My Paradise review is up...it's lengthy, but I spent a lot of time on describing the new port of call in the Dominican for those of you with questions...I also divided it into sections so you can easily find the part you want. Hope it is helpful!
Thanks for the great review - we are going on same cruise 11/9. Glad to know about the Dominican Republic. I will definintely bring the heavy duty bug spray. Did anyone you know go to Santa Catalina Island - the tour seemed reasonably priced, doesn't include food or drinks (which would have worked better in your case), but they are available to purchase. Glad to know about the pushy vendors, that has been a common theme among those who reviewed the Dom Repub. I wish Carnival would lose that stop, it doesn't sound like anything great, and from what I hear, the tour prices are outrageous.
I'm guessing those areas aren't sprayed for malaria, Casa De Campo and the resorts are, so are probably less buggy. Red Cross said I can't donate blood for 1 year if I go outside of the main resorts because of malaria risk.
Did anyone you talked to go to Coki beach and/or the Dive Club there in St Thomas? Did anyone have any rave reviews on any activity in Nassau?
I'm also curious to know where your review of the Paradise is listed because it isn't in reader reviews under Carnival Paradise. If you wouldn't mind helping out those of us who can't seem to see the nose plain on our faces. Thanks in advance.
Sorry for the delay - I was out of town for a few days! I didn't mentioned I posted it under my real name, Rebecca...that may help!
As for the questions - there was just about an even split of couples and singles. When I think back, I never remember noticing a giant majority of one or the other. Not a lot of kids, though (which we were counting on since school was just starting). The kids we did see were well-behaved and not a problem.
Sorry, I did not know anyone who went to Santa Catalina, we only had one other couple at our table and they didn't do any excursions as far as I know! Regarding malaria - I assume we'd know if we have it by now, that didn't even occur to me! I guess my husband has an excuse to give the Red Cross when they call him every 2 weeks now! Maybe they do spray there since it is a big destination for tourists/resort guests - at any rate, Carnival did not say a word about malarial risk, you think their insurance/law team would hop on that if it was a risk.
Regarding Coki Beach - Captain Jim (who took us to St. John and is a local) said that Coki Beach was a much better choice over Megan's Bay as it was much less touristy and would give us more of the St. Thomas experience - we were so worn out from our morning in the sun we didn't go, but he said it was within walking distance of the resort where he dropped us off, if you decided to book him.
The popular excursion on Nassau was the Blue Lagoon, people were very happy with that. I talked to several guests who went there or had gone there on previous trips and said it was beautiful.
I went to give blood at our company blood drive last week, and they declined my blood to my cruise last February where we visited Roatan, Honduras. So, I asked about the ports we're visiting next week on the Paradise, and they said I would be out for another year of blood donation if I visit Catalina Island in the Dominican Republic.
We survived Roatan, sure we'll survive Dom. Rep., too!