Carnival Conquest Cruise Review by Mushinatsea
After having done 3 cruises with NCL, this was our first cruise with Carnival and after this trip will not be our last! We embarked in Fort Lauderdale. There was no traffic whatsoever to get to the port on a Saturday. Embarkation was so quick and easy that we were on the ship in not time. Cabins became available promptly at 1:30 so we grabbed one of Guy's burgers and some drinks until then. The balcony cabin was just as pictured. Our steward was friendly and efficient. Three things impressed us the most on this cruise. First was the distribution of pools and hot tubs. They stretch the length of the ship! While the large pools do get crowded, we could always find a hot tub or smaller pool next the slide to soak in. Secondly was the Serenity 21 and over only area. The only time I saw kids here was when families were touring on embarkation day. After that no kids at all. Perfect! There were 2 hot tubs, plenty of outdoor showers to cool down under and enough loungers in the sun and shade. And there is a no reserved seating policy. The last thing that impressed us was the quality of the food. We read reviews that rated Carnival as a floating Denny's...that couldn't be more untrue! The main dining hall has food the same quality as the best local restaurants. Guys burgers ARE everything they are hyped up to be! The blue iguana burrito guys make excellent breakfast burritos. The lobster shack's fresh made to order clam strips were excellent. We saw a lot of people getting crab legs as well. The Deli guys crank out these awesome sandwhiches. The pyrate pizza is very popular but the crust was too thin for my liking but my wife loved it. Basically, there are so many choices of quality food that we never ate at the buffet at all. And the buffet food didn't look bad either! We also did the at sea day brunch and had filet mignon and eggs! Entertainment was good. There was a violin trio in the atrium as well as a rock band and solo guitarist at different times. We saw 2 comedians as well. I would have liked to have seen a magic act rather than both comedians. We also caught the "love and marriage" show and I thought that they needed to do something like that everynight. The ship docked at Nassau, Half Moon Cay and Grand Turk. Half Moon Cay was the highlight for us. Absolutely beautiful beach and water. We can't wait to go back there. The Grand Turk Catamaran/snorkel excursion did get you to see some fish and did ply you with rum drinks but they also packed you on the catamaran like sardines. Everything seemed a bit rushed. If you don't mind that, then try it. Otherwise I'd recommend something else. Debarkation was not difficult. Of course there is a log jam of people but it moved relatively quickly. Also, we didn't notice any obnoxious drunks either. We had one issue with our neighbors having a meltdown on their balcony at 11:30 pm but that was it. Overall, it was a great first experience with Carnival and we would sail with them again especially on the Conquest class of ship which I think has a great ratio of size to people. We never had lines at any of the bars to get drinks or had to wait for a seat to open up for dinner. It didn't feel crowded unlike our experience on the NCL Epic which has about twice as many guests. I hope this review was helpful!
Mushinatsea’s Full Rating Summary
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
I could not believe the number of people that they packed on the catamaran. It had to be overloaded because there was not enough normal seating for everyone. The crew was professional and gave safety speeches. They divided the group into those that had no experience snorkeling and those that did. They then gave a 10 min or so instructions on how to snorkel to everyone when they should have just let those experienced in snorkeling off the catamaran. The snorkeling area has a load of fish. But you see just as many flippers from all the other people crowding the area. After that, they crew provides rum punch and cranks up the music. We spent some time on a nearby deserted beach, had some more rum and then had to board to get back. It seemed rushed to me. Overall, you will see fish and have some beach time and get rum drinks and dorritos. However, it was too crowded for us.
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This place is a tropical paradise! We got loungers near the pirate ship bar mainly for the restrooms found inside. The water is so clear! No seaweed at all. The sand is powder soft. The entertainment staff had funny games to watch. We can't wait to go back here and explore some more.
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We had day passes to Breezes. It is easy to get to on the #10 bus for $1.25 per person and only 10 minutes from the port. The resort is on a very nice beach and I did get to swim with a sea turtle who was feeding on sea grass. There is an open bar with a limited variety of alcohol and the bartenders were not knowledgeable about mixing drinks. You get the basics: bahama mommas, daiquiries, beer...forget about anything more comlex. The lunch was essentially just a grill with burgers, jerk chicken and fries. Nothing to write home about. However, the grounds were clean and tropical and I noted life guards/security at the edges of the beach. We did not see any hagglers on the beach. Overall, it was a nice beach day but I wouldn't do it again.
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