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Carnival Triumph Post Red Bags and 2.0 Upgrades

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Huntm

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Carnival Triumph is my new favorite ship and Progreso is my new favorite port…

OK…OK... So the thought about Progreso might be a little drastic… but we did have a FANTASTIC time. That blog is still in the making!

First, let’s chat about the Triumph. I love this ship! LOVE IT! Our first time on her was a disaster. We had thruster issues on that cruise and lost almost an entire day. We also missed our scheduled port, Trenton ended up with food poisoning on the way down to Galveston (he was medically cleared to cruise) and then our luggage was delivered and someone’s smuggled wine had burst and leaked all over our luggage and clothes. It had the ingredients of a cruise from hell, but we still managed to walk away feeling as if we had a wonderful time.

I was worried at that time because the Triumph was a smaller, older ship than what we were used to. It didn’t have all the bells and whistles and I thought there was a good chance that we would be disappointed. It was totally not the case. So this time around after a mini face lift and the addition of the 2.0 upgrades… my expectations were high and they were met!

Disclaimer: My Mom’s cabin had a leaky faucet. It was leaking into the wall and also flooded the bathroom floor… daily. The plumber was there 3 times during the 5 days and it he still couldn’t fix it. *Don’t ask her opinion of how things went. **That’s why I blog and she doesn’t ?

Our cabin right down the road was fine. It even had one of those beds that unfolded from the ceiling. Trenton thought this was some pretty cool shit. He befriended the room steward, worked out a deal to get that bed made, left my Mom with the leaky faucet room and moved right on in!

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The boat itself seemed to be in fine condition. It was not completely redone and “Sunshined” but did seem to have all the necessary replacements from my point of view. Our cruise group from Facebook organized a cabin crawl which took us down to deck’s 1 and 2. The carpet all appeared to be new. The rooms that were shown were all very nice and had the new flat screen TV’s. There were also zero odors. I sniffed down all the hallways just for you guys.

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My Take on the 2.0 Ugrades:

The main pool has been redone. They added the “over flow” option thing around it. I am sure it has a proper name, but I don’t know it. Sure does make it nice to sit there with your feet in the water while the kids play. They also added a couple of shower thingy’s out there and some new hot tubs. Trenton has a thing where he wants to be the first person down the slide on each boat. The Triumph slide was closed at first... but he was finally successful and even confirmed with the employee that he was the first ?

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On each side of the main pool are the Red Frog Rum Bar and the Blue Iguana Tequila Bar. They were always busy and provided some more seats out of the sun by the pool. I did not partake in any drinks there because 1) anyone over the age of 25 should not drink tequila. No, seriously… it isn’t a good idea and 2) we were behaving on this trip.

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Alchemy Bar: I could not pass this one up. I just ordered off the menu and tried the Chipotle Pineapple Martini. Holy Moly was it delicious! I have been dreaming about it and will certainly be hitting it up again in January. It was pricy but worth every drop ?

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EA Sports Bar: Must have been great. It was always packed when it was open. We did walk through when it was closed and it looks very nice! We are Cowboys fans (Unfortunately) and their game was not on the list of those to be played fleet wide. I was pleasantly surprised to see the Cowboys game would be showing on the big screen by the pool. It wasn’t, however, shown in your cabins so if you are a Cowboys fan… there is hope for you yet to catch the game at sea.

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Guy’s Burgers did not disappoint. They fully lived up to their reputation. For some reason I was under the impression you ordered the type of burger you wanted and they made it for you. (Some people have told me you still do… but this wasn’t my experience… I will investigate further in Jan.) Instead you get in line and they just give you the buns with cooked patties and cheese. There is a condiment bar off to the side where you actually make your burger. The signs are up if you wish to follow the recipe or you can just add toppings to your heart’s content. Mark was in heaven… especially after he figured out he could ask for 2 patties and make it a double heart attack… I mean double meat cheeseburger. I can’t tell you how many he consumed in the 5 days… but I am fairly certain it’s in the double digits.

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Blue Iguana Taco Bar. In the mornings you could get a breakfast burrito. There are lots of choices for meat and topping… including hash brown potatoes and y’all know I love potatoes! They also had breakfast tacos you could get with fried eggs on top. Those were delicious and messy! In the afternoons you could still have burritos or tacos…just not the breakfast kind. I’m in love with the fish tacos. Just like Guys Burgers off to the side was the “salsa cart” with all your toppings, fixings and fresh watermelon. Yumm!

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Chopstick’s had the Asian food. It was good. Line was never very long and moved fairly fast. I loved the egg rolls (they called them spring rolls). I’m not one to argue. Whatever those rolled up things are called… they are delicious!

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Regular ole stuff…Main Dining Room:

We had Your Time Dining. We usually ate early (between 5:45 and 6:00pm). Wait was never more than 5 minutes even on formal night. Food was good as always. It always amazes me the amount of people that will stare at you as you are eating and ask how something was… but will never try it for themselves. My advice to you timid cruisers is eat it… try it… you have already paid for it! If you don’t like it… send it back. Your Momma isn’t going to send you to bed with no dinner if you don’t eat it. Spread your wings a little. You will be pleasantly surprised.

Casino: Usually we are casino players. As a matter of fact we were on this cruise with a casino discount and free cash at the casino desk, but we didn’t gamble much… back to the behaving part from above ? I am sure we were disappointing to the Carnival Marketing Geniuses… but oh well. There is always next time! The casino has been rearranged a little. Instead of 1 poker table, there are now 2 and there are several new slot machines than before.

Shows: While we weren’t drinking much or gambling we decided to hit up some of the shows we typically miss when we are. The Welcome Aboard Show was great. Jen the cruise director is funny and engaging. The next night we went to see The Around the World show. It was nice, but seemed a little long for us. Trenton got bored and we ended up leaving before it was over. We kept meaning to go to some of the comedy shows, but never made it.

The Love and Marriage Show was awesome… but mostly because my grandparent’s friends that went with us celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary ended up winning! They brought the house down and were hilarious… especially when the question was asked if they got $1000 for each time they “made whoopee” on this cruise how much money would they have? She answered $0 and he answered $5000! Ha! She got up out of her chair and walked around to stand in front of him with her hands on her hips! Jen the cruise director was laughing so hard she couldn’t speak! We all piled back in their room and enjoyed the bottle of champagne and they were ridiculously happy to have a ship on a stick!

Arcade: Trenton never misses an arcade. Prior to the upgrades the entrance to the arcade looked like a Caboose from a train. It was really rather neat. That is no more. It is more of a bland entrance now. I do not like that cosmetic change. The arcade on this ship is small… or so it seems after leaving the one on the Magic. It does have a super awesome air hockey game. Now… let me explain this little game. Trenton says “Hey Mom, do you want to play air hockey?” I say sure. We swipe our card and I say “$2 for air hockey! This better be a darn good game!” 1 big red puck comes out and we proceed to bat it around… then all of a sudden I hear this noise and I kid you not 20 smaller pucks come sliding onto the board. 20 pucks flying back and forth! It was exhausting!! About the time I think we have gotten them all deposited into the little slot… the noise comes again and 20 more pucks come flying out. Good grief! The score says I lost... miserably… but if you are looking for a fun way to burn a few calories this little game will do it!

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Medical Deck: In all honesty I got ridiculously sick on this cruise. I never have sinus issues but somehow on this ship I developed my very first sinus infection. I was fine during the day, but every evening I thought I was going to die! I finally gave Mark directions to the medical deck while I shoved a pillow over my face. I actually went through 2 boxes of Kleenex. I am sure our room steward thought someone had the plague. Mark came back with pseudoephedrine. $20 for 10 pills…. Then they told me people make crack out of that stuff. Comforting. At least I could breathe some. After my little episode in Cozumel though… it left me almost deaf for 2 days. (That’s another blog) So late nights and partying were not for me.

My only complaint for this cruise has nothing to do with Carnival, but everything to do with the Hampton Inn in Galveston. Twice now we have stayed there pre cruise. I love Hampton Inn’s. I love their rooms and beds. I love their free breakfast. They offer cruise parking (at a price) and a free shuttle to and from the ship. The first time we used them was May of this year. We called when we debarked and they told us the driver was under the orange flag… which he was not. It was raining. We waited approx. 30 minutes and after multiple phone calls ended up carrying our bags down the ramp and paid for a taxi.

This time we expressed our concern on being picked up and they assured us we would have a timely ride back to the hotel. Upon debarkation we called and were told the shuttle was on its way but was picking up another party of 7. We waited approximately 10-15 minutes on the curb and the first shuttle arrived. The party they were there to pick up only had half of their members present as the rest had been detained in customs. The driver would not take our complete party (even though we had some in wheelchairs and it was very hot outside). He just told us he would take the first part of the group ahead of us, drive fast and be back soon.

Again after waiting we ended up taking a taxi. Literally 50 minutes later, AFTER we got a taxi, the driver called my phone and told me he was back at the port and wondered where we were! Umm… Houston already! While I really like staying at the Hampton Inn’s. I will never again pay to park my car there and rely on their transportation. Both times it would have been cheaper for us to pay for parking at the port than pay for parking at the hotel and still end up paying a taxi. Save yourself the frustration!

On another note… both vehicles were totally invaded with ants upon our return (and yes we cleaned everything out before we cruised… there was no trash or food to draw them in). They had completely made themselves at home while we were gone! Both vehicles and all our luggage had to be fumigated ?

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Hampton Inn Shuttle Service=ZERO! Carnival Triumph=TEN!

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