Carnival Reviews - Cruise Ship reviews by Cruisemates Readers
Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Triumph
by Wornout813
July 1, 2000

This is my review of our cruise on the Triumph on July 1. There were three in our party, and we were all up at 4:30 a.m. so as to get to the airport 2 1/2 hours before the flight as it was a holiday weekend, and were told that the flight was overbooked and we did not have our seat assignments as yet and we wanted to sit together. We arrived at Kennedy at 7:00 a.m. for a 9:20 a.m. flight and check in went smoothly. We were all sitting together near the back of the plane but that was all right. The flight was overbooked, and the pilot asked if anyone was willing to give up their seats for a $500 voucher, someone quickly gave theirs up and the plane was finally ready to take off. Many other passengers were going to be on the same cruise as we are. The plane left the terminal, however, we were stuck on the runway for almost one hour, due to the air traffic controllers instruments going out. Luckily we were on a early flight. We finally took off and the rest of the flight went smoothly. We arrived in Miami around 1:45 p.m. and the Carnival representatives were at the gate to meet those with transfers. We went down got our luggage, gave it to a porter to take to the shuttle bus and we were on our way. We were lucky, as we were the last to be allowed on the shuttle bus so we were at the pier within 20 minutes. Once off the shuttle bus, we made sure the porters took our luggage, gave him the recommended tip and then the downpour came, we had to make a made dash to the terminal.

Once inside the terminal, we found a line to start the process of being checked in. We had all our papers ready, and within 15 minutes we were off the first line and on our way to pickup our sail and sign cards, that also went fast, and we are now on the line to get our picture taken, we were surprised that at this time there was not many passengers boarding, so it went very fast. Next step was to get our pictures taken and right onto the ship. The whole process took about 30 or 45 minutes, boy was I surprised was thinking it would take much longer.

We entered into the on Deck 3 near the Atrium what a site We made our way up to level 6 cabin 6389 to find our cabin, found it very quickly. We opened our door, and to our surprise, my girlfriends children and my daughter had the cabin decorated for our birthdays. The bon voyage department did a great job at this, we also noticed that my travel agent sent us a bottle also, what a great surprise. The room was much larger than I expected. We checked out the balcony, and then off to the Sports Bar to meet others from aol that I had been talking to over the past month or so. They were already there and drinking. We got our drinks and introduced everyone to each other. We did not have much time as we had to go to the muster, so we all departed.

Once the muster was over, we went to explore the rest of the ship before getting ready for our late seating in the Paris Dinning Room, upper level at table 509. Tonight was casual dress, as most passengers have not received their luggage, our included, as did not arrive until almost 10 p.m. There were many in shorts which is not usually allowed in the formal dining rooms.

Dinner tonight was an experience I do not think we will every forget. We were seated with two other single females from NY and three gentleman. One of the guys kept falling asleep, and looking at the young ladies bosoms. He ordered the same thing exactly as my daughter, and only took one bite of the steak, he almost fell head first into my girlfriends dessert. Tonight I ordered the NY Strip steak, very good, and cooked just the way I like it. The other two guys who were traveling together, were very quite, and we did not think this table would be for us, so since we got along with the other two females, we all went down to see the maitre'd to see if he would be able to change our table for the remainder of the cruise. He accommodated us quickly, and we were given the late sitting in the Paris Dinning Room but downstairs at table 312. Could not wait to see who we would be sitting with for the remainder of the week. After dinner we went to the casino were I won a little to keep me going for the rest of the week Slots were paying off tonight. We made it an early night since we were all tired since we were up since 4:30 a.m.

Day 2
I was up early today, guess my body still has its alarm on work schedule, but no problem with that got out of the bed, dressed, and went up to the Lido Deck for a cup of tea while the others slept in. Since I was up by 6:30 a.m., I was able to watch the sunrise. This was a beautiful site. I just sat by the pool and relaxed until the other two joined me and we went down to the Paris dinning room for breakfast. This was the only day we opted to eat breakfast there. We met some wonderful people, who convinced my daughter and girlfriend to swim with the Sting Rays when we were in the Grand Caymans. Had a wonderful breakfast starting with fresh melon.

After breakfast we explored the ship before going to the Rome Lounge for the excursion talk on Cozumel and Playa del Carmen. I stopped in the gift shop, as the night before, I saw the last Beanie Baby Bear that I was missing and wanted to price it. To my surprise it was the same price I was buying them for in NY ($7.00) so I treated myself to it. This made my day. After the talk we decided that we would do the Mayan Ruins so we would have to be off the boat tomorrow by 7:00 a.m. After the talk, we went back to the room to get ready for the pool. We had no problem finding lounges on the top deck. We found chairs placed our towels down and went down to the buffet in the South Beach Club for lunch. I did not see anything on the main buffet that was to my liking, so took some fruit and went off to get some pizza. By the way the pizza was the best I have had in a long time, and NY is known for good pizza.

After lunch we went back to take in the sun. As it was now around 1:30 I decided it was time for a drink, so when the bar server past, I ordered drink of the day the Island Delight. The drinks are reasonable, however, I had purchased the bar coupons in advance, and therefore they came out cheaper. I would definitely recommend buying these to anyone who would ask. The only drinks I paid extra for until I used them up was the drinks in the specialty glasses, which I did order a few as I wanted a few glasses as keepsake.

This afternoon they had an art auction, however, we did not go as we are not art lovers. I did hear from our table mates, who did go and made some purchases that it was interested and that they gave out original lithographic to anyone who attended.

Tonight was the first formal night, and the first night with our new table mates. We will find out who we will be sitting with for the rest of the week. We all showered and dressed for dinner, went up to have pictures taken and then to the Paris dinning room, table 312 to meet the other three. It turned out we were sitting at a table of all females. Three of us were on the cruise celebrating our 50th birthdays, so we had something in common. So it was now me with my daughter and girlfriend, two friends from Westchester, and a women and her two daughters. We warmed up to each other very quickly, especially the 10 year old little girl. She was a doll. Looks like we all made a good move. Our server Denise and our assistant waiter who I forgot his name were good. Tonight I ordered the Lobster, and had my friend who had never had it before order it as well, told her if she did not like it she could always give it to me and order something else. To her surprise she liked it. Of course, the dinner was always served with an appetizer and a salad, and even soup if you liked. The assistant waiter after the first night remembered what we wanted to drink after dinner and every night after asked if we wished the same.

After dinner we went to the Rome Lounge for the first of many shows. It was called Wonderful World starring the Carnival Truimph dancers and featuring Karina Wright & Christopher Alan Graves. The show was very colorful and well done, and the singers were very good.

After the show it was off to the Casino and I am still ahead of the game. The machines were still paying off tonight, and my daughter found out she likes the slots, it was her first time gambling. Now she is ready to go back to Atlantic City.

Day 3 - Mayan Ruins
Today we were up around 5:00 a.m. so that we could get ready to leave on the tender at 7 a.m. for the ruins. I am glad that I take my showers before going to bed at night because to have three females in the bathroom in the morning no one would every be ready on time. We went up to the Lido deck for breakfast before tendering off to shore. I once again started with fresh fruit, followed by a made to order egg white omelet, today along with bacon and a bagel. Coming from NY where bagels are really great, these were pretty good. Off the ship to the tender and then onto the bus to take us on the tour. The Mayan Ruins are very interesting, at one time you were allowed to climb them but over the years, since they are beginning to fall apart, you can only look at them. But learned some interesting things about them. There is also a lovely beach there where some of the people took time out to swim. My girlfriend found a lovely chess set in onyx and got the price down from $36 to $20 so she bought it for her son. We were once again on the bus and we were served either Mexican beer or coke, we choose the coke. Once back at the dock we boarded the catamaran to take us over to Cozumel, which took approximately 30 minutes, what a lovely breeze we had. We arrived in Cozumel and returned to the ship to drop off the chess set and get something to eat. Today, I tried the Coney Island Grill since I do not like Pastrami or Corn Beef, am funny about the Turkey that I eat and did not see that they had Roast Beef, so I never went to the NY Deli. The burger and fries were to my liking and would most likely be having either them or the pizza most of the week. Always began lunch with a large salad from the buffet. My daughter and friend both enjoyed their sandwiches from the NY Deli and enjoyed them.

After lunch it was back off the ship to do some shopping. We took a cab into town, cost of $5, and hit the shops that Cory had suggested. My daughter and I both found lovely Tanzanite rings which we got down from $460 to $210 and $235. I also purchased pendants one for me and one as a Christmas present for her. My girlfriend feel in love with the pendant and had one made up for her daughter who could not be with us. Found another onyx chess set for $19 for her daughters boyfriend and some other onyx pieces for myself, bought some of the vanilla I had read. My daughter found some really nice onyx wind chimes that she picked up for her nana and her dad and his wife, and then it was time to get back to the pier for the Sunset Booze Cruise. The catamaran was boarding so we did not have time to drop off our purchases or get anything to eat for dinner. The boat ride was relaxing and the sunset over the Caribbean was well worth the price of the excursion. The only problem was that we never got to Carlos and Charlies for a drink and fun. We still had time to do some shopping right at the pier and picked up a few more gifts. After arriving back on the ship we got a piece of pizza and to bed we went. We made it an early night.

Day 4
Today is the Fourth of July, but nothing special is happening on the ship. Again I was up early, around 7:00 a.m. and up to my favorite place, you guessed it the Lido Deck for my cup of tea. Found chairs by the pool as I knew the other two would be up shortly, I saved the chairs, plenty at 7:00 a.m. to choice from. The decks did not start getting people until around 8:30 or later, do not know why everyone says they are taken by 7:00 a.m. My daughter and friend were up by me by 7:30 today. Into the South Beach Club once again for our omelets and bacon along with a large portion of fruit. Love my fruit and it was very fresh.

It was a very sunny day so we took in the sun until around 10:30 left our towels and went to play a game of bingo while waiting for the excursion talks on Grand Cayman and Ochos Rios. My daughter did not stay for the talk so she was back to the pool. We did not win at bingo. We booked our excursions in the Grand Cayman and Ochos Rios. Back to the pool for some sun. Ordered a Mimi Vice and found a great new drink. we went to lunch at the buffet again today, do not want to spend to much time away from the sun.

Tonight the waiters and assistant waiters sang for us. I tried the Halibut tonight, never had it before, and found out that it was very tasty. After dinner we went to the casino as I did not want to see the magic show. Wanted to go to the Piano Bar, but never got there. The casino had me hooked.

Day 5
We did the Highlight A Tour in the Grand Caymans, which included Turtle Farm, the Town from Hell, and Sting Ray Island. While at the Turtle Farm it poured for about 30 minutes, but that did not stop us from the rest of the tour. Once it stopped, it was as if it never rained. It dried up as quickly as the rain came. String Ray Island was a fun experience. My daughter and friend got afraid of them, for one reason my daughter almost stepped on one and she almost slipped under the water. I did pet them, and tried to feed them. It was something I can say I did once, but do not think I would do again. We had stopped at Seven Mile Beach on the tour of the island and it was beautiful. If ever I go back to the Caymans I will spend sometime there.

After the tour, took tender back to the ship. ate pizza, as once again the Hong Kong Noodle Co. was not offering anything I liked. Can't comment on this place to eat as none of us ate there all week. We were than back on the tender, and off to shopping. We purchased some of the Tortuga Rum Cakes as I had heard they where very good, and after trying it decided to bring some home for gifts. At Captain Rackham's I bought some Rum Fudge, that was very tasty.. My friend found herself a Tanzanite Ring for a good price near the pier. I was looking for some Black Coral but did not see anything I liked. I was looking for the glass blowing factory and we finally did find it. It was not far from Captain Rackham's, and I purchased a small vase. Should have bought more, but since it is heavy, did not want to have to carry it. Went back to the pier at 3:15 as the last tender is at 3:45 and did not want to miss it. I noticed from the balcony, however, that the tenders were still going well past 4:00, guess with so many passengers on board, they did not have enough to get everyone back by 3:45.

Went back to the room and took a nap as we were really tired after being on the move every minute of the past few days. We then got ready for dinner, and off to the dining room. Tonight most of us ordered the filet migon, done just right. After diner we watched Corey Schmidt's exotic birds and then Louis Ramey in the Rome Lounge. After the show we went for Cappacino and dessert at the Vienna Cafe. I had the Black Forest Cake enjoyed it so much wish I could have done it more often. My daughter and friend had a very rich chocolate cake and loved them also. We also ordered chocolate chip cookies, very soft and chewy. Can see why this place on the ship cost extra. We were than back to the casino, started to loss tonight, as the slots are not paying the way they were the beginning of the week, but did not come with the hope of winning so if I loss I do not care. Around 1:00 a.m. we went back to the room to get ready for bed.

Day 6
Today we arrived in Ochos Rios, and I was again up early, as a matter of fact we were all up early and went up to the South Beach Restaurant and once again had breakfast. Today we did the Highlight Tour A, which included shopping in two of the shopping malls, a ride around the island, where we saw Shaw Park Gardens, which is a beautiful Botanical Gardens which overlooked the Bay of Ochio Rios. Here it rained for about 5 minutes, the Jamaicans call it liquid sunshine, it then cleared up. Here we saw some very tall trees that we were told were very old. Lovely water falls were also on these grounds. Once we left there, it when the shopping came, and then off to Dunns River Falls. The falls are a site to behold, and if you do not want to climb the falls there is a lovely beach where you can spend your time. We decided to climb the falls, this made my second time to do so. There are places to get off the falls if you find they are to difficult to climb, which my friend did. She saw it was something she did not want to do. The climb took about 45 minutes I think. It was then back to the pier, lunch and the pool. Nothing much to buy in Jamaica, except the 100% Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee, Rum Fudge and Rum Cream. The stores do allow you to test before you buy. I am not a coffee lover, but did enjoy this coffee and bought a pound. The pound package costs $14, however, they do sell smaller packages, which I bought back to give as gifts to friends.

Tonight was the second formal night. Pictures were taken again on the different decks. After dinner we went to see the Century Cafe which once again starred the Carnival Triumph Dancers and featured Christopher Graves and Karina Wright. After the show Cory introduced the staff, and Karina announced that this was Cory's last cruise on the Truimph, and that he was taking a week or so off before going over to Italy to bring the Victory over to NY for its sailing to Canada. He will be the CD on the Victory.

After the show, we went up to the South Beach Restaurant to see the Midnight Gala Fare and took pictures of the ice sculptures, and the cravings in the fruit, and the wonderful looking desserts that were on display for passengers to take pictures of before opening the buffet up for eating at 12:30. Everything looked great, however, did not want to hang around to find out if it was good for two reasons, one we were not hungry yet and wanted to spend some more time in the casino.

In bed by 1 a.m. as I wanted to be up early for our last day at sea.

Day 7 - Day at Sea
Today is our last day at sea, and in my eyes I think the best weather. The sun was shining, and I stayed in the sun from 7:30 until 11 a.m. when we had to go hear the talk on disembarkment talk and how to fill out the forms for customs. This took about one hour, and then it was back to the pool to take in the last few hours in the sun. We left the pool around 1:30 or 2:00 went to lunch and then cleaned up to do our packing and found out we need an extra piece of carry off luggage to pack all our gifts. We got cleaned for dinner after relaxing on the balcony.

Tonight was tip night, and the waiters and assistant waiters are all in good spirits knowing this. We did tip the recommended tips, but some at our table did not, as they were not totally happy with the waiter and his attitude. My feeling is that the $3.50 a day is not bad and I would usually tip this in NY if I were to eat out for dinner.

After dinner we said good-bye to two of our table mates as they would not be down for breakfast in the morning. We were then in the casino until late, Today I tried the drink of the day which was the Caribbean Breeze, but did not enjoy it as much as the others I had tried. Still my favorite for the week was the Miami Vice.

Day 8 - Disembarkation
Today had to be up early, even if you did not want to we had to be at breakfast at 8:00 a.m. since we needed to be in Rome Lounge at 9:15 to await our turn to leave the ship. After breakfast, we said good-bye to the rest of our table mates, exchanged numbers, hoping to hear from everyone, and went to back to our room to get our carry off luggage. It was then off to the Rome Lounge to wait our turn. Since some had not cleared customs, it took longer than it should have. Total time to get off ship was approximately one and half hours. We found our luggage quickly and off to the shuttle bus to go to the airport, checked in at the airport and waited around until our flight. Arrived in NY around 4:30, good thing we had an early flight out of Miami, since I heard a storm was going to hit and may delay flights.

I have a few comments that I had not included in my day to day writings. My daughter never went into the disco, as she said that even after midnight it had tons of teens in it and the older crowd did not want to hang out with them. Piano Bar was also crowded so did not get in there as well, but heard it was a good time for everyone. There was a guy playing a piano small area near the Vienna Cafe that we sat and listened to once and he was very good. Many children were on board, and at times were annoying while we were in the pool, jumping off the sides of the pool making big splashes. I never encountered them running in the halls either at night or during the day.

This was the best vacation I have had in a long time. As a matter of fact, when I returned my mother said how relaxed I look, she said it again this week. I said that is what a cruise does for you. I hope to be able to afford another one next year, and it will most likely be on Carnival.