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Catrin

Carnival Conquest - April 18 - Trip Review and Daily Diary

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Great Review and Pictures Thank you!!! Sailing in January

Edited by PGCRUISERS

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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

 

We really liked the Conquest - this is our third cruise on that type of ship... and second with the 2.0 upgrades. We really like the Lido Deck set up with Guys and Blue Iguana and the bar set ups there.

We also have cruised on the Dream and Magic.... and we LOVED that class of ships the best. Even though they are larger, they handle the crowds well, and we loved some of the extras - the Ropes course on the Magic, and the pool areas on both ships.

A cruise is what you make it. There were no cons to the Conquest - just different. Did I miss anything? As silly as this is, I did miss the Mongolian Wok, that I may have had for lunch a day or two.

 

LaRomana... my only suggestion is PLAN PLAN PLAN. Do not leave it up until that day. A carnival tour is fine, just know what you are getting. There is NOTHING AT ALL at the dock. NOTHING!! There are taxis, but they will try to rip you off. Nothing is standardized. There are beach break tours available, my suggestion is you do one of those.

 

Good Luck! and have fun!

catrin

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And.. yes, there is a bit more.. sorry for the delay, as I had to work all weekend.

 

I will finish up tomorrow night with pictures, debarkation and final thoughts. thanks!

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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?

 

The difference between an inside cabin and outside is quite significant. It is up to you if you can handle a smaller cabin with no windows. For us, that has never been an option, as I really need a window - something to see outside. Just a preference!

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Greetings From Thailand!!! Great review! Looking forward to your thoughts on the Port Calls! Cruising on Conquest in 33 days, June 21!!!

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Greetings From Thailand!!! Great review! Looking forward to your thoughts on the Port Calls! Cruising on Conquest in 33 days, June 21!!!

 

Quick thoughts on these four ports..

Grand Turk - always a good time. Cannot beat the pool at Margaritaville and the beach there. Folks who visit Jack's Shack always love it too.

 

La Romana - PLAN! We really enjoyed the Seavis Tour. Great lunch and fun ride.

 

Curacao - We would like to visit again and explore more.

 

Aruba - We loved Aruba. We just wish we had more time! It was great to see the North Coast. We were surprised by the dessert like landscape and had a blast sightseeing in an open air land Rover. We think we may return here for a beach getaway.

 

Hope that helps!

catrin

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Loved your review !! We will be doing this cruise in Jan. minus the stop in La Romana. Am so looking forward to this cruise.

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We're on the June 21st sailing too! Can't wait! Wow, all the way from Thailand! Safe travels.

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sorry for the interruption on your review...... does the Conquest have the Deli?

TIA - Michele

 

No Interuption at all... as I cannot get on my desktop to finish the review.... Yes, there is a deli on the Conquest... and believe it or not, we never had lunch there. Usually, we get Grilled Cheese, or Tuna.. but this cruise, we opted for salads during lunch.

 

Catrin

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sorry for the interruption on your review...... does the Conquest have the Deli?

TIA - Michele

 

I love this ship. The deli is great but has strange hours. It also moved very slow on my cruise. Probably 10-20 in line at any given time with a bit of them ordering multiple sandwiches.

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Saturday April 25th – LAST SEA DAY!!

 

This is always a tough day…. Last day to try to relax. Last day to do whatever we haven’t done. Last day to try something new. THEN PACKING, which I HATE!!!

Our day actually started out pretty normal. I went to the gym for the last time. Before going to the gym, I always filled my water bottle and grabbed a hard-boiled egg. On my way to the gym…. Once again there were towel animals all over the Lido Deck! On the chairs, on the pool, etc.

CHAIR HOGS >>> Yes, they were there.. But they did not start out as early as in past cruises. You could easily get a chair if you were out by 8am or so. Since we are not sunbathers, this did not bother us. We prefer just sitting out at the edge of the pool or at the bar.

After the gym, it was our last morning for breakfast. Did we want to attend Dr. Suess Breakfast??? No. Did we want to attend breakfast in the dining room and get our free drink? No. Did we just want Omelets, Bagels, Cereal on the Lido.. why of course!! Egg White Omelet for me. Well Done, thank you!

 

Allison went to her final morning of Camp Carnival – with plans to pick her up at noon. The schedule provided on day one proved to be very useful, as we were able to plan her camp trips based on activities she really wanted to participate in. By this time, she had a group of friends, and they had all planned to spend the afternoon at the pool.

I spent the morning reading, while Steve hung out at the pool then went to Ultimate Cruisers Trivia. I spent a few minutes browsing the shops, making sure that I wasn’t missing anything. This was not a cruise for shopping, as I spent NOTHING in the gift shops – so rare for me!!

Lunch – no idea what I had for lunch that day, but I did go to Fish and Chips one afternoon for the amazing Calamari Fritters. I also had lunch twice at the Blue Iguana – very similar to Chipolte – make your own wraps with Chicken, Steak, Tomatoes, Lettuce, Corn, Rice (and I skipped the beans). Fries at Guys were given out freely. I never did get to the Deli and we only had Pizza twice. Allison loved the Chicken Tenders at the buffet during lunch, so most of the time, I ended up going here. Which is something I never did on our last cruise.

 

After lunch, I went back to the room to start packing. Steve attended Groove For St. Jude and bought Allison a St. Jude Bear. This build a bear was $20 with the proceeds going to St. Jude’s Hospital. I had participated in the dance off previously and I was sad I had forgotten about this while packing.

 

We then spent a few hours at the pool – Allison with her friends, and just relaxing on our last afternoon. Late afternoon, the pool area was so quiet. We knew that folks were packing then, so they can have fun on the last night on the ship.

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Dinner our last night was strange. Usually, we formed a friendship with those folks who served us all week and we did not have that sad feeling this cruise. Dinner was once again terrific – really no complaints on the food. Our thoughts of Anytime Dining were mixed. While we did like the flexibility, there were only two times that we did not eat around 6 – 6:15pm. Once we ate around 7, and once right at 5:45. We felt the service was slower than the assigned dining and we missed knowing where we were going and who was serving us. I think next cruise, we will flip a coin – we are that torn!! We listened to the crew sing “Leaving on a Funship” – and we knew another cruise was almost over.

 

After Dinner, Allison had plans to go to the Camp Carnival Final Party then to go to the Lido to watch Big Hero 6 with her four friends. This was one of the only kid’s movies that played all week and she loved wrapping herself in a blanket with popcorn. People watched movies each night here – but this movie had the largest crowd.

 

I was able to watch a beautiful sunset from Deck 3 after dinner. I love Deck three on these ships, so peaceful!

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Well.. guess what we did? Yes, Steve, Matt and I hung out at the bar after dinner. We listened to #sixappeal play, then talked to a lot of folks who were doing the same thing as us.. hanging out for the final farewell TRIVIA PARTY!!!! The crowds for the Trivia Party grew each night and by the time it started, there were a few hundred people on decks 3, 4 and 5 ready for a party! Music this night was party music… SHOUT!, Celebration!, etc. So much fun. Mike Pack did such a great job and at the end of the night – the band came out to play the last song while everyone danced and confetti streamers were blown from the high decks! A GREAT PARTY!!!! Mike Pack personally went through the crowd thanking all the cruisers – his personal relationship with everyone was one of the best we had seen on a cruise ship. He knows his audience and his roll as the fun ambassador.

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After the party, we gathered Allison – had a late night ice cream cone.. and went back to the room to finish packing. I HATE PACKING!!!! I put out a breakfast card for 6am – as we were instructed to be in the lounge for Priority Self Assist – for 6:45am. Allison was happy to spend one last night on her top bunk with her new bear!!

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Well, 5am came quick! I woke up to watch us sail by Miami and then into Fort Lauderdale. We had breakfast in our room while we finished packing last minute items and got dressed for our eventual very long day. At 6:35, we left our room to venture to the assigned lounge. When we got to Deck three, what amazed us was there were no Carnival Staff Members directing traffic or checking for Platinum cards. There were people everywhere waiting to get off the ship. On past cruises, it was very organized – platinum directed into an assigned room. We ended up waiting outside the dining room, until about 7:20 am, when we heard .. Ok, we can let them go. WELL, WELCOME TO CHAOS!!! They did not let the Priority passengers off first. Next thing you know, anyone with suitcases were cutting each other in line to get off the ship. Very unorganized and not in an orderly fashion. We got through the kiosks and made our way to customs. And… then… we were STOPPED. US CUSTOMS was not even open!! We looked in the lines in front of us, the people had red cards. We looked at the people behind us, Gold Cards.

 

I am NOT saying that we deserve to get off the ship before others, but if Carnival is going to advertise and list the benefits of the Platinum card, they should certainly stand by their promises and have a better method of Priority Debarkation.

 

After a very long 30 minutes of waiting in line for Customs, the finally opened – ONE LINE!! How in the heck would they process 4000 people with one line!! It took another 20 minutes for us to finally get through customs – and then to walk to the taxi. Getting a taxi was super easy – very organized. We were in a taxi by 8:15am and arrived at the airport by 8:30 for our 10am flight. Without the early debarkation and being ready to leave the ship as soon as it was released, we would have never had made that early flight! Only in FLL would we book a flight that early.

Our flight home was actually two flights. FLL to Tampa, Tampa to Hartford. When we arrived in Tampa.. we were flabbergasted to learn that our connecting flight had a THREE HOUR DELAY!! So, we had no choice but to settle in and have lunch and plug in our electronics for an afternoon in Tampa. The finally well after 6PM, our flight arrived in Hartford. Luggage, Car, and a 2 hour ride home… we pulled in our driveway at 8:40PM. Guess what? Work and School alarm clock was at 6am MONDAY!!! Vacation was over… we were tired.. yet happy that we had a relaxing week of sun and fun!!

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FINAL THOUGHTS

Our 16th Carnival Cruise met our expectations. We had a great time, met some great people and we were able to visit new islands and had a few fun adventures. Did the cruise knock our socks off? No. Would we cruise Carnival again? YES!! It still provides a fantastic value and a wonderful family vacation. Food was standard. GOOD, not great. We are ready for the new menus!! Entertainment was very good and plenty. We really like the live music back on the ships. Guest Services and the room staff were great. Nothing fantastic, but always serving.

The Best – Trivia Parties, Blue Iguana Cantina for Lunch, Bitter N Blanc, Aruba and Red Frog Rum Bar.

The Worst –Embarkation, Debarkation, Steve’s Leg Issues, Allison Getting sick at the Ostrich Farm, and the short visit to Grand Turk!

Thank you all for reading this lengthy diary. I hope you have enjoyed reading about our week on the Conquest!

Catrin

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Thank you for the review. Interesting read and it brought back great memories of Conquest. :)

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Thank you for the best review I have read!! You should do this for a living. Will be doing this cruise in Jan.

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Thank you for the best review I have read!! You should do this for a living. Will be doing this cruise in Jan.

 

Wow!! thank you! I do not think that is true at all, as there are tons of wonderful detailed reviews here.

Selfishly, I do this for me, as much as all the CC readers. It is great to go back and visit our reviews from year to year.

 

Having been on CC for 14 years, I have learned so much here. It is so good to give a little back.

 

Thanks for reading!

Catrin

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Thank you for a FABULOUS review!!! We're going on the Conquest in August. Completely different itinerary but we will be going to Grand Turks!!

 

I'm sure this review took you a long time to construct so THANK you for your time!! This is our first time on Carnival. My only concern was that we have a 12:55pm flight home. I have been worried we might not make it but I think your tips will prepare us better.

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HI,

What is the cost to just go in Margaritaville and swim and have the odd drink without the pkg deal? Or is there a cost. We would have a couple drinks and food, and swim but is there a entry fee? Thanks!

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Margaritaville in the Grand Turks has no fee that i can remember on my past cruise.

Edited by bell777

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Margaritaville in the Grand Turks has no fee that i can remember on my past cruise.

 

Correct, last their on the Pride. No charge for use of Pool or lounge chairs. They have cabanas for rent that come with waiter service and the flow rider or how ever you spell that all for pay.

The loud DJ is free too, you can hear it all along the beach.

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