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ScottsSweetie

Conquest Review 2/20 - 2/27

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Just off the Conquest last Sunday. Following are a few rambling thoughts.

 

We drove to New Orleans on Saturday and stayed at the Doubletree downtown right across the street from Harrah's. We stayed on Hilton Honors points - could not self park, had to use valet at $25.00, but we received four drink coupons from their bar and 2 full breakfast vouchers upon check-in. Went to Pat O'Brian's where I had a hurricane (when in Rome . . . . ) and DH had a beer and it was $16.00 including tip (I did get a refund of $3.00 on the way out because I did not want the souvenir glass). We walked around Bourbon Street and down towards Jackson Square. We were not too hungry, and kept checking menus on the windows until we found a place to have dinner. We ate at Masperos on Peters Street near Jackson Square - DH had catfish sandwich, I had corned beef and swiss on rye, we each had a $1.00 draft beer and total was $18.00 including tip. (This place does not take charge cards!) Ended up in Cafe du Monde (Riverwalk location) for coffee and beignets late.

 

DH dropped me off at port the next day w/luggage, then he drove to parking facility and came back on the bus. Upon entering terminal building was given the flier on Norovirus. Check in was pretty smooth - we were the last two people to sit down in the group of yellow chairs and boarded fairly quickly. Did I mention that our sailing was SOLD OUT?

 

Had the buffet lunch, walked around the ship, luggage all delivered before 6:00 that evening. We had late seating (8:30) in Renoir dining room - sat at a table for 8 with 3 other couples - had a great time getting to know them. Dinner each night was what we have come to expect on a cruise - great service, great food, great conversation. Of course, DH had to have two entrees on several different evenings.

 

The first two days at sea were lazy ones for us - could not find a deck chair anywhere except the topless deck, so that's where we ended up both days. The first day was a little breezy and cool, but after that the weather was great until our return.

 

First stop was Jamaica - we went to Sunset Beach Resort. It was not exactly what I had expected after reading all of the reviews here. It was a very long, but narrow beach and was very rocky at the water entrance. Finding a chair here was as difficult as finding one on the ship. DH snorkeled and said it was okay - we took a kayak out for a bit, that was fun. Had a few free drinks. All in all a decent day, but I was a little disappointed in this visit.

 

Next stop Grand Cayman - we were on Capt. Bryan's Buccaneer at 10:30 - met lots of people from the 4 or 5 other ships in port on that trip. This was the stingray + 2 snorkel stops. Stingrays were great - snorkelling was great. The only problem I had with this excursion was that it was supposed to be from 10:30 to 1:30. We did not return to the port area until 2:30. We had to be back on the ship by 3:30, so it was not a problem to return to ship, but we had to haul butt to the HRC to get t-shirts for the teenage kids at home.

 

Next stop Cozumel - we were undecided all week what to do - ended up on Carnival's Catamaran, Sail & Snorkel excursion. This was a great trip. The crew was great (Ricardo, Juan, Jorge, Julio, and Elvis!). Snorkelling was good, but the water was a little rough. After snorkelling, they take you to their "private" beach for some beach time - free drinks on the boat after snorkelling, free drinks on the beach. A pay hamburger stand on the beach. Mats, kayaks, volleyball, hammocks, bathrooms - all nice, but not enough time to do it all.

 

Last day at sea - water was very rough. We had lunch in the dining room this day (the only time the whole trip). The waiter said that there were lots of people on the ship that were sick. Swells were listed on the mapboard at 4 to 7.5 feet. It was a lot of fun (trying) to walk around the ship on this day (if you weren't queasy).

 

Disembarkation on Sunday was terrible. They tried a new system where, once the ship was cleared, everyone could leave. They announced the evening before that you could leave at your leisure, but should be off by 10:30am. So, we get up, go to breakfast, we are just finishing up food around 9:10 when they announce ship has cleared. We finish our coffee and mosey out to leave - line was so long we found seats and sat down. It was 11:30 by the time we got on the bus to head back to the parking lot. I did not like this system at all.

 

General thoughts: Room was very spacious - plenty of storage for everything we brought and suitcases fit under the beds. Our room was very near the elevators and I was afraid that it would be noisy at night - that was not a problem, but it was a little noisy during the day for our daily "snooze". Loved the shower - just turn it on, and it is automatically preset at the perfect temperature and has an unlimited supply of hot water. On the last night of the cruise, one of the couples at our dinner table split the $1500 game of BINGO, and another couple from our table won the free cruise raffle. A deck chair was impossible to find on any given day. On our last sea day, DH and I got up to see the sunrise and grab a chair. We were on the deck at 6:20 and I could not believe how many chairs were already being held with some kind of personal article on it. We stayed out until about 10:00am, when it became apparent that there was to be no sun this day and I was wrapped up in my towel freezing. Decided that there are definite pros and cons to being on such a large ship. Never used room service - never got in a pool. Used the hot tub once. Everywhere we went, we met such nice and interesting people. Lots of kids on the boat - never saw or heard of any problems with any of them. I personally like Steve Cassel - I know others on the board don't care for him. I would not have known by his name that he was the same CD that we had on the Celebration on this same itinerary several years ago, but as soon as I saw and heard him I knew it was the same guy. This was his last week on the Conquest. The comedians were great - especially the ventriloquist. I wish that when they tell people that the show will be R-rated, they would believe it - we saw several families get up and leave about five minutes into these shows. Duh! DH liked the "thong" shows - we sat in the balcony for the first one, and he said if he had known we would have sat closer. We used the internet service to keep in touch with home - spent about $30.00. A little on the pricey side, but a necessity with leaving the kids at home. We took pictures at every opportunity as I was determined to get a good one, and we came home with three.

 

Any questions, please ask.

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Thanks -we go in July- first time on Carnival- a few ?'s which show is R rated - kids will be 10 and 12 - is it too bad for them? On disembarking- surely they won't keep it that way- we plan to take a noon flight.

We plan to do Buccaneer also, Horseback in Jamaica and maybe Chankanab in Cozumel- sea lion swim. I am thinking it will be packed when we go- 7/31 end of the summer vacation before school break- hope we don't get stuck on topless deck!! where do you sin up for the free cruise? Thanks

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The R-rated shows are usually comedians and they are at 11:30 or midnight. They are very clearly marked as R-rated, so you can't stumble into them unawares. As long as you steer clear of those with the kids, you will be fine. Some of the same comedians will do a family show at an earlier time, and those would be okay with the kids.

 

We heard that this was only the 2nd time that this debarkation method had been tried - it was tried once in Miami a few months ago, according to rumor, and our sailing of the Conquest was the 2nd attempt. The confusing thing was, they told everybody that we had to be off the ship by 10:30am, but then when the line was long, over the loud speaker they said (several times between 9:15 and 10:00), "You may disembark now, or if you are not in a hurry, feel free to enjoy the last several hours of your vacation".

 

You will enjoy the Buccaneer - it was a great trip!

 

The free cruise is a raffle done on the last night of the cruise - $10.00 for one ticket, and $20.00 for three tickets. All night at dinner, our table mate kept telling us that we did not need to go as he had possession of the winning ticket. And he was right!

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I've been sailing on Carnival for 20 years - off and on- along with several other cruise lines. Carnival has never been able to get disembarkation right. We never have any problems on Holland America. It's always smooth and well organized. On Carnival it's always a mob scene.

 

Perhaps it's because there are so many more people, but they should be able to design a system to make it better. After all, they're the largest cruise line in the world !

 

I wonder, on these mega ships, if they could not use two disembarkation gangways, one forward and one aft. That might help.

 

Just a thought.

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Glad you had a good time on the conquest. It seems that each cruise is an individual experience with different dynamics. When we cruised Jan 23rd, we found plenty of lounge chairs mid morning. Most of the time we got one on the lido deck, but once in awhile we chose one up on the decks above. It could also be that the first 2 sea days, the sun was almost non-exsistent.

I can't imagine what disembarkation was like. We had a New Orleans City Tour after our cruise, so they gave us VIP luggage tags and we were the first ones off, so I have no idea how the line was behind us. Sounds like this new plan could be a potential disaster.

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Glad to hear you had a good time. We will be on the Conquest April 24th and can't wait. How was the movement on the ship? I have read several things lately about lots of rocking. Did you notice this? I'm not worried for myself, the movement doesn't bother me, but my sister and brother-in-law will be with us and they have never been on a cruise before. Thanks!

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One more question, which nights are the formal nights? Thanks

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Formal nights on the Conquest are Monday (first sea day) and Thursday (Grand Cayman).

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pc2425 - we did not notice significant movement except on the last full day at sea - as I stated, swells were listed on the mapboard at 4 to 7.5 feet. It could be that there was movement to be felt at other times, but DH and don't have any problems and may not have noticed it as much as someone who might be sensitive to it.

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