Carnival Conquest Cruise Review by C. Anne: Family Cruise to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel
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Family Cruise to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel
We just got back from the Conquest with our children ages 3, 7, 12, and 16 plus my husband and myself. Getting on the ship took longer than usual due to a medical evacuation the day before. We were in line for about an hour and a half. Make sure your son doesn't bring any toy weapons as our 7 year old had his NERF sword confiscated at customs - ridiculous! Once we were on the boat and had something to eat on the lido deck everything was great though. Next time we will go straight to the room and order room service for that first lunch. The lines at the buffets are long that first day. We also never had another opportunity to order room service, being so busy as we were.
Our dining room was the Monet at the back of the ship. We had a window that overlooked the water from the back which the kids loved. We could see the moon rise many of the nights from our table (had a full moon one night)! Ketut (Phillipines) was our waiter and Eric assisted. They were wonderful waiters and More very friendly and loved the kids. There was a vibration being so close to the engine, but it didn't bother us. The food was fabulous!
Out of all of the nightly shows, the Lady Helluvi Magic show was the best. It was a Cirque de Soleil style with great music and magic. The first night's show was entertaining, Point and Click was boring, and the rest of the shows were worth seeing, but the magic show was the best.
We had 2 days at sea before going to a port. This was nice, because the 1st day we were running around so much doing activities, that we just rested on the deck by the pool most of the 2nd day. The weather was perfect.
--Jamaica - Took a bus ($5 per person) to Dr. Cave Beach. This beach was beautiful with 3 water trampolines. There was a small entrance fee to get into the beach club. After the beach we walked along the shops and stopped in for a jamaican jerk chicken pizza at the Bobsled Cafe. The people of the shops and restaurant were very friendly. We moved on to Margaritaville and tried out the waterslide and water trampoline (HUGE) there. Then, we took a mini van taxi back to the ship. The taxi driver was friendly and told us a lot about the culture there. This was my favorite stop, I think. Jamaica seems to be wrongly stereotyped as a dangerous/unfriendly place to stop and sometimes visitation is discouraged. Sure there are areas in Jamaica that are dangerous or unfriendly but just sticking to the coast is probably a good idea. This is a very friendly and safe place to visit.
--Grand Cayman - We met our tour guide (Stingray Sailing) in the port - very easy to find and boarded a bus after shopping a bit. He took us to a Catamaran where we sailed out to Stingray City and a reef for snorkeling. The weather was beautiful, but as we entered the water with the stingrays, the waves became pretty rough and it started to rain. It was neat to pet and feed the stingray, but we had to hold tight to the two smaller children and they were upset by the waves crashing in their faces. We had fruit and brownies on the way back. It was a pleasant tour, other than the weather not fully cooperating. Afterward we were dropped off at Royal Palms beach on 7 mile beach, then took a taxi back to the ship after a couple of hours. Grand Cayman had the best beach - wish we had longer at it. With good weather it would've probably been the favorite (can't blame them for the weather though).
--Cozumel - The weather was cloudy and the water rough on this day. We got off the ship with intentions of going to Chankannab, but were stopped by a tour company that said they would take us to Club Caribe (on the northern end of the island almost to Passion Island). The price of $100 (for the 6 of us) included the tour of the island, drop off at Club Caribe (beach, pool, GREAT snorkeling, equipment), drop off at San Miguel to shop, and ride back to boat. We thought this was a great deal as taxis to different places and Chankanaab entrance and snorkel equipment would have been more. Club Caribe's hotel is closed due to damage and inability to get insurance, but the restaurant, beach, and pool are lovely - wonderful chairs to sit in, and it wasn't crowded at all. It did rain some, but we still enjoyed our time there and saw many different fish.
Last Day at Sea was rainy and too rough to go up on deck (except for lido), so we spent most of the day indoors eating (chocolate buffet), watching Sukesh, a magician, which was amazing, and just relaxing. Debarkation was easy and painless and we were back in our car by 9:30.
We enjoyed our Conquest vacation. The kids enjoyed Camp Carnival (3 year old wanted to be in there every chance she got) - We thought the counselors were transactional and didn't seem very happy, but it didn't seem to affect the kids. There were probably about 40 kids on board from baby to age 11. Our 12 year old chose to stay with us and did not participate in Circle C, but our 16 year old enjoyed Club 02 and there were about 10 kids that actively participated there. This ship seemed more active than our last cruise ship on Ecstacy with more than enough going on at once and people celebrating all the time. Less
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Cabin review: Carnival Conquest Interior Verandah 8223
We had inside cabins. They seemed roomier than I remember the Ecstasy cabins being. We were on the Veranda level (8) below the lido deck, but in an area with cabins above and below us, so there was no noise. It was a very convenient location to most activities. The Monet was far away, though. Camp Carnival was directly above on level 12. I highly recommend this location.
Port and Shore Excursions
Not for families with children...
Disappointed, but glad we did ...