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My last minute Conquest Cruise 08/21/2017-08/26/2017


firemanbobswife
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Yes, you read that right. I did a cruise “incognito”. No Cruise Critic roll call, and I didn't mention it on here as I wanted to be totally anonymous and not get into any preorganized activities. I normally enjoy those things very much, but this was a last minute cruise and I wanted to go an just unwind. I was supposed to take vacation at the beginning of August, but they asked at work if I could rearrange it and I said yes. I didn’t have anything planned originally so it was no big deal. As time drew nearer, I knew I didn’t want to sit at home. What to do? What to do? As usual everyone was busy working and whatnot, so I decided I would look for a shorter cruise. I didn’t want to do a Fantasy Class, and it had to be a 5 day minimum because I wasn’t going to fly somewhere for anything less. Long story short, I ended up choosing the Conquest as you may have already figured out! This was my 3rd time on this ship with the last not being a very pleasant experience. For those of you that are familiar with my posts, that is the cruise I got food poisoning and ended up at medical. Horrible. Anyway, here goes.

 

I flew down on Sunday to FLL and stayed at the Hampton Inn which was perfect. Loved the location and the staff was great. Early evening I was picked up by some friends (that you may or may not know) and we went to the Rustic Inn. It was super! I had the grilled shrimp and a strawberry daiquiri. What a perfect way to start my vacation! Thanks again!

 

Embarkation day is here! I haven’t been out of Port Everglades in years, but it all started looking familiar once I arrived. I took an Uber and was dropped off right there where I was to enter the terminal. I am Platinum and had gotten an 11:00-11:30AM check in time. I wasn’t in a hurry this cruise because I knew absolutely no one on the ship so I figured I would take my time and not rush in the morning so I got there at about 11:20AM. I had received an email and a phone call previously saying to add an hour to my arrival time because there was going to be a delay in disembarking the previous cruise. They were full of baloney. More on that shortly.

 

I went into the Priority Line which was right there. I didn’t see the other line which I’m guessing was around the corner so I have no idea if they were turning people away that were there early or not. My advice is still to get there at or after your appointment arrival slot. I know they do enforce it in Miami and while I realize ports can be different, I wouldn’t have wanted to be stuck outside in that heat and humidity. Yuk!

 

A short couple minute wait to have my Passport checked at the little desks right there upon entry and then through security. After that, I had to wait in line to get my S&S card. Let me tell you – now that I have been spoiled (yes spoiled) by the new way in Miami where you get your cards in the mailbox, I have to say this was NOT fun and I hate the old way. While it was probably only about a 5-7 minute wait for me because of being Priority, the line for the non Priority folks was enormous. If you don’t like the new way of doing things then you need your head examined. Or maybe you’re the type that liked to sneak to your cabin before you were supposed to. Those are the only 2valid reasons I can think of.

 

Back to the baloney part of arriving an hour after your time. As I was waiting for my S&S card, I could hear the announcement that they were now boarding Zone 5. Yes! Zone 5! Again, I wasn’t in a hurry, but still. Hour delay my foot. Got my card, and they opened a door to the side of the line where I went right in to the escalator. Couldn’t tell you what the waiting are looked like. Never saw it. Captain’s Lounge was dark as well. Probably because those people were long gone. I don’t like the “warehouse” look and feel of Port Everglades. I remember it being different way back when. Seems like there was a pinkish/mauve colored area where the desks were and there were nautical themed decorations on the wall. I remember thinking it was so much nicer than the other warehouse terminal in New Orleans. No biggie, just different then what I was expecting.

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On to the ship. Ding! Yes they still do ding you unlike Vista where they use iPads. Hello, Conquest! So we meet again. Since I booked exactly 2 weeks before sailing, the only cabins that were left were Handicap Accessible. I have to admit I almost didn’t go because of this. Being claustrophobic and all I thought there was no way I could tolerate a smaller cabin for a larger bathroom and it caused quite a bit of stress on my part. So much so that I picked 9292 on Lido for the simple fact that if I couldn’t stand it, I could sleep on deck and be close to my cabin. No lie! Ask my PVP.

 

I actually liked it more than I thought I would. It was super convenient being right there at all the action. The downside is that it wasn’t totally quiet. It’s at the base of the waterslide so while it was open, you could hear water running constantly and when someone went down a big whoosh. Also at night an occasional chair scraping during the movie, but other than that it was OK. If you want it a little quieter, choose the odd side or 9286. Oh and there's only 2 closets. It was fine for just me but I couldn't share this cabin with someone. It's too small for me for that.

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Edited by firemanbobswife
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It was also the day of the eclipse. I was pleasantly surprised when they handed out eclipse glasses at the towel hut on Lido. It was pretty cool to see although I was expecting more. They also had the news reports live on the big screen out there that showed the totality as it was happening. Pretty cool. Thanks Carnival. Without you, I wouldn’t have been able to see it with my own eyes because I never did buy the glasses! It's a little difficult to take a selfie when you can't see where the camera is. Also a cool pic I was able to get from Lido deck.

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What else can I tell you? I had early dinner and was seated in the Monet (aft) dining room on the 4th floor at a 10 top with some fantastic table mates. I really hit it off with a mom, dad, and daughter, and a mom, daughter, and friend. There was also a couple and their friend from Miami. Everyone got a long well and it was drama free. Thank the Lord. 4 of us did shots every night except one and had a great time! Some of us even went to the comedy club, the bars, the disco (LOL), and whatever else we decided to do when we ran into each other. We have already been in touch and I’m trying to talk one group into coming with me on Glory in October.

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Let’s move to food. I like the American Table and I didn’t have a bad meal. No lobster on Elegant evening, but I don’t eat it anyway. For some odd reason just about every menu I got was dirty and had food on it as you will see. Sorry. What can you do? The BBQ upstairs from Lido was fantastic! I know it’s not Guy’s Pig and Anchor, but it tasted just as good to me and they do use his sauces. Guys Burgers were yummy as usual as was the pizza. Yes, it is REAL Italian pizza as has been discussed before. I verified it with REAL Italian guy who was born in Italy and has been here for I think 8 years (I can’t recall right now so that might not be right). He works with me and when the great pizza discussion was going on, someone (I won’t name names) insisted it wasn’t real Italian pizza and wanted to hear from a real Italian. Just so happens I work with one and he says it should be a thin crust, little sauce, and it’s all about the cheese. Margherita is the classic Italian pizza. And no, Carnival’s doesn’t taste anything remotely like cardboard. If you think it does, then you should have your tastebuds checked or at least see if any of your medications are affecting them(this is for real – some do). Anyway, enough about pizza. If you want to discuss it further, go find the thread. This is my review and since I am always right that’s all I have to say about that [emoji39] .

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We did a last minute cruise on the Conquest this past April. After being in Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands for 6 1/2 weeks, we came home to NY and it snowed a foot or so in mid March. Had to leave , disappointed we weren't getting spring weather.

Hello Conquest! There was a lengthy delay getting the ship empty of the previous cruisers and it 12:45 when Diamonds first began the boarding process. Yikes!

 

I look forward to the rest of your last minute cruise!

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I didn’t try the Seafood Shack which is opposite of Pizza Pirate. Deli has the standard stuff and the Sushi at Sea is on the other side where Mongolian Wok used to be. Buffet does not have the same thing as the MDR for dinner and the desserts are different as well. While there may be a couple things from the MDR on there, it’s not the same menu. No melting cake for dessert at the buffet either. I know because I checked every night. Don’t forget my cabin was up there so I frequented the area on the regular.

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I had my Platinum drink at Sea Day Brunch the first sea day. I also had the steak and eggs which were good. Service was REALLY slow though. It took me an hour to get in and out and I was sat immediately. The majority of that was waiting to place my order.It was a good 20 min before a waiter came over to do that.

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Speaking of service, I didn’t meet my room steward until about 8:30 PM the first night. When I came back from dinner, my bed wasn’t turned down but I now had a bucket of ice which I never requested (or needed). He knocked on the door and said he would service my cabin twice a day, no card was presented. I told him I wanted to sleep in during this cruise so he only needed to come in the evenings but I would probably exchange my towels with him in the mornings. He seemed a little confused that I didn’t want him in there twice a day. I asked him if that was OK, and he said yes, of course, that I was the guest and whatever I wanted he would do. I also asked for a robe to which he replied that he ran behind in the morning and forgot to put one. He ran and brought one back and apologized. So it appears robes are still standard on this ship as is twice a day service.Since it was late and I was tired, I told him don’t worry about turning my bed down tonight. He handed me the Fun Times for the next day and off he went.

 

Maybe I didn’t do a good job explaining what I meant about once a day service, but I would go out late morning and come back to clean towels and more ice. Bed wasn’t made. The one day he said he exchanged my towels but didn’t touch my bed per my request. Ummmm, OK. What I was trying to tell him was that I would catch him in the hallway to exchange my towels if I needed to so I didn’t have to worry about getting out of there. Oh well. It was all good. The one day I lounged in my cabin until almost noon with the Snoozin sign up. Figured maybe he would get the hint. Nope. When I got back to the cabin in the afternoon, I had more clean towels and ice. LOL! Don’t know how or when he did it as he wasn’t even in the hallway when I left. Even the cart was gone. Figured he was off duty. Can’t fault him for wanting to make sure I was taken care of!

 

One day when they had a mandatory drill for all crew, all the carts were abandoned in the hallway and I took a peek at his clipboard. I have said it before and I’ll say it again They do know who has prepaid tips and who hasn’t. The difference in this one vs the one I was shown by my room stewards on previous cruises was this one in the comments section, it had “Gratuities” “Birthday” or“Anniversary”. If someone had more than one it had them both. Example:“Gratuities/Birthday”. So yes they do know. Mine had just “Gratuities” in that column as I prepaid. For those that say you won’t get good service by prepaying, you need to go back and read the previous 2 paragraphs. He did also earn an extra cash tip which I left on the desk.

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I didn’t get off the ship in Ocho Rios or Grand Cayman and instead decided to spend the day lounging outside enjoying the open decks. We had gorgeous weather for the most part. It did rain when we were in Grand Cayman, but it eventually cleared and the sun came back out. I decided I would take advantage of a facial special they had and It felt so good especially when she started massaging my neck and shoulders. Totally unexpected and it felt fantastic. It had been years since I went to the Spa and figured what the heck. I’m going to treat myself. Glad I did. She did go over some of the products she used after asking my permission.I didn’t buy any, but at least I have them written down so I can order online if I decide to. There wasn’t any pressure and I appreciated that.

The view from the Spa when I opened my eyes from my facial. It was sunny when I went in.

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I prepaid for the Value Internet Plan and let me tell you, it was SLOW!!! I even upgraded to the Premium after the first day to see if that would improve anything and it didn’t. I realize that it’s not the same as on land, but I will say it was way better on Vista. Since I couldn’t tell a difference, I went to GS at the end of the night asking to be downgraded back to Value and to receive a refund for the $28 I paid. No problem. Glad to have that Platinum card ;) . The line was all the way to the theatre!

 

Let’s go to the end of the cruise :(. I did self assist and was given instructions to meet in the Renoir (Midship) dining room at 6:15. I got a little bit of a late start because I was trying to fit my makeup and stuff into my tote bag along with all these shot glasses I had accumulated and things weren’t fitting as well as I was anticipating. Finally got situated and as I was walking out the door I’d say about 6:20, they started calling for Decks 10 and 11 self assist. Missed the Priority stuff once again. Hey at least I’m consistent! Start the cruise late, end the cruise late! Took the glass elevator down to deck 3 and walked right off. Straight through Customs. No more forms, and no need for the Mobile Passport App (which I couldn’t do anyway because mine expires in less than 6 months). Summoned an Uber to FLL. He got a little lost coming into the port so that took a little longer than it should have but I wasn’t stressing. I had PLENTY of time. Tried to get an earlier flight as mine wasn’t until 10:45 AM, but couldn’t since I flew on points. No problem, I would just hang in the Delta Sky Lounge for a few hours. I was through security after checking my carry on sized bag (just becauseI can for free thanks to my Platinum Delta Skymiles credit card) at 7:19AM. If I ever go on another cruise out of PE and fly out of FLL, I wouldn’t hesitate to book the 8:45 AM flight.

 

That’s about all I can think of for now. I’m sure there will be more later. Let me know if you have any questions. Hope you enjoyed the read! I'll post the Fun Times and stuff in a little bit.

 

I almost forgot! Aft pools are ADULT ONLY! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Edited by firemanbobswife
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