We left snowflakes back in New England and welcomed the nice warm climate of NOLA. Our pre-stay hotel was the Hyatt at the Superdome, which was $55 per night won on Priceline. What a great buy! We walked to the French Quarter, stopped at Pat O'Brien's' Piano Bar, and enjoyed dinner at Antoines the first evening. Saturday, we walked to Mother's for breakfast and took a half day (3 hr.) City tour with Dixie Tours @ $35pp if booked on line. This is a van tour with about a dozen people. Our driver picked us up at the hotel and dropped us off at the Riverwalk Downtown at our request. After shopping at Street Scene Gallery for fabulous artwork, we ate Benignts and drank Café au Late' at Café Du Monde. We sailed the Mississippi on the Natchez for their afternoon Jazz tour. Dinner was at Tujacques with Beef Brisket being the favorite dish of the day. We walked Bourbon Street, checked out Harrah's Casino and enjoyed the Hyatt's free trolley for transportation to and from the hotel into the Quarter and Riverwalk. Sunday, we hopped on the St. Charles StreetTrolley to go to breakfast at Camillia's Grille and tour the Garden District. This was a great way to see a lot and enjoy more food, for which New Orleans is famous.
We had a late hotel check out and took a taxi to arrive at the pier about 2 p.m. Traffic and lines were still long, but we were in our cabin about 3 p.m. I headed out to take pictures of the ship, check out the public rooms, and the dining room locations. What a great way to start another cruise with a Fun ship Drink in hand. The atrium does not seem as vast as on the Pride and Legend. Pre-dinner crowds were never witnessed in this lounge area. The Monet dining room at the stern has 3 walls of glass windows, so is bright during the day light hours. We enjoyed breakfast here each day due to the long lines at the buffet stations in the Cézanne buffet restaurant. Even though they too have numerous stations on this One-year-old ship, traffic flow was poor both for breakfast and lunch. If they only could have had Omelet Stations is specific locations or put the salad bar by itself, this would have helped some flow of the lines. I did not find Fruit Punch during the day but Apple Juice, Lemonade and Iced Tea were available. The Renoir dining room was nice with a Musician's balcony platform, which we could hear from our booth. We had requested a large table for late seating. We had a booth for four, which we shared with a nice couple of first time cruisers at 8:30 p.m. Renoir seats at 6:15 and 8:30 p.m. while Monet serves at 5:45 and 8 p.m. Food was good and there was no problem with ordering multiple entrées or appetizers. Our bread was always refreshed as well as our water. Service, although a little rushed, was very good. With the dance routines, these servers are really pushed to get the food out. We had pre-purchased wine from Carnival and it was brought to the table and served each evening.
Our Cat. 8 cabin, #9283 was in a perfect location to the Lido deck, elevators and laundry facilities. The only time we heard any noise from the Lido Pool area was late on Mardi Gras night, but that only lasted until about 1 a.m. This is the first time I utilized the washer & dryer as well as iron on board. It was $2 in quarters for each machine plus $1 for detergent.
The elevators were pretty fast and frequent accept on the morning of disembarkation. Several were being held near the Monet dining room. The ship's public rooms were many and varied: Blues piano bar, sports bar, atrium bar, karaoke bar, Degas Lounge for the Daylon Wear Country Band, Henri's disco, Latitudes Wine & Martini Bar, Sky Bar and Alfred's jazz/ Cigar bar plus the Casino bar which was very smoky. Alfred's smoke filtration system was pretty good for such a large room. Traffic flow/deck plans for the public rooms was my only negative comment. Usually, once I have been to a place, I have no trouble finding it again. Not on this ship, I was lost every single time I tried to get to the dining rooms. You could not go straight on one continuous deck.
There were plenty of whirlpools and lounges by the pools. I did not notice a lot of kids in these. Security did speak to one parent at the Adult Jacuzzi in the Sky Pool area. The spa whirlpool was very unusual and small. The waterfalls was nice, but the Jacuzzi part was compact and there were no changing rooms in the locker room area.
Disembarkation took the longest of any cruise I have been on. We have cruised the Grand Princess, which is similar size. Although they started at 8:30 a.m. to call colors, our color was called almost at 11 a.m. with other colors still remaining. No problem getting a porter or the return on the Airport Shuttle Bus. We had independently purchased round trip transfers at the airport. Our driver was so funny and gave a tour on the return to Louis Armstrong Airport.
Ports of call: Montego Bay- we had pre-booked a tour with Belinda of A-ZjamaicaPlanners. Our driver Reyn and his lovely wife Ann where waiting for us at the dock with a sign with our names. We were their only customers. We toured Rose Hall Mansion, spent at least 2 hours at Rose Hall beach, toured the countryside, stopped for shopping and skipped Margaritaville as we were getting tired. All toll the $42pp charge including entry fees was well worth the day.
Grand Cayman- since we have been then and done that, we found a taxi van right away once off the tender @ $4pp each way. We did have to wait until after 10:30 a.m. to get a tender ticket and leave ship. We settled in at the Holiday Inn beach with a $10 charge for a lounge chair that included a cold drink. Taxi's were lined up for the return trip. Dark rain clouds crossed the skies through Georgetown twice, but we escaped any heavy rainfall. As we stood in line once again to return to the ship, a third storm moved in, but again, we were not affected until comfortably back in our cabin. The skies opened up and we enjoyed a late lunch on board ship in the Lido buffet.
Cozumel - we found a taxi that took us to Mr. Sancho's beach club for $14 each way. The roads have been newly paved and there has been much renovation from the new Puerto Maya pier to the beach club. A beach boy dusted off those cool beach lounges that somehow I managed to get out of for many dips in the ocean. Mr. Sancho's has a double trampoline for the young and young at heart, tables with umbrella's on the beach, a 30 people Jacuzzi and restaurant and bar. Bar service was great on the beach without being intrusive. DH & I enjoyed Margarita's by the Yard! I can't believe I actually brought those glasses home! It was nice to find some bargains at the vendor shops on the beach too. We never did make it downtown for the "shopping trip".
We left our home in SE Pennsylvania on the Wednesday before our Sunday embarkation. Our first stop was an overnight in Kingsport, TN, the second night we spent in Laurel, MS. That put us less then 200 miles from New Orleans. Since we arrived early, we had a little time to spend driving around and exploring the city. We spent some time at LaFrenier Park, a nice big park for walking, jogging, or just relaxing. It also has a bird sanctuary and since we enjoy bird watching we found that a nice spot to spend some time.
We were checked in by Teri, who was both friendly and funny. We inquired as to the possibility of leaving our car there for the duration of our cruise. For a very nominal shuttle fee, we could. We were told to see Jill, the week-end clerk, Sunday morning to make arrangements with the driver. Quality Inn also provides a free shuttle ( tip the driver) to the French Quarter and we took advantage of that on both Friday night and Saturday. Our room there was quite nice, we had been up-graded to amini-suite because there was a large fraternity party that week-end staying there also, taking many of the regular rooms. But that's another story. To Quality Inn's credit, they did offer to move us, but we found the frat boys and their girlfriends more amusing than irritating. Still, there is no excuse for destroying property, boys.
Friday night on Bourbon Street was quite a sight, an amazing town, you see it all! We had dinner at the Cajun Bistro, hubby had the Cajun sampler, I had the crabcakes, both were very good. We walked around a good bit of the Quarter, taking in the sights. At one point a young man came up to us with what at first I thought was a business card. He asked if we knew where St. Charles Street was. We couldn't help him, then realized it was his hotel key and he had obviously spent a little too much time in one of the 3 for 1 Happy Hours they hawk on Bourbon St. We did direct him to one of the Hospitality Rangers. These are city employees who wear bright yellow shirts and ride bikes around the area offering help, directions, brochures, etc. Sure hope he found his way home safely!
We took the last shuttle back to the hotel (11:00) and in spite of the frat boys, slept well. Saturday morning we stopped at the desk and spoke to Jill about leaving our car. The driver was there and she called him over to let him know that he "had a boat" in the morning. Papa was our driver and we were very happy about that. He shuttled us to the Quarter that morning and we learned a lot from him in the short drive. Especially funny was the "bead trees" that we hadn't noticed earlier. People throw the beads, miss their mark, the beads land in the trees and stay there! From watching the Mardi Gras parades on television we were curious about the route and Papa showed us.
After arriving in the Quarter Saturday, we took a city tour and learned a lot more of the history of the city. We visited one of the cemeteries, a city of the dead. Very interesting. Other touristy things we did were visiting the Farmers Market (very crowded), Cafe du Monde (yummy), ate muffeletta (delicious) and went to St. Louis Cathedral(beautiful). For $5.00 you can ride the streetcars (don't call them trolleys) and buses all day to see other nearby areas.
Papa took us to the pier on the 11:00 shuttle, arriving at 11:20. We walked right in, no waiting, checked in. It was too early to get on the ship so we were told we could have a seat or take a walk. Since there were about 200 people already seated and there were no seats left, we decided to go to Riverwalk and check out the shops. About 1:30 we returned to the pier, the line to check in went all the way outside the terminal!! Since we had checked in already we had a very short wait received our sail and sign cards and boarded the ship.
Our stateroom was located on Upper Deck Aft, our balcony looked over the stern of the ship. Although the balcony presented a interesting view of the wake of the ship and where the ship had been, We will not ask for this view again because of the design of the balcony dividers which could afford peering into you next door neighbors balcony and stateroom. We prefer a little more privacy while sitting on our balcony. The stateroom was comfortable and along with the bathroom provided plenty of storage. We were warned by previous reviews that the room location was above the Degas Room which is the ship's smaller public lounge for parties and dancing. There was a band playing almost every night and we could hear the band, it did not disturb us because we like the music the band was playing (Country!). Don't know if it is the design of the ships with the "pod" propulsion system, but there is a gentle rocking in the aft part of the ship. It was really like being rocked to sleep!
The ship is decorated with many French Impressionist Paintings everywhere you look. We visited several of the lounges, I especially liked Vincent's Lounge (the Sunflower Room). Didn't spend much time in the Sports Bar, it was very smoky. Speaking of smoking, cigar smoking is supposed to be limited to the cigar lounge and starboard deck yet there was a man smoking a cigar near the main lobby undisturbed. Another observation about the lower stern balconies is that every morning we had cigarette butts and even a pizza crust on the balcony from people tossing them overboard the night before. Please, people, use the ashtrays!
The small, comfortable library is only open for checking out books, games and cards two hours a day, 10-11, and 3-4. A minor annoyance was being warned of a $20.00 charge if the material you check out is not returned on the last day. I tried returning a book at the designated opening hour of 10:00a.m. on the last day. After waiting 35 minutes, the person had to be called. I playfully asked if she forgot about us, as there were several other people waiting. Her response " No, I didn't forget, I just felt like sleeping in a bit".
The lounge acts "The Daylon Wear Band" and "Donnie Bell and Darci Michelle" were great. They both played mostly country, southern rock and oldies. The comedians Al Ernst (aka Louisiana man)and Ronnie Bullard were hysterical. Al's late night adult show was good . Ronnie does one also, but we didn't make that one. We're early birds and don't make too many late night activities. Didn't even make one midnight buffet!
Two Carnival Conquest Dancer shows," Formidable" and "Point and Click" were well done. The Sun Pool Calypso Band sounded inviting and energetic every time we walked by even thought we don't spend much time in the sun We prefer the semi-quiet area behind the adult whirlpools or the shade of the port side (non-smoking) outside of the lobby. Even more energetic is the cruise director, Corey Schmidt. Wished I could have had the opportunity to tell him we live only two miles from Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA where he had his bird show for a while. The night Corey did his show Roger Homefield also preformed. We enjoyed both. Having seen the juggler's, Manuel Zuniga, wonderful show on the Victory last year, we skipped it this time as we were really tired.
The food was excellent! I've read several other reviews where the writers state that the food was just so-so, etc. Well, everything we had was just wonderful. We ate in the Monet dining room every night and were extremely pleased. Our servers, Melvin and Zuzanne, were professional. Even though I know you can have all you want to eat on previous cruises I was always hesitant to order more than one of anything. Not this time! Twice I ordered two appetizers and on formal night I did eat two lobsters. Yummy! The only thing that seemed skimpy to me was the vegetables. I try to eat a lot of fresh vegetables and the normal portion of vegetables in the dining room is about two tablespoons. I overcame this by eating the fresh brocolli and cauliflower on the lunch buffet. I never used room service on our previous cruises, but this time I ordered the fresh vegetable sticks with blue cheese dressing as a snack after returning from one the ports and that was good also. We alternated breakfast and lunch between the Lido and the dining room. The food was excellent in both locations but I think I prefer the open seating in the dining room as you get to meet and talk to people from different parts of the country. In spite of a full ship, I never saw unusually long lines in the Lido. The longest line, and slow moving, was the chocolate dessert buffet on the last full day.
Our first stop was Montego Bay. We've read all the horror stories about Jamaica. Going to Dunn's Falls with hundreds of other people didn't appeal to us either. Usually we like to plan our activities ourselves. This time we used a Jamaican tour company we read about on the newsgroups. We had a driver for all day and the rate was extremely reasonable. He met us at the dock and drove us one hour to Mayfield Falls. Along the way we got to see the real Jamaica. There were village women walking back from markets carrying their loads on their heads. Other women were washing clothes on rocks in the river. At the falls we were met by a man who was to be our guide. The falls are not steep, but fairly treacherous and you must be led by someone who knows the safest place for you to step. Our guide was Zuki who I think was chosen for us because we are seniors and Zuki had the most experience. Zuki is a Rastafarian with a very calming voice and professional manner. He is tall, slender but very strong. He had to be as I needed help in many instances and I am not a small woman. I needed to hold his hand, arm or shoulder at nearly all times, and sometimes all three of us had to link hands. Zuki has very long dreadlocks, past his hips, he has not cut his hair for seventeen years. I mean no disrespect here, but I learned that some Rastafarians smoke marijuana for meditation purposes. Anyway, it took about two hours to traverse the falls, a series of small falls connected by pools and mineral springs which you could swim and relax in. The entire way up was in the water, the way back was through fields where Zuki taught us about different plants and herbs. We knew to tip Zuki, but weren't sure what was appropriate for this Admission to the falls was included in the price of the tour. We decided on $20.00 as being seniors we weren't Zuki's easiest guests. It turned out that it was very generous as Hubby saw him give the thumb's up to several other employees. We throughly enjoyed this experience, even when Hubby missed a step one time, slipped into a deep area, came up sputtering and swears I'm trying to kill him! After we finished this part of our tour, he asked if I was at all scared. I told him no, I had complete faith and trust in the guide. Hubbies reply "You trust your life with someone who smokes ganja for meditation purposes!" LOL What a blast!
After this, we were driven an hour back to just past the dock where we had lunch at a local jerk restaurant. Had some chicken and shrimp, delicious! Our driver also stopped and got some fresh bananas for us. Sure was better than what we buy at the store.
The last part of our tour was a 20 minute ride to Rose Hall Beach Club. There was only a handful of people there, the water was wonderful, we swam for about 45 minutes, had a drink at the bar, rested and it was back to the pier for shopping . We tipped our driver , he gave us his card in case we go back he is available for private tours. E-mail us if anyone is interested. He works out of Negril and Montego Bay. We made our way through the hawkers and will treasure this for a long time to come.
Our second stop was in Grand Cayman. The port city of Georgetown has changed in the 3 years since we were last here. You still tender into port but there are more shops near the tender docking areas. We read about Smith's cove on a forum/newsgroup and went to look for it. The directions were to get off the tender go right for 1.2 miles to a secluded beach. Although we usually walk about 1.5 miles every morning when we are home, this 1.2 mile hike in the heat and humidity was a little trying but the swim in the marine park was most refreshing. Secluded means there were only about 6 people from a snorkel school off shore to use the facilities and one other man. The walk back to town was not as trying because of a stop at a local shop for a cola.
We went through a couple of shops in town but all that we purchased was some coffee and jerk sauce to take home. Had to use that 10% coupon we got from the ship!!
We tendered back to the ship for a nice lunch on the Lido deck and rested from our hiking in the warm Caribbean Sun.
The third and final stop was in Cozumel, Mexico. Again the area has SURE changed since were here 3 years ago. We remember the ride from the ship to the city was nothing but dirt road but now.... many resorts and hotels. The city of San Miguel has made a lot of changes since 2000, most notably is that Carlos and Charlies has moved to a bigger place. No, we did not go this time and no we did not overindulge 3 years ago but if you are ever in Cozumel you must make 1 trip to Carlos and Charlies. We did go back to Panchos Back Yard which is a nice place to have lunch with the marimba players and the cool breeze in the shade of the yard. We returned to the dock and the shops that are there then went through the Duty Free shops to purchase a bottle of rum and a bottle of vanilla.
On board the ship we sat on the public deck to watch the people who did visit Carlos and Charlies and Senor Frogs stagger back. We shared the dock with a Princess ship so it was double the fun watching the people return. The dining room that night was sparsely attended. Could it be the aftereffects of Carlos and Charlies????
Getting off the ship in New Orleans was much easier then when we got off the Victory in Miami last year. No problems with customs, the luggage were all pretty close together. We called the hotel and Papa picked us up within a half hour. (what did we do without cell phones??)The drive back was with a couple who was going aboard the next sailing. While packing the car we met ANOTHER couple going on the next sailing that day. Both couples were interested in our trip. Having been on 5/6 cruises and not ever having an inside cabin, it was interesting to meet 2 couples who were sailing with an inside cabin.
Several cruises ago, we had a very bad experience with a rude Carnival photographer. So for a while we "boycotted" them and would not pose or purchase and pictures. We decided to try again and were pleased that all pictures we posed for were handled politely and professionally and with sensitivity.
We obviously enjoy cruising and like Carnival in spite of it's hard partying reputation. The prices are always good, if you want a party, it's there. If you want a quieter place, that's there too.
We are first time cruisers both retired military. We started out on Saturday the 11th of Oct. Most of the packing was done that morning being first timers we were not sure what to take. Our kitchen sink was jealous because I think everything else in the house went. After one suitcase would be packed and put in the car I would hear "I need that one back I forgot to pack this" I'm scheduled for a hernia repair soon. But now we are on our way to Nawlins, a short three hours away (we live in Pensacola). Arrive at hotel, we stayed at Hilton Riverside nice place but rather pricey, they let you park there for same rate as cruise ship parking and its covered.
Got to the pier at about 1010 am and it was a mad house of people getting off the ship. We got inside the building and stood in a corner with our stuff until the crowds were almost gone, and the baggage handlers were ready to take bags the other way. Check in at the counter took about 10 min (wife did all thepaper work and I stood by the bags) she got us both checked in and all I had to do was walk up and show my I.D. Went to a large room filled with yellow chairs where we told to sit by a nice lady who at one time in life was a Marine drill sergeant!!!. Time to move again to a larger room filled with guess what more yellow chairs. Sat there for about 20 min and they were ready to take our welcome aboard pictures. Now we go through security and surprise we set off metal detector, my change and her belt, cleared up. Keep I.D. out because everyone wants to see it.
Get on board WOW what a ship I think I am in sensory overload. You can read about the ship, you can look at pictures, but until you see it in person you don't realize how big it really is. To walk onto the Lobby deck and see this bar and a small group playing classical music. And 4 glass elevators going up and down. It was really cool.
Went to the room to drop off carry on stuff (they say rooms will be ready by 2:30 we were on by noon and room was ready, had a balcony on the Lido deck) Bags were outside room before 3PM.
The ship is so large that we would ask where is everybody, never felt crowded and any waits at all were short. Read a lot of articles of the complaints and gripes about chair saving and kids running everywhere but I never saw any of it. The crew was all smiles even the people cleaning up after everyone (not a pleasant job I'm sure). Never heard any complaints. Room service was excellent. It was so fast I think they were preparing it out side my door.
If you want to dine in style then the Point is the place to do it. The food, service and staff are impeccable. We dined there every night of the cruise and were in love with the place. Plan on at least two hours for a meal if not longer.
For first timers this was a trip of a lifetime. Most of our previous vacations always had family involved. This trip was for us alone (celebrated 22 wedding anniversary) and it could not have been better. Would we do it again to quote the old TV show laugh in "you bet your bippy we would". This crusin stuff is so much fun we have already booked our next cruise the Carnival Miracle out of Jacksonville Fl.
A few things to think about 1. Bring money, the casino loves it, also it's handy for tipping room service. 2. Photos can cost and they can really add up fast. For the formal pictures you have to buy the 8x10 @20.00 before you can order other sizes. 3. When packing and you think your done, put half of it back. 4. If you think you are on a diet and want to watch what you eat your best bet would be to stay in your room because food is everywhere and darn good too. 5. Bring money (more) when you get your sign and sail bill it might surprise you, mine did but I was spending my kid's inheritance so it didn't matter. 6. Getting off the ship can be slow but it seemed to keep the crowds in check, and the baggage area from being a mad house. 7. Read gripes about people not dressing up for formal nights, don't let it bug you, dress up sharp and show class. More people were in formal attire and dark suit then not. 8. If you're a first timer like us, stand by, this cruse stuff will be habit forming, can't wait till next one. 9. If your budget allows get a balcony its so nice having coffee or a drink sitting on your private bit of the ship and watching the world go by. 10. Buy a day date watch if you want to keep track of everything, after day one I had no idea of what day of the week it was, and didn't care. Not once did a phone ring or someone knock on my door to sell me something. (Telemarketers heres an untapped area, but the phone call might be a little pricey) 11. Bring money, more, after being waited on and pampered for a week you want to tip every one extra.
To sum it up we have to say it was money well spent and we will be addicted to this vacation style. I just wish we had done it sooner and not just talked about it. A lot of our friends say they have thought about doing a cruise well don't just talk DO IT!!!!!!!!!! Bob and Roberta M
First let me tell you about us..We are early 40's, husband is a commercial pilot and I am self employed, we have an 18 year old son and a 14 year old daughter. We have cruised 6 times prior to this on RCCl, Carnoval, NCL, and Princesss.That said...Here is my opinion if Conquest.
We had not been thrilled with our other 2 Carnival cruises, (both on Elation) and so we were a little hesitant to go on yet another Carnival Vessel, but the Port of New Orleans was the big draw and I could not resist trying a brand new ship. Am I glad we Did !!! The Conquest exceeded all other ships we have sailed on and has renewed our faith in Carnival.
The ship is clean, beautifully decorated, and filled with the most wonderful staff! ALL ready to help you any way they can. Our room was on Spa deck, 1110. The Spa family rooms are impossible to beat, I would not trade it for a balcony stateroon ever! The room is huge, the floor to ceiling windows on the 11th deck are just amazing. And the smell ofthe spa each time you open your door is just another bonus.
The dining room is beautiful and the wait staff is friendly and efficient. All dinners were very well prepared and beautifully presented. I personally don't care for Carnivals nightly dining room antics..( dancing waiters, singing on the tables etc...)but it was obvious that most people enjoy this part of the meal.
We ate at the Five Point Supper Club, and this was without a doubt the most incredible dinig experience we have ever had!!! We always try the $$ alternative dining on each cruise if it is available, and this so far surpassed RCCL and Princess that I can't even faily compare them. Let me just say that if the reservations had been available, we would have eaten there every night of the cruise!!! The $25.00 fee is worth every penny...If you can afford this luxury... DO IT !!!
The ports are all nice, Jamica being our least favorite, we had a nice time and met very friendly locals... however we heard a lot of horror stories about being treated rudely and being constnatly offered drugs to buy.Grand Cayman is our favorite, We rented a car and snorkeling equitment for our own tour of the island. We took a dune buggy tour in Cozumel, and truly loved this island.
This cruise was the best value we have ever had on a vacation... We loved Conquest and will definately be sailing on Carnival again...(Only on the newer ships though) Again, Don't hesitate to book this ship!!! It is such a great vacation.
This was a great 25'th wedding aniversery cruise for the wife and I. We had a great time and had no worries.The Conquest is a grand ship. My room stewart's where great ! Service was outstanding. I guess the only bad thing about the cruise, was dealing with the tropical storm that was following us around the carribean for 3-days.The storm wasn't bad, just rained alot.
We did go to The Point Supper Club on our Aniversery night.Its diffently 5-star dining. The staff,service, and food tells you why its 5-star dining.Its worth the extra charge. Jamica- We had already been there before, so we took advantage of the pool and hot tubs that morning. We had the pool & hot tubs to ourselves for a long time. Grand Cayman- We did the Highlight tour.The wife wanted to see the Turtle Farm and go see the city of Hell.Had a great time.Before returning to the ship, she got to go shopping.Last trip here, we did the Stingray Tour. Grand Cayman is a great place to go see. I could stay there a day or two with no problem. Cozumel- All tours wherecanceled through the ship. This was due to the Tropical Storm that was following us. Its rained all day. We went to Fat Tuesdays and party'd with alot of the crew members from the Conquest. Had a great time.
The wife and I are already planning our next cruise. This time, Eastern Carribean ! Happy Cruisine to all; David
First of all we used Amtrak to get to New Orleans cause we got such a great deal with the Carnival discount. Booked a sleeper for the 3 of us girls and we were well rested when we arrived Sat. afternoon. ANYONE using cabs in New Orleans be careful of the prices......we paid much to much several times. First from the train to the Hilton Riverside hotel was $28, which we later found out on the way back it should have been $10.00. From the ship the hotel after coming back was $21.00 and it;s only about 5 blocks. They don't use meters so they charge whatever they want to. Now back to the review. The hotel was really nice and close to everything. We had dinner at the Cajun Cabin, that's quite a lively place. Headed for the room early after stopping at Pat O'Briens...gotta have at least one hurricane right???? Stopped at Harrah's casino, gave them a few bucks then on to the hotel. Sunday morning went down to Mother's for breakfast, mmmmmmm Debrie on biscuits, that was delicious. Headed for the French market for some things before goingto board. Boarding was very well organized, only about an hour wait. We were in our cabin by 1:00 and off to the buffet shortly after. Room was a cat6 and quite roomy for us. Was expecting much smaller, so was surprised. Left N.O. right on time. What a beautiful city to watch go by at night. Everyone on board was celebrating I think. 2 days at sea and we were ready for some island hopping. Entertainment on board is first rate. So much to do and nowhere did we feel crowded. They have so many areas to go that 3000 people seem like 300. Cory was his usual CRAZY self and we really enjoyed his bird show.....how funny is a parrot that just walks around waiting to be shot so he can roll over!!!!
I thought the food was very nicely done, lots of choices and quality was 1st rate. So many places to eat that it is hard to choose a spot for a mid-day snack....Pizza, bffet, sandwiches that were outstanding, and ICE CREAM...ate lots of that. First stop Jamaica, beautiful but depressing. We shopped at the forum for awhile, then off to Margaritaville for lunch. Good food, loud music and souveniers. Then off to Dr. Caves beach........very very pretty, and the water was clear and warm. Back to the ship by 3:00 and off to next island.
Grand Caymans is my favorite.....so pretty. Did the Island tour and Sting Ray city along with turtle farm and HELL. Believe me 5 minutes in Hell is all you need.nothing there. Back to the ship and off to Cozumel. A storm brewed up as we were leaving.....lots of wind and 12 ft waves....but the ship rocked very little. I don't understand everyones comments about how much she rocks and sways. The only bad time I saw was manuvering thru the river to the Gulf, lots of turns there. Otherwise I thought it was fairly smooth.
Cozumel was interesting, but have done it several times. Went and spent the day at Chankanaab Park. It is one of the nicest palces on the island. Snorkling and eating and dolphins.....who could ask for more. Back to the ship by 5:00 and set sail right on time. Boo-hoo it's time to go home already, sure is the fastest week of your life.
All in all I would say that Carnival does a great job on this ship, the steward and waiters were great, the entertainment is 1st rate and the ship is HUGE and beautiful. After you spend a day getting your bearings you can get around quite easily.
Yes I would sail her again, maybe next year with my granddaughter who is bugging me to take her.
One last note, disembarking was a little harried......lots of people make plane and bus reservations much too early and always are crabby trying to get off earlier than they are scheduled. Hey it's your vacation.....cool it, and plan accordingly, or stay another day in port city, why rush rush and make it a bad ending to a good thing.
Anyone with any questions, I would be glad to answer them.....we did just about everything they had to offer on board....so ask away.
I will be day-dreaming for the next few months AGAIN....happens every time.
Happy cruisin' to all.
My fifth cruise, age 65-70. The main and almost only reason we go crusing is to dance every night from 7-8 PM to 1- 2 AM. Swing Swing SWing not any of the waltz slow motion dancing.
The Lounge which offered a band was undependable. Seldom there and if they were they would break ~40-50 minutes and play 10-15 minutes. This was thier last cruise so that may have had something to do with it? Carnival Capers would list a band playing every night but when you went to that area there would be some other activity etc.
The cruise director, Corey, was unresponsive with his comment "Put it on the comment card".
If it had not been for a gentleman playing in the promanade in front of the bar and casino there basically would not have been a place to dance. There were other places but they did not play dance music and wouldn't take request. A group of us spent our time on the promanade between the bar and promanade dancing but that was not a good place to dance.
* The food was good. * Other than above theservice was good. * Cabins good * Ship was beatiful * The shows were of the highest quality * So Called comedy shows were not funny, to say the least. There are good clean comedians in this world but I have never found one on a Carnival ship.
It was a satisfactory value for the money but we won't be on it again until we forget there is no dancing.
We arrived at The Port of Orleans around noon and parked at Fulton Street Garage. Shuttles constantly run between the garage and the pier. Once at the pier total check-in time was about 35 minutes. All of the staff was very friendly and helpful. Once on the ship it was even better! The ship set sail at 6, right on time. The first day at sea there was a problem with the plumbing and all of the toilets were broken. The issue was quickly resolved and we didn't have any other incidents. Our room steward Philippe was terrific. He was never intrusive and always new when we were in the cabin. I must say he did a great job considering there were three women and one man in one small cabin. The entertainment on the ship with Corey Schmidt was wonderful. There was always something to do for everyone. Henri's Disco is where we spent several nights. The music ranges from 80's, 90's, today and a bit of Latin dance tunes.
First port of call was Jamaica - If I ever go back to Jamaica, I will only get off ofthe ship to go to Margaritaville. Jamaica has really gone downhill since the last time I was there two years ago. Constant harassment from taxi drivers fighting over you to vendors trying to sell you drugs and push you into their shops. A simple "no thank you" did not work! We went on the Pirate Ship excursion which was a joke. The snorkeling was fine but the crew on the Pirate Ship left a lot to be desired for. They were rude and not helpful.
Second port of call was Grand Cayman - This stop made up for the horrible time in Jamaica. Here we went on the Stingray excursion. It was wonderful and the catamaran staff was so nice and friendly. Shopping in Grand Cayman at the Tortuga Rum Factory and the Hard Rock Café are a must. We had breakfast at The Naked Fish about a mile from the pier before our excursion. This was a great little restaurant sitting right on the water. Highly recommend this place.
Third port of call was Cozumel - This was the best stop of all. We went on the Fiesta Party Boat here and the name says it all! This was one big party on the water. It is a triple decker boat with bars, shops, live band, very nice bathrooms. The party boat takes you to a private beach where you can jump on the water trampoline, rock climb in the water or just lay out on the beach. Non-motorized water sports are also included, like kayaking, the big water three wheelers and floats. There is also parasailing and bungee jumping for a fee. This is not an excursion for the kids.
Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Conquest by miss o Western Caribbean September 19, 2003
we were a group of 19 (females) and many of us were first time cruisers. the ship was beautiful, full of adventure. I/we only wish that things had turned out as wonderful as our dreams had been the nite before. we traveled thru IVAN The Hurricane
Several of our group were ill or physically injured. one of which was taken to ships doctor for treament with little result. Needless to say she off work 3 weeks after returning home for her spranged ankle. Our oldest traveler(70) had to have mri on her wrist and arm to confirm her injury.we even had medications stolen from our laggage that had been placed by our cabin doors and while we in the emergency prep. class. We ate 3 meals in the main dinning area (as a group of 19) due illness mostly. Not all time was a loss. We had fun on our off shore tours/activities. Many of the shows were very nice too.
MOSTLY we were very disappointed at the lack of respect and caring the carnival customer rep. provided tous when we as a group presented our concerns. We wanted the chance to sail again and remove the memories that we have with fresh ones of pleasure. Many of our group were so up-set that they will never sail with Carnival again. Carnival cruise line made no effort to improve this situation. Although we (some of the group ) were willing to give at go again if carnival was willing to make it worth our effort. we sent our concerns and requests for a future cruise via registered mail. Again the results was disappointment. okc,ok.
I will make my review easy since I tend to write too much: 1. Transfer Service: Should be fired since they have no business dealing directly with the public or managing people. 2. Ships Appearance: Very nice ship and very big. 3. Food: The Supper Club is excellent. The normal food is O.K. The Lido deck buffet service is laid out wrong and creates slow moving lines.
4. Service: The dining staff is very attentive. The cabin stewards are fast and efficient. 5. Entertainment: Below Average. The ship has two areas where shows can take place but only one show was offered each night. This became a problem when the magician cancelled and no shows were available for replacement. 6. Children's Program: Large children's area but it is geared more to kids under 8 years old. 7. Cabins: We had a balcony which was very nice but the shower kept overflowing. 8. Excursions: Same as on other cruise lines. 9. Ports of Call: Jamaica - War Zone; Grand Cayman - Very Nice; Cozumel - the best port. 10. Departing out of New Orleans: Never again.
Overall Cruise: Average. I will stay withPrincess or Royal Carribean going forward.