I went on the 9/8/07-9/15/07 sailing of the Triumph with my husband and my parents. This was a first cruise for all of us! We're now hooked! We started our vacation the Friday before. This was a huge mistake. We should have just flew into Miami from Boston on the day of the cruise, Saturday. But anyway, we flew into Miami on Friday. Our hotel was the Ramada Miami Airport North which claimed to have a free shuttle to/from the airport and to the port. We waited for 2 HOURS at the airport to be picked up from the shuttle. Yes, 2 HOURS!!!!!!!!!!! It was awful! The hotel was disgusting!! The employees were rude and uncaring. The room was dirty and disgusting. It even had roaches in the bathroom. I kid you not folks! Do NOT stay there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then the shuttle to the port the next day was $10 per person. What a rip off. Friday night we took a cab ($50 each way) to the Miami Seaquarium - don't waste your time or money here either. It was nice to see the marine life, but it wasn't worth the price of the ticket or the cab to get there. Seeing our ship for the first time in person was great! It's huge!!!! The ship is beautiful. I know some people say it's worn down - but I guess since it was our first cruise, we haven't seen any better, so we thought it was awesome. Getting on the ship was a breeze. The lines moved so quickly. It only took about a half hour to get on. We got to the port at 10:30 and were on by 11am. We couldn't get to our room until 1pm though, so we walked around and ate on deck 9. Our cabin was on the 1st deck (Riviera) cabin number 1206. It's one of those special cabins that you can get for the inside cabin price but it has two portholes. It does have bunk beds, but my hubby and I didn't mind at all. You can fit two on a twin hehe. My parents had a balcony state room - it was really nice. I think I'd go with that next time I cruise! Our steward Yu was nice, but didn't talk to us much and we didn't get a towel animal the first night either. My parents had a great guy who was so helpful and they got really cool towels animals every night - when we got plain simple ones. I was upset! BTW deck 1 can be noisy with the waves crashing into the ship. Also, I did notice some sewer smell at times. I don't' really suggest getting a cabin on this deck. The food on the ship was pretty good. I'm a picky eater, so I sticked with basic stuff while my hubby had everything you could think of! The desserts were awesome! The chocolate melting cake was unbelievable - yes, I had it EVERY night lol I think I've gained 10 pounds! But oh well, I was on vacation! The shows were pretty good - some were excellent - like the hypnotist and the comedian. Some other shows were cheesy, like the game show one. But I went to all of them, and was glad I did. We spent most of our time in the casino of course, it was a blast! Lost alot of money though. The cruise director Paul was awesome! He's so funny! I couldn't wait to see him every day! He's excellent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 Our waitstaff at dinner were great! They were so funny and took care of us. This was the best vacation of my life! I cried my eyes out the last day lol. Getting off the ship was easy and well organized. Just some annoying people getting all agitated over nothing and starting fights slowed things down. People should just calm down and things would go quicker. I didn't think it was bad at all, took exactly one hour. But I thought it was fun - I didn't want to go home anyway. We did self-assist. It's the way to go IMO. We then got onto a shuttle bus (Carnival one) and were at the airport in 15 minutes. Our flight was at noon so we had plenty of time. I'm off to plan my next cruise with Carnival!