The three-deck-high Palladium Lounge is the venue for Carnival Destiny's nightly Las Vegas-style floor shows and reviews. (Skimpy outfits may not be child-friendly.) This state-of-the-art theater boasts lasers lights, special effects and a sound system to rival any land-based show room. This lounge also has a video projection system, a revolving stage and a retractable orchestra pit. A word of warning -- be sure to get there early to get the best seats. Some of the seats have limited or obstructed views of the stage.
One of the most popular places on the ship is the Apollo Bar, the sing-along piano bar. Get there early if you want a seat. Later in the evening, it was standing room only -- in the hallway! Passengers in the mood for a high-octane dance club will find the entrance to the Point After Dance Club nearby. More than 500 video monitors cover practically every square inch of wall space, and the glass dance floor features various lighting effects. A winding staircase leads down from the disco to the Onyx Room Cigar Lounge, where sofas and comfy chairs abound but don't count on a quiet escape there since music from above is piped in.
The Down Beat Lounge jazz and cabaret room is accented with black and brass walls and a gray carpet covered with red treble clefs. The highlight of the room is the oversized trumpet, tuba and flugelhorn suspended from the ceiling; windows are separated by huge clarinets.
The All-Star Sports Bar offers satellite programming projected on large-screen TV's throughout the room. Aft of the Promenade Deck is the Criterion Lounge; this showroom seating 440 is the place to be for midnight shows. The Millionaire's Club casino is ample, with slot machines operational from 8 a.m., and tables from 10 a.m.
Passengers board Carnival Destiny by way of a soaring seven-deck atrium called the Rotunda. Its centerpiece is a lobby bar (Flagship Bar) lit with the subtle hue of blue neon; this now popular Carnival trademark made its first appearance on Destiny. The guest services and shore excursion desk are located nearby.
Navigating the vessel is easy once you figure out you can get anywhere from the Promenade Deck (this set-up cleverly forces passengers to walk by the tempting casino).
A 24-hour Internet cafe is situated on Atlantic Deck. There are six terminals; the charge is 75 cents per minute. You can also buy time in packages: 100 minutes go for $55 (55 cents per minute) and 250 minutes is $100 (40 cents per minute). Destiny also offers bow-to-stern Wi-Fi.
At Carnival Destiny's 15,000-square-foot, two-level SpaCarnival, work out on treadmills, Stairmasters, stationary bikes, rowing machines, free weights and progressive resistance machines while enjoying panoramic views. There are men's and women's saunas, steam rooms and locker rooms, and two coed whirlpools. There is also a separate aerobics room and juice bar. Trained instructors lead a variety of exercise classes; personal trainers are available at an additional charge. There is an outdoor jogging track (each lap equals an eighth of a mile) and mini-golf.
The spa and salon, operated by London's Steiner Leisure, offer every kind of massage, facial and treatment imaginable.
The main pool area is one of Carnival Destiny's most popular features highlighted by the winding, 214-foot-long water slide. The deck around the pool is laid out in levels, creating an amphitheater-like effect. There is also open deck space around the aft New World Pool, with a retractable glass ceiling.
The Seaside Theatre is, an outdoor big-screen movie setup located poolside. Similar to sister line Princess' Movies Under the Stars (M.U.T.S.) concept, passengers can enjoy concerts, news and sporting events during the day, and movies at night.
Carnival's Fun Ships are made for families, with activities that encompass all age groups. There are games and contests for everyone to enjoy together, and there is Camp Carnival, with separate programs for kids, 'tweens and teens. The short weekend cruises attract many families; the midweek cruises less so.
The Camp Carnival facilities for children ages 2 to 11 is on Deck 11. Programs are offered free of charge from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. The multiple-room facility has arts and crafts, computer stations, walls with several monitors for movies and cartoons, a separate section for toddlers and babies, and well-trained staff supervising the children. A highlight is Camp Carnival's dining option, which allows kids to dine with other members of their playgroup.
One area where Carnival is rather unique among family-oriented cruise lines is that it accepts toddlers as young as age 2 into the program -- even if they aren't toilet trained (and staffers will change diapers). Carnival also offers babysitting at an additional charge (plan to pay about $6 per hour). At certain times, babies ages 6 months to 2 years can spend time in Camp Carnival, either with their parents (for free) or on their own (for a fee). However, toddlers and babies that aren't toilet trained are not allowed in any pools onboard, not even the children's pool, and kids must be at least 48 inches to ride the waterslide -- leaving some disappointed five- and six-year-olds on the sidelines.
Circle C is geared toward 'tweens (ages 12 - 14) and this group has its own hangout on Deck 11 with computer terminals and board games. Free activities run from 9 a.m. to about 1 a.m., including scavenger hunts, dance parties, karaoke and mini-golf.
Teens ages 15 - 17 gather in Club O2 next door. The space is similar with computer stations, flat-screen TV's and a mocktail bar. Activities also run from morning until after midnight with photo hunts, T-shirt decorating, ice cream and make-your-own-pizza parties, and sports games. Teens also can opt to attend a supervised, teen-only tour in port.