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Donna

Age: 41

Occupation:Human Resources

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Conquest

Sailing Date: 2011-02-22

Itinerary: Carribean

This was my husband's and my first cruise! I have always wanted to go on one, but my husband never did. We recieved the trip as a gift. WE LOVED IT! We loved it so much, we booked the exact same cruise for July and we are taking our kids as well as some friends. We can't wait to get back on board!

The food was good. I loved the night time dinning. The food in the dining room was incredible. I am forced to eat at many upscale hotels and venues for different events at work. I can honestly say that this food was as good or many times better than what I have had around here! The buffet was typical. Some good, some bad. Always something you could find that you liked. The pizza was great and I ate daily at the seafood grill. Overall, the food ranked on a positive note for my husband and I.

We didn't have a choice of a room as the trip was a gift. We worried that it would be small, confining and unbearable. We were suprised when we got there. The rooms are small, but all the storage space gives you room to hide the luggage and other items that can clutter up the room. I liked not having a window because that meant I could sleep whenever I wanted! I am a light sleeper and the sun wakes me up. I was going on this trip to relax and enjoy myself. Leaving the kids at home meant that I could sleep in if I wanted. We also had some really late nights. The lack of window allowed me to catch up on some missed sleep and stay relaxed the entire week. We actually enjoyed the size and location and never felt crowded or confined. Our room was an inside state room on deck 3. It was a perfect location for us and were never far from any of the coming and goings. We were also first to get off the boat which was a big plus as fog severly delayed our docking. We choose to book a similar room for the four of us on our July trip.

We traveled in February so the onboard activites were not completely utilized. We used the spa which was great. My husband used the workout room (I was on VACATION) which he liked. The weather stayed chilly so we did not try the pools or water slide. However, it all looked great and fun! The clubs were good and we enjoyed sitting and listening to great music and comedy. My husband nor I gamble, so the casino was lost on us. We did enjoy several of the shows however one of the broadway shows was a waste of time. We played bingo, we attended the deck party, did the shows and even some of the Sodoku events. We never were at a loss for something to do!

I really don't have anything to stay away from... except the cameras! I don't do pictures and neither does my husband. We both felt that we were being harassed by all the requests to take our pictures. By day two, I knew how the movie stars feel! I wanted to go Sean Penn on a few before the end of the week. Before you step on the boat and until the moment you get off, someone is hanging around with a camera wanting to get a shot. Some are great when you say no, others get pushy. I had to be rude to a few just to get them to leave me alone. The other tip is to make sure your bag tags are attached really well to your luggage. I secured one bag and one suitcase with the tag and a small piece of tape. Of course, the tags fell off! We were able to identify them from the other unknowns late on the first night so no harm done. It was our fault. I recommend taping them around the handles with packing tape! Other than that, it was all good!

When we got this trip, my husband was less than happy about it. He does not like to be confined to any place and enjoys getting out and going. We often rent condo's for the week at many of the great beaches of Florida and some of the beaches in Texas. We drive because my husband likes to be "free" and travel. He did not see this as the right fit for his vacation needs. We were sending my son to England for a few weeks in the summer to train for soccer, so this would be our only vacation this year. However, his thoughts changed quite quickly after we sat sail. The size of the boat, the endless activities, the peacefulness of watching the sun go up or come down over a vast ocean with no land in site... it all provided us with a perfect trip. I also loved the fact that I got a vacation also. Usually, I am cleaning, cooking, planning the trip to the beach, packing, unpacking, washing clothes... I need a vacation from our vacations! But this was perfect. We didn't take our kids on this one but the whole time we looked around and realized how great this would be for the family. As I said before, we booked the same cruise for July 2011 and this time we are taking the kids. I even talked my best friend and her family into going! Second day on board is already scheduled as the "Girls Spa Day"! The excursions were great, enjoyed the Jamaican Beach Party (a little tooo much), and didn't feel the need to do any excursions on the next two stops. It was cheap to rent a taxi to take you to wherever you wanted and we enjoyed seeing some sites and relaxing at our own pace. Not sure what we will do on the next trip, but I am in no hurry to decide. The crew is great in helping us plan the excursions up until the night before or until they sale out. Lastly, I want to give my kudos to Carnival for the docking disaster! There was a heavy fog in Galvaston and Port Authority would not allow us to dock. We finally docked at around 3:00 pm! Carnival staff and crew provided food, beverages and entertainment up until the end. I felt so bad for the cabin crew and I cleaned up our room and stripped our beds for them... but that was just me feeling bad!

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