285 New Orleans Carnival Conquest Cruise Reviews

First, there was the embarkation. Long lines which reminded me of the Atlanta airport security check. But, the folks were very friendly, and of course we chatted with the others waiting in line. We had previously sailed on the MSC and ... Read More
First, there was the embarkation. Long lines which reminded me of the Atlanta airport security check. But, the folks were very friendly, and of course we chatted with the others waiting in line. We had previously sailed on the MSC and Costa lines in Europe. This was our second Carnival (US) cruise following last years cruise on the Carnival Ecstasy to the Bahamas. There were 3K+ guests on this cruise. I have to say that the crew were excellent, and very friendly, courteous, etc.. Only real complaint is that the entertainment MC's thought everyone was hard of hearing. Not only was the volume of the speakers at max ... they had to yell every word. We had to leave Henri's (?) disco because of that. And I might add that it was the only disco on the ship. No other dance place anywhere on board other then the open Lido deck (pool area). The Ecstasy had several. Cabin was far more than we expected. Lots of room, and had a 4 x 4 port window. Cabin crew was very nice and took great care of us. Room was always cleaned promptly and supplies replenished as needed. Very happy with this stateroom. Food was very good, but not as good as the Ecstasy. Dining room food was also very good. The seas were fairly rough 75% of the time, and this took some of the pleasure out. Of course we do not blame Carnival at all. The bridge crew did a great job of controlling the pitch and roll. I don't think any cruise line will ever get the embark/debark process under control. Just too many folks to load in a few hour span. Kudos to the luggage handling crew. Our dining crew was super. Many laughs and excellent service. Looking forward to the next cruise. Carnival is a good line to cruise on. Not to cheap ... not to expensive. All in all, a great value. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Only our second cruise ever, and we cant wait to go again! Second time out of New Orleans, and it was better than the first time. Embarking was so easy and smooth, loving the 'Faster to the fun' got onboard, dropped off bags and ... Read More
Only our second cruise ever, and we cant wait to go again! Second time out of New Orleans, and it was better than the first time. Embarking was so easy and smooth, loving the 'Faster to the fun' got onboard, dropped off bags and stuff at cabin and went and met up with friends we had met from the last cruise. Cold drink in hand and a Guy's burger for lunch...great start to the fun times ahead. Only thing that was disappointing on deck was the Saints game was not being played on the big screen so we all had to squish into the sports bar to see the game....last cruise we got to watch the game on the big screen Anytime dining is the only way for us, as we never know we are going to do that day. But lunch at Guys or the Blue Iguana Cantina are a must everyday. Our group of ladies tried the dining at the steakhouse...it was so good that I had to take my husband there the next night. Our first stop was Hondouras...so much fun. We went through Victor Bodden tours and had a full day of touring the island, ziplining, amazing views above the airport, and a delicious lunch that the driver took us to. Having to walk out of the port to find our tour guide was very easy, and the security personnel were very helpful. VERY humid when we got there, pretty much drenched in sweat by the time we got to the van. Our driver also took us for a restroom break at a local grocery store, and we made sure to purchase bottled water for the rest of the trip. Victor Bodden tours was amazing with the zipline company they deal with. Im not one for heights, but I decided to give it a go. The guys were great with suiting us up in out gear, and as it is a bit of a walk in a couple spots to get to the next line, there was never a rush for us to go. I had one fellow attach to my clip and we went tandem over the line, which got me to relax and enjoy it more. Platforms are well built, only concerned about the 3rd to last tree, but that was due to the very large couple that had joined our group of 6 people, but even so, everything went awesome. Our next stop was Belize, we did the stingrays and sharks excursion through Carnival, as I had read stories of people almost missing the tender back to the ship. Thankfully we did this, as we were the last tender for the day. Our tour guides were so friendly and helpful. We boated through the mangroves and hoped to see a manatee but no luck, but we did see a dolphin swimming around our boat and racing us. We were given the option to purchase lunch at Caulker Caye at the end of our tour, the guides took our order and they had it read for us when we got back. The trip to the reef was enjoyable, and the rays were neat, and actually touching a shark was thrilling and she felt like sandpaper. It would have been more fun if there had been less people on the tour, so there was more one on one time with the shark, but there was only 4 people per tour guide in the water (about 5 guides) My husband actually got to swim out further to the actual reef and shelf with our guide...he said it was amazing to see so much more, and it would have been easier if he had fins, but its understandable why they don't allow the fins, so as to not hurt the stingrays at all. Rum punch was flowing on the way back to lunch,,,which was so delicious and filling (had a chicken burger) Then we went and walked around and looked at the small island, did a bit of shopping and got back onto our boat and headed back to Belize tender spot. Our cruise also had the added fun of Halloween!! we will be trying to get a Halloween cruise again in the future. Everything was decorated, and at least 80% of the passengers were in costumes,,,so much fun! Our last port was Cozumel...and this was a relaxing port due to Halloween shenanigans, so the group of 22 of us went to Mr Sanchos all inclusive resort...a MUST. The Taxi drivers were awesome that got us there...as we had to take 3 of them and got a great deal of $5 per couple. The sand was plentiful, the water was warm, the sun was hot so the umbrellas and such came in handy...and the drinks ran freely. Most of the time was spent in the pool at the swim up bar, and the bartender knew our drink and had it ready as soon as we went back to get another. Last sea days were relaxing and full of comedy shows and dancing the night away. Disembarking was super fast and easy. We had about 6 hours to kill before having to be at the airport so we made use of the Advance Check in service at the port. They took our luggage for us, and delivered it to us at a specific time at the airport, so we didn't have to pull it around New Orleans all day. Well worth the few dollars to do this. We even arrived at the airport early and called and the delivered it earlier than planned. The whole cruise was amazing except for the size of our cabin, so live and learn and Ill not make that mistake again on the next cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Although our cruise departure was delayed because of a tropical storm in the Gulf, we still had a great time. New Orleans is one of our favorite cities so we were excited about having an extra day there. We left as planned on Saturday even ... Read More
Although our cruise departure was delayed because of a tropical storm in the Gulf, we still had a great time. New Orleans is one of our favorite cities so we were excited about having an extra day there. We left as planned on Saturday even though Carnival had emailed, called, and texted us two hours earlier about our cruise being delayed because of the weather. Our now two days in New Orleans were spent at the Marriot Residence Inn in Metairie. It was a nice, clean, comfortable hotel that is easy driving distance to everything. We spent quite a bit of time sightseeing and eating before coming back to enjoy the pool. On embarkation day, we drove to Fulton Garage where we had already prepaid parking through their website. The garage is pretty close to the port. We chose uncovered parking and the attendant told us that we would have to drive all the way up to the top to park. There was a porter waiting on one of the lower floors to collect our luggage. He told us we would have to walk down a few levels in order to get to the elevators. We parked the car, found the elevators, and made our way down to front of the garage to catch the shuttle. The driver was very friendly. The cruise terminal itself is set up really awkwardly and the driver had to maneuver through some pretty narrow spaces. We made it to the terminal after a few near misses with large motor coaches and entered the building after unloading our luggage. The embarkation process in New Orleans is pretty similar to what we experienced when we took the Elation out of Mobile. Everyone is assigned a zone and seated. When your zone number is called, you are allowed to get in line. There was a long wait but not as bad as Miami or Mobile. We boarded the ship, dropped off our luggage, and headed to the buffet for lunch. We are used to getting our luggage well before dinner. So, we were not surprised to see our bags already at the door when we got back to our cabin. Our largest suitcase was missing but we just assumed it would show up soon. Wrong. Dinner time came. No luggage. We went to dinner and came back, still no bag. I called Guest Services and was told to be patient, that is should show up by 9 pm. After seeing the other passengers’ bags disappear from the hallway, we knew our bag was not going to turn up. I went down to Guest Services and was told that sometimes, it can take until midnight for all the bags to be delivered and I should check back in the morning. I walked away knowing that I had just been fed a load of crap. We woke up the next morning, still no suitcase. I went to Guest Services again and this time there was a new agent. She suggested that I check the room next to the counter. Sure enough, there was my bag. Apparently, someone broke the handle and the tag fell off. How long my bag had been there, I do not know. It would have been nice though if the lady that I talked to the night before had attempted to be helpful instead of continuously blowing me off. The agent who helped me find my suitcase reported the damage to a supervisor who came by our cabin to inspect the suitcase. She ended up just giving us a letter with the address to contact Carnival customer service. Other than our cabin steward and dining room staff, this was about the level of service we received for the duration of the cruise. There were some shining stars but, most of the time the crew just seemed too tired to be bothered. Our first sea day started with the comedy brunch in the dining room. I was hoping for a full show but apparently, this is just a teaser for the comedy shows at night. The comedian only spoke for 5 minutes. Brunch was great though. I ordered the huevos y carne which is eggs served with filet mignon and potatoes. The coffee was exceptional. After dropping our little boy off at Camp Carnival, we headed to the gym. Our little boy loved Camp Carnival. We are careful to drop him off when there are activities on the scheduled that he will enjoy. We were also surprised to see a few Americans on the camp staff and a man. Every camp staff member we talked to was great and our little boy had several art projects to take home at the end of the cruise. I really like the gym on the Conquest. They had upgraded treadmills and ellipticals and I was pleased to see that all the monitors on the machines were working. My only complaint with the gym is that the weight area is pretty small. I honestly think only 2 or 3 adults could comfortably work out in that area. There were also some gym rats on the ship’s staff that were holding some of the weights hostage for their own workout in the aerobics room. None of the people who needed to use those weights appreciated that. They even tried to take some of the weights that I was using without even asking me if I was finished with them. They were just really rude – not the kind of behavior that I expect from ship staff. After exercising, we picked up our son and headed up to the Lido deck to find the kiddie pool. After searching in vain, we asked the pool attendant and he said there was no kiddie pool on the Conquest. This was disappointing after using the kiddie pool on the Valor (essentially the same ship) quite often. There is one main pool in the center of the Lido deck and apparently, that is where Carnival expects small kids to swim – with the throng of other adults and older kids on the ship. No thanks. Dinner in the dining room was OK. I absolutely hated our table seating. They stuck us back in a dark corner at a table for two. They added a third chair for our son. After our experience with the luggage, we decided that it just was not worth complaining about so we put up with it for the duration of the cruise. I got the BBQ pork ribs which were edible but the sauce did not really taste like BBQ sauce. We had early seating so we headed to the 8:15 Divas theater show after dinner. The singers were very good but I really did not like some of the song selections. If you could only sing one Whitney Houston song, would you pick “Queen of the Night”? My husband put our little boy to bed while I went to the adults-only comedy show at 9:45. It was standing room only. Honestly, if you’re not in line before the prior event ends, don’t bother trying to go. If the events are this popular, why not have them in the theater instead of cramming everyone into a much smaller lounge? The Degas lounge is simply not big enough. I went up to the Lido deck after the comedy show to catch the Seaside Theater movie before turning in for the night. Our day in Key West started with an early morning workout in the gym. Our plan for the day was the Key West Aquarium and a little shopping. We headed to the breakfast buffet after getting dressed so we could get off the ship right after eating. After the horrible buffet food on the Valor, I know what to avoid on the buffet. I stuck with fruit, French toast, eggs benedict, and tea instead of coffee. The coffee on the buffet is not as good as the coffee in the dining room. We got off the ship and had a great time at the Key West Aquarium, which I detail in my ports review. My phone battery had long since died and I had a number of emails to follow-up on so I stopped at the visitors’ center to ask where I could find free wi-fi to use my tablet. I was directed to the Starbucks which is about a half mile walk from the Aquarium. The wi-fi is indeed free but you have to ask the barista for the password. I guess this is their way of making sure people buy something instead of just hanging out using their wi-fi. We ate lunch while I responded to my emails and then headed back to the ship. On the way back, we stopped at the Key Lime Pie Factory and got a slice of key lime pie. It was good but a little more tart than I like my pie. I also got a key lime pound cake for $10. It was OK but nothing I feel the need to buy again. We got back on the ship and headed to the Lido deck so our son could enjoy some time in the pool before it got super crowded. My husband went to the gym and I dropped our son off at Camp Carnival to head to the spa. I got a full body exfoliation and a blissful foot massage from Lilian – sheer heaven. Dinner was much more enjoyable than the night before. The smoked chicken quesadillas and the jerk pork were delicious. Nassau was our next stop. Disembarkation was a hot mess. Communication was not this ship’s staff strong point. There was no announcement from the cruise director or written instructions given to the passengers the night before we arrived. Instead they set the elevators to not open the doors at deck 0. People are on the elevator pushing 0 to get off the ship and the elevator goes down to 0 and then goes right back up to 2. Now that I’m writing this, I think the same thing happened on the Valor and it was annoying then too. If that’s the process, fine. However, there is no excuse for not letting the passengers know in order to avoid confusion. We finally got off the ship and spent a nice relaxing day at Cable Beach. Dinner in the dining room was wonderful. I think I tried at least 3 entrees. I remember the filet mignon, short ribs, and lasagna were all delicious. On our second sea day, we did some trivia, attended the future cruise talk, and had another great meal at the Punchliner comedy brunch. We enjoyed a nap before dinner and went to the family comedy show after dinner. This one was not nearly as crowded as the adults only comedy show. Our last sea day was spent with more of the same activities. I enjoyed more treatments at the spa but bought way too much product. I really enjoyed the sea days because we had so much time to get back to New Orleans that the ship felt like it was gliding. It was very relaxing. The ship was moving so slowly that the captain even stopped and turned around to investigate an abandoned boat. We usually don’t eat in the dining room on the last night because we focus on packing. We ate Guy’s Burgers for dinner instead. My husband really enjoyed the burgers there and still talks about them. Debarkation was pretty straightforward. Although they try to rush you off the ship, we left our luggage in the cabin and enjoyed our usual leisurely debarkation breakfast before collecting our luggage, saying goodbye to our steward, and heading down to wait until our zone was called. Overall, we enjoyed this cruise and the upgrades on the Conquest are great. Cruising remains our family’s preferred way to take a vacation. As much as we love Carnival, the last two cruises have been a little lacking. So, we are branching out. Our next cruise is on Royal Caribbean.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
This was our 12th cruise, 4th on a Carnival Ship. Our cruise was cut short one day because of a Tropical Storm that had formed in the Gulf. Luckily it dissipated allowing us to still enjoy 6 FABULOUS days. I can say that the food on this ... Read More
This was our 12th cruise, 4th on a Carnival Ship. Our cruise was cut short one day because of a Tropical Storm that had formed in the Gulf. Luckily it dissipated allowing us to still enjoy 6 FABULOUS days. I can say that the food on this cruise rivaled ANY we have had - we loved Guy's Burger Bar and the Blue Iguana was our favorite "hangout" around the pool. There wasn't ANYTHING that we didn't enjoy. Frankly we were a little surprised because this isn't generally Carnival's strong suit but it was a pleasant surprise!! The early comedian shows were excellent, these were defined as "family friendly". We didn't take in any of the late comedian shows. We took in one of the production shows called The Brits, and it was quite unique. Combining live dancers with the newest in cutting edge animation. Overall it was a GREAT time. We took a couple along with us, for one of them it was her first cruise. She is somewhat a "workaholic" and we weren't sure if she could unwind. But not only did she do that, but LOVED IT, and we booked another cruise for October 2014 while on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
This was my second cruise, my first cruise in 13 years, and my wife's second cruise, the first was in late 2011. I booked this cruise back in July and anxiously awaited the months to pass like a little child waiting for Christmas ... Read More
This was my second cruise, my first cruise in 13 years, and my wife's second cruise, the first was in late 2011. I booked this cruise back in July and anxiously awaited the months to pass like a little child waiting for Christmas morning. Because of this, I was a bit disheartened when our cruise was cut a day short because of Tropical Storm Karen closing the Mississippi River, but I felt that Carnival dealt with the situation in the best way possible. Ultimately we got reimbursed for a day and missed Freeport, but nearly everyone I spoke to said this was nothing to be bummed about, since many people do not have favorable opinions of Freeport. We drove to New Orleans on Sunday, our original embarkation day, and spent the night at the Ramada Inn Metairie. This was a fantastic hotel, allowing us to park our vehicle there for the duration of the cruise, as well as providing transportation to the port on Monday morning, although return transportation was on our own following disembarkation. We purchased Faster to the Fun, which really came in handy! We arrived at the port around 10:30am and there were already crazy long lines just to get into the terminal, for security, and check-in. Once we had cleared the line to get into the building, Faster to the Fun made security and check-in a breeze. We were on the ship and directly to our stateroom around 11:15am. We were so happy to have bypassed all the lines and really be having fun much faster. By the time we got to the terminal I believe they were handing out Zone 34 cards, so it would have been quite a while without FTTF. Our room was on the Panorama Deck (10) and was actually a handicapped room with a walkaway view of the observation deck all the way forward on Deck 10. We really enjoyed all of the space we had, and I especially enjoyed just walking around the corner to a deck that practically no one knew about. We saw very few people out there for the duration of our cruise. After checking out our room and dropping off our carry on bags, we went out to explore the ship. This meant we immediately checked out the spa, at my wife's plea. We never used any of their services, but it did look like a very nice facility offering many different services. Following our spa tour we made our way out to the Lido deck poolside and grabbed a burger from Guy's Burger Joint. I cannot say enough about how fantastic this place is! I had a burger every day of the cruise, it was just that good! We walked around some more after lunch and before the safety briefing. The Conquest is a beautiful ship, hard to believe it is eleven years old! Pretty soon we were sailing down the Mississippi River towards the Gulf of Mexico. I must say, if you have never sailed from New Orleans, I highly recommend it. It is such a unique experience to be on a large ship traveling down the river. We ate at the Point Steakhouse the first night of the cruise and it was amazing. We were given a complimentary bottle of wine and all of the food (and it was a lot) was delicious. We left absolutely stuffed and amazed at the fine dining we had experienced. I highly recommend the steakhouse! We really enjoyed all of the food while on the ship. I think our favorite meal was the Punchliner Brunch, which was so good each of the three sea days. Where else can you get filet mignon with eggs or french toast coated with Fruit Loops? The Taste Bar was also a favorite, as we enjoyed the samplings of restaurants on our ship and other ships. We had dinner in the dining room each night, with the exception of the first night when we were at the steakhouse. The dining room was just okay for me. I felt like the service was too slow, but this could have been because of the Your Time Dining. Speaking of YTD, we only had to wait on the first elegant night and the last night of the cruise. Neither wait was more than 15-20 minutes for a table for two. The only downside to a table for two, and I've noticed this with other reviews, is that the tables set for two are so close to the table next to you that it's almost like one huge table. You seemingly end up engaged in conversation with your neighbors anyway. I really was not all that impressed with the food in the dining room. Not that it was bad, but it had a hospital food taste. The only time we tried the buffet was for breakfast on the day we were to port in Nassau. Blue Iguana's Cantina had awesome tacos, but it was only open for lunch for about 2.5 hours each day. I wish it were open longer, and I do understand that it is open for breakfast. We also tried out sandwiches from the Carnival Deli and pizza from Pizza Pirate. Everything was excellent! We were very satisfied with the entertainment on the ship. Our cruise director, Gary, was great at keeping the audience entertained throughout the cruise. We especially enjoyed the Hasbro Game Show each of the two episodes they had. The third was cancelled on the last day due to "technical difficulties". The "Game of Love" was also quite entertaining, as was "The Brits". I had never realized how many games of bingo is played each cruise, but it looks like many people really enjoy it. Overall, this was an awesome cruise for my wife and I. We had so much fun that we have already booked a cruise out of NOLA next year on the Dream and are already looking forward to that. Again, can't say enough good about FTTF, Guy's Burgers, and the Steakhouse. We also really loved both ports, walking around and sightseeing at both Key West and Nassau. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Conquest - 20-27 Oct 2013 Embarkation day: We drove down to Slidell the afternoon before embarkation, feasted on softshell crab, crawfish, and shrimp, got a goodnight's sleep, had breakfast at the hotel, made a last minute trip to ... Read More
Conquest - 20-27 Oct 2013 Embarkation day: We drove down to Slidell the afternoon before embarkation, feasted on softshell crab, crawfish, and shrimp, got a goodnight's sleep, had breakfast at the hotel, made a last minute trip to Walmart, and headed for New Orleans and the Erato St. terminal, where the Conquest was docked. We arrived at the terminal just after 10 AM, and got in line with all the other cruisers who also had arrived early. After paying the parking fee, we drove up the ramp to the luggage drop off area. Dominick met us, gave us his name and porter #, and took our bags. (A note of caution here: even though he viewed our boarding passes, and assured us he would put the priority stickers on our bags, he didn't, and our bags weren't delivered until after the safety drill. In fact our room steward delivered the final bag around 5:00 PM!) After dropping our bags, we proceeded to the 4th floor parking area and were very fortunate to find a spot right next to the elevator! We took the elevator to the ground floor where we were directed to the priority line to security and the carry on screeners who are on the 2nd floor. I'm not sure how long the screener had been on the job, but he spent a few minutes breaking the seal on two of our 3 bottles of wine, shaking them, looking at them in the light, and then took them to another, older screener to look at. He looked at me, the bottles, and told the younger one to give them back to me. Through security, we were directed to the priority lounge. There, three Carnival reps were processing all priority passengers. There were cookies, pastries, water and juice available in the lounge. Within minutes we were called to a desk, showed the rep our passports, and were issued our S&S cards. After the angst I experienced after accepting an upsell to a Grand Suite with the understanding that it included the FTTF benefits, and cancelled the FTTF I had previously booked only to find out that the only "benefit" was priority embarkation/debarkation, one can imagine my surprise when the Carnival rep handed us our S&S cards and they had the FTTF sticker on them!!!! We were then directed to the priority waiting area - to wait for the boarding call. A wedding party was assembling in an adjoining area, and at about 11:15 AM, they were escorted to the ship. Shortly thereafter, the priority area was called to board.....no order - the entire group got up and moved to board the ship. We boarded the Conquest, and like the rest of the priority cruisers, made our way across the lobby to the elevators. We got off on the Empress deck (7), oriented ourselves to port and starboard, and located our stateroom. It was ready, so we dropped our carry on bags, and took a tour of the suite. Wow! What a way to travel - won't do it again, but it sure is roomy!! After unpacking our carry on bags, we went up to the Lido to check out the Red Frog Rum Bar and the Blue Iguana Tequila Bar, Guy's burgers, and the Blue Iguana Cantina. While at each of the bars, I bought the collectible Tervis tumblers, as they usually sell out in a couple of days. I'll just say my favorite brand of rum, not available onboard the ship, sure tasted good in those glasses all during the cruise. On schedule, we departed New Orleans and headed down the Mississippi River enroute to our first port call - Montego Bay, Jamaica. I had previously sent a reservation request for dinner at the steakhouse, so knowing what was ahead of us, we had not eaten earlier. We prepared for dinner and took the elevator to the 10th deck and the steakhouse. If you haven't eaten at one of the Carnival steakhouses, you're missing a treat!! This was the third time in two cruises, and it was every bit as good as the first two!!! Service, quality of food - it's all very much worth it. Don't go in a hurry - dinner lasts about two hours! The Conquest continued her journey down the Mississippi, and sometime around midnight, we passed out of the river into the Gulf of Mexico. The first day at sea begins...... First day at sea - Monday. Room service Steward delivered the requested 2 pots of pre-ordered coffee at 7:30 AM. A beautiful morning to be sitting on the balcony drinking coffee! Tonight is the first "elegant night". Breakfast on the lido deck. Omelet station wasn't very busy - the cantina was open serving breakfast burritos, taking some away from the main lines. After breakfast, time to check out the Fun Shops. $10 sale at 10 AM. The unknowing were lined up to take advantage of items "on sale" for $10 that they'll find selling for $10 all cruise. Fun finds presentation: The DW attended, received 4x6 sized bok about 1 1/2 inches thick with coupons for most, if not all the CCL " preferred stores" in all the ports they sail to. A "Free" VIP card goes with it, and the CCL published shopping guides for each port. Package price $25. Hope using the free stuff coupons makes up for the $25 she spent on the booklet! While DW went to lay out in the sun, FIL and I people watched from comfortable sofas in the lobby most off the afternnon, while I enjoyed my brand of rum and diet Pepsi - neither of which are available onboard Since we have ATD/YTD, we got ready and went down to the Renior forward area on deck three. I gave the hostess our stateroom number and also the number oof the table we wanted to sit at. (A sidenote here: we always walk through the dining room the first day to select a table we'd like to sit at, and give that number to the hostess. We may have a short wait, but have always been able to get the one we selected.) We have a great wait staff, led by Godfrey. After dinner we eent to the aft lounge to see the Punchline comedians. Both were extremely funny, and DW said she hasn't laughed so hard in years. We stayed for the adults only show, which was as good as the family shows. After the shows it was off to bed. Amazingly, we didn't pose for any elegant night photos!! Second sea day - Tuesday. We are seemingly alone on the sea. Whereas there were other ships in sight for the last two days, this morning there are none. We continue on our track to Jamaica. Breakfast on the lido again. Nothing spectacular to cause any excitement, but it's all good. Bingo, super duper trivia - the usual games and time occupiers were scheduled in the morning. FIL and I were seated way off to one side of the lobby when the "host" of the trivia said that for HIS purposes of the game, men against women, we had to move to the other side of the lobby. We were not participating, nor were we paying much attention to what was going on. We didn't move, but we noticed he became irritated with some others, was rude and abrasive in his tone; and actually told some people to "move along". More games in the afternoon, as well as the ice carving. In about 10 minutes, a large block of ice was turned into an angel fish. Beautiful! A nap! Laid down to relax and stretch out, and suddenly someone had turned the clock forward an hour or so! DW was sunning herself somewhere on deck, and FIL was snoozing in a chair, so I wasn't alone during my nap... Supper time! We showered, changed, and made our way down to the Renoir dining room, and in short order were seated at table 157, with Godfrey's serving crew. Another great meal!! We finished dinner and went forward to the theater for "The Brits" production. I have mixed feelings!!! The backgrounds and graphics are excellent!! But, come on Carnival....8 performers, no band or orchestra??? A sad state!!! The theater was about two thirds full, applause was less than hearty. Wandered up to deck 4 to look over the photos, and then retired to our cabin for the night. Tomorrow: Jamaica!!! Port call: Jamaica - Wednesday. We rose early. Room steward delivered coffee, and we prepared for breakfast, and then our early departure on our excursion to the Appleton Estate. Leaving the port city, we took an uphill hairpin curve to the right, which was the first of many hair raising and white knuckle turns, hills, and twists. It was a fantastic ride, in my opinion - and most of those aboard the bus agreed. One lady, seated toward the back of the bus, claimed to be very prone to carsickness, so took the seat in the front opposite the driver  where the edges of the roads and cliffs, close calls with pedestrians, etc., was all in living color and 3D” …and she had the time of her life! What some folks won’t do for a front row seat! LOL After what seemed like we should have arrived at Appleton, we arrived at the halfway point for a bathroom and refreshment stop. But when the maximum speed is only about 35 mph (50 km), and you're on a road like that, you have to just sit back and watch Jamaica go by. I can honestly say that there isn't another tour on the island that will allow you to see the "real" Jamaica, not what one sees at the port, or in National Geographic. I won't go into great detail, but compared to how must cruisers live, a vast majority of Jamaicans live below any poverty level they could imagine. We arrived at the Appleton estate, and were escorted past a guarded gate into the main building. There we were given glasses of rum punch, soda, or water. The rum punch was made from a blend of several rums, and was tasty. Refills, in a larger glass were freely offered…. From the main building we were then led to a side yard to begin the tour. We passed several antique pieces of equipment used in the early days, and were given a demonstration of a donkey powered sugar cane press. The tour continued to the factory area, where the boiler plant is. The entire operation is electricity self-sufficient, as the by products from the sugar cane to the distillation process are re-used to power the plant. From the boiler area we went to the distillery building, which required climbing a long flight of stairs so that we were above the distilling pots and condensing towers. The process was fully explained, and then we made our way down the stairs and to the ageing room. No photos were allowed, but they have 6 stations comprised of 3 copper distillation pots each, and a tall condensing tower, also of copper. The rum is distilled 3 times, each time raising the alcohol content, until it finally goes through the condensing tower and then to the aging barrels. From the distillery, we moved to the ageing room. The ageing room is a misnomer - it's actually a large, dark warehouse with almost 5000 barrels of ageing rum stacked up. Some will be there for up to 30 years. From the ageing room we returned to the main building where Appleton employees has prepared a delicious lunch for us. After lunch we were free to taste any and all of Appleton's rums and liquors....which just about everyone did!!! The store opened, and we were all invited to shop to our hearts content...some did. Soon it was time to board the bus for the two plus hour ride back to the port. All was well, we were on our way back to the ship.. and then it happened.....a FLAT TIRE!! ..and we weren't even to the halfway point! As luck would have it, we coasted to a stop in front of a tire shop... it wasn't long before two young Jamaicans and some tools appeared. In short order, they had the tire changed and we were on our way again. Time was passing, and it appeared we may be late in arriving at the port, but luck continued with us, and although we were about the last ones to board the ship, we made it! The Conquest set sail and we were soon on our way to Grand Cayman. Dinner in the Renoir at table 157 with Godfrey, Ivan, and Jadranka (pronounced YA-dranka) and then we retired to our stateroom. Port call - Grand Cayman. Thursday. We arrived to bright blue skies - it was a beautiful day in Grand Caymans! We had an 11:30 AM island tour scheduled, but DW was afraid we may not have enough time to shop when we returned, so we joined the long lines for the tender. Reaching shore DW headed off with her Fun Finds coupon book to see what treasures she could score. I, on the other hand, headed for the duty free liquor store! Found a liter of Gosling's Black Seal rum for $14. Sold! Cayman's law requires they deliver it to the ship, so it joined cases and cases and more cases of purchases that were tendered to the ship in company of several ship's security officers. Our island tour left at 11:30 AM and lasted until just before the last few tenders. I won't give it all away, but it's a fun and relaxing tour - and after viewing the Governor’s home, but before you visit the turtle farm, you just go to Hell!! Really…and you have to send a postcard to your boss, mother in law, etc. It’s only 25 cents U.S. postage, and they have a mailbox on the porch. We got in line, boarded the tender, and returned to the ship. After showers, we dressed for the second elegant night, and proceeded to the Renoir dining room, and another great meal. After dinner we looked for photos on the boards on deck 4, checked out the Latin show (don't bother) and retired to our cabin to watch the second baseball World Series game. Port call: Cozumel, Mexico. Friday. Expected arrival 10 AM. Woke in the middle of the night to heavy rolls of the ship. We were in a crossing sea, and it didn't feel as though the stabilizers were deployed. At 7:00 AM, the steward delivered our 2 pots of coffee. Thunderstorms all around the ship as we continue toward Cozumel. Hoping the storms move east so that our day in Cozumel isn't rained out!! Arriving in Cozumel, the rain continues. Carnival Magic across the pier from us. They arrived earlier and most of their passengers are already ashore. Allure of the Seas is also in port, so there are significant numbers of cruisers ashore. After breakfast on the lido, we make our way to deck 0 to go ashore. Amazingly, there was hardly any line, and in no time we were walking down the pier under our new blue Carnival ponchos ($3 each). We met our tour guide "Martin" (pronounced Marrrrrteen") (he said it had 5 R's in it - you have to roll your R's) who escorted us to the vans that carried us to the Jose Cuervo experience. A quick 5 minute ride and we arrived at the facility. As it was raining, we were escorted to the tasting area first rather than walking through Discover Mexico, a miniature assemblage of famous Mexican buildings. The educational value of this excursion is beyond compare, especially if Martin is your guide. I believe we all came away with a new appreciation for Tequila, its history, the varieties, etc., and highly recommend it. Following the tasting, we crossed into another area where fresh mango margaritas were prepared for all. Seconds were available, and their recipe was shared with those who wanted it. We then proceeded to the Discover Mexico gallery, which contains some beautiful examples of haandicrafts and artwork from around Mexico. Following the tour of the art gallery Martin led us to a covered outdoor area for a great lunch. After lunch and a visit to the gift shop, we boarded the vans for the short ride back to the port. DW and some of the other ladies on the excursion decided to poke through the shops and see what they could collect with their coupons. Having no interest in that, I went directly to the Tequila store in search of a good blue agave tequila not sold in the states. Not finding anything that really caught my eye, and as it was still raining (and DW had my poncho!) and I had no idea where she was within the jumble of shops, I showed my S&S card to security and strolled back to the ship. An hour or so later, DW showed up, excited that I was aboard and that she wouldn't have to go looking for me. I was just as excited that I didn't have to go looking for her! We spent the rest of the afternoon hollering at folks on the Magic as we all watched the stragglers return to the ships. PEOPLE! What part of "all passengers must be aboard by 3:30 PM" don't you understand?? The MAGIC was supposed to leave before we did, but they were still waiting for stragglers when CONQUEST backed away from the pier, turned and headed towards New Orleans. It was smooth sailing until we cleared the northern tip of Cozumel.... then the fun began! Heavy rolls - we were proceeding north into heavy seas from the east. For those who have sailed through rough seas and in rolling ships, it wasn't bad; however, my DW noticed that various seasick remedies were on sale in several of the ship's stores, and a container with "barf bags" was taped to a wall between elevators on each deck. Sea day. Enroute to New Orleans and home! Saturday Nothing much to do today - just enjoy the day. The pools are closed - with all the tossing and rolling, the water was being sloshed out, so the pools will be closed until the sea calms down. Multiple games on the screens in the EA Sports Bar; however, when the bartenders are Eastern European, and they control which game of the several being shown you hear the sound of, and don't understand why the patrons want the sound from a certain game....FIL & I returned to our cabin to watch the one game being televised on TV. Slot tournament going on right outside the door of the sports bar...and a loud group occupying a booth talking about who's who in the NBA, etc. without any consideration for those watching football.. "Huge" t-shirt, watch, glass figurine, jewelry sale going on in all the shops. Secret shopper tip: there are no special sales, end of cruise markdowns, etc. T-shirts are $10 during the cruise, 2 for $20 on the last couple of days -- do the math!! Same with everything else... We've moved into the shipping lanes as we're now seeing other ships on northerly or southerly routes. Note to pool/hot tub lovers: for kid free, over 18 only, use the very aft area. Deck 9, and deck 10. Kid free.... Football games, then game 3 of the World Series. Dinner in the Renoir, with pictures and email exchanges with our wait staff and then back to our cabin to pack. Our steward delivered our liquor purchases, and we completed our packing, affixed our debarkation tags on our checked bags, and set them in the passageway. Bags were picked up right at 11 PM. We are already in the Mississippi River, just south of Venice. Time is 11:35 PM. Alarm is set for 6:15 AM. We are in Zone 1, and are to be in the Renoir by 8:15. Debarkation Day: New Orleans. Sunday. Up at 6:00 AM. Ship was just approaching the pier. Tied up by 6:30. Breakfast on the lido, last minute check of all drawers, cupboards and closets and then to the Renoir dining room to wait with other Zone 1. Signs at the entrance to the Renoir read: FTTF (arrow left) Diamond/Platinum (arrow right). The "carry your own stuff” crowd finally completed their debarkation, and all of us in the Renoir were called at one time. I guess the divided seating was for appearances, because we were all mixed together by the time we reached the gangway. Off the ship before 8:30. Through luggage pickup and customs, up to the 4th floor of the garage to load the car, out of the garage, and onto I-10 East....all before 9:00 AM! A quick stop in Slidell to pick up sandwiches for later, and we're on our way home.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
This cruise was to celebrate birthdays. There were 6 of us and 5 of us had either just had a birthday or a birthday was coming up. Needless to say we were ready to enjoy ourselves. Our verandah cabin was fine. Ours was next door to one of ... Read More
This cruise was to celebrate birthdays. There were 6 of us and 5 of us had either just had a birthday or a birthday was coming up. Needless to say we were ready to enjoy ourselves. Our verandah cabin was fine. Ours was next door to one of our friends and we opened the door separating the balcony's. This gave us a nice area to have our cocktail hours (note the plural). All the staff were exceptional. We encountered one problem immediately. While we had requested a table for 6 so that we could all be together at dinner that did not happen. However, the second night we had our table for 6. We had the late seating for dinner so we enjoyed a cocktail at the Alchemy bar each evening before dinner. The bar staff in the Alchemy were outstanding. I recommend this bar to anyone who enjoys martinis. Excellent! The shows were just so so. We had more fun watching our fellow passengers. We did the coral garden and stingray snorkel in Georgetown, Grand Cayman. A most excellent experience. Now for the absolutely horrible experience. It was storming at Cozumel when it was time to re-board the ship. There was an extremely long line of passengers standing in the pouring rain and the ships crew did absolutely nothing to expedite the re-boarding process. They could have done several things to help. At a very minimum crew members could have handed out umbrellas that were returned at the security station. They could have allowed two lines, one for those who had packages that needed to be scanned and another for those who had nothing with them. There are several places to board the ship and they could have activated at lease one or preferably more to accommodate the passengers. Nothing we were just drenched. I hope that my fellow passengers did not develop a cold as I did. All in all the cruise was fun. I just hope I am not aboard a Carnival ship in a real emergency. The way they handled the re-boarding process in a storm makes me wonder just how well they would be able to operate in a real emergency. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Our cruise on Carnival Conquest was tagged on to the end of a fabulous 12 day bus tour around Texas with Archers Direct so we had no choice of cruise line. We'd never cruised with them before and, unless in a similar situation, we ... Read More
Our cruise on Carnival Conquest was tagged on to the end of a fabulous 12 day bus tour around Texas with Archers Direct so we had no choice of cruise line. We'd never cruised with them before and, unless in a similar situation, we probably won't cruise with them again. Although the ship was impressive, clean and enjoyable we were less impressed with some of the passengers! We are 'ordinary working class people' and have cruised MANY times with other lines so please don't think we're snobs, 'cos we ain't! But many of the passengers we loud, and my Mum would have said, uncouth! We're certainly not opposed to enjoying life on board to the full and partying is part of any cruise. It was certainly taken to the limit on this cruise! I am a musician and love most types of music but I also like a little peace and quiet whilst on holiday. Trying to find any peace or anything approaching quiet on this ship was almost impossible! (except in your cabin or dining room). The main pool area was dominated by a LARGE video screen with a sound system that must have been approaching the threshold of pain!! This played throughout the day and evening. Consequently trying to find a suitable spot to listen to ones own music or read a book etc. was really difficult. Even the 'quiet' pool area at the rear of the ship had loud-ish music playing. We chose to take dinner in one of the main dining rooms and were impressed by the quality of the food and the service (although, as with most recent cruises, the food was often tepid). Breakfast and lunch was usually taken in the buffet and was OK too. The cruise director was possibly the best yet! His team worked tirelessly to provide the best possible entertainment throughout each day. The 'live' shows weren't of course live. (I wonder what the Musicians Union are doing allowing music with no live musicians at all being used)! The 'lead' vocals were live and of a very good standard so too were the dance routines and the dancers. The lighting and graphics used were VERY impressive and for once the music in the theatre was punchy and at a suitable level to be involving but not deafening. (other ships take note). I've been VERY frustrated over the years with sound engineers that have used levels more suited to a rest home than a theatre. The rest of the entertainment was fairly average. The band had a great female singer and although competent looked bored and had no personality. The boy/girl duo had a varied repertoire but again lacked personality and stage presence. The singer/guitarist we saw on one occasion was (sorry mate) awful! Drinks on board were similarly priced to other cruise lines we've used recently. Embarkation and disembarkation were pretty hassle free. To sum up, a very nice ship, well appointed but more suitable for families who love to party!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We just returned on the Conquest porting out of NOLA. This was our 5th cruise with Carnival and 7th total cruise. We had such a wonderful time! Porting in and out of NOLA was very easy. We flew in the night prior to the cruise and stayed ... Read More
We just returned on the Conquest porting out of NOLA. This was our 5th cruise with Carnival and 7th total cruise. We had such a wonderful time! Porting in and out of NOLA was very easy. We flew in the night prior to the cruise and stayed an additional day to tour around downtown. We had a porthole room on the Main deck which we love as we have outside light, but pay an interior rate. Our room steward Patrick was outstanding! We enjoyed the food and people on the cruise. We prefer anytime dining so that we can eat in the dining room when we choose. We also enjoyed several Puchliner Comedy Brunches. The chocolate pancakes were to die for! This was a fun new Carnival idea to have the comedians come do a short show on the hour in the dining room and serve brunch type menu items. A nice option for sea days. We loved the ports, as we had been to all three before, but did different excursions this time. All 3 excursions we booked on our own. In Roatan we did the Sun n Fun with Victor Bodden tours. In Belize this was our favorite.......cavetubing.bz. This cavetubing company was amazing. Belize being a tender port made me beyond nervous booking outside of the cruiseline........but it was our favorite excursion! This company goes on and beyond to make sure the excursion is outstanding and that you make it back to the tourism village in plenty of time to get a tender back to the ship. No worries there! In Cozumel we did the Bar Hop and saw the beautiful other side of the island there. We can't wait to take this crusie again some day. Would highly recommend this cruise. Everything was wonderful! Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
This was a great cruise, we had a few itinerary changes and Carnival was able to pull it all together. The cruise started out with an injury to a passenger that had us changing the order of our ports. We visited Cozumel first. This port is ... Read More
This was a great cruise, we had a few itinerary changes and Carnival was able to pull it all together. The cruise started out with an injury to a passenger that had us changing the order of our ports. We visited Cozumel first. This port is just beautiful. My aunt and I did the Carnival excursion Salsa and Salsa. This was so much fun! The next port was The Grand Cayman. We had a lot of rain, but it was still a nice port. The best of Cayman tour by Carnival was good. The last port was Jamaica where we did the Croydon Plantation, a great optional excursion. The Carnival Conquest is a great ship. Our stateroom was beautiful and we had a balcony. We spent every morning on the balcony with our coffee. Love the room service! We ate at a different venue every day for lunch. Guys burgers is fantastic for lunch. The pizza is also delicious for dinner or lunch. We also enjoyed the dining room food. There is no way that anyone could go hungry on this ship! Loved all the entertainment aboard the ship. We enjoyed the comedy shows and bingo. Also had fun with the trivia challenges, however they could have been organized a little better. I think the only thing that I didn't like about the Conquest was how they handled disembarking at the various ports. Other cruises that I have been on seem to cater to the people that buy excursions from the ship. Carnival on the Conquest didn't seem to care if you needed to meet up with an excursion. Everyone was herded together to get off of the ship. I just feel that organization goes a long way, especially when you have a large group of people all headed in the same direction. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
This was our 5th cruise with Carnival and 2nd cruise on the Conquest... We sailed with her 10 years ago and had fond memories... This review is a quick review without using names and specific facilities.... Overall we liked the ship and ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise with Carnival and 2nd cruise on the Conquest... We sailed with her 10 years ago and had fond memories... This review is a quick review without using names and specific facilities.... Overall we liked the ship and the crew but found areas that will keep us from going on Carnival again.... The MDR food was not very good except on a couple of nights... Port nights the food was very plain and the buffet was as good a choice as the MDR... The dress code as advertised was not followed by a few in the MDR... I do not like to dress up for the MDR but about 10% of the diners dressed very improper... such as bathing suits with a cover us and flip flops at night in the MDR... yes... just a few but does it make sense to have a dress code and then allow anything? The buffet area with all of the choices is one of the best I have seen in my 10 cruises... A very good experience and wide, wide choice of foods... Ice Cream at both pools and in the buffet area... Hamburgers were good but not great as advertised.... Saw people in just bathing suits in the buffet... this is against the rules of the ship but seems to be accepted behavior on Carnival.... As for the pools... A first for me... The pools become standing cocktail parties... as the day goes on... 20 people standing in the pool with a drink in their hands... no swimming when this happens... The large entertainment room at the end of the ship was a disappointment... only a couple of shows like use to be so common.. Our room was nice and clean and kept clean... we showed our appreciation for the person assigned to clean our room... Carnival has changed to a point where the loud drunk few with their lack of class has become to me a place that I do not need to use for my cruising anymore... The Conquest is a very good ship that needs to raise the quality of the MDR food and enforce the common sense rules.... and start taking care of the majority and not the few.... Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
I enjoyed this cruise more than the my two previous cruises. The Conquest was a beautiful ship. The food was absolutely fabulous. I was disappointed with the food on the Ecstasy so this was a pleasant surprise. We had dinner in the dining ... Read More
I enjoyed this cruise more than the my two previous cruises. The Conquest was a beautiful ship. The food was absolutely fabulous. I was disappointed with the food on the Ecstasy so this was a pleasant surprise. We had dinner in the dining room six out of seven nights. We choose Your time Dining. This worked out great for us and we were able to meet more people this way when were seated at a table with others or near others. Even with over 3000 quests on board we always seemed to keep running in to some of the people we sat with at dinner which was so nice. The last two nights they seated us by ourselves and we did not enjoy that as much. The staff in the dining from were friendly and very helpful. We did not have any problems with anything with ordered or any of the staff. One thing I do recommend is that you let them know right away if you want iced tea to drink otherwise they will serve you water. Someone will come around to take your bar order as well. The night lobster was on the menu I requested two lobster tails as this is one of my favorite foods that I rarely ever eat. They brought me my plate with just one lobster tail (which was fine) however when I was finished, they brought another complete plate of lobster with the grilled shrimp and veggies. WOW, I was not expecting that and of course could not eat it all but I did enjoy the second lobster tail and shared the grilled shrimp with Audra. Most days for breakfast we ate on the LIDO deck. Audra loved the breakfast tacos and arepas at the Blue Iquana Cantina. She ate here every morning except the one day we went to the Punchliner Comedy Brunch. The food was great but the service is slow. (but friendly as always) Our favorite lunch spots were Guys Burgers and Blue Iquana Cantina. I did check out the Fish & Chips place but they did not have anything on the menu that interested me that day. We did visit the Taste Bar the first night and really enjoyed it. I wish we would have went the other 3 nights it was offered as well but, we did not make it. We both sampled the pizza as well and liked it. Neither of us are big drinkers however, Audra ordered the Mocha Getaway (something like that) and really liked it. My favorite drink was a Guava frozen drink that was peach in color and not too strong. Audra really enjoyed the coffee place on the 5th deck for cold coffee every morning. Reni the server knew her by name by the second morning and always greeted her by name. The desserts were probably our overall favorite. We rarely ever eat dessert at home during the week so this was a real treat. Only minor complaints: 1) The iced tea on the LIDO deck was too strong and I poured it out more than once. 2) We appreciated the free drink as past quests however, wish we could have ordered it somewhere else other than the Punchliner Comedy brunch dining room. We do not drink at breakfast and had to go back before 1pm to get it. The wait was long this way. Our room was on the six floor. I think it was room #6245 or 6345. Our steward Bukari was exceptional. I loved the towel animals he left every night. He was always friendly and helpful. I requested more breathe right bandages and he brought them right away. However, they did not work well and I had to move to another room for the last two nights of our cruise so my friend Audra could sleep. The guest relations department was exceptional in assisting us with this issue as well. Our room was small but it was comfortable and clean. Mary Ann was my steward in my new room upstairs on the 10th floor. She was also wonderful, friendly and helpful. The only complaint I have about the six floor room was that it was right above a room with loud music & singing that lasted until 11pm or 12pm almost every night. This really did not bother me much however, it was a big problem for Audra. We decided to attend two of the shows after dinner.. Divas and Latin Nights. We missed part of Diva's. I was not blown away but they were both entertaining. Two nights we went to the Punchliner Comedy Club for the family comedy show, we saw Jason Blanchard and Russ Nagel. They were both great, especially Russ. The Red Frog Caribbean Deck party was alot of fun as well. The entertainment staff passed out beads, floral hair barrets, glow in the dark braclets, colorful bandanas etc, We both danced during the group dances which was alot of fun. We both just loved our cruise director Gary and his staff. He was so funny. The only complaint I have about the entertainment was the Seaside Theatre on the Lido Deck. Three out of the seven nights they played Blind Side which is an older movie. I wanted to see newer movies and a different one every night. Same situation with the movie channel in our cabin on the tv. Only three different movies played in seven days. Both Audra and I like to watch movies so this is something we would have enjoyed more, had they played newer movies and a larger variety. We did also catch Hasbro the Gameshow twice. I tried hard to be chosen to play on stage but.. no luck. I purchased more at the on board shops on this ship than my previous cruises. I did notice that some of the "Deals" were actually regular price through out the week like the $10 accessories. One day the 2 for $20 t-shirts were on sale for $4.88. Audra was able to go to this sale however, I missed it. I did purchase a beautiful beaded bracelet for my mother and a pretty scarf for my grandmother in the gift shops on the ship. The six pack of Tortuga rum cakes seemed to be a better price on the ship as well. (I purchased for gifts for friends & family). Overall, we truly had an amazing time on the Carnival Conquest. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
This was my seventh cruise (6th with Carnival). Parking: We arrived and parked in the New Orleans port parking. The fee was $16/night. We had read about some less expensive structures, but reviews were not good, so we decided to go with ... Read More
This was my seventh cruise (6th with Carnival). Parking: We arrived and parked in the New Orleans port parking. The fee was $16/night. We had read about some less expensive structures, but reviews were not good, so we decided to go with the more trusted source. Attendants take care of your luggage, you just park and take carry on items with you. Embarkation: Very short walk from parking structure. Embarkation process was smooth. There is a table to check beverages bringing on board. We had soda, water and protein drinks. We were on the ship within a few minutes, and ready to drop by the cabin prior to going to lunch on the Lido deck. Cabin: Our stateroom was an outside cabin near the aft on the Riviera deck. The room was close to the elevators. Stateroom clean and spacious. Room steward had beds connected for queen bed. Bed was comfortable and provided us with a good night's rest. Room had a new flat screen TV. Usually on cruises, we see a steward a lot and develop a relationship with him/her. We did not see this steward until mid-way through the cruise. I took post it notes and wrote requests as needed and they were always completed in a timely manner. Rooms were cleaned twice per day. They only leave ice during the morning round, but once seeing we also liked it in the evening, our ice bucket was replenished twice a day. We requested items be removed from mini fridge, so we could put our own drink items in the refrigerator. The toilet made a loud rumbling noise throughout the cruise. We did not complain, and you could not hear it unless in the bathroom as long as door was closed. I am sure steward had to hear when cleaning bathroom. Must have items to take in room: power strip, air freshener, post it notes to write to cabin steward, extra bags, zip lock bags. Food/Dining: Guy's Burger: great burgers with topping bar. Easily make special requests such as burgers without buns or extra fries. Blue Iguana: I did not eat there, but husband said his taco was good. Like Guy's you get basic food (burrito or taco) and finish it off at topping bar. They also serve breakfast, but we did not eat there then. Fish and Chips: located in secluded corner above Lido deck...un-crowded place to eat and excellent food and service. One of our favorite spots! Deli: excellent cold and heated sandwiches and wonderful chili dogs (only hot dogs on ship). We did not eat at the Pizzeria although good on other cruises nor did we eat at the Taste bar. We did not have lunch or dinner on the Lido deck, but did eat breakfast there on sea days. Food was good. Includes fresh omelets made to order. On sea days in the Renoir dining room is Comedy Brunch, and port days is breakfast. We enjoy breakfast in the dining room as there is a variety of breakfast meats including turkey bacon and chicken sausage. We did not eat at the Comedy Brunch as we like to eat early, but we heard it was very good. We did early dining in the Monet dining room. Food and service were excellent. Don't be shy about ordering multiple dishes or asking for another dish if you do not care for something. Be brave and try the Didja selections on the menu. We very much enjoyed our waiter Yona and our table mates. We used room service once and found the service to be quick and efficient. Entertainment/Life on Board: Remember this is your cruise. Do as much or as little if you want to. As long as you enjoy that is all that matters. We went to the gym daily. Cardio equipment and weight machines are plentiful. We also spent a lot of time at the EA sports bar as my husband is an avid sports fan. They held sports trivia there daily. Many games were also showed on the large Seaside Theatre screen on the Lido deck. Lido deck was crowded at times, often "empty" chairs remained "reserved" with towels. Many activities were available including pool, water slide, hot tubs, basketball, volley ball, chess, putt-putt golf and a jogging/walking track. We attended a veteran's meet and greet in the library which was nice. I must watch the always tacky but entertaining "hairy chest contest" each cruise. I did feel entertainment was somewhat lacking, especially on sea days when people just walk around trying to find something...a lot of trivia and bingo (for a fee). Most of the main entertainment was either musicals or Hasbro the game show that I did not find entertaining at all. We did enjoy the comedy club though and really liked 3 of the 4 comedians. The past cruiser celebration for gold+ holders was very nice. There is a night club, casino and several bars available although we did not use those services. Drink prices seem to go up on every cruise. Fortunately we are not much of drinkers, but cost of cruise can go up greatly if you are. Ports of Call: We had been to all ports multiple times, so our biggest treat was just the cruise, being on board a ship we had not sailed on, and spending time together. We do not do shore excursions, so if you like that sort of thing...this part is not for you. Isle Roatan is my least favorite port. We had planned on just staying aboard, but after being on ship 3 days, were ready to get off. We only went to the small shopping area immediately off port. Nothing spectacular. There is a small flea market with some locally crafted items. We did not go out of gates, last time we did...we wish we hadn't. I must say I did take some beautiful pictures of Roatan from walking to various parts of the deck onboard the ship. Port 2 is Belize. We like Belize. Good shopping at decent prices. We formed a group of 10 and took a tour van to explore the city. The price was $20/per person, but we negotiated down to $10/per person. For additional fee would go to beach and rum factory. We just went to north and south side of town and shopping district. Guide, Henri was very knowledgeable of culture and history and he showed us many things including places that a normal tour may not go to. He would even stop and take pictures for you if you saw something you wanted a photo of. Upon return, we walked around a bit, prior to returning to our ship. Final port was Cozumel. Cozumel is a large port with a lot of shopping at good prices and some beautiful beaches. Having been there multiple times, we just walked around. It was warmer than some trips there...the walk from the ship to the end of town is about 6 miles....after 12 miles round trip...running out of water, I was happy to be back on ship....note for those not fitness freaks: share a taxi with a group at least one way. When walking in Cozumel be prepared to say "no" to the multitude of locals wanting you to go into their shops. Debarkation: We did self assist. From start to finish, we were off boat in about 30 minutes and in our car heading home. No issues at all. Again, a cruise is what you make of it. If you look for the worst you will find it, but we enjoyed our time, and felt it was a wonderful ship, wonderful cruise and wonderful staff.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Well this was our 11 cruise all on Carnival. We have never sailed out of New Orleans so this was our first. We started by leaving Chicago on The Amtrak which was really neat although 2 hours behind ( never caught up) it was still a lot of ... Read More
Well this was our 11 cruise all on Carnival. We have never sailed out of New Orleans so this was our first. We started by leaving Chicago on The Amtrak which was really neat although 2 hours behind ( never caught up) it was still a lot of fun to travel this way. The Conquest is still a beautiful ship despite her age everywhere you looked it was clean and people were cleaning and painting to keep her sharp. I have read reviews about her in the past that talks about the crew being rude, I never found ONE everywhere we went they smiled and said HELLO, our room steward SUGI meet us right away and never forgot our names. Dinner was not bad sometimes the food came out warm but never cold, "people were feeding 3,000 guests", OKAY. I never encountered a line for food on the Lido deck and we were full. Our cabin was warm and that is a real change because in the past it has always been cold, next time a fan will be brought. I have in the past talked about trying to travel and navigate a wheel chair around these boats although we had some problems, like the 4th floor trying to get into the dining room through the photo gallery was one obstacle Carnival needs to address. If you see someone pushing a wheel chair into a theater and your in the HANDICAPP location and do not need it PLEASE move it is very hard and very disrespectable to that person, that needs that spot. Carnival is doing better by marking off certain location but more can and should be done. The Diva's didn't like it Latin Nights never say it overall Carnival has stopped the big Vegas shows why DON'T KNOW, and this new LED screen stuff STINKS!!!! No live bands anymore all music is taped. Overall me and my wife had a very good cruise, the sail down the Mississippi was very interesting and well worth it you can spend Sunday night watching it roll by. I feel in my minds eye Carnival is changing has changed and some for the better some for bad, I mean after 11 cruises your corporation leaves me a HAT!!! Gee Thanks, not that I'm looking for the keys to the KINGDOM but......... That's all I have to say on that subject and the welcome back party lets just say next year I will skip. Maybe Carnival can do away with that and bring back the FUTURE CRUISE CERIFICATE. The only to get on board credit now is get their CREDIT CARD and book or use your own CC and book. WHAT IF I'M NOT SURE WHERE I WANT TO GO???? What if your credit is not to good and you can not get a credit card?? So Carnival in that sense has blown that, part of repeat business. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
This was our first cruise on Carnival and we had two seven day back to back cruises out of New Orleans..The Carnival Conquest is a bit tired but spotlessly clean and quite an attractive ship.Carnival funship policy is exactly what she is ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Carnival and we had two seven day back to back cruises out of New Orleans..The Carnival Conquest is a bit tired but spotlessly clean and quite an attractive ship.Carnival funship policy is exactly what she is with deck games and disco music around the main pool for most of the day,but if like us who want to read in some peace and enjoy the views of the ocean then the pool and decks on the aft of Conquest provide the perfect retreat for some peace to relax with just a short walk to the madness of the main pool and all the games and music. The food on Conquest is some of the best quality food we have enjoyed on any cruise line with the enormous portions that the americans are famous for.The buffet restaurants are equally as good but we prefer the waiter service in the main restaurants,the waiters giving great service and being very attentive. The trip down the mississippi from New Orleans is a nine hour sail into the gulf of mexico and is very interesting compared to leaving many cruise ports with lots of shipping including paddle steamers with bayou to watch for wild life during. the passing miles. The dress codes at dinner is pretty relaxed on formal nights with people in formal dress to people in tee shirt and jeans.It does spoil formal nights to some degree so maybe people not dressed appropriately should be persuaded to eat in the buffet restaurants on those small amounts of evenings. The passengers are mainly americans and they are usually great sailing companions who get along with the brits extremely well with the added bonus of english being spoken at all times on the ship. The ports of call were Cozumel,Jamaica,and Grand Cayman the first week and Key West and Nassau Bahamas on the second week.We lost the stop in Freeport Bahamas due to tropical storm Karen keeping us out of New Orleans for an extra 24 hours but we were compensated by Carnival who handled the late arrival very well with us leaving New Orleans a day late for the second week. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
The Conquest is a nice ship, but she is starting to show her age. There are some cosmetic issues that are starting to show, loose tiles, etc. However, she does still know how to show her guests a good time! Hasbro the Game Show was great! ... Read More
The Conquest is a nice ship, but she is starting to show her age. There are some cosmetic issues that are starting to show, loose tiles, etc. However, she does still know how to show her guests a good time! Hasbro the Game Show was great! The shows that we saw were pretty good. Red Frog and Blue Iguana were both good. The large screen on LIDO has several bad spots. Be cautious of the popcorn on movie night, they tend to overcook it! The warm chocolate melting cake was delicious as always! Service in the dining room was very good most nights. We had bad service one night and went to the maitre de to resolve the issue. We had them take a lot of photos but did not like that they do not offer any type of packages. One thing that we decided on this trip is that we enjoy the balcony too much to ever stay interior again. While the interior cabin is nice and dark which makes it easy to sleep, we miss having the sunlight waking us up everyday!! The staff was nice and helpful. We had FTTF on this trip and loved the benefits. The priority line at guest services was very helpful except on the day of debarkation. We waited for almost 30 minutes with two people in front of us. No one apologized at all, which was a bit disappointing, but we also understood that it was debarkation day. Overall, we had a very good time, as we usually do!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
My wife and I sailed with another couple who are our good friends to Roatan, Belize and Cozumel 09-22 thru 29. My wife gets carsick, so I booked an inside, lower deck room to try and insure she wouldn't be uncomfortable with ship ... Read More
My wife and I sailed with another couple who are our good friends to Roatan, Belize and Cozumel 09-22 thru 29. My wife gets carsick, so I booked an inside, lower deck room to try and insure she wouldn't be uncomfortable with ship movement. She also got trans-dermal motion sickness patches, just in case. Fortunately she never even had to use them, tho there wasn't much rough sea that week. Anyway, it was our first cruise, but our friends were regulars, so we learned from them pretty much what to bring and what to do while cruising. First off, let me say our stateroom was Riviera Deck #1372, and it was great! Excellent thermostat, quiet and clean, everything worked. I highly recommend it to the budget conscious cruiser. It is also centrally located (Amidships) for easier access to everything. Our Steward "Putu" was awesome! The food was very good, for the most part. The pizza was a little lame, but for a 24 hr service, what the heck. The burgers were super and the burritos were decent. The buffets were very good as well. Dining in the Monet was nice, with very good to excellent food. There was always the very tasty Flat Iron Steak to fall back on if none of the different daily main courses sounded good. Same for the desserts w/ the Chocolate Melting Cake. The wife did a massage (not worth the price) and had a few frozen Margaritas (same), and we did the Mayan ruins excursion in Belize (4 hours of it is bus ride...... so that made it barely worth the cost). Unless you want to buy a bunch of stuff, I would advise skipping the tourist shops on Cozumel. Pushy, aggressive merchandise hawkers got on my nerves immediately. I only went along to carry my wife's packages as she shopped for gifts. Although a highlight was lunch at the Thirsty Cougar!! That was an amazing table of food; $50 for 4 people, including drinks. Unless you are a very heavy eater, share a meal, because the pile of Fajitas Nachos I got was HUGE! My wife got some onion rings and we shared both dishes. We couldn't even finish them. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
My friend and I disembarked on August 11th from New Orleans onboard the beautiful and elegant Carnival Conquest. Boarding the ship was simple and fast, and our staterooms were ready in less than 15 minutes after we were onboard, bags and ... Read More
My friend and I disembarked on August 11th from New Orleans onboard the beautiful and elegant Carnival Conquest. Boarding the ship was simple and fast, and our staterooms were ready in less than 15 minutes after we were onboard, bags and everything already next to the door. We met the steward and he was great! He was always ready to do whatever you asked of him. He and his whole crew never missed the chance to say "Hello!" or "Good morning! I hope you rested well!" or anything that could have possibly made you feel welcome. The room service was swift and fast, food always hot a fresh. And the housekeeping crews towel art just seemed to get better and better each night. Especially on our last abroad! We had three flowers and a bunny awaiting us on the bed! It was great! Food was great, always fresh and served fast. The dining areas were elegant and the waiters made you feel like you were number one! I loved the dancing that they did every once in awhile too! The cruise was very smooth, even through a windy thunderstorm. I loved the artwork! I'm a huge art fan so the Conquest was the best for me! The staterooms were decently big, very cozy and comfortable. We had a balcony stateroom so we had a great view. We had a flatscreen TV that was great for watching movies at night! We didn't know it was allowed, but you can bring any gaming console along in your carry on. I am going back on another cruise in August aboard the Carnival Magic! I hope to be just as impressed by it as I was by the Conquest! Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
The ship was old - carpet in our suites had numerous large stains, couches were worn. The mode of communication that we had received on previous cruises was way less, leaving us guessing what to do to get of at the ports. Thankfully, I ... Read More
The ship was old - carpet in our suites had numerous large stains, couches were worn. The mode of communication that we had received on previous cruises was way less, leaving us guessing what to do to get of at the ports. Thankfully, I asked for one but the worst was Belize City where we had to tender. Instructions on the front of the daily news told where to go; however, it did not note there were further instructions on the back (hidden among all the other announcements). That caused us to be later getting our tickets. Then, they announced 2 tenders had broken down...beyond their control. Interesting, though, that everyone who made tours with Carnival got off just fine. The rest of us had to wait until those tenders could return & they could get others! This caused us to not be able to go on half of our scheduled tours. We booked tours outside of Carnival due to their prices & were thrilled with those experiences; it just makes it harder to get off the ship quickly. Our steward was great & handled each of our requests quickly (changing light bulbs, repairing electrical plugs, etc. He teased & played with our grand-daughter always called our grandsons by name. There are no longer the midnight buffets (with the ice sculptures, fruit carvings & chocolate). The tables in the dining room have more people, causing the waiters to have less time per table. We had to wait sometimes 15 mins. for dessert; a couple nights we chose not to finish in order to get to a show. The shows have been cut down. Where they used to have two shows to accommodate both dining room times, there was only one show; so, the early dining people had to rush to get to it; the late dining room people had to rush after the show to eat. We sat at a table with a couple who cruises Carnival every 3 months & has been using Carnival exclusively for about 11 years. They are at the highest level of cruisers and get many perks but they said a lot of things had changed & been cut out or cut down. They had some issues with getting their laundry done properly (returned clothes wet). We had fun because we were there as a family. You can make it as good or bad as you want but it is disappointing after our past cruises. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
This was our third Carnivial cruise in three years. We sailed on the Elation (2011 from Mobile) and Dream (2012 from Florida). Conquest was right in between - to me it had just enough of the "large boat" features such as the ... Read More
This was our third Carnivial cruise in three years. We sailed on the Elation (2011 from Mobile) and Dream (2012 from Florida). Conquest was right in between - to me it had just enough of the "large boat" features such as the speciality bars, steakhouse, balconies - without as much of the crowds. We felt Dream was too crowded - it seemed most of the added space was simply cabins - the public spaces were not increased in proportional size so there were lines for everything and often customers were turned away. We loved Elation, but it lacked some of the modern day features that we still enjoy. My review is prefaced by two pieces of information, one about us and one about this particular cruise - 1) We are true believers that travel and cruising in particular is partnership between the cruise line and the guest - the guest has to know what they want and how some reasonable expectations of how that typically happens and how to articulate those needs - and the line should make it happen. Too many times we have read reviews or heard complaints about how the cruise line simply didn't anticipate their unspoken needs - or the person didn't speak up. We call these "first world problems" - for example we heard one passenger complain that on a sea day it took him 10 minutes for the staff to cook his pizza and it wasn't fast enough. However, he admitted the pizza was fresh and cooked to order - he simply thought the staff should have read his mind that he needed a mushroom and onion pizza right now. If you don't share this basic philosphy - then my review probably won't help you much. 2) Our cruise was truly "off-season" - right after the kids go back to school and before a holiday weekend. We understood from staff that this sailing was about 500 passengers below capacity - the rooms were all booked but they were booked at double and not triple/quadruple occupancy. There were very few kids, and the cruise was mostly middle age professional to retired couples. I think this altered the typical experience in a positive way for us - the staff had more time to pay attention details, wasn't rushed and as a result, with a very few exceptions - provided us with the best customer servicer experience we ever had on a crusie. The kitchen was as busy, there were no lines, and embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze because there were simply few people. Now for the real review.... The Top 5 - (the things that made our cruise great) 1) The staff at the Alchemy Bar (Adri, Tatsianna and Polona) was the highlight of our cruise, and perhaps any of our crusies. This is a relativly new concept on Carnival - its a "hippier" type mixology bar where they make speciality cocktails based on your drink preferences - not the standard bar menu. We particularly enjoyed Adri's mixology class on the last day of the cruise - and I actually learned something about making martini's. Imagining learning something on vacation. 2) The dining room staff (Fernando in the Monet dining room in particular) was the best we have had yet, and the food was also the best overall. Only one piece of meat was sent back the entire week. No doubt, this was helped by the fact the dining room was pretty empty for the 8:15 dinner, by the far the emptiest I have ever seen it on a cruse. Of our assigned table for eight - only one other couple showed up on a regular basis for dinner. The other 4 people came only for the first formal - and disappeared. Another table next to us in his section was empty most of the cruise. 3) We did the bamboo massage on embarkation day, and it was worth the pricey tab. My back (which gets creeky) didn't hurt all week and it set the tone for the week. 4) We also did the chef's table for the first time - which is private dining expereince for 10-12 guests (at $75 each) with the executive chef. We learned they only do it twice per seven day cruise - so only 24 people get to do it per sailing. It was an amazing nine course meal and worth the $75 plus extra tip. The chef du cuisine met us in the galley, gave us a tour and the pastry chef taught us how to make the famous melting cake. Wine was included in the price and the dinner lasted nearly three hours. The only negative - we learned the chef's table menu is actually approved by corporate - so it is not a true chef's table of the chef du cuisine on each ship although they have input into the menus. So doing it again on another ship won't get a different meal. But the food and experience was worth it. 5) We were easily able to get a deck chair on the aft upper level overlooking the adult pool on all three sea days - this was no doubt helped by fact that there were fewer passengers.The Bottom 5 (things that detracted from the cruise - keep in mind many of these are somewhat minor - but worth noting) 1) The Loyalty/Promotions Director (Anna) seemed stressed and was outright rude to me on the last day of the cruise. Unless you were there to book a specific future cruise - she was not interested in talking to you at all. Period. 2) This ship seemed noisery then others - like the rooms/halls weren't very well insulated. Deck 7 is a good deck because you have rooms above and below you to insulate a lot of noise - yet we heard everything in the hallway from our bed - including evertime a crew member went in our out of the galley/crew door across from our room. 3) Our stateroom steward was in a hurry to get our room cleaned - so much so that I absolutely had to make use of the "Sleeping/Crusing" sign. He knocked on every door that didn't have the sign promptly at 8 a.m. In the evenings, he knew we were doing the 8:15 p.m. late dinner, yet he still knocked or tried to come in to do turn down service right at 6:30 - while we were showering and getting ready for dinner. Mind you our room was cleaned perfectly everytime - but it seemed like if he got everything done in the first hour of his shift - he thought he would get a longer break so he wanted you out of his way. 4) Tendering at Grand Cayman was a mess both getting off and back on the boat. On previous crusies with tendering, you arrived at common location (usually a lounge) and got a group assignment number and they then called you by number. Here, everyone was lined up on the zero deck, which caused a huge line to back up several decks. This was the only time we had lines - getting off the boat. Also, another Carnival ship tendered next to us later in the day, and when it was time to load up, we had fewer tenders so it took longer, even though the other ship was in the middle of its visit and its tenders were empty going back and forth. Right before our scheduled departure (and as about 750 passengers were still being tendered) there was huge thunderstorm and many of those passengers got soaked waiting in line at the terminal. Had they diverted tenders from the other ship which didn't really need them, they would have moved everyone in 30 minutes instead of an hour. 5) There was a distinct lack of information from the cruise director (Cory) with useful information - he only spoke when he was advertising a Carnival event or selling something. On prior cruises, our cruise director gave us weather forecasts, local port information and other useful information and assisted in letting us know when we got to port when the boat had cleared local customs and was ready to unload. On this cruise the cruise director was silent - you had to guess when it was time to get off which meant everyone showed up early and the lines got long. He didn't even handle disembrcation - that was done by the Assistant Cruise Director (Matt). And Matt was either hung over or not yet awake at 8 a.m. - his announcement were often jumbled and had to be repeated. Overall we made it a great cruise - we had a good mix of spending time alone on our balcony (I read an entire book) and finding interesting people to meet and spend time with (our dinner couple who did show up was amazing). This is what you make of it - if you wait for Carnival to simply make it happen - you might be disappointed - vacation requires being somewhat proactive. Also, one little final note. We book all our excursions through tripadvisor and cruise critic - we never use the line. We wind up spending a little more sometimes (maybe an extra $50-$100) but we get 100x the value being in smaller or personal tours. I highly recommend it. You are spending $1,500-$2,000 on the cruise - spend an extra $150 on your exercusion and get the personal touch.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
We flew into New Orleans Saturday afternoon before the cruise and stayed at the Embassy Suites in the French Quarter near the port. Embarkation: The Embarkation was fast and easy, by far the quickest boarding time I have ever ... Read More
We flew into New Orleans Saturday afternoon before the cruise and stayed at the Embassy Suites in the French Quarter near the port. Embarkation: The Embarkation was fast and easy, by far the quickest boarding time I have ever experienced. Our bags did not get to our rooms till about 4. Days at sea: The first two days at sea were lots of fun and filled with lots of activities. Roatan: Roatan was a beautiful island. We took the carambola gardens and island tour which I highly recommend. The tour gave a lot of insight into the lives of the people living on the island. Belize: We took the Sergeant's cay snorkeling excursion, we didn't get to see much of the city but the water was beautiful. Cozumel: We opted not to take an excursion in Cozumel due to the wide variety of activities available. It was beautiful there. Room: We fit 4 people into an interior room, it was very cramped so I think we will opt for 2 rooms next time. Debarkation: debarkation was swift and easy, we were on the bus about 15 minutes after we were called to leave.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Every year I take my nephews on vacation. Time was limited this year, so we chose this W Caribbean cruise that had give away rates. :) We were in a tight quad, inside cabin, but my traveling style accepts this easily. This was cruise 4 for ... Read More
Every year I take my nephews on vacation. Time was limited this year, so we chose this W Caribbean cruise that had give away rates. :) We were in a tight quad, inside cabin, but my traveling style accepts this easily. This was cruise 4 for my nephews, on 4 different lines, and cruise 82 for me. We arrived 4 days early, so I could show my nephews around New Orleans, a favorite city of mine. We stayed at the La Quinta, which offers me great rates and fantastic staff and service. From the airport, I take the cheap Jefferson transit bus, the Loyola Streetcar is across the street, if wanted. We had no problem walking to Camp. We also walked to the cruise terminal, again, no issue for us. I had VIP check in, so skipped the moderate lines, boarded around 1:15p. Ate lunch at the buffet/Guys. I had just been on the Glory the month before, so the layout, which isn't the best was fresh in my mind. :) Carnival is a winner with their private cocktail party options, so I arranged one on this sailing for the last sea day. This was offered on the Roll Call board. Rather than dealing with collecting the money in advance, I easily collected it at a prearranged time and place the first day. I'm not a fan of the current entertainment schedule on Carnival. But we did enjoy one show and a couple Comedy shows. We did eat in the dining room most nights, with good food. The buffet dinners were less appealing to me. This cruise was chosen for the bargain price and the cruise- meals, lodging and transportation. :) I've sailed the Caribbean many times and the only port worth my time was Grand Cayman. :) My priority tender perk, gave me a massive line pass escorted by a staff member for Grand Cayman. I had an online agency $100 shore excursion credit, so it was a deal, to be able to get my favorite snorkel vendor- Cpt. Marvin for $6 for two of us. :) My husband and one nephew stayed on the ship. The snorkel trip was again excellent with the three stops. Montego Bay, is of no interest to me, but I did send them on a ship shore excursion for the bobsled/zipline combo. Problem was, the ship shore excursion staff didn't know what they were talking about with the specific questions I had. I did mention this to the manager upon return, with a "well not everyone has been on the tours etc" I found this a not acceptable excuse, since they should know the details of what they are selling. Cozumel, had plans to go to Chankaanb, but one nephew got a bad sunburn in Cayman, so we just got outside in the immediate port area and bought some Aloe. No big loss, as Mexico is not anything special for me. The CC Cocktail Party was very nice. Drinks flowed freely and everyone seemed to have a good time. :) Disembarkation was easy with no wait. We just left after we finished breakfast. I did take a cab to the airport- at $65 since they charge per person. We fly nonrev so needed to get to the airport early. Overall it was a very nice trip enjoyed by everyone. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
I'll be posting on the Carnival Conquest board our experiences - for both cruises - the one June and I enjoyed and the one everyone else was on!! (But then again, we are not first-time cruisers and I planned our activities ... Read More
I'll be posting on the Carnival Conquest board our experiences - for both cruises - the one June and I enjoyed and the one everyone else was on!! (But then again, we are not first-time cruisers and I planned our activities accordingly.) Our Cruise: * Excellent cabin staff - Dave and his assistant were professional and fulfilled every request. * Cabin (Jr. Suite) as expected except the carpets were in need of a good cleaning (stains in several places) or better, replacement. Curtains were tattered and fraying. Everything else OK and as expected. * Excellent dining staff - A request for a dining room & table change was made without fuss or difficulty and was perfect for us. Angel (Peru), Made (Indonesia) and Tolentino were very efficient and made our evening meals enjoyable with their friendly but also professional attitude. It was unexpected to learn that they all love their job, plan to be with Carnival a long time and will be taking a next contract when offered. (Angel indicated he has been with Carnival for over 10 years!!) The actual meals - some fine, some so-so and the so-called 'steak' could not even be cut with the provided serrated knife!! (We order something else to replace it and it was done without question.) OH and YES, Carnival DOES NOT enforce their own dress code for dinner - often we saw guys in torn T-shirts & shorts & flip-flops in the MDR. AND will someone PLEASE advise 'gentlemen' that their baseball caps and cowboy hats may be fine elsewhere, but are NOT appropriate to be worn for dinner in the MDR!!! Breakfast was delivered on-time each morning by room service - as was requested. * Fun time with Larry in the Piano Bar each evening (no crowd there -and as a first in all of our cruises, the Piano Man plays almost anything you can request WITHOUT music!! No books of pages to turn - just straight from the heart and mind!! GREAT performer!! * 7 C's Event - an enjoyable afternoon to meet other Cruise Critic members, although it was the smallest group in all of our cruises. Still, it was a lot of fun. And the Others On-Board: Pools and Hot Tubs sometimes back to back and belly to belly! Deck 9 Buffet - LOOOONG lines for breakfast and lunch (We did not use it - just passed by - I have no idea about dinner there.) Shows - let's see, what kind of a production show can you do with 7 performers and canned music?? Well, the result was 'high energy' and high volume!!! We left the second show after a few minutes because the volume was so loud as to be uncomfortable. The other 5 nights 'shows' - Carnival must have done a deal with Hasbro Toys to put on the lame guest participation shows and then there was the guest performance night - forgettaboutit!! And since it was perhaps the last cruise before the kids return to school, we encountered the usual few teens on Carnival (and I suppose others as well) that just had to show everyone what jerks they could be by running, shouting, riding the elevators up & down and making fools of themselves. Ports - we have been to all, so did not go ashore. Did we enjoy the cruise - Yes - because we planned our activities and actions as traditional cruisers, not the 'bulk package - follow the crowd' types. Will we do a Carnival Cruise again soon - not likely!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Port Information- Jamaica: You should book some kind of excursion for this port. It's kind of a dirty port with not much to do in the immediate area. We did the Dunn Falls excursion, which required a very long bus ride to Ocho Rios. ... Read More
Port Information- Jamaica: You should book some kind of excursion for this port. It's kind of a dirty port with not much to do in the immediate area. We did the Dunn Falls excursion, which required a very long bus ride to Ocho Rios. It was worth it, but it was very long. I would just say to book an excursion-any!-so that you can actually see something in Jamaica. The Cayman Islands: Our favorite port! Very cool. You do have to take a ferry to the dock and back (budget 20 minutes for that each way). We did not book an excursion through Carnival, but we were able to sign up for an excursion when we got there for a very good price. We went to the stingray bar and snorkeling at the coral gardens, which was AMAZING. Through Carnival, the excursion would have been $60 each. We got ours for $30 each, and it was great. The only thing I would say is if you don't do an excursion through the cruise line, make sure you get started on your activity early in the day so you don't miss the cruise ship. Always allow plenty of extra time in case of bus breaking down, etc. We allowed 3 hours extra time, and it was plenty. Cozumel: We went to Passion Island on the Twister boat (booked through Carnival). The Twister boat was probably my favorite part, but the beach was very pretty. The port seemed really cool too, but we didn't have a lot of time to explore it. Ship Information- The food on board was delicious- they had many options (buffet style comfort food [included in the cost of the cruise], Mexican food restaurant[included], a burger restaurant [included], sit down dining [included], steakhouse [not included], cafe [not included]... you get the idea). Some restaurants were only open at certain times, and you had to reference the agenda (delivered daily to your rooms)to check those times. The entertainment was great, but it seemed like most of the "good" stuff was clustered in the evenings, making for some sea days that were hard to fill. They had some very funny comedians (2 comedians would typically give 4 shows each night- they would each put on a family friendly show, and then an adults only show). The family friendly shows were the best. They were very funny. They also had some broadway revue shows--the singers and dancers were fabulous, but the clothing and dancing was very suggestive. I would say that it's not appropriate for children. The service was inconsistent. By that, I mean that our housekeeping/steward service was AMAZING but the sit down dining experience was very poor. We had the early dining that started at 6:00, and every night we got our main course after 7:00. We usually had to allow two hours to finish the meals, meaning we couldn't go to any shows that were before 8:00. The dining service was slow and sometimes a little rude, which is sad, because on our last carnival cruise we loved the service. I guess it depends on your waiter. At the end of the cruise, we adjusted the gratuities accordingly. They put in the tips automatically, so if you need to make them more or less (depending on your service), just go to the guest services desk before the last day of the cruise. It was very easy and they just gave us cash back. We made the mistake of getting a stateroom on the first floor, which was bad because the Lido deck was on the ninth floor (and the Lido deck has most of the food, entertainment, etc.) The elevators are not express, so it will take FOREVER to get up. The fitness center has tons of equipment and does offer classes. Some classes are free (morning stretching and abs class) and others you have to pay for (yoga, etc.) All in all, I think this will be our last cruise. The ship was crowded, with too many parents who did not keep track of their kids (making for loud and obnoxious, unsupervised children). The food was tasty, but during peak times the lines were long. The destination cities were the best part, and I wish we had more time in some of the ports! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
What a wonderful experience! I sailed with three friends out of New Orleans on the Carnival Conquest. The ship was lovely! The crew was delightful, everyone went out of their way to make the experience so amazing. The music on the Lido ... Read More
What a wonderful experience! I sailed with three friends out of New Orleans on the Carnival Conquest. The ship was lovely! The crew was delightful, everyone went out of their way to make the experience so amazing. The music on the Lido deck was great, always made me want to dance. I used the fitness center on board several times as well as the outside track and both were fantastic. Loved the sauna after my workout - helped me to relax and get ready for a day of FUN! Montego Bay - This was our favorite port by far! I booked a paddle board lesson with Paddle Board Jamaica. Just a short $5 cab ride to Doctors Cave Beach, just to the left is a small private beach, Casa Blanca. The paddle boards were all set out, ready to go and our instructor could not have been more patient. Felt like we had the beach all to ourselves and the paddle boarding was not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. It was amazingly easy and we were standing, paddling within minutes. So much fun, we could have stayed there all day! Grand Cayman - We booked the Stingray City and Rum Point BEach excursion through Carnival and it was lovely! The ray experience was my favorite, you are right there with them. The water was so clear. I was able to feed one near the end and I also spotted a barracuda while snorkeling. Only issue was the time - took all day, but it was still nice. Cozumel - We booked the Mayan Ruins and Island Sightseeing Tour through Carnival. The ruins were fantastic - the pictures on the Carnival excursion site simply didn't do it justice. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable. The island tour was great as well, however the guide will suggest buying souvenirs at the ruins and at the beach stop before you head back to town. Don't do it. We had plenty of time to shop back in town and the prices were a fraction of what they were at the ruins and the beach. I paid $10 each for some hand painted shot glasses at the ruins and found the exact same glasses at the port for only $5 each! I then checked the prices on each item I bought and each one was less pricey in town - I totally fell for that tourist trap! All in all it was amazing. Carnival was absolutely a class act and I can't wait to sail again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Carnival Conquest Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.0
Enrichment 2.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 5.0 4.0
Rates 3.0 4.3

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