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Sara Quinn

Age: 28


Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Triumph

Sailing Date: July 30th, 2005

Itinerary: 7 Day Eastern Canadian Cruise

My husband and I went on the Carnival Triumph cruise to Saint John, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia. This was our third cruise together and our second Carnival cruise together (I went on the Ecstasy as a teen). We had a lovely time on the ship.

There is nothing like watching New York City from a ship sailing off into the sunset. We had a beautiful view of the skyline and Lady Liberty. This was rather crowded, yet well worth it!

We enjoyed dinner, especially because our waitress was wonderful. Kate spent time talking with us and letting us know about her life, while suggesting great meals and making sure the service was good. My husband loves milk with his dessert. He only had to ask one time, every other night the milk came out with the dessert menus. That is a nice touch.

For lunch, we enjoyed the New York Deli with yummy corned beef on rye and the Coney Island grille burgers. Breakfast was the best in the dining room.

While there were 3000 people on the boat, the only day it seemed crowed was when we arrived on the ship. We did the fun pass sign-up on Carnival's web site before arrival, which saved us at least an hour's worth of waiting in line. I highly recommend signing up onine before arriving at the port.

Cruise ships can be a bit confusing for a first time cruiser, so if it's your first time, I recommend looking at the layout before arrival. This cruise was my in-laws first and they were very confused with getting around and figuring out what was going on during the day. The Carnival Capers newspaper explains everything, so make sure you read it and make the most of every interesting activity. Remember, this is your vacation, make it what you want it to be!

I convinced my husband to take some dance lessons with me, and we truly enjoyed ourselves while we stumbled to learn the cha-cha and other dances. The dancers were very friendly and talented teachers.

The 2 main shows on the ship were spectacular. I highly recommend getting to the Rome Lounge early so that you can get a good seat. The comedians were not very funny at all. We left the adult comedy show, it was so bad!

Carnival makes their money in 2 main ways, through people gambling and through people drinking. The casino's seemed a bit rigged to me, especially the tables. I watched for a while, and was surprised at how well the dealer did every hand. Also, Bingo seemed to be a rigged as well. No matter how late or early bingo started, they were always finished at the exact moment that the next activity was starting. I say, save your bingo money so you can go on another cruise, instead of making the donation to Carnival.

The duty-free shops had a lot of cool items, especially nice jewelry. Everyday, the shops had drawings for free stuff. My husband kept entering my name into different drawings, and on the last day I won blue topaz stones to make into earrings. Might as well enter the drawing, you never know...

The photographers took amazing and highly professional pictures. Every night, we had as many pictures taken as we could, then on the last day, we gathered all the pictures together and chose the best ones. We have done this on every cruise, which I believe is a good system.

Our first stop in Canada was in Saint John, New Brunswick. It rained for most of the day, which made it difficult to do anything. We looked around at the reversing falls, and it was okay, not as exciting as we thought it would be, but maybe that was because of the rain. Some friends took the kayaking shore excursion and really enjoyed themselves.

The next day, we went to Halifax, Nova Scotia. We really enjoyed our time in Halifax. My husband and I do not normally do the cruise line shore excursions because they seem to be over priced and over crowded. We hopped in a taxi with our in-laws and had a wonderful tour of Halifax, including Peggy's Cove, the sight on the Swissair plane crash, the cemetery where people from the Titanic are buried, and the sight of the 2nd biggest explosion in the world. We had as much time as we wanted at every place because the taxi driver was wonderful. We spent $100 total for the trip, which was a big discount to Carnival's $59 per person tour bus. I highly recommend Peggy's Cove. It was a beautiful place to take pictures, rock climb, and enjoy the view. Definitely allow at least three hours if you are planning to go to Peggy's Cove because it's a bit far away. but well worth the drive.

My husband got ill before the trip, and was still ill while we were on the ship, so we used the infirmary. The doctor and nurse were very helpful and considerate.

The temperature in Canada is a lot cooler than in NJ where I live. I was happy that I checked before we left. This helped me with packing the right temperature of clothing. In Canada, I wore pants and long sleeve shirt in August. On the boat, we did not do many things outdoors like on a Caribbean cruise. It's not your normal cruise weather, but it was nice for us since it has been a hot and humid summer!

All in all we had a wonderful vacation. I recommend the Carnival Triumph to young active people and families. We did not use any of the Camp Carnival services, but they seemed to be run well (I am a teacher and highly judgmental about such things). The teen dances looked like a lot of fun. In closing, this cruise is good for people who do not mind cold weather, enjoy the boat more than the ports, and are looking for an economical way to cruise. Enjoy!

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