This was our 6th cruise (3 on Carnival, 3 on Royal Caribbean). Itinerary was the Southern Caribbean, during the week of February 18, 2001. The cruise on the Destiny was by far the best Carnival cruise we've taken, the staff and crew were organized, scheduled events took place as advertised, food was better than before. Whatever Carnival is doing to improve themselves, they are on the right track (although, our favorite to date is still Royal Caribbean). The Destiny is a huge ship, and it took us several days to learn how to find our way around. You couldn't always get from the front to back on all decks, and signs pointing forward or aft were infrequent. There was a little map of the ship available though, from the cabin and from the Pursers desk, and as long as we had that with us we did okay. In general, the whole ship was clean and well-maintained. We had an outside cabin on the Main deck. Roy, our cabin steward, was one of the best we?ve ever had, always on hand when we needed him. The cabin was spacious, as far as cabins go, and clean. Food and service in the Dining Room was good. Our waiter was a character. This was the first time we had a waiter who tried to encourage us NOT to come to the dining room for breakfast (you can get all the exact same things at the buffet, and you don't have to worry about getting there at 9:30 and being rushed to finish by 10:00.??). However, we showed up most mornings and made him feed us anyway and no one was rushed at all (except perhaps our waiter). For all of his unusual attitude, he made sure we were well-fed, sometimes even more so than we needed to be!The shows we saw were pretty good. We?re not into watching the singing and dance acts, but the comedians were good, and there was a juggler that was amazing. The bar staff was friendly and made every effort to fix the drinks the way you wanted them (a.k.a., strong). The piano-bar had great music, and there was a one-man-band just outside the casino that played music that us 30- and 40- something couples could appreciate. The casino was, well, the casino..we donated our quota and enjoyed ourselves while we were doing it. We also made good use of the pools and the whirlpools (nothing like starting the day drinking your coffee or tea in a whirlpool under the open sky). All in all, a good ship experience!And as far as the islands we cruised to: each was beautiful. We shopped in St. Thomas, took a neat 4-wheel drive tour in St. Lucia (definitely fun!), did some of the best snorkeling ever in Aruba, and shopped and snorkeled some more in Curacao (the pontoon bridge you walk over to get into town is a must-see).All in all, the cruise was wonderful, and we?d definitely recommend it to others. The only part that wasn't wonderful was the pier-side check-in at the end of the cruise, for our Carnival-arranged Charter flight back to New York. There were 400 of us, sent to wait in one line to check-in and hand over our luggage. The line was more like a free-for-all, with people cutting in front of each other and generally walking around each other, since it was a wide-open area and no one was maintaining order. It took us approximately 2 hours to get through this, outside beside the street in the hot sun. Whether this process was Carnival's bright idea, or that of Northwest Airlines, it was very poorly done.
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