The Carnival Destiny has been in service since 1996 and at the time she was introduced was one of the largest ships afloat. Today she would be considered on the small side when compared to the new mega ships out there but for her size and her age, she still keeps up with the big boys.
My family and I cruised on her in September 2006. We had read complaints about the condition of the ship on various web sites but we chose her for both the price and the ports. The Destiny cruises out of San Juan, Puerto Rico and does 7 night cruises of the Southern Caribbean. The ports that were included on our cruise were St. Thomas, Dominica, Aruba and Barbados. I read that in 2007 due to high fuel prices, Carnival dropped Aruba as a port saying it was too far South and added 2 other ports to replace it.
We were concerned with what we had read regarding the condition of the ship but I as pleasantly surprised. Yes, there was some worn spots in some paint and some carpet that could use replacing but after being abused by a few thousand passengers every day for over 10 years, there was nothing that stood out as being terrible.
The biggest problem we had on this ship was that the staff seemed to have a lack of organization. Check in at the dock was especially bad as well as the lines at the service desks. More staff members directing traffic would have fixed these problems.
Since the ship sails out of San Juan, it does cater to both English and Spanish speaking guests. Most of the crew speaks some English as well as Spanish and all the announcements on the ship are done in both English and Spanish. This made a long, hot life boat drill even longer. Because of the high number of Spanish speaking kids in my daughters age range, she had a tough time making friends on this ship. Very few kids in her age range joined in the organized activities and most of the ones that did, stayed in their own groups. The youth staff girl who was in charge of her group, did go out of her way to make sure my daughter had things to do and even had her help out with activities that were going on for some of the other age groups. One night she even sat with her and talked with her for hours because they were the only ones there. My son who turned 5 on the trip, had no problems with the language difference. Kids that age seem to speak a universal language all their own.
This ship has the most casual dress code of any ship I have ever been on. For formal night guests did dress up but the rest of the nights we saw lots of people in shorts and jeans in the dining rooms which is usually frowned upon on most ships. We had the best wait staff we have ever had on this ship. They were fun and always on their game. We never had to ask for anything, they were always on it. The food was also much better on this ship than on other ships we have been on.
The entertainment was just OK. Most Carnival production numbers are similar on every ship you go on and these were no exception. They also had a juggler and a comic one night. The comic was OK but the juggler was horrible.
The rest of the onboard activities were very similar to other things you find on most ships. Bingo, pool side contests and trivia games were all there. There are many lounges on the ship that range from a piano bar, to the disco, to a lounge dedicated to Salsa music. We enjoyed going there at night and watching all the beautiful dancing.
We had a wonderful trip aboard the Destiny. She is not the newest or the largest ship out there anymore but for the ports and the price, she is a ship worth checking out.