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Old July 16th, 2007, 10:13 PM
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Default Conquest Review 7-8-07

Conquest Review
My wife, my two sons (ages 27 and 24), and I just returned from a fantastic trip on the Conquest. I read a lot (special thanks to Luann) about the Conquest and Carnival on this board for weeks prior to our trip. I would like to share my opinion on some things that are often talked about on here.
Embarkation at Galveston was a bit long, but really was no big deal. We arrived at the port at about 10:45 and was onboard at 12:30. We parked at EZ Cruise which is only two blocks from the port.
The ship is very impressive! Clean and the entire staff was super. Mark Price, the cruise director, was by far and away the best I have seen.
The days at sea were fun. We had no problem getting chairs at the pool. The Island Men (pool band) was very good.
A lot has been said on here about Jamaica. We went on the Canopy Tour and it was Awsome! Afterwards, we took a cab down to Margaritaville and did some shopping in that area. We had no problems with being harassed. Our cab driver took us on a mini tour on the way back to the ship. If you are going on this cruise and don’t get off the ship at Jamaica – you are missing out.
At Grand Cayman we went to Seven Mile Beach. It is beautiful. Did not want to swim with sting rays! Afterward we shopped. Great day.
In Cozumel we shopped around in the morning. It is neat to see the different culture and to barter with the people. In the afternoon we went to Paradise Beach. Again it is beautiful and a very relaxing place.
Formal Nights – Just about everyone in our dining room was dressed appropriately. Not just on formal nights, but every evening. You would really have to look to find someone wearing shorts or T – shirts.
Red White and Blue Teams – A lot of the cruise snobs on here have complained about this. It is really no big deal and a lot of people enjoy it.
Waiters Singing and Dancing – Again the snobs complain about this. I actually enjoyed it very much.It is hilarious and the staff seems to enjoy doing it.
Our only minor disappointment of the whole cruise was some of the evening shows. The comedy shows were great, but the rest was disappointing.
Getting off the ship was a breeze. We were off and on our way home by 8:30.
If you are about to go on your first cruise or on your first Carnival cruise, don’t let the cruise snobs discourage you. You will have a wonderful time.
Any questions?
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Old July 16th, 2007, 10:38 PM
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How busy were the dance clubs?

I don't think I am going to be doing any of the shows but the adult comedy ones, and we love to dance, so I am hoping that it will be busy and not slow.
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Old July 17th, 2007, 06:02 PM
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I'm glade to hear you had a great time. We are taking our first cruise on the conquest. I have been very antsy since I made the down payment hoping I did the right thing. But I'am stil looking forward to our first [and hopfuly not our last] cruise

mike
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Old July 18th, 2007, 11:18 AM
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Default cool !

My wife and I will be going on our first cruise on 9/16/07 and are so excited. We've been married 7 yrs and all our trips have been to NYC to visit my ailing mother, which makes it difficult to enjoy. My mother has always told us to go on a cruise and enjoy ourselves and after she passed away on 9/22/06 we decided to spend the 1yr anniversary on a cruise and dedicate this cruise to her.I wonder if going on 9/16/07 will have a ship full of out of control kids ?

Should we go on a excursion in Jamaica ?
Should we go on a excursion through the cruiseline ?
Can we take along water on ship ?
How was the food ?
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Old July 18th, 2007, 01:29 PM
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Rob what a good idea to celebrate her that way.

As this is my first cruise I can't answer your questions but I can say that my kids won't be amoung the uncontrollable one's.
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Old July 18th, 2007, 01:59 PM
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We went on our first cruise on the Conquest out of New Orleans & then out Galveston... We took the free Ferry to Galveston instead of going through Houston (came from S. Mississippi on I-10)..... We arrived rather late around 2 pm, parked at E-Zeeeeeee Park (paid for on their web Site)... We were concerned about Loooooong lines at a late arrival but there was NO LONG Line, we were on board in lees than 30 minutes.... So this means that the Late Bird gets the Short Line ...
We loved the cruise....
There was at that time a Vegas Lounge in the stern (back) that had a 3 piece band & Non-Smoking....
Have a great cruise...
Bob & Kathy
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Conquest .... Nov /03 (New Orleans)
Conquest .... Dec /05 (Galveston)
Celebration.. Sept /06 (Jacksonville)
Fantasy....... Dec/07 (New Orleans)
Splendor...... Nov. 29th, 2009

Splendor...... Nov. 28th, 2010 (booked)
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Old July 18th, 2007, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: cool !

Y ou don't like kids? Or just out of control kids?
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Old July 18th, 2007, 08:30 PM
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Default kids ?

Not like kids ? I have 2 sons(22/20) and 1 neice. Even at age 42 I would love more kids(we're still trying ).I just heard horror stories of kids running wild with no parent supervision, which is why we chose September.
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Old July 18th, 2007, 08:55 PM
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Rob,
Don't worry about out of control kids. Thay said there were 800 kids on our cruise and I hardly noticed them. Carnival has a great kids program.
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Old July 18th, 2007, 08:59 PM
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Yes, I would take an excursion in Jamaica. It is a beautiful place. The food was fantastic. We didn't bring water onboard, but I did bring three bottles of wine.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 02:16 AM
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Great review and I'm glad you all enjoyed it. I have a question????

Have you booked your next one yet??
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Old July 19th, 2007, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: kids ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob6465
Not like kids ? I have 2 sons(22/20) and 1 neice. Even at age 42 I would love more kids(we're still trying ).I just heard horror stories of kids running wild with no parent supervision, which is why we chose September.
I didn't mean to sound like an a$$ . I have two girls I'm taking with me a 5yr old and a 10 yr old [by the way I'm 47 yrs old with 6 kids ,my oldst one beeing 30] and this is our first cruise also. I have read more negitive comments about children on board than positive comments. I dont want my girls to be treated like 2nd or 3rd class people because they are children. Istart to wonder if I made the right choice to take a family cruise when I read about annoying children. Again I am sorry if I came off as an a$$.

On a side note.
I also lost my mother on 03/11/06 .I think that is a good ideal to dedicate your cruise to your mother.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 09:15 AM
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Default kids ?

Mongo ? Take your kids along ! My problem is with parents who have no idea how to control their kids. I see it at walmart, target and so many other places. My wife and I raised our sons to know not to ask for things at the stores but they knew if we had money left over we would get them something. Some kids are spoiled too much and when they don't get something they go crazy. I love to be at the beach and see kids having fun, since mine are old enough now. I miss those days of little league and taking the kids by hand. My sons were raised to show respect and not embarass themselves or mom/dad and they did not.

Take your kids but don't let them ruin a vacation for others who many go on a cruise to relax.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 09:28 AM
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Default Re: kids ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob6465
Mongo ? Take your kids along ! My problem is with parents who have no idea how to control their kids. I see it at walmart, target and so many other places. My wife and I raised our sons to know not to ask for things at the stores but they knew if we had money left over we would get them something. Some kids are spoiled too much and when they don't get something they go crazy. I love to be at the beach and see kids having fun, since mine are old enough now. I miss those days of little league and taking the kids by hand. My sons were raised to show respect and not embarass themselves or mom/dad and they did not.

Take your kids but don't let them ruin a vacation for others who many go on a cruise to relax.
I hear ya!
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Old July 19th, 2007, 09:38 AM
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Default Re: kids ?

[Take your kids but don't let them ruin a vacation for others who many go on a cruise to relax].[/quote] And i dont want others turning thier nose up at us because we have [well behaved but still 5 yrs old] children. If you understand where I am coming from.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 10:34 AM
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mehawk,
Not yet. But, I am starting to look. Any suggestions for July '08?
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Old July 19th, 2007, 06:56 PM
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We were also on the Conquest the same week (July 8) There were 10 of us with 4 kids under age 16. Wonderful experience! The kids mostly hung out in kids areas...swimming pools and kid club activities. I never saw any kids on the ship out of line, even when they were by themselves. Only one bunch of kids drove everyone nuts, the kids at the Bingo and if you were there, you know what I mean, if you weren't there don't worry about it, isolated incidents. This wasn't a problem for me, but I did notice that several people brought very young children like ages 6 months(not even walking and in strollers) to just about 2-3 years old. Why would you bring them at that age?
I thought the shows were wonderful. Beautiful costumes and dancing was great.
Every employee was very eager to be of service and quickly. We brought our own water on board for the excursions and yes, Jamaica was wonderful, we did the dolphin swim, tour and Dunn falls. You just have to keep walking and not respond when approached. The best way is to book excursions through Carnival. We got free drinks at MargaritaVille and Senior Frogs for having booked through Carnival.
I only had one issue, that was with the tipping. We only ate in the main dining room 4 nights (too tired on the other nights). In my opinion, the room stewarts work twice as hard. Carnival's paper suggested that the room stewarts receive $3.50 per person per day and $5.50 per person per day for dining room. I don't know, but I really felt that the room stewarts were there for you all day. I personally think that they should be switched 5.50 for room and 3.50 for dining. They also left a envelope for the Matrd''e (sp?). I never saw, met or even knew what he looked like.
Over all the cruise was excellent and if you are bothered by anything on the ship, you just have to let it roll off your back, say to yourself "I am not going to let this ruin my cruise" and make sure that YOU have a great time!!
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Old July 19th, 2007, 08:08 PM
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Old July 19th, 2007, 10:58 PM
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I am so glad you had a good time. I was hoping you would be impressed with my ship.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 09:22 PM
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I think you missed my question!

How busy were the dance clubs, if you went in them? What about the piano bar? Basically, how was the nightlife for the non-shows?
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Old July 25th, 2007, 11:49 AM
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hello all, first time poster here. i was also on the 07-08-07 conquest, and thought i'd chime in as well with my own review. a bit on myself.... 23 year old male, recent college grad (the cruise was a graduation present from my parents, who i cruised with), 2nd time cruiser (first was disney magic when i was 16).

my impressions:
embarkation took entirely too long, but i understand that there really wasn't much that carnival could do about that. it's hard to have that many people get through all that process in such a short amount of time. a few things they could have done though... when there were no VIPs in line, they really should have been sending people through the VIP security screening line. there were 2 security checkpoints for all non-VIP's and one for VIP's... in which i saw maybe 30 people go through the hour or so i could actually see the checkpoint. also, its nice that they have someone at the front of the line by the check in counter telling you which register to go to, but i think someone more attentive to the job would have been better. the guy was barely paying attention and half the time, half the counter agents would be trying to get his attention to send someone else over and he was just staring into space. it was very frustrating to watch

the ship itself was incredible. immaculate, clean, beautiful, a floating palace. as an intern architect, i was extremely impressed by the design. i never actually was formally introduced to my cabin steward, but that was probably because i was hardly ever in my room that first afternoon, no fault to them. that drill you have to do in the beginning was probably the most unorganized mess that i saw the entire week. basically they shuttled you into your station, you stood there for about 15 minutes in a line with your life jackets on (why? on an airplane you don't need to put your life jackets on for the safety demo?), and someone came on the microphone and said "this is where you go in an emergency." and then they dismissed you. really, i understand they have to do it by law but it's rather pointless. why can't they just show a video of information while you're in the endless embarkation lines? at least have something for you to do while you're waiting in the lines! but i digress.

we were dining in the renoir dining room, early seating. our waitstaff were excellent. very friendly, personable, and a great sense of humor. the meals were great. we dined in the dining room every night, and had a well above average overall meal every night. a few of the dishes tasted differently than you'd expect at times, but the quality was excellent. i for one liked the singing and dancing (and occasional conga line) in the dining room, but i could tell a number of guests didn't care for it. to each their own i suppose. and no waitor is dancing on a table, they are dancing on the serving podiums, which i saw wiped off before they put more food on them. so i don't agree with people saying they were "unsanitary" when they did that (no one here, i've heard other people complain about it in other threads). went to the formal breakfast the first two days, and the buffet the rest. to be honest, we had more fun at the buffets and the food was better (go for the omlettes!). though it was nice being seated with others at the formal breakfast. my parents and i were at our own table for the dinners, and would have preferred sitting with other people to have others to talk to, which was the case on previous cruises. lunch we usually ate at the buffet, which was varied and usually quite good. paul's deli was also excellent, though the servers were at times short and bordering rude.

the entertainment was quite varied, and every bit of it was great. it's been said before and i'll say it again through a megaphone, mark price is a huge asset to the ship. i really think that he singlehandedly made a huge deal in the way the week went. his personality and attitude made me think about the days where i had a similar "program director" position at my old summer camp, and how much fun it was. it made me want to be a part of his staff! the revue shows were quite entertaining, though i felt that the gratuitious use of g-strings in the opening-night show were out of place in a show that was otherwise family-friendly. "point and click" was one of the most cheesy things ive ever seen, but fun anyway. the comedians were hysterical, and the r&b singer was also extremely entertaining. lenka did an outstanding job hosting karaoke, especially mardi gras night (did you know that her and mark are engaged?? mark introduced me to her as her fiance. good for them!). i had never been to a piano bar in my life before this cruise, but inadvertedly spent many nights at the piano bar here. vincent is awesome, extremely personable and entertaining, and put on a great show. in case anyone's interested, his personal website is myspace.com/vincestrongmusic . i never even found the sports bar, and the disco was practically dead at all times save about 20 or so people at any given point. there were usually more people at the piano bar at any given time--and more dancing there. the slot machines are definitely looser at the beginning of the cruise than at the end, though i preferred to stick to blackjack myself (even though i lost miserably there as well). the island men were great as well, providing a great musical accompaniment to endless hours of lounging around in the sun. all in all, the entire entertainment staff and host team was incredible, and if i ever get to work with a team of people who are as good at what they do as they are, i would be a very lucky person.

mardi gras night: WOW. my parents (who have cruised with carnival once before) said that their last cruise had nothing like that on it, so i'm not sure if it's just a conquest invention, or a staff invention, or something to do with the fact that their original home port was new orleans (maybe all 3?) but the staff put on one incredibly fun party that night. it was a great night and an awesome way to shake things up after 2 full days and nights at sea. i only wish that they did some kind of last-night celebration as well.

i think the carnival colors competition thing was a great addition as well (even though my team--red--came in dead last by a long shot). another thing that my parents didn't see on their last ship. if the cruise snobs are going to complain about it, maybe they should note the words under the carnival logo: "the fun ships," and go be stuffy somewhere else. i felt like the week was just one big party, which is clearly what they were going for. though dont you think it would have been nice for the winning team to get something? even if its like a little ribbon or pin or something to wear like that.

there were lots of children on the ship. the vast majority were well-mannered and respectful (a credit to both the camp carnival staff and the parents for raising them properly), but as always, the ones who werent, few as they were, usually ruined things for the crowd. this includes the ones who would repeatedly do cannonballs into the (no jumping allowed!) pools, or would snorkel in the hot tubs (???), run up and down the hallways of the cabins screaming at all hours of the night, or the teenagers who incessantly pestered me to buy them alcohol. overall aside from them running amok in the pools, they were pretty much a nonissue. oh, and the aft pool is technically the "adults only" pool, but it's in name only.... there were plenty of kids in it at all times and there was no enforcement of that rule. if they want that pool to be "adults only," it might help to move the ice cream machines away from directly next to that pool.

i never had a problem getting a lounge chair by the pool, but i was also usually by myself most of the time, so that probably made things a lot easier than trying to find a few together.

suggestion: if you're a drinker (and like fruity drinks)... always buy the cocktail of the day. get the first one in the souvineer glass, and just have them keep refilling that one the rest of the day (or week, if you feel like it). the glasses are rather big and the drinks are usually quite strong.

the ports:
montego bay, jamaica: if you can, book into one of the all-inclusive resorts. i felt very uncomfortable and unsafe in jamaica, even in the shopping areas. the residents would try to lure you into back rooms and it was just extremely sketchy and uncomfortable. i felt like i was just a walking atm, and they treated me as such--just something to get money out of. the scenery is stunning, but i lost sight of it because of the general attitude of the residents. go somewhere you can appreciate the scenery and not be bothered if you can.

grand cayman, cayman islands: absolutely picturesque and beautiful. it was pretty much the polar opposite of jamaica. all the residents were kind, courteous, and not once pointed out that you should be tipping them. that being said, i spent far much more money there, as i didn't feel pressured to do so. i did the ocean kayaking excursion, which was great. i hadn't been kayaking in years, and it was great to do it again. we even got to snorkel and came face to face with stingrays and barracudas!

cozumel, mexico: did the atv jungle excursion. as someone who used to ATV a lot, i loved doing it again. many people were surprised that they would get dirty...? i don't know what they were expecting. it was a great time. later ended up at carlos and charlies, one of those "college spring break every day" type places. surprisingly, ran into my parents there! place was full of all the teenagers from the ship getting drunk and being out of control, but i suppose here it was okay since that was what the place was going for. is there a drinking age in mexico? the 15 year olds had no problem getting served. i had to help one of the kids back to the ship, as he was clearly not going to make it there on his own and was abandoned by his "friends."

as i came with only my parents, i was pretty much by myself for the most part of the week. i ended up meeting a girl in cozumel who i hung with the last 2 or so days with, but aside from that, i pretty much did my own thing by myself for most of the week. my biggest complaint would probably be that there was not a single activitity geared specifically towards an 18-25 or so age group at all the entire week. even if it was just like a meet and greet the first night for people my own age at one of the many bars or lounges or something, that would have done it. there weren't many of us, but i knew there were a number of people in the same situation as me, and i felt better at least knowing one other person my age those last few days. having said that, i befreiended a number of staff/crew members and had some great conversations with them. i really enjoyed learning to their stories, how they got there, what life on the conquest was like, and getting an insider's perspective of things. it really made me appreciate being there so much more.

to wrap things up, it was basically everything i could have hoped and dreamed for in a week and more. the positives FAR outweighed the negatives. if i had the choice (and the money!) i would take that exact cruise again in a heartbeat. i think as long as you go with an open mind and ready to have fun (i.e. not a stuffy cruise snob), you will have a great time, no matter who you are.

i'd be happy to further elaborate on anything (if i haven't elabored enough already!), just ask away if you have any questions!

-bobby
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