We flew into Miami of Sunday, January 12, bright and early to take another Carnival Cruise to warm weather. We landed at Miami International Airport with plenty of time to spare. We had chosen not to use the Carnival transfer option, and we were glad we didn't. There is a Carnival check-in counter next to luggage claim and the line was extremely long and very, very slow. The cost of the Carnival transfer would have been $16 each or $32 a couple, and the taxi was quick and easy for $25 plus tip. We were at the port in fifteen minutes! Check-in there was amazing. It was so fast, and we were some of the first on the ship even without a VIP pass. We could not go to our room, but we could enjoy the Lido, the piped in music, and the food. Guys burgers were great! They also had the buffet open and the taco bar, the Blue Iguana, open.
Rooms were open about 1:00 p.m. and our luggage arrived very late in the afternoon. That was not a problem, but be sure you have anything you need in your carry-on. We enjoyed relaxing in the warm Florida sun on the Lido and from our deck.
The ships décor is very nice. Much nicer, we thought, than the older, kind of gaudy, ships we have sailed on previously. Our balcony room was nice, but being on the 9th deck, just under the Lido, we could hear chairs thumping around and loud music on some nights. It wasn't too bad, but it may be annoying for some guests, especially if you are trying to sleep.
On our six night cruise, there were two formal nights in the main dining room. Folks dressed in ties and formals as well as casual slacks, sport shirts, and sun dresses and pants. The first formal night always offers lobster tails, among other options. It was very good, but, while not a lot of food, you could even order another. I recommend it. We found the food to always be prepared and presented well, and always tasty. We enjoy eating in the dining room to have good conversation with other interesting guests at our table. Other meals were taken in the buffet on the Lido, the taco bar, lunch in the Italian restaurant, and Guys burgers. There were so many food options. While the buffet seemed a little disorganized, the food was good. I highly recommend eating in the Italian restaurant for lunch. There is no extra cost like there is for dinner.
I do, however, have to complain about the musical reviews. As a music teacher of many, many years, I found the harmony to be lacking, and many times the vocals were flat and most of the time way, way too loud. The background LED light show did not make up for the lack of talent by the singers. Their attempt to make the shows "over the top" just didn't work. Better vocalists and a couple of slow harmonic numbers would have been great. Obviously, the talent was just not there. Entertainment in other parts of the ship were much, much better. What gives?
We did not take a single Carnival excursion this time. The port at Ocho Rios in Jamaica is located in town. There were many local tour guides waiting to take you on tours of the island and local attractions at a much lower cost. Of course, you don't have the same assurances you get from the cruise company, but, it was really easy to secure a reputable tour. For ten dollars each we were taken to Dunns River Falls, dropped off, for two hours, and then picked up for the return trip. Dunns is only about 15 minutes from the port. We came back to the ship, ate in the Italian restaurant, and went back out to find free wifi and souveniers.
In Grand Cayman, we were tendered in to the port. At the entrance we could have selected a tour, but we decided to take a local bus (mini van) to the Turtle Farm. The vans marked MB1 or MB2 will take you to many attractions for only $2.50 each......each way. What a bargain. InCozumel, we took a taxi into town for $8 for two....."ocho por dos." We shopped, returned to the ship for lunch at the Blue Iguana, and went back out for free wifi (at Poncho's there at the port). Don't tell them I told you!
We would absolutely cruise the Breeze again. It is a beautiful ship!