Had a GREAT time!!!: Carnival Conquest Cruise Review by browneyes82

Carnival Conquest 5
Member Since 2008

Overall Member Rating

Had a GREAT time!!!

Sail Date: November 2008
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Galveston
We drove from Dallas to Galveston on Saturday and stayed at the Commodore on the Beach (terrible, dirty, dirty, filthy, nasty hotel, btw). We were able to drive around and survey some of Ike's damage to the city. It was crazy to see boats on the side of the road or in front yards, etc. Our hotel however didn't appear to have any damage, and I never saw any damage at the pier either.

We dropped our bags with a porter at the pier and then drove the car to EZ parking (I think... its been a while now!) and took the shuttle back. We only waited about 2 minutes for the shuttle and had a quick trip back. The line for embarkation was somewhat long, but we arrived later than I had wanted due to last minute errands and whatnot. We got in line around 1230 and we got in our room right about 2. I guess the benefit of coming late was that our room was ready when we boarded and we had a few of our bags already! After settling a little bit, we went up to the Lido Deck and had lunch from the More buffet and then went up to the top deck to watch us sail away. (For those who have never cruised before, it is VERY, VERY windy on deck - so a sun dress probably isn't the best choice to wear, which I learned the hard way!) We ran around exploring the ship a little bit and finished unpacking before dinner. The room had more storage than I expected (which I had heard, but was skeptical for 2 females!!). The beds were comfy and our steward, Marcoso was great! We would be gone from our room for like 30 minutes during the week and we would come back and everything would be clean and ready! He was great, and very nice although our towel animals were often unidentifiable! ;)

We had the late seating in the Renoir dining room. We're night owls so we had asked for the later seating. Our tablemates were OK. Not necessarily people I would choose to hang out with on a regular basis, but nice enough nonetheless and we can usually get along with just about anyone. Was it the best food I have ever had? No, but it was still pretty darn good for the most part. And if there was ever a dish that I really just didn't like, they would bring me another choice right away! Our waiter was "Goose" and his assistant was Wit. They were both really great!! Very nice and accommodating, never had to wait for a glass or the bread basket to be refilled. Very awesome! Again, this is not luxury cruising and I think a lot of people have their expectations set WAY too high!

The cruise director, Ralph, was probably the highlight of my mom's trip. She LOVED his accent and he was always funny and in a good mood (which I guess is what he's paid to do!) and I think she maybe had a crush on him at the end of the week! ;) He was always good at keeping us informed and getting people involved. Yes, some of the on-deck events are cheesy, but come on, its a cruise people!! We still had lots of fun! The evening shows left something to be desired, but I've been in musical theatre and danced in the past so I guess my expectations/experience made me want more. The shows involving the passengers (i.e. the Marriage show and Legends) were a lot more entertaining!

For debarkation, we were one of the last decks to be called, but we were also able to remain in our room up until about 30 minutes before getting off the ship (though I don't think we were supposed to!). We had no trouble finding our luggage. We had a little wait in line to get through customs, and a short wait for the shuttle to take us to parking - I got the car and brought it back to pick up our luggage. Overall, really not a bad experience with debarkation, except that it meant our trip was over.

All in all, we had a really, really great time!! I'm already looking online for another cruise - although I'm also looking for the funding for it!haha Less

Published 02/20/09

Cabin review: 2222

Port and Shore Excursions

We first went shopping in Cozumel. There are lots of jewelry shops and souvenir type places right at the pier. There are also several bars - when we left Cozumel, they were bringing people back to the ship in wheelchairs because they were too drunk to walk!! CRAZY!

We chose the Dolphin Trainer swim for this trip. Its kinda pricey and we were the only 2 people from the boat that booked this excursion. It was neat because we got to spend more time in the water with the dolphins than other groups and a lot of one-on-one time. I swam with the dolphins in Cancun before, but this was my mom's first time. We both had lots and lots of fun, but for some reason we both really enjoyed the stingrays more! The dolphins are such beautiful and graceful animals though. It was really neat. Two things - you aren't allowed to wear sunscreen in the water with the dolphins. They don't tell you this in advance and they will make you shower before you get in the water with them, so if you fry like I do, maybe this isn't the best choice (unless you have a wetsuit!). Also, they RIP YOU OFF with the pictures and video purchase at the end! But its really hard to pass something like this up, since you can only say you swam with dolphins so many times!

Read 5490 Cozumel Reviews

This was by far my very very favorite port!! We booked 2 excursions for this port. Our first was supposed to be snuba, but due to some insurance problems with the Cayman company, Carnival canceled the excursion - we found out about this 2 days in advance so we were able to book another excursion and put the money that we had already paid for the snuba excursion to our new excursion. We did the Sea Trek helmets and booked through Carnival. This was really, really cool! You had a scuba-style helmet that has an oxygen hose attached to it and the hose runs up to some oxygen tanks on the boat. The helmet weighs you down enough that you're able to walk around on the ocean floor. We were about 30 feet underwater and got to feed all kinds of tropical fish and watch the guide doing some tricks. We bought the video that they filmed while we were down there and had a really great time! Because we had such a small group and they didn't have another booking right after us, they let us stay down a little longer than usual. It was a total of 30-45 minutes underwater. Our second excursion we booked through Captain Marvin's based on reviews from other cruisers. This excursion was a snorkel trip and stingray swim. WOW!! I had read how great the stingrays were and what an amazing experience it was, but I wasn't very sure. We were taken snorkeling first and saw our first stingray there (though he quickly swam away from us!) We were near the reef and again saw all kinds of beautiful, colorful fish and coral and whatnot. We then went to Stingray City... and wow! The water is shallow, about waist-deep (I'm 5'8") and just FILLED with stingrays. There were probably 6-8 other boats there when we arrived, but there were plenty of stingrays to go around! Our group probably had about 15-20 people and the Carnival group was just loaded, probably 40-50 people. It didn't look much fun. We had a very personal experience and the guides let us feed and hold and kiss the stingrays and we got a stingray massage. I'll admit I was kinda scared at first, but they really are like house cats. They just rub against you and want food and are very patient and calm animals. It was really amazing! I really, really hope I can do this again one day!! I didn't want to leave. :( We had a little while to shop before re-boarding and we went in search of the famous "Big Black Dick" rum. Just a word of warning, if you are from Texas (and only Texas), you are only allowed to bring back 1 liter of alcohol. Other states can bring back 3 bottles of any size (if I remember correctly), so you're very limited to your alcohol purchases as a Texan!

I had read and heard some really scary things about Jamaica, but we at no time felt unsafe. We took a taxi-bus from the pier (the ones with the red license plates!!) to Sunset Beach. The price had gone up from what I had read on here, but we had a safe, fun, and relaxing experience. There were very few people here at the time, which was nice because we had plenty of chairs, plenty of space, and plenty of time with the equipment. All drinks and food are included - everyone raved about how great the jerk chicken was, but it was a little too spicy for my taste! The burgers and sandwiches and drinks were all good though. The beach is beautiful!! We snorkeled pretty much the entire time we were there (my mom had never done it before and was blown away with all she got to see). There were lots of colorful fish and rock formations and even a couple blowfish! The same taxi came back to pick us up at a scheduled time. There was a driver as well as a "tour guide" - type person on the bus and they took us to some last minute shopping right by the pier and got us back with time to spare! Again, we never felt unsafe and never had anyone approach us or attempt to sell us drugs, though we heard stories about some of the other beaches.

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Member Since 2008
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