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keysjohnson

Triumph Review 5/1

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A little background...This was our 6th cruise. 3 on Carnival and 3 on Norwegian. We've done the Ectasy, Paradise, Triumph, NCL Sea, Sun and SS Norway. My husband and I are 50, live in Florida, SCUBA dive, snorkel, love the casino, go casual so don't usually utilize the dining rooms. We are not big show people but do like the comdians and the activities around the pool area. I'm writing this review stricly from my point of view, as it should be. It's not all good, but it's not all bad. As said above, I only have one other cruise line for comparison. Ok, here it goes...

 

EMBARKATION

We left home about 6am and got to Miami around 10am. We went to Bayside and walked around a little and looked out over the water to see our ship sitting there all beautiful and ready. We'd been planning this cruise since January so we were very excited. Around 11am we left to go to the pier. As stated in other posts, the Port of Miami is a mess. Construction everywhere. We needed to go to Pier 8 and were able to find that easily. My husband dropped me off with the bags and went to park. He finally resurfaced from the bowels of the parking garage about 1/2 hour later. We checked 2 bags and carried 2 on. In one bag we checked was a case of coke and a case of beer. I carried on the clothes, jewelry and prescriptions in 2 small roll on bags. I had all my documents in hand and ready, including the fun pass. Waste of time. There was one line that said "Fun Pass" and they made everyone get in it. People were in line in front of me just then filling out paper work and looking through their mountain of credit cards to fill that paperwork out also. Now I realize it is NOT Carnivals fault that about a million people showed up at one time. However, there should have been a seperate line for us that had our stuff ready as opposed to being in line with the "oh yeah, I fogot" type of folks. So, needless to say, we were in that line for about 45 minutes. Then we walked to another line. This was to receive our Sail and Sign cards. This took about 20 minutes. Then to yet another line for someone to walk us to where we got our pictures taken for the sail and sign cards. Are we done yet? NO, ANOTHER LINE to have our "welcome" pictures taken. Finally, on the ship. Before I go onto that part, I must compare to NCL. Embarkation is 2 steps. Check in and receive sail and sign cards, have "welcome" picture taken, and get on board. Sorry but it's true. Ok, back to the ship. Beautiful! The entire ship is fabulous. I noticed no wear and tear, no stains, just beautifully kept, clean, and wonderful. Our room was on the Lido deck, inside cabin #9259 right by the stairs and elevator. A short walk to the pool area. It was a great location. The room was great. I love the medicine cabinet in the bathroom, something NCL doesn't have. Really saved space. THe counter in the bathroom is very large which makes it comfortable for getting ready. Closets are plentiful and more than adequate. Our room steward was Teddy and he was the best room steward I've ever had. Always smiling and quick with a joke. His towel animals were great, especially the elephant. He put my sunglasses on him. He kept our room spotless and he was well rewarded for that. We gave him some money upfront to keep our cooler iced up. The beer and coke was at our door by 6pm and Teddy, true to his word, kept everything cold for us the entire week. We then ventured out to the Lido deck to look around. We had lunch at the grill. Very good. Hamburgers and hot dogs with fries. The pool area is very nice with tons of chairs. The smoking side was the starboard side (I'm a smoker, my husband is not). I didn't see too many people abuse this, however I didn't go to the port side very often. It seems once you get used to one side of the ship, the other side seems foreign somehow. We had our muster drill, which was on deck 4, and it wasn't too bad. There was a nice breeze and we were lucky enough not to be standing in the hot sun. After that, we really felt like we were on vacation. We dumped the life preservers, changed into our swimsuits, and headed to the Lido deck for the Sail Away Party. Big joke that was. Ok, let me premise this with NCL's sail away party. Everyone that wishes too, gathers on deck and there's island music playing in the back ground and the cruise director (yes, the DIRECTOR) is on stage getting everyone pumped up. He starts a conga line around the pool, or some other catchy little thing, and most everyone gets involved. Here's what they did on the Triumph. nothing. There were no activities personnel around. Free Bird was playing on the loudspeakers. Come on, I can here that playing at ear blasting volume at any stoplight in town. I wanted HOT HOT HOT, or some other Caribbean themed music. We just pulled away from the dock and it was all very anti-climatic. They (whoever THEY are) played nothing but heavy rock music one after the other. Now I have nothing against that music hey, I'm an "old hippie", but not on a cruise ship taking sail for 7 wonderful days! My husand and I just kind of looked at each other and shrugged. Oh well. After sailing we went down to the casino and checked that out and walked around the shops and just got the feel of the boat. Like said previously, the ship is beautiful. ok, this is part I. I will post part II in a little while. I'm trying to get laundry done and ready for work (YUCK) tomorrow.

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Part II. Sea Days. We had 3 glorious sea days. The first was Sunday. We got up early and had breakfast on the Lido deck. Very good. We found a nice table in the shade with a good view of the pools, stage, and people. We had our books and our swimsuits. Of course we waited until everyone was finished with breakfast as to not be a "table hog". So don't jump on me for that one. We spent our 3 sea days on the deck from around 10am until 6pm. We love those sea days. I don't think I've ever eaten so much ice cream. I just couldn't resist. By the end of the cruise I was an expert at making those cones, looked like I had worked at DQ my entire life. It was wonderful. My husband is a walker. He would sit for 10 monutes or so and then do a tour. We even went down the slide, that was fun. We ended up doing it several times. We utilized the pool and hot tubs a lot. There weren't many children, a very manageable amount. The games around the pool were fun to watch. We enjoyed ourselves very much. All our sea days were sunny and hot. We met a lot of great people and enjoyed talking to them. We didn't eat lunch very often, since I was full of ice cream and my husband was full of breakfast. I think he ate his weight in sausage. Something he doesn't have at home very often. On the last sea day, which was Friday, we did have lunch and they had tempura fried fish that was out of this world. They also had crawfish something or other, and my DH is a big crawfish fan. He was in heaven. Kids in hot tubs...we had a couple incidents of kids with snorkels and masks diving in and swimming around. DH would just stick his leg out and that stopped them in a hurry. One little boy was doing cannon balls in the tub and DH put a stop to that really fast. I found it ironic that the security guard would come running over to the hot tub if you had a drink in your hand, but let the kids do whatever they wanted. And one mother had her little one, probably around 2, in the hot tub with a diaper on. Now, which would you rather sit in...a little drink someone may spill in the pool or "diaper soup?" But security didn't seem to care about that. The first couple of days the pool was icy cold. But by Wednesday, it was getting nice and warm. They didn't empty them every night UNTIL THURSDAY! What's up with that? Our last sea day in freezing cold water? None of the kids could even get in it was so cold, so guess where they went? Yep, the hot tubs. Wall to wall kids on Friday. We tried to use the pool but couldn't. It was ice water. I really think they could have waited one more darn day to change it. It wsan't cloudy or dirty. Just throw some of those wonderful chemicals in there and let us have our warm water. The pool side band was great. Yes, I finally got my island music. When they weren't playing, music was playing over the speakers, mostly island music. It was so great. THe waiters around the pool were wonderful as were the bartenders. I think I could take a 7-day cruise with nothing but sea days and be happy.

 

Next we have dining. As stated before, we aren't dining room people. We ate on the Lido deck almost every night. The selections were fairly good and the salads seemed fresh. One night we had honey burbon chicken which was very good, ham one night was good, with killer garlic mashed potatoes, steak a couple of nights. But no dessert selection. Now at the lunch buffet, they had tons of desserts out. At dinner, they had one regular dessert and one sugar-free dessert. That was a disappointment. Here's the awful thing that happened one night...They were having grilled to order steaks. My DH went up and ordered one for him and one for me. They were great, but very small. So he wanted another one. He went up and told the chef (yep, the one with the big hat) he wanted another. There were a few people standing around and the chef said "I've already given you 2 and I think that's enough". My husband was SOOOOO embarrassed. When he came back and told me that I was livid. How dare them say that! I was so angry that I couldn't even finish my dinner, I was in tears because dh was so upset. I just felt so very bad for him. On the night when we had ham, the gentleman in front of me asked for 2 pieces and the chef told him "you eat this one first and then we'll see". Now this man was NOT kidding! He was dead serious and was a snot the entire week. Needless to say my dining tips were seriously adjusted!

 

One evening they had open seating in the main dining rooms and shorts were allowed. So we decided to give that a try. It was the day we were in Cozumel. We went to dinner in the London dining room and asked for a table for 2. We were seated and the waiter came to take our orders. He was very brisk and made no small talk and never cracked a smile. We also NEVER saw a drink stewart. The meal was fine but service was awful. So that's our dining experiences.

 

Ports

Cozumel was great, as always. We decided to shop in the morning and go to Paradise Beach in the afternoon. When we got down to disembark, it was pouring rain. I mean cats and dogs pouring. The officer was sitting and swiping our cards and we all kind of stopped by the door. There were about 10 of us. We were trying to see how far we had to run to the first building and folding up our towels and stuff so they didn't get too wet. The officer said "you wanted off, now get off". Everyone just kind of looked at each other and couldn't believe the attitude. Now there was NOT anyone behind us, we were not holding anyone up, and there was no reason for it. Even if there were a reason, he could have said it a bit differently. But all that aside, Coz was wonderful and Paradise beach was wonderful. I wrote a seperate review on the Ports board if you're interested. We got back to the ship around 5pm and headed to the pool to cool off.

 

Grand Cayman was great too. We went to 7-mile beach and then shopped. Didn't have too much time in that port. Got back on ship about 3pm.

 

Jamaica was beautiful. I think it's the most beautiful port I've ever been in. We booked a tour with Peat Taylor and he was great. We went to Dunn's River, which has to be one of the prettiest places on earth, and Fern Gully and then to the top of some of the mountains for spectacular views. A great day.

 

So that's about it. Oh yeah, one more thing. Coming back from Grand Cayman, we put our stuff on the xray thing, and picked it up on the other side. We were heading for the elevators and dh felt a tug on his back. One of the officers was pulling on our beach bag that dh had over his shoulder. He asked dh if he had "viculors" in there. Neither one of us could understand what he was saying. dh took the beach bag off his shoulder and handed it too the man. They rummaged through it and pulled out our BINOCULARS. The officer said "that's what I said, viculors, why didn't you just answer me?" and again, the attitude was awful.

 

I think that about covers it. Although small incidents, they were upsetting. Now I realize that they deal with "stupid tourists" all the time and it has to get old. I deal with the public regularly, as does my dh. Yeah, it gets old but if I ever used that attitude and/or tone of voice, I would be fired.

 

The median age of the passengers was probably about 30, a lot of young, aggressive, fun-loving drinkers. There were a few fights around the pool and a lot of screaming profanity. And there were children present. No security guard then either. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that in the buffet for dinner the music was mostly rap. Ever listened to those lyrics? That was good for the digestion.

 

And one more complaint that will probably get me lynched. John Herald. He is a great entertainer. I watched all his stuff on the TV in the room. I watched the port talks, the bedtime story, the Willy Banger thing, all of it. He is a chrismatic man, very funny, and very talented. However...does he ever come out of the Rome Lounge? On NCL, the cruise DIRECTOR runs all the poolside games, is visible when you are getting off the ship for ports, is visible when you come back on the ship to see how it was, is EVERYWHERE. I never once saw John Herald in the flesh. Maybe it's just me but I found that odd.

 

Ok, I guess I'm done. We had a wonderful trip, the ports were great, the ship is beautiful and I don't regret going. However, maybe I'm just getting too old, but at this time, I don't know that I'll do another Carnival. We ran into a guy who "said" he was a travel magazine writer there to do a review. Don't know if it's true. Anyway, he told us his luggage was lost, including a laptop (this was the last day of the cruise when we talked to him) and he had been treated rudely. He said and I quote "heads are gonna roll". We told him of our couple of incidents and he said it was pretty typical of what he had been hearing.

 

Now again, I'm not saying this was a bad cruise. Just not the one I was expecting. I'm sure tons of people will get on here who just took the same cruise and had no incidents at all. As far as the automatic tipping, we adjusted the dining tips down because we had medicore experiences in both venues. Our room steward was adjusted up, the other left as is. Any questions, feel free to ask.

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Thanks for your review of the Triumph. Nice balanced review. I like to read both the good and bad in a review.

 

I have been on the Triumph twice with John Heald as CD and have never seen him outside of the show lounge but to be fair, I have seen very few Carnival CD's around the ship other than the main show room.

 

The comments made by the chef was totally uncalled for. I'm not sure that I could have kept me mouth shut if he had said that to me. I would let Carnival know about this.

 

I am trying a different cruise line for my next seven day cruise. I am ready for something different. I guess I will see if the grass is greener on the other side.

 

Thanks again for taking the time to write and post your review.

 

Gordon

 

http://community.webshots.com/user/cruisingator

 

NCL Starward-86, Starship Atlantic-91, Caribe-92, Seabreeze-93, Fantasy-93, Norway-94, Celebration-94, Sensation-95, Imagination-96, Destiny-97, Celebration-98, Triumph-99, Victory-00, Majesty of the Seas-01, Fascination-01, Carnival Pride-02, Majesty of the Seas-02, Carnival Legend-02, Fantasy 7-03, Glory 9-03, Fantasy 11-03, Triumph 3/04.

 

9/02/2004 Fantasy

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Navigator of the Seas 12/04/04

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I am a travel agent the rudeness was out of control. you should forward your info to carnival. they should offer you a credit for the constant abuse. the travel industry is all customer service. I would say you were treated badly. you have to let ccl know so that can correct the problem.

 

2/28 explorer of the seas

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Thannk you for the honest review, i enjoyed reading it. Sorry about the incidents on board. icon_frown.gif

 

6/28 till the VICTORY

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great review, you should of did something right then and there about the the chef comments, trust me i would have. john heald wish he had more time n a day so he could be seen more, he is just so busy, you would not believe what goes on behind the scene at times, but thanks about comments about him being so good he is the best, most of carnival games and pool stuff are done by socal hosts

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