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3,346 Carnival Galveston Cruise Reviews

We vacationed on the so called "Ebola Cruise". No news here with that, Carnival handled everything perfectly. We are a family of five, DH 50s, DW 40's, DD 10, DS 9, and DD 5. We made the drive down from Denver and stayed the ... Read More
We vacationed on the so called "Ebola Cruise". No news here with that, Carnival handled everything perfectly. We are a family of five, DH 50s, DW 40's, DD 10, DS 9, and DD 5. We made the drive down from Denver and stayed the night before in Texas City. Highly recommend the area as you are real close to port in the morning and the rates are much less than Galveston. Embarkation: They had warned it would be late, as they were loading equipment for the remodel of Camp Carnival, and they were right. However once it got started it went fast and smooth. We had purchased FTTF (Faster to the Fun) and that helped get us on board quick and right to our rooms were we dropped the bags and headed out to explore. Rooms: We book two Deluxe Ocean View Rooms, Cat 6L, 1224 & 1226, that were adjoined. This allowed us some privacy and gave us two bathrooms, handy with children, and four showers, extremely handy before dinner. The rooms were spacious enough and the views from the window good. Other than hearing some waves hit the ship, the rooms were as quiet as can be. We did not have any problems with climate control in either room and there were no smells. Our room steward kept things tidy and neat. The Ship: The ship is laid out pretty straight forward and not at all difficult to get around. Something to remember, the forward elevator is the only elevator that goes form Deck 1 to Deck 12. The kids enjoyed the water park, all the slides and splashing. They also swam in each of the pools, enjoying the aft pool the best. We all spent a lot of time in the sports area, taking advantage of mini golf, fusbol, billiards, and some basketball shooting. The ropes course was open about half the time on the cruise and the two older children did it numerous times. All in all, we all enjoyed the outdoor activities. there was plenty of line dancing on the Lido Deck and the kids really enjoyed that too, as did the parents! We did not find the area over crowded, although you might have to wait a bit for a chair. In doors, we enjoyed sitting a listening to live music. While the kids were in camp we did head over to the Red Frog Pub, unfortunately the service here was so bad that we ended up leaving; we weren't the only ones. Outside of that experience the service was right on throughout the ship. Food: We found the food to be right on, in other words very good. We ate in the Northern Lights Dining Room every night but one and dress appropriately, including the first formal night.. All our meals were very good. Our servers were tremendous and went out of their way to make the experience great. The children ordered from the children's menu and the regular menu and really enjoyed their choice. My wife and I also enjoyed our choices each night. We typically ate lunch at various services areas throughout the ship, including Pizza Pirate, the Grill, the Deli, and the Sea Dogs stand. All hit the spot nicely. DS especially liked the pizza, his style. I always enjoy the grilled reubens. For the most part we did not eat at the buffet. We visited Roatan and Belize City. No Cozumel this time, just another fun day on board. The FTTF really cam in handy at Belize City as we skipped the line to get on the tenders and went right on board. Disembarkation: We were off the ship in less than 15 minutes. Using FTTF we went down early and walked straight off, grabbed a porter and were through the passport line in no time. this was a great trip. I would highly recommend the Magic for a family. Go in with an open mind and remember you are on vacation to have fun and relax and everything will be great! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
The following is part of a blog that I did for our trip... if you want to see all the pre-cruise planning go to my thread entitled Making Magic - Cruise Review October 19 - 26, 2014. There are pictures there if you're interested. ... Read More
The following is part of a blog that I did for our trip... if you want to see all the pre-cruise planning go to my thread entitled Making Magic - Cruise Review October 19 - 26, 2014. There are pictures there if you're interested. Once we got to the Galveston port it only took about 5 minutes to drop off our suitcases with the porters. That taken care of ----- OH WAIT ----- DON’T FORGET! If you have FTTF make sure you see the porters put the orange tags on your bags, otherwise they might not make it into the bins for earliest delivery! So back to our story, I drove with DH to the parking lot and then we both walked back across the street with our carry-ons to the cruise terminal. We waited about 45 minutes in the FTTF line to go through security. They check EVERY bottle & can to make sure you aren’t smuggling booze. Carnival check in was quick and easy. We have our passports as proof of citizenship. As Canadians who became American too, passports are the easiest way for us to prove citizenship, since I really don’t want to carry around my 8x10 official Certificate of Naturalization. Our birth certificates won’t help, therefore avoiding that whole ‘Do I really need a passport?’ debate. We made it upstairs and got our Sail & Sign cards (S&S) after completing a more robust health questionnaire (but really, does anyone tell the truth on those things?). We sat down to wait for boarding about 10:15 and they started boarding around 11- even though we’d been told it would be delayed! YAY!!! So off went the wedding parties- 3 of them- one bride in her dress, one in her veil, hair done, carrying her flowers… but wearing shorts and a button up shirt! Once they were onboard came the VIPs- Diamond then Platinum. About 10 minutes after they started boarding, they called FTTF. And we were close to the area where they boarded us so off we went. Take your picture, walk up the ramp (and up the ramp, and up the ramp- if you have health issues or trouble walking, get assistance because it’s a haul when you’re lugging your carry-ons!), Bong- read your S&S card for the first time and you’re officially ON A CRUISE! So we were on board in our cabins by 11:15. Our meet & greet is at 2 so we have some time to kill. Met Chris, our awesome, stupendous room steward, who promised to keep our cooler and ice bucket full all week, and brought a sharps container for DH’s insulin needles. He was always on hand when we needed him, he was so pleasant and helpful! Needless to say, DH gave him a little sump’n extra at the end of the cruise! While waiting for our suitcases we decided to have lunch at Cucina del Capitano on the 11th floor. They give you a card to fill out your selection of pasta, sauce and food choice (shrimp, chicken, sausage). You can also order lasagna, bread and Caesar salad. Salad was meh, not great. Bread neither. DH had the lasagna and said it was tasty but room temperature. That would be a recurring theme for the food the entire cruise… good or bad, most of the food arrived lukewarm instead of hot. I ordered pink sauce (marinara and alfredo mixed) with bowtie pasta but got just alfredo. I also noticed it wasn’t hot, but pointed out the mix-up to our waiter and when he returned the corrected dish, it was not only hot but absolutely yummy! That also started our love affair with the iced tea on the ship! I planned to get Bottomless Bubbles (unlimited soda package, $6 pp per day plus 15% gratuities) but never got around to it… we liked the iced tea so much that I never bothered to. One of my favorite non-alcoholic drinks onboard was about two thirds iced tea, one third lemonade, one package of sweetener. Oh YUM! It’s only available at the Lido buffet so I’d fill up my big Tervis tumbler and bring it with me! After lunch we explored the ship a bit, found the Red Frog Pub where out M&G would be, checked out a few other things on the ship and went back to our cabin. We looked at our account on the TV in our room (great feature!) and had a few questions about our account so we made time before the M&G to go to Guest Services. Anyone who tells you that FTTF isn’t worth it has never had to go to GS when it’s busy! I went there 4-5 times throughout the cruise and didn’t feel guilty one bit about bypassing those dozen people in the regular line to get served next! The only concern we had was as we were leaving our cabin around 1:45 everyone’s luggage was arriving, but ours wasn’t there. I spoke to the girl delivering the luggage and she said all the FTTF luggage had already been delivered. YIKES! She called her supervisor and they started looking into it right away. Thankfully, when we got back after our M&G our luggage was inside our cabin. The time had arrived (after months of planning and anticipation) for our Meet & Greet in the Red Frog Pub (RFP). We also had the gift exchange and I think everyone who participated really enjoyed getting something from a different place! DH got a bunch of stuff from Stillwater OK and I got a cool t-shirt from Arizona! It was really crowded and pretty hectic in the RFP but somehow we all managed to find each other and I think everyone had a great time. After the M&G we went to the muster drill, which was long but painless, since we were seated in the upper level of the Showtime Theater. Back in our room we watched sail away- DH kept commenting that there was a strange ship following us the whole way (RCCL Navigator). We then unpacked (suitcases all fit under the bed thank heaven!) and were just in time for dinner in the steakhouse. PRIME STEAKHOUSE – FIRST NIGHT We had dinner planned in the Prime Steakhouse the first night. I made reservations online several months in advance and got an email confirmation that our reservation was for 6:30. Make sure you confirm that when you get on the ship because we found out that our reservation was 6:00 PM according to their records! The Prime Steakhouse is on the 5th floor aft, next to the Spotlight Lounge, where the comedy shows are. So we arrived at 6 PM, were greeted by name and seated immediately at a table for 2 with a view of the water. We selected our free bottle of chardonnay (it was okay, but then I’m no wine connoisseur). We both really enjoyed the meal and the service, although a couple of the items were surprisingly not as hot as we expected. But most things were spot-on and delicious. We both had the cowboy rib eye steak and thoroughly enjoyed it, although I couldn’t finish mine. DH is diabetic and was trying to be a good boy this cruise so he skipped dessert (he ate the rest of my steak instead!) but I ordered the Chocolate Sampler- YUMM!!! We didn’t finish our wine so the sommelier corked it for us and we took it back to our room. We ended up pouring it out the last night, not having had a sip of the rest. FIRST EVENING We skipped the Welcome Aboard show and enjoyed some lovely time on our balcony, til we both decided to turn in early. The bed was firm (perfect for me, not so much for DH!) and we always travel with our own pillows, so sleeping comfortably wasn’t an issue for me! At this point I need to mention that the weather wasn’t awful, but very windy going to bed. Being on the top floor in the front, the movement was unnoticeable until we went to bed, then it was a gentle rocking no worse than I’ve experienced much lower in the ship. But at 3 in the morning, we turned hard to port for some reason. I know this because we tilted so much that I fell right out of bed! It was pouring buckets outside (remember, no cover on our balcony!) and there was heavy thunder and lightning so maybe the captain was trying to get around the storm to calmer seas. The tilt lasted about a minute, just enough to make me nervous but then righted itself and the normal rocking continued… DH slept through it all! CRUISE DAY 2 – MONDAY, FIRST SEA DAY – RELAX! I ordered coffee from room service the night before. I ordered 2 pots of coffee and extra creamer. They brought mostly sugar, not sweetener so I grabbed extra from the Lido deck to have on hand, since I was pretty sure this having coffee delivered to me before I even get dressed was going to be a recurring theme! And it was! The coffee wasn’t great, but it was hot and contained caffeine which is a requirement for me to function in the morning! We tipped the lovely lady a few bucks each morning. We went to the Sea Day Brunch in the Southern Lights dining room. I had the Eggs Benedict (with the hollandaise sauce on the side- it’s fresher that way!) and a side of hash browns and bacon. Everything was perfect. We sat at a table with a bunch of people, some of whom I knew from our pre-cruise planning, some of whom were new friends! At 11:30 on the first sea day (check your Fun Times) they usually have a cooking demonstration for foods offered in the steakhouse. I went and had a great time! Met with friends from Vegas, and enjoyed watching them make the dishes. • Mushroom Cappuccino • Baby Leaf Spinach & Fresh Mushrooms (a salad) • Broiled Supreme of Chicken with Red Potatoes and Macaroni & Cheese • Tiramisu They give you a little recipe book containing all the recipes they make, and you get to sample each one. After lunch we went to the Showtime Theater to watch the Game of Love. I’ve heard tons about this but had never seen it so we decided to watch it. We got there at the tail end of the Turbo Trivia event, full of interesting adult content! We stayed and watched the Game of Love and James, our CD, was a hoot! I know a lot of the answers are canned responses designed to be funny, but he carried them off well… and he reads people so well that everything appeared natural. The middle-aged couple were a hoot! I saw the husband around the ship several times being razzed with calls of ‘Oooooh, TJ!’ just like James instructed! I’m glad we took the time to watch it… it was funny. Since we were still full from brunch, we decided to hit the spa to check out all the amenities. First we tried the Thalasso therapy pool- like a big whirlpool but not very hot as I mentioned earlier. I don’t know if it helps much but I felt better afterwards. I have chronic back issues and travelling always makes it worse so anything that helps is welcome. We enjoyed the steam rooms and the heated loungers for a while, then decided to use the showers in the locker rooms- much larger than in our cabin! As we were leaving I asked about the body scrub and picked it up. Back in our room we laid down for what became a cruise ritual- our afternoon nap! I read on the balcony for a while then snoozed beside DH for an hour or so! Of course, this meant I completely forgot about tea time! I’ve wanted to do this every cruise, and somehow, I always miss it! It is announced in the Fun Times some time around 3 every sea day… and of course, I missed it every day of this cruise too! Since we had Your Time Dining we decided to eat around 6. It was elegant night but we didn’t want any pictures taken so we headed straight for the Northern Lights Dining Room. I’ve mentioned this earlier but we were surprised that the food, while good, was only warm, not even close to hot. But that wasn’t my first disappointment of the meal… Since it’s elegant night, that’s the night for lobster and prime rib. I’ll skip dessert for those two items!! So you can imagine my surprise when I asked my waiter Aquino if I could have the lobster AND the prime rib, only to have him tell me ‘no- you can only have one.’ I said I was okay if they brought me 2 full meals, as I’d share some of it with DH and he still insisted it wasn’t possible. But then, DH ordered the prime rib and THEN he asked for the lobster… color me surprised when the waiter just said sure! So the bottom line was that we got what I wanted since we were going to share anyway, but only when DH ordered it! And any time I ordered anything extra Aquino acted like he was having to pay for it! I wanted soup and the shrimp cocktail and he just stared at me… when I asked for 2 scoops of ice cream he acted like he was my personal dietician! Okay, so I know I’m not the smallest person on the cruise (nor the largest, either!) but I’ve never had a waiter make me feel like a pig for ordering multiple appetizers or some such! He really put me off! So much so that the next night I asked to be seated in a different section, but that’s a story for tomorrow night. One notable thing from this dinner (other than the lobster was great, small but great!) was that for the second time, I tried Warm Chocolate Melting Cake… and I didn’t hate it! The first time I tried it it was just warm cake batter with a hard crust, too gooey, too rich- I didn’t like it at all! So I decided to try it again and it actually wasn’t half bad! Not my favorite by any means, but like I said, I didn’t hate it! So if you’ve sworn off WCMC, maybe give it another try! After dinner we caught the show Grooveline in the Showtime Theater. We’re not live performance/show/concert kind of people, so we kinda enjoy this when we cruise. This show was good, even if DH kept arguing with me that Carol King recorded You’re So Vain- when we ALL know it was Carly Simon! The female singer is much more powerful than the male… so while she was nailing every song, he was better when he hit those songs that suited his voice best. And of course, I think the dancers are awesome! After the show we wandered the ship a bit, checked out the gift shop to buy me a tshirt (I know- with the extensive list I have HOW could I possibly have forgotten my pj’s? Note to self- don’t pre-pack items unless you cross them off the list first… I was sure I’d packed them!). Then we decided to hit the hay early. DH watched the football game til we fell asleep. CRUISE DAY 3 – TUESDAY, SECOND SEA DAY – RELAX SOME MORE! Once again, Room Service brought us coffee at 7:30 (I’d asked for it each day at 7:30 to 7:45- it never arrived before 7:20 and never later than 7:30!). This time they didn’t bring enough cream so I made sure to write that down on the order from now on… Today was pretty much a repeat of yesterday- brunch in the Southern Lights MDR, followed by some quality time in the spa… today we actually ate lunch a bit later on the Lido deck. While we were there, the ship hit another squall and it was raining buckets. The aft pool emptied out and some minor flooding was happening out on the deck near the deli and Tandoor spot. There was also some water in the aft part of the Lido buffet area because of it. Just as we were deciding to leave to give someone else our table, the ship took another hard list to starboard… we leaned for about 30 seconds, just long enough to make you nervous! But then it righted itself and we had smooth sailing after that. We figured that again, the captain was trying to get us out of that squall and back into drier weather. But the unfortunate part of that hard turn was that we tilted so badly that many plates and glasses slid off the tables onto the floors, other cruisers, etc! The table closest to the window at the very rear was the worst- the cruisers had just set down their plates, glasses etc when the tilt happened. Four peoples’ plates slid across the table, smashed into the window and left bits of food and drink all over the window, the ledge, the floor! I felt sorry for the staff, they had quite a mess to deal with! After lunch we wandered the ship again, then went for our nap. Here are a bunch of photos from around the ship. Before we knew it, it was time for dinner! Cruise casual was the mode of dress. So off to the Northern Lights dining room we headed. Now, as I mentioned I wasn’t very happy with our surly waiter from the night before, so when we got there I asked for a different section. They complied- and sat us in another section waited on by the same staff! I mentioned it to the hostess, but DH didn’t want me to make a fuss (of course he didn’t! He GOT what he ordered!) so I let it go. But she must have said something to him, because his attitude was a bit better that night- he was still surly but at least he didn’t act like I was being piggish because I wanted the Caesar Salad AND the mango soup! Part way through our meal the hostess stopped by to make sure everything was okay and I just told her it was fine… complaining wasn’t going to change anything, but I made sure we sat in completely different sections after that. On that note, I’ll mention here that I found most of the staff throughout the ship to be friendly, helpful and smiling… so much so that the odd exception made them stand out even more (like Aquino!). All of the wait staff for the rest of the trip were great. The weather was still pretty iffy and outdoors on any deck or our balcony was not an option, so we watched TV & read in our cabin until bedtime. Tomorrow is Jamaica! CRUISE DAY 4 – WEDNESDAY, MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA – YAH, MON! Again, we got our Room Service coffee on time. It’s horrible stuff, but the caffeine’s there so I dealt with it. The best coffee of the cruise was actually in the dining room each night after dinner, which is weird! You’d think that they would use the same brand of coffee all around the ship! Anyway we sat on the balcony for over 30 minutes but never seemed to get any closer to the shore of Jamaica we could see in the distance… finally we went to breakfast in the Southern Lights MDR. While we were eating breakfast we (sort of) watched the docking process. We went back to our cabin to get a few things and headed down to Deck 0 to get off the ship. We’d waited about 30 minutes after the first crush to let those with excursions and planned outings to get off, so we were able to just walk right off. We went back and forth about what to do in Jamaica and finally decided to just check out the port shops then spend the day back on the ship. We picked up some souvenirs for the family watching our fur babies and were back on board by 10:30! We changed into our bathing suits as the weather was finally sunny and headed for the first time up to the Serenity Deck. It was deserted and we were able to claim both a clamshell lounge and a hammock! I tried the hot tub there and it was nice and hot! We read and napped there for the whole morning and when we left there were only 2 other people in the area. Docked near us was the Norwegian Pearl- interesting paint job on their ships. We went to lunch on the Lido deck- the food is okay, not great. But since we didn’t find anything else to our liking we got sandwiches from the Deli… they’re the best! I tried the Tandoor spot the day before… I like Indian food but I found it wasn’t very fresh- the naan was hard and crusty, instead of soft & pliable like it’s supposed to be! So we had our reuben sandwiches and sat there in the Lido buffet area for a while, enjoying the AC (it was actually surprisingly hot and humid, considering the sun wasn’t out very consistently). Before we knew it everyone was getting back on the ship. We watched sailaway from our balcony… it’s funny to watch people saunter toward the ship at a few minutes to 6, knowing that we’re supposed to be leaving at 6! I’d be too terrified of the ship leaving my butt behind to leave it that late, yet tones of people showed up well after the 5:30 return time and didn’t seem at all concerned. So this was when we experienced our second negative experience with smokers- other than the guys on the balcony beside us we found smokers to be a very considerate bunch, no rogue smoking where they weren’t supposed to, grabbing an attitude about where they can/cannot smoke. (although I did see a few folks using the e-cigs in the dining room and theatre, but since it doesn’t smell, doesn’t give off fumes, why should I complain?). The exception was the group beside us. On sailaway someone a few doors upwind of us was smoking a cigar, until someone below us yelled that there’s no smoking allowed anymore on balconies. I noticed the cigar smell stopped immediately. But waiting for sailaway from Jamaica I was sitting on our balcony and all I could smell was cigarette smoke. There were 4 cabins in a row all travelling together and they had their dividers open. The lady in the cabin beside us was very nice, and I don’t believe was the culprit. But everyone congregated on her balcony as we were waiting for sailaway. Someone (or ones) started smoking heavily. To make sure they knew they were busted, I asked others from balconies around us ‘does anyone know where that cigarette smoke is coming from?’ The guys beside us started laughing and said ‘uh oh- we’re busted!’ But they didn’t stop! So since I didn’t want this to be a recurring issue I ratted on them. Called Guest Services and told them what was going on. Our steward Chris and his boss came by to ask for information and I explained that they basically admitted to smoking out there, but didn’t stop. I made sure to let them know that it wasn’t the woman beside us but her friends. Funny thing is, a few minutes later the smoking stopped so I guess the message was delivered. Thankfully there were no more incidents for the rest of the cruise, at least while we were on our balcony. So I thought I’d mention something that happened at this point that convinced me I’ll get FTTF each time I cruise, if possible! I needed to go to Guest Services to check on a lost & found item. During the whole cruise I probably had to go there 4 or 5 times for different things. Each time, in spite of a long line up I went to the VIP line and was served almost immediately. Definitely worth the money! This evening there were maybe 10 people lined up in the regular GS line, and 1 person waiting in the VIP line in front of me. A guy near the front of the other line was really vocal about the fact that one of the GS staff helping on that side stepped over as soon she finished with the person she was helping to ask the person in front of me how she could help. This guy started getting louder and louder about rude people not waiting their turn, about why was this person served before him… the GS staff closest to him explained that that was the VIP line and those people had earned the right to be served first. (I didn’t bother to correct her, that I’d paid for the right!) Well everyone else in the line was okay with that, but this guy wasn’t happy. When the person in front of me finished and walked away I was called to the counter next and this guy totally lost it! He started yelling about people who think they’re better than others, about how he paid as much for his cruises as we did… no one from GS could get this guy to calm down! Finally this very tiny Guest Services Manager (like, 4’10 tops!) came out from behind, walked right up to the guy and told him to please calm down, keep his voice at a normal level and he would be helped shortly. If he opted NOT to follow these directions she would be more than happy to call security to explain it to him again- in their office! Wow! What a firecracker she was! Yet not once did she lose her cool, raise her voice or be anything other than professional and friendly with him. It was great to see her diffuse the situation so easily! That night we went to the magic show Destination Unknown in Showtime Theater- maybe I’m just not that into magic shows but it was just alright for me… I wasn’t crazy about it. But heck, I didn’t have a lot else to do so it worked. After the show we went to dinner and were seated in a completely different section. Waiter and staff couldn’t have been nicer! Again the food was just okay, good enough but nothing was hot. After dinner we walked around a bit then went back to our cabin to sit on the balcony. Unfortunately it was really windy, even though it wasn’t raining. So we had a soda on the balcony then went to bed early again. CRUISE DAY 5 – THURSDAY, GRAND CAYMAN, CAYMAN ISLANDS – OH HELL! OR MAYBE NOT! Since we didn’t have plans for Grand Cayman we decided to have Room Service coffee again today. It arrived right on time, even though I figured they’d be really busy, with everyone else ordering breakfast before getting off the ship. We drank our coffee as we anchored offshore at Grand Cayman. The Breeze was beside us and we decided to hang out there watching the tenders for a while before going for breakfast. But it was still really windy and it was obvious they were having problems getting the tenders working. We did see a tender go ashore from Breeze with people on it so we figured that soon they’d be under way, but after about 30 minutes the captain announced that it was too windy to allow the tenders to dock beside the ship so we’d have to cancel Grand Cayman. For us, no big deal because we’d only planned a day of walking around anyway, but I was sure a lot of other people would be really disappointed, with excursions planned etc. I heard after I got back home that the tender we saw from the Breeze was the only one that got under way that day, and only because they had a medical emergency involving a crew member. Just before we left, Breeze headed out and we followed her for quite a while. I also heard that once underway there was a lot of chaos, upset passengers and near-rioting (I heard a lot of conflicting info on this!) on the Breeze. Apparently they’d had issues with delays in Cozumel, and now were missing Grand Cayman. Because of the discounts & OBCs Carnival gave the Magic passengers the week before due to missing Cozumel apparently some passengers felt they were entitled to more than just the port fees of $20 pp. Now here’s the way I look at it… if I’d had excursions planned that day, sure I’d be disappointed, but I’d far rather the captain erred on the side of caution if the tendering process would be dangerous. Once on a cruise in 1998 I almost lost a set of golf clubs during dangerous tendering (wind kicked up after we all got off the ship, made getting back on board interesting!). They couldn’t get the gangway in place so they had to time it just right as the tender bobbed up and down beside the ship and reach out and grab each person, dragging the passenger back on board… I had my golf clubs with me from our excursion and the crewmember who took them dropped them between the tender and the ship- he caught the bag by the strap to avoid them going to a watery death. I looked at him as he brought my clubs onboard and said ‘please don’t do that to me!’ Ever since I’m appropriately respectful of the tendering process! So now they planned another sea day for us… a new Fun Times was published but I didn’t notice a lot of changes… a few more trivia games, lunch in the MDR instead of just the Lido… So for us the biggest disappointment was that the ship was a lot more crowded than we’d expected. But the day was sunny & warm, even though it was windy. We spent the morning sitting reading on the 11th deck, just above the Lido pool, in the shade. We even too advantage of the bar and had the DoD- called the Cruiser- it was peach and pineapple and other flavors… pretty good! This was the second and final encounter with a Carnival employee who didn’t love his job… the bartender at the Lido pool was obviously planning on an easy day too, what with everyone in Grand Cayman. When he realized that wasn’t going to happen he adopted a real attitude. I asked him a simple question- do you accept the free drink coupons for return cruisers. He snapped ‘what does it say? Can you read? It says dining room only, right? So no, I don’t take them here’. Needless to say he didn’t get an extra tip! I wasn’t the only one who he treated rudely... while I was waiting, a young woman was in front of me, waiting for a soda. He kept going around her, serving people who’d arrived after her. He asked me what I wanted and I pointed out that she was first. He rolled his eyes at me (OH YES HE DID!) and asked her what she wanted… she handed him her S&S card and her Carnival cup and asked for Dr Pepper… he flat out lied to her and said he didn’t have any left... the guy beside me, who already had his drink said ‘look buddy, don’t be an a&&h*)@, I can see the can sitting right there on the counter. Get her her drink!’ The whole time he waited on people he scowled and muttered to himself. Obviously not a person who loves his job! But fortunately, as I mentioned, the 2 employees were the only ones I encountered who were not smiling and happy to help. We then had lunch in the dining room- I finally got my favorite dessert- crème brulee, which they seem to only offer at lunch, not brunch! That afternoon we spent some time in the Fun Shops, checking out what they had… I’m not sure if it’s the new direction or just the Magic, but we found that the shops were a lot smaller than on some of the Fantasy class ships we’d been on. The duty free alcohol section was basically one wall of the shop, but the jewelry and perfume section was a lot larger than the alcohol section. We spent some time in the spa and watched the Thriller Dance class in the Showtime Theater… it was kind of amusing to watch totally uncoordinated people try to emulate Michael Jackson! That night was the second elegant night but we didn’t feel like getting dressed up so decided to do the Lido buffet that night. We tried a little bit of a bunch of different food. A lot of it was awful, some was okay, some was delicious! Hit or miss but hey, we didn’t starve! There was a show in the Showtime Theater called WIN! that we wanted to see. But we miscalculated times somehow and missed it altogether. There was only one instance of the show at 7:30, not the normal early & late seating version, so we completely missed it. We could have caught the last 20 minutes but decided to take our time at dinner in the Lido instead. We stood in line waiting for the great free watch raffle! Every time we walked by the Fun Shops they were having a ‘fantastic’ sale on something… watch sets, necklace sets, bracelets, Invicta watches… I guess if you’re into that sort of thing you can get a good deal, but I don’t wear costume jewelry, DH has a very expensive watch already and I refuse to buy anything other than my Timex Indiglo watches for about $40… so most of the time that we were around that area it was an opportunity for people watching! I saw a woman who bought 8 boxes of a necklace set for $20 each… I figure daughters and nieces are all getting a variation on the same gift this Christmas! The rest of the evening was spent sitting relaxing on our balcony. The wind had died down, but there were frequent rain squalls happening due to the tropical depression/storm that was hovering over Cozumel. One of those squalls finally drove us inside where DH watched the rest of the football game, and after prepping for our day in Mexico tomorrow, we went to bed. CRUISE DAY 6 – FRIDAY, COZUMEL, MEXICO – GOLF ANYONE? We woke up to sunshine- sort of! It was sunny at the dock and cloudy all around us. Our one concern about the weather this trip was due to TD9, which moved from the Pacific, over Mexico into the Bay of Campeche. It ran along the top of the Yucatan peninsula and into the gulf, which was the reason for all the unsettled weather, high winds and rain squalls we’d been surrounded by and subject to throughout the cruise. The reason for our concern? We had a round of golf scheduled at the Cozumel Country Club for 11 that morning. The captain announced before lunch on Thursday that due to missing Grand Cayman, we’d received permission from Mexican officials to dock early, meaning we’d be in Cozumel for 8 AM, not 10! Sweet! That meant we’d have plenty of time to have breakfast, get off the ship without rushing and still make our tee time! And also leave time for some shopping after the round. We ate breakfast on the Lido deck as we were docking, got our stuff for the day from our room and headed off the ship. We waded our way through the Duty Free building, walked straight to the taxi area and caught a taxi. We asked in advance and were told it would be $16 each way for both of us (not each). We got into the oldest, most decrepit Camry I’ve ever seen! The shocks were completely gone, it was so cramped that my DH couldn’t sit up straight without hitting the roof of the car… but the driver was nice, gave us lots of info about what we were seeing as we drove through downtown and out to the country club. We gave him a $5 tip because God knows, his car needs some work! We arrived at the golf course by a little after 9, almost 2 hours early. But they weren’t concerned- the weather had really hit the course hard and they were not busy at all so we were able to tee off pretty much right away. And we had no one in front of us, or behind us. If you’re a golfer, you’ll understand that this is pretty close to golfing nirvana! They warned us about a few things. The condition of the course was bad- everything was VERY wet. They’d had 5 inches of rain the day before from our friend TD9. One hole was under water and the bridge to get to the tee was under water so it became a par 3. And they also had warnings about the water on the course- there are crocodiles everywhere and they strongly urge you to invest in a new golf ball if yours ends up in the water! We saw a couple of baby crocs… and a few 8 footers. But having lived and golfed in Florida where there are gators everywhere on the golf course, this didn’t faze us. We’re used to taking gator mulligans when necessary. The other thing they warned us about were the mosquitos… I was so grateful I’d bought a bottle of Deep Woods Off… DH & I sprayed each other down a couple of times on the course but we still got some bites. We could sit in the golf cart and hear the mosquitos moving in- a loud whiny buzz that would get louder as we sat… and they were huge mosquitos! Now we’re both from Canada and spent our summers in northern Ontario and Quebec, where the mosquitos were the size of small hummingbirds… but these mosquitos made those guys look ordinary! I can imagine how bad it would have been if we hadn’t had bug spray. So despite the sloppy conditions and the humidity, we were golfing! DH had brought golf shoes but I opted to wear my running shoes… our feet were totally soaked by the 2nd hole. But I noticed by the 7th or 8th hole that my feet were getting wetter and I couldn’t get a good footing when hitting the ball. I looked at my running shoes and the soles of both were falling off! I guess it’s time for some new running shoes! We were actually finished by about 1 PM. The course called us a taxi and we were on our way back to Puerta Maya. The cost was the same, but this time the taxi was great (a large mini-van) but the driver never spoke a word… so as uncomfortable as the ride to the course had been, we both enjoyed that trip better, with our chatty informative driver. We were back at the port by 1:30 and had lots of time to shop. I had to be careful not to walk out of my sad, almost sole-less running shoes. We talked about going back to the ship, cleaning up and coming back to finish our shopping, but it was hot, sunny and humid now so we decided just to finish it, get back on the ship, clean up, have lunch and relax. One stop I had to make was Los Cincos Soles… I had it on the best of advice- you fellow cruisers- that this shop is the best place to get the high quality vanilla from Mexico. You have to be careful- a lot of places sell the inferior quality vanilla or stuff with additives that can be dangerous… I was warned about this when I posted a question about it and was directed to this website http://gourmet.lovetoknow.com/Mexican_Vanilla which posted the following: Things to Avoid When Shopping for Vanilla Prior to purchasing vanilla products make sure they are clearly labeled "coumarin free" or "pure vanilla." In addition, always buy vanilla products from reputable suppliers. Often tourists visiting Mexico are tempted to buy bargain priced vanilla. The cheap price is usually an indicator that the vanilla is laced with coumarin. Pure Mexican vanilla is expensive. The synthetic version may smell and taste like vanilla, but it is not pure vanilla and should be avoided. Authentic vanilla is amber colored while synthetics tend to be dark and murky due to the coal tar from which they are produced or from caramel and red food colorings. To ensure you are getting pure vanilla from Mexico check the label, the price, and avoid large bargain-sized bottles found south of the border So I got my vanilla, some gifts for the family, including maracas for my 7 YO GS (payback to my daughter- I couldn’t get a drumset so the noisy maracas were the next best thing LOL!) and then we made our way back to the Magic. I was going to buy some rum from the Dufry shop just outside the main duty free building you have to go through to get back on the ship. I got 3 bottles of flavored rum there last cruise and it was great. But this time the salesman was driving me crazy… he followed me everywhere, everything I looked at he told me I had to buy it and why, and even after I told him to leave me alone and I’d find him when I was ready to buy, he wouldn’t back off. Normally I’m a pretty placid shopper, I don’t let stuff like that rattle me. But I was tired, hot, hungry, bug-bit and probably a little cranky. OK, so I was a lot cranky! But hey, my shoes are falling off and I stink like Deep Woods Off- cut me a break! So I left without buying any booze. Once on the ship, showered and with intact shoes on, DH & I went in search of lunch. We met several of our roll call gang who apparently all had a great time doing their various excursions ashore. After lunch we hung out in our cabin until sailaway. At the next pier was the Navigator of the Seas (our #2 choice for this cruise) and the Allure of the Seas… that is one freaking huge ship! We were talking to some of our roll call gang and they were saying that they’d like to try it just once, but that they’d found that the people on RCCL are less inclined to strike up a conversation with a stranger, offer unsolicited advice or offer to help someone else, as his experiences were on Carnival. As a result, he said he’d probably never sail RCCL again, so the Allure wasn’t likely to happen. I know everyone has their own opinion, and we’ll probably try RCCL soon, just so we can form our own opinion on the matter. But if that’s what it’s really like on the RCCL cruiseships, we’ll be back to Carnival in a heartbeat. But then, I also think a cruise is what you make of it, so we’ll see. Since we had a later lunch we decided to go to the early show in the Showtime Theater. Guitar Legends Features Edd Carr and the Magic Showband… The music was great, the guitar playing was terrific… he’s not the best singer, but his guitar skills more than make up for it. After the show we went to dinner in the Northern Lights MDR. Again, new section, again, great service, again, food was warm, okay. But I got my 3rd favorite dessert, Bitter n Blanc. Only problem was, our waiter forgot to give me anything to eat it with, and promptly disappeared. When he reappeared about 10 minutes later with a refill on our coffee he asked why I hadn’t eaten my dessert- didn’t I like it? When he realized he’d forgotten to give me a fork, I thought he’d cry, he was so upset with himself! But I was enjoying my first cup of coffee and chatting with DH and our tablemates, and I knew he’d be back, so I wasn’t in a rush. It was pretty funny, actually! Dinner wasn’t over til almost 9:30 so afterward we went to our cabin, hung out on the balcony for a while then went to bed. CRUISE DAY 7 – SATURDAY, FINAL DAY AT SEA – LAST CHANCE TO DO… WHATEVER! This was the first night that my back really troubled me while sleeping. The bed wasn’t comfortable (was fine the rest of the cruise), the room was too drafty (yet my back was covered with blankets all night), the bed was too soft, the bed was too hard- I couldn’t get comfortable at all… so I woke in the morning to our regular Room Service coffee, but shortly afterwards decided to make my way to the spa to see if the Thalasso pool would help my back. It was actually cold so it really didn’t help much. I then went to the thermal suites- steam rooms and loungers hadn’t had a chance to warm up yet either. The Serenity deck was closed because the wind had picked up again and we were rocking pretty hard (the water was splashing out of each end of the Thalasso pool while I was in there). So I made do with a really hot shower in the spa… they have one of those showers in the Laconium Thermal Suite where the water comes from every direction… but no soap or shampoo in there and they discourage you from bringing your own in… they prefer you to use the showers in the locker rooms for cleaning. This shower is just for the body massage aspects of it, I guess. Anyway, 10 minutes in there and I was almost good as new! DH & I went for our last brunch around 10, in the hopes that if we ate brunch later, skipped lunch, we might actually be hungry for dinner! We met a great couple from Memphis and spent a good hour chatting with them. They were on the their honeymoon and were kind of bummed about missing Grand Cayman because they had a sub excursion planned, but were able to find the same one in Mexico, so they weren’t completely disappointed. After breakfast we went to the shops to buy some final souvenirs- Carnival tshirts were 2 for $20… and they’re surprisingly good quality! They’ve held up pretty well to washing since we got home… they didn’t shrink much at all. Unfortunately, while we were wandering around the ship taking some final pictures, we completely missed our Roll Call’s Slot Pull! I hadn’t signed up for it but was planning on putting in an appearance to cheer on our roll call, and maybe playing if they had room. But by the time I remembered, it was all over  We spent a nice hour in the Red Frog Pub. Our waiter Lakeye (la-Kay-Yay) remembered me from the Gift Exchange on Sunday calling out numbers… we were joined by a member of our roll call and had a nice visit… Before starting our packing, I checked our account at Guest Services and they told me I had $54 on account. I knew it was much higher than that, but she wasn’t including any of my cruise cash. CRUISE CASH If you buy Cruise Bar Cash, you have to spend it on drinks. You can’t substitute anything else. If you buy Cruise Photo Cash, same thing… you must use it on pictures. Whenever possible, buy just plain Cruise Cash- it can be used for anything onboard. If you don’t spend your cruise cash, you lose it. But there’s a workaround I was counting on. DH & I waited til we knew we had nothing more to spend, and yet we still had $120 in cruise cash left. We went to the casino and were able to get it all back, so if you have cruise cash left here’s what you do: • Go to a slot machine in the casino, insert your S&S card and set up a casino account if you haven’t already (just need your name, DOB and your S&S card). Deposit the amount left in cruise cash into your casino account (it always uses cruise cash first before any other money on your account). • Once the money is in your casino account, you can play some if you want. We didn’t bother after 1 turn each- but we still won $5! Then we just opted to cash out on the slot machine. • We took our S&S card to the casino cashier and told her we wanted to cash out our account. They gave us the $120 cash (plus $5 we had won!) So I can say that we came out ahead in the casino… plus I’ll never hesitate to buy cruise cash in advance again. We spent the rest of the afternoon packing. We decided to go with Self Debark… which meant we wouldn’t put our luggage out that night for the porters to collect, we’d just lug everything off ourselves. Somehow, in spite of emptying one small suitcase of soda & water, we still had a ton of stuff to fit in… we barely made it! It seems we bought more than we thought! So other than the last minute items we’d pack that night and first thing in the morning, we were ready to debark (but not ready to get off the ship boo!!!) Before dinner we went to the lobby and watched a neat trivia show called Up, Up & Out… the entertainment staff member got couples to get on the glass lobby elevator with him one at a time. As they answered questions correctly they moved up a floor. If they got it wrong, they went down a floor. Once they ran out of questions they went all the way back down and the next couple was invited into the elevator. Once they got to the 11th floor, they won! Kinda cute! We went to our final dinner after that. We heard the waiters sing ‘leaving on a funship’. Also, the Northern Lights Maitre d’ introduced a waitress each night after the waiters entertained… her name was Catherine and she was phenomenal! She sang Proud Mary by Tina Turner and Donna Summers’ On the Radio with equal ability! She needs to be part of the entertainment crew, not the waitstaff! This night I had my 2nd favorite dessert (quick recall- # 1 fav –Crème Brulee, # 3 Bitter & Blanc) Grand Marnier Soufflé… I’m not a dessert eater most of the time so I take advantage of it at times like this. One other comment about desserts. DH is diabetic… he would sometimes steal a bite of my dessert or even order his own, and just take extra insulin. But this whole trip he tried to be as good as possible with the sweets. He found this trip that almost all of the sugar-free desserts offered in the MDR and the Lido deck were very tasty, and not dried out like they were in the past. He was quite pleased with the sugar-free options… and didn’t even groan over me having an extra ice cream cone every time we passed the Lido deck! Things we missed completely this cruise that we would have liked to have done: • Trivia (other than the one in the elevator) • Karaoke – I’m a fan, DH not so much • Comedy clubs- family or adult version But I guess that just gives us an excuse to go back! CRUISE DAY 8 – SUNDAY, DEBARKATION – TURN OUT THE LIGHTS, THE PARTY’S OVER About 6 in the morning we made our way into the Galveston harbor. Not a pretty port by any means, but in the dark, with the lights twinkling, it’s passing pretty! As we docked, DH & I finished up our last minute packing then headed to the Lido Deck for breakfast. I saw a man there with his arm in a sling… he said he fell on the Lido deck the day we were in Cozumel and broke it… ouch! We were back in our room by 8 AM, and in the Northern Lights MDR at 8:15 for FTTF and Self-Debark. So I was kind of confused… I thought that self debark was the fastest way to get off the ship. But when we went into the dining room they directed us a certain way and said since we had FTTF we had priority over anyone, except Diamond and Platinum. So the order of getting off the ship, as I was told, was Diamond and Platinum, then FTTF, then anyone else who’s doing self-debark, then they call you off the ship by floors. If you put your luggage out the night before it will be waiting for you when you get off the ship. So we waited until about 8:40 for them to call FTTF off the ship. We were through Customs & Immigration by 8:50 (I love having a US passport). We lugged all our stuff outside, across the street to Galveston Park ‘n Cruise, got in our car and were on the way home by 8:55. We got home around 12:30 to Austin. One more word about the Texas Alcohol tax… after we went through Customs, we walked down a short hall and turned right to exit the building. Standing there just before we turned was a lovely lady asking if anyone had any alcohol to declare. Straight ahead was a sign to follow to pay the tax… it didn’t impact us as we didn’t have any booze or cigarettes to declare, but I gotta tell you, you’d have to be pretty compelled to pay the tax. That's it for this review... as I mentioned at the beginning, my review in the Carnival area has more info, including pictures...   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was the cruise during Halloween, so was a little unusual. It was our 2nd cruise on the Magic but our 6th overall. We previously went to Key West, Freeport and Nassau, billed as Eastern Caribbean, but I don't think the ship ever ... Read More
This was the cruise during Halloween, so was a little unusual. It was our 2nd cruise on the Magic but our 6th overall. We previously went to Key West, Freeport and Nassau, billed as Eastern Caribbean, but I don't think the ship ever entered the Caribbean Sea. Nevertheless, we enjoyed that cruise overall, and so decided to take another one, this time to Cozumel, Belize and Roatan. Embarkation was reasonably smooth with steady progress through the lines, about 1 hour total. This time we went straight on the ship after getting the room keys, compared to the previous time when there was another wait until your number was called. Since the whole process was delayed and we were told to arrive after 1 PM by the time we got onboard, it was too late for lunch, so we just had a sandwich from the deli, which was quick and good. The only negative here was that one suitcase did not arrive until about 7 PM, which was a source of concern for a while, as we thought it may have been lost. We were wait-listed for early sitting in the Southern Lights. A visit with the Maitre'D was not productive. This was in contrast to the previous cruise, when a similar situation was resolved quickly. He even told us that there was no room in the AnyTime Northern Lights dining room. However, on our way to the service desk to ask about the missing suitcase, we noticed many empty tables in the Northern Lights, so we asked if we could get a table there (it was about 6:30 pm) and we were promptly seated at a very nice 2-top. The service was extremely attentive and efficient. The next day we received a note telling us that a table had been allocated for early seating in the Southern Lights, so we dutifully went there that evening. We were disappointed to find we were on a 10-top, 5 a-side with my wife and I seated adjacently and across from another couple. We usually prefer to side opposite each other to facilitate conversation, but we went with it. Unfortunately the couple opposite us were rather dour, and spent most of the time discussing their various ailments and medications with some of the other elderly people at the table. We thereafter went back to the Northern Lights for the rest of the cruise, where we had no trouble being seating within minutes at a 2-top in the same general area with the same servers, but different and more enjoyable and friendly folks on the nearby tables we could chat with if mutually interested. Overall the food in the dining rooms was very good, not top notch but certainly acceptable. The only things needing improvement were some of the soups that were somewhat dilute, and the oysters Rockefeller, which were undercooked with a bitter taste to the sauce. Lunch at the Cucina was very good, and dinner at the Steakhouse was outstanding in every way. We usually had breakfast in the Lido buffet. Lines were not too bad, especially for the items like cereals and yogurts. One thing we found useful from previous cruises was to bring your own coffee mug, as theirs are too small. The area was kept very clean and we did not have the same problem finding a table there as we did on our previous Magic cruise. The Red Frog Ale is the best thing on the ship, and the price is reasonable. We found the entertainment to be very good for a ship. We especially thought the magic show was terrific, and always enjoy the Marriage Game. The comedy shows were OK, although one of them was identical to what we heard back in January, but still funny. We didn't go to the adult shows as last time, although we are no prudes, they were not as funny and it seemed the only difference was the liberal use of F-bombs every 3rd word. The bands and musicians playing around the ship were generally pretty good, especially the ones in the Ocean Plaza, who played an amazing range of genres. We went to a few of the deck games as it is always fun to see people making fools of themselves to win a cheap medallion, or a plastic ship trophy or a bottle of ultra-cheap "champagne." We did drop a few dollars in the casino, but did not play any bingo. We did not do any trips or excursions in the ports as we had been there before. We just got off and looked around the shops and booths and bought a few cheap souvenirs and objets d'art. It was raining in both Cozumel and Belize. We did play some of the games on the top deck, such as mini-golf and pool. Tried the big slide in the waterworks and the obstacle course, both a lot of fun. Overall the entertainment staff were OK, although one or two were fairly new and screwed things up a few times. The biggest negative for us was the smoking sections. Even though supposedly separate, the smoke came in the lounge areas when the doors were opened and in the casino it was not really possible to escape it when walking through. In fact we often took to going down one deck to avoid traversing the casino when going from one end of the ship to the other. In this day and age. I really think there should be no smoking allowed at all. Disembarkation, referred to as "debarkation" on this ship was quite slow, but as for embarkation the line moved steadily and we were out of the building by 11:30 am. It is just a matter of being patient, and it is truly amazing how they can get almost 4000 off and another 4000 people on with all the luggage in just a few hours. I don't see how it could be made any faster, but for those with privileges due to buying FTTF or multiple previous Carnival cruises it is quicker. Overall it was very enjoyable and very good value for the fare paid. Due to the promotion it was less than staying at a Motel 6 on a per night basis and we got far more than a stale donut and awful coffee. Highly recommend, but must be reasonable with expectations. It is not a luxury cruise by any means, but nothing really to complain about. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We enjoyed our 4-day cruise on the Triumph. Our cabin, an interior on Deck 6, had a small flat screen TV. We assume that the other cabins have one now. We cannot recommend our cabin 6345 because of noise issues. The large vent on the cabin ... Read More
We enjoyed our 4-day cruise on the Triumph. Our cabin, an interior on Deck 6, had a small flat screen TV. We assume that the other cabins have one now. We cannot recommend our cabin 6345 because of noise issues. The large vent on the cabin door turned it into more of a screen door. We could hear the people across the hall yelling at their friends down the hall day and night, people running up and down the hall, and doors slamming constantly, reminding us of a college dormitory. We could hear “woo” screamed often from the casino below us, and we could hear the drums and bass guitar from the group playing at the Casino Bar on Deck 5 at various times of the day and night, sometimes so clearly that we could identify the song. We also had 2 maintenance items that we reported to our cabin steward, Justo, immediately upon boarding: the reading light next to the wall did not work and was falling out of the fixture, and one plug did not work and was pushed back into the wall. He assured us he would notify electricians to repair these items, but that never happened. We noticed some differences on Carnival, having cruised mainly on RCCL and Princess. The staff just hand-counted the people at our station at the muster drill, which was called a “safety briefing”. No announcements were ever given in Spanish. The Lido buffet staff did not serve or refill drinks, nor did they have ice water and tea ready to pick up. Purell was hard to find, mounted on the wall, and sometimes empty. Throughout the cruise we felt the ship was understaffed. The pools were way too crowded. The hair dryer in our cabin was like a vacuum cleaner hose – bring your own. The soap & shampoo in the shower were not good – bring your own. They should have mounted the dispensers above the soap dish, out of the way of your elbow and giving more width to the shower. Guy’s burgers were the best, but they close at 6 PM. We ate them every day. The Lido buffet was good, too. Not gourmet food. The Blue Iguana had a salsa bar, but we never found chips to go with our tacos and burritos. Room service was limited but fast. Grilled cheese and coffee arrived hot. There were lots of big groups of adults and family groups. Everybody seemed ready to have a good time. When we encountered staff members, they were always friendly and professional. We saw one production show, “Wonderful World” and we enjoyed the talented singers & dancers. Their costumes were very detailed and impressive. This was not a high school caliber show. We enjoyed the “Dive-in Movie” one night. While waiting for the movie to begin, Travis entertained us with his singing & guitar. We even saw a spontaneous Conga Line form and dance around the pool during his last song. Towel animals, Bingo, art auctions – they offer something for everyone. Go have fun! Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
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! Embarkation 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. Cabin 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. Dining 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. Pool 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. Entertainment 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. Casino 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. Staff 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. Cozumel 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. Debarkation 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
Sail Date September 2014
I was a little reluctant to book this cruise after reading a lot of reviews, but I was pleasantly surprised. Out of 4 cruises with Carnival this was by far the best. A little smaller ship than the Magic or Conquest on which we sailed ... Read More
I was a little reluctant to book this cruise after reading a lot of reviews, but I was pleasantly surprised. Out of 4 cruises with Carnival this was by far the best. A little smaller ship than the Magic or Conquest on which we sailed before. I thought the Triumph was clean tidy, and looked nicer than the others. I found it less crowded, shorter lines for food, and lots of choices of where to eat. Buffet food was good not great but it' a buffet and to be expected. Taco and burrito bar GREAT. Guys burger joint GREAT. We didn't dine in main dining room this trip as food options were adequate elsewhere. Good shows, great bands singing. WE really enjoyed this trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
The ship itself is very nice, so I had very high hopes for a great cruise. I knew I definitely wanted a balcony room since I'm not much into sitting at the pool with all the loud music. On my vacation, I just want to relax. What I ... Read More
The ship itself is very nice, so I had very high hopes for a great cruise. I knew I definitely wanted a balcony room since I'm not much into sitting at the pool with all the loud music. On my vacation, I just want to relax. What I didn't realized is that the cabin I was given was directly under the galley. For the whole cruise, I could hear the noise above. I dealt with it as best I could. We were told there weren't any rooms available to move to when we inquired as the ship was sold out. The next cabin was complaining to the room steward manager and could hear him saying, I can't do anything about that. By the end of the cruise, it seemed that the noise was getting louder or else I was getting more tired, so I called guest services. She said she would tell them to quiet down. That did no good. By the last morning, it felt like steel barrels were falling on my head. I call guest services at midnight and again at 4:50AM to complain. They offered me $60 credit. Would you think that is reasonable compensation for many miserable nights of sleep? I did also call their corporate headquarters. They gave me a 15% credit off of my next cruise. I've experienced much more helpful customer service, but at least it's something. Also, I've been blessed in the past with amazing room stewards. Unfortunately, this cruise broke that streak. One night, he knocked on our door, basically asking us to leave the cabin so he could clean it. Really? What he actually said was, "aren't you leaving for dinner?". He said it in a way that was basically, you need to leave. He also didn't clean up spills. He did the absolute basics. The good: I loved the cruise director; he was such a natural. The dining crew was so attentive. They always knew what drinks we wanted and had the right food for my son. The photographers were great. They also had a great comedian on board one night. Camp Carnival was great; the ladies were so nice. Would I go on this ship again? Since I live in Houston, I would probably give it another shot, but would AVOID deck 2. I would also be a lot more assertive about my rights with guest services if something isn't right. Unfortunately, being quiet just continues to give you bad service. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
For those who bad-mouth the food on the Magic, I don't know what's wrong with you, we loved it! Even the buffet was great, the first day I had the best fish ever and thought about going back for seconds! Dinner (Anytime Dining) ... Read More
For those who bad-mouth the food on the Magic, I don't know what's wrong with you, we loved it! Even the buffet was great, the first day I had the best fish ever and thought about going back for seconds! Dinner (Anytime Dining) was a delight, we met Vitaly and stayed with him throughout the week, except for our forays into the Steakhouse (delicious) and Cucina de Capitano (absolutely delicious). We really loved our whole cruise, we traveled with our best friends and got rooms next to each other so we could open our balconies. Our only problem was the travel from California to Galveston -- with no airport there, my husband and I had to fly into Dallas and transfer to Houston, where we met our friends who traveled straight in from SFO, we flew out of Sacramento. While we were lucky to find a VERY reasonable shuttle to Galveston and back from the cruise to Houston, it made for very long travel days. We came into Galveston Saturday, stayed at the Hilton (beautiful property) and had dinner at Landry's which was wonderful, what a way to start our vacation! We had troubles getting home and, unfortunately, made up our minds that we won't sail out of Galveston -- or anywhere else that doesn't have a local airport. But we'll stick with Carnival, thank you for a memorable trip! Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We traveled on the Carnival Magic to Mahogany Bay, Belize and Cozumel in September. Embarkation was a breeze. I really recommend that you get there early to avoid the traffic and crowds! We are lucky enough to have Platinum status with ... Read More
We traveled on the Carnival Magic to Mahogany Bay, Belize and Cozumel in September. Embarkation was a breeze. I really recommend that you get there early to avoid the traffic and crowds! We are lucky enough to have Platinum status with Carnival so we were able to go straight to our room and then head up for lunch. I am not a huge fan of cruise food but this trip really changed my mind. We highly recommend the steak house and the Italian place on board. We also took advantage of the food service that was away from the normal Lido buffet lines. On sea days, there is brunch in the main dining room and a terrific bbq on deck 5 near the Red Frog Pub. There is also a salad bar and deli on deck 5 that I loved! We stayed in balcony cabin 8389 and it was great! Occasionally, I get seasick so I always opt to stay midship. We really wish now that we would have booked one of the Cove Balcony rooms. It seems like you would have more privacy and would be able to look directly at the water, not at the people walking on the deck below. We did not go to any shows but did go to the Punchliner Comedy Club most nights. The comics were very funny! The Red Frog Pub was one of my favorite spots on the ship. Great music, great food and yummy drinks! In Mahogany Bay, we opted to just stay at the local beach near the pier. We decided to not do the flying chairs to the beach and had a lovely walk over. It took about 10 minutes and it was beautiful! We even saw some iguanas! The public beach was very nice and we felt very safe. We had a little rain so we spent some time at a bar near the beach. We had nachos and drinks from Fat Tuesday's. The Monkey Lala was my absolute favorite. There were plenty of beach chairs when the sun came out and there were also a ton of places that were shaded. I don't think it is necessary at all to purchase the Carnival package that provides you with covered chairs or floats. Save that money for souvenirs! Belize was by far my favorite port! We booked through Ecotours - Island Marketing LTD and did the Sun Kissed Goff's Caye Beach and Snorkeling excursion. It was wonderful! Once we got of the ship, someone was waiting for us. They took us over to the office to finish paying for the tour and showed us where we would be leaving from. The whole crew was so professional and very knowledgeable. The snorkeling was amazing! We saw so many fish and I thought the reef was beautiful. Goff's Caye is very small but such a treasure. It's so gorgeous! You can purchase food and drinks on the island for a very reasonable price. I am in love with Belikin Beer now! Thank you to Gilbert, Herbie, Jeanette and the rest of the crew for such a great experience. We have decided that we must travel back soon! In Cozumel, we went to Mr. Sanchos and did the all inclusive option. We booked online before we left and received the price of $55 a person. The drinks were great and the food was good. With this package you could also snorkel and use the kayak's for a small fee. I love Mexico and this port. Give yourself some time for shopping near the ship too. Here a couple of things that bothered me about the Magic. I didn't love the weird sewer smell that you would encounter at the back of the ship. This ship also had a real logistics problem with lines for everything! I just planned my days around activities that didn't include the masses. We loved the Serenity area of the ship and consistently ate our meals in the areas that most people hadn't discovered yet! All in all, I am super happy with the experience and can't wait for our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
What a great time on a great ship! I don’t know how people could not enjoy everything about the Magic. I will attempt to go over some of the pros and cons of our trip..Trust me, the cons are hard to come up with. Don’t hesitate in ... Read More
What a great time on a great ship! I don’t know how people could not enjoy everything about the Magic. I will attempt to go over some of the pros and cons of our trip..Trust me, the cons are hard to come up with. Don’t hesitate in booking this cruise ship. I do think traveling to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel would be more enjoyable than what we did on our trip but we have been to those destinations. Pros: New ship, everything new, new decors, new styles/designs, new furniture, new colors, new smell and being new gave a sense of being safer Safety muster session went smooth and easy to understood Awesome staff, in every department, always courteous and going out of their way to make the guests happy….didn’t find the bartenders in the casino that friendly but that was on the first day so they may have been overwhelmed Skip the CD was great! Plenty to do, fun activities for all ages, even if just walking around….fun new ropes course, lots of water spots, adult places to relax, Red Frog pub was a nice touch Awesome food, everywhere, food available 24/7 including room service and variety Getting on and off the ship went fairly well Luggage delivered at room on time and nothing lost Having a cabin in the back of the deck and in between cabin floors reduced the noise and was easy access to lido Sail Sign card easy to use and easy access for cabin lights Port for Mahogany Bay was easy to access and felt very safe, beautiful place for good shopping and things to do Port for Cozumel was easy and as always a beautiful, fun place to shop and do things Fun Times is always helpful and the events scheduled on time The shows weren't the same ones over and over, new ones were introduced daily Cons: Ropes course could be supervised more….was instructed one at a time in between stops but noticed kids ignoring those rules and bouncing and swinging their cables Port for Belize was inconvenient being tendered and found the port to be not so friendly or clean Casino too smoky (I wanted to go back but didn’t want to breathe it)   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We sailed on the Carnival Magic and had a wonderful time. At 1,004 feet in length, the Magic is probably the largest ship we've cruised on and was packed with plenty to keep us entertained. Although Carnival is not responsible for the ... Read More
We sailed on the Carnival Magic and had a wonderful time. At 1,004 feet in length, the Magic is probably the largest ship we've cruised on and was packed with plenty to keep us entertained. Although Carnival is not responsible for the weather, we were in the best of luck as it rained only when it didn't matter and the sun shone when it did matter! :-) We drove to Galveston the day before our cruise and stayed overnight at the Hilton Galveston Island Resort. Although it was a little pricey, Hilton points brought down the price somewhat and by sharing the room with friends, we were able to split the cost. In addition, the Hilton offers free shuttle to and from the cruise terminal and free parking for your car during the duration of the cruise. Once at the terminal, it probably took about 1-1.5 hours to get checked in and aboard the ship... not bad, really. However, we've booked our next cruise for 2015 and purchased Faster to the Fun for quicker boarding plus perks! Service was mostly great on the ship. Our room steward was great! He learned our preferences and was great with follow-up, like my my husband needing ice for his Dr Pepper and making sure to keep our ice bucket full. Our main dining room service was not what we've become accustomed too, though. We did have a large table consisting of 5 couples so I imagine we might have been higher maintenance than a table of 4, but we frequently had to ask for tea and water refills and bread. The first night, we missed the show because our service was so slow. The second night, 5 minutes after our desert and coffee was served, an announcement was made that the dining room needed to be cleared to get ready for the late seating. We were pretty unhappy about the first 2 nights so asked to be moved to a different section but moving 10 people to a new location on a ship booked to the brim was impossible. Instead, additional (and some new) help was added to our section and the service on the remaining 5 nights improved. As for the food? We enjoyed every bite of food in the main dining room and the Marketplace Buffet was as expected, pretty much like any other buffet. The biggest disappointment were the shows. My husband and I have cruised a total of 5 times and we always look forward to the shows. However, we've noticed that Carnival's entertainment does not seem to be up to the same standards as the other two cruise lines we've sailed on. The shows on the Magic were some of the worst we've seen and we didn't even bother to attend the last couple of nights shows. Our cruise director, Skip, was very entertaining though, and we did enjoy the events he hosted. We met a lot of super nice fellow cruisers who were there to have fun and then, there are the ones with no morals! Before our cruise, I spent a lot of time researching cameras and bought a brand new Sony for $300 that got great reviews for photos and videos. On the 2nd day of our cruise, I had been taking videos of the ship. I went back to the room, grabbed my dress and my husband's suit for elegant night and carried them to the laundry room for pressing. I realized I had my camera on my wrist so I laid it on the sink top behind me while I ironed. After ironing, I was back in my room for about 10 minutes when I realized I had left my camera. I ran back to the laundry room and wouldn't you know, someone had already picked it up and claimed it as their own! I made numerous trips to Lost and Found hoping someone had turned it in but they never did. :-( I would have just been happy to get back my memory card, which had the first 3 days of vacation travel. Luckily we were traveling with friends who took lots of pictures! Despite those couple of major disappointments, everything else was terrific! The Magic has a couple of super fun water slides that we spent a lot of time playing on! The Drainpipe was the most fun! We also enjoyed mini-golf, swimming, sunning, and eating ice cream whenever we chose! The ship is beautiful and our room was great. Disembarkation took longer than we've experienced in the past. Announcements said it was due to longer than normal customs checks due to traveling in Belize??? Despite the ups and downs, a cruise is what you make of it. We had a terrific time and have booked on another Carnival ship for 2015. Traveling with friends made our adventure even more fun and we made memories that will last a life time! Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I am not a frequent cruiser. This was my second cruise in 10 years, and it will be my last. Some friends of ours talked us into going on the Triumph out of Galveston for a long weekend to Cozumel. We are all around 30 years old and did not ... Read More
I am not a frequent cruiser. This was my second cruise in 10 years, and it will be my last. Some friends of ours talked us into going on the Triumph out of Galveston for a long weekend to Cozumel. We are all around 30 years old and did not travel with any kids. I wanted to share my feedback so that some future "cruisers" know what they might be getting into. Food: Overall pretty good. Nothing to brag about or complain about. The buffet was fine, just plan to wait in line all the time. Service: All of the staff were very friendly. Gratuity is already included so they were not in any rush to bring drinks, food, etc. Also, the service staff in the pool areas was exceptionally pushy. They constantly trying to sell us more expensive drinks, and extra large portions in order to increase the tab - and their automatic tip. No big deal, just very annoying. Also no matter where you go on the ship you will constantly be harassed into buying something - watches, pictures, spa treatments, etc. Drinks and Bars: Figure $7 per drink for beers and simple mixed drinks. They run some special drinks on sale that will still cost you between $9 and $15. You are trapped. Either sneak booze on and/or plan to spend some serious cash on drinks. They offer the Cheers package. I do not think it is a great deal unless you plan to drink a ton. If I had to do it over - I would buy the package just so that I did not feel bad each time that I picked up a $7 beer from the bar. Pool: The pools were a complete joke. None of the four of us in our party ever got into a pool. They pools are entirely too small (about the size of the kiddie pool at most public pools). On the one side of the boat you literally could not get in the water without touching other guests. On the other side you had a better chance of getting in but that pool had substantially more young kids playing most of the time. Also annoying was the fact that many guest reserve chairs. If you do not get to the pool area by 8 or 9 in the morning then most of the chairs (at least those anywhere near the pool) will already be "reserved". Basically Carnival allows guest to place towels on the chairs. The deck may be almost empty, yet most of the chairs are reserved. We witnessed a fist fight over a chair on our last day at sea. This was followed by guests standing on tables chanting "Jerry, Jerry, Jerry" - just the kind of crowd I want to be stuck on a boat with. In addition the tiny pool that everyone used had to be closed and cleaned due to the fact that someone supposedly went #2 in the water. Overall, we got tired of watching a bunch of overweight people, covered in tattoos, cram into a kiddie pool. We finally found a more isolated deck nowhere near the pool to hang out on our own a bit. The other nice thing was that the pool attendants did not harass us once we got away. Oh yeah - we did try two of the hot tubs - one was cold, the other was luke warm. Cozumel: We were able to get off the boat at around 9:45am and had to be back on by 3:30pm. By the time you figure in an hour each way to get off and board the boat - you are looking at about 4 to 5 hours in Cozumel. At least 1 hour of this will spent walking through a maze of duty free shops and over priced street vendors. We ended up taking a cab to Paradise Beach. It had a nice pool (for the first time on our trip we actually used our swimsuits). The beach was crowded and the water was not very good for swimming. Casino and Shows: We had a good time in the casino, and enjoyed two of the comedy shows. The other live entertainment was ok, but nothing to brag about. Cost: For the two of us we ended up spending about $1700 for everything. I realize that is not an enormous amount of money for 3.5 days and 4 nights with food included. The cruise itself was about $1000. We spent about $600 on drinks and the casino, and about $100 in Cozumel. Cabin: We had one of the less expensive cabins on the interior. It had one king size bed, a tv, and a bathroom. We actually enjoyed the room. It was relatively quiet and the lack of windows allowed us to keep it pitch black for sleeping. The room attendant was nice and helpful. We tipped him $5 or $10 on the first day and it seemed to go a long ways the rest of the trip. Summary: If you don't mind crowds, long lines, gross pools, and constant sales pitches then this might be a good vacation for you. Our next "inexpensive" vacation will be spent on the Texas coast at a beach house or small resort for a three or four day weekend.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This trip was not as expected. The ship is so dated it's ridiculous. Box tv's along with 80's style decor. There wasn't nearly enough time at our destinations. We spent money for excursions and didn't even get to ... Read More
This trip was not as expected. The ship is so dated it's ridiculous. Box tv's along with 80's style decor. There wasn't nearly enough time at our destinations. We spent money for excursions and didn't even get to enjoy them due to over crowding. It took 2.5 hours to get off the boat and get through customs once we got back to the US it was so overwhelming. Also, while on the ship you couldn't enjoy the pool or hot tub because it was so packed with families. The shows were Branson quality which was very disappointing. There were more nice staff than rude staff so that was a plus. Shopping in Mexico is a joke they are selling overpriced crap! Luckily our cruise was only 5 nights we are so glad to go home! We were in the very back of the boat and could hear every noise and felt every movement the boat made it vibrated the whole trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Us: First time cruising, middle aged couple. Get ready to stand in a huge line for everything! I expected more luxury and relaxation. As others have mentioned, the ship needs an overhaul, it's outdated and smelly. The decks and pools ... Read More
Us: First time cruising, middle aged couple. Get ready to stand in a huge line for everything! I expected more luxury and relaxation. As others have mentioned, the ship needs an overhaul, it's outdated and smelly. The decks and pools were over crowded with kids , drunks and blaring music. One day there was even a brawl. We retreated to our room for peace and quiet. Many nights, they drained the pools, so a peaceful, late night swim was impossible. Dining: I hate the assigned seating. They sat us at a table back in a corner with a bunch of guys who were beyond drunk and obnoxious. Thankfully, they relocated them. A nice dinner with relaxing music would be nicer. Question: who's bright idea was it to put the dining area in the back of the ship where there was constant movement? Not good for sea sickness. Shopping: There were only a few shops. Jewelry (over priced), Carnival merchandise, liquor and candy. They would have "events" that I'd compare to a feeding frenzy of greed - for junk. There were a few shows that were good, but the comedy club was so packed, they need to move to the larger venue to accommodate all. Smoking: I couldn't sit on our balcony without getting smoked out by our neighbors and walking on the promenade deck (5) to get to dinner, requires a walk through the smoky casino. Yuck. Food: I expected more buffets. The only late night options were pizza, hot dogs and room service (which is only sandwiches). Service: excellent. The staff is wonderful and we gave all an extra gratuity on top of what they include. They go above and beyond. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Just disembarked from the Carnival Triumph 4 day cruise from Galveston, to Cozumel, and back. We originally had just a balcony room, which would have been tight for our family of four. A month or so before the cruise, Carnival contacted ... Read More
Just disembarked from the Carnival Triumph 4 day cruise from Galveston, to Cozumel, and back. We originally had just a balcony room, which would have been tight for our family of four. A month or so before the cruise, Carnival contacted me to upgrade to an Ocean Suite at a special rate. I have no idea if I saved anything or not, but I am so, so glad we upgraded. We had a decent amount of space in our room. We had our king bed, the couch converted to a bed and we had a roll away. We actually used the jacuzzi tub many times. We did a pre-dinner glass of wine before dinner every night on our balcony. There is no better view for cocktail hour than that. The best part of all, was the priority boarding. I felt really bad bypassing all the masses of people in snaking lines, up to the front of security, then going on with zero wait to be checked in. The ship is really impressive, as most of those ships are. We were on the 7th level, so it was easy just to take the stairs up to the Lido on 9 or down to 5 where the night clubs are. I see what people mean when they complain about the smell. Sometimes you walk down a hallway and catch a bad whiff here and there, but it was livable. Nothing too awful or overbearing and it wasn't all the time. Many of the staff members are hard to understand and communicate with, but almost all were very friendly. I am very, very impressed with the way the room steward and the wait staff in the restaurants had our names memorized when they first saw us. Very friendly and helpful. The food was fine. You'll find something to eat, just don't get any high expectations and you'll be fine. Stick with the things you know can't be a complete disaster. Here's what I ate and liked in the evenings: Broccoli Cheddar soup. Caesar Salad (only okay), Onion Soup (great!), Buff Moz/Tom salad. The daily steak is decent (not awesome, but decent). My husband got the jerk pork the night it was available and said it was okay. Thinks that were not so great: The prime rib (maybe my mistake was getting it med/rare) , the seafood pasta. There is a buffet on the Lido deck for breakfast and lunch that people seemed to enjoy. Get there for breakfast early to avoid lines. I never ate there for lunch because I am so picky. The pizza outside is pretty tasty and Guy's burgers are pretty darn good. We ate breakfast in the dining room one morning and liked it pretty well. We got late dining at 8:15 and we don't do shows. I also don't like too much sun, so my favorite, favorite time at the pool, was 6:00-7:45. It was a magical sunset on the Lido deck and the pools were less crowded and the line for the slide is practically non-existent then. We could have opted for the 7:00 show in the Rome theater, but instead, went out for our pool time at that time, and do not regret it! The day we left Cozumel, we could see the sun setting over Cancun and it is an image I'll never forget in my life. Speaking of Cozumel, we took the kids zip lining at Chankannab. We just took a cab there on our own for $11. My son and husband snorkeled and my daughter did the dolphin experience there. I sat in the shade. The water is amazing. Back on the ship, every drink I had on the boat was really well measured and expertly prepared. I read about people complaining it is all overpriced, but I think the prices are typical for restaurants, maybe a tad more. Disembarking, was not a great experience, we "self assisted", and went down too early to wait our turn. Don't know what the best thing to do is, but one think I do know is that having an actual passport made it a lot faster. Once we were in the terminal, there was someone directing those with passports to a shorter line. We didn't do much of Camp Carnival. The first day, it was pretty good and my kids were full of energy. We put them in the evening program a couple of times, and did a thing or two during the day, but other than that, we let them stay in the room. They prefer Minecraft over most things unfortunately. They are 8 & 9. We really had a lovely, lovely time. Cruising is one of the finer things in life, no doubt about it. Looking out at blue ocean is something I can never get tired of. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Pre Cruise we stayed at the SpringHill Suites, Galveston Island. Great beds, mediocre breakfast and slow as a snail wifi! I have had dial up that was faster and better! Other than that....very nice hotel. I do have 3 rooms booked at this ... Read More
Pre Cruise we stayed at the SpringHill Suites, Galveston Island. Great beds, mediocre breakfast and slow as a snail wifi! I have had dial up that was faster and better! Other than that....very nice hotel. I do have 3 rooms booked at this hotel for my April cruise....may cancel and book elsewhere. This was my 2nd time on the Triumph. I was on her in 2011. She is a bit rusty around the edges, seriously...there is rust around the edges! I think she could stand a paint job. Other than that...she looked great. This was my 8th cruise and all on Carnival. I loved the new upgrades...Alchemy Bar being my favorite. I was not impressed with the quality of the burgers at Guy's, and I think if he were to taste the one I had he would have pulled a "Gordon Ramsey"....I bit into it and grease flooded my mouth! Ewww.....The Blue Iguana was fantastic and comparable with Chipotle's. I visited the EA Sports Bar...just to take photos. The taste bar had some good selections ... a couple were from Cucino Del Capitano and the Red Frog pub (not on this ship - coming in the future maybe?). The food in the MDR was really good (except for the meatloaf....it was indescribable and gross; I ended up eating the mashed potatoes as my dinner that night). What wasn't so good? The service! It would take 2 hours to complete dinner each night. They were so slow. On every other ship/cruise I have been on, if they knew I liked lemons with my tea, they would be waiting for me when I arrived to be seated....not so on this cruise. I and another table mate had to constantly ask for them. Our table and one other was always the last to leave.....we sat one night for over 20 minutes just waiting for the dessert menu's....I got up and left. On the bright side, Mr V the Matrie D.....was funny and he accommodated my request to move to a center "stage" table.....very kind man. I went to the Punchliner Comedy show and LOVED it. Kim Harrison and Tommy Drake were the comedians and they both rocked! I had seen Tommy Drake on the Magic when I was on her in April. I also enjoyed the illusionist show with Anders Hansen. He was super fantastic! I had seen the Big Easy show before....so its basically the same. We wanted to see "A Kiss Goodnight" but by the time we got there it was standing room only....so I missed that. Not sure why they had such a popular show in Club Rio? Even though I dont smoke, I stopped by the Venezia Lounge....I loved the color scheme of this area. I was in Cabin 8300 which is a port side Balcony cabin. The cabin was just like all the others I have been in....I did notice that they upgraded the TV to a flat screen however. I wish this ship had the mini fridges....it was a pain getting my cabin steward to put ice each day in the bucket for my wine. The only negative I can think of for the cabin was that the water in the sink, was never cold, no matter how long I let it run. I would brush my teeth with warm water. I did not book any ship excursions. I opted to use AutoProgreso for a tour to Merida for $25. It was a pretty nice tour. I had never been to Merida before. I usually just stay in Progreso. In Cozumel....I took a cab to the Punta Langosta Mall, which I think is the dock for NCL.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We all have different standards for what is great and…. oh boy! I read the reviews and thought that this was going to be a nice ship since it had a multimillion dollar renovation and had good reviews. This ship is smelly, outdated to ... Read More
We all have different standards for what is great and…. oh boy! I read the reviews and thought that this was going to be a nice ship since it had a multimillion dollar renovation and had good reviews. This ship is smelly, outdated to the max, not enough planned activities (boring), the swimming pools were more like tiny simmering pools…yuck! The buffet food was not good at all and that burger place that was supposed to be good was simply gross. Super greasy… We had a huge 1980's tv in our balcony cabin. It was so old it was just funny….If you stay on level 8 be prepared for a lot of noise during the night…the staff was making a lot of noise on the Lido Deck (level 9) Dinners at the London Room were very pleasant. The staff and the food were nice. We didn't had to wait in line and everything was just right. We had anything dinning plan. No wait at all and had always a table just for us. The beds and pillows are super comfy. We arrived and left the ports right on time and the process was fast and easy. Didn't pay for the overpriced cruise excursion to go to Chankanaab in Cozumel. Instead bought the tickets at the Info. kiosk at the cruise terminal. Paid $23 for each ticket instead of the $80 that was being charged by Carnival and we took a taxi to and from the park which is very very close to the cruise terminal. Cozumel was great and we had a really good time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
I'll echo some of the other recent reviews on here and use the Caribbean Princess for comparison's sake. The ship is older and relatively small. Logistically, that means having to take more odd detours, squeezing through more ... Read More
I'll echo some of the other recent reviews on here and use the Caribbean Princess for comparison's sake. The ship is older and relatively small. Logistically, that means having to take more odd detours, squeezing through more people and queuing up in longer lines. There are also far less waitstaff per passenger than say, Princess. And many also seem slightly less professional and trained (on average). One, ironically named "*******" was even a bit rude. Although I don't exactly blame some of them for being less cheery, since they are all probably stretched a lot thinner and possibly paid less... During our muster drill, we had to crowd into a fairly narrow hallway while listening to inaudible instructions over the echoing PA. I'm not sure how well this would work in an actual situation when people are panicky and also wearing their life jackets? And there are also definitely some occasional sewage and trash smells that appear intermittently in some areas (notably the starboard side of the Continent Pool and the lower-to-mid flights of the aft stairwell). Apparently, their 2011 accident at sea has caused some lingering problems. But they may be there one day and not the next, so honestly it wasn't pleasant but tolerable. And someone who only takes the elevator wouldn't notice them as much.. The food was OK, in the buffet and dining rooms. But both the variety and quality were definitely a notch below Princess (which were actually impressive). The gym is quite large, although you have to walk through your locker rooms to get to it, lol.. As far as demographics go, the (~5000?) Carny crowd resembled your typical Walmart shoppers probably averaging in their mid-30s. There was a contingent of maybe ~100-200 partiers in their 20s & 30s, some families with kids or teens and then some older couples in their 50s. Whereas, Princess crowds skew more towards people in their 60s & 70s with more slow mobility issues. (Just FYI, in case you even care one way or the other..) The medium-sized Continent Pool was generally packed with ~75 partiers drinking heavily. On the second day, this apparently resulted in a 10-person melee that ended up with 2 KOs. Speaking of, they also had to drain that pool twice during the trip for some reason (sanitation problem?).. Meanwhile, the New World Pool in back is smaller but more mellow.. Thomas Drake was a hilarious comedian and juggler who had both very funny clean and adult routines. Kim Harrison's clean shtick was a bit weak, but her adult version better. Their magic show was fine, but there's no way it could compare to the national Vegas act booked by Princess.. But, the Filipino house musicians at The Taste Bar and the Capitol Bar were actually quite good. On the plus side, the cabins were bigger and generally better than Princess. They have a great view, small sitting area, full closets, many drawers and their shower is larger with a lip around the bottom. The only thing missing was a small refrigerator. And unlike some other reviewers, I had no sanitation problems in my cabin. And also, the self-assist debarkment was very fast and smooth. Overall, I'd say almost everything was a notch below Princess and so the cruise in comparison was barely worth it. To be realistic, it wasn't horrible like some reviews might imply, but maybe just a little subpar. I'd probably give it 2.6 stars if I could. A waiter said that the Carnival Magic (2011) and Breeze (2007) were both bigger, newer and better.. But, if you didn't know any better, you could still find the Triumph very enjoyable (as many did). And it was still a fun cruise...it just lacked that "Wow!" factor and required tolerating a lot of minor issues that nonetheless altogether added up over time. However, value is all relative based upon what you are paying and looking for.. So if you find services rendered already perfectly adequate, then it may not be worth it to pay any more for more? As for me, although I don't think the Triumph was a bad value and did make some fun memories, I would still prefer trying Princess again in the future or maybe give the Carnival Magic a chance.. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We had a great time on this cruise as being our 1st one! It was just my husband and I that went. When debarking for next time we will pay the extra money to skip the line :) The lines were no too bad but when getting off if you didn't ... Read More
We had a great time on this cruise as being our 1st one! It was just my husband and I that went. When debarking for next time we will pay the extra money to skip the line :) The lines were no too bad but when getting off if you didn't have a passport it was a extra long wait. We were on deck 8 which was nice didn't hear too much noise just the kids that were besides us and sometimes workers on the Lido desk dragging stuff across the deck. We did the balcony cabin and will always do! FYI the only place you can smoke is on the balcony, casino or deck 9 on the side. This ship is a little smelly in some places, outdated a bit, not enough planned activities, the swimming pools were tiny and way too many people trying to get in them. The buffet food was ok. Extra places to eat at were great!! Dinners at the London Room were very pleasant. The staff and the food were so nice - fyi if you have the scheduled time you get the same table & wait staff every night (no wait). The beds were firm and pillows are super comfy. We arrived and left the ports right on time and the process was fast and easy. We didn't do a excursion just took a taxi to Paradise Beach (amazing!). They have water activities in the ocean, restaurant, lockers, gift shop & swimming pool. Cozumel was great and we had a really good time. Also took a taxi to the other side of the port to do some cheaper shopping :) Wanted to stay longer but then had to get back on the ship (which I was ready to be home). We will fly next time but so glad we got to experience the cruise!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
My husband and I flew from Sacramento, CA to Houston, TX, we flew in the day prior to the cruise as it is to stressful to fly from California to Houston and worry about flight delays and potentially missing the ship. We stayed at the ... Read More
My husband and I flew from Sacramento, CA to Houston, TX, we flew in the day prior to the cruise as it is to stressful to fly from California to Houston and worry about flight delays and potentially missing the ship. We stayed at the Marriott All Suites in Houston near the Hobby Airport, they picked us up quickly and were very accomodating about taking us to a restaurant for dinner and then picking us up again. We took advantage of the Carnival shuttle from the airport to Galveston, so we again used the convienant shuttle from the hotel to the airport. The shuttle transfer to the ship was more organized than two years prior, they gave you numbers in which to board the bus, our entire group filled one bus and we were on our way shortly after 10:00am. The trip took approximately 50 minutes to reach the terminal, Porters were waiting to unload our luggage this is one of my favorite parts it feels like your vacation has begun. We booked an Ocean Suite and this provided us priority boarding, we were quickly through check in and security receivied our sail and sign cards and waited no more than 15 minutes and we were boarding. We checked out our cabin and it was ready so we deposited our carry on luggage and set off to explore the ship and have some lunch. With being the first group on the ship we experienced no lines and had the Mongolian Wok, the lines for this can be long and since it is prepared in front of you it does take five to six minutes per dish to prepare. Life boat drill was held in the Northern Lights Dining room and was quick and effiecient. We unpacked and sat on the balcony for departure.We had early dining in the Southern Lights dining room, we were seated at a table for eight in the lower section of the dining room, very nice to see all of the action but almost to noisy to have any type of conversation with your table mates. We had very attentive servers and they worked hard to insure we were happy. After dinner we walked around the ship and took in the late night comedy show, it was fantastic but it was the only comedy show we saw from that point forward as the line were ridculous, at least 100 people in line 40 minutes before the show. Carnival needs to seriously rethink the seating and venue for the comedy shows it is something that is well attended and it should be held in the main theater. Each morning we had coffee and tea and pastry delivered by room service, this allowed us to lounge on the balcony before getting dressed and heading to the Southern Lights for breakfast, we did not eat in Lido any day for breakfast as it is nice to sit down and be waited on. We tried many areas for lunch, and they all were adequate. We tried the Steakhouse one night and it was a disappointment from our experience the prior year on the Libery. The food was tasteless and the service was not that fantastic, this was something we were looking forward to as our prior experience was awesome. This just didn't hit the mark tough cut of meat, slow service and waited for refills on drinks. (water). We did try the Cucina (Italian restaurant ), it is fantastic, the food was perfect and the service was top notch. This is free for lunch and a small charge for dinner ($12) per person. After two lazy at sea we were excited to dock at Cozumel, we selected the Jeep Tour at Punta Sur, this was a very organized and fun excursion, after a short safety briefing we departed in jeeps, that sat two or four, we had a jeep to ourselves. We experienced a rather fun and almost a little hair raising ride on the main roads until we reached the turn off. We saw a small ruin and beautiful light house and snorkeling on the beach with a lovely lunch. If you are looking for a snorkel adventure with alot of fish this is not it, it is also quite a swim out and quite a swim back in, we are in our 60's and it was a little bit strenuous but it was the most fun we have had on any excursion, they had someone taking pictures of you in the jeeps then at the small ruin and they offered them for sale for $10 each. We drove back to the cruise termianl and still had a few hours to shiop prior to getting back on the ship. We found the best t-shirt and trinkets for home were in Cozumel. Next stop was Grand Cayman, this is a tender port, it was very hot abd we just walked around and did some shopping, we stopped at Margaritaville to take a picture of the dollar bill we had written on and placed on the ceiling when we were there two years ago and ound out that it was gone as they used the money to remodel. That was kind of weird, I guess they could keep adding to it or the ceiling would be all money, but I would think a local chairity would be a better use of the money. Next stop Jamiaca, we chose the all inclusive resort, (Secrets) it was lovely, the food was plentiful and the grounds were clean and wll maintained. They had many organized games and music, we chose to be lazy and sit in the shade and watch the word go by. We tried to do some snorkeling there quicly relized that it was mating season for Jelly fish and they were everywhere, being the chicken I am I quicly exited the water. They had sailboats, and Kiyacks for free, anything motorized was a small charge. No one selling anything at this beach it was very selcluded. The final two days were sea days and we just lounged around, the pools were way to crowed to even begin to enjoy, the magic needs an additional swimming pool, the two on this ship are way to small. I took adavantage of the Spa package on the final two sea days, very pleasant, the technician was a little rough and my shoulder was very sore for a couple of days, they try the sales pitch before you leave saying no thank you quickly stopped the sales pitch. Debarkation was very organized, we ordered room service and left our cabin about 8:30 and then waitied in the casino bar for our group to be called. we were off the ship around 9:20 and quickly grabbed a ported an were though customs and on the shuttle bus by 10:00am. Overall very relazing cruise. The Fabulous was the cabin, the cleanliness of the ship and the wait staff. The great was the price and value for your money, the good was the food, nothing negative to say but nothing impresive, your trip and your experience is what you make of it, you could nit pick and find fault but we chose to go with the flow and we are already booked for a 15 day to Hawaii next year. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We went on a 7 day cruise from Galveston to Cozumel, Belize and Honduras with 2 kids - 11 and 13. Packing: Don't take anything that doesn't have wheels. If you're taking water on board, put it in a rolling bag. We waited in ... Read More
We went on a 7 day cruise from Galveston to Cozumel, Belize and Honduras with 2 kids - 11 and 13. Packing: Don't take anything that doesn't have wheels. If you're taking water on board, put it in a rolling bag. We waited in security for 2 hours and by the time we got to the room we were all exhausted and sore from holding bags/drinks. Room: The room is TINY...TINY. It got very cramped with 4 people. Take as many hanging organizers as you can. There were 2 closets with hanging space and one with shelves. Take extra hangers - there are maybe 20 total. The suitcases can easily fit under the bed, so it's best to unpack into the closets and drawers. The bathroom is small and the shower is a tiny stall. It's so small that it's difficult to shave your legs - you just have to kind of float them in the air and hope for the best. The toilet is like an RV toilet and VERY loud. Take a fan - a noisy one. The rooms are 'climate controlled' and comfortable, but there's no noise outside of the other cruisers. We were on deck 9....do NOT BOOK DECK 9. We were directly below the Lido deck and heard carts rolling by all night long. I didn't sleep a full night the entire 7 nights. The last night was the worst with the luggage pickup. This is why I said it's like Bourbon Street - constant noise all night long. We met some people on the spa deck who said it was nice and quiet. Should have researched this a little better. Alcohol/Drinks: Take as much as you can! We resealed wine bottles (check youtube and Amazon for help) and used Rum Runners. We were able to bring on 3 Rum Runners in our checked baggage. Put them in shoes or roll them up in clothes in close proximity to other liquids. If you're trying to sneak on alcohol in water bottles, be prepared, they will shake and inspect every single one. We recommend the soda package - it was $180 for a family of 4, but the kids could get drinks whenever they wanted. You have to ask for ice in your room, but there's actually an ice machine in the buffet on 10 where you can refill water bottles and cups. Take refillable water bottles. Cocktails are around $10 each by the time they add gratuity. Pools: The pools are tiny and LOUD. Games and dance contests are going on all day. We finally decided to just hang out on deck 5 near the hot tubs...one of which was cold. The bar service comes by often and getting ice water/sodas is easy enough at any bar. If you like crowds and loud noises, then you'll probably enjoy cruising. If you don't, research all inclusives and leave cruising to the loud people. Lines: Be prepared. You will be waiting....a lot. Seriously. For everything. It's very frustrating. It took us 2 hours to get on and off of the ship. The port in Belize doesn't have a dock - you have to take a ferry to the port. You'll be given a group number and have to wait until you're called. The elevators are a complete waste of time. We probably walked 30 flights of stairs per day. There are lines for dinner if you're doing anytime dining. There are lines at the breakfast buffet - especially for omelettes. There are lines for EVERYTHING and they don't help by trying to make you pose for pictures at every turn. Food: It's fine - nothing to write home about, but mostly available 24 hours a day. If you figure out the first day food, then you're smarter than we were. We saw people with food - just couldn't figure out where they were getting it outside of the pizza bar. Excursions: Do your research and read reviews. Know how much time your excursion lasts and be prepared for lines and delays. Kids club: Get them there ASAP. Ours didn't want to go at first, and then they had a blast. Contrary to what it says on the website, they will allow kids to change groups as long as they're only 1 year off. Our 11 year old went to the 12-14 group. FYI - there's a 'Prom' one night - so make sure your kids (girls especially!) have something cute to wear! Service: The service was the only plus on the trip. The guy taking care of our room was super helpful and efficient. The wait staff was all helpful and the ship was in a constant state of being cleaned. This was our first and last cruise. We discovered that we're not cruise people. We enjoy relaxing vacations where we can do things on our own schedule. There were just too many rules and lines and designated times for things. On a scale of 1 to 10, we gave this vacation a 3. Disappointing for the money....and it keeps adding up after you get there. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Our family are 16 people. Ages from 4-72. Cruise vacation is a great value and this is no exception. I will go again in a hear beat even with all the less pleasant we have to deal with. My reviews will be thing I think could be improve as ... Read More
Our family are 16 people. Ages from 4-72. Cruise vacation is a great value and this is no exception. I will go again in a hear beat even with all the less pleasant we have to deal with. My reviews will be thing I think could be improve as we probably all know what is the positive of cruising. Embarkation: Galveston port traffic is a bit too crowded as there is only a few lanes available to both embarkation and debarkation guests. Most staff members are very friendly and helpful. We do encounter quite few incidents where each would tell you differently on same subject. There was no calypso band for the whole cruise. Sea days you can hear mostly DJ and then some solo acoustic rock act. For those who love to hear reggae music, this will be a bit of a let down. Our waiter was nice but never perfect like our last cruises. Every night he would bring wrong dishes for different person in our group. Never see the cabin stewardess so no comments there. Cozumel at Paradise beach: Enjoy nice pool, beach is ok. A bit rocky in certain place. Grand Cayman: Tendering process is probably the worse. People was waiting and fight broke out. Spend almost 3 hours for getting on and off. This leave not much time to spend at 7 mile beach. Montego Bay Jamaica: Nice country. Terrible transportation. They force to go into bus with no air condition and wait til it fill up. We got out and find a cab/van. Guy quote us 5 dollars per person to Dr Cave Beach. Girl from bus chase after and said something in Jamaican we can not understand. Fare then raise to 10 dollars per person by driver. The free sauna did not work the entire cruise. Staff said to fix it but it was out for the whole week. Beside all that, we were lucky as weather was nice. No one got sea sick except for one little boy in our group got stomach flu and out for last 3 days. They said to refund $49.99 per day credit for next cruise. Probably will go to back to Princess. Will go Carnival again if price is right. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Overall it was a nice trip. Food was good, staff was very nice, especially the waiters and the room steward. The size of the room was ok, it is a cruise ship room, so we didn't have huge expectations in that regard. Anyways, the room ... Read More
Overall it was a nice trip. Food was good, staff was very nice, especially the waiters and the room steward. The size of the room was ok, it is a cruise ship room, so we didn't have huge expectations in that regard. Anyways, the room was clean and the bathroom too. There were too many kids, all gathered around the pools, but it is August so we were expecting it. Of the excursions, we particularly liked the one we did in Cayman Islands, including Stingray City at the Dolphin Cove. Stingray City was pretty cool. The water there is turquoise blue, and the stingrays are so friendly, even if they are wild (and that was the cool part of it). When we got back to the Dolphin Cove we were asked if we wanted to visit a new photo exhibit they just opened. It is by National Geographic, so we said yes, and we were very pleased. The pictures are amazing, we are glad we were offered. The disembarkation process was long, too long. We didn't purchase any fast pass, we figured we had already spent quite a lot of money. Overall, though, it was nice. We are not expert cruisers, but we had a pleasant experience and we can say we would travel with Carnival again.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Took 2 grandchildren on their first cruise as a graduation present and they loved every minute of it. Had a Balcony cabin on the 8th floor and it was an awesome view. Very clean and well refrigerated at all times. The beds were sooo ... Read More
Took 2 grandchildren on their first cruise as a graduation present and they loved every minute of it. Had a Balcony cabin on the 8th floor and it was an awesome view. Very clean and well refrigerated at all times. The beds were sooo comfortable and would love to know the brand they use for future purchase. Slept on balcony during the day and it was comfortable and quiet. Sometimes neighbors got a little roudy but nothing bad. They were just as excited as we were. Loved the adult comedy shows and the magic show was a Las Vegas show for sure that I will never forget. The restaurant was always full because the food was so good. Tried different food s that someone who lives in the desert will never have access to unless we drive a long way. Went scuba diving in Conzumel and got on a kayak for the first time in my life. I did not scuba because I am deadly afraid of water but everyone else did. Staying on the caravan was just as much fun. In Grand Cayman went on the amphibious bus and it was an experience, Got to feed the fish in the ocean and also had a small city tour on the bus. In Jamaica, went to Hope Estate which was about an hour drive but worth it. Went on the ATV, ziplined and rode a raft on Martha Brae. All the excursions were excellent and the staff very friendly and knowledgeable to help us through our experience. They took pictures at the estate and that was so helpful so I didn't have to mess with my cell phone camera. the only small complaint I would have is that the excursions are rushed because we have to get back on ship, but plan excursions well and make time to shop. Shopping on the Magic Carnival ship is also great in case there is no time after the excursions. They have nice stuff and priced reasonably. Disembarkment is probably the roughest because of so many people wanting to go home. Only recommendation I would have was to have someone sell water around waiting lines. By the way, 24 hour room service is the best. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
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