Booked the Intercontinental on Hotwire for 72 dollars a night and stayed 2 days prior to sailing. Downtown hotels and French Quarter hotels are in close proximity to terminal. Couple of must do's: Cafe' Du Monde for beignets and coffee with chickory. This place has been there since the 1800's for a reason. Cash only and located at the French Market at Jackson Square (close to St. Louis Cathedral). For some awesome Nawlins cooking, try Acme Oyster house in the French Quarter. The fresh oysters and charbroiled oysters are to die for.
Line is long but goes pretty fast.Don't show up till 12:30 or 1 unless you enjoy standing in lines for no good reason. Carnival staff was very friendly and accomodating.
As is typical with Carnival ships, Triumph was glizzy and electric. If you like the Vegas Strip, you'll like this ship. The ship was clean and well maintained. The atrium was very pretty. Another of my favorite spots was the Cigar bar. If you don't mind the smell of cigar smoke, it's a great spot to enjoy your favorite Cognac while enjoying some live latin music. The Paris and London dining rooms are decent looking rooms- not as oppulent as the dining rooms on othe Carnival ships I've seen. The Lido deck was nice and not too terribly overcrowded.
I stayed in 1319 which is midship inside. Room is bright and has plenty of room. Everything was in working order. Bed was comfy. No complaints here.
Fitness and rec.:
Gym is decent size. I used it twice in the afternoon. I heard it gets pretty busy if you go early in the morning. There were a good number of treadmills and ellipticals each with its own TV. Bring headphones so you can listen too.
Very satisfied with the quality of food served. The lobster was tender and tasty. The lamb was the best I've ever had. My wife and I often shared a 3rd entree just so we could try more things, plus some of the entrees are on the small side. I ate nearly every meal in the main dining room. I don't go cruising to eat at Old Country Buffet but on the rare occasions I ate at the buffet, the quality of food was very good. Pizza and Ice cream always available on Lido aft.
The quality of shows in the Rome showlounge was excellent. Always impressed by the quality of Carnival's entertainment. Ben in the piano bar was great and was a newcomer to Triumph. Karaoke was plenty of fun.
No issues with quality of service. Wait staff in the dining room was friendly and accommodating. Cabin stewards were awesome. Room was always clean, ice bucket full, etc.
Just follow the simple directions. Put your luggage outside your stateroom by 10pm the night before disembarkation. Wait till your disembarkation group number is called. We enjoyed a final leisurely sit down breakfast while many of our fellow passengers were chomping at the bit to get off the ship. I prefer to savor the experience