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H2O Mama

Conquest Mini-Review 6/5-12

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Background

 

I am a 41 year old mom traveling with my 11-year old DD. Can't say much about the bars, as I'd be able to if it were me and my DH;) doing the traveling. This was my 7th cruise and my 4th on Carnival (others were RCCL)

 

Embarkation

 

Was painless. Got to the port at 11:30 and was headed to the Lido for lunch by 12:45. I was one of the few who actually rolled on a carry-on sized bag and am glad I did. Luggage wasn't at my cabin until around 9 PM. Note: even though we assumed the first night could be mega-casual because of luggage issues, the Caper indicated the first night was "casual" but "no tank tops or shorts". While many ignored that the first and last nights (especially) I just thought I'd mention it.

 

Cabin

 

We were in 6358...the "lowest grade" balcony cabin. I was AMAZED at the ample space. The over-the-door holder wasn't even unpacked! First time ever---because we travel with lots of stuff. There were 5 pull-out drawers at the vanity area (hollywood lighting for gals to easily put on make-up outside of the steamy bathroom), 2 huge drawers underneath the coach, 3 long closets and extra shelving there as well. We put a pop-up hamper in the bottom of one of them since there was so much room. Nice to have the dirty clothes out of the way. The bathroom had 6 glass shelves. Awesome! Most room I've had in a regular cabin. Bring your own hairdryer if you need some fire-power. The ones in the cabin are only 1250 watt.

 

Food

 

I'd give the buffet a B-/C+ and the dining room a solid B. My daughter loved the chilled soups (strawberry and cucumber). The lobster at the first formal night (Monday) was very good. Jerk Pork looked and tasted like tainted wildebeast...but to be fair the other diners at my table had excellent jerk pork. Go figure---I may have unknowingly insulted the chef or something :D !Guava juice served at breakfast really rocks. If you want an omelet, hit the station that is outdoors by the pool. There was never anyone in line, unlike the other one indoors in the Cezanne (indoor buffet area) that tended to be 7-10 people deep. Big surprise on lunch the last day...a giant dessert/chocolate buffet. Not those less-expensive "whipped-cream-type" desserts that you find the rest of the week--- but amazing selections such as pear chocolate cake. Sun-dried sourdough bread at dinner was the best bread I've ever had.

 

Bummers

 

My daughter loves to play board games on rainy cruise days or when we finally tire of the sun. Lots of rain on this cruise but library was only open a mere 2 hours a day. What a disappointment but oh well. Fountain drinks at buffet are so syrupy that they made your toes curl. Add some water to reduce the pucker-factor on fruit punch and lemonade. The weather was kind of yucky due to Tropical Storm Arlene but the crew scrambled to put out an updated Caper with fun activities when the Caymen port-of-call was cancelled. One of the biggest "eews" was seeing shirtless guys at the lunch buffet and people schlopping in from the pool only in their swimsuits. Nothing more to say about that.

 

Positives

 

Very few public address announcements on this ship compared to the other 6 cruises I've been on. I didn't feel like someone was constantly hawking their wares to us. Refreshing! Magic show with "Deja" was astounding. Ship is clean, has an "elegant feel" and defined the stereotype of Carnival being a wild party-animal crowd. The employees seemed much more high-energy than most I've experienced and quite a few seemed to actually be having genuine fun. One night nearly the entire dining room was up and dancing to "Living La Vida Loca". It felt a little cheesy at first but then everyone said what-the-heck, dropped their inhibitions and had some fun. Pretty cool.

 

Tips

 

Watch the "Morning Show" on your in-cabin TV each day. It's an informal talk-show format show with the AWESOME cruise director spelling out what all is going on that day. Use the ATM by the second day if you need it. It is right by the casino and runs out of cashola quickly. Bring clothes pins or plastic pins to dry out your bathing suits or cover-up's on your balcony deck chairs. I'll never leave home without them. Try Los Cinco Soles for silver jewelry at the Cozumel port. I've been there 3 straight years and their silver is so inexpensive. Much of my holiday shopping is done there and they are a recommended retailer. Head to an almost hidden area for the best fish-and-chips imaginable. It is called Sur Mer and is up a staircase to a "loft area" towards the back of the buffet dining room. You have to look for it---please do. Pizza is always great at Carnival. Although it sounds counter-intuitive, hit the pizza area at the peak times. They chuck it out quickly and steadily and the pizza is piping hot and fresh. Come during slow times and it has been under a heat-lamp and probably only tastes good after 4 or 5 Corona's :D . If you want to use the laundry facilities bring a roll of quarters for the dryers. $2 per load.

 

Hope this helps folks out there. As a seasoned cruiser I would recommend the Conquest. Happy sailings!

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Thank you good info we are going in Aug. by the way what did you do in Mobay?

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In MoBay we did the Calica Pirate Boat. It took us to a great reef for a 45 minute snorkel and then headed for a brief visit to Margaritaville. They have some cool water trampolines there for the kids. On the way back they gave us soft drinks or rum punch/rum and Coke. It was a good middle-of-the-road excursion that satisfied both kids and adults.

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Thanks for the great review. We have sailed her before, but we still enjoy a different take on it all.

 

Btrtigerfan

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Thank you for your review! Did you have any pictures..I love to pass my wait looking at pics of the Conquest :)

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Thanks for the review. You didn't speak much about the tropical storm / rough weather. I am glad you did not have trouble with it.

 

Does anyone know if Sur Mer serves fried shrimp poboys? Are they good if they have them? I am so much in trouble if they have them and they are good!;)

 

Enjoyinglife

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thanks for the great review. The Conquest was my first cruise and the ship to make me become an addict!! I will sail her again! Everything we ate was great and out of our group of 38 (age 16-81) not one of us complained about the food...it WAS GOOD. Miss that pizza....Sur Mer and their fried blue-point oysters....yummy.....sushi every day at 5ish......

 

Oh boy I am missing it a lot:( ....172 days seems so far away for our next cruise....

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Good review H2O Mama. It was our first cruise and I guess I was expecting more for the price. Some of the food was great, and the buffet was worth going through once. I didn't see the Ser Mer or at least I don't remember it.

 

We were disapointed in the canceled Cayman port of call, but we had no control over the weather. We were also disapointed in the closed hot tubs. The shows were very good... well here's my review:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=3964556#post3964556

 

Indeed it was nobody's fault but our own that we didn't go to the formal dinners, but in my opinion, they make enough lobster plates for everyone. At least I was able to get leftovers in the lobster bisque. I don't understand why all the photographers. Were the photos free or was this another way for Carnival to make a few extra bucks?

 

Overall, I felt a bit like everyone was being corralled everywhere. Are all cruises like that?

 

Thanks again for your review,

Mike

 

PS we were on the red team...

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enjoying life,

I don't recall seeing fried shrimp po' boys on the sur mer menu but someone may correct me, as I wasn't on the lookout for them. Sounds good though!

 

4kids,

We booked the pirate boat through the interactive tv in our cabin. This was the only port of call where we'd procrastinated on making an excursion decision

 

tricktsm,

I'm going to try and get my pics posted this weekend :o

 

safeteeguy,

We were on the blue team. Yes, there is a certain amount of "corralling" or herding on all cruises, especialling relating to waiting (to get in dining room, buffet, off the ship, etc. I too wasa disappointed about the jacuzzi's being closed all week. Every day the Caper stated that is was due to a "technical upgrade". Regarding food, the dining room was definitely better there than the buffet. It seemed apparent to me that they wanted to drive people to the full dining room experience.

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H2OMama, I just realized that you were in the cabin right next to the one we'll have on our upcoming cruise. Our BIL and SIL will be in the one you were in. How was the noise level being that close to the elevators? I can't remember right now what is directly above those cabins, but did you have any problems with noise from the deck above or below?

 

Thanks for the review. I'm looking forward to our cruise!

 

Trish

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Safeteeguy,

 

Thank you for the pic's! I am going on the Conquest on July 24th. This is my 6th cruise and I love them. Never have been on the conquest though. I got so excited when I saw your pic of the Conquest in MoBay because I have been wondering if my balcony cabin will be facing the island or not. So far, I am in cabin 1005, (booked a guarntee) but I am not sure if this would be port side or star board side. Anyway, the cabin, when facing forward, is on the right hand side. Can anyone confirm whether are not I will be on the island side, and set me stright whether starboard, port side, or the correct termonology?

 

I am especially hoping to be on the island side in Jamaica because I remember on my first cruise many, many years ago, I had a port hole window and woke up to mountains in Labedee then again in Jamaica. This was my first encounter with any mountain (I have lived all my life in South La., do I need to say more)? I have NEVER gotten ready so fast in my life because I was so excited about the mountains. Was totally disappointed when we pulled up to Grand Caymen. Although the beautiful water soon made my disappointment go away, the mountains were my favorite.

 

Thanks, Enjoyinglife

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Trish99, The elevators were very close to our room but you would never have known it. I am a very light sleeper and didn't have any problems. The ice machine was directly across from our room but that wasn't a problem either. Although the Promenade deck was right under us, no bars, clubs or theaters happen to be directly underneath the room. Have a wonderful cruise!

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We were in an even numbered cabin and had a good veiw of Jamaica!!

Even on one side. Odd on other side.

 

Sur Mer serves their own version of Fried Sea Food. Lets just say most is not what you would expect to find. I found the fried Oysters to be good, but it was a huge Fried Oyster. Strange seafood soup. Cold seafood salad type things....if you like DIFFERENT then you will like Sur Mer.

 

Lori

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Loritx,

 

Well, if even side is facing Jamaica, then I will not be on the beautiful side! Oh well, I guess I can't have everything. And thanks for the info on Sur Mer.

 

Enjoyinglife

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I justed wanted to say that I enjoyed the review. I will be sailingon the Conquest on July 17th. I 'm getting so excited. My parents and aunts & uncles were on the ship June 5th sailing. That was with some of you!!!

 

They has a grand time!! The weather could have been better, but they still enjoyed it! They were on Deck 8 aft balcony cabins.

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Thanks for the great review. We are going to sail on Conquest next summer. I heard Conquest was going into drydock in the fall. Does anyone know if that is true??

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Safeteeguy,

 

Thank you for the pic's! I am going on the Conquest on July 24th. This is my 6th cruise and I love them. Never have been on the conquest though. I got so excited when I saw your pic of the Conquest in MoBay because I have been wondering if my balcony cabin will be facing the island or not. So far, I am in cabin 1005, (booked a guarntee) but I am not sure if this would be port side or star board side. Anyway, the cabin, when facing forward, is on the right hand side. Can anyone confirm whether are not I will be on the island side, and set me stright whether starboard, port side, or the correct termonology?

 

I am especially hoping to be on the island side in Jamaica because I remember on my first cruise many, many years ago, I had a port hole window and woke up to mountains in Labedee then again in Jamaica. This was my first encounter with any mountain (I have lived all my life in South La., do I need to say more)? I have NEVER gotten ready so fast in my life because I was so excited about the mountains. Was totally disappointed when we pulled up to Grand Caymen. Although the beautiful water soon made my disappointment go away, the mountains were my favorite.

 

Thanks, Enjoyinglife

 

We were in 6335, the side facing the dock. Great view of the islands...bring your binoculars. Have fun!

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