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We (myself, husband and 9 year old son/daughter) just returned from the
8/1 Conquest. I'm just trying to get a few thoughts down now, but will
write a more thorough review in a few days.
Pre and Post Cruise: Stayed at Hilton Riverside. Great location. Hotel is
a typical chain hotel. Two pools, a couple of eating places. It is connected
to the Riverwalk which is great offering more dining, shopping choices. We
walked the French Quarter, took a city tour, went to the aquarium and spent
time at the pools. Other than being very hot and humid (of course, it is
August) we really enjoyed New Orleans as did our kids.
Conquest: Embarkation and Debarkation were no big deal. Ran as smooth as
you would expect when you are boarding and deboarding 3,000 people. We
checked in around 10:30/11:00 and were on Lido eating lunch around 12:30.
I was pleasantly surprised at the decor of the ship. Loved the art theme throughout. I thought it was more upscale than what I had expected. Our cabin was on Spa Deck 1105. King bed/bunk beds, floor to ceiling window,
plently of storage space. This deck does not have many cabins and I thought
was very quiet. The spa/gym is also on this floor. Many nights when we
all needed to shower before dinner, my husband would just go down the hall
and use the showers in the gym, very convenient.
Dining: We thought the food in the dining room was very good. My nine year olds ate with us every night and always had something off the regular menu. The waiters were great with the kids always interacting with them,
knowing their names after the first night. Very good service. I have to say
we thought the best staff on the ship were the dining room staff.
Camp Carnival: My kids were in the 9-11 year old group, but did not spend
much time there. The activities were too juvenile for this age group. My son spent most of his free time in the arcade and my daughter did a couple activities, but did more of the regular ship activities instead (bingo, dance lessons, etc.). I'm sure the activities would appeal to some, just not my kids. They do have playstation/computers but it is only offered at limited times, so you can't just go in and use at leisure.
Ports of Call: Jamaica: Spent the day at Sunset Beach Resort.
Grand Cayman: Did Nativeway Stingray Tour and alittle shopping.
Cozumel: Paradise Beach and alittle shopping.
I will write more about ports of call in my next review.
We all had a great time, anyone going on Conquest I'm sure will enjoy her as well. If anyone has any questions before I write more, please email me and
I will try to answer the best I can.
I just read the review posted about the Conquest. My husband and I leave 8/22 and I am dying for more info. I suppose the information I am most curious about is excursion info. I am also considering spending the day in MoBay at the Suset Beach Resort. I feel I have a handle on the MoBay info but am overwhelmed by the other desitnations. Is there anything you can add about Grand Cayman and Cozumel...Any recommendations or advice?
Thanks so much... ....So excited I can barely stand it.
We leave 11/28 on the Conquest and are planning to do all of the same excursions; Sunset Beach, Native Way excursion and possibly Paradise Beach. Right now we are leaning toward Chankanaab Park instead of Paradise Beach in Cozumel. We are not sure which would be better. I look forward to your review and especially learning more about Sunset Beach and Paradise Beach. Thanks for the info.!
Norwegian Epic.........01/04/14 Eastern Caribbean, Miami
Carnival Elation.........01/17/13 Western Caribbean, New Orleans
Crown Princess.........02/04/12 S. Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale
Norwegian Spirit........03/21/10 Exotic W. Caribbean, New Orleans
Norwegian Pearl........10/31/09 Eastern Caribbean, Miami
Carnival Fantasy.......08/22/09 Western Caribbean, New Orleans
Carnival Splendor......01/10/09 Eastern Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale
Norwegian POAm.......05/17/08 Hawaiian Islands, Honolulu
Caribbean Princess....02/04/07 Eastern Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale
Caribbean Princess....02/04/06 Eastern Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale
Caribbean Princess....09/03/05 Eastern Caribbean, Ft. Lauderdale
Carnival Valor...........05/22/05 Eastern Caribbean, Miami
Carnival Conquest.....11/28/04 Western Caribbean, New Orleans
Carnival Celebration...10/03/99 Western Caribbean, New Orleans
Carnival Fantasy.......09/06/93 Nassau/Freeport Bahamas, Miami
"The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page." - Augustine
Thanks for the review...can't wait for your next post. We are leaving on the 8/29 sailing. We are also cruisin with two children, and have planned on doing the exact same things at the ports as you!
Would love more info on Native Way and the beaches!
Hello, My wife and I sailed the Conquest in April for our honeymoon. I absolutely loved everything about the ship. In MoBay we went to Dunn's River Falls. Very nice, but a long bumpy ride. We drove there, climbed the falls, drove (rode a bus) back. We were able to convince the driver to drop us off at Margaritaville and come back and pick us up. The whole bus tipped him about 4 dollars per person to come back. I wouldnt recommed walking around by yourself in Jamaica. Make sure you stick to an excursion.
In the Caymans, we went on a tour with Capitan Marvins. - www.capitanmarvins.com - very nice people and we went to a lot more places in the water than everyone else. But we did not see the Hell Turtle Farm though. Just weigh your options. A very safe town to walk in. Totally opposite from MoBay.
In Cozumel, we went to Passion Island. All inclusive 5-6 hour relaxing day at the beach. All food & beverages provided, and well worth the money.
Being from Louisiana, we are used to spicy foods. I did flind the food on the ship a little bland, but it was good. The pizza on the Lido deck near the rear bar is very good, as well as the ice cream all over the ship.
On and off the boat was a breeze for us, because we got upgraded to a suite. How, I have no clue. We booked early and paid for a balcony. I guess we were the lucky ones. We were home for like 12:30 the Sunday morning. It took us no longer than 30 minutes to board the ship once we got to the pier, since we had VIP tags.
I thought I would address some of the questions that are being asked, that
way people can get the info they most want:
Regarding Sunset Beach Resort: The resort and its beach are really up the
street from the pier (you can see hotel from pier). We shared a cab with
another couple at the pier. The fare is $2.00 per person. The cost was
$20 per adult and $10 per child for an all day pass. They take your
sail and sign cards at the desk when you pay and you get them back at the
security booth when you depart. The all day pass includes full use of:
3 swimming pools (there may have been more), a very nice beach, nonmotorized water sports, all you can drink (alcoholic and non) and food
at the grille (hamburgers, hotdogs etc.). We thought it was well worth
the money as we had kids and were not that interested in "schlepping around
Nativeway Tour in Grand Cayman: We made our reservations online with
Nativeway before we left. The tour meets in the gazebo at the pier after
you get off the tender from the ship. You take an air conditioned bus from the pier to the dock where there boat takes you out to Stingray City. They
provide water and punch on board. There is a very small bathroom on board.
We did the Stingray stop and the snorkeling stop. There is a videographer on board who you can purchase a VHS or DVD from. When we arrived back at
the pier, my husband and son went back to the ship and myself and my nine year old daughter stayed downtown. She got her hair braided and we walked around the shops. Very clean, very safe, in fact I would consider a trip back to Grand Cayman in the future to stay longer. We were told there is 0% unemployment rate in Grand Cayman so there was no one hassling you as you walked around.
Cozumel and Paradise Beach: Paradise Beach was about a $12 cab ride from
the pier. Free to get in and it has a very nice beach. There are non motorized watersports and a trampoline and iceberg to climb in the water. There is a bar and restaurant area. There are many more reviews of Paradise Beach in the Port of Call Board for anyone interested in a more indepth review. We enjoyed our stay there, if you want to snorkel though, I would try another beach. I walked around the shops at the pier on the way back to the ship. There are outlets here of all the big jewelry stores etc. that are found in town. There are also a couple of restaurants/bars at the pier as well.
Waterslide on Ship: The slide did get crowded at times especially on sea days. My two kids used the slide many times and enjoyed it.
Food not in Dining Room: We ate at the buffet for Breakfast most days. Typical breakfast buffet staples and plenty of fresh fruit and muffins, danishes, etc. My son had the pizza for lunch a couple of days and he
enjoyed it. For lunch there were hamburgs, hot dogs, buffet and the specialty places (deli, oriental etc.) We found all the food in the Lido area good and have no complaints. Of course it is not gourmet fare, but you wouldn't expect this in this area of eating. If you're a chocoholic don't miss Saturday afternoons Chocolate Buffet!
Keep the questions coming and I'll try to keep the answers coming.
P.S. A cruise is what you make of it. Of course there will be little things you may or maynot like. This is true of all types of vacations. I can't imagine anyone not having a good time on this ship.
Midnight Buffet: I have to admit I never went down for the late night
buffets so hopefully someone else can answer this. I can tell you that
in the Capers (ships activity newsletter) it does say latenight bistro from
11:30p.m. - 1:30a.m. and I know one night there was a traditional
midnight fancy buffet.