Cruise: Carnival Destiny "European Sampler" (Southern Caribbean)Experience with Carnival: 3rd cruise on Destiny-class ships, first on the Destiny itself.Passengers: Couple traveling without childrenDate: February 2002Cabin Category: BalconyPrice of cruise/air: GoodChoice of flight to San Juan: FairAssistance at San Juan Airport: PoorQuality of cruise terminal: very poor (unless you like Quonset huts)Assistance at the terminal: What assistance?Friendliness of embarkation staff: NoneCabin size: Good, nice balcony, but without privacy.Cabin cleanliness: fair (worse than on other Carnival cruises)Working condition on amenities: poor, burnt lightbulbs (not replaced for 4 days), some TV channels not working, doors of closets falling apart, at least the toilets didn't shut down this time.Delivery of luggage: LATE! (10 PM and we were some of the lucky ones)Food at Buffet: Good, no complaints.Food at Restaurant: Good, sometimes very good.Restaurant staff: friendly and efficient.Bar service: Adequate, not particularly brilliant, high prices for any drink. Bartenders less friendly than on a 3-star hotel...Entertainment: Very good on two nites, somewaht less on others.Cruise Director: Again jokes about staff trainees (a tradition with Carnival), ignoring the fact that the hotel staff works quite hard for their money. Also, spare the ethnic overtones, you seem to forget that this is a ship built in Italy, with European officers, an International crew and staff and a flag from...the Bahamas.Cruise Talks (information about the islands): think of it as information about "recommended" tanzanite and liquor stores.Photo service: Very professionalPursar's Desk: efficient but not particularly friendlyChildren's program: we did not travel with kids, but those we saw seemed happy and busy most of the day. Casino: looks good but we don't gamble.Islands we visited: Generally worth the stop, particularly Aruba. Our balcony allowed for the extra show of a stream of people staggering to the ship at 2:00 AM holding the traditional "yard longs" from Carlos n'Charlies.Activities on board: Generally a good choice of activities, you will not be bored.Gym: Equipment all in good working condition.Overall maintenance of the ship: GoodTipping policy (new): Surprise, surprise! The envelopes are over (automatic inclusion on your sail and sign) and this may explain the more laxed attitude of the employees. Debarkation: What a mess! Disorganized, staff giving the wrong information and then accusing the passengers of being on the wrong line. Hours waiting in narrow stairways, the staff showing all the friendliness of a warden in the Soviet Union. That's it, no more Carnival for us.Final word: The price may be right, the cabins and food OK, but the overall experience is getting worse every year. Still, it can be a good experience for a first time cruiser, without much expectations. Happy cruising!
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