With four swimming pools, seven whirlpools, tons of bars, a giant casino and a daily schedule of activities that will make your head spin, the 102,000-ton, 2,758-passenger Carnival Triumph, which debuted in 1999, lives up to Carnival's "Fun Ships" motto with gusto. A passenger looking for a little peace and quiet could easily find themselves locked in their cabin ordering room service for the duration of the trip, but if you can (or care to) look past the crowded bars, loud music and long buffet lines, you can definitely relax on the Triumph. Head to the Oxford Lounge for your nightcap rather than the Hollywood Dance Club or sunbathe on the Spa Deck rather than on the crowded levels surrounding the main pool.
All that adult-friendly fervor is balanced by a large number of families attracted to the ship's (and the line's) excellent children's program. Camp Carnival's activities for kids are as diverse as the adults' and run from early morning until late at night. Children's World, the main play area, has sand art, educational computer games and plenty of space for jumping and tumbling.
You have to appreciate the attempt of the Carnival Triumph to take you on a trip around the world, even if you're really just on a four-night, one-port cruise. The ship's theme is the world's greatest vacation destinations, and with names like Club Monaco, The Big Easy and Hong Kong Noodle Co., there is real diversity on this ship -- in entertainment, in dining, among your fellow passengers and, of course, among the lovely crewmembers.
So when two of the Carnival dancers -- he from Moscow and she from Canada -- got engaged to be married in front of a crowd of Americans late one night in a New Orleans-themed piano bar and then were serenaded by a pianist from New Zealand among a lot of cheers and hugs from strangers, it's no surprise. That seems to be the idea on the Carnival Triumph -- to bring people together with good times and, at least in this case, love.