November 15: Today we began the next stage of our adventure, boarding the Carnival Destiny in Miami. I chose this cruise for business reasons. There are a lot of different opinions about Carnival, and since they’re often very cheap, I need to know what a cruise with Carnival is really like. The Destiny is one of their better-reviewed ships, and I felt that a 5-day cruise would get us away from the party-animal crowd that Carnival is famous for.
It was tough saying goodbye to our friends – a staff member at the Marriott Doral took this photo for us. We all wished that we had a week there – the combination of the Marriott Villas where we stayed and the Golf Resort across the road is simply superb for a get-together such as this.
Getting to the port was a little tougher than we’d expected – we never did find it on the GPS. The many toll booths on the highways sure mess up what could be a very efficient system.
This was our first sailing from the Port of Miami. Port Everglades at Fort Lauderdale has impressed us with it’s user-friendliness, and Miami is even better. When I took this photo at 1:40pm the girls had just dropped us off and we were about to go into the terminal.
Just 14 minutes later we were boarding the ship – the largely-automated boarding system that Carnival uses is extremely efficient.
How can you board a Fun Ship without an umbrella drink? They’re $7.50 each, but refills are only $6.75 – w00t
Our cabin – a forward balcony (#6150) on Deck 6. First impressions – it’s dated but spotlessly clean, the shower is huge, but the bathroom has no storage at all.
Carnival’s version of “Please Service” and “Do Not Disturb” are cute.
I love big atriums and the one on the Destiny is massive. We both find the strongly lineal decor throughout most of the ship to be rather disorienting.
The Galaxy Dining Room – we have “Your Time” dining on Deck 4 (you go to eat dinner whenever you want).
The view towards the sea is lovely. I keep seeing the places that Horatio drives by on TV, but no luck seeing him yet!
The main cruise ship line-up.
The Destiny is purpose-built for sun and for partying. The open deck space is several times the size of that of any other ship we’ve been on.
Nearing the sea with another Carnival ship ahead.
The main channel reeks of money!
Looking back to Miami from the sea.
The view north along the beach.
Good night, Miami.
The Palladium theatre.
We’ve already had comments we’ve seen about Carnival being the WalMart of cruise lines verified. The “Welcome Aboard” show started with a short bingo game, and many of the people in the line-up to get cards may already be on the “People of WalMart” Web site
Despite corporate statements that Carnival is trying to get rid of their heavy-partying image, to say that heavy drinking is encouraged is putting it mildly.
That night we had a very good dinner in the main dining room. The head waiter, “Tesch”, promised us great service and invited us to come back to his section – that’s an invitation we’ll probably accept.
It’s been a very interesting day, and should be an interesting cruise!