My husband booked a Carnival Cruise on the Destiny as a surprise for my fortieth birthday, so I didn't have a chance to research the ship extensively.
Upon arriving at the port in Miami, we stood in line and got through security quickly. The staff were efficient and friendly. We had brought a case of water which was pulled aside for a 'water check' which consisted of them taking several bottles out and shaking them.
We went with my sister and brother in law. When we checked in separately to get our Sail & Sign cards, we got a map of the ship - they did not. The wait on the gang way to get onto the boat was the worst - it was very hot and stuffy, and the smell was horrible. Luckily it went quickly, and we got on. Our rooms were not supposed to be ready, so we sat and had a drink, then went to our room. It was a balcony room and was more spacious than I expected. It was dated but clean, and the bed was very comfy.
We got a small bar of soap and samples of shampoo and conditioner on day one, but they were not restocked after that. On a couple of mornings our toilet would not flush right away, but it then flushed on it's own within 15 minutes. Maybe this is normal on a ship - we didn't know but bottom line it did flush eventually.
Overall we believed that it would be a fun trip, and were determined not to stress too much over the small stuff. We did find the lunch buffet line was very long every day, and twice missed out on eating much as they started to run low on food and did not replace it, even though it was still within the lunch time frame. The grill, which served burgers and hot dogs almost around the clock got boring quickly, since they really didn't change it up. I liked the homemade nacho chips and salsa - very yummy. There was a lot of fruit each day, but no pineapple which surprised us.
The pools were a bit small, and at times were over run with kids. We did use the pool a few times - they are salt water which is nice.
That said the views were breathtaking, the staff were almost all very friendly and the comedy show was very funny. We only got room service one day, and it was great. We ended up enjoying the people we were seated with for dinner, so went to the dining room every night. There was a lot of choice in meals, and they arrived hot and fresh. Bar service in the dining room was slow at times, as the staff had to go to the bar to get the drinks. Our main server was Jiji - she was awesome, and made our experience much more enjoyable.
We only went to the dining room once for breakfast - they had seated us with others, and we really prefer to eat breakfast without socializing too much (we need our coffee!) :) That said, we figure that if we requested to sit by ourselves we could have. One thing that took us a couple of nights to realize was that we weren't limited to only one appetizer and one entree at dinner. While we never ordered a ton of food, we added a side of veggies or rice to a couple of meals to complete them a bit more.
The pizza bar in the aft pool area was very good, and this area was less busy than the mid lido deck. We did not partake in the sushi bar or stir fry area.
While they ask people not to 'save' their chairs, we did have a difficult time finding chairs in the sun some days. I would have liked a few more structured activities on the lido deck through the day, but it was overall a good place to be if you could find chairs.
On day one, we went to enter our names in a spa 'raffle' and got hooked into a spa tour, complete with mini presentations. We felt trapped and would have preferred that they just tell us that if you take a tour, you can enter your name in a raffle. It made us feel very uncomfortable.
We used the gym one day - it was clean and well maintained, although the boat was a bit choppy that day so it was hard to use free weights.
Our stop in Ocho Rios went well, although we would skip the ziplining adventure next time. It was fun but we were in a big group so spent a lot of time waiting around. My sister and BIL went to the public beach close by and paid a small amount to rent chairs and enjoyed the day at the beach.
Our day in Grand Cayman was my favourite. We decided not to plan an excursion and instead stopped in at the small tourist info desk onshore. They recommended a few resorts, which charge a small amount to use the beach, plus you buy your food and drinks. They also told us about the public beach. We went to the Royal Palms ($4 cab ride per person and $2 to get in), and rented chairs. The sand is amazing - soft and white. The shoreline had small rocks, which were rounded but uncomfortable, but once in the water, they went away. I could have stayed in the ocean for days!
All in all we were happy with our cruise. We would definitely do another but will not be the people who do a cruise yearly or exclusively. We would also be interested in the 'all inclusive' cruise, where alcohol is included, as our bar bill seemed pricey by the end of the trip. I'd rather pay up front and not worry about it.
Overall I'd rate the cruise an 8/10