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Wanna read a Conquest review? 5/5/13 Eastern

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I apologize in advance for the lack of pictures. The older I get, the more I concentrate on experiencing life firsthand, rather than through the lens of a camera. I still love having photos to look back at, but I don't take as many as I used to. Also, I generally like to post the review all in one long post. I tend to forget stuff if I wait til it's finished, though, so I'm probably going to post it in pieces this time.

 

If you want to keep reading, here goes...

:cool:

 

Let me begin with a little background. This was my 11th Carnival cruise and this was DH’s 10th. I have two DD, 6 and 2, and this was the 6yo 3rd cruise and the 2 yo’s 1st. We are not loyal to Carnival, per se, but the prices have been right for us during the times we’ve cruised and New Orleans has a limited selection, with Carnival being the only choice during the summer months. Financially, 4/5 day cruises have made the most sense for us as well. We decided last year when we booked that it was time to try a 7 day again. We took a 2 year break from cruising when DD2 was born and we did a condo on the beach last year – which was exhausting with an infant. After my last cruise, I left feeling a bit of discontent, like I’d had enough of it for a while. I was very anxious to get back on a cruise this year.

 

Embarkation – We decided to drive down the day of the cruise so we wouldn’t have the hassle of dealing with 2 young kids in a hotel room the night before. I was a little nervous about this because last time we drove down, we got there a little late. This time we arrived at 1:30, which is still later than I like, but we didn’t feel rushed, either. The parking garage had just filled up and we were on our way out when an attendant told us to park in a No Parking zone. The lines weren’t bad at all inside. The VIP lines were not much better than the normal lines, but I did notice a rush of people right after we got there. It was nice to have couches to sit on while we waited to get checked in, but they were already packing up the VIP snacks and drinks, which was a disappointment. I thought it was a bit early to take that stuff away.

 

We went to our room and dropped off our carry on and stroller and went to the Lido to eat. It was pretty much what I expected. The extra stations at Lido definitely helped keep the lines down, but there were still lines. I was excited to try all the new 2.0 food, but went with the buffet this time. The muster drill was uneventful and pretty much as normal. I was grateful for cool weather in New Orleans, because it seemed like forever having to keep DD content and we would have been miserable if temps had been higher.

Edited by cruzzza

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Room – We had a Spa deck quad balcony. We had the couch made up into a bed when we arrived. I had requested a crib, so I didn’t want the sofa bed. I asked the steward to bring a crib, remove the linens from the couch and told him we wanted to use the upper Pullman bed instead. I also asked him to remove the items from the mini fridge. There was a bit of a language barrier and I honestly didn’t think my requests would be honored. When we returned from dinner that evening, the room configuration was exactly as I requested it, but the items were not removed from the mini fridge. Since it appeared we had plenty of room in it, I didn’t ask again. However, MANY times during the cruise, my DD2 would open the fridge and try to play with the contents. Although we kept her from opening anything, the beers got shook up quite a bit, and I thought it wasn’t a good thing for all that alcohol to be in such easy grasp of a toddler.

 

Although our room was on the Spa deck, the Conquest doesn’t have the Spa amenities in these cabins, so it was pretty much like a normal balcony, with one major exception – we had a sliding glass door and no roof. The view was pretty much a floor to ceiling window almost all the way across the room, with one metal support down the middle. We would rate our extended aft balcony higher, but this was the 2nd best room we’ve had. I loved the view. It was very tricky to get the door to lock. That was a big concern of mine going into this cabin. Most of the time, if you turned the handle downward, it would latch (not lock) and that was enough to keep the kids from being able to get out. Also, the lock wasn’t as high up as regular balcony doors, but higher than my toddler could reach. We talked about safety before we left with older DD, and again when we got there, and the kids were very well behaved. I was a lot nervous leading up to the cruise because DD2 is a climber and very active. We never let her out there without us, and never held her up to the rail. We always put her down and let her walk out there with us. She was happy looking through the glass of the balcony.

 

We did not have a roof over our balcony. I was worried it would be very hot, but I loved it. Yes, it was hot out there at times and when it rained, everything got very wet, but I loved the open feeling and would love this same room again. One caveat, not all these balconies are private. We had a port side, very forward, and there was a large windscreen above us. Further towards the aft, some of these same balconies did not have the wind screen above them and anyone standing on the rail could look down onto you. The view down onto these consisted of mostly the balcony rail and not much of the actual balcony, but if anyone was standing at the rail, it would not be private at all. Sitting in the chairs would be fine, though. Just wanted to explain that, but mine was under Camp Carnival’s little deck area and was very private. We did hear the sounds of deck chairs up there, but since it wasn’t used as a sunning deck above us, I’m not sure if that was actually chairs or just something else being moved around up there. It was not bothersome at all.

 

I want to note that I did not notice any movement in this cabin. I have had forward cabins before, but not higher than Lido. This was the least motion of any cruise I can remember. We had mostly calm seas, but it did storm the last day. Seas were a little rougher, but I still didn’t feel the motion much. We do not tend to get seasick, so take that with a grain of salt.

 

The room also had an added bonus of being VERY close to Camp Carnival. This was extremely helpful many times throughout the cruise.

 

The pics below are of the room and leaving New Orleans.

 

 

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Edited by cruzzza

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Steward – his name was Rudy and although we didn’t always understand him, we definitely made him earn his tips. We were both Platinum and with 4 people, I had packed so as to use the laundry service. We sent a bag every day and that was a huge help. We were constantly coming and going from our room and I know he had a hard time trying to figure out when to clean! He always kept the room nice for us and DD loved the nightly towel animals. We did give him an extra $20 at the end of the cruise. My advice, don't try to give it to them the day of debarkation. They are so busy. I should have given it to him the night before.

 

Dining Room – I was pleasantly surprised with the food. I tried a few new things and it was nothing to rave about, but was always good. One exception to that was the Tom Po Gai soup (I may have that name partially wrong). It was SO good. I wish I had the recipe! The lobster was small, but cooked just right. The chocolate melting cake was very undercooked the first time I tried it, but better the second. I saw others with undercooked ones too. My favorite dessert, the Grand Marnier Souffle, was as good as ever. DH ordered steak twice. The first was overcooked and the second was perfect. Most of the waiters were good. We were never seated in the same section twice. Author, I believe, was my favorite. Julius Caesar had flair, but I thought he was a bit sarcastic, not my style. Martin was great. One female waitress was very nice but wanted to complain about Carnival. I was sympathetic, but that really wasn’t very professional. She was very nice, though. The bar waitress on the port side was very nice. Because of our timing, we missed all but 3 shows in the dining room. I am one that always enjoys this and I really missed seeing all the dancing and shows. We hardly ever ate early, but the later shows were always at 9:00. Most of the time,we were finished by 8:30 and didn’t stick around. I miss having a set seating time and getting to know the waiter, but it just simply wouldn’t have worked for us this cruise. 3 nights we ate early and brought the girls and the other nights we dropped them off at Camp and ate alone. This really did work out great for us. My 2 yo just can’t behave in the dining room that long. The nights we brought her were stressful and we had to take her out a time or two.

 

Buffet and Other Food – I thought that it was usually pretty easy to find something good on the buffet. I liked having the extra Comfort food stations on the Conquest. I always was satisfied and definitely never went hungry. I had to try the meatloaf after all the negative comments. Yes, the texture was bad but I thought it was edible. It wasn’t as bad as I expected, although I wouldn’t get it again. I liked the salads on the buffet and they usually had decent desserts, but this is one area that I thought had gotten worse. Where were the mousses and sponge cakes? Maybe they were there and I missed them. I loved the fresh watermelon offered every day on the fruit station. There was always a line there and they kept the melon constantly refreshed.

 

At breakfast, the scrambled eggs were just awful. I used to get them, but this time I tried them once and never got them again. Just horrible. But, on a positive note, omelet stations were everywhere and that made me very happy. Usually there was only a very short wait. Very nice. Bacon was greasy as always. The raspberry Danish is still one of my favorites. The hot chocolate is still good and I hope they never get rid of the orange passion guava fruit juice cocktail.

 

Guys Burgers were so good. I can’t believe I only had one. The pig patty was great. My only complaint is that I hate mayo and whatever they put on the bread to toast it sure seemed a lot like mayo – even though I told them not to put any. Maybe it was the really white butter they have onboard, I don’t know. Next time I’ll probably ask for a plain bun. Anyone know what they toast the buns with? The French fries were good as well.

 

I didn’t realize that there were two sides to the Blue Iguana Cantina until about halfway through the cruise. I wanted tacos, but was disappointed that there was no beef, only chicken, pork and fish. Then I realized that if you went to the burrito side, they had shrimp, beef and chicken. I tried a shrimp and beef burrito on the jalepeno tortilla and it was good. I loved the salsa bar, but it did seem that the heat would get to it after a while and the cheese seemed kind of sticky. I only tried it once for a breakfast burrito. The horrible scrambled eggs ruined it for me.

 

I was excited to try the new pizza. I really loved the old pizza, but some ships undercooked the crust, which made a great pizza only OK. What I discovered is that the new pizza varied wildly in how good it was. Once I got the “cracker” style. Hardly any toppings, crust cooked too much. Other times, it was very good with lots of cheese and a softer crust. I had the mushroom once and it was not good. The mushrooms were precooked and tasted a bit old and there were too many on there (and I usually like mushroom pizza). Amazingly, I discovered that when I ordered the pizza in the dining room for DD, it was similar to how I remembered the old pizza to be! And it came with the old style French fries. Strange! Overall, I couldn’t decide which I liked better, new or old. I do think that the old was more consistent, but I like the cheese better on the new (when they put enough). I have to say overall I prefer the new, but only by a very, very slight margin and probably because the old was undercooked so often (which seemed to be a ship specific problem).

 

How about a sunset pic since I don't have any that go with this...

 

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hahaha - I sat here for a few minutes trying to figure out what kind of mask your daughter had on in the bed photo until I realized you just painted her face out, LOL

 

Look forward to reading more!

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Thanks for the review thus far!!!! Did you stay in 1102 or 1101? I stay in 1102 in August and was wondering after reading your description. Do you know what that balcony was next to you in your photo? Were there ever people on it?

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Thanks for the review thus far!!!! Did you stay in 1102 or 1101? I stay in 1102 in August and was wondering after reading your description. Do you know what that balcony was next to you in your photo? Were there ever people on it?

You called it! It was 1102. Are you talking about the white metal catwalk? There was never anyone on it and it didn't even have a solid walking surface, just metal bars. I suppose they only use it for maintenance. It didn't affect the views, it just got in a few of the pictures. You can see down to the water since it's not solid. It didn't bother me at all. If you look around the corner, you can see the glass of the spa, which is slanted so it doesn't block any views either. 1102 is a great room, you'll love it!

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You called it! It was 1102. Are you talking about the white metal catwalk? There was never anyone on it and it didn't even have a solid walking surface, just metal bars. I suppose they only use it for maintenance. It didn't affect the views, it just got in a few of the pictures. You can see down to the water since it's not solid. It didn't bother me at all. If you look around the corner, you can see the glass of the spa, which is slanted so it doesn't block any views either. 1102 is a great room, you'll love it!

 

Thanks!!! I thought it might have been 1102! I was a bit worried about the NO BALCONY ROOF situation, but it's good to hear that it didn't pose a major fiasco for you. I'll be traveling with my 6 year old and 19 month old so our children are close in age too! What a coicidinky...but I have 2 boys

Edited by sunnyd_83@yahoo.com

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Nothing to do with the ship here, all about Key West...

 

Key West – This was my original plan… CityView Trolley would be our transportation and we were going to go to the Southernmost Point, Butterfly Conservatory, Hemingway House, Blue Heaven for lunch, the Aquarium and Kermit’s for frozen pie on a stick – in that order. However, I had a minor medical issue that required us to find a pharmacy in Key West. Thank God for iPhones and for us being in the USA on that day! I located a Walgreens on Duval and we spent our first hour or more walking to that and getting a prescription sent there. This did not start the day off well, but we tried to make the best of it.

 

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Again, thanks to iPhone, we got walking directions to Kermit’s Original Key Lime Pie Shoppe. Things are beginning to look better now! I tried the chocolate covered frozen key lime pie on a stick. One thing off the bucket list – real key lime pie in Key West! I would recommend Kermit's. It was good pie and a neat atmosphere. It had a small courtyard with lots of shade and a fountain and goldfish pond.

 

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Edited by cruzzza

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We then walked to a stand that was selling CityView Trolley tickets. I really didn’t want to spend $40 on the trolley, when we were already so behind my schedule, but I knew if we didn’t we’d spend just as much or more on taxis to take us everywhere I wanted to go. At least the kids were free. Next stop, another Bucket item, the Southernmost point. After the obligatory photo, we walked around the corner to the Butterfly Conservatory. It was overpriced, IMHO, but it was really neat and I don’t regret doing it. It was also didn’t take long at all to walk through, which in our case wasn’t a bad thing.

 

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The trolley picked us up right outside the conservatory and we headed to the Hemingway house. I was the only one who enjoyed the tour, so we left early. At least I can say we did it. I didn’t even pause long enough to get a good photo of the front of the house. DH was ready to go at this point. We still had to go back to Walgreen’s and he was getting impatient with me trying to stick to my plan! Also, DD was tired of walking and getting grumpy, too.

 

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After Walgreen’s, we walked back to the ship. It was a very tiring day and I didn’t get to do everything I wanted, but it was enough. I would recommend the CityView Trolley, as most of their stops were right where we wanted to be. They did take a somewhat roundabout route IMHO, as they took you to where the old town met new town and I really felt that particular section was unnecessary. I wish they would concentrate their route to the tourist district. Most people may not feel the same though. In fact, the Old Town Trolley goes even more out of the way. Maybe it seemed worse because we were in a hurry. We were all exhausted after this day. I was SO happy I brought a stroller for DD2. It was well worth it.

 

I guess I did have a few pics for today. :)

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Thanks!!! I thought it might have been 1102! I was a bit worried about the NO BALCONY ROOF situation, but it's good to hear that it didn't pose a major fiasco for you. I'll be traveling with my 6 year old and 19 month old so our children are close in age too! What a coicidinky...but I have 2 boys

Quite honestly, there were times that we couldn't comfortably use the balcony because of it not having a roof. Certain times of the day it was really hot out there. It may be worse on your cruise in August, but I don't think it will be that much difference. It all depended on our orientation to the sun. There was always part of the day it was usable and part it was uncomfortable. At night I LOVED it. Overall, I really liked it not having a roof and I would definately choose this room over a normal balcony. :) I also liked it being at the end of the hall. Only one set of neighbors was nice, too. DD cried a little at night and naptime, so I was glad it was more private. Sorry neighbors, if you're out there! :o

Edited by cruzzza

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I also liked it being at the end of the hall. Only one set of neighbors was nice, too. DD cried a little at night and naptime, so I was glad it was more private. Sorry neighbors, if you're out there! :o

 

My thoughts exactly!!!!! I figure only having one set of neighbors to possibly piss off would be better than two. Though I'm hoping for a fuss free time:rolleyes:

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That's all for now. I'll have to find more time later today or tomorrow to write some more and try to get some more pics uploaded. I'll check back in the meantime to see if there's any more questions.

 

Thinking back on it, we probably would have been cheaper to get taxis instead of the trolley since we did mostly walk. At least we had the convenience of the constant trolley stops vs trying to flag down a taxi. I really didn't notice many taxis, but maybe I wasn't really looking for them, either.

Edited by cruzzza

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Freeport – I had plans to do the Grand Lucayan Beach Resort day pass. Unfortunately, after Key West, we were all exhausted and decided to only get off at the port and spend most of our time on the ship. We had a very leisurely morning. After breakfast, we walked off the ship and spent an hour or two walking around the port area. We did some light shopping at the market area and I got a Bahama Mama out of a real coconut at a stand. The rum was really cheap, but they made it strong and it wasn’t too bad. DD got a strawberry smoothie in her coconut and it was pretty good. They were $7 each, but they both came with an extra, smaller cup of the same drink. Some of the vendors were downright rude, but others were very personable and friendly. All were willing to bargain, but some more than others.

 

Once we got back onboard, we ate lunch and played mini golf. It was nice to have fewer crowds than usual. I put DD2 down for a nap and DH and the other DD went to the pools and water slide. They had a blast. They didn’t have to fight crowds and had a great time. Overall, it was just what we needed after a long, stressful, tiring day at Key West. We had great, sunny weather.

 

It just so happened that for some reason, we got 2.5 extra hours in Freeport. Had we known this the night before, we definitely would have gone to the beach. But, we didn’t pay attention to the Fun Times and were just going by what our itinerary had posted before the trip. We were a little sad about that. We didn’t realize it until we debarked to walk around the port, and it was too late by then. So, lesson learned – always double check port times the night before!

 

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Here's a really good shot of the outside of the ship where our room was. This is the Port side - bow to the left, stern to the right. Notice that we are just behind the spa and you can see the windscreen above us that kept our room private.

 

 

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Here's a few shots of the mini golf area.

 

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hahaha - I sat here for a few minutes trying to figure out what kind of mask your daughter had on in the bed photo until I realized you just painted her face out, LOL

 

Look forward to reading more!

 

Ha ha! It took me a little while to figure out how to white-out the face with a rectangle - looks much nicer that way! I probably should have re-done that first pic, but it was already uploaded so I used it anyway. :o :)

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Addendum to Room notes - I forgot to mention that our air conditioner had a thermostat in the room, but we were cold unless we turned the air all the way to the warmest setting, and at night it got a tad bit cool even on that.

 

In fact, the whole ship was a bit cool. I know that's pretty much normal on ships, but I wanted to mention it. Depending on where our table was in the dining room, I was either OK or cold. The main theatre was also cold. I hate lugging a sweater around, so I don't - and I never knew when I would be cold or not.

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Ha ha! It took me a little while to figure out how to white-out the face with a rectangle - looks much nicer that way! I probably should have re-done that first pic, but it was already uploaded so I used it anyway. :o :)

 

I am sorry but I do not understand why you would block out her face. It seems odd to me. Is there a reason for this?

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I am sorry but I do not understand why you would block out her face. It seems odd to me. Is there a reason for this?

I really would rather not have my DDs faces on the internet on a message board where I really don't know anyone. Maybe it's harmless, but I don't feel comfortable posting their faces. I am surprised that it seems odd to you. Some people are more open on the internet than others, I suppose. I already feel like sometimes I'm giving too much personal information, even without showing faces, but I really enjoy relaying my experiences with others who love cruising as much as I do.

Edited by cruzzza

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Nassau – This was the day that I had looked forward to the most. I had reserved a Beach Day at the Blue Lagoon Island. We needed to be at the Paradise Island Ferry Terminal at 9:30 ship time. The port was one of those that forced you into their shopping building. I didn’t really appreciate that, but they did have many brochures for those who may not have planned in advance. There were lots of the tour operators with signs. I found a sign that said Taxi to Paradise Island and asked about getting to the ferry. I was immediately told to follow someone and so I did, along with several other people. Apparently, they were waiting on a few more to fill up a taxi and we were the last ones in that group. I was nervous as to whether or not we were doing the right thing, because the person we were following didn’t get any info as to where we were going. Turns out this was our driver. Before getting into the taxi, I made sure he knew we were going to the ferry and he said that was fine and to get in.

 

Turns out, this driver was very nice and he even started the air conditioner in the van as soon as we got there. His van was also clean (as much as possible). We packed in like sardines and we drove over the bridge and promptly passed the ferry terminal. I was starting to freak out a little. We still had some time, so I didn’t make a scene, though. He dropped some folks off at the Riu and then came back to the ferry and dropped us off. He didn’t charge for the kids, either, which was nice. It cost $12 + tip for the four of us. DH was planning on paying more, so we gave him a $20 and he got a nice tip out of us.

 

At the ferry terminal, it was pretty clear that Dolphin Encounters was the only reason to be there. They must own the ferry & building. The line to check in was long. Some people hadn’t pre-paid and it was a long wait in a hot glass-walled hallway. The kids were very restless. Just after checking in, the ferry arrived. The ride out to the island was pretty uneventful. There was an employee on the top deck that pointed out a few celebrity homes to us. When we got to the Blue Lagoon, we were directed to the left for the beach day. Dolphin encounter folks went to the dolphin area on the right, which was also where a large souvenir shop was.

 

We hadn’t made it very far when I noticed a sign that said you could have your picture made with a dolphin. Since we had wanted to do the encounter, but it was too expensive, this was a no-brainer. For $37, we got a family photo with a dolphin. After the photo, they got the dolphin to wave and say goodbye to us and my DD even got to feed him a fish. It was worth it and I was happy this was offered.

 

We then went to stake out our spot on the beach. I was surprised at how few people there were on the island. I just knew we’d have lost all the good spots by taking the time to do the dolphin photo. I was wrong, there were tons of chairs, and everyone had lots of space. We went to a palapa that had no one around and had a stretch of sand for the girls to play in. The water where we were was VERY shallow, which was perfect for us. This is not a place to go to swim! The water was only knee deep for a while. Towards the entrance, it got deeper, but we loved our spot. The weather was very overcast and the threat of rain was constant. Some people had seen a waterspout before we left the ship near Atlantis. The positive side of this is that none of us got sunburned.

 

I went to get frozen drinks and we settled in for a bit. I thought prices were average. I think I paid $7 for a nice frozen drink with name brand rum. After playing with the girls a while, we decided to go have lunch. We had these cards that we got at the ferry terminal. The child’s card was a different color, but we pretty much ordered the same lunch for everyone. We had to buy DD2 lunch separately because she was free and didn’t get a lunch card. We got cheese pizza for her. She didn’t like the dough, but happily picked the cheese off the top. Lunch came with fruit punch or lemonade. They gave DD2 a fruit punch even though she wasn’t getting the free lunch. I should mention that credit cards were accepted practically everywhere on the island. You also had to buy your food at the bar and pick it up in the restaurant. The restaurant was basically an open air pavilion with picnic tables, but it was fine. I got a cheeseburger. It was like several other island buffets I've been to. The covered condiments seemed a little icky because of the humidity, but no one got sick! The burger was actually pretty good. DD got a chicken breast sandwich and that was really good. They covered the meats with a light coating of BBQ sauce and that probably helped the taste. The only complaint about the food I have is that we ordered the conch fritters ($5 for a small basket) and they were really, really greasy.

 

After lunch, DD wanted to do the Aqua Park, which was the section that had the blow up stuff. A lifejacket was required, which I thought was a good thing. DH and her had just begun playing and a stingray swam underneath DD and frightened her a bit. DH thought it was neat!

 

I thought the Blue Lagoon was heavenly. The stretch of sand, the shallow, clear water… ahh! BUT, there was one negative thing. The Conquest was leaving at 5:00pm. This equated to 6:00pm local time. At 1:30 (local time), the announcement was made over the island that if anyone was on the Conquest they had to leave on the ferry RIGHT NOW! I knew that the last ferry left at 4:00pm local time (it was also posted on a board at the entrance), so I had planned on us taking that. The employees said that we would not have time to get back to the ship, since the ship left at 5:00 and that if we wanted to make the ship, we had to leave NOW. As I was arguing with them that ship time was not the same as island time, DH came running back from the Aqua Park yelling at me to gather our things. The announcement had scared him, and frankly, it rattled me a bit too. So, I gathered our things and we rushed to make the ferry.

 

Turns out that I was right all along, we got back to the ship VERY early. We could have easily gotten on the 4:00pm (local time) ferry which would have arrived at the terminal around 4:30 (local) and made it back to the ship by 5:00 (local) which was 4:00pm ship time and we’d have still had 30 minutes cushion since the all-aboard was 4:30 and sail time was 5:00. We never like to try to push our luck, but I think we’d have had plenty of time doing this, and we’d have gotten 2.5 more hours on the island, which would have been wonderful. DH was a little irked at the Dolphin Encounter people for not knowing there was a difference between island and ship time. Or maybe they just didn’t care and wanted us off early. Either way, it put a slight damper on an otherwise fantastic day. We only got a half day’s worth of time, when we should have gotten more IMHO.

 

There was a taxi waiting at the ferry terminal to take us back to the ship, but he didn’t bother cranking the van until we had all climbed in and he got in. I was getting a bit claustrophobic in the back seat without any air. He also charged for the kids, $5 a head. We gave him a $20 and no tip since the first cabbie didn’t charge the kids.

 

I had a Ride Safer Travel Vest for youngest DD to wear in the taxis. We ended up leaving it on the ship because we ran out of room in our backpacks and I wasn’t sure there would even be seat belts in the taxis. I should have left it at home. No one used seat belts and they made me put youngest DD in my lap anyway. The way they packed people in those vans, safety was not a concern.

 

This is when we were heading out to the Blue Lagoon. Black clouds over our ships had us worried we were in for a wet day. Thank God, there was almost no rain. Just a few sprinkles.

 

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Leaving the Blue Lagoon. This is the side the ferry docks.

 

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Edited by cruzzza

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I only saw the front of the Riu, but it looked OK. Not really resort-like from the front, but I’m sure the beach side was nice. Looked just like a tall hotel from the entrance. We passed the Comfort Suites, which looked nice, not as tall as the Riu and more spread out. It was the nicest Comfort Suites I’ve ever seen. Atlantis wasn’t as tall or impressive as I had imagined, but we only saw it from a distance. I was picturing something more grandiose in my head. We did discuss doing it when the kids got bigger and maybe even staying on the island one day. We really would like more time at the Blue Lagoon and a trip to Atlantis. It’s one of those places that may warrant a second trip, either by another cruise or land vacation.

 

If the sun had been shining, the water would have been gorgeous, but even with overcast skies, it was beautiful. Most of the people were nice. Dolphin Encounters does seem to run a professional business overall and I would also recommend them – even if I was irked at some of the employees. In the end, I could have refused to get on the ferry they wanted me on and stayed, but if someone is telling me that I’m going to miss my ship if I don’t get on “this” ferry, then that’s pretty nerve-wracking.

 

We were docked next to the Ecstacy. I think this was the first time I’ve gotten a good look at the balconies they added. They also had the Waterworks. The music coming from their ship was much better, by the way. More on that later. It was neat seeing her in the distance, especially near dusk. We contemplated the British Colonial Hilton for another cruise excursion. Their beach was small, but it looked nice. I think a lot of cruisers go there for a day pass. We discussed that it would be less stressful, being so close to the pier. Definitely within walking distance, even for us with the kids.

 

Sailing away from the port.

 

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Senor Frogs & British Colonial Hilton

 

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Ecstacy

 

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Edited by cruzzza

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Your pictures are wonderful, but you used such a small font that it's difficult for my old eyes to read. Any chance you could enlarge the font?

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Your pictures are wonderful, but you used such a small font that it's difficult for my old eyes to read. Any chance you could enlarge the font?

 

I thought the font was pretty small too, but I just went to "tools" and zoomed out to 200% and that makes the font much larger, easier to read.

 

And I, too, find it strange you would block out your children's faces in the pictures. I guess if it were me and I didn't want their faces on the internet I simply wouldn't post those pictures. I'm enjoying your other photos though, and your report. We were on the Conquest in January.

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Your pictures are wonderful, but you used such a small font that it's difficult for my old eyes to read. Any chance you could enlarge the font?

 

I am copying and pasting from Word, and that may be why I am having trouble with the font. I already enlarged it once. I thought I had it to where it looked ok on my computer. Anyone else having trouble with the font being too small? I used size 1 to re-size the previous posts, but I can move up to size 2 on the next ones. Size 2 on my computer just looked a little big. When I was labeling the pictures, I didn't resize it, I just did it like normal and it did look a little small to me, but I have never had to resize when posting on CC before, so I'm a bit confused.

 

Other comments/suggestions on the font???

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I thought the font was pretty small too, but I just went to "tools" and zoomed out to 200% and that makes the font much larger, easier to read.

 

And I, too, find it strange you would block out your children's faces in the pictures. I guess if it were me and I didn't want their faces on the internet I simply wouldn't post those pictures. I'm enjoying your other photos though, and your report. We were on the Conquest in January.

 

I have no idea why it looks fine on my computer and small on other people's. Maybe the way I have my settings?

 

The reason I wanted those pics with the kids is because I didn't have any non-kid shots that showed some of the things I wanted to post. Like the fountain and goldfish pond at Kermits. I thought someone might like to see what that looked like, but the only pic I had was the one with DD in it. Same with the room configuration. It's not every day I see how a quad with a crib is set up. The only pics I had were of DD in the middle of the pic!

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I am copying and pasting from Word, and that may be why I am having trouble with the font. I already enlarged it once. I thought I had it to where it looked ok on my computer. Anyone else having trouble with the font being too small? I used size 1 to re-size the previous posts, but I can move up to size 2 on the next ones. Size 2 on my computer just looked a little big. When I was labeling the pictures, I didn't resize it, I just did it like normal and it did look a little small to me, but I have never had to resize when posting on CC before, so I'm a bit confused.

 

Other comments/suggestions on the font???

 

That's okay. I just copied and pasted it to a Word doc and enlarged the font there. I didn't want to zoom my whole screen and couldn't figure out any other way to enlarge in CC. Glad you had such a great time. I'm enjoying your review and pics. :)

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Thanks. Maybe I'll write directly into CC on the next post. Does THIS post look OK to you? If so, I won't bother with copying and pasting from Word and I'll do it straight from here.

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Great, another Conquest review! :D

Reading your review excitedly. Loving the pictures you're posting.

I'm sailing the Conquest in December... :)

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That settles it then, I won't bother with Word. I'll write directly into CC. I wish I could go back and resize all the old posts to make them bigger. I'm glad ya'll spoke up so I can (hopefully) fix the next posts.

Edited by cruzzza

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Thanks for the review!! I am enjoying it! I have been on the Conquest twice and we really like the ship.

 

I would have been concerned too about the early time to go deal! I can see how that would be frustrating!

 

P.S. The font was small for me too...

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Sorry it's taking so long for the next installment. Had some unexpected things happen on an already busy past few days. I will get back on the computer as soon as I can. I promise it's coming!

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I apologize to everyone who had been following my review. 8 days ago, a family member had to be hospitalized. Since then, they've been released, but I've been one of the main caregivers. They are doing much better now, but I have been very busy and not had much computer time at all.

 

On the first post of my review, I started by saying that I liked to finish a review before posting, but was afraid I'd forget something and so I wanted to go ahead and start it. I'm glad I did, because I know I've forgotten some things. I'm thankful that I got through the ports because those were still fresh on my mind.

 

The last 3 days are sea days and debarkation and I still have plenty I'd like to say on those, so I will try to continue where I left off, even if my memory might not be as sharp since it's been a little over 2 weeks now.

 

I can't say when the next installment will be, but I promise I'll finish as soon as I can!

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Looking forward to the rest of the review. And thank you for increasing the font :D

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You are the first poster I have seen who blocked out their kids faces.

 

I really would rather not have my DDs faces on the internet on a message board where I really don't know anyone. Maybe it's harmless, but I don't feel comfortable posting their faces. I am surprised that it seems odd to you. Some people are more open on the internet than others, I suppose. I already feel like sometimes I'm giving too much personal information, even without showing faces, but I really enjoy relaying my experiences with others who love cruising as much as I do.

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OK, I give up! I guess I'm the only one here who doesn't like to post pics of the kids. I suppose the only thing left to say about it is... I'm not going to change my mind about it and if I do have any more pics that I want to add in which the kids are in, I'm still going to white out their faces. If it bothers anyone, please don't look at the photos! :p

 

I've got a few minutes this afternoon, so here's some more of the review! :)

 

Day 6 - SEA DAY

 

This was the most relaxing day of the whole trip! We dropped the kids off at Camp at 10:00am and headed out to the deck. I had been liberally applying SPF 50+ the rest of the cruise and was anxious to get some sun, so I didn't put sunscreen on today. Yeah, that was a bad idea. I guess my sunscreen really worked well, because when I didn't wear it, I got a little lobster-ish. We weren't out for very long (maybe 2 hours), which was good, because I'd have been in pain with much more sun.

 

What made us go indoors after only 2 hours? Camp Carnival closed for lunch at 12:45, so we still had almost an hour to go. I guess this is a good time to discuss....

 

LIDO ATMOSPHERE

 

OK, so I've heard about all the so-called cutbacks and was sort of on the lookout for the changes. This was one area that needs to be seriously re-tooled. We were on Deck 11, two decks up from Lido and trying to get some sun and watch the ocean. We didn't mind some music in the background, but my goodness - it was LOUD. I understand the Lido midship is supposed to be a party atmosphere, but when you can't even get away on Deck 11 forward, that's a problem to me.

 

The DJ was incredibly annoying, sometimes talking/singing over the music. But, what was even worse is that when the DJ took a break, the deck games started. Oh my goodness - there was no peace to be had on the open decks. The microphone was blaring the hostess' voice loud and clear up to us. I told DH, this view is nice, but let's get out of here! By the way, Conquest does not have a Serenity deck, but this area was what is practically a Serenity (other than the loudness coming from Lido). Even the bar in our little area was called the Serenity Bar. (It didn't have a name on it, but on our S&S bill it said that.)

 

You couldn't walk through the Lido area or get a Guy's Burger or taco at the cantina without being blasted by the speakers. Forget about having a conversation in the immediate area.

 

This may be overlapping with a "music" section that I plan to write, but I have to mention that there must have been a group of partiers that constantly requested country music. I don't have a problem with a little country, but for goodness sakes, just because a few are vocal about requesting country songs, doesn't mean everyone wants to hear them. If the DJ played "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" or "Pontoon" one more time I felt like I was going to scream. Hellooooo, we are on a caribbean cruise - where is the reggae, calypso and island music??? OK, maybe I think I heard one Jimmy Buffett song, but most of the music wasn't condusive to my idea of a caribbean cruise. When the sun is shining, the boat is rocking and the calypso music is playing, I spend MUCH more money on drinks. So, by making the environment less "vacation-y" I spend a lot less on drinks. I just don't have the same desire to down pina coladas and it feels a lot less like a caribbean getaway and more like I got stuck in a bad country bar. I was SO glad we decided to not buy the Cheers program. It would have been a waste, because we didn't enjoy the deck atmosphere nearly as much as on past cruises.

 

SO, after that rant, I must admit that it wasn't often we got to chill out on the open decks. But, we could hear the Lido music from our balcony loud & clear - even though we were the very first cabin forward on the ship two decks up - and very rarely did I hear what I would consider cruise vacation music.

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