The good: Embarkation, Debarkation. Both easy and relatively quick / painless.
The bad: Cabin Service, Dinner Service
The Ugly: A refit for this ship can't come quick enough!
Family of 13 ages from 12-70. We did have a good time. Let me say that off the bat. We embarked on New Years Eve and wow what a great party! Carnival did a good job getting the NYE spirit flowing. Great deck party with new years count down and they weren't stingy with the champagne either.. which was nice.
Food as always is subjective. The buffet had a good selection and generally good quality. We were early seating for dinner and our waiter while competent at times was nearly rude when we needed little things like ketchup or extra lemon. I know it's not easy to serve a table of 13 along with his other tables and he was proficient but his attitude put a damper on the whole thing.
We had five rooms booked on the same deck in the same area with the same cabin attendant. I've never had a bad Cabin Attendant on a cruise ship. Yes some are better than others but I've had a bad one now. If you weren't out of your room when he thought you should be, he would either harass you until you left OR would get snippy and not clean the room until later that day or in some cases, the next day. I'm not talking weird hours either. We did our own things in the ports and he acted positively pissed we weren't out of our rooms by 10 am. When he clearly gave his hours the first day as 6am-12am and 6pm-9pm. One evening my sister told him she wouldn't be leaving the room until 8 pm and he told her he'd clean the room tomorrow.
In my opinion auto tipping has degraded the service on the ship. They know they are getting their basic tip there seems to be no effort to be pleasant and have a welcoming personality. Little did our cabin steward and table waiter know that we have always tipped extra every time we've cruised until this cruise. If they had just been more welcoming and had better attitudes they'd have made a lot more money this week and while I know they work hard for little money, in this case I don't feel guilty for not tipping extra. The very last straw was when he entered one of our cabins and turned on the light and they were still sleeping. Rather than turn the light off and apologize he proceeded to wake them up and tell them they had to leave the cabin so he could clean.
We traveled on the Carnival Conquest last year and had a good time and that's why we felt good about booking the Triumph but I think we'll look at going back to Royal Caribbean next trip.
Finally, I know this ship is scheduled for a refit in 2014 and it can't come soon enough! There was mold in the tiles of the bathroom, the toilets were stained by black streaks in places, the rails on the balconies had chipped and faded and there were other very obvious signs of wear and tear throughout the ship.
The shows we saw were enjoyable and the comedy shows were especially a highlight. The service throughout the rest of the ship was good and everyone was friendly. It's sad but a sour waiter and room attendant really just left a bad taste for the whole ship.