This was the first cruise for me, DH, and our two kids, ages 8 and 10. We booked the Destiny because of the length (5 nights) and the ports of call (Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, and Nassau). We had a fabulous time and have mostly good things to say about Carnival and this ship.
The boat--Yes, the Destiny was showing her age but she is still a nice ship and the crew was always cleaning on her. There was a funny smell in the hallway the first afternoon but I never noticed it again. The pools could've been bigger (in fact, I was surprised that they were so small). The kids really didn't enjoy swimming because they were so full. They did enjoy the hot tubs, even though they were usually packed as well. They did the water slide one time but didn't like waiting in the long line. We didn't do many of the shows because they kids really weren't into it but we did see one of the comedians one night--he was very funny. I also wish they had given us a map of the ship or posted one in our cabin. We didn't know where some things were or how to get to them, especially at the first of our cruise.
Our kids never did go to the Camp Carnival activities, so I can't comment on any of them.
The cabin--we stayed in room 7266, which was a balcony cabin. We paid $200 extra for the balcony (or $40 a day) and it was well worth it. We spent a lot of time there when leaving port, in the evenings, and when waiting our turn for the shower. The beds were comfy, although the room was a little small. The bathroom was OK and the shower was much bigger than I thought it would be. We always had good pressure and plenty of hot water. The room was in a terrific location. We were only two floors down from the Sun and Sea restaurant and four floors up from the Universe dining room. The TV did need to be updated and they could've added a few more channels. The movies were great though.
Daniel, our cabin steward was terrific and kept our room nice and clean. My kids loved the towel animals so much that each night they kept leaving "accessories" for him to incorporate. They loved it.
The room was very quiet as well. I never heard noise from an adjacent cabin.
Dining--I have always heard that you eat a lot on a cruise and it is certainly true! We only ate the buffet the first day at lunch and one afternoon after returning from a port early but ran up there several times a day for desserts or drinks. Dh and the kids got the bottomless bubbles cards, which were well worth it.
We ate breakfast and dinner each day in the Universe dining room. It was easy to get spoiled. Our waiters, Ronnie and Rodel, were terrific. They catered to our kids and joked around with us. My daughter loved the entertainment every evening, especially the conga line night. The food was always very good and if you tried something you didn't like, you just ordered something else. The portions were a little small, especially for DH who can eat a lot, but he usually just ordered two entrees every night.
Ports--Grand Turk was our favorite. It was small and laid-back. We visited a few of the shops but spent most of our time on the beach. The kids enjoyed snorkeling, swimming, and building sand castles. We enjoyed lounging on the beach!
Half Moon Cay was nice but tendering was a major pain! They need to figure out a better solution. We booked a snorkeling excursion for 3:00 but in hindsight we should've booked it for 10:30 so we would've gotten priority for getting off the ship. We arrived in line at 10:15 to tender and didn't make it to the beach until 12:00. We did enjoy our excursion. They took us to a reef on the other side of the island. There were lots of fish and the reef was really pretty. The crew went in the water with you and was there if you needed any help. Definitely a highlight of our trip. Getting back on board was a pain as well. We had to stand in line to tender as well. It was 5:30 before we got back on board so we were late for dinner.
Nassau--this was our least favorite port. We had planned to go the pirate museum in downtown Nassau but because it was Labour Day holiday the day we were there, it was closed. My son was very disappointed (and so was I!). We decided to go to Paradise Island to the beach. If you do this, DO NOT take the water taxi! The place they dock is still a 2 mile walk from where the beaches are! Take a regular taxi instead, which is just $4 per person. We went to a public beach. There were kids standing around hawking umbrellas, chairs, boat rides, drinks, chips, hair braiding, etc. The bad thing about the beach was that they pulled the boats up right where people were swimming. Don't know that I would go back to Nassau again.
Embarkation/debarkation--Both were relatively easy. They kept lines moving along very well. We did the self-assist debarkation and that is the way to go. We waited in our room and watched TV until they called our deck. We then waited in a short line to exit the boat, another short line to go through customs and we were done. We got a taxi and were at the airport by 9:40 (and we didn't leave our room until right before 9:00!)
Overall, we loved our cruise. I would not hesitate to sail on the Destiny again (although I know it won't be the Destiny for much longer) or to sail CArnival again. Very relaxing trip!