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Carnival LinesCarnival Conquest ReviewWestern Caribbean Bill Grier

Age: 52

Occupation:Professor

Number of Cruises: 19

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Conquest

Sailing Date: November 26th, 2006

Itinerary: n/a

Carnival Cruise Lines

Overall we had a great time, and felt this cruise was a very good value. The Conquest is a very well-run and well-maintained ship. This was a decent itinerary.

(Background: my wife and I are in our early 50’s and this was our 19th cruise. We always get the least expensive inside cabins and we book our own shore excursions; we are scuba divers and like active excursions.)

1.Itinerary. OK itinerary with 2 fun stops (Grand Cayman and Cozumel). We feel Jamaica is a so-so port of call.

- Montego Bay, Jamaica. Spent a beach day at Doctor’s Cave Beach; a nice clean private beach that was beautiful and reasonably priced. But there’s a problem: the Jamaican authorities check the cruise ship passengers before you get back on the ship; this creates a gigantic line to re-board the ship; the wait was over an hour….ridiculous. I probably won’t get off the ship the next time. (FYI we stopped diving in Jamaica years ago; their marine ecosystem is nearly ruined by over-fishing and pollution)

- Georgetown Grand Cayman. Did a shore-dive with Eden Rock Dive Center. Very convenient, reasonably priced, and very near the tender pier. Great coral formations and lots of marine life within 200 yards of the dive shop; max depth of 50 feet, so lots of bottom time.

- Cozumel. Did a 2-tank boat dive with “Dive with Martin”. As usual the diving was spectacular and the folks at the dive shop were great……safe, fun, and inexpensive. IMHO best dive shop in Cozumel. We dove Santa Rosa and Paradise Reefs….both wonderful. Glad to see the island (and the marine life) are recovering well from Wilma.

Note: I’m very glad we had an 8p.m. seating….we were not rushed coming back from ports of call.

2. Crew/service. Excellent. Our cabin service and dining room service were truly outstanding. You will feel pampered. I think Carnival has really improved in this area.

3. Food. Overall, excellent. There were good beef and seafood options every night. Appetizers and desserts were so-so compared to other cruise lines. Breakfast and lunch buffets were so-so, but breakfast and lunch were excellent in the dining room. The deli and the grill were outstanding. The 24 hour pizza was OK. Room service was reliable and brought good coffee every morning on time.

Note: there are two formal nights, but for those guys who like me HATE to dress up….a simple sports jacket, dockers, and old tie works just fine.

4.Entertainment. My wife is a musician and I depend on her for this evaluation. Entertainment was good. The singers/dancers were good. The classical musical group was excellent. The miscellaneous stage shows (comedy, magic) were pretty good. The evening shows are worth going to.

5. Cabins. Ours was clean, well-maintained, spacious.

6. Embarkation/Debarkation: Embarkation was poorly run (too big of a ship and too small of a port). We waited in line for almost two hours. We arrived at the pier just after noon; next time I would wait until 2 or 3 to board. Debarkation was a little better although I wouldn’t recommend a flight out of Houston before 11 a.m.

Note: we arrived the day before departure and stayed at the Ramada Limited on Seawall. This motel was a bit run-down but reasonably clean, very convenient and reasonably priced. Free parking while cruising and an easy 30-minute from the pier.

7. The Ship. Well maintained, clean and in good repair. Good gym, with a fair amount of equipment, whirlpool, and saunas. Public areas were kept mostly clean. I wish the smoking areas were better enforced; had to move a few times to escape the stink of cigarette/cigar smoke.

8. Passengers. Very friendly passengers; mostly Texans and Midwesterners representing all ages including a fair number of well-behaved kids. The families we met liked the kids program.

Feel free to email questions to Bill Grier at skpr9354@hotmail.com

Happy Cruising!

 









 

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