Just back from my 1st cruise with my fiance, brother and sister n law. We sailed to Ocho Rios Jamaica & Grand Cayman. I read several reviews and spoke to people that have cruised with Carnival and was conflicted about what to expect. I will say most of what I was told was spot on.
First impression: Carnival is known as the 'Fun' ships, however, the representatives at check-in in Miami where just the opposite. They were surly and looked like they'd rather be anywhere else except working on a Saturday.
Room: We room with a balcony on the 6th floor. The room size was pretty decent and the balcony was large. Our room had an old box TV while my brother and sister n law's room had a flat screen TV and they were in a smaller room. The bed was extremely comfortable! Outlets in bathroom didnt' work.
Food: The food was just ok. Several times dinner came and was not warm and my dessert, sherbet, was soupy. The 'fresh' veggies looked as though they were nuked within an inch of it's life. The night we had lobster tails, they were so small, I requested 3 just to feel full (and I'm a small girl).
Deck: I agree that the pools are extremely small and constantly packed with people. I never made it in, but did enjoy the waterslide several times. I also agree with the 'visuals' on the Lido deck. My fiance and I are both in great shape and there were days when we really tried to avoid the Lido deck or sitting by the window for or meals because of the 'sights'.
Passengers: I agree with the description of the "Walmart of cruise ships". Age range: infants to 80. The caliber of people on the cruise didn't' seem as interesting as I would've liked. I'm certainly glad we traveled with my brother and his wife, because we didn't find many people to converse with. As a single person with no kids, I would really like to have had been on a cruise with less children. It made me a little nervous seeing so many kids running around hanging over balconies, etc.
Entertainment: The comedian was GREAT. Saw him 2 nights in a row and he did different material each time. The night clubs were 'eh'. Everyone standing around, no one dancing, etc. Music was good.
Ports: Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman were both fantastic. Do not buy the excursions from the ship! We paid $20 at each port and had a great tour of the island.
Ship: I could tell right away the Destiny needs a remodel. Once they upgrade next year I might be persuaded to give Carnival another try then. But that's a huge MIGHT.
Overall not the worst experience but I will try other cruise lines.