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Derek Knisley

Age: 20

Occupation:Web Site Designer

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Triumph

Sailing Date: December 3rd, 2005

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

Our cruise was scheduled to leave around 1pm and we arrived at the port between 9 and 10 am. I would definitely recommend arriving around this time as we were one of the first 30 or so people in line. By 10:30 the line already extended well into the parking lot and some people probably spent 2-3 hours waiting outside. Even in December it was pretty hot out in the sun. It took about 2 hours to finally get on the boat. We booked a balcony suite and our luggage was already in our room when we arrived even though we saw lots of baggage still being delivered to some of the rooms. Also, arriving early meant we had a few minutes to run around and explore before the decks got too crowded.


Our room was fantastic. I will never cruise without a balcony. We didn’t really enjoy arriving/leaving any of the ports up on deck. It’s really crowded and hard to get a view. Especially because my wife is only 4’ 11”. The balcony is a great way to watch the ship dock in a new port. Also, since room service is free and you can schedule when you want breakfast to arrive the night before, we found it was one of the best places for breakfast and late night snacks. I loved sleeping to the sound out the waves against the side of the ship. The door to the balcony doesn’t stay open on it’s own but we were able to keep it open with one of the deck chairs. Our suite had a larger balcony than just the regular rooms so we had two different kinds of deck chairs, uprights and loungers. Our room also had a couch and chairs which was another wonderful place to eat, relax, and watch TV. I was pleasantly surprised that there was satellite TV on the boat. It is also a great way to check the balances on your Carnival cards. Movies can also be easily rented on your TV. Another great feature in the room is wireless internet access. If you take your own laptop and use the wireless internet in your room or various other spots on the ship you don’t have to pay per minute like you do in the internet cafe. Our room also featured a vanity outside of the bathroom that my wife loved, two closets, a mini-bar, and a whirlpool tub. The bed was wonderful too.


I am a vegetarian and I never had trouble finding something to eat. Even in the formal dinning rooms the menu is posted the day before and you can request something else to be prepared ahead of time if you don’t like the menu selections. And for those of you who aren’t vegetarians, you can order steak any night you want, even if it’s not on the menu. The food in the dinning rooms was always wonderful, portion sizes are perfect too, we hardly ever had room for dessert. Even if you find that you have not had enough to eat, just ask your waiter for a second helping!! We had dinner in the London dinning room and some mornings we had breakfast in the Paris dinning room, the rooms are exactly the same, just mirror images, even the services is the same, so it doesn’t matter which you are assigned to. The 24 hour pizza always had hot fresh pizza and it was my choice for late night snacks. I would even take it to my room sometimes and the stewards will take your dishes when they come to clean. The south beach buffet line always had something interesting and new to try, I highly recommend it for lunch. This cruise was to celebrate our second wedding anniversary and my wife’s 21st birthday. For a little treat I ordered a cake and chocolate covered strawberries from the Vienna Cafe. They were served to us at dinner on one of the formal nights. It was delicious and made exactly to order. The chocolate covered strawberries had white and milk chocolate in the design of a tuxedo.


Service everywhere on the ship is superb. Even if you go to play bingo, which I never won, you will see bar waiters walking around to serve drinks. The only problem we had was at the very beginning of the cruise, it took until the next morning to get someone to unlock our mini-bar. The room steward was very friendly and always ask if you wanted him to return later if you were still in your room. He would even organize my wife’s supplies on her vanity, which she isn’t very good at doing herself. In the dinning rooms the service is always prompt and perfect. My wife is somewhat of a picky eater and any time she wasn’t pleased with her entree the waiter would quickly replace it with something else. I never had to wait for my water to be refilled, which is one of my pet peeves at restaurants. In fact, the staff noticed that I tend to drink a lot of water at dinner and by the second or third day of the cruise they were supplying me with two glasses at every meal! Exceptional!


We went to a few of the shows on the ship and we did enjoy them but it was not a highlight of our vacation. We knew we had a few days that we would not be in port so we decided to get off the boat as much as possible and enjoy the boat on the days we had to stay on. I was really looking forward to seeing the comedian but by the time I showed up to where the performance was going to be the seats were already full and people were even standing outside the doors to watch. In the casino we only played the slots. I only won $5 here and there but my wife won $170.00. All together the casino was enjoyable just because it was the first time we had ever gambled. We also played Bingo a few times and a game show they had as well. We spent some of our time in the fitness center which has spectacular views! There is always something to do no matter what your tastes are. They really to live up to their motto. “A million ways to have fun.”


San Juan-
We would have liked to have spent more time in Puerto Rico. My wife is of Puertorican decent but have never had the chance to visit the island until this cruise. We took the guided tour of the island which included the capital building, shopping, and the fortress of San Cristobal. This was a great excursion. It gave us the chance to learn some history about where my in-laws came from and for my wife to speak to native Puertoricans about life on the island. We had dinner at a hotel near the port that served authentic food which was delicious. The waiter even walked me down an alley to the liquor store that he shops at to save me money instead of buying from the hotel itself!! We also use Cingulair phones and have free mobile to mobile calling which is even free from Puerto Rico!

St. Thomas-
We did some shopping on the island and also took a taxi to a beach on the other side of the island. The taxi was cheap but you had to pay to get onto the beach as well. It was kind of crowed and the water had some debris in it. It was beautiful but not quite what I expected in the Caribbean. We purchased tickets for the sky ride to the top of the island as well. The was the best part of that stop. The views from the top are incredible. You can even see the island of Vieques which is part of Puerto Rico. We ate at the restaurant at the top and ordered some drinks (the drinking age in Puerto Rico and St. Thomas is only 18 and I am only 20 so I got to enjoy some too).

St. Maarten-
This was our favorite stop. We sailed on the Golden Eagle catamarans. They take you out about 45 minutes to a different beach that has beautiful white sands, some coral, sea urchins, and fish. You get about an hour and a half to snorkel and the even bring drinks out into the water. Again, off the boat I was old enough to drink. The water was perfectly clear and the temperature was perfect. I purchased and brought my own high quality snorkeling gear which I would recommend. Get some that have a valve so you can dive with out drinking the ocean. They will provide some free of cost but they are cheap. On the way back they gave out champagne and subs. They made cheese subs for me on request. They even let the guest help out raising and lowering the sails. It was a wonderful experience. When we got back we still had plenty of time to do some shopping at the duty-free mall.


The only problem was that it took way too long. It didn’t ruin the trip though, it just wasn’t very efficient.

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