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Carnival Conquest Cruise Review by Christine in MO

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Carnival Conquest
Carnival Conquest
Member Name: Christine in MO
Cruise Date: December 2006
Embarkation: Galveston
Destination: Western Caribbean
Cabin Category: 8E
Cabin Number: 1039
Booking Method: Cruise Line
See More About: Carnival Conquest Cruise Reviews | Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews | Carnival Cruise Deals
Member Rating   5.0 out of 5+
Dining 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Cabins 5.0
Entertainment 4.0
Spa & Fitness Not Rated
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions Not Rated
Embarkation 5.0
Service 5.0
Value-for-Money Not Rated
Rates 5.0
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Ship Facts: Carnival Conquest Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Carnival Conquest Deck Plans
Carnival Conquest - Western Caribbean
Carnival Conquest 12/10/06 - 12/17/06

Background info on us: just myself (32) & DH (40) traveling together and we drove to Galveston from NE Missouri. Neither of us have ever cruised before. I booked our cruise in May 2006 with a Carnival PVP. We booked during a special and paid the 8A price for an automatic upgrade to an 8E. We were on deck 10 (Panorama) cabin 1039 on the starboard side.

We left on Friday, December 8 at approx 10 am for the 1000 mile trip to Galveston, TX The first day we drove 12 ½ hours which included 3 stops for gas/food/potty breaks. Our goal for the day was to get past Dallas, TX. We drove until 10:30 pm and stopped for the night in Ennis, TX (about 20 miles past Dallas). We drove just over 700 miles on this day. We stayed at the Ennis Inn just off the highway the cost was $55 for the night. It is not the greatest hotel but it served our purpose for a few hours sleep.

On Saturday, we woke up & showered & ate breakfast at McDonald's. We left Ennis, TX at approx 10am for the 250 mile trip to Galveston. Houston traffic was a nightmare!!! People Christmas shopping I suppose. We only stopped once from Ennis, TX to Galveston about 20 miles before Galveston for gas. We arrived in Galveston just after 2 pm. We were staying at the Commodore on the Beach. Check in is after 3 pm but our room was ready and they allowed us to check-in and we were in our room by 2:30 pm They have a shuttle that will take us to the cruise terminal and they allowed us to keep our car in their parking lot for the week. I signed up for an 11 am shuttle to the pier for the following day. Total for the room and the round trip shuttle was just under $100. For the price it was a nice hotel and our room was nice & large with a king size bed and a nice view of the beach. Before bringing our bags to the room we took a stroll on the beach and found some sea shells. It was cold & windy but we still had a good time. After getting our bags to our room we decided to eat right next door at Joe's Crabshack. The food was yummy and the service was great. We went back to our hotel room and rested & watched TV. Later we had snacks from the hotel lobby (cookies & milk). We retired early for Sunday ~ our big day ~ to finally meet the Conquest. Unfortunately, we were tired & exhausted from our trip that we missed the CC meeting on this evening at the Ramada Inn just down the road.

Sunday (12/10/06) - I had a hard time sleeping thinking about finally getting to see/board the Conquest. From our rear balcony at our hotel we could see the ship docked and ready for us. We awoke around 7 am. We ate a continental breakfast in the hotel lobby and meet/talked to a few people that would cruising with us. We then took another walk on the beach and got some sand/seashells. It was warmer today but still breezy. We got our bags to the front lobby area and waited with several other families for our shuttle. Six people plus the driver squeezed into a Chevy Suburban with everyone's luggage somehow jammed into the back. We left the hotel right at 11 am w/ a 1-2 mile drive to the cruise terminal. Seeing the ship so close & in person was exciting. We unloaded our bags with a porter. We checked 3 suitcases, 1 soft-sided cooler on wheels and 2  12pks of soda securely taped to a case of water. The porter suggested that we carry on the soda/water bundle or pack into one of our suitcases as they received notice the previous week about not being able to check those items. It was heavy so we declined to pack it on ourselves and we did not have room in our luggage. He said he would attempt to get it on board but if it did not make it not to come looking for him next Sunday. We tipped our driver & our porter $5 each. We were on the escalator at the terminal at 11:15 am. The line was not terribly long but shortly after we arrived it became much longer. We arrived at the perfect time. The security line took about 30 minutes. DH set off the detector with his Nike tennis shoes. He had to remove them & run them through the x-ray machine. The guards claim his shoes have metal in them. We quickly made our way from there to the check in counter and had all of our paperwork in order and sail & sign cards in hand within a few minutes. After waiting in line for our embarkation photo we were walking on the ramp onto the ship at 12:15 pm And eating on the Lido deck by 12:30 pm We dropped off our carry-on bag to our cabin at approx 1:30 pm The cabin size is about what I expected and larger than what DH expected. We then explored the ship and found the internet cafe and our dining room. Then we just wandered the ship and bought 2 fun ship specials & met some CC members from our Roll Call at the Sky Bar at 3 pm. Joey & her DH Bob, Danadoll, her mom &her aunt (?), Boatdrinks and his wife and children stopped by also. At about 4 pm we went back to our room to retrieve our life jackets and reported to our muster station on deck 4 area A. It wasn't too terrible and we were out of thereby 4:40 pm (the worst part was climbing 6 flights of steps AFTER the drill back to our cabin on deck 10). Still no luggage. We watched sail away from our balcony. The ship left the pier at approx 4:50 pm We saw a man who had apparently become ill after boarding the ship get wheeled off the ship on a stretcher and into an ambulance just before sail away. How sad to have to end a wonderful vacation before it even begins. We saw several dolphins in Galveston Bay as we were pulling out. We then explored the ship some more and returned to the internet cafe to purchase my internet plan (for some reason we were unable to do this prior to sail away). I bought the 100 minute plan for $55 (plus a 1 time activation fee of $3.95) and received 10 free minutes as an embarkation day special. We returned to our cabin around 6 pm to find all of our luggage outside of our door (our soda/water bundle made it too). We quickly unpacked and dressed for supper in the Monet dining room, lower level, 8 pm seating. Only 2 other couples at our table arrived tonight and both were late. Our waiter was Anil from India and his assistant was Shizhana from the Ukraine. After dinner we went to the Welcome Aboard Show. The dancers were good as were the singers. The CD was Mark Price ~ loved his English accent (plus he was cute & funny too). The comedian/ventriloquist was funny too, Mark Reuben. We play Bingo before the show ($20 for 3 cards) w/ a chance to win $1000. We did not win. Our cabin steward introduced himself earlier in the day and said that he would keep our soft-sided cooler full of ice for us during the week. Our cabin steward was Joselito from the Philippines. We returned to our cabin approx midnight and retired. DH slept like a baby but I did not. I heard a continual clicking noise coming from the door/window or some where out on the balcony. I felt a lot more movement on the ship that I had expected.

Monday (12/11/06) I woke up at approx 6 am (anxious to start my day). I put on my robe and went out on the balcony to write in my journal and allow DH to sleep a bit longer. The waters were pretty choppy w/ white caps & there was quite a bit of movement on the ship. I later learned that the waters in the Golf of Mexico are generally more rough and once we reach the Caribbean things smooth out a lot. I even heard some of the crew members mention that this was some of the worst days they had experienced on this ship. DH and I brought some Bonine with us but never needed to take it. Although, this evening numerous people became seasick on the ship. We showered and then to went to the Lido deck for breakfast. I went on the 9 am ship tour and DH returned to the cabin. DH talked to the steward regarding the clicking noise and a work order was written up for the maintenance department. We then explored the ship some more and went to the Lido at 1 pm for the ice carving demonstration. Ruste made a unicorn in less than 15 minutes. Then, of course, we stayed for the hairy chest contest. It was windy & rainy a bit on the Lido but that didn't stop us from having fun. I then got my first Reuben (of many for the week) at Paul's deli and it was delish. DH got a cheeseburger and fries from the grill. DH said his burger was good. We returned to the cabin & napped for 2-3 hours and rented a PPV movie (Talladega Nights) for $8.95 (I think). We got ready for our first formal night and went to deck 5 and had our pics taken at all but 1 of the photo stations. We arrived in the Degas Lounge just before the Captain began his speech. Blood Power was playing and the rumors are true ~ they are fantastic and I can't wait to see them play again during the week. I had 2 complimentary amaretto sours & DH had a draft beer (upon request). We then went to the Monet dining room. I had the pumpkin soup tonight (per CC recommendations) and it was terrific ~ not at all what I expect but good. I highly recommend it. I had the lobster and the prime rib. DH only had the prime rib. Both of our steaks were great & cooked to order. The lobster was OK. For dessert I had the caramelized apple something ~ I expected it to be hot/warm but it was room temp. It was OK but would have been better if it was hot. It was just us and the 2 other couples from the previous night. Tie & jacket was not enforced. One couple at our table wore blue jeans and t-shirts. They were the only couple that I saw NOT dressed up. I felt very comfortable in black-fly-away pants and a blue sparkle top. DH wore a black suit with a tie. After dinner I went to the internet cafe and did the e-mail home thing. DH waited for me on one of the sofas on Impressionist Blvd. Upon my return DH gave me a beautiful diamond necklace for our anniversary. We returned to our cabin and changed clothes and went to the Toulouse Lautrec Lounge for the Vegas style show. It was a Moulin Rouge theme which is not my thing. The storyline is confusing and hard to follow but the dancing, signing and costumes are fantastic. The show was a bit risquE w/ g-strings at some points but we had been warned about this numerous times before the show. We remained for the R- rated comedian show at midnight ~ Marc Rubben. He is a ventriloquist and did 3 different acts with dummies ~ he was pretty good. We returned to our cabin, changed our clocks back 1 hour and went to bed exhausted.

Tuesday (12/12/06)  We slept in until approx 9 am today and then went to the photo gallery and checked out our pics from the previous night. DH was not feeling well so he returned to the cabin to lie down. I went to the internet cafe to e-mail home. I then went up to deck 10 near the Sur Mer restaurant and ate a danish and had tea while relaxing in this quite area. I then went down to Paul's Deli for a Reuben. I sat on one of the comfy couches in the Impressionist Blvd for a little while and wrote in my journal. At 12:30 pm I went down to the Deck 3 Lobby to watch the towel animal demonstration. This was very neat to watch and the steward doing the demo was so proud & happy when done with each of his creations. After that I went up to deck 9 for the Survivor game on the stage. DH joined me afterward we grabbed a quick bite to eat from the Lido buffet and went to the TL Lounge for the Newlywed Not So Newlywed Game @ 2:45 pm. That was a lot of fun. The old couple was a hoot. We stayed for the 5 games of Bingo. We then went for some soft serve ice cream and back to our cabin for a nap. We woke up at approx 6:30 pm and began getting ready for dinner. Tonight's show was before the late dinner seating it was a Blues Revue  we did not attend. Only one of the original couples showed up tonight (as would be for the remainder of the week). And imagine our surprise when the ships Doctor (Fiona) and her mother joined us. Her mother had just gotten on the ship on Sunday and had flown in from England so she was jet lagged the first night and on the second night they sat at the Captain's table. Doctor Fiona is very pretty and friendly. This is her first contract with Carnival and will be up in about a month and her mother will be staying on the ship with her until then. The Dr will then have a couple of months off. Her mom was very curious about American traditions and customs. It was very interesting talking to them and learning about their country. We stayed for the dining room show tonight which was fun and the servers appeared to have a good time dancing & singing. After dinner we returned to our cabin to change and then went to the Promenade deck for the Mardi Gras Party. We went to Henri's disco with our blue team and learned some new dance moves. DH had a couple of bears and I had 2 Pina Coladas. Then up to the Lido for more dancing and Blood Power. It was very windy up on deck but warm. We went to bed exhausted around 1 pm. Our clicking noise was fixed by maintenance today so I slept better. But I did start developing a sore throat today that gets progressively worse during the week.

Wednesday (12/13/06)  Awoke at approx 6 am but went back to sleep when I discovered that we were not yet to Jamaica. When I woke again around 7 am we were pulling into Jamaica and docking. Our cabin was on the starboard side so we were facing the ocean and had a good view of Sunset Beach Resort which is where we were going to spend the day. I sat on the balcony & wrote in my journal for a while. We took our time getting off the ship as we did not have any excursions planned other than Sunset Beach. We walked right off the ship around 9 am. A security guard in the terminal said the taxi ride to Sunset Beach would be $5 total and sent us outside with a man to find us a taxi. Lots of drivers standing around but apparently did not want to drive just 2 people over in their nice, fancy vans as they were arguing with each other. Finally we got sent over to a man in an old, rusty, beat up Honda. I was very hesitant about the situation but saw red JUTA plates and JUTA on his picture id hanging from the rear view mirror. I asked him how much to go to Sunset Beach he said $8. When I told him what the lady said inside he said that she was crazy & didn't know what she was talking about. I just wanted to get there so I said OK. I only paid him $8 with no tip as I feel he over charged us $3 anyway. We checked in with Sunset Beach without any problems. The cost was $40 each and we paid cash. They kept our S&S cards until we left. We went straight to the beach area and found 2 lounge chairs in the shade. We walked down the beach looking for small sea shells and looking at the water/fish. We did look at the pools and other areas of the resort but we mostly relaxed in our chairs on the beach. I had 2 margaritas and several non-alcoholic drinks called hummingbirds. We walked the beach a few more times and accidentally wandered into the topless area which I feel should be a bit more secluded from the main beach. I was not offended but if our 5 yo DS had been with us I would have been a bit upset. There was a man floating in the water just at the edge of a rocky pier trying to sell large sea shells to people on the beach but you had to come out to him as he was not allowed on the resort grounds. We ate at the grill DH had french fries and I had the jerk chicken and french fries. The jerk chicken is very good but spicy. I had a small cup of soft serve ice cream to help cool the burning. After relaxing on the beach some more we went to the gift shop upstairs from the lobby and bought oldest DS a t-shirt, a few postcards and some stamps. We filled out our postcards in the lobby and the front desk mailed them for us. At around 2 pm we went through security and got our S&S cards. Our original taxi driver happened to be there waiting for anyone who needed a ride to the pier so we went with him. Again, I paid him $8 with no extra tip. We went to the shopping area inside the terminal and bought a t-shirt for youngest DS, a shot glass, playing cards, and a hat for DH and a small purse for me. We were through security and back on the ship by 3:30 - 4 pm. The band of children performed on the pier and many people threw $$ down to them in envelopes. Many people on a tour were very late (arriving just before setting sail). And we heard rumors of at least one person being stripped searched. DH & I enjoyed Sunset Beach and felt the $40 was worth the $$$. We probably did not get our moneys worth in food and drinks but it was definitely worth it to avoid the pushy sales people in town IMO. We saw LOTS of planes flying into Jamaica and we would be interested in spending a week and the Sunset Beach Resort sometime. DH & I decided to skip the dining room tonight and he rested in the cabin while I went to the internet cafe to e-mail home. I grabbed a plate full of sushi on my way back. It was my first time ever trying sushi and it was all very good. Later we went to the Lido deck and ate at the buffet. Due to technical difficulties in the TL Lounge Deja was cancelled. The late night comedian was moved from the TL Lounge to the Degas Lounge. I was disappointed to miss Deja (she was not rescheduled) as I have heard mixed reviews on her and wanted to make my own decision. We wanted to attend the late night comedian but fell asleep and did not wake up until morning.

Thursday (12/14/06)  Woke up early as were approaching Grand Cayman. I sat on the balcony and watched our arrival. A Celebrity ship was already there and 2 RC ships arrived later. I showered and ate breakfast on the Lido while DH stayed behind in the cabin. I had an omelet and it was very good. I went to the purser's desk for stamps and learned that you must have cash for stamps. These cannot be put on you S&S card. I returned to the cabin to get DH and stuff for our day in Grand Cayman. Stopped back by the purser's desk with cash and bought Grand Cayman & Cozumel stamps. They were no longer issuing tender tickets and we went down to deck 0 and walked right onto a tender boat at 8:30 am It was a nice double decker tender boat, we sat on the lower level. The tender ride took less than 5 minutes. Off the tender and to the left approx 2-3 blocks to Captain Marvin's which is on the right. It is just a short walk. We arrived & checked in for the 10 am snorkel/stingray tour. I paid $80 USD for DH & myself. Everyone was checked in early so our tour left early (around 9:15 am). It was about a 10 minute drive to the boat area and we were given a tour of the city by the driver. We learned that the price of gas in GC is $5.50/gal. The operators on our boat were Chester (he is very funny), Glen & Keaton. About 20-30 minutes boat ride to our first snorkel stop. This is the first time snorkeling for myself & DH. DH was not comfortable just jumping off in the middle of the ocean and he had a hard time with his snorkel mask/tube. He returned to the boat while I snorkeled. There was a stingray without a tail at our first stop (named Frisbee). I was surprised at how SUPER salty the water was but it was so beautiful and clear. We stayed at our first stop about 30 minutes. The next stop was a barrier reef with lots of coral and fish. I was really getting the hang of snorkeling. DH never really did catch on and after getting tangled up in some seaweed/jellyfish type thing and getting stung on his ankle he went back to the boat. I would panic a little when I felt like I was getting too close to the coral in the more shallow water but loved it and had so much fun. Next stop Stingray City. 3-4 boats were already there when we arrived but there were are plenty of stingrays to go around. DH did not really like the stingrays and was very nervous. But not me, I petted, held & kissed the stingray that one of our crew caught and was holding. The stingrays name was Vanessa. The stingrays are absolutely amazing. We stayed here approx 30 minutes. They had water & punch on the boat and played music on our way back. We saw several iguanas along the walls of the canal on our way back in. We had a great time and Captain Marvin's is a great company for snorkel/stingray tours, I would highly recommend them. There was a man on board video taping from a company called VIP Productions. We bought the DVD for $60 plus $6 S&H. Our DVD arrived at our home less than 2 weeks later. We received 10% off at the Captain Marvin's shop and I bought a t-shirt for me, a stuffed stingray for DD, a shot glass & post cards. Captain Marvin's mailed our postcards for us. We went to several other shops on bought another t-shirt for DH, a dress for DD, a charm for my bracelet, and a 6 pack of small Rum Cakes. We were in line at the pier by 1:30 pm. The line was long but moved very quickly. Back on the ship by 2:15 pm. We grabbed a bite to eat on the Lido (I had PC's Wok & DH had the buffet). We were on the Lido deck for sail away. We went to the Vacation Club Champagne Review at 4:30 pm and listened to the presentation which lasted about 1 hour. Not very much pressure to purchase and we received a $50 OBC for listening. We returned to our cabin and got ready for 2nd formal night. We spent about 1 hour having our pics taken at several different stations and grabbed a drink from the bar and went to dinner. Only the Dr and her mother joined us for dinner tonight. We had a great meal and wonderful conversation with the two of them. We stayed for the dining room entertainment and then returned to our cabin to change. Again, due to technical difficulties the shows were re-arranged ~ Point & Click for tonight was cancelled and they had the comedian, Greg Ray, instead. He was OK but DH and I determined not funny enough to stay till midnight for the late show. We returned to our cabin and changed our clocks by the required 1 hour and were in bed by 11 pm. We were so tired we missed the gala buffet but we did get a good night sleep.

Friday (12/15/06) - I awoke at approx 7:30 am as we were approaching Cozumel. It was cloudy and a little rainy. My throat was very sore and I was starting to cough quite a bit today. We docked at around 8:30 am. We had breakfast on the Lido deck and walked right off the ship around 10:30 am. Quickly found a cab to Chankaab Park. It was $12 and I tipped $2. We arrived at Chankaab Park and paid $28 (I believe) entry fee into the park for myself & DH (we had the $2off pp internet coupon). We got checked in and waited in the food/beverage area for our 12 pm Royal Dolphin Swim. We had to go upstairs to view a demonstration video and then back down stairs to each get a life jacket. Our trainer/instructor was Jen and our dolphins were Chak & Izabella (both male). There were 10 participants and 2 dolphins. The water felt cool at first but you quickly adjust and forget about the water temp. We stood on a platform with a deep pool just beyond our platform where the tricks are performed. We each did the dorsal fin pull, foot push, hug and give/receive kiss. We were in the water for about an hour with the dolphins. Swimming and interacting with these creatures is one of the most amazing things that I have ever done. I was concerned that DH would not like this excursion but it ended up being by far his favorite part of our entire trip. We purchased the DVD and all 12 or 14 pics taken of us for the package deal of $150 (the DVD alone is $50) and individual pics can be purchased for $12 or $15 each (depending on size). We shared a cab back to the shopping area near the pier with two other women in our group. The cab was $10 total for all 4 of us plus a couple of dollars tip. We shopped in the open area shopping mall and bought several t-shirts and gifts/souvenirs to bring home. We were back on the ship by 4:45 pm. We grabbed a slice of pizza (I had the infamous goat cheese and DH had the supreme). The pizza was very good. We went to forward deck 11 to watch for those late returning and we weren't disappointed. There was a family of 6 or so with at least 2 young children running down the pier and then another young man that really did almost miss the ship. He ran the entire length of the pier after the ropes had been removed. DH and I were very tired and my head was stuffed up so we stayed in our cabin the remainder of the night. I feel asleep VERY early while watching TV.

Saturday (12/16/06)  Our last sea day. I awoke at approx 6:30 am and sat on the balcony a while. After DH woke up we took some damp towels and swimsuits to a dryer on deck 9 and tossed them in (90 minutes for $2). We then went to breakfast in the dining room for the first (and only time the entire week). It was good but I was just as happy with the Lido buffet and omelets. We picked up our clothes/towels from the dryer and returned to our cabin and began packing up our dirty clothes, etc. We got most of the packing out of the way before going to the debarkation talk in the TL Lounge at 11 am  it lasted approx 1 hour. We went to the photo gallery (which was a mad house) found as many of our photos as possible and sat on the floor in an out of the way corner and made our choices. We purchased 3 (8x10s) at $21.95 each, 2 of the port photos at $8.99 each and 1 photo frame for $7.99. DH grabbed a burger from the forward grill and I grabbed my 3rd and (and last) Reuben from Paul's. I also tried the turkey on a country roll (shared w/ DH) but I was not too impressed (too much bread). We ate our sandwiches in our cabin. I then went to the internet cafe to use the remainder of my internet minutes, explored the ship some & did some shopping while DH rested in the cabin. I returned to the cabin and wrote in my journal and relaxed until time to get ready for dinner. Before going to dinner we left a note for our cabin steward and an additional $30 tip for helping to make our vacation wonderful. We had a coupon for a $5 casino play chip so we stopped by the casino and tried out the roulette table. We were up $10 when we went on to dinner. Tonight's meal in the dining was fantastic (as usual). We took pics of us with our servers and table mates and we gave our waiter and his assistant an extra tip of $10 each. We stopped back by the casino after dinner to use our $10 from previously. At one point we were up $20 but we let it ride and ended up losing it. Oh, well it was free money anyway and we had some fun. DH and I were both glad that we did not use the $5 free play earlier in the week as we could have been in a lot of trouble in the casino. We returned to our cabin and changed clothes. We completed our packing and had our bags outside of our room around 10:30 pm. We then went to the Legends show in the TL Lounge which was great. James Brown, Garth Brooks, Aretha Franklin & Frank Sonatra were fantastic. What amazing talent there was on board. We hadn't gotten a chance since Mardi Gras night to see Blood Power again so we went to Vincent's were they were playing until 12:30 am This would have given us about an hour to see them but the quit playing at midnight. We did get to see them for a ½ hour and they we terrific (and funny). We returned to our cabin for our last night at sea. DH & I were exhausted and we slept extremely well. I was awakened at 5:30 am to the ships horn blowing loudly. Upon going out on our balcony we discovered very dense fog and that the ship was moving VERY slowly. I had a hunch that we would be docking in Galveston late. I showered and packed the remainder of our things into our carry-off bag. The CD, Mark Price, didn't confirm my suspicion until around 7 am. He said that the port of Galveston was closed due to heavy fog. Us, the Rhapsody of the Seas and many other small fishing/cargo boats were waiting to enter the port of Galveston. I called my mom on my cell phone and she had been watching the web-cam since 5:30 am and said the fog appeared to be clearing. Many people were using their cell phones to call home/airports attempting to change their flights, etc. Around 9:15 am our ship was cleared by authorities to proceed to port. We grabbed a bite to eat at the Lido and then to our cabin to watch us dock. And what an amazing site that was to see both us and Rhapsody spinning into position at the exact same time. Seagulls were flying all over the place and practically attacking us on our balcony. We docked at 10:15 am We noticed 4 agents of some sort immediately enter the ship on deck 0 and we thought this was routine until they emerged sometime later with a female handcuffed ~ we are not sure what she did to get arrested while on the ship. We stayed in our cabin until our deck was called. Our cabin steward did not mind us staying, he had cleaned most of the cabin while we were on the balcony and we just sat on the couch watching TV and waited for our deck(10) to be called. We ended up being the first deck with checked luggage to be called at 11:45 am. We grabbed our coats, my purse & 1 carry-off bag and down the elevators and to the lobby. We were dinged off the ship, down the ramp and then down the escalator, had our luggage retrieved and in the customs line before noon. At exactly noon it was our turn at customs. He took our declaration form & looked at both photo ID's and sent us on our way. Less than 1 minutes at customs (very painless). I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly we were off the ship and the organization process of removing that many people off the ship. We arrived at our meeting place for Commodore on the Beach pick up (the red flag) called the hotel and was told the driver was running behind due to the late arrival of the ships. Upon hanging up we saw the Commodore shuttle picking up another couple and he had room for us too ~ no wait ~ perfect timing. Quick ride back to the hotel facilities, tipped our driver $5, got something to drink and used the restroom in the hotel lobby and on the road by 12:30 pm. Drove to the Oklahoma/Missouri state line and slept in our vehicle at a rest area from 11 pm till 5 am (we opted to not get a hotel as we wanted home badly and missed our children terribly). Drove the remainder of the way home on Monday (12/18/06) and arrived at home in NE MO at 12 pm.

Random thoughts:

*All floors on deck 9 are slippery all the time  BE CAREFUL *Club H2O appeared very slow and not many kids ever in there *Checked with the pursers desk and no galley tours are currently being offered *Stopped by the pursers desk inquiring about playing cards and was given 2 decks for free * Aside from the afore mentioned clicking noise in the cabin we also heard a terrible clanging/scraping/thud type noise every hour or so. It sounded like hangers banging together and drawers/doors being slammed shut. No clue what this noise was. *Deck 5 is the expressway. This deck will get you from one end of the ship to the other. *Didn't get to try Sur Mer (due to their limited hours) guess that means I will HAVE to take another cruise *We never got in any of the pools/hot tubes/spa/or the slide *Photo gallery is a mess and they need a better system. There is so much waste. *We did not use the frig or the safe in our cabin *I visited the internet cafe everyday and was always able to find a computer not in use *The comfort bedding system that everyone is raving about hmmmm, not so sure about it. We found our bed to be rather hard. The pillows, sheets and comforter were Ok but nothing to write home about. I much prefer my own pillow top mattress and down comforter at home. *Rude passengers. With 3200+ passengers I only recall encountering 2 very rude people. And it seems that one of them must have been following us EVERYWHERE. We saw her numerous times and she was always being rude and talking nasty to other passengers and crew members *Staff  every staff member that we saw/came into contact with was always very friendly and spoke to us. They were constantly cleaning and maintaining the appearance of the ship. We saw maintenance workers continually painting inside and outside of the ship. *The chocolate lava melting cake in the dining room is to die for but VERY rich *DH & I both overflowed the shower every time we showered (except for once when we were docked)

Will we cruise again? Most definitely. Will we cruise Carnival again? Absolutely (although we will probably try a smaller/different ship with a different itinerary).








Publication Date: 12/28/06
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