After reading many revies about the Triumph having an unfriendly crew, unkept areas and abundance of cigarette smoke, I must say either those folks were on a different ship or Carnival made some changes. Our sailing on OCtober 30th was absolutley Triumphant! The crew was constantly cleaning. Every morning we saw staff polishing and waxing everything. Even the metal poles underneath stools and chairs. I don't think 30 seconds went by before plates and trays were picked up on the Lido deck when people left the table. The Chef's table is NOT to be missed if you enjoy food. Chef Gomes was a spectacular host and made it a memorable experience for both the food and his company. Also kudos to Tex our cruise director. He is very fun and very genuine.
Here's a quick overview.
Embarkation: traffic was a bit heavy getting off the Interstate about 10:15, even on a Saturday morning. But once we got to parking garage it was a breeze. Pay 80 bucks at the machine, wind your way up, stop and give your luggage to the porters...and they take it from there. We parked the car one level up, then went straight to registration on the first floor. The lines were long and i think it was just about 12:30 when we got onboard.
Cabin: We had a balcony on the Empress deck, (7415-starboard aft). There was minimal movement, even for the back, but there were times when the Cpatain revved the engines you could feel the room rattle a bit, but nothing uncomfortable. Kudos to Maynor our room steward and his assistant. They were friendly, thorough and unobtrusive.
Food: The dining room food was very good. Not spectacular but there was nothing that was not enjoyable. Lido deck buffets were good, but I really enjoyed the N.Y. deli. (had a huge corned beef and pastrami combo on rye everyday for lunch...AWESOME!) The Hong Kong Noodle area directly on the other side was also tremendous. Oh and if you like italian, the calzone from the pizza station is made to order..takes ten minutes...but well worth the wait. Self serve Ice Cream machines worked every day and always had good flavor choices. Again Chef's table is amazing if you are into food and wine...if you are even considering it...DO IT you will be blown away!
Room service was also awesome. We hung the tag on the cabin door the night before and breakfast/coffee was always delivered withing 5 minutes of the requested time. (please be sure to tip those folks a buck or two!)
Shows: We saw the Big Easy and Motown shows in the Rome Lounge. I thought the Big Easy show was awesome, but the wife called it a little condescending and disrespectful of true southerners and New Orleans folks. Motown show was just ok as I thought every song sounded the same. As Always the love and marriage show was the best and defintely make sure you set aside time for this.
Bars: absolutely loved the California Wine Bar. The bartender Slava makes an unbelieveable Tiramisu Martini..If you like chocolate and alcohol you will be in heaven. Steer clear of the Oxford bar if you are sensitive to smoke, it's beautiful but being the Cigar Bar you just have to know what to expect.
Ports: Unless you want to see Mayan ruins there is absolutley no need to get off the ship in Progreso other than to stretch your legs. Nasty little town and a hassle to ride the bus down the five mile pier. Although i did get a great deal in the port just off the ship on cologne. Cozumel: great place lots to drink...we went to Nachi Cocum...reserved ahead of time online since there is a 100 person daily limit. all you can drink and great food included for 50 bucks. can't beat the quiet beach, swim up bar in the pool and great service. (Jose the bartender rocks!) One other cool thing. There is a webcam on www.puertamaya.com. It's located on the top of the shops right in front of the three flags and mayan temple water fountain just after you get off the ship and onto the pier. We stood next to the middle flag, called and had family and friends go to the site and we were able to give them a wave with our ship in the background. Very cool!
Debark: Very long wait and lines leaving. we were out of our cabin as request at 8:30 am. We were in no rush so left our bags out the night before. Our zone was not called until close to 10 am and we didn't get to our car until around 11. Not sure what took so long, but it was slow.
Overall this ship and crew are awesome. We will miss it moving away from New Orleans and going to it's new home in Galveston next year. One thing to beware though, which has been said before, it's a long trip down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. You will not see blue water until you wake up the next morning after leaving New Orleans. It's a long and winding 8 hours down and back up the river at the end. It's unique the first time you go down river, after that it's a bit of a pain.