September 27, 2004
My boyfriend and I just returned from our cruise onboard the Triumph. I will give you a quick introduction, pre-cruise, before I get into the actual cruise. First of all, we were supposed to sail on a 7 day E. Caribbean cruise departing Miami on 9-25-04, but due to Hurricane Jeane, our itinerary changed to a 5 day W. Caribbean cruise departing on 9-27-04. We were not notified by Carnival of the change until late Friday afternoon. Ok, now onto the cruise.
Embarkation: Once we got to the Carnival terminal, it was total chaos. Nobody knew what to do or where to go. When I asked one of the Carnival reps about parking, they said "They did not know, as they have never been in this terminal before." We took our chances that the lot was the right lot and hoped the car was still there when we returned to the port. After we made it through the very long line, to check in, we got in line to do our Sail-N-Sign Card. I think we were about 6th in line when their machines went down. Again, we had to wait about 30 min. or so until they got their machines up and running.
Cabin: Once we finally made it to the ship we went straight to our balcony cabin, which was 9225, on the Lido Deck. The cabin was awesome. Definitely enough room for two and the location was perfect. They provided a basket of samples like shampoo, razors, etc. I did not use any of them, as I brought my own stuff. The bathroom also had a hair dryer, but again, did not use. This was our first balcony and it was so nice to come back to our cabin after the evening festivities and sit on the balcony. Another plus, when I was getting ready, my boyfriend would sit out on the balcony and enjoy the sea air and the ocean. The important thing, he stayed out of my way.
Meals: We at lunch on the day of embarkation at the buffet. The food was ok. For dinner, we had 8:00 p.m. seating and were assigned to the Paris Dinning Room. We never made it to breakfast or lunch, only dinner. The food there was awesome and so was our waiter. If we ever had a problem deciding on what to eat, the waiter always gave us some helpful suggestions. Plus, if you really could not decide, you could always order both entrees. For breakfast and lunch we usually at one of the buffets. They have an inside buffet, called the Southbeach Club, and a Sun Lovers Buffet, which is out by the main pool. If for some reason we did not like what they were serving on the buffets, then we got a cheeseburger and fries or pizza. The ship did have a place to get chinese food or deli type sandwiches, but we did not try them. We definitely did the ice cream and soft yogurt and you could get it in a dish or cone. It was available 24 hours a day and was located outside by the doors leading from the inside buffet to the pool area. They only had one midnight buffet, and that was held where the inside buffet is located. It was ok. I have been to better midnight buffets. During the other nights, the grill would open and you could get a late night snack of a hamburger, cheeseburger, chicken sandwhich, etc. Of course the pizza place was open 24 hrs., and it was very good. You could choose from a variety of pizzas or calzones. As a last resort, there was always room service, which we did not try. As far as drinks, you could get all the juice, punch, lemonade, ice tea and water you could drink for free. My boyfriend loved the lemonade and ice tea combo. If you drink a lot of soda, then the best thing to do is get the soda card. For us, it was the free stuff duing the day and beer at night.
Sea Days: We slept in and mainly hung out by one of the pools, listened to the music and had our drinks. We had no problem in getting places directly by one of the pools. We also went to a couple of the game type shows they had late in the afternoons. They were fun and something different to do when you got tired of being in the sun. They also had bingo during the day and before some of the evening shows.
Nightlife: The ship had a lot of activities. We saw both the Vegas style shows. They were awesome. The singing and dancing were tremendous. We also saw both comedians. The first comedian was really funny. The second one, who had a midnight show only on the last night on the ship, was just ok. It was supposed to be an R rated show, but I did not hear anything that would have been considered R rated. We also took a short trip through the casino and I lost $20 playing Blackjack. The casino was nice and I did not notice any smoke problems from people smoking. In fact, I did not notice any smoke problems on the ship at all. We ventured into the nightclub a couple of times and it was pretty crowded. They played a lot of hip/hop type music and other recent tunes. We did not get to the piano bar, but from what I heard, it was a great place to be. We did check out a group called The Hightones. They were pretty good, and depending on what night you saw them, depended on what kind of music they played.
We also saw the guest talent show, which for what it was, was good.
Cruise Director: Mark was our C.D. and he was really good and entertaining. There was an Assistant Cruise Director by the name of Wee Jimmy and he was really funny. They make an excellant team.
Room Steward: Overall he was good. The first night on board, he did not come in and turn down our bed or give us Capers for the next day. I thought it was strange, but did not let it bother me. From reading someone else's review, from the same cruise, they did not get service that night either. After the first night, when we got back to the cabin, there was the traditional towel animal, mints and bed turned down. He kept the room clean and picked up where he could. We did not use any of the items provided in our cabin, so I cannot comment on how they replaced the items.
Debarkation: Carnival has a new policy, thanks to customs, that if you are a U.S. Citizen, and can carry your own luggage (all of it) then you can leave the ship between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Do not place any luggage out the night before. You wait in your cabin until they call your deck. Then you leave. We did not have to wait in a crowded waiting area or deal with long lines. I think we were to our car by 9:00 a.m. Everbody else starts to leave after 8:30 a.m. I highly suggest cruisers try and take their own luggage. Definitely worth the aggravation.
Overall: Overall it was a good cruise. Carnival is refunding us 30% of our cruise fare and gave a $100.00, per person, ship credit. I think it was a difficult time because the Port of Miami had all the ships, that were stuck at sea, come in at once. You cannot really blame Carnival for the hurricane and the chaos that can occur. I just know that from now on, we will never book during hurricane season again. Living in Orlando, you would have thought we would have realized booking during hurricane season can be a problem. We are definitely planning another cruise next summer to the E. Caribbean. Hopefully on the Glory out of Port Canaveral. The Miami drive can be rough when you are living on 6 hrs. sleep.