MY DW and I had the pleasure of sailing the Conquest last November out of Galveston. It was an absolute perfect cruise following the harsh Hurricane season. The Gulf of Mexico was smooth sailing for the entire cruise. I would recommend the Conquest to anyone at anytime. So much so that we booked another November cruise on her this year.
I had to push our trip back a month and in so doing I found the Golden Princess to be hitting the exact same itinerary as the Conquest but sailing from New Orleans (three weeks only as it seems the Golden Princess moves around a bit)
Anyway, cheaptickets had a guarantee balcony on the Baja deck for only $654 pp so the entire cost is only $1405. I figured this is a pretty good deal so I booked it.
Good choice, yes or no? I'd like my "cruisemates" opinion.
We just got off the Golden last week and had a fabulous time. You can check out the review but much of it has to do with the location (British Isles) so that may not be of much help to you.
I can tell you the two ships offer very different cruise experiences. I have done them both, loved them both and would do either again, but they are quite different.
To highlight a few differences. Dining aboard Golden is either traditional or personal choice (eat when, where, with whom you choose). Night life tends to be a bit less lively, although I'm sure that varies according to passengers and itinerary (we had such looong and intensive days every one was falling in their soup at dinner), there is no slide at the pool, but there are two adults only pools that are very nice. Golden does not have some of the little restaurants that Conquest has, like the deli and oriental spots in the buffet area. There is free ice cream only at select times of the day in the buffet, othewise it's $3.95 at the ice cream shop. There is no dancing each evening by the waiters (my biggest beef with Carnival) and there is less neon and glitz.
I think you will love your time aboard the Golden, it's a beautiful ship with a terrific crew. We look forward to sailing her again.
You'll love the "Golden"! She's one of our favorite ships for a number of reasons. As Magnolia stated it's a bit different than the Carnival experience, but that isn't all bad. We love the aft pool area. It has an unobstructed view of the wake, and it's adult only, fresh water pool is outstanding. There are tables where you can sit and enjoy, or lounge chairs. (obviously our favorite spot on the entire ship) Personal choice dining is nice, and I think the food is just a slight bit better than CCL. Entertainment choices are outstanding, with two shows going on at the same time, giving you a choice. Service is outstanding, and the ship spotless. (Now, if they would only lighten up and offer 24X7 ice cream!)
Have a great trip, and remember Magnolia and I told you so!
The wife and I are thinking about sailing on the Carribean Princess, instead of the Valor, for our cruise in 2007. We have sailed on the Valor and absolutely enjoyed every minute of it, and would sail on her again. We have sailed with Carnival several times, and about to again in Sept. We;ve had nothing but great service from them.
Like iamblking, I would like your thoughts on the the 2-ships. (Carribean Princess and the Valor ) I want to try some different cruise lines, and visit other ports of call.
Thanks for your input;
Dream - Sept. 22 2012
Truimph - Nov. 2010
Truimph - Aug. 2010
Legend May 2009
Liberty - Aug.23 2008
Fantasy - Sept.22 2007
Fantasy - Sept.27 2007 (B 2 B )
Holiday- Sept.- 2006
Valor- May - 2006
Conquest- August- 2003
Enchanted Isle- Sept.- 1999
We've been on the Golden twice and love it! Would sail on it again in a heartbeat. Been on Carnival twice and prefer Princess much more. Princess ships are so much more elegant (IMHO). We prefer Princess' freshwater pools to Carnival's saltwater pools. Entertainment, service, food was better on Princess (although we did like the deli and soft serve ice cream on Carnival).
The pool which is covered by a retractable roof is a grand place to spend a windy or cool day. There were two bartenders there who were a riot. We always did our first post-excursion drink there.
The Skywalker Louge is deserted before 10 p.m. and gives you a great view for sail away.
The aft pool which Skywalker talks about is indeed a terrific place. One of our favorites onboard. If you are in the buffet keep walking to the rear of the ship and you'll wind up out there. The area is partially covered and makes a great place to enjoy breakfast. The crew tends to eat out there and you can occasionally pick up a juicy tidbit from them.
If you plan on using an iron or doing laundry, you need to read my review.
You're gonna' have a wonderful time. She's a great ship.
Now I am (as we say in Texas) "chomping at the bit" and can not wait until we set sail. An update is that I went a head and booked a caribe balcony. Yes I understand the privacy issue but just had to see what a 9x9 balcony will be like. I'll let everyone know how Princess fairs compared to Carnival.
Another question.... Does Princess do the nightly towel animal thing and is there 24 hour pizza available? These are two things we really loved on Carnival. Also, the hotdogs on Carnival can not be beat so being a sister company I hope Princess uses the same brand.
Glad you booked Princess, as I think you'll really enjoy the cruise. I've got good news, and bad news for you. The good news is that since Princess is owned by Carnival, the chances of the same brand of hot dogs is pretty good. Also, I can't remember for sure if the pizza is there 24X7 (I don't think it is) but the buffet is open 24X7 with some kind of food, so you won't go hungry. The bad news is that they don't do the towell animals. Guess you'll have to make your own. (Did you buy the ones already made up in the gift shop on Carnival?)
No worries though. You won't regret going with Princess. It's a great cruise, and you'll have a super time aboard.
Pizza and hot dog/hamburger grill closes at 7, but there is pizza available on the buffet. Didn't eat it from the buffet so don't know how it was there. The hot dogs were great big fat things. I can't remember what Carnivals hot dogs were like, but these were really good. They also had knockwurst and brautwurst. Best of all was the container of warm saurekraut!
I have to agree with all the glowing comments RE Golden Princess...we're sailing on her for the 3rd time in 2 weeks.
I do love the terrace pool area best, but the other adult pool up by the spa is nice to, although it's next to the childrens play area, so depending on the time, is not always as relaxing as a spa area should be!
And I got a towel animal one day on our last cruise. My BF and I had brought pictures of our dogs to hang on the wall. Our wonderful steward made a towel dog holding one of the pictures near the end of our cruise. Could be he heard me lamenting how much I missed the towel animals we'd been spoiled with on Norwegian.
Anyway, this cruise, we've even booked the same cabin...can't wait!!