We went on the 5-day cruise on Jan 29th. It was the Carnival PokerPro Challenge cruise. The Mr played, but we'll leave the Poker out of this review.
We're a mid-40's couple, this is our 20th cruise, 8th on Carnival. First Carnival cruise without our kids. We're going to rate this ship from 1 - 10 points, indicated by (#) based on our personal experience only. We'll try to be brief, as there are much better detailed reviews posted earlier.
Embarkation: Timeline: (8)
11am Jumped into taxi at Miami airport (9)
11:14 Arrived cruise terminal, (no traffic on Sat, took less than 15 min) (10)
11:25 Through security (8)
11:31 After short 2 minutes in line, approached Check-In kiosk (similar to airport) to confirm cabin info, swipe CC, swipe passport (8)
11:37 Done kiosk, pick up cabin key card (9)
11:43 Onboard, ate lunch on Lido deck buffet (8)
1:30pm Cabin ready (9)
3:20 luggage arrived (9)
3:30 lifeboard drill (2) stood outside on deck 4 in the cold
Cabin: (9) Cabin feels huge & biggest sized compared to all other cruise lines. With our luggages stored under the King-sized bed, lots of room, cabin feels spacious. Bed was comfortable. Bathroom was OK, Toilet's weird angle. Phone wake up call system works great. Bring an electrical strip, since there's
only one electrical plug. Our center & low deck cabin felt no rocking, no vibration, this ship is the most stable we've been on. Our cabin steward was extremely efficient & kept our room neat & tidy at all times.
Food (7) /Restaurants (9):
We had early seating in the mid-ship restaurant. Our waiter was Zlatka from Macedonia (9.5), she was the best waiter we've experienced. Very nice friendly & efficient. We tried Carnival's any-time dining option on a previous cruise, & we prefer the set seating better.
Food is average. Lobster night was the second night, formal night. We had 2 each, since they're fairly small. We had chocolate melting cake every night, 2 the last night, since it's the only thing we'll rate (10+).
Public areas (8):
Very nice public spaces. Carpeting on the stairways needs replacing. Big screen TV on pool / Lido deck is cool.
Fitness Center (9):
Very impressed with the Gym. Felt spacious for a ship. Forward looking windows with nice views. Lots of cardio machines. Nice weight machines, adequate dumbells/free weight area. Just a little hot temperature wise on the starboard half of the gym. Outdoor running track is OK, very windy at sea days. We did not use the spa.
Jamaica: Ochos Rios (3)
Since we've been to OR & done the Dunn's River Falls before, we've decided to do easy shopping in the mall area, just outside the pier. We felt like we were mis-lead by the signs into going around the town area & did not enjoy the town scenery. We liked Montego Bay & Kingston better. Would recommend taking a tour instead of walking around on your own in Ochos Rios.
Grand Cayman: Georgetown (8)
We anchored out around 8am. Mr did the Carnival's 2 tank scuba diving excursion through Don Foster's dive shop (9). Water taxi tender service was very efficient, short waiting time, did not have to wait until tender was full before leaving. Town was nice, felt much more upscale, compared to Jamaica. Grand Cayman is the best for scuba divers & snorkelers, since water was warm & extremely clean & clear. Diving was excellent!
Mrs went window shopping. Nice shopping, but expensive.
This was the most disappointed / worst area. Only 2 evening shows, both were mediocre. Saw 2 Comedians at 2 adults shows (9), both were hilarious. The huge problem was the cruise director's poor time scheduling & room assignment (1). The main show is 8:45 - 9:45pm, the comedy show starts exactly at 9:45pm, so by the time we walked to the comedy show, it was already packed & was turned away. Never been turned away like this before. Need to reschedule the timing & a bigger stage for these shows. 2 nights later, we learned to leave the mediocre main show 30 minutes early to go grab a seat at the comedy show.
We did not go to the guest talent show.
Most lounge bands & singers were worse than expected (4)
7:30am Self Assist (carry your own luggage off ship) announced avail
7:45 Sections 1 - 5 announced
8:35 Luggage finally arrived on carousel
8:41 Through Immigration & Customs officer
Ship was very efficient in getting passengers off the ship. If you have an early flight (before 12pm), make sure you ask for luggage Section 4, so you'll be one of the first section to be called, or do Self Assist.
However, the big problem is the huge mass confusion in the luggage terminal. Had to wait almost an hour for our luggage to arrive on the carousel. One couple complained they were Section 1, got off the ship at 7:15am & still haven't received their luggage by 8:30. Immigration & Customs Officers checked our passports & form by hand, didn't run through their computer scanner, so lines moved very quickly, 4 minutes in line for us. Taxi line outside is another 6 minutes. Less than 20 minutes to Miami airport during Thurs morning rush hour traffic, not too bad.
Overall, we did enjoyed our cruise on the Destiny. Nice large ship, a little old & dated, but functional. Great value for the price.