Carnival Destiny Cruise
A Popular Family Friendly Cruise!
Carnival Destiny is now the new Carnival Sunshine. Much has changed.
Hannah, Friendly Carnival Destiny Crew Member
Our recent Carnival Destiny cruise to the Western Caribbean was sheer fun!
Did you know? In 1996, Carnival Destiny was the biggest cruise ship, but today it is far behind in size the biggest cruise liners to the Caribbean - Carnival Magic, Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Norwegian Epic.
Despite not being among the biggest ships, Carnival Destiny is quite impressive in its design, its amenities make for an enjoyable cruise and its itineraries are appealing.
Carnival Destiny Anchored Off Coast of Grand Cayman
Carnival Destiny Cruise - Itineraries
Currently, you can choose from one of 3 Destiny cruises out of Miami:
1. There is a 4 day Bahamas Cruise to Key West, Florida and Cozumel, Mexico;
2. There is a 5 day Western Caribbean Cruise to Half Moon Cay, Bahamas; Nassau, Bahamas; and Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands; and,
3. A 5 Day Western Caribbean Cruise to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and Georgetown, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.
Except for Key West, Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk, we have visited all the ports of call listed above and had a great time at each.
Carnival Destiny Cruise - First Impressions
Checking in at the Miami Port
is quite painless. It took my family of 5 a short time to get from the terminal to the ship.
Arriving at Miami Port
Whenever I board a cruise ship, I quickly look around the atrium, wanting to be amazed.
I must say that I was at first disappointed with how small the main lobby was. To be quite frank, it appeared to be just too clustered. We have been on smaller ships with a larger lobby area.
However, the rotunda was quite impressive!
Boarding Carnival Destiny - Small Lobby Area
Carnival Destiny's Impressive Rotunda
After boarding, we quickly learned that our cabins were not ready and we instructed to head to the Lido Deck for lunch.
My initial disappointment quickly disappeared when we arrived upstairs.
Carnival Destiny's Giant TV Screen
We had been on 4 inclusive Caribbean cruises before this one, but none of the ships - even those bigger than Carnival Destiny - Carnival Glory and Norwegian Dawn - had a huge TV screen overlooking the pools. This was different and greatly appreciated.
I quickly thought about relaxing on deck with my family and watching a movie or two.
Carnival Destiny Cruise - Dining Areas & Meals
Sun and Sea Restaurant
Carnival Destiny's Sun & Sea Restaurant - Buffet
As I mentioned above, upon boarding, we went to the Lido Deck for lunch. The restaurant, the Sun and Sea Restaurant, was just like others we had seen on Carnival ships. This was the buffet restaurant for breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight snacks.
The Sun and Sea Restaurant sits on 2 levels and serves a mixed menu for each meal. You can expect to find American, West Indian and other ethnic tastes.
In the general area of the Sun and Sea restaurant, are other eatery choices:
1. There is a New York Deli; 2. An Asian Cuisine Hotspot - Happy Valley; 3. A Pizzeria open 24 hours; and, 4. An American Cuisine Stand serving hotdogs, hamburgers, fries and chicken tenders.
Additionally, there are 2 ice-cream dispensers serving up vanilla, chocolate or mixture of the two flavors.
One thing to watch for when heading to the Sun and Sea Restaurant is the possibility of bundling - the lines for Happy Valley and the New York Deli tend to run into the lines for main buffet area.
Galaxy and Universe Dining Rooms
For those who prefer to be served, Carnival Destiny offers two main dining rooms - The Galaxy and The Universe. All meals can be had in your assigned dining room. Breakfast and lunch are open seating, but there is an assigned table for dinner.
Carnival Destiny's Galaxy Dining Room
Our overal dining experience was great. The hostesses were pleasant and the waiters/waitresses did their best to fill every request and to entertain the guests.
Most nights the dining room staff sang or danced for us. That was fun!
In addition to the "open" restaurants, Carnival Destiny offers a short list of specialty restaurants: a steakhouse and a sushi bar. You may dine at any of these for an additional charge.
Carnival Destiny Cruise - The Staterooms
At about 1:30 on the day of departure, we learned that the cabins were ready. The ship had just returned from one of its 5 day cruises that morning, so it took a while to get every stateroom ready.
We were eager to see what our room for 5 would look like. Well, see for yourself:
Our Outside Cabin
Of the 19 people in our group, we were the only ones with an ocean view cabin. We were quite pleased with the size of our Carnival Destiny outside stateroom, and so was everyone else. Our stateroom became the main attraction - the gathering place - for the others in the group.
I did look around the some of the inside staterooms and they were quite comfortable as well.
In addition to these types of rooms, Carnival Destiny offers balcony staterooms and a limited number of suites.
Carnival Destiny Cruise - The Stateroom Steward
You can expect to have a stateroom steward from some country far away. Generally, the steward is very pleasant, even if all he says is "Hello" and then smiles.
Our stewart was quite pleasant, but not very engaging. I blame us though for not doing more to warm to him. This was our first family Caribbean cruise where I did not learn the nationality of our steward. We were very polite to him, but did do a lot more to engage him.
As for him, his challenge to speak English made it hard to go beyond making sure the room was clean and that we got our daily pleasantries - "Hello's" and smiles.
He did not fail to leave a towel animal in our room each evening!
Towel Animal on Carnival Destiny
Carnival Destiny Cruise - The Amenities
If you've been on a cruise ship, you return to the next one eager to see the amenities.
Carnival Destiny delivered!
The ship is decked with 3 pools for all - one next to a bar - plus kiddies pools; hot tubs; a huge TV overlooking the main pool area; a miniature golf course; an art gallery; a library or reading room; several lounges and bars; a casino; several shops for jewelry, gifts, clothes, etc.; a fitness center; a track for jogging; a Spa Treatment Center; several relaxing sitting areas and a beautifully designed theater for evening shows and daytime games.
One thing to note about the pools, with over 3,000 guests onboard, they tend to get crowded. However, you can choose to visit a pool in the evening hours when most people are doing other things.
One Pool and Hot Tub Area on Carnival Destiny
Carnival Destiny's Mini Golf Course
Amenities for Kids
A cruise ship is incomplete without provisions for our children. Carnival Destiny, like all Carnival cruise ships, offers Camp Carnival. Your children are cared for trained counselors - some are even teachers by profession - for several hours each day.
For fun and games, the children have a basketball court; table tennis equipment; a video game arcade and there is a disco room that the older children use.
Picking Up Our Nephew from Camp Carnival
Carnival Destiny's Basketball Court
Carnival Destiny Cruise - Other Activities
Besides the amenities for enjoyment listed above, the Cruise Director and staff plan other daily activites to keep the guests entertained. Bingo is one popular activity onboard. Additionally, there was a talent show which pulled from the guests and included crew members; a drink-making contest; a test of wits completing 3 tasks; and many other activities.
Cruise Director, Noonan, Supervises Drink-Making Contest
We found the Cruise Director to be quite humorous and charming. He really did a fantastic job keeping things flowing onboard.
Carnival Destiny Cruise - Live Entertainment
As expected, we were treated to great singing and dancing inside the main theater. There was also a comedian onboard, but we missed all his performances.
In addition to performances in the theater and lounges, Carnival Destiny has groups of performers around the ship - near bars; near the casino; and a 2-man Caribbean band overlooking the pools.
Carnival Destiny Cruise - The Crew Plus
Except for the dining room staff, the stateroom steward and the Camp Carnival counselors, we did not interact much with any other crew members. However, we were keenly aware that everyone was up and about ensuring the guests were comfortable.
For the first time in 5 inclusive Caribbean cruises, we even got a picture with the Cruise Director and the Captain.
Posing With A Hardworking Hostess
My Wife With Julius of Galaxy Dining Room
If you have done so yet, I urge you to sail with Carnival Destiny. We have some friends who sailed with this ship a few days after we did on its run to the Turks & Caicos Islands and the Bahamas, and they had a great time.
Your choices of inclusive family Caribbean cruises are many. However, I can guarantee that your family will enjoy a Carnival Destiny cruise.
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