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peanutzmom

Conquest Southern Caribbean Review June 21, 2015

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So, a bit about us : We are a family of four - DH and I are in our early 40's, Boy Child and Girl Child are in high school. We live in SW Florida and are lucky enough to cruise every year or two. This was my 9th Carnival Cruise, the kids' 4th, and DH's 11th. DH was Platinum for the first time on this cruise. This itinerary took us to Grand Turk, Dominican Republic, Curaçao, and Aruba. I'll admit, I'm really bad about remembering to take pictures, but I'll make sure to add the ones I took, once I figure out how to load them! Since I didn't take any photos the first couple of days, I'll go ahead and post them.

 

Day 1: Embarkation

We were driving across from SW Florida, and had planned to leave by 8:30AM. Of course, this was the one day that everyone (including DH, who is a six-AM-riser) slept in, and I was the first awake at 7:55. We quickly got ready, packed the last of the toiletries, and gave final instructions to my dad, who was babysitting our cats and dogs. Still, we weren't on the road much earlier than 9:30. We prepaid for parking through the Park-n-Fly link in our cruise documents and saved almost half of what it would have cost to park at the port - parking at Park-n-Fly is only around $10 per day. It was easy to find, we parked, and a shuttle was just boarding. In less than 15 minutes, we were at the cruise port, just shy of 11:30! This was our first time traveling as Platinum, and WOW! We were impressed at how quickly the Priority lines moved. In no time, we were sitting in the upstairs Priority Lounge, waiting for the ship to clear so we could embark. By 12:30, we were on the ship, had our bags dropped in our room, and were on the Lido Deck grabbing some lunch. DH and Girl Child hit the buffet, while I went to Guy's Burgers with Boy Child. We definitely made the best choice, as DH and Girl Child didn't find much at the buffet that looked good. The burgers and fries, though, were AWESOME! After lunch, we explored the ship. Though we've been on this class of ship in the past, it's always fun to see the differences and upgrades. Then we headed down to our room for a pre-muster-drill nap, since we'd been up well past midnight packing and hanging out with my dad the pet sitter the night before. The muster drill was a necessary evil, then we headed back down to our room to find that all of our bags had arrived! Another awesome Platinum perk! There were still people waiting on luggage at 9:30 PM! We unpacked and freshened up for dinner, then went upstairs for the sail-away. We hit Your-Time-Dining around 6PM and had a great meal. The kids wanted to go back to the room and chill, so DH and I went to the Alchemy Bar and split a martini tasting. They were soooo yummy! After that, the long drive, sun, and alcohol set in, and I was ready for an early bedtime!

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Day 2: Sea Day

This was a nice way to start the cruise! We slept in, then DH and I went up to grab some breakfast. I had the arepas for breakfast at Blue Iguana almost every morning, along with fresh salsa and watermelon salad, and it was wonderful! Then we headed to the adult pool for a couple of hours while the teenagers continued to sleep. They came out of their cocoons long enough to grab lunch on the Lido deck. We were sorely disappointed in the Lido Buffet, and felt that way the entire cruise. Luckily, there were super-yummy alternatives, including Guy's Burgers, Blue Iguana, and the Deli, so we never went hungry for lunch! Don't be intimidated by a long line at Guy's Burgers - they have their work down to a science, and they are super-fast! The toppings bars at both Guy's and Blue Iguana are also awesome and really allow you to customize your meal. On this particular day, we hit the Deli and enjoyed Rubens, salmon bagels, and all beef hot dogs. After lunch, the guys went back to the room to nap, watch the news, etc., and Girl Child and I went up to read and grab some sun. We found that the front of the ship, 12th Deck, Starboard Side ( according to DH - I just called it the right side) was quiet and not as crowded, so that became our hangout. We headed back down around 4PM to get ready for elegant night dinner. I got to iron everyone's clothes (fun) while DH and the kids strolled around the ship a bit. Elegant Night dinner was wonderful, then we ran up to see a quite pretty sunset before heading down for the 8:15 seating of the main show - The Brits. It was OK, but I realized what others had commented about the show relying too much on all of the digital animation, rather than on the singing and dancing. After the show, DH wandered up to watch Transformers, but got bored and went to the piano bar instead. He said Tommy G was pretty good, so we made plans to go back later in the week. The rest of us went to bed early, because we had an early port the next day!

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Looking forward to the rest as I'm doing this cruise in 10 days!! Woohoo!!

 

 

Me too!!

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Thanks for the review! our next cruise will be on the conquest. Post a copy of the first day Fun Times if on hand, Thks, was wondering about the Latin band onboard.

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We would also love to see any of the current Fun Times!! Many thanks!! John F :)

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Nice review...looking forward to more...I'm sure you are currently celebrating July 4th right now. :):):):)

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Thanks to everyone who is reading and commenting! :)

 

Unfortunately, I didn't even think of holding on to my Fun Times - I threw them out each day after we finished with it. I also don't know much about the Latin band - we mostly hit the shows in the main lounge or went to the piano bar.

 

I'm waiting for my son to email me his photos of Dominican Republic, but I'll go ahead and post about Grand Turk. After that, there will be photos for the rest of the ports, I promise! :D

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Day 3: Grand Turk

 

This was a really short port - 7AM till 1PM! We booked a snorkel excursion through Grand Turk Diving Company that would last about two hours and take us to two spots - The Library, a shallow reef full of fish; and The Wall, where the sea bottom drops from about 10 feet to about 1000 feet! The group was nice and small - two boats taking out a total of 12 passengers. We went to The Wall first, and got there before anyone else. It was amazing to see the line between the shallow turquoise blue water and the deep midnight blue water! The snorkeling was great, with lots of fish. Swimming over the drop-off was a once-in-a-lifetime event, and watching the rays of the sun pierce down into the deep ocean was an awesome sight! The Library was shallower and full of colorful reef fish. One of the guys from another boat caught a nurse shark and was holding it for people to pet. I'm so glad we weren't on what our boat captain referred to as "cattle boats" - they crammed 40 or 50 people on each boat! Once they arrived, the water was full of 10-yr-olds kicking you in the face with their fins or groups of ten or more people surrounding you all at once. I'm so glad we went with a smaller group and got out there early! We returned around 11AM and headed to Jack's Shack to chill out with a drink before getting back on the ship. When we got back on board, we hit Guy's Burgers for a quick, yummy lunch. After lunch, we all crashed for a couple of hours, worn out from the snorkeling, and woke up in time to get ready for dinner. We did our Your-Time-Dining around 6PM and had another great meal, where we met Olga, who was the Head Waiter for the section we were seated in. We absolutely LOVED her and her staff, and we requested their section every evening after that! We jokingly called her our Dinner Dominatrix, because she was, well, pushy about her suggestions. Dinner ordering usually went something like this:

 

"We'll all have the lamb chops, please."

"The lamb is a very small portion. You want me to bring you the shrimp, too."

"No, really, I'm sure the lamb will be enough."

"Trust me, with that growing boy over there, it won't be enough. I'll just bring some shrimp out for the table. You can have a shrimp party!"

 

By the end of the cruise, she and her staff knew our likes and dislikes and anticipated our every want or need. They rocked!

 

After dinner, we spun up to the 10th deck to watch (a cloudy) sunset, then watched the 8:15 show - Epic Rock. It was sooooo much better than The Brits! The singing was better, the energy of the cast was better, and if you can only see one show, this is the one to pick! After the show, DH and Girl Child headed up to watch Insurgent at the Dive-In Theater, and Boy Child and I went back to the room to read a bit and turn in.

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Great review! We were on the same cruise....and loved Olga!....."I will be right back to tell you what is good tonight".......LOL

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Great review! Good to hear that Parknfly was a great choice. Do you know how often they have shuttles running to Port Everglades? Didn't see that info n the website.

We love Jacks Shack too! Looking forward to more of your review!

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I'm enjoying the review so far! I'll be on the Conquest in April and I'm glad to hear the ship is nice and the food is good!

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How much was your snorkeling excursion and who did you book through? We really want to do snorkeling on our cruise in September.

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