This was our first cruise on the Triumph and I was a bit skeptical as I had read somewhat negative reviews about this ship. It was my husband and I...booked this one just to disconnect for a week.
We arrived in Galveston a few days early so that we could enjoy being tourists, and we had a great time. We stayed at the Harbor House and it was fantastic. The weather was mostly sunny and warm, but did rain one evening.
We got to the terminal around 10:30 Monday morning -- no crowds, but quite a few guests from the past cruise still coming out of the terminal. Dropped the luggage with a porter and headed to the check-in area of the terminal. They have re-designed the terminal and there is now a new check in area. It was very nice and large. Breezed through security and then went to wait for embarkation. After about an hour, we found out that boarding was being delayed as there was a crew customs check and the entire crew from the Triumph had to get off the ship to make sure all their papers were in order with customs; no reason to get upset....we just visited with some of the people around us. We were finally able to start boarding around 12:30 and were on Lido having lunch by 12:45.
My first impression of the Triumph was "wow" --- she is a beautiful ship. Very elegant and not the bright neons of other Carnival ships. We couldn't get into our room until 2:00, so we just hung out on Lido and watched people. Had a hamburger and hot dog...they were really good (and I'm not much of a hamburger person). Got some ice cream, which was yummy, and then headed off to explore the ship a little. We didn't see a serenity area, which we have enjoyed on past cruises -- but we had a balcony room, so we could be "serene" all on our own. Our stateroom was aft on the port side. When we opened the door, we couldn't believe how large the room was. It wasn't quite considered a suite, but it was awfully close! The balcony was also over-size (one lounger, 3 chairs and two small tables). The room had a king size bed on one wall and on the other was a full size really nice sofa. Lots of room to walk around, and the bathroom was also a little larger than a regular size room. We absolutely loved our room and spent a lot of time on our balcony this trip.
Dining --- we ate in the MDR every night with an assigned table. Our table-mates were very nice and we enjoyed seeing them every evening. We were not crazy about the new menu, but did try some things we wouldn't normally and the food was always served hot and looked very appealing. Our wait staff was awesome. Very attentive and we never waited on drink refills or anything else for that matter. Breakfast and lunch were on Lido and several mornings, we got breakfast and brought it back to the room and ate out on the balcony. It was simply marvelous! All the crew we encountered on this cruise were great. Our room steward, Aldrin, was really, really good. Probably one of the best stewards we have had out of 12 cruises. The captain and CD kept us informed on Hurricane Rina and our port days were switched so that we could stay ahead of Rina. Only one night did the ship really rock & roll, but even then it wasn't too bad. Sadly, we didn't see any shows, but heard that they were very good. We did spend time in the Casino and did pretty well. The week we were cruising was the last week of the World Series, so every evening we watched a ball game. Had loads of fun in the Sports Bar and on Lido watching it on the big screen (even though the last night was sort of cool). The pizza on Lido was wonderful. We had late night pizza several evenings. The Chinese grill food was also very good.
Debark was a breeze and we were off the ship before 8:00 AM. That is probably the best platinum perk Carnival has. We have a 9 hour drive home, so we like to get off as soon as possible. Will absolutely book the Triumph again (soon I hope!!). As for the negative reviews I had read, we were on the 5th cruise after dry dock and the move to the port in Galveston, and they had apparently worked through all or most of the problems that I had read about in previous reviews. One other thing I want to mention is the great service at the Spa. I had services there a couple of times on this cruise and it was really wonderful! I highly recommend the hot stone massage!