This was our second cruised on the Conquest; the first was several years ago when the Conquest was first to port in N'awlins but had to divert to Gulfport, Mississippi due to a low-hanging power line across the river. We stayed the night prior in New Orleans and took a cab to the port; arriving about 12:45. As Platinum cruisers with Carnival, the check-in and arrival on the ship took about 15 minutes. We joined the other cruisers on the Lido deck for a quick lunch; then to the cabin to drop off our carry-on luggage.
The Cabin: Good sized with two portholes. We noticed a bit of noise as waves hit the bow during the cruise but it wasn't too bad. However, for anyone staying in the forward area of the main deck; be aware that you are under the stage of the main lounge. Therefore, you will hear the dancers and entertainers footsteps, scenery being moved and several asundry thunderous noises of equipment being moved during and after the last show of the evening!
The Room Steward: Punja was the most attentive and truly gracious steward I have ever met. If I were wealthy, I would have stolen him to be my butler. No detail escaped him in his pursuit to make our cabin perfect.
The Main Dining Room: We opted for Any Time Dining and were assigned the Renoir Dining Room in the 3rd Deck. We had great wait staff each evening; including Ari, Ruel, and Melody, among several others. The food was quite good each night. While I do not profess to be a food gourmet, I was quite please with the meals each night. The quality and presentation were impeccable. The desserts were also quite good and varied.
The Cezanne and Lido Buffets: Breakfast was good and as varied as breakfast foods can be. I have no complaints; only wish someone could teach the bakers how to make southern biscuits! As for the lunch foods in the Cezanne, they did lack in variation and taste. There could have been a daily salute to various countries or a choice of spices. Most days, we opted either for the burgers, a salad, or the Mongolian stir fry. All days, we opted for the frozen yogurt!
We did not attend any of the evening entertainment, therefore cannot address it other than to say that the two comedians got rave reviews by fellow passengers. We did see a few of the movies on the Lido deck. This was nice; popcorn and blankets were provided.
Lido Deck: The tables on the deck were cleaned often and the staff quite attentive to keeping the area as a whole maintained. The bar staff were super efficient, professional and friendly.
Deck Chairs: Even on sea days, when most were out sunning, chairs were available. I did notice some that were creatively draped for hogging for groups by one poor soul who was tasked with trying to hoard four to six chairs for those who had partied the wee hours away and now were sleeping off the haze. By and large, one could find a chair.
The Ship: As with all ships that are more than just a few years old, the Conquest has it's bruises, bumps and minor scars. However, unless one is so very bored as to specifically search for them, they will go mostly unnoticed.
The Ports: In Cozumel, we shopped a bit at the port, bought a few litres of tequila and some silver jewelry; then spent the remainder of the day at Paradise Beach. It is quite aptly named; beautiful and with superb staff.
In Grand Cayman, we decided not to dive this trip, so we chose to spend an hour or two just wandering. Men, this is a dangerous sport and can have disastrous effects on your credit card!!!! However, the benefits you derive from gifting your spouse well overcome the cost. If you are a diver or snorkeler, this is one of the islands to do so. In Jamaica, we only visited the vendors at the port and picked up three carved mahogany fish and a few litres of Appleton Rum. We have been here several times before and toured much of the island. We heard several complain about Jamaica, but they never left Mo'Bay. To truly appreciate the island, one has to get away from the towns and travel along the shores and up into the mountains to see the real beauty of Jamaica. As for the vendors, we were pleasantly amazed to find them less assertive than in the past. They offered their crafts, but were not pushy or aggressive. It made the experience much better for interacting with them in purchasing and in just conversing with them.
In summary, we found the ship, the staff, and the crew quite acceptable. All personnel we encountered were friendly and courteous. The ports were good and varied.
I'm sure we will cruise the Conquest again before she leaves New Orleans.