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newcruiser05

LONG Conquest review 5-15

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We stayed at the Holiday Inn convention center the night before the cruise for $139 plus free 7 day parking and free shuttle bus ride to cruise terminal. GREAT DEAL!! There is really little to no parking available at the hotel. You do have to pay for your parking for the night that you stay at the hotel. You can park at the fulton street garage next door for only $7 for the night that you stay at the hotel. The hotel has to validate your parking. This is the same parking garage that you park for free for 7 days. This hotel was within walking distance from the French quarter. We walked all the way to Bourbon street and back down with no problem. Bourbon Street ws extremely smelly that day. It didn't bother me as much as it did my wife.

We headed to the terminal around 11:00am and boarded around 12:30 am. They take you through 2 staging areas indoors where you sit in the infamous yellow chairs. When you get to the 2nd staging area you are almost ready to board. they take your picture check your carry on bags then you board. If you belong to the Carnival Vacation club your boarding will be quicker. Overall, embarkation was not that bad. Food is readily available when you get on the ship. I would recommend packing some pop if you drink alot of it. I wasn't planning on buying a fountain card because I don't drink pop, but my wife drinks pop and she didn't decide until she got on the ship that she wanted pop. The fountain card is $44 per person. I bought 1 and we both used it, but we didn't get our $44 worth. You will be offered the drink of the day when you board. The plastic carnival glass is $6.95 and the regular glass is only $2.95. If you want to save money ask for the glass.

We went to our room around 1:30 and it was ready. We dropped off our carry ons and then began to explore the ship. We checked our seating assignment in the dining room. Your seating assignment will be located on your sail and sign card when you get it. Most people hang out at the lido deck. From that deck you can access all the upper decks. They will take multiple photos of you on the ship. I would encourage you to let them take photos of you when possible. You are under no obligation to buy them. You can later go to the Atlantic deck (deck 4) and decide if you would like to buy them. We bought most of ours.

The 1st 2 days at sea were very relaxing. Got some sun on the Lido deck during the day and attended the afternoon and evening shows in the Toulouse lounge. They do have a Mardi Gras night and an 80's night, so bring your 80's attire. There are plenty of activitites to keep you entertained. There were 3400 guests on the ship, of which 400 were kids. I hardly ever saw any Kids, Camp Carnival did a great job with them. Todd Wittmer was the cruise directory and he was Great.

We did Sunset beach resort during the first half of the day and shopping and highlights tour in the afternoon in Montego Bay. I would have rather stayed at Sunset beach all day. I would recommend NOT to do the highlights and shopping tour. In the downtown shopping area they do have locals that like to grab the ladies wrist and tie a piece of yarn yo the wrist and then go to their significant other and ask for a dollar for the bracelet. This happened to a couple of people. The husbands didn't know the bracelet was a piece of yarn. Stay close to your significant other in the shopping area to avoid this scam. You will have a great time if you decide to stay at Sunset Beach resort all day. Sunset beach is a little rocky and has some type of sea weed as you go out a little further. Not much to look at under water, I didn't really go out that far. There are paddle boats and kayaks and fresh water pools. The price is still $20pp for a whole day and includes all food and drinks. They did not serve jerk chicken the day that I was there. Most people on our ship disliked Jamaica. I did hear a few people say that they enjoyed the Canopy Tour. When you leave Jamaica, a marching band performs as you board the ship. When everyone has boarded th ship they stand on the dock with bags and people throw money down to them as tips. Go to the panorama deck for this. It was 94 degrees when we were there and they entertained everyone for over an hour. They deserved a tip!

Grand Caymen we did the Island tour and Stingray city. This was one of the best excursions we did. We did it thru the ship and had a great time. however we were the first ones out so we had more time with the stingrays. Other people that did it through the ship said that their tour operator was not that good, had a slow boat and not enough time with the stingrays. I guess we got lucky. We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping. If you buy alcohol at the Tortuga shop near the pier, you pay for it there and they will deliver it to your ship. Alcohol will be delivered to your stateroom Saturday evening. Grand Caymen is still heavily damaged from the hurricane. At least I thought so. May trees and vegitation still lay in place uprooted. There were many piles of debri and damage still shows on some infrastructure. Hell wasn't worth stopping at, the turtle farm was ok. Buy more waterproof cameras than you think you will need. I brought 3 and used all 3. I took 81 pictures of stingrays. Some of them didn't come out that good. Mostly the first few that I took. You have to make sure you get them at the right angle, they swim pretty fast and if you are at the wrong angle by time you snap the picture you may only catch their tail. I used the kodak waterproof camera and they took great pictures. I did step on one of their tails, they don't sting, they are just a little scratchy, nothing to worry about. The water was ony 3 feet deep however if you wanted to go out further, which I did, the water can get up to 5ft deep. there were no waves, and a very soft sandy bottom. Very clear water. They hand out snorkeling equipment, I would recommend to bring your own if you want to snorkel. I didn't snorkel, I just brought a pair of goggles and was under water most of the time. This is a great excursion for any age, or for a swimmer or non swimmer.

In cCozumel we did the Atlantis submarine tour. We booked directly through atlantis to save $50. We were 45 mintes late to Cozumel due to making a stop at 6:30 in the morning to pickup 4 Cuban Refugees. The Sub tour was cool. We were the last ones on the sub and since the sub was not full we had the last 4 seats in the back to ourselves, which allowed us to look out port holes on both sides. When we first went down there were many scuba divers waving to us. This was at about 30ft down. We saw many corals a couple schools of fish a lobster and a few other single big fish. They took us to the edge of the reef where he explained that there was a 3600 ft drop off. He then asked us if we wanted to go deeper. we all said yes. We beyond the edge of the reef and down the side wall of the reef with nothing but darkness below. We ended up going to a depth of 151ft. When we got back to Atlantis they gave us our dive certificate. This tour was pretty cool. We didnit make it to Paradise Beach due to the ship being late. We did some shopping at the forum shops downtown and at the pier. Cozumel was my favorite destination. Cozumel has very nice scenery.

Debarkation:

Carnival Club members were able to debark first. They started to debark at 8:45am. Stay near the toulouse loung on 3rd floor if you want to debark early. I recommend Tying something bright or unique to your luggage. When you go to pick it up at the terminal you will be able to recognize it right away. thats what we did and we found it within seconds. By the way, they have a relaxed debarkation. leave when you want to but before 10:00am.

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Great review!! We have been on Conquest twice and are already booked for a third one for next year... Thanks about the heads up on the hotel.. I will be looking for a place for us to stay the night before and this sounds great.. The hotel we stayed at wasnt bad but then we had to pay for the parking.. I think we will be bringing our 80s gear next trip ...

 

We also take advantage of every photo opportunity and usually get some great ones..

 

We did Sunset Beach on our last trip and it was wonderful.. There was jerk chicken when we were there and it was the bomb!! Definitely worth the money.. we stayed there almost all day and then went to Margarittaville for just a bit to finish our day.. There were also people outside Margarittaville that did the yarn trick you are talking about.. although it was yarn bracelets and they had different astrological signs on them written in yarn.. I forgot to tell the kids to keep walking and dont stop till we get inside.. the kids were the first ones out of the van and when I was turned around to get my bag some people had put those bracelets on the kids and then came to me for the dollar.. They now know to keep walking....

 

Looking forward to our next cruise...

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Great review! We are staying at the Hoiday Inn Convention Center and sailing the Conquest in June. I have been wondering about this hotel and the parking situation. I had read that the parking that first night in the Fulton garage was 27.00 and then free the rest of the week. Could you walk to the pier from the hotel if you wanted to? Since you rode the shuttle, how was the traffic getting there and did you have to wait in traffic long? Where did you eat while in NOLA? Was the hotel clean? Did you think there was more of a party atmosphere on the Conquest than other ships? What were the demographics of the passengers? Sorry so many questions!! We're getting excited!

Thanks! Stacey

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Just had to bump this up as I would love to get the answers to my Holiday Inn Questions.. Anyone eles out there that might know the answers?? :)

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newcrusier05- We will be staying at the Holiday Inn Convention Center in two weeks and was wondering if they have a pool? I did not see it listed on their website but was hoping they have one. I am sorry that you missed the jerk chicken at Sunset Beach Resort because it is wonderful but very spicy hot.We will be cruising on the Conquest for the second time on June 12th. We have a balcony this time and are really excited.

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I had read that the parking that first night in the Fulton garage was 27.00 and then free the rest of the week.
When I called they told me it was 20 something if you used the valet parking at the hotel - Fulton was $12 - BUT - I also had someone at the hotel tell me $7 at one time. I'm assuming that is if they validate.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

 

To the OP - We're staying at the hotel before our trip. How did parking work for the first night? Did you have to pay up front? How did they validate? How did it work?

 

Great review.

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Great review..I read on another post about "theme nights in the dining rooms"? Can you give more information? Thank you.

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