This was our first Carnival cruise. I took my 2 teenage sons ages 18 and 15. We drove from San Antonio to Galveston on Saturday and stayed at the Quality Inn. This hotel is fine for one night. It had a great view of the gulf with breakfast included. We went and watched the Ecstasy sail away that afternoon.
Embarkation: This went smoothly. We parked at the EZ parking lot and were shuttled over to the pier. We were there around 10:30 and were on board by noon. We had a few bumps initially but were all worked out. They didn't have a sign and sail card for my younger son. We were sent to the pursers desk and were told to come back at 1pm as the system wasn't up yet. We were able to get his card and has his picture made then. Also, we had requested early dinner seating and were given the late. We were put on a waiting list and got it changed after the 1st night.
The ship: The Conquest is a beautiful ship. I really enjoyed looking at all the different art throughout. The only part that felt congested was the 5th deck during the dinner hour. We learned how to get around pretty much the 1st day. Just remember decks 5 and 9 go bow to stern. We took the advice from these boards and went to deck 9 forward prior to sail away. Great view from there. It was nice we had the muster drill prior to sail away. We just started moving right before the drill ended. So we were able to get to our balcony for sail away. Cabin: We had a balcony cabin which was really nice. It was very peaceful sitting out there various times of the day and night. The only thing I didn't like was the location. We were directed over the piano bar and when he was singing, it was LOUD. We could have been in the bar with him. I am very glad I brought ear plugs. It helped to at least muffle the noise.
Sea Days: It was very relaxing on the 1st sea days. We really didn't do any of the activities from the capers. We went to the pools, hot tubs, and went down the slide a few times. The water wasn't hot in the hot tub at the bottom of the slide. But, both the hot tub in the spa area and in the adult area was hot. My 15 year old went the 1st night to meet kids at the teen club. He pretty much hung with that group for the week. He really didn't participate in the games/activities in the club. Just the Xbox time and the dances some. The group would hang out together around the ship. My older son and I played some on the quarter slots. Didn't win anything. I have been to Vegas a few times and it is correct that the slots are very tight. I didn't here anyone winning any jackpots. The shows were all good. We went to most of them. I think I enjoyed point and click and the juggling act/comedian act the most.
Dining: We ate at the Monet 1st seating at 6pm. We had a great waiter. We enjoyed all the food. My older son had the chocolate melting cake every night. All the chilled fruit soups were great! I think we had cherry,strawberry,peaches. Shrimp was offered alot and was delicious every way I tried it. Each time we asked for a second entree, the waiter said "sure". The dining room was one of the most enjoyable parts of the cruise. We ate in the Point Supper the 2nd sea night and it was really good. My son had a huge lobster tail. I had the filet and my younger son had the surf and turf. The best desert was the varieties of chocolate. It came in 5 dishes across a plate. We ate most of our lunches at the pizzeria. It was the best pizza and I'm not real big on pizza but this is not your regular pizza hut. Very good. We ate most mornings in the buffet. The omelets were really good. Every night we would get some frozen yogurt/ice cream and walk out on the decks. It is so quiet up there at night.
Jamaica: This was our favorite day. We booked the catamaran/snorkel/dr cave beach and it was perfect. They pick you up right on the dock and you walk as a group a little way to where you board the catamaran. You ride out and then snorkel off the boat. They provided all the equipment. then they drop you off at Dr's cave beach. We got some chairs/umbrella $20 and had some lunch (jerk chicken and pork) It was great! We ate right on the beach. We swam some. They had a trampoline in the water. We were not bothered by anyone anytime on this tour. They picked us up at 12:30 on the pier and they took us back to the ship. Great day!
Grand Cayman: We went on our own. We slept in a little and while we were eating breakfast, they made an announcement that tickets for tenders were not longer needed. So we went down and just walked on to a tender. We walked a little to the right and rented snorkel equipment at Eden Rock. It was $35 each and included fins. The snorkeling was amazing. Beautiful fish! We then took at taxi to Royal Palms on seven mile beach. We ate lunch there. I had a grilled mahi mahi sandwich (yum) The sand was the best at this beach. White powder. The taxi was $4 each (each way).
Cozumel: We took a cab to Paradise Beach $15 for the 3 of us each way. The food was really good here. The coconut shrimp was the best and great guac too! The sand is very course. not what I expected. We rented jet skis. $55 for 30min. I rode behind my younger son and my older son had his own. Next time, we will probably go snorkel somewhere. My boys had never snorkeled before and both really loved it.
Overall: We really enjoyed the week and would sail on the Conquest again.
Disembarkation: This took a long time. We didn't get to the parking lot until 11:30 and we used a porter. The line for a porter took forever.