I was on Destiny back in 2008 and as she gets ready to be transformed into the new Sunshine - I was thinking that perhaps her condition had really gone south - I was pleased at the condition of the ship. The ship was very clean and looked no worse than the last time I was on her. The crew was VERY good from the room steward to the waiters - everyone was really working hard to keep us happy. This was my first time cruising with a group and as I was the coordinator, I felt responsible to make sure that all went as planned.
Embarkation was NOT a good experience. Got to the ship early and parked in the lot right in front of the ship. No crowds and breezed right through security and on up to check-in. I was sharing a cabin with a friend and as we got our Sail & Sign cards - we found out that she had been put on my credit card (we still don't know how that happened) - they claimed they couldn't fix it there and that once on board we would have to go to Guest Services. As I was in a hurry to get to Excursions (wanted to group our cabanas together for Half Moon Cay) I added this to our list of things "to do". Before leaving the check in desk I notice that our Sail & Sign says "early dining" - wrong. So I open up my binder and show my confirmed late dining on the reservation - which I had booked 14 months out. Grrrr - now I'm going to have to go to the Dining Room for a chat with the Matradee - at this point I'm wondering how many of our group's times are also messed up. My blood pressure was going up.
We were in Zone 2 and made it up the escalator in no time only to come to a halt as only one of the photo machines was working. Once past that point we went onto the ship for the 1st ding of our Sail and Sign with security. Instead of a ding - I get a aaaannnt - now I have to wait for them to print a new card in guest relations and bring it out to the security checkpoint on the deck of the ship - oh and there were 10 people in front of me all with the same issue. By this time I am pretty angry as were the others. The time I gained by getting there early was quickly being eaten up by all the problems and delays. My friends S&S worked so she headed to Guest Relations to get off my credit card, once on I headed to Excursions where one of the other cabana renters from my group and gotten them grouped so I grabbed a beer and stood, starting the line into the dining room, I wasn't going to chance a long line and being told no. An hour later (and a nice tip) the dining issue was resolved for my group and we were given a prime table in the main area of late dining.
By this time I was starving so we finally headed up to the Lido to grab some lunch only to find the buffet PACKED with lines like you wouldn't believe. Forget it. Went to my cabin around 1:20 and found it ready and all the Bon Voyage alcohol in the room so we started relaxing with a drink. The room steward got our balcony divider opened up with our friends next door and the fun began.
I'd give the food a C+ - not great but not bad. It was usually not hot and one night we got cold coffee. Dessert was always good as was the lobster. I did not eat at the buffet at all. Room service coffee each morning, MDR breakfast, 1 time at the Grill, MDR for dinner or off the ship.
Half Moon Cay was heaven - hate the tender thing but with a cabana we had zone 1 going over - coming back a bit of a hassle but so worth it. Rent the cabana so worth it. We never even went to the island buffet, just ate and drank our cabana snacks (fruit, veggies, dip, chips, salsa, etc.) There was bar service to the beach.
The entertainment was good, we spent time in the Piano Lounge, went to the adult comedy show, the big shows, talent show and a Grease Sing along. Fun.
I've never gotten off a ship as easily as this went. Zone 8 was called at 8:00 and by 8:30 I was pulling out of the parking lot.
Great cruise on an older ship.