This was our first cruise on Carnival and we were pleasantly surprised. Was always hesitant to take a cruise on Carnival as it is known as the "Fun Ship" and we were not looking for Spring Break type "fun". However, we were very surprised how much we enjoyed this cruise! It was not what we expected. DH and I are mid 50s and were not looking for crazy and wild party times on a ship. Fortunately, we did not experience this. We had a great time!
Embarkation out of New Orleans was pretty quick. At the port around 11:00 AM and eating on the Lido deck at noon. Painless embarkation process. Very organized.
I though the ship was lovely. Huge ship that seemed well cared for. No complaints on the ship or the cabin. We were in a balcony on the Veranda floor. More than enough storage space for things and a very comfortable cabin. We were forward and this location turned out to be much better than I expected. Did not feel any more movement forward than we have in past aft cabins.
Unfortunately we had terrible weather for our cruise - but that is not Carnivals fault. It rained all the way out of New Orleans and then on our first sea day March 2, we were in some horrible ROUGH seas. We had 8 to 13 foot swells and they were every bit of that!!! I think half the ship was sick. I was amazed that we felt that much rocking and rolling on such a huge ship. Thankfully I must have grown sea legs quickly as it did not bother me. Unfortunately my DH was not so lucky. But a patch behind the ear did help after a few hours. Thankfully!!
I thought the food was excellent! Much better than I had expected and also better than what we were recently served on NCL's Sky. Carnival served much larger portions than NCL and a much better quality level. We ate all dinners in the London dining room using the my time dining option. Never really had to wait much at all for a table for two. Never had a problem getting a table for two also. Service was very professional and prompt from the wait staff. No complaints at all about service or food. Must say that NOW I understand all the praise about the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake. It is truly to die for!! Loved it. Served Lobster and steak one night, Prime Rib another, Flat iron steak any time you wanted it. Food was really excellent in the dining room. Had lunch one day in the Paris dining room and it was excellent also. Had a wonderful table by the aft window and loved watching the wake go by.
The Lido buffet was good also. Lots to choose from. NY Deli sandwiches, Noodle station, and two buffet lines with lots of other choices. Yes, this area is ALWAYS crowded. That is the only complaint. But I guess that is just the nature of the beast the way they have the buffet set up. It does get crowded but we never had a problem getting a seat. We ate upstairs several times as there are less people up there and much quieter too. Really no complaints on the buffet. I thought it was quite good and actually much better than the NCL buffet that was on the Sky.
We saw a show a night. And we really enjoyed them! The Triumph dancers sang and danced their hearts out!! And the two star singers were fabulous!! Don't miss these shows with the singers. I thought the showroom was beautiful. It is three floors so there are plenty of seats. The Italian glass chandelier in the center of the room is exquisite. The costumes and scenery that the Triumph dancers used were fantastic! I thought it was very professional and felt like it was close to Broadway entertainment. No complaints from me. Not sure what people find to complain about in this area - but I guess some people are more picky than I. The magic show was very good. It was entertaining. Not fantastic, but very good. The comedian that we had on our cruise was not very good. Did not like him much at all. Very crass, and could have done without his monologue on "gas" that must have lasted 15 minutes..... Carnival needs to look into some other comedian than this guy. Not good... There was a Burlesque "R" rated review at midnight one night that we did not get to see. So I can't comment on that.
Progresso and Cozumel were our ports of call. Progresso does not have much to see but it is worth getting off the ship to walk around a bit for. We took the Double Decker bus tour of the city which was ok. It was only a couple of dollars and well worth the time and money. Lots of vendors that hawk their stuff on the street and beaches. Gets annoying, but you just say no thanks and they are on their way. In Cozumel we took a cab to Chankanaab park. It was nice, but would not go back. If you have never been there before it is worth a look and see. Not sure it was worth the $17 per person admission price though. All we did was sit by the beach for an hour or so and then walk through the grounds. Will say that the grounds are beautiful and well kept. The beach is not a walk into beach. To get into the water you have to go down steps. Very rocky. If you are looking for a walking into the water beach, then this is not where you want to be. However, the sand beach was clean and well kept with lots of lounge chairs and palapas for shade. It was not crowded at all when we were there. Which was very nice. The water is beautiful!!! The most exquisite shade of Turquoise blue water. Just lovely!!
Unfortunately as the weather was not cooperating with us, we could not use the pool as it was too cold. And it was so windy on board that several times you were not allowed on the upper decks dues to wind conditions. There are two main pools and they are very small for the amount of people on board. So I can only imagine the problems of trying to get a deck chair near the pool on a hot and sunny day!! There are lots of deck to chose from to sit in a chair though. Just not near the pool.
Debarkation was pretty painless. Not bad as there were 3000 people trying to get off the ship. From when they called our zone to when we got into our car was about one hour. Not too bad.
We thoroughly enjoyed our Carnival cruise and would not hesitate to recommend the Triumph for a vacation. We would go back on her again and most likely will. New Orleans is a very convenient port for us. Just wish they would offer more of a variety of itinerary out of New Orleans!!