Hello there fellow cruisers! I've made use of the cruise reviews here, so I decided to post my review of our recent cruise aboard the Carnival Triumph. This was my 8th cruise with Carnival, but we have also cruised with NCL. Carnival ... Read More
Hello there fellow cruisers! I've made use of the cruise reviews here, so I decided to post my review of our recent cruise aboard the Carnival Triumph. This was my 8th cruise with Carnival, but we have also cruised with NCL. Carnival has some good points, one of them being that we can catch a cruise right out of Galveston, which is very close to home for us. We decided to do this 4 day cruise to Cozumel as a birthday trip and got a really good deal for a balcony cabin (8308) on Verandah Deck 8. I was a little worried because the cabin seemed to be situated right below the Lido deck and all of that noisy action. We had another cruise on the Carnival Conquest with a cabin on the Verandah deck aft and we heard lots of noise from above. This time, we were below the pool area of the Lido deck mid-ship and we did hear music and the DJ from time to time while we were on the balcony, but it was not bad at all. In the room, we only heard a couple of sounds like chairs scraping above once or twice. I think we were below an area of the Lido behind the bar where there is not a lot of movement, so we lucked out this time!
This was a breeze - we got there early and with Faster to the FUN we were aboard and eating lunch by 11:00 a.m. Our room was ready by 1:30 p.m. and the luggage arrived shortly thereafter.
Our room was fine. The décor is a little tired and one of the cabinets had a broken door. The hair dryer is a little antiquated, but at least I didn't have to carry my own. The cabin itself was clean. The balcony was a little dirty, but they cleaned it on the second sea day. Even though we only actually saw him once, our room steward took good care of us. Except for the first day, he delivered ice twice a day and cleaned the room while we were away.
We had the early seating (6:00 p.m.) in the London upper dining room (table 307). Our table wasn't in an exciting place and it had a view of the lifeboats, but our wait staff (Ari) was excellent and we enjoyed our dinners with him taking care of us each night. The menu was similar to what we've seen on every Carnival cruise, but I think the quality was better on the Triumph as compared to other Carnival ships, like the Magic. We were served very quickly, too, which allowed us more time to see the shows and do other things with our evening. We ate in the Paris dining room for breakfast/brunch and it was very good. One waiter got a little irritated with our table because we kept asking for more things, like jelly, juice, toast, etc. I guess it would be better for them if you order everything you need for breakfast when they first take your order, but my DH doesn't think that way. Of course, they brought everything when we asked for it, but the waiter finally said..."Is there ANYTHING else" in a kind of irritated way. We also tried Guy's burgers and they were very good, especially if you like a juicy (some might say greasy) burger. We didn't try the deli, Blue Iguana Cantina, or pizza. We only ate in the buffet area for lunch on the first day, which was good. We just don't prefer to eat in the buffet area, as a general rule.
First of all, let me say that we are not sun seekers and do not spend a lot of time around the pool, Let me tell you there was a party going on the Lido deck around the mid-ship pool area. The pool was very crowded, but it seemed like everyone was having a very good time, if that is what you like to do. The Lido aft pool was more calm and we went there a few times in the evening after dinner.
We saw several of the shows and I thought they were great. They have an actual band and they have many costume and set changes per show. In the past, I did not feel Carnival's entertainment was very good. At times, it seemed like they picked out their entertainment staff from the staff already on board. Here it seems like they have hired real musicians and dancers, who also work at other tasks while on board. We did not see any comedy shows, or go to the dance club or piano bar this time. The guy who hosts the trivia contests, etc. in the casino bar area is a hoot. We did not participate in the trivia contests, but we always like to sit along the side of the ship in this area to "people watch" and he engaged everyone passing by and sitting there. We also liked the EA sports bar next to the casino, but this area became very crowded on Sunday as it was opening day for the NFL!. They had many TV's around the casino area, so DH could keep up with the games and we also got NBC, ABC, etc on the TV in the room. The Venezia bar is the designated inside cigar smoking area now. Being the only non-smoker in our group, I found this bar to be very smoky even though they have several air filtration machines sitting there. So, if you are a non-smoker, you may want to avoid this bar. The casino has smoking and non-smoking areas, but does not allow cigars. There is a smoking area on Deck 10 starboard, where they do allow cigars, but it seems like they are giving increasingly smaller and smaller areas to smokers (esp cigars) if that is important to you. I don't smoke myself, but DH enjoys a cigar, now and then.
We had a few gamblers in our group and we had mixed feelings about the casino. Not enough 25 cent machines for some and I didn't feel like you could win anything, so I didn't really play I broke even for the cruise and my DH lost his allotted amount each day. Others in our group said they did pretty good, but I think they just won back some of what they lost early in the cruise...you know how that goes! We did like sitting in the area beside the casino...here we were close to our gambling friends and we could read, talk, play cards, watch people going by, listen to the music, see the water, etc. However, this area gets very congested in the evening when they set up all the photo areas.
Almost everyone we encountered was very friendly and went out of their way to make our cruise enjoyable. I do get the sense they are overworked, not because they tell you this outright, but just in talking with them about their jobs, etc. I did have a very unpleasant encounter with Ceasar in the jewelry shop. I was asked by some of my co-workers to bring back some of these jewelry sets for gifts. They previews these sets all cruise, but don't offer them for sale until the final cruise day at certain times. This creates a frenzy, which is unnecessary - they should just sell these jewelry sets the entire cruise in my opinion. These sets are placed on tables in the aisle, which blocks the walkway and they have a shop staff member out there guarding the merchandise. This person was very rude the entire time yelling at people "DON'T TOUCH" and then when these jewelry sets finally went on sale, he got even worse. There was a crowd and everyone was trying to open up the jewelry set cases...I got hit in the head with one case and someone slimed me with their ice cream cone, but I finally found three different sets and I was trying to hold them and reach for a fourth set, so I set one down on some watches in order to reorganize them in my grip and Ceasar yelled at me because I set these "cheap" jewelry sets on top of these "expensive" watches. I was only putting it down for one second so I could re-establish my grip and to grab another case. He was so rude, I put down all of them and didn't buy anything. If they are so cheap why do they sell them and why do they put the expensive watches out in the ship aisle next to the "cheap" stuff (his words, not mine) is they are worried about the expensive watches. As I said, I don't know why they don't just sell these jewelry sets the entire cruise. I thought my DH was going to throttle this guy because he was so rude...I really had to hold him back it was that bad. DH ended up complaining to guest services and they offered Champagne and a special shopping spree just for me to pick out the sets I wanted, but I said no....they don't get my money if they act like that.
We've been here many times and were tempted to stay on the ship if the weather was bad, but the day brought good weather and we caught a cab to Mr Sanchos. It was our first time here and it is a good choice for a day beach. We did the all-inclusive, which was $55/person, but we added up the value of the drinks and food they brought us and it was well above what we paid per person. Seriously, they bring you whatever you want all day long. We found a really good table with a palapa (shade for me..yea) and we were close to everything. The pool has a swim up bar and tables in the water. We didn't go there, but they were having lots of fun in this area. We preferred to sit at our table with our view of the beach. Dip in the ocean whenever we wanted and drink and eat to our heart's content. The beach has lots of sand, but there are also some coral rocks and shells, so bring water shoes if you are tender-footed. A storm blew though, but we stayed dry under our palapa and Julio and Jose just kept bringing us drinks, even in the rain. Some people were snorkeling, but I don't think you can really see very much in the water here. A few people came by and tried to sell us other things..massages, horse rides, etc, but they didn't bother us when we said no. There were plenty of cabs to head back to the ship whenever we were ready. We shopped a little by the port and then went back on board. Don't buy candles in port, they won't let you bring them back on board.
Very smooth with Faster to the Fun. We were in group 2 (we normally would have had group 16 with our cabin). We were in our car at the off-site parking lot by 10 a.m.
All in all we had a very relaxing, enjoyable cruise on the Triumph. We weren't sure what to expect, but we kept and open mind and spent lots of time just doing whatever we wanted. Carnival is truly a "fun" cruise ship company and I think there is something for everyone. We enjoyed meeting new people (all from Texas, it seems) and really felt like we "got away" from it all, which was our intent. Read Less