Left Bay City Michigan on 9/08/10 and flew to New Orleans, planning to spend three days in New Orleans before the cruise. Landed at Louis Armstrong Airport and taxied to our hotel, Holiday Inn Express on Carondelet Street. Cost of ride was $30.00 for two. Spent three days sightseeing and sweating. Over 90 degrees every day with humidity to match. We did the usual, Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, Cafe Du Monde, French Market, street car rides, casino, eating AND sweating. Big mistake was doing New Orleans on the Saints opening game. GENERAL MADHOUSE!!!!
Embarkation Day. We arrived at the terminal at 9:45, gave porters our luggage and went to stand in line. We were on the Lido Deck at 11:00 eating lunch. As usual, we had to wait until 1:30 to drop off our carry ons, and when we got to our cabin, our luggage was waiting for us. Many reviewers gave the Triumph negative reviews. I wonder what ship they were on. True the ship is 11 years old, but we saw no signs of deterioration, just a little aging. You could not walk very far without seeing someone cleaning something.
Dining: We requested and received early seating in the Paris Dining Room, lower, table 416. We had an excellent waitstaff. Head waiter, Giorgio from Bulgaria, assistant Percival from the Philippines and our drink server Sawitree from Thailand, (she always had my Coke Zero at our table as soon as we were seated.).
Food was fantastic, everything. We are not "picky" eaters and do not look to criticize. Never have had Orange soup, or mango soup before. They were delicious. Every thing we ordered was done to perfection. We did not do Lido dining. Breakfast and lunch were done in the Paris, open seating. Always met people from different states.
We had a balcony stateroom on Empress deck 7. Room steward was Michael from Ukraine. Very personable and always smiling, as was every Carnival employee we encountered. He kept our ice bucket full and our room spotless. We did prepay tips, but we did tip additionally to our "keepers".
Shore Excursions: Belize we did the sights and sounds of Belize, learning about their culture. Roatan: we did the Mahogany Bay thing, just lying on the beach and riding the chair lift back and forth. Cozumel: Rain and rain. Stopped about 3:00 P.M. and we did a little wandering around. Rain cancelled our planned beach break. Entertainment: All shows were great except the under 60 second show. Cruise Director Noonan was the best director we have encountered on a Carnival cruise.
Disembarkation; We did not do self embarkation. We got up early, had a leisurely breakfast and waited for our zone (1) to be called.
The bad part was people leaving their zones without being called. This clogged up the elevators and stairs. IDIOTS!
SUMMARY, best cruise ever. BUT, we will never cruise in the summer again. Us yankees can't stand the heat when it is constantly over 90 degrees.
Another good thing is cruise after school has started. I think there were only 50 kids on this cruise.