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Teen Mingling on Carnival's Triumph

by Lauren Johnson

I recently sailed on the Carnival Triumph, a cruise that I had been eagerly awaiting for almost six months.
I bought a ton of new clothes, and made a packing list two months in advance so that I wouldn't forget anything. It worked: I didn't forget anything, but then I also brought practically my entire room with me! I was only going with my parents, and I was really worried that I wouldn't meet anyone to hang out with for the week. Here is my day-by-day account of that cruise--from the teen perspective, of course--complete with a selection of photos that you can click into.


Our flight arrived at Miami Airport around 10 a.m., and at 10:30 we were told we couldn't get a bus to the ship until noon. My parents and I sat around in a little restaurant until it was time to get to the ship! We got a bus to the pier, and saw the Triumph for the first time at around 12:30. I was so excited I could hardly stand it!

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We saw a TON of people waiting to check in. But we had a Category 11 room, so we got Skipper's Club treatment--meaning you get to walk past everyone in line, practically straight onto the ship. It took us about 15 minutes to board, while it took others an hour and a half or more!

I walked around the ship for awhile, but I already knew how to get around since I had been on the Carnival Destiny, which has the same layout as the Triumph. After an hour, I got really bored, and worried that I wouldn't meet anyone for the rest of the cruise! I found my parents and ended up eating and going on a spa tour with them. After that, we proceeded to the lifeboat drill.

After the drill, I went up onto the Lido Deck with my parents to watch the ship sail away from Miami. The Imagination and Explorer of the Seas were also leaving at the same time.

As we were waving goodbye to Miami, I saw two girls, Victoria and Diane, whom I had talked to on the bus ride to the pier. They came over with their parents to where I was standing, and I started talking to them. I found out that they only live about 20 minutes away from me! Once we got out to sea, I ended up walking around with them.

We explored the ship for awhile, and as we were cutting through the South Beach Club Buffet, we saw three guys, so we walked over and started talking to them. Their names were Dusty, Micah, and Eric. All of a sudden, I was feeling a lot better about the cruise - I met five people in less than two hours!

Our first dinner was coming up, and I got my luggage just in time to change into a nice outfit. My luck was still holding: Sitting at our table were three other teenagers--Rachel, Adam, and Scott. They all turned out to be really cool, and I was glad that I got such a good table.

After dinner, I went to the disco with the people I had met earlier in the day. There were so many teenagers there--it was great!

At 11 p.m., we left the disco and went to the hot tubs, where we stayed until they were completely drained. After that, myself, four other girls and the three guys went down to the guys' cabin and just talked and hung out. I went back to my cabin around 1 a.m.


I got up and laid out in the sun for 2-1/2 hours with my parents. Then I met up with Victoria and Diane, and we found the three guys.

Cabin Girls
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We all went down the waterslide, swam, and got some lunch. I went off with the girls for a while. We got milkshakes from the Cafe, and they were great! We were addicted the second we started drinking them, so we got at least one or two every day after that! On the elevators, we met a really cute guy named Brandon. He was on his way to formal dinner in his suit, and we were just chillin' in our bathing suits, so we felt very under-dressed!

That night, there was a teen disco hour on the Lido Deck stage. There weren't
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many people dancing. I am not the greatest dancer, so I didn't join in. I went with Diane to talk to a guy we saw, named Tom. Diane had a thing for him for a little while! We walked around and ran into Brandon on deck. He talked to us, even though we didn't think he would after seeing us looking all nasty in the elevator! After that, I went to the Midnight Comedian with Victoria, Diane, and Tom. It was hilarious, but definitely not for little kids! Again, I turned in around 1 a.m.


Snorkel Girls
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We're in Cozumel, Mexico! We went on the Nassau Sun boat, and Victoria and Diane ended up being on our same tour.

We snorkeled off the boat for awhile, and I laughed to think how at that very moment, all my friends were in school taking their final exams! Our school ran really late this year.

Me and my mom snorkleing
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We got back on the boat and headed to the beach. As we were going, waiters kept coming up to us girls and asking "Would you like a beer, or a margarita?" It was pretty funny, since our parents were standing there, giving us the "Take it and you're dead" look.

We got to the private beach, and there were rafts, volleyball nets, tables and umbrellas, and a really cute little bar/hut all set up.

Cozumel Beach
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The beach was absolutely gorgeous! We ended up playing volleyball with a bunch of people, and some of them were really cute guys! It was fun, except for the fact that I'm terrible at volleyball! By the end of the game, I was just standing around. Everyone knew that if the ball came near me I wouldn't hit it, so whoever was next to me took over!

It was time to head back, so we got back onto the Nassau Sun. The ride back to port was a lot more fun than the ride out: Music was playing and we were dancing all over the decks. A conga line started, and when we did the Macarena, a woman we didn't even know came over and took our picture!

Carlos 'n Charlie's
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My parents and Victoria and Diane's parents got along really well, so we ended up getting cleaned up and going into Cozumel with them. We ate lunch at Carlos 'n Charlie's, which was very interesting--It was only 3:00 in the afternoon, and there were already people dancing on the tables. The waiters loved us.

After we finished our lunches, a waiter came over and said I had to come dance with him. I said I wouldn't unless Diane came, so he had another waiter dance with her! Victoria thought she was safe, but she was wrong--a third waiter grabbed her, and he was doing some pretty freaky dance moves! It was hilarious.

Afterwards, we shopped around Cozumel for a while and went back to the ship around 6 p.m. It was so hot we couldn't stand to walk around any more! When we got back on the ship, it was practically empty, and there were no activities going on. So we ended up going into the Rome Lounge and dancing around on stage, since a guy was in the booth working on his light set. That got old really fast, though. We were sitting in the seats and I was so bored I took a picture of our feet!

Crafton, Lauren, Diane, and Tom
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The three of us walked around the ship and did absolutely nothing until about 11:30 p.m., when everyone had to be back on board. We went to the disco for a little while, but I didn't really want to dance. Diane and I and a couple of the guys--Crafton and Tom--ended up going to the Lido Deck at the very back of the ship and just talking for a couple of hours.


This was our second day at sea. I slept in kinda late, and got breakfast/lunch with Victoria and Diane. They had to meet their parents, so I went up on deck and laid out with Brandon. Victoria and Diane came up later and we all laid out in the sun some more. (Why didn't I get tan? That's what I'm wondering!) We decided to get something to drink and we ran into all the guys we had played volleyball with in Cozumel.

We talked to them for a bit, and then went to watch the Marriage Show. It was really cute--the guys had to go up on stage and sing love songs to their wives. The three of us went to get milkshakes, and then it was time for dinner.

The Past Carnival Cruisers party was that night, so I had to go with my parents. It was kinda boring, but the three guys we were hanging out with showed up there, so I talked to them until dinner. At dinner that night, we had our first conga line of the week! Of course, I had to join in on the fun.

Towel animals
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I went back to my cabin and changed after dinner, and what did I see? All of our towel animals from the previous nights were sitting out together on the bed! They looked so cute that I just had to take a picture of them.

I hung out with the volleyball guys for about an hour in the lobby, and then we went to the disco for the rest of the night. I went in around 1 a.m., since I had to be up early for Grand Cayman the next day.


I think Grand Cayman was the prettiest of all the islands we went to. We took a tender to shore, and from there took a bus out to a small dock, where we got on a boat for a half hour ride to the Stingray City Sandbar.

I wasn't that nervous until I got there. The water at the sandbar was perfect - warm, totally clear, and so blue! The bad part was the school of gigantic stingrays swimming all around--it freaked me out! I quickly learned that the best way to avoid touching the stingrays is to just snorkel and float on top of the water. They'll come really close and swim right underneath you, but they'll never actually touch you.

We came back and ate lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, then went shopping and headed back to the ship. That afternoon, I checked my e-mail, although it cost me 75 cents a minute - I think I am seriously addicted to the computer! I looked around the ship's stores and hung out with a couple of the guys until dinner.

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That night, I went with Victoria and Diane and we got our pictures taken by the ship's photographers. It was fun, we felt like models! That night I danced in the disco most of the time, and I also hung out with Dusty for awhile.


We docked in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and my family took a small boat out to
My family Dunn's River Falls
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Dunn's River Falls. On the way, I had my hair braided by a woman who worked on the ship. It was $2 per braid, which seemed kind of expensive to me since I only got my hair braided halfway back! Still, she did a really great job. Then we climbed up the falls - wow! It was amazing. For the most part, the climb up the rocky waterfall was pretty easy but a few parts were so steep a guide had to pull you up.

After the falls, the boat stopped at a snorkeling area but I just laid out in the sun and talked to some teenagers that were on there with me. After the yacht tour, my parents and I went to Soni Shopping Center. I got all of my souvenirs for friends here. I wish I would've bargained sooner--my parents told me I could get really good deals if I tried, but I was too scared at first. In the last store we visited, I saw some crystal tattoos that I really wanted. They were $20, so I told the guy I could buy them cheaper on the ship. So I ended up getting them for $12, and I was pretty proud of myself!

Lauren and Cruise Director John Heald
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Back on the ship, I went to Victoria and Diane's room, where we watched the passenger talent show on TV. It was really good, and the bedtime story they put on afterwards was hilarious! That night, I had been invited to the captain's cocktail party, so my parents and I went to it before dinner. I got to meet the captain and the cruise director, John Heald.

Dinner was formal, and everyone looked great.

Lauren and Dusty
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There was a problem though. I had forgotten to take my seasickness pills that morning, and the ship was really rocking. I didn't get a salad or appetizer at dinner, and when I got my dinner I barely touched it. I left the dining room and went to the cabin to get some seasick medicine. I fell asleep until about 10 p.m., and then I met up with Victoria and Diane. It wasn't a very exciting night--a group of people got pizza and we ended up hanging out in the guys' cabin for a few hours.

We were all sad because the next day was going to be the end of our awesome cruise!


This was our last day at sea! I was super tired, and slept in until almost noon. I went to the South Beach Club and ate lunch with Brandon, Eric, Victoria, and Diane.

I went to my cabin to change and go lay out in the sun. As I was going upstairs, I ran into Josh and Dusty. I was really mad--Dusty and I laid out for three hours in the sun with no sunscreen on at all. Did I get tan? Nope. Did I even burn? No! I didn't get anything. It was very depressing. I figured, at least I have the braids. Maybe SOMEONE would be able to tell that I went somewhere!

Then it was time to go back to the cabin and pack... It was really hard because I kept thinking, "Tomorrow at this time, I'll be home." The final dinner was terrific as usual, and I said goodbye to all my tablemates.

All week I had been determined to go in the casino but we were always too busy. The last night, we were in the casino for about an hour. I was just glad that they didn't ask me for ID! I spent $10 on the nickel slots, and won $2. I can see how people get addicted to gambling!

We danced in the disco for a little while and then went to the guys' cabin. They turned on the movie "The Littlest Vampire," and everyone made fun of me because the movie cracked me up! I just couldn't help it. One kid said, "Is this the kind of movie you watch in Michigan when you aren't driving your tractor around?" (For some reason everyone thought I was a hick because I'm from Michigan. I'm really not, though!) We danced in the disco and got our final slices of pizza. I went into my cabin around 4:30 a.m.


I got up the last day at 7 a.m., and after just two hours of sleep I was not a pretty sight! I had bags under my eyes the size of Montana. I met up with Dusty and Trevor at the South Beach Club, and then we went down to the guys' cabin.

Everyone was saying goodbye and just trying to stay awake. Dusty came with me to my cabin to say goodbye for the last time, and I felt like the biggest idiot because I started to cry! People were walking by looking at me like I was crazy.

My dad got us VIP luggage tags, so we were the first people off the ship. It was so sad to look at everything one last time and think that I would probably never see it again! We sat around the airport for about two hours. Victoria, Diane, and a family that sat at our dinner table were all on my flight, so I talked to them while we waited to board. The worst part was when I fell asleep on the plane: I woke up and thought I was still on the ship - imagine how disappointed I was when I opened my eyes. At the airport we picked up our luggage and drove off into the sunset... back to reality!


Coming home is always hard, but I think it's a lot harder for us teenagers than for our parents. When our parents come home, they still have the people they hung out with on the cruise - their spouse (if they have one) and their kids. When we come home, we are so far away from all these new people we met!

I met people from Oklahoma, Florida, Oregon, Ohio, and tons of other places. We don't know when or if we will ever get to see them again, and it's not fun! The night I got back, it didn't feel like the cruise was officially over. My two best friends came over, and I told them every single detail of the cruise.

Also, Dusty called me! It was really cool to hear from him. The next day, I dropped my pictures off. About four days after the cruise, I met up with Victoria and Diane at the mall, and we exchanged pictures and hung out for a few hours. That was really cool--it was the first time I got to see people from the cruise again after it was over. I'm trying to have fun, but nothing this summer will be as fun as the cruise was.

So, when is the next one?

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