Carnival Breeze Cruise Review by ginaatokstate: Cruising on the Carnival Breeze (for Non-Smokers)
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Cruising on the Carnival Breeze (for Non-Smokers)
Our family of three (46, 43, 8 yrs) had a terrific experience on the Breeze (June 22-30, 2013). The ONLY negative issue we experienced can be directly attributed to my lack of foreknowledge and cabin selection. It was my fault....I accept the responsibility....learn from my mistake, ye non-smokers.
The entire port side of deck 5 allows outside smoking 24/7. Eee-gad@%! I DID NOT KNOW THIS. Guess which side of the ship our 7th deck balcony cabin was on? Port side. (We were mid-ship, but a little toward the aft.) All even numbered cabins on deck 7 extend immediately over deck 5. One would think that the wind would carry the smoke away, but it doesn't (or didn't, in our case). I am hugely anti-smoking/allergic/intolerant, so I was exceptionally disgruntled with myself for making this mistake. My fault. I should have researched better.
On the plus-side, the cigarette smoke INSIDE the boat (i.e. in the casino) didn't seem as bad on this ship as it has on our other four More cruises. That was a big positive.
We loved everything else about this cruise--everything. The smoking couldn't ruin our fun, but I should have planned better and avoided the issue. I would think that most balcony cabins on the port side would suffer from the Lanai's port-side smoking section, so cruiser beware.
Some other random observations that may be helpful to someone:
*We paid $50 for the Faster to the Fun option. It was a great purchase. I had a dedicated phone line to the Guest Services Desk throughout the cruise and we got on/off the boat quickly both ways. Definitely worth the money.
* Mid-to-aft cabin location was ideal for accessing all of the fun stuff and food.
* My 8YO daughter (who likes roller coasters) did not like the Thrill Theater at all. We bought the unlimited pass, but she refused to go back due to the things that pop out under your seat and tickle your legs and the way your chair "grabs" out at you during some scenes. (Rats running onscreen tickle your legs from under your chair, water sprays your face, etc.) That stuff scared her.
* We enjoyed the Jimmy Buffett pool on Grand Turk. It didn't seem crowded at all. The adjacent beach had lots of slimy green sea foliage stuff in it and on the beach---not my cup of tea, so we enjoyed the clean pool.
* We took a cab for less than $50 round trip to Magen's Bay on St. Thomas. This is a can't miss beach experience. Absolutely pristine water and sand and it wasn't crowded at all. The bay makes the water so calm that it seems like a lake. Awesome! My daughter got her hair braided on the beach for just $25. She's tender headed, but she said it didn't/doesn't hurt. She still has the braids in. Cabs ran back and forth all day between the ship and the beach. Perfect day.
* Our Jost Van Dyke excursion was booked through Carnival. We enjoyed it, but I thought the beach would be bigger. The boat ride to/from the beach was about 30 minutes each way. Nice experience, but I thought there would be some water play stuff to play on or rent---there wasn't. Lots of cool shells on this beach. Lunch was so-so.
* The San Juan forts were neat, but I don't need to see them again. If we have another port in San Juan, we'll stay on the boat and enjoy the solitude.
* Speaking of solitude, this boat was booked to capacity, but it never seemed crowded. I may have stood in one buffet line that lasted more than 3 minutes. We didn't do the BBQ place, though, because the line there was long. We didn't need BBQ that badly....lots of other terrific options.
* We did the all-you-can drink booze cards ($49.95/day per person). After calculating the amount actually consumed, we would have come out a little ahead to buy by-the-drink. BUT, we'll do the booze cards again, b/c we really liked not having to worry about keeping track of our drink bill and also getting to try new drinks without concern of wasting them. It is an acceptable expenditure for us. Service was good everywhere.
* Brink swim goggles for your kids. The onboard pools are salt water and it burns a lot to get water in them. They DO NOT sell goggles or floaties on the boat, due to safety/liability issues. Bring an extra pair of goggles in case your child misplaces them like mine did.
*Bring a small desk-top battery-operated fan for nighttime noise and sleeping. It CAN NOT have an electrical adapter option, though. It must be 100% battery operated.
*Having the two sea days at the end of the cruise was a blessing. It helped us wind down and enjoy the final days onboard.
* We took advantage of having Carnival take our luggage back to the airport for us ($25/bag). We put it in the hallway before 10 p.m. the last night of the cruise and then we picked it up when we landed back home. It was worth not having to locate the luggage in the port terminal at the end of the cruise. Vacation ending is sad enough---I don't need the stress of looking for our three black suitcases amid all of the other identical pieces.
It rained some on the trip, but to tell you the truth it was inconsequential. We never felt like the rain hindered our fun. Great vacation! Less
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