Carnival Breeze Cruise Review by murraync: Great time on the Carnival Breeze
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Great time on the Carnival Breeze
We sailed the Breeze on June 8th - 8 day cruise to Grand Turk, DR, Curacao, and Aruba. Both of us in our mid 40s with our son (14yrs). Great vacation.
Arrived at port about 11:00am- quick process -minimal lines - checked in quickly - boarded with zone 15 - was on ship by 11:35 - glad I didn't pay for Fast to Fun - didn't need it.
Breeze is beautiful- like the toned down decor, as others have mentioned. Always being cleaned - hard workers- everyone we met was very friendly! Grabbed a few pocket deck plan cards (at check in and by Guest Services desk) and navigated ship easily. Liked the kiosks available to cruisers that you can use to put cash on your Sail & Sign card- check/print out your charges - even breaks down your 100s and 50s into smaller bills - fantastic service and didn't need to wait at the Guest Services lines!
We had balcony cabin 8436- port side aft - very convenient to elevators and good location to use stairs to go up to fun decks More or down to dinner and shows! Cabin is usual size - very clean - cabin steward was great- lots of fun towel animals and chocolates, always fresh towels and ice- had two small issues with sink drain and shower drain, and both were addressed and fixed within 20 minutes of a call to housekeeping, very pleased with service. Plenty of drawer space, closet space, and space under beds for luggage. We bring extra hangers- but there were plenty there for use. Bathroom is usual size - plenty of storage shelves on both sides of mirror. They provide soap, body wash, and shampoo - my son and husband used all and were very happy. Hair dryer in a drawer by vanity mirror in room. Pull out sofa was firm- son slept soundly every night and bed stayed made during day which was fine. Our bed was firm but very comfortable- no complaints and we can be picky mattress people!
I did laundry a few times on the ship- I brought pods of detergent and bounce sheets- use your card to pay- $3.25 to wash and $3.25 to dry. Wash took about 30 mins and dry took about 52 mins. Gets crowded last days of cruise, 3 of each machine in each of the 3 laundry rooms. They do offer laundry service that wasn't too pricey for cruise line prices.
Son found great friends - they didn't participate much in Circle C events- did more on their own- kids loved the water slides, ropes course, foosball, mini golf, and in Red Frog the mini shuffle board game. We noticed there were lots of kids running the halls and elevators being very rude and disruptive- thankful ours wasn't one of them - but wish Carnival could somehow curb this nuisance- just not sure what the solution for this is.
We enjoyed the all the food - we are not picky eaters and are not expecting gourmet meals. The buffet area is usually controlled chaos, so we chose to eat breakfast every day in the Sapphire DR - nice and peaceful without all the elbows and shoving! The comedy brunch days are a bit busier- same food offered- 5 minute comedy show meant to lure you to the evening shows. We did brave the buffet for lunch most days at an "off" time - no problems and usually took advantage of the salad/cold-cut/fruit areas and it was all yummy. We never had problems getting burgers at any time, lines always moved quickly or were non existent. Lunch at Blue Iguana twice was delicious. Lunch for free at Italian place- very good- wish we went earlier in week and would have gone again had we known. Pizza was great says son and husband. Main DR dinners were good, we had fine service- I tipped drinks guy first night and we always got served quickly rest of cruise. Waiters were attentive but busy, very pleasant, eager to serve, food was hot, bread was always offered twice, water was always refilled, food choices seemed fine for our family- same menu all cruise offered on one side of menu, and different offerings on other side of menu each day, so really couldn't complain about not finding something to make everyone happy. All food we had was good and plentiful, we even doubled up to share a few appetizers or desserts, and the waiters were happy to accommodate requests. Snacks up on back deck late night were usually cookies, brownies, ham and cheese sandwiches, hot dogs, etc. Along with pizza and deli station, so you wouldn't starve. We didn't eat at Steak House, Sushi(smells amazing and always crowded), or plaza cafe- just didn't see the need.
We enjoyed the Piano bar for drinks and people watching - Red Frog also nice place to relax and listen to music, play dominoes, and people watch. Enjoyed the comedy shows - both family and R rated - great fun. The 5 person band and another singer could be found around the ship at other locations and were fun easy listening. We watched some movies and NBA playoffs out on the big screen TV - fun and relaxing - even popcorn. The "main entertainment" was disappointing - singing is not great - the juggler was funny if you are in middle school - so we didn't go to any more - they are way below par compared to all our previous cruises- not sure how they are on the Breeze if this is supposed to be the best Carnival has to offer......yikes!
Pool area could be crowded, but you can find chairs on a deck to be by the main pool - the comfy chairs one deck up are hard to grab - but pool chairs weren't a problem. Plenty in other spots by back pool as well, and plenty in shaded areas as well. We never had an issue. We did go to Serenity one day at sea- it was very windy so we found a spot on the back of the ship that was just as nice.
We did the "Cheers" program and feel it was worth the $50 a day. We never had a problem with bar service anywhere on the ship- pools or bars. Most drinks run $5 - $8 and wines run up to $10. So by the time we had a few frozen drinks, wine with dinner, and after dinner cocktails- we more than covered our costs, and didn't feel like we were over drinking ourselves to make sure we got our moneys worth :). We got the soda card for our son. They do offer for free in certain areas - water, lemonade, tea, coffee and hot chocolate.
I found there to be lots of smoking on balconies - which is just the way it goes - they allow smoking on pool deck port side and other deck areas on port side - seemed more places to smoke than not - so as a non smoker that was trying at times - however - you could find plenty of spaces to avoid smoking and the smell was not bad in the casino- so other than maybe having to change a chair it was manageable.
Grand Turk is nice for a free beach day- everything right at the end of the pier, beach chairs, shops, bathrooms - we didn't know about all the space capsules landing by Grand Turk, or that whales migrate there - neat place and nice to beach and shop right there. Dominican Rep. we walked to shop at pier, bought nothing (everything said Punta Cana on it....)- got back on ship and watched baseball all day at the fields next to pier. Nice to be on ship and have space to ourselves - sounds like many excursions were a disappointment. Curacao we walked the town ourselves and saw the pontoon bridge and forts - fun easy day then plenty of room on ship. Aruba we did a catamaran snorkel since the one we wanted was booked - it was fun and we did see fish and a ship wreck.
Leaving ship was easy- we took own luggage off- left about 8:15am after breakfast and showers -short lines of about 10 minutes and walked off - through customs and in a cab by 8:30am.
We would go on Breeze again - a few minor complaints as you see- but nothing that would ruin a day or a cruise. I hope everyone else enjoys their time as much as we did. Feel free to email me with questions.
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Cabin review: Carnival Breeze 8436
Carnival Breeze 8436 Balcony AFT Port side - adjoining room.Very convenient to elevators and stairs - and deck level was nice to go up to pool and outdoor fun or down to dinner and entertainment areas - great spot overall.No noise in hallway.Liked views we had while in ports. Bathroom had plenty of storage shelves.2 hanging closets with plenty of hangars and one closet with shelves provided plenty of space.3 drawers for extra space - 4th drawer had hairdryer and small amount of space - 5th drawer was like a desk drawer for paper/pencils.lots of open cabinet space, a lighted vanity mirror, safe, even space behind TV could be utilized.2 small nightstands offered more space for use.Plenty of storage under bed for luggage.
Port and Shore Excursions
Since we were in at 2pm our options were somewhat limited. We did a self walking tour - found a map online - explored forts - lots of shopping very close to pier - walked over the pontoon bridge - enjoyed the sights and returned to ship. It was hot - so we stayed on the ship and enjoyed the city lights after dark. Would like to go back to the island and do a water excursion or visit again for a few days.
Great port with everything right there at end of pier. Beaches and chairs on either side. Shops and bathrooms right there. Learned about the space capsules landing nearby, and whales that migrate to area. Neat place for enjoy for free!
We didn't take excursion- would be interested in Saonoa Island trip to see starfish etc- but it was full. Walked to shop at port and everything had Punta Cana on it - nothing said La Romana or Dominican Rep. on it- and it was sparse/poor selection with what was there. We wanted to leave pier compound and watch baseball at fields just adjacent to the port- but the security people seemed to steer us away from that interaction. We stayed on ship and enjoyed having plenty of space to ourselves -- it seemed most people we not that enthused with their excursions.
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