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  #1  
Old September 27th, 2010, 12:38 PM
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kew1031 kew1031 is offline
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Red face Late, but I'm going to give this review thing a try..

Cruise: Triumph from NOLA, Sept. 11-18. Western Caribbean.
I started a review last Sunday night, fell asleep in my chair, and when I woke up and tried to post the first segment, the board had logged me out due to inactivity. I logged back in after I hit "submit", and my post went POOF! disappeared.
I was too sleepy to recreate it, so now it's a week later and I'm going to try it one more time.
Right before we left for the cruise, my computer crapped out and I've been using a loaner laptop, which didn't have any of my stuff on it.
Bruce pulled all my files from the old hard drive yesterday and transferred them to the laptop, so my pictures have finally been uploaded from my camera. I will attempt to post a few of them, to hopefully enhance the review.

We are Kay and Bruce, not married, live 40 miles from each other, I on the north side of Dallas, he on the south side. Perfect arrangement for the past 4 years. This was our second cruise together. We were on the Ecstasy last October 31 to Cozumel and Progreso.
Since I was a first timer last year, I was planning everything for months, but didn't find this board till about two months before the cruise.
This time, I was a lot more laid back, checked in here frequently, but didn't really get in the "cruise fever" mode until about two weeks before we left.
By that time, my job had me so ready to be on a vacation ANYWHERE, I was totally antsy about getting gone on our cruise.
Of course, as anyone who has a job knows, taking a vacation means getting ALL your work done before you leave, having it all piled up waiting for you when you get back, or BOTH.
Since I manage a staff of about 20 box office cashiers/ticket takers, I had to make schedules for three weeks out before I left, as well as approve payroll remotely the night before we left town. So, even though I was not at the office on Sept. 9th, I still had to do some work that night before we left!
I will try to be amusing, informative, and not write the way I talk, which is to say, TOO MUCH! (not sure that is possible, though)
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  #2  
Old September 27th, 2010, 01:02 PM
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Default packing day!

We planned to drive to NOLA, (more on that later)so we were going to leave early on the 10th.
I had my clothes ready to put in the suitcase, but didn't actually start packing until the day before we left. I took that day off, as did Bruce. Me for packing and driving to his house, him for doing laundry and finishing up some computer repairs.
I woke up that morning and began to notice that it was getting really warm in my apartment, the A/C sounded like it was running, but nothing was coming out of the vents. As the packing began in earnest, I was really starting to sweat!
I had to do some rearranging because my big bag weighed so much I could barely move it off the bed. I knew that when I got to Bruce's house, we were going to try to combine, condense, and rearrange our belongings to take up as little bag space as possible, so I went ahead and just threw it all in the car. If we decided we didn't need something, it would be left at his house.
I called the apartment office to report the A/C problem and, since it was too warm to hang around at home, I headed south to Bruce's house.
I got to his house just after noon, and of course, he hadn't packed anything yet. He is really good at paying for stuff and fixing stuff, but he hates to pack and he knows I'm better at it than he is.
He is also much easier to pack for, since he is a guy who isn't into clothes, wears shorts and polos ALL the time, and is content to be in swim trunks and flip flops for the entire cruise.
His bag was packed in less than a half hour, we had a separate bag for the hotel night and getting dressed on Saturday morning.
We went ahead and put everything in the car that we didn't need for the next morning and went down the road to Chili's for dinner.
As I mentioned earlier, I had to do payroll that night; fortunately, I can access our payroll system remotely, so I did that right before I went to bed. Work was DONE. Time for VACATION!
I took my shower before going to bed, to save time the next morning, and we were asleep by 11 pm. alarm set for 5:00am.
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  #3  
Old September 27th, 2010, 01:39 PM
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Default Friday, Sept. 10, 3:30 AM

I woke up too early. Not sure what woke me up, but even though my body was wanting to stay in bed, my brain was awake. After about 15 minutes of body and brain arguing, brain won, and I got up. Makeup, hair, dressed, bag repacked, and in the kitchen to make some sandwiches to take for lunch by 4:30 am. Also, filled the small cooler with some cokes and water for the road.
We grabbed a quickie breakfast of cereal and coffee, got all the stuff in the car and pulled out of the driveway at 5:50 am.
Stopped for gas near the freeway, filled to the top. Went across the street to CVS for something I forgot(always something-this time it was toothpaste) and we were on I-35 north to I-20 east and the Louisiana border.
Travel tip: For those of you not familiar with driving in Texas, going anywhere in Texas takes a long time. Dallas due east to Shreveport- 3 hours. After that, Shreveport southeast to New Orleans- 6 hours. Scenery= highway and trees. Lots of trees. Central Louisiana=trees and swamp and water. Not the most interesting drive.
We were offered free standby flight on southwest Airlines, courtesy of Bruce's daughter, who works for Southwest. Oh no, we said, we'll just drive. An adventure, etc. It will be fun, we said.
Even when it's free, flying has it's own set of headaches, particularly if it's stand-by. You might get bumped from your booked flight and have to wait awhile. Someone has to get you to the airport or you have to leave your car for a week, cab from airport to hotel, cab from pier back to airport, pickup from airport when you get home, etc. It still takes an inordinate amount of time, especially when one lives a 45 minute drive from the airport. HOWEVER.
If we ever decide to cruise from NOLA again, we will seriously rethink the driving option. seriously. That 9 hour trip in one day was not fun. and we had to do it again when we got back. Even less fun at that point.
And another travel tip if you're taking that drive down I-49 in Louisiana. The speed limit is 70. There was a big sign just past the state line that read: SPEED LIMIT STRICTLY ENFORCED
That was no joke. I lost count of the number of state troopers, local police, and sheriff's deputies working radar on that highway.
Set your cruise control at 70 and just stay there.
(It's a good thing that self-professed "grandpa driver" Bruce was at the wheel. If I had been driving, there might have been a traffic stop somewhere along the way. I'm just sayin'...)
Our stops along the way were few and far between because that highway has very few exits and n.o.t.h.i.n.g. right on the highway at most of the exits.
Nine hours and two very tired butts later, we were in New Orleans and checking into the Drury Inn and Suites in downtown NOLA.
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  #4  
Old September 27th, 2010, 02:12 PM
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Default At last, some pictures!


Our room at the Drury, very nice, comfy, the bed was fabulous. After that 9 hour drive, it was like heaven!

bathroom vanity, all marble and granite
more marble.
the Drury Inn and Suites in downtown NOLA. The building looks old from the outside, has a fenced parking lot, and free cruise parking when you request to NOLA cruise package. With tax, the price was $129.00.
Interior is lovely, very "Old New Orleans", with marble floors, black wrought iron rails, crystal chandeliers and wall sconces.
The free hot buffet and free drinks were taken advantage of by us and lots of other cruisers. The drinks were pretty strong, not watered down and we used all of our drink coupons!
The hot dogs were ok, but the chili was not Texas chili! It had BEANS in it!!! But we didn't go hungry, it was included in the price of the room, and we didn't have the energy to go out foraging in the French Quarter. Sacrilege, for sure! Being in NOLA, in the French Quarter, and NOT going to any of the dozens of great restaurants or bars. What can I say? We were tired, and we knew we were going to eat ourselves into a stupor on the ship for the next 7 days.
The Drury has a roof top pool, which we took advantage of after dinner.
It was about 8:00 pm, and was nearly dark when we went up there. We could hear the music from the Seafood Festival a few blocks away, but it was nice and peaceful.

My camera doesn't take very good night shots, unfortunately. The humidity was so high that the first 5 or 6 pictures I took were very fuzzy becasue the camera lens fogged over when I turned it on. I had to let the camera sit for a while to warm up.
We stayed up there for an hour or so, then went back to our room and were asleep before 11:00.
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  #5  
Old September 27th, 2010, 02:48 PM
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Talking

Please keep the review coming. Loving it!!
One question. Is it free cruise parking or 50dollars? I booked the Drury and was told cruise parking 50 plus the night you are actually staying is 17. Total 67 dollars to park from Friday to Thursday. Still cheaper than port parking.

We leave in 74 days!!!!
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Old September 27th, 2010, 03:16 PM
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Default Cruise day!

We went down for breakfast around 7:45 am, had the usual hotel breakfast buffet fare. Pretty decent overall, Belgian waffles were very good, strong coffee. They had biscuits, gravy, sausage, eggs, muffins, cereal, fruit. Good variety of things, you're bound to find something you will eat.
Back to the room to get ready to leave. Desk clerk had told us they would call a cab for us when we came down to check out.
We only had our overnight essentials with us; the rest of the bags were still in the car. It was already getting quite steamy outside when we retrieved the rest of our luggage, and we waited for the cab inside.

One of these days, I will learn how to travel light, but this trip was not all that light. Two large suitcases to check. Carry-ons were a 24 pk. case of bottled water on a luggage cart, topped with my tote bag with the makeup, hair dryer, change of clothes, meds, etc, all the stuff you don't want to leave in your checked bag, topped with a canvas tote that held my purse, travel documents, camera, and some snacks, all neatly tied down with a bungee cord. Bruce pulled the small rolling suitcase, which had our allotted two bottles of wine packed securely within miscellaneous clothing and shoes, and his C-Pap machine.
Minivan cab arrived, driver loaded all our stuff in the back, along with the little bitty bags of another couple who shared the cab with us and who had obviously already learned how to travel light.

It was about a 10 minute ride to the pier; the cab driver took a "shortcut" around the back of the terminal and stopped on the corner across the driveway from the entrance.
He pointed to a long line of cars queued up across the way and said, "I can get at the end of that line and let you out right at the curb, which will take 20 minutes or more, or I can let you off here and you can roll your bags across the driveway and be inside in 10 minutes."
The vote was 4-0 in favor of getting out there and taking our bags 20 yards to the porters and the entrance.
Cab fare is set at $7.00 a person when there is more than one person in the cab. We gave him a twenty and called it a good deal.
Three minutes later, we were giving our check-in bags to a porter, whose only inquiry about our luggage was, "Do you have any liquids or alcohol in your bags?", to which our honest answer was "No".
He took our bags and pointed us to the door.
It was a little crowded, but they had two lines going to check passports and cruise docs, so we were inside the building in just a few minutes.
Up the elevator with our (too much) carry-ons, and to another line to get our S&S cards.
They had different queue lines divided by decks/cabin numbers. We found our line and snaked around for about 15 minutes to get our S&S cards, then to the waiting area to get a zone number for boarding.
We were zone 25, which didn't sound too good, but when they started calling zones, they called 4-5 at a time, so it wasn't as long a wait as we thought it might be.
From the time we left the hotel till the time we walked onto the ship was about an hour and a half. At least half of that time was waiting for our zone to be called.
All in all, it was pretty easy, except for the extreme(to us) heat and humidity that morning. I hadn't been to New Orleans in years, and had sort of forgotten how bad the humidity can be. Bruce had never been there, and is a guy who needs to be kept in a cool, dry place at all times! He was pretty miserable by the time we got on the ship.

When they were taking our pictures and scanning our S&S cards to let us on the ship, my card wouldn't scan. They tried it several times, and had to reset it before it would scan. Not sure what the problem was, but they got it fixed. Whatever it was, it happened again a couple of days later, wouldn't open the cabin door and had to be reset again.
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  #7  
Old September 27th, 2010, 03:25 PM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pambud96 View Post
Please keep the review coming. Loving it!!
One question. Is it free cruise parking or 50dollars? I booked the Drury and was told cruise parking 50 plus the night you are actually staying is 17. Total 67 dollars to park from Friday to Thursday. Still cheaper than port parking.

We leave in 74 days!!!!
According to Firefly, and several others, you have to request the NOLA Cruise package when booking. The free parking is up to 5 days, (we were on a 7 day cruise)but the 2 days we were paying for was apparently included in the room rate. The rate quote for the night we were there was $119.00, plus tax. When Bruce checked out Saturday morning, he thought the total was going to be higher, that the 2 day parking fee would be in addtion to the room. He had secured the reservation with his AMEX card, but paid them cash when we left. Total with tax $129.00 and change. He hasn't seen anything else billed to his card.
We got to town the day after the Saints home opener on the previous night and there was a big festival going on for the weekend, so some room rates were higher than I'd seen posted here.
Depending on when you're leaving and what else is going on in downtown NO and the French Quarter, hotel rates may be higher. 74 days from now sounds like right around Christmas, so that may be why you have a higher rate.
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  #8  
Old September 27th, 2010, 05:01 PM
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Angry well, the board did it to me again.

I was writing the next section of my review, and apparently it took me too long to do it and it logged me off.
When I hit submit, it said I was logged off and when I logged back in, my entire post was gone! Everything.
Holy crap, this is going to take a long time.
%$#&*@#$%!!!!!
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  #9  
Old September 27th, 2010, 05:22 PM
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Default on board the ship-Take 2

We were on board right at lunch time, so naturally we headed for the Lido deck in search of sustanence. Of course, so had the 1500 or so other passengers who got there before us.
It was hot and steamy by the outdoor food lines, so we found our way to the South Beach indoor, air-conditioned buffet. It was pretty crowded with everyone having their carry-on stuff with them, but we managed to snag ourselves a pretty prime piece of restaurant real estate- a table for two by the windows! We parked our stuff by the window and took turns foraging for food in the buffet lines.
I went first, heading back out to the burger and hot dog line. After I got a tray and silverware, I realized that the line seemed to be stalled right where you would pick up your plate with the burgers all sitting there waiting to be assembled. there were plates with buns and fixings, but NO BURGERS. After about 5 minutes, all the while the line is growing, the server said they were waiting for more hamburger patties to be brought out, I opted to skip the burger for the moment and moved on down to grab some other items. Fries, chicken tenders, salsa, chips, then went back to our table.
I got a glass of ice and popped the tab on my Coke Zero, which I conveniently had stashed in my tote bag, and sat down to cool off while Bruce went out hunting for food.
It took him a while, but he returned from the hunt with a tray laden with various and sundry tasty morsels, some of which I managed to taste.

I will tell you now that I was woefully neglectful in taking pictures of our food. (and taking pictures in general) Partly because I'm basically lazy and mostly because I was too busy EATING it to take pictures of it. Suffice it to say, we were at no time in danger of starving and managed quite nicely to eat ourselves into a stupor at LEAST once a day, sometimes twice, for the duration of the cruise.
By the time Bruce was done with his food, it was 1:30. Time to go find our cabin and drop off our carry-ons, which by that time had definitely become more of a burden than an asset.
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Old September 27th, 2010, 05:38 PM
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Default Cabin- Riviera deck 1318

Midshp, great location, and I actually have pictures!



Note the location of the bed and the black box sitting on the night stand


now note the vanity, which is across the room from the bed, along with the electrical outlets on the wall.(there is another one to the left, not in the picture)

We were very compliant little cruisers. We did not bring anything that was on the "VERBOTEN" list. Not one thing. No fans, no extension cords, no likker, etc.
There are NO outlets on the wall by the bed. They are across the room. That little black box known as a C-Pap machine is vital to sleep, both his and MINE! If he doesn't have it, neither one of us get any sleep.
A 7 night cruise without it??? No way, not happenin', somebody will die before it's over because I will either put a pillow over his head and suffocate him or I will jump overboard.
So, the first order of business is to find our cabin steward to rectify the situation.
I stick my head out the door and find Putu, who turned out to be a gem. We showed him our dilemma and he was ON it. Said he would get us the hook-up, literally, as soon as he could.

The cabin was a nice size, considerably bigger than the one we had on the Ecstasy last year. Having a sofa to lounge on instead of the bed, or a little desk chair made us feel like we'd really moved up in the world of cruising. can't imagine how we'll act if we ever get a balcony or a suite!!
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Last edited by kew1031; September 27th, 2010 at 05:38 PM.
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Old September 27th, 2010, 05:58 PM
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Smile another nice surprise about the cabin

the bathroom. Since I am relatively new to cruising, and my only previous experience was on the Ecstasy, I was sort of expecting a tee-tiny bathroom again.


Look, actual counter space! and in the right hand corner, out of the picture, is a nice 3 shelf cabinet, with door, big enough to hold substantial quantities of toiletries, therefore eliminating stuff strewn all over the counter in the bathroom.



shower area is not real big, but it did have a rack large enough to hold my travel size shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and face soap.
Yes, they provide all of those, but I am a picky girl. Must have my own personal favorites. Bruce is not nearly so picky. He was completely happy with the stuff in the wall dispensers.

With all that storage space in the bathroom and the much larger vanity in the cabin, I had no need for my trusty over-the-door organizer that I had used on the Ecstasy. I had it with me, but left it in the suitcase.

With the carry-on bags unpacked, we waited a little while to see if our other luggage might be delivered, so we could be done with the unpacking.
It was almost time for the fabulous Safety Drill, so we left the room and headed for the muster station.
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Old September 27th, 2010, 06:12 PM
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Talking Eveybody's favorite-the Safety Drill

the good news- We didn't have to take the life vests. YAY!
the bad news- Safety drill on the Triumph is OUTSIDE on the Atlantic deck. Under the overhang, with the life boats suspended from the deck above, covering half of the open space at the rail.
Did I mention the heat? Did I mention the humidity? Did I mention that the ship was not moving, nor was any hint of a breeze?
Note to self and everyone reading: Don't be one of the first people to the drill. Be one of the last, so you can be on the front row, closer to the rail instead of backed up against the wall behind 100 people.
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Old September 27th, 2010, 06:28 PM
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Default Finally a chance to see the ship!

Safety drill over, we first went back to our room for a minute to see if the luggage was there. Not yet, so we went back up to the Lido to see what we could see.
I did have the camera, and managed a few pictures. It had been raining off and on and skies were cloudy, so my pictures aren't as pretty as they might have been if the sun was out. Certainly not like Sgt. Schultz' pics that he posted when he left the previous week.


The two of us.


from the top of the water slide



same spot after dinner-about 8:00pm It was DARK on that river!
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Old September 27th, 2010, 07:50 PM
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Thumbs up almost dinner time on the first night

It's fairly casual the first night, since many folks haven't gotten their luggage. I had planned to wear that cute shirt I have on in the picture, but right after that picture was taken, the woman who took the picture for us told me the back of my shirt had a big black strip all the way across it. Bruce confirmed that somewhere along the line, I had been up against something that rubbed off on my shirt.
Now I really needed the suitcase with the rest of my clothes. We were scheduled for early seating and I needed a clean shirt. For that matter, so did Bruce.
We went back to our cabin, and luckily, the luggage was delivered shortly before dinner.
Unpacked quickly, changed clothes, and left a little note for Putu, our steward, reminding him about the extension cord and requesting ice for our collapsible cooler for our drinks and wine bottles.

We were at a table for 8, two other couples close to our age, and a woman and her 30 something son. They were with a larger family group whose reservations hadn't been linked together, so they were unable to sit with the rest of their family the first night.
They had things switched the next day, and for the rest of the cruise, another couple was at our table.
David and Denise were from a small town just west of Nashville, Ellie and Otto lived in New Orleans, but were originally from Honduras, and Jean and John lived in the country near Texarkana, Texas.
Everyone was really nice, friendly, and chatty. We had a great time every night, much food and wine was consumed by all, and our waiters were terrific.
Rex was our head waiter, and his assistant was Made.
Rex was from the Phillipines and was new to the Triumph, having worked on the Fascination previously. Our tablemates, John and Jean, had lived in the Phillipines for several years and John would speak to Rex in the native language, which Rex loved, even though his English was very good.

The food was always very good, and although I am a picky eater and wasn't real adventurous in my selections, what I did order was always good.
Bruce is a very adventurous eater and he tried a lot of unusual dishes, in addition to steak, steak, and lobster!
Highlights:
appetizers- the soups were excellent. West Indian pumpkin, Yukon Gold potato soup, French onion, Cream of mushroom (Bruce loved it) navy bean soup, even the chilled cream peach.
Fried shrimp, tropical fruits, and ohmygod, the last night, crab cakes. The crab cakes were fantastic! Meaty, succulent, divine! I took one bite and asked Rex for another one.
Grilled chicken breast with fettucine and mushroom sauce. the chicken was juicy, well seasoned, not dry and tasteless like chicken breast can be sometimes. It's so easy to overcook.
Grilled pork chops, short ribs, shrimp and lobster, all excellent. Flat iron steak. Nicely seasoned, tasted great, but the cut of meat was a little tough to chew. I'm not a big steak eater, just once in a while. Bruce is a dedicated carnivore, and he agreed that the steak was just a little tough, but good anyway.
Desserts, the famous melting cake. I like it, but each time I got it, it was a little underbaked for my liking. Still tasted good, but I like a little more cake and a little less melting. Had the Bitter and Blanc for the first time, very good, and the Creme Brulee, DELICIOUS!
If it weren't for the fact that we walked MILES every day on the ship, I wouldn't have been able to fasten my pants by Friday night!
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Carnival Magic- 9/30/2012
Carnival Freedom- 10/30/2011
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Carnival Ecstasy-10/31/2009
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  #15  
Old September 27th, 2010, 11:07 PM
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Falls Cruiser Falls Cruiser is offline
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You're doing a great job. We were on this cruise as well and had a great time. I like reliving the cruise through your words..keep it up!
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Carnival Conquest 10/26/08...Jamaica, Caymen, Cozumel
Carnival Ecstasy 05/02/09...Jamaica, Caymen (7 day because of swine flu)
Carnival Ecstasy 01/09/10...Progreso, Cozumel
Carnival Triumph 09/11/10...Belize, Roatan, Cozumel
Carnival Ecstasy 04/11/11...Progreso, Cozumel
Carnival Triumph 04/28/12...Progreso, Cozumel
Carnival Magic 04/14/13....Key West, Freeport, Nassau

Carnival Triumph 10/21/13...Progreso, Cozumel
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  #16  
Old September 28th, 2010, 12:54 AM
boaterette boaterette is offline
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Thanks for posting. I am enjoying reading it very much.
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  #17  
Old September 28th, 2010, 01:45 AM
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kew1031 kew1031 is offline
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Default let's see, where did I leave off?

first night at dinner, MDR food overall.
Sunday, 9/12. first sea day. Weather was spectacular the first 4 days of the cruise. Water was like glass, boat barely rocked. I never had the drunk walk, never felt even a little bit of dizziness or motion issues, and I am usually the first one to get hit with it.
It looked like this:





and this.
We were complete and total bums the first day. Slept in a little, I think we went to the MDR for breakfast, food was pretty good, but I will have to call them out on the scrambled eggs. I ordered them twice and tried them at the buffet, they were dreadful every time. Like some dried up, yolky egg substitute. Nasty.
Made to order omelets on the Lido deck were actually very good.
Didn't go to the pool that day for all the contests, the drink mixing or the hairy chest thing. That grosses me out, and I saw plenty of the hairy chest guys without even trying.
It was the first elegant night, but we skipped the Promenade stuff before and just went to dinner. This was lobster night and we both thought the lobster and the shrimp were extremely good.

We went to the first night of bingo after dinner, right before the Welcome Aboard show, and yours truly won on the $500.00 game!!!
Unfortunately for me, so did three other people so we had to split it 4 ways. Oh well, it was money I didn't have when I started, and I basically played bingo the rest of the week on their money! haha.
The Welcome Aboard show was entertaining, the first two comedians each did a short monologue, and later we went to see one of them, Tommy Drake, at his late show. Very funny guy.
I just pulled out my Fun Times to refresh my lousy memory, and the preceding paragraph was on SATURDAY night, not Sunday night. (Getting old sucks. I have a really bad case of CRS.)

It is very late and I'm up way past my bedtime. I'll get back to this as soon as I re-read all the fun times to remember what we did.
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Carnival Triumph- 4/12/2014
Carnival Magic- 9/30/2012
Carnival Freedom- 10/30/2011
Carnival Triumph- 9/11/2010 link to review w/ pics http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...2642&highlight=
Carnival Ecstasy-10/31/2009
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  #18  
Old September 28th, 2010, 08:57 AM
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Yay - great review! Congrats on the bingo win! You two are too cute together. Keep the review and the pics coming!!!
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Carnival Triumph - November 2010
Carnival Valor - April 2010
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I am so going to pee on your carpet while you're gone...

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  #19  
Old September 28th, 2010, 09:01 AM
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Kew1031 I love your review we leave this Sunday out of Tampa and can't wait to hear more. My daughter is getting married on the Legend that same day so it's even more exciting. Thank you for posting.
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  #20  
Old September 28th, 2010, 10:13 AM
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flynnsport flynnsport is online now
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Very nice so far...and you are sooo right about driving through louisiana...take a plane when at all possible...our drive is only 2.5 hrs and it seems like it takes forever, i can only imagine 9 hrs!
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