54 Barcelona to Europe - Western Mediterranean Carnival Breeze Cruise Reviews

We just returned from the second voyage of the Carnival Breeze. Here are my impressions. The staff was great. Just a few little glitches not worth mentioning -- chalked it up to working out the kinks still. I agree about the decor. ... Read More
We just returned from the second voyage of the Carnival Breeze. Here are my impressions. The staff was great. Just a few little glitches not worth mentioning -- chalked it up to working out the kinks still. I agree about the decor. I'm used to something a little more elegant and the Carribean theme did seem out of place after spending the day viewing the ornate cathedrals in Italy. But it didn't affect my enjoyment of the trip at all. The food was mostly disappointing. I had to keep telling myself that's not why I was there. It was just very frustrating to have so many choices in the Lido Marketplace and not be able to find anything edible (or even warm for that matter). Not even the desserts -- the chocolate chip cookies were hard and flavorless. The meals in the dining room were better. Not spectacular though. A few winners -- like the warm chcolate melting cake which is on the menu every night and the crab cake which we all enjoyed the one night it was offered. Other than that, everything was mostly just OK or a little better than OK. Guy's Burgers were very good as was the pizza from the Pizza Pirate (both of which I fell back on quite a bit due to lack of anything good on the buffet). The tacos and burritos at the Blue Iguana were just OK, The Indian food was spicy and tasty, but you can only eat so much of that. The dinner we had at the Cucina del Capitano (12$ and change for one adult) was very good and felt elegant and fun at the same time. We didn't see a lot of shows. We saw one comedian at the Punchliner who was very disappointing, but I'm sure it just depends who you see. The Hasbro kids show was a big hit with my son. The live musicians were sometimes good and sometimes not. The Thrill Theater is only worth it if you pay the 14$ for access through the whole cruise. I took my son once -- on the last day -- and payed 7$ each for a 13 minute movie. He loved it, but I didn't feel I got my money's worth. We mostly toured on our own, and only took 2 ship excursions, which were nice, but a little rushed (Taormina and Ancient Greek Theater in Messina, and Morano, St George Island with a gondola ride in Venice). All other stops we did on our own (Marseilles, Rome, Venice, Dubrovnik). The cruise director John Heald was the highlight of the cruise. That man is hilarious! We didn't make it to many of his shows live, but thoroughly enjoyed watching him on tv in our cabin. His morning dedication show with Calvin was worth getting up for. They should put him in the Punchliner! If you have kids, they will LOVE the Breeze. My son (11) couldn't get enough of the water slides, rope course, Camp Carnival and Guy's burgers. And for that reason alone we would sail with Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Before I start, please understand I am not a whinging hard to please person. I'd taken 7 cruises before this one and loved them all; I'd always feel a little exasperated if I heard people complaining about something on a cruise, ... Read More
Before I start, please understand I am not a whinging hard to please person. I'd taken 7 cruises before this one and loved them all; I'd always feel a little exasperated if I heard people complaining about something on a cruise, thinking they should count their lucky stars they WERE on a cruise and look for the good things, not focus on a few hiccoughs. But now my faith in cruising as a wonderful holiday has been lost. I'm in fact rather nervous at the thought of taking a cruise again after our dreadful experience on the Carnival Breeze. Any cruise we take in the future will most definitely not be on Carnival, never again! There needs to be two parts to this review, my thoughts on the ship and cruise itself, and my thoughts on the treatment we received from Carnival, both the staff on board and management. Since I'm sitting here back at home, still disappointed about missing out on Monte Carlo and Venice, and more than a little shocked at Carnival's treatment of the passengers on this cruise and disregard for them, I'll start with that. This was Carnival's second chance with us. We'd previously cruised on Carnival Spirit on a back to back, Alaska and Hawaii, and though we enjoyed the ship itself (better ship than Breeze in my opinion) the dining room food left a lot to be desired. Though we were happy with their buffet food, the food in the dining rooms on Spirit was usually lukewarm to cool despite our requests several times for a hot meal; it was also not unusual to get substandard meals, tough meat. So for that reason we were hesitant to try Carnival again. Then we saw this Mediterranean cruise that covered ports we'd always wanted to visit, and the bonus of a new ship. We decided to give Carnival one more chance. We didn't take this decision lightly as we live in Australia and we had to factor in the cost of airfares and l-o-n-g travel time, but this was to be our long awaited dream cruise of the Mediterranean. Well, that didn't happen! Carnival saw fit to cancel Monte Carlo, which was to have been our much anticipated first port of call. Coincidentally, they cancelled Monaco on the previous Carnival Breeze cruise, and I've been told on the one prior to that as well though I'd need to have that confirmed. The excuse each time was "high winds". An announcement came over that the ship had made several attempts to enter the port but had been unable to do so due to bad winds. Several people observed that the ship did not in fact attempt to enter the port, as they were on deck to watch our arrival in port, and they also confirmed that the wind had in fact NOT been strong. Senior crew later admitted that attempts had not been made to enter the port. I feel that Carnival had planned to omit Monte Carlo even before the cruise started. I wonder if that's due to the ship really being too big for the port... but whatever the reason, Carnival deceived us. That's what is a major disappointment and let down for me, that they could be less than honest with their passengers and manipulate their itinerary for their own reasons. There was no regard for the fact that people had spent a lot of money to take this cruise, or that perhaps it was their "trip of a lifetime"; all we were offered was another "fun day at sea" - with no fun activities actually happening - and a $20'ish refund of port charges, and oh yes, a free drink at dinner from a limited selection. On top of Monte Carlo, Messina was also cancelled, and on we sailed; actually a lot of the time we were put-putting in slow circles on the Mediterranean, trying to kill time. When I dreamt of a Mediterranean cruise I dreamt of actually visiting ports, not floating on the Mediterranean! We sailed past Messina in fine weather and spent another day at sea. The lack of onboard activities and poor entertainment is covered later. The final straw came with the announcement that Venice had been cancelled from our itinerary. Supposedly that was because of flooding there. By now my mistrust of Carnival makes me doubt they were telling the truth as I heard that other ships have managed to dock there, however that might be hearsay or might not. I certainly don't believe that they suddenly found conditions in Venice would not allow us to visit; they would have had access to weather forecasts and trends days ahead. So now Messina was reinstigated! The port that for some obscure reason had previously been cancelled was suddenly back on the itinerary. We passed a fine, sunny and pleasant day there. We spent a lot of time killing time on the Sea. The Captain and crew would give no other answers except the port cancellations were for our safety. No other ports were substituted. I know port visits must be planned, but I believe Carnival knew of the cancellations they'd be doing, before the cruise started. Why didn't they have a backup plan organised? Why didn't they give us the chance to opt out of the cruise, or cancel the cruise? At least then we might have got our money back from travel insurance. Why weren't they upfront with us? Why did they not seem to care about the passengers and have empathy for how the passengers were affected? We'd selected this cruise because we loved the itinerary. We'd always wanted to visit Venice, the other ports too. If the itinerary had stated "Monte Carlo - possible", "Venice - possible" we would simply not have booked. I believe the ship had proved to be too big to comfortably manage docking in Monte Carlo and Venice, and to me that IS the mechanical reason that senior crew cited as the only reason compensation would be paid. We are very disappointed in this whole cruise experience - other than enjoying some memorable ports and meeting some lovely fellow cruisers. We feel Carnival has let us down badly. Its sad to be asked now by friends about our Mediterranean cruise and to have to try hard to sound upbeat and not disappointed. Carnival should realise, though, that a disappointed customer is not going to keep their disappointment a secret from other people who might once have been potential Carnival cruisers. Now ship and cruise specific comments: SHIP The ship was new, so that has to be a plus. I'm not going to gripe about a little staining on carpets or whether or not I liked the decor. But what I really missed were nooks and crannies to just hang out. Not bars... we're not big drinkers. Nor are we gamblers. Just places to sit and chat or look at the passing parade or read; windows to gaze through and see the sea; lounges to meet up in. There was Ocean Plaza and little else. As someone else commented, the ship is big yet there didn't seem to be a lot of public space for the size of the ship. ACTIVITIES I thought the Limelight Lounge had great potential but it seemed to be under utilised; the comedians appeared there, and there was a t-shirt sale there. In other ships I've been on, such a space was used regularly for a musical group and dancing. We love to dance! How I missed dancing! Carnival, why was there no real provision for dancing? I don't mean a little jigging in the atrium area, but actual dancing on a dance floor. Music and a party feel. The Liquid Nightclub doesn't fill the bill. Its supposed to be a Fun Ship. What about perhaps some dance lessons on sea days, too? Dance lessons can be fun; we had a wonderful time in regular popular dancing lessons on an Australian P & O cruise we were on, with the teachers being 2 members of the dance troupe who interacted with the passengers and were great fun. I would have loved to use the Serenity area (did use the spas a couple of times), and the waterworks, and all the other outside facilities, but the weather unfortunately prevented that. I did wonder about the fact there were just two pools for such a big ship. Gym? A little small, concentrating more on treadmills than equipment for strength or toning. Not much room for doing your own workout, but you can get by. At night the ship seemed like a ghost ship. We'd wander along trying to find something to do... there was little on offer... often few people in sight. Where was the music, other than karaoke and the musicians in the atrium? The shows other than The Brits were unenjoyable, and were repeated. So some nights there was nothing at all to see. The comedians were hit and miss. We WANTED to party and have fun, but each night we'd finally give up. Daytime activities? I'm used to being on cruises and finding on the sea days that there were time clashes of things I wanted to do. On this cruise, no way did that happen. Other than trivia (which I do enjoy, but not every half hour) there was really nothing to do. The marriage game in the Ovation Theatre was funny, though something many cruises seem to have; the Hasbro game was not. I feel that Carnival provided the facilities for a good time IF the weather is pleasant and people can amuse themselves out on deck. However they failed to cater for inside activities, and with bad weather and enforced extra sea days, surely they should have pulled out a few activities. They seemed to have no backup plans at all. CREW I said above that Carnival provided the facilities for activities (outside on deck), but they failed to provide the human touch. There was no warm friendly feel. Cabin stewards... Our's was friendly and nothing was too much trouble - not that we make requests of our cabin stewards - but towels were replaced, bed turned back, chocolates and towel animals left, room kept clean. Our fridge was never unlocked but if we'd bothered to ask I'm sure it would have been. We were short of coathangers and he fetched us some extra in no time. Wait staff... Staff in the dining rooms gave excellent service on the whole. Staff in the Lido didn't impress as particularly friendly overall, but they did their job. Guest services desk... Other than Jan, a young man who finally came to our aid regarding a cabin issue after 3 other staff shrugged me off (living out of our suitcases in a disabled cabin we'd been mistakenly assigned, with little storage space, for 3 nights) the staff there were stern and unwelcoming. It was as if they took a defensive attitude even before they knew why you were there. Unfriendly, unsmiling. And the queues! Especially in the light of the port cancellations and that naturally there'd be a lot of enquiries, the desk was understaffed and people stood for ages in the queue, and the staff appeared to care not one iota. Jaime... If I heard another comment about "another fun day at sea" I would have been tempted to toss her IN the sea. I felt she was very scripted, and lacked sincerity. I also feel Carnival overdoes the "fun" terminology and should soft pedal it a bit, especially since their cruise was the most un-fun cruise I've ever experienced. I understand that Jaime would have been feeling the stress after the cancellation of our visit to Venice, and would have been the brunt of a lot of ill will. But one night she approached us as we were walking to our cabin and my husband greeted her pleasantly with "Hi Jaime" (as she'd told the passengers to do in one of her early talks). She responded with a scowl and said nothing. FOOD Dining rooms The Breeze came up with hot meals in the dining rooms, and this had been our one worry after our experience on the Carnival Spirit. I was happy with the meals in the Sapphire dining room. We opted for Anytime dining as we'd done that on NCL cruises and it worked well. However, Carnival doesn't seem to have quite got the gist of it. If you said you wanted a table for two (sometimes we preferred to have a quiet dinner and didn't want to linger over it for ages) you were seated at a table for two... 3 inches from another table for two... the tables for two were arranged in sets of 3 or 4 and the people on them were treated as one big group. We had some enjoyable chats with others at dinner, but there were a couple of occasions when we really would have preferred just the two of us. Lunch in the Blush dining room was something we experienced once, and it was wonderful. Helped by the fact we had a window seat and scored some good table companions. We didn't use the pay extra restaurants, though we did have lunch once in the Italian restaurant. My pasta was tasty. Lido I've always really enjoyed and looked forward to the buffets on our cruises, but the Lido was a big disappointment. This might perhaps be partly due to the fact I'm Australian and not used to or fond of some of the American foods and topppings. However, powdered egg and syrupy sweet orange "juice"? I gave up on both of those after one day. I thought there was not enough variety or variation in the food on the Lido. Basically the same old thing every day. There were a lot of cereal choices but there was no muesli. I started adding nuts and raisins to my basic cereal, then raisins disappeared. I found one counter had prunes, started adding them, then they disappeared to be replaced by olives... for breakfast! Bananas had run out for 3 days before they finally reappeared, as had oranges. For those days all the fresh fruit consisted of was trays of sliced melons, two of each type. Not good enough. Guy's Burger Joint is, I know, popular, so this must be just my weird or Australian taste, but I didn't enjoy them. I found them greasy and the toppings and cheese unenjoyable. Not what I'm used to in burgers. I wanted to try Fat Jimmy's BBQ but it wasn't there very often, and the one time I spotted it the smell turned me away. Again, probably just my individual taste as others have raved about it. PORTS I have covered ports we visited but Messina, Sicily was not in the list provided. In Messina we did a privately organised tour that we found on the Cruise Critic roll call, and it was a wonderful 5+ day. The driver was entertaining and informative, and we greatly enjoyed seeing Taormina and then Castlemola, and our lunch in an Italian restaurant. We met some lovely people on the tour and count that day as one of our standouts. Sorry, long review I know. Normally I practically have to be dragged off a cruise ship. This time I was eager to leave. There's a lot of cruise lines out there to choose from. I recommend you look and think carefully before booking a Carnival cruise. The attitude they have to their passengers is extremely poor. They are not customer orientated. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We were booked on the 2nd sailing of the Carnival Breeze. I try and be very laid back in my critiquing but there is so much to critique about the Breeze. The embarking went every well and we were in our cabin and to the library by 12:30. ... Read More
We were booked on the 2nd sailing of the Carnival Breeze. I try and be very laid back in my critiquing but there is so much to critique about the Breeze. The embarking went every well and we were in our cabin and to the library by 12:30. Walking to the library you could see the soiled passage ways and steps from the previous cruise. I wondered how they would look after a number of cruises and lets just say after ours they looked even more worse for the wear. Our cabin #6477 had a very nice size balcony but there is little drawer space for 12 days. We were directly over the piano bar and near another of the night clubs and unless we relaxed with a number of beers it was tough to fall asleep with all the noise. Very poor planning on our part and on the design of the ship to have cabins above such noisy areas. We went to one of the shows and it was very entertaining but short...less than 35 minutes. The rest of our down time we spent with reading books from the library. Our balcony was one deck-up and down wind of the barbecue that was opened sea days and you could definitely smell it when we were out. During the sea days people as usual got up early and grabbed up all the beach chairs around the pool but a lot of them never were in use...just towels sitting on them. I read how the policy was to remove the towels after 30 minutes of non-use but We never saw it happen. Our dining room experiences were fantastic because of our waitstaff. Atmaja was a gem and we requested his section every night. The food on the other had left a lot to be desired. I'm not a big eater but I can honestly say I never left feeling full. We ate in the specialty steakhouse for our anniversary and the food was very good but the variety was just not there and the main dining room had a more varied dessert menu. The first day lunch buffet was fantastic, I just wish it had stayed as great the rest of the cruise. We were able to only eat in main dining room for breakfast on certain days and when we asked to a seat by the windows it was like we were asking for gold. When walking around the ship there were cups and room service trays laying out for hours, that along with the dirt on the floors made the ship seem unkempt. The one bright point was the itinerary, the only port we didn't like was Marseille and kudos to the staff for getting transportation rounded up for Venice when a 24 hour strike of public transportation hit. Our last night in the dining room was very nice and leaving all the friends we met was very sad. We had saved all the towel creations from the first night and wanted a group picture with them the last night. But when we came back from dinner they were all gone so that left a bad taste in our mouth. All and all not a bad cruise, just not one that left you wowed about going and spending your hard earned money on. After planning for almost a year it was a let down in many areas. The debarkation was a joke. The cruise director kept plugging for people to walk off on your own and when we left our cabin at 6:30 we had trouble getting thru the passageways and had to weave our way down. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
I'll start by saying I've been on 8 Princess cruises, 3 NCL cruises, 1 Royal Caribbean cruise, and 2 Carnival cruises. Of those 14 cruises, only two have ever canceled ports altogether. Those 2 were both the Carnival cruises ... Read More
I'll start by saying I've been on 8 Princess cruises, 3 NCL cruises, 1 Royal Caribbean cruise, and 2 Carnival cruises. Of those 14 cruises, only two have ever canceled ports altogether. Those 2 were both the Carnival cruises I've been on, and the biggest reason I'll never go on Carnival again. This cruise was something our family had talked about doing for 13 years, and had actively planned for nearly 1 year. We were excited about going on a new ship, but the overwhelming reason for choosing this cruise was the fabulous itinerary, and the fact that out of 11 full days, only 3 were going to be "fun" days at sea (a better ratio than any cruise I'd ever been on). When all was said and done, only 5 days ended up being in ports, and 6(!) days were at sea. The trouble started the morning of the first full day, when during breakfast in the dining room (which incidentally we walked out of after being ignored for over ten minutes after being seated), an announcement came over the loudspeaker saying that we would not be able to dock in Monte Carlo due to high winds "for our safety". The odd thing is that the wind was less than 10mph, and the seas were calm. We later heard from other passengers that Monte Carlo had been canceled on the last two cruises before us, and that our captain had crashed the Breeze into some expensive yachts in Monaco on a previous cruise, and they had decided beforehand not to return again. Whatever the reason, it was NOT the weather, and it had clearly been decided beforehand. Later that same evening (after the first unexpected "fun" day at sea), an announcement was made that "Mother Nature was STILL not cooperating" and many of our big ports would all come packed together at the end of the cruise, and Messina (Sicily) would be omitted as well. The next day we stopped as planned in Livorno, then had two more unplanned days at sea before stopping in Dubrovnik. That night, after leaving Dubrovnik, another announcement came. My husband and I were eating in Cucina del Capitano at the time. This announcement was to tell us that they were "so sorry" but the weather was yet again an issue, and now we would not be getting EITHER of our TWO days in Venice (however the one day in Messina was mysteriously returning to the itinerary). After this third announcement canceling Venice, all hell broke loose. The couple next to us in the restaurant was on their honeymoon, and the wife began to cry. My parents were in their stateroom at the time, and they heard someone scream with rage in the hallway. An angry mob started to form at guest services (later moved to the theater due to size). Crew members took names and contact info, and implied that things would be made right (to date, over a month later, no one in our party has heard a word from anyone at Carnival). The compensation for radically altering the trip we all had planned on? Refunding $40 in port charges, and one free drink voucher good only in the dining room and for a limited selection of drinks. Other aspects of the cruise were disappointing as well. Food was definitely subpar, both in the dining room and the buffet. Meals were often served cold, and missing certain ingredients (no cheese in "broccoli cheese soup", no sweet chili sauce on "thai sweet chili shrimp"). Parts of the buffet were often inexplicably closed during peak times, leading to overcrowding and exceptionally long lines in areas that were open. The dining rooms were frequently closed for breakfast and lunch on the "fun" days, leading to even more people at the buffet. The one bright spot for dining was Guys Burger Joint, which had exceptional hamburgers and oddly enough not much of a wait most times we went there Entertainment was very limited. On a 12 day cruise, only 4 shows were provided, and they were just repeated continuously. Most of the entertainment options that were heavily hyped cost money (bingo, thrill theater, casino, etc). The constant announcements to encourage passengers to take part in these paid activities was enough to make more than a few people skeptical of the real reasons of all the added "fun" days at sea. Being a new ship, everything was very clean, including cabins. Beds were not comfortable, and didn't seem any different than on the 8 year old Carnival Miracle we sailed on the previous year. Our particular room was right across from one of the only TWO laundry facilities on board, which seemed very inadequate to handle the needs of nearly 4,000 passengers. This meant that every day from 6am until midnight, there was a continuous line of people spilling into the hallway waiting to do laundry, some of whom actually sat in our doorway and fell back into our room when we'd open the door. I'd advise anyone to look at a deck plan map carefully before booking. This cruise has basically taught us that you get what you pay for. Before going on Carnival, I wondered how they were able to charge less than other cruise lines and stay in business. This cruise answered that question all too well. Subpar food, more passengers per unit area, canceled ports, and limited "free" entertainment. We won't be going on Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
The theme song for this cruise was "we´re on the ship to nowhere". That´s how we felt on those 6 ¨fun days¨at sea and during the 3 itinerary changes. We have been on 8 different cruises and this was our first (and last) ... Read More
The theme song for this cruise was "we´re on the ship to nowhere". That´s how we felt on those 6 ¨fun days¨at sea and during the 3 itinerary changes. We have been on 8 different cruises and this was our first (and last) cruise on Carnival. We had selected the cruise because of the new ship and the attractive itinerary; however, it ended up being a total deception, waste of precious money and vacation time. Furthermore, communication from the ships' officers to the passengers seemed non-existent especially when so many changes were taking place. These changes led to an impromptu gathering of passengers in guest services demanding to speak with the captain as the cruise director was unable to deal with the passengers' concerns. (She even commented over the intercom, after cancelling the 2-day visit to Venice due to weather, that passengers should focus on their loved ones being affected by hurricane Sandy). This event ended up being the "entertainment" that evening as the theater was chosen to accommodate the large and growing crowd. The next morning (another "fun day at sea") allowed the ship's hotel director to answer "questions" from the passengers. Once again, and without a microphone, the ship's hotel director had inadequate answers to passengers' real concerns leading to an early and escorted exit due to a so-called "important conference call". Once again, the passengers were left feeling frustrated with no real explanations as to why so many changes had taken place and above all, no real compensation (only $40 per person total for cancelled Port charges) for all of the missed ports and shorter port times in the latest itinerary. Other negative points: The entertainment was lacking and repetitive, the most fun was actually the Liquid Night Club, thanks to the fun guests on board. Halloween was also a good time, but once again, thanks to the guests who hauled their costumes in their suitcases. (we were unable to buy costumes at any ports due to the cancellations). Any of the "interesting" lectures on board were actually Carnival sales pitches to get us to spend more money. The activities on board were boring...too much Bingo, too much trivia and too few classes to actually learn things. The theater was too small for the amount of people on board (especially for port information meetings where people had to sit on the floor, stand or sit on the stairs) The gym offered too few group classes as well although the individual equipment was good. The good points: The wait staff in the dining room was very patient, accommodating, positive and friendly. They dealt with all of the changes in stride and made sure we had a good time at dinner and ate well. The food in the dining room was quite good and the Lido buffet was not too bad (except those scrambled eggs!). The hamburger was surprisingly good and there seemed to be a variety of food to choose from. The cabin with balcony was a decent size, clean and quiet. The beds were comfortable too, except for the very hard sofa bed which was made as soft as possible by the cabin steward. He was also quite accommodating and friendly. There was enough room for the 3 of us (adults). All in all, the cruise was very memorable, both good and bad. We still don't understand why Carnival would offer this itinerary so late in the year knowing how the weather affects specific ports of call (i.e. Monaco, where the ship could only dock with very little wind so it had been cancelled various times by Carnival already in October). It was unfortunate that Carnival was unable to re-work the itinerary in a way to include substitute ports of call that could handle the ship during autumn weather. Instead, we spent too many "fun days at sea" cancelling ports traveling back and forth and in circles all around the Mediterranean Sea. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We were a family of 8 adults from Australia setting out for a great adventure in Europe. A once in a lifetime trip as some of our members are 80 plus. We enjoyed much of Carnival Breeze. It is a new ship and we had balcony cabins that were ... Read More
We were a family of 8 adults from Australia setting out for a great adventure in Europe. A once in a lifetime trip as some of our members are 80 plus. We enjoyed much of Carnival Breeze. It is a new ship and we had balcony cabins that were quite spacious. Our cabin crew were really nice and we had folded towel animals and chocolates each night. We were in cabin 6364 which was a really convenient spot in about the middle of the ship near the lifts. Getting on the ship was really easy as we got there late in the day and got straight on. However, once we got on we started experiencing problems with the itinerary. . We missed out on two ports. The first one Monaco, their excuse was that there were high winds, however it did not seem windy that morning at all. The next disappointing thing was missing out on the highlight of the cruise, Venice. Ok it may have been flooded but Carnival had plenty of time to organise another port. Also the ship was to stay in Venice overnight so instead of being in Venice we got two more 'fun' days at sea. They promised some great entertainment for those days but none came, it was just the same, trivia, bingo and spa talks such as 'secret to a flatter stomach' where they are trying to sell you something. They also played some really old movies and kept repeating them. One night they cancelled the main shows due to supposed high seas, however the seas were not high at all. We have been on many ships where there have been really high seas and they have not cancelled the show. The most insulting thing was we were sitting waiting for the show to start as we had not been told it was cancelled and they put on a 30 yr old Johnny Cash movie, surely they could have come up with something better than that. I must say though, the ship itself was pretty good, we really enjoyed the adults only area upstairs and there seemed to a lot of spa's around to bask in, especially the ones on level 5 that were very convenient to us. We enjoyed the food in the restaurant, it usually seemed of a very high standard.. We were on my time dining and had no problems with that. We enjoyed the waiters dance routines every night. The drink waiters were often very slow though. The food in the marketplace was ok but the area seemed too small for a ship of that size, it was often so crowded that you had trouble finding seats and had to get in long queues to get food. The Italian restaurant was free at lunchtime and was very good We were also really surprised that they allowed smoking in the casino, this was really awful as we had to walk past this smoky area and worst of all we often saw kids in there, sitting right near the bar, breathing in all that smoke and seeing all the gambling. Shame Carnival! The lifts were a problem as well, they were not working on a number of occasions. There was no notices or information as to what lift to use and the staff didn't seem to know which were working. As we had someone in our party who was 88, it was very inconvenient not knowing where to go to find lifts that were working. The last thing that really upset us was how we were treated on the last day. We were woken up at 5.30am with very loud announcements from the cruise director Jamie telling us who could leave the ship. We felt this was extremely rude. She was so loud there was no way you could sleep though it and she kept making these announcements about every 10 mins. This has never happened on any other ship and l think it left people with bad memories of Carnival Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
This was my wife's and my first trip to Europe. We chose the Breeze because of the itinerary and found a whole different face of Carnival from previous cruises - and not a good one. I'll get to the whole itinerary issues later. ... Read More
This was my wife's and my first trip to Europe. We chose the Breeze because of the itinerary and found a whole different face of Carnival from previous cruises - and not a good one. I'll get to the whole itinerary issues later. Let me start with the ship. The Breeze is a beautiful ship, modeled much like the Disney Wonder and Magic boats in decor but a lot like the older Carnival ships in layout. The food was the typical pretty decent Carnival fare (except the eggs in the buffet - ugh!) and had some fun additions like the Guy's Burger Joint (probably the best free food other than dinner) and the Blue Iguana Cafe. There were lots of upcharge food areas, too (an Italian restaurant for $12 pp, a steakhouse for $35 pp, a pretty decent sushi bar ($1-$12 depending on what you ordered), a dessert place ($3 for ice cream??), and Red Frog Pub which we did not try because none of the $3 appetizers appealed to us. The entertainment was sporadic (three times they cancelled shows and they had issues with the comedians, but that was due to the itinerary issues) and at times non-existent (basically, there's not much going on between 5-7:30). The staff was friendly but poorly trained in some areas (e.g. the girl in the Library Bar had no idea how to work the self-service wine machine - and she was the only one on duty). We had a cove balcony which was probably the best thing about our trip. The balcony was on deck 2 and had a great view of the water and was fairly well protected from the weather. One night we had 50 knot winds and 20-25 foot waves and it was pretty cool watching them from the balcony. The balcony does have an outer steel door which was closed when we had to take the rough seas broadside which prevented us from using the balcony during those 2 brief periods. The room was larger than previous Carnival rooms we had had and had plenty of storage. The thermostat just says "warmer" and "colder" and it didn't seem to respond very quickly either way. Our steward told us the last night of the cruise that the ship doesn't have heat, just AC either on or off and that's controlled by the thermostat. We had some cold nights, but the comforter was certainly adequate for keeping us warm in bed. Now getting to the itinerary issues, which were plentiful. I understand Carnival (or any cruise line) can't control the weather and want to put safety first, but they certainly made it clear that they would rather hide behind the legalities of their contract rather than try to do right for their passengers if they decide to change or remove a port. Weather was an issue for several days of the 12-night cruise. The first sign of trouble was Monaco, where like the two cruises with the same itinerary prior to ours, the ship was not able to dock. The staff had already reduced the time in port from an 8 PM departure to a 5 PM departure, but then as we approached Monaco, they scrubbed the port entirely due to "high winds" and we were told by the cruise director that there was no way we could get into port. Even by the ship's own data displayed on the map channel, there was less than 10 mph of wind and the seas were calm. This was just the first time the weather was used as an excuse to skip a port. Later that evening, the cruise director announced a major change to the itinerary, basically moving every other port day around and dropping Messina, which we sailed by two days later in calm seas. After we got into and out of Dubrovnik, the cruise director once again announced a major change to the itinerary that the ship would drop Venice and replace it with Messina after another 2 days at sea. All totaled, the itinerary lost 2 ports and 3 days in port and replaced them with "fun" days at sea - meaning half the cruise was "fun" days at sea in the Mediterranean, where there are ports all over the place. This is not what we signed up for. We came to see Europe, not a Carnival ship. And the grand total of the compensation offered for missing these ports? $40 pp in refunded port charges and ONE free drink per person in the main dining room at dinner from a limited selection. The extra days at sea were without entertainment or a poor selection of activities and the activities that were pushed by the staff all involved spending more money (spa, casino, restaurants, etc.). The comedians from the first few nights were supposed to leave in Rome initially, but had to stay on two extra days and get off in Dubrovnik instead. Their displeasure was on full display in their poor attitude and rather humorless and brief routines. The senior staff's attitude was that any decisions had to be made by the main office and their hands were tied. Even the free drink was only offered after lengthy conversations with the hotel director. Now the staff did SOME things right - they offered free phone and internet communications with private tours to allow for them to either be cancelled or rescheduled, and then they offered the same for families who were victim to Hurricane Sandy back home in the US, the latter only after again some prodding by guests. By losing Venice entirely, and then rescheduling Rome to a Sunday when the Vatican museum is closed meant that the two big things we really wanted to see in Italy were taken away from us. In the end, the itinerary was shot and Carnival did little to compensate for it. They basically chose to do what was legal rather than what was right. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
Embarkation at Barcelona was long to me. I did not like taking zone numbers based on cabin location to board. To me, if you show up early, you should be able to board when you get there. The ship was very nice. I really liked the decor. ... Read More
Embarkation at Barcelona was long to me. I did not like taking zone numbers based on cabin location to board. To me, if you show up early, you should be able to board when you get there. The ship was very nice. I really liked the decor. It was much more subdued compared to other Carnival ships. I also liked the variety of the dining venues. The Blue Iguana burrito and taco stations on the Lido deck were a welcome change. As was the addition of Guy's Burgers. But the times they were open were very limiting. With all the sea days we endured, it was disappointing that they closed the burrito bar at 1:30 pm and only opened Guy's from noon until 6 pm. Fat Jimmy's BBQ was good, but with the bad weather on deck, I found it only open one day out of the twelve day cruise. I heard similar complaints from many other travelers. Good food, but limited dining times. The MDR was the MDR - nothing different, nothing new. And the buffet was the same as ever. The addition of the Tandori station was good, but again limited in the time it was open. The Bonsai Sushi restaurant was excellent, but hardly used by the passengers. We did enjoy the Il Capitano italian restaurant. We had an excellent meal there, It was well worth the extra $12 per person. We did not eat at the steak house on this cruise. One highlight was the Red Frog Pub. Good drinks and appetizers. Now limited dining times may sound trivial if you are on a port intensive cruise or on a Caribbean cruise with sunny sea days, but on a cruise that ended up with six sea days - most all rainy and windy, some relief from usual dining at extended hours would have been welcome. Now on to the schedule. I was on deck the morning we were supposed to dock in Monte Carlo. It was slightly overcast with light winds. In my view, the captain made no attempt to even try to dock. We simply loitered offshore until a blaring (volume level) announcement was made by the CD that we were going to miss the port. It was my birthday and we had arranged to rent a car and drive the Corniche. It was disappointing, but I was willing to overlook it. I had missed a port before with Carnival, so I got over it. Little did I know what was in store for the rest of the cruise. We went on to Livorno, where it was windy and wet. We arranged for a rental car to meet us at the dock and we visited Lucca. Lucca was fun. Wet, but fun. But we had a great day shopping and sightseeing. But upon arrival back on ship, we were told we were going to bypass Naples, Rome, and Messina, and head straight to Dubrovnik to try to avoid the weather system. We would then see Venice, then Naples, then Rome. Messina would be missed. Ok, I could live with that. Out of all the ports to miss, Messina is the one. But it screwed up our plans in Venice. We had a hotel in Venice booked overnight to spend more time in port. Now that was gone. Dubrovnik was nice. Clear warm weather. Plus it was great to get off the ship just to walk around after two days at sea. But I could see it clouding up, and I feared they would cancel Venice. Well, they did. After getting back on the ship, we got another annoying blaring announcement from Jamie the CD telling us we were going to miss Venice and have two more "Fun Days at Sea" on the way to Messina. Oh boy! We were getting Messina back. I say that sarcastically. A few side things here. Jamie had to be one of the most annoying CDs we have ever experienced on Carnival. Also, the PA and sound systems on the ship were always set to the maximum volume level. I get up early and like to go up on the the Lido deck to have some coffee and look at the ports or the sea. On the mornings when the Lido deck was habitable, they would run CNN News at the highest volume possible, prompting passengers to scream for them to turn it down. Ok, back to the change in plans. After learning about the itinerary changes, we headed down to guest services. We found about fifty people gathered around Jamie and a ship's officer complaining about the changes. We also saw a security officer off in the background there to ensure nothing got out of hand. Many people complained about the changes in plans, the lack of communication, the lack of compensation, etc. I took my turn and spoke out. I brought up the fact that Carnival had a captive audience of 3000 people to fill the casino, buy drinks form the bars, and shop at the shops. I brought up the idea that Carnival could have searched for alternate ports when they learned of the weather system. Of course Jamie gave us the line, "at least we weren't involved in Hurricane Sandy, and that the captain was just keeping us safe." That was an outlandish statement used to guilt the passengers into accepting the situation. I mentioned that I saw no weather reasons that we could not dock in Monte Carlo. An officer tried to explain to me that the ship was too tall and that high winds would have caused problems with docking, and that Monte Carlo was a soft dock, not a hard dock. I have trouble with that whole explanation. Many people gathered there were long time cruisers who had cruised with Carnival many times. They told Jamie that they would no longer cruise Carnival. Jamie responded with the company line "I"m sorry to hear that". I asked her if that was all she had to say. She responded that Carnival does not compensate passengers based on weather conditions. Even though Carnival was within their legal right to change the itinerary based on weather conditions, the changes to the itinerary were poorly executed and left many of the passengers feeling they did not get what they paid for and therefore, Carnival should have, at the very least, offered discounts or credits towards a future cruise. How much could that cost them? Many of the people would never use it, but it may have restored some confidence with other cruisers. No offers, no compensation, nothing. I got tired of arguing, so I went back to the Casino Bar. As for the Casino Bar. I spent a lot of time there. The Lido Bars were usually closed because of the weather, so the Casino Bar became my home away from home. We purchased the "My Awesome Bar" program upon boarding the ship, so I was there to get my money's worth. The bartenders, especially Miljan and Goran, worked hard to keep the passengers happy. And, while I understand we were in European waters and getting European satellite feeds, a six-day tennis tournament, cricket matches and European football only enhanced the boredom of the imposed sea days. Another side note, during our conversation with Jamie, my wife told me that she was sick of hearing the term "Fun Days at Sea." She told her days at sea were not fun when that was all you got out of the cruise. We use the ship as a floating hotel, not our entertainment. When we travel to Europe we expect to tour Europe, not float interminably in the Mediterranean. It's sad that the only way many of the passengers got to experience the European ports was to hole themselves up in their cabins and watch Rick Steves' travelogues on the ship's television. For the rest of the cruise, during Jamie's blaring announcements, we heard no more use of the words "Fun Day at Sea." As for cabin service, it was horrible. No ice bucket was offered until asked for. The refrigerator was unlocked, but never emptied, even though I asked for it to be done twice. Dirty towels were not picked up. Bed linens were not changed. Empty plates or dirty glasses were left in the room. The only way I could get dishes picked up was to leave them outside the room. And they sat there for over twelve hours many times. And, how my wife's pajama bottoms ended up stuffed behind my nightstand will continue to be a mystery to us; we thought that was rather strange. We made it on to Naples and Rome and made the best of it. In Naples, we rented a car and drove to Amalfi and Positano. While walking around Positano and seeing people enjoying the views at cute restaurants, we started debating whether further cruising was for us. Always constrained by time in port is becoming a factor in determining our vacation wants and needs. If Carnival would have made all the ports, this discussion may not have occurred. This cruise had become a disappointment to us. In Rome, we went to some areas we had not seen, the Appian Way and the Aqueducts. They were very impressive. We also went to the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, and St. Peter's Basilica. My wife and I were very dissatisfied with the cruise. We planned for a year for it, spent a lot of money to get there, and were totally at the whims of Carnival management. It still bothers me to think of the first time Carnival cruisers I met who said they were disappointed with cruising and how they would never choose Carnival again. I have read John Heald's blog with his two letters from people who were on the cruise. One expressing disappointment, one expressing praise and regrets for the captain and CD. He dismissed this cruise with no apologies or interest. The second letter expressing praise for the captain for "keeping us safe" reminds me of the people in airports who do not mind intensive groping by TSA in efforts to "keep us safe." I'll give Carnival another chance on the upcoming Christmas cruise on the Victory. It's already paid for, I have no choice. But if we see a repeated pattern of missing ports for Carnival to save port fees, increase revenue in the bars, casinos, and shops, then we will stop cruising Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We arrived at the Barcelona airport on cruise day. The Carnival staff was disorganized and inadequately prepared to handle the large number of passengers arriving. There was no order to dropping off luggage for transport to the ship. ... Read More
We arrived at the Barcelona airport on cruise day. The Carnival staff was disorganized and inadequately prepared to handle the large number of passengers arriving. There was no order to dropping off luggage for transport to the ship. Embarkation took a long time. Our room was nice and in a great location to get where we needed to go on the ship. Overall, the food was good (except for the eggs in the Lido Marketplace and the fact that they had ran out of bananas for several days) and the entertainment was good (except the last night when there was a vocalist who was drowned out by the band). Several shows had to be cancelled/rescheduled due to rocky seas. Some nice additions for lunch were Guy's Burger Joint and the Blue Iguana Cantina. The very first day the ship was unable to dock into Monte Carlo, Monaco, due to high winds according to the Captain even though the navigation map did not show any high winds. The staff had informed us the night before that they were expecting high winds to come in later that day so they moved up the departure time. An announcement was made during the evening on our first unscheduled sea day that the itinerary was changing for the remainder of the cruise in an attempt to avoid bad weather in the Tyrrhenian Sea. We were still going to Livorno as scheduled in the original itinerary. After Livorno, the revised itinerary given to us was an additional 2 sea days, skipping the scheduled port of call in Messina, followed by a port of call in Dubrovnik, then an overnight in Venice, then another sea day, then Naples, then Rome, and then a sea day back to Barcelona. We were disappointed that when the itinerary changed, that Rome was still on a Sunday. The original day that the ship had been scheduled to visit Rome, the Vatican was open as it was the last Sunday of the month. With the new itinerary, the Vatican would not be open. Shortly after leaving the port in Dubrovnik, there was another announcement of yet another itinerary change. We were not going to Venice due to the flooding, and that we were going to have 2 additional sea days and the port of call of Messina was added back to the itinerary. Lots of disappointed passengers concerned with the itinerary changes swarmed the guest services desk and were moved into the Ovation Lounge where an impromptu meeting occurred with the ship's captain and staff. After leaving Dubrovnik, the ship actually sailed around in a circle on the first sea day in the Adriatic Sea. Normally, it takes one day to sail from Dubrovnik to Messina and the captain was taking 2 days. (We passed through the Messina straight around 6 AM the day before we reached Dubrovnik earlier in the cruise). Sea day activities were limited, unless you wanted to spend money for spa treatments, donate money in the casino, go to the overly crowded trivia, spend money for Bingo, etc. The compensation for the missed ports of call were credit for the port charges/taxes and a token drink (from a limited selection) at dinner. Most passengers felt that this was not enough to compensate for a disappointing vacation experience. This was our first cruise to Europe and as such, we had booked this cruise due to the itinerary which had 7 ports of calls and only 3 sea days. Due to the various itinerary changes, we lost 2 ports of call and added 3 sea days. This was more boat ride than we expected and wanted. Early on, the Captain should have known about the weather conditions and changed the itinerary to other ports of call which the Breeze had been to before. Debarkation was very smooth and well organized. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
This was our second cruise after 20 years. Overall, very disappointed with the food and constant pressure to buy photos, shore excursions, items from the shops and spa services. Cabin was good, clean with adequate closet space , but ... Read More
This was our second cruise after 20 years. Overall, very disappointed with the food and constant pressure to buy photos, shore excursions, items from the shops and spa services. Cabin was good, clean with adequate closet space , but needed more hangers. First lunch was a buffet. I chose the stir fry, where you select your veggies, protein and sauce. Then the cook tosses your choices on a Wok along with a cup of water, covers the dish with a lid for 60 seconds. The result is a soupy dish of wet ingreds. I would describe the buffets like a Food Court during a Black Friday sale at a Mall. Dinner was in the optional price steakhouse. Now, that was excellent. The service attentive and the beef cooked perfectly. The four of us chose the steakhouse because there was an offer for a free bottle of wine only on the first night. This excellent dinner raised my expectations for the rest of the voyage. Next morning, we were woken on the PA to be advised that due to high winds and small port entrance, we would not be able to tie up at Monaco. Disappointment to say the least. Breakfast buffet... powdered scrambled eggs with overly sweetened orange "juice". The coffee after 2 days drove me to brew tea. Toast was on one side of the line, but jam and syrup were across the aisle. Hard boiled eggs were prob cooked for 10 minutes on a high boil resulting in the telltale black outline. Told the Maitre'd about the HB eggs, but no change. Dinner, they greeting desk tries to seat you to share a table, not always wanted. You have to be aggressive. For every seated meal, the first person to attend was the cocktail server who would not bring the wine.Food in Dining room was good with no shining stars. Each dinner we had to repeatedly ask for lemons in the glass of water, even tho we had the same team. Ports were 60 minutes from the cities and coach drives were described as scenic. Not so, usually high speed routes. The shore excursion in Rome was rushed. Seemed like a sprint for 8 hours. Stop to shoot a scene and the umbrella was 100 ahead. Guides were knowledgeable and friendly. The best part of the entire 12 days was the locals we met on shore, whether a shore excursion laid on lunch, owners in a retail shop, fruit street vendors or just helpful locals. The entry to Venice in the fog was spectacular along with the historic skyline. We were so fortunate the stand on St. Mark's piazza 10 days before the flood!! Found some reasonable shopping(leather, wool cap, scarf)and wonderful food window displays.The walking along the narrow streets over the canals was a delight. Next morning back to Venice with a water taxi back to the ship to be in time only to learn that the departure would be delayed for 2 hours. Sadly, there was a death onboard. One of the passengers had a medical emergency, was transferred to another boat for further care. However, we were all advised on the PA that he/she had passed away. Shockingly, in the next sentence we were told about the sale on the shops onboard!!. No pause, no moment of silence! The Cruise Director was the voice on the PA became very annoying after the third day. Too loud with forced enthusiasm. The large screen on the Lido deck showed sitcoms( Frazier) and very old movies. Same for the room TV( Rick Steeves) and broadcast of info for disembarkation and broadcast of entertainment where cruise customers were the talent. Comedy club in the lounge, we left after 7 minutes, not funny. Our room was clean and comfortable. the two twins pushed together resulted in a seam to deal with. The cabin staff and for that matter serve staff addressed me as MR. Richard( my first name, not last). I guess this was the training. Felt weird. The emphasis was on the manner of address and animals fashioned out of towels, not upscale thoughtful service. At Dinner, one of asked for extra vegetables. We received more potatoes and some carrots... no greens. At another dinner, mashed potatoes were included. The server asked if I wanted a Baked potato...I got both. Desserts were on the too sweet side. So, we were constantly reminded about the level of service and quality of food in the Italian optional Captain`s Table resto. We booked a table for 4. Arrived, met a couple that we met on board and agreed to all 6 dine together. I asked the Maitre`d if we could switch from 4 to 6. She rolled her eyes and said she would look. After a few minutes, she said she was able to switch. When we were guided to our seats, the room was more than half empty?? I ordered the Melanzane which was inedible, overcooked mush and too oily. When asked how I enjoyed it, looking at the still full plate, I described the failure. Shock on her face, but no offer to replace, substitute or credit. Everywhere on board, they play music at volume. We found the Wine Library, still PA music. It has an auto wine vendor. You use your ship's card to select and pour a selected flavour of wine in a glass. One selection was off and undrinkable( another cruiser agreed with us). I asked the bar attendant if she could replace the glass of wine. She snapped that the vending machine was automatic, our charge could not be credited and there was nothing that she could do. I insisted on speaking to her supervisor. She replied that he was on break for the next 3 hours. I asked to speak to someone. This had deteriorated. After 15 minutes, an office in white arrived, credited the account advised us that we were the only ones who did not like the wine. I pointed to the guy at the bar. The whole process was unpleasant. The staff are unwilling or unable to resolve complaints. On the exterior decks, the majority are constantly wafted by cooking odours, not fresh sea breezes. With the constant pressure to spend more cash on board, I started to call the ship by the "Carnival Squeeze". Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
A friend and I chose the Carnival Breeze Mediterranean cruise because of its itinerary and it departed from and returned to the same port. This was my 16th cruise overall, and second on Carnival (the first being on their early ship, ... Read More
A friend and I chose the Carnival Breeze Mediterranean cruise because of its itinerary and it departed from and returned to the same port. This was my 16th cruise overall, and second on Carnival (the first being on their early ship, Carnivale). What we liked: our room (#7220) which is towards the front of the ship and has storage rooms on either side, so it was very quiet. Our room steward, Christine, was outstanding and knew our names from the time we boarded. Robe in room, convenient and means not packing your own. Ship's decor was nice, but public areas seemed small for the number of people. The ship was clean and the crew was always cleaning. What we didn't like: Meals were hit and miss. We had a couple of hits, but overall would rate the food as heavy. There was plenty of food and no one will starve, but the Lido selections were lots of casseroles, and more like Golden Coral buffet, but short on veggies. We felt the same way about Guy's burgers and the barbecue. Very much cafeteria food. We were disappointed that there was never a dining room service for lunch on any of the days (unless you count the Comedy Brunch). Dinner service was especially low. We chose Your Time Dining, but Carnival doesn't have the hang of it yet. Dinner for two meant being assigned a table only inches (like 6-10 inches) from other tables in a "bank." Once there were about 10 of us, we were treated as one table and served that way. The waiter introduced himself to the group and made a group recommendation. It was very "assembly line" service and we were served in sync. Rather the worst of both worlds. Not the comraderie and conversation of group dining, and not the privacy and individual service of Your Time dining. I did not attend the evening entertainment, but my friend said it was okay, but the shows in the Ovation Theater had a very busy, high tech background that detracted from the performances. (I glanced in at it one night and knew immediately that it would give me a migraine.) She was also disappointed that the shows go with the ship, so she will not take a Caribbean cruise on the Breeze in the Spring as planned, having already od'd on them this trip. The cruise was a good value for the ports we visited, but I felt constantly aware of Carnival's cost-cutting. Nor did I like the herd-feeling of the big ship. I'd say it was my last cruise with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Arrived the day before departure and stayed at Renaissance Airport Hotel. Easy, free shuttle from airport to hotel. Early checkin request (9am) was honored. Paid $10 euro each for bus transportation to cruise ship. The Breeze was ... Read More
Arrived the day before departure and stayed at Renaissance Airport Hotel. Easy, free shuttle from airport to hotel. Early checkin request (9am) was honored. Paid $10 euro each for bus transportation to cruise ship. The Breeze was overcrowded!! Practically every public area was overrun with unsupervised children allowed to run (literally) amuck. There were 4 children ages 4-8 in the interior cabin across the hall from us; no adult present. These kids were loud, and constantly ran up and down the hall back and forth to their parents rooms. In other instances, it seemed as if the parents/guardians completely gave up supervising their children. Kids playing on the elevators (pushing every button), screaming, playing with the soft serve machine, food fights, etc. Some of the adults were rude and loud as well; pushing onto the elevators without letting others get off first. Congregating in the hallway outside the laundry room was popular activity!! CABIN--Ocean Suite smaller than Carnival Freedom. Balcony real small, chaise lounge couldn't be turned around to face the ocean. No soap dish for sink counter. We had to ask for facial soap. Storage space was sufficient for 2 people. Cabin attendant was excellent; great service. The interactive TV service was great. We could check our Sail & Sign balances, the dining room menus, order room service, etc. DINING--Guy's Burgers were good. Fat Jimmie's BBQ was good, open only during at-sea days, long lines standing in the sun in a very cramped area on Ocean Plaza. Lido for breakfast was always crowded with large, loud family groups. We had "Your Time Dining" in Sapphire and in general, it was ok. We never had to wait for a table. Great to be able to preview the Sapphire's menu on our cabin TV. Pizza place (open 24 hrs) seemed quite popular. Desserts were just ok; much better desserts could be purchased at the Coffee Cafe. OUTDOOR AREAS--Pools ALWAYS crowded except after 5-6 pm. Two small pools for a ship this size seemed inadequate. Poolside viewing of the Olympics was turned off so the scheduled movie could be shown. Cruisers were not happy about this. Seems like someone could have made the decision to continue with the Olympic coverage... The Ocean Plaza area was a great place to hangout as was the Red Frog Pub to hear the live music (Timmy Pierce was great). DECOR--The plastic trees in The Lido area look ridiculous! I understand the ship's Caribbean theme; but these trees are squished up against the ceilings and are dust catchers that will be labor intensive to keep clean. The carpet in Lido was severely stained and seemed of poor quality (our cruise was the only 6th voyage of this new ship). The carpet looked like it had been there for a couple of years. This was also true on some of the stairwells. LAUNDRY ROOM--I think the rates of $3.50 each for the washers and dryers was high. I brought my own detergent and dryer sheets; the little boxes cost $1.75 each and the dispenser was out of order most of the cruise. PORTS--Carnival's prices are quite high for tours. There are many reputable companies that offer private tours which are cheaper and give you more flexibility. You gotta do your homework; read Trip Advisor and other websites-like Rick Steves. I made my reservations before I left home. The various ports of call were all very interesting. We booked a private tour for Rome; it was a Sunday so there was less traffic congestion getting into Rome and getting back to the ship. CAMP CARNIVAL--My nephew and his wife were very pleased with this option for their 3yr old son. He loved going there and usually did not want to leave. They used it at least 9 days while on the cruise. While they were off ship touring, the baby's grandmother stayed on board in case of emergency. Some passengers felt comfortable in leaving for a 8-10 hour tour and leaving their children in Camp Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Just returned from a 12 night Western Med cruise on the new Carnival Breeze The ship is indeed beautiful & has some great features such as the Lanai wrap around deck - great to be able to sit outside a bar on a warm evening - The Red ... Read More
Just returned from a 12 night Western Med cruise on the new Carnival Breeze The ship is indeed beautiful & has some great features such as the Lanai wrap around deck - great to be able to sit outside a bar on a warm evening - The Red Frog pub & children's play area / waterworks, plus plenty of comfortable outdoor sofas, beds, chairs with umbrellas etc. The cabin was nice & comfortable & great beds. However there are many faults - although the outdoor Lanai deck is a great idea be warned if you are in a balcony cabin especially on deck 6 - the balconies are no longer private as a result of this deck directly below - people are sat outside bars & can see straight into your balcony. Deck 6 is also extremely noisy - were above the Plaza Cafe & could hear the Karaoke singing really loud in our room. Least the Plaza shut at 12pm - be careful of rooms above the disco & Red Frog pub which stay open much late & are far livelier than the Plaza. Service in the Blush dining room was also dire - we were never offered wine, lucky if we got asked if we wanted drinks, main courses were served whilst others were still having starters & felt constantly rushed. We had to ask for coffee? Very poor. The quality of food was not what we expected either & inferior to other cruise lines we have travelled with previously - it was often cold & undercooked. We were also disappointed that the sofa in our room, which had to be used for a 3rd bed was never taken up during the day so we had nowhere to sit - again this has never been the case on previous cruises , even with Carnival. The room steward persisted in servicing our room at 5pm each day - we were on late dinner sitting so had to come back to a room where the beds had already been turned down & curtains shut for the evening? Seeing as we hadn't been in the room since he'done it in the morning this left him little to do except fill the ice bucket yet we were then left with wet towels etc & Carnival still charged us $35 per day for this awful service. Also agree with the review by Tanimmo below - on this partiular sailing there were over 1,000 under 18's - I did expect a lot of children with it being August & was travelling as a family myself. However it was a rabble on board - kids were runnng everywhere - up & down corridors late at night ie 2am in the morning, galavanting round deck 5 etc mainly unsupervised. There are plenty of places for kids to go ie deck 10,11 - Carnival does get that right, yet loads were running round and playing in the lifts. The pool areas are also totally inadequate for a ship that carries 3,600 passengers plus kids - They ould have made the main pool double the size? It seems they have built a big ship to cram people on board but not extended the public areas to accomodate the no's or provided the staff (hence the crap service - Red Frog pub excluded here). We have sailed with Carnival before & really enjoyed the experience however after Carnival Breeze I will never use them again - it was not a good experience & a HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
We were a family of 4 with twin boys of 17. We spent 4 nights in Barcelona pre cruise which was really nice and had a great time sight seeing all that Barcelona had to offer. The highlight of Barcelona was the segway tour we done and the ... Read More
We were a family of 4 with twin boys of 17. We spent 4 nights in Barcelona pre cruise which was really nice and had a great time sight seeing all that Barcelona had to offer. The highlight of Barcelona was the segway tour we done and the 2 days spent on the HoHo bus around the whole city. Embarkation was not too bad took us about 30 to 40 min to get on board and then another 30 min to queue at customer service desk to get our cabins sorted so me and the wife shared a cabin. Then when we got into our cabin which was ready as soon as we got on board found that we were in a twin room and the twins next door were in a double, so back to queue again at customer service desk. We had spa cabins on deck 11 and found them to be very nice and comfortable with plenty of storage place for your clothes. There were nice bathrobes included to use during your stay to go back and forth to the spa. We then had a tour of the spa which they tried to sell you every treatment they have before telling you what facilities you are entitled to as a spa cabin occupants. There was then a free draw where you could win free treatment which was not what you were told when you 1st toured the spa and they said nobody will go away without a prize except that you have to pay for it. We particularly chose a Spa cabin because it was close to the gym as my twins are professional athletes and needed the use of the gym. When they saw the gym they were very disappointed as it was just full of running machines and the weights section was in a tiny corner and very cramped and you had to wait if someone was using it. They only seemed to cater for use of running machines. The FOOD, what can i say but very disappointing in the Lido cafe it got to the stage where we could only eat fruit or cereal in the mornings as the rest of the cooked food was often cold, tasteless or nothing like what that particular thing should be like e.g juice was squash, omelet were made with UHT eggs not fresh eggs like on many other ships, the cold meats were not of the quality you would expect of a quality cruise ship and in some instances the description on the label above the food did not match the food below it. Lunchtime the best meal we found was the pasta in the Cucina restaurant which was hot and well presented and tasted like pasta should taste. The BBQ on the lanai promenade was acceptable but the Italian sausages were nothing like the Italian sausages I have eaten in Italy over the past 30 years. The evening meals were either outstanding or really bad and again what was on the menu is not what you received on your plate. I ordered steak with a peppered and mushroom sauce, I got gravy!!! The menu said prosciutto ham I received cooked ham!!! The waiters and drinks personnel in the restaurant were really helpful and friendly and if you asked to go back to the same one night after night, as we found out to our dismay one evening there was a waiting list for this particular waiter so we said we would sit somewhere else only to be served food we hadn't ordered so not surprised people went back to where the waiters were good. The ports of call were really all good but we did our own thing and booked private tours via people on the cruise forum and found it to be so much cheaper and the people we met were all very friendly and courteous. Entertainment was poor in the theatre compared to previous cruises we have been on and fall well short of the standards the Norwegian Epic sets. The Punchliners comedy club was good and was always packed out. So to sum up I would not sail with Carnival again as the poor food let this cruise down badly and the staff were not the most friendliest we have encountered on cruises. But saying that my twin boys say it was the best cruise they have been on as they made some great friends and really enjoyed themselves, so I guess there is a generation gap as to what we expect from a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
This was my first cruise and while I thoroughly enjoyed the concept of cruising, I could not say the same for my time on the Carnival Breeze. I realize this is a 'fun ship' and as such, children will be present. That said, ... Read More
This was my first cruise and while I thoroughly enjoyed the concept of cruising, I could not say the same for my time on the Carnival Breeze. I realize this is a 'fun ship' and as such, children will be present. That said, there were far too many children running wild though the corridors, in the Lido Marketplace, by the swimming pool, etc. There was no concept of control placed on the kids by the parents & the ship staff. A fine example of this was witnessed in the Marketplace. A child wanted some ice cream however he was short and couldn't reach. So, he proceeded to stand on the counter and a member of the staff watched him fill up his dish and then lifted him off the counter. After that, he didn't even wipe off the counter! Our room was quite nice and roomy given that there were four adults in it. We had a cove balcony. Great place to see all the marine life and witness beautiful sunsets. Our stateroom steward left little to be desired though. He was not friendly at all and we had to call guest services twice because he kept forgetting to refill the soda in the fridge. Something they're supposed to do twice a day. His towel creations were very boring and his cleaning skills left little to be desired. We requested his gratuities be removed from our bill. Supper was alright most nights. The singing wouldn't have been too bad had it not been so incredibly loud. The wait staff was fantastic and couldn't have asked for better. Entertainment in the theatre was terrible and there was very little selection. The Hasboro Game show was 'ok' but not something we'd watch over again. The Divas, Latin Nights & the Brits was fine but after you watched those, there was nothing else to entertain you the other evenings. In fact, on the night before sea days, your selection of entertainment was between slim and none. The 5D theatre was fabulous and we'd highly recommend purchasing an unlimited pass. And the cruise director, Butch....fabulous!! All this said, given that its the Breeze's inaugural season, I'm optimistic that they will make some changes. After all, it is all about learning what your passengers want. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
This had been my 4th cruise this year on Carnival and the menu was the EXACT same on each ship!!! Thank goodness for Guy's burgers, Steakhouse & Deli otherwise we were eating the same food. The worst possible thing was the ... Read More
This had been my 4th cruise this year on Carnival and the menu was the EXACT same on each ship!!! Thank goodness for Guy's burgers, Steakhouse & Deli otherwise we were eating the same food. The worst possible thing was the reusing of the bread & dishes that was left at a table and we witnessed these ourselves. During breakfast & dinner (at least 4 occasions) whatever bread was left over in the basket after people ate the staff put the bread not eaten back into another basket and served this to another passenger!!! This was horrible!!! We had a family of three but the tables were set for four and each time I moved the cups or put my hands inside the cups to move them, the staff still used them and took the glasses to another table without inspecting, this was awful! This is the first time we had a junior suite it was beautiful, we loved the extra space, the tub & closest! The only bad part was on our balcony, since the jr. suites are located at the front of the ship, people who went on the front part of the deck could look right into our room we had no privacy. Others with a balcony have had shields or blockages so others could not look onto their balconies. The way our room was set people could look right into our room and at night see everything!! We had to keep our drapes closed at all times, no waking to the beautiful ports. In the morning we wanted to go out to the balcony in our pj's just like others did but there did ALWAYS people want to see the ports.... to our dislike we couldn't go out there unless we wanted everyone to see us!!! The entertainment was not up to the usual standard, not sure if it was because there were so many ports or what, but they repeated the comedy shows & the entertainment shows and many nights there was no entrainment!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
We have just returned from a 12-day cruise on the Carnival Breeze. Sailing date was Saturday the 21 of July. Family of 4 (2 boys aged 8 and 14), 2 connecting cove balcony stateroom; 2369 and 2371. This was about my 18 cruise (not ... Read More
We have just returned from a 12-day cruise on the Carnival Breeze. Sailing date was Saturday the 21 of July. Family of 4 (2 boys aged 8 and 14), 2 connecting cove balcony stateroom; 2369 and 2371. This was about my 18 cruise (not counting anymore), a first time on a Carnival ship. Most recent cruises have been with RCCL but I have sailed many times with Princess and I also been on Norwegian, Costa, Celebrity and Oceania. I had read and received many comments on Carnival about the not so great food and services but since the Breeze was brand new, the itinerary was amazing (great ports and 4 days at seas which gave us time to relax and the kids time to enjoy all the things to do on the ship) and price was unbeatable, I finally decided to give Carnival a try. Overall, it was ok, there great things and things that were not to my expectations: Ship overall: 4/5 -Brand new ship ! Embarkation and disembarkation: 4/5 We arrived at 11h30 and it took us about 40 minutes to get in. We, like always, disembark on our own and it took us about 20 minutes from our stateroom to the taxi. Ports of call: 5/5 Perfect ports to show Europe to your kids. Pools: 1/5 -2 pools on a ship of about 3700 guests, what were they thinking ? Lounge chairs: 1/5 -Do you like to get up at 6am to ensure you get a chair around the pool area ? On the first day at sea, it was around 8h30 and we had a real hard time to find 4 chairs on the whole ship ! I have never experienced this on any cruise before. Waterslide & Sportsquare: 5/5 Kids had a great time. Shows & entertainment: 4/5 Great productions & good live music. Seaside theatre: 2/5 They have a great screen but most of the time during the day they use it to sale their video of the cruise..... Spa: 4/5 Good treatments but pricy as always. Stateroom: 4/5 Good size, good stateroom stewardess. In our stateroom 2371, very noisy in the evening as I believe above us was some kitchen facilities. Lido marketplace (buffet): 2/5 The decor is nice but that's about it. Do you like line-up's in the morning to get your breakfast ? I'm not an engineer but don't they have enough experience with prior ship to better organize the food stations ? For lunch and dinner: limited selection. Pizza station: 2/5 Hungry for pizza ? Get in line ! I had it once, its good but why do they put only 2 guys to take the orders, prepare, cook and serve..... Guy's Burger Joint: 5/5 Amazing burgers and no line-ups ! Bluelguana Cantina: 5/5 Great burritos, specially for breakfast Sapphire dining room: 2/5 Food: its ok, just ok. Presentation could be better and food hotter. Taste: hits and misses. Service: they were nice and doing their best but...rush rush rush, quick quick quick. Don't expect them to serve your wine. Breakfast was very good. Steakhouse (Fahrenheit 555): 4/5 Very expensive (35$ p/p), but very good. Service is better than in the dining room. Bonsai sushi: 4/5 Very fresh and very good. Overall rating 3/5 We got what we paid for. Happy to finally have tried Carnival after 20 years of cruising. But unless I am really strap for cash, I will not be back with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
My daughter and I enjoyed our cruise, however we found ourselves continually comparing this ship to our favorite, which was INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS in the Royal Carribbean fleet. We expected this ship would be comparable due to it being ... Read More
My daughter and I enjoyed our cruise, however we found ourselves continually comparing this ship to our favorite, which was INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS in the Royal Carribbean fleet. We expected this ship would be comparable due to it being new. We found that was not the case, so we were slightly disappointed. However, there is nothing wrong with the ship and we found it adequate to have a pleasant trip. The cons of the ship were the common areas seemed small. It did not have the expansive open spaces we expected. Some of the food, while prepared fresh at the Pizza Pirate and the Mongolian Wok created long lines and lengthy delays to obtain. The cabin temperature never seemed to change despite continually adjusting it. We couldn't seem to get it cool enough at times. The shopping seemed less abundant, but perhaps it was just not spread out as far. The beach pool was not nearly big enough to accomodate the size of the ship with respect to the number of passengers. The Ocean Plaza on deck 5 was where a lot of activities, such as trivia were held and on sea days the doors opening on each side created crosswinds through the plaza. We were very disappointed in the 5D theater - it was extremely small, a fee applied and the show offerings were very limited. The pros of the ship were the crew, the production shows, the seaside theater (albeit old movies were shown), Fat Jimmy's C-side BBQ only available on sea days. Sail and sign kiosks made obtaining information easier than waiting in long guest services lines. You could also change large bills there. The Hasbro game shows were fun. The casino was nice size, with nice game choices. Overall, it was a nice trip, just nothing spectacular. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Preliminarily, this was my second cruise (the first being a Caribbean one on Royal Caribbean). However, I have travelled extensively throughout Europe on business and I am a seasoned traveller. The decision to book on Carnival was not my ... Read More
Preliminarily, this was my second cruise (the first being a Caribbean one on Royal Caribbean). However, I have travelled extensively throughout Europe on business and I am a seasoned traveller. The decision to book on Carnival was not my own, but I was part of a group of about 12 persons which included my partner. I exclude from this review any commentary about ports or Carnival organized excursions (we organized all of of our own, at significantly reduced prices). I'll also say that I am in my mid-to-late 20's: I'm not being an old crabby person when I complain about a lack of formality, quiet spaces, children, etc. I've got my fair share of patience and I am not wealthy. This was the Breeze's second sailing, Barcelona->Barcelona with ports in Marseilles, Pisa, Rome, Venice, Dubrovinik, Palma de Mallorca, et al. It was a 12 night cruise with 8 ports (I believe). We set sail on 6/12; you can look it up. On the whole, I would characterize the experience as "mediocre." Many parts of the ship left me feeling underwhelmed, but the nice ports and time spent off ship contributed to a generally positive feeling. Were there more sea days or was I on a less engaging itinerary, I believe this review would be far more negative. I apologize for my rather disjoint comments, but a bulleted list is the most convenient way for me to discuss the experience: * I really enjoyed the Piano '88 bar and pianist Ron Pass. This is how most of my evenings were spent. A young guy, he lacked the smoky gruff I've become accustomed to in piano men, but he could do a dead-on Elton John. He was a bit repetitive night after night, but I understand that tips dictate his play list. This venue attracted its fair share of nightly regulars. * I'd heard rumours of Carnival as the "discount cruise line" and moreso than the staff and experience it was the other clientèle who reinforced this notion for me. Dining room dress code was generally ignored (nor was it enforced) and there was a general lack of decorum elsewhere. Being American, some portion of this could be attributed to European customs (European passengers were 1/3+ of our ship; the Russian contingent was also significant). While I respect their different beliefs, the occasional lack of decorum for queueing and personal space was a bit off putting. * Our group took formal dining every evening. Props to our server Tomaz and his attentiveness and patience with special requests. I wouldn't call the food "excellent", but it was generally "good", and there were some very nice presentations and a nice variety of selections (including an "every day" menu featuring some staples). I would encourage people to avoid the "comfort items", which seemed to have an over-emphasis on portion size and fried food. The tiramisu was absolutely delicious. Order meat one degree more rare than what you'd actually like to get. * Main auditorium entertainment was underwhelming both in selection and execution. My favorite was "The Brits", a show featuring Beatles tunes and others from the same era. There is something to be said for that fact that half of this show was projected on a giant screen (and not sung live) -- and it was still the best. The "Divas" show was also said to be respectable; with the magic act and talent show well below par. * Children. Children. Children. They are everywhere. They are loud. When sea days roll around (or the various "Camp Carnival" events let out for the night) they were everywhere. There is an adults only pool area (impossible to find a seat on sea days). Besides that, nowhere was exempt from the noise. Though the library bar is quite a nice space, it was full of kids playing games. I could find nowhere to get work done outside my cabin. With two of us trying to work, this meant one of us got the cabin desk and the other had to sit in the bed -- which wasn't very conducive to productivity. A simple adults only area could go a long ways in improving this. * I attended about ~3 comedy shows. On my particular cruise there seemed to be an over-emphasis on British comedians. Their slang and style seemed to go over the head of many in the audience. Some American comedians came on board later into our cruise, but I cannot offer comment on their performances. * The "Punchliner Comedy Brunch" offered on sea days in the main dining room was a pretty nice meal and alternative to Lido deck breakfast. However, the comedy component was nothing to be impressed with (a 5 minute advertisement occurring once hourly). Actually, try to avoid it, as the servers tend to step aside while the performance is under way. * Regarding lido deck dining: We were usually in a hurry to get off the ship at port (and I am not the best early riser). Breakfast lines were pretty large, but going to the Blue Iguana Cantina (mexican station) was a nice opportunity to *quickly* get a wrapped breakfast burrito that could be taken off ship. It had far shorter lines than the standard breakfast offerings and was pretty delicious. * We disembarked around 8AM for most ports and were back on board ~3-4PM. Having eaten breakfast, we didn't really take lunch in ports. Starving back on board, dining options were extremely limited around this time. It was either do Guy's Burgers (grease-fest) or wait in line for the limited deli options (cooked on demand). * Late night dining was also a disappointment. The pizza joint was open 24 hours and was quite good. Unfortunately, lines were long as they seemed to insist on cooking pizzas to order. The itinerary did mention "late night snacks from midnight-2AM". To the best of my searching, this did not exist on the first half of our cruise. When it did show up on the second half, it consisted of (1) hot dogs, (2) buffalo chicken sandwiches, and (3) potato chips -- EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Just call 24 hour room service and throw them a Euro or 2; they have more healthy, fresh, and prompt offerings. More often, I fixed a plate when lido dinner opened @ 5:30 or 6:00 (prior to my 8:15 late formal dining) and threw it in the cabin mini-fridge and ate it when my midnight or 1AM cravings rolled around. * Internet service was "decent". Satellite internet obviously comes with challenges and is inevitably frustrating. I did pricing per the minute (no pre-bought package) @ $0.75 minute, and was generally able to complete an email check in ~3 minutes time. In the more mundane ports, I found a cafe, had a drink, and drained the bandwidth out of their free wifi connections. * Our ability to bring alcohol onboard was absolutely unrestricted. We disembarked with a large amount in a disguised fashion, and when that ran out, we brought it on in water bottles. Never a single question or inspection. Maybe it was just super hot and they were encouraging hydration, maybe it was European attitudes, I don't know; YMMV. Good luck. P.S. If you're American, don't buy booze and check it across the pond. We were able to buy completely respectable 750ml vodka (Smirnoff quality) at 3.33EURO in a Barcelona supermarket which we used to fill disguised bottles (and got over 3 gallons on board). * Though crowded on sea days, I quite enjoyed the pools. Shaded seating areas existed (able to put your feet in the water), very shallow pool areas in which to lounge and read, and in-pool seating were a nice touch. Lounge chairs suffered from the usual limited availability and rude "towel-down" reservation system. This was even worse in the adults-only area which featured nice couches, hammocks, and covered round seating (should you be able to get one). * Umbrella tables and the more relaxed (but pool-less) 5th deck attitude was a whole lot better than that up top. I gave the Sky Course (rope course), slides, and etc. a try -- but they weren't as important to me as if, say, I was travelling with children. Lines didn't seem too extreme for these offerings. * My experience with crew was almost universally positive. Granted, this was the ship's second sailing and they probably still had their "A team" on board. Our cabin steward was a bit too "hands on" (endlessly knocking when we were showering to talk to us). He also created some of the most abstract and nondescript towel animals I've ever seen.. * During lido lunch dining there is a free "pasta bar" upstairs at Cucina de Capito (which at dinner becomes a premium restaurant). Few people seem to know this and it comes highly recommended. I also heard "C side BBQ", open only sea days, was quite good, but didn't want to brave the lines. * Given the price point, I found our interior cabin quite spacious and well appointed (robes!). We were at the extreme stern of the ship and we did have some mild temperature issues. Our AC was at full blast, but our room never really got cold. Granted, it was a 100 degree heat wave almost every day in Europe, but the bow of the ship didn't seem to suffer in the same way (where some of our party were staying). In fact, many of the cabin hallways had external blowers in place at night, though I was unable to conclude if this was to dry carpet cleaning or help with air circulation. We never really suffered, but after a 100 degree day in port, it wasn't the pleasant shock we desired, either. You must also have your ship-card in the slot for the A.C, to operate -- though any standard-sized card will work. * Embarkation, disembarkation, and port calls were all quite reasonable and prompt. Announcements seemed to indicate a bit of trouble with some of the Carnival-sponsored shuttles, but we didn't take any of those. There was a general strike in Venice, but this was outside Carnival's control and they seemed to do a quite respectable job in trying to circumnavigate the matter. * A special shout out to "The Taylor's" who amazingly managed not to arrive back on board on time for 3 CONSECUTIVE DAYS (but always made departure). I am sure they got quite a lecture from the staff. * We didn't really participate in too many of the minor on-ship activities. We did give trivia a whirl twice and were unimpressed. First, the hosts had no idea what they were doing (they couldn't pronounce some things correctly during "culinary trivia"). Second, it seems Carnival doesn't mix up the questions much. Some 14 year-old pr*ck aced virtually every question because he had been on a prior cruise with the exact same questions (and still got a trophy!). * Why the paid locations such as the "Red Frog Pub" and "Bonsai Sushi" exist is beyond me. I noticed more staff were using these empty locations than paying customers. Surely, this space could be utilized in a more engaging way. (Poolside bars were doing fine business, though). Same with the 4D theatre. * Lemonade, iced tea, water, and coffee are the free beverage offerings. This is fine. However, is is too much to ask to have an ice machine at every beverage station? There is also some disconnect. A large number of juices are free at formal breakfast and via room service; but you will be charged when you try to order them at a bar. Sorry for tending to place an emphasis on the negative aspects here -- but that is my nature (and Carnival promotional materials will happily tell you everything they are doing right). The southern Med. ports were awesome and spending 2/3 of my non-sleeping time in port, I was quite satisfied with my vacation. If a similar cruise line had the same itinerary at a similar price point, though, I'd certainly give it a try before doing Carnival again. Again, the negativity seemed to stem more from fellow cruisers than the physical ship or its staff. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Cabins. Excellent Lido Food. Very Good Dining Room Sapphire.Good Casino. Below average- Very little variety Shows. Good Comedy Show- Very good Entertainment.Below average.The quality of singers in bars etc really were not good and ... Read More
Cabins. Excellent Lido Food. Very Good Dining Room Sapphire.Good Casino. Below average- Very little variety Shows. Good Comedy Show- Very good Entertainment.Below average.The quality of singers in bars etc really were not good and you would not want to return to hear them again. Pool and water park area.Very good. Activities on board. Poor. Staff. Found most staff very good and helpful. Ship Tours, Rip off as usual, better off organising them yourself. Liquid night club. Not inviting to any over 30. Internet access. Very expensive It would not take much to put this beautiful ship into the great category. However they really need to up their game when it comes to entertainment and activities.Simple things.For example there was no bridge (card game) organised. I don't play myself but a number of people I met would have loved to have an organised game.Entertainment around the pool was very hit and miss. In the casino people do not want to play on electronic texas hold em and roulette machines.When one stayed overnight in a port the ship was very boring with limited options. Would I go again. Probably not.NCL, Princess, RC offer more fun for your money Read Less
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
The Carnival Breeze is the the newest ship we've ever been on. There are some outstanding things about it. We loved the 4D Theater, Sky Course and the Water Works (slides). The fast food was the best we've ever had. Guys ... Read More
The Carnival Breeze is the the newest ship we've ever been on. There are some outstanding things about it. We loved the 4D Theater, Sky Course and the Water Works (slides). The fast food was the best we've ever had. Guys Burgers, the Cantina for Mexican and the Pizza were by far the best of any ship we've been on. The cabin was incredibly small and plain. The noise from the Lido was awful and heard throughout the night, every night we were onboard. The walls are too thin and we heard the TV early each morning from our neighbor's cabin. While most of the food was good in the dining room, I believe there is some room for improvement here. The waiters made numerous mistakes with service though they were extremely nice. Our waiter also smelled of body odor and should have been counseled on it. The comfort foods on the menu were enticing and above all the melting chocolate cake was our favorite dessert. The Carnival production shows were too loud and in your face for us and there is not one indoor space we could find for peace and quiet. Even the library has music piped in. Onboard shopping was excellent but a bit crazy during sales such as the $5 t-shirt sale where people were acting like animals. The cruise director was very personable and sincere. We missed the port of Monaco due to "weather" that never appeared until we would have left the port but the Captain has to make those tough calls. Other than that most days were sunny and we were able to enjoy the activities upstairs. It would be nice to have an indoor pool on the ship but it seems nowadays few ships have them. We would recommend this ship to others and would like to sail on her again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
My wife and I have sailed Carnival before about five times. I will skip over what anyone who has sailed carnival already knows and get into the specifics of this trip and ship. The Carnival Breeze is an almost new ship. A few differences ... Read More
My wife and I have sailed Carnival before about five times. I will skip over what anyone who has sailed carnival already knows and get into the specifics of this trip and ship. The Carnival Breeze is an almost new ship. A few differences between the Breeze and other Carnival ships are the following: the entertainment was typical Carnival stuff. Not Broadway but more like a small regional production. If you expect the Broadway cast from Wicked, it "ain't" going to happen. It was something pleasant to spend some time after dinner. The theater itself is rather small vis-a-vis the number of ship's passengers so do not tarry after dinner if you have your heart on seeing one of the shows. The food was typical Carnival too. The maitre d' Yogi was way above the norm and was very "hands on". You usually see Carnival maitre d' s only on the last night with their hands out expecting a tip. The serving staff was excellent although there were more changes that the norm in the course of the cruise. Carnival has upgraded its TV infrastructure so the programming is better than a couple of years ago and you can check you ship's card balance at any time. The Tour Director Jaime was one of the best and a very tall, thin willowy blond was uncharitably (but correctly) named 6'3". I thought that this was dehumanizing but who philosophizes on a cruise? The captain spoke incomprehensible English that Jaime "translated" into intelligible English. There was no gym per se and Carnival has increased the number of "non-free" activities. They really push their salon for treatments and product. To me it's all grease and snake oil but some people like it. The room stewards were good and the ship always looked clean. On a scale of 10 (great) to 1 (poor) I will rate the shore excursions with an occasional comment. 1. Monaco-Monte Carlo...n/c too windy; did not dock; this was for us the least important port so we didn't cry over missing it. The port has a "poor kids with their noses pressed against the bakery window drooling over sweets they cannot afford" quality to it. 2. Livorno...5...bad weather hampered tour; two hours in Florence and one in Pisa. uninspired bu good if you "must see" the Leaning Tower before you die. 3. Civitavecchia/Rome...3...my wife went to Rome but I opted out because I had been there several times before. I went to Tarquinia (see other cruise reviews) which was a great alternative. Wife had such a terrible tour of Rome that they refunded 20%. Tarquinia shuts down tighter than a drum from 12:45 pm to 4 pm for the siesta. 4. Naples...8...most reviews advise not going to Naples proper so we followed that advice; went to Mt Vesuvius (rather strenuous climb, not for someone with physical disabilities) and Pompeii. Spectacular views of Bay of Naples from Mt Vesuvius. Pompeii jammed pack with tourists. 5. Venice...9...wonderful, surreal port; tricky to get off the ship to Piazza San Marco; transportation relatively expensive, even public vaporetti; absolutely loaded with tourists; Alilaguna water taxi (located on the peer itself) is the best deal from peer to Piazza San Marco. 6. Dubrovnik...8...quite spectacular "old world" look and feel; economy almost 100% dominated by tourist trade. Lots of shops and restaurants; geographically small (150 square acres) so you can "do" the city in a day; must have been an unspoiled beauty in the mid-90s. They have not yet been admitted to the Eurozone (a dubious honor) so the merchants are rather eclectic in terms of currency use. 7. Sicily...8...took shore excursion "In the Steps of the Godfather"; visited two towns that figured prominently in the movie; kind of a long bus ride to get to the first town Sabocca. As the reviews state, not much to do in Messina where the peer is located. Generally the Breeze enforced the "do not bring alcohol" aboard rule rather loosely. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
Myself, my husband and our 8 month old baby have just come back from this cruise. Embarking - we had private transfers. easy and got straight on.Found the port staff to be a bit rude and lacked a smile! The ship - its a nice ship. ... Read More
Myself, my husband and our 8 month old baby have just come back from this cruise. Embarking - we had private transfers. easy and got straight on.Found the port staff to be a bit rude and lacked a smile! The ship - its a nice ship. fresh and clean and spacious. HOWEVER IT HAS 1 BABY CHANGING FACILITY ON BOARD WHICH IS AT THE BACK END OF THE SHIP ON THE POOL DECK ( deck 10 ) AND IS IN THE DISABLED TOILET BUT THERE IS NO BABY SIGN ON THE DOOR!! I went to change my baby the 2nd night whilst we was eating dinner ( sapphire restaurant on deck 3 ) and went out to find the baby changing facilities and couldnt find them. I went over to the guest services desk and they didnt know if there were any and where they were. i waited 10mins whilst the advisor went off and rung the supervisor and he came back and said we dont have any facilities at all on the ship but you can change your baby on the marble sink area in the ladies toilets!!! What a joke. So everytime she needed changing i had to go back up to the room whether it be during dinner or in the day. On the last day i got told about the one on deck 10 by a cleaner!! Staff - friendly and helpful except guest services have a chip on their shoulder and a attitude! entertainment - Dimas need to be sacked.their singing is awful in the atrium!! Karaoke was same people going up all night. the shows were repeated and the divas show was good but the Brits one was rubbish. never watched any of the others. Music by the pool was fab, esp the DJs and the dive in movies were brill. love the popcorn and fleece blankets. Food & drink - soda package is value for money. WATCH OUT FOR THE 15% GRATUITY added automatically on every thing you buy from the bar. I asked guest services to take this off at the end of the cruise and it came to $30!! You will die of thirst in the main restaurants at night and by the pool during day if you are looking for a drinks waiter!! everynight we had to ask our waiter to get them and they didnt come over till AFTER dinner!! In end during the day i would just go up and get my own drinks at the bar as it was such an effort looking for a bartender! Sapphire restaurant - nice food and friendly staff but there was always a prob of some sort every night such as forgetting the bread etc. Royal carib waiters are on the ball and different class! The showtime where they dance was a fun and nice touch. breakfast in blush restaurant - felt rushed and all come at once with a million waiters serving you. felt they just wanted you in and out and with a small baby this is not poss to rush brekfast when i am trying to feed her first and then me! Lido marketplace - only good thing is the deli. was shut alot of the time and very limited food. normally found the menu was last nights leftovers from restaurant! breakfast was nice but fruit was scarce and bananas became on a 'ask only' basis. Capitano restaurant - ok. nothing great! Guys burger place - Nice and fresh. Jimmys BBQ - nice but very small selection and only open for 2 hours on sea days only. Pool area - never found it crowded and the waterplay area was great gym - small but adequate cherry on top sweet shop - loved it! Room - great. no probs. Found it unproffessional how the cruise director kept mentioning everynight the cabin numbers of the ppl who were late back on the ship at a port over the tannoy! and was awoken by him at 5.30am on last day calling luggage numbers every 10mins on tannoy IN THE CABIN!!!!!!!!. NOT GOOD WITH A 8 MONTH OLD! excersions - overpriced. they charge $99 per person for a 30min gondola ride when the gondola men were charging a one off charge of 80 euros for 30mins and can have up to 6 ppl in the gondola ( 14 euros each! ) It was okay but totally lacked the luxury, standards, variety and service of royal caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We had a fantastic time on the Breeze cruising from Barcelona on September 19th. The ship and crew are excellent. The itinerary for this sailing was loaded with excellent ports of call. The ship did not appear crowded to me at all. We ... Read More
We had a fantastic time on the Breeze cruising from Barcelona on September 19th. The ship and crew are excellent. The itinerary for this sailing was loaded with excellent ports of call. The ship did not appear crowded to me at all. We only experienced minor waits, if any to obtain food, drinks, or participate in an activity. Embarkation was very quick and we waited less than 15 minutes to board the ship in Barcelona Cabin Our cabin 9481 was the the very back of the ship and had a great balcony view off the stern. We did not experience any significant noise due to Lido deck 10 being right above us. The cabin was spacious and there is quite a bit of storage. The only drawback to this cabin is that you have not much in the way of privacy on your balcony. The partitions between the balconies do not go all the way to the end so from the railing of your balcony you can see all the other people on your deck, and they can see you. Other balconies on the ship have the privacy screen which extends all the way to the balcony end so that people can't easily look into your space. This is a minor concern but just know that this is the case if you are booking a stern balcony cabin. Our cabin stewart keep our room spotless during our 12 night vacation, that team could not have done a better job. The food We had anytime dining and this was really the only area where they don't seem to have things worked out just yet. Food was always good but the cadence of service on anytime dining was spotty. Sometimes you were greeted soon after you were seated, other times there was a significant wait. No big deal. We did use many of the specialty dining options, had two dinners at the steakhouse, one at the Italian resturant, and one night at the chefs table. All of these were top notch. The chef's table was amazing, each course was artfully presented and the service was outstanding. The steakhouse put out wonderful food on both our visits and the chocolate sampler is nothing short of spectacular. The italian restaurant is also good for both lunch and dinner. There is no up-charge for lunch but you basically get to choose a type of pasta, sauce, protein & vegetables. Your pasta is then made and brought to your table. You do hear the bouncing of the basketball court above you during lunch. At dinner this restaurant serves a full multi-course menu. While we chose to cruise at a timeframe where there would be very few children on the ship, we didn't encounter any of the problems noted by previous reviews. Guys Burgers, I guess I am outside the curve on this one. They are good but I feel this is case because of the toppings bar not because of the burger itself. I think Carnival could have saved a bunch of dough by just putting a burger toppings bar out there, there is nothing special about the hamburgers. The blue iguana serves up some tasty burritos for both breakfast and lunch. This was my go to place for breakfast, never a line and you leave the chaos of the lido buffet behind. Tandori was good the one time I tried it. The deli made a nice sandwich The pizza pirate did a nice job with the variety of pizza they served, fresh and tasty. Fat Jimmy's C-side had a huge line when it opened on the first sea day, we tried it and along with most of the people seemed to judge it as lacking. I say this because there were little to no lines for this place on the remaining sea days. We ordered one breakfast from room service that was delivered on time and the order was perfect. Comedy brunch on sea days. We did this on two mornings and the menu is good, food is good but I still don't understand the rationale for doing this? The comedy shows were packed everynight they were offered so they don't need any promotion and the material the comics use during the brunch is pretty much what you heard the night before during the show so I still don't really understand what the goal of this "2.0" addition is. There is a specialty coffee and dessert that serves gelato, and large slices of chocolate cake and carrot cake as well as chocolate dipped strawberries for a small charge. The lido buffet is very large and the lines move pretty well except for the beverage stations which are poorly designed with the ice dispenser in the corner, this has been pointed out in other reviews. Still there are enough beverage stations positioned throughout the lido area that you can always find one without a line if you're willing to walk a little. I did not try the sushi restaurant or the mongolian wok so I can't comment on thos except to say that the sushi restaurant rarely appeared to be busy. Ports: Getting off the ship was easy in every port except Monaco where we were 40 minutes late so people were lined up on the stairs waiting to get off. In most ports we docked on time or were early. We did private excursions in each port so I can't comment on Carnival tours but I did not hear anyone complaining about their tour. Entertainment: We attended a couple of comedy shows which were good. The juggler on the ship was outstanding as well. The Hasbro show was good but in my opinion it takes too long to pick the contestants and I found myself getting bored. We didn't go to any of the productions shows, we were too busy doing other things. Piano Bar 88 was nice a couple of night but we had to move the crowd into the modern music era. This cruise had a pretty high median age!!! Red Frog pub had a guitar player who was good but seemed to like to play depressing songs so I didn't hang out there very much, didn't try any of their appetizers either but the menu looked good. Activites: We played mini-golf, tried the ropes course, outdoor billiards and foosball which were all good fun. Both water slides were a lot of fun as well. Never spent any time at either pool and only walked through serenity a couple of times as it was always at full capacity. I also don't understand why serenity is by the water slides. If this ship was full of kids all you would hear is screaming children, nothing serene about that!! Thrill Theatre: We purchased the full cruise pass and we watched almost all the movies/rides. This was a lot of fun and something truly different at sea. We also did the behind the fun tour on the second to last sea day and this was a great overview of some of the inner workings of the ship and crew. Spa/fitness center The fitness center was only crowded the first morning, by day three there was nobody there. They have plenty of treadmills and elliptical machines but a very small free weight area. We got a couples massage that was very professional and felt amazing after four full days port tours. All in all this was a great cruise and I highly recommend the Breeze. The ship is incredible and the crew is outstanding, this was my best cruise ever and I can't wait to start planning our next adventure. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
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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