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Carnival Conquest We cruised out of Fort Lauderdale on 12/22/18 for our Christmas cruise. We flew in a few days early and stayed at the Embassy Suites (17th Street). The hotel is very nice and was decorated beautifully for Christmas. The pool area and koi pond was very enjoyable. Breakfast was good, very busy at times but during the holidays that is to be expected. Evening appetizer and drink reception was fine. Apparently gone are the days of hot food (wings, poppers, etc.) for the reception, but the chips, veggies, and popcorn were ok. Lots of shopping and restaurants in this area. One night we walked to the 15th Street Fisheries, I would highly recommend this. We ate in the casual area (dockside). They light up the water and you can feed the fish (including tarpon). I would recommend going at night. We were able to experience the new Pixel photo program that Carnival is offering. No more searching through thousands of prints to find yours. There are IPad’s all over the ship where you can look up your photos and download them directly to your device. There is still an option to have your photos printed, if you like. Big fan of this, but thought the cost was high. This was our first Christmas cruise. The crew did a great job with all of the Christmas programs and giveaways. Meals – we had the early seating and enjoyed our waiters (especially Gus). Service was good somedays and not good others. Seems that they are understaffed. We have noticed this on our other recent cruises as well. Several nights we skipped dessert so we could make it out in time for the Dive In Movie. Bars – we enjoy the Alchemy bar but were disappointed in our two other cruises this year that the staff was lackluster. We however did enjoy the staff (and the drinks they served us) on the Carnival Conquest. Embarkation This was very easy with no issues. No more checking in at the desk, we just walked right on the ship. First stop “Guys Burgers”, then a little exploring. Before we knew it, it was time to get into our cabins. Muster Station Carnival needs to do something about this process. First of all, deck 4 had a horrible sewer or oil smell. Bad enough that most of us felt sick to our stomachs. Secondly, the drill took an HOUR. We were already leaving dock before we were done. There should be no more waiting on people who do not show up. Start charging them $200 per person and that should get their attention. It is ridiculous to make the people who are doing the right thing by showing up, wait an hour. Survival of the fittest, if you can’t figure out how to put on your life preserver, then…. Also, kids could be given their wrist bands when getting on the ship. Princess Cays We rented a cabana in the adult section and we had a very relaxing day. First on the tenders, then they give you a ride to (and from) the cabana. Waiters delivered drinks during the day and it was just a short walk to lunch. Make sure you bring water shoes, as there is no “beach” in front of the cabanas but only rocks and coral. Also we found some sand burs, so be careful. We were provided with one float which we took with us into the water to snorkel (we brought our own). Beautiful fish and coral to look at. Grand Turk One of our favorite ports! We got right off the boat, then took the kids to see the NASA Mercury display. Stopped by the “whale” for photos and then headed on down the beach. Went to the conch shell graveyard and snorkeled for a bit. Then headed back and had a drink at the Beached Whale Bar. Some of our group wanted to head back to the ship. The remainder of us plopped down in the sand at the beach in front of the cruise ships; we also did some snorkeling here. Washed off at the showers and headed back to the ship. Aruba We booked a tour with Sonny Binns https://sonnytoursaruba.com and we had a great time. There ended up being only 4 of us on this tour, which was AMAZING! We visited the Lighthouse, Aloe Factory, Natural Bridge, and climbed Rock Formations. Plus, lots of “extras” along the way. This tour is highly recommended. We ended up being in port for about 5 hours extra because of a crime that was committed on board. Very unfortunate for everyone involved, but it did make me think that the ship could have stayed at this port longer. Which would mean more beach time for us. As we still made it back to Fort Lauderdale in plenty of time. Curacao We booked the Beach Hopping tour with Irie Tours http://irietours.com/ Four beaches and a stop to see the flamingos. All of the beaches were beautiful, but at one we were able to swim with sea turtles…amazing! So much fun!

Christmas Cruise 2018

Carnival Conquest Cruise Review by crismarsh67

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Carnival Conquest

We cruised out of Fort Lauderdale on 12/22/18 for our Christmas cruise. We flew in a few days early and stayed at the Embassy Suites (17th Street). The hotel is very nice and was decorated beautifully for Christmas. The pool area and koi pond was very enjoyable. Breakfast was good, very busy at times but during the holidays that is to be expected. Evening appetizer and drink reception was fine. Apparently gone are the days of hot food (wings, poppers, etc.) for the reception, but the chips, veggies, and popcorn were ok. Lots of shopping and restaurants in this area. One night we walked to the 15th Street Fisheries, I would highly recommend this. We ate in the casual area (dockside). They light up the water and you can feed the fish (including tarpon). I would recommend going at night.

We were able to experience the new Pixel photo program that Carnival is offering. No more searching through thousands of prints to find yours. There are IPad’s all over the ship where you can look up your photos and download them directly to your device. There is still an option to have your photos printed, if you like. Big fan of this, but thought the cost was high.

This was our first Christmas cruise. The crew did a great job with all of the Christmas programs and giveaways.

Meals – we had the early seating and enjoyed our waiters (especially Gus). Service was good somedays and not good others. Seems that they are understaffed. We have noticed this on our other recent cruises as well. Several nights we skipped dessert so we could make it out in time for the Dive In Movie.

Bars – we enjoy the Alchemy bar but were disappointed in our two other cruises this year that the staff was lackluster. We however did enjoy the staff (and the drinks they served us) on the Carnival Conquest.

Embarkation

This was very easy with no issues. No more checking in at the desk, we just walked right on the ship. First stop “Guys Burgers”, then a little exploring. Before we knew it, it was time to get into our cabins.

Muster Station

Carnival needs to do something about this process. First of all, deck 4 had a horrible sewer or oil smell. Bad enough that most of us felt sick to our stomachs. Secondly, the drill took an HOUR. We were already leaving dock before we were done. There should be no more waiting on people who do not show up. Start charging them $200 per person and that should get their attention. It is ridiculous to make the people who are doing the right thing by showing up, wait an hour. Survival of the fittest, if you can’t figure out how to put on your life preserver, then…. Also, kids could be given their wrist bands when getting on the ship.

Princess Cays

We rented a cabana in the adult section and we had a very relaxing day. First on the tenders, then they give you a ride to (and from) the cabana. Waiters delivered drinks during the day and it was just a short walk to lunch. Make sure you bring water shoes, as there is no “beach” in front of the cabanas but only rocks and coral. Also we found some sand burs, so be careful. We were provided with one float which we took with us into the water to snorkel (we brought our own). Beautiful fish and coral to look at.

Grand Turk

One of our favorite ports! We got right off the boat, then took the kids to see the NASA Mercury display. Stopped by the “whale” for photos and then headed on down the beach. Went to the conch shell graveyard and snorkeled for a bit. Then headed back and had a drink at the Beached Whale Bar. Some of our group wanted to head back to the ship. The remainder of us plopped down in the sand at the beach in front of the cruise ships; we also did some snorkeling here. Washed off at the showers and headed back to the ship.

Aruba

We booked a tour with Sonny Binns https://sonnytoursaruba.com and we had a great time. There ended up being only 4 of us on this tour, which was AMAZING! We visited the Lighthouse, Aloe Factory, Natural Bridge, and climbed Rock Formations. Plus, lots of “extras” along the way. This tour is highly recommended.

We ended up being in port for about 5 hours extra because of a crime that was committed on board. Very unfortunate for everyone involved, but it did make me think that the ship could have stayed at this port longer. Which would mean more beach time for us. As we still made it back to Fort Lauderdale in plenty of time.

Curacao

We booked the Beach Hopping tour with Irie Tours http://irietours.com/

Four beaches and a stop to see the flamingos. All of the beaches were beautiful, but at one we were able to swim with sea turtles…amazing! So much fun!
crismarsh67’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8E 9264
We had a balcony cabin. Right of the lido deck which we LOVE. Easy to get to activities and food.
Panorama Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins