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

Carnival Conquest 5
Member Since 2005

Overall Member Rating

Carnival Conquest - Western Caribbean

Sail Date: June 2006
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Galveston
General notes in random order: I am a software engineer by day and a wine consultant on the side. M is my 17 yr old dd. I have a dh and ds who were on a BSA canoe trip in Canada while we took this cruise. Everyone else I mention are people I met on the cruise and I listed only their first initial.

The food is great! Whenever possible, go to the dinning room for meals. If time is a constraint, order room service. The only thing worth the calories for the most part on the Lido deck is the pizza and the seafood buffet upstairs (10th floor). Loved the goat cheese mushroom pizza and the bouillabaisse.

Although I liked the art auction, I didnt buy anything as my husband wasnt there and since we both have different tastes, I didnt think a purchase would be wise. I did do some research on the web and it seems like the prices might have been inflated but it is hard to tell as I am no art expert.

FYI, it is easy to get small amounts of alcohol onboard. More

I loved all the activities and the service. I thought the clothespins, the night light, extra plugs, and hangers are a good idea. I didnt need much else people recommend taking. The rooms were spacious and there is plenty of storage in the bathroom for personal items and in the rooms cabinets and closets.

Never, not once, was any ID, other then my Carnival cruise pass, ever required or asked of me to get back onboard the ship. When we left Cozumel, they didnt even ask for that until I actually got back on the ship.

It is not necessary to carry a waterproof wallet or container as the excursions provide a place to lock your stuff up for a small fee or at the dolphin swim, for free!

Carnival Cruise June-06 -- Departed FTW 6/17 @ 10.30AM. Intermittent showers. Saw the big Sam Houston statue & a live deer. Traffic in Houston only slowed a couple of times. Arrived @ Garden Inn @ 4.30PM. Went to dinner @ Mediterranean Chef. Humus was good, steak kabobs were tough. shopped a bit on The Strand and M bought a shirt, a pin for her formal dress, & a spray painted picture made by a street artist. Forgot our camera so went back to get it & see Bishop's Palace. M liked it. Tired so went back to hotel to sleep

6/18 -- Got up & 8am & went down to breakfast. Enjoyed company of other guests esp T & L. They were musicians who were playing @ the opera house on Post Office Street. B & K, the other couple staying at the inn, were nice too. K worked @ HP. We discussed travel & I bitched about my PC @ work. We ate yogurt blended w/fruit, eggs w/sausage, cheese, & tomatoes, fried potatoes, & Blue Bell lemon ice box cake w/a snicker doodle cookie. After breakfast got the suitcases. We loaded up the car & went to the Bishop's palace. Got the pic then headed for the ship. Was surprised it was so big. Dropped off the bags & parked the car @ the railroad museum lot, then walked to the pier. 11:50AM: Got in security line. 12:10AM: got in check in line & spoke to a couple who were w/ their kids (24,18,15,11). The 24yr old dd was a school teacher 2nd grade & had a 2 yr old who was w/ his dad who just started a new job & couldn't make it. 1PM: Got in the required photo line to take a truly crappy photo. Finally got to the ship. I know intellectually that the decor is tacky, but it seems to work & I like it. Yes, just as the cruise director, Todd Whittmer, joked, we looked up in the lobby & did the Forest Gump thing, "It's a big boat!" We went straight to our cabin & met I made, the cabin steward. While the room wasn't ready, he let us drop off the carry ons.

M was hungry so we went to eat, starting w/Sur La Mer & then the buffet. The desserts were delicious, but we lost the camera. M took a nap. Then I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering fore & aft, starboard & port, & even up & down periodically checking for our luggage. At 5PM we started getting ready for dinner. At 5:30PM, our luggage finally arrived.

At dinner, we met A & T & their son C. They are from Grapevine & C will be a sr. @ Grapevine HS. Both M & C love comedy central. I still was not hungry so I only ordered the lamb which was excellent. M ordered the chicken which was good but she couldn't finish it. We had the choc truffle cake for dessert & it was good. Then M went to Club 02, but didn't stay long. I bought a new disposable camera. The show started @ 8:30PM & was Ok. Phat Kat, the comic was funny. Afterward I registered for the Art Auction. Then we went back to the cabin & I unpacked. We ordered the cookie plate & the mushroom sandwich from room service, yum. Then we went to bed.

6/19 -- We woke up @ 7AM & had eggs benedict @ the Monet dining room @ 8ish. We met T & her husband who were there w/their teenage children who were still asleep. One of the boys was a bit sea sick. BTW, neither of us have had a problem w/that. I took M up to the deck to sunbathe & swim. It was hard to find deck chairs. We both wore plenty of sunscreen. We read & I left @ 10:30am for the excursion talk. At noon, I headed for the wine tasting ($10) @ The Point which was right next to where we found lounge chairs . We sampled 4 French wines. The sommelier was knowledgeable and discussed wine, but did not say much about the flavor of the wines we tasted. I met D & B from Longview & they were very nice. Afterward, we went to the Art Auction. The art was interesting; I got 2 glasses of free champs, didn't win the raffle, didn't buy anything & left early. By then it was time to go back to the room & get ready for the Captain's cocktail party in the Degas Lounge & formal night. I also had some rum & punch. We met the Capt & he is from Italy. They offered free wine & cocktails. I tried the cab, but the chard was better, so I had a couple of glasses of it. The band was Great & played American Pie perfectly. Surprisingly M knows all the words to American Pie & likes it!!

Dinner was really nice. We met J & M & their dd's L & B, the other family at our table. All of us are from Texas! I brought my white wine which A & T tried. We all laughed & talked until they made us leave. We had really good food. M had sushi & lobster. I had the pumpkin soup, lobster & the prime rib. We ordered the Tiramisu for dessert & it was different but good. By different, I mean it was more of a cream pie then the lady fingered soaked with coffee and smothered in a whipped macaronies cheese sauce, but I still liked it. By this time, I had plenty to drink & we went back to the room to put the left over wine up & share a Bailey's. But we got to the show late & had awful seats in the balcony corner. It was a French song theme & I slept through most of it. This is not to say the show was bad, Robin Gayle and Rudy Lowe have lovely voices, but damn, I was tired. Afterward we caught a nap then went to see the midnight version of Phat Kat's routine. I heard most of it & he was funny. Again we ordered room service and tried the roast beef sandwich. We went straight to bed after it.

6/20 -- I woke up & went to work out but it was too crowded so walked on the track. Got M & we went to the lido buffet breakfast. Nothing special. We then went to sun but couldn't find a lounge chair so sat in the blue plastic chairs. I swam a bit but it was hot so we went inside. We had the bouillabaisse for lunch & tried the ice cream. Then we went to the art show. Didn't stay long. We went to the afternoon tea in Alfreds Lounge @ 3:30PM. We did not smell cigar smoke and enjoyed both the snacks and the music which was provided by the same band as had played at the Captains cocktail party. We went to dinner & I had the Beef Wellington. Good stuff. Since it was Ms birthday, I ordered a chocolate cake on line prior to the cruise which they brought to the table. Everyone at the table had a slice and there was still some left. No one ordered dessert! We went back to the room to put the cake away, had a Baileys and then we went to the show. Ron Joseph sang a tribute to Motown. I believe Robin Gayle also performed. They were both quite good. After that we went to bed.

6/21 -- Wednesday -- Arrived in Jamaica around 7am & we heard it. The engines do something loud when they get into port. For the record, I much prefer ports to tenders. Walked off the ship @ 7.30AM & waited in the Terminal Bld. for the horseback ride & swim. Joe, the bus driver was great. He sang & joked all the way to & from. All of the horses were quarter horses & through breds & were beautiful. M rode lightning who was the daughter of a race horse & wanted to move. I was on Desperado who was 20 yrs old & moved only when necessary. It was a great ride & we saw some beautiful views. Yes, I was very nervous & held on tight. After the ride, it was time for the swim. They took us off the quarter horses, split us into 3 groups & put us on the thougohbreds. We were in the 2nd group. You basically are riding bareback & when you get in the water, you bend your legs. The horses lungs sound like a mechanical bellows. When we get done they didn't have enough people for all the horses so M got to go again & I raced for the camera & got some great pics. I would do the horseback ride again and this time Id take more pictures. Back @ the Terminal, I bought Rum & then we went back to the ship, had Pizza & bouilibase, took a shower & napped.

Dinner was the Chateau Briand. We went to see the magic show. Something's wrong w/that chick. She was good technically, but did not come across well, trying too hard perhaps. Again, I dozed through a lot of it.

6/22 -- Thursday -- Woke up EARLY! Had to be in the Toulouse La Trec lounge by 6.45. Ordered room service, bagels & lox. Yum. Then met in the lounge. Bought a $1 scratch off & raffle. I lost. Got on the tender for the 10 minute ride to Grand Cayman. Met the Kirk Tour Guide & then walked about a block to our Snuba tour. Rodrigus from Argentina was our guide. We got our equipment & $4 locker rental & orientation. Once in the water, I panicked. I could handle the regulator & the mask but not the weight belt & had to take it off. R said that it was OK & I should be able to see everything because the water was clear & only 20 ft deep. M did fine. We both had a blast. We saw plenty fish, shrimp, a spider crab that crawled up M & a sea turtle which R said was very rare. We did a bit of shopping & bought my ds a T-shirt. Then we ate @ the tourist trap across from the pier. $20 for 1 chicken jerk & an order for ff. We also took my pic w/chickens that roamed the streets.

6/ 23 -- Friday -- Breakfast in the room again. Lox and bagels. Went to Cozumel for the Dolphin Swim. Met in Toulouse Lounge at 8:30 AM. Waited until after 9AM and took 35 minute tender to Cozumel. Did I mention I dont like tenders. Walked another 15 minutes to bus and took 20 minute bus ride to park. Did the dolphin thing and then had lunch at Dos Chilies. Good Mexican food. DD got a chicken sandwich. Travel all the way to Mexico so she could eat a chicken sandwich. Great. I got the Mexican dinner and a couple of Coronas. Walked around a bit to look at manatees, seals, monkeys, and sloth. One of the employees saw us and took the sloth out of cage to get pic with M. Back to the bus for 30 minute ride to shopping area. Bought vanilla and some jewelry. Walked to tender and had another 35 minute ride back to ship by 5PM. Do I think the dolphin thing was worth it? Yes, because my dd got a big kick out of it and its something I can say Ive done. But its not something I would do twice. Had to move it but got dressed by 5:45PM and went to dinner. Tablemates T and C were missing. Evidently they got sick on Cozumel excursion. A told us all about their fishing trip. Evidently the fish were not biting and the guides pretty much knew that when they took them out. They had a hard time booking the excursion and were very disappointed.

Dinner was quite good as usual. We all had the filet mignon (did I mention we were all from Texas?) which while a bit tougher then most, it did have a wonderful flavor. After dinner, we saw the only show which was at 10:30PM, a Carnival produced show called Point and Click. Robin Gayle and Rudy Lowe again. It was sort of about an online romance. Cute. Went right to bed as we were beat. Had to skip Marc Ruddmans midnight performance. We just couldnt stay up that late again. However, when I got into bed I found out it was soaked. I stupidly put my bag on the bed when I got back from Cozumel and the water bottle had leaked. I stripped the bed and soaked up the water as best I could. I couldnt get house keeping on the phone at all. Went up to the pursers desk where they informed me that housekeeping was closed, but they would send someone down with a new set of sheets. When the guy came, he looked at the bed and brought me an extra blanket to put on top of the mattress so the water wouldnt soak back through. He also made the bed. I tipped him well.

6/24 -- Saturday -- Breakfast in the dining room, had eggs, bacon and pancakes. After breakfast, I went to the casino to get rid of my nickels. I did, rather quickly this time. While I was there, the guy next to me won 1000 nickels, which I realize isnt much, but its better than nothing. Went to the chocolate buffet as soon as it opened. M tried the chocolate sushi! It was pretty good! However, I preferred the desserts in the dining room to anything they served there. Went to the art auction at noon. Met our dinning tablemates J and M there. They had won a painting by Krasnyansky and ended up buying 4 more paintings from various artists. I liked some of the paintings but dh wasnt there and I really didnt feel like I had the knowledge to purchase some of them cold like that. Plus it didnt seem a good idea for me to buy anything after a couple of glasses of champagne. They have a few raffles during the auction, but after that, I went to grab M and we got the last bowl of bouillabaisse soup from Sur la Mer. Yum. Then we just hung out until dinner, reading and relaxing.

Dinner on the last night was, as always very good. I got the mushroom soup and the prime rib. I also got two deserts, chocolate cake and a soufflE. Good stuff. Finished the last of the wine I brought too! After dinner, I took pictures of Norman and Lee, our waiter and waitress. Afterward, went straight to the pursers desk and increased their tip. I also increased the tip for the cabin steward. Forgot to tip the maitre d'. Oops. Also went to the legends show. It was very good. I liked Jackson Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Frank Sinatra best. Gotta give Todd Wittmer, cruise director, a nod for his portrayal of Dolly Parton. You gotta admire the guys ability to get paid! The crowd seemed to like the Garth Brooks guy, but as I hate country music, Im not the one to ask. The midnight show was a R rated improv show put on by Todd Wittmer, Marc Ruddman and 3 other crew persons and was the best show of the week. I laughed so hard I nearly peed myself. It sort of turned into a Todd Wittmer roast. They laughed at his job, questioned his sexual preference, described his-ahem-manhood (or lack thereof), and gave him the most challenging improvisational tasks. He acquitted himself well or perhaps he didnt, but it was pretty funny.

Sunday -- We had our last breakfast in the dining room, great service and good food as usual. Disembarking was hell. Since I had 3 suitcases, I didnt do self disembarkation, I left two bags outside my door. However, that doesnt get you very far. They dump the bag in the terminal; you still have to drag them though a huge line in customs. I could have just as easily dragged them off the boat. Our deck was called around 10 and we were able to sit in the cabin until they called our deck. After we got out of customs, we walked to where the car was parked with our bags and stopped at the Starbucks right across from customs. It was after noon when we began the 8 hr hell trip back to Fort Worth. Houston traffic was awful and we got detoured and then stuck. Around 5PM, we stopped at a Chilis for dinner. Got home at 8PM.

Would I do this again? You bet! Less

Published 07/10/06

Cabin review: 2217

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