Sail Date: December 2014
It has been 12 years since we were on Carnival and it will be at least 12 years before we come back. Our last experience was so bad to keep us away but I thought we would give the new Breeze a try. I was so anticipating this cruise to ... Read More
It has been 12 years since we were on Carnival and it will be at least 12 years before we come back. Our last experience was so bad to keep us away but I thought we would give the new Breeze a try. I was so anticipating this cruise to celebrate many family events. I was so disappointed. It appeared that they were understaffed. Especially in the dinning room. The wait at meal time was very long no matter when you went nor if you had anytime dinning or the set seating. I had asked about getting a set time and table for the anytime dinning. Or at least a reservation. I was told they don't do this. Then toward the end of the cruise I saw some family had the same table every night at the same time and they had it reserved. So I guess some passengers were allowed to do this and others were not!! The room service pic up of food trays was horrible, they sat out on the deck floor for hours. To the point of the halls starting to smell. I saw breakfast dishes sitting there long after 3 in the afternoon. Lunch and dinner dishes late into the evening. It seemed like they never got picked up. I found staff to be rude in some cases. They were not overly friendly at all. In fact many hardly talked to you at all. It was not all of them but many. This was more true up on deck than the cabin stewards. My boys (they are in their 20's) went to inquire about excursions only to be greeted by a person who was not helpful and they found him to be rather rude as well. They walked away shaking their heads and said they would do something on the island. I had asked about an excursion as I was ready to book it. Turns out it was nothing like it was explained on line or in their booklet and I told her so and she said she would look into it. So glad I didn't put out the almost $500 in advance to be misrepresented. The ship was rocking and rolling a lot. Seemed like the stabilizers were not doing a thing. The seas did not seem particularly rough either. No storms that we had heard of. We did have some showers the first day but only a little for the first part of the day and they came and went for 20 min spurts nothing huge.but after that it was great weather but the rocking continued for most of the first 5-6 days. Sometimes rather strong rolling making it hard to walk around. The music at the main pool area was very loud. Same as for the Shows at night. The shows seemed to repeat themselves in format. Divas this Divas that. One juggler and one hypnotist. The 4 comedians that were brought on 3 were good one was bad. The venue was way too small and to have to empty it then form a line to get into next show. There was not enough staff to control the line or the amount of seat saving in the venue. Plus we saw Carnival crew people with name tags sitting in seats while passengers were standing in the back. The buffet did not open until 7:30 am. while many passengers were up and looking for food well before then. Not even one line was open for the early risers. As the week went on the buffet food got worse and worse. So over all we were all disappointed in our cruise. We had fun but it was not the best of out 14 cruises that we have taken.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
This was our fifth cruise with Carnival so we knew what to expect going in. We arrived at the port in Miami around 11am. You had to find someone to take your luggage, so we were a little disappointed on the small number of porters ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise with Carnival so we knew what to expect going in. We arrived at the port in Miami around 11am. You had to find someone to take your luggage, so we were a little disappointed on the small number of porters available for luggage drop off. After finally finding a porter, we went through the basic security checkpoint fairly quickly. Make sure you do not arrive to the cruise port until around noon because we waited a good hour and a half to even board the ship. The ship itself is beautiful, modern, clean, and well laid out. It was definitely a full ship and you could really tell come lunch at the lido marketplace. The options at the lido buffet were pretty limited and we were underwhelmed with the dessert options, but Guy's burger, pizza, and the Blue Iguana Cantina provided great food all cruise long. The shows on board were a little disappointing aside from the Latin Nights show. The singers weren't the best, but the digital screens used frequently were appealing to the eye. The cruise director, Matt, was fantastic and engaging. He was definitely the best cruise director we'd ever had. We liked watching the movies outside on the lido deck big screen, and the popcorn and blankets were a nice touch. The casino was also a hot spot but was of course pretty smoky at times. Red Frog Pub is a great place and we spent some time there as well and enjoyed the love music. Personally I think the musicians that played out in the public areas were far better than the ones that were in the main production shows. The ports we visited were Grand Turk, La Romana, Curaçao, and Aruba. We did not feel safe getting off the boat in La Romana so we just stayed on the ship and essentially had a day at sea with a half empty ship. If you visit La Romana in the future it is probably wise to book an excursion. The other three ports were fantastic and we especially enjoyed beach days in Grand Turk and Aruba. All in all it was a fantastic cruise and we loved our vacation away from the cold in the north. Christmas in the Caribbean was definitely a great experience and we'd definitely consider going on the breeze in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
The Breeze is a nice ship, this is my 16th cruise and 10th on Carnival so I am famaliar. You know what you are getting on Carnival and since we do pay lower prices, you have to expect some differences. Main changes I saw from the 3 cruises ... Read More
The Breeze is a nice ship, this is my 16th cruise and 10th on Carnival so I am famaliar. You know what you are getting on Carnival and since we do pay lower prices, you have to expect some differences. Main changes I saw from the 3 cruises I did last year overall from a Carnival standpoint are: - The cut back on wait staff in dining so it takes much longer. It's not the waiters fault, they can only do so much - Sure portions are smaller but that's good, if you like more, order more, you can order as many as you like - Bartenders at bars, not all that impressed, and cut back there too. We always find a guy, keep tipping and we always have good service! Sean from Philippines was great - Pictures - same but they need to do was RCL does with face recognition where you can order all at once and hire less photographers and more waiters - Matt was cruise director and he was FANTASTIC. Always approachable, fast on his feet and really funny! - Piano bar guy was GREAT! His voice would get raspy towards end of night but he was fun and bartenders there were great - Embark/Debark fast and easy - we were FTTF. Had a 10:15 plane and were sitting waiting at the gate 8:30! (we did self-embark) - Aruba stop was lonely as several stores were closed but it was Xmas (ships should stay at sea on holidays!) - Chair hogs always out, I'm one but I stay with my chair. Have to be up and out by 8AM. They did not remove towels - Only did 2 shows so not too much comment - Comedy was fine - Drank to hearts content but did not buy pass. With 4 port days, we would have overspent. Trust me we drank a lot ($1K) but not enough to cover buying it for 3 even 4 adults. Had a great trip, met great people and hope to keep in touch with them too!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
Sailed on the Breeze with my 16 year old daughter for Christmas. We received an excellent deal on this cruise and booked rather last minute. We drove down the day before and drove most of the way, finishing up the last 4 hours the day of ... Read More
Sailed on the Breeze with my 16 year old daughter for Christmas. We received an excellent deal on this cruise and booked rather last minute. We drove down the day before and drove most of the way, finishing up the last 4 hours the day of the cruise. We parked at Safe Cruise parking, had no problem finding, quick trip to the port once our car was parked. Overall embarkation was pretty easy, we arrived about noon, and I think we were onboard the ship by 12:45. Only issue was they didn't ask for the card I was using for onboard services so I had to have that updated at guest services once we were onboard. We had in inside cabin on deck 2. Room steward was excellent, always had a hello and called us both by name. Anything needed was quickly supplied. We had set dining, daughter wanted a table for two and that was arranged after our first night. Dinner staff however was very slow, not sure if they had too many tables or not. Most nights we would see people already getting their deserts, while we hadn't yet received our entrees. Though staff was very friendly, they seemed just a bit overwhelmed. Overall food was good, I however have never been overly impressed with Carnival's dinner or desert menu. I tend to find something I will eat, however a few items I have liked in the past were now missing. I found dinners to actually be our least favorite meals. We had breakfast in both the buffet and dining room. Normal breakfast fare, but everything we had was fine. Now for lunch my daughter and myself at the taco's or guy's burgers practically every day. Occasionally had the pizza, she also ordered room service twice for a little snack. I would love to see longer hours at the taco and burrito place. They really should be an option open through the evening, I would think to at least 11 pm. Seating in the buffet we found to be a bit more crowded, but usually found something. Though the higher booth type tables don't work well for everyone, so not sure if those are the best choice for seating. We did excursions in both the Dominican Republic and Curacao. Grand Turk we hung out at the beach and in Aruba we did a little shopping and had lunch. We only went to one of the shows in the evening and did go to three of the family comedy shows. We tried trivia during the day, but were never able to find a seat. After three tries we gave up. Overall didn't really do a lot of activities, my daughter hung out in the cabin quite a bit during the day. We did purchase the lowest social media package for $25, it allowed for Facebook and Snap chat which allowed my daughter to keep in contact with friends during the trip. Disembarkation was easy, only issue was they seemed to skip over our number or the way it was announced was just a little odd. We got off, found luggage immediately, quick through customs and then waited for pickup. Safe Parking did pickup, we waited about 15 minutes before shuttle arrived, quick trip back to the car and we were on the road again. I would absolutely sail this ship again, it is beautiful. Though I would love to have a balcony, for the price the inside was perfect.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
This was our 4th cruise with our family of 5 and the grandmothers and each cruise has been enjoyable. To get away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas and to sail away to warm, exotic places is a memory that our children will remember ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with our family of 5 and the grandmothers and each cruise has been enjoyable. To get away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas and to sail away to warm, exotic places is a memory that our children will remember for a lifetime. We left out of the Port of Miami and went to the Southern Caribbean for an 8 day cruise. We had signed up for Faster to the Fun, and it was worth every penny. We were at the terminal around 11 am and were on board within 30 minutes enjoying lunch on the lido deck. We had 2 days at sea to get acclimated to the ship. The ship is beautiful with plenty to do. In fact, we didn't have enough time to do it all. Our first port was Grand Turk. We opted to stay at the beach and just relax. It's a beautiful beach and our daughter was able to snorkel and get some good pictures of parrot fish. Our next port was LaRomano, Dominican Republic. From reading the reviews, we were leery of this port, but it worked out alright also. We went on the boat ride to Saona Island. It was a bumpy ride as stated in the reviews. Our daughter hurt her backbone from bouncing on the seat, but they were all so excited to see the star fish on the sandbar that she didn't mind too much. Our next port was Curaco and we opted to get a bus tour once we got off of the ship. The floating bridge was moving when we got there, and that was a cool sight to see. The bus tour was about 2 hours and we still had time to shop once we got back. Our last port was Aruba on Christmas Day. From the reviews, I was glad we had an excursion already booked. We saw the big rocks, the baby bridge, lighthouse and then we had about 1 1/2 hours at the beautiful beach. We had 2 more days at sea. On the next to the last day at sea, we had booked the Behind the Fun Tour of the ship. If you ever get a chance to do this, it is very interesting. One last day at sea and then back to Miami. Since we had Faster to the Fun, our debarkation was simple. Then home to winter weather and hopes to do it all again someday. It was a great trip. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
The embarkation process really sucked. You pass through security and then you go into the great hall and wait for someone to arbitrarily give you a zone card, we never did get a zone card and had to force our way into line behind a group ... Read More
The embarkation process really sucked. You pass through security and then you go into the great hall and wait for someone to arbitrarily give you a zone card, we never did get a zone card and had to force our way into line behind a group of aggressive Americans who obviously knew the system better than us. If we had waited around for this stupid zone card thing then we would have been last to board. They should give you a number as soon as you get through security , just like a deli, would have been less frustrating. The ship is huge with lots to do and see and eat. If you do not find something to your liking on this ship then you are a real Stiff and have no one to blame but your self. We where with a group of 20 and found the public areas to be very accommodating and well served. The News Years party was amazing with thousands of guests filling the main decks, free champagne for all was a great touch. The Cruise director Matt Mitchum really made the public functions rock, this guy is so talented, he got the crowds to sing and dance along. The service at the main seating was slower than usual but it did give time to discuss the day with our family. The one thing I really liked was that Carnival was Enforcing its 45 minutes or lose it deck chair policy. If you leave your chairs unattended for more than 45 minutes then they take the ``save - zee `` stuff off and give the chair to people who will actually occupy them. I just loved it when some goof ball family would leave there stuff on a chair at 6:30am and come back at 10:30am thinking it was still there for them, only to find another family there. ``hey where's our stuff`` , ``we where since 6:30am`` , Get lost goofs. I loved it. Bravo Carnival for enforcing the policy and it is the main reason I am a return cruiser. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
Took the 6 night 7 day cruise on the Breeze. Went to Turks, Jamaica and Nassau. Had a wonderful time. Very few lineups for food, only for morning omelette. Loved the steak house, sushi and red frog. But the "free" dining room ... Read More
Took the 6 night 7 day cruise on the Breeze. Went to Turks, Jamaica and Nassau. Had a wonderful time. Very few lineups for food, only for morning omelette. Loved the steak house, sushi and red frog. But the "free" dining room was also fabulous and our waiter was great! Also "free" Blue Iguana and burgers by the pool. Also very good. Lots to do on the ship. The comedian was fabulous. My girlfriend is the mother of a stand up comedian and she was very impressed. The drinks were good, same prices as a home in Canada but I don't drink much. The tours were good. Visited a garden in Jamaica and the falls. Also a glass bottom boat in Nassau. Got the stars houses pointed out as part of the tour. The after cruise visit to the alligator farm was a highlight. Only downside: the internet. bought the 29 dollar package but unlike when I was on Holland America, you are not told when your minutes run out, they just go to by the minute Also a half hour was added when none of my devices were on. However, if using an Ipad,make sure to TURN IT RIGHT OFF at the end of each session. I did get money back for the internet though but I would advise, DO NOT use the ship's internet. Find a cafe in port or just leave those blackberries at home and socialize with your companions!   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
Port/Embarkation: First, we made a trip to a store to pick up a few things for the cruise that we didn’t bring with us like sun block, liquid hand soap, hangers, wine, coke, and bottled water. We arrived at the port of Miami around ... Read More
Port/Embarkation: First, we made a trip to a store to pick up a few things for the cruise that we didn’t bring with us like sun block, liquid hand soap, hangers, wine, coke, and bottled water. We arrived at the port of Miami around 10:30am and were given the last zone 2 card for boarding. Passengers were still disembarking the ship when we arrived and continued to disembark until 11:30am! Boarding began right around noon and went quickly. We bypassed the photo opportunity and we were on board before many in zone 1. I immediately went to the shore excursion desk and signed up for the Behind the Fun tour and was the first to sign up. (It also wasn’t advertised at all throughout the cruise, so I’m assuming that it filled up quickly.) Room: When we boarded, we went right to our room to see if it was ready, and it was. We had an “interior” room in front of the ship with a window, 7201. Our view was pretty much the same as front of ship camera. It was mandatory that our curtain was closed after dark, but that really wasn’t an issue because there wasn’t anything to see. There was a small deck in front of our window, but few people knew about it, so rarely was anyone on it. The room was an average size. Ship: We loved, loved, loved the Breeze as a ship! The blues and greens for the décor all over the Breeze is a huge improvement from the older Carnival ships. Also the tropical décor of the hallways was a vast improvement! This was our first Carnival ship with the 2.0 improvements…I think it would be hard to sail again on a ship without them! Butch, the cruise director was one of the best we’ve ever had and the entertainment staff was great too! Christmas: Because this was the sailing that covered Christmas, free champagne was flowing from when we boarded until a little after 3pm. Overall, the ship was nicely decorated for Christmas, many trees and decorations around. There was a Christmas Eve service on board in the Limelight Lounge that was packed. There was also a Christmas show in the main theater on Christmas day that featured the singers and dancers, and the kids from Camp Carnival. (Side note: The cruise director said that there were over 1600 children on board...but it felt about the same as any other Carnival Cruise we’ve been on. It really wasn’t too bad in terms of kids running around or in the pools.) There was also a special menu for dinner in the main dining rooms that evening for Christmas. Food: Let’s start with the Lido deck food. The set up of multiple buffets helps break up the lines a little bit and forces people to pick one type of food for lunch or face multiple lines. On the 8 day cruise, we really only saw huge lines twice and that was right after everyone came back on board after ports of call. The buffets are smaller than they used to be, but still have enough choices. Guy’s Burgers are great in comparison to what Carnival used to serve for burgers (although they are still serving those horrible burgers to the crew – I saw that on the behind the fun tour). The Blue Iguana burritos and tacos is also another nice addition to the ship. The pizza isn’t great, but is edible and better than it was in years past. There was pretty much always a slow line for pizza. It seems like they can’t make them fast enough. We ate at the Italian restaurant for lunch (it’s free) and it was ok, but nothing that I would have wanted to pay extra for. In the Fun Times, they were really pushing the dinner reservations all week and I don’t think it was ever sold out. We didn’t eat at the steakhouse, but heard great things from everyone who we talked to who did eat there. And, the steakhouse was sold out all week. We also ate lunch in the dining room twice, same menu both times, which was a little disappointing. We also had “brunch” in the dining room twice also with the same brunch menu both times. It would be nice if they would change these up, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. For breakfast we managed to avoid the buffet all but two days and ate in the dining room where the food was hot. When we did eat breakfast at the buffet, we arrived right when it was opening to avoid any lines and even then the food was just kind of warm, not hot. For dinner, we had the Your Time Dining, which we liked. We don’t like being locked down to a certain time to eat or to be stuck with the same people every night. We typically arrived soon after the dining room opened each night and never had a problem getting a table, although each night when we left the dining room there was a huge line with lots of people waiting to get tables. The food was ok. Nothing special. Even the chocolate melting cake was a little disappointing…undercooked, overcooked, never just right. Entertainment: The deck parties were the best I’ve seen them on Carnival. The cruise director and entertainment staff were all high energy and were great to get the party started and keep it going! The new format for the shows in the main theater with 8 cast members who all sing and dance with the screens in the background was a nice change. Sure, the flashing screen can be annoying at times, but it is nice to see Carnival change it up after so many years of the same old thing. I’ll gladly take a moment or two of obnoxious light flashing to a worn down show we’ve seen over and over again. We also liked the stunt comedy show and hypnotist in the big theater. The Hasbro Game show was also cute and we preferred that to the old jeopardy style games they used to do. We also went to several comedy shows and like the comedians who we saw. I don’t know if it was having a lot of kids there or the type of cruisers there are at Christmas, but many jokes were flopping that we thought were funny during the early shows. During the day, it seemed to be trivia, trivia, and more trivia…we played until we won a ship on a stick and then stopped going. (yep, we’re snobs like that.) The most fun we had was at the adult pub quiz each night in the Red Frog Pub. The prize is either a fish bowl or tube of beer. It was a great way to meet other cruisers and also very funny even if you’re losing! Watch out for that tie breaker contest. For the dance club, it never really got going until after midnight and they were checking IDs. We had heard great things about the piano bar on the Breeze, but it seemed to be a flop. Twice we saw the piano player was just standing around talking to the bartender not even playing during his scheduled times. There was never much of a crowd there either. We enjoyed the live guitar players/singers throughout the ship. They were really good! (I don’t know if the Breeze always gets the same people or they rotate them, but these were all far superior to those we had on the Legend last spring.) Sports Deck: The mini golf was really fun. And, the ropes course was fun for adults and kids (but I think more so for the kids), but we gave it a once around. There was also ping pong and foosball tables on the deck too. The only outdoor area to run is on the sports deck and isn’t the best place because there are so many people you have to go around so many times to make a mile. Waterworks: The Breeze has an awesome waterworks area, where I think lots of kids hung out for the week. I did go down both waterslides on the day we were in Grand Turk and there few people on board and definitely no lines! Both were fun, but the yellow twisty one was better than the orange one. As for the pools and hot tubs, we never got in any of them. On the sea days in the afternoons they were crowded as you would expect, but nothing too crazy. There were also hot tubs on deck 5 which seemed to never be busy. Serenity: This deck was crowded on sea days with people laying in the sun or hiding in the clam shells. Other than those few days, you could always find a lounger. (I also found that deck 5 was a great place to find a lounger away from children too!) Spa/Gym: We walked through them, but never used them. Casino: This place was huge and busy compared to other ships. There were always lots of people playing slots and table games. Behind the Fun Tour $95: I loved it. Not something I would want to do again, but worth seeing once on a Carnival ship. There were two tours one with 17 people and one with 16 people. It started in the Steakhouse and then went to the galley. The galley tour was extensive, more so than the free quick walk through tours they used to do. They pulled out pan after pan after pan of hot croissants, cookies, rolls, etc. for us when we arrived also. Then it was down to the I-95, which I’ve always read about, so it was cool to actually see. We went into a store room, freezer, and thawing room. Then off to the crew cafeteria and crew human resource room. (no crew cabins on tour, just some photos of them were shown). The crew gym and internet areas were pathetic, what a shame. The crew bar was nice, but likely not large enough. We walked by the brig and morgue and down to the laundry room, which was my favorite. Then up to the bridge to meet the captain. And then to the bow and crew outside area. After the tour we were each given a drawstring bag, hat, plastic bracelet, and soap carving as take away gifts. When I got back to my room there was a plate of chocolate covered strawberries an other sweets. Later I received 3 8x10 photos, the group on the bow, the group on the bridge and myself with the captain. Ports: Grand Turk: We got off the ship, took a few pictures of the ship from the beach and promptly walked the opposite direction of the beach chairs. We had an enjoyable walk away from other people and went in search of the perfect conch shell. It’s pretty much a conch shell grave yard if you turn to your right and walk down the beach away from all of the people. We found some great shells, took some pictures with them and left them behind. After a few hours we got back on the ship and enjoyed our time without many people onboard, including a couple trips down the water slides. Dominican Republic: We had a private excursion booked, but at the last minute I got scared and we booked a similar trip with Carnival to Saona Island for $30 more per person (but wait there is good news later). Our carnival excursion boat picked us up right at the pier, which was nice. It was about 45 minutes to ride to the sand bar where there were starfish. We were there for about 45 minutes and then back in the boat for about 30 minutes to the island. We were at the island for a couple of hours, drinks were included. The water was a little cold, but a beautiful blue. On the boat ride back it was clearly raining in front of us, our boat driver tried to avoid the wall of rain we could see, but eventually we had to drive right through it and we got pounded. Other than the rain on the way back, it was a nice excursion. Even better news, Carnival has a money back guarantee if you find an independent excursion that is the same as a Carnival one you get the difference plus 10% back. We immediately applied for this and should our emails confirming our excursion with the independent company and were approved within the next day and we got the $30pp difference back plus 10%! Curacao: We were on Curacao for Christmas Day. And, Carnival doesn’t arrive until 2pm here, so it is a little odd arriving so late in the afternoon. We had booked a private excursion with Irie Tours. We drove around the island and saw the sights and also had an hour at the beach at the end. We’re not beach people walked down to the aquarium, and also went in search of free wifi (and there were lots of free wifi place all around the beach). Aruba: We had booked a private excursion with H-F tours. We were off the ship at the right time, but the others that we were going on the tour got the ship and island times messed up and were 45 minutes late. Aside from the late start, we had a great tour with Howard and would highly recommend him! He drove us all around the island to show us the highlights and we had several stops for photos. (FYI, Aruba is very desert, hot, dry, and dusty…keep that in mind when booking your excursions…we were so glad to be inside an air conditioned bus and not covered in dirt when we returned to the ship.) Debarkation: We walked ourselves off with our luggage right around 8am. The lines at immigration/customs were long, took about 30 minutes, but then we were free. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
So, just got off the Breeze on Sunday the 1st. Here is the review, as best I can remember it. 1st some background, Cruisers 41 year old male, seasoned cruiser, Wife 36, also a seasoned cruiser, 7 year old daughter 5th cruise, 4 year old ... Read More
So, just got off the Breeze on Sunday the 1st. Here is the review, as best I can remember it. 1st some background, Cruisers 41 year old male, seasoned cruiser, Wife 36, also a seasoned cruiser, 7 year old daughter 5th cruise, 4 year old daughter 3rd cruise. Mother in law 65 2nd cruise, Father 65 To many cruises to list. Travel from Ohio to Port of Miami was uneventful, except for the downpour on the way to the ship. Embarkation for all was smooth, got to the terminal at 1, on the boat by 1:30, longest wait was for the non-passport SS card. Ship - Overall much better than the Carnival ships I have been on in the past, it was nice to be on a ship that didn't kill the eyes with gaudy... It was clean, as I expected a newer ship would be. I did notice that all the CCL ships that were in port are now sporting a Cargo container strapped right behind the funnel, and the Breeze was no different, based on the markings I believe they are backup generators, so kudos to Carnival for being proactive in that respect. Overall the ship was great, the waterpark was perfect for my daughters, who loved the whole lido deck. The Beach pool and aft pool were both nice, but a little small, I wouldn't call them crowded, but they could be easily seen that way. The Lido deck buffet system was okay, seating was never really an issue for our group of 6, but at peak times it did get busy. Overall Ship layout was good, not as open as some of the other ships we have been on, but good. Cabin - we had three, 10273, 10227, and 6226. 10273 was great, though I will admit that the couch bed was stiff as a board, the drop down bunk was fine, as was the main bed. Plenty of storage, and lighting. The one thing I didn't like was the table which seemed to always be in the way. Balcony was good, and we used it a lot when the kids went to sleep. I was concerned about noise being on the lido deck, but there was none, and it was very nice to have what basically amounted to direct access to the beach pool and waterpark area without having to ride the elevators. 10227 was an inside also on the Lido deck, it was nice, layout was good. 6226 was what you would expect from a small inside. We referred to it as the cave and laughed about it, it wasn't any more or any less than was expected for the room. One word of warning 6226 is over one of the stages, and it can get VERY noisy. The room steward was attentive, and the room was cleaned and prepped very well every day. Dining - First and foremost, a huge well done to Carnival on Guy's Burger joint. Ate it everyday, and missed it the minute we got off the boat, remember you can actually order the burgers they list, otherwise its a plain cheese burger. They need to provide more than a small handful of fries, but based on the amount of wasted fries I saw left around on plates, I understand why they hold them back. They were Very good. The Sea day BBQ wasn't worth the wait, and its in the middle of nowhere ship wise on deck 5 starboard, if you really like BBQ, and I do, you will be disappointed. I didn't use the Lido Marketplace buffet, but the rest of the group did, and they seemed to like it. Some of the reviews have cast some doubts on the setup, and I would be inclined to agree, its has more than a few pinch points on crowd flow but was manageable. The tiles in there are slick tough, even with boat shoes and them being dry. Pizza and the deli were standard carnival, if you have sail before and liked them you won't be disappointed. I missed the wok place and the Indian one as well. Did try lunch at the Italian restaurant, it was good. Dining Room - First, I'm not sure why, but everyone hammered the wait staff on the reviews I read, this was not my experience. We had late seating on the mail floor in Blush Table 624 I believe, Sara was our HW. Without a doubt the best service we have received on a cruise, and that includes Royal and Disney! She was great, played well with our kids etc etc. Dinner was a little slow the first night, but after that no issues. The Dinners were good, on par with Royal in my opinion, reviews slamming the food seem a bit out of place. The breakfast was a different story, first sea day we decided to do the brunch, and were there for about 2 hours. (Lunch and breakfast in the dining room is open, you will not have your night staff generally). We ate every morning in the dining room, and after the first day it was much improved. All and all, we felt we were provided great service by our main staff, and the food was good. We had a few things that were less than stellar but they were few and far between. Ports - Grand Turk - Beach and Buffett's place, both good and the kids had fun. DR - we went to Altos de Chavon we did NOT go through Carnival, its 7 dollars per person for a bus ride there and back, much cheaper than the Carnival SE that I believe was at least 60 per person. Nice Amber and views. our girls liked it a lot. Curacao - It was a bit strange, not my first time there, but the time was really really bad, most shops close at 5PM and we pulled in at around 4 I believe, I could be off on the times here, but it seemed that after we got outside of the Casino/Shops that you walk through to get to town thing were closing down. The Bridge was fun to walk across and the girls loved the pretty buildings and the lights at night. Aruba was a nightmare, but not the island itself, we just had a bad Cab experience, followed by two excellent ones. If like us you like to trek out on your own, and not go through the cruise line excursion, be aware that if you have to split your group into two taxis and both groups tell the driver you want to go to Eagle beach you may end up miles apart!. That is what happened to us, and it messed up the morning, but with the help of a very nice cab driver all was saved and the rest of the day was a huge success! Thanksgiving on Aruba was a bit odd for us Ohioans, but if its up to me, we will be cruising on Thanksgiving from now on! BTW Football fans, Carnival Breeze has Miami TV as its home market, so the Football games were on the cabin tvs and the pool screen at the beach pool, nicely done Carnival!. Entertainment - NA I don't go to shows, or presentations but was told by my mother in law that they were great! Camp Carnival - the 7 year old made friends with another girl on the ship and they hung out there in the mornings, but then we went to the pools in the afternoon, her time there seemed like it held her attention. The 4 year old wanted nothing to do with it, she wanted the water park, and then the water park, and after that the water park. Disembarkation - I am going to be brutally honest on this, it was BRUTAL! This was not all Carnival's fault exactly (I think). It depends on what happened. Apparently someone got off the boat BEFORE Customs cleared the boat. So we were in group 18 which should have left between 8:45 and 9, we were cleared down to deck 3 at 11:15. I can only imagine people missed flights based on the things I was hearing from others while we waited. If its true that someone managed to slip off the boat early, than carnival needs to take a closer look at their security polices, because it managed to put some undo stress on a number of guests. (For the record, based on the announcements I was able to hear, this is what happened.) Once we reached deck 3 it was easy and we were in our car in 15 mins. BTW, people were waiting for our parking space who were getting on the ship. Summary - The Cruise was really good, everyone enjoyed it and had nothing but positive things to say, until right at the end with the Customs thing. We were aware going aboard of the reviews and the issues that were pointed out. I found that most were not experienced by any in our party. The food was good we had no issues with any crew member aboard ship. Overall it was a great way to spend Thanksgiving. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
To start off with a bit of background, we are experienced cruisers having taken almost 40 cruises already (mostly in the Caribbean). We are platinum on Carnival and this was our 17th cruise with the line. To say that we were disappointed ... Read More
To start off with a bit of background, we are experienced cruisers having taken almost 40 cruises already (mostly in the Caribbean). We are platinum on Carnival and this was our 17th cruise with the line. To say that we were disappointed was an understatement. Our bad experience actually caused us to get a cruise critic account and write a bad review. This is my first review so bear with me. To start, embarkation was relatively uneventful. We were running late and arrived at the terminal at around 2:45. The new terminal Carnival uses is nice and functional. Check-in was smooth and we were on the ship in a matter of 15 minutes. Our first bad experience came from lunch. Naturally, we expected the lido to be closed due to our late arrival, but this was such a violent shut down. The crew uses some shades they lower in front of the dishes. The crew was literally pushing people away and yelling for them to stop getting in line. I understand crowd control but this was ridiculous. We managed to grab some small selections right before they closed. The food was greasy and cold but it held us to dinner. Dinner was alright. We were in the Sapphire, with your time dining. We went nice and early and had nice seats. The restaurant is nice, not too audacious and gives a relaxing vibe. The food was below average. Every course was cold, and the food was cheap. Redfish and fried chicken on a cruise line, in the dining room? Wow. The second day was relaxing with the majority of the day spent in the cabin. The ship was full so many of the public areas were packed. There wasn't much to do on the ship, most of the activities were shopping based or by the pool but the ship was so full that being by the pool really didn't feel fun. Breakfast was standard cruise ship (but toned down a lot) breakfast throughout the entire week I noticed they were missing usual staples such as hash browns or even ham. Not too impressed. We ate lunch from the Blue Iguana and I must say it is pretty good, it's just annoying have to tell the crew to put extra chicken in your burrito because two small pieces isn't enough (the attitude they had wasn't very fun either, the food was tasty though). I don't eat burgers but everyone else in the family said that the burgers were very good, just a bit too greasy. Tonight was elegant night, which leads me to a whole other topic. People really don't respect elegant night anymore do they? For the first time I saw shorts in a dining room on elegant night. Plenty of people without ties, jackets, even button-down shirts (normal days were even worse but I am guilty of not going too dressy once or twice). Dinner was again mediocre, the lobster tasted old. The waiter we got this time forgot two courses and finally the lady at the front forgot to give us a pager and said it was our fault for not asking for one. Not the best night. Next day was Grand Turk, which we did not get down due to the fact that we had already been there a few times and seen everything. It was moderately rainy as well. Arrival was early, and departure was on time, couldn't complain about that. We rode the watersides while the ship was empty, very fun, definitely a highlight of the ship. At night we went to eat at the Italian restaurant, Cucina del Capitano. It was probably the best and most satisfying meal we had all cruise. The staff was friendly, and attentive (not the best but certainly the best all cruise) and the food was delicious. Absolutely no complaints. Next day was La Romana, which was to put it lightly, bad. We opted to take a bus ride to the city and explore the town. The bus left us in a tourist trap where honestly, thank God we speak fluent spanish and knew how to say no, but if you didn't speak spanish I could have honestly seen you having a horrible time. I said more in a destination report. Dinner was in the lido tonight and the food was at least hot, not necessarily tasty but hot. Next day was Curaçao. What a beautiful island, though we sadly didn't get down, from the ship it looked like it might have been wonderful. You could see the dutch influence in the buildings and it looked really historic. The city was really pretty at night too. That night we ate at the steakhouse, Farenheit 555. The food was alright, nothing too special, the prime rib was very good but the others' filet mignon was average. The food is pretty good but I'm still not sure if its worth the $35 per person cover charge. After Curaçao was Aruba. This was definitely our favorite island. We opted to take a shore excursion that took us on a catamaran cruise/snorkel. The meet-up was a bit disorganized but the shore excursion was a blast with beautiful views of the ships, island, and water. The water was the clearest I've seen in the Caribbean in a long time. The reefs and wreck we visited were full of life as well. It was stunning. After the excursion we went to some shops around the port, they were nice too. What a wonderful way to spend thanksgiving day. Heres the disappointment of the night. The dining room menu only had one thanksgiving item, turkey and baked potato. The lido was the same story as well. You couldn't even find apple pie! It really sucked that we didn't have a proper thanksgiving dinner. Even on Costa and Holland America, traditional thanksgiving meals were served. Still waiting to have my turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. The last two days at sea were pretty boring. More shows and sales for shopping was about it. Bingo was there as well but they were probably the cheapest games I've ever seen, except for the coverall at the end of the cruise which was $10,00 (no one won before the 46 turns so it went down to $1,000). The "Chocolate Extravaganza" was okay, they've really reduced the selection. Brunch in the Blush dining room was horrid. My huevos rancheros were raw (They didn't even look cooked in any way shape or form), our bagels were either not toasted at all or black, the croissants were like rocks, and the coffee was watery. Not to mention that they sat us in probably the worst table in the entire restaurant. Disembarkation was a nightmare. The worst we've every experienced. First the ship was delayed in arrival to the port and no clear information was given until 7:30 (!). We had priority debarkation and went down at our scheduled time with an ok from the staff. Apparently, half of the number three had been put on the carousel and the other half was not. Plenty of VIP's and Platinum guests were there waiting from 7:45 to 8:15 waiting for the bags to show up. To top it all off, the carousel (Carousel C) breaks. So now the terminal area is backed up to no end with people ranging from VIP's, Platinums, and people with early flights. Finally after arguing about what they should do for 30 minutes they decided to put all the leftover three's on Carousel B. Within five minutes of putting the luggage on Carousel B, Carousel C starts up again. So now people are scrambling between both carousels trying to find their luggage. It is now 9:00 and we have finally got our luggage and head to customs. Thankfully, we beat the rush of people and were out through customs in two minutes. I feel bad for the people who had flights to catch early on. Thankfully we drove (we live only about 40 minutes from the port). What a bad way to end the cruise. In summary, the food is mediocre if you're not willing to pay. Selection is pretty good but a lot of things either just don't taste good or don't belong in a classy dining setting. The Indian Tandoor was obviously not very authentic but was probably the best tasting of the group of foods in the lido. The pizza was hit or miss, sometimes it would be thin crust and very cheesy (the way we like it) or soggy and greasy. The pasta bar in the Italian restaurant was actually delicious, a very good concept. The comfort food section was gross, we found hair in our food in three occasions. The C-side BBQ was not very good either. You could probably build a tastier salad at your local Chuck E. Cheese than at the lido buffet. I already commented on the Blue Iguana and burger bar above. The service was the worst we've had on any Carnival ship, or cruise in general. There was no attentiveness or problem-solving initiative. There was no idea of customer service. We were even insulted by a group of crew in the lido and laughed at. It was not just us, many other platinums and VIP's we spoke with had the same opinion. The entertainment was cheap. What happened to shows with actual dialogue? Shows that weren't just peformers doing covers of songs from the 80's? Don't get me wrong, the cast had talent, but I feel like it was being wasted with these cheap shows. Even the kid's program was below our expectations. The smallest in the family, a nine year old little girl commonly complained of the counselors just sitting back and letting the kids do whatever they want and canceling activities, not to mention the fact that anything that was considered fun was an up charge. The other child, a fifteen year old boy did not have so many complaints about Club 02. The only thing about Club 02 is the lack of organized activities. It's really just a room for teens to hang out, and theres barely any supervision as well. The spa was decent although not much was provided. It could obviously be better. To speak positively about the Breeze, the price was hard to beat. The decor was actually very "cute". It definitely promoted relaxation and did not feel to cheap. The Lanai is a fantastic idea and was probably one of the best areas on the ship. The ship itself is very nice, and moderately clean.The sports court and waterworks were stellar and provided great fun. As said above the Italian restaurant was delicious. Our cabin was also very clean too. Room service never took long (though you would have to wait on hold forever). The fitness center was very modern, and I guess the crowd didn't like it as it was almost always near empty. Basically the hard product the Breeze gives you is great and does not need much improvement. It's the soft product that is lacking. I feel as if they had a different crew and new chefs that the ship could very well be the jewel of the Carnival fleet. In conclusion, this will probably be our last carnival cruise for a while. Our last one was on the Carnival Liberty in March 2012 and though it wasn't too bad, we had already begun to see a decline in quality since then. It's just not as good as it once was, and we have been sailing with them since the 90's! Thanks for reading.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
At the start, let me say that I am a career Hotel manager. I have managed big and small properties, in downtown areas and currently on the beach. So, my comments are written from that perspective. We were on the Thanksgiving sailing of ... Read More
At the start, let me say that I am a career Hotel manager. I have managed big and small properties, in downtown areas and currently on the beach. So, my comments are written from that perspective. We were on the Thanksgiving sailing of the Carnival Breeze. Since we live in Florida and had read some troubling reviews about parking in Miami we decided to rent a car and drive to Miami. We used Budget and there is a location in downtown Miami, maybe 2 miles from the port. Drop off was easy and we had a cab to the port about 15 minutes after I called for one. We paid for Faster To The Fun, I knew we would be getting to the port early and I wanted to squeeze every bit of "fun" I could out of the trip. We were at the port by 10:30 and walking on board by 11:30. Room was ready when we got on board. Others have noted the change in the Breeze's décor from other Carnival ships. I loved it. It's toned down but still colorful and I love some of the pictures that are on the stairs. Room was nice, basic cruise cabin. We were in a Cove Balcony room. I loved being that close to the water, although I think we were under the kitchen so we had the smell of cooking food greeting us most of the time. And at night there were odd bangs and crashes, that if you are a light sleeper, you might want to avoid. Also, the sea was rough for a few days and you can really hear the waves crashing and banging the ship. Since you are this close to the water, the balcony can stay a bit damp (and my wife actually got splashed by a wave), but other than that I loved it. Wish they were on all the ships. So what about the food. First and foremost, Guy's Burgers is the best thing afloat. If you don't try at least one, you've only got yourself to blame. The Blue Iquana Tacos were good too, loved all of the extra sauces you could try. The "Marketplace" buffet area (as noted in other reviews) please be careful walking on the tile floor. I actually tried to walk with at least one foot on carpet at all times. it's really, really slippery. We really didn't eat any meal other breakfast here. I always did the "omelet station" option. Sometimes the lines would get long, but after seeing the "boiled scrambled eggs" there really wasn't another choice if you want eggs. A couple other notes, if you want a breakfast meat (bacon or sausage) you'll have to get in another line after getting your eggs and yes, the bacon is guarded. If the bacon sentry doesn't give you enough the first time, just ask for more. Also, I do wish Carnival would adjust their serving times to be more in line with port arrivals. A couple mornings we were in ports early, but only half of the buffets were open. In Curacao, we arrived at 2pm so if you were on a tour you missed dinner In the dining room. Guy's closes at 6, the Blue iquana closes at 3 and (again) half of the buffet lines were closed. Perhaps it's just me, I really hate lines if there is another option. Tried the sea day BBQ. Big lines but not worth the wait. Who puts onions in pulled pork and the Chicken was dryer than dry? If you don't know what BBQ is, then have at it -- but it's not for this Southern boy. Food in the main dining room was very good most of the time. I'm on a restricted diet so I ate lots of fish, it was mostly overcooked, but fish is tough to get right. The beef was much better. And my wife discovered Chocolate Melting Cake. it really should be illegal. Entertainment: we saw The Brits show as well as the Motor City show. Sorry guys, I thought they were good. I was a music major in college and I have no stomach for bad performers. The harmonies were tight, the dancing was fine and I found the video backgrounds a great use of tech. The comic juggler was great too. He started slow but give him a chance. Never made it to the stand-up shows, just too crowed and the Family friendly show was always at 730, not a great time for those that have the early dinner seating. The Staff: In all of my years in hospitality, I have never seen a harder working bunch of folks. Always smiling, always moving, always with a "good morning/day/evening", it was a wonder to behold. If someone want to see how a "hotel" staff should work and act, take them to the Breeze. Leaving the boat: Since we had purchased the Faster To The Fun, we also got priority disembarkation. If FTTF is available, I will always buy it (at least till I make Diamond -- like that's gonna ever happen). Money well spent. Overall, I loved this cruise. Say what you will about the "other guys", for the value delivered for $ spent you can't beat it. I was thankful to spend these 8 days on the Breeze. Already looking at cruises for next year!!   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
This is the 3rd year in a row we've cruised over the Thanksgiving break, and this year easily met the bar set by our cruise on the Freedom two years ago. While the Legend was slightly disappointing last year, the Breeze redeemed ... Read More
This is the 3rd year in a row we've cruised over the Thanksgiving break, and this year easily met the bar set by our cruise on the Freedom two years ago. While the Legend was slightly disappointing last year, the Breeze redeemed Carnival in our eyes. Booking: We booked through CruiseQuick for the second year in a row, as they were showing this same cruise for less than Carnival (or anyone else's) site. Like last year, no problems whatsoever. I wouldn't hesitate to use them again in the future. The port: The terminal Breeze is at in Miami is pretty nice, at least compared to Lauderdale and Tampa. My only real complaint is the cost for reliable parking. My parents, who were on this cruise with us, stayed at La Quinta Inn East leading up to the cruise, and as a result could have hooked us up with parking, but we decided not to make use of it for a number of reasons, the main one being that we knew we had a 12 hour drive to get home when we returned, and we didn't want to waste any time waiting for the shuttle. That left us with parking lots near the port, and after reading plenty of reviews, decided just to suck it up and pay for the deck across from the terminal. Expensive, but easy and quick. Before I get to the ship, I'll mention that we also had Faster to the Fun for the first time, and found it to be worth it. Being Gold level on Carnival, it gave a few added perks that higher level cruisers get. We also got it for my parents, so they weren't stuck watching us get on early :). With it, we were able to get on pretty quickly after they started boarding, which we loved, as it basically made that first day another sea day. Our cabin was also ready when we got on ~11:30am, so we were able to drop our carry-on bags right away. The ship: We've never cruised on a boat that could carry this many passengers (on any line), so we were all a little worried it might feel too crowded. Honestly, there were very few times we felt that way over the course of the 8 days. We rarely had to wait for an elevator, and for the most part, the food lines on Lido weren't bad, outside of the Mongolian and omlette stations, and the pizza line. Honestly, I agree with everyone else who's complained about that last one. We hit the pizza station one night at ~7pm while in port in Curacau, and the line was 30min long. We saw those kind of waits on multiple occasions. They really need to put more people and pizza ovens back there and maybe crank out the common pizzas (pepperoni, cheese) during peak hours. Outside of that, no complaints on the ship. We did the ropes course, waterslides, and loved them all. We enjoyed the Breeze far more than we did the Legend last year. Also loved the new decor, it's a nice departure from the style present on the older ships. Our room: We were in a spa ocean view, room 11203. I can't begin to describe how much we liked the room. Before I talk about it, I'll say that it appears to be meant for handicapped patrons, as it's larger than most rooms to accommodate things like mobility scooters. Honestly, I didn't realize this until about a week before the cruise. CruiseQuick didn't show that when I chose the room on booking, and on Carnival's site I never got prompted with anything indicating it was until I went to change the bed layout to 'king' the week before the cruise, and had they contacted us, we'd have been happy to move to accommodate someone who did need it. That said, the location and size were great. It was like a normal hotel room size-wise, had a larger bathroom, and is right by a door to the deck 11 "secret deck", which we made use of every day. The window in the room was pretty big, too, and provided a great view. We did make use of the spa amenities that came with the room as well, visiting (and enjoying) the saunas. I'd book a spa room in a heartbeat again. Like our cruise on the Freedom, being up top is great. It's a quick walk out to Lido, and when getting off the ship, much easier to get an elevator with all of your luggage since you're up top, where the likelihood of an elevator coming down already full is slim. The staff: Awesome. We were disappointed in this area last year, but absolutely loved the staff this time around. I'd emailed the maître d about a week before, asking if it was possible for our group to be seated in a specific area of the Blush dining room, and he was able to make it happen. Our table staff (Wes, Roman and Caesar), were great as well. Our room steward, Roderick, was excellent, and always around if you needed anything. The only thing that was so-so was the CD. Again, Brad set a high bar on the Freedom, and Pete didn't come close this year. Much like last year's CD on the Legend, we hardly ever saw him, as most things seemed to be run by his staff. The CD doesn't make or break a cruise for us, and frankly Brad is the only one we remember from the past 8 cruises, just wanted to mention it. The comedy club director, Bethan, was great though. Very funny, involved, and frankly I think we saw her at more stuff than the CD. Hated to see her having to put up with some cruisers who just don't understand manners outside of the comedy club and were trying to cut the line, and was pretty happy to see her having security deal with them. The food: I get why people state that the quality of the dining room and buffet food has gone down, in some regards we felt that way this year, too. I'm hoping the menu changes just announced are able to fix this. The Funship 2.0 stuff was pretty good, though. I enjoyed more than one delicious Pig Patty at Guy's, and my wife and I both loved the Blue Iguana food. I'm a bit picky when it comes to burritos, and generally prefer ground beef in mine, so I was a bit disappointed when I saw that they only had steak as the red meat option. On trying it, however, I found it to be delicious. The shows/activities: The shows were hit or miss. We loved the hypnotist, and attended both shows that night, but weren't really jazzed on the production shows. We did enjoy watching Hasbro, seemed like everyone playing was having a blast. On the activities, it seemed something was always going on, including a ton of trivia. We only played a small handful of trivia events this year, namely because someone from two cruises ago was on this again, and frankly playing with him just isn't fun (which several other participants and one of the hosts seemed to agree with). There's no reason at all to argue with other passengers and the host over whether or not the answer given was accurate, you're playing for a plastic trophy, and you're on a cruise. That, and Carnival needs to change up the questions from time to time, as repeat cruisers can easily memorize the answers. People take this stuff way to seriously when they're on vacation :). I also played in a couple of the beanbag toss tournaments and had a blast. Alex did a really good job hosting the stuff we attended. Very glad to see Carnival constantly running activities all week. We also attended a few comedy shows, finding Percy Crews II and Tommy Drake very funny. If you go to the comedy shows, get there early, that club is too small for the size of boat it's in. Kids’ activities: Another year where my 17yo daughter had a blast in O2 and made a bunch of new friends. She loved the girl running O2, Stacy. The Itinerary: For the most part, loved it. We enjoyed each stop, but would have liked to be in port in Curacao all day (8-5) vs the 2pm-11pm we were there. The shops all seem to shut down at 6pm, so if you do a tour when you first get there, don't plan on doing much shopping after. Outside of that, all 4 stops were absolutely beautiful, and you can read my port reviews to see what we did and what we thought. On the sea days, we loved them, especially having two sea days on the end. You get a full day to relax after the ports without having to worry about packing. All in all, it was a great week that provided a ton of memories. Great ship, great staff and great stops! None of us wanted to get off, and we'd cruise this ship and this itinerary again in a heartbeat.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
First off- I'm a pretty positive person. I am in the customer service industry and know how the guest should be treated, so I hope this review is helpful and not seen as overly critical. On November 22nd our party of 15 set sail on ... Read More
First off- I'm a pretty positive person. I am in the customer service industry and know how the guest should be treated, so I hope this review is helpful and not seen as overly critical. On November 22nd our party of 15 set sail on the Carnival Breeze. There were two sets of grandparents. My brother, his wife and three children (18, 16, and 11) and my family (wife + four children 16, 15, 11, 9) This was during the week of Thanksgiving and my wife and I had sailed previously on the Carnival Miracle, Valor, Glory, Splendor, and the Magic, so we had certain expectations of Carnival. We have also sailed on Norwegian, Disney, Celebrity, Costa, and Royal Caribbean. We chose the Breeze because we wanted some of the newer amenities. The ship is not even 2 years old. The ship is colossal. I'll list the things we did like. 1. Our cabin was on the 11th deck. Easy to go to food on the 10th and the gym and activities on deck 12. 2. The water park is great. Ropes course is fun. 3. Guy's Burger Joint is awesome. Best burgers on the high seas! 4. Tandoor- the Indian food section was excellent. 5. The outdoor movie theatre- (except they need to make the sound louder and put subtitles on- hard to hear what's being said.) 6. The gym is ok- (many of the machines weren't hooked up to the TV system, which my wife and I enjoy when we work out.. :( 7. I enjoyed the dry sauna. 8. The ports of call were Grand Turk, La Romana, Curacao, and Aruba- Grand Turk was a beach day. La Romana was a speed boat to Saona Island on Pro Excursions. Curacao was a pretty lame tour of the island (traffic is terrible there!) Aruba- we rented Jeeps from Royal Car Rental and had a blast, but could have used more time to shop! We did our own excursions which saves about 40-50% from what Carnival tries to charge you for the same thing. Things we did not like. 1. Overall unfriendliness of the staff- we are used to people saying hello and good morning, afternoon...etc. Not on this ship. Staff seemed very aloof and they performed their jobs, but without any gusto. 2. Long lines for food. (Good luck getting the Mongolian Wok- 30 to 40 minute minimum wait.) 3. The entertainment was a huge downgrade from previous ships- no live band for the shows, subpar singers, not the big production events that we have seen previously. We like shows and entertainment. 4. Dinner Service was the worst ever. Our server had 42 guests to accommodate with 2 assistants. The first night we left after 2 hours and no dessert when they turned on the lights for the next dinner seating. I spoke with Fernando, the Maitre D and expressed our disappointment. He said they would work on it and it was better the next night and he had a 3rd assistant to help, but the speed of service was still not up to par. Dinner should not take 2 hours. 5. Show times for the family friendly comedy were at 7:30 PM and dinner started at 6:00 PM. We were not even done with main course by then. 6. Many of the venues on board are still the same size, but are expected to accommodate 4,500 guests. ??? C'mon Man! People got wise to this and would start to arrive at shows 45+ minutes before show time and would reserve seats. If you walked in 20 minutes before a show- good luck finding any good seats. 7. Too many people in wheelchairs and electric Hov-arounds. Wow! 8. Dinner menu is the same as it has been for 5-6 years with no new changes. 9. No pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving! ??? Needless to say, I don't think we will go with Carnival until improvements are made. This was a very disappointing cruise for the cost and level of service. The Breeze should be their flagship now as far as amenities, service, etc. This was not the case. For $11.50 per person/per day in tips, we got about $5.00 worth of value. Not good. My brother actually felt so strongly that he did not tip. We normally would give the cabin steward and waiters additional money for going above and beyond...not on the Breeze. This is unfortunate and maybe it's an issue of inadequate staffing. I don't know. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2012
We had a fabulous time. Both my husband and I (25 plus cruises with Celebrity/Royal/Princess) really enjoyed the decor changes and the luxury of a BRAND NEW SHIP. We have not cruised Carnival since 2002 and may or may not (???) again, but ... Read More
We had a fabulous time. Both my husband and I (25 plus cruises with Celebrity/Royal/Princess) really enjoyed the decor changes and the luxury of a BRAND NEW SHIP. We have not cruised Carnival since 2002 and may or may not (???) again, but this trip was a lot of fun and the price was certainly right. FOOD - better than our last Celebrity cruise, better than the Oasis of the Seas. Plenty of venues and optons/variety. Dinner service was extremely slow between courses and our waiter rarely came to our table, leaving the asst. to do most of the work. I always enjoy the Carnival dining entertainment but not when we are still waiting for courses. We had to leave early to catch shows. BUFET- Very good selection, very long lines at peak times. When 50 people are waiting in line going nowhere because one person is waiting for a certain dish to be replaced, c'mon, go around them. I see nothing wrong if asking if you can reach between the waiters to grab a certain item. Fellow cruisers thought this was an atrocity. Fine, I'll go to another line or come back after the bacon has been replenished! Also long self serve beverage lines because of the set up. There are several stations though, so go to another one. Again, c'mon people, don't stand there and put your sugar and milk in and stir & sip your coffee your coffee - get your coffee and move. The buffet decor and dining set up was nice and you never noticed crowded seating. We wake early though. I also refuse to wait in any line - I just move on to something else, be it food line or a free vacation line. I won't wait, unless it's the line to get ON the ship, and we arrived at 2 pm for embarkation - no line, cabin ready. Service - for us - bad waiter, so-so cabin steward. Everyone was mostly friendly but service is luck of the draw with waiters, etc. Our asst. waiter did all of the work. Did not care for the drink service unless I went to the bar myself and was very specific. When ordering Manhattans from servers it would always come with a double bill. I never wanted a double shot and this ruins a Manhattan. It's not about the amount of Bourbon. Thought this was a dishonest practice. $12.50 a drink! I didn't complain, just quit ordering from servers. We were not on the drink plan. Most staff was extremely friendly. Good table mates. Cleanliness - perfection. Workers everywhere keeping doorknobs/railing/decks clean. Cabin - very comfortable. We spend little time in the cabin so only booked an inside guarantee. No noisey neighbors. Ended up on the 7th deck aft. Convenient to buffet dining - 3 flights up and activities, 2 flights down. Linens - new and extremely comfortable. Brand new bathroom, no cigarette stains on sink! Big shower compared to RC. No amenities in our cabin when we arrived and when I asked 2 days later we only got half the packet. No big deal. No personal cabin service like welcome from the room steward or introductions. Service seems spotty because of auto tipping. Staff is mostly very friendly with everyone greeting you. Plenty of channels on tv. Cabin always made up and ice stocked. No real complaints. Fun - you make your own, but sometimes other cruisers can be very rude and the cruise line can't control this in most cases (see comedy club). Staffing there could have certainly controlled that situation. Crowds, yes there were crowds AT TIMES. The elevators seemed exceptionally slow or out of service and we had to walk the stairs many times. I had knee surgery and while at times this was extremely painful, in the end it seemed to be like physical therapy. I can't imagine how hard it would be for people with more difficult disabilities. Elevator etiquette is always a problem on any cruise line, but there were some extremely rude people who would not budge to let anyone else on. Some complained because they had to stop on other floors. Theater production numbers - OUTSTANDING and the money that went into those productions is unheard of on any cruise line. Innovative new technology for this ship. Not only were the performers excellent on all levels, the lasers and production staff and digital screens were amazing. You have to often look beyond the dancers to appreciate the set productions and they were amazing! Better than Oasis of the Seas, and they were Broadway worthy but didn't have the set technology. Missing Grand Turk - c'mon folks, did you not hear the desperation in Butch's voice. He knew he would have a raging complaint line, but the captain was not going to risk the ship and have another Costa disaster and the weather would have been horrible had he been able to dock. We have never been to Grand Turk and didn't take our snorkel gear out once, but hey, it's weather. Speaking of the cruise director - he was fabulous as was the desk staff. We had no complaints though, only went to guest services to retrieve lost items. Thankfully housekeeping found my camera and turned it in. I was lucky. The comedy club fisaco was just that. Almost a riot broke out the night we went to the second show, Some people stayed for ALL THREE SHOWS. It was ugly and to us there were several very ugly incidents between clientele on the ship. Some people were down right rude. You have to leave situations you are not comfortable with and there were several situations, but we still had a great time and appreciated the ship and the very friendly people we did meet. WE'RE CRUISERS. We loved the new decor and private spots found throughout the ship: The hot tubs on deck 5, the adult only spaces. The pools were beautiful compared to the older red/yellow tiles on the Triumph class. We used the aft pool for a more quiet atmosphere. Carnival has always had the best photographers. Get plenty of photos taken and choose the best. Have fun. It is the fun ship line. You have to go with the flow but you can't predict who you'll be sailing with. We thought the disembarkation was a complete mess and we were with 2 couples who had been waiting for some of their luggage for 3 hours and gave up and hoped it would be shipped to them in fear of missing their flights. This was not the staging of luggage in rows by colors/numbers. It was carousel style and all luggage was mixed as to time of disembarkation. Your luggage may or may not have been there based on your scheduled time to depart. We waited close to an hour at the carousel. Customs/immigration was combined and that was quick. Mostly due to no lines from people still waiting for their luggage. We used a downtown parking agency with shuttle due to the rising costs of port parking. Shuttle service was fairly efficient. Premier Parking. $6 a day. It was relaxing and fun for us. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
A nightmare before Christmas... Breeze dec 22-30th - cruising with kids... Now here I go starting off negative like others To be honest though it really was not that bad. Everyone needs to lighten up including myself Hey we are on ... Read More
A nightmare before Christmas... Breeze dec 22-30th - cruising with kids... Now here I go starting off negative like others To be honest though it really was not that bad. Everyone needs to lighten up including myself Hey we are on vacation on a gorgeous new ship traveling to new exciting destinations other than the typical east/west itineraries. So here is my take on it all. A very rocky start (literally) that did improve over the duration of the cruise. New to carnival but past RCL and NCL cruisers. New Yorkers with grandparents and kids in tow age 4-8. Ship is immaculate! Pools are warm and the jacuzzis are hot! It makes a difference because it keeps the kids swimming. First two sea days. Windy, Rainy, rocky. ** bring sweatshirts**. The water park and skycourse ropes course were closed as well. Pre-cruise- stayed at the foutainblu miami, tresor tower. Love it here. Rooms rental by owner getting a huge 1000sq ft suite, full kitchen with magnificent views at less than half rack. No resort fee but maid service is extra . Heated pools, plush towels, attentive staff, delicious food (fish tacos), inv entive cocktails, great kids meals. Quick taxi to Lincoln road. Past serveral years Always dine at Rosinella for homemade, inexpensive authentic Italian. Embarkation - left after lunch. Taxi $40 about 20 mins. Left hotel at 1:30, stopped at Walgreens and were onboard by 2:30. Fastest ever!! Not one line. Quick and easy as could be! Brought 2 bottles of wine in carryon. Cheers program - purchase by atrium bar as soon as you board. Gratuity added but I still tipped $1-2 each time. Throughout the cruise Lots of Charge errors - Definitely have to watch bill. Servers made mistakes. Ie. drinks over $10 are 25% off, Perrier 25% off. If I bought say a water and wine sometimes wine was charged and soda was 25% off. Husband and I in separate cabins so only one of us purchased and no issues getting say 1 drink from 1 bar and then another drink moments later from a server. Top shelf liquor some very good drinks - grey goose martini, chipotle passion, carribean colada, perfect margarita. Yum! Cabin- 8th floor, connecting balcony near atrium elevator. Port side. Amazing sunsets. Great location. Easy walk up to lido. loved having the connecting rooms. Opened up balcony partition. *make sure you unhook shelves in closets. I didn't figure this out at first! Ordered the Bon voyage for kids room and kiddie goodie bags from carnival. Room Stewart's were warm and very attentive. Rooms always tidy. *tip extra in the beginning. It makes a difference. We also had an extra child registered to the grandparents room stay with us and it was not an issue. We decorated our door /cabin for the holidays. ! Entertainment/activities Seaside movies under the stars **was a favorite for our group. Huge screen. Different themes - date night, family, superhero, James bond. After very hectic days, it was nice to relax under the stars. Supersoft blankets available in the towel hut and popcorn by the bar. Waterworks - when it was hot out and skycourse when it was finally open were a huge hit with both kids and adults. The attendants there told me people were very angry but note it was closed because of high winds! It was a safety issue. The sports square kept us busy with mini golf. The kid also loved the basketball court and the outside exercise equipment. Thrill theater- go right away and get the unlimited pass. I have no idea why we waited until the end but my kids loved this. Disney like and a nice break from the sun. $7.95 for one show and $14.95 unlimited. They don't charge for lap children. Dj - I liked the dj. Played a eclectic mix of music. At first I too missed the carribean band but some afternoons they had solo guitarist playing and he was outstanding! Cruise diectors - Butch & Amy 6'3" we're energetic and visible! From their morning show broadcasted by the main pool a clever way to hear about the ship/port happenings. To the night deck parties and Christmas show. 5th floor promenade walk had a nice flow from venue to venue. Punch-liners - funny comedians. I know others complained about the venue being small but I thought the size was appropriate and if you can get seats if you showed up 10/15 mins early then passing Piano bar Ron always had a full house as well as the Souljaz band in the lanai. Ovation theater - divas Brits and Latin nights all entertaining though short. While not broadway like, they held our attention and digital stage back drips were incredible. Latin nights was the most entertaining. Food/bars This was a late crowd. Very quiet before 9am and after 10 packed!! Lunch 12-1 the marketplace had HUGE lines. In the evening 7:30ish the lines for photos were long! LUNCH/DAY 2 bars near main pool - red frog busier. Tequilla bar quiet. Guy fiery burger - Long lines in the early days of the cruise. 2 lines and the one starting in the buffet was shorter/went faster. Burrito bar - eggs wraps were delicious! Mexican eggs with The works. Line always went fast. *** no chips by salsa bar. Maybe bring some to eat with all the salsa choices. Food layout for "typical" kid fare was a nightmare. After the second day I saved bagels from breakfast for lunch. ** Burger- Guy Fieri main pool, Chicken nuggets- comfort food station, Pizza - aft made to order, Hot dog - 12 by mini golf, Pasta - 11 fill out order ticket cucina del captain and sit NIGHT Sapphire dining upper level early seating *** least favorite dining experience. For us it wasn't that the service or food was so bad or cold. I thought the staff worked very hard. It was the atmosphere. It felt like a diner. We barely made it by 6:30 for a 6pm seating. it was also freezing inside. The blush is clearly nicer though the aft for sure is rockier. So choose your evil here. Lobster served first elegant night. Blush restaurant offers 3pm tea on sea days Sushi- located on 5 fresh an tasty. Never busy. Had a snack there. Red frog also never busy. Cucina del captaino - made advance dinng reservations by emailing Best family meals here, relaxed, great service, fresh made to order. One of the waiters sang Italian songs. ** this was our favorite dining experience. We ate dinner here twice, Lunch 2xs Fahrenheit - also made advance reservations by emailing it was sold out except for the first and last night. I started emailing just over 3 weeks before sailing. We dined on The last evening and I had a nice lobster bisque, filet and apple crisp. ** we brought an uncorked bottle of wine and were charged a $15 corkage fee. We also asked to have the lobster ravioli as shared appetizer and that would be an extra $20 fee. Whatever. Honestly by the last night we were tired of eating and were surrounded by empty tables. I couldn't figure out why getting a preferred reservation was so difficult. Chef table- sold out 1 month before sailing Christmas activities Garland decoration around the atrium balconies Various trees placed throughout the ship Christmas eve - special show that camp carnival children participated in Sang Christmas carols, entertainment staff dressed in Santa suits. Gave out candy canes. Captain made an appearance and ended with a visit by santa each child could sit on his lap and take a photo. Christmas day there was a non denominational service. Christmas dinner menu included beef tenderloin etc. Seaside movie shown was elf. Camp Carnival/kids activities Considering the amount of children on board, camp carnival never seemed busy. Many children spend the cruise only with their family. I spend plenty of time with mine too but I found the program phenomenal. I have kids in the 2-5 and 6-8 age range. ** the answer to the big question is there flexibility to move between the age groups and the answer is YES. Clearly it's at the discretion of the staff. In my case they would have happily moved my almost 6 year old boy up. Guess what though.. He didnt want to go. We tried for days. He was perfectly content staying with the younger kids. The older group was a little too intimidating for him. He wanted to stay with his younger brother instead of his older sisters. The camp us social, education. The kids play games and participate in arts and crafts. There is free video game time. One day there was a magician Kids don't get bored! They have a couple of late nights for an extra fee. For the 6-8 year old fun till one party only had 15 kids! Another night owl party age 2-11 had more than 50. The kids are also given a napsack filled with goodies (flashlight. Toothbrush, etc) Kids can eat lunch and dinner there (mine did not). The spa also offered on 12/27 Aruba day a little kid (age 3-10) spa(mani/pedi) ice cream sundae party fom 5-7. If we had more notice we would have participated. I've done it before on another ship and the girls just love it! Debarkation - also very quick. It's done by zones and we happen to be zone 8 (7:30-8). They were running a little lateand we decided to leave around 8 and got off very quickly. We had to wait 20mins for our bags to come and customs did not have a line. Post cruise - 20 mins to the Westin Diplomat. Packed hotel sponsors of the Orange Bowl. Kids love seeing the football players. Room not ready until after 5! PORTS - we chose this cruise based on it's ports of call so I may as well comment/post our experience. GRAND TURK - missed due to high winds. Unsafe to dock. Of course we were disappointed buy want to be safe. I think people need to realize this is a different island than provinciales Had a private horseback riding excursion booked and emailed back and forth a few times: This was the info I received from them but because I didn't actually get to go on the excursion, I cant comment how it is. They told me the beach ride is $75.00 usd adults and $60.00 usd children. the duration of the ride is 1.5 hrs. and we are very close and will have ample time on the beach. "We provide full round-trip transportation to and from our facilities unless requested otherwise, and we are only a 7 minute drive from the cruise pier. We pickup just outside the main entrance gate to the cruise center. (This for you would be the exit gate outside the parking lot, if you were heading into town). We have a tour scheduled for a 9:00 am pick-up on that day, so we can go ahead and schedule your for the same time. We are currently only accepting cash payments, which can be paid on the same day of the tour, before or after we ride. (Your preference) We also provide drinks (water and sodas) for our guests." .Also emailed bohio resort "Thank you for contacting Bohio!You are most welcome to visit us the for the day, there is no charge.We have a great restaurant, beach bar and a lovely beach with good snorkeling.We do rent sun loungers ($10), snorkel gear ($20) and kayaks ($20), paddleboards ($30) all upon a first come , first served basis, depending upon our in- house guests and availability.We also run several "Snorkel on the Wall" boat trips per day to seeGrand Turk's famous coral reef and fish life, weather permitting. Cost is$40 per person, including snorkel equipment and is approximately 1 hour. Youare welcome to arrive at Bohio and arrange once here . There are no set times of departure as this excursion is dependant on ship time, so please let us know if you are interested. To reach Bohio, please take any taxi from the cruise ship terminal, the cost should be no more than $8 per person one way. We look forward to welcoming you soon. Kind Regards, Ginny & Tom" Dominican republic * we loved it here and never for a second did I not feel safe* Arrival at 8am and barely anyone got off. That is 9am DR time. We walked outside the gate and there were dozens of taxis lined up. Totally safe professional. We had a day pass planned at dreams la romana. The taxi was $40/50 I forget for 8 of us. We never get round trip. Taxis are easy to get when you are visiting a resort. The one hiccup we had is he by mistake took us to beach next to the Wyndham Dominicus Beach ( by the way looked very nice!). He apologized and we were at the dreams in 5 minutes. So distance from port to dreams was 16mins (22mins back) To the wyndham about 25 mins. The dreams hotel provides towels and a cold drink when you arrive. Warm friendly smiles. A little bit of a language barrier but good service and strong drinks. The kids had a blast on the ocean trampoline and pool rock climbing wall. There are a ton of empty chairs to the left you can bring over to when you first enter the beach. Buffet lunch with many choices. Crowd was mostly European. Some topless. Lots of activities, dance lessons, water aerobics. It was Christmas and the kids club set up a game where the kids could dig in the sand for presents (a bag filled with ballons and candy). Also a huge set up for Santa. "Here is the info from dreams: wrote: Thank you for selecting our resort to spend the day while in the beautiful port of La Romana! We take this time to inform you that a day pass costs $60.00US per person. Children 11 years of age and under will receive a 50% discount. The pass is valid from 10 30am until 5pm and gives you access to our beach area as well as provides you with unlimited food & beverages within the All Inclusive plan. As our resort does not provide transfers of any kind, please see the taxi service at the port directly regarding all information about pricing. The port is approx. 25 minutes away from our resort. If you wish to reserve a day pass please send us an email 10 days prior to your arrival providing us with a list of all names in your party. The day pass must be paid for upon arrival, in cash, directly at our main reception. Please note that all will need to provide proper identification when entering the resort. All the best, Kerry Consentino E Concierge Dreams La Romana Playa Bayahibe Tel:(809)221 8880 Fax: (809) 221 8881 Curaçao Booked a private tour with someone I found online - Diana Meyer. I booked simply because she had a website with her photo. To be honest I'm a little paranoid at times getting in a foreign taxi with my small children. We were more than happy with Diana and our tour. I basically told her what I wanted to do. We arrived at 1pm ship time which is 2pm local time***. I didn't realize that but luckily our guide did and did not wait an hour. What this means though is you have *** limited daylight hours. The sun set around 6. She drove us around town highlighting all the top sights around town, passing store llined cobblestone streets (most were closed 12/26) and then over the high bridge. Quick stop Bon bini for liquor tasting. Then to the ostrich farm. She had never been but we /kids loved it! Definite recommend if you want to do something different. It wasn't far from the port. Maybe 20mins. Cost I think was $12 each but we always said our youngest child was under 3 and never had to pay for him.. We drove with a guide in an open air truck learning all about them and this ecological farm. There were other animals, even crocodiles to see. Another highlight was feeding some young ostriches. The babies were due in Jan so this was the only miss not being able to hold them. If you want to ride an ostrich you have to go before 3pm and age is over 18. It was too late after to go to the caves so instead we went to cabana beach for a quick swim. A very happening beach with DJ and lounges. Many Europeans. Watched the sun set. We ended the tour at the restaurant I made dinner at cafe gouverneur rouville - a historic building with a magnificent view of Punda. I made advance reservations by emailing ( Mixed thoughts about this place. Amazing balcony table with stunning view. Mediocre food and slow, slow, slow service!! Quick easy walk through the fort (many restaurants, live music) back to the cruise ship! What a day! ARUBA Our plan was for this to be a lazy beach day. Researched about getting a day pass and the radisson and holiday inn do not offer them in high season. The rui was $110 for the day. Instead I took a quick 10min cab ride for $14 to Palm beach. I asked to be dropped off in between the radisson and the hyatt and there was a watersports place with $5 chair rentals along with umbrellas or whatever else. It was a picture perfect beach day. Walm cAlm waters perfect for children and watersports. Aruba is just gorgeous! We rented jet skis $65 and the kids had a couple of chair tube rides $15. Each. We had lunch at the pelican pier. It was packed! We left by walking through the hyatts lush gardens and waterfalls looking at many iguanas a and parrots. Back near the port it seemed people were going on shipping sprees. I saw many cruise passengers with armfuls of shopping bags. A little bit of a line getting back on board. Other tips - Pack less, pack less, pack less. Boy is it tight in those rooms - jumbo size ziplock bags definite helped organize bath suit, socks, underwear - limited hangers in the closet could def help to bring some - brought kids robes I used daily - beach towels clips to keep towels in place - remember islands are 1 hour later when booking private excursions - we travel with strollers to at least help with the bags of stuff! Have fun!   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
A group of six did our annual Christmas Cruise this year, deciding on the new Carnival Breeze 2.0 Class ship. Having been on many Carnival ships in the past, this was, without a doubt, the most disappointing cruise ever. The staff on ... Read More
A group of six did our annual Christmas Cruise this year, deciding on the new Carnival Breeze 2.0 Class ship. Having been on many Carnival ships in the past, this was, without a doubt, the most disappointing cruise ever. The staff on this ship, other than at the stores, where the most unprofessional people ever encountered on a ship. At embarkation we had two special needs (wheelchair) passengers. We were giving quick access to receiving our sign and sail cards and given sign stating "Special Needs". So we sat and sat and sat until finally we all just decided to push the wheelchairs on board. So much for helping those with special needs. Although our table in the Blush Dining Room was on the upper level and was very close to the kitchen, the food was never hot. Some meals were actually cold. Usually the head waiter will nicely hand you a menu, here the menu was thrust in your face, with no comments or conversation. The staffs goal was to get you in the restaurant, feed you and get you out of there. Of course to accomplish this, we had to pass and stack our dishes for removal. The food on this ship in the dining room was the absolute worst, cheap food that could be served. We always look forward to dinner on a ship; going to dinner on the Carnival Breeze was more of a punishment than it was enjoyable. The concepts of the "Guy Burgers" (which were greasy but very good, along with the fries), the BlueIguana was good, but the meat was skimpy and the food was cold; Fat Jimmy's BBQ on C-days was fair, again the food was always cold, the Mongolian Wok always had a huge line, because the food was made to order. The Pizza was mediocre with the lack of toppings and cheese, all you could taste was the burnt crust. The Tandoor food was spicy, but cold. The one day that we docked for 1 PM, the food stands did not open until 12 PM causing long lines. The Comfort Food station was a nice thought, but the food was always the same as well as cold. Lunch was served from noon to 2:30. The dining room was not open for lunch. On sea days you could have brunch in the Sapphire Dining room with George Lopez comics - the comics could have come up with jokes that were not from the 1940's. The food at the brunch was also fair, at best. Now for the shows. There was one good show on this ship, Max Winfrey. The visual effects screen (big TV) in the Ovation Theater was totally awesome, but the shows were not the wonderful productions that we are accustom to attending. The Hasbro Game Show must have been the cheapest thing to do for entertainment. And of course, using the passengers as free entertainment always adds to the profit margin for the cruise line. Now for Butch the Cruise Director. If he is Carnival's finest, Carnival is in trouble. His long drawn out announcement always starting with "Hello Carnival Breeze Family" were disgusting. We are paying customers, not family. They were always to promote paid activities or what you can buy today aboard the ship, or repeating in a long drawn out manner what the Captain had already said. Amy (6 3) was so obnoxious that my Bingo playing friends went one time and that was enough of listening to Amy. Of course, the ship did not stop at Grand Turk, which makes us wonder if that is really a stop or just a nice filler on the itinerary. This is the second time we could not dock at Grand Turk because of wind. And for missing a port, you get a whopping $14.69 refund. Of course, having an extra sea day means extra income for the cruise line... and the "make a profit" comment from the CEO keeps coming back. This is the first ship that bothered you every night for photos at dinner. I can understand this on formal night (which really needs to be abolished on all cruises), but this was every night. The food was bad enough with the constant interruptions. This was also the first ship that required your to use your room key to turn on the lights in your stateroom. But we bypassed that with the hotel key that we had! Any card will work fine. And since you no longer receive comment cards at the end of the cruise, you cannot tell Carnival about your cruise experience. So before you book a cruise on the Carnival Breeze, think about it. If you like cheap, bad, cold food and poor shows, awful service by the dining room staff, and obnoxious cruise directors then this is the dream cruise for you. If not, join us on our next cruise which will be on a Celebrity ship!! This is the last Carnival Cruise for this group of seasoned cruisers! This is one "Dream Class Ship" that was a total nightmare! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2012
Generally, it seemed to me that most people were very happy with their cruise but based on reviews, unhappy people are more likely to post. We went on the Xmas cruise from Dec. 22nd and off on Dec. 30th. This was a busy cruise with over ... Read More
Generally, it seemed to me that most people were very happy with their cruise but based on reviews, unhappy people are more likely to post. We went on the Xmas cruise from Dec. 22nd and off on Dec. 30th. This was a busy cruise with over 1600 children (under 18) and 4600 guests so much more than average. I would guess that they did not hire any extra staff for the extra people and that would be the cause of the few issues we had with the cruise. Embarkation: couldn't be easier. We were told not to show up before 1:00 pm so we didn't. Most who complained that I heard showed up early and had to wait either for their room or to get on board. We showed up at 12:55pm, walked right on very easily and our room was ready at 1:30 pm. Some were not ready so if a person chose to go in before it was ready, then they shouldn't complain if they are missing items. Room: cove balcony which we loved. We find them quieter and more private than the higher levels, plus we like being close to the ocean to see the waves and get some ocean spray on days that are a little rougher at sea. We were between life boats so we had sun for part of the day - less than a higher balcony but some sun. It was easy to get to the dining room and much of the activity is between decks 3 to 5 we found. Lots of storage space for the 3 of us. A recurring theme is that we felt the staff were over worked and had some trouble keeping up but we just had to ask if we needed something and it came on a timely basis, ie, towels. Maybe not quite as attentive as some other cruises but nothing to complain about - the staff knew us by name. Children - this impacted a few of the services, I think. Overall the kids were well behaved, didn't cause us any trouble and just added to the energy on the ship. I think it's obvious that adding a thousand extra people would add work for the crew and that's what we noticed. It was tougher for them to keep up overall though I wouldn't say it was because of kids since I saw a lot more whiny adults than kids. Drunk adults were a bigger nuisance than the kids of all ages. Entertainment - not as many shows as on previous cruises - 3 shows and one novelty act (juggler/comedian). We went to all and enjoyed them all but would have gone to more. We liked the old singing/dancing shows so i would have liked to have seen a couple of those thrown in. Lots of comedians and show times though the family ones were crowded (due to Christmas obviously). I would like to have seen graduated shows, ie, family, then maybe pg13 and then adult. I would go to the PG 13 but not the adult. We loved the entertainment, but really would have liked one or two more. Maybe we're spoiled... We like the daily trivia and games they have around the ship so we do those as well. Some people get carried away with this and overly competitive. I felt sorry for the staff person more than once. Big screen movies - always fun. Just don't go expecting popcorn because it took us over an hour as they were making 6 containers at a time. Ridiculous and avoidable. A small thing,but to the kids who were looking forward to it, it was disappointing to spend half the movie waiting in line. We didn't complain about not being able to dock at Grand Turk because that's not avoidable but this was a simple thing to fix. Deck parties. Personal choice. We did one cruise that had a competition between colors and that got everyone involved. This one was all dancing and drinking or so it seemed to me. If I knew how to do the line dances, I would have maybe participated more but the times for the lessons didn't work for us. Obviously, though, many people like this as it was very busy. No biggie - good time for a quiet walk around the ship or a movie in your own room. Kids groups/clubs. Some people do seem to just dump the kids into the camps and clubs and some kids really enjoy them. That works for some kids but not all. If it works for your kid, good for them. Use it. My daughter preferred to hang out with us and that was great for us. Dining. So, I'm not fussy. I didn't have any complaints but particularly liked Guy's burgers, La Cucina ( went twice) the pizza and then the dining room for breakfast and the evening dining. My hubby, though, said that he felt the buffets were lacking especially the breakfast buffet. He found it cold and just okay. Everything else he really liked though. Evening dining was very good in our opinions, except that if you wanted a beverage other than alcohol, it either didn't happen or took a long time. We just started getting one ahead and bringing it in with us. Lots of variety, healthy options if you wanted them and lots of grease if you wanted that. Desserts were a highlight all over the place. I believe Carnival does an effective job at keeping prices down by having good food and then offering options for a fee if you want a better quality (like the steakhouse, italian place, sushi) or you can always eat at port some days. I don't care enough about food to pay for a more expensive cruise so this works for me. If you are a real "foodie" then you might prefer a different/smaller ship that caters more to individuals. Carnival is about family, affordability and fun. Staff - worked their butts off from what we saw. Overworked with so many people but still smiling and doing their best. The energy these people must have amazes me. I saw the same people over and over in so many different places working what seemed to be horrible hours. We left some extra tips as did others at our table. Well deserved. Ports - Awesome! Loved Aruba and Curacao and will post reviews of those on trip advisor. Didn't get off on La Romana but it looked nice and I saw port staff helping drunk passengers get back on board safely with all belongings. We like to stay on board one port and have no lines. Did the ropes course, suntanned, thrill theatre, ping pong, trivia....all with no lines. Grand Turk - too windy to dock. Handled very well by the staff, all fees were refunded and we just went back to sleep. Woke up to a new fun times with added activities. Cruise director and staff are awesome!!! Kudos to them. No point complaining as no one can control the weather. Debarkation. Walked right off and got our luggage within minutes. There was a brief pause at one point when customs couldn't keep up so people just stayed on board a little longer. Well announced and not a big delay. We rented a car both before and after the cruise and stayed in Fort Lauderdale so we used the free shuttles offered by the rental companies to get to/from the actual port. Just make sure you confirm your rental registration and have the info - phone numbers, confirmation numbers to speed up the process. Some people didn't and that seemed to cause problems for them. A GPS is also worth its weight in gold for getting around Miami and area. We drove into Miami from Fort lauderdale twice and back so 4 trips. The time ranged from about 35 minutes to over about 75 minutes so allow for that. Ship - beautiful! I found it clean, fairly easy to navigate and could always find quiet areas if you wanted them especially at night. Deck chair hogs are alive and well and CArnival is working on that. I think an announcement that you do not own a chair would be helpful. There would be lots of space if people used what they needed instead of leaving towels all day. The number of people who felt entitled to do this surprised me as it's incredibly self absorbed. My suggestion: if someone leaves their towel on a chair long enough to be tagged and then removed, they likely do this all the time and they likely have been gone a lot longer than the 40 minutes. Keep the towel and they can pay for it when they disembark or pay to get a new one. These are the same people who don't tip, who complain about everything and without whom the cruise would be more fun. I would go again tomorrow if I could - we loved it. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
We sailed the Southern Caribbean on the Breeze over Christmas, 2012. It was a pleasant cruise without many surprises. It was a nice, new, clean ship. And we all had a great time.'s what you really want to know: 1) ... Read More
We sailed the Southern Caribbean on the Breeze over Christmas, 2012. It was a pleasant cruise without many surprises. It was a nice, new, clean ship. And we all had a great time.'s what you really want to know: 1) Food. Overall, it was good. Indian, pizza, burgers, BBQ, main dining (be patient here, as is the case on all ships), and the buffet. All acceptable. If you are expecting gourmet (which some cruise critics seem to be expecting), don't bother getting on any ship, anywhere. Gourmet is back on land, in LA, San Fran, Chicago, ad NYC. One note: the sushi bar was kind of silly. Even the "basic" stuff they served wasn't like real 'basic" sushi / rolls. Piano Bar was cool. Red Frogs was cool. Outdoor bars were fine / small. 2) Active Pursuits. The kids on the ship seemed to love the rope course on the top deck, and the slide (my kids are 16/20, so they chill with the adults now). The gym was nice, but heavy emphasis on cardio....almost no free weights. Oh with it! The outdoor big screen is great. Mornings feature Lucy, Cheers, Honeymooners, and Happy Days. It's a trip down memory lane for us 40 something's. At night they show movies. You sit out on a warm deck, munch popcorn under the stars, and fall asleep watching a big flick. Loved it. Bball was on top deck, and the court is home to both roundball and soccer "tournaments." Also loved the The Library - chess, games, and a glass of wine. Casino was, clean, the usual games, etc. Had 2 digital poker tables too....with scheduled meeting times for players that were interested. The shows were ok. 2 were decent / 1 pretty lame. Again, remember this is a cruise ship. It's not Broadway (Les Mis, Rent, Spring Awakening, etc). Make it a good time.... 3) Cabin. We had a cove balcony 2317. It was quiet - the only sound was the ocean going by. Room had ample space for a fam of 4 adults. Bed was very firm, but surprisingly, I slept like a baby. Maybe my bed at home is too soft? And yes...the stewards still offer "towel animals" to greet you at night. 4) Personnel. We found most all Breeze team members to be extremely nice. A big shout out to Anil (from India) in the Sapphire dining room (he was our official waiter even though we did not have a reserved seating assignment) and to Alexandria (from Serbia). 5) Ports. Alas....we were saddened because the stop at Grand Turk was cancelled. It's my understanding that this isn't the first time that this has happened. Something about the the dock not being stable enough to handle the boat if the chop is too much? I suppose it's easier said than done, but Carnival guys, why don't you build a better dock? It's essentially a cruise line dock, right? In the Dominican we went snorkeling on a CAT (sailed out to Catalina Island).....I don't recommend it. The snorkeling just isn't that good. We would have inked a different deal, but it was Christmas, and much of the island was closed. In Curacao we did an island tour with a beach stop at the end. It was OK. Aruba? Forget about it. LOVED IT. The water was awesome, snorkeling was great, and sand was powder. I'm ready to pack up and move there. Overall.....I recommend booking ALL excursions pre-cruise with private operators, or after you get off the ship. EVERY port has cabs and tour operators at the dock. Ship personnel may try to scare you with the Dominican stop....don't let them. While it's true you can't "walk off the dock and into the city," the port "compound" itself has cabs and city tours available, and cost is wayyyyy less than with the ship. 6) Embark / debark - awesome, easy, fastest of any ship I've been on (about 10 so far). Also, just wanted to mention that this week the ship was full since it was Christmas time. 4000+ passengers and 1300+ crew. And yet the crowds just weren't. It felt crowded almost nowhere. I couldn't believe it. What else? I saw people complaining on the ship, just like here on the cruise critic boards. Give me a break. These trips / cruises are what you make of them. Go in having fun, with a laid back attitude, and, knowing NOTHING can spoil your trip, and you will enjoy your vacation. If you are expecting ground breaking service and food, ports that are fairy tales, and the ultimate that life has to offer, you should stay home in bed, with your head on the pillow, and keep on dreaming. I'd take this cruise again.....peace out. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
I am relatively new to cruising and this Christmas cruise on board Carnival Breeze was my third cruise on the Caribbean while second cruise with Carnival. The main reason to choose this ship was I wanted to be part of 'Carnival ... Read More
I am relatively new to cruising and this Christmas cruise on board Carnival Breeze was my third cruise on the Caribbean while second cruise with Carnival. The main reason to choose this ship was I wanted to be part of 'Carnival Family' as the Cruise Director Butch Begovich put it. As solo cruiser, my previous cruise experience with Royal Caribbean was disappointing because I felt lonely in the evenings. I have found Carnival guests more extrovert and the ambiance highly social. Embarkation: I arrived in Miami a couple of days before, staying at Conrad Miami in Brickell just minutes' drive away from the port. I checked out late and arrived at the pier around 1:20 pm. The check-in lines filled the terminal building but did not reach out outside of it. The process was smooth and I was able to embark immediately after picking up my Sail & Sign card. I went to my stateroom to find it ready. Public Rooms: Carnival has adopted a different way of decorating the interior compared to the Conquest class and older ships which have richer and darker colors. I don't know about the other Dream class ships, but Breeze did not look that much of a Carnival ship with its lighter and brighter colors. The atrium looked cheaper with less finished touch and I sometimes had the feeling I could be on board a Royal Caribbean ship surrounded by pastel colors. One reason I wanted to try a Dream class ship was their innovative way of adding more functional open deck space by utilizing the space on top of the lifeboats. On Carnival Breeze, the deck 5 outdoor area with bar and restaurant tables and whirlpools is called the Lanai. I expected to spend a lot of time there, but instead of that I found myself on the Serenity deck, the adults-only retreat. For some reason the Lanai did not seem to attract many guests. The idea of sharing the Promenade deck to interconnected outdoor and indoor areas does not appear to work very well. One reason might that the doors are kept closed a lot of the time so that guests cannot walk in and out in the Ocean Plaza area. Cabin: I always choose interior cabin because I do now want to spend time inside the cabin but leave to where the other people are or there the sun shines. For one person any cabin is spacious enough so I cannot say much about if there is enough space for two or more persons. I found two amenities useful: purchasing shore excursions using TV and the voicemail. We had two 'official' gatherings with our Cruise Critic Roll Call: Sail Away party and Meet & Greet, but the voicemail was a good way to keep in touch with the CC members as well as other cruisers I learned to know during the cruise. I would have booked a cabin on the spa deck or one of the other higher decks had there been one available at the time of my booking. The location is important to me, I like to be close to the outdoor spaces. But when booking two months ahead of the sailing date the best available to my taste was deck 7. It's the deck where all the suites are and I expected it to be quiet which it turned out to be. But it was boring: you have to travel at least 2 decks down or 3 decks up to find any life. I don't remember if this 'cruise etiquette' has been a topic here before, but I was disturbed by other guests talking in the corridor when walking past my cabin. It was the only noise I could hear. I understand it is much easier for me as a solo cruiser to stay quiet when walking thru the corridors than the groups of people walking together but this is something we could do to help fellow cruisers feel we appreciate others' sleep and privacy. Fitness and Recreation: Unless we arrived in a port of call early in the morning, I spent the hour from 7 am to 8 am in the fitness studio. Usually it was a hit but once a miss: the trainer just did not appear on 7 am stretching class. The fitness studio was small for this size of a ship (it could accommodate only 14 guests) and the fitness room with mainly cardio equipment was perhaps the most cramped one I have seen on any ship or other facility. One of the first things to do after embarkation was to purchase a VIP membership to the spa. For $149 you can use the thermal suite and thalassotherapy pool for the whole duration of the cruise. It was my favorite thing to do between the sunset and dinnertime. Dining: I was assigned late dining in the aft main dining room called Blush and the dinner table turned out to be the epicenter of my cruise experience. Together with me was seated another solo cruiser I already learned to know on our Cruise Critic Roll Call, with third solo cruiser. I have read numerous reviews here about mediocre or worse service, but I do not think it was the case in the MDR. The food was not especially good, indeed. I do not think the combination of service and food was any worse than on previous cruises. We tried to get a table in a specialty restaurant with some Cruise Critic members, but the steakhouse was fully booked for every night on the cruise. So the dinner was always OK, but I cannot say the same about breakfast or brunch. On any cruise ship this far, the breakfast service in the main dining room has turned out to be a disappointment to me. It takes too long time from the order to the food to be served. One morning, I had to leave after 30 minutes to avoid missing my shore excursion so I began my day with no breakfast. On a previous cruise, I have missed my shore excursion after waiting the eggs for 45 minutes. Yes, I know I should go to buffet or call room service every morning I cannot spend at least one and half hours on breakfast but they could begin the breakfast service earlier as well. On this cruise, the brunch service began at 9 am on sea days! Service: As I wrote, I have read comments about below-average service on Carnival Breeze here. I found the service at least acceptable in most cases and pretty good on dinner. The cabin steward wasn't the best I've had but everything was OK most of the time and he was always very polite. But the bar service was something which was easily outperformed by all my previous cruise experiences as well as everything else on the ship. I spent a lot of the daytime on board on the Serenity deck. There was supposedly some bar waiters but despite the big tips I gave them in the beginning of the cruise, I could hardly see them taking orders. In the evenings, I found the Breeze Bar a good place to enjoy live misc but the bar service was just as bad. One night I just had to listen to the waiter I'd been giving extra tips to improve the performance to complain what a day it had been. In the second last evening my dinner table mates encouraged me to report the bar service. I went to guest service desk and they called the Beverage Manager to come there. When I saw him and listened to him I realized what is wrong with the bar service: it's the management. The bar waiters cannot smile because he does not smile and the reason waiters reportedly have been rude to some guests is that the Beverage manager himself is, well, I regret I have to describe his character arrogant. He appeared to have good knowledge about the beverages and the serving temperatures while being less skilled in how to manage people and understand customer needs. But there are exceptions, as always. The bar waiters in Reg Frog Pub and Red Frog Rum Bar appear to enjoy they work. They seem to be more experienced and maybe for that reason do not care that much about the management. So if you are a person who enjoys spending a lot of time in the bars, I recommend the Red Frog ones. Entertainment: As a cruiser I describe myself port-intensive (usually go snorkeling), sports-intensive and as someone enjoying chatting with other cruisers. As a begin my day at 7 am, there is no much space for entertainment shows and nightlife. I tried to watch the production shows and the game show in the Ovation theatre a few times but every time I got bored and left the theatre before the show ended. As I wrote, I'm perhaps the worst member of Cruise Critic to review the entertainment but I need to say that I have seen a lot better shows on other ships. Some of them I have really, really enjoyed. But everything I saw in the Ovation theater was boring. This was the first cruise for me to miss a port of call. Our first port of call was scheduled to be Grand Turk, but we did not get there because it was windy. I have read this happening before with Carnival Breeze's then weeks short history in the Caribbean. I wonder whether Grand Turk is the right port of call for this size of a ship? Should they do modifications either on the itinerary or the pier? What this has to do with the Entertainment? A lot, actually. I expected that when we have 'An additional sea day' it would be just as much 'Fun day at the sea' as the other 'fun days'. But what happened? The only changes in the schedule were the added lunch options (such as Main Dining Room) and in addition to volleyball tournament there was a soccer tournament. The first time when I heard the Cruise Director to speak that day was 7:15 am after the Captain had announced we were not able to make it to the port. Only thing I remember CD saying was that the shore excursions will be refunded. I expected to hear his voice soon again and several times during the day to announce some extraordinary entertainment for this extraordinary sea day. But the next time to hear his voice was 7:15 pm when he announced the originally scheduled production show to begin. I really hope this is not a typical way for any cruise line to handle such not-so-extraordinary situation of not being able to make it to the port. To me it seemed like the Cruise Director and the entertainment staff were having a day off just like they do when the guests are on port excursions. In my opinion they should have worked harder than ever to minimize the feeling of lost port of call. The Officers and the Management I have already written about the Cruise Director and the Beverage Manager, so here are some words about guys who appeared to be doing much better job. After the Costa Concordia grounding and partial sinking Carnival Corporation seems to have adopted a different approach in appointing captains to its ships. Carnival Breeze's captain Vincenzo Alcaras is the opposite of his former equivalent of Costa Concordia, Francesco Schettino. Schettino was, as most of the Carnival and Costa captains still are, kind of part-time assistant cruise director with excellent performance skills and abilities to entertain guests. Captain Alcaras does not have any of this. When I saw him a few times on the promenade, he was walking slowly deep in his thoughts, hands in his pockets, no eye contact. I trusted him because I saw his merits must be something else than Schettino's. If the Captain wasn't the right hand of the Cruise Director in entertaining guests of Carnival Breeze, the Hotel Director did the job. He was always smiling, chatting with people and making sure everyone felt welcome on board Carnival Breeze. I saw him so often that I had hard time to believe he can be in so many places at the same time. Always extremely polite, a true gentleman. This may have been my best cruise experience this far, but it's not Carnival who did it that good. It was the fellow guests, the Cruise Critic members, my table mates, everyone on board who contributed to it. I've been thinking I should try luxury cruising or premium cruise lines for superior service experience, but would I feel connected with other cruisers and have fun there? I have heard many people choose Carnival because its excellent value for money maybe I am not the only one to have different reasons after all. Read Less
Carnival Breeze Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 3.7
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 2.0 3.6
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.0

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