My wife and I cruised on the Carnival Breeze for 12 nights on October 1st and had an amazing time. I am 38 and my wife is 36. We are both avid cruisers, although this was our first non-Caribbean cruise.
First some general observations:
-Cruising in the Med in October was a great call. Excellent weather, less crowds, lower price.
-Carnival Breeze is an amazing ship with lots of activities.
-For those of you who are Carnival regulars this was a much older crowd than you typically see on a Carnival cruise. Some of this is likely a reflection of the time we choose to cruise. No families with kids. My children (12 and 8) stayed with my parents. There were quite a few late 20's early 30's couples and then 70% over 50.
-I understood from the crew during the summer there are way more kids. For those of you contemplating bringing kids on this cruise,there is NO WAY I WOULD SPEND THE MONEY TO BRING CHILDREN YOUNGER THAN 12(Probably 14)on this cruise. This is a very active, busy cruise. I can't imagine trying to walk a 6 year old through the Vatican. If you just want to relax save your money and go to the Caribbean.
-Carnival Breeze is a beautiful ship. There is tons to do. Carnival has really upgraded this ship. Lots of nice touches compared to the other Carnival ships we have been on. Tons of activities. No excuse for being bored.
-Food was very good. I read some reviews complaining about food. The reality is you can not go to the main dining room expecting 5 star dining. The price point of this cruise simply doesn't allow that. The steakhouse is amazing and a great value for a 35 dollar cover charge. You would pay 70-80 bucks just for a steak of that quality in the states. So if you want nicer pay extra. The lido deck food is very good. Again some other reviewers amaze me. Of course the food is more cafeteria style. It's designed to be good but to serve lots of people quickly and in a short amount of time. Guys Burger's is absolutely awesome. I gained weight because of this place. Huge upgrade over the old burger stands on carnival. My only complaint would be to have a little more variety in the main dining room menu.
-This was easily the friendliest crew we have had on any of our 9 previous cruises. Best dining team, best cabin steward, hardest working crew, and the list goes on.
-Overall entertainment was good. Latin nights was awesome. Brits wasn't very good.
-Bottom line this was an outstanding experience. I don't see how someone could have been on this cruise with the amazing itinerary, beautiful ship, and great crew and not had a good time. Bottom line if you can not find a way to enjoy your self on this cruise it is on you. My port reviews are below. Happy cruising.
Pre-Cruise, Barcelona-We arrived Sunday morning the day before departure. Naturally lots of jet lag. Used sunshine transfers to pick up from the airport. It was 39 euros to take us to our hotel. Used credit card points to stay at Le Meriden Barcelona on Las Ramblas. Happy with the service. I would have planned on arriving two days before the cruise if I had it to do all over again. There is lots to see in Barcelona and the first day you are just to tired. Also the first part of the cruise is the busiest, so getting your rest in helps. If you stay Las Ramblas area, it is easy to do self guided walks of the sights.
Embarkation was very easy the next day. Taxi ride to the port was about 25 euros from Las Ramblas. We were on the boat by 1130.
I'll cover debarkation during the ports review section.
Do not be afraid to book your own tours! Carnival really pushes their tours but you say way more with less people by booking on your own. We enjoyed our one carnival tour, but were much more impressed with the private tours. Tripadvisor and CC message boards are your friend.