First a little cruise background. My wife and I are on the Breeze with our recently married daughter and son-in-law. The four of us have a total of 53 cruises between Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We have been on ships ranging from the earliest Carnivale to our most recent, the Allure of the Seas.
Parked at Premier Parking. Arrived about 10:30 am and within about 20 min we were picked up in a van with our luggage. We booked online through Global Parking and there seems to be a bit of confusion between them and Premier. the best i can figure is that there is an outside Premier and an inside, garaged Premier. 5 minute ride to the port and unloaded for the Carnival porters. Embarkation was very smooth with only one quick moving line to get our room card key which took about 10 minutes. This was probably the quickest boarding we ever had.
We stopped for our traditional first drink Mai Tais at the lobby bar. They were very good. Next we did a little exploring. I do think the island theme is a nice switch for the boat interior. We liked it. When we got to the lido deck we decided to try Guys Burgers. I love my burgers and have had many different kinds but I have to put this burger right at the top! It just may be the best burger I ever tasted! Did a little more drinking, we started with Mai Tais and now moved onto Mojitos. These were also very good. More exploring and ended up in the Red Frog bar and tried the red frog beer which is also very good. They claim the Red Frog beer is so popular that it will soon be available off ship.
It was now getting near our 6pm dinner so we headed to our room, which was ready by 1pm. By 5 only one bag had arrived so we just went to dinner as we were. The meal was decent. Nothing great but no complaints either. Service was a bit slow as compared to many previous cruises but once again not terrible. We opted to just grab some soft serve for a light desert. Some more exploring and turned in early.
Started with a breakfast burrito from the Blue Iguana, which was great. Many people had commented about the "nasty" scrambled eggs and we all agreed that they were some of the worst eggs ever. They are most probably powdered eggs BUT they also have owlets and made to order eggs which are made from real eggs. So if you don't like the powdered ones just ask! It is nobody's fault but yours if you don't like them.
There are plenty of deck chairs all over the ship but limited numbers by the main pool. They do start about 9 am walking around and putting a sticker on unattended chairs by the main pool. 40 minutes if you don't remove the sticker you will be asking for you towel and belongings from the towel hut.
Lunch was from the deli. The Reuben was decent but certainly not outstanding and lines were short. No live music but there was a DJ by the pool and the normal pool games
Dinner tonight was the first dress up one. We had the lobster. It was small but good. We discovered that our slow dining service was due to the fact that we were being served by an assistant waiter team. They seemed to try but service was still slow.
After dinner we played in the casino for a while then went to the comedy club. We went to the adult edition and the show was packed. The comedian was pretty good.
This is our first shore day. We arrive in Grand Turk at 7am. Breakfast today was from the the Blue Iguana. We had the huevos rancheros. They were very good!
Down to deck 0 forward and off ship very fast. There is a nice beach complex right off the ship. About a dozen name shops and a Margaritaville are right on the beach. There is a pool with chairs there also. We had decided to do the snorkeling tour and it was a lot of fun. After snorkeling the catamaran dropped us at a local beach for about a half hour. The rum punch completed the nice tour. I do recommend this tour.
Afternoon was just spent resting and lounging by the ship pool after burgers from Guys for the second day. We opted for a casual dinner at the lido buffet which was all we wanted tonight. The BCS game was on the jumbo screen tonight. It was nice sitting out with a light breeze watching the game. As the game turned into a blow out we headed for one last beer at the Red Frog Bar. The Red Frog beer is excellent!
I forgot to mention that you are supposed to be able to log in and download the daily Funtimes for no charge via wifi but I have not been able to do so on my iPad mini. I know quite a bit about connecting and even into day 4 have not been able to connect and I have met others with the same problem. No big deal but it might have been nice to have the digital copy.
This was the day we figured it would be. We pulled into port about 9 am with a picturesque view of the seven smoke stacks of Dominican Republic. We had decided to remain on the ship and just relax. We had been told before there is nothing to do at the port and you could see that to be the case. The weather was a bit windy but sunny and warm. The smoke stacks were probably a mile or so away but you saw deep black smoke coming out all day and it was nasty. I am glad we were not down wind of that.
As we prepare to leave the port at 4 pm the cruise director has just informed us that we are in for high winds and rough seas tonight. Being in the front of the ship this will probably make for a fitful nights sleep. We will see.
The entertainment tonight was a hypnotist. He is going to put 20 people under. The show starts a bit slow but gets going and is really very good. It was one of the better cruise shows I have seen much to my surprise.
A quick drink at the piano bar which was full and seemed to be having a good time then off to bed.
Ship rocked a bit tonight but not too much. I have been on worse.
Rough seas and 60 knot winds make the trip to Curacao challenging. We get into port and are not cleared until 2pm. We get off the ship and wander the shops of the city. We have not been to Curacao in about 15 years so things have changed a bit. But unfortunately not for the better. This once quaint beautiful island now seems like any other run down cruise port destination. Back on ship kinda early and light buffet dinner. We leave for Aruba at 11 pm.
Daughter & husband tried the sushi tonight and said the service was a bit on the slow side but the purchased items were quite good. I will take their word for it since sushi is not one of my favorites.
We had to get up early today because we are in port at 7 am. We arrive on time and are quickly able to disembark. We had already booked an island tour that had been recommended by others from past calls on Aruba. We booked with Sonny's Tour. As soon as we got out of the terminal there was a guy with a sign so it was easy finding our way. As the information had stated the tour leaves on Aruba time which is an hour earlier than ship time. We waited for 30 minutes but a party still missed it, I assume for this reason. The tour was in an AC van and lasted about 3 hours with as many stops. Even though we booked with Sonny's Tours and expected him because of previous reviews we were a bit surprised to have Howard as out guide. Howard , was friendly and very good. Everyone enjoyed the tour and we had him drop us off at the shopping area afterwards for drinks and more shopping.
The downtown shopping area is much nicer than the Curacao shopping center and seems larger.
One thing I have noticed with the last two ports was the surprising increase of previously inexpensive items, such as beer and rum drinks, becoming nearly the same price as on the ship or back at home!
Our dinner tonight was petite fillet and was very good. We did not have our normal waitress and our service was much better. I think our normal one is in training and just does not have all the ropes down yet.
Went to the casino tonight. We have gone there most evenings. The casino is on the small side with limited slots and video poker. It has one craps table , two roulette , and about six blackjack tables. Dealers were capable but not overly friendly. One point of interest is a casino machine called the "Casino Vault". This appears to be a game of chance or eye and hand coordination but is not. A few days into the cruise I met a person who claimed to own similar machines and he told me they cannot be "hit" until the machine takes in about two and a half times the amount you are playing for. So, in the case of these machines they will not open up to be hit for the $1000 until it takes in $2500!
There were two shows scheduled for tonight but due to rough seas both were postponed.
Sea day! Woke to find the ship rocking pretty hard. We went outside to the Lido deck and found grey skies with thick clouds, some rain and big seas. Sat around for a while then had omelets for breakfast that were made to order at the omelet station and very good. Just relaxed for some time and then went to a "future cruise information " talk. One hour later they were still extolling the virtues of the Carnival MasterCard Credit Card. Don't get me wrong it is really not such a bad card for people who pay their card off every month. Unfortunately, they neglect to inform the people of the high revolving interest rate on the card. Ultimately they do get around to the discussion on the cruises and any changes coming up.
We tried the comedy brunch today and although the food selections sounded interesting the entertainment was limited to only two jokes that lasted less than five minutes. Pretty much a disappointment except for the banana cream pie, excellent!
By the time we return topside the seas have calmed down and the sun is out. Turns into a beautiful day. They have the Miss Carnival contest and out of six contestants , of which 5 are beautiful, the 70 year old wins! I call fix! Oh well all in fun.
Spent some time in the pool today. A bit on the crowded side but enjoyable. I wanted to try the BBQ but due to the high seas and winds earlier they did not open today.
Tonight is our second formal night and time to dress up.
Dinner was good but once again service was very slow. After delivering my salad our waitress disappeared for about 15-20 minutes. After we finally got our main course we just gave up and left as did another couple.
We went to the movies on the Lido deck tonight. Wrath of the Titans and Mission Impossible 4 were the flicks. Blankets are available at the towel hut to fend off the night winds and chill. We got about half way through MI4 and the winds got too strong to hear so we went inside.
Our second consecutive sea day. Most sea days start late and this was no exception. It's just hard to get started at sea. For lunch I decided to check out Fat Jimmies' C-Side BBQ on deck 5. Well since it was not open the day before I guess everyone else had the same idea. The line stretched to the end of the ship. Probably an hour wait so I just walked by. They had kielbasa , Italian sausage , and pulled pork... Nothing too special.
Since the BBQ was not to be I headed to the Mongolian Wok. I had no idea what to get but after making a few selections and having the chef cook it it I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was.
Early afternoon Butch, the cruise director, came on and informed us of a medical emergency on board that required them to increase speed and arrive in Miami about 6 hours early.
Debarkation was very quick and smooth. We were off the ship by 7 am. Customs was a breeze and the Premier parking van arrived by 7:35. We went right to the garage and were on the road by 7:50!
A few side notes
Pizza was very good, possibly the best cruise pizza ever.
Butch and his assistant, 6-3, made a good pair and kept things moving.
There was limited live music at the main pool on sea days which consisted of a single guitar player who also sang. The music was broadcast over the PA system so it was enjoyed throughout the pool area.
Service in the dining room was painfully slow and it appeared the Maire-d didn't care or have a clue.
Guys Burger Joint and the Blue Iguana are both excellent for breakfast or lunch.
I have to also mention our cabin steward, Eddie. Everything was perfect. Never had to ask for a thing. Room was always fixed up and plenty of ice.
My daughter used the spa services. She had a very nice massage and enjoyed it. BUT as with most cruise spa services they really hard sell you.