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

Carnival Triumph
by Malissa Neiswonger
April 21, 2000

This was my first cruise. I traveled with 4 other people, all of us staying in one room.

Embarkation:
Because our flight was late we arrived at port around 4:00 which gave us absolutely no lines. We were on the ship within 15 minutes.

Room:
We were on the Verandah deck cabin 8046 towards the back of the ship. This was a pretty convenient location for us because it was right under the South Beach Cafe and the Lido pools. If we got hungry or thirsty we just ran up a flight of stairs and picked something up.

The room itself was great. We had a balcony which turned out to be lovely. We had a queen size bed, a couch bed and a pull down bed. We also had to bring in a cot but even with all this it was still quite comfortable. The bathroom was large with a big mirror and medicine cabinet. We also got 2 bathrobes and a basket full of goodies from starbursts to razors to soaps. It was great. We always had hot water and great pressure.

The ship:
I was very shocked at how large this ship really was. It took us half the trip to find our way around but that was the most fun. Getting lost and finding new places to explore gave us countless hours of fun and entertainment. Also because the ship was so large I rarely felt it move. I did feel it rock slightly when I was laying in bed, but that just made me fall asleep faster. However I would still take dramamine or bonine just in case you hit some rocky waters. We hit that one night and if I didn't take that dramamine I wouldn't have been eating my dinner. Also, if you have any type of ear problems like I do, plan on feeling the boat after you get home. I was feeling the boat move for about a week after my trip and it got so bad one day that I had to leave work early. (Don't let this affect your decision to cruise)

The food:
We ate our dinners in the Paris dining room, (late seating) grabbed our lunch either from the Noodle factory, pizzaria(?) or coney island and our breakfast was eaten at the South Beach Cafe (buffet). Our dinners were absolutely great. I'm not a really picky eater and it's not often that I get to eat fancy foods so this was a treat for me. I ate the following meals: New York strip steak, lobster tail, cornish hen, garlic shrimp, prime rib, and a pasta dish. Everything was so good, especially the cornish hen. I also had salads and a couple times I would get an appetizer like french onion soup, or shrimp cocktail.

Lunch was pretty good too. The ceasar salad from the pizza place was great and so was the pizza. The chicken sandwich from coney island was yummy and the chinese from the Noodle Factory was so good. (As you can tell, I love food). I really can't say anything bad about the food except that breakfast wasn't the greatest. I don't eat much for breakfast anyway so I wasn't very disappointed. I was told that the made to order omelets were very good though.

The best part of this trip was even after all the food I ate, I still lost between 5-10 pounds. (I tried to stay pretty active)

Entertainment:
We went to all of the shows after dinner except the magician. They were all pretty entertaining especially the comedians. I have never laughed so hard before. The R rated show the one night was superb. (Sorry I can't remember their names) We didn't attend any of the ship activities during the days, which now I kind of regret. I really didn't know they were going on so I didn't go. I spent most of my days at sea taking in lots of sun. Which was just fine with me.

Schedule of events:
Our first day was at sea. This was Easter and formal night. I suggest you take advantage of all the picture stations. They're done professionally and you can have as many done as you want. Of course the prices are a little steap. $20 for 8X10. We spent this day soaking up the sun. We went back to the room about 2 hours before dinner to get ready (we all took our showers at night). The show this night was the Las Vegas style show.

Our first port was Cozumel. My friend and I did the horseback riding tour and had a great time. Our tour guide Charlie was very informative and very funny. After that we went back to the ship to lay out and wait for the other people in our group to get back from their tour. This was a good time to lay out because there was no one on board. We relaxed for a while and picked up some dinner from the coney island before heading into town. We shopped a little and found some pretty good deals on silver and other trinkets (not gold). We also stopped at Carlos n' Charlies for yards of Margarita's. These were tasty but very strong. If your not a drinker, I don't suggest this drink. We grabbed a taxi back to the ship ($5) and headed for our room.

The third day was at sea and was the Captain's Cocktail party (free drinks and food). Again we spent the day in the sun. Our second port was Grand Cayman. We shopped in the morning and did the Stingray City tour in the afternoon. This was the best tour I went on. We had so much fun that we can't wait to go back and do it again. On our way back from the sandbar we spotted a funnel cloud. This was neat. When we got back to the ship it rained for about 15 minutes and the sun stayed shining through it all. We spent the rest of the day relaxing in the sun. It was a good day.

Our last port was Ocho Rios. We did not have a great experience here. We wanted our hair braided and somehow we ended up getting completely ripped off. They try charging $3 per braid and trust me it adds up. I think I spent $40 for just the front part of my head to be braided. My friend got her whole head done in small braids (110 braids) and they tried charging her $2 a braid. They wanted $200 for that. She only gave them $50 plus a $10 tip. Yes they ask for tips too, even after they rip you off. That kind of ruined our day so we shopped for about an hour and went right back to the ship. This was the second formal night.

Our last day was at sea. We just relaxed the entire day. We went back to our rooms early this night to start packing and getting things together. We had to have our luggage outside of our cabin by midnight (ours was out 15 minutes before midnight). The final morning we ate our breakfast and spent about 1 hour waiting for our tag to be called. We were one of the last groups called. We got off the ship pretty quick and were at the airport by 11:30.

Service:
I don't have much to say about these people other than they worked really hard. Of course they weren't always prompt with our food or perfect with our room questions but we did not let those things bother us. They still did wonderful jobs and we tipped them well. What most people don't realize is that these people are working on these ships for 6 months out of the year, without any breaks. Most of them have to ship their tips to their families so they can have something to live off.

Other comments:
For my first cruise I had a wonderful time. I can say that this was absolutely the best vacation I've ever taken. If you go without expecting the world and just want to have fun you'll enjoy it too. The only problem we encountered was the families that would save deck chairs for their kids, who never used them. We would spend almost an hour looking for chairs almost every day at sea. Most of the time families of 5 or more would save chairs (disregarding carnival's policy) for their entire family and these chairs would never be used. People, try to be kind to others and only get chairs that you'll use. And don't save them!!!!!

I hope this review helps you in any way. It's not the most informative because I didn't do too much. Sorry about that. I'll make sure that I do more things on my next cruise in March on the Ecstasy.