Our first cruise was on the Magic and we liked it so much we decided to book on her sister ship the Breeze. They may be sisters, but they are nowhere near the same. The ship is new and has some bells and whistles that the Magic doesn’t have, but those couldn’t make up for the number of negatives.
The design of the dining areas, from Lido to the dining room was poor. Service was below standard. And things seem more disorganized.
The one plus – CD Butch who was amazing.
Embarkation – We purchased Faster to the Fun and were pleased with our choice. I would definitely do so again. I did find that our luggage took longer than expected to reach our cabin, but I might have been unrealistic in my expectations on timing. The cruise center in Miami is great, well designed. Even if we didn’t have FTF I think we would have found the embarkation process extra smooth compared to Galveston, our last port.
Stateroom – We had a suite, which was very nice. Good size for four people. The extra balcony room was much appreciated. The color and décor was very nice and tranquil, it felt like a hotel room.
Ship Info – The ship is nice looking and obviously new, but the design is very odd in areas. The lower Blush dining room is chopped up and hard to navigate. A lot of the tables are in weird places making sign lines poor. Good luck watching the waiters entertain you. On the Lido deck, the marketplace has walls which reduce the walking areas and sign lines, producing a number of bottleneck areas.
Dining – As I mention elsewhere in the review, the dining room service was poor. The food quality itself was surprising, and not in a good way. Despite having the same menu as our last cruise, the food preparation was not nearly as good. Things were clearly overcooked and reheated. On the Lido deck the buffet was as expected. The Blue Iguana and Guy’s Burgers were both great additions.
Children's Clubs – My daughter loved Camp Carnival and asked to go frequently. The staff there seemed to do a good job remembering the kids names and were quite caring.
Staff & Service – Our room steward, despite being in a suite was nowhere to be found. He never came to introduce himself to us and didn’t check on us. This was quite a difference from our first cruise on the Magic, where I room steward was there every time we opened the door or walked down the hall. The dining room staff also left something to be desired. It might have been the location of our table, in the corner, but it took 15-20 minutes each night to get our menus and orders taken. Appetizers were at their fastest 30 minutes after we arrived, on the slowest night 45 minutes. This is an unacceptable wait, especially when you have a child with you. They are not that patient.
Entertainment – Lot of people complain about the new Playlist production shows, I rather liked them. They reminded me of a concert, very nice quality.
Disembarkation – We did the self-debarkation – excellent decision if you can do it. We were off quickly and had no wait at customs.
Summary – While we were very excited to sail the Breeze after our experience on the Magic, I was quite disappointed with the actual experience. My traveling companions, who were first timers, seemed to enjoy the trip, but I knew that Carnival can do better. I am not sure if it was the overwhelming number of guests – the ship was packed, or the crew, but it was not as enjoyable.