We arrived at the Barcelona airport on cruise day. The Carnival staff was disorganized and inadequately prepared to handle the large number of passengers arriving. There was no order to dropping off luggage for transport to the ship. Embarkation took a long time.
Our room was nice and in a great location to get where we needed to go on the ship. Overall, the food was good (except for the eggs in the Lido Marketplace and the fact that they had ran out of bananas for several days) and the entertainment was good (except the last night when there was a vocalist who was drowned out by the band). Several shows had to be cancelled/rescheduled due to rocky seas. Some nice additions for lunch were Guy's Burger Joint and the Blue Iguana Cantina.
The very first day the ship was unable to dock into Monte Carlo, Monaco, due to high winds according to the Captain even though the navigation map did not show any high winds. The staff had informed us the night before that they were More
expecting high winds to come in later that day so they moved up the departure time.
An announcement was made during the evening on our first unscheduled sea day that the itinerary was changing for the remainder of the cruise in an attempt to avoid bad weather in the Tyrrhenian Sea. We were still going to Livorno as scheduled in the original itinerary. After Livorno, the revised itinerary given to us was an additional 2 sea days, skipping the scheduled port of call in Messina, followed by a port of call in Dubrovnik, then an overnight in Venice, then another sea day, then Naples, then Rome, and then a sea day back to Barcelona. We were disappointed that when the itinerary changed, that Rome was still on a Sunday. The original day that the ship had been scheduled to visit Rome, the Vatican was open as it was the last Sunday of the month. With the new itinerary, the Vatican would not be open.
Shortly after leaving the port in Dubrovnik, there was another announcement of yet another itinerary change. We were not going to Venice due to the flooding, and that we were going to have 2 additional sea days and the port of call of Messina was added back to the itinerary. Lots of disappointed passengers concerned with the itinerary changes swarmed the guest services desk and were moved into the Ovation Lounge where an impromptu meeting occurred with the ship's captain and staff.
After leaving Dubrovnik, the ship actually sailed around in a circle on the first sea day in the Adriatic Sea. Normally, it takes one day to sail from Dubrovnik to Messina and the captain was taking 2 days. (We passed through the Messina straight around 6 AM the day before we reached Dubrovnik earlier in the cruise).
Sea day activities were limited, unless you wanted to spend money for spa treatments, donate money in the casino, go to the overly crowded trivia, spend money for Bingo, etc.
The compensation for the missed ports of call were credit for the port charges/taxes and a token drink (from a limited selection) at dinner. Most passengers felt that this was not enough to compensate for a disappointing vacation experience.
This was our first cruise to Europe and as such, we had booked this cruise due to the itinerary which had 7 ports of calls and only 3 sea days. Due to the various itinerary changes, we lost 2 ports of call and added 3 sea days. This was more boat ride than we expected and wanted. Early on, the Captain should have known about the weather conditions and changed the itinerary to other ports of call which the Breeze had been to before.
Debarkation was very smooth and well organized. Less
Carnival Breeze Cruises to the Western Mediterranean
Balcony Cabin on 7th deck (Empress Deck); Great location - close to elevators & stairs, convenient to get to dining room and shops and entertainment. Suitcases fit under beds so there was more room to move around and store stuff.
Cruise port ran a roundtrip shuttle bus to the Old Town for 8 euros/person or 10 USD/person. We bought a ticket to walk the wall around the city for 70 Kunas/person (Kunas or credit card accepted). The wall walk is not for everyone as there are quite a few stair cases and over 1 mile in length. Spectacular views from top of wall overlooking the Old Town and the harbor and the Adriatic Sea.
Ship docked in Livorno: Cruise port ran a roundtrip shuttle bus for 5 euros/person to downtown Livorno. From there, we took a bus(purchased bus ticket at local newstand)to the train station (purchased ticket at train station) where we boarded a train to Florence. From the train station, we walked to the Duomo, Academie, Piazza della Signoria, and Ponte Vechhio. After spending a few hours in Florence, we took a train to Pisa. We then walked to the Field of Miracles where the Leaning Tower of Pisa was and then took a train back to Livorno. This trip took 9-10 hours from leaving the ship in the morning until getting back to the ship. One tip: be sure to validate your bus ticket once on the bus, and validate your train ticket before boarding the train.
Able to walk from Cruise Ship to port entrance. Took a bus to the main train station (daily bus pass tickets purchased at newstand outside of port entrance), (purchased ticket at train station)boarded a train to Pompeii, visited the ruins at Pompeii (short walk from Pompeii train station)for 4-5 hours and still did not see everything. One tip: be sure to validate your bus ticket once on the bus, and validate your train ticket before boarding the train.
Ship docked at Messina (Messina was not in list provided to select as port): Easy to walk to the various sites (such as Christo Re, Neptune Fountain, Piazza Duomo), watched the Bell Tower at the Duomo perform at noon (lion roars, rooster crows, bell chimes, statues move to "Ave Maria").
Ship docked at Civitavecchia; took free shuttle bus from ship to cruise port entrance, walked to train station from Civitavecchia port entrance, took train into Rome (purchased roundtrip BIRG ticket which includes the metro and buses in Rome) getting off at San Pietro Train Station, walking to and visiting St Peter's Basilica, took metro to Spanish Steps, walked to Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, the Forum, the Colliseum, took metro to Termini, the main train station to board train back to Civitavecchia. This trip took 9-10 hours from the time we left the ship until we got back to the ship. One tip: be sure to validate your bus ticket once on the bus, and validate your train ticket before boarding the train.