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Age: 49


Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Conquest

Sailing Date: 2009-09-9

Itinerary: carribbean

It's always fun just to be on a cruise, but pick your ship wisely. Compared to a previous cruise with Royal Carribean, Carnival Conquest is at the bottom of the barrel in facilities like pool size, hot tubs, show venues, food quality, show quality, and customer friendliness.

I found the ship hard to navigate. I never had a problem on Royal Carribean but found I couldn't go from my stateroom down to the 3rd floor for dinner the easy way. You had to go to 5, then walk across the ship then catch the other elevators to 3.

Also, the fanfare on Royal Carribean is so exciting form the moment you board. They have a great Bon Voyage party on top deck and a huge parade with lavish costumed staff, some on towering stilts, going down what is truely the "Promenade Deck". It really gets you into the spirit of the cruise!!! There was nothing on Conquest. I heard there might have been something on the Lido deck when we shoved off but we were stuck at the Lifeboat Drill that was mandatory and the last ones dismissed so by the time we got our lifejackets back to our room, the ship had already left the dock.

The food was very repetitious, with poor presentation, and it was unimaginative. The buffet food was rarely good and for some reason the bacon, sausage, ham, etc. was placed on your plate for you if you requested the meat rather than being able to serve yourself. If you asked for the bacon and ham for example, you received a look like you were making a pig of yourself or they would look to a co-worker and make a face. Two workers actually laughed at another person in line in front of me and really upset them when he asked for some bacon. He got so mad he was confrontational back to the help about being laughed at for just asking for food he felt he had paid for. So I think they should allow people to serve themselves unless it is something that needs carving.

There were a couple of good meals in the dining room along with good service; but the meals were sometimes questionable with a lot of gristle in the steaks or very small portions or most of the plate decorated with food garnishes that were not really meant to be eaten. The carrots with the steaks were basically uncooked. Shrimp cocktails sometimes came with 4 shrimps, or 3 or even 2. Many from our table would order 2 or 3 appetizers or 2 main entrees just so they wouldn't have to leave the dining room and go to the buffet line or order room service. Room service did have the only real cheesecake on board but not much in selection for meals. The other cheesecakes were more like jell-o. Breakfasts were pretty much the same thing over and over again. Royal Carribean always had large displays of melons carved into art pieces, ice scuptures, a very extravagant midnight buffet that they allowed an hour for just picture taking before allowing guests to partake of the food all displayed, sculpted, laid out in artistic fashion, including butter molded in mermaids, etc. I only saw one melon carved out for a display on the Conquest and the only ice sculpture was done on deck as a demonstration.

Our room steward made a point to meet you and learn your name and did a good job except we always seemed to be going down somewhere to find ice because the ice in the metal ice buckets melted too fast. The steward did not provide any service at all the last night of the cruise.

The dining staff was good. Very polite, knew our names, entertained us with their singing and dancing, always brought what we asked for very quickly.

Staff at the buffet lines, grill, etc. were sometimes rude or made faces among themselves like they were making fun of the guests. The bar staff was extremely pushy. The photographers were sometimes too pushy. The shop employees never approached me to see if I needed help.

Customer service is a laugh. We took a list of several complaints to customer service including an excursion being cut short to accomodate another couple on another Carnival ship also in port and we were told that if we wanted better service we needed to use a different cruise line and that the excursion times were only estimated times. Ours was cut an hour short for an excursion that cost $255 for each person so it wasn't like it was a little bit of money we had paid out for the adventure. I am not sure what the point of having Customer Service on that ship is. We also tried to get some information from them regarding the purchase guarantees that we were suppose to fill out the last night since the steward did not service our room and they sent my fiance back with several copies of a declaration form in spanish for the debarking into customs rather than the form we needed (we don't speak Spanish)!

We had a balcony room on the Lido deck. We enjoyed the room and the balcony, no complaints. It is much the same on other cruise lines. The room could use more plug-ins. There is only one around the mirror and one in the bathroom. So if you want to plug up a cpap machine, alarm clock, etc., bring an extension cord and drap it across the room.

Venues for some of the shows limited the number of guests that could attend the activities. The Degas lounge was used routinely for shows we wanted to attend but even arriving early, the seats were all taken and we were not able to stay for any of the shows presented there.

The shows in the theatre were not our cup of tea. Didn't seem to make much sense and to be very honest we have much better entertainment in our hometown with theatre productions, big name ticket music shows, local thespians, and young dancers taking dance classes. My daughters' dance recitals were much more entertaining than the Conquest shows.

Some of the smaller activities were very limited to the number of guests who could partake. For example: Royal Carribean would hold a Mr. Sexy leg contest and if they had 60 contestants who wanted to do it, fine, but for the Conquest Hairy Chest competition they only wanted 6 guys but did allow eight because they all came forward at once.

The bingo games on board Royal Carribean were for longer periods of time, holding several games with the purchase of one set of cards. The one bingo game we played on Conquest cost $20 for 3 cards and they played 2 games; so it cost more to have less play time. If there were multiple bingos at once, they split the amount of the prize.

The magic show was so so. Some of it was pretty simple tricks you see all the time. There were a couple of fairly newer tricks that you still have seen before but aren't too old. Some of the time you could see depending on where you sat when the lady magician exited the cage, etc. and how.

We did enjoy the motown show and the comedian in the theater. Would like to have seen the rest of the show in the Degas lounge but couldn't as mentioned above because of limited space.

Don't be bullied by the people leading the excursions. If you don't feel like you got the excursions you booked or are being short sided for time because of someone else's time schedule, speak up and tell them your time does not reflect the same as the other ships in dock and you want your full excursion as booked.

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