Embarkation - I drove from Dallas, TX to Houston then to Galveston. Parked at the Port of Galveston, very easy. They ask you to drop off your baggage first before boarding the shuttle, but you really do not have to do this; there are shuttles who transport luggage also. I give the port of galveston a thumbs up, had no problem whatsoever. To me, this is the only way to go if you are driving. I spent the night at the Houston Hobby Marriott because I had free points and got one night free; otherwise I would have booked the Holiday Inn on the Beach cause you can leave your car there free of charge. My parking at the port of Galveston was $70.00. I will definitely use the POG again.
My room was excellent; I was on the 8th floor with a balcony; a balcony to me is the only way to go. I did feel some movement at this level but it did not even bother me. The room had plenty of storage space. I keep reading about others saying you need to clip the shower curtain together, I didn't and never had any problems. But please bring your own soap and other bathroom necessities--ladies, it's a must. Bring everything you would use at home in your bathrooms.
My first time cruising, I love beautiful 4-5 star hotels; this ship reminded me of the same. I have no complaints about the ship whatsoever. It is large, roomy and beautiful. What more can I say. Lovely, just lovely.
Food. Too much food to have any complaints. If you don't like something, then get something else. The buffet, the grill, the dining room. I just can't complain about the food at all. It was all great; I don't know what else to say, but GREAT!!!
I went specifically on the cruise to relax and chill out and that's exactly what I did. I'm single and 45. I did a couple of shows which were excellent--the Motown Review and the Comedy Show. I spent a lot of time listening to classical and jazz music. Perfect!!!
Service and entertaining was great! This is my first time cruising and I only have one complaint which I will describe later. To all reading this, take the Carnival Conquest; and if you don't, take a ship that is not very old; I believe the Conquest is only about 4 years old. Please take a new ship if you are cruising.
Shore Excursions: Jamaica, this is my only complaint, I've been to Jamaica many a times. The Highlights and Shopping Tour was terrible. It does not show the prettiest of the Island; Jamaica is hills and mountains and beautiful. DO NOT take this tour. Carnival and the Tour Company need to really revise this tour--to show the prettyness of the island. The only good part of this tour was Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville and shopping in Center City. They need to add a beach stop in this tour and BY PASS the first stop where, on my tour a lot of tourist felt extremely uncomfortable (the poorest part of the island--I only bought something here because I felt sorry for the people "begging" you to buy something); this is not something anyone wants to tolerate on their vacation, nor should they have to--it's not fair Carnival..stop it. I plan to write a letter to Carnival regarding this tour; and the narrow driving up the hills made many of us feel uncomfortable. Please Carnival, talk with the tour company and make the revisions--keep Margaritaville and City Center, but add a BEACH.
Grand Cayman--What a pricey island; it's a beautiful island tho. I did the Rum Cake Factory, the turtle farm and the town called Hell, being a Christian, I did not get off the tour bus in Hell.
Cozumel -- I loved this island; want to go back again, I love Jamaica having been many a times, but this time for me it's Cozumel--gotta love it. I'll go back in a New York Minute. Poncho's Backyard's food was great and their margaritas were off the hook. The island was simple beautiful. I saw a little of the Maya Village and Ruins, was taken to a beautiful part of the ocean where Katrina had hit and then went downtown for shopping. We had to take small boats (tenders) to get to the island because Carnival's port had been destroyed by Katrina; Royal Caribbean's port was in tact and their passengers could get off the boat and walk up to the island. But...I want to go back. I tried to book the 4 day Carnival Ecstasy, but no balcony, so forget it.
Debarkation - I self-assisted and this is the only way to go; I was in my car at the Port of Galveston by 9:30 heading back to Dallas.
Will I do Carnival Conquest again; my sister and I are already planning my 50th b-day on the Conquest. I put this down in my journal as my favorite vacation EVER. I travel a lot by myself!