Carnival Triumph - Eastern Caribbean: Carnival Triumph Cruise Review by cafn8me
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Triumph - Eastern Caribbean
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Overall cruise experience " Ship layout is odd; a bit difficult to get to some of the locations (e.g., you have to go down a deck, walk to the end of the ship and go up a level to get to the internet cafe; can't really walk around outside perimeter of ship very easily " September 2006 was a very windy month (hurricane season), so the pool slide and some deck doors were closed off almost the entire time due to high winds " Staff very nice and knowledgeable really made sure you had what you needed, very courteous and helpful " Really small, crowded pools " Sewage smells throughout ship chiefly on deck 1 on way to gangway " Drinks expensive and small " Nice reception with free drinks for returning cruisers; this, in addition to discounts for past guests, is a nice retention program " Bring two smaller suitcases, rather than one large one you'll save $25 in the overweight More baggage fee charged by some of the airlines (they calculate by the bag); consider bringing an empty bag or suitcase for souvenirs " As with all of these cruises, they nickel and dime you for everything; prices have gone up quite a bit since my last cruise in 2003 " Tips: wait until toward end of cruise to buy Carnival clothing or spa treatments they have sales/discounts to try to make last-minute money off you " Laundry: $15 per (small) bag for them to do it one max per cabin, per day; this ship only has six self-service Launderettes, very small, with three each washers and dryers, for 2,700 passengers; some of the machines always seemed to be out of order and they were in no hurry to fix them; $2 each washer and dryer get quarters at Purser's desk; bring your own dryer sheets, because they only sell detergent in the Launderettes; detergent is $1/load; Launderettes are only available when at sea and I recommend waiting until the evening to do your laundry, otherwise you'll be waiting forever
Embarkation " Have your passport, picture ID and cruise packet handy and you shouldn't have any problems; I went through fairly quickly " Nobody asked for my Fun Pass during the cruise, just my passport " They didn't let us take our main baggage aboard ourselves, only our carry-ons; didn't get my luggage until 5:30p and had early dinner seating at 5:45p, so I didn't make that
Staterooms: " Small showers barely room to move around, free product pumps in shower get in your way (kept banging my elbows into them, and I'm a small person) " Porter service (AKA maid service) seems to be happening all day; turn down service is nice, but beware the towel animals - they often use your dirty towels for these " Free samples were nice: got a razor, Dove soap, hair bands, toothpaste and lotion " Samples in shower (pump dispensers on shower walls): body wash and shampoo - consider leaving yours at home to save space/weight " TV stations very limited - had three local Colorado stations, which was odd; need more movie channels; satellite often had problems and lost reception " Great closet, drawer and cabinet space in single, interior cabinsufficient for one person for up to 10 days " No need to bring a blow dryer, they have one in the bathroom " Buy bottled water before boarding ship - it's not free or easily available on board; keep some snacks and water in your cabin and for shore excursions, just in case " Recommend getting a cabin in the middle of the ship, level 5 or higher; I was in an interior cabin on 2nd level at the very end of the ship - room vibrated when engines turned on and was very loud " Bring your own small, battery operated alarm clock or rely on wake up calls " No irons in rooms; you either have to pay for clothes to be pressed, or use the irons in the Launderettes which are generally being used or unreliable (the one on my deck wouldn't take water for steam)
Food " Mediocre quality; most food seemed to have been sitting around for a while " Formal night: lobster was dry/rubbery many passengers had this complaint; cherries jubilee, while listed on menu noted set aflame and said to include brandy, was nothing more than one scoop of melted vanilla ice cream with two spoonfuls of cherry pie filling (no exaggeration) " Limited options and availability compared to the other, smaller Carnival ship I sailed on in 2003, the Fantasy (8/8:30p) or 2nd early seating (6p) at earliest because you may not be back in time from excursions to make 1st early seating (5:45p) " Room service: late and food lukewarm " Breakfast: custom-made omelets were good, but should have been made into a separate line/station, as it caused the breakfast buffet line to back up; waited about 30 minutes both times; same breakfast food items every single day, with the exception of the egg of the day in the dining rooms " Not many healthy options, just salad bar and a few diet items " Great coffee bar (Venezia Cafe), but food there should be free as well; they were charging $1 for cookies - give me a break " Hong Kong Noodle Co. food was pretty good
Entertainment/Activities: " A bit lame, and they've been doing the same activities on the ships for at least three years (since my last Carnival cruisethe Fantasy in 2003): disgusting hairy chest competition and trivia games where everyone shouts out the answers and there are no prizes/incentives " Kevin and Caruso magic show was pretty cool magic, cool music, dancers and comedy
Port visits overall " Didn't provide enough time in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and didn't arrive until 5pm; you were limited on time and it was dark, which isn't safe " Left St. Thomas and St. Maarten too early (early evening) not enough time; word of mouth from Royal Caribbean passengers met at ports they had more ports and more time to spend in each
Shore excursions " San Juan, Puerto Rico: Bacardi Factory Tour: a bit overpriced; complimentary drinks very weak; no real tour of city; oddly short initial bus ride just took us around the block and a few yards from where we boarded; " St. Thomas: Ultimate Island Experience: great views and photo opps on this tour; bus used was very old and rickety and exhaust filled our bus the whole time almost got stuck going up the hills; other buses in the fleet seemed newer; tour guide was cool, but bus PA system very loud, making it hard to understand him; Blackbeard's Castle is pretty cool, especially if you're into the pirate theme; hidden gem in house/museum below and to right of 99 steps: free rum punch in basement you get to pour your own rum; same at Beacon Point stop, but it's $6 there; note that during the month of September, many restaurants are closed (on holiday) in St. Thomas; one that is open and which I recommend is Glady's Cafe on the waterfront down one of the alleys (near Tavern Restaurant) " St. Maarten: Macarena Choo Choo Party Bus: really fun and glad I did it, but too short (only 3.5 hours); don't recommend this excursion if you want a guided tour or significant shopping time; bar on board; no real food on this excursion appetizers/refreshments are cups of Chex Mix and some little hot dog thingies that had been sitting around for a while, so be sure to have a big breakfast; great little French bakery (Patisserie/Boulangerie) near stop in Marigot (on right as you're heading into Marigot)good place to grab a croissant, mini quiche or other snack; no time to try any real sit-down restaurants in Marigot (only had 45 mins); don't waste your money at the picnic/snack shack on Mullet Bay Beach people are rude and food is a bit spendy Less
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