This is my 5th Carnival Cruise, and second in 10 months on the Conquest. My wife, and I were extremely excited to be on the inaugural voyage after the 2 week drydock funship 2.0 upgrades. I've gone from being a Carnival Cheerleader to being wary of recommending them to others.
Too many issues on this cruise. Perhaps Hurricane Sandy in the Bahamas where the drydock took place was a factor. We booked this cabin on the Panorama deck in large part due to the access to a shared outdoor deck area right outside our cabin. This area gives the same view forward as the bridge has, and I looked forward to being out there as we approached each port. However, it was not finished. There was not woodwork laid, just raw steel. We weren't allowed to use it. There were also several pallets of construction material on the deck itself, and in front of our window. What a view! some of the material had a tarp covering it that flapped in the wind against our window. On day 6 of the cruise work resumed. It wasn't finished by the end of our cruise, but we did get to hear saws, and drills outside of our window while trying to nap.
The spa area also had issues. The steam room door was missing out of drydock, so no steam room for the first three days. It was working at 50% by day 4, and fully functional by day 5. I was very disappointed in that. There are several new cardio machines in the gym, but I would say half of the dumbells were gone. The rear aft whirlpools are now supposed to be open to midnight. I went out there on the second night to find that the area had been reserved for a private function (a Zydeco fan group). This really upset me. How can they allow a common area that everyone should be entitled to use to be reserved for one group??? The rear aft area is supposed to be a serenity deck ( Or, so I thought), but two other nights this group was back there with a live Zydeco band. What a disservice to all other passengers. Everyone is entitled to their taste in music, but to me this was horrible. Last December there was a Mexican Buffet on the final port day. This has been replaced with chips, and salsa. There was also a real lack of entertainment in the show lounge. My father-in-law asked Noonan the CD why, and was told that there will eventually be 3 playlist productions on this ship, but the performers have only learned one of them so far, so they will be phased in gradually. Also gone is the live orchestra. All of the music in the show is now recorded. Thanks a lot Carnival! The only real improvement I can point to is the Guy's Burger joint on Lido. You won't want to eat a burger on land if you try one. They are just incredible. Overall I'd say Carnival's product has been cheapened. So far all of my previous cruises have been with Carnival, and I've loved them all. It may be time to try another line. If you choose to sail on a Carnival ship you may want to allow several weeks to pass after the 2.0 upgrades. If not I'm sure you will be disappointed.