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utahtwinmom

Conquest Review 2/5 Long!!

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Hi everyone, I got back from the Conquest a couple weeks ago, but am just now getting to write about my experience. There were four of us traveling. My husband and myself and our 5 year old twin boys. We stayed in a balcony on the Panorama Deck.

 

Prior to the cruise we stayed at the Holiday Inn on the Beach in Galveston, and found the accomodations as well as the free parking to be worth the price. We took the 11:30 shuttle over to the dock, and got there at about noon.

 

Embarkation:

 

We got there at noon, and things went very smoothly. We never even got to sit down, because they were already boarding everyone. It took about 25 minutes from the start of the line before we were actually on the boat. We went to check out our room, and it was ready so we dropped off our luggage, and hit the lido deck for a couple of drinks and to grab some food from the buffet.

 

Cabin: Our balcony room was wonderful. This was our first time having a balcony, and it will be difficult to ever go back to anything else. Our cabin steward-Rosa was very friendly and did an excellent job. We also tipped her on the first day and had her empty our fridge as we had brought a 12 pack of soda on, and wanted it to stay cool. We would also grab a couple of extra chocolate milks from the buffet and keep them in the refrigerator for our boys. I love the new bedding. It was very comfortable, and I slept like a baby. The balcony was also a wonderful treat for my husband who liked to get up and watch the sunrise, as well as for the 2 of us late at night after the kiddies had gone to sleep.

 

Entertainment:

We really didn't go to many of the shows, because we're not big fans of the Vegas style shows. However we did catch the ventriloquist comedian, and he was pretty funny. We would've loved to go to the other late night comedians, but our boys weren't enjoying going to Camp Carnival after hours. We also went to the Legends show on the last night, and it was wonderful! Do not miss this!! They had tryouts all week in the karaoke lounge and the winners put on a wonderful and hilarious show.

 

Activities:

We both really love trivia, so we hit most of the trivia contests and such going on around the ship. I even one a "ship on a stick", yea!! We also enjoyed watching the deck games, and would never miss the Newlywed Game. It is always funny! We enjoyed the piano bar a lot, as did our boys. We lounged around some on the deck during the day, and my husband and the boys enjoyed the pools, while I stuck to the hot tubs.

 

Food:

The dining room food and service was wonderful as always. We had late seating 8pm because we are all night owls, and this worked best for us. It is not uncommon for us to go to bed at midnight or later including the little ones. I homeschool so this isn't a problem for us. Anyway, my boys ate off the adult menu, and managed to find shrimp on there as an appetizer or entree every night which is great since it is their favorite food. I loved the soups, and my two favorites were the cream of mushroom, and cream of tomato. We enjoyed our entrees every night, and my boys tasted and enjoyed almost everything on the menu. I didn't think the desserts were that great, so we ended up buying cheesecake from the little cafe a couple of nights.

 

Lido deck buffet was alright, but not overly impressive most days. I did enjoy the Japanese day. We never ended up getting any food from the chocolate buffet because the line was always too long for me. I like chocolate, but not that much!! The grill areas were good. We enjoyed food from the deli, the pizzaria, the chinese wok, the burger area, and of course the fish and chips. That soon became a favorite with all of us. The self serve ice cream was nice for my husband and the boys, but I usually skipped out on that. The sushi bar was nice, and we stopped by for a couple of pieces most nights before dinner.

 

Ports of Call:

 

Jamaica

We really didn't have any excursions that we wanted to do with the little ones, so we just decided to stay on the boat and enjoy the peace and quiet. It was a beautiful day so we hung out on deck all day, enjoyed some drinks and had a great time. We did step off briefly just so that my boys could say that had been to Jamaica, and to buy a couple of small souveniers.

 

Grand Cayman

The swells in the water were pretty bad, and this port almost got cancelled so we were very grateful to go in. We ended up tendering into another location and we were a little nervous because we had booked a stingray tour with a private company. Once we got to shore, they were waiting for us, so no worries! We went with Captain Marvin's and had a great time. We all 4 enjoyed our time with the stingrays, and would highly recommend this. There was also a snorkel stop, but only my husband went in for this. The boys and I stayed on the boat and enjoyed some deli sandwiches and cookies I had packed from the cruise ship. Afterwards we walked around Georgetown for a little while, and enjoyed the day and did a little shopping.

 

Cozumel

We had opted to go to Paradise Beach because we had heard so much about it. We took a cab, and on the way our driver tried to talk us into going to another resort. We said no, but when we arrived at Paradise Beach, he told us it was closed for a private party and dropped us off at San Francisco Beach next door. Turns out he lied--we later found out that some had gone to Paradise Beach, so watch out for this scam. We could've just walked over, but didn't. Anyway, had a great relaxing day at the beach. Drank some coronas, and had some chips and salsa while our little ones made sand castles and played in the water. That afternoon we took a cab back to the city, and looked around a little bit. The vendors seemed more pushy than the last time we were there, but maybe because they are hard up from the hurricane. We noticed a lot of damage as we were driving around!!

 

Camp Carnival:

The boys had a good time, and there were plenty of activities. We normally dropped them off for 2 hours in the morning after breakfast, and 2 hours in the afternoon after lunch. Then we would all take a nap before night time activities started. They didn't go in the evening because we had late dinner, and most of the activities seemed to be going on then. We tried the late night babysitting once, but my sons didn't really take to it, because for the younger age group it is a quiet time for watching movies, etc.--no playing. Since they are night owls, this really cramped their style so we didn't drop them off after hours anymore.

 

Ship and layout:

I found the ship to be in great condition, and enjoyed all the common areas. I got lost a little bit, but I have no sense of direction. My 5 year old boys were getting around better than me. My boys really enjoyed the glass elevators, and were excellent about only pushing the buttons they were supposed to.

 

Disappointments:

I really had a fabulous cruise, so don't want to spend much time here, but thought I would mention a couple of things. First of all the drink refill prices on drink of the day have been raised to $5.95 so they were no longer accepting bar coupons. We had bought these ahead of time to better keep track of our spending, and were sad to not be able to use them as planned. We still used them for Coronas and frozen drinks, but unless things change with the coupons, will probably not buy them again. Secondly, I was disappointed that both the Captain's cocktail party and return guest party were during times when Camp Carnival were closed. We weren't even sure if we could take the boys to the return guest since only my husband and myself were past guests, so we ended up skipping that one. The party started only 15 minutes after Camp carnival shut down in the afternoon, so I really wish they would've had it an hour earlier or so, oh well. We did take the boys to the Captain's party, and that was fine. They made them non-alcoholic cocktails, and they really enjoyed the appetizers. Lastly, the weather was very nippy on Sunday and Monday, and Saturday coming home was dreadful. This isn't Carnival's fault, but wished I had a little more sun time. The port days were beautiful however, so for that I am thankful. I do wish that on the Saturday, Carnival would have had a backup game plan for activities. They ended up cancelling the lido deck activities because of weather, but replaced it with nothing. It would've been nice if they could've added some trivia games, or such in some of the inside places.

 

Overall:

We had a wonderful cruise as we always do. We do have a very laid back approach and tend to not get too upset over small things. We really enjoyed relaxing, and not having to worry about anything. The afternoon nap was also a great refresher to help us enjoy the night time activities. I will really miss being rocked to sleep by the ocean every night, and hearing the waves crash against the boat during the day. I'm sad, and ready to start planning my next cruise.

 

Let me know if you have any questions.

 

Laura

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I am also a twins mom. My sons are 13. We are so looking forward to this cruise as are my DH and DD. Just a couple of questions. You said you took deli sandwiches and cookies off the ship when you went to Grand Cayman. I guess you had no problems getting them off the ship? I know when we were on the Victory, they scanned the bags that you took off the ship. Does this happen on the Conquest? You said you took the boys off the ship in Jamaica just to buy souvenirs. Where did you take them and were you harassed at all?

 

Thanks,

Gayle

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Gayle, As far as the deli sandwiches, I didn't know it was ever a problem. I read about the idea on here. We didn't take any fruits or vegetables. They never scanned our bag going off. In Jamaica, we just went into the port shops, and not really into Jamaica--so no harassment there. We didn't walk around past that because that area of MoBay isn't the nicest. Next time we might do the Sunset Beach Resort. I've heard nothing but good things. We were just disappointed that they recently raised the prices. Glad to hear from another twin mom!

 

The past guest party was on Tuesday at 4:15 in the afternoon. It was the day immediately following the Captain's cocktail.

 

laura

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Hello Laura! Thank you for taking the time to post a thorough review. Glad to hear about Camp Carnival and such... I do have a question regarding your excursion in Grand Cayman. You mentioned that you docked in a different area and Captain Marvins still picked you up. Did they have a sign or something? We are booked on the short two hour tour, and just wondering how the different dock location works in respect to the excursion. Did you get off the boat early thinking that you would have to take a taxi to their store/shop? Thank you in advance.

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Captain Marvin's did have a sign and were collecting people right as they got off the tender. We were supposed to go on the 11:15 two hour tour, but ended up getting off as quickly as possible because we thought we would have to take a cab. We ended up taking the earlier tour with Captain Marvin that was supposed to be at 8:30, I believe...they changed the time to like 9:15 or so. This worked out well for us because we still had time to shop around town afterwards as Carnival wanted everyone back an hour earlier than planned, unless they had a very late excursion so that the tender boats would be able to get everyone back in time. I was very nervous, but it all worked out well. Everyone in town was aware of where the ships were, and it was no problem getting a taxi, etc.

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Thanks for the response, Laura. I didn't mean to imply you did something wrong. I think each country is different about what can be brought in. :)

 

We are planning to go to Sunset Beach while we are in Jamaica. One of my boys is a very picky eater, so I would really like to bring him something with us.

 

thanks again,

Gayle

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Laura

 

Thanks for your awesome review! I'm glad to hear from a mom that has small children and a balcony. This will be our first balcony and the first time for the kids (3 & 7) to join us. Were you ever nervous about the kids on the balcony? Was the door hard to open? Carnival rep. told me the doors were heavy and hard to open and that the kids would have a very hard time getting them open by themselves. Just wanted to know if this is true.

 

Also, did your children sleep on the couch or the pull down bed?

 

Thanks in advance for your input and Thanks again for the review!:)

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Okiemom...we were a little nervous about the balcony, but thought it would be a real treat to be able to go out there late at night after the boys were asleep. The door is heavy, but not too heavy to open. My boys had no problem opening and closing the door. There is a lock that is very high on the door, but kids could probably reach it if they pulled the vanity stool over.

 

We just set up very strict rules for them, and told them if they broke them even once, they would not be allowed out there again for the entire trip---no exceptions.

 

We said no going out there unless Mom and Dad say it's okay. While out there the door and curtains have to be open at all times so that we can see them. Absolutely no climbing on chair or tables out there, and no reaching and climbing on the glass railing. We didn't have a problem the whole trip, and we never let them out of our sight while on the balcony. That was one of their favorite places to play, and they spent literally hours out there!!

 

As far as sleeping, the couch is not big enough for both of them so my husband slept there, and the boys and I shared the bed. We felt they were too little to sleep on the top bunk since they are only 5 and very small for their age.

 

Hope you have a wonderful cruise. We had a blast even with our kids along!!

 

laura

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Thanks Laura! You have put my mind at ease. I know they will really enjoy it! Can't wait!

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