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Age: 15


Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Destiny

Sailing Date: 2009-06-25

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

I just took a cruise on the Carnival Destiny with my family of four; mom, mom's boyfriend, and brother. We had a wonderful time onboard and don't understand what people could be complaining about. We were in a premium balcony stateroom, category 9A, room 8322.

The food was spectacular! We ate in the Universe Dining Room every night just because the food was so good. Our waiter was Yoseph and he was spectacular as well. He knew all our names, and welcomed us back each night like we were old friends. He even knew our food preferences when we went to order. Also, the elegant night and the last night included a dance from all of the wait staff on the tables and balconies. We avoided the Sun and Sea restaurant purely because the lines were so long. That was one of the only drawbacks of this ship. Almost everywhere you went had a line, especially the Lido restaurant. There was a line outside the Mexican buffet a half hour before it even opened, which made some people getting there right on time, hoping to avoid having to wait for it to open, somewhat annoyed. The pizza was exceptional, but the pizza man was rather unfriendly. I also could barely understand him. Almost every staff member, with the exception of the cruise director, was foreign. Carnival tries to glaze over this fact by putting each staff member's nationality on their name tags.

As stated earlier, we were in a premium balcony stateroom 8322. It was right at the back of the ship on the port side. Our balcony was 50% larger than the rest of the balconies which was nice. Our room was basically the same size as one of the suites, but we just didn't have suite status. The bathroom was microscopic. My mom had to do her hair out on the dresser, but the hairdryer was in the bathroom. The vanity, minus the sink, was about the size of a hairbrush. For most women, It would be impossible to even attempt doing her hair on something like that, and you weren't allowed to bring hair dryers on the ship. You see the problem. Our steward was nice. He came in the first day, and I don't think I saw him after that. He came in to get you to sign a sheet that had your name, and you had to fill in when you dined. We had late dining, so we filled that in. I assumed they used it to determine when to turn your beds down. However, most of the time our beds were turned down by the time we got back to the cabin to get ready for dinner, which was around 6:30. Other than that, you would have thought that your steward lived under your bed. Also, the light switches were in rather awkward locations. There were like five sets of lights total, and one was right when you walked in, one was over near the dresser, and the rest were on the beds headboard. The room was much bigger than I thought it would be. It had plenty of space. The only thing I didn't like was that the couch was convertible to a single bed, but it didn't convert back. It stayed a bed the entire trip, so there was really nowhere to sit down, without sitting on someone's bed.

The onboard activities were okay, but they could have been better. There was a lot of bingo, which was also rather expensive. The cheapest ticket was $10, but that was only one day. Also, there was some comedy, which was HILARIOUS!!! In my opinion, it was the best part. The shows were okay, the best being the opening show. It started with some dancing and singing, and then became a meet and greet with some people from the audience. Then, they played a game where the girls put a spoon on a string down their shirts and the guys had to put the same spoon down their pants. I did notice some parents bringing their little kids out at this point. The other two shows, Nightclub Express and Formidable, were okay, but they didn't seem to have a point. There was a lot of casino activities, trivia, and art shows. All in all, pretty standard stuff, and nothing special.

We didn't book any excursions through Carnival, just because they were so much more expensive. In Key West, we just walked down Duval Street and did some window shopping. Cozumel was way better. We got a Jeep and drove around the outskirts of the island. Then, we went to eat in Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. Then, we went to Chankanaab National Park for our dolphin excursion. We did the Dolphin Swim Adventure, which is the middle of the three packages. We touched, kissed, hugged, and waved at the dolphin. We also got on boogie boards and let the dolphin push us with it's nose on our feet. Then, the dolphin let us swim on her stomach. It was awesome, and I highly recommend it!

This is a Day-by-Day of our trip:

Day 1 (Embarkation Day)

When we first woke up at our Embassy Suites hotel room in Miami, the sun was shining brightly. Then, we packed our bags and went to check out. We gave our bags to the hotel shuttle service and they took us to the dock. It poured the entire way there. When we finally reached the docks, it was overcast, but it at least wasn't raining. We gave all our bags to the porter and went to check in. Embarkation was incredibly easy. We were there around 11:30, which was relatively early. We waited in a short line to go through security. They just checked your passports and that was it. I didn't have one, and she didn't even care. We went through security just like at the airport, though a little less forbidding. Then, we went up an escalator to the enormous check in room. We waited in line for about ten minutes which was great. The woman behind the desk was incredibly friendly. We were at the desk a grand total of ten minutes. Then, we went up another escalator to get our debarkation picture, and got on the gangway. We waited in line for awhile, then finally got onboard the ship. We started by exploring the palatial vessel. Nobody was in the pools yet because our rooms were not yet available and most people had left their bathing suits with porters. We walked around, checking out the decks and all other areas that were open. We got soda cards for 20 dollars apiece that allowed us to get unlimited soda the entire cruise. Then, our room was finally ready. We went up to check it out and found out that it was HUGE! (By Cruise standards) So then we unpacked and went up to the Lido deck and laid down in the sun for awhile. There still weren't too many people in the pool which was nice. I also got my only time in the hot tub the entire trip this day. Then, we changed and went down to the muster drill. Fairly boring, uneventful. Then, we went back up to the Lido deck and got some smoothies for the sail away party. (What was good was that all drinks were in Carnival souvenir glasses free of charge. If you wanted them any other day, unless you got the drink of the day, you had to pay extra) We watched from the lido deck balcony, on the starboard side. After that, we did some more exploring of the ship. The layout of the ship was actually rather inconvenient. The only way to get from bow to stern was through the cabin corridors. In the public areas, deck 5 was the only good deck because it housed Destiny's Way, which brought you from the atrium to the back of the ship. Deck 3 had the galley that took up the better part of the back of the ship, and divided the two dining rooms. It was therefore impossible to get to the Universe Dining Room from the atrium on deck 3. To get to the back of the ship from the atrium on deck 4, you had to go through the Galaxy Dining Room as well as the Onyx Room. The Onyx Room wasn't a problem, but the Galaxy Dining Room was almost never open except for dinner and breakfast. So that was rather annoying. Anyway, then we went to get ready for dinner. We went down to the dining room and met our waiter. After dinner, we went to the Welcome Aboard party with the Destiny Dancers and Stephanie, our Cruise Director. After that, there was HILARIOUS comedy by a comedian. (Duh!) Then, we went back to our cabin to go to bed.

Day 2 (Key West)

When we woke up the second day, I went up to the Lido deck to get breakfast. Unfortunately, I didn't beat the crowd and got stuck at the end of the line. So I decided to go get Pizza instead because the line was non-existent. (It's vacation right?) So I went and got ready to go disembark on "Deck 0." When we got to the gangway, there were a bunch of other people coming back on the ship saying that it was raining. So we decided to go back upstairs and hope that the rain stopped. When it finally did, we got off in Key West. I'm not going to tell you what we did here because I already said it above. Also, we didn't book any excursions through Carnival so Carnival really has no control over whether or not our excursions were fun. So when we got back on the ship around 1:00, we went back up to the Lido deck and laid around. We also saw a guy sculpting two turtle doves out of ice. It was cool, but I lost interest after awhile. Then, I went back to the room and got FREE room service. I got a BLT, which I forgot came with Mayo. So, I sent it back and got another one without mayo, FREE! I went back to the pool after that. When we left there, we had to go get ready for the formal night, which was that night. We went back and I took a shower. When we were all looking beautiful, we went to the Palladium Lounge to the Captain's Gala with FREE COCKTAILS! We were a little late, so we never met the captain. However, we sat and watched him introduce the top officers on stage. It was funny because after each officer, the band played a song that took into account the officers' duties onboard. After that, we went to Dinner. That was the only night that lobster was served. After that, we went to the Criterion Lounge for some karaoke. I didn't participate, (you're welcome!) but it was fun to watch. Then, we went to that night's show "Nightclub Express." Then, I was hungry so I headed up to the midnight buffet. It wasn't as big as I thought, but apparently the big buffet was yet to come!

Day 3 (Cozumel, Mexico)

We woke up to a morning at sea, and went to breakfast in the Dining Room. (Yes, we were FINALLY up early enough!) So after breakfast, we went to look at our pictures from the night before in the photo gallery. Then, we went down to the promenade deck on Deck 3 to watch the ship pull into Cozumel. There were two other ships there, the Holiday and the Carnival Inspiration. Somehow, Carnival managed to be the only cruise line in port that day. When we were given the "OK" from the cruise director, we went down to the gangways and got off the ship. Since our ship and the Inspiration were on the same pier on different sides, it made for a great picture once we were on the pier. Again, look above for what we did in Cozumel. When we got back on the boat, we had to get ready for dinner. We went to dinner, and saw some juggler and a comedian afterward. Since we were in Mexico, the ship had the Mexican Buffet that night. We went to it and I took some pictures. It was phenomenal. Then, we went to bed.

Day 4 (Fun Day at Sea)

This was our final day and we spent it at sea on our way back to Miami. I woke up later than everyone else and they went to breakfast without me. I followed a little later. Then, I went around taking pictures of the ship. I met up with everyone back on the Lido deck where we laid in the sun basically all day. I got lunch at the buffet and ate it in my chair. Afterward, I walked around some more and then went back to the room. We got ready for our last dinner and went to see "Formidable" in the Palladium Lounge. It was an early show, so we went to dinner after that. Then, I went back to the room and fell asleep.

Day 5 (Debarkation Day)

The day had finally for us to get off the ship that had been our home for the last few days. We decided not to leave bags outside the room and carry them off ourselves. This worked out fairly well. When our deck was called, we went to the elevators only to find that they were completely packed. We then braved the stairs and went down 5 flights with 7 bags between the four of us. When we got to the bottom, the atrium was packed and we got in line to disembark. That was the most chaotic part of the day. Then, we got through the gangway to the room we had come through to embark. We went down some stairs to the Customs dungeon. It was actually very easy. We just went between two desks and handed passports/birth certificates to a lady who ushered us out of the building. We were on the curb. That was the end of our four day Caribbean cruise. I had a blast!

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