First of all thanks to all have written reviews. I learned a lot by reading about your cruise(s). We parked at Ezcruise.com. There is a coupon on line. Embarkation went smoothly. Saw a lot of people carrying bottled water and pop. We only packed 6 bottles of water in our luggage and refiled with the ship water. We carried on two bottles of wine with no problem. We ate a nice lunch and toured the ship.
Our room was available at 1:30. Our room was behind the elevators-no elevator noise. We were only one flight away from the Lido Deck. We had a balcony room. Loved being able to step outside in my pjs in the middle of the night. I saw a lot of flying fish from the balcony. Bed was comfortable. The bathroom was bigger than what I thought-perhaps because of balcony room. I had plenty of room the put all of stuff. I noticed someone else had placed a flower on their mailbox to more easily see their door-so I tied on an OSU tie on ours. As I had read in another review we went to the front of the ship on Deck 7-also could go to deck 6 to sail out of Galveston. I saw dolphins and great to see us head out of port. Also went there when we sailed out of one of the other ports. Hubby was not feeling so well so we just ate at the buffet and not the dining room the first night and had room service for breakfast. We did extra tip-though not required-the steward that brought breakfast.
We had the dine when you want option which was GREAT and would HIGHLY recommend it. When in port we sometimes ate late which meant we could go a little later than early seating. On days at sea we would eat around 6 and got right in. We were able to have our same server and eat by ourselves. Had the option to eat with others. As most mentioned the melting chocolate cake is wonderful. Our server was Rico-his assistant Imade and Rene. All excellent.
On the first elegant night we really dressed up. Next time I will press our wrinkled clothing earlier in the cruise rather than waiting right before dinner. There was a short line in wait for the iron. We had pictures taken and even bought some they were so good. Photographers did an excellent job sitting up poses.
I really enjoyed the slide. I think more adults were on the slide than children. This could be because there were not a lot of children on board due to school being in session. I brought two beach towels from home so not to get confused with all the carnival beach towels.
Boneficio (unsure of spelling) was our room steward. Very friendly and our room was always neat and clean.
Saw one guest be rude to the Pizza man-which was uncalled for. He was ensuring fresh hot pizza for him and other cruisers. Yes the staff is there to ensure we have a great time; but remember they are there for months at a time with very little time off and are pretty much working 7 days a week.
I saw staff cleaning morning, day and night. Thanks. I think this helped cut down on spreading illnesses.
My hubby spent some time in the Cigar piano bar. A nice big room and very few cruisers smoking cigars. When in port he bought a Cuban cigar which he enjoyed.
Used the ships computer a couple of times when they ran a special. Next time will take small laptop to use in port at free wifi places we were told about.
We only saw a few shows. Liked the comedians. The magic show was okay. My hubby did the behind the scene tour-only way to see the bridge-$95. He thought it was worth the money and had a great time.
We went to the past guest reception and received a few free drinks.
As others have mentioned we booked shore excursions through Island Marketing Ltd. (jamaicacruiseexcursions.com; cozumelcruiseexcursions.com more links on both pages). See my port reviews below.
Things I did not like about the cruise: I didn't win at bingo and I didn't win the free cruise.
Very excited to hear Carnival's newest ship Magic will be sailing out of Galveston starting November 2011.
We really liked the Conquest.