Our family's favorite type of vacation is a cruise. This is our 15th cruise. We left out of New Orleans and embarkation was easy, as usual. Next year (fall), two different Carnival Cruise ships will be leaving out of New Orleans and we plan to try those.
THE SHIP: The Triumph is showing its age a bit but is maintained and clean. The staff was friendly. It is a fun ship for all ages. We plan to take our kids back in March 2011. There is a water slide but with limited hours. They show movies at night on the main pool deck and have plenty of seating or you can swim or go into the hot tub while watching the movie. This seemed to be very much enjoyed by families, a good way to relax in the evenings.
ACITIVIES: Same as any other cruise we have ever been on, the very typical cruise games and activities, nothing new at all.
FOOD: This is probably not the cruise line for foodies. The food is average at best and there are no "cover charge" speciality restaurantsmlike the NCL line and most others. We go on cruises for the ports and fun so this didn't bother us too much but below I have to be very honest about the food:
24 Hour Pizza - the pizza is edible only. It is also very salty.
Buffet - poor. The food quality at the buffet has gone down. It can be compared to a restaurant about one step below a Ryan's or Golden Coral. Very limited choices,food and coffee not always hot, but the area is kept very clean. Some of the desserts were not edible. No melting pots offered at the buffet anymore. Small selection on salad bar. We have been on the NCL Spirit recently and there buffet is much better and we rated that average.
Paris Dining Room - Good, some dishes better than others. The melting pot is great! The service was very good.
Grill by pools - good burgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, but limited hours. They close everyday at 6:00 so if you want to eat here after a full day in port instead of the dining room, you must hurry.
Hong Kong Noodle Company - don't know because it was never opened but we would try to go.
Room service for breakfast - stale danishes, milk at room temp, coffee not hot.
Entertainment: We enjoyed all of the shows except for the comedian. The worse one we have ever seen and about 50 people or more walked out in the middle of the performance. It really was that bad!
STATEROOM: We usually book interior cabins because the rate is much lower. We had interior 8282. The room had a very fowl odor. Our cabin steward promptly tried everything to get rid of it and even shampooed the carpet while we were in port (which left the carpet damp but he tried very hard). Our room steward was excellent, always called us by name and was very helpful. To me the biggest advantage to a balcony room is the fact that you can air out the room, which we will only get if the rate is a very good one.
PORTS: We went to Cozumel and Progreso. To read about it, go to the "port review" section on the bottom of this review. We had a great time in both ports. We did not book ship excursions and never will. We saw the very long lines of ship tours meeting on the docks, waiting in the hot sun to be herded onto buses. Didn't look fun!
Overall, we had a fun time and would go again on this ship, if the price is right (we got a great deal on this cruise). We know that there are better ships out there but to us, the price is right, we love leaving out of New Orleans and we love the Carribean.