This was our second cruise together (boyfriend and myself) and we enjoyed ourselves. Mind you, we could be staying in a seedy motel and still make the best out of it. A trip is what you make of it and I think too many people rely on the cruise ship to do all the work for them and make them happy. If you go with a positive attitude then the staff will pick up on that and treat you better and the cruise activities will be more fun as long as you have the right attitude. I've seen so many negative reviews about the staff and I personally found that each staff member I came into contact with was incredibly friendly and upbeat. Perhaps because we always greeted them with a smile and would reciprocate "how is your day going?" which I think is a breath of fresh air to them.
As with anything, we definitely picked up on a few pros and cons (with anything in life!) but it definitely didn't put any sort of damper on our vacation. We sailed out of Miami and got on the ship very quickly. They have the process down to a science. Our rooms were ready immediately and did not wait very much longer for our luggage. We were up having lunch and drink within 45 minutes. We ate in the dining room each evening for dinner - the selection was always great, however, I'm a bit of a picky eater so I got a bit bored of it after a while. I love how you can order a few different things to try out though. Our wait staff was AMAZING. Mark and Dan, I believe. Great guys. My boyfriend mentioned how he preferred the food on the Royal Caribbean but I found the presentation on the breeze a bit nicer. Breakfast was so/so. I never touched the eggs because of the reviews I read and my boyfriend tried them once and never again. Mind you, we had a lovely brunch in the punchliner and that was SO yummy! Try and order as much as you can to make it worth it! The one complaint I have about the food was in the evening. I never ate too much during the day and for dinner but in the late evening (around 10/11 pm or so) I would start craving something and the only food choice available was pizza (which wasn't terribly satisfying) and sandwiches from the room service menu which I didn't care too much for. I would start to crave those really tasty reuben sandwiches late at night but room service just didn't cut it - usually a bit soggy. Not the same as getting it fresh, so would have liked to seen a little more selection in the evening. I suppose you could purchase food items in some of the pubs/restaurants, but we never actually ended up doing any of that.
Another issue with the ship was the sewage smell - every so often you would get a big wiff of it (we smelled it mostly on the 10th level while sun tanning at the back of the ship) and sometimes on our floor during the day. We sailed very smoothly and surprisingly slept very well being underneath the galley in room 2304. I would hear a few bangs and rattles every so often throughout the night but it never lasted more than a few seconds and I was right back to sleep (and I'm a very light sleeper). A few drinks before bed will help with your sleep! One other thing we noticed was that sadly there was a few "trashy" clientele on the ship. We started with Royal Caribbean and paid a bit more and found it to have a little more class. We found on this ship in the evening that some people were just TOO drunk for their own good so it personally made us feel a bit uncomfortable because they were acting way too immature - noticed much more security presence at night on this ship. We're all for having a good time and love to have drinks but some of the guys were just plain ridiculous and needless to say couldn't quite drink like real men. We stayed away from these people though, but just something we noticed. I truly think that with the breeze Carnival is trying to break away from their "party ship" reputation and attract a new client base - they're slowly getting there.
As for the pros - well there's just too much to mention. We loved our room, the staff, the drinks, the pools were always warm (a little busy at times), the amount of sun bathing room, the gym, the food (buffet style is always redundant after a while, but they managed to switch up the selection all the time which was refreshing!). We LOVED our stops - Grand Cayman - please visit Margaritaville - so so fun! We were drinking 'landsharks' which is their beer mixed with lime tequila. I assure you that you won't need to spend much on those as they kick in fast! Was a great time at the swim up bar and everyone in a great mood. Jamaica, didn't do much there - just relaxed on the beach. Bahamas we went to Atlantis (in my opinion, SO not worth $150 for the water excursion, I think they could easily bring it down to between $75-$100 but it was still A LOT of fun. I recommend the water rides for sure. It's still worth the $150 because it's a great day, I just really think the price for that particular excursion could come down.
Just remember, the trip is what you make of it so it's hard to base your feelings towards the ship from other reviews. Keep in mind too that some people are just negative and will find anything they can to rant about (trust me, I overheard some of those people on the ship and almost felt bad for their outlook on life). It's YOUR money and it's YOUR vacation so make the best of it. If you don't like the ship, then at least you know from your own personal experience and can move on to your next adventure. Go with a positive mind and I'm sure you'll make the best of it just like we did. We definitely spent most of our days laughing and the red frog beer helps with that! Oh and Guy's burgers and the fajita's make everything better as well! Don't forget to see the oh so beautiful Consuela singing. She is OUTSTANDING. So much soul with that woman.
Enjoy fellow cruisers!