Carnival LinesCarnival Conquest ReviewWestern Caribbean Brad & Emily
Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Conquest
Sailing Date: October 29th, 2006
Carnival Cruise Lines
-Monday Night – Wednesday Morning-
We flew into Jamaica around 3:30PM on Monday. After explaining to customs why we were there due to flight delays, we took an airport taxi to the resort Angie booked for us. It was called Sunset Beach Resort and Spa in Montego Bay. We had planned on going here when our ship came in to port on Wednesday anyway, so now we just got a little more time to enjoy it. The resort was right next to the port where our ship would arrive Wednesday morning. We had a great time at the resort. It was all inclusive with 4 restaurants, 3 bars, and good entertainment. When I say all inclusive I mean it. When we arrived they said put away your wallet because everything is included. They will make you unlimited drinks as strong or as weak as you want them. They also have pop, water, juice, and ice cream machines everywhere, all free! Our room was beautiful, with a private balcony, large bathroom, and even 150 channels on the TV (incase you want to watch it before bed). It was like being on a cruise ship but with bigger better pools that are basically always open, beautiful beachfront at all times, more room to roam, no money hungry staff, free pool toys, use of paddle boats and kayaks, better food, and free drinks.
On Wednesday morning we got up early
to see if we could see our ship coming into port. Sure enough around 6:45AM
Emily spotted a small white dot over the horizon. As an hour went by the dot
grew bigger and bigger then we could see the red stack of the ship. After about
45 minutes the ship ended up passing directly in front of our room which made
for some cool pictures. That morning we went to breakfast and decided to go
snorkeling in the ocean. We then swim in the resorts pool until checkout time at
11:00AM. We didn’t want to leave the resort, it was so much fun. It was funny
being able to see the ship from the beach and pools we were swimming in that
morning. As we were swimming we knew if we saw our ship start to leave we could
use the paddle boat to catch it. Lol.
Once we checked out of the resort we took a taxi for the 2 minute drive to the port. After 20 minutes of going through customs and having to pay them to stay in Jamaica for more then 24 hours we were allowed to go to the next security checkpoint. As we headed to the metal detectors in the building a guy ran up to us and said he had to help carry our luggage to the ship. He put all our bags on a cart and took them to the ship for us. When we got there he said ok I need to be paid now. We were kind of shocked. Emily was going to give him a $3.00 tip before he said anything. The guy actually asked how much she had in her hand and when Emily said $3.00 he said that was not enough. He then said he needed $5.00. So instead of getting upset and starting a fight with this guy or tossing him into the water, we realized we were 1 foot away from boarding the ship that we have had such bad luck getting to; we paid the guy and entered the ship.
Once onboard the security guard saw our bags and said “oh, you must be Brad and Emily, we were expecting you”. He had us go to the lobby on deck 3 to check in as they took our bags to our room. We again had to wait another 20 minutes to check in while they organized our paperwork. At least they removed the automatic tips for the days we missed. By this point I had about had it with the checking in processes after what we went through this week. If I would have had to check in one more time or do any kind of customs stuff I would have went crazy!
Once we got our cards we went to our room to check it out. We then spent most of the day exploring the ship. For lunch Emily got her sandwich and I got a hamburger from the grille.
At 7:30PM we went and saw the magic show
and then went to the dinner at 8:30PM. We had late seating for dinner and liked
it more then the earlier seating option we had on our last cruise. It was nice
not needing to get ready until later. The dinner was great, we both had the
steak. Our waiter and assistant waiter were very funny. Towards the end of
dinner they surprised us with a heart shaped piece of cake with a candle in the
middle. All the waiters came up to our table and started singing “Happy
Honeymoon” to us. (Basically the birthday song but with “honeymoon” said
instead) We never even told the waiter it was our honeymoon so we were surprised
they knew. They made us kiss the entire time they were singing and said we
couldn’t stop until they were done. During the song our waiter put a napkin in
front of us for privacy. It was funny, we were laughing too hard to kiss. There
must have been a lot of people on their honeymoon because they kept mentioning
honeymoons and newlyweds. The Restaurant manager was great. He sang different
songs for the entertainment part of the dinners every night. He was a great
singer. The first night we were there he sang “Don’t rock the boat” and
dedicated it to all the honeymooners. After dinner (like we did on our last
cruise) we decided to take a nap with plans on going to the late comedy show
after our nap. Well once again we slept through it and I didn’t wake up until
the next morning. .
-Our Room and the ship-
Our room was nice. We were on the 10 floor with a balcony located towards the center of the ship on the right side (whatever boat term that means). We liked the room but it was not as nice as the balcony suite we were upgraded to on our last cruise (Carnival Triumph, May 21, 2005 also on cruise reviews) This room didn’t have a separate spot for Emily to get ready with all her makeup stuff. Also this bathroom was smaller and had a stupid shower setup. Emily and I basically flooded the bathroom each time one of us would take a shower. The shower had a small curtain that didn’t stop the water from coming out. The shower head arm also seamed broken as it kept falling and shooting water onto the bathroom floor. One time I walked in the bathroom and when Emily called me to put some towels down on the floor. I walked in to find about an inch deep of water over the entire bathroom floor, good thing Carnival gives you beach towels.
The ship seamed a lot larger then the
Carnival Triumph. It also had more dining choices. I also like that the grille
had chicken breast sandwiches in addition to the hotdogs and hamburgers. This
ship wasn’t as fancy as the Triumph was in the inside. Besides a little
different setup in the pool and dining area, it had the same basic setup as the
-Thursday 11/2/06 Grand Cayman Islands-
Thursday we went to the Grand Cayman Islands. his port didn’t have a pier so we had to take a tender to the shore. We had also paid for a shore excursion the night before to Seven Mile Beach with taxi. This included taxi to and from the beach, use of there chairs, and a drink. After the short ride in the smaller boat we had to stand with the rest of the people who signed up for the excursion for about 30 minutes before we could start loading the buses. Once on the beach we watched as everyone went to the closest spot and all stayed together. We kept walking and went as far away as we could from everyone else. The beach and water was beautiful. We tried to snorkel but the water was too stirred up to see clearly. We ended up swimming with our fins on for about 3 hours. After swimming we decided to get ready to head back to the port. When we were loading up the bus to go back a husband and wife were told they could not get on the bus until they finished their beer that they were obviously drinking a lot of that morning. During the time they were finishing up their beer, other people took the spot the wife had told the driver she needed to sit in because of her bad knee. The husband finished his beer and sat down on the bus but when the lady went to enter she started yelling at the driver because people had taken the seat she needed. Then her husband started yelling and jumped out of the bus and got in the driver's face. The driver looked like he was going to kill these people but instead he said talk to my manager as he got in the bus and drove away without the couple. The driver was telling all of us if he didn’t have a family to provide for he would have beat up the guy. It was so funny, we were all laughing.
As far as the excursion goes if I could do it again I would just get a taxi and not paid for the excursion. It was not worth the cost, a taxi there and back would have been cheaper with less of a wait. The beach area was nice but on the way to this spot we saw other nice spots with no one else around. Once we were back at the port we walked around the town and purchased some souvenirs. We then got back on the ship early to insure we wouldn’t miss it again.
Thursday Night we got ready for the formal dinner. We left our room around 7:00PM so we would have time to take pictures at all the photo areas. Dinner was great again. This time I ordered 2 steaks, very good. After I finished my meal the waiter dropped my knife down the back of my shirt as he was taking away my plate. It got a few spots of A1 sauce on it. He tried to clean it but the stain wouldn’t come out. The manager came up and took our room number down and told us to drop it off later at the front desk and they would have it cleaned. I got it back the next day as good as new.
After dinner we changed and went to the
magic show. I thought the show was great but Emily thought the show last year
was better. Afterward, we went back to the room and went to bed. Around 2:00AM I
woke up and decided to get some pizza and ice cream that I brought back to the
room and ate on our balcony. It was good, but I’m glad it isn’t that easy to get
pizza every night or I wouldn’t be able to fit in the room.
-Friday 11/3/06 Cozumel Mexico-
We arrived in Cozumel Mexico around 9:00AM. It started raining as we docked but stopped by the time we got off the boat. We didn’t sign up for any excursions but knew we wanted to go to the beach. We had a taxi driver take us to San Francisco Beach Club about 15 miles away from the port. The club only cost $5 per person and came with a chair and umbrella and beautiful beach front. We stayed for about 3.5 hours. I snorkeled for most of the time while Emily was relaxing and swimming. Before we left I saw a stingray in the water. I had Emily grab her snorkeling gear so she could see it as well (she wanted to see one all week and she finally did). It was white with brown spots. I took some pictures of it with the underwater camera. A little scary but cool. After snorkeling we decided to relax on the beach. We ordered some chips and salsa and watched people Para-sailing. Once we were done we had a taxi take us back to town. From there we walked though the town and went into all the shops. Emily had her picture taken with some of the local talent who were dressed up in costumes. It started raining but really didn’t bother us because we were inside the stores anyway. One store was giving away free samples of alcohol so I had a few test shots. Once back on the ship we walked around and went to the casino that evening. We decided not to go to the formal dinner and I ended up getting fish & chips from the fish bar on the boat, and Emily got a sandwich and some pizza. Ok so then I think I also had a hamburger, fries, pizza, and ice cream.
-Saturday 11/4/06 Fun Day at Sea-
We decided to play the slots in the casino and even play a little bingo during the day. We lost! The only thing we won was a raffle for a bottle of nice Champagne. Besides gambling we basically relaxed and just enjoyed the last day. It wasn’t raining but we had some rough waves that started a little before midnight the night before. The waves weren’t getting any better. The constant back and forth motion was starting to make us a little sea sick. I must say these boats don’t really move much and when I saw a smaller boat go by it was impressive how good our ship took the waves with all the technology it has. That being said, the small movement still is enough to get a person sick. After a nap, room service for some food, and some motion sickness pills, we were fine.
-Saturday Night (last night)-
Emily was tired so she decided to go to bed early. I wanted to catch the last show so I headed down to the lounge on the 4th floor around 10:30PM. The show was great and very funny. They were having a lot of technical issues, but it was a good show. One time the music stopped in the middle of a song. The person left the stage and then after a short wait he had to go back out and redo the song from the beginning. I decided to sneak out a few minutes before the show ended to beat the elevator rush. As I was getting on the elevator the boat seamed to be shaking a lot more then it had been. A man on the elevator said “you didn’t hear what happened?" I replied no. He then said that someone had fallen overboard and the ship was turning around to look for him. Once off the elevator I ran to my room to wake up Emily. At this point the ship was really moving and things were starting to tip over. We ran to our balcony and saw spot lights from the front of the ship aimed at the water. We left our room and decided to go to the front of the ship on the navigation deck that is outside and down a flight of stairs from our floor at the front of the ship. It had the best view because it sticks out past the side of the ship about 10 feet. On our way we had to hop over peoples bags. Most of the bags had tipped over when the ship turned. The ship had 2 spotlights panning the water looking for the person. The boat kept turning around and moving forward and backwards searching in different areas. Finally after about 20 minutes there was a page over the loud speaker for the guests staying in 3 different rooms in a row on the 6th floor. Another 10 minutes later another page for guest staying in the middle of the two rooms. Then another 10 minutes later the cruise director came on the speaker and said that the boat had turned around to do a search. Then another 10 minutes he said someone has fallen overboard and they will be doing a search. He then said be careful when the ship is moving around. In the distance ships were starting to surround us. I counted 15 ships. All kinds of boats were helping out. I saw 2 other cruise ships, fishing boats, barges, and freighters. Our ship lowered its main lifeboat that drove around searching for hours as our ship kept turning around and searching with the spotlights. After about an hour another Carnival ship came up right in front of us and started searching. We ended up going back to our room after about 2.5 hours and then watched from our balcony until we were too tired to stay awake any longer. After about 5 hours the ship took off, unsuccessful in the search.
We spoke to other people the next morning who said helicopters and planes from the coast guard stated flying over towards the end of the search. No one from our ships crew said anything about what had happened. The cruise director came on the loud speaker at breakfast and talked about the debarkation changes because of the delay from the events last night. Anyone who had a flight out before 2:00PM (using the honor system) and didn’t put there bags out in the hall the night before were going to be allowed to get off the boat first. Luckily we still had our bags as we were able to get off sooner even though our flight wasn’t until 4:30PM. (They didn’t need to know that.) Even so, we arrived at the airport around 3:00PM so anyone who had an earlier flight probably missed it. Luckily it was a very fast debarkation, from the time we left our room we were directed to sit in the lounge for about 15 minutes and were on the bus pulling away from the port within about an hour.
Overall it was a great honeymoon mixed with lots of stress and excitement! It will make for a great story to tell people in the future.