Just to take a short cruise over Thanksgiving, my wife and I booked the Carnival Breeze first voyage out of Miami. Aso because we often are asked for our advice on ship, cabin and many other elements of a cruise ship we elected to try the least expensive cabins on the ship just to see what it was really like at the bottom so to speak. We took an inside cabin on the lowest deck. It was plain, small and outfitted with a king size bed and one stool which was of course at the vanity. No pretenses here. It looked like a large closet but nevertheless, the bed was very comfortable and quite sufficient for two nights. We spent as little time as possible there!
The ship is new and obviously has a new designer. Nothing like the Joe Farkus glitz so evident on other Carnival ships and to my mind a dramatic improvement.
The ship always seemed overcrowded and having recently sailed on the Oasis which is far bigger in passenger numbers. the disimilarity was painfully obvious.
Embarcation was long and tedious, again versus the Oasis, this was very abviously an area needing improvement. To be fair, this was the first voyage of this ship from Miami and hopefully these are problems that will improve with time.
We attempted to have lunch at the Lido Marketplace without any luck. This area is a disaster, there is no other word for it. Instead of utilising round carousel type serving areas, Carnival has opted for the long line and wait, and I do mean long! The lines at these buffets stretched the whole lenth of the wall then around the corner and a further fifty feet. To make matters worse, where the line turned the corner, the width of the passageway for circulating passengers was the width of two people and thus effectively a bottleneck holding up passengers, waiters and everyone else. There appear to be no stations here for collecting dirty plates and waste and therefore the waiters use the nearest table to stack dirty plates as they collect them. This happens while you sit there eating!! When asked why they would do that, one waiter explained "Thats how we were trained"
We saw waiters carrying plates back to the galley with one arm holding a high stack of dirty crockery waiting in lines fifteen deep waiting to get trough the door into the galley. And this was on a shore day when many of the passengers had left the ship to go into town! This is an area that needs some serious rethinking.
The dining room was better. The wait staff was friendly and accommodating, although the food was at best average Golden Corral. Bar service in the dining room was sporadic and no guarantee that you would actually drink your wine with your meal.
We were seated at a table for eight very pleasant dining companions although it was obvious that one couple had a big disappointment. not till halfway through the second nights dinner did we realize that the people who visited them at their table were their son, daughter in law and two grandchildren. Grandpa and Grandma were seated at a table away from their family on Thanksgiving! Great organization.
Entertainment on the one night was a high energy dance show with dramatic background graphics and very good. The other night was a game night obviously sponsored and likely paid for by Hasbro the game company. A show where the rules seemed to be made up on the spot and certainly less than entertaining.
The highlights: Red Frog Pub with a very jovial waiter whoe always has a laugh and a joke; The wait staff and cabin staff in general who remain very pleasant amid management and design chaos; The piano bar where the martini Queen carries the recipes for eighty different matinis in her head; the decor which is a thankful relief from the Joe Farkus fairground archtecture.
The Lowlights: The Lido Marketplace where planning, organization and management took a vacation.