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KSGal

My Conquest Review June 4-11

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First let me say that this was a WONDERFUL vacation. It was our first cruise, so I have nothing to compare it to in that respect, but we enjoyed ourselves very much and want to do it again in the near future. I also want to thank everyone at cruise critic. I learned almost everything I needed to know to make this vacation a great experience.

We drove to the Houston area on Saturday and stayed at the Super 8 in La Marque. It wasn’t the Hyatt, but for a short night stay it was fine-clean and cheap. It was about a 30 minute drive to the pier. We parked at EZ cruise and took the shuttle with our luggage to the cruise terminal. The staff at EZ cruise were very helpful and friendly. We decided to enjoy the morning before going to the pier and didn’t arrive at EZ cruise parking till about 1:30pm and the terminal about 2pm. Let me say that those who suggest being there at 1100 (or earlier) are making the right suggestion. I had hoped that at this time the crowd would have dwindled, but it had not. However, even with a long line we still went thru the necessary points and were on the ship in about 90 minutes. We went straight to our room and unpacked a bit before the muster drill. The drill took awhile but it was fun to watch people and get a sense of the crowd. That evening we enjoyed our first supper in the dining room. We had the 545 seating in the Renoir. Our wait staff "E" (Iputu) and Pande were outstanding and knew what we would most enjoy and our likes/dislikes just like we were a family member. They were great and I hope everyone is lucky to receive such great service on their cruise. We also spent some time in Vincent’s bar listening to the rock band. These guys were so fun and seemed to truly enjoy their jobs. In fact I can say that every staff/crew member that I met was pleasant and friendly. One evening I asked a woman cleaning the woodwork where a specific lounge was-after giving me directions she came after me when I made a wrong turn and re-directed me to the location. As others have mentioned, it is not hard to get bar service and all bar staff were prompt and remembered you from the first evening. Carnival has perfected the art of taking so many pictures you practically are worn out from all the smiling. However, we took the opportunity to get photos of ourselves as a couple. Just smile and remember you only pay for what you want. Todd was a good cruise director, but definitely a Ryan Secrest in the making.

Room-We had an inside stateroom on the Verandah deck aft-8414. We had adequate storage space in both the bathroom and closets. I put the empty suitcases under the beds. I was not bothered by any noise except on the last night. It seemed many teenagers were running up and down the stairs until very late and then people were getting up very early that Sunday of debarkation. Our room steward Joey introduced himself at the beginning of the cruise. I asked if he could keep our soft sided cooler filled with ice. For the rest of the cruise he was out of sight, but our room was always clean, our cooler was filled with ice in the am and pm, and any note we left with a request was completed. He was in the hall a time or two and always friendly. He also came by to say goodbye the last day.

Dining Room- We ate all suppers in the dining room. Our wait staff were wonderful as mentioned. I enjoyed all my meals and loved almost everything. I did not like all the deserts, but I don’t eat a lot of sweets so I don’t believe I have an open mind on this subject, although the souffle on the last evening was delicious. My husband enjoyed everything but the citrus salmon he had as an appetizer. On several nights he ordered more than one appetizer, entree, or desert. After the first evening it was if "E" could read his mind and already had the item he knew he would want two of ready at table side. We ate lunch twice in the dining room and enjoyed both meals. The first night the dress code was not enforced as many didn’t have their luggage at 545, but after that I did see the Maitre D turn those in shorts away. But many men wore jeans and women wore capris, skirts, etc made of denim.

Room Service-Prompt and delicious. Just remember all portions are small, so if your actually hungry order two of what you want.

Lido buffet- We ate all breakfast in the buffet. While there are only so many items you can have at breakfast, I felt the selection to be more than adequate. The omelettes were much better than the eggs on the buffet.

Su Mer-My husband said it was delicious.

Lido deck grille-Hamburgers were great.

Pizza-Yummy!

Paul’s Deli-Reuben was great:)

Soft serve ice cream-didn’t eat a bite, but saw many that seemed to be enjoying it.

Chocolate buffet-It was Sat at lunch time in the lido buffet. I wasn’t that impressed, but agin I don’t eat a lot of sweets.

The Point and Midnight buffet-we didn’t make time for either of these, so I cannot comment.

Cleanliness-It seemed as if everywhere you looked someone was constantly cleaning or repairing something. I especially appreciated the hand towelettes in place above the bathroom door handles. That is something I wish all public venues would use in their restrooms.

Entertainment-I did not enjoy Formidable, but I did like Point and Click the two Broadway style shows. I enjoyed Phat Kat and the Motown show. The Piano bar- Brad was boring and not much personality. I had looked forward to this as I enjoy that type of atmosphere.. As previously mentioned, the group "Music Forever" we found to be great entertainment. Deja the magician was pretty good. We did not see all the late night comedians.

Captains party-Go and enjoy the free drinks. Ask the waiter for what you want-you don’t have to drink only what they’re passing out. I drank strawberry daiquiri’s.

Other things we did/saw-Hairy chest contest-It was hilarious. It was like something you don’t want to watch but can’t turn away. The Newly wed/Not so Newly wed contest-hilarious!!!!

Karaoke, bingo, casino-we had more than enough to keep us busy! We didn’t go to any of the art auctions, trivia, golf classes, dance classes, fitness classes, or spa seminars. We also didn’t participate in the Mardi Gras deck party, but I heard many had a great time. I never had a hard time finding a deck chair, but I didn’t want to be by the pool either, so I’m sure that made a difference.

I did attend the shopping talks given by Tamara on each port. However, unless you plan to do mostly shopping while in port I’m not sure these LONG informational sessions are a worthwhile way to spend your time. But if you plan on shopping, esp for jewelry, I do believe these give you a lot of useful information. I would just go at the beginning and get the maps off the table at the front of the lounge. These maps also list the stores that are backed by Carnival for the shopping guarantee and gives a brief description of each store they have given their stamp of approval.

All talks, informational sessions, hairy chest contest, newly wed game, etc are broadcast over the TV...so don’t fret if you miss a thing or two because many will be playing over and over.

I did have my hair done on the first formal night. $45 for a "Hair up" I knew that before I ever got on the ship, but that’s what I wanted to do. Just a fyi to you girls wanting to get your hair done.

Jamaica-Sunset beach was nice (Taxi was $5 for two to SB). It did rain quite a bit, but we enjoyed our day of relaxation. We left in the afternoon and went to City center for some shopping. Every shop owner wanted you to come into their shop. I briefly went in each shop and looked around, if nothing interested me I was in and out in two minutes and each lady or man said thank you for coming in. I wasn’t pressured to buy anything (and I went upstairs-some people did not). I was not asked if I wanted any drugs, but my husband was approached once while he waited outside a shop for me.

Grand Cayman-We took the Native way Rays, reef, and Rum Point tour. I cannot say enough about this experience. They were fantastic and I cannot recommend them enough. Other tours were packed and did not have the same great experience we had. This was an all day excursion, but we made it back to the ship with no difficulties.

Cozumel-We went to Paradise beach and then shopping in the afternoon. (Taxi was $14 for two to PB) We arrived at Paradise beach early and enjoyed a full day of relaxation. I ate, drank, relaxed in the sun, and had a massage. We left about 230pm and went shopping. We had the taxi driver drop us off by Senor Frogs and walked around shopping until it was time to be at the pier for the last tender.

Finally-Debarkation. Let me say that while it seems it has improved over the months that I’ve been reading posts, I would still recommend self assist if it is possible for your family/group.

We had planned to do self assist, but at the last minute changed our minds and put our luggage out the night before as instructed. We did this as we were unsure if we would be able to haul all our luggage. However, if you have luggage that rolls and piggy backs I would definitely do self assist. Once we were finally cleared to leave the boat, about 930, we traveled down smooth ramps until we reached the terminal. Then you go down either an escalator or an elevator. You are suppose to have one free hand to use the escalator. When you get to the baggage claim center, then the majority of you are hauling all your own luggage at this point anyway and this is the part where you go thru customs, etc. So if possible, save time and a boring wait in a lounge and do self assist! We were in our car on the way home by 1015. They do announce debarkation from the top down for both self assist and regular debarkation. Hopefully this isn’t to long. Please feel free to ask any questions.

.

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Awesome review! Thank you so much for sharing! We can't wait until our turn. Be sure to post your pictures when you get them.

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Thanks so much for the review can not wait to go in August!!! What was the cost of pictures and if you could also tell me the prices of the strawberry daiquiris and Budweiser?:p

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We bought Coors Light. Two with 15% gratuity was $10.35.

My Strawberry Daiquiri was $5.69 with gratuity. On our pictures my husband asked if they were having any specials and he got 4 8x10's, including the embarkation photo and complimentary photo holder, and two small ones they tossed in (dining room at table and a silly one with a pirate) for $87.96. We waited a few days to go and buy pictures. Have a great cruise and look forward to your review. We plan on taking one again!!

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great review. thanks for posting it. I leave in 11 Sundays but then who's counting..

 

I AM

 

You must be on the week behind us. I leave in 10!!! (August 27th)

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Thanks for the wonderful review. My family is planning a cruise for next summer (July '07) :D and we are trying to decide which itinerary and ship to take. The Conquest is one we have narrowed our choices down to. Your review sure did help.

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You must be on the week behind us. I leave in 10!!! (August 27th)

 

I think I might have trouble with arithmatic as I don't leave till Sept 10th.

 

Robb

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I think I might have trouble with arithmatic as I don't leave till Sept 10th.

 

Robb

 

I recounted to be sure and I do leave on the 10th Sunday starting today.

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