This cruise was the 3rd for my wife and me, all with Carnival. We adopted our two daughters, ages 12 and 9, in October and thought they'd love cruising as much as we do. Our previous experience with Carnival left us with the impression that their Camp Carnival feature would be great for them. We were right! I'll skip embarkation and disembarkation details and get to the good stuff. The first afternoon/evening were fun and filled with high energy and expectations. The girls got accustomed to cruise life quickly and enjoyed exploring the ship.
Our room was on the 2nd deck. Two single beds with two bunks that come out of the ceiling took care of our sleeping needs. Quick note: The single beds are not NEARLY as comfortable as the full size beds in other cabins. They're very hard and have practically no cushioning. Also, I know that one doesn't go on a cruise to watch television, but on our past cruises we were provided with nice sharp flat screen TV's. Our cabin had More
an old 24 inch Zenith that looked like it was purchased from a pawn shop. The screen resolution was bad and the remote was very sluggish.
Camp Carnival activities were very good. Our kids really enjoyed the variety of activities that were presented. My only problem was that a lot of freedom is given to the older children (Circle C for 12-14 year olds.) They can sign themselves in and out at will, so if you have some mischievous kids they can (and will) find ways to look for trouble. There are late-night activities for both older and younger children nearly every night which last until midnight. They're free for the older children, but for kids aged 2-11 the cost is $6 per hour after 10 pm. The late night activities are fun for 9-11 year olds, but I question if they're healthy for kids younger than that. Also, I don't think it's too good an idea to keep your kids at it until midnight on nights before ports of call.
Food was good to excellent. In the past we ate at the formal dining room each night. This trip we ate at the buffets half of the nights. They serve the same dishes as the dining rooms, so you don't miss out on anything, plus you don't have to wait for the food to be served to you. We found the service to be slower this cruise than in the past, and drink service was VERY slow in the dining room. Our one drink waiter visited us upon our arrival, but only came to check up on us at mid-meal once. We had opportunities to try many different soups, appetizers, and main courses.
The Conquest, in our opinion, is already showing its age even after only 4 years of sailing. Everything seemed much newer looking on our cruise two years ago. I believe the carpets need to be taken up and changed out and fixtures that are cracked and/or chipped should be replaced. Less
Carnival Conquest Cruises to the Western Caribbean
Again we wet out on our own, this time to an all inclusive beach club called Nachi Cocum. The cab to the club cost about $1. For a total of $135 we had all we could eat and drink on a beautiful beach. There were about 30 people there and it was very quiet. The nachos were incredible! I highly recommend this place. You have to book ahead of time with Island Marketing http://cozumelcruiseexcursions.com/ You leave a deposit of about $30 online, print out your receipt, and present it to the hostess at the bar area when you arrive at the club. The rest is paid in cash (no credit cards) and the beach is yours. There were a lot more interesting fishes to check out here than in Jamaica.
We originally planned on going to 7 Mile Beach on our own but decided against it thinking 3 days in a row on the beach would fry us too much. Instead we just walked around the shops. Grand Cayman, IMO, is unattractive and not much more than a giant souvenir shop. Waste of time.
We chose not to take the Carnival excursions and give it a go by ourselves. Based on past cruise reviews we took a cab to Doctor's Cave Beach. Cab fare was $5 each one way. The beach is a 5 minute ride from the terminal. I tipped a dollar each person. Come on folks, they're working hard for you! The beach itself is very clean and fun. There are a couple of restaurants behind the beach. I recommend The Groovy Grouper. My wife had conch fritters that were very good, chicken fingers for the kids, and I had Jamaican jerk chicken wings that I'm still licking my fingers over. The best I've ever had! The water is crystal blue and had a few interesting fish swimming around with us. The Jamaican people are very friendly and unlike some people that have reviewed Mo Bay we never felt unsafe. During one swim I noticed a tall skinny local wading waist deep through the surf with a vey large joint that he was puffing away on. He was creating as much smoke as possible, and I believe that was his way of advertising his product, as he approached a few likely buyers and had a discussion with them. He didn't bother me at all. Remember everyone, it's a different lifestyle there regarding pot. Overall this was a great port of call.