Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Archived

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

NurseAngela

Conquest 5/14/06 Review

Recommended Posts

We just returned from the Carnival Conquest, sailing out of Galvenston, for a belated honeymoon cruise. We had a fantastic time! I have to say that reading these boards in advance prevented alot of headaches and offered many tips I was able to use while on the ship. I hope I am able to give back a little by posting my review - good and bad so your next voyage is perfect! :D A few years back, I took a voyage to Alaska on the Celebrity Mercury, so I tended to compare the 2 ships at times.

 

Embarkation

This went as well as I could have imagined. A rep met us in Houston, right off our flight and we were on a bus in less than 15 min heading to Galvenston. The bus was comfy and the driver gave us commentary of the area on our drive. We arrived at the port and proceeded in line to check in. We had our funpass in hand, but it made no difference. You were put in the shorter line, regardless of whether it was filled out or not. It seemed to make the lines go faster. It didn't feel hectic or overly long of a wait. Much smoother than when I sailed with the Celebrity. We received our luggage around an hour after arriving on the ship. However, we did receive a newsletter the following day that a few of the ship's passengers were missing pieces. I hope they found them!

 

Ship

It's beautiful. Decorated New Orlean type style with gorgeous paintings throughout the ship. There are 3 glass elevators going up from the main lobby area, with murals to look at on your way up. It seemed very clean and not as big as you would expect from looking at the outside.

 

Room

We were on a balcony stateroom on the Panarama deck, left side. There is no comparing the room to an inside stateroom. There are 2 chairs on the balcony along with a little table. The door stayed open without a bungee cord, even in high winds. It also has a vanity with excellent lighting and a couch to sit on. It seems so much bigger than an inside and I am now to spoiled to ever go back. Splurge here if you can!! The bedding was so soft, esp the pillows. I have a bad back and it was just the right amount of comfort. You really felt pampered. Bring a powerstrip! There is only one little outlet in the room, on the vanity. If you need to plug in a curlers and your blowdryer, you'll need this. The blowdryer in the room is weak and you have to hold the on button the whole time you use it. Bad for thick hair! Don't bring balcony lights - no where to plug in or hang. Don't bring shampoo or body wash. They have dispensers in the shower - Dove - that will last the whole cruise. There were a number of little toiletries for us. Mouthwash, razors - men and womens, tylenol pm, excedrin, etc. Our room steward was Ling. We brought some of our own liquor and he did an excellent job of always making sure it was on ice. He did a fantastic job of cleaning the room no matter how messy I left it. I couldn't have asked for a better steward! Storage space is very adequate. 3 closets (bring a few hangers if you like to hang things up), 4 drawers on the vanity, pullout drawers under the couch, and enough space under the bed to store your luggage.

Food

We ate dinner most nights in the dining room. We had the late seating (8:30). Our waiters were Kenneth and Wilder. They were a little slow to warm up, but after finding out they were working 18 hour days, I was a little more understanding. The dancing was so fun. Or boogie woogie as Wilder called it! I did have one bad meal on formal night - the lobster which was sorely undercooked. Kenneth didn't bat an eye bringing me another selection. In fact, most nights the boys in the group ordered more than one dish of the main entree without any problems. The only thing that kinda bothered me - and I thought I would never say this - was jeans on the formal night. I'm pretty easygoing but it really did distract from the experience, and I didn't feel so much like I was in a fancy place. The buffet was a great alternative to the days we were too tired to get dressed up. Great selection of food. Pasta was wonderful. Breakfast was very boring. By the end of the cruise I was so sick of ham and eggs. I wish they would have mixed it up just a little. Everything was EXACTLY the same here all cruise. Fish and Chips was the best I ever had. Frozen yogurt great. Midnight buffet - so so. And the last day at sea they had a chocolate buffet which I gained a good 5 lbs on! Also, that day, they had the most amazing nachos. Our tablemates said the Point Supper Club was worth the extra expense.

 

Entertainment

Most of the shows were pretty entertaining. I most enjoyed the Legends show final night and a couple of the Las Vegas type shows. The first night of comedy was excellent but only went to one adult comedy show which wasn't the greatest. My favorite bar was Henri's. They played club/hip hop music early and techo later. It was usually packed. Mardi Gra party mid cruise was so fun. You did this little bar hop thing with activites at each place. The bingo and horse races all cost money so we avoided them for the most part. The newlywed game was cute as well as the hairy man competiton. The trivia games were more geared for an older crowd, so we didn't do very well. Todd was a great cruise director. Very upbeat and would often mingle with the crowd. The art auctions showed some really beautiful works which you could get for great deals. Still out of my price range but I hope to someday bid!

 

Misc places

Spa - our tablemates had the worst experience and I heard of others on board with similar stories. They did the usual trying to sell you stuff when you are trying to relax but the worst part was, they would talk about you behind your back and laugh. My tablemates ended having their $500 spa visit credited back because the service was so terrible. I canceled all my appts with them because of all the bad things I heard.

Gym - did a body consultation with Val and took a pilates class. I was a littel bummed that most of the classes cost $10. But it was still a fun class to take. Some of the equipment was broken - 2 or 3 treadmills and a couple of the weight machines. The trainers were very helpful with working with your and I learned alot at the body consulatation about my metabolism, etc.

Golf - DH and I did a golf lesson with the pro on board. It ran about $40 but was a worthwhile investment. He gives you one on one instruction on how to improve your swing, matches it to a computer program and really works with you. Dh esp learned alot and it was great to finally go to something that wasn't trying to sell you something else.

 

Ports of Call

Jamaica - we went with A-Z planners and Doc was our driver. We went to Mayfield falls. It was a beautiful place and the guide was very good about keeping us safe going up the river. We had lunch at a pork pit and had the most amazing jerk chicked. Got asked for marijuana once but wasn't pushy about it. We did our shopping at the port entrance so we didn't get hassled at all. I would love to go back here someday.

Grand Cayman - missed it due to bad weather. Booked with Captain Marvin who was really good about not charging anything. Received $25 credit per person. Heard a lot of complaining about the ship missing the port like it was there fault the weather sucked. Everyone was in the worst mood today because of it. I swear though, that the captain drove us straight to sunshine - the first of all our days at sea! They revised the itinerary to have things for us to do.

Cozumel - we did snubing with Carnival here. It was alot of fun and everything went very smoothly. Did a lot of shopping downtown. Spent way too much money on souveniors! lol They have the most beautiful little girl dresses. Went to Paradise beach for a quick frozen drink before getting on the ship. If we went back again, I think the better value is to rent either a car or buggy. To the beach and back was $35, where we could have rented a buggy for the same price for all day. Getting off to a tender was a mess in the morning. None of the staff knew what was going on so we kept getting 2 different stories. We spent a good hour trying to figure out how to get off the boat. We would go down to the bottom floor, get sent back up, next employee would send up somewhere else. It was a huge headache.

 

Disembarkation

This went very smooth. There was a problem with customs so it was a little late getting off the ship but I enjoyed sitting on the deck soaking up some last rays of sunshine! Got off the boat and was directed to where our luggage was, which was sorted by floors, in lines. One lady couldn't find hers, but it didn't seem a problem for anyone else. They guided us to our bus transfer to Houston and loaded us up without problems. On the way to the airport, a tire blew on a little ranger pickup and crashed into our bus! Nobody was hurt, just a little shaken up. We had to pull off the side of the road for a good hour while the cop took down all our information and made sure the luggage was okay. The bus driver did an amazing job of keeping calm, esp during the accident. I think she needed a vacation more than us!

 

Anyways, sorry it's so long. I hope I gave you guys some pointers and an honest assessment of our trip. It was a great ship and would recommend them to anyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review! Thank you! Sorry you missed GC. It's a fun port. Thanks for the report on the spa service. I'll probably skip it from yours and others comments on the service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent review Angela. As you know, we were also on that cruise and with you on the Mayfield Falls excursion. That was simply a great tour - it was a rain forest type atmosphere (and it was raining!) with virtually no one around except our small group. Our guide got some great video and photos using our cameras. The ride into the mountains was a bit hairy but Doc did an excellent job - would highly recommend this tour with A-Z.

 

GC was a bummer for sure but Carnival was helpless to do anything but move onward. We talked with our dining room waiter that evening about GC and why they don't build a dock for cruise ships and he said (1) environmental reasons (reef destruction) and (2) it's a relatively wealthy country due to offshore banking so they are kind of ambivalent about the cruise traffic. Don't know if either is really true but they both make sense.

 

Sur Mer was outstanding (fish & chips, bouillabaisse were my lunch every day) and I'm just glad it's not well known, makes it feel like it's your special place on board.

 

Thanks again Angela - nice review and it was good meeting you and your husband last week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review, always enjoy hearing the good things about peoples crews. Sorry you missed Grand Cayman. Maybe next time. Thanks again.

Margie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Angela! Great review. Funny how you can be on the same cruise and have different experiences. I did go to the SPA for a facial and massage the day we missed Grand Cayman. I was waiting for the sales pitch the whole time, and can you believe I did not get one AT ALL! Pretty amazing! She did not mention anything about purchasing any of the products. Kind of blew me away since I was waiting for it. I guess I am one of the lucky ones, or maybe they weren't going to anger any more customers because of missing the day on Cayman?

 

We also hit up the Point Supper Club and had a wonderful experience. It says to alot 2 1/2 hours for the dinner, but it was over in about an hour or so. Service there was great, food was excellent. Definitely worth it to go, you are treated extra special!

 

We did purchase items items from the art auctions. Word of advice, if you purchase have the framing done yourself and not with PARK WEST. You can have the art delivered to you and not have to pay for the framing and shipping at higher costs. Just have them framed locally when you get home and look for better deals. I, unfortunately, paid to have 4 items framed and shipped, and then did a little research after getting back home, I could have gotten them done at half the price without paying shipping charges as well! Out of the artwork that we gotten (5 pieces)

1 was received for attending the auction, 1 was won in the raffle, 1 was received for filling out the application, and 2 I had won on bidding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Angela,

 

Thanks for the excellent review! It's very helpful and timely. We (wife and I both 39 and 2 sons - 6 & 9) will be on the Conquest this Sunday, 5/28. We booked this week because it was right after school ends, 5/24, and right before the official start of the hurricane season. I have checked the 10 day forcast for all ports and it has rain, thunderstorms, etc. in the forcast for most of next week. I hope they can find some sun for us. Either way, we have been looking forward to it and we will enjoy it.

We will be on the Panarama deck, left side, also. What time were you all called to disembark? What time did you all get off of the ship? We decided to take a town car from Houston. We have them scheduled to pick us up at 11:00 on June 4. Do you think that is too late, too early, or OK?

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We will be on the Panarama deck, left side, also. What time were you all called to disembark? What time did you all get off of the ship? We decided to take a town car from Houston. We have them scheduled to pick us up at 11:00 on June 4. Do you think that is too late, too early, or OK?

 

Our experience was that they let the one's who wanted to self assist off the boat off first. It was later than usual, due to problems with customs, so I think it was around 8 instead of the usual 7 am. Our deck (panarama) was the first one called off the ship, around 9. They call you off based on the color of the luggage tag you receive. They said it was random who gets called off first but our cabin steward said that they usually go top floor to bottom. Self assist is the best way to go, but I would think 11 would be fine. You could always notify the pursers desk that day that you need to be off by that time. Have fun! Can I stow away in your suitcase? :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, thanks for the upate! You are welcome to stow away in our suitcases. With the way my wife packs we will have plenty of luggage for you to choose from :-) . She likes to dress up every night for dinner when we are on vacation so I let her do it. The boys keep us very busy so we don't get to do it a lot at home. Since she dresses up, it forces me to dress up too so we usualy have a little more luggage.

We were thinking about doing the self assist, but my wife said that she thought it might be too much luggage, too early for the boys to get up and rush out, etc. She said that she would rather take our time getting off. She said we would have been on the ship for 7 days so another hour wouldn't hurt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Angela-

 

Thank you for your review. We are sailing on Conquest in just 11 days! I also hate the pushing of products in the spa but I enjoy my cruise massage so much I put up with it. I just add some money on the the price of the massage and go with the flow. After all, we are on vacation - NO HASSELS, MON!

 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

 

Happy Cruising!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the review - we are sailing on the Conquest on June 11 and we can't wait!!!! We have also booked a tour with A-Z planners in Jamaica and I am glad to hear that you were pleased with them.

Your review was very helpful!:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're on the June 11 Conquest as well. Sure hope we make Grand Cayman this year - missed it last year on the Rhapsody due to tropical storm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Angela:

Great review. glad you had a good time. sorry about GC. I will be sailing in Sept. Hope we have good weather and no hurricane. Did you buy an liquor and if so when did you pick it up? Do you happen to recall of any certain day was a good day to purchase? Was one day a sale and not the next day?

Thanks,

Robb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for taking the time for the review. We sail on the Conquest in Nov. and looking forward to great weather.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were there too! I had a great time. We had a group of 20 and I believe everyone under 55 had a fantastic time. I miss Inyoman and Nyoman!

 

My MIL was in line to get aboard the tender where the "emergency" was. A lady collasped and was having a seizure. She died. My MIL had my baby and I was with the rest of the family while I was freaking out over the emergency. All in all, I'd go again in a heart beat! We were on Verandah deck (8) inside cabin. I didnt think it was too bad considering all the time spent in there was sleeping and/or changing!

 

I did get up early on the day we were suppose to hit Grand Cayman to see the sunrise but it was too cloudy. I wasnt too upset about missing GC. Eh, another day... without the kids!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My MIL was in line to get aboard the tender where the "emergency" was. A lady collasped and was having a seizure. She died. My MIL had my baby and I was with the rest of the family while I was freaking out over the emergency.

We heard the "bright star" announcement over the ship PA system for the gangway and knew it was a medical emergency, then later heard that, sadly, the passenger had died. Put a bit of a damper on that day's mood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on the Conquest too... Great Review! Let me add a few things that we found....

 

- We brought some "cool refreshing beverages." We packed them in our checked luggage an there was absolutely no problem. We got a folding cooler bag from Sam's Club (looks like a purse). Our room steward kept it full of Ice all week. We rewarded him with some $ and the remaining refreshments that we didn't finish.

 

- Our wedding anniversary was on Friday soooo.. we did some ring shopping in Cozumel. The word of the day is Haggle, Haggle, Haggle. I won't go through all of the details, but we found a tanzanite ring that we liked at Diamonds International. They didn't do as well as we wanted so we went down the street to their outlet store. Ended up with the same ring with a darker stone for $200 less! If you don't want to haggle, don't plan to buy on this trip. You won't get a good deal.

 

- There were a few VERY unhappy people pulled off to the side of the boarding line in Montego Bay. From what I heard (unconfirmed) the authorities found drugs when they tried to board. Geeezzz it would be bad enough to get busted in the US, but spending the night (or weeks) in a Third World Jail..... WOW.

 

-The bungie cord worked great on the balcony. You need one that is about 2 feet long.

 

-We too were disappointed that the stop in Grand Cayman was cancelled. We were booked with Captain Marvin's. I dropped them a note to "remind them" that we never made it to the island. Got a very nice, seemingly personal, reply back. They indicated that we wouldn't be charged and hoped that we would try them when we came back to GC. "5 Stars" for Captain Marvin's Customer service!!

 

- I took my Sirius radio and wasn't able to receive a signal outbound and for the first half of the return trip. I got a bit of a signal when I checked it on the last day, but didn't bother hooking everything up. We were on the Starboard side, deck 7. I suspect that the signal would have been better on the other side of the ship.

 

- We thought the food, overall, was very good for feeding 1500 people at once! I've been to a lot of stateside conventions and have had a lot of "rubber chicken." The food was well presented and hot. Didn't feel mass-produced. No problems getting seconds on entres or having a Filet on a night where nothing on the menu sounded good (grin!).

 

- We used the "patch" for the first few days, but didn't have a hint of seasickness.

 

- We used Easy Cruise for parking. Ended up being delayed there 1- 1.5 hours. The "other" ship in Galveston that day was late returning. There were no spaces for us to park until the other folks picked up their cars. This was the biggest and only hassle of the entire cruise for us. No problem mon!

 

- I spent YEARS taliking Mrs. Scooters into going on a Criuse. She didn't think that she would like it, etc. etc. etc. On the way home, she was already planning our next Cruise (need I say more)!

 

- We never made it to the Roll Call meeting. Sorry that we didn't get to meet all of you.... maybe next time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter Now for a Chance to Win a 7-day Cruise for Two
      • Q&A with InsureMyTrip
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • 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
×
×
  • Create New...