There have been several negative reviews of the Destiny -- and just let me say she does need some refurbishment, so the drydock and move to the Sunshine is needed soon -- but overall it is a great ship and we had a FANTASTIC time.
My family flew into FLL since the price was cheaper -- I am not sure I would do this in the future. I would have to save $200+ dollars to make it worth my time. Miami gives me more options on times to fly out -- and sometimes that flexibility is useful. All that being said -- we had an easy flight to FLL the day before our 4 day cruise to Key West and Cozumel. We stayed 1/2 way between FLL and MIA in Aventura at the Courtyard hotel (I had a free night). This was a good hotel and right by the mall for any last minute shopping you might want to do.
The AM of the cruise we got to the POM around 10:30. We walked right through to security and after having them check my soda we went right upstairs. We were in Zone 6. We waited only 30 minutes or so to get on the ship. We moved quickly through the photo taking and we were set. We headed up to the Lido deck to get some food for lunch AND my husband and kids were the first ones in the pool! That was awesome.
We stayed in cabin 9102 -- which is an inside at the very front of the Lido deck. This 4 day cruise was a test run to see if we could all stay in the same cabin (on our last cruise we did a 7 night ocean view and stayed in 2 connecting cabins). We discovered we had plenty of room and we LOVED being on the Lido deck. I think balconies on the Lido or near the Lido are in our future! All of that being said this is a handicapped cabin and it is very spacious. My son (who is 5) slept on the trundle bed on the floor and my daughter (9 years old) slept on the couch. I do not think adults would find those comfy -- but it was great for the kids!
9102 is also VERY close to Camp Carnival which my kids loved again. They wanted to go there all the time! Let me put a plug in for the family welcome party on the first night. It was held in the disco and was not that well attended. We had great fun with dancing and games. If you can and your kids are going to go to the Camp -- this is a great warm up. (Plus I won best Mom dancer -- 2nd cruise in a row!)
First port day was Key West -- the only criticisms I have of this cruise were the port times, We got into Key West at 7:30 am. Nothing is open at that time. We leave the port at 1:30. This is not a lot of time. We did the city view on/off trolley (booked online not through Carnival) and had great guides and a fun day. We stopped to see what we wanted.
Second port day was Cozumel. This also had odd times. We got in about 1:30 pm and left at 9:30. The problem is many of the beach clubs etc (and Chankanaab where we were on a Carnival excursion close at 6 pm ship time), I would have loved to have more beach time. I am sure people who were more into the bar scene enjoyed the times, it was just tricky for us. Now this in no way ruined my cruise and I knew this when I booked it.
Last day was a sea day. My daughter stayed at Camp Carnival until 3 am for a party (extra charge) and slept until 12. She had a grand time -- but I am not sure I would let her do that agaiN!) Kids went to camp carnival, my husband and I played trivia, went to the Love and Marriage show (which was a hoot), and got ready for our big night -- Chef's table!
Chef's table was great. The tour of the galley was fun (who knew there was an escalator in there) -- meeting new people was fun. Some of the food was crazy good -- cornish game hen, short ribs. Some of it was strange -- the salad/soup combo. And some of it was a miss -- the dessert -- but overall it was a great experience and worth it for us. Since the menu does not change, we would probably not do it again anytime soon.
Debarkation was so fast! We got to FLL WAY too early and there were no earlier flights out. Thank goodness we could get into the Sky Club!
Overall the staff of the Destiny was phenomenal and we had a great time!