MIAMI (11/24/96) -- Carnival Cruise Lines' new Carnival Destiny, the world's first 101,000-ton cruise ship, operates a year-round schedule of seven-day cruises from Miami, alternating weekly to the eastern and western Caribbean.

The ship, which has a passenger capacity of 2,642 double and 3,400 total, departed on its maiden voyage to the eastern Caribbean Sunday, November 24, 1996, calling at San Juan, St. Croix and St. Thomas. The first western Caribbean cruise departed December 1, visiting Playa del Carmen/Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios. "The two routes that are operated on the Carnival Destiny offer some of the most popular islands in the Caribbean, as well as several days at sea, which is an ideal combination for appealing to both the first-time and experienced cruiser," said Bob Dickinson, Carnival president. "Also, aside from its size, the Carnival Destiny is filled with innovative new designs and guest amenities that pique the interest of both types of cruise vacationer," he added.

For starters, the Carnival Destiny has a space ratio of 38, which is not only substantial for the contemporary market, but on par with many premium ships, according to Dickinson. The configuration of decks on the Carnival Destiny is a departure from other "Fun Ships" in that the primary entertainment and recreation decks are situated in between accommodation decks. In other words, starting at the lowest passenger deck and moving up, there are two decks of accommodations followed by three public room decks and then five more accommodation decks, which feature balconied staterooms and suites. "This design serves not only to centrally locate the indoor entertainment and recreation facilities for all guests, regardless of cabin location, but helps to achieve totally unobstructed views from the hundreds of balconied staterooms and suites," said Dickinson.

More than 60 percent of the guest accommodations feature ocean views. Standard ocean view staterooms measure 220 square feet with 60 percent of those also featuring private balconies. Each ocean view accommodation also includes a sitting area with sofa and coffee table. There are two categories of suites -- verandah suites measuring approximately 340 square feet, and penthouse suites, at approximately 430 square feet, both including private balconies. A unique feature of all balconies is a design consisting of solid side panels for privacy while forward panels facing out to the ocean are clear, enabling guests to enjoy full sea views not only from the balcony itself but also from within the stateroom when looking out. No suite or stateroom views are obstructed by lifeboats. Specially-designed family staterooms, at approximately 230 square feet, many with connecting cabins, are located convenient to the children's facilities and round out the wide spectrum of guest accommodations. In lieu of a verandah, family staterooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows providing panoramic ocean views. Dining options on the Carnival Destiny include the two-level Galaxy and Universe Dining Rooms featuring expansive ocean views from both the main floor and mezzanine levels during traditional sit-down meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Additionally, the Lido area Sun & Sea Restaurant serves a variety of foods in a more casual setting. This area also features specialty restaurants including Trattoria, offering Italian fare, Happy Valley, featuring Chinese cuisine, The Grille, serving hamburgers and hot dogs, as well as a 24-hour pizzeria. Carnival Destiny also features a patisserie, located along the Destiny's Way Promenade, offering an endless selection of pastries, crepes and sweets. All alternative dining options are at no additional charge.

In addition to the traditional "Fun Ship" array of bars, lounges and guest facilities, the Carnival Destiny features a sports bar with multiple television monitors, a two-level dance floor in the Point After Dance Club, a two-deck-high 15,000-square-foot Nautica Spa health and fitness facility, including a juice bar, and a two-deck-high 1,300-square-foot indoor/outdoor children's play center, featuring its own pool. The lobby entrance to the vessel, which is at the base of the Rotunda, a nine-deck-high atrium, one of two atria on the ship, features a piano and orchestra area, the Flagship Bar, and an expansive seating area. Carnival Destiny also has a wine bar and an extensive mall-style shopping area. Particular attention was placed on the design of the outdoor recreational areas on the Carnival Destiny, which features a total of four pools, including the children's pool, and seven whirlpools. The mid-ship or Lido pool area features a multi-level terrace design providing optimum viewing of deck activities and performances occurring on the adjacent stage. The Lido pool area also includes a swim-up bar and two whirlpools. The Sun & Sea pool area, located aft on Lido Deck, features the Sky Dome, a retractable cover that can enclose the area and enable deck activities and entertainment to continue in the event of inclement weather. This pool area also includes a swim-up bar and two whirlpools.

The Slide Pool on Spa Deck features an unprecedented, winding, twisting three-deck-high slide providing a heart-stopping 214-foot-long plummet into the water below. The slide even features a deceleration zone to slow the speed of thrill-seeking guests before they reach the bottom.

A three-deck-high showroom on Carnival Destiny, the first of this magnitude on any cruise ship, is home to two of Carnival's trademark showstopping Vegas-style productions. The ship also houses a casino unparalleled at sea, spanning some 9,000 square feet and featuring 321 slot machines and 23 table games. In addition, the Virtual World game center features high-tech virtual reality and other electronic games while a photography studio enables guests to make appointments for portrait taking.

"We've taken our years of experience in the cruise business and combined it with a host of ideas and suggestions from guests, and created in the Carnival Destiny what we believe is the ultimate vacation," said Dickinson.


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