Thursday, September 20, 2018

2018 Carnival Conquest

We were on the Carnival Conquest out of Ft. Lauderdale on 9/8/18 - 9/15/18. This ship holds 2974 passengers.  It is 110,000 GT, 290.5 m (953 ft.) long, and has 13 decks. Our captain was         Claudio Cupisti. Our cruise director was Matt. We sat at table 429 which was a table for 2 at dinner. The maitre’d was Stany and the hostess was Elena. Our dining servers were Antoine, Olena, and Ni Putu. We were in cabin 1368 and our cabin steward was Lamphong.

Normally we book cruises ourselves but started to go to The Cruise Corner in Simpsonville, SC and having them book our Carnival cruises. Sam and Allie have worked with us on a couple of cruises and we are so glad we have! It doesn’t cost us extra and the service they give is excellent! Not only do they book our cruises, but they print out all of our documents and they faxed Carnival our papers for us to get our shareholder’s benefit! On the first day of the cruise, they also sent us cookies and chocolate covered strawberries! I would highly recommend all cruisers to use their services because they are awesome!

Day 1 Embarkation:

We got to the port around 11:30 and checked in with about 4 different people. We had to show passports and take photos. The first guy was grumpy and barely spoke to us. We went through security and I had to take out my laptop (which I didn’t have to do in Miami last week). Don forgot about the 2 unopened bottles of Gatorade in his pack and they took them away. Then we had to check in again with a person to show our passports and take Don’s photo again because someone forgot to hit save or some garbage like that. We went right on board and went to our cabin. Then we went to the Lido deck which was super crowded, and we got a seat up at the BBQ place on deck 10. There were no salt and pepper shakers, so I had to go down to the Lido deck and grab some off an unoccupied table. Then we walked around the ship and kept checking at our room for our luggage. We had the muster drill at 3:30 which seemed to take forever. Then after checking for our luggage and not finding them, we went to the upper decks to watch us pull out of the port. After that we went back to our cabin to wait for our luggage which finally arrived at 5:30. Then we went to dinner. Dinner was very good. After dinner we walked around the ship and enjoyed the music. Before going to bed, we gathered our dirty clothes and prepared them to get picked up the next day to get laundered.

Day 2 At Sea:

We had a lovely sea day! We went to sea day brunch and had steak and eggs and dessert. After eating, we walked 3 miles on the walking track. At noon we went to the food demonstration in the steak restaurant where we get samples and the food is always good. After that, we had a cocktail reception with the Captain. He was very personable. After that, we sat on the deck and relaxed until dinner. Dinner was a formal night and we had prime rib and lobster. Then we went to listen to the violinists.

Day 3 Grand Turk:

We had a beautiful day in Grand Turk. We snorkeled for 3 hours and finally returned to the ship before lunchtime. After lunch, we just relaxed (some napping involved) until dinner time. After dinner, we came back to the cabin and watched TV and read.

Day 4 San Juan:

We arrived around 11am so we enjoyed watching us arrive. It is a beautiful port to arrive in! It seems like it doesn’t matter how many times we have been here, we like to see this.  It was so hot! We didn’t get there until 11am and it seems like it was the hottest part of the day! We got off the ship and headed to El Meson for cheese Mallorca and a soda (I have had a soda since Saturday and I think my headache was my body going through withdrawal! When I’m home I never drink sodas but last week I had all the free soda I wanted and overdid it.) Around 2pm, we walked enough and returned to the ship for lunch and relaxed until dinner.

Day 5 St.Thomas:

We had an okay day in St Thomas. We arrived at 7:30am and it was already hot! Don was feeling a little under the weather, so we walked around town for about 90 minutes and then returned back to the ship. We sat around the deck and relaxed and read. After lunch, we went back to the cabin, so hubby could take a nap until dinner.

Day 6 Amber Cove

We arrived around 11am and got off the ship for an hour. This is not our favorite port and unless you take a shore excursion, there really isn’t anything to see or do other than to go to the pool. Don was still feeling blah so we spent the rest of the day reading and relaxing. After dinner, we came back to the cabin and read some more!

Day 7 At Sea:

We had our favorite sea day brunch and our dinner waitstaff served us! They are really a great team! After brunch, we packed our suitcases and spent most of the day on the deck reading. We took a short nap in the afternoon and then went to the Platinum/Diamond party. It was really nice and held in the Degas Lounge. Drinks were easily ordered and served quickly. I liked the cozy intimate atmosphere rather than the theater. Gordon, the entertainment director, said there were about 300 people invited but not everyone showed up. Then after dinner, we came back to the cabin and put our suitcases out in the hall.

Day 8 Disembarkation

We ate an early breakfast at 6am and then went to the meeting room (Cassatt meeting room, Deck 3 fwd) around 7:15. By 7:45 we were allowed to get off the ship. Once we got our luggage, it seemed like we stood in a super long queue (about 12 rows of people) to get through customs. By 8:15, we were on the road.

Things I Learned:

1.     Children can learn to behave and sit nicely in a fine dining restaurant. There are 4 children under 12 years old at the table near us and I don’t know they are there during dinner. They are so well behaved.
2.     People still don’t know how to let people off an elevator before getting on one.
3.     There are only 20 Diamond members on this cruise.
4.     We like Grand Turk and snorkeling there.
5.     Carnival has good food!
6.     The midday sun is really hot in San Juan.
7.     Stay on the port side of the ship when arriving or the starboard side when leaving. because those are the best views!
8.     There is a Kmart about a mile from the Havensight Mall in St. Thomas
9.     It cost $10pp one way to Secret Harbor Beach in St. Thomas.
10.  Amber Cove is not our favorite port.
11.  Sea Day Brunch is our favorite breakfast!
12.  Have a good dinner team really makes the dining room experience wonderful!
13.  Our cabin steward was excellent!
14.  This was one of the best Carnival cruises we have been on for a long time.
15.  Getting on and off the ship was awful.

Original Photo by Pat Hensley

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