Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Destiny
by Jessica Edwards (cutiecat)
Western Caribbean
October 30, 2008

Miami -- October 29
I'll start by saying we went to bed way too late and had to be up way too early to be at the airport by 5 a.m. But we left Knoxville Airport at 6:30ish, found Starbucks in Atlanta, airlifted on to Miami, and checked into our hotel without any problems at all.

The RiverPark Hotel downtown is decent but really old. Musty odor, black marks all over the walls, lots of red and copper in the halls. For the $109 we paid for it, I highly recommend it. Service was nice and they even called a shuttle for us to the port.

Embarkation and First Night -- October 30
Embarkation was smooth even with about a 30 minute wait. A surprising sight greeted me through the terminal window -- the paint on the side of the Destiny was badly peeling. I know it wasn't peeling in March.

Did the usual after climbing onboard. Lunch, exploring, room settling, muster drill, and sail away party. The sail away party consisted of five songs and that was about it.

Then it was on to get ready for our first dinner and the Welcome Aboard show. Loved our CD, Jorge. He's now my favorite! Also saw a comedian that was all sorts of hilarious.

Made our way to the disco and then to the karaoke lounge, where we found out we were onboard with lots of transvestites/transgender people -- interesting to say the least. The piano bar featured Damian, who was ok.

Met some guys that we ended up spending most of the trip with and ended up staying out til about 5 a.m.ish.

Key West and Halloween -- October 31
We were only in Key West from 7a-2p and we didn't even make it off the boat until 10:30ish. But we walked around and hit the Southernmost Point and Margaritaville, and browsed some shops and art galleries on Duval Street. I LOVE Key West. I'm ready to move there!

After having way too expensive margaritas in Margaritaville, we walked back to the ship just in time. Ran into a guy dressed as a pirate for the festival going on there, that sadly we were going to miss, and chatted with him a bit. I am definitely going back to Key West.

Carnival for whatever reason decided that Formal Night and Halloween had to be done in the same night. So we dressed to the nine's for the Captain's Party and Dinner, as did our boys we met, then we went to change for Halloween. Since we missed the parade because we were getting ready, we missed the costume contest. But I bet we could have won! Our boys and 7 of their travel mates were dressed as the USA 1972 Gold Medalist Drinking Team. Lots of interesting costumes all over the ship, and Halloween was in full swing!

Cozumel -- November 1
We docked late in Mexico because the night before we had to turn back to Key West and someone had to be airlifted off the boat. So instead of 1 we docked at 4 and left at 12a instead of 10p. We took a taxi to Chankanaab but they were closed, so we went to Paradise Beach where I got to go parasailing!

From there we taxied to downtown and walked our way to Carlos and Charlie's. First time I've ever been there, and it was INSANE. Our waiter was way too friendly, but all in all we had an absolute BLAST in there. Made it back to the ship shortly before midnight and sailed away.

Day at Sea -- November 2
It was rainy. Yuck. So we ran around and did various activities onboard. We went to the Kiddie Karaoke, looked at our pics, shopped on board, went to tea time (first time I've done this and I loved it), looked at the artwork on board, and hung out on deck once it quit raining watching football until time to get ready for dinner.

At dinner it hit me how fast a 4 day cruise goes by. Unreal. We said goodbye to our waiters, went to the show 'Formidable' (which I always enjoy) then on to the disco to meet up with our boys.

Debarkation -- November 3
After more than 24 hours of no sleep and a lot of rum later, it was time to debark. I got off the boat super late because I didn't realize what time it was, but luckily at least 20 other people were there too. Easy all the way; breezed right off. Caught a taxi to our hotel, The Beacon, in South Beach.

Miami -- Night of November 3
Loved The Beacon. HIGHLY recommend and should I ever stay in Miami again that is the only place I will stay. They offer complimentary Seattle's Best coffee and hot chocolate til noon, complimentary breakfast at Johnny Rocket's, free luggage storage, and the staff is awesomely nice and helpful. Give them a shot if you are ever there (and search around on the internet -- cheap tickets and hotel website price was $165 -- found it on bookings.com for $116). The hotel is old but has a fabulous retro feel and even though our room wasn't very big, we loved it. After breakfast we took naps then walked all over South Beach that night and turned in about midnight.

Flying Home -- November 4
We woke up early and spent about an hour on the beach and then got ready to check out. Walked all over other parts of South Beach and then taxied to the airport. Taxi's got all my money. No problems at all going home. Made it home with all digits and bits intact.

Food/Service
The food and service onboard was exceptional, as always. NO complaints about anyone or anything, minus them having Formal night on Halloween. We loved our dining room waiters, they cracked us up every night. Bar service was good as usual.

Shows/Entertainment
The comedian was hilarious. Welcome Aboard and Formidable were done very well. Cruise director's staff could have been better, but not really anything worth complaining about. As mentioned, Damian the piano guy was ok. The Karaoke host was hilarious and even sang a song herself!

Overall
The Carnival Destiny is not the prettiest FunShip in the fleet, but I have come to be convinced she is the most fun!

Except for the SeaSide Theatre, which is awesome, I was disappointed in the way she looks. She's an older ship, but that doesn't excuse some of the things I saw. Lights are burnt out all over, construction going on in the Lido elevator area, elevators shut down for said construction, peeling paint on the side. Having just come out of dry dock she really should be in better shape. But I love her anyway.

(I would join Teresa in May '09 had I not sailed the Destiny twice already and am looking forward to cruising another ship).

Had a blast! Any questions? PM me.