Just a quick review of our cruise. This is our second time on Conquest. The family includes DH, DD and her boyfriend, DS and a friend, and myself. This was the six day cruise out of Fort Lauderdale. Ports included Nassau, Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, and Amber Cove.
We live in Tennessee and usually drive to ports due to the number of us and the price of flights. We left Friday after work and made it to Valdosta, GA by midnight. We stayed in the Hampton Inn right off the interstate. It was very nice and clean. Nice breakfast included. Drove to our next stop of Orlando. We had made reservations for lunch at Planet Hollywood at the Disney Springs area. Disney Springs has grown so much in the last few years. We did some shopping and then headed to Fort Lauderdale. We checked into the Comfort Inn Airport and Cruise. Tired by the time we were in our room, so take out supper for us. Can't wait till tomorrow .
We we were up early, had breakfast, then headed to Walmart and Burlington. Both are close by. Then off to Port Everglades.
We arrived at port at 10:33, dropped everybody and headed to park. We usually park at port to save time leaving. We had priority for 3 of us due to suite and the other 3, I had purchased FTTF. We were walking up gangway at 11:08. This had to be the fastest embarkation for us. As the boys room would be ready, we headed to deck 7 to put our belongings in their room. We had to pass our suite on the way and it was ready. Our cards were in the mailbox, so we were able to check it out. Checked out boys cabin, interior about 12 cabins down. Next stop, lunch. We all split up, going after our favorite foods. We made it a point to always eat on the 10th deck. Just up the stairs from the buffet. It is hardly utilized the first few days, so always a table.
We like your time dining, but make it a point to get there as its opening. I'm going to group dining all together. There was always something good to eat at dinner. The basic menu, but always several great choices. I will say that we had 5 different serving teams. In the past we usually ask to stay with the same team, not this time. The first 3 nights, I was not impressed. Adequate service, but not the happy servers I'm used too. The next 2 nights we did have the same. Of the three servers, only 1 was happy and smiling the entire time ( extra tip for him). The last night we had the best service. If only we had started with them.
Nassau - This was our first time at this port except for our daughter, she's been twice in the past. We walked to Junkaroo beach. At the Tiki Hut, we had 6 chairs, one umbrella, and 12 drinks for $150. That included gratuity. The water and beach were clean, but there were a lot of rocks. Shopped a little in town then back to ship.
Half Moon Cay - OMG! Our first time and I could move there in a minute. Gorgeous beach, water, sun. I have never seen sand so fine and white. I truly think it is the most beautiful place I have been to. I did rent a clamshell, but it ended up not getting used.
Grand Turk - We have been here before. There must have recently been a storm in the area, as there was massive amounts of seaweed in the water. We ended up at the pool. Back on board early this port.
Amber Cove -. New port for us. DS and friend stayed at pool. The other four of us took taxi to Puerto Plata. My daughter has a friend from there and she assured us it was safe for tourist. It was $70 to town and back. We were taken to Amber Museum first with its attached gift shop. Next to the town square and cathedral. Each stop we were handed to someone to show us around for tips of course. We were taken to gift shop where our driver would be picking us up. Amazing how this works! After this last handoff, I told the driver we wanted to go to the chocolate factory. Del Oro is an organic chocolate factory with a free tour and samples. We purchased quite a bit to bring home. When we returned to taxi, we told him just to take us back to port. You pay him when you are back at the port. I think if you just tell them where to take you, you'll save a lot of tip money.
Our cabins - the boys had the normal interior. They like this as its dark and can sleep in. This was our very first suite. I had originally booked us an aft balcony. After reading reviews, changed to a regular balcony. As I was checking one day for price drops, I found a suite that was lower in price. I immediately called my PVP. She said she'd never seen one this low. Booked it quickly. We went from balcony $2265 to suite $2221. Now we are spoiled and a balcony will never be the same.
Debarkation was also amazingly fast. We were off, thru customs, and on the road by 7:30. Unfortunately, our 12 hour drive took 15 due to traffic issues. Can't wait till next year!