Jump to content
Forum Maintenance: Wednesday March 20 @5:00 am ET Read more... ×
Cruise Critic Community

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

afnjf

Review - Conquest 1/15-1/22/2006

Recommended Posts

My husband (23), Mother-In-Law (42), Grandmother (Mimi, 62) and I (21) sailed on the Conquest January 15-22. We flew southwest from Dallas to Houston Hobby. From Hobby we took a taxi to Galveston. The taxi ride was about $85 (each way) for all four of us. This is the cheapest route if you have a group of four. Carnival charges $33/pp each way and the cheapest shuttle charged $30/pp one way or $50/pp round trip.

EMBARKATION: We arrived at the cruise terminal around 11:45ish. We had no problems finding a place for the taxi to drop us off or getting a porter. Once we were inside the terminal the entire process from entrance to boarding the ship was about thirty minutes!

CONQUEST: The ship is Huge and beautiful. For the most part it was very clean. All of the public restrooms I went into were clean. In some of the hallways the carpets were stained and needed to be replaced. The ship was very cold, requiring a jacket or sweater, except in the cabin. During the day if we did not close our curtains the room would be very hot by the afternoon. We did notice a sewage odor mostly in the aft of the ship. The sea was rough during our cruise. Neither my husband nor my mother-in-law needed motion sickness medicine. However, Mimi and I did need it. There were plenty of deck chairs at anytime during the cruise, except for around the main pool during late morning and early afternoon. The gym was large with plenty of equipment and had a very nice view. If you are going to book a treatment at the spa, do not book at full price. Each day they had different specials at some point the treatment you want will be on special. TIP: if you go to the captain’s cocktail do not sit at the tables near the doors it takes forever for the servers to get to you because of the masses of people trying to get in.

CARNIVAL VACATION CLUB: Soon after you get on the ship head to deck 9, Lido, and visit the Vacation Club stand. They will be handing out a limited number of free lanyards. If you make an appointment to listen to what they offer they will invited you to their private Mexican Mixer where they will be serving free margaritas, chips and salsa. If you are a person who likes to cruise and has the money for the Club it is a really good deal.

CABIN: Our cabin was an ocean-view, Riviera Forward. For the most part it was quiet. The only time we were disturbed was on the Port days. The tender boats docked right under our room. They normally started getting ready to about an hour and a half before they started to tender which was normally while we were still sleeping. The bedding was comfortable, and the comforter was warm. Our steward did a good job. TIP: Bring an outlet strip because there is only one in the cabin and clothes pins to put at the bottom of the shower curtain to keep it weighed down.

DINING: We never ate breakfast in the formal dining room. Breakfast on the Lido deck was good. Empty tables were always available. The Cezanne (Lido deck) restaurant had the buffet taste but was overall very satisfying, lots to choose from. However, the most of the desserts were very bland, and some were just bad. Only tried the Deli once, had a very good turkey sandwich. The grill had really good fries and burgers; my husband ate lunch here most of the time. The pizza was very good. The formal dining was wonderful. We had an awesome table in the very back and center of the Monet dinning room that was right next to a window. I never once had a meal I did not like. The crème Brule was to die for! Our waitress Natalia was very personable. It took her a few days to understand our humor but she soon caught on and by the end was making jokes with us. My husband was able to order two entrees when he wanted. We always had bread. After the first night there was always a plate of lemons for us. We really enjoyed dinner.

ENTERTAINMENT: The crew did an excellent job in their duties. Malcolm and all his staff were entertaining, personable, and did an excellent job. The Shows were for the most part were good. There was a Vegas style and Broadway style show that were really good. One night they had a gentleman from New Orleans that sang, he was great. That was my favorite show. Did not see any of the comedy shows but heard that Happy Cole was good.

PORTS OF CALL:

MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA: We took a taxi straight to sunset beach. Taxi ride was $2/pp. Entrance to Sunset was $40/pp, all inclusive. To us it was well worth the money. The beach was clean and private. We were never once harassed here. They have a nice water park. You can use the kayak and paddle boats for free. They also have towels you can use. The drinks were ok. The food was good. If you can bring resort casual clothes with you and go eat in the restaurant.

GRAND CAYMAN: Due to bad weather and swells we were unable to tender into Cayman. We were very disappointed because we were supposed to swim with the stingrays here. Carnival did refund the $25/pp port fee and the excursion money by the end of that day.

COZUMEL: We had booked an excursion thru dolphin discovery for the royal swim at their Cozumel location but because of the hurricane that location was closed until sometime in February or March. The people at Dolphin Discovery were very nice and helped us decide what we were going to do. We could cancel or switch to the location near Playa Del Carman called Puerto Adventures. Since Playa is only a 45 min ferry ride from Cozumel we decided to switch. They did not once get irritated at us when we changed our reservations three times because Carnival couldn’t decide what time they wanted to arrive and leave Cozumel. Finally we opted for the 11am tour. However, Carnival had to tender everyone in because the pier is still being repaired and they give priority to guests with tours booked thru them. We had to be off the boat and on the 9 am ferry to Playa to make the 11am. Because Carnival lets off people with excursions with them first we did not make the 9am ferry, missed it by 10 minutes because people did not know how to exit a boat. We caught the 10am ferry ($10/pp each way) and were in Playa at 10:45 but then we had to take a 20 minute ride to Dolphin Discovery. Needless to say we were late, about 15 minutes late. Yet, the people at Dolphin Discovery were SO WONDERFUL they went ahead and took us at 11:20, since we could not do the 2pm slot and get back to the ship by 4. We were able to enjoy the full hour with Chaak and Alexis and their trainer Brenda. We had such a good time. This was well worth the money and was cheaper than carnival by $50 a person. Getting back to the ship was another hassle. We left Dolphin Discovery, around 1:15pm to take the 2 pm ferry back to Cozumel. When we got back to Playa we found out that there is not a 2pm ferry and the next one was at 3pm which would get us to Cozumel at 3:45 and if all went well that would leave us 15 min to get back to the ship (which is on the same pier). This cause much stress because a storm was coming and 15 minutes does not allow for any mistakes. Thankfully we made it back at 3:48 to find a HUGE line of people waiting to tender back. It took us over an hour to get a tender back to the boat. Heard rumors that it was because they had to stop tendering while the water was rough but don’t know it that is the real reason. Royal Caribbean was also tendering from our pier and they had no wait at all. Puerto Adventures and Playa were beautiful! TIPS: If you want to go to Playa beware of the ferry times and plan accordingly. If you want to do the Dolphin Discovery excursions wait till the one in Cozumel is open again. You just don’t have enough time do the excursions in Puerto Adventures.

DISEMBARKATION: Because we had a lot of luggage we did not do the self-assist off the ship, but I would recommend it to those of you who are light packers. The night before I had called the pursers desk to make sure we could stay in our room and hear the decks being called. I was told we would be fine if we left our door open. We decided that we would get ready and go to breakfast around 8:45 and continue to wait there. At quarter to 8 our room steward told us we had to be out by 8:00. We decided later that she was trying to rush us out so she could clean the rooms because others were told by there stewards that waiting in the room was easiest. We eventually finished getting ready and were out by 8:15. Come to find out that was the same time everyone else decided to leave their cabins. All the elevators were full people who were stuck on them because the upper decks were full. The stairs were also full of people just standing still. Around 9 we finally were able to get an elevator we all fit on and we went to the Lido deck to eat breakfast and wait for our color to be called. There were very few people on this deck and breakfast was good. We of course were the last color to be called and we finally got off the ship around 11. After that it was smooth sailing. At 11:30 we were in a taxi on our way to the airport which was nightmare but I won’t get into that one.

Overall, we had a lot of fun. I would choose this cruise again but I would wait until Cozumel’s pier is repaired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

afnjf - A First rate review! Thanks for taking the time to write and post your review. I have a couple of questions for you if you would not mind answering and they are:

1. Was there a sailaway deck party and if so, what time and where was it held?

2. Is there any deck party held at night and if so, what night of the trip was it held?

3. What was the participation like on formal nights, specifically were there many tuxes being worn?

4. How long were you at the Sunset Beach resort and what time did you leave the resort?

5. Did you dine in the specialty restaurant and if so, was it worth and what night would you recommend?

6. Is Carnival Vacation Club similar to time-share?

 

Thanks in advance for responding to my questions and again, your review was just terrific! Here is hoping that you next cruise is blessed with calm seas and fair winds!

 

CaptainR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for the wonderful review. I'm so glad you enjoyed your cruise even with the few snares you encountered. I can't wait until April so we can go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the great review! We sail Conquest April 2nd, and I am very much looking forward to it. I have made a couple of notes from your review. Sorry to hear about Grand Cayman. We have a stingray tour booked as well, and I know I will be disappointed if we miss it.

 

Our TA has neglected to mention the transfer cost, so I will have to ask her about it. She told me it was included. However, we have had to book our own flights, so I suspect we will be dishing out an additional $132!

 

Thanks for the note about the clothespins. I was wondering about the shower curtains on Conquest.

 

Oh, I am assuming that there are mini fridges in the rooms. Is this the case? (We have a balcony if that makes a difference.)

 

Thank you again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
afnjf - A First rate review! Thanks for taking the time to write and post your review. I have a couple of questions for you if you would not mind answering and they are:

1. Was there a sailaway deck party and if so, what time and where was it held?

2. Is there any deck party held at night and if so, what night of the trip was it held?

3. What was the participation like on formal nights, specifically were there many tuxes being worn?

4. How long were you at the Sunset Beach resort and what time did you leave the resort?

5. Did you dine in the specialty restaurant and if so, was it worth and what night would you recommend?

6. Is Carnival Vacation Club similar to time-share?

 

Thanks in advance for responding to my questions and again, your review was just terrific! Here is hoping that you next cruise is blessed with calm seas and fair winds!

 

CaptainR

CaptainR, I was also on this cruise and thought I would chime in on the carnival vacation club question:

I went through a private discussion of this travel option. Here's the bottom line. They give you a certain number of travel "Points" that you can cash in on cruises. There are 4 different levels. One example is that you can get 20,000 points for $4995. This also includes 3 weeks of resort accomodations in any choice of several hundred condos worldwide. To use the condo weeks, you pay $299 per week. I glanced at the list on the salesman's computer and it was mostly hotel rooms or studios, however there were a few 1 and 2 bedroom units in some of the resorts. Now, the 20,000 points of cruising are based on a price of 17.5 cents per point. So, if they put a price on a cruise of $700, they will charge you 4000 points per person. I figured out the rate I paid for that particular cruise through cruisesonly.com and it turned out to be approx. equal to the amount they charged in points based on 17.5 cents per point. So, they have good, low rates. The problem is that if you multiply 20,000 points times 17.5 cents per point, you only get $3,500. So, they are charging you 25 cents per point and giving you 17.5 cents per point credit. That leaves you spending $1500 plus $299 per week for the 3 resort weeks, which I think you could find on the internet for better. If you are a good shopper for cruise prices, this is not a good deal in my opinion. The other catch is that you have to use all of your points and resort weeks in 35 months or pay another $199 to extend the time you can use them.

There were NO tuxes on any person that I saw - not even the cruise staff. I didn't eat at the specialty restaurant, but this dining room food was the best I have ever had on any cruise in 7 cruises.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still think this sounds like a losing proposition unless you know you will be using all that you purchase. With all the good deals and bargains available, I think you will do as well just continuing with ta's. I have had timeshares for years and never found them to do as well on exchanges or definitely for cruises. Hope whoever buys these are happy with them but I say let the buyer beware. We were first introduced to this 2 years ago on Pride, would really like to hear from somebody who purchased and has used it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please tell me about tender tickets.

What time did they start handing them out?

Where did you have to go to get them?

How early should we line up if we want off the ship early?

Thanks,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ancryan - Many thanks for taking the time to chime in on the Vacation Club and for writing a detail and easy to comprehend analysis of the Vacation Club financial workings. Would agree with your conclusion that "If you are a good shopper for cruise prices, this is not a good deal". Even if you are not a good shopper this is most likely not a good deal. And thanks for feedback on the tuxes. On my first cruise about 12 years ago the norm was tuxes and I almost felt undressed in my dark suit. Cruising has certainly evolved though some might argue that it has "devolved".

 

Tinabrn - Thanks for your input. Went to a timeshare presentation while on vacation last year in Hawaii. Only reason I went to presentation (besides the 100 hotel dollars to fund my wife's spa visit) was that I was informed that there was a cruise exchage available. Unfortunately, exchanging one's timeshare points for a cruise was totally unreasonable as it took something like 2.5 years worth of points to exchange for an inside cabin. I think the rack rate published in the cruise brochures would have been cheaper.

 

Again, thanks for your input.

 

CaptainR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
afnjf - A First rate review! Thanks for taking the time to write and post your review. I have a couple of questions for you if you would not mind answering and they are:

1. Was there a sailaway deck party and if so, what time and where was it held?

2. Is there any deck party held at night and if so, what night of the trip was it held?

3. What was the participation like on formal nights, specifically were there many tuxes being worn?

4. How long were you at the Sunset Beach resort and what time did you leave the resort?

5. Did you dine in the specialty restaurant and if so, was it worth and what night would you recommend?

6. Is Carnival Vacation Club similar to time-share?

 

Thanks in advance for responding to my questions and again, your review was just terrific! Here is hoping that you next cruise is blessed with calm seas and fair winds!

 

CaptainR

 

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you.

  • We were there as we sailed away but I don’t remember a party. The carnival guy filming the cruise was there though.
  • There is a Mardi Gras party held on Wednesday night after Jamaica. It started around 10 and lasted til after 12:30
  • Yes there were some in tuxes and some in suits. My husband wore his two best suits.
  • We arrived at sunset around 10ish and left around 3ish.
  • We did not get to dine in the specialty restaurant. I really wanted to but my husband did not want to spend money on that.
  • From what I understood about the vacation club is that it is and is not like a time share. You buy a certain number of point that are used for cruises (anytime you want to use them) and you get a certain number of resort stays based on the package you buy (again they can be used whenever you like as long as that resort is not booked).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you for the great review! We sail Conquest April 2nd, and I am very much looking forward to it. I have made a couple of notes from your review. Sorry to hear about Grand Cayman. We have a stingray tour booked as well, and I know I will be disappointed if we miss it.

 

Our TA has neglected to mention the transfer cost, so I will have to ask her about it. She told me it was included. However, we have had to book our own flights, so I suspect we will be dishing out an additional $132!

 

Thanks for the note about the clothespins. I was wondering about the shower curtains on Conquest.

 

Oh, I am assuming that there are mini fridges in the rooms. Is this the case? (We have a balcony if that makes a difference.)

 

Thank you again!

 

We had an oceanview and it did have a mini fridge. Had to have it unlocked by the steward. It was full of cokes and bear and mini wines so we took out the cokes and put in our water and coke.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Please tell me about tender tickets.

What time did they start handing them out?

Where did you have to go to get them?

How early should we line up if we want off the ship early?

Thanks,

 

I don’t know about Grand Cayman but can tell you about tendering into Cozumel.

On the Caper the night before it said that they would give priority to those who had an excursion first thing in the morning. They starting letting them off at 8 am, they only had to show their excursion tickets and the tender time was printed on the ticket.

For those who had a later excursion and wanted of early or who did not have an excursion the caper said that they would start handing out Tender stickers in the Toulouse-Lautrec Lounge around 9:30am. I called the pursers desk and they said if we wanted we could be there earlier but they couldn’t promise we would get off before 9:30. We went to the lounge around 8:15 to wait and there were already a few people there. At about 8:30 they were given permission to hand out some stickers then about five minutes later they started calling sticker numbers. We were onshore around 9:15am.

To get back to the ship the last tender time was at 4pm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×