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MJackson

Age: 52

Occupation:Software Developer

Number of Cruises: 11

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Conquest

Sailing Date: 11-2-2008

Itinerary: Carribean

This was the eleventh cruise for my husband and I. We have taken five cruises on Carnival, three on Norwegian, one on Royal Caribbean, one on Holland America and one on Princess. This cruise was very nice.

The food on the breakfast and lunch buffet on the lido deck was good and there was a good variety. The food served in the evening in the formal dining rooms was good also. The lobster tail and prime rib were great.

We had an inside room on this cruise. Ivan, our room steward was great. He was very friendly, kept our room clean and answered every question we asked. He had better information than the purser's office on most ships.

The onboard activities were average.

We did not book excursions through Carnival as we are seasoned cruisers and can get excursions on our own.

Embarking went well in Galveston. Going through security went quickly but we had to wait over an hour to board the ship. Our Conquest cruise was the first out of Galveston since Hurricane Ike. Cruisers from the week before were dropped off in Houston then the ship returned to Galveston to get us. The transition went pretty well. We took our luggage with us on board so we would not have to wait for it.

We experienced our smoothest cruise ride on the Conquest. The waves were 4 to 18 inches high each day.

We spent our first two full days at sea. We spent most of our day at the main pool area.
We swam in the pool, used the water slide and hot tub. We played one round of 9-hole miniature golf on the top floor of the ship. We had our first formal dinner on the third night.

Our first port stop was at Montego Bay, Jamaica. Our ship docked at this port. We took a short taxi ride to Doctor's Cave Beach/Breezes Beach. The taxi cost was $5 per person each way plus a tip. Be sure to take the JUTA government backed taxi (with a red tag on the windshield) because they are much safer. We did some snorkeling (with our equipment) and spent some time on beach. We saw coral and many fish. The $5 cost per person to enter the beach area was well worth the cost and the security was good. If you wanted a chair, that cost an additional $5. If you wanted an umbrella, that cost $10. You could rent other equipment also (e.g. snorkel, jet skis, etc). Before heading back to the ship, we shopped at some small stores between Doctor's Cave and Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville (only two blocks apart). I met some people on the boat that went to Dunns River Falls. That sounded fun. Carnival charged nearly $100 each for the excursion but the people we met did the falls for $35 each ($20 for the taxi and $15 for entrance to the falls).

Our second port stop was at Georgetown, Grand Cayman. This was a tendered port. When we arrived at the dock, we turned left and walked about 3 miles to the nearest end of 7-mile beach. We enjoyed the beach. Next, we walked back to the dock, walked another 5 minutes passed the dock and went to Eden Rock/Paradise dive shop for snorkeling. The colorful fish were abundant. We paid $5 each to use the beach area and chairs. You can rent snorkel equipment for a small charge. Three years ago, we took a taxi to the far end of 7-mile beach. Six years ago, we swam with the stingrays. You have to do that once. We had our second formal dinner that night.

Our third port stop was at Cozumel. Our ship docked at this port. The dock was brand new and had been in use for only three weeks. The dock was about four miles from the main market shopping area but there was a new shopping area at the new dock. We walked out of the new shopping area and found someone to take us on a 2 1/2 hour snorkel trip. We made three great snorkel stops for a cost of $30 per person. It would cost a little more for snorkel equipment. The ship's excursion was twice the price.

We spent our last full day at sea. We spent most of our day at the main pool area.
We swam in the pool, used the water slide and hot tub.

When we arrived back in Galveston, we debarked the ship easily.

The evening shows onboard were good. The theater was very roomy. Most of the shows were singing and/or dancing. The casino and onboard shops were about average.
The clubs were less than average. There was a good band by the casino but the dancing area was in a hallway and too small at that. Another band was in another club but the music was not to our liking. Fewer than six cruisers were in that club when I peeked in on most nights. Some other clubs opened around 10:30. We love to dance rock and country and were disappointment with the clubs on most nights.

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