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lovingretirement

Carnival Conquest a pleasant surprise for Princess Cruisers

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We've just returned from a cruise on the Conquest (Jan. 6-13) with stops in Key West, Freeport, and Nassau. We are Platinum on Princess, and have also sailed with NCL. After booking and paying for this cruise, we had second thoughts about cruising with Carnival. We are not party people, but enjoy good food and entertainment, so we were afraid this cruise would be a major disappointment. I must admit that we were not looking forward to this cruise like we always have our Princess cruises. I thought our friends, who always cruise with us, were going to back out at the last minute and take their losses, since there was not a medical reason for canceling.

 

We drove to the port from the MS Gulf Coast, and arrived about 10:30. They took our bags before we parked the car, which made it quite easy to get on the ship. We were quickly processed, and given a boarding group number. We were on the ship about 11:30, and made our way to Lido to enjoy lunch, while waiting for our room to be available. After lunch, we were able to get in our room and unpack the bag we kept with us. We left for a short time to explore the ship, and when we returned our other bags had been delivered. We felt the boarding process was quite painless! Even though we couldn't go directly to our room like we do on Princess, the process was smooth and easy.

 

We have always had mini-suites on Princess and NCL, and thought we would really miss this on the Conquest. Our balcony rooms, however, were comfortable and inviting. The bathroom didn't have a tub, which I would have preferred, but the shower was satisfactory for the week. Even though our balcony was smaller than we are used to, they opened the partition between our two balconies, making it quite spacious for visiting and enjoying sea days. We liked having a covered balcony, and spent many hours there enjoying the beautiful weather.

 

The food was our greatest surprise. We have always enjoyed the food on Princess, and were expecting to be disappointed. What a surprise! We thoroughly enjoyed all the food options. I couldn't believe the choices we had. We enjoyed the buffets, comfort foods and regular buffet. Then there was the grill for hot and cold sandwiches, and GUY'S BURGERS. We were impressed!!! I didn't try Fish & Chips or Blue Iguana Cantina, but one of our friends did, and really enjoyed them. We had YTD in the Renoir Dining Room. The food and service was excellent. Some things were better than others, but nothing was bad. I especially enjoyed the roasted tomato soup and crab cakes. Then there was the ice cream, my dessert of choice. I had a large bowl after lunch, and a cone or two at night. I didn't try any other desserts, but everyone else enjoyed theirs immensely.

 

Our favorite port was Key West. We took two tours on City View Trolley. It is a HOHO trolley, or you can stay on for the entire tour. We had two different drivers, so we learned different things on each tour. We also went to the Mel Fisher Museum, which was interesting. We mostly shopped in Freeport and Nassau, since we get to enjoy the beach at home. I wanted to take the walking tour in Nassau, but one of our friends was having knee problems that day, and couldn't walk that far.

 

We saw all the production shows. Even though the music was not my favorite, the shows were good. We also enjoyed some of the game shows, and entertainers. The comedy didn't appeal to me, but I'm sure it did to many. The entertainment seems to be more plentiful on Princess and more suitable for us. We enjoy the movies in the theater on Princess, since we don't go often at home. They only had movies on TV in our rooms, or on the big screen outside.

 

The staff was friendly and helpful. We didn't find any of them unpleasant at any time. They all seemed to work hard to make our cruise experience enjoyable.

 

We chose self assist debarkation. This was the first cruise we have tried this, and it worked quite well. We were able to use the elevators to get to the third level to exit the ship. Carnival does this much better than Princess IMO. We would not hesitate to sail with Carnival again, and hope to do so soon. I really didn't think I would be saying that!

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I see another Guy's Burger convert. They are great, aren't they?

 

I liked Carnival Conquest before, but really like it after the recent dry dock and upgrades.

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Good mini review. Glad you enjoyed your cruise.

 

I think most people would enjoy cruising on any of the cruise lines if they gave them a chance especially when accounting for the diffence in costs.

I don't really understand strict brand loyalty when it comes to cruising. Good to keep an open mind.

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Thanks for taking the time to do a review. Glad that you enjoyed your cruise with Carnival and very glad you decided to tell us! :)

 

The Guy's burgers are really a great addition. My husband had one almost everyday.

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As platinum on Princess we also made the jump to try Carnival .... we could not figure out why we never did before . Bad press I guess and I just bought into it without thinking for myself.So we booked the miracle and b2b on conquest after reading the boards and realizing the complaints and praises are the same no matter which line you go on. Two people can take the same cruise and have completely different opinions ... you have made me feel so much better tho lol.

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I enjoy cruising with Carnival. However, if you want to repeat your positive experience with them, try to select dates when the schools/colleges are in session. Can make a world of difference.

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I was on this cruise with you. Except for the fact that I haven't been on other lines (yet), I agree with all you said.

 

A couple of factors that made the cruise better for your comparisons: The weather was good all the time, after we got out of New Orleans. Also, we noticed the average age on this cruise was the oldest I've ever experienced. You had to look long and hard to find young people.

 

We had Guy's Burgers for lunch several days!

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I'm so glad you enjoyed your Conquest cruise, we will be on that ship in just a few days ourselves!! :)

 

I love reviews like yours, from people who have been loyal to one line and trying another and pointing out things they liked and didn't like.

 

We would like to try Princess one day ourselves, and Norwegian, and Holland America, and...and...and... :)

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Thank you for your wonderful review. We have sailed on Princess and HAL and RCL. Next on the list is Carnival...and before we are over we plan to sail on as many lines as possible. My opinion is that I won't criticize or won't know what I will like until I have tried them all. I appreciate your positive and insightful review.

 

Come on May so the Carnival new itineraries will be out!

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