Please offer advice. I am planning a trip and would like to know comments and suggestions for both the carnival and Paradise. Which is better? How about Western or Eastern? This will be my first cruise and we are in our early thirties.
Kate, I have done both sides of the Caribbean and we have found the Western side is a better party atmosphere and better excursions. We will be on the Carnival Inspiration on 3-14. Hope to sse you there.
Definitely Paradise! It's a very clean, well-staffed, comfortable and healthy ship.
It all deppends on your cruising attitude as to which itinerary though.
Both itineraries (exotic Eastern and exotic Western) offer some more popular and developed ports but both also include very nice off-the-beaten-track ports. Belize is a wonderful place to visit....I personally visited some ancient ruins there, and Roatan is also supposed to be fun though I did not spend too much time off the ship there. That western itinerary also includes Grand cayman and Cozumel, very popular and nice ports. In grand cayman I booked the deep dive submersible tour (2 person sub ride down to 800 or 1000 feet) but that may be prohibitively expensive for you so perhaps you would prefer the 70-foot sub tour if you want that kind of tour. Otherwise, that area provides you with quite a good amount of things to do.
The Eastern itinerary offers Nassau and St.Thomas, and as its more exotic port you have La Romana, near Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic. Many people go into Sto. Domingo on a tour.
The advantage of the extra sea day for some people is of course the ability to explore the ship more. However, you may want to have more port action.
Really its up to you. Personally I've done the western once and the eastern twice, about to go eastern a third time.
Paradise is my favorite ship. I've been on NCL, Royal Caribbean and Discovery before Paradise (when I was very little). I enjoyed all of them that I remember, but Paradise won me over.
I have cruised 3 times with Carnival and I don't think I'll be stopping anytime soon.
Usually the week after I get back (usually by then i'm all unpacked) I have a few dates that I could cruise next, then I pick one and set it up. That ship is enough to make me want to come back every week.
You won't regret a Paradise cruise.
Holiday 5-day Western Caribbean
Liberty 8 day Western
If you read many posting on this board or others you will find one re-occuring theme when there are questions about which ship to sail on. That is "the ports of call". My wife and I will be on our first cruise April 2004 on the Jubilee for that reason only.
We've read some negative reviews about this ship and they have not bothered us. We started our holiday search by dtermining where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see. Secondly we look at the price ranges which sould accomodate our budget. Based on those factors the ship whcich offered what we wanted was the Jubilee. Or trip is not "on the ship" rather the ports that the ship takes us too. The Jubilee is merely a way of getting there. We will be very toerante of any shortcommings this ship may have.
Most important in our minds is that this is our first cruise and we are out to have a great time. And also we do not have any previous experiences ny which to judge this ship by.
Bottom line is, determine what and where you would like to see, then decide which ship is going to get you there.
On the western side, I enjoyed the Mayan sites near Cozumel Mexico. On The eastern side, St John & the US National Park plus old San Juan. All in all, I would rate the Eastern Caribbean a litte better due to the variety. Jamaica and Grand Cayman are lovely islands, so the Western Caribbean too is well worth a visit.
Carnival is the Company and the Paradise is the ship. Any ship is great and both itineraries offer different things. If you haven't been to any of the islands then just pick one itinerary and go for it you can always do the other one next time.
Planting your feet in warm Caribbean sand is better than planting them in cold snow.