Carnival Destiny Cruise Review by ang_adj: Reflections from a 1st time cruiser
Reflections from a 1st time cruiser
5 day cruise to Eastern Caribbean with stops in Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, and Nassau. Day one was "at sea," so we checked out the ship and took in a couple of presentations. It was actually quite entertaining. We learned where to shop for specific items, who to talk to at the shops, and how to get great deals.
The ship layout can be a bit confusing. The best practice may be to use elevators toward either end of the ship, then walk toward the center. There are some decks where you cannot get from bow to stern without going up/down a few decks; the navigation can be confusing.
The on-board shops were nice, with many items fairly reasonably priced. The photo gallery was fun for perusing photos; we found if you don't want your picture taken, just dodge the photographer and they won't bother you. I never felt 'harassed' in that regard. The Library left a lot to be desired; the interior looks just like the photo, except the book shelves are not nearly that full. I had More counted on the Library for my reading needs, and I was sorely disappointed.
Dining - well, there's good news and bad news. We had anytime dining, and we never really had any trouble there. The dining rooms were excellent. We ate in the Galaxy Dining Room usually; it was less crowded, more quiet, and more relaxing than the buffet. The staff even performed on occasion. :) The buffet had a very disappointing layout. It was always crowded, and the lines often intermingled, causing great delays. The food was very good, service was great, everything was clean. But with the various "specialty" lines intermixing, it was very confusing. Once, I was in line for the grille without knowing it!
We didn't take in any shows on-board, so I can't speak to that; nor did we visit the casino. I found it odd that we never saw our cruise director (Gary), although we heard from him several times a day via loudspeaker.
I have to brag a little on our room stewards. Nelson and his cohort (never got his name, sorry!) made sure everything was in tip-top shape. I loved our towel critters, and they made sure we got to keep our "zoo" going for the duration of our cruise (I loved the monkey hanging from the ceiling). My only complaint was the room temp; it was always cold. There was no real thermostat, only airflow control. I was very glad for the down comforter (the down pillows were nice too)! They even made sure I had plenty of beach towels to take on the excursions.
Boarding was quick, and our bags were in our room within an hour. Debark time was VERY quick - it seemed we would be much later getting off given our slot (#11), but by 9:30 we were off ship. Another reviewer recommend to carefully time your flight, and I agree. Our flight out wasn't scheduled until 1:30, so we had LOTS of downtime at the airport.
Overall - great cruise, decent ship, would do it again. Just better management of expectations would be advisable. Less
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Cabin review: 4F7200
The stateroom was a good size, lots of closet/drawer space. We used the safe regularly for passports, etc. The bathroom was a little cramped, but good enough size to get the job done.
Port and Shore Excursions
Never had to deal with this before, so I didn't know what to expect. There really wasn't any issue here at all (we did have some minor issues at the airport). The cabin steward provided customs forms the night before, and we didn't have anything over the limit to declare. We didn't take or buy alcohol, so that wasn't an issue.
I would recommend a travel pouch for travel days. My "ID and Boarding Pass Holder" came in tremendously useful. There is a slot for driver's license, passport, and boarding pass; there is a zipper pouch on the back for cash, credit cards, etc. Rope included to wear around your neck. It kept everything pertinent close at hand for the hustle & bustle of boarding planes and ship.
Atlantis - well, know going in it's a large resort, designed to keep you there all day if possible. The excursion was scheduled for 3 hours, but it took nearly 4.5 hours. Just getting through the lines at the end took over an hour. The problem was photos; everybody wants pictures of the dolphin interaction. Every group's photos are together in a batch, and you must look through the entire batch to find the photos of you/your group (they are not always together). Each batch contains photos for at least 18 guests, and many shots of the dolphins doing jumps, etc; there are so MANY photos to look through. That whole experience really cheapens the feel of the excursion. Oh, the photos are pricey, too: 4 pictures = $60 (the cheapest package available). Warning: the lines are long & dull. With kids who are already tired, they have a hard time sitting still; the parents get grouchy. Patience is greatly required.
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