Carnival Triumph Cruise Review by lupaglupa
- Sail Date: February 2019
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Ocean View
This was my first Carnival cruise and I had pretty low expectations based on the things I'd heard from others cruisers. In some ways, Carnival and the Triumph exceeded my expectations. In others, they sadly failed. Many things that bothered me can easily be linked to Carnival's choices about how they sail (it's a FUN ship) and the prices they charge (as in, you get what you pay for). Other issues were just odd and hard to explain. Overall, I enjoyed the cruise, more for the excursions than the ship.
The biggest plus was the staff. We had almost uniformly good service on the Triumph, even though it seemed the staff were asked to do more than I've seen workers on other ships do. The ship was very clean, public areas were well maintained, and the staff in the dining room were very responsive. The ship was partly done in what will be the colors of the Sunrise and partly done in an older color scheme. The "theme" was a bit muddled but overall it was a pleasant ship to be on.
Our cabin was surprisingly spacious and the beds and bath were fine. There was almost no storage space - we kept most of our things in the suitcases because there was only one drawer - and it was partly filled by the hairdryer. There were several cupboards in the room which seemed designed to hold nothing - odd shapes that were unsuitable for clothes or anything really that a cruise passenger would bring. The biggest problem we had in the cabin was noise from the bar at the bottom of the atrium. Due to the design of the ship that bar was open to the staircase near our room. Nearly every night we had to suffer through the last set before we could sleep. I also never figured out why we had a toilet bowl cleaner in our bathroom. An odd extra I haven't seen on other cruises.
We ate nearly all our dinners in the Paris dining room. The menu choices were decent and most of the food was good, though not exceptional. Desserts were surprisingly bad all throughout the ship. The buffet at the Lido was billed as "comfort food" and generally consisted of ordinary items lightly seasoned. Scattered around the lido area were other food options. The burritos were quite good, among the best food on the ship. The burgers and fries from the Guy Fieri linked counter were good, as was the pizza from Pizza Pirate. I never tried Chopsticks, the Asian food choice. Carnival calls many of these choices restaurants - several are just holes in the wall. The food options were where I most noticed cost cutting. Carnival cruises are affordable and those savings come from somewhere - on the Triumph it seemed to me to come mostly from the food.
My impression of the entertainment was that it was almost all loud and bad. I love shows and always try to catch most of the offerings on a cruise ship. On the Triumph I was very disappointed. The magician did a few tricks, watched the dancing girls, and thanked us all after 25 minutes. That was the show? The big show, a tribute to New Orleans, was so bad I walked out. Music at the bars was a mix of old rock, soft rock, pop rock, and shouted by the audience rock. Many people seemed to enjoy it and it did make the atmosphere festive.
The pool areas were large and pleasant and a focus of much of the day time activity. We appreciated having one pool area be more quiet and spent much more time there. There were a lot of games and things happening on the sea days. One really odd decision - on all but the last night the movies shown pool side were PG-13. Why did they not have movies for children in the earlier slot? It seems to me a lot of families would have liked to have a nice G movie at 7 pm.
My teen aged son went to Circle C once, made a few friends, and never went back. I can't really fault the staff - teenagers are tough to please. The facility seemed nice and staff were helpful.
The best part of the cruise was the two excursions. In Cozumel with did Cenotes and Sea Turtles which was wonderful. In Progreso we toured the Mayan Ruins at Uxmal which was fascinating. Oddly, while Carnival did a great job getting us pertinent information before the Cozumel excursion, they had no information at all for the Progreso excursion. I even asked for info and was told there was none. That was a shame as a few helpful facts would have been good (most importantly - bring cash).
Unless I found a Carnival cruise with perfect dates and ports and no other options were available, I can't think I'd take Carnival again. I missed the good food and extra touches I find on more upscale cruise lines. But Carnival wasn't all bad and I could see that many people had a great time.
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