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Carnival Lines Carnival Conquest Review Western Caribbean Kasey

Age: 27

Occupation:Police Officer

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Conquest

Sailing Date: May 14th, 2006

Itinerary: n/a

Carnival Cruise Lines

A total of 8 of my family went on this cruise. This is the fourth year my wife and I have cruised but the first, and last, on Carnival. Royal Caribbean is far better in numerous ways.

Embarkation
Routine. No problems to report. Luggage did seem to be delivered to the room rather quickly. We were immediately greeted, while unpacking, by our stateroom attendant. He was very friendly and helpful.

Room
This is the first year that we have sailed and not had a balcony room. My wife and I shared an interior room on the 8th floor. Not ever cruising in an interior room we were not looking forward to what was in store but we were pleasantly surprised when we opened the door to discover a well sized room. Of course, it wasn't huge by any means but we could both maneuver about with ease and without bumping into each other too much. Bathroom was small, as expected. I was glad to find that there was a refrigerator in one of the "cheapo" rooms so we could store our water and gatorade that we had brought aboard. Luckily my wife brought hangers for our clothes because the closets had about 10 hangers total in them for your clothes. Not sure if you can request more but that just seemed kind of ridiculous. Overall we were pleased with the room (for being an interior room) and with the storage space offered.

Ship
The Conquest is huge. I don't think I actually ever got to see the complete ship. It was elegant and decorated well, but I have seen much better on Royal Caribbean ships. The brown micro fiber couches all appeared quite worn and in need of replacement to keep the elegant look of the ship. Overall it was ok.

Entertainment
The entertainment was average. Since we were cruising with family, we attended most of the after dinner shows. Most involved dancing and I'm not much into that sort of thing. It was ok I suppose but completely uninteresting to me. The comedy shows afterwards however, were hilarious and we all enjoyed them. We all enjoyed the Tahiti Casino and found the staff to be extremely friendly...from waitresses to dealers. We spent the majority of our daytime hours on the ship at the main pool on deck 9 - Lido Deck. It was crowded - as was the entire ship - but we enjoyed it nonetheless. There were plenty of wait staff around to keep you from getting up to get a drink. I would have liked to have tried the water slide out and also the basketball court however, they would shut them down early...everyday. On the final day out at sea my wife attempted to obtain a basketball from the sports desk by the pool at 5:05 pm. The girl advised my wife that she could not check out anything after 5 pm even when the sign on the desk said the hours were 9 am to 6 pm. This was only one of the minor things of which were posted but not followed. But I dismissed this and did not question the young lady.

Staff
Since I was already addressing some of the staff, I'll just go ahead and address the main reason I would not ever sail Carnival again. Our first day on the ship, my wife and I went to the hot tubs in the adult only area. After reading over the rules posted by the hot tubs, we began to enter, both carrying a beverage in a plastic cup (Carnival, for the most part, will not serve most beverages in glass bottles). Out of nowhere, a female security officer appeared and quickly advised my wife and I that we could not enter the hot tub area with any form of a beverage (didn't help that she was quite rude about it like we should have known better...made us both feel like we were little kids who had just got caught with our hand in the cookie jar). I exited the area and quickly read over the rules posted again. The rules did not state anything about not bringing a beverage into the hot tub area. The rules did state that you could not bring a glass container in the hot tub or pool area.

My wife and I asked which portion of the posted rules we were violating and the security guard stated that we had glass containers of which were not allowed. I pointed out that the cups were plastic and were what had been provided when we purchased the drinks. The security guard advised that Carnival considers plastic to be glass and that furthermore, if any form of beverage was spilled in the hot tub, they would have to immediately drain it. Never heard of that (Royal Caribbean never had to do that) but we went on about our business even though we were wondering if this particular security guard knew what she was talking about as we had observed other individuals in the hot tub and pool areas with drinks. So we walked to the main pool area where there were also two hot tubs. There were plenty of people with drinks in the hot tub and around the edge of the pool.

There were also two male security guards standing by one of the entrances in view of the pool area. I read over the rules of which said basically the same as the previous rules for the adult only hot tub and pool area except these rules said that children of which were in diapers or not potty-trained were not allowed. Hmmmm...these security guards didn’t seem to know about the no plastic (Carnival glass) rule…oh well it was time for dinner anyway.

Our next problem, unfortunately again with security, was in the dance club Henri’s. My wife and I, and my sister-in-law and her boyfriend were in the club and the two ladies were dancing. Because they were wearing heels, they had both removed their shoes. A security guard removed them both from the dance floor telling them that they could not dance without their shoes on. I didn’t think anything of it as, in my mind, I could see another person getting stepped on or stepping on something that had spilled or broke and injuring themselves. Made sense until…right after my wife told me that she had to put her shoes back on, a new song came over the system and a group of several, bare-footed, young ladies entered the dance floor. I sat for a moment and then looked around for security. I saw one of the officers standing at the door. He wasn’t doing anything and appeared to be “looking over” the room itself. My sister-in-law then came over to my wife and me and says that she asked about the “no shoes” rule and was told that it was now ok to dance without shoes. At this time my wife had also went to ask at this time and returned saying that she was told that, despite the numerous people breaking the rules, the rule still stood. I asked both who they had asked and they pointed out the same security officer. It wasn’t a big deal to me at all but I did not want my wife or sister-in-law getting in trouble for dancing without their shoes on as everyone else was doing so I decide to ask the security guard so that the matter could be resolved.

At this time, the security guard had walked to an area inside the club. I approached him; he was talking to another young man inside the club. I waited until the young man was through and then requested to ask a question. The security guard, of whom I found out later was named “Ravi”, looked at me for a moment and then walked off. Figuring that he possibly did not hear me as it was fairly loud inside the club and I had partially lost my voice, I tapped him on the shoulder after he turned around. I began asking him my question regarding shoes and he again looked at me as if I were stupid, turned around and began walking away. Confused,

I attempted to make contact with him again. Well apparently this completely ticked him off for some reason. He turned around, put his finger about six inches from my nose and said, “GET OUT!” Whoa!! I was absolutely flabbergasted. I could not believe this. I had just been yelled at for trying to ask a question. I followed the security guard outside the main entrance/exit of the club and ascertained his name from his name badge. I then asked to see his supervisor. He stated that his supervisor was not available. I asked for the name of his supervisor and he asked why. He then began yelling at me that I had “disrespected” him and that he was not going to “take” that. Seeing that “Ravi” was pretty ticked off for whatever reason and knowing that this situation could only become worse (I didn’t want to get thrown in the “Brig” for “disrespecting” someone by asking a question on my vacation)

I gathered the individuals I was with and traveled to the purser’s desk. There was a young lady on duty (I can’t recall her name) and I asked what I needed to do to complain on a security officer. She quickly went from friendly to panicked but not rude by any means. She made a few telephone calls and then told me that she was extremely sorry and that the security guard had possibly misunderstood what I was saying to him (if you have never cruised, most of the staff are foreign and some do not speak fluently in English). She advised me to return to Henri’s and that the security guard was going to apologize. Ok, no problem.

We walk back up to Henri’s to be met outside by “Ravi” and three other security guards. “Ravi” immediately demanded to know my name and to see my identification as well as my Sign and Sail card. Although I quickly saw that he was hostile and angry, I asked why he needed such information. He responded that he needed it for his report. I asked report for what. He stated his report for “disrespecting him”. I told him that I had not disrespected him and that I was simply trying to ask a question. I then told him that I had gone to the purser’s desk and they had advised me to return for an apology. “Ravi” laughed as this was apparently amusing to him. At this point I am completely shocked by what is transpiring around me, and I attempt to identify with the guy and let him know that I am one of the “good guys”. I tell him that I am a police officer and he rudely says, “well good for you!” Know that this has turned from bad to worse, I again ask him who his supervisor is. He refuses to tell me. I tell him that I know everyone has a boss and that he and his attitude are completely unacceptable. We leave and I return to the pursuer’s desk alone (I directed everyone else to return to their stateroom). The young lady recognizes me. She was on the phone and from the conversation, talking about what had just happened. After ending her conversation and approaching me, I immediately tell her that I am sorry for all of this but that I did not know what was going on with this particular security guard. She asks me what happened and if he apologized. I tell her the story and she looks simply amazed. She then begins writing down everything that I tell her from start to finish. I am assured that I will be promptly contacted the following morning by the chief of security regarding the incident. I thanked her for her help and retired for the evening. The following day, a complete day at sea, I was not contacted at all about the matter. My wife wanted me to contact them but I did not since I was assured that I would be contacted about the matter.

Next day we port in Jamaica. When leaving the ship, who happens to be the sole security guard at the door when leaving the ship, “Ravi”. I turn to my wife and tell her who is guarding the door and then we begin to exit the ship. “Ravi” immediately addresses me in a sarcastic tone asking me if I’m “better today”. I smiled and answered politely despite his condescending tone toward me. Next day…a message is left while we are out of the room from the chief of security. After getting the message at approximately 4 pm, I promptly go the purser’s desk. After waiting in a long line, I advise the person at the counter why I am there. They appear confused and begin frantically calling different extensions until it finally sounds from the conversation that they make contact with the right person. After about 5 minutes, I see a security guard approach the purser’s desk. I asked the young lady if this is the person I need to speak with and she is unsure. So, I ask the security guard. I determine this is the man to talk to and he escorts me to a small office on the same floor. He immediately begins to make excuses for “Ravi’s” behavior however he says that he wants to ensure that we have a good time and enjoy our cruise.

I explain my complaint to him and that I wasn’t looking for gifts or comp’s on my room but simply for the guy to say that he was sorry. He asked if I minded if “Ravi” came into the office. I advised that I did not. After waiting approximately 10 minutes, “Ravi” arrived. The chief asked if “Ravi” knew me. At first he acted like he did not even though he had picked me out of a crowd of people leaving the ship the previous day. I reminded him…he then remembered. The chief advised “Ravi” that all I was seeking was an apology. “Ravi” refused and advised that I had disrespected him. He then began telling a completely different chain of events that what had actually transpired. I listened to him without interrupting. When he was through, I told the real story. “Ravi” tried to say that I used the “f” word toward him on several occasions inside the club and that I had came back after leaving to fight him.

I told the chief that nothing like that had occurred and that I had been instructed to go back. I then explained to both of them that back home I supervised a shift of police officers and that I did not behave like “Ravi” had described...ever. I also explained that because I was a police officer I understood “Ravi’s” position and that I understood what he had to do. I told him that I wasn’t trying to throw that at him that night and had only been attempting to let him know that I was a “good guy” back home. “Ravi” began becoming loud and aggressive while in the midst of his chief in the office to the point that the chief told him “that’s enough”. I said at this point that this was not going to resolve anything and that I would just take my complaint elsewhere and higher up the chain of command. The chief then looked at “Ravi” and said, “he just wants an apology”.

“Ravi” ducked his head and said that he was sorry. Never did he make eye contact with me after that point. Although still dissatisfied, I was ready to leave and put this behind me and enjoy my vacation. I left the office and returned to my cabin. I did not see “Ravi” again for the remainder of the cruise. I did however see others with drinks in the pool and plenty of kids, even babies, in the hot tubs and pools where it was posted that this was forbidden. One of the babies was in a diaper in the hot tub. A security guard approached the hot tub next to it (which was full of teens) and demanded that they exit the hot tub…they had various drinks with me of which I assumed were alcoholic beverages).

Nothing was said about the baby in the potentially soiled diaper floating around in the hot tub. That’s just nasty. Was that long enough? I can not believe my experience aboard the Carnival Conquest. The security seems to pick on people when they feel like it and to make up the rules as they go along. Completely unacceptable. My wife and I spoke with others of whom expressed the same problems as we had experienced. If they are going to have rules post them and follow them. I suppose that’s enough on that.

Food
The food was ok. Not as good as Royal Caribbean. Our waiter, Vladimir, was absolutely wonderful. Lively and spirited, he ensured that all eight of us completely enjoyed our dining room experience every night. I will say that the pizza and hamburgers on CCL is better that what I have had on RCCL. I only ate at one of buffets once and it was mediocre at best, but edible and it did the trick.

All in all, I did manage to enjoy the cruise despite my horrible experience at first. The cruise director, Todd, is a great asset to the Conquest – simply terrific. The general staff though, all seemed to not know the answer to questions and were more often than not, unable to direct you to the proper place to obtain the answers you were seeking. They were overall friendly though. I will say that CCL attempts to pack as many people on this ship as possible as it was quite crowded during dinner and at ports. Elevators were often useless because of such. CCL needs to work on their consistency and training of their employees.

To me, Royal Caribbean is the way to go out of the two however; I would like to try as many different cruise lines as possible. Assuredly, this was my first and last Carnival Cruise.

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