You know it is getting kind of late, so let's go back to the room, and talk a little before bed.
You probably have noticed how important you S&S card is. You also have probably noticed that people have different colors. Yours is Red, White and Blue, because this is your first cruise. I have a gold card, because I have been on more than one. A platinum card is for those who are on their 10th cruise or more. The only real difference in the blue and the gold, is that you get a lot of crew members who say welcome back, or in your case, welcome. For Platinum you get a few goodies, which I don't have a copy, so if someone reading this has the info, please post.
Now, see how different your room looks? The curtains are closed to block out the morning sun, the end table lights are on to set the mood. You bed has been turned down, with chocolate on the pillow, and more important is your new Capers.
Notice that there are 67 things to do tomorrow. No, they don't expect you to do them all, but they do want you to have a good time. You need to get out that marker, and take your pick, unless you have been drinking to much, and need to wait until morning. I wouldn't want you to go to the teeth whitening clinic, if all of yours are made in a shop.
Now, Take the first night capers, the one you got this afternoon, and put it in a different zip lock. Poke a hole in the top, and hang it on the hook, on the wall. That will hold all your old Capers throughout the week. Use the zip lock for today to put your new ones in. See how organized!
Before you go to sleep, get the room service menu off the hook, and fill it out for in the morning. It is limited, but it will at least give you something to eat and drink, before you get ready for breakfast. If you will notice, there is a place at the bottom to put what time it is to be delivered. Tell them the time you want to wake. What a great wake up call.
Now, as you lay in bed, that is so soft and welcoming, notice the gentle sway of the bed. Good Night...... See you in the morning.....
1. VIP Check In (used to be called the Skippers Club.)
2. Priority tendering (just show them your platinum card...no need for tender tickets.
3. Free wash and fold Laundry service.
4. Personalized stationery
5. Canapes and Petit fours on formal nights.
6. Free $20 entry fee into the slots or blackjack tournament.
7. Priority debarkation (complete with a room to wait in with coffee and Danish.)
8. Free Tote Bag
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I think I'll zip out for one more drink and one more stroll around the deck before bed.
I'm fond of saying "I can SLEEP at home - I'm on a cruise!"
See you in the morning!
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Good Morning to your first full day at sea. So how did you sleep? Did you miss the sunrise? You know the Capers tell you what time to expect it. It will also tell you when it sets.
Well, I am glad you are up early, because we have a full day planned. While you finish your coffee, let me tell you a few more things you might need to know.
I do bring my lap top. I have never had any problems with it in the room, and have been very lucky picking up the signal in the stateroom. I have found that the best place to plug it in, is on the table in front of the couch. That way you are close to the only plug in, which is behind the bed. Let me check the capers to see if there are any good deals.
Yep, See it says 47% off the pay. It says that you can chat with family or friends on MSN,AOL,YAHOO, and more. If you didn't bring your computer, they also have them to rent. I usually get 100 minutes, which is called a package deal. I don't have the price, but it says to come to the Internet cafe. 24 hours a day. I believe that the price will go down even further, later in the cruise, even offering free time. What I do is type my log in Word, and then cut and paste to the Cruisemates board. That saves you so much more time.
Okay, let's see what we have picked out today.
At 10:00 There is a combo Bingo/music trivia games. That sounds like fun. Now with bingo the cards are 10:00 a card, but you can get 3 for 20:00, so that is what we will do.
At 12:00 we can eat lunch. Why not go to the buffet to see what they have, but if you love Ruben sandwiches then you are in for a treat. The best in the world. We have all week, so we will try other places, as the week goes on.
At 12:00 we know where to find Mike. There is a slot Tournament in the Casino.
At 1:00 we can go and see the ice carving demo. It is really cool. But please don't ask where the carving goes, when it melts. (this is an inside joke for those who have cruised.
At 3:30 is the New and not so Newlywed game. This is so funny. It cannot be missed.
At 5:00 is the Captain's cocktail party. This is after all, our first formal night.
Dinner is of course is our usual time. Tonight is formal, so try to dress accordingly. Men, A suite/ dark if you have it/ Tux of course if you brought it, and ladies, put on that formal or cocktail dress.
As you can see, I have only picked out a few things, and we will be busy. You can of course pick more, or less. It is your vacation.
Now, One thing I have not mentioned is the Cruise Director. To me, a cruise director will not make or break a cruise, but they sure help. The cruise Director for the Conquest has been Todd Whittmer. Sadly, he is moving up in the world. He will be on the Liberty soon, as John Heard will be going to catch the New Freedom when it does it's overseas thing. I am told that Mark Price will be taking over on the Conquest and have heard nothing but great reviews on Mark, but I will miss Todd.
Todd reads Cruisemates so this is for him. Todd, thank you from the bottom of my heart for two great cruises. You made the difference. I have told you personally, but would like to say it publicly. Thank you for recognizing the soldiers on the ship, and their families. You did not have to do, but you did, and as you know there was not a dry eye in the room.
God speed Todd...........
I just found out that I have to work tomorrow. Why don't some of you tell the newbie's what you enjoy doing while on board. Also if you have the Internet prices, or if you remember how much they are please give that. I will be back tomorrow afternoon, to do Formal night.
For the record, I am not some sort of memory freak. I have my Capers in front of me, and panicked when I couldn't fine Tues.
Just a note on getting chow (food)... You can eat Breakfast & Lunch at the Monnet dining room if you wish..... Great place for breakfast as you are waited on & can order your eggs poached if you like... As you come to the dinning room you will be seated with a group as you walk in, can't save seats for a late arrival so get everyone together before you go in.... Great way to meet new folks..... No set time for breakfast or lunch, just certain hours....
__________________ Bob & Kathy
Littleton, Colorado (near Denver)
Conquest .... Nov /03 (New Orleans)
Conquest .... Dec /05 (Galveston)
Celebration.. Sept /06 (Jacksonville)
Fantasy....... Dec/07 (New Orleans)
Splendor...... Nov. 29th, 2009
My wife and I will be on the Liberty on November 3, leaving Rome for a 16 day transatlantic cruise. Good to hear that we will have a highly recommended cruise director on board. Looking forward to meeting & Sailing with Todd.
Okay, I am finally ready for our first formal night. A lot has been said about formal night. What do I wear? Will I be looked at funny? Will I be dressed up enough? Sadly, people will sometimes try to shame you into doing things, even though they don't know the person, or the ship, so let me tell you some common sense stuff. It is true that in the olden days, everyone was Tuxs and ball grounds. But is also true, is that over the years, the rules have evolved. If you are a man or male, then if you have a Tux, or have the money to rent one, either in your home town, or on the ship, this is what you should plan on. If you don't then a dark suit would be good. If you don't have that, then what about a pair of dress pants, dress shirt, and tie. If you still have none of the above, On the Conquest you will not be turned away if you have on dockers and a polo shirt. I do not claim to have cruised on all ships, but from Galveston, you see very few Tuxs. For the most part, you see suites. If you are military, wear your dress greens or blues. For our first cruise, hubby refused to wear military. Not because he isn't proud, but because this was a "getting away from military cruise" He also didn't have a suite. We did the dress pants thing.
Now for the women: If you have a ball gown then wear it, if you have a cocktail dress, that's good too. If you have none of the above, wear your nicest church clothes. A lot of ladies prefer the long black pants, so if you have it wear it.
On our first cruise last summer, I didn't have time to get all this fancy stuff. I left the house mad, at not hubby, but at the world, and the Army. Once again, they had interrupted a nice dinner with the phone
calls. I thought I would just ride around, to cool off. I saw the travel agency with this huge Carnival poster in the window. It said "Get away from it all" I did. I booked the cruise on Thursday, Carnival FedEx our Doc's which arrived on Monday, and we left Thursday. I wore a pretty pink summer dress, with heals. Not fancy, and no one said a word. Now on our next two cruises. Back to back this past Christmas, we went all out. The guys bought new black suites, white silk ties, and I had a black ball gown. To this day, my son calls the formal picture, the mafia picture. We looked like we were straight out of a Godfather movie. But,........ Ball gown got on the elevator that night. Well, part of it did. I went to deck 7 and the back of my dress stayed on deck 9. Now this is where you need to get out your list of things to bring. DUCT TAPE!! We had two more formals to go to on that two cruises, and I didn't have anything else to wear. So we duct taped that dress from under, and that is the way I wore it. As I would walk, part of the tape would stick to my leg, and make the strangest sound. I just held my head up proud, and pretended it had to be someone else. All around the world today, the uppity ladies are in need of there smell salts, but you know what? A girl does what she has to do. Want to see them faint again? The color of the tape was LIME GREEN. You couldn't see it from the outside, but just the idea of this hick taping her dress.
This last cruise I wore a red cocktail dress, that was jagged on the bottom. Why not, my black one was from the elevator.
The food from formal night is usually special too. Lots of steak, Lobster, etc. It really is a treat to go and feel like you are straight out of the Titanic movie. Sorry, bad example.
Okay, the dinner is over, and now we need to go and find the perfect background for our formal pictures. You will find many backgrounds on the Conquest, as well as many other ships. Pictures are my down fall. I can't help but buy anything that has my family in it. So, the best thing to do, is be picky on what you have taken.
There is a photo gallery on each cruise. Every so often, go there and pick up the pictures that have been taken of you and your family. The first ones are 8x10's, but you can order smaller ones as well. They also develop film, and sale photo albums, and frames. Watch specials through out the week in this department too. The joke on the ship is"How do I know which pictures are mine, since they don't have your name on them. I would love to give you regular prices on the photos, but the price has gone up, every cruise we have taken, so any amount, would probably be wrong for your cruise. They run around 20.00 a piece.
Now, here is another area that is talked about and debated, and even deleted due to the fact that the differences are often debated, heatedly.
DO I CHANGE CLOTHES AFTER DINNER OR DO I GO TO THE SHOWS IN FORMAL CLOTHES?
We change clothes. It is because we want to enjoy the rest of the evening, a little more comfortable. It will be up to you, because you will see both.
Now, Let's talk about Excursions. There is a excursions desk on the ship. It is many times crowded, but it is there. In your capers, will be advertisements for excursions, but let me tell you what we have always done.
I book all of our excursions on line, before I ever leave home. One good thing is that they are paid for, before we go. They are refundable if I change my mind, before we leave. I can see what is open, and don't have to worry about it being sold out. It is easy to refund on line, and many times the credit is given back in a matter of hours.
You will hear many many people tell you to book with excursion people, unrelated to Carnival. There are many good companies out there, but keep in mind the area you are going, and the fact on how much you know the area. I advise all newbie's to book excursions with Carnival. It will be more expensive, and in most cases, you will be with more people than on a private excursion, but if it is a Carnival excursion, the ship WILL NOT leave you. The excursion people stay in touch with the ship, and if there is a problem, the ship will wait. If you do private, it will be up to you to get back to the ship on time. Many, many people just want to go to the beach, and that is fine. What I am talking about are where you are going to pay someone to take you somewhere. The Conquest goes to Jamaica, and I advise all to go with a group!! I will talk about that more, when we get there.
Just a note on the Shows..... They keep it COOL so you may want to take a sweater or jacket that you can put on once the show starts..... Many go to the Bingo to get good seats for the Show but I find that the Bingo is a little pricey...
__________________ Bob & Kathy
Littleton, Colorado (near Denver)
Conquest .... Nov /03 (New Orleans)
Conquest .... Dec /05 (Galveston)
Celebration.. Sept /06 (Jacksonville)
Fantasy....... Dec/07 (New Orleans)
Splendor...... Nov. 29th, 2009
In response to Carnival excursions...we booked Stingray City in Grand Cayman through Carnival. On the morning of the excursion, our son did not feel well (he found out the computers were down on the ship the night before. He and my nephew ordered MAJOR amounts of alcoholic beverages through room service...and I don't think they tipped the server!!!!) In any case, he didn't make the excursion. Daughter, husband and I made the tender in ROUGH seas.
Stingray City was great (did it once...I don't need to do it again!) but there was a little problem with the bus that was to bring us back to the ship.....IT WASN"T THERE! We waited for hours, missed our shopping time and finally they sent a bus. We were over three hours late returning from the excursion. I just knew the ship would leave us. When we made that final turn I was so glad to see the ship (not only for the ride home, but also to check on drunk son).
The entire group reported to the purser's desk, immediately. So many of us thought the ship had left us. Many were frantic, even though the tour guide kept saying the ship would wait. One man spoke for the entire group. He quietly, but firmly explained our situation. The purser's desk said they would take care of everything. Imagine my surprise when we were notified of a complete refund of the TOTAL price of the excursion, including drunk son. (I only wanted Carnival to take it up with the tour company). The tour guide was as nice as possible, we tipped him well, it wasn't his fault and some people were very ugly to him.
In the past, I've considered private excursions. However, I have learned my lesson...if this had been a private excursion, we would be paying a fortune for airfare from Grand Cayman. Gotta go hearing that a plane crashed into a building in New York...going to CNN.
Thanks so much for the wonderful "virtual" cruise. We are cruising the Conquest a little over a year from now. My biggest question is the temps outside during the day and in the evenings. We're really worried about the end of October being a little too cool. I'd love some input from those who have cruised during that time before!
You know, this has been a good cruise so far. The weather has been wonderful, the waves are calm, and before we start our excursions, we have another full day at sea. So, what shall we do? Maybe lay out by one of the pools? Go to one of the events going on around the ship? So many things to do, and so little time.
Before we decide, let me show you something on the balcony. Look over the side and do you see what looks like bugs skimming the water? Those are flying fish. I guess I expected orcas or something, but those are tiny flying fish. When my husband(the fisherman) showed me the first time, I said,"Those are bugs" Okay, I have a blond moment or two every once in awhile. He was so kind when he asked me to remember where I was, and that bugs needed land, and that we didn't have any out here.
Something else I wanted to show you. See in the shower, on the wall. That little thing that you can pull out. That is a close line. It hooks to the other side of the shower, to hang wet clothes on.
Since tomorrow we will be in Jamaica, and you see that the steward has left beach towels for us. Let me tell you what you should have brought with you. (Add this to your list) Before you cruise, go to some place like Wal Mart and get cheap beach towels. The ones from Carnival are really nice, but pick one of those suckers up. It weight a ton, and gets heavier on an excursion, especially if you have to walk awhile. If someone picks up one of Carnivals towels, 22.00 against you. I actually saw a flea market in Cozumel, where they had them for sale. What you want to bet, people either left them, or they were stolen.
You also should have brought sun screen. The sun is very hot year round in the south, especially around water. Word of caution. That spray on stuff that you saw on ads this summer. The kind that says all you do is spray. Well, if you don't read the directions you will spray and rub. Nope, that's not how it works. Spray yes, but the rub does no good, so you have spots where you sprayed, and then lots of red.
Since we are talking about temperatures, let's talk. In Galveston during the summer it is hot, and humid, but during the winter it is as cold as any other part of Texas, and one year some people came back from their cruise, and there was snow on the ground. Doesn't happen often, but you get the idea. But, once the ship gets out into the gulf stream, it will warm up, and if you don't have resort clothes, you are not going to be happy. Remember, the further south you get, it will get warmer. It doesn't matter what ship you are on.
Well, I need something to drink, and you need to go and soak up a little of that sun, so lets go.
Luanne thanks for the tour. I will be sailing on the Conquest dec. 31, 2006 and it i smy first cruise (my husbands 10th) and also our honeymoon! I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. Your posts have helped me alot. Thanks for informing me about the duct tape.
It is Wednesday on the wonderful Conquest. If you are traveling during the winter months, you will have changed your clocks, as directed by your Capers. It is not a time change during the summer, as far as I remember.
We will be docking today, and as you know from last nights Capers that the gym will be open this morning at 6:00, like you are going to need more exercise.
Docking should take place around 8:00.
Explanations: Docking means to pull up to the dock, and be able to walk off the ship.
Tendering means to pull as close to the shore, and dropping anchor, and having smaller boats pick up passengers.
Unfortunately Jamaica is the only port to dock on the Conquest. Hopefully by the time you cruise, you will once again be able to dock in Cozumel.
Docking in Grand Cayman will probably never be possible. The water there is so deep, so close to the shore, that it is financially not good to build a dock. "I'm sorry Mrs. Russo, we just don't want to spend the money, and have such loss of life, when all you people can take our fine boats" That was a quote from a British sounding fellow. Sorry, I can't type with a British accent.
This morning let's go and eat breakfast on the Lido. They are suppose to have their famous french toast today, and it is to die for.
While we are eating, "Isn't the food good?" Let's talk a little about Jamaica. I have been here twice, and thanks to some bad advice, I didn't get off the ship the first time. People had me scared to death. My hubby and teens did the lazy river excursion, and almost went to sleep. Not enough excitement for my boys. The last time we were here we went with Carnival to the Dunn's River Falls. Now I can pretty much guarantee that anything sponsored by Carnival will be safe. What you need to do, is book on line, talk with your group, on what they want to do, and go with that. The Falls are very special, and should be seen by all.
The thing that is so scary is people here do a lot of begging, and they are not easily stopped. There also a lot of armed guards, but they are for your protection. There is a fence around the dock, also for your protection. If you are only wanting to go to the beach, it isn't far, and a taxi cab ride is short, but don't go alone. Go as a group to have the most fun, and to be safe. There is also a big problem with drugs here. I once saw a post on another site, where the whole thing was how legal drugs are in Jamaica. DRUGS ARE NOT LEGAL!!! Some of the problems you might have is someone coming up to you sailing bracelets. "Here, put this on. I want to give it to you free." You put it on and they demand money. None of what I am telling you is hearsay. I have experienced everything I am telling you. Another problem, and a good way to miss the ship, is drugs placed in your tote bag, when you are not looking, and the person doing it, tells on you for 50 American dollars. This was a huge problem once upon a time, but the police got wise to it. The best thing to do is stay with the Carnival group. Watch your bag, and before you go back through the check point to get on the ship, check your bag, to make sure you have only your stuff. If someone tries to sale you something, just keep walking, and don't say anything but maybe, no thank you. Be persistent, they will.
Now I have scared you, so let's talk about the good Jamaica. For one thing, from the coast it is beautiful. if you get away from the beach area, and the slums, you will see mighty plantations, still in operation. Some people that you might recognise are Steven Seagull. He owns hundreds of acres of land, and grows grapes for wine. Johnny Cash and family owned land here, this is where(if you are old enough) he and his family were staying one Christmas, and bandits broke in and tried to kidnap him, and his family. They were caught, because the Jamaicans loved Johnny for all that he contributed to the island. Of course there is the late great Bob Marley, who died of cancer some years ago. Someone once asked if it was far to see his grave, and museum, and the answer was yes. It is located on the other side of the island, and would take hours to get there.
The best way to enjoy Jamaica is to read about it before you arrive. All I did was type Jamaica in Google, and out pops all of this info. It is amazing to see all the things that have taken place here over the years.
Before we leave the ship, let me tell you about life on board, if you don't get off the ship. I can only count 6 things, between the time the Caper starts, until 5:00 PM. Port days are a great way to give the staff a break. As you get off the ship, you will notice another exit for them.
The gym is open, the spa (you can usually get pretty good deals here on port days.) The Capers say that the pools are open, but I remember them closed, so who knows. There will be a few things open to eat, but over all it will be a pretty quiet ship.
Well we have eaten, and packed what we wanted to take so let's go.
What? You want to know the best things to pack? Your cheap beach towels, Bottled water, sun screen, water proof camera, chap stick, Pain killer, book. You understand most of it don't you? But what about the pain killer, and book. Well if you dock in Montego Bay, it is a two hour trip to the falls. If you get to much sun, then a Tylenol will make your headache feel better. Also, wear bathing suit, or shorts, and water shoes. Water shoes have the hard bottom, and when water gets in them, the water goes back out. YOU CANNOT DO THE FALLS WITHOUT THEM! Also, when you buy your shoes, make sure that they are not slick on the bottom, and have some sort of grip. The book is for the long trip.
Okay, off we are, and going through the first gate. Into a building, that has shops and check points for you stuff coming back. Straight through the building to the back, where you will see all these people with signs saying which excursion they are doing. Most every excursion requires you to get on a bus. Some are big ones, and some are little, and some even vans. Just look for your sign. Once on the bus, you get settled for the trip. There were no bathrooms on ours, so go easy on the water.
We always try to sit as close to the tour director as we can, because I love knowing what things are. Almost as soon as you leave the port, you will notice the beautiful bay, but also the absolute poverty. Remember when we were kids, and you would put a blanket on sticks or lean it against a tree for a play house or fort? This is where some of them live. Very sad. If this kind of thing bothers you, then get your book out, because I don't remember it getting much better.
After about an hour, we stopped for a break. The place looked like a dump, but the bathrooms were very clean, and there was a place to get snacks, and drinks. They were cooking on big outside grills, but you could tell they were just getting started, because it was still only about 9:00 in the morning.