Carnival Triumph - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Carnival Triumph

★★★ +

Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 359 out of 500

Accommodation: 144 out of 200

Food: 218 out of 400

Service: 254 out of 400

Entertainment: 76 out of 100

Cruise: 252 out of 400

Overall Score: 1303 out of 2000

Carnival Triumph Statistics

Size: Large Resort Ship

Tonnage: 101,509

Lifestyle: Standard

Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Lines

Former Names: none

IMO Number: 9138850

Builder: Fincantieri (Italy)

Original Cost: $420 million

Entered Service: Oct 1999

Registry: The Bahamas

Length (ft/m): 893.0/272.2

Beam (ft/m): 116.0/35.3

Draft (ft/m): 27.0/8.2

Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (34,000kW)/2 azimuthing pods

Passenger Decks: 13

Total Crew: 1,100

Passengers (lower beds): 2,758

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 36.8

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.3

Cabins (total): 1,379

Size Range (sq ft/m): 179.7-482.2/16.7-44.8

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 508

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 25

Wheelchair accessibility: Good

Cabin Current: 110 volts

Elevators: 18

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 3 (+1 with sliding glass dome)

Hot Tubs (on deck): 7

Self-Service Launderette: Yes

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No

Library: Yes

Onboard currency: US$


This is a floating fun palace for ultra-casual family cruising

Overview. Carnival Triumph is quite a stunning ship, with extremely short bows (the pointy bit at the front). It is designed specifically for families with children, who will probably not want to leave when the cruise is over.

The Ship. The ship underwent quite an extensive facelift in 2013, which added new facilities and eating options.

Outside on Lido Deck, there is one small pool (with adjacent hot tubs - although the whole area is extremely cluttered and congested), and one aft pool (with retractable glass roof for use in poor weather conditions). Note that there are no cushioned pads for the sunloungers, but there is a large poolside movie screen.

Also outside is a 200 ft (60m) -long water slide, which travels from just aft of the ship’s mast.

Inside, the decor is quite tasteful, and is themed around great European cities like Rome and Paris. The layout is fairly logical and it’s quite easy to find one’s way around. There are basically three decks full of bars and lounges to enjoy.

The interior focal point is a main lobby, which is nine decks high, and is topped by a glass-domed roof. The lowest deck features a square-shaped bar, facing forward to the glass-walled lifts.

Carnival Triumph is a floating playground for the young and young-at-heart, and anyone who enjoys constant stimulation and participation events, together with the three ‘Gs’ - glitz, glamour, and gambling. This really is cruising Splash Vegas style - a fun, all-American experience. Because it’s a large resort ship, expect lines for things like shore excursions, security control when re-boarding, and disembarkation, as well as sign-up sheets for fitness equipment. Getting away from people and noise is extremely difficult.

Families. Youngsters have their own play areas, with children’s programs divided into five age-specific groups under Camp Ocean (ages 2−11 - with children ages 2−5 called ‘Penguins’; 6−8-year-olds called ‘Sting Rays’; 9−11-year-olds called ‘Sharks’). Tweens have ‘Circle C’, while teenagers have their own ‘Club O2’ - a chill-out (no adults allowed) room/disco. Also, soft-drinks packages can be purchased for children (and adults).

By the end of 2015, the words and world of Dr. Seuss will have been rolled out as part of Carnival’s children’s program (check before you sail) − from ‘green eggs and ham’ for breakfast, served by waiters in Dr. Seuss-inspired uniforms, and characters such as the Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two, and Sam attending, to special showings of movies such as The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (these will be shown outdoors on the poolside Seaside Theater screen on Lido Deck).

Accommodation. There are numerous price categories, depending on the grade, location and size you choose. Over half of all cabins are outside and, at 225 sq ft/21 sq m, are among the largest in the standard market. They are spread over four decks and have private balconies extending from the ship’s side; these have glass rather than steel balustrades for unobstructed ocean views, as well as bright fluorescent lighting. The standard cabins are of good size and have all the basics, although the furniture is angular, with no rounded edges. Three decks of cabins - eight per deck, each with private balcony - overlook the stern.

Many cabins have upper and lower bunk beds - good for families with small children. The cabins have a light color scheme. Interactive ‘Fun Vision’ technology lets you choose movies on demand, for a fee. The bathrooms, which have good-size showers, have good storage space for toiletries.

Book one of the suites, and you get Skipper’s Club priority benefits and other little perks.

Dining. There are two main dining rooms, one forward (London) with windows on two sides and 706 seats, and the other (Paris) aft with windows on three sides and 1,090 seats. Each spans two decks, and incorporates a dozen domes and chandeliers. The aft dining room has a two-deck-high wall of glass overlooking the stern. Tables are for four, six, and eight, with even a few tables for two. The dining room entrances have comfortable drinking areas for pre-dinner cocktails.

You can choose either fixed-time dining (6pm or 8.15pm), or flexible dining (any time between 5.45pm and 9.30pm). This gives you very little time to ‘dine’ - although it should give you some idea of what to expect from your dining experience. Although the menu choice looks good, the actual cuisine delivered is adequate, but quite unmemorable. Note that the two main dining rooms are not open for lunch on port days.

Other dining options. The Steakhouse is a reservations-required extra-cost dining venue (serving prime steaks and grilled seafood). It has fine table settings, china, and silverware, as well as leather-bound menus, and a design theme set around Scarlett O’Hara, the heroine of Margaret Mitchell’s classic novel Gone With the Wind.

In 2013, the ship underwent an extensive facelift. This included the debut of Guy’s Burger Joint (in partnership with Guy Fieri of Food Network) for burgers, hand-cut fries (chips) and assorted toppings. A BlueIguana Cantina also made its debut. New and revamped bars include a poolside RedFrog Rum Bar (where you can also get ThirstyFrog Red - Carnival’s private-label draft brew), BlueIguana Tequila Bar (for frozen Mexican-style cocktails and tequila), and an EA Sports Bar (an interactive venue which includes video games and a 24/7 sports ticker). For ultra-casual eating, go to the Lido Deck self-serve buffet area. There are several sections (the ship’s decor theme is, after all, international) including a deli, and an Asian section. Outside on deck and adjacent is a pizzeria, Guy’s Burger Joint, and BlueIguana Cantina. The buffet itself is congested for much of the time, particularly for breakfast (my advice would be to go to one of the main dining rooms for a more relaxed breakfast).

Entertainment. The three-level Rome Main Lounge is quite a stunning room, with a revolving stage, hydraulic orchestra pit, good (but loud) sound, and seating on three levels, the upper levels being tiered through two decks. A proscenium over the stage acts as a scenery loft.

Spa/Fitness. SpaCarnival spans two decks, and is located directly above the navigation bridge in the forward part of the ship; it is accessed from the forward stairway. Facilities on the lower level include a solarium, massage/body treatment rooms, lecture rooms, sauna and steam rooms for men and women, and a beauty parlor; the upper level consists of a large gymnasium with floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides, including forward-facing ocean views, and an aerobics room with instructor-led classes, some at extra cost.