My Conquest Review/ October 3-10, 2004

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96 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
I noticed there was a request for Conquest reviews so I thought I'd give it a shot. I'm new at this so forgive me if I miss anything and I'll answer any question you might have. *smiles*

We were on the October 3-10th sailing for our 10th Wedding Anniversary. We were the lucky ones who went through Tropical Storm Matthew. That only affected us on our last sea day, though, and arriving in the port. Even through that . . . it was WONDERFUL! One thing you should know, if you plan to park at the pier, they are working on it so you will have to park in another parking area and they will bus you over to the ship. We were the first ones who went through this and were VERY confused! Nothing but a little hiccup in an otherwise wonderful cruise . . .

Embarkation ~ Just a little snag from the parking (see above) but it seemed to be pretty quick. Of course, it was my first cruise so I didn't know any better. I was lucky enough to discover my Cruise Critic buddy (who I had met through the roll call board) was sitting in the chair right next to me! What a wonderful surprise! We were able to talk with her and her family throughout the wait so it seemed to go by fairly quickly. We were the second row of yellow chairs to be called and were on to get our pictures and then boarding. It could have been much worse, in my opinion, so I have the wonderful Military (also known as "hurry up and wait") to thank for my patience. LOL

The ship ~ WOW!!!! This thing is a small country! My husband and I were lost from the first day to the last. We just couldn't figure it out! LOL It tends to be a little awkward when you have to go down to a certain floor, walk to the other end of the ship and then take the elevator or stairs back to the floor you need to find what you're looking for. Or maybe that was just us. *wink*

Our Room ~ we had a balcony room on upper deck forward. My husband, who is known to be a little soft in the tummy area (LOL), never needed any motion sickness medication throughout the trip. He only took it one time on Saturday night and that was only as a precaution due to T.S. Matthew. Our cabin steward was wonderful, always cheerful and always made sure we had everything we needed (and more) so we made sure we tipped her VERY well. That was her last cruise, unfortunately. I'm sure it will be hard to fill her shoes. As far as sound, I used earplugs to keep noise out but my husband didn't and said there wasn't any noise in the halls or in the other rooms. The motion was very minimal throughout the cruise. We loved our balcony . . the times we could use it, that is. We had a very ummmmmm . . . high (??) family 2 doors in front of us who decided to smoke their stash out on their balcony. We had to be careful or we'd come back with a contact high. *eek!* Other than that, we loved it and even shared our bungee cord with our next-door neighbor.

Dinner ~ we had Monet early seating and Randall took care of us. What a sweet guy! He was wonderful and always had a great suggestion for each course. He even took care of us one day when we were extremely late and, even though he didn't have to, he brought us out the entree . . . one for each of us and an extra to share. He was always kind enough to bring us an extra dessert to taste, too. GREAT guy! The food was great and we tried many different things ~ most that I had heard about here. *Thanks*

We did our shore excursions through Carnival and had a wonderful time. We had planned on just hanging out at Sunset Beach in Jamaica but my husband found an excursion he couldn't pass up. We did the canopy tours and had a FANTASTIC time! Our driver was awesome and even took us shopping after the tour. He told us the safest places to shop and where NOT to go. Great guy! For Cozumel, once again, my husband found something better than a beach day. We ended up doing the Catamaran Snorkel, Sail and Beach Party. The snorkeling was nice but the reef is most definitely dying and it's sad to see. We then headed over to the beach and were given an hour to do what we wanted and then they would take us back. We opted out and hung out at the connecting beach for a few hours. We took a taxi back and had a nice relaxing day.

Debarkation ~ Can't complain. We were the second color called and were able to pick up our luggage and jump on the bus back to the parking area. Very quick!

Some things not to miss:

THE PIANO BAR: That guy (Jamie Mahn) was absolutely wonderful! He plays almost any song, sings, plays guitar and harmonica and it is very interactive. He is a blast and we have even kept in contact with him since we left. You HAVE to sit around the piano to get the full experience!

THE ARTIST: They have an artist from Romania who does portraits in pastels. He is amazing! We watched him creating these portraits and it was breathtaking. After watching him all week, we finally had to have a picture of our kids done. Beautiful!!! You must go see him work.

THE POINT: If you want an experience, make sure you book this EARLY! We actually went twice ~ once on Tuesday and then again on Friday for our Anniversary. My husband loves sushi and couldn't get enough the first time. By our Friday visit, we were so tired of eating . . . LOL . . . we had eaten our entire cruise and we really didn't enjoy it the way we did the first night. So, don't miss it ~ just do it early.

THE GAMES AND SHOWS: I really enjoyed these. Like I said, it was my FIRST cruise so everything was a new experience (so don't bash me for liking cruise entertainment! LOL). I also enjoyed the cruise director, Steve Cassel, because he reminds me of one of my friends. He seems to have fun with whatever he's doing and his enthusiasm is quite contagious. The games were a blast and it was so fun meeting those people throughout the cruise. If you want a full-out gut busting laugh, DON'T MISS the Newlywed/Not-So-Newlywed game! Whew! We were rolling in the aisles!

Hope that helps someone! Any questions, ask away ~ I'll try to answer the best I can. Can't wait for the next one!!!!
Southwest Minnesota
500 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Thanks for writing your review (you did a great job!!) We are "contemplating" the Conquest for next summer so I'm in "research mode" now and appreciate the details that you shared!!

Our only two cruises have been on the smoke-free Paradise (which is no longer smoke-free ) so I'm wondering how bad the smoke was on the Conquest. (Besides the "funny" smoke from your neighbors that is!) Where there places that were "really" bad? I am NEVER around anyone that smokes so when I do find myself near smokers it bothers me.
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Victory 8/2005
Paradise 6/2004
Paradise 6/2002
4,524 Posts
Joined May 2002
Thanks for the review, Amy! Tell me more about the sushi, because my DH is a sushi lover. In the supper club or at a sushi bar! Thank you, thank you, thank you, in advance for Conquest information!
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96 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Mathgal ~ I absolutely CAN NOT handle smoke! I suffer from migraines and it really throws me for a loop if I'm around it. That being said, it wasn't bad in the piano bar (I always found a stool at the end where no one could sit next to me) but it was AWFUL in the casino! Just trying to walk the hallway next to it was torture. I had to be careful on the Lido deck to stay on one side, too (only one side is for smoking). Most people are very courteous, I'm sure, and will move away or put it out if asked but I'm not brave enough to do that.

Hope that helps!
96 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Judyjbest ~ my husband has done nothing but rave about the sushi since he got back! Unfortunately, I am NOT a sushi lover so I can't tell you about it "taste-wise" but I'll tell you about the places. The sushi bar on deck 5 (I think ~ still lost! LOL) was one that my husband LOVED and he also loved the sushi at the Point. The Point had only one plate and it was the same both times (not that he minded *wink*) but the sushi bar was made fresh and you had a choice.

So, as a summary, at the sushi bar AND the Point ~ it's great both places. Hope that helps!
4,524 Posts
Joined May 2002
Thanks, Amy:

Roger loved the sushi bar on the Paradise, even though the offerings were limited. But, on the Legend, it was part of the daily casual restuarant stuff, so he didn't enjoy it much. Sounds like he'll enjoy it more on the Conquest, and especially as an appetizer in the Point Club. Before that, though, we're sailing on the Destiny out of San Juan, and we hear there's a fabulous sushi bar located on the Wet bar in San Juan.

Thanks for your review,

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Carnival x 13: Sensation, Paradise x 3, Legend, Destiny, Conquest, Pride, Holiday, Dream x 2, Liberty, Elation
RCL x 7: Majesty of the Seas, Sovereign of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas
Celebrity x 1: Century
Princess x 6: Caribbean Princess x 3, Dawn Princess, Diamond Princess, Crown Princess
NCL x 3: Spirit, Breakaway, Dawn

96 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Cali-croozer ~ We LOVED the canopy tours! There is nothing like it! You will zip-line through the trees and over the water ~ it's amazing. You will go through quite a few of them. At the end, NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY, don't hit the "soft-foam cushion" at the end! It is not "like a soft pillow" AT ALL ~ more like hitting cement!

Wanna ask me how I know??

The tour lasts a few hours with a 30 minute drive to and from. It's very scenic ~ you won't get that view anywhere else, I can assure you of that. Our driver was great and offered to take us shopping and kept us under his wing. Great tour . . . could have been longer (I could have done that all day) but it's a memory that I will always have.

Hope that helps!
143 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Thanks so much for the review! We're leaving on the Conquest Nov 14th! The anticipation is killing me!
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Can't wait to sail on the Conquest 11/14
Sydney, Australia
50 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
HI, thanks for your great review.

Is the sushi bar free on the Conquest? I love sushi.
Did they have tempura (fried stuff) as well at the sushi bar or just sushi?
96 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
I am not a sushi person but I do like the cooked equivalent. LOL There is a restaurant called Sur Mer Seafood Delights (located on the upper level of Lido Restaurant) and they have fried oysters and fried calamari. That's all I tried but I'm sure there is a lot more. I have heard that the fish and chips are excellent (unfortunately, I didn't get to try it) and I think that is where it is served. Everything is free as far as sushi is concerned (except at The Point).

They also served tiger prawns (fried) in the dining room a few nights, as well. Hope that answered your question ~ all this food talk is making me wish I was back on the ship!
117 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Thank you Thank you Thank you Amy for your review. You did a very nice job!
This will be first cruise in 8 years for me.
"Contact high" that's so funny! Reminds me of my favorite singer, TK.

107 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Thanks for the review. DH and I will be leaving on the Conquest sunday(10/24) Can't wait!!! Could you give me some info on the artist who did the portraits. Where on the ship was he located? How much did it cost? How long did your kids have to sit for the portrait? Thanks again.
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Frisco, TX
298 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Thanks Amy for your review. We leave on 11/28. I am also interested in the pictures of your kids and the cost involved. What are the ages of your children and how did they handle sitting for this? Did they use they go to Camp Carnival at all?

One other question I have is how did you decide what night to go to the Point? Did you look at the menu beforehand?

100 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
I was on the Conquest the week before Amy. The portrait artist is right outside the casino, close to the bandstand where "Two's Company" played. I don't know the cost, but he can also do portraits from pictures, in case your kids can't sit still.

At the first art auction, the artist was there and they had a raffle for him to do a free portrait of the winner.

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5/28/2003 Carnival Spirit
96 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Unfortunately, we did not bring our children (4 & 2) with us because it was an anniversary cruise (a surprise from my husband ). Since it was the first time I had ever been away from them, I brought a TON of pictures and plastered the room mirror with them. We had not even heard about the artist before we boarded but . . . WOW! I passed by him a few times (he was usually on Deck 5 across from the casino) and watched him creating these portraits. He usually had a small crowd as everyone who saw his work had to stop and watch. Those that wanted portraits either brought a picture or used one that was taken on the ship. I did see one family who had the artist take a picture of their daughter (I don't know if it was his camera or the father's) and then he drew from that picture. I did not actually SEE anyone sitting still for a portrait. I think it's easier done by picture.

He can usually create a portrait in a little over an hour ~ he will tell you how long. We had two kids in our picture so it took a bit longer. He can create it in black and white or in color and the price changes with the number of people or color. Ours is a 24x20 (in color) and it cost us $189 with the mat. I do not remember his name ~ we asked him if he had a business card but he didn't. Hopefully, Carnival will get him set up with some, soon.

Shellgoodman: We did not bring our children on the cruise but Camp Carnival looked like a lot of fun (from the little we saw of it). Our roll-call friends brought their 2 children, 8 & 12, but they never even used it ~ too busy in the pool and other activities around the ship. The kids had a blast without it but I'm sure it would be fun with all the supervised activities. Wish I could answer your question better than that . . .
96 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
We went through Carnival for this shore excursion and signed up while on the ship. I couldn't find the shore excursion listing that I had but did find my bill (!!!) from my Sail and Sign ~ it looks like we spent $198 for just the two of us. According to the Carnival Shore Excursions listing (, the minimum age limit is 10 and the weight limit is 220 pounds.

We had a blast doing it and would do it again in a second! Hope that helps!
1,932 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
The website says it's a 2 1/2 hour tour, but some people who took the tour through another cruiseline (I think RCC), said it was more like 4 1/2-5 hours (including the transportation). Is it really that short?