My husband has done many cruises before and told me that the cruiselines have cut back in order to make a better profit. We took a cruise on Dec 5 two years ago on RCCL and I was excited to step onboard the Voyager of the Seas before Christmas and already see a huge Christmas tree and decorations already going up on the Royal Caribbean ship. There was even a gingerbread house in the foyer and then I told my husband I want to do a cruise through Christmas sometime. They even had goodies on their buffet starting to oberve the Holiday season.
We tried to find a cruise with RCC, but we also wanted to go southern caribbean and the only way to do it was to fly to Puerto Rico which we could not do as my husband could not get that time off so we opted to fly to Miami and get on the CARNIVAL BREEZE instead on December 22,2012 instead. BIG BIG BIG MISTAKE....
OK now for the review of the CARNIVAL BREEZE. I will start with the good things. BIG SHIP, boarding was easy, dining room food when we ate there was pretty good. Ship was pretty and Guys burgers was good, pizza great, enjoyed going up on the Serenity deck for some peace and loved their chairs up there. Weather was gorgeous and Aruba and Dominica Republic beaches spectacular. We did the boat trip to Saona Island and besides the guide not saying much or giving very good directions the island was worth the price to see. Would request another tour guide besides Alexander. We also really enjoyed the Northcoast Jeep ride on the island of Aruba where they take you on a BUMPY jeep ride and tell you about the sites then to a gorgeous beach. Well worth the time and money for both.
Ok now for the BIG DISAPPOINTMENT FOR ME AND MY HUSBAND. We paid about 200.00 each more for this cruise to go during the Christmas season which is 400.00 more together than another time of the year. We boarded the BREEZE and there was a Christmas tree in some of the areas and a few garlands hung in the main area, but the feeling of CHRISTMAS WAS NOT THERE AT ALL. I realize that there are people in the world who do not believe in Christmas, but I also believe that they did not need to book during Christmas time then. I also believe there are a majority of people who believe in Christmas or who celebrate the Holidays in their own way. I don't want to push my religious beliefs on anyone. But really on Christmas in the buffet line they put out icky little cupcakes with all colors out, no special desserts, no festive green and red little desserts no carolers singing Christmas carols or Frosty the Snowman if you don't believe in Christmas Carols. They did have a Christmas program in the Ovation theatre where they brought up the kids from Camp Carnival and we were allowed to sing Silent Night afterwards, but to me it was a bit low key.
This was my biggest disappointment. I LOVE CHRISTMAS and I love the feeling of people getting together across religous beliefs and celebrating. I bet Carnival BREEZE really celebrated NEW YEARS EVE Though because they could SELL alot of DRINKS....... My husband did complain about the NO Christmas feel and the lacking of Christmas goodies and the very next day which was a couple days after Christmas they brought in a Chocolate tower where you could dunk different fruit in and some better desserts. The desserts were good and I wonder where they were hiding them during the whole rest of the CRUISE.
Second the food in the buffet line was not very good, but I did have eggs benedict for breakfast and LOVED IT> There was alot of filler foods breads, pasta ect. It was edible.
The shows in the ovation theatre were passable, but not anything to scream about. I will say the two comedy shows out of three that we saw were very funny and well worth seeing. The thrill theatre we did not go to because it was an extra $15.00 to go see and we did not want to give them anymore money. We bought some carrot cake for 2.95 in the sweet coffee shop and it was really dry. I bought new york cheesecake and it didn't taste like any cheesecake I had eaten before, yuck.
Our cabin attendant was the one gal I found smiling at me during the whole cruise. I gave her an extra tip at the end of the cruise. I do have a concern and it is about something that I was told from a nice attendant who agreed to talk to me. He/she told us that they work them up to 14 hours a day and he only makes $500.00 a week. I asked if he gets a gratuity at the end of each cruise because CARNIVAL has it automatically deducted from the cruisers at the end of the cruise. We had 185.00 taken out that was suppose to go to gratuities. The person told us that the workers are told that alot of cruisers don't pay their gratuities and so they cannot pay them as much. I was abhored because I do not believe in CHILD LABOR or ADULT LABOR where you are not paid a fair price for your work. Does anyone else know how they work this and how much these hard workers actually make on these cruises? If this is true I am abhorded. No wonder no smiles. I will be wring a letter to Carnival to see if they answer me or even care about all of these questions.
I feel there was not enough great entertainment on the ship. When I cruised before with another cruise line I found I couldn't fit everything in and had a blast. I found myself getting a chair and sitting outside alot for lack of wanting to sit through another trivia session of which they had alot of. The big screen TV in the pool section could have been utilized better by showing comedy shows like "Bill Cosby" or other movies besides the two they show at night. The screen showed the events that happened many days ago like the Hairy Chest competition over and over again or a ditch to buy one of their saling cruise dvd's. The TV's in the rooms showed re-runs of the cruise shows over and over again it was REPEAT AND REPEAT. With all of the technical era why can't there be other things to view on TV.
After we left the cruise and were riding back to the airport we met a couple who had just got back from the Royal Car Allure of the Seas. I asked how the cruise was because it was over Christmas and they stated great we were served eggnog and cookies on Christmas eve and Christmas and the ship was really decorated and Beautiful. I guess RCC still believes in SANTA CLAUS. NO more with Carnival they had their chance and BLEW IT>