Carnival Breeze out of Miami on 02/24/13. 6 day cruise with stops in Grand Turk, Ocho Rios and Nassau Bahamas. Cabin 2309-Cove Balcony on the Starboard side just forward of mid-ship.
Prior to the cruise. Flew out of Lexington Ky on the cruise departure date on US AIR and had a small layover in Charlotte NC. Arrived at Miami International on time at noon and to my delight, Carnival had a counter at the airport which allowed me to check in and get my sign and sail card before I even left the terminal. Purchased a one way Carnival shuttle pass for $16.00 when I booked because I was driving back home with friends. Because I checked in at the airport, I was given a "Airport Check-in" card and this allowed me to bypass the port terminal lines and go directly onto the ship. Time at airport was 35 minutes from the time I stepped off the plane. Time at port terminal was 10 minutes from getting off the shuttle and sitting down on the Lido deck. Best start ever!
The ship. New and beautiful! Read about the long waits for Guy's Burger but I only had 3 people in front of me and so Guy's was my first meal on board. Went to Guest services and pulled my credit card off my account and handed them a bunch of traveler checks I had been getting over the last year just for this trip. Smooth transaction. I wanted to walk around the ship and get a feel for the layout, so I went to my room and was pleasantly surprised that my luggage was already there. I had ordered a bottle of Liquor through Bon Voyage a couple of moths ago and it was waiting for me. All the stuff I had ordered through the Carnival Website (Fruit and wine baskets) for others in my group also arrived without any issues. I read a lot of reviews and I watch a lot of videos that past cruisers post on U-TUBE and it really helps you get a feel for the ship before you even step on board. I don't know what else to really say about the ship itself without just taking up a bunch of room in this review other than it's new, big, easy to navigate and has lots of places to chill and enjoy.
Room. Did a Cove balcony and I liked it very much! The only thing I was surprised by was that I expected that the life boats would be right over us and block most of the direct sun. I was okay with that but my room was under the dingy launch and so it was more open to the sky, which was just as good. There are about 3-4 Cove balconies that are in this more open area and I would ask for one them next time. I spend more time in my room than some others because I like to sit on the balcony and smoke and sip on a drink late at night and early in the morning when nothing much is going on elsewhere. We bring a case of bottled water and as many diet cokes on board as we can get away with. Usually 12 20oz bottles. I suggest you do the same. I was going to hold off as many days as I could before I purchased the Soda stamp but found out that you have to purchase it the day you board or no later than the 2nd day. My bad... But you can reload your carry on water and sodas at every port. I did end up buying two 6-packs of diet cokes and at the cost of $13.00 USD per 6-pack but that was because of poor planning on my part. The cabin was more than enough space and the bathroom was too. Never had any water pressure issues or water temperature issues. No sewer smell ever. The house keeping was awesome as always and the 2 person team never disappointed us, only kept impressing us.
8:15pm dinning in the Blush upper. The first night (Sunday) our group of 9 did the Steakhouse. This is an up-charge of $35.00USD but well worth it. Also, we did the first night of the cruise because it comes with perks. Three bottles of complimentary wine (based on the group size). The second night of the cruise was Lobster night in the dinning room and I ALWAYS do that! LOL This was the only night I joined our group in the dinning room but only because there are so many offerings around the ship, and I wanted to try as many as I could. One that one night, there were no issues and the waiter made sure the drink server visited our table at least twice. No issues with the temperature, flavor or time between courses. I will just admit it, I ordered 6 Lobster entrees and unlike any other cruise, the waiter asked if I wanted him to put all the tails and shrimp on one plate. Well yes! First time for that! The singing Maitre d' was fun! I even video taped the performance.
Other food options. I don't where to start? Guy Burgers is just feel good food and it really felt good! Okay, I will admit one thing, if you don't like powdered eggs, don't even try them to prove yourself right. Let me be the test. I tried them on many different days and from different buffet lines including the breakfast burrito bar. It's a texture thing for me and everyday was different. You really can't do much with powdered eggs and to be honest, they may not be powdered? But, if you want a good "EGG", do the omelet station. The lines may seem long but the wait compared to the line is not all that long. Also, they have hard boiled eggs at breakfast. Grab 2-3 and if you don't eat them, take them back to your room and put them in the fridge for a later snack. If I was ever headed to the dinning room after Lobster night, I got side tracked by everything between me and that dining room! There was more food options on the Breeze than any other ship I've ever been on! As for the up-charge options, I had grouper fingers at the RED FROG PUB and would and did do them more than once! $3.33USD! Sushi Bar, up-charge of like $4.00USD-$10.00USD and a little more if you order saki. You won't be left hungry! Okay, If you must know what the worst food was, it was the eggs and the best food was the Guy burgers. About room service. It's included in the price of the cruise with the exceptions being soda and booze. If I were to try and tell you my favorites, it would be the BLT, Grill Cheese (ask them to make it well done), veggie tray, fresh fruit (which comes with chunks of pineapple, cantaloup, honey dew and one giant strawberry) or fresh fruit like whole bananas, apples or oranges.
Grand Turk, This was a beautiful port! We decided to just go to a beach off the beaten path, eat and ride horses in the water.
Ocho Rios, This port was also beautiful.......from the boat. Next time I will do an excursion to avoid the hundreds of people right outside the port that will go as far as grabbing you and making you stop and talk to them. We like straw markets and we expect to be harassed to some degree but after running the gauntlet right outside the port, the straw market was just as bad.
Nassau, If you like to walk around outside the port, this is one of those good ports. Plenty of local food, shopping and sight seeing. There is a medium size grocery store less than a block from the dock. Plenty to do at Atlantis if that's what you want to do.
Common areas on the ship and the diversity of the people on the ship. I'm a smoker and I will be fair. The rules are simple, you can smoke in certain areas inside the ship and on certain port side decks. The lido deck is smoke free and I was glad. It's where kids and other people young and older spend a lot of time. The casino is not smoke free even though they have islands of slots that you can't smoke at while playing and table games that are no smoking. The smoke is still in the air and though it doesn't bother me, I'm sure it will bother some. Didn't meet anybody negative acting really. Did seem to have some people that had no problem stopping and talking to others while in the walking path of major areas. When you're in the elevator lobbies, you figure out quickly that the elevator call buttons on the port side are independent of the ones on the starboard side and the glass elevator call buttons are independent as well. I've read a lot of reviews of people waiting a long time for elevators and to be honest, it's because everybody that comes into the elevator lobbies hit the buttons on every wall and take the first one that arrives. This means the other elevators have to stop on that floor for nobody. Don't be a button abuser!! LOL
Final thoughts. I had a great time and I always do. I like everything about the ship. Two out of Three ports isn't bad but the next time I visit these same ports, it will be three out of three. Not everybody will feel like I do but make the experience what you want it to be.