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M Jackson

Age: 54

Occupation:Software developer

Number of Cruises: 12

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Conquest

Sailing Date: 2011-01-17

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

My husband and I love crusing. We taken 12 cruises and they were all good. This cruise was a little below average for us.

The food on the breakfast and lunch buffet on the lido deck was good and there was a good variety. The busboys were very slow to cleanup and they were not very friendly. The sandwiches made at the sandwich bar were very tasty, especially the Ruben. The food served in the evening in the formal dining rooms was good but barely warm. I have tasted better on other cruises in the past. Our service was good except for one night.

Our room steward was great. He was very friendly and kept our room clean.

The evening shows onboard were ok. The casino minimums at the tables were too high. The onboard shops were about average. We really enjoyed the night clubs on this cruise. The live bands/groups were great. There was one guy who sang solo. He tried to avoid him.

Montego Bay, Jamaica is dangerous to be careful. Georgetown, Grand Cayman is beautiful and great for snorkeling. Cozumel, Mexico is great for snorkeling and shopping.

This was the twelfth cruise for my husband and me. We have taken six cruises on Carnival, three on Norwegian, one on Royal Caribbean, one on Holland America and one on Princess.

We booked using VacationsToGo.com. My husband and I discussed our room assignment Mary S on our speaker phone. We selected a room on deck 7. We gave Mary our charge card information for the deposit and we were told we would get an email confirmation in a few days. A week went by with no email so I called Mary. Mary said she remembered talking to us about a cabin on deck 3 but she made no reservations. Needless to say I was not happy. I contacted a manager, made another booking and requested an immediate email confirmation if he wanted my booking. I will definitely consider a different travel agency next time.

On Sunday, embarking in Galveston was not as smooth as usual and the Carnival staff at the entrance to the terminal was rude. After we boarded, we got a bite to eat. The outside temperature was about 50 degrees and there was a light rain so no one was spending time at the main pool. We walked around outside under the covered areas until the muster drill. We did not need to bring our life jackets to the drill. That was a first. During the evening, we had a nice dinner then danced the night away with country and old rock-n-roll music. There were about three clubs open at any one time every night.

We spent our first two full days at sea. We spent our days at the main pool area. Monday was a very windy day. The seas were four to seven feet and I do not think the ship’s stabilizers were in use. The water slide was closed. We had our first formal dinner. I ordered lobster and my husband ordered prime rib. They were both delicious. On Tuesday, the seas were about four feet. My husband was happy the water slide was open. Our dinner experience was not good. It took our waiter about 20 minutes to take our order. We waited 20 minutes for the appetizers, another 20 minutes for the salad and another 30 minutes for the main course. We spent two hours in the dining room, and we still did not get our order taken for desert so we left. We went to the main show. It was an average comedy act. Next, we enjoyed a Thriller dance class.

Our first port stop was at Montego Bay, Jamaica. The sky was overcast as we docked. Soon after, the rain started and it rained all day. We were planning to take a short taxi ride to Doctor’s Cave beach/Breezes beach as we had done before but we changed our mind. Instead we did some shopping at the cruise terminal. Doctor’s Cave beach is a nice inexpensive and safe place to hang out. The taxi cost is $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. It cost $5 per person to enter the beach. If you want a chair, that cost an additional $5. If you want an umbrella, that cost $10. You can rent other equipment also (e.g. snorkel, jet skis, etc.). Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville is only two blocks from Doctor’s Cave beach. At night, we had a nice dinner, watch the evening show then went dancing.

Our second port stop was at Georgetown, Grand Cayman. This was a tendered port. When we arrived at the dock, we turned to the right and walked a few blocks to Paradise Beach. We paid $10 each to use their small beach area. We had our own snorkel equipment but they rent it as well. The water was very clear and we saw lots of beautiful fish. We tendered back to the ship for lunch and a shower. We wanted to do some shopping, so we tendered back to the island for a couple hours. 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. We saw the evening show then went dancing.

Our third port stop was at Cozumel. Our ship docked at this port. 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 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 plus a tip. It would cost a little more for snorkel equipment. The ship’s snorkel excursion to the same places was almost three times that price. We went back to the ship for lunch and a shower, and then we shopping. You will find the best shopping prices in Cozumel. At night, we ate in the formal dining room then watched the comedy show.

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. In the evening, we had a nice dinner and watch the evening show. When we arrived back in Galveston, we debarked the ship easily.

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