Dates: January 12-16th, 2012

We chose to take the 4 Day Caribbean Cruise on the Carnival Triumph out of Galveston for a couple of reasons. One reason being that we are just a 6-hour drive from Galveston and we could drive our car and park at the port. The second reason was that is seemed like the best option for our three year old son’s first cruise. It had 3 days on the boat and 1 day at port in Cozumel, which was just enough for trying out our son on his first cruise.

The Carnival Triumph is the Destiny class of cruise ships with the Carnival Destiny. So, for us, that meant we were quite familiar with the boat because it was laid out exactly like our last cruise we took to the Bahamas. All of the onboard lounges, buffets, and dining rooms all had different names, but it was essentially the exact same cruise ship.

I would typically break this review up into several sections, but because this was only a 4-day cruise with one port, I am going to do two posts – one for the ship and one for Cozumel.

Ship Facts

The Carnival Triumph features “Great Cities of the World” in the names of it’s lounges, restaurants, etc.  It is structurally the same as the Carnival Victory, and has more balcony staterooms than the Carnival Destiny.

The ship entered into service in 1999.

The current captain is Angelo Los, an Italian.

Registered in The Bahamas

13 Decks (technically, but captains are very superstitious about the number 13 so you won’t see it listed anywhere)

2,758 passengers

1,100 crew

Our Stateroom

For this cruise, we opted for a balcony stateroom on Deck 10 Foreword. The room had a king size bed (two twins combined) and a sofa that made a perfect bed for our son. I was a little concerned we wouldn’t have much storage space in the room since there were now three of us cruising for the first time together, but it actually worked out well.

The bathroom was a typical standup shower, but this one did have a medicine cabinet that we could recall having on the last ship. This came in handy for bathroom storage. Unfortunately, it had the same “hairdryer” unit as the Carnival Destiny. This is a poor excuse for a hair dryer, not to mention it looks like a handheld vacuum. The “shaver outlet” on it really is only for shavers. Even though you can plug in a curling iron, it won’t power it.

A word of advice to any women considering a cruise – buy a small, travel hairdryer that has a small plug in. The way the outlets are situation on cruise ships, if you have a large plug on your hairdryer, it won’t fit ANYWHERE! Unfortunately I had to use this hairdryer on board the entire trip and it took forever to dry my hair, not to mention that it got really hot on your hand.

The balcony in our room was excellent as always. I highly recommend balcony staterooms. If you’re a smoker, you can smoke on them, which saves you many trips to the outdoor decks and if you’re not, it’s always fun to just hang out, take pictures of the ocean and ports and relax.

My main complaint about our room has nothing to do with the room, but rather the Deck 10. It’s a small deck on the front end of the ship. This means that if you have to get to the Aft portion of the ship, it can be rather challenging. I will explain this more thoroughly in the dining section. However, it was just a floor below Camp Carnival, which made it convenient for taking our son upstairs to play.

Our room steward was Antonio. He was excellent! He knew our names and recognized us from the moment he met us. We even ran into him when we were headed back to the ship in Cozumel. He was in street clothes and we would have never recognized him if he hadn’t stopped to say “hi.” We were very pleased with Antonio’s service.

Dining

There are several dining options to take advantage of on the Carnival Triumph. All of which provide varying meals and food options. I will break them down here and explain our experiences.

24 Hour Room Service – The great thing about room service on a ship is that it’s free. We ordered room service for some snacks and a sandwich. They were prompt. The one downside is that you can’t order water through them. A room service menu is provided the day you embark. You can also have a breakfast brought to you, which we did on most mornings.

South Beach Club Lido Restaurant – This is the main lunch buffet on the Lido deck (Deck 9). You have the interior part of the buffet, which serves a variety of different food types over the course of the cruise. We saw America and Italian when we visited on board.

In the South Beach Club Lido Deck Restaurant you will also find a deli that makes fresh sandwiches. These are excellent and I would definitely recommend trying them.

You will also find a Chinese restaurant. We weren’t as impressed with this option. It was good, but the portions were small.

Continent Main Pool Buffet – This buffet typically has your hot dogs and hamburgers. We found that the line can get very long and move very slowly, but the food was always good.

Paris Dining Room – We chose the late seating for dinner and ended up in the Paris Dining Room, Deck 3 level. It turned out that having a room on Deck 10 Forward and having dinner on Deck 3 was not very convenient at all. It was so hard to get from our deck to the back end of the ship and down to deck 3. Part of this was because the kitchen and London dining room are in the middle of the ship and you can’t walk through the kitchen and it feels awkward “just passing through” the London dining room when people are eating. We ended up having to go down to Deck 2 and then take the stairs up one, or go to Deck 8 and then walk all the way to the back end of the ship and take the elevator down to Deck 3.

Saying that, the service and the food were par for the course. Our head waiter’s assistant was super friendly and called our son “Captain.” She would say, “Hey! It’s my Cap-i-tan! Can I get you some chocolate milk?” Then she’d bring him chocolate milk in a little wine glass. He loved it. She would bring him cookies and ice cream for dessert too and danced with him on the last dinner night. She was so friendly.

You can view all of the meals that we had throughout the cruise in the photo gallery below. The dining room is dimly lit, so some of the pictures didn’t turn out as nice as I would have liked.

Pirate Pizza Bar – For 24-hour pizza, this is your place. Most nights they had several pizzas ready to be served. Sometimes you might have to wait about 10 minutes until you can get the type you want. The slices are very large though.

The Grill – Opposite the pizza bar, there’s a grill serving burgers and hot dogs. They also have fries, chicken and chips.

Kid’s Only Dining – I did notice that Camp Carnival does do Kid’s Only dinner times. Parents can bring their children here for kid friendly foods like hot dogs, hamburgers and spaghetti. Our son liked eating in the dining room, so we never used this option.

Entertainment

There’s plenty of onboard entertainment for kids and adults alike. Aside from the children’s programs, there is an arcade and big movie screen (on the Lido deck). Adults have the casino as well.

Club Monaco – This is the casino and it’s open when you’re on the seas. It’s closed on port days. The casino offers a variety of slot machines, tables and video poker tables. We tried out the video Blackjack table, which was very interesting. We also played several different slot machines. We’re also a big fan of the quarter games, but didn’t do as well on getting free gifts like we did last time!

Underground Tokyo – This is the arcade. We were a little disappointed in the arcade. They had several games, but most would steal your money and didn’t work. A few were free, but most weren’t and you had to get tokens by charging your Sail & Sign card.

Camp Carnival – Our son had a great time at Camp Carnival. He was in the 2-5 age group. They got to make their own T-shirts, play games, make crafts and they had a kid’s party. Definitely go to the Camp Carnival orientation on the first day of your cruise. They do a good overview of everything and you can get registered there if you didn’t register online. They also give you a cell phone so they can contact you while you’re children are in Camp Carnival and you’re in port or doing the adult thing on the ship. They have Circle C and Club 02 for the older kids.

Lido Deck – The Lido Deck has a couple of swimming pools, several whirlpools and the waterslide. It also has a huge big screen. They showed the NFL playoff games on it when we didn’t have a downpour of rain.

Rome Lounge – This is the big stage where they do the game shows and performances. We didn’t have the opportunity to see any performances, but we did see the game shows on the stateroom television.

City Sports Park – Our son really enjoyed the mini golf on the sports deck. It’s a small course fit into a section of the Sports Deck, but it was rather amusing (and windy!) They also had basketball on this deck.

Nightclubs – There are several nightclubs, bars and dancing on the ship as well. Since our son was with us, we didn’t really partake in any of them, but they are all exquisitely decorated and people were having a lot of fun from what we could see.

The one bar we did visit was the Olympic Sports Bar. We watched the playoff games there while our son was in Camp Carnival. They had probably six televisions that spanned across the bar and then two others in the corners of the bar. It was raining very hard on Saturday of the cruise, so the reception was not very good and the game kept cutting out. It was fine though for Sunday’s games when the whether was not bad.

Internet Service

Since we have online businesses, staying connected is vital to us while we’re cruising. You can get WiFi in your stateroom, but it definitely comes at a cost. We spent $100 for 2 hours of Internet. You can also use the Internet Café if you don’t bring your own computer. The speed of the Internet was actually not bad at all though considering it is satellite Internet.

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