We absolutely loved the Breeze! The things we enjoyed the most on this ship were its "open concept", island resort design and the outstanding service. After a bad experience on the Valor last year, we were reluctant to sail with Carnival again, but took a chance. Carnival has redeemed itself with this ship! Here are some specifics:
1) embarkation/debarkation - a breeze! We took a cab for a flat rate of $24 from the Miami Airport to the port and got right on the ship without any wait. After the cruise was over, we got off the ship around 8 a.m. We took our own bags with us. We used J.R. Shuttle service to take three of us from the port to a Fort Lauderdale Hotel for $68. We stayed at La Quinta Inn and Suites Fort Lauderdale airport. The hotel was great and provided a free shuttle at 5 a.m. the next morning to the Fort Lauderdale Airport.
2) the ship - beautiful! We loved the new design of this ship. Unlike the older ships, the Breeze has much more outdoor space More
connected to inside spaces such as on deck 5 where the Ocean Plaza is located. The main pool area is all on one level so you don't have to climb steps to find a lounge chair and this provides a lot more space for dancing with the cruise director. The hot tubs are located on the sides of the ship which frees up space in the main pool deck area. Also, the hot tubs are more private this way. If you like the glitz and glamour of the older ships, you may not like this new design but we liked it a lot better. In fact, it will be difficult to go back to an older ship after experiencing this new design. On deck 5, you can actually walk around the entire perimeter of the ship without getting cut off! As for the ship's decor, there are comfortable wicker chairs and couches all over the ship and lots of market umbrellas.
3) entertainment - the Breeze has bars everywhere so you only have to take a few steps to find something to drink. Ocean Plaza on deck 5 is where most of the entertainment takes place. We enjoyed the Red Frog Pub where a guitarist plays requests. We also enjoyed the piano bar. The singers were average though. We enjoyed the casino a couple of nights. We did not see any of the shows and missed the Punchliner brunch. The water park is fantastic for the kids. Our four year old asked to go into Camp Carnival several times which was a relief! The counselors had the kids involved in activities like face painting, t shirt painting, playing hide and seek, etc. The cruise director created a festive vibe and was very successful in getting people up to dance. The main pool deck had a d.j. who played popular tunes throughout the day and in the late afternoon, the guitarist from the Red Frog Pub took over, playing more low key music.
4) food - hit or miss...the main dining room and buffet were average while Guys Burger Joint, the Mexican wrap place, Seaside Barbecue, Indian place, pizza, and deli were very good. I tried the Mongolian Wok this time. While good, I did not think that it was worth the more than half hour wait it took to prepare it.
5) service - OUTSTANDING!!! Every employee, and I mean EVERY employee went out of their way to greet us with a smile and hello. The ship was the cleanest we've been on by far. The employees seemed happy and enthusiastic in doing everything that they could for us. Our room steward, A.J. was so great that we gave him an extra tip at the end of the cruise.
6) Ports - we loved all the ports. We did not use Carnival this time for excursions but relied on private groups such as BVI excursions to take us to Jost Van Dyke from Tortola and "Ninja" to take us on a tour of Antigua then to the beach. Both excursions were reliable and fun. We had no problems getting back to the ship on time. In St. Thomas, we took the ferry to St. John and went to Trunk Bay beach which was beautiful.
7) room - very comfortable and clean. On two occasions we did hear music but it did not continue very late. We thought the beds were very comfortable contrary to some of the other reviews. We stayed on the Empress deck in room 7238.
7) Final thoughts - the sewage smell other reviews mention is true toward the ship's aft. Also people do put towels on the lounge chairs mainly on lido deck and leave them there all day. But there are plenty of other places to find loungers such as the sides and back of the ship or the serenity deck. We never had a problem finding a chair. If you don't like the loud D.J. music and crowds at the main pool, there are plenty of uncrowded, quiet places on the ship. We found that most people congregated at the main pool area while the other areas were much less crowded and quieter.
In summary, we would sail on the Breeze again in a heartbeat! I hope Carnival embraces this ship's design and makes more just like her in the future! Less