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Terre

Review: Triumph Dec. 11th-18th Part II

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Part II

 

The Ports

Cozumel was our first stop. We like Cozumel and rented a jeep this time. We drove around the island first to Mezcalito’s and got our free Slammer along with some other drinks. We hung out for a while there and then drove to Paradise Beach. Paradise Beach is very clean, very pretty. We had lunch there, hung out a little then went back to the ship for a nap and dinner. After dinner we went back into the shopping area at Puerto Maya and did some shopping and drinking. I have to say that this end of Cozumel is not as much fun as where Carlos ‘n Charlies is, but it was okay. Just not much going on. They are doing some road work in the downtown area at Carlos ‘n Charlies and driving is difficult there now.

 

Grand Cayman was our next stop. We had booked the stingray Snorkel tour with Native Way Water Sports for 9:00. We got up early, rushed to breakfast, rushed to get tender tickets so we could be there on time. We couldn’t find them when we got off the tender. Another company called them for me; she said they had canceled some tours because of the wind, but would be there at 10:30 so we walked around until then. The day was very windy, our boat was full and the water was very rough! Several people got sick. The rays were just as beautiful as always and my son and his girlfriend enjoyed this excursion. We were not able to go to the coral reef because of the wind and high waves. The girl shooting a souvenir video (something added since our last time with Native Way) told us that the night before they had a 6.7 earthquake! She said that Grand Cayman lies on the Cayman Fault. My father said that he heard it on the news…this was never mentioned on the ship.

 

Ocho Rios was our third stop. This was our first time there and we did Dunn’s River Falls with A-Z Planning. I had several e-mails from Belinda confirming our tour before we left as well as an invoice. It was $28 per person and this included the falls, tour of Fern Gully, a lunch stop which we decided not to do, and stop at a local pottery shop. Our driver was Mickey and he was good. He’s from England and gave us some history of the island and some history on how he came to live in Jamaica. The falls are absolutely beautiful, breathtaking, awesome — the adjectives can go on and on. I’m glad I did this. It was a little hard for an old woman with worn out knees, but I would do it again. Driving through Fern Gully is also very beautiful. Hard to believe a river used to flow through those roads! The pottery stop was great. The pottery there is just awesome. The locals do a wonderful job on this pottery. When I checked my e-mail on Saturday, I had an e-mail from Georgeen of A-Z checking to see if we got home safely and asked how we liked our tour and wanted comments good and bad on Mickey. I like this extra touch! No other company we’ve used has done this.

 

After the tour we went back to the ship for lunch and then back out to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. Great place! We got our free margaritas, watched the beer drinking contest, walked around the shops a little then went back to the ship for a nap.

 

Miscellaneous

Checking your account by TV was unavailable until the last night. When we were finally able to check the account, we found two charges at the Continent Pool and two from the Hollywood Dance Club. The second charge at each bar was on the same day we actually purchased drinks. We went to the Purser’s desk to have the charges removed. It took two hours for this to be resolved. I finally asked to see the signatures on the purchases. While they were getting the receipts for us, Rufus went back to the room to look at the charges again. When he came back he said they had already credited the one charge from the Hollywood Dance Club. When we looked at the receipts they brought up, they were Rufus’ signature and they weren’t the charges we were disputing. We told the guy at the desk that and he said they took off the charge from the Hollywood Dance Club because there was no receipt. We asked about the other charge from the Continent Pool and he looked and said there was only one charge from there. They had taken that off from the time Rufus left the room and came back to the Purser’s desk. My advice is to check this often, keep all receipts and if you don’t recognize charges, ask to see the receipts — they do have them.

 

A word of caution for parents traveling with minors: my son and his girlfriend are both only 20 years old and when they tried to purchase alcoholic drinks, the computer kicked it back. They happened to be in a lounge that I will not name, whose bartender, I will also not name, took $20 cash from my son and then he gave them all the drinks they wanted during the cruise. He occasionally charged them for fruit punch to make things look legit. Since they are 20 years old, I really didn’t have a problem with this, but if he does it for them, he may do it for kids younger and the fact is, it’s illegal for him to do this. I haven’t decided if I will complain to Carnival yet.

 

Make sure you have your Sail and Sign card to reboard the ship — it does hold things up. There was family in front of us in Cozumel who didn’t have the cards for two of the kids; not sure how they got off without them, unless they lost them in Cozumel. Anyway, that held things up trying to get passed the officer in Cozumel and also when they got to the ship. They finally let them board, but I noticed that ship’s personnel made a note of the names and cabin numbers of those passengers.

 

Debarkation

We were not able to leave until around 11:00. There was a problem with either customs or immigration, not sure which, but once they started the process, it went very smoothly. Our deck was about the third or fourth called. My son’s girlfriend forgot to put the tag on her luggage (we got colored ones since we had the gray guarantee tag). Fortunately, that group of luggage was very small and she spotted hers coming down the escalator. We found ours quite quickly as well, and were able to get a cab right away. Not long at all once we got started.

 

Disappointments

The midnight buffets or lack of.

The free deck of cards now costs $1.

The gala buffet.

We got no Triumph lapel pin.

And of course the lipstick on the glasses. Yuck!!!!

 

The Worst Part

The worst part was having to come home. Now I have to cook, clean, make the beds, go back to work AND go on a diet!

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Thanks for your review. I have been on the Triumph twice and she is a nice ship.

 

On the subject of the bar waiter that accepted the twenty dollar bill. There are rules for a reason. Could you imagine the consequences to the cruise line if someone were hurt and they were underage? Plus the fact that parents take their kids on a cruise do so thinking that this kind of stuff should not happen with crew. It's your decision in reporting this but if it were me I would.

 

Glad that you had a good time.

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Yeah no kidding!! We just got back YESTERDAY and are going through the same thing. Back to work tomorrow! :( :(

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Great review. My family was on the ship with you. Found out about the earthquake from my sister in Florida when we returned home. I also wonder why they didnt say anything. Info on quake at http://earthquake.usgs.gov

(shows all recent activity and confirms 6.8 quake on the 14th). Great trip overall!!

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Terre . . . please tell me about Dunn's Falls . . . did you actually climb the Falls? I'm a 57 year-old with one bad knee (hard to go up and down steps on dry land . . . let alone on slippy slopes with water rushing at me). Was it hard? I so want to do it but am afraid I won't be able to keep up . . .

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Lady,

 

I found Part I and bumped it for you! I am 52 and have arthritis in both knees. Once you get used to the water, it's not so bad. I happened to be holding hands with the guide, which was great because I could step exactly where he stepped. The higher you go, the higher you step. I had the guide pulling and DH pushing, so that helped, too. Be sure to wear the acqua shoes because the rocks can be slippery.

 

You will love it! We did cave tubing in Belize last year and of the two the falls were harder. I would do both again. I think you will be fine. The water doesn't really "gush" at you, only at the beginning.:D

 

Susan, thanks for the link about the earthquake. The videographer on our Native Way boat said that all the natives are now talking about "the end" coming soon because of Ivan and now the quake. I'm sure it was scary, glad we were there after it happened!

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Terre ... thank you so much for posting your review!! I will be on the Triumph in a little over 2 months and I am so excited! Reading your review only makes me more so!! I had read some of the slightly negative reviews of the ship (dirty floors, etc), but yours has now set my mind at ease!!

 

Thanks for taking the time to write it all out! You've answered so many of my questions!!

 

J

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They didn't have midnight buffets? What's up with that? We'll be on the Triumph in Feb. We don't usually make it to too many of the midnight buffets, but it's fun to do at least one per cruise.

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I wouldnt complain about that waiter that gave your son drinks. 1st, I don't think it's illegal in international waters - and 2 - that's pretty freakin funny and ingenuous of your son!!! I never thought of that when I was under 21...which was only 3 years ago...:D

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Sgriff, my son is very ingenuous, but I think the idea was the bartender's.

 

Dtchem, I was very disappointed about the midnight buffets! They've been cutting back on them over the past couple of years, though. The first night we went up, we thought we'd missed it 'cause it looked like they were cleaning up the food areas. By the third night, my husband said "I think the hamburgers and pizza are the midnight buffet." I couldn't believe it either! It was kinda funny because people were just walking around sort of in a daze like, "where's the food?" I guess times are tough everywhere!

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How did you get a free margarita at Margaritaville? We'll be heading that direction in Feb.

 

Thanks-

Jeri

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Jeri,

 

My husband found information on these boards about how to get it off Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville's webite. I'll check with him to see if he remembers how to do it or you might be able to do a search here. Someone gave instructions how to find the salt shaker that entitles you to the free drink. We were able to print off two free ones and we saw some other people with them, too.

 

Same thing at Mezcalito's. We got the free slammer from its website.

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Jeri,

 

I think the link to Margaritaville's website is on the Jamaica boards. Someone had posted instructions on how to find the lost salt shaker and that's how you get the coupon for the free margarita. We looked for it last night but couldn't find it. I know it's there, though, check out the Jamaica boards.

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I've got another question. We're doing Nativeways Reefs, Rays, and Rum Point. They are supposed to meet us at the pier between 8:15AM and 8:45AM. Do you think we will have any problems getting tendered in by that time?

 

Thanks again! You're a wealth of information!!!

 

Jeri

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Jeri,

 

I have to say that we really had to hustle to make the first tender and to there by 9:00. The ship arrives around 8:00 and we ate breakfast, stood in line for tender tickets, and got the first tender. Last year we scheduled the tour at either 11:30 or noon (can't remember which) and that was no problem. We were a little upset that we had rushed so much to get there by 9:00 and then they had cancelled that tour, but there was no way they could let us know that and they did come at 10:30.

 

They won't tender tickets to just one person, we all had to be there to get them. Last year, Rufus went and got them for both of us. Maybe 'cause he was trying to get 4 this time, they wanted us all there, so he came back to the cabin to get all of us and we rushed, but we made it.

 

Make sure you take an underwater camera.

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Even though it was a non-Carnival tour they still let you off early?

 

Where do you go to get tender tickets?

 

Thanks!

Jeri

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They let anyone off who had early excursions. Apparently it didn't matter whether or not it was Carnival's. Come to think of it, I don't think he even asked me anything, just gave me the tickets.

 

We got them in the Rome Lounge. There was hardly anyone in line, too early maybe...

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