My mom (in her 70s), sis and I enjoyed a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise. There was a big mix of people, with the biggest group seeming to fall between 25-50.
The Triumph is scheduled for a dry dock spritzing up in another week, so we could excuse lots of minor blemishes. If done well, the ship could look really snazzy with a facelift. The bare bones of the ship I thought were nice enough. Except when we first boarded, and the public bathrooms hadn't been cleaned yet, the ship did always appear clean.
I'm a bit of a foodie, a good cook, and anything prepared better than I can do it, gets raves from me. We ate from the New York deli window at lunch the first day. It was good, and the breads and meats were freshly sliced upon each order. The pizza place had lots of customers, but we heard it tasted like cardboard. Eggs in the buffet were complained about, except the omelet place. I didn't taste either, since the dining room fare was so good! We ended up eating all but 3 meals in the dining room.
The dining room breakfasts and lunches were great, especially the good coffee with cream, cappuccino, desserts, eggs benedict and about the best flan I've tasted in my life! The waiter said the crew loves it, too. Meals were not always what we expected in presentation, but usually they were BETTER than the original. Salad nicoise had both canned and fresh seared tuna, meats were slightly more done than I'm used to, except the chateaubriand, which was excellent ONLY at med-rare. The last night we had the best supper. Cheesecakes are all 'light,' good, but not classic New York cheesecake. After 2 I enjoyed, it was enough. At early seating you don't get to ever see the sunset, if that's important to you.
We were seated at supper with 2 wonderful couples/families, and had a wonderful time with them. However, there were a lot of people onboard that we would not have clicked with for 7 nights straight. If we had been seated in those groups, I hope I would have asked immediately to be moved.
Service from our direct dinner waiters and room steward, who were expecting gratuity, was markedly better than anyone else. Service in general was definitely where I felt we were on a budget cruise.
Back to the buffets, at peak times there are long lines and seating feels like a crowded buffet. You can get good food if you don't want to linger over a meal. But if you're a foodie and love a good ambiance, I would say to stick with the dining rooms when you can. Breakfast service was the least attentive, but we did not worry about it.
Comedians were fine, shows were nice, what I expected, and acceptable. We enjoyed the Latin dancing class, the group line dancing, and the marriage show. We all (and many others) arrived at the disco for the 10:30 70s and 80s music dancing night, and there was just modern R&B music (apparently what the dj liked). There appeared to be no way to ask if they could please follow the schedule.
Our favorite quiet 'get away' on ship to read a book, talk, or just lay back and stare at the ocean passing, was the deck 3 area near guest services. One side of the ship was for smoking, the other non-smoking. Not enough people were there for it to be an issue.
We had been warned away from Carnival because we wanted a sedate relaxing cruise with my mother, but had a good experience for the price paid. Our room steward was good, most of the staff was kind and helpful. The ship will be dry docked and spruced up, and I'm sure it will look much better!