At the start, let me say that I am a career Hotel manager. I have managed big and small properties, in downtown areas and currently on the beach. So, my comments are written from that perspective.
We were on the Thanksgiving sailing of the Carnival Breeze. Since we live in Florida and had read some troubling reviews about parking in Miami we decided to rent a car and drive to Miami. We used Budget and there is a location in downtown Miami, maybe 2 miles from the port. Drop off was easy and we had a cab to the port about 15 minutes after I called for one. We paid for Faster To The Fun, I knew we would be getting to the port early and I wanted to squeeze every bit of "fun" I could out of the trip. We were at the port by 10:30 and walking on board by 11:30. Room was ready when we got on board. Others have noted the change in the Breeze's décor from other Carnival ships. I loved it. It's toned down but still colorful and I love some of the pictures that are on the stairs. Room was nice, basic cruise cabin. We were in a Cove Balcony room. I loved being that close to the water, although I think we were under the kitchen so we had the smell of cooking food greeting us most of the time. And at night there were odd bangs and crashes, that if you are a light sleeper, you might want to avoid. Also, the sea was rough for a few days and you can really hear the waves crashing and banging the ship. Since you are this close to the water, the balcony can stay a bit damp (and my wife actually got splashed by a wave), but other than that I loved it. Wish they were on all the ships.
So what about the food. First and foremost, Guy's Burgers is the best thing afloat. If you don't try at least one, you've only got yourself to blame. The Blue Iquana Tacos were good too, loved all of the extra sauces you could try. The "Marketplace" buffet area (as noted in other reviews) please be careful walking on the tile floor. I actually tried to walk with at least one foot on carpet at all times. it's really, really slippery. We really didn't eat any meal other breakfast here. I always did the "omelet station" option. Sometimes the lines would get long, but after seeing the "boiled scrambled eggs" there really wasn't another choice if you want eggs. A couple other notes, if you want a breakfast meat (bacon or sausage) you'll have to get in another line after getting your eggs and yes, the bacon is guarded. If the bacon sentry doesn't give you enough the first time, just ask for more. Also, I do wish Carnival would adjust their serving times to be more in line with port arrivals. A couple mornings we were in ports early, but only half of the buffets were open. In Curacao, we arrived at 2pm so if you were on a tour you missed dinner In the dining room. Guy's closes at 6, the Blue iquana closes at 3 and (again) half of the buffet lines were closed. Perhaps it's just me, I really hate lines if there is another option. Tried the sea day BBQ. Big lines but not worth the wait. Who puts onions in pulled pork and the Chicken was dryer than dry? If you don't know what BBQ is, then have at it -- but it's not for this Southern boy. Food in the main dining room was very good most of the time. I'm on a restricted diet so I ate lots of fish, it was mostly overcooked, but fish is tough to get right. The beef was much better. And my wife discovered Chocolate Melting Cake. it really should be illegal.
Entertainment: we saw The Brits show as well as the Motor City show. Sorry guys, I thought they were good. I was a music major in college and I have no stomach for bad performers. The harmonies were tight, the dancing was fine and I found the video backgrounds a great use of tech. The comic juggler was great too. He started slow but give him a chance. Never made it to the stand-up shows, just too crowed and the Family friendly show was always at 730, not a great time for those that have the early dinner seating.
The Staff: In all of my years in hospitality, I have never seen a harder working bunch of folks. Always smiling, always moving, always with a "good morning/day/evening", it was a wonder to behold. If someone want to see how a "hotel" staff should work and act, take them to the Breeze.
Leaving the boat:
Since we had purchased the Faster To The Fun, we also got priority disembarkation. If FTTF is available, I will always buy it (at least till I make Diamond -- like that's gonna ever happen). Money well spent. Overall, I loved this cruise. Say what you will about the "other guys", for the value delivered for $ spent you can't beat it. I was thankful to spend these 8 days on the Breeze. Already looking at cruises for next year!!
If you come off the boat and take a right down the beach you come to area littered with conch shells. it's no problem bringing them back -- just understand they are probably full of sand and the weight can add up fast. Really neat. Also, read lots abut Jack's Shack before leaving. Not sure it's worth the walk. Really not impressed.
Booked through Pro Excursions -- best stop of the cruise. Saona Island is like a post card. If you stop in La Romana, you have to do this cruise.