Occupation:Child Care Provider
Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Destiny
Sailing Date: February 6th, 2005
Itinerary: Southern Caribbean
As first time cruisers, we read lots of reviews of different cruise lines and different itineraries. Thanks to all that help, we found the perfect cruise. We flew to San Juan a day before sailing, and we would highly recommend flying in a day prior to that to be able to have time to see the sights in San Juan--or else stay an additional day at the end of the cruise. We were able to board the ship earlier than we thought, and our embarkation was very well organized and easy. We found our cabin (balcony--again, we highly recommend that type of cabin) and then took our time touring the ship and waiting for the rest of our group to board. That was Superbowl Sunday so there were lots of festivities--our sailing time was even delayed because no one wanted to leave the Superbowl partying to do the necessary muster drill!! We finally left the port of San Juan and for me the seas were a little rough--but that could have been due to my first time on a ship. Bonine worked wonders and once we went back to our cabin, we left the door to the balcony open so we could listed to the ocean waves, and slept quite peacefully despite some rocking of the ship. We awoke to find the ship just pulling into St Thomas. We did not do a Carnival excursion that day, but took the ferry to St Johns and visited Trunk Bay. How beautiful!! We shopped in Charlotte Amalie before returning to the ship. On Tuesday we arrived at Dominica and were scheduled to do the river tubing excursion. Due to bad weather, the captain pushed up our departure time, and it was uncertain if we would get to go. After awhile, we were ok'd to get on the bus and experienced the ride of our lives!! This was the bus, not the river tubing. The traffic drives on the left hand side of the road in Dominica for one thing, and the road we had to take to get to our drop off point was straight uphill with hairpin turns every 30 feet or so!! That excursion was my husband's favorite part of the trip. We were able to enjoy the beautiful scenery in the rainforest, and had a blast tubing down the river! We happened to be in Dominica for the last day of their Carnival, so the feeling of that island was very festive. The locals had a flea market of sorts right by the ship and many of the items were handmade--some while you waited. This is a very poor island (at least what we saw) and all the natives were very appreciative of our business.
Next stop was Barbados--we did the Jolly Roger excursion--not for us! We had hoped to sail around the island, but due to weather constraints, were unable to do so. The boat was tremendously crowded and when we had the opportunity to be dropped off at a beach--we decided not to get back on the Jolly Roger, but take a taxi back to the ship. Good fortune smiled on us, as we walked to The Boatyard and had a wonderful time listening to music, enjoying the local Banks Beer and people watching. We would go directly there next time, and enjoy all that it has to offer. We apparently wore ourselves out because we missed dinner that night on the ship and all 7 of us were asleep quite early. What a wonderful day! Our next day was a day at sea and our second formal dinner. We enjoyed a cloudless day with plenty of opportunities for sunbathing, onboard shopping, and checking out the pictures that were constantly being taken. Our group (27 of us) had a group photo taken that night after dinner, and you can tell that all of us had taken advantage of the sun during the day!
Aruba was next, and the shopping area that we visited was within walking distance of the ship. My sister and I took a local bus to Palm Beach and although it was cloudy and windy, it was warm and the beach was not crowded. My husband and several of the other men in our group too the opportunity to play golf and really enjoyed the beautiful course next to the ocean. Carlos and Charlies was the favorite hangout before having to get back to the ship that night.
Our wait staff in the dining room were awesome--Veronica and Chandler!! We really enjoyed them, especially Veronica since my husband is Polish and she lives in Poland when she is not working on the ship. The nightly entertainment during dinner was always fun. We spent some time in the casino during the trip--did some shopping onboard (although most of the shopping was done on the islands) and just basically had a wonderful time.
It did take us a while to be able to find our way around--and we got lost more than one time trying to find our dining room. Our cabin steward, Duncan, was amazing at sensing when we were gone for a few minutes, and he would jet in and tidy up after us.
All in all, both my husband and I were very satisfied with our first cruise and would recommend this particular ship and itinerary highly.