We returned a few weeks ago from our 10th cruise and our 2nd aboard a Carnival Cruise ship. We chose the Carnival Breeze for several reasons: First, we liked the itinerary (St. Thomas, Antigua, Tortola & Nassau) & Second, the Breeze is a new ship (June 2012) and it looked so beautiful on the internet.
We departed from Miami on February 2nd and headed out to sea at approximately 4:45 P.M. Boarding took us about 1.5 hours of the usual waiting in line so we could wait in another line. We landed in Miami at 10:45 A.M. and after a short cab ride to the pier, we were checked in & on board by around 1:15 P.M.
Have to admit the Breeze lived up to our expectations, as we got on board and found the way to our 7th deck balcony room we were in awe with the overall beauty of the ship. Easy to find your way around and almost every corner highlighted the tastefully done decor of the ship.
Our first two days were spent at sea (which we love) however we had cooler temps (lows in the 60's with highs in the 70's) but we were treated to calm seas and partly cloudy skies. Our first stop was to the island of St. Thomas on Tuesday, February 5th -- sure enough the sun came out & the temps rose to the mid 80's. This was our fifth trip to the beautiful island of St. Thomas and we decided to spend the day relaxing at the beach. We flagged a cab & went to Emerald beach which is a short cab ride from where we were docked. This beach is nice, not terrific, but small relaxing and pretty with beautiful white sand. It has a restaurant, bar & accommodations to rent lounge chairs, sun umbrella's, bathrooms, changing rooms, and hotel.
Wednesday, February 6th, our second stop was to the island of Antiqua. We had never visited Antigua and were thrilled to find how beautiful it is. The most gorgeous powder blue water we've ever seen, with lots of hills & tropical greenery. Sadly, we couldn't help but notice the poverty of the island as our cab driver took us through the town of St. John's to Valley Church Beach which is only about eight miles west. Again, we spent the day at the beach & were sad to leave in order to be back on board by 5:00 P.M.
Thursday, February 7th, our third stop & first visit to the island of Tortola BVI. We had heard so much about the beauty of this island & we were not disappointed. Our plan was to visit The Baths @ Virgin Gorda however, due to the fact we had to be back on board by 3:00 P.M. our time was limited so we decided to spend the day at another popular beach (Brewers Bay) on Tortola's northwest side. Can you tell we love to visit beautiful beaches? This is due to the fact that we live in Minnesota; all we see every day of every winter is snow. We'll gladly trade our cold white snow for warm white sandy beaches any day! If you love to snorkel, Brewers Bay is the place to go.
Note: Remember to bring your own flippers & goggles. Yes, you can rent them there but they are old, not very good and will cost you $20.00.
I suppose I had better mention the Carnival Breeze. When we cruise, we like to do what we want, when we want. As such, we don't like to have at eat at any certain time so we decided to do the "your time dinning" which worked great. We never experienced a wait of over five minutes for a table. As luck would have it we were assigned a table our 1st night in the Sapphire dining room with a head waiter named Diantara. We happened to mention we enjoy shrimp cocktails as an appetizer before dinner & Diantara made sure we had it every evening. I also mentioned I like CrÃ¨me Brule for desert which was only offered on the first evening's menu -- I also received it every evening for the entire cruise. Diantara was such a jewel we asked to be seated in his section every evening for the rest of the cruise. This worked out for us every evening except for two.
The food! This is really the only thing I can say we were disappointed in. Our party of four all agreed it was just O.K. - at best! The beef was especially tough and the fish (excluding the Talipia) was too "strong" tasting to eat. In fact had it not been for "Guy's Burger Joint" we would have gotten by on deli sandwiches. Guy's burgers are the best we've had on any ship -- try em, you'll love em. I'm not going to go on & on about the food quality as the rest of our time on board was terrific & after all, we were cruising. When we're cruising, we're happy campers!
Our room was great, the bedding a little too firm for us and we always miss our own pillows but that's just us! As mentioned, we enjoyed a 7th deck balcony & we would not stay in anything but a balcony room. It's just so peaceful & relaxing to be able sit outside and enjoy the ocean from the comfort of your own private balcony -- especially when you want some quiet time.
The girls enjoyed the Cloud 9 spa which lasted for 75 minutes & they said they have never had a more relaxing and blissful experience. Our last stop was in Nassau, Bahamas. Not one of our favorite Caribbean Islands & honestly I think we will try to avoid this island going forward. We went to Atlantis (again) to find it the same, expensive, overpriced tourist rip-off.
To wrap up, we experienced some type of entertainment every evening either in the "Ovation Theater" or the "Ocean Plaza" lounge. The entertainment was good -- not great. We did however enjoy listening to the "Love Souljaz Band" which we found in the Ocean Plaza lounge. If they happen to be performing while you're enjoying the Breeze, check em out.
Sunday, February 10, 2013 -- Disembarkation; The usual, we look at each other, wonder where the time went, pack up, put our bags out in the hallway & get ready to get up early to go home -- no problems. Bottom line: a beautiful ship with marginal food but great service.