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Triumph Western 5/15 - 22 Review (LONG!) Pt 1&2


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Our return to the Triumph - Western - May 15 - 22

Who - Me (Cathy) 37, Steve 39, Kyle 9, Matthew 5, and my mom Valerie (her first cruise)


Pre Cruise Stuff - We decided to go back to the Triumph this year, mostly because of price... and secondly, because we loved the ship and the Western itinerary last year! We booked through CruiseQuick - and got a great rate, and decent service. Although we only booked with 70 days out, I was still able to get 170.00 Sail and Sign credit. We chose our rooms - 7349 for us, and 7331 for my Mom.


Leaving Home - We had a flight to the Ft Lauderdale Airport on Friday afternoon, the 14th. We flew Southwest to FLL - for 912.00 for the FIVE of us, round trip. We rented a Limo from www.limosofmiami.com. The limo was 85.00 for the trip... well worth it! I would recommend this Limo Company to anyone! Our flight was about a half-hour late, and the driver was waiting for me with a sign at the baggage claim area. I wish we had booked a round trip though (more details later!). We took the limo to the Doubletree in Miami, which I got from Priceline for 45.00 for the night. The Doubletree was nothing special... but a nice clean room and decent bed. For 45.00 it was a bargain.


Embarkation - Getting to Miami early, and paying for the hotel proved to be WELL worth it on Saturday! We left the hotel at 10:30 (getting a Taxi Van for around $10.00) and arrived at the Ship by 10:50. After dropping off the luggage (so far, all our money has been on Tips!), we walked right into the Terminal and Right up to the counter! We did the Fun Pass.. and yes, it was a Little quicker at the counter, but not by much. We headed upstairs and they sat us in rows, according to the order you entered. We were allowed on the ship at 11:55!! Wow! Since I never flew the day before, the earliest we have been on is 3pm - this was a treat!


Now ... the other stuff....


Food - Well, here is where my criticism begins. This is our fourth Carnival cruise, so I knew what to expect. I knew the Pizza was excellent.. I knew the Cheeseburgers were going to be excellent. I also wished the dining room food was going to be excellent.... but more times than not, it was GOOD.. just not Great. I don’t know it is because I was familiar with the menu, or because often times, our food was not hot. Plus, our service this cruise was just OK. Gone are the times where at the dining room you feel special. I am NOT a picky dining room customer... I go with the flow. But this time, we found ourselves asking for refills on our water... whereas in the past, we would have our glasses filled before we even knew it! (some of you are rolling your eyes right now.... I am just using that as an example how the service levels have declined.... trust me, I am not going to ask for a refund! ) The meat, where in the past, you could order it the way you liked, this year, was only offered in Medium Rare, or Medium well. (Yes, most of us would choose either one, but it was the first time our choice was limited). Another minor difference is the butter is now wrapped little packages instead of the wonderful butter from the past. Those were just some very Minor adjustments.. but for those of us who have cruised Carnival in the past, the differences were definitely noted. I did take advantage of the new Low Carb menu - I was given Low Carb rolls nightly, and I ordered the low carb entree a few times.. (mostly one selection without the potato and an added veggie). Now for desserts.... on 3 nights, we were served a dessert without asking..... the Baked Alaska, the Cherries Jubilee and the Strawberry Cheesecake.... I had to ask my server for a dessert menu (and many times I chose a wonderful Diet Cake). I just found it weird that it was assumed we wanted the featured item.

For breakfast, we ate daily on the Lido deck.. and really enjoyed the Omelets. For lunch, my husband and the kids ate at the Grill or Pizzeria, and I enjoyed salads from the Lido Buffet. but often the meat was cold and dry. (Although the hand carved meat was wonderful). The Best thing though was the Ice Cream Machine! Many times.. this was a perfect treat.. and I am sure my 9 yr old must have had 50 cones during the week!


ok... yes.. that is enough for now... did I exhaust you?

More coming....




Ecstacy October 1992

Destiny October 1999




Our TRIUMPHant Return! May 15th




[This message was edited by Catrin on 05-24-04 at 09:22 PM.]

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Part 2


Ports of Call - One reason why I wanted to go on the Triumph again, was that we LOVE the Western route. Well, maybe now, I am ready for something different..... can I admit, I was a bit bored?


In Cozumel, we spent the day at the WONDERFUL Paradise Beach. For those of you who are looking for a FREE beach - with all the amenities.. water trampoline, iceberg (too hard for the kids), floating mats, chairs and umbrellas.. this is the place for you. When we got there, we were the ONLY ones there! I will be posting pics really soon of this beautiful beach. The only thing that my husband did not care for, was that the water was very rocky in some places. We spent about 40.00 on a few drinks and appetizers. We spent about 4 hours total there. Later on, ,my Mom and I went shopping downtown. I wish I was in the market to buy a nice bracelet or ring..... but instead I spent 8.00 on a stone necklace and 10.00 on an anklet. They DO have the cutest bracelets and anklets.. but Bargain!! That night, after dinner... we went to the Mandatory Carlos and Charlies!! That place is SO much FUN... but it was actually quieter than we have seen in the past. I actually knew a coworker on the cruise.. he was there and bought me my first Yard... a Mango Margarita! Needless to say, I had a FUN night.. but paid for it the next day!


Unfortunately.... it Poured most of the morning we were in Grand Cayman. We waited to get off the ship until around 10am... then we took a Taxi to Seven Mile Beach. I would have loved to do the Stingrays again.. but we just felt the kids wouldn’t. We went to the Public beach... mainly because there was NO ONE on it! By the time we got there... it had stopped raining.. but was cloudy all morning. We stayed for about 2 hours... and swam in the beautiful water. That beach is gorgeous.. I just feel bad it was not a nice day.


This is where our boredom comes into play. Last year, we took a WONDERFUL tour with Oscar from A-Z Jamaica planners... this year, all our kids wanted to do was to Hang out at Margaritaville... so that is what we did! We got there around 10:30... and did not leave until 3. I think my little one, Matthew went down that slide 200 times! I browsed the shops.. the kids played.... the staff was polite, happy.... it really is a great time. I feel bad we didnt do the falls again.. but the kids did not.



Entertainment - Here is the main reason why I think it was a mistake going on the Triumph again....... We cruised with John Heald 12 yrs ago, on the Ecstacy. I think because I have read every report about him the last 6 mths or so, I knew what I was going to get. BUT>> can I be cynical to say that I doubted every stunt and every joke he told? Every time he said “ I am not making this up†, I couldn’t help to think to myself “yea right!â€. I DID think the Bedtime story was hysterical.... but was it planned? We did have Dick Wooden and Willie Banger on board with us.... and I felt lied to .... when they were on stage.... I DO have to realize that 2900 of the 3000 people have not heard the jokes before.... so I have to take that with a grain of salt. I just wish I enjoyed his humor more, and not realizing that everything was planned 100%. Once again.. Ralph (wee jimmy) was a delight.... and Kevin Noonan.. who I thought was Just “OK†last time.. is definatly growing in his job as a social host. Karlien, the other social host.. was excellent. We only saw one show... Century Cafe.... and it was Good. We did hear one band, sorry, I don’t know their name... but they were .. well, adequate. I did get to play in the Game Show one night.... that was fun.. I made it to the finals, but got my butt kicked by a Very smart lady!


Camp Carnival - Once again.. this was a highlight for my kids. They did not spend all day there.. but most mornings and night sessions. Kyle did get to sign himself in and out on occasion... but it was all planned. Except for one day.... when he did not show up as planned.... (He was getting his 100th cone of ice cream)... he showed up 2 hrs late.. and that was the end of his freedom for the week! Matthew had to still go to the 2-5 group.. which he complained about the first night.. until he met some friends. There were not many kids on board... so Kyle’s group consisted of about 15 kids total. Kyle did participate in the slumber party.. it was 24.00 from 10-3:30 ... they had games, video games, pizza etc. He had a blast.. BUT we paid for it dearly the next day. We did not have him do it the second time it was offered. The night of the Talent Show and the night we went to Carlos and Charlies, they stayed past 10pm - it was 10.00 per hour for the two boys. Once again, the staff was professional and fun.. The security for our 5 yr old was still going strong, which we appreciate. We would recommend Camp Carnival for all kids... it really made our kids vacation!


Coming Up... Misc and some other thoughts....




Ecstacy October 1992

Destiny October 1999




Our TRIUMPHant Return! May 15th




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Hi. I loved reading your posts thus far and have to say, I agree with everything you've said. Having cruised together in the past, and having cruised Carnival now for about 10 years, yes, you can definitely see the "change".


Tears came to my eyes when you mentioned Carlos n Charlies..."What, you went without us???!!!"


But, even through we feel the same way that you and most people do, we're still going on another cruise next March (haven't decided which one just yet) but with a different attitudue this time. Since we've been to all the ports and can probably give as good, if not better, tour of the Islands, I'm gonna have a "I don't give a hoot attitude" of where we go, what we see, how is the food, etc and just get on, meet up with my new & old Cruise Critic Friends and make my own good time!!


I'm glad to see that you pretty much did the same thing and overall had a good time. I can't wait to read about the rest of your week.


By the way, we're cruising March 20 or 21st, dont know which ship or where yet, but keep the dates open????



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Catrin we had early seating in the London dining room and our service could not have been better. Our waiter was excellant. We were never served anything unless we picked it off the menu. We were always given a dessert menu. Water glasses always filled and coffee there before we asked for it. Sudman was our waiter. We were so pleased we gave him an extra tip the last night in dining room. I felt food was OK. We went to most shows enjoyed them with the exception of fist late night comedy act. Felt he was lame. All in all our family enjoyed orselves and are going to book a east caribean nexy May maybe on Valor.



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Catrin, My wife and I were on the Triumph the week before you as part of the Cruisin' KRAZY Caribe Crew. Maybe because we had our first cruise, but I must say we had quite the opposite experience in the dining room as you. We had the early seating on the upper lever of the Paris. Our waiter Pedro and his assistant were terriffic. We never wanted for anything. our glasses were refilled often. We purchased the soda cards and after the first night our bar waitress had our sodas to us within a few seconds of sitting down. On the nights with the featured desert, Pedro stopped by to comment on it (usually with a little joke) and asked it that's what we wanted.


I have to agree with you about the food. It was good, but not great. I tried lots of new things and I'm glad I did, but they just weren't great. Another plus for Pedro though, whenever he sensed anyone at our table didn't like something, besides informing us his ex-wife cooked it, he almost insisted he bring us something else. If I had to knit pick, by the end of the week, the bar waitress stopped filling our glass and just dropped off our cans of soda. (that's a very small knit)


As a first time cruiser I thought John Held and Wee Jimmy were very funny. They make a great comic team. I think we as cruise crittic reviewers do first time cruisers a disservice by mentioning by name the gags he uses. I spent nine months researching our cruise and read alot of reviews about John and Jimmy, and knowing what was comming up sometimes spoiled things. Staged or not, the best shows were the ones in which the audience participated.


No longer a Newbie


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>The limo was 85.00 for the trip... well worth it! I would recommend this Limo Company to anyone! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Was the $85 dollars round trip to ship and then back to airport at end of the cruise?




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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Another minor difference is the butter is now wrapped little packages<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Wait, could this possibly mean that President Butter is back?!?!?????




Eleven cruises so far. Up next:

Shhhh, it's a surprise!


Followed by:

Carnival Valor 10/30/05 CC Group


And then:

Carnival Spirit 12/10/05 Mexican Riviera


Perhaps something else as well. Watch this space.


Dance like it hurts, love like you need money, and work when somebody's watching.

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Hi Again everyone...


First let me respond ...


Shab.. no, the trip was 85.00 each way. Since we had five people in our party, and the bus was 80.00, I thought the extra 5 bucks plus tip was worth it.


Elaine - good to see you again! and yes.. we survived Carlos and Charlies again! LOL


Crazy - sorry we missed you last week. I have to say something about our dining room experience to clarify....


First.. our staff was so POLITE and wonderful with our kids... they knew their names right away and did everything they could to please them. Secondly, I really think they gave us thier all...I am not sure if our waiter was new, or just not used to the ship... but he seemed confused at times. I am not saying that we got BAD service at all... just sometimes it was not what we have had in the past.



other stuff....


Captains Cocktail party - get here early! We arrived after dropping off the kids, and we were escorted into the piano bar. We had a very quiet area, which was nice, but lonely. The drink selection was the normal, and the hors d'overes were chicken nuggets, crab rangoon, mini pizzas and something else. Still a nice touch for formal night. I did notice that they no longer do the picture with the captain. ( I think they like the pic with the dancer better! icon_wink.gif)


The Past Guest Party - well, this was a lot different this year. It was held in the Rome Lounge (the showroom) ... everyone just sat in thier chairs, and they brought you a plate with three unknown little things... I cannot even tell you what they were! Then they brought you three mini desert things. We watched a short film, which I found to be very interesting. ... and that was that. I liked the setting as a cocktail party with socializing better.


The Ship - I still love the size of the Triumph. We noticed the new carpets right away. For the most part, the ship was very clean - the only part that was not sometimes was the lido deck restaurant area... but that at times was so crowded. There was a lot of chair saving going on.. but the few times that we wanted one, we found one right away.


Other things...

We played in the slot tournament.. lost of cource, but was a blast routing for others. We lost a little more on the slots.. why do I bother playing them!

We had our picture taken - but not as much as in the past. One MINOR complaint.. and only my opinion.. they put Pre Printed borders around all the prints now.. ones that say things like "welcome to Cozumel" etc. Just an opinion, but I think they look cheezy.... others really liked them.


Debarkation - Sit down for this one>>> It was Wonderful! After three nightmares, I couldnt get over how easy this was. First they let all the self assist people off, then they called everyone off by deck. We were able to have a nice breakfast then hang in our room. By the time we were called it was 20 minutes from our room to the bus. SO easy! The luggage was easy to locate too. I must say that getting on and off the ship has GREATLY improved!



I still love cruising. It is still the best time for my family - my husband loves to relax and get waited on, the kids love to meet friends, I love to be entertained. We love the choices we can make all day, from activities to food.

We would cruise Carnival again in a heartbeat - but I would no longer compare them to my past. The company is still a solid wonderful cruiseline. It is just that they are different now. For reasons that are many, like the cost of goods, the competition etc... It is just more ... well, ordinary.

I am going to try a Spirit Class ship next time.. or we are going to try a (gasp! ) RCC cruise - just for something different.


If you have any questions or comments.. please make them! I love reading reviews.. and learning, and I hope some of you can appreciate mine.




Ecstacy October 1992

Destiny October 1999




Our TRIUMPHant Return! May 15th




[This message was edited by Catrin on 05-25-04 at 07:58 PM.]

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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>One MINOR complaint.. and only my opinion.. they put Pre Printed borders around all the prints now.. ones that say things like "welcome to Cozumel" etc. Just an opinion, but I think they look cheezy....<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Have to agree with that. I myself did not like the border on the photograghs. We only bought one picture this round and only cause it was a good shot of people in our group.



Since the Eastern Caribbean on the Triumph




Carnival Triumph 5/04

Sensation 10/02

Carnival Triumph 1/02

Royal Majesty 5/97

"The Big Red Boat" 10/87



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Catrin sorry I missed you too. Too much confusion first day. When we went to muster drill they sent us back to our room and told us in an emergency they would come to our cabin and get us. I guess it was because my husband is in wheel chair. So we got busy unpacking. I agree with debarkation. I thought it was going to be a nightmare. Was very smooth. The only dissapointment I had with boat was there were no handicapp accessible pools. I like you are looking a RCL because they do have a handicap accessible pool. We are cruising again next May. Hoping Valor has a handicap accessible pol or its off to a differant cruise line. When on board I talked to Carnival Rep about booking next trip and I got the impression I was bothering her. Ask for book and she told me she was out to come back later in week. I will book with someone who appreciates my business.



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After reading your review, I think you're ready for a (RCI) change. Change is good, and as a RCI fan, I think you will enjoy the new experience.


I am in the same boat icon_biggrin.gif after several RCI cruises, I'm trying CCL again. I'm looking forward to Triumph, but can't wait to sail on the RCI Voyager class. icon_razz.gif


Inspiration 6/96, 12/01

Carnival Destiny 7/97, 11/00

Rhapsody of the Seas 11/98

Norwegian Sea 7/00

Norwegian Star 6/02

Paradise 11/02

Sovereign of the Seas 8/03

Serenade of the Seas 12/03


countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=0000ff&cdt=2004;8;7;17;0;00&timezone=GMT-0500  until Carnival Triumph 8/04


countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=0000ff&cdt=2004;11;21;22;0;00&timezone=GMT-0500  until Adventure of the Seas 11/04

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Thanks for sharing your review.


On my cruise aboard the Triumph in March, I was sitting at the rail on the rear of the ship while we were docked in San Juan. As there was not much to do, my buddy and I were sitting there watching passengers aboard the Navigator of the Seas. That ship looked great. I knew that I wanted to try it someday. I am now booked on her for December. I came away from my cruise on the Triumph with a feeling that something was missing. I just had an OK time but nothing great. I still like Carnival and am sailing on the Fantasy in September but I am ready to try something different.






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



Navigator of the Seas 12/04/04






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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I came away from my cruise on the Triumph with a feeling that something was missing. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Coudn't agree with you more Gordon.....I was on the Triumph on 8-15th May (for the 8th time) and if it wasn't for Ed Rrocks (a good friend of mine), it would have been the same old cruise (except for the GREAT friends I made from the Cruisin' KRAZY Caribe Crew)........I have cruised the sister ship Explorer of the Seas and it was an AWESOME experience! A change of cruise-line is good.....even if just for the experience (new shows, new entertainers, different food, new finding your way around the ship etc.).......


Maybe I'll join you!







Storm'n Norman & Skippy


The Aussie Cruise-a-holic Duo



Cruise Photos @








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

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