This was my 8th cruise - 5th with Carnival. I'm a 29 year-old male, and went with my girlfriend. We sailed May 14-19, 2012.
Well, the Destiny's on its last leg. It's an old boat, refurbished of course, but it's clear that Carnival is trying to see how much more juice they can squeeze out of it. Rather than rant about the ship's condition, it can pretty much be summed up with two of the many observations we made: water leaking down from the ceilings, and railings in some places (all that keeps you from falling overboard) not even attached to their braces on account of severe rusting.
Though this was not my first cruise, it was my first experience forking up the dough for a balcony. The view was a nice bonus, but we took issue with our neighbors. Realizing it's a gamble and that getting quiet neighbors is the luck of the draw, this isn't necessarily Carnival's fault. However, on one side, one couple argued with raised voices constantly, slammed doors, blared mariachi music, and smoked cigarettes heavily - and all of these on their balcony as well. Countless times, my girlfriend and I would be enjoying a peaceful moment on our balcony, then have to go inside, simply to escape the noise and smoke.
Our other neighbors were severe late-night partiers, who brought their own speakers for 3 AM bass-blasting. They and their group occupied at least three rooms in our hall, but decided it was best to party in the one next to ours. After the music started, the smell of weed was thick. Like our other neighbors, relaxing balcony moments were instantly ruined whenever they brought their party outside. And nights were often sleepless, as we were sandwiched between loud arguments, mariachi music, loud bass and yelling partiers.
On several occasions, we heard stewards ask them to keep their music down - obviously as a result of complaints, but to no avail. The neighbor situation ruined our balcony experience - enough to deter me from ever spending more money and taking that gamble again.
As for the room itself, our steward kept it in excellent care. The furnishings were dated (remember tube TV's from 1996?), and everything was a vintage pink.
In closure, Destiny should stop sailing immediately. Give it its overhaul yesterday. This ship is a testament to how low Carnivals standards have sunk. Its a lamentable truth: The Destiny focuses more on being simply a boat than an experience. For all the money I spent on this trip, I feel like Carnival still owes me something.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
It seems like Carnival is tightening its budget. I remember more variety in the buffets on previous cruises. Oftentimes, some of the food was cold or the bread was stale. If you like your scrambled eggs borderline liquid, or your transparently thin bacon barely cooked, then the Destinys the ship for you. Ive already mentioned the horrendous lines on board, but they just add to the sour flavor of the dining experience.
The formal dining is a completely different story, however. The food was delicious, the service was commendable, and professionalism seemed to be a top priority. Our Maitre d also made an exceptional pairing with our table. We hit it off with the couple we ate dinner with, and spent a lot of time with them on the trip.
1 out of 5
Carnival is really cutting back. Or maybe theyre just cutting back on certain ships. I remember seeing magicians, ventriloquists, comedians, Vegas shows and juggling acts all in the same week. Now, the majority of Destinys entertainment is get to know your passengers type game shows. I see the appeal. But its nothing special, and it gets old.
The adult comedy show was the highlight of Destinys entertainment. The man his name escapes me was one of the funniest comedians I have ever seen. The woman was fairly forgettable, but she got a few chuckles.
We toured the gym, but did not utilize it. It looked very nice. The casino was the typical cruise casino, but without any pizzazz though that could be said for the rest of the ship. It feels like when all the Carnival ships were getting their themes or customizations, the Destiny missed the boat, so to speak. The Destiny feels like it was designed to overflow with passengers, rather than have anything worthwhile to offer.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Splendid. Most were about 2 months into their contracts, so they weren't completely agitated by the hordes of passengers. Our waiter, Francisco, was polite, personable, funny and charming. The photographers were wonderful as well. Our cabin steward, Gunter, kept our cabin in excellent condition, and was always courteous and friendly.
1 out of 5
In addition to the lack of quality, there was nothing special or decidedly unique about the Destiny. The decor was lackluster, and even though the ship went through a refurbishment in 2005, it's still severely dated, looking more derivative of the 1970's living room than anything else. It's disappointingly bland and predictable, while simply trying to hold itself together. Some of the crew mentioned that it's getting a complete overhaul soon, and will become the Carnival Sunshine. With the Destiny's guts, I fear for that ship's quality.
One of the biggest frustrations with the Destiny is the organization. This ship boasted the longest lines of any Ive been on. I consider myself fairly patient, and understand that whenever 2,000 people all want to eat a lunch buffet, there will be some degree of waiting involved. However, Ive seen it done before, and much more efficiently on other ships. If I had to sum up my vacation on the Destiny in three words, they would be: Lines, lines, lines.
Cabin / Stateroom
1 out of 5
See the above room/totally wonderful neighbors explanation. Room cleanliness was great, but the decor was uninspired and our placement was an absolute trip-ruining nightmare.
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