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rdrseller

Conquest Review Sailed 4/3/05

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Okay, here is my review from my sailing on the Conquest. On a scale of 10 being a perfect cruise and a 1 being the worst possible, I would give this cruise a 7!

 

 

Embarkation:

 

We set sail on Sunday, April 3, 2005. Embarkation was a nightmare. Sorry, I have read where people have said it wasn’t all that bad, but I thought it was horrible. We sailed out of New Orleans last year and they were already doing construction and it wasn’t as bad as this year. First, I didn’t like having to park my car in an open lot. Yes, it was fenced in but I prefer to park in an enclosed deck. If I cruise from New Orleans again, I will not park in that lot. You had to sit in lines of traffic to get in the lot and then in the pay line and then you had to stand in line to get on a bus to get back to the pier. It just seems like with as many people as Carnival is moving through that area, they could figure out a method that would simplify this process.

 

 

Dining:

 

We sat at the Early Seating in the Monet Restaurant @ 5:45 pm each day. On the first night we requested to the Matre’de that we be moved, as we had requested a four-seat table and had not received it. Our Matre’de said that he would find out and get back to us. Well, he never said another word to us and that was very disappointing. Luckily, our headwaiter and assistant were delightful and dining was ok. The food was good, it was not excellent, but it was good. The food at the buffet was also good, but the set up and the way that they have the lines running into each other is very ineffective. This caused some major waits during regular dining times. Overall, I would give the dining and food a good rating. Room service was always nice having a pot of coffee to drink from the balcony each morning. I would definitely give room service an excellent rating, even with no bacon or eggs on the menu.

 

 

Activities:

 

Didn’t do a lot of the shows this trip, but from what my children said they were pretty good. The one that I did do was so-so. If you are a first time cruiser, I would suggest the shows. If you are a repeat cruiser, then you probably won’t enjoy then as much. The casino was ok. The slots are always tight on the ships and this one was no exception. My husband managed to hit a few small pots during the trip that allowed him to continue to play and mostly with their money, so he was happy. We didn’t play the table games, but all that did seemed to be having a blast.

 

 

Children’s Drink Card:

 

OK, I paid $34 or so dollars for a drink card for my 13-year-old daughter and that price was reasonable for the time that we were sailing. The only problem that I had was that on several occasions, when the waiter/waitresses came by and she requested a coke or sprite, they didn’t always bring one back. I know that there is no added gratuity when the drink card is used, but that is to bad. If they don’t want people to purchase this way, they shouldn’t sell the cards. Just so you know, I was actually present on two different occasions when she requested a drink and didn’t get anything. She told me that it happened many more times and I do believe her, as I saw it first hand.

 

 

Beverages on Ship:

 

Yes, I did purchase the special of the day on departure day. Then I rinsed out my glass and purchased refills for the remainder of the trip. This is at a discount and I suggest everyone do this. How many plastic Carnival glasses do you actually need for a souvenir anyway? This will save you about $2 a drink and if you have only one a day, that will save you $12 for just one person. If you have more than that, well you could save enough to pay for an excursion. The drinks were good enough, some stronger than others.

 

 

Room: Penthouse Suite #7288

 

We splurged this year and got a suite. Yes, the added room and the full size bathroom were absolutely wonderful. With that being said, I probably would not pay that much again. For just the added space, the difference in price wasn’t worth it. I will probably just get a balcony level 8A next time. We did get to board with the Skippers Club and disembark with the VIP, but the difference in price and no other real benefits didn’t seem to make this room worth what we paid. Our cabin stewards were ok. They didn’t seem to go to any added trouble considering the level that our room was, but they did keep it clean and were friendly.

 

 

Shore Excursions:

 

We did the river rafting in Jamaica and it was nice. Slow and relaxing and didn’t take up the entire day. We snorkeled in Grand Cayman, but it wasn’t as good as the year before in Cozumel. We only shopped in Cozumel this year and then had lunch at Fat Tuesday’s and that was nice. I realize that shore excursions are numerous and I can only comment on the ones that we did. I do suggest that everyone take at least one excursion while on their cruise, the experiences really do add to your trip.

 

 

Disembarkation:

 

OK, we were part of the VIP early departure and I guess I should consider myself lucky that I was VIP, because this process sucked. We lined up in the halls, by what seemed like a 1000+ people and were moved like cattle up and down. The ride back to the car lot was a little easier than the trip in, but was still somewhat bothersome. I just feel like there has to be a better method than they are currently using.

 

 

With all of that said, I will follow by saying that overall we had a marvelous vacation. Will I cruise again – Most Definitely. Will I cruise with Carnival, most likely. We have decided that our next cruise will probably be with Royal Caribbean or another line. I want to get a feeling for how they treat their so-called “VIPs”. If I am going to pay that much for a vacation above and beyond what the average customer is paying, I do expect to be treated with a little tender loving care.

 

 

The Ship was beautiful. The staff for the most part was always friendly and pleasant. As an overall rating I would definitely give the ship and crew and 8 on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best possible. I only rated our overall trip as a 7 because I don’t feel like we got our moneys worth.

 

 

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask. Thanks!:)

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Thanks for the review. Any "words of wisdom" for first-time cruisers? We (a group of 3 couples/2 young children) are sailing on the Conquest on 7/24. Only one of us has done a cruise before and that was many years ago. Any insights are greatly appreciated!

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Thanks for the review. Any "words of wisdom" for first-time cruisers? We (a group of 3 couples/2 young children) are sailing on the Conquest on 7/24. Only one of us has done a cruise before and that was many years ago. Any insights are greatly appreciated!

WELCOME beejaycee - I have to say that the OP suggestionabout first timers going to the shows is good. You won't want to miss them. After you've been to a few you get to know all the CD jokes. The games shows are still the best - ecspecially the Newylwed / Not so Newylwed game. The "Horse" racing is fun. If you like table game the casino is really fun - I love craps and have always found a great group of people around the tables.

 

You will find plenty of information to help first timers on these boards - so my suggestion is to READ, READ, READ.

 

You are sailing the week before us - so keep the ship in good shape for us. And again welcome to the boards. This will be our 2nd cruise on the Conquest.

 

Another thing I would suggest - make a "pact" with your friends that if they don't feel like doing something that the others are doing then don't. Everyone has their own ideas of fun and I'm sure there is going to be times when someone isn't going to feel like following the crowd. Everyone needs to be understanding of that. By all means- if you all spend the entire time together GREAT. But it is nice to just have quite time with your significant other. For the couples with kids - use the camp - wonderful staff.

 

Hope this helps - Be sure to check out my links and "sign-in" at the Conquest Any Date thread.

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Hey beejaycee,

 

Make sure your kids get involved with Camp Carnival, they are guaranteed to have fun with that depending on their ages. If they are teenagers, they will probably have fun just running around the ship.

 

Hope you enjoy your cruise!

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beejaycee, I just posted a 4 part Conquest review from last week. Just do a search for my screen name "micktooth" and you can read it. You will have a great time. Sea-u-onboard is correct, there is a ton of info on this board. If you have specific questions just post them. Welcome aboard!

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Hi RD Seller,

 

Thanks for the review. We also will be on the Conquest, but not until next year. I just wanted to let you know that I don't think the Royal Carribean is any better at service for a suite than Carnival. Been there, done that. I thought, like you the service was not exceptional. The one thing we did get was a little plate of goodies each night. I wasn't expecting it, the first night they brought us chocolate covered strawberries and when I told our steward we hadn't ordered them at the door, I felt like an idiot not knowing it came with the suite. We also got the VIP treatment to board and disembark, this is always good. I wonder how Celebrity or Princess handle suite guests?

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Hi rdrseller,

I enjoyed your review. What time did you reach the terminal and what time did you board? I'm sailing the Conquest July 17 and also have early seating for dinner, although I don't know if it's 5:45 or 6:15. Did you totally miss the sailaway from NOLA because of dinner? Also, when is the muster drill? Was Todd Wittmer the CD, and was he good? Thanks for the info.

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pswoo,

 

We were at the 5:45 seating and yes, we missed the sail away. However, we were fortunate enough to have a window seat in the dinning room and got to watch the sail away as we ate. Yes, Todd is still the CD. My daughter thought he was great and called him Ryan Secrest the entire time. He was pretty good. Muster was at 4:15 and it wasn't as bad as some I have done on other ships. We got to NO around 11:30, but by the time we got to the parking lot, boarded the bus and arrived back at the terminal we didn't get on the ship until after 1:00 and that was using the skippers club and not having to wait in the dreaded yellow chairs.

 

Have fun on your trip!

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We have the 6:15 seating next week & plan on skipping the dinning room the first night so we don't miss the sail away.

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Thanks to everyone who has responded to my post!

 

Cheryl, your "Read, Read, Read" advice is worth it's weight in gold. I've been cutting & pasting tidbits I keep finding into e-mails that I'm sending to my co-cruisers. Tonight's reading list will include your links.

 

rdrseller: We're hoping the kids (5 & 2) will enjoy Camp Carnival enough to give us all some "adult time" for at least an hour or two a day. Are you a fellow Louisianian? Are the Cajun Cruisers frequent travelers on the ships?

 

Micktooth: your 4-part review was the first review I came across. I've cut&pasted it into an e-mail to my friends (with credit & a link to the 'part I'). A big thanks to you for taking the time to do the review! I confess that I've been ambivalent to doing this cruise but the more info I get, the more excited I become!

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We were also on the 4/3/05 Conquest, and I'll post a full review soon. A few quick thoughts:

 

1) Getting in and out the port is still a nightmare, especially at peak times. I would suggest getting to the port before 10:30AM or after 1:30PM if you want to miss the rush. And if time allows, stay onboard until after 9:30-10:00AM when you return to port.

 

2) The Conquest is beautiful, and actually very easy to get around for such a large ship.

 

3) We skipped dinner the first night to watch the sail away. I'm glad we did. First, I always enjoy the sail away. 6 other opportunuites for dinner in the dining room, only one sail away. And it was fascinating to see so many ships from so many countries navigate alongside the Conquest all the way down the MS river.

 

4) There were a ton of teens onboard. Now we have our own kids, so I'm not starting the "kids shouldn't cruise" debate all over again. But I will say the sheer number of teens got on our nerves by the end of the cruise. Most didn't do anything "wrong" they were jsut acting their age. A bit loud, a bit obnoxious. Multiply that times 700 or so and it gets annoying. They dominated certain areas of the ship (basketball/volleyball courts, hot tubs, etc.) But we booked a cruise during Spring break, and you live with it.

 

5) Overall the staff was not very friendly, at least not compared to RCCL and especially Disney. Not rude, I would describe them as....indifferent. Our waiting team in the dining room were pleasant...about average.

 

6) Packed liquor in our checked bags, no problem at all.

 

7) Hidden gems on this ship were definitely the specialty restaurants. Everyone was well aware of the pizza and the grill. But do not miss Ser Mur (sp?) seafood, Chinese restaurant, Sushi bar, and Deli. The menus change daily, and there are surprisingly good meals.

 

8) We did Sunset Beach, Stingray City, and Playa Mia all booked on our own. SC is a no-brainer if you haven't done it yet. Amazing experience. Suset Beach was ok, worth the $ since all drinks are included but the beach was only average at best and the lunch buffet was atrocious. But not a lot of choices in Mo Bay and we wanted to get to the beach. Playa Mia is Cozumel was fantastic. Beautiful beach with plenty of activities for all ages.

 

9) Deck chairs- you can't fight the system. Someone in your party needs to get up early and go out to reserve chairs. If not, you'll have a long day up on deck 12 away from the pools and action during the days at sea.

 

10) Maybe it's just our taste, but we didn't really enjoy any of the main entertainment acts in the lounge. Deja's magic show was pretty good, but all the Vegas review type shows, comedians were not very good IMHO.

 

More to come.... let me know if you have any questions.

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I should probably add that I would recommend this cruise, and I would sail on the Conquest again. With that said, I wouldn't go out of my way to sail on the Conquest or even Carnival in general. There are so many choices these days, and it all comes down to port, dates, prices, etc.

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What lot did you park in? We have reserved space with Machu Picchu in September and hopefully everything will go well.

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PrincessTraci, thanks for the useful info but,

 

 

9) Deck chairs- you can't fight the system. Someone in your party needs to get up early and go out to reserve chairs. If not, you'll have a long day up on deck 12 away from the pools and action during the days at sea.

 

Having someone go up and save your chairs is the exact reason why most people end up on Deck 12. Personally, I'll take the "Chair Police" approach when I see this happen.

 

Can't wait to read your full review.

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Nice review of a GREAT ship ! And welcome beejaycee to this site..you will gained invaluable information! I learned so much from this site for our group of 38 that I was able to suggest excursions, desserts and foods not to miss etc...and everyone with us was pleasantly happy (Noone knew how I could know so much about this ship having never sailed her):rolleyes: You will love it.

 

The Blues Piano Bar was a great time!!

 

I gave our cruise on the Conquest a big fat 10 !! ..or higher:D

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Having someone go up and save your chairs is the exact reason why most people end up on Deck 12. Personally, I'll take the "Chair Police" approach when I see this happen.

 

I agree, but that seems to be the unwritten rule these days. Towel on the chair means it's yours. We didn't get to the Lido deck until 10AM the first day at sea. Obvoiusly all chairs were taken. There were some sections of chairs where there was just a towel, but we didn't know if the people were in the pool or gone for hours. And we didn't want to remove the towels and get into a big argument with anyone when they got back. Afteral, it's vacation and that's exactly the kind of thing I want to avoid. So the 2nd morning we went out and reserved our chairs early, went and had breakfast, and returned to our "reserved" chairs.

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The chair issue was actually a major complaint that I didn't put in my original review. But this has been an issue on every cruise I have ever taken and figured it wouldn't help one way or another. I guess the only way to change the deck chair problems is to start asking the deck hands to move towels from saved chairs. I never like to cause a problem and that is why I didn't, so I guess just like everyone else my indifference to the problem is only causing it to continue. Maybe a few complaints on ship by a couple 1000 people might make the cruise lines do something about it.

 

But then again, it is just a chair and it is vacation and a good attitude only makes your individual cruise that much better dispite small problems.

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The chair issue was actually a major complaint that I didn't put in my original review. But this has been an issue on every cruise I have ever taken and figured it wouldn't help one way or another. I guess the only way to change the deck chair problems is to start asking the deck hands to move towels from saved chairs. I never like to cause a problem and that is why I didn't, so I guess just like everyone else my indifference to the problem is only causing it to continue. Maybe a few complaints on ship by a couple 1000 people might make the cruise lines do something about it.

 

But then again, it is just a chair and it is vacation and a good attitude only makes your individual cruise that much better dispite small problems.

 

AMEN to that!!!!

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I have to agree about the deck chair problem....always saw LOTS of chairs with simply a towel stretched across several to "hold" them and no one in sight. Even up on deck 12 one day, I "borrowed" a chair from one of four with a towel draped across them. Was up there for 2 hours and not one person ever came back for those chairs. To me that is extremely RUDE.

Another poster suggested that perhaps Carnival should give credits for returned pool towels, thus eliminating anyone leaving them on the chairs to "save" them.

Just one of those little irritants, certainly not enough to ruin a cruise :D

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PrincessTraci,

Was on the same cruise and you sure hit it on the head!!!!Glad to see someone else had similar feelings...:eek: Still had a nice time, but could have been better!

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Hi Harry...could you elaborate on what you enjoyed and didn't enjoy about the cruise? I'm just curious about other people's opinions on the 4/3 Conquest.

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With nine cruises under my belt I have stayed in every type of cabin from inside to the top penthouse suite. When we had the Penthouse Suite (Princess) I must admit I thought we might get a more experienced cabin steward or one who went above and beyond the call of duty. I have to say the service is the same no matter what cabin. I do enjoy the extra room and bigger bathroom in the Penthouse. It was also nice to invite our tablemates to a post-dinner cocktail inour cabin. That being said though, I would take two cruises in a Regular Cabin as opposed to one in a Penthouse. We are booked on a category 12 on the Conquest in August, but only because we booked waaaayyyy early and got a good deal!

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