In full disclosure this was my first cruise so I have no basis of comparison. On the other hand, I went into the experience prepared not to like it. I had certain fears that were put to rest by this cruise.
1. I would feel trapped. This was not true at all. There were tons of places to go on the ship for privacy and for fun. Our family of four did book two rooms, adjoining balcony rooms, to address this concern. This was an extra expense but proved worth it if only for the extra bathroom. We did not use the balcony as much as I thought simply because it was more fun in other parts of the ship. But it was nice to have a private and convenient place to go for a nice view and fresh air. If I had it to do over, I might have booked an interior room for the kids (across the hall) to save money. The adjoining room feature was nice. My daughter, 11, slept with the 3yo and kept him quiet until 8am so we could sleep a little later.
2. I would get seasick. Again, not true. The motion did take some getting used to. We packed motion sickness pills as well as prescription nausea pills as a precaution. I also packed anxiety pills because, as you can tell, I had some trepidation going into this. There was one night when the seas were a little rougher than others. I awoke with some queasiness which set off a panic attack. So I did actually get sick one night, but it was psychological. Once the anxiety pill kicked in I was fine.
3. It would be crowded. Not nearly as true as I predicted. There were some minor lines at the breakfast buffet. The pool area was crowded on sea days. The worst crowd we experienced was when the ship was about to depart from Grand Turk. Everyone got back on board at lunch time before departure and got in line to eat. We stayed on board in Jamaica because we hadn't booked an excursion and we had the ship nearly entirely to ourselves. It was wonderful!
Would we book the Breeze again? If we could enjoy it for the first time all over again, yes. But we agreed that we had so much fun and had built it up so highly in our memories that a second trip on the Breeze could never live up to the standard set on this trip. We will book other Carnival cruises in the future, though.
The kids most enjoyed the miniature golf and the ropes course. On the port day, we took them to the RedFrog Pub where there was no one to occupy the shuffleboard and they had a blast with that. My 11yo loved the water slides but my 3yo was terrified, TERRIFIED!!!, of the water-pouring bucket. So he kept us in the pool area mostly. The 11yo did a few Camp Carnival activities but generally preferred to hang with us. The 3yo, who is in daycare full-time at home, was intimidated by Camp Carnival. He's shy and frightened by loud noises. They were playing music loudly the first time we took him. The other kids were having a blast but it scared him off and we didn't urge him to go back. It would have been nice if he'd taken to it so we could enjoy some time on the Serenity deck, which we never got to, but we did book it as a family vacation.
My husband and I had packed walkie talkies so after the 3yo went to bed, we would leave the 11yo in charge while we went downstairs to check out the music, bars, and casino for a bit. We celebrated our wedding anniversary during the cruise and had a fantastic meal at the Steakhouse. My husband was smart to have booked the reservation a week before the cruise because all reservations were full on the first day of the cruise. The steakhouse only seats 60 people at a time so it is tough to get in.
We ate in the dining room every other night and enjoyed every meal. We did read that the service was slow but we felt the pacing was on par with any restaurant at which you would order an appetizer, then an entree then dessert. There were only one or two times when we felt like we were waiting for the next course but then again, we were eating with a 3yo who is a ticking time bomb at that hour of the day.
I would have preferred to have eaten in the dining room for other meals but since we were traveling as a family, it made sense to eat in the buffet for breakfast and lunch where everyone could get what they wanted. The burger place was great. Plan to eat there at least twice. Same for the cantina. The Mongolian Wok is also good but the line can take a very long time. I would estimate that for every person in line, you can estimate about two minutes until you have food to eat. So if there are ten people ahead of you, that's about twenty minutes. If you stay on the ship during a port day, that would be a good time to try it.
I wish we had booked the 8-day cruise instead of the 6-day. We were NOT ready to leave when it was time to go and that's a first for us. Usually by the end of vacation we're ready to be back in our own beds eating our own prepared food. Not so, this time. We feel like the ship offered 3x as much entertainment and food than we had time and opportunity to take advantage of.
One last note: the gym is fantastic. We worked out several times. The treadmills are directly in front of large windows at the front of the ship on deck 12. I got up early to workout. My husband went at 8am once and said every piece of equipment was in use which surprised me because there is a lot of equipment. I was also surprised at how many people work out while on vacation. But when the food is that good, putting in a little treadmill time cuts the guilt.
FREE, FREE, FREE!! Beautiful beach and access to awesome pool at Margaritaville.
Without an excursion booked, there was no need to get off the ship. We did get off because my 11yo wanted to buy a souvenir. The port was not visitor friendly. We got her souvenir and got right back on.