I had been on the Triumph out of NOLA before. Compared to last time...Most everything was better than I remembered. Embarkation was a breeze...arrived at port around 1:30. Passengers on ship were well-behaved for the most part. I assume there were lots of kids because it was right before school starts but we didn't see many. Ship was nice and clean. Tex the CD was good but he had less of a "presence" than other CDs I have seen. Show in the lounge were very good. We intended to not buy photos but we ended up buying six! Very clever how they take your photo so much! Room steward was very good... we had taken a bottle of champagne for the last night and he put it on ice very night! Room service was very good. I wish they did not smoke in the casino - the same casino you are forced to travel through on the Promenade Deck. We rented a car in Cozumel and it was a great experience. We drove completely around the island and also visited ruins off transverse road. A little scary though, as our rental car had the Check Engine light on and its auto transmission was stuck in fourth gear - I could just see us breaking down 30 miles away and missing the ship... curiously, by the end of the day the Check engine light was out and the transmission was shifting normally through all four gears. We made it back. Driving in Cozumel is exciting - requires your undivided attention so don't be talking on the phone or texting! My phone didn't work there anyway. Comedy shows were great...but mighty crowded in that little lounge in the back. Balcony cabin very nice.
My partner was a first time cruiser and she was very favorably impressed. "How come I never did this before?"
The only real negative, and we had no complaints at all exept for this...We had earlier set up on the Carnival web site to use separate accounts for Sail and Sign. There was confusion for some reason at check-in so I said, "just put it all on my credit card." They said fine and did not take partner's credit card info. I think the nice Carnival lady checking us in was new. She keep asking her supervisor lots of questions. Well anyway, the bulk of of our charges were made with my Carnival SS card, but about $40 were made on partner's SS card. We got the Carnival statements the morning of debarkation, as usual. Hers said FINAL NOTICE and that she needed to stop by Guest Services. Well, we foolishly chose not to do that because of the long lines, and we figured we could take care of it later. After all, Carnival had already gotten close to $1200 from us. We can't be trusted for $40?
Well, let me tell you. If you owe $40 on a Carnival SS card you are not getting off their ship! When they scanned her card as we were just about to leave the ship (after standing in line forever), all the bells and whistles went off. Security people gathered to gaze at their computer monitors. We were taken out of line and, for all practical purposes, forced to move to another long line at Guest Services to pay the $40 charged to her card (keep in mind, they had told us that BOTH SS cards would be charged to my credit card and that we were both authorized users on MY account, so all this was their mistake). Anyway, we finally got to pay Carnival the $40, became worthy again and went back to stand in the first line again - a line which had now been stopped completely because of backups at customs.
It was a bit of a shame to have such a fine trip tainted right at the end by the Carnival security peoples' aggressive heavy-handedness. They won't listen, they are apparently not allowed to think and they function like robot-cops. And make no mistake, we learned that they will in fact literally lay hands on you - even if it is really Carnival's own error and even if it is only $40.