I love this ship! The decor on The Breeze is beautiful! Though I love sailing with Carnival, some of the other ships I've been on, the decor is a little on the cheesy side. Not this ship! The Breeze had a casual, yet elegant feel too. I especially liked the artificial trees in the marketplace on the Lido.
I liked the layout of the ship as well. It was very easy to get around and by the second full day we knew where everything was. Though the ship was at full capacity with passengers, it never felt crowded. Yes, there is always gonna be lot's of people, but what I consider crowded is when you have to wait in long lines to get your food, can't find a chair on deck, or can't access an activity because it's already full. We never waited in lines longer than a few people ahead of us (except for the water slides on sea days, but the line moved relatively fast), I found lounge chairs right near the main pool several times on sea days or at busy times for that area, and only once did we have to wait till another showing to get into the thrill theater (but we went more than half a dozen times and there are ONLY 24 seats total).
The food was fabulous and there is a wide variety to choose from. We ate at the pasta bar 3 days. We ate there the first day upon boarding as I read on ItalianFemme's review that was the place to eat the first day since a lot of people don't know about it yet, so very few people up there. She was right, as me and my daughter were two of only 8 people up there. It is excellent! If you like clams...the red clam sauce is wonderful.
We also hit the Mongolian Wok one day which was also very good, the burrito bar at the Blue Iguana (both the lunch and breakfast burritos were excellent and like I said we never waited more than a few people ahead of us), and Guy's Burger joint. Now I had read about how greasy these burgers are, but I don't know what these people ordered or put on their burgers. Mine was not greasy, just juicy and very delicious. I am not a big burger person, so if I eat a burger it has to be a good burger. I got a plain cheeseburger and then went to the bar to add my own toppings of sauteed mushrooms, onions, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mayo, and mustard. It was an excellent burger! We also had some pizza from the pizza place one day for lunch and it was very good as well, I loved the mushroom and my son's five cheese also looked good. We ate at the brunch twice. Was not too crazy about their salmon benedict or cheese grits, but the pasta dish and chicken were very good.
Dinner in the Blush dining room was great. At first, I was kind of disappointed that the menu selections were the exact same from the last two cruises, however by the 4th night I started to see some new menu items dispersed among them. I always enjoy the chilled fruit souls, the creme brulee, and lobster. The Chateaubriand was the highlight this time though. It was melt in your mouth tender and the sauce was heavenly.
Our servers were fabulous as always and we were quite attached to them by the time we left. I wish they would do the singing and dancing earlier though. On our last cruise we never saw the singing and dancing and after missing it on the first 3 nights of this cruise, I thought they had done away with it. Then on the 4th night we were were still finishing up our dinner at 7:20 when they started up. We started lingering after that, but the night that we were ported in Curaao we wanted to get back out to the port to see a little more of the port before sailing, so we completely missed Gangham Style. We would have loved to seen that. Our Cabin steward was also wonderful as usual too. I love how how well you get to know these people and them, you. They just make your vacation all the more memorable.
Okay, the shows, well we went to the Welcome Aboard show which is always so much fun and funny. Butch Begovich Is the Cruise Director on The Breeze right now and if you haven't had the opportunity to sail with him, do it now. He is an awesome CD and he has more energy than the Energizer Bunny. We did not go to any of the singing and dancing shows, as none of those really appealed to us this time. I wish they had had the Fun Crew on board, as they really put on a good show. They did have a great juggler/comedian one night, Marcus Monroe. He was so funny and an amazing juggler.
They had some great comedians in The Punchliner. We went to several shows and thought they were all good. Al Ernst was the best. The Hasbro Game show was okay. I had expected them to do it by families., but they selected individuals out of the the audience to make up the teams. I know that probably spreads the winning out more, but I think it would be more fun to do it as families. We enjoyed watching though.
The thrill theater was lot's of fun. Get the unlimited ticket if you are gonna go, cause one showing is $8, but you can go unlimited for $15. We saw all of the different shows and the "Just the Rides" was our favorite.
The ropes course was a lot of fun. If you are afraid of heights, like me, it can be quite scary when you first get up there, but the harness is very sturdy and won't let you go much of anywhere. I, thankfully, did not slip any, but I saw several people, like adult-sized even, slip and all they had to do was just get their feet back on the beam or rope to keep going.
If you've been on the Dream or the Magic, the water slides are pretty much the same. My boys love the Drainpipe, but I prefer the Twister. The putt-putt course was fun, though less holes than the standard course, instead of 18, there are only 10. Loved the boarders of the pools where you can sit in very shallow water and tan. Again, there were a lot of people around, but the pool was never overcrowded. I think the most I ever saw in the pool at one time was about a dozen people. A lot of the people, especially the kids hung out at the waterworks.
We had a balcony room and the room was great. I didn't notice a lot of difference from any of the other balcony rooms on other Carnival ships, but have always felt their rooms have sufficient space and storage (and I am talking me, two teens, and an 8 year old in one room).
Ports... we embarked in Miami and just a tip, get to the port at 11:30 am. This was our 4th Carnival cruise, and this time and the time before at we arrived at the port at 11:30 am and were boarded as soon as we checked in. The other two times we were at the port early, like 9-10am and we had to sit around and wait till after 11 before we could start boarding.
Our first stop was Grand Turk, but we were unable to port due to high winds. Yes we were disappointed, but this has actually happened to us once before and I feel like Carnival always does a great job of making up for it with quickly planned new activities on board and we even got 2 extra hours in Aruba and an extra hour in La Romana.
La Romana, DR was our next port. We took the countryside experience and enjoyed it very much. Curaao was our next port and since we were there from 1-11pm, we spent the afternoon at the beach, came back to the ship for dinner, and then went out and walked around the town afterwards. I actually wish we had had more daytime there, as everything but the bars and restaurants close at 9pm Curaao time, which is 8pm ship time. So there wasn't much to do for families after that time.
Aruba was our last and best port. We took the North Coast Jeep Tour and I highly recommend it. It was so much fun and our driver was awesome. It is a bumpy ride, but that is part of the fun and you get to see all the highlights of Aruba, plus get some beach time. Aruba was a beautiful island and a port I wouldn't mind doing again.
When we returned to Miami the disembarking process went very quick. We have driven down to the port on previous cruises, and have been back to our car parked at a hotel between 9:30 & 10am, so I scheduled our return flight for 11:30am. We were off the ship and at our gate in the airport at 8:30am, so if you fly know that if you do the self assist disembark you can book a 9 :something a.m. Flight and make it there easily. So overall...we had a fabulous cruise. The Breeze is a great ship and I highly recommend it.