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Carnival Breeze Review

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Why Choose Carnival Breeze?

  • Pro: Variety of diversions and dining options

  • Con: Crowds and informal party atmosphere might be a turn-off

  • Bottom Line: Carnival's fun-for-everyone ethic at its best

Carnival Breeze Overview

By Kitty Bean Yancey, Cruise Critic contributor

Editor Rating
4.0

Carnival's biggest ship until the May 2016 launch of Carnival Vista has a light and lively Caribbean feel and offers passengers a little taste of everything. That includes food options from 24-hour handmade pizza to a Michelin-quality chef's table; and an excellent string trio in the Atrium to a DJ spinning dance hits at high volume in the futuristic Liquid Nightclub.

The 3,690-passenger Breeze, which can pack in 4,724 when every bed, bunk and sofa bed is occupied, attracts everyone from young partiers, to wedding groups, to families and older couples and often sails at capacity.  

Carnival Breeze is definitely not for those seeking serenity at sea. Prepare to stand in line at popular venues such as Fat Jimmy's C-Going BBQ, Guy's Burger Joint and the Comfort Kitchen buffet. You'll probably hear babies crying, groups calling to each other in the hallways and encounter an over-imbiber wandering the long hallways trying to remember the number of his or her stateroom. It's easy to clock 2 to 3 miles a day just getting around.

Those expecting Carnival's infamous gaudy decor might be pleasantly surprised by Breeze's more refined ambience (though some bemoan the toned-down look). Public areas are decorated in neutral colors. Halls and stairways are adorned with Caribbean images, including large, striking photos of marine life. Cabins are light and bright, with blond wood and beige walls. Constant polishing, cleaning and repairs keep things shipshape. On a top-to-bottom tour, we saw few signs of wear.

And, while Carnival Breeze is a mass-market ship, crew members are trained not to say no and most are notably accommodating. Service is a strong point, from the twice-daily tidying up by cabin stewards, to smiling hamburger flippers on deck and dining room servers who do a generally great job of remembering your name and favored dishes.

As befits a mega "fun ship" catering to thousands, you'll find a nearly nonstop range of activities, entertainment and chow-down options. Stage extravaganzas geared for today's shorter attention spans run 30 minutes, and Carnival's effervescent "Fun Squad" hands out trophies and medals in constant contests and activities on sea days (from naming tunes to bean bag tossing, to the notoriously embarrassing hairy chest competition). You'll be lucky to get a seat at a $6 blackjack table in the smoky casino, which buzzes on sea nights. During the day, kids pop up top, where two scream-inducing water slides, mini golf and an elevated ropes course beckon. Parents will savor the me-time afforded by Breeze's kids' clubs and for-fee babysitting.

Pool decks on most ships are hubs of activity, but this one (on Deck 10) is particularly frenetic. Grab a themed cocktail from a passing server, watch concerts and movies on a mammoth LED screen or order a slice of pizza 24/7.

Peace is possible if you look. Navigate toward the lesser-populated Lanai Deck (Deck 5), where loungers are plentiful and the four elevated hot tubs that project over the sea are rarely crowded. The Serenity Deck (Deck 15) is an adults-only sanctuary. We'll share a secret: Few passengers find secluded spaces at the front of the ship accessed by doors on Deck 6 and 7.

Then again, why sign up for a Fun Ship if you're seeking tranquility? Better get back to the Lido Deck now, 'cause they're doing the electric slide.

(To get the most out of your experience, download the free Carnival Hub app from the iTunes store before you sail for an ever-updated list of activities as well as maps and eatery info. You also can chat with fellow passengers for a fee).

Carnival Breeze Fellow Passengers

This ship's passenger list is as diverse as the United States, but you probably won't rub shoulders with the country club set. Lots of past passengers consider Breeze one of Carnival's best. You'll see toddlers, grandparents, gay and hetero couples and family groups wearing matching T-shirts. There's not much formality: Infants crawl in halls and some cabin doors are decorated like school lockers to reflect the family or couple within. Passengers tend to be unpretentious, friendly and social. Don't be surprised if the cruiser at the next penny slot machine starts up a conversation or if a stranger asks you to join a trivia team. Nearly 90 percent of passengers hail from North America.

Carnival Breeze Dress Code

Carnival sells itself as the "come-as-you-are-and-enjoy-yourself cruise line," so casual is king. A six-to-eight-night sailing will have two "cruise elegant" nights. But you probably won't see many gowns or sequins. We counted just two tuxedoes and a handful of sport jackets the entire cruise. Cutoff jeans and tank tops are prohibited in dining rooms, but we saw some passengers wearing them get in. Women will be fine packing dressy tops and pants or short dresses; men will feel fashionable in polo shirts and slacks on more formal nights. At the buffet, where some cruisers choose to eat dinner, we spotted a young man with baggy jeans hanging unappetizingly below his underwear.

Carnival Breeze Gratuity

Gratuities of $12 daily per person are added to bills, with $6.10 allocated to main dining room staff, $3.90 to cabin stewards and $2 to others (buffet workers, guest services and other staffers). That amount can be adjusted up or down at the guest services desk. It's customary to tip room service staffers a couple of dollars on free deliveries, 15 percent when you're ordering for-fee food and alcoholic beverages. Payment of tips on your bill can be via credit card or cash. Fifteen percent is automatically added to spa and bar bills. Onboard currency is the U.S. dollar, which is generally also accepted at Caribbean ports. Note: On sailings departing September 1, 2016, or later, gratuities will increase to $12.95 per person, per day ($13.95 for those in suites).

Next: Carnival Breeze Cabins
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Carnival Breeze Member Reviews

The Carnival Breeze is a lovely ship with a terrific staff. Jaime, the Cruise Director was outstanding. She was energetic, funny, talented, and a joy to watch every time she participated which was often. I asked and she told me that she got ... Read more
Great Job, Carnival Breeze! SouthTexasOceanLover
07/16
This was our first cruise since our honeymoon 25 years ago, and it was great. Embarkation was a little long, but that was more the security measures required by the government than the staff. The only complaint I have is that the cabin was a little ... Read more
07/16
Family trip for everybody in the family. First cruise for myself and my wife. I learned a few things on the trip. FTTF is a must, as well as the cheers package. The drinks are expensive and having that covered is a great thing. Just remember ... Read more
1 - 3 of 828 Reviews
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Carnival Breeze Ratings

Editor Rating 4.0 Member Rating
Category
Editor
Member
Dining
4.0
3.7
Public Rooms
4.0
4.4
Cabins
4.0
4.3
Entertainment
4.0
3.4
Spa & Fitness
4.0
4.1
Family & Children
5.0
3.7
Shore Excursions
4.0
3.8
Enrichment
2.0
3.6
Service
5.0
4.2
Value-for-Money
5.0
4.0

Explore This Ship

Carnival Breeze Deck Plans Carnival Breeze Cabin Reviews
Ship Stats
Crew:
1,386
Launched:
June 2012
Decks:
14
Tonnage:
130,000
Passengers:
3,690
Registry:
Panama
CDC Score:
100
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