To give a little information about myself initially: I am in my early 20's and travelled with my boyfriend who is also early 20's. I am British but my partner is Australian and had never been to Europe before so we both thought that a port intensive cruise was an excellent way for him to see all of the sights and have all the amenities of a brand new boat whilst doing so!
Neither of us had travelled with Carnival before, and I have to say (being a keen researcher) I was a little concerned with some of the iffy reviews posted on here about the ship.
Now I have to say, although i'm not the complaining type this holiday was incredible from the ship, to each and every port and definitely enhanced by the wonderful staff aboard the Breeze.
Embarktion: We knew we were possibly shooting ourselves in the foot heading to the port at 1.30 - as we knew this may be the busiest time, but it was remarkably inefficient. Although the queues looked long we were out of the taxi and eating a Guys burger on the ship by 2.40pm...no complaints at all!
The Ship: Now I cannot pass comment on the previous Carnival decor, but I loved the look of the Breeze, the atrium was dramatic and unique, and all of the individual public areas were very individual. Some people have commented on uncleanliness already but I saw none of this at all and the boat really did feel brand new.
Lido Deck - I agree maybe 2 pools was not enough for the size of the ship, however saying that they were never busy and I think the majority didnt actually use them! The slides were surprisingly good...very quick (especially the yellow one) and the sportssquare was great with crazy golf, and the ropes course.
The Cabin: We opted for an interior cabin as we thought we would only use it for sleeping and showering and landed one in an excellent spot, 9 floor, right under the lido deck and stairs up to the pool. I was concerned about noise but this was never a problem. Our cabin steward was the best, and knew our names within the first few hours and proceeded to say hello everytime we left our room (I actually think he had a secret cupboard on our passageway as he was always there working hard!).
The food: Another big concern of mine judging the reviews was food - but I dont think I have ever eaten so well in my entire life!
Guys Burgers - Very fresh...would have gone back so many more times than once if there wasnt so much other choice to try! Just had a plain cheeseburger, but used pretty much all the toppings and it was delicious!
Blue Iguana Cantina - Had a shrimp burrito and it was outstanding! So prawns cooked to perfection and not too spicy, and all the other additions were delicious - made for the best burrito i'd ever eaten!
Lido Marketplace - Only ate here for brekkie (and one salad bar) again due to phenomenal choice elsewhere. But the breakfast was vast, I dont think I saw all of the stations in 12 days, omelettes were excellent, and the little unique option on the hot food (quiche one day, eggs benedict another) were so yummy. Only disadvantage is they put the milk before the cereal which seemed a little odd but jees that was nothing to complain about! The salad bar again was so fresh and a huge amount of choice it was lovely!
Pasta Bar (Cucina del Capitano)- Im not a huge lover of pasta but my boyfriend and I decided to try this for lunch one day and it was great how you created your own dish, I had a shrimp pasta in the clam sauce and it was really good, and a great way to get some vegetables into you which you can sometimes forget whilst on holiday!
Bonsai Sushi - We are both great lovers of sushi and this really did not disappoint , we were a little hesistant ordering something with a surcharge due to the great included selection, but we were not disappointed and the food not only was excellent but was incredibly good value for money. Ordered the sushi ship and between two that included a miso soup each, 16 rolls, 8 pieces of sushi with 4 different types of fish and a side salad with an amazing dressing on it! - That cost $15 for the two of us...total bargain!
Jimmys BBQ - Tried this on one of the days and thought it was great - went around 1.45 and there was no queue - loved the pulled pork and the creamed corn - My boyfriend was slightly disappointed the the marinated chicken was cold - but we think that may have been as it was nearing the end of service, however it was still juicy and tasty!
Taste Bar - Not sure everyone knew about this even though it was in the funtimes clearly. But was a lovely little addition and meant we could hang on until 8ish to eat dinner each night which worked best to see the shows! I think there was maybe 6 different ones during our cruise - favorite the comfort kitchen one, however all were filled with taste - but were quite spicy!
Sapphire dining room - This is where I was really impressed (now I may have ordered exceptionally well) but I would have between 2 and 4 courses every single night in there for dinner, and not one of the plates I was disappointed with. The presentation was exceptional, the fod hot and cooked to perfection and the choice was insane! My tip: if you like seafood - rder seafood dishes! I was never let down!
Entertainment - Saw quite a few of the comedy shows, and loved them as a change from the usual ovation theatre choices. But I actually really enjoyed the playlist productions too! My favorite I think was Divas, but all got you singing along and tapping your feet. Hasbro the gameshow was fun if a little slow at times, but anything involving Calvyn and John I found hilarious, especially the Battle of the sexes and liars club.
Excursions - We opted to do most places on our own which was never a problem - however we did leave plenty of time to return to the ship. I found the tours to be quite expensive, and we only did two (La Cinta Beach, and Taormina on your own which were purely transfers and we found that it was expensive to use public transport or get a taxi).
Ports - All excellent, my favourite was probably Monte Carlo (as we went up to Eze which is well well worth a short bus trip) but I also LOVED venice! Chris fell in love with Dubrovnik.
Debarktion - Many have complained about John waking them at 5.30am for debarktion this was mentioned quite a lot leading up to that morning and I can understand why it is necessary to do so. We decided to take our bags with us, grab breakfast and was off the boat in around 35 minutes and into a taxi, so so simple!
I think the real key thing to take away from this review is if you go on a (excellent) value for money cruise ship such as this you need to go with a mind to just enjoy every experience. However we have no complaints what so ever and had one of the best holidays I have ever been on. Absolutely loved the Carnival breeze!