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Just Back from the Conquest (Review)

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Carnival Conquest Review June 4 – 11, 2006.

Hello, this is my first post, but not my first time on this forum (I've been a lurker, just learning from other and now it's my time to contribute).

Just back from the Conquest. I had a great cruise. This was my second cruise, my first with Carnival. We are from Mexico, but we live relatively close to the border, and a quick 7 h drive, had us in Galveston, ready to enjoy a week of fun in the sun.

Embarkation: I was greatly surprised at how well organized it was. There were long lines at about 12:45, but they moved quickly. There is a special line for non-US citizens which was very short, but I noticed the line for US citizens although a lot bigger was moving really fast. All in all embarkation was quick and painless. As a note, the cruiseline didn’t keep our passports (I think they used to keep the passports of non US-residents before).

The Ship and Staterooms: Beautiful. As I have said, I have sailed before (on Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody OTS), but I’m not going to compare between the two. Different ships, different crews, different experiences, but same great vacations!!

The Conquest is BIG, but surprisingly easy to manage; I was able to find my way in about one day. Great lounges, pools, restaurants, etc. We (my mother and I) were traveling with 25 other family members and friends. We had staterooms all over the ship, and everybody thought the service was great!.

This time we had an interior stateroom on deck 7 (Empress) aft. I was pleasantly surprised by its size. For two people it’s comfortable, nicely decorated with lots of closet and drawer space. The bathroom is small, but so well designed it doesn’t feel that small.

Dinning: Our TA didn’t do her job very well, and didn’t link our reservations, so we were scattered in different dinning rooms, at different times and different tables. One visit to the Maitre D’ and he fixed the problem in no time for about 75% of us. We dinned at the Monet, late seating, in adjacent tables. Service in the dinning room was hit or miss. Let me explain; we were seated in 4 different tables: 3 tables for four and one table for 8. All in all we had 3 different teams of waiters. Our team was fast and prompt, although I think they were a bit overwhelmed by the number of tables they had, which made me think they were a bit understaffed. Another team of waiters (serving the table next to us) was very… very slow. And the last team of waiters was absolutely amazing. So my suggestion is just go with the flow and if your team of waiters is not Stellar, remember they do work VERY hard. They have my utmost respect, they work long hours on difficult conditions and with (sometimes) difficult guests.

The buffet on Lido deck was… well, buffet food. I’m not overly fond of buffet food, but that’s just me. However, the PC Wok, the Deli Place, Sur Mer, the Pizzeria and the Grill were readily available and delicious. Some people on our party loved the buffet. All in all, I always found something I liked and trust me, you won’t starve. Oh! And there’s always breakfast and lunch at the Monet restaurant.

The Ports:

Jamaica: It was great! We had a highlights excursion, and since our party was large, we had a bus all to ourselves. This time I didn’t find the vendors as pushy as I did in Ocho Rios last year. We got to see a log of Montego Bay and the Jamaicans were super friendly. Our tour guide and drives were very good to us and gave us tips on what to do and don’t do, as well as insight on the island and their way of life. It rained a lot while in Jamaica, and I mean a LOT… people who went to the beach probably didn’t have as good a time as we did because of the rain, according to the comments I heard on the elevator.

Grand Cayman: Nice, clean and way too expensive. I did manage to buy a bottle of Big Black Dick’s Vanilla Rum, and it’s delicious. I had done all the sightseeing to the main sights last year, so we returned early to the ship to enjoy and leisure early afternoon by the aft pool and hot tub.

Cozumel: Rained a lot just before disembarking, and it was really very hot once on land. Lots to see and do, but I’ve already been to Cozumel 4 times in a row in the last 4 years (twice on land vacations), so we just did some shopping and went back to the ship. We had a bit of ‘rough’ seas the night we sailed from Cozumel, and we found out the following morning there was a tropical storms just forming between Cuba and Yucatan.

Debarkation: Again, I think it was very well organized. We didn’t do self assist, and since we had staterooms from deck one all the way to deck 11, after the debarkation talk it was suggested we put tags from deck 11 on our entire luggage, so that we could all debark together. We did just that, and were out of the ship by 9:30 am or so, since they do debarkation from the top down. You can find the luggage tags in case you need to match the colour tags from members of your family in different floors, just outside the Toulouse Lautrec on the starboard side, just before the Purser’s desk.

That’s all, we had a great time, and will do it all again. I liked the Conquest, and even though they said there were 3600 guests on board, it didn’t feel like it…. Well at the buffet lines it did sometimes, but since I don’t do buffets it didn’t bother me, but even those lines were pretty fast.

Stayed in Houston at a friend's house to watch the World Cup match between Mexico and Iran (we beat Iran 3 - 1) and were back in Mexico by 7:30 pm that day.

Would I do the Conquest again? You bet!

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Thanks for the review. I look forward to all reviews of Conquest. I sail on her on August 27th. Did you happen to go by the Fish & Chips bar?

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Yes, I did go to the Fish and Chips bar, it's called Sur Mer, and it's on deck 10, right above the Lido buffet.

 

Fish and chips and freshly made, as is Bouillabaise. At peak times it can get a little crowded and a small line forms, but it's worth it. You'll have a great time on the Conquest.

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thanks for the words about Debarkation, I think we may try the Self Assit. There will only be two of us.

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thanks for the words about Debarkation, I think we may try the Self Assit. There will only be two of us.

If you do the Self Assist, you'll be out of the ship in no time. Just remember that even in Self Assist the time you get to debark will depend on what deck you're in, as they start from deck 11 all the way to deck 1. The best thing, is you can wait for your deck to be called on the lido deck while having breakfast with no rush at all.

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Excellent Review! Glad to hear you had a good time. =) Was the shampoo and conditioner in the shower good enough to leave your own at home?

 

Thanks!

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Excellent Review! Glad to hear you had a good time. =) Was the shampoo and conditioner in the shower good enough to leave your own at home?

 

Thanks!

 

The shampoo was Dove (but I have my head shaved so I guess my input here is null) sorry :confused:

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The ship was too big - I never found Sur Mer :(

 

It took me about 3 days to find Sur Mer. It's above the Cezanne Lido Buffet. there are two stairs that go up from the middle, in front of the buffet line in the aft. There you find what can be considered the 2nd floor of the buffet restaurant, or Sur Mer.

 

It was never crowded there.

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Cool. I will be on the 10th deck so I am sure I will swing by there daily.

 

Anyone know the hours of Sur Mer?

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Excellent Review! Glad to hear you had a good time. =) Was the shampoo and conditioner in the shower good enough to leave your own at home?

 

Thanks!

I can help you with this one. There are two dispensers in the shower. One holds bodywash, the other holds a shampoo/conditioner combo. If you are like me and do not find the shampoo/conditioner combos to be adequate at conditioning, you should bring your own conditioner.

The ship does sell conditioner, but only high dollar brands in the Spa for $20+. :eek:

Hope this helps! :)

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If you do the Self Assist, you'll be out of the ship in no time. Just remember that even in Self Assist the time you get to debark will depend on what deck you're in, as they start from deck 11 all the way to deck 1. The best thing, is you can wait for your deck to be called on the lido deck while having breakfast with no rush at all.

 

We are on deck 8. we did it on the Spendour of the Seas last March and they let all self asst. off at one time as soon as the ship cleared. That was about 7:15am. We carried our bags right off, took the bus to the parking lot and was driving home by 7:45am.

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Was the shampoo and conditioner in the shower good enough to leave your own at home?

 

Thanks!

When we went it was a combination shampoo and condition in one. Not nearly conditioning enough for my taste. Broke down and bought some conditioner in Grand Cayman.:rolleyes:

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We are on deck 8. we did it on the Spendour of the Seas last March and they let all self asst. off at one time as soon as the ship cleared. That was about 7:15am. We carried our bags right off, took the bus to the parking lot and was driving home by 7:45am.

 

Last Sunday on the Conquest, they started Self Assist at about 7 am, but they didn't let everyone off at the same time. They did it by deck numbers, starting with the Spa deck (11), down to the Riviera deck (1).

 

They did make it clear that Self Assist was only for the decks that were being called. I suppose it makes sense since the ship is really big and to avoid long lines of people stuck on the hallways, stairs and elevators. After a while, once they had called deck 1, they had a couple of calls for Self Assist for all decks, before starting general debarkation (by deck number again).

 

I don't know if this is happens only on the Conquest and other big ships, or if it is a new way of doing things. I thought it worked pretty well. I'm sure you'll be off the ship in no time.

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Last Sunday on the Conquest, they started Self Assist at about 7 am, but they didn't let everyone off at the same time. They did it by deck numbers, starting with the Spa deck (11), down to the Riviera deck (1).

 

They did make it clear that Self Assist was only for the decks that were being called. I suppose it makes sense since the ship is really big and to avoid long lines of people stuck on the hallways, stairs and elevators. After a while, once they had called deck 1, they had a couple of calls for Self Assist for all decks, before starting general debarkation (by deck number again).

 

I don't know if this is happens only on the Conquest and other big ships, or if it is a new way of doing things. I thought it worked pretty well. I'm sure you'll be off the ship in no time.

 

thanks for all your insight

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We were also on this cruise. We did the self assist and were in our car and on the way by 7:20 am. They will let you bring your bags down to the Tolouse Latrec lounge before 7:00 and as soon as they clear the ship they let you off regardless of what deck you are on. They are very strict about not letting people on the stairs or in the lobby so get to Tolouse before 7:00 if you want this option.

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We were also on this cruise. We did the self assist and were in our car and on the way by 7:20 am. They will let you bring your bags down to the Tolouse Latrec lounge before 7:00 and as soon as they clear the ship they let you off regardless of what deck you are on. They are very strict about not letting people on the stairs or in the lobby so get to Tolouse before 7:00 if you want this option.

 

did they limit the number of people for the self assist? when we were on the Splendour they did and you had to get tickets from the pursers desk first come first serve. They were all gone before the last day. I got mine on the second day. I love this option because we live 40 miles away and park there and can be home before 9am.

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I don't remember hearing or reading anything about limiting the number of people doing self assist, but probably robc can give you a better insight into this, since he did actually did the S A.

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