Day 1 - Parked at Lighthouse Parking in Galveston. Pam and I and our 3 pieces of luggage were shuttled to the terminal at 10:25. Security, check-in and embarkation was a breeze. On ship by 11:30. Purchased F2F so we boarded after the weddings, Diamond, Platinum, and suite guests. Went straight to room to drop off carry-ons. Room was ready and 1 of our 3 bags arrived as F2F promised. Went to Lido to eat lunch, got pretty crowded as we ate. Toured the ship from top to bottom until about 2, then went back to cabin. 2nd piece of luggage had arrived. Muster at 3:30....crowded and packed on Deck 4, couldn't understand instructions. Went to our balcony for sailaway....waited for 3rd piece of luggage until 5, then went to the F2F dedicated line at Guest Services to complain. I was directed to a pile of luggage just outside the Rome theater....dug thru it and found our 3rd piece....the luggage tag had been ripped off, so they couldn't figure out where to deliver it even tho I had other identification on the outside that provided my information....seems like they could have matched my personal ID to their manifest and get it to my cabin. So the luggage to your room 1st part of F2F didn't exactly work for us. However CCL credited my S&S account for the $49.95 without a request from me. Had confirmed early seating, when shown our table it was a booth. I'm a big guy and don't fit in a booth too well....asked MD for a changed....no open table with chairs at the early seating, so he changed us to ATD....worked out great. At 6pm every evening, never had to wait more than 5 minutes, always got our requested waiter, Francisco, and always set at a 2-top every night. Food was great, hot, delivered at a comfortable pace and the dining experience was always pleasurable. Went to the welcome aboard show...very entertaining.
Day 2 - went to breakfast solo, Pam had room service breakfast delivered on time, accurate, and wholesome. Played bingo, set on the lido, lunched in the MDR, did some more activites, went to dinner, show and strolled the ship. Day 2 was "Cruise Elegant" night. I just wore a dress shirt and dress pants & shoes. Pam wore dressy slacks and a blingy top. Saw everything from tails, white dinner jackets, formal gowns, cocktail dresses, to jeans, shorts and kilts. No kind of attire seemed to be out of place to me or to the DR staff. Food was great again and service was even better. I haven't mentioned yet that the cabin was small but not inconvenient at all. Plenty of storage for 2, bathroom small but tons of storage room. For a big guy like me I was never uncomfortable in the cabin or bathroom. Room Steward, Laurence, always had the room stocked with ice,towels and turndown service when we were at dinner or the show.
Day 3 - ported in Progreso at 7:30ish. Went to breakfast in the MDR. it was great as usual. Disembarked at the port, perused on the pier a little, would purchase on way back to boat. Took the shuttle bus into town. Pier is 5 miles long, bus is free to the flea market area in town. Looked around the flea market a little. Then walked to the beach found a palaypa with table & chairs and set on the beach for a couple of hours. had snacks, tea, and lemonade from a local restaurant on the malecon served by a waiter. Many venders came by but they move on when told "no Thank you" or "Gracias No" Collected some shells on the beach, water was cold and was not as beautiful as Cozumel's water. Walked about a 3 block area around the bus drop off/pickup area to get a feel for local life....purchased some things, then took the double decker bus around town for 20 minutes. Don't miss this $3 attraction. It is well worth it. If you sit on the top row, remember to duck under the telephone and electrical wires!. It's a blast. after that took bus back to ship, purchased a few things, then got back on board for hot dogs and hamburgers. They were great. BTW, Progreso is the placde to haggle more so than Cozumel. Later went to dinner/show, took some pictures and people watched....great day!
Day 4 - Ported in Cozumel around 8:00ish. Went to breakfast in MDR great food again. Disembarked and just strolled the Carnival owned and operated shopping area at the pier. Pam bought a ring and did haggle the price down from $750USD to $250USD cash. So you can haggle in Cozumel but it's not as easy as Progreso. Finished shopping in time to do lunch in the MDR.....it was great as usual. Rested in the afternoon in the cabin, then went to dinner/show. All was good. Went to bed after show to get ready for our last sea day and our "Behind the Fun" tour. Rough seas during the night were annoying but did not disrupt our rest.
Day 5 - Ate breakfast on the Lido this morning because it opened earlier than the MDR and we had to be in the library at 8:45 to start the ship tour. Breakfast was good. But a buffet is just not the same as waited table service in the MDR. The tour was great. Went to the very front of the bow, crew's bar, brig, mourge, laundry, crew's other bar, crew's mess, staff mess, officer's mess, captains dining room, HR department, medical center, engine control room, meat freezer, meat thaw box, soda/wine/beer refrigerator, then to galley, then to the bridge, comments by the captain and the chief engineer, group and individual pictures with the captain. When Pam & I took our picture with the captain Pam actually had her hand on the wheel. So I guess she was driving the ship. Captain made a joke about a woman driver. Then back down to Deck 5 to complete a survey. We had refreshments in the 2nd Crew's bar, the galley and in the bar where the tour ended. We received the following gifts for booking the tour. 6-8x10 Photos of us, 2 crew baseball caps, 2 lanyards, 2 wrist bands, 2 back packs, 2 pieces of bar soap carved into a swan by the garde manger chef. with the refreshments along the way the retail value of the gifts far exceeded the price of the tour ($95pp). FYI lots of stairs, lots of walking (3 hours), some outside deck activites, some unusual smells on the restricted parts of the 0 deck. Well worth the money tho, IMO. Lunched in the MDR, rested, went to dinner/show, then to bed.
Disembarkation - alongside in Galveston at about 8:20ish. Had priority disembarkation with F2F so we were in Zone 1 for disembark. Breakfasted in the MDR at around 7:30, went back to cabin for carry-on and last minute comfort stop. Room was already ready for next guests. Went down to Rome Theater to wait for self assist folks to get off ship. FYI they get off first starting around 9:30ish. We disembarked at about 10:30, got a porter to get us thru customs and back to shuttle, better than waiting in a long customs line. Shuttle pulled up as we walked up to loading area. Was back at car around 11 and on the road.
As the title of my review suggests, the entire experience was better than expected. This was our 1st cruise and all I knew about cruising was what I have read on CC for the last 5 months. All I can say is that the folks that complain about things on the Carnival Triumph must be a lot pickier than I am. Except for the luggage snafu, the booth seating that was corrected, and 1st day crowd on the lido, it was a very enjoyable vacation. I didn't need clothes pins to hold the shower curtain down, post its to leave the Cabin Steward notes, over the door shoe holders for organization, nite lights, bungee chords, travel alarms, duct tape, multiple size baggies, extension chords, highlighter, or white noise makers. Cabin had 2 plugs, we took 1 multi-plug surge protecter. We both packed about 25% too much. Would recommend the Carnival Triumph to anyone.