We had a fantastic time on the Breeze cruising from Barcelona on September 19th.
The ship and crew are excellent. The itinerary for this sailing was loaded with excellent ports of call.
The ship did not appear crowded to me at all. We only experienced minor waits, if any to obtain food, drinks, or participate in an activity.
Embarkation was very quick and we waited less than 15 minutes to board the ship in Barcelona
Our cabin 9481 was the the very back of the ship and had a great balcony view off the stern. We did not experience any significant noise due to Lido deck 10 being right above us. The cabin was spacious and there is quite a bit of storage. The only drawback to this cabin is that you have not much in the way of privacy on your balcony. The partitions between the balconies do not go all the way to the end so from the railing of your balcony you can see all the other people on your deck, and they can see you. Other balconies on the ship have the privacy screen which extends all the way to the balcony end so that people can't easily look into your space. This is a minor concern but just know that this is the case if you are booking a stern balcony cabin.
Our cabin stewart keep our room spotless during our 12 night vacation, that team could not have done a better job.
We had anytime dining and this was really the only area where they don't seem to have things worked out just yet. Food was always good but the cadence of service on anytime dining was spotty. Sometimes you were greeted soon after you were seated, other times there was a significant wait. No big deal.
We did use many of the specialty dining options, had two dinners at the steakhouse, one at the Italian resturant, and one night at the chefs table. All of these were top notch. The chef's table was amazing, each course was artfully presented and the service was outstanding. The steakhouse put out wonderful food on both our visits and the chocolate sampler is nothing short of spectacular.
The italian restaurant is also good for both lunch and dinner. There is no up-charge for lunch but you basically get to choose a type of pasta, sauce, protein & vegetables. Your pasta is then made and brought to your table. You do hear the bouncing of the basketball court above you during lunch. At dinner this restaurant serves a full multi-course menu.
While we chose to cruise at a timeframe where there would be very few children on the ship, we didn't encounter any of the problems noted by previous reviews.
Guys Burgers, I guess I am outside the curve on this one. They are good but I feel this is case because of the toppings bar not because of the burger itself. I think Carnival could have saved a bunch of dough by just putting a burger toppings bar out there, there is nothing special about the hamburgers.
The blue iguana serves up some tasty burritos for both breakfast and lunch. This was my go to place for breakfast, never a line and you leave the chaos of the lido buffet behind.
Tandori was good the one time I tried it.
The deli made a nice sandwich
The pizza pirate did a nice job with the variety of pizza they served, fresh and tasty.
Fat Jimmy's C-side had a huge line when it opened on the first sea day, we tried it and along with most of the people seemed to judge it as lacking. I say this because there were little to no lines for this place on the remaining sea days.
We ordered one breakfast from room service that was delivered on time and the order was perfect.
Comedy brunch on sea days. We did this on two mornings and the menu is good, food is good but I still don't understand the rationale for doing this? The comedy shows were packed everynight they were offered so they don't need any promotion and the material the comics use during the brunch is pretty much what you heard the night before during the show so I still don't really understand what the goal of this "2.0" addition is.
There is a specialty coffee and dessert that serves gelato, and large slices of chocolate cake and carrot cake as well as chocolate dipped strawberries for a small charge.
The lido buffet is very large and the lines move pretty well except for the beverage stations which are poorly designed with the ice dispenser in the corner, this has been pointed out in other reviews. Still there are enough beverage stations positioned throughout the lido area that you can always find one without a line if you're willing to walk a little.
I did not try the sushi restaurant or the mongolian wok so I can't comment on thos except to say that the sushi restaurant rarely appeared to be busy.
Getting off the ship was easy in every port except Monaco where we were 40 minutes late so people were lined up on the stairs waiting to get off. In most ports we docked on time or were early.
We did private excursions in each port so I can't comment on Carnival tours but I did not hear anyone complaining about their tour.
We attended a couple of comedy shows which were good. The juggler on the ship was outstanding as well. The Hasbro show was good but in my opinion it takes too long to pick the contestants and I found myself getting bored.
We didn't go to any of the productions shows, we were too busy doing other things.
Piano Bar 88 was nice a couple of night but we had to move the crowd into the modern music era. This cruise had a pretty high median age!!!
Red Frog pub had a guitar player who was good but seemed to like to play depressing songs so I didn't hang out there very much, didn't try any of their appetizers either but the menu looked good.
We played mini-golf, tried the ropes course, outdoor billiards and foosball which were all good fun. Both water slides were a lot of fun as well.
Never spent any time at either pool and only walked through serenity a couple of times as it was always at full capacity. I also don't understand why serenity is by the water slides. If this ship was full of kids all you would hear is screaming children, nothing serene about that!!
Thrill Theatre: We purchased the full cruise pass and we watched almost all the movies/rides. This was a lot of fun and something truly different at sea.
We also did the behind the fun tour on the second to last sea day and this was a great overview of some of the inner workings of the ship and crew.
The fitness center was only crowded the first morning, by day three there was nobody there. They have plenty of treadmills and elliptical machines but a very small free weight area.
We got a couples massage that was very professional and felt amazing after four full days port tours.
All in all this was a great cruise and I highly recommend the Breeze. The ship is incredible and the crew is outstanding, this was my best cruise ever and I can't wait to start planning our next adventure.