I was somewhat apprehensive (for lack of a better word) about going on this cruise after reading some of the other less than positive reviews of the Carnival Destiny on Cruise Critic, but I was very pleasantly surprised.
Embarkation at Miami was quick and easy. We arrived at the port just after 11AM and were on board by 1215. We were all given letters with information about the problems with the thrusters that the ship had had previously but they passed the testing that was done as soon as we were out of the channel and we were able to make all our scheduled ports.
My cabin was a 4A on the Riviera Deck and it was by far the largest inside cabin I have ever had. The shower was huge and could easily have fit 2 or 3 persons in it! The room was clean and did not appear worn or dated to me. Our cabin steward and assistant had what I thought was an large number of cabins to make up every day so sometimes ours was not completed until mid afternoon, but in reality this did not matter since we were never in the cabin anyway.
I found all the staff to be very friendly and the service while not outstanding was still very good. There could have been a few more bar staff at the pool bars in the afternoon but other than waiting a few minutes to get a drink, it was not really a problem. The dining room staff were excellent. A member of my party has several food allergies and cannot have any dairy products. Every dinner the hostess would come to her and show her the menu to the next night and assist with selections that could be made daily free.
Our first day at sea was very windy which effected our arrival time in our first port of Ocho Rios. We were supposed to arrive at 9:30 but did not arrive until 11:30 so our departure time was pushed back an hour until 6p. Our next port of George Town, Grand Cayman, we arrived on time and were tendered to port. The staff really tried to keep the tender operation smooth and with minimal waiting and I thought this worked out very well. We waited in the Galaxy Dining room until out tender number was called and we were on shore by 1015. This was probably the most organized and well run tender operation I have seen on all my cruises.
We had anytime dining and usually went to the dining room at 8pm. We were a group of 14 and the staff were always able to accommodate us with 2 tables close to each other. The food was good but like most of my other cruises, not over the top, died and went to heaven good. Very tasty and well seasoned, but nothing extraordinary. There are no specialty restaurants on the Destiny so at least there was no hard sell to try them. We did enjoy the sushi bar as a pre dinner snack!
Like most Carnival (and other cruise lines), the lines for the buffet tended to be long if you went at the peak times but at other times they moved quickly. I really enjoyed the NY Deli and the Reuben Sandwich is probably the best I have ever had! The Happy China buffet was also very good.
The entertainment was okay. Nothing really outstanding though one of the singers, Rudy Lowe did one man show that was very good. We went to the early shows at 7pm and never had a problem getting a seat in the theatre however getting out the other theatre proved harder than getting in due to rude guests trying to push in for the second show before we could get out.
I booked both shore excursions through Carnival. We did the Cool Runnings Catamaran Sail and Dunn's River Falls climb in Ocho Rios. The staff on the catamaran were very attentive and we had a fun time. I did climb the falls all the way to the top with a "death grip" hand hold on the guide. He was very attentive to all of us and made sure we were all safe. In Grand Cayman we did the Allura catamaran sail to Stingray City. This was a fantastic excursion as there were only 14 on the sail and we had plenty of personal time with the stingrays. The crew of the catamaran made sure everyone of us had as much time holding and touching of the stingrays as we wanted. I highly recommend both of these excursions.
All in all this was a wonderful fun time on the Fun Ship!