We loved the Triumph!

Carnival Triumph Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 36

Overall rating:

4.9 out of 5
Carnival Triumph

5 Night Western Caribbean (New Orleans Roundtrip)

Sail date: July 08, 2017

Ship: Carnival Triumph

Cabin type: Oceanview

Cabin number: 2459

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

Do not listen to the negative reviews by picky vacationers! This ship is very large and clean, and service goes above and beyond. Overall, we experienced a relaxing and adventurous vacation on the Triumph and would be happy to sail on this ship again!

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Embarkation was easier than we thought. We chose one of the earlier boarding times because it was our first cruise, and we didn't know what to expect, and wanted to have plenty of time to spare if we ran into difficulties. However, since we chose an earlier boarding time, we were in the longest and busiest lines. The whole process took less than 2 hours and was much smoother than the airport security/boarding experience. This allowed us to get onto the ship sooner, but in the future we may choose a later time for shorter lines.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
The Lido buffet and restaurants had plenty of variety and the food here was very fresh and tasty. However, the main dining hall takes the cake! We ate there every night and felt like were being pampered with so many gourmet options. The chef was simply amazing; everything I ordered was cooked to perfection and presented as if it were art. Also, one of the men seated next to us at our table had dietary restrictions due to a specific health condition, and the chef himself personally introduced himself and talked to the man about his needs and preferences. Each night, the chef made special meals just for this man (who was very humble and appreciative), and each night he came to our table to make sure his meal was perfect as can be. While this did not involve me directly, I am impressed at the level of attention and service that was given for this couple's specific needs. Our servers were very friendly, professional, and simply lovable! Each evening all the servers performed fun and hilarious dances in the dining hall, and as soon as the music stopped they were back at your table serving your desserts. The only real complaint I can think of is that the alcohol was expensive and weak. We didn't get the Cheers package because for us it wouldn't have been worth it (unless you're going to drink more than 5 drinks a day every day, it's cheaper not to get it), and so we were paying $10/drink. This would be fine with me if the drinks had been stronger. I couldn't taste (or feel!) any alcohol in my drinks except for the one time I got a double. That being said, I assume this is the case on all the ships. Don't skimp us on liquor when we pay for it, Carnival!

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
My husband and I, who are both in our mid-late 20s, wished there had been a little more variety for the activities on the ship. We didn't want to blow our money in the Casino, and you can only bake in the sun for so many hours! The ship offered activities throughout each day, but many of them required extra payments, and others were simply informative demonstrations (how to increase your posture or metabolism, etc) that we had no interest in. We did enjoy the comedy and magic show, and we participated in some of the trivia games, which were fun! We also participated in one of the Dive-In movie nights, where they show popular movies on the big screen on the Lido deck and serve popcorn. They showed at least 2 movies almost every night, including a variety of genres and ratings. I will say that there are only about 3 pools and they are all rather small; we never got in any because we let the kids get priority, of course! I never went to the gym (why would I do that on my vacation? Ha!), but my husband did, and he said the facilities were nice.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
We thoroughly enjoyed listening to all of the musicians on the ship. My husband (a musician himself) appreciated their individual talents and skills, and each group/singer brought something unique to the table. From piano bar to jazz band, steel drums to guitar covers, each musician was equally entertaining and personable. We attended one comedy show which was very short, but still enjoyable. We also attended magic show that was basically 4-5 magic acts with girls in thongs dancing in between each act. It didn't seem trashy necessarily, but it did seem sexist, because many jokes were cracked about the girls and all the attention seemed to go to them. The girls were beautiful and talented and I know they work hard at what they do, but I wish they had been given more respect for their dancing skills rather than just their sexy bodies. There were several children in the audience, as well, and it was not advertised as an adult-only show.

Children's Programs

5 out of 5
We do not have children ourselves, so I cannot give a true review here, but we saw many kids on the ship who looked so happy and excited! You can tell that the ship really does try to cater to children as well as adults. They have a Green Eggs and Ham breakfast as well as a Suess parade that we saw, and it was adorable and the kids around us loved it. On the last day there was also a towel animal puppet show that was so fun! We saw it from afar. I know they provide Camp Ocean for kiddos, too, and they have a pretty impressive water slide that was constantly full of smiling kids. From an outsider looking in, I'd say I would love to cruise as a kid on this ship!

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
our servers were very friendly, professional, and simply lovable! Each evening all the servers performed fun and hilarious dances in the dining hall, and as soon as the music stopped they were back at your table serving your desserts. We also saw very dedicated service in our room steward, as well as basically crew and staff member on the boat. They all work so hard to make your vacation the best it can be, all with smiles on their faces! If you have conversations with them, you'll learn that most of them really do love their jobs, but they also make big sacrifices to be there and are away from home for a long time. The staff on the ship played a huge role in our cruise experience, and they are one of the main reasons the Triumph deserves 5 stars!

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
My husband and I sailed on the Carnival Triumph for our first cruise experience, but I had some hesitations at first because I had read so many bad reviews about the ship. DO NOT LISTEN TO PICKY VACATIONERS! The Triumph itself, as well as our overall cruise experience, far exceeded my expectations that had been built from negative reviews. The ship itself is beautiful and very clean. I read reviews complaining about "outdated decor." Who cares? It looks like a cruise ship, not a Pinterest farmhouse, so I'm not sure if "out of style" really applies here. Parts of the ship have a fun Vegas-like feel to them, while others have a very classy and elegant look. The ship was constantly being cleaned and is very well-maintained.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
We loved our stateroom! We had an ocean view room at the back of the ship, and I actually loved this location. If you are at the back, you will feel the ship rocking at times and the hum of the engine, so if this bothers you, you may want to choose something toward the middle. However, we felt like the ship rocked us to sleep each night, and we got a great view from our window as we could see the ripple of the waves as the ship sailed forward. The cabin was plenty large enough, and even with two people, we had lots of extra space for our clothes and luggage. The bathroom was bigger than we thought, and we had lots of extra walking space in the bedroom. The bed was vey soft and comfortable, and everything was extremely clean. If we don't decide to pay extra for a balcony room, we will book an oceanview aft room again!

Ship tip

Eat in the main dining hall every night. Food here is extremely high-quality and you've already paid for it! The servers will treat you like family, and they also perform for you some nights! However, I would skip Sea Day Brunch in the main dining hall. It's very crowded and takes a long time for basically the same type of food you can get at the Lido buffet.

Ports of call

New Orleans, Louisiana

4 out of 5
The night before the cruise, we went to the French Quarter, and quite honestly I was a little disappointed. It was overly touristy, and I payed just as much to park for 2 hours as I did for my gourmet restaurant meal. It may be less crowded in the daytime, not sure. We did eat at a restaurant called Deja Vu where we experienced delicious New Orleans/creole style food; we had no regrets about this! It was fabulous dinner in a beautiful open atmosphere.

Cozumel, Mexico

5 out of 5
We did the Carnival excursion called "Turtle Cove and Cavern Snorkeling." If you love the water and want experiences you can't get back at home, look this up on the Carnival excursions page. It was completely worth what we paid for it and I would give it 5 stars!

Progreso (Merida), Mexico

5 out of 5
I've heard a lot of negativity about Progreso. That's because Progreso shows you the reality of Mexico, which is both sad and beauitful. Mexico is not a country that operates for the purpose of entertaining cruisers. This is their life, and if you spend your day in Progreso, all the money you spend is supporting their economy. Learn to appreciate the people and the culture, not turn your nose because it doesn't look like suburban America. Progreso was my favorite port! We took the Carnival excursion "Uxmal Mayan Ruins and Hacienda Ochil." 5 stars...I am so glad we booked this excursion! It is also a great value for what you are getting. The ruins themselves are simply unbelievable, and you do get to climb on most of them. One carnival excursion only takes you to the ruins and includes a box lunch; for basically the same price and same amount of time, you can book the excursion that also takes you to Hacienda Ochil, a beautiful local ranch, where they will serve you authentic Mexican food and drinks and give you time to explore the hacienda. I would highly recommend this tour...we loved it!

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
On the final morning, we chose to carry our luggage off with us, and we are glad we made that decision as we got to be one of the first groups out. Disembarkation took much less time than expected, and we were off the ship and back at our hotel within an hour (once again, so much easier than an airport!).
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