Sometimes we book cruises with a specific aim and this was one of those times. Vincent's nephew Matteo was coming from Italy with his beautiful wife Grazia on their honeymoon. Since we had sailed with Captain Francesco La Fauci (Italy), we thought the newlyweds would feel at home on the Carnival Triumph with Capt. La Fauci. We then booked ourselves on board too, after recalling how wonderful our last cruise with him was. However, the best laid plans do not always "come to pass." Captain La Fauci debarked the same day we embarked 5/13/06. But this hospitable gentleman left instructions to the new Captain Angelo Los to watch over the newlyweds. Captain Los took this very seriously and their first cruise was a "Triumph" for the honeymooners. A full moon was ordered and the setting was complete for a week of cruising in the Caribbean.
This was our second cruise on the Triumph, our first one was in 2001 when she was quite new. We are happy to report that she is kept in excellent condition and still stunning with her fourteen decks and the traditional red Carnival whale tail funnel.
EMBARKATIONThe Port of Miami is easily accessed from I-95. There is serious reconstruction going on, but it neither blocks nor delays access. We were given wheelchair assistance and priority registration. Even though, the staterooms are not available until 1:00 pm, we were shown directly to ours on Upper Deck 6 at 12:30 pm. We checked on our dining room reservations and they were perfect --- a table for four in the London Dining Room Balcony, midship on Deck 4. Since our cabin was all the way forward, this was the closest restaurant for us. We always check the logistics when boarding these very large ships. It is important for those with limited mobility to book a centrally located stateroom to minimize the effort of getting to and from the areas of interest. However, in this ship the only two wheelchair accessible cabins with balcony are located all the forward, thus we did not have any other choice. We are thankful to Captain La Fauci who personally reserved our table in the centrally located London Dining Room. Passengers with limited mobility must plan ahead so that they can get the best enjoyment with the least possible effort, avoiding unnecessary fatigue. Captain La Fauci understood our situation and made the proper arrangements to accommodate our needs. Results: A very enjoyable cruise for us all.
After inspecting our staterooms, we went to the welcome aboard buffet at the South Beach Club on Lido Deck 9. We stopped at the Grille for tasty hot-dogs, hamburgers and French fries ---- the honeymooners loved the American food.
SHIP The Triumph was built in the Fincantieri Shipyards, Italy in 1999 and the bronze plaque on Promenade Deck 5 lists it as hull #5979. The ten deck high Capitol Lobby on Deck #3 has a magnificent geographical depiction of the world on the ceiling and more of these wonderful maps are on the ceiling of the World's Hall leading aft. The Triumph is a tastefully decorated ship, less glitzy and more functional than many of the newer ships. For a detailed description read our earlier review (9/29/2001), since this review will concentrate on both ambiance and service on board.
The Carnival Triumph is 101.509 gross tons, 893 feet long and 116 feet in the beam with a cruising speed of 21 knots. Her guest capacity is 2,758 (double occupancy) with a crew of 1,100 and registry is in the Bahamas. She has 14 numbered decks plus Deck "O", which we will discuss later.
SERVICE & FOOD It is always apparent that the level and quality of service comes from the "TOP" on down. The Captain dictates the tone and response of the crew. Under Captain Los, the Triumph aims to please. Every crew member we encountered tried their utmost to make us comfortable and happy --- and they succeeded. By keeping close tabs on his staff Hotel Director Henry D'Roza can be confident they are on their toes. Chief Purser Andrew Sideras runs the Passengers' Service Desk most efficiently and his Assistant Karine Rayneau made our life on board smooth sailing.
It is in the restaurants on board that passengers mostly notice the quality of the staff. Executive Chef Pradeep Rao was in the first week of implementing the newly introduced variation in the menu by French Chef Georges Blanc. This is a hit for us --- Monsieur Blanc has added delicate sauces and unusual combinations to Carnival's fare. Yet, the traditional American menu items are also highlighted. It was nice to see gustatory classics remain while new items are integrated into the menus. Now there are stuffed quails and pate` brulee` side by side with delicious chicken breast or cooked to order steaks. The menu reflects the passengers' desires, from honeymooners to retirees, from young families with babies to established families with teenagers: there were many large tables with families of several generations all enjoying spending time together.
The London Dining Room Maitre D' Joseph Vincent has a well organized group: our Waiter Stephen (St. Vincent Is.) and his asst. Wijayanti were very efficient. The breads were hot and fresh every day, but, alas we wanted them crispy and darker. We dined with Captain Los on the first Formal Night and found him to be a polite and genteel host. However, on Tuesday night he invited us to Deck "O" for a pasta dinner. This turned out to be the highlight of our trip, since we got to see the crew on its own turf. We dined family style with the ship's officers. We selected appetizers from a spread of olives, prosciutto, cheese, etc. and had a very down home soup of lentils and black-eyed peas. There were two types of spaghetti, aglio olio e peperoncino or Puttanesca. Our entree was a choice of either filet mignon or tilapia filet. Cruise Director Stuart Dunn, whose Aussie accent we enjoyed over the PA System, joined us confessing that nightly he ducks in to check out the appetizers. This was a great night with a lack of pretense on the part of Captain Los, Staff Capt. Domenico Cilento and Chief Engineer Sergio Sciolla; their welcome was heartwarming. Fine food and simple surroundings brought out the best in all of us. It was interesting to see the direct phone line to the Bridge (periodically ringing). However, even while eating, we noted that it is the ship which is uppermost on all of these men's minds.
The 24 hour room service is great, each morning we had continental breakfast in our stateroom --- always prompt, always hot. Lunch in the dining room is open seating, with menus that vary each day with tempting offerings we enjoyed. Since many cruisers go to the buffet, there are always lots of window tables available and service is prompt. We also lunched at the 24 hour Pizzeria where pizzas are made to order (Neapolitan --- Tomatoes, olives, peppers and mushrooms; Rustica -- Basil, tomato and olive oil; Pan -- Sausage, peppers, onions, and tomatoes; and Mary's favorite Le Chevre -- Goat cheese and wild mushrooms. If you prefer you may order a Calzone, ask and they will bake it extra crispy, Vincent's favorite. The Pizzeria also has a great Caesar's Salad with croutons and sliced chicken breast. The Pizzeria is located all the way aft on Deck 9 near the outdoor pool and bar.
During this cruise there were a group of Chefs teaching Georges Blanc's methods to their colleagues. We found the new menus very interesting and the food quite good. The lobster tails were prepared perfectly not over done, coming from Boston, Mary is picky about her seafood. The escargot was not as good as the former recipe, now there is a bit too much potato. Just butter and wine makes a much better sauce. Food has been continuously improving on the Carnival ships. Congratulations Chef Rao. There are less offerings, but better and more unique ones, and the plating is elegant too.
CABIN Wheelchair accessible stateroom #6207 is all the way forward at the prow. From the balcony, we could look directly over head to the Bridge overlook. When we first sailed on the Triumph, we were told that there were no wheelchair accessible staterooms with balconies. That is incorrect, we were misinformed. There are two of them at the prow and this time we had one. When entering on the left, there is a triple armoire with private safe, shelves and hangers. Next, there is a lighted mirrored vanity/desk with three drawers, two large cabinets and a TV. Alas no mini refrigerator.
When entering on the right there is a large bathroom with a double sized shower, safety rails and a mirrored medicine cabinet and a single sink. There is a king size bed, a single night stand, two reading lamps, a coffee table and one arm chair. On the balcony there was a table, two chairs and our excellent steward Anatoli (Bulgaria) brought Vincent a small low chaise. The colors were shades of orange and the cabinetry was maple. Very bright and pleasant.
ENTERTAINMENT Cruise Director Stuart Dunn kept things humming and the shows in the Rome Lounge Theatre were lively. The "Wonderful World Show" was a tribute to music from around the world. The hit act of the cruise was "The New Wave Magic" of Kevin and Caruso, which was very nice, High Tech and fascinating. There were high stakes Bingo games, cruise raffles, exercise, trivia, pool side games, etc. There was something for everyone and all ages.
DEBARKATION Carnival does not rush passengers out of the staterooms, in fact they are allowed to remain until 9:30 am. The same baggage tags used to board were used to debark. We had wheelchair assistance from Agnetha Combrink (S. Africa) who was so sweet. Once passengers carrying all their own baggage were off, then regular passengers began to disembark. We were off in a jiffy, fast and painless, in about 20 minutes we were out of the terminal.PORTS OF CALL Sat. 5/13/06 Miami, FL Depart 4:00 pm Sun. 5/14/06 At Sea Mon. 5/15/06 Cozumel, Mexico Arrive 7:00 am Depart 6:00 pm Tues. 5/16/06 At Sea Wed. 5/17/06 Georgetown, Grand Cayman Port Authorities closed the harbor due to high seas and winds. Tendering was too dangerous. Port charges were refunded. Thurs. 5/18/06 Ocho Rios, Jamaica Arrive 8:00 am Depart 3:30 pm Fri. 5/19/06 At Sea Sat. 5/20/06 Miami, FL Debarkation begins at 8:00 am for those who carry all their own luggage.
CONCLUSION This was our 60th cruise, but only our 5th on Carnival ships, since we had our first cruise on Carnival in 2001. We have enjoyed Carnival ships better and better ever since, especially when considering our low initial expectation. Carnival is now becoming one of our favorite cruise lines, and we have already booked another cruise on the Triumph for this summer, mainly to meet again our friend Capt. La Fauci. Our next cruises will be Sept. 2nd on the Triumph, Sept. 23rd on the Caribbean Princess, Oct. 15th on the Freedom of the Seas, and Jan. 20th, 2007 on the Voyager of the Seas, unless we can find some great value with last minute sales before then. Undoubtedly, encountering old friends on a cruise is always a pleasure, it gives us the opportunity to reinforce the friendship, reminisce with them on past events and update each other on recent happenings. Of course, it is always nice to revisit familiar faces and places and to make new friends. That is the best reason to cruise, for us it makes our days on board interesting! Happy Cruising!
IT MIGHT BE TIME FOR CARNIVAL TO RE-THINK AN UP AND COMMING PROBLEM ON MOST OF THEIR CRUISE SHIPS, OUT OF CONTROL KIDS!! WE LOVE CARNIVAL AND THEIR SHIPS AND SERVICE AND THIS WAS OUR 7th AND PROBABLY LAST CRUISE W/CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES. PARENTS ARE NOT PARENTS TODAY, AND THEY JUST LET THEIR YOUNG CHILDREN 'RUN AMUCK' ALL OVER THE SHIP ALL HOURS OF THE DAY AND NIGHT,3 AM, RUNNING UP AND DOWN THE CORIDORS SCREAMING, IN THE CASINOS, DINNING ROOMS, OUT OF CONTROL, YELLING AND SCREAMING, AND MOST 'ADULT CRUISERS' DONT WANT TO SEE OR HEAR THIS! CARNIVAL NEEDS TO TELL PARENTS TO CONTROL THEIR CHILDREN OR BE PUT OFF THE SHIP!! WEVE TALKED TO MANY CRUISERS OVER THE YEARS, AND THEY FEEL THE SAME WAY WE DO! CARNIVAL, YOU LOST OUR BUSINESS,WERE GOING TO R.C., CARNIVAL, WAKE UP!! ITS TIME WE SPOKE UP!
SINCERELY, ART P.
This was a good cruise (aren't they all??!!) Overall we had a great time, and felt this cruise was a good value. The Triumph is a fairly well-run and well maintained ship.
Itinerary. Decent itinerary with 3 fun stops.
San Juan: the port time in San Juan was strange: 5p.m. to midnight. Great for walking Old San Juan, back aboard for dinner, and a last walk along the pier. We walked through Old San Juan, then out the old gate and alongside the ocean beneath the old fort (El Morro) This was probably the most beautiful sunset walk we have ever taken.
St Thomas. Went scuba diving at Coki Beach. The beach was beautiful but I wouldn't do this dive again. Diving is better with the dive shops at Sapphire Beach and in town. But our time at the beach after the dive was great. This is a nice beach to spend the day.
St Martin. Spent a beach day at Divi Little Bay Beach. Did the full beach thing - rented umbrellas and chairs, swam and snorkeled, etc. Absolutely beautiful.
Crew/service. Truly excellent. Cabin service and dining room service were truly outstanding. Youwill feel pampered. I think Carnival has really improved in this area. I wish the staff would do a better job enforcing smoking policies, and controlling loud offensive behavior that keeps folks up til 3 or 4 in the morning.
Food. Good to Excellent. The evening dinners in the dining room were generally good. There were always a few good options every night. Appetizers and desserts were so-so compared to other cruise lines. Breakfast and lunch buffets were OK, but breakfast and lunch were better in the dining room. Buffet lines weren't too long. Lunches and breakfasts were also good in the dining room. The NY deli and the grill were also outstanding. The 24 hour pizza was good.
Entertainment. My wife is a musician and I depend on her for this evaluation. Entertainment was so-so. The singers/dancers weren't all that good. The classical musical group was excellent. The miscellaneous stage shows (comedy, magic) were pretty good. The evening shows are worth going to, but don't quite stand up to the other cruises we've taken.
Cabins. Clean, well-maintained, spacious.
Embarkation/Debarkation: both were very efficient. We arrived at the pier around noon and it only us took us 15 minutes to in-process and board. Debarkation was also fast; we used the self-assist option, carrying our own bags off. We waited for the third self-assist call, walked off the ship around 8:30, and we were checked into our flight at the airport by 9:30.
Note: we arrived the day before departure and stayed at the Miami Airport Days Inn. This motel was a bit run-down but reasonably clean, very convenient and reasonably priced. Free shuttle from the airport and too the pier - the shuttle service was good and saved us a lot.
The Ship. Fairly well maintained, reasonably clean and in good repair. Excellent gym, with lots of equipment, whirlpool, and saunas. Public areas were kept mostly clean. Nice decor IMHO.
Passengers. Well balanced between young and old. There were quite a few kids on our cruise, and the families we met really liked the kids program.
Note: this was the early part of Spring break. A few of the college Spring-breakers were noisy and offensive. Our tablemates (2 nice couples from Canada) rarely got any sleep due to loud college kids in a number of nearby cabins. These kids partied loud until 3 or 4 in the morning, then slept until afternoon. The Canadians complained to the kids and the staff; the kids ignored them and the staff would not correct the problem. My wife and I were lucky and had few problems of this sort. We have been on one Spring break cruise before and will NEVER do it again. I felt bad for my Canadian friends who left with a bad taste in their mouths for young Americans.I rate this cruise as a good value and would recommend it with the following qualifiers:
Feel free to email questions to Bill Grier at firstname.lastname@example.org
I have just returned from a cruise on the Carnival ship the Triumph in the Eastern Caribbean (Feb. 11-18). Our Ports included San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maartain. We all loved St. Thomas but could have lived without St. Maartain as the shop keepers were far too pushy for our taste and the prices were really high. It was a really nice cruise for my boyfriend and I. He the first time cruiser really enjoyed himself and I did too but think that Royal Caribbean was much better. We found that they needed more activities onboard to keep us busy. It would have been nice to have mini golf or the rock wall like on the RCC.
Our room was an outside cabin on the Spa Deck with a huge window and awesome view. The room was nice but if you want quiet this isnâ?Tt the place. We had the teen club called O2 right above our room and the staff had absolutely no control over the kids there. You could hear the teenagers running and jumping right above the cabin, screaming in the halls and running up anddown the stairs and if that wasn't bad enough, right next to the cabin on our deck was the kids club. The kids and their parents made a lot of noise when they were coming and going but all quieted down after midnight.
Our dining experience was just ok. We ate in the Paris dining room at the early seating and we had a wonderful table and made some new friends. Our waiter and assistant were really terrific. I really loved how they got to know each of us. Every night at dinner I asked for a glass of milk and by day 3 when I got to dinner there was my milk waiting for me without having to ask for it. How great was that? The food itself was ok but not great. I mostly ate the fish and the vegetarian options and they were nicely presented but the food was bland and lacked something. My boyfriend enjoyed his beef but the helpings were on the skimpy side and he often had to request a second helping. We didnâ?Tt care for the buffet as the food was often not hot enough and very bland.
If this is your first cruise I would recommend this ship. It's nice yet a bit confusing in it's layout. Even after being there for a whole week we were still getting lost. Also we found the intense pressure to buy extra things onboard a bit much. The $20 photos took the cake. While they were beautiful they were far too over priced. They forced you to buy these huge photos when all you really wanted was a small picture to take home.
This is my sixth cruise and I do like Carnival, mostly because the price is good. The Triumph is a beautiful ship that appears to be in very good condition. Embarking was fairly simple but the computers briefly went down causing small delay.
We had a balcony room on Veranda deck toward the rear of the ship. There was too much noise at night from the lido deck parties. Room was clean and very nice. Shower had a problem with holding water temperature and got too hot or cold with no movement in knob.
Food was excellent as was the dining room wait staff. Lido was crowded but food excellent. I prefer smaller ships and found lack of space a little disturbing. Room service was extremely prompt. Shore excursion were wonderful as were the ports in Boston, Portland, Sydney, and Hallifax. New York is overwhelming for me.
Captains party was a joke, seating for maybe 200 but most people could not find a seat and left. Carnival should either stop offering this or hold in where everyone that wants to go can get a seat.
Overall I enjoyed the cruise and the ship. Triumphis going to drydock soon and the small things will likely be corrected. I hope the coffee machines on the lido deck are moved to allow more space around them.
The largest complaint I have is with the Photo Staff that was horrible on this ship. I've never seen a Carnival photo staff with such problems. I heard many people complaining about them so I think this needs to be addressed by Carnival. I had a really cute formal night photo taken alone and with my sister by "Delip" We went to see the photo's and they weren't there. Delip promised they would be there the next day and 6pm and they weren't there. He promised again they would be there the next day at 6pm and no photo's. I went to the manager and still got only a promise with no results. On the last night the Travelogs (prepaid) were not availbe until the morning we disembarked and the promised pictures never showed up. I would waste my time with photo's.
Disembarking was self assisted and amazing, this is the fastest I've ever gotten off a ship and so easy I've never let Carnival off load my bags again.
This is the "lobster and lighthouse cruise". If you like that, mixed with a little New England history, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, you will love it! Oh and lets not forget the whales off your balcony!
Embarkment was fine for us. However, I understand it was a real nightmare for most. We arrived at the port say 11ish. Waiting in the taxi a ½ hour or less, got in, went through the motions. We then waited 20/30 minutes to get our picture and on we were. Nothing we didn't expect. By that evening we started to hear the rumble of a lot of PO people. Apparently the computers went down. We were told that staff walked away not informing people, (I find that hard to believe) and 4 to 5 hours later the majority got on. Boy, where they mad! Let me tell you, I'm sure it was bad, but people complained for days! I even ran into someone at the airport at the end of the cruise, and asked her how it was for her. She rolled her eyes and said it was the worst she ever took. Iasked her why, she said, EMBARKMENT!!
Wow, what a shame I later told my DH. How can the whole cruise be ruined over a computer glitch? So unfortunate for us that one of my first impressions of this cruise was people that were complaining, and complaining. Everywhere we went we ran into very rude loud people that seemed mad at everything. You all on this board had prepared me well. I knew, even as a newbie, that do-do happens. Go with it! Or as the New Yorker's would say "fagitaboutit"!  Anyways the good news is we and a few hundred people had the ship to ourselves for a few hours. I was wondering what happened to the rest of them, 
You should know that this was our first cruise so I can't compare the cruise to others. But we have of course taken a lot of vacations. This was the best we had ever taken. It is a photographer's dream trip. Most of my shots look like postcards! It is not for everyone thou. Some may find it boring. Not us! If you are looking for high energy, a lot of fast, physical kind of excursions you probably won't like it. My DH and I have owned many boats, so we are nautical kind of people you could say. We love small fishing villages, ports, lighthouses (at least 10), fishing trolleys, fog horns, history and the whole New England thing. So this cruise was perfect for us.
I'm not going day by day, because that gets boring. Here are just some highlights.
Peggy's Cove out of Halifax was unbelievable. I swear it looked as if someone had come in from Hollywood and set the stage. With a beautiful lighthouse up on the rocks, small fishing town of 50 people (white beards and all), old wood boats and lobster traps and nets around, the scene was perfect! We sat on a dock by the water and ate seafood chowder and lobster as waves crashed up on the rocks. What could be better I say? From there we went out whale watching. We did ok with this but some got sick and most very wet in the 5 to 8 foot waves. Choose another excursion if you are at all prone to the throne! We did go into this lighthouse because it is the town P.O. We did not tour inside others, but there was an excursion in Maine that did do that, I think.
Boston was so cool. You Bean town people are the best! We had never been to the east coast. So figured this is the best way to see it and get a cruise in. It was! In Boston we picked the wrong excursion that kept us in a bus, (our fault of course). So we missed getting out on Quincy Square. It was like dangling candy in front of a baby. This is where all the great shops and restaurants are. By the time we got there it closed by 6pm because it was Sunday. If you got off the bus, you were on your own to get back. Most didn't because taxi's there are not like NY the tour guide told us. If I were to ever go back, I would do the hop on and off double decker so I could see more than a bus window. You don't have to book this ahead of time! Save your money. That night the ship did open seating. They didn't expect so many to come back, but I don't think they realized the town closed at 6pm. The dining rooms were a mad house. Most waited an hour to eat.
The ship: I loved the Triumph. So did DH. She is a beautiful ship. The deals and raffles on jewelry were fantastic. One day they had 65% off on Tanzanite! DH said buy what ever you want but I behaved! We had Cat. 11 room, and it was wonderful! There were his and her closets, whirlpool, comfy bed. Staff and service were great. Except it took me three tries to get my 8:30 dinner seating changed. Jim Braggs words of advice rang threw my ears. By formal night we got changed to 5:45. Only they put us in the middle of three waiter stations. We didn't mind thou. We were alone and kind of liked that! Morning coffee came every day exactly the time we ordered it. On the dot! I did not find it difficult getting around the ship like some have said. I do see where it is due for a little remake thou. It is going dry-dock this October and needs it. I thought it could be cleaner for sure. Saw a lot of things like dirty cups, and very poor public bathrooms with toilets over flowing. A lot of sick staff, many came home with colds. Triumph is the biggest that Carnival has to offer. That's good because we did hit some of Ophia's hurricane effects on the way home and this big ship hardly moved! Let me say this, I know our Captain did a great job of keeping us safe from this hurricane. That is something I think most people don't realize. The behind the scenes is the most important. He got us out of Halifax early, re-routed the course, went full speed and kept us way ahead of trouble that we for sure were heading right into. Otherwise people would have complained about that as if he had control of Mother Nature! Dining room food was very good. Take the time to put on those Dockers folks because the Lido deck buffet was very bad. Entertainment was very good. Matt was our CD. He should be a stand up comedian. "Survival" and "not so newlywed" game was a hoot! We hardly had any kids on board. I think I counted 5, because of the time of year. A lot of wheelchairs and walkers, and they did a great job accommodating those folks! Don't even think twice if you are handicap for this cruise!
You always ask yourself what you have learned and what you would do different after a trip. For me, I would go in mid-October instead of mid-September. The fall colors had not changed yet. Its hard to say rather or not the Triumph again. Probably, you can't beat the price of Carnival so it will always be considered for that, let's be honest. I would recommend it! But I think I would look at some other choices a lot more closely first. I just feel there was room for improvement. Nothing that I wasn't aware of before, from these boards about Carnival. Another reason would be Sydney. Other than the 7-9 hour bus tour, which we did not want to do, there is not much there. I think I would rather go to St. John or Martha's Vineyard. Currently the 7 days cruises don't offer that with Carnival. We ended up renting a car in Sydney, and drove up to Kelly's mountain and again took more wonderful photos! It was good to get away from the crowds.
The best part was the time with my husband. I am the luckiest woman in the world. This was a very unstressed, fun, restful time for both of us, away from our kids and everyday life stresses. We had a ball together and enjoyed every minute. The whole week was like a fantasy!
First time on Truimph. Older ship and traffic flow is not as good as it should be in certain parts of the ship. Not all elevators go to all parts of the ship and this causes a lot of frustration until you learn the quickest and most direct routes to where you want to go.
Missed the electrical problems during the boarding in NY since we arrived early after coming directly from the C. Legend.
Cabins are very large with lots of closet and drawer space. However, the ship is designed for tall people. If you are under 5'5" forget it! Even the peephole is high up. The ship is kept very,very cold in the public areas and in the cabins. The AC control is located on the ceiling and you need to stand on a chair to reach it. Real TV stations in the cabin -- TNT and local stations.
In general, the ship feels a little closed in in the dining rooms, buffet and the attriuim areas. The buffet area has narrow aisles that are not good for wheelchairs but certain tables are designated for wheelchairs.
The pizza and grill arelocated at the very back of the ship outside the main buffet area. Pizza is always hot and freshly made. Caesar salad is available at the pizza area.
Service in the dining rooms is fast and efficient. Wait staff will change your order if you want something else or want seconds. Pasta can be ordered as a started or for main course. You always have something to eat even if you haven't ordered every course. Nightly entertainment by wait staff is cute. Dinner usually takes just a little over 1 hour so there is time before the shows.
CD and staff -- Matt is very high energy but tends to yell when he speaks which tends to get a little annoying. His staff is thankfully more soft spoken.
Lots of raffles in the shops for free things. Bingo never less than $250 in pot. Free cruise of passenger's choice of 3,4,5 or 7-days and choice of ships given away.
Photographers very good overall and especially getting young children to pose. Lots of different backgrounds for portraits.
Production shows all excellent -- very fast paced, no downtime. Last production show won awards. Revolving scenery just like on B'way and excellent costumes. Magic duo excellent -- did all the major tricks including the Metamorphis with a new twist on re-appearing right over the audience!
Ship was due to go into dry dock and some of the public areas showed some wear and tearon carpeting and uphoslery. Overall the ship was clean.
Capt. did an excellent job of staying out of Ophelia way by getting to Boston by early Friday morning. We hit rough seas around 11PM near Atlantic City.
Great having retractable dome when it started raining on Friday afternoon. Passengers were able to stay in hot tub and use the pool area.
We had some problems with the lighting in our cabin that were promptly addressed and then followed up with a questionaire to see if the problem was resolved.
Service by crew and staff was excellent. My personal bias was we did not have a balcony or a refrigerator. Otherwise it was a great cruise!
Embarking & Disembarking in NYC: Smooth and quick. However trying to get to cabin was difficult due to many aft elevators tied up with luggage. Use the mid-ship or forward elevators.
Dining Rooms: Avoid the rear of the Paris Dining room due to vibrations of the engines below this area.
Cabins: Inside cabins are small. Get a cabin with a veranda.
Food: Good. Avoid filet mignon. Lobster not sweet. Scrambled eggs at breakfast bufffet not hot. Omlettee station a better choice.
Entertainment: Musical reviews are excellent. Magician is repetitive in his box acts.
On board: Although better marked than most ships,getting from place to place difficult because you can't tell which direction the ship is moving and not all elevators go to every location.
Waiters: Efficient and curteous but not engaging.
Pools: Water is ice-cold.
Cabin attendedants; Extremely efficient.
Ship: Renovations due shortly; Some worn spots, rusted exterior spots but overall in fine shape.
Conclusion : Had many misgivings about Carnival bnased on other revlews. But was pleasantly surprised. Give it an 8 rating.