My husband and I just returned from traveling on the Carnival Triumph out of Galveston. We were on a 5 day cruise, stopping in Progresso and Cozumel. We had a stateroom, ocean view on the 1st level.
Honestly, after finding this site and reading all the reviews, I was a little concerned about our choice and actually didn't schedule excursions because of them.
Embarkation didn't go as smoothly as I'd expected because they had been delayed by fog and the gangway wasn't working, but we were on board by 3:00 p.m. and the ship had the buffets up and running so we could snack or eat while we waited for the cabin (which we were in by 5:00), and our luggage was delivered reasonably fast (one was there at 5:00 and the other arrived around 7:00). We just didn't leave port until after 6:00 p.m.
I will state that the DINING ROOM dinners were amazing! If you like HUGE portions, TONS of dessert, etc, stick with the buffets, as the dining rooms are like going to a very nice restaurant. Our group ate and sampled many incredible dishes we would not have had an opportunity to eat normally, and although the portions seem small, they are just perfect (and you can have seconds or try something different on the menu)!!! The staff was very attentive, prompt and professional. The buffets were always crowded (except early in the morning or after normal lunch/dinner hours) but we did try everything and it all was delicious.
Our stateroom was kept immaculate, but not to the point of being overbearing as others have stated on reviews........if you hang your sign out, they will leave you alone!!
As for the decor of the ship, the old saying "you get what you pay for" holds true! Carnival is the "walmart" of cruise ships (as another reviewer put it), and that's not meant as an insult! When you go to Walmart, you don't expect high end merchandise, so why expect things you aren't paying for? We figured that the food alone (in the Dining room especially) probably cost more than our trip! The decor was a little dated, but it was very clean and comfortable, as for the TVs, yes they are boxes, but why are you on a cruise watching television. The large screen on the main deck was fine, we saw no pixel issues as others have reported.
In Progresso, you could tell that they were making improvements to the town to accommodate the tourists. We found the prices on souvenirs to be more reasonable than Cozumel!
I did have some cons on this cruise, but they are mostly out of Carnival's control!
-weather was a bit cloudy, would have liked more sun
-drunk passengers, too many of them drank far to much then became obnoxious and rude
-really missed an adults only hot tub and/or pool (lots of kids in all of them - and not always supervised)!
Excursions-do use Carnival, it protects you!
Dining room meals were amazing
Shows were very entertaining and professional
Guest services took care of everything promptly
Disembarking was well handled and run smoothly (embarkation ran smoothly after it started!)
On a side note, we checked our luggage going on the ship, but opted to carry it off ourselves! I DO RECOMMEND THIS!!!! They let passengers off by cabin floors, so we were off first (we were on the 1st deck and off @ 8:00) in our car by 8:45. There were, once again, people who feel that they are above rules and didn't need to adhere to Carnival's instructions, and I'm sure that caused delays for other passengers. Once again, beyond Carnival's control!
WE WILL DEFINATELY SAIL AGAIN!!!! I hope Carnival gets better ratings - we had a great time!