This was our 7th cruise. 2 on Carnival - 3 on Princess - 1 on RC and 1 on Celebrity.
We booked the Carnival Breeze for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and because it was a large brand new ship and had a very nice itinerary to Grand Turk, Dominican Republic, Curacao and Aruba.
Pre-Cruise Hotel Stay:
Park and Cruise package at Hampton Inn and Suites - Blue Lagoon in Miami - EXCELLENT location, room, shuttle to Port and secure parking - Highly recommend
Left Hotel at 10:00 A.M. and arrived at Port at 10:15 A.M.
Boarded the ship at around Noon - not too bad - we like to get there early.
Interior cabin - adequate - Bathroom is roomy as you would expect on a ship.
You have to put your key card in a slot every time you enter the room so that lights stay on in room. You take the card out when you leave and the lights go out after about 5 minutes. Annoying at first but you get use to it. You will end up in the dark a few times when you forget.
Our room Steward "Owen" was very good and kept room clean and was undetected most of the time but available when needed. Nice job Owen!!
We did anytime Dining in the Sapphire Dining room. We locked in the same table and wait staff each night at 6:00 P.M. Table 318 for two. Nice spot.
Food was OK. Mr. G and assistants were good and attentive to us - remembered our names and preferences. Although the wine and Drink ordering seemed to be out of sync.
Breakfast at the Buffet each morning - had to wait in lines for everything. The layout is not right and this combined with the staff that seemed inexperienced made for a lousy experience each morning.
Ate in dining room for breakfast once - service was understaffed and got better from what I heard.
Staff seemed unsure, untrained as if they were trying to figure out what to do at times. Seemed like they were short staff and have cut too many corners at the customers expense.
Yes this is a new ship but Carnival put the wrong management staff on this "First Time" cruise to the Caribbean.
What a disappointment - The 4 shows were totally lacking - basically singing, dancing with a light show to 4 different styles; The Brits, Divas, Motor City and Latin nights. They were at odd times and seemed to be out of sync, schedule wise. Perhaps I was expecting too much and comparing it to Celebrity and Royal??
We did not book anything through the Ship.
Grand Turk - not much to do - beach close by with great views of the ship.
Dominican Republic - missed this port due to a medical emergency on board. Had to turn around and meet the Coast Guard to lift patient out. Handled well by Carnival and hope that fellow passenger is doing OK now.
Curacao - Great port and lots to do - we did a city tour on a bus for $25 per couple and then ended up at a Hotel pool near by the port.
Aruba - Great port - lots to do - Beach was wonderful.
Exactly as expected.....Chaotic - Again new ship and first time coming back to port but Carnival has done this a few times.
Overall Good Points:
Met a lot of nice people on the cruise and it was a nice break from the normal routine at home.
Overall bad points:
The ship and service were very disappointing. It seemed that something was lacking on this ship in regards to service and the whole cruise experience of feeling like you are being taking care of when on board. Perhaps this is Carnivals new way?? OR since it was the first trip out to Caribbean they don't have it together yet? Really no excuse for all the lines and lack of attention to service.
Talked to many fellow cruisers of different cruise experience and the majority felt the same way. There were several groups on board this cruise and many first time cruisers. Our Travel agent was on board with us and saw first hand many of the sub par "Carnival Moments" as I began referring to them as.
It appeared that the staff was unsure of what to do. They lacked interest in the guest perhaps due to lack of training by Management. Was the management staff on board....I think that when the ship came in they were at the train station. They missed the boat on this sailing and hopefully will learn from the feedback and be able to improve the quality of this cruise.
I would not recommend this ship - would recommend that you keep your eye out for more reviews to see if things improve before booking this ship.
We had a deposit down on the Carnival Dream for April of 2013 and have canceled it - Probably will not do another Carnival cruise!!
I am sticking with RC and Celebrity!!