This was my 12th cruise and 2nd on Carnival. It was a graduation present for my 18 yr. old nephew, and it was his first cruise. I chose Carnival for the price and his age. We took a train from New Jersey to Penn Station, then a taxi to the pier. The meter read $7.30. Not bad!
Embarkation: It took 1.5 hrs for us to board. First we waited in a general seating area, then stood in line to check in. The boarding pass they tell you to print and bring with you wasn't needed nor accepted when offered. The quite surly gentleman checking us in said "It's all in the computer". So why print it in the first place? After that we had to wait in another line for picture taking for our Sign and Sail cards. Finally on the ship, aft deck 2, 4 elevators, 2 of which were being held for luggage. No staff to give direction.
Cabin: I had booked an oceanview guarantee and was upgraded from 5A to 6B, a cabin as far forward as you can get. The size was adequate, the bathroom with plentyof space for toiletries. There was a nice basket of free samples. One of the odd things about my cabin was that there wasn't a night table. I have never stayed anywhere that didn't have a night table. There were 2 stools in the room so I appropriated one of them.
Food: The food was generally good, but not excellent. We ate dinner in the Paris Dining room. The wait staff was fine, but the food wasn't gourmet. It was obvious they were cutting costs with watered down soup and sour cream that poured like milk. No freshly ground pepper. The South Beach Club on the Lido deck was the home of the buffet breakfasts and lunch as well as the NY Deli and Hong Kong Noodle Co. I didn't try either of those. The buffet offerings were not exceptional and not hot when they should be. I've had better on other cruiselines. The pizza was excellent, however, and available 24 hrs. a day.
Entertainment: The entertainment was good. There were 2 production shows that were very good and a magic show that was exceptional. The cruise director Matt was also very good.
Activities: The usual onboard activities were offered including many games of Bingo and the men's hairy chest contest. The huge water slide was popular with the kids.
Ports: We called at St. John's, New Brunswick, and Halifax. Both were very pleasant days, helped by great weather. Canadians are very friendly. We arrived in St. John's on the July 4th and when we disembarked, the ladies were all handed roses, the men got lapel pins, and there was a 'Birthday cake' in honor of our Independence Day. In Halifax, we were met by a group of bagpipers.
Disembarcation: We opted for the 'self-assist' debarkation which meant we handled our own luggage. We gathered in the Rome Lounge, deck 3, and were off the ship by 8:15am!
Carnival offers a good value for the money and is definitely good for young cruisers. The quality of service and food is not what I am used to on lines that are in the same price range but a bit more upscale. Would I cruise on Carnival again? Probably not. Unless it was an incredibly good offer, I'll stick to other lines.
this was my first cruise and i traveled with my son and this was also his first cruise.
embarkation:we live in connecticut and took the metro north train to new york and took a cab over to the pier(about 8 dollars plus tip)we arrived at the pier about 10:15am(please arrive early)we were 16th people in the terminal sat down for about 2mins and the carnival reps prechecked us in sat for about half hour and went thru security and then to another line for the sign and sail cards the had to wait for your picture to be taken(we had to wait awhile for this, because the machine was not working).
we went to our room and met our room steward (sherwin) who was very nice and took very good care of me(we gave him extra) we took this time to explore the ship since it was very little people on it.( the ship is huge)
food: we ate our breakfast and dinner in the paris diningroom and i ate lunch at the new york deli(the food was good)i went to most of the shows and they were good. i didalot of relaxing on the lido deck and alot of sipping on fruit punch...lol.
debarkation:you have to go to the rome lounge to do self-asist by 730am(get there before that time)we was of the ship by 830am and in a cab back to the train station and home by 11am.
the upside to our trip:there was alot of activities for everyone, just get out there and do it all.
the down side of out trip:has nothing to do with carnival in fact we have no complaints about carnival. my son and i had one wheeled luggage and one shoulder bag and decided to carry both items on instead of checking it with the porter,well the porter at the pier did not like the fact that we did that(no money for him)he told us in a rude way that we had to check our bags with him before we could even go in the terminal, i told him no and carnival said that i could carry my bags on if i want, (he was not happy-no money for him)he also told others the same story and these people never saw there bags again.NOTE(not all the porters was behaving this way, it was just this older guy who was being pushy,seek someone else if they are very pushy).i will sail out of new york again, but i will always pack so i could bring my bags on the ship with me. now, will i travel with carnival again? yes i will, we had a very nice time. NOTE: the ship was full(3500)but it never felt crowded. if you choose to take this ship to canada, please enjoy yourself and keep a positive mind.
This was my first cruise and we had a blast. We drove from my home to Norfolk, Va about a 2 hr drive and arrived around 11:45 and pulled into Nauticus loop to drop off our luggage we were greeted by many porters waiting to take your luggage. Gave them a $1 per bag and we went up into the entrance to Nauticus and were greeted by Carnival personnel once we entered the waiting area. They escorted us to the check in are and within 15 minutes the 3 of us were checked in and ready to go. Since I was the only one married they did request my marriage license(thankfully I had packed it) and my daughter and her friend each filled out their own s/s card we were told the ship would be in around 1pm and could start boarding around 1:30 p.m. We waited around 30 minutes and we finally got to see the ship pull into Nauticus--what a site that was. The line started forming around 1:30 and we were around the 20th in line by 1:45 we were let through to go to thefirst security checkpoint and then proceeded the long winey path to the next checkpoint--the xray machines--here we stood around 20 minutes before they started taking us through the machines. Once that was done we waited in line until the ship had clearance for us to board--about 20 minutes give or take-then off again to have your s/s picture taken and then welcomed abroad. Since my daughter and friend used their own charge card we had to pay a visit to the purser desk--one was putting cash down and using her debit card and the other her own charge card but again this was done within 10 minutes. We then headed for our room on the Panorama deck. I had ordered a congratulations package for my daughter and this was in our room--actually a lot larger than I thought it would be--we really enjoyed the balcony--with the 3 of us in the room the balcony was wonderful to have. We had lunch on the Lido deck and watched rest of the people at Nauticus waiting to get on board. We were actually a 1 and 15 minutes late leaving Norfolk so it was almost dark when we were leaving but we did get to wave to folks at Nauticus as we were leaving.
What a wonderful sound hearing the horn blow. We then went back to our room and prepared for the lovely muster drill. Since we were on the 10 deck we had to walk all the way down to deck 4 for our muster location. What a walk with everyone else doing the same thing. No pushing or shoveling--just people doing what they should be doing. After 30 minutes are so we were dismissed and we were then able to go to dinner. We asked for the 6:15 seating but were given the 8 pm seating instead but a talk to the maitre'd and he said he would try to change it. The dinner that night was open seating and the food was wonderful. The maitre'd changed our seating to 5:45 instead of 6:15 which was full and this was okay but really would have preferred 6:15. NOthing major--we adapted and had a wonderful time. The ship is more than fabulous--words can't describe it. The open elevators are a must to travel in--I don't like elevators but I sure enjoyed using these. Our room stewardress and steward were wonderful. We requested 3 more pillows and another robe and once back from dinner they were there and we had taken a cooler and then even filled that up without us even asking too. They did this ever day while on the ship. Sharon and Eddie were great. Once we settled into our dinner we had two wonderful waiters--Adam from Romania and Benjamin--can't remember were he was from. By the second night they both knew what we wanted after dinner--Amanda plain coffee--me--decaf coffee and my daughter cappicuno. The did this every night without even asking. The food in the Paris dining room was wonderful. I especially like the pumpkin soup, lobster bisque, strawberry bisque, broccoli and cheese soup and enjoyed the smoked salmon they had as appertizers. Lobster, prime rib, lamb and seafood newburg were wonderful--we ate breakfast one time at the dining room and lunch 2 or 3 times the rest of the time we went to the Lido deck and ate at the S outh Beach resturant--tried the Coney grill--hamburgers were wonderful--the only thing I was not really crazy about was their ice tea and coffee on the Lido deck. Tea tasted like a mixute of instant and brewed and coffee was too strong for me. I preferred the coffee in the dining room and in the Vienna Cafe--which you pay for but well worth it. Ship is a little difficult to navigate--but by the 2nd day I had figured out how to get from our deck to the Paris dining room. They really do need more signs showing you how to get from one place to another. Casino was okay--gave them money--very noisy and smoky--I could only stay about 20 minutes before I had a headache so I would leave. The one musical show we saw was very good. Did not have time to check out other shows. Watched the hairy men's contest--actually we are in the travelog video bump grinding one of the men as he is beginning his trek down the steps--this was very funny and really enjoyed the good sport of everyone who had the nerve to do this. Weather was beautful the whole way--sunny and a little cloudy one day but could not ask for anything better. Our first stop was at Nassau--what a sight that was pulling into port. There were two other Carnival ships--Celebration and Fascination were there along with the Majaesty of the Sea. What a long walk from the pier to the Festival Place where we were able to buy phone cards and call home and check on things..the personnel inside the Festival Place were very helpful in telling us how to use the cards--these phone cards are different from other phone cards so DO NOT BUY PHONE CARDS BEFORE YOU LEAVE. They will not work in Nassau. We paid $20.00--I think for 20 minutes--it was great checking on my grandkids. WE then took a taxi tour of the Nassau area and then it took us to Altantis--words cannot describe how huge this place is. We got to see the aquarium and other sights--we did not get to see the dig--I believe we would have to pay extra for that and taken a different taxi back for this but our driver was very friendly and helpful. Went to the Straw market--not my favorite place--too crowded and hot for me--everyone asking you to buy this and buy that--bought some things and I left. On the way our through our first security check we were told that a shuttle bus would take us back to the ship free of charge--that was wonderul--we had to walk about 1/4 mile to get to the Festival Place. The next day we did the dolphin encounter at the Blue Lagoon--what a wonderful time we had. Petting, hugging, kissing and dancing with the dolphins was a wonderful experience. Well worth the price--even bought the video and pictures. OUr next stop was Freeport where we did the Tranquiltiy Shore excursion. This was okay--the wind was really blowing that day and the waves were very rough but the water temperature was wonderful--plenty of lounge chairs but did not see any hammocks as the writeup had stated. Buffet was good and the drink was refreshing. We had two formal nights--we had a wonderful time at each one--Seeing the waiters and waitresses dance on the tables was very funny and we hit some rough waves going back 8 - 13' waves--I still don't know how they managed to stand on them without falling off. The waves sure made moving around a little diffcult but once we passed the Carolina's things smoothed out nicely. I know I have probably left our a lot of things but we really had a super time. For a first time cruise, I could not have asked for a better time. Even my college grad. daughter and her friend had a wonderful time on their own on the ship. There is plenty to do for all ages. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.
We recently got back from our 7 night cruise on the Triumph and it was wonderful. From the time we arrived at the port at 11:00 that first day until we got off the following Saturday at 10:00, we had a terrific time.
Embarkation was smooth and took about 1 hour total.
We then went up to the South Beach Club for a buffet lunch which was just all right. We weren't real impressed with the lunch buffets, although the NY Deli, Pizza & Cheeseburgers and fries that were available near the buffet were all delicious. Food in the dining room was really good and all of the desserts were terrific, especially all of the chocolate desserts. There were late night snacks each night which consisted of cheese & crackers, fruits, desserts, the usual burgers and fries and sometimes something extra. The gala midnight buffet was beautiful, although we didn't eat any of it.
The service in the dining room was very good. Our servers were Marina and Nicolette and they did a fine job of keeping us happy. The cabin steward kept our cabin in tip top shape each day and createda different towel animal 4 or 5 times which was nice.
The pool are had plenty of deck chairs, but if you didn't get there early it was sometimes hard to find a chair. The pools were not very big, but there were 3 of them, usually with a lot of kids in them. They also had pool games each day which were very entertaining. The pools are salt water, which I don't like but there were fresh water showers which were quite refreshing after getting out of the salt water.
The entertainment was very good; there was something to do every night. There were Vegas style shows, comedians, magicians, game shows, talent shows, etc. It was all very good. They had bingo every day, too, but that could get pretty expensive if you played all week.
The ship was in very good shape. After reading several negative reviews we were concerned about the condition of the ship, but noticed nothing negative. Some of the carpeting is getting warn, as are seats in the lounge, but what do you expect with over 3000 passengers each week.
Overall, the trip was really nice and well worth the money. We would go on this ship again, but first would like to try out a few of the others.
I just returned from a 7 day cruise on the Carnival Triumph and thought I would post this review while everything was still fresh in my mind.
Where do I start? The beginning I guess. We are a family of 5. I have been on two previous cruises (NCL & RCI) and I booked our vacation with Sears travel. They gave us the best price and payment options. I did look everywhere. I booked my own air out of Detroit. By booking my own air I saved $625 dollars---that is serious money in my book. I did however choose to buy my transfers from Carnival for $110 round trip from Miami airport to the pier. Cabs will cost you $45.
Our flight went as scheduled and we arrived at 12:00pm on Saturday. So did about 2000 other people. If you can book an earlier flight or go in the night before it will make life easier. Yes, they are organized, yes it goes smoothly and yes it took an hour and fifteen minutes. The transfer took 40 minutes because there were already too many people at the dock and there wasa basketball game and traffic was a zoo. I do not blame Carnival for any of this-----I am simply retelling what happened. Carnival cannot control traffic and when you have 3000 plus people that you have to board in 5 hours there are bound to be lines.
Make sure you have your Fun Pass filled out on line before you got-----it does help but it is not the express line that people seem to believe that it is.
Once we were on board we were mesmerized by how big this ship is. If there are huge crowds don't bother with the elevators just walk to your cabin. They say the cabin won't be ready till after 3 but they start working on them as soon as you're out that morning. Ours was ready. We dropped off our stuff and went to the Lido deck 9 for the buffet. The food was good, lots of variety free beverages are available 24/7 we did not waste our money paying for soda cards. When our kids wanted a drink we just went up on deck. There are ice cream stations out by the middle and aft pools----our kids never missed an opportunity to make their own. Also take some time to familiarize yourself with all the food service areas----it does get crowded at peak meal times and lines can be 20 minutes at times but I never waited more than 3-4 minutes. Look around visit the Coney Island grill at the back or the pizzeria or the deli or go a little early or eat later around 1:00 after the rush. This is a big ship but there are 3400 people plus 1000 crew-----that means that certain areas will be crowded at times----deck chairs in prime locations will go early as they do on every ship. I always found a chair but I really don't care about location.
Yes they are! If you are looking for peaceful refined elegant superior cruising vacation then you should try one of Carnivals upscale brands. Carnival is like a floating Las Vegas/Caribbean resort there are all ages. Many families, lots of young people 18-24 and the older crowd. Most people stick to certain areas of the ship based on there age. Example, young people almost never came to dinner they preferred pool and buffet. Families and the older crowds almost always went to dinner in the dining room. We did!
Food in the dining room was excellent I only had 2 bad entrées all 7 days and they happily changed them for me. I ordered 2 of everything everyday and no one even flinched. I had three lobster tails on the first formal night (only time we had lobster). On RCI they told me I had to finish my first one before they could order and seemed frustrated when I did. This was 5 years ago so I can't say if it has changed. Steak, prime rib and filet mignon are plentiful but you have to go to dinner and lunch in the dining room. Steak sandwiches and chicken breast sandwiches are also available at the Coney Island grill. They had Panzarotti at the pizzeria as well. (8 min wait for this) Pizza was good so were the hamburgers and fries. Breakfast buffet was the same thing every day. Fruit, cereal, oatmeal grits, grilled ham, scrambled eggs, omelets at the omelet station, fruit and Danish, croissants, muffins, yogurt and more. (I never had breakfast in the dining room but menus are available on line.) Yes, this kind of buffet can get boring---- but only because you get spoiled and used to it. Let's keep it in perspective--- its breakfast and there are a lot of other dining choices.
Standard Eastern Caribbean
San Juan been there before and you get in late---5:00pm did not disembark.
Liquor is as cheap as you can find it here whether you go in town or off the dock every body is within a dollar of each other---I found the stores to have good prices but you have to know yours.
Never buy anything without knowing the product and the price back home or you will waste time and money transporting something that could easily have bought at home.
Excellent jewelry prices, but again know what you want, there were good deals but I had done my research at home----I found many overpriced deals as well. All brand name watches Movado, Rolex Raymond Weil, Longiness, Omega, they have them all. Movado prices are really good here. I looked at some diamonds and they were over priced in my opinion and poor quality. Sorry to rain on the parade but buyer beware.
Duty free shops on board were good---- most of their sales happen after the islands. Beware of gold by the inch. It seems strange to me that pure silver costs more by the inch than layered gold. Whatever layered means it is not 10k or more and therefore not real according to industry standard. If you just want a souvenir however this is a cheap way to do it and Carnival Guarantees it won't change color. However you need to be on a ship to take advantage of the guarantee.
I found all the shows to be excellent and a good variety. Two Las Vegas style shows were good -----comedian was good -----excellent magic show-even passenger talent show was good but a bit of a cop out since it really is a free show for the company. Again, if the style is not to your liking ------well you won't enjoy the shows.
Cabins and Stewards and Waiters general stuff
The Cabins definitely show wear and tear, this is a 6 year old ship and she is due in dry dock this October. Good, because chairs and upholstery everywhere need to be changed. Many chairs in the Grand buffet are stained and in disrepair. I am not saying they are junk----- they're just not up to what I would consider an acceptable for this level of cruising. Also be careful of the beautiful granite floors they are very slippery when wet. I found that out first hand. (Expect that Carnival is going to be more worried about being sued than about your health when you fall). There is an awful smell in the Oxford lounge. I managed to get someone to admit it. They were having problems with the sewage or septic system. I read other reviews complaining about this. My solution, don't go down to the Oxford Lounge this is big ship and you have hundreds of options. As for old or stained carpets----I saw some----so what? I saw the same on RCI and the ship was only half as old. The people doing the cleaning were always working. As a matter of fact it seemed at times that they were understaffed and could use more "hands on deck" as they say. The Waiters were good but they too seemed pressed for time. However, they accommodated every wish immediately with a yes sir. The dining room shows were nothing more than dancing and music. I have seen better----quite frankly they should do away with this tradition. I go to the dining room to eat. The wait staff has enough to do without worrying about entertaining me---that is what the shows are for. There cruise director and staff are the BEST I have ever seen.
Was the best for the 2-5 and 6-8 group my 12yr old said she was bored. I loved the fact, that Camp Carnival took the kids free of charge when we were on the islands. They were even open on the day of disembarkation. They would also take the kids to dinner for you so you could enjoy an evening with your spouse. By far they are WAY BETTER THAN ROYAL CARRIBEAN. The best I have experienced
I give this cruise 4 out of 5 stars and would have no problem recommending it or going again. I am already looking for next year.
This review is for the Carnival Triumph. Western Caribbean, March 5, 2005 from Miami. My wife and I booked this cruise directly off the Carnival website with no problems. We live in Florida so we had no need for airfare, we drove to the dock and I left my wife and luggage in line to check in. I parked the car in the covered parking facility. $84.00 to park for the week.
Embarkation: The line to check in was extremely long, and wasn't moving, due to the Triumph arriving late, we were told, from the previous cruise. It took over 2 ½ hours to board and the Funpass doesn't help at all to speed thing up. No one on the staff really cared that I had one. There were a ton of Spring Breakers taking this cruise so beware if that is a concern for you. We cruised on the RCI Mariner of the Seas from Port Canaveral and were onboard and in our staterooms in less than30 minutes. Really irritating while trying to board was the staff taking pictures as you board. After the length of time it tookus to get on, we were in no mood to have our pictures taken. They could do without that especially when they were running behind. Then the scanner for taking your ID photo broke and took an eternity to get a replacement into place to continue to board. Another delay.
Once onboard, we were greeted by our cabin steward. Quite friendly and seemed to be attentive to help. The cabin was clean yet the colors and fixtures seemed dated, (i.e. the 70's), the balcony was nice especially to sit and enjoy a coffee and watch the sunrise. Room service was extremely erratic. On days we had shore excursions, the breakfast we ordered never arrived at the requested time, it was always late, 30 minute at least. I complained, but to no avail, I was told they had a lot of deliveries to make. Which is an unacceptable excuse.
Dining room service was good , but the food did not impress, it was average. I expected better. The singing and dancing by the wait staff was unnecessary and didn't add anything to the dining except make it longer. If you want good coffee and desserts go to the Vienna Cafe coffee bar on Deck 5 starboard side heading aft. The girls that worked there were a pleasure. You have to pay but it was worth it. My wife and I went there several times a day and the staff new what we wanted as we walked up to order.
The pools and deck chairs were filled with Spring Breakers day and evening. And there were plenty of events to keep them busy, but we didn't go on the ship to hang around the pools.
In the Main theatre, Rome Lounge, the entertainment was good, the Vegas style show was entertaining, the magic show was good, however, I question the use of the Club Rio lounge on deck 5 for the comedians, There were way more people to see the shows than there are seats for. What was wrong with the much more spacious Rome Lounge?
Ports of call: 1st Cozumel. We docked in Cozumel and ferried across to Playa del Carmen, then walked several blocks to air conditioned buses for our trip to the Mayan ruins at Tulum. Very knowledgeable tour guide and interesting tour that is right along the ocean.
2nd: Grand Cayman. We anchored in the harbor and tendered to the island. Took an island tour, 2-3 hours, in a 12 passenger mini bus, went to Hell, Cayman turtle farm and the Tortuga Rum Cake Factory. All were enjoyable. Dropped off and picked up next to the tenders. Did some shopping then tendered back to the ship. There were very high winds and the sea was very rough while we were anchored and they stopped tendering passengers to Grand Cayman by 1:00 pm
3rd: Ocho Rios: Docked at Ocho Rios and bussed to our excursion, ATV Adventure.
All of the excursions were well done and enjoyable.
My wife used the Internet Café on Deck 4 behind the Oxford Bar. The smell of cigars from the Oxford Bar and the backed up septic system made a couple of trips to use the Internet Cafe No one on the staff really cared that I had one. less than enjoyable.
Shopping was pleasant, the casino was fun but smoky at times.
I do have one complaint with the ship, there is a smoking policy on board and as a non-smoker I found that the restrictions on where smoking was NOT allowed were not enforced. There were people that smoked lighting up in plain view of no smoking allowed signs or where and whenever they felt like it, and the staff did nothing to stop them.
Overall the cruise was good. The staff was friendly. I hope Carnival has improved the embarkation or maybe this was just an unfortunate experience. We would go again. Maybe after the refurbishment is completed.
We cruised on Carnival Triumph on January 29, 2005, and found it to be the worst ship we had ever been on!!!! This was our 8th cruise, and have never had such poor service, and a very unfriendly crew!!! The food was good outside the main dining room, they have a large varity to choose from if you do not want to dine in the main dining room. Our cabin steward was very unfriendly, and wouldnt even hardly look at you. Our room (6461) was not very clean, and they didnt do a very good job of cleaning during our cruise. They wouldnt even pick up a glass of warm pop, they just let it sit there.
Never did they go out on the deck to check to see if there were anything out there, never cleaned the windows, so you could hardly see out them. The carpets are very stained, the curtains are tatered, and the bedding also. I had to beg for 3 nights for an extra blanket, and would not get one, so I finally had to go to another cabin steward to get one. They chargeddrinks in our room to our bill that we never even drank. Just very unhappy with this cruise, and never met 1 person on it that liked it, and would not cruise Carnival ever again. I know that it was our 1st time on Carnival, and it will be our last!!! highly recomend another cruise line!!!
This was our first cruise on a Carnival ship and we were very pleased. We had no trouble boarding. There were lots of people but everything moved very efficiently. Our room was larger than we though it would be. There was plenty of storage space and the bathroom was adaquate. We had a balcony room and our travelling companions had the room next door. The balcony was open so we shared the space.
We felt the food was good but not extraordinary. The service was fine. We ate on the Lido deck for most breakfasts and lunches. There was a buffet there as well as stations for pizza, hamburgers and hot dogs, oriental food and a deli. Pizza and ice cream were available 24 hours a day.
We liked the entertainment especially the magician.
It was a fairly large ship, but never seemed particularly crowded. We managed to find a deck chair even when we were at sea and everyone seemed to be out in the sun.
There were children but they seemed occupied with Camp Carnival and were not all over the place. We felt there was plenty to do for everyone'staste from classical trios, to all night dance music.
The ship itself is beautifully done. It took a little time to learn to get around as only the 5th deck goes from one end of the ship to the other. All in all, I would consider going on another carnival cruise.
My family and I just returned from a seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Carnival Triumph. Before booking this cruise, we looked at the various reviews available on the Internet. Those reviews usually were of one extreme or another – people either liked the ship and the cruise or hated it. Our experience was somewhere in the middle.
The Triumph is a large ship with lots of people aboard. It is geared toward a younger crowd, which pleased our teenagers just fine. There are plenty of activities available during the day, and the staff made every effort to keep us posted on those activities – which included contests, dances, shows, exercise classes, talent shows and of course excursions. With more than 3,000 people on board, it can get crowded in places. On the days at sea when the weather was wonderful, it was hard to find an empty deck chair.
We had read in some reviews that the ship was in need of repair, but we found the Triumph to be in good shape. There was ongoing maintenance during our trip. Our ocean-view stateroom was relatively large. (My wife, who has nowtraveled on three cruises, says it is the largest stateroom she has seen.) Similar to others' experiences, we did notice a smell of urine or sewage upon entering our stateroom. We never did figure out why.
On a previous cruise, our departure was a big deal. The cruise director encouraged everyone to be out on deck for the sail-away, where music played and we threw confetti. On this cruise, we were participating in our muster station drill when we departed. It was very uneventful and not an impressive way to begin the cruise.
We had read the Triumph had great food. We disagree. The food was good -- it wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. The steak was always tough and chewy. My wife and daughter took one bite of fish and immediately asked for another selection. The lobster was very good. The desserts were good. The food on the Lido deck was also good but not great. I was impressed with the sandwiches from the NY Deli, but the consistent long lines gave me a reason to look elsewhere. (Carnival needs to add more help in the NY Deli.) There was a place for hamburgers, which were good, and a 24-hour pizzeria. My teenagers found the pizza to be very good.
The Las Vegas shows were very good. The singers and dancers were very talented. The magician was also impressive. My teenagers suggest they should offer some movies for the younger crowd, in addition to the constant teen dances that were available. They also suggest an expanded sports bar featuring more football games during football season.
San Juan was not impressive. It was dark during our short stay in the city. The cruise director did everything possible to suggest not taking any shore excursions in San Juan. He even offered a show at the Rome Lounge while we were in port. St. Thomas and St. Maarten were much more impressive. Check out the Magen's Beach tour in St. Thomas and the Island Explorer tour or the Divi Beach tour in St. Maarten. We enjoyed them all. Magen's Beach is beautiful, and kids (of all ages) will love it. I have never seen water so clear before.
The TV screen in your cabin allows you to monitor your account balance (Sail and Sign Account). This was a useful tool for us to monitor our teenagers' spending on the ship.
A note about debarkation: There is an option available, but not well-publicized, for persons with an early flight out of Miami or Fort Lauderdale. You can get VIP tags for your luggage from the Purser's Desk. Put your luggage outside your cabin the night before, and go to the Rome Lounge at 9 am. You will be permitted to disembark after those who carry their own luggage, but before the general call for debarkation. Your luggage will be waiting for you at the VIP portion of the terminal. It worked very well for us.
In summary, we had a good time, and our teenagers (this was their first cruise) said they thoroughly enjoyed the experience and wanted to do it again. The Triumph is geared toward a younger crowd and a large population. If you have teenagers accompanying you and you want to keep them entertained, and if you want to get by as cheaply as possible, this cruise is for you. If you are interested in a refined, classy cruise with an older crowd and fine features about the ship, this cruise is not for you.