Background: Cruising since ‘94, 10 cruises (5 with Carnival). Favorite: Disney (until now), Least Favorite: Royal Caribbean
This cruise was great and is now my favorite. However, Disney is still a very close second. The Breeze is a great choice when it comes to pleasing the whole family. Great slides and activities for kids and many options for adults. Although the food was not perfect at every venue everything balanced out. For what was paid, the service and experience exceed expectations. I read some reviews prior to going and was honestly a little worried. I think if you understand that cruising has changed and its never going back to the old automatic “cater to you” feel you will have a great time. You get what you pay for… Plain and simple. For those that complain, calculate flight, hotel, food, and transportation expenses to three islands…you will easily triple or quadruple the cost even at an all-inclusive.
Hotel: Intercontinental Miami-3/5
Save yourself the disappointment, stay at the Four Seasons or JW Marriott Marquis. After a 9 I really wanted to relax somewhere nice. I love the Alanta Buckhead IC location and thought the property would be the same brand wise (Atl-5 stars, MIA-4 star). Wrong! Check-in was quite long and I’m still not sure why. While the lobby is beautiful, that’s where it ends. Multiple dirty towels on arrival, stained tub, stained carpet, etc. The location is prime (walking distance to everything, heart of MIA downtown, right on the bay) and they do have an in room keurig and a pretty neat electric window shade, but that didn’t help the disappointment. Had I not arrived at 8pm and had dinner reservations I would have stayed elsewhere. I definitely will not return.
Premier Cruise Parking-5/5
Great garage parking, 5mins from port. No AC in the van, but it didn’t bother me as my group was in the front. Upon returning there was maybe a 5 min wait for the driver. I will definitely use again.
We arrived at the port about 12 pm and were in our cabin by 12:35...including 10 minutes checking bottles of water. I only drink bottled purified water, so I was fine and well aware of the process/wait. **It was hot and we ended up drinking a few…they don’t check each bottle if the bundle is sealed** The lady at check-in was a little slow and checked our passports three times, but other than that everything was perfect. Even better, our cabin was ready. As I tell others, I still haven’t found a need for FTTF unless you tender.
Cabin: Cove Balcony (2283) 5/5
Absolutely loved it!!! I generally book Mid Upper/Empress, so I was a little uneasy having a cabin on the second floor. This was the best option vs. deck 9 (other balcony option avail) which was to high. The reviews we dead on, the coves are wonderful and a must try. We had a wonderful view of everything… sunsets, the moon, and the waterline that produced a few flying fish. The lifeboats were far above and we didn’t have any trouble with noise. Actually no noise from anything. We had two nights of rain and our balcony was always dry. No issues with splashing from the ocean either. We switched cabins a few times prior to arriving to make sure we were in a prime location… close to the action, but far from the noise. We were literally out our cabin door and up one flight of stairs from the main lobby/atrium and Breeze Bar. I loved the convenience and found myself using the stairs more because it was more convenient. This will definitely be a preferred cabin/class when booking future cabins on Carnival Dream class ships.
Room Stewardess: Tia (5/5)
She was fabulous! Honestly the best stewardess of all cruises/lines I’ve sailed. We had anytime dining, so we were a little off schedule when it came to vacating our cabins. She didn’t mind and every time we left and hung the service placard our room was spotless when we returned. We were accustomed to only receiving towel animals during turndown service, but she made them throughout the day to entertain the my friend’s son. I hope to have her again when I sail.
I love that it was a new ship; everything was perfectly placed and no weird smells. I love the new look and although the layout takes a bit to get used to it works out perfect for crowd control. We sailed full (week prior to Christmas), including 600 children and a few times it felt like we had the ship to ourselves.
For the most part the food was pretty good. We had to put in an effort to try everything and still didn’t get a chance. There was so much and so little time. I’ll review everything, but I must say Fahrenheit 555, Guys Burgers, & Blue Iguana were my favorite while
Cucina del Capitano was my least.
Guys Burgers-5/5, I don’t even eat beef, but I had to try them due to all the hype. I probably ate about five during the week. The fries are awesome too.
Blue Iguana Cantina- 5/5, The tacos are the show stopper at the cantina. I LOVED the fish tacos and the ??? hot sauce. I’m not even a fan of like spicy food, but that sauce (optional) was fantastic. The burritos were good as well.
*Cucina del Capitano-3.5/5
I was hoping this restaurant would be good, but it left a lot to be desired. In my option the menu is very limited. Meatballs are wonderful. A simple shrimp linguini would have been nice.
Classic steakhouse with very nice options. I loved the cuts of meat and spices presentation. Nothing was rushed…dinner was easily 1.5 hour. The shrimp cocktail martini and the crab cake were excellent. My friend had the filet and I the lobster ravioli. He loved his steak, but my ravioli was hard as if it was baked. Next time I will try the Maine lobster. Desert was delish! The chocolate desert tray is so yummy and the cheesecake is HUGE. Next cruise I’ll definitely make two or three reservations.
*Red Frog Pub-Didn’t try
Sapphire Dining Room-3/5
We dined here 3 of 6 nights. The food was good most nights, but the lobster was not that great (undercooked?). I didn’t give them a chance to remedy the situation, so I really cant complain, but its definitely been better on the smaller ships. However, everyone else loved their dinner.
Blush Dining Room (Seaday brunch) Beautiful…Wish our dinner was in this dining room. Sit in the very back, lovely view of the wake. The cheese grits are to die for! Hands down best ever, everyone agreed. Although I hate sea days, I love the sea day brunches!
Lido Deck-I personally didn’t try, but my friend and his son said the food was great and plentiful.
Monogolian Wok-N/A Didn’t try, not sure I even saw it, but its on the ship somewhere
Room Service-5/5 On time and great for a wake-up call. Food was always fresh
Seadogs-Didn’t try as I don’t eat hot dogs, but they looked very good.
*Coffee bar-Didn’t try, but a nice spot for a spiked coffee. Will definitely try to remember next time.
*Chef’s Table-Didn’t try, I really want to, but I’m so picky with food I probably wouldn’t eat anything
Fat Jimmy’s C-Side BBQ-3/5
*Disclaimer: I don’t really like BBQ and I don’t eat pork.
To me the food was average. The grilled veggies looked great, but it didn’t go with the little I ate.
*Bonsai Sushi-5/5 Very fresh! I don’t eat sushi, but my friend had a roll and loved it.
Hasbro Game Show-5/5 Butch made it very entertaining. It was packed every time.
Playlist Productions-2/5 Disclaimer: I only went to the Latin Nights Show. There were three or four others.
Latin Nights--H-o-r-r-i-b-l-e! The performers are GREAT dancers, but their singing was very off key. I actually left during a brief pause when they were changing sets. I’m not that rude, but I couldn’t take it.
Blue Iguana Tequila Bar-4/5
My favorite of the two bars, quick ordering anytime of the day
Redfrog Rum Bar-One bartender was not the friendliest, I actually had the pleasure of dealing with him twice. Lucky me--I definitely became Team Blue Iguana after that.
Winners Luck Casino-5/5 Lots of options and there were multiple Roulette tables. Good job Carnival!
George Lopez Comedy Shows: Great! However, I think the comedy shows should be in the theater. Every time there was a wait and seating always limited.
Liquid Nightclub 3/5- Disclaimer: Private Cocktail Party only
We only visited once during our CC cocktail party. The room is very nice and welcoming. Our only issue was with a female bartender. Constantly ignored with obvious empty glasses which made my friend a little upset as this party was not one of those free parties sponsored by Carnival but in fact a prepaid (gratuities included) gathering. I turned around to go to the ladies room and that second literally a male bartender asked for my order and believe it or not she got upset. I’m not sure what that was about, but I only ordered with him from that point on. Quite a few people had issues with bartenders, but the bartenders at the bar in the casino were the BEST!
Piano Bar-4/5 Very live! We visited one night while waiting on the comedy show. The guys are great once they have a few drinks.
Shops-5/5 Lots of options and great prices
Dive-In Movies/Seaside Theater-5/5
Great popcorn provided.
Sportsquare/Skycourse-Didn’t try, It was the first thing I wanted to do and totally forgot
Cloud 9 Spa- Very nice! If only the Spa rooms were not so high, but the day passes are reasonable. Defiinitly will try next time. Did my massgaes beachside in GT :-)
Serenity-5/5 HUGE, Defienitly a place to escape. We said an older couple sleeping on one of the sofas one night…cutest thing.
Thrill Theatre-Didn’t try, ran out of time
The rooms are large although they do use other venues throughout the ship. They start from sun up to sun down. The extra for the parties are definitely worth the money. I was a little hesitant with the group dinner as I thought most kids would eat with their families, but there were many kids there nightly.
Grand Turk-5/5: Awesome! I planned it as our beach day. We did some shopping and headed to Margartitaville. Great area/party scene. Make sure to rent a cabana! Unfortunately we booked our cruise a few weeks prior to departure, so they were long gone. Get there early for a beach chair. The beach can be rocky in some areas. Seascapes Spa…best beachside massages ever!
Ochos Rios 5/5: We did a private excursion to the Blue Hole/Secret Falls with lunch at Scotchies…definitely off the beaten path and far away from everything. It was great and fun to be away from the tourist traps like Dunns River. Lunch at Scotchies was great for the most part.
Nassau 5/5: We’ve been here many times, so it was the usual day at Atlantis. We usually just book a room, but Carnival had a great special on their excursion. There were so many ppl on this excursion, I thought for sure it was going to take hours, but Carnival did an OUTSTANDING job. Once on property we broke away from the group tour and headed for the park.
Debarkation: 4/5 Although others thought it was long. I was fine relaxing. One of the conveyer belts broke which held up the process, but it was fixed quickly.