Mitsugirlys MITSUGIRLY decides to CONQUEST new ports-complete pictorial review
Day 10: Going Home
LAST DAY...going home
I was in no hurry to get off this ship...with or without my luggage. We had a late flight and was going to need to sit around waiting anyhow. So, I believe I sat my alarm for 8am.
However...I would hear very loud noises from the engine and us pulling in around 5:45-6am. Ugh. I just couldn't sleep. It was so loud. I looked at my watch and I swore it said 7am. So, I went ahead and got up...only to find out it was really 6:30am, but now I couldn't sleep at all.
I headed outside to check the weather and it was raining. Yucky day.
I headed back down stairs and figured I'd let the fam sleep some. Ok, 10 minutes, that's good. Time to get up.
I did some last minute packing while they were getting ready. Then we headed downstairs for our normal breakfast. It was crowded. Everyone was hungry and wanting their last meal. I wish I could have just slept longer.
They started calling self assist and started with the upper decks. They called something like deck 11 and 9. Ok, are they going to go the odd route? Is there even a deck 11 with rooms? Then a long wait. Then they called a few more rooms about 1/2 hour later. Then they stopped. We were told over and over that it was just too crowded in the terminal and they were at full capacity and they would need to stop calling rooms for awhile.
We headed down to the casino to wait.
When they started calling numbers again, they started with the actual colors. Wait a minute...what happened to the rest of the self-assist? I was confused, although not in a hurry I guess.
We ran into Thrilled and family and hung out.
Sakari was busy drawing of course...how else does a 9 year old mermaid occupy her time?
She showed me her picture...
I ask her where she came up with that and she pointed at daddy.
We waited and waited and the colors and self-assist were called in really weird orders.
Deck 1 (us), self-assist was finally called at 10:30am. We said our goodbye's to the Thrilled family and hoped to see them at the airport since we both had late flights.
We headed out to the terminal and it took about 1 hour. We had our luggage, this should be quick right? Wrong! We also had downloaded the debarkation app to "make things quicker" that this port is now using. You put all of your information in it and upload your picture from the passport and the day the cruise ends, you put your terminal number in it and it's supposed to make things faster. However, there's not a separate line for this and you still have to wait your turn.
We would get in line, which would wind back and forth and back and forth...the entire length of the terminal. It was crazy. It took at least an hour. Then we finally made it up to customs. They didn't ask any questions. We didn't have to present our customs form. I guess this is what the app is for. However, it took forever for each person on the app to scan their assigned bar code and we still needed to give them your passport. I really don't see what this app is good for. The only thing I did notice is that there's absolutely nothing on the app that ask you about your purchase's. It's not listed anywhere and they didn't ask me about it either. Weird.
Once outside, we summoned a Lyft driver and he was there within 5 min. When we pulled out of the terminal, there was a sign saying right turn only...he decided to go left. Well left took you in a circle and over to the RC terminal...which he was forced to wait in that long line of people getting into vans, buses and cars. Our driver was aggravated. The traffic was crazy and he tried to go around once without success and was told to get back in line.
When we finally made it out of there, it seemed as if we were passing the airport. This driver was so irritated and I felt bad that he had wasted a lot of time at the RC terminal, therefore probably losing money in doing so, that I was actually going to tip him more than what the trip cost in the first place. HOWEVER...about that time, he made a comment about he was "going the long way"...just in case he encountered any traffic the other way. Well, that long way was long! Had I been in a big hurry to catch a flight that I was probably already late for after not getting called until 10:30am on the ship, I would have been pissed. But, I didn't want to be just circling the airport either. He also started explaining the streets. Um...I don't know what streets you are talking about or the area. He said "You don't live around here?" Really? If I lived here, would I be getting off a cruise and having a Lyft driver take me to the AIRPORT? Think about it dude.
We finally arrived at the airport and was relieved. Sakari loves the Guy Harvey drawings here and insisted on pics.
She says "that's the guy that paints the ship" (NCL).
We were starving at this point and decided we needed some food. Something other than pizza. We headed down stairs and found a bakery.
I noticed some people staring at this guy in a glass box area. I went over to investigate. He was just sitting there. People had really strange looks on their faces.
Then I seen they were trying to figure out if he was real or not. He was wax. But, you really couldn't tell. You would set there waiting for just a smidge of movement...or him to take a bit of a breath...which never happened.
Every detail just looked so real.
We headed outside for awhile and Sakari fed the "birds"
It was pouring and icky outside. But, what else is there to do when you have hours to wait?
This was my attempt to show just how hard it was raining and pouring off the building. Look below my name stamp and it was like a waterfall.
We hung out, we looked for Thrilled, then we headed into security and to our terminal an hour before it was time to leave. I have NEVER seen an airport this crowded in my life! Like ever. It wasn't this bad when we went to Orlando with all the screaming kids. There was no place to sit, there wasn't even a place to stand. It was worse than the pool on the ship! Everyone was in my personal space!
We finally made it on the plane and we were off and home within a little over 2 hours.
END OF TRIP.
I hope everyone enjoyed the review and hopefully got some ideas when visiting these ports.
We booked the Conquest based on the itinerary, not the ship. I honestly didn't care what the ship was like and was determined to have a good time, like always. The ships do not make or break my vacation and they are just a means for transportation to my destinations. It's kinda like deciding "should I take the Pinto today or should I take the Corvette". Either one of them will get you there right? Well, hopefully at least.
If I had to rate the ships, I'm sorry to say that the Conquest is my least favorite ship in the Carnival fleet that I have sailed so far. I know a lot of people really like her, but it just wasn't the greatest to me. Just my personal opinion. She was clean and taken care of, I just really didn't care for the decor in most places or the design. However, it wasn't something I couldn't deal with and did not distract from my adventure. I would definitely try another ship in that class for a new experience.
The staff was friendly and smiling (with the exception of the photostaff who was in an uproar), the ship was clean, the shows were ok, casino met my needs :'), and like any ship...the pools are too small but we managed.
I really don't have any complaints other than the slow MDR staff the first night because they were busy catering to the single unknown guy, photography department losing my pictures and not having a way to find them, I just don't like the food hours on the Carnival ships and the offerings this time just wasn't anything to write home about, and embarkation/debarkation being extremely slow or not moving.
I have gained a lot of weight over the last few years of cruising. When I say a lot, I'm talking 60 pounds. I call this my "cruise weight" and rightfully so because...I usually gain 8-10 pounds on a cruise. It's the ONLY time I ever gain weight. Otherwise, I remain consistent. HOWEVER...this will be the very first time that I actually LOST weight on a cruise. I came back 8 pounds lighter. I was shocked. I knew that we were having trouble finding food and when we did, it wasn't really something I went back for seconds. Maybe I need a few more cruises like this and I can get back to my normal weight. ;p
ITINERARY: I loved this itinerary and would definitely do it again.
GRAND TURK: We had an awesome time visiting Gibbs Caye and swimming with the stingrays and exploring the small island. The snorkeling...I could have lived without, but that was because of having to struggle with Sakari that day. I would recommend Grand Turk Divers with the only mishap being their extreme lateness that morning.
LA ROMANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: We had a decent time with Seavis Tours, going to Saona Island. The island is beautiful and picture perfect...just the day wasn't and no fault of anyone other than mother nature. The only complaint I would have is that there isn't enough time spent at the island, but in order to fit everything in to a few small hours in port, this must happen. I would highly recommend them and going to Saona. Food was good, service was friendly, island was beautiful, starfish sandbar was fun.
ARUBA: Amazingly beautiful place. We had a blast at Arashi Beach and it is picture perfect. The snorkeling wasn't the best for us that day, but the beach and water were amazing. It's an added plus that they now have service there with drinks, food, and a bathroom. The chair rental...well, you all know the story on that so if you go, make sure you see how long you will have the chairs before paying full price to have them snatched away around 5pm.
CURACAO: We had a blast and it was quite an interesting day. We had new accomplishments and also a few bloopers. Although I believe a few rules were broken that day with scuba diving, it made for a wonderful experience and I'm so happy I got to actually scuba dive with my daughter and husband the entire time. It was an experience I won't forget! Roel at Curious 2 Dive was extremely nice and helpful and it made for a good dive, not to mention he was generous and took my hubby to the local skate shop. I would recommend them because most divers aren't in the same situation that I'm in with a little one having needs as well.
Over all...wonderful cruise as always. Now I need to start planning my next for the summer....I'm open to suggestions. :D