This is a review of our 5 days on the Triumph 6/20-6/25. Didn't intend for the delay in posting this, but I think a review is always good—better late than never!
Embarkation—We (myself, husband and mother-in-law) arrived at the terminal around 11:15 and porters were there to take our luggage. We had sailed out of NYC twice before on the Legend and then similar itinerary to this one on the Victory and embarkation then was slow and disorganized—definitely not what we were looking forward to again. Much to our surprise, however, Carnival really revamped the process. The port terminal was reorganized, with a better traffic flow, carpeting and lots of friendly staff directing cruisers to appropriate lines. After check in we got boarding zone 4 and were on the ship by 12:05 headed to the Lido for lunch. It was such a painless process, we couldn't believe it.
Muster Drill/Sail Away—The muster drill was right around 4:30 and actually went on longer than any other muster drill we've had. I don't have any problem with follow safety guidelines and I know that the muster drill is required, but there seemed to be a ton of repetitive announcements. Even the crew in our area said that this was a longer drill than usual and told us we could take off our life jackets since it was getting extremely hot and stifling. After that was over, we headed up to the top deck, but it was raining pretty steadily for the majority of it. Luckily we brought rain jackets for the trip and were able to stay on top, take some pictures of NYC and of the funnel going under the Verrazano which is not to be missed—it was great!
Stateroom—We booked two balcony staterooms (close but not connecting) on deck six, midship, starboard side. We've had both balconies and ocean views on other cruises, but the most recent trips, we were in ocean views. I had forgotten how much more storage space there is in a balcony room, particularly in the bathroom. I took someone's advice and brought a power strip and I was glad that I did. But, there were two outlets by the vanity instead of the one I thought each room had. I'm not sure if that's the case in all rooms though. This ship hasn't upgraded to flat screen TVs yet and we didn't have a basket of toiletries in the bathroom. I know others said they didn't and some said they had one, but not with as much stuff. Our room steward Sean and his assistant Paul were great—room always well taken care of and towel animals every night. They were very friendly and always greeted us whenever they saw us.
Ship—The ship was in good condition, very clean and the dEcor was not over the top. The layout is similar to the Victory where the dining rooms prevent passengers from going forward and aft on certain decks. You have to use deck 5 to cut across. To avoid accessing the Lido from outside, use deck 8 to cut across. The theme is great cities of the world so the lounges, restaurants, bars are named after cities around the world. Although the weather wasn't the greatest and the ship was full, it didn't seem overly crowded. Traffic flowed well.
Food—We thought the food overall was very good. We ate breakfast and lunch on the Lido mostly, with one breakfast in the dining room. Lines were very long because they have the two sides of the buffet joined by the salad bar so everyone stands on the same line to get either hot food or salad and it take forever. The pizza and grill were good, that's mostly what we opted for since the lines were so long otherwise. For breakfast on the Lido there's an express breakfast station with eggs, bacon, etc and the lines are shorter. There is someone serving the bacon, and he's in the middle area between the two sides in the lido so you can easily miss him. I did the first few days. My husband did have the Ruben sandwich a few times and liked it.
The dining room was great. At first we were seated at a booth in the Paris dining room, upper level and there was a pole that blocked one of the seats to the booth and my mother in law had a hard time getting in and out. Anyone would have really, it wasn't a great location. We spoke the Maitre'd the next morning and he changed our table without a problem. Our waiters were Walter and Preval and they did a good job. I found more on this cruise that the wait staff seemed very rushed and were busy clearing and setting up tables for the next day while guests were still waiting for dessert. One night they forgot our coffee/tea. We didn't complain as we saw how busy they were and it didn't seem like it was their intention, more pressure from management. They did the usual singing and dancing. The Maitre'd Mustafa actually came over and said hello to us, which rarely happens from our previous cruises. As far as the food is concerned, I enjoyed everything in the dining room. I did have the prime rib and I thought it was tough, the flat iron was actually better. A few things stood out: vegetable lasagna, crab cake, lobster tail, flatiron steak, beef stroganoff, lobster bisque, tilapia, ribs, warm chocolate melting cake, bitter and blanc.
They did have the Mexican Buffet at midnight...didn't really partake as we were full from dinner and it was pretty late. They did have great sliced fruit and the desserts that looked good, but we only tried the fruit. They had salmon tacos which I thought was a strange choice, but everything else seemed the usual. They did have the chocolate buffet at lunch the last sea day and it was packed. I didn't try anything from it yet again...way too hectic and a lot of it didn't look appealing. The chocolate cakes were all flavored with something like orange, pear, etc. They did have hard ice-cream that they were scooping and putting cream puff pastry around it to make a swan. That was nice. Sushi was available each night from 5-8 and was very good, usually busy.
Entertainment—The cruise director was Jorge and he was very funny, though we didn't see a lot of him. The assistant cd, Natanya did practically everything and she was very good. We later heard that Jorge was sick and that's why he wasn't around much. We went to two comedy shows, both good and the magic show which was fairly entertaining. We didn't see any of the dance/singing shows. All of the live music around the ship was very good, better than on other ships we've sailed. Keith was over by the casino and he was great. There was a reggae band that was good and a female singer, not sure of name, but was very good as well. We did play bingo (lost) and went to the casino (lost at first, then husband won my money back!)
Gym—I went to the gym daily, mostly did the bike/elliptical and took a spin (indoor cycling) class on the last sea day for $12 for about a ½ hour which I didn't think was really worth it. There are a lot of machines though and it was never full.
St. JohnsSmall Irish town and we were greeted at the port by people from the chamber of commerce. Ladies got roses and guys got a pin and there were a bunch of local vendors selling gifts and souvenirs. We did the St. Johns Photography tour. The tour guide was an accomplished local photographer and he took us to a few spots around town and helped us out with taking better pictures. He also gave us a tip sheet for taking better pictures and his email address for future questions. Nice guy, pretty informative tour. We had been there before and the weather wasn't the greatest so I didn't take many pictures, but it was still a good tour.
Halifax was a lot larger and definitely Scottish. The port had local vendors as well. We did the bike riding tour which was okay, but we would have enjoyed it a whole lot more had it not been pretty consistently raining throughout it. It was about an 8 mile ride through historic areas and Point Pleasant park. The tour guide was informative and at 68, was more fit than most of us on the tour. My mother in law did the Halifax Top 10 tour which included Peggy's Cove. She liked Peggy's Cove, but didn't feel that she really saw 10 things. It was more pointing to things as they drove by on the bus rather than seeing/exploring them so she wasn't overly pleased with it. She said others on the tour felt the same way and the Purser from the ship was there because it was a new tour and he was there to evaluate it and she said he seemed to like it so I guess it will be around in the future.
Debarkation was smooth. We chose self-assist and walked our luggage off. We were off the ship and in a taxi by 8:30AM.
Overall we enjoyed our cruise and would sail on the Triumph again. We'd be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.