We (Jo-Anne and Gary) are just back from the Triumph on an Eatern Caribbean cruise - February 24 - March 3, 2007. We had a wonderful time. The ship was spotless, crew was great, food was excellent. In fact, we had absolutley no complaints.
We got into Miami a day early - strongly recommend this! We stayed at the Holiday Inn at the Port of Miami. Paid $161 for the night and the room was clean and adequate. There is a shopping center (Bayside Market) right across the street and it was nice. Lots of good restaurants and shopping. There is a Walgreen's drugstore and a liquor store 2 blocks away for those last minute purchases.
On Saturday we took a cab at 10:20 AM to the ship - took 5 minutes and cost $7. Dropped our luggage off and proceeded to embarkation check-in. There were about 40 people ahead of us and Carnival was processing us. After 15 minutes we were checked in and received our Sign and Sale card. They had us wait 45 minutes in a lounge and then told us we could board. At 12:00 I was on board, drink in hand, getting a Pastrami on Rye (for me) and a Reuben for Jo-Anne.
Our cabin was ready at 1:30. We had a balcony (highly recommended) that we enjoyed very much. I ordered 2 bottles of rum (1 liter) from Carnival at $40 per bottle - you have to phone ahead to do this. I didn't want to smuggle liquor on board but I saved a lot of money over regular Carnival bar prices and did it the right way. Each to his own. We also took 6 bottles of wine on board.
I have read some pretty negative reviews and comments but I didn't find any negatives. The ship was spotless the entire cruise. And when you left a table on the Lido Deck there was someone right behind you clearing the table - very impressive. Overall the food was excellent. We ate every dinner in the Paris Dining Room and the service was excellent. Jo-Anne ordered every seafood entry and loved them all - especially the lobster. I had Prime Rib twice and it was as good as I've had. I like my food and am not easily pleased - so this is a compliment to Carnival and it's chefs. Service was also first class. Our head waiter was Cyrus who was perfect. His assistan was Zoran who was funny, friendly and quite a delight. Lido Deck drink serving staff was great - always checking to see if you needed anything.
Our cabin was very comfortable. As I said we had a balcony which used and enjoyed very much. They supply all the Lever 2000 Bodywash and Dove shampoo you need - so you don't have to pack that if you don't want to. Beds were comfortable and duvet very nice. If you have a balcony bring a bungee cord to keep the door open - especially at night.
Our stops were San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Martin. We didn't get off the ship at San Juan but in hindsight we should have - at least for a walk around the old town. Did the Champagne Catamaran Sailaway in St. Thomas. Snorkeled in St. John's Bay and enjoyed champagne, cheeses, fruit and bread on return trip. I highly recommend this but book early as space is limited. At St. Martin we took a cab ($7 each) to Orient Beach. We rented a chair and umbrella at bikini Beach - Orient Beach is divided into lots of beaches. We had lunch at the restaurant right at Bikini Beach - AWESOME!!! If you go to St. Martin do the same as we did and do it on your own - there are lots of taxis and you don't have to worry about getting back to the ship.
We had an early flight home so getting off the ship was easy. We were allowed off first but had to look after our own luggage - it's called self-assist. We only had 2 bags (on wheels) and 2 backpacks so it was OK. If you have lots of luggage you might want to go the longer route and let them unload your luggage.
To sum up - we were very pleased. Hats off to Carnival and the crew of the Triumph. I wouldn't hesitate to cruis again, and I would readily choose Carnival and the Triumph.
I'd be pleased to answer any questions anyone might have.