My husband and I sailed on the Carnival Conquest departing New Orleans on November 27, 2011. The ports of call were Key West, Free port, Bahamas, and Nassau, Bahamas. This was my 4th sailing on the Carnival line and my husband's 3rd. To begin our trip the traffic to get to the port of New Orleans was horrible. The traffic was backed up on the interstate. Initially, we thought there had been an accident but actually it turned out to be the flow of traffic. There were two ships leaving port that day. We have been on three sailings out of New Orleans and this is the first time that it has taken us over an hour to get to the port from the interstate and then two hours in line to board. Normally we are at the port and boarded within an hour and half.
As for the cruise itself this is the worst cruise we have been on. Heard this from many of the cruisers on board. The long lines to board (2hrs),the service and entertainment left much to be desired. The entertainment is definitely lacking in all areas and need revamping. The first night for comedy was really bad. Everyone on the ship was talking about how bad the guy was. Later during the week another comedian was brought on that was much better. The best entertainment of the whole cruise was the magician and the singers in the main lobby. Also, the game shows etc were not conducted very well by the crew members. When you only have maybe 20 - 30 people show and then most of them start leaving within 15 minutes of the start then you should know that something is wrong. The crew themselves were not very enthusiastic. The best game show was the married game show.
The food was very bland and not as well prepared as on other cruises. There was a limited variety. I did not see much in the way of a balance meal during lunch. Limited selection of vegetables or starches to chose from to go with the many choices of meats. Mid night buffet is a Mexican buffet which is not a good choose considering the time (11:30 P.M.). The dinner service was definitely lacking. We did the any time dining which may have made the difference. Our orders were not right several times and the servers did not provide good service. Not as attentive as to what we are accustomed too. But this may be because we did not have a set dining time and table. We have done other cruises with anytime dining and gotten much better service.
Key West - Great town did the hop on hop off city tour with Butterfly museum. Very good tour.
Free Port - Not much there. Did not do a tour. Walked around the shop at the port. Lots of the same souvenir junk.
Nassau - Did a tour of Atlantis and the market. The tour was worth it. May want to consider taking a taxing over and buying tour ticket on site.
In short, unless Carnival improves on their service I would not suggest this cruise.