Carnival Conquest Cruise Review by ScubaPat
- Sail Date: June 2016
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Aft-View Extended Balcony
Cabin - I remembered that Carnivals standard balconies are very small, so we opted for an "aft extended balcony." These are on the very back of the ship and I must say the balcony was fantastic. It was huge. We had stateroom 8450 and of the aft balconies, it is a bit larger than the others. We had two pool loungers, two regular chairs and a table and still could walk around. Every once in a while you could feel the ship moving, but I really did not think it was much worse than other stateroom locations we have had. The only downside was the cabin was far from almost everything. Our cabin steward was average, nothing great, nothing bad.
Ship - The ship was clean and nicely decorated. That's about all I can say.
Dining - We did Your Time Dining, and besides the occasional line, it was fine. The food in the dining room was average. I had prime rib one night that was tough even though it was cooked to medium rare. That was a big disappointment. Other meals were fine but nothing special. We were able to get the same wait staff each night and the service was very good unless it was busy, but I believe they are seriously overworked and understaffed. The buffet was really lacking compared to other cruises we have taken. Not much variety and the breakfast buffet did not even have pancakes or waffles. The highlights were definitely Guys Burger Joint and Blue Iguana Café. The burgers and fries at Guys were fantastic and the tacos and burritos at Blue Iguana were really good. They have breakfast burritos at the Blue Iguana that were very good, and very few people figured out that they did breakfast so there was never a line. We did breakfast in the dining room a couple of times and that was good as well. The pizza shop was always open, but never had pizza ready. The line was ridiculous and the pizza was definitely not worth the wait. They had several pizzas on the menu, but I never saw anything but cheese and pepperoni.
Entertainment - It looked like there were plenty of activities, but we did not really participate in much. We were usually pretty tired after a day in port and only had one sea day which was rainy so we did not do much.
Ports - First stop was Nassau. We have been to Nassau many times on cruises. It is a nice port with a lot to do. My daughter and I did a scuba excursion in Nassau, and my wife did not get off the ship. The diving was ok. If you are a diver and have never dove Nassau, it is probably something to do. However, having done it I see no reason to go again. The visibility wasn't great and there was not much variety of sea life compared to other places we dove.
Half Moon Cay - This is Carnival's private destination. It is amazing. The beach was so nice and clean. The sand was like baby powder. We just did a beach day. If you like a good beach, this is the place. We rented a tube for the water ($15). The BBQ lunch on the island is pretty bad though. The burgers were charred hockey pucks. But since you are tendered, it would be tough to go back to the ship for lunch, unless you were done for the day.
Grand Turk - Another amazing port. My wife did another beach day and she said it was great. My daughter and I dove again, and in contrast to Nassau, diving Grand Turk was top notch. The reefs were teeming with diverse coral and marine life. This is a diver's paradise. The only problem with this port is that based on the ship's itinerary (and arriving late) we were only here for about 5 hours.
The biggest problem on this cruise was lack of coordination, communication and absolutely no guidance for guests by the crew whenever getting on or off the ship. In Grand Turk, they had everyone on an excursion meet in the theater before getting off the ship. Then they dismissed us all at once to get off, and there was only one gangway. Huge bottleneck. It took about 45 minutes to get from the theater to the gangway. My wife, who was not on an excursion, waited in a line for an hour until all the excursion people got off the ship. Getting back on the ship was about the same. A very long line.
By far the worst experience was debarkation at the end of the cruise. We decided to carry our own luggage off the ship which usually goes very smoothly. They call it "express" departure. They gave us the schedule for this in our stateroom the night before. It was supposed to go by deck. After the express people got off then the schedule showed the debarkation times for those who chose the luggage service. I have been on other cruises where you almost get tired of hearing announcements about what group can get off the ship next. We heard NO announcements, so when we went down for debarkation and the elevator doors opened, there was a HUGE mass of people. We had to almost force our way out of the elevator. We were stuck in this elevator lobby for an hour with no movement. No communication, no guidance, nothing. It was as if they had no idea how to move passengers around. The Conquest holds about 3,000 passengers. I have been on a certain cruise ship run by a certain cruise line that holds twice that many passengers, and we never waited in lines on that entire cruise. They knew how to move people. Ultimately, I will probably stick with that particular cruise line.
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