I just returned from my cruise on the Carnival Triumph to the western Caribbean. We had a great time. First, a little about those of us who went. We were a group of eight, five adults and three children. The kids were ages 7, 10 and 12. Of the adults, three of us have cruised before. Embarkation went very smoothly, even though there appeared to be a long line, and we were on board within 30-45 minutes. I'm not sure what time we got to the pier, but I think it was about 1:15. Once on board, we all found our cabins and then went out to explore for a little bit. We went and bought our soda cards first thing. The soda cards are about $30 for adults and $20 for kids. They are well worth the money if you drink soda. However, you should know that the soda cards are only good for "fountain" drinks, in other words, you will only get a glass of soda, not a can or bottle. It was still well worth it. For the kids, it was nice because they could get themselves a soda without looking for their parents. Then we went up to the 10th deck to watch as we left the Port of Miami.We all had our luggage by dinner. We had the main seating in the Paris dining room. The food was excellent as it has been in the past. Our wait staff were the best!! Not only did we have our waiter and assistant waiter, we also had a cocktail waitress. All three were the best. The cocktail waitress came to get our soda order the first night, and then had our soda's waiting at the table every night after that. Our waiter cut up my nieces steaks for them and fed them while he was cutting the meat. The girls really got a kick out of him. He was very attentive to all of us. Our dining experiences were all wonderful. He also looked for us every morning at breakfast, and came over to wherever we were eating, just say good morning. Our cocktail waitress also took very good care of us at the cocktail parties. For the Captain's cocktail party, the waiters and waitresses walked around with trays of drinks, but we were able to order whatever we wanted, and she brought it to us. The three of us who have cruised before were all invited to a "return cruisers" party. And again, our cocktail waitress got us whatever we needed, and came back often to see if we were ready for a new drink. Needless to say, we had an envelope for her at the end of the trip also.Some information about the shore excursions, In Cozumel, we went to Chakunaab Park. For four people in a cab, it cost $8 each way. It is $10 per person to get into the park. There you can swim and snorkel. I did not go snorkeling, but what was told it was great. My sister and the three girls did the swim with the dolphins. My sister made reservations over the Internet before hand. It is costly, about $119 per person. But, it was worth the money to see the look on the kids' faces. It was a once in a lifetime experience. We also bought the video for $50 and there are also pictures you can purchase. It was by far the most expensive port, but really was worth the money. I was not real impressed with the shopping in Cozumel, most of we bought, we bought right at the shops on the pier.In Grand Cayman, we found a private excursion to Stingray City. We were given the information at the information desk. We paid $30 dollars per person. The cab fare was separate, but it was nice having such a small group. In Ocho Rios, we did Dunns River Falls. Cab fare was, I think, $5 per person, and that was round trip. The shops on the pier were not that impressive. My sister, cousin and her husband took a taxi to downtown to shop without the kids. It cost $3 per person. They walked back. They said it was only a 15 minute walk.Overall, we had a fantastic trip. Can't wait to go again. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me and I will do my best to answer you. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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