We enjoyed parking at the Lighthouse Parking lot in Galveston. Covered spaces with transport of luggage in the van with us to the terminal. Porters were readily available and we had bags checked and were in line by 11:30. Embarkation was not a problem for us since we are Platinum Club members. However, the lines were very long for those having to wait in line. We were on Lido deck for lunch by Noon.
Food for lunch was about average - we opted for a deli sandwich and it was very good with fries from the grill line. However, we had to bus a table to use. This was the case on most of the days that we opted to have lunch up on deck. I was extremely disappointed in the food on this cruise. It was cold at every meal no matter where I was eating - on deck or in dining room. Like other reviewers - we sent it back in dining room only to have it show up 15 minutes later still cold or in some cases lukewarm. We had the Your Time dining and service was spotty. Some of the waiters/waitresses were really good and some needed some re-training. Fish dishes were all overcooked on this cruise which was not the case on previous ones (this was my 4th cruise on Conquest). There is absolutely no enforcement of the dress code - ratty t-shirts and cut-off shorts, blue jeans on elegant night etc. If you are going to have a code - ENFORCE IT!
Our room steward, Philip, was a joy. He was always available when the need arose - one night shower over flowed and he got it fixed for use pronto. He always had a smile and was one of the few steward we have had that called us by name. We were travelling with our daughter and her husband and he went out of his way to re-do towel animals for her when she wanted a "whole" family photo of them and one had been taken away. Needless to say he received an additional thank-you on Saturday night.
Our shore trips were all enjoyable. In Jamaica, we did the ATV excursion and I had a blast. It isn't anything way out there for those that ride ATV's all the time and no wild ride. It was a nice ride thru the country side so if you are looking for a thrill ride, this one would not be it. The guides were very attentive to me as I had never driven one before and was a little anxious especially in going down the hills but they gave me words of encouragement at every chance. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and so did the rest of the family. In Caymans we had a private tour with Dexter's Fantasea tours. There was only 7 people total on the tour and it was very food - with each person receiving a lot of attention. We opted for shopping in Cozumel on our own since we have all been there numerous times.
The Shopping person on this cruise was, in my opinion, not very personable. He was very abrupt and offered nothing extra when you asked him a question. I had asked for a special discount card of which he had a limited number. Gee, the card arrived after we had left for port in Cozumel so it was of no use to me - and he even asked for it back if I didn't use it. I did purchase an item that I could have used the discount on but no card - no additional discount. His presentation was not worth the time I spent attending. He kept going over the fact that we had to keep our maps as he only could print a limited number and couldn't give us another one - gee another map showed up in my stateroom supplied by the room steward on the night before the 2 ports where shopping was recommended. If you are a shopper, I would skip his talk and just go on your own.
Halloween was during our cruise - and there were many people in costume. I think there were several that were in VERY POOR TASTE considering that this is a family cruise and there were children walking around. This one also was a G & L cruise but they were not as noticeable as some of the other costumes - too suggestive and/or revealing.
Shows were all very good. Really enjoyed Lady Hellevia and the comic shows. Drink service in the lounges and show rooms was not very good - slow and delivered with a take it or leave it attitude. I had purchased the unlimited drink card and had one waiter question me as to why I was ordering another soft drink when I had one - I wanted to say none of your business - but I did tell him because it was going to take him forever and a day to bring another and I didn't want to be disturbed during the show.
I would give disembarkation a zero again. There is no enforcement of zone numbers which causes big delays. Also, people trying to take all their luggage off when they have 3 pieces each. I also think they need to have those people needing extra help - walker users, wheelchair users, scooter users - leaving before they start calling the zone numbers. And for crying out loud have a couple of extra employees at the doors to help them get over the threshold. I witnessed a couple of near tip overs from the scooter wheels not being able to get a grip and make it over the door ramp. The poor husband or wife is stuck there hoping someone in line won't trample them while they try to help the spouse get moving again and all the while the impatient hoards are about to run them over.
In conclusion: Overall, the cruise was OK and I had a good time. Would we sail Conquest again? You bet - just not at Halloween and on a different itinerary! The new (as in brand new) Carnival Magic will begin sailing year-round out of Galveston next month, with the Conquest moving to New Orleans. I'm really looking forward to giving the Magic a try.