So, just got off the Breeze on Sunday the 1st. Here is the review, as best I can remember it.
1st some background, Cruisers 41 year old male, seasoned cruiser, Wife 36, also a seasoned cruiser, 7 year old daughter 5th cruise, 4 year old daughter 3rd cruise. Mother in law 65 2nd cruise, Father 65 To many cruises to list. Travel from Ohio to Port of Miami was uneventful, except for the downpour on the way to the ship. Embarkation for all was smooth, got to the terminal at 1, on the boat by 1:30, longest wait was for the non-passport SS card.
Ship - Overall much better than the Carnival ships I have been on in the past, it was nice to be on a ship that didn't kill the eyes with gaudy... It was clean, as I expected a newer ship would be. I did notice that all the CCL ships that were in port are now sporting a Cargo container strapped right behind the funnel, and the Breeze was no different, based on the markings I believe they are backup generators, so kudos to Carnival More
for being proactive in that respect. Overall the ship was great, the waterpark was perfect for my daughters, who loved the whole lido deck. The Beach pool and aft pool were both nice, but a little small, I wouldn't call them crowded, but they could be easily seen that way. The Lido deck buffet system was okay, seating was never really an issue for our group of 6, but at peak times it did get busy. Overall Ship layout was good, not as open as some of the other ships we have been on, but good.
Cabin - we had three, 10273, 10227, and 6226. 10273 was great, though I will admit that the couch bed was stiff as a board, the drop down bunk was fine, as was the main bed. Plenty of storage, and lighting. The one thing I didn't like was the table which seemed to always be in the way. Balcony was good, and we used it a lot when the kids went to sleep. I was concerned about noise being on the lido deck, but there was none, and it was very nice to have what basically amounted to direct access to the beach pool and waterpark area without having to ride the elevators. 10227 was an inside also on the Lido deck, it was nice, layout was good. 6226 was what you would expect from a small inside. We referred to it as the cave and laughed about it, it wasn't any more or any less than was expected for the room. One word of warning 6226 is over one of the stages, and it can get VERY noisy. The room steward was attentive, and the room was cleaned and prepped very well every day.
Dining - First and foremost, a huge well done to Carnival on Guy's Burger joint. Ate it everyday, and missed it the minute we got off the boat, remember you can actually order the burgers they list, otherwise its a plain cheese burger. They need to provide more than a small handful of fries, but based on the amount of wasted fries I saw left around on plates, I understand why they hold them back. They were Very good. The Sea day BBQ wasn't worth the wait, and its in the middle of nowhere ship wise on deck 5 starboard, if you really like BBQ, and I do, you will be disappointed. I didn't use the Lido Marketplace buffet, but the rest of the group did, and they seemed to like it. Some of the reviews have cast some doubts on the setup, and I would be inclined to agree, its has more than a few pinch points on crowd flow but was manageable. The tiles in there are slick tough, even with boat shoes and them being dry. Pizza and the deli were standard carnival, if you have sail before and liked them you won't be disappointed. I missed the wok place and the Indian one as well. Did try lunch at the Italian restaurant, it was good.
Dining Room - First, I'm not sure why, but everyone hammered the wait staff on the reviews I read, this was not my experience. We had late seating on the mail floor in Blush Table 624 I believe, Sara was our HW. Without a doubt the best service we have received on a cruise, and that includes Royal and Disney! She was great, played well with our kids etc etc. Dinner was a little slow the first night, but after that no issues. The Dinners were good, on par with Royal in my opinion, reviews slamming the food seem a bit out of place. The breakfast was a different story, first sea day we decided to do the brunch, and were there for about 2 hours. (Lunch and breakfast in the dining room is open, you will not have your night staff generally). We ate every morning in the dining room, and after the first day it was much improved. All and all, we felt we were provided great service by our main staff, and the food was good. We had a few things that were less than stellar but they were few and far between.
Ports - Grand Turk - Beach and Buffett's place, both good and the kids had fun. DR - we went to Altos de Chavon we did NOT go through Carnival, its 7 dollars per person for a bus ride there and back, much cheaper than the Carnival SE that I believe was at least 60 per person. Nice Amber and views. our girls liked it a lot. Curacao - It was a bit strange, not my first time there, but the time was really really bad, most shops close at 5PM and we pulled in at around 4 I believe, I could be off on the times here, but it seemed that after we got outside of the Casino/Shops that you walk through to get to town thing were closing down. The Bridge was fun to walk across and the girls loved the pretty buildings and the lights at night. Aruba was a nightmare, but not the island itself, we just had a bad Cab experience, followed by two excellent ones. If like us you like to trek out on your own, and not go through the cruise line excursion, be aware that if you have to split your group into two taxis and both groups tell the driver you want to go to Eagle beach you may end up miles apart!. That is what happened to us, and it messed up the morning, but with the help of a very nice cab driver all was saved and the rest of the day was a huge success! Thanksgiving on Aruba was a bit odd for us Ohioans, but if its up to me, we will be cruising on Thanksgiving from now on! BTW Football fans, Carnival Breeze has Miami TV as its home market, so the Football games were on the cabin tvs and the pool screen at the beach pool, nicely done Carnival!.
Entertainment - NA I don't go to shows, or presentations but was told by my mother in law that they were great!
Camp Carnival - the 7 year old made friends with another girl on the ship and they hung out there in the mornings, but then we went to the pools in the afternoon, her time there seemed like it held her attention. The 4 year old wanted nothing to do with it, she wanted the water park, and then the water park, and after that the water park.
Disembarkation - I am going to be brutally honest on this, it was BRUTAL! This was not all Carnival's fault exactly (I think). It depends on what happened. Apparently someone got off the boat BEFORE Customs cleared the boat. So we were in group 18 which should have left between 8:45 and 9, we were cleared down to deck 3 at 11:15. I can only imagine people missed flights based on the things I was hearing from others while we waited. If its true that someone managed to slip off the boat early, than carnival needs to take a closer look at their security polices, because it managed to put some undo stress on a number of guests. (For the record, based on the announcements I was able to hear, this is what happened.) Once we reached deck 3 it was easy and we were in our car in 15 mins. BTW, people were waiting for our parking space who were getting on the ship.
Summary - The Cruise was really good, everyone enjoyed it and had nothing but positive things to say, until right at the end with the Customs thing. We were aware going aboard of the reviews and the issues that were pointed out. I found that most were not experienced by any in our party. The food was good we had no issues with any crew member aboard ship. Overall it was a great way to spend Thanksgiving. Less