I enjoy checking cruise prices, usually daily, to find the best rate. We took a cruise on the Triumph in May, 2010, so we didn't really plan on going again this year, but when I came upon the price of $339 pp for 7 nights - it was just to good to pass up. My advise is to keep close check on the cruise price & call as soon as you see a price you like because they usually don't last long.
I am from north Louisiana so we decided to make the 8 hour drive to Galveston the day before the cruise. We stayed at the Beachcomber Inn ($70/night) because they allow you to leave your vehicle in their parking lot for free if you stay the night before your cruise. We've found that it's much easier to grab a cab to & from the terminal instead of fighting the traffic. I traveled with my mother, brother, & his new wife.
We were up and ready early so we went on over to the terminal about 9:30. We were informed that the ship was an hour late docking & there would be a little wait. This was my 10th cruise and the 1st time for VIP. Checking in was very nice. Me mother & I were directed to a separate room where 2 people were assigned to check in the VIP passengers. I took all of 3 minutes. We were then taken to a special area to wait to board & were escorted onto the ship right after the handicap call. We were on Lido deck eating lunch by 11:30 & there were no lines in the buffet. My brother & his wife made it on board by 12:30.
This is the first time I have had a room on Lido Deck & the rooms were ready by 1:30. Since I love to lay out & read a book, I really enjoyed the location of our room. We did have a problem with our room being hot. The repair man was sent twice before it cooled off a little. I heard other people saying they had to request extra blankets to stay warm, but that was not my case. (Wish that had been my problem) The temperature was just OK but it never got as cool at night as I like. Guest Services called to make sure that the room had gotten cooler so I have to compliment Carnival on staying on top of complaints.
This was truly a great cruise. I couldn't have ordered better weather. I got to relax in the deck chairs and read my book and get some sun each day. We went to a couple of the night time shows & two of the Punchline Comedy Club acts. We enjoyed them all. Since we had already seen some of the other shows, we elected to play cards during this time.
Mama and I went to dinner (early seating) all but two nights. This was very nice, but it seems the menu doesn't change very much from cruise to cruise. That's OK - at least I'm not having to cook!!! Warm Chocolate Melting Cake is the most wonderful creation - I had it every night that I dined.
We took the Rose Hall tour in Jamaica. It was pretty good. Looked around & did a little shopping in Grand Cayman. Shopped a little & laid on the beach in Cozumel. The beach right there at the pier is wonderful & so relaxing. We enjoyed some beer & music from Fat Tuesday.
Mama & I decided to do self-assist disembarkation & were told to be on Deck 3 at 7:30. There must have been some problems. We sat there for 1 1/2 hours before we got to disembark. It would have been nice if a Carnival Employee would have let us know what was going on. By this time, many other people had come down to the gangway & it was very confusing.
I have always loved Carnival cruises & being VIP now has made it even more enjoyable. I REALLY enjoyed being one of the first ones on the ship. Maybe next time the disembarkation will be better.