Update: The Carnival Destiny will be transformed into the Carnival Sunshine with a major makeover that will be completed in April of 2013. Click here to read more information on the Carnival Sunshine.
At the time of its maiden voyage in 1996, the Carnival Destiny was the largest cruise ship in the world and the first cruise ship to be over 100,000 gross tons. The theme throughout the ship is all about the stars and astronomy, and the names of different places on the ship reflect this with names like the Galaxy Dining Room and Universe Dining Room.
There have been 2 major refurbishments to the ship. The first re-haul was in 2005 and the most recent was in 2010 which upgraded the staterooms and put in a now standard 12’ x 22’ TV screen by the main pool. The ambiance of the 9 story atrium is wonderful and Carnival did a great job taking your breath away and feeling like you are in the lap of luxury when you get on board.
This Carnival Destiny review will cover both the positive and negative about the ship, reviewing the dining options, entertainment facilities, and the different staterooms that are available.
Cabins and Itinerary
The Destiny leaves from the port of Miami and offers 4 and 5 day cruises to the Western Caribbean. Prices range from $249 a person for an interior cabin to as much as $1,300 for a suite during peak season.
There are almost 500 balconies on board the Destiny, as 16 more were added in 2008. These balconies have glass panels so your view will not be obstructed, and this is a big plus.
The cabins on board the Destiny are actually slightly larger than the industry average and they can hold over 2,600 passengers. Even the interior cabins are almost 200 square feet. All the bathrooms now come with the basic toiletries you will need like soap, shampoo, body wash, and toothpaste. There are reading lights by the bed some rooms have flat screen TVs while others still have the old tube style TVs. Perhaps by the time you read this all the rooms will have the flat screens. From your TV you can book an excursion, check out the itinerary or see your room bill.
There are quite a few cabins on deck 6 that might give you trouble since they are right above the many lounges below. But if you don’t go to bed early it should not be too much of a problem. And by early, I mean before 1 am. The main rooms to worry about are the ones near the casino as the bells and whistles go on into the wee hours of the morning. So choose wisely.
The buffet on the Destiny represents about every major ethnic group you can think of. Whether you want Mexican, Asian, Italian, or South American food, you can probably find it at the buffet. It can seem a little crowded at the buffet but you can always grab a hotdog or burger at the hotdog grill or get a pizza at the 24 hour pizza joint.
Carnival offers 4 different dining times in the main dining rooms (Galaxy and Universe), and the wait staff makes the entire ordeal a lot of fun with juggling and balancing acts as they bring your food and offer a little comedic relief. There aren’t many tables for 2 and most people have to dine at tables for 8.
Entertainment and Fun
With 3 pools and a brand new 22’x12’ TV screen that is poolside, splashing around on the Lido deck can be a lot of fun. With plenty of lounge chairs you should always be able to find a place to catch some rays too. You may also enjoy the 3 story waterslide that twists and turns all the way down into a shallow pool. This has become an iconic trait of carnival cruise ships.
There are plenty of lounges where singers and entertainers will keep you smiling and singing. Whether it’s karaoke or the piano guy at the piano bar getting you to sing along with him, there are plenty of options for those into the more musical side of entertainment. The shows are in the main theater (Palladium) which seats 1,500 and is a good size for an audience. The shows are top notch with usually excellent performers. The balcony wraps all the way around but try to get the early to avoid getting a seat at the end of the balcony where you can barely see the stage.
There are many shops on the Promenade deck of the Destiny as well if you feel like using up all of your vacation money, but with so many free things to do you might not find the time.
The fitness area and gym isn’t too huge, but it offers great panoramic views of the ocean as you work out on one of the treadmills or ellipticals.
A Few Complaints
One complaint people have had about cruising on the Carnival Destiny is the long lines. Even though it was the first ship to gross over 100,000 tons, it can seem a lot heavier when you have a lot of little kids running around all over the place.
Keep in mind that this is a ship for those who care more about the rumpus night life than they do peace and quiet. There are constant announcements and dazzling shows and Vegas style productions, so if this is what you are looking for than Destiny is the ship for you.