Cruise Ship: Carnival Conquest
Cruise Destination: Western Caribbean -- Montego Bay, Grand Cayman & Cozumel, Leaving from New Orleans, LA
Cruise Dates: February 13-20, 2005
Guest Contributor: Anthony Jones
Our Group (All from Olive Branch, Mississippi)
Anthony Jones, 27, 3rd Cruise
Lexie Jones, 26, 4th Cruise
Kevin Medlin, 26, 2nd Cruise
Melissa Medlin, 27, 2nd Cruise
Overall Cruise Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Im not sure whose bright idea it was to take another cruise, but since we had so much fun, Ill be glad to take credit for that decision! After spending seven days onboard the M.S. Carnival Conquest, we were able to enjoy the Western Caribbean in all its glory, as well as soak up another cruise experience. This review will recap the highlights of our voyage and hopefully will be a useful resource for anyone who is considering or planning a trip on this vessel. Let me assure you that you wont be disappointed!
Traveling to New Orleans
After a near disaster with our flight on our last cruise, we opted to drive down the day before for this trip. We loaded up the Tahoe on Saturday morning--loaded it *down* is probably a better description as we really needed a U-Haul. We honestly carried enough luggage to support a small third world country. Anyway, the drive took about 6.5 hours to reach New Orleans. We booked a room at the Quality Inn & Suites downtown through Hotels.com and got a decent rate. The hotel was ok, but nothing spectacular and there are probably better hotels that include a cruise package. Saturday night we hit Pat OBrien's and strolled up and down Bourbon Street. This less than a week after Mardi Gras ended and I was amazed at how clean the city was (relatively speaking). We enjoyed a fairly short evening and hit the bed early.
Embarkation (getting to and on the ship)
Ive read a lot of horror stories about the New Orleans pier. Its true, the port is under some major construction and that does cause some confusion. After eating breakfast, we drove down to get in a long line of traffic which seemed to be going to the pier. After sitting in that line for 30 minutes, we were told by a cop that we were in the wrong line (go figure) and that we needed to park on Annunciation Street. I had previously read that the Fulton Street garage was the best place to park, but we did as he said and it worked out quicker that way. This particular lot was not covered, but was fenced in and secured. The cost was $84 for the entire week. A shuttle then took us to the pier to check in.
After getting off the shuttle, everything was a blur. We flew through check in, security and the pre-boarding photo and less than 15 minutes later, we were on the ship. I was amazed at how efficient this process wasgranted we arrived fairly early, but we were glad to be onboard by 12:30. Kudos to the Carnival staff and New Orleans port on this process. They really have their stuff together!
On the Carnival Conquest Ship
After walking onboard the ship, we immediately headed up to our rooms to check them out and drop off our carry on bags. We had rooms 8266 and 8268 on the Veranda deck, both with balconies. Very nice rooms and you cant beat the location on the ship. Soon after, we headed up to the Lido deck for lunch where the ladies were quick to dive into the drinks of the day. The rest of the day was spent exploring the ship, unpacking and relaxing. Most of our bags were delivered to our rooms before we sailed. Our room steward was Joel from the Philippines, and he did a great job taking care of our messy room and leaving the famous towel animals for us each night.
The weather on this cruise was near perfect. It was a bit cool and rained as we sailed out of New Orleans, but when we woke up the next day, it was sunny and warm and remained that way for the next 7 days. Great February weather! The seas were calm and nobody onboard looked seasick all week.
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