This was my 6th cruise, we wanted to go somewhere for the Thanksgiving holiday. Were attracted by the price and larger rooms than what Disney or Royal Caribbean offered. Also I wanted to see what Carnival was all about.
Over all the Triumph was not even close to the 5 Royal Caribbean cruises I been on. I don't think the value was there for Carnival. I'll break it down:
The rooms where bigger and no complaints there but I don't go on cruises to sit in my room.
The ships ratio of common area footage to cabin room space footage made the ship too full of people in ever common space. The common areas where chopped up and over crowded. I like the crowds in some respects but it ws hard to move around in lot of places.
The dining? if you ordered off a menu, it was alright but the buffets? awful I thought. With the buffet's most people ate the same hot dog or precooked hamburger. The hamburger ws the main ration people had to eat. The meat was rubbery and dried out taking me back to hamburger days at the poor school cafeteria I grew up. The very slow buffet food lines where like out of a Mad Max movie showing scenes of people getting their food ration. I got the idea that the food was being rationed out slowly on purpose. Breaks my heart to see elderly people standing up for so long then not able to find a seat to eat that hard fought food.
let me talk more about the buffet food, the melon fruit got a little narley by the second day. We got few meats offered and few changes; mostly a tough roast and fried chicken. Even the cooked to order stuff like at chop sticks, it was really buffet too, and the line moved even slower. There is zero service on the buffet area, you got to get your own drink-your own everything, often times my food was getting cold by the time I got all the way to an available table and then got set up to eat.
We did the "My-Time" dining and it was more like "Long-Time" dining. We would go eat at 6:15 and would be able to get out around 8:30-9pm. I will give the crew credit for very good dining room dinner time food but came out erratically slow.
The pools and top deck were small (no baby pool or real dedicated kids shallow area to swim. the top deck was chopped up but really not all that bad. I'll give that area an A-. The Pool/deck bars where easy to get to, the drinks were not slow, so A+ on that bar. No A+ to the bar in the dining room, really that bar was awful. silly slow and very hard to get a refill on any soda rationed to our table.
Many of us did the soda card, don't waste your money since its just too hard to get a soda in the morning or when dining. The dining "bar" person would avoid us since they had to go get us a diet coke again for no tip.
The Gym is very new and nice, I did not see any steam room or sauna by the way. pleant of open places to get some cardio in; A+
Access to morning food, coffee or breakfast was complicated and difficult. required to go on to the top deck and no diet coke if the bar was not open yet. 2 times I asked for a diet coke and was refused because the bartender was doing his 2 hour set up for the morning. Drinking that faucet water was hard, tasted awful but we had big bottles of water in our room.
room service for the morning? only bagels, danishes and coffee or juice. I asked for cereal and was declined the first time (their English is awful). No meats, no eggs. so we found the Paris open for breakfast, that's way to do it, fast nice people. Only bad part was the chicken sausage, it was double or triple cooked to where it could not cut or chewed.
Our room attendant was great for the most part, i would insist that he mops the floor around the toilet (shaky ship can cause can make make people miss), it smelled like neglected rest room of a gas station many times.
The ship itself was not too smooth on the water, I do think the captain would not put out the stabilizers to save gas. I was on ships just as small in worse water with a lot smoother ride. I guess the ship is "going green" by not paying the extra gas the stabilizer burn.
In the end, if comes down to where you only got enough many to go carnival, then yes do it. But if you can squeeze 2-$300 more for RC or Disney, then do that instead.