Carnival Triumph Cruise Review by ibtsoom: Carnival Cruise and Camp Carnival for kids
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Carnival Cruise and Camp Carnival for kids
This was our second Carnival cruise, but our first with children. The last cruise we took, I was pregnant with our now 11 year old...so it's been a while! Cruising with children is not as peaceful as without, but Camp Carnival helped out some. I thoroughly recommend signing your children up with Camp Carnival, my children, ages 8 and 11) had a blast, but sometimes their hours of operation are not ideal.
You do have to pick up your children at lunch every day, not a problem, since I prefer to dine with my kiddos anyway and it gave us some family & pool time every day. Just an FYI, my youngest highly recommends the pizza. I think he ate it EVERY day for lunch! Camp does not take them to the pool, which is the highlight of vacations, according to my children.
Carnival spends several days trying to get you to participate in their "Build a Bear" camp activities around lunchtimes...of course you have to purchase the bear...this was not high on the list for my boys. We More usually dropped off the boys when Camp opened at 10, picked them up for lunch around noon and returned them to camp at 2ish until 5ish, depending on what time we chose to eat in the "fancy" dining room.
We ALWAYS took our boys to "fancy" dining, even on formal night. They really enjoyed tasting all the new and unusual foods offered every night and it gave me a chance to work on manners and etiquette. Camp will feed them a kid dinner, but we never tried it.
Depending on the scheduled kid activities, we either kept them with us to see the shows, or took them back to Camp until 9 or 10. After 10, you pay to have them keep the kids. Camp offers one late night party for kids, until 1 am for under 10 and until 3 am for over 10...costs extra to attend. Both my boys went & had a good time.
The most inconvenient hours were the last two days. You had to pick up the kids for most of the afternoon and evening. They had "family" activities planned, which sounded fun, but we ended up spending all that time in the pool. There were some adult shows and games we wanted to participate in, but children were not allowed and the camp was closed. This was my one big complaint, otherwise, Camp Carnival helped us enjoy our cruise with (and at times, without) our children! Great vacation for the entire family! Less
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Cabin review: Carnival Triumph Interior Panorama 1044
Small room, could have used more room to place luggage. Lots of closet space for hanging clothes. Limited counter space. Quite location. Convenient safe for valuables. Nice location and easy access to Lido deck, where many activities take place. Some trouble getting elevator access.
Port and Shore Excursions
We decided NOT to use Carnival's excursions and saved lots of money! For an $11 taxi ride about 10 miles from the boat to Chankanaab National Park and about $21 entry fee each to the park, we spent the entire morning snorkeling almost completely alone! We had most of the park to ourselves. I guess we beat all the cruise excursions there.
We rented our snorkeling equipment right there on the beach for very little cost. I did have trouble with my mask leaking and had to return it three times until I got one that sealed, but they gave me no problems exchanging it.
Water was a little rough, but clear with lots of fish to see. This was the first snorkeling experience for my boys, ages 8 and 11, and they absolutely LOVED it. Biggest thrill was the HUGE barracuda hiding under the dive platform...freaked me out a little, especially when he turned his head to look directly at me - I think my wedding ring caught his attention!
Once others started getting to the park, we were able to swim near all the scuba divers and see exactly what they had paid to see. Their guides even shared their finds with us!
The park had someone swimming around taking underwater pictures (about 20-30 pics) that they put on a CD, which we purchased for only $25! We did not get to check out all the other goodies the park offered because we wanted to do some shopping in Cozumel, but I know they offer scuba, snuba, swimming with dolphins, and other tours as well.
On the way out of the park, we came up on one of the wild iguana sunning in the front. My youngest inched his way close to it for a pic. Overall, a great experience for much less than Carnival charged!
The Dzibilchaltun Mayan ruins were very impressive! We booked through Autoprogresso instead of the Carnival Cruise lines and were not disappointed. The cost to go through Carnival would have been almost 3 times more than it was through Autoprogresso and it looked like the exact same tour!
Our guide acquainted us with the local area as well as his native Mayan culture during the 30 minute air-conditioned bus ride to the ruins, but my youngest son was most impressed with all the iguana sunning on the stone fences.
We picked these ruins over others because you are still allowed climb them and that seemed important to my two boys...and their dad. The exploration of the ruins thrilled my boys...I heard lots of Indiana Jones references. :) I would have liked a more thorough tour, but due to the time constraints of having to catch our boat and wanting to have some time to shop around Progreso, we did not see as much of the site as we wanted to. We never made it down to the astrologically situated Temple of the Seven Dolls, but could see it in the distance, nor did we make it into the onsite museum. Both of these are places I want to see on a return visit.
The highlight of the visit was the swim in the freshwater cenote, so don't forget your swim suit! The cool water felt wonderful after the heat of the tour and is filled with tiny little fish that tickle you as they nibble on your feet, legs, arms, and any exposed skin. My youngest just sat in the water and giggled uncontrollably as they swam all over him while my oldest preferred to jump off the 145 foot deep end! The water wasn't as clear as in photos I've seen, but the tour guide explained that runoff from all the rains cloud the water this time of year...makes sense. I highly recommend this tour through Autoprogresso!