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Family Friendliness
Shore Excursions

Age: 43


Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Destiny

Sailing Date: 2012-01-9

Itinerary: Carribean

We cruised on the Destiny to Nassau, Bahamas and Ocho Rios, Jamaica in January 2012. This was our first cruise and we had a wonderful time. Friends who have become veteran cruisers told us they go with Carnival because of the value. They were right! Carnival gets you on board for a very reasonable price. After that, you can spend tons of money everywhere you turn. The unlimited soda card is good if you are a soda drinker. We don't drink alcohol or gamble so that is of no matter to us. We did buy some pictures of our formal evening and they were very nice. Did some shopping in the jewelry store too. Prices seemed good and very nice selection of watches and jewelry.

As for the overall condition of the Destiny, WOW! I know she is an older ship and a bit outdated in decor but beautifully maintained and CLEAN! There is always someone cleaning something and keeping her sparkling. I read reviews on here before our cruise and thought, oh boy, we should have chosen a newer ship. After the cruise my only comment is that some people are way too picky. Sure the decor is a little outdated and too Vegas but if that's why you are going on a cruise I feel sorry for you. There is so much more to cruising than that.

We had lunch each day in the Sun and Sea Restaurant. The food was great, nicely prepared and presented beautifully. I had read many reviews before our trip and was scared off a bit by some of the opinions of the reviewers. After the cruise all I can say is that some people must be really hard to please. We had dinner in the Galaxy dining room each night and had the Your Time seating option. That allowed us the most flexibility and we will choose that again.

The food in the dining room was fantastic. Great selection each night and if you don't find anything you like you can choose from a menu that is the same every night. The portions are small for a big guy like me but hey, you can order multiple appetizers and/or entrees if you like.

We were served by three different waiting teams. Carlos, Nillson, and Ausrine were the team leaders. All were welcoming and did a great job of making us feel special. We do not have a luxury lifestyle and felt that the atmosphere in the dining room was elegant and classy.

We were in a balcony stateroom on the Empress deck, 7122. Our steward, Bernie, and his team did a great job keeping our room clean and stocked. The evening turn down service and towel animals made us smile, especially the night Bernie put my sunglasses on the animal. Our stateroom was plenty big for two, if the overhead bed were lowered and used I think the room would have been too small. The balcony was great! Very high off the water and so nice to sit out and sip coffee watching the sea roll by. The bathroom while small was very clean and worked well. We have a handheld shower at home and were glad to see one in the bathroom.

Plenty of storage space for all of our stuff and the bed was plenty high to keep our luggage out of the way. Oh and the bed? GREAT! I have a bad back and love my Sleep Number bed at home. I am always concerned about sleeping away from home. Our bed was very clean, comfortable and most importantly to me, supportive.

Again, we don't drink or gamble or go to risque stage shows so I can't comment much on the activities. We did go a show in the theatre about shopping on shore and found the presentation to be a pitch for every jeweler that Carnival seems to have a financial arrangement with. Waste of time for us. Again, remember that Carnival is selling to you everytime you turn around. Once you understand that you can find a hundred other great ways to spend your time.

Cruise director, Noonan was fun.

Nice upper deck pools and gathering areas. Beautiful views from the top.

In Nassau we took the public bus out to Cable beach. Very affordable, $1.25 PP each way! You can access Cable beach by going in through any of the resorts. The beach is free and huge. The day we were there was very open and empty. Beautiful views and white sand. There are hundreds of chairs so we grabbed a couple and got comfortable. Also stopped at the Straw Market and bought a few things for our kids. Lots of vendors but mostly the same items at each. The guys outside carving were fun to watch and had some unique and beautiful items.

In Ocho Rios we got a bus tour from the port into town. Remember to barter with the driver, we saved $5/each on the tour price. The bus had A/C and was comfortable. We got out at Mahogany Beach for a couple hours. Very small and crowded. The sand and water were delightful though. We wanted to go to Reggae Beach but the bus driver recommended Mahogany instead.

We later caught the bus and went to Taj Mahal market. Got souvenirs and coffee there. Not too bad a place, very touristy and the coffee was very expensive, $25/lb. Again remember to barter!

We had two days at sea and really enjoyed the time to relax and explore the ship. Destiny is huge and fun to wander around.

Our trip was a getaway from it all and we had a wonderful time. If you drink and gamble and want to spend hundreds of dollars once onboard there are ways to do that. Cabins are nice and public areas are clean and in good repair.

We will cruise again next year with Carnival and look forward to it.

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