This was my 31st cruise the last four being on Holland America. We were originally to embark from New Orleans, but Katrina closed that port so Carnival opted for Galveston.
Embarkation was slow, tedious, disorganized and in summary a sorry excuse for such an operation from a major line. We were in line for three hours.
Also because of Wilma Cozumel was not a port of call so Carnival gave everyone a whopping $25.00 along with $50.00 for the inconvenience of departing from Galveston. That inconvenience ended up costing me an extra $650.00 including a room at the Hilton in Galveston. Please note Galveston is difficult and expensive to get to from Houston. DO NOT use Galveston Limo Company. They are sorry and poorly run.
Sailing was on schedule and we had one rough day at sea with about 35 foot seas. The Conquest had no problem with the waves but wallowed a lot due to her size. She never gained a rhythm in her motion. The rest of the cruise she rode great.
The only problem I had on the ship was I had originally booked cabin 9201. It is forward facing forward with a view over the bow. I had booked an outside cabin with the brochure showing a normal arrangement of bed, desk, couch and coffee table. This cabin had no couch or coffee table. After four trips to the purser's office the chief purser upgraded me to 9258 which was a nice upgrade including a balcony. Carnival was very professional about it and they even followed up to see if I was satisfied.
The ports of call included Montego Bay and Georgetown, Grand Cayman. I had been to both many times and enjoyed both spots with no particular occasion occurring.
The Conquest is well run, but too big for my taste. I met people I never saw again. 3300 passengers are too much for me. However the demographics of the passenger were diverse and quite eclectic. WE met so really great people.
The food was good but not great. I also object to the Maitre D' making announcements during dessert and all the dancing and hoopla done by the crew. Probably just showing my age, but I go to the dining room to eat not covert.
Some cost cutting done by Carnival include no towels in the public restrooms - not even paper - just hand warmers. In the dining room you are requested to use the same fork for your entree as you did for your salad. No big deal but I think in poor taste.
Disembarkation was the same horror show as embarkation. The ship docked at 5:30 am yet no one got off until 9:00. No excuse Carnival!
All and all I enjoyed the ship and the cruise. If I were to book another cruise on the Conquest I would recommend waiting until she gets back to her home port of New Orleans. The taxi from the ship to Bush International in Houston cost $150.00. Bummer.
I am planning another cruise in mid February and will return to the peace and quiet of Holland America.