We just returned from the Conquest sailing on 3/12/2006. It was wonderful. We spent the night before at the Holiday Inn on the beach and they took us right to the port and picked us up on Sunday morning. Debbie was the driver and she is prompt and efficient.
Everything was smooth sailing. We enjoyed ourselves so much. The cabin was always clean and our waiter was wonderful. I can't imagine changing anything. We enjoyed all the shows except for one magic show. The comedians were so funny (adult only). And we had a juggling act that was tremendous. It was all entertaining.
There were a few things that will make us think about this cruise again and again. One being that our captain picked up a distress signal from what was described as a raft. He sent someone to check on it and found 28 Cubans. They returned to the Conquest but were not permitted to mingle with the passengers. It was my understanding that they were not being allowed to disembark at any port and that they would be returned to a boat somewhere out at sea. I have no idea of the validity of that.
There were two other things. I witnessed the Mexican Navy picking someone up late at night. I understand this lady had health problems requiring immediate attention. Again, our captain was compassionate and turned around to get this women to a hospital. The other rumor was that a teenager died as a result of alcohol poisoning. I have no idea if that is true but it seemed to be a pervasive comment by people as they disembarked today. If someone reads this that knows the true story, please let me know.
We were very lucky and were upgraded from 4A to cabin 9257 (balcony). It was great and right on the Lido deck.
My family did not like the city tour in Montigo Bay and they are probably correct that this was not a good tour (booked thru Carnival). Our other tour was the stingrays and it is unbelievable. There were not a lot of stingrays there the day we were but it is definitely something I will always remember.
Lines were long at many of the buffets and there were a few rude people cutting in line.
Food was great and we were always offered "seconds" or anything else we wanted.
Disembarking was not fun, but part of the problem was we were late getting into Galveston due to the medical emergency. Then there was the issue of the 28 Cuban Refugees. Police and other official looking people got on board at the level of the employees' entrance, and I never saw them come off. We did not arrive in Galveston until 8am and we were not allowed to self--assist until about 9:30 am. I am sure there could be a better way to do this but there were circumstances beyond anyone's control.
Tendering at both Cayman and Cozmel was no problem. My husband and I went shopping in Cozumel and were ready to return to the ship by about 12:00. I thought we would have to wait for a full boat before we returned but there were only 12 of us on that particular tender and they still made the trip..
We just had lots of fun but still have so many memories of a wonderful cruise but concern for others.