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Heckman

Age: 61

Occupation:Retired Military

Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Triumph

Sailing Date: 2010-08-16

Itinerary: NO - Cozumel - NO

The sour points first.
The parking garage increased it's cruise-duration rates from $60 on the 15th to $80.00 on 16 Aug, the day of departure. Pretty cheesy.
We arrived at the New Orleans terminal at 1230 and were placed on a line outside (in 90 degree-plus temps) where we shuffled forward for over an hour to clear customs, which led to another line for our boarding cards which lasted another hour and a half (an embarrassed Carnival rep told us their computers had broken down three times and we should make a complaint), which led in turn to another line for security - we finally reached our cabin a little after 4 p.m. - I've seen evacuations managed better. No effort was made to communicate the circumstances to those enduring this process. Very unsat.
The "couch bed" in our aft balcony cabin was totally inadequate for anyone other than a child to sleep on - they had to bring a cot every night for our son which consumed about half of the floor space in the cabin. Very unsat.
The balcony lighting was turned off for "safety" purposes. Having worked with ships for 30 years this stumped me, in that usually the more lights at sea the better, unless you are in a hostile zone. It annoyed me because it had not been mentioned when booking the cabin, and I looked forward to reading and relaxing outside in the evening. Plus, if safety is such an issue the first-day lifeboat drill, while I believe people were still boarding or arriving in their cabins would not have been such a farce. By the way, looking at their lifeboats, I noted they are each supposed to accommodate 150 people? That I'd like (or wouldn't like) to see. Very unsat.
Progreso is a waste of time; hustled to and from by worn-out buses without A/C, we found a place on the beach to have lunch and were approached at our inside table no less than 14 times by vendors selling CDs and junk. I would stay aboard, visit the junk shops at the end of the pier, and avoid the lines for the buses returning as well as those for boarding the ship, but be advised that while in port nearly every facility on the ship is closed. Unsat.
Tipping - for three people $30 a day for 5 days, including the first and the last, when you board late in the day and then disembark early in the morning. $150 seems a tad much - doesn't the cruise line pay their employees? The disembarkation breifing puts out some good information, but is primarily a love fest for the staff to solicit yet more tips.
On the plus side (as well as the food in the dining rooms - though the Lido deck is a cafeteria-style service with commensurate cuisine, best for a quick breakfast) is the "Swim with the Dolphins" in Cozumel - well organized and an absolute delight; literally a life-moment. It doesn't leave much time for - you guessed it - shopping in the port complex or seeing what Cozumel might really be about), but there's enough time for a drink at Fat Tuesday's near the pier and then to - you guessed it again - get on line to re-board the ship.
The staff was quite good (although it took three days to get our cabin sink, which wouldn't drain - fixed); very pleasant and professional, both our cabin steward and dining staff. I would avoid the casino - never saw anybody win (including myself), and no one would tell me the house odds - just seemed another bright and fancy way to separate passengers from their money.
Bottom line? If I want to see the dolphins again I believe I'll look into the cost of flying down with a hotel package.


Excellent.

The so-called sofa bed was a joke; having a cot placed in the cabin every night was an annoyance. No balcony lighting was also annoying - those purchasing balcony cabins should be told.

My wife enjoyed some of them.

Don't bother with Progresso.

Please see cruise summary above.

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