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Trey Lewis

Age: 48

Occupation:Realtor

Number of Cruises: 16

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Triumph

Sailing Date: 2010-01-23

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

This was our first cruise at Platinum level and the boarding and disembarking privileges alone were worth reaching this level, but I did gather from others that New Orleans port has really improved their boarding process. The weather was very foggy, but that did not dampen any spirits. When departing, the thick fog had barge traffic shut down, but Captain Los proceeded to navigate the fog without incident. The Seaside Theater that was added since our last Triumph cruise is simply awesome, especially for football games. Regardless of the temperatures, there were always people on deck watching it. Every ship needs one of these! Jorge, a great Cruise Director, was ill during a lot of this cruise, but his staff kept everything rolling smoothly. Captain Los is among the most "green-table" and sincere Captains I have ever encountered and we enjoyed sailing with him.

You hear comments about cruise lines cutting back on food quality, but in my opinion, the food on Carnival ships just keeps getting better and better! Our dining room waiter was simply awesome and made the dining experience as great as the food. It was neat to see how attentive he was to Lobo, the young gentleman he was training. I also have to commend the Maitre'd of the Paris Dining Room, for creating the happy atmosphere among all of the dining room staff. They all worked together like a well-oiled machine and appeared to truly enjoy their jobs and service.

I had not chosen an "inside cabin" since 2002, but am glad that we did because this cruise was more about rest than it was about activity. In the inside cabin, all concept of time is lost and we have never slept that much, or that soundly. Having been on Carnival 10 times, the room was just as expected and everything worked great - even with "pinkish-orange" not being my favorite bathroom color! We did not get to interact much with our stateroom steward except when we first boarded and I regret not getting his name, but his service was awesome. Disarray when leaving the room turned into perfection every time we returned. The cabin was very clean and well-maintained. Triumph did not get the flat screen TVs during its last dry-dock, but there is nothing at all wrong with the bigger ones from the past. The Seaside Theater jumbo-tron makes up for anything they may have not done yet.

When cruising out of New Orleans in the middle of winter, the pool games on the days at sea are hard to pull off! Its hard to belly flop and synchro-swim with a coat on! The "fun patrol" did keep things going constantly elsewhere around the ship. There was some great talent at Karaoke and the sing-alongs in the Piano bar were fun. The Kevin and Caruso show was simply amazing. The "Big Easy" production was terrific in every way, with every voice in key. How those performers manage their costume and set changes the way they do continues to amaze me. Do NOT miss this show!

Whatever you do, go ahead and set aside $95 per person for the "Behind the Fun" ship tour, which is conducted on the last day at sea. It is limited to 16 passengers and covers virtually every inch of the ship behind those "crew-only" doors. You are introduced to the crew-members life-at-sea as well as other fascinating operational areas, to include the engine control room, laundry, behind the stage in the main theater, the galley and all of its various areas, and too many other places to name. The 3.5 hour tour also includes a visit with the Captain on the Bridge, especially impressive while the ship is at sea! Captain Angelo Los is very personable and enjoyed seeing us enjoy the visit.

Progreso is improving with every visit and is truly a fun port if you allow it to be. On this visit, we chose to find a spot on the beach where our group could take advantage of the inexpensive, but effective, massages. ($10/hour) Buckets of ice cold beer and interacting with the local beach vendors really is a lot of fun. Progreso recently opened a large "Farmers Market" type place which is interesting. This place is growing and it is really interesting to see it developing as a tourist destination. I hope this port continues to be a stop for ships. If I could afford to open a beach-side venue (similar to Carlos & Charlies) this is where I would be.

Cozumel has too much to offer! Pick an excursion and stick with it, then plan to come back another time and do something else! We're hooked on visiting the Carlos and Charlie's Beach Club which has great food, and an awesome beach to enjoy whatever watersport you desire. We did not get to visit Pancho's Back Yard this trip, but it is among our favorites too. Another highlight of Cozumel is getting back to the ship early enough to enjoy the waterslide, and then hit the Deck 9 bridge to watch the people that are late getting back to the ship! We were docked next to Carnival Glory and I do believe somebody missed the ship.

Although we prefer hot weather, the 2 cooler days at sea allowed us to enjoy venues of the ship that we normally overlook. Be sure and visit the dining room for lunch at least once per cruise. The atmosphere is great and the service is too! No, I do not work for Carnival, but want to encourage anyone thinking about sailing the Triumph out of New Orleans to go ahead and book!

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