(7:12 p.m. EST) -- An extensive, multimillion-dollar refurbishment is underway for Carnival Cruise Line's Tampa-based ship, Carnival Paradise.
For the next month, the ship will be in dry dock at the Freeport, Bahamas shipyard, where it will be outfitted with a waterpark, mini-golf course, new cabins, new kids' clubs and a slew of dining venues and bars made popular on other Carnival ships. The waterpark will feature a 300-foot-long Twister waterslide, a pair of racing slides and a separate splash area for little ones.
Among the new cabins will be two Grand Vista suites, 22 junior suites, two scenic oceanview cabins and 12 inside cabins. Additionally, 98 existing cabins will receive balconies -- bringing the total square footage of the cabins to 230. All cabins will be refreshed with new, tropical color scheme and decor.
The pool deck restaurants and bars will be replaced by the line's Fun Ship venues -- Guy's Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina, BlueIguana Tequila Bar and RedFrog Rum Bar. Also in line with other ships, Carnival Paradise will add Camp Ocean, a colorful marine-themed kids' club for ages 2 to 11; the space will offer special programming, including arts and crafts and science-oriented activities.
Other upgrades include retail and photo areas. The ship will feature multiple brand boutiques, such as Pandora and Guess, as well as Cherry on Top, the line's popular candy shop. The photo gallery also will be replaced by the line's digital Pixels-branded area that allows passengers to view and purchase photos taken onboard via their smartphones or a kiosk.
Carnival Paradise will resume its regular schedule of year-round four- to eight-night Caribbean cruises from Tampa on March 26.
--By Gina Kramer, Editor