Jump to content
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

Triumph June 15-20 Progeso/Cozumel Review - FTTF Worth Every Penny!!!

5 in OK

Recommended Posts

Just off the Triumph - June 15-20 5-day Cozumel/Progreso for a fun Mother/Daughter cruise. I hope the review will be helpful to those going on the Triumph! I’ve tried to include all of the things I learned during the short voyage.

Pre-Cruise – My 19 year old daughter and I wanted to steal away for a short trip together – we live in Oklahoma so Galveston was an easy port to access. We drove down on Sunday, June 14th and stayed at the Tremont Hotel – it was amazing and I highly recommend it to anyone cruising!!! The room was huge with a 20 foot ceiling and beautifully decorated! It’s location was perfect to explore the strand and then when we were ready to head to the seawall to ride the ferris wheel at Pleasure Pier (something on our “not to be missed list”) you can park at the hotel’s sister property – Hotel Galvez if you took advantage of the Valet Parking for $17.00 – this was $17.00 for your stay – not per night – a fantastic deal!!! Hotel Galvez is located right on the sea wall about 2 blocks away from Pleasure Pier. We pulled up, showed them our ticket for valet and explained we were staying at the Tremont and they pulled our car into valet for free and we were on our way. After exploring Pleasure Pier – riding the ferris wheel and eating at Bubba Gumps we headed back to Hotel Galvez to claim our car so we could get back to the Tremont and begin preparing for our cruise the next morning! When we arrived back at the Tremont we were pleasantly surprised to find that Jennifer, the hotel assistant manager, sent us a fruit/cheese platter for us to enjoy with a card that said, “Enjoy your mother/daughter cruise”! How much fun is that!!?! The beds were comfy and we slept really well!

The next morning we woke up, packed our stuff and headed down to valet to get our car. This is the best part about the Tremont….if you are cruising you get to park at the Hotel Galvez for free for the entire week you are on the cruise if you valet parked ($17.00!!) at the Tremont. So, for $17.00 we parked at Hotel Galvez in their covered, multi-tiered parking (Tropical Storm Bill hit while we were cruising so this perk was awesome!!!). The Hotel Galvez shuttle took us right to the cruise terminal entrance and we were off.

We arrived a the terminal at 10:15 a.m. Since we purchased Faster to the Fun (FTTF) we were told to place our luggage in the FTTF area so that it could be delivered to our room ASAP then we proceeded to the FTTF line (there was no one in line – we walked straight to an agent to check in) and received our Seapass cards. I already felt we had gotten our money's worth with FTTF - but there was so many more advantages to come!!! Then we were directed to the seating area. Around 11:15 they called those with special travel needs, diamond, platinum and then FTTF! We were on the ship, dropped our stuff in our room and eating at Guys by 11:30 a.m. It was a seamless embarkation process!!

After we ate lunch we explored the ship and found our bearings pretty easily! I love this class of ship for this reason – it took us only a few hours to learn where everything was located. Our luggage arrived around 2:00 to our room so we unpacked, enjoyed our balcony and relaxed until the muster drill at 4:00 p.m. This was a bit challenging – it was about 90 degrees and no wind on deck 4. We stood there for about 20 minutes waiting for everyone to arrive. Steve (our cruise director) did a speedy job of going through the drill and then we were released. He did do the “commercial” for the BINGO and other onboard activities, however, it was while we were walking back to our rooms. We were stinky and sweaty so we changed and got ready for our My Time Dining. You can go to MTD anytime between 5:45 and 9:00 p.m. We chose to go right at 5:45 each evening so we could still make it to any of the evening activities.

We were greeted at the MTD door (London Dining Room deck 3) by Jalena – she wrote our information down and we were escorted to an amazing table with a view of the ocean – we were so excited! Florence and her dining team took such good care of us that we requested to be placed in her zone each evening. (Skipping ahead here – but they actually gave us the same table each evening with that spectacular view!!!)

The boat was rocking away pretty good at this point due to Tropical Storm Bill but we did not feel queasy or sea sick yet. We ate a couple of green apples and felt good enough to go to the show.

We went to the “Welcome Aboard Show” (7:30 p.m. – only one showing for all guests) to meet Steve the Cruise Director and his staff. It was actually well done and we enjoyed our first show of the week. We explored the ship a bit more and then turned – it had been a long day. Our cabin steward Apollo had already turned down our beds and created our first towel animal (towel animals each night!!). Apollo did a fantastic job all week keeping our room made up with fresh towels and a full ice bucket! The boat was rocking quite a bit – the waves were huge – but we slept well (we asked for twin beds instead of a king) and woke up to our first sea day refreshed and ready to go and excited to see the sunshine and small waves – we had made it to the other side of the storm!!


Sea Day #1 – June 16

We woke up about 7:30 a.m., gathered all of our towels, flip flops and sunscreen and headed up to the deck to secure our chairs. The only chairs that were not stacked up for the storm were the ones on deck 9 by the pool and then the tiers behind the pool so we selected an out-of-the-way tier and placed our towels (beach towels from home) on two chairs. We went down in to eat breakfast (the buffet is on deck 9 as well). They served pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit, oatmeal, cereal, danishes/bagels and other typical buffet items. We thought it was a great selection and delicious. They also had apple juice, orange juice, coffee and the best hot chocolate we had ever had on a boat!!! After breakfast we headed back out to our chairs to read and enjoy the sunshine. Around 9:00 a.m. most chairs were claimed (there were just so few with most stacked up on deck 10). By 10:30 there were families just roaming around looking for chairs. Some people went on up to deck 10 and laid their towels on the deck and sat down to wait for someone to come out and unhook all of the chairs and place them back out. By 11:00 they began to place chairs around deck 10 and most people found seats. By noon everyone seemed to have found chairs. We popped in for lunch (we sampled Guys and the buffet again) and then back out to our chairs to people watch and wait for the “Hairy Chest” contest. It became so crowded and noisy that we decided to give our chairs up and go and find a quieter place to spend the afternoon. We found exactly that place on deck 3 just outside of the guest services desk. One side is for smokers and the other is not so we snagged a couple of chairs on the non-smoking side and read, slept and watched the ocean (you could actually hear the waves from this spot) until about 4:00 – we went in to rest, shower and enjoy our balcony until dinner. We had gotten several gift cards for various holidays and birthdays and we needed to go to Guest Services to put them on our account When we arrive at Guest Services on our way to dinner we found a line about 10 people deep. We went up to the Diamond/Platinum/FTTF Guest Services line and were helped immediately. I will be honest that we so enjoyed getting to use our FTTF pass and save 20 minutes of waiting in that line. We were assisted and on our way in 3 minutes time! We felt that the FTTF was worth it again!!! Dinner was delicious with lobster and shrimp (formal night – some dressed up, some did not – no big deal!). We went to the magic show – it was okay. The magician begged for applause a lot! After the show we turned in to get ready for our day in Progeso!!


I will post more tomorrow – turning in for now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Progreso – Wednesday, June 17

We docked on the 4.5 mile long pier – it was a bit strange not to be able to see the shore and town when getting off of the ship. We discovered we were the only ship in port today – that was good news – much less crowded!!! We had booked the Dzibilchaltun Ruins & Cenote swim excursion through Carnival. As we exited the gangway and rounded the corner we immediately saw the familiar white signs with all of the excursions on them and located ours. We were given a bright orange sticker to wear and were directed to a shady area. We departed the pier a bit late (8:50 instead of 8:30) and headed to our air-conditioned Greyhound type bus for our 25 minute drive to Dzibilchaltun. They gave us each an ice cold bottle of water when we exited the bus. There were two guides for our group of about 30 so they split us up upon arrival. The ruins were fantastic! Amazing actually that these could be built without modern day equipment. We were allowed to climb to our hearts content and take pictures from atop the ruins. It was very warm but breezy and there were areas of shade all along the way that our tour guide gently guided us to while he told us some of the history and interesting facts of whichever monument we were looking at or climbing on. I would recommend bringing an extra bottle of water, wearing a hat and some sunscreen and you will do just fine. I am in medium shape and climbed the structures with no problems – just a bit winded by the time we reached the top. Then, as we were getting a bit sweaty and warm we were directed to the Cenote. It is about 75 X 150 feet across and half of it was covered in giant lily pads. People were pealing off down to their bathing suits and jumping right in. We followed suit to find cool, crystal clear, fresh water with little fishies along the bottom. My daughter brought her GoPro and captured some fantastic underwater sites. The bottom is covered in pebble like rocks, large giant stones and some slimy areas but we did not need water shoes. Maybe shin guards as I struck the large rocks a few times going too fast. One end was about 4 feet deep and descended to over 30 feet at the other end. We swam for about 40 minutes and then got out to dry off and headed to the museum at the park. After a quick look around (it is a small museum) we went back to the entrance and up to the second story to try the famous burritos we had been hearing about. It was the best Mexican food we had eaten in a very long time!!! Delicious – wish I had one right now!! Then we headed back to the bus. Victor, our tour guide, told stories all the way back – it was really nice! We had the option to be dropped in town by the beach to shop and swim or go back down the 4.5 mile pier and we elected to be dropped. After we tipped the driver and our guides we started out on our adventure in Progreso. With all of the bad publicity Progreso gets my expectations were kind of low. It turns out Progreso was our favorite city we had ever visited in Mexico. Very authentic and genuine culture. The people were just so happy you were there contributing to their economy. We went to the beach and got a massage (30 minutes for each of us for only $15.00 each – with the tip $40.00 for everything )– amazing massage with the sound of the ocean as your background music!!! Then we took a short swim on the beach (right next to the road to the cruise pier) to wash off all of the oils. We sat in the chairs by the massage tents to dry off and were approached by about 7 peddlers in 20 minutes. A gentle “No thank you” was all it took and they walked on. They were not over-pushy or rude in any way. Then we made our way to the open-air market (this is also where the free shuttles run constantly to take cruise ship folks back down the pier). We bought quite a few things there as they were giving good deals toward the end of the day. It was a lot of fun finding bargains and buying local products. When we were finished we jumped on a waiting bus and they took us back down the 4.5 mile pier – quite an amazing thing really!!! – shopped some more at the stores and vendors at that end of the pier and then boarded the ship. We were exhausted from a long day of fun so we showered and enjoyed the sail-away from our balcony. Dinner was amazing (Carnival trumps Royal Caribbean on food!) and we went out to watch the Dive In Movie (Hunger Games latest movie). They check out blankets from the towel hut (the wind gets a bit breezy and cool) and they serve free popcorn from one of the bars by the pool. It is not the best popcorn but gave us our fix – it was a super fun day!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review. We are doing this itinerary next April but it will be on the Liberty instead of the Triumph since the Triumph is moving ports. I was curious if the FTTF was worth it.


I wondered the same thing - kept getting mixed reviews on the boards. I highly, highly recommend it!! Getting to board the ship after Diamond/Plat and getting to go straight to our room to drop off our stuff was awesome!! Getting to explore the ship without carrying all of that stuff around - it was really nice! And having our luggage arrive at 2:00 instead of 5:00!! The lines we skipped to get to the guest services reps when we needed them made it worth the price alone! All together we probably saved about an hour of wait time (we only went to the guest services a handful of times but there was always a long line) on our five days. Debarkation was where we felt it was the most value for the money - I'll talk about that more in my next post. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Enjoying your review, have done the five day on Triumph once and the four day twice, and will do another four day next month, but I always enjoy reading reviews of her.


The ship is definitely showing a bit of wear but I have to say this was one of my top favorite cruises - we love the size of this ship and everything was easy to find and the foot traffic flowed really well. I think I have fallen in love with the five day cruise instead of the 7. I did not miss the extra sea days - it was just right!


We have already started looking at another 5 day out of Galveston. I find I am in withdrawals and have to cook again - YIKES!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thursday, June 18 – Cozumel

We woke up ready for our Cozumel fun!!! We booked the Catamaran and Snorkel Tour from Carnival (provided by Fury). We looked out our balcony window and saw that there was another ship in port with us – Carnival Magic, I think? We gathered our stuff and headed down to deck 0 to exit the ship. It was chaos as we got off because the Magic was departing their ship at the same time. We got to the end of the pier to find a huge back up and line. As we got closer to the end of the pier we discovered they were having every single cruiser open their backpacks and bags. This was a bit of a wait in the hot sun with no breeze. There was a guy in front of us that the dogs tagged – he had brought fruit off of the ship (even after at least 5 announcements from our cruise director Steve not to bring fruit or any food) they pulled him aside and did a thorough check, confiscated all foods and gave him a tongue lashing and released him. We then found our guide right away (white signs with all of the excursions printed on them) – he gave us our bracelet and directed us to board the next Fury boat (located on a slightly shorter pier right next to the one our boat was docked on). The boats were really nice, two levels with a crew of about 7 men. They seemed to genuinely enjoy their jobs – we had a really good time. They took us to an area about a mile down the shore from where the ships were and we snorkeled. Not a whole lot to see and not the best snorkeling we’ve ever done but the seas were calm and the sun was shining – we had fun. A few times we were herded a bit too closely and we got some fins in our face but we averted and were fine. I would say there were about 50 people per boat – and about 40 of those snorkeled. If you are looking for a quiet, non-crowded snorkeling experience this is not the excursion for you. (On a side note – we looked for a smaller snorkeling excursion on the Carnival excursions lists and could not find one. After visiting with other folks later on that evening we discovered it would have been better to go to an all-inclusive resort that had snorkeling options for you to go in at your leisure and snorkel rather than with a large group.) We were allowed to snorkel about 40 minutes (we would have enjoyed more but were looking forward to the beach they were taking us to next) and we loaded up on the boat. We then went about 20 minutes further down the beach to the Fury private beach area. They had 7-8 giant blow-up water toys to climb on, hammocks, tons of beach chairs, restrooms, showers, a small stand selling essentials and some touristy trinkets, a bar (free drinks – we do not drink so we enjoyed more Pepsi) and an area selling hamburgers/cheeseburgers for $11.00. Now, take 150 people (there were 3 boats in all) snorkeling and for a boat ride and then drop them off onto a beach with the smell of grilling hamburgers – you are going to sell some burgers!!! Just the smell made our mouths water. But first we snagged a couple of chairs and went out into the ocean to play on the toys. They were a LOT of work but so much fun! After about 30 minutes we grabbed a burger (we split one – they were huge) and some potato salad (it was the best potato salad I have ever had next to my moms!!!) and a couple of Pepsi drinks – found a shady table and enjoyed the view while eating our lunch. We were only given 90 minutes to enjoy the beach – we could have stayed there all day long!!! – so we laid in a couple of hammocks until they called our boat (#5) to load up. People were getting pretty drunk at this point (the Fury guys would deliver cups of beer to your seat on the boat while you were cruising!!). We grabbed a spot in the sunshine and enjoyed the 20-minute ride back to the pier. They did do some line dancing and played music – it was a fun trip back! We got off the Fury boat, grabbed a shaved ice from the stand at the end of the pier and did some light shopping (this is a very touristy area – we did not see any open air markets – just lots of stores). They were all air-conditioned though – that was nice. Around 3:30 we headed back down the pier to our boat, showered and took about an hour-long nap – we were exhausted and there was a fun night ahead that we didn’t want to miss!!

This was my least favorite night for the dinner menu – but we still found things we liked. We went to see a bit of the show and then back to our rooms to change for the Dive in Movie. It was Cinderella on this night (the newest version) and we both enjoyed seeing it at the theater and were excited to watch it. We went up at 7:45 (the movie was at 8:15) and snagged a couple of chairs – we were so glad we did as they were all taken by 8:00. The movie was awesome, the weather was perfect. We were that kind of tired that you get from having a lot of fun – the best kind of all!!! Another really fun day on our cruise!!


More on the last day and debarkation later!!! FTTF paid off in heaps on debarkation!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We debated on Dzibilchaltun but I think we have decided to see Uxmal.


We went back and forth too - the only thing that won out on Dzibilchaltun was the shorter drive and getting to swim in the Cenote. Several cruisers that we befriended went to the bigger ruins and really enjoyed them!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alrighty – our last sea day had arrived!! We slept in until 8:00 a.m. and got up, gathered all of our “stuff” and headed to deck 10 to sit in the shade (we had gotten a lot of sun over the last few days and felt our skin may need a break!) next to the movie screen. It was a perfect place to sit and watch the fun on the Lido deck around the pool. We popped into the buffet and grabbed a quick breakfast (same stuff was served each day except they changed out French toast for pancakes) and then headed back up to deck 10 to start our fun last day. They had line dancing (a DJ played music each day from about noon – 5:00 p.m. – he livened things up quite a bit when he was there – he always wore the same outfit – white cargo shorts and a baseball type red shirt – kind of funny!) and general people watching. Around 2:00 p.m. we headed to our room on deck 8 to shower, start packing and then we sat out on the balcony to read until it was time to go down for our last My Time Dining dinner. We generously tipped Florence and her team for an amazing job all week long! We really enjoyed our dinners each night – we had the nicest people sitting at the table next to us and we so enjoyed getting to know them and hear about their adventures each day!! We made some good friends – it was a good week!!

We decided to do self-assist and carry our own luggage off the ship to be able to get on the road for our 9 hour drive back. They delivered the letters to our room about FTTF debarkation processes. This is where that FTTF proved itself worthy of the $60!!! The paperwork said that all FTTF self-assist were to report to the London Dining room on deck 3 at 8:15 a.m. All Diamond/Platinum guests were seated on one side of the dining room and all FTTF self-assists were on the other side. Around 8:30 a.m. the cruise director, Steve and his assistant Lindsey came to the London Dining room and escorted us to the gangway and we were debarking by 8:35 a.m. Since we were literally among the first 50 people off of the ship the customs lines were short and we were through customs and into a taxi back to the Hotel Galvez by 8:50 a.m. The short ride to the Hotel Galvez took about 6 minutes and we were in our car from valet parking and on 45 North by 9:15 a.m. You cannot beat that!! All FTTF guests that were not doing self-assist were dismissed following our group so they were still among the first off of the ship. That was the most amazingly smooth debarkation we have ever been a part of – FTTF was what caused us to have zero stress – worth every penny!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some tips I learned along the way:

1. If you choose to buy the FTTF pass - check the website every day – they do put them on sale but they go fast.

2. After packing take about ½ of it back out – I always, always over-pack!

3. Bring your own mask and snorkel if you plan to do any beach excursions in Cozumel – we rented theirs but they took them back up before we got to the beach so we did not get to do additional snorkeling.

4. Always feel free to order as many items from the menu in the dining room as you would like. We always ordered two or three appetizers and enjoyed!!

5. Bring Dr. Pepper if it’s your favorite – they do not carry it anywhere on the ship.

6. Ask for a fan the moment you see your cabin steward – it cooled things off when it was a bit warm, it provided great white noise at night and we aimed it at the clothesline in the bathroom (the door will sty open – it is magnetized) and it dried all of our wet clothes.

7. Bring a small containers of Tide to wash your bathing suit out in your sink.

8. If you do the Mayan ruins in Dzibilchaltun be sure to wear your bathing suit so you can swim in the Cenote (there is not a place to change at the ruins). Also – they make you check in large back-packs at the door so be sure to wear a fanny pack or carry a small bag – they let those slide by with no problem.

9. Be sure to take time to shop and enjoy Progreso – it was our favorite port. Don’t believe all of the negative reviews until you’ve experienced for yourself – it was quite lovely!

10. Be sure to try out Chop Sticks - it is on the side by the buffet and they made the most delicious chicken fried rice!!!

11. Grab an ice cream cone whenever you can – they are absolutely delicious and you could get them 24 hours a day!

12. My daughter LOVED the pizza – also available 24 hours a day!

13. Don’t forget to enjoy the hot chocolate machine – it is located next to the coffee machines in the Lido buffet!

14. The Rome Lounge is where they have all the headliner shows. You only need to arrive a few minutes early to snag great seats!! Don’t feel you need to arrive 30 minutes early – there are a lot of good seats!

15. Take a lanyard (our favorite is the Vera Bradley lanyard) for your Sea Pass Card – have the folks at Guest Services punch a hole in the corner – it is the easiest way to keep up with it.

16. If you need cash do not use the ATM machine in the lobby by the Excursions desk – it will charge you a fee to withdraw. Go to the Casino, stick your card in any slot machine – select the amount of money you would like. Then select the “Bank my Points” and head to the cage and cash out. It charges your credit card with “entertainment” and is free.

17. Don’t rush to get on your excursions – sometimes the last ones on have the smallest groups on the boat/bus ect…

18. Pre-order the bottled water from Carnival (12 pack for $2.99) – they have it in your room when you arrive and you don’t have to lug it on! Ours was the “Nestle” brand.

19. Bring clips to hold your beach towels on to your chairs. You can get some pretty cute beach towel clips on Amazon or at Wal-Mart. It is always windy on deck 9 and 10!

20. We used our over-the-door-hanger the most – for all of our little stuff that usually clutters the vanity!

21. If you forget small things try the ship’s stores – they were actually really reasonable for deodorant and tweezers!

22. If you cruise out of Gavleston take advantage of watching their many cams around the tourist areas!! They also have one on the bow of the ship and the pool area of the Triumph!

23. Bring hangers if you need more than 8 – there were only 8 hangers in each of the two closets.

24. Get dressed up and go to the dining room each evening – it was where we found some of the best food on the ship! The soups each night are amazing!

25. Most of all enjoy every moment!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our cabin steward Apollo had already turned down our beds and created our first towel animal (towel animals each night!!). Apollo did a fantastic job all week keeping our room made up with fresh towels and a full ice bucket!


We were on the Triumph 2 weeks before your cruise, and also had Apollo. In fact, this was the 2nd time we had Apollo on the Triumph - the first being 2 years ago. He remembered us, and was as great this time as he was 2 years ago!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were on the Triumph 2 weeks before your cruise, and also had Apollo. In fact, this was the 2nd time we had Apollo on the Triumph - the first being 2 years ago. He remembered us, and was as great this time as he was 2 years ago!


Was that just really good luck or did you request him?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: Explore 5 Unique Destinations With All-inclusive Pricing
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2023
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Cruise Critic News & Features
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
  • Create New...