April 13, 2008
On 13 April 2008 I sailed on the Carnival Destiny Southern Caribbean out of San Juan. This was my 8th cruise and fourth with Carnival. In my opinion continuity, from ship to ship, is a characteristic of this line and the Destiny delivers what one expects. One variable however is decor. To my surprise this ship is rather understated to modest compared to the other "fun ships" on which I sailed. Abundant use of granite gives the ship a certain dignified ambience comparably speaking. The "fun ship" looked more like a ship than some others in the line. The Palladium lounge's theme seemed to be a theatre and not amusement park. The coffee shop looks like a coffee shop and the disco looks the part of a disco.
I ate in the mid-ship Galaxy dining room which is simply lovely with a night sky theme. Countless small lights take the place of chandeliers. The food was typical Carnival, which isn't such a bad concept. Like I stated previously, continuity is a Carnival strength and the food is predictably reliable as well. Like on other ships in the fleet warm melted chocolate cake is always on the menu. If you liked the Coconut shrimp or lobster from the last cruise, then you can order the same here.
Not to overly generalize service, but I found it to be prompt and efficient but somewhat impersonal compared to my previous cruise. This I attribute to the pre-paid gratuities. Hey, since they aren't getting this tip envelope from me, why should they learn my name? Someone else's experiences could vary through.
The entertainment was very good -- again they deliver what one expects. I found the second production show to be can't miss. It was a tribute to night clubs of differing genres.
The itinerary was an island a day, of which I found to be tiring. At times it seemed that one port of call ran into another in a state of confusion. There was hardly time to savor the nuances of each island.
St. Thomas: Very touristy. But I found the downtown an interesting walk with Fort Christian scheduled to open in 2006 (too bad this is 2008), Blackbeard's tower, 99 steps, Emancipation park, and so on.
Dominica: Beautiful island where I walked to two waterfalls, Trafalgar and Emerald Pool.
Barbados: I did a 4x4 Monkey encounter and witnessed plenty of monkeys. I think I enjoyed the 4x4 tour better.
St. Lucia: Another lovely lush island. I did an island tour and took some photos.
Antigua: This has a different ecology which is semi-arid compared to the rainforest of many of the other islands. I found it gorgeous! There seems to be plenty of lovely old churches and the English Harbor offers restored 18th century architecture (Nelson's Dockyard).
St. Kitts: The Brimstone Hill Fortress is most impressive perched high overlooking the sea and neighboring islands. It dates from 1690. Of all the islands, I found the people here to be the nicest.
San Juan: Before leaving for home, I took a city tour which included a visit inside San Cristobal fortress which is yet another impressive site. It dates from the colonial period as well.