We just returned from the Breeze, 8-night Eastern Caribbean. We are a family of 4 with 2 teens and this is our 10th cruise, 6th with Carnival so we're experienced cruisers. Embarkation and debarkation was literally a breeze with very little waiting on either end. We were in a floor 9 balcony stateroom that was maintained better than any I've ever experienced thanks to Ikentut and his team. Really amazing job that will result is a letter from us to Carnival to commend them.
We did any time dining and there was a small wait to be seated in the MDR each night but nothing excessive. The food in the MDR was exactly the same quality we've experienced on other Carnival cruises. It was good but not exceptional. We dined both for lunch and dinner in the Cucina Italian rest and felt the complimentary lunch was just as good as the "for fee" dinner option. Overall, the service we received was friendly and good but so slow. We wondered if it was the "cheers" program and if the gratuity factored in was insufficient to motivate the staff to provide good service so we began adding additional gratuity which resulted in slight improvement. The one exception was the crew at the Red Frog pub. They hustled and provided speedy service and delicious drinks with a smile. The other issue that was most prevalent on day one in the Port of Miami but remained in certain areas was the smell of sewage. This is a HUGE issue that Carnival must address. It prevented us from ever being able to take advantage of the aft pool, pizza and late night snacks. Disgusting. We just stayed away from that area as much as possible.
Going to comment on things I was looking for prior to choosing the breeze:
- Cheers - pros/cons. If you're like us and want to get your money's worth, this program is for you but you will likely drink too much and miss much of the nightime activity if your goal is to exceed 5 drinks a day (break even) and then drink into your 15 max, which we never came close to reaching. There is also the issue with gratuity, which I'm interested in understanding how they spread that around and if that is impacting service quality and speed.
- Ports - The best excursions that I would definitely recommend are the Screaming Eagle jet boat in St. Thomas and the Eco Tour in Antigua. So much fun and a great way to see the island (reasonably priced as well).
- Teens - had a blast and have claimed it as the 'best cruise ever'.
- Loves - Thrill Theatre and ropes course. Overall, the ship was beautiful and well maintained with the exception of the sewage smell.
- Comedy - was so so and definitely packed for each show as most have commented