Background: This was a girl's only vacation. This was the second cruise for two of us and the first time for the other two. Overall, we rated this cruise as one of our top vacations ever. We had a great time.
Embarkation: We parked at EZCruise parking lot, booked on-line for $50. Shuttle took us to the pier. The coast guard pulled a surprise inspect on the Conquest, and the Ecstasy broke down in port and blocked the place where the Conquest was supposed to dock. Luckily the very long line outside was shaded. I think we finally left Galveston around 6:00pm.
Ship: Ship was very clean, and crew was constantly cleaning the ship. Other than some stained carpets in the hallways, everything looked great.
Room: We were in balcony rooms 6382 and 6384. Loved the balcony and being able to watch pier activities while in port, and the sunrises. Cabin Steward was ok. Room was always clean, plenty of towels, ice, etc.
Food: We were in the Renoir dining room with 6:15pm seating. Our dining room waitress, Agnieszka from Poland, was entertaining, yet professional and knowledgeable, super nice and a complete riot. She and her assistant, Yusup, made the trip for us. We thought overall the food was very good. Other than the coffee was a little bitter, and some of the desserts were beautiful but tasteless.
Entertainment: The shows were great. The only show that we did not like much was the magician. We do not drink much, but enjoyed Miami Vice's every night at the show.
Excursions: Jamaica: Booked a private tour with A-Z Planners. Our guide, Mark and his friend/driver Raldane picked us up at the pier. First stop was Rockland Bird Sanctuary, where we hand fed hummingbirds. After Rockland, which was one of the highlights of our trip, Mark left us with Raldane, saying he had paper work to do. I was a little disappointed with this. Raldane, who was very quiet until Mark left the van, began to entertain us and was delightful. Raldane took us to Rosehall, waiting in the parking lot for us. We then drove around stopping several times for pictures, a short walk on the beach, lunch at The Pork Pit, and shopping. Raldane never left us and we felt very safe with him. Our group enjoyed our day in Jamaica. Grand Cayman: Booked the 'Rays, Reef, and Rum Point excursion with Native Ways Watersports. The whole trip was very nice. The crew was very helpful and patient with us. Rum Point Beach was very beautiful. The lunch, which was included in the price, was very good. Cozumel: We took a taxi to Chankanaab National Park, where I had booked the Discovery Swim with Dolphins. What a great experience. Again, the crew was very helpful and patient with us. We were going to spend some time on the beach, but Mom didn't want any more sun. Took a taxi downtown to Los Cinco Soles for a little shopping and had lunch at Pancho's Backyard. Excellent Food! Hit a few more shops and took another taxi back to the ship. Found some drinks and settled in to watch the pier show from the balcony. A couple of people were brought back to the ship in wheelchairs. Too much sun and too much alcohol. Someone was taken off the ship by an ambulance. After the ship had left the dock, several were brought to the ship by the pilot boat.
Disembarkation: Not bad. Since we had too much luggage, could not do self assist. It was about 10:00 a.m. before our color tag was called. Tip: Get a porter for your luggage. The porters bypass the long customs line for a shorter one.
Final Thoughts: Don't sweat the small stuff. We had a few minor problems, but did not let them ruin our trip.