August 2007 Destination:
Western Caribbean Embarkation:
Carnival Conquest Review 8/19/07 We had an absolutely fantastic time on the cruise! Really the only complaint we have is about our wedding photographer but that issue didn't ruin our cruise or anything. This was the first cruise for both of us and we weren't going to let anything get us down about it so maybe we weren't overly picky about some things - so we had a GREAT time! • We got married on Day 1 in Galveston in the Painter's Library. The staff of The Wedding Experience was great! The assistant coordinator, Richard, escorted me from our cabin to the library at 1:30 and even carried my shoes for me since I couldn't walk very quickly in them (3 inch heels!). Our ceremony was perfect and very intimate, the cake was wonderful and very tasty, the champagne was great (we finished it off at dinner that night), and our photographs turned out so amazing! The only issue we had was that the photographer said he'd call us Monday so we could see our pictures and he didn't. On Thursday we More
saw him before dinner and he said he'd call us Friday . . . he didn't. So Saturday we tracked him down so we could see them. He said he called our cabin around 9am but we were in our room at that time and he didn't call. Later we checked our messages and he had left a message after 10am - we were already waiting to speak with him by that time! So that was annoying. But he took amazing pictures and we got all that we wanted for the price we wanted. We really feel like Carnival could make the wedding photo process a little less stressful though. • All the items (champagne glasses and cake topper) from our wedding were placed in our stateroom just as the wedding coordinator promised they would be, and our cake and unfinished champagne were available for us in the dining room that night. We had wedding cake for a few nights in a row in addition to desserts off the menu and then one night we had our waiter hand out the rest of our cake to our tablemates and the table next to us. They all loved it! • Before going on the cruise we considered trying to get a table for 2 for dinner but with the wedding the first afternoon we didn't get a chance to ask the hostess for a change. We are glad we didn't. We sat at a table with two other newlywed couples and had a great time with them at dinner and at other times hanging out. The table next to ours was also newlyweds. I think it's nice how Carnival organizes your seating assignments based on what they know about you. • We loved the dining room staff, our waiters were awesome!!!! We even got a picture with them near the end of the week. They were not only courteous and respectful but they also went above and beyond to make sure we were happy and comfortable. Our assistant waiter even encouraged me to try different desserts instead of sticking with the same old Chocolate Melting Cake every night and boy am I grateful to him! I tried some amazing desserts! We even saw our assistant waiter in the Cezanne one afternoon for lunch and he offered to get us our drinks! He was wonderful. The bar waiter in the dining room was also great and we saw him in the Tahiti casino several times and chatted with him on a few occasions. • We have no complaints about any of the staff. Everyone we encountered was friendly and courteous. If they were rude or short with anyone I can completely understand because I witnessed some outright rude behavior on the part of several passengers while in line at the buffet or at the grill or any number of other places. It's like people went on vacation and forgot their manners, "please" and "thank you" really aren't that hard and some people need to remember to use them! • On Monday night we decided to enjoy the kamikaze special at Henri's Disco and then had a few more drinks - needless to say we got a little drunk (that made for some interesting times that night walking around when the ship kept rocking!). So the next morning we were hung over and that didn't mix well with the rocking of the ship! We ended up spending the day a little sick and finally headed down to the Purser's Desk for motion sickness medicine. After that we napped and felt much better and we were able to participate in the Mardi Gras celebration Tuesday night (san alcohol!). • Speaking of Mardi Gras night - it was tons of fun! The women who performed in the Degas lounge for the White team were hysterical! I loved the lady with the bikini t-shirt!! • We went to the first art auction early in the week and enjoyed it. We left before it was over because we got hungry - so if you go expect to be there awhile, it was long. • We went to the first R-rated comedy show and thought he was funny - the human ventriloquist part with the newlywed was so funny! We also went to the second one on Thursday night and we really enjoyed him. We were disappointed when the Newlywed Not-so Newlywed game was canceled due to the pipe bursting back stage but we totally understand and we don't hold it against Carnival. Some things can't be helped and I wasn't going to have a bad time because an accident happened. Oh and Mark Price was very funny and very friendly. We really enjoyed his shows and the shore excursion discussion. On Mardi Gras night he was in the Tahiti lounge for one of our stops and he was great. He definitely knows how to entertain a crowd. On the other hand we found the assistant cruise director, Pete, to be a little abrasive at times. I think he thinks he's funny but he's just not sometimes. • Our room steward was great. I wish I could remember his name but I can't; we were in room 2403. He made room in our fridge for the sodas we brought from home and he always had fresh ice in our bucket every time he made up our room. And we loved the towel animals. • We ordered room service one time and thought it was ok. I had a sandwich and my husband had a salad along with fruit salad and cheesecake. It took an hour to get to our room but they did warn us when I placed the order, it must have been a busy time. A couple we met on the cruise ordered room service on another day and got it within 15 minutes, so I guess it depends on when you order. However, notwithstanding the time it took to get the food, the staff was very friendly. • As for missing Jamaica we were a little disappointed at first because we had planned to do the Mini-boat/Dunn's River Falls shore excursion. However, we ended up loving the extra day at sea. I'm not sure why people think an additional day at sea cost them more money! I think it saved us money - if we had gone to Jamaica we wouldn't have gotten our shore excursion money back as a credit on our sail & sign account nor the $25 credit and we would have spent a ton on souvenirs and food in port. So staying on the boat saved us money and we really enjoyed the extra day to relax and enjoy the ship. • In Grand Cayman we did the Stingray City & Island Tour - we had the best time! It rained on us when the tour started but we didn't care. The first hour we were taken around the island, first to Hell, then the Turtle Farm, and finally to the dock to go to Stingray City. Our bus driver/tour guide was hysterical, he made us laugh several times, which was a surprise because when we met him never expected him to be funny, he seemed far too serious. Boy were we wrong, he was a comedian in disguise. On our stop at the Turtle Farm it started pouring rain after we got to hold the turtles. Oh well, not a big deal since we were planning on getting wet swimming with the stingrays. Our boat out to Stingray City wasn't crowded and it had a roof so we didn't get wet on the ride out there. By the time we got to the sandbar the sun was out and it was so beautiful. Swimming with the stingrays was awesome and we can't wait to do it again. The tour guides were great and were really helpful in the water. They even made sure we got some good pics. After returning from Stingray City we went shopping a bit and ate at Margaritaville. The line to get back to the boat was long but it moved pretty fast since they had several tenders running so it wasn't too long of a wait. • We didn't schedule a shore excursion in Cozumel. Instead we slept late and toured the ship a little bit since it was so empty. Then after 12:30 we went into Cozumel and did a little shopping. We bought some souvenirs for family members and a few for ourselves and had a great time. We ate lunch at Senor Frogs - the most entertaining lunch I've ever had! FYI, not the kind of place to take kids though. We each had a margarita (oh yeah the big ones!) and really enjoyed the crazy entertainment. When we first walked in I thought it was too loud and rowdy in there but after half a margarita I loved it! It's definitely an interesting experience. Getting back on the boat was super easy since we were docked. • We gambled a bit, I liked the 5 cent slot machines and my husband liked the roulette table. I only spent about $40-50 in the machines total but more than made up for that when I won just over $200 on Wednesday night! I had never gambled before this trip so it was definitely fun to win some money. • We went to The Point for dinner on Friday night. It was well worth the $30 fee per person. I had the shrimp cocktail for an appetizer and it was incredible - much better than the shrimp cocktail in the dining room and I thought that was good. Then I had the Surf and Turf for dinner, it included two grilled lobster tails and filet mignon; I also had the bEarnaise sauce and grilled veggies with it. They serve some amazing bread in there with three different types of butter - my husband couldn't get enough of either. The staff was super friendly and we never had an empty glass (we had water). We left there so stuffed, the food was GREAT. Overall it was a fantastic trip and we can't wait to do it again. The staff was courteous and friendly, the food was good and abundant, and we were never bored. I thought the Conquest was a beautiful ship and I loved the theme. I guess if you are looking for something to complain about you will find it but my suggestion is to relax and try to enjoy your vacation! Less
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