We were on this cruise as a celebration of our daughter's husband's finishing RN school and all the sacrifices they have had to make for the past couple of years. It was our sixth cruise and their first. The trip was a huge success. My wife and I relaxed, as we always tend to do, and they were on the go all the time. We all had more fun than you should be able to squeeze into 5 days. I feel fairly confident that they will be repeat cruisers. Here are some high points.
NOLA--We did not have VIP status (yet) for this cruise, but the embarkation process went so smoothly and so quickly that I did not notice. The line into the parking garage was about the only long wait we had. The staff was friendly, efficient, and quick. The lines got longer and the wait probably got longer too as the day went on. We drove to the terminal and were in line by 10. We were parked, processed, and in the buffet line before 12. Advice--drive down a day or two early and see New Orleans if you've never been there.
THE SHIP--The Triumph is a big ship with a great staff. We had Your Time Dining so we could have had a different table and wait staff every night, but Carlton was the best waiter I've had in 5 previous cruises. He has worked for Carnival for 18 years and is awesome. We asked for and got his section every night. We never had to wait either. YTD is upstairs in the London dining room. There are two negative comments about eating here. 1--The view from London 4 is of the lifeboats, not the ocean. 2--The YTD staff is too busy to take part in the dances/songs that the rest of the wait staff does each evening, so if you want to see it, you have to go to the rail and look down at the main dining room. Carlton and his helpers made our grand daughter's tenth birthday something really special. We had two, adjoining balcony cabins, and they were adequate for the six of us. Grandma and grandpa had a room of their own and daughter, hubby and two g'daughters had their cabin. It made up nicely, and with the balcony separator open we could all sit and drink coffee (or whatever) if we wanted to.
The shows were very good, and the casino was user friendly. I actually took more money out of the casino than I went in with!
Cruise Director was named Noonan. He's an American and quite good, not intrusive like some can be.
Progresso--Our first time there. We went to Dzibilchaltun and to a Mexican buffet/horse show at a ranch. Good food and very entertaining. If you've never seen Mayan ruins, this is the place to do it. We didn't do the 7 hour trip to the really big place (Chichen Itza?) because we weren't sure how the kids would do on that long of a bus ride. There's some shopping in town, but it isn't built up as much as some other ports.
Cozumel--Jacque Cousteau used to say the water at Coz was the best diving water in the world. If you like water based activities, this is the place. We once met a lady who had made 15 or 20 trips here (all on Carnival sailing out of Mobile) to scuba. Granddaughters loved snorkeling. We loved shopping and eating at Pauncho's backyard, not the one by the pier, but the one at the opposite end of town. Taxi from the ship to downtown $7 for two of us.
I can't wait to do this cruise again. SOON!