This was a good cruise and the second part of our B2B, we went on a 7 day cruise preceding this one on the Carnival Liberty. My fiance and I are avid cruisers, this was her 8th Carnival and 10th overall and my 6th cruise all on Carnival. We booked an Ocean View room hoping that being inbetween Spring Break and Summer Vacations for school bound people that we might slip into a balcony cabin, no such luck, but it didn't matter as our cabin was very nice.
The Destiny is a little older ship than what I have cruised on before, but it has undergone a renovation recently and the decor was spectacular, much different than what you expect to find on Carnival ships. The Embarkation from Miami was a breeze, the building was very large and the porters and personnel inside were very helpful. Our cabin was the normal size for an Ocean View with a few exceptions, the window was not as wide or deep as the newer ships which basically means you couldn't sit in the window and look out over the water like you can on other ships. There were less storage space for clothes, you still had the two hanging closets but the third closet where the safe was located was smaller and with a sliding door more difficult to get to and use. The biggest difference in this cabin though was the bathroom, the shower was double the size that is standard on most Carnival ships, however the hair dryer was something left to be desired. So ladies bring your own hair dryer otherwise you may spend your entire 5 day cruise trying to dry your hair.
We never met our steward and the room was not adequately cleaned. There was a thick buildup of dust under the counter top and head board, as well as a left over bobbypin from a previous occupant. Our steward did "clean" the room every day giving us fresh towels and making the bed with the standard towel animals, but the room was not "CLEAN". The ship as a whole was not as clean as we have come to expect on Carnival and since we had just gotten off of the Liberty which had a Noro Virus outbreak, cleanliness was high on our concern list. The food on the Lido deck was the typical Carnival fair and usually very good, however there were several times that a station should have been open according to the capers such as the hamburger line and it wasn't. The dinning room service and food was good with one exception, we had special ordered Creme Brulee for each night of the cruise, on two of the 5 nights the chef tried to pass off vanilla pudding with the sugar coating on top rather the the real thing. Most people would not know the difference, but after having the real thing for 7 consecutive days on the Liberty and the first 2 days on the Destiny my fiance could tell the difference immediately when the fake came out, not to mention that the fake Creme Brulee made her sick, shame on the Chef for this one! We had a nice couple for table mates and great conversation each night.
Now for the negative of the cruise, our Cruise Director Kevin Noonan I don't feel did a very good job of keeping things organized. First lets start with the required muster drill, at the end of the drill it was a free for all with all passengers being released at the same time, thus clogging stairwells making it extremely unsafe. On past cruises the cruise director has released one side of the ship at a time or even a few stations at a time making it much safer and orderly for everyone. Also when going into the ports of call Kevin relied wholly on his port talk and the notice in the capers as his information to all passengers, a talk that the majority of passengers skip. As a result when it came time to exit the ship in both Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Grand Cayman many of the passengers had no clue as to what time the gangway opened or what they needed to get on or off the ship. Kevin never made any announcements on the mornings that we pulled into our ports that we were even docked let alone too what you needed. For us knowing to not crowd the gangway right away upon docking and what to bring with you was not an issue, however this cruise had many if not the majority of the passengers were first time cruisers and didn't have this information. Now Kevin did do a slightly better job upon our return to Miami of giving out the information about debarkation.
In Ocho Rios we took the sky lift to the top of Mystic Mountain for some breathe taking views, there is a serenity pool located at the top of the mountain with a slide for all to use as well as a restaurant and gift shop and a few local vendors selling hand made items. On our next visit to Ocho Rios we intend to expand our trip to Mystic Mountain by taking the tranopy excursion which is the sky lift to the top as well as a bobslep rollercoaster style ride and a zip line adventure that has 5 different zip lines. I would say that if you stay in the area designated by Carnival and the other cruise lines you will be safe, but keep in mind Jamaica is a very poor country and if you venture out of these areas be very careful. We did not do the Dunns River Falls excursion as to us it did not look fun, however having talked with others who did they said that it was very exhausting and difficult. Our next port was Grand Cayman where we had to take a tender to the shore, these were very good and the crews were helpful in assisting passengers on and off. We did not do a Carnival excursion here, opting instead to take a local taxi to 7 mile beach that cost us $4 per person each way, far cheaper than the $30 Carnival charges. The beach is beautiful and the water amazing, spotted many large iguana's just grazing on the lawn not caring if you took there picture. The beach offers many things at a cost such as renting beach chairs, jet skis and parasailing, there are several shops and restaurants to choose from, can't wait to go back.
Overall this was a good cruise for us despite some of the negative things because we have been on several cruises we just do our own thing and relax.