Congrats on your upcoming cruise! You will love the Conquest.
We did notice a bit of vibration when pulling into port, but not bad at all. The only time we really even noticed was when we returned to Galveston and felt it around 6:30 in the morning. Overall it was very smooth.
Our room was directly over the Degas Lounge and occasionally we could hear Blood Power playing very faintly. I really liked the band so I caught myself trying to hear the song they were playing so I could humm along.
The aft balcony is angled and deeper than the normal balcony. It was great for my wife and I to sit on and watch the wake of the ship. If you go to the edge of the balcony then you can look around and see other folks looking back. But, if you take a step back then you will be pretty well isolated.
The only time you will need your passport is when you get on the ship in Galveston and then again in Galveston when you disembark the ship. All other times and ports you will use your 'Sail and Sign' card. It works as a credit card on the ship and your ID when visiting the ports.
The last night of the cruise you will place your luggage outside the room and it will be picked up and taken into Galveston for screening the following morning. Also the night before you will be given a customs sheet for you to fill out and identify and declare any purchases made during the cruise. You will disembark the ship by the color code of your luggage tags. (They will be included in your documents and tickets from Carnival) Once your color is called you leave the ship and pick up your luggage. It will be grouped also by color code in a large open area. There will be porters available to help you carry your luggage through customs. (Note: The line for the porters is on the left side of the luggage area, it's a good idea to have someone get in the line while the rest of the family finds the luggage.)
Customs went quickly and actually hassle free. Just a scan of the passports and a quick glance of the customs form and we were done.
I will get the capers out to you soon. I am out of town on business but will be back at my home computer tomorrow and send them out.
I added a few more pictures at the following link.
Thanks for the questions and feel free to ask anything else you want to know.
Enjoy your cruise!