Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Cruise Lines (Mainstream) > Carnival Cruise Lines
Register Forgot Password?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old June 9th, 2008, 08:30 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: New York City
Posts: 1,506
Default JUST RETURNED FROM DESTINY - SOUTHERN CARIB

Just returned from the Destiny on Sunday (6/8). This was my second go round on the Destiny, having enjoyed the Southern itinerary in October 06.

This is a "different" cruise.

First, this itinerary is not for those looking to relax and enjoy the ship. This itinerary has NO sea days. Every day you hit a different island (San Juan, St. Thomas, Dominica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Kitt). Because there are no sea days, the Destiny is much more of a floating hotel rather than your typical cruiseship experience. This is little night action on the ship because most passengers are in bed by midnight. It would be close to impossible to party into the wee hours and then get up at 6, 7 or 8 a.m. to enjoy the next island day after day.

I was in the Cat 1A cabin 2335. This is one of the two Cat 1A's that have two picture windows. The cabin was to die for. The windows covered the entire length of the cabin. There is one twin bed, a pull down bed and a sofa that looks like it can convert to some sort of sleeping asparatus.

The ship is a bit old. Therefore, many of the bells and whistles that you would find on the newer ships (specialty restaurants, on-screen menus, giant movie screen, etc.) are not available on the Destiny. However, I experienced no negativity because of the ship's age. Most of the ship is in excellent condition with only the aft elevators showing any signs of wear and tear. It is a bit smaller than the newer ships which, for my purposes, was a good thing because it made for a shorter walk from one end to the other.

As far as the passenger base, a lot has been written about the Destiny and ships that sail from San Juan. On my cruise, I would guess that at least 85% of the passengers were Puerto Rican (or Latino). This can be overwhelming if you are not expecting such a large number of spanish-speaking passengers. I had sailed on Destiny before so I knew what to expect. In all honesty, I found the passengers from Puerto Rico to be at least as nice and pleasant as anyone else. The only problem is that they are much more inclined to stay within their own family groups. For someone unaware of the strong Hispanic family bonds may initially find their behavior and/or mannerism to be standoffish and unfriendly. It is not. It is just their custom. (When cruising the Destiny, I would strongly suggest that you give a lot of leeway to the fact that regardless of citizenry, you must remember you are cruising with a large number of people from a completely different culture.) I had no negative experience with any of the San Juan passengers. Even when language was a barrier, they were pleasant and happy and more than glad to participate in the hand, face, word communication that is common when speaking in two different languages. Their children were better behaved than I have witnessed on ships out of Florida and while I did not police the teens, I found through my interaction with them that they were VERY respectful to adults and older people. No back talk at all. I chastised a few for various minor misbehavior and they straightened up immediately. Not even a dirty look.

With so many of the passengers staying within their circle, the rigorous island hop schedule, and the language barrier, the nightlife on the Destiny is almost non-existent. This is fine because everyone has an early wake up so to enjoy the next port. I am usually in the dance club until it closes every night on my cruises. However, I did not miss that aspect of this cruise. I was too tired to stay up much later than midnight.

The staff on this ship was one of the best that I have encountered. My room steward was wonderful, cheery, helpful and prompt. He was my buddy. The dining staff was a notch above what you find on most Carnival ships. The Maitre D sang to the diners in the formal dining room every night. He surely must have been a performer in a past life because he had a wonderful voice. The Purser's Desk was diligent, polite and efficient. The staff seems a notch happier than I have seen on other Carnival ships. This may be because less is demanded of them since most of the passengers are off the ship all day long and return to the ship exhausted, staying up just long enough to shower, eat dinner and maybe take in the show before calling it a day.

I had such a great time that I came home and immediately booked this same itinerary, same cabin (this time on the Victory) for May, 09.

I recommend this cruise with some minor reservations. PM me if you want some suggestions as to enhance your Destiny (soon to be Victory) experience.
__________________
(cruzin' solo by design)

Upcoming Cruzes
CCL Splendor

Past Cruzes
Freedom ('09), Imagination ('08), Victory ('08), Destiny ('08), RCCL Navigator ('08), RCCL Majesty ('08), Glory ('07), Liberty ('07), Fantasy ('07), Destiny ('06), NCL PofAm ('05), Fascination ('04), Victory ('04), Fascination ('04), RCCL Voyager ('03), Fantasy ('99)
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old June 10th, 2008, 12:07 AM
Thoth's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Miz-sippy
Posts: 1,604
Default

IBCRUZIN....very informative review. Hopefully you will post it under members reviews for posterity's sake.
I did the exact same cruise in April and agree with your assessments.
A port a day is very tiring and makes the ship relatively insignificant compared to most other itineraries. The Spanish and English speakers co-existed but didn't intermingle on my trip either. It's like we each possessed our own worlds. My first night was open seating and I was seated with a Spanish family who didn't say a word to me. My regular table the next night was English.
I danced in the Disco and did the night life thing, but only until 11 or so. The Southern Caribbean isn't an all night party itinerary for sure.
8)
The islands....Antigua might have been my favorite in that it's different. Not all jungle ! The beaches and churches were simply gorgeous.
I loved St Kitts as well. The Brimstone Hill Fortress is quit a site. WOW :o
Of all the Islands, St Kitts had the nicest people...based on my experiences.
Dominica charged us for the public restrooms. Lovely waterfalls ( Trafalgar and Emerald Pool)!
St Thomas was very touristy.
Barbados is a nice place and I had fun, but it isn't as interesting as the other islands.
St Lucia is a lovely island too, but I never saw the Pitons.
__________________
PAST TRIPS= Enchanted Capri
Carnival: Inspiration, Legend, Valor, Destiny, Holiday, Triumph, Splendor, Fantasy
HAL: Maasdam twice, Statendam, Oosterdam



Read and post cruise reviews


Read and post cruise reviews
/ticker.png">
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old June 10th, 2008, 08:42 AM
Trip's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Boston
Posts: 19,800
Send a message via ICQ to Trip
Default

The southern itinerary is my favorite of all the Caribbean itineraries. On my cruises though, we always had one sea day, so, not to have any, by the time you get off the ship to fly home, you must have been dragging.

It's a shame when progress makes ships old before their time. I remember when the Destiny came out, we toured her in Boston, and was in awe of so much we saw.

For many though, sailing the southern route from Florida, on longer cruises is a good way to save on the high airfare usually found, when sailing form San Juan. It seemed every time iIwanted to go, in recent years, the air was a killer.

Sounds like you had a great time, thanks for sharing.....
__________________


Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator


Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old June 10th, 2008, 10:07 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: New York City
Posts: 1,506
Default

There are no true "southern" caribbean cruises out of Florida. You can find Eastern itineraries but the extreme southern islands are only visited by sailing out of San Juan. This, of course, applies only to the 4 or so mass market cruiselines (RCCL, CCL, NCL, Princess)
__________________
(cruzin' solo by design)

Upcoming Cruzes
CCL Splendor

Past Cruzes
Freedom ('09), Imagination ('08), Victory ('08), Destiny ('08), RCCL Navigator ('08), RCCL Majesty ('08), Glory ('07), Liberty ('07), Fantasy ('07), Destiny ('06), NCL PofAm ('05), Fascination ('04), Victory ('04), Fascination ('04), RCCL Voyager ('03), Fantasy ('99)
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old June 10th, 2008, 11:57 AM
mehawk's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Houston aka Space City, Texas, USA
Posts: 9,687
Default

Thanks for the excellent review.
__________________
Michael

Cruised more times than I can remember.

Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

Courage and perserverance have a magical talisman; before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into the air.

Pick your company wisely! Hang around people who are going to help you become all God created you to be.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old June 10th, 2008, 10:12 PM
Michelle1959's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Chicago area
Posts: 1,188
Default

Hi IB, I'm very interested in the southern caribbean cruise out of San Juan for a few years down the road and want to know where you stayed when you flew to San Juan - also, did you fly back to the U.S. on debark day or afterwards? I'm interested in excursions where I can go on a tour bus and see the sights, but not have to do any walking (damaged nerve in left leg). Are there such excursions in each of the ports?

Did you go on any such tours and if so, which port and which excursion?

Thanks, and I'm glad you had such a great time!
__________________
Past Cruises:
Carnival Imagination w/mom: 03/22/10 - 03/26/10
Carnival Sensation w/son: 07/29/07 - 08/02/07
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old June 10th, 2008, 10:57 PM
FirstCoastCruiser's Avatar
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 367
Default

Wlcome home and thanks for the review, IB! It is nice to finally hear good things about the Destiny and our friends in PR. I wish everyone had had your insight, patience and understanding.

I sailed the SC back in Oct on the Emerald Princess and it was by far the best intenerary. I hope to do it again soon and would love to do it on Carnival if I get the chance.

Thanks again and glad you enjoyed your cruise!
__________________
NCL Sun, Oasis OTS, Navigator OTS, Legend, Fascination, Emerald, Glory, Mariner OTS x 2, Sovereign OTS, Celebration, Miracle x 2, Pride, Fantasy



Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old June 11th, 2008, 12:22 AM
Thoth's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Miz-sippy
Posts: 1,604
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelle1959
- also, did you fly back to the U.S. on debark day or afterwards? I'm interested in excursions where I can go on a tour bus and see the sights, but not have to do any walking (damaged nerve in left leg). Are there such excursions in each of the ports?

Did you go on any such tours and if so, which port and which excursion?
While I know you directed your questions to IB, hopefully you will not object to me butting in.
There are tours that require very little walking. If you are able to walk from the ship to the bus, you should be fine.
St Thomas= my tour "Journey through Paradise" required very little walking. If you can walk from the bus into a store or two you should be fine.
Dominica= While I did the "Dominica's favorites" to Trafalgar Falls and Emerald Pool, I wouldn't recomend those 2 falls for non-walkers. But at both places one could stay at the visitors center and shop while others walked the trails. In the current shore excursions book, a couple of tours are recommended for disabled guest. "Rain Forest Aerial Tram" and Rain Forest Scenic Drive & Jaco Falls".
Barbados= I did the "4x4 & Monkey encounter" The walking part wasn't too bad. It visits a nature reserve where bajan green monkeys reside. They fed the monkeys right after we arrived and that area wasn't very far at all. If a person couldn't walk very well, they needn't walk through the whole park.
St Lucia= "Best views of St Lucia" is mostly a bus tour. We never had to walk far. At Stony Hill( a private home) we did walk from the front yard to the back yard. Great refreshments !
Antigua=" Historic Antigua and beach" was my tour and NOT for those who cannot walk far.
St Kitts= "Brimstone Hill Fortress & Gardens" was my tour and NOT for those who cannot walk.
Sorry I could help you more, go to Carnival's website and look under shore excursions. They rate each trip based on such things as walking required.
You ask about flying home same day or next. I used Carnival's air and they flew me in same day, then out on debarkation day. No motel stays !
__________________
PAST TRIPS= Enchanted Capri
Carnival: Inspiration, Legend, Valor, Destiny, Holiday, Triumph, Splendor, Fantasy
HAL: Maasdam twice, Statendam, Oosterdam



Read and post cruise reviews


Read and post cruise reviews
/ticker.png">
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old June 11th, 2008, 09:33 AM
Senior Member
Captain
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Staten Island NY
Posts: 536
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip
The southern itinerary is my favorite of all the Caribbean itineraries. On my cruises though, we always had one sea day, so, not to have any, by the time you get off the ship to fly home, you must have been dragging.

It's a shame when progress makes ships old before their time. I remember when the Destiny came out, we toured her in Boston, and was in awe of so much we saw.

For many though, sailing the southern route from Florida, on longer cruises is a good way to save on the high airfare usually found, when sailing form San Juan. It seemed every time iIwanted to go, in recent years, the air was a killer.

Sounds like you had a great time, thanks for sharing.....
Thanks IB for the great review.

Trip:

I think I understand what you are saying. I have the inaugural book for The Destiny (which I won on a different ship) 1997 wow hard to believe thats old by todays standards
__________________
Joe
Imagination 1996
Sensation 1997
RCI Monarch of The Seas 1998
Ecstasy 2000
Carnival Miracle 9/24/07
Upcoming Fascination 11/5/09
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old June 11th, 2008, 07:54 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: New York City
Posts: 1,506
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thoth
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelle1959
- also, did you fly back to the U.S. on debark day or afterwards? I'm interested in excursions where I can go on a tour bus and see the sights, but not have to do any walking (damaged nerve in left leg). Are there such excursions in each of the ports?

Did you go on any such tours and if so, which port and which excursion?
While I know you directed your questions to IB, hopefully you will not object to me butting in.
There are tours that require very little walking. If you are able to walk from the ship to the bus, you should be fine.
St Thomas= my tour "Journey through Paradise" required very little walking. If you can walk from the bus into a store or two you should be fine.
Dominica= While I did the "Dominica's favorites" to Trafalgar Falls and Emerald Pool, I wouldn't recomend those 2 falls for non-walkers. But at both places one could stay at the visitors center and shop while others walked the trails. In the current shore excursions book, a couple of tours are recommended for disabled guest. "Rain Forest Aerial Tram" and Rain Forest Scenic Drive & Jaco Falls".
Barbados= I did the "4x4 & Monkey encounter" The walking part wasn't too bad. It visits a nature reserve where bajan green monkeys reside. They fed the monkeys right after we arrived and that area wasn't very far at all. If a person couldn't walk very well, they needn't walk through the whole park.
St Lucia= "Best views of St Lucia" is mostly a bus tour. We never had to walk far. At Stony Hill( a private home) we did walk from the front yard to the back yard. Great refreshments !
Antigua=" Historic Antigua and beach" was my tour and NOT for those who cannot walk far.
St Kitts= "Brimstone Hill Fortress & Gardens" was my tour and NOT for those who cannot walk.
Sorry I could help you more, go to Carnival's website and look under shore excursions. They rate each trip based on such things as walking required.
You ask about flying home same day or next. I used Carnival's air and they flew me in same day, then out on debarkation day. No motel stays !
Michelle, this post is an excellent source of the info you seek. I have very limited knowledge regarding bus tours. I don't usually do tours. I have been to so many of the caribbean islands that they are all starting to look alike to me and therefore, bus tours are now "been there, done that" with me. I usually head for the best beach on the island and end the day with some keychain/magnet/liquor shoping before heading back to the ship.

When you go on the excursion section of Carnival's website, most of the excursions have a rating system which tells you how strenuous the activity.

Good luck.
__________________
(cruzin' solo by design)

Upcoming Cruzes
CCL Splendor

Past Cruzes
Freedom ('09), Imagination ('08), Victory ('08), Destiny ('08), RCCL Navigator ('08), RCCL Majesty ('08), Glory ('07), Liberty ('07), Fantasy ('07), Destiny ('06), NCL PofAm ('05), Fascination ('04), Victory ('04), Fascination ('04), RCCL Voyager ('03), Fantasy ('99)
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old June 11th, 2008, 07:59 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: New York City
Posts: 1,506
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michelle1959
Hi IB, I'm very interested in the southern caribbean cruise out of San Juan for a few years down the road and want to know where you stayed when you flew to San Juan - also, did you fly back to the U.S. on debark day or afterwards? I'm interested in excursions where I can go on a tour bus and see the sights, but not have to do any walking (damaged nerve in left leg). Are there such excursions in each of the ports?

Did you go on any such tours and if so, which port and which excursion?

Thanks, and I'm glad you had such a great time!
I stayed one night at the Caribe Hilton before the cruise. Beautiful hotel. Excellent service. I highly recommend a short stay at this location.

I flew right back to NYC after the cruise. Had to go to work the next day.
__________________
(cruzin' solo by design)

Upcoming Cruzes
CCL Splendor

Past Cruzes
Freedom ('09), Imagination ('08), Victory ('08), Destiny ('08), RCCL Navigator ('08), RCCL Majesty ('08), Glory ('07), Liberty ('07), Fantasy ('07), Destiny ('06), NCL PofAm ('05), Fascination ('04), Victory ('04), Fascination ('04), RCCL Voyager ('03), Fantasy ('99)
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
2335, carnival, destiny, room

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Just returned from Crown Southern Cruise rblank28 Princess Cruise Lines 6 March 19th, 2007 02:09 PM
Carnival Destiny, Oct 1, Southern Carib Loftguys Gay / Lesbian Cruising 0 August 16th, 2006 11:43 AM
Destiny southern carib tours showcat Carnival Cruise Lines 0 March 20th, 2005 11:36 PM
southern carib emee Ask CruiseMates Staff 3 January 21st, 2003 03:05 PM
Just Returned from Galaxy Deep Southern Mark Celebrity 4 March 18th, 2001 08:27 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:16 AM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1