Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Carnival
Ship: Carnival Conquest
Sailing Date: September 19th, 2004
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Ours was 7 days (just a few days too long in my opinion)
Let's see ....
The first thing I did correctly was to bring some alcohol and coke's with me. I also purchased a liter of Jamaican rum in Jamaica for my own personal consumption, so all in all I consumed 1 liter of rum and one fifth of bourbon, and our "sail and sign" bill was still $400 (which a part of that is trinkets purchased on the ship) Alcoholic beverages are quite expensive, not really when you consider one night's worth, but if you're drinking $4 beers and $5 drinks (which aren't typically very strong) the trip becomes much more expensive! Cokes are $2.50 I believe, we just brought a 12 pack with us, which lasted for 6 days, with me mixing really strong drinks, in the name of conserving cokes, of course!
Our first mistake was taking a tour in Jamaica ... That was one more God-Forsaken place, that I woudn't care if I ever see again, the people, the poverty, the 4 hour un-airconditioned bus ride, it was in one word terrible. The best thing about taking the tour (dunns river falls) was the falls, which was beautiful, but I wish we'd just had a leisure day to get off the boat, shop in port, and just be lazy, in stead we took the tour from hell, my advice, stay close to the boat in Jamaica. We did do a little (30 minutes) shopping there, and they have some good deals, so I would say to do some shopping, they had little stands where you could taste-test the liquor, (which I really enjoyed), and we bought some appleton rum, which is made in jamaica, and it was very good. My advice ... Buy alcohol in port, we bought in the town and got burned. We paid $13 for the liter of rum in town, they had it in port for $6.50. you can shop all you want for alcohol, but the port prices are the best (besides on the boat, because of their matching program, but the selection is more limited on the boat than in port) I got the rum on the boat via a coke bottle, they didn't seem very worried about anything but your carry on. Red stripe beer is like a buck there, which is a bit cheaper than here, so that is another good thing about jamaica.
Supper was typically good, not really great though, we had some teerrrrible lobster, but all in all it was pretty good. Get the early seating if possible, it allows you to do more things, and you'll be hungry for the midnight buffet, we had the late seating and it limited us a bit, as we were so freaking tired after a big meal, that it was a struggle to do anything else.
As far as the shopping talks and port talks that they say you should attend, don't bother with it, it is shown on the closed circuit T.V. in your room, so you can catch it there at your leisure, versus having to change your schedule to hear it.
Our room was small, but it wasn't toooo bad, it was like the size of a small office, it was livable, but not luxurious by any means. We did not have a window, which I hated, because I like to get up and around early in the mornings, but it was like a freaking sensory deprivation, it's pitch black in the room, the only light you see is the light of the alarm clock (which you need to bring, as the rooms do not have any type of clock). If you don't set an alarm you will end up waking up at noon, which I don't really like!
Go to the comedy shows, they were great! As I mentioned earlier, our dinner seating time wasn't the best, because most of these shows are like 11 and 12 o'clock, after a late dinner, all I want is to go to bed. We missed a couple shows, but the ones we wen't to where pretty damn funny.
Cozumel ... The shopping is basically all the same, they all have the same things, we walked for a while, looking in probably 20 shops seeing the same thing over and over. The couple that we ate dinner with did the "swim with the dolphin" tour and raved about it, we just shopped and went to carlos' and charlies', we wish we'd done a tour there, but we were so unhappy about our previous experience that we decided not to, which in hindsight was a mistake. Go to carlos and charlies, it was wild!! If you take a shot from the girl with the whistle, be ready to be violated!
Be patient at debarkation, we ported at 8, but were the last color to be called off the boat, at 11:30, just get some breakfast, get a good book and enjoy the peace.
If you've never been to new orleans before, it's going to be difficult to find the port. We've been several times, but had a difficult time finding exactly where to go, but my navigator (my wife) can work a map like magellan, so we found it.
Take a couple nice outfits, there are 2 formal nights. I wore black slacks and a tie, some wore tuxes. The other nights, I wore slacks and a button down, though khaki's would have worked fine as well.
Try the hot tub on lido deck, we sat in it early one morning, and it was extremely relaxing.
We took $400 in cash I believe, and spent every dollar of it. Parking is about 84 bucks, do don't forget to factor that in.
That's about all I can think of right now ... I think that'll get you started!