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Great Conquest Sailing 6/12-6/19

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Just let me preface this review by saying that I wasn't thrilled to be cruising again as I didn't care for it that much the first time. I am 43 and my husband is 44. We brought along four kids aged 16,15,15, and 10.


Rooms- We had 2 rooms on the Riviera deck. Ours was an ocean view and the older kids had an inside across from us. Both rooms were more than adequate with plenty of storage space for all of the clothes and bags. Both rooms had locked mini-bars and we weren't asked if we wanted a key or not. We didn't, so it really didn't matter. Our steward was "okay". His name was Arif and we saw him maybe once the whole week. He did respond to my page for extra towels and was willing to get me some skirt hangers when asked. His towel animals delighted everyone. He did his job as our room was cleaned and made ready twice a day. The beds were very comfortable and the pillows weren't too hard. We had new bedding and the down comforter was really nice.


Pool - there are 4 on this ship. 1 for little, little kids. They were crowded on all the sea days and there were plenty of chair hogs. I usually got out there about 9:30 and was able to snag a couple of chairs every day. The whirlpools were not operational the entire week so I can't comment on them. The water temperature was perfect. My youngest said the slide was fun too. The caribbean band plays the same songset every day they play (all the sea days) so that was a little annoying. It would be nice if they could rotate the deck bands and offer a little variety. Not that big of an issue. The weater cooperated on our sea days and that was great.


Food - I was pleasantly surprised. I expected the food to be institutional at best, but it was excellent. I can't say that any of us disliked anything we ate. Our dining room staff Anca and Bella were awesome. They treated my 10 yr. old like royalty and he really ate that up. Our food was delivered as ordered and hot like it should be. The bread that they bring out for dinner is soooo good. My entire family requested seconds every night. The grill food was good and the deli sandwiches were excellent. My sons had the wok food and liked that too. The pizzeria was very good as was the chicken caesar salad they served. As always, the ice cream/frozen yogurt machine was a big hit. The desserts in the dining room and at the buffet restaurant as well as the late night buffets were very decadent. Much better than I had anticipated.


Entertainment- Todd Wittmer and his co-workers, Sarah, Kevin and Malcolm did an excellent job of keeping everyone entertained. They were everywhere. Very personable and witty. The late night comedy was hilarious. The juggler was amazing. The vegas-style review shows were terrible. We went to one and part of another and decided not to waste our time there again. The Karaoke is what you would expect - a lot of horrible singers (with a lot of courage - LOL) with a few bright lights. Always a good laugh at karaoke. The last night the cruise director and staff did an adults only "Whose cruise line is it anyway?". It was hilarious and very naughty. Don't go if you are easily offended. The other musicians on this boat were also very good and worked very hard to entertain us.


Camp Carnival - My ten yr old had an excellent time w/the staff an other kids. He was able to sign himself in and out and do what he wanted :) which helped me enjoy myself so much more this time. My teenagers participated in Club O2 activities and particularly liked the late night dance parties.


Ports- We went to Sunset Beach Resort in MoBay. It was a great deal for $20/pp, but it's not a resort I would book my vacation at. They are doing a lot of work to update it and are adding a water park. Everyone working there was pleasant. The drinks were poured strong and the grill food adequate.

We did the Stringray sand bar w/Nativeway Water sports in Grand Cayman. The guides were great and got into the water w/us and let us hold, touch, and feed the rays. It was really amazing. I would recommend this group. They were quite a bit cheaper than using the cruise line and there were only 16 people on our boat. Cost is $30/pp for 2 1/2 hours. In Cozumel we shopped at the pier and went to Mr. Sanchos beach. It was fine, but I wish I had stuck to my first inclination and gone to Paradise beach. The kids jet-skiied and had a good time.


Embarkation and Disembarkation- Embarkation took about 1 1/2 hours for us to get on the ship. We arrived at the pier at 11:30 and were eating lunch by 1pm. It really wasn't too bad, but you will have to sit in the yellow chairs for awhile. There wasn't a line for bypassing the embarkation photo like a previous poster had said. You have to wait in the line but once your turn comes up to take a picture you can bypass then. Disembarkation was a breeze. The ship was cleared at 9:00 am and we were in our limo by 9:20 w/all of our luggage and on the way to the airport. I really liked this way of disembarking as opposed to the calling of colors. It seemed to work a lot smoother than the other way.


All in all I really enjoyed this cruise. Would I cruise w/Carnival again. Absolutely!!! I still think my family got a better deal (cost wise) at the all-inclusive, but cruising makes a nice change once in a while.


Tips - Bring a couple of sweaters or jackets as all of the common areas and entertainment venues are very cold. Some people were even wearing the Carnival bathrobes from their cabins to keep warm. Bring an insulated mug to fill up w/water, tea, lemonade while you are at the pool. Don't pack a lot of clothes. We basically changed for dinner and changed back to shorts right after. I would pack some lounging type clothes too.

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