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Tawana

Age: 39

Occupation:Teacher

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Triumph

Sailing Date: July 14th, 2007

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

Our vacation began the day before sailing on July 13. I traveled with my husband to Miami via rental car. We arrived in Miami around 3:00 and headed to Bayside to look around and have some pre-cruise fun. We ate dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. The food was great and the scenery was awesome. After traveling all day we decided to go to bed early so that we could be well rested for our sailing the next morning and possibly see the ship pull into port. We took the rental car back and took a cab back to the hotel for the night. I think I woke up every hour thinking that I had overslept, finally giving up on a solid rest at about 6:30, I got up and got dressed and got everything ready for the cruise.

The hotel provided shuttle service to the port, so we took advantage and left about 10:15 heading to the terminal. Upon seeing the ship up close, I was overcome with excitement. We got into line about 10:45 and proceeded to another line to wait and get on the ship. There was some problem with the ship clearing customs (so we were told) and had to wait until a little after 12 before we were able to board the ship. I went to see the Maitre'd to try to get a table for 2 as my husband and I were celebrating our honeymoon and wanted a little intimacy. I was pleasantly surprised that we were already assigned a table for two for the late seating and all was well for me. I then went to the purser's desk to put cash on our sail and sign which was also a breeze and joined my husband who went to find a table on Lido deck for lunch around 1:00.

After lunch, at 2:00 we went to find our cabin which was a balcony cabin on deck 10, and was amazed at the size, space, and the view from our balcony. Our bags were not delivered yet, so we went exploring our new home for the week. We were both speechless at everything especially since this was our first cruise and it was hard just trying to take everything in. We came back to the cabin for the muster drill, I had a little episode with the heat and the lifejackets so I was a little slow joining the party for sail away. I didn't miss the sail off as the ship pulled out late and I was glad that I recuperated and was able to join the fun. After staying on deck for a while we went back to the cabin and found our luggage had arrived in the great condition that we last saw them. We rested before dinner and had a great dinner in the London dining room nightly. After dinner we took in the Welcome Aboard show and really enjoyed our cruise director Paul Santley. He was a riot. I am a hard person to humor, but he kept me humored the entire week. We also was entertained by the orchestra, the dancers, the social directors and a comedian who also entertained us on Monday night with an adult show. After that I went to bed. My husband went to try his luck in the casino. He won $400 and I was glad that he did not give it back to them.

Ports of Call:

Half Moon Cay, Bahamas- This was a comfortable and relaxing day on the beach. We enjoyed the barbeque lunch that was provided and enjoyed the scenery and our fellow passengers. We did not participate in the excursions offered by the ship, but had a great time on the beach.

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands- We booked the tour with Sunny Liston tours and was very grateful that we did. We had a wonderful time with Sunny. He really gave you your money's worth for the time that we had with him. I was really impressed with the very detailed and sometimes humorous stories that he told about landmarks on the island and also neighboring islands. He was also very punctual so we didn't have to worry about time.

San Juan, Puerto Rico- We booked the City and Shopping tour and had another great tour guide. He took us to key places on the island, stopping at some for photo opportunities and pointing out others. His only complaint to us was that he wished that he had us for a longer period of time to show us more of the island. The highlight of this tour was the Fort San Cristobal which was fascinating and breath taking.

Grand Turk- We decided at the very last minute to do the Iguana Loop tour. I was undecided because of negative reviews that I read about this tour. I was genuinely surprised and pleased with the decision to do this tour. I had a lot of fun and learned a great deal about Grand Turk and its history. This was a beautiful city and I'm glad that we did more than just the planned beach day.

The 2 days at sea, one on Monday and the last on Friday were very fun days. The cruise director and other staff members made sure that there was plenty to do and tons of fun to be had.

Debarkation- We decided to do the regular debarkation and wait for our color to be called since we did not have a flight and was hours away from a drive home. I needed to go see the purser and wound up in the madness of those guests who decided to do self assist and was horrified at the madness in the lobby. There was no order and what appeared to me to be mass confusion. I vowed right then and there that I would NEVER (if I could help it) do self assist. Regular debarkation was easy. Our color was the second set to be called. We were off the ship, through customs, and had our bags by 9:45.

Overall, we had a wonderful experience as first time cruisers aboard the Triumph. Our steward Wally from the Philippines, kept our room cleaned and seemed to know when we were out of the room. Our waiter Ladislav from Slovakia and his assistant Anesa were very attentive to our dining choices and knew how we liked certain items prepared. The food was excellent in both the dining room and the other areas on the ship. The staff all were very pleasant and friendly and they gave us a clean ship. Honestly, I did not choose this vacation to notice smells, stains etc, so if they were there as others have pointed out, I didn't try to discover them on my on. I had a great vacation and would not for a minute hesitate to cruise Carnival or the Triumph again.

Here I have to add that my husband left his camera in a bag of liquor that he had given to a staff member until the end of the cruise. This individual personally came to our stateroom to reunite my husband with the camera. We did not even know the camera was missing, so as you can expect we were very happy. This kind act was one of the many nice things that other crew members did for the guests.

Now I'm off to book our next cruise!














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