I hope this is helpful for anyone contemplating a first time cruise on Carnival.
Here's a brief report form a first time cruisier who just returned form the Carnival Destiny from a Holiday cruise last week. OUTSTANDING!! EXCEEDED all expectations!! My wife and I plus our 20-year old son and 17-year old daughter had the time of our lives!
The ship is spotless, the crew is extremely frindly, met some very nice frindly people, food was great, etc., etc.
We took a cab and toured St. Thomas (on our own). After a tour of the island, He droped us off at Magen's Bay beach and came back to pick us up! For $20 ea.! Much cheaper than through the ship.
When in Martinigue, we stayed on the shop to relax after a full day of travel and a full day on St. Thomas. Plus we understand the French island is not too friendly toward Americans (we heard some stories) so SCREW'em!
In Barbados we did the Sail and Snorkel tour thorugh the ship- IT WAS GREAT! Sailed on a catamaran, went snorkeling then to the beach and drank rum (for free) all the way back to port. Lot's of singing and dancing on the way back and on the bus back to the ship!
In Aruba we did the Palm Island snorkel, snorkeloing was great, better thas Barbados. From ther we hired a cab driver on our own again to show us the island and drop us off on Palm Beach- very pretty, but the day we were there is was quite crowded.
Also, reserve some time to explore Old San Juan- very impressive and interesting.
Overall, we had an outstanding time and can't wait to go back.