June 2015 - Carnival Conquest to Caribbean - Eastern
Overall this cruise was very enjoyable and relaxing, but I can't escape the feeling that I was just a sheep waiting to be fleeced at any time.
When I first started cruising, it was an "all inclusive" experience and I could relax and enjoy myself without being constantly nudged and exhorted to spend more money. Sure, there were shore excursions that cost extra, but that was it. Now as soon as your board you are constantly bombarded with sales pitches. It seems as though every on board activity is now a profit center.
Now you have to pay extra to enjoy fine dining, On the Carnival Conquest the food was the same quality you would find at a Golden Corral, but with excellent presentation and service.
Surprisingly, the shopping on board was very limited.
My favorite port was St. Maarten. Majo Beach was a real experience with jetliners passing so low that you could almost touch them. (Check out the videos on YouTube. Just search for "Majo Beach".)
We had a balcony cabin that was very nice. It was plenty large enough for two people and had plenty of storage.
Entertainment is so-so. It seems as though the comedy club is now more popular than the stage productions. The Degas Lounge was always filled for the comedy acts, which were fairly good. Be sure to arrive at least 15 early to get a seat.
If your idea of a great cruise is shopping in the ports, you will have a wonderful time, although it now seems as though all the ports have the same shops. The sales staff on the cruise, however, does a wonderful job working you into a frenzy so you can't wait to storm the shops ashore.
All in all it was enjoyable, but not what it should be. I would rather pay up front for an all inclusive vacation and not be constantly assaulted with sales pitches and extra charges.