We decided to take the Conquest out of Galveston for our Spring Break and take our 4 year old son on his first cruise. From the second we got to port our son was off the wall with excitement. We were too - since the ship has a Camp Carnival where our son can play while we lounge in the sun! Parking at the pier was very convenient! We chose to park at Galveston Park N Cruise. We dropped our bags at the pier then drove across the street, parked and walked right to the terminal. We arrived at 11:30 and were on board by 12:15. Had lunch and were in our cabin by 1:30. We booked a mini-suite so we'd have room to maneuver with our son, and he got his own single bed. LOVED the location and balcony. Empress deck, mid-ship. We explored every inch of the ship and arrived back to our room at watch our sailing and receive our luggage.
Here's our review:
Camp Carnival: Our son happily marched right into Camp Carnival (open from 9 - 12; closed for lunch btwn 12 and 2; open from 2 to 4; closed for dinner then open in the evening for more fun!) The staff is great with tons of fun activities. Our son was with the 2 to 5 year olds. The only downside is that when they are at Camp they are indoors the whole time (liability.) We chose to take him to Camp in the morning then let him swinm and do water slide, etc. in the afternoons. After dinner (with us) we took him back to Camp! By 9:30 he was exhausted and slep hard! You can leave your kids at Camp Carnival at port days also; however, we took out son with us and did fun things ashore.
Room: Very clean, spacious, comfortable. Our room steward was great and was ablw to keep our room clean dispite the hurricane of our our family! We loved the convenience of the jr. suite and having a small refigerator in the room!
Food: Not great. But then again we didn't choose Carnival for a culinary experience. Buffet at breakfast and lunch was like feeding time at the zoo! You'd think people hadn't eaten in weeks! The deli bar has decent sandwiches and of course you could always opt for the burgers and dogs. I tried the wok bar once and regretted it for the rest of the day. Pizza was awful. Best part was all day ice cream! We had anytime dining and ate in the dining room each night at dinner. Food was ok. Staff is amazing!!!
Entertainment: Worst I've ever seen on a ship. Bands were great. And, of course the casino is always a place to kill time and people watch! The (temporaty) cruise director tried his best.
Excursions: Since we had our 4 year old we planned excursions through the ship for convenience. In Jamaica we went to Beaches Resort - nice beach but by the time we got there there were no chairs available. Service was terrible. Not worth the 1+ hour bus ride. I'd opt for a beach resort closer to the pier. In Grand Cayman we went to the Turtle Farm, Hell and Stingray Sandbar. You can keep Hell....(I'll ge there eventually)....the Turtle Farm and Stingray Sandbar Swim were excellent! In Cozumel we shopped, drank and then went on the Atlantis submarine.....Great!!!
Embarking / Disembarking: With a jr. suite we got VIP embarkation and disembarking. Embarkation was a breeze and disembarking was also easy! Our cruise was delayed 9 hours in the Gulf due to fog; but, once we did get to port we were the first ones off the ship. We chose to "self-assist" - carried our own luggage off the ship - so we docked at 4pm, were off the ship by 4:15 through customs and in our car by 4:30!
Overall: For a family cruise this was fine! I know our son thoroughly enjoyed the experience and we would definately do this again.