Carnival Conquest - Western Caribbean: Carnival Conquest Cruise Review by bluestorm19
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Conquest - Western Caribbean
Destination: Western Caribbean
This was our second cruise. First cruise was July 2005 on Carnival Elation.
Embarkation: Arrived at the cruise terminal around 11:45 to find a very long line. We were handed memos stating that passengers would be allowed to board at 1:30 (the line did not start moving until then!) & that cabins would be ready at 2:00. We were onboard by 2:45, headed to our cabins & off to Sur Mer for fish and chips. Did the muster drill and then headed to the casino for a couple of Funship specials.
Cabin: Lido 9202 - We originally booked an inside cabin on the Empress deck, but when the time came for final payment, our PVP notified us that the price of our room had decreased and she offered to move us up to an obstructed OV cabin on the Lido deck. This ended up being a handicapped cabin, but our PVP assured us that if someone needed to be accommodated with a handicapped room, that we would be bumped to a different cabin. This was More fine by us, as we did not feel right at first taking a HC cabin. The cabin was larger than an inside and had a roomy bathroom equipped for people who use wheelchairs. The OV faced the front of the ship, which was really cool! There was a public deck outside our window, which at times was annoying to hear people stomping around on. The view was not very obstructed; we could see the ocean and land when we pulled into port. The only drawback to this location was that it was right next to the Steward Station& every morning around 5 AM, the Lido deck stewards would come and stock up their carts with glasses and such. Lots of loud voices, banging, and glasses clanging. At least we didnt hear many people running and screaming up and down the halls as much as in our previous cruise.
First day at sea: Explored the ship, which at first was a bit difficult to navigate. I remembered the year before on Elation, there are only a few decks that go all the way through forward to aft. This can be tricky until you become familiar with the layout. We used decks 5 and 9 more than any. Went to check out the pools and found the adult pool aft. During the day, it truly IS an adult-only pool. I was impressed to find security out there all day, directing children away from the pool and hot tubs. Once evening came, however, it was a free-for-all. This was our first formal night and also the Captains cocktail party. We had late dinner seating, which I completely prefer. I dont like to have to rush to get ready for dinner. We are never ready to get out of the pool and sun, so the 8:00 dinner worked out well for us. The Captains cocktail party was a lot of fun; great hors d'oeuvres and cocktails. The band, Blood Power a cover band, played and they sounded really good. Glad we made it to the party.
Second day at sea: Swam some more in the aft pool and walked around to take pictures of the ship. Tried out the cheeseburger and fries at the Lido grill very tasty! We were invited to attend the past guest party at 5 PM, but were having too much fun in the sun and didnt feel like getting dressed. We just wanted to relax with no kind of itinerary.
PORTS OF CALL
Montego Bay, Jamaica: Jamaica is beautiful! We booked independently through A-Z Jamaica Planners to go to Negril for the day. Clive was our driver and he took us to Negril beach we used a hotels facilities for several hours, I think it was called Tree House Resort& it was very close to Margaritaville Negril, so after a few hours of swimming, we headed there for cheeseburgers and margaritas. Negril beach is stunningly beautiful... white, soft sand and beautiful water. There were a few locals trying to sale us things, including pot, hash, mushrooms, cocaine& you get the picture. It wasnt too bad, though. At no time did I feel unsafe. We spent some time at Margaritaville and were planning to go to the west end of Negril to watch some cliff diving when it began to rain. It rained for quite a while and dampened our plans to see the cliffs. We headed back to Montego Bay and only had time to stop at one shop in the hip strip. Clive took us to a place to get Blue Mountain Coffee and souvenirs and while we were there, we were solicited several more times to buy various substances. Some people were very aggressive, but I wouldnt let this stop you from visiting the island of Jamaica. Jamaica is a gorgeous, lush island with much to offer, even though it is very poor and some of the locals are extremely desperate. I would definitely recommend going to Negril (or any other excursion) with A-Z Jamaica Planners. They are a reliable company and it makes more sense to give your money to a local company, rather than making the Carnival Corporation even wealthier.
Grand Cayman Island: Not quite as breathtaking as Jamaica, but very clean and regulated. The water was clear and the sand was very soft and pristine. We booked the stingray and coral gardens snorkeling excursion through Captain Marvins. I would highly recommend using this local company. They were all very kind, laid back folks and treated us very well. It was a small group of us on the excursion, which made the experience all the better. Coral gardens had some amazing sea life. So much to see! We saw a starfish, barracuda, and other creatures I dont recall the names of. From there, we went on to stingray city and were surprised to see how comfortable the stingrays were with us. They are awesome animals! Glad to have experienced them. We wanted to check out Rum Point beach, but again, just didnt have enough time.
Cozumel: Wow -- this was our first time in Cozumel and we loved it! The most laid back place of all. We could have stayed there forever! Did some shopping and ate at Panchos Backyard. Their guacamole was heaven! Had some margaritas and proceeded to do more shopping when we noticed we were running short on time. We caught a taxi and went to Mr. Sanchos beach. My sister and her husband went here several years ago and absolutely loved it. Its not as crowded as Paradise Beach, and is beautiful and friendly. Plenty of stuff to do here. There is a bar/grill, shopping, jet skis, parasailing, horseback riding, and on and on& We only had time to spend about an hour and a half here and unfortunately had to rush back to the ship. The water was crystal clear, very calm& we could see striped fish swimming around us. Next time, we will bring our own snorkel equipment and will definitely return to Mr. Sanchos. LOVED Cozumel! One tip I can offer& if you are looking for beaded or sea shell necklaces, there is a stand on the pier as youre waiting in line for the tender back who sell these types of necklaces/jewelry/souvenirs for a dollar each! We saw some of the same things along the main drag that were marked way up!
Last day at sea: The last day at sea is always the best. We took advantage of every moment -- laid in the sun, swam, drank margaritas, watched the sea& even tried out the slide a couple of times I highly recommend the slide, even if youre older, dont worry& there were plenty of adults riding it (multiple times). I really enjoy sea days& its so relaxing and really helps you put life into perspective.
Debarkation: My dad had to catch an early flight out of Houston, so we did self assist debarkation and were off the ship just before 8 AM. It was very smooth, no problems.
Food: Food overall was fair to good. Some entrees were excellent, others bland and heavily processed. We skipped out of the dining room Thursday and Friday nights& we were just too tired from rushing around in the ports. The deli was pretty good; had a decent Reuben on rye. My boyfriend loved Sur Mer (upstairs from Cezanne buffet). He had some awesome ceviche and calamari. The pizza was also great I ate several different kinds and liked them all. For breakfast, I had omelets most mornings, which I loved. Tried out the buffet a few times, but the scrambled eggs were very wet and had a strange texture. I heard the French toast was very good.
Entertainment: Cant comment too much on this. We only attended the Legends show on the last night of the cruise& it was hilarious! They had passengers imitate singers like Elvis, Madonna, etc... we laughed a lot. I really enjoyed the pool band the Island Men & loved the Bob Marley songs they played!
The ship: The Conquest is a beautiful ship! I loved the Impressionist art theme& the atrium has murals of works of art from Rousseau, Degas, Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Gauguin, and many others. The ship is very clean and well-maintained.
Overall comments: This ship is HUGE. I couldnt help comparing the Conquest to Elation, which is smaller with fewer passengers. I really felt that the massive number of passengers on the Conquest kept them from being able to offer a more personal touch. On Elation, it felt more intimate and neighborly. The dining staff was able to devote more attention to you and were not quite as overworked as the crew on Conquest (or so it seemed). Our wait staff on the Conquest was awesome, but they had so many tables to tend to that I felt badly for them. It just wasnt the same in that regard. Considering the number of people the crew is caring for, they do a spectacular job. We had such an awesome time on this cruise and I would recommend it to anyone. I wish I were back on the ship already! Less
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