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MITSUGIRLY decides to CONQUEST new ports-complete pictorial review


mitsugirly
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Our room steward found us and introduced himself before we left the room. He gave us his card and then presented us with a "time schedule" of his hours. This was a first. He worked from 8-noon and 6-9pm. It made me wonder about all the talk of how the room stewards work so many hours, are over worked, get no time off and so on. After thinking about it, my room steward works approximately 7 hours a day with a 6 hour break in between. Hmmm

 

He did ask if I required anything during my cruise and I told him the only thing I really needed was an ice bucket and to have it filled daily (they don't seem to even give you ice buckets in the room anymore unless you ask for it...and I seen them stacked on top of each other down the hall in the "closet") and I needed 4 towels total for my room because of my long hair that I always wrap up in one towel. He said he would make sure to have these items for me daily.

 

The ice-he managed to get right..at least in the mornings, not so much in the evenings. The extra towel...never once did he get it right or bring that extra towel.

 

He also ask if we preferred morning service or evening service or both. I told him both. It's the little "pampering" things I enjoy on a cruise. My husband makes the bed in the mornings at home (our rule is last out of bed is responsible for making the bed and I usually win that bet), but someone to come in and turn down the bed and the towel animal...then we usually have taken a shower after being in port and have wet towels that need replaced...yea, I need service both times. I'm a needy little sucka aint I? lol

 

As for the evening service...I really felt like it was lacking, well...at least compared to our other cruise (whether it be from Carnival or NCL). He did come in and replace the wet towels, but that was all I ever noticed. The beds would still be made from the morning, but never "turned down" like some have in the past flipped the corners down. The regular lights were left on (not the fancy side lights that give that "nightlight" type of feeling to signal you that it's time for bed. The towel animals were done at the first service=SUPER WEIRD!! The ice was never filled in the evenings and was usually melted into water at that point. I felt like all he really did was replace the towels in the bathroom and leave the Fun Times for the following day on the bed.

 

Also on the last day of the cruise, once again he gave me a card. It stated to be out of the room by 9am (although the paper they gave you said 8:30am).

 

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So basically I felt that the room steward was average and didn't really go out of his way or above and beyond. It's fine. I'm not complaining, just telling the story of what we experienced. It doesn't make me feel negative toward Carnival or him in any way. Just stating there was no real "special" service this time around.

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Usually the first thing we do is go explore the ship and I take pictures. I usually try to do a lot of my pictures on the first day because people usually get on the ship and head straight to the food or swimming. That gives me the opportunity to head to the various places around the ship and get pictures with no people in them. Of course I would continue to snap pictures throughout the cruise, forgetting which ones I already had pictures of, and listening to my husbands eyeballs roll because he knew I had passed the same spot every day of the cruise and took a picture..."just in case". LOL But he knows how I am with pictures and he's learned to live with it (or tolerate it). :')

 

So on with the ship pictures. I always try to start on the lowest deck and work my way up. This will be no exception.

 

We will start with Deck 3: Riviera Deck.

 

Every review should start with one of the main attractions and I believe the atrium is the main attraction...so that's where we will start.

 

I honestly don't know what the "theme" of this ship is supposed to be. I could only figure out it's "artwork" and the only artwork I'm ever exposed to consist of my munchkins demented dinosaur and dragon drawings coupled with every other marine life and animal picture she can conjure up in her head. So...I am taking my "information" from other places on the "net" to compensate for my lack of knowledge.

 

On with the ship tour! :D

 

 

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Deck 3: Riviera Deck

 

The Artist Lobby (or atrium). The murals on the ceilings are plentiful and depict life during the 19th century in Paris and atrium the is 7 stories tall reaching the top with a glass ceiling.

 

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When can one actually get a shot of the atrium floor area without anyone in it? Think about it, it can't be done when you enter the ship because it's one of the most congested areas where people are getting on. There's always someone in this area during the day with trivias and in the evenings during music and other activities.

 

So, I'm here to tell you the best shot will be when you are getting off the ship and the area is roped off. YEP! I'm winning.

 

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You'll find the Guest Services and Shore Excursions in this area as all the other ships have.

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The 2 main dining rooms are the Renoir Restaurant and the Monet Restaurant. Both are located on deck 3 and 4 with the opening in the middle. There are Eiffel Tower work there with a "sky" ceiling and clouds and domes. Both basically looked the same to me, just located at different areas.

 

The Monet is located in the back of the ship and was open for breakfast, brunch and dinner. There's open seating for breakfast and brunch and assigned dining for the evenings.

 

The Renoir is open only for dinner and is considered your place for anytime dining. It's located in the middle of the ship and IMO a pain in the arse for the location. It was so hard to get from one end of the ship to the other due to this restaurant not having a way around it without going up and down the stairs/elevators. We forgot each and every time that you couldn't make it through here. We finally got a little aggravated and just started walking through it every time we got stuck. I seriously hate when they don't have an appropriate way around venues such as this on the ship.

 

Since both of these places looked the same to me, I'll just share a mixture of them because I have no idea what is what.

 

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The Toulouse-Lautrec Show Lounge.

 

This theater is 3 stories tall with a seating capacity of 1,400. There was always room in there during the shows we went to.

 

According to what I have read, the decor in here features the Montmartre district of Paris and included windmills.

 

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I did over hear an employee telling people that the bright yellow seats were just seats that they had already replaced the fabric on and they were not "saved" or "special" seating and anyone was able to sit there.

 

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I always love how Carnival has this wide seating area on the ground floor with room to walk around everyone if needed. It's always an added plus when you have a table for your drinks there as well.

 

Stars in the sky...

 

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Whew, sorry about the delay. There's a lot going on here at my house and my kids just left.

 

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We usually cruise during Sakari's Spring Break since there was one year that we didn't do/go anywhere and it just about killed me knowing everyone I knew actually "got out of town". I said "never again" and I meant it. So, Spring Break is always a given time for us and for some reason, we always end up on Carnival for that cruise. This time would be no different. However, this year her Spring Break was a little late compared to others and all the previous years.

 

 

 

I started searching cruises available and knew that I wanted something "new" again...new ship, new ports with the ports being the priority. For several years we went back and forth between the Western and Eastern (with the Western being the most traveled) and for the last several years, we have been trying to do "new" (to us) ports...such as Southern and Bermuda.

 

 

 

At this point, I didn't care WHICH ship, as long as it went to any new ports. I came very close to doing a cruise before, that went to the ABC islands (something I have always wanted to do), and ended up booking something else that was new for us. I couldn't find an ABC cruise this time around, so...I settled for A & C and whatever else came with it.

 

 

 

We decided on the Conquest: Grand Turk (already been there a few times now and enjoy it) and 3 NEW PORTS FOR US!!! La Romana, Dominican Republic, Aruba, and Curacao!!! I was super excited to experience these places. I knew nothing about the Conquest and had never been on that class ship, but knew that others seem to like it a lot. So...we booked.

 

 

 

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BOOKING INFORMATION:

 

 

 

I recently discovered something I didn't know about for a few years now. This REALLY benefits us and I wish I would have learned about this earlier. But, better late (my late, not Kendra's type of late) than never.

 

 

 

My husband owns his own business (a store that sells bikes, blades, scooters, skateboards, penny boards, wake boards and long boards....because even though you can't tell these days, he used to be a bladder and was really fit and it's his passion...so they always say work in something you are passionate about and you will succeed). We have a Southwest Business card that earns points. Ok, this is nothing new. HOWEVER....I recently found out (using a good old google search for something else I was trying to figure out using points) that SW has Carnival gift cards! SCORE!!!! I had no idea. In the past, I have been frantically and impatiently waiting for the Carnival gift cards to show up randomly on Verizon to purchase them at a discounted price and then other times I have went to my local grocery store to 1) purchase the cards using my credit card to earn cash back on the cc, then 2) earning free gas using the points from the purchase (I once had free gas for...I think it was 3 months and 2 days)...but NOW...whoa...we are taking it to an entirely different level now!

 

 

 

So, I used some of our points to purchase the gift cards to pay for our cruise. THEN I purchased more gift cards to use as OBC on the ship. So what does this mean you might ask? IT MEANS FREE CRUISING!!!!!!!!!! Yes! I have found a way to cruise for free now!

 

 

 

It doesn't get any better than that....or does it? Well you are about to find out!

 

 

 

Next....Since we also earn so many points, we also fly for free. Every time we reach 110,000 points in a year (which we can do in a month) you get a "companion pass" and the companion will fly for free for the rest of that current year PLUS the following year until December, potentially getting almost 2 free years of flying. Sam is my companion (he claims these benefits comes to him with the ring on his finger) and Sakari and I book using all the points. Basically, we each pay $5.60/pp to fly (imposed 911 fee you HAVE to pay).

 

 

 

Summing this up so far...

 

1) Free cruise

 

2) Free OBC for everything we do while on the ship

 

3) Flying there and back for free.

 

 

 

It can't possibly get any better right?

 

 

 

Moving on...

 

 

 

A little more research revealed that there were also certain hotels that you could either buy gift cards for or gift certificates. Well whatcha think 'bout that? I would also be able to purchase the certificates for my hotel stay=free again!

 

 

 

Life doesn't get any better right?

 

 

 

Well, yea that's about right for now. At least until I find other ways to beat the system. (I have also found gift cards and tickets for places like Sea World and Universal Studios and we have also been using points for those for mini vacations as well).

 

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So I purchased mounds of Carnival gifts cards, booked the cruise and purchased more for the cruise.

 

 

 

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Oh yea, the other good thing about these cards and purchasing them using SW is that their office (that ships the cards) is located here in my state and once it's processed, I receive them within 2 days.

 

 

 

Once my cruise was booked, I was off to research each port and find new ideas for our water-loving family to experience. That's usually where the fun begins. :D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2nd review I've read if yours and enjoy your style. Thank you.

Question, we fly southwest as well, although only about two round trips per year. Do you have to be a card holder to purchase the cards? I have gotten them at 10% off through Verizon in the past. But another option is always nice to have.

 

 

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DECK 4: MAIN DECK

 

Alfred's Bar-I guess this bar was originally created as a Cigar Bar and was named after an artist names Alfred Sisely. We passed through here many times on the cruise and I never once seen it being used by anyone other than the "teens". There was always a bartender there, but never anyone in the venue. It was quite large and very dark in there. We always had to pass there when walking from one end of the ship, on deck 4, to the other. Every time we were in there in the evening, there were teenagers playing the "hook-up" game and "making out". All of them would be in a group and sitting on each others laps off in the corner. I think I'll stop cruising when Sakari gets that age. I just won't be able to handle that.

 

But, it was a pretty neat area once you get past the scenes that did not permanently belong there.

 

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Circle C: The "teen club". This is for 12-14 year olds.

 

I think this on every cruise...but I have never really said anything before. This has to be the worse "kids" area ever. Every one of them look about the same...you have tons of chairs to sit in, t.v.'s, computer and maybe video games. It looks like it's the only options for this age group. It all seems to revolve around "sitting" (lots of chairs/benches). Of course I assume they get out and play games and sports, but that's just a "first impression" that I get every time I walk into one of these. It just seems "blah" to me.

 

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Gallery Conference Room:

 

Alrighty then...let's take a good look at this room.

 

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It sorta reminds me of a church/chapel that they could use this area for a wedding or reception.

 

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Or course with the chairs all lined up, and it being called a "conference room", I assume it is used for that as well.

 

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So why am I making such a big deal about this room? Because it's where they would stick Sakari at for the kids club later in the week. Does this look like a "fun" room? Yea, I'm pretty sure she don't want to grow up anymore. She'd rather be in the "baby" room.

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The Painters Library: A place to go to read books donated (or you can bring your own and donate when finished if you'd like) and they also have a supply of "games"...using that term lightly and you'll see why later...

 

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The Photo Gallery: This goes around in a circle on deck 4 and is pretty big. It still has an old system in place where you must search for days for you picture and you feel like you have struck gold if you are able to locate yourself in the mounds of pictures. This is an activity in itself during the evenings. They should put it in the Fun Times as an activity and list it as the "Aggravated Times".

 

I spoke to the manager of the photography department (no I didn't search him out, he approached me) in great depth one day during the cruise. He did mention that they once tried the "face recognition" software, but it didn't work or last long and they removed it. (Later on this conversation with him).

 

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Also, with each purchase you work your way toward free "gifts". These are the ones that I earned during the cruise. This included a drinking cup, free shutterfly photo book, free luggage tag and 8gb memory stick.

 

 

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So excited to find another review Mitsugirly, I've been reading your reviews for the last two years, and I really enjoy them. So, I'm subscribing so I'll have something to read while here at work tomorrow! Yayyyyy! Can't wait to get started.

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Vincents Jazz Bar: Vincent Van Gogh liked the color yellow from what I'm understanding...so this bar has bright yellow sunflowers around it. There was also other colored glass flowers. I'm not sure why they didn't just name this the Sunflower Lounge.

 

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Cafe Fans: A place to purchase specialty coffees, pastries, and cakes for an additional price.

 

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This place was also open during the last morning during debarkation. My hubby tried to purchase some coffee only to find out that they used your key card to do it and well...ours was 0 at that time.

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Cherry On Top: Another 2.0 feature that was added and is filled with any type of teeth rotting goodness you little heart desires. I love this shop but have found (in the past) that my candy appetite is not as big as I think it is. I always end up purchasing too much (because everything looks so good at the time) and never eating it all...therefore bringing most of it home and some of it going to waste. This Cherry On Top is probably one of the smallest ones I have seen on the ships so far.

 

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Not only do they have candy, but stuffed animals and gifts:

 

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Candy in bulk...that's where they really getcha!

 

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If rotting your significant others teeth out isn't something on your agenda, then you might consider a non-edible gift like flowers...or better yet, get her drunk:

 

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There's plenty of "extras" in this store to catch the munchkins eye and beg for when you tell them "too much candy is not good for you". Carnival had a back-up plan.

 

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That added little touch to remind you not to walk out with candy in your hands

 

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And for those with not only big appetites, but big mouths. These are for you.

 

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