Okay, I have a few minutes, so I thought I would share my experiences on the Carnival Conquest last week (10/14 - 10/21). There were (4) of us in my immediate group. We had (2) rooms. My DW (30) and I (32) stayed in one, while my DF (57) and my DS (11) stayed in the other.
EMBARKATION It really wasn't too bad. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we did not arrive at the pier until approximately 1:00 p.m. The lines moved extremely well, until we hit the metal detectors. They closed those for approximately 30 minutes, so the next lines could thin out a bit. Once they opened those back up, we were smooth sailing again (no pun intended) and on board by 2:15-2:30.
CABIN We had an interior cabin the Riviera Deck. Our room Stewart was Mario and he was absolutely wonderful. Our room was always cleaned and we were always greeted in the hallway with a "Hello" or "Goodbye", followed with a conversation. As for all of the crew, we never meet a member that was cold or less than friendly.
FOOD Dinner in the Dining Rooms, we had Imade and Jaya as our wait staff and they were absolutely WONDERFUL!! I definitely recommend you eat in the dining room as much as possible. Try the Filet Mignon and the Lobster. They were both really good.
Food in general...this is your opportunity to try things you would not normally choose. It doesn't cost you a thing. If you don't like it, ask for something else. Try the sushi bar on the Promenade deck every evening. They have some really great and different sushi. Sur Mer, located at the aft of Deck 10, was really good as well. The calamari and zucchini fritters were my wife and father's favorites. I love the oysters and the fish.
The one thing that was different from our sailing last year was the hamburger / hot dog line at the aft pool was not open very often. Last year it seemed to be open almost 24 hours a day. My wife, so wanted French fries and we had a hard time locating any.
Our bar waiter was Renzo and it was really great to get to know him. He had my son and I our drinks every night before we arrived. He also worked in the Blues Piano lounge and would always go out of his way to assist us.
ACTIVITIES I learned to play roulette on this cruise in the casino. If you are going to learn a new game, make sure you do it the first night. The ship will lower the minimum limits on the tables. Only play the first night and last night as it seemed very few people were winning throughout the week.
The late night adult comedies were okay. One night was a total waste, but the one on Friday was well worth it. Stay away from the Vegas-style shows and anything that has to do with Carnival Dancers. Make sure you catch the Legends show on Saturday. It is great.
EXCURSIONS Jamaica - We exited the ship and did some shopping in the Terminal building then we took our souvenirs, back to our cabin and prepared for our day in Jamaica. We went to Sunset Beach. This was our second time here. They have the place pretty torn up with construction and remodeling. We really loved it last year and it was so beautiful. This year we still enjoyed it, but cannot wait to see what they are doing. It was well worth the money. We would HIGHLY RECOMMEND this to anyone looking for something to do in Mo Bay. We had several of our newest friends with us this year to experience the resort and it really made for a memorable day.
Grand Caymans - Went on the Stingray and Snorkeling trip with Captain Marvin's.. This is also the second time we have done this. I had to take my father to see what I had been talking about the past year. We also attended this excursion with some of our newly found friends and it really made for a great trip. We snorkeled at the Coral Gardens for approximately 30 minutes, then onto the Barrier Reef for another 30 minute snorkeling session before heading over to Stingray City. There we feed, kissed and was massaged by the Stingrays. This is another excursion I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND. If you book with Captain Marvin's, I suggest you request a videographer for the trip. Captain Marvin's will set this up with VIP Productions. The cost is $66 US and is well worth it. You will have a memory of your day for years to come. After the excursion, we were taken back to Georgetown and we did some shopping in the afternoon. You must try the rum cakes. They are wonderful. Most goods are rather expensive in the Cayman's. One thing we try and purchase while there is liquor and perfume. These both seem to be much cheaper than in the states. We have also found the perfumes have more fragrance in them that what can be found in the US, because they come from European suppliers.
Cozumel - We arrived at Punta Langosta and shopped in the morning until around 11:00 am. Got some really good deals on gifts for loved ones back home. Returned to the ship and put on our bathing suits, dropped off our gifts and headed back out to go to the beach. The water at the pier was this majestic turquoise color and it just called for you to jump in right there. Knowing that I did not want to spend the next 10 years in a Mexican prison, we elected to travel to Paradise Beach (PB). We had heard great reviews on this place and looked at the website numerous times. It cost us approximately $15 (for 4) to travel by taxi to PB. Once we arrived, the facilities were very beautiful, but the place was PACKED. We paid $9 per person, for a wristband to use there water toys. We were shown 4 chairs with no shade or umbrella out in the smoking sun. We elected to try out the snorkeling. The sand was so rough; it was almost unbearable to walk on. Once in the water, we donned our masks and we were unable to see our flippers. The water was horrible. It was by far the worst I had ever seen. I could not see my flippers, it was so murky. I decided to swim out farther and see if it would clear up. I swam out past the buoys and it never did clear up. Being disappointed we decided to go back to the beach and re-group. Once we were back to the beach and walking on the "crushed shell" beach, we decided to order some guacamole and nachos. These were both really good and I would recommend them, if you elect to go to PB. After eating, we decided that PB was too crowded and not for us, so we caught a taxi for $15 back to the pier and shopped a little longer. We were very disappointed in PB and WOULD NOT RECOMMEND this beach to anyone. We had several friends that went to a couple different beaches on West coast and they all seemed to be pleased with their selections. We would probably try Chakaanab (sp?) Park next time. We heard several wonderful remarks about it once we were back on board the ship.
DISEMBARKATION We elected to do the self-assist disembarkation. Our floor was called at about 7:45. The longest wait was to catch an elevator up to the lobby to get off of the ship. We made our way from the ship down to customs and was loaded on a bus and taken to our vehicle. We loaded the vehicle and were out of Galveston by 8:30. It was absolutely wonderful. If you can carry all of your luggage off, I would highly recommend it. We had some friends who were on the same level we were. They need assistance with their luggage, so they placed it outside their cabin the night before. It was approximately 11:30 before they were allowed off the ship.
GENERAL My family and I absolutely love the Carnival Conquest. This is the only line we have ever cruised upon. We may try and take another Carnival Cruise next year, or we may elect to travel on a different cruise line. All in all this was a wonderful trip and we would DEFINITELY RECOMMEND THE CARNIVAL CONQUEST TO ANYONE. Also, a side note, if you are taking a cruise, no matter which one it is, get on the roll calls and get involved with others that are cruising with you. We did that on this cruise and meet some really great people; we hope to keep in communications with for years to come. I can literally say we meet many new true friends on our Carnival Conquest Cruise.