I went on a Celebrity Cruise last year and liked it alot, and am booked on Carnival's Triumph New Year Cruise departing Miami 12/27.
I was wondering if I should expect the same experience.
1. Will I have to get out to the pool by 9 am to get 2 chaise chairs?
2. Do many men wear either jacket and tie and/or tuxes on dining formal night ?
3. Can I book excursions on the ship or do I have to do it before I sail?
4. How is the food on Carnival? Do they have a sushi bar ?
5. What are drink prices like ?
If you want to sit around the pool you will have to get there early to get a chaise. But there are plenty of chaises all over the Lido deck if you just want to sun and watch the ocean.
Most men will wear suit and tie or tux on Formal night.
The food has been very good in my opinion on the other Carnival ships.
I haven't been on Triumph but the other Carnival ships had a sushi bar. It was only open from about 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. or something like that.
Do a search for a post by Jedgar showing the drink prices. It's about 6 months or longer since he posted it. But in general cans of beer are $3.75 for regular domestic and mixed drinks are $5.00-$6.00 depending on liquor call.
Excursions are booked onboard. I haven't been on the Triumph but have been on one of her sister ships and they had FunVision (interactive TV channel) where you ordered the excursions with your remote control.
Some of the ships have a sushi bar set up for several hours each night and other ships have the sushi bar incorperated into the their lido deck buffet.
I've been on 9 Carnival cruises and haven't had a problem finding a deck chair but then I'm not looking for a chair near the pool. As long as you are just looking for a place to relax you shouldn't have a problem, if you want a prime spot (first row around the pool) then yes you will have to get out early.
I just stumbled across your questions while browsing around. I returned from my first Carnival cruise 3 weeks ago, and just submitted a lengthy review, which I guess they'll put up by Xmas eve. You can check it out under Ship Reviews/Reader Reviews, Carnival Triumph, Nov. 29. Good luck and smooth sailing-- jeph
Sailed Carnival 12/99 and 12/01. Sailed Celebrity Alaska 6/03. Needless to say I can not speak to your concerns re: deck chairs. However, I was TOTALLY disappointed in the pax dress on Celebrity. We had a table for 8 and my hubby had a new tux (daughter got married 8/3/03). One guy wore a sport jacket, one a turtleneck and cardigan and one an obviously rented (didn't fit) tux on formal nites, don't even ask about informal. All the women wore cocktail or nicer dresses.
We found the food good to excellent on our 12/99 Triumph and 12/01 Spirit Carnival cruises. However, a great deal depends on your waiter and how much english he understands and if he cares. The best and worst waiters we have had in >30 years of cruising on VERY many lines was with Carnival, same for cabin steward. In the last 10+ years I have booked most of our tours independently and can not speak to book ahead/onboard. However, depending on itineray some book up way in advance ie arial tram in Costa Rica. Check the boards and follow the suggestions.