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Mike & Family

Age: 46

Occupation:n/a

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Destiny

Sailing Date: June, 2005

Itinerary: Southern Caribbean

This was our first cruise so we were really excited. The Destiny leaves San Juan every Sunday @10pm we arrived the day before and stayed at the Sheraton in Old San Juan. The hotel was nice has a casino and clean rooms for about $200 a night.

Sunday 6/25 - We checked out of the hotel but they will hold your luggage while you walk around. You can’t get on the ship until 2-2:30ish so we walked around Old San Juan they have a place where you can sample free rum drinks where all the vendors are setup selling things. There are lots to see and do here. Our tour was setup for the last day when the Destiny returned so we just walked around this day.

Embarkation - This was really smooth, we picked up our luggage at the Sheraton and walked with it to the terminal (very short walk about 100 yards). Upon arriving you need your passport and Carnival documents to enter. After you enter and drop off your luggage there is a line (very orderly) to check-in and get your sail and sign cards and pose for a family picture. They take no cash on the ship anywhere you must always use your sign and sail card. After you complete this you can get on the ship and check out your room and the ship. The ship was very clean and the folks on board are friendly.

Monday 6/26 – St Thomas. We went to Sapphire beach. This beach was awesome since the restaurant close to this beach is not crowed. But there is a place there to get snorkel equipment, drinks and snacks. We brought our own snorkel stuff but the people in the snorkel stand ordered a pizza for us which was very cool. Pizza was so-so, but we were hungry. You might want to take some snacks off the ship in the morning before you debark. We learned this after the first day. The snorkeling was very good here. There is a large corral reef where you can see tons of fish as well as sea turtles. We used Hambletsislandparadise.com for transportation. They charge $20 per person round trip you pay on the way back. They stopped at a couple of places on the way back to get some nice pictures. On the way back they dropped us off at Paradise point which is a sky car, this was ok but I think over priced, I would save your money.

Tuesday 6/27 - Dominica. This was really a highlight for us. We had a great tour guide Fredos Peltier email him at fredos40@hotmail.com. He picked us up at the ship and took us around the island. Tour the lush, tropical island of Dominica in an air-conditioned shuttle bus, with a knowledgeable, friendly tour guide. Stop at the Trafalgar Falls/Emerald Pool, which also includes the rain forest and plantation areas. Continue on to "Mr. Nice's fruit stand" for a FREE taste of luscious, locally grown fruit. After that, visit Dominica's Botanical Gardens to see the beautiful and lush foliage of Dominica, and then on to the view point of Morne Bruce for a scenic and picturesque view of the capital city of Roseau. Fredos was a very friendly guide that was hands on he stopped and cut things for us to smell and gave the girls flowers......just a really nice man. I would use him.....you won’t be sorry.

Wednesday 6/28 – Barbados. This was a bust for us. We planned on going to the Boat Yard which we did go to. The problem was we got off the ship and some guy in a shirt and tie told us the BLUE MONKEY BEACH was a awesome family beach. This was not the case. If you want to be hassled the whole time you're there, then go to this beach. They were all over us constantly asking if you wanted to do this and that. Really was not safe there as well. I would stick to the boat yard, we went there and it was a lot nicer. I really didn’t like Barbados liked I thought I would but I think the BLUE MONKEY BEACH had a lot to do with this.

Thursday 6/29 - Day At Sea. Get up early so you can claim a chair near the pools and hot tubs. We had no problem getting there at 7:30am and getting a good spot.

Friday 6/30 - Aruba. All I can say is WOW. What a beautiful place this is. After you get off the ship go directly across the street to the main bus terminal, ask for bus L10 or 10. For $2 you get a round trip ticket. The bus will stop at Eagle Beach, Palm Beach, or it will take you to Malmok Beach. Eagle Beach and Palm Beach are nice in the resort area but nothing to see under water. We got off the bus at the first Palm Beach bus stop, about a 10 min. bus ride from the cruise ship. They rent chairs for $5 each or you can just sit on your Carnival beach towel for free. All the hotels have bathrooms, bars, and restaurants open to the public. The bus ride back to the cruise ship was easy the buses run every 15 min. The people of Aruba are great and very friendly. Palm beach was great not much snorkeling at this beach but a great place to hang and do water sports. We would like to go back and spend a week here.

Saturday 7/1 - Day At Sea. See 6/29

Sunday 7/2 –

Debarkation was very smooth. We told Carnival that we had an early tour and were off the ship first. You put your luggage out the night before and they put it in a staging area by color luggage tag you put on. If you travel light then keep your luggage and bring it down yourself to save even more time.

San Juan. We used Sunshine Tours, and were very happy with our guide Rich, he was very knowledgeable of Puerto Rican history. One tip is not to go to the Bacardi Rum factory kids were bored and it used up a lot of time.

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