Updated By Dan Askin, Senior Editor
Carnival Conquest Overview
The 2,974-passenger Carnival Conquest debuted in 2002 as the first ship in Carnival's Conquest-class series, which also includes Carnival Glory, Valor, Freedom and Liberty. Like its younger sisters, Conquest is every bit a "city at sea." Mostly that's a plus because the space means there are tons of options, including a dedicated venue for cruisers ages 12 - 14, more than a dozen bars and the Seaside Theatre, a 270-square-foot LED screen overlooking the main pool area. An October 2012 refurbishment, part of the line's half-billion dollar Fun Ship 2.0 initiative, added even more new features. These include a quartet of theme bars, burger and burrito joints, and a comedy club rebranded with the help of George Lopez.
For a ship with so many people, there are invariably a few lines, though if you plan to embark during peak times, the wait can reach 1.25 hours (later arrivals -- after 3 p.m. -- will speed through the boarding process). The Promenade Deck gets a little clogged during formal night as passengers saunter down the main thoroughfare en route to the dining room. Otherwise, you'd never know there were 3,000-plus other travelers sharing the ship.
Conquest is decorated in an Impressionist theme -- but don't let that most gracious of art eras confuse you into thinking Carnival's going PBS. Think instead of elegant Impressionism crossed with Paris' psychedelic Moulin Rouge -- lots of crazy colors and patterns and shapes -- with some nutty post-Impressionism thrown in for good measure. Many of the public rooms are named for art masters such as Van Gogh, Degas, Renoir and Manet. The murals copying the works of the art masters are wonderfully fun and scattered all over the ship, everywhere from elevator ceilings to the atrium.
The onboard atmosphere, with its large-ship feeling, lots of playful passengers in all age groups and excellent entertainment, really aims to celebrate playtime -- for adults as well as kids.
Carnival Conquest Fellow Passengers
Conquest caters to a broad crisscross of (mostly) middle America; according to Carnival, 30 percent of its passengers are under 35, 40 percent are between the ages of 35 and 55, and 30 percent are over 55.
Carnival Conquest Dress Code
Four- and five-night cruises feature one "cruise elegant" evening. Many men opt for jackets and ties, and some pull out the penguin suit. Women typically wear cocktail dresses, dressy blouses, etc. Resort casual attire is suggested for the rest of the evenings.
Carnival Conquest Gratuity
Carnival recommends $11.50 per person, per day. The guidelines allocate $5.80 to dining room services, $3.70 to cabin services and $2 per day for alternative services, which include kitchen, entertainment, guest services and other hotel staff members. The amount is automatically added to your shipboard account, but can be adjusted in either direction at the guest services desk. A 15 percent gratuity is automatically added to bar bills. Tipping for room service at delivery is expected (and appreciated) by the service staff.
This was our 3rd cruise with Carnival and I must say that it was by far the worst. The staff was horrible and you could tell they just didn't want to be there. The entertainment was very bad with 8 singers and dancers lip syncing songs. All of ...continue
This was my families first cruise. We entered the ship to find out the slide and pool was being refurbished which was a let down for not only me but my teenage boys. The anytime dinning had two formal nights that we were unaware of and were ...continue
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This was our family's second Spring Break cruise on the Conquest. Last year we sailed from New Orleans and this year from Miami. We had a great time last year and, if anything, this year was even better.
Embarkation: Easy, as we had a ...continue