Carnival Conquest - Western Caribbean: Carnival Conquest Cruise Review by newCruiser
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Conquest - Western Caribbean
Destination: Western Caribbean
Ok I am a native Houstonian and so for those traveling from Houston it is a short drive and then to find parking, which happened to be the only item I failed to research. We found a new company that competes with others and the citys parking for a great rate of $55 for the 7 Days called Light House Parking.
Anyway, we chose Carnival Conquest after reading review after review over RC Rhapsody of the Seas and Princess Grand Princess which is also owned by Carnival, the main points were Camp Carnival for my son (2) and entertainment and activities for my wife and I (31) and mother-in-law (69) along with great reviews on food and cabin size as this was our first cruise and only had reviews to go by.
WE WERE NOT DISAPPOINTED!
After parking, we were dropped off at the Terminal and a porter takes your bags for you if you so choose. We arrived at about 3:15 in contrast to many who More arrived much earlier, there were no lines going into the terminal that the Porter had mentioned earlier. We went upstairs and proceeded to get our carry-on scanned and the whole metal-detector bit, but after clearing that you go around the corner to find more lines although short to go check in via customs and Carnival staff. After that it is a short walk to getting on board where you stop once for pictures in an elaborate setup of a jungle theme where you stand in a certain place and have your picture taken. Then you go across the indoor terminal ramp that brings you to ships lobby level where you check in on the ship via your Sail & Sign card. Then it was to where ever you want to go. We chose to go to our room that is very spacious and clean and while we were on the bottom deck, the view is not disappointing at all.
We were told our bags would be in the room shortly, and so we walked around a bit and heard the announcement for the lifeboat drill. My son completely freaked out and threw a fit. A carnival representative came by and took us out of the commotion so that our son could calm down and proceeded to instruct us on the drill away from the crowd. My son calmed down and many thanks to Carnival for that gesture. After the drill we went back to the room and found our bags and unpacked. After that we went to the top deck to watch the ship sail out of port which is nice as you pass the oil platforms many wave to the workers and they wave back which makes a fun experience and one that my son enjoyed.
Entertainment -- Cruise Director Todd Wittmer, is the best as all of his staff. All of the entertainers such as the Vegas dancers and singers are fantastic. I loved the Motown show and Phat Kat.
Food -- Is excellent. We ate at both Lido restaurants and the Dining Room. The Dinning Room waiters adapt to your preferences very quickly and make the whole dinning experience a joy. The Lido Deck restaurants do have lines at the main eating times, but the go by quickly as there are 4 major buffets plus a Deli and a Chinese Wok restaurant, 24 hour Pizzeria and hamburger/hot dog grill to distribute it all quite efficiently.
Drinks -- Finding a waiter is never a problem and there are special every day. Keep the glass and the refill is cheaper. Also Carnival has a few times where Alcohol is free for certain parties and times.
Room Service was always a short wait and a great service to have especially for my mother-in-law who liked to relax in the room at night while my wife and I attended the nightlife activities.
Camp Carnival -- My son threw a fit the first 2 times but they are very good with children as my son warmed up and had a good time. If you have children and they are not used to being in a day care environment, Camp Carnival has beepers where they page you if you Child is not enjoying themselves but the staff does a great job at getting them to come around and enjoy themselves. Babysitting and leaving the little on the ship while out at a port excursion is a GREAT service. Camp Carnival for those with younger than 2 will not be allowed to participate in the normal activities but do allow a time where you must accompany them and use the facility toys and activity centers for a certain time during the day. As for Costs, Camp Carnival only charges for babysitting past 10pm at a low rate AND WILL DROP YOU CHILD OFF to your cabin when requested as part of the service.
Activates (not including main shows) -- We did not have enough time to do it all, but here are a few. Bingo, Carnival horse racing, Art Auctions, Karaoke (picks the best voted singers of popular stars that will sing in the main show on the last day when not just having fun), Ice sculpture contest, Carnival Survivor, Carnival Deal or no Deal, Hairy Chest contest (very funny), Austin Powers dance (my son loved), Tea Time A HUGE HIT for my mother-in-law (an English style Tea Time with your selection of Teas and pastries which are simply delicious), various lounges with different music styles from Classical to Pop to Hip Hop. Then there is the Water Slide that is very fun for a slide being on a Cruise Ship. This leads me to the pools that I found never crowded surprisingly, but then again there are many pools all over the place (all salt water) To put it simply you will not get bored as there is so much no matter your tastes.
This leads me to many who say Carnival is only a party ship. This is simply not true, my mother-in-law had a great time and I saw many older couples having a great time. That said Carnival Conquest did a great job controlling the college fraternity and sorority parties as I did not find overdrinking or very rude or out-of-control passengers as the bar tenders are good at cutting it off. It is a festive atmosphere but it is very enjoyable and pleasant while younger parties are going on, in other parts of the ship are other parties or gatherings catering to just about every style and we tried to attend them all, we enjoyed the piano bar and the aft lounge. That said there is plenty of time for a quite stroll on the upper decks where we enjoyed watching in the distance other Cruise Ships sail by.
There are also TV activates like personality tests and so on; again so much to do onboard and Carnival leaves a daily schedule for you to navigate it all. I am leaving a lot out, but to sum it up:
Little details -- Like drawing up your beds to the towel animals and the sanitization paper slips to use on the public bathroom handles are a nice touch. The staff is simply pleasant and willing to help you out. They are always cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning and it shows.
I will say this though as a one negative or really a request. Carnival, IN THE PUBLIC BATHROOMS, PLEASE INSTALL PAPER TOWELS ALONG WITH THE HAND DRYER, I am not a hand dryer person and had to use toilet paper. Less
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