We were on the December 1st sailing on the Breeze – which was our 10th cruise with Carnival. I feel like I am a Carnival expert or a cruise expert generally at this point with some perspective because I have also sailed multiple times with Costa, NCL, and Royal Caribbean.
We hopped of the Carnival Conquest (Thanksgiving cruise) and walked ourselves and our bags over to the Breeze. We arrived earlier than we normally do. The line to get checked in at noon was HUMOUNGUS. I recommend not being in a big hurry to get on the ship – and arrive around 2pm to allow the big crowd to get through.
The Breeze was the largest ship I have ever been on. It was hard not to always compare the Breeze to the Conquest which was older and a little smaller. Things I liked better about the Breeze vs. the Conquest were: Much better Lido desk and Casino lay out. There were tons of seating options for sea days. The casino draws smokers and I like how you did not have to walk through the smoke on the Breeze. I also liked the Red Frog Pub and the Piano Bar which were two really cool places to hang out with friends. Along with the Steakhouse, the Breeze offered an awesome Italian restaurant and Sushi. I recommend trying all food options out – even if there is a charge.
The Breeze didn’t beat the Conquest out on many things. I like the décor on the older ships much better. It is more luxurious. The Breeze had carpeting vs. tile everywhere and a “Beach” décor theme with fake beach hut doors, fake outdoor seating etc...It looked a little cheap even though it was newer. The Punchliner had terrible seating and a waiting area for people to enter which made the Conquest much better for comedy. We had anytime dining and the main dining room was very plain and felt (and smelled) more like a cafeteria than a restaurant. The Conquest main dining was a much better experience from a service and atmosphere perspective.
Entertainment - if you want to go to shows, this is not the option for you. If you have family or friends on the ship with you, or you like to meet new people you will not be disappointed. There are plenty of places to listen to music or dance. There were great bands and several acoustic guitar acts that cover a variety of artists. We went to the Punchliner Comedy Club adult show for at least one show every night it was open and saw a different comic and act each time. The fitness center was a little hard to get to - but once I found it worked out great.
Grand Turk, Jamaica and Bahamas were wonderful ports of call. Do your homework and make sure you have a plan even if you don’t use Carnival’s excursions.
I was completely satisfied with both weeks I sailed with Carnival. Dollar for dollar you cannot beat the value. I could not stay at a Hampton Inn in Branson Missouri for the week for what I pay to cruise with this line. It affords me the option to take 2-3 Caribbean vacations each year with my family and friends which is priceless to me.