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Old October 7th, 2006, 11:45 AM
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Default Welcome To The Conquest Virtual Tour

Today is the day. We have planned this trip for months, and now it is time to begin cruising. First we have to get to the port. Our port town is Galveston. When you are coming to Galveston, there is only one way to get there. If you have flown to Texas, Houston was your last stop, before needing a car, or you can drive yourself, like we do. The only main road into Galveston is Hwy 45. It is a straight shot, so no getting lost, but if you are traveling on a week day, the traffic can be a bear.

The first thing we always look for is of course the bridge that connects Galveston to the rest of the world, but if you look to one side while going over the bridge, you will see several Pyramids. You can't miss them because they are blue. This is called Moody Gardens. It is a good place to spend the day. All kinds of exhibits, and stuff. They even have a motel, but it is a bit pricey for our tastes.

Okay, you are over the bridge and start seeing signs that say Port area. If you are driving to the port on the same day as your cruise, you just follow the signs. You can't get lost, because it's an island.

If you are like us, you will be spending the night in Galveston before the cruise. In this case keep driving until you see the street Broadway. Turn right, and it will take you to the hotel/motels. This can be exciting, if you are traveling with members of your family who have never seen the ocean. Broadway ends at the ocean, so good view. Now hopefully you booked early, and have looked on Map quest to see where your motel is, because you have to turn right or left once you get to the end of Broadway. That street is called Seawall. As you booked your motel, you probably noticed that all of them were pretty much on Seawall.

Okay, Today, we are staying in the Holiday Inn Sun Spree. It is pretty new, and clean. It has a out door pool, and in the summer, a band plays around the pool for entertainment. It also has it's own restaurant, that isn't to bad. All smoking rooms are on the second floor, so if you are apposed to such, then you won't even be on that floor to be bothered. Each room as far as I know has a balcony, except maybe the first floor, and the back side of the motel is open, with covered Palm thingy. (More about that later)

Okay, Go ahead and get your room and relax. Notice the towel animals on the bed.

I'll be back in a minute............
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Old October 7th, 2006, 12:06 PM
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Default Ferry Ride....

Just a note,.... if you are driving in from Louisania or Mississippi on I-10 then you can exit at Hwy.124 & go south (a nice McDonalds at that exit)........
Hwy 124 will take you direct to the free ferry that will get you to Galveston.... This avoids the traffic through Houston (unless you love traffic )... Hwy 124 is a nice highway with not much traffic....
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Conquest .... Nov /03 (New Orleans)
Conquest .... Dec /05 (Galveston)
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Old October 7th, 2006, 12:36 PM
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Okay, we are in our rooms, and now what? If you need to rest, close the curtains, and take a nap. If you are hungry, then Galveston has a good many restaurants. You can find your Micky D's but also some great Mexican, French, Seafood places. When I travel, I always check out the night stand, to see what the motel recommends, also the phone book is a good source. If you brought your lap Top, it is free, but you might need to go down to the front desk to get the cord to plug in. They will loan you one. If you just don't feel like going out, there are several take out places that deliver. The motel also has pay for view movies in the room.

THE NEXT MORNING!

It's cruise day!!!! The first thing I think of on "the morning of" is "is the ship in port" This is easy to see, if you will go to the back of your motel, and look out. From most motels in Galveston, you can see all or part of the Conquest. It is that big!!! Now, the first thing you are going to want to do is go,go,go, but don't. Check out is usually 12:00 so take advantage of that. Remember, all of those cruisers have to get off the ship, before you can get on. They are not in a good mood. They are tired, hung over, and worried, because there credit card is sooo full, and heavy. Why would you want to get in their way.

Have a good breakfast, finish packing, watch a little TV or even try to sleep a little longer. Now is the time to think if you have everything. Do you need soda's to take with you. Remember only coke products on Carnival, so if you need a Dr. Pepper fix, you need to pick up some. There is a Wal Mart, and a nice grocery store on the island, on the same street as your motel. This would be a great time to visit them. If you are traveling in the winter, you might not have resort wear available where you are from, so there are a few clothes shops as well, on the island. For these things, it is probably best to shop the day before, since your cruise leaves on a Sunday, and I am not sure they are open.

Cruise parking is offered at most hotels. It simply means that you park your car there, and take a taxi to the port, and the reverse when coming back. Some even have enclosed parking.

Your motel will call you a Taxi. There are three companies on the island. Yellow, Jeff's and another one I can't remember the name. All of them we have tried, and had no problems. Be sure to ask for a van, if you have brought everything you own. Taxi's are around 10.00.

The main desk will probably tell them you are going to the port, but when you get in the taxi, the driver will ask you which ship. Jeff, himself told me once, that he knew Cruisers from normal people because of the grin.

Now there are several ways to get to the ship, but if this is your first time, tell him to turn into the ship. This means go to the street that when you turn, there it is almost next to you. One of the other ways is to take the road where you can see the ship from afar, and it slowly gets bigger, and bigger. It's not as much fun that way. The turn into the ship way is like sex and eating chocolate at the same time feeling.

Okay, we are almost there. I can see the ship, can you?
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Old October 7th, 2006, 12:42 PM
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Thanks Bob. See, I didn't know that. I want others to help me, so if you have done this for real, please add to it. Thanks,'

Luanne
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Old October 7th, 2006, 01:02 PM
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Lots of fun to take the ferry (about a 15 min. ride)... You can see the ferry from the Sea Wolf Cam.... Bob
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Conquest .... Nov /03 (New Orleans)
Conquest .... Dec /05 (Galveston)
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Old October 7th, 2006, 01:19 PM
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I wanted to back up a little, and tell you something I forgot. BEFORE you get into the taxi, be sure that you have your, Passport or ID, your Doc's (Documents) and credit card or money.

Okay, we have seen the ship. Our driver pulls up to the terminal, and the doors open and everything happens at once. The driver is pulling bags out, the porter in his flowered shirt is taking them for you, and your still in shock at how big this ship really is. This is why you need to have things sorted, and not in your luggage. Let's pay the driver, tell him thanks, and then please pay the porter. They are not usually pushy, but they do a tough job. I always pay at least a dollar a bag, if not more.

Taxi leaves, because he tries to pick up at least 4 or 5 groups, during the average cruise. The porter has left, and now you are facing the terminal.
Go to the left, all the way down to the last set of doors. This is your way in. You will see several ways into the building besides yours, but one is for crew members, one for security, and one for your bags. There is also one for you to put your bags on yourself, but I can not think of any reason to do this. If there is not a porter waiting when you get out of the cab, wait a minute. they will come to you. You will also see people waiting around. these are usually people who have gotten off the ship, and are waiting for rides, or people waiting for there traveling companions. You don't have to wait. Go like I told you.

Once in the double doors, go up the escalator. This will open up into a large room. Now you have used common sense so far, but this is where you really need it. Look for the signs, and also the fine staff to guide you. One line will be for all of you, who have filled out your fun passes. (A fun Pass is something you do from your home on the Carnival site. It will ask you questions for Homeland security. You will have a chance to print out your completed copy, but I have never had anyone ask for it. If it says completed on your computer, it should say the same for them.) If you have not filled it out. Why? There is a line for you where you have to wait for those in front to fill out theirs. It might look like a shorter line, but takes longer.

Now, as you are looking at the long Carnival counter, let me tell you what everything is. On your far left is the VIP check in(Bob is that right?) next to that is those who have not filled out their pass. Next to that is the long counter for check in, and to the far right is the non-American counter/check in. If you are not special, or if you have filled out, you will just have to do the check in. This might be a short wait, but if you have arrived at the time I told you, and nothing has happened on the ship, it should not be a long wait.

Have in your hand. Passports, Birth certificates if you don't have a passport, and your credit card. While we are waiting, I have to go put in another load of clothes, so be right back.......
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Old October 7th, 2006, 02:45 PM
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Okay, It's our turn to check in. These people in Galveston are so nice, and put up with so much. Want to see them smile? Want to feel good about yourself? Say good morning to one of the staff members. Some will actually look shocked. They are so use to being yelled at, they aren't use to nice.

For check in, what I do is I have everyone's passport and ID and Doc's. This keeps every member of my family from being up at the counter at once. They take your paperwork, do some stamping, and apply your credit card to the account. You don"t have to use a credit card. You can give them cash, debit, travelers checks, but for me it is so much easier to use my CC. You can also use a different credit card for each person, but I use one card for all. They will usually ask you if you want all of the people in your group to have an open account. This keeps your kids from spending money that you would prefer them not spend. I have been lucky because my kids are very good about expenses. You can also cut people off once on the ship, at the Pursers desk, if they start spending more than you like.

I have made this seem more complicated than it is. It is a really simple process. When I do the check in for everyone, we use our drivers licence to prove who we are. When everything is done, then she will call the group up to the counter, and give each person back their licences, so she can tell who belongs to who.

The next thing to do, is security. It is just like the airport, but no shoes off type of thing. Just putting your things through the machine, and walking through the detector. Your next step is to have your first picture made. This is for fun. It makes a great keepsake and usually runs around 20.00. The next step is to go to the security machine, that you will see every time you leave or come back to the ship. They take your card that the counter lady gave you, which is called a sign and sail card. Or it might be called a S&S card, for short. This is a very important card for your cruise. It has your account you set up, it is your room key, and your ID. They will take it, and put it in the machine, and take your picture. As I said, every time you leave the ship, or get on, they will put your card in the machine, and your picture will come up. It also takes roll, like in school. When the ship leaves port, and you have not checked back in, they will know you have been left behind. Now I didn't say they would wait for you. I will talk about that later.

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Old October 7th, 2006, 04:29 PM
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Luanne - I love this virtual tour you are giving. I'm getting alot of great info! Can't wait for next post.
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Old October 7th, 2006, 05:43 PM
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Luanne...

How are you posting so many posts?? during checkin? I didn't know they had computers there ;-)

Well, nice job & keep it up!
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Old October 7th, 2006, 05:49 PM
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As a Newbie, I worried about how to get on the ship. I'm not sure what I thought it would be like, but I did have a dream about a rope on the side of the ship, and the Captain yelling to put my foot in the hole.

The ramp is like a hallway off the ground. Very stable, and you really don't realize where you are unless you look out. The first time you are actually on the ship, you are standing on the outside deck. But be ready for another wow moment. Step inside the ship's door, and look up. Beautiful.......

There should be a person standing there to welcome you, and also to give you a little map to use to get around. It will probably be a little early to go to your state room(also know as cabin, room, heaven) so go to the right, and get the elevator up to the 9th floor. This is the Lido deck.

Lido Deck

The first thing you will notice about the Lido is the Band. Good old island music. Sure to put you in the mood. The next thing you will notice is these people walking around with tall Carnival drinks with umbrellas. Be warned they are not free. You need to get one, but save the glass. Refills all week can be put in that glass, and it is cheaper.

About this time, you will realize how hungry you are, so go eat. If you don't want a hamburger, or hot dog, go to the buffet, or to the chinese place, or the fish place. All of these things are on your map. Also, if you are a soda drinker, go to any of the bars, and ask for a soda card. The prices vary from cruise to cruise, but is usually around 30 something dollars. I think well worth it. For the rest of the cruise, if you want any coke product, all you have to do is show your card.
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Old October 7th, 2006, 06:38 PM
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Okay, You have decided on several things to eat. Did you see anyone tell you how much to eat? Noooooo They aren't going to tell you, but I will. If you eat everything in sight, until you go to bed, you will get sick. Many people blame the ship, but many times, it is eating way to much. Go easy until you get use to it. You don't want to be sitting on the pot at 2:00 in the morning taking a count of all the desserts you had.

Okay, Want to go to the room now? Let's go. Let me warn you. I use the elevator a lot. I am perfectly healthy, but I am lazy. People will tell you to take the stairs, and work off those calories, but I worked hard to get those calories, so I want them to stay awhile. You will notice two different types of elevators. the regular ones, and the glass ones. I have two great stories about the glass ones. On the Ecstasy, a little boy was the elevator operator. He was about 7. He would ask you what floor, and then take you there. so cute. On the Conquest this last time, was a woman who had several of those umbrella drinks. She was not on the elevator, but outside of it. Every time it would go by, she would say Wheeeeeee. She was there most of the night. Get ready, you see all kinds of things.

Our room is a balcony room. It is on the Lido deck, so it is nice and close to all the good food. I have been in the OV rooms, which means you have windows, and my kids have been in the port hole window rooms, and the inside. I can not go in the inside rooms and close the door. Many people love them, but I feel trapped, so I go to see if my kids have broken anything, and then I leave.

Okay, our balcony!!!! yes, we have made it. Okay, ladies this is for you........ wait a minute, I am counting. There are three closet type cabinets to hang clothes. Each of those have three shelves. One on top, and two below. There are Four drawers in the vanity, and then a vanity draw,so that's five total. On the other side of the TV is a cabinet with two shelves. Below the TV is the safe in a cabinet which also has room outside of the safe to store things. Each night stand has two shelves each. The couch has two drawers that usually have bedding in it. That is just the main room. I have not gotten to the bathroom yet.
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Old October 7th, 2006, 07:23 PM
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LuAnne, I am feeling it. This is great I feel back on the Glory again. We too had a cabin on lido, please continue!
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Old October 7th, 2006, 08:13 PM
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Maybe I will come with you and the family next summer on the Conquest! This is great. 8) Don't forget the sunshades -- that Caribbean sun is bright.
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Old October 7th, 2006, 08:28 PM
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Now, let's talk beds. If you are a couple and are still close enough to sleep together, then you can ask for the two twin beds to be made up together. Don't make the mistake and ask for them to be pushed together. They will do just that and you will both have separate sheets and stuff. Also, I once fell through between the beds, when they were not properly connected. The bedding is wonderful, and I have heard very few people complain about it.

Since we are so close to the balcony door, lets go out there. I love the balcony, but I didn't always like it. I have a fear of heights. I can not look straight down for very long. I have an easier time, on the ocean than I do on land. The standard balcony has two Wal mart type plastic chairs, and a table. (Little) The railing top is wood, and the rest is plexiglass, so that you can see through to the ocean when you are sitting. Okay, let's get this over with, because it has become one of my pet peeves. YOU CAN NOT FALL OFF THE BALCONY!!! You can climb, and fall, or someone who doesn't like you can pick you up and push you, but unless you are about 8 foot tall, you are not going to fall. Okay off my soap box, and the ship hasn't left yet, so let's go back inside.
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Old October 7th, 2006, 08:54 PM
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Okay, the bathroom is a good size. I was actually surprised. There is plenty of space for all your stuff, free stuff in a shell dish, and the water is hot and strong. There is only a shower, except in the suites, but it is a pretty good size. Okay this is one of my tips on things to bring. Go to the dollar store and by clothes pins. Put the clothes pins on the bottom of the shower curtain. Carnival uses what I would call the outside of the shower curtain. You know minus the plastic part, and it isn't very heavy. With the air conditioning, and the shower itself, it blows the curtain, and water gets on the floor. Okay, this is a tip for those of you with young children who are not use to a shower. While at the dollar store, buy a blow up kiddie pool to use in the shower. Fill it up, and have instant bath tub. It also works for those adults who drink to much, and stink.

Okay, we have to hurry, because it will soon be time for the muster drill, but I wanted to show you something else. See on the bed? That is called a caper. You will get one each day for the next days activities. This one is for the rest of the day, and then you will get another one tonight, when your bed is turned down, for tomorrow. Okay, one more thing to bring that will make your life so much better. Bring a box of large zip lock bags, and a box of small ones. I will tell you later what you will use them for.

You hear that? That is the Cruise director telling you WELCOME TO THE CONQUEST, LADIES AND GENTLEMAN. IN A FEW MONMENTS WE WILL BE HAVING THE MUSTER DRILL. (I am using caps, because it is loud )
YOU WILL FIND YOUR LIFE JACKETS IN YOUR CABIN, AND A DETAILED MAP ON THE BACK OF YOUR DOOR TELLING YOU WHERE TO GO. ONCE AGAIN, LET ME, ON BEHALF OF THE CREW CAPTAINS AND STAFF, WELCOME YOU TO THE BEAUTIFUL MS CONQUEST. Gives you cold chills doesn't it.
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Old October 7th, 2006, 09:37 PM
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Life Jackets in the balcony cabins are in the top of the hang up closet. If you need a bigger size or if you are traveling with little ones, you can ask for more, or larger. I haven't mention the Cabin steward have I. Well there is a reason. He is busy.

Muster Drill In Galveston it is always before the ship leaves. I have heard others talk about their ship, and it wasn't done until after sail away, but in Galveston it is before. Now on the Ecstasy and Elation you needed to go to the theater and then to your station, but the Conquest you go to your station. You can not use the elevators for this, you must use the stairs, unless you are disabled. Please don't be a jerk and try to hide from this. The longer you wait, the longer we have to stand out there, with that orange donut around our necks. Please go when called.

It is soon over with, and we can now take our donuts back to the cabin. Guess who is here? Our Cabin Steward. His name is Paul. Paul has a clip board in his hand. He will ask you your name, and what dinner time you have. There is a reason for this. He wants to schedule your clean up in your room around your time, so it does not disturb you. This is another pet peeve of mine. People complaining that they never see the steward. If he is doing his job, you should not see him that much. Another tip: Bring post it notes to leave for not only family members, but your steward. Of course if it is important, then page him or her.

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Old October 8th, 2006, 11:53 AM
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So, Are we having fun? I am not hearing much from those reading it, so I don't know who is on this cruise with me. You need to speak up. Especially those who are going on the Conquest in the next couple of months. Tell me where you want to go, and what you want to see, and that's what we will do. Let's do a roll call and see how many we have.
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Old October 8th, 2006, 12:35 PM
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We are here...Great!!! Luanne....keep it going.
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Old October 8th, 2006, 01:33 PM
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Okay, We are ready to go. There are two good places to enjoy sail away. Either up on top, or on your balcony. I prefer the balcony. I spend this time reflecting on where I have been to get to this point. My dear sweet family leave all the planning to me. I could book a trip to Death Valley, and they would go, and not complain, unless there was nothing fun to do. They have to have there excitement.

I know what, let me take all of you up top, and then I will come back and be by myself for awhile.

(With arms spread out) Ladies and gentleman, this is the Lido deck. Many believe that this is the very heart of any cruise ship. In some ways they are right. You will instantly notice the one of several pools. It's not that big, and not that deep, but people have lots of fun. See the blue thing up there? That is the famous slide. It looks like something for just kids, but it is in fact for everyone. I have seen little old ladies, get up out of there walkers, have assistance getting up the stairs, and you guessed it, Slide. As I mentioned this is one of several pools. There are pools in different areas of the ship. All are filled with salt water, and have chlorine for the extra safety. Please be careful walking up here with slick bottom shoes. The deck gets wet, and if you don't have the grip on your shoes, you might fall.

Okay, let's go over to the rail. See the building there? On the corner is the web cam that you can see from the Internet. Galveston.com If you turn around and look back, you will see an opening in the terminal building where you have been most of the day. It's on the end there. This is the headquarters of the Harbor patrol. Anytime a ship comes into any port, the Harbor patrol has to board the ship, to guide the ship in safely. This is one of the reasons you pay ports fees. If you will notice the little boat following us. That is the pilot boat. As soon as we are out a ways, they will come and pick up the guy who is on here now to guide us.

This morning before you were allowed to board, lots of things were taking place for your safety. Divers come out, and dive under the ship, to check for explosives. I think it is interesting that one of their team, has to board the ship, go into the bridge (Captain's driving area) and stand guard, so that no one accidently starts the ship. If you are up early enough, you can watch this process from the web cam. From the cam, it looks like fisherman, fishing really close to the ship.
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Old October 8th, 2006, 02:07 PM
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Okay, Let's see what else there is up here. Do you know what the word Lido means? Lido is a British word with two meanings.

1. A fashionable beach resort

2. A public open air Swimming Pool.

It is pronounced Lee do

You will notice that you never have to go to far to find a bar. They seem to be everywhere. You will also notice that on that wall is the bathrooms for the Lido. I have never seen a dirty bathroom up here, and you would think they would be the worse. If you will look up the staires, the wall and windows behind the ping pong table is the owners cabin. These are usually reserved for real VIP's. You won't see it on the deck plan. I have actually seen the inside, and it is very nice.

You will also notice that there is smoking on one side of the Lido, and no smoking on the other. Please be respectful to those who don't smoke, or have stopped.

Okay, we are out a ways, so let's go to the front of the ship, to see more. Notice the oil and natural gas rigs on the right. These are very much still in use, even though they look old and empty. Over on the left is the Sea cam Island. You can see the ship go by, from the web cam. I am proud to say that I had them position the cam to see better. It use to be straight down so you could see the sub.

About this time, you are wondering how I know so much. Right? I am naturally curious. I ask lots of questions, and I hate rumors. I would rather get the facts. I have been to places on the Conquest that others have not visited. These are not common tours that the everyday public gets to see, but I have found that if you are truly interested, people will be more receptive to your questions, and will volunteer to let you see for yourself. I will also mention that you are being observed from land. You are under constant protection, until you reach international waters. If someone tries to do something to the ship in this area, the waters would be swarming with tiny boats, with mounted guns. We had a little trouble on our way back in July, and these boats were everywhere. They seemed to come out of no where.
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Old October 8th, 2006, 02:41 PM
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Wow, I'm so glad to be aboard! What kind of music are they playing on the Lido Deck. Maybe we should go check it out. I bet they are dancing!
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Old October 8th, 2006, 02:57 PM
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Before we go back inside, let me show you a few other things. Galveston is famous for their dolphins. These are darker than what you normally see, and in the summer, you see lots of mommies and babies. I would tell you about the flying fish, but let;s wait until we get out in open sea, because they are easier to see.

Let's go back to the cabin, because I have a few more tips for you. Don't you just love the room? So cozy? Okay, pick up the Capers, and look it over. If you will get the highlighters in my bag, out pick up the yellow one for me. (My favorite color.) You will notice I have two different colors. One for my hubby and me. What we do is highlight the things we want to do. You (CANNOT DO EVERYTHING) need to pick out the things that you would most like to do. Be careful, because many times there are several things to do at once. Also if you are new to the ship, or have trouble getting around, you might even plan your route. Now, remember the zip lock bags I told you about? Get a large one out. Slide the Caper inside. See, it fits perfectly. This will keep it clean, and dry, and you are able to save it. You don't need to take it out, because it is see through. Very smart huh?

You will notice our Captain is Carlo Queirolo. He is the sweetest man. I have had several conversations with him. He is a cutie. I have a great story about something that happened on our Christmas Conquest cruise last year. he went to make an announcement, and dropped something. He said THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN CARLOS QUEIROLO SPEAKING, OOPS.
You would not believe the number of people who called the pursers desk to see if we were in trouble, or even if we were sinking. We were still in the harbor folks. The water is probably not deep enough to sink, and if it did, swim to Starbucks for Lords sake.

Did I mention the room the Crew has for stupid people? You go in there and they slap you around for awhile. Okay, there is no such room, but probably should be.
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Old October 8th, 2006, 03:20 PM
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Okay, A couple more things about the Capers. See all those ads? Go through them and pick out anything that might interest you. So, you see something? Okay, look in my bag and get the scotch tape. Tape it to the corner of your mirror. That will remind you not to forget. The rest you need to throw away. After seven days your room starts looking like a dump if you try to save them. Did you know that the trash cans don't have a plastic bag in them? That use to drive me crazy, but I am getting use to it. I guess it cuts down on the amount of plastic used on the ship. You have trash cans in the bathroom, and next to the vanity.

Okay before we go out again, two things. You know when you ordered that drink, you were given a receipt? Well you will receive them all week. Take one of the smaller zip locks and empty your receipts in there. If there is a question of your final bill, you will have proof of your spending, in one place.

Second, Why don't we go to the bathroom while we are here. You go first. Remember on cruise ships, you have to step up. Laugh at yourself when you get home, and catch yourself stepping up at home, out of habit.
Now there is a rule for Newbie's on cruise ships. When you get ready to flush, you must stay seated, and just reach around and push the button. Remember stay seated for your own protection. THOSE OF YOU READING THIS THAT ARE NOT NEWBIE'S HUSH!!!
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Old October 8th, 2006, 05:41 PM
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I'm ready for a drink and maybe a little sushi before dinner, Luanne. Join me?

So glad I am finally getting to meet you on this cruise!

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Old October 8th, 2006, 07:50 PM
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Hi Luanne,

I'm loving your virtual cruise! While we haven't been on the Conquest, we sailed on the Elation out of Galveston. Everything is "right on"!

Quote:
Now there is a rule for Newbie's on cruise ships. When you get ready to flush, you must stay seated, and just reach around and push the button. Remember stay seated for your own protection. THOSE OF YOU READING THIS THAT ARE NOT NEWBIE'S HUSH!!!
You are SO bad !

I admire that you throw away the ads. As a self confessed pack-rat, I can't bring myself to throw anything away from our cruises .
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Old October 9th, 2006, 09:57 AM
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This is where we might split up. Look at your capers, and see what there is to do. Some of you might have to go to dinner, and some of you might have late dinner times. Let me give you some advice here. While on the ship, try to keep meal times the same as at home. This is important to your digestive system. Also, if you have young children, please don't do late dinner, especially if they are use to going to bed early. It just isn't fair to them.

You also need to check the Capers to see when any special group is going to meet. The 02 club for teens might have their meet and greet, or the Camp Carnival for the little ones might have sign up. This is why you need to take a few minutes to look the Capers over.

I have early seating. The best time is 6:15, but on the Conquest I like the Monet dinning room and they start at 5:45. A little early, but very close to the way we eat at home.

Today, you basically have to be clean to get in the dinning room. Many people have not received there luggage yet, so the dress code is not strict at all.

The wine list looks pretty good. Maybe a bottle of Chardonnay, Cuvaison, Carneros.

"No Thank You, We will have water, and my friend here, has a soda card, so could you please send the drink steward over?"

See how easy it is. You are in a restaurant on a boat, on the ocean. Life is very similar than what you have at home, except the scenery keeps changing.

Now when the waiter comes to your table, he will hand you a menu. You will pick your appetizer, salad, and main course. A dessert menu will come later. Don't be afraid to ask about something that you don't recognize. They are more than happy to answer your questions. Also, don't be afraid to try something different. On our first cruise in 05 I wanted to try escargot. I was very adult, unhick about it, and when it came to the table, I had no idea how to get those things out of there little carrier. They honestly looked like little eye balls. I was sitting next to a man who had also ordered them. I saw which fork he used, and did what he did. I was after all an example for my sons who were sitting there watching. My youngest had already asked what it was, but we didn't answer. Finally his dad leaned over to tell him, just as I had it up to my mouth. My son said, "You mean those crawly things we have in our front yard?" Well, we four were sitting with another family with two teen girls (way to go Carnival) and a family that, well as the saying goes, didn't think there do do stank. The entire table broke up laughing, but the don't stink women who made a comment about sitting with lower class people. They were actually pretty good. Thank God for butter and garlic. Speaking of butter, see the little bell sitting on the table? Under the dome is your butter. The empty plate to the side of your large plate is where they will put bread, when they come around.

I have been told that the silverware is planned ahead, depending on what is served that day, and you should use the silver on the outside, working your way in, and that your dessert fork and spoon is at the top of your plate. I am sure someone here will correct me.

While we are here enjoying our meal, take a minute to think of how lucky you are. No dishes to wash, don't have to pay for your meal.

Life is good.........
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Old October 9th, 2006, 10:53 AM
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Now that dinner is over with, we need to go to get a good seat in the the
Toulouse Lautrec. That simply means the theater where the entertainment is. Going a little early gets you a good seat, but if you go to early, you might get there as the other show is ending. This is a little confusing, but they put on two shows for dinner guests. The early eaters like us, our time is at 8:45, and if you have eat late the show is at 7:00. Sometimes after dinner, we go back to the cabin to freshen up, and take a few minutes to relax. Since you have not been on the Conquest before, you could also take the extra time to walk around. I always encourage everyone to go to the first show, the night we sail. They usually introduce the staff, and tell you some things about the ship. It is true that sometimes the shows are a bit cheesy, but those kids work their tails off, so keep that in mind, and go and enjoy.
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Old October 9th, 2006, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luanne Russo
Life Jackets in the balcony cabins are in the top of the hang up closet. If you need a bigger size or if you are traveling with little ones, you can ask for more, or larger. I haven't mention the Cabin steward have I. Well there is a reason. He is busy.

Muster Drill In Galveston it is always before the ship leaves. I have heard others talk about their ship, and it wasn't done until after sail away, but in Galveston it is before. Now on the Ecstasy and Elation you needed to go to the theater and then to your station, but the Conquest you go to your station. You can not use the elevators for this, you must use the stairs, unless you are disabled. Please don't be a jerk and try to hide from this. The longer you wait, the longer we have to stand out there, with that orange donut around our necks. Please go when called.

It is soon over with, and we can now take our donuts back to the cabin. Guess who is here? Our Cabin Steward. His name is Paul. Paul has a clip board in his hand. He will ask you your name, and what dinner time you have. There is a reason for this. He wants to schedule your clean up in your room around your time, so it does not disturb you. This is another pet peeve of mine. People complaining that they never see the steward. If he is doing his job, you should not see him that much. Another tip: Bring post it notes to leave for not only family members, but your steward. Of course if it is important, then page him or her.


I might make a suggestion here.... If you have trouble climbing stairs (elevators don't work on Fire Drill)... Then go to your room & grab your life jackets early & go to the deck (by elevator) where you are suppose to report... Ask a steward, he will know the deck level..... Then just hang around afterwards & should be able to ride the elevator back to the deck where your cabin is....
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Old October 9th, 2006, 12:24 PM
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Great writting Luanne....!!
In regards to the fine dinning, this is like a 5-Star restraunt experience... They even lay your knapkin in your lap!!... Always try to dress up a little for the dinning rooms, remember you are experiencing fine dining at its best......... Also if you want 2 prime ribs or lobster then they will bring you the extra one with a smile..... If you don't care for your dinner selection then they will bring you another selection....
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Old October 9th, 2006, 12:28 PM
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Thanks, Bob, but you are getting ahead of the story. This is the first night!!! Tomorrow we will decide what we need to wear.

Thanks for the complement. I wish others would let me know they are reading. I am doing this mostly for the newbie's!!!
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