I took a cruise to Cozumel with 2 friends. This was my first cruise and I was very excited.
However, there are so few positives about my cruise experience that I am not planning to do this again.
First, the ship. The Carnival Triumph's interior decor was dated, cheesy, and depressing. Our room appeared to have not been renovated since the early 1990s. I found no aesthetic, visual appeal to our stateroom. The art was cheap and tacky, and the room/bathroom color is best described as dull salmon. The TV was small, box-style, and old. One positive to the room was the balcony which I am glad I paid extra for. There was room to sit comfortably and look out to sea. I was also suprised at the comfort of the bed. It also could be that the motion of the ocean almost rocked you to sleep. Either way, I slept like a baby each night.
The staff: I detected an overall vibe of boredom and depression from the staff. The cleaning staff/housekeeping appeared to be from the Phillippines or Indonesia. They smiled and said hello in the halls, but it was unusual to come across so many foreign staff. The front desk was nice except for one lady who had a very poor attitude each time I came across her. She seemed to be there morning, noon, and night so I suppose she was just tired and unhappy. In general, the presence of so many immigrant workers (Many indians, bulgarians, etc made up the waitstaff), gave me an odd impression. I suppose they dont hire American crew because outsourcing labor is cheaper.
The food: The food was AMAZING! This was really the highlight of the trip. My friends and I enjoyed the buffets and breakfasts. But oddly, there were no "free" sodas. You have to buy those from the bar (expensive) so we often settled for the free, watered-down juices.
The cost: Dont let the low cruise cost fool you. You pay for EVERYTHING except the food.
Want a bottled water? $4.
A cocktail? $10.
A photo? $10-$20.
Nurse? Dont get sick or injured! -$40
Internet? Dont even try. It is slowwww and will run you about $40 for what comes out to approx. 15 minutes of usage.
It quickly became tiring to be nickled and dimed for everything, considering how bad the ship is in need of updating. My $500 cruise ticket wound up turning into about $1000 after all was said and done.
The entertainment: Very cheesy. The shows were just not entertaining and were not funny. The other options were bingo, gameshows, boardgames, casino, etc. The ship could use a movie theatre, REAL entertainers (dancers, professional singers, broadway style shows, etc). The entertainment was so cheap and stale. I am wondering where they are spending the astronomical amount of money they are bringing in. It is surely not on entertainment.
The pools: Small. Badly designed. Cheap. Crowded. Poorly designed.
The shore excursions: Once we arrived to Cozumel, we were dissapointed to find rainy weather. Not in anyones control but a major disappointment. We did a zipline activity that was fun. It also cost $90. Want a cocktail at the rainy beach in Cozumel? Better bring your wallet:) The overpriced drinks follow you onto the coast.
All in all, the trip was "cheap accomodations", "nickel and dime the guests", "sub par entertainment", and "fabulous food".
I would not recommend this cruise for singles. It seemed that the families with kids/ couples were enjoying themselves. For young singles in their 20s or 30s, put the money to better use and do the cruise experience after you have kids or hit retirement.