Aug. 24-31, 2008
By Mary & Vincent Finelli
This was our fourth Carnival Triumph
cruise and we looked forward to sailing with Captain Francesco La
Fauci, but as luck would have it, we missed him again since he was
on vacation. However, not all was lost since Capt. La Fauci
introduced us to Captain Salvatore Messina, and we were very
impressed by his kindness and intelligent handling of the situation
caused by the erratic Hurricane Gustav. The itinerary was altered
after Cozumel, Mexico. Instead of going East to Jamaica we went
North, while Jamaica took a direct hit from the hurricane. Captain
Messina kept us well out of harm's way, and we headed back for two
fun filled sea days before landing at Half Moon Cay on Friday, a
private white sand beach on a beautiful tropical island. On Saturday
we landed at Nassau, Bahamas for another beautiful day. Whenever a
port is dropped passengers always complain, but those with hurricane
experience always avoid the high seas, wind and rain. It's an
unwritten law! Bravo Captain Messina.
The Port of Miami is easily accessed on a Sunday
noon, with minimum of traffic and security. We boarded at 12:30 pm;
check-in was simple and we had wheel chair assistance to our cabin
all the way forward just near the bridge. Vincent checked on our
dining room assignments, unfortunately, they were all the way aft in
the Paris Dining Room. He talked with the Maitre D' Manuel Costa,
who changed us to the London Dining Room (midship) and a table for
two near the entrance.
We have published three reviews on the Triumph;
the first in 2001
has a detailed deck by deck description of the ship's stats and
decorations. The Triumph entered service in 1999 and will be
undergoing extensive refurbishing in two weeks. She was built at the
Fincantieri Shipyards, Monfalcone, Italy: hull # 5979. Her gross
tonnage is 101,509; she is 893 feet long and her beam is 116 feet,
with a cruising speed of 21 knots. Crew is 1,100 and guest capacity
is 2,758 double occupancy.
The globe and map theme is evident throughout the ship with an
impressive World's Way and World's Hall. The passenger areas are on
Decks 3, 4 and 5, plus the rear of Decks 9, 10 and 11 while the
staterooms are on decks 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 and forward of 9 and 10. The
extensive use of marble makes the ship quite elegant.
SERVICE & FOOD
Under Hotel Director Stewart Howard, this ship is a
fine floating hotel. The service is excellent; the London Dining
Room is watched over by Maitre D' Ahuja Ramesh, who gave us our
excellent Waiter Norman Campbell. Both Norman and the Asst. Waiter
Kevin Quadros were fabulous. Restaurant Hostess Monika Jendrekova
always took special care of us at lunch in the Paris Dining Room
with a delightful table for two by the window overlooking the ocean.
The food on Carnival has improved over the years and we find the
menu varied enough to have interesting dining experiences every day.
The Appetizers were appetizing and some like shrimp cocktail were
available every night. The soups were of the both hot and cold types
(try the wild mushroom and the cream of asparagus--excellent).
Salads of both the fruit and vegetable kind looked fresh and
inviting. Pasta courses were available every noon and evening.
Entrees included excellent Prime Rib, Fillet Mignon, Lobster and
several types of fish. Desserts were irresistible including hot
souffles and warm chocolate melting cake every evening along with
pies, freshly made ice creams and sherbets. Or try their cheese and
fruit plates. Espresso coffee, tea, hot chocolate and after dinner
cordials were nice final touches. Our congratulations to Chef de
Cuisine Ajit Bangera!
In conclusion, we found the service on board quick and cordial. We
especially want to thank Staff Captain Isidoro Renda for his time
spent with us and his explanations of the ship's intricacies.
Vincent enjoyed conversing with him in Italian.
Our wheel chair cabin #6208 is located on Upper Deck
6 forward. This is a poor location for physically challenged
passengers, since they must go half the length of the ship just to
reach the elevator. Most other ship lines cluster the wheel chair
cabins mid ship near the central elevators. The balcony was very
small with two chairs and a small table, it could not accommodate
the wheel chair. The ramp to the balcony was too steep to use. We
did not stay too often on the balcony because it was small, but Mary
liked the height of the chairs. Many times chairs are too low to get
up out of easily. These were perfect.
Even though the cabin was very small, there was ample storage and
closet space with a private safe, but, alas, no refrigerator. The
bath had safety rails all around and a nice medicine cabinet, a
shower with seat, and a single sink. The king size bed was
comfortable and the room was equipped with a TV, a desk/vanity and a
small coffee table with two chairs. Colors are bright and our
Steward Orlando Cruz was terrific.
Cruise Director Lenny Halliday is always on the go
with so many activities that he and his group host: Bridge and Poker
tournaments, Trivia, Bingo, Water Wars, and contests like the “Hairy
Chest” and game shows, line dancing, etc, etc, etc. There are Vegas
Style shows with the Carnival Singers and Dancers (the vocal talents
of Randi Adlesic and Michael Valentine were tops). The Magic of
Kevin & Caruso was “transportational!” Almost every day, the music
aboard starts at 11:00am and includes all types: Classic with the
“Grace String Trio”, Calypso with the “Dynamics”, Piano music with
”Sharon” (thanks for the wonderful rendition of “Greensleeves”),
Jazz with the “Peter Halloin Trio”, Sing-Along Piano Bar with
“Paul,” etc. A lot of musical entertainment. Very Cool!
We took this cruise for relaxation and we rested every day--it was a
rejuvenation cruise. But, most vacationers on board had fun with a
vengeance. We were bemused when we saw how much energy they expended
on “fun.” Carnival has passengers of all ages and something to make
PORTS OF CALL
Sunday: Port of Miami, Depart at
Monday: At Sea.
Tuesday: Cozumel, Mexico. Arrive 8:00am, Depart 10:00pm. Cozumel
provides many tours starting at the end of the pier: Scuba for
beginners ($91), Jeep and beach combo ($91).
Wednesday: At Sea.
Thursday: At Sea.
Friday: Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. This is Carnival's private island
paradise with pure white sand, palm trees, and sparkling seas for
Saturday: Nassau, Bahamas. Arrive 8:00am Depart 5:00pm.
Sunday: Port of Miami. Arrive 7:00am. Disembark.
When over 3,000 passengers are involved, it can be
frenetic. But Carnival's system was painless, if a bit slow, due to
passengers not paying attention to directions. We were off by
10:00am and on our way home to Boca Raton, just 40 miles north of
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