The Carnival Destiny was the second cruise ship that I have ever sailed on. At the time the Destiny was based out of Miami and was doing 7-night Western Caribbean cruises and was Carnival's first ship to surpass 100,000 tons (a big accomplishment). With 2,642 passengers, the Destiny was launched in 1996 and refurbished in 2005.
Embarkation: Given the size of the port we were traveling out of, embarkation was a breeze. When we arrived the lines were long but dwindled down very quickly. Have all your required documentation and you will be aboard with an ice cold concoction in no time. Be prepared for the drink hard sell soon as you board.
Cabin: The Destiny as an abundance of balcony cabins. Expect bigger cabins and to be amazed at the extra square footage. We went as a family sailing so our rooms were connected. Expect room service twice a day with the first in the late morning and then again in the evening for turn down.
One thing I did notice about this ship was the location of my friends cabin down on Rivera deck, you could really hear the people next door, a little louder than normal. Where we were (Empress deck), the sound was fine. My only real complaint was when enjoying a nice evening on the water, the deck band can overpower the tranquility of the night.
Food: Carnival invests a lot of money into it's food and it shows. The fare was everything from your typical pasta, steaks, to lobster with drawn butter. The presentation was amazing. In the sit down room you can expect two formal nights (cocktail attire).
If the formal dining is not your cup of tea, there's a seaside bistro on the lido deck along with a choice of alternative dining (for a nominal fee). A 24 hour pizzeria on board, breakfast is served til noon and lunch til 6 pm. It's your vacation. Pig out!
Entertainment: Vegas style entertainment all the way. Muliple decks of comedy shows, dance clubs, deck parties, Broadway revues, singing, a casino and dancing, this ship has it all. I really enjoyed the karaoke bar and the piano bar. The piano bar has a bunch of microphones in it where you can sing along with the piano entertainer (he controls the mics).
Carnival also has a great kids program that keeps the kids entertained for hours on end (check out the water park). Pay attention to the lounge acts too, you never know who will be in there (a lot of the folks do a ship tour when they are not on the road).
Public Areas: The overall theme of the ship reminded me of Vegas. Shiny lights, sparkles and lots of casino noise. This ship is loaded with little nooks for quietness. Smoking is prohibited in the dining rooms and the show lounge. The rotunda is amazing, located in the center of the ship and you can look up 9 stories.
Disembarkation: Carnival goes through great lengths to explain the disembarkation procedures only to be ignored by fellow passengers. Everyone tried to get off the ship at the same time and ignored the number system. My best advice, if you can do self assist debarkation, do it! (carry your own luggage off). Remember you have a couple thousand people trying to disembark at the same time, all who have flights to catch or jobs to get to.
Though you can't tell, this ship is aging. In 1996 it was one of the front runners of its time, not so much anymore. Regardless the hour to hour entertainment, views and scenery is never ending.