‘Return of the Carnival Triumph’
Review 6/13/2013Just the Facts:
Ship: Carnival Triumph
Captain: Allesandro Iemmi
Cruise Director: Jen Baxter
We booked this short 4-day cruise two weeks prior to sailing primarily as a show of support for the Carnival Triumph returning to Galveston. I was also curious to see what 2.0 upgrades were added in addition to the repairs from the problems that occurred early in the year. This is my 35th Carnival cruise, second time on the Triumph, and 80th cruise overall.
Wednesday / Travel
We left the ranch about 2:30 pm and headed south to stay with good cruise friends. We had a nice casual drive and arrived about 6:30 in the Cypress area of Houston. A great evening and since I still have lingering effects of Schistosomiasis I was able to rest and break up the travel.
Thursday / Embarkation / Day 1
We anticipated early boarding since the Triumph had been in Galveston a few days so after a nice
|Geo Lopez in Rome Lounge - Carnival Triumph|
Very smooth seas overnight and good sleeping in the inside cabin, just enough movement for an enjoyable nights sleep. I was off to the Paris dining room for breakfast about 9:00 am. The Triumph
Saturday / Cozumel, Mexico / Day 3
Again very smooth seas overnight. We arrived early at the Puerta Maya pier and were docked well before the scheduled 9:00 am arrival. We are the only ship in Cozumel. We decided not to rush and let everyone leave so that we could enjoy the ship to ourselves this morning. I had a MDR breakfast this morning of fried eggs, bacon, and ham. I met DW on lido deck and there was no one in the pools and few guests on board, very nice. We took a taxi into town ($8) about 11:00 and I got a much needed haircut at Antonio’s where I’ve been getting my haircut for over six years. We then went over to Woody’s
|Woody's Bar & Grill|
Sunday / Fun day at Sea / Day 4
Another calm night at sea. The plan for the day is to do as little as possible. I had a MDR breakfast this morning, fried eggs, toast, bacon, hash browns, and ham. I ordered eggs over easy and they came back pretty much medium as I actually like them. Lesson learned. After breakfast I met DW on aft Lido deck and had a Bloody Mary while she had her breakfast. There was a very nice breeze on deck so we enjoyed it this morning. Midday DW visited the shops so I waited in the very nice lobby area and bar on deck three and people watched. We returned to Lido aft for lunch, the Lido was very
Monday / Debarkation
We did self-debarkation and walked off the ship about 8:35 am among the very first to leave. Just lucky on the timing and the Diamond VIFP card helped. They had quite a few Homeland Security agents working so customs went very fast. In fact we were the first through line #8. We walked over to EZ Cruise parking and were off the island at 9:00am and home about 1:30pm.
The Carnival Triumph of course is the ship that had the fire and was towed back to Mobile in February that brought such wide negative national publicity. Carnival has invested $115,000,000.00 (almost 25% of the original cost to build) in repairs, retrofit, and upgrades to her and this was the first return cruise. You can see the new Emergency Generator as it is mounted on deck. There were Triumph Returns banners and signs throughout the ship. She seems in great shape operationally. She does show her age in some areas, but is very clean and nice. Carnival certainly went all-out on this cruise to make the guests feel welcome and have a FUN time.
We didn’t have a variety of choice on cabins booking so late, but we have cabin 8420 an interior located port side aft on deck 8. This is generally our favorite location on a Carnival cruise ship. The cabin is almost like new. We have new carpet, new bedding, duvet, and pillows, new sheets and pillow cases, new robes, new towels, and more. One big change is the bathroom floor is now raised about 5+ inches from the cabin floor. They must of installed new plumbing. It seems odd that you are standing so high above the sink and your at the top of the mirror when you smile at yourself. The cabin steward was fine, the cabin was always clean and ice chest filled. The cabin has a swipe type safe, twin/queen beds, a hair dryer, but no refrigerators in the interiors (OK by me we never use them). I would suggest splitting the beds into twins for more floor space.
DINING / FOOD / BARS / ENTERTAINMENT
Both the Main Dining Room and Lido Buffet have new carpet, new table cloths, new napkins and looks very nice. The Salads Bar on the buffet is very good. The new Blue Iguana for burritos and Guy’s Burgers are excellent. The buffet food is pretty standard, but the desserts are good. The MDR food is IMHO just adequate, but we had a nice two top table and location and the waiters were good. Again the desserts were probably the better part of the MDR experience. Room Service was good and very prompt. I believe Guy’s helps that situation. Still no Mongolian Grill, but they have Chopsticks, an Asian specialty spot. DW reports that the cookies are good. Love the new Alchemy Bar and the Lobby bar is very nice. Thirsty Frog beer is available in the Red Frog Rum bar, EA Sports bar, and Lobby bars. If guests want the full entertainment experience, then the Triumph may be the ship for you. They have a large 12+ member ship orchestra, 13 production dancers, and two excellent feature singers. Also bands and solo performers.
One of the concerns I had was will the crew be experienced and trained on the new features since the ship was out of operations for several months. Many had been on board for a while, but many crew just joined the day prior and day of sailing. We did not get our cabin service on the first evening, but overall it was mostly a non issue and everything seemed to run very smooth from a guests point of view. I think most new crew were experienced. The entire crew were certainly very friendly. The crew really made the cruise, my favorites this cruise were Milos and Maja in the Alchemy and our MDR waiter Ari.
There is really a lot to do on the ship with bingo, casino, trivia games, and excellent entertainment. This is a very good starter ship for newbies to cruising and there were a lot on board, also a lot of extended family groups. A perfect ship and cruise for both. Again I usually do not sail in summer, but if I did I would not sail the Triumph unless I had a balcony so I would have my own private space away from children. As an experienced cruiser and as I get older I prefer longer cruises, but this was certainly.....
...a FUN and INTERESTING cruise.