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12/26/2013 on The Triumph - Nice 4-nighter


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In December (12/26) my family and I sailed the Triumph from Galveston on a 4-night “Cozumel run.” This was our third trip aboard this ship and eighteenth Carnival cruise from this port. What follows are some of the things I liked, didn’t like and things that made me scratch my head.


Some logistics, we are over one hundred fifty days at sea, spread between Carnival and other lines, having first sailed on the Mardi Gras in 1976. I’m married to a teacher, so Thanksgiving, spring break and Christmas cruises are the norm for us, with a summer trip to Canada aboard the Glory in 2013. I had four in my immediate group, and eight other friends join us.


Galveston has treated us well for embarkation, and this cruise was no different. We arrived at 10:45am, dropped my family at the curbside, tipped the porter and went to the city lot for parking. A quick bus ride and I was back with my family.


Embarkation was the quickest of any cruise. For this sailing those that arrived at the time Carnival recommended or purchased FTTF might have done better to be there early. One other group was ahead of us in the VIP lounge and there were no lines at the standard check-in. Our friends on their first cruise went through just as fast. The monitors in the terminal showed Boarding All Groups and with the gangway out of order we were at the elevator on deck zero by 11:20am.


We decided to have lunch first and give the cabin steward a little more time, so the lido buffet was the next stop. Food selection was varied, warm and good. I knew Guys would open at noon, so I paced myself for what would be the first of several burgers.


Around noon we headed for the cabin and encountered the first of what I called “standard reply” from Carnival crew. With four platinum room keys in hand we were still herded away from the doors leading to our lido deck cabin. Only after I reminded her we were allowed access did she agree. I might be wrong here, but it appears the crewmember didn’t want to open the doors for anyone rather than explain it to the large number of first time cruisers on this sailing. Perhaps I’m wrong…


Our cabin was spotless, cabin steward was stealth and the service was good, but not great. On cold weather sailings my wife and I work out at least once a day and we asked for extra towels at embarkation and gave up day two and brought them from the gym. No inconvenience, but they have been plentiful in the past on the seven other ships we have sailed on.


It’s ship tour time, so grab a camera and let’s start at deck 10. The kid’s areas all looked spotless, current in décor and were staffed with friendly people. My daughter is 24, so Circle anything isn’t on her agenda.


The rest of the ship looked great, the lounges were clean, public areas shined and I didn’t see the worn wood others have posted about. While I miss the planked teak on the lido deck the new rubberized surface is much safer, and on this sailing it was wet most of the time, so a good choice.


We bought the Bottomless Bubbles package and were never checked for the duration of the cruise. In contrast, on the Glory in July they scanned our cards and verified photos over 50% of the time. Carnival was all cans for soda, but the guns have appeared at some of the bars, and I like the gun soda over ice. No complaints about the cup sizes or portions. We didn’t experience slow service from any bar with the sticker. The dining room beverage service couldn’t get two Sprites on the table at 6pm or even by 6:30pm any of the four nights.


Back to the tour: the shops on the Triumph were a stark contrast for selection compared to our trip before the fire. Logo merchandise was plentiful, but ship specific items were scarce. If alcohol variety were your thing you’d have been disappointed on this sailing.


Across the ship in the other shops the watches were discounted at the lower and middle prices only. The TAG and Movado prices were more than those we experienced on the Glory and Imagination earlier in 2013. Again, might be just me…


After a quick (and cold) muster drill we were headed to Mexico with Marcello, one of the funniest cruise directors I’ve ever met. If you cruised on the Conquest any from Galveston in the past few years you know Marcello.


The Lido deck sail away was windy, fun and an indication that the DJ’s on the Triumph have the same instructions as what has sadly become a fleet wide policy. Turn up the music where people cannot communicate with each other, only drink. I use Serato Itch software for my weekend DJ business, and in a casual conversation with one of the DJ’s he shared they are given specific instructions to turn it up loud. They hate to tell a person that turning it down isn’t an option. Hello time spent somewhere else on the ship for this cruise. Again, it might be just me…


Dinner was good every night. Things that contributed to that were our group being there on time and then telling the waiter we’d like to be in and out in an hour the first night to catch the Welcome Aboard Show. He made that happen for all four nights.


Observation: the Welcome Aboard Show is the old school, “lookin good, feelin good” variety with the blow up FUN right in the middle. My wife and I chuckle and sing along and this was no exception. At some point Carnival needs to update this, and mix in a few flat screen televisions in the cabins. Might be just me…


Both sea days were windy and cool, so a place in the sun was a must for the tanning crowd. Not my deal, but I did watch the Texans game on the big screen on Sunday while relaxed in a chair next to my wife. Very nice way to spend some time!


Every review talks about the ice carving, hairy chest contest (I don’t know if a man or woman won) and bingo. If those things were your deal then you’d not be disappointed.


A big part of sea days found me at the back of the ship on the lido deck where the roof was closed over the pool. It was warm enough for shorts, a casual shirt and flip-flops. I wore the battery out on the Kindle Fire. A great couple of days!


Cozumel. We went to Playa Mia Beach on our own in a cab. We didn’t get the all inclusive drink package, and enjoyed warm sun, Hobie Cat sailing and kayaks. It rained for about ten minutes as we were leaving.


I really like the pier area where we docked; it’s safe and with only two ships here this day. A few t-shirts and trinkets later we secured a spot for pier runners viewed from our balcony. We had four decent sprinters and one slob. Not a bad day.


Production shows included Wonderful World and one other, but since Carnival didn’t update the onboard web with the PDF file of the schedule I’m too lazy to go get the Fun Times and review it.


Things I Liked:


Guys. The fries were much better on the Glory, but the burgers are great!


Blue Iguana: best breakfast in a hurry.


Omelets: don’t wait in the line, go back to the aft pool and the line is less wait


Dinner: great service, warm food and I tried something new like Indian vegetarian


Clean ship. No sloppy places anywhere I went


Real orchestra


Seeing that big generator where the 18 hole mini-golf was before


The new 9-hole mini-golf course



Things I Disliked:


Lack of merchandise in the shops

Lousy watch prices compared to past cruises on this and other ships

Photo quality. Dust and blurs on the backdrops when we viewed our pictures

No flat screen televisions in cabin

Limited television channels

Smoke smell in casino

Pathetic piano bar

They blew off platinum self-assist debarkation and dumped us to defend ourselves cutting the line (or the appearance of doing that) with the FTTF passengers.



Things That Made Me Go Hum…


Carnivals desire to make the lido deck experience a rock show

Crew not knowing platinum guest access and herding mentality

Announcements about no seat saving in the show theatre and not on the lido deck

No change in tossing in the towel on suggested dress. 'Tomorrow night is Cruise Elegant. Men, wear pants." And that was the extent of the suggested attire. Who cares?

Folding chairs stacked in front of the door where the fire extinguisher symbol was displayed in the fitness center. Really? Hello, Alabama?

Lack of newer machines in fitness center.



Finally, Marcello has left the building, or at least the Triumph. Hope Jen comes back.




Edited by BallFour4
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We were on this cruise. It was our 3rd time on The Triumph & our 1st platinum cruise. Our DD turned 24 on the cruise.


We had a great time. Spent more time in the casino due to the cool weather. I won $400 the morning of the 1st sea day & $645 that afternoon on slots, all off of $40.00. The 4 of us played the rest of the cruise on my winnings, plus brought $$ home.


We enjoy trivia & it was also packed due to the weather. We only made it to 1 comedy show.


DD did have an issue the 1st night with some loud kids across the hall. After midnight she asked them to please keep it down. They had their door propped open & were hanging in the hall. The girl proceeded to cuss her out saying it was her $*#%ing vacation & she could do what she wanted. DD called guest services & security was there within 5 minutes. She said they were very loud just as he walked up & got rude with him also. He wanted to know which cabin their parents were in, never had problems after that.


We had YTD & usually went around 6:00. Henry was awesome, so we asked for him each night. He even called us by name when we saw him during the day in other areas.


We were on Panorama deck & nobody ever checked for our cards when we went to our room. We too love watching pier runners in Coz. Normally we get back, order room service & watch pier runners. This time we just ran down to Guys & brought burgers back to the room.


We had a great time & can't wait to go again. Only 81 days til the Magic!

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Thanks for the great and thorough review. We sail the Triumph very soon so it's always fun to read others experiences.


If you don't mind a couple questions. We plan to arrive at 10:30 and we are parking at Galveston Park n Cruise righ across the street. At that time would it be easier to drop everyone off at the port or just park and walk across the street? And you mentioned you were on a balcony, if you don't mind what room or deck were you on and did you experience any smoke smell from surrounding balconies? The smoke thing isn't a deal breaker just setting expectations. Thanks!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the review, we sail on the 20th! This is our first, with the exception of one I took when I was 16 in 1990. We are very much looking forward to it, and plan to go with the flow and enjoy!



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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  • 1 month later...

The flat screen TVs seem to be a hit or miss thing. We had two cabins on deck 7 back in November and both of them had flat screens. I'm guessing they are swapping them out on an as needed basis.

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