Activities that we're use to on cruises didn't happen. Live music is GONE. More and more and MORE bars. We've decided that based on what we've seen over the years, Carnival is changing to be the FUN SHIPS for the drunken party crowd. It wasn't that much of a family experience on this ship.
Embarkation - Quickest I've been through the process yet! Way to go New Orleans!
Dining Room - The wait staff was exceptional. The teams of waiters having three together now worked seamlessly. The children's menu was nice. We loved every single night in the dining room.
Spa - The spa was, as always, wonderful. I liked having the full price list at my disposal. That was not available on some of our previous cruises. I received several treatments there and used the steam room and showers. The staff is very professional yet personable.
Food - Food was excellent. We loved the new Guy Fierari's and have tried to duplicate the burgers since. The mexican area was also fantastic. Very tasty! Dining room cuisine was just as wonderful as always, as well as the buffet on lido, deli and pizza. Room service has never been our thing.
This is our least favorite ship from Carnival period and it only took us a couple of days to realize that.
Cruise Director - What a flop that guy was. He wasn't a cruise director, he was an MC as he only introduced things. You never saw him except for shows on stage, the morning show and one formal night on promenade for about 10 min. He was not out and about as other BETTER cruise directors are. He acted too good for the crowd. If he would get more involved and work on scheduling and activities he could be good. He was funny when he was there.
SMOKE - There needs to be a better venilation system in the casino. The smoke from the casino and its bar hung in the midship stairwell and the promenade hall. We quit going to Promenade because the smoke would choke you. We've never had such smoke issues on any other cruise. The staff had to keep putting fans in the cabin hallways to blow the smoke back into the stairwell.
The outdoor smoking area was also situated one deck down from and next to the basketball court so smoke drafted right up into it.
Shops - Cheap Crap EVERYWHERE. The selection in shops has been in decline for years now. In the jewelry shop they took out jewelry cases to have more $10 items which even smell cheap. The selection of shirts and apparel in the main shop is lacking variety in a big way. Carnival doesn't have but one shirt for little boys. Why don't they just make plain Carnival shirts for kids?
Shows - The new digital shows must be to make up for the lack of talent on the stage. Out of the entire cast of approx 8 singers and dancers, only one girl could sing well (as in not tone def) and she wasn't even the lead singer. The shows were terrible, music selection poor, way too loud and not well received. You could look around the lounge and see everyone sitting motionless, no reaction to shows at all. People even got up and left. It was just a great big FAIL. Also, what happened to LIVE shows with LIVE bands? That was something wonderful. One night we didn't even have a show. The next night show times changed and if you had late seating for dining, you didn't get to see a show at all due to the times. 7 night cruise, three different shows, all of them were AWFUL. FAIL CARNIVAL, BIG FAIL.
Camp Carnival - When the majority of cruisers are American, it would help to have Americans in Camp Carnival. The Russian girl that my three year old ended up with couldn't understand him and he couldn't understand her because of her strong accent and language barrier. She couldn't even explain to me what they did that day because she didn't "know word". FAIL.
Where'd the Asian Band Go?! - You use to be able to find a great Asian band on every Carnival cruise that could cover any style or song. They were always great entertainment. Miss them dearly! Loved the live music and great musicians. BRING THEM BACK!
What happened to activities on Sea Days? - We blame our cruise director (Gary) but Sea Days had nothing going on but the occasional trivia. MORE ACTIVITIES ARE NEEDED. Some people don't want to gamble all day or sit on the deck (especially when raining). If the comedy lounge is empty for all or most of the day, why not do family friendly shows during the day?! We would have LOVED to have had a show to go to during the day!!!! Especially since our jack leg cruise director ruined the evening schedule.
NOTE TO CARNIVAL CONQUEST - Squeegee the track before someone breaks their neck on the standing water all over it.
Debarkation - The Conquest staff blew it on this. There was no staff at any of the stairwells or elevators for crowd control. They ended up having 1100 people get off the ship on the first call for self assist from deck 1. It took them 2.5 hours to get through that mess and then a while after that to finish up. We were 1.5 hours late getting off the ship.