After nine cruises with Carnival, I have yet to be disappointed. Our experience on the Conquest was no exception. After running the New Orleans Half Marathon Sunday morning we went back to our hotel, showered and went straight to the port. It was around 1:30 when we arrived. In the past, a later arrival meant a longer wait. However, the parking garage was very convenient, and the whole embarkation process was fast and painless (greatly appreciated since both my boyfriend and myself were limping from the earlier run). We were on the boat by 2 eating a Guy's burger and drinking a cold beer (burger was orgasmic, btw). By the time the safety drill began around 4:30, we both had full bellies and unpacked luggage.
Because of less than stellar weather in New Orleans, we opted for a pre-dinner nap instead of the Bon Voyage festivities. We also ate our first dinner in the steakhouse versus dining room (so glad we did because we were bonused with a free bottle of wine!) We both had the surf & turf. The steak and lobster were cooked to perfection. The shrimp cocktail starter and the chocolate sampler both surpassed expectations. I highly recommend the steakhouse on night one...incredible food...great value. We also did the Chef's Table on night 6 of the cruise. The food was good, however, I didn't love the new menu. Last year's menu was better. It was an informative 7 course dinner, but I wish now I had opted for an extra few nights in the steakhouse to experience some of the other menu items. Other notable food we had on the ship include, breakfast burritos, made to order omelets and the chocolate melting cake. I heard the taste bar was good, but we could never found it open. As usual, the Carnival staff was excellent from the dining room, bars, cabin, decks, entire ship... exceptional, friendly folks working hard to make sure everyone had a great experience.
Had a mostly great experience in all ports. We went to an all-inclusive in Jamaica that was organized by our roll call group, Sunset Beach. It was amazing. We did a shore snorkel arranged by Carnival in the Caymans...also amazing. My only comment about that was there seemed to be some confusion on shore after they combined two groups to meet the minimum number of participants for the excursion. It worked out in the end. Also, getting back on the ship was a bit exhausting. With 5 boats in port, the tenders were running a bit behind. We waited in line for over an hour to get back to the boat...wasn't thrilled, but I'd rather stand in line in paradise than stuck at home freezing with the rest of my friends and family :) Cozumel's weather was a bit windy. We cancelled plans to go to another all-inclusive, Mr. Sancho's, and opted for shopping instead...sucked to be on the Magic that day...not sure they ever got to port because of the wind...the same wind that followed us home and made that night and the last sea day very rough, windy and cold. We made the best of it, however, with trivia, bingo, a slot tournament and other inside activities..no shortage of things to do.
It was a great cruise. We met some great people. We came home and immediately booked another.