I was a little cautious about cruising with Carnival but I figured hey "there is no such thing as a bad cruise" so why not give it a shot. The Conquest has blown that no bad cruise theory right out of the water. The boat is the epitome of everything that can go wrong on a cruise! I will most likely cruise again but I will never cruise on another carnival ship!
Dining- We ate in Renoir dining room w/ Your Time Dining. Waited 20 minutes the first day to be seated. It took the host a few minutes to find us a table once he led us into the dining room. Once seated service was sporadic at best, the days of the head waiter being personal were obviously out the door. Drink orders were never bought to the table until we reminded them. Orders were taken but the wrong food came out. Wait staff acted surprised but I noticed that many tables around us were experiencing the same problem. My wife's pasta was so overcooked it was mush. We sucked it up and figured things would get better. Christmas night we got in line at 6PM the line was pretty long by this time. We waited in line for one hour, my four year old was getting hungry by this time so I was glad to finally make it to the hostess stand. To my surprise we were given a pager and told 30-45 minutes. I told my wife to hold the pager while I took our daughter up to the buffet to get some dinner then I was going to take her to camp carnival. I was very disappointed because I really wanted a sit down relaxing Christmas Dinner with my family. My wife sat outside the dining room with the pager and waited for an additional 45 minutes. When the pager finally went off we were horrified to find yet another line that we would have to wait in for people that had pagers going off. This line took an additional 20 minutes. We were finally sat sometime around 8PM. I understand that the dining room was overwhelmed with guests and that's what caused the backup, what I didn't understand were all the empty tables once we were sat. I spoke to guest services that evening about our experience, I told them if I had known that anytime dining could take up to 2 hours to be seated I would not of booked the cruise. This is the first time that the excuse "We are booked to Capacity" was used. I would hear this many times again from carnivals staff. The guest service representative told me he would contact the Matre D and have our dining switched to Monet's dining room early seating. We never did hear back from the Matre D until the last night of the cruise.
We ate in The Point Restaurant the 3rd night of the cruise. The food we ordered was not what was on the menu. My wife ordered the 10oz. lobster tail and received 1Â½ of the smaller lobster tails instead, defiantly not the lobster tail that was showcased by the waitress earlier in the evening. The steak I had was good. The presentation of the food was also good but the service was horrible. The wait staff has to learn to smile or at least act like they are enjoying their jobs. As soon as they figured out we were not ordering wine with dinner their attitude shifted to cold and distant. The table next to us experienced the same and asked us if we experienced the same cold attitude from the servers.
Overall the food on the conquest was on the level of Shoney's with a few exceptions. If you are accustomed to cruise dining on RCCL you will be disappointed. If you are fine with Shoney's Buffets and long-long lines to eat then the conquest is for you.
AC didn't work worth a lick once we got into warmer weather; I asked for it to be looked at and never heard another thing about it. Our Room steward did a great job considering the work load that is put on them. Tried to do Room service a few times but could only get though one time, Food was bought to the room promptly and it was still hot. Balcony was a good size and the chairs were comfortable. Water was turned off one morning, when I went up to the lido deck to get a drink all the taps were also turned off. I asked the dining room manager how I could go about getting a glass of water he walked me over to the cash coffee bar and told me I could buy some of the bottled water! Great job providing a standard of Care to your guest Carnival!
Excursions booked the Belize City Tour & Zoo excursion; to avoid the long lines at the excursion desk I used the TV menu. I confirmed the tickets and it told me the tickets would be delivered that evening. The next morning I checked the mailbox outside and saw they had not arrived. My wife started to become ill about midafternoon so I inquired with the guest service desk about cancelling her ticket. They said no problem but they had to have the ticket in order to cancel the ticket. I explained to them that I had not received them; they told me I should receive them by 6PM that evening. 10PM came and still no tickets. Customer Service went through a stack of envelopes and still couldn't locate them. I was told they will arrive during the evening. I woke up early to settle the issue with the tickets on the day of the excursion; I went down to guest services at 6:30am to find out what happened to the tickets. The rep. spent some time trying to research on the computer what had happened to them. No such luck, at 0700 he had the shore excursion desk print and walk over the two tickets that I needed for the tour. This took a total of 2 Â½ to 3 hours additional of my time to get this resolved! Plus the additional stress of getting up before the lines got long at guest services to get these tickets in my hand! What really got me ticked was at 8:15am 45 minutes before the excursion a room steward shows up at my cabin with the 3 original tickets telling me they were in some box someplace! I returned the unused tickets back to the shore excursion desk and let them know I wanted to file a complaint about the whole ordeal. The representative told me I would have to wait till we got back from our cruise.
The Dolphin excursion in Cozumel was a much smoother process as I went to the excursion desk to sign up for it.
Camp Carnival- This is where Carnival is doing a great job. The staff had a great attitude and my child looked forward to being with them. The staff always had a smile on their face and bent over backwards to make sure the children were taken care of. The allocated space is more than ample for the amount of children that were present also the cleanliness was superior to any daycare that is stateside. If the majority of the crew had the same attitude as the camp carnival staff the conquest would be a very different ship.
My advice to anyone consider either RCCL or Carnival out of New Orleans is spend the extra money and get your monies worth on RCCL.