Editor's Note: In one of the most dramatic refurbishments in contemporary cruising, Carnival Destiny underwent a $155 million transformation culminating with a name change. After its release from a jaw-dropping 49-day dry-dock (from February to April 2013), Destiny became Carnival Sunshine.
The 101,353-ton, 2,642-passenger Carnival Destiny entered service in 1996 as the largest passenger ship ever built. While the middle-aged vessel is now one of the line's oldest, regular multi-million upgrades have kept it in line with Carnival's newer, more amenity-laden hardware. In 2008, Destiny gained a Seaside Theater, a brand staple, a mini-golf course and "Circle C" facility for the 12-14's. The line also added 16 balconies to cabins. (An even bigger upgrade is scheduled for 2013.)
Destiny boasts a spacious casino, spa and fitness center, and passengers will find a variety of entertainment and dining options, and comfortably sized cabins -- all at exceptional value for the dollar.
There is a full slate of activities and entertainment for every age group and taste -- from ballroom dancing, classical music concerts, tea time and art auctions to hairy chest and knobby knees contests, blackjack and slot machine tournaments, bingo, and karaoke.
Demographically speaking there is no "typical" Carnival passenger in terms of age or income, although many fall in the middle income range and are attracted to the reasonable rates. Many passengers are between the ages of 21 and 45 with large groups of singles, couples and families.
Most cruises feature one or two formal nights; a dark suit or formal attire is suggested -- most men opt for suits. The dress code for the rest of the evenings ranges from sport coats and ties to resort wear. Otherwise, dress is casual during the day and a bit dressier at night. Carnival's material asks for "resort casual" for dinner in the dining rooms, and most people comply. If you look presentable, jeans are not an issue. No tank tops or shorts allowed in the main restaurants for any meal.