It was my brother’s senior year. My parents had planned an exciting cruise to the Caribbean for his graduation and I was lucky enough to be able to tag along on what would be one of the most amazing vacations I have ever experienced. The drive from Cleburne, TX to Galveston, TX was long but absolutely worth it. My brother and I decided to walk around Galveston for a bit to kill some time before check in. We found a charming little antique store called The Peanut Butter Factory. There my family and I snacked on fudge while admiring the beautiful antiques that surrounded us. After having coffee at a nearby Starbucks, we headed towards the harbor where our cruise ship, the Carnival Conquest, was waiting.
After a rather long check in process, we found ourselves stepping onto the beautiful ship. The high ceilings, glass elevators, and elegant lounge welcomed us with drinks and warm hospitality. We were surprised with our tiny cabins but soon realized that we wouldn’t be staying in our rooms for too long due to the various activities that were offered.
The family said a quick “See you later” to each other and left to find entertainment that they would enjoy. I quickly found a teen club called Club O2. The age limit was 15-17 but with a short talk with my parents, I was allowed entrance. I made plenty of friends there on the large dance floor complete with a DJ, game room, and comfortable sitting area.
Our first stop was in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (UK). My family and I played Volleyball at Seven Mile Beach and relaxed in the clear blue waves. My mom paid for me to go parasailing with a friend that I had met on the cruise ship. It was so exciting and the ride was smooth. It felt like I was flying. After parasailing, my mom and I rode horses down the beach until our bus came to take us back to the ship.
Next, we were off to Montego Bay, Jamaica. I was on my way to a small ranch that provided horseback riding through the mountains and oceans of Jamaica. I couldn’t wait. We rode our horses on pathways on the mountain, just inches from the cliff we walked along. We then rode down into the ocean and finished at the barn. I made the mistake of not packing extra clothes to wear after the ride and regretted it on the long bus ride home in my chilly, damp bikini and shorts.
Our last destination was in Cozumel, Mexico. My parents and I jumped on a party boat for snorkeling and fun at the beach. On the boat, my parents got free margaritas and made plenty of new friends. There was also a man on the boat that made us all hats out of coconut leaves. We stopped at a reef by the shore and put on our flippers and snorkel gear. I brought my own underwater camera and my mom took pictures as I dove about 20 feet to the bottom of the reef. After snorkeling, we went to the beach and played volleyball until it was time to go back to the boat.
The ride home was too short for my taste, but then again, I never wanted it to end. I believe it is safe to say that my experience on the Carnival Conquest was the best vacation I have ever had. I highly recommend booking a Carnival Cruise if travelers are looking for a new and exciting vacation.
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