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beenie weenie October 7th, 2007 10:14 PM

Just returned from the Triumph...
Just got home last night from our Triumph cruise. All together it was not a bad cruise, but not the best either.
High Points:
The people who work on the Triumph that we saw everyday, were terrific. We had the best Waitstaff and room stewards ever. They worked tirelessly from early in the morning until late at night, never complaining. They tried so hard to please and definitely succeeded and I really enjoyed getting to know each and everyone of them. The bar staff in the dining room was great as well and we shared many a laugh with them. The Magician was top notch and really entertained. There was a very talented pianist named Sergiy who had an excellent repetoire and appealed to every age group as he played in the atrium, one minute he'd be playing Maple Leaf Rag (an old ragtime tune) the next minute he'd be playing something contemporary with a gaggle of teenagers singing along with him from deck seven above him. The karaoke Host was very engaging and did a great job. I did love having a balcony, it added a lot to the cruising experience. The ports were terrific and we had fun exerywhere we stopped on this itinerary. We had a blast in the pool and on the slide, it was a great way to spend time as a family. Camp Carnival did an awesome job. They have expanded their services and hours to offer parents and kids more flexibility. I was impressed! I was also very impressed by the Internet Cafe Manager. He really did his best to assist people in getting checked in for flights and printing boarding passes in spite of the slow connections. I was unable to get mine to print, and he offered to work on it for me so I could enjoy my last day on board. He had the boarding passes delivered to my cabin and also adjusted my account to make up for the slowness of the connection. I also found the Purser's Staff to be the most pleasant I have ever encountered. They knew how to handle issues and sooth ruffled feathers. They all had great senses of humor as well! The food quality at dinner was average, you can tell where they have cut back on certain items in the last year or two, but never did we leave the table hungry. They were also excellent to my children and they enjoyed formal nights so much because the bar and wait staff made my kids feel so special. Oh I have come back to edit and add this as I forgot, there was an officer who I frequently saw on deck. He made it a point to enforce the rules with regard to what people did in the pools and hot tubs including keeping the kids out of the adult hot tubs. Keeping ppl from jumping/cannonballing/diving in the pools etc... He did a great job of sticking to the rules without offending the people who he was correcting.

Low points:
The ship is way overdue for a refurb. Dented, damaged or missing ceiling panels were everywhere on the ship. Hundreds to thousands of lights that either no longer work or bulbs were never replaced. In the London Dining Rooms alone, there were lengths of light fixtures, where instead of repairing or fixing a problem they just put electrical tape over the holes where the lightbulbs once were. There were neon lights in the atrium that no longer functioned, not sure if it was the bulbs or transformers were the issue. Several of the public toilets and sinks had black areas, streaks or scratches on them. and the ships ventilation system needed a good cleaning. My room steward would dust daily and by the afternoon my room had layer of dust covering everything, I have never seen anything like this on any of our other cruises but it just left us with the impression that the Triumph was not being well maintained and in certain areas appeared a bit tacky and shoddy. Even though all the people on board were working very hard, it appears that it is not their fault, but someone higher up the Carnival food chain might be accountable for the lack of maintenance, but who knows. Musical entertainment on the ship was very hit or miss. We tried to go to the Piano Bar one night and the Piano Player (not the guy in the Atrium) didn't bother showing up for work and no one really knew what happened to him. I was not impressed by the Singers and dancers, the only thing that set them apart from a High School swing choir was the price tag of their costumes. Most of the vocals were pre-recorded aside from the two featured singers. It was the worst entertainment I had seen on any ships we have been on. I am not a huge fan of buffets in general and like to go to the dining room for breakfast and lunch so I don't have to fight the crowds (I have to say that lines were much shorter on this ship than Conquest ships) At least twice the Hostess in the Paris Dining Room told my husband they had just stopped serving, even though according to the Capers they were open for another half an hour, then when I would walk around the corner, she'd say oh, go ahead... I am not sure what the deal was, either she didnt like d/h or she liked me, or was afraid of me, not sure but it was an odd little game we played. Speaking of the dining rooms... OMG they are ugly!!! But that is simply my opinion.
I only noticed the infamous sewer smell in one spot on the ship, we found out later it was due to a leak and then realized why the carpet was discolored in one spot, eek!
Self assist was a complete disaster. They were supposed to call self assist people by decks to leave the ship, instead they called them all at once (I am guessing because we got into port 2 hours later than planned) Then they also called regular debarcing passengers to the same place all at the same time.People were shouting, pushing and shoving, They were packed into the area in front of the elevators forward on deck 3 and it was awful people were trying to get off the elevators and couldn't because it was already packed solid with a sea of humanity and they were forced to ride the elevators up and down until Customs actually started allowing people to leave the ship and the area started to empty. I heard after we finally were allowed to leave that there were a couple of fights. Who ever the brain trust that was responsible for the decision to call everyone at once should be fired. It was pretty scary to be in that stampede with two small kids and have no where to escape.

It was not a completely positive experience, but certainly did not let the negatives ruin our time. The Good far outweighed the bad, even though there was a lot of bad, most of it wasn't "that bad" we tried to laugh our way through it and that worked pretty well. I have no regrets and glad we got to go on this trip. I probably won't cruise the Triumph again unless they remedy many of these issues, and will probably take a little break from Carnival for a while to see what direction the company is taking with regard to upkeep and maintenance of their fleet, before we book another cruise with them. D/H is looking to book another cruise right away to cure his PCD, he's thinking of Celebrity this time around, so we'll see what he comes up with.

AKtoFL October 7th, 2007 11:11 PM

Mini golf on triumph
Was there mini golf on triumph? Do you have set breakfast and lunch times in dining room or open seating? Which nights are formal? On debarkation day are pools and slide open? Did your kids eat in dining room or with camp carnival staff on Lido deck? If so how did that go?

Kuki October 7th, 2007 11:34 PM

Welcome home Beenie!!

Glad the cruise was a good one. Though sorry to hear some of the negatives about ship maintenance. Not sure if the Triumph has a dry dock scheduled soon, but that could be. Sometimes as they get close to their drydock dates I think they slack off the maintenance a bit.

Your cruise clock still shows you on Freedom next month. You're not going on that one now?

Kuki October 7th, 2007 11:51 PM

Oh.. and don't forget to add this review to the Members Review area, so it can be archived for future readers looking for info.

beenie weenie October 8th, 2007 12:06 AM

Thanks for the warm welcome home! I really want to do the Freedom but unfortunately the timing didn't work and we had too many conflicts on the dates, which is why we chose the Triumph and I had to cancel it, but I can't remember how to kill the countdown clock and to be honest I really haven't put too much effort into figuring out lol! You could be right about slacking on maintenance due to impending dry dock. I know we will get to cruise together someday, I do regret that I won't be able to next month though. I know that you all will have fun without me though (does anyone have a tissue?)

AKtoFL, yes there was mini golf and even virtual golf. I used to be on a virtual golf team and it is actually a lot of fun. Try it out, if you like golf at all, you'll love it! Formal nights were the first sea day and the night you leave Grand Turk. I don't think the pools were open when we left the ship Yesterday. However, I think the pools were opened as soon as we boarded the ship. I forgot to mention that in Miami they have done a great job streamlining the embarcation process we left our hotel at 10:30 a.m. and we were on board by 11:00 a.m. It was very organized and I was amazed. I highly recommend that you arrive at the port early.

My kids ate in the dining rooms the first night and both formal nights. They love dressing up in their tux and gown. The other nights they joined Camp Carnival for dinner. They have really expanded their services. They offer breakfast at least one morning and lunch on some days. Not sure how old your kids are, but the dining room no longer offers the plastic cups with lids for the children to drink out of, so if your kids occasionally knock glasses over or spill their drinks and you don't want to sit on pins and needles waiting to be showered by apple juice at dinner. Bring those cheap plastic disposable sippy cups with you. There's like 6 in a pack and they can be washed out and re-used and finally pitched at the end of the cruise. Let me know if I can help with anything.

rosetattoo October 8th, 2007 10:27 AM

Welcome back Beenie Weenie, having sailed on the Triumph twice, I agree with your review. My first cruise on this ship was just o.k., nothing special plus there was a large group tour on this sailing who were totally obnoxious and fellow passengers tried their best to steer clear of them all week. The second cruise on the Triumph was very close to what you just experienced but, in addition, we had another very large group of passengers on the ship who were very disruptive, rude, and noisy. That was the last time I sailed on the Triumph, the many negatives did not outweigh the positives. The ship, overall, was dirty, carpets stained, debris in the hallways and stairs, just not as well maintained as other Carnival ships we have sailed on. I have reserved my opinion on this ship because I don't want someone to be influenced by my personal take. The Triumph is our least favorite Carnival ship and we'll never sail on her again. This is my personal opinion only, I'm sure others have had totally different experiences. As you mentioned, a good sense of humor goes a long way and we made the best of our cruises and the only way we can show dissatisfaction with our cruise experience on this ship is not to travel on it.

Bobby_G October 8th, 2007 10:31 AM

I went on the Triumph the same exact week last year.
Didn't / don't have one complaint about it.
Funny how things change in a year.

AKtoFL October 8th, 2007 10:37 AM

Cabins on triumph
Do the cabins on carnival triumph have a clock in the room? (for alarm and light)I keep reading to bring a travel alarm. Can you have a wake up call like hotel? Also any info on inside cabins riviera deck? Ages of chidren going 12,10,9,8,7,6,5,4. Will they all like camp carnival?

jack124 October 8th, 2007 11:07 AM

i sailed mid sept and i posted previously, it was not a pleasant cruise. we had the smell for three days until we were getting off in st thomas (first stop that had an airport) then they finally found the problem. dirty ship, average food plus many other problems = no more carnival. i have found the last three cruises with carnival nothing to brag about whereas rccl and nccl have more than passed carnival in alot of categories. i still check here and princess to see other posts for info as this seems to be a more active posting line

beenie weenie October 8th, 2007 11:18 AM

AKtoFL you can always look at the TV to get the time, but we have a travel alarm clock that has a flashlight on it and that has served us well through the years. They do offer wake up calls, and I do feel that your kids in those age groups will enjoy camp. I saw several older kids who were able to sign themselves out of camp if they chose, but opted to stay there because it was lots of fun. The kids I saw on this cruise were pretty well behaved.

AKtoFL October 8th, 2007 12:30 PM

Is breakfast and lunch in dining rooms assigned times and tables or can you be seated anywhere when you show up (open seating) at anytime when breakfast/lunch being served?

misguidedangel October 8th, 2007 12:44 PM

Oh my, I think you are nitpicking a little too much. I got off the triumph 2 weeks ago and had no complaints at all.

Now, I don't look for faults--I never saw any problems at all. I didn't see duct taped things, or missing panels, or anything of the sort. The one I did note was the public bathrooms had a superstrong cleaing agent smell in the bathrooms outside deck 3 Rome lounge and the one on Lido deck just in front of the pool. My cabin had a light that, if touched the wrong way, would fall off, but I told the steward and they probably eventually fixed it!

I was in Paris dining room and all was well. We had a window, but they kept the blind closed because the view wasn't exactly a view you wanted to see.

I never went out onto Lobby deck promenade at all because they kept the large doors closed all the time, but that wasn't a problem since it was so flippin hot!

The ship is eight years old and is more than likely due for a dry dock and a good fixer up soon. I would go again, but first I need to check out Glory, Liberty, Freedom, and I'll be checking Conquest out in February!

Holiday 1991
Victory 1/2007
Triumph 9/2007
Conquest 2/2008 (soon!)

AKtoFL October 8th, 2007 01:43 PM

Did you say no water in pools on sea days? That is when you want to use pools! Does slide on triumph have hours open or always open? Does camp carnival bring them to pool and slide or keep them in camp carnival area. Is it a very big area?

beenie weenie October 8th, 2007 04:26 PM

There was plenty of water in the pools on sea days while I was there. But the pools were closed the morning we left the ship.
As for being nitpicky, I don't think so. Just because you didn't notice these things didn't mean they didn't exist and doesn't mean it shouldn't be cared for. It also doesn't mean that it was a terrible cruise. But it did make the ship look shoddy compared to others I have sailed on, some of which were older than the Triumph. It's simply lacking maintenance, not the end of the world. But should not be excused either. There is value to be found on the Triumph, but there are better ships out there. I hope you enjoy the Conquest. I liked the Liberty and found it to be pretty nice in many ways.

AKtoFL October 8th, 2007 04:36 PM

Do you tip the counselors in camp carnival? How is that handled?

AKtoFL October 8th, 2007 04:37 PM

Since you just got back. What is policy on bringging bottled water or soda on board?

beenie weenie October 8th, 2007 04:49 PM

I always tip the Counselors at Camp Carnival. They really earn their money. With regard to bringing water or soda on the ship, as long as you check it, I don't foresee a problem. To me it just wasn't worth the hassle as we had packed four peoples stuff for a 10 day trip and I did not want to carry one more thing honestly. For $1.75 I can have a can of soda. Also one thing on the Triumph that I have never seen on a ship is there were soda and ice machines just down from our cabin on the Empress deck. There is always water available in the dining room and at the buffets. I would just bring a sport drink bottle and fill it up. But if you don't mind hauling the water and soda, I don't think you'll have any problems. Lots of people do it and as long as you don't got overboard about it, I am sure it will be oK.

AKtoFL October 8th, 2007 04:52 PM

Did you just give envelopes to camp carnival in general or do kids have specific counselors that you tip individually? Tipping amount? Mostly we wanted one propel bottle to carry water on port days in for each backpack. Thanks

beenie weenie October 8th, 2007 04:58 PM

They typically pool the tips in Camp Carnival so one envelope is sufficient. It's hard to say what the proper amount to tip is, because I think it would depend on the type of service they provided, the amount of time you utilized their services, but for us, it's usually between $20 and $50. A few bottles of water or soda ought to be no problem. I usually bring along a few of those single serving bottles of wine to consume in our cabin, it was really nice on the balcony, its not a problem!

BobMiller October 8th, 2007 05:02 PM

Hi Beenie!

Sorry I missed you at the get-together. We traveled with friends we only see once or twice a year so we spent a lot of time catching up. Had the room steward open the door between our balconies and we ended up spending most of our sea days there.

I was very impressed with the embarkation at the new Miami Terminal D. We arrived at 10:15 (early because all the delays and traffic we planned for that didn’t happen this time) and we had no lines at all. Our friends were to meet us at 11:00 so we finished our checkin then waited in the large comfortable waiting area with a view of the ship. At 11:00 they started loading the ship and that took about 15 minutes for all the people that had already checked in to get on the ship. There were still no lines at all until almost 11:30 when our friends arrived. They had a short line but in 15 minutes we were on the ship and heading for lunch on the Lido deck. (Note: on the first day most people don’t know about the seating on the second level so it’s easy to get a window table until about 12:30 or so) They drove from Tampa and were delayed because he dropped DW at the terminal with all the luggage then went to park. The parking garage accepts cash only and up front so he had to drive back to her to get money then drive back to park.

We had a great time and really enjoyed the laid back beach days in the Bahamas ports as well as the St Thomas and San Juan stops. Mostly shopped in St Thomas and in San Juan took a city tour then visited the forts. The weather was hot but not unbearable.

I thought the food was better than what we had on the Miracle last year but not as good as previous cruises. They must be short on waiters because we did not have a head waiter, just two team waiters and the difference is noticeable. They were good, but we didn’t get the extra special treatment we were used to. Didn’t care much for the buffets but the lines were short. Also, can’t they offer something different for breakfast once in a while? I changed up as much as I could within the limited menu but by Friday I didn’t really want any more of it.

I agree that the ship is getting a bit worn. I didn’t notice as much as you did, but agree it’s time to upgrade. I didn’t see anything that offended me, but little things that takes away from the first class feel. I was ok with the dinning room décor, if you disagree try eating in the Miracle some time :D . Carnival’s web site talks about the new designs for pool areas and "serenity" zones and such so I would expect all of the ships to go through this refurbishment before too long. Except for some hallway noise our room on the Empress deck was very quite. No noise from above or below, and very little from neighboring cabins.

Slight sewer smell from 1 or 2 small areas on the ship but not persistent and barely noticeable. Seemed like the public toilets always smelled like ammonia.

Overall I would do it again in a heartbeat. But give me a week or two to get caught up on laundry and yard work. LOL

beenie weenie October 8th, 2007 07:18 PM

Thanks Bob, I agree with your sentiments wholeheartedly. I am sure we saw each other as we probably boarded at the same time. We were in the first 20 to get on the ship. So glad you had a great time! The embarcation process was wonderful for sure! It was very nice to have the balcony room and now I am a bit spoiled. D/H is really suffering a bad case of PCD, so of course I had no other choice but to book another cruise. I was fortunate to find a 14 day repo cruise from Nerw Orleans to New York City in March going to New Orleans; Roatan; Santo Tomas De Castilla; Belize City; Aruba; Curacao; St. Thomas; Samana; New York City
It was a steal and on a ship I've cruised on before, So that will give us something to look foreward to. I am getting excited all over again.

Sorry we didn't get to meet on board.

CO_Cruiser October 9th, 2007 02:56 PM

I was a bit disappointed to read this review....although I'm trying to keep my mind focused more on the positive stuff you mentioned. We are first time cruisers set to sail on 10/26. We aren't complete white trash, but I don't foresee me scrutinizing light bulb fixtures or things of that nature. The only thing I really care about is having a great time with friends/family, and seeing some places of the world I haven't seen before. With those expectations, I think we'll have a great time.

Thanks for taking the time to write the review.....

beenie weenie October 9th, 2007 03:17 PM

You have a good attitude. Focus on the positive. Truly there are some really awesome people working on this ship and they aim to please. The fact that the ship needs a refurb is probably good to know up front so you have realistic expectations, the light fixture and ceiling thing was just everywhere, the bathrooms, the lobby atrium, the dining room, even in our stateroom and wasn't just one or two here or there which is why I even bothered to comment on it. But that should not kill anyone's cruise. It is simply an observation that the ship needs maintenance. Most cruise ships are maintained much better than the Triumph was, which is not to say you can't still have a great cruise on her. Enjoy your trip, just don't look!

Skylvr October 9th, 2007 05:00 PM

Hi Beenie, well after reading your Triumph review I am so skeptical now...and worried the ship is going to look and smell rundown. My friend has never cruised before and I had to do a lot of convincing for him to go on Carnival. He says they are not the best from what he hears. I've only been on one cruise and that was on the Conquest and it was a very nice ship. I will put my review in when we get back we leave on 10/20. I hope the weather holds up for us.

Can you tell me what you would recommend for us to do in San Juan, St Thomas and the Grand Turks. I've never been to that part of the caribbean. I really appreciate your input.

Talk with you later. Sky

BobMiller October 9th, 2007 05:02 PM

Yeah, don’t let criticisms like this scare you. Read the bottom line, Everyone had a GREAT TIME! Seasoned cruises tend to be a bit nit picky in our reviews. Start from the premise that everything is perfect and assumptions that you will be sailing into paradise, then add in the little imperfections. Still great, still paradise but just like everything in life, not perfect.

For a first time cruiser, I’m sure you will be blown away by the service and how awesome the ship is. Several cruises in you get a little jaded and on a board like this you can point out the flaws, mostly hoping someone at Carnival reads them and improves things, but partially to give people a little extra information if they are trying to decide between 2 or more different itineraries or ships. And a small percentage is just the chance to complain a little :D.

BobMiller October 9th, 2007 05:08 PM


Originally Posted by beenie weenie
It was very nice to have the balcony room and now I am a bit spoiled. D/H is really suffering a bad case of PCD, so of course I had no other choice but to book another cruise. I was fortunate to find a 14 day repo cruise from Nerw Orleans to New York City in March going to New Orleans; Roatan; Santo Tomas De Castilla; Belize City; Aruba; Curacao; St. Thomas; Samana; New York City
It was a steal and on a ship I've cruised on before, So that will give us something to look foreward to. I am getting excited all over again.

Sorry we didn't get to meet on board.

Same here, We got a balcony on our second cruise, now can't do without one.

What a great cruise! 14 days and you'll get to experiance a little bit of everything. Now you have me a bit jelous :twisted:

beenie weenie October 9th, 2007 06:15 PM

Sky, Truly you have to have an adventurous spirit to be a cruiser. Do not worry, smells come and go on most ships, you only have to worry when they come and never go lol! As for the lights and ceilings, they are aestetic issues and while I feel they should be well maintained and cared for consistently, I would not write off a cruise because of that, but be certain I will mention it to ensure it does get cared for, and hopefully those that cruise after me will benefit from my so-called "nitpicking" and have a beautiful ship with fewer flaws when they cruise. With regard to ports:

San Juan is rich with history. You can catch the free trolley just cross the street and catch it, look for signs they may be covered with black trash bags, but they come by regularly, and ask the locals where the trolley stop is if you can't find it. This trolley circles Old San Juan, and will drop you off at San Christobal and El Morro and you can ask the driver questions, there are all sorts of great places to eat and drink as well. El Morro and San Christobal are very cool places to visit and the offer you a great view of the city, Google them to find out more about them. The port is a great place to buy perfume/cologne/booze. We like Cruzan Rum and can buy it there for about $3-$4 a liter. It's supposed to be duty free, but no body bothered to take it from me when I came back on the ship with it, perhaps because San Juan is considered a U.S. Port, but I really don't know. But never the less we're not big drinkers so it didn't get opened until we got back home.

St. Thomas is a nice place and it all depends what your interest are. You can take the ferry over to St. John and explore Trunk Bay, Or if you just like to hang out at the beach you can go to Magen's Bay which is very beautiful but not a great snorkelling spot. You can take a cab to Coki beach and snorkel or scuba dive with Peter and the gang at Coki Beach Divers. Right next door is Coral World and they have avery cool sea life and all sorts of things to see. Don't miss their sea turtles. Or of course you can just hang out at the port and go shopping which is not my bag but lots of people enjoy that.

For Grand Turk, I really like this place. It's one of those undeveloped, uncommercial stops that you know will not stay as they are for very long. You do have the Margaritaville stop as you get off the ship which is fine but very pricey and commercial, or you can take a $7 pp cab ride out to Bohio Dive Resort and hang out there have an authenic west indies lunch and some yummy conch fritters then take a nice $20 snorkel trip by boat out to the wall which is a Coral Wall that plummets 1000's of feet down into the depths of the ocean and has a plethora of sea life. They also have a dive shop if you are interested in scuba. If you want to snorkel from shore. look for the tree that kind of looks like a willow and is about the only tree that isn't a palm, and go straight out into the ocean from there and you will see some nice things out there. Let me know if I can help in any way.

DreadLockCruiser October 9th, 2007 09:49 PM

Hi Hon..welcome back!

It's not surprising to me about the condition of the Triumph. I sailed both the triumph and victory when they were fairly new and both had signifigant problems already. I can only imagine how bad it's gotten a few years and 50,000 passengers later.

beenie weenie October 9th, 2007 10:15 PM

Thanks so much for the warm welcome! I am glad to be home and just now starting to get my land legs back. It takes me about a week to stop rocking.

It's like I get sea sick after I am no longer on the sea lol.

You know your post reminded me of something, I was talking to one of the crew members about their newest ship which is currently being built, can't recall if it was Splendour or a different ship. The fellow mentioned that even though they stayed withthe same contractor, they were building it at a different shipyard because the quality control and attention to detail was much better. Which might explain some of this stuff. I remember sitting at dinner on a brand new Liberty and looking over at a statue and noticing part of it was broken off already, wondering how something like that could happen on a brand new ship. But it is neither here nor there. I will keep on cruising and they will keep building ships. I doubt I will run out of ships to try.

CO_Cruiser October 10th, 2007 01:58 AM

This has been a great post and very informative for those of us leaving on the Triumph soon. Thanks Beenie for your input.....

A couple questions.....

1. What time should we plan on arriving at the port for embarkation? (I've heard crowds can be painful and I'm hoping to avoid that if possible).

2. As for excursions, do you always book yours early through Carnival, or just find some private vendors?

3. Is there a car rental place near the port to drop off a car rented at the airport?

4. Do you have any other good insider tips for those of us new to this experience (especially for the Triumph in particular).

Thanks for your knowledge.

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