Carnival Triumph

As the largest ship in the Carnival fleet, and one of the largest cruise ships in the world, it is fitting that the "theme" for Carnival's newest titan, the Carnival Triumph, sister to the Carnival Destiny, is "the world." The theme is extended throughout the ship's decor, which abounds with maps and globes everywhere, from a huge mural over the Capital Atrium to the handrails capping each staircase.

Largest ship in the Carnival Fleet arrives in New York

Even the ship's spectacular new stage show, aptly named "Wonderful World," and created for and featured only on this ship, portrays this global village in an exemplary visual fashion.

Side by side, it would difficult to tell the two sister ships apart, but not impossible. There are a few subtle but meaningful differences that reflect the education the Carnival engineers have gathered after two years hands-on experience with the Destiny.

From the outside, one significant difference in the Triumph is an additional half deck of cabins in the forward part of the ship. This is to compensate for the elimination of the passenger cabins located over the discotheque on the Destiny that luckily, on Triumph have been designated for crew, DJs and musicians who are up late anyway.

Another difference is the expanded deck space both in the forward area and around the funnel, enough to accommodate an additional 400-500 deck chairs on the Triumph.

Inside, the most obvious difference is a more subdued decor. Designer Joe Farcus quipped, "Well, like our passengers, I'm getting older, too." The outrageous accents in Destiny rooms such as the Downbeat Nightclub, with a giant saxophone hanging from the ceiling, and barstools shaped like clarinets, are toned down or completely eliminated on the Triumph. The colors are darker and the lighting more subtle�no more buzzing neon behind every fa�ade. In fact, it is actually too dark since there are precious few windows and scarcely any natural light in any of the public rooms. One actually loses any sense of daylight or of being at sea.

There are bright spots. The ship's menu is new for Carnival, and it reflects more quality, including delights like lobster and chateaubriand in smaller "nouvelle cuisine" portions. The dining room offers many tables for two, over 30 altogether, and as another surprise, features female waiters and bus boys. Carnival boasts it no longer has any gender requirements for any position on its ships.

The service was spectacular, especially considering that this is a ship that carries as many as 3,400 passengers at a time. The waiters were attentive and personable, and no one is wanting for anything for very long. But Carnival does pack a lot of people onboard�the previous sailing held an additional 600 people, and this can become relatively frustrating at buffets and shows.

All-in all, if you like Destiny you will like Triumph, because they are nearly identical ships. Aside from more tables for two in the dining rooms and more deck area for sunning, the main difference is the decor which is a lot more subdued. For more about the ship see our updated review in our "ship reviews" area, and for a close-up on the spectacular stage show created just for this ship go here.

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