We have sailed with Carnval three times and once with Princess. What a difference your destination makes! We sailed the Mexican Riviera twice and Alaska once. Honestly, each time I had wanted to go to the Caribbean, however due to where we live it's a bit on the spendy side for airfare. Mexico has always been beautiful and we really enjoyed our cruises there. This time we went to the Western Caribbean, and had a blast on the Conquest!
We have always had a pleasant experience with Carnival. My hub have gone online and in reading reviews about Carnival, and the Conquest specifically, we have come to the conclusion that it is HARD to please everyone! Granted, if you look for things to be wrong, at anytime anywhere for any experience in life, you're going to find things. We notice that some things that get on our nerves that are not the cruise line's fault. For instance, line-cutters, non hand washers, and deck lounge chair reservers that are mostly absent.
Also, to be honest, the food in the buffet could stand some changing up, and I miss the free espresso in the dining room. But these are all very small things that really don't have to affect your vacation!
I love to swim and sit on the deck relaxing and getting some sun on my lily white self, our daughter loved Camp Carnival and the water slide, my hub enjoyed the mini golf and 24 hour ice cream. And boy oh boy did we LOVE Guy's Burgers. The rave reviews are not exaggerating--we are all 3 missing those burgers right now!! Also the Blue Iguana has yummy tacos and burritos with fresh made tortillas, and the lines went fast. The sea day brunch was also quite fun, just something fun and different that we don't do at home.
The shows and music were mostly great, we really enjoyed the house (boat?) band, Government Shutdown. Our daughter was dancing in front of the stage they have on deck 5, she loved that KC, one of the lead singers, came down and danced with her, it was one of those 'aw' moments lol. Then we ran into the band members a couple of times throughout the cruise, they were always kind. We also enjoyed the comedians they had on board in the Punchliner Club (the family friendly shows, we don't care for the adult only ones) can't remember names, but they had us cracking up.
As far as our room, we have always had excellent service by the room stewards, they work so hard to keep our room spotless, and how amazing is it that they remember our names?! It astounds me every time.
We appreciate the Fun Times, always so fun to lie on the bed together and plan out our next day of adventures! There's never a lack of something to do, but if you just want to relax, there's plenty of space for that, too. I also have to mention how much I love that the pools are salt water pools. We loved the Stars Pool, right next to the bottom of the waterslide. It was usually not full, and not many kids were ever in it. It's about 3 1/2 feet deep, and great for floating and actually a few times when it was just my fam there, I did a little water aerobics. We could watch out for our daughter going on the slide, and there were usually shows or concerts on the theater screen. There's also a hot tub just next to it, as well as 2 more just a few steps down, nice! We enjoyed the movies at the Seaside Theater, and the free popcorn. It gets a bit breezy so we'd wear our robes (yep, we're those people) and we were just fine.
I used the spa facilities, the steam room and sauna were awesome, I love the shower facilities in the spa. I had a spa treatment, enjoyed every moment of it!
We didn't plan any excursions for this trip, we got off the ship in Cozumel, looked around in the shops and got a few pictures. It'd be great to go back to try some of the excursions I've read about.
Belize was a long tender ride away, we were instructed to first meet in the Degas Lounge where we were issued a group number, so when that group was called you could make your way down. I appreciated being able to wait in a comfortable lounge instead of standing for an hour shoulder to shoulder (as we had on another cruise line). There was a delay with tendering, so the room was slightly full, but seats were still available. Now here is where your vacation is what you make it: as we were entering the lounge, the staff told us it was a bit delayed but we'd be called shortly. 'Ok, no prob' we thought (that's a lot of people to get to shore with a 25 minute tender ride). While we were attempting to enter the lounge, an irate gentleman stormed over to the staff cut in front and demanded to speak with 'the boss', which is the cruise director. He demanded the cruise director, Gary, come to him immediately. She said she'd contact him but he probably wouldn't be able to arrive immediately because of his own obligtions elsewhere on the boat. This irate gentleman swore, then said not to worry, he'll go track Gary down, and the captain, too, then stormed off. sigh. We just smiled and told the staff they were doing great.
We had a pleasant visit in Belize, did just a touch of shopping then headed back to the boat.
Our next stop we hadn't planned on getting off the ship, but due to one amazing bartender who talked to my hub as he got a Coke, we decided to go! He showed my hub a beach just a 10 minute walk away, so off we went! When we left the ship, we headed up the paved walkway. There is a lift that takes you right to the beach, but we didn't bring any money off with us, so we walked, and I'm glad we did. There's a dolphin experience right on the way, you can see the dolphins from the path--cute! This beach day was our favorite! We could've swam all day in that water, so beautiful and warm. Then we walked the nature trail that leads back to the boat, very peaceful day.
The next day was Grand Cayman, we didn't end up getting off the boat here, due to some sunburn issues. But someone we talked to said it was really hot, then when it started to rain they said it was like taking a hot shower! I'm sure there's lots of sights to see, but that'll be for another cruise!
All-in-all, we had a fun time, enjoyed the boat and the great service, looking forward to our next Carnival vacation!