Disney Baltic Cruise

I would like to explain what my family and I did each day as we enjoyed our family vacation aboard the Disney Magic;

Day 1; We arrived at the port in Copenhagen, Denmark around 1:00pm, though you can board as early as 11am. We gave ourselves 3 hours to board (the ship sets sail at 4pm) so that we could explore Copenhagen before we left on our vacation. This day included us exploring the boat and signing up for kids clubs. One of the amazing things about Disney, is their kids clubs. They have rooms for different aged kids to go hang out in, participate in activities and make new friends. This gives parents a chance to have some time alone and know their children are safe and having fun. After exploring the boat, everyone came together at Deck 9 to set sail and have fun during “Mickey’s Sailing Away Party.” During this, everyone waves to the passengers staying in Copenhagen & dances along with Mickey & his friends on stage. Once this is over, we headed to the 6:30pm theater show. Depending on the dinner time you request (6:00pm or 8:30pm) you will either watch the theater show at 6:30pm or 8:30pm, the opposite time that your eating dinner. I absolutely love the shows. Disney does an amazing job coming up with themes and special acts to entertain their audience.

Day 2 was a “Day at Sea”, so that means we didn’t stop anywhere. We enjoyed our day watching Disney movies at Buena Vista Theater, participating in games at Vibe (a teen club), eating lunch at Cabanas (the buffet at deck 9), enjoying yet another theater show, & eating dinner at one of the three rotational dining restaurants (Lumiere’s, Animators Palate, or Cariocas.) Depending on your room card, you will rotate between these three different yummy restaurants. This night included Formal Dinner. This means we were encouraged to dress fancy (like dresses & skirts or suits for men.) Day’s at sea are, in my opinion, one of the best days on the boat. Disney provides their guests with the option of either Cabanas (the buffet on deck 9), Lumiere’s (one of the 3 rotational dining restaurants), or one of the quick service restaurants on deck 9. The quick service restaurants include Daisy’s Delights (a sandwich, salad, fruit, and cookie stand), Pete’s Boiler Bites (a hamburger, hotdog, taco, etc… american fare type of stand), and Pinocchio’s Pizza (a pizza stand where you can build any pizza you prefer.) Disney Magic does a fantastic job creating grade A food all day and making sure to cook the food in a fast manner, but keeping the flavor incredible. Now, the food is not the only reason I absolutely love day’s at sea. Though food is a key factor, Disney also provides their guests with a news article every night, allowing them to see what activities are brewing for them the next day (you also have the option of using their Disney Cruise Line app to see the activities and menus for each day.) This activities sheet is always filled with karaoke, newly released movies, workout games, and more during the days at sea. Disney makes sure their guests always have something fun and new to do on the boat, knowing some might get bored not having anywhere to dock.

Day 3 we stopped in Tallinn, Estonia. We arrived and walked Tallinn Old Town, which gave us a real idea of their culture. We also explored the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, The Estonian Maritime Museum (an old prison), and Fat Margarets Tower (a large building next to the ship.) Like most of you know, northern Europe has very sketchy weather. Knowing this, I packed a range of different clothes and layers. Tallinn stayed in the 60 degree F area during most of our visit, which was amazing. I wore leggings (lululemon), a tank top (lululemon), a long sweater (Madewell), and tennis shoes (New Balance.) My dad and brother were able to wear just shorts and a t shirt, so it really depends on your tolerance for cool weather. I am a small girl, so the wind was a little chilly for me, explaining the long sweater.

Day 4 we stopped in St. Petersburg, Russia. On this day, we decided to get a bus driver and a tour guide (Alla Tours.) St. Petersburg had multiple churches (Church of the Spilled Blood for example) and palaces (Catherine’s Palace), so we needed someone to help us find our way around. I recommend finding yourself a tour guide you trust (like Alla Tours), because during our visit to Catherine’s Palace (and a few other city monuments), the line wrapped around the building to get in, but our tour guide found a way to skip the line and sneak us in, in only 15 minutes. Like Tallinn, St. Petersburg’s weather was very strange. The morning was chilly and forced me to wear a scarf (Madewell) and a thick jacket (Madewell), but later in the day the temperature got warmer (maybe 67 degrees F) which allowed me to wear just a light rain jacket (Spice), because St. Petersburg did tend to sprinkle every so often. On this night, there was no theater show due to all aboard being at 11:30pm. This means, you had the option of staying out in Russia till 11:30pm or coming early and having dinner but no show.

Day 5 we stopped in Helsinki, Finland. This day was a bit shorter because all aboard was around 5pm. We decided to ride a carousel to see the town & take a boat ride to explore a small island with history about Finland (Suomenlinna.) We did not realize how large and historic Suomenlinna was, so we were unable to see all of its rich history. I recommend spending multiple hours here, if you decide to visit this location in Finland. This night included the Semi Formal Dinner. This means we had to dress up a little nicer than usual for our dinner, to take pictures. Disney does not require you to dress up any of the nights on cruise, but during these special nights, it is highly encouraged. I wore a mini skirt (Abercrombie & Fitch), a tank top (American Eagle), and sandals (Tory Burch.)

Day 6 we stopped in Stockholm, Sweden. This day was even shorter because all aboard was 3:30pm. We decided to visit the Armory & the Royal Palace next to it. If you are traveling with any boys or men, I recommend visiting the Armory. It was very cool for my brother and dad to see all of the military armor, weaponry, and royal carriages. We also purchased tickets for the Hop on Hop off bus, but it was very busy and packed (due to all the ships docked in Stockholm that day), I would not recommend buying a ticket for this bus in this town. This night Disney included “Anna & Elsa’s Frozen Deck Party”, which meant we all went up on Deck 9 before dinner to watch the Frozen characters dance and sing on stage. Disney also changed up their theater show on this night. Unlike their normal broadway style show, they provided us with a comedian show.

Day 7 was our final day, which means it was another “Day at Sea.” This day was a lot like Day 2, except that the cruise included activities like scrap booking all your memories & jack jack’s diaper dash (a race between babies who can crawl.) Usually my family and I prefer to eat lunch at Cabanas (the unlimited buffet is always nice), but on this day, my dad and I decided to try out Lumieres for lunch. I had the cuban sandwich and parmesan veal with pasta (two entrees were a must on this day) and my dad had the shrimp and pad thai noodles. Both meals were fantastic! Disney once again found a way to blow us away. Once the day was nearly to an end, we enjoyed the final show (Disney Dreams) & a dinner at Animators Palate (one of the three rotational restaurants.) After all was finished, the cruise wrapped up the day by having a “See you real soon” party in the Lobby Atrium on Deck 3. This show included a wave good bye to all the characters on board and a pin trading session (all the guests on board came together to trade their Disney pins.)

Day 8 was our final morning on the boat, which meant you went to breakfast at the place you had dinner at the night before or eat at Cabanas (the buffet on Deck 9.) For my family and I, we ate at Animators Palate once more. After eating the final meal on the ship, everyone disembarked and headed to the airport to fly home. Disney allows all of their guests to eat and explore the ship before leaving, which was nice because we didn’t feel rushed to get off the boat and let the new guests begin their vacation.

Family Discount Cruises, Fact or Fiction?

Many people believe Family Discount Cruises are nothing more than a myth. This group tends to be more likely the inexperienced, infrequent traveler. If you are interested in booking a family vacation cruise you should disregard this popular myth. Believing that family discount cruises do not exist could cost you a lot of money.

Dismiss the myth. Family Discount Cruises do indeed exist and are saving families thousands of dollars while enjoying fantastic, fun filled vacations aboard some amazing luxurious cruise ships.

No matter the economy, people look for discounts, deals and other ways to lower the cost of their vacation. Today, wise shoppers use coupons and other special offers to save money on goods and services. These same shoppers seeking to save money on groceries and other retail goods can save a good deal of money when booking a cruise vacation.

When booking a family discount cruise, there are a number of different options. Before deciding on your next cruise you should investigate every one of them. You’ll be surprised at how many cruise ship discounts are out there.

The most popular and easiest way to find discounts on a wide range of family cruises and vacations is only one click of the mouse.

Simply do a Google search for “Family Discount Cruises” or “Discounted Cruises” and you will find many resources.

Caveat Emptor!

Don’t make a hasty decision. Delay any bookings until you exhausted all options available. There are different resources at your disposal and you should take your time to investigate all of them.

Discount travel websites are popular for finding discounts on cruise and other vacations. Some well known travel sites are Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz to name a few. With regard to travel websites, you are encouraged to exhaust your search completely before providing them with your personal information.

Some people feel comfortable contacting the cruise line directly, particularly if they are looking to take a last minute cruise. One word of caution here. Be aware that the cruise line will not book your cruise. They will always refer you to contact a professional travel agent..

If you belong to a membership club, you should investigate any deals they may be offering. In addition to roadside vehicle assistance, auto clubs provide special deals on a wide range of vacation travel. Another well respected membership club regularly offer great deals to senior citizens.

One alternative to researching Family Discount Cruises is to work with a professional travel agent. Travelers that work with professional agents do so for the personal attention and service not available with travel websites and membership clubs. These professional travel agents operate locally and online.

Another travel myth is that travel agents rates are higher than their online competitors. This is not true.

That myth is totally unfounded by experience. The professional travel agent industry control a large block of travelers and because of their tremendous buying power they do indeed get preferential treatment from every travel vendor.

Cruise lines rely on the profession agents in order to get more of that agents customers. In fact, some well established and well respected travel agencies receive unbelievable deals that are not available to the general public.

With a small amount of time and research or professional assistance you can easily find many low cost cruises.

Why miss out on the fun and excitement of cruising, when you now know there are plenty of Family Discount Cruises available.

You just have to know where to find them.

Crystal Cruise Lines (The Symphony)

Luxury Cruising at its best, with an on board Golf Driving Range, a full service Fitness Facility, two Swimming Pools ,and an elegant Lavish Spa. Elegant staterooms to make into your own private sanctuary if you wish, after all this is your time and your space It’s your time to relax and enjoy the comforts of a Crystal Cruise known on the high seas for serving the finest foods from around the world.

Meals are prepared by hand selected chefs using high quality meats and ingredients which makes dining on board these vessels an epicureans delight.

From the lavish Crystal Dining Room to any of the other restaurants on board you will never be disappointed. Shipboard entertainment can rival that of any in show in Las Vegas with the casino appropriately called Ceasers’ Palace on the High Seas.

The Vista Lounge on the Observation Deck is for the smokers. The ship also has smaller bars which include a Sports Bar and a Piano Bar for quiet evenings with larger bars and lounges for dancing and cocktails. Upon boarding you’ll see the two story Atrium with its sculpture and Cascading Waterfall. If you chose to opt for one of the luxurious Penthouse Suites or one of the Elegant Staterooms a Crystal Cruise will never be a disappointment.

Lido Café: indoor and outdoor seating for breakfast and lunch

Palm Court: afternoon tea or coffee served with sandwiches and pastries

Trident Snack Bar: poolside buffet

Prego: authentic Mediterranean style dishes with a true flavor of Italy

Jade Garden: delectably delicious Asian specialties

Bistro Café; Parisian styled coffee bar

Accommodations:

Penthouse Suite: sizeable living quarters with a large private veranda,, mini bar, T.V., VCR, a large separate bedroom with a queen size bed and a seating area that has a picture window view. Your bathroom has a Jacuzzi tub and a separate shower, a toilet and a bidet, walk – in closets, refrigerator and a safe.

Balcony and Ocean View Staterooms: These staterooms have twin beds that can be made into a queen, sitting area, mini bar T.V., VCR, refrigerator, desk, full bathroom with a shower. Ocean View Staterooms have a picture window and Balcony Suites have a veranda

Nightlife:

Nightly entertainment rivals that of Broadway or Las Vegas with the Galaxy Show Lounge:

Galaxy Show Lounge: Live Broadway shows and Live Music

Avenue Saloon: Perfect for relaxing with an after dinner cocktail

Vista Lounge: (for smokers) on the Observation Deck

The ship also has a small Piano Bar for quiet evenings and a small cozy lounge when you want to be alone with that special someone

Caesers Palace on the Sea: lavish floating resort styled casino on the high seas

A Most Pimped Cruise! – How I Learned to Love Long Lines, Open My Wallet & Get With the Program

The Setup – Although veterans of many cruises, we had never had the “Drive Port” experience. Just throwing everything but the dog into the SUV – bypassing the hassle and inconvenience of airports, airlines and transfers – seemed like a good idea. From Memphis the logical choice was Carnival’s Triumph sailing to the Eastern Caribbean out of New Orleans. (7 days-July 24 to 31)

Embarkation – Docs we printed out online indicated boarding was from 12:30p to 2:30p with ship sailing at 4:00pm. So, we got in line for pier-side unloading and parking at 12:20p. Once parked and out of the SUV we stood in line for about 45 minutes – outdoors – in 95 degree mid-summer New Orleans heat and humidity. (What logistical genius arranged for that little bit of torture?) From parking to boarding the ship took a total of 80 minutes – during which long lines with many switch backs were the norm.

We were told at the parking/unloading point that, yes, we could schlep our own bags aboard if so inclined. But, just before entering the blessedly air conditioned terminal building, we were singled out from the herd by Colonel Klink and told that three of our bags were oversized and must be checked. He pointed to a little airline type “carry-on-bags-must-fit-in-here-or-we-stab-your-mother” warning sign with size testing receptacle, the volume of which was just big enough to hold a medium sized lunch box. I’m thinking, “they have overhead bins on cruise ships now? So why wasn’t that sign positioned back at the unloading point?”

Accommodations – Once on board we were directed to our ocean view cabins on Deck One. The cabins were very spacious and quite comfortable – larger than on most ships – something for which Carnival is noted. Our decision not to splurge on balcony cabins was justified. Overall ambiance of the ship seemed spacious.

Our room steward was Jorge from Peru – a very gracious man who seemed eager to please – as did most of the staff.

Waiting in our cabins were bon voyage gifts from the Hotel Manager and our local Business Development Manager, fruit baskets, wine, etc. They were greatly appreciated and quickly consumed.

Departure – Noticing at 5pm that the gangway had been retracted but we had not yet sailed, an announcement by the captain explained that due to weather – tropical depression Bonnie – and heavy traffic at the river’s mouth, sailing would be delayed until 3am Sunday morning. But, we were reassured that the ship would still reach ports on time. And it did.

Dining – Even though we had officially requested a large table for eight or more, we were seated in a booth for four. The booth was comfortable and cozy, but this was still a disappointment for us – we cruise to meet people. The maitre ‘d was apologetic and said he’d try to remedy the situation, but did not. Understandably, most people want tables reserved for just their group of family and friends, especially during the summer months when traveling with kids. My theory? They probably originally had us booked for a large table… then they saw me tripping and stumbling my way up the gangway sporting a lime green Vampires Suck! tank top with “Bite Me” tattooed over my jugular. I’m sure they decided then and there that it was best to isolate us from the other diners.

The food ranged from average to very, very good. The biggest improvement to Carnival’s food service is in the presentation. Main dining room offerings were stylish and gourmet in appearance. However, in actual taste most dishes were about a half star short of deserving of that sobriquet. Some exceptions: the Chilled Avocado Soup, Mongolian Steak Salad, New Zealand Lamb Chops and the Chocolate Souffle were to die for.

Fish dishes, while well spiced and elegantly presented, were consistently served dry and overcooked. Thinking that it might be due to only frozen supplies being available rather than fresh, I embarked on a test. When the security guard at the Atlantis Aquarium was looking the other way I scooped up a rare Triggerfish… smuggled it back in my camera case… gave it to ship’s chef fifteen minutes before dinner. Yep, served dry and overcooked.

Just when I was about to give up on the Over-Cooked Fish issue, a ray of hope appeared. There on deck five… just around the corner from the casino… the Sushi Cart! But even here the delicacies are tweaked for southern tastes. The Chicken Fried Tuna’Cado Rolls were fabulous!

Entertainment – We took in most of the shows and most were quite good, especially the big production shows. Carnival is one of the few remaining cruise lines to still utilize full live orchestras rather than recorded tracks for these complex shows. Sound quality in all venues was excellent. Stage effects and mechanics, such as hydraulically manipulated stage sections and (nearly invisible) cable lifts enabling performers to “fly” were effective and not overly exploited. Site lines in all venues were good. Smoke machines, flash pots and laser strobes were used sparingly and not overdone. Well, maybe the smoke machine didn’t add much to bingo… the caller was new and couldn’t find the off button.

The Big Easy Show was one of the best production shows I’ve seen on a cruise ship… and this coming from someone who worked ships as an entertainer for 12 years. Clearly crafted for a predominantly New Orleans centric audience, my first thought was “this is a cheap shot – like playing the Star Spangled Banner at a VFW meeting – a guaranteed standing ovation.” But as the show unfolded the choice of music, the performances, costuming and special effects were outstanding. A very enjoyable experience.

Comedian – Todd Justice started out strong but began to lose us half way through the show. Todd kept looking at his watch – a surefire momentum killer. Not a good idea unless it is part of the act. It was not.

Magic – A big production/illusion type magic show in the main showroom was a bit repetitive and just OK. A close-up magic show was scheduled for the Venezia Lounge. Although we arrived 20 minutes early there was not an empty seat to be found. It was already standing room only and many were sitting on the floor. This show needs to be in a larger venue. We did not stay.

Specialty Act – Funniest show of the week was Asad, the stage hypnotist. To audience volunteers who were deep under, he gave many of the old tried and true but still funny suggestions with a few novel twists such as… “you desperately want to kiss the person next to you but they have horribly bad breath”.

Asad had a very original closing. Just before dismissing the volunteers he gave them one final suggestion… “you will not remember anything you have done on stage tonight… until the next time you look in a mirror. Then you will suddenly remember everything in vivid detail.” Of course immediately following the show sadistic friends and family steered unsuspecting volunteers into the restrooms to “powder their noses”. Screams could be heard three decks away.

On-Board Ambiance – With beautiful ships, good food and staff eager to please, Carnival is still all about relentless on-board merchandising and sales promotion – as are all cruise lines in the mass market category. The trade-off is lower fares.

But Carnival can be a bit crass about it sometimes. You don’t have to be a cruise snob to feel a bit put out when, for the umpteenth time, you have to walk the length of the ship to find an unblocked stairway or un-mobbed elevator to get from one deck to another due to photographers having set up another half dozen Photo Op stations.

These always seemed to be positioned in the middle of a major staircase or thoroughfare during peak stroll-about-the-ship hours. One night about twelve such setups were in evidence, all at choke points with correspondingly backed up crowds spilling over into on-board shops… where silver tongued sales people lay in wait!

(Biz Op – Someone could make a fortune selling Photographer Repellant. It could be spray-on… colorless and odorless but making the wearer appear constantly out of focus.)

Also consider that for the two hours prior to departing from Key West, passengers had to stand in line for an average of 30 minutes to get back aboard the ship… and you begin to get my point.

Why can’t CCL take a cue from the good people at Disney? Disney has mastered both in-your-face merchandising and crowd control. Carnival execs, are you listening? Can you say Fastpass?

Ports & Shore Excursions – there were three stops on this itinerary.

Freeport – There is a reason why it is called “Freeport”. It is totally free of anything to do. Beaches and shopping are a long cab ride from the ship and nothing to write home about once you get there. We stayed on the ship.

Nassau – One mistake that we can only blame on our own procrastination – not buying tickets in advance to the Atlantis Aquarium & Water Park on Nassau’s Paradise Island. Unfortunately, we waited until the day of arrival and everywhere we went, the Shore Excursion Desk, the Atlantis hotel itself, other nearby Paradise Island hotels – the story was the same – sold out, sold out, sold out.

But our determined girls weren’t taking no for answer and gave the go-ahead to our cab driver to do whatever it took to find us Water Park passes.

Tito was the man… a fast talking and (apparently) connected guy. With a grin a mile wide, a mouth full of gold teeth and a cranked up boom box with sub-woofer in the back of his Toyota mini-van, he was an instant hit with our 18-year olds. Meanwhile, I’m testing the van doors to make sure they can be locked and unlocked from the inside.

To add to my nervousness, while careening through the backstreets of Nassau in Oddjob’s sub-woofed ride, my wife is flashing around hundreds of dollars in cash – slowly counting it all out – right there in the open for all to see – making sure we had enough to pay for these bootleg water park passes he is about to score for us. (Tito made it clear he didn’t take plastic.)

Meanwhile, I’m about to panic thinking “My God, he’s going to pull into a back alley where we’ll be stripped naked and robbed of everything… at gun point… and left stranded.” (Robbery would be survivable… but I wasn’t sufficiently medicated for walking back through the Straw Market… naked.)

After numerous furtive phone calls and a back alley rendezvous with local underground operatives, we had the passes… and Tito had our cash. Miraculously, we did not set off any fraud alarms at the entrance to the Aquarium / Water Park.

Key West – Arrival here meant more shopping, as well as cheap or free Internet and cell phone connectivity. You can connect via the ship’s system but it is a costly way to feed your Facebook habit.

We booked the parasailing excursion, which was a hoot. The departure point is just a short walk across the pier from the ship.

Sea Days – We enjoyed our time on deck, the pools, water slide and the JumboTron (giant outdoor video screen). Yes, Agnes, yours truly got in line with the kids and went down the giant water slide. It was a thrill. Especially the sudden stop in the water trough at the bottom. I was regular for three days afterward.

Question – Who gets to decide what is shown on the ship’s huge JumboTron? Sometimes it featured commercials for Carnival or playbacks of highbrow fare such as the Hairy Chest Contest – sometimes a movie or concert video – but each and every morning it was tuned to a local TV station out of Denver. (Denver?) I kept looking around for a giant remote control.

The Spa – On the last day of the cruise my wife booked me for the ultimate makeover – a hydrating facial with full body massage. Admittedly, it did make me look a good six to eight weeks younger for a few hours. But, like the poor victims of the hypnotist, when I looked in the mirror the next morning… there staring back at me was that familiar 63-year old catcher’s mitt with ears. I screamed too.

Conclusion – All in all it was a good cruise and a welcome change of pace. Would I cruise on Carnival again? Yes, definitely. Would I do anything differently next time? Yes, a couple of things. First, I’d insist on getting that large table for eight or more in the dining room – we just have too much fun swapping lies with new people we will never see again. Secondly, I’d make sure to book the two or three most desired shore excursions in advance. And lastly, we need to rein in our on-board profligacy a bit. Oh, I’d also bring along a case of that Photographer Repellant. – LEC

Carnival Paradise Grand Cayman/Cozumel Review

There were 4 days at sea along with two days at port; making stops in the Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico. Before booking the trip, I checked out reviews on Cruise Critic. Of the 442 reviews this boat has, 75% were positive. Here are some highlights of my experience on the ship.

Food: The food was plentiful (as expected) and tasty. The buffet was very good and the evening dining hall had a good variety of food. We had a table for four all to ourselves the entire week, so that was a treat! “After hours” there is a 24 hour pizza bar and ice-cream station, and the room service was quick. I wouldn’t classify this ship as a culinary dream, but it certainly was ample.

Drinks: The wait staff were very attentive and it was never a long wait to get a drink. As expected, the drinks were expensive. But if you stick to lemonade, water, tea, juice, etc, you don’t need to spend extra to stay hydrated. If you’re planning on drinking a lot, you might want to get one of their drink packages. You can save on cocktails, wine, and soda by purchasing these. There are a lot of rules and fine print, so read up before you go.

Pools: I was not impressed by the swimming pools on the ship. There is one main pool with a water slide going into it, which eats up some of the space. There were also a few whirlpool-sized swimming pools (with cool water) but not of the size for actual swimming.

Deck Space: There were always plenty of lounge chairs available on deck. They didn’t seem to have the usual “reserved chair” issues that many ships have. As the week went by, I think more people were hanging out inside so there were even more chairs available.

Rooms: We had an ocean view room with two twin size beds converted to a king size. The noise from the ship was at reasonable levels and besides some noisy neighbors a couple of nights, there were no noise issues. The bathroom was sufficient and overall there were no issues with the room.

Entertainment: Admittedly this trip was more about relaxing than it was the nightlife. But we did take in a few song and dance shows. While the theater is smaller than a lot of other boats, the entertainers were very talented and the shows were great. We also took in a few comedy shows, which were awesome. Just make sure that you’re leaving the kids at home if you’re going to an adults-only show. They aren’t kidding when they say they’re not family friendly!

Time at Port: The time at port in the Grand Cayman was short. We paid $5 per person to take a shuttle to the nearby public beach. The water was warm, clear, and refreshing. Drinks nearby cost a fortune, so be prepared.

We were in Cozumel, Mexico for about 8 hours. We arranged an excursion through Carnival to go to a nearby all-inclusive, Chankanaab Resort. There they had snorkeling, a Mayan tour, sea-lion show, lots of lounge chairs on the beach, and a swim up bar. Even though this was a self-guided day at the resort, they insisted on giving you an hour-long tour of the place and organizing all sorts of group activities. The guide seemed more concerned with occupying you so you didn’t spend too much time at the bar. The resort itself was great, but I’d opt out of this next time.

Overall, I think the Carnival Paradise was a great value for the money. Coming up soon will be a post about the travel gadgets you must have on your next cruise!