We just returned from our cruise on Carnival Triumph and I decided to write up a little review while it is all still fresh.
We cruised out of Charleston, SC which is ideal for us since we live about 15 minutes from the downtown area. Our daughter dropped us off at the pier around 3:00 PM Sunday (29 May) for a 10:00 PM sailing. The ship (which arrived empty) was ready to receive passengers so we proceeded to embarkation.
Embarkation was a breeze. From the time we got in the terminal until we boarded the ship was less than 15 minutes! We went straight to our cabin, dropped off our carry on bags and headed to the purser's desk to put the cash on our Sail and Sign. There was no line, so that only took a few minutes.
We explored the ship, getting lost a few times. Around 5:00 we went back to our cabin to freshen up for dinner. Our bags were already there so we unpacked and then went to the London dining room. The meal and service were excellent. After dinner, we wandered around, learning the layout of the ship. We were on deck for the sail away and went to the Welcome Aboard show which was fun.
STATEROOM -- We had cabin 2340 (Main deck Aft). I was surprised at how large the cabin was. There was ample room to move around without getting in each other's way. There was plenty of storage space for all our clothes and our suitcases fit neatly under the bed. The bathroom, while small was adequate with a nice sized cupboard for toiletries. Our steward (Joko) was terrific! Our room was always spotless. We never had to ask for anything...he just seemed to anticipate all our needs. Joko always had a smile and a friendly greeting. Once he learned my husband had brought his own Diet Pepsi on board, Joko made sure our ice bucket was never empty and even brought in a second bucket.
FOOD -- We had chosen the early seating for dinner (5:45) and had the upper level in the Paris dining room. We ate dinner there 4 out of the 6 nights. The food was beautifully presented and tasted as good as it looked. Our waiter, Kim was a delight. He made dining a very nice experience. The buffets on the Lido deck were okay....typical buffet foods, with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables available. The Coney Island grill had very good burgers and the NY Deli had excellent sandwiches. My favorite there was the Reuben. We only tried room service once and that was for the cookie & brownie platter.....delicious!! The desserts shipwide were fantastic. The Grand Buffet was a delight. We watched the galley staff setting it up and took a lots of pictures. The presentation was everything in this case.
ENTERTAINMENT -- There was plenty to do aboard the ship. There was something for everyone: trivia games (which I won twice & got a 'coveted ship on a stick 'and two medallions), the newlywed game, shuffleboard tournaments, pool games and Carnival Color competitions. The casino was fun but we didn't spend much time in there. We loved the variety of music available throughout the ship.....classical piano, string trio, calypso, etc. The shows in the Rome Lounge were very good. We especially enjoyed the magic show.
PORTS -- We didn't like Freeport at all. It struck us as shabby and tacky. That is one place I don't care to visit again. Nassau, on the other hand was great. We took the Blue Lagoon snorkeling tour and has a blast. We also enjoyed the shopping & bargaining in the straw market which is where we picked up the majority of our souvenirs.
THE CREW -- Everyone was so nice with one notable exception. I mentioned the exception on my comment card only because it was so out of character for the crew as a whole. The crew went out of their way to help make our cruise the best vacation we've ever taken.
MISC. -- Our fellow passengers for the most part were great. There were a couple of exceptions but one will find that anywhere. We weren't bothered at all by the small children. In fact, we hardly saw them. There was a small group of teenagers who thought it was cute to run through the passageways in the wee hours of the morning, knocking on doors, yelling and stomping. After my second call to the purser's desk that stopped. I am guessing ship's personnel tracked them down and returned the noisy teens to their parents. We didn't partake of anything in the Spa except the adults only Jacuzzi, so really have no comment on that area. We didn't see any 'chair hogging' or seat saving. I am sure it happened, but just not where we were. Overall, this was the best vacation we've ever taken. Our only real complaint was regarding the music on the Lido deck. It was so loud, we had to shout conversations at times. We came home relaxed and rested which we've never found to be the case with land vacations. This was our first cruise, but definitely not our last. We are already planning another one!