Got back last wk 05-12-12 from 5 day on Triumph out of Galveston.
The drive to Galveston is about 7hrs. We usually leave early morning and go straight to the port but this time we went a day early and spent the night. I highly advise it. Quality Inn was very clean and the continental breakfast was good and had a lot of variety.
Embarkment is always a bit stressful but it actually went pretty smooth. Our cabin wasn't ready yet but they allowed us to leave our things in there while they finished cleaning it.
We booked a balcony for 3 directly from Carnival thinking they would know how their rms were set up. One of our party has some disabilities so would not be possible to climb into upper berth. We made this clear and were told specifically the rm either had a trundle or a couch that would make out to a bed. Nope! We returned to find upper berth made out. Our Steward was very apologetic and did his best to accommodate. We were brought a rickety roll away, wired together and sagging in the middle. My husband asked guest services if we could just change rms but were told none were available. So we just made the best of it. We also asked for a rm located so that walking could be minimized. Nope again! The elevator was close and opened directly to the London dining rm but we were assigned the Paris. I know we could have switched and probably should have but were trying not to be a problem so we had to walk all the way to both the front elevator and back elevator depending on where we were going. Ok, well at least the laundrette was just across the hall which might have been nice but part of the dryers didn't work, went to the one a deck above, same problem so carried wet clothes to deck below to dry. Others were frustrated with similar problems.
We couldn't enjoy our balcony as much as we'd like because of the smokers all around us. It whiffed in like a vacuum. I realize smokers choose balconies so they may smoke but seems some consideration could be given to those of us who don't wish to be exposed.
Safety drill was a joke! Pointing out we couldn't use the stairs because of impairment we were told to wait in the rm and special instructions would be provided, never happened. I was able so attended drill. What a waste of time. A crew member who obviously would rather be anywhere else half heartedly demonstrated how to put on a life jacket and that was about the extent of it. You would think in view of recent catastrophe safety would have been priority.
The wait staff was wonderful. The food was ok but not the quality or choices we had on previous cruises. Dinner was usually in the dining rm while breakfast and lunch on buffet on Lido. My husband noticed staff in no hurry to clean tables and not particularly friendly. The one time we had lunch in dining rm I asked for guacamole which seemed to really put out our waiter. He left and eventually returned with a small bowl.
Entertainment was fair. Magician was good, same illusions as all magic shows. We did enjoy the comedian, at least the family friendly show.
Port briefing was just that, brief. Wish we'd had more info and a little warning about Progresso. We didn't take beach wear as we intended to make this our shopping day. Wow! You couldn't even stop to look at things because of the hassling to buy. One very insistent merchant kept heckling me to buy something I didn't want, he kept asking what I'd give for it, I told him $5 to get rid of him and he was very insulted.
I should have studied the deck plans a little closer before booking on this particular ship. I love to go on deck and walk or watch the sun rise and set. The only decks where you could actually go outside had no working elevators going up to them and as mentioned before one in our party has disabilities which make stairs almost impossible.
Sad to say Carnival is much more interested in getting your money than your enjoyment or safety.
As embarkment is a little stressful, disembarkment is twice as much so but we were helped all the way to our waiting van, ez parking which I can recommend.
As mentioned in another review this cruise was referred to as the Walmart of cruises. That about says it.