Carnival Breeze Cruise Review by Rarphantom: Perfect for seeing the Mediterranean!!
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Perfect for seeing the Mediterranean!!
We were looking for a way to bring our 17, 20 & 21 yr old to the Mediterranean while still giving them a "fun" vacation and the Breeze was perfect. Plenty to see in each port, but felt like we were home each night. We couldn't have found a better ship for our needs.
The decor is okay but better suited for the Caribbean where the ship will ultimately end up, but still very nice. Design changes created little comfortable areas around the ship instead of the open expanse usually seen. The pool areas were small but adequate. My kids said that the water slides were some of the fastest and best that they had been on and which was fun for them and all the other kids which kept them out of the pools and hot tubs. The hot tubs are no longer near the pool area which is a pain because you have to go down to deck 5 or on the serenity deck. Also, the Serenity Deck for 21 and over on the Miracle had it's own pool which was woefully missing on the Breeze. The days at see still proved More to be a hassle with lounge chairs. What we found was that there was plenty of turnover due to the very hot weather so we slept late, had breakfast and then found chairs. The new policy of "tagging" chairs with a time sticker and clearing them after 45 min may have also helped where people usually leave their towels to save chairs, but I also just saw people walk back and pull the stickers off periodically.
As far as the food options go, we are avid cruisers and didn't expect much of the food. Certainly, the dining room food lived down to our expectations. The staff was disorganized and the food was below average. However, the Burgers on deck were great and the Seaside BBQ was also a pleasant surprise. The Mexican was okay and we found the comedy brunch to have good food, but the comedy was 3rd rate and could have been left out. Skip the sushi restaurant entirely as our local grocery store serves better sushi! Also, the pizza was surprisingly good. What is absurd and needs to be mentioned here is Carnival's decision to get rid of trays entirely on the Lido deck. While this certainly cuts down on the amount of food consumed and saves Carnival money, it is extremely annoying for passengers especially if one is holding a table and the other is getting the food. There are bigger plates, but the situation is still a royal pain! Contrary to what others have posted, we never had to wait in line anywhere which was surprising with so many passengers on board. We were a bit worried from reading prior postings, but never more than 5 people ahead of us at any food station.
The fitness center is small and dark compared to the Miracle and other ships. While they added treadmills, they compressed the workout area and the machines are now basically in an entrance way. The center was never crowded so that helped given the size. The Lido Deck with its "Dive-in Theater" was great! We watched movies out there at night and enjoyed the days around the screen. This should be on all ships. There was some live music during the day on sea days, but it was a single guitar player/singer who didn't even sound as good as the Kareoke singers on the ship. Dump them and keep the DJ's or get a live band.
Adding extra deck space on deck 5 probably helps with the outside seating and feeling of a bigger ship, but it also totally gets rid of the feeling of being out at sea with an outside balcony cabin. We felt like we were just over a street where people could look up into our room and we had to listen to their conversations. Gone is the serenity of just looking out over the water and relaxing. Perhaps this was because we were on Deck 6 just above, but my suggestion is to book a higher deck due to the design change. Also, Deck 6 is directly over so much of the main activity sections of the ship that the cabins are very noisy. We had issues that were resolved quickly, but no one like a hassle on vacation.
All in all this is a great ship, but know its shortcomings and enjoy its benefits. We would certainly cruise on the Breeze again and this was a fantastic itinerary over all except for the "filler" ports like Olbia & Messina. Also, just know that you are not near Rome, Florence or the Amalfi Coast at these ports so go online and book cars as Carnival's tours are ridiculously priced if there are 3 or more of you compared to what you can do on your own. Italy Limousine [firstname.lastname@example.org] and Airports Shuttle [email@example.com] were 2 very good companies that we used and were happy. Also, use Taxi Transfer di Santin Marcellina [firstname.lastname@example.org] for transfer to the airport in Venice as they were only 10 E per person and saved a lot of potential aggravation. Less
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