My boyfriend and I just spent our Labor Day weekend on a 4-night cruise from NYC to Saint John aboard the Carnival Triumph. The following is a review of our trip…
ROOMS We had booked an interior room, and, despite our fears prior to seeing it, we were pleasantly surprised at how spacious it was. We had a queen bed (in actuality, two singles pushed together), which had a thin down comforter and 4 pillows, and was very comfortable, a decent-sized bathroom, and TV, which included 3 movie channels that played the same 3 new movies each day. Although it was strange to wake up the next morning in complete darkness, we adjusted quickly. I highly recommend bringing a clock, though (and setting to EST), since there are none in the room.
FOOD Food was certainly all about quantity, not quality! Most of the food was terrible. I enjoyed the omelettes for breakfast, and sandwiches at the NY Deli, but how can you really mess up breakfast and sandwiches? I thought any sort of fish they served was inedible. Since it was all pre-frozen, it was always extremely fishy and stale. They did a decent job cooking meats, particularly steaks, however. They offer 24-hr pizza, burger and ice cream as well as 24-hr room service, which is pretty cool. Room service was fast, and my portobello and mozzerella sandwich was tasty.
SERVICE Service was EXCELLENT! All the workers were extremely friendly and considerate, and did a great job—from housekeeping to waiters to entertainment staff. They made the trip all the more enjoyable.
SHIP & ACTIVITIES The ship looked like it was modeled after an old, rundown Atlantic City casino. Décor was tacky and tasteless. The pools were small like bathtubs, and the hot tubs were out of service. Although the pool deck was always crowded, we didn’t have a problem grabbing extra lounge chairs and finding a spot for them. I enjoyed the live Caribbean and Latin music on the pool deck, and the entertainment staff did a good job trying to keep guests entertained with different activities throughout the day. I loved the gym, which had panoramic views of the ocean, and was huge!
SAINT JOHN DAY We highly recommend renting a car for C$40/day from Avis, which is diagonally across the street from where the cruise docks. The tours offered on the cruise cost an arm and a leg, and we had a blast on our own. We drove to Reversing Falls (check to see their tidal schedule, and try to make it during low tide), St Martin’s Sea Caves (also best experienced during low tide, but beautiful regardless), and Fundy Trail Parkway (where you can bike, hike or drive to see the Bay, waterfalls, salmon creek, etc). We returned the car, and then visited City Market in Saint John.
OVERALL If it were for another short trip, if it left from NYC (where I live), and for the extremely discounted price that we paid, I may consider doing it again in the future. However, I would never pay full price, travel to board the ship, or force myself to spend an entire week on the ship. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it for what it was.