by russ w
July 23, 2006
Overall, I give the Carnival Conquest high marks. This cruise was a great fit for my family (husband, wife in their early 40's and two teenage boys). I wouldn't recommend this cruise for older couples. Let me give you the highs and lows starting with the highs...the boat itself is huge and well decorated. The cabins are spacious and very user friendly. The boat was immaculate. Staff was very friendly. Shows and entertainment was good. Excellent casino (I like the fact that there was always $5 tables available). Food was better than average and the Supper Club is a very good value. Nice gym and spa. Plenty of deck chairs. Lots of night spots with enough variety to satisfy most folks.
My youngest son LIVED in the teen club. It was a big hit with him. And now the lows...embarkation was a MESS. 3600 people all trying to get on the same time was very frustrating. I'd suggest they stagger check in times. Disembarkment was also frustrating but not as bad as getting aboard. The shore time wasn't long enough. In Caymans and Jamaica you had to be back by 3 pm. Bar drinks were expensive and the soda cards are overpriced. Televison choices were minimal and not well thought out...for example, they had Spanish ESPN but not regular ESPN??? 80 % of the ship was from Texas or a surrounding state but they used the network feed out of Denver. Denver is on Mountain Time but the ship is on Central time. It would be much more logical to use either Dallas/Ft Worth or Houston feeds.
The pools were OK but the hot tubs were tepid. It would also be nice if they had a designated adult only pool...they did have an adult only hot tub but kids were in it constantly...if the parents can't read, then the ship security should enforce the rules. They need a better program for the 18-21 year olds. My 18 old son couldn't enter the teen club and he wasn't allowed to drink in the adult bars. Ironically, gambling at 18 was perfectly fine. I also wish they could find an alternate port from Montego Bay...Jamaica is an absolute dump. I've been all over the world and have never experienced a more scary place. All in all, I think the Conquest was a very good value. We came away with a different opinion of Carnival in general...it's not the "low-end party ship" as their reputation suggests.