This was my 6th cruise, my husbands 4th and the 2nd cruise for my children. Though it is only the second time my husband and I have cruised on Carnival. We love to cruise so most generally it doesn't matter what cruise line we cruise on. The Conquest is a beautiful ship, I believe it has some design flaws. There seemed to be quite a bit of congestion everywhere you went.
Embarkation was not a short process. We arrived at port before lunch and met with huge lines of people. Check in went pretty quick once we arrived at the counter. We were not allowed to get into our room when we boarded so headed to the buffet for some lunch. Food on the lido deck met our expectations from good to great. The pizza was wonderful as were the deli sandwiches.
We had a balcony room on deck 6 which was quite roomy and we managed to find a place for everything (we had 8 bags of luggage). We didn't notice much noise from the deck below. Yet there were some young teenage kids that would run the halls and pound on doors. We did witness our neighbors yelling at their daughter one night and could pretty much hear every word the mother said. We did smell cigarette smoke quite often in our room at night. I am not quite sure where it came from. The beds were comfortable and the room seemed quite clean. Our cabin steward did an outstanding job!
We had dinner each night in the Monet dinning room. While the menu met and sometimes exceeded our expectations, I felt some nights it seemed like the same old things were on the menu from the night before. I do not think the dessert menu has enough choices. The chilled soups were wonderful. The last night I had the eggplant parmigiana which was my favorite. YUM! Again our weight staff were great! Our head table waiter seemed to have issues getting the correct food several nights. I am not sure if that is due to his error (most likely not) or the kitchen staff. He seemed frustrated at times with his assistant. But, again they were both great. One thing I missed (as the kids did too) was that on RCI, someone else cut up their food. We also enjoy dressing for dinner and most people seemed to be dressed up but there were a few that weren't.
My daughter did Camp Carnival most nights. My son tried it once but didn't want to return. He hates any type of daycare. My daughter enjoyed her friends but wasn't overly impressed with the counselors. She said they can be quite grouchy. I got that same impression.
The entertainment each night was great. We especially enjoyed the ventriloquist and the Legends Show. They also had a gentleman who sang Motown songs. He was also great.
Our first port of call was Montego Bay, Jamaica. We did not have any of the issues I had read about such as pushy sales people etc. For this port of call we visited Sunset Beach. It is an all inclusive resort that allows cruisers pay $60 adults and $30 for children to use their facilities. It was a GREAT resort and I highly recommend it. The beach was beautiful although there were a few jellyfish and sea urchins. My kids loved the water park. Food and drinks were included. The food was fantastic as were the drinks. We are pretty sure the taxi driver ripped us off so be aware of that.
Our second port of call was Grand Cayman. Which is my favorite port. We did a little shopping here and ate at the Hard Rock Cafe. We also visited Seven Mile Beach. Not the best beach to snorkel from but my husband did manage to find a rocky area that came out from the beach. There he saw a stingray, sea snake, puffer fish, and lots of other colorful fish.
Our last port of call was Cozumel. Boy was it hot and the sun brutal. We visited Nachi Cocom. We booked this online and it was $45 for adults and $12 for children. It included drinks and food. Which both were wonderful. The beach was beautiful and there was also a pool to swim in. Be sure to tip your waiter as you will have the same one while you are there. My husband and children did the banana boat ride (it costs extra) and had a great ride. My husband also snorkeled for, I believe, $38. He snorkeled for probably 2 hours and saw some great fish.
Disembarkation went fairly smoothly. We did the self assist and the only problem was getting an elevator. We were off the ship by 8:30 a.m.
My final thoughts on our family cruise. One thing that I didn't care for were the large crowds in the Cerzanne (lido deck). It also seemed hard to move around where the casino and bars were too. Of course, I know that is where the action is. The stores were a nightmare when any type of sale was going on! The one thing that totally got me was the fact that my children were NEVER given their muster station bracelets. We were questioned one time by an employee but still were never given them. In fact, I saw many children without them. My kids are 10 and 8. This could be a dangerous thing in an emergency and I would suggest that Carnival hand those out at check in!!!! Also, the muster drills didn't seem as serious as what I have seen on other ships!
One final thought. I hate cigarette smoke and it seemed like we couldn't get away from it. That needs to change especially for the fact that there are people in the world who have breathing problems such as Asthma. My son is one of them.