This is my first post here and I decided since I used this forum to help me plan our first cruise, I would provide some feedback/information. I'll break this down by paragraph/subject so I can keep my thoughts together without rambling too much.
General Information - My wife (39), daughter (13), son (7) and myself (41) took our first cruise on the Carnival Conquest from 5-12 Aug to Montego Bay, Cayman Islands, and Cozumel. Since I am in the military, we have traveled extensively and lived abroad for over 12 years of my 22 years in the service. Since I was deployed for the last four months, we decided to take a cruise since we had always wanted to and were due for a much needed vacation.
Room - We had two adjacent balcony rooms on the 6th floor on the aft of the boat. We loved having the balconies and found the rooms more than adequate for our needs. My wife would have loved a bathtub, but maybe next time! We did not spend much time on the balconies during the day because of the heat. Our balcony did not get much of a breeze because of its position on the ship.
Dining - Absolutely loved the food during the evening meals in the dining room. Food was excellent and wait staff was superb. We ate mostly the buffet for lunch and breakfast and sometimes ordered room service for breakfast. My wife and I treated ourselves to the Supper Club one night and really enjoyed it. Worth the money if you want a romantic dinner. The food was excellent, but I don't think it was much better than what you get it the regular dining room.
Kid / Teen Camp Carnival - Both of our children loved the clubs for their age groups. Both looked forward to spending time there. My 13yr old daughter made some great friends the first day and loved hanging out with them. My 7yr old son enjoyed his club as well and actually asked to go. This gave my wife and I some good quality time (in the casino mostly)!
Excursions - In Montego Bay, we all went to Sunset Beach. It was about a mile from the docking terminal. The cost was $40 for adults and $20 for children. It was an all-inclusive resort and had a small waterpark with slides and a lazy river, two other swimming pools, mini-golf, snorkeling, kayaks, beaches (one was clothing optional), food, drinks, etc. We really enjoyed the day there and it fit our needs perfectly. We just wanted a place to relax and let the kids have fun. To get there, just grab a taxi when you get off the ship and tell them you want to go to Sunset Beach. It will cost $3 per person one way. In the Cayman Islands, my wife and I just did a little shopping and at lunch at a nice little Thai Restaurant. Our kids wanted to stay on the ship at their respective clubs. In Cozumel, we grabbed a taxi and headed to San Fransisco Beach. Taxi cost one-way was $15 for all of us. The beach will provide you lounge chairs and umbrella. You just have to buy some drinks and food. They have about four trampolines in the water for the kids to play on for $5 each. They also have a freshwater swimming pool. We ate and had a lot of drinks and I only paid $65 when it was all said and done (minus the tip and taxi). The kids had a great time here and we really enjoyed ourselves. We did not book any of our excursion through Carnival.
Shows - We only went to one show. It was an adults only comedy show and was very good. Well worth the time spent.
Bingo - My wife likes to play bingo, but found the bingo program sadly lacking. For as much money as they take in on bingo, they could probably have some better prize money. Seven people had to split $100 in one instance. They could also have more bingo events.
Casino - We spent way too much money of course, but used it as a nice way to waste time as well as money.
Staff - All were extremely friendly and helpful.
Check-in - Took about an hour to go through all the lines.
Check-out - Took us about an hour and a half to make it through.
We loved our cruise and will take another one someday I am sure. I don't have any other cruises to compare too, but if this was a bad one, I sure couldn't tell it. I would recommend this one to others as well. I hope this posting helps other future cruisers! Take care.