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Our actual cruise experience started about 10 months prior the sale date. There was a Cruise Critic (CC) Roll call started for our cruise that evolved into a 6000 post flow of information and fellowship, but more about that group later. I should mention the way we found out about this cruise was by a call from our Carnival Cruise Person Vacation Planer (PVP) telling us about the new itinerary. At the time we were not sure if we could go, but a couple days later I emailed her to inquired about a possible military discount (both my wife and I are retired Air Force) for a Cat 11 suite. To our surprise there was an excellent discount so we gobbled it up. I highly recommend all Veterans, active duty and retired, inquire about military discounts when making reservations. We decided to arrive in Galveston the day before the cruise due to our 7 hour drive. We arrived at about 4:30 pm in a pouring rain and had a little difficulty getting to our hotel (Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort) because most of the streets by the sea wall had been barricaded off due to the Galveston Mardi gras. After checking in we went to the hotel bar across from the seawall for a cocktail, got a bite to each and called it an early night. The hotel was clean and recently remodeled, but probably not worth $200.00 a night. After an excellent breakfast at the hotel restaurant, we check out and headed to the terminal. I dropped the baggage and my wife off and drove to the EZ park lot that I had pre-paid on line. We normally leave our vehicle at the hotel, but because of Mardi gras, I was concerned we would not be able to find a taxi to get back and forth. Mistake number one. It was a mess getting into the lot. Traffic was blocked and they didn't seem to be letting anyone in. I waited in a line of cars for about 30 minutes. After parking I walked back to the terminal. Next time I will park at the hotel and take my chances on a taxi. Because we were booked into a suite, we had VIP boarding and were on the ship in about 10 minutes. That was sweet! We departed a little late due to a medical emergency, but the food and drinks were flowing from the moment we hit the deck, so no one was complaining too much about the delay. After the muster drill, some of the members of our CC role call group, AKA the parrot heads, met and the Sun Pool for a mini meet and great. It was fun putting some faces to names but the big meet and great didn't happen until the following day. CC Host Mach had arranged with the Cruise Director Kyle to give us a place to meet, but we had an added bonus when the time came. Not only did Kyle take time out of his busy schedule to meet with us, he brought the ships comedian with him. We played some trivia games, won some prizes, and had a great time the comedian too. I also met a fellow parrot head who I had originally known 25+ years ago while stationed in North Dakota. Small world! I could break down the meals, service, and places to eat on this ship on a night by night basis, but to be honest you can't go wrong no matter were you eat. Everything concerning the food was OUTSTANDING! It had actually improved since our last cruise. The only venue we did not try was the Point Supper Club, but some of our group did and said it was also super. The last day at sea was a little rough, the weather was cold and it rained on and off, but the ship was hopping and the casino was hitting. Speaking of the casino, I have read many reviews about ship casinos and how tight the slots were after the first couple of days; that was not our experience. No, we didn't make tons of money, but throughout the cruise I noticed quite a few jackpots being paid out. One more thing to consider is signing up for the Player Club prior to leaving on your cruise. This can be done via the Carnival web site and has some benefits. My wife and I both received a nice letter from the Casino Host, some complimentary cocktails, and added points to our slot play. Debarking was as smooth as I've ever seen it. We did the self assist, and because of our impending long drive, we were allowed to debark with the first group. The EZ park bus was waiting and we were on the road by 8:00AM. If we had to sum up this cruise with on word, it would have to be WOW!!! We are already looking into booking our next one.

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Carnival Conquest Cruise Review by rollieb

Trip Details
Our actual cruise experience started about 10 months prior the sale date. There was a Cruise Critic (CC) Roll call started for our cruise that evolved into a 6000 post flow of information and fellowship, but more about that group later. I should mention the way we found out about this cruise was by a call from our Carnival Cruise Person Vacation Planer (PVP) telling us about the new itinerary. At the time we were not sure if we could go, but a couple days later I emailed her to inquired about a possible military discount (both my wife and I are retired Air Force) for a Cat 11 suite. To our surprise there was an excellent discount so we gobbled it up. I highly recommend all Veterans, active duty and retired, inquire about military discounts when making reservations.
We decided to arrive in Galveston the day before the cruise due to our 7 hour drive. We arrived at about 4:30 pm in a pouring rain and had a little difficulty getting to our hotel (Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort) because most of the streets by the sea wall had been barricaded off due to the Galveston Mardi gras. After checking in we went to the hotel bar across from the seawall for a cocktail, got a bite to each and called it an early night. The hotel was clean and recently remodeled, but probably not worth $200.00 a night.
After an excellent breakfast at the hotel restaurant, we check out and headed to the terminal. I dropped the baggage and my wife off and drove to the EZ park lot that I had pre-paid on line. We normally leave our vehicle at the hotel, but because of Mardi gras, I was concerned we would not be able to find a taxi to get back and forth. Mistake number one. It was a mess getting into the lot. Traffic was blocked and they didn't seem to be letting anyone in. I waited in a line of cars for about 30 minutes. After parking I walked back to the terminal. Next time I will park at the hotel and take my chances on a taxi. Because we were booked into a suite, we had VIP boarding and were on the ship in about 10 minutes. That was sweet!
We departed a little late due to a medical emergency, but the food and drinks were flowing from the moment we hit the deck, so no one was complaining too much about the delay. After the muster drill, some of the members of our CC role call group, AKA the parrot heads, met and the Sun Pool for a mini meet and great. It was fun putting some faces to names but the big meet and great didn't happen until the following day. CC Host Mach had arranged with the Cruise Director Kyle to give us a place to meet, but we had an added bonus when the time came. Not only did Kyle take time out of his busy schedule to meet with us, he brought the ships comedian with him. We played some trivia games, won some prizes, and had a great time the comedian too. I also met a fellow parrot head who I had originally known 25+ years ago while stationed in North Dakota. Small world!
I could break down the meals, service, and places to eat on this ship on a night by night basis, but to be honest you can't go wrong no matter were you eat. Everything concerning the food was OUTSTANDING! It had actually improved since our last cruise. The only venue we did not try was the Point Supper Club, but some of our group did and said it was also super.
The last day at sea was a little rough, the weather was cold and it rained on and off, but the ship was hopping and the casino was hitting. Speaking of the casino, I have read many reviews about ship casinos and how tight the slots were after the first couple of days; that was not our experience. No, we didn't make tons of money, but throughout the cruise I noticed quite a few jackpots being paid out. One more thing to consider is signing up for the Player Club prior to leaving on your cruise. This can be done via the Carnival web site and has some benefits. My wife and I both received a nice letter from the Casino Host, some complimentary cocktails, and added points to our slot play.
Debarking was as smooth as I've ever seen it. We did the self assist, and because of our impending long drive, we were allowed to debark with the first group. The EZ park bus was waiting and we were on the road by 8:00AM.
If we had to sum up this cruise with on word, it would have to be WOW!!! We are already looking into booking our next one.
rollieb’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 7273
This was our first time in a Cat 11 cabin (7273), but will not be our last. It is just the right size for two adults. The separate makeup area and additional closet space was perfect. The tub was a nice touch but a little snugg getting my behind in it. We were just off the elevators, but never heard any real noise. Our location, Just off the center of the ship, made it very easy to navigate throughout without much walking.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Freeport
    We did a lot of research on this port and couldn’t find much to do. There is absolutely nothing around the port itself, so we decided to book an all inclusive excursion to one of the local resorts/hotels. It was a little pricy, but we figured what the heck. This was evidently a very popular one, because they didn’t have enough transportation for everyone. The first bus left about an hour late and we were waiting for the second one. It became apparent the second bus was not coming anytime soon so I asked the Carnival Rep if we could get a refund because the entire excursion was scheduled for 5 hours and we were already into the second one. He was very friendly and understanding, our entire refund was credited to our account that night. The day was not a total loss though. We decided to take a taxi ($5.00 PP) to the Casino and Shopping/Resort area. I think this is the way to go. The casino was clean and modern; the shopping area was small but had some unique store and lots of good restaurants. After a few hours it was back to the ship to enjoy a bucket of beer on the lido deck, get some rays, and watch the new big screen TV that had been added during dry dock. Again, the weather was wonderful at this port.
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  • Key West
    I am originally from Florida and had been in the Keys before, but it had been many year ago. We decided to take the Conch Train Tour. It lasted about an hour, had three stops and showed us most of the island. I bought the tickets when we got there because the excursion Carnival offered did not make any stops and was a little more expensive. The weather was perfect, and the conch fritters were to die for. We did a little shopping, bought a couple of tee shirts from the Hogs Breath Saloon and then headed back to the ship. If you ever wanted a perfect ending to a perfect day, we had it. The ship departed about 5PM and we had a wonderful view of a Key West sunset from the privacy of our balcony. Top that off with a bottle of champagne, and life just doesn't get much better.
    View All 1,797 Key West Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Nassau
    We have always wanted to see the Atlantis resort and this was our chance. I had e-mailed the resort prior to inquire about what day passes they offered. I received a list of offers that seemed better and cheaper than what Carnival was offering. We took a taxi ($4.00 PP) to the resort and purchased an aquarium day pass ($35.00 PP) which gave us access to most of the property except the water parks and beaches. There’s a couple of thing to remember about the Atlantis. First, they do not take cash at hardly any of the food outlets and second, expect to pay a premium price for Food ($12.00 Hamburger). Having said that, the grounds are beautiful and the hotel is breathtaking.
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