Return of the Triumph
‘Return of the Carnival Triumph’
Just the Facts:
Ship: Carnival Triumph
Captain: Allesandro Iemmi
Cruise Director: Jen Baxter
We booked this short 4-day cruise two weeks prior to sailing primarily as a show of support for the Carnival Triumph returning to Galveston. I was also curious to see what 2.0 upgrades were added in addition to the repairs from the problems that occurred early in the year. This is my 36th Carnival cruise, second time on the Triumph, and 81st cruise overall.
Wednesday / Travel
We left the ranch about 2:30 pm and headed south to stay with good cruise friends. We had a nice casual drive and arrived about 6:30 in the Cypress area of Houston. A great evening and since I still have lingering effects of Schistosomiasis I was able to rest and break up the travel.
Thursday / Embarkation / Day 1
We anticipated early boarding since the Triumph had been in Galveston a few days so after a nice
breakfast provided by our hosts we were off to Galveston about 9:00 am. We arrived at EZ Cruise Parking by 10:30 and were shuttled over to the ship straightaway. We were checked in at the VIFP priority check in area by 11:10 and after a short wait we were escorted to the ship. They really have the boarding procedure down to a science in Galveston now. I noticed in the general boarding area that they have areas sectioned off into zones with TV monitors showing boarding status for the various groups or zones. This really helps the passengers to understand the procedure. It’s really like an Airport lounge if not better. Although we were among the first to board there were a lot of VIP’s with day passes so the lobby was kind of busy especially since they were serving complementary (small) cocktails upon entering. I had decided to wheel on my large duffel and not check it since I had packed water and cokes. Once I was able to get through the small crowd and also get my cocktail we went strait to the cabin to drop my bag. We were in the cabin on deck 8 aft by 11:40 am and I consider that wonderful. After a bit of unpacking we went up to the Lido buffet for a bite of lunch. I had the roast beef and sampled a few other items. DW had a very nice salad, as a vegetarian, it is her favorite thing on the ship and they do have a nice salad bar area. Carnival arranged a lot of special extras and surprises for the ‘Return’ voyage and while eating our lunch one surprise walked by:
Geo Lopez in Rome Lounge - Carnival Triumph
George Lopez. Also something different, suddenly the music changed and the waiters and staff of lido did a dance for the guests: YMCA. Interesting. After lunch I went to see the new Red Frog Rum Bar and the Blue Iguana Bar on Lido deck. We had a 1:00 pm showtime for the special Punchliner show in the Rome Lounge so I headed down there about 12:50. The DW is not a George Lopez fan (and there are a lot) so I was able to get a single seat third row center. Carnival Brand Ambassador John Heald was there and two comedians including George Lopez. He was very well received although I believe it was because he is a name celebrity, not necessarily his comedy. IMHO-I thought John Heald was much funnier. After the show I met up with the DW and we explored the other special extras and surprises. There was a Mariachi band on Promenade deck, The Houston Texan Cheerleaders in the EA Sports Bar, Cotton Candy machines, a ‘Spin the Wheel’ gift wheel (we won a nice Guy’s Burger hat and a free cocktail), the Alchemy Bar had cocktail samples, and there were complementary “Triumph Returns” T-shirts in every cabin. In addition there were several contests that guests could enter. The lone priority checked bag showed up about 2:45 pm. A very busy day and a lot of activities before the scheduled 4:00 Boat/Safety Drill. Just about on time the announcements for guests to leave and passengers to prepare for boat drill began. Safety drill went smooth and very soon the Triumph was sailing from the port of Galveston on her way into the Gulf with an escort of dolphins. We enjoyed a little ‘snooze’ time before getting ready for the Welcome Show at 7:30 featuring the Triumph orchestra and the Triumph singers & dancers. Jen the Cruise Director welcomed the guests and the two comedians: John Macdonnell and Tommy Drake did a short routine. It was now time for dinner in the Paris dining room. I had requested a two top table along the railing and Chris, the CD, did a great job getting our requested spot, he also came by to say hello. For dinner I ordered a Shrimp Cocktail, Escargot, Broccoli Soup, Grilled Chicken with Pasta, and NY Cheesecake and Black Forrest Gateau for dessert. The Gateau was excellent. There were a lot of late activities on the ship, but we returned to the cabin after a FUN active day.