Our family of 5 sailed on the 4th sailing of this beautiful new ship, and kept encountering unpleasant surprises that kept happening.
First, the lines are long. There was a long line to get our boarding passes, with hundreds of passengers crowding to get to the check in desks. Next, there was a long line waiting for boarding pass photos due to equipment failure. Want a glass of water in the Lido dining room? Well, the water dispensers are crowded into corners, with no logical way to form a line to get the water. The buffet lines are long, with people cutting in, because the milk is between the salad and entrees. Once you get your food, you'll need to wait for a table, as they are either crowded or full of dirty dishes, waiting for the staff to clean.
Going ashore in the ports are chaotic, as passengers fight to get on the shuttles. We had to wait in line 45 minutes to get through security to get back on the ship at Venice.
The 24 hour ice cream was More
out of order at least 50 percent of the time, and the most appealing food in the dessert bar was for decoration!
The buffet food was typically bland, and breakfast was the same everyday. There are some options for custom omelets and sandwiches, but be prepared to wait in long lines to get some. The pasta dining is free for lunch, but the pasta was undercooked, and we received the wrong food.
The main dining room improved significantly on the 3rd night, after a new maitre'd was brought in. Hopefully some new management will arrive for the other dining rooms soon.
Be prepared to pay for extras on this ship. There is a dessert and coffee bar, but they charge per item. Want to watch a movie in the thrill theater? You'll have to pay. Want to use the internet on-board? Better take out a mortgage.
On the bright side, the dining room staff and room stewards were great, and among the best that we have seen. Now, they just need some better managers. Less
Carnival Breeze Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean
The port is a long way from the city, so be prepared to pay to get between the ship and Barcelona. The taxi drivers overcharge, so get a price before you get in the car. There is lots to do in Barcelona, so plan your time well.
This city is a pleasant surprise, and walking the fortress wall provides a great view of the old city. It does take a long time to walk, so plan accordingly. There are many fine little eating places, and most of them seem local. The old city is a long way from the sea port, so be prepared to pay for transportation.
Florence is an hour from the port, so be prepared to travel. We did an excursion from Cruising Excursions, and it was excellent, and much less expensive than the Carnival excursions. There is a lot to see in Florence and Pisa, and it was very crowded. Be prepared for lots of walking.
Again, the port is a long way from the city, so be prepared to pay to get between the ship and city. The city is dirty, and it was difficult to find much to enjoy. Seek out the local crepe diner for a treat, and enjoy a cold beer, which you can drink on the street.
Rome is busy and crowded, and plan to loose 2 hours for travel to and from the port. We did an excursion from Cruising Excursions, and it was excellent, and much less expensive than the Carnival excursions. There are also plenty of taxis willing to take you to Rome for the day, and that may be a better deal for large families and groups. Plan ahead if you want to see the Vatican Museum or enter the Colosseum, as the lines are very long.
Venice is not the city of your dreams! Be prepared for a long walk to the water taxi, and be ready to overpay for everything. The city is overcrowded with tourists, and the vendors take advantage by overcharging. It is difficult to find your way in this city, and nearly impossible to get back to a shop that you passed earlier. The water taxis are overcrowded to the point of being unsafe.
My best advice is to stay away from the main areas to find the best deals and space to enjoy yourself.