Early in November, Carnival Cruise Line invited Ric to tour the Carnival Paradise while she was docked in her home port of Tampa, Florida. On this bonus episode, Billy interviews Ric about what he saw (and ate) on that ship tour. We close out the episode with a listener question.
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View Episode Transcript (Machine Transcription - May Contain Errors)
There are many great cruise lines offering different experiences which means even seasoned sailors have new things to try and sometimes those new things are right in your backyard I'm Rick Ross and I believe her we're taking a tour of the Carnival Paradise and this episode of the cruise have a podcast. And. You're about to set sail on the cruise have a podcast an Audi A voyage through the world of ships ports and beyond Welcome aboard. This of a sort of the Kurds have a podcast is a bit different from the others we've done so we're going to throw this one and as a bonus up a so and we'd like to hear your feedback about this will give you some information on how to get in touch with us at the end of the podcast so what makes up so different is that it's kind of like a mini review not a review of a ship so much but Rick's experience so on Saturday November 10th carnival invited Rick to take a tour of the Carnival Paradise and she was home ported in Tampa which is near where Rick lives was nice and convenient and while you've taken a lot of cruises this was your 1st time ever stepping foot on a Carnival ship is that correct yeah that's true of I've sailed on Disney Norwegian celebrity and Royal Caribbean but never sailed on Carnival so this should be funded to get your perspective as somebody that isn't new to cruising but is very new to this line and a lot of things we're going to talk about I'm sure we're going to end up talking about things that are visual you know to some extent and the good news is there's a companion article to go along with this over on Cruise have a dot com with a lot of pictures so make sure you head over to the website and not right now if you're driving don't just when you get home and and check that out crews have it dot com So I think I could dive right into it because I've got a lot of things I want to ask you about your experience so but before you even stepped on board I would guess whether from research or things you've heard or just curiosity if you had some impression your mind of what it might be a lake or you know some some expectations you know can you tell me about that yeah the the port of Tampa. We've got that bridge you've got to get under the Sunshine Skyway so I know we don't get the newest ships there we get smaller ships there which usually means older ships. And the so I I knew I was going to be going on to an older ship but also with the paradise I had heard that it had gotten a major refurbishment so I was expecting an older smaller ship that had been updated or recently redecorated. So you walk across the gangway and one of my very favorite moments in cruising. Not my complete favor because I felt my carry ons with me but one of my favorites you walk across the gangway and you step into I presume like an atrium of sorts yes so you walk right into an atrium that Scott a lot of very rich browns greens gold goes several stories up to a glass enclosure and in the ceiling I was pretty impressed a lot of colors that I haven't seen I guess more recently in cruising it's kind of like not necessarily a collapse occurs and but more like a legacy of cursing like it it definitely reflected a very particular era OK fair enough but in a very clean and updated way OK so it didn't it didn't feel like. Even though the look was different it didn't feel like they were stepping back in time or anything or Lego was this ship still looking like this no it didn't feel old at all. And it was very recently done like that that was obvious OK So you mentioned some of the style. I noticed as you were describing the interim Actually you didn't talk about the colors or the lighting the war that size you mention the style but I know that some you wanted to talk about so tell me about overall Yes So in the public spaces as I was walking around I. Noticed these columns that had a very particular look to them and I realised and this is probably a type of architecture the people haven't even heard of this whole ship is designed to be Egypt and revival. So this is a weird aside that we're not playing it's not in our notes. The There's a lounge and everyone can correct me in the comments there's a Leno NJ on independence of the Seas or maybe the change that she has referred of that similar style go back find life like. So in a so Egyptian revival this grabbing what that entails it's a style that's almost never seen it happened at about the same time as Art Deco and art deco was just a much more popular style at the time there's a Presbyterian church in Nashville that is very specific Well my family some of my have it as a national so. There's a presser in church in Nashville that is designed in the style there are some government buildings that are signed in the style and I recommend you take a look at the Wikipedia article it's. It's not commonly seen but this was unmistakably Egyptian revival all throughout the ship and I loved it I thought it was great. He's grinning I am in a big way and you describe I have you almost never see that and there it was and it was a really well done all right so one of the questions anyone talking about Cruise even people that say oh no I don't go on cruises just eat there one about restaurants and eating and that's also just from a standpoint of the look and feel of a ship the architecture. You know the decor that you can I think dining rooms are good place to get a feeling of that So what do you think about the dining venues and what dining venues did you see well I took a look inside the 2 main dining rooms and they were not open for service at the time but just to get some pictures and they looked like what I would expect a main dining room to look like on a cruise ship there wasn't a particular theme or decor that I could establish this was not too much from revival No no it was very very clean contemporary. Kind of kind of lines but when I went to the Paris Lido buffet there was another example of Egyptian revival architecture there around the columns they had the leaves at the top but they were not the kind of like a canvas leaves you would expect on a great career and then call. Very much in Egypt and revival column there. Some with some some architect somewhere is getting so excited that you recognize that you know that yeah that's probably They all this. Thing so I think we're very popular with the A.I.A.. Let's see oh the other dining been used so some of the outdoor ones were guys burger joint and the blue on a canteen and tequila bar I thought the decor for those were both great or all 3 were great. Guys Burger Joint was very much like. You know I know he claims he only wore the shirt with the flames on it once and everybody does about it but it looked like you know that kind of place and then the blue want to canteen had some like Mexican style seating a very kind of. Yeah Mexican I guess you know looking at your photos of LOU going to it looked to me exactly Lake. Nearly identical to blue going on Vista when we're on board OK and other pictures that I've seen of look on on other ships because I don't think other Carnival ships have been on I think it was before the that venue was there but I love the look of look on the food is great too by the way but I enjoy the look of it it's just it's I don't know if there was something about the way they designed it that didn't make me feel like I was going to be stereotypically bad Tex Mex place but I also was not trying to look like it was in Mexico either yeah I think that's a great way to put it there it is definitely a Mexican establishment but they're not trying to drown UN like a lot then to cover something like that it's just like yeah this is Mexico so did you join up getting to eat in any of those and I did I went to Guy's burger joint I figure it's the burger on the slip on the seas that you hear about the people I work so I figured I'd give it a shot I really enjoyed it I got the one with the got a cheeseburger with the S.M.C. super melty cheese donkey sauce and pickles because I like pickles but you can have the burger pretty much any way you want they've got a variety of toppings right there at the kind of service line and then they've also got a toppings bar. I like talking with bars and like I like having options as MC and donkey sauce they feel like we're going to need to have part of this up so translated well if you've ever seen like Guy Fieri stuff that's what he's known for I thought you're better knowledge I wouldn't call it better just broader and to be clear Guys Burgers is a complimentary venue it is it is OK and I should also say the main dining room is not open for any lunch service on embarkation back which I think that's different from what I've seen with other lines where usually there's a main dining room venue open and the buffet I would say often went on the nose with some lines even depends on the ship for example late so I'll give you an example where a lot of people think in a way says class ship when Royal Caribbean would have a ton right right but there are so many other venues I don't believe in the main dining room on embarkation I think Iran will for me with the not too much sidetrack the Oasis question I think a part of the park effect for embarkation so. As you explore the ship were there any other venues that stood out to you know it as far as a particular lounge pool area theater or whatever the case may be a little bit more to say about food oh go ahead please by all right so that at the tip of the plate away before you're done. I'm still working on that. Of in the Paris Lido buffet they had a. I guess what would normally be a desert area I'm used to like single E. plated desserts like maybe you get 3 or 4 mites on a plate and you go and you pick up the plate instead what they had was 6 or 8 different varieties of cake and someone a crew member they are cutting slices of cake as you requested them and serving them to you so you could request like I did I had a slice of the elderflower vanilla and a slice of the centrist cake both were really good I was. I don't want to say impressive cake because but man that was some good that actually mimics what what I found on Carnival in the past was their cakes were I will say impressively good I was not expecting OK yeah and I'm not I guess for me I wasn't expecting it because it's not that I don't find good cake on chips a kind of a cake kind of like cake. But. I'm not often impressed by cakes and chips but yeah I rather enjoy and I think I even have had before either of those the same recipe the citrus cake delightful it was great we should go to paradise next time she's in debt but it's some citrus cake all right to date. So you get to explore any other dining like a 2nd deserve 2nd lunch and well I got a piece of pizza pizza pirate and yeah it was good pizza is not my favorite type of pizza but there was that I wouldn't say there's anything wrong with that just not my kind of pizza I hate to put lines up against each other. Especially the food is so subjective but compared to rent us Oh easily better because here's the thing to make sure we get to be friends so there's nothing wrong with it. So. It's. In Yep I think we're on the same OK in fairness I will say on the on symphony just a week and a half ago weeks ago when one isn't. Getting better they're listening to get feedback and is getting better effect Well you know for for carnivals a pizza pie or offering that is good pizza it's just not my favorite kind of OK fair enough yeah can pizza can come in a lot of morons I love Another Carnival brand Holland America New York pizza by the pool a New Amsterdam that was like then crossed on the bill not paper then but yes it was it was then crossed over the wires right there for you that may be identical to what they're serving on the Carnival the yeah. That sounds very similar so now I'm making another note citrus cake in pizza and yeah that. So was that it for the I don't want to pull that plate away know that that was that there was a for the food I felt like that was a good sampling and it was kind of the 2 to let me explore those options on the ship so other venues and said lounges whether it's pool deck you know I'm just curious what stood out because that's all the other day and listeners while they're getting to know you have got to know you pretty well over the years. You notice things that maybe I don't always notice but when you point them out again you're absolutely right so I'm just curious walked around the ship what stood out so the whole 11 of the venues that I walked into 1st just due to its proximity to the atrium was the American Bar. And like this place is just insane it had a blue border across this around the ceiling with white stars on it white and red stripes panels on the wall. Just like dripping in America and these gold plated medallions on the wall you know I loved it this is not the place I want to that I would want to be every day and not what I would want my house to look like but for a cruise vacation Yeah this is the kind of venue like I would at least want to have a drink OK another venue that was just right across the agent from that was the library and this is a place that made me rich think of you I don't know if you've looked at these pictures where it's just everything in nautical historical. Like old deck finishes. I can craft and boats on the tabletops models of ships in glass cases I'm a sucker for an article theme I know I know it the whole time I was walking around and there was like This is a room so really he would be able to love to just hang out in here and then the best part is you look up to the ceiling and the ceiling is of a map awesome and it's not squares It's like radio from one corner out to the like they put some work into the ceiling I was very impressed that's a space I returned to before I left the ship because I wanted to see it again and that room was cozy and it's like the blue ribbon ripened or ribboned library I don't know he says Brighton I have no idea what this word as I'm not OK. I'm a pretty literate guy I don't know this word I have good news for you and all of our listeners. You can read exactly what the Blue Ribbon is on crews have a dot com Search blue R I B B A and E. And that was the award given. The fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by ship in the the last vessel to ever win that was the S.S. United States so you can read all about what the Blue Ribbon is where crews have to come that was that was not intentional that worked out perfect and if for the rest my question is if you can just naturally lead into a plug like that that would be great short just queue me up for every bit of nerdy Cruise history that you might want to talk about and we're preparing for this all my life we're told. So this actually you know I was going to ask you know I think we ended up covering this when I cruise and I don't know that I'm terribly unique in this way I end up gravitating toward the same spot not that I don't enjoy multiple venues multiple spots on the ship but quite often late at night especially oh where is Billy wellies over insert venue here you know the place that just felt like home to me. If you were to be on the paradise for you know for night sailing or something what do you think that venue might be. Well it would depend on for what purpose because I think like if I just wanted to get a drink and then go hang out somewhere I could see myself going to the library I could also see myself going to the Queen Mary lounge that seemed like a. A venue that would have the kind of like he's listening jazz music that I could like sit around just have a have a drink while I was listening to that remind me a lot of the rendezvous on the Celebrity Millennium classes. But the place I would want to go to party every night would be racks. And Rex is. It's an animal print extravaganza. It's like they took the shapes of Art Deco and then threw a ton of zebra and giraffe and a leopard and lion and this and that print all over it. And then added some chrome and shiny black plastic. I don't this sounds like not a place and not a place for your belly it's not a place you know what it's not oh this is saying this to such a small audience this sounds like if somebody were to give you this room late without all those designs and tell you to make it look that way in Photoshop you'd learn so much about layers and blending Oh yeah basis can you make this look exactly the same but zebra or zebra depending on where you're listening. Yes Yeah that's I did see some of the pictures of this venue loved it it I would think you know I don't know until I'm there I have a feeling that as far as the look and feel that you're right that it wouldn't necessarily be my venue However I can imagine walking in and just looking around and staring for quite a while so definitely check out the pictures of Rex in the article the Paradise article occurs at a dock Oh yeah it's a room that says party like no one no one's going and they are too simple for OIG I have to say so that's why it's really not you not your room. But people are going in there to dance to really dance and that's what I want to do at 9 o'clock or show you know how I. Know i do we've already discussed the fact that I dance with your wife on a cruise because you don't and thank goodness you're coming on a celebrity edulis tomorrow well look forward to going through. So. Is there and maybe the answer is No and that's OK Is there a way that you could summarize the difference in feel overall between the Carnival Paradise and. I've you know let's say either frankly the row Caribbean or and N.C.L. ship because they compete for you know very similar place in the market so just you know if so can you can you tell me how did it feel and in one sentence let's say that that was different. I mean one thing that I'd have to say is the decor was just an amped it was turned up to 11 as the guys in Spinal Tap say like. There it was over the top and it knew it OK. And I don't think that the other lines so much go for that over the top like they I think they're looking to reach maybe a point of refinement or something like that but that was not really the goal on the ship the goal on the ship was. Put the pedal to the metal and then push the pedal through the floor of the car when it comes to decor and and they totally nailed it like I really enjoyed a lot of the spaces on there so I think I know I have a good idea for the feel with regard to how looked and in some cases takes it. Along with the photos in the article but what about like the flow in the atmosphere maybe that had less to do with decor colors and architecture you know embarkation is crazy on and really any but the smallest luxury ships What was that like as far as flow of passengers as as regular guest started board and you know crew doing their thing well described that well. I'm probably not in a great position to answer that question because I had a very different personal I 10 a raree for those few hours I was on the ship that the people who are on the ship for their 1st few hours of a 4 or 5 night cruise like my goal was to document the ship sample the food and to a certain extent stay out of people's way because I was there is a gas not as a as a paying customer. In terms of passenger flow the only thing that I noticed that was not so great was as people were boarding there was a photo opportunity right at the base of a staircase that also had guest relations there that had this whole computer area just off to the side that had not a soul in it I thought well if they just move the photo opportunity over their shirts that get sent out of the 1st thing you do when you walk in and then maybe puts people more into like a counter clockwise flow around that center atrium. Than that it seemed pretty easy to get around a ship that size I think with the number of people and the number of different ways to get around there were a bunch of. Banks of elevators that all seemed to be working great so there was not a problem to get from one deck to the other you mention the size and it just for the sake of. Comparison I had to look it up and if you guess for me typing as he did the 70000 gross tons. With lower births falso double occupancy 2040 passengers so that's that sounds to me about like what a millennium classes on celebrity do you think we don't need to think right we have the Internet. All right pause while Billy searches for Celebrity Millennium class I was just on the Infinity So let's find out from this one so infinity is 90940 Gross time so little bit bigger in size 2170 passengers OK 5 percent higher passenger count Yeah roughly and another 10000 grams tonnes so in the in the ballpark Yeah. So was there anything that went beyond the on the Paradise herself was there anything that you were exposed to process the the name of their daily program or otherwise that that was new to you because Carnival that you learned. Well one of the interesting things I had never seen before was a self serve beer vending machine right in the right in the buff A where you can go up and swipe your card they've got cups there just pour yourself a beer right from right from the machine. Now other than that from what I saw it's pretty much things that were standard across the across the industry I did see. Something that's different is there were some crew members standing around and in prominent places wearing T. shirts that said Ask me so it was really clear that you had there they are so if you had questions in there if they were not going to questions for a long exactly there that's good they would that yeah they're making themselves of kind of like putting guest relations on every level rather than having to go back to the to the front and the other thing that those crew members had were small maps of the ship and those maps of the ship also indicated what venues were open for lunch oh that's a ration day I like that a lot I thought that was really smart as a way just very clearly direct traffic to where traffic wants to go on on an embarkation day Man that's one of those when you see it or your body go away no wonder that why doesn't everyone do that yeah that's really great I like that and one other thing that I saw when I was walking around wondering is this ship really Egyptian revival or is this just wishful thinking on my part. They have some metal sculptures metal wall art in the lobby of the air the 1st floor of the atrium and one of them is clear patter on her barge so if you didn't think it was a Gyptian revival before boy is it ever your soaking at so you're so again I Cleopatra was not the godmother of the ship it. Older shift but not that old not like 5000 B.C. old let's see 7000 What's 20 years out of 7000 what percentage is that we're close so so final thoughts on your brief tour of Carnival Paradise I really enjoyed it I was very pleased to see venues that were. Beyond my expectation and really pleasing from a design perspective and places that I would want to spend time I didn't really get to interact with the crew very much. Mostly I just asked a couple questions of how to get to where I wanted to go but they the 2 people I talk to are really friendly. So I'd like to interact with the Carmel crew more. Soundly we go we should take a trip dampened sometime yeah I think you should if the question is would I take a cruise on Carnival Paradise Absolutely absolutely I would also Well again make sure you check out the article that goes with this project link in the show notes or you can just go to cruise have a dot com Search Paradise and there are a ton of pictures I saw haven't even gone through all of them because I don't prepare. So make sure to check that out and I'm glad Thanks Rick for sharing your experience there thank you and thank you to Carnival. So before we let you go we asked and you guys responded We wanted you to send us your questions to pod cast a cruise have a dot com And we've got a question for you right now our question today comes from Jasmine and Jasmine asked why do most of your friends only cruise with Royal Caribbean there are lots of other cruise lines what's so magical about ROH Caribbean that some people won't sail any other line fantastic question a great fantastic question I think we can open up this open us up more broadly to why do people keep going back to the same cruise lines over and over and we did an episode recently on the podcast about loyalty clubs and I think that may be the answer for some people but from my perspective. It may just be that people go back to what they're familiar with so someone who books a cruise has a great time believes that cruise thinking Oh I had a great career is on Norwegian not just I had a great cruise so that's why they stay with the same line is they don't have a reason to go to a different line Yep and a lot of our friends certainly not all of them. Came From follow us along because both Rick and I have dabbled over at the Royal Caribbean Blog dot com and Matt pod cast and his site is fantastic so a lot of folks over there are loyalists to roll cribbing because for the same reason that Rick mentioned that was in many cases not all I mean wrote has a great product for once yes but in many cases its debt that was their 1st exposure and I often struggle it took me awhile to realize this people people want to do to know what should I know before I take my 1st cruise or what you know tell me about cruising and it's it's impossible to describe cruising adequately at least into the experience you have to experience it to really understand and I think because of that you do get that thing where somebody takes their 1st cruise and they go wow this is so this is different I thought I was going before I thought was going to be crowded I thought you know whatever the misconceptions may have been. And I was wrong because. You know what doesn't matter so does write whatever you know that does such a great job. They don't think Oh because cruising is this way and there are a lot of different companies that do a great job right ride they think that that my experience was different than what I thought because my experience was a materially different one and in of itself it was a unique one right and I think today's episode actually that we just recorded even reflects that it was your 1st exposure Rick to Carnival and you said yeah I. Would love to sail on paradise for example. Because I like there's a lot out there but if you if you never would know and if you would have had no other information about cruising and you took that 1st Disney 1st line right yep I can understand how somebody would go well that's definitely the line for me then right but really it's the cruising is the thing for you absolutely So I think cruising is the thing for you that Rick Rick some resonates with have thank you Jasmine for for writing in with that question and again you can you can write in to us we'll share that information again at the end of the show. While we're continuing on we'd like to thank you for all the reviews regardless of what platform you listen to us on go ahead and go to i Tunes If you'd like to leave us or of you and give us a review there. Make sure you subscribe to our podcast or all the various forms of social media we're on Facebook Twitter periscope Instagram Youtube did I get them all Billie My Space no OK just as others yes we're going on Celebrity edge soon in fact we're leaving tomorrow morning as we record this podcast so go ahead and go to the website subscribe to our presence on these social media avenues so that you can see this celebrity I just really exciting new thing coming out we're excited to share with you so we've got some neat tools and tricks we're going to be trying out. Looking for sharing it all and make sure you catch up on content up to now we had a podcast episode about it we got lots of edge content over on the side to check that out and that's probably why you listen this episode a little goofy for 2 reasons one little different format today but 2 in like 12 hours we're going to be leaving here to go on to a brand new super excited ship so you know I'm getting try to sleep tonight not going to happen also I drink a pot of coffee or. Anyhow thank you. For listening. Rick looks like he's judging my caffeine intake now I'm debating whether I should say will fall with the pine a whiskey. A little Yang that's yeah that's not pharmaceutical advice my so thank you guys for tuning in we appreciate it again please give us your feedback on this kind of bonus episode we did would you like to hear more like this would you never like to hear anything like this again should we just cut Billy from the podcast entirely It's been suggested another how do you know what Dr if the 1st time so what is requested Billy's absence but yeah make sure you send us your feedback and any questions you have will read your questions on the earth podcast and crews have it dot com I really look forward to hearing from everyone and look forward to sharing as we're on celebrity edge tomorrow so thanks for listening hopefully we'll talk to the again real soon take care. How you can from snowy Rochester New York a friend who said that some of the guys on Twitter Instagram and Facebook just haven't had cancer and I think there's a place where the enjoy you. So sure hasn't been the 1st to join in the broadcast friendship and sure enough to talk to the new real soon.