Sail Date: October 2012
This was our second cruise after 20 years. Overall, very disappointed with the food and constant pressure to buy photos, shore excursions, items from the shops and spa services. Cabin was good, clean with adequate closet space , but ... Read More
This was our second cruise after 20 years. Overall, very disappointed with the food and constant pressure to buy photos, shore excursions, items from the shops and spa services. Cabin was good, clean with adequate closet space , but needed more hangers. First lunch was a buffet. I chose the stir fry, where you select your veggies, protein and sauce. Then the cook tosses your choices on a Wok along with a cup of water, covers the dish with a lid for 60 seconds. The result is a soupy dish of wet ingreds. I would describe the buffets like a Food Court during a Black Friday sale at a Mall. Dinner was in the optional price steakhouse. Now, that was excellent. The service attentive and the beef cooked perfectly. The four of us chose the steakhouse because there was an offer for a free bottle of wine only on the first night. This excellent dinner raised my expectations for the rest of the voyage. Next morning, we were woken on the PA to be advised that due to high winds and small port entrance, we would not be able to tie up at Monaco. Disappointment to say the least. Breakfast buffet... powdered scrambled eggs with overly sweetened orange "juice". The coffee after 2 days drove me to brew tea. Toast was on one side of the line, but jam and syrup were across the aisle. Hard boiled eggs were prob cooked for 10 minutes on a high boil resulting in the telltale black outline. Told the Maitre'd about the HB eggs, but no change. Dinner, they greeting desk tries to seat you to share a table, not always wanted. You have to be aggressive. For every seated meal, the first person to attend was the cocktail server who would not bring the wine.Food in Dining room was good with no shining stars. Each dinner we had to repeatedly ask for lemons in the glass of water, even tho we had the same team. Ports were 60 minutes from the cities and coach drives were described as scenic. Not so, usually high speed routes. The shore excursion in Rome was rushed. Seemed like a sprint for 8 hours. Stop to shoot a scene and the umbrella was 100 ahead. Guides were knowledgeable and friendly. The best part of the entire 12 days was the locals we met on shore, whether a shore excursion laid on lunch, owners in a retail shop, fruit street vendors or just helpful locals. The entry to Venice in the fog was spectacular along with the historic skyline. We were so fortunate the stand on St. Mark's piazza 10 days before the flood!! Found some reasonable shopping(leather, wool cap, scarf)and wonderful food window displays.The walking along the narrow streets over the canals was a delight. Next morning back to Venice with a water taxi back to the ship to be in time only to learn that the departure would be delayed for 2 hours. Sadly, there was a death onboard. One of the passengers had a medical emergency, was transferred to another boat for further care. However, we were all advised on the PA that he/she had passed away. Shockingly, in the next sentence we were told about the sale on the shops onboard!!. No pause, no moment of silence! The Cruise Director was the voice on the PA became very annoying after the third day. Too loud with forced enthusiasm. The large screen on the Lido deck showed sitcoms( Frazier) and very old movies. Same for the room TV( Rick Steeves) and broadcast of info for disembarkation and broadcast of entertainment where cruise customers were the talent. Comedy club in the lounge, we left after 7 minutes, not funny. Our room was clean and comfortable. the two twins pushed together resulted in a seam to deal with. The cabin staff and for that matter serve staff addressed me as MR. Richard( my first name, not last). I guess this was the training. Felt weird. The emphasis was on the manner of address and animals fashioned out of towels, not upscale thoughtful service. At Dinner, one of asked for extra vegetables. We received more potatoes and some carrots... no greens. At another dinner, mashed potatoes were included. The server asked if I wanted a Baked potato...I got both. Desserts were on the too sweet side. So, we were constantly reminded about the level of service and quality of food in the Italian optional Captain`s Table resto. We booked a table for 4. Arrived, met a couple that we met on board and agreed to all 6 dine together. I asked the Maitre`d if we could switch from 4 to 6. She rolled her eyes and said she would look. After a few minutes, she said she was able to switch. When we were guided to our seats, the room was more than half empty?? I ordered the Melanzane which was inedible, overcooked mush and too oily. When asked how I enjoyed it, looking at the still full plate, I described the failure. Shock on her face, but no offer to replace, substitute or credit. Everywhere on board, they play music at volume. We found the Wine Library, still PA music. It has an auto wine vendor. You use your ship's card to select and pour a selected flavour of wine in a glass. One selection was off and undrinkable( another cruiser agreed with us). I asked the bar attendant if she could replace the glass of wine. She snapped that the vending machine was automatic, our charge could not be credited and there was nothing that she could do. I insisted on speaking to her supervisor. She replied that he was on break for the next 3 hours. I asked to speak to someone. This had deteriorated. After 15 minutes, an office in white arrived, credited the account advised us that we were the only ones who did not like the wine. I pointed to the guy at the bar. The whole process was unpleasant. The staff are unwilling or unable to resolve complaints. On the exterior decks, the majority are constantly wafted by cooking odours, not fresh sea breezes. With the constant pressure to spend more cash on board, I started to call the ship by the "Carnival Squeeze". Read Less
Sail Date: September 2012
A friend and I chose the Carnival Breeze Mediterranean cruise because of its itinerary and it departed from and returned to the same port. This was my 16th cruise overall, and second on Carnival (the first being on their early ship, ... Read More
A friend and I chose the Carnival Breeze Mediterranean cruise because of its itinerary and it departed from and returned to the same port. This was my 16th cruise overall, and second on Carnival (the first being on their early ship, Carnivale). What we liked: our room (#7220) which is towards the front of the ship and has storage rooms on either side, so it was very quiet. Our room steward, Christine, was outstanding and knew our names from the time we boarded. Robe in room, convenient and means not packing your own. Ship's decor was nice, but public areas seemed small for the number of people. The ship was clean and the crew was always cleaning. What we didn't like: Meals were hit and miss. We had a couple of hits, but overall would rate the food as heavy. There was plenty of food and no one will starve, but the Lido selections were lots of casseroles, and more like Golden Coral buffet, but short on veggies. We felt the same way about Guy's burgers and the barbecue. Very much cafeteria food. We were disappointed that there was never a dining room service for lunch on any of the days (unless you count the Comedy Brunch). Dinner service was especially low. We chose Your Time Dining, but Carnival doesn't have the hang of it yet. Dinner for two meant being assigned a table only inches (like 6-10 inches) from other tables in a "bank." Once there were about 10 of us, we were treated as one table and served that way. The waiter introduced himself to the group and made a group recommendation. It was very "assembly line" service and we were served in sync. Rather the worst of both worlds. Not the comraderie and conversation of group dining, and not the privacy and individual service of Your Time dining. I did not attend the evening entertainment, but my friend said it was okay, but the shows in the Ovation Theater had a very busy, high tech background that detracted from the performances. (I glanced in at it one night and knew immediately that it would give me a migraine.) She was also disappointed that the shows go with the ship, so she will not take a Caribbean cruise on the Breeze in the Spring as planned, having already od'd on them this trip. The cruise was a good value for the ports we visited, but I felt constantly aware of Carnival's cost-cutting. Nor did I like the herd-feeling of the big ship. I'd say it was my last cruise with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
Arrived the day before departure and stayed at Renaissance Airport Hotel. Easy, free shuttle from airport to hotel. Early checkin request (9am) was honored. Paid $10 euro each for bus transportation to cruise ship. The Breeze was ... Read More
Arrived the day before departure and stayed at Renaissance Airport Hotel. Easy, free shuttle from airport to hotel. Early checkin request (9am) was honored. Paid $10 euro each for bus transportation to cruise ship. The Breeze was overcrowded!! Practically every public area was overrun with unsupervised children allowed to run (literally) amuck. There were 4 children ages 4-8 in the interior cabin across the hall from us; no adult present. These kids were loud, and constantly ran up and down the hall back and forth to their parents rooms. In other instances, it seemed as if the parents/guardians completely gave up supervising their children. Kids playing on the elevators (pushing every button), screaming, playing with the soft serve machine, food fights, etc. Some of the adults were rude and loud as well; pushing onto the elevators without letting others get off first. Congregating in the hallway outside the laundry room was popular activity!! CABIN--Ocean Suite smaller than Carnival Freedom. Balcony real small, chaise lounge couldn't be turned around to face the ocean. No soap dish for sink counter. We had to ask for facial soap. Storage space was sufficient for 2 people. Cabin attendant was excellent; great service. The interactive TV service was great. We could check our Sail & Sign balances, the dining room menus, order room service, etc. DINING--Guy's Burgers were good. Fat Jimmie's BBQ was good, open only during at-sea days, long lines standing in the sun in a very cramped area on Ocean Plaza. Lido for breakfast was always crowded with large, loud family groups. We had "Your Time Dining" in Sapphire and in general, it was ok. We never had to wait for a table. Great to be able to preview the Sapphire's menu on our cabin TV. Pizza place (open 24 hrs) seemed quite popular. Desserts were just ok; much better desserts could be purchased at the Coffee Cafe. OUTDOOR AREAS--Pools ALWAYS crowded except after 5-6 pm. Two small pools for a ship this size seemed inadequate. Poolside viewing of the Olympics was turned off so the scheduled movie could be shown. Cruisers were not happy about this. Seems like someone could have made the decision to continue with the Olympic coverage... The Ocean Plaza area was a great place to hangout as was the Red Frog Pub to hear the live music (Timmy Pierce was great). DECOR--The plastic trees in The Lido area look ridiculous! I understand the ship's Caribbean theme; but these trees are squished up against the ceilings and are dust catchers that will be labor intensive to keep clean. The carpet in Lido was severely stained and seemed of poor quality (our cruise was the only 6th voyage of this new ship). The carpet looked like it had been there for a couple of years. This was also true on some of the stairwells. LAUNDRY ROOM--I think the rates of $3.50 each for the washers and dryers was high. I brought my own detergent and dryer sheets; the little boxes cost $1.75 each and the dispenser was out of order most of the cruise. PORTS--Carnival's prices are quite high for tours. There are many reputable companies that offer private tours which are cheaper and give you more flexibility. You gotta do your homework; read Trip Advisor and other websites-like Rick Steves. I made my reservations before I left home. The various ports of call were all very interesting. We booked a private tour for Rome; it was a Sunday so there was less traffic congestion getting into Rome and getting back to the ship. CAMP CARNIVAL--My nephew and his wife were very pleased with this option for their 3yr old son. He loved going there and usually did not want to leave. They used it at least 9 days while on the cruise. While they were off ship touring, the baby's grandmother stayed on board in case of emergency. Some passengers felt comfortable in leaving for a 8-10 hour tour and leaving their children in Camp Carnival. 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
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: 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: 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
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
Cabins. Excellent Lido Food. Very Good Dining Room Sapphire.Good Casino. Below average- Very little variety Shows. Good Comedy Show- Very good Entertainment.Below average.The quality of singers in bars etc really were not good and ... Read More
Cabins. Excellent Lido Food. Very Good Dining Room Sapphire.Good Casino. Below average- Very little variety Shows. Good Comedy Show- Very good Entertainment.Below average.The quality of singers in bars etc really were not good and you would not want to return to hear them again. Pool and water park area.Very good. Activities on board. Poor. Staff. Found most staff very good and helpful. Ship Tours, Rip off as usual, better off organising them yourself. Liquid night club. Not inviting to any over 30. Internet access. Very expensive It would not take much to put this beautiful ship into the great category. However they really need to up their game when it comes to entertainment and activities.Simple things.For example there was no bridge (card game) organised. I don't play myself but a number of people I met would have loved to have an organised game.Entertainment around the pool was very hit and miss. In the casino people do not want to play on electronic texas hold em and roulette machines.When one stayed overnight in a port the ship was very boring with limited options. Would I go again. Probably not.NCL, Princess, RC offer more fun for your money 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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