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Tonya

Age: 43

Occupation:Information Manager

Number of Cruises: 5

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Conquest

Sailing Date: 2013-08-18

Itinerary: Exotic Western Caribbean

This cruise convinced us that we don't need to look at other cruise lines. The cruise was NEARLY perfect in every way. The service on the ship and the friendliness of the staff, in its entirety, from the first day through the last could not have been better. There was a bit of sewage smell in the hallways a couple of times, though, it was temporary.

The food was great throughout the cruise for all meals. The most impressive part of our dining experience was the totally unexpected care for my need for a gluten free diet. I had expected to navigate the food choices on the ship very carefully to avoid a reaction...and I had resigned myself to eating fruit and salads throughout the cruise if need be. We went to dinner the first night and I asked my waiter about any items that may be gluten free. I was immediately visited by a young lady named Corina who explained that she would be taking care of my dietary needs throughout the remainder of the cruise. Each night after dinner, I would be shown the menu for the following night...and I could order ANYTHING on the menu...and it would be prepared gluten free by the chef. I was even able to eat dessert. I was also able to place orders for brunch, but I usually just had eggs and fruit. I never had to worry about what I was eating. What an invaluable service.

Our waiters, Joaquim, Menino, and Getron, were wonderful, always friendly, always calling us by name, and always willing to engage us in conversation. There is nothing they could have done better.

We had a port side balcony room...and from now on, we will always have a port side balcony. We were able to watch from our balcony as we docked and as passengers were filing back onto the ship -- and even watch the "late" ones running back to the ship so as not to be left behind.

Our room stewards, Uno and Kholifa, were wonderful. Always smiling, always busy, but never too busy to stop to greet us or answer any questions. We would leave our room for brunch, and when we came back an hour later, our room was perfectly made. We would leave our room for dinner, and when we returned, the bed would be turned down, the room clean again and a towel animal waiting to have its picture taken for our album.

There was always a variety of activities on board at all times of the day. The newsletter was our constant companion when we were looking for things to do. We particularly loved the movies playing on the lido deck each night. We sat in the lounge chairs eating popcorn watching movies a couple of nights. Other nights we attended the shows. The shows with audience involvement, which made passengers the stars of the shows, were particularly enjoyable.

The entertainment/dance troupe was energetic. Perhaps not quite the best I have seen on cruise ships, but enjoyable nonetheless. The cruise director, Cory, was enthusiastic and a joy to listen to. Funny guy.

We made the mistake of taking excursions in all our ports. They were all good, but we felt like we missed a lot by having to be on the excursions all day.

Mahogany Bay -- Zipline Express

Nice, fairly quick ziplining tour just a short walk from the ship. You really don't need to purchase this through Carnival, though. Anyone could just walk to it and purchase the tour just a short distance from the dock. Short enough to allow for some shopping afterward.

Belize -- Land Rover Tour

Included a river ride, VERY bumpy Land Rover tour...but that added to the adventure, a guided nature walk, walking cave tour, complimentary fruit/water/rum punch, and air conditioned bus ride. Overall, it was a good tour that really allowed us to see the beauty of Belize and experience the friendliness of the people.

Cozumel -- Mayan Ruins of Tulum

GREAT tour guide, Lili. We learned so much about Cozumel, Playa Del Carmen and the Mayan culture on this tour. The only drawback was the length of the tour took our entire day in Cozumel. I don't regret having taken the tour -- you really HAVE to visit the Mayan ruins; however, the next time we are in Cozumel, we will not be taking a tour at all.

We have only positive thoughts about Carnival Cruise Lines after this cruise. They have gained a couple of very pleased, loyal customers. We will be cruising with them again as soon as possible.

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