You're going to have a fantastic time! My husband and I just got back from our honeymoon cruise on the Conquest on 4/16.
Here's my two cents on your questions:
- You should fill out the booklet now. Best case scenario: Go on www.carnival.com and fill out the "fun pass," then print out the sheet that verifies you have completed it for each passenger. It speeds things up.
- If you or anyone in your family gets motion sick, I would recommend asking your doctor for Transderm patches. They go behind your ear and you replace them with new ones every three days. They stay on even in the water. Everyone has different side effects; the only thing I've noticed is dry eyes, which subsides after a few days. I find the patches preferable to popping motion sickness pills - just my opinion though, and I get very motion sick just in cars, etc. (I believe you can also get Bonine, another motion sickness medication, for free on the ship, but I'm not positive - I've always brought my own.)
- Bring lots of sunscreen!
- I've been on two cruises, and both times I feel like I brought too much luggage. There are laundry facilities on the Conquest if you need to wash something. I would just bring standard summer clothes mostly, along with your clothes for the two formal nights. (Everyone has a different definition of "formal." Some people wear tuxes; some people barely get dressed up. Just spruce up the most you feel comfortable! Next time I think I'm going to bring a lot less stuff!!
- I've never tried bringing pop on board, so can't help with that one...
- You should have received colored Carnival luggage tags from your travel agent that say the name of your floor and whether you're aft or forward. For instance, we were on Deck 7 - Empress Aft. On the ship, there are maps of the floors next to all of the elevators, which will help you get around. You'll be able to find your room from the deck name and the room number...there are arrows. It takes a few days to find your way around a new ship -- some elevators only go to certain floors, some floors don't go all the way across, etc. -- but that's part of the fun! Exploring is my favorite part. Just a tip: A good deck to use to go all the way across the Conquest is Deck 5, Promenade.
- If you enjoy piano music, I'd definitely encourage you to check out Brad Alexander in the piano bar, we had a great time in there! You can request songs and it's just a nice atmosphere.
- The pizzeria on Lido is great!
- Feel free to order more than one appetizer/entree/dessert/etc. at dinner in the dining room. My husband had two lobsters one night, and I sampled multiple desserts once or twice.
- If you like art, check out the art auction! We had a great time at that. Jason Betteridge from Park-West was so enthusiastic, he sucked us in!
- Embarkation and disembarkation are the worst parts. It's always a long, drawn out process, so it's better just to know ahead of time that it kind of sucks, and just roll with it. We self-disembarked (carrying all of our own bags off) and regretted it, but we had to get off early due to some transportation arrangements. I would recommend just doing the bag-outside-the-door thing the night before disembarkation and relaxing until your deck is called. Of course, I've read posts from many others who like the self-disembarkation...it's definitely a personal choice, and depends on how much luggage you have, how strong you are, and how much patience you have in long lines! (I'm very impatient!
- Chairs by the Lido pools are often hard to come by (despite the no-saving-chairs rule, people do it anyway), but we always were able to find vacant chairs on the neck deck up, Panorama (10).
Now that I talked it up so much, I hope you like the Conquest! We adored it. It's very in-your-face with the decor but we loved it, it's all very elaborate.
Feel free to contact me if you have any Conquest questions! Since I just got off the boat a few weeks ago, it's all fresh in my mind...wish I were getting back on! Have a great time!
Do you have a long way to go to get to Galveston?
Booked on NCL Breakaway, Feb. 2014
Carnival Conquest, Feb. 2012
NCL Gem, Sept. 2011
NCL Jewel, Feb. 2011
NCL Dawn, Sept. 2010
NCL Spirit, Feb. 2010
NCL Gem, March 2009
RCCL Explorer of the Seas, Feb. 2008
Carnival Miracle, May 2007
Carnival Conquest, April 2006
Caribbean Princess, Feb. 2005
You can either put your soda in a suitcase or just carry your 12 pak on. We have done both. Prefer just putting it in a suitcase with some of the clothes and then you can just check it thru and don't have to carry it around.
We live in Northwest Oklahoma which is about a 16 hour drive from Galveston. We fly back from Houston to OKC late that Sunday evening and then from Oklahoma City it's about a 3 hour drive to where we live!
Hubby & I both used back backs getting onboard one with bottled water and one with diet drinks. Once inside cabin had steward unlock fridge(mini bar)and put them in there. Then we used the backpacks on port days for things we needed for the day and things we bought while out.The ship does have really good water on Lido you can refill your own bottles but we didn't know that the first time around. I still think we'll do it the same this year because it was nice always having the cold water right there anf popped a few in the backpacks when going to different ports.
We got to the port of galveston around 10:15 and it was perfect.
Must haves are a camera, sunscreen & sunglasses, and a great vacation attitude. Just know there wil be lines getting on and off the ship and for the buffet during peak times. There's just no avoiding smethings with over 3000 people on board! You may run into an occasional jerk (or so I hear, we never did).
In port use good commn sense and good judgement, you'll have the adventures of a lifetime. I don't think ANYTHING
The only thing not covered already was your question about "what time to get there". We went on the Conquest in October, we drove down (from DFW) to Galveston Saturday morning. We left about 5am and got there about 10:30... We had enough time to take the kids to see the beach (I know.. yuck.. but they HAD to see it.) and then we got to the cruise terminal about 11AM. I recommend getting there early because the line has not gotten too long and you can get on the ship fairly early. Several people on this board claim its better to show up about 3PM, but we have found that on the bigger ships, there is a constant line anyway. So you might as well get through it early and have the extra time on the ship.
Sodas- (You must be from the North, since only us Yankees refer to it as Pop) We put it in our luggage so we didn't have to lug it around the terminal with us. I don't know about asking the steward about putting it into the fridge, I thought those things were electronically monitored for anything "extra" or anything being moved? Maybe we could tell them to empty it for us to use so there would be no claim that we used anything??
================================================== ========== Carnival Cruise Lines:
Fantasy 90, Celebration 95, Victory 05, Conquest 05, Spirit 6/06, Freedom 6/08, Holiday 7/08, Victory 6/09, Valor 9/09, Dream 6/10, Splendor 8/10,Conquest 8/11,Magic 11/11,Triumph 4/12,Spirit 7/12,Freedom 11/12, Triumph 2/13 - The fire cruise, Magic 1/14, Freedom x 2 6/14
NCL Dream October 2006, RCCL Mariner OTS June 2007, Celebrity Silhouette 2013