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Catrin

Carnival Conquest - April 18 - Trip Review and Daily Diary

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How long did it take you to walk to the floating bridge? I use a walker and was wondering if it was a reasonable walk to get there.

 

Great review !!

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How long did it take you to walk to the floating bridge? I use a walker and was wondering if it was a reasonable walk to get there.

 

Great review !!

 

Nancy, it is about a 15-20 minute walk. The walk itself is lovely and plenty of places along the way to sit down and relax. Even if you do not make it all the way to the floating bridge, the signts along the way are so nice, it would still be worth it to venture outside.

 

Catrin

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Thanks for the review. I haven't heard great things about La Romana. I will take an excursion if you go there. In Jamaica and Progreso, Mexico I always take an excursion so I can avoid the annoying sellers!

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Thanks for the review. I haven't heard great things about La Romana. I will take an excursion if you go there. In Jamaica and Progreso, Mexico I always take an excursion so I can avoid the annoying sellers!

 

 

You won't be able to avoid them with Seavis. But you can certainly ignore them. Once you said no and avoided eye contact, they moved on. If you have kids - just prepare them!!

 

Catrin

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Thanks for the review. Our next cruise is coming up on June 13 on the Conquest and we are very excited. It looks like a beautiful ship.

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As we arrived, however… we knew immediately this was NOT Miami. Right away, we noticed the unorganization of the parking lot – with traffic jams and very few people directing the comings and goings. This was just the beginning of our embarkation journey.

We are fortunate to be Platinum Cruisers, and the one benefit we enjoy the most is early embarkation and the time in the VIFP lounge. Checking in was fine, a short line… and then we were told to go into the VIP Lounge. Well… while we knew we were later than our normal 10am arrival, we were amazed by the amount of people in the lounge! There were no chairs available, and people were crowded everywhere – standing in between people, near the doors, and in every available space. Using this lounge were not only Platinum cruises, but Players Club Cruisers, and FTTF Cruisers. While you won’t hear me complain about FTTF – Carnival needs to do a better job knowing how many Platinum, Diamond and FTTF Cruisers they have – and to make sure they provide a room large enough for the group. If they are going to sell this lounge and early arrival as a benefit, they need to deliver. Embarkation was delayed – and finally after noontime, they starting emptying the room. Standing in that room for over an hour was uncomfortable – but the time passed by as we met some of the folks in the room. As we were standing, we were one of the first families out of the room. I am sorry that those arriving early who were sitting were not allowed off first – there was no organization – it just happened that way.

 

We found that sailing out of FLL was pretty chaotic when we went last year on the Freedom. We were FTTF but we were not in the VIFP lounge. This didn't bother me, really. The thing that did kind of stump me was when noon came and no one had started boarding! We are used to NOLA when by 11:15, we've already been to our cabin and we're enjoying our first Guy's burger!

 

Then when we returned, I thought we would never get off the ship. Once we did get off and got in line to go through customs, I quickly realized that it wasn't a Carnival issue...it's a port issue. The last time we sailed out of NOLA, we were in the shuttle heading to the Fulton Street garage by 8:15 a.m. Even being in zone 1 in FLL, we were still close to 10:30-11:00 before we left the ship! :eek:

 

Needless to say, I'm thankful to be sailing out of NOLA again in November.

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We found that sailing out of FLL was pretty chaotic when we went last year on the Freedom. We were FTTF but we were not in the VIFP lounge. This didn't bother me, really. The thing that did kind of stump me was when noon came and no one had started boarding! We are used to NOLA when by 11:15, we've already been to our cabin and we're enjoying our first Guy's burger!

 

Then when we returned, I thought we would never get off the ship. Once we did get off and got in line to go through customs, I quickly realized that it wasn't a Carnival issue...it's a port issue. The last time we sailed out of NOLA, we were in the shuttle heading to the Fulton Street garage by 8:15 a.m. Even being in zone 1 in FLL, we were still close to 10:30-11:00 before we left the ship! :eek:

 

Needless to say, I'm thankful to be sailing out of NOLA again in November.

 

I completely agree!! I will be talking about the debarkation and customs soon, but as a preview, we were completely unimpressed with it all.

 

No updates tonight, long work day, but I will have our day in Aruba and the final two days at sea tomorrow!!

 

Catrin

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THURSDAY - APRIL 23rd - ARUBA

 

This was the day we waited for - ARUBA! In our 15 previous cruises, we had never been to Aruba and always wanted to go.

We knew we wanted to see the Island, yet experience the beaches.... so months before sailing, we searched for some excursions... from Carnival and independent companies. But this one caught our eye.... over and over again...

NORTH COAST JEEP SAFARI - CARNIVAL

http://www.carnival.com/shore-excursions/beach/north-coast-jeep-safari-412032#

 

Go off road to explore Aruba’s north coast, including a visit to the island’s Ostrich Farm and a beach break. On this excursion, you will:

 

• Board your open-air 4WD Land Rover and head towards the countryside with your driver/guide.

 

• Stop at the intriguing Ayo Rock formation and the site of the collapsed original Natural Bridge.

 

• Take a guided tour of the island’s newest attraction, the Ostrich Farm, and get insight into the life cycle and living habits of these intriguing animals.

 

• Travel along the island’s back roads with pristine landscapes and the opportunity to explore the Bushiribana Ruins of Gold, the Chapel of Alto Vista, and the California Lighthouse.

 

• Enjoy a tranquil, picturesque stop for swimming and snorkeling – either Arashi Beach or Boca Catalina - before returning to your ship.

 

• Have complimentary snacks, sodas, water.

 

With about 2 months to go, we decided to book this Carnival Excursion. It was pricey - $95.00 per adult and $65.00 for Allison.

 

Morning was once again Room Service breakfast of Cereal, fruit, Bagels, Tea. When we woke up, someone was off.... Allison said she was "Sick" with stomach pains. OH NO!!

We went back and forth on what to do. We at first decided that Steve and Allison would not go. I went to guest services and asked about a refund, even though we were within the 24 hour limit for refunds. They told me to bring my tickets back to the counter. When I went back to the room, Steve had said that Allison decided she was good enough to go, so we quickly packed our bags... and we were off just in time!!

 

The port of Aruba had a building with tons of vendors selling Tshirts, Hats, Bags, and misc souvenirs. We knew that this would be our shopping trip on the way back to the ship.

 

We quickly found our guides and waited for the rest of the group to arrive!

 

COMING UP.. BEAUTIFUL ARUBA!!

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COMING SOON - ARUBA

We were all loaded into a van and then transported less than a mile to an area where the Land Rovers were located. The Jeep Safari consisted of three Land Rovers – each with two benches 10 people. Our family was in the lead Jeep, with three really nice couples.

 

We drove about 20 minutes through town to our first stop, which was the Ostrich Farm. What amazed me was the desert like scenery – I did not expect Aruba to be so dry! We all arrived and were given instructions not to put our hands in the cages and do not touch the Ostriches. We met our guide, who would take us through the Zoo. We approached the first Ostrich and all of a sudden… Allison whispered in our ear that she did not feel well…. I think she got a bit carsick on the ride to the farm…. OH NO!!! NOT A GOOD WAY TO START!! Next thing you know she was as white as a ghost… Steve pulled her aside …. And as we continued… yes, it happened. Well, the folks at the Ostrich farm were amazing. Steve and Allison went back to the shaded area, where they gave Allison a Popsicle. Steve went to the restroom to wash her up. He was going to call a Taxi to take him back to the ship.. But the 40 minutes of our Tour was enough time for her to feel brand new again. I had some Bonine with me, so we gave her a Bonine and decided to continue (and we are glad we did!).

 

Now.. back to the farm…. Matthew and I were able to tour the farm… full of huge birds and baby ones as well. Our guide was very knowledgeable and told us of the history, climate, food, etc. He showed us the different eggs and taught us about the babies on the farm. We saw huge cactus plans and we were also able to feed two Ostriches while they took pictures that they sold after the tour.

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After the tour, we headed back to the Jeeps – and proceeded to the North Coast. The North Coast of Aruba consists of MILES AND MILES of off road paths – we saw folks in Jeeps, Off Road Vehicles, Horseback, Motorbike etc.

We first stopped at an ancient Gold Refinery, and an area where people stack 7 rocks for Good Luck. The weather was hot, but not unbearable. We also stopped at the Natural Bridge, a tiny beautiful church and a lighthouse. The roads were very bumpy – we knew this before our trip – so we were ready. But even I felt a bit queasy at one point. You do not go as fast as I thought, it was more like riding through 10 miles of really bad potholes!!

 

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After the North Coast tour, we were brought to a beautiful beach for 45 minutes. It was enough time to go swimming for a short time. This was a public beach, and I stayed with our “stuff” while Steve and the kids went swimming. We really loved the beach here and wish we had just a bit more time as well as our items in a secure location.

We were given water throughout the tour, and at the beach, we were offered snacks, which were tiny bags of chips and soda. After the beach, we rode back to the ship – but through the South Side of the Island – visiting the condos, hotels, public beaches and shopping areas. There we saw the major hotel chains – Ritz Carlton, Marriott, etc. Aruba is certainly a place where Steve and I want to return someday. We are actually thinking about a week to ourselves or even a long weekend at one of the hotels. The people were nice, the weather perfect!!

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After our tour, we spent a short time at the shops at the pier. The shopping here reminded me of St. Thomas or St. Marteen… those awesome $5 Beach Bags, Hats, Tshirts etc. If you wanted more shopping, there were more shops outside of the main gates.

 

That afternoon, before dinner… was the Past Guest Party. I know a lot has been written about the Past Guest party this week, but on this cruise, the main lounge was PACKED with Gold, Platinum and Diamond cruisers. FUN SHIP SPECIALS, Fruit Punch and minimal food was served. Mike Pack as usual was awesome, and hosted a fun party with our favorite Ship Video, Line Dancing, and celebration of those that have cruised the most. This has always been one of our favorite things to do… and especially next year, when Allison will be able to stand up as Platinum!

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This was one of those nights that we did not do much. …I do know that Allison wanted to go to the FUN TILL 1 party at Camp Carnival. We went to the Piano bar for a while, we relaxed in our cabin, we hung out at the Lobby bar, etc. At this time, I was really into a book I was reading, so I was quietly finding corners in the ship to read. I always say it takes me until Thursday to relax for the week.. and I felt completely relaxed by now!

And the great thing? We had two more days at Sea!!

Coming Up… last two days, and OH NO time to go home!

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We are sailing the Conquest in October. It will be our first cruise with our kids who will be 8 and 13.

 

Loved your review so much I checked out your Magic review too. I noticed in both you never mentioned going to the kid's club orientation however checked in when you first got on the ship. I've read a few places that the orientation is during sail away. Since this is my kiddo's first cruise I really do not want them to miss sail away. If we check in with each child's group before sail away, are we safe skipping orientation?

 

Also, any tips when it comes to keeping in touch with older kids with a bit more independence?

 

Thanks so much in advance!

Edited by Reneeaz1982

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We are sailing the Conquest in October. It will be our first cruise with our kids who will be 8 and 13.

 

Loved your review so much I checked out your Magic review too. I noticed in both you never mentioned going to the kid's club orientation however checked in when you first got on the ship. I've read a few places that the orientation is during sail away. Since this is my kiddo's first cruise I really do not want them to miss sail away. If we check in with each child's group before sail away, are we safe skipping orientation?

 

Also, any tips when it comes to keeping in touch with older kids with a bit more independence?

 

Thanks so much in advance!

 

Thank you for reading!

We have not been to the orientation in at least five or six cruises. We sign the kids up online then I always just visit the Camp in during the first afternoon to confirm their registration. We have gone to the party the first night since Allison was two - just a tradition.

 

Orientation is good if it is your first child, or if you have children in the 2-5 grouping, as you will be given cell phones. But the 8 year old should be fine, and the 13 year old will be in Circle C, which gives more freedom.

 

My advice? Just know where your kids are. We always kept a copy of the schedule and they had to be where they said they were going to be. At that age, they had to come to dinner with us and had to come back to the cabin 10 minutes after the last activity ended. But once you see how the kids just hang out in groups, you will feel better. First rule, they never go to another cabin. Second rule, they are where they say they are going to be.

 

Hope that helps!!

Catrin

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We were on the same cruise so it's fun hearing about someone else's experience. I did see my husband in your picture of the dancing on the lido deck just before sail away. Wish we were still there!

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Catrin: do you know who the Hotel Director is on the Conquest??? Name might be on the Funtimes paper...Thanks..or anyone else that might know the name...

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Catrin: do you know who the Hotel Director is on the Conquest??? Name might be on the Funtimes paper...Thanks..or anyone else that might know the name...

 

The hotel director was Lars Juel

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It is finally time to conclude our trip with the last two sea days and our trip home!!

 

FRIDAY April 24th and Saturday April 25th - SEA DAYS

 

The great thing about an 8 Day Cruise is the extra Day at Sea you have before coming home. Having one more day not to worry about anything is the best!!! This is what we called our lost day.. we have NO IDEA what we did - and I had to re-visit the Fun Times to re-live this day.

 

I woke up as usual and went to the gym... stopping at the Lido Deck to fill my water bottle. I was greeted by Towel Animals spread throughout the Lido Deck! It was really cute.

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I really enjoyed the gym this cruise. The equipment, while getting old, was clean and the folks working there were nice. The mornings were busy, but I was always able to get an elliptical or treadmill. After the gym, we had breakfast together on the Lido Deck. We never made the dining room this cruise.. therefore, we wasted our drink tickets and never redeemed them.

 

Before I go on.... just a few comments about the new water bottle in the Cabins. WE LOVED having the water!! They came in handy for Matt's medicine and came in handy during our trips to La Romana and Aruba. I think it is a great perk to give to repeat guests. Some may not find value in a bottle of water - but we enjoyed having this available.

 

We also had received 3 Checker/Chess Game Sets, since three of us were Platinum. I did go to Guest Services and asked if I could possible trade two of these in for an alternative gift. I did not expect anything - just figured the worse they could say was no! Well, two days later, we had two Tervis Tumblers in our room! I went to go turn in the Game Boards and they told me we could keep them!! So, the last day, I gave a board to our new friend Jennifer who had three kids with her and then I gave a set to someone I met the last night, who left her kids at home. While we always appreciate the Platinum Gifts, we really enjoyed the Tervis Tumblers the best.

 

We also took full advantage of Laundry Each Day. It is amazing how talented Steve is when it comes to filling a paper bag of laundry. One day, he managed to fit 38 items in the bag - itemizing each shirt, sock, shorts, etc. This certainly is the best part of being Platinum. If we gave to our room steward by 10am, it was back at dinner time all folded and wonderfully clean.

 

Back to Sea Day!!

By now, I was completely involved in the books I was reading, yet I knew I was off this day. I wasn't feeling the greatest and wanted to read quietly. I found my favorite spot along the Promenade Deck to read. I wanted to hit the Bracelet Sale to find a few of those fake Alex and Ani bracelets - but I was too late and the vultures had already stripped the shelves clean. Steve enjoyed watching the EGG DROP contest and thought it was great that 16 teams participated. About half the eggs survived and the contest itself was a lot of fun.

 

We had a quiet afternoon and actually watched the Ice Carving Demo from our room. At 3pm, I decided to go to Tea - me, my tea, and my book. I really enjoyed this quiet break in the day and met some very nice folks.

 

Allison spent the day in camp and at the pool with Steve. She was loving her freedom with her new friends and the girls had a blast.

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That night was formal night #2. Much less formal, but "elegant" nonetheless. We were seated with the team who served us the first night. This team was the best of the week.

Sunset that night was so pretty and we watched the sun go down from Deck 3 outside the Lobby.

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After dinner.. guess what we did??? We listened to #SixAppeal, the Conquest talented Rock Band.. and we had fun with Mike Pack and the cast of hundreds during the 90's TRIVIA PARTY!! Yes, another fun night with Steve and Matt laughing with Mike and his antics. These gatherings were certainly a surprise for us. We never anticipated spending five nights hanging out in the lobby, but they ended up being a highlight of our week!!

 

After the party, we ventured to the Lido Deck for a nice nighttime stroll. I love the outside decks at night. So peaceful as we sailed towards home....

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Thank you for the review. I have enjoyed the reading wondering if there will be more. For my next cruise I have been torn between the Dream which will be sailing this same itinerary or the Conquest. I’ve been reading some not so flattering reports about the Conquest so I was hoping for some of your thoughts about the Conquest. Pro’s and Con’s. You also have me a little concerned about LaRommana, so I’ll have to do some more research on that stop. In the mean time what about if we just wanted to go to a beach for the day is there a beach anywhere near by. Thank you so much for your review.

 

Kevin

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Thank you for your review. We aren't scheduled for another cruise until January and reading your review helped my cruise withdrawls. ;)

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thanks for the nice reviews so enjoy them we go on the conquest in sept was looking @ your room we r in room 3050 inside there r 3 of us is the room quite small?

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