Carnival Conquest - Western Caribbean: Carnival Conquest Cruise Review by HTownMC

Carnival Conquest 5
Member Since 2006
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Carnival Conquest - Western Caribbean

Sail Date: May 2006
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Galveston
Wife and I (both 39) and 2 sons (ages 6 & 9) were on the 5/28 Conquest and we had a wonderful time. This trip was our annual summer family vacation and to celebrate our youngest 6th birthday (May 19). We took a town car with Z-Limousine. It was $218 round trip and well worth it. They picked us up at 9:00 from our home in far NW Houston. We were there by 10:30 and in line by 10:45. There were about 125 people ahead of use. The line started to move around 11:30 and we were on the ship in about 45 minutes. We went straight to the Lido for lunch. We were in our room by 1:30 and received our luggage around 2:30.

We were in room 10-64 (Panorama with balcony). We could not have asked for a better location. We were 1 floor directly below the SPA. My wife & I did not use the shower in the room (only for the boys). We used the showers in the gym/spa every day. THIS WAS WONDERFUL. We were 1 floor directly above the laundry/ironing room. My wife likes to dress up for dinner More every night so I joined her. I ironed every day after lunch and there was never anyone using the iron. We were 2 floors directly below Camp Carnival so we could drop off and pickup the boys without any problems.

Per your suggestions, we took a clock, nightlight and an extension cord and they all were very useful. Though it seemed small, the highlighter suggestion was great. I used it a lot to mark up the Caper and the Camp Carnival daily activity sheet. We took a shoulder cooler with 14 bottles of water, 2 flavored waters, 3 cans of ginger-ale and a 6-pack of Gatorade. We also put about 6 more bottles of water in our suitcase. We were very close to the ice machine so we just filled up the cooler with ice every day. This was a great suggestion.

Some asked the question about how much money they needed. Our final sail/sign bill was $930 for tips, 3 excursions, pictures (about 3 8x10, 4 5x7, & 24 wallets), about 4 desserts for the wife and 4 or 5 nights of 1 or 2 hours of late night camp for the boys. We do not gamble. We did not step foot in the casino. We do not drink so we did not buy anything from the bar.

There were so many activities that we did not miss the casino. On Thursdays and Saturdays they have the $15 bag of laundry. They will wash and fold your laundry (all that can fit in the bag) for $15. They take sock, all under garments, swimwear, shorts, t-shirts, etc. We did this Saturday. It was nice to have a lot of our dirty items clean when we packed them in the luggage.

My wife likes to dress up so we really enjoyed the 2 formal nights. She wore a long formal dress the first night and a short one the 2nd. I wore a black suit with a tux-like shirt each night. As mentioned on this board, there were a variety of outfits worn for formal night (including jeans). Twice we did see the Maitre D turn people away for dinner because of shorts. They both claimed that they didnt know and did not have any other clothes. They still were turned away.

We enjoyed most of the shows. We did not have any problems learning the layout of the ship. I kept a Conquest Deck Plan in my pocket just in case and we got around just fine.

Camp Carnival -- The boys really enjoyed this!!! The staff was excellent! The schedules, activities, etc. were perfect. On the at-sea mornings we took the boys at 9:00 and picked them up at noon (until 2:00) for lunch. They were ready to go back at 2:00 (until 5:00  when the camp closed to prepare for dinner). When they opened back up at 5:45 for dinner, the boys were ready to go. They boys had dinner with us the 1st and last day. All of the other days they wanted to have dinner with the camp so we let them. My wife and I enjoyed our romantic dinner dates at the Monet. My 9 year old son begged us to let him do the late night party until 3:30 a.m. There were 20 other kids so we let him do it. He enjoyed it, but he was a little tired on Saturday. There werent much going on at the camp (lot of talent show planning) so we kept him with us most of Saturday. Both sons wanted to stay until midnight so we let them stay most nights. It was $20 for the 2 hours for both of them. We were on vacation and they enjoyed it so it was worth it. The wife and I got to spend more quality time together. The best thing about the cruise was that we got a chance to spend some quality time as a couple and quality family time also.

FOOD -- We had breakfast and lunch together as a family. We had breakfast and lunch in the dining room 2 days and chose the Lido buffet the rest of the time. All of the buffet food werent the best, but they had so many options (regular food, hot dogs, hamburgers, Chinese, pizza, etc.) that we never had a problem finding something. We had dinner in the dining room every night. The food and choices were excellent. There were at least 2 entrEe items on the menu each night that we could not decide on. We made reservations at The Point twice, but ended up canceling both of them because we were very pleased with the dinner at the Monet. We had the 5:45 seating. Early seating was the best time for us. We got to get the dinner out of the way early and then get the shows at the same time the Camp went. One night the boys went with us. The other times they went with the camp. The 6:15 would have worked our a little better since we could take the boys to dinner at the camp until 5:45. We got to dinner about 6:00 each evening. Our waiter, Chris, welcomed us each night. We told him that we were sorry we were late. Chris, the manager and Maitre Ds response was the same every time, You are not late, you are on vacation. Parents with small children please be aware that the only choices for the kids to drink free are tea, coffee and water. You have to pay for everything else. My boys love lemonade for dinner. Since they only ate dinner with us twice we went ahead and got them a glass each time. It was $2 per glass ($8 for both of them for the 2 nights they had dinner with us. We did not get to use room service. We skipped the midnight bistros, but we did get a scoop of ice cream every night.

Excursions -- In Jamaica, we did a glass bottom boat tour ($156 for the 4 of us). It was OK. The boys enjoyed this. The only problem we had was that they lost their generator so the AC at the bottom was not working so it got hot. In the Grand Caymans we did the Trolley Rogers city tour ($100 for the 4 of us). In Cozumel we took a taxi to the Playa Mia Beach Club ($124 for the 4 of us). We enjoyed them all. We had not problem with the tendering. We picked the tours around 9:30 and had not problem. We got back to the ship around 2:00 and had not problems getting on. We did not eat any food at any of the ports. We chose to come back and have lunch on the ship.

TIPS -- We left the $10 per day per person tip on the sail/sign card. The $2 bills suggestion was nice. We put a $2 bill on our pillow each morning for the stateroom steward. He took great care of us each day. We tipped 7 of the Camp Carnival who work with our 2 boys $7 each. We tipped the Maitre D and the dining room manager (I cant think of her name) $20 and $15. There were several others around the ship who helped us. We gave them 5 or 10 dollars.

Disembarking -- We did not use self assist, we had too much luggage. Im glad we didnt. I heard it got pretty crowded. We slept in a little and left our room about 8:30 and we on the lido for some breakfast. By the time we took a few bites (around 9:00 or so), they were calling the first color (our color black on deck 10) to disembark. We took a couple more bits and headed down to deck 3. There was no one in line. We grabbed a porter and went to customs. We were under the red flag waiting for our town car at 9:30. They were scheduled to pick us up at 11:00. We called them and they rushed and were there by 10:05. We were in our driveway at 11:30.

We have taken a lot of trips. This was the best family trip we have had. We had lots of fun and got lots of rest. We felt that we had gotten the most out of this trip and we all were ready for home. Less

Published 06/22/06

Cabin review: 8E1064 Balcony

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