Mitsugirlys MITSUGIRLY decides to CONQUEST new ports-complete pictorial review
Day 2: Getting on the ship, ship picture tour and our first day on board
The alarm was set for 9am and I was wide awake at 8am. Those "first day getting on the ship jitters" had set in I suppose.
I immediately went outside to check out the weather so I could decide what to wear for the day. It was already 76 degrees outside!
I headed back in to wake the family up (hey if I'm awake, they might as well be too!) and we were headed to breakfast around 9:30am. It was a hot meal breakfast with the normal eggs, toast, bacon, fruits, oatmeal, donuts, muffins and so on. They also had "cage free" eggs, which is the first I had ever seen at a hotel before.
We managed to find a spot inside to eat but there are also tables and umbrellas outside, in the front, around the turn around area to sit at as well.
We headed back to our room, once our bellies were full, and grabbed our very worn out rolling pop "luggage" and decided to head out to find a place to buy pop for the cruise. On the way out of the hotel, I kept hearing a lot of birds squawking, but didn't see them. There had to have been a lot because they were very noisy.
At the end of the street, we noticed a Marathon gas station, which was closer than the mall, and headed there only to find out they didn't have cans, so that was a bust. Off to the grocery store we had seen at the mall the previous day I guess. At least Carnival still allows you to bring pop with you on the cruise!
Once we grabbed our pop, we headed back to the hotel with our luggage in tow. Try scaling the wall with 3 twelve packs in a luggage that has lost a wheel at this point and could possibly fall apart at any time...yea that was fun.
I started hearing the birds again. Where are these things???
Then I caught a glimpse of them flying by and they landed on the electric wires above.
Can you tell what it is?
THEY WAS GREEN PARROTS!!! (Quaker Parrots) Oh my gosh. They were beautiful and so many of them!!!
I guess I didn't realize they just roamed free like that here. It was amazing to watch them. Sakari was so thrilled!!! She immediately went into "I wanna catch and hold one" mode and started "talking" to them, like they were going to listen and just immediately come to her.
After awhile, I had to convince Sakari they were wild and not coming down to visit her and it was time to head back to the room and gather our stuff to head to the cruise.
We packed and headed out to the front desk to settle our bill and use up our gift certificates. We checked out at 11am and went outside to summon a Lyft driver to pick us up. The hotel offered a shuttle service to the terminal for ....get this...$20 PER PERSON!! Um, no thanks. Our Lyft ride cost us $6.12 for ALL 3 of us!
As we waited outside, Sakari found a lizard on the tree...this is her picture:
And before long, she had caught her very first lizard! She was so thrilled and amazed at holding it.
Of course her "saying" is "Awww, he's so cuuuute!!!" and she kept saying it over and over. (She says this about every animal...it could be a spider and she'd say it)
I told her to be gentle and don't pull on it's tail and of course her reply was "I know, it will fall off". How does my kid learn all of these things without being told??
Her love for animals amazes me. It wasn't too long before she either had this thing trained, hypnotized or it just knew she wasn't out to hurt it. It started just walking on her and letting her hold it with her hand out straight and it didn't even run.
Our Lyft driver arrived within 10 minutes and we were off to the port. It's a very short drive there and we checked our luggage in and caught our first glimpse of the Conquest.
I'm going to be honest, I really didn't know much about the Conquest nor did I really do much research to see what they had on it. I really didn't care. As I said before, I booked this cruise for the new ports and not the ship. So, it really didn't matter to me. I just knew it was going where I wanted to go, it was a new ship for us, and it was an 8 day cruise!
We immediately checked in as we went in the door and it was rather odd to me. They had the check-in area as soon as you walked in the door and they were lined up along this wall. But, they checked our boarding passes and passports and that was it. Ok, so obviously this isn't the check-IN area. It was only a 10 minute wait. I think they might have been doing some remodeling or something (not sure because this is the first time at this port) but everything just seemed odd the way they had it sat up there.
Then we headed to the security check in line. After that, into the real check-in area. We waited in line...and waited, and waited. The line stopped moving. People started sitting down on the floor in line. I noticed that there were about 6 attendants at the desk and they weren't helping anyone. They were just standing there or walking back and forth. Is it break time or what? I really had no clue what was going on and it was quite puzzling. I don't ever recall seeing this happen before. Some of the attendants took a few people from over in the "express-platinum-fun pass" line, but we still sat. Well, I plopped down on the floor too. We had been standing for quite some time. About 12:20pm they started taking people again. When I ask the people a few lines over what was going on, they had said that they stopped checking in people because the waiting room to get on the ship was too crowded and they were waiting for them to get on the ship and clear out some. Oh ok, that made sense I guess but it would have been nice for them to inform us of this.
We finally made it up to the counter to check in AND apply my abundance amount of gift cards to my account. This will be the first time that I actually had a person that knew how to do this without asking for help from someone else. HOWEVER, I'm thinking she didn't realize that she could just slide the cards in the card reader for it to appear on her screen. Instead, she was just manually inputting all of them. I mentioned it to her, in a nice helpful way saying that in the past they were able to just slide the cards, and she told me "that doesn't work here". However, about 5-6 cards into manually putting them in, guess what she did....YES, she started sliding them and it worked! BOOM! I win! See how easy that was?
Another thing that was different this time is that they didn't take our pictures. Once we were handed our cards, I ask why she didn't take our picture and she said "I scanned your passport picture". Um what? Really? I have never had that done before. Sakari is only 3 or 4 years old in hers. She looks like a baby.
We headed to the restroom, grabbed some pop out of the vending machine to get our party started with on the ship (lol) and at 12:52pm we were heading on the ship. (So much for an 11:00-11:30 check in time).
At some point, they took our pictures prior to getting on:
This time around, they told us to make funny faces. I laughed because I have been contemplating doing just this when our huge group sails.
Funny what you come up with on the spur of the moment. I wish I would have known about this and they did this on all ships and I could have planned something spectacular! hehe
As soon as we made it on the ship (almost 1pm) we decided to see if we could find our room and drop our things off.
We decided to book an interior room this time around, based on pricing for spring break and buying a house and everything else going on with our lives, and it was on deck 1. I have found that I really enjoy these rooms a lot (the lower decks, not necessarily the interiors). I really like being able to just walk down a flight of steps and off the ship in ports as well as getting back on the ship and walking up a flight of steps and being at my room! So much nicer than fighting for your spot on a crowded elevator when people are returning from port. Ahhh, the little things.
We were in room 1451, which was located toward the back of the ship. Like I said, I didn't put much thought into the ship and I didn't research the location either (big mistake on my part). This would be a first for me not really even knowing WHERE our room was. Now don't get me wrong, the room was fine but I usually try to book my room based on the kids club and walking distance from there. Well, the kids club happened to be on the front of the ship...oh joy! Oh well, there goes all that walking off the calories already. I'll live.
Here are the FuN~TiMeS for the first day~
And here is our home*sweet*home for the next week.
Would ya get a load of that pink trim!! Yikes!
Once again, it was odd that they already had the bed pulled down. Did they talk to the employees at the Hyatt? Usually the beds are up and the room steward asks if we'd like it down only at night or left down. I prefer for the bed to be put up during the day to make more space and to be able to walk on the side of the bed easier. However, they already had this one down...where it would remain down the entire cruise! Eh. Everyone knows I'm not a complainer and I usually don't speak up too much about little quirks that I don't like. I did throw several hints out during the week that I would like it up...for instance pushing it up myself a few times...but I guess he didn't get the hint. Oh well. We don't spend a lot of time in the room to begin with anyhow and Sakari always preferred to sit up there instead of down below when we were in the room.
The other odd thing I found was that the room steward did not even put the ladder up at night. We had to do it each time. Not that Sakari can't just climb up and jump back down but she requested for it to be attached at night in case she had to get up and go to the restroom in the middle of the night. She knew we probably wouldn't appreciate it if she did a dismount onto our bed from hers.
This was a 4 person room with another drop down bed from the ceiling on the other side.
I felt that the room was a pretty decent size to be an interior. There was PLENTY of storage space for 3 people. I had all kinds of drawers, shelves and hanging areas. Lots of options!
Also, see the little table in the picture below beside the ladder? That was a cool little table that you could pull over to the bed and have a snack/meal or in Sakari's case-draw. It also went up and down to whatever size you needed it to be. Great idea! The end table beside it (in the picture) is where the refrigerator was located! Now some say these are just "coolers" and don't get things very cold. But this one worked really good! But the time our pop was delivered, we put it in there and by that evening it was cold.
There was a desk in front of our bed, which had the convenient 1 plug for all your electronic needs. (giggle). The safe was also located here behind the doors, under the tv, and you use a card to swipe for opening and closing.
Oh whoops, here's a better picture of the refrigerator and the extra table I was referring to above.
Lots of shelves for all of your clothes and two other cabinets with a shelf and hangers for clothes
As you can see, someone had brought extra hangers and left them behind, but you can always ask your room steward for more if you need it.
Your typical Carnival bathroom:
Our room steward found us and introduced himself before we left the room. He gave us his card and then presented us with a "time schedule" of his hours. This was a first. He worked from 8-noon and 6-9pm. It made me wonder about all the talk of how the room stewards work so many hours, are over worked, get no time off and so on. After thinking about it, my room steward works approximately 7 hours a day with a 6 hour break in between. Hmmm
He did ask if I required anything during my cruise and I told him the only thing I really needed was an ice bucket and to have it filled daily (they don't seem to even give you ice buckets in the room anymore unless you ask for it...and I seen them stacked on top of each other down the hall in the "closet") and I needed 4 towels total for my room because of my long hair that I always wrap up in one towel. He said he would make sure to have these items for me daily.
The ice-he managed to get right..at least in the mornings, not so much in the evenings. The extra towel...never once did he get it right or bring that extra towel.
He also ask if we preferred morning service or evening service or both. I told him both. It's the little "pampering" things I enjoy on a cruise. My husband makes the bed in the mornings at home (our rule is last out of bed is responsible for making the bed and I usually win that bet), but someone to come in and turn down the bed and the towel animal...then we usually have taken a shower after being in port and have wet towels that need replaced...yea, I need service both times. I'm a needy little sucka aint I? lol
As for the evening service...I really felt like it was lacking, well...at least compared to our other cruise (whether it be from Carnival or NCL). He did come in and replace the wet towels, but that was all I ever noticed. The beds would still be made from the morning, but never "turned down" like some have in the past flipped the corners down. The regular lights were left on (not the fancy side lights that give that "nightlight" type of feeling to signal you that it's time for bed. The towel animals were done at the first service=SUPER WEIRD!! The ice was never filled in the evenings and was usually melted into water at that point. I felt like all he really did was replace the towels in the bathroom and leave the Fun Times for the following day on the bed.
Also on the last day of the cruise, once again he gave me a card. It stated to be out of the room by 9am (although the paper they gave you said 8:30am).
So basically I felt that the room steward was average and didn't really go out of his way or above and beyond. It's fine. I'm not complaining, just telling the story of what we experienced. It doesn't make me feel negative toward Carnival or him in any way. Just stating there was no real "special" service this time around.
Usually the first thing we do is go explore the ship and I take pictures. I usually try to do a lot of my pictures on the first day because people usually get on the ship and head straight to the food or swimming. That gives me the opportunity to head to the various places around the ship and get pictures with no people in them. Of course I would continue to snap pictures throughout the cruise, forgetting which ones I already had pictures of, and listening to my husbands eyeballs roll because he knew I had passed the same spot every day of the cruise and took a picture..."just in case". LOL But he knows how I am with pictures and he's learned to live with it (or tolerate it). :')
So on with the ship pictures. I always try to start on the lowest deck and work my way up. This will be no exception.
We will start with Deck 3: Riviera Deck.
Every review should start with one of the main attractions and I believe the atrium is the main attraction...so that's where we will start.
I honestly don't know what the "theme" of this ship is supposed to be. I could only figure out it's "artwork" and the only artwork I'm ever exposed to consist of my munchkins demented dinosaur and dragon drawings coupled with every other marine life and animal picture she can conjure up in her head. So...I am taking my "information" from other places on the "net" to compensate for my lack of knowledge.
On with the ship tour! :D
Deck 3: Riviera Deck
The Artist Lobby (or atrium). The murals on the ceilings are plentiful and depict life during the 19th century in Paris and atrium the is 7 stories tall reaching the top with a glass ceiling.
There are 4 glass elevators in the atrium.
When can one actually get a shot of the atrium floor area without anyone in it? Think about it, it can't be done when you enter the ship because it's one of the most congested areas where people are getting on. There's always someone in this area during the day with trivias and in the evenings during music and other activities.
So, I'm here to tell you the best shot will be when you are getting off the ship and the area is roped off. YEP! I'm winning.
You'll find the Guest Services and Shore Excursions in this area as all the other ships have.
The 2 main dining rooms are the Renoir Restaurant and the Monet Restaurant. Both are located on deck 3 and 4 with the opening in the middle. There are Eiffel Tower work there with a "sky" ceiling and clouds and domes. Both basically looked the same to me, just located at different areas.
The Monet is located in the back of the ship and was open for breakfast, brunch and dinner. There's open seating for breakfast and brunch and assigned dining for the evenings.
The Renoir is open only for dinner and is considered your place for anytime dining. It's located in the middle of the ship and IMO a pain in the arse for the location. It was so hard to get from one end of the ship to the other due to this restaurant not having a way around it without going up and down the stairs/elevators. We forgot each and every time that you couldn't make it through here. We finally got a little aggravated and just started walking through it every time we got stuck. I seriously hate when they don't have an appropriate way around venues such as this on the ship.
Since both of these places looked the same to me, I'll just share a mixture of them because I have no idea what is what.
The Toulouse-Lautrec Show Lounge.
This theater is 3 stories tall with a seating capacity of 1,400. There was always room in there during the shows we went to.
According to what I have read, the decor in here features the Montmartre district of Paris and included windmills.
I did over hear an employee telling people that the bright yellow seats were just seats that they had already replaced the fabric on and they were not "saved" or "special" seating and anyone was able to sit there.
I always love how Carnival has this wide seating area on the ground floor with room to walk around everyone if needed. It's always an added plus when you have a table for your drinks there as well.
Stars in the sky...
DECK 4: MAIN DECK
Alfred's Bar-I guess this bar was originally created as a Cigar Bar and was named after an artist names Alfred Sisely. We passed through here many times on the cruise and I never once seen it being used by anyone other than the "teens". There was always a bartender there, but never anyone in the venue. It was quite large and very dark in there. We always had to pass there when walking from one end of the ship, on deck 4, to the other. Every time we were in there in the evening, there were teenagers playing the "hook-up" game and "making out". All of them would be in a group and sitting on each others laps off in the corner. I think I'll stop cruising when Sakari gets that age. I just won't be able to handle that.
But, it was a pretty neat area once you get past the scenes that did not permanently belong there.
Circle C: The "teen club". This is for 12-14 year olds.
I think this on every cruise...but I have never really said anything before. This has to be the worse "kids" area ever. Every one of them look about the same...you have tons of chairs to sit in, t.v.'s, computer and maybe video games. It looks like it's the only options for this age group. It all seems to revolve around "sitting" (lots of chairs/benches). Of course I assume they get out and play games and sports, but that's just a "first impression" that I get every time I walk into one of these. It just seems "blah" to me.
Gallery Conference Room:
Alrighty then...let's take a good look at this room.
It sorta reminds me of a church/chapel that they could use this area for a wedding or reception.