decide to upgrade your dining experience aboard Carnival Paradise, there are plenty of tempting ways to do so.
At the Chef’s Table, you can enjoy multiple courses and cocktails, alongside a galley tour and a meet and greet with the ship’s executive chef. Just make sure you book this experience ahead of time; it’s only held once per cruise, in the library, and can fill up fast, as it’s limited to a certain number of cruisers.
Snack on sushi at Sushi at Sea. Enjoy specialty coffee drinks beyond what you’ll find at the buffet at Cafe Ile de France. For families sailing with kids, upgrading to the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast that’s held once per cruise can be a great option. Dr. Seuss characters attend the breakfast to entertain the kiddos as they chow down on, yes, green eggs.
6. The Watering Holes are Plentiful
For those booking a cruise for the ultimate party getaway, no worries — you can find a cocktail, beer or glass of wine at nearly every turn when you’re aboard Carnival Paradise. Across multiple decks, you’ll discover bars and lounges aplenty, but Deck 9 is the hub of activity.
Try Atrium Bar for a chill environment that caters to a classy crowd with its wine list and pristine views. For a bit of patriotism, try the America Piano Bar, where the musicians take requests.
The United States Bar is a bit different, but still with the same great experience; expect karaoke, dance-offs, live music and a smoking section. Leonardo Lounge is perfect for dancing the night away to some live Latin tunes.
Rex Nightclub has an African safari theme, but the music changes up every night, so you’ll always find something playing that you like. The Queen Mary Lounge hosts plenty of activities to enjoy alongside your drinks, from comedy acts to seminars during the day. Rotterdam Martini Bar specializes in, of course, martinis.
The Paris Bar is right off the buffet, for easy access. Lastly, RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar are newly added following the ship’s last dry dock, and offer a fun time that’s consistent with these bars across the entire Carnival brand.
Seriously — your cup will never be empty when you’re aboard Carnival Paradise.
7. There are Plenty of Ways to Catch Some Rays
Don’t think that just because you’re aboard a cruise ship that you have to stay indoors all day in order to avoid the crowds. That’s not the case at all! There are loads of outdoor spaces for you to enjoy, and so that cruisers have lots of room to stretch out and relax.
There’s one main pool on the Lido Deck with tons of loungers for everyone. The newly-added Waterworks water park gives families with small children splash areas, and adventurous kids young and old some water slides.
If you’d rather stay nice and dry, you can play a game of mini-golf, basketball, shuffleboard, corn hole, ping pong or even chess, as Deck 14 has a huge, larger-than-life chessboard along with these other sporting areas.
For adults-only relaxation in the sun, go to the Serenity Deck on Deck 9. There are lots of loungers and two whirlpools. Better yet, this adults-only space is completely complimentary, so you don’t have to pay extra to access it and get a little peace and quiet.
8. The Entertainment Selection is Top-Notch.
Normandie is Carnival Paradise’s huge theater, filled with comfy, big seats and access to even more drinks, as there are cocktail waiters and a bar, so you can enjoy a bit of libations with your show.
You can catch a different show every night and there are two showings per night, so you can for sure fit one into your busy schedule of fun. If you’re not into the theater, the space also hosts seminars, lectures, bingo and game shows throughout cruises.
9. You’ll Never be Bored
There truly is always something to do aboard Carnival Paradise, no matter the day or time. Daytime activities include classes, from fitness classes to courses related to whatever destination you happen to be traveling to, so you can learn a little bit about the city or island before your arrival. Trivia and games are plentiful. Auctions are also held, and you can find live music just about anywhere.
10. Common-Sense Amenities are, Well, Common.
Face it. Even with all this fun everywhere, sometimes you just need some basic amenities. Thankfully, Carnival Paradise has thought of literally everything, including all the common-sense amenities you might need during your cruise.
Guest services is more than happy to help with any problem you might have, or any questions you have regarding the ship, cruise itinerary or destination. An on-ship laundry mat is available in case you need to clean a few things, as is dry cleaning service. WiFi is available for a small fee, but there’s also a small business center with computers if you absolutely must check in with work or check your email.
Speaking of work, a conference room is available for booking, too. The Carnival Hub app is also a useful amenity, as it allows you to easily navigate everything there is to do and see aboard Carnival Paradise. Does a Carnival Paradise experience sound right for you and your family? Book your Carnival Paradise cruise today!