The 2,980-passenger Carnival Conquest, which originally sailed from the Big Easy, launched as New Orleans’ largest year-round cruise ship in 2002. After a multi-million dollar renovation in 2012 and some time in Miami, Conquest kept its party spirit intact when it joined sister ship Carnival Freedom at Port Everglades’ newly renovated cruise terminal in January 2015.
What We Love
Artful Ambience: They say fun at sea is an art form aboard the Conquest, and with décor and names inspired by French masters — the Monet and Renoir restaurants, Henri’s Dance Club, and the Toulouse-Lautrec Show Lounge — the ship has touches of old-world elegance.
Scrumptious Samples: The Taste Bar serves up bite-size nibbles from some of Carnival's most popular dining venues — including those found on other ships — in the evenings on sea days and select port days.
Best Known For
Full Bellies: Carnival Conquest has many of the line's popular complimentary casual eateries, including Guy's Burger Joint and BlueIguana Cantina. There are also new menu options in the main dining room which are only available on select Carnival ships. Look for American Feast, offering celebratory cuisine on "elegant" nights, and American Table, featuring contemporary regional options on "casual" nights. Vegetarian entrées are always available and include particularly satisfying Indian-inspired dishes. Another new addition is the casual Seafood Shack on the Lido deck. The New England-style, for-a-fee spot, which debuted on Carnival Vista when it launched in May 2016, serves up everything from fish and chips to lobster rolls and clam chowder.
Bar Culture: From the Alchemy Bar to the poolside BlueIguana Tequila Bar and RedFrog Rum Bar, grown-ups have plenty of places to sip their nightcaps — and their "it's five o'clock somewhere" daytime drinks.
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Who It's Best For
Families and Friends: There's lots to do for cruisers of all ages, so guests who are part of big groups can have fun while spending time with — and without — the ones they love. There are bars and restaurants aplenty for the adults in the group. Kids ages 2 to 11 can make friends and do maritime-themed activities in the revamped Camp Ocean. For the tweens, there is Circle C, and teens can kick back in Club O2.
Travelers with Little Vacation Time: Carnival Conquest offers several itineraries from Fort Lauderdale, with select four-night cruises to the Bahamas — with stops in Nassau and Half Moon Cay — and five- and six-night cruises to both the Eastern and Western Caribbean available.
Budget Cruisers: Like other ships in the line, Carnival Conquest is great for wallet-friendly sailings ... but regular up-selling may leave some guests feeling nickel and dimed.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Limited Loungers: This ship is crowded on sea days and the sundecks fill up early. It can be hard to grab a spot.
It's Showing Its Age: The 14-year-old ship has some signs of wear and tear, but Carnival Conquest will get another dry-dock makeover in 2017.
So-So Stage Shows: The performers themselves are excellent, but the material is more Vegas than Broadway. Expect to be entertained — but not wowed.
Kristen Boatright is the New York City-based senior video editor of ShermansCruise.com.
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Carnival Conquest at a Glance
- Line: Carnival Cruise Line
- Class: Conquest
- Number of Passengers: 2980
- Ship Size: Large
- Launch Date: 2002
- Refurbish Date: 2012