Sail Date: November 2013
First, there was the embarkation. Long lines which reminded me of the Atlanta airport security check. But, the folks were very friendly, and of course we chatted with the others waiting in line. We had previously sailed on the MSC and ... Read More
First, there was the embarkation. Long lines which reminded me of the Atlanta airport security check. But, the folks were very friendly, and of course we chatted with the others waiting in line. We had previously sailed on the MSC and Costa lines in Europe. This was our second Carnival (US) cruise following last years cruise on the Carnival Ecstasy to the Bahamas. There were 3K+ guests on this cruise. I have to say that the crew were excellent, and very friendly, courteous, etc.. Only real complaint is that the entertainment MC's thought everyone was hard of hearing. Not only was the volume of the speakers at max ... they had to yell every word. We had to leave Henri's (?) disco because of that. And I might add that it was the only disco on the ship. No other dance place anywhere on board other then the open Lido deck (pool area). The Ecstasy had several. Cabin was far more than we expected. Lots of room, and had a 4 x 4 port window. Cabin crew was very nice and took great care of us. Room was always cleaned promptly and supplies replenished as needed. Very happy with this stateroom. Food was very good, but not as good as the Ecstasy. Dining room food was also very good. The seas were fairly rough 75% of the time, and this took some of the pleasure out. Of course we do not blame Carnival at all. The bridge crew did a great job of controlling the pitch and roll. I don't think any cruise line will ever get the embark/debark process under control. Just too many folks to load in a few hour span. Kudos to the luggage handling crew. Our dining crew was super. Many laughs and excellent service. Looking forward to the next cruise. Carnival is a good line to cruise on. Not to cheap ... not to expensive. All in all, a great value. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
Only our second cruise ever, and we cant wait to go again! Second time out of New Orleans, and it was better than the first time. Embarking was so easy and smooth, loving the 'Faster to the fun' got onboard, dropped off bags and ... Read More
Only our second cruise ever, and we cant wait to go again! Second time out of New Orleans, and it was better than the first time. Embarking was so easy and smooth, loving the 'Faster to the fun' got onboard, dropped off bags and stuff at cabin and went and met up with friends we had met from the last cruise. Cold drink in hand and a Guy's burger for lunch...great start to the fun times ahead. Only thing that was disappointing on deck was the Saints game was not being played on the big screen so we all had to squish into the sports bar to see the game....last cruise we got to watch the game on the big screen Anytime dining is the only way for us, as we never know we are going to do that day. But lunch at Guys or the Blue Iguana Cantina are a must everyday. Our group of ladies tried the dining at the was so good that I had to take my husband there the next night. Our first stop was much fun. We went through Victor Bodden tours and had a full day of touring the island, ziplining, amazing views above the airport, and a delicious lunch that the driver took us to. Having to walk out of the port to find our tour guide was very easy, and the security personnel were very helpful. VERY humid when we got there, pretty much drenched in sweat by the time we got to the van. Our driver also took us for a restroom break at a local grocery store, and we made sure to purchase bottled water for the rest of the trip. Victor Bodden tours was amazing with the zipline company they deal with. Im not one for heights, but I decided to give it a go. The guys were great with suiting us up in out gear, and as it is a bit of a walk in a couple spots to get to the next line, there was never a rush for us to go. I had one fellow attach to my clip and we went tandem over the line, which got me to relax and enjoy it more. Platforms are well built, only concerned about the 3rd to last tree, but that was due to the very large couple that had joined our group of 6 people, but even so, everything went awesome. Our next stop was Belize, we did the stingrays and sharks excursion through Carnival, as I had read stories of people almost missing the tender back to the ship. Thankfully we did this, as we were the last tender for the day. Our tour guides were so friendly and helpful. We boated through the mangroves and hoped to see a manatee but no luck, but we did see a dolphin swimming around our boat and racing us. We were given the option to purchase lunch at Caulker Caye at the end of our tour, the guides took our order and they had it read for us when we got back. The trip to the reef was enjoyable, and the rays were neat, and actually touching a shark was thrilling and she felt like sandpaper. It would have been more fun if there had been less people on the tour, so there was more one on one time with the shark, but there was only 4 people per tour guide in the water (about 5 guides) My husband actually got to swim out further to the actual reef and shelf with our guide...he said it was amazing to see so much more, and it would have been easier if he had fins, but its understandable why they don't allow the fins, so as to not hurt the stingrays at all. Rum punch was flowing on the way back to lunch,,,which was so delicious and filling (had a chicken burger) Then we went and walked around and looked at the small island, did a bit of shopping and got back onto our boat and headed back to Belize tender spot. Our cruise also had the added fun of Halloween!! we will be trying to get a Halloween cruise again in the future. Everything was decorated, and at least 80% of the passengers were in costumes,,,so much fun! Our last port was Cozumel...and this was a relaxing port due to Halloween shenanigans, so the group of 22 of us went to Mr Sanchos all inclusive resort...a MUST. The Taxi drivers were awesome that got us we had to take 3 of them and got a great deal of $5 per couple. The sand was plentiful, the water was warm, the sun was hot so the umbrellas and such came in handy...and the drinks ran freely. Most of the time was spent in the pool at the swim up bar, and the bartender knew our drink and had it ready as soon as we went back to get another. Last sea days were relaxing and full of comedy shows and dancing the night away. Disembarking was super fast and easy. We had about 6 hours to kill before having to be at the airport so we made use of the Advance Check in service at the port. They took our luggage for us, and delivered it to us at a specific time at the airport, so we didn't have to pull it around New Orleans all day. Well worth the few dollars to do this. We even arrived at the airport early and called and the delivered it earlier than planned. The whole cruise was amazing except for the size of our cabin, so live and learn and Ill not make that mistake again on the next cruise.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2013
Although our cruise departure was delayed because of a tropical storm in the Gulf, we still had a great time. New Orleans is one of our favorite cities so we were excited about having an extra day there. We left as planned on Saturday even ... Read More
Although our cruise departure was delayed because of a tropical storm in the Gulf, we still had a great time. New Orleans is one of our favorite cities so we were excited about having an extra day there. We left as planned on Saturday even though Carnival had emailed, called, and texted us two hours earlier about our cruise being delayed because of the weather. Our now two days in New Orleans were spent at the Marriot Residence Inn in Metairie. It was a nice, clean, comfortable hotel that is easy driving distance to everything. We spent quite a bit of time sightseeing and eating before coming back to enjoy the pool. On embarkation day, we drove to Fulton Garage where we had already prepaid parking through their website. The garage is pretty close to the port. We chose uncovered parking and the attendant told us that we would have to drive all the way up to the top to park. There was a porter waiting on one of the lower floors to collect our luggage. He told us we would have to walk down a few levels in order to get to the elevators. We parked the car, found the elevators, and made our way down to front of the garage to catch the shuttle. The driver was very friendly. The cruise terminal itself is set up really awkwardly and the driver had to maneuver through some pretty narrow spaces. We made it to the terminal after a few near misses with large motor coaches and entered the building after unloading our luggage. The embarkation process in New Orleans is pretty similar to what we experienced when we took the Elation out of Mobile. Everyone is assigned a zone and seated. When your zone number is called, you are allowed to get in line. There was a long wait but not as bad as Miami or Mobile. We boarded the ship, dropped off our luggage, and headed to the buffet for lunch. We are used to getting our luggage well before dinner. So, we were not surprised to see our bags already at the door when we got back to our cabin. Our largest suitcase was missing but we just assumed it would show up soon. Wrong. Dinner time came. No luggage. We went to dinner and came back, still no bag. I called Guest Services and was told to be patient, that is should show up by 9 pm. After seeing the other passengers’ bags disappear from the hallway, we knew our bag was not going to turn up. I went down to Guest Services and was told that sometimes, it can take until midnight for all the bags to be delivered and I should check back in the morning. I walked away knowing that I had just been fed a load of crap. We woke up the next morning, still no suitcase. I went to Guest Services again and this time there was a new agent. She suggested that I check the room next to the counter. Sure enough, there was my bag. Apparently, someone broke the handle and the tag fell off. How long my bag had been there, I do not know. It would have been nice though if the lady that I talked to the night before had attempted to be helpful instead of continuously blowing me off. The agent who helped me find my suitcase reported the damage to a supervisor who came by our cabin to inspect the suitcase. She ended up just giving us a letter with the address to contact Carnival customer service. Other than our cabin steward and dining room staff, this was about the level of service we received for the duration of the cruise. There were some shining stars but, most of the time the crew just seemed too tired to be bothered. Our first sea day started with the comedy brunch in the dining room. I was hoping for a full show but apparently, this is just a teaser for the comedy shows at night. The comedian only spoke for 5 minutes. Brunch was great though. I ordered the huevos y carne which is eggs served with filet mignon and potatoes. The coffee was exceptional. After dropping our little boy off at Camp Carnival, we headed to the gym. Our little boy loved Camp Carnival. We are careful to drop him off when there are activities on the scheduled that he will enjoy. We were also surprised to see a few Americans on the camp staff and a man. Every camp staff member we talked to was great and our little boy had several art projects to take home at the end of the cruise. I really like the gym on the Conquest. They had upgraded treadmills and ellipticals and I was pleased to see that all the monitors on the machines were working. My only complaint with the gym is that the weight area is pretty small. I honestly think only 2 or 3 adults could comfortably work out in that area. There were also some gym rats on the ship’s staff that were holding some of the weights hostage for their own workout in the aerobics room. None of the people who needed to use those weights appreciated that. They even tried to take some of the weights that I was using without even asking me if I was finished with them. They were just really rude – not the kind of behavior that I expect from ship staff. After exercising, we picked up our son and headed up to the Lido deck to find the kiddie pool. After searching in vain, we asked the pool attendant and he said there was no kiddie pool on the Conquest. This was disappointing after using the kiddie pool on the Valor (essentially the same ship) quite often. There is one main pool in the center of the Lido deck and apparently, that is where Carnival expects small kids to swim – with the throng of other adults and older kids on the ship. No thanks. Dinner in the dining room was OK. I absolutely hated our table seating. They stuck us back in a dark corner at a table for two. They added a third chair for our son. After our experience with the luggage, we decided that it just was not worth complaining about so we put up with it for the duration of the cruise. I got the BBQ pork ribs which were edible but the sauce did not really taste like BBQ sauce. We had early seating so we headed to the 8:15 Divas theater show after dinner. The singers were very good but I really did not like some of the song selections. If you could only sing one Whitney Houston song, would you pick “Queen of the Night”? My husband put our little boy to bed while I went to the adults-only comedy show at 9:45. It was standing room only. Honestly, if you’re not in line before the prior event ends, don’t bother trying to go. If the events are this popular, why not have them in the theater instead of cramming everyone into a much smaller lounge? The Degas lounge is simply not big enough. I went up to the Lido deck after the comedy show to catch the Seaside Theater movie before turning in for the night. Our day in Key West started with an early morning workout in the gym. Our plan for the day was the Key West Aquarium and a little shopping. We headed to the breakfast buffet after getting dressed so we could get off the ship right after eating. After the horrible buffet food on the Valor, I know what to avoid on the buffet. I stuck with fruit, French toast, eggs benedict, and tea instead of coffee. The coffee on the buffet is not as good as the coffee in the dining room. We got off the ship and had a great time at the Key West Aquarium, which I detail in my ports review. My phone battery had long since died and I had a number of emails to follow-up on so I stopped at the visitors’ center to ask where I could find free wi-fi to use my tablet. I was directed to the Starbucks which is about a half mile walk from the Aquarium. The wi-fi is indeed free but you have to ask the barista for the password. I guess this is their way of making sure people buy something instead of just hanging out using their wi-fi. We ate lunch while I responded to my emails and then headed back to the ship. On the way back, we stopped at the Key Lime Pie Factory and got a slice of key lime pie. It was good but a little more tart than I like my pie. I also got a key lime pound cake for $10. It was OK but nothing I feel the need to buy again. We got back on the ship and headed to the Lido deck so our son could enjoy some time in the pool before it got super crowded. My husband went to the gym and I dropped our son off at Camp Carnival to head to the spa. I got a full body exfoliation and a blissful foot massage from Lilian – sheer heaven. Dinner was much more enjoyable than the night before. The smoked chicken quesadillas and the jerk pork were delicious. Nassau was our next stop. Disembarkation was a hot mess. Communication was not this ship’s staff strong point. There was no announcement from the cruise director or written instructions given to the passengers the night before we arrived. Instead they set the elevators to not open the doors at deck 0. People are on the elevator pushing 0 to get off the ship and the elevator goes down to 0 and then goes right back up to 2. Now that I’m writing this, I think the same thing happened on the Valor and it was annoying then too. If that’s the process, fine. However, there is no excuse for not letting the passengers know in order to avoid confusion. We finally got off the ship and spent a nice relaxing day at Cable Beach. Dinner in the dining room was wonderful. I think I tried at least 3 entrees. I remember the filet mignon, short ribs, and lasagna were all delicious. On our second sea day, we did some trivia, attended the future cruise talk, and had another great meal at the Punchliner comedy brunch. We enjoyed a nap before dinner and went to the family comedy show after dinner. This one was not nearly as crowded as the adults only comedy show. Our last sea day was spent with more of the same activities. I enjoyed more treatments at the spa but bought way too much product. I really enjoyed the sea days because we had so much time to get back to New Orleans that the ship felt like it was gliding. It was very relaxing. The ship was moving so slowly that the captain even stopped and turned around to investigate an abandoned boat. We usually don’t eat in the dining room on the last night because we focus on packing. We ate Guy’s Burgers for dinner instead. My husband really enjoyed the burgers there and still talks about them. Debarkation was pretty straightforward. Although they try to rush you off the ship, we left our luggage in the cabin and enjoyed our usual leisurely debarkation breakfast before collecting our luggage, saying goodbye to our steward, and heading down to wait until our zone was called. Overall, we enjoyed this cruise and the upgrades on the Conquest are great. Cruising remains our family’s preferred way to take a vacation. As much as we love Carnival, the last two cruises have been a little lacking. So, we are branching out. Our next cruise is on Royal Caribbean.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
This was our 12th cruise, 4th on a Carnival Ship. Our cruise was cut short one day because of a Tropical Storm that had formed in the Gulf. Luckily it dissipated allowing us to still enjoy 6 FABULOUS days. I can say that the food on this ... Read More
This was our 12th cruise, 4th on a Carnival Ship. Our cruise was cut short one day because of a Tropical Storm that had formed in the Gulf. Luckily it dissipated allowing us to still enjoy 6 FABULOUS days. I can say that the food on this cruise rivaled ANY we have had - we loved Guy's Burger Bar and the Blue Iguana was our favorite "hangout" around the pool. There wasn't ANYTHING that we didn't enjoy. Frankly we were a little surprised because this isn't generally Carnival's strong suit but it was a pleasant surprise!! The early comedian shows were excellent, these were defined as "family friendly". We didn't take in any of the late comedian shows. We took in one of the production shows called The Brits, and it was quite unique. Combining live dancers with the newest in cutting edge animation. Overall it was a GREAT time. We took a couple along with us, for one of them it was her first cruise. She is somewhat a "workaholic" and we weren't sure if she could unwind. But not only did she do that, but LOVED IT, and we booked another cruise for October 2014 while on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
This was my second cruise, my first cruise in 13 years, and my wife's second cruise, the first was in late 2011. I booked this cruise back in July and anxiously awaited the months to pass like a little child waiting for Christmas ... Read More
This was my second cruise, my first cruise in 13 years, and my wife's second cruise, the first was in late 2011. I booked this cruise back in July and anxiously awaited the months to pass like a little child waiting for Christmas morning. Because of this, I was a bit disheartened when our cruise was cut a day short because of Tropical Storm Karen closing the Mississippi River, but I felt that Carnival dealt with the situation in the best way possible. Ultimately we got reimbursed for a day and missed Freeport, but nearly everyone I spoke to said this was nothing to be bummed about, since many people do not have favorable opinions of Freeport. We drove to New Orleans on Sunday, our original embarkation day, and spent the night at the Ramada Inn Metairie. This was a fantastic hotel, allowing us to park our vehicle there for the duration of the cruise, as well as providing transportation to the port on Monday morning, although return transportation was on our own following disembarkation. We purchased Faster to the Fun, which really came in handy! We arrived at the port around 10:30am and there were already crazy long lines just to get into the terminal, for security, and check-in. Once we had cleared the line to get into the building, Faster to the Fun made security and check-in a breeze. We were on the ship and directly to our stateroom around 11:15am. We were so happy to have bypassed all the lines and really be having fun much faster. By the time we got to the terminal I believe they were handing out Zone 34 cards, so it would have been quite a while without FTTF. Our room was on the Panorama Deck (10) and was actually a handicapped room with a walkaway view of the observation deck all the way forward on Deck 10. We really enjoyed all of the space we had, and I especially enjoyed just walking around the corner to a deck that practically no one knew about. We saw very few people out there for the duration of our cruise. After checking out our room and dropping off our carry on bags, we went out to explore the ship. This meant we immediately checked out the spa, at my wife's plea. We never used any of their services, but it did look like a very nice facility offering many different services. Following our spa tour we made our way out to the Lido deck poolside and grabbed a burger from Guy's Burger Joint. I cannot say enough about how fantastic this place is! I had a burger every day of the cruise, it was just that good! We walked around some more after lunch and before the safety briefing. The Conquest is a beautiful ship, hard to believe it is eleven years old! Pretty soon we were sailing down the Mississippi River towards the Gulf of Mexico. I must say, if you have never sailed from New Orleans, I highly recommend it. It is such a unique experience to be on a large ship traveling down the river. We ate at the Point Steakhouse the first night of the cruise and it was amazing. We were given a complimentary bottle of wine and all of the food (and it was a lot) was delicious. We left absolutely stuffed and amazed at the fine dining we had experienced. I highly recommend the steakhouse! We really enjoyed all of the food while on the ship. I think our favorite meal was the Punchliner Brunch, which was so good each of the three sea days. Where else can you get filet mignon with eggs or french toast coated with Fruit Loops? The Taste Bar was also a favorite, as we enjoyed the samplings of restaurants on our ship and other ships. We had dinner in the dining room each night, with the exception of the first night when we were at the steakhouse. The dining room was just okay for me. I felt like the service was too slow, but this could have been because of the Your Time Dining. Speaking of YTD, we only had to wait on the first elegant night and the last night of the cruise. Neither wait was more than 15-20 minutes for a table for two. The only downside to a table for two, and I've noticed this with other reviews, is that the tables set for two are so close to the table next to you that it's almost like one huge table. You seemingly end up engaged in conversation with your neighbors anyway. I really was not all that impressed with the food in the dining room. Not that it was bad, but it had a hospital food taste. The only time we tried the buffet was for breakfast on the day we were to port in Nassau. Blue Iguana's Cantina had awesome tacos, but it was only open for lunch for about 2.5 hours each day. I wish it were open longer, and I do understand that it is open for breakfast. We also tried out sandwiches from the Carnival Deli and pizza from Pizza Pirate. Everything was excellent! We were very satisfied with the entertainment on the ship. Our cruise director, Gary, was great at keeping the audience entertained throughout the cruise. We especially enjoyed the Hasbro Game Show each of the two episodes they had. The third was cancelled on the last day due to "technical difficulties". The "Game of Love" was also quite entertaining, as was "The Brits". I had never realized how many games of bingo is played each cruise, but it looks like many people really enjoy it. Overall, this was an awesome cruise for my wife and I. We had so much fun that we have already booked a cruise out of NOLA next year on the Dream and are already looking forward to that. Again, can't say enough good about FTTF, Guy's Burgers, and the Steakhouse. We also really loved both ports, walking around and sightseeing at both Key West and Nassau. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
Conquest - 20-27 Oct 2013 Embarkation day: We drove down to Slidell the afternoon before embarkation, feasted on softshell crab, crawfish, and shrimp, got a goodnight's sleep, had breakfast at the hotel, made a last minute trip to ... Read More
Conquest - 20-27 Oct 2013 Embarkation day: We drove down to Slidell the afternoon before embarkation, feasted on softshell crab, crawfish, and shrimp, got a goodnight's sleep, had breakfast at the hotel, made a last minute trip to Walmart, and headed for New Orleans and the Erato St. terminal, where the Conquest was docked. We arrived at the terminal just after 10 AM, and got in line with all the other cruisers who also had arrived early. After paying the parking fee, we drove up the ramp to the luggage drop off area. Dominick met us, gave us his name and porter #, and took our bags. (A note of caution here: even though he viewed our boarding passes, and assured us he would put the priority stickers on our bags, he didn't, and our bags weren't delivered until after the safety drill. In fact our room steward delivered the final bag around 5:00 PM!) After dropping our bags, we proceeded to the 4th floor parking area and were very fortunate to find a spot right next to the elevator! We took the elevator to the ground floor where we were directed to the priority line to security and the carry on screeners who are on the 2nd floor. I'm not sure how long the screener had been on the job, but he spent a few minutes breaking the seal on two of our 3 bottles of wine, shaking them, looking at them in the light, and then took them to another, older screener to look at. He looked at me, the bottles, and told the younger one to give them back to me. Through security, we were directed to the priority lounge. There, three Carnival reps were processing all priority passengers. There were cookies, pastries, water and juice available in the lounge. Within minutes we were called to a desk, showed the rep our passports, and were issued our S&S cards. After the angst I experienced after accepting an upsell to a Grand Suite with the understanding that it included the FTTF benefits, and cancelled the FTTF I had previously booked only to find out that the only "benefit" was priority embarkation/debarkation, one can imagine my surprise when the Carnival rep handed us our S&S cards and they had the FTTF sticker on them!!!! We were then directed to the priority waiting area - to wait for the boarding call. A wedding party was assembling in an adjoining area, and at about 11:15 AM, they were escorted to the ship. Shortly thereafter, the priority area was called to order - the entire group got up and moved to board the ship. We boarded the Conquest, and like the rest of the priority cruisers, made our way across the lobby to the elevators. We got off on the Empress deck (7), oriented ourselves to port and starboard, and located our stateroom. It was ready, so we dropped our carry on bags, and took a tour of the suite. Wow! What a way to travel - won't do it again, but it sure is roomy!! After unpacking our carry on bags, we went up to the Lido to check out the Red Frog Rum Bar and the Blue Iguana Tequila Bar, Guy's burgers, and the Blue Iguana Cantina. While at each of the bars, I bought the collectible Tervis tumblers, as they usually sell out in a couple of days. I'll just say my favorite brand of rum, not available onboard the ship, sure tasted good in those glasses all during the cruise. On schedule, we departed New Orleans and headed down the Mississippi River enroute to our first port call - Montego Bay, Jamaica. I had previously sent a reservation request for dinner at the steakhouse, so knowing what was ahead of us, we had not eaten earlier. We prepared for dinner and took the elevator to the 10th deck and the steakhouse. If you haven't eaten at one of the Carnival steakhouses, you're missing a treat!! This was the third time in two cruises, and it was every bit as good as the first two!!! Service, quality of food - it's all very much worth it. Don't go in a hurry - dinner lasts about two hours! The Conquest continued her journey down the Mississippi, and sometime around midnight, we passed out of the river into the Gulf of Mexico. The first day at sea begins...... First day at sea - Monday. Room service Steward delivered the requested 2 pots of pre-ordered coffee at 7:30 AM. A beautiful morning to be sitting on the balcony drinking coffee! Tonight is the first "elegant night". Breakfast on the lido deck. Omelet station wasn't very busy - the cantina was open serving breakfast burritos, taking some away from the main lines. After breakfast, time to check out the Fun Shops. $10 sale at 10 AM. The unknowing were lined up to take advantage of items "on sale" for $10 that they'll find selling for $10 all cruise. Fun finds presentation: The DW attended, received 4x6 sized bok about 1 1/2 inches thick with coupons for most, if not all the CCL " preferred stores" in all the ports they sail to. A "Free" VIP card goes with it, and the CCL published shopping guides for each port. Package price $25. Hope using the free stuff coupons makes up for the $25 she spent on the booklet! While DW went to lay out in the sun, FIL and I people watched from comfortable sofas in the lobby most off the afternnon, while I enjoyed my brand of rum and diet Pepsi - neither of which are available onboard Since we have ATD/YTD, we got ready and went down to the Renior forward area on deck three. I gave the hostess our stateroom number and also the number oof the table we wanted to sit at. (A sidenote here: we always walk through the dining room the first day to select a table we'd like to sit at, and give that number to the hostess. We may have a short wait, but have always been able to get the one we selected.) We have a great wait staff, led by Godfrey. After dinner we eent to the aft lounge to see the Punchline comedians. Both were extremely funny, and DW said she hasn't laughed so hard in years. We stayed for the adults only show, which was as good as the family shows. After the shows it was off to bed. Amazingly, we didn't pose for any elegant night photos!! Second sea day - Tuesday. We are seemingly alone on the sea. Whereas there were other ships in sight for the last two days, this morning there are none. We continue on our track to Jamaica. Breakfast on the lido again. Nothing spectacular to cause any excitement, but it's all good. Bingo, super duper trivia - the usual games and time occupiers were scheduled in the morning. FIL and I were seated way off to one side of the lobby when the "host" of the trivia said that for HIS purposes of the game, men against women, we had to move to the other side of the lobby. We were not participating, nor were we paying much attention to what was going on. We didn't move, but we noticed he became irritated with some others, was rude and abrasive in his tone; and actually told some people to "move along". More games in the afternoon, as well as the ice carving. In about 10 minutes, a large block of ice was turned into an angel fish. Beautiful! A nap! Laid down to relax and stretch out, and suddenly someone had turned the clock forward an hour or so! DW was sunning herself somewhere on deck, and FIL was snoozing in a chair, so I wasn't alone during my nap... Supper time! We showered, changed, and made our way down to the Renoir dining room, and in short order were seated at table 157, with Godfrey's serving crew. Another great meal!! We finished dinner and went forward to the theater for "The Brits" production. I have mixed feelings!!! The backgrounds and graphics are excellent!! But, come on Carnival....8 performers, no band or orchestra??? A sad state!!! The theater was about two thirds full, applause was less than hearty. Wandered up to deck 4 to look over the photos, and then retired to our cabin for the night. Tomorrow: Jamaica!!! Port call: Jamaica - Wednesday. We rose early. Room steward delivered coffee, and we prepared for breakfast, and then our early departure on our excursion to the Appleton Estate. Leaving the port city, we took an uphill hairpin curve to the right, which was the first of many hair raising and white knuckle turns, hills, and twists. It was a fantastic ride, in my opinion - and most of those aboard the bus agreed. One lady, seated toward the back of the bus, claimed to be very prone to carsickness, so took the seat in the front opposite the driver  where the edges of the roads and cliffs, close calls with pedestrians, etc., was all in living color and 3D” …and she had the time of her life! What some folks won’t do for a front row seat! LOL After what seemed like we should have arrived at Appleton, we arrived at the halfway point for a bathroom and refreshment stop. But when the maximum speed is only about 35 mph (50 km), and you're on a road like that, you have to just sit back and watch Jamaica go by. I can honestly say that there isn't another tour on the island that will allow you to see the "real" Jamaica, not what one sees at the port, or in National Geographic. I won't go into great detail, but compared to how must cruisers live, a vast majority of Jamaicans live below any poverty level they could imagine. We arrived at the Appleton estate, and were escorted past a guarded gate into the main building. There we were given glasses of rum punch, soda, or water. The rum punch was made from a blend of several rums, and was tasty. Refills, in a larger glass were freely offered…. From the main building we were then led to a side yard to begin the tour. We passed several antique pieces of equipment used in the early days, and were given a demonstration of a donkey powered sugar cane press. The tour continued to the factory area, where the boiler plant is. The entire operation is electricity self-sufficient, as the by products from the sugar cane to the distillation process are re-used to power the plant. From the boiler area we went to the distillery building, which required climbing a long flight of stairs so that we were above the distilling pots and condensing towers. The process was fully explained, and then we made our way down the stairs and to the ageing room. No photos were allowed, but they have 6 stations comprised of 3 copper distillation pots each, and a tall condensing tower, also of copper. The rum is distilled 3 times, each time raising the alcohol content, until it finally goes through the condensing tower and then to the aging barrels. From the distillery, we moved to the ageing room. The ageing room is a misnomer - it's actually a large, dark warehouse with almost 5000 barrels of ageing rum stacked up. Some will be there for up to 30 years. From the ageing room we returned to the main building where Appleton employees has prepared a delicious lunch for us. After lunch we were free to taste any and all of Appleton's rums and liquors....which just about everyone did!!! The store opened, and we were all invited to shop to our hearts content...some did. Soon it was time to board the bus for the two plus hour ride back to the port. All was well, we were on our way back to the ship.. and then it happened.....a FLAT TIRE!! ..and we weren't even to the halfway point! As luck would have it, we coasted to a stop in front of a tire shop... it wasn't long before two young Jamaicans and some tools appeared. In short order, they had the tire changed and we were on our way again. Time was passing, and it appeared we may be late in arriving at the port, but luck continued with us, and although we were about the last ones to board the ship, we made it! The Conquest set sail and we were soon on our way to Grand Cayman. Dinner in the Renoir at table 157 with Godfrey, Ivan, and Jadranka (pronounced YA-dranka) and then we retired to our stateroom. Port call - Grand Cayman. Thursday. We arrived to bright blue skies - it was a beautiful day in Grand Caymans! We had an 11:30 AM island tour scheduled, but DW was afraid we may not have enough time to shop when we returned, so we joined the long lines for the tender. Reaching shore DW headed off with her Fun Finds coupon book to see what treasures she could score. I, on the other hand, headed for the duty free liquor store! Found a liter of Gosling's Black Seal rum for $14. Sold! Cayman's law requires they deliver it to the ship, so it joined cases and cases and more cases of purchases that were tendered to the ship in company of several ship's security officers. Our island tour left at 11:30 AM and lasted until just before the last few tenders. I won't give it all away, but it's a fun and relaxing tour - and after viewing the Governor’s home, but before you visit the turtle farm, you just go to Hell!! Really…and you have to send a postcard to your boss, mother in law, etc. It’s only 25 cents U.S. postage, and they have a mailbox on the porch. We got in line, boarded the tender, and returned to the ship. After showers, we dressed for the second elegant night, and proceeded to the Renoir dining room, and another great meal. After dinner we looked for photos on the boards on deck 4, checked out the Latin show (don't bother) and retired to our cabin to watch the second baseball World Series game. Port call: Cozumel, Mexico. Friday. Expected arrival 10 AM. Woke in the middle of the night to heavy rolls of the ship. We were in a crossing sea, and it didn't feel as though the stabilizers were deployed. At 7:00 AM, the steward delivered our 2 pots of coffee. Thunderstorms all around the ship as we continue toward Cozumel. Hoping the storms move east so that our day in Cozumel isn't rained out!! Arriving in Cozumel, the rain continues. Carnival Magic across the pier from us. They arrived earlier and most of their passengers are already ashore. Allure of the Seas is also in port, so there are significant numbers of cruisers ashore. After breakfast on the lido, we make our way to deck 0 to go ashore. Amazingly, there was hardly any line, and in no time we were walking down the pier under our new blue Carnival ponchos ($3 each). We met our tour guide "Martin" (pronounced Marrrrrteen") (he said it had 5 R's in it - you have to roll your R's) who escorted us to the vans that carried us to the Jose Cuervo experience. A quick 5 minute ride and we arrived at the facility. As it was raining, we were escorted to the tasting area first rather than walking through Discover Mexico, a miniature assemblage of famous Mexican buildings. The educational value of this excursion is beyond compare, especially if Martin is your guide. I believe we all came away with a new appreciation for Tequila, its history, the varieties, etc., and highly recommend it. Following the tasting, we crossed into another area where fresh mango margaritas were prepared for all. Seconds were available, and their recipe was shared with those who wanted it. We then proceeded to the Discover Mexico gallery, which contains some beautiful examples of haandicrafts and artwork from around Mexico. Following the tour of the art gallery Martin led us to a covered outdoor area for a great lunch. After lunch and a visit to the gift shop, we boarded the vans for the short ride back to the port. DW and some of the other ladies on the excursion decided to poke through the shops and see what they could collect with their coupons. Having no interest in that, I went directly to the Tequila store in search of a good blue agave tequila not sold in the states. Not finding anything that really caught my eye, and as it was still raining (and DW had my poncho!) and I had no idea where she was within the jumble of shops, I showed my S&S card to security and strolled back to the ship. An hour or so later, DW showed up, excited that I was aboard and that she wouldn't have to go looking for me. I was just as excited that I didn't have to go looking for her! We spent the rest of the afternoon hollering at folks on the Magic as we all watched the stragglers return to the ships. PEOPLE! What part of "all passengers must be aboard by 3:30 PM" don't you understand?? The MAGIC was supposed to leave before we did, but they were still waiting for stragglers when CONQUEST backed away from the pier, turned and headed towards New Orleans. It was smooth sailing until we cleared the northern tip of Cozumel.... then the fun began! Heavy rolls - we were proceeding north into heavy seas from the east. For those who have sailed through rough seas and in rolling ships, it wasn't bad; however, my DW noticed that various seasick remedies were on sale in several of the ship's stores, and a container with "barf bags" was taped to a wall between elevators on each deck. Sea day. Enroute to New Orleans and home! Saturday Nothing much to do today - just enjoy the day. The pools are closed - with all the tossing and rolling, the water was being sloshed out, so the pools will be closed until the sea calms down. Multiple games on the screens in the EA Sports Bar; however, when the bartenders are Eastern European, and they control which game of the several being shown you hear the sound of, and don't understand why the patrons want the sound from a certain game....FIL & I returned to our cabin to watch the one game being televised on TV. Slot tournament going on right outside the door of the sports bar...and a loud group occupying a booth talking about who's who in the NBA, etc. without any consideration for those watching football.. "Huge" t-shirt, watch, glass figurine, jewelry sale going on in all the shops. Secret shopper tip: there are no special sales, end of cruise markdowns, etc. T-shirts are $10 during the cruise, 2 for $20 on the last couple of days -- do the math!! Same with everything else... We've moved into the shipping lanes as we're now seeing other ships on northerly or southerly routes. Note to pool/hot tub lovers: for kid free, over 18 only, use the very aft area. Deck 9, and deck 10. Kid free.... Football games, then game 3 of the World Series. Dinner in the Renoir, with pictures and email exchanges with our wait staff and then back to our cabin to pack. Our steward delivered our liquor purchases, and we completed our packing, affixed our debarkation tags on our checked bags, and set them in the passageway. Bags were picked up right at 11 PM. We are already in the Mississippi River, just south of Venice. Time is 11:35 PM. Alarm is set for 6:15 AM. We are in Zone 1, and are to be in the Renoir by 8:15. Debarkation Day: New Orleans. Sunday. Up at 6:00 AM. Ship was just approaching the pier. Tied up by 6:30. Breakfast on the lido, last minute check of all drawers, cupboards and closets and then to the Renoir dining room to wait with other Zone 1. Signs at the entrance to the Renoir read: FTTF (arrow left) Diamond/Platinum (arrow right). The "carry your own stuff” crowd finally completed their debarkation, and all of us in the Renoir were called at one time. I guess the divided seating was for appearances, because we were all mixed together by the time we reached the gangway. Off the ship before 8:30. Through luggage pickup and customs, up to the 4th floor of the garage to load the car, out of the garage, and onto I-10 East....all before 9:00 AM! A quick stop in Slidell to pick up sandwiches for later, and we're on our way home.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
This cruise was to celebrate birthdays. There were 6 of us and 5 of us had either just had a birthday or a birthday was coming up. Needless to say we were ready to enjoy ourselves. Our verandah cabin was fine. Ours was next door to one of ... Read More
This cruise was to celebrate birthdays. There were 6 of us and 5 of us had either just had a birthday or a birthday was coming up. Needless to say we were ready to enjoy ourselves. Our verandah cabin was fine. Ours was next door to one of our friends and we opened the door separating the balcony's. This gave us a nice area to have our cocktail hours (note the plural). All the staff were exceptional. We encountered one problem immediately. While we had requested a table for 6 so that we could all be together at dinner that did not happen. However, the second night we had our table for 6. We had the late seating for dinner so we enjoyed a cocktail at the Alchemy bar each evening before dinner. The bar staff in the Alchemy were outstanding. I recommend this bar to anyone who enjoys martinis. Excellent! The shows were just so so. We had more fun watching our fellow passengers. We did the coral garden and stingray snorkel in Georgetown, Grand Cayman. A most excellent experience. Now for the absolutely horrible experience. It was storming at Cozumel when it was time to re-board the ship. There was an extremely long line of passengers standing in the pouring rain and the ships crew did absolutely nothing to expedite the re-boarding process. They could have done several things to help. At a very minimum crew members could have handed out umbrellas that were returned at the security station. They could have allowed two lines, one for those who had packages that needed to be scanned and another for those who had nothing with them. There are several places to board the ship and they could have activated at lease one or preferably more to accommodate the passengers. Nothing we were just drenched. I hope that my fellow passengers did not develop a cold as I did. All in all the cruise was fun. I just hope I am not aboard a Carnival ship in a real emergency. The way they handled the re-boarding process in a storm makes me wonder just how well they would be able to operate in a real emergency. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Our cruise on Carnival Conquest was tagged on to the end of a fabulous 12 day bus tour around Texas with Archers Direct so we had no choice of cruise line. We'd never cruised with them before and, unless in a similar situation, we ... Read More
Our cruise on Carnival Conquest was tagged on to the end of a fabulous 12 day bus tour around Texas with Archers Direct so we had no choice of cruise line. We'd never cruised with them before and, unless in a similar situation, we probably won't cruise with them again. Although the ship was impressive, clean and enjoyable we were less impressed with some of the passengers! We are 'ordinary working class people' and have cruised MANY times with other lines so please don't think we're snobs, 'cos we ain't! But many of the passengers we loud, and my Mum would have said, uncouth! We're certainly not opposed to enjoying life on board to the full and partying is part of any cruise. It was certainly taken to the limit on this cruise! I am a musician and love most types of music but I also like a little peace and quiet whilst on holiday. Trying to find any peace or anything approaching quiet on this ship was almost impossible! (except in your cabin or dining room). The main pool area was dominated by a LARGE video screen with a sound system that must have been approaching the threshold of pain!! This played throughout the day and evening. Consequently trying to find a suitable spot to listen to ones own music or read a book etc. was really difficult. Even the 'quiet' pool area at the rear of the ship had loud-ish music playing. We chose to take dinner in one of the main dining rooms and were impressed by the quality of the food and the service (although, as with most recent cruises, the food was often tepid). Breakfast and lunch was usually taken in the buffet and was OK too. The cruise director was possibly the best yet! His team worked tirelessly to provide the best possible entertainment throughout each day. The 'live' shows weren't of course live. (I wonder what the Musicians Union are doing allowing music with no live musicians at all being used)! The 'lead' vocals were live and of a very good standard so too were the dance routines and the dancers. The lighting and graphics used were VERY impressive and for once the music in the theatre was punchy and at a suitable level to be involving but not deafening. (other ships take note). I've been VERY frustrated over the years with sound engineers that have used levels more suited to a rest home than a theatre. The rest of the entertainment was fairly average. The band had a great female singer and although competent looked bored and had no personality. The boy/girl duo had a varied repertoire but again lacked personality and stage presence. The singer/guitarist we saw on one occasion was (sorry mate) awful! Drinks on board were similarly priced to other cruise lines we've used recently. Embarkation and disembarkation were pretty hassle free. To sum up, a very nice ship, well appointed but more suitable for families who love to party!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
We just returned on the Conquest porting out of NOLA. This was our 5th cruise with Carnival and 7th total cruise. We had such a wonderful time! Porting in and out of NOLA was very easy. We flew in the night prior to the cruise and stayed ... Read More
We just returned on the Conquest porting out of NOLA. This was our 5th cruise with Carnival and 7th total cruise. We had such a wonderful time! Porting in and out of NOLA was very easy. We flew in the night prior to the cruise and stayed an additional day to tour around downtown. We had a porthole room on the Main deck which we love as we have outside light, but pay an interior rate. Our room steward Patrick was outstanding! We enjoyed the food and people on the cruise. We prefer anytime dining so that we can eat in the dining room when we choose. We also enjoyed several Puchliner Comedy Brunches. The chocolate pancakes were to die for! This was a fun new Carnival idea to have the comedians come do a short show on the hour in the dining room and serve brunch type menu items. A nice option for sea days. We loved the ports, as we had been to all three before, but did different excursions this time. All 3 excursions we booked on our own. In Roatan we did the Sun n Fun with Victor Bodden tours. In Belize this was our This cavetubing company was amazing. Belize being a tender port made me beyond nervous booking outside of the cruiseline........but it was our favorite excursion! This company goes on and beyond to make sure the excursion is outstanding and that you make it back to the tourism village in plenty of time to get a tender back to the ship. No worries there! In Cozumel we did the Bar Hop and saw the beautiful other side of the island there. We can't wait to take this crusie again some day. Would highly recommend this cruise. Everything was wonderful! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
This was a great cruise, we had a few itinerary changes and Carnival was able to pull it all together. The cruise started out with an injury to a passenger that had us changing the order of our ports. We visited Cozumel first. This port is ... Read More
This was a great cruise, we had a few itinerary changes and Carnival was able to pull it all together. The cruise started out with an injury to a passenger that had us changing the order of our ports. We visited Cozumel first. This port is just beautiful. My aunt and I did the Carnival excursion Salsa and Salsa. This was so much fun! The next port was The Grand Cayman. We had a lot of rain, but it was still a nice port. The best of Cayman tour by Carnival was good. The last port was Jamaica where we did the Croydon Plantation, a great optional excursion. The Carnival Conquest is a great ship. Our stateroom was beautiful and we had a balcony. We spent every morning on the balcony with our coffee. Love the room service! We ate at a different venue every day for lunch. Guys burgers is fantastic for lunch. The pizza is also delicious for dinner or lunch. We also enjoyed the dining room food. There is no way that anyone could go hungry on this ship! Loved all the entertainment aboard the ship. We enjoyed the comedy shows and bingo. Also had fun with the trivia challenges, however they could have been organized a little better. I think the only thing that I didn't like about the Conquest was how they handled disembarking at the various ports. Other cruises that I have been on seem to cater to the people that buy excursions from the ship. Carnival on the Conquest didn't seem to care if you needed to meet up with an excursion. Everyone was herded together to get off of the ship. I just feel that organization goes a long way, especially when you have a large group of people all headed in the same direction. Read Less
Carnival Conquest Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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