I booked two cabins on Conquest April 3, 2011 to celebrate with my daughter and two adult granddaughters who will be going to graduate school and moving. They had only cruised as children and I choose Carnival Conquest because I had sailed on this ship on 3 other occasions and had always found it to be a beautiful, luxurious ship.
This cruise was somewhat disappointing due to passengers being allowed to come into the dining room dressed like they were going to the beach. Always before my family has been told that only shirts with collars, pants no shorts and no t-shirts were allowed in the dining rooms at the evening meals.
Every night my family dressed according to the dress code listed however other passengers were allowed into the dining room with shorts, short shorts, t-shirts, ball caps and on two occasions flip flops and attire that should only be worn on the beach.
I personally asked the Mad re d why this was occurring and was told that if I had not sailed on Carnival in the last two years that they had relaxed their dress code so that you now could wear whatever. If this is the case then why stipulate at all what should and should not be worn in the dining room both in the brochures and in the daily fun news sheets.
Many of the passengers I spoke to were as upset as I was that this was allowed, it made formal night nothing special for the majority of us who made the effort to dress appropriately each night. I might even accept on casual nights allowing some relaxing of the rules but we were seated on our last formal night across from a 50 something couple who were both in shorts, skimpy t-shirts and flip flops...hairy legs and all, it sort of takes away from the ambiance of FORMAL night. I know it we are Texans but most of us do know how to dress correctly when expected. We are not all BUH BUHS.
Ironically, a lovely lady at breakfast wearing a yellow beach cover up was told she could not enter the dining room for breakfast because the cover up looked like a bathrobe, REALLY! She took it off and was allowed to enter in her swim suit top.
This truly saddened me because my family had so looked forward to elegant dining and as it worked out we might as left all our dresses at home. The specialty dining room was lovely and we did enjoy that.
I guess my complaint is why have dress code rules listed for the dining rooms if they are not going to be enforced, those who did NOT wish to dress appropriately could have eaten at the buffet or pizza etc. which is what they probably were used to eating anyway.
Having been on more than 7 or 8 Carnival cruises and 18 other cruises in total I think I would have to think twice about booking one again. I did talk to a friend who had cruised on Ecstasy the month before and she said that the dress codes were highly enforced on that ship....perhaps it is just Conquest who is willing to cater to a lower class of passengers now?