We spent the night at the Hampton Inn in Cocoa Beach where we will leave our car and a shuttle took us to the port. We met in the lobby at 9:30 and the shuttle was scheduled to pick us up at 10am. Getting on the ship was fast and easy and everyone was so friendly!
Our captain is Roberto Leotta and the hotel director is Mark Damme. The Cruise Director is George Roberts and he is quite a flamboyant man. Don thinks he has a great voice and speaks nice and clearly.
As for the ship itself, which is a refurbished Carnival Destiny, I’m not sure I like the layout. I was very disappointed that there wasn’t an Aft bar on the lido deck. Where the Aft bar and pool are at on other ships, there is now the Havana Bar which consists of the JiJi Asian restaurant and the Italian restaurant. Both are free for lunch but cost $15 per person for dinner. There didn’t seem to be a nice place to sit outside and watch the ship leave the port from the back so we just walked around all day instead of getting our bucket of beer. There were two dining rooms. The Sunset dining room is only on floor 3 midship. The Sunrise dining room is two floors in the front of the ship. I did go to the maitre’d to see if we could change to a larger table instead of just a table for 2 and move to the Sunrise dining room. They say they would let me know the next day.
Our cabin was pretty big for an inside cabin on the first floor. The hallway and the cabin doors are decorated so nice and different compared to other ships! Our cabin steward’s name is Adi. We did notice that one of the closet racks was on the floor of the closet and didn’t fit so it could be installed so we had to ask Adi to get someone to fix it. He said he knew something was wrong because he saw it on the floor of the closet before we arrived (so why didn’t he get it fixed?). The top drawer also is broke so either he isn’t cleaning it and doesn’t know or he knows and isn’t getting it fixed. The bathroom is also a little weird. The shower is bigger lengthwise but the toilet sits catty cornered and you almost have to put one foot in the shower to use the toilet.
We went up to the spa to look inside and found the sauna which is a very small and dark space. I thought the spa people were very snotty and almost rude. I guess I won’t be going up there any time soon.
We ate lunch on the Lido deck. I tried the food on the Mongolian grill which was pretty good. I also tried the pasta from the Italian restaurant which was okay but nothing to brag about. Later we tried a piece of Prociutto pizza from the pizza place and I thought it was horrible.
Before dinner we went to the opening bingo game and watched to see who won the $500. I don’t usually play because I’m never lucky with this but it is fun to knit and watch. Then we watched the Welcome aboard show which was fun.
For dinner I had a shrimp cocktail, beef and barley soup, and the flat iron steak which were all good. I had the black forest gateau cake for dessert which is my favorite dessert. Don had the same starters and the tilapia for dinner which he enjoyed. Of course he had the crème brulee which he loves, for dessert.
I wanted to go to the comedy show but was too exhausted after dinner so we went to bed.
Things I learned:
1. We did notice that there was only one bedside table on one side of the bed and when we asked Adi, he said that our room doesn’t come with bedside tables but he got us one. There was also a lot of empty space for a chair but when we asked, he said this cabin doesn’t come with a chair or bedside tables.
2. There is a steam room but it costs $139 for a couple to use it for the entire cruise. On previous ships it was free but not coed.
3. Walking up and down the stairs instead of taking the elevator makes you very tired by the end of the day!