by Ron and Sue
December 31, 2006
Quick Conquest Review: The best cruise we have ever been on! The ship and crew exceeded our expectations. 5th cruise for myself and my wife, 3rd for my two boys, and first for son's girlfriend.
Now, for the Long Conquest Review;Sunday – December 31st, 2006
By 11:20 we were in line and within 30 minutes passed through security and were holding our Sail and Sign cards. I think part of the ease was using passports this time. Very quick and easier than birth certificates other documents. They had already started to board the ship so we jumped in the short line, had our welcome aboard photo taken and was stepping onto the deck of the Conquest just before the noon hour.
We were able to go to our room as soon as we boarded. The room was open and almost ready to go. Our room steward greeted us and told us to feel free to put our carry on luggage in the closet and close the room door. We did and headed off to the Lido deck for lunch. My youngest son and I went straight to Sur Mer for fish & chips. (Fresh, hot, and GREAT). Everyone else went to the buffet for a variety of pizza, pasta, and ice cream. After eating we went out on the deck and were surprised to see complimentary champagne being passed out to guests. (This was going to be a wonderful cruise;.) The ship was decorated for New Years. Lots of balloons everywhere! On the Lido Deck you could buy a balloon for a couple of dollars and they would give you raffle tickets to put inside. (Raffle was for entry tickets to win a free cruise) After blowing up the balloon and decorating it, you could toss it inside a giant net above The Studio Atrium.
The free champagne ended prior to the LifeBoat drill. We completed the drill and grabbed a drink of the day on our way to the front of the ship. The Conquest left around 5:15 and we all waved as she pulled away. The temperature dropped quickly once the sun started to set!
Our dinnertime was at 5:45 in the Monet dining room. We only had one other couple at our large table and they were like part of the family. We enjoyed dining with them. The HeadWaiter didn't seem to be overly friendly or want to talk much. Normally we find the HeadWaiter wants to know your name or a little bit about you. That was ok though, his assistant made up for it. The food was probably the best we have had on a cruise ship and perfectly cooked every meal. After dinner we were given party favors and noisemakers for the New Years party later that night.
We went to the welcome aboard show had a chance to see our cruise director Mark Price and a comedian Tim Harklewood. He was the first of 3 comedians we would have on board over the week. (Along with a magician, a juggler, and Las Vegas style shows) I was very impressed with the variety and amount of entertainers on board.
After the show we walked around the ship looking at everything and ended up in the Degas Lounge. The band was Blood Power and they really are excellent. Around 11:00 PM we went to The Studio Atrium for the huge New Year's Party. (It was moved inside due to the low temperatures on deck.) The free champagne was flowing again and everyone was having a great time. Waiters were carrying two bottles each and making sure your glass stayed full. Mark Price did a countdown at Midnight. Music played, balloons fell, and everyone cheered at the top of their lungs. Everyone was hugging and kissing, I have to say it was the most incredible way to bring in the year 2007
Today was the Captains Cocktail Party (Degas Lounge) and our first Formal Night on board the ship. The party was one of the best I have experienced. Plenty of seating, lots of staff serving food and drinks. The band Blood Power played on stage. Very well done!
The entertainment was Formidable in the main lounge and an adult comedy show at midnight with Tim Harklewood. Formidable was good but not great. A lot of talent and energy in the entire cast, but the lead singers didn't seem to carry the show as strongly as I thought they should. (Just an opinion!)
Tim Harklewood was fun and we chuckled about a few of his jokes through the entire cruise.
We went to the newlywed/not so newlywed game and truly enjoyed it. I almost died laughing when an older gentleman answered the question "If on a deserted island, who would you rather be marooned with. A hooker or a nun?" His answer, "A hooker dressed as a nun." That was worth two points in my opinion!
We received invitations and attended the Past Guest Party. Again held in the Degas Lounge and entertainment by Blood Power. Once again it was filled with waiters serving free food, and free drinks. We were full and tipsy as we walked to dinner!
The entertainment for the night was Deja, Diva of Deception. I have to admit a couple of her tricks had me scratching my head and asking the family "ok;how the heck did she do that?!?"
The late night comedy show was Diane Ford. I laughed so hard and give her the top award for comedy act on the ship. I would like to see her perform again.
Tonight was the second formal night and we dined at The Point restaurant. The service wasn't as good as I thought it should be but the steak was one of the best I have ever had in my life. Desert included the flowerless chocolate cake. The comment was made at our table "If there was a chocolate Heaven, this would be God". Truer words were never spoken.
Marc Rubben performed the late night comedy show tonight. A funny ventriloquist and we enjoyed the show. Only problem I had was a few of his jokes were being played on the TV prior to his performance. So if you happened to be watching the Carnival channel you might know the punchline prior to hearing it. That's ok... We still laughed!
Tonight's entertainment was juggler Manuel Zuniga and ventriloquist Marc Rubben doing his family act. Great stuff.
The show tonight was the Carnival Legends. Guests try out all week and audition to be a part of this show. We were entertained by Elvis, Madonna, Garth Brooks and more! Only on the Conquest could you find the King and have him perform one last time
Our Best Cruise Yet
Normally my wife gets a bit seasick. This cruise she never felt sick at all. I'm not sure if it was the size of the ship or the stabilizers, only that she enjoyed every day without being queasy.
I'm not a big Bingo player but we did play the 5 games for $5. I thought that was a good deal, even though I didn't win.