January 2016 - 8 Night Eastern Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Conquest
The Carnival Conquest is a ship that I will avoid at all cost in the future. If it is a choice between Conquest and no cruise, I would save my money. Why? Let me count the reasons.
1. There is NO Serenity area. Where serenity normally would be are two levels of empty deck with a FEW chairs. This also means that this ship HAS 2 LESS HOT-TUBS!! (For the same number of people)
2. I heard from various people a rumour that Carnival was cutting back on the number of staff. Whether or not this is true, it did seem like there was fewer wait staff in the Monet Dinning Room. We were on the Glory in December and were always done dinner by 700pm but on Conquest we were never out before 730 and a couple of times not till 7:45. This meant we missed some of the shows. Our food was sometimes luke-warm. Nothing against the wait-staff, the three of them were very nice and pleasant.
3. While at sea, there was a constant gentle rolling from side to side. Just noticeable to cause some to be sick. This was for the entire week while not docked. THE SEAS WERE NOT ROUGH! I do NOT believe the stabilizers were ever deployed. If they were, then they didn't accomplish their purpose. This just added a constant touch of annoyance.
4. The ventilation system did not seem to work. We constantly smelt the cigarette smoke from the casino on various decks both fore and aft. Sanitation odours were also a problem on the lido deck around the main swimming pool.
5 The Adults Only hot-tubs were closed at 10 pm!! Just when some shows were finishing! On the Glory we used those hot-tubs until Midnight!
6 For a ship that was last refurbished just over 3 years ago, there were an UNBELIEVABLE number of cracked and broken floor tiles in the buffet dining room. Some desperately needed replacing before they became tripping hazards.
NOT SPECIFIC TO THIS SHIP: Had I known that the evening dinning room menus were identical from ship to ship, I would have chosen a different cruise line. The menu we had on the Glory in December was repeated exactly on the Conquest in January. I am not saying the food was bad but by Wednesday I was bored with the menu and dinner became less enjoyable and more drudgery. It doesn't seem like Carnival Cruise Line gives the chefs any autonomy. One size fits all for all the ships.
i really enjoyed the food the first time around on the Glory. But the second time around on the Conquest was boring, in my opinion.
WHAT I DID ENJOY: There were two trios that Carnival was trying sort of on an experimental basis. One was a stringed trio of young ladies from Bulgaria who were EXCELLENT. 2 violinists and a cello player. We tried not to miss them when they played. The other trio was a Brass/reed trio who often played at the entrance to the dinning room. We enjoyed them very much as well. Finally a touch of class on a ship were most music is top 40 pop music mush. Don't get me wrong, I love my 60's, 70's, and 80's rock.
We had a couple of comedians who were also very good... Tony Esposito and John Dicrosta (sp?) as well as an Excellent juggler/ entertainer. First rate in my opinion. The piano man was also better than the one on Glory. The piano bar performer at least could sing well, not shout-sing like the one on Glory.