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Maggs07

My Destiny Review: 5-5-12 to 5-10-12:Fun,Sun and a BARE BUTT in Criterion Lounge!

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Maybe that caught someone's attention! It definitely happened but you'll have to keep reading for the full story...sorry, no pics of that part! Thankfully!

 

How we ended up on the Destiny:

DH and I have been married for almost 5 years and had been planning a return to Hawaii for our anniversary which is in August. We had saved a little but were planning on kicking the saving mode into high gear right after we returned from Vegas in January of this year. Sadly, our Vegas vacation ended abruptly when my mother had a massive heart attack, she wasn't expected to survive the night and it took three flights to get me back home to Michigan to see her. She was given a 9% chance of survival and was on full life support and in a medically induced coma. Long story short, she made it and since her heart was so damaged, she now has an LVAD, which is the same device that Dick Cheney had before his recent heart transplant. She spent 2 1/2 months in the hospital and has been at home for about 2 months now. She also suffered a stroke and has had some vision loss. Needless to say, our summer plans for Hawaii were not even a thought that crossed our minds. All of the money that we could have saved went towards more important things and I don't think we cooked more than a couple of meals during that time, we were too tired so we did take out or eating out which really really adds up.

 

Anyway, we knew that my parents were going to need a lot of help this summer, we have a lake house and my mom is used to doing all of the work around there...now she is restricted on what she can do and my father also has a disability as well. DH and I didn't want to plan a big trip for our actual anniversary in August so we thought we might go somewhere beforehand. The money wasn't there for Hawaii and one day I was surfing the net daydreaming about vacations when I came across an RCI add for a really cheap cruise. DH has always wanted to cruise but I went on the Big Red Boat about 20 years ago and got terribly seasick. I never really had the desire to cruise again but I seriously didn't know how affordable it was! Also, DH is originally from Ft. Lauderdale so if we left from southern Florida we could also visit his family which we had been wanting to do anyway. It was killing two birds with one stone..seeing Grandma and getting some MUCH needed R&R! So we booked it only about a month and a half out!

 

We flew into Ft. Lauderdale the day before and the inlaws picked us up. We flew on miles so that was one less expense : ) We grabbed a quick bite and then headed to the Holiday Inn at the Port of Miami. We were going to stay with DH's mother but she wanted to treat us to a hotel room so who were we to argue! The location was perfect, right across from Bayside. We showered and then went out for a cocktail and walked around a bit.

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Edited by Maggs07

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The next morning, I was awake super early..like a kid on Christmas! I was SO excited to get on board! DH and I started the morning off right by an hour long workout in the fitness center. There wasn't much to choose from but we made it work. Since we didn't have breakfast, we were starving and we decided to grab a bite before we got on the ship. I seriously didn't think I'd make it that long!

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Getting on the ship was very organized and the lines kept moving. Took us about 45 minutes from the moment the cab dropped us off.

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Our first cocktails...Mai Tai..and they were strong!

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Our cabin was 1197...ocean view mid ship on the Rivera Deck. I was concerned about sea sickness since I'd had it before so I read that lower decks and mid ship were a good choice for us. The cabin was great, more spacious than we thought and quiet. Very quiet. I didn't mind having to go up to do everything, it never took very long to get where we were going and it was nice to be away from all of the action and noise if we wanted to be. Our steward was Edwardo from Peru and he rocked! A total ninja! We'd be gone for a few minutes and upon our return, ice and fresh towels. We gave him a very nice tip : )

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Keep the review going!!! I'll be on Carnival Destiny soon, looking forward to hearing about your trip and seeing the pictures!!!

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we will be on the Destiny In August.... how was the Holiday Inn?? we are thinking of staying there for one nite before our cruise.

thanks

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What is an RCI add? Does that mean Royal Carribean? I'm assuming not, since it's obvious you went on a Carnival cruise!

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Sorry about your mom!!!

 

I cruised the Destiny in 2010, will be cruising it again in August

Edited by Mommzie

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I am guessing an ad on RCI - Resort Condomiums International. It's a timeshare exchange company.

 

Loving your review - we will be on the Destiny in a little over a week!

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We are going on the Destiny next week!!! We are also staying at the Holiday Inn. Can't wait to read more.

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we will be on the Destiny In August.... how was the Holiday Inn?? we are thinking of staying there for one nite before our cruise.

thanks

 

We liked it, can't beat the location! Our room was a bit odd since the room itself was on the small side but had a huge walk in closet, I wish I would have taken photos but forgot to.

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What is an RCI add? Does that mean Royal Carribean? I'm assuming not, since it's obvious you went on a Carnival cruise!

 

 

Haha yes I meant Royal Caribbean! Their advertisement had me looking at cruises and I saw we could take a longer cruise on Carnival for a cheaper price..at first I though the rock climbing wall would be cool but then I remembered I am terrified of it! So Carnival it was and I'm so glad : )

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After dropping our bags, we decided to explore the ship. I had read reviews that commented on the lay out being confusing but it really was not. Once we discovered that the Promenade deck was a good way to make your way from end to end, navigating was a breeze. I was anxious to check out the fitness room and see about the indoor cycling classes. I was willing to pay the extra fee ($10 or $12 per class I think) but they were scheduled for 4pm on both sea days...umm hello, that's prime lounge chair time! I prefer to exercise in the morning and get it out of the way so I just did that on my own on the days that I wasn't too hungover!

 

Here are a few photos of the ship, it really looked exactly how I had pictured it from reading other reviews and seeing pictures.

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It was almost time to sail away so we headed up to Lido for another drink. I had a beer instead of a cocktail this time as that Mai Tai went straight to my head! It was the day of the Kentucky Derby so Carnival held the "First Annual Carnival Derby and Best Dressed Jockey Contest" out by the Lido pool. This was where we got our first taste of Noonan, the cruise director. We immediately liked him and found him quite amusing. Basically there were a bunch of paper horse heads on sticks (like a hobby horse that you put between your legs and ride) that Noonan was auctioning off. Once every horse had a jockey, then you could place bets on the horses. We ended up wandering around and missed most of the contest but the Best Dressed Jockey was pretty funny...they gave each jockey some time to come up with a costume and one guy put on his girlfriends bikini top : ) Then they showed the actual derby on the big screen.

 

A couple of pics as we left Miami:

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I also wanted to thank everyone for the well wishes for my mom : ) She's doing really well and all of the doctors are truly astonished! This review is fun to write but takes lots of time, I now have a new appreciation for all of the great reviews I've enjoyed on these boards : )

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It was time to shower and get ready for our first dinner in the MDR. The shower had great pressure and we never had any problems with a lack of hot water. Sure, the bathrooms are small but we expected that. As we got ready, we watched the sun set from our window...heaven!

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We had late dining and I have to admit at being a little nervous about eating with strangers. But DH and I enjoy meeting new people so we were ready for just about anything. However, I did not expect to have table mates that were so much fun! I'd say we got extremely lucky! We were sat with three other couples, all in our age range. One couple showed up about 30 minutes late the first night but we didn't have to wait for them to order dinner. And they never came back to the table again. Not really sure why. But the rest of us hit it off and ended up spending every night together seeing shows and hanging out in the piano bar. For dinner I had gazpacho and the sweet potato and pumpkin pot pie. Both were delicious! DH had a salad and the salmon from the every day menu and enjoyed both. Of course I had to try the famous Melting Cake and OMG, it was SO tasty! DH had the diet orange cake and I was surprised how tasty it was as well.

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The pot pie...the triangles on the side were polenta and they were good. The mushrooms were a donation from DH's plate. He's not fond of many veggies!

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There was a show after dinner but we weren't in the mood to check it out. Instead, we got some more wine (had a bottle with dinner also) and sat in the Atrium bar to listen to the piano player. Think his name was Adrian and he was from Ireland. Not very many people were there, it seemed everyone else was watching the show. Adrian couldn't sing to save his life but his piano skills were pretty good, he seemed to know that he was singing off key and he messed up a few songs and forgot words. DH and I found this to be hilarious and Adrian was laughing right along with us. We heard him later on the cruise and he was performing much better. The bartenders were very friendly and talkative, we tipped them extra and scored a couple of free glasses of wine. Which we did not need! Then we decided to see Lord of the Rings up on Lido, DH is a huge fan and we just wanted to check it out for a few minutes. I started to fall asleep during the movie so we knew it was time for bed. We found this guy waiting for us, our first towel critter!

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Gotta love Gandolf under the stars!

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Awesome review so far!! Glad to hear your Mom is doing better, praying for a speedy recovery! Thanks for taking the time to post, my mother & I will be on Destiny in no time (11.26.12) :D

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I woke up hung over. No surprise there. And I didn't sleep very well, the beds and linens were very comfortable but I think I tossed and turned due to all of the booze in my system. I normally don't drink so much! I woke up before 7am and waited awhile before I made DH get up and go to the MDR for breakfast. I had a grapefruit, turkey bacon and pancakes and DH had a bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese. All very yummy. The coffee wasn't the best but hey, I need my caffeine. We also had croissants and they were my favorite food on the ship : ) Service was great and food came out promptly. After we finished eating, we went back to the cabin to rest for a bit and Eduardo had already been there and tidied up.

 

Time for some lounging in the sun! Lido deck was crowded and we didn't see any open chairs right away so we went up to the Spa Deck. It was much quieter up there but very windy. It was a perfect day, not a cloud in the sky! I decided to try a DOD which was the Yellow Bird. A bit sweet for me but it was good.

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Not a bad view!

 

After a couple of hours, we decided to get out of the sun. We had smuggled on some vodka and bought some Crystal Light fruit punch packets. I thought this was a great idea, I knew we'd spend plenty on drinks but wanted to have something for the room. DH thought it was funny that I went through all the trouble to get the Shampbooze bottles but he humored me. We made a couple of cocktails and decided to check out the shops. We found a photo of us by the pool during sail away that we actually really liked, it was a good candid shot. We aren't big into the posed pictures. So we bought that one and just walked around and people watched. Then I thought I needed another cocktail so we made one and went back to Lido.

We realized we were hungry and the buffet line wasn't long so we hopped in it. American was the theme and there was a decent spread. The salad bar was nice and fresh so I got a big salad with lots of veggies, baked fish, fruit, and I tried a stuffed tomato. I thought everything was fairly good, better than I had thought it would be. The desserts looked amazing but I knew I wanted some strawberry frozen yogurt so I passed. DH got some salad and cheese pizza. I have to say that I thought the pizza was terrible. It was so bland, it didn't taste like anything. I did have a slice of veggie pizza later on which was better but I had to add a ton of red pepper flakes. But DH liked the pizza and ate plenty of it during the cruise.

I wanted a frozen umbrella drink! I got a Hurricane Wave and DH got something blue, I don't recall the name.

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The bartender brought it sans umbrella but I told him I really needed to have one so he fixed it : ) We thought the service was great at all the bars and the drink prices were what we expected. Not too different from a decent bar or restaurant where we live.

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Just a shot of the pool

 

We went to check out the Aft Pool and hot tubs. If you want to get away from the Lido, this is the place to do it. Totally different scene and quiet. I knew from reading that the hot tub wouldn't be very hot but it wasn't even lukewarm! We ended up freezing!

 

Time to get ready for dinner...it was Elegant Night. We didn't get too fancied up but some people did. The night before, Noonan made an announcement in the MDR that the following night was elegant night and jeans were not permitted in the MDR. And I think everyone listened. We got ready and went to the Promenade Deck for Happy Hour and meeting the captain.

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DH and I with the captain...or he could have just been a man in a suit pretending to be the captain : )

 

We had brought a couple of bottles of wine on board and decided to have our favorite, Santa Margarita. We forgot to pack a corkscrew so we asked a bartender to open it for us and we tipped him. We had a glass of wine in the Atrium while we people watched before going into the MDR. I had the stuffed mushrooms, the farmers salad and the lobster tail. DH had the farmers salad and the salmon again. Everything was tasty, the salad was delicious and had just the right amount of dressing. My only complaint was that the lobster and shrimp were not that hot. I honestly didn't mind, I actually prefer most of my meals cold..even ones that aren't supposed to be! Oh, and I forgot to mention that the bread was wonderful, nice and warm and crusty. Dessert was the Bitter and Blanc for me and the rest of the table had Melting Cake. I liked the Bitter and Blanc but not as much as the Melting Cake.

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Stuffed Mushrooms

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Lobster and Shrimp, the potatoes were good too

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The wait staff sang for the first time and they did That's Amore. It was almost painful to watch, they did not seem to be into it. Our waiter in particular seemed to really hate having to sing and dance. He was an awesome waiter though!

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We decided to head back to the cabin to change and then meet our table mates in the Palladium Lounge to watch some of the Grease Sing Along movie...one of DH's favorites. Then we were going to the Criterion Lounge to watch the adult game show called Quest. As we got back to the room, my stomach hurt. Bad. It felt like I was being stabbed in the intestines. At first I was paranoid that I was coming down with Noro. But then I did some quick math and realized that over the past two days, my body had ingested quite a bit of alcohol. Way more that it's been used to. Plus, I usually only have beer and wine and I had been drinking liquor and sweet drinks which I never have. I didn't want the night to end so I sucked it up, took some Pepto and ginger pills and started downing water. And this guy was waiting for us when we got back to our room : )

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When we arrived to watch Grease, Noonan couldn't get the projector working. It took a little while and several people left. At this point we just wanted to stay to sing Summer Lovin' and then head over to the Criterion. Everyone else had cocktails but I stuck with ginger ale.

 

AND THIS IS WHEN IT HAPPENED....

 

When we got to the Criterion, the Adult Game show called Quest was already underway. I'll just reiterate that only adults were allowed to attend. There weren't any visible seats so we kind of lingered in the doorway looking for a table. It appeared that there were multiple teams and the object was to be the first team on stage with whatever items you were told to find. I don't know what happened but before I knew what was going on, men were taking off their shirts left and right and a man who should have easily won the hairy chest contest ran past and knocked into me! I felt his sweat on my arm! The entire place was loud and rowdy and we were all cracking up. Then the host announced that they needed a woman from each team to come up wearing men's pants. So obviously the guys started undoing their belts and dropping trow, revealing boxer shorts and a few pairs of tighty whiteys.

 

But one guy DID NOT have on any boxers or tighty whiteys or anything for that matter! He was up on stage and just turned around and took his pants OFF, with his bare bum staring at the crowd!!! I spit out my ginger ale and the crowd was hysterical, even the waiters were doubled up with laughter and the host was dumbfounded! She quickly made him put his pants back on

and his team didn't even win! I think I laughed for about 10 minutes straight, which added to my stomach ache. After the game show, there was karaoke which we didn't care to watch so we went to the piano bar.

 

Billy was the singer and piano player and it was a sing along type of place, I still wasn't feeling well but I stuck it out for awhile. It was kind of dead at first but then people got into it and it was a good time. DH knew I wanted to go to bed so we called it a night and left our new friends there. We found out the next day that they stayed until about 3 am.

 

 

The next morning I looked out the window and saw land! Jamaica! Once again I was up too early but I was so excited! My stomach was much better but I skipped my coffee so I didn't piss it off. We had ordered room service the night before and it came right on time. I had plain yogurt and dry Special K ( I hate milk) with fruit and of course my favorite croissant. DH had smoked salmon and a bagel again, he really liked it.

 

We decided against doing Dunn's River Falls. We just weren't into it. We wanted to spend the day on the beach resting and having someone bring us cold drinks so we got day passes to an all inclusive resort, The Jewell Dunn's River Falls Resort and Spa. We got them through jamaicaforaday.com and opted to also get the transportation to and from the resort. All of the photos of the resort looked lovely so we couldn't wait to check it out!

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Our first view of Jamaica

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So excited to get off the ship!

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Getting off was a snap and took about 5 minutes.

 

I was fully prepared to be bombarded by the locals but it really wasn't bad at all. Our bus was waiting for us and there were some others from the ship that did the same day pass so it was very organized. A couple of people talked to DH while we walked to the bus, they wanted to know if we needed a cab and when he said no, they left. No big deal. I've been to Jamaica before and I remembered the people being extremely friendly and they really were very pleasant. We got to the resort in about 10 minutes and then we arranged with the driver what time to be picked up. He also said he anyone wanted to come back earlier we could do that too. Everyone checked in and paid their balance and got their wrist bands. Then it was time for paradise!

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The beach is small but private and beautiful

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We didn't do this but the pass included non motorized water sports, so sailboats, kayaks, etc.

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Cabanas to rent, not sure how much but it did look relaxing

 

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Chess anyone?

 

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Pretty much what I was dreaming about!

 

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The pools and landscaping were lovely

 

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Checking out the swim up bar

 

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Love this shot with the Destiny in the background!

 

We loved this place! It's adults only which was nice for some quiet time. The service was wonderful. We had jerk chicken wraps and fries at the grill and we thought the jerk chicken was the best food of the entire trip! DH discovered Miami Vices and they made them strong, with rum floaters on pretty much every cocktail. Alas, my stomach did not like the booze so much and after one drink, I was chugging the Pepto and ginger pills again. My own fault, I know!! We lounged in the sun, we lounged in the shade, we lounged in the pool...lots of R&R. We ate again at the buffet and while it wasn't too large, there was a good selection and it was tasty. They had a bunch of other dining options and also a pizza place. We both agreed we'd love to return here for a land vacation sometime!

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Really nice pier you could walk down

 

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They had a few vendors set up, but it's private property so they did not hassle you at all.

 

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This was on the way back to the ship, locals with crafts to purchase.

 

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Edited by Maggs07

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Loving your review and beautiful pictures!

 

Thanks for talking about the Quest. I have seen it mentioned before and started a thread about it. I have only ever known it to be done on RCI cruises and wondered if it was the same. Sounds like it! LOVE that game, so hysterical!

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Almost looks fake doesn't it?

 

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We'd definitely come back to Ocho Rios!

 

We got back on the ship and went straight to the cabin for a nap! I could barely keep my eyes open! All that sun and water really tires you out. Then I found some motivation and DH and I went to the fitness center for a bit before getting ready for dinner. I was pleased with the gym, decent equipment and great view.

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I had the Indian Vegetarian food and it was pretty good. Not much to look at but good flavors. I also had a salad of some sort but can't remember what it was. DH had fried chicken and loved it, everyone that had it at our table enjoyed it. I had apple pie for dessert and thought it was good.

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How cool, i was just looking at Jewell Dunn as well for our Ocho Rios port....glad to see that u enjoyed it

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How cool, i was just looking at Jewell Dunn as well for our Ocho Rios port....glad to see that u enjoyed it

 

Oh you won't be sorry, we loved it : ) A really beautiful place!

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Looking forward to the rest of your review. Great so far! Wonderful pictures. We sail in 9 days, so excited :D

 

Glad you're enjoying it! I wish I was going back on the Destiny in 9 days : ) Sigh.

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The waiters did their dance to Hot Hot Hot, it was slightly better than the previous one but you could still tell most them them dreaded it. After dinner, we all decided to watch one of the comedians, her name was Just June. Someone at our table had seen her before and said she was hilarious and they weren't lying! We enjoyed her show and she did a Tina Turner impression that was SO spot on, it was spooky! We didn't feel like staying for the second comedian so we headed to the piano bar. It was quite lively and there was a man that kept buying rounds of drinks for the entire bar! After chatting with him, he told us that he recently lost his wife and had been very depressed so he came on this cruise to enjoy life again. We bought him some drinks in return and everyone danced with him. Nice guy and I hope he found some peace.

 

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The green shots were called Liquid Marijuana and while I didn't have one, DH said they tasted like candy. Huge shots too! I didn't want to bore everyone with a bunch of drunken photos but that's what most of this night was...except me b/c my stomach was still not normal.

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Judith sang a few songs while Billy played the piano. She performed in some other shows on the ship and her voice was so pretty. We must have thrown about $30 in $1 bills at Billy to keep playing all of our requests. Great night!

 

It was very late and we had a full day planned in Grand Cayman so we went to bed. I told DH to fill out the room service menu while I was getting ready for bed...never let a drunk person do this! We ended up with 6 boxes of Lucky Charms and 5 croissants!! Eventually it all got eaten but I was laughing my ass off when the tray came in the morning : ) Here was our towel animal that night...a gorilla maybe? Or a duck?

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Grand Cayman was what I was most excited about on this cruise! After a lot of thought and reading reviews, we booked the Rays, Reef and Rum Point tour from Native Way Watersports. I was so worried about making it off the ship in time considering it was a tender port and we only had an hour from the time we arrived until we were supposed to meet Eldon from Native Way. Everyone that had an excursion booked that was leaving before 10:30 AM was to meet in the Palladium Lounge at 8:45 to get organized for the tenders. When they called the first tour groups, which were all Carnival tours, I simply asked a worker what we should do...we had an early excursion but not with Carnival. She told us to hop right on, we were on the second tender and on the island in about 10 minutes. WAY easier than I thought it would be. Since we were so early, Eldon told us to shop for a minute and meet him back in his spot.

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Once we got to the dock, here's the ship. Can't get over the size!

 

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A man selling coconuts, we don't see this in Michigan!

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As it turned out, there were only two other people on our tour! We stopped along the way and picked up two women from a hotel. It was like our own private excursion! Eldon took us to the boat where Andrew and Randy were ready and waiting for us. Time to head to Sting Ray City!!

 

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We saw some amazing homes along the way

 

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I've been to many tropical places but I've never seen water quite like this!

 

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DH had never been to the Caribbean and he was in awe of the beauty

 

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First view of the sand bar

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Before we got into the water, Andrew and Randy explain how to behave around the rays and that we should always keep our feet on the ground. I was ready to experience these amazing creatures!

 

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Our favorite sting ray photo : )

 

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Just love this shot!

 

It was such an incredible experience! I couldn't believe how friendly and docile the rays were. Andrew had a favorite ray and we played with her most of the time. Others would swim right up and brush against you. We fed them squid and Andrew helped us pose with the ray while Randy took the photos with our own cameras. I really liked that they didn't try to sell you photos. We stayed in the water until all of us were done with the rays and then we drove to a beautiful snorkel spot. We were the only boat there. I don't have a waterproof camera so i didn't get any snorkel pics but there were plenty of colorful fish and things to see. Andrew dove down and found a huge lobster, we took it on the boat to take photos with it and let it go.

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Dinner anyone?

 

After we finished snorkeling, Andrew showed us a lunch menu for Rum Point and he called in our order so it was ready when we got there. I had grilled mahi mahi with a spicy sauce, it came with beans and rice and coleslaw and corn on the cob. DH had a chicken wrap and fries. The food was delicious! We got a cocktail, it was about $20 for two frozen drinks plus a tip. Pricey but we knew it would be.

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So pretty!

 

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Maggs! Great review and sorry about your Mom! So sorry we missed you if you went to meet up first night in Cheers. We did make it there but about 20 minutes late. We met a group of people there and ended up hanging with them the entire cruise - we even switched our dinner to eat with them too. We went to Cheers every night around 7 after that and then to the piano bar so its so funny that we never met. Glad you enjoyed the cruise though and maybe we will meet up on a future one!

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Thanks for posting this review! I am really enjoying it. Glad to hear your mom is doing better.

 

I am from Detroit too, and we are sailing the Destiny in October for my brother's wedding. They are getting married in Ocho Rios. :)

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We wanted to spend the day on the beach resting and having someone bring us cold drinks so we got day passes to an all inclusive resort, The Jewell Dunn's River Falls Resort and Spa.

 

-OMG.. This is the BEST review I have read on this forum hands down! So glad your mom is doing better, sending positive thoughts your way! I am sailing the same cruise in two weeks and have been looking for a good resort to camp ourselves at for the day, the one you listed looks like exactly what I need. My question is, were all the drinks and food included in the prices? If so what a great bargin!

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