I just got back from sailing the Conquest on the 7/14 sailing and I thought I would put together a review. I'll also answer any questions. Our itinerary was Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel. My family and I had a great time! This was our eighth cruise and second on the Conquest, but our first since 2011. I did notice some cut backs, but nothing that materially affected our experience. The additions of Guy's Burgers and the Blue Iguana Cantina were great ideas. The new comedy shows were also great.
We stayed at the J.W. Marriott on Canal the night before our cruise. Make sure you tell your driver which Marriott because there are two on Canal and we got dropped off at the wrong one! The hotel was okay. The bathroom was small and there was some street noise, but it was acceptable. We ate at the Royal Oyster House and we thought it was pretty good. We did some walking around and went to Cafe Dumond the morning of the cruise. We used Machu Picchu Tours for our parking and shuttling. Everything went smooth.
Embarkation didn't take too long. We got to the terminal around 11:15 and were on the ship by 12:30. Our cabin was 7367, a balcony cabin on the Verandah deck. There were no problems with our cabin or cabin steward. My three small bottles of alcohol made it through just fine.
Our first meal was lunch at Fish-n-Chips. There was nobody there. I'm willing to bet we were the first ones to order there that day. After awhile a few people found it, but it was mostly empty our entire lunch. We went back there later in the week and it was still pretty empty. This place is a hidden gem.
We dined a lot in the main dining room. I thought the food was as good as it had been in the past. We had Your Time Dining and were assigned the Renoir dining room. Each night when we showed up at 5:40 there was already a long line. However, it moved fast and wasn't a problem.
One thing to watch out for - if you request a table for two and want a private dining experience make sure you get a booth or a table that seats four. One night our son didn't eat with us and we requested a table for two. Our table was sandwiched between two other tables for two. For all practical purposes we were sitting at a table for six. We did not like this and I've never seen tables for two so closely situated.
The Punchliner's Brunch had some new choices that I thought were good. My son and I loved Guy's Burgers. The burgers were so much better than the old burgers served by Carnival on the Lido deck. My wife liked the Blue Iguana Cantina. Overall, we were very pleased with the food on the Conquest.
We also thought the entertainment was pretty good. I did notice the shows were not as big a production as in the past, but it didn't matter much to us. The Hasboro Game Show was okay, but I think it is more entertaining for kids. There was also a lot of live music, but I did miss the Asian cover band. Larry in the Piano Bar was not that good. His voice was a little off and he seemed to be put out by requests. The comedy shows were great. Each show was packed. I think Carnival has really hit on a great idea with the comedy.
The Past Guest Party was much better than in the past. The drinks were better and the servers were very generous about coming around with more. The free drink coupon for past guests was silly. You have to use it in the main dining room at breakfast, lunch, or brunch. We went to use it (intending to only order something small and leave) and were met at the door by a drink waiter who asked if we just wanted a drink to go. Why yes, thank you! He must have noticed the coupons in my hand. Obviously the staff is aware that people just want their drink.
I don't know how long the Conquest has had the Blackjack Pro machine, but it was new to me. I liked playing on it because it had a drink meter. When it filled up, you got a free drink. I was betting $5-$10 per hand and it filled up in about thirty minutes. Except for an old promotion not done anymore, this was the first time I've ever got free drinks in a Carnival casino.
Our son is six and he went to Camp Carnival quite a bit. The Camp Carnival staff was very good. They were friendly and engaged with the children. Our son has not always liked Camp Carnival, but he liked this one and wanted to stay when we picked him up.
Overall, this was a great cruise. Carnival is still providing a solid cruise experience. There have been some cut backs, but there have been some additions too. I expect to be taking another Carnival cruise in the future.
After Roatan and Belize, we decided to take it easy in Cozumel. We slept late and took our time getting off the ship. We did a lot of shopping and ate at Pancho's Backyard in the terminal area. There is seating right on the water here with great views of the ship. The food is okay, but the margaritas and service are great. The guys playing music let our son and another little boy 'help' them play music.
I'm not sure why, but I couldn't find beer to go at the Puerta Maya terminal. Every shop I looked in did not have beer. If you exit the terminal, cross the street, turn left, and walk along the street a bit there is a little shop that sells beer for $1.50 or $2 per beer, depending on what you get. That was the best deal I could find near the terminal.