Carnival Triumph - Western Caribbean: Carnival Triumph Cruise Review by cruisefan1999
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Triumph - Western Caribbean
Destination: Western Caribbean
We are lucky to live really close to the port so transportation was no problem. We had plenty of family to drop us off around 12 pm. We did not have to check any bags with the porters because I measured our luggage prior to leaving the house. I highly recommend measuring your luggage. A lot of people who left their bags with the porters had a wait a long time to get their luggage on board. The whole embarkation process took about 40-45 minutes. We were on the boat by 12:50 pm just in time for the lunch buffet on the Lido Deck. The only hold up we had was at the table where we picked up our sail and sign cards. I didnt book a specific cabin from our online travel agent. I just did an inside stateroom guarantee instead, which was cheaper by the way. So it took them a little while to locate which room we were in, but hey we were on vacation and in no rush. The stateroom guarantee was the best thing I did. I was only expecting an inside More stateroom, but the guarantee allows you to be upgraded for no additional charge if they run out of inside staterooms. So we were upgrade to an outside stateroom with a view!
Food (South Beach Club)
We were told the rooms wouldnt be ready until 1:30 pm, so we headed up to the Lido Deck with our luggage in tow. The lunch buffet in the South Beach Club (1st day) was packed and it was hard to get a table. My husband held a table with the luggage while I jumped in line for lunch. There were many selections from which to choose, so I took a little bit of everything. Overall the buffet food was good and a lot better than I initially hoped for. We ate breakfast almost every morning in the South Beach Club. They offered many cereals and fruits. They had your traditional stuff too (oatmeal, grits, scrambled eggs, grilled ham). They have an omelet station where the chef will cook any omelet you want. They only variation on the breakfast buffet was a choice of pancakes one day or French toast the next day. The pretty much had the same stuff every morning.
(Paris Dining Room) Open Seating Breakfast/Lunch On most days the Paris Dining room is open to all guests for breakfast and lunch. We didnt discover the open seating breakfast until the end of the trip. Same choices as the buffet, but for some reason it just tasted better in the dinning room. I actually preferred the dinning room as oppose to the South Beach Club buffets, its cooler (air conditioner wise) and more relaxed. I liked the Sushi, French Onion Soup and the Crème Brulee desert.
Dinner Main Seating 5:45 pm The first night was casual night so we found our table for two and meet our amazing wait staff (Danilo from the Philippines and Alexander from the Ukraine). The menu selections each night were pretty amazing. My husband and I are big eaters, so we order almost one of everything. My only complaint was the rubbery lobster tail. I enjoyed all of the dessert choices. The best overall dinner menu was on the night of the Grand Cayman port. Every single item we ordered was absolutely delicious from the Lychee fruit Soup, Jerk Pork down to the raspberry chocolate cake dessert. My husband ordered the quail one night and was very sad to see a whole bird. He obviously never ate quail before and felt very guilty that the bird gave its life to be his dinner. He ate it anyway, stating that this bird shouldnt have to die in vain and not be eaten. My husband by the way is very silly. Almost every night the wait staff performs a show at dinner. I particularly like the Backstreet Boys cover they did.
(Coney Island Grille)
Late night snack option, usually there is a long line of kids, but it really depends where you go. This Grille is open 24 hours offering burgers, hot dogs, fries and wings.
(Other Food Options)
We didnt really try any of the other options like the room service or the pizza place. I was pretty satisfied eating in the Paris Dining room whenever I got a chance.
(Gala Buffet) On the last night of the cruise, the chefs put together an elaborate buffet. The ice sculptures and desert presentations were amazing. Even though this buffet is really late at night 12:30 am, its worth staying up late for.
Staterooms (Main Deck)
Since we got the upgraded room with a view I was pretty satisfied already. But the room was huge, a lot bigger than I expected. The bathroom had a huge medicine cabinet and plenty of counter space. There was plenty of room to unpack and hang up everything. Each room had bathrobes and pool towels. Since we didnt have to check our luggage, I unpacked and enjoyed the rest of the ship with no worries about my luggage. Our room steward was very nice and every night we looked forward to a new towel animal.
Entertainment -- My husband and I perused the Capers every night and planned our day to the minute. We wanted to do everything. We loved all of the social hosts (Crazy Bonnie, Heney, Smitty and Santana. Along with Stuart our cruise director, we were thoroughly entertained.
We participated in trivia everyday and every single game we could find. We never won a ship on a stick or a medallion, but we had fun participating. Go Red team! I highly recommend going to every show at night. My favorite one was the 2nd night Las Vegas show Around the World. I loved the costumes, dancing, music and singing. The magic shows were great too. Out of the two comedians on board, Frank Del Pizzo had us laughing so hard, I feel from my seat. The last show Legends was pretty good too. We got to take pictures with the dancers and singers afterwards. Our Aretha Franklin was really good.
Im not much of a pool/heat/beach person. I went to the pool and slide the one time. One time down the salt water slide was enough for me. I preferred the inside air-conditioned activities like Bingo, Win lose or draw, and lots of trivia.
Ports of Call (Cozumel) -- We did the X-caret botanical garden park. A little expensive if you book late and on the boat ($178 for two people) but worth it was worth it for me. The 40 minute ferry ride to Playa del Carmen was a little daunting, but I slept through most of it on the way there and back. X-caret is very beautiful and theres lots to do from swimming with the dolphins (You can watch without paying and youre pretty darn close) to the beautiful underground rivers you can swim through. There is a beach were they give you a tube you can borrow and relax, plenty of hammocks and chairs too. We walked around and enjoyed the animals and the gardens. Our guide told us a lot about the Mayan Culture. The nice thing about X-caret is that you dont have to stick with the guide; you are pretty much free to do your own thing after he gets you into the park. We ate lunch at La Cocina, an all you can eat Mexican Buffet. They had the best Mexican food weve ever had and thats saying a lot because my husband is Cuban and doesnt like Mexican food. We had plenty of time to go shopping in Cozumel after our tour was over. Though we didnt buy much, there were lots to see. Most people went to Carlos n Charlies for drinks, but that isnt our type of scene.
(Grand Cayman) -- We booked early online the Atlantis Submarine tour. Grand Cayman is known for its coral reefs and most of the shore excursions deal with snorkeling and scuba. I dont like being anywhere near fish that can touch you so the submarine was the best deal for me. Besides, how many people can say I was in a submarine in their lifetime? Our tour wasnt until 9:30 am but we took the tender so early we were able to jump on the early 8:30 am tour. The whole experience was awesome. We got to see turtles, barracudas and lots of fish from the safety of our submarine. The driver did everything by hand nothing was on autopilot. The tour was about an hour long. Afterward, we had plenty of time to look around the shops and bought some famous Tortuga Rum Cakes for our family.
(Ocho Rios) -- Two words, Marva Shaw. Look her up at www.knowjamaica.com. She will personalize a tour for you for a very good deal. We did Dunns River Falls, sightseeing, shopping and lunch for very cheap. Shes better than anything you can book on the ship. Debarkation -- Again, since we carried our luggage in and it was so manageable to carry off, we debark really easy and quick. Our deck was the first one to get called off for those who didnt leave their bags out for collection on the last night. We got through customs in no time. I was a little scared that they didnt have any x-ray machines at the port at debarkation like they did at embarkation. How did they know what people were bringing back into the country?
Final Thoughts -- The whole crew aboard the Carnival Triumph is truly amazing. There is so much for everyone to do. We avoided the smoking areas as much as possible i.e. (Club Monaco and the Oxford Bar) The Vienna Café has good deserts and coffee. We spent most of our time in the Rome Lounge and enjoyed the entire cruise. We particularly liked to read the crews name tags to figure out where they cam from. The Triumph crew is truly an international one ranging from Australia (Oz), Philippines, Thailand, Ukraine, Russia, Columbia and even South Africa. A Carnival Funship is definitely the way to travel and the best bang for your buck. Everything you need is at your fingertips. Less
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