We were on the Destiny February 24- March 2. 2008. We had spent three week s in St. Thomas at Bluebeard's Castle timeshare, and a couple of days before this cruise exploring Puerto Rico. We took our rental car and luggage to the port, and offloaded and parked there for the few minutes it took to get through into the Carnival Destiny. I took my passport and Carnival card and returned the car to the airport, and found a couple to share a taxi back to port. It was good I took the passport to get back onto the ship, as it was ask for in San Juan.
Before dinner our luggage made it to our stateroom and we were able to unpack and get organized. The Destiny is huge, and it would take a little while to get the lay of the land. The first night was casual open seating, and our waitress was helpful. She told us the only night we would see crème Brule on the menu was tonight, so we ordered it for desert. The food was great throughout. We have been on ten cruises on the Caribbean and Mediterranean with Holland America, Costa, Celebrity, Ocean Cruise Line, and have found we are very happy with Carnival. Our regular dining assignment was a table of four, and on the second level of the dining room. We were about as far away from the kitchen as you could get. It was soon apparent with the waiters taking an escalator up stairs from the kitchen, it would be impossible to get good service. We ate here the second night and got changed to the other dining room, first floor near the kitchen and our assigned tablemates went with us, and it was much nicer.
On Lido deck the café was very good. I found the hot dogs in the back of the ship extremely good for lunch. You could put a chili sauce, onion and tomato on them. The pizza was also good. You can serve yourself ice cream whenever you want as well as iced tea or lemonade. A New York deli will also make you a custom sandwich certain hours. First night, the Spa had a drawing, and Sharon won a free aroma therapy in the capsule. She did it but it did nothing for her. I might criticize the Spa for a claim they have a treatment which can take up to 11 inches off your waistline. Anyone want to believe that I have a bridge for sale. I guess Carnival can get by with such claims since they register their ship outside the US.
The Destiny Eastern Caribbean itinerary is very good for us, since we were going to places new to us. Of course, the first port was St. Thomas where we had just spent three weeks, and although friends with cars who were still there offered to come back for us, we opted out and told them to do there own thing. We just visited a couple of stores in the new Yacht Haven Grande and a couple of jewelry store friends in Havensite, and returned to the ship. We had had a car in St. Thomas and have been going their for 26 years. I am an explorer and have been up most of the roads in St. Thomas, which turned gravel, and became a donkey trail, having to back out.
At most of the ports, we did not take the ship's excursions, but arranged for our tours. This is easily accomplished in Dominica, and Barbados. In St. Kitts we had family from home who had a car rental and they picked us up and gave us a tour. Dominican Republic we took the shuttle to downtown La Romana where they had set up a flee market in honor of the Destiny passengers, and a band with dancing couples attired in festive clothing. There was not much of interest in the flee market, but we did find a combination grocery and department store a couple of blocks away, and its name is Jumbo. They had a costume jewelry section where Sharon loaded up, and total cost was under $20.
At the Dominican Republic I took the free shuttle to where they have built a medieval village of the 16th century which opened in 2002, and where is located the golf course "To Dye Fore." There are also restaurants and art shops in this little village as well as a huge amphitheater where they have shows. I see where they have changed the Destiny itinerary eliminating the Dominican Republic, so the above may not be of any help to those booking a new cruise.
The entertainment was good. We fell asleep during one of the Broadway shows. It was either an indication of our deprived condition for sleep, or the show, and probably a combination of both.