Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 366 out of 500
Accommodation: 144 out of 200
Food: 218 out of 400
Service: 259 out of 400
Entertainment: 77 out of 100
Cruise: 259 out of 400
Overall Score: 1323 out of 2000
Carnival Conquest Statistics
Size: Large Resort Ship
Cruise Line: Carnival Cruise Lines
Former Names: none
IMO Number: 9198355
Builder: Fincantieri (Italy)
Original Cost: $500 million
Entered Service: Dec 2002
Length (ft/m): 951.4/290.0
Beam (ft/m): 116.4/35.5
Draft (ft/m): 27.0/8.2
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (63,400kW)/2
Passenger Decks: 13
Total Crew: 1,160
Passengers (lower beds): 2,974
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 37.0
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.5
Cabins (total): 1,487
Size Range (sq ft/m): 179.7-482.2/16.7-44.8
Cabins (for one person): 0
Cabins (with private balcony): 574
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 25
Wheelchair accessibility: Good
Cabin Current: 110 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 2 (1 w/ sliding glass dome)
Hot Tubs (on deck): 7
Self-Service Launderette: Yes
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No
Onboard currency: US$
This is a vivid, fun-filled ship for ultra-casual family cruising
Overview. This is quite a stunning ship, built to impress at every turn. The layout is quite logical, so finding your way around is easy. The decor features great Impressionist painters, such as Degas, Monet, and Van Gogh. Murano glass flowers on antiqued brass stems are displayed in several public areas.
The Ship. Carnival Conquest has the same well-balanced profile as its close sisters: Carnival Sunshine, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Glory, Carnival Liberty, Carnival Triumph, and Carnival Victory.
Amidships on the open deck is a long water slide (200ft/60m long), as well as tiered sunbathing decks positioned between two swimming pools, several hot tubs, and a giant poolside movie screen (Seaside Theater). It’s all about imagination and sensorial fantasy, but it’s really more reserved than Carnival’s Fantasy-class ships.
There are three decks full of lounges, several bars, and lots of rooms to enjoy. There are two atriums: the largest, the forward, glass-domed Artists Atrium spans nine decks, while the aft atrium goes through just three decks.
The ship’s interior decor is all about the Impressionist painters such as Degas, Toulouse Lautrec, Gauguin, Cézanne, and others.
The Tahiti casino is large and action-packed, with over 320 slot machines alongside all the popular gaming tables. There are several other nightspots for just about every musical taste (except for opera, ballet, and classical music lovers), such as the Degas Lounge, Vincent’s Piano Bar, Henri’s Dance Club, and Gauguin’s Bar.
Carnival Conquest is a floating playground for the young and young-at-heart, and anyone who enjoys constant stimulation and lots of participation events, together with the three ‘Gs’ - glitz, glamour, and gambling. This really is cruising Splash Vegas style - and an all-American fun experience. Because it’s a large resort ship, there will be lines for things like shore excursions and security control when re-boarding,
Forget fashion, a Carnival cruise is all about having fun. While the cuisine is just so-so, the real fun begins at sundown when Carnival really excels in sound, lights, razzle-dazzle shows, and late-night high volume sounds.
Niggles include: many pillars in the dining room make it difficult for proper food service by the waiters; public toilets that are somewhat utilitarian and could do with some cheering up. It is impossible to escape from noise and loud music (it’s even played in cabin hallways and lifts), not to mention smokers, and people walking around in unsuitable clothing, clutching plastic sport drinks bottles, at any time of the day or night. You have to carry a credit card to operate the personal safes, which is inconvenient.
The ship underwent an extensive refurbishment program in 2012 to modernize it and give it a facelift. This included the addition of Guy’s Burger Joint (in partnership with Guy Fieri of Food Network) for burgers, hand-cut fries (chips) and assorted toppings, a poolside RedFrog Rum Bar (including ThirstyFrog Red - Carnival’s private-label draft brew) and BlueIguana Tequila Bar (for Mexican-themed frozen cocktails and Tequila), and an EA Sports Bar (an interactive venue which includes video games and a 24/7 sports ticker). Meanwhile, Cherry on Top is a sweet-tooth shop full of bins of - you guessed it - bulk candy, as well as novelty gift items.
Families. Youngsters have their own play areas, with children’s programs divided into five age-specific groups under Camp Ocean (ages 2−11 - with children ages 2−5 called ‘Penguins’; 6−8-year-olds called ‘Sting Rays’; 9−11-year-olds called ‘Sharks’). Tweens have ‘Circle C’, while teenagers have their own ‘Club O2’ - a chill-out (no adults allowed) room/disco. Also, soft-drinks packages can be purchased for children (and adults).
By the end of 2015, the words and world of Dr. Seuss will have been rolled out as part of Carnival’s children’s program (check before you sail) − from ‘green eggs and ham’ for breakfast, served by waiters in Dr. Seuss-inspired uniforms, and characters such as the Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two, and Sam attending, to special showings of movies such as The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (these will be shown outdoors on the poolside Seaside Theater screen on Lido Deck).
Accommodation. There are numerous cabin-price categories, in seven different grades: suites with private balcony; deluxe outside-view cabins with private balcony; outside-view cabins with private balcony; outside-view cabins with window; cabins with a porthole instead of a window; interior cabins; interior cabins with upper and lower berths. The price reflects the grade, location, and size.
Five decks of cabins have a private balcony - over 150 more than Carnival Triumph or Carnival Victory, for example. But many are not so private, and can be overlooked from various public locations.
There are 18 spa cabins, located directly around and behind the Spa Carnival, so you can get out of bed and go straight to the treadmill without having to go through any of the public rooms first!
The standard cabins are of good size and are equipped with all the basics, although the furniture is rather angular, with no rounded edges. Three decks of cabins (eight on each deck, each with private balcony) overlook the stern. Most cabins with twin beds can be converted to a queen-size bed format. A gift basket is provided in all grades of cabin; it includes aloe soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, breath mints, candy, and pain relief tablets (all in sample sizes).
Note: If you book one of the Category 11 or 12 suites you get ‘Skipper’s Club’ priority check-in at any US homeland port - useful for getting ahead of the crowd.
Dining. There are two principal dining rooms: the 744-seat Renoir Restaurant, and the larger 1,044-seat Monet Restaurant. Both are two decks high, and both have a balcony level for diners (the balcony level in the Monet Restaurant is larger). Cassat and Pissaro, two additional wings in the Renoir Restaurant, can accommodate large groups in a private dining setting. There’s a choice of either fixed time dining (6pm or 8.15pm) or flexible dining (any time between 5.45pm and 9.30pm). Although the menu choice looks varies, the cuisine delivered is usually adequate but quite unmemorable. Note that the two main dining rooms are not open for lunch on port days, so you will need to go to the serve-yourself buffet - or order room service.
Other dining options. The Steakhouse is the reservations-only, extra-cost, specialty dining spot. The decor includes wall murals in the style of Seurat’s famous Le Cirque (The Circus). There are fine table settings, china, and silverware, as well as leather-bound menus (steaks and seafood are featured).
The Cézanne Restaurant is a casual self-serve ‘international’ food court-style lido deck eatery, with a capacity for over 1,200. Its decor reflects the style of a 19th-century French café. It has two main serving lines, is adjacent to the aft pool, and can be covered by a glass cover in poor weather. Included are Paul’s Deli, PC’s Wok (Chinese cuisine, with wok preparation), a 24-hour pizzeria, and a patisserie (there’s an extra charge for pastries, however). There’s also Guy’s Burger Joint (created in partnership with Guy Fieri), for hamburgers, hot dogs and hand-cut fries, and BlueIguana Cantina - a Mexican-themed taco and burrito joint with a self-serve salsa and toppings bar.
At night, the Cézanne Restaurant becomes the Seaview Bistro, providing a casual alternative to eating in the main restaurants. It features pasta, steaks, salads, and desserts, typically between 6pm and 9pm.
Entertainment. The Toulouse-Lautrec Showlounge is a multi-deck showroom seating 1,400. It has a revolving stage, hydraulic orchestra pit, superb sound, and seating on three levels (the upper levels being tiered through two decks). A proscenium over the stage acts as a scenery loft.
Hasbro, The Game Show was also added in 2012; the show includes audience participation, as competitive interpretations of the larger-than-life board games.
Spa/Fitness. SpaCarnival is a fairly large health, fitness, and spa complex. You’ll find it directly above the navigation bridge in the forward part of the ship and it is accessed from the forward stairway. Facilities include a gymnasium (packed with muscle machines and exercise equipment), body treatment area, sauna and steam rooms for men and women, and a beauty salon.