Our experience on board the Carnival Triumph was just that- an experience. Unfortunately, there was very little good to our "fun"ship vacation. We took a 5- night out of Galveston, where we stayed at the Harbor House the night before embarkation, which i would highly recommend for those who wish to stay on the port. The morning of embarkation was very relaxed, because we stayed so close, there was no rushing or stressing the start the embarkation process, which went very smoothly, long lines- went by very quickly. But the disappointment began when i first boarded the ship, I have sailed on the Triumph twice, once in 2000, and this time in 2012. I immediately noticed that 12 years later nothing about the layout or decor of the ship had changed. The atrium looked almost exactly the way it did 12 years ago, which almost seemed like the ship had lacked attention. Of course we weren't allowed in our rooms until 1:30, so we waited with the massive amounts of people on the Lido deck until the cabins were opened. Our next problem arose when we didn't receive our luggage until 6:00 that night, which has never happened to us before. That alone caused us to be late to dinner, and miss the welcome aboard show, which left us with nothing to do but wonder around the ship for the rest of the night.
The dining room- was it's own disaster, we chose anytime dining, which normally means we are seated upon arrival- hence the name "anytime dining" but the Triumph's anytime dining took on a new meaning- you can be seated "anytime" AFTER the other dining guests in specific time seating were accommodated, anytime dining was definitely last priority. We were told we had to wait 30 minutes for a table for 4, when there were clearly many tables available that we could have been seated at. With that said, the food was an even worse experience. Dry and tasteless. My father ordered the steak the first night, which resembled some kind of plastic in taste. Not a single meal, one night of the cruise, was hot. Or even moderately warm. In fact on the second day, the food made me very sick, i lost my appetite for any food on board the ship for the rest of the cruise. When i finally did eat, i ordered a gourmet burger from the dining room, which was as dry as my napkin. Not even slightly edible. On the last night of the cruise, fed up with the dining room staff and terrible food, we gave up and ate on the Lido deck, causing us to miss the waiters and waitresses singing the farewell song, which we have never missed.
I have also never been more hounded to buy things as i was this cruise! People on every corner trying to sell you something crazy, like a drink in a crazy cup for $13, no thanks. The photographers were everywhere, you had to sometimes make a special effort to go around their equipment on the promenade. One even asked my father to get up and move from his seat so he could put his light there! So rude, this same photographer snapped at my sister for not cooperating with his ridiculous poses. Photos are too expensive to waste the time.
the pools- They were their own nightmare, especially on the "fun" days at sea. If you could find a chair, you were basically fighting to keep it, forget getting in the pool for a second to cool off. We even moved to the adult pool to get away from the young kids who had taken over both the pool and the two whirlpools! Adult pool- not so much. Within 30 minutes the adult pool was swarming with the same children from the other pool, none of the rules or regulations were enforced or even considered by the uncaring staff.
The bar service was either great, or there was none. My father waited an hour for a diet coke in the Rome lounge, only to be told by another waiter that his original waiter had forgotten about his order, although he had already taken down his room number from his sail and sign card. Non-alcoholic drinks were never a priority to waiters.
By the third day, i would have done anything for a full night of uninterrupted sleep, or even sleep period. It was nearly impossible to sleep being under the Lido deck, but it was DEFINETLY impossible to sleep with the drunk slobs running through the hallways screaming at the 4 in the morning.
The ship as a whole was in poor shape, the Lido restaurant smelled, enough to turn your stomach and make you lose your appetite for anything they were serving. There were strange sewage smells coming from various cabin hallways almost all the time. The ship overall made me feel dirty, and a hot shower? good luck. You're either scalding or cold.
The debarkation process was painless, which was wonderful seeing how excited we all were to finally be leaving. The service on board this ship was horrendous, nothing like we have had before on Carnival. I have been on 7 different carnival cruises, not counting my two times on the Triumph, and no time was even slightly as horrific as this one.
But there were some good parts to this vacation- getting to spend time with your family is always a plus, our cruise director Tex was great, we loved him. The shows were good, they gave us something to do. Cozumel was great, despite having to be back on board by 2:30, which we also thought was ridiculous. Because of this experience,its possible that i will never cruise again, but it is DEFINITE that i will never cruise on Carnival again.