I just returned from the Triumph which sailed 11/26/05-12/3/05 and as we always do, we had a fantastic time. Many people have inquired about changes in this ship post dry dock or for reviews from those who have recently sailed so here it is. I have never been on this ship before but have a pretty good idea of what was updated/refurbished and what wasn't (I was previously on the Victory). I honestly did not see much of anything that was new other than carpet in the dining rooms and the stairs and landings. Some of the cabins may have gotten new carpet and balcony doors but I can say for certain that not all of them did. The carpet in our cabin was a bit worn and the balcony door was the same old one that slams shut if the cabin door is open but neither of those things mattered all that much to us.
I don't have a teenager and did not check out the new teen area so I can't comment on that but heard that was one of the major updates. I also did not see the previously mentioned canopy for the calypso band at the main pool area. They simply moved the band to the panorama deck and so they were covered by the deck above. If there was anything else new about that set up I couldn't tell. But again, it was fine with me.
Most areas of the ship were extremely clean and in very good condition including all the seating areas along the Promenade and the Atrium. The dining rooms were beautiful and the furniture was very clean and comfortable. The public rooms were all very clean and furniture and fixtures etc. were in very good condition. (We did go into every public room and check them out and maybe this is where changes were made in terms of new upholstery or furniture etc.)
There were only a few areas that I noticed that were in need of improvement. First, the carpet in my cabin was in pretty bad shape and should be replaced and there were probably others like that. Second, the bathrooms by the casino bar were pretty bad with the toilets all black inside and there there was a constant rattling noise in the wall. Finally, the main pool needs to be refurbished. There is rust in many places, paint worn off the tile and many of the tiles chipped and/or damaged. I did not spend any time at the other two pools so I'm not sure of the shape they were in. I hope they do repairs on the pool soon because that was kind of disappointing but we did spend a lot of time there and had a great time and the pool was open every day, including port days as were the whirlpools. The slide was open on sea days. The calypso band was good and they played all day (from 12pm-5pm) on sea days and at sail away on port days.
I read a recent post about complaints regarding the tenders in Cozumel and have to agree that it was a mess. People waited up to 2 hours in the Rome lounge for their color sticker to be called (which is why we elected to stay on the ship) and the last tender was at 7pm rather than 5pm because it took them so long to load and unload. This was just something that was inevitable due to hurricane Wilma and really no one's fault. Hopefully, this improves and the pier can be rebuilt quickly. There were no tendering problems in Grand Cayman and it was a quick 5-10 minute ride to the main pier. In Ocho Rios we were docked on the "good side" so we could walk right off and down the street to Vacation Island/Margaritaville (good thing since the walk back wasn't nearly as easy given all the FUN we had there!)
We thought the food on the ship in general was good, not great but definitely good. We had wonderful wait staff in the Paris dining room and everything was hot and for the most part good (better, it seems, than what some people experienced). The Lido grill was great for lunch and the pizza was good enough for late night munchies. The deli sandwiches were all good and the chinese was mediocre. ALL of the "drink of the day" specials were yummy as usual and not lacking in booze.
We really liked the cruise director Matt Ross. I've read other posts where people thought he yelled and he is kind of loud but I thought he was very funny and personable. The other cruise hosts were great as well. We found all of the staff to be great and had no complaints about anyone. Our dining room staff was great. Our room steward was great. The pool bar staff was great. The casino staff was great, especially the casino host Claudia. Piano Bar Nicholas was good but not one of the best we've ever sailed with but he's a nice guy. Karaoke Dave is also really nice but we didn't go to Karaoke much because the hours were odd and we missed it most of the time. We mostly saw him hanging out in the Piano bar. We only went to one show on the first night. Otherwise, we don't usually get into the Vegas type shows. We heard the late night adult version of the magician was great but the show was extremely short.
I've read a few recent posts about problems people encountered on this ship following dry dock but we did not have the same situation. Someone mentioned the ship being the worst as far as rattling/vibrating etc. My husband and I thought this was one of the smoothest sails we've ever had. I never even saw water moving in glasses in the dining room and we were in Paris which is Aft and we certainly never felt any vibration or heard any rattling in our cabin which was on the Lido deck about mid ship. I can't explain why some people had different experiences and I do think maybe it depends on where your cabin is in terms of noise/vibration. The last few nights of the cruise very late we could definitely tell the ship was cruising at a higher speed but it was a comfy rocking which helped us sleep and is what we have experienced on all of our cruises on the last few days. Another factor to the wonderful sleep we got was the fabulous new bedding. I had heard about the new bedding but did not think it would make any difference to me. I have to tell you that this is the most comfortable bedding (both the pillows and the comforter) that I've ever slept in/on and my hubby wants me to buy it!!
Prior to leaving for this cruise we had heard some bad reports about embarkation/debarkation. Several people on the first cruise after dry-dock said that they didn't finish installing carpet during dry dock so they had to store it in the luggage hold area. This created problems with getting the luggage on and off the ship and created delays. There were delays getting on and off the ship on my sailing so this situation may still exist. Not sure it was due to the carpet situation or otherwise. At embarkation, we were in line at 10:45 am and the line DID NOT MOVE AT ALL until 12pm. We were told that the ship wasn't ready to let anyone on yet. I know they say embarkation doesn't start until 1:30pm but we've always boarded much earlier than that. I think once the line finally started moving it was about 45 minutes to an hour to get on board and we were in our cabin a little before 1pm. The ship did not set sail though until almost 9pm. No one ever explained the reason why and really it didn't matter. We were all having fun anyway on the ship. Debarkation was not the nightmare previous posters mentioned but it was a little slow. We had a later flight and weren't in any hurry to get off the ship. We slept until 9am and they announced general debarkation shortly after that. We waited on the Lido deck until "last call" hoping the lines would be reduced. This was about 11am and there was still a decent line to get off the ship and we were off by 11:45. We didn't hurry to get off though so this was no big deal.
We had a wonderful cruise and are now hoping to plan another one soon!!