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Carnival Conquest Cruise Review by Patti Yaktine

Home > Reviews > Member Reviews > Carnival Conquest Cruise Review by Patti Yaktine
Carnival Conquest
Carnival Conquest
Member Name: Patti Yaktine
Cruise Date: March 2004
Embarkation: New Orleans
Destination: Western Caribbean
Cabin Category: 4c
Cabin Number: 6374
Booking Method: Local Travel Agency
See More About: Carnival Conquest Cruise Reviews | Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews | Carnival Cruise Deals
Member Rating   5.0 out of 5+
Dining 5.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Cabins 5+
Entertainment 5.0
Spa & Fitness 5.0
Family & Children (By Age Group)
        16+ 5.0
Shore Excursions Not Rated
Embarkation 5+
Service Not Rated
Value-for-Money Not Rated
Rates 5+
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Ship Facts: Carnival Conquest Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Carnival Conquest Deck Plans
Carnival Conquest - Western Caribbean
Well, it is really hard to know where to begin. This is not going to be a typical review. I will try not to make it so personal, because sometimes I think that is like watching someone's home movies of their vacation. Instead I will share observations, thoughts, specific information, and things I wish I would have known before we went.

One of the best things I can suggest is to start a Microsoft Word Folder with the date of your cruise. Set up different files within that folder for specific things like, hotel or Grand Cayman, or packing lists etc. When you find useful information here on Cruise Critic you can cut and paste it into your word document. It was a lifesaver for me. I did not have to keep going back to various posts to find something.

I hope this long review does not bore any of you. It has a lot of very specific information that I think you will find useful. I apologize now if it is toooo long, but I suppose if it is too long for you you can skip it and move to another thread. Enjoy!!!!

People traveling: My husband 52, myself 46, son 24, his fiancee' 23, daughter 17 and daughter 15

Conquest 7 day Western Caribbean

We flew in a day early which I always suggest. Much less chance of missing your cruise that way and you start out much more rested!

Airport arrival: We had to take two cabs. We were charged $12 per person ($36 / 3 per cab). We tipped $6 per cab. This cost would have been the same as the airport shuttle. This was more convenient for us because the shuttle often makes several stops for other passengers at various hotels along the way and taking a cab allowed us to go straight to the hotel.

We stayed at the Doubletree located at 300 Canal Street which is located about 6 blocks from the pier. Very nice hotel, outside pool and work out facilities. Our reservations were made many months in advance through Harrah's Casino. If you look up Harrah's casino on the internet, go to reservations. You will find a 1-800 phone number to make reservations through them. They partner with the following hotels:

Doubletree Hotel New Orleans 300 Canal Street New Orleans, LA 70130

Hilton New Orleans Riverside Poydras at the Mississippi River

W Hotel New Orleans 300 Poydras Street

Wyndham Canal 100 Rue Iberville New Orleans, LA 7013

Loews Hotel 300 Poydras Street

The cost was $69 for the first room (2 people) and $99 for the second room (4 people) which was an excellent price considering we were traveling during peak time (spring break). We had a Harrah's game card so I think that also helped with the price. Anyone can get one. There were no better deals later and in fact the hotels in the area were all sold out more than a month ahead of time. We asked for a room with a view of the river. Although we were able to walk to the pier without any problem I would not suggest rolling your luggage all that distance. We thought about it until we actually walked it. Our luggage was quite heavy and trying to roll a couple pieces plus an over the shoulder bag would have been too difficult. Our bell captain arranged a pick up for us costing $7 per person. That seemed like a good deal since everyone here said it would be $10 a person. We probably got a break because there were six of us; however I would suggest working something out with your hotel bell captain, perhaps they can find a deal for you. Total cost $42 plus $8 tip.

A couple of the other hotels listed here are a little closer to the pier, but we liked this location and would stay at the same place again. Bourbon Street was within walking distance and was closer to our hotel than the others listed here.

We ate lunch at the food court by the pier. Lots of choices there and everyone was happy.

It seemed very safe walking to Bourbon Street from where we were. We walked over there around 5:30, strolled down Bourbon Street. Not much for us to do because the girls were not old enough to go into any of the bars and that is all that is there other then a few souvenir stores. It was fun to say we had been there. We then walked over to the Acme Oyster Bar which is just off of Canal and Bourbon Street. We got there about 7:30 and the wait was around 45 minutes (line out the door). They do not take reservations or call aheads. It was very good. Not fancy at all, in fact very old and a little run down. That by the way is not a negative comment, just trying to say no need to dress up, go as casual as you like. To me the condition of the building is all part of the ambiance.

When we went out of the front door after dinner, we turned right and took a stroll in the direction we needed to go to get back to the hotel. The street was filled with art galleries displaying beautiful and unique art that could be viewed through the windows. I'm not much into art but found this row of galleries to be beautiful.

Sunday We were on the 12th floor and could barely see the tip of the funnel of the Conquest. If you stay here ask to be put on the 15th floor so you can see the ship in the morning. You still won't get a full view of her but probably better then what we could see. It was awesome to wake up and know she was in port and getting ready for our arrival.

Breakfast was at "Mother's" which was also just a couple of blocks away. We walked over and had our old style southern breakfast. This is a very famous restaurant and the women behind the counter that you order from are a hoot! Bickering and arguing just putting on a show. We walked over around 8:30 and there was a short line. Go early, when we left around 10:00 the line was out the door and down the block. You stand in line to order and then take a seat. They will call your name, see where you are seated, and carry your food to you. The food was good. We walked back to the hotel after breakfast.

At 10:30 we hopped in the cab that Jake our bellman had arranged for us. The driver was right on time. As you pull up to the drop of point at the pier there are two lanes. The one on the right is very long and was for people trying to pull into the parking lot to park. The line to the left of that was the drop off line. The driver was able to pull us right up to the front. When we got out of the cab there was a porter there to take our bags. He asked to see our picture ID. We tipped him about $1.50 per bag and we did not see them again until they were in front of our stateroom door. This was different from our past cruises in that in the past we were able to see the barrels that the luggage was being thrown into. I have no idea where he took them. (as a side note, we ended up having one missing bag, all the formal wear, achhh!!!! It showed up the next day. Apparently they misread the 7 in the number as being a 1. Therefore it was delivered to the wrong stateroom.)

11:00 The places to go were very clearly labeled and lot's of Carnival staff directing us along our way. The first stop inside the door was the fun pass lane. There was no wait at all. This was so easy. We showed our blue packet of documents along with our picture ID (passport is what we use) and we were on our way to the next stop. They directed us exactly where to go which was just around the corner. There we picked up our sail and sign card and were then sent to a holding area. We just waited there until Carnival was ready to start boarding people. 11:30 We were taken into the next holding area which was the room where they would take our picture right before we boarded. 12:15 We were the first group through after the wedding parties. There were probably around 100 people ahead of us. They took us row by row, got our fun picture taken walked through the sky walk that would ultimately take us to the door of the ship. 12:30 At the door of the ship: We showed our sign and sail card. They placed it in this machine and then told us to look at this little black round lens which was a camera. It takes your picture and stores it in a data base so when you re-board the ship at ports, they slip your sail and sign card into a slot and it brings up your picture for them. There is no need any more to present your photo ID when re-boarding.

You enter the ship at the Lobby of the Atrium. The beauty of this ship is absolutely breath taking. There is a bar, grand piano, purser's desk (information desk), shore excursions desk and much more. We found this to be a great meeting place.

Our room was ready for us. We had two cabins both inside, one was a double and one was a quad. We were on the Upper Deck (6th floor) a little aft of midship. It was a great location. The elevators were just a few steps away and the casino one floor below and the pool and Cezanne restaurant just off the elevator on deck 9.

The rooms were very nice, lots of cabinet space. There were two closets for hanging clothes and one closet with 4 large deep shelves. The desk also had several drawers. There were about 4 hangers in each closet so I recommend bringing some from home. You will find two very nice Carnival bath robes in the closet. Some people even wore these by the pool when they got out of the hot tubs or pools.

We had two 29 inch suitcases, plus a carry on and they fit with no problem under the bed. There were extra blankets in the closet and 4 pillows on the bed. The steward pushed ours together into a king. There was a nightstand to each side of the bed with a lamp on each. A small fridge which we never even opened.

The bathroom is really nice. Carnival has made a lot of improvements in this area. There were 3 really nice glass shelves to the left and 3 to the right of the mirror. The shower was really nice and big. The water pressure was excellent and the shower head was the sprayer type with hose that could be removed from the wall. There is a very large dispenser with plenty of shampoo and body soap to last the cruise. There is no conditioner. I never mind using inexpensive shampoo if I have conditioner. I used their shampoo and my conditioner.

There is a large round magnifying mirror mounted to the bathroom wall which was very nice for applying makeup.

No need to bring anything to hang your wet suits from. There is a clothesline that looks like a round silver bell on the back wall of the shower. It has a little knob that you pull out and a clothes line is attached to it. The line then hooks into a latch on the other side of the shower. Just bring your clothes pins. Now a little trick I found was....when there are items hung on this line you cannot take a shower without taking it down. There are two clothes hooks on the back of the bathroom door, if you unhook the string (with your swimsuits on it) it can then be hung over the two clothes hooks on the bathroom door and then you do not have to take all your items off to take shower.

There was a little bowl on the sink which had small samples. There was lotion, two razors, toothpaste, floss, Tums and a one time sample of shampoo and conditioner.

The TV was up on a shelf and under it was another counter to hold things. The desk has a blow dryer in the top drawer, but as others here have said, take your own. There is only one plug in so be sure to bring your power strip power strip from home. You can blow dry your hair and heat up your curling iron at the same time if you are using a power strip. We also kept our cell phones charged there. They worked in all three ports. We have Cingular service.

There is a very nice large mirror above the desk.

The safe was plenty big enough. You could fit a small video camera without any problem. We used our movie watcher card to open and lock the safe door. Be sure when you lock it that you hold the door closed while you swipe your card.

The over the door shoe hangy thingy worked out perfect as always. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what that is...it is a long plastic door hanger that is made for shoes. It works out great for all those miscellaneous things that you can never find. scissors, tape, post it notes, sewing kit, eyeglass repair kit, cameras, film, sunglasses, etc. We hung ours on the outside of the closet door closest to the stateroom door. The stateroom door opened with plenty of room.

The only difference with the quad was that the extra two beds were in the walls, one on each side. These can only be lowered or put away by your room steward. There is a bedrail attached to them.

The only negative to the rooms in this area are that the teen disco plays very annoying music just below you (I'm old what do I know) and if you are not a late night person it might keep you awake. You are also just above the casino but I never heard any noise from there (guess that's because no one ever won LOL) It never bothered us because we only went to bed early one night. The disco was open until 1:30.

The laundry facility was very clean. I took all my items at one time that needed to be touched up with an iron on Tuesday afternoon and it was totally empty. I was done in 10 minutes.

Take your sail and sign card to the Information desk and they will punch a rectangular hole in it for you. This can be attached to a lanyard but it has to be put on the ring part not the snap part. If you don't have one you can pick one up from the casino. You can also use the deck plan below and use a safety pin or something small to punch a hole and attach it to the lanyard ring also. Their lanyards are long, so if you prefer a short one bring it from home.

Probably one of the best things I did was make up a miniature chart that gave each level of the ship, what was on that level and placed them in order of front to back of the ship. I find the little pamphlet that the ship gives to be totally useless because you have to cross reference everything. I made several of these, laminated them, made a tiny hole with a safety pin and placed it on the ring of the lanyard.

Here is a copy of my deck plans. It is set up by deck and the places are in order from forward (front) to aft (back) of the ship for each deck. I cannot format it here. You will need to cut and paste the list into a word document. Format into four equal columns, Times New Roman, 8 font. You then cut it out (leaving an edge so that you can punch a tiny hole without punching over the words), fold in half and it should come out in credit card size. Now laminate and you are good to go. I also bolded each deck level which I cannot do here. It is much easier to read that way.

Riviera Deck 1 All rooms Main - Deck 2 All Rooms Lobby - Deck 3 Toulouse-Lautrec- Lounge Shore Tours Information Artists Lobby Cassat Room Pissaro Room Renoir Restaurant Galley Sunflower Atrium Monet Restaurant Atlantic Deck 4 Toulouse-Lautrec- Lounge Balcony Painters Library The Salon Photos Gallery Renoir Rest. Balc.

The Gallery Internet Cafe Alfred's Bar Sunflower Atrium Monet Restaurant Promenade Deck 5 Toulouse-Lautrec- Lounge Balcony Boulevard Shops Gauguin's Bar Formalities Tahiti Casino Impressions Bar Cafe Fans Montmartre Arcade Impressionist Blvd. Sushi Kiosk Henri's Latour Bar Vincent's Blues Sunflower Atrium

Degas Lounge Upper Deck 6 All rooms Empress -Deck 7 All Rooms Verandah Deck 8 All rooms Lido Deck 9 Rooms 2 Hot tubs Sun Pool Sun Bar Grand Buffet Pauls PC's Wok Restaurant Cezanne Pizzeria Sky Grille Sky Bar Panorama Deck 10 Rooms The Stars Pool Pointe Restaurant

Panorama 10 cont. Sky Pool 2 Hot Tubs Sur Mer Sliding Sky Dome Spa Deck Frwd. 11 Gymnasium Nautica Spa Sauna Steam Massage Rooms Nautica Salon Rooms Spa Deck AFT 11 Sports Deck Jogging Track Basketball Golf, etc Sun Deck 12 Children's World Children's Deck Wading Pool Sky Deck 14 Pool Slide

When visiting here on Cruise Critic on the roll call board, be sure to set up two meeting times during the cruise. That way if you miss someone the first time you might catch them on the second. We had the earliest dinner and I missed my group after the muster drill. I wish we would have had two scheduled meeting times. Really bummed me out!

For those of you cruising for the first time the muster drill is done right before you leave your home port. You will find your life jackets somewhere in your room, usually in a closet, and your muster station location is on the stateroom door. There you will find a picture of the ship with the location of your station. This only took about 10 minutes. It was the quickest I've ever seen.

We ate in the Monet dining room, 5:45 dinner time. I was afraid that would be too early but it worked out fine. We like early because we are night life people. By 3:00 I'm ready to come in out of the sun and clean up for the evening. The dining room is absolutely beautiful. Typically if your stateroom is aft of mid-ship you will have dinner in the Monet. If you are forward of mid-ship you will have dinner in the Renoir. Food was very good. Dinner moves relatively quickly. When you are finished with one item the next is right behind it. That works for us because we like to get our evening started, so having a leisurely dinner is not what I prefer. We were never rushed, there was just always something in front of us to eat. Our bar staff waitress was fabulous. This is something that has been a problem for us in the past and I must say she was top notch. Always smiled and brought a smile to everyone else. Our head waiter did some tricks one night for our table and they were a lot of fun. He was very pleasant and we have no complaints.

The Point Well, I would not do this again. Not one of us felt like it was worth the expense. We would have preferred the dining room food over this. The Point itself was beautiful. The live music was so good, we at first thought it was recorded and then realized it was live. The presentation of the food was that of a five star restaurant. Everything was gorgeously displayed. The steaks were cooked to perfection. Medium rare was just that, medium was just that, they were cooked to the perfect temperature. Here lies the problem. We are from the Midwest and not that we are the only people in the world that have the finest quality of meat, I must say we are used to some superb steaks. The steaks served at our table were filet and strip steaks. They had no flavor, were tough, and very poor quality. I had lobster and it too was not anything like what I would have expected. It was not cooked enough. I had two lobster tails in the Monet dining room and they were the best! I would never do this again and felt as though we had wasted our money.

I wanted to add that a jacket and tie are no longer required at the Point. We were specifically told this and in fact when we received our dinner reservation confirmation in our stateroom, jacket and tie required had been blacked out. Everyone dressed very nice but only half the men had on jackets and ties on.

Alternative dining No complaints here. There are so many choices. The grill was good, the buffet always had a huge selection. The Gala Buffet was beautiful, but most of the food was a little too different for our tastes. The ice sculpture was spectacular. Pizza is the best and we had that just about every night. The Chinese restaurant was very good. We did not try the Sur Mer which is the seafood place upstairs above the pizza parlor. It can be missed if you don't know it's there. I wish we would have tried the deli one day because it also looked wonderful but we just never had the chance.

As for the breakfast buffet, there was a huge selection. I have heard on this board that people think it is too much of the same thing everyday. This one I don't understand. It is the same thing everyday, but if you were in a restaurant you would only order either pancakes, or scrambled eggs, or French toast or omelets. I guess what I'm trying to say is pick something different to eat everyday. Pancakes one day, French toast the next, omelet the next, see what I mean? The bacon could have been a little more cooked, but I ate it and it was good. The omelets were very good, I had that several days. There is lemonade, OJ, apple juice, coffee and hot chocolate for breakfast. The water on board the ship tastes just like bottled water. I drank a lot of water. We never ate breakfast or lunch in the dining rooms so I can't speak about it.

Room Service: The kids ordered room service several times. They were always quoted a time that was a little shorter then what it really was. They were quoted 45 minutes but there were times it came in 15 or 20 minutes. Not for me however. I was not quoted a time and after an hour wait for 2 brownies and cookies, I called back to cancel the order. It was now 1:30 AM and I was going to bed. They said they were on their way with it so we went ahead and took it. We always tipped $1 to $2 depending on how much was ordered. In all fairness the night I ordered and it took so long, was the night before our first port so maybe they were bogged down with people ordering something for port (even though your not suppose to do that). The staff were very friendly.

Time Changes: This is always so confusing so I'm going to try to explain. Ship time changes throughout the cruise to get you on the time of the port you are visiting. You always hear people say stay on ship time. That is true. Check your watch before you leave the ship and make sure it matches your watch. You will find that ship time always matches port time. They move the clocks forward and back to stay consistent with island time. At least that is how it is on the Conquest. If you book excursions on your own, the time they give you will be ship time. Anyone confused????

Jamaica We went to Margaritaville (sp) to start out. Cab going was $4 a person plus tip. Coming back to port we picked up a cab for $3 per person plus tip. The kids enjoyed it but we only stayed about an hour. The kids did the slide and the water trampoline. Note that there is no beach there. Only the restaurant and the slide to the water, or take the stairs down and jump in off a platform. Watch the waiters there, ours added gratuity without telling us.

From there we walked to Doctors Cave Beach Club. There are many souvenir shops along the way. It is just 3 or 4 blocks to Doc's Cave. We were offered drugs, just said no and they went on their way. No problem Mon! LOL....The cost to get into the beach club I believe was about $3 a person. We would go there again next time and skip Margaritaville. It was a beautiful beach. We purchased umbrellas for $5 each and tipped a $1 to the guy who carried them down. It was a great afternoon.

We took 2 double sheets and spread them out to lie on. It was great and much better then having half your bod hanging off a beach towel. They were much cooler then laying on a towel.

Grand Cayman Tender tickets: If you are wanting to get off the ship before approximately 10:00 you will need to go to the Toulouse Lautrec lounge on the third floor level and they will give you a ticket with a number on it for example (15). They will call 13, 14, and 15 and all those people will proceed to deck 0 to tender. Allow about 45 minutes for the tendering process. They have two tenders...one for Carnival excursions and one for all others. You do not have to purchase a Carnival excursion to be able to leave early. However, if you do purchase a Carnival excursion check your ticket for meeting place and time.

The ship cancelled all of their snorkel and stingray tours due to high winds. We had booked on our own with Captain Marvin's. We felt that the ship loses a lot of money when they cancel excursions so we felt it probably was not a good idea or safe to continue with ours through Captain Marvin's. We used our cell phone and called them to cancel. They were very nice and said it was no problem to cancel.

Instead we went to 7 mile beach at the Courtyard Marriott. The cab cost $42 for 6 of us and we added an $8 tip totaling $50. As I recall the sign at the port said $10 a person to 7 mile beach, but they took us for $7 a person because there were 6 of us. Snorkel equipment was $15 each. We just bought 2 and shared them. They had bathroom facilities that you could use along with a restaurant. There was dive equipment, kayaks, banana boats, and jet skis available to rent. The beach was gorgeous. There are low lying palm trees that line the back of the beach. Get there early and you can lay at the edge and have sun or shade. There are lounge chairs to rent for $10 each. This turned out to be a great spot along 7 mile beach. We would go there again.

The Tortuga rum cake store is just at the port entrance. There are many nice shops right there also. When you come back to tender, be sure you are in the Carnival Line. There are many lines for tenders and they are labeled for the individual cruise lines.

They tell you to give yourself 45 minutes for tendering and the last tender leaves at 3:00. We were in line at 2:00 and back on the ship at 2:45.

When you get back on the ship get a foo foo drink in hand and go to the sky pool Aft (back) of ship. Climb into the adult only hot tub. This is the most romantic beautiful sight. You sip your drink all relaxed in the hot tub and watch Grand Cayman fade into the horizon....it is the best!

Cozumel Cab Fare one way to Chakanaab for all six of us was $20 and we gave a $5 tip totaling $25. The entrance fee into the park was $12 per person over the age of 11.

This was a beautiful place to snorkel. Rental equipment was $6 a set. I think we should have bargained in Jamaica LOL! There are palapas (Hatched roof shades) all over the beach. They are free. I suggest getting of the ship early if you plan on going to this beach. We had to walk way down to the end of the beach to be able to find one open.

There are free chairs all over the beach, but those too are a commodity if you don't get there early. We were scheduled for the Royal Dolphin Swim at 3:30 and the ship doors close at 5:30. This was a little stressful but it worked out fine. There are free lockers.

There is a restaurant although we did not eat there. The girls got their hair braided and they did a very nice job. It was $20 for half a head and they threw in the flower beads for each braid. According to their sign this was a $5 savings. They usually charge $25. They would not bargain any more. It was worth it because they did a very nice job. There little table is set up at the door of the restaurant. Around 2:45 we wandered over for our Dolphin Swim.

Dolphin Swim: We booked this on the internet through Dolphin Discovery. If you plan on doing this you must book many, many, months in advance. On our last cruise we tried to book it 3 months out and they were already sold out. This time I booked about 8 months out. The cruise ship does not offer the Royal Dolphin Swim.

This was the most incredible experience we have ever had. Here is the process. You check in 30 minutes ahead of time. When it is your turn they give you a life jacket....DON"T put them on until you are finished with the video. They really smell like fish! After the video the trainer explains what you will be doing. You walk out to where the dolphins are kept and climb down a ladder and stand on a platform. There were 9 people in our group. You will touch the dolphins as they swim by you, high five them, hold their head and give them a kiss on their bottle nose, swim out into the lagoon and put your arms out...they will swim one on your left and one on your right...you grab hold of there fin and they pull you back to the platform, you swim out again and float on your tummy, two dolphins swim up behind you, place their dolphin nose in the arch of your foot and push you up into almost a standing position all the way back to the platform. You will hold a pole with a partner and then the dolphin will jump over it, and lastly you swim out into the lagoon and get into a circle with the other people. The dolphins then swim in and out of the circle you have made and you pet them as they swim by. VERY COOL!!!! Time to get out and they take you to a room where you will watch the video that they shot of your group. It was $49 and worth every penny, especially since all 6 of us were in it. The cost of the swim was $120 a person. They also take many pictures and the more you buy the bigger discount you get. They were still pricey. We bought 7 pics and they came to $104. The pictures of them kissing you are more money...go figure???? We were done with the whole process including purchasing the video and pictures by around 4:55.

We ran to catch a cab and there were some waiting. He knew we were in a hurry. We pulled up to the port at 5:05 and we still had quite a walk. We also had to stop and pic up pictures that we bought.

** On a side note there is a man that spray paints these unbelievable pictures of various island things, sunsets, etc. but what caught our eye were the one's that he had done of the Carnival cruise ships. He was asking $12 a piece and we bought 3 of them for $10 a piece. An original work of art for $10 and they were beautiful. He also wrote Conquest on the bow of the ship for us so that was why we had to pick them up on the way back. We practically grabbed them from him as we ran by his stand (We paid for them at the beginning of the day because we knew we would be rushed on the way back).

We walked very fast and made it to the ship by 5:15. Time to spare...LOL!!!! There were lot's and lot's of people coming in at the same time.

Debarkation: Luggage is put out into the hall the last night and collected between 8:00 PM and 12:00 AM. Debarkation was a breeze: We were off the ship at around 9:30. We were probably about the 7th or 8th tag color called. We were eating breakfast when they called our color. We finished eating and then left about 20 minutes after they called our color. That worked out great because our luggage was easy to find, there were only a few pieces left in our section to be claimed. So if you are not in a hurry, wait a few minutes after they call your color. The cabs were waiting there for us. We took a Suburban, lot's of those available. It held all six of us plus the luggage. The cost was $12 a person plus tip. I see no reason to use the airport shuttle service when cab drivers offer the same price.

If you do choose the airport shuttle service there is a big sign to the left when you come out that has chartered busses waiting and it said "airport shuttle". I'm assuming those busses must be what they use or at least that is the way it appeared. I'm not positive though since we did not use their service. You can buy a round trip ticket from the airport upon your arrival for I believe $23 a person.

One piece of luggage was 4 pounds over the weight limit and the guy didn't say anything about it, he just passed it on through. He realized it because another ticket agent had pointed it out earlier. It pays to be nice and friendly to the staff at the ticket counter!

We could have taken a bump for $400 a person, plus hotel accommodations and meal money. Really were tempted but both the college kids that were with us had class the next day and we already had taken our girls out 3 days of school due to their spring break not matching my sons college spring break. It would have meant an overnight stay. Hated passing that one up though!

The following is a list of helpful information: Preparation H cooling gel once again saved us. Two sunburns (missed some spots with the sunscreen) boy does that relieve sunburns!!! Expensive but worth it.

Take a double sheet for the beach

Take extra hangers

There are padded deck chairs outside the purser's desk on the 3rd floor. No one is ever in them and they are very comfy and a nice get away place.

There are massage chairs just outside the casino, they cost $1 $5 and I think $10 for so many minutes.

The casino uses 8 decks in their blackjack. After losing consistently every night we talked to two different dealers about it. Apparently the house has a better advantage when using 8 decks. I'm not sure of the mathematical odds or why but it proved true in our case. They seemed to be very confident about their statement. We play quite a bit at home and never lose as consistently as we did on the ship. Next time we cruise and if they are using 8 decks, we are going to play Caribbean porker I think. At least then it is one deck and one deck only. Now an interesting note here: When the casino held their blackjack tournament, they only used the standard 6 deck shoe.

Deck 5 goes from end to end of the ship

Most everything is on decks, 3, 5 and 9

The restaurants block your path on some floors. Best thing to do is walk down the hall of the floor your stateroom is on and find out which elevator is more to the middle of the ship and use that one. Unless of course you are going to the Lido deck which is Aft. Not all elevators go to all floors.

Make a copy of the deck plan I gave you. Make a tiny hole in it and put it on a lanyard. Take safety pins and if your shorts or suit does not have a belt loop you can hook a safety pin on as a belt loop and hook your lanyard to that.

Formal nights Monday and Thursday

Blackjack tournament is $20 and you can play whenever a spot opens at the tournament table. This is different from last cruise we were on because they assigned you a time. I like it this new way better.

The teens have their own disco and it opens around 9:30 every night and closes around 1:30 as I recall.

Take clear duct tape

Build a ship in the ship building contest out of milk cartons. They have this contest on the last sea day Saturday. Do not collect your milk cartons until Friday morning or your room will stink to high heavens. We had to lock our ship in the shower with the bathroom door closed for half a day. LOL We rinsed them out but you know how that goes. The kids went around and collected them as people got up from their tables. That was a lot of fun and we got a gold ship on a stick!!!!

Take Purel hand sanitizer because the bathrooms were often times out of hand soap, yuck!!!!

Don't worry about missing a show or some activity because everyday while I was getting ready I would turn on the TV and watch the activities from the day before that I missed.

You can check your sail and sign account at any time on your TV in your room. Just click on menu and go from there.

Formal Nights are Monday and Thursday: We saw very few tuxedos. My men wear them because they don't like to drag all their stuff and rent them from the ship. They give you the complete tux, shoes and two shirts for I believe $80.

I did see jeans in the dining room, but never any shorts. Quite frankly I don't make it an effort to see what people are wearing. I don't care. I will say that casual nights in the dining room are just that and no one looked out of place. There were capris, slacks, sun dresses, Hawaiian shirts, polo shirts, khakis, etc. Wear what you want as long as it isn't shorts or t shirts and you'll be fine.

I can't think of anything else. Hope you enjoy your next cruise wherever it may take you and whatever ship you might choose!!!!!

Happy Sailing

Patti








Publication Date: 08/20/04
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