Our family of 5 just returned from the Carnival breeze 8 night southern Caribbean on Sunday. Our kids are 15, 11, and 9. If you are looking for a family friendly boat, this is the one. Our first day on we were able to board at 12 pm. The boarding process went very smooth. All the food places were available for you to enjoy right away. Our room was ready by 1, and our luggage arrived at our door shortly after. I've been on others that the rooms and your luggage wasn't available for hours after boarding.
Let me start with the islands we visited. Our first port was Grand Turk, which is a very small island. We did not book an excursion, we took advantage of the free beach and pool there. These amenities are right off the boat literally. There is a few shops you can browse in, but they are your typical stores. At the pool area, in Margaritaville there is a flow rider, which is the surfing. If you are planning on doing this you have to book with your cruise ship. We tried to do it when we got off the boat and it was booked.
Our next port was the Dominican Republic. We booked an excurion outside of the cruise ship on our own. We went through pro excursions and went rented Dunn buggies. I have read in past reviews how it was confusing, I disagree, we had no confusion at all getting to the destination. A tour guide Michael took us around the island and we stopped at a sugar cane field, went into a village and were able to interact with families there and their children. This was amazing for my children, in which they were able to see how they lived there. We were able to bring them some toys, school supplies, and a few toiletries. We also donated $30.00 in which fed 43 families for one day. Next we went swimming in a little river to rinse off from the massive amount of mud we wore. If you love getting dirty and muddy, this is your excursion. Lastly, we stopped off at a locals home as they prepared us some delicious appetizers. We were also able to taste some of their fruits as we toured the property. On our way back we got more muddy. When we returned back to our starting point, they offered us some island rum. There is a gentlemen that stays with you the whole time on the tour taking pictures. He did an ok job, a lot of the same pictures, but you DO NOT want to bring your own camera here, it WILL get destroyed. He charged us $50.00 for the CD because we had 2 buggies, but it's $30.00 for one buggie. It was a fun day all around though.
Next port was Curaçao. Absolutely beautiful view when you dock. Picture perfect! I would suggest to book an excursion on this island. We didn't and regret it. There is lots of shopping everywhere and lots of walking. We ventured out and walked around for for a little while, but it's just lots of stores. If you want to see some of their focal points, you need to book an excursion or rent a car. There is a car rental place within walking distance from the boat, Avis car rental. We were able to get lots of beautiful pictures locally, but I would've preferred a tour. The floating bridge is kinda interesting. We were able to see how it opens and let's the boats through while we were there. Just one of Curaçao focal points. Down side..... We docked from 2-11 at night. Almost all the shops close at 5 there time, 6 ours. There is an hour time change on the islands, so be careful when booking excursions on any of those islands.
Lastly, our final island was the beautiful island of Aruba. Loved it!!!! We rented our own jeep so we can explore the island ourselves. A little confusion when getting the jeep though. I booked in advance and gave my credit card, but they didn't charge me. I was able to pay when I got there. But, when I got there the car rental company Royal told me there were no more jeeps available, that the 4 door we wanted was broke. I wasn't very happy to say the least. So they asked their fellow competitor to help us out with a jeep. It was more money, but royal car rental paid the difference for us to get the jeep at what they quoted us for it. So, in the end as much as I'd like to bad mouth the car rental company, I can't because they helped us out in the end and made sure we were taken care of. So as our adventure starts we found our way to the national park there and explored the natural pool they have on the island. Fee of $10.00 per adult to get into the park, kids were free. If you want to make it to the bottom by the natural pool, you MUST rent a 4 by 4 jeep. It was so much fun and adventurous, but it was rough and bumpy. If you like the rush of adventure, you'll love this. Unfortunately, the water was too rough, so we were unable to swim in the pool, but it was worth the drive down to it, breathtaking views. In the park area there are caves as well. They were pretty cool, if you are able to have a tour guide there the day you go. We were lucky enough that one was there to explain different things in the caves. I'd say you need a good few hours just inside they national park for the day. After that we ventured along the coast and stopped at the natural bridge. A part of it has collapsed, but you are still able to go on other parts and enjoy the views of the surrounding areas. We stopped at a few other focal points of the island along the way. This was one island we wish we had more time on. Seven hours was not enough. Thumbs up to this island for sure. Beautiful housing and island is clean.
Now onto the boat itself. I read a lot of reviews about the food, both good but a lot bad. So, there is lots of places you can eat on the boat, but they are only certain times. So, you need to know what's open and when. The buffet didn't have a big selection of food, but you did have many other places to eat. The Mongolian Wok, taco bar, deli, pizza, burger joint, and on sea days the outside BBQ was open. Of coarse your evening dining as well. These are all free to you. If you can't find a place to eat, there's issues. I didn't think the food was bad at all, there's something for everyone. The camps were great for the kids, mine were there more then they were with us. Sea days are always a challenge trying to find a lounge chair, but most of the time there is a few somewhere. You just have to look. There may not be any more on the lido deck unless your up at 7, but there are some on the sides and on other decks. Lots of games for kids to do on the sports deck. My one bad comment was about the ropes coarse. It was ONLY open day one and that was it for the rest of the 7 days. Very disappointing when they say it's too windy all the time. It wasn't all the time. I understand safety reasons, but it was never open even when docked. Very big disappointment for the kids. Comedians were always funny if you like that kind of entertainment. Shows were ok, not going to say they were they best at all, but they could use some touching up. Kids hasbro show was fun for the kids. Not so much for the adults, kinda boring if you ask me. But I was there for my kids to have fun and they enjoyed it.
I think I can go on and on. Disembarkment was very quick once you were called off. We were supposed to get off at 9:30, but didn't until 10:30. Once we were disembarked, we literally walked right off and was through customs within 2 minutes. Very quick and organized.
This was our third cruise and overall the only two things bad I have to say was, I wish we had docked earlier in curaçao, and the rope coarse was our other disappointment. Other then that, overall we had a great time on the carnival breeze and recommend it to any one traveling with kids. There were lots of kids on board. Happy traveling!!!!!