Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Destiny
by Theresa
Eastern Caribbean
October 16, 2008

Carnival Destiny - Four Day - Key West, Cozumel and Day at sea

Embarkation
Smooth as can be. Arrived to enjoy sail away even if sail away was delayed for reasons we had no control over. Loved the Lido buffet especially the fish items. I had never seen Miami at dusk so I was ok with this. First cruise with our granddaughter (she turned 3 September 1st) so we were taking it easy and not rushing. We even passed on our first night dining room dinner because we were exhausted. Dining room food was very good and not too crowded. I think other cruisers were exhausted too!

Key West
As gorgeous as ever. Went to the Southernmost Point by walking. Had never browsed the shops along Duval on your way to the Point. Took our photos and then went to the Southernmost Beach Cafe and enjoyed the sun, sand and pleasant surroundings. My husband and granddaughter spent most of the time playing in the water. The sand at this beach is perfect for sand sculptures.

Cozumel
Incredible sunrise even if we did end up with off and on again rain. We went to Mr. Sanchos' Beach and it was great. We had angel fish swimming around us and those yellow and black fish too. I just wish it was sunny out! Just a few shops, very reasonable restaurant, massages, lockers, showers and bathroom. Small pool adjacent to the beach. Any water sport you would want to do is available from this beach. You can make an advance reservation via their website. Taxi per carload is $14 US and worth every penny. I'm not crazy about the new pier shopping at the renovated pier post Wilma. Give it time though and it will probably be wonderful. Everything is too new. I like legitimate Mexican crafts and will buy from the vendors at Mr. Sanchos' Beach when I go back in May. The vendors do not hound you while you're relaxing on the beach.

Day at Sea
Remember we were traveling with a three year old but it was very relaxing and it looked like everyone around us was definitely enjoying themselves. We were coming through a windy depression so the morning was chilly but by noon you could definitely catch the rays on deck.

Dining
Our dinners were pretty good. We were sat at a table by ourselves and we were thrilled. We did not know how our granddaughter would be and she was excellent. She met two very special friends her age from Colorado and we hope to cruise or meet up with them again.

Camp Carnival
All I can say is that if I cruise again and use Camp Carnival, I'll remove my tips from my sign and sail so that I can give them all to Camp Carnival and my room stewards who were outstanding! The CC staff is awesome and we loved them as did our granddaughter. We used CC for maybe three hours a day, once during the day and a couple of hours post-dinner so that she could play before bed with her new friends from Colorado and Nicholas from who knows where amongst many others.

Overall
I'm doing this identical cruise again with my girlfriends in May and I can't wait. There are a lot of things that you're able to do on a girls' cruise that you can't do when you're traveling with a toddler such as enjoy the nightlife.

Casino
Loved it, they have some different slots compared to the other ships.

Other Venues
Loved them, loved the set ups, just wish I had been able to enjoy them.

Shows
I was only able to catch about 10 minutes of one show with an impersonator singer who was outstanding! Hope to catch the full show in May if it's the same one.

Bingo
Games are played in different areas on this ship.

Pre-Dinner Cocktails
Go to the area outside the casino or near the ship's map. They have some privacy barriers which are great.

More About Dining
It was moderate to good. If you have a young child, ask them to bring you a fruit plate immediately. That saved us each night that we used the dining room.

Ship Itself
Lobby deck is deck three with Riviera and Main below, Upper, Empress, etc. above it.

Packing
This is one of the most laidback cruises I've been on (my 6th). Elegant night - very few formals more 5pm cocktail outfits or fancy night on the town outfits. Because two of these ports are Key West and Cozumel, the dining room is resort casual but frown on guys in hats or sandals or jeans. There was a captain's reception but no repeat cruiser receptions. My one disappointment: no Destiny pins on my bed! By the way, please, please, please remember to put identification not only on the outsides of your suitcases by on the insides too in case a tag comes off.

I personally thought this ship was in very nice shape. Sure there are areas that need help but they are being redecorated. Main deck isn't real pretty in the hallway but it is one of the lower levels (working) levels of the ship but the oceanview rooms are very spacious and appear larger than what they show in the pictures (mid to aft area - I had the chance to see the inside of a cabin). We had an aft balcony on Empress Deck which should not have been given to us since we were a party of three but we are dealing directly with Carnival on that issues. Otherwise, the balcony on this cruise was good for us since we had our granddaughter and she still naps.

I wouldn't be going on a repeat voyage if I didn't have a good time. This ship appeared to rock from the time you set foot on board until the time we got off. I love the young male assistant cruise director from Canada. He's got a wonderful personality. The female assistants seemed to have the crowd going all the time on the Lido deck. Lido is a central area on this ship. Don't plan on watching the big screen like you may have on Liberty because between the island music and deck activities, you don't need it.

Tips
Please be generous to your dining room staff even if you don't use the dining room. They rely on those tables and if you don't show, that's not a good thing for them. I'm sure there are a lot of former waiters/waitresses out there that cruise that understand what I'm talking about.

Comment Cards
Fill them out! They benefit the staff and you might win a free cruise!

Disembarkation
VERY IMPORTANT: This ship is very efficient when it comes to debarkation. Self-debarkers were allowed off the ship by just after 7am. This ship has to be totally clear of passengers by 10am at the latest. There is no reason to overpack for this cruise. Although there are times you need to dress a little nicer, I think most people on this cruise are there to relax and have a good time, not to impress anyone. If it's the five-day voyage, I might take an extra nice outfit for the evenings.

Have a great trip and see you in May 2009!