My wife and I took this same cruise last year at the same time for our 25th wedding anniversary and enjoyed it so much we took our now 25 year old daughter along for the trip. Our experience last year with Jamaica and the feeling of being mugged by solicitors in the downtown area convinced us that this year we would be spending our time at Sunset Beach. It is all inclusive and I had heard from past passengers that it was the only way to "do" Jamaica. It was nice and relaxing, but somewhat disappointing for the price. It's hard to drink $120 (3 adults x $40) worth of Redstripe beer served in small plastic cups especially when you are the waiter. Cayman Islands was great. Tenders took very little time ferrying passengers back and forth from the ship to the dock. This year we went on the Hell, Tortuga Rum Cake Factory, Turtle Farm, and Sting Ray City tour instead of shopping downtown. It was extremely informative and swimming with stingrays, even after the death of the Crocodile Hunter, was the highlight of the whole cruise. Last year we went to see the Mayan ruins at Tulum and loved it, so this year we went horseback riding at Buenavista Ranch. The guides, Clinton and Pancho, were fantastic and were so patient with the novice riders in our group. Clinton spent time explaining the Mayan caves and art we saw and didn't seem to be rushing us at all to get it over with. Although it advertised all the beer (Corona's for everyone) that you could drink, by
the time we returned to the Cantina there was only about 20-30 minutes to suck down as much suds as we could. Tequila shots (doubles) were only $2.00 apiece and the kitchen served food to those that got their orders in in time. 3 shots and 7 beers later made the ride back to the ship awfully smooth. Overall it was well worth the expense of the excursion and I salute Clinton and Pancho. We all three dined in the Monet Dining Room each evening for dinner. Although some may say that dressing up for dinner is not worth the hassle, I say that enjoying yourself in the company of others and meeting new people is half the fun. We definitely tried foods that we would not have eaten otherwise. Our waiters, Om and Alan, at table 441 catered to our table's and each of their assigned tables' every need with a dedication to their mission. I can't drink caffeine and asked for a cup of decaf tea and a glass of ice on the first night. When I explained to Om why, he brought me decaf iced tea every evening without me asking again. The food was fantastic and the variety exciting. Our cabin steward, Juste, was gracious and catered to any need we had without hesitation. My wife got seasick twice and Juste was always coming by to see if she needed anything and to check up on her condition. Our cabin was always immaculate unless we were in it messing it up.
The only complaint I had was in regards to the airbrushed tattoos that were being sold on the Lido Deck next to the pool. My daughter wanted me to get a Harley Davidson tattoo because I ride a 2006 Ultra Classic and we picked out a logo and had it painted on. When I glanced in the mirror the next morning I realized that the stencil they had used said Harley Davidson. I checked the stencil to make sure I had not screwed up and found it to be in error. I attempted to complain to the young lady at the kiosk but she said there was nothing she could do about it and suggested I notify the purser. I went down to Purser's desk and was immediately taken care of. When I showed them the problem and voiced my displeasure in a calm manner, the young woman at the desk took my name and cabin and said she would take the matter up with the Photo Section since they are in charge of the tattoo kiosk. Later that evening I received a call in my cabin and told that the charge was credited back to my account and that they apologized for the error. This is twice that I have sailed Carnival Conquest and, although my wife says that being seasick is no longer for her, I will be back. I would like to visit another cruise line to see how they compare to the price, value and service just so that I can have a reference for my own comparison.