Destiny from San Juan and general cruise questions
I'm not a first time cruiser, but have some circumstances that are new for me. If you folks could chime in and help me fill in the gaps in my understandng I would appreciate it. Part of my concern is that this is the first time I have been able to organize a whole family outing. I have 3 adult children coming, one with a spouse and 3yr old child. Getting everyone to get vacation times in sync, and arrange their vac budget was a huge undertaking. I want this to be such a wonderful experience that we can do it again in the future.
We are cruising 12/3 out of San Juan.
This is my first time on Carnival. I've sailed 3 times on RCCL and once on NCL. I loved every RCCL cruise and hated NCL. On NCL I didn't like the ship, staff or free style dinning. Lest you think I'm overly picky, one of the RCCL ships I sailed on was old, in need of a retrofit and had a wonderful time.
I've read mixed reviews on the Destiny. Most of the itemized complaints I really don't think I will have a problem with. As far as the Latino crowd that shows up for Dec San Juan cruises, the more the better. We've sailed from SJ in Dec before and the local sailers made the cruise that much more enjoyable.
Is there any specific thing I need to be aware of in advance as relates to boarding, sailing excursions. . .
Pass Ports: I just completed the online registration. My son who lives in another state but "keeps a room" at home directed me to his PP to do the registration. Its 2 years old but not used. When I looked at the pass port I noticed his "signature" was a nic name, like using Bob for Robert. I flipped. He says all of his identification has Robert printed but Bob sig's. Is he going to have a problem. I don't think we have time get one re-issued.
21/2 grand daughter: We want to make use of Camp Carnival and also take her on some of the excursions. None of the excursions allow pre-registration of a 21/2 yr old. Does this imply that there is no charge, or that the child not allowed. Obviously I'm not referring to snorkle/scuba... But stuff like Megans Beach tours on St. Thomas. Are we relegated arranging our own tours?
Any "seasoned" parents out there with toddler Camp Carnival tips, or good/bad experiences?
Car Seats. While in the US my daughter always uses them. Would whether or not required. I don't recall ever seeing child seats on any of the rides I took in these islands. Yet most of them have child seat laws. Any first hand experience not being able to get a ride because you didn't bring a seat.
Poker on the Destiny:
This is not a concern but a wish. Anyone know if there is Texas Holdem on the Destiny? If so what are the games like (3 of us play weekly). I did read that the destiny is listed as a ship that has the game, but can't find any first hand comments.
Excursions: I keep pooring over the boards and am relying on my previous SC cruises. Would love to find a place that listed "non carnival" sponsored cruises. With the varried interests in the group we might be splitting up some and the more information we have the better.
I know this post is long winded. If you got this far thank you. If you can contribute, thank you even more.
I'll try to answer some of your questions, but I'm hoping others with more experience will be able to help you, too!
If your son's passport name and the name on his booking are the same he should be okay. He really should have signed his passport with the name in which it was issued. You might want to check the government passport site: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html
to see if there would be a problem. Since you're sailing this year I'd have him bring his certified birth certificate and photo ID, just in case.
We've never used Camp Carnival, but from what I've heard and read here you'll have to drag your granddaughter out to be with you !
Here's the info from the Carnival site about shore excursions:
Are there any age restrictions to participate in shore excursions?
For most excursions, there is no minimum age for children as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Unaccompanied guests must be 18 years of age or older. On some types of excursions, minimum age restrictions may apply and vary by excursion. Please see the specific excursion descriptions for details.
Don't count on car seats anywhere outside of the US. I don't think you'll be denied a taxi ride because you don't have a car seat. In every taxi I've been in you couldn't have even hooked up a car seat as the seat belts were "stuffed" under the back of the seats!
I hope you all have a wonderful cruise!
"A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour."
Golden Princess 2009 Carnival Conquest 2010
Grand Princess 2010 Island Princess 2011
Grand Princess 2011 Carnival Magic 2012
Carnival Dream 2012 Island Princess 2013
Carnival Magic 2013 Carnival Legend 2014
Carnival Magic 2015 Coral Princess 2015
I absolutely loved the cruise as well as the ports.
I did see a table for poker in the casino.
We only booked one excursion through the ship. Everything else we did on our own. It was very easy and we saw more. We took cabs to where we wanted to go. I think we saw a lot more that way.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Life is too short to let the ship of your dreams sail without you.
Carnival Destiny Feb. 2006
Carnival Fascination Feb. 2007
Royal Caribbean Grandeur of the Seas Feb. 2008 The DTW & MsBJ tour
Carnival Valor MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2009
Carnival Glory MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2010
Carnival Dream MsBJ and Dina Feb. 2011