We sailed on the estern Caribbean cruise on Mar 3, 2001. This was my 5th cruise and the second on Carnival (but the last time was on the Festivale as a child in 1979 so it really can't be compared.) We had a great time. The cruise was exactly what we expected, no more but also no less. The high points of the lude:1. We arrived at the port in Miami and dropped off our luggage at the curb. When they saw we were travelling with a small child, they moved us through the embarcation process in less than 15 minutes (for which we were very grateful). 2. We found out then that we had received a complementary cabin upgrade from Category 4F (inside, Lido deck) to Category 8A (outside, Upper deck, with balcony). Again we were very grateful.3. Throughout the week our waiter and busboy (Lisston & Jeishon) provided excellent service. Never too obtrusive but always available. Remembering our likes and dislikes. Very helpful with our children (our group included 3 adults & 6 children).4. The Assistant head waiter (Sonchai) mixed up "gourmet" baby food and brought it to our table every night for our 11 month-old. I tried a bite and it tasted better than the jars of food we brought to feed him.5. Speaking of kids, Camp Carnival was terrific! Our children truly begged to be allowed to go back every day. We never got the sense that we were "dumping" our kids so we could go have fun.6. The quality of the shows was a step above what we have seen on other ships. It makes sense that with more passengers there would be more money available to hire more and better performers.7. And of course there was the cruise director. I can't remember a thing about the cruise directors on the other ships I've been on, but John Heald is truly unforgettable. Of course ther were some areas which cry out for improvement.1. The food selection was more limited than I would like, especially at breakfast. Also everything semed a little bland at times, as though they were afraid to offend anyone's palate.2. You can't go from one end of the ship to the other on deck 3. You have to go up or down one deck. This was actually very annoying.3. The no smoking areas on deck were not enforced. Everyone can't sail on their smoke-free ship, so for the benefit of us non-smokers, Carnival should police this a little better.4. Very unreliable elevators.5. Shore excursions to snorkel on St. Croix were cancelled because the surf was too rough but noone at the snorkel rental desk on the ship bothered to pass this information along to people renting equipment to snorkel on there own. One 9 year-old passenger required rescue by an alert swimmer with a boogie board.6. Everything (shows, announcements, etc.) was just too loud!7. Announcements during the day about such critical events as frog races and knobby knee contests were carried on the speakers in the cabins, making mid-day naps almost out of the question.Overall we got what we expected. We like the food on Holland America better. We don't particularly go for hairy chest and limbo contests. But we were traveling with kids and for them Carnival was great. If you are looking for afternoon tea and 5-star dining on a ship without children or young people don't try Carnival. But if you want good shows, better service than you'll get at home, lot's of activities for the kids, and lots of things to do all day, that's what we found on the Triumph. Don't expect more than that and you will have a great time. Bon Voyage.
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