We sailed on the Carnival Triumph out of New Orleans on 12 March 2011. This was my 9th cruise overall (6th with Carnival) and my kids 3rd cruise. The cruise was seven nights and stopped in Cozumel, Belize, and Roatan. The ship is easy to get to and parking your own car at the terminal parking garage was $112 for the cruise duration. We checked our luggage with the porters and tipped $1 per bag. Check in was painless and fast as we arrived at the terminal at 1030 and were on board by 1145. The buffets were open once we boarded and remember to go check out all your food options before stopping at the first line you see. Our stateroom was ready at 1330, an inside cabin with no windows, which is nice for allowing the kids to sleep in.
The ship rode fine and there was minimal rocking. I really enjoyed being up on deck when we were leaving and entering port. The trip down the Mississippi River is an added plus to this cruise. Alcoholic drinks on board are expensive, but that shouldn't stop you, you're on vacation. I only drink beer and they charge roughly $6 for a 16 ounce one. If you buy them by the bucket, they are a little cheaper. Remember that the tip is already added in to your drink prices (look at the receipt you sign). The soda cards are a good deal if you drink a lot. I thought the food onboard was very good, but I'm not real picky either. The one place the kids really enjoyed was the pizza station and of course the ice cream area.
The first port was Cozumel. We did the Playa Mia Deluxe Beach Break through Carnival because the kids wanted some beach time. Nice place, decent buffet, and bar drinks were included.
The second port was Belize. It is a tender port and all we did here was get off the ship and shop around at the pier area and re-board the ship early and enjoy the pools and slide onboard.
The third port was Roatan (my favorite). Carnival has built its own dock here and it is very nice. There is a chair lift ride to a private beach area and a zip line experience at the entrance. My son and I actually did a zip line excursion and also did the zip line at the dock. Both were very fun!!
The kids program on board was very good. There were a large number of kids on the ship since it was spring break timeframe. My son, age 13, meet many new friends and they roamed the ship and hung out a lot. My daughter, age 10, was in a more structured program and I signed her in and out of activities. She went to activities during the day and night. I felt comfortable letting my son roam the ship but kept a closer eye on my daughter. I had plenty of time to hit the casino and other adult areas. We attended all the shows and enjoyed them.
Concerns: lots of kids on board during spring break, lots of loud college kids on board during spring break (ear plugs are the answer for sleeping though), the ship is showing some wear and tear, but it sure beat being at work.
Recommendations: explore the ship and marvel at its ability to float, go all the way forward to the outside railing on Deck 9 for a great view, see the shows and the comedians and if you don't like them leave, check out all the bars and other areas to decide which is the best for you, bring a cheap hole punch and lanyards to wear around your neck for your sail and sign cards, sneak booze on board in your luggage if you want to, order two entries (food was great), tip extra they work hard seven days a week, and remember there's no such thing as a bad cruise, it's just that some are better than others!!! Read reviews and learn all you can before you go, have fun and enjoy!! All in all, a great cruise and the kids are ready to go again. If you have any questions shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you are considering cruising single, check out singlescruise.com.