We are a family of 3 (My wife and I and son-14)
Getting there: We flew into Miami on Friday evening since the weather this time of year can be questionable and the stress level of potentially missing the ship is significantly reduced by flying down the day before. We stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites Blue Lagoon near the airport and it was a nice hotel with restaurants, drug stores, grocery, and some other shops right across the street. The hotel also has a free hot breakfast and a free shuttle service from the airport to the hotel. The shuttle picked us up within 15 minutes of gathering our bags, the driver was nice and we arrived at the hotel quickly. After check-in we walked across the street at ate dinner at Casa Juan which is a Cuban restaurant that was very good with good service as well. We booked with F.G. Car Services to take us from the hotel to the Port and we were picked up right on time by a very professional driver who told us all about the city of Miami and pointed out areas of interest as he dropped us off at the port.
Embarkation: We arrived early at the port (approximately 10:30am) because we had purchased Faster-to-the-Fun and were anxious and excited to get onboard the Breeze. Since we were there so early we went right through security and then upstairs to get our sign and sail cards and security pictures taken and then we sat down and waited to board. It was about 11:30am when boarding started and we were onboard by 11:45am.
The Ship: The Breeze is much more toned down when it comes to the décor vs. many of the other Carnival ships. The ship really is beautifully decorated throughout and we particularly liked the tropical scenes in the hallways were the staterooms are. The ship is large but doesn’t feel too large and although there were about 4200 passengers onboard it really never felt crowded. We all agreed that the Breeze was our favorite ship with all there is to do along with being immaculately clean. The gym is also very nice and I was able to get a good workout in on several of the days.
Stateroom: we had a balcony cabin for 3 on the 8th floor (room 8358). The room was big enough for us with plenty of storage space and our Cabin Stewart Owen did a good job of keeping the room clean twice a day and was always friendly and greeted us by name if we passed him in the hallway. We had some of the best towel animals this time as well.
The Food: There is never a shortage of food available as anyone who has cruised probably already knows and the Breeze has more options then I think I’ve ever encountered on a cruise before. There is the Lido Buffet, Main Dining Rooms, Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, Cucina Del Capitano Italian Restaurant, Guys Burgers, Blue Iguana Mexican, Tandoor Indian food, Deli, Fat Jimmy’s Sea Side Barbeque, Ocean Plaza Taste Bar, Pub Grub at the Red Frog Pub, Plaza Café, Pizza, Ice Cream, Room Service, and likely some others I’m forgetting. Over the course of the cruise for breakfast we had room service coffee, toast, and fruit for breakfast some days while others we had breakfast burritos from the Blue Iguana, the Lido Buffet breakfast (my wife is a big fan of the French toast), the Ocean Plaza breakfast, and also went to the sea-day brunch in the main dining room. All were very good. For Lunch we had Guys Burgers, Fish Taco’s from the Blue Iguana, The Pasta bar at the Italian restaurant (it’s free at lunchtime), Sea-side barbeque( there was a long line but it moved quickly), the deli, the lido buffet, soup and salad at the Ocean Plaza, Conch Fritters and Coconut Shrimp from the Red Frog Pub, and Room Service BLT’s and cookies. Again all were very good. We ate dinner in the main dining room every night. We had early seating in the Blush Dining room and our wait staff was Outstanding. Rosemary, Muhammad, and Halil made our dining experience truly memorable and it was very sad saying goodbye to them the last night. The dinners in the main dining room were all very good and dinner is an event each night that we wouldn’t want to miss. We enjoy getting dressed up and spending that time together each night and with our travel companions at our table. We considered trying the Steakhouse but it was completely booked for the rest of the week by the time we called to make reservations. I also had late night Pizza once and it was good as well.
Entertainment: There is so much to do on the Breeze that I won’t even attempt to list it all. Suffice it to say check your funtimes every day and decide which activities you want to take part in. Some of the things that we did were a couple of the comedy shows, the juggler variety show, TC Tahoe variety show, we did trivia a couple times, Ping-Pong tournament, the Thrill Theater, We watched #Rythemnation several times in the ocean plaza and also in the Red Frog Pub on Pub-a-Poluza night, and the piano bar. We enjoyed all of the entertainment but #Rythemnation is a cover band that was so good it was standing room only every night in the Ocean Plaza. They could have filled the main show lounge every night. They are that good. We also really like hanging out at the Red Frog Pub where there was live music and great service and drinks. We met Andrew at the Red Frog Pub the first night and talked to him a little when we ordered drinks and he remembered our names the rest of the week. Every time he saw us he seemed genuinely happy and he provided excellent friendly service every time. Andrew is probably the most impressive crew member I’ve ever come across and just a truly great person. We enjoyed all the entertainment and there is definitely something for everyone.
Circle C: our son met a lot of other kids his age at Circle C and took part in a lot of activities there every day. He also spent a lot of time on the sports deck playing basketball, dodge ball, pool, ropes course, etc. He was certainly never bored and Carnival really does a good job of facilitating kids activities.
Behind the Fun Tour: We decided to do the Behind the Fun Tour as we had never done it on past cruises and with the Faster-to-the-Fun thought we’d have a good chance to book it as soon as we boarded before it sold out. We were the first to sign up and it was about a 4-hour tour on the 2nd sea day that takes you all over the ship that you would not ordinarily get to see. Some of the places we visited were the steakhouse, beer storage room, meat storage, recycling area, engine control room, laundry, the bridge, back stage at the main show lounge, crew dining room, crew bar, main galley, crew area outside, the crew training area, etc. There were people at each stop that would explain what they do and answer questions. We had pictures with the Captain on the Bridge and chocolate covered strawberries with the head chef. After we returned to our room we had another tray of goodies that had been brought to our room along with the pictures. We were also given several gifts at the end of the tour. It was really something worth doing once. It’s amazing to be able to see all those areas and what all goes on behind the guest areas.
Memorable Crew Members: As mentioned above there were crew members who really made our cruise memorable. The standouts for us were Owen our Cabin Stewart, our main dining room wait staff Rosemary, Muhammad, and Halil who were all true professionals and it really was sad saying goodbye to them on the last night at dinner. They are a great team and made our dinners the best they could be. The band #Rythemnation was probably the best live band I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to and that includes many big name concerts over the years. These guys and gal are really that good. Finally, Andrew from the Red Frog Pub made us feel like we were visiting a friend every night we went to the Red Frog Pub. He is just good people and a tremendous asset to the Carnival Breeze. Additionally I think that the crew throughout the ship was very professional, courteous, and friendly and it was their efforts every day that make cruising so enjoyable.
The Ports: Grand Turk was first and was our favorite. We spent the day at Margaritaville with some other couples we had met on the ship the day we left at a meet and greet and we had a great time hanging out an just enjoying the drinks and the day. The next stop was La Romana Dominican Republic and we chose not to get off the ship here and just enjoy it like another sea day with very few people on the ship. It was really a nice and relaxing day. Third stop was Curacao and we walked around town on our own and explored a little and shopped and crossed the floating bridge and then we went back onboard before dinner. Finally our last stop was Aruba we booked the Kukoo Kunuku Party bus tour through Carnival here and it was a lot of fun. The bus takes you to several points of interest the chapel, lighthouse, and you get to see a lot of the island before going to the beach for a couple hours and then back to the ship.
Disembarkation: We were able to use the luggage express which is a program where for a $20.00 guest services will print your airline luggage tags, as well as, your boarding passes for your flights the last night of the cruise. You put your luggage in the hallway the last night and the next time you see it is at your final destination. No need to check luggage at the airport or check in. You just go straight to security. It’s really an awesome program. We will do it anytime it’s offered. We booked F.G. Car Service again to take us from the port to the airport and again he was right on time and it could not have gone any smoother.
Overall: we once again had a wonderful family vacation at a reasonable price. We met some new friends both fellow passengers and crew and made memories to last a lifetime. We will continue to cruise in the future and intend for that to be exclusively with Carnival. Thank you Carnival for a Great Vacation!