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Conquest Review 4/24 - 5/1

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Yet another review for 4/24 Conquest - booya! Sorry its long, I tend to ramble but want to include everything and my opinions, ill try to sub title everything.

 

Drive down from Northern Illinois (approx 14 hours), not bad when broken into 2 days, 8 hours to Tunica, spent friday night, 5-6 hours saturday morning to Orleans.

 

Orleans Hotel

Originally had Embassy Suites close to the pier booked but a few days prior found LA QUINTA for $135 (online special) on Camp Street, pretty close to all the downtown action so we took that, decent place.

 

Orleans Parking

We parked at the Parchoupawhatever Lot right across from convention center which is Carnivals reserved lot. Cash and Credit cards accepted, pay as you enter. After paying, they pull you over and unload all your bags for you and take to the ship (carnival employees). You then just park your vehicle and jump on a bus to take you to port (5 minute ride).

 

PORT

We arrived at front doors of port around 11:30. The line was out the door about 200 feet at least. Inside was a maze of criss cross back and forth lines like at six flags. We had VIP check in with a suite so the guard walked us right past a few hundred people into the skippers club where we waited all of 4 minutes for one other couple in front of us. They checked us in, got our s&s cards, and they sent us around the corner again right past another long line (to take pictures) and right through security and onto the ramp to the ship. We spent no more than 10 minutes in the building.

 

FOOD

This was our first Carnival Cruise after only being on Royal Caribbean in the past. Carnival's food blows away RCCL - IMO. From the dining room to the 24 hour pizza counter. The Wok and Deli always had a selection of different items each day, the grill with burgers dogs and fries hit the spot after a swim, the buffet like any other was a bit scarce but overall thumbs up. Did not experience room service though, their menu also looked pretty scarce.

 

SHIP

The ship looked pretty beat up, but from what I understand its been running for 3 years now (?) and is due for dry dock pretty soon. Not so much the in the foyers or atriums, but hallways and restrooms etc. No biggie.

 

SHOWS / ENTERTAINMENT

We really didnt do much of the onboard daily activities as we do our own thing, but the shows we did see were decent. I particularly enjoyed the juggler and the comedian on the final night but I love comedy. We did not see Deja after hearing many a bad review, plus magic isnt our thing. I can however do the "i got your nose" trick with much success :))

 

PORTS

Jamaica

As you may have already heard had some problems. There were some tours that got caught on the other side of the island during a bad rain storm and were over 7 or 8 hours late getting back to the ship (we waited).

We did the semi-sub tour which was ok. Nice to see the underwater world, and you get a chance to snorkle on your own for 30 minutes or so. If your not going to snorkle, might not be worth going as it gets pretty boring waiting for everyone. They do bombard you with souvieners on board (like any other tour) but if you said no they moved on.

 

We then headed over to Margaritaville for lunch which is always a good time (if you can find a table). We managed to sit with 2 other couples from the same ship (by coincidence) and had a good meal before the rains came. It POURED while we were waiting in line to get back on the ship and there must have been 40 people in line moving at a snails pace. A few ran down to the other ramp so many followed. After letting a few on, they then cut us off telling us he could not handle all these people (***** does that mean) and we proceeded to argue with him for 10 minutes before heading back to the other line, luckily it let up - a little. Guess its pretty hard to put that card in the slot, hear the ding and let someone through.

 

Grand Cayman

Arrived 3-4 hours late due to evening before in Jamaica (see above). Why is GC always the one place that seems to always get screwed up? we are now 1/3 on perfect GC stops - go figure! We had an early morning excursion booked, needless to say was cancelled so we just decided to stay on the ship as we only would be in port for 5 hours or so total, and with tendering and all it just wasnt worth it. Besides, as soon as we dropped anchor and the tendors arrived, it started to rain.

 

Cozumel

Nice day, a bit cloudy upon arrival but cleared up nicely! FIESTA PARTY BOAT was the excursion of the day. picked up right on the pier (after you walk through 2 miles of store selling nothing but liquor and cigarettes) we boarded the party boat $50 each I believe, free beer, rum punch and margaritas all cruise and a very good host. Loud music and alcohol was the lineup for this one hour boat ride to Playa Mia. Playa Mia was great, first time there. Beach was nice, plenty to do from snorkling, jet skis, para sailing, iceberg climb, trampolines, on land pool with bar in it, buffet, grills, shopping, dancing, tubing etc. Or you could just lay in the sand with an optional umbrella. then an hour ride back with much of the same, dancing, music, drinking games and booze.

 

Debarkation

the worst I have ever experienced. we arrived in port early, but customs seemed to be running late. we were asked to leave our room unusually early and had no intentions on breakfast as we wanted to do our 14 hour drive in one day. We waited outside of the theater on deck 3, which filled up fast. finally those with early flights were allowed to leave and by now it was shoulder to shoulder through the halls all around deck 3, terrible. Once off though was pretty easy, found our bags right away, and within minutes were on a bus back to the pontchawhatever lot to our car. In the car at 10:15 precisely and made it home in 12 1/2 hours (made up alot of time through LA and MS as I do not think they employ troopers).

 

HR Staff

Cruise Director Todd I thought was awesome, with the exception of his reports in Jamaica about leaving in 30 minutes, twice - 6 hours apart (???) but seeing as we couldnt understand the captain one bit, someone had to lie to us.

 

Big Kev was it, was funny, and Sarah was great up until the last morning when she kept shoveling us the lines about customs.

 

The captain was Italian, Massimo Marino and other than arrivaderche (sp) i know i butchered it, you couldnt understand anything he said on the few daily reports he made. In the past, captains have always seemed a bit more involved, i mean what else do they have to do? :))

 

Crew

The crew overall was ok. Friendly but seemed like a forced friendly. Everyone would say hi to you, but many didnt even look at you, it was like a robotic response. Dining room staff was nice, MaitreD screwed us over first day, no table numbers were present so we went to see him, asked for a table for 2, he said you already have a table for 2, let me show you where it is, he did, nice table but when we arrived for dinner, oops wrong table and oops, table for 4, thanks alot Mr Maitre - idiot.

 

The buffet guys, forget it. They hated life.

 

Room Steward

Very nice, nothing above and beyond. Never seen him but once or twice in hallway, not that I expect much I have just had more outgoing stewards in the past. He did what was expected and anything more we had to leave notes for which is ok.

 

POOL / LOUNGE CHAIRS

at sea says were busier of course, but we didnt have problems getting chairs. We did see many chairs sit for hours with towels and or shoes with no occupants in site, but thats carnivals job. We did see pool patrol ONCE the first day kick some adults (go figure) out of the hot tub who had buckets of beer, nevermind the kids peeing in the other hot tub, thats ok.

 

CASINO

I know, I know. Played BJ the first night solo which is how i like it, nobody screwing up the deck. I went through the first shoe and was +600 BOOYA. then reshuffeled and at one point i was down to +300, but made it back to +600 by the end of the shoe. Then they brought in the terminator, a very pretty european woman who opened up a can on me by the third shoe. I had 19, she had 20, I had 20, she had 21 never failed. I gave up at +150, not bad I guess.

 

I played video poker and wife played slots. Slot attendants were non existant. 10-20 minutes everytime you had a hand pay (we actually had quite a few). Plenty of drink people constantly tapping you on the shoulder though.

 

CASINO SLOT/BJ TOURNAMENTS & BINGO

Stay Away!

All sessions have a flat entry fee and a flat first prize fee - regardless of how many people. $20 entry $500 first place in BJ tourney with 80 people (hmm, thats 1600 in their pocket and they only pay out $500, same for slot tourney and Bingo was even worse. $20 tickets, games paid $100 per increasing $10 bucks a game with 150 people playing, so $3000 in, $500 something out. RCCL pays according to entry and only would keep a small fee, i know i know its just entertainment though.

 

Thats about it, im sure Ill remember some more soon after I submit, overall we did have a very nice cruise.

 

no work = fun!

 

Please post any questions, will be happy to go into even more detail! :))

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I am glad you had a nice time and enjoyed the food. Thanks for the review!!! We also did pretty good in casino playing Let It Ride!!

We (a group of 38) all loved this ship and had a fantastic time....for most it was their first Carnival cruise. I miss her:(

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Did you see the kids peeing in the other hottubs or are you assuming the kids were peeing :rolleyes: We will be going on the Conquest in October. Thanks for the review. When is the Conquest scheduled for drydock?

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Isn't it a known fact? ALL kids pee in hottubs! :eek: It's one of the reasons why my gym prohibits kids from using the whirlpool in the locker room, which they do anyways. And it's the main reason why I will never use the whirlpool on a Saturday or Sunday, knowing that those are the days when kids are most likely to use the gym.

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Did you see the kids peeing in the other hottubs or are you assuming the kids were peeing :rolleyes: We will be going on the Conquest in October. Thanks for the review. When is the Conquest scheduled for drydock?

Conquest is scheduled for drydock for two weeks in late August.

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Great review, we also had a great time on our 3/27 cruise. Sorry about the weather, we did Sunset Beach in Jamaica with a group of 20, it was awesome. I agree, Cayman is way too crowded, it was my biggest disappointment. I want to sail again soon!

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OKay, time to pick your brain:D . We are on the 5/29 sailing. Did you have priority Disembarking as well since you were in a Suite? We have someone picking us up at the Port, but with all the confusion I have heard about; we are thinking of just calling them on the cell phone once we are off the ship.

 

Would you book a suite again or just go for the balcony? We booked room 7230 I think...you would think at this point I would know for sure! Thanks!!

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I've been told by someone who works in the terminal area in N.O. that they have NOT been allowing private autos to pick up passengers disembarking. They've made the passengers board busses and travel to a parking lot. I was told this applied to passengers being picked up by someone else. This was mainly because of the congestion of two ships disembarking on Sundays with the parking garage construction. Now with the Norwegian Dream gone there should only be one ship on Sundays, maybe this will or will not change. We will find out in just a few weeks.

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I've been told by someone who works in the terminal area in N.O. that they have NOT been allowing private autos to pick up passengers disembarking. They've made the passengers board busses and travel to a parking lot. I was told this applied to passengers being picked up by someone else.
I was on the 4/17 sailing and this did not appear to be the case. Just outside the terminal, there is the huge mass of people waiting for taxis and buses. But if you turn the corner, and walk towards downtown (towards the Hilton Riverside), there are people who wait to be picked up by friends and family in private cars. So you probably can't be picked up right where the taxis and buses load, but just steps away, people seem to be picked up privately with no problems.

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we did not have priority debarkation even though we were in a suite, we did not fly therefore we were nothing more than cattle

 

if you had an early flight (and had to prove it) you were given priority debark.

 

(funny story, sarah came through to tell us the news about customs just outside the theater and one guy starting moo'ing, and just about all the 100 or so people jammed in that one area did the same, had to be there....

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We were on the conquest with the mess in Jamaica. It was horrible. As far as new orleans, well we were told that private cars can pick up passengers after 10:30. It is still a mad house at that time though.

 

Did the Norwegian leave for good from New Orleans? We just returned last sunday and it was there.

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Thinking of booking Conquest for next year and like to have cabin on side that berths along dock so we can people watch ( as they come back from tours)

What would be the best side on the Western Caribbean route for this, port or starboard? Thanks for review, by the way. We've never been on "Conquest" size and like to learn more about it before we book. Thanks Patty:)

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we were on starboard side and were able to watch cruisers getting back on in MOBAY and Cozumel..it was very nice and funny to watch some of the drinkers coming back from the bars; in Jamaica a 9 piece band plays music as people get back on ship....one guy who had a few too many marched with them..it was really hilarious!!! in GC there will be tenders coming back to the ship which you can also see.....

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Thinking of booking Conquest for next year and like to have cabin on side that berths along dock so we can people watch ( as they come back from tours)

What would be the best side on the Western Caribbean route for this, port or starboard? Thanks for review, by the way. We've never been on "Conquest" size and like to learn more about it before we book. Thanks Patty:)

 

there is tons of information here on this site on the Conquest...if you email me @ ceceliajean1@yahoo.com I can send you all my stuff that I have about the ship, ports etc.

I say "BOOK HER"

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