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My wife and I just got back from a week on the Carnival Destiny on her new itinerary that she began in January: San Juan, St Thomas, Dominica, Barbados, St Lucia, and Antigua. There is only one at sea day, the last one.
This 10 year old ship is in good shape. The food was outstanding starting with rack of lamb and creme brulee the first night! The formal nights were Tuesday, lobster night, and Friday, which was my wfe's birthday, and she was very happy it was that night. A very attentive Asst Maitre De' was by our table every night, and led the singing on her birthday. I was overall very pleased with the service on the ship.
Sun and Sea, the Lido buffet area, does not have all the options the later ships have. They do have the oriental window and sandwich window, and by the pool area there was a daily ethnic buffet, as well as the usual all day burgers and fries. The omelette line is not in the buffet area, but is only at the two grill areas near the pool, and the normal buffet areas were unremarkable. I miss the seafood grill on the newer ships on the upper deck of the Lido buffet area.
The layout is still confusing since the galley area separates teh two dining rooms and does not permit easy access from the front to the back on decks 3 or 4. The had improved the design by the introduction of the follow-on Spirit class.
I had an 8D on Lido deck, 9209, because I thought it would be convenient to the pool and buffet areas. However, because people continually left the door the passageway into our cabins open, the noise during the day was irritating. Further forward would have been better. They also devoted 2 days to maintenance of balconies, making them not available for significant parts of two port days.
There were only 2 production shows in the entire week, and the rest was filled with a variety of comedians, singers, and a magician/illusionist. Service in the Palladium was poor, during the repeater's reception as well as during shows. There was only 1 hour of ballroom dancing all week and it was during dinner. We were among a very few who dressed for formal nights. Generally a much more casual crowd than on other Carnival cruises we have been on.
We were on our 10th Carnival cruise, of our 30 cruises, and were pleased to find we were identified as Platinum members for this cruise. It included a private reception area, two nice bags, personalized stationery, one night of hors douvers and one night of petit for's .....both delivered to the room after we had left for dinner. The Platinum status does have a Concierge desk at the Purser's with head of the line privileges, and they provide special Platinum debarkation luggage tags if you want to leave at 7:45am on the last day.
They did serve breakfast till 10 on the last day, and just asked that people vacate their cabins by 9. They were still disembarking people at 11am. Very organized, with no lines in stairwells. Everyone had to report to the theater by color and wait to be called to disembark. Worked well.
My only comment on the itinerary was that we repeated a private excursion in St Thomas on a sailboat with 5 passengers that we have enjoyed. I did ship an empty wine shipping carton to the ship as luggage and was able to put 10 bottles of liquor purchased at Al Cohen's across from the dock area in it and ship it back with no problems. In St Lucia we did do a new Carnival excursion that was a land and sea combo that provided a good narrated tour of the island from Castries to the Twin Pitons, and a catamaran lunch ride back with a snorkel stop. A good value. We are beach people, and Dominica was less interesting, and the town is about like the port in St Kitts...unremarkable. Barbados we visited Folkestone Park again where I snorkled, and in Antigua we went to Darkwood Beach, a sparsely populated gem between St John and English Harbor. In both locations we just hired a taxi to take us and pick us up at a specific time. Works for us.