My family and I sailed on the Carnival Conquest out of Galveston on the 12th of November. We arrived at the port fairly early as we only had a three hour drive. I had arranged parking at the EZCruise Parking lot online. IT costs only $50 if you book online for a 7 day cruise. The parking facility is nice and very nearby. If the weather is nice, walk as it's only a block and a half from the ship.
Embarkation was easy and simple. It is obvious that Carnival has done this many times as they have it down to a science. I honestly don't know how they could make it any smoother. I believe we were inline for no more than 40 minutes to complete all the stations required. We knew, from past experience, that we would not have our luggage for awhile so we explored the ship. And what a ship it is. No matter how big it seems from the outside, it feels even bigger inside. Even with the almost 3000 people boarding, it didn't seem crowded as people fanned out in all directions. The only time I felt crowded was during the lifeboat drill and since we had experienced this before, we weren't surprised. Luckily we finished the drill and got up on deck 11 before we actually set sail. It is a wonderful feeling watching the dock recede and anticipating the joyous trip to come. A note here; Carnival has gotten smart realizing that no one had their luggage and so they declared it casual night at dinner.
We chose the early sitting so we could have more time after dinner for the shows. We were seated at the very aft portion of the dining room affording us a fantastic view of our wake and the receding lights from our dinner seats. Our Head Waiter was Oscar (from Columbia) and his helper was Debassis from India. What a great pair they made. Our service simply got better each night as they grew to know our likes and as we got comfortable with them. Our hats are off to both of them as they worked extremely hard to make our journey everything we hoped it would be. These folks work truly hard with months passing without a day off. Please make sure they know you appreciated their work at end of the cruise when it is tip time!!.