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Kittybork

Conquest 12/18 - Review

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I just got home from the Carnival Conquest 12/18 cruise. I can’t figure out why my Sign and Sail card won’t work. I went to the gas station, but the pump wouldn’t accept it.

Seriously, I want to try and get this done while it’s all still fresh in my mind. If I get the days out of order, BF is going to read it. Hopefully, he will catch any turn arounds.

Sat 17th

We drove to Galveston just to extend the holiday one more day. The drive down was a bit rainy and dreary, but the rain had stopped by the time we got to the ferry. It was still quite cold (50’s).

We drove down in front of the port to see the three cruise ships at dock. They all looked beautiful, and it got us more excited about the trip to come.

We had dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack on the beach. It was as good as I had always heard. The Holiday Inn on the beach was nice, clean. Our only problem was that we couldn’t get the Internet in the room to work. We’ve used the laptop all over the country, but we couldn’t figure it out. Our room was on the end, and the computer could only pick up low signals. Oh well, no biggie.

Sun 18th

Cruise day! We were so excited – couldn’t sleep – so we got up, got everything ready and drove to the pier around 9:00. We found a porter and gave him our luggage. That was nice; we didn’t have to fight with all of that for the rest of the day.

By 10:30, we couldn’t take it any longer. The shuttle from Holiday Inn didn’t leave until 11:30, so we called a cab. Embarkation was so much easier than I had imagined. We went through the document checks and got our sign and sail cards quickly. We moved to the back and left of the seats; we were sitting with others from the boards. When the gentleman finally called us (12:30), we were numbers one and two to board after the handicapped and skippers club.

We had lunch and drinks on the Lido deck and watched all of the comings and goings of the other passengers. Around 2, we went and found our cabin. We were both pleased with the size of the accommodations. I feared a shoebox size room, but it was pleasant. The benefit of opening the curtains to the large window and door gives the room an even more expansive feel. The bathroom was also adequate (I had expected something more along the line of a camper).

We had dinner at the Renoir (early seating). If I cruise again, I think I’ll try the later seating. This was my biggest disappointment of the entire cruise- more about that in a minute. The staff was wonderful. They were pleasant and very efficient.

I’ve already given up on the day-to-day diary. It’s too long and I can’t remember exactly what happened when. I’ll hit the highs and lows of the cruise.

Weather

We left Galveston in cool, windy weather. It left the ship rocking a bit. Many of the passengers (and some of the crew) were feeling a bit sick from it.

By the 2nd “Fun Day at Sea,” things had calmed down and the sun was out. Jamaica’s weather was beautiful – like the island. We chose Sunset Beach – big mistake. It was beautiful and clean – all-inclusive. – I learned that I don’t like Jerk Chicken. The nude beach was very near to us (about 50 ft.).

The reason that it was a mistake is that we wanted to snorkel. They only had one for the two of us. We had to bring it back in 30 minutes. For $80, I wanted more.

Grand Cayman was a no go – The weather was too rough for tenders – an added “Fun Day at Sea.”

Cozumel was warm and sunny. The people there are awesome. They are recovering nicely after the horrible storm. We took a tour of the island in a taxi. Our driver was informative and pleasant. We are considering a week in Cozumel for our next vacation.

Entertainment

We saw most of the night shows and enjoyed almost all of them. I’ve read where others on this board put down the Vegas type shows. I enjoyed them. They may not be of Vegas quality, but any woman who can walk down a set of bleachers with her head held high wearing stiletto heels while a ship is rocking back and forth has earned my respect. BF loved the thongs.

The magician was a bit of a bore. She seemed to think that her changes of outfit were a plus to her performance: they weren’t. After each magic trick, she went to the back to change. While she was gone, the Conquest dancers performed. I slept through much of the act.

One comedian couldn’t get on board since we couldn’t tender in Grand Cayman. They managed to put on a show with the people on board.

One comedian was good (names ??) one was ok. The juggler was funny and entertaining. I admire anyone with that much coordination.

Newlywed game - corny but you had to love the elderly couple – everyone loved them and wanted them to win

Hair chest contest – silly – boring

The Amazing Race – too hard to keep up with – clues given out and then wouldn’t see them for awhile – It might be fun to those who played.

Trivia – I enjoyed

Other pool games – silly – but some had a good time – They didn’t bother me.

Children- We were told that there were 1200 kids on board. It was never a problem. I think Carnival must do a great job in this area. I didn’t have any children with me, but the children who were there seemed to be well chaperoned.

Teenagers – This concerned me more than the kids did. Besides being almost run over by a couple who had never been taught the very simple act of saying “Excuse me,” I wondered about some of the young ladies who were out and about late at night. I don’t condemn, I worry. I think this is a problem waiting to happen. IMO

Drinks

I mostly had the “drink of the day.” It was easier on everyone, and I loved the pretty colors. Somehow, I ended up with a set of six of the “drink of the day” glasses.

BF had beer. Luckily, they had canned Bud, so he didn’t have to have it poured into a cup and then put into a bucket.

Renoir

This was our assigned dining room. It was beautiful, and the staff was personable and efficient. Perhaps it was because we had early dining, but I felt rushed every time we went in there.

Food

This was my one area of disappointment. I expected the food to be better. I ate the entire time, so none of it was bad, but it wasn’t the fine cuisine that I expected.

The food was not remarkable in any way. It wasn’t bad; it was just ordinary. The only way I can think to express it simply is to say that it was like fast food with gussied names. Rather than the server ordering three big macs and 4 chicken combos, she would order four fish and three chickens. The starters were better than the main dishes, and only one of the desserts was worth commenting on. Most of these desserts could also be seen on the Lido deck.

I preferred breakfast and lunch in the Monet room. It was much more relaxing, and the servers were not as rushed.

The chocolate buffet was interesting. The idea of a buffet of nothing but chocolate was intriguing. I found most of it to be different from the normal chocolate fare. Though I didn’t like everything that I tried, I’m glad that I tried it.

Lido

Not bad food either – In fact, if one likes salads, this is a better choice over the dining room. The salads were always fresh (even at the end of the seven days) and varied.

Debarkation:

This was a breeze - We were off the boat, had gone to Holiday Inn on their shuttle, packed the car and on the road by 7:23. Actually, we were down the road and at a gas station at 7:23.

Personnel

The guy in the blues bar was good. We enjoyed his music and the atmosphere. I can’t remember his name.

Room steward – did his job – no personality that I could detect. It could have been that he was uncomfortable with the language, but he didn’t talk. We rarely saw him. We communicated through sticky notes except once when he knocked on the cabin door. We had the balcony door open. When I opened the cabin door, it almost sucked him and everything on his cart through our door. He mastered the language then. He yelled, “Shut the door!”

Elena on the Lido Deck – bartender from Romania. She was very nice – always had a smile even when the motion of the boat was making her ill.

Cruise Director – I think he has found himself aging in a job best suited for the young. His hair was spiked for this trip; that is a style best left to those under 30.

This review - though long - is scanty. I'll be happy to answer any questions or clarify anything that I said: just ask.

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Nice review. I agree on early diners are rushed or feel that way. One night we told our waiter not to rush so much and he backed off.

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Personnel

The guy in the blues bar was good. We enjoyed his music and the atmosphere. I can’t remember his name.

 

 

 

Thanks for the review. His name is Damien Brell from New Zealand.

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We were also on the cruise with Kitty. Self-assist debarkation is the only way to go . We were the last floor called for self-assist and were off the ship by 7:15 and on the road by 8:00. This is the only way to go. The embarkation and the debarkation was so much better than I thought it would be. We also would highly recommend the later dinner seating. This gives plenty of time to get ready, take a nap, etc. before dinner.

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That's one of the few things that I would do differently on a next cruise: I'd change from early dinner to late for the reasons you mentioned, plus I hope that it would not feel as rushed as early seating did.

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We were also on this cruise and had a fantastic time. We did not go the self assist route and yet we were in our car and on our way by 10:00 am. We slept in a little and had a leisurely breakfast enjoying our last moments on the ship.

 

It was a great vacation. The biggest disappointment was not getting to go to Grand Cayman.

 

To our fellow cruise critic members....we enjoyed meeting all of you. Bob and Donna....we will see you next year on the Rhapsody!!!:D

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We were in the late dining and were also rushed so that the crew could reset the tables for the next day, so the late seating might not help much.:)

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