I'll be posting on the Carnival Conquest board our experiences - for both cruises - the one June and I enjoyed and the one everyone else was on!!
(But then again, we are not first-time cruisers and I planned our activities accordingly.)
* Excellent cabin staff - Dave and his assistant were professional and fulfilled every request.
* Cabin (Jr. Suite) as expected except the carpets were in need of a good cleaning (stains in several places) or better, replacement. Curtains were tattered and fraying. Everything else OK and as expected.
* Excellent dining staff - A request for a dining room & table change was made without fuss or difficulty and was perfect for us. Angel (Peru), Made (Indonesia) and Tolentino were very efficient and made our evening meals enjoyable with their friendly but also professional attitude. It was unexpected to learn that they all love their job, plan to be with Carnival a long time and will be taking a next contract when offered. (Angel indicated he has been with Carnival for over 10 years!!)
The actual meals - some fine, some so-so and the so-called 'steak' could not even be cut with the provided serrated knife!! (We order something else to replace it and it was done without question.)
OH and YES, Carnival DOES NOT enforce their own dress code for dinner - often we saw guys in torn T-shirts & shorts & flip-flops in the MDR.
AND will someone PLEASE advise 'gentlemen' that their baseball caps and cowboy hats may be fine elsewhere, but are NOT appropriate to be worn for dinner in the MDR!!!
Breakfast was delivered on-time each morning by room service - as was requested.
* Fun time with Larry in the Piano Bar each evening (no crowd there -and as a first in all of our cruises, the Piano Man plays almost anything you can request WITHOUT music!! No books of pages to turn - just straight from the heart and mind!! GREAT performer!!
* 7 C's Event - an enjoyable afternoon to meet other Cruise Critic members, although it was the smallest group in all of our cruises. Still, it was a lot of fun.
And the Others On-Board:
Pools and Hot Tubs sometimes back to back and belly to belly!
Deck 9 Buffet - LOOOONG lines for breakfast and lunch (We did not use it - just passed by - I have no idea about dinner there.)
Shows - let's see, what kind of a production show can you do with 7 performers and canned music?? Well, the result was 'high energy' and high volume!!! We left the second show after a few minutes because the volume was so loud as to be uncomfortable. The other 5 nights 'shows' - Carnival must have done a deal with Hasbro Toys to put on the lame guest participation shows and then there was the guest performance night - forgettaboutit!!
And since it was perhaps the last cruise before the kids return to school, we encountered the usual few teens on Carnival (and I suppose others as well) that just had to show everyone what jerks they could be by running, shouting, riding the elevators up & down and making fools of themselves.
Ports - we have been to all, so did not go ashore.
Did we enjoy the cruise - Yes - because we planned our activities and actions as traditional cruisers, not the 'bulk package - follow the crowd' types.
Will we do a Carnival Cruise again soon - not likely!