Cruise Ship: Carnival Triumph
Cruise Destination: Western Caribbean
Cruise Dates: October 28 - November 4, 2006
Guest Contributor: Hawkeye
We booked our cruise with Clear Channel Cruises for a rock n roll oldies show. Featured on this cruise were the Four Tops, Bill Medley, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and Andy Kim, the shows were great! Our first problem was with our flight down. We were on American Eagle out of Memphis. As time approached to board the plane an announcement was made that the plane was overbooked and someone would not be getting on the plane. My wife and I told each other we were getting on the plane no matter what. Finally they announced as there were no volunteers the last five bookings would be canceled, I felt sorry for those five, but we were headed to Miami for a cruise.
We arrived and had no problem finding luggage. Next we found the Carnival representive and boarded a bus to the pier. As we arrived, I noticed the amount of people and told my wife, it looks like everyone on the ship has arrived at the same time. We were on the Carnival Triumph and I knew it held over 2,900 people. We used the fun pass on line and went though the boarding lines without much trouble. The trouble started we we got on the ship. As the rooms would be not be ready until 300pm. Imagine if you can 2,900 people on the lido deck trying to eat. The lines were so long you could wait 45 minutes to an hour. We got in one line thinking we could get a sandwich for 45 minutes, then we noticed another line next to us that seemed to move somewhat, We found this was the line for the buffet, we moved to this line and waited 30 more minutes. I know the staff was overwhelmed and it was not their fault, but there was no direction from Carnival staff to help this problem or helping with the lines. People were cutting in line and pushing, it was a nightmare. As we finally entered our room we were very surpised. We were in stateroom 6432, and this is a large room, with a couch, two picture windows, a queen size bed and an extremly large balcony. I would recommend 6432 to anyone wanting a larger than normal room for the price. this room was in the 8-a catagory.
The rest of the cruise was good, but I feel that Carnival taking the tips out the first day lends the staff not to work as hard to please, because they already have their tips assured and don't have to work as hard to please. The food was good, but I was not too fond of the menu choices. The wait staff for dining was the best. Our head waiter was very friendly and willing to please at all cost. We had a few days of bad weather, but Carnival can do nothing with the weather, that is just the chance you take. The seas were rough a day or two and as large as the Triumph is, it rocked and rocked. This made some sick, but my wife and I made it through with no problem.
First stop Cozumel, Mexico. we had been to Cozumel once before and headed straight to the shopping center. I would recommend Cozumel for shopping, as you can get great deals.
Next stop was Grand Cayman. The weather was bad, and our excursion was canceled.
Next stop was Jamaica. For those going to Jamaica, I recommend the Bamboo Beach Club. Just a short walk from the pier. We got there early and got a king size bed with canopy just feet from the ocean. The staff waits on you hand and foot, with food, drinks and entertainment the whole day for one small price. It was great.
We arrived back in Miami and disembarkation was somewhat simple, as you disembark by luggage tag colors and in an orderly fashion. Overall the cruise was great and very pleased with Carnival, this was our second cruise on Carnival and we love Carnival, but the next time we may try a freestyle cruise where you are not set to do everything by the clock. I understand you eat when you want, get up when you want and just enjoy the cruise. If you are reading this and have never gone on an oldies cruise, check out the Clear Channel Web site for the next cruise in 2007. You get the shows from the stars on board and being on a ship in the middle of the ocean, you bump into the srars from time to time for pictures and autographs, most are all to pleased to take pictures with you.
I guess all cruisers have their favorite cruise line, and each person is different, but Carnival is the fun ship, and by fun ship it means drinking and dancing. If you don't drink and don't like to party you may need to try another cruise line, don't get me wrong you can enjoy Carnival if you don't drink or dance, it's just if you have late dinner seating and go to the clubs you don't get much sleep. If you are looking for fun and a great time try Carnival.