My wife and I are starting to plan a cruise for either April, September or December. Because this is our first cruise we would like it to coincide with either our Anniversary or birthdays. We would like to steer clear of the touristy destinations such as Cozumel or Cancun. We thus have decided that the Ocho Rios/Grand Cayman route might be the best for what we're looking for. Since its our first cruise we've decided a 4-5 day cruise would be best. Based on the above Criteria we've narrowed our options to the Carnival Destiny out of Miami. After ready some fairly negative recent reviews in regards to staff courtesy however we are leery of making this our first experience. Any recent experiences would be greatly appreciated, as well as any advice for first time cruisers! Thanks in advance!
Joe welcome to cruise-chat. We sail most of the time in april or early May. Weather has been good in April and there is less kids,as they are still in school. We have been to Jamica and Grand Cayman.Both are good stops and we really enjoyed Grand Cayman. Grand Cayman is very clean and no beggers on the streets. Don't beleive everythig you read, some people wouldn't be happy no matter what. I think a 5 day cruise on the Destiny would be a great 1st cruise, in my opinion. We have always had great cruises on Carnival.
Joe - our first cruise was in honor of our 15th anniversary and my 40th birthday! It hooked us! We went for a 4 day cruise to Cozumel and loved it so much we took the kids on a Carnival cruise that summer - back to Cozumel. We love Paradise beach on Cozumel.
After cruises on Carnival and Disney we are taking a cruise this summer for 7 days on Carnival to Cozumel, Jamaica and Grand Cayman. After only 3 cruises - we have noticed that we enjoy the balcony rooms much more than an inside room. I loved sitting on the balcony and listening to the water and watching for other boats in the night. It was also great to get up in the morning and watch the sunrise over the water. I know that some people get an inside cabin because they do not spend much time in their cabin, but we really enjoyed the balcony.
2008 Navigator of the Seas
2008 Carnival Inspiration
2009 Disney Wonder
2010 Carnival Conquest (June)
We are deffinately getting very excited! One thing we're wondering is if there is a differece in room size between the outside view and the balcony rooms? I don't think there is, but my wife seems to think that there is less room because of the space the balcony takes up?
HAPPY THREE KINGS DAY!!!
Here In Puerto Rico we are still on christmas until next week on "Octavitas"
As for the cruise:
Well I have cruise on carnival Destiny 3 times departing from Puerto Rico but since 2008 I had not had the pleasure to cruise with them.
My recomendation if you can go for the balcony cabin on deck 8 is better I had three cabins in the past ON CARNIVAL DESTINY first on deck 6, later on decks 7 and 8. The deck 8 is a good choice mostly because you don't get seasick with the movement, which is not much, but since you are a first time cruiser you should consider it.
Is a great Ship I had enjoy every trip with them that ship service and people was what won me over is because of that ship that I only cruise with carnival cruise line...
I have cruised twice with Carnival. Good experiences both times. First for our 25th Wedding Anniversary in Sept. 08 on the Sensation! I loved this ship! I heard many complaints, however the staff was wonderful,clean, and the ship was easy to get around. The second time was with our entire family on the Destiny to Jamiaca and Cayman Islands in August 09. I liked the Destiny and we had fun, but it was VERY crowded. It took forever to get food on the lido deck anytime you went there. The pools were very crowded, kids in the hottubs at all times. It was extremely hard getting off the ship to do the excursions because so many people were waiting and pushing each other. People couldn't even get off the elevator at that floor it was so crowded. Getting back on the ship was another long wait in Cayman Islands because you have to tender (water taxi provided by carnival) back onto the ship. We didn't experience this Carnival sensation. We did enjoy it and I am not saying this just to be a bad apple and to be a complainer. These are just the negatives about the Destiny because there are SOOO many people. We just made the best of it. I enjoyed the Sensation a lot more!
Let us know what ship you decide on!
Have a fun trip!
September 2008, Carnival Senstation, Bahamas
August 2009, Carnival Destiny, Jamaica/Cayman Islands
You will enjoy Grand Cayman as it is clean; the beach is wonderful. I suggest you take the excusion to Seven Mile Beach. You are only on Grand Cayman for about 5-6 hours, but it is worth spending time on the beach. V ery clean and you can find wonderful coral there. As far as Ocho Rios goes, it is mostly a touristy place and yes, people will follow you begging for money or asking you to look at the things they have for sale. If you are ot interested, just keep walking. I was not that impressed with Jamaica overall.
We have been to Key West, which is fun and Cozumel where we rented a jeep for the day and toured the whole island. Contrary to popular belief, it is very safe there. W e had a blast (for a couple in their early 60's!)
Now that Destiny is going into dry dock to remedy the propulsion problems, things should be better. The way Carnival has dealt with this problem has been terrible. My husband and I and 2 teenage nieces are on a Destiny cruise in April to Turks and Caicos (wonderful place) and Nassau. Hope we get to stop at all our ports. As others have mentioned, once you are on the ship, you are stuck and Carnival knows that. We would have changed our cruise in April but our airfare was already paid for.
This will be our last cruise with Carnival - will probably go on Celebrity next time, but I think you will enjoy yourself. Just have patience and try to remember a day away from work is a good thing! Enjoy.
We sailed on the Destiny Sept.09. This was for our 40th wedding anniversary. We had a very good time in spite of the fact that we did not reach our destination--Jamaica. Now, let me say that yes we were disappointed, but decided to make the the best of it and we did. The ship was wonderful, staff was great especially our table servers in the dining rooms, food was good, entertainment good and our balcony room was great. I have to say that most of my memories are not from the excursions, but of what we experienced on the ship. We have booked another cruise this Sept. on the Destiny. Same deck and almost the same room on the lido deck. Would like an update on the status of the Destiny since she was in dry-dock.
To Joeinmo - If you go to Ocho Rios, I think the falls are great. Its fun to climb them. It is also fun to walk the stairs beside them and watch the people climbing the falls. Since we have been to Ocho Rios so many times, the last time we were there we booked a ride on a small boat with two men. It was just my husband and I and we did it right after we got off the pier. Mentioned it to the guy who was pushing me in a wheelchair because of the long pier and he arranged it. It was really worthwhile. We loved it. Figured if the guy with the wheelchair was allowed clear up to the ship, it was safe to take his suggestion. Probably out for an hour or so and they were fun to talk to.