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Carnival Conquest (Aug 2016)

Carnival Conquest

Carnival Conquest

5-Western Caribbean
08/08/2016: Ft Lauderdale, Florida
08/09/2016: Sea Day
08/10/2016: Ocho Rios, Jamaica
08/11/2016: George Town, Grand Cayman
08/12/2016: Sea Day
08/13/2016: Ft Lauderdale, Florida

"Conquering the Conquest"

We're back home on Carnival! We originally had the Southern Caribbean booked for this cruise, however had to change it for a few reasons. Sucked having to give up some new ports, but getting to sail with a really good friend (more like family) of ours was worth having to change it!

Let me first say before we get too much into this blog that if you're planning on sailing the Carnival Conquest in the next few months you will be in for a real treat! First off, the Conquest will be having some new dining options on board which include a seafood selection on deck 9, across from the pizza which is a pay place. Also a BBQ option on deck 10 at the back of the buffet by the dessert section (up the staircase). We will go more into those below. Also some of the shows in the main lounge will be changing up a bit. Newer shows will be coming to the Conquest in the next few sailings. Conquest was a great ship and we felt one of the best in the fleet.

Let's go back a bit and what the day of leaving was like. For starters we docked on the north side of Port Everglades near the 17th Street Causeway Bridge (I only remember that bridge was because my dad was involved with the building of that project and I would go along with him when they were building it) where Regal/Royal Princess usually are docked. This is a great terminal because you can usually find a parking sport very close to the entrance. We've been out of this terminal several times, including with Ruby Princess and Celebrity Constellation a couple of times. The ship was delayed with customs throughout the morning, so boarding did not start until after 12. Much like air travel we always get there about two hours before, so waiting was nothing. We were in zone one. We boarded around 12:30.

We did cruise mainly on this sailing to see our good friend, Josh who also happens to be the cruise director for the ship. We boarded the ship and he let me know earlier that we would catch up later on. We headed up to Lido and had lunch then right to our room. We booked an inside cabin, it was somewhat spacious. Plenty of closet room, wished the closet had drawers, the only drawers we had was at the desk, but we made do. The bathroom was fine as well, just the water never got too cool, neither did the a/c. Wasn't too uncomfortable, we were pretty much good with it. The bag that we checked ended up coming a little while later (before sailing), actually forgot all about it, we went to leave and saw it sitting outside of the cabin.

Let's start with the food. For starters, the brunch that is on sea days we feel needs to just go back to a breakfast and a lunch. We've tried, yes tried about 5 or 6 times on several different ships and every time something has gone wrong. This time around we went, it took forever for someone to come over and take our order. So after 15 minutes of waiting we placed the order. We saw other tables (right next to us) getting bread, juice and coffee. We were sitting right behind the coffee and some cups so my wife went to turnaround and grab a cup and the waitress came by and said she will be right with us. She brought over a basket of bread and asked which ones we wanted. So we thought they would come back with another basket like all the other tables had, nope. Not even coffee, or juice or to fill up waters. After another 10 minutes or so we just left, walked out and went to the buffet, which was actually pretty good that day. Kinda sucked we really were looking forward to eating here. For dinner we had "Your Time" and that was decent. Had some good and some okay waiters, none too bad. All the food was cooked fine. Some of the options didn't really make too much sense and weren't great dishes. For example the Blue Crab Ravioli for us personally would have been a million times better without a sauce like the one it was put it. Another one was the Stuffed Mushroom, it all sounded good on the menu but it was just an odd dish. The mushroom was breaded and fried then had a puree of butternut squash on the side and it was in a sauce. Very odd. Overall the food in the dining room for dinner was good. Also we did have the American Table for a first time. Would have liked to have had more ports to go to and had different options for dinner for each of the ports. I don't recommend the fish dishes, I tried three of them and all were pretty bland. The best things we had were the flatbreads, so, so, so, so good! Also for Jamaica we got wings, so damn good! Other food places around the ship I will get to below, all pretty good.

On to the entertainment around the ship. Josh and his team were great! Very energetic and all around great! The singers and dancers were also really great! Everyone was so nice! I do want to say one thing about our cruise director Josh. We've been on many ships on many different lines and have had some great CD's and others we can't even remember. I do have to say that Josh goes above and beyond and absolutely loves what he does. He will never be too busy to stop and have a conversation with anyone. We spent a good amount of time hanging out with him and no matter where we went he would say hi to everyone and see how their cruise was going and some people would stop him and they would just sit and talk for a few moments. Other CD's are really nice and will talk and you can have a conversation with, but Josh is just different. People who know him will agree. We're not saying this because we are good friends, we honestly feel that even if this was our first cruise. Might have been why we loved our first ever cruise which he was there for so much. In my opinion I do think he is the best CD out there in the cruise industry. He has so much passion and love for this job and gives everything he has to put a smile on everyone's face.

There was a lot of things to do on this trip. We did not get a chance to see any of the comedy, we tried but the line getting in was too long and we ended up going somewhere else. The shows that were on were Epic Rock, Divas and Latin Nights. All the shows were great! We were with Josh a few nights after the shows and we couldn't begin to tell you how many people came up to him telling him how amazing the shows were. We've seen them before on other ships but always love to see them again. The Love & Marriage show we did not end up going to, we decided to check out some of the Olympics. We also got a chance to see the Hasbro Game Show, which is always a favorite. We did not get a chance to make it on the show, maybe next time. Also for you BINGO lovers, they had games going on all the time! I almost forgot, in between the shows at night Josh will host a trivia in the atrium lobby. This is perfect, before and after any of the shows and always a lot of fun. He will let anyone up when going through the answers to sing and dance along and even get a chance to get some champagne and a ship on a stick! 

Ports were the only thing that were lack-luster. We knew that going in. Again we had somethings that came up causing us to change the cruise around. We were cruising mainly to see Josh. Our ports however were Ocho Rios and Grand Cayman, both I will go into detail with below. Highly recommend doing excursions at both.

A few other things we would recommend if taking a cruise with Carnival, more of a tip. Go to the events throughout the ship because they do give away a lot of different things. Things as little as a gold medal to a free excursion or even a free cruise.

Overall the ports were a bummer, but the ship itself was amazing. Is is one of the Conquest...well it is the Conquest Class, and our thoughts one of the nicest looking of it's class. We know the class setup very well and it's always a great ship to go on. The decor throughout was very nice, loved the colors throughout. We always recommend this class of ship, no matter if it's to a first time cruiser or a seasoned cruiser. Conquest from what we heard is going to be testing out a few new dining venues along with getting some new shows in the very near future. If you are sailing in the next few weeks and months you are in for a treat. Also if you see Josh, aka Big Sexy make sure you tell him that we say hello! 

Have to say out of all of the cruise lines Carnival is the only one that really makes you feel like a big family throughout the cruise. We went to a lot of the shows and other activities every day and night and saw a lot of the same people. Although we didn't get everyone's name but you see their faces and they see yours and you often talk to a lot of people. It does get really sad on the last night of the cruise and the following morning having to see the staff and saying goodbye to them and the ship. It was only five nights but you really feel like part of a ship family everytime we go on.

Onto the Pros and Cons from the Carnival Conquest along with a tour, enjoy!

- Getting to hang out with Josh is always a plus.
- Entertainment Team was amazing, from the singers and dancers to the rest of them. Always so nice and happy to be out there and enjoying everything!
- We've heard a lot of complaints about American Table, we felt the options were good and some of the food was really good. Overall liked having something different on a Carnival Cruise.
- The BBQ place on deck ten was a huge hit. The menu is small but flavor is massive! 
- The Military Appreciation was a great event. We're not in any type of military however this was a really amazing event to witness. It appreciates all who have served and who are currently serving. The event is held by the CD who does an incredible job at hosting this. Gives everyone time to talk who wants to and share some amazing stories.
- The Sports Bar showed the Olympics every night which was good. The bar had a bit of people at times, but mostly for the big events.
- The crew for the most part were all super happy and always having smiles and saying hello.
- Ocho Rios since the last time we've been had been built up a bit. Also the locals were much nicer and not nearly as pushy as last time. Still not much to do there, just nice to see the improvements.
- We got room service one night, we had a few sandwiches, all were great. The BLT was about a half inch of bacon. They also have an upgraded menu that you can order off of as well.
- Josh hosted trivia in the atrium lobby which ranged from Rock Music Trivia to Motown Trivia to 70s & 80s TV Themed Trivia. All really great in between shows.
- Our Stateroom Attendant was a very nice person always around if we needed anything at all. Always came to our room cleaned and had no complaints at all.

- Brunch was not good at all, walked out after the waiters not paying any attention to our table.
- Room a/c was a bit on the warm side. Wasn't horribly hot but usually I'd just use a sheet to sleep with rather then a blanket.
- Room water in the shower and sink didn't get cool or cold mainly warm and hot.
- Service in dining room for dinner was really slow at times, some nights were okay but nothing outstanding.
- We were in the aft pool and it just seemed very rundown. Cracks and rust around it, not the pleasing to be in.
- Near the casino we smelt nothing but smoke. When we were in the Sports Bar our eyes were just burning from it. Even towards the cafe.
- One of the nights we wanted to check out the comedy. The line was from the front door, around the corner past the nightclub and Taste Bar all the way towards the cafe. Granted they can fit a lot of people in there and there was only a line because the show was still going on. Just didn't want to wait around getting pushed and shoved for a show, just wasn't worth it.
- Missing our lobster!
- We collect shot glasses from where we visit. Cruises we have just about every ship we've been on. Really upset when we didn't see one for Conquest.
- Really bad internet options. We used to be able to pay for each minute we used and a sign on fee. Now they have it broken down to different plans. The plan we would have needed to get for what we wanted was about $16 for 24 hours. Not worth it at all. We just wanted to check our email and bank accounts. Carnival needs to re-think that one.
- I went to the casino bar to get a drink. I had this one bartender that wasn't too attentive to anyone. We was mostly just standing around looking at things. He finally came up to me and took my order. Then says that they didn't have one of the drinks, I said okay and to cancel my order. He charged the one drink and I said no, cancel it. He says okay and it will be taken off. I asked if it was off the account and he said yes. So I went to check my account and it was sitting there, so I printed it out and gave it to him. So he said he will do it now, he wasn't going to until later. Then just took the receipt and says okay and walks away. The guy wasn't too great with anyone. A little disappointed at that.
- Ocho Rios Margaritaville was not worth going to at all. The pool for starters was closed because of chemicals and it looked disgusting. Also very, very small. The beach there you had to pay for not a few dollars but somewhere over $10. That was insane and the people standing around just made it very creepy.

Alchemy Bar
We always want to try and make it here, just for some reason never happens. We it does, just usually when it's closed!

Alfred's Bar
Never was a fan of this area. Carnival really should think about making this into another type of area. Did have a thought, what about doing a second comedy show here to help with the overflow of people. Just a thought!

Artists' Atrium Lobby
The atrium was pretty nice and every time you looked you would see something new. Besides the beautiful murals on it, the atrium played host to several activities throughout the cruise. First was the Deck Party, which had to be placed inside due to the weather. It was a great start to the cruise. Also in the atrium you would have nightly musicians that all were amazing. Between shows on most nights Josh would host a variety of trivia games such as 70s & 80s TV Themed Trivia to a couple music Trivia's. All were great!

(Love their shoes!)

(Electrical music at it's best! They would often play popular rock songs from the 80s, simply amazing!)

(Here are our singers/dancers, they were all great. Very nice as well!)

(Here he is.....well the back of him anyways....BIG SEXY!!! Love that guy!!)

BBQ Joint
So you're walking around the Lido Buffet (on deck 9) and you get to the dessert station in the back (before the aft pool area) you see a staircase that leads up to deck 10 (can not access with an elevator), there you will find one of best places on Carnival's fleet, the BBQ Joint (not sure if that is the official name, but for our blog it is!). They offer several options (seen below) along with a few amazing sides. We first saw this on our Fun-Times the first day later in the afternoon when we were hungry again. Since that day we've been several times throughout the cruise. This area tends to be a very quiet area and not many guests are usually here, but if you're into some good BBQ trust us it's worth a try! Also the Mac n' Cheese is by far the best we've ever had on any ship, on any fleet. Carnival wins this!

(I recommend getting the pork and a bun, then putting the pork on the sandwich and adding the Bourbon Brown Sugar & the Kansas City Sauces to the sandwich, YUM!)

Blue Iguana Cantina
I came here a few times just to get a burrito, wither it was breakfast or lunch they had some good options. Also around the other corner of the area you can get the other two items below on my dish which are both really good as well.

(This was one morning for breakfast. I got ham with some hashbrowns and cheese, I think some Pico as well. I'm not an egg person too much, so I went with that. Pretty good. Also the stuff on the tortilla was some refried beans and chicken with tomatoes and sour cream, that was alright,  could have done without the refried beans. The little yellow half-circle item was I believe called an arepa, which I've been having for years, between my local zoo when I was a kid to here. Always a love of those!)

BlueIguana Tequila Bar
Out on Lido, across from the RedFrog Rum Bar!
(Caution, the floor is wet!)

Blues Piano Bar
We only stopped by to check it out. Never really went too much to the back of the ship.

Cafe Area
They were really great at making the drinks, didn't have a bad one! Also right in this area is the Future Cruise Desk along with the Internet Cafe. Also Carnival needs to go back to the "Pay Per Minute", I shouldn't have to get a package for the day which is about $15 just to check my bank or email. That's ridiculous!

George Town, Grand Cayman
We took one of the first tenders off the ship and headed over. Just walked around for an hour or so and checked out a few shops. Nothing too crazy. We do recommend to do an excursion or stay on the ship.

Guy's Burger Joint
Always yummy! Wished they were open later on at night, would be perfect! One of these days I promise I will to actually post pictures of all of the burgers! I just have to not eat them first!

Henri's Dance Club
We never made it here throughout the cruise. They did have to open it early due to the deck party being cut short from the rain.

Impressionist Boulevard
One of the best looking promenade areas we've ever had. Really beautiful! Great nightly entertainment from the theater in the front all the way to comedy in the back. Don't forget about the casino right in the middle! Only complaint was the smoke from the casino.

Monet Restaurant
We tried to eat here for brunch. It was a disaster! The waiters were just not attentive to our table. Everyone who sat around us was getting breads, coffees, juices and their order. We had to wait forever just for a menu and water. Then when my wife turned around to get a cup and the coffee that was sitting on the station a waitress came over and said that she will get it in a minute. About ten minutes later we just left.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Well as you may remember this was one of the worst ports that we've ever been to. The locals killed the entire experience for us last time. We did not even want to get off this time, but just wanted to try it out one more time. Getting off and walking around the local port area for a bit we noticed so much improvements. Both with the locals and the property. All has been redone and looked great. Locals were still pushy, but a 3 out of 10, last time was a 1000 out of 10. So it's been improved, big time. We did want to check out Margaritaville that is right off the main walkway. The pool was being cleaned, so that was out. They also had a small beach area that you had to pay a boatload to even hang in. Wasn't worth it so we walked back towards the ship. Again they improved it a lot, still not much near the area so much like Grand Cayman, make sure to either stay on the ship or book an excursion. We do highly suggest book it with the cruise line direct.

(Pool was very small.)

RedFrog Rum Bar
Across from the BlueIguana on the Lido.

Renoir Restaurant
This was our dining room for dinner every night. We loved the decor in both restaurants, love the Eiffel Tower's all around, almost like looking around at Disney for Mickey's head! This was our first time with the American Table menus. They are nice, since we've always had the regular menus. Food was good, the flatbreads really stuck out for us and should have gotten more each time. Wished we had more of a variety of ports. The fish dishes we had were not too good at all.

(Chicken wings were amazing!)

(Beef Skewers were so good!!!)

(Cheese Plate - Swiss, Gouda, Brie, Bleu & Provolone. All good!)

(Flatbread, can't remember which ones but who cares just get a few of them!)

(I think this was the other one, holy moly!)

Restaurant Cezanne & Buffet
We ate at the buffet every once in a while. The BBQ place, BlueIguana & Guy's were better. Pizza was great the first time, but the other time the guy had no idea on how to make it and what we wanted. Gave half my pizza away.

SkyBox Sports Bar
We hung out here a bit more than usual because of the Olympics. The smoke from the casino was the only damper, was burning our eyes.

(No it's not, last time I checked I was on Carnival!)

Sports Deck
I'm not a huge fan of this area on this class of ship. The basketball court should be bigger for starters and you have that massive area towards the back that has a couple of chairs at. Should add more to it. But at least I got to hug my funnel!

(Not sure who planned to have a glass dome in the middle of a court.)

(Hi beautiful! She was one of the nicest funnels we've had in a while. Also my favorite style, not that short, fat funnel on Breeze.)

Stateroom 8214
It would be amazing just one time that I could remember my cabin number. For some reason I remember it more once I'm home. I still remember our first ever cabin on Valor, which was 2365. Still always try to book that cabin. Our cabin was an interior, closet was a good size with a ton of hangers, could have used some drawers instead of large shelves. Bathroom was a bathroom, kept breaking the seat, don't ask! Our steward was really nice, some reason he thought Big Sexy was Butch, I don't think so. Only complaint for me on the room was I felt that it was a bit warm at times. Also the water never got cold. Room service food was also really good too!

(Thank you BIG SEXY! Love you buddy!)

(This was the BLT, look at that amount of bacon! So good!)

(Grilled cheese I always love getting. Just so comforting!)
(This was the Reuben sandwich, really good!)

(Cheesecake, yum! Also had cookies, which were the same from the buffet.)

The Stars Pool & Water Slide
Never made it up here to take a dip.

The Sun Pool & Seaside Theater
A lot was happening here throughout the cruise. Our sailaway party was canceled and it rained towards the end of our deck party. Still had a blast! Did miss Deadpool, kinda upset! We came to a ton of different events throughout the cruise. I think more than we have in a long time.

(Somehow this happened! Our amazing Entertainment Team!)


(Love this picture!)

(Ice carving demo)

(The man! The best Cruise Director and great friend of ours, Josh! Always will be BIG SEXY!)

Toulouse-Lautrec Main Lounge
I loved the ceiling

(The man!)

(The amazing Carnival Conquest Production Show Singers & Dancers!)

(Epic Rock pre show)

(This was our first time attending the Veterans Appreciation. It was a great thing to have on a cruise, it's a shame we don't see it more often. Even if you're not a Veteran yourself it is still an amazing thing to witness. It really was a shame not more people came to the show. Josh did an amazing job getting to everyone who wanted to talk. Again really something special that Carnival does with the Veterans.)

(Hasbro the Game Show)

(Morning Show with Josh......and Patty Pie!!!! It was a first for me. Sorry for the appearance I woke up about 10 minutes before and ran downstairs and had no idea I was going on stage. That's Josh for you, never know when you're going on stage! Loved it!)

(Story time with Dr Seuss!)

Vincent's Bar
All the way in the back on deck five is Vincent's. During the day a great place to sit and hang, nighttime I believe they did some types of entertainment. Like we said never went back here at night much.

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed it thank you . I've been following you guys for years . One of these days my family and I will cruise and we will check with you first .

    Amy Q