The Conquest is a fairly new ship in the Carnival line. It's really impressive, at 110,000 tons. The ship is decorated in a French Impressionist style, and sails out of New Orleans every Sunday for a seven-day voyage, returning back in port the following Sunday.
Firstly, I am a teenager, so any parents traveling with kids may find this review helpful.
My parents and I came back from our cruise about a month ago. It was our second time aboard the Conquest. We had gone in the summer of 2003. This time we went with our entire family. We were lucky enough to get cabins all on the same floor. It is possible to get your same cabin if you are a returning guest if you specifically ask when you book your cruise (it isn't guaranteed, but it worked for us). We even got an adjoining cabin with my aunt and uncle.
If you don't like too much noise while you sleep, I suggest not booking a cabin on the sixth floor, as this is directly above most of the lounges and clubs. We were on the second floor, which was fairly peaceful, except for some rowdy neighbors across the hall.
Carnival has an excellent children's program, called Camp Carnival. This program offers activities that are divided by age groups. There is a nursery area for babies and toddlers. Twelve- to fourteen-year-olds are in one group, while fifteen- to seventeen-year-olds have their own club, called Club O2. Warning: this club is extremely strict; if you are fourteen, you won't be allowed in (unless you can pass for fifteen). If you are suspected to be underage, they will scan your key card and kick you out, which needless to say is quite embarrassing (I saw this happen to several kids). Teens usually hang out in Montmartre's, located on Impressionist Boulevard on deck five.
One thing I think families should not leave home without are Walkie-Talkies. This is a must-have. My parents and I have used them on each cruise. They make the parents happy because they can check up on their kids whenever they need to, and they please the kids because we can roam freely (within limits) as we please. It's a great way to compromise and I promise you, your kids will love you for it. I highly recommend getting a set with a Lock button, so that channels aren't accidentally changed. However, Walkie-Talkies do not always work, for example when one party is on the third deck and the other is on the tenth deck.
There are shows every night in the Toulouse Lounge that play at multiple times. There is a magic show, a comedy, a dancing show, and a play. Younger kids will probably get a kick out of the magic show, while teens may not. Little children probably won't understand the comedy, but the teens will. The dancing show (called Formidable; it's a bit like Moulin Rouge) is enjoyable for all ages, but not everyone will like it. My family and I enjoyed it, but some other girls hated it. It just depends on your taste. Also, parents may not want young kids seeing this, since the whole thing is pretty much skimpily dressed dancers. The play, called Point and Click, has mixed reviews. Some people love it; others hate it. It's about two people who fall in love over the Internet. I thought it was stupid and corny, as did my parents. Most teens I knew on the ship were extremely disgusted with it; we made fun of it for hours. Like Formidable, this show depends on your taste.
There is also an adult comedy that is performed several nights a week at midnight. If you are under eighteen, you are prohibited from going. This is a good chance for parents to have fun and teens to hang out on deck five or nine.
This cruise was awesome, overall the best I've been on, out of three. I hope this review was helpful.