(Port Orange, Florida, USA)
Just completed a 4-night cruise on Carnival Paradise to Cozumel. Here are the bullet points:
The food on board was fine, the usual Carnival fare (and that's no bad thing.) The ship's coffee was barely passing, though, and several times my wife and I had to visit the barista for a "real" coffee jolt.
Entertainment was the usual Carnival fare also...with the exception of JOHNNY MILLWOOD, a comedian who had us laughing so hard we could hardly breathe. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR LATE NIGHT ENTERTAINMENT ("Family friendly" shows---meh.)
Took the "Behind the Fun" tour, which was quite interesting. We took in the galley, laundry, engine control room, vast storage facilities, manufacturing, recyling/waste disposal, backstage at the Normandie, and the bridge. Very worthwhile and worth the cost (I think it was 55 USD per person.) If you're into behind-the-scenes stuff, you must take this tour.
Cozumel: We did the Sea Trek helmet diving excursion, where you wear a helmet that rests on your shoulders and positive pressure keeps the water out of it as you descend 20 feet into the crystal clear waters of Cozumel. Of course an air hose keeps cool, fresh air pumping into your helmet. You can wear makeup, glasses, contacts, whatever. You can even scratch your nose. We were a little afraid, but needlessly. The staff doted on us and made sure we had a blast. After about 30 minutes under the water, we didn't want to come up! My wife and I are 55 and not in athletic shape by ANY means. And it was effortless. Don't deprive yourself of this experience.
We love Carnival and were not disappointed. Minor nitpicks: the TV in the cabin was smaller than what obviously used to be in the cabinet, so it looked makeshift. Our toilet's clean-water supply sprung a leak and we had to call for repairs, but they had the thing fixed in 20 minutes--I mean they were ON IT. And they called TWICE to make sure we were happy with the repairs. We, too, could not use our free drink because of the stupid restrictions. They should do away with that--would it kill them to make us feel more welcome?
LOVE THE ATRIUM BAR--GEORGE THE BARTENDER VERY COOL AND MAKES GREAT DRINKS. LOVE CARNIVAL, BABY! NEXT STOP, ALASKA!