Our family of 13 from california, usa had planned this trip for over 6months. We booked early, got great deals with complete package, air, precruise hotel, port transfers, everything. Big thank to Mr. Adam Knitzler from carnival who provided great service, especially with the early book price guarantee, Adam did lower our fees two times. He also gave us the two balconies adjacent to each other and two interior room right across (the third balcony for my brother's family is at different floor due to his last minute booking).
We arrived Barcelona on time, got on the Carnival bus and in 10 mins we arrived the Trypp Apolo Hotel in Barcelona. The hotel didn't allow early check in so we left our luggage in the "safe" room and headed to the La Rambla and begin our exploration. We got on the hop on/off bus to the La Sagrada Church and other attractions. We had wonderful time in Barcelona and ready for our next day to really see the Carnival breeze and begin our 12 days cruise.
The Carnival bus took us to the port in about 10 minute. it is a big port, with giant ships and one of them is the Carnival Breeze. It was around 11am so the line was still short and we got our check in done in no time (probably 30 mins). The rooms were not ready so we headed up to the Lido market for lunch.
The Lido market looks nice but not that impressive. I just dislike the plastic palm tree, looks kind of ugly. Having cruised with Carnival three times before, I didn't have much expectation about the food so I was very much okay with what available there. The Mongolian wok was okay except these Chinese cooks don't really know how to cook beef. Remember stir fry beef you must have high heat and quick cook. These guys overcooked the beef every single time, same technique and the beef became plastic. Please take note and do change for the sake of Chinese food reputation.
The ship, even new, lack of elegance. I guess it is built for fun and convenience. The two small pools (as mentioned many time in previous reviews) were ridiculous for big crowd. The dinning rooms are much better than the Carnival Glory and the services were great. The food were not bad at all and we loved the entertaining from the dining staffs. I love the 1.5 hour dining that allowed us to have enough time to walk around and then headed to the Ovation theater for evening shows. (Princess cruise the dining is over 2 hours which is too long but the food from princess is better, so I guess you win some you lose some).
For all the 5 shows we watched, they are good but not great. The Motown night was a big disappointment (I love Motown music but the performers were just okay, they danced better than they sang).
I must ssay something about the gym: although they have so many treadmills (more than china has rice) which is good, but the lifting weight area is so damn small, only fits 3 persons. What do you think carnival? Exercise is a combination of cardio, strength and flexibility and for the 12 days on the ship I couldn't access to the three little benches to lift weights at all. I ended up to carry a few dumbbells to the corner and tried to do something. The men locker is also much smaller than the one from Carnival Glory: no free steam room. The sauna room is also very very small. Big step back for the carnival breeze.
Our rooms are nice, comfortable with great balcony. The cleaning staffs did wonderful job. We gave them (and the dining guys too) big tips in addition to our already paid service gratuity.
We did our own excursions with private companies that saved us tons of money and better city tours (I believe). Florence, Rome were great but the heat significantly drained out our energy. We loved Sorrento, Nice with our own exploration. Having said that, I must say our Best of Dubrovnik tour, our only excursion with carnival, was great. We loved the little village, it looked so peaceful and beautiful. The old town of Dubrovnik was stunning.
My nieces loved the waterworks. They had so much fun, they had a blast.
The sushi were good. The burgers are just okay but do love the crispy french fries.
General speaking, I am happy with Carnival Breeze. I think we got our money worth spent. However, after three consecutive cruises with carnival, it is time to explore others or come back to Princess which we believe have better food and better ship interior design.