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Karshrimp

Just back from the Conquest (1-7-07)!!

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Wow! What a good time we had! Met up with fellow CC'ers onboard, and we had a blast! Not very good at writing reviews, but I'll try and do one...:p

 

Embarkment: Parked at EZ Cruise and arrived at the pier at 11am only to be told by passengers disembarking that they had just begun to get off the ship! Was told the reason why was that there were over 1,000 Mexican nationals on that cruise, and Immigration was going thru them with a fine tooth comb one by one, so it caused a huge delay. We were told by the disembarking passengers we should turn around and leave and come back at 3pm. However, since a shuttle had dropped us off, we were pretty much stuck there (plus we were SO ready to get onboard), so we just worked our way thru the madhouse. We finally got onboard around 1:15pm

 

The cabins wouldn't be open til 2pm, so we ate lunch on the Lido and roamed around. What a gorgeous ship! The staff is so friendly and really make you feel welcomed. Finally got to go to our cabins (we had 2 aft balcony cabins on deck 8) where they were decorated with the Bon Voyage decorations. I would encourage anyone to have their cabins decorated! It was so festive, and so much fun when you open the door and see them for the first time! I brought the main pieces home with me where they will be put up in my bedroom, so I'll see them everyday and remember my cruise...:D

 

Did the muster drill around 5pm. Took advice off of the CC boards and didn't rush to be the 1st there and get buried against the back wall. Muster was painless, lasted maybe 10 minutes at the most, and off we went!

 

Monday and Tuesday were "At Sea" days. We had come up with the idea on our CC Roll Call to all meet at the Sky Pool at 1pm on Monday. Had quite a few people show up! Txchelle (Michelle and Joe), FrawgDawg26 (Dallas and Robynn), Sofunky (Lisa), USMCFamily (Matt and Steph), Mark AR (Mark and Regina), Bradtez (Mark and Tez from Austraila), and us, Karshrimp (Karen and Bill).

 

Around 2pm, everyone split 'cos there were activities going on on the ship that people wanted to go to. We all had a really good time in that 1 hour. We ended up hanging out together here and there thru out the cruise and some of the ports too. The CC crowd was a fun group! Matt of the USMCFamily won the Hairy Chest contest! :eek:

 

Montego Bay, Jamaica (Wednesday): Our driver, Garfield (thru A-Z Planners) took us for a tour of Rose Hall, then to so some shopping. When he was driving he was telling us all about Jamaica and answering any questions we had. He was pretty funny and had us laughing alot. Every one of his sentences ended with "Mon". No problem mon!

 

After the Rose Hall tour and shopping a little, we wanted to eat lunch at the Jamaican Bobsled Cafe and then shop a little more, so he dropped us off with plans to meet him in front of Margaritaville at 3pm to be picked up and taken back to the ship. I was under the impression by A-Z Planners he would be with us all day since he was our guide, but I thought maybe this is how they do their tours? I didn't know.

 

He warned us we would be hasseled by locals, and just tell them "no thank you" and keep walking. He warned us not to stop and get into conversations with them 'cos they will hold you there forever trying to get you to buy whatever they are selling. Then the next local, a few feet away, is waiting for their turn with you! You'll never make it down the street!

 

Boy was he right! Every 3 steps we took, someone was trying to sell us anything from hair braiding to t-shirts to "come see inside my shop" to taxi rides to tours, etc. You name it, and it was thrown at us, and we had only walked about 2 blocks! The hasseling by the locals in Jamaica was way worse than it is in Mexico...JMHO!

 

We worked our way down the street to Margaritaville. 3pm and no Garfield in sight. He shows up FINALLY at 3:30! We were beginning to think he wasn't coming back for us, and we had all these other taxi drivers trying to get us to let them take us back to the ship in the meantime. We would had taken them up on the offer, but I had booked this tour thru the A-Z Planners website and they had my credit card info. Note: I learned of A-Z thru the Ports of Call section here on Cruise Critic where everyone was saying how good they are. I am sure they would had charged my credit card for the tour and all, PLUS our shopping bags were in his van where he said we could leave them safely so we wouldn't have to lug them around town. So taking some other taxi back to the ship wasn't an option for us right at that moment, so we waited and waited in front of Margaritaville for Garfield to show up.

 

I was starting to get a sick feeling in my stomach when he finally showed up! He said something about he had to pick his daughter up from school and the traffic was bad. It was a big relief when we finally saw him! I was mad and glad at the same time! We just wanted to get out of there and get back on the ship. I am sure Jamaica is a beautiful country and I shouldn't judge the whole island because of a 2 block area we were in. However, I would never walk in downtown Montego Bay alone on our own without having a guide with us. It is like throwing fresh meat to starving wolves. Again...jmho!

 

Lesson learned: If you hire a tour guide service, no matter how reputatable they are, ALWAYS get your driver's card and shuttle/taxi number if he wants to drop you off somewhere and meet up with you later, so you have their contact info if you need it...and don't leave anything in their vehicle! ;)

 

Georgetown, Grand Cayman (Thursday): Finally set foot on GC! This was our 2nd try after failing to be able to tender last January on Rhapsody of the Seas. Saw CC member Mark AR getting off pulling a rolling suitcase behind him. Kidded him and asked was he going to stay in Grand Caymans? He replied "Yes"!!

 

We had scheduled to swim with the stingrays, however the sea was too rough on that side of the island and all tours were cancelled. Bummer! So instead, we changed our stingray excursion to a city tour and trip to the turtle farm. Our guide drove us around for awhile and told us all about Grand Cayman on the way out to the turtle farm. We toured the turtle farm and then went to Hell, Grand Caymans. Also went to the Rum cake store, and then back to the ship. Last tender left at 3pm, so we didn't really have alot of time there. 4 ships were in port that day. Alot of people walking around! Very crowded! Lady at one store told us 8 ships were suppose to be in the day before, but water was too rough, so none made it in.

 

Cozumel (Friday): Arrived at 9am but it was 11:30am before we finally got off the ship due to tendering taking forever! For some reason they had only 1 tendering station opened until around 11am when they finally opened a 2nd one. Once they did that, tendering started going more quickly. The Conquest is sharing one of the docks with the Valor. One week the Conquest will dock while the Valor tenders, and the next week the Conquest tenders while the Valor docks. Guess what week we drew! Lol!

 

Finally made it to Chankanaab Park about noon. Some in the group did some snorkling and they loved it! They saw so many fish including a barracuda and a stingray. Left about 3:30 to get back into town and shop a little. Hooked up with some of the CC'ers on the tender back. Michelle (Txchelle) had "sex on the beach" with Matt and Steph (USMCFamily) and was feeling pretty good! Lol! She was all giggly! Steph had her hair braided and her husband Matt, who had won the Hairy Chest contest earlier in the week on the Conquest, had some of his chest hair braided! It was so funny!

 

Hit really rough waters leaving Cozumel that night. Ship was really rocking and rolling! It was the 1st time all week that I felt quesy. I applied a seasick patch I had, but it was too late. I think you are suppose to apply them BEFORE you get sick! Lol! Took some meclizine which seemed to help. The thought of eating food made me feel sicker, so we skipped dinner that night needless to say! I was asleep by 9:30. Our room steward told us the next day that everytime they leave Cozumel they hit those rough waters. So if you are prone to seasickness, take something BEFORE you leave Cozumel!

 

Saturday: "At Sea Day". Spent the morning in the casino. Slots just were not going to give it up on this cruise! I heard of only 2 people that won at slots this week. Each for around $500 each. Ate lunch and then just roamed around the ship. Kind of a bummed out feeling on the ship I could feel 'cos it was the last day! No one was ready for the week to be over just yet!

 

After dinner, went to the Degas Lounge to watch Blood Power for the 5th time that week! They are soooo good! It is amazing how they can sound exactly like the group whose song they are singing! They covered everyone from U2, Journey, Queen, and countless others! Joey's (the lead singer) impersonation of Whitney Houston will have you rolling on the floor! If you are going on the Conquest anytime soon, look in your caper everyday to see where they are playing that night. Don't miss them!! You'll be hooked and want to see them everynight from there on!

 

Sunday: Arrived in Galveston close to 7am. We were late due to fog. It was pretty thick. Are breakfast on the Lido deck, and then went back to the cabin to wait for our tag color to be called. We were on Deck 8, and they called it around 9:30 just as they were telling everyone that was still remaining to go to the lounges to wait so they could get the cabins cleaned. I liked being able to wait in the cabins compared to when we sailed Rhapsody last year. You had to get up and out of your cabin soon as the ship got into Galveston, go to an assigned waiting area, and sit there for an eternity till your tag color was called. It was very nice to be able to wait in the cabin. Very fast getting off, getting thru customs, and finding our luggage.

 

Summary: You know, I could sit here and write a review and complain about Jamaica, or the slow tendering in Cozumel, etc. But you know what? I choose to have fun and I did! I wasn't going to let something that was only a temporary situation ruin my vacation! I made alot of new friends because of Crusie Critic, and had a blast! Instead of being at work, I was in the Caribbean on a cruise ship! That's something alot of people will never get to do, and for that I feel blessed!

 

I saw a guy wearing a T-shirt that pretty much says it all..."If you didn't have fun, it's your own damn fault"! ;)

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Glad you had a great time Karshrimp. I can't wait to see any pics you may post. How did you like the aft? Less than 3 weeks and we'll be in ours.

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Glad you had a great time Karshrimp. I can't wait to see any pics you may post. How did you like the aft? Less than 3 weeks and we'll be in ours.

 

We really liked it! It involved a little more walking, but hey, I needed to work off that warm chocolate melting cake I had every night for dessert! :p

 

The only "problem" we had was when people were standing at the railing up on deck 10 would smoke. Some would throw their cigarette butts and matches, etc. over the railing and it would land on us if we were out on the balcony. Several times we were standing at our railing, feel something land on our head, and it would be cigarette ashes or butts.

 

One night we were at our balcony railing and saw a lit cigarette come sailing down and landed on the balcony on deck 6. The lady in the corner balcony, port side, on deck 6 was always complaining every morning about finding cigarette butts on her balcony. There IS a sign up there stating not to throw anything over the railing, but you know how that goes! ;)

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Thanks for the great review. We will be going back next Febuary on the cupids cruise. Can't wait! Its a wonderful ship.:D

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We also did A-Z tours and had a wonderful time with them. We had Clive and he stayed with us the whole time. We went to Mayfield falls, shopping, Jerk hut to eat, and then to Margaritaville. he was waiting for us the whole time. We are going to book with them again when we go back.

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Karshrimp,

 

what cabin on deck 8 aft did you have? I've got 8452 booked in May and am wondering about the noise from the Lido deck. Also, were people from Lido looking down onto your balcony?? We had 6454 on Deck 6 and loved it...............we will always go aft!! Glad you had fun!! Also, the rotating docking in Coz with the Valor....is that how it's always going to be?

 

Thanks for the info!!

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Karshrimp,

Thanks for the great review, we sail on her in 90 days & we can't wait! Did you happen to hear if Blood Power is going to be leaving the ship anytime soon? I believe I had read that somewhere on here a month or so ago. I hope they'll be there as I have read so many great things about them. Thanks again & I hope everyone takes your advice & remembers that a cruise is what you make of it!

 

Celebration 10/00

Celebration 5/01

Conquest 11/06 cancelled:( due to illness

Conquest 4/15/07:D

Ecstasy 1/12/08 40th B-day bash/girl friend's getaway

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We also did A-Z tours and had a wonderful time with them. We had Clive and he stayed with us the whole time. We went to Mayfield falls, shopping, Jerk hut to eat, and then to Margaritaville. he was waiting for us the whole time. We are going to book with them again when we go back.

 

We were originally suppose to have Clive, but Garfield showed up. When I asked him about Clive, he said he got assigned to another tour. I really liked Garfield til he caused me to have a panic attack thinking he wasn't coming back for us and our stuff was in his van! :eek:

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Karshrimp,

 

what cabin on deck 8 aft did you have? I've got 8452 booked in May and am wondering about the noise from the Lido deck. Also, were people from Lido looking down onto your balcony?? We had 6454 on Deck 6 and loved it...............we will always go aft!! Glad you had fun!! Also, the rotating docking in Coz with the Valor....is that how it's always going to be?

 

Thanks for the info!!

 

We had 8452! :p Our son and DIL were next door in 8454. All 4 of us felt 8452 seemed a little bigger than 8454 'cos it had a couch and table on the same side of the cabin as the bed with the vanity and tv straight across on the other side of the room. 8454 just had a chair and table with the vanity and tv all on the same side of the room as the bed. It might have just been the way the furniture was laid out, but 8452 seemed bigger.

 

We only heard them moving the chairs on the Lido deck early in the morning a couple of times. Only lasted a couple of minutes. Nothing major.

 

If you are standing all the way out on your balcony against the balcony railing, people on the Lido can see you if they are sitting at one of the tables that are up against the glass windows. People on the Panorama deck (deck 10) can see you too if they are leaning on the railing up there. That's where the cigarette butts, ashes, and trash (beer cans, etc.) were coming from. However, if you are up under the cover on your balcony, no one can see you.

 

As for the Valor and Conquest taking turns at the dock, I don't know if that's how it'll be til the Carnival dock gets rebuilt or what. They were working on the Carnival dock the day we were there.

 

I have since learned Valor does rotating trips of Eastern Caribbean one week, then Western Caribbean the next week. So evidently, every other week when she is in Cozumel she is getting the dock. The next week when she is in the Eastern Caribbean, the Conquest gets the dock. That's what they meant when they said the Valor and Conquest take turns docking.

 

Be sure and don't leave anything out on your balcony all night that can't get wet 'cos there was a couple of nights that the sprinklers come on that wash off the Lido windows above you! Have fun and take care of my cabin for me!! :p

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Karshrimp,

Thanks for the great review, we sail on her in 90 days & we can't wait! Did you happen to hear if Blood Power is going to be leaving the ship anytime soon? I believe I had read that somewhere on here a month or so ago. I hope they'll be there as I have read so many great things about them. Thanks again & I hope everyone takes your advice & remembers that a cruise is what you make of it!

 

Celebration 10/00

Celebration 5/01

Conquest 11/06 cancelled:( due to illness

Conquest 4/15/07:D

Ecstasy 1/12/08 40th B-day bash/girl friend's getaway

 

Ahhh! Blood Power! My favorite part of the cruise! :D

No, I didn't think to ask them how long they were going to be on. I think Goin'Crusin might know. You ought to post a thread asking if anyone knew and I'll bet you'll get your answer pretty quick! I'd be interested in knowing too!

 

I have quite a few pictures I took of them. I even have one of Joey (the lead singer) posing with the Funship Freddy doll that belonged to my grown son. My son was taking Freddy everywhere on the ship and in ports taking his picture everywhere, kinda like the traveling gnome thing. Freddy sitting at the slot machines, Freddy eating in the dining room, Freddy with a Conquest life preserver around his neck, you get the idea! It was hilarious! So we had to get Freddy with Blood Power of course! ;)

 

I'll get my son to show me how to post a couple of the pics on here so you can see them.

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We had 8452! :p Our son and DIL were next door in 8454. All 4 of us felt 8452 seemed a little bigger than 8454 'cos it had a couch and table on the same side of the cabin as the bed with the vanity and tv straight across on the other side of the room. 8454 just had a chair and table with the vanity and tv all on the same side of the room as the bed. It might have just been the way the furniture was laid out, but 8452 seemed bigger.

 

We only heard them moving the chairs on the Lido deck early in the morning a couple of times. Only lasted a couple of minutes. Nothing major.

 

If you are standing all the way out on your balcony against the balcony railing, people on the Lido can see you if they are sitting at one of the tables that are up against the glass windows. People on the Panorama deck (deck 10) can see you too if they are leaning on the railing up there. That's where the cigarette butts, ashes, and trash (beer cans, etc.) were coming from. However, if you are up under the cover on your balcony, no one can see you.

 

As for the Valor and Conquest taking turns at the dock, I don't know if that's how it'll be til the Carnival dock gets rebuilt or what. They were working on the Carnival dock the day we were there.

 

I have since learned Valor does rotating trips of Eastern Caribbean one week, then Western Caribbean the next week. So evidently, every other week when she is in Cozumel she is getting the dock. The next week when she is in the Eastern Caribbean, the Conquest gets the dock. That's what they meant when they said the Valor and Conquest take turns docking.

 

Be sure and don't leave anything out on your balcony all night that can't get wet 'cos there was a couple of nights that the sprinklers come on that wash off the Lido windows above you! Have fun and take care of my cabin for me!! :p

 

:D I am sooooooo excited to hear from someone who has actually stayed in this room!!!! It has a couch? I'm surprised about that, I thought only rooms that were booked for 3 people had a couch. I'm pretty sure this is a 2 person room!? Anyway, if it seems bigger, that is even better!! This will be my 3rd time on the Conquest, the first for my hubby! We are celebrating our 13yr wedding anniversary!! I'll be sure to take care of it and I'm glad you loved it......I'm sure we will as well!!

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:D I am sooooooo excited to hear from someone who has actually stayed in this room!!!! It has a couch? I'm surprised about that, I thought only rooms that were booked for 3 people had a couch. I'm pretty sure this is a 2 person room!? Anyway, if it seems bigger, that is even better!! This will be my 3rd time on the Conquest, the first for my hubby! We are celebrating our 13yr wedding anniversary!! I'll be sure to take care of it and I'm glad you loved it......I'm sure we will as well!!

 

Yep, it has a couch and there was only my husband and I booked in the room. I was surprised too. When my son comes by, I'll get home to post the picture I have of 8452 for you! Tell Francisco, the Cabin Steward hi for me!

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Karshrimp,

Thanks for the great review, we sail on her in 90 days & we can't wait! Did you happen to hear if Blood Power is going to be leaving the ship anytime soon? I believe I had read that somewhere on here a month or so ago. I hope they'll be there as I have read so many great things about them. Thanks again & I hope everyone takes your advice & remembers that a cruise is what you make of it!

 

Celebration 10/00

Celebration 5/01

Conquest 11/06 cancelled:( due to illness

Conquest 4/15/07:D

Ecstasy 1/12/08 40th B-day bash/girl friend's getaway

 

Tisabee, I stand corrected. It seems by going to www.bloodpowerband.com it says the lead singer's name is Albert. I swear they were calling him "Joey" during the cruise! Maybe it's a nickname or either I had too many Margarita's!! :p

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Karshrimp,

Thanks for the great review, we sail on her in 90 days & we can't wait! Did you happen to hear if Blood Power is going to be leaving the ship anytime soon? I believe I had read that somewhere on here a month or so ago. I hope they'll be there as I have read so many great things about them. Thanks again & I hope everyone takes your advice & remembers that a cruise is what you make of it!

 

Celebration 10/00

Celebration 5/01

Conquest 11/06 cancelled:( due to illness

Conquest 4/15/07:D

Ecstasy 1/12/08 40th B-day bash/girl friend's getaway

 

In case you missed the post I posted asking about Blood Power, Goin'Cruisin says they are going to the Liberty in March or April. Alot of crew members on the Conquest told us this past week their contracts are over in March, they take some time off, and then start a new contract. So March/April makes sense.

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--------Boy was he right! Every 3 steps we took, someone was trying to sell us anything from hair braiding to t-shirts to "come see inside my shop" to taxi rides to tours, etc. You name it, and it was thrown at us, and we had only walked about 2 blocks! The hasseling by the locals in Jamaica was way worse than it is in Mexico...JMHO!----------

 

You must not have attended the orientation aboard ship. We were on the Conquest last May and we were warned about that. We will be on the Conquest again this May and we will take an excursion. Last year we took the Negril beach exursion and we made the mistake of sitting to close to the Margaritaville property boundry. There were these two locals, who were run off the property, standing on the property line constantly trying to peddle their goods to those who were within earshot and wouldn't shut the heck up. Before they were run off the property, one did try to sell me drugs as I got out of the water.

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In case you missed the post I posted asking about Blood Power, Goin'Cruisin says they are going to the Liberty in March or April. Alot of crew members on the Conquest told us this past week their contracts are over in March, they take some time off, and then start a new contract. So March/April makes sense.

 

I guess I'll just haved to book the Liberty next, huh? Thanks for your response. I'm glad you had such a great time.

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I really enjoyed your review! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We can't wait for our turn on the Conquest..12/2/07!!

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Is it a sure thing that you must walk thru that guantlet of hell ? Or is there a way around it ? And why does the jamaican tourist industry let that go on when it makes so many of the tourists miserable ?

 

When I go, I'm not gonna stop walking, they'll get the message real quik.. There won't be an opportunity to stop me at all, or I'll go off! I surely do expect some peddling, but what you all are describing is something I don't take vacations for....

 

Comment cards comment cards comment cards... We all need to write about that, and when we get home, send letters to Carnival in Miami about all that crap.... "But that's the way it is, its thier livelyhood"! Yeah, some polite peddling is fine, but not swarmed to where you get stopped every two feet.... If you don't complain, it just goes on and on and on..... And you don't think the Jamaican Tourist Industry won't clamp down on that when enough cruise lines complain ? Those cruise ships bring a huge chunk of money to that island, they'll listen.

 

If you don't complain, especially when we have a reason to, then don't whine about it on here..

 

Anyway, I'm going to have a good time regardless.

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