With COVID-19 greatly affecting the cruise industry, they have struggled to get back on their feet. But, cruises are starting to take off again, with people getting back on the ship. My family and I chose to take a cruise this spring break; it has been a long time since we have gone on a cruise and it is our first after COVID-19. 

We went on a Carnival cruise called Carnival Conquest; it was one of the lower priced cruises and took us for a five day cruise with a stop at their private island Half Moon Cay and a day trip to Nassau, Bahamas. 

Carnival’s COVID-19 policies required us to present both a vaccination card and a negative test. Masks were only required on entry and departure, then they were scarcely seen around the ship. Making the differences from pre-coronavirus to now very minimal. There were supposedly fewer people than before COVID-19 but it still felt packed.

cruise deck
ON THE SEA. Out at sea, most of my time was spent on this part of the deck where they had the pool, food and games. photo/Emmy Bailey

Going as a big family was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. I went with my mom, my aunt and uncle, and a few extended family members. I was the youngest of the kids, ranging from 16-25. As a teenager, there was definitely a struggle because there were activities for kids and adults but nothing intended for teenagers. At one point my whole family went snorkeling, but it was 18+ so I couldn’t go. However, that worked in my favor because my mom and I chose to rent a jet ski and cruise around the Bahamas. 

One of my favorite activities to do on the ship was to go to the comedy shows. They were hilarious and so fun every time we went. We decided to go see their ’80s and ’90s rock show on the ship. With the tattoo skin tone t-shirts and the iconic rock-on hand gesture they were trying to replicate true rock and roll, however that goal failed as a whole. The song choices were incredible but the middle-school musical theater choreography and the scream-singing definitely detracted from the experience. 

We ate at the Guy Fieri Burger Joint and the Blue Iguana Cantina, the Mexican restaurant on the cruise. At dinner, they seemed to offer a wide variety of interesting foods. My cousins and I decided to try some incredible beef tartare and Ox tongue. All I can say about the Ox tongue is it confirms the idea of what you think a tongue would taste like. At first bite it tasted perfectly fine, however the more and more you kept eating you were reminded of the inadequacy of the food. Most of the food on the ship was very undistinguished and by the end of the week we were all excited to eat in a real restaurant.

The living conditions were tight. It was a small bedroom with a tiny couch and felt very cramped. For the bathroom, there was an airport-like toilet and a shower you had to squish into. However, since much of my time was not spent in the room, the beds were comfortable enough for me to get me through my time. At one point, sewage was flooding through one of the floors on the trip. It didn’t hugely affect me but stepping out of your room you definitely got a whiff of it. 

Overall, the cruise was a lot of fun. My favorite parts of the trip were when we were on the islands truly experiencing the Bahamas. The cruise definitely wasn’t fancy, with the limited activities and mediocre living conditions. It gave us fun family bonding time on our journey and I loved the experience. 

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