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KandMGIn

Conquest 1/9/05 Review LONG (I mean really long)

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Background: We were on the Conquest on 1/9/2005. We are a family of two adults (mid 30’s) and two children ages 4 and 2. We flew out of OHare International. We traveled with my parents and their best friends.

 

 

New Orleans:

 

 

We enjoyed our time in New Orleans. We stayed at the Inter Continental Hotel which was very nice. The staff was great. They called our room after we had been there about a ½ hour and told us to have a nice visit and to hit the button on the phone if we needed anything. If you have the money (my DF used his travel points) it is a very nice place to stay. We had a FANTASTIC meal at the Gumbo Shop. I would recommend this to anyone. We had a party of 6 adults and 2 kids, so we were able to sample from one another and each dish was excellent. The gumbo itself is especially A+.

 

 

The hotel set up babysitting that night for our children and the sitter Chendreka was really nice. The kids loved her and I would recommend Dependable Kid Care to anyone. We adults went to K Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen. WOW! Yummy, Yummy food. I personally had the Fillet and it was like butter. I had heard mixed reviews and am so glad we went. What a treat.

 

 

We also went to Mothers the day we disembarked. Excellent Po Boys, very good service. They gave the kids free brownies and cookies and the servers do not accept tips. Very much worth the ½ hour wait. I would eat there again in a heartbeat.

 

 

I must say that New Orleans smells like garbage. All of the garbage cans were overflowing. They streets constantly smelled like sewage/urine, or really good food. It was weird. It is unfortunate as the buildings are beautiful. There is a lot of street entertainment and also tarot card readers every five steps. Some of the street shows were interesting. It is just a bit unfortunate that there is such poverty abound. The McDonalds we went into for the kids actually required a token to use the bathroom. There was a bum hanging out in the MCD who kept touching my children, shaking their hands. He sat by us while they ate their ice cream and then picked up some persons left over happy meal toy hat and PUT IT ON my sons head. I was livid!!! Gross! Now I had to sanitize their hands and my sons head!! Funny thing is, on the day we returned, we passed him on the street on the way to Mothers. Daughter was in the stroller and DH picked up Son to avoid any more touching. He spotted us, walked over and started asking my son who the boss was. It was all kind of creepy. I do not know if we will visit NOLA again. Maybe just DH and I for some partying. It was just too dirty, which is sad because I really thought it was a place we would really love. I had Anne Rice novels in my head!

 

 

Embarkation:

 

 

Very easy. We arrived around 10:00am. There was an issue getting there by taxi due to the construction. Our cabby was quite annoyed having to wait nearly a ½ hour to drop us off. Some cabs were zipping around to the left and our cabby stated that the last time he did that, he got a $75 ticket for dropping off in the pick up line! Once we did get out, there were a thousand people trying to leave. I think we arrived too early. We sat in the yellow chairs and they were not even accepting the new people yet. They did open up for us around 10:45am. We were on the ship by 11:30ish. We went to our room to drop our luggage and went up to the lido to eat. All of our alcohol made it fine. We brought a wine, a champagne, and water bottles with gin and vodka.

 

 

The Ship:

 

 

The ship is nice. The lobby is very pretty with a view of many floors. We went to our 4C cabin on the 6th floor and were a little shocked by the size. We have had a balcony for two in the past and an inside for four is small. We met our room steward and asked him to take the mattress off of the bunk and put it on the floor. His name was Wendal from St. Vincent and he was excellent. He moved around our room so that the kids could share a bed on the floor. The bunks that come out of the ceiling are not for kids under 6. When he was done making our bed a king, putting a mattress on the floor, removing the stuff from the fridge, and giving us extra hangers, we gave him $10 bucks. What a trooper he was. Through out the week he made good friends with the kids. He made them smiley face cookies most nights. Every time the kids saw him they both chimed, “Hi Mister Wendal”. He would smile and tell us how he missed his child.

 

 

There is not a lot of open space on the ship. It felt a little closed off compared to our last experience. There is no deck in which you can walk the length of. They all go indoors at some point. We really enjoyed walking around the whole ship on the outside of the ship previously and were a little disappointed that it was not possible here. There were more windows than railings. It was a little hard on us as we were in an inside room this time around. The whole cruise was incredibly windy and it was just not possible to sit outside by the lobby on deck 3 or by the spa on deck 11. These areas were cyclones!! We had to sit around the pool where there is a lot of activity. We will definitely stick with a balcony from now on. We are used to Royal Caribbean, so it was a bit glitzy for us, but this is what we expected.

 

 

I would warn against anyone staying on deck 6 forward. We could hear the show in our room. Every song, every laugh. Really consider where you are and look at what is above and below! Carnival does not do a good job of sound proofing rooms that are near loud public entertainment areas.

 

 

First Two Days at Sea:

 

 

Very nice, very relaxing. I loved lying in the sun. The kids enjoyed the camp. Everyone was happy. Formal night went well. The kids got to eat with the camp. It is nice to have two days at sea so that one can see the whole ship. DH comments that the running track was very nice, even nicer than our last cruise.

 

 

MoBay:

 

 

Sunset Beach was FABOULUS! The kids just ate up the ocean/beach experience, as did the adults. On our way to Sunset, our taxi driver asked us if we wanted to see Jamaica. We agreed that he would pick the 8 of us up at 2pm and give us an hour tour. We talked him down to 5 per person excluding the two kids. It was an interesting tour. There is so much poverty in MoBay. I am glad we were at an all inclusive. The drinks at Sunset were strong and the food was good. That Jerk Chicken is crazy hot. We brought our own snorkel gear and the snorkeling was good out by the rock barrier. I would like to cruise to Ocho Rios, but will never do a land vacation in Jamaica. Note: We were told we did not have to take our ID’s off the ship and the ship advised against it in MoBay, but, Sunset was not happy to take my travelers checks without a picture ID. They actually wanted to write down my driver’s license number on the check. I was very uncomfortable with this. My mom had brought her license and they wrote her number down on the check. From what I understand, that is not standard practice and legally they could not deny the use of the check. Who knows…I certainly had no problem spending them at any other point on the cruise with out a Picture ID or DL #.

 

 

Grand Cayman:

 

 

When we got off the ship it was raining. We got soaked on the walk to Captain Marvin’s. By the time we got on the boat to go to the sandbar, the sun was shining as it did for the rest of the day!!! The stingrays are awesome. The snorkeling at coral gardens was OK. Very good clarity, but not much to see. Note: While the Captain Marvin’s crew was nice, the boat was outdated. You have to go over a bench and up and down a ladder with your fins on to get in and out. Other charters with the same amount of passengers had boats that you just walk off the back of. I did hear that CM lost a boat or two in the hurricane, maybe this was an older boat? I am not sure.

 

 

Cozumel:

 

 

Our favorite port by far. The weather was an awesome 90 degrees. We went to Paradise Beach and met Tom. He is very nice. We had good conversation. There was a Northern wind our whole time in the Caribbean and it was really wreaking havoc on PB. There were large waves that were knocking the kids down (they did not care) and there was zero visibility for snorkeling. But…the sun was warm and the food was excellent. Great guacamole and great nachos. If we stop in Coz again, we would do a snorkeling adventure and then head on over to PB to finish out the day. We found some great deals at the vendors on the way back and got some necklaces for the kids and another carved mask for our wall. We bought a huge amount of vanilla for 12 bucks and also Khalua Especial for 14 in the duty free. Both were very good prices.

 

 

Last Day at Sea:

 

 

We were looking forward to our last day at sea as a day for lounging in the pools and the sun but woke to the cold and wind. To camp carnival the kids went and off to the spa were we. The spa pool/whirlpool is nice and hot (the pool area ones are luke warm) and also coed. We relaxed there for a couple of hours. This was the second time I had been in the spa whirlpool when it was empty. I felt bad for the kids as they wanted to swim one last time, but that was not happening. Later we packed and had our last dinner. Our server was Iggy from Bali India and he gave us signed pictures of the Conquest and we bid one another fare well. That part is always so sad.

 

 

Disembarkation:

 

 

As luck would have it, we were the last people called!! We did not get off until 11:15. They did not start calling floors until 10am. We missed our cemetery tour we had planed on taking, but did not pre book it just for that reason. Oh well. Not the end of the world. We dropped our luggage of at Rush It Courier Service and they took our bags to the airport for $5 a bag. The bags were all in fine condition when we picked them up. This service was very nice since we did not have to be at the airport until 4pm. We took the street car from the pier to the FQ and walked around Jackson Sq before heading to Mothers. Then we were off to the snow. MSY is a much smaller airport than ORD and it was nice to not have to deal with the hustle and bustle.

 

 

The Weather:

 

 

We will never leave from a cold port again. Nola was about 65/70. The first day at sea was 70 and the last day at sea was only 65. People were wearing jeans and long sleeves. It was depressing to only have four hot days out of seven. We LOVED leaving out of San Juan as it was HOT HOT HOT. From the time we flew in till we flew out, it was mid 80’s. I really expect no less from the Caribbean except in times of storm. Lucky for us all three ports were pushing 85. I am nervous to go out of Miami now, and unless we are doing the Canada tour, we will never leave out of New York. Just seems like a waste when you really are looking forward to hot weather.

 

 

The Food:

 

 

Luke warm. All of the food was served luke warm. I do not know if it never got hot, or if it was delivered very slowly. We had heard over and over that the food is pretty bad and I would have to agree. It is average food. This really did not bother me. I do not expect much more out of a 3600 passenger ship. I was disappointed by the desserts. I had a very good carrot cake from the lido dessert table on day three and good chocolate cake on the last night of dinner. Otherwise, none of the desserts were sweet. It was as if the ship had run out of sugar! We spoke with several others who agreed that the desserts left something to be wanted. Maybe it was just our week? I was disappointed. On the other hand our servers were great. I have previously mentioned Iggy. He made the kids origami and played tricks with their napkins. The bar server always brought them a sprite. We really enjoyed our time at dinner due to the staff.

 

 

Room service was quite lacking. There was about 15 items to choose from. We were used to being able to order what ever breakfast/lunch/dinner was in the dining room, so this was disappointing. You could not even get an egg for breakfast!! Be prepared to get up really early on port days if you want more than a bread type item. You will have to go to lido or dinning room.

 

 

CampCarnival:

 

 

My kids really enjoyed camp carnival. Unfortunately, there were only 100 kids on the ship and only 14 were 2-5. They were in the playroom alone a lot. They did really enjoy it though with the pizza parties and crafts and temp tattoos. The counselors were very nice and caring. They always had a big smile and a new activity for the kids. They also gave away blue camp carnival backpacks wrapped as presents on the last day. The slumber party sitting is nice for night time fun. DH and I were able to go out and enjoy ourselves. Since it is sleep over type, my four year old did not sleep, but instead played. It was had to wake him the next morning. Just a thought to keep in mind!

 

 

The Show and Steve Cassel:

 

 

The Conquest Dancer shows were terrible. Phat Cat was very funny in his comedies and the juggler Manuel Zuniga was fantastic! Steve Cassel is odd…but he grows on you. He is also a very good juggler. We did not attend the marriage show or survivor type show, but my parents did and really enjoyed them. They also stated that the talent show was a blast. I wish we could have done these things, but it did not happen with the toddlers.

 

 

Overall Pros and Cons:

 

 

Pros:

 

 

Even though it is a large ship, we saw the same people over and over again. Makes it feel like home.

 

 

Karaoke is a blast and is done every night.

 

 

Each port has an ample amount of stuff to do so that you could revisit them on other cruises and not feel cheated.

 

 

Ice cream / Frozen yogurt MANIA.

 

 

Carnival has friendly down to earth people sailing its ships.

 

 

I really loved the art. The ship has a lot of nice art in stairwells.

 

 

The bathrooms were bigger than RCI. They really should consider getting glass doors for the shower like RCI has. The water on the floor is really annoying.

 

 

The closet space was more than enough for four people.

 

 

The professional pictures are really great. They are pricey at 19.99 for an 8x10, but hey, we were on vacation. I was very impressed with the photography.

 

 

We were able to put what ever size cash deposit on our account. We only put down the 180 that we had allotted for ship spending. That was very nice since I read and was told by 800-Carnival that we would need 400 or 500 (reports varied). Also…there are many stories about credit card holds and that it is 250 per activated card. We were told by the purser that the amount is 50 per person. We had already brought our cash with us though due to the varying reports. (We would have used our checking account but were told by Carnival online, Carnival 800#, and members of CC, that at the start of our cruise, $500 would be held for two activated sign and sail accounts.)

 

 

We really did have a wonderful vacation though some of it was lost to taking care of toddlers and their tantrums. I just was not blown away in any one category. I wish I had more to rave about.

 

 

 

Cons:

 

 

Orange bedspreads, pink trim, red carpet…all in one room. WHY

 

 

Less than average food that is never hot. Bad desserts.

 

 

Cold weather port = two cold days at sea.

 

 

I had heard of all the places to eat…Paul’s Deli, Sur Mer, PC Wok…etc…but, they are all just window counters around the lido deck…not actual restaurants with their own seating. On the Adventure of the Seas, Johnny Rockets and the Pizzeria were actual four walled restaurants with tables. I got a little sick of dinning in the lido. Even the Midnight Gala Buffet and the Chocolate Buffet was in the Lido! Come on…doesn’t that merit the use of a dining room? Not to keep comparing to the Adventure of the Seas…but the AOS midnight buffet was in the main dining room. It was four times the size and you could take pictures of it from the third story. I felt like the lido was a huge cafeteria, (albeit more nicely decorated).

 

 

You cannot use a credit card for anything onboard. We made a cash account and were low at the end. We tried to purchase pictures and a frame with our credit card which we could do on RCI. They said no. Not even the shops accepted them. So…we had to put our credit card on file, or not buy the items. I suppose it was easier for them, but harder for us.

 

 

Thought for the Future:

 

 

I think if we did Carnival again that we would do the Spirit class like the Miracle or something.

 

We read a lot of complaints about cold food and a lack of open space and wonder if perhaps the Spirit Class would be more suitable to us.

 

Most of our issues were with ship design and food. The Carnival décor really did not bother me much, but I did miss the awesome promenade on RCI with all the shops and bars. The Conquest Promenade just did not match up. Same goes for entertainment. You just cannot run out of activities on the AOS. Rollerblading, rock wall climbing, ice staking, etc…I did not think I would miss these things, but I did.

 

All in all we had a very relaxing escape from everyday life and I am thankful that we had the opportunity and the means to do that.

 

 

Questions, fire away!

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Hi Mike and Kirsten,

 

Reading your review brought back many memories of our Conquest cruise two years ago. How would you compair Camp Carnival to the activities on Adventure of the Seas for your youngsters age group?

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This was the first cruise that we brought them on. I had no experiance with Adventure Ocean.

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Mike and Kristen, I'm glad you had a good time on the Conquest, I'm so excited for my turn! I'm sorry you were approached by a wierdo in my city. I agree that often times there is a "smell" to the quarter. New Orleans is really trying hard to clean up its image as the 'city that care forgot" I will forward your comment to city hall. Please come back and visit our great city. Do not let one or two people give you a negative impression of all the thousands of great people here in New Orleans.

Dave

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Hey Kristen - Great review. I am almost finished with writing mine. I will agree, too, about the "smell" of New Orleans. Boy, I am missing that ice cream machine! :rolleyes:

Happy sailing,

T.

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Dave, I totally agree with you. I think Mike and I would visit again on our own, but not with the kids. There were a lot of really neat looking shops that we could not go into because of the "if you break it you buy it" policy. Not that my kids are unruly, but you can barely manuever a stroller around in those stores! I have read also that they are trying to clean up the smell. I do not understand where it comes from!

 

 

Tinka! I forgot to put in my review the meet and greet info! Hello...what was I thinking? You put the info in yours for me OK!

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I forgot to mention somethings....In Cayman, Captain Marvins made an awesome video of the stingrays and the snorkeling. The DVD was 55 with shipping, but we talked her down to 45. I am very excited to get it as the kids will LOVE to see themselves.

 

Also...at dinner there is a Thai appetizer one night with curry noodles and chicken on a skewer. I never got the name as it was the waiter that picked it for me...WOW yum! Get it if you can!

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Kristen,

 

Thank you so much for the review. I especially appreciate getting your perspective since I will be traveling with a little one.

 

Cindy

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Hey Cindy! It is so worth it! I loved the looks on their faces, their excitement. I will say though that the cruise was not as relaxing as the one without them. Even though there was Camp Carnival, you still had to wear a watch to know when you had to pick them up. I do not think we will bring the kids on the vacation we put the most money into. We had previously thought we would do the big ole family vacation and then do side jaunts (weekends) to places with just DH and I. I think we now have a reverse philosophy. We will so small weekend or extended weekend trips with the kids and save a week long cruise for us until they are more like 10 and 12.

 

It can still be a great experiance! I stay home, so in a way I brought my work with me! But...no cleaning up, no cooking, and free babysitting!! WooHoo!

 

How old is your little one?

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Tinka! I forgot to put in my review the meet and greet info! Hello...what was I thinking? You put the info in yours for me OK!

 

Um, hello! I wasn't there, remember?! LMAO! :p

Happy sailing,

T.

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:p LOL...Tinka was on the right deck--just the wrong end of the ship for Meet and Greet.

 

 

Kristen, my hubby would agree with you about the food. I'm used to lukewarm school food, though. This all beat that to pieces! I'm also a bittersweet or dark chocolate fan, so the desserts were right up my alley.

 

 

I agree with the room decor--cheesy.

 

We happened to like the dancers, though I noticed that the gentlemen, in particular, were not together in their moves.

 

I absolutely did not care for Deja (female magician) at all. :mad: Her act could be really something if she would polish up her connection to the audience. Not fluid at all. Plan to do something different on Deja night.

 

I agree with you guys about NOLA. Our hotel (Omni New Orleans) was a beautiful old 5 star hotel, but we were smack dab in the French Quarter. Yes, the smell!!!!!!!! Interesting place to visit, though. That's too bad about the guy who kept bugging you. I'm so sorry that you missed your cemetary tour, too, Kristen.. We had the VIP passes and were on a tour bus by 9:30--which was later than usual, I guess. I have to say that the Quarter was much more clean that Sunday than it had been the weekend before. Garbage trucks must have come around.

 

Thanks for linking to this spot on the board. I'd probably be stuck in Roll Call Land forever, otherwise. :rolleyes:

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:p LOL...Tinka was on the right deck--just the wrong end of the ship for Meet and Greet.

 

 

Kristen, my hubby would agree with you about the food. I'm used to lukewarm school food, though. This all beat that to pieces! I'm also a bittersweet or dark chocolate fan, so the desserts were right up my alley.

 

 

I agree with the room decor--cheesy.

 

Hey Merri - Leave me alone!!! LMAO! :p I tried, I tried, I tried!!

What dining times did you guys have & what diningroom were you in? Our food was hot!!!

The room decor didn't bother me at all in the least bit. I would rather be look at it over seeing the same stuff in our place I see every day & night! :rolleyes:

Happy sailing,

T.

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I forgot about Deja. She was awful. We left...there was way to much ego stroking and not enough magic. I, too was really turned off by her.

 

What are the VIP passes and how did you get them?

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Tinka! Ha! I forgot you were not at the M&M. I just meant to add about our awesome new friends! :p

 

We were in Monet 5:45. Some of that food was hot, but the lido food was always luke warm. Nice for the kids, they never got a mouth burn. ;) Unless of course they got intestinal parasites from under cooked food. :D Just kidding.

 

I did like the pictures in our room. Just not the orange, pink and red tones. Those colors oh so clash. But I am only faux complaining...I WAS on a cruise!

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Ya know, Tinka, I thought my food was hot enough. DH didn't. Also, while the beef on board wasn't even close to having the flavor that our own beef does, the filet mignons were quite good.

 

 

T and K, we were in the Renoir, lower deck. We had the 6:15 dining time. Our wait staff(we had two) ran their legs off. We'd taken a galley tour (which wasn't anything to brag about--the quality of the tour, that is) and concluded that some of that food must sit in the covered containers for some time.

 

Ah...the fun of being pretentiously critical! :D

 

Edited to add for Kristen: The VIP passes were issued to those of us who booked the morning NOLA tour through Carnival. We booked this because we had a late (4:30) flight and didn't want to hang around the airport any longer than need be. The tour started right up at the point of debarkation. We drove around some of the historical homes, toured a cemetary, learned a lot about the history of the people, and had 1 1/2 hours to walk around the Quarter over lunchtime. The bus then took us out to the airport.

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Ok...so...After reading Tinkas review I remembered things to add to mine.

 

1. I made a door sign also with lots of beads and streamers and all of it was stolen with the exception of the "I am a cruise critic" sign. Bummer!

 

2. Funny that T. noticed the stains on the carpets being really bad on deck 6 forward. Absolutley! Why can they not clean that up a bit. Since that was where our cabin was, we had to see it several times a day.

 

3. The ship was rockin and rollin! I am amazed that I did not hear stories about people getting sick! I put the patch on before we got on the ship and all was good. Then...on the day I changed it (in Jamaica), my eyes dialated and I could not read. I had to take the patch off as this is a side effect. Luckily, I did not get sick later in the cruise.

 

4. The pizza was alright. The crust was not a style or taste I prefered, but the RUEBENS WERE EXCELLENT!!!! YUM.

 

5. Our ships Captain changed mid week. Anyone know why?

 

6. Advice for free drinks...We had early seating. We went to the captains gala and drank...went to dinner...and then went to the late seatings captains gala to drink some more! Mmmmm....free drinks!

 

ALSO...I forgot to mentiont that I have all the capers and the Camp Carnival Activity list for ages 2-5 if anyone wants it. Just give me some technical advice on how to get it too you! I suppose I have to scan them first huh.

__________________

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Captain changed? We never noticed! :eek:

 

Our door decor (flat melar balloon and curly ribbon) stayed put on ours and our other party's doors. Guess we weren't staying near the wild hooligans that you must have been neighbors with. Sorry to hear that, Kristen. :mad:

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Ok...so...After reading Tinkas review I remembered things to add to mine.

 

1. I made a door sign also with lots of beads and streamers and all of it was stolen with the exception of the "I am a cruise critic" sign. Bummer!

 

2. Funny that T. noticed the stains on the carpets being really bad on deck 6 forward. Absolutley! Why can they not clean that up a bit. Since that was where our cabin was, we had to see it several times a day.

 

3. The ship was rockin and rollin! I am amazed that I did not hear stories about people getting sick! I put the patch on before we got on the ship and all was good. Then...on the day I changed it (in Jamaica), my eyes dialated and I could not read. I had to take the patch off as this is a side effect. Luckily, I did not get sick later in the cruise.

 

4. The pizza was alright. The crust was not a style or taste I prefered, but the RUEBENS WERE EXCELLENT!!!! YUM.

 

5. Our ships Captain changed mid week. Anyone know why?

 

6. Advice for free drinks...We had early seating. We went to the captains gala and drank...went to dinner...and then went to the late seatings captains gala to drink some more! Mmmmm....free drinks!

 

ALSO...I forgot to mentiont that I have all the capers and the Camp Carnival Activity list for ages 2-5 if anyone wants it. Just give me some technical advice on how to get it too you! I suppose I have to scan them first huh.

__________________

I agree with you on the Pizza, we were on Conquest the week before your trip. I think we are used to Chicago Pizza is why LOL I know you asked on our Roll Call site to save the ship leaving NO pics for you but by the time we arrived back home and finally went on the computer it was too late, but Thanks for doing that for us. Sounds like you had a crowd for the meet and greets, nobody really showed up for ours except Bob and I on the second day, Party poopers LOL

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Hey Mike! Thanks anyways! Funny that noone went to your M&M. Oh well, right! Gosh I love chicago pizza! Some one did try to post the link for us, but it did not work. Did you guys have a great time? We sure did! I am even liking it more now than when I was on there! My piddly complaints seem like nothing compared to the mounds of snow being dropped on us as we speak!! Go Chicago. :p

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Had a Great Time Kristen especially reading your and Ebny's reviews and reminisceing about the good ole days from a few weeks ago now LOL,,,seems you went with the same attitude as me and reasonable expectations rather than looking for something perfect, we all have some minor complaints but if I could be back there now eating what they call pizza I would be LOL days like today makes me wonder why we live where we do after coming back from such great weather LOL (Really wouldnt trade Chicago for anywhere tho ) South Side raised here and now in Orland Park

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How do I find out about the VIP tour in New Orleans after we get off of the ship? That sounds really interesting. How much does it cost per person?

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Mom w/4: The New Orleans excursion will be one of your excursion choices to book while you are on the ship. You can book your excursions right from your TV. There was supposed to be online booking available, but I'm not sure if that is up and running yet. Anyway, you just select the New Orleans excursion, which I believe is less than $50.00 pp. It was the perfect option for us, and now after reading of the other ladies' late embarkments, I'm so glad that we had those VIP tags.

 

Be sure to double-check at the purser's desk, once you've received all of your excursion tickets. You will want to make sure that they issue you the VIP tags for your luggage. What you will then do is be replacing the color-coded Carnival tags with those VIP tags.

Happy Cruising!

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Hey Cindy! It is so worth it! I loved the looks on their faces, their excitement. I will say though that the cruise was not as relaxing as the one without them. Even though there was Camp Carnival, you still had to wear a watch to know when you had to pick them up. I do not think we will bring the kids on the vacation we put the most money into. We had previously thought we would do the big ole family vacation and then do side jaunts (weekends) to places with just DH and I. I think we now have a reverse philosophy. We will so small weekend or extended weekend trips with the kids and save a week long cruise for us until they are more like 10 and 12.

 

It can still be a great experiance! I stay home, so in a way I brought my work with me! But...no cleaning up, no cooking, and free babysitting!! WooHoo!

 

How old is your little one?

 

My daughter is 7, going on 17 lol. Anyway, its just the two of us and without sounding all gooey, I couldn't imagine going without her. For me, these trips are about making memories and planting a few seeds of adventure in her spirit. These are such precious times I don't want to miss a minute of it. Speaking of missing a minute... did you happen to get the capers for the 6-8 age group? LMAO, a minute I can't miss, but an hour or two to farm her out to her friends with the kids club, that I CAN do :D

 

Cindy

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Seajay, I did not get those capers! Sorry about that. I am sure you will have a blast. What a lucky kid. Her friends must be so jealous! Hey...I am jealous. I wanna go again. :D

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MIke, I hear you about not wanting to ever live anywhere but here. Both of my parents were born and raised on the south side. I actually grew up in St. Charles, but my parents made sure that all of us kids new the city and how to get around. My DH lived in Bucktown for quite a few years. Due to house prices, we actually reside in Sycamore. I love the town but hate the distance to the city. We just do not get there enough. I like the Orland Park area. We have family in Tinley Park and Monee.

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