This was my fifth Carnival cruise and probably the best yet. I live in Texas and love the convenience of sailing out of Galveston for short trips. I had previous cruised on the Ecstasy (twice) and the Triumph (twice). After last year's incident on the Triumph, I was a bit skeptical about booking on it again - but since I have never had a bad time on a Carnival cruise, I threw caution to the wind. I am very glad I did!
The updates that Carnival added to the ship last year were very good. Perhaps the most notable of these (besides mechanical ones) was the addition of Guy's Burger Joint and the Blue Iguana Cantina on the Lido deck. The food at both was EXCELLENT! Because there were more options, lines were noticeably shorter at meal times. I don't think we ever spent more than five minutes in line while on the ship.
We had an extended balcony state room on the Empress deck (7) and it was wonderful. We chose an aft room that has an odd layout that wraps around a crew staircase. The space is a little strange, but our balcony was more than twice the size of a regular room (big enough for two loungers, two chairs, and a table). Nothing new, but the beds are super comfy.
As always, the staff was very friendly and the hospitality top-notch. I have heard stories about Carnival having bad service - but I have never experienced it myself. I am continually impressed with them and will keep going back unless that changes.
Don't miss the Sail Day brunch in the main dining room! I had the filet minon, eggs, and a mimosa. So good and it was a nice break from the buffet scene. Comedy club is also fun!
Perhaps the only negative I might add is that the overall entertainment seems a big stale for past cruisers. They don't really mix up the shows very often, so you are likely to see repeats if you cruise often. I generally just skip them and do something else on those nights.
All in all - a great trip to celebrate my mom's birthday. Thanks for a great time, Triumph!