Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Destiny
Sailing Date: August 31st, 2003
Itinerary: Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, VI, Martinique, Barbados, and Aruba
My traveling companion and I arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Friday, August 29. We were guests of a friend who lives in the Ocean Park section of San Juan. During the two days were able to enjoy the beautiful sights and sounds of Old San Juan and San Juan. We enjoyed delicious melon and grapefruit gelato in one of the gelato parlors of Old San Juan. We also took a brief tour of the rustic but luxurious Hotel El Convento.
Our host drove us to the pier on Sunday. Since this was my first cruise, I was awestruck by the massiveness of the Carnival Destiny. I could not stop staring at the bright white exterior and playful red and blue trim of the ship.
On Sunday, August 31, we arrived at the dock at approximately 4:15 PM. There was virtually no line to acquire a porter. Our luggage was taken right away and we proceeded to a line to get our Sign and Sail card. We waited on another line for approximately twenty minutes to show our documentation and submit our tickets. By 5:15 PM we were having our embarkation photos taken and were finally able to board by approximately 5:30 PM. We were able to go strait to our cabin, 2110, on the Main deck of the ship. We were immediately impressed at the size of the cabin and the ample closet space. There was also enough room in the medicine cabinet to accommodate all of our toiletries. We met our cabin steward, Norman, who turned out to be a really nice guy. Since our luggage had not arrived we decided to survey the ship and find our way around. We noticed that our Sign and Sail card place us in main or early seating for dining even though we had requested late seating. We tried to talk to the Maitre d’ but there was nothing he could do. We decided to have dinner, which was open seating for the first evening. We consumed a very well prepared and delicious dinner that included appetizers, salad, main course, and dessert. We took our time in the dining room so it was almost time for the safety drill. We had to rush from the aft of the ship where the dining room was located all the way to the bow of the ship where our cabin was located. Let me tell you, it was quite a walk. We got our life vests from our cabins and participated in a drill that seemed to take about 20 minutes. After the drill, we went back to our cabin to check on our luggage at about 9:15. They still did not arrive, so we explored the public areas of the ship. We found the best way to get from one end of the ship without obstruction was to walk along the main deck. If you wanted to walk across the ship and see the sights, different lounges, the casino, and many people, then Destiny Way on Level 5 Promenade Deck was the way to go. When we got back to our cabin b
y 9:45 our luggage had arrived.
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
On the first day we had a quick breakfast on the Lido deck because we were booked for a 9:00 AM shopping tour of St. Thomas. We were given a ticket for a complimentary rum punch and were driven up a winding road to an extremely small shopping center. I was able to take great pictures of the Carnival Destiny from the mountain. We were there for approximately 20 minutes. After that we were taken to the downtown area and left to shop on our own until our choice of 1:00 PM or 2:00 PM. We purchased duty free spirits and some jewelry. Both were bargains compared to prices in the states. Rather than taking the shopping tour it probably would have been better to take a taxi downtown. It would have been much less expensive.
That evening we met our headwaiter and assistant waiter, Nils and Ivett. They were extremely accommodating and remembered that I was a vegetarian and quickly learned that I liked cappuccinos and desserts. We believed that the $5.50 per day charged to the Sign and Sail card was not enough for the first class service we received. I will tell you that the food in the Universe Dining Room was excellent and there were vegetarian entrees everyday and every evening.
On the second day we took a taxi into downtown and did some shopping. We found the people to be very friendly and enjoyed window-shopping. I do understand that the highlight of visiting Martinique is the flowers. Tuesday evening was formal night so we had to wear our suits and ties for dinner following by a wonderful stage show called “Formidable.” Percy Crews, the comedian, was a real hoot. After the show we went to one of the Captain’s receptions in one of the lounges on the Promenade Deck. We got to meet the captain of the ship and were served free cocktails and hors d’oeurves.
Many of our shipmates visited the beaches of Barbados and they raved about the scuba diving. You probably noticed that we enjoy the downtown areas a little better. We took the Island Tour. We saw part of Bridgetown and the countryside of Barbados. We enjoyed listening to the history of some of the visited sites.
Day at Sea
This was our chance to sleep a little later than usual since we did not have to rise early for a tour. We enjoyed the shops on the ship and took a chance at the casino. By the way, I went to an art auction and actually bid on some lithographs. I purchased two and was lucky enough to win one in a raffle.
This was the second formal evening in the dining room
Aruba had one of the most beautiful downtown areas with many buildings possessing orange terra cotta roofs. Downtown is just a few steps from the port, making it very convenient for the passengers. We brought some souvenir bags and caps and stayed close to the ship. Many passengers and crew spoke about the beautiful beaches in Aruba.
Day at Sea
We had another day of ship activities and lots and lots of eating. It was time to pack and leave our baggage to be taken down to Zero Deck. We got envelops from the information desk to give additional tips to the steward and wait staff. They could not have been nicer.
We woke up early so that we could take care of Immigration and Customs matters. We had breakfast, came back and checked that we had all of our personal belongings from the cabin and than waited on the promenade deck to be called for disembarkation.
Our luggage tag color was finally called and we went down to the port to get our luggage. Once found, it was easy to go through the port and get a taxi to the airport.
Carnival Destiny was my first cruise. I had a ball. I’m already planning my next cruise. I’ll be much more prepared and be able to do more of the land activities. This trip I really wanted to do things on the ship. The ship itself has many entertaining activities. In conclusion, when doing a cruise you have many options. You can be very active and do many physical activities or you can be like us and enjoy what the wonderful, spectacular fun ship Destiny has to offer.