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277 Carnival Galveston Cruise Reviews

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 This ship is smelly, outdated to ...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 This ship is smelly, outdated to the max, not enough planned activities (boring), the swimming pools were more like tiny simmering pools…yuck!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
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
I am a first time cruiser. My husband has cruised many times years ago. This was a 60th birthday cruise for me. Embarkation and Disembarkation was fast easy, not a lot of time spent in line. FOOD: We dined in the London Dining room - very ... Read More
I am a first time cruiser. My husband has cruised many times years ago. This was a 60th birthday cruise for me. Embarkation and Disembarkation was fast easy, not a lot of time spent in line. FOOD: We dined in the London Dining room - very nice. Buffet was not that great. Rubbery, no taste. Always the same menu. Cruise Director was good........but, boy did she love to hear her own voice! I'm a Brit myself but listening to this Liverpool lass made me want to jump overboard. We listened in on the Q&A on the Sea Day between her and Stephen...every time someone asked Stephen a question......she would answer, she wouldn't let the poor guy a word in edgeways! Cozumel was fun. Good Tourist shopping. Progresso? Nothing there of any interest! Looked in on a few shows and they were positively boring, and we have a good sense of humour and love a good show, but not on the Triumph. Balcony cabin on the Panorama Deck was good except that when we booked it was not disclosed to us that the gym was directly above. Treadmill was being used at 6am and at 10pm.....very, very, annoying!! Staff were brilliant, kind, always smiling and vey helpful. Cabin steward was superb. Ship really needs an overhaul though. Even though I am a first time cruiser it doesn't take a genius to see that the Triumph should soon be sailing into a salvage yard. Will cruise again but most definitely not on the Triumph! Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
After 21 cruises with Carnival and being a shareholder of stock in this company, I've got to say that I think this will be the last cruise on Carnival, but especially on the Magic. I'm not going to go through everything negative ... Read More
After 21 cruises with Carnival and being a shareholder of stock in this company, I've got to say that I think this will be the last cruise on Carnival, but especially on the Magic. I'm not going to go through everything negative that happened, but this is a warning to all who have the unfortunate occasion to walk onto this ship. The problem is I don't know where to start. I have been on over 50 cruises, and this one wins the "WORST EVER" award. The problems started before I even boarded the ship. I called the night before to confirm everything and all was what I expected. A few minutes I received an email stating that my cruise has been cancelled "Per MY Request." WRONG! Carnival added to my last minute stress because I had to call them back immediately and have everything reinstated. When I checked in the next day, I was PULLED OUT OF LINE and had to go through a dog search who sniffed all of my carry on's. When I asked what this was all about the Security man said everyone who books "last minute" has to go through this. I started to explain that Carnival had "accidently" cancelled it, but I wanted to get off to a good start. As a platinum "Loyalty" member and shareholder, I expected to be treated in a nice way throughout the entire cruise. Didn't happen....not even close. I purchased a guarantee at a wonderful price. The thing that I find so unfair is that people who were on their 2nd cruise got assigned a better cabin than I did, which was the very last one on a deck. The very last one. Not a few cabins up from the end, but the very last one. So my "loyalty" means nothing to them. OK. Fine. Guess I got what I paid for. A financial dispute arose and the front desk manager (supposedly), refused to listen to my side and, after I threw a hissy fit and tossed my balance, in cash, on the counter, she said she was calling Security on me. Nice. I told her to send them to my cabin, which she wouldn't do. I was in fear that they were going to pull me out of line when I was checking out the next day so I wanted to make everything right. Guest services refused to send anyone down, so I went back up. Someone called Security and they met me at the Guest Services counter. I was shocked when one of the Security guys walked up to me and said, "Did you want to see Security?" We sat down, I explained what I was complaining about but was worn out and had been crying ever since I left the desk. Get this...They FORCED me to sign a receipt for something I DID NOT buy dated April 26 which was the last night of the cruise. They had my charge card and said it was going to be charged anyway. My advice? CHECK YOUR BILLS LINE BY LINE. Don't bother complaining though because, according to Guest Service on the Magic, "The customer is always wrong." Just skip Carnival if at all possible, no matter what the price. You won't regret it. There is a girl named Chloe from Gibraltar who does trivia and she was awesome. Otherwise, think twice before booking with any Carnival ship, especially the Magic. The only thing Carnival has going for them anymore is their prices. Now that we have other ships in Texas, we don't need Carnival anymore. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
This was not my first cruise with Carnival, we actually chose to go with Carnival over Royal Caribbean and now Im just wishing we went with Royal Caribbean. The experience we had was awful! The first few days were fun, my husband and two ... Read More
This was not my first cruise with Carnival, we actually chose to go with Carnival over Royal Caribbean and now Im just wishing we went with Royal Caribbean. The experience we had was awful! The first few days were fun, my husband and two daughters have never been so it was exciting to see their faces light up upon boarding. Our first port was suppose to be Isla Roatan, we never were able to dock due to "weather" this was perfect weather to dock in sunny calm waters and oh yeah there was another cruise ship who was able to dock that I and other passengers witnessed with our own eyes. After hundreds of complaints to guest services employees started to crack and we were told it was due to Cartel. Carnival was issued a warning back in December to inform future and current guests of the dangers in Roatan and instead of doing that and issuing refunds because they knew they would not dock they blamed it on beautiful weather so they didn't have to refund the money for that port. That day I was in the pool with my two daughters and husband and I was told I could not go swimming with my daughter/ have her in the pool period. She is 7 months old and was wearing a swim diaper and a swimsuit. I was told she couldn't be in the water because she could pee in the water. So basically I payed $500 for a baby who doesn't eat food and cant go swimming. I was furious! After that money went missing from our cabin and after hours with a security guard we went to my room to do a cabin search. While I was talking with head housekeeping the security guard went through my bags and pulled out a pair of shorts that I had NOT worn the entire time I was on the ship and pulled out the money...nice cover up. My family and I were just ready to get home at that point. Two days after getting home I was doing my daughters hair I found LICE!! I am a stay at home mom, my children are not in daycare nor are they around other children. It was from the cruise. I called them furious and all they had were excuses. Now today I went to check my accounts and noticed a charge to my card from the cruise after calling to find out for what they say I took multiple items out of the mini bar/fridge in the room. Well my husband and I brought our own sodas and never touched a single drink in there. They didn't just charge us for one drink but 6 drinks...how that is possible is beyond me! I was so disappointed with this cruise line it makes me sick. We saved up for 8 months to finally take a vacation and it was such a waste of money and our time. The cruise itself was nice, people were friendly and we had fun despite all of the horrible things that happened because I would not let thousands of dollars just go to waste but over all I would not recommend Carnival to anyone and they have not sone anything to assure us what happened will never happen again or apologize. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
Well - my cruise started Sunday, Feb 9 with a major fog delay. Mother Nature - no one to blame. We finally began what I'll call "cruise of the lines" by lining up at the parking facility. After going thru that process, we ... Read More
Well - my cruise started Sunday, Feb 9 with a major fog delay. Mother Nature - no one to blame. We finally began what I'll call "cruise of the lines" by lining up at the parking facility. After going thru that process, we got to the port at about 6:00pm to start the maze of lines. Got thru all of that mess to sit & wait til 11pm to finally board the ship. The port process should have been a sign to us as to how the cruise would go. It was very chaotic. Lots of people with only vending machines & little to NO communication about what was going on. I would say that this is the port issue & not Carnival's fault ... however, Carnival should take full responsibility for ensuring that communication is done on a frequent basis as there is Carnival branding everywhere! Better communication could have helped change my opinion of what a poor job was done. Lesson: Waiting in line at parking facility put us far back in the process at port. Choosing to carry-on bags given the delays was a definite mistake. So, muster was at 1am. Not happy about that but did want to leave port when fog cleared. But, it was not until Monday morning about 9am or 10am when we finally departed. Our Key West port was changed from Tuesday to Friday. This was OK with us but the timing on the other ports of call were adjusted. Not very happy about that. Anyway - we were on our way. FOOD - During the cruise, the food in the buffet was poor in quality & temperature, choices were very limited, & lines VERY long. We thought this would change as the cruise progressed, but to our dismay we were wrong. Steakhouse food was excellent & service there was excellent (we even had a large party of 10 diners). Kudo's to Steakhouse. Also, the Italian restaurant was very good. The sandwich bar & Tandoori station at the back of the ship on 10th floor were our mainstays! Sandwiches were VERY good. Pizza was good, hot dogs & hamburgers were good too. We had "my time" dining. Generally food was OK -- just not as good as normal for the dining room. Lesson: Choose anything except the buffets & you should be OK. We chose excursions off of the ship at Freeport & Nassau. We chose a Carnival excursion for Key West. So - I'm less than satisfied with the service received from Guest Services with respect to getting our tickets. We ordered the morning before so that there would be plenty of time for delivery of our tickets prior to our Key West port of call. Long story short - I had to personally visit Guest Services 3 times to finally get our tickets. The 3rd time was on the morning of the port & they were already letting people off of the ship. I registered my dissatisfaction with them. Lesson: Careful about excursions off of the ship -- can't believe everything you read on the internet about how good places are. Nassau was a happy accident where we ended up getting a personal taxi to take us around for the day & show us a little of all of Nassau. Ensure you get your tickets ahead of time it choosing excursions on the ship. There was a medical emergency onboard that caused about a 4 hour or more backtrack to get helicopters to come out & airlift a passenger off the ship. This was something that was needed & could have happened on any cruise or trip anywhere. There was fairly frequent communication about this over the speaker system - much appreciated. So, next morning we were estimated to be reaching Galveston around 10:30am. There was NO updated communication until about 10am. UNACCEPTABLE as by this time, people assumed what they needed to do in order to disembark. Again with the lines! Lesson: The disembarkation process was a little better than the embarkation process but not by much.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
FOG!!! Delayed getting on the ship and again getting off the ship!!! NEVER AGAIN!!! This happens more often than they will admit. To get on the ship we were delayed for more than 8 hours and put into this huge room with chairs and ... Read More
FOG!!! Delayed getting on the ship and again getting off the ship!!! NEVER AGAIN!!! This happens more often than they will admit. To get on the ship we were delayed for more than 8 hours and put into this huge room with chairs and TV's. We stayed there for hours!!! Were not offered any food or water!!! There were so many families with little children that I felt terrible for. Apparently Texas and Carnival do not know how to learn a lesson. How hard is it to make water available to everyone?? Oh, if they did that then they would have to have more than 1 bathroom available to thousands of people!!!! Next, the ship left port 8 hours later than scheduled which was caused by "nature"! Most people on the ship didn't realize that the next day that is usually beautiful and warm was NOT because we lost 8 hours of travel time!!! Had to wear long pants and jackets!!! The 3 excursion days were great. Beautiful weather and everyone was happy. The thing that I noticed is that carnival is losing control over their excursions. On 2 separate days an excursion came back late to the ship. When I spoke to some friends that happened to be on both excursions they said that the comment passed by both excursion leaders was "It's OK. Carnival won't leave without you!" So thousands of us who obeyed the rules and got on the ship on time were inconvenienced! And it was not the fellow cruisers fault! I blame Carnival for not emphasizing the importance to these excursion leaders and take appropriate action when they do not comply!!!! Then we had a day at sea while heading home. I think the captain of the ship was in a great rush because we hit the cold weather again-long pants and jackets. And what was the big rush because he knew the port was closed that morning and would probably be closed again the next. And guess what? Fog on our embarkment day! I understand weather can't be controlled but customer service sucked!!!! They kept saying it is unusual and they can't help Mother Nature but they can help with air reservations. Unless you booked your flight thru them than they did not offer any help at all. Disembarkment was horrible. Considering this happens a lot they need to work on improving every aspect of this. Maybe consider changing the time they start and end the cruise to 4pm during the winter fog months!!! When I do something wrong once or twice I learn my lesson and adapt but not Carnival!!!! Then we finally get our luggage and wait on a line for over 1.5 hours to get thru security and look for our transfer shuttle. I had asked onboard the ship where it was located and just told to go out and turn right. Was never told about a very small desk surrounded by mobs of people trying to get on the ship!!!! Finally get a stupid red ticket to get on the shuttle and had to wait for 1 hour for other people. We met other guests on the shuttle that had express disembarkment that were there for over 1.5 ours already!!!! A lot of good that did them!!! Finally, we leave the port and are 1/2 way to the airport. maybe we can make the last flight out!!! But guess what? The shuttle driver gets a message to turn around! No explanation given to us at all and we travel over 45 minutes to go back to pick up 2 passengers one of which was a wheelchair passenger. Another person on the shuttle starts to get mad at the Carnival rep and say to him that he could have put this person on another shuttle or a private service rather than causing more than 18 people to miss their flight!!! 15 Canadians now had to pay over $600.00 each to fly out the next day. Finally we are dropped off at an airport that has nothing open! So again no water since 4 pm and it is 11pm!!!! Not helped at all with hotel reservations or rebooking flights. If this is Texan hospitality than you can keep it!!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We sailed on the Triumph’s 5-day, 1/4/14 sailing. I celebrated my 50th birthday on this cruise. This was our 7th Carnival cruise, first on the Triumph. Previously we had sailed 3 times each on the Ecstasy and Conquest. Our last Carnival ... Read More
We sailed on the Triumph’s 5-day, 1/4/14 sailing. I celebrated my 50th birthday on this cruise. This was our 7th Carnival cruise, first on the Triumph. Previously we had sailed 3 times each on the Ecstasy and Conquest. Our last Carnival cruise was on the Conquest in Dec 2011. After that cruise we said we may not cruise at all anymore, and definitely not on Carnival. We did do an NCL cruise out of New Orleans last February. And even though we enjoyed that cruise very much we still said, meh, we may be cruised out. However, we wanted to take a quick trip for my birthday and the RCCL ship sailing out of Galveston is in dry dock this month. I really just wanted to be able to lie out in the sun and enjoy some drinks and relax on my birthday, so we went ahead and booked the Triumph. The day before we sailed Carnival called with an upsell offer to go from a lido balcony to an Ocean Suite on Empress. We took the deal. In hind sight we would have been happier on lido. We did have fun on the trip, but mostly in spite of Carnival and not because of them. We typically find a way to have fun where ever we are and whatever we are doing, and that was the case on this trip. I think that since we have seven Carnival cruises since 2005, I am qualified to comment on the increasingly poor product that Carnival offers. We are not people who are difficult to please and we went into the cruise with lowered expectations, and even so we were disappointed. Below are some random thoughts, opinions and comparisons on the cruise. I hope they don’t anger anyone too much. They are my honest opinions. The Ship – I was expecting a ship that had recently been through an extensive remodel to be in better looking shape than it was. Nothing horrible, horrible, but a lot of rust, worn varnish/stain on wood work, warped boards on deck, things like that. The traffic flow on the ship is ridiculously bad. The locations of the Guy Fieri’s and the Blue Iguana Grill, the deli and Chopsticks limits the flow through aisles on lido greatly and makes it especially difficult if you are trying to navigate while carrying food, and even more especially since there are no longer any trays to carry your food and drinks on. There were drink stations set up so that people in line for drinks were lined up out into the traffic flow. It was just ridiculous. The other ridiculous traffic flow area was on Promenade during the evenings when they sit up all of the photo op stations. It limited the flow through area to a corridor about the size of a normal hallway. Throw in people stopping to look at the photo backdrops, 20-something guys trying to bull their way through, etc, it just made for an annoying trip down the Promenade. The Stateroom – Cabin 7312, Ocean Suite on Empress Deck We had originally booked a port-side lido balcony, which is what we usually get. We love being on lido. We had also purchased FTTF. However when they called with suite upsell offer, we went ahead and took it because the weather forecast was iffy and we thought we might appreciate the extra room if we were forced to spend a lot of time in the cabin. We were able to cancel the FTTF for a refund. When the Carnival rep called regarding the upsell, she assured me that the suites would be one of the first cabins open to passengers and that suite luggage is sent up right after FTTF. Neither of those things were true. They opened the suites at 1, but they weren’t all completely clean. Our luggage didn’t come until we were at dinner. The only perk suite passengers get is priority embarkation, and supposedly debarkation, but it seemed like there were an awfully lot of people off before us. They could have all been self-assist I suppose. The room itself was very comfortable with plenty of storage. There is a flat screen TV (not the greatest picture and limited channels), a wet bar and fridge, a dressing area, two separate closets and a full bath. It is not THAT much larger than a regular balcony room and we wished we had kept our original room and FTTF. What we liked about the room: The bedding, mattress, pillows, and linens, were all very, very comfortable. We slept very well every night and we are both somewhat picky about our bedding. The storage – There was more storage than we could use. We like to unpack and get everything put away and there was plenty of room for everything. The fridge - I don’t think regular balcony rooms have them. Our steward – He did a good job but I just felt bad for him. He and his assistant had 25 cabins to do everyday plus, they have to do all the outside balconies, windows, etc. When we boarded the windows and balcony were more encrusted with salt than I had ever seen on a ship before. Apparently the previous cruise was pretty rough weather wise. You couldn’t even see out the windows. DH got a towel and started cleaning the windows himself and about that time the steward popped through the door from the balcony next door with his cleaning supplies. We really kept our room neat and clean so that they wouldn’t have to spend too much time cleaning our cabin What I didn’t like about the room: It wasn’t on lido. My fault I know. I should have kept the first room. For a recently remodeled ship there were some cosmetic things in the room that I wasn’t expecting. The bottom drawer in the dressing area would not close all the way. It stuck out about an inch. Where they had installed the baseboards, one piece was too long and so they didn’t meet flush. It looked like they had taken a hammer and just forced them together. They were all bent up. Just cosmetic I know, but both of those things should have been easily fixed. The bathtub – The bathtub was very tall and narrow. Anyone very “fluffy” at all would have had to squeeze to sit in the tub. I am 5’ 5” tall. The top of the tub was ~5” above my knee. It might be difficult for anyone with knee or hip problems to get in and out of the tub. DH is 6’ and less than 190 lbs, so not fluffy at all. He said the tub was so narrow that he had to shower sideways. Cheers and bar service We purchased the Cheers program. We couldn’t purchase it until the day after embarkation. It was $459 total. On this cruise Carnival made money from us on Cheers. When I was reading Cheers reviews, I didn’t understand how people complained about only getting 15 drinks a day. Normally I wouldn’t be able to drink that many drinks without passing out first. But after my first few drinks I understood because the drinks were so weak. I’m talking really, really weak. Those drinks were from the EA Sports Bar (fruit juice with a splash of alcohol) and the New World Bar at the back of lido. But we found it really depends on the bar and bartender. The Blue Iguana Cantina and Red Frog Rum Bar seemed to make stronger drinks, especially the Iguana. You have to drink about 6 drinks or 8 beers to break even. We probably came out a little ahead on both sea days, CCL came out ahead on the Progreso day, and way ahead on the Cozumel day. Food I know food is very subjective. I come from a family of good cooks. I’m probably one of the worst cooks in my family, and I’m pretty good. Also, we live in an area where we have access to many great restaurants of all different types. So I’ve never been overly impressed with cruise ship food, but I can tell it has gone downhill from our first cruise. The food was edible. You will be able to find something to eat. But it wasn’t much better than that. There was nothing we had that we felt like we would want seconds of. The best thing I had was a Greek farmer salad in the MDR. DH enjoyed the ribs in the MDR. We ate dinner in the MDR on 3 nights, at the buffet one night and had room service once. We had a couple of Guy’s burgers. They are good burgers but they aren’t better than Fuddruckers or any other land based burgers. They are just good for cruise ship burgers. DH liked them more than I did. I had one shrimp burrito from the Iguana grill and it was one of the better lunch items. This I don’t understand – they have a salsa bar, but no chips. That makes NO sense, especially for a Texas based ship. Chopsticks was blah. Any local fast-food Asian restaurant would be better. The MDR is not open for breakfast or lunch and that was disappointing. Also – no more nightly sushi which had been one of our favorite things about sailing Carnival. I had the “Study in Sushi” one night in the MDR. That was a joke. The Tasting Bar was also somewhat of a joke. They had a meatball one night that was so salty that I couldn’t finish it, and it was only meant to be a bite! Other than the meatball, the only other thing we had that we simply couldn’t have more than one bite of was the piece of birthday cake that they brought me in the MDR on my birthday. It was weird and horrible. We had Anytime Dining. We requested and got the same table and servers each night we were there and the service was good. Entertainment Once again, we have access to lots of entertainment options at home, so my opinion of the on-board entertainment is colored by that. We tried to see a couple of the comedy shows, but even getting there 15 minutes early it would be standing room only, so we never got to see the comedians. We saw the end of the “New Wave Magic” show and it was the same thing we’ve seen in the magic shows for the last few years and really not as well done. “The Big Easy” had a lot of potential. We both agreed that of all the cruise shows we’ve seen over the years this one had the best music choices, costumes, backgrounds, etc, but it was hampered by two weak lead performers. If those two had been stronger performers, that would have actually been a really good show. We enjoyed Jerry, the singer in the lobby bar in the evenings. He was an Asian gentleman with a very deep voice who sung mostly classic country. But he was a good singer and a good entertainer. Also, the band that played on the promenade next to the casino bar was very good. The lido DJ did a good job of sometimes playing mellow, tropical music and sometimes cranking up the party, except on the last day. He had the volume up SO loud. We were over behind the slide and we had to lean over and yell to hear each other. When he took a break during the ice carving demonstration I went and asked him if he would please turn it down some, it was just too loud. He said he would and bless his heart, he did. Ports Progreso Honestly – I am not a big Progreso fan. We have seen ruins in other places and didn’t want to take a long bus ride. So we took the shuttle from the pier into town. There we took the tour around town on the double-decker bus. It cost $5 pp and I thought it was worth it. Then we walked down to the beach, stopping in route to get a drink and nachos. The vendors here are relentless. Even sitting at a restaurant table they are just lining up. I know they are trying to make a living, but it gets exhausting saying “No thank you” every minute. It makes it impossible to relax. We went ahead and walked the length of the Malecon and back, stopping at Tommy’s, which is next door to famous Buddy’s. DH got a half-hour massage. He paid $10 and tipped $10. I had a couple of margaritas and they were very weak. They were 2 for $5 and they certainly weren’t worth more than that. We enjoyed meeting and visiting with some of our shipmates and the weather was beautiful that day while we were there. The service at Tommy’s was very good. It was just difficult to relax and a have a good time with the constant parade of vendors. On our way back to the ship we walked through the flea market located at the shuttle stop and bought some souvenirs. Prices are better here than you will find in Cozumel and vendors here will negotiate. As we were getting ready to sail away, the cold front that gripped the US last week caught up with us. The ship started rocking so much that the water in the lido pool started flowing out of each side as the ship rocked back and forth. That night was one of the roughest of any cruise I’ve been on. When the weather started coming in, I went to the cabin and took a motion sickness pill and I was fine but I think other people had problems. The crew put the sea sickness bags out everywhere. Cozumel The weather was really rough going into Cozumel. High winds and waves. It was damp and dreary all day. It took the captain about an hour to get the ship parked correctly at the pier. We were originally scheduled to dock at Puerta Maya, but the CD said that due to the weather we were docking at Punta Longusta downtown because the water is deeper there. So we were late in getting off the ship. We had planned to do Chankanaab on our own and had brought our own snorkel gear. But after seeing the winds and waves we scrapped that plan and went into town instead. We have always enjoyed Cozumel and several times we’ve just gone into town and walked around, had drinks and shopped. We’ve even been to Cozumel on land vacations. This time the shop vendors seemed much more aggressive than ever before. Even waiters at restaurants were aggressive in their attempts to get patrons. And town was packed with people. There were 6 ships in port and I imagine that most water activities were canceled. I don’t see how they couldn’t have been. Walking on the Malecon was uncomfortable due to the wind and spray from the waves coming over the sea wall. So we went back into town a few blocks and wandered around. It wasn’t as wet and windy back there and no aggressive vendors. We walked through a residential area and it was interesting. We eventually made our way to Jeannie’s which is a restaurant next to Margaritaville. We had a nice lunch and headed back to the ship. Shipmates OK – I am hesitant to type this paragraph, but I’m going to do it anyway. Whenever I have read reviews where people were talking about Carnival cruises being wild, party, booze cruises, I’ve always thought those posters must be snuck-up snobs who were cruising Spring Break and didn’t know what to expect, or something along those lines. I had never really seen that behavior to any kind of extreme. Until I went on this cruise and now I’ve seen what they were talking about. We are not prudes, not at all. We are 50-something young. For goodness sake, I just got my first tattoo and of my group of friends I would be considered the party girl. But there were people on this cruise who took it to a whole new level. First of all, we booked this cruise thinking that all the kids would be back in school but there were a lot of children on board, young kids and teens, and worse – college age. This cruise is what I imagine a spring break cruise must be like. We got to see live twerking for the first time. It looks better when Miley does it than when a bunch of drunk bachelorette party girls are doing it around the pool. That group also played a version of bachelorette party scavenger hunt during the Progreso sail away. They were all in one of the hot tubs and they would take turns getting out and running up to people asking them something. DH went and asked one man what they had said to him. He laughed and said she wanted to know if he would “trade drawers” with her! When I went to the cabin for a minute one of them asked DH if he had change for the condom machine. I hope none of them did anything really stupid that they regretted when they sobered up. Another example of the type of behavior I’m talking about was the family on the double decker bus tour with us in Progreso. They were whooping and hollering and yelling at people on the street to the point we sometimes couldn’t hear the guide. They were acting like they were all liquored up but it was only 9:30am so that might just be how they act. It was embarrassing to watch. In Cozumel we watched another family from the ship taking turns downing tequila straight from the bottle. They would count and see who could drink to the longest count. It looked to me like they were inviting alcohol poisoning. And this was a family, parents, grandparents and young adult kids. When they killed the first bottle, one of the women brought out another to the cheers of the group. Final Thoughts Did I have fun – yes, but that is because of my DH, who did things like decorating the room while I was in the shower complete with a bubble machine, and because my main goal for this trip was to be able to get some sun, read a couple of books and relax and I got to do those things. Would I cruise Carnival again – I’m not sure I’m going to cruise again at all. We have a big land vacay planned for Hawaii later this year and next year we may do the Florida Keys. But for sure if we cruise again it will not be with Carnival. Now that RCCL is sailing year round from Galveston and NCL and Princess will both be sailing from Houston, we will have more local cruise options. We did a NCL suite from New Orleans last Feb and you can’t beat those suite perks. Would I recommend Carnival to someone else – It depends. If my son’s friends wanted to go and they were really only looking to drink and party on a limited budget, I might recommend Carnival as an acceptable option, especially if they were first time cruisers. However, I will no longer recommend the line to my friends. One last note and another reason I’m not happy with Carnival – I found out today that our best friends had ordered gifts for us to be delivered onboard for my birthday. We never received those gifts. She called on Wednesday to make sure they would be delivered and was assured they were going to be delivered that day so that we would have them the next day, which was my birthday. I know that she was talking to someone on land who can’t control what happens on the ship, but there should be systems to be in place to insure that gifts that are bought and paid for are delivered. CCL’s mistake has cost her money, and will cost here time in getting her refund I’m sure. It would have been a lovely surprise for us, and that moment can’t be recreated. I know that a lot of Carnival fans on these boards can see no wrong in Carnival, and actually find a way to blame the poster for any complaints voiced and I hope my review doesn’t stir up too much wrath. This was my 7th Carnival cruise, so obviously I’m not just a Carnival hater. It’s something that has developed over time. I just feel the experience has slipped so much that I don’t enjoy it anymore and it is not worth the money it costs. And people trying to decide on a cruise need to hear all opinions, not just the completely rosy ones.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
As I walked onto the Carnival Triumph, one single thing clearly stood out. The Triumph smells like a public bathroom. You'd think the refitting Carnival did after the Great Poopsplosion of 2013 would have gotten rid of the stench. ... Read More
As I walked onto the Carnival Triumph, one single thing clearly stood out. The Triumph smells like a public bathroom. You'd think the refitting Carnival did after the Great Poopsplosion of 2013 would have gotten rid of the stench. You'd be wrong. Lingering in hallways, stairwells, pools; drifting out of the drains in your bathroom. Poop and pee smells. Everywhere. Admittedly, I have a pretty good sense of smell. The Triumph didn't have an overpowering, in-your-face bodily waste smell*. No, it was a subtle reek that snuck up on you the moment you'd manage to forget you were being haunted by the Poop Ghost. Now, if it was just the smell, whatever, I can dab a little perfume underneath my nose and go about my day. But Carnival was determined to give me the most sub-par cruise possible. Tacky, decades-out-of-date decor (pretty sure the tube TV in my room was 20 years old). Worse-than-a-school-cafeteria food (the fried rice and the melting cake were the only things I'd consider eating in real life). Overpriced, badly-made drinks ($7 for 6 oz gin & tonics). Thoroughly confusing and inefficient layout (why is the internet "cafe" in a hallway, or a pool in a dining area?). Again, whatever, it's a budget cruise line. It's an easy and cheap way to throw together a quick, low-stress vacation. I actually had a great time off the boat, and I enjoyed hanging out with my family. But at the end of the day, I just have two words for the Carnival Triumph. POOP SHIP *Except Cat Pee Hallway. Cat Pee Hallway made my eyes water. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
My mother, who is 83 y/o, my sister and I wanted mom to experience a nice cruise for her first time. My sister has cruised with Carnival 5 times. we felt confident and safe that the Triumph would be great because it had (we thought) been ... Read More
My mother, who is 83 y/o, my sister and I wanted mom to experience a nice cruise for her first time. My sister has cruised with Carnival 5 times. we felt confident and safe that the Triumph would be great because it had (we thought) been remodeled from its disaster. The very deck we were on was the one that was damaged the most. Silly us thought that it would be all nice and new. We upgraded from an inside room to an outside room with a window. We had not been in our room 5 minutes when I called customer relations to let them know our window was so dirty we could not see out of it. Why have a view, if you can't see anything. A lady from customer service came to our room and told us that our window would be cleaned when we got to Progresso, because Galveston would not let them clean windows at their dock. Our shower was rusted all around the top (from what I do not want to know). Our sink had a big chip out of it. And our window NEVER did get cleaned. the best part of the entire cruise was the Dining Room in the evenings. Our headwaiter, Danesh and his helper Imade, were the highlight of every day. There wasn't anything to do if you were not a drinker, or gambler. Of which none of us were. The Lido lounge where there was a buffet set up, never changed choices...if you didn't like chicken strips (as a meat choice) you were just out of luck. I will go back to the Royal Caribbean and continue my cruising life, Never Ever again on Carnival. So disappointing. They state they are the # 1 fleet in cruise lines, they need to visit some others and take notes. My mom fell and had to stay in our room for a couple of days. No problem, we thought, we will just order room service. Her only choice was a cold bagle with cream cheese, or a cold sandwich with a bag of chips. Disgusting for a ship that thinks they are #1 in the fleet. Super nice meals in the dining room, but woe unto the person who can't leave the room. Did I say I would NEVER, EVER, SAIL ON CARNIVAL AGAIN. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
On the 29th of September, we embarked on the Carnival Magic to Roatan, Belize and Cozumel. We have cruised many times, principally on Carnival. I am sorry to say, it was the worst cruise we had ever experienced. We were booked in cabin ... Read More
On the 29th of September, we embarked on the Carnival Magic to Roatan, Belize and Cozumel. We have cruised many times, principally on Carnival. I am sorry to say, it was the worst cruise we had ever experienced. We were booked in cabin 6420. It was a category 8B “Private Balcony”. We have cruised many times on multiple cruise lines. This was awful. The food was great, the staff was great. Roatan was great. Belize was seedy. Our cabin was terrible. When we book a seven day cruise, we always book a balcony. We like to sit and take pictures of the flying fish and cloud formations. We like to relax on the balcony and read. We rise early and enjoy having breakfast on the balcony as well. This proved to be impossible. We realize that in booking a balcony, it is “the luck of the draw”. It is possible to have neighbors who smoke. This balcony was directly above a designated smoking area. People sat just below us and smoked constantly from about 9 AM until as late as 4 AM. As if the smoking wasn’t annoying enough, the Red Frog Pub was directly forward of our cabin, one deck below. We got to listen to the drunks arguing long into the night. Yet, as disturbing as this was, it was not the worst part. Directly beneath our cabin was “The Vibe” nightclub. Several of the loudspeakers were mounted in the floor of our cabin! The loud music could be heard and felt through the floor and the furniture in the cabin, especially through the bed and pillows. Sleeping was impossible. We called and complained to Guest Services. We called nightly. Guest Services even went so far as to send a representative who verified that the cabin was indeed noisy. We were told there was no other cabin we could move to. On the third night we were offered “another cabin in which to sleep”. This was not satisfactory for several reasons. First, to have to selectively take part of our things to another cabin, possibly on another deck and travel back and forth between the two cabins is NOT a relaxing vacation. Second, sleeping in another cabin would do nothing for us being unable to enjoy our “Private Balcony” because of the intrusive smoke and noise. In all of our contacts with Guest Services, no one ever mentioned the “Carnival Great Vacation Guarantee”. I told several of the Guest Services representatives, “If this was the Hilton, I would pack my bags and move to the Marriot.” On the third day, without any negotiation, Guest Services called us and told us they were going to give us “20% of our fare (an amount of $101.20 – roughly equivalent to one and a half free drinks per person per day) and a 15% discount on our next cruise. Had I been told that our cabin was one deck above a smoking area, adjacent to a pub, and that the loudspeakers of a nightclub would be vibrating our floor (Please note, the loudspeakers in the night club were mounted in the ceiling! This ceiling was also the floor of our cabin. I have photographs.) until as late as 3:24 AM one morning, I would have NEVER booked this cabin. We never got more than about 5 hours of sleep some nights it was less than that. It would have been nice if we could have rested on our balcony in the afternoons, after a night of little sleep, but due to the smoke and noise, that was impossible too. We understand that many people go on a cruise to party and we respect their right to do so. We go on a cruise to relax. A little respect for OUR needs would have been nice too. If it gets too loud for us, we usually just repair to our cabin and sit on the balcony and chill. We did not have that option this time around. In all fairness, we recognize the effort put forth by the onboard Guest Services. Except for never mentioning the “Great Vacation Guarantee” they did “what they could”. Although they continued to claim they would “talk to the sound technician”, nothing ever changed. The “One and a half free drinks per person per day” credit and the 15% discount, while nice, really can’t make up for a terrible experience and lack of sleep and inability to really “use” our “Private Balcony”. When I contacted Carnival about this matter, their response was essentially, We already gave you one and a half free drinks per person per day. Next time book a cabin on a different deck. I certainly will. That deck might well be on a different ship on a different cruise line.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
My wife and I sailed the Carnival Magic last October and the cruise was perfect from the start.We took the entire family this past June and were in 3 cabins and we were all very disappointed in the Dining room both for poor and very slow ... Read More
My wife and I sailed the Carnival Magic last October and the cruise was perfect from the start.We took the entire family this past June and were in 3 cabins and we were all very disappointed in the Dining room both for poor and very slow service and the quantity served was about half the amount from the October cruise, ship was not as clean and most of the crew looked tired and could not wait until their contract was up in August. The food on the buffet was of the poorest quality we have seen on our 7 past cruisers and the most popular lines were for the Mongolian Grill which was up to 50 minutes wait. The hamburgers,hot dogs and pizza stations always had lines while the buffet was nearly empty. Camp Carnival was enjoyable for our Granddaughter and the water slide was a big hit. The entertainment was so so with the same major act as last October but the so called comedians were terrible except for the Chinese juggler/comic. Most of the Casino Supervisors were rude and did not like being asked questions except for one lady who was extremely nice. We all received a survey from Carnival and of course we never received a reply to the above comments. In our many conversations with other past passengers the same comments were heard..Seriously considering changing lines. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
First of all, be warned. If you plan on anything other than the meals and water, tea or juice, then your trip is only half payed for by embarkation time. Knowing what I know now, Carnival is the king of the extra and up charge. So ... Read More
First of all, be warned. If you plan on anything other than the meals and water, tea or juice, then your trip is only half payed for by embarkation time. Knowing what I know now, Carnival is the king of the extra and up charge. So you've only begun to pay for your trip by boarding unless you intend on doing nothing. Our waiters were great. As well as our room stewards. If nothing else the ship was very well kept. Where it fell apart was bar service, ( can I say slow, lethargic, and generally rude and uncaring)... The drink nitpicking was down right annoying! Can I get this drink or not? The attempts to up sell to drinks outside of the drink plan, ($700 for two people for seven days), was down right obnoxious and bartenders seemed to get offended and work even slower when turned down. Why should I buy an extra drink when I have purchased your very expensive drink plan? However, let me say this. If you did not purchase the drink plan ( which includes sodas), you are going to have a heart attack when the credit card bill arrives. Food.....One thing I can say about other cruise lines, is I've walked away talking about how good the dinning room food was. Here? Not so much. Lets just say the steak at Golden Corral on steaks nights blows this away. I'm sorry to be mean, but this is the simple truth. The lido deck was a logistical nightmare. Again, if this was your only cruise you would think this is how all ships do it. As for the food on the lido deck? Eggs out of a carton, pastries stale after a couple of days, no variety. There was no one on this boat cooking fresh food. Enough said. Our room was great! Great deck and very clean. Like I said, it's a new boat. However, on a cruise you shouldn't spend a whole lot of time in your room. On this cruise we did. The cloud 9 spa was great! Pricey, but I thought it was worth it. Great steam rooms and extraordinary hot tube. At least spring for it for one day. Shore excursions are shore excursions. This doesn't change a whole lot from ship to ship. A little overpriced and trying to shove 40 pounds into a 10 pound bag. Just not enough time in ports. Entertainment...with the exception of the magic show, which was professional and very entertaining, was mediocre. I'm even considering taking up guitar if that tells you anything. The bands or singers would play three or for songs and go on break for thirty minutes. They never seemed to care enough to generate a feeling of having a good time so that people would stay put. They would play a little and break and the crowd in the bar or lounge area would disperse. There never seemed to be a good feel in the general areas, maybe because of the $10 drinks....a couple of nights there were no shows at all. Unexceptable...(comedy shows were good).... Overall, we had a decent time. Not bad, but not bad is not what I want to say when I'm $7000 lighter. Those of us who know better will pay a little extra on the front side next time and go back to a premium cruise line or go for an all inclusive resort. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Rooms were already available. We went to the buffet. Not good,food bland and repetitive stations with lines and bad flow. Breakfast at the buffet was yucky, prison eggs for omelets and scrambled, they use prepared milk carton egg ... Read More
Rooms were already available. We went to the buffet. Not good,food bland and repetitive stations with lines and bad flow. Breakfast at the buffet was yucky, prison eggs for omelets and scrambled, they use prepared milk carton egg product with no telling what was in it. As the cruise progressed we noticed how little live entertainment there was. They had a DJ on the cast off, hey we want a live band that we had on another cruise line. Small pools. We did the dining room. Weird thing is that they have two separate dining rooms. Not very nice, compared to our other cruises. Sort like a cheap hotel instead of the more ornate dining rooms we have been to. Food was just OK, we had a baked Alaska that was a joke, something you could find at the grocery store frozen food section. Service was a mixed bag, some nights we had good service and then a couple of nights very slow. Navigating the ship was also cumbersome. It is a good size ship but chopped up in to little bits. There was not central hangout. The atrium was so ugly, it had all these weird lights and odd colors. There was some live entertainment in the atrium but they were off key and we only saw two different groups. Amateur hour?? Also, there a couple of nights that there was NO production show in the theater, not acceptable. The first production show was mostly talking about the ship. We like trivia, and a couple times, no one showed up to MC. Trivia is also weird as they do not encourage teams as only one prize per team. It is more fun to make friends with trivia. Some pros: Tea time and less smoking areas. Your time is important so I do not recommend. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
During embarkation, we had an issue with myself and my youngest son having the same names, so our Folio was crossed, my credit card was on his account, so on. I was gold, he was red, and my other son blue, but I had to wait, and take it ... Read More
During embarkation, we had an issue with myself and my youngest son having the same names, so our Folio was crossed, my credit card was on his account, so on. I was gold, he was red, and my other son blue, but I had to wait, and take it to the pursers office to get my card corrected, and get a gold one. makes it easy to tell who card is whos sitting on the table when you run out the door. So did not start well with the embarkation team. They just did not care, nor would correct. during our cruise we had a habit of getting up early in the morning, so got to watch all the drunks still wandering. Came to find out that there were a few schemes going on board. First we had a group of vacationing professional strippers. They were impressed on how much money is to be made on board, as well as not having to spend a penny on drinks. The night after Cozumel really was fun listing to them brag about how much money they made, and how busy they were. So Prostitution on board, Proven fact. Next we had a rash of stolen cell phones, Keep them in your cabin!!!! I really have a feeling it was staff, not guests, but lots of people were reporting lost and stolen, including one of ours. So points to be taken, you get what you pay for. cheap cruise, brings on the lower ends, back to RCCL for me. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
This was our 3rd cruise. It was my 3 daughters (17, 12, 10) and hubby. The good: Embarkation was easy and quick. Everyone was friendly. Lunch on the Lido Deck was good. Ports were good. We really enjoyed the Salsa and Salsa in ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise. It was my 3 daughters (17, 12, 10) and hubby. The good: Embarkation was easy and quick. Everyone was friendly. Lunch on the Lido Deck was good. Ports were good. We really enjoyed the Salsa and Salsa in Progresso. We did the Cozumel Amazing Race and it was ok. It was fun, but more complicated than I thought it'd be navigating all of us around. I wish we would have had a longer period of time in Cozumel to shop or eat. They could have easily had the excursion start earlier. Chito our room steward was great! Always attentive and friendly. The bad: The smoke. Ugh. They didn't enforce the smoking areas and it seemed like everyone smoked. Every where. Without a care for anyone else. There weren't any real "quiet areas" that we generally like to hang out at. The coffee shop was too close to the casino, so you smelled smoke the whole time. And it was in an area where everyone had to walk through. The service in the dining room was horrid. The first night we weren't served until after an hour and 15 minutes. About 5 min later they turned on the lights to hurry us up, so we didn't get to have the chocolate melting cake - which is a highlight of dinner! I complained to the server (in a nice way) and then to the guest services. Never any follow up or comments at all. The hallway near our room smelled like cat pee. I didn't notice it in the room until the last two days - then it seemed to seep into the room. The lines and the crowds were terrible. None of us remembered having that many people crowded around the buffet lines on previous Carnival cruises. Did they fit more people in them, or something?! We will not sail on Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
This was my least favorite cruise in the 12 years that I have been cruising. It began with the ship coming into Galveston 5 hours late. Apparently the ship had suffered a break down and could not cruise at top speed. The ship was only ... Read More
This was my least favorite cruise in the 12 years that I have been cruising. It began with the ship coming into Galveston 5 hours late. Apparently the ship had suffered a break down and could not cruise at top speed. The ship was only going to one port and Carnival would not commit to which one (Progresso or Cozumel). We were sent an email the evening prior to departure, but it was sent after I had checked emails for the day. Carnival offered the option of a $50 on board credit or the ability to cancel. My husband and I had already made the 12+hour drive to Galveston and cancellation was not an option for us. Unfortunately we had also prepaid for a private excursion in Cozumel,which required a 4 day notice for cancellation. The ship ended up going to Progreso and docked overnight there allowing us extra time to enjoy the worst port in the Caribbean. What a treat. We were late leaving Progreso, waiting for repair parts and did not arrive into Galveston on time. I admit that the staff of the Triumph did their best to try to improve a bad situation. Carnival did offer refunds totalling approx $65pp in on board credit. Apparently most cruisers drank their sorrows away because I have not seen a bigger louder group of obnoxious Texans on a cruise ship before and I have been cruising out of Galveston since the port opened. The food was average, the desserts disappointing. The traffic flow of the ship was awkward. I don't remember ever being so disappointed. I will cruise with Carnival one more time and if this continues will cruise with other lines in the future. One last word: Carnival knew prior to departure that we were only sailing to Progreso,one of the staff in port confidentially told my husband. Unfortunately it was too late to cancel our prepaid excursion in Cozumel. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We went on the January 27th sailing from Galveston with a group of friends to celebrate a 50th birthday. Before this cruise, we have only been on one other Carnival cruise - the Ecstasy out of Galveston on a five day cruise. Other than ... Read More
We went on the January 27th sailing from Galveston with a group of friends to celebrate a 50th birthday. Before this cruise, we have only been on one other Carnival cruise - the Ecstasy out of Galveston on a five day cruise. Other than that, our other two cruises were on Celebrity and Paul Gauguin. Things I liked about the Magic: 1) Very pretty ship. Enough neon to make it interesting, but I didn't feel it was gaudy. 2 Loved the fact that there are so many areas out on deck with comfortable seating and hot tubs. Unfortunately, our weather wasn't great, so we didn't get to use them as much as we would have liked. 3) Staff all seemed very accommodating. Most were very cheerful and we never really had any staff that were not helpful. 4) Red Frog pub is a very nice casual bar. Liked their Red Frog ale. 5) Liked the continental breakfast offered on the Promenade deck. It was right near the specialty coffee bar and it was always quiet and peaceful in the mornings. 6) Groove line show. I thought this was going to be disco music. It wasn't - just a mix of music from the 70's and 80's. Very impressive show. Didn't get to see the other shows, so can't comment on them. 7) Premium Vista Balcony cabin. Don't know if I would do it again because of cost, but really liked the layout and the balcony. 8) Cucina del Capitano for lunch on the first day. Food wasn't outstanding, but I liked the decor and it was a nice spot away from the crowds. 9) The spa with all its different steam/sauna rooms and thalassotherapy pool. We bought a day pass for one day and had a great time going from area to area. Not something I would do for several days, but it was fun for one day. 10) Aft pool. Again, much less crowded and crazy than the central pool (Probably starting to see a theme here - we liked areas where we could get away from the crowds). Things I didn't like: 1) Crowds at the Lido Buffet. So many reviewers have commented on this - don't think I need to say more. 2) Not enough seating in the theater. This is one of the reasons we didn't see more shows. Just didn't feel like sitting for an hour to hour and a half before a show to have a seat. 3) Replacement of shows with "self-entertainment". Really don't like the trend of replacing real shows with shows starring the guests. We didn't see the Legends show on the last day, but we did see a Karaoke show where several of the people picked for the Legends show were performing. Oh my god, I felt sorry for anyone who went to see Legends - those people were BAD! I'm sure it varies by cruise - but how cheap can you get to make the guests do their own shows? 4) Quality of food in general. It was . . . ok. Even on the Ecstasy cruise there were several times at dinner that we got something we thought was fantastic. Not so much this time. Again, don't like the trend of replacing upscale food with "comfort food" - I can get fried chicken, burgers & meatloaf anytime, anywhere. And food at the Lido buffet was sometimes below average - cold, stale, etc. We went to the Steakhouse one night, but food was mixed there, some steaks were very good, some weren't. Plus the service was not at all attentive, as you would expect in a specialty restaurant. 5) Sports/games equipment already falling apart. The sports deck is in bad repair already. (Was probably a bad idea to try something like this on a ship anyways) 6) Serenity deck location was terrible. I don't mind stairs, but it was WAY at the top of the ship, near the entrance to the pool slides. The only elevator that gets you there, by the way, is the one in the Spa, so very inconvenient. I will say, once we were there, we didn't really notice any noise from the kids. However, the absolute worst thing about the location is the wind. With it being up top, it is completely unprotected and unpleasantly windy. Kind of hard for things to be serene when people are busy chasing down all their stuff that's blowing away! 7) Punchliner brunch replacing sit down breakfast. Hate it, hate it hate it. The brunch is crowded and disorganized; menu is a little strange. Really used to enjoy a sit-down breakfast once or twice per cruise. Now you can't do that unless you are skipping getting off in a port. 7) I don't think the whole mega ship trend is for us. So much waiting in lines for food, customer service, disembarking. I know the cruise lines make more money this way, but it definitely downgrades the experience. The point of a cruise is to relax - we saw so many people getting cranky about the lines ... To conclude, there wasn't really one big thing that made us "disenchanted" with the Magic. It's more the fact that everywhere you turn, you are reminded of the changes that are being made for the sake of saving money. Totally personal choice, of course, but for us, we will choose to cruise a little less often, and pay a few hundred more. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We had high hopes to have short cruise to Cozumel to celebrate our 41st. Our boarding was wonderful..... But wait. First disappointment was minor mechanical problem that made ship late to arrive and even later to depart at 10pm. We ... Read More
We had high hopes to have short cruise to Cozumel to celebrate our 41st. Our boarding was wonderful..... But wait. First disappointment was minor mechanical problem that made ship late to arrive and even later to depart at 10pm. We were first told that our time in Cozumel would be cut short... I could live with that, but then a short time later, we were told we would be going to crummy dirty Progresso. NOT HAPPY. During the trip, we found most of the staff to be less that friendly, with no happy smiling faces seeking to assist and make your cruise wonderful. I advised Customer Service that Library door hinge was broken and that no postings were provided to let vistors know how to get books, games and other materials. I was told this was posted somewhere in fine print in one of the back pages of a newsletter. Open Seating for Breakfast and Lunch in the Dining Room was a joke. The lines were long and the hostess was slow and did not understand concept of "OPEN SEATING". As Table Queen, she had to search her computer screen for a table and in most cases force you to sit where and who shes wanted you to sit with. I object to this inflexible process and would demand my own personal private table to enjoy the meal. We also experienced a heavy smell of raw sewage on the port side forward area on level 9. The only part that we did enjoy and was similar to other ships of Carnival was the Room staff was great and the evening my time dining staff was great. We WILL NOT ever go on Triumph again and may give second thought to future Carnival cruise again. Mike and Karen Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
My only other luxury cruise was with Holland America and even though I decided later that I'm not really into cruises, it was a pleasant experience. I only went on this cruise from Galveston to Progreso and Cozumel because it was a ... Read More
My only other luxury cruise was with Holland America and even though I decided later that I'm not really into cruises, it was a pleasant experience. I only went on this cruise from Galveston to Progreso and Cozumel because it was a family vacation with my mom, sister and nephews. This is only the second cruise I've taken, so I'm no expert when it comes to cruising. However, I do know poor service when I see it and with Carnival, I have a laundry list of complaints: Lines! There were just so many lines. I don't remember ever having to deal with this many long and slow lines on Holland America. The lines began with check-in, where there were 30+ terminals available, yet only 10 people working. Lines and crowds continued with every debarkation, boarding, breakfast, lunch and shows. The only efficient line was the final one going through customs and immigration and I can't attribute that to Carnival. Gratuities: The people with the most public contact--wait staff, stewards, bartenders--were often the least friendly. And why should they be? They have absolutely no incentive since every check automatically included an 18% tip. A gratuity is meant to be a reflection of the service given. I realize that the clientele on a Carnival cruise may be non-tippers, so the cruise line adds a gratuity to ensure their employees get paid. However, if they receive it regardless of the service given, then is it really a tip? It should appear on your check as a 10% service charge with the opportunity to give an additional 5-10% tip. This would encourage good service rather than the inefficient service lacking any warmth or goodwill that we received. Service: with a couple of gratifying exceptions, service was slow and incompetent. On the first evening, our luggage arrived with only half-an-hour to spare before we had to change for dinner. Our dining room wait staff of 3 were slow and often absent. Water glasses remained empty through most of the meal. Room service was the worst I've ever experienced. Requesting a meal by a certain time was always late, if you even could get through to place an order. One evening, we ordered a bottle of wine for our room. The order came: one bottle of wine, no glasses, no corkscrew and no offer to open or come back with one. We ended up walking down a deck to a shop to get glasses and a corkscrew. Excursions: the choice of excursions seemed a bit limited and the staff at the service counter for shore excursions didn't seem to have any firsthand knowledge of what they offered. With every question, they would keep referring you back to the description in the booklet. The excursion we went on was actually very good. The guide was very knowledgeable and well organized. Food: The buffet food was as good (or bad) as one could expect from a buffet. There was even an occasional meal that was quite edible. Dinner was highlighted by the appetizers, which were often the best part of the meal. Entrees were hit or miss, especially the fish, which more often than not was overcooked and dry. Desserts were usually good. One of the best desserts was the cake we ordered for $9 for my sister's anniversary celebration. Facilities: Carnival ships are somewhat old, less than modern, and the rooms reflected that. Minor things, such as lights, were in nonworking condition and there were lots of signs of wear. Windows were always dirty despite the washing equipment present. Climate control was a rudimentary lever to adjust AC flow. Televisions were as old as the ship itself. On Holland America, I don't remember seeing vacuum and carpet cleaners, service carts and crew occupying the hallways constantly throughout the day as they were on Carnival. Maintenance seemed secondary and pride in the facilities seemed almost entirely absent. Entertainment: Don't expect Las Vegas quality on a Carnival budget. The shows were simply time killers on the days we were out at sea. I only wish they had a theater showing recent movies like you get on the airlines. Communications: I can't comment on the speed or quality of Internet connections, they were a bit too expensive and slow for me to consider using them. I watched in disbelief as people used the Internet terminals that operated at 14.4 modem speeds. Phone calls were $2 a minute. You don't realize how much you rely on your cell phone to keep in touch until you can't use it to locate someone else on the ship. If cruise ships could offer limited onboard cell service to other onboard cell phones that would be a great service and convenience for families. All in all, I can't really recommend Carnival Cruise Lines unless you're on a limited budget and you don't mind poor service and long lines. For a little more, Holland America offered top-notch service and elegant ships. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Booked our first cruise to take our 2 young children (6, 4) on a vacation along with my parents and grandparents. We took a 5-night cruise out of Galveston stopping at Progresso and Cozumel, Mexico. Being our first cruise, I was ... Read More
Booked our first cruise to take our 2 young children (6, 4) on a vacation along with my parents and grandparents. We took a 5-night cruise out of Galveston stopping at Progresso and Cozumel, Mexico. Being our first cruise, I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the room and bathroom. The bathroom was adequately sized for 1 person to take a shower and another to use the loo or sink/vanity. Everyone on the ship was abundantly pleasant. My children absolutely loved the magic show. My 4 year old son begged to go back to camp every day (until we offered to take him swimming, of course). The bed(s) were terrible. It was like sleeping on the floor. My back hurt every single morning after waking. Also, there was no temperature control to be found in the room other than the ability to open/close the room vent. Each night the room was warm when trying to go to sleep but we could do little to cool it down. Of course, through the night into the wee morning hours the room would become almost cold. Our bedroom space was quickly consumed with the "trundle" bed that was placed out for our youngest which was essentially a cot. Once the cot was laid on the floor there was hardly a 6" pathway from the bathroom entryway to the main beds. The staterooms looked very dated with lots of pink and peach tones with gold accents. Our stateroom was serviced twice a day, once in the early afternoon and once before bed for turndown. This seemed light for the nearly $15 that the steward received in gratuity each day. The trundle was never placed away during the day, and only on days 4 and 5 was it stacked on the couch-bed which provided more space in the middle of the room but rendered the couch-bed unusable during the day for sitting. The dining room service was very disappointing. We were travelling as a party of 8, from 3 rooms, all sitting at the same table for early dining. We would all arrive between 6pm and 6:10pm, yet everyday too few place settings and menus were provided. There was an extremely long wait each night to receive our food, sometimes nearly 45 minutes and it was extremely difficult to get the attention of the service between the initial seating, when our orders were taken, and food delivery for things such as drink refills and bread. On almost every night, 2 people who ordered the same entree would receive different dishes with one missing some accompaniment (side item, sauce, etc). We also routinely had someone receive the wrong starter dish or not receive a side-item which was ordered. The food itself was incredibly pedestrian. Only one night did the menu contain a quality item, a chateaubriand, which was only offered medium-rare or medium-well. My excitement was over when I received my "medium-rare" cut cooked well to oblivion. Another night I ordered "jumbo fried shrimp" and received something that resembled pencil-thin shrimp "sticks". I waited 20 minutes to receive a side of tartar sauce which did nothing to make them more edible. Overall, the meals themselves were hardly worth more than the $30 per day that I paid in gratuities for myself, my wife, and 2 children. We were seated on the upper level of the Paris dining room behind a waiter's station. We were unable to see any of the performances without leaving our table and walking across half the floor. I was disappointed how few activities there were to do with our kids on the boat. Most of the daytime activities were held near the casino (full of smoke). The Camp Carnival was available, however there we wanted to share some activities with our kids for some of the day. Secondly, the camp for kids over the age of 5 was held in the nightclub, one of the only smoking-permitted areas of the ship and we couldn't drop our asthmatic 6 year-old off. We mostly just took them swimming in one of the pools. However, the pools were small and it was hard to allow our children to really swim around without interrupting some of the older guests who were relaxing in the pool. Disembarkation was very disappointing. The disembarkation process started almost an hour after planned. We were left to sit on the Lido deck for almost 3 hours before our zone was called. This wouldn't have been so bad if the buffet hadn't been completely shut down before the disembarkation even started. My 2 children were left to sit with nothing to do and nothing to eat until almost noon when we finally disembarked. Overall, I felt this was cruise was a learning experience. I definitely can see that you get what you pay for in a cruise. I also will go for a longer cruise, 7+ days, and will choose my next cruise for better ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
Its was the worst! A total waste of money! Dirty room: toilet had been used unflushed and uncleaned, glasses in the bathroom still had toothpaste marks on the from past guest, hair and sand in the bottom of the shower, shower did not ... Read More
Its was the worst! A total waste of money! Dirty room: toilet had been used unflushed and uncleaned, glasses in the bathroom still had toothpaste marks on the from past guest, hair and sand in the bottom of the shower, shower did not drain AT ALL, trash in the trash can, trash and sand on the floor, It really just looked like someone came in and made the bed. To make it even better our AC was out. We told to front desk and they said that someone would be up to look at it. 2 hours later we had to call again because they person never showed up to look at the AC or to bring the fan we were promised. When the man did come in he was there for 2 min and told us everything was working and was to the Carnival Standards....our room was 90 degrees...when we took a shower or room flooded...REALLY CARNIVAL STANDARDS!! WELL CARNIVAL STANDARDS STINK!!! The only think that saved us was the balcony door....we had to sleep with it open to get air warm muggy salty air I guess it was better than nothing. We will never cruise with Carnival Standards again! On a plus side the bartenders were awesome...the food was good...the Steak House was AMAZING!...the shows were pretty funny....overall exp was not a fun one tho. 2 stars because due to service and being lied to over and over again by guest service on and off the ship! Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Just got home from our cruise Saturday, The negative: Food in the main dining room was beyond horrible. If it wasnt for our wonderful table mates we would not of went back. Beds in the room, felt like you were sleeping on the box ... Read More
Just got home from our cruise Saturday, The negative: Food in the main dining room was beyond horrible. If it wasnt for our wonderful table mates we would not of went back. Beds in the room, felt like you were sleeping on the box spring! Old TV Cruise workers not at all friendly, did there job well enough, just didnt give you the warm and fuzzies.. Children allowed to run all over.. some of that I blame on the parents. Lay out of the ship hard to get around. Karoke was boring due to the person hosting it.. you could tell she hated being there.. Jenn the cruise director is just plain weird. Always had her cell phone to her ear. Positive: Cabin had plenty of storage Plenty of chairs out on deck Did not come across any rude people.. awesome peeps on board Got what you paid for.. which wasnt a 5 star cruise Photograpers were excellent Comedy shows outstanding. The piano bar was fun. Do not spend the money the chef's table. You only get to see maybe one room in the gally and spend the next 4 hours listening to the chef talk as you get a small amount of food to taste. FYI- he may call himself a chef, but he has no control over what is on the menu, how the food is made.. he is actually a supervisor over the dining.. Disembarktiion.. TOOK FOREVER!! get a porter.. they get first in line. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
This was my second cruise. We chose this cruise because the port is close to home. But I hated it from the time we got on board. The ship is old and dated. Something in the venting made a lot of people sick with allergy type symptoms by ... Read More
This was my second cruise. We chose this cruise because the port is close to home. But I hated it from the time we got on board. The ship is old and dated. Something in the venting made a lot of people sick with allergy type symptoms by the time we got off the ship many people were coughing and congested including me. As someone else said getting around on the ship is a pain and the elevators were horribly slow. There are also a LOT of people on the ship. We had to wait in lines for everything. The food was OK but not great. The premixed drinks are weak. Choose a regular bar drink (gin and tonic) for some punch. Their wine list is made up of a bunch of cheap wine, so if you enjoy wine bring your own. They do have a cigar bar at the back of the ship on the 5th deck, but they don't tell anyone it's OK to smoke cigars there. If I'd found it earlier, I might have frequented it more often. The comedians were good. There were two, and they each gave family friendly shows and adults only shows. They were very funny the first night, but not as much the 2nd and 3rd performances. But they were the best thing on the ship. There was a "multimillion dollar vegas style" show that sucked. There were beautiful costumes and sets, but the acting, dancing and singing was very cheesy. Many other passengers said the same thing. I wish I had that hour of my life back. Progreso Mexico was horrible. They say it's what Cozumel was 20 years ago. I suggest you wait 20 years before you go. You catch a bus to get off the 5 mile long "pier", then you have to walk through shops to get off/on the boat where the vendor harassment is intense. My kids did take a pic with a baby lion, baby tiger and a monkey. That was cool. We did a beach excursion that was sold as "all inclusive". It wasn't. The weak drinks and bad food (Mexican buffet of chips and salsa, quesadillas and rice) were included but the servers are paid only on tips. Not a problem if I knew that in advance. Instead about half way through my relaxation, my server is asking me to tip him. A polite sign, announcement or something in the ship info would have been nice. I had a massage there that was just a rub down. The beach looked a lot like Galveston. The good thing was in Progresso the shops would negotiate with you. Cozumel was a bit more upscale and what I expected from a cruise port. They had good shopping, but wouldn't negotiate. I thought the quality of the items was better to. We ate at a restaurant there and it cost just as much to eat as it would to eat Tex-Mex in Texas. The ship pushed this particular restaurant but I was disappointed in it. It must be owned by Carnival. There are two bright spots. One is that my kids enjoyed it and had fun. They had not sailed any other cruise line, and they had unlimited ice cream and soda, so this was great. The other was we met a fantastic family at dinner who live nearby. We will keep in touch with them. Outside of that, I have no desire to ever sail with Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Our experience on board the Carnival Triumph was just that- an experience. Unfortunately, there was very little good to our "fun"ship vacation. We took a 5- night out of Galveston, where we stayed at the Harbor House the night ... Read More
Our experience on board the Carnival Triumph was just that- an experience. Unfortunately, there was very little good to our "fun"ship vacation. We took a 5- night out of Galveston, where we stayed at the Harbor House the night before embarkation, which i would highly recommend for those who wish to stay on the port. The morning of embarkation was very relaxed, because we stayed so close, there was no rushing or stressing the start the embarkation process, which went very smoothly, long lines- went by very quickly. But the disappointment began when i first boarded the ship, I have sailed on the Triumph twice, once in 2000, and this time in 2012. I immediately noticed that 12 years later nothing about the layout or decor of the ship had changed. The atrium looked almost exactly the way it did 12 years ago, which almost seemed like the ship had lacked attention. Of course we weren't allowed in our rooms until 1:30, so we waited with the massive amounts of people on the Lido deck until the cabins were opened. Our next problem arose when we didn't receive our luggage until 6:00 that night, which has never happened to us before. That alone caused us to be late to dinner, and miss the welcome aboard show, which left us with nothing to do but wonder around the ship for the rest of the night. The dining room- was it's own disaster, we chose anytime dining, which normally means we are seated upon arrival- hence the name "anytime dining" but the Triumph's anytime dining took on a new meaning- you can be seated "anytime" AFTER the other dining guests in specific time seating were accommodated, anytime dining was definitely last priority. We were told we had to wait 30 minutes for a table for 4, when there were clearly many tables available that we could have been seated at. With that said, the food was an even worse experience. Dry and tasteless. My father ordered the steak the first night, which resembled some kind of plastic in taste. Not a single meal, one night of the cruise, was hot. Or even moderately warm. In fact on the second day, the food made me very sick, i lost my appetite for any food on board the ship for the rest of the cruise. When i finally did eat, i ordered a gourmet burger from the dining room, which was as dry as my napkin. Not even slightly edible. On the last night of the cruise, fed up with the dining room staff and terrible food, we gave up and ate on the Lido deck, causing us to miss the waiters and waitresses singing the farewell song, which we have never missed. I have also never been more hounded to buy things as i was this cruise! People on every corner trying to sell you something crazy, like a drink in a crazy cup for $13, no thanks. The photographers were everywhere, you had to sometimes make a special effort to go around their equipment on the promenade. One even asked my father to get up and move from his seat so he could put his light there! So rude, this same photographer snapped at my sister for not cooperating with his ridiculous poses. Photos are too expensive to waste the time. the pools- They were their own nightmare, especially on the "fun" days at sea. If you could find a chair, you were basically fighting to keep it, forget getting in the pool for a second to cool off. We even moved to the adult pool to get away from the young kids who had taken over both the pool and the two whirlpools! Adult pool- not so much. Within 30 minutes the adult pool was swarming with the same children from the other pool, none of the rules or regulations were enforced or even considered by the uncaring staff. The bar service was either great, or there was none. My father waited an hour for a diet coke in the Rome lounge, only to be told by another waiter that his original waiter had forgotten about his order, although he had already taken down his room number from his sail and sign card. Non-alcoholic drinks were never a priority to waiters. By the third day, i would have done anything for a full night of uninterrupted sleep, or even sleep period. It was nearly impossible to sleep being under the Lido deck, but it was DEFINETLY impossible to sleep with the drunk slobs running through the hallways screaming at the 4 in the morning. The ship as a whole was in poor shape, the Lido restaurant smelled, enough to turn your stomach and make you lose your appetite for anything they were serving. There were strange sewage smells coming from various cabin hallways almost all the time. The ship overall made me feel dirty, and a hot shower? good luck. You're either scalding or cold. The debarkation process was painless, which was wonderful seeing how excited we all were to finally be leaving. The service on board this ship was horrendous, nothing like we have had before on Carnival. I have been on 7 different carnival cruises, not counting my two times on the Triumph, and no time was even slightly as horrific as this one. But there were some good parts to this vacation- getting to spend time with your family is always a plus, our cruise director Tex was great, we loved him. The shows were good, they gave us something to do. Cozumel was great, despite having to be back on board by 2:30, which we also thought was ridiculous. Because of this experience,its possible that i will never cruise again, but it is DEFINITE that i will never cruise on Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
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