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Codfish

A looong review of the Triumph's Eastern Itinerary: 5-8-2004

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My wife and I took our first cruise on the Triumph, May 8th –15th.. You can take a look at out pictures on webshots

 

Pre-cruise:

We flew in a day early and stayed at the Radisson downtown. We picked it up on Priceline for $35. It was easy to catch a cab from the airport. After picking up our luggage, we walked right outside and there they were. The ride was $23. This is a very nice hotel. Well worth the money we paid. We had a room on the 14th floor with a floor to ceiling window and a great view of downtown Miami. I requested a room with a view of the port when I confirmed the reservation, but didn’t get it. If you want a specific room, I suggest you ask when you check in. In the morning one of the maids showed us to the top floor. There, just off the elevator was a big window where we could see the port and our ship. We arranged for the shuttle, costing $4 per person, to take us to the port at noon. There was no problem when we wanted to leave an hour earlier. We were the only people on that shuttle. They didn’t worry about filling it up.

 

Embarkation:

We got to the port around 11:30am. Having a suite guarantee, we were able to use the skippers club. This basically meant we were directed to an office to check in without standing in line. The office is a little hard to find so be sure to ask somebody BEFORE going through security. After checking in we did have to stand in line to get through security, for sail and sign cards, pictures and the rest, so it’s not much of a perk, but we were on the ship by 12:40pm.

 

Cruisin’ KRAZY Caribe Crew:

If I could offer just one piece of advice to everyone reading these boards, it would be to start or join a roll call thread for your particular cruise. We are lucky to have some of the nicest people in the world reading these boards. Take the opportunity to meet them in person. If you’re as lucky as I was you’ll get wind up making some very close friends. I can’t say enough good things about the fellow CC’rs I was fortunate enough to cruise with, so I won’t. (What happens on the ship, STAYS ON THE SHIP!) I just want to take this opportunity to thank them again for a wonderful week.

 

Dining:

We were assigned to the 5:45pm seating on the upper level of the Paris dining room. Our headwaiter was Pedro and his assistant was Yousef. Both were fantastic. Pedro was very funny. On the rare occasions we didn’t care for something, he would inform us it was because his ex-wife cooked it and promptly offered to bring us something else. When the waiters would dance, he would always be the first in line encouraging everybody to join in. Our bar waitress was also excellent. We had purchased the soda cards, and after the first night, she had our sodas for us right away. The Matre’D was very friendly and stopped by our table every night to see if everything was ok. On Sunday night, mothers day, he gave every lady a carnation.

 

I took the occasion of this cruise to try many foods I have never tried before, including lobster, escargot, and etoufet. I can’t say I cared for any of these, but I’m not much of a seafood person. I am glad I tried them and I encourage everybody cruising to try new things.

 

I found the buffet to have a wide variety of foods. If you didn’t find something you liked, it was because you didn’t look very hard. The pizza was tasty as was the burgers and the Chinese food.

 

Spa:

The spa was the biggest disappointment of the cruise. My massage was very relaxing and my wife says she enjoyed her facial, but even with the discounts, they were very, very expensive and they really gave the hard sell for their overpriced products afterwards. My wife reports they even got snippy when she chose not to buy anything. This is the only place we will avoid on our next cruise.

 

Entertainment:

There were many entertainment options onboard including two big production shows. Both were good, but not my cup of tea. I did find it amazing how the dancers were able to dance so well on a rocky ship. I was also impressed they used a live orchestra instead of just a soundtrack. They also had a magic show, and a couple of comedians.

 

By far the best shows were the audience participation shows hosted by John Held and Wee Jimmy. These two make a great comedy team. I don’t want to spoil it for newbies, but the regular characters were there and they became instant celebrities. The bedtime story is not to be missed. One word of caution for Triumph newbies, don’t read reviews of John Held or anything he does too closely. He does repeat his jokes and bits from cruise to cruise, and year to year. It kind of spoiled it for me to know what they were.

 

Ports Of Call:

Carnival does a good job of trying to scare people into taking their city and shopping tour in San Juan. At the port talk we were told we would dock at pier 4, about a mile from downtown. We actually docked at pier 1, just down the hill from the shopping district. To Carnival’s credit, they offered a full refund to those passengers who purchased the shopping tour just to get a ride into town. During the shopping talk, they mentioned free jewelry. If you didn’t know already, there’s a reason why it’s free, and the shopkeepers just look at you like you’re wasting their time when you ask for the freebe.

 

In San Juan, we chose to walk through town with Jim and Donna from the crew, the men leading the way while the women had our back! We felt safe, saw everything we wanted to see, and were back onboard in time for the open seating in the dining room. . If you don’t want to see El Morro Fortress, and just want to do a little shopping, I advise you skip the tour. Those poor people were herded like cattle to a waiting area before they were loaded onto a bus.

 

Tuesday morning we awoke to find ourselves in St. Thomas. Here we went on the Captain Nautica’s St. John Snorkeling ½ day tour, one of the two we booked through the ship. At $75pp it was a little expensive, but worth every penny. We rode in an inflatable hull boat with twin outboard motors, the same type used by the coast guard. The ride itself was an experience. We visited 2 snorkeling spots, the first for sea turtles, the second, by Honeymoon Beach on St. John with a coral reef and lots of fish. For refreshments, we were offered water and soft drinks, fresh fruit and shrimp cocktail. We were back at the pier by noon. We had plenty of time to go back to the ship, order room service, clean up and do a little shopping. There was plenty of that at the Havensight Mall near the dock, or a taxi downtown was $3 pp each way.

 

Wednesday morning we woke up in St Maarten. Here we rented a car. For $35 we gave ourselves a nice tour of the island. The roads were narrow and weren’t in the best shape, but they weren’t that busy the day we were there and it was fairly easy to get around. Just watch out for the goats. In the morning we drove to Orient Beach. We used Shoretrips to rent two jet skis for an hour then went parasailing. Afterwards we drove through Grand Case and Marigot on the French side before stopping at Maho Beach. This was our favorite beach on the whole trip. It was quiet and offered a small beach bar on one side and the Sunset Beach bar on the other. There was a casino and a resort nearby not to mention the airplanes less than 20 feet overhead as they came in for a landing at the airport. We still had enough time to drive to Phillipsburg for a little more shopping before the ship sailed.

 

Nightlife:

The Triumph has a wide variety of bars and nightclubs. My favorite has to be the Big Easy Piano bar. My only complaint is that the place is too small. Of course with Ed Rocks playing, it would be hard finding any bar that wasn’t crowded. We also made a small deposit at the casino. As expected I found the slots were tight. I tried my hand at craps, but the dice just weren’t with me.

 

Debarkation:

We arrived back in Miami some time around 5am Saturday morning. If you wanted room service you had to order it the night before. Otherwise the Paris was open until 9am. We ordered room service spent our last morning on the balcony watching the baggage handlers unloading the bags from the ship. Do NOT pack anything breakable in your checked luggage. They allowed early debarkation starting at 7:30 for US citizens who chose to carry off their own baggage. We had a late flight so chose to take the tour of the Everglades. The people who were going on a tour all met in the Oxford Bar at 8:45am. We were given instructions and a sticker indicating what tour we were taking. We were allowed to get off the ship right after everybody who opted for early debarkation. It was easy going through customs and finding our bags. We then went to the bus that took us on our tour. The driver loaded our bags and we didn’t have to worry about them again until we got to the airport.

 

The Everglades were fantastic. It was the perfect time of year to go, not too hat and no bugs! First we took an airboat ride. We saw lots of birds and alligators, a soft-shelled turtle and a deer. Afterwards, there was a short alligator show, an opportunity to have your picture taken holding an alligator, and enough time to walk through the park to see crocodiles, turtles, lots of plant life, and of course more alligators before being taking to the airport.

 

Overview:

Our first cruise was terrific. The ship was in great shape, the service was excellent, the food was good, and the people we met were some of the nicest in the world. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend The Triumph to any one.

 

No longer a Newbie

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since my first cruise with The TRIUMPH'S CRUISIN KRAZY CARIBE CREW

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Thanks, great review. If you were to go to one beach for half a day in St. Maarten, which would you choose? My group would like to snorkel, jet ski, and DRINK icon_biggrin.gif. I'm sure the girls will want to shop part of the day so we will probably just jump a cab to a beach instead of rent a car or take a tour.

 

Sun Princess 4/74

Windjammer Fantome

7/78-8/79 (Employee)

Regal Empress 6/02

 

Til Triumph

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Thanks for the review Codfish. Could you please tell me what company you used in St. Martin to get that cheap rate on the car rental? I haven't booked yet but am getting rates of about $50 a day quoted. What size car was it and did you need insurance? There's 5 of us so we need at least a mid-size. Did the company try and pin any dings or scratches on you?

 

How did you find the food quality on board and what was your fav. beach on St. Martin?

 

In St. John's is it possible to get to those snorkelling spots by cab? With 2 adults and 3 teens a $75 PP tour is simply out of reach.

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In St Maarten we used Arthur's Car Rental We were very pleased with him. He has a small office on Front street in Phillipsburg, but was willing to pick us up at the port and pick up the car when we were done. for $35 we got a 4 door Toyota Corola. The car wasn't the newest, but it was in good condition. Also we didn't have to worry about filling it with gas and when we reserved, we didn't have to lock it in with a credit card so if we weren't happy, we could still walk away.

 

We didn't snorkel in St Maarten. For Jetskiing I found two places on the internet. Orient Beach on the French side and Kim Sha Beach on Simpsons Bay on the Dutch side. There may be more including Great Bay Beach right in Phillipsburg, but is sounds like Everything's Cool, the default cruise ship passenger hangout, is closing down in the next few days so I'm not sure. We didn't spend any time there.

 

In St.John, the beach with the coral reef was Honeymoon Beach inside St. John's National Park. The beach itself seemed very remote. There was no bar or other services, but It was close to the house used by the director of the park.I'm sure you could take a taxi there, or just ask your driver to take you to the best beach for snorkeling. If you do go by yourself just be careful. There is Fire Coral there, a mustard yellow coral that burns if you touch it.

 

No longer a Newbie

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=9400d3&cdt=2004;5;8;16;0;00&timezone=GMT-0500

since my first cruise with The TRIUMPH'S CRUISIN KRAZY CARIBE CREW

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When you take the Everglades Tour-what time do they get you to the airport? I want to do this but have a 3:55 flight out of Miami and wonder if i will have enough time? Thanks. We love the Triumph and will be on our 4th cruise on her in Nov.

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We were back at the airport by 1:30pm. With a 3:55pm flight, you should have no problem. Carnival said these tours were for people with flights after 3pm

 

No longer a Newbie

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=9400d3&cdt=2004;5;8;16;0;00&timezone=GMT-0500

since my first cruise with The TRIUMPH'S CRUISIN KRAZY CARIBE CREW

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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>We used Shoretrips to rent two jet skis for an hour then went parasailing. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

 

Did you rent your jet skis and book the parasailing ahead of time on their website?

 

Great review. Very helpful. I can't wait!!

 

7/17 ON MY WAY TO TRIUMPH CRUISE

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CODFISH, We would like to do the everglades tour also, but we fly out of Fort Lauderdale at 4:00 is that posssible? and how much was the tour per person? Thanks for the review we are going on our first cruise on the triumph in less than 3 wks gina

 

Can't wait!! Caribbean here I come!!!

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I don't know if they offer service to FLL, but I don't see why they wouldn't There were several busses for the everglades tour. I don't see why one of them couldn't go to FLL. I suggest you call Carnival or your TA.

 

No longer a Newbie

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=9400d3&cdt=2004;5;8;16;0;00&timezone=GMT-0500

since my first cruise with The TRIUMPH'S CRUISIN KRAZY CARIBE CREW

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How much per person was the tour? Thanks

 

Can't wait!! Caribbean here I come!!!

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shabcruzn, Yes we used shoretrips to book both the jetskis and the parasailing. Both were operated by the same company, Bikini Watersports. After booking we printed off a receipt for each and gave them to the operator and we were good to go.

 

No longer a Newbie

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=9400d3&cdt=2004;5;8;16;0;00&timezone=GMT-0500

since my first cruise with The TRIUMPH'S CRUISIN KRAZY CARIBE CREW

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THe everglades tour was $35.99pp

 

No longer a Newbie

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=9400d3&cdt=2004;5;8;16;0;00&timezone=GMT-0500

since my first cruise with The TRIUMPH'S CRUISIN KRAZY CARIBE CREW

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Thanks Codfish. I'd read one bad review of Arthur's where apparently they tried to pin all sorts of car scratches on the person who'd rented it but I think I'll give them a try. Did you get insurance?

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And Skippy didn't get a mention? He's feeling a little DEFLATED now!

 

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Storm'n Norman & Skippy

 

The Aussie Cruise-a-holic Duo

 

 

Cruise Photos @

 

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

 

CHECK OUT MY PHOTOS (IN ABOVE LINK) FROM THE "STAR PRINCESS" (18TH OCTOBER 2003)!

 

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

 

Check out my latest Triumph Cruisin' KRAZY Caribe Crew photos for 8th May 2004 (in above link)!!

 

 

 

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Most humble apologies to Skippy II I was just looking out for his best interests. I didn't want to over inflate his ego and have him suffer the same fate as Skippy I

 

No longer a Newbie

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=9400d3&cdt=2004;5;8;16;0;00&timezone=GMT-0500

since my first cruise with The TRIUMPH'S CRUISIN KRAZY CARIBE CREW

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