Who would not love the opportunity to sail from Barcelona across the Atlantic to Miami? It was an absolutely incredible vacation!! Barcelona is fabulous. The Carnival Breeze is a bright new modern ship. The weather was perfect! Carnival does do a lot of things right. The cabins were bright and clean. We stayed on the spa deck which gave us a few extra perks and our cabin steward, Althea was amazing!! The gym and spa were good- too crowded on sea days, but there was just so much sun you can get. Outdoor movies, comedy shows, a casino, games... wonderful.
Since this is a review, here are the things that could be better:
#1. The Food. Where to start? The burger joint was great. Greasy at times but oh so good on the taste!! Mexican was good, pizza so-so. We are not big on the Indian food so I can't rate that at all. Our friends seemed to like it . The deli was a perfect choice for really good food in a pinch. The Italian restaurant was great but there is an extra charge for that. Reasonable enough to visit often. Fahrenheit 55 was fabulous and we went several times. Its a shame tho that between the $35 charge per person plus wine or cocktails makes it a $100 a couple experience. The sushi was a disappointment and it was not free. What a shame. Some nights you would find sushi on the Lido deck buffet that was free, however. Not sure if it was the stuff left over that never sold from the Bonsai restaurant the night before!! There was also an extra charge for appetizers in the Red Frog, coffee and desserts on deck 5, and basically anything that wasn't boring or borderline un-edible . The main dining room was a BIG disappointment. Picture going to a really big wedding on a really tight budget. Food either overcooked or cold. On Filet mignon night, the steaks tasted like they had been boiled first than cooked. Disgusting!! Salads were miniscule, fish smelled strong, sauces were bland. Overall, a big BIG disappointment there. We skipped it most nights and ate either at the Italian (a charge), Steak house (a charge), Red Frog (a charge) or Lido buffet. Overall, this is the biggest area Carnival needs to fix. Make the food more edible!!!
#2. Service. We loved our cabin steward and had nothing but a great experience there. We also loved the bar service and food service at the Italian restaurant, the Steak House (Yatzi is the best), the Red Frog (Colin) and the Sports bar on top (Yatzi again). The Lido deck service was horrific. No coffee cups in the morning and empty coffee, dirty tables. This area needs a lot of work. Dining room staff was ok. You could tell they worked hard and tried but there were too few servers for just too many people. The spa girls were nice but had no consideration for your time. Every time I used the spa, they were late. Not just a few minutes late but 10-15 minutes each time. If they spent less time talking amongst themselves or trying too hard to upsell the prior appointment and cared about the appointment they had scheduled, it would be a much more relaxing experience.
#3. Design. Whoever designed this ship should go back to school!! Common sense things were just not considered at all. I mean, Laundry rooms across from cabins?? Really??? People would congregate in the halls to wait for the too few washers and dryers that were on the ship and disrupt the people who had the very unfortunate luck to have a room close by. I would have been furious!! The Adult only section by the kiddie pool!! Really??? Two tiny swimming pools for a ship that size? These things were mind boggling. On the plus side, the spa deck was a plus, nice and quiet, and no one can complain about the beauty of the ship overall.
We have taken several Carnival cruises now over the years. Would we take another?? Probably. But we will also try other cruise lines because we KNOW things can be done better. Maybe if enough people keep pushing Carnival to back off with all the extra charges and make the things that are included in the price good quality, they can truly build a much more loyal fan base.