54 Barcelona to Europe - Western Mediterranean Carnival Breeze Cruise Reviews

My wife and I cruised on the Carnival Breeze for 12 nights on October 1st and had an amazing time. I am 38 and my wife is 36. We are both avid cruisers, although this was our first non-Caribbean cruise. First some general ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on the Carnival Breeze for 12 nights on October 1st and had an amazing time. I am 38 and my wife is 36. We are both avid cruisers, although this was our first non-Caribbean cruise. First some general observations: -Cruising in the Med in October was a great call. Excellent weather, less crowds, lower price. -Carnival Breeze is an amazing ship with lots of activities. -For those of you who are Carnival regulars this was a much older crowd than you typically see on a Carnival cruise. Some of this is likely a reflection of the time we choose to cruise. No families with kids. My children (12 and 8) stayed with my parents. There were quite a few late 20's early 30's couples and then 70% over 50. -I understood from the crew during the summer there are way more kids. For those of you contemplating bringing kids on this cruise,there is NO WAY I WOULD SPEND THE MONEY TO BRING CHILDREN YOUNGER THAN 12(Probably 14)on this cruise. This is a very active, busy cruise. I can't imagine trying to walk a 6 year old through the Vatican. If you just want to relax save your money and go to the Caribbean.-Carnival Breeze is a beautiful ship. There is tons to do. Carnival has really upgraded this ship. Lots of nice touches compared to the other Carnival ships we have been on. Tons of activities. No excuse for being bored. -Food was very good. I read some reviews complaining about food. The reality is you can not go to the main dining room expecting 5 star dining. The price point of this cruise simply doesn't allow that. The steakhouse is amazing and a great value for a 35 dollar cover charge. You would pay 70-80 bucks just for a steak of that quality in the states. So if you want nicer pay extra. The lido deck food is very good. Again some other reviewers amaze me. Of course the food is more cafeteria style. It's designed to be good but to serve lots of people quickly and in a short amount of time. Guys Burger's is absolutely awesome. I gained weight because of this place. Huge upgrade over the old burger stands on carnival. My only complaint would be to have a little more variety in the main dining room menu. -This was easily the friendliest crew we have had on any of our 9 previous cruises. Best dining team, best cabin steward, hardest working crew, and the list goes on. -Overall entertainment was good. Latin nights was awesome. Brits wasn't very good. -Bottom line this was an outstanding experience. I don't see how someone could have been on this cruise with the amazing itinerary, beautiful ship, and great crew and not had a good time. Bottom line if you can not find a way to enjoy your self on this cruise it is on you. My port reviews are below. Happy cruising.Pre-Cruise, Barcelona-We arrived Sunday morning the day before departure. Naturally lots of jet lag. Used sunshine transfers to pick up from the airport. It was 39 euros to take us to our hotel. Used credit card points to stay at Le Meriden Barcelona on Las Ramblas. Happy with the service. I would have planned on arriving two days before the cruise if I had it to do all over again. There is lots to see in Barcelona and the first day you are just to tired. Also the first part of the cruise is the busiest, so getting your rest in helps. If you stay Las Ramblas area, it is easy to do self guided walks of the sights. Embarkation was very easy the next day. Taxi ride to the port was about 25 euros from Las Ramblas. We were on the boat by 1130. I'll cover debarkation during the ports review section. Do not be afraid to book your own tours! Carnival really pushes their tours but you say way more with less people by booking on your own. We enjoyed our one carnival tour, but were much more impressed with the private tours. Tripadvisor and CC message boards are your friend. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We were curious about the cruising experience, and now, having completed a 12 day cruise, our curiosity is satisfied. In many respects the experience matched out expectations. Cruising is a very comfortable way to travel, with many of the ... Read More
We were curious about the cruising experience, and now, having completed a 12 day cruise, our curiosity is satisfied. In many respects the experience matched out expectations. Cruising is a very comfortable way to travel, with many of the comforts of home, and limited hassles. It is an inexpensive way to go, too, as food in Europe is very expensive, and a cruise ship provides unlimited food as part of the price. There were a few surprises. Because the cruise industry has the capacity to dump huge loads of tourists into port at one time, some of the smaller ports were simply overwhelmed with a crush of people, and one could not escape the feeling, from time to time, of being part of a cattle-call. It was rather un-nerving to be part of such a large crowd, and one couldn't help but wonder how we hoards of tourists were perceived by the locals. I expected, because I'd heard, that shore excursions booked through a cruise line are not a good value (e.g. marked up quite a bit over what one can negotiate independently). We'd done some research on this, and personally felt that what the cruise line tours offered was quite competitive. We were very satisfied. We would probably not try to negotiate train travel in Italy on our own. We attempted to take the train instead of land transportation offered by the cruise line in two ports; Livorno and Naples. In both instances we found that negotiating train stations is a daunting task, made even more so by the fact that few Italians seem to speak much English. And, if you don't know to validate your train ticket before boarding (this is NOT made clear when purchasing your tickets, or clearly explained along the platforms, you may well be fined! All in all, we felt we got what we paid for. A modestly priced European vacation, with lots of good food and ease of travel. And speaking of food; there is a LOT of food. Perhaps for that reason alone many fat people are attracted to cruises. Certainly there were a lot of fat folks on our cruise, so much that it was discomforting to see and a definite turn-off at meal times. I wouldn't recommend one-port-a-day cruising for those who want more than a brief sample of what Europe has to offer. Nor would I recommend it for people who are uncomfortable being part of a LARGE crowd. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We are fun loving "50 something" cruisers with over 40 cruises under (or over) our belt. Our motto is "we've have never been on a "bad" cruise; just some are were better than others". Why ruin your good ... Read More
We are fun loving "50 something" cruisers with over 40 cruises under (or over) our belt. Our motto is "we've have never been on a "bad" cruise; just some are were better than others". Why ruin your good time looking for perfection that will never be. It's unbelievable when I read some of the blogs citing "my cruise was ruined because I only got one pillow mint and not two", or "the cruise line sucks because it rained" Yes, the dirty carpeting on the stairs is somewhat true. So sleep in your nice clean cabin and not on the stairs. It appears the "new" carpet is defective and is like a dirt magnet. But the staff is cleaning it daily and doing there best. It obviously will need to be replaced at next dry dock. Get a life, and go have fun ! So here is what we found on our 12 night cruise aboard CARNIVAL BREEZE A wonderful, port intense itinerary, its staff and the food very good,(especially surprising for Carnival). Its best to choose a specific dining time, as anytime dining will disappoint due to overwhelming demand on sea days. Besides, your regular service team will get to know your food/beverage preferences and work hard to satisfy you. If you miss your selected meal time, go to the Lido, where we found the food abundant, good, and the staff very helpful. Beef, fish, chicken and Pasta at every meal (lots of desert options too). Entertainment was OK, but nothing to write home about. We found the shore excursions. although expensive, very well coordinated and guided by excellent professionals. If they said your tour departs at 8AM, they were on their way at 7:59AM. We found that in each port, the private tour cars were kept away until all Carnival excursions had departed the ship. This angered several guests on private tours who thought they could get off once the ship bumped the dock. Carnival has been hit or miss for us in the past, and we read some of the reviews before we departed, which had us somewhat concerned. We found the design of deck 5 to be a negative for us as balcony lovers, but the rest of this ship to have many nice venues. Also, gone is is "Carnival Glitz" for more subdued colors, and no more Grand Atrium. Now back to deck 5. Deck 5 not only extends aft, but also Port and Starboard, and completely surrounds the ship further than any other deck. This deck contains two elevated ovals containing hot tubs on each SIDE of the ship, two gathering ovals on each side as well, along with food and bar venues. So what does this mean too you? If you love BALCONYS (like we do), you will no have no privacy on deck 6, little privacy on deck 7 and might be OK on deck 8 (we were on deck 7; mid-aft). Regardless, instead of hearing the rustle of water from your prized balcony, you WILL hear conversations, guests looking up at your balcony, the smell of smoke, and if your cabin happens to be in line with one of the hot tubs, a hot tub party. We have never experience this before. Some guests may like this. but we like our balcony to be as private, quiet and smoke-free as possible. Its best BEFORE you choose your cabin, check the deck chart so you will see how deck five ovals line up with your selected balcony cabin. The dirty carpeting on the stairs is somewhat true. It appears the "new" carpet is defective and is like a dirt magnet. But the staff is cleaning it daily and doing there best. It obviously will need to be replaced at next dry dock. So there you have it! Be prepared, and have a GREAT TIME ! Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Just arrived back from our Cruise on the Carnival Breeze and can honestly say that we have just had the best time ever. The ship exceeded our expectations, the staff were very polite and attentive, the Cruise Director was hilarious, ... Read More
Just arrived back from our Cruise on the Carnival Breeze and can honestly say that we have just had the best time ever. The ship exceeded our expectations, the staff were very polite and attentive, the Cruise Director was hilarious, Colin, Tarik and Dean from the Red Frog pub were great fun. Iwayan who looked after our room made us feel so comfortable throughout the cruise. From the minute we arrived at the Ship things went so smooth. The organisation for embarkation was perfect. Breakfast was very busy but we never had any problems being seated, or queueing for food - which I must say had such a variety of choices there was something for everyone. The service in the Sapphire restaurant was very accomodating when we requested a table with a sea view. The food was fabulous and the presentation was lovely. I particularly enjoyed the entertainment the waiters provided during the meal - well done to them!!!. All food areas on the ship had a great variety and presentation was excellent. Food was always replenished when it ran out. There were plenty of sunbeds on sea days, and didnt find that we had to get up early to reserve them. Disembarkation was very well organised. Shore excursions were very expensive so glad that I booked prior to travelling through Cruising Excursions.Com The only thing I was disappointed with was the lack of shows in the evenings, although the shows we saw were very professional. Will definitely be looking forward to taking another Carnival Cruise, hopefully in the Caribbean Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
To give a little information about myself initially: I am in my early 20's and travelled with my boyfriend who is also early 20's. I am British but my partner is Australian and had never been to Europe before so we both thought ... Read More
To give a little information about myself initially: I am in my early 20's and travelled with my boyfriend who is also early 20's. I am British but my partner is Australian and had never been to Europe before so we both thought that a port intensive cruise was an excellent way for him to see all of the sights and have all the amenities of a brand new boat whilst doing so! Neither of us had travelled with Carnival before, and I have to say (being a keen researcher) I was a little concerned with some of the iffy reviews posted on here about the ship. Now I have to say, although i'm not the complaining type this holiday was incredible from the ship, to each and every port and definitely enhanced by the wonderful staff aboard the Breeze. Embarktion: We knew we were possibly shooting ourselves in the foot heading to the port at 1.30 - as we knew this may be the busiest time, but it was remarkably inefficient. Although the queues looked long we were out of the taxi and eating a Guys burger on the ship by 2.40pm...no complaints at all! The Ship: Now I cannot pass comment on the previous Carnival decor, but I loved the look of the Breeze, the atrium was dramatic and unique, and all of the individual public areas were very individual. Some people have commented on uncleanliness already but I saw none of this at all and the boat really did feel brand new. Lido Deck - I agree maybe 2 pools was not enough for the size of the ship, however saying that they were never busy and I think the majority didnt actually use them! The slides were surprisingly good...very quick (especially the yellow one) and the sportssquare was great with crazy golf, and the ropes course. The Cabin: We opted for an interior cabin as we thought we would only use it for sleeping and showering and landed one in an excellent spot, 9 floor, right under the lido deck and stairs up to the pool. I was concerned about noise but this was never a problem. Our cabin steward was the best, and knew our names within the first few hours and proceeded to say hello everytime we left our room (I actually think he had a secret cupboard on our passageway as he was always there working hard!). The food: Another big concern of mine judging the reviews was food - but I dont think I have ever eaten so well in my entire life! Guys Burgers - Very fresh...would have gone back so many more times than once if there wasnt so much other choice to try! Just had a plain cheeseburger, but used pretty much all the toppings and it was delicious! Blue Iguana Cantina - Had a shrimp burrito and it was outstanding! So prawns cooked to perfection and not too spicy, and all the other additions were delicious - made for the best burrito i'd ever eaten! Lido Marketplace - Only ate here for brekkie (and one salad bar) again due to phenomenal choice elsewhere. But the breakfast was vast, I dont think I saw all of the stations in 12 days, omelettes were excellent, and the little unique option on the hot food (quiche one day, eggs benedict another) were so yummy. Only disadvantage is they put the milk before the cereal which seemed a little odd but jees that was nothing to complain about! The salad bar again was so fresh and a huge amount of choice it was lovely! Pasta Bar (Cucina del Capitano)- Im not a huge lover of pasta but my boyfriend and I decided to try this for lunch one day and it was great how you created your own dish, I had a shrimp pasta in the clam sauce and it was really good, and a great way to get some vegetables into you which you can sometimes forget whilst on holiday! Bonsai Sushi - We are both great lovers of sushi and this really did not disappoint , we were a little hesistant ordering something with a surcharge due to the great included selection, but we were not disappointed and the food not only was excellent but was incredibly good value for money. Ordered the sushi ship and between two that included a miso soup each, 16 rolls, 8 pieces of sushi with 4 different types of fish and a side salad with an amazing dressing on it! - That cost $15 for the two of us...total bargain! Jimmys BBQ - Tried this on one of the days and thought it was great - went around 1.45 and there was no queue - loved the pulled pork and the creamed corn - My boyfriend was slightly disappointed the the marinated chicken was cold - but we think that may have been as it was nearing the end of service, however it was still juicy and tasty! Taste Bar - Not sure everyone knew about this even though it was in the funtimes clearly. But was a lovely little addition and meant we could hang on until 8ish to eat dinner each night which worked best to see the shows! I think there was maybe 6 different ones during our cruise - favorite the comfort kitchen one, however all were filled with taste - but were quite spicy! Sapphire dining room - This is where I was really impressed (now I may have ordered exceptionally well) but I would have between 2 and 4 courses every single night in there for dinner, and not one of the plates I was disappointed with. The presentation was exceptional, the fod hot and cooked to perfection and the choice was insane! My tip: if you like seafood - rder seafood dishes! I was never let down! Entertainment - Saw quite a few of the comedy shows, and loved them as a change from the usual ovation theatre choices. But I actually really enjoyed the playlist productions too! My favorite I think was Divas, but all got you singing along and tapping your feet. Hasbro the gameshow was fun if a little slow at times, but anything involving Calvyn and John I found hilarious, especially the Battle of the sexes and liars club. Excursions - We opted to do most places on our own which was never a problem - however we did leave plenty of time to return to the ship. I found the tours to be quite expensive, and we only did two (La Cinta Beach, and Taormina on your own which were purely transfers and we found that it was expensive to use public transport or get a taxi). Ports - All excellent, my favourite was probably Monte Carlo (as we went up to Eze which is well well worth a short bus trip) but I also LOVED venice! Chris fell in love with Dubrovnik. Debarktion - Many have complained about John waking them at 5.30am for debarktion this was mentioned quite a lot leading up to that morning and I can understand why it is necessary to do so. We decided to take our bags with us, grab breakfast and was off the boat in around 35 minutes and into a taxi, so so simple! I think the real key thing to take away from this review is if you go on a (excellent) value for money cruise ship such as this you need to go with a mind to just enjoy every experience. However we have no complaints what so ever and had one of the best holidays I have ever been on. Absolutely loved the Carnival breeze! Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Just returned from our Mediterranean cruise and loved (almost) everything about it. The Breeze is a nice, new ship, comparable to others I have cruised on. For us, the best entertainment was in the Red Frog Pub with very talented ... Read More
Just returned from our Mediterranean cruise and loved (almost) everything about it. The Breeze is a nice, new ship, comparable to others I have cruised on. For us, the best entertainment was in the Red Frog Pub with very talented singer/guitar players in a relaxed atomosphere. We saw a couple of the comedy shows and they were pretty good as well. With only 3 sea days though the purpose of this cruise was to see the ports and we really found it a wonderful way to see this part of Europe for the first time. We did a couple of shore excursions through Carnival and a couple on our own with fellow cruise critic members. Both were good although you are definitely going to pay alot more with Carnival. We loved the beach day in Croatia that we did with Carnival and found it to be good value for the price, $70 which included a lovely seaside lunch. Also the Burano, Murano and Torcello excursion we enjoyed very much. It mentions that it includes a lunch but what it doesn't say is that they take you to one of the nicest restaurants in all of Venice, on Torcello, to experience an authentic Italian meal. It was absolutely stunning! We found most of the staff to be very helpful and friendly, with the exception of a few in the Lido who looked overwelmed. Our room steward was great and very friendly. The food was generally good. I think what they excel at is the fast food (Pizza and Burgers are fantastic). The dining room was hit and miss. Nothing was horrible but I wouldn't say it was fantastic either. Service was good though and I do not go on a cruise with expectations of 5 star dining. The room service menu was considerably smaller then any other ship I have sailed on. It would be nice to see them add a few things to that (eg a steak/chicken dinner, instead of sandwiches ohly) I guess my only complaint would be with the alcoholic beverages. We found them pretty pricey with no real deals on anything. My 23 year old son decided he wanted to purchase the all-inclusive package because he likes his beer and was told that every adult in the room would have to buy the same package at 45 dollars per day each. My daughter and myself aren't big drinkers so it wouldn't be worth it for us. I thought that was unfair and I don't know why they couldn't come up with a picture ID system and a one drink at a time policy to prevent card holders from buying drinks for their roommates. Seems pretty simple to me. We were there for the ports though and boy did they deliver. Absolutely stunning!!! We all loved every one of them. I would recommend this cruise to anybody wanting a taste of Europe. Obviously there is only so much you can see in one day at each port (2 in Venice) but it gives you a little taste of each city you are visiting. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
I have recently returned from a 12 night cruise on Carnival Breeze around the med. I must admit I was quite apprehensive having read some of the negative reviews on here, especially the poor level of food and the numbers of children left ... Read More
I have recently returned from a 12 night cruise on Carnival Breeze around the med. I must admit I was quite apprehensive having read some of the negative reviews on here, especially the poor level of food and the numbers of children left to run wild...........Don't believe a word of it....... Carnival Breeze is a beautiful welcoming ship, each and every guest is made to feel special by the attentive and caring staff. The staff really take pride in their work and everywhere is clinically clean. On board there are many things to do for all ages from crazy golf to the crazy water park on the top of the ship and all are a must. In the evening you have a choice of many bars, a nightclub or can just watch a movie on the top deck relaxed on a sun lounger whist looking up at the stars, with a hot chocolate and popcorn. I particularly liked these evenings. The choice of cuisine is excellent, the lido offers a wide choice for all, and the formal dining is also of a very high standard. There are also some additional restaurants with a supplementary fee, the Italian is worth a try only $10 and provide food and service at a very good standard. All in all, this was my first cruise. I had a balcony cabin which was spacious and very comfortable. The ship, staff and service were excellent. The embarkation processes at each port were managed with such precision. It is very relaxed on board, we had two Elegant Evenings but this is not compulsory and you will see equally as many people relaxing in the robes provided in each cabin. There were only a few well behaved children on board during our cruise and you would not know they were there. I also need to point out the comments relating to the sunbeds are not true, whilst the area round the pool does get busy, there are plenty more sunbeds on other decks. My favorite place the Serenity Deck - adults only, hammocks, luxury sunbeds and a cocktail bar. What more can a gal want. We did not take any of Carnival's excursions but chose to do our own, the ships excursions are quite expensive in comparison. We booked a private tour of Rome with an English speaking guide. This was 500 euros between four people but worth every cent. A train ticket to Florence was 16 euros return and the excursion exceeded 200 euros per person. Just do your homework before you go. All in all an excellent choice of ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Embarkation at Barcelona (pardon the pun) was a breeze, very well organised and we were aboard ship within 30 mins and our cabin on the sixth deck was ready. The decoration of the ship was a bit bold for our taste, but by the end of the ... Read More
Embarkation at Barcelona (pardon the pun) was a breeze, very well organised and we were aboard ship within 30 mins and our cabin on the sixth deck was ready. The decoration of the ship was a bit bold for our taste, but by the end of the cruise didn't notice, design and style obviously directed towards its future sailings in the Caribbean. Our Cabin 6240 was well designed for space, and was spotless clean for our arrival, no complaints whatsoever, we selected cabin for close location to Deck 5 Plaza, and was aware we were situated above the Theatre, but on the basis that the shows would be finished by 11.00pm did not consider this to cause any problems. The Interactive TV is useful to check Menus in Restaurants, Your Bill, Ship Location, etc and had Sky News which was great for keeping up to date with events in the UK. Having explored the ship, we were impressed with the layout of public areas and quality of the fixture & fittings. We opted for Anytime dining which allowed entry into the Sapphire Restaurant Deck 3 between 5.45pm-9.30pm, this proved to be a good choice allowing us the flexibility to eat at a time which was convenient to us, and allow us to either eat on our own or to join others on a larger table, we never had to wait any longer than 5 minutes to be seated. We ate at the Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse on the first night (complimentary bottle of wine on first night)and the food and service was excellent, we considered the $35 supplement per person money well spent on a special treat. When we were getting ready to go out in the evening, if the early show had started the noise from the music below in the Theatre was quite loud, and if you think that you may retire to bed before 11pm, rooms above the Theatre will probably not be a wise choice. Our only complaint about the cabin was that in moderate sea conditions (1 night out of 12) the walls creaked badly which caused us not being able to sleep, this was reported to Customer Services. In general the food within the main restaurant was very good, and if you required your choice to be mixed and matched from the Menu, or required two portions from either starter, main or dessert this was never a problem. We did not eat in the Marketplace Buffet for Dinner as we prefer the more formal surroundings of the Dinning Room, after reading prior reviews relating to dress standards in the Restaurant,I was pleased to note that most guests adopted a smart casual code, small complaint I wish that they would turn down the lighting though, far too bright. Also I opted for the Standard Wine Package which was approx $110 for 5 bottles, good news was they under estimated the demand and I was upgraded to the Premium Package at no extra cost. We also eat at the Cucina Del Capitano (Italian) for Lunch (FOC)and Dinner at a additional cost of $12 per person, the Restaurant was nicely decorated and good value, but air conditioning was set too cold. For Lunch we also enjoyed the Mongolian Wok, Tandoori, Fat Jimmys BBQ, Guys Burgers and Blue Iguana Cantina, tremendous choice of food options available. We enjoyed eating Breakfast in the Marketplace Buffet, and were always able to find a quiet spot at the rear of the Ship to sit near the Breeze Bar away from the crowds. Dont forget to try the Taste Bar for a Pre-Dinner Snack with your Pre-Dinner Drink, some of the dishes were yummy ! We also enjoyed Room Service (Menu on your cabin interactive screen) and the sandwiches and wraps were very good. Entertainment in the evenings was very good, especially enjoyed the shows Latin Nights, Diva`s, Motor City, and the Adult Comedy Club Acts, but there was always a Band or Singer playing at the numerous bars to enjoy. Never had a problem obtaining a sun bed, our preferred area was on Deck 10/11 close to Pool and Bar, did enjoy a few visits to the Serenity Adults Area, but you need to secure a place at the crack of dawn on a Sea Day. The Ryder Cup was on in the Casino during our trip, which as a European thoroughly enjoyed, there was great amount of banter with the Americans aboard, however signal was poor for first two days and no volume was on, biggest complaint I heard aboard was the absence of a proper Sports Bar. The Sports Deck was great with Pool, Crazy Golf, Bar Football, Football, Basketball, Rope Course, Table Tennis, etc. We had to use Customer Services on a few occasions, and I must say that the level of service was very high as indeed was that displayed by all the other workers aboard. In conclusion we had a fantastic vacation, excellent itinerary, and whilst not as formal as some previous cruises with other lines, with an absence of afternoon tea silver service, Captains Cocktail Party and very grand formal nights, I would rate the overall cruising experience as good if not better than those we have experienced, great age group range and a younger overall average age than either MSC or Princess. Despite the huge size of this ship, it never appeared over crowded and there was always lots of quite places to hang out if you wanted to. The Cruise Director John Heald was very humorous, and the over selling of products, art auctions etc was low key, the Photographers got on your nerves after a while but a polite No was always given and accepted. The FunTimes Newsletter was well laid out and very informative. Disembarkation at transfers from Ship to Airport were as slick as the Embarkation process, first class. Did not take any Carnival organised excursions, Pre-arranged my own prior to cruise using info from Cruise Critic, prices aboard expensive (like all lines)and size of party in excursions large. We booked outside School Holidays on purpose and only 91 children out of 3500 guests were aboard, fantastic ! Would not hesitate in using Carnival again based on the experience of this Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We booked this cruise as we mainly enjoyed our cruise on the Magic last year. We had 2 cabins, a balcony for us and an inside for the kids, on deck 9. Embarkation was a bit longer than normal, with a queue of about 45 minutes. Our ... Read More
We booked this cruise as we mainly enjoyed our cruise on the Magic last year. We had 2 cabins, a balcony for us and an inside for the kids, on deck 9. Embarkation was a bit longer than normal, with a queue of about 45 minutes. Our cabins were bigger than on the other cruise liners, the steward was excellent, attentive and discreet. Our bags arrived about 5pm, and for the first time ever, one of our cases had been opened and our much loved travel iron had been confiscated. Two bacardi's and a bottle of Pinot Grigio later we had got over this. After last years 'any time dining' debacle, we chose the late seating. As I heard many complaints about the any time dining again, please do not ever chose this as an option. We were in the Sapphire, unfortunately directly under the air conditioning vent, it was absolutely freezing. The food was good, but the service was a bit hit and miss, often no bottle of wine until the second course. The restaurant was also very bright which was a bit odd. Biggest disappointment was the lido marketplace. The opening times are very strange and it is all a bit disjointed. Biggest frustration is having to scoop butter from a big pot, which is difficult when trying to hold your plate. The casino, lanai and red frog pub were all excellent. The staff were very friendly and quick. The casino also showed the olympics which was a big plus for us supporting team GB. The pool area was busy on sea days and you could not get a bed, but on port days was fine. I especially like the shaded areas. Croatia, we walked to the beach from the shuttle bus, very busy, but the water was lovely. This is a favorite stop for us. Marseille, been before and not tempted to get off. Venice, used the people mover for 1 euro and walked through, although the extreme heat stopped us this time from going all the way to St Marks square. Sciliy, a Carnival tour to a beach (kids request). Took approx 45 mins to get to and we had 3 hours on the beach. The sellers were very 2 mins and this did get tiresome. Livorno, a Carnival tour to Pisa and a beach. Rome, did not get off the boat. Far to hot to enjoy in August. Disembarkation was very smooth. All in all a very good holiday, the kids had a great time and so did we. For us a good holiday is when the kids have a great time, we meet some great people and we have a great big bar bill. The Breeze delivered. Very good value for money. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
We stayed in a spa balcony on deck 12 the spa was relaxing and usually not very full of people. We had an 8s grade balcony not sure how this differs to other balconies as we have stayed in a cove balcony on a previous carnival cruise and ... Read More
We stayed in a spa balcony on deck 12 the spa was relaxing and usually not very full of people. We had an 8s grade balcony not sure how this differs to other balconies as we have stayed in a cove balcony on a previous carnival cruise and this was lovely too. As with all carnival ships the food is endless and if you dont mind the rude people in the lido we just got on with it and became just as good at pushing back. I enjoyed the restaurants on an evening and the frank sinatra singer was great and the dancing waiting staff really good fun. The food to me was good and loads of different things on the menu the best night we had was on the overnight in venice when everyone got off we went for dinner to find it really empty and our three waiters had time to chat to us and they were really good fun the reason we stayed on board was the rain started and we didnt fancy getting soaked getting from the ship. The serenity area was lovely but children were in and out of it all the time even though it clearly states over 21 when our kids are with us we would not let them run in and out so would not use the serenity it seemed a lot of the parents were sun bathing whilst the kids were up and down the water slides shouting to them from the top very annoying i think the staff in serenity should be telling them rather than ignoring them. As with all family cruises in summer hols you can expect loads of kids we have them i think alot of people complain about this but my thoughts are dont go on a cruise in august if you want to not see loads of kids or noise. Overall i would go back on carnival i love them missed butch and baby butch from the dream but john and calvin were brill. Met calvin in a lift and he was really funny. We enjoyed the trips did two with carnival and one to capri on our own we just got up really early and went on the hydrofoil then got the boat to sorrento and had lunch and back to naples by boat saved alot on the ships trip but you need to give yourself loads of time just in case. Cant wait for my next trip hopefully from san juan in 2013 with carnival Lovely old town very hot Went to capri and sorrento lovely Ok bit of a mess trying to go around due to roadworks Ok had a day here before thankfully didnt get robbed this year Ok Read Less
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
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
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 July 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
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
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
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 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
Sail Date June 2012
We started out out cruise with a 2 night stay at the La Ramblas Citadines Hotel. We arrived at about 8 AM on Wednesday and they stored our luggage and let us check in at about 11. It was more than adequate, it was clean, friendly, and the ... Read More
We started out out cruise with a 2 night stay at the La Ramblas Citadines Hotel. We arrived at about 8 AM on Wednesday and they stored our luggage and let us check in at about 11. It was more than adequate, it was clean, friendly, and the location was superb. It was just a few moments walk to the Touristic Bus and Metro. Our room overlooked La Ramblas. One downside was internet in the rooms was Ethernet, only wireless is in the restaurant / lobby area. I wish we had allowed ourselves one more day in Barcelona as it is an amazing city with much to see and do. The on and off Bus Touristic was the best deal going 2 day pass for about $39 a person cannot be beat.It takes 2 routes, goes every where you want to go and see all landmarks and attractions! Purchase online before you go! On Friday I was on the IPAD in the lobby at about 9:30 AM and on John Heald's Facebook page he said they were going to be ready to embark at 10:30. We were already packed so we got our stuff and hailed a cab. Once at the ship it was an easy procedure and we were on the by a few minutes after 11:00 We went directly to the room to drop off our carry on bags and proceeded to the Market Place buffet to eat. The food was pretty much your Carnival buffet offering. We only eat at the buffet the day we come on the ship, however we did notice they had some interesting offerings that we never got around to trying. (Wok, Indian food, ETC) We then set out to explore the ship and found it to be a very close sister to the Dream, but much better. We liked the soft colors, and bright cheery look every where, being only the second cruise out, the ship was just gleaming! This is the Gem of the fleet right now! We ran across the Thrill Theater and purchased unlimited tickets for $14 a person. There are 5 different films, we saw 4 on the cruise and got our monies worth. The Roller coaster was worth the price of admission. A 3 minute roller coaster ride can be a thrill, 15 minutes can blow you away! Cabin: We had a Cove Balcony, which I highly recommend. It is on the 2 floor and right next to the water, they are exhilarating. It is your normal 182 Sq Ft. cabin and well being new is always nice! Again great colors. Food: The food to us was good to very good in the Blush dining room and we were well please with the quality and selections. We were glad to see they added Shrimp Cocktail back on as a daily item though the shrimp go shrimpier! Our wait staff seemed to be a team that was all about business and not about relationship. Always in a hurry to please, but without any interaction. I saw other tables getting what we were more accustom to. Fen the Matre'D is a fantastic singer and performer. We were sat at table for 2 and asked to be move and he made no attempt to move us. Fat Gimmy's BBQ: Available on Sea Days, great food, very popular, you can encounter long lines and wait at times. Not to be missed if you like BBQ. Guys Burgers; I'm so sad we only ate there one time. They are awesome, probably a heart attack on a bun, but that is what makes them taste so good. With such long port days we only had 3 opportunities to eat lunch on the ship. Cucina del Capitano: (lunch for free)Good food if you can stand the torture. The Basket ball courts are right above this venue, and not well thought out. It sounded like a herd of horses stomping around above us the whole time we ate and was nerve racking. They said that they close the courts at night where you pay a $12 up-charge. People that went tell us that is not true, and they were tortured as well. BlueIguana Cantina: We had good Taco's and great breakfast Burritos there. Entertainment: I think because if the rigorous itinerary on this cruise, they really plan for people not to attend and really cut back on the entertainment. There were only 4 different shows and they repeated through the week. There was no longer a live band for the show but an electronic production that the singers and dancer sang to. But for the most part very well done and different. There was only comedy in the Punchliner Comedy Club on 6 of the 12 nights and we missed having a daily offering there. The Hasbro Game show was very entertaining and I think there were 4 different shows on the cruise. It was a fun time. There was a Violinist one night in the ovation theater but we did not attend as it is not our thing, also one night they had a Magician who performed very little magic and told mostly corny jokes. Overall I was not real impressed with the entertainment or the scheduling of it on this cruise. Ports: Marseille beautiful from a distance, very seedy up close and personal, it was either a culture difference or they are just rude people! Livorno: Florence and Pisa were fantastic Rome: amazing but very crowded, probably always is but worth it Salerno: Sorrento, Pompeii, and Isle of Capri Just beautiful and Pompeii is a must see if you appreciate ruins. Dubrovnik: Again Beautiful Venice: Amazing, romantic place to visit Messina Sicily: We went to Taormina and again just amazing beauty Mallorca: Went to Valldemossa, Sollar, and took the Train ride. The train ride I thought disappointing as the route is mostly overgrown and you mostly see tunnels, rocks and trees Casino: We lost as usual but got in a lot of playing time for our money, and that is entertainment. At least it did not gobble you money it digested it slowly! Disembark: easiest we have ever had! It seemed too easy! Overall the things that displeased me did not keep it from being one of the best cruises that we have ever taken. Carnival continues in my view to put out the most bang for your cruising dollar. The good things on this cruise far exceed the few things I am critical of. The Cruise Director and whole entertainment staff were awesome. John Heald is second to none, and there is good reason for him to be senior cruise director. George, Ryan, Joshua, Amy, 6-3, Alex were all great. Butch and all the comedian in the Punchliner were very funny. I highly recommend this cruise! The beautiful Carnival Breeze! Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
This cruise was amazing, it was my dream cruise! I traveled with my mom and dad. It was amazing! It was a new ship with only 2 months sailing before our cruise. You could tell that everything was new since the boat was just beautiful. It ... Read More
This cruise was amazing, it was my dream cruise! I traveled with my mom and dad. It was amazing! It was a new ship with only 2 months sailing before our cruise. You could tell that everything was new since the boat was just beautiful. It was my first cruise but not my parents. It was a busy cruise since we stopped every day except 3 days. So th cruise was a bit tiring but that was because it was my first cruise. The food, it was okay not the best. By the end of the cruise all of the food was tasting the same. I also did not like how at the buffet the food kept repeating every other day. The dinning room was nice. But again the food was not the best, very bland food. The food there repeated sometimes too. Another thing I really did not like is that we had to wait 10-70 minutes for a table to go to the dinning room. We did have open dinning but since the ship sailed off at different times we did not want to commit to a certain time. . I LOVED the pizza, 24 hour ice cream, Mexican food stand and the Guys burger joint. It was the best food on the ship. Just beware that some resteraunts charge an extra fee that maybe costly. But losts of good resteraunts are included. Cabin, it was very cozy and very small. But that is cruise life. We had a balcony and even though it is more money it is worth it. It was hard to fit 3 people since the bed could only fit 2 and the pull out couch was NOT comfy more like a rock. The room was very clean and nicely kept by our cabin staff. We did not know that we were right bellow the buffet room so every night all night so we could not sleep beside of the noise of the cleaning staff. We told the guest services and they did not do much to help but they did give us a 100 dollar credit. But the room was wonderful very well kept and I LOVED the towel animals they made daily. The cabin at the end of the cruise felt like my new beloved home. The staff, the staff was wonderful! There was a few nasty staff members on the play area and they made it difficult to rise the Sky Rider. The Sky Rider was impossible to go on so don't go on it if you don't absolutely want to. But so many staff members would do ANYTHING for you. You became friends with some of them because they were so likeable. Even though there were concerns this cruise was just amazing the staff was nice, food was okay, ship was wonderful and many more. I wish I lived on the ship. Hopefully we will sail on the Carnival Vista soon again. I would definitely recommend this cruise and ship to your family. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
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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