This was our first time to cruise. We selected the Carnival Conquest due to its location to our home, port stops and activities available for my husband and I and our 2 teenage sons. We all had a wonderful time and were not ready to return to the "real world".
We drove to New Orleans and were directed to the Conquest parking lot. Sky caps took our bags and we quickly boarded a shuttle bus to the port. We arrived at the port around 12:30. There was a long line inside, but it moved very quickly. We boarded the ship around 1:30.
We booked adjoining rooms with windows. We were on deck 1. Our rooms were plenty big with good storage. We were just a few doors down from the elevators. We never heard the people in the room beside us, and rarely heard any one go down the hall. We carried Cobra 2 way radios which worked all over the ship. (even from our staterooms)
In Jamaica we boarded a shuttle bus at the port and were taken to Doctor's Cave Beach. Our bus and driver stayed with us the entire day. Our driver took a few people shopping and then brought them to the beach. The beach was beautiful with a reef for snorkeling. The entrance fee was $5 and there were similar fees for chairs, umbrellas and snorkeling equipment. A waitress served us lunch and drinks right on the beach. We walked down the street to Margaritaville and did a little shopping on the way back.
In Grand Cayman we did the Stingray City and snorkeling trip, Turtle Farm and Hell through Captain Marvins. Had a great time. Especially loved the stingrays.Captain Marvins is cheaper than booking through Carnival. There are also less people on their boats. Make sure you get early tender tickets if you have an early appointment. Carnival excursions get first priority. We arrived early and got off in plenty of time to make our 8:15 appointment at Captain Marvins. (It was within walking distance of the port.) After our excursion we had a little time to hang out at the Hard Rock Cafe. We did have to wait in a very long line to catch a tender back to the ship.
In Cozumel we booked an afternoon snorkeling trip through Cancun Vista. We ate at a Mexican restaurant and shopped until time for our trip. Great fun!!!!!! We enjoyed haggling over prices...Our snorkeling trip was a lot of fun. The crew was very friendly and our guide was very knowledgeable. Directions were given in both Spanish and English.
One of the things we enjoyed most about this cruise was that each place we visited was unique and different. Our time on the boat was spent going to shows, playing bingo, visiting the casino, (I won $1002.00 playing nickel slots. I had only played $2.00 when I won!!)enjoying the different games, visiting the different bars, and eating, eating, and eating.
If there was a downside to anything, it was the mess when we came back to New Orleans. I had warned my family beforehand, so we were prepared. After finding our luggage a skycap took it to the curb for us. He suggested my husband take a shuttle back to the parking lot while my children and I stay with the luggage. It took my husband an hour to get to the parking lot, get our car and then get back in the line to come back to the port to get us. I still think that was better than us trying to get all our luggage on a shuttle with all the other people.
There were 1000 children 18 years and under on the cruise. Our children made many new friends and I was amazed at the good behavior I saw from the children. We look forward to cruising again with Carnival in the near future.