We cruised the Eastern Caribbean itinerary the end of September and there were good points but unfortunately the bad outweighed the good. This is our 15th cruise, 2nd cruise on this particular ship. All in all we had a great time because we chose not to let negative occurrences ruin our vacation but also felt led to write this review for same reason. Let's start from the beginning.
Embarkation was a nightmare due to the Conquest docking late that morning. We were attempting to embark at the same time passengers from the previous week were disembarking. This equals a nightmare. Carnival employees were very apologetic and polite during this entire process so we opted to keep a positive mindset. We finally boarded the ship and headed to our stateroom only to find it filthy! And I do mean filthy! The bathroom had only been given a cursory cleaning at best, the mirror in our stateroom had fingerprints all over it, there was hair all over the dressing table, the floor in the bathroom felt like it had sand all over it. I addressed it many hours later with the room steward and that evening after our dinner it was spotless and remained so for the rest of the cruise. This being said, I think the staff was rushed that day due to the ship being late so we were very understanding.
As far as food was concerned, we all felt the Lido Deck restaurant the Cezanne needs a significant overhaul in ALL areas. It was constantly a mess, the food was cold, the staff seemed slow and extremely unhelpful. We cleaned many of our own tables just to have a place to sit with no one in sight to help. We ate all our lunches and all breakfasts (except one) here and it was very frustrating. Now on to the positive food experience which was dinner in the Monet Dining Room :). I have tons of positive things to say about our dinner crew, efficient, pleasant, professional, fun, etc.... The food wasn't always perfect but there was plenty of variety and they always offered to bring us something else if we didn't like our first choice. Hats off to the entire team!! The dining room was kept extremely clean at all times, even as we were eating!
We enjoyed the Sun Pool ( adults only) on a couple of days at sea. The waitstaff there is great! Of course the main pool is where the games, ice carvings, demonstrations etc take place but it was ALWAYS packed and extremely loud so we preferred the quieter pool. But some peeps may enjoy that atmosphere more and for those that do you will have a choice.
The biggest positive for us on the ship that was new is the Comedy Club. Each night you have your choice of family-friendly comedy versus adult comedy. We enjoyed the family-friendly comedy even though it was just us adults. Very funny comedians, a lot of fun.
We only saw one show in the theater and that was the magic show and we all agreed it was very good.
As far as the shore excursions go, we LOVED Atlantis!! We read reviews that said it was crowded and not worth the $. But we took a chance and we were so happy that we did. Due to the time of year the resort was only 30% capacity and we practically had it to ourselves. We ended up buying snorkel equipment because to rent it was expensive and you could only use it in the lagoon. Well we wanted to snorkel the coral reef right off the shore so we purchased for $48.00/set our own to keep. Well worth it!! Huge coral reef within swimming distance. (good swimmers only) We saw a school of squid, tons of starfish, parrot fish, etc.....
At Freeport we did the garden tour, it was beautiful but WAY TOO HOT! Absolutely no breeze so we ended up sitting in the cafe. Which was fun also we met the owners and they got out their tropical birds and entertained us.
Key West we didn't do an excursion but wish we did after we found out about the 3rd largest coral reef in the world is right offshore! I was mad I didn't do my homework prior but lots of peeps recommended the snorkeling there so do it!
To close, the ship was extremely crowded, the Cezanne Restaurant needs a complete overhaul, the class of people onboard was much lower than we expected. We encountered rude, rushed passengers everywhere. Even overheard other passengers talking about all the rude people. You are on vacation people, slow down, be happy is what we wanted to tell them.
We will be going back to Princess or Royal Caribbean next, you pay slightly more but I think in the long run its worth it!!!