This was our 10th cruise on Carnival and our 12th from New Orleans.
We are laid back travellers and pretty good at going with the flow.
However, this cruise may have us looking to another ship and departure port in the future. As you read this be aware that I am a native New Orleanian
We live 3 hours away so drove in the morning of the cruise. Drive up, pay your money with credit card or cash, park and head into the terminal. Very easy. As platinum members, we went to a special waiting area where we sipped OJ and ate cookies while waiting for our names to be called. From the time we left the car to walking onboard took about 15 minutes.
Rooms were not ready until 1:30 so we had lunch at the buffet. The dining room is not open for lunch on embarkation day. At about 1:25 we headed up to our room area and found the hallway doors still closed. No problem. About that time two women with 4 children ages about 4-8 came through and began cursing about the rooms not being ready. They jerked open the door, berated the hall steward and went to their room. A few moments later the doors were open for everyone. This behavior became the norm for a very large number of passengers on this cruise.
The food on the Triumph was a completely mixed bag. Some items - fish, vegetables and salads were very well done, while the soups and deserts were just awful. The deserts especially seemed to have no flavor. Anything with a creamy filling or topping was a very attractive but tasteless greasy concoction. Portions were quite large, especially for cruise fare. Frequently I could not finish my entree portion and I'm a "clean your plate" kinda' gal.Dining room service was very good and the servers anxious to please. Since there is no steak house onboard, several items are available for $18 - steak and lobster.
While we did not order anything from the bar, it did seem that service was slow. We were seated at table 341 in the Paris dining room which afforded a great aft view. Anytime dining was advetised as being available in the London dining room, but our waiter said they were using some of the small tables in the Paris for anytime as well. The waiters only did their dance routine one time during the cruise.
Bands throughout the ship were very good and played a nice mix of music. Our only disppointment was that our version of dance music (ballroom, romantic stuff) was usually offered in the lounge reserved for cigar smoking and it was awaft with smoke, so we skipped the dancing for breathing.
Our cabin was 6350 and well located. Convenient and without ordinary problems. Had our hall neighbors not whooped, hollered, slammed doors and hung out in the hall all night it would have been quite nice.
The cabin is spacious and actually had TWO wall outlets in the cabin area. There is a shaver plug in the bathroom which is part of the wall mounted hair dryer. The shower is larger than most ships and had plenty of water pressure. Soap and shampoo are in wall mounted dispensers. There was a normal sized medicine cabinet complete with a door. There was more than enough storage place for DH and I.
There were three full sized closets in the cabin and two smaller ones beneath the vanity and the TV. There was a loveseat that folds out to a bed. I think this was the only ship I've been on where the bed is next to the window. My side of the bed gave me about 8" of walking space between the bed and balcony window. No problem for me, but a larger person might have a problem.
The balcony had two side chairs and a small table. The partition between balconies can be opened by the room steward. When open it will partially obscure the view of one cabin.
The safe in the room is the kind which uses your room key or credit card. This is problematic as only one room kay opens it (if you set it with yours, your roommate cannot open it with his) We worked around it, but the pin number kind is more user friendly.
The casino has the usual assortment of slots and table games and the slots and video poker machines were about as tight as I've ever encountered on a ship. Not many happy slot players. You use your room key to download credits. This became a somewhat cumbersome process as many of the keypads on the machines were well worn and had to be mashed repeatedly to respond. Likewise, many of the multiple line slot machines were set only for the maximum number of lines and the lower bet per line values were not available.
There were two slot tournaments and one blackjack tournament. There was also a Texas hold 'em event but it was by video link or something.
The pool area in the back has adults only spas but the pool is for all ages. The children of course use the spas and no one oversees the usage. The roof of this area is retractable which was nice as our sea day home was quite cool. However, the closed space makes for a noisy place when you add a few dozen children. There is a bar, a grill and ice cream station in the area.
The main pool area has stadium style seating which is great for viewing the big screen TV. The LSU - Alabama game was on one afternoon which was quite an event! There is a water slide which was open depending on weather.
The buffet is your typical buffet food with the typical bottlenecks. There is plenty of seating, especially if you are willing to go upstairs. The NY deli and Chinese noodle restaurant are in the buffet area and offer a nice alternative to the buffet.
The spa area includes a free steam and sauna with rooms that look out over the sea. The showers are very large and a good alternative for those who find their cabin showers claustrophobic.
Disembarking was quick and easy. As platinum members we were to meet in the London dining room at 6:45 and actually were off the ship a few minutes before that. By 6:55 we were on I-10 heading home.
Now for the rant: There were several group reunions onboard and some behaved horribly. They seemed to have no concern whatsoever for anyone around them. One evening they decided it would be "fun" to blockade the bathrooms near the casino. Then they grew bored with that and decided to bar entry of staff members to a staff access door. They repeatedly would sit side by side and block entire stairways and defy you to try and pass them. Security was never anywhere to be seen and they became quite intimidating to a lot of passengers.
We have experienced a bit of this on our last short cruise from N.O. but decided it was a fluke. This cruise proved to us that it seems to be the norm for Carnival's New Orleans operation. I understand that 4 day cruises attract a different demographic than 7 day, but the lack of security's intervention is without excuse. I love New Orleans and it's people, but I'm afraid the Triumph will not be seeing us again.