This was my first cruise, and I did have a wonderful time, but there were several things on the ship which I was disappointed with. I must say that the previous review by 'tawcat' mirrors my own experience on the Conquest.
First of all, I thought embarkation was fairly easy. With nothing to compare it to, I was pleasantly surprised that it was orderly and organized. It took a little over and hour to get on the boat.
Once on the boat it took about an hour for our rooms to be ready. There was no announcement, we just noticed everyone leaving so we followed suit. Once we found our stateroom we were very pleasantly surprised at the size. We were in a oceanview room and it felt quite spacious. Lots of closet space, and even a sofa. There's a great lighted mirror in the room, and of course one the bathroom. We were happy that we brought a power strip because there was only one outlet in the room and one the bathroom. The beds were very comfortable and we didn't hear and noise from other rooms or the hallway.
That night we made our way to the Monet dining room. We were seated in a back corner so we missed all activities going on the main part of the room. Our waiter was polite, but not overly friendly. The first night he asked what we wanted to drink, but that was the last time. Each night after that we were not offered or asked what we wanted to drink, but our water glasses were filled. The food in the dining room was the best food I had on the ship and it was just fair. The presentation was nice, but the food lacked flavor. The one exception to this was the chocolate melting cake. It was delicious and everyone at the table ordered it each night. One night I made the mistake of ordering the strawberry cheesecake, and it was bland and tasteless. How do you mess up cheesecake? The nice part was you could order as much as you wanted and I quickly corrected my cheesecake error with the melting cake! There were things going on the the dining room like singing and dancing waiters, but we didn't see any of them. I had heard stories of wonderful funny waiters on cruises, but that was not even close to my experience on the Conquest. On the upside, we had wonderful, charming dining companions that we enjoyed getting to know.
Breakfast was just okay. We tried all the different places and found exactly the same fare at each one. I thought there might be wonderful pastries or baked goods, but the rolls that we saw looked like what you might see in the day old grocery aisle. And they were the same pastries throughout the trip - so by day seven you could break a toe if you dropped one! Eggs, cereal, grits, fruit, and pancakes were available every day, but none were great quality.
Lunch was pretty much like breakfast. Just fair. On the last day, lunch consisted of leftovers from the previous days. I couldn't believe it! I didn't even like it the first time around, so we opted for the burger stand. The one bright spot on the ship is the pizza stand which is actually pretty good.
There were constant announcements by the cruise director that were not informative, but merely advertisements for something you could spend money on. The constant selling and pushing of guests to spend money was very annoying. Drinks were expensive, 8 or 9 dollars for a cocktail, so your bill can add up very quickly.
Ports were Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. All were fun, and we opted to do shopping and go to a beach at each one.
Our days at sea were spent sun bathing and people watching. Very entertaining.
Most nights we went to the comedy club, and enjoyed it very much. There is also a disco, but most nights it was empty with no one dancing. I think they may need a better dj. There is a very comfortable bar/lounge across from the Monet dining room, and there is a martini bar that makes excellent drinks. The casino was just like every other casino, except the drinks cost money.
The shows in the main theater were tough to watch, and that's all I'll say about that.
Almost everywhere I went on the boat was very clean and tasteful.
Our steward was nothing like I had expected. I had heard stories of people having wonderful stewards that took care of them on their trip, but ours was just not that great. He would speak when we saw him, but really did just a fair job and never went out of his way to help us. Sometimes when he would clean the room, he would bring clean towels and not even take the dirty ones. Ice was always an issue. Mid day if we wanted ice, we could not find anyone to get it for us, and there isn't machine so you can get your own.
Debarkation was easy for us. We opted for the self assist, which is where you carry your own luggage, and we were off the boat very quickly. I would definitely do that again.
Even with the disappointments, we had a great time on the cruise because we made our own fun. I do think I will try a different cruise company next time and try to lower my expectations.