ship: Carnival Conquest
date: January 2006
departed from: Galveston, TX
review by: Kim & Johnnie Rhodes
This cruise went out of Galveston, so we decided to go Saturday morning and spend the night. The whole family went on this cruise, my husband and I, with a daughter, 12, and son, 7. We also had extended family going. We had a party of 21, but we didn't meet up until later Saturday night. We got up 5am and left at 6am on Saturday morning. We were heading to Galveston, and my husband and son were excited when we passed by NASA, just out of Houston, Saturday morning, so we did a u-turn and spent half of the day in NASA. My daughter and I were not all that excited. We got into Galveston around 3 and went straight to our motel. We stayed at the Comfort Inn in Galveston. Good motel, good price. We went to Rainforest Cafe for dinner that night it--was delicious. Can't wait to go again.
We were excited about going on this cruise, so we couldn't sleep and were awake by 5am. We got up and ate breakfast at the motel. We were heading for the cruise terminal at 10:30am. We had some people in our party that wanted to leave their vehicles at the motel. A service for free, but it takes longer and is a big hassle. So we didn't get to go through check-in until 1pm because we had to wait for everyone to be dropped off and bring their vehicles back to the motel (NOT RECOMMENDED). Parking is like 10 dollars a day. Pay it--its easier.
Soon as we got on the boat we dropped our luggage off and went to eat lunch. When we arrived at our stateroom, I was greeted by a bouquet of a dozen roses, courtesy of my husband! I had bought my husband and children a tee-shirt apiece, which were also waiting for them in our stateroom. I was not that crazy about the buffet--it was all foreign food and I'm a meat and potatoes type of girl. So pretty much the whole week for lunch I ate pizza and hamburgers, which these were awesome. Breakfast was good on the buffet...I ate omelettes, fruit, pretty much anything you can think of, they have it.
The dining experience was not the best. We had such a big party we were on two big tables on the very back end of the boat. Our table vibrated every night from the engines. The food was not the best I've had on a cruise. They do give you free capuccino and hot chocolate after dinner, and on Royal Caribbean you have to pay for it. The staff were good, and they had their hands full with a party this large.
We had a balcony on the 6th deck. It was nice. The bed was the most comfortable bed we had ever slept in. My daughter slept in the bed that folded down from the ceiling, and my son slept on the couch that made a bed. We had plenty of room.
The ship itself is in great condition, more of a Las Vegas-style decor.
In Jamaica we went snorkeling and to Doctor's Cave Beach
. When we finished our excursion we went back on the boat and ate lunch. My son didn't want to go shopping, so we dropped him off at Camp Carnival, which he loved, and we went shopping. We just shopped at the shops right off the boat.
was our next stop, but the waves were too bad, so we did not get to go onshore there.
, my husband went diving with his brothers, my daughter went to Tulum with her grandparents, and my son and I went on the submarine. We had a great time.
I can't say enough about Camp Carnival. I am a stay-at-home mom, and my kids have never been in a day care. But I felt very safe leaving them there. The staff was extraordinary. They took up time with our kids and we couldn't keep our kids out of there. We had to tell our kids that this is a family vacation, and they were going to spend a little time with us. This was their first cruise and they had so much fun!
Our days at sea were lazy and busy...when we wanted to be lazy we were, and when we wanted to be busy there was plenty to do.
Disembarking was not that easy because we had to go and get the vehicles that were left at the motel. This took a couple of hours. Going through customs was easy. Overall a great trip!
-added January 2, 2008
ship: Carnival Fantasy
date: January 2007
departed from: New Orleans, LA
review by: Kim & Johnnie Rhodes
We took this 4-day cruise to Cozumel
, just hubby and I, so we started a little early. After my husband got off work on Wednesday, he had a flight lesson already scheduled for 6pm, so we had to wait for his lesson to finish. Then we headed south. We live in central Louisiana, and we were going to spend the night at the Holiday Inn in Gonzales Louisiana. We love Ralph and Kackoos Restaurant, but the night we were traveling the Sugar Bowl with LSU was in New Orleans, and can you believe that they were closed?? There was nothing open in Baton Rouge. It was like a ghost town. We knew that there was a restaurant in our motel in Gonzales, so we called ahead and they said they would be open until ten. We made it! It was Mike Anderson's Seafood Restaurant. It was the best ever. I recommend it to anyone travelling by. The hotel was great, too.
The next morning we got up about 8, still full from the night before, so we left to get on the boat. Arrived at the pier at 9:30. We had not been here since Hurricane Katrina. What a nice port. You park in a big parking garage, and take the elevator to the 2nd floor, and you're at the check-in area. So much nicer than Galveston. They wouldn't start the check-in until 10:00am. About a 10-minute wait. We went straight through check-in and then they wouldn't let you get on the boat until 10:30. But that's ok, we talked with a nice family.
Soon as we got on the boat, we went to the Windjammer for some food. The pizza and hamburgers are my favorite. Not much on the foreign foods. After lunch we went to the dining room to try to get a table for two, but we were informed that there was no table for two. This was one of your smaller boats. We had a bad experience; we had a couple that came to the table drunk, and drank through the whole meal every night - except the night we were in Cozumel - they had passed out then slept through dinner. That was the only peaceful night we had. My suggestion is to go with another couple so you won't have to hang with people you don't know. Now, the food in the dining room was spectacular -over the top- the best we've ever had on any cruise. My husband had the warm chocolate melting cake every night.
The staff on this ship was superb.
We had an inside room on the Empress deck. We had plenty of room for my husband and me.
, we went on a GPS treasure hunt, and snorkeled at the Chankanaab National Park. After the excursion, we went to a restaurant in Cozumel and had lunch, which was great. Then we did a little shopping for the kids, then back on the boat.
On our days at sea we like to go to some of the shows and watch the waves go by. We saw several dolphins on the way back to New Orleans. This ship also has a nice perch right above the bridge. It's nice to be at the front looking at the water.
Overall, this was one of my favorite cruises for my husband and me. We were not gone very long away from the kids. And how many times can you go to Cozumel and back? Most weekend trips are to the next town - not the next country!
-added January 2, 2008