February 2014 - Carnival Triumph to Caribbean - Western
From embarkation to debarkation we had a great experience. Galveston was sunny but a little cold but we enjoyed being outside and having a beer while the Triumph was loading. Guy's burgers were great as was the food from the deli and pizza place. We ate in the Paris dining room and the service was great. The food was similar to a hotel meal, good but not great. Our favorites were the redfish, lasagne and chocolate cake desert. The rest of the meals, particularly the steak and prime rib were ok, but not great. We also had breakfast in the dining room and found this much better then the buffet. We really preferred the Lido deck over the main deck due to the more laid back nature of the crowd. Main deck was good but much more crowded and noisy. We met a lot of staff and crew during our visit and never met anyone who wasn't quick with a smile and happy to help. It was great watching the kids interact with the Camp Carnival staff. They were all having a great time.
we enjoyed Cozumel but be ready to pay premium prices and mingle with a lot of cruise folks. On our visit the Triumph was one of eight cruise ships we counted in port. But, the beaches and water were beautiful. We didn't pay for a carnival excursion because we heard from friends that we should just rent a car and head to the other side of the Island. This was a great idea. Had a beach to ourselves and enjoyed swimming in the gulf. Had an overpriced lunch at a local restaurant but the town exist for tourist so it's to be expected.
i really don't understand all the complaints about Progresso. There isn't a lot to do in town, but we took a bus (through Carnival) to Merida which turned out to be a great day. Forget Progresso and do the Mayan ruins or Merida tours. These are worth the time and are much less expensive then Cozumel.
We tried the casino on the return and enjoyed the country band . The dancers and entertainers are pretty good, but the Around the World show could use some updating. It's a bit forced. We also went to the comedy shows and they were both funny. The adult shows are good and they do a good job trying to warn kids out of the room.
There was a thick fog when we arrived in Galveston that didn't lift until around Noon, but the Captain and Cruise Director kept us well informed. Debarkation was relatively painless for as many people who need to come off the boat.
The staff from our room steward, bartenders, camp councilors, waiters, etc. all treated us so well we would definitely cruise on Carnival again.