January 2016 - Carnival Triumph to Caribbean - Eastern
First, how can any cruise to these island ports be bad! We enjoyed every day, but did have some major issues as well. This is an older ship, but well appointed and not an issue except as noted below. This was our first Carnival cruise. Will we use Carnival/Galveston again. Maybe, but will probably not be our first choice vs cruise lines/ports where we have not had these issues.
The GOOD: 1)Staff was friendly/efficient and, except as noted below, helpful. 2) Rooms were clean with good closet/storage space including a nice bathroom cabinet. 3) Bed/pillows were comfortable. 4) Food/service was good and liked inclusive omelets/ salsa/ stir-fry/hamburger stations as alternative. 5)Excursion desk was helpful when had questions. 6) Great ports
The BAD: 1)We use Room Safes for all passports/credit cards/cash. Had older safes tjat lock with a credit card or drivers license, both of which will NOT be the same number even for couples with the same account. Unless together, only one person has access and a card I want IN the safe is not. 2) Dining Time indicated when purchased was Open and preference was confirmed. On board were told that "confirmed" only our preference, but assigned 8:00pm! This time was NOT acceptable and a 10 day issue!! 3) Normally do not buy liquor on cruises. However tried some high quality Puerto Rico rum thought might not be available in US, so bought at Carnival's Duty Free Shop. At NO time were we told Texas limits to 1 gallon (my 4 liters exceeded) regardless if <$800 value and in Galveston EVERY bottle is taxed by Texas $3.75 for first & "$3.75 +3% price" for each additional (so have your receipt available)! Looked up at home and they started collecting in 2014. I firmly believe lack of disclosure by Carnival Duty Free personnel is UNETHICAL when a single purchase exceeds legal amounts for the port of disembark! Had the 4th liter been confiscated, and they do confiscate, I would be even madder. 4) If you are NOT a SMOKER this is not a good ship. Yes there are no smoking areas, but the worst offenders are OPEN and part of public walkways. The Casino and most bars are on the 5th floor and you cannot go anywhere on that floor - coffee shop, shopping, some entertainment - without gagging. The smell was evident just getting off the elevator. 5) Disembark was a Disaster!! Had indicated had early flight in Houston & shuttle connections - ignored again! To make matters worse a significant number of passengers on this cruise had premium/Platinum status and some are loud and rude about that status to the point it became a joke. ALL were allowed to disembark before anyone else, regardless of connections. Others had paid $50 a cabin for "FUN" rights like premiums. Unbelievable! One member of our party needed a wheelchair and were told all handicap parties could disembark before all other passengers at 8:30. Location given by customer service was not correct, and eventually found Carnival person who redirected to #3 holding for standard disembark. (Stood in long customer service line to get #3 vs issued #14/11am luggage tags). Announcement system auditability was also an issue in holding areas. Once off ship it did not get better. Unions at Galveston port require ALL luggage be unloaded before porters can assist and there are no airport-style pay self-assist carts. So all those premium passengers who got off early were standing around waiting for luggage or porters while we were missing our shuttle! Thanks to the shuttle service (not Carnival thank goodness), were able to catch a later shuttle with no issues. 6) If Disembark is this bad, I shudder to think what would happen if lifeboats had been required.