Sail Date: August 2012
Our family of 13 from california, usa had planned this trip for over 6months. We booked early, got great deals with complete package, air, precruise hotel, port transfers, everything. Big thank to Mr. Adam Knitzler from carnival who ... Read More
Our family of 13 from california, usa had planned this trip for over 6months. We booked early, got great deals with complete package, air, precruise hotel, port transfers, everything. Big thank to Mr. Adam Knitzler from carnival who provided great service, especially with the early book price guarantee, Adam did lower our fees two times. He also gave us the two balconies adjacent to each other and two interior room right across (the third balcony for my brother's family is at different floor due to his last minute booking). We arrived Barcelona on time, got on the Carnival bus and in 10 mins we arrived the Trypp Apolo Hotel in Barcelona. The hotel didn't allow early check in so we left our luggage in the "safe" room and headed to the La Rambla and begin our exploration. We got on the hop on/off bus to the La Sagrada Church and other attractions. We had wonderful time in Barcelona and ready for our next day to really see the Carnival breeze and begin our 12 days cruise. The Carnival bus took us to the port in about 10 minute. it is a big port, with giant ships and one of them is the Carnival Breeze. It was around 11am so the line was still short and we got our check in done in no time (probably 30 mins). The rooms were not ready so we headed up to the Lido market for lunch. The Lido market looks nice but not that impressive. I just dislike the plastic palm tree, looks kind of ugly. Having cruised with Carnival three times before, I didn't have much expectation about the food so I was very much okay with what available there. The Mongolian wok was okay except these Chinese cooks don't really know how to cook beef. Remember stir fry beef you must have high heat and quick cook. These guys overcooked the beef every single time, same technique and the beef became plastic. Please take note and do change for the sake of Chinese food reputation. The ship, even new, lack of elegance. I guess it is built for fun and convenience. The two small pools (as mentioned many time in previous reviews) were ridiculous for big crowd. The dinning rooms are much better than the Carnival Glory and the services were great. The food were not bad at all and we loved the entertaining from the dining staffs. I love the 1.5 hour dining that allowed us to have enough time to walk around and then headed to the Ovation theater for evening shows. (Princess cruise the dining is over 2 hours which is too long but the food from princess is better, so I guess you win some you lose some). For all the 5 shows we watched, they are good but not great. The Motown night was a big disappointment (I love Motown music but the performers were just okay, they danced better than they sang). I must ssay something about the gym: although they have so many treadmills (more than china has rice) which is good, but the lifting weight area is so damn small, only fits 3 persons. What do you think carnival? Exercise is a combination of cardio, strength and flexibility and for the 12 days on the ship I couldn't access to the three little benches to lift weights at all. I ended up to carry a few dumbbells to the corner and tried to do something. The men locker is also much smaller than the one from Carnival Glory: no free steam room. The sauna room is also very very small. Big step back for the carnival breeze. Our rooms are nice, comfortable with great balcony. The cleaning staffs did wonderful job. We gave them (and the dining guys too) big tips in addition to our already paid service gratuity. We did our own excursions with private companies that saved us tons of money and better city tours (I believe). Florence, Rome were great but the heat significantly drained out our energy. We loved Sorrento, Nice with our own exploration. Having said that, I must say our Best of Dubrovnik tour, our only excursion with carnival, was great. We loved the little village, it looked so peaceful and beautiful. The old town of Dubrovnik was stunning. My nieces loved the waterworks. They had so much fun, they had a blast. The sushi were good. The burgers are just okay but do love the crispy french fries. General speaking, I am happy with Carnival Breeze. I think we got our money worth spent. However, after three consecutive cruises with carnival, it is time to explore others or come back to Princess which we believe have better food and better ship interior design. Cuulong. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
Just returned from a 12 night Western Med cruise on the new Carnival Breeze The ship is indeed beautiful & has some great features such as the Lanai wrap around deck - great to be able to sit outside a bar on a warm evening - The Red ... Read More
Just returned from a 12 night Western Med cruise on the new Carnival Breeze The ship is indeed beautiful & has some great features such as the Lanai wrap around deck - great to be able to sit outside a bar on a warm evening - The Red Frog pub & children's play area / waterworks, plus plenty of comfortable outdoor sofas, beds, chairs with umbrellas etc. The cabin was nice & comfortable & great beds. However there are many faults - although the outdoor Lanai deck is a great idea be warned if you are in a balcony cabin especially on deck 6 - the balconies are no longer private as a result of this deck directly below - people are sat outside bars & can see straight into your balcony. Deck 6 is also extremely noisy - were above the Plaza Cafe & could hear the Karaoke singing really loud in our room. Least the Plaza shut at 12pm - be careful of rooms above the disco & Red Frog pub which stay open much late & are far livelier than the Plaza. Service in the Blush dining room was also dire - we were never offered wine, lucky if we got asked if we wanted drinks, main courses were served whilst others were still having starters & felt constantly rushed. We had to ask for coffee? Very poor. The quality of food was not what we expected either & inferior to other cruise lines we have travelled with previously - it was often cold & undercooked. We were also disappointed that the sofa in our room, which had to be used for a 3rd bed was never taken up during the day so we had nowhere to sit - again this has never been the case on previous cruises , even with Carnival. The room steward persisted in servicing our room at 5pm each day - we were on late dinner sitting so had to come back to a room where the beds had already been turned down & curtains shut for the evening? Seeing as we hadn't been in the room since he'done it in the morning this left him little to do except fill the ice bucket yet we were then left with wet towels etc & Carnival still charged us $35 per day for this awful service. Also agree with the review by Tanimmo below - on this partiular sailing there were over 1,000 under 18's - I did expect a lot of children with it being August & was travelling as a family myself. However it was a rabble on board - kids were runnng everywhere - up & down corridors late at night ie 2am in the morning, galavanting round deck 5 etc mainly unsupervised. There are plenty of places for kids to go ie deck 10,11 - Carnival does get that right, yet loads were running round and playing in the lifts. The pool areas are also totally inadequate for a ship that carries 3,600 passengers plus kids - They ould have made the main pool double the size? It seems they have built a big ship to cram people on board but not extended the public areas to accomodate the no's or provided the staff (hence the crap service - Red Frog pub excluded here). We have sailed with Carnival before & really enjoyed the experience however after Carnival Breeze I will never use them again - it was not a good experience & a HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
We were a family of 4 with twin boys of 17. We spent 4 nights in Barcelona pre cruise which was really nice and had a great time sight seeing all that Barcelona had to offer. The highlight of Barcelona was the segway tour we done and the ... Read More
We were a family of 4 with twin boys of 17. We spent 4 nights in Barcelona pre cruise which was really nice and had a great time sight seeing all that Barcelona had to offer. The highlight of Barcelona was the segway tour we done and the 2 days spent on the HoHo bus around the whole city. Embarkation was not too bad took us about 30 to 40 min to get on board and then another 30 min to queue at customer service desk to get our cabins sorted so me and the wife shared a cabin. Then when we got into our cabin which was ready as soon as we got on board found that we were in a twin room and the twins next door were in a double, so back to queue again at customer service desk. We had spa cabins on deck 11 and found them to be very nice and comfortable with plenty of storage place for your clothes. There were nice bathrobes included to use during your stay to go back and forth to the spa. We then had a tour of the spa which they tried to sell you every treatment they have before telling you what facilities you are entitled to as a spa cabin occupants. There was then a free draw where you could win free treatment which was not what you were told when you 1st toured the spa and they said nobody will go away without a prize except that you have to pay for it. We particularly chose a Spa cabin because it was close to the gym as my twins are professional athletes and needed the use of the gym. When they saw the gym they were very disappointed as it was just full of running machines and the weights section was in a tiny corner and very cramped and you had to wait if someone was using it. They only seemed to cater for use of running machines. The FOOD, what can i say but very disappointing in the Lido cafe it got to the stage where we could only eat fruit or cereal in the mornings as the rest of the cooked food was often cold, tasteless or nothing like what that particular thing should be like e.g juice was squash, omelet were made with UHT eggs not fresh eggs like on many other ships, the cold meats were not of the quality you would expect of a quality cruise ship and in some instances the description on the label above the food did not match the food below it. Lunchtime the best meal we found was the pasta in the Cucina restaurant which was hot and well presented and tasted like pasta should taste. The BBQ on the lanai promenade was acceptable but the Italian sausages were nothing like the Italian sausages I have eaten in Italy over the past 30 years. The evening meals were either outstanding or really bad and again what was on the menu is not what you received on your plate. I ordered steak with a peppered and mushroom sauce, I got gravy!!! The menu said prosciutto ham I received cooked ham!!! The waiters and drinks personnel in the restaurant were really helpful and friendly and if you asked to go back to the same one night after night, as we found out to our dismay one evening there was a waiting list for this particular waiter so we said we would sit somewhere else only to be served food we hadn't ordered so not surprised people went back to where the waiters were good. The ports of call were really all good but we did our own thing and booked private tours via people on the cruise forum and found it to be so much cheaper and the people we met were all very friendly and courteous. Entertainment was poor in the theatre compared to previous cruises we have been on and fall well short of the standards the Norwegian Epic sets. The Punchliners comedy club was good and was always packed out. So to sum up I would not sail with Carnival again as the poor food let this cruise down badly and the staff were not the most friendliest we have encountered on cruises. But saying that my twin boys say it was the best cruise they have been on as they made some great friends and really enjoyed themselves, so I guess there is a generation gap as to what we expect from a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
This was my first cruise and while I thoroughly enjoyed the concept of cruising, I could not say the same for my time on the Carnival Breeze. I realize this is a 'fun ship' and as such, children will be present. That said, ... Read More
This was my first cruise and while I thoroughly enjoyed the concept of cruising, I could not say the same for my time on the Carnival Breeze. I realize this is a 'fun ship' and as such, children will be present. That said, there were far too many children running wild though the corridors, in the Lido Marketplace, by the swimming pool, etc. There was no concept of control placed on the kids by the parents & the ship staff. A fine example of this was witnessed in the Marketplace. A child wanted some ice cream however he was short and couldn't reach. So, he proceeded to stand on the counter and a member of the staff watched him fill up his dish and then lifted him off the counter. After that, he didn't even wipe off the counter! Our room was quite nice and roomy given that there were four adults in it. We had a cove balcony. Great place to see all the marine life and witness beautiful sunsets. Our stateroom steward left little to be desired though. He was not friendly at all and we had to call guest services twice because he kept forgetting to refill the soda in the fridge. Something they're supposed to do twice a day. His towel creations were very boring and his cleaning skills left little to be desired. We requested his gratuities be removed from our bill. Supper was alright most nights. The singing wouldn't have been too bad had it not been so incredibly loud. The wait staff was fantastic and couldn't have asked for better. Entertainment in the theatre was terrible and there was very little selection. The Hasboro Game show was 'ok' but not something we'd watch over again. The Divas, Latin Nights & the Brits was fine but after you watched those, there was nothing else to entertain you the other evenings. In fact, on the night before sea days, your selection of entertainment was between slim and none. The 5D theatre was fabulous and we'd highly recommend purchasing an unlimited pass. And the cruise director, Butch....fabulous!! All this said, given that its the Breeze's inaugural season, I'm optimistic that they will make some changes. After all, it is all about learning what your passengers want. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2012
THE SHIP: Brand new, very nice, bright & fresh decor. Public spaces mostly very well thought out and laid out. There were lots of people on this cruise, 1/3 of the passengers were minors of all ages, mostly tweens & teens. Never ... Read More
THE SHIP: Brand new, very nice, bright & fresh decor. Public spaces mostly very well thought out and laid out. There were lots of people on this cruise, 1/3 of the passengers were minors of all ages, mostly tweens & teens. Never felt overcrowded. Aft dining room is the place to be for the unobstructed view. THE CABIN. Cove balcony, again new, fresh & bright. Very nice. Washroom typical of similar sizes on other ships. 110V and 220V available. Mini-fridge in cabin. Flat screen HDTV. Balcony is quite a bit more spacious than regular balcony. Balcony is under lifeboats, so in the shade most often. This was OK for us as it was very hot during the cruise. THE FOOD. Main Dining room: 4/5. Lido buffet: 4/5, with the exception of the deli, 4.5/5, excellent sandwiches. Burrito / Taco Bar: 4/5 Guy Burgers: 4.5/5 Fat Jimmy's C-side BBQ: 4/5, excellent sausages & sides, pork too dry, chicken OK. Tandoori: Did not try. Sushi: Did not try. Steakhouse: Did not try. Cucina de Capitano: Did not try. THE STAFF: 3.5/5 Mostly eastern Europeans, not accustomed to proper customer service. The long time Filipino or East Indian crew were GREAT. THE ENTERTAINEMENT: 4/5... saved by Cool Breeze Band with Regan the lead vocalist...otherwise 3/5 THE PORTS OF CALL: 5/5 Wow, Wow, Wow... but we had never been to Europe before... THE SHORE EXCURSIONS: Only took 1 with the ship, in Marseilles... AVIGNON & CHATEAUNEUF du PAPE. Excellent, despite the crowded bus. Naples / Rome / Florence / Sicily.. all done with "Share a Shore Excursion in Italy" ... great value for the money, excellent service, personalized service. HIGHLY RECOMEMND. Barcelona / Venice / Dubrovnik... we did on our own... VERY EASY. - Barcelona: Hop-On & Hop=Off "bus turistic"... inexpensive, narrated, 3 routes, hits all the sights... perfect. - Venice: 36hr Vaporetto tourist passes, inexpensive, great coverage, easy to read maps. - Dubrovnik: Shuttle to Pile Gate... inexpensive... easy to walk the rest. HOTEL in Barcelona: Hilton Diagonal Mar... right across from large shopping center with fast food & sit-down restaurants. PERFECT. a bit far from the cruise port... 15E taxi ride. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
We were looking for a way to bring our 17, 20 & 21 yr old to the Mediterranean while still giving them a "fun" vacation and the Breeze was perfect. Plenty to see in each port, but felt like we were home each night. We ... Read More
We were looking for a way to bring our 17, 20 & 21 yr old to the Mediterranean while still giving them a "fun" vacation and the Breeze was perfect. Plenty to see in each port, but felt like we were home each night. We couldn't have found a better ship for our needs. The decor is okay but better suited for the Caribbean where the ship will ultimately end up, but still very nice. Design changes created little comfortable areas around the ship instead of the open expanse usually seen. The pool areas were small but adequate. My kids said that the water slides were some of the fastest and best that they had been on and which was fun for them and all the other kids which kept them out of the pools and hot tubs. The hot tubs are no longer near the pool area which is a pain because you have to go down to deck 5 or on the serenity deck. Also, the Serenity Deck for 21 and over on the Miracle had it's own pool which was woefully missing on the Breeze. The days at see still proved to be a hassle with lounge chairs. What we found was that there was plenty of turnover due to the very hot weather so we slept late, had breakfast and then found chairs. The new policy of "tagging" chairs with a time sticker and clearing them after 45 min may have also helped where people usually leave their towels to save chairs, but I also just saw people walk back and pull the stickers off periodically. As far as the food options go, we are avid cruisers and didn't expect much of the food. Certainly, the dining room food lived down to our expectations. The staff was disorganized and the food was below average. However, the Burgers on deck were great and the Seaside BBQ was also a pleasant surprise. The Mexican was okay and we found the comedy brunch to have good food, but the comedy was 3rd rate and could have been left out. Skip the sushi restaurant entirely as our local grocery store serves better sushi! Also, the pizza was surprisingly good. What is absurd and needs to be mentioned here is Carnival's decision to get rid of trays entirely on the Lido deck. While this certainly cuts down on the amount of food consumed and saves Carnival money, it is extremely annoying for passengers especially if one is holding a table and the other is getting the food. There are bigger plates, but the situation is still a royal pain! Contrary to what others have posted, we never had to wait in line anywhere which was surprising with so many passengers on board. We were a bit worried from reading prior postings, but never more than 5 people ahead of us at any food station. The fitness center is small and dark compared to the Miracle and other ships. While they added treadmills, they compressed the workout area and the machines are now basically in an entrance way. The center was never crowded so that helped given the size. The Lido Deck with its "Dive-in Theater" was great! We watched movies out there at night and enjoyed the days around the screen. This should be on all ships. There was some live music during the day on sea days, but it was a single guitar player/singer who didn't even sound as good as the Kareoke singers on the ship. Dump them and keep the DJ's or get a live band. Adding extra deck space on deck 5 probably helps with the outside seating and feeling of a bigger ship, but it also totally gets rid of the feeling of being out at sea with an outside balcony cabin. We felt like we were just over a street where people could look up into our room and we had to listen to their conversations. Gone is the serenity of just looking out over the water and relaxing. Perhaps this was because we were on Deck 6 just above, but my suggestion is to book a higher deck due to the design change. Also, Deck 6 is directly over so much of the main activity sections of the ship that the cabins are very noisy. We had issues that were resolved quickly, but no one like a hassle on vacation. All in all this is a great ship, but know its shortcomings and enjoy its benefits. We would certainly cruise on the Breeze again and this was a fantastic itinerary over all except for the "filler" ports like Olbia & Messina. Also, just know that you are not near Rome, Florence or the Amalfi Coast at these ports so go online and book cars as Carnival's tours are ridiculously priced if there are 3 or more of you compared to what you can do on your own. Italy Limousine [reservations@italylimousine.com] and Airports Shuttle [reservations@airports-shuttle.com] were 2 very good companies that we used and were happy. Also, use Taxi Transfer di Santin Marcellina [info@taxitransfer.it] for transfer to the airport in Venice as they were only 10 E per person and saved a lot of potential aggravation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2012
This had been my 4th cruise this year on Carnival and the menu was the EXACT same on each ship!!! Thank goodness for Guy's burgers, Steakhouse & Deli otherwise we were eating the same food. The worst possible thing was the ... Read More
This had been my 4th cruise this year on Carnival and the menu was the EXACT same on each ship!!! Thank goodness for Guy's burgers, Steakhouse & Deli otherwise we were eating the same food. The worst possible thing was the reusing of the bread & dishes that was left at a table and we witnessed these ourselves. During breakfast & dinner (at least 4 occasions) whatever bread was left over in the basket after people ate the staff put the bread not eaten back into another basket and served this to another passenger!!! This was horrible!!! We had a family of three but the tables were set for four and each time I moved the cups or put my hands inside the cups to move them, the staff still used them and took the glasses to another table without inspecting, this was awful! This is the first time we had a junior suite it was beautiful, we loved the extra space, the tub & closest! The only bad part was on our balcony, since the jr. suites are located at the front of the ship, people who went on the front part of the deck could look right into our room we had no privacy. Others with a balcony have had shields or blockages so others could not look onto their balconies. The way our room was set people could look right into our room and at night see everything!! We had to keep our drapes closed at all times, no waking to the beautiful ports. In the morning we wanted to go out to the balcony in our pj's just like others did but there did ALWAYS people want to see the ports.... to our dislike we couldn't go out there unless we wanted everyone to see us!!! The entertainment was not up to the usual standard, not sure if it was because there were so many ports or what, but they repeated the comedy shows & the entertainment shows and many nights there was no entrainment!!! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
Our family of 5 sailed on the August 2 sailing of this awesome ship. We had read so many negative reviews before sailing and were perplexed as we had sailed on the Magic (sister ship) the summer before and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. ... Read More
Our family of 5 sailed on the August 2 sailing of this awesome ship. We had read so many negative reviews before sailing and were perplexed as we had sailed on the Magic (sister ship) the summer before and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. I wish more people would write about their positive experiences because the people we talked to seemed to be enjoying themselves. Our sailing had 4600 guests, so we should have experienced the extreme crowding that other cruisers complained of. We did not! Embarkation and disembarkation were a "breeze". We were on the ship by 11am. It appeared to us that some passengers created their own issues, e.g. not having luggage tags secured. The Breeze had adopted a deck chair reserving policy. The attendants would put a sticker with the time on unoccupied chairs saved by towels/belongings. After 40 minutes, they would remove the towels/belongings. I was up early on sea days, so appeared to be working well with lots of deck chairs available well into the morning. We had adjoining rooms and we all slept very well. We were on deck 1 and heard no noise coming into ports. We really appreciated having 2 showers in each room. It allowed us to get on the go early for our excursion days, which we organized ourselves. I have some excellent suggestions for the ports of Marseille, Livorno or Naples. I really think the world is full of complainers and people that expect to get things for free. The complaints about the lido dining room are exaggerated. On sea days, Tandoor, Blue Iguana, Jimmy C's BBQ and Guy's Burgers barely ever had lines. The pasta bar in Cucina Capitano was mostly empty until the very last day. I never waited more than a few seconds to get water or ice cream. It was never out when my kids went to get ice cream and they filled their boots. Even the mornings I decided to get an omelet, I never had more than 3 people ahead of me. I don't understand that complaint unless you are incredibly impatient and have not embraced relaxing and having FUN. If you are going to have an omelet made to your liking, you are going to have to wait a few minutes. The breakfast burritos were great and never had a line. Going ashore was always easy although I was not silly enough to do a Carnival excursion. Some reviewers have suggested getting off the ship was chaotic. I completely disagree. We were never long to get off the ship and Venice was the only port that took any time to get back on and that is no fault of Carnival, but instead the port. We ate in the Steakhouse without the kids and our group enjoyed it immensely. The Italian restaurant was only okay, but we had already had some great meals ashore in Italy, so our reference point was high. Our first night in the dining room was underwhelming due to the menu options, but then every night after that it was great with many items that we wanted to try. We did anytime dining and like everyone else we would try to go between 7:30 and 8:30 pm, so you had to expect a wait if you are a reasonable person. Actually, we only waited more than 15 minutes one night to be seated. Our service was prompt and accurate. Alinna was wonderful and she was our first choice when we could get her. She remembered how we liked our steak done and wine preference! While you had to pay for the thrill theater my boys liked it. My advice is just buy the unlimited option up front. My kids did not and I had to get it adjusted after the fact, which was no big deal. They went to almost every show and some twice. There were lots of kids on our ship, but unlike other cruises they seemed to be fairly well behaved. I did notice at Pizza Pirate, the chef made sure they did not cut the queue or take more than 2 slices at a time. This pizza was really terrific by the way. I should have given these guys an extra gratuity because they seemed to be operating full out all the time. My kids and I seemed to be able to play mini putt and ping pong at our leisure. When kids were already playing we simply asked to play next and they were obliging. The sky course did not have a significant line until the very last day. The water slides were great. The lines on sea days got a bit long, but in the mornings there were none. My kids also loved the trivia and shuffle board in the Red Frog Pub. We did not rush our meals to see the entertainment. As well, the Olympics on the seaside theatre or in the casino bar conflicted with the entertainment. Divas was good, the juggler was talented and we liked the game show. We liked the first comedian we saw (first part of cruise). The female was too tasteless for our crowd (second part), so we went to the piano bar and had lots of fun. While my wife and I loved the beautiful European ports, the ship and sea days, what made my cruise experience perfect was that my kids had a blast on the Carnival Breeze! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
Arrival: Getting to the port in Barcelona was very easy via taxi. We arrived at 11:30 and the lines were already long. The whole process from arrival to getting on the ship probably took about an hour. Room: We were on Deck 1, Midship ... Read More
Arrival: Getting to the port in Barcelona was very easy via taxi. We arrived at 11:30 and the lines were already long. The whole process from arrival to getting on the ship probably took about an hour. Room: We were on Deck 1, Midship Oceanview. Our room was great as far as noise is concerned. On other cruises, it was always so loud when we arrived in a port, but this room was very quiet. The only issue with the room was how far it was to the forward elevators. Our dining room and a lot of the other activities we wanted to do were located on the forward section of the ship. I felt like I was constantly walking down that long hallway of rooms. Our cabin steward was very nice and we had no other issues with the room. Dining: Guy's Burgers are seriously the best burgers I've ever had. I don't know what makes them so good, but they are. Blue Iguana Cantina was also great. We usually did Lido for breakfast (around 8 AM or so) and while crowded, we never had to wait in a long line or wait for a table. The same goes for lunch (usually around 12:30). The only times we ever really had to wait was to get a drink. The drink stations were poorly designed in that the juice/lemonade/tea dispenser is right next to the ice/water dispenser, so only one person at a time can really use that space). We had Your Time Dining in Sapphire and in general, it was excellent. Service was always friendly. We were in a different section each night and most were pretty quick with service, but we did have a rather long wait in a few sections. Outdoor Areas: I enjoy getting sun and it was worth it to me to get up early to get a chair. I was on the Serenity Deck (21+ area) by 7AM on the Sea Days and never had a problem getting seats. Also, the area didn't begin to fill up until close to 8 or 8:30. I don't know about the Lido area because I wasn't looking for a chair there. I did notice the pools were always VERY crowded. That was a very poor design choice to have two tiny pools for over 4,000 people. The Serenity Deck has two hot tubs, but when it's so hot outside, it would be nice to convert one of those pools to just a small dip pool so that people can hop in for a minute to cool off and then get out. Indoor Areas: Generally, the indoor areas were not too crowded. Our favorite place to go was the Red Frog Pub to hear the live music (Timmy Pierce was great). Activities: We went to two of the shows (Divas and Motor City). They were okay, but you aren't missing much if you skip them. I would have rather listened to John Heald, the cruise director, make jokes than watch the show. Speaking of jokes, the comics on our cruise were awful. We actually left in the middle of one of the performances (we went to one American and one British performance--both bad). The Seaside Theatre is nice and they even give you blankets as it gets a little breezy out there. Again, Red Frog Pub was our favorite. Live music was great and so were the bar waiters (Carlton and Abbas were our favorite). Ports: Barcelona, Marseille, Livorno (Florence), Civitavecchia (Rome), Naples, Dubrovnik, Venice, Messina. We enjoyed most of the ports, but Dubrovnik was our favorite. If you have the time, you should definitely try to plan or organize your own shore excursions. Carnival's are ridiculously overpriced. We took some of the same trips as the Carnival groups for one-quarter of the price. Debarkation: It would be nice if the Breeze would do a "silent debarkation" like some of the other Carnival ships do. Whether you are leaving at 5:30 AM or 9:30 AM, you will be awake by 5:30 AM and unable to sleep because announcements are made every 15 or so minutes for the next group to get off the ship. Very irritating when you're facing a long day of travel.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
Just got back from the fourth sailing of Carnival Breeze and whilst offering my own views I'd also like to comment on some of the previous criticisms. Ship itself was lovely with so much to do. As every person (of every age) has ... Read More
Just got back from the fourth sailing of Carnival Breeze and whilst offering my own views I'd also like to comment on some of the previous criticisms. Ship itself was lovely with so much to do. As every person (of every age) has their own idea of a holiday, Carnival caters for every taste seemingly. Games, shows, Library, bars, piano bar, sports, casino, films - the list is endless. Punchliner Comedy club was really good. Thoroughly enjoyed that and it was full almost every evening (for the adult only shows anyway). Red Frog pub was also very nice apart from the bloke entertaining with the acoustic guitar - truly awful. Have to admit that we're not really the show type but did go to watch 'The Brits'. Unfortunately lasted just 10 minutes but that's probably more down to our British taste than the show (I don't want to hear 50 year old Beatles songs). Staff were generally very good but I would have to echo a previous comment that dining room staff do just need to get their act a little more polished. However, as this was just the fourth cruise for each team then its understandable. Dining room food whilst not 'special' was very good and there was a good choice in the Lido Restaurant. Italian restaurant at $12 a head was pretty decent value but I personally would not pay an additional $35 a head for the Steakhouse. Also available are Burgers (after midday), the Mongolian wok (lovely) and the Tandoori (also lovely) plus other pieces like the BBQ on seadays. In general, more than enough to choose from. Our Balcony room was spacious enough and service was very good. Bed made each morning and turned back each evening but steward did not bother us too much with his presence - a real positive. Oh, and it was a cove balcony too which we worried about before boarding but had no need to - lovely room with lovely view. Won't go into each individual port but didn't get off in Livorno (been before) and having the ship to yourself on a Port day is wonderful! Will just add that Venice, Dubrovnik, Sorrento and Taormina were fantastic and Rome was just, well, Rome! Only took 1 carnival excursion (Taormina) because its simple and far cheaper to do others yourself. Hydrofoil terminal at Naples for example (to get to Capri and Sorrento) was just 200 yards from where we docked. Seadays were indeed very busy but then again with capacity for 3500 passengers it always will be. Tip - if you want a sun bed suggest you get up at circa 6.00 a.m! Cruise Director John Heald was very good in keeping passengers informed of everything and, indeed, in entertaining one and all by way of his TV Channel or in person. You got the feeling he cared about his passengers. In short, as two 48 year olds we thoroughly enjoyed the whole 12 days. Sailed before with Royal Caribbean and there are pluses and minuses with each i.e. RC make dining time a little more special - Carnival remains very casual. Carnival have an informative Cruise Director - can't remember if RC even had one. Unless you go looking, there's really nothing to complain about. OK - so I said I felt I had to comment on some previous highlighted areas. Here goes - 1)Queues everywhere. Funny, I didn't notice them apart from Lido Restaurant on debarkation morning. Easy to get food and drinks (use the waiters walking round if you can't be bothered to stand up!) 2)Stewards didn't pull bed back in morning. He shouldn't. You make a bed in the morning and turn it back at night (ours did this without any issues) 3)Lack of decorum from Europeans. Are you sure? Lost count of the times when American passengers queue jumped, ordered 3 starters, 2 main courses and then didn't finish them or simply piled their plates to overflowing in the Lido. This is not an anti American statement because yes, Europeans queue jump too. Suffice to say there are decent people and non decent people, wherever they may come from. 4)Children everywhere - over 1000 on board and I really didn't notice them. 5)Over emphasis on English comedian - we saw 6. 4 American and 2 British. In terms of the British 'style' being hard to get perhaps just try remembering that a) there's 30% British on board too and b) We can get US humour and slang so why can't you get ours? Could go on but won't bore you. In short, had a great holiday because we relaxed and did just what we wanted. Ship was great and it's superb to meet nice people from U.S, Canada, Australia, etc, etc. If you go looking for things to pick holes in, you'll find them. If you don't, you won't. Just book it and enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
We have just returned from a 12-day cruise on the Carnival Breeze. Sailing date was Saturday the 21 of July. Family of 4 (2 boys aged 8 and 14), 2 connecting cove balcony stateroom; 2369 and 2371. This was about my 18 cruise (not ... Read More
We have just returned from a 12-day cruise on the Carnival Breeze. Sailing date was Saturday the 21 of July. Family of 4 (2 boys aged 8 and 14), 2 connecting cove balcony stateroom; 2369 and 2371. This was about my 18 cruise (not counting anymore), a first time on a Carnival ship. Most recent cruises have been with RCCL but I have sailed many times with Princess and I also been on Norwegian, Costa, Celebrity and Oceania. I had read and received many comments on Carnival about the not so great food and services but since the Breeze was brand new, the itinerary was amazing (great ports and 4 days at seas which gave us time to relax and the kids time to enjoy all the things to do on the ship) and price was unbeatable, I finally decided to give Carnival a try. Overall, it was ok, there great things and things that were not to my expectations: Ship overall: 4/5 -Brand new ship ! Embarkation and disembarkation: 4/5 We arrived at 11h30 and it took us about 40 minutes to get in. We, like always, disembark on our own and it took us about 20 minutes from our stateroom to the taxi. Ports of call: 5/5 Perfect ports to show Europe to your kids. Pools: 1/5 -2 pools on a ship of about 3700 guests, what were they thinking ? Lounge chairs: 1/5 -Do you like to get up at 6am to ensure you get a chair around the pool area ? On the first day at sea, it was around 8h30 and we had a real hard time to find 4 chairs on the whole ship ! I have never experienced this on any cruise before. Waterslide & Sportsquare: 5/5 Kids had a great time. Shows & entertainment: 4/5 Great productions & good live music. Seaside theatre: 2/5 They have a great screen but most of the time during the day they use it to sale their video of the cruise..... Spa: 4/5 Good treatments but pricy as always. Stateroom: 4/5 Good size, good stateroom stewardess. In our stateroom 2371, very noisy in the evening as I believe above us was some kitchen facilities. Lido marketplace (buffet): 2/5 The decor is nice but that's about it. Do you like line-up's in the morning to get your breakfast ? I'm not an engineer but don't they have enough experience with prior ship to better organize the food stations ? For lunch and dinner: limited selection. Pizza station: 2/5 Hungry for pizza ? Get in line ! I had it once, its good but why do they put only 2 guys to take the orders, prepare, cook and serve..... Guy's Burger Joint: 5/5 Amazing burgers and no line-ups ! Bluelguana Cantina: 5/5 Great burritos, specially for breakfast Sapphire dining room: 2/5 Food: its ok, just ok. Presentation could be better and food hotter. Taste: hits and misses. Service: they were nice and doing their best but...rush rush rush, quick quick quick. Don't expect them to serve your wine. Breakfast was very good. Steakhouse (Fahrenheit 555): 4/5 Very expensive (35$ p/p), but very good. Service is better than in the dining room. Bonsai sushi: 4/5 Very fresh and very good. Overall rating 3/5 We got what we paid for. Happy to finally have tried Carnival after 20 years of cruising. But unless I am really strap for cash, I will not be back with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
It has been a shame to read some of the negative reviews on what we thought was a most fabulous holiday. When we got back to Barcelona airport for our return flight, we were behind three families from the US, who I could only describe as ... Read More
It has been a shame to read some of the negative reviews on what we thought was a most fabulous holiday. When we got back to Barcelona airport for our return flight, we were behind three families from the US, who I could only describe as professional moaners! I don't think that they even bothered to find anything out about Europe before they came here, but managed to find fault with everything. This was our first cruise and we have two children 14 and 13. We were apprehensive, as we didn't know what to expect. We landed and met Carnival Reps, who took our luggage and said it would be in our room the next time we saw it. Fantastic. We then went through embarkation. Yes, there was a queue, but Carnival had a lot of people on desks and we were through in around 30 mins. Not bad! We got onto the ship and were blown away by its beauty and elegance. The kids had an absolute ball. My son made some friends and on most days was playing table tennis, football(soccer) or enjoying the brilliant Waterworks park. My daughter loved the daily quizzes and the karaoke in the evenings. Big shout out to Alex 'Minnesota' who was amazing, as was Taylor during the day! My wife and I were able to relax and enjoy the weather and especially the ports of call. Woke up first morning in Monaco(stunning), also Venice (amazing) and Dubrovnik (absolutely beautiful). We made our way around ourselves most of the time with no problems, although the Naples traffic is frightening! During the port days the boat was empty and chairs were not a problem. On the first two sea days, it was a real problem getting chairs due to seat saving. Carnival then implemented a 40 minute rule and for the remaining sea days it was a lot better. The lido restaurant was also busy for breakfast on the first morning and we were a bit unhappy about having to queue for 20 mins or so for breakfast. However, that was the only morning where we actually queued. Some have complained that the breakfast offer never changed, however the choice of cereals, fruit, yoghurt, continental pastries, omlettes and full range of cooked meats and eggs would keep most people happy over the cruise. Meals in the Sapphire restaurant were very good. Of the 12 nights we ate there only two meals were so-so. We had the choice of 12 starters and 12 mains every night, which I think is pretty good. The service was excellent. We chose any time dining and always went to dinner around 7.15. No queues. However, from 7.45 onwards huge queues formed. Despite repeated announcements about the quietness of the dining room before 7.15, people seemed to prefer to eat later and queue. We had a balcony cabin which was great and the staff were amazing. There were plenty of bars with different types of music to choose from and the shows were good, without being sensational. They were a good watch. The comedy club was also very good, although we only took in two shows, due to the extent of what else was going on. Overall, we loved the holiday, loved the attitude of the fun loving staff and would definitely cruise again with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
We flew in the morning of the departure as we are from England and not the states. On first sight of the ship, it looks magnificent in the dock. Our transport was waiting at the airport and took all of us straight to the ship. The queue ... Read More
We flew in the morning of the departure as we are from England and not the states. On first sight of the ship, it looks magnificent in the dock. Our transport was waiting at the airport and took all of us straight to the ship. The queue was quite long to check-in, but we were soon through and issued with our sail and sign cards as the American's call them. On entering the vessel, we boarded through Deck 3 which took us into a bar area, with a Guest Services Desk. We took a seat to look at the 'lobby' it was an amazing site looking at the 4 glass lifts and looking through right to the top of the ship! We ordered a drink, the prices on board are quite expensive, and every time you go to the bar there is a 15% service charge added, you give you card and then sign a receipt when you get your drink. (on further inspection by my son, there is small print on the back of the card, to take off the service charge, I went to Guest services to get it removed, I wanted to tip the waiters on board who looked after us, this was done, on the last day and it saved me $580!) The gratuities on board, are £138 per person per cabin, again you can get this removed, and do your own tipping, to your waiter of your choice and your personal cabin staff. This is what we opted to do. The food was good, a wide variety of restaurants to choose from, Sushi, Steak House ($35 surcharge pp) Italian (£12 surcharge pp) burger bar, mexican bar, pizza 24 hour bar, curry bar, self service restaurant, blush restaurant and the main waiter service restaurant anytime dining. You were really spoilt for choice. Oh and a BBQ at lunch times on sea days. The whirl pools situated on each side of deck 5 where great, they hang out over the side of the ship. There is crazy golf on deck 11 along with basketball, soccer courts, a sky walk, and the 2 aqua slides, which were amazing. There is a massive TV screen on the pool deck 10, which has plenty of sun beds (But get them early) and 2 bars at either side, one red frog pub, and the tequila bar, these both have waiters or you can go to the bar. The self service restaurant is on this deck, it is great for breakfast and lunch. I never had a burger from the burger bar, but both my husband and son did, and said they were great! I travelled with my husband and son, and my mother and father, we had 2 cabins. The cabins are great, light and bright, with a flat screen TV and great choice of channels (i really didn't have time for TV!) 2 bathrooms, one with shower, toilet sink etc, and a smaller one with shower/bath and sink, this was great when 3 in a room. Each room has a free safe. Entertainment was great on board. It just felt like you were on really big ship, with thousands of people, on sea days it was difficult to get a sun bed or seat. The casino is really big. Overall the boat is fantastic. The service in the main restaurant was a bit hit or miss, silly little mistakes or forgetfulness! Think they need a bit more training, this was our only disappointment! Tours were a bit on the expensive side, but everything was slick and streamline, we all had a fantastic time the cities we visited were great, would we book again, yes I would, overall a great time was had by all of us! Long ride into town, not really much going on there, not really impressed with this port of call Loved this place did our thing here Did our own thing for 2 days, and did it all, what a fantastic city! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
Carnival Cruises "fits" me. I love their food, their layout, their entertainment options, and was not disappointed. The new ship offered some great new choices, though I did see some planning that could have been better. With ... Read More
Carnival Cruises "fits" me. I love their food, their layout, their entertainment options, and was not disappointed. The new ship offered some great new choices, though I did see some planning that could have been better. With temperatures in the 90's, and 4200 passengers on board, the ship needed more than 2 swimming pools. While there was a therapeutic pool in the spa, it was an extra cost, and indoors - at least, they could have added one adults only pool. They did have more whirlpool hot tubs which I really enjoy. As usual we had an inside cabin, and we have learned to select the best location, 7th level, midship, so no noise issues, and fairly close to everything. The cabin was magically cleaned and sufficient for our needs, and television had enough ship and other channels for the time we spent there. I appreciated that we could get ship wifi, but I still resist overpriced slow internet, so only checked emails in free port wifi. The abundance of computer terminals if you did pay for the service was certainly an improvement. The food was excellent. The layout, however, left something to be desired. Omelette station is always busy, but it seemed foolish to place cold cuts, cheese, and pastries along the omelette line, with people having to cut in and out even if they didn't want an omelette. Lineups for pizza were long and no more calzones or sandwich bar. The hamburger stand and Mexican place were great. With the warm weather, I realize the ship wants to flog drinks, but I consume a lot of iced tea and lemonade. It would be good to have a station in Serenity and 5th floor promenade, rather than only Lido Marketplace. And really, who thought of putting the basketball court on top of the otherwise excellent Captain's Cuisina? Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
Background - My wife and I are both in our early forties. This is our second cruise overall and our second cruise with Carnival. It was just the two of us as we left the kids at home with family. I am career military(Navy). Just ... Read More
Background - My wife and I are both in our early forties. This is our second cruise overall and our second cruise with Carnival. It was just the two of us as we left the kids at home with family. I am career military(Navy). Just want to mention this early on but Carnival's military discount is incredible. We saved just almost 40% off of the initial rate. That said, Carnival does a good job of refunding your money if you buy early and the price goes down for that particular cabin so in the end we probably saved 20-25% of what the regular price is. Still saved us a bunch of money that we used on excursions, etc.. Hotel Info - We stayed at the Hotel Jazz in Barcelona for three days prior to embarkation and we stayed one day at the Hotel Soho after the cruise was over. We arrived three days early to give us plenty of time to get used to the time zone and in case our luggage got lost on the flight we would three days for it to catch up to us. Luckily that did not happen but there were 18 or so guests that did have their luggage lost. I think they tried to arrive the same day the cruise left which is certainly doable. Both hotels were really great. Hotel Jazz is located a couple of blocks from Plaza Catalunya which is essentially the city center. It also sits on the north entrance to Las Ramblas. Pretty ideal location as Las Ramblas has tons of shops, bars, and awesome places to eat. It was nice being a couple of block from Las Ramblas as I imagine the noise might be a bit much at night. The price for our hotel was about 65% of what a comparable hotel on Las Ramblas would have cost. Excellent service and a really great hotel overall. The Soho is run by the same company and it was also very, very nice. A little farther away from Las Ramblas but the furnishings were exceptional and ultra modern. The only drawback was the taxi ride to and from the ship was about 20 Euros. Taxis are fairly expensive in Barcelona I thought. Bottom Line - I would highly recommend both of these hotels. Ship Info - We stayed on the 12th deck in one of the Cloud 9 Spa Balcony rooms. Literally 5 feet from the gym. This was pretty awesome as there was a little added convenience to go workout. Overall the room was pretty quite with the exception being some of the muscleheads dropping weights in the gym. Overall a very minor concern. We had Cloud 9 spa access which was excellent. The sea water hot tub and the steam room were very relaxing after long days ashore or after a particularly strenuous workout. The Stateroom itself was nice and roomy with plenty of closet space. We also packed a moderate amount of things and did laundry a couple of times. The room had both American and European outlets which was very nice. The ship itself was beautiful and extremely well maintained. The staff was extremely helpful and on top of things. Embarkation - Was very smooth. The whole process took us less than 20 minutes which included security screening, getting our Sail and Sign card and getting to our room. Our room was all set up and our luggage was delivered by 5pm. We arrived about an hour after embarkation began. Activities - The activities on board were great and there seemed to be something for everyone throughout the day. We went to two of the shows and enjoyed both of them. One was a tribute to Motor City music and the other was a Welsh multi instrument performer, Samantha Jay. The casino was good as well. They have these electronic Texas Hold Em tables. I was a little leery at first but they were easy to use after a couple of hands. A word to the wise, don't ever, ever play poker with Russians. They are great card players, aggressive and smart. Shore Excursions - We went on excursions in Marseilles, Livorno and Messina. We enjoyed them all. The Florence and Pisa Tour with Tower entry was truly awesome and The Mt Etna at 2900 Meters was really incredible. Both once in a lifetime excursions. Florence is beautiful with a very rich history and we can not wait to go back. Mt Etna is great. Walking on top of a live volcano... I mean seriously how much more awesome can it get. We did not do Carnival Excursions in Rome and Venice. In Rome we did the Colosseum at night tour. Very awesome group tour at night. During the day it is really, really crowded. At night only group tours are allowed in and it was a really great experience. In Venice we took gondola rowing lessons from Jane at http://www.rowvenice.com/ . What a great, unique experience. Instead of getting an overpriced 40 minute gondola ride at St. Marks we got over twice the time(our lesson was two hours) and actually get to learn how to row a gondola. It is way harder than it looks by the way. Venice - Do not, I repeat do not sit to have a drink or a meal in St. Marks square unless you want to pay 3-4 or even 5 times what you should be paying. We sat down and luckily for us the couple got their bill. They paid in excess of 40 Euros(over 50 dollars) for one glass of ordinary white wine a piece. The bars and restaurants there are complete tourist traps. There are any number of places to eat and drink in the alleys around St. Marks that looked awesome and much more reasonable on the prices. The one thing I would like to see Carnival do better is provide information on each of the ports for those folks that are not taking an excursion. I saw some folks with those types of sheets but they did not seem to be readily available. Travel to and from Barcelona - We flew American Airlines there and Iberia on the way back both booked through American. Overall everything went great. The only challenge was that Iberia does not issue seats until 24 hours prior to unless you sign up for their rewards program. Also American's seat management system does not communicate with Iberia's. We still got great seats on the way back but it was a little different. Dining - Dining was good, not great but certainly good. Guy's Burger Joint was excellent but the Blue Iguana Cantina was off the charts awesome. Their breakfast burritos were rock solid and their tacos and burritos for lunch were stellar. We ate in the dining room three times. Each time the service was excellent and the meals very tasty. We enjoyed the ease of access to the Lido Marketplace a little better and we ended up taking the majority of our meals there. The food quality was good. Again not great but certainly not bad either. Chef's Table - We signed up for the Chef's Table dinner. It is only open to 12 people for the entire cruise and it costs 75 USD per person. Before I went I got a little sticker shock but after I went I was sure that we had gotten a bargain. One of the best meals I have ever had in my life. It was nine or ten courses and every one was exceptional. My wine glass never got empty. The coolest thing is you eat in the kitchen and get to see the behind the scenes. Red Frog Pub - Loved this place. My wife and I went there for drinks five times. They have outdoors seating and it was truly exceptional. Friendly staff and very, very relaxed. The Red Frog Pub Ale is really, really good. My wife absolutely loved the Ting Mojitos. Disembarkation - This went smooth. We chose to take our stuff ourselves and we went off as soon as the gangway was open. It was pretty early but we avoided the big rush. The time from our room to the taxi cab was no more than 10 minutes. It helped that we had only one bag and one carry on apiece. Summary - This was a great cruise and can not wait to go another. We will definitely cruise with Carnival again but are open to cruising with other cruise lines as well. Carnival did an exceptional job with this ship in general and our cruise in particular. The cruise director, John Heald is a funny, funny man and did an exceptional job keeping us all informed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2012
I am writing this review on my final day of the 6/27/12 sailing of the new Carnival Breeze. This ship is nothing like the other Carnival Ships you've been on. Carnival took a drastically different design direction, leaving the ... Read More
I am writing this review on my final day of the 6/27/12 sailing of the new Carnival Breeze. This ship is nothing like the other Carnival Ships you've been on. Carnival took a drastically different design direction, leaving the Farcus look and I personally think it's AWESOME. The ship's design and public rooms are much more attractive then other Carnival ships I've sailed on (Splendor, Elation, Ecstasy). A bit of background, My husband and I are in our 40s with three kids (ages 11, 16, 17), I have sailed on approximately a dozen cruises with various lines: Holland America, Disney, RCCL, Carnival, Celebrity. This was our first European cruise. I will start with the staff. Almost every staff member you walk by is friendly and says hello. I was completely pleased with the service aboard this ship. I just sailed on Holland American only 8 weeks before and the service was awful so this was a welcome change. How was our stateroom, location? First the hallways -- yes, the hallways have this complete Caribbean feel, great slatted doors and ocean looking carpet. Loved the new look here. As a family of 5 we had connecting staterooms with the new 'cove balcony'. The cove balcony's are located on deck 2 and I wasn't sure if I'd like them. They are big open windows cut out of the hull to make a balcony. I really do like it, you are closer to the water and they are quiet, no crazy wind either. Mid ship, low down with a balcony gave us the best of both worlds... having a balcony, less ship movement. With many of the public room decks and formal dining being on decks 3, 4, 5 this was a great location. Our stateroom had great color palette, blue and fold with medium wood tone cabinetry. Very functional spaces, flat screen TVs, safe located where it was accessible, drawer space and ample hanging space for a 12 day cruise. There's also big drawers under the sofa which we didn't even use. Under bed space is high enough to fit even the large suitcases. Bathroom has a decent size vanity (for a ship) and stall shower, all typical. I chose this ship because my family loves cruising and I wanted something other than a Caribbean cruise. Loved the Mediterranean. Carnival seemed like a good fit with kids programs, endless activities, fun and I'd get Europe. On that level it did work. My 16 and 17 year old just love the Carnival O2 concept. It's a cool club-like place to hang out for 15 -- 17 year olds. Really, if they go on the first day, you'll have a hard time spending time with your kids. They meet so many other kids and have a blast. My 11 year old on the other hand was not thrilled with Camp Carnival. He really likes sports and outdoor stuff so the Camp stuff was too young for him with 9 -- 11 year old age bracket. I think this may be better when he hits 12 and can go to Circle C. Being on a Med Cruise, this was a port intensive itinerary. I really enjoyed the ports but Carnival's pricing on their shore excursions is outrageous to me, especially when I have to multiply everything by 5. Here's my personal experience with our ports and how some of pricing works out too. 1. Marseille, France -- we took a cab to the downtown harbor, took a boat to Chateau du If. It was good for a few hours and you have beautiful views. This is good if you have kids who will just get Basillica'd out. Inexpensive too. 2. Livorno Italy (Pisa and Florence) -- We really wanted to climb the Tower of Pisa, then go to Florence. Cost of the cruise ship excursion to do this 206.99 x 4 = 1024.95(adults) + 196.99 (kid) = $1024.95usd for my family of 5 OUCH!!!!! We booked Rome in Limo tour, $500 Euro (@650 usd) for a private tour for the 5 of us. We got to Pisa before the tour buses and made Tuscany stops too. 3. Civitaveccia (Rome) -- We did the same thing, booked Rome in Limo private tour for the 5 of us. Saved about the same amount at Livorno. 4. Dubrovnik -- hadn't planned anything. Was looking at the shore excursion that Carnival had for kayaking, just too much $$s. Went into town and got a 3+ hour kayak excursion for $34Euros per person. Total cost with child discount $154 Euro (@205 Euro). Carnival was charging $89 per person $445 usd. A big savings here as well. The Old City is beautiful, clean and very affordable. Restaurants are reasonably priced. It all looked so picture perfect, I could only compare it to a European Village at Epcot in Disney. 5. Venice -- We didn't plan anything. Just figured we'd walk around the city. Glad we didn't take the cruise ship transfer. At 16Euro per person each way to St. Mark's Square it would have cost my family 160Euro to go 2 miles each way. Honestly, if you enjoy walking, walk to St. Mark's Square. Walking is half the fun, going through all the little streets was what we found really fun. Navigating (we used the iphone) but there are lots of little signs with arrows just pointing you in the direction of St. Mark's. If you get lost, no big deal, that's part of the appeal. Really wanted to do a gondola ride but Carnival shore excursion was $99 per person x 5 = $495 OUCH!!!! They included the transfer to St. Mark's + free time and a 40 minute gondola ride. If you didn't have 6 people, they'd add people to your gondola as well. We just arranged with the gondola on the water, $100 Euros (@$134 usd) and a private 45 minute ride. It was perfect, saved a bunch of $$s again. We took the vaparetto (waterbus) back to Piazza di Roma for 7euro per person and then the 1euro people mover. Even though we didn't walk back it was still half the price of the cruise ship transfer. 6. Messina, Sicily -- We decided to go to the town of Taormina, quaint, picturesque town heading towards Mt. Etna. It's where the Italian Cannoli was invented so we had to try them in Taormina. Taxi's are expensive as it's about a 45 minute drive ($150 each way). The ship's transfer was $69 per person. I just kept saying to my husband "We can't spend $350 for a cannoli!!!!" I did some searching and found that the train station was a 10 minute walk from the pier. The train to Taormina was only 35Euros roundtrip for my family of 5. Yup, 35 Euros as compared to $350. Also, you get to ride the train which goes right along the ocean and get amazing views as you enter Taormina. You do need to take a taxi to the town but the taxi was 15 -- 20 Euros so it was still a huge savings. It also gives you a chance to experience a bit of local life. Things I wish Carnival would do/misses: 1. Put a paper holder in your cabin on the wall so you don't have to keep all those papers on the limited desk space. 2. Have larger (or some tables) non-smoking area of the casino. 3. Offer a way to preview photos electronically. I can't stand looking through thousands of photos to find mine. The use of the green screen is great but why not take green screen shots and let you choose your background digitally. This all seems so behind the times in an age of digital photography. Piles of photos, tons of processing, most of which end up in the trash. 4. Expand their room service menu for breakfast. Danish, cereal, limited fruit.... It's really boring. 5. Putting Cucina de Capitan under the basketball court -- argh, it's really noisy dining there. 6. Need another self service laundry room, the lines are awful. C'mon you are charging $6.50 to wash and dry in the do it yourself, have a few more please). 7. Add another O2 counselor. 1 adult for all those teenagers is not enough. She needs some help for sure. Things Carnival hit it right on this ship: 1. Public areas that are broken up with outdoor deck space. The way they utilized the Ocean Breeze Deck on 5 is perfect. Quiet areas with umbrellas and tables to enjoy drinks away from the loud noise and bustle of the main pool areas. 2. Lido deck -- major improvements, faux trees, covered high tables overlooking the ocean, great decor, loved the look and feel of the lido. 3. Themed restaurants -- great the way you can just go to the burger place, or the Mexican place, love the Cucina de Capitan at lunch where you order at the pasta bar and they bring it to you. I really like what they've done with the concept. 4. Sports Deck -- whole family loved this, the mini golf, ropes course, outdoor spaces with pool tables, fooseball. There are tons of people and it's popular. The Carnival Water Works is a blast too and slides are fun. 5. Getting rid of needing coins in the laundry. Some tips: 1. If you are a family like ours, we have iPads, laptops, phones. There are 2 outlets in your room that are accessible. Bring a power strip with you. 2. Arm and Hammer makes concentrated laundry detergent pods, they are not liquid so easy to travel with. Bring your own in a Ziploc and bring your own dryer sheets. Better detergent and you don't have to worry about finding some when their machines run out. 3. There's no conditioner in the staterooms, if you use it, bring it. The shampoo isn't great either, I'd bring your own. 4. Pre-print a sheet of labels with your name, address and mobile phone #s. You can use this on all the luggage tags that are given to you. Saves a ton of time. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
We began our cruise in Barcelona, stay there beforehand or after, but it is a great city to tour! We could embark at 11:30, so we were there around this time. There was a long line, but it moved very quickly and were on the boat within an ... Read More
We began our cruise in Barcelona, stay there beforehand or after, but it is a great city to tour! We could embark at 11:30, so we were there around this time. There was a long line, but it moved very quickly and were on the boat within an hour from when we got there. The port terminal is nice and new and it definitely shows. Once we got on the boat, we went to our room, which was not ready yet, but we were able to get in. The rooms are GREAT! We had a balcony which was very spacious, had a beach lay out chair and two sitting chairs. We had a little bit longer balcony than other rooms because we were right next to the Aft. We had the king size bed which was great and the bathroom was very nice. It had plenty of room around the sink to set things there. There was also plenty of room to store our clothes in the closet and drawers. The TV was nice and Carnival has done a nice job of adding more channels to the TV (not that you need to be in the room watching anything!). They also added this self service tab to see how much you have spent on the Sign & Sail Card as well as what is on the menu for dinner. We then went to explore and found what would be one of our favorite places, Red Frog Pub. We went in there, got a drink, and they took our picture which would end up be displayed just for that day. We had a great time in there, they play live music in there and it was just a lot of fun. My husband loved the Red Frog beer. Then we went outside and hung out at the Blue Iguana Bar and the Red Frog Bar which is by the main pool The pool is very nice because it gives this shallow area where you can sit in, so you don't have to get soaking wet, but get a little nice refreshing coolness. Then we went and tried the watersides. There are two! The orange one was my favorite, but the yellow is just as fun! We also did the mini-golf which was harder than it looks. It was 9 holes and definitely recommended as well. Our dinner and service was excellent each night. The Chateaubriand was delicious! I still dream about it! I think the Melting cake is also a winner, but it seemed the desserts were a lot better than my last cruise because I rarely got the melting cake! We also paid money to go to the Steakhouse- Fahrenheit 55, which was good. I am not sure it was amazing, but def. a good steakhouse. I had the surf and turf which was good. The problem was, we left feeling disgusting because we were so full. The shows were actually pretty good on this boat. I think they have done a much better job of making them not so cheesy. We had The Brits, Divas, Latin Nights, and Motor City. Divas was definitely the best show, followed by Latin Nights. Motor City was okay and The Brits was decent. I definitely recommend seeing them all (especially on a 12 day cruise!), however, Divas and Latin Nights is a must. We also had this hilarious comedian and magician, John Lenahan which actually put on the BEST show of them all. I highly recommend if he has a show one night, go to it!!! We cracked up about his banana joke for the rest of the cruise. We also went often to the Punchliner Comedy Shows which were decent. We had 6 different comedians throughout the time of the cruise. There were two British comedians who were not as good as the Americans, but maybe we didn't get their humor as well as the Americans. They were funny....but not our cup of tea necessarily. We also went to the Punchliner Comedy Brunch Shows which the food there was EXCELLENT! Go! Another show was the Hasbro Game Show--I got up there the first night. This was entertaining and fun! If you get up there--more fun, however, even being part of the audience was fun. My husband really liked Guy's Burger Joint---I recommend it as well. I also liked the Blue Iguana Cantina tacos. The chicken and fish were good. I loved this boat, even though there were a lot of people on the boat, it never felt like it was busy anywhere. I never had to wait in line too long or anything. I loved that! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
My daughter and I enjoyed our cruise, however we found ourselves continually comparing this ship to our favorite, which was INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS in the Royal Carribbean fleet. We expected this ship would be comparable due to it being ... Read More
My daughter and I enjoyed our cruise, however we found ourselves continually comparing this ship to our favorite, which was INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS in the Royal Carribbean fleet. We expected this ship would be comparable due to it being new. We found that was not the case, so we were slightly disappointed. However, there is nothing wrong with the ship and we found it adequate to have a pleasant trip. The cons of the ship were the common areas seemed small. It did not have the expansive open spaces we expected. Some of the food, while prepared fresh at the Pizza Pirate and the Mongolian Wok created long lines and lengthy delays to obtain. The cabin temperature never seemed to change despite continually adjusting it. We couldn't seem to get it cool enough at times. The shopping seemed less abundant, but perhaps it was just not spread out as far. The beach pool was not nearly big enough to accomodate the size of the ship with respect to the number of passengers. The Ocean Plaza on deck 5 was where a lot of activities, such as trivia were held and on sea days the doors opening on each side created crosswinds through the plaza. We were very disappointed in the 5D theater - it was extremely small, a fee applied and the show offerings were very limited. The pros of the ship were the crew, the production shows, the seaside theater (albeit old movies were shown), Fat Jimmy's C-side BBQ only available on sea days. Sail and sign kiosks made obtaining information easier than waiting in long guest services lines. You could also change large bills there. The Hasbro game shows were fun. The casino was nice size, with nice game choices. Overall, it was a nice trip, just nothing spectacular. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
We just returned from the second voyage of the Carnival Breeze. Here are my impressions. The staff was great. Just a few little glitches not worth mentioning -- chalked it up to working out the kinks still. I agree about the decor. ... Read More
We just returned from the second voyage of the Carnival Breeze. Here are my impressions. The staff was great. Just a few little glitches not worth mentioning -- chalked it up to working out the kinks still. I agree about the decor. I'm used to something a little more elegant and the Carribean theme did seem out of place after spending the day viewing the ornate cathedrals in Italy. But it didn't affect my enjoyment of the trip at all. The food was mostly disappointing. I had to keep telling myself that's not why I was there. It was just very frustrating to have so many choices in the Lido Marketplace and not be able to find anything edible (or even warm for that matter). Not even the desserts -- the chocolate chip cookies were hard and flavorless. The meals in the dining room were better. Not spectacular though. A few winners -- like the warm chcolate melting cake which is on the menu every night and the crab cake which we all enjoyed the one night it was offered. Other than that, everything was mostly just OK or a little better than OK. Guy's Burgers were very good as was the pizza from the Pizza Pirate (both of which I fell back on quite a bit due to lack of anything good on the buffet). The tacos and burritos at the Blue Iguana were just OK, The Indian food was spicy and tasty, but you can only eat so much of that. The dinner we had at the Cucina del Capitano (12$ and change for one adult) was very good and felt elegant and fun at the same time. We didn't see a lot of shows. We saw one comedian at the Punchliner who was very disappointing, but I'm sure it just depends who you see. The Hasbro kids show was a big hit with my son. The live musicians were sometimes good and sometimes not. The Thrill Theater is only worth it if you pay the 14$ for access through the whole cruise. I took my son once -- on the last day -- and payed 7$ each for a 13 minute movie. He loved it, but I didn't feel I got my money's worth. We mostly toured on our own, and only took 2 ship excursions, which were nice, but a little rushed (Taormina and Ancient Greek Theater in Messina, and Morano, St George Island with a gondola ride in Venice). All other stops we did on our own (Marseilles, Rome, Venice, Dubrovnik). The cruise director John Heald was the highlight of the cruise. That man is hilarious! We didn't make it to many of his shows live, but thoroughly enjoyed watching him on tv in our cabin. His morning dedication show with Calvin was worth getting up for. They should put him in the Punchliner! If you have kids, they will LOVE the Breeze. My son (11) couldn't get enough of the water slides, rope course, Camp Carnival and Guy's burgers. And for that reason alone we would sail with Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
We have sailed with Carnival before and have been happy enough, but this is the first Carnival ship I would actually go out of my way to book again! There is no excuse to be bored on this ship, no matter what your age. The sky course and ... Read More
We have sailed with Carnival before and have been happy enough, but this is the first Carnival ship I would actually go out of my way to book again! There is no excuse to be bored on this ship, no matter what your age. The sky course and sports square was a hit with my 9 year old; he walked the sky course 30 times or more. We spent a great deal of time on the shuffleboard and foosball tables in the Red Frog pub, where they also have various board games available. The interior decor in the Breeze is noticeably different from other Carnival ships, and in a good way. Tasteful colors and patterns make it different from the clown-inspired designs of Carnival ships past. I used the early saver program to upgrade my interior cabin to a cove balcony, and I am spoiled now! The cove balcony is a lower balcony on level 2, very close to the water, and shaded by the lifeboats above, so you aren't blasted by the sun like on a regular balcony. I have seen others complain that because the galley is directly above many of the coves they are kept awake by noise all night, but this was not my experience at all. We mostly ate in the buffet, as dining rooms on cruise ships are notoriously slow, and we don't like to dress up just for a meal. We do like the more casual dress code Carnival has now, and spent a couple of nights in the Blush; thanks again to Junior and Ephram, fantastic waiters (and dancers/singers!). I should also mention the ports of call on this particular itinerary were Barcelona, Marseille (very disappointing, second worst IMO only to any port in Jamaica), Livorno (we took the excursion to Florence, well worth it!), Civitavecchia (went to Rome, of course, great times), Dubrovnik (my son's favorite port, we took the cable car and then went snorkeling and saw tons of fish!), Venice (good as always), and Messina (took the Taormina on your own excursion, very nice little tourist town). Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
Preliminarily, this was my second cruise (the first being a Caribbean one on Royal Caribbean). However, I have travelled extensively throughout Europe on business and I am a seasoned traveller. The decision to book on Carnival was not my ... Read More
Preliminarily, this was my second cruise (the first being a Caribbean one on Royal Caribbean). However, I have travelled extensively throughout Europe on business and I am a seasoned traveller. The decision to book on Carnival was not my own, but I was part of a group of about 12 persons which included my partner. I exclude from this review any commentary about ports or Carnival organized excursions (we organized all of of our own, at significantly reduced prices). I'll also say that I am in my mid-to-late 20's: I'm not being an old crabby person when I complain about a lack of formality, quiet spaces, children, etc. I've got my fair share of patience and I am not wealthy. This was the Breeze's second sailing, Barcelona->Barcelona with ports in Marseilles, Pisa, Rome, Venice, Dubrovinik, Palma de Mallorca, et al. It was a 12 night cruise with 8 ports (I believe). We set sail on 6/12; you can look it up. On the whole, I would characterize the experience as "mediocre." Many parts of the ship left me feeling underwhelmed, but the nice ports and time spent off ship contributed to a generally positive feeling. Were there more sea days or was I on a less engaging itinerary, I believe this review would be far more negative. I apologize for my rather disjoint comments, but a bulleted list is the most convenient way for me to discuss the experience: * I really enjoyed the Piano '88 bar and pianist Ron Pass. This is how most of my evenings were spent. A young guy, he lacked the smoky gruff I've become accustomed to in piano men, but he could do a dead-on Elton John. He was a bit repetitive night after night, but I understand that tips dictate his play list. This venue attracted its fair share of nightly regulars. * I'd heard rumours of Carnival as the "discount cruise line" and moreso than the staff and experience it was the other clientèle who reinforced this notion for me. Dining room dress code was generally ignored (nor was it enforced) and there was a general lack of decorum elsewhere. Being American, some portion of this could be attributed to European customs (European passengers were 1/3+ of our ship; the Russian contingent was also significant). While I respect their different beliefs, the occasional lack of decorum for queueing and personal space was a bit off putting. * Our group took formal dining every evening. Props to our server Tomaz and his attentiveness and patience with special requests. I wouldn't call the food "excellent", but it was generally "good", and there were some very nice presentations and a nice variety of selections (including an "every day" menu featuring some staples). I would encourage people to avoid the "comfort items", which seemed to have an over-emphasis on portion size and fried food. The tiramisu was absolutely delicious. Order meat one degree more rare than what you'd actually like to get. * Main auditorium entertainment was underwhelming both in selection and execution. My favorite was "The Brits", a show featuring Beatles tunes and others from the same era. There is something to be said for that fact that half of this show was projected on a giant screen (and not sung live) -- and it was still the best. The "Divas" show was also said to be respectable; with the magic act and talent show well below par. * Children. Children. Children. They are everywhere. They are loud. When sea days roll around (or the various "Camp Carnival" events let out for the night) they were everywhere. There is an adults only pool area (impossible to find a seat on sea days). Besides that, nowhere was exempt from the noise. Though the library bar is quite a nice space, it was full of kids playing games. I could find nowhere to get work done outside my cabin. With two of us trying to work, this meant one of us got the cabin desk and the other had to sit in the bed -- which wasn't very conducive to productivity. A simple adults only area could go a long ways in improving this. * I attended about ~3 comedy shows. On my particular cruise there seemed to be an over-emphasis on British comedians. Their slang and style seemed to go over the head of many in the audience. Some American comedians came on board later into our cruise, but I cannot offer comment on their performances. * The "Punchliner Comedy Brunch" offered on sea days in the main dining room was a pretty nice meal and alternative to Lido deck breakfast. However, the comedy component was nothing to be impressed with (a 5 minute advertisement occurring once hourly). Actually, try to avoid it, as the servers tend to step aside while the performance is under way. * Regarding lido deck dining: We were usually in a hurry to get off the ship at port (and I am not the best early riser). Breakfast lines were pretty large, but going to the Blue Iguana Cantina (mexican station) was a nice opportunity to *quickly* get a wrapped breakfast burrito that could be taken off ship. It had far shorter lines than the standard breakfast offerings and was pretty delicious. * We disembarked around 8AM for most ports and were back on board ~3-4PM. Having eaten breakfast, we didn't really take lunch in ports. Starving back on board, dining options were extremely limited around this time. It was either do Guy's Burgers (grease-fest) or wait in line for the limited deli options (cooked on demand). * Late night dining was also a disappointment. The pizza joint was open 24 hours and was quite good. Unfortunately, lines were long as they seemed to insist on cooking pizzas to order. The itinerary did mention "late night snacks from midnight-2AM". To the best of my searching, this did not exist on the first half of our cruise. When it did show up on the second half, it consisted of (1) hot dogs, (2) buffalo chicken sandwiches, and (3) potato chips -- EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Just call 24 hour room service and throw them a Euro or 2; they have more healthy, fresh, and prompt offerings. More often, I fixed a plate when lido dinner opened @ 5:30 or 6:00 (prior to my 8:15 late formal dining) and threw it in the cabin mini-fridge and ate it when my midnight or 1AM cravings rolled around. * Internet service was "decent". Satellite internet obviously comes with challenges and is inevitably frustrating. I did pricing per the minute (no pre-bought package) @ $0.75 minute, and was generally able to complete an email check in ~3 minutes time. In the more mundane ports, I found a cafe, had a drink, and drained the bandwidth out of their free wifi connections. * Our ability to bring alcohol onboard was absolutely unrestricted. We disembarked with a large amount in a disguised fashion, and when that ran out, we brought it on in water bottles. Never a single question or inspection. Maybe it was just super hot and they were encouraging hydration, maybe it was European attitudes, I don't know; YMMV. Good luck. P.S. If you're American, don't buy booze and check it across the pond. We were able to buy completely respectable 750ml vodka (Smirnoff quality) at 3.33EURO in a Barcelona supermarket which we used to fill disguised bottles (and got over 3 gallons on board). * Though crowded on sea days, I quite enjoyed the pools. Shaded seating areas existed (able to put your feet in the water), very shallow pool areas in which to lounge and read, and in-pool seating were a nice touch. Lounge chairs suffered from the usual limited availability and rude "towel-down" reservation system. This was even worse in the adults-only area which featured nice couches, hammocks, and covered round seating (should you be able to get one). * Umbrella tables and the more relaxed (but pool-less) 5th deck attitude was a whole lot better than that up top. I gave the Sky Course (rope course), slides, and etc. a try -- but they weren't as important to me as if, say, I was travelling with children. Lines didn't seem too extreme for these offerings. * My experience with crew was almost universally positive. Granted, this was the ship's second sailing and they probably still had their "A team" on board. Our cabin steward was a bit too "hands on" (endlessly knocking when we were showering to talk to us). He also created some of the most abstract and nondescript towel animals I've ever seen.. * During lido lunch dining there is a free "pasta bar" upstairs at Cucina de Capito (which at dinner becomes a premium restaurant). Few people seem to know this and it comes highly recommended. I also heard "C side BBQ", open only sea days, was quite good, but didn't want to brave the lines. * Given the price point, I found our interior cabin quite spacious and well appointed (robes!). We were at the extreme stern of the ship and we did have some mild temperature issues. Our AC was at full blast, but our room never really got cold. Granted, it was a 100 degree heat wave almost every day in Europe, but the bow of the ship didn't seem to suffer in the same way (where some of our party were staying). In fact, many of the cabin hallways had external blowers in place at night, though I was unable to conclude if this was to dry carpet cleaning or help with air circulation. We never really suffered, but after a 100 degree day in port, it wasn't the pleasant shock we desired, either. You must also have your ship-card in the slot for the A.C, to operate -- though any standard-sized card will work. * Embarkation, disembarkation, and port calls were all quite reasonable and prompt. Announcements seemed to indicate a bit of trouble with some of the Carnival-sponsored shuttles, but we didn't take any of those. There was a general strike in Venice, but this was outside Carnival's control and they seemed to do a quite respectable job in trying to circumnavigate the matter. * A special shout out to "The Taylor's" who amazingly managed not to arrive back on board on time for 3 CONSECUTIVE DAYS (but always made departure). I am sure they got quite a lecture from the staff. * We didn't really participate in too many of the minor on-ship activities. We did give trivia a whirl twice and were unimpressed. First, the hosts had no idea what they were doing (they couldn't pronounce some things correctly during "culinary trivia"). Second, it seems Carnival doesn't mix up the questions much. Some 14 year-old pr*ck aced virtually every question because he had been on a prior cruise with the exact same questions (and still got a trophy!). * Why the paid locations such as the "Red Frog Pub" and "Bonsai Sushi" exist is beyond me. I noticed more staff were using these empty locations than paying customers. Surely, this space could be utilized in a more engaging way. (Poolside bars were doing fine business, though). Same with the 4D theatre. * Lemonade, iced tea, water, and coffee are the free beverage offerings. This is fine. However, is is too much to ask to have an ice machine at every beverage station? There is also some disconnect. A large number of juices are free at formal breakfast and via room service; but you will be charged when you try to order them at a bar. Sorry for tending to place an emphasis on the negative aspects here -- but that is my nature (and Carnival promotional materials will happily tell you everything they are doing right). The southern Med. ports were awesome and spending 2/3 of my non-sleeping time in port, I was quite satisfied with my vacation. If a similar cruise line had the same itinerary at a similar price point, though, I'd certainly give it a try before doing Carnival again. Again, the negativity seemed to stem more from fellow cruisers than the physical ship or its staff. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
Those of you who constantly complain do not bother to read my review. This was a vacation of a life time. The ship was new and beautiful and easy to navigate. We had a inside room on deck 7 which was in the high rent district with a low ... Read More
Those of you who constantly complain do not bother to read my review. This was a vacation of a life time. The ship was new and beautiful and easy to navigate. We had a inside room on deck 7 which was in the high rent district with a low price. Our cabin steward was the best that we have ever had. His name was Gregorio. He called us by name the minute that we went on board. I will never spend the extra money for a balcony or window again. I was worried about not having a window for 12 days but if was perfect. We were 3 to a room and it was fine. Are friends next door even would come over and sit at times and it was still roomy. The cruise was quite port intensive so the first few days we did not use the ship to its full potential. Our 12 yr old son loved the Water Works, Sky Coarse and Sports Square. We hardly ever saw him. Although at times it was hard to find 4 deck chairs together ( Due to the deck chair hogs )We managed. The food on the Lido deck was very good. I thought it was better then the Main Dinning room. The Guys Burgers was good, the arepas and burritos were excellent the Indian excellent and the Pizza was the best we have ever had on any Carnival vessel. We never waited in line for anything. Go to the back of the ship to get your food. People usually use the first one or two lines. There was never any line in the back. That is were the pizza and Indian food is also. The for fee Sushi was very good we ate there twice for a minimal charge 1 dollar for a piece 3 dollars for a roll. The food in the Main dinning room was mostly good only had a few Great! things. But if you are to tired from your port intensive day we learned they serve the same food in the buffet at night that they serve in the dinning room. We all decided half way through that we would only go to the dinning room on sea days. This was much more relaxing for us and we were able to enjoy the ships shows since it is kind of hard to do that with second seating. Bottom line if you can't find anything to eat that you like you are way to picky. I am a gourmet cook and I was pleased by the quality of the food that they served for over 3000 plus people. No body ever seems to remember that. The service on the decks was excellent fast and very friendly. I was even offered to have my plate carried but I declined. Coffee and juice was also delivered to your table for refills in the mornings.We also did the Chef's Table Dinner. It was excellent experience and worth the $75.00 extra charge. Entertainment was fun. This was more of a destination cruise for us. It is always good when you have a great time with the people that you are with. We did not do any excursions with Carnival. I am an experienced cruiser and chose to have private tour companies. I felt that the Carnival tours were very expensive and we did twice as much as the tours offered for half the price. We did have a transportation strike in Venice which was totally blown out of proportion. I am sure that you will here some complainers from that. All in all this was a excellent cruise for the money people do not realize that on other cruise lines you pay twice as much for the same thing. If you are one of these complainers my advice to you is to win the lottery and charter your own cruise ship then maybe you will be happy. But, probably not. Happy Sailing!!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
We were booked on the 2nd sailing of the Carnival Breeze. I try and be very laid back in my critiquing but there is so much to critique about the Breeze. The embarking went every well and we were in our cabin and to the library by 12:30. ... Read More
We were booked on the 2nd sailing of the Carnival Breeze. I try and be very laid back in my critiquing but there is so much to critique about the Breeze. The embarking went every well and we were in our cabin and to the library by 12:30. Walking to the library you could see the soiled passage ways and steps from the previous cruise. I wondered how they would look after a number of cruises and lets just say after ours they looked even more worse for the wear. Our cabin #6477 had a very nice size balcony but there is little drawer space for 12 days. We were directly over the piano bar and near another of the night clubs and unless we relaxed with a number of beers it was tough to fall asleep with all the noise. Very poor planning on our part and on the design of the ship to have cabins above such noisy areas. We went to one of the shows and it was very entertaining but short...less than 35 minutes. The rest of our down time we spent with reading books from the library. Our balcony was one deck-up and down wind of the barbecue that was opened sea days and you could definitely smell it when we were out. During the sea days people as usual got up early and grabbed up all the beach chairs around the pool but a lot of them never were in use...just towels sitting on them. I read how the policy was to remove the towels after 30 minutes of non-use but We never saw it happen. Our dining room experiences were fantastic because of our waitstaff. Atmaja was a gem and we requested his section every night. The food on the other had left a lot to be desired. I'm not a big eater but I can honestly say I never left feeling full. We ate in the specialty steakhouse for our anniversary and the food was very good but the variety was just not there and the main dining room had a more varied dessert menu. The first day lunch buffet was fantastic, I just wish it had stayed as great the rest of the cruise. We were able to only eat in main dining room for breakfast on certain days and when we asked to a seat by the windows it was like we were asking for gold. When walking around the ship there were cups and room service trays laying out for hours, that along with the dirt on the floors made the ship seem unkempt. The one bright point was the itinerary, the only port we didn't like was Marseille and kudos to the staff for getting transportation rounded up for Venice when a 24 hour strike of public transportation hit. Our last night in the dining room was very nice and leaving all the friends we met was very sad. We had saved all the towel creations from the first night and wanted a group picture with them the last night. But when we came back from dinner they were all gone so that left a bad taste in our mouth. All and all not a bad cruise, just not one that left you wowed about going and spending your hard earned money on. After planning for almost a year it was a let down in many areas. The debarkation was a joke. The cruise director kept plugging for people to walk off on your own and when we left our cabin at 6:30 we had trouble getting thru the passageways and had to weave our way down. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
We started out flying from Vegas to London spent two nights and discovered our first hop on hop off bus tour this is the easiest way to explore any city . Barcelona was a wonderful city easy to explore and we spent 3 days pre cruise our ... Read More
We started out flying from Vegas to London spent two nights and discovered our first hop on hop off bus tour this is the easiest way to explore any city . Barcelona was a wonderful city easy to explore and we spent 3 days pre cruise our jet lag was gone because we had been in London first our hotel was located on the corner of las rumbas and catalunya perfect location great little balcony basic room with Ac hotel medium monegal 170 euros per night staff spoke English and were always very helpful we took cab from airport because of baggage for all four of us and 10 pcs of luggage it was 20 euros and the same for cab to port we requested a van we used the ATMs to get euros very easy but most places excepted credit cards and all restaurant receipts listed total in pounds euros and dollars Port was very easy and fast we arrived at 100 and our room was ready it took about 20 min everyone was pleasant and we were able to drop off our carry ons and go to lido deck for lunch every thing on the ship is in English tv all staff speak mostly English and all of our daily agendas We only took one ship excursion an and that was to go to Florence on our own Other ports we usually got off and took a cab or just walked Rome we stayed over night at a hotel and we had tickets to the Vatican for 3:00 just walked in as later in afternoon most cruisers are gone we were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and we were allowed to attend 5:00 mass at the Vatican because my husband and our friend wore knights of Columbus emblems on their shirts so the Swiss guard invited us to attend behind the gated off part of the Vatican it was amazing we had dinner at the top of the Spanish steps and went to the Trevino fountain at night all within walking distance of each other be careful to ask prices as it was so hot we stopped at a cafe near the Vatican and they asked if we would like ice cream we agreed and ended up paying 35 euros for a bowl of gelato this ws the only place this happened it was good but not that good We had taken the train into Rome and returned to the ship by train it was fairly easy and others from the ship help everyone once in Rome we took a taxi to our hotel Venice was easy we rode the vaporetto boat got off and on as we chose and ate dinner Then returned to the ship when we got off we walked to the people mover train it's dark green it cost one euro per person and takes you into the center were you can walk take a bus or get on the vaporettos be aware it closes at 11:00 so we had to take a taxi back to ship but for 4 of us it was only 15 euros but we had to ask a few drivers as some were saying 25 or 30 The second day we went to murano and then we went to lido island it's the last stop on vaporetto 1 it's were most of the locals live and if you walk all the way down to the end of the main street it's the most amazing beach the sand is smooth as silk and the water is like bath water there are play areas for children and a band plays at night around 5 all the locals come out and it's a party bring bug spray knats also come out at dusk it was one of my favorite stops Croatia is also amazing we got off the ship and wanted to take a taxi to old town the driver offered to take a tour for 50 euros the four of us got to see the entire island we were up at the top of the tram area he took us to the best places for pictures and eventually dropped us off at old town we explored old town and then for ten euros each took a 45 minute glass bottom boat ride around the harbor the most interesting things are the toilets in the public area they look like stainless steel shower pans and nothing to hold onto when you need to squat over it so take my advice and use a restaurant at all stops in Europe we laughed in London when the baggage carts are free but you had to pay a pound to pee. We took a taxi back to the ship for 10 euro for the four of us Messina you can walk to the little town and get hop on hop off buses or take the train just out side the gate to the beach the beach water is cold and sand not the cleanest you can go into restaurants and pay to use the beach they have this port we would not mind staying on board ship Over all this was a great cruise and the sea days were wonderful and relaxing Ship was great had to be early to get chairs extra early on sea days lots to do food on lido excellent lots of variety book pre cruise for restaurants they sell out fast disappointed in dinning room service not the greatest and food same as buffet but not as hot every night we dined about 8 out of the 12 nights . Each night someone had to send food back or didn't get what they ordered, staff is not trained in wine service so suggest you open your own wine prior to going to dinning room or the cork will be in the bottle. The entertainment in the dinning room is great and they should have matre d sing at the piano bar he's wonderful. We had two formal nights and others pretty informal wish it had been better communicated prior to trip so we could have taken less clothes they allowed shorts most nights in dinning room so could have gotten away with sundress if doing this again would wear sun dresses most days and light shawl to enter holy places also easier to use Europe rest rooms We had a great time Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
Firstly the Ship is great! I'm glad i wasn't on one of the gaudy Carnival ships i have read so much about. Its still pretty bright but mainly in a nice way.The inside cabins are a bit small but adequate. The staff on board ... Read More
Firstly the Ship is great! I'm glad i wasn't on one of the gaudy Carnival ships i have read so much about. Its still pretty bright but mainly in a nice way.The inside cabins are a bit small but adequate. The staff on board were wonderful from our little ready Freddie cabin boy, To our fantastic waiters in The lower Blush Restaurant. So a special thank you to Marcel, Norbert and Hansard?? These three made each night fun and made sure we got what we wanted. Everyone remembers your name from Ken the Marvellous Matre de down to the waiters and barman. How they do it i do not know. We took off the 240 dollars pp that Carnival add straight away on your bill for tips and gratuities (bloody cheek!). As you also pay a tip on the drinks as well! We Tipped everyone who was good to us often with a nice envelope at the end, for those who were exceptionally good. But the food was so good we ate there most nights, we didn't feel it necessary to pay 30 dollars extra to eat in the New york Steak house or 16 for the Italian. The food in the buffet was mainly good (only one bad experience), though often not hot. OK for breakfast and lunch but not for dinner. The burger bar was exceptional, The Indian nice.The choice was fantastic i Particularly liked the New York Deli where you could get a tasty sandwich with a nice big side salad. There can be long queues at the Mongolian wok etc. People dress smart casual for dinner with only one elegant evening, where lounge suits jackets were appropriate. It was very pleasant. There's a packed programme and all the ports were nice, Dubrovnik palma mallorca Venice and Salerno all really good we made our own way to pompeii from Salerno its easy, cross over to the bus station and take a bus then get the train back This cost us 4.20 euros/ dollars each return instead of the 150 dollars the ship charges. The trip to Florence was good but it was very packed there and there was lots of line standing , so we went off and did our own thing. Cancelled Rome the next day as we had spent 12 hours travelling and sight seeing the day before in Florence. Would be nice if these 2 were not next to each other so you could rest up in between, it was 40 degrees over 100 Fahrenheit. So you need some stamina. Venice there was a local strike and we had to stand in line for 45 minutes to get off the ship. However Venice is so beautiful you soon forget. The Entertainment was not to my liking very much With the exception being Ron Pass in the New York Style piano bar who was exceptionally talented with great bar service from Sylvia!!!. WE are English and the entertainment is geared up towards an American audience more. I Liked the Theatre shows but being an American cruise, i was hoping for more Las Vegas type shows with feathers and plumes and lots of colour. The two shows are Divas (OK) and Latino (very good) the scenery is mainly computer generated and geared up to a young crowd up to about 30 yrs prob. These shows were repeated twice during 12 days. John the entertainment manager again not to our liking even though he is English and the comedy club not much good either. Still you are there to see Europe and lots of people did like him and the constant banter. The at sea days were very crowded with the beds really far to close together. The serenity deck was a lovely haven, but you had to be up early to grab a bit of that. I didn't like the dirgy country music played live for hours on sea days, but the friends i made from Texas did. so..... Other moans are that some of the theme restaurants close at 2.30pm and its advertised in the daily sheet as closing at 8.30pm A bit early for non Americans. One LAST Moan, When you embarque at Barcelona there are NO DISABLED OR SPECIAL ASSISTANCE LINES. And the check in is Chaotic to say the least. Didn't save any time checking in on line. So made it a very uncomfortable start to the cruise for people like me who need a bit of help. Over all it was a great cruise, with lovely staff and great places to visit. a BIT OF TWEAKING and it will be excellent. Read Less
Carnival Breeze Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 2.0 3.6
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.0

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