This was our 4th time on the triumph, 13th cruise, and 9th carnival. We are seasoned. The new port at Miami was nice, and made everything quick. We got to the port at 11am, on by 12pm. Once onboard, we were allowed to drop our stuff off to the cabin. After we dropped stuff off to cabin, went up to eat lunch.
Club O2 - I am 17, I remember camp carnival and the activities to be lacking and boring starting around age 13. Club O2 completely changed my feelings on that. They made a new club on the triumph since the last time I had been on it (2003). They had many TVs, video games (Wii, PS2, 360), music, a dance floor with a lot of lights, board games, and couches, pretty much everything you needed to make bored teenagers happy. I enjoyed this very much, and must say they kept me entertained with the activities. I also like the if you feel like it approach. If there was an activity on the schedule you did not want to attend, you could still go to club o2 and More
just play video games the whole time. The club host Brianna was nice, and allowed freedom for everyone to do what they wanted, while respecting the ship at the same time, definitely a plus.
Dining Room Food- Dining Room food was good, one comment is desserts were lacking. Other than that, filet mignon was great, and other dishes were also exceptional. Only problem was desserts, they were seriously lacking universally. We had a head waitress, that we could speak to for hours, and some nights came pretty close. Assistant waiter was bus boy, but was very friendly. We were in London Dining Room, 8:30 seating. A hint, if you meet the bar waiter Roman, from the Ukraine, ask him to show you a card tricks, he knows many, and they are all well rehearsed.
Cabins - Ours was in good condition, a little bit of wear and tear, but other fine, room steward Jones was friendly, and did excellent job at fitting our needs.
Bars - No problems getting sodas, and less of an anger look then in the past when the bartenders would be mad about soda card. Alcoholic beverages got to mother and sister fast, no problems.
1st Comedian - Very good, not sure his name, but knew how to make people laugh.
Magic Show - Even though I have seen it before, and it hasn't changed, it was still very good, and left you asking how they did that. Snow ending was boring, not magic, just clear, blatantly obvious special FX (literally there are machines you can see that spray out the snow).
Oxford Bar - If you don't mind the smell of cigars, great jazz band, and very conservative atmosphere that lets you get away from the normal fun ship action.
19th Hole - Played 9 holes on the virtual golf course. If you play alone you can play 9 holes in half an hour. I believe I paid $25 for the 9 holes.
Spa Carnival - Very good. I had a Swedish back massage, paid $79 for 50 minutes, plus $20 tip.. Very nice, felt great, on first fun day at sea. I also had a 75 minute hot stone message, felt great, highly recommend, although pricey, with tip came to $200, and I had $30 off. Complaints:
Bar Service on Decks - Usually hard to find a bar waiter on decks, even in crowded well populated areas. Very disappointing, when a drink was wanted, either you had to get up and walk down to the bar, or wait an hour for someone to come around.
Arcade - Most of the time, machine to deal out tokens through Sign and Sail was broken. A lot of arcade games old, and some did not work all together, lots of wear and tear on arcade. Definitely in need of a refresh.
Lunch and Breakfast on Lido - Lunch was border line repulsive on the lido deck. If you did not eat from the specialty stations, the buffet left much to be desired. Very Very Disappointing. Pizza was good. Grill lacked substance (can't you put seasoning on the fries or something????). Deli was fine, and Hong Kong Noodle company did not have much I liked. Desserts were boring, only thing good was chocolate swan. Breakfast was repetitive, although they did have lucky charms.
Cruise Director - Boring and somewhat annoying, but not a deal breaker.
The Village Idiots - Most awful, most unfunny comedians/jugglers I have ever seen. AWFUL!
Bingo - Never won
San Juan - Boring, stores almost close by the time we get there. We were back on the boat by 7pm, feeling like we saw everything we wanted to see in Puerto Rico.
St. Thomas - We went to Sapphire Beach, a trick with Sapphire beach is that if you rent the jet ski there it is unrestricted and $90 an hour. Beach chairs $7, but it has that corona commercial look to it. Also, not extremely crowded, they had lunch there, and it was close to where you sat. Bartender there was nice, and there are refills on sodas once you get your first soda. St. Thomas is where you go to shop, but that is old news.
Grand Turk - Margaritaville a must, they gave away prizes, had great food (get the Jerk Wings, wow), gigantic pool, strong margaritas (don't ask how I know), and a gigantic pool. Very fun atmosphere, however get there early if you want a seat. Also, they had a battle of the Carnival Freedom vs. the Carnival Triumph while we were there. Be careful at Margaritaville though, you don't realize how quick you can get up to $95, like we did (3 people). Shopping is awful in Grand Turk, highly recommend you shop on St. Thomas, much better deals on St. Thomas. The beach was very nice in Grand Turk, and I would go to Grand Turk again, kind of reminded of Princess Cays with stores.
Disembarkation - Was meeting relatives, and after consulting front desk on whether to carry off luggage or send them down since they were meeting us at 9am, they gave us earlier luggage tags, and they worked and got us off the boat by 9am, thanks carnival.
Will definitely be cruising Triumph again, despite food problems, everything else was great, and could not ask for more. Prefer Triumph to Glory class of ships, Triumph had all the amenities of Glory, with less people. The triumph I feel also had a touch of refinement that made it feel more like home once we got on board. The glory always had the feeling of artificialness. Less