From the beginning, everything went RIGHT for us on this trip. My family flew into Houston from New York, and my parents flew in from Calgary the same night. Their Air Canada flight arrived within 30 minutes of our Continental flight. Our hotel was every prompt in picking us up at the airport with there courtesy shuttle.
After getting a good night's rest, in the morning we meant up our driver that would provide us with the ride to the Carnival "Conquest" at Galveston, Texas. We had pre-arranged for this transportation to Galveston. We had read a lot of good things in reviews of other cruisers about this service. The best piece of advice I can recommend in this review: If you need private transportation to Galveston for your family or party, call L.J. at the Texas Cruise Ride
281-443-4430. This helpful and friendly man picked us up at our hotel in Houston the morning of our cruise and drove us to Galveston. On the way to the Galveston cruise ship terminal he provided us with a complimentary tour of the Galveston strip over looking the Gulf of Mexico and other local highlights. It was a great way to learn about these two cities that we had never visited, especially with such a knowledgeable guide. Our driver is also a professional tour in Houston.
The cruise terminal in Galveston is pretty well set-up, its also right across the street from in the old historic district of downtown Galveston. If you arrive early enough there are blocks of shops, restaurants and bars to kill some time Don't bother with the porters in tropical shirts, carry your own luggage if you able for the 50 feet and drop them with the Carnival employees who will help you tag them. Our bags were outside our cabin door by the time we'd boarded and eaten lunch.
Before arriving at the terminal our driver showed us the port of Galveston, is a busy place for the offshore oil industry. In fact, expect to see oil drilling platforms for the first 10 hours sailing south. Actually, it was kind of interesting. The weather was perfect our entire cruise. A little chilly in Texas, but by the morning of the first day we were in the Gulf enjoying weather. Perfect for us cold New Yorkers and Canadians! Some evenings got a little breezy on the deck, but you could found shelter from the wind, it was very pleasant. We recommend he hot-tubs just before closing at 11:00pm. But if you time it right, it's a perfect place to unwind and watch the goings-on of the ship.
As for the ship itself, it's a great ship for all ages, and it's very comfortable. The cabins were larger than expected, and well appointed.
The food on the Conquest was very good, as expected. Try the pizza, is as good as they say; we could have eaten it every day. We had the good fortune of being seated with another family visiting from Oklahoma and had wonderful fun and conversation the entire trip. Arrive at all meals 5-10 minutes late to avoid lines.
The entertainment in the Lounge was good. If you feel obliged to attend a show, arrive late to skip the pre-show Bingo.
On days at sea, we found the deck crowded, a little pre-planning got us 6 lounge chairs together overlooking the rail. Grab your own chairs off the stack and set-up early in the morning. We got lots of sun on this cruise!
Disembarkation on our return to Galveston was smooth and easy and our driver was waiting for us when we got off the ship.. This was a wonderful vacation. This cruise is a great value. Remember, it's a "Fun Ship"!
New York City, NY