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Old November 18th, 2009, 07:40 PM
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Default Our Triumph Experience with Ida & Shannon

My most beautiful girlfriend and I got back from our adventure in New Orleans and aboard the Carnival Triumph last week. The “rare” November Hurricane by the name of Ida made this our first less-than-perfect weather cruise. This being our 4th cruise we knew it would have to happen eventually. We watched the hurricanes progress the week leading up our scheduled Tuesday departure. With a flight outta Boston on Monday we knew any changes would be last minute. We learned that our itinerary was changed while checking into The Country Inn & Suites on Magazine St.(recommended) They accommodated us for the extra evening at the same rate.
Due to the closure of the Port of NO, Triumph was unable to dock and our 4-day cruise with a stop in Cozumel had become a 3-day cruise to nowhere, leaving Wednesday. Having been to Cozumel before it was no big loss and we enjoy the sea days very much. Plus, Carnival was refunding us 50% of the cruise fare and we got an extra night in NO. They did give us the option of a 100% refund if we chose to cancel but changing the air travel made that option impossible.
We found NO to be very Boston-like with the buildings and side streets. There seemed to be a “smell” about the city that was less than pleasant. We enjoyed the Riverwalk and some general sight-seeing but were put off by the pan-handlers and the many shady looking folks on the streets.

The Cruise-
Embarkation was a bit slower than the other Florida ports we have sailed but not too bad of a wait, Perhaps 45 minutes or so to get through the line and onto the ship. This was the first cruise in which they did not require everyone to lug their life vests down to the muster-drill, which they called the “safety briefing”. This made the whole experience not only much more comfortable but also more efficient and quick. Not sure if this is something new but we were grateful!
Because this was the first trip for this ship out of NO, there was no delay getting to our cabin on the Lido Deck. We could have (and wish we had) carried on our bags instead of having to wait for them to be delivered. When 4 O’clock rolled around we headed out to a high point to take in the scenery and check out the Mississippi River as we set sail.
Didn’t happen. After about 45 minutes they made an announcement that, of all things, we were being delayed because a passenger was missing! Of course, everyone wanted to know how someone was missing before we even left the dock. Another period of time went by and then they announced that we would all (every passenger) have to go back to our staterooms- to be counted. An hour later we were indeed “counted” and allowed to roam the ship again. By this time it was almost 6PM and time for dinner and they were repeatedly paging a certain “Shannon” to contact the pursers desk. It became obvious that Shannon was the one who was MIA. Finally, after dinner and after 8 PM- 4 hours late, we were cleared to sail. There was never any indication that we heard as to whether Shannon was located but we were happy to be underway despite it being dark now.
Shannon then became quite the conversation starter and good fodder for the comedians as well. A group of passengers went as far as to create T-shirts with the phrase, “Are you Shannon?” sprawled across the back and a painted-on nametag on the front saying “ My Name Is: Shannon! So as you can see by that example we were going to be sailing with a good group of folks who were able to take everything that had happened so far in stride.

I would say the average age of passengers on this cruise was easily 50-plus. There were practically no children between the ages of 1 and 19! Sweet! (we are in are late 30’s)
Wouldn’t it be cool if Carnival made available the demographics of each cruise? Am I the only one who would be interested to know that out of 2500 passengers, this many are under 20 and this many are over 40 etc…?

The cruise itself was very good and ship the most attractive one we have sailed. Our Lido cabin (9287) was just 10 steps and a side-door away from the outdoor action. The cabin and balcony were clean and spacious. The Lido deck itself seemed smaller than I thought it would be but there was never a shortage of deck chairs. The Casino and lounge areas were very comfortable.

The “Big Easy” show was by far the best show we have ever seen on a ship. It covered every aspect of NO in powerful music and exhilarating dance. Do not miss this show if you sail Triumph! The second show, “Around the World” was not as good but partly because we had seen it before. The comedians were OK but we have seen better.

The food, surprisingly was not nearly as good, particularly in the Dining Room. The service was dragging in there too with far too mush time between courses. Some of the entrees were cold, the pasta dishes were blah the roast duck rather dry.
I whispered to my head waiter that it was my girlfriend birthday one evening upon arriving in the dining room. Throughout the dining room we heard “Happy Birthday” sung at least 6 times during the meal. It was not until we were finished with dessert and we getting up to leave when our waiter stopped us and gathered a few to sing to my girl.
I was disappointed and annoyed as I had hoped to surprise her with the acknowledgement.

My girlfriend enjoyed a massage at the spa on her B-day and was very pleased with her treatment there. In fact all of the crew we encountered (outside the Dining Room) were smiling and accommodating..

Overall despite Ida and Shannon we had smooth sailing and enjoyed our vacation. We are already scouring the Carnival website looking to book the next one…
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Old November 18th, 2009, 08:33 PM
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It sounds that although you didn't have the best in the weather department you made the most out of it. A great attitude, like you had, makes a world of difference.

I'm sorry to hear that the DR food wasn't as good as previously but it seems that can vary.

Thanks for letting us share your cruise and it would be great if you submitted it to our User Reviews.

Take care,
Mike
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Old November 29th, 2009, 02:05 AM
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Default Have a question....

Hi,
We are on the Triumph Dec 26 and returning on Dec 31. How was debarking? Did it take a long time? We are returning at 8am - Carnivals website says not to book a flight before 11:30am. I found one at 11:25am.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 02:17 AM
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I loved your review, and your sense of humor.

Glad you had a good time.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 05:51 PM
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We sailed "Triumph" in Feb of this year, and I can honestly say, it was the best of the 24+ Carnival cruises we've taken. I'm sorry you had some minor problems, but it sounds like it all came out O.K. I concur that "Big Easy" is the best show I've seen aboard in a long long time. What a high energy show it is! EXCELLENT!

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Old November 29th, 2009, 08:06 PM
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Sorry Ida affected your cruise so badly. We left from Tampa on the Sunday and because of the tail end of Ida, spent the Monday sea day confined inside, staggering from table to table trying to get through the dining room for breakfast!
Slightly off topic, but you mentioned that it was your girlfriends birthday and you had to say to wait staff. I was just wondering how they know to sing happy birthday or happy honeymoon which we heard on numerous occasions on our cruise a couple of weeks ago. We were away for my 50th b'day and nobody sang to me , , but I was wondering how it happens. Do you have to tell someone, if so who? I remember filling it in when booking the cruise that it was my birthday but didn't think any more about it. No big deal, just wondering.
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Old November 29th, 2009, 08:16 PM
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I know they ask if there is a special occasion when you book. You can also buy a cake and have it deliverd to your table. This is what were doing for my friends 50th birthday on Ispiration next month.
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Old November 30th, 2009, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cals granny View Post
Hi,
We are on the Triumph Dec 26 and returning on Dec 31. How was debarking? Did it take a long time? We are returning at 8am - Carnivals website says not to book a flight before 11:30am. I found one at 11:25am.
If you choose to self-assist (carry your own luggage off the ship) you will likely make it to the airport. Our cabin was on Lido Deck and they called self-assist by 9:30 for that deck. Off the ship and at the airport by 11 but we were not hurrying with a 3pm flight. If we grabbed a cab we could have been there much earlier. We also had no need to go through customs as we never stopped at a port so take that into consideration. Have fun on your cruise!
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Old November 30th, 2009, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamlogan View Post
Sorry Ida affected your cruise so badly. We left from Tampa on the Sunday and because of the tail end of Ida, spent the Monday sea day confined inside, staggering from table to table trying to get through the dining room for breakfast!
Slightly off topic, but you mentioned that it was your girlfriends birthday and you had to say to wait staff. I was just wondering how they know to sing happy birthday or happy honeymoon which we heard on numerous occasions on our cruise a couple of weeks ago. We were away for my 50th b'day and nobody sang to me , , but I was wondering how it happens. Do you have to tell someone, if so who? I remember filling it in when booking the cruise that it was my birthday but didn't think any more about it. No big deal, just wondering.
They noted her B-day when we signed in and got our sign/sail cards. I told the head waiter about her B-day upon arriving for dinner but what annoyed me was the fact that we were getting up to leave the dining room before our waiter finally came over with a cupcake and rounded up some last minute help to sing. Went along with the generally slow service in there I guess. We did not let that effect our ability to have a blast!
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