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Carnival Triumph 1st time review 04/09/12 - 5 day Galveston, Progresso, Cozumel

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Do NOT wear RED BIKINI BOTTOMS to a DOLPHIN excursion!!!!!

Read more if you want to know why!


1st time cruiser review with Lots of PICTURES & Food Porn


Booked Guaranteed balcony

Room 8-380

Anytime Dining

Flamingo Sanctuary and Xcambo Ruins Tour via AutoProgresso.

Dolphin Swim Ride and Lunch through Carnival



I am 36,and he is 53,neither of us had cruised before. His brother had taken a cruise

and raved about it.

Since I am a smoker, it was recommended that we have a balcony.

I am so glad we did.

A majority of my favorite times were spent on that balcony.

My two neighbors also smoked so thankfully it was never an issue.


We liked the "most" inclusive aspect of it, very easy to bugdet.

I was raised on the coast of TX so I LOVE being out on the water and therefore

wasn't worried about sea sickness.

You can barely feel the motion in cabin 8380.


One thing I like to do before a trip is to OVERPLAN!

I don't know how I found Cruise Critic but I'm sure it was from Googling something

cruise related, and it is the perfect site for someone like me! I had fun counting down

the days till the trip. Making plans to meet and greet the others from the site,

compiling a list of hints and tricks that would help me, planning excursions,

finding usefull items to take.

I did something cruise preparation related everyday for 60 days prior!


I must warn you, this review is going to be spotty at times and crammed with

(possibly useless) information at others.

This review is partly my own selfish way of trying to remember all the fun I had

so sorry if it is too long.


My photos have timestamps and we got a copy of our charges so that helped

me in retracing our steps.


(Gosh, that sounds like I was drunk alot......


I wasn't. But it did turn into a big blur of fun! )


Although I did get some good pictures, I wasn't faithfull about taking pics of everything I wished I had!

It may contain lots of pics that are not usefull to you.

Those are just for my own memories.

If even one good thing is learned by another newbie by reading this I will feel fufilled

in knowing that I helped.

After all the great tips I got and used................

Hopefully, I can pay it forward !!



We drove down to Galveston from Austin and stayed overnight at

the La Quinta on 14th and Seawall Boulevard.

We chose LQ because we have a rewards card with them.

We were earning points toward free nights and

FREE CRUISE PARKING (no 2 night minimum), and make-your-own waffles

on thier continental breakfast, and free wi-fi.

The price was reasonable ($79) booked online in advance since it was Easter Sunday.


I took alot of photos on the road trip there.

Edited by ILove2go2Cozumel

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Houston Skyline



Looks like a Vegas sign.....



Saw some dolphins on the way there.....took that as a good omen!



In Galveston! Beautiful Cemetery.



Almost there!



At 3:40 pm on Easter Sunday our vacation began!

We arrive at Hotel!


Edited by ILove2go2Cozumel

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We check out the room........

(Not seen is me Lysoling everything!!)






No dead bodies under bed, however , I did find a penguin!!!




Our view from the room.



Edited by ILove2go2Cozumel

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We decide to walk down to the seawall and enjoy the salty air

and the sounds of waves and seagulls and laughing children!




We walked down huge granite rocks (shipped from Marble Falls, TX) to enjoy the view.





Local Fisherman trying his luck in that brown water!



We spotted a SaltGrass so that made our dinner decision easy.

Denny's or Saltgrass?

If we had chose Denny's there would be no food porn pics here............


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Our first tropical drinks of vacation!


The blue one was better




We shared fried zuchini sticks with ranch dressing!

(Oh how I love restaurant ranch dressing)



Now time for salads!


Edited by ILove2go2Cozumel

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I ordered the Shrimp and Shrimp (grilled and scampi) with garlic mashed potatoes

and an extra side of mushrooms.


WOW! They brought out a mini cast iron skillet of mushrooms!

I thought it would be a little dish........

Not complaining!








He ordered a Gulf Coast Steak and Shrimp- 9oz Angus sirloin steak

with french fried onions topper and shrimp scampi and the garlic mashed potatoes.





So good there was no way to save room for dessert!

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We get back from dinner and it is 6:20 according to our new penguin friend.



At the front desk I had asked for a brochure of the tree sculptures in Galveston

so we went to the room and mapped out a few streets with the ones I wanted to see badly.

It wasn't the same as the brochure available for download here which has a map.



902 Ball ~ Pod of Dolpins and Mermaid






This wasn't on the brochure. OOps, the easter bunny got ate by a crocodile!



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Loving it! Sailing on Triumph May 21st - our first cruise.


We live 30 miles from Galveston and Saltgrass is a fav.


Thanks for the pics and updates.


Can't wait to read more. :D

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We are on the triumph in June and then again in August. We just moved back to the Houston area about 2 months ago and haven't been back to Galveston yet. I am loving your review.

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I am loving your review so far. I am doing a picture review now too from my vacation on the Fantasy. Keep the pictures coming :)

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Thanks! I have all the pictures uploaded to photobucket.


I have ALL of 2 days written out.


I keep going back to write more.......


But I am sure I am done with Easter Sunday!


Links to whole albums:


Easter Sunday



Embarkation Day


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Starting to lose our light so only time for a few more now...............


How nice of the property owners to stategically light the sculpture!


1820 Winnie ~ Yellow Lab









1702 Winnie ~ Tin Man & Toto



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Love you review! Your photos are really nice and I'm looking forward to reading and seeing more.:) Thanks for sharing..

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I am loving your review!! I have been to Galveston several times and i did not know about the tree sculptures!! I will be checking those out next time i go!! Those are so cool!!

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Oops... too late to fix.

Sorry 'bout the highway in the middle of flower pics.









P.S.... Don't forget to Subcribe (if ya want) to this ....it's still in progress.

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Ohhh , and here's me with dolphin pod/mermaid tree sculpture.


What is this!!!!!!????????




These were in a park where they were having free crawfish earlier in the day.

the name of the sculpture is "StoryTime"




Butterfly chair





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Rose on Butterfly chair


Cheshire Cat (on Storytime)



This squirrel is visible from the street. The brochure states that the others are in the back yard. There was a lady blowing bubbles in the backyard for a dog. We didn't want to interupt the fun but we could see the other sculptures,Dolphin, Eel ,Dorado, Owl,Wildlife TotemPole ,they were just too far to photograph.

1302 Ball

(back yard)

~ Squirrel with Acorn,







Too dark for photos so time to go to the hotel and TRY to sleep.


He had no trouble sleeping.

I am a night owl so I could barely sleep.

The AC made a groaning/shuddering noise everytime the compressor kicked in so that was a little annoying. I did tell the front desk the next morning.



TIPS for the day:


Bring extra sodas with you for the hotel so you don't have to break into your 12 packs.

Bring Tylenol PM to combat pre cruise excitement insomnia.

The front desk has a sewing kit and razors and shave cream

(and other items you may have forgot .....just ask)

that you can get for free.

Edited by ILove2go2Cozumel
text sizing

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Monday April 9th, 2012

Embarkation Day!


We set the alarm for 10 am but there was no need ......I was awake

at 8 am.Got breakfast at 9. Texas Sized Waffle.




Twiddled our thumbs until I checked the Meet and Greet page

and saw someone was already in the Lobby waiting to embark so we went to the hotel

lobby to check out and go CRUISE !!

We went to the lobby to check out and have them call a cab.


Willed time to move faster!


Took a pic of someones Harley while waiting for our cab.




We left the hotel at 11:15


We arrived at port in less than 10 minutes.

As soon as we got there a porter came to get our checked luggage.

I told him where our extra bag tags where

(just in case the million layers of shipping tape somehow didn't hold)

and we tipped him.

Although the instructions said it didn't have to be printed in color

I printed our checked luggage tags in color.

Overplanning !

But! ......it matched my bright pink ribbons that I marked my plain black bag with!

I also figure there is a color code for a reason

and if it helps the people handling my bags then I will do it!


We walked into the terminal at 11:30.


Not allowed to take pics.

At security we had to remove all glasses and cameras and such and put them in our bags.

We had put 2 12pks of sodas

(on bottom since it would crush my carry-all and his carry-on bags)

and two bags on a hand cart with wheels which turned out to be NOT so helpful since

we had to unstack everything to put it through the scanner.

Then we stacked it all back after going through the scanner.

As we were walking by the table where I saw 12 pks of sodas being checked

and water bottles (being shook) we got called over to that table.

So we got to unstacked everything AGAIN so they could see our sodas.

They just peeked in under where the handles show.


I wasn't worried since I knew my booty was stored in my checked luggage!




All That took about 7 minutes.

On to the next station......Almost on the ship!


We got to the line for sail and sign card and it was very short, only 3 other sets of

people in front of us and the line moved fast.

There was a small issue with a wrong birthdate on my information but they fixed it quickly,

we also changed the billing credit card at that time and we got our cards!

Waiting in line time and showing your documents, fixing wrong info,changing credit card,

and finaly getting your card time was 8 minutes.


We proceed to where they want to take your picture and took our embarkation photo.

(Later on we saw it and I wasn't impressed so we didn't buy it)

We were on the ship by 11:45:p

30 Minutes from Hotel to ON THE SHIP:)




Hey ! Turn around so I can sneak a pic!



Where we got on the ship was the Capitol Atrium Bar (Level 3)

This will be your hub on the ship. It was our point of reference for many things!


There is the pursers desk on one side and the excursions desk on the other.

Don't forget you can get free decks of cards and a tiny map of the ship at the pursers

(Guest Services) desk.

This is where our meet and greet was to be held that we ending up skipping.




We took a few really bad "holding the camera at arms length" pics and tried to decide

what to do for 1 hour and 45 minutes.


Edited by ILove2go2Cozumel

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I knew I couldn't hold out that long without nicotine

(darn nasty addiction)

so I wanted to go to the Lido deck so I could smoke.


We didn't want to explore the ship until after we got rid of our carryon bags

so we got on one of the cool glass elevators to go up to Level 9 .


Heres a pic of the view looking out from the elevator.




At about 12:00 we went out on to Lido Deck and found a table

on the starboard side.

I found out 15 minutes later that is was the non smoking side

but it was very crowded on the smoking side and I couldn't find a table there

so I would just walk over to the

other side and go up one level to smoke,

that is when and where I saw the real baby

dolphins swimming in the port!


Sorry no pics of that.


My zoom isn't that great so they wouldn't be that great anyway.....


I promise there will be some AWESOME Dolphin photos in this review though....so stay tuned!!!!!


The Lido Deck as seen from the 10th Level.





Edited by ILove2go2Cozumel

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Our table from the level 10 deck.




The whale tail!




On my way back to our table I saw there were copies of Fun Times at the towel check out station

so I grabbed two of them.


I found the beverage dispensers and was disappointed to see only tea and lemonade being offered.

I had heard someone reccomend making drinks from rum (A Pirates favorite panacea) and the fruit punch on the Lido.

I asked someone and was told they do not offer it anymore.

Darn, my booty would not mix well with that......

( I did try lemonade and strawberry with it at some point and it is foul)


On debarkation day I discovered ther was some sort of tropical punch offered at breakfast time in those dispensers. Doh! :(


I filled my big jug with handle with tea.


We declined the many offers of the drink of the day!


Joe wanted to try the food so I stayed at the table and started looking at the Fun Times.


The Italian food was OK. I forgot to take pics of it.

I wanted to sample the food from the Off the grill , so I went and got a burger.

It was dry but OK.

We didn't venture to the Buffet area. I wish I had.


Now that we ate ,Joe ordered a Bloody Mary (1:11pm), it was a bit too spicy but that is the mix

not the bartender's fault because we skipped the additional pepper and tobasco that is offerred.


Seemed like 1:30 would never come, but it did FINALLY!


I liked how they had odd and even numbered rooms on different sides of the ship.

That was really helpful to us newbies! We walked down the blue mile......


No pictures of the room ...... I was far to busy nesting.

Besides, they all look practically the same ....

It wasn't as cramped as I was anticipating...

I liked the placement of 8380 to the elevators.


First thing I did in the room was spray Lysol on all

lifejackets, handles, knobs, rails, phone, and the entire bathroom.

Then I put up our Cruise Critic doorsign and made a ribbon "door finder" decoration so it felt

like home.

I like to personalize my temporary spaces....lol)

I am not the only one as it was later stolen. More on that later.

Here's the room service menu.



We had pre-ordered the Chocolate Delight for in our room when we arrived.

It was only $ 12.50 from the Bon Voyage Department.


The strawberries were perfect! Yum , melt in your mouth.

The white chocolate things are OK.

The other chocolate candy was quite hard and had nuts in it so I left those for him.


I enjoyed a strawberry on the balcony. Ahhhh......bliss!

Started unpacking everything.



3:30 - Got our luggage.

Started unpacking everything.


I like to unpack everything and organize my stuff so that takes awhile.

Joe hung up a few things and then lived out of his open suitcase the rest of the trip.

The over the door organizer was a good idea but I wish I had put the OTC medicine and first aid

stuff in it as that was the only thing Joe had needed but didn't know where it was or even that

I had brought it. We agreed next time (yay) we would put Tylenol in the medicine cabinet first

thing and then we would both know where it was.


Good news!

Both methods of smuggling worked.

I had left Bacardi in the original sealed bottle

(in case of seizure it would be returned intact on last night ....thanx CC for that tip)

and wrapped it in a bubble wrap lined envelope in Joe's luggage.


The cheaper rum I had tranfered to a army rubber square canteen.

If that got found and poured out it would have been less of a loss.


Since both methods worked I cannot say if either is better.


We spent $300 on drinks anyway since I only drank it in my cabin and there were * no * suitable mixers.


I put away the booty after a quality assurance check.

Yup, Lemonade and rum are not that great.



Muster drill. 30 Minutes long ......seemed longer.

Glad we didn't have to bring our life jackets.



I didn't take very many pics on embarkation day as we were so busy with settling in

and finding our way around.


4:45 After Muster drill we went to the Worlds Way bar and each had the Drink of the day in normal glass.

(only $7 that way)




The shrimp cocktail is not on the everyday menu as I had hoped.

We had to wait for Elegant Night for that.


We both ordered the artichoke spinach dip as a starter.

We tried to order just one to share and our server wouldn't allow that! HA ha.

She insisted we each have one.

I wasn't worried about "not ordering too much" I totally planned on that, however,

we were wanting to save room for dessert!


It is a small portion so it was just enough!



I tried the fried chicken off of the Everyday Menu and didn't like it.

The chicken was dry and tough as if it had been under a heat lamp.


I had heard great things about the Molten Chocolate cake but it was like a bowl of syrup

with a crispy top. I had expected a lil more cooked edges with molten center.

The ice cream was good with the cake/syrup poured on it!




Caught end of Game Show Mania in the Rome Lounge.

Bingo was up next so we stayed and each got a 3 card bingo ticket.




9:15 Played Bingo. Stephanie the CD was entertaining.



He got so close.

Some lady in the front yelled out BINGO !


When they verified her card she had accidentally punched

O63 when it hadn't been called.


Ohhh the agony for her and the hope for everyone else.


Apparently it REALLY was her lucky day because the very next number was...................................................


yep O 63!




After bingo I wanted to go get a cheap carton of cigarettes now that the shop was open.

We decided to skip the welcome aboard show that was next when we came back to see the upper

levels where full.....they had been filling up while we were down below playing bingo.




Didn't sleep the night before so we were tired at 10!


Well, I thought I was tired. I unpacked and organized some more which triggered a second wind

for me.


I was awake for a few more hours.


At 2am I ordered room service. It took them 15-20 minutes just to answer the phone.

After I ordered everything she said it would be 45 minutes wait time.

I was OK with that but wished they had told me that before.

It took less than 45 minutes, enough time for a shower.

I was pleasantly surprized at the water pressure.



The little clips on the bottom of the shower curtain


was a great idea,

although I though mine should have been heavier to work better.

The curtain still drifted in from time to time.



Forgot to take pics but it was all yummy!


Shrimp salad on french roll.

Chocolate Cake

Sugar Cookies (not so good)



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4:00 am


Took pictures of moonlight!







TIPS for the day:


Don't tie down everything so good it is hard to dissasemble quickly.

Keep your important documents handy and easy to access.


(smokers only)

You can buy cigarettes on the ship store for only $28.50

per carton BUT it doesn't open till 6:30 so be sure you have enough cigarettes to

tide you over till you can buy them cheap !


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9:30 AM Room Service breakfast

Tried almost everything.


Croissants, Bagels


Citrus Salad



Fresh Fruit Salad,



Lucky Charms, Milk, Apple Juice, Honey, Butter, Yogurt and Cream Cheese.


Smoked Salmon



Lounged around and enjoyed the balcony


I love the oxidization on this balcony hook (used to hold the balcony partion open for deck cleaning)


Edited by ILove2go2Cozumel

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We had Lunch in Paris


It was very nice. We sat at a big table with others so that was fun chatting.



I had the California Rolls starter.




Joe had a steak with sesame seed crust and some type of slaw.



I had the shrimp and crab salad on a french bread.


It was the same salad that was in my room service sandwich

just presented a little fancier.


I did like it both times!


For dessert I had the black forest ice cream and Joe had the chocolate cake.



The cake was just like the room service cake only a bigger slice, very moist and rich!



Edited by ILove2go2Cozumel

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I wanted to go see the Hairy Chest Contest and it was just ending as we came out on to the deck, the winner was being announced.

I saw a cruise critic mate and hollered out his name and promised to see him at the

meet and greet.

We couldn't find any lounge chairs near the pool so we went up a level, still no chairs,

went up another level.

Lots of chairs and lots of wind.


We found the putt putt golf so we decided to play a round.

That was fun, haven't done that in years.


Me in front of a world glass art thing.




On the way back to the room we found the blinking light map thing

and decided to take a pic of our progress.



We went back to the room and met our first towel animal.


A Heffalump! ( Thankfully, no woozles!)



Another angle. His better side.



Too Cool..... he needs shades!!




I realized we forgot our meet and greet but we were on the the very soft bed with our shoes

already off so we hung our hats and took a nap so we would be rested for Elegant Night.


Where you hang your hat is home.......


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We got up and showered, got dressed for elegant Night.



View from balcony



Navigating through all the photo opportunity set ups was a pain.

They had blocked off the stairways that we needed to use to get to dinner.


I took a pic of the menu as soon as we got there and then the camera sat on the table unused for the rest of the night.



So mad at myself for having ZERO pics!


I Blame it on good table mates!


I had the black tiger shrimp cocktail and the lobster and the melted chocolate cake.


It was all so very delicious!


The waitstaff got up and danced to "Low" by Flo Rida

(Apple bottom jeans, boots with the fur......)


I think I had it set to low quality because my other videos turned out fine.




Since we were dressed up we wanted to go to the Hollywood Nightclub but I hadn't road tested

my shoes and they were allready rubbing a blister so we went to the room so I could change before we went to Hollywood Nightclub were I realized I could smoke!

(yay...no sneaking away from the fun to feed my addiction)


We sat at the bar for like 10 minutes before we were asked if we were being helped.

It seemed to be a shift change time though because service was much quicker later on.

The bartender offered me a coupon for $2 off a disco ball drink.


I love shiny objects and the price was right

at 10 bucks for a drink and a souvenier!


I didn't really like the drink but that was for the best I suppose,

I would have drank more if it tasted too good!


There were plenty of little tables so we picked one and drank some courage.




I loved the way the textured walls change colors.

I didn't get pics on this night but there are some on tomorrows summary.





TIPS for the day:


Don't forget to take lots of pics on Elegant Night


You can order any drink you want in the disco ball cup.

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P.S. There is no bathroom in the nightclub, you have to go out to where the elevators are. :mad:


My Mom is coming to visit today

(for Eeyore's Birthday) so I will be taking a break from writing my review.

I'll try to get back to it soon since the best is yet to come!!!!




Stay tuned for Invisible Flamingos, Drunk Flashing Straggler, and why you shouldn't wear red bikini bottoms to a dolphin excursion.

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Love your review so far!

Question: When you got the cigarettes, can you have those right away from the ship or do you have to wait till the last night?

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Yeah, I know..... when I was researching there was not alot to be found for Triumph. That is why I wanted to do a good review! I am trying to remember all the things I wish I had known and be sure to include that. !!

Any questions are welcomed! (It will help me get back to the perspective of new)


The ships shop isn't open when you first get on the ship (like I thought it would be)

I knew we had to be SAILED before the stuff is duty free so I was thinking around 4:30 I would be able to buy cigarettes.

They open at 6:30 and you can take your smokes with you as soon as you buy.


The bottles of liquor will be returned on last night.


I beleive the casino was the closest place after buying cigarettes to be able to smoke.

We sat at one of the "designated smoking slot machines" (LOL How lame is that....... )



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While I was smoking, someone came around offering lanyards and punching holes in the Sail and Sign card. I didn't care for the lanyard (blue telephone spiral )


You do NOT need cash to play in the casino! It is all done with your Sail and Sign card. It is used for ALL purchases on the ship as well as player rewards, ID, room key, pass to get off the ship, pass to get on!!


We accidentally brought too much cash thinking we would need it for the casino, but that was remedied by going down to the Guest Services and depositng the cash! (Thats when I got my free playing cards too!)

Sometimes there is a line....sometimes not. We never waited toooo long in any line.

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Enjoying your review and pictures... we just booked the Triumph for the December 8th sailing. Pretty excited!

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This is such a fun review to read! Hurry back, I have GOT to hear the dolphin/red bikini story! :p

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