The Carnival Paradise is back from a monthlong hiatus and came to Port Tampa Bay looking like a brand new ship.
The 2,052-passenger cruise vessel came out of a 32-day, multimillion-dollar dry dock that allowed it to undergo a major facelift. Cabins were redone, balconies were added to rooms and new water features came on board. There are also new shops and food and beverage venues such as Guy's Burger Joint, which was developed in partnership with Food Network star Guy Fieri.
Other poolside bars and eateries include the RedFrog Rum Bar, which serves Carnival’s own private label draught brew, ThirstyFrog Red, and the BlueIguana Cantina, which specializes in Mexican cuisine. Additionally, the BlueIguana Tequila Bar is a Mexican-themed outdoor bar.
The Carnival Paradise also opened two camps for children: Camp Ocean for kids age 2 through 11, and Circle “C” for those aged 12 to 14.
The Carnival Paradise departs Monday afternoon on a five-day Caribbean cruise to Cozumel and Grand Cayman, part of the ship’s year-round sailings from Tampa that also include four-day cruises to Cozumel and five-day cruises to Cozumel and Mahogany Bay (Roatan), Key West or Grand Cayman. The ship also offers four- to eight-day cruises to Cuba featuring daylong and overnight calls in Havana as well as visits to other ports throughout the Caribbean.
The ship has 38 new staterooms — two Grand Vista suites offering floor-to-ceiling windows, 22 junior suites, two scenic ocean view and 12 interior accommodations. Carnival added private verandahs to 98 existing accommodations, creating new 230-square-foot balcony staterooms. All staterooms offer island-inspired interiors with bright colors and pastels.
Also added is the WaterWorks Aqua Park located on Verandah Deck. It features an enclosed 300-foot-long Twister water slide, two 82-foot-long racing slides and a kids' splash zone. The ship relocated its nine-hole miniature golf course to deck 14.
Finally, the retail shops have been redesigned and enhanced, adding boutiques such as Pandora and Guess. The printed photo gallery was replaced with a digital Pixels-branded platform that allows guests to identify and purchase images via smartphones or at a kiosk.
“We can’t wait for our guests to check out the fantastic new features aboard Carnival Paradise, which returns to service better than ever offering an exciting combination of itineraries featuring top destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Cuba,” Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said in a statement.
Two months ago, the Paradise was joined by the 2,124-passenger Carnival Miracle, which became the second year-round Carnival ship to call make Tampa its home port. Together, the two vessels will carry a total of 280,000 passengers from Tampa annually, representing a tenfold increase from when the line launched service at Port Tampa Bay in 1994. Add in Carnival’s Holland America ship at Tampa and that number swells to 320,000 passengers a year.
The Carnival and Royal Caribbean (NYSE: RCL) cruises and bigger leases helped push Port Tampa Bay’s operating revenue to a record $55.4 million for fiscal year 2017. The figure represents a 12.6 percent increase over the $49.2 million recorded in FY 2016 and surpasses the previous high of $51.3 million in FY 2015. Last month, Port Tampa Bay saw two weekends with a record number of cruise ship passengers.
By Frances McMorris, Tampa Bay Business Journal
Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more
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