Overall, our cruise on The Destiny was quite enjoyable. I know nothing is free, but I always hear that cruising is cheap and that wasn't my experience. I booked 2 cabins, 1 interior, 1 w/balcony, cost $4000. Then, Southwest Airlines ... Read More
Overall, our cruise on The Destiny was quite enjoyable. I know nothing is free, but I always hear that cruising is cheap and that wasn't my experience. I booked 2 cabins, 1 interior, 1 w/balcony, cost $4000. Then, Southwest Airlines wouldn't take my Rapid Rewards coupons and plane fare for 4 to Miami, roundtrip, was $2300. So, I'm in for $6300 before we've stepped foot on the boat. Even that would be fine, but I went up to the first bar on board, ordered 2 Miller Lites and got a bill for $13.00. Later, I ordered a margarita and it was $8.75. Now, come on, you've already got our money, there's no reason to rob us at the bar, too. After 5 days, we got our final bill for onboard charges and it was $1000, for drinks, $200 in gratuities and $200 for photos. OK, so, I chose to take a family cruise on a family-oriented cruise line, but if that's the case, why am I paying so much for everything?
But, on the positive side, the food was magnificent. Every night in the dining room was wonderful. The service was fantastic, the wait staff definitely aims to please. I don't know why you're supposed to tip the maitre'd, though. I don't think we ever saw him. I did extra-tip our head waiter, though. He did all the work, plus magic tricks at the table every night, dancing on the rails, remembered our names, our drinks, etc. His name was "K", stood for something hard to pronounce.
The entertainment onboard was fantastic. Vegas-style shows, dancing singing, all first class. Great comedians, especially John Wesley Austin, hilarious. They did put on a "Return Passengers" party, in the theatre, with free drinks, so I guess I shouldn't gripe about drink prices. LOL. The cruise director, "Noonan" was great. Next to the captain, he runs the whole darn show. You see him emceeing contests, doing comedy routines, turn on your TV and he's telling you how to embark, disembark, what's going on every day. You see him all over the ship helping people, talking to everyone. He tells you to greet everyone you see with a big "Hello", and says to greet him with "Hello, Noonan!", ala "Hello Newman!"
The casino was wonderful, just like Las Vegas. very professional, no weird "cruise rules". Well, except "cashing out" on the machines. You might as well keep playing till you run out of money. There is no "cash out" button. I had to push the "service" button. A waiter came by, had to go get a pit boss, who showed me how to insert my cruise card, set up a pin number, and put my "winnings" on it. I said "So it's deducted off my bill?'. He said "No, you have to take it to the cashier, who will give you your money, So I go to the cashier, give her my card. She gives me a paper to sign, and finally gives me my $7.50.
There are photographers everywhere, always ready to take your picture. The photos are top-quality, but cost $20 for an 8x10, so be ready. The photographers are very nice, professional. Went to play bingo once and found out it costs $20 to play. Guess that counts as "gambling expense".
The cabin cleaning crew was fantastic. They always remembered my name, all greeted me with a smile. Every time I left my room,when i returned, my room was cleaned, the bed made. I know they dod this at least twice a day, always leaving chocolates and a towel shaped like an animal. Pretty cool.
Carnival tells you that you can bring on 1 bottle of wine per adult, but is picky about it. OK, my brother did try and bring on 2 bottles of bourbon which were confiscated and held. But he did say that while he was down there being scolded, he saw that they had turned down a bottle of "MD 20/20 (C'mon, it IS wine, although 20 % alcohol, and a bottle of Sangria (guess you can't bring in a whole gallon). Then,on board, they try and sell you wine @ 3 bottles for $98.
So, again, all in all, we had a great, expensive time. Carnival tries hard to make sure you have a fun cruise. I'd do it again, but next time I will try and get a better rate and sneak on a bottle of booze. Read Less