July 23, 2009
New York City to St. John (New Brunswick) Canada
This was my fourth Carnival Cruise to date and as expected it was both an incredible and "Triumphant" experience. I sailed of course with my all too beautiful Wife – Princess Doll Susan and we were joined this time by my Brother Jim and his lovely wife Karin.
We set sail from The Port of New York (NYC being my old home town) so I was somewhat familiar with all of the sights, sounds, and yes – smells of New York and didn't need any pre-cruise touring however I would suggest that if you have never been to NYC then you certainly must not limit yourself by just going to and from the Cruise Port and the Airport, there is just so much to see and take in.
Back to the cruise.... The Port of NY is fairly well organized and we had no difficulty whatsoever in checking in. In fact, checking in here was the FASTEST I have ever checked in anywhere thus far and I give kudos to CCL and the port personnel for having their collective acts together. In general, embarkation was a simple 1-2-3 procedure and just couldn't have gone any smoother. I know I read somewhere that someone wasn't very pleased with the embarkation in NY or dealing with the staff, but I'll just say if you don't understand the "NY attitude" and have a sense of humor too then you might just get your feathers ruffled. Remember, you're going on a cruise so lighten up Francis.
Welcome Aboard... The Triumph is a BIG ship; I believe one of the (if not the) biggest ships in the CCL fleet. Nevertheless, if one is already familiar with the basic layout of a CCL ship, particularly the deck names, then you will not have any trouble finding their way around especially to the LIDO DECK for lunch. Those of you that have sailed before know exactly what I mean – starting your cruise off as early as possible (as soon as they open the doors at around 11:00 AM) and heading straight for the Lido Deck for lunch and a beverage of your choice, is the only way to start your cruise!The only thing that dampened things a bit was the inclement weather (that's code for RAIN)!!! The cast off / sail away deck party was best attended by ducks as the rain just kept pouring. We did manage to get some rainy pictures of Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty but hidden in rain. Lady Liberty needed an umbrella rather than a torch! The food...of course was above par and as always quite bountiful, there's just too much to eat at any one time but it's very nice to know that you have such an abundant array of choices. This goes for dinner as well which was enjoyed by all in the London Dining Room. There isn't much more to say about the food per se that hasn't been said already except – keep it coming! On a side note, our headwaiter ZUBIN and assistant waiter AMY did an incredible job of keeping everything well organized and the table happy. Zubin is by far THE BEST waiter that we have ever had and should be a maitre'd himself. Excursion Time... We chose to do the Kayak and Lobster Bake excursion on the St. John River. THIS IS A MUST DO!! Yes, it is one of the more expen$ive excursions, however when all is said and done (and eaten too) then the overall cost will pale in comparison to the experience. This excursion is appropriate for beginner kayaker's and lobster novices alike. Three miles (round trip) of kayaking up/down the St. John followed by an incredible feast of mussels and whole lobster (not to forget about the maple cookies) was one of the best and tastiest excursions I have ever experienced. One another side note, St. John is not the warmest town, but certainly not the coolest. We experience temperatures that started around 60 degrees that climbed (perhaps crawled) into the low 70's. Not bad, but for some it might be cool; I was just fine in a bathing suit and t-shirt for the excursion and shorts and an aloha shirt afterwards when we walked around the city market area and stopped for an Alpine beer – cheers! FOG....Yes, I said fog and plenty of it too. Our second Fun day at Sea was more of a Fog Day at Sea. Despite the fog and clearing later on I actually managed to get nasty sunburn on my knees. Debarkation day...We chose once again to use the self-assist debarkation process. After enjoying our last sit down breakfast in the Paris Dining Room we gathered our luggage and were off the ship and through customs in 15 minutes. Once again, the Port of NY seemed to have their act together. All-in-all it was yet another great cruise, one that I shall never forget and I cannot wait until we sail again – just around 88 days from now when we sail on the Carnival Legend for my 50th Halloween Birthday. I'll be the one dressed as a Starship Captain sailing out on the Starship USS Carnival Legend – NCC-1959! See you on deck... ShotoJuku