Carnival Triumph Cruise Review by chuckolla
- Sail Date: December 2008
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Accommodations: We chose this cruise as they would sleep all five of us in a single room. We liked the room. My wife and I had a King and each of the kids had their own twin bed which in a room not much bigger than 150 sq ft is quite an accomplishment. Space is tight but the room is well laid out with a TV and most other conveniences. The room is well cleaned everyday and there is a bed pull down service every evening where they make an 'animal' from the towels and leave a chocolate or cookie for the kids. All the beds had duvets which was nice and everything was clean.
Food: The overall emphasis is definitely of quantity over quality. If you like your plate piled high with whatever is available and are not too bothered with the taste then you are going to love the food on the Triumph. The main dining rooms (Paris and London) bare no resemblance with their namesakes and are a noisy and chaotic dining experience. They provide a 'fresh' menu each day which is good, the problem is in the execution; everything pretty much stank. It was all edible (we were not spitting stuff out), however, at no time in the entire week did we really enjoy what we ate. The wait staff are nice but clearly are overworked and exhausted (my wife requested balsamic instead of butter one night and the waiter said he would get it but made us feel pretty guilty that he had to go downstairs to pick it up). Breakfast in the 'South Beach Grill' is monotonously the same every day with the most disgusting 'link' sausages I have ever had in my like. The rest of the cooked options are mostly a greasy mess (i.e bacon, eggs, omelets). There is some fresh fruit with melon, bananas, apples etc.. but it is hit and miss in freshness - sometimes great, sometimes not. Anytime of the day, there is an abundance of pizza, burgers, french fries and the like so if you want to come on a junk food mecca or want to nurture a future coronary episode this food will not disappoint.
Kids Club: Lots of activities for all ages. Our 2 year old had a great time but our 7 year old and 5 year old were mostly board. For the most part it seemed well run and organized and there was always something going on for the kids but we felt we could not leave our kids for more than 2 hours max as they just couldn't take much more.
Entertainment: We saw three shows during the week and were surprised at the polish and professionalism of the singers, dancers and other entertainers. The 'Rome' lounge is quite a beautiful room and every night there is a new show with two performances. It was good wholesome family entertainment which my wife, I and all three kids looked forward to. Carnival have obviously made an investment in these and it has paid off.
Other ship activities: There are lots of other things to do on the boat but if the weather is windy (which it was on our cruise) most of the them are closed. The pool was drained, basketball, mini-golf, ping pong, kids pool were all shut for at least three says due to wind and I am not talking about a hurricane here, just a breezy sunny day at sea.
Sell, Sell, Sell! About every two minutes there is someone trying to sell you something. Whether it is the art on the walls, photos in the corridors, liquor, cigarettes, diamonds or other jewels, health sessions, exercise classes. Basically, this cruise is master of the 'upsell'. I am the kind of person where it does not really bother me but it drove my wife nuts so I thought I would mention it. You will also be charged $10 per day tips for your stateroom steward and other wait staff. Internet also seemed pricey at 0.75 per minute for connectivity although you can access it from your own laptop in a of public places but not your stateroom.
Overall: We've had a great vacation, but that was despite the cruise not because of it. We paid a third of what the same cruise on Royal Caribbean charged so you definitely get what you pay for and as far as value is concerned I think we did get value for the money spent. Would we go on the Triumph again? No. But would we really take another cruise and the answer would probably be no too. It ultimately is really just a too cheesy experience where you feel like a ignorant tourist, greedy consumer and glutton-ridden eater. Las Vegas on the water is the best way to describe the experience - after a few days you just are sick of all the phoniness and excess.
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