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Before I start let me say that I have never before written a review after a cruise. I hope I can cover any questions.... if I don't just let me know.
Drove to New Orleans Sunday morning (about 5 1/2 hours). Parked with Machu Picchu. We had told them to expect us about 1 but got very lost. They called my cell about 1:30 to ask if there was a problem and talked us all the way into their parking lot....very nice. No lines at the check in counters, only about 10 minutes in the dreaded "yellow chairs", about 15-20 minutes for pictures and security check and we were on the boat and enjoying lunch on the Lido.
We and our traveling companions had rooms 6400 and 6402. I had commented earlier on this board about the location, right above the disco, and my fears concerning the noise. Folks.......the room is noisy. If you have any trouble with noise do not book these rooms and try to get it changed if you have been assigned to it. Now my DH and the husband of the couple traveling with us (DMF AND DFF-dear male friend and dear female friend) both can sleep through anything so it didn't bother them but I and DFF were up until the closing of the disco most every night. Other than that the room was typical of all standard balcony cabins.... plenty of storage space, nice bathroom amenities etc. I was never exactly sure who our steward was. I think we must have been at the dividing point because I saw at least 3 different stewards in our cabin at different times. DF's had one steward and raved about her.
Ate in Monet Dining Room, late seating, table 418. Our waiter and asst waiter were the best I have had in many cruises. Virgilio has been with Carnival for 8 years and Rolin for 7 years. They were very personable and went out of their way to make everything great. Our DF's were newbies so they had lots of questions and tried lots of dishes etc. The guys were so patient and handled their requests and often silly questions with lots of laughter and information. If you have a chance to have them.......they will make the experience delightful. The food was good, well presented. The menu was slightly different but I was happy to see some of my old favorites were still there. We did not eat at the Lido buffet.... opting for pizza, ruebens(!!!!!!) and hamburgers on port days and had all of our breakfasts and lunches in the dining room. My DFF had fried oysters from Sur Mer and said they were great.
SHOWS AND ACTIVITIES
Loved Todd. Next to John H. he has been my favorite CD. He was very visible and accessible to the guests. You never really knew where he would turn up. Had seen all the "production" shows before and they were as well done as before. I personally prefer the "Point and Click" to the other shows. I only saw 2 of the comedians but they were both hilarious. The "R" rated shows brought tears to my eyes. There were the usual bingo games but they seem to finally be catching on that people don't like to pay $20 for a ticket for one game that will last 2 minutes. They had several opportunities for multiple game sessions with lower cash prizes that were alot of fun and very well attended.
Did Appleton Rum in Jamaica. Enjoyed it...has done Croydon before so was prepared for the poverty you see on the way....many on the tour were a bit surprised. DFF and I did a highlight tour in Cayman while the guys snorkeled. Was so shocked to see the amount of damage done by Hurricane Ivan. Our guide said that only one hotel and one condo complex are back in operation. Biggest problem was the number of people. There may not have been any overnight guests but on this day the island was visited by the Conquest, CCL Victory, RCCL, Princess, Holland America, Norwegian and another cruise line I had not heard of....in short, 6 megaships and one slightly smaller ship. Cozumel....everyone's favorite stop on this trip. Lots of fun shopping and of course the Carlos and Charlie/Senor Frog's returnees provided lots entertainment on their way back to the ship.
Yes, this was spring break. According to the crew there were approximately 1000 passengers under 18 on board. I really didn't notice but since this was our first cruise in 10 years without DS I really didn't spend time in the areas where the younger crowd would have been. I really didn't notice much misbehaviour with the college crowd but then again DS is 19 so I am perhaps a little more accustomed to their behavior. The only really inebriated souls I saw were after our day in Cozumel.... but like I said we were not on the deck much (not a sunbather). They did have fun in the disco though......I can vouch for that!!!!!
Took advantage of the new debarkation procedures. Slept until 7:30, ate a leisurely breakfast around 9 on the Lido, drank a few cups of coffee and then meandered off.....no lines, no hassle.
I know this is long..........can sum it up with.....
We had cabin 6328 on Destiny several yrs ago. This was directly above the stage in the aft lounge (upgrade, had no control over this choice). After the second day we just kind of sucked it up and when the band would start up, we'd dance! We could make out every word that was sung. At least the band was decent!
We leave on the Conquest on 6/26. Thanks so much for the great review. It brought back some funny memories and gave us something to look forward to.
Thanks so much for writing. We leave 5-22 and I'm reading every review I can get my hands on. If you didn't go up on deck, what did you do most of the day (I like to layout, but my DH is very fair and burns easily).
1. Anyone with priority debarkation(early flights, Vacation Club members,those with later flights on Carnival arranged tours) go to the purser's desk prior to Sunday morning with appropriate documents and are given VIP tags to put on their luggage.
2. After the ship has been cleared by customs etc. the VIP's are given the opportunity to debark. After they have debarked, the announcements is given for general debarkation. At that point, everyone is free to begin to leave the ship. However, at the debarkation talk they emphasize repeatedly that since no colors are being called you do not have to leave immediately. They suggest that those people who do not have to "rush" off the ship simply relax and enjoy the last few moments of their vacation.
3. After the initial crush and when the lines go down, an announcement will be made to let the passengers on the boat know that the lobby is clear and there are no lines.
As I said in my review, since we had no flight to meet and only about a 5 1/2 hour drive we just had a late breakfast and drank some coffee and waited. They announced general debarkation about 8:30 and then announced at about 9:30 that the lobby was clear. We took the elevator to the lobby at about 10:00 and walked right off the ship....no lines anywhere until we got outside in the crowd looking for taxis.
Andrea72....I am like your DH....burn very easily and often find myself with sun poisoning if I am not careful. Well, as I said in my review, my nighttime sleep wasn't so great so I did alot of napping during the day. I also checked out a book from the library that I read on the shaded balcony. I worked out in the gym, took steam baths and saunas, watch alot of the silly activities in the main lounge( Trivia contests, bingo, etc.) and even won some champagne in the "lucky loser" drawer. I am not a big gambler but I played in the slot tournament and three card poker tournament. I watched the art auctions, took tea in Alfred's bar, listened to jazz and classical music in the studio lobby, went to a wine tasting, watched my friends take a line dancing class, went to all the shows..... don't remember everything I did. I did go out on the deck some to watch some of the contests but stayed in the shady areas on either side of the pool stage.
Tarps - glad you can empathize. I could have tolerated the music but the vibrations got to me. The plastic bulb covers in our ceiling lights were actually vibrating and rattling to the music. Alas my age also showed....I didn't mind 70's and 80's nights too much but the other nights.....Wow, thought I was riding in my DS's truck with the radio wide open.