CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews
Carnival Cruise Lines
November 25, 2007
The ship was late getting into dock in Galveston. We arrived at 9:30 A.M. and had to wait until noon to board because the ship was not ready. This was a group of 10 cabins and 20 guests for an onboard wedding in Jamaica.
Dining Changes: We went to the Maitre D first to check on our dinner reservations. Our party of 20 had been scattered over all dinner times and different restaurants even though we had requested the same dining time with tables next to each other. (We were told the ship was full and they could not change the dining arrangements even though the error was Carnival's. They did say maybe some other openings would happen as other cruisers requested to have dining time changes. By Monday night after we threw a fit, they managed to get our dining situation right.
Locating Cabins: We then went to our rooms and most were ready. We met with Greg our cabin steward and then proceeded to the Lido deck to eat. We met some of our Cruise Critic friends and then went back to the room to start unpacking. Our luggage showed up at intervals up until the last piece arrived at 6PM.
Handicap Accommodations: We brought our own wheelchair and oxygen concentrator for my DH. It took us a very long wait time throughout the cruise to get on an elevator. The elevators ran slow anyway and when they got to our floor they were too full to let a wheelchair patient on. It would be nice to have one dedicated elevator for handicapped passengers only. It was hard to negotiate the walkways and halls. We had to move chairs, cleaning carts etc. out of the way. The staff would see you having a difficult time and they would just watch. This was not cool.
Dining: Overall, the main thing we were displeased about was the dining. From room service, to formal dining, to the buffet -- that the food was bland and reminded us of going to the local Denny's. The midnight buffet was a disappointment as well. We enjoyed the dining experience on the Elation and had high expectations here as well. The Point dining experience was wonderful. I was amazed at how the food could be so different on the same ship. The pizza was exceptional and because the main dining food was so bad, we ate a lot of Pizza.
Friendly Staff: All the staff were very friendly and made it a point to call us by name. It just would have been better had they gone out of their way a little to help me with my DH's wheelchair.
Wedding Experience: Our wedding planner, Monica, was the best. Everything went off without a hitch. The reception was held in Henri's Disco. It was beautiful.
Our room was very comfortable, however our heat and air in the room did not work for the entire cruise. There were many attempts to fix it but I suspect this is just a problem for this room. 7268. Mini Suite. Next time though, I will get on the odd cabin side of the ship. The sun setting made it uncomfortable in the cabin and on the balcony.
The pools were cold. The hot tubs nice. The flow of the Conquest is poor. You have to change floors to get from one end of the ship to another. Level five went through so you had to keep going back to the elevators to navigate around the ship. Doing this in a wheel chair was the pits. The sports activities like basket ball and putt putt were on the top levels as was Carnival kid's camp. The winds are vicious up there and unless you were holding onto a rail, you could easily be blown over, no lie!!!!
Jamaica: This was our favorite port! We were a bit apprehensive due to all the reading about Jamaica. We did the horseback riding excursion and loved it. We were back on board in plenty of time for our 3PM wedding.
Grand Cayman: I only went shopping there but others in my family took the jeep excursion and went to the beach. Everyone had fun.
Cozumel: We did the Chakanaab snorkel and had a great time and then spent a lot of time at Sr. Frogs.
This was a nightmare. Last time we did the self assist and it wasn't the best, so this time we decided to stay on the ship longer and have our bags taken the night before. When our "number" was called we proceeded to customs in the line that went on forever. The line for porters was long as well so I'm not sure if that would have helped. We are undecided on what to do next time. Debarking with a wheel chair made me think of never going on a cruise again unless it is solely for the handicapped.
Smoking was an issue throughout the ship. It would be nice if they made the atrium a non-smoking area. Even around the pools or decks it would be nice if they clearly identified smoking areas. Everywhere we went was smoke. This was hard on my DH because of his poor lung function. My eyes were constantly red and not even Visine could get the red out. Even where there were signs stating "No Smoking" folks still smoked and no one stopped them.
Shows ranged from poor to exceptional. I think this is a personal preference issue.
This department needs help. It is located on the zero level. The elevators are turned off going from 1st to zero level on port days. This meant that my DH had to leave his wheel chair on 1 and take the stares down to zero where the clinic was, and he had to fight the crowds going ashore. His oxygen was not strong enough for him to exert himself. His oxygen concentrarion reached a critical low level. I thought he was going to pass out. He had to keep sitting down on the stairs. The medical staff said they had addressed this problem with Carnival to no avail. Every employee on these ships should be trained in life saving skills. Basic CPR is a must. One passenger died after having a cardiac event, while waiting for the ship's EMS and Doctor to get from level zero to the 9th floor cabin. Having an AED located three to a floor would have saved this man's life. With 3000 guests and 1500 employees it is not unreasonable to anticipate frequent heart attacks and drowning.
We had 2 in the 11-13 age group. Both kids hated the camp. The staff was grumpy and there was very little organized fun. THIS CAMP NEEDS HELP.
We had so much fun even with all the shortcomings of this ship and crew.