Carnival Destiny Cruise Review by MrChocoholic
- Sail Date: August 2012
- Destination: Western Caribbean
My daughter, a first-timer, deserved a major reward after an outstanding fourth grade year, so I booked us to Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman, two places I'd visited before and knew my daughter would like. Thanks to "Cruise Critic" our Destiny cruise was everything I thought it would be (no surprises)--and my daughter was blown away.
This ship is sorely in need of its planned renovation. Worn out, old and tired, a lot like me. Armrests and upholstery show the wear of millions of guests' body parts. Wear and tear on carpets, handles, plumbing and electrical. Computer and other systems in Engine Control and on the Bridge need updating. Unbelievably odoriferous in certain areas as others have said, particularly in the casino. Mini-golf fairways peeling off of deck. Dents in decorative metalwork caused by falling drunken passengers. Art, interior design, lighting and furnishings that are noteworthy in their gaudy tastelessness as I anticipated.
Had to offset the sweetness of the line's chosen brand of tonic (as in gin and...) with a wedge of lime. Stateroom key didn't work most of day one until lock was completely replaced. I refuse to stand in line for food, so I ate most meals in the Universe Dining Room. Nice staff, food well-presented and surprisingly tasty although not hot, beef was gray and overcooked, sushi plate was skimpy and lobster tails were the size of prawns. To their credit, you could order as many as you like. Amazingly my daughter (and I) loved the escargots. Our view out the stern of the ship as we ate was memorable. Wanted to eat at the sushi bar but it's only open at the worst possible time if you have the early dinner seating. Daughter had Room Service midnight snack BLT with sides that came pretty fast and she cleaned the plate. Mostly she enjoyed the pizza and typical kid food.
She made friends immediately, totally enjoyed Camp Carnival (and the Night Owl activities), fell in love with horseback riding in Jamaica, swimming with stingrays in the Caymans, the water slide and eating free ice cream cones. Splurged on her for a "Spa Night" where she got her nails done, skin moisturized and served an ice cream cone. That girl was in heaven.
I enjoyed looking at over two thousand of the most boorish, ill-mannered and unattractive (I fall into the latter category) people imaginable, pretending there was a steakhouse while staring at the buffet line, drinking in every place that served alcohol, watching sports in the All-Star. I met some nice people but none of the available women threw themselves at me until the end of the last night. Karaoke was fun, the piano bar was nice, the band by the big pool was loud but I can't comment on any of the other entertainment. Can't comment on the casino because I'm not much of a gambler (an hour or a hundred and I'm done) and this one was most unappealing in decor and smell. Can't comment on the gym or fitness programs but they're there somewhere. We played a few rounds of miniature golf which was fun. She loved the water slide and video game arcade.
Our cabin was great, somehow we wound up with a handicapped stateroom forward up on the Lido Deck that I didn't ask for they wanted to fill. From now on I will ask if there's an empty one after all passengers who need one get theirs--and on a corner. Convenient. Bigger than usual, especially the bathroom and this lazy old fart loved the grab bars and folding seat in the shower.
Requested an inside cabin, as always. I prefer to spend my money everywhere BUT on the room because I'm only there to sleep, not host parties.
Spacious enough for an adult and a child. I'm no Jack Sprat, so I loved the wide doors. Corner rooms are the best, only noise from ONE side. Malodorous area of Lido Deck was further aft, fortunately.
Air conditioning was fine. Television was horrible old CRT, took up space and lousy picture. Glad that's going.
Laundry nearby. Food close. This cabin must be near a dumbwaiter or kitchen because Room Service came really quickly.
Bathroom was large, making me happy. Came with stuff I always bring along anyway and didn't use their bath freebies. Lazy old besotted curmudgeons like me will appreciate the pull-down seat and grab bars. Plentiful hot water. One good thing about going into drydock--the exterminators get to come aboard and do their thing. Yep. I saw one. In the bathroom. Got the sucker on video, too, crawling right up to the ceiling.
Robes were a nice touch. I think the safe and life jackets can be relocated either higher or under the bed to open up a bit more storage space. There were sufficient drawers and hanging space for a pair of loaded suitcases.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Stingray SwimThis one I booked after reading a review. After finally locating the tour operator on the wharf, the group of around a dozen bused to the marina where we boarded a 40-something sportfisherman/dive boat. Nice ride out to the sandbar where the stingrays hang out, my daughter remarked on how many rich people's houses there are along the waterway out to sea.View All 540 Stingray Swim Reviews
Both of us were dazzled by the docile behavior of a large and strong animal most of us were taught to fear. Had pictures taken by the tour operator to back up our own (just in case water damaged our camera). Somehow my daughter and I got separated from the main crowd busing back to the wharf, but the tour operator arranged for a private van to transport us two--driven by a most engaging Caymanian chauffeur who entertained us with his advice on investing in the Cayman Islands. An altogether wonderful experience that was less expensive than those offered by the Shore Excursion Desk.
Dunn's River FallsEverything we expected and more, especially the price of the DVDs we bought from the tour operators to back up our own photos and video. Nevertheless, most of the passengers unfamiliar with Jamaica were warned about the aggressive salespeople everywhere, especially at the end of the Dunn's River Falls climb, and appreciated Carnival for being honest. Guide Wilana was knowledgeable and sweet to my kid. Made the Falls climb from bottom to top, only fell twice (not far) and was grateful there were sufficient tour guides around to catch me.View All 183 Dunn's River Falls Reviews
Horseback RidingThe Chukka people know how to operate an excursion and do a fine job. Horseback riding, especially in the surf, was totally amazing especially for my daughter, whose experience was limited to ponies and carousels.View All 12 Horseback Riding Reviews