My husband and I just returned from a 5 night trip on the Destiny for our 10th Wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, the ship was nothing as we expected although we did meet some really great people and we made the best of the situation. We have never cruised with Carnival before so we went into this without any knowledge of what the cruiseline/ship would be like.
The embarkation process was very smooth and painless. We decided to use the "self assist" option when we debarked as well and it was very easy. We were off the ship by 8:30am.
The staff were all very nice and helpful, although we never once set eyes on our room steward, but he/she existed because our bed was turned down every evening with the usual "towel animal of the day". We stayed on the 6th floor in a balcony room and we were pleasantly surprised by the size of our cabin and the balcony, although the decor was horribly outdated. (Who has pink sinks and toilets anymore?) There was a large amount of storage space in the cabin which was very nice. I do wish there was some sort of ice bucket and self service area on each floor. If you wanted ice for your sodas or water, you had to go to the 9th deck (Lido) for ice and during busy times, the ice machines were empty, plus you had to carry multiple cups because you aren't supplied an ice bucket.
Another huge disappointment, was that there wasn't any type of Bon Voyage party at all the first night, I am not sure if it was because there wasnt a "Plan B" in case of rain, but I have never been on a cruise that didn't have some sort of get together party the 1st night.
There were a few options for entertainment and quite a few bar areas around the ship, although there was only 1 true "nightclub" where you could dance. Most of the entertainment came from the passengers, which is why Carnival has the "party image" that they do. I'm not complaining because as I said, it was very entertaining.
The shops were another big surprise. There are only 2 on the whole ship! The liquor / tshirt store and the jewelry/perfume store.
The casino was about the same as any other ship although it was pretty small, but that's ok because I don't cruise for the casino, so we stayed out of there.
The gym/spa was disgusting. The gym had soaking wet carpet which was literally squishing under our feet. There was probably 2 inches of standing water in the carpet everywhere around the perimeter of the gym. I'm guessing the windows were leaking. Every morning they had large dryers out trying to dry the carpets, but the smell was horrible. The spa also had roof leaks. While I was waiting for my appointment, I actually had water dripping on my head in the spa seating area. The staff was not surprised and had buckets sitting around everywhere.
Our only dining options were a 24 hr pizzeria, a buffet style fried food section on the Lido deck, a buffet style dining room with a very small selection and the assigned seating dining room (which had a nice menu). The lines were extremely long everywhere you went and the food was always cold. You would be waiting in line in the morning for up to 30 minutes just to get some breakfast. Yes we could have gone to our assigned dining room but it was very inconvenient to get to. The design of the ship is very confusing. The dining rooms were on the 3rd & 4th floor, but the galley that serviced both of them are in the middle of those floors so you had to actually go up to the 5th or down to the 2nd, walk across the ship and then go up/down again. Very confusing.
We were told the ship had undergone renovations, which isn't true. It is currently undergoing renovations in some of the cabins, including half of our floor, so very early every morning, you could hear the workers banging around.
The a/c was not working correctly for most of the cruise, some parts of the ship were so hot you felt as if you were suffocating including the Palladium Lounge, which is where the stadium seating for the large entertainment groups occurs. There were a few elderly folks that got sick because of the heat inside of the ship. 1 person actually passed out while waiting for their cabin on the 1st day, because the rooms were not ready until about a half hr before the boat left and the only waiting area with working a/c was the dining rooms, which were packed and didn't have adequate seating.
We had no hot water in our shower during the entire cruise, even though there was hot water in the sink, go figure... The toilets didn't flush correctly and at 1 point while my husband was taking a shower, sewage started coming up from the drain!
We ordered room service 3 times and only on the last morning, did it get delivered.
No request was ever denied us and we were always treated with friendliness and respect. I just expected at least a clean, odor free, leak free, mold free environment for the price that was paid.