This was me and my husband's third cruise on the Conquest, our son's second, my mom's second, and my sister's first. We had 6473, one of the L - shaped balcony cabins with the extra long balcony on the starboard side, one cabin up from the aft cabins. My mom and sister were in the next one forward, 6469 a regular balcony. Our son James was in an inside on the Riviera deck, 1465. I love cabins near the back and I also love deck six. It's a short one deck down to the Promenade and you're directly under the aft pool area and buffet - an easy three decks to run upstairs or take the elevator. The aft elevators are usually not crowded either.
Sunday Embarkation was easy. We only had to wait a few minutes for them to board two wedding parties. The same guy checked us in this year as last. We got on the ship about 12:00 or 12:30 and I immediately had several Fun Ship Specials. I love those things. Muster drill was quick and painless.
Monday I won two 24k gold plastic ships on a stick playing trivia. For the first my mom, my sister, and I teamed up. The second one was the Turbo Trivia played in the theater on stage.
Our roll call was supposed to meet at 11:00, but a few minutes before, the CD announced that we had a medical emergency and we would have to alter our itinerary. We went to the theater to hear the details. A lady needed an emergency blood transfusion. The Conquest normally spends Monday and Tuesday at sea, visits Jamaica on Wednesday, Grand Cayman on Thursday, Cozumel on Friday, and Saturday at sea. We were told that we would be going to Cozumel first arriving Tuesday morning. Grand Cayman would be on Wednesday, Jamaica on Thursday, and two sea days at the end. I loved the change! Two sea days at the end was heaven!
Tuesday - Cozumel I watched the ambulance drive up the dock to pick up the lady who was ill. She was on a stretcher, but was looking around and seemed to not be in too bad a shape.
We had an excursion for a glass bottom boat snorkel trip booked. They had emailed me on Monday to say they were aware of our new date in port and would be expecting us. There was the five of us and one other couple from the ship on the tour. I usually snorkel, but the current is strong in Cozumel and I don't know how to swim, so I stayed on the boat with my mom and sister who don't swim either. Last year the snorkel tour we did in Cozumel had a big ball on a rope to stay with while we snorkeled and somehow that made me comfortable enough to do it. This time I was just expected to jump out of the boat and take care of myself until the boat picked us back up, so I decided the glass window in the bottom of the boat would be just fine! We saw a lot of fish and had a great time. It rained on us for a while, but it wasn't a big deal. After the excursion we did a little shopping. I bought some vanilla and T-shirts for the grandkids.
It was rainy that night so they moved the Mardi Gras Party to the aft pool area. I was tired and figured it would really be crowded back there, so I didn't go. Jim went and videoed quite a bit, but I haven't watched it yet.
Wednesday - Grand Cayman The Conquest normally arrives in Grand Cayman at 7:00am on Thursday, but we were going to get there at 9:30 on Wednesday. We were booked with Nativeways for the Rays, Reef, and Rum Point tour. It meets at 8:30, so I knew it wouldn't be a matter of just switching the days. I emailed Sharon and she responded that they would be adding a special tour for us leaving at 11:00. It meant we didn't have Sheldon for our captain this year, but Chris was fantastic too. The snorkeling was great. We went to a different reef than last year. The moray eel that we saw last year has bitten a few people, so they don't go there anymore. Rum Point is a gorgeous beach and the lunch that comes with the tour is great. Drinks are expensive, but hey it's my vacation! It rained really hard on us as we rode back to the marina, but had quite before we got there, so the bus ride and line to get on the ship was dry enough.
Thursday - Jamaica We planned on going to Sunset Beach in Jamaica. It was rainy so we got off the ship and did a little shopping in the terminal. We went back to the ship and ate lunch. It was raining too hard to head to the beach, so we were just going to do some more shopping and maybe go to Margaritaville. The electricity was out in the terminal. It was pretty hot and shopping was by candle and flashlight. We bought a few more things and just went back to the ship. It was still a great day.
Friday Played a little more trivia. Spent most of the day sitting on the promenade deck playing Skipbo with my mom and sister. Past guest party was Friday. It was held in two parts in the Degas lounge instead of one big party in the theater like last year. Our son was supposed to go at 3-something. We were supposed to go at 5:00. We were all doing other stuff and forgot to go. I did slip in the door to watch for a minute, but I was very under-dressed. They switched the second formal night from Thursday to Friday because of the itinerary change, and most people were already dressed for dinner.
Saturday The usually sad last day, but a little better than usual because we had the two sea days at the end. Bought the grandkids a teddy bear pirate with a parrot that sings Hot Hot Hot. It was a big hit with the boys when we took it over to them this afternoon.
Adult Area The deck above and forward from the basketball court is still adult only. There was one lady using it (topless) when I went up there on Friday or Saturday.
Mini Golf The deck above and aft from basketball (around the funnel) is now mini golf. We played for a while. It was fun.
Kids in the Aft Pool For some reason they have removed the "adults only" description from the Capers. December 2005 listed it as adult only, but by September 2006 there was no mention of it in the Capers even though there are signs on the pool and the security guards removed any kids that tried to get in.
Decks 6 & 7 Secret Doors Finally on my third trip on the Conquest I remembered to go out on the deck in front of deck 6. I loved it up there! It's windy but the view is great. I wish it hadn't rained so much of the time…
Food Lido - Reubens from the deli, cheeseburgers, oysters and ceviche from Sur Mer. I ate my first dinner at the Lido buffet on this cruise. I had roast turkey on the last night. It was pretty good. Before now I had only had breakfast and salads from the buffet. Room Service - BLTs, Chicken Fajita wraps, and Shrimp Sandwiches. Dining Room - Ate dinner in the dining room all but two nights, and once for lunch. We were in the Monet 8:00 seating, lower level table 387. Waiter was Karmana, his assistant was Jekaterina. They were wonderful. We skipped dinner the last night, but we went up and told them bye and gave them both an extra tip. Favorites, Chocolate Melting Cake, Chinese Pepper Steak at lunch the last day, Crème Brule, lobster… I don't know why I can't think of more right now.
Drinks Rafael from Peru at the aft pool bar was great. Funship Special, Kiss on the Lips (yummy but not enough liquor), Miami Vice, Pina Colada, Mimosas, Caribbean Breeze, and at Rafael's suggestion Twilight Zone.
Cabin I love 6473, one of the L-shaped balcony cabins. You can hear the karaoke and the bar hop part of the Mardi Gras party from the Degas lounge pretty loud, but it didn't bother me. This cabin doesn't have a couch and the bathroom door is weird. It's beside the bed and it opens the wrong way. To top it off the light switch is on the wrong side. The long balcony with the lounge chair makes up for any shortcomings. I'll try to book this cabin again next time.
Entertainment CD - Butch was OK, but much preferred Todd Wittmer on the last two trips. The band that played in Vincent's most nights was good, but nothing like Blood Power. Boy did I miss them! Jason in the piano bar was good and had a crowd every night. I hated the jazz in Alfred's. I didn't like Jimmy on the promenade deck. I didn't go to any shows as usual. One of these days maybe I'll see one of the comedians or something.
We had a great cruise and are tentatively planning a family cruise on the Conquest for January 2009. The grandkids will be old enough to enjoy it then I think. Maybe we'll even try a different ship one of these days!