We sailed on the Carnival Conquest out of New Orleans on March 27, 2005. Port: The port is just okay, nothing magnificent like when you see 20 ships lined up at Miami. It's also under construction.
Embarkation: This wasn't too bad, actually. We arrived on Easter Sunday at about 12:00 p.m. The line to check in your ticket wasn't bad. THen, we waited in a long line just to get our picture taken...and then we could finally board the ship.
The Ship: The ship is massive. I think it is one of Carnival's largest ships. However, I didn't really like the layout of it. You had to walk through the Cezanne Restaurant to get from pool to pool and in general it was rather confusing. The rooms were great, with ample space, three nice closets, drawers, couple large mirrors, etc. Our cabin steward was Amos for Haiti. Very nice and always cleaned well! There are bars and lounges all over, where you can get drinks. The fountain (unlimited drinks) card was $42, which I think was a little expensive. But I couldn't live with out my diet coke!
Entertainment: I thought it was fantastic. THe Vegas shows were amazing and well choreographed. The ventriloquist was also pretty neat. I wasn't really impressed with the juggler...it looked like something you would see on the streets with a bucket asking for tips! Our cruise director, Todd W.?? was pretty good..nothing over the edge of anything, just what I expected.
Food: THere is food everywhere you go. Buffets for all three meals (if that is your choice) The Sky Grille serves burgers, hot dogs, chicken, steak, fries, etc. all afternoon and evening. Also, most people eat in the dining room each night. THere are 2 formal nights..the rest is business casual (pants, sweaters, skirts, etc.) The 24 hour pizzeria and ice cream was awesome...always tasted great! The Buffets were just okay...I wasn't overly impressed.
Ports: Jamaica wasn't my favorite...people doing drugs, selling drugs, etc. The markets were some of the worst I had seen. Grand Cayman: BEAUTIFUL, except for some earthquake damage. THe 7 mile beach is highly recommended!! They have jet skiing, parasailing, and all of that stuff! Cozumel: EXCELLENT shopping...although it is kind of hard to bargain there.
Overall: I was impressed with Carnival. However, it is certainly not a luxury line. It is more of the "go with kids for a cheap price and have a lot of drunken fun" type of cruise. But hey..i had a great cruise.
Next time, I will probably try Royal Caribbean or Princess for a nicer experience.