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winmo

Thanks for the tips! (Conquest 2-5-06)

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Taking the cue from ChicagoMan, I too wanted to thank everyone on these boards for helping me be so prepared and knowledgeable prior to my cruise. We just got back on Sunday and a lot of the things we enjoyed were directly due to tips received on these boards. One of these days I'll find some time to write a full review, but until then, here are just a few of the things that may help you out as well:

 

-Leaving from Galveston, TX, jeans are the norm and were seen quite extensively onboard, even in the dining rooms. I never felt overdressed in my suit on formal nights, but prepare yourself for lots of casual attire and don't be offended by your shipmates just dressing comfortably.

 

-Sunset Beach in Montego Bay, Jamaica is worth every penny. It is the yellow hotel towers in site of the Conquest as you dock, so you never really make it to the main part of the island, but considering some of our tablemates stories, we aren't sorry we missed more of Jamaica. At $40 pp ($20 for kids) you get free run of an all-inclusive resort for the day. Just remember to bring extra clothes if you want to eat inside some of the restaurants where swimsuits and sleeveless shirts aren't allowed. Also, bring a larger, insulated mug and the bartenders will fill that up instead of having to use the smaller plastic cups. Water slides, kids' pirate ship, beautiful beach, food, drinks, water toys...awesome!

 

-Soto's Stingray tours on Grand Cayman saved us a lot of money over the tour through Carnival. Even though we had to tender on the opposite side of the island due to currents, they came and picked us up and dropped us off no problem. The boat they use is much smaller than some of the other companies, but for us that just made the excursion seem more intimate.

 

-Cozumel was the place to get our sovenier shopping done. Not as pushy as Jamaica, not as expensive as Grand Cayman, we actually ended up buying many trinkets from the various "dollar stores" along the strip. No need to barter over prices, and no need to spend a lot either. Also, the color-changing shirts at Del Sol are very expensive, but the knock-offs at various other stores just weren't nearly as cool. Make sure to mention which ship you're from and show them your ship's shopping flyers at every big store/restaurant you go into. Depending on what we spent and where we were, we got a free wind chime, color-changing bag, charm bracelet, and margaritas!

 

-Until you are closer to the islands, the days at sea can still be pretty cold (and very windy) in the winter months. Dress accordingly. This does NOT mean you can't get burnt, however...put on the sunscreen even if it's cloudy.

 

My biggest advice is just to not worry about anything...you're on vacation! And don't hesitate to ask the Carnival staff ANYTHING at all...if they can do it for you, THEY WILL! The steak was horrible at dinner on the first night, but our waiter was happy to bring additional entrees, and every other night it was great. The lobster wasn't spectacular either, but I decided to make up for it by ordering 3 desserts...no problem! Room service didn't show up with our breakfast one morning, so we just went over to one of the THREE omelette stations and got something even better!

 

Also:

-eat upstairs by the seafood buffet, its always empty

-try the water slide no matter what your age

-self serve ice cream makes everything better

-on a cold night, hot chocolate makes everything better

-don't get uptight about the trivia questions or the team points...they're just for fun

-smile at people on the elevators

-the sushi bar is a great pre-dinner snack (and so is the pizza bar, grille, ice cream machine, etc.)

-order room service at least once

-take a nap in the middle of the day...on deck

-if you're easily offended or like privacy, go to bed early and wake up early...you'll have the place to yourself

-watch your step-it's a boat, it's wet, and it's moving-you will trip slip, or fall at least once

-when you do trip, just smile at yourself...EVERYONE on board has done the same thing (and remember, unless you're seriously hurt, SELF SERVE ICE CREAM MAKES EVERYTHING BETTER!)

 

That's about it for now. Thanks again for all of your tips, and hopefully this will help someone else down the road.

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I am so glad you had a good time. We loved the Conquest, and when not stop talking about what a wonderful cruise it was, and I managed to talk my husband into booking another cruise this MAY!

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Sounds like you had a great time!

We'll be on the Conquest in April... Can wait!!

Thanks for the tips and advise!

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Thanks for the great review! It's so nice when people take the time to write about their experience. Glad to hear about the excursions as well. We are planning Sunset Beach and the stingray tour. Thanks as well for the heads-up about the weather because I think I was expecting very hot weather and sunshine for the whole trip (that's what I was picturing in my vacation dreams!). Only 6 more weeks...

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-watch your step-it's a boat, it's wet, and it's moving-you will trip slip, or fall at least once

 

 

perhaps i should rethink those black high heels LOL :eek:

 

thanks for the review, we are leaving from galveston in 17 days. you settled the jeans question.

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I almost forgot...make sure to check out the views from the bow of the ship. I think its levels 5, 6 & 7 (or something like that) where you can go out on the very front of the ship and are almost guaranteed to be alone. You get there by heading as far forward as possible in the hallways along the outside cabins, and taking the very front exit (sometimes through two doors) outside to the front of the ship. Just pick a hallway, start heading forward, and open the exit doors when you can't go any further. If that wasn't the right deck, go up or down and try again. Trust me, its worth it. (But it is VERY windy while moving at sea.)

 

Also, the cabin sizes are all adequate, but the outside staterooms are definately bigger than the inside ones on any level. We booked a 1st floor inside and got upgraded to an outside and it was much roomier with a couch (the inside one didn't have a couch.) Of course, if you want to sleep-in in the morning, or take naps in your cabin, the inside rooms can be pitch black at any time of the day, while the outside ones always have a little light peaking through from those large windows. If you're traveling with more than two people in your cabin, get the outside ones for the extra space.

 

Unless you absolutely hate to walk that extra distance, or take the elevator up those extra flights, I don't think the upgraded floor levels are worth it for the extra price. As I said, we were on the Riviera deck and weren't bothered by any noises other than the occasional engine clank. We knew people who upgraded to level 6 to be closer to everything and were kept up all night by the sounds of the disco, more people, music, etc.

 

The people we were with used their drink cards everywhere. We were told you could only use them at the bars, but they flashed them on deck, in the lounge, at shows, and at dinner, and were brought sodas everywhere no problem.

 

That's it for now. (I should have just sat down and written an entire review. By the time I'm done adding things, this thread is going to be huge anyway!)

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