Carnival Triumph review - 5/14/05
Phew! We got back today and I'm happy to report that weather forecast I saw before we left (rain X 7 days) was about as accurate as a WMD report. We had, for the most part, beautiful weather all week with the exception of a little storm on the last day.
That said, there was a little problem - my wife got a cold on day 2
and was under the weather the whole trip. She was a trooper though and
it only slowed us down first thing in the morning and late at night
when she felt particularly crappy. The infirmary gave us some cough
drops (which I found out ended up costing us about $1 each. Ouch!)
that helped when her throat flared up. She had good days on all of our
excursions and we were able to do everything we wanted.
Some thoughts from a newbie:
We flew in the night before and spent the night in the Sofitel hotel
(4 * for $79, Priceline). Pretty decent hotel especially after they
upgraded our room. I highly recommend flying in the night before if
possible! Breakfast was slow and leisurely and we made our way to the
ship on a lazy vacation timetable.
I remember my first thought when we approached the Triumph. "Holy
****" ... I couldn't believe how big it is. I don't get awestruck
often and man, I just had no idea they were that massive.
Embarkation was all about lines. Go to this line, go to that line ...
boring and tiring, but we were in no hurry so no big deal. Went to our
room on the first floor (Riviera) and my wife was pleasantly surprised
- she had cruised once before with her family on Royal C and
apparently her room then was about 1/2 the size of the one on Carnival
and the window was 1/8 the size. Personally I felt like the room and
bathroom were comically tiny; I'm 6'2 so I like my space - but wifey
and I are still in the newlywed stage (2 yrs this July) so I didn't
mind *too* much being so cozy. Everything else was ok - room style
seemed a little dated but it was clean with the exception of a couple
faded stains on the comforter that didn't really bother us.
We were fairly nervous all day as our luggage wasn't delivered to our
room until moments before dinner. Speaking of dinner, we requested the
late sitting and were given early. Called the Purser's desk and the
attendant advised us to go early the first day and request a switch,
which is what we did. Dinner was great - we had a private table for 2
in a quiet spot, *very* nice waiters (the staff is unreal!) and the
food was great - too exotic for wifey but I love trying new things so
I was in 7th heaven.
The next day we got our new table - seated at a table of eight, which
we initially were a little sad about; we missed our romantic table at
the early sitting. After about 20 minutes we forgot all about that -
we bonded with two other couples right away and looked forward to
chatting with our new friends every night thereafter.
The days at sea were spent laying around sunning ourselves and
Cozumel - had a pretty good time shopping and exploring the island a
little. No planned excursions since wifey had just discovered she was
sick. I did get her to have a corona with me on a pier close to port,
and we had the most amazing corona commercial moment - you know, the
"miles away from ordinary" ones? Sun setting, lime fizzing, it was
great fun. I haggled like a bastard that day and got some pieces of
jewelry, blankets, and t-shirts for next to nuthin'.
Grand Cayman - My favorite excursion. We did an island tour by bus
that went to the Turtle farm, Hell, some of the nicer homes, and
finally Stingray City. The latter I'll never forget - my only regret
is only having a few pictures left in our waterproof camera! Those
animals are just amazing - we went through Carnival and at $59/person
I felt the value was just great.
Jamaica - The climb up Dunns River Falls was a rush - my wife's
favorite activity of the week. I held hands with a large elderly woman
and my right shoulder is, as I type this, still throbbing with
soreness from lugging her up basically the entire waterfall. That just
added to the experience though, we were all smiles for that whole
hour. Then we did the dolphin touch, which I thought was a letdown. My
wife went to touch & kiss a dolphin and when I went to snap a picture
I was told this wasn't allowed - that irritated me as I knew I'd be
forced to buy an overpriced pic from them instead. The entire
"encounter" lasted less than 10 minutes and left us feeling as though
we just didn't get enough out of that excursion to warrant the $119x2
(especially when compared to the Stingray City experience for half the
price!). As expected, they tried to get us to buy their 5x7 picture
for $16 a pop. I really wanted it but couldn't bring myself to pay for
pseudo-extortion on principle so we passed. Did some shopping and
picked up a few trinkets. At the end of the day we had a good time
thanks to the waterfall climb, but felt a little ripped off due to the
price. If we could have done it again we would've just skipped the
dolphin thing and done the climb through the locals.
I think it was day 6 before we knew how to get to most parts of the
ship without getting lost. Triumph is truly huge and the layout is a
little ... artistic? I had a little bit of a problem with another
guest on the ship - around 1am I was headed down from Lido with a
little pizza and some guy in the elevator turned to his young son and
said something like "can you tell this guy we feel sorry for him
having to go all the way to the first floor to go to his room?" before
stumbling off on the 6th floor, laughing. I was so caught off guard by
that, and I let it bother me for the rest of the night. :T
Oh, I loved the pizza. I must've had 20 pies last week .. haven't
weighed myself yet, I'm technically still on vacation until 8am
Hmmm, what else - our cruise director was funny in a ryan seacrest
fruity kind of way. All the shows except for the last one were great,
and we caught every one. That last one was guest talent show which was
basically a karaoke night gone bad. Oh well. The comic (Percy Crews)
was so funny my wife and I thought we were going to hurt ourselves
from laughing too hard. We tried to go to the Rio Lounge on the other
end of the ship to catch his midnight adult show, but when we got
there every seat was taken and there was literally not enough floor
space left to stand comfortably. That's the second time we couldn't go
to a midnight show due to lack of space and I have to admit that was
pretty upsetting as we were really looking forward seeing more of his
act. That's the one complaint we left on our comment cards - hopefully
they can do something about it in the future. Another quibble we had was the interior temperature of the boat - it was freezing! We packed very little in the way of heavier clothing and weren't prepared for just how cold they kept places such as the lounges and dining rooms.
Our cruise ended with lots of group hugs from our dinner mates. : ) Debarkation was fast and painless, surprising after I read a couple horror stories on here. We stayed at Sofitel again (got an upgrade again) and flew back to gloomy Buffalo early today.
Conclusion - we had fun! I wish wifey was healthier but that only
slowed us down a little bit. Carnival Triumph was astounding, but I
don't have a reference for comparison. Would we cruise again? Probably
- but we would definitely experiment with another line. I've got my
eye on Princess.: )
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Arcanlaw - Glad you had a great time. I'll be on the same ship in 6 days!!!
Tip often, and with a smile.
Carnival Triump 5-29-5
Carnival Triumph 4-2001
Dolphin CCCL 3-2000
Enchanted Isle CCL 4-1999
Thanks for a wonderful review. I leave in 13 days to go to the Bahamas on the Triumph. I have packed some light weight sweaters and a light jacket to take with me--have heard it could be cool in the rooms. I've been studying the deck plans so I hope this will help me find my way around. I can't wait.
Mmmmm, Leonardi's. Guess where I'll be going for dinner today?
The dolphin camera thing was uncomfortable - the instructor stopped what he was doing with the dolphin and told me I had to put mine away. It was clear he wasn't proceeding until I complied. I'm usually the type of person that would put up a fight but decided this guy would probably be too much of a pain so I grudgingly tossed the camera aside. It would be nice if the ship included these important details; I would not have done that excursion if I had known pictures weren't allowed!
KarenConley, definitely take a good sweater with you, something you can wrap around your waist and use if needed at a show, etc. Here's a tip - you control your room temp via a dial on vent on the ceiling! We had no idea until I called information when our room was beginning to frost over.
I studied the ship cross-section for a while as well, but still got lost. If you're on the fourth floor near the Rome lounge and want to get to dinner in the Paris dining room, you have to go up one floor (or is it two?), walk over, then back down. Yikes!
You'll have a great time - pack light and save room for souvenirs.
Thanks for the great review...sorry about the wife not feeling well, but sounds like you made the best of it. Did you eat at the Asian Noodle Co at all? Also did you go to the piano bar? I am very anxious to know if Damian is still there..and if ANYONE is sailing the Triumph soon, please ask him if he will be there in December...if not..please ask where he is going next!!!! (we became friends with him on the ship and in ports when we sailed the Conquest) thanks again for the review...we will be sailing this December....cannot wait
CONQUEST FEB 20 05 6343
TRIUMPH EASTERN DEC 3 05 7425
BREEZES BAHAMAS FEB 11 06
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC FEB 10 07
FASCINATION APRIL 23 07 E255
Dominican Republic Pics:http://community.webshots.com/user/bettyf12
Nassau Pictures: http://community.webshots.com/album/547715725NIQWqL
CONQUEST PICTURES: http://community.webshots.com/album/286552775xgjqIQ
as for the guy in the elevator...
Don't let it bother you- be glad you weren't staying anywhere near *him*!!!
My parents are treating us (my sister and I and our 4 teens!!!) to a cruise with them (Triumph- Canada 5 day on June 27) We're all on the Rivera deck- They got a great deal- and we're planning to have a great time.
My parents are seasoned cruisers. In finding this deal- it was affordable to take us with them. A longer trip on an elevator to save some money and make the cruise affordable? Sounds good to me!!!
We were also on this cruise with you. We also had a great time. We felt the same way on alot of issue. My husband stood in the back of the Rio Lounge
He said it was hysterical. I was too tired to make the show.
My husband loved the food, but I am like your wife, the dining room was a little to fancy for me. Although I did enjoy the food that was my type.
This was our second cruise, the first was rccl. when we stepped into our room, we thought we were in heaven. It was so much bigger than rccl.
We group consisted of 4 adults and 3 adults. Everyone had a wonderful time.
My only complaint worth mentioning was camp carnival. We were extremely disapointed in it. The kids still had a great time, but spent less time in camp than we would have thought. The kids loved the waterslide and used it constantly. They also loved the pools.
I couldn't agree more about the layout of the ship. I had a hard time getting around but my 11 year old thought it was easy. It didn't bother me any that I had to explore to get around.
Glad you also had a great time.
oh one more comment, you mentioned the guest talent show and how boring it was, WHAT ABOUT ROBBY? that was anything but boring.
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