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Old August 4th, 2007, 08:17 PM
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Default Destiny Review

My family and I just got back from our cruise on the Destiny (July 22-29) sailing out of Puerto Rico. The ship set sail Sunday, but we flew into San Juan Puerto Rico from Pittsburgh on Saturday.

San Juan/airport
It’s a smaller airport, and was very crowded Saturday morning when we flew in. I have never waited so long for luggage to arrive! Only three or four piece of luggage would come onto the conveyer belt every 5 minutes or so. Once we had our luggage, we made our way outside to catch a taxi, which there were plenty of. The only bad thing about our taxi was that the driver spoke very little English. Im not sure if that’s common, (since she was the only taxi driver we needed while staying in san juan). I speak some Spanish, so this wasn’t really a problem for us. We needed a taxi the next day to take us to the dock, and I asked our driver, Trifina, if she could pick us up. She asked approximately what time we needed and gave us her phone number and told us to call, but we never had to call, because the next morning when my family and I checked out of the hotel, she was on the street waiting for us!- which was great because half of the hotel was also going to the dock and needed to wait for other taxi’s to come.

The Hotel
Holiday Inn Express in the Condado area. For 4 of us, it was $122 total. The hotels in San Juan can be a bit pricy, but this was one of the cheaper ones. Its not the nicest hotel I’ve been to, but for 1 night, it was just fine. It was a few blocks from a beautiful beach, and was surrounded by numerous restaurants. The only complaint would be the elevators. The elevators only fit about 6-8 people (without luggage). This was a major problem upon checkout at 12:00, when everyone was leaving to go to the dock.-Only one elevator was working, which made it so much worse. We were on floor 5 with 8 pieces of luggage. It took 45 minutes to get everything down, and my brother ended up dragging the last 3 suitcases down the stairs!

Embarkation
By far, this was the worst embarkation I’ve ever been to. Once they give you your keys and tell you that you can get on the boat, it becomes a little chaotic. They handed out zone cards randomly and crammed everyone into a small waiting area. By handing out random zones, those who were at the front of the pack did not necessarily have the first zones, while those at the back of the crowd with zones 1 or 2 had to fight there way through the crowd to get on the ship.

The Ship
Not the most impressive ship I’ve been on, but with the itinerary we had, you don’t see much of the ship, ha. The air-conditioning throughout the ship worked fine, but it didn’t work in our room. Our cabin stewardess, Tina, was amazing, and promptly called maintenance to fix the problem. They tried fixing it, but it was still a little warm-but bearable. That night after dinner, we came in the room to find a large fan sitting in the middle of the room, which did fix the heat problem! It was kinda nice having the fan- if you needed something to dry, we just set it in front of the fan for a while!! The food wasn’t the best, but oh well. Everything else was the same as all of the carnival cruises I’ve been on.

St Thomas
Our first port! I’ve been to st. Thomas 2 other times, and this time decided to book a non-carnival tour. For anyone who is thinking of doing this, but are unsure, trust me, you wont regret it. Just make sure that you check into the tour guide to see if they are credible. We chose Godfrey Tours. http://godfreytoursvi.com He has, I believe, 2 choices of tours. The one we took included 2 hours of shopping and then 3 hours at Sapphire beach for $20 per person. He was outside the ship waiting for us with a sign with our last name. He is much cheaper than the cruise ship and doesn’t overcrowd his tour bus.- After our 2 hours of shopping, we were actually the only ones on his bus over to Sapphire beach. The beach is beautiful with lots of things to do. On the way back to the ship, we spoke to people who took godfrey’s island tour and they all said he did an excellent job. So whether you just want to go to a beach, or want an island tour, I would recommend Godfrey.

Dominica
Although I read amazing reviews of this island, this was mine, (and my families) least favorite port. Although the rainforest was beautiful, if you live in the mountains, like us in PA, its very similar. We did take a tour through the ship. We took the Rainforest and Emerald Pool tour which was $35 per person for a 3 hour tour. You about 40 minutes at Emerald Pool, but by the time you walk all the way down, find a spot to put your things, get in the pool, you only have about 10 minutes to swim before you have to get out again. It was a beautiful area but, the cruise ship sold way too many tours and there were about 200 people in this little area. It was so hot from all the people and so crowded you could barely move. Although it’s a beautiful place, it just wasn’t worth what we paid.

Barbados
We also took a ship tour on this island. The Malibu Rum Distillery & Beach tour. 3 hours- $35 per person. The beach was beautiful, and if you wanted, you could take a half hour tour of the rum factory. It was interesting, not too in-depth, just a brief tour of how its made, then at the end you get to sample Malibu Rum. There is also a complimentary drink from the bar. My brother is into jet skiing, and at this beach, only paid $35 for a half hour ride. They originally wanted 50, but if you keep asking, they will lower the price.

St Lucia
This was the best tour I’ve ever been on. Again, we went with a non-cruise company. We went with Herod Stanislas. http://www.Herodtours.comThis was an amazing 6 hour island tour for $45 per person. We had a private van and we went all over the island, stopping at a banana farm and sampling free bananas (which really are sweeter than the ones in the states!) We also stopped at botanical gardens and met “big mama? and sampled her Johnny cakes and fish cakes (really good!). Then we traveled to the Sulfur Springs and had a private tour. To close the trip, we went to Jalousie Beach, which is situated between the Pitons. Its really beautiful there- the water is extremely clear! On the way back to the ship, Herod gives you complimentary drinks and Creole bread. We literally saw the whole island. Herod is such a nice man and lets you really experience the culture of the island! I highly recommend Herod!

Antigua
Our last port. Instead of a tour, we booked a day pass at the Jolly Beach Resort. It was $60 per person, but we had use of their facilities, a continental breakfast, lunch, and drinks. The beach was also beautiful here, and it was a nice relaxing port. We took a taxi over to the resort. From the ship to the resort it was $25, but on the way back it was only $20. I suggest asking for a lower price when leaving the ship seeing that they jack up the price for its passengers!

Debarkation
It wasn't the best debarkation. We had a 1:30 flight, and anyone with a flight at or before 1:30, got special luggage tags and were the first ones off the ship. That color tag was supposed to meet at 7:30 in the lounge. We didnt want to get up that early and asked information if we could wait, and they told us that we could get off whenever we wanted with that color of tag because once that color is called, you technically dont have to leave. We had to be out of our rooms at 9, so thats when we went to the lounge. We knew, from previous cruises, that you usually can't get off the ship before about 9:30-10:00, so thats why we waited to go down, but many first time cruisers had been in the lounge waiting since 7:30 (it was now 9:30) and were quite angry that they rushed their families out of their rooms to sit and watch Funny Home Videos! I know Carnival wants people out of their rooms, and ready to get off the ship, but do they really have to lie and let people think that they will be able to get off the ship so early? I felt as though the cruiseline was wrong in doing this. But anyway, because the terminal is so small, they had to dismiss us from the lounge row by row, (felt like gradeschool! haha) but once off the ship, it was smooth from there.

Overall, this was a great cruise, with amazing ports. If you are looking for new, exciting ports, I definitely suggest this ship! If you have any questions about the tours or want to see photos of any of the place, post a reply, or email me at Megs1787@aol.com 8)
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Old August 5th, 2007, 12:29 PM
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Great Review Meg,do you have pics to put up in the photo gallery?
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Old August 6th, 2007, 08:07 PM
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Thanks! I will try to get photos up soon! 8)
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Old August 6th, 2007, 11:05 PM
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Thanks...glad you all had a Great time!!
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Old August 7th, 2007, 01:06 AM
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Thanks for posting your thoughts on the cruise. 8) Next year, I'll be doing the same cruise, except some of the ports change. ( St Thomas, Barbados, and Dominica, but also St Kitts and Dominican Republic)
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Old August 8th, 2007, 08:50 PM
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Hey,
I posted some photos from my vacation in the photo gallery. Hopefully this link works! http://cruisemates.com/gallery/view.php?id=3913

Megan
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Old August 8th, 2007, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megs1787
Hey,
I posted some photos from my vacation in the photo gallery. Hopefully this link works! http://cruisemates.com/gallery/view.php?id=3913

Megan
Those are wonderful photos Megan! 8)
St Lucia must be gorgeous ! My trip will not be visiting there
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Old August 9th, 2007, 09:30 AM
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Thanks. Even though you're not going to St Lucia, I hope you have a wonderful cruise!
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Old August 9th, 2007, 08:08 PM
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Thanks for the pics Meg ,and the great! review
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Old August 9th, 2007, 09:25 PM
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Great review with a lot of useful information even down to the hotel that we will stay in for the night. A group of 10 of us will be sailing the Destiny in Nov. For my wife and I we have sailed to most of the ports in the eastern and western caribbean so we thought that we would try the southern caribbean. Your review and photos shows us that we made a good choice
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Old August 10th, 2007, 07:41 AM
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Megan,

Thanks for the review and the beautiful photos! I'm considering that itinerary for my next cruise.

How many sea days did you have and how would you rate the activities they had during the day? I'd like to do more than just hang around the pool during the day.

I've only been on Sensation (returned last week) so if you've done Sensation, how does Destiny compare?

I'm 48 and will likely cruise solo in early June 2009.

Thanks!

michelle
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Old August 10th, 2007, 08:48 PM
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Hi Michelle1959. We only had one day at sea: the last day. Although I didnt participate in many of the daytime activities, im pretty sure they were similar to all of the activities on other carival ships I've been on. We were in port until 5 or 6, and stayed all day in port. But while at the pool on the last day, they had pool games and contests. Im sure the activities were similar to those on the Sensation. Hopefully this helps! If you have any other questions, let me know!
Megan
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