Our family's been on several cruises before - on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Disney, and Premier, so we've seen what several ships have to offer, but aren't professional cruisers, by any means. So, here are the plusses and minuses of our New Year's Cruise on the Carnival Conquest:
- Don't know if it was because we were going out of Texas or what, but the beef entrees in the main dining room were the best I've had on any cruise - tender, well-seasoned, and cooked to order (rare - which has been tough to get on other ships). Appetizers and desserts were also very good.
- Our waiter, Martin (and his assistant Bobi) were great - helpful with dining selections, attentive without being obnoxious, and Martin was hilarious. This might have something to do with the first Pro above, but Martin's wife was at a higher level in the dining room staff hierarchy, so maybe we got special attention from the chefs :).
- Nice artwork all over the ship.
- Never met the cabin steward, but the room was always clean when we got back from anything - as the cruise director said, they were like ninjas.
- Comedy acts and juggler were very good
- Watching Bears/Vikings game on the big screen by the pool was a treat for a Minnesotan this time of year.
- The rest of the entertainment was kinda blah - the Magic show was particularly non-spectacular
- Side dishes that went with the entrees were hit and miss - mostly miss.
- Buffet food was okay, but seemed to have less variety than most I've seen. Bouillabaisse in the Sur la Mer was very good, though.
- "Sushi bar" was a disappointment - sushi was okay, but lines were long, and variety was limited
- Long lines at the poolside dining spots - pizza/burgers/Mongolian wok, etc. I know - it was a Christmas break cruise - lines were long everywhere.
- Not really the cruise line's fault, but several of the decks were closed for long periods of time due to "high winds" - made the Lido deck/pool area even more crowded.
- Ports of call - Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel - aren't the most exciting, but maybe it's because I've seen them all before.
- Rooms we got were on deck 2, very near the front. We got a lot of thudding wave noise in the moderate seas during parts of the trip. Also, got noise from the theater - we were directly under it - but we were never trying to sleep while a show was going on.
- No big-screen movies, except for one or two on the pool screen.