First of all I'd like to start by saying that our cruise was supposed to be a 7-day but due to hurricane Frances it was cut to a 5-day and we left on Monday instead of Saturday. Nonetheless I was very happy to just leave already, although a bit bummed about the short time and loss of a port of call. Traveling with me was my boyfriend and 4 other friends. We are all ranging from 27-31 in ages.
Our itinerary changed as well. Our first stop was on Wednesday in Grand Cayman and Thursday in Cozumel.
MONDAY - EMBARKATION DAY The embarkation was a complete and utter disaster! The agents looked like a bunch of chickens without heads running around and screaming at everyone. I arrived at 12:30pm and stood in line for about 15 minutes then after checking in stood in another quick line to get your S/S card and then you were directed by one of these chickens w/o heads to sit down in a row of chairs until your row was called to stand in line and take a picture and then to proceed to the security check point which only had ONE - yes - ONE X-Ray machine with about 7 different TSA people standing around it (???). I really felt that the whole process needed a little more organization to it. I also forgot to mention that while I was standing in line the lights went out and the AC turned off for about 10 minutes and the room just got completely HEATED! Everyone was sweating buckets! Anyway, back to embarkation....Once we got through all of this we walked up the ramps and finally crossed the threshold of the beauty that is the Triumph, where our pictures were taken with our S/S card and we were finally inside! All in all this took about 1 hour from first arriving to walking through the door of our cabin.
We had an 8A category Cabin #6280(balcony). The room was fantastic! We had more than enough space to put our belongings.
We spent the entire day exploring the boat and of course starting our drinking fest! The boat is an absolute beauty!! We met our cabin steward and immediately tipped him $20. I was going to continue to tip him throughout the week, but I felt that he didn't do anything out of his way to take care of his. He would just make the beds and fix the towels. He never cleaned the counter tops...I had to do it, and my other friends received items in their room that we never got. So I was dissatisfied with him. We also went straight to the spa and made reservations for our massages. I did find the massages to be a little pricier than what I remember them to be on the Norwegian Sky. My boyfriend and I opted for a couples massage for Friday (more on that later). They were also offering free facials and massages to people who would volunteer to be their models for other people to watch. I personally didn’t want to do it just because I don’t want people staring at my imperfections on my face and body.
The first night was open seating and we had dinner in the Paris dining room. Can I just say that the food on this ship was absolutely SUPERB! Everything was so tasty. After dinner we went to the Oxford lounge and continued our drinking and having a good time. After their we went to the Hollywood dance club where the DJ was playing some disco and 80’s music. I really wanted to do the Bingo, but my friends kept shrugging me off (More on that later). We basically drank the night away until about 2:00 am and went to bed. We ordered room service and went to bed. The ham and cheese sandwich was really good, it came with chips. There was also a pb&j sandwich that my boyfriend had.
TUESDAY We woke up early so that we could make it to the open seating breakfast in the Paris dining room. This was pretty much the norm for every morning except Thursday. I had the Carnival express breakfast with a side of hash browns and some pancakes or French toast. DELICIOUS!!! After breakfast we spent the day exploring and checking out the shops. I bought a pair of earrings and a necklace for 49.99. We continued our drinking of course and most of the day was spent exploring. We really didn’t layout by the pool that day at all. I had signed up for a spinning class at 4:00pm. Only three people showed up, but I felt good afterwards…the instructor was great. After the spinning I returned to my cabin and prepared for formal night. We went to the captain’s party in the Hollywood dance club…but it was also in some of the other lounges close by. Their were free drinks and hor’duerves. Promptly at 8:15 we went to the Paris dining room and sat down for some Lobster and Prime Rib…yes I ordered both! And they were both GREAT!!!!! Afterwards we spent the night having shots and partying in the Hollywood disco until about 3:30 am.
WEDNESDAY Needless to say I awoke this day exhausted!!! We arrived in Grand Cayman at about 10:00 am. We woke up early to have breakfast in the Paris dining room and then we went to meet with our tour at one of the lounges. Our tour left at 10:30 but because there were so many ships docked our tour left about an hour late from the ship which you have to catch a tender and then another hour from the pier area. We did the stingray city tour and snorkeling. It really messed up our day because by the time we got back it was already 3:45 and the last tender left at 4:45pm. The stingray city tour was fantastic. These little and big creatures are so amazing and docile. They just swim right up to you and sometime they flap their wings on your back or through your legs. They tell you not to pick up your feet because if you do step on them you will get stung. The boat operators would just swim right up and hug them like teddy bears and give them kisses and they would give kisses back. I was a bit terrified at first….but I eased into them. I also fed the, which was a really strange sensation b/c they suck food in. Their mouth is like 7 vacuum cleaners at once….so it was odd…I only fed them once.
We took pictures with the stingrays and then boarded the boat. Then they took us to a reef close by and we had a about 30 minutes of snorkeling time…the reef wasn’t all that. We returned to the pier area and had just enough time to go eat at a nearby restaurant and try some turtle….DELICIOUS!!!! We bought some rum cake and a shot glass and sprinted for the tenders!
We got back to the cabin took a nap….woke up got dressed and went to eat dinner at the dining room once again. The food continued to be great…after dinner we went to play bingo in the Rome lounge …. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN…I WON $400…I would have won the whole jackpot but the lady was going so fast that by the time I realized that I had bingo another woman had stood up….I had paid for two cards…so it was a lot to keep track of. After that we stayed for the magic show which was fantastic. Your typical Las Vegas type show….we were completely amazed with all of the tricks and the dancers were beautiful and did such a great job. I highly recommend the show. After the magic show we continued on to the club and had a WILD night! Once again retired at 3:30 am.
THURSDAY We arrived in Cozumel promptly at 11:00 am. This day we opted for the Lido deck breakfast which allowed us to get up a little later. After breakfast we went on shore. As soon as you walk off the boat there are some Aztecs and typical ladies dressed in Mexican wear taking pictures with you and the Carnival photogs. A short walk after that are the duty free stores where there was everything from Vanilla to coffee liquor and perfumes and makeup. It was a field day for me…...as I am known as the shopping queen.
We took a cab to Playa Sol…which is now called Playa Mia…and spent the day there. It was a little to crowded…but it was a nice beach. There is a party boat that leaves from there. You can also rent canoes and paddle boats which are included in your entrance fee. The wave runners and banana boats are separate. The wave runners were very expensive in my opinion. They charged $51.00 for 30 minutes $100 for an hour….the banana boats were about $12.00 per person I believe. They also offered massages on the premises….which I thought was excellent but I didn’t get a chance to try them out. They also had hammocks in the shade and a small pool that was full to capacity with kids! So imagine how warm that pool was. You could also order food from waiters along the beach or you could go to the pavilion and have food from a buffet….depending on your fee it may or may not have been included. We opted to pay the $31.00 per person which included the drinks….only domestic drinks. There was a tiny zoo with some monkeys and a couple of interesting animals. We took a cab back to the boat to shower and change. For dinner we went to Carlos N’ Charlies and pigged out on their food. It was DELICIOUS! We had shots galore and the environment there is just crazy and fun! We walked around after dinner a little to the nearby shops and the mall before heading back to the boat. We did our usual ritual of going to the club and drinking up a storm.
FRIDAY The last day! I woke up feeling so sad but nonetheless decided to make the most of our last day. We had breakfast at the Paris dining room…as always it was delicious. Afterwards we went to the pool and rode the slide…which was fun but it got a little scary at the end and when you get to the bottom be prepared for the large amount of slat water that you swallow and goes up your nose. After spending the morning and afternoon at the pool my SO and I had scheduled a couples massage at 4:00PM. They take you into separate locker rooms and ask you to take your clothes off and put a towel around your body. Each of our massage ladies came to get us and had us fill out some papers in regards to our health. After that was squared away my SO and I met up in the massage room where two tables were laid out and we got on them. The massage began and it was so great! The only bad side to is that at the end they try to push their products on you while you are endorphined out…...luckily I was expecting this and was already prepared to say no problem….however my SO ended up buying an eyemask for $50.00. He learned his lesson. For our last evening we went to eat dinner and then to the comedy show which was absolutely hilarious again. Shortly after it was time to pack and finish off the night.
The next morning they give you an option if you are a US citizen you have a time period between 7:30 and 8:20 to walk off the boat if you are able to carry your own bags….so if you choose this option you do not have to leave your bags out at night….if not debarkation begins at 9:45 for everyone else. There is breakfast in the restaurants until 9:00 and the Lido until 9:30am. The debarkation went really fast and before you know it you were zipped off to reality once again!
I Loved the Triumph and with our 50% discount we are planning a cruise on the brand new Valor! I can’t wait!